2007-08-07: DF: Of Birds And Bees


DFElena_icon.gif DFDaphne_icon.gif DFRudyard_icon.gif

Summary: Good news for dark times. Or is it DOOM? Read on.

Dark Future Date: August 7th, 2009

Log Title Of Birds And Bees

Bronx Zoo

There's a farm in the zoo - an actual farm, with honest to goodness cows and goats and pigs, which are used for things like milk and cheese and also Christmas Dinner. They aren't fenced in, either, but there is a section of wood rail still remaining around three sides of the pig pen; a couple sows are lying in the dry dirt and hoping for rain. Pigs? Incredibly smart animals, good conversationalists. Not surprising, really.

It's late afternoon, and Daphne's sitting up on that fence, having a silent conversation with the two pigs, while watching the sky for a return messenger she sent out hours ago. Nathan's people are becoming wise, though, and she's lost more pigeons lately than she ever has in the past. It's like they're being sniped, and Daphne's been contemplating using rats, instead. You can't kill all the rats in New York… There's just no way.

For various reasons, she's in a good mood. There's a lot to be upset about, honestly - the whole SARS thing, for example. The fact that there could be any number of pathogens incubating within the people and animals here. She went to vet school, so she knows that sometimes it takes weeks for symptoms to show. What if some mystery virus was planted weeks ago, and now the government is moving in for the kill? Still, though, Daphne had a (mostly) restful night, so she can't complain too much.

And above the pig pens.. are messages in the spiders' webs. Straight out of Charlotte's Web. The kids get a kick out of it. Those that are familiar with the story at any rate. While Daphne's conversing, Rudyard's working. He earns his keep like anyone else around here. Cleaning. Feeding animals, general maintenance. A lot of it he had to learn on the job, but he's not complaining. Daphne's good mood doesn't earn a second glance as he knows what the cause of it is as he goes about feeding animals nearby.

And then, in the outer gates, there is a mighty roar, of a souped up, state-of-the-art engine, all terrain tires, and exhaust. There was no mistaking it, its roar was mighty indeed. The mighty roar of…


Yes, Elena was serious in naming her bike that.

She stops at the gate, lifting her hand to wave at the guardian spidermonkeys. Her bike leads a convoy of two pick-up trucks, laden with several boxes of supplies, and mattresses.

Word passes quickly in the zoo when you can speak with animals (or insects, in Rudy's case.) It's not long before one of the peacocks alerts Daphne to the fact that there are noisy things arriving, and they carry boxes. She's sure the crew will see to it, but even so, she jumps down off the fence, gives both of the pigs a pat, then heads over to where Rudyard's working. "Got a delivery. Want to go for a walk?" The front of the zoo isn't too far away. Close enough so that she can hear the roar of the scooter above the noise of the animals. Daphne's curious… She wants to see what they brought back.

Rudyard finishes dividing up the bucket of grain between a few troughs before he nods to Daphne. "Of course." He too caught wind of the noise delivery arrival. The actual noise, and that of disturbed bugs too. Slipping his hands into his pockets, he crosses over to his wife in order to walk along with her.

When she's let in, several members of the Flock drive the trucks in while Elena parks her bike, removing her helmet and shaking out her hair. She exhales a breath, hanging it up one of the handlebars. Clad in her beat-up, leather jacket, a blood-red tube top, and a pair of low-rise jeans, she turns to face the incoming couple, giving them a wave from her fingerless-gloved digits. Several crates are shuffled down. "As promised," she tells Daphne when she's close enough. "How you doin', Rudy?" she asks, extending her hand for a shake.

The crates, when opened once unloaded, are full of an assortment of items. Canned goods. Over the counter medicine, second-hand clothes and shoes. There was more food for the animals, dried pellets and the like, as well as more bottles of vaccine. Longer items are being brought down from the back of one of the trucks. Mattresses.

Just…don't ask her how she got them.

Daphne learned quite awhile ago that it's better not to ask, but she's thankful all the same. For those who are doing the unloading, she directs them to take the mattresses toward the new barracks. They're not quite finished yet, but it's a dry place to store them for now, and there'll be people moving in soon enough. There's just enough room for everyone now - it'll be nice to be able to spread out a bit.

To help with the unloading, a few chimpanzees and one of the gorillas arrive to make themselves useful. The gorilla can carry the heavier things almost effortlessly, for example, and starts takes one of the crates full of canned supplies off to be stored in the pantry.

"Didn't expect you to have stuff so soon," she says, giving Elena a hug after she greets Rudy. It's good to know they're not going to run out anytime soon, and the animals will definitely thank her for the extra rations. "How's Ali doing?"

Rudyard extends a hand to shake Elena's when offered, "Just fine, and yourself?" The helpful assistance of gorillas and chimpanzees doesn't garner a second glance from the man. This is so every day normal for him now. After greeting Elena, he rests a hand briefly on Daphne's shoulder before he walks towards the unloading crews to help direct.

"Not bad. Just got back from a really long op. I haven't seen you in a while," Elena says with a small smile. When it's Daphne's turn, she hugs the other woman as well. "We have….connections." Not really, but when the outfit first started, she played it smart. She used the contracts her father secured for Lancaster Electronics to make sure that it was in charge of restructuring various electronic and security grids around the city. The legitimate front gave them access to three important things: 1) Blueprints, 2) Electronic back doors that Gene installed while the company rebuilt those grids, and 3) Cashflow. Again, from the Saints' strategist's calculating mind.

"Ali's fine," she says, pulling away just a bit to hold Daphne at arm's length. "She's recovering slowly, but we have a cook in our headquarters that's been told to make sure she eats and gets her strength up. She's still coughing, but Cass released her along with some meds. She's been good, keeping close to us while she recove— "

She suddenly falls quiet. She stares at Daphne, and does so for a long time.

Rudy was gone on his own op for awhile… Not that Daphne really approved of it, but he's here now, safe and sound at this point. Sure, he has to keep a low profile, but it's very worth it when Daphne has him around. She's told him many times that he keeps her from losing it.

Besides, the fact that he's sending lice to the president? Priceless.

"Hey, Kipling, make sure you tell whoever's cooking that they can give out some extra rations tonight, okay?" Just a little, just so that everyone gets to enjoy the Saints' efforts and they can sleep a little easier tonight. They can't really run ops on their own, unfortunately, and so they get by with a little help from their friends.

Looking over her shoulder, she notes that a few of the stronger refugees are also helping, even though they weren't asked. With a sort of half-smile, she turns back to Elena for the news on Ali. "Good, we miss her around here, she used to cheer up the— "


Rudyard looks over his shoulder as Daphne calls out and flashes her a thumb's up in response. He turns back, readying to help carry off things towards the kitchen and to play relay that message when.. y'know.. gnats are hard to ignore under the best of circumstances, but when you have a swarm of them talking at once trying to grab your attention. Well. That's just damned annoying. He looks back towards Daphne and Elena, a slight frown puckering at his face. Okay. He's watching. Daphne looks confused, Elena looks confused. What?


Elena is still staring at Daphne, and Rudy, and then Daphne again. She rubs the back of her neck, but with a grin, she reaches up a fist and cuffs Rudy in a friendly fashion on the shoulder. "You old dog!" she says with a laugh. "Back from your own op and there you go, gettin' busy." She looks over to Daphne and smiles. "So what did the doctor say?" she asks. "Do you know what you're going to name the baby yet?"


Clearly Elena has no idea that the couple DOESN'T KNOW Daphne's pregnant.

Well, she certainly doesn't look it. In fact, there's really no way they'd know, at all, at this point save for someone telling them. After all, Rudy hasn't been back that long, and… Well, there just haven't been a lot of opportunities— For—

She's staring at Elena like she's nuts. Someone put her up to this. Instantly, she assumes it's Rudy, and gives him a scathing look and a shove. "Seriously, you didn't think I'd fall for that? Sometimes you're an ass." Poor, Rudy, and poor Elena, really. Yeah, got a bit of a scare there, but it's all been rationalised and cleared up, so — But Elena looks so serious. Looking up at Rudy, she asks, confused, "What did you say?"

Rudyard is knocked forward by the cuffing on the shoulder. He wasn't expecting it, and frankly? He's staring at both women in confusion, then swats a hand at a butterfly who has decided to helpfully rephrase what Elena has said. Then his wife is shoving him, and he goes off to the side with an 'oof'. "Bloody hell, what was that for? The devil did I do?" Again, the butterfly comes back and tries to be helpful.. "Oh shut it," he snaps at the insect before staring sharply at Elena. Wordlessly.

"….what do you mean?" Elena says, furrowing her brows at Daphne. She looks at Rudy when he talks to the butterfly, and she shakes her head. She'll never get used to that, but it's fascinating to watch. She was a budding scientist after all. But when Daphne continues to stare at her, and then glares accusingly at her husband…..well. Realization sets in. Her jaw hangs open. She gapes at both parents-to-be.

Oh my god.


"I…I'm not kidding, Daphne. I can sense it. Your estrogen levels are higher than the last time I saw you, and your gonadotrophin levels are up, too." She had been pre-med, a Biology major with an emphasis in Biochemistry. She knows the signs.

What does she mean 'WHAT DO YOU MEAN?' "I mean he put you up to— " Yeah, but Rudy looks just as confused, which makes Daphne stand there and just stare for a few more moments, blankly, not at Elena or Rudy, because she just can't honestly believe it. There's no way. And yet, she knows what Elena can do. Oh, wait.

"You guys are both in on this," she says, rolling her eyes. Seriously, she wants kids one day, but now? It's just… How long did they have this planned, seriously? They must have met before today, and rehearsed this whole thing, and they're doing a really convincing job of it, too. When in doubt, think about something else, like… "We've got some supplies to unload. You guys helping?" She's not going to let them know that she's just a little weirded out and kind of hoping one of them starts laughing really soon.

"What?" Elena's now speaking a language Rudyard has never heard of before, let alone thought of learning. It's a scary language, and one that's left to people far more expert than himself. ".. I didn't put her up to anything.." Confused? No. That's hardly the word for it. Daphne's in denial. That's good. Denial he can take. He's not sure he heard what he heard from two sources. All the same, he looks a little pale!

Her eyebrow twitches. She's seriously not kidding. Elena gives them BOTH A LOOK. To show them how serious she actually is. And she's not moving. Not until they GET IT. And so Elena adopts her father's stare. Ramon's stare is so legendarily flat, whole mountains turn to paper when its directed towards them.

Looking over her shoulder, Daphne allows her eyes to meet Elena's. Her own are wide, brows drawn down over them - classic confusion there, slack-jaw included. She starts to say something, but all she manages is "Ah— " before she closes her mouth, looks at Rudy, looks at Elena…

What is she going to do with a baby? Look at the world right now - what kind of world is this to bring a kid into? Especially one who's very likely Evolved like its parents. Then again, at least they won't have to raise the kid keeping the knowledge of these abilities secret from him. Or her. Yeah… The negative is starting to look vaguely positive, as evidenced by the fact that Daphne's face is… Well, sort of like watching a sun rise, honestly. Cass and Lachlan are managing, she's raised many meerkat babies already, they have the protection of the zoo…

Elena's really not kidding, is she? No, she wouldn't be, and Daphne can't imagine Rudy is this good an actor. "I— Uh." She's trembling, just a little. One hand raises, covering her mouth, covering the smile that's starting to show there. She'd almost forgotten what it was like to not have to force herself to actually look happy, but it's there in her eyes, too.

Optimistically cautious now, she asks, "You're sure?"

Rudyard looks from Daphne to Elena, then back to Daphne. He stands silent, rigid, like one of those cigar shop Indians. Don't look to him for assistance. His brain is running into a problem processing this information. Sorry, BSOD, Windows is shutting down now.

The younger woman throws up her hands. "YES!" Elena cries, half-exasperated, but there's a laugh there too. "VERY early on, even pregnancy tests in the market shouldn't be able to detect this yet….but I was right the first few times I did this a couple of years ago. I volunteered at Mount Sinai, this was how I practiced while I was going to school at NYU." She beams at Rudy and Daphne. "Congratulations, guys! I really mean it." Sure the world is insane. Violent. There are many people who just want to watch the world burn, but these are those rare moments in these dark days when a glimmer of hope surfaces.

"Oh." Not much of a reaction, but this… wasn't exactly expected. She's still obviously not upset, though, but Rudy… The smile on Daphne's face fades a little when she looks toward her husband, who doesn't seem particularly pleased by this news. He knows as well as Daphne does that this couldn't have happened that long ago, and neither of them talked about— Not seriously, anyway.

Daphne can't help it after awhile, though. That grin returns, and she takes the couple steps necessary to get to Rudy, and she reaches out to take his hand, looking up at him with that 'well?' look. Come on, you have to say something. This is one of those moments where Daphne would face missiles rather than wait for the answer to this unspoken question.

Rudyard clears his throat, holds up a finger, and opens his mouth as if to say something.. only to double over, hands upon his knees as he wheezes. Sorry honey. Hyperventilating. It's such a masculine reaction, and a normal one.

<… don't faint man!>
<Hahaha.. or throw up>
<Buck up old chap!>

Those comments.. would be coming from the buzzing peanut gallery of bees working on pollenating some flowers nearby. They get a fierce glare from Rudyard, before Daphne's pulling his attention back to her. That fish out of water expression? Pretty much the same one he gave before they exchanged 'I do'. "…." Here. Let him try that again.. and … Fail.

Elena stares at Rudy. And she tries….well, it sounds bad. But she tries not to laugh.

Instead, she points to the other side.

"I'm…going to go see to my people and head on out," she tells Daphne. "I'll leave you two to talk. Congratulations again!" Hugging Daphne and pat-patting Rudy on the shoulder as he stares fishjawed at his wife, she heads on. Her work is done.

Where Elena manages to not laugh, Daphne can't quite to the same. As soon as Rudy doubles over, she emits a quick bark of laughter, hand returning to her lips as if that will stop it. Where she can't hear the bees, she'd certainly agree with them at this point in time. Instead, there's about forty meerkats heading in their direction, the little pitter patter of clawed feet on the cement path giving away their arrival. Of course, the meerkats would be the first people Daphne would tell.


That last statement comes from the meerkat who's just climbed up onto Rudyard's back and is using him as a lookout. And suddenly they are surrounded by the whole colony.

Daphne manages to hug Elena before she runs off, but her attention is more on her husband at this point. As meerkats climb all over them, she reaches for his face. "…Hey. You're gonna be a dad."

Rudyard ermphs.. the meerkats using him as a lookout mound are hard to ignore. He's glad he can't hear them. Chatty little buggers they are. "… I …" What? He allows Daphne to reach for his face, then, "I need to sit." Paying the meerkats no mind, they're fast as the dickens, he more or less falls backwards to land on his arse. Pardon.. this is.. a surprise.. The brain is still trying to reboot after the crash. Give him a bit.

And she's not surprised!? Daphne has a bajillion things going through her head right now, it's just that— that… baby. Of course, it was always a possibility, but… It really is a huge surprise. Huge. Life-changing.

"Go on, you guys," she says out loud so Rudy can hear, while she adds a mental request to the meerkats. Some of them back off. The others are way too excited to do so. After all, Daphne's technically the 'dominant female.' And when the dominant female is happy, everyone is happy. In fact, one of them is so happy, he grabs onto Rudy's hair with his teeth and starts pulling. NOM AUM RRARGH.

Daphne kneels in front of him, reaching for his hand again. Now she's getting kind of worried. He still hasn't said anything, there's no smile, there's no indication that he's happy about anything. "We can do this, you know. We can."

Rudyard winces. He can't help it. The exuberant meerkat causes pain! "I.. are you okay with this?" They're married. This kind of thing is y'know, part of the whole family unit. It's just.. a surprise. Not planned. Not yet at any rate. He takes in a deep breath as he tries to untangle the meerkat from his head. "Y.. yes.. we can do this.." The color still hasn't properly returned to his face. At least he hasn't gotten ill. His hand fumbles slightly as he grasps Daphne's tightly. "… This.. Our child will rival those Irwin tots," he finally quips with a smile.

"I don't know!" she says, but she's smiling, she's happy. Is she going to be okay with this? Who knows? Seriously, not the best world to bring a child into, but they can do their best. They can make it work. "I don't think I've ever seen you like this," she says quietly, pressing her forehead to his. He's always so pompous and proper, and now he's almost completely speechless. As the meerkat stops tugging on his hair, the mob starts to wander off, just a little, searching for food, because they're very easily distracted, and the humans are being weird. "She'll be bringing home strays by the time she's two." Yes. Said child is less than a day developed, and Daphne's already decided it's a girl.

Rudyard gulps.. yes.. he gulps.. even as Daphne presses her forehead to his. "This makes you happy." It's neither question nor statement, but a mix of both. "Who said it's to be a girl? Too soon yet.." It could very well be a boy! Or one of each.. nevermind. Perish that thought. Bad place! He's still floored, but on the bright side.. he has not puked, fainted, or run screaming for the hills. Or gone to give himself up. ".. Well.. Let's do this shall we?" His smile is weak, as if he's been ill, but he pulls Daphne in closer for a fierce kiss. PDA's be damned.

Yes, it does make her happy, and terrified, but also mostly happy. And, hey, with Elena telling them so soon, they have an advantage over other parents to be - An extra month to plan. "I swear to God, if she was pulling my leg, I'm gonna kill her," Daphne says with that broad smile in place on her face. No, she probably won't, but she hasn't felt this happy, this excited, in a very long time, and there's no resistance as Rudyard kisses her. PDA BE DAMNED, INDEED!

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