2008-04-28: Catch Me If You Can


DaphneM_icon.gif FuturePeter_icon.gif

Summary: A spy and a thief meet in the hallways next to the water fountain. Serious discussions happen.

Date It Happened: April 28, 2008

Catch Me If You Can

Pinehearst Corridors

Pinehearst just isn't Pinehearst without its superhuman messenger. A short time back in Paris ends up a lot shorter than planned when money calls. This afternoon, Daphne yawns as she runs, making the usual spray of loose papers in her wake. Hey, if these people haven't figured out to paper-weight their belongings by now, then they deserve it. Not her problem. Not like the hefty bit of merchandise in the messenger-bag around her shoulder. Zip-zip, heads up, water cooler! Then she's away from the offices and down some lone corridor and the employees can work in relative biotech-like peace.

The fast movements down the hallway do not go unnoticed. A spray of paper work usually does that. Secretaries catch their hair and glance after her, and someone else in the hallway follows her with his eyes. A lot better than he should. Avoiding certain people among the halls of Pinehearst has always been his goal, but this is something even he can't quite resist. A risk, but a whisper invades the back of her mind: Maybe you should stop for a drink. There's a fountain in this hallway.

The hallway also happens to be empty. Or it appears so.

It's always been safer running. Doesn't matter if anyone sees you do it, as long as they can't catch you, right? Well, Daphne's preservation methods are challenged as there's a voice in her head even as she runs. Then a flittering thought of her own that catches the speedster as she hits the end of the hallway, so that she has to double-back in order to stand in front of the suddenly alluring fountain. But that's silly, because she could have any drink she wanted. In fact, she was considering free smoothies today.

Frowning, Daphne spins to face the other direction, her fingers clutching at the strap of her bag. Then she slowly looks back at the water fountain.

There's a mild shift in the hallway, like a shadow moving as the sun drops. Too quick for such a thing. One moment she's relatively alone, the next a man stands nearby, close to the wall. Small adjustments to his appearance to make him not stand out as much, Peter wears a suit. Dark hair slicked back and out of the way. Scar covered up, making appearance softer, less stern. And younger. More like the him who should be, than the him who actually came to be. "You move pretty fast. Have you ever worried what might happen if you accidentally ran into someone? Someone you didn't manage to see in time?"

Holy-man-who-wasn't-there! Daphne is startled but, besides a twitchy step backwards, she manages to contain it. And not take off. She, in fact, preens haughtily at his first words, only to jut out her lip stubbornly the next second. "I move really, /really/ fast," she corrects swiftly, "And I see everyone, too. Except you, being creepy like nothing's going on. Sounds more like that'd be your problem, not mine. Standing around unseeable." PS, she hates it.

"Faster than a speeding bullet?" Peter responds with a hint of a smile tugging on the corner of his mouth. Oh, part of him knows deep down that she hates it, and he can't blame her. She would be far more hurt by such a collision than he would be. Course any of the other invisible people she might run into would be a different story all together. They'd be just as near-dead. "You do run very fast, but I'm curious. Are you running to something… or from something?"

"Oh, that's been done," Daphne dismisses the whole bullet mystique. She shifts a bit on her spot, unable to stop moving - too curious yet to quite leave. Still, he's asking questions now with double-meanings she'd much rather not discuss. Who even gave him the right. "Looks the same either way," she answers curtly, "But I'll give it to you - you're all of the second guy able to sneak up on me. Been waiting here all this time for lil' me or do you just -really- like playing hooky?"

"I'll take that as a compliment that I'm able to sneak up on you, but no— I just happened to be here," Peter admits, glancing down the hall. There's someone walking in the next corridor, with the intent to get something from the files. A small suggestion makes the man think he left something on his desk. Something. So vague. But by the time he gets back to his desk, likely the man will find something that he did leave behind. People usually do. When he looks back, he's got a very serious expression. "It only looks the same cause you're the one running. There's a difference, though. When you run to something… you'll eventually catch it. When you're running from something… it will eventually catch you."

Daphne wanders closer, keeping a berth while managing to not look like she's doing so. "And I just happened to stop…" That's right, she felt thirsty. Or something. Anyway, the guy has stopped paying attention and the speedster very nearly waves her hand at his face. The arm drops, though, at the serious expression he returns to the conversation with. "What do you know? You're the one invisible. Against a wall." But now she's really bothered. Bothered because moving is what she does. She can't afford to be caught. Not ever. "You know what," she deflects after a second, "I don't think you're talking to me at all. I think it's you, buddy."

It's you, buddy.

Such words make Peter's tense expression darken again, though there's a surprised blink none-the-less. Certainly walked right into that one. Or ran, since they're on the topic still. "Maybe." Definitely. She rammed the nail right into that one. Though he had been intending to talk about her. Not him. Everyone has something they're running from. "Doesn't mean it can't apply to you as well. Might be better if you found something to run toward, Daphne."

If only Daphne had any sort of idea that she was more right than just trying to be. The most she knows is that guys with problems like to talk about other people's problems. The clipped 'maybe' is only encouragement. "Yeah, well, might be better if you— oh, no, you don't." It takes a second, but as soon as Daphne catches her own name, she backs off. "You don't know me. I don't care who here's been talking."

The name slip up hadn't even been intentional. The surprise on top of the obvious tension (and the fact she hit the bullseye) made it slip out. As she backs away, Peter steps back a little himself, another sound of steps approaching the hall. This set has heels, and turns away rather abruptly with a sudden squeak. Secretary swore she just saw a mouse and thinks she better tell the janitor right this moment. Too bad there was no such thing. "You don't know me either," he says simply, moving one of his hands in a gesture.

Daphne is starting to hear how people are avoiding this particular hallway. It's at least odd to be all alone in an otherwise popular building. As a thief, she's used to noticing where people are - and aren't. Guy in front of her still being the obvious exception. "You're right, I don't. Now, ask me if I care. Wait, you know what? I don't care. You sound just like everybody else here." She isn't sure if that's an insult to them or him. Or even an insult. Or even true.

If it were true, it would certainly be an insult. Considering Peter's making every effort to burn them down. Just not literally. He could do it a lot faster than he's trying to, but there happen to be people inside the building who don't necessarily need to go down with it. Like… maybe her. Maybe. "No reason for you to care about me, Daphne." For one, he shouldn't exist, and… "You like to care about yourself first, don't you?"

The truth is, the only person she's reminded of now is Linderman. Appropriately, the first person able to sneak up on her. He also enjoys these kinds of poignant questions. Usually they lead to Daphne agreeing to do something. "Welcome to how the world works," she sasses, "Whiiiich brings me to… why the hell we're still doing this thing. Tell you what, you want to ask anymore psych questions? Catch me sometime." Her head tilts slightly in pretend thought. "If you can."

It's fairly easy to guess what happens next. And then no more Daphne.

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