2007-04-23: Wrong Answer

Starring:

Victor_icon.gif Daphne_icon.gif

Summary:

Victor and Daphne and Victor run into each other at the Bronx Zoo! Victor is an idiot. Daphne and Victor discover each others' powers! A number is exchanged for a book title.

Date It Happened:

April 23rd, 2007

…Wrong Answer!


Bronx Zoo

It's winding down toward closing time at the Bronx Zoo now. Since the weather's warmer, it's open slightly longer, though it's always closed by 5:00 during the week. It's a little easier on the animals, and the keepers who have to clean up after them. However, with about a half hour left and the human population of the zoo thinning a bit, Daphne's outside the aviary with a very large bird perched on her arm. She knows he won't hurt anyone, though /how/ she knows that it her secret to keep. Generally, the birds allow themselves to be handled, though, so it's little concern. The bird is a golden eagle; while she won't allow the patrons to touch him, she's taking a few questions as people go by, and by the heavy glove on her hand, the reason is pretty clear /why./ He can do a lot of damage if he gets angry.

Victor is wandering around the Bronx Zoo today, for some reason - judging by the camera in his hands, with a strap around his neck, it's to take pictures, even though this is definitely not a regular haunt for him.

Stopping by Daphne, he tilts his head in a bit of a naive wide-eyed wonder at the huge bird. "Wow," he says. "A… A golden eagle?"

The bird chirps, which is an odd sound coming from such a large creature. Daphne rubs the feathers on his chest, though, with the non-gloved hand. "Yep. This is Ox. He weighs about ten pounds, and he's just under ten years old." Not too old for a captive bird, but a decent age for the species. "He's pretty calm," she adds unnecessarily, since it's pretty obvious by the fact that the bird's leaning into her scratching that he's enjoying himself.

Victor reaches out to Ox, meaning to scratch his chest himself, mainly because Daphne did say that he was calm, right? But, he reminds himself, it's also still a wild animal. Unfortunately.

"So how long have you been working here?" It's always cool to make friends, right? Even if she looks like she's probably five or six years older than he is.

While Victor's talking with Daphne, another Victor is walking around aimlessly, camera-less. He was sent off to 'have fun' - the best job for a replica, of course - and he decided on his own that he hadn't gone to the zoo in a while!

Of course, by the time he got there, that "while" had been about five minutes, and the cashier was very confused by the strange sense of deja vu she experienced.

Victor's walking by the bird house right now, though eh doesn't spot himself - but they're wearing the same clothes, a purple polo that can easily stand out, with jeans. Not the best thing that's ever happened to Victor.

Normally, she wouldn't allow anyone to touch the bird, but with no one else around, and the fact that she knows Ox won't hurt anyone, she allows it, sending a mental reminder to her charge that he's not allowed to nip fingers. When he obliges, she pulls a little chunk of meat out of of a pouch strapped to her leg and offers it, and Ox takes it gently.

/Very good./

/Can't fly?/

/No, you can't fly./

The silent conversation means that Daphne herself is quiet for a moment, though something does catch her eye. "D'you have a twin?" she asks, nodding to the boy who looks exactly similar to the one she's talking to. "Over there."

Victor looks around when Daphne points himself out, and at the same time, the other Victor happens to notice himself talking to the birdkeeper.

/Shit!/

That's about all that runs through either of their brains. The Victor who is talking to Daphne looks around frantically, checking to see if there is anyone else around, while the Victor who was walking around walks over, as if he's interested in the eagle.

"Crap." escapes from the first Victor's mouth before he can stop it.

…Ooookay. That's kind of weird.

The fact that he doesn't seem particularly comfortable with his twin being here does set off a couple alarm bells, though the /why/ is more important than the fact that it's happening at all. Her fingers leave the eagle's soft feathers, hand hanging in the air for a moment as she stares, eyes narrowed, as the other boy approaches.

She knows about people with abilities, but that's not the first thing that comes to mind. Actually, she's confused. "Not happy to see yourself?" she asks, with just a touch of humour. Ox chirps again, shifting around on the glove so that his back is facing outward now.

/Pet me!/

Thusly asked, she goes back to stroking the eagle's feathers.

The first Victor sighs as the second approaches. "What the hell are you doing here?"

"Me? What the hell are /you/ doing here?"

"I'm supposed to be here! We haven't gone in a while!"

"I'm the fun one today!"

"Well, I—" The first Victor stops, his eyes flying open as wide as they go.

/Shit. She's still here, isn't she./

"Yeah, I'm just gonna assume you have family issues," Daphne says dryly, giving Ox a scratching between the shoulders that he loves so very much. She also turns away slightly, so that she can see if there's anyone else in the area that she might talk to instead, not because she doesn't want to talk to Victor, but because she's not so sure she wants to step into the middle of a fight between the identical twins. After all, she so far has no reason to think otherwise. Even so, she looks over her shoulder, booted foot scraping slightly against the dusty ground. They're… also wearing the same thing. Okay, she might not be an expert on twins, but they seem to typically stop doing that when they're, oh, /two?/ "The fun one?" she asks. …Okay, so she's getting involved. A little.

"Uh…" Victor eyes his other self. "I guess you could say that, yeah." They both sigh, in almost-perfect sync. Jeez, how do you explain something like this? At least they've both picked up on the fact that making a situation out of this situation is a bad thing…

She turns back toward them a little, gently petting Ox, who's now noticed that there's two people who look similar. It's just something in the periphery of his mind; normally when meeting other people and even other animals, something about them will be different. Appearance. Smell. Clothing. However, this is just another thing he can dismiss about humans being really weird. Daphne's caught the bird's momentary distress, though, and reassures him. A simple image of two chicks in the same egg does the trick, and does worlds for Ox understanding. "So, I'm guessing you didn't both expect to end up here," she states, looking back and forth between the twins. She's no peacekeeper, but something about the two seems just slightly off. Maybe it's the clothing— it bothers her. "Something wrong?"

"Yeah, we're not really supposed to be in the same place, to be honest," the second Victor says, with the first one facepalming and hiding a little bit out of sight behind a leafy bush as a family walks by, towards the exit.

It's at this point that Daphne's eyes narrow a bit. With her own misgivings and the previous discomfort she felt from Ox, she's just slightly leaning toward the 'Something Might Be Up' side of the spectrum, especially when the newcomer states that they aren't supposed to be seen together, while the other one hides. "What— are you doing?" she asks. Ox lets out another chirp, this one approaching a screech. He, of course, can tell that Daphne's not so happy anymore.

he first Victor sighs, then turns to himself. "Go away, would you?" He turns away, stepping to turn his back to himself, addressing Daphne while the other Victor rolls his eyes and walks away, admiring the sights between him and the exit.

"My name's Victor. I'm… I'm not sure how to explain this to you, or even if I should."

Even if he /should./

That stands out the most, and given the fact that Daphne's just met several people with abilities, this seems… way too coincidental, really. Like she attracts them. So her initial reaction is that she must be overreacting, but—

/He smells the same,/ Ox comments idly.

"You two /are/ twins, right?" Daphne asks. Twins have similar genetic makeup, so the internal structures would harbour bacteria the same way, which would create a unique smell in most people. Twins, though… /Exactly the same?/ She asks Ox.

/Yes. Yes. Yes,/ Ox replies, bobbing his head.

"Uhm." Victor rubs his left eye, feeling a ball of headache form. "Not… Not exactly." Okay, so how do I tell her that we're the same person?

The hand rubbing Ox's feathers stops; Daphne's blue eyes focus on Victor momentarily, before she looks around. There are a few people down the path, but they're not paying attention. There are also some keepers starting to check the exhibits. Daphne can't help recalling Jane's warning, though… There are some people out there with abilities who aren't exactly /nice,/ and now she has to wonder. "…The zoo's closing," she says. "You should probably head for the gate."

Victor nods his head, looking Daphne in the eyes to see what her reaction is. "Yeah, probably. But… are you off now? Do you want to go grab a coffee or something?" He… well, after all these years, he needed to tell /someone/ about his abilities. And she's practically guessed anyway.

She doesn't want to know. Right? Because the fewer people who know, the less trouble she's in— God, when did she get so paranoid? "No, I'll be here for awhile. Zoo keeper, remember?" Her attitude's done a bit of a one-eighty, but she has to admit she's curious, and she' certainly not moving back toward the aviary yet. "Just— " She looks to the left. The keepers are waving to her; they have to start getting people out. "—tell me, okay? What's going on?"

Victor mentally smacks himself. "Well… Okay, just hear me out." He takes in a theatrically long breath, and blurts out something along the lines of "Icanmakemyselfintolikefivepeopleeveryday", without any discernible spaces between words.

He stops. Blinks. "Well, that… was simpler than I figured it might be."

Ox chirps again, several times, as Victor rails off the explanation. Daphne can't really parse it at first, since she didn't really expect him to just come right out and say it, but then she realises that he's just told her that he can duplicate himself. And— Granted, she kind of told him to say that, but nevertheless… Her eyes widen and she looks to make sure no one heard him, before…

Reaching out in an attempt to grab Victor by the shirt collar and haul him closer.

Not only is /she/ staring at him, but he'll find that Ox is right in his face, too, golden eyes looking rather mean, despite his placid nature.

/You can have his eyes, but I want his nose./

/No, Ox./

Jane's warning had more of an impact on her than she really realized. Sure, she'd assumed there were bad people out there, but having it confirmed is a different story. Now she's actually kind of scared, and prone to… Well. Overreacting.

She lets go of Victor's shirt, stepping back. "No. No. Listen, just… Be careful what you say, okay? Especially in a public place like this."

Victor takes a step back, wide-eyed at his proximity to the eagle. Suddenly, he's not so much an object of awe as fear.

"Wait, why? I don't know anyone else who can do anything like it, no one's… wait, why?" He's giving her a suspicious look now, wondering if he should start running or if he should figure out a way to kill this replica quickly.

At one point, she'd take the chance. In fact, she already has, twice, and since she already knows this guy has an ability, since he just admitted it, she could /probably/ safely tell him about her own. However, she's still looking over her shoulder to make sure no one's following her home after a long day at work. Maybe if she sees him again, it'll be different, but… "Okay, listen to me. You're not alone. There are other people out there with abilities like yours. Not the same, but…" She pauses as someone calls her - make sure there's no one around the aviary, Daphne! - "…but not everyone's as nice as I am." There, she's admitted it, in an off-handed way. Sure, she's never met anyone who wants to kill her, but…

Victor is floored. "What!? More people like m—" He stops, as she continues, and he catches her subtle hint. Unfortunately, he's not quick enough to stop himself from saying it out loud - but he's smart enough to say it in a hushed whisper.

"You have powers too?"

"I'm serious- what was your name? Victor? I mean it. You have to keep quiet." She's pretty sure of that. Plus, all that stuff Laurel saw, it's just… safer to be a little paranoid. Yeah. She thought she was the only one for a long time, too. Actually, Daphne just thought she was /crazy/ for a long time, but that's beside the point. "And if someone spots you and your— twins, for God's sake, don't react like you did with me. You had a perfect excuse and you /blew it./ Come on." She pauses, then adds - after another look around - "Yeah, I do."

On the one hand, Victor's ecstatic to find out that there are other people who aren't normal, just like him! Well, maybe not just like him, or she would have caught on sooner.

On the other, though… /Man, I'm not nearly as special anymore./

"Ah. Well, uh…" He thinks for a second. "Is there somewhere that we can go to talk about this? What's… what's your name, anyway?"

"No. I have to clean up, I can't just leave." She looks toward the general direction of the exit. "I can walk you out, though, c'mon." She starts heading in the direction. Since they're really the only ones here now, the fact that she's carrying Ox around shouldn't be too upsetting. She can just tell anyone who asks that she had to escort this guy out. Since her name's stitched on her shirt, it's really hard to lie about it, so she just says, "Daphne. And I don't know that there's more to talk about, like I said, you have to be careful." She's speaking quietly. If they pass someone on the way out, she lowers her voice even more. "It's not something you can just discuss with everyone."

"Are you KIDDING me!?" Victor says, a bit too loudly again. "Of course there's more to talk about! Like… uh." He realizes that he's speaking too loudly again, and instead digs into his pocket for a slip of paper and a pen, writing down his cellphone number. "Please, call me some time, we can go for coffee or something. I… I wanna know more about this."

She's no expert on the subject. She just knows that she's not the only one with abilities, and is only aware of three - four now - people who have them. Daphne remembers how curious she was at first, though, so it's easy to appreciate the fact that he's excited. "I dunno how much more I can tell you. I only found out there were others a few months ago." She still takes the number, looks it over, and puts it in her pocket before Ox can reach forward and chew it into a pulp. He does try, though. "Think it over for a few days, at least. And, there's this book. It's called 'Activating Evolution.' You should read it."

As they reach the gate, Victor sticks out a hand, not wanting to just give a wave. His mind is still reeling from all he's gonna have to brainstorm with himself when he gets back to himselves.

"See you later, Daphne! I'll check out that book!"

She has to reach out with her left hand, since Ox is on her right, but she shakes Victor's hand anyway. Awkwardly, but she does! "Remember what I said, okay?" is her parting message, before she heads back toward the aviary. On her way, she pulls out the number, looks at it again, and puts it back in her pocket.

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