When a ghost knew this was farewell

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"I'm so sorry for causing all of you trouble last night. I had a few drinks, and I..." Alex paused, staring down at his bowl of cereal at the breakfast table. Swallowing the lump in his throat, he finished, "I didn't exactly have any other place to go. It wasn't like I could go back to my apartment now that Ashlyn..."

"Don't worry about it," Archer said understandingly. "I can't imagine what you must be going through. The least I can do is give you a place to stay. You're welcomed to stay here for as long as you need."

Skyler frowned, to which Archer sent him a commanding look. As bad as Skyler did feel about Alex's loss, having one more person in the house meant one more person he'd have to clean up after. Just thinking about all the extra dust and germs an extra human could carry into the house made his skin crawl.

For once, Mr. Sprinkles was on Skyler's side. This was a rare occurrence for the cat who refused to ever stoop down to such a lowly peasant's level. His reasoning, "Oh, fuck me. Another gay one in the house? We only need one of those around here. But I suppose the one good thing about this is that the gay ones can't reproduce with each other to create yet another fucking abomination. Hm, why can't all humans be gay and drive themselves to extinction? The world would be a much better place."

Rags, however, couldn't agree with Mr. Sprinkles and Skyler's stance. She would love to have her brother by her for as long as possible, even if he didn't know of her existence. There was a constant worry at the back of her mind on just how much time remained for her to be able to see him during her afterlife. Everything seemed so limited nowadays as if she would soon reach her end.

Unfortunately for her, Alex had other plans. "No, I wouldn't want to be a bother to you nor your friends. Besides, I've already made up my mind. I'm going to go visit my parents and stay with them for a little while. They probably need me more than anyone else right now."

Archer nodded, though he knew he'd miss seeing his boyfriend for however long he'd be gone. "Yeah, family comes first." While saying this, he met eyes with Rags, feeling guilty that he couldn't tell Alex a part of his family was standing right next to him.

After breakfast, Alex prepared to leave. His parents lived five hours away by bus, and he thought it'd be better to get to them as soon as he could. Once his shoes were on, he took a moment to tightly hug Archer and even give him a short kiss. "I'll keep in touch."

"And I'll respond in a heartbeat." Archer kissed him back but longer this time which made Cooper cover his eyes like a small boy.

Alex shifted his gaze from Archer to Skyler and Cooper, completely oblivious that his sister was standing in between them. "Sorry again for everything. But, Coops, can I ask you something?"

"Me?" Cooper pointed to himself in confusion. "I'm like not the best guy to get answers from, but okay."

"It's about what you said last time, about a ghost living in your house. Do you really believe ghosts can exist?"

Cooper turned his head to Rags, but to Alex it appeared as if he was facing Archer. "Well, technically—"

"No, there's no way ghosts are real," Skyler cut in, knowing Rags would prefer not to give her brother a sense of false hope that he could meet her again. "Coops has a wild imagination."

"I see..." With that, Alex opened the front door to leave. "Bye, guys. Thanks for letting me spend the night."

The three men sent their goodbyes too. However, it was Rags who gave him the final farewell. A familiar feeling arose in her heart, the feeling that this would be the last time she'd ever see her brother. But unlike before, she was utterly convinced this was the case now. There would be no more second chances. She watched as Alex turned a corner and disappeared into the hallway. Holding back her tears, she silently wished him a happy life.

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