"What about Rear Admiral Ferner?"

Oberstein's eyes opened and he stared at Bittenfeld. In the back of his head, he quietly counted away the minutes left of his life as he slowly bled out.

"Admiral Bittenfeld." He began slowly, his voice labored. "This is an odd situation, is it not? You should be with the Kaiser in his last moments, not mine." Bittenfeld grit his teeth and stamped his foot irritably.

"Shut up! You know damn well I don't take orders from you." Oberstein's eyes slowly closed again. Bittenfeld stared down at him for a moment.

"…Hey." He knelt down by the couch, (gently) prodding Oberstein's cheek. It was sallow and slimy, slick with sweat. It was taking everything Oberstein had to stay conscious to the last moment.

"You better not be dead yet, you hear me…!" Oberstein's head turned to face Bittenfeld and his eyes cracked open.

"Fear Admiral Ferner is at home, asleep in his warm bed, is he not?" Bittenfeld nodded and Oberstein continued.

"By the time Rear Admiral Ferner arrived, it would be too late. I don't have much longer in this world." He took a deep shuttering breath.

"I would… prefer if.. you would allow me to pass in peace... and quiet." Bittenfeld shook his head resolutely.

"You're an ungrateful bastard Oberstein, and quite frankly the world would be much better off without you, but for the love of Odin, you can't go out like this." Oberstein didn't respond, his vision both having drifted to the cream colored ceiling above and having malfunctioned as his body slowly gave out.

"Because, damnit, if you die like this, that means I have to respect you!" Bittenfeld spat, as though the notion was truly poisonous. He pulled himself up onto the couch and quietly pulled Oberstein's eyes out. He was given no resistance; he reset the eyes easily, having no problem due to seeing Oberstein do it in meetings, sometimes almost obnoxiously sometimes as though to spite him. Then he gently pushed them back in. They clicked quietly and Oberstein looked up at him, vision restored.

"I can't have you dying blind on me, do you understand?" He stood up and scoffed at him.

"Now you better stay alive, you here me? At least until Rear Admiral Ferner gets here! Now, promise me!"

"Admiral Bittenfeld…"


"Very well. Admiral Bittenfeld, I promise."

Bittenfeld made an approving grunt and then turned on his heel and stormed out, slamming the door unnecessarily loudly. Oberstein chuckled, as well as a man on Death's doorstep could.

"You are… without a doubt.. a very interesting man, Admiral Bittenfeld." Oberstein closed his eyes once again, conserving his energy until Bittenfeld returned.