Rating: PG for a bit of language.
Notes: I was sick when I wrote this. It probably shows.
“What have I done to deserve this?” Piper moaned with more than a hint of melodrama. His companion chuckled good-humouredly.
“Oh, quit complaining. You like it, and you know it. Besides, you need company at a time like this!”
“No. I need rest and solitude,” Piper retorted, but his friend was right. It was nice to have company when he was sick. It was just a bit odd that his friend was, well, dead.
“Cough and sneeze all you like…don’t bother covering your mouth…and wipe your snot everywhere…it’s not like I’m going to catch it,” James said sagely.
“I don’t think you have any sympathy for my illness. I feel like hell.”
“Hartley, Hartley, Hartley…we’re not going to play a game of “Who’s Got It Worse?”, are we? Because I think I might win.”
“Fine,” Piper said flatly. He supposed his friend was correct again (how was such a thing possible?)
“Why are you here, anyway? Aren’t you supposed to be…somewhere else? Or maybe haunting somebody else? …Like Len, maybe?”
“Nope! I like you best!” James replied cheerfully, a shit-eating grin on his face. “Also, uh, it has something to do with who I was with when I died. Ahem.”
“Well, lucky me.”
“That’s how I see it.”
Piper rubbed his face and sighed. “I feel really badly about what happened, James. I think I’d trade places with you if I could.”
This made Trickster deeply uncomfortable, and it showed on his semi-transparent face. “Don’t worry about it. Being dead’s not so bad. You get to see all sorts of people who’ve died before you…ponder the mysteries of life and the great beyond…and spy on hot chicks in the shower.”
“Jeez, don’t get your panties in a wad, I was kidding about the last part. In all seriousness, Hartley, don’t worry about me. I’m fine. Really. However…” (and the mischief began returning to his face) “…now I’m free to pester you, and you can’t get rid of me.”
Piper smiled slightly. “I guess I kind of figured that. I hope you’ll be less stalkerish than that sounds, though.”
“How many people can say they have a ghost buddy?”
“And you’d better knock it off with all the gay jokes.”
“I learned my lesson. Maybe.”
“Can you at least make yourself useful, James? I need some Kleenex.”
“I’m a ghost buddy, not a manservant.”
Piper rubbed his temples wearily. At least death had not changed James much. However, he privately wondered --- and not for the last time --- if it was possible to throttle a ghost.