2007-08-24: DF: Pan in the Neck

Starring:

DFDaphne_icon.gif DFUnknown_icon.gif

Summary: Daphne's taking her mind of Things, when one of the dittos takes a flying leap and lands on his face.

Dark Future Date: 25 AUGUST 2009

Pan in the Neck


Bronx Zoo

Once upon a time, the Bronx Zoo was a beautiful place. It had shaded walkways! Tourist attractions! ANIMALS IN CAGES! But now— Well, the shaded walkways still remain for the most part, though some areas have been chopped down for building use. Always replanted, though; where giant oaks and maples once stood are now saplings too young to fend for themselves. At present, the small patch of future trees is being weeded.

By meerkats.

There is not one animal in the zoo who's better qualified to weed a garden than a meerkat. They can get the whole root, they're smart enough to avoid the trees, plus, they get breakfast out of the deal, because there's lots and lots of bugs to dig up in that little patch. It's like asking them if they'd perhaps like to go to the buffet. it's not a job for them at all.

Daphne's nearby, as well, planting more trees and a few flowers in the patches the small animals have already torn through. It takes her mind off things… Given that there's going to be a funeral later - that she's not sure she'll be able to attend - at least this gives her something to concentrate on. The flowers aren't huge or beautiful - mainly marigolds and a few daisies. Whatever the Saints could find to bring for her. At least it adds some colour, though.

—-

"FLYYYYYYYY!"

That would be the sound of Pan, the resident Ditto within the ranks of the Zoo. He comes from… somewhere else. Supposedly, he's leaped into the air and is gliding like the dickens! But it only looks as if he's flying for a very short time, because then he's flailing and flapping, trying to get some air underneath him. "AHHHHHHHHHHH!" It's apparently, not working out too well.

The collision with the ground is a rough one, but not one he isn't used to. His face goes in first, followed by the dropping of his body. And then he grunts, looking up and turning his head to the right to spot a Meerkat chomping away on bugs. There may have even been an offer of some tree root to Pan, but he waves the Meerkat off. "No thanks. Had breakfast already."

—-

Daphne should be used to this by now. However, every time it happens…

She snaps some sort of inappropriate expletive that the two very young meerkats are likely to repeat to their parents later. Fortunately, meerkats have no concept of bad words. Setting down the flowers she'd been about to plant, Daphne stands, wipes her hands on her pants, and heads over to help the guy up, as well as shoo Michelle and Miranda the baby meerkats out of Pan's ears.

Her foot stops somewhere near the ditto's head. There's no reason for Daphne to be angry, but she kind of has that look in her eye like she's just on the verge of losing it; barely keeping her temper in check, she crouches down, choosing her words carefully. It's… difficult, and eventually, she just settles on "Good morning."

—-

"Hi!"

Pan is always too happy. Which, well, could probably be a problem considering that there's somberness happening in the Zoo at present. He flips over onto his back and kind of just sprawls there for a moment, reaching behind his head and interlacing his fingers. He plasters on a big ol' smile, trying to look proud or something. "I was in the air a whole seven seconds that time! I'm gettin' better!" He doesn't even remember how many times they've been through this whole: You Can't Fly conversation, but he's just the kind of dude that refuses to give up. Could be an important trait if used for the right things.

—-

There's always a whole lot of sad, though. That's part of the problem. Nothing to actually make people smile. Just— This kid. Pan. Isn't so much a kid, and yet he acts like one, which is funny in and of itself. Daphne's having a little trouble with that today, though. "Seven seconds," she mutters. Sighs. "Look, I'm just worried that one day, you're gonna jump off of something and crack your skull open or something." That's all. That's why she's frustrated. Right now, she doesn't need another dead body to deal with— too many lately. "I don't want to have to add you to the book, too."

Whether he's just a copy of someone else or not, she kinda cares for him. It's weird. Eventually, she sits down on the ground next to him, drawing her legs up and resting her arms across her knees. "So. Seven seconds."

—-

"Aw, Daphne-bird! Don't worry! I'm Pan! Nothing can ever stop the cleverness of me!" Smiling brightly, as if there's nothing wrong with what he's saying, Pan sits up and reaches out to place an arm around Daphne. He even hugs her a moment before bouncing his shoulder against hers. Cheer up, Emo Leader! "But yes! Seven seconds! It was so extraterrestrialing!" Pause. "Wait, no. That's the wrong word. Um. Extrapolating?" And now he's scratching his head, in the midst of trying to figure out whatever he's been trying to say.

—-

"You're also acting like you're ten years old," Daphne says with a wry smile. Acting? She's actually not sure if it's acting, or if this is part of the personality inherited from Prime. Pan's nice to have around, though, when he's not teaching the kids to jump off things. Parents get a little techy about that sometimes.

"Well, 'extraterrestrial' means 'outside earth,' so I guess you could call it that." But he's not an alien. Mostly not an alien. Rolling her eyes and allowing the hug, Daphne reaches out to take the Ditto's shoulder and turn him toward her a little. "But. If you break yourself, it's gonna be hard to put you back together." She's not sure how to give medical treatment to copies. And, really, she still has no idea how that works, only that this guy looks exactly like Prime, and that there are lots more of him out there. Somewhere.

—-

"I don't bruise that easily." This, of course, is said while the bruise on the side of his face pulls a Wolverine and sort of heals up on its own. That's what he gets for smashing into the ground face-first. But then, he shouldn't have been trying to fly. Tis a pretty stupid thing to do when he already knows what his power is. And that's making more of himself. "You let me and Prime worry about putting us back together. We'll be just fine!" Another big ol' smile and he's trying to get Daphne to join him in his happy thoughts. "Now you. You have worries! I can see them." He holds out his hand in classic Peter Pan style. "Gimmie."

—-

Having seen everything in the DARQUE FYOOCHUR, including but not limited to the kitchen sink, Daphne is somewhat unsurprised when the bruise on Pan's face vanishes like it was never there. …Not that Daphne calls her current mode of living 'dark,' as much as it is simply survival. But if asked if things were dark, she'd probably reply with a 'yes.' Except for little rays of sunshine, like her Lost Boy here. Her worries, though— Everyone has them lately. She's sure that somewhere, Prime is having them, too. Whether or not Pan's inherited said worries is… well… who really knows? For the first time since Laurel died, Daphne actually allows herself to laugh without also attempting to hold it back. "If I could give them away, I really would. Really. Some of them are good worries, though, so it's okay." Like the fact that the animals in the 'petting zoo' need bathing. That's an almost fun worry. It balances out; the kids love washing the cows, anyway.

—-

"You can! See?" And Pan emphasizes with a shake of his open palm. "Your worries go here. Watch." Pan reaches up to his heart and pulls out something that nobody can see. It's invisible and he whispers to Daphne-bird. "This is my worry about you being worried about stuff." He places it in his palm and closes his fist. He gives it a shake by his ear and smiles, "Yup. Got it." And then he hops up to his feet with no issue and rears back, winding up his arm and HURLS the worry into the open sky! He brings his other hand up to shield his eyes and he whistles as the worry goes far… farther than ever before. And then, as if he really was from Neverland, both hands go to his hips. "See? Worry gone!"

—-

Yyeah, but! Daphne watches this, sort of torn between tracking down Prime and asking why Pan is so very childlike, and— Eventually, she chooses the other option, which is a combination between humouring him and pointing out the flaw in his plan. "Well if you just got rid of the worry about me being worried— " She almost topples backward when he's suddenly on his feet, but she catches herself with one hand, "Then you can't be worried about me not giving you my worries." …uh. "Right?" It sounded less confusing in her head. But see! WHATEVER HE DID, IT'S WORKED ANYWAY. It's kinda hard to be all down and depressed when you have an adult copy of one of the Saints acting like he never left kindergarten. Daphne also stands, dusting herself off as she does so, running a hand down her shirt to get the wrinkles out. "Pan…" Hard to be serious around him. "Can I ask you why you're here?" She never did ask, really. He's just… been here, and she's been fine with that. Sure, she could guess, but it's easy to ask, too.

—-

Pan just smiles. "Right! Which means that you don't have any worries because I just got rid of my worrying of you worry about the worries you have! And if I can't worry about you worrying, then you can't be worried! See?" It all sounds very much logical in his mind and that's probably the only place that it sounds logical. Ever. At all. Then she asks him a crazy question and he just has to lean in to bump his nose against hers. Don't worry! He's careful! But it's him being all playfully antics and stuff! "Because you're my Daphne-Bird and we're going to have great adventures!" He sounds so childlike innocent that he can't be faking all of this. He has to either be repressed, insane or a really good ass actor. "You… still want to be my Daphne-Bird, don't you?" Uh oh. Incoming Worry!

—-

It makes a crazy sort of sense. Mostly because what she just said previously made… even less sense, who knows. It's too bad there's no miracle cure for worries, but for now, at least, she can play along. It's hard work being so down all the time, after all. And really, why worry about it? "Daphne-Bird," she parrots. She's been doing a lot of that around Pan, possible because she has to make sure she's hearing what he's saying properly. Great adventures. Well. At this point, she finally surrenders all decorum and pulls him into a hug and noogies. "Yes, I do. But your first great adventure is going to be helping me plant the rest of these trees."

—-

Pan frowns. That sounds like work. But then again, he can't really deny his Daphne-Bird. Because, well, with her being that, he has to listen. He's sworn to protect her. That's the actual reason he's here. He's supposed to make sure she stays alive in this crazy future of darkness. Perhaps an order from the Saints or Rufio or Rufus before he died. Either way, Pan's motives are unclear to the naked eye, but so long as the Lost Boy knows them, everything will be okay. "Okay! But after that, you can tell me a story, right?"

—-

It's not all work. He'll have the meerkats helping. One of the youngsters is already trying to crawl her way up Pan's leg, because his head would just make the most excellent lookout post in the whole wide world. In summary, Pan's mentality is pretty much on-par with the meerkats.

But! There are still flowers and trees which need installation into the ground! And now she's got help, even though she was rather content on her own before. This is nice, though. Always nice to have someone around. "C'mon. I'll tell you a story while we're doing that."

—-

"Alright!" Both of Pan's hands go into the air and he spins around with happiness. Because, well, that's happy. And the fact that there's something crawling up his leg, well, that means he's going to have to help it. "Here you go!" Snatching the crawler up, he plops her down on his head and extends his arms, "STORYTIIIIIIIIIIME!" And then he holds her so she doesn't fall, while he plops himself down on the ground and crosses his legs.

What?

She said she'd tell him a story while she was planting stuff.

—-

This. Is not— Not quite what she had in mind. "But…!" she starts, then decides that she really can't make him do anything, because he's too adorable, which is a little strange, but that's okay. At least she's got the company, someone to talk to so she's not thinking about all those worries she cleverly held onto while expertly distracting Pan from taking them. Laurel, the state of the zoo, the fact that things are getting a little crowded, the baby, everything. But the worries are her responsibility, no one else's, and Daphne will handle them in time. Maybe with a little help.

Sigh.

She kneels down next to the garden again, and continues planting the marigold that she'd been trying to plant when Pan crashed into the ground. "Okay, story. Story." Of course, her mind immediately leaps to Peter Pan, but he's probably heard that one. So she starts the story of Peter Pan, but with a twist. There are pirates, yes. But there are also ninjas. And flying lemurs. It might end up being the best retelling of Peter Pan since Hook.

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