Date: Month Day, Year
Sometimes the future isn't predestined, but seems like a good idea anyway! Oh, and Dee isn't dead! Which is good, cause Laurel would kill her.
Thank God for Peter. If it weren't for him, Dee has no idea how she'd get home looking like she is. After being dropped off, she very quietly crept through the house as if nothing at all has happened. If Laurel doesn't know, then no harm done, right? After taking a shower and realising that no matter how careful she was, there's still smears of blood all over the place, Dee sets about trying to scrub them away. Harder than it would first appear, though. All she wants to do is sleep, and yet… If Laurel sees this, she'll freak out.
After getting most of the blood out of the bathroom, she stands in front of the mirror wearing a sports bra and a comfortable pair of drawstring track pants. Her hand wanders to the huge scar across her middle. It's higher than she thought it was, so her insides probably weren't falling out as she first suspected. It sure felt that way, though. Looking up into the mirror at it, she sighs. Well, at least it's hidable.
One thing Dee forgot, though, was the very bloody footprints that lead all over the house and into the bathroom.
All that time cleaning the bathroom did leave those tale-tell prints, so when Laurel opens the door and gets back into the apartment, what Dee first hears is a sudden shreak. Then footsteps running toward the bathroom, the door flying open with a burst of motion. The girl has a shocked look on her face, one of worry and fear, as she looks at her friend. "What happened? Oh my god are you okay!? What— was it a bear? A lion? Did something happen to one of your friends? Oh my god tell me you're okay."
The first assumption is it could be animal blood. The second… well… worry.
She's still got her coat and scarf on, her bag and groceries are dropped on the floor next to the closed door, and she's reaching out toward her best friend to look her over carefully. "What happened to you!?"
Dee just looks kind of blank at first. It kind of mirrors how she feels, too… Did she really almost die, or was she just that terrified? Maybe she would have been fine. When Laurel bursts into the bathroom, though, Dee looks back down at her stomach. The wound there would suggest that she was very close to dying.
"Kids, and there was this woman, who— Telekinetic? And there was— Something. Glass or metal or something. And I had to get the little boy out. Then Peter was there and it was okay."
Not the best explanation ever, but she really can't think of anything else… Except, "I think I'm okay? I don't… I don't know if…" Again, she looks down at her stomach. Her fingers trace across the scar… It's good healing. Dee didn't know Peter could do that - and teleport, and talk to animals, and whatever else. There's a slight indentation, and very little pain. "I… Think I might have been in trouble?"
In trouble? A little. But on the other hand, she must not be in much.
Cause Laurel's throwing her arms around her and hugging her. "Don't you dare die on me, Daphne Rousseau! Cause I will— I don't know. Bring you back and kick your ass. Who else is going to take care of the meerkats? Who else is going to keep the bears from eating people?" In short? She's not allowed to die. End of story.
Pulling back, she looks her in the eye, firmly. All scarred up, but at least she can look in the face without seeing most of it. "You would have been in a lot of trouble if that guy hadn't shown up!" Cause she would have kicked her dead butt. There would have been a zombie Dee.
Daphne's arms wrap around Laurel at the same time Laurel jumps at her. Eyes squeezing shut, she cries. "I really think… I really think I would 'ave…" she sobs quietly, fingers twining in Laurel's hair, holding her close. It's not like it was with the poachers. She was knocked out; there was no time to contemplate whether or not she'd make it.
Taking Laurel's shoulders, Dee gives her a gentle push away so she can wipe her eyes. "They used tha' stuff on someone. I got a message from Micah… This place was 'compr'mised,' 'e said. They made some woman's power go crazy. There were kids there." Dee leans her forehead against Laurel's shoulder again. It's nice to be alive and okay, but… She came so close to not being able to have this reunion. "I fell— I think? On some glass. She might have thrown it at me. Everything was insane."
"You became pretty powerful when you were on that stuff— god, can you imagine what would happen if that fire lady was injected with it?" Laurel's eyes widen as she thinks back to her Central Park encounter so long ago, that she got pictures of. Her proof to show her friend that they weren't alone. "But you stopped them, and— maybe they won't try it again if they got compromised." That's a hope, isn't it?
And it could happen.
That's what she'd like to think, at least.
"As long as you're okay that's the important part."
"Kinda makes me wonder if that's my potential. Y'know? Mebbe in twenty years'r so I'll be able t'talk to an elephant from halfway around the world, aye?" She runs her fingers through her hair, wincing as they get tangled in something. Hopefully it's just tangled hair. "Or you. Y'know? Then again, m'sure no one's meant t'be tha' strong." No wonder there are people out there who think of Evolved as terrorists. "If this woman had'a gotten outta that building…"
There's a long pause. "Then it woulda been God save New York. She… Coulda pulled down buildings."
Dee doesn't know why they did it. She can't even fathom why they'd do it in the first place, let alone again. The idea seemed to be to eliminate the evidence, which… They mostly did, save for two souls who managed to make it out of their chains. "Maybe they thought they'd be able to control her. Or maybe… We're just like suicide bombers. Laurel, I can see why people are afraid of us."
Man, if that was Dee's potential, Laurel seems to pause and look up towards the ceiling of the bathroom, taking a step back away from her friend. She could create a bio dome. Well, if someone pumped air into it at least. She could put a forcefield over the city! She could— oh wait, they were talking about bad things.
Blinking, she looks back down. "Well, I'm glad she didn't get out." But— "People have good reason to be afraid of us, but they don't have good reason to exploit us like that! They— they're wrong. And we're going to stop them. You and that kid and that other guy and the scientist and— whoever else."
It'll be okay, Dee's sure. Maybe it's luck… Maybe her power is talking to animals and luck. This is the second near miss she's had! Taking a step back, she says, "I wasn't gonna tell ya, honestly. Didn'a want you to worry. But now tha' the cat's outta the bag…" She pulls her arm away from her stomach, showing off the scar. "Kinna neat, huh? Matches the one on me leg." Dee tries to smile. She's trying to make light of the situation, but it's still hard.
As for people exploiting them… "We're all animals, honestly. Y'know? Each an' ev'ry one of us. Even though we all think we're some higher bein', you compare us, to, say, chickens. All any o' us wanna do is make a name for ourselves and we'll climb on anyone else ta do it. Diff'rence between us an' chickens is… We can choose whether or not to act on that instinct. I choose not to."
"I wish more of us did," Laurel says with a frown, eyeing her apartment as she looks back behind her, to the bloody footprints. "You just cost me my security deposit,' she reminds with a wag of her finger. It was hard enough getting into a new apartment out of the blue, even if the cops didn't have her name yet. Or she hopes not. They didn't come busting down the door! So that seems a good thing…
"I don't like the scar. I wish you would stop getting hurt." With that said, her friend gets a light slap on the shoulder. For emphasis. "But I guess if you have to get hurt, at least you— didn't have to be hurt long." Or heal naturally. That would suck. "Too bad she didn't fix your accent, though!" That's a joke.
Oops. Dee looks back into the hall. "Look, we can get it out. R' I can. Somehow. Trust me." She has no idea how, but she'll figure out a way. "Got the bathroom clean, didn't I? Took me a couple hours." She takes another deep breath, eyes closing partially. It's just impossible to joke yet, so close to the actual event. "I promise. I'll get it clean."
Putting the lid down on the toilet, Dee sits, resting her head in her hands. "I'm th'one Micah messaged. I guess 'e thought I'd know 'bout it since I went through it. Hell if I knew 'ow to stop it, though. Buuuuut the ankle-biters r' safe, even if the one seemed a bit banged up." Dee wants kids one day. Maybe that's why she was so adamant about getting them out of there. "Dunno what they were doin' snoopin' around in there."
"Causing trouble, that's what," Laurel says simply, making up her mind about that situation right then and there, as she turns around and moves toward the kitchen to try and find the cleaning stuff. They don't have much, cause the apartment isn't fully stocked. "When this is all over— I'll need to find a new job. I've been glancing at places looking for people. Maybe we can go on an adventure together! Away from all this crazy. Not to Africa though. I had enough Africa."
But if they go somewhere, who will take care of the meerkat? The rabbit and cat someone could sit, just like they are now, but meerkats have special needs! Like grubs.
"That's about what I got out of 'em," Dee says, raising her head as Laurel leaves. She's kind of exhausted, but she staggers to her feet to follow, anyway. After all, she did promise she'd help clean, and that's what she imagines they're going to do now… Before anything sets in.
"Wonder if I could get me job back at the zoo," she says, leaning on a wall just outside the bathroom. "After I tell my parents I'm alive and all, y'know. Wonder if they even know I'm gone. S'not like I called ev'ry day while I was in Australia." She's not sure she wants to go back there… It was nice, but she got so homesick sometimes…
Wherever they go, Yossarian will come with them, of course! Her eyes wander down to the carpet, and she winces. "Y'know, I was thinkin'. You n' I… Get along pretty well as roommates even if we're friends an' all. Y'know what they say about friends bein' roomies. I dunno. We seem t'not fight too much. If this ever ends… Maybe we should just keep the arrangement."
"Like— live together?" Laurel asks, head tilting. Does that mean the bug guy, if he ever gets out of the bug house, will come and live with them too? Well, she didn't mind him, exactly, so that would probably be okay. "Sure, why not! I know the animals would love to have you around. And I think Leo actually liked Yoss." Lucky not so much, but Leo the cat did!
With the cleaning supplies set out on the counter, she fully turns back and nods firmly, decision made. "Okay, when this is all over, you and me are getting a bigger place to live. Maybe a loft! As long as it has enough rooms and allows animals."
"Yeh, like that!" Dee says, finally cheering up a bit. "Me an' you and Rudyard. He's been sweet lately. I mean…" She sighs. For the last little while, he's been doing what she asked and giving her space. He probably doesn't even know what she's been through. After what happened to her, though, her ability to trust people was pretty much… nothing. It was nothing. It's still somewhat unstable, but at least she knows she can care for people again, and not just animals.
Maybe she's finally getting over Jasmine's death.
It's been a long time since she's really smiled, but … there it is. It's an honest-to-God beaming, fully vulnerable happy-to-be-alive smile. Taking the last few steps to reach Laurel, Dee throws her arms around her friend's shoulders. Quietly, she says, "I'm glad you came for me in Africa. I really am."
"That you can thank your honey on," Laurel says, giving a bit of a smile at the tease to her voice. "Though I guess he's your bee and your his honey… or something. Whatever. It was him who was all 'we have to go find her!' and figured out where you were. And— here we are now! You came back on your own, though." When nothing they could say would get her to come back, having her pride butchered, and nearly being killed did the trick.
Oh, and a little prophetic painter. That too.
"I'm glad I went too. Though next time, we should go somewhere with more shade."