2009-07-29: Flashback

Starring:

DFDaphne_icon.gif DFRudyard_icon.gif

Summary: Daphne watches a movie she took just before Rudyard ran off to get himself killed.

Dark Future Date: 29 July 2009 / 26 July 2009

Flashback


Bronx Zoo

Are all days so long now? Running a zoo was enough of a daunting task at first. Running a fortress, keeping in contact with all the animals at all times - this is slowly killing her. Plus the fact that someone she cares about quite a bit is off getting himself killed in the name of freedom - something she can't blame him for - but it's still a source of stress.

The fact that he might not come back kinda sank in with her, at least. She's not so sure he got it completely. Maybe he did, but… Well, she doesn't know the complete plan, and with that in mind, she did something mushy and stupid. Pulling a video camera out of her dresser, she rewinds the tape inside, and hits play.

It's set on a table and a decent angle. She doesn't know if he even knew it was there or not; it got most of the room, at least. Not the best picture, but she can still watch him. The first image is her walking away from the camera after hitting record.

*

She sits on the bed in their home. It's just a converted consession stand, but it's nice. They're married, so they actually have a room to themselves. Daphne made sure that the people who were married at least got a little privacy if they want or need it. And she's waiting, blue eyes glancing toward the camera on the table. She doesn't know how much tape it has, or battery, or… If it'll even continue working past a couple minutes, but at least this way she'll have something. This is almost surreal.

A couple years ago, she kinda wanted to kill him.

—-

No, Rudyard doesn't know the camera is there.. well it registers. Not just the reason behind it or that it's on. He's too intent on throwing a few clothes into a carry-on for the flight down to Washington D.C. Scratch that, he's folding things in a fastidious and neat manner. Nothing is ever haphazard or just thrown together. Not even these days. "I shouldn't be gone more than a few days if all goes well." He's not anticipating getting caught, then again, who does? "I don't think that I shall be close enough to the White House to attract notice." He glances over at Daphne as he rolls down his sleeves, buttoning them at the cuffs. "Try not to worry about me."

—-

And this is exactly the reason she married him. Because he's too neat. "You know, if no one's going to see you, then you don't have to fold." And if he's in the papers, no one's really going to care if he's got a wrinkle in his shirt. Really.

Daphne's… dour. That's a good word for it. She's sitting on the edge of the bed, scowling down at the floor, knowing full well this is a kind of foolish thing to do, and also that it's something she'd like to help with, and — yeah, except then she'd come back to elephants… eating the tourists or something. "You're leaving now?"

—-

"Appearances Daphne, appearances.. I will be with the sidewalk traffic," Rudyard states primly as he zips up his bag. "Not just yet. The plane isn't for a few more hours." The dour demeanor has him frowning slightly at the woman, before placing a chaste kiss on her forehead. "You could always assist by calling in a few friends from the zoo in Washington. Then again, on second thought, it's best that you stay here. Summoning insects is far more subtle than stampeding hippos and giraffes." Then, not to exactly change the subject, but he sort of scowls past Daphne, "Have the meerkats been in again?"

—-

At least he stopped calling her Miss Rousseau. That would be weird.

Speaking of weird, though… "You're a terrorist." Just because she feels the need to remind him that it's okay if terrorists wear baggy clothes sometimes. True, since getting to know him a little more, she's cleaned up her own act a little, but considering the fact that earlier in the day she was lying face-down on the ground with the meerkats… not too much. "Besides, half the people in the country can't afford nice clothes. If you go in looking like you just stepped out of Hollywood, you're gonna stick out like a sore thumb." Beat. "At least unbutton your collar."

Reaching out, she briefly takes his hand at the kiss, and is thusly completely caught unawares by the question that follows. Meerkats? What? No, those pawprints are decoration! "…No?" LIES.

—-

Rudyard's brows raise slightly, "Terrorist? Hardly. I am exercising my rights to protest under Article I of the Constitution." Just with insects.. and no one should be hurt, unless they are deathly allergic. "Now, if I decided to hold an elementary school hostage with a bevy of hostile insects, that would be terrorism. I have a serious problem with how Petrelli is running this country and I intend to say something about it." At the comment about his clothes, he blinks once, twice, then complies and unbuttons his collar. The idea hadn't occured to him. "Mmhmm. No meerkats? Then there are not any wasps hiding in your side of the closet."

—-

"So if Petrelli found piranhas in his bathwater, that also wouldn't be terrorism, unless he got eaten," she says. "Or if an elephant sat on the oval office - only terrorism if someone got hurt." There's a hint of a smile in her voice, so she's not being entirely critical, it's just that the fine like between protest and terrorism is being crossed somewhere here. Standing, offering a glance toward the camera - which is still recording, she hopes - Daphne crosses her arms. However. however. Since she's terrified of wasps - thanks to him - she really doesn't think this is much of a joking matter. "It was only two." …well, ten, but he doesn't have to know that.

—-

Rudyard rolls his eyes slightly at Daphne. "You don't want me to make a statement. So terribly sorry, I shall be making it anyway." As for the meerkats, he looks doubtful, but not upset. It's part of the package deal. Animals, insects, they do literally live in a zoo and speak with said species. "So long as they stayed out of my good shoes." And he'll leave it at that. He slips his hands into his pockets and stares down at the floor, refusing to look at Daphne as his mind takes an alternate route. "Perhaps we should reconsider staying here."

—-

"You always miss my point," she says. This isn't about making a statement at all, really. He could make all the statements he wants, and she'll be behind him a hundred percent. She'd personally love to see Petrelli running from a rhinoceros or a pride of lions… He isn't exactly the favourite around here, as his brother-from-the-past is learning. Daphne reaches out for Rudyard's hand. "I'm just saying you don't have to look pretty while you're kicking ass. Girls like the rugged look, anyway." At this point, she allows a smile. "And I'm worried about you." Even if he told her not to worry.

The way the conversation goes is… A little confusing. "What, here? As in the zoo?" Or just the converted concession stand. She'll assume the former for now. "I can't leave. I can't put the animals back in cages." First because the cages are gone, and second, because she knows they don't like it.

—-

"Perhaps then I shall try the rugged look, because you ask it." But will probably fall short of meeting the request. Rudyard withdraws a hand from his pocket, letting Daphne take it. "I will be fine.. and no.. not just here at the zoo. The United States. Should something happen and I am not able to return, I'd like for you to consider going to Britain. My family would be quite eager to take you in." Daphne may have done a good job of taking that stick out of his ass and beating him with it, but he's still proper much of the time.

—-

"I…" …She could argue the point into the ground a bit more, but they've already had enough arguments about the fact that he should lighten up (Or not, as would be his side) And it's still completely ironic that the guy who could bully girls around with insects if he wanted to is the most uptight man ever. But…

The smile is gone, mostly because he's admitted there's a chance he might not return. "You know how you feel like you have to do this, and nothing I say is going to stop you?" She's tried to talk him out of it, but in the end, she couldn't, and she's not going to try now, at zero hour. "I feel like I have to do this. The people who live here are safe. If I leave… There are humans here. They have nowhere to go but detainment camps."

—-

Rudyard inclines his head in a sharp nod. "I see.. well.. I thought I should mention it all the same. Purely selfish of me, yes." Honestly, that's a good argument, and not one he could even attempt to counter. Sometimes the best guardians are those provided in nature. His bag is moved aside before he sits down on the bed next to Daphne. "Just in case you see. I shall take as many precautions as possible, but there is always the chance.." The chance of what? Detection? Prompt assault by Secret Service?

—-

Death, dismemberment, torture of inhumane proportions, like watching reruns of curling for the rest of one's life. Actually, curling can be pretty exciting, according to her family, but she never really got into it. Not exactly the most exciting spectator sport in the world. Moving on, though.

A more passive member of the resistance, she's not able to bring herself to say 'don't let yourself be captured,' but she can't. She's selfish, too. "No, you'll be okay. You kinda have to be." There's a shrug; who knows why she said that? He's kind of all she has left now, with Laurel gone and her parents missing, Daphne needs him as some sort of anchor, and this could be the last time she sees him. "I sent Laurel another cobra mail. Hope she gets it this time. This was the third one." Pause. "If you see her, see if you can drag her back here."

—-

"If not, I shall not go down without putting up a bloody good fight." Rudyard knows exactly which insects to call to his aid to do the most damage. Part and parcel of being an entomologist. Trying to put on a comforting smile, he shifts so that he's facing Daphne. "If I see her, then yes, I shall. Kicking and screaming if need be." Squeezing her hand gently, he raises it to his lips, kissing her knuckles softly. "You have my word, I shall be as careful as possible."

—-

"You'll have to tell me about it when you get back," she says, and the smile returns; it's almost forced, but it's as close as she gets to real most of the time - save for flying through the air with the Petrelli brother she doesn't hate. Speaking of which, she should probably tell Rudyard about that. Hopefully - hopefully all will go well with this 'statement,' but if not, at least there's someone here who might be able to do something. Maybe Daphne's a little naive, even if she's not known for that, but… "Yestarday I ran into Peter Petrelli. Another one. He says he's from a couple years ago." The look on her face… Well. It sounds stupid when she says it, so that smile is sort of embarrassed. "I guess if I have to come save your ass, he can take care of the zoo for awhile." Provided he can still talk to animals.

—-

Rudyard lowers Daphne's hand and gives her a look. One of those that state 'go on'. "From a couple of years ago? Is that even possible?" He's still adjusting to people with powers at the top of the chain, in some minds, and the infinite possibilities. "Nevermind that on second thought. What did he have to say?" Of course it sounds stupid, but he'll indulge Mrs. Dolittle. "Mmhmmm.. presuming I require your assistance in saving my ass.. as you charmingly phrased it."

—-

Her fingers wrap around his hand as he drops it, and this time she holds on tightly. It's not hard to care, even now; he's an ally, a kindred. Sure, he talks to bugs, but…

Daphne shakes her head. "I don't know. Seems like the same guy. I met him once before this whole thing started. You can kinda see it in his eyes a little, but I'm not sure what to believe anymore. He flew me here, anyway." It's about all she has to go on, besides instinct. "I've got the animals watching him, just in case. He says he's trying to— He wanted to know what made the world like this, so I told him. He says there's ways to stop it from happening."

As for saving his ass… "Are you sure you don't want to take a snake or something with you? One of the kinds that bites first and asks questions later?" DROP IT IN PETRELLI'S DESK. That'll show him.

—-

Some other man.. flying his wife around? Well that doesn't settle too well with Rudyard, to say the least.. But he's not the sort to fly off the handle, so moving on. "Mmm," is the noncommittal answer. He's not sure what to think of that. What's done is done, it has to be changed from this point on out. Right? "No. I don't believe a snake will be necessary. I have quite the surprise planned. Hopefully several get to attack the monster before dying."

—-

Hey, it was a way to get them back to the zoo! It was either that or walk for a few hours, all the way from the Central Park area, and despite the fact that she was surrounded by strays, it would have been dangerous. Still, without his concerns voiced, she can't reassure him, or she would.

Daphne looks toward the headboard, which is really just a piece of untreated pressboard. Not very fancy. Pillows there, Rudyard has a little time before he needs to go, but… "You want to go for a walk?" she asks, eyes meeting his. "Just… Something we can remember." It's not like they haven't seen the whole zoo before. It seems important, though, that they do something before he leaves. He might not come back.

—-

Rudyard takes both of Daphne's hands in his, bringing them to his lips. "Of course." Ordinarily, he's the sort to get to places ridiculously early.. but this time, he shall be content with arriving like a normal person. He gets up from the bed first, then helping Daphne up like the gentleman he was raised to be.

—-

She'll be keeping him as long as she can. She doesn't want to draw attention to the camera, though there's another short glance toward it as Rudyard helps her up… She'll just have to leave it on for the time being, and… It'll catch them leaving.

***

So she heard the reports, the news, she knows it was a successful statement, but she has no word from Rudyard yet. For awhile, she stares at the recording of the empty room. Without any animals, it's pretty boring to look at, but at least it's some sort of connection. She fast-forwards a bit to see if the battery lasted long enough to catch anything else, but a little while later, the picture abruptly cuts out, leaving static. She switches off the camera, setting it on the beat up old nightstand next to her, and leans back on her pillow.

Tomorrow, she has to show some of the teenagers how to file down a zebra's hooves. She'd better get some sleep.

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