2007-05-20: What Time Is It When An Elephant Sits On Your Lachlan?

(Time to get a new Lachlan.)

Starring:

Lachlan_icon.gif Daphne_icon.gif

Summary: Daphne and Lach talk about dead puppies and their powers out in the open where everyone can hear them. But it's okay, because no one can understand a word they're saying anyway.

Date It Happened: 20 MAY 2007

What Time is it when an Elephant Sits on your Lachlan?


Bronx Zoo

The worst thing about having an accent is that if you don't think about consciously changing your speech, you don't. And considering it's been some time since she was struck with it, Daphne's actually kind of getting used to it, even if she kind of gets a chill and freaks herself out ever time she opens her mouth, she just never thinks about not /just talking./ And, having decided to come to work after some confidence-boosting with her best friend, Daphne's managed to convince her fellow zoo employees that she's not insane, just… acting. Yeah.

She's still not over the death of the youngest pup. In fact, she's standing just inside the wall of the wild dog enclosure, on the other side of an electrified trench, just watching them. They know, but they get over things a lot faster, because they can find comfort in the group. It… wasn't anything /they did wrong./ That's what the necropsy said, at least. She was just too weak to survive.

—-

As he's been prone to do lately, Lachlan's decided to drop by the zoo to check on the wild dogs. One never knows when the evil zoo idiots will do something stupid, after all, and he really likes being around puppies anyway. Puppies have a whole different signature than grown-up dogs, and especially so when they're not a domestic breed. Thus he appears outside the wild dog enclosure and peers down at the pack, just a casual observer to those who don't know what he can do — which would be everyone but Daphne. And oh hey, there's Daphne! He can see her down there. He doesn't pay much mind, though — at least not until it becomes apparent that the five little puppy voices are actually four now. The Scotsman frowns a bit, double- and triple-checking just to be sure, but it's quite clear that his signals are not mixed up. Well. He lets out a loud whistle to get the zookeeper's attention. "Oy!" he calls. "Where's the other one?"

—-

It's funny. She's actually been dreading telling /Lachlan/ of all people about the last puppy - the little girl who never really caught up with the others. She didn't expect to see him the day /after/ the pup died, though; when she hears him, she looks up, holds up a hand to indicate that she'll be up there in a minute. She's not going to shout back and forth. The pups are still in the den with mum, but she knows he can hear them. She can, too.

It's about five minutes before she gets up to the surface. Would have taken less time, except she's been trying to figure out what to tell him. In the end, when she does meet up with the Scotsman, the answer to his question is just written all over an ashen, tired face. "Didn' make it," she says, clear Australian accent definitely present.

—-

While Daphne takes her sweet time coming up to the surface to talk, Lachlan tries to glean clues of the pup's whereabouts from the other dogs. What he gets, though, are simple explanations — why would he get anything else? All he can garner is that the pup is gone. For all he knows, the staff took it out for one reason or another. Either way, it's not looking good. By the time Daphne finally arrives, he's already braced himself for some bad news, and he gets the /worst/ news. His face contorts into a frown — a rather devastated expression, almost as though Daphne just informed him that his /own/ dog had died. "Oh," is all he manages to say, casting a glance over a the enclosure again. He remains silent for a few uncomfortable moments before he finally gives a nod toward the pack. "They're takin' it well."

… hey, wait a minute. Something clicks, and Lachlan glances at Daphne again, puzzled. "'Re ye a'righ'?" She … sounds funny.

—-

"Yeh, they are," she says quietly. "'alf of 'em barely knew 'er. Mum was pretty pr'tective at the best of times. She's pretty tore up," Daphne says, leaning back on the enclosure's rock wall. Thinking Lachlan is asking how she's coping with the pup's loss, which is surprisingly considerate coming from this guy, she shrugs. "'Eard her die, Lachlan. I was theh'. She didn' unnerstand what was 'appnen to 'er. Then she jes'… stopped."

Something does sound wrong, though. Maybe it's because she's talking to someone who actually has an accent normally that she doesn't note right away the fact that she's /talking wrong./ Then her eyes go wide as she looks at him. Oh, /CRAP./

Since watching the movies yesterday, she's picked up a little American again. "…Okay, you're not going to believe this," she says. Despite her efforts, there's still an Australian accent there.

—-

Blink. Blink. /Stare/. Is … did … that … Daphne was /not/ talking like that before. Lachlan can do nothing but gawk silently when she spouts off her new accent. The words she says almost don't register, so surprised is he. If it were /Scottish/, he might be offended, but she's about half a world off and therefore Lachlan is just shocked. And a bit amused. He crosses his arms over his chest and awaits the explanation, eyebrows lifting expectantly.

—-

Well, at least she can take everyone's mind off the /dogs/ for a second. Sheesh. This is going to be surprisingly easy to explain to Lachlan, considering the fact that he might understand it. Yeah, irony. Rolling blue eyes, Daphne turns back to the dogs, adopting her Irwinesque speech once again, since it's already too late to hide it. "Was upset o'er the pup doi'in," She says quietly. "Took it ou'on this nerd gel walkin' through where she shouldn'a been. She…" Is an ass, and Daphne's going to kill her if this is permanent. "She changed me voice. Don' laugh, 'r I'll 'ave an elephant stomp you. Swear t'God."

—-

Oh, Lachlan is trying /very/ hard no to laugh. /Very very hard/. And he … he /mostly/ manages. Mostly. There's a little snrrrrrrrksnickering and lip-biting. And … and … was that a giggle? Yes. Yes it was. The Scotsman covers his mouth with a hand, but the pent-up laughter is audible and it's /definitely/ visible in his eyes. Oh-ho! Oh-hohoho!

—-

Daphne's trying very hard not to haul off and slug the guy; the only thing that stops her is the fact that he'd probably mop the floor with her, or something. Yes, for all that he can talk to dogs, he is a very scary dude. Her reaction? Is to look over her shoulder, and a few seconds later, they'll both hear the very distinct sound of an elephant trumpeting ANGRILY. And Daphne just looks at Lachlan and smirks.

—-

/Snrksnrk/. /Snickersnicker/. /Hahahah/— oh sh— ! That elephant trumpeting /does/ make Lachlan jump a bit and glance around in a rather paranoid fashion. Hey, last time he talked to her, Daphne made a camel spit on him. He wouldn't put it past her to make an elephant step on him. But no. The elephants are safely in their enclosures. The Scotsman straightens up a bit and gives the zookeeper a scowl. /Hardee-har-har/. She's so not funny. "Yeah, well, y'sound like tha' guy on TV. One tha' died few months back." So he's entitled to laugh. He thought Steve Irwin was funny.

Growing a little more solemn, though (and speaking of deaths), he looks toward the wild dogs again and frowns. "S'no' easy hearin' 'em pass on like tha'," he notes in a low voice. "S'worse when yer in their heads, though. S'a lot worse then. Really fucks up yer head." He speaks from experience, of course.

—-

Laugh it up, Lachlan. Daphne's fairly satisfied with the result when Lachlan jumps, sending a <thanks, well done!> to the elephant who obliged her odd request. Would she really have an elephant stomp him? Not really likely. She might have been a bit of a bully once upon a time, but she's not particularly violent.

"'Er makin' fun o' Steve Irwin is whuh' got me into this mess," she mutters. That's kinda part of what set her off, at least. Also calling her 'Animal Planet' wasn't too nice, but by then, it was already a little too late. "She also said tha' she 'ad better thing t'do than take care of a bunch er' stupid dogs." Daphne sniffs, then adds, "So this? Well worth it fer standin' up for 'em. They— " She gestures to the dogs, "Couldn' do it theirselves."

Remembering how she sounded is just… Extremely difficult. Daphne looks down. "I 'eard 'em go b'fore. Never so young, tho'. She was jes' the sweetest thing, too. Nothin' we coulda' done, though. T'was the way she was born."

—-

Well, despite her camel-spitting and elephant-threatening, Daphne just went up a few notches on Lachlan's List Of Nice People, simply for standing up for the dogs. See? She's a good person. She passes the Dog Test. He nods along with what she says, his gaze fixed on the dogs below as he listens. "M'dad used ta raise Dobermans, yanno. Wasna able ta talk ta 'em yet when he did, but sometimes a pup'd die. 'M glad I dinna know how ta talk ta 'em then. Sometimes, though, ye hear strays outside 'r somethin', an' tha's near as bad." He hates listening to strays. It's why he's always tried to have a dog to act as a buffer.

—-

"So you c'n get in their 'eads, too?" she asks, remembering something he said previously. She's not sure she'd like that very much, though she can't say it wouldn't come in handy. "I wonner if you could talk t'other animals, too. I mean, you bein' 'round dogs, mebbe tha's why ye can only talk t'dogs." She can talk to everything with a pulse, but she can't control them.

Anyway, since she's been able to do this, she just can't bring herself to eat meat. It's a huge change; she used to love a hamburger now and then, but not anymore. "I go' me own li'l zoo at 'ome," she says. "Cats, dogs, rabbits. Go' parrots, too. They talk back so's other people c'n 'ear." She laughs at that. "Don' get too many strays 'round where I am. Good thing; I'd prolly take 'em all in."

—-

Lachlan nods once again. "When I do it, though, s'like I'm no' in m'body anymore, so s'no' a good idea ta do it 'less yer in a safe place 'r yer in big trouble an' tha's yer only way out." Otherwise people can come along and do all sorts of things to one's unconscious body, and Lachlan wouldn't want to get killed while he's off lolly-gagging as a dog. "Dunn 'bout talkin' ta other animals. Mebbe. M'girl says wouldna hurt ta try, but I dunno where ta start. S'no' like I /learned/ how ta talk ta dogs, yanno. Just happened s'all. An' it was way back when I was just a boy, so s'no' like I can remember much o' it anyway."

—-

"Tha's kinna weird," Daphne says, though she doesn't think it's horrible or anything. Actually, she's pretty interested, though she can see how it'd end up being a problem. "Trus' me, it takes awhile t'do. Couldn't talk t'reptiles n' such at first. Now I c'n say stuff to 'em, can 'ear 'em, but I never know when they'll respon'. They each 'ave… I'unno. I'd call it a language. Mi' be you just picked up on Dog n'aven't been list'nin' to th'rest."

Oh. And that reminds her for some reason - "I think I met yer sis the other day. Megan? Nice gel? Was jes' sittin' in Starbucks n' me parrot decided she wan'ed t'say hullo." She pauses. "Sed y'were good with dogs. Din't know if she knew you could— y'know." Daphne looks around, just to make sure no one's listening in. "Talk to 'em."

—-

Makes sense, a little. He's always been close to dogs, so maybe picking up on their so-called 'language' was just simpler for him than, say, cats. Still doesn't help the issue of where Lachlan should start as far as learning other animals, but who knows? Might be useful. He can tell Cass about it and see what she thinks (because she's the one that does most of the thinking in this relationship, obviously).

The mention of Megan surprises Lachlan yet again, and he shoots a look at Daphne to convey such. "Oh. Yeah, s'm'sister. She knows. She's first one I tol' when I started." However big it may be, this city just seems to get smaller and smaller.

—-

"Kinna figured you two were related." It was the accent, the mention of dogs, it just all fit together, and, yeah, it was way too coincidental to be real. There must be thousands of people in the city with an Scottish accent, and she met Lachlan's sister. OUT OF EVERYONE. "Yeh, I was surprised, too, trus' me. She sed I was good with Raptor, n' that 'er brother was good with dogs. Jes' clicked."

"Good t'know y'ave someone in the fam'ly you can talk to 'bout it," she says. "I'm an only child. Can' tell me parents. Don't think they'd unnerstand. Me bes' friend has an ability, too, tho'."

—-

"Nah, dunna think there's parents out there'd understand somethin' like tha'." /His/ certainly wouldn't. Megan only understood because she's so close to him. Buuut, well … Lachlan knows they're not all exactly alone out there either. Sure, he used to think so, but lately? Not so much. "S'plen'y o' us out there, though. Ye should talk ta m'girl sometime. Cass— " oh bloody hell, what's his girlfriend's last name? He squints in concentration. "— Aldric's 'er name. She's doin' some sort o' thing. Settin' up a place ta help people like us figure out wha' we can do an' such."

—-

"Cass. Wuzzat the gel you were with th'first time y'yelled at me 'bout the dogs?" she asks with a chuckle. Daphne kind of finds it amusing now more than anything, since it seems she and Lachlan are on decent terms now. "M'findin' that out, though, that there's more o' us than I though'. I mean, what'r the odds I'd pick th'one person to argue with that could change me bloody voice." Words have crept into her dialogue that she's never said before, and she barely even notices she's saying them. Really, if she wasn't so angry, she'd think it was kind of cool. It's incredibly thorough, at least. "Well, I c'n give ya my number, if ya want. S'good to have some connections. 'Sides, I gotta teach you 'ow t'talk to other animals."

—-

It's still a little funny that Daphne talks like a wonder from Down Under, but of course Lachlan wouldn't say this aloud unless he was well out of range of elephants. It's that last bit that has him grinning like a kid at Christmas. "Yeah? Y'would?" Cass said she'd help, but … well, Cass doesn't talk to other animals, and she's got a lot on her plate anyway. A little extra help from Daphne couldn't hurt, right? The Scotsman rummages about in his pockets for something, pulling out first a pack of cigarettes, then stuffing them back down and drawing up a cell phone. Yes, that's what he was looking for. That is flipped open and he navigates to his contacts menu whilst simultaneously digging around in the opposite pocket for something else. This sort of search could take weeks if he's wearing a jacket, but he finally manages to withdraw a business card. He gave one to Daphne previously, but obviously he's forgotten. "G'on then."

—-

"Yeh, why not. S'always good t'know I'm not tot'ly insane," she states. Someone else who can talk to animals - all animals, not just dogs - would help her out, as well, just with not feeling so alone. "Dunno 'ow I'm gonna do it, but we'll figure somethin' out, eh?" And that business card she got was probably thrown away somewhere. Or on the floor of her car. Daphne doesn't have too much of a temper, but it's enough.

"Is 283-1337," she says, pronouning the numbers carefully. She's pretty aware that she's hard to understand now that she's actually thinking about it. Hopefully next time she talks with Lachlan, she'll be back to normal. "Any'ow, gimme a call sometime. Can meet at my 'ouse, I got a tonne o' animals." Pause. Wait. "Bring Cass if y'like, since y'wanted t'introduce me anyway."

—-

Oh yeah. Yeah, it would be a really good idea to invite Cass along. Lachlan still doesn't trust himself to be alone with one woman unless it's Cass (and hey, he's not exactly trustworthy with /her/ either). Daphne's intentions are probably the purest of the pure, but that doesn't mean Lachlan's brain is wired entirely toward 'monogamy' just yet. He inputs the number in his contacts, squinting at the display screen, then passes over his card. "'N case ye need ta talk ta me 'r wha'ever. 'Ll talk ta Cass an' see when's a good time." There's that grin again. Hee! And then he glances around. "Better get goin'. Uh. Lemme know if anythin' happens with the rest o' 'em, would ye?" He jerks his head toward the wild dog enclosure.

—-

She's met Cass in passing before, but it wasn't under the greatest of circumstances, and Daphne did kind of storm away. ANYWAY. "Aw'righ. The other pups are doin' really well, so's I don't think there's much t'worry 'bout, but I'll letcha know. Take care, mate." She winces, sighs. She'd managed not to say /that/ yet, but there's a first time for everything.

—-

Back the phone goes into Lachlan's pocket and the corners of his lips twitch awkwardly as he fights back another grin — and this one not of the kid-at-Christmas variety. It's the har-har-har variety. /Mate/. /Snrk/. "Yeah, an', uh, good luck with the, uh— " he waves his hand vaguely somewhere in the vicinity of his mouth to indicate Daphne's new speech … impediment. Sure, that. "— thanks. Take care o' yerself." And with that, he's turned and set off back toward the zoo's entrance. He manages not to snicker all the way there.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License