Graupel Canyon Is spleen a bean?
Ted wasn't going anywhere between talking to Ashley and seeing her. He was laid up in his lovely living room, watching PBS programming with an ice pack over his throat, because it felt nice. He was slightly off-book on his wardrobe, wearing a brown and black bowling shirt unearthed from the back of the closet; he didn't have a better use for the thing than accidentally getting blood on it. He wondered idly, watching Jeff Corwin hold an octopus up to the screen, if she'd need to take the stitches out before she healed, or after. Did he have scissors for that?

He wondered how far she could get it healed, too, in one go. It was strange to think he might go from mangled to fine in one morning. That almost felt inappropriate.
Ashley arrived early. Way too early.

Park down the street and talk to yourself in the car, early. She muttered through something like affirmations: I will only heal through touch. I will stop healing when I decide it's time. I will not heal too much to go to lunch. I will heal only through touch.

The cross would help, she decided, based on nothing but a desperate search for answers on her own misfiring powers. Ashley had stopped wearing her previous necklace and ended up with powers gone awry, plagues of insects, and holes in her hands. It... didn't get much more biblical.

Eventually, she looked at her phone and found that she'd definitely spent longer parked here than she meant to. She hurried the car back to life, puttered down the road, parked, and scurried to the door with her heart somewhere in her throat. It was fine! It was just Ted! She knew Ted. He was so nice. He was the last person who would be angry at her about anything.

Big breath in, puff out. Adjust bag strap on shoulder. She knocked, ready to smile as best she could whenever the door opened. (At least until she'd see the neck wounds.)
Ashley!!! Seeing her all kitted up in the doorway was definitely the best part of his day so far. He went in for a shoulder hug, shooing her in through the open foyer and toward the living room. "Come in, come in! Can I get you anything?" Water? Protein shake? Blood transfusion?
She didn't say no to the hug, her smile brightening even as the wound worried her. Poor Ted. It had to be a vampire. How else did you end up with a wound like that, unless he was attacked by a wild animal?!

It was her initial inclination to incline the offer, and she went as far as to shake her head as she followed him. But then something told her it was probably better to take something! Both better for her and, like. Let Ted feel helpful?

"Actually, um, water would be nice. Orrr juice?" she said, sheepish. "If you have it. But water is good if you don't."
Richard was, for the record, in the bedroom putting away laundry. He had wanted to go and be obnoxiously helpful, insisting Ted stay down on the couch for no reason or otherwise behaving as the able bodied member of the house. But... things were about to get much better, if Ashley was about to prove herself worth the money Ted was going drop on her.

Besides, he hated fussing pointlessly. It made him feel negative and unhappy to feel like interfering in everything when it was going to be just fine without him. It was abnormal and stressful and so he ignored his baser instincts and listened to his personal logic and... it was more than enough that he was home. Just in case.

skippable but present if you need him 83

"Hmmmm, all right. I think we ran out of orange juice, but I definitely have water." He bustled his way into the kitchen, loaded a glass half-full with ice and filled it with tap water. Delivering this with a smile, he tried to stay peppy and also tried to remember how they had situated themselves last time. Maybe a kitchen chair would help...he stared vaguely into the room for a second as he wondered. "I'm gonna..."

And he was off again. He hadn't slept all that well, he was distracted. A minute later he was back with a wooden chair, dropping it onto the living room floor and gesturing at it as if it might offer its own explanation. "This work?"
She peeped a "thank you" as he went on his way, and she flipped open her bag to dig through the contents.

And also secretly took a moment to just... breathe. It was good to help a friend. Really. She just had to not mess it up. Everything had been so steady for her until the last few months. Even the dumb bug stuff had been manageable.

A second thanks as he returned with the glass, then blinked as he scurried off again. He had plans! And then he returned with... a chair! Maybe she wouldn't bleed on his other furniture?! Which didn't offend her. It was a risk.

"Um, thank you!" she said a third time, holding a water glass and speaking in a tone of voice that betrayed her slight confusion. "How do we want to, um. Set up?"
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