2007-08-24: DF: Receipt For A Refund

Starring:

DFDaphne_icon.gif DFPeter_icon.gif

Summary: Peter takes Betty body to the Zoo and receives a receipt for a refund on someones future.

Dark Future Date: August 24th, 2009

Receipt For A Refund


The Bronx Zoo

The animals give warning pretty fast. There's a dead body approaching the Zoo. They can smell it. They can't see it, but they know it's there. They also smell other Peter. They distinguish between the two easily. He's visited enough times that the pigs recognize him as not someone to push down to the ground and try to kill, and they're used to him entering invisible.

They are not used to him approaching the Zoo carrying a dead body, though. Even if he's invisible.

The body is carried as securely as he can, wrapped in sheets salvaged from the Aldric-Deatley apartment. The body is stiff, but she'd been sitting down when she died, so carrying her isn't as difficult as it might have otherwise been. Still. The smell of death may put the animals at ill ease, so he approaches slowly— still invisible. He doesn't want to bring danger down on the Zoo. Just a corpse. But he knew of no other safe place to go to.

—-

If Rudyard were around, it'd be a lot easier to 'see' Peter, since insects see in infrared and ultraviolet. The heat-sensing pit vipers can make out the shape, though they can't tell who it is, only that he smells familiar. Because of that, Daphne isn't too worried. Still, it's a task to take her mind off what she's already doing and make her way toward the front of the zoo. And because it's easier, and she's really not up to making the trek on foot, she goes by horseback. Zebraback, actually; they're not usually trainable, but this isn't normal circumstance.

She can only tell where Peter is by the fact that there are a few rattlesnakes with their eyes on the heat given off by him. They're uncomfortable, confused, though excited by the scent of decay. There are a couple buzzards circling above already; anything that's an easy meal is in their domain.

Daphne jumps off the zebra, gives it a pat on the side. She only knows one person who can go invisible. "…Peter?" she asks, heading toward the gate on foot. The pigs back off as she walks a path through them.

—-

It's only when she jumps off the zebra that Peter comes to a stop. He's honestly not worried about getting bit or attacked by the animals, due to his regeneration, and getting the body in unseen by any other eye is more important to him than… well… anything. As soon as he stops, though, she'll see a shimmer in the air and the young man appears. He looks as if he flew part of the way, from the way his hair is ruffled every which way. Even short as it is, it still seems to stick up in a few different directions.

What he's carrying probably has more attention. Obviously a body wrapped in a blanket. There's some blood visible around the neck area, and her bare feet hang out of the blanket wrapping.

"I'm sorry, Daphne. I didn't know where else to go and I couldn't just leave her laying there… I don't even know if you have a graveyard or anything…" She probably needs one for the animals.

—-

Seeing dead bodies should be nothing new to Daphne. She's part of this just as much as anyone else is, she's seen her share. She knows it's a part of the war, but as soon as Peter appears, some sort of trigger goes off, some sort of attack of an extremely painful memory. The nearby animals seem ready to jump to her aid, the nearest serpent poises to strike Peter - but Daphne abruptly calls them off, and they all, even the zebra, step back as if they've just been struck. No, that's not happening again. She won't let it.

"Uh— " She… Stares at the wrapped body, face extremely pale. It might as well be Laurel wrapped in the blanket, for all Daphne could know, except she already knows her best friend is gone and buried. Cold? That's how she felt. That's how she kind of feels now. "S'cuse me, I just… need…"

The zookeeper doesn't feel particularly weak, but she still sort of slouches, one hand reaching for the ground, the other attempting to hold her hair back just before the severity of the situation catches up for her and she loses her last meal. Another couple coughs, and she turns away from the mess; it's gross, but she knows the pigs will make short work of it. "What happened?" she asks Peter, pushing hair back out of her eyes, mopping her forehead.

—-

There's a grimace as the young woman loses her lunch. Peter almost did in the apartment, only the missing baby and a stomach steeled from witnessing Jack's… attack five times over helped keep his lunch down. And the fact that he hadn't had lunch yet. That as well. "She was murdered," he says carefully, a hint of hesitation in his voice. "I'm not sure why yet— or by who, but… she deserves a burial of some kind. Or at least a cremation." Something that's more humane than rotting in a chair, tied to it, with her throat slit.

"Her name is Betty," he adds. But there's a clue that might be about the only thing he knows about her. He didn't need to know her when alive to mourn the woman, though. But…

"I'm sorry— should I try to find somewhere else? Are you okay? You're just— the Zoo is one of the only safe places I know of…" And the Saints were definitely out this time. If they knew what happened, they'd go to the rally, and that could get the baby killed. The less people who know the better.

—-

She hasn't had any trouble with stuff like this before, which is why she's surprised that she can't take it. Daphne pushes herself to her feet as the pigs move in, and she takes Peter by the shoulder to guide him a distance away. "Yeah, there's… There's… Hey, you— " She gestures to some of the people hanging out near one of the gardens. They've probably been working for the greater part of the afternoon, and were just taking a break - the poor sods. She'll give instructions to them to clean up the body as best they can so they can give her a proper funeral. This is another person that'll have to go into The Book.

"You can give her to them, Peter. We'll take care of her." None of the recently appointed mortuary scientists seem to complain about the fact that they've been instructed to take care of the dead. At least they're doing something good for the woman's memory.

Daphne still looks pale, but she nods. She's okay, just… shaken. Quiet for a moment, staring, Daphne eventually takes a deep breath. "You're really from the past, right? You're going back there, right?"

—-

As she gives instructions, Peter hands the body over and watches everything happen, only adding this much to start, "I'll find out her full name and if she has any family as soon as I can— she only died this morning…" And no one wanted to leave her there to rot, and he can't blame them. They're already going to need to gather up a lot of money, and most likely they'll need to get a new apartment. There's so much badness going on the last few days. "Thank you. This means a lot to me… and I'm sure to her friends and family as well."

Once she's out of his arms, he honestly needs to wash up first, but she's so shaken. He moves closer, within arms reach, and touches her shoulder gently. "Yeah— I'm really from the past."

He's honestly surprised more people didn't think he was lying sometimes. But when all these abilities are commonly known, there's probably a great deal that people will believe, if it's dismissed as such. Oh, it's just another Evolved ability. Funny, he'd never even heard the term 'Evolved' until he came to this time. Now he's starting to think it whenever he thinks of the people like them.

"I intend to go back. I need to stop all of this from happening…"

—-

It's easy to be skeptical this day and age. Maybe that's why it's so important that they have something - and someone - to believe in. Daphne wasn't sure she'd see Peter again, but she's glad he's here. There's a story that needs telling, unfortunately, because if he's stopping all this from happening, maybe he can help her, too. And Laurel. It doesn't matter how it happened, Daphne already knows she was frustrated with Laurel at times in the past, and it's only a matter of time until— Even if there's no war, they might still fight, and it's a friend she doesn't want to lose.

"I need a favour." She asks this as Peter's still covered with blood. Still, she'll start wandering toward one of the bathrooms with running water. "I had a friend. Laurel. Her and I had an… argument in the past. She joined his side." He being Nathan. Daphne's quiet for awhile. She doesn't need to go into the whole thing where she's realised that not everyone in the government is evil, how everyone's doing what they have to do just to live. "She came to the — she died. It was an accident, I didn't… I couldn't save her, and… It was my fault. I know I gave you my phone number." There's a brief smile as she looks up. "I also know you never called it. But I need you to. I know me. There's no way I'm gonna believe you." Her eyes look toward the ground, she bites her lip, looks up. "If you say something, though, maybe it'll prevent that… fallout. Maybe if nothing else— Maybe her and I can at least be on the same side." If this ends up happening? If Peter can't stop it? At least she'll have a friend to lean on. "It's selfish, but it's important. She woulda been… She would have been a good aunt."

—-

A favor. Peter nods slowly as she asks this, following towards the bathrooms with running water. He'd stayed in the Zoo a few nights the first days he was here— he remembers where some of the running water was. This is where he'd have gone if he had no other choice. The Zoo is safe. It always felt that way, even with packs of wild animals threatening to tear someone's face off if they didn't belong. Listening, he nods slowly. A good friend who joined his side— no question who 'he' is. Even if he'd like to defend his brother in this instance. When it's revealed she died, his expression grows even sadder, and he looks apologetic, and this time, he does outright say it, "I'm sorry for your loss, Daphne."

Somehow… she seems as if she'll take the sympathy better than some of the other people he's getting to know. She doesn't seem to have made herself reject sympathy. Or he'll hope she hasn't. "Yeah— I still have your phone number. I always meant to call it… but things kept— there's no excuse, I know. I should have contacted you again." There's a grimace. He knows exactly where her phone number is— two years and many many miles away.

"I'll try. It's not completely selfish. And— aunt?" That— he blinks. For a brief moment he feels something thrumming. That's the only description he can think of. His eyes glance down towards her stomach and… "You're pregnant." Wow. He never felt that before… "Con— congratulations. I— I will contact you when I get back. I'd been— saving the world isn't a one man job. If I don't have some help, I'll botch it up."

—-

Sympathy is needed in this case, and it's been hard to come by. Everyone's lost someone, even Daphne, before this. This is a new wound, and she knows it'll eventually heal over. She'll look back and remember, but there's so much to do that she won't remain this distraught forever. She can already feel herself getting better, and… Sometimes that hurts more than anything. Forgetting is a very real fear.

"When I met you, I thought you were like me. You know, you could talk to animals." She vaguely recalls the fact that he could communicate telepathically with people, too. "I gave the rabbit to a friend. She was well-cared for." Same friend that died, actually. A shrug follows. "We were all busy. I probably could have tracked you down somehow, too." She has to imagine he's getting a million messages for the past, a million plans to stop all this from going to hell. All she wants, though, is a phone call. That's all. Daphne won't press the issue.

"Yeah." This is the one thing that actually makes her happy. Even if she's terrified, she still has a child to look forward to. It's a lot more work than any of them need right now, and it might be a mistake to bring a baby into this, but… "Thanks. I'm hoping for a girl. My husband wants a boy. I figure I have a fifty percent chance of getting my wish." It's a joke, though the tone is almost flat. As they reach the bathroom, she takes a few steps so she can stop in front of him. "I— " She looks like she wants to say something. In fact, there's a whole pep talk about knowing he can do it that she's just come up with, but looking around them… It seems impossible for any one person, or any group of people, to prevent all this from happening. Instead, she just takes an old reciept out of her pocket and writes a date on it, and the word 'Don't,' and hands it over. "If you want help, you might have to give this to me." Because Daphne is a stubborn cow at the best of times. She knows this about herself. And she knows that if she doesn't have at least a little proof, she'll never believe a word Peter says.

—-

"Yeah— it's kinda difficult to explain to people what I do," Peter says, rubbing a hand through his hair. "They can often accept what they can do— and accept that someone else might be able to too. But when it comes to… I'm like the Baskin Robins of Evolved. Thirty-One Flavors." And counting. In any other situation it might be funny— and as soon as he takes his hand away from his hair he kinda stares at it. He just got blood in his hair. Damnit. Oh well. It wouldn't be the first time. They have bathrooms now, except… there's more. Baby, for one.

"You can have both eventually," he says with a weak and small smile, glad to hear of new life as opposed to all the death. "Siblings are a good thing to have for any kid." Even when they go insane, turn evil, and nearly destroy the country with their dictator-like rule? Yeah… that. But except for that having a sibling was a very good thing! Really it was.

The receipt is blinked at, but he does take it, looking down to see what she bought, where it was bought. With a free hand, he reaches to pull out his wallet so that he can stash it away. If anything else gets left behind in the future, he wants his wallet to go with him. It has his ID, his credit cards. And various other things. And now a reciept to go along with a address, a name and a number on a Hello Kitty notepad.

"Okay… I'll do that."

—-

Both? She actually starts to laugh, catches herself, and stops. Just doesn't seem appropriate. "I think… One, for now." She's always wanted kids. And even if Daphne's already joked with Rudy that she's got twins on the way, she'd probably panic if that were the case. Besides that, twins require medical attention that they really can't provide right now. So many have to be delivered via surgery, and she can't just walk into a hospital and ask for help. If it's one… If it's just one, they can handle it.

But Peter's right. Daphne never had a sibling - not one she knew about, anyway. It would have been nice to grow up with someone around. There's nothing much on the reciept. Bread and a few other things from a corner store that still happens to be open intermittantly. There's a date on it in register print, though that's easy enough to fake. It's the date Daphne's written on the back that's really important. She hopes that if Peter does manage to change things, at least some things stay the same.

"We kind of modified one of the taps in here so you can have a shower. It's cold water, but it's something. I'll leave you to get yourself cleaned up." She pauses. "If you're staying the night, we'll make room for you. Just let me know."

—-

"Probably a good idea to just have one for now, yeah," Peter says with a nod, watching her quietly. Laughter is never a bad thing, even under the circumstances, so he's happy to hear it. Her child, whatever it is, could grow up to be friends with Abby, for all he knows. Abby, who is missing. Whose babysitter has been murdered. Who he has to go and help save tomorrow, because he doesn't dare let them go alone. He can't fail them, either. It's far too important.

The reciept is put away carefully into his wallet, even if he's not sure what it means. It's from the future, he knows that much. And he can't help but wonder just how much it will help. If nothing else… "I will need your help, even if— there's a lot to stop from happening. A lot of people who need to be saved. I can't do it all alone— and if you're this much of a leader…" She has a small group of people, sure. She's not leading terrorist attacks like many of the others, but she's doing her part. When he gets back, he wants to bring together as many people as possible to continue doing their part.

"Thank you, but— no. Really. I need to get back, there's… a few things I need to do still." Save a baby, being the big one. "I'll accept the shower, though. I could use one…"

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