2007-09-05: Surprise Mirror Image

Starring:

Laurel_icon.gif Daphne_icon.gif Jasmine_icon.gif

Summary: Either someone's cloning people, or someone's parents have a lot of explaining to do.

Date It Happened: 5 SEPTEMBER 2007

Surprise Mirror Image


Skylark Cafe

Unlike usual, Jasmine actually populates a coffee shop. Those around town that frequent anywhere that serves tea, though, would know her as that British chick with the soccer ball ("football," she always tells them). And, true to form, she sits in the coffee shop, a cup in front of her and a book held up, idly rolling the ball under her foot.

—-

There'd been a phone call to meet at a coffee shop. Not the usual fare, but it works. Laurel's expecting gossip about the boyfriend, or something else, so she comes prepared. With a camera. It's in a bag, hanging from her shoulder. She steps inside. Mmmm. Checking her watch again, she makes sure the time is right. She knows that the young woman said to meet here— around this time and… Squinting, she examines the room a moment. Oh— there she— what the heck? Walking over, she has a frown on her face as she settles down into the seat across from her. "Are you in disguise?" …Oh wait, if she's in disguise, should they not be talking? "He didn't turn out to be an FBI agent or something, right?" Oh god. She looks around. The place is bugged isn't it?

—-

That someone settles across from her surprises Jasmine. That she's talking like they should know each other is moreso. That she's acting like there's some super secret information being traded at this coffee shop? That sparks the London native to ask, "What…in the blue HELL are you talking about?" She stops rolling her ball, even setting her book down and looking over at Laurel, glasses over her eyes, "For that matter, who the fuck are you?" Subtle, thy name is Jasmine Anne Morrison.

—-

A little late is Daphne, though only a couple minutes. Nothing terrible… After all, she did take a bus today, and those can be a few minutes behind schedule at the best of times. In any case, dropped off but a block from her destination, Daphne shoulders a backpack containing some new zoo publicity for the upcoming 2008 season. She doesn't actually work on it herself, but she did get some of the animals to pose, which she considers quite awesome, really. Essentially, some of the proofs are her beautiful handiwork. Indirectly. By the time she enters the cafe, she's been thinking about some sort of fruit-type drink for the entire bus ride, and so she heads over to the counter first, even before searching out Laurel. Something frozen. With strawberries. Maybe a little vanilla ice cream.

—-

Huh? Laurel's looking at the person she thinks is her friend like she's a crazy person. And maybe she is. Her accent's changed again, for one. And she's calling her names, playing with balls, and acting like— she has no idea who she is. "…oh god they totally erased your memory this time, didn't they?" And gave her the memory of a British Soccer player or something. Oh man. "I knew the bug guy was up to no good." He had an accent too! Like that! Obviously he did this! He's part of that— whatever thing that James Bond is apart of. He's one of those double 0s. Like… 00B for the BEES. She's so preoccupied trying to think of what they've done to her friend THIS TIME that she doesn't notice her real friend in the room.

—-

"What…the FUCK…are you talking about?" At this, Jasmine actually gets out of her chair, knocking her ball up into her h ands and looking across the table at the other girl, "I don't know who you are, I don't know what…bug guy you're talking about, and I certainly think I'd remember if someone tried to erase my memory. So maybe you ought to take your looney-bin babbling to someone who gives a shit."

—-

See, the thing about an uproar is, when you hear one, you generally pay attention. When you hear one in your own voice… That's cause for alarm. Sure, it's got a funny accent, but it's not completely different from how Daphne herself sounds lately. When she turns from the counter, drink in hand, she doesn't see Laurel first, but someone holding up a mirror.

Except it's not a mirror. "What the hell?" she mutters, and does the only reasonable thing she can think of, which is to promptly forget she was holding a medium strawberry smoothie. It falls out of her hand and onto the floor, where it goes all over the place. Blue eyes, though, are fixed on someone who's doing a damn good job of wearing her face, and considering the things she knows now, that's chilling. And she's talking to Laurel. "Laur?" Daphne squeaks. Though she's not paranoid by nature, this calls for some sort of action! She intends to march up to her best friend, grab her by the elbow, and remove her from the coffee shop, but…

There's the whole matter of the spilled strawberry smoothie. One step is all it takes, and Daphne finds herself flat on her back, groaning. Ow.

—-

"If they altered your memory you wouldn't remember!" Duh. Laurel is looking more and more worried by the moment. And then she hears a voice. With a hint of an Australian accent. She looks over.

Then she looks back at the girl across the table. Then back again. Then back again. Then… "OH MY GOD THEY CLONED YOU!" She jumps out of the chair and backs away quickly, avoiding falling on anything, but making quite a ruckus. Yeah, she looks nuts, but with the way this world has been the last few months, this is kind of the final straw. "Daphne— Daphne what did they do to you!? Is this— what— I don't…"

—-

Jasmine, despite Laurel's…outburst, is distracted by something more than just the fall. Jasmine is more distracted by the girl. Take the glasses away, it's not too much different. A weird scenario, to be sure, but not totally impossible. Answering Laurel long after the thought's passed through her mind, Jasmine mutters, "They don't clone people, ya bleedin' idiot…" That said…how else does one explain this…?

—-

People are staring. But there's gotta be some interest there, too. They're not blind. It's pretty easy to see that two of the women in this cafe look almost identical.

"Think I hit m'head," Daphne says quietly, hand rubbing at her hair, which is now covered in smoothie. Sticky. Yuck. But she's more attentive to the fact that— "Y'don't call moi best friend an idiot, ya arse," she snaps, pointing, pushing herself up with one hand while trying to keep her feet from slipping out from under her. She does eventually succeed in standing; there's a janitor nearby who'd very much like to clean up the strawberry puddle on the floor, but Daphne's not budging. The anger, however, sort of dissolves into… Horror? That might be a decent word for it. Her eyes glance in Laurel's direction. Back at Jasmine. "Okay?" What the hell. Seriously. DID they clone her?

—-

There's her friend. There's her friend. Oh god, Laurel feels like she might faint this time. In order to keep this from happening, she does the most logical thing ever. She puts her camera bag on a nearby table and pulls it out. This must be documented. If it's not photographed, she won't be able to believe it later. Don't mind her. She whips out the camera like a professional (which she is) and starts taking pictures. Yes, this picturing includes her friends rather dishevaled appearance. "I'm not crazy— You're a clone or something. Gotta be." Totally. A clone with a different accent. Click. Click.

—-

"Wha', are ya truly fuckin' crazy?" Waaaaay to make a first impression, Jasmine. Even if she doesn't know the girl, or have any intention of actually meeting her at this point. "Ye got t'have pictures o'this? For what?" She talks a lot of smack for a girl about 130 pounds soaking wet, "I alre'y told ya, they don't clone /PEOPLE./ So put the bloody camera away, ain't no reason fer it."

—-

It's bad enough that Laurel's snapping photos. Daphne's used to this, though, because she's known Laurel for awhile now. What she can't tolerate is someone who looks like her calling her best friend crazy, and using really colourful metaphors to do it. There's really no warning before it comes; it's just a sort of smouldering look in Daphne's eyes just seconds before she hauls off and slugs her clone. Right in the face if she can. Notably, she's not usually violent, but at the moment, she's confused, covered in a strawberry smoothie, and also DEFENDING HER BEST FRIEND'S HONOUR.

—-

To put it lightly, Jasmine's been in this situation before. Hell, she remembers being in this situation just because she cheered for the wrong team as a kid. So when Daphne throws a punch, Jasmine…rather easily parries it. She doesn't bother trying to counterattack, she just pushes Daphne's punch out of the way and lets the momentum thereof take her. "I don't know what kinda game yer playin', but this is getting very annoying…"

—-

WHOA WHOA. Laurel puts her camera down— though not before she snaps a picture of the beginning of the brawl, and then she's running over to get between them as best she can't. "Don't fight!" It's an instinct. Suddenly there's an invisible wall right between her friend and the person who looks JUST LIKE HER. It doesn't fall down immediately on the first hit, either. It's invisible. She's not even really meaning to do it. Instinct to protect her friend. "Stop— please stop! We'll figure this out. Maybe it's— SOMETHING WEIRD HAPPENED OKAY." CLONING. REPLICATION. DUPLICATION. … long lost twin?

—-

Pushing the punch out of the way was, indeed, an excellent maneuver! Except Daphne's shoes are still wet, the floor is still slippery, and the momentum from the deflection causes her to lose her balance - again - fall, and crack her head on the seat of a chair. It's not anything lasting, thank god, but it's fairly painful, and for a few moments after, Daphne's seeing stars. She stretches out her foot, toe pressing against the wall that's now between her and the clone. Oh. God. If someone walks into that— The game is over. There's no way people aren't going to question a wall appearing that they can't see.

Thankfully, at this point, the shift manager appears. "All three of you, out of my store," he says in a New York accent, pointing toward the door. "Now, before I call the god-damned police. And if I ever see any of you back here again — for God's sake, you two are family. Take your feud elsewhere." And then he'll stand there and wait.

"Going," Daphne says painfully, again rubbing the back of her head as she stands again. Jeez, she's not only off her game today, she lost before she even began.

—-

Jasmine snorts a little bit at the manager's words, "Family?" Jasmine shoves her hands into her pockets, idly kicking her ball toward the exit and looking back at Daphne and Laurel curiously. For now, she's content to head toward the door. But once they're outside? There's gonna be words.

—-

When the crazy clone of her best friend turns towards the exit, Laurel needs a moment. Not to gather the camera, but to try and make her shield go away. Poof. Gone. Shoo. She waves her hand at it— and it's gone. Oh good. Now she can walk over and pick up and put away her camera. For later proof of this craziness. "Daphne, are you okay? Do you need to go to a hospital?" Make sure friend is okay second. "What's going on? You told me you didn't have any siblings, right? Long lost crazy cousin, maybe?" Who looks JUST LIKE HER. In the circumstances of the past monthes, clones sounds like a reasonable assumption. But first, they have to get outside. Before the cops are called.

—-

Family. Actually, Daphne's seriously starting to wonder about that, because This other girl looks just like her - except for glasses. "I'm fine. Fine." She rubs her head again, looks at her hand to make sure there's no blood, gives the manager a good glare, then heads for the exit. "I don't have any siblings," she also says quietly to Laurel; once they step out into the sun, blue eyes go straight to the clone. Like Jasmine, Daphne's totally sure that there's no way there's any possibility she could have been copied, but she's also sure that she doesn't have a twin sister. Admittedly? Decking her wouldn't have been her first reaction under normal circumstances, but you don't just— say things like Jasmine said to Laurel! Trying to see things from a different perspective, it must have been weird for a complete stranger to sit across from you, but still… Daphne? Pulls out her cell phone. Only one way to settle this!

—-

When Laurel and Daphne get outside, they'd find Jasmine setting their idly juggling her ball from foot to foot, as though she suddenly didn't have a care in the world. Admittedly, she is muttering to herself, something about "a single punch getting someone arrested in this country." She's not happy, and it's not only because Daphne tried to deck her.

—-

"Who are you calling?" Laurel has to ask, but at the same time, she looks towards the stranger— with her friend's face. They're all outside now, with no cops about to come and pick any of them up, but… she has to know. "Hey, what's your name?" Clone. Alien. Duplicate. Crazy rude person with friend's face. But— at least now she's asking for something sane rather than POINT CLONE.

—-

To call Jasmine suspiscious would be putting it lightly. She's got sight of Daphne on the phone and Laurel asking for her name after Daphne tried to slug her—she wouldn't be shocked if the phone was calling the cops anyway. Kicking the ball up to her hands, though, Jasmine takes the chance; who knows, maybe it's just a coincidence, "Jasmine." It's all she says. No need for a last name.

—-

She starts to dial the phone, but she can't stop looking over at Jasmine. It's a number she knows by heart - Mom and Dad. Daphne's not only angry at Jasmine, but at the idea - the very idea - that she's had an identical twin sister and somehow no one thought to tell her that. That's what Daphne's concluded… After all, she's seen movies like Parent Trap, she's watched Oprah enough to know that these things do happen. It's just that it's impossible to imagine them ever happening to you, and yet, here she is, looking at herself in a mirror. "Mum," she mutters to Laurel. The number's dialed, but she hasn't pressed send yet, and… Truthfully, she's kind of afraid of the answer she'd get. Why does it seem so normal to be able to have a chat with a gazelle, but completely out of the question for her to run into someone who looks exactly like her? This is impossible.

The phone snaps shut. She drops it back in her back pack and tosses the pack back over her shoulder. Daphne has way too much of a headache to be dealing with this right now, plus, she really needs a shower and a change of clothes. But… Jasmine. "I'm Daphne."

—-

But aren't there animals that look indentical too? It could happen, right? Jasmine. Daphne. "Okay— Um… Jasmine. I'm Laurel." Both plant names, go figure. "Laurel Halifax. I was born and raised here." But she's not the clone, right? "I'm a professional photographer— it's a habit to take pictures of things and— I'm sorry, but it was really weird, okay? You two look… so much alike. Don't sound a thing alike, don't act alike— I'm sure if I looked closely there's more differences than just glasses and hair, but…" She's rambling.

—-

For a while, Jasmine's not sure what to say. Normally, she's all about people. But in this case, not so much; she's already been kicked out of a coffee shop and nearly levelled, and know she's being told it might be because she's related to Daphne? Jasmine snorts again, spinning her ball on a finger as she seems to consider what to say next. And not much is coming to mind…

—-

"I'm stealing your camera," Daphne mutters, trying to wring strawberry ice cream out of her shirt and failing. She's going to have to walk home completely covered in this stuff, and it's a long walk, too! She understands habits. She understands the fact that Laurel likes to take pictures. She gets it. But that was almost too far. Almost. Admittedly, Daphne doesn't mind having some sort of documentation, too. "I'm…"

She also can't seem to think of anything to say. She's not calling her parents, she feels like she's covered in garbage, she's never going to get this stuff out of her hair, Jasmine is a jerk, Laurel— Is probably the only reason she's still sane, honestly. She doesn't need this. She'll wake up tomorrow, and this will have all just been some sort of crazy… Thing. "I'm going home," she finally states.

—-

"No you're not." Laurel says, though at first she's talking about her friend stealing her camera. Her camera is her lifeline! Take away her camera, take away her SOUL. Or similar. Anyway, it's important to her. No taking her camera. It's safely secured in her expensive camera bag anyway. Looking between the two, she's trying to figure out what's going on, why they look so similar. And then there's a strong hint that they're both going to end up bailing before they figure out what it is. NO WAY.

Moving in front of Daphne, she raises a hand and points it at her face. "Don't you dare. We're going to figure this out and we're going to figure it out right now. Jasmine? Can I see your— passport? ID, something? Daphne! You too. ID. Now." Don't make her boss.

—-

Jasmine quirks an eyebrow, smirking and pulling a wallet out of her back pocket. She pulls out a New York state driver's license, showing it to Laurel with a little flick of her fingers, not seeming…too enamored with the notion of figuring anything out at the moment.

—-

What. What. Since when did Laurel get bossy? Daphne, while she's trying to walk away, suddenly has a LAUREL IN HER FACE. Eyes cross as she looks at the pointed finger, she blinks, looks back at Jasmine - Jeez, it's like looking at herself. This is creepy and weird. She's always been an only child, and she certainly doesn't need someone who looks exactly like her running around in the city. "Fine. Fine, here." She unshoulders her backpack again, and rifles through it 'til she comes up with her drivers' license. This is held up to Laurel, with another scowl thrown Jasmine's way. Seriously, how dare someone have her FACE.

—-

Damn, even their pictures on their IDs look alike. Look, they both had the star-struck look! HAH. Laurel looks over both of them quickly, blinks, looks over them again.

Oh crap.

"November 20, 1982!" It's exclaimed loudly. Then she turns them around and shows them to Daphne first. LOOK. LOOK. "You have the same birthday. You're like— are either of you adopted!?" Seriously. This is better than being a clone. Unless someone's trying to single white female her friend and steal her identity, but then she'd not have her own name on the card, or all that other stuff.

—-

Jasmine quirks an eyebrow upward, "So we have the same birthday…s'what? A million different people got tha' birthday, don't mean nothin'." Jasmine hooks her thumbs in her pockets, looking over at Laurel with a little shrug. The question about adoption, though, raises an eyebrow again, "Adopted? Na' that I know of…"

—-

Adopted?! "Of course not!" Daphne says. Her parents would have told her, right? And mom always said what a hard pregnancy it was, so … there's just no way it could be Daphne. None. Unless they've been making all this up as they went along, but she's an adult now. Why wouldn't they tell her something like that? Something important like that?! That resentment, that frustration… Creeps up on her again, and she grabs her own ID back from Laurel. Except it's not hers, it's Jasmine's.

Which she stares at.

"I. Uh." Taking a few steps toward her clone, she holds out the license. "I'm sorry I tried to hit you," she says, eyes studying the other girl's face. It's too close to be coincidence. So either Laurel's right and Daphne's somehow been cloned, or she has a twin that no one told her about. "I think this is the part where we're supposed to hug and stuff, but I'm all sticky."

—-

"But there's not a million people with the same face! Come on— look at it!" Laurel holds out Daphne's license towards the other woman, which is exactly why her friend grabbed the wrong one. Two pictures side by side. They have the same birthday, the same face. One in a BILLION chance, right? Right. "I photograph people every day— take hundreds of pictures. I've probably taken the pictures of over a hundred thousand people, okay? No two had the same face unless they were twins or something."

—-

Jasmine takes both licenses from Laurel— a bit more bluntly than she intended, but still, she does so— and takes a minute to examine the pictures. Silently. And for the young Brit, SILENCE isn't something she's good at. "Fi'st off, ya ever point yer camera at me without m'permission, I'll do wo'se to it than just take it from ya." She taps a foot against the concrete, offering Daphne's license back to the other her, "Second, it could be coincidence…theh's four billion people on this planet. But…hahd t'think of that just…happenin'."

—-

It'd be way too much of a coincidence. Hell, no two snowflakes ever look exactly alike, and there's been way more than four billion of those in history, right? It's not unheard of for genetics to produce two people that look almost the same, but, yeah. It's hard to think of that just happening. "Could y'take off your glasses?" Daphne asks. Right now, she's not much worried about what does or doesn't happen to Laurel's camera. There have been times that Daphne wanted to find them all and HIDE THEM, but… "Give her a chance, she takes beautiful pictures." Pause. "Just. Not. Now." Pointed look toward Laurel.

—-

Oh, picture time! Laurel starts to reach for her bag before her friend suddenly interjects with 'not now'. What? She looks disappointed, and then takes her hands away from the camera bag. Okay, okay. "I thought you wanted me to take a picture with her glasses off," she defends herself, but does take a hint of a step back. It's a pretty big coincidence, really. "If it was just your faces, sure, but— same birthday too? That's a little much, okay?" It's like all those symbols she keeps finding in her pictures.

—-

Jasmine shrugs a bit, taking the glasses off and hooking them into one of her belt loops. She stands against the wall, not exactly posing for a picture unless Laurel's looking to take a picture of a slightly annoyed Brit with a soccer ball in one hand. She tucks her license into her back pocket again, "S'what're ya sayin'? I gotta sistuh I didn' know 'bout fuh twenty-some yeahs?"

—-

"Hey, I didn't know, either," Daphne notes, glancing toward the soccer ball. They even like the same sports. In fact, with Natalie having messed with her language centres, she's even more likely to call it football rather than soccer if she doesn't catch herself. "Look, do you want to figure out what's going on here? I can call up my parents - they're in the area, we can see if they know anything." And if not, then they can try Jasmine's.

It's also occured to her that if she's got an idential twin - which it does seem like - they might also… "This is going to seem like a really weird question, but…" She looks around, just to check. Just to be sure. The only one who's in hearing range as Daphne mutters to Jasmine is Laurel. "You can't… you don't…" She looks to her friend. HELP PLZ.

—-

"I dunno, maybe you're long lost siblings. Seperated at birth or something," Laurel ponders this. There's plots like that all the time on soap operas and made for TV movies. (And horror movies, and really bad scifi movies…) But there's something else that could be behind this. Aliens and all. Cloning! When her friend looks at her, she looks right back. Oh, OH. That— that is an interesting question. She looks at her, tilts her head curiously. "Hey, Jasmine, you wouldn't happen to— be— different than other people, right? Sing really loud, or— talk to bees. Maybe change your accent daily— or throw fire?" … These are NOT normal questions at all.

—-

Jasmine facepalms. Seriously, she actually slaps her face…with her hand. That's when the attentive might notice Jasmine's eyes sparking. Not shining…nono, not shining. SPARKING. She doesn't actually say anything about it, doesn't explain what she can do…but if you can't figure it out by SPARKY EYES, you don't get to know.

—-

It's hard not to notice when someone's eyes are sparking, seriously. But Daphne's never seen this before, this is new, her eyes don't do anything when she's talking to animals, at least she doesn't think they do. It's enough to make her take a step back, and a glance around to make sure no one actually saw that. Then? Big smile. A chuckle. "She can't be a clone. If she was a clone, she'd be able to do what I can do." Right? Then again, the fact that she could be a twin and not have the same ability is a little weird. Very weird, actually.

—-

Oh wow. She has the ability of sparking eyes! …Or maybe that's just a side effect. Laurel seriously is itching to grab her camera again, but she resists. Barely. "Right— not a clone." Just a freak like them! Mmmm. This is making her all thoughtful. Twins have different finger prints and stuff too— but of course they'd have the same gene to develop super abilities. Zappy things and so on. But… mmmmm. Science isn't her strongest subject. "Okay. So you could be related and we're all— different. But not a clone. Which is good. Clones get a bad deal in movies."

—-

The sparky eyes stop as quickly as they started. She starts to dribble the soccer ball more like a basketball, "S'how do we figure this out? I dunno why ya asked me that anyway, or what it solves…s'what from now?"

—-

"Because I wanted to know," Daphne says. As Jaz dribbles the ball, Daphne reaches out a leg and catches it in the crook between her shin and her foot, cushioning it enough so it doesn't bounce away in doing so. "Because I wanted to know if you could do something, too." The easiest way to explain it is to show, and after another quick look around, she looks past Jasmine, down the sidewalk, where a small flock of sparrows is arguing over someone's crumbs, and she holds out her hand. Laurel will probably find this familiar; one of the sparrows looks up, jumps into the air, and lands on Daphne's outstetched palm. "I don't know how we figure it out, but I think we should."

—-

Oh yeah, Laurel's used to it, but it's still interesting to see. Birds— animals of many kinds. Not insects, really, though. That's someone else's job. "Well— there's blood tests! That always figures things out. If your parents don't know anything." It could be some weird conspircy. …Oh man, these abilities are turning her into one of those paranoid geeks. "We're all weird. Mine's harder to demonstrate than yours, though, so— just trust me when I say it's lame. I walk into walls that aren't there a lot."

—-

Jasmine just sorta blanches at Laurel's somewhat babbly explanation of what can be done and how to describe her ability, looking over at Daphne and asking, "She always talk lahk that?" Jasmine smirks a little bit, quirking an eyebrow at Daphne's apparent soccer skill. One shoulder shrugs a little bit, looking between the two, "S', what, we go get blood drawn or someit, see what it says?" She doesn't look thrilled by the idea, but at the same time, there's a hint of curiousity in her eyes.

—-

Finally, there's a decent smile as Daphne chuckles. "Yeah, prety much, you get used to it." Said smile becomes uneasy again as the conversation once again catches up with her, as she looks up at Jasmine and sees her own face looking back at her. Jesus. She gets that vertigo feeling in her stomach again as she lofts the soccer ball up into her hand, the other one still cradling the sparrow. It seems comfortable enough there, anyway. "I dunno if we need to." They probably could. Hell, it'll probably tell them something definitive - either they're twins or clones of each other. "But I guess if… I mean, at least we're stalling asking our parents about it?" There's another glance at Laurel; Daphne holds out the sparrow to her friend, instead, almost offhandedly. "Laurel makes walls. Invisible ones. I'm still waiting for the day I walk smack into one."

—-

Jasmine sighs a little bit, thumbs still hooked in her pockets. She looks around for a moment, nudging the ball from its cradle and idly kicking it between her feet. Deciding to show that she has a sense of humor, she looks over at Daphne and says, "Jist promise me ya not a ManU girl…" The thought sends a shiver up her spine, visibly—probably exaggerated, but hey, she has to make a show of it.

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