2007-09-07: The Bugs Like To Gossip


Daphne_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif Rudyard_icon.gif

Summary: Peter makes it to the Bronx Zoo to give the message to Daphne, and it's explained to him. He hadn't understood it before. Then he tells her about the future. Also, he briefly meets her maybe-boyfriend and discovers that bugs actually gossip more than people do.

Date It Happened: September 7th, 2007

The Bugs Like To Gossip

The Bronx Zoo

It's moving towards the evening hours, but not dark yet, when Peter Petrelli drives up to the Bronx Zoo, parks, and heads to the main gate. He's not trying to pay to enter the Zoo— and good thing too because it's closing very soon, but waiting to meet a young woman who works there. He's carrying a backpack, one that doesn't fit his age or clothing at all. It's a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle backpack, like something a young child would carry around— a young child from the 80s. Looking around, he hopes to see the young woman he's meeting, glancing at his watch to check the time. He's not quite late. He's right on time.


Daphne's kind of messy-looking from a day on the job, but that happens, especially when you work with animals all day. She's actually the one who's a little late — ten or so minutes past the agreed time, though as she heads for where they said she'd meet, she looks over her shoulder. Rudy's around somewhere… She asked him to come, just in case. She's not sure if Peter's telling the truth or if he's become some kind of nut-job. It's New York… Really, either answer is possible. "Hi, hey, come on in," she says, waving to the person taking the tickets to let Peter through. It's nice and quiet farther into the park, so they'll have time to talk while just the animals are listening in. As she approaches, it's evident that she doesn't just look a little younger than two years into the future, but a lot. There's no scarring, no lines marking her face. And? She smiles. "Never thought I'd see you again."


Rudyard is indeed around the zoo. While Daphne was busy, he lingered by the insect exhibits and butterfly pavilion. Talking with the insects isn't doing much to distract the man's thoughts.. which center around getting up the nerve to kiss the young zookeeper. No idea where such a thought came from, other than he wants to and he's trying to tell himself it's a bad idea. Tearing himself from the exhibit, he returns to where Daphne should be, since she did ask him here for some odd reason.


"Thanks," Peter says, waving a hand towards the woman taking the tickets in a guilty fashion, before he hurries into the park and joins the young woman. She does look a lot better than she did the last time he saw her— which was two years in the future— but she looks closer to how he remembers her from the pet store. "Yeah— sorry. I kept meaning to call you, but things just… kept happening." And he forgets easily because he throws himself into so many different situations. Far too often. "But you…" he starts, when there's suddenly a man walking over to them and he trails off, looking at him. He never met the man, in the past or future, but meeting him in the present proves to be a sudden surprise headache. All of a sudden there's whispers in the air, from all directions. A hand goes up to his head. Is he accidently using the woman's ability? No… these don't sound like the rabbit from before… and…


OoOOoh wazzat! Necter! YAY! OMG itz bee man's lady again, let's haze her! no wai, he comin' leave her alone!



"You okay?" she asks. "Sunlight can get to you 'round here. But all the paths are shaded, c'mon." Daphne has no idea how long he's been standing in the sunlight, but he could probably use some water or something. There's a stairway somewhere where there's a drinking fountain; she leads him that way. There's also a place where they can sit down for awhile - always good when sudden headaches come calling.

Actually, she kind of wants to ask him what's up. A glance at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles backpack, though, and she decides she can wait.
Having no idea who Peter Petrelli is, Rudyard glances from Daphne to the man, then frowns at the exuberant insects. A little behind the pair, he follows after them wordlessly.


"It's not— I'm okay," Peter says, though when he looks up it's pretty clear he's not okay, because his eyes are narrowed as if he's suffering a sudden headache, and he looks towards 'bee-man' and— is suddenly bewildered again. Bee-man's lady? Haze her? There are bees around, and his eyes shift towards them, trying to follow them, but they move around a little too much. "The— the bees are… a little annoying?" he says in a sheepish voice. But he doesn't know who this man is, or that it's his ability— it could be a new aspect of her ability for all he knows, right? "Hi— I'm— Peter Petrelli," he offers, holding out a hand to the man.


"This is the guy who helped me save the rabbit," she says as she notes Rudy approaching. She must have mentioned the rabbit at some point, right? In any case… She doesn't wrap an arm around his or anything, but there's a semi-affectionate bump to Rudy's shoulder as he catches up.

Annoying bees?

"You can…?" She points upward, where a couple of the LOATHSOME INSECTS are flying. She doesn't like them very much, and it's Rudyard's fault, dammit. "Hear? Them?" Something she and Peter talked about on the phone comes back to her. Absorbing abilities. This is just a fluke, right? He can talk to animals, so maybe he can talk to bees. Who knows?


Rudyard offers a faint smile, "It can be a bit disconcerting, yes. I did not realize anyone else could communicate with them. I know Daphne has her talents with animals." He shakes Peter's hand, giving the man a cautious look. "Rudyard Thorpe." The semi-affectionate bump from Daphne earns a curious glance to the woman.


Since she talks so freely about abilities, Peter gets the idea that this man knows of it— and then learns why a moment later. There he is shaking the man's hand and he can't help but smile faintly— even with the bees and the butterflies whispering in the back of his head. "Well, now I can, I guess. I explained this to Daphne earlier— I absorb the abilities of others— the people I meet. Thanks to her I can talk to pigeons sometimes— now I guess I can talk to their dinner too." It's meant almost as a joke, but… "Nice to meet you, Mr. Thorpe." There's a pause. Once he has his hand back he looks towards the woman, with the affectionate exchange. Mmm… "There's a lot that we need to talk about…"


Daphne actually winces when Peter states that he can talk to 'their dinner.' "He- " Is. Actually kind of fond of the little buggers, but she doesn't say that. This is partially why she and Rudy didn't get along at first, because Daphne is of the general opinion that bugs are A) for smashing, and B) for feeding to snakes and turtles. Not for conversations. "Yeah, hey, Rudy, I'm gonna talk to Peter for awhile." She's not saying anything on that sponging of Rudyard's ability. Not yet anyway, since, for all Daphne knows, it could be some kind of extension of her own, or Peter's. "You wanna stay close?" The look she gives him would be priceless if it wasn't such an odd situation. It says volumes: If he tries anything, you have my permission to attack him with every bee you can find.


"I see.." Rudyard says, sound skeptical. He's just learning about others with abilities, different kinds, different people. It remains incredibly foreign to him. A thoughtful frown forms on his face as he looks towards Peter. "Talk about what, Mr. Petrelli?" He doesn't know the man, he has no idea what's going on, what's transpired. His attention casts down at Daphne, and he looks at her, clearly puzzled. ".. Very well.." He doesn't really want to be cast to the side, especially after this ominous bit of setup.


"Sorry," Peter says, realizing he probably insulted the man. He wonders if meeting someone who could somehow talk to plants would have much the same effect? He doesn't eat meat, which includes insects, but if he suddenly finds out that plants don't want to get eaten either, they might have some issues. "I— I'm sure Daphne can explain when we're finished, but… you can probably listen in if you want. Only reason I'd want you a little further away is… it's hard to explain with a bunch of bees talking in the back of my head." More distance between them, the better for him, right? Moving aside with Daphne, he pulls out his wallet first and searches for something. It's a small slip of paper, a receipt from a store, which he hands forward. "Future you gave this to me. I'm honestly not sure why. She wanted me to keep her— you— from making a mistake. It had something to do with a friend and… being on different sides in what I'm trying to keep from happening."


Daphne offers Rudyard an apologetic look. She trusts him, but she's also trying to take into consideration the fact that Peter's already kind of said something he might not like, and… "I will. Promise," she says, taking the piece of paper. Future her? The idea makes her laugh, until she reads the date and the word on the paper. Then she frowns; only one person could possibly know the significance of this, and it's her. She never told anyone. The words 'how do you know this' are on her lips, and she does open her mouth to say them, but he's already told her he's from the future - so. Stupid question. Slipping over the receipt, she finds it dated for 2009.

"This is…" Daphne looks at the paper for another couple seconds, before looking up to Peter. It obviously means something, but she's still not saying what. "I want you to put yourself in my shoes. Say I came up to you and told you that I visited the future. You'd think I was crazy, right? Okay, so you heard the bees, you have this… How do I know? What… friend?" The date has nothing to do with any friend. However, it's made her more open to listening what Peter's telling her. Eventually, she repeats: "How do I Know?"
Rudyard isn't insulted.. just confused. He glances to Daphne, staring just a little longer than he should before he backs off as requested. If Peter can absorb, that's just /weird/, then it makes sense that the entomologist should keep his distance.


"Actually it happened to me once before— last year," Peter explains. "Course it was a bit more believable since he stopped time in the middle of a crowded subway when he told me he was coming from the future, but…" Pulling the bag around, he unzips it and opens it up. He only brought a few things with him from the future, but one of the many things he brought… was a pair of Bronx Zoo work clothes, like something people assigned to clean up the animal cages would wear, complete with the badge and the right colors. "I know it sounds crazy, and there's probably no way even this will prove it, but… this was actually my last pair of clothes in the future— you gave them to me, right here. Well— not right here, but… it was closer to the vet clinic— which is that way," he points. Most regular visitors don't see it, but he has a good direction sense now. You had to with the snakes laying in wait for hapless visitors.


Now stopping time would be an excellent way to convince her. But the date on the paper is almost enough; Daphne looks down at it again, then at Peter. "We don't even have that uniform yet. We're not getting them 'til October." It looks used, worked-in. She can't actually be believing this, can she.

The hand holding the paper drops to her side. "This is the date my grandfather died," she says. Lots of people know that, but the 'Don't' written underneath it isn't something she'd ever told anyone. And the funny thing is, she thought that if she were to have anyone leave a secret message for her - or something - this would be the key. She just didn't expect that the message would come for herself, in the future. "You ever have those dreams that seem real? I got a chance to say goodbye. I told him that I felt guilty about not spending more time with him, and this is what he said." Don't. "It's the only thing he said the whole dream. And? It's her writing. Definitely her writing.

"I don't think you came here to spend the whole time convincing me, though." The paper goes back into her pocket, and there's a glance in Rudyard's direction, a nod. Everything's okay. "So, what did you have to tell me?"


"Oh, well— I guess it's probably not a good idea to return it, then," Peter says, stuffing it back into the bag and pulling it over his shoulder again. The bag is also from the future, but it was a hand-me-down. And only one person might understand it. He hasn't had a chance to meet with her, yet. "Oh," he says when she explains the use of the date, and the keyword. He honestly didn't understand what it was, but he does allow her to keep it. "I— have had a dream like that, yeah. Not exactly, though…" There were no apologies made in his dream. For all he knows, she might have actually spoken to her grandfather. Such abilities do exist. He reaches forward, as if to touch her upper arm, but hesitates.

There's a bee making rude comments. And a butterfly telling him to find his own woman.

It's just a touch! Geez…

Letting his hand drop away, he nods, "Basically there's… a lot of bad things that might happen. I'm going to try to stop them from happening— that's why I went to the future, to find out what's going to go wrong, but…" He glances towards the bee-man, and then back at her. "I honestly don't know how much you can help, but I know you will— because you helped out a lot then." How to explain this?

"If I can't stop what happens, there will be a tornado in Midtown that will destroy a good portion of the city. This tornado will tell everyone about us— those of us with special abilities— and a war will start after that. Between them and us."


Daphne is not privy to the insect conversation, so she gives Peter an odd look when he raises his hand, then when he pulls it away again. "So basically I wrote myself a note in the future, so that I wouldn't think you were crazy." There's the hint of a smile, but she's far more serious than she was before. It sounds crazy, but so does talking to animals. So does talking to bees, or screaming loud enough to break glass, or making forcefields or lightning appear from your fingers. It's all insane. "Yeah, you're right, I will," she says.

Because when she gets right down to it, there's too much proof standing right in front of her to just go with her gut instinct and dismiss Peter as crazy. She could walk away - she's even thinking about it right now, but she'll feel bad if she does so and this tornado happens. Her parents aren't like her, they don't have abilities. Of course, there's her … clone-slash-twin who does, which is something she hasn't even thought about yet, because it's too complicated. So either she helps and possibly sets herself up to be the butt of some elaborate joke, or she walks away and potentially puts the world at risk. Not a hard choice, in the end.

Them and us.

"You mentioned a friend, someone on the other side," she says. "Who?"


There's a long pause where Peter tries to remember the details of the conversation. A lot happened in the future, right before and right after, but he does remember some details. "You had a friend, a woman— she joined the side of the government after the war, joined up with the President of the United States, who declared that all those who weren't Evolved— like us— were inferior. Normal people were put into camps, segretated, experimented on… I don't know how much people were aware of these things outside of the resistance. The news articles that I saw from the government made it look better than it really was. But your friend… she worked for them."

There'd been a name, but he's having a difficult time remembering it. "I know she was close enough that you considered her like a sister. She— was killed in this future. I don't know how— it sounded like an accident, but you were upset about it. I think you— she— wanted me to keep that from happening, even if the whole world still falls apart. Make sure you end up on the right side."


Evolved? THAT'S what they call it? Daphne makes a face as he says the word. "I don't think I know anyone who'd do that," she mutters. It's when he says that she's close enough so that Daphne considers her a sister that her expression turns incredulous. "Laurel?" she questions. No, it can't be. There's a long time between now and whenever this future is. Doubtlessly, Daphne made some other sister-like friend … No. Not likely at all.

Laurel working on the wrong side, though, seems impossible. It's just something the girl would never do. Even if she's a strong person, she's too… mild? That's a good word for it, to involve herself with people who did stuff like Peter's describing. Not Laurel. Never.

Well, message received, in any case. If Peter's intention was to shake Daphne up a bit, he certainly managed that. She scuffs her toe against the shaded walkway, which is becoming darker as the sun sets lower. "Doesn't sound like a very happy future," is mumbled quietly.


"That might've been the name. A lot was going on, and I didn't get to write everything down," Peter admits, looking sheepish and bothered by that. It meant a lot to her, after all, but his brain can only take in so much information. The woman she's talking about probably wasn't included on the files, though, which is a shame, so it's hard to know if he'd have had any way to help him remember, besides… yeah, that sounds like the name.

"It wasn't a very happy future, no— but there were some good parts." Like… she was married and expecting a child. He accidently sends this message to the butterflies and the bees, and they have a very interesting reaction, that, while Daphne may not hear it, the bug-man may wonder exactly why they're suddenly talking about bug-man's larva, caterpillars and pollen. And the bees are meaner about it.

"But a majority of it was pretty bad. Right now I don't know what I could ask you to help with, but— there's some people you might want to talk to." He reaches back into the bag and pulls out a small envelope. "This has the address of a clinic called Bat Country. The woman who runs it, Cass Aldric… she's kind becoming an expert in all things Evolved. She's helping me practice my abilities, teaching me how to control them. She might be able to help you too."


Might have been. What the hell could have happened to make Laurel join up with bad people? It's worth considering, in a way. Daphne's not sure if she'll believe all this tomorrow, but… She takes the envelope. Cass. Aldric. Sounds familiar… She sees lots of people daily, but— "Oh, Cass! I know Cass. I met her once. She came to the zoo." Daphne wouldn't remember the name if not for Lachlan growling at her about the dogs and everything, and she knows Lachlan has the same ability as she does, so Cass can't be too bad, right? Daphne opens the envelope, looks at the address. Bat country, huh?

"So now that you know how to stop this all from happening, it's easy, right?" Maybe she's a little naive, but really, she's just more hopeful than anything. She doesn't want to butt heads with her best friend, she doesn't want a tornado to destroy Midtown; she likes her life as it is, even if half the things she knows are huge secrets now.

And Daphne's still not part of the conversation that Peter's having with the bugs. If she were, it'd probably scare her away from all this! A baby? She's not even near ready for a baby. Marriage? She doesn't even really have a boyfriend yet. "Th— " she starts, looking down at the address before tucking it, and the slip of paper Peter gave her, into her pocket. "I guess even if you mess it up this time, you can go back and try again. Must be a handy trick to have."


Daphne may not have caught the conversation, but Rudyard has. Some bugs are gossipy little buggers. There's a stab of envy he can't express. He flashes a look towards Peter, it's not unfriendly, or friendly, just.. well.. it's a /look/.


"Somehow, I'm not surprised," Peter says with a hint of a lopsided smile. "I met you before all this happened too— and we'll probably find more people in common as time goes by." It's a big city, people aren't supposed to run into each other this often but… destiny is bringing all of them together. "I don't think it works that way," he says with a hint of a smile, though he knows he could try to go back in time and drop clues to fix things that went wrong. Maybe he could even go back and change it all together, but… "If nothing else we should know enough to make things better than they were, even if we can't fix everything."

A complete change of the future should be possible, if they stop the tornado, but even if they fail… small changes may make the future a little more bareable.

"She might be able to help your friend too, if he needs it. I don't know how much help either of you need— my ability is more unstable. I… there's some people I'm not even allowed to meet because it might be too dangerous for me to be around them." That only comes up because he's a little sad about being kicked out of the Gomez house because of two of their children having scary powerful abilities that the family doesn't want him to have. And he can't particularly blame them, but it still hurts.

"Until I figure out everything, I don't really have much else to tell you." Except that you're going to get married and have babies with someone he doesn't know— maybe that guy who talks to bugs. The gossiping bugs draw his eyes. She's not having babies with me. That's one assurance he can give. It was definitely someone else. …Maybe even bug-man. He doesn't know. He never met her husband.


"Well, can you and I meet before another decade?" she asks. Joking, kind of, but at the same time, Peter seems to know Things, and Daphne likes to know Things, especially when they concern a future that's less than favourable if they don't do anything about it. It's one of those situations where the more she knows, the more… well, she's not sure what she can do, but at least she'll know.

"Well, at least what I can do isn't gonna bring New York down around us. Unless there's a stampede or something, I… Never really considered it." She pauses, looks at Peter, looks at the rhinos as they pass… Nah. "C'mon, I'll walk you to the gate. They'll shut us in if we don't. Rudyard?" She looks back over her shoulder at him, waves for him to follow. She's… deceptively calm about this, but it's bothering her. Or, rather, bugging her, with so many bees about. Actually, leading Peter toward the gate is half a way to get rid of him so she can have a chat with Rudy about what he just told her. It's not that Daphne doesn't like Peter, but that's a lot to process, and the verdict's still out on whether or not any of this is even true.

What about Laurel? What about her parents? The zoo? The question 'what if this COULD happen?' keeps going through her head.


The insects relay back to Rudyard, and he does stop staring at Peter. A glance is made towards Daphne, it's brief, as if he's trying to not stare at her. At her request, he nods his head and falls into step, walking just a little behind Daphne.. then reaches a hand forward to grasp hers in his.


"Of course we can meet again," Peter says, nodding towards the evelope he handed her. "My address and the place I work are also included in there. Enlightenment Books. It's an interesting place if you ever want to stop by." But if he'd given her this before she believed him, she'd think he's one of the many crazies who wander into the store looking for the truth about UFOs or ESP. And he's actually able to do some of those things. "Thank you, for listening. I'll give you a phone call once I find out something that you can help with, but I'm honestly not very good at delgating this kind of thing, yet. Not in a super hero group." Justice League, this is not.

He pauses. "I might give your phone number to someone in the future, though, if you don't contact people. There's someone who's helping me with delegation— his name is Ramon Gomez. If he calls you, I'll tell him to mention the receipt so you know that he's the real deal."

With that, he'll probably head out the gates, so he doesn't get locked inside. He spent enough nights in the Zoo in the future. It was kind of creepy, even if it was safe.


It's kind of unexpected. Of course, Daphne hasn't heard one word of the insects' easing, and so she doesn't know that this is half-prompted by jealousy. As Rudyard takes her hand, she turns around to meet his eyes. Confused? A little. It's just that the way they met wasn't particularly stellar…

Her fingers wrap around his.

No fireworks, no passionate kiss or declaration or love letter, it's just that quiet acceptance, and that's enough.

"I'll see you around, then," she says, reaching out her other hand to give Peter's arm a quick, friendly pat before he heads for the gate. Ramon Gomez - she'll remember the name, but she'll write it down just in case. Still… "I'll try to stop in and see Cass Aldric as soon as I find the time." End of summer's a fairly busy time around the zoo, in classes, and… This is probably important enough where she should make time. Maybe Daphne's just having a little bit of denial.


Continued: Not Completely Awkward

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