2007-05-21: Don't Dig Yourself Deeper

Starring:

Jane_icon.gif Laurel_icon.gif Daphne_icon.gif

Summary: Laurel comes to rescue a now-illiterate Daphne. Daphne feels like an idiot. Jane is annoyed.

Date It Happened: 21 MAY 2007

Don't Dig Yourself Deeper


Jane's Apartment, New York

Inside the apartment she shares with Elle Bishop, Jane closes the door and turns toward the interior. She takes a step forward, eyes settling on the stricken guest, and informs "The main room is just ahead, Daphne. I've got movies if you want to watch one, and food too. Would you like something to drink?" Task One: Make her comfortable as possible.

—-

She's been here once before, only last time, Daphne wasn't totally miserable. Movies? No. Because the titles and credits will make her /cry,/ because she simply can't read them. Anything that says something in Jane's apartment is stared at before Daphne's eyes go elsewhere. She should be able to read… KNOWS she can read. And yet she doesn't even recognise indvidual letters. They just look like random symbols. With a sigh, she flops down on Jane's couch. "No thanks," is muttered. She still feels ill, wants to curl up and sleep, still thinks this can't be real. For the good portion of her first half-hour here, Daphne will just sit and stare at the floor, before she slides off the couch so she can lay on it. Ugh.

—-

Not too long after the two settled into the apartment by general terms, there's a rather cautious sounding knock on the door. Brown hair pulled out of her face as if she'd been out working, Laurel even has a rather decent sized bag dangling from her shoulder. And a note she pulled off the door clasped in her hand.

—-

There's not much she can do during that initial time beyond letting the troubled animal worker have her space and inspect the carpet. Jane could work on teaching her things, but that requires active participation. Daphne will ask when and if she's ready for anything of the sort. To occupy herself, she takes a seat at the computer and begins to compose an email to one of the people she called when all this started. There are things to cover with that person, firstly whether or not Jack is recovering well from being shot and second to explain the current situation more fully than she had during the brief call.

While doing that, the knock to her door draws her attention away. She rises and walks down the hallway to open it, taking a moment to glance through the peephole. "Laurel?" Jane asks, as the door is opened.

—-

It's comfortable carpet, at least. As the minutes tick by, she looks toward the spine of a DVD, trying to figure out the individual letters. The weirdest thing is, even though she knows what DVD it is based on the colour and design of the title, she can't parse the words. They make no sense to her; the letters look like things she's neve seen before in her life, which… It's kind of like getting your eyes dilated at the eye doctor. You know you should be able to see, but you ca't make your eyes focus.

Despite th knock on the door, Daphne remains lying down, blue eyes glancing toward the door. She doesn't want to move. Ever.

—-

"Yeah?" Laurel says, though she doesn't exactly sound confident. That's her name, honestly, she's just not sure what's going on. "Jane, right?" She glances past the young woman into the room, trying to find her friend. "You left a note on my door? It said my friend Daphne's here? Is is everything okay?" Looking around, she finally spots her friend, "Daphne?"

—-

She stands aside, letting Laurel in, replying "That's me, Jane Forrest. She's in the main room and things are…" Not okay, but she'll let Daphne explain that. "Could I get you anything to eat or drink, Laurel?" She'll follow her into the main room, not far down the entry corridor and to one side.

—-

"No'thin's okay," Daphne says, the accent much worse than before, despite the fact that it /should/ be almost gone by now. Hey, she's a fast learner. "Go' an 'eadache fer one. Roigh' behind me oi's." Eyes. Eyes. She tries to say it, but she can't, and it comes out the same wa several more times. A glare is given to Jane; how can she be so /calm/ at a tme like this!? Who offers food or drink when there's an emergency, seriously. Okay, so it's not an emergency. Daphne's just worried. Her eyes wander to the note in Laurel's hand as she stands, but it just looks like scribbles. "Met tha' gel again. 'er noim's Na'alie."

—-

"Nice to meet you…" This young woman is definitely cautious going into a stranger's apartment, but Laurel does follow until she sees her friend and hears what she has to say. At the offer of food or drink, she shakes her head, "No thank you." But she does step closer to her friend and put down her heavy camera bag before she kneels down. The note really isn't that visible anyway, folded up in her hand. "What was that? Na-alie? Natalie?" It took a moment. She really does sound worse. "…she didn't— make this worse did she?" she asks, before glancing towards Jane.

—-

Calm. Is she really calm, or just focused, holding all the not calm until later when she can vent it all safely and privately? Jane doesn't say much now, simply listening and watching as these two converse. Or try to. "I got the woman's license plate number, and will be working on finding her." She settles into a chair and closes her eyes for a moment. Inwardly there's still a strong measure of annoyance with Daphne for ignoring her advice, but also worry about Natalie. It's clear she has full control of her ability, this was done on purpose, and that makes her… mildly dangerous. At the very least in need of a thicker skin. If she loosed her ability every time unpleasant things were said, the broken glass would weigh nearly a ton by now.

—-

Nodding, Daphne repeats. "Yeh, Na'alie." It's what she said! Though that doesn't seem to clarify a damn thing, and Daphne knows it. There's a humourless laugh as Daphne's asked if it's worse, and some fairly incomprehensible muttered words follow. "D'oi sound be'ah?" she asks sarcastically, scowling. "Yeh, she mae'it worse. Can' ev'n fa'kit anymo'." And. There's something that goes momentarily unsaid, the scowl on her face becoming more somber. "Oi can' read, Laur. Can' write, i-thah." So… There it is. You piss off the Nerd-Girl with funny glasses and she doesn't fix the problem, she makes it worse. "n' Oi kinnah tol'er she was er froik." Freak. Just, you know, to get a reaction, which she obviously did. "Diddn' think she could do anathin' worse."

—-

"No, you sound terrible," Laurel says frankly, looking at her friend with narrowed eyes as if she's trying her best to understand her friend who is… barely speaking English now. She gets the idea that repeating things to understand will just piss her friend off, so she just tries to run things through her head a few times. Sounds worse. Can't read— wait, can't read? "Holy crap," she says outloud, before she looks towards the other woman. Got the license plate number, right… "Okay— you take care of that. Thanks." It's hard to be open about these things with someone she doesn't know… But she sounds like she's trying to help. "Daphne, do you want to go back to my place, or do you need me to see you home?" She doesn't have a car, but they can get in a cab.

—-

"I tried, Laurel," Jane states quietly, a trace of defeat coming into her voice. "I told her the first rule of holes is to stop digging, but she just wouldn't. Natalie left in tears. She isn't exactly thick-skinned. I'll put word out to my contacts, see if anyone knows anything about her and work on getting her to fix this. In the meantime, I'll help… as best I can." With what? Teaching her to read and write again? Possibly. "For what it's worth, since Daphne trusts you, I will also. My voice reaches ultrasonic pitch, and can break stuff. Among other things."

—-

Daphne can't help a little smirk when Laurel says that she sounds terrible. She's not going to argue, because it's /so true./ "Diddn' get er 'eadach las' toim, but Oi feel loik I go' a moigrane." And she looks worried, a lot, because whatever Natalie's doing to her has to have a really awful effect on her brain… And all the languages stuffed in there. Maybe she just shouldn't talk anymore. But at the moment, all Daphne's thinking about is getting even. Probably a stupid idea.

When Jane mentions her power to Laurel, Daphne's expression changes. It… Really speaks volumes, too. She wasn't supposed to tell anyone, but she did. OOPS. She's facing Laurel, though, so hopefully Jane can't see it. PLEASE act surprised, Laurel. Please.

—-

In retrospect, Laurel's very distracted by trying to understand what her friend is saying, and how to comprehend the whole… doesn't even have the ability to read or write anymore. There's some nods, between the two women, with less security at what Daphne's said. Her question wasn't answered either. "What?" she says with the last bit, the ultrasonic pitch part IS actually new, but she doesn't /look/ surprised at all. Confused still, a little frustrated and paranoid, but not surprised. "Okay, just— don't do that around my cameras, please. They're really expensive, and I have an out of town job coming up."

—-

Her eyes remain on Laurel after speaking, and observe the reactions her words bring. Her head tilts to one side, and she takes a few moments to process what's seen. It dawns on her, the connections in that Ivy Leaguer brain flaring, and a slow reply comes in simple questioning words. "You knew already?" A time of silence passes, she looks back and forth questioningly between the two women, before she states "Your cameras are safe, Laurel. There'll be screaming later, when I'm alone in a place with no glass. The annoyance in her voice becomes a bit noticeable again as she adds "I really wish people would take my advice to heart."

—-

Oh, yeah, Laurel asked her a question. And considering the fact that she's got this awful feeling that Jane's going to slug her for revealing that she has an ability to Laurel, she… Well, /after/ she looks disappointed with Laurel for her complete /fail,/ She starts toward the door. "Yeh, les' go." Totally ready to get out of here.

There's still a tension about her, too. After all, she can't stop thinking about the fact that all of the words around her simply mean /nothing./ They have no sounds, no meaning. She can see patterns between them, but wouldn't be able to say what they're called, and she forgets the patterns she's just seen /so quickly./ The only one she can actually recognise is the letter 'O', because it's a circle, and she knows what circles are. Everything else? Nothing.

"Laur," she says quietly. As if she couldn't feel worse already. "She's m'bes' friend, Jane," Daphne mutters, looking back toward said friend, looking for all the world as if she's just about to /break down./ Would anyone blame her? Really? "It was fer a reason, yeh? 'Cuz— cuz… Laur, tell 'eh." Tell her you've got an ability, too. That you're not going to go around ratting Jane out.

—-

There's just not much hope she could have lied through that, not with everything going on. Laurel hesitates, then nods when she's called on having known, but— does she really have to? There's a disturbed look on her face for a long moment, before she finally nods, "Fine, fine, okay— I get it. She told me because we thought we were alone except for some crazy person. And she had to warn me about that— guy. The one with the creepy eyebrows. And where she heard about him from." What ever his name was. She remembers it, really. "I create these invisible… walls. To protect myself." There, she said it. "Let's get you home to your animals before they start an exodus," she adds, taking Daphne's arm and pulling her towards the door.

—-

A slow nod. "I get it, Daphne, Laurel," Jane replies. "Sometimes you just have to tell." Because she herself recently had to share word on someone to avoid potential disaster. "Walls?" she asks, musing. "Like Susan Storm?" Her head tilts, and she seems to ponder. "Does that stand alone, or mix with invisibility?" One hand extends, she adds "Good to meet you, Laurel. Sorry the circumstances suck so completely."

—-

Yeah, Daphne's totally miserable now. Even more than she was when Laurel got here. Her attention is going to remain somewhere in the vicinity of her shoes now, until Laurel takes her arm and pulls her toward the door. She can't be mad right now, though, because it's not Laurel's fault that she knows, it's just— This is all way too complicated, and it's best if they can just go home. Her car's in the lot, unfortunately, but she's sure if she gets a ticket for leaving it there, she won't be able to read it, and will thusly be exonerated of any and all charges. Without another word, because she's sick of hearing herself talk, she shuffles into the hall.

—-

"I don't know," Laurel admits honestly, taking the offered hand and giving it a shake, idly pleased that nothing came up between them. She's rather… worried right now, so it makes for a ripe time for them to come up suddenly. "You can see through them, but I'm not sure if I could do the invisible thing… I can't actually move them. They're like… I really don't know. They just showed up when I'm in danger." And kept her from running away at times. That part was annoying. Daphne wants to get out, though, so get out they will… "My phone number is 283-7227 if you want to call me," she adds to Jane, before she shuffles her friend out. Home with you, Daphne Duck.

—-

Nodding slowly, she watches the pair leave the apartment. "I'll do that," Jane offers quietly. "If and when I find Natalie, hopefully she won't make things worse still by using birds as weapons." A quiet sadness settles into her features, with the small likelihood of that sinking in. She hates to fail, and the evening has been just that. A giant pot of fail, her inability to convince the Beastmistress to play nice. "My number is 283-2260. Good night," she offers in parting.

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