“As what, exactly?” Julia wouldn’t let the irresponsible comment go either, and began dredging up mud from grade school. Asmeret was more than ready to shoot back with their own stories about Julia’s past transgressions.

“... I hid in the closet for hours because you said Yuli would eat me!

Phoebe sat scrunched up on the couch beside them. A thick blanket was wrapped around her, but that didn’t stop the occasional shivers from worming under her skin. Death hadn’t taken her tonight, and now she was forced to deal with the consequences of a slow regeneration.

Image: Phoebe is sitting on the gray couch, wrapped in a dark blue striped blanket. Only her head and hands are visible, and she clutches a white mug. She’s looking down at the mug with an upset expression. End description.

“I’m sorry,” she mumbled, watching hot water swirl around in the mug she was clutching. She’d thrown up everything else.

They both stopped and looked at her. Asmeret’s eyes softened. “Well,” they replied. “It’s a learning experience.”

It certainly was. Phoebe took a sip and used that as an excuse to avoid eye contact. It didn’t matter if Julia had made a bad call or hidden things from her: if she’d gone through with the plan, people wouldn't be having to clean up after her. If she’d used chain instead of rope- no. That wasn’t where she went wrong. The thought caused her to choke on her next sip. A coughing fit overtook her and suddenly Julia’s hand was on her shoulder, but through wheezes she assured the other woman that she was fine.

Image: A closer view of Phoebe, holding one hand up to her face while she coughs. In the other is the mug, with some water splashing out of it. There is a slight blush on her face. End description.