2007-05-18: Aliens In Starbucks


Daphne_icon.gif Megan_icon.gif


Daphne and Megan meet due to a friendly little bird by the name of Raptor.

May 18th, 2007:

Aliens in Starbucks

Starbucks, Lower Manhattan

It's a nice day in New York. Kind of warm - enough so that Daphne's left her jacket at home for once. She was hoping that the jacket was what the little tiny parrot was attracted to - why she wanted to always tag along with her everywhere. It seems, though, that Raptor just likes hanging out with Daphne, and has, indeed, developed quite the little personality. Even so, she does listen to Daphne when she feels like it, and tends to be pretty well-behaved in public. Well, /so far./

In any case, the animal handler is sitting in Starbucks with a hot chocolate, with an extremely small parrot perched on her head. <If you crap on me, I /swear/ you're not coming along anymore,> she says.

"LOL," says the parrot. She's not particularly loud, which is probably why the other patrons don't mind her too much. Daphne herself is reading a tabloid, something she picked up on the way over. There's something on the front about this mysterious girl who can turn water into wine just by looking at it, and she's being hailed as THIS GENERATION'S JESUS. Given the fact that there are some people doing really weird things lately, Daphn figured there might be some credibility to it. So far, she's unconvinced. But that's a tabloid for you.

As Megan enters the Starbucks, she gives a furtive glance to that back table in the corner. The one that Gene stole from her the other day. If he's here, she doesn't want to stay because it would only lead to complications and awkward silences. Lucky for her, the boy genius is missing and she takes a satisfied breath and continues on her way to the counter. Since it's such a nice day out, there are less people inside and it doesn't take her very long to order a raspberry iced tea, infused with whatever those crazy Starbucks people put in it and starts looking around for a proper seat.

Choosing a table right across from Daphne, she can't help but seeing that headline about the woman turning water to wine and she starts reading what she can from her spot. It's fascinating. And cheesy. How can she pass reading that up?

It's a horrible tabloid… One of those where the proof is 'A doctor said,' where no names are named and no references are cited. To Daphne, it looks as if someone got wind of a person who /could/ change water to wine, and made a fake story out of it. God knows it's possible.

"…Bored," Raptor says. "Bored. Coffee? Coffee? Bored."

"Quiet, you," Daphne says, turning the page so she can read more. "You came with me, remember?" she adds as the parrot starts chewing on her hair in frustration.

Raptor seems to become acutely aware of the fact that Daphne isn't going to entertain her at the moment, so she will have to entertain herself. And who better to bother than someone who just walked in? <I are to see girl, okay?> Raptor says to Daphne, just before she takes off, fluttering to land right on Megan's table. "Coffee? Coffee? Coffee?" she asks the girl, while Daphne stares.

"Get back here!" she says.

"NO, YOU SMELL," Raptor replies.

As Megan was already looking over in Daphne's direction, the fluttering parrot landing on her table isn't a surprise. But, then there is a /parrotlet/ in a Starbucks? Isn't there a law about that sort of thing? With an incredulous laugh, she gives a furtive glance over to the baristas and then bends down to study this talking miracle. "Sorry, wee birdie," she says softly. "I only have iced tea." Just in case this is something that she's not supposed to be doing. Much like she would do to a strange dog, she holds her hand cautiously. "Whatcha doin' in a coffee place?" Much easier to talk to the bird itself than it's…owner? Friend? Person?

Daphne sighs. No, Raptor probably isn't supposed to be inside Starbucks. In fact, when Daphne leaves her /outside/ places, she always seems to get in. Somehow, she's going to have to figure out how to keep the little bird at home, even if it means caging her. Catching a bird whose wings aren't clipped is very difficult, though, as one might imagine. Raptor tilts her head as Megan speaks, carefully studying this human with interest. "Pretty. Pretty bird. Coffee."

<Tell her you're a little brat,> Daphne says.

"I am a little brat," Raptor parrots. Daphne can't help but laugh over at her table, but she tries not to. Really.

"Yes, ye are a pretty birdie." Megan doesn't really offer her iced tea for him to drink - she's not someone who likes to drink things after animals have. "But, no, no coffee." Then, after the second statement, she giggles, quickly trying to cover it, another glance shot over at the employees. She doesn't want to get the little thing in trouble. When Daphne laughs, too, Megan finally looks up at her. "He yers? Or she? Dinna tell me its name." It's pitched low enough so it shouldn't carry too far. No need to bring more attention to themselves, right?

Raptor's feathers puff up; she seems to genuinely understand the compliment. It's at that point that Daphne grabs her hot chocolate and heads over to Megan's table. This bird helps her meet more people, she swears. It's /crazy./ She can also stand in front of her so that the employees can't see. They probably know she's here by now, but the less she's seen, the better. "Her name's Velociraptor," Daphne says. "Raptor for short. She follows me everywhere." She reaches for the little parrot, but Raptor has other ideas, and scoots closer toward Megan.

"No. Pretty Ic- Iyyy—"

<Iced tea?>

"Pretty iced teee," Raptor says.

"Can I sit down?" Daphne asks. "She seems to like your iced tea."

Another short laugh escapes when Megan sees how Raptor takes the compliment. "Well, hello there, Raptor." First, she'll say hello to the animal before she can turn her attention to the more tricky beast of talking to actual humans. She smiles at Daphne and gestures to the seat. "Sure sure. She's a lovely birdie. 'S like me brother and dogs. Canna seem to get him away from 'em." When Raptor edges closer to Megan, she grins. "I dunno if iced tea can be pretty, but I sure like it." Then, to Daphne. "She was askin' fer coffee earlier. Think she's just fickle."

Daphne chuckles, taking a seat. Raptor's very pleased that Megan knows her name now, and emits, "Hello! Hello!" so that she's sure Megan can hear her.

"Got her about a year ago. She's not that old, just really chatty. Weird, for a female. She doesn't even like coffee." It's usually the males that talk a lot, but… Daphne knows why this little one talks so much - because she had a lot of help from someone who happens to be able to talk to animals. "My name's Daphne. Sorry for interrupting. This little brat has some weird ideas sometimes."

The girl's accent doesn't escape her, either, especially when she mentions her brother and dogs. No, couldn't be. The world isn't that small, but that guy also had an accent. Similar. And he could talk to dogs. "Ah, I work at the Bronx Zoo. Animals seem to like me. Couldn't tell you why."

"'Cuz you're a jerk," Raptor supplies. "LOL LOL LOL."

"Hello!" Megan replies to the chipper and attention grabbing bird. "'S alright. Dona mind at all. Quite like animals. 'S nice to see one tha' can talk back!" Rearranging her tea so that it's closer to her and she can take a sip. She blinks and then realizes that she got the bird's name and not Daphne's. Whups! "Righ' righ'. M'name's Megan." She has no idea that Daphne might have met Lachlan and so any sort of scrutiny is missed.

"The zoo, huh? Tha' sounds like a nice job. Whatcha do there? Office stuff or more stuff with the animals?" Megan then gives Raptor a scolding look. "Now, tha's no' a nice thing ta say. You should apologize." Is she…is she talking to a bird as if it could really understand her? Oh well, since it talks back verbally, it's easier to pretend like it can really have a conversation.

Daphne smiles amicably enough, while thinking, <You have no idea.> Unfortunaely, Raptor picks this up, and repeats it. "You hagh no ideeya," she says as best she can. Well, it's close enough. Daphne manages /not/ to freak out over this, because parrots talk, and occasionally they respond, and… Surely this isn't going to lead Megan to the conclusion that all animals talk back.

"I work with the birds of prey. Animal shows and stuff like that. Clean up after 'em, training. Work with dogs, too, sometimes. And badgers, wolverines, elephants." She's a jack of all trades. Then again, she always seems to know what's /wrong/ with animals, or what they /need,/ so the other zookeepers seem to like her enough.

Raptor tilts her head as she tries to parse what Megan is saying. Apologize means that thing where she says 'sorry,' right? "I are sorry. Are sorry jerk. She jerk." In other words, she's sorry Daphne is a jerk. "Are square. Square. Coffee?"

Daphne closes her eyes, tolerantly. "She's a little brat."

"I'm a little brat," Raptor says.

"Yeah." Anyway. She has to ask. "This is gonna sound crazy, but. You don't have a brother, do you?"

Blinking, Megan laughs when Raptor responds to her. "My. She's really smart." This has been a conversation that she can't help but smile at. She's actually talking to a stranger without tripping all over herself! Excellent! "Tha' sounds great. 'M jus' a secretary. Kinda seems like 'm at a zoo, though." Grinning, she finally takes a sip of her iced tea only to almost choke on it when Raptor talks again. "Tha'…tha's no' really an apology, Raptor." But, once again, she's laughing at the exchange between bird and woman.

The mention of her brother makes her wary all of the sudden. Does /everyone/ in this city know Lachlan? Or is she merely managing to run into his entire circle randomly? Strange. "I do. An older one." Pause, consider. "He dinna sit on yer mother, too, did he?" All the things she's heard about what he's done, she wouldn't surprised if the Winters Mother Sitting is a repeated event.

"Yeah, she is. Seems like she's getting smarter." Daphne rests her head in one hand, reaching forward to stroke the little parrot's back with one finger. This time, Raptor allows the contact, since she's not being removed from the table, and fluffs out with a little twitter. Her apology is already finished… She's not going to offer another one. Daphne'll survive.

"That's what I used to do, before I got to working with animals. Didn't really consider it before I got my cat, but… There y'are."

Megan's question makes Daphne laugh. "Sit on my— No. No, not that I know of. I mean, I guess he could have but— No. Is his name Lachlan? He wrote a letter to the zoo. 'Bout the treatment of the wild dogs. You saying your brother was good with dogs… Just reminded me. And, I mean, you're both—" Wait, she doesn't want to guess the wrong nationality. "You both… Sound the same." Crap. No. "Same accent."

Swallowing and then taking another sip in order to soothe her throat from trying to take tea down the wrong way, Megan nods her head at working her way up the zoo ladder. But, what's the most interest to her is how Daphne may know Lachlan. "Yeah. Tha's my brother. Sorry. 'S jus'…the last person I met tole me Lach sat on his mother. Jus' had to make sure. He…does stuff like tha' sometimes." The mention of a letter actually makes Megan pause. Wait. /Her/ brother wrote a letter to the zoo? "Was it coherent? Or was it full of swearin'?" Because that's the only thing she can think of him doing. Then, she gives a weak smile. "He's got a stronger accent than me, but yeah. We were both born in Scotland."

Now that she's sure that Raptor isn't going to tear off Megan's nose, Daphne takes a sip of her hot chocolate, which is actually kind of warm chocolate by now. Now that they've gotten on the subject of Lachlan, she's not sure what to say, because, of course, Daphne doesn't know if Megan knows why her brother is so good with dogs, and there's no way to just come out and ask if she's aware that he talks to them.

"I have to poop," Raptor says.

Calmly reaching over to her table, Daphne retrieves the tabloid, which she sets in front of her. The people who work here will /kill her/ if they find out, not to mention the health department would kill her again. At least she's using a tabloid for Raptor's toilet, though. The bird hops onto it obediently.

"Hah, well, it was pretty well-written, far as I could tell." Kind of hinted that Daphne couldn't do her job, though. Or, well, not specifically Daphne, but she took offense, anyway. "So, Scotland, huh?" She was about to say /Irish./ Oops.

As Megan was the first and only person to know about Lachlan's ability for awhile, she certainly does know why he's good with dogs. But, then, she's been sworn to absolute secrecy, so it's not something she would even remotely bring up with a someone she just met. Raptor's sudden announcement is given a eyebrow and she sits back a little so that somehow bird poo won't get on her. It's not like it's projectile, but it's not exactly the most sanitary thing ever. Even if it's on a newspaper.

"/Really/?" Megan can't keep the incredulousness out of her voice. Lachlan couldn't string two written sentences together if his life depended on it. "He musta gotten someone else ta write it fer him." That's the only explanation. "Wha' was it abou' again?" Oh, right, a question about her homeland. "Yeah. Moved away when I was little. Haven't been back since."

Yeah, and Daphne's become paranoid about people finding out about her. So with a lack of any way to bring up this topic, it's effectively dropped, at least for now. With what Jane told her about that Sylar guy… Yeah.

"Changed my mind," Raptor says.

<You just wanted attention,> Daphne notes, scowling.

<Yes. Yes,> Raptor replies.

The tabloid remains clean, but now that raptor has something to do… She starts tearing the paper apart with her sharp ittle beak. "Yeah, it was— We had this dog at the zoo who was about to have puppies. He had some ideas on how we should take care of her, is all." Strong opinions which lacked swearing of any kind! must have been someone else's influence, yes, but it got the point across. "Zoo staff listened to him."

Seems like neither of them are from this county. "Yeah, I moved from Montreal when I was really young. My parents speak fluent French. I can't speak a word."

When Raptor changes her mind, Megan lets herself lean forward against the table again. No danger of projectile bird poo! She watches the little bird rip up the tabloid with some sort of fascination, as it gives her something to do while they talk about her brother. "Yeah. Sounds like somethin' Lach'd do. He thinks he's the protector of every dog everywhere." And he's not shy about it. "Glad ta hear about it. He's got his heart in the right place, but he gets pretty adamant 'bout things sometimes and no one can talk him out of it."

Aliens in Starbucks! "Montreal? Never been. Ye know, Lach was in Canada for awhile. He worked with a circus. Ferget if he was ever in Montreal, though. I canna speak anythin' but English and Scottish." Yes, those two are separate languages!

Yeah. Daphne's noticed. She's got one up on him at least, though… It was pretty damn funny when she got that camel to spit on him. Several times. "Well, it turned out he was right. Seems to know how to care for 'em, anyway." Even if he was really annoying over it. "Even predicted the number of pups she'd have. It was a good guess."

Of course, she knows it's more than that. She's just kind of trying to drag it out of Megan, too. Can't say a word if she's not sure Megan knows.

aptor flutters back onto Daphne's shoulder, hiding under her hair. "Need a sleep," she says, "B-R-B."

"I don't really remember it," Daphne says with a shrug. Her accent is even slightly 'New York' rather than Canadian or French. "Sometimes I think I should listen to my parents and learn French, but I don't plan on going back there anyway." Pause. "Wait, Scottish? That's a language?"

Where Megan to know of what Daphne did to Lachlan, she would heartily approve. She is well aware that his ego needs to be knocked down pegs at a time. "He's always been good knowin' wha' they need. He's go' a gift fer it." A nicely inherited one. The mention of the pup guessing makes her roll her eyes. Of /course/ Lach would show off by saying that. The man hasn't a subtle bone in his body. Then, realizing that she's made a face, she turns it into a laugh. "Bet he cheated somehow. He's always done that when we play cards." Good cover up, Megan. Right.

Raptor's departure brings a smile to Megan and she starts back on her drink. "She's cute." And a good way to meet people who would otherwise never talk to a stranger. People like Megan. "I remember some of Scotland. Mostly jus' little things. No' a lot, though." Slipping into a /much/ stronger Glasgowian accent, she adds, "Ye ever see tha movie Trainspottin'? Barely understandable, righ'? Tha's Sco'ish." In fact, it might be kind of hard to understand /her/ explanation.

Maybe she doesn't know anything, Daphne thinks to herself. Seriously, it's entirely possible that she just believes her brother is just really good with dogs - no supernatural powers involved. Either that, or Megan's just really good at acting clueless. Either way, it's not important, and besides, Daphne's starting to like this girl. She's pretty nice, and, hey, there's nothing wrong with knowing more people. Since Raptor's been hanging around, she's made a whole bunch of new acquaintences! And also some enemies. Oops.

"Cute? Nah, she's a pain." Daphne says that in a way that suggests she totally loves the little bird. "I'd love to travel to— " …Scotland. And Europe, and a whole bunch of other places, except when Megan next speaks, Daphne gives her a sort of /Look./ The only thing she /gets/ is 'That's Scottish' tagged on at the end. "What'd you just say?" she laughs.

As she's been acting innocent all her life, Megan's quite adept at it. She's got a look she's perfected since high school of just not knowing anything. It's come in handy. She's starting to like Daphne, too. It's nice to meet someone who knows Lach and who /doesn't/ have a strange horror story to tell her. At least, not that she knows yet.

"Alrigh'. A cute pain." The look on Daphne's face is enough to make her laugh again. She does not switch back into Glasgowian. "That would be my accent if I'da stayed in Scotland. Glasgowian. I basically just asked if ye'd seen the movie Trainspotting. They all speak like that. 'S like 's own language."

No, no horror stories about Lachlan. Yet. She doesn't think she'll see the guy again, except, well, she's just met his sister. Out of all the people in New York she could have run into! Perhaps New York really /is/ a small city. Who knew? She takes another sip of her hot chocolate, and it's just about gone by now. It's just about time for her to get going, so she can get home at a decent time. She did't drive today, and she'll need to find a cab.

"Okay, okay, she's cute." With Raptor assuring Daphne that she is, indeed, adorable, it's hard not to agree. "I get it now. Sometimes I can't understand my parents, though they're a lot better than they were before. Never quite lost the accent, though." So, French is a language, and /French accent/ is also a languge! Yes. "Anyway, it was nice meeting you. Stop by the zoo sometime, if you want. Chances are I'll be there."

As Megan has nowhere to be, she can just stay in the Starbucks and relax. Which she intends to do even after Daphne has departed. She hasn't even finished her drink yet. But, now she's met a cute little parrot and a zookeep! And she managed to seem like a normal human being throughout most of it. Progress!

Grinning, she nods. "Exactly," she nods. That's the point that she was trying to make before, but it kind of escaped to her. "Sometimes an accent 's so thick 's a language. And, anyway, the Scottish slang is enough to make it seem like ye need a dictionary jus' to understand it, too. It was nice to meet ye. I'd like that. Hopefully 'Ll see ye around, then." This is one person she /wouldn't/ mind running into randomly again.

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