"Did you know that the most painful way to die is to burn?"

His eyes shifted from the magnificent bird to the girl standing next to him, with the same brilliant color for his hair.

"You needn't be so morbid."

"Just stating the facts, 'bro."

Andy scrunched his nose. "Ew, don't call me that. Stop trying to be cool." He was rewarded with a punch in the arm. The girl with the high ponytail didn't take her eyes off the burning creature as she committed the act.

There was another moment of silence as the fire subdued and from the ebony dust, now vibrating and moving, a small orange-red head poked up and chirped.

"Aw," crooned Stephan, "it's so cute!"

Andy looked at his best friend with disgust. "Hearing you say something so positive is seriously grossing me out." His arm was given another punch. Rubbing it grumpily, he continued, "Why though? Seeing a baby monster emerge from a pile of ashes isn't my definition of 'adorable'."

Stephan shrugged, her brown hair swishing and swashing as she did. "Dunno," she replied, to which Andy almost banged his head against the table for. "I guess it's just beautiful how phoenixes are born from death. Like a full circle."

"There you go again, talking about beauty and being philosophical. It's, like, twice a day. Are you sick or something? Oh! And three punches in less than five minutes. Today must seriously be a world record or something."

"Hm." Stephan merely tilted her head a little more, to get a better view of the new born bird. "Hey, do you think we'll reborn like this when we die?"

"Why are you going on about that, Stephanie?" Her given name ensured Andrew another slap. "We're only 16. No need to worry yet. Though, considering your wrinkles, I think old age may come sooner than later."

"How many times have you insulted me just now?" She tapped her knuckles to the same semi-bruised forearm. "It's getting redundant."

"Like the cycles of life?"

The brunette looked at her best friend. His eyes twinkled at the success of reading her thoughts. Stephan smiled.

"Yes. Just like that."