Type: long fic, ongoing
Rating: PG-13 (so far)
Disclaimer: Daria was not written by me! I only wrote this fic.
Summary: A "What If?" What if Trent moved to Boston after the end of the canon timeline?
Note: I'd like to make a shoutout to LadieT for a little advice on a bit of this. Thanks for your expertise!
When Trent got home from work, Daria had already changed into a dark green sweaterdress with gray leggings and short black boots. She had planned to greet Trent with a kiss, but he held a hand in front of him and said, "Don't come closer. I need to shower for a while."
Daria tilted her head and noticed that Trent was wearing different clothes than he'd gone to work in. "What happened?"
"Someone was stupid and put a case of raw chickens on top of a moving rack. Paulie had to move the rack to get to the olives and the whole thing fell on me. They hosed me off, and then I got to use the chemical shower in the back while they found some clothes for me, but I still feel very gross and I smell."
Biting her lip to keep from laughing, Daria gestured him toward the bathroom. "Then by all means, get clean." Trent walked up the stairs, holding his arms out to his sides. A ghost of a laugh escaped her lips, but she quashed the rest of it. Figuring it might take a while before Trent was done, Daria headed up to Jane's room to check on her. She knocked on the door. "Are you decent?" She could hear Jane stirring inside the room.
"You can come in, Daria." When Daria opened the door, Jane was curled into the fetal position on her bed, holding her abdomen.
Daria sat at Jane's feet. "Hey. How's it going?"
Jane groaned. "Remember how the lady who give me the pill told me that I would have period-like symptoms?"
"Well, they're period-like in that I'm bleeding, and cramping. It didn't kick in right away, but I'll blame the fact that I'd just eaten."
"Still better than getting pregnant your first time out." Daria grabbed hold of one of Jane's hands and squeezed it. "Just remember: it's better than the alternatives." She leaned forward to catch Jane's eye. "Do you want me to cancel on Trent so I can stay here with you?"
Jane seemed to consider it, but shook her head. "Nah. Physically, there isn't much you could do for me. And emotionally? I think I could use the alone time."
Daria nudged Jane's foot with her knee. "I'll have my cell phone on me. Call if you need anything. I don't care if it's that you're wanting a magazine that's across the table and you don't feel like getting up."
"You know, a bad friend could abuse that."
"A good friend would know better so that the offer will hold for further occasions."
"Ooo... Good point."
Standing up again, Daria picked up an empty glass from Jane's nightstand. "I'm going to double-check that all of my homework is done. Can I get you another soda?"
Jane nestled her head further into the pillow. "Do we have any juice?"
"Juice. Got it." Daria left the room and came back a few moments later with a tall glass of apple juice. "Here. Juice. Now relax. And, remember that there's some leftover pasta in the fridge if you get hungry."
"Just be ready if I ever need to come to you because I've done something I regret."
Jane smiled. "So, tomorrow morning?"
Daria blushed. "Is it bad to say 'I hope so'?"
Kicking her feet toward Daria, Jane made a face. "Ew! That's my brother! Go away."
"Fine. Be that way. See if we invite you!"
Jane shuddered. "I'm going to try to get some sleep. See you in the morning."
"Night, then." Daria lowered Jane's blinds for her and left the room, closing the door securely behind her. As she walked off, Trent came out from the bathroom wearing only a towel around his waist. "Um, hi, Trent."
Trent grinned. "I forgot to grab clothes."
Daria smiled. "I can see where that might be considered inconvenient."
"I'm gonna do downstairs and grab some." He walked down the stairs, but only made it halfway before his towel fell. Daria got a good glimpse of his backside and the sinewy muscles in his arms as he reached down to wrap the towel tighter. She bit her lip and exhaled loudly, but couldn't quite bring herself to look away.
It was several minutes before she heard Trent calling her name. "Hey," he said when she appeared at the top of the stairs. "Are you ready?"
"Sure." She ducked into her room to grab her jacket and a black messenger bag with her wallet and a few other items tucked into it. Trent grinned up at her as she descended the stairs, and Daria briefly felt she had finally found a small patch of common ground with Quinn because she liked the feeling. He'd dressed in a black dress shirt over jeans with only a few scuffed areas, and had topped it with a black blazer as a concession to the cold that definitely took hold in the evenings. "Where are we going?"
Trent laughed. "Let me show you. It's no fun if I tell you."
"Okay. Lead the way." Daria followed Trent outside and she was somewhat surprised to see his old blue car parked close by. "You know, somehow I forgot you had a car. You don't need them much in Boston."
"Yeah," Trent said as he ran a hand across the hood of the car. "I've had her parked on the next block for a while, but I pulled her around this morning. I'm surprised you didn't notice."
Daria opened the passenger door and slid in. "I had more important things on my mind."
Trent settled into the driver's seat and got the car started without too much work. "So what did you do once you got back? Did you have to deal with Tom at all?"
"Um, no. But, uh, Jane did."
"Look, Trent, I'm not sure how much I should tell you here. I know incriminating things but I don't know if Jane would be comfortable with me revealing them to you."
"Geez. They did it, didn't they?"
Daria blinked. "Wow. You're good."
"I always had a feeling about the two of them."
"And yet you didn't support it."
"It's like watching a horror movie, Daria. No matter how much you tell her not to, the blonde chick is gonna go upstairs. The black guy is gonna die first. Knowing the something was gonna happen and liking it are two different things."
Daria chose not to talk about the rest of the circumstances surrounding the afternoon. "So, if she does end up dating Tom again?"
Trent clutched the steering wheel tighter. "Then he and I are going to have a talk."
There was silence in the vehicle for a few minutes until Trent pulled the car over onto a dirt road next to a small clearing. "This is where we're having dinner," Trent said.
Daria glanced around. "And are we waiting for them to build the restaurant, or are we just eating the grass with dandelions and mud pies for dessert?" But when her eyes rested on Trent, he was carrying a thick blanket and a picnic basket. "Oh."
"Want to help me spread this out?" Trent set down the picnic basket and partially unfolded the blanket. Daria came forward and helped him spread it over the grass. They settled down onto the blanket and Daria was surprised at how comfortable it was with the thick layer of grass beneath it. Trent opened the picnic basket and started unloading items in front of her. There was a container filled with chunks of melon and strawberries, another of what seemed to be some kind of pasta salad, a third with cold fried chicken, a small package of yeast rolls, and a bottle of Cherry Ultra Cola. Trent then took out plates, napkins, cups and utensils. "There. Dinner."
Daria smiled. "My compliments to the chef."
"Well, I did actually cook the chicken."
The next few minutes were spent divvying out portions of food onto plates and digging in. After starting in on a chicken thigh, Daria leaned back, propping herself up with one arm, and looked up at the sky. "It's too bad we're still close enough to the city that we can't see the stars well."
Trent held a roll in front of his mouth and smiled broadly. "Who says we're done?"
"There's more?" Daria took another bite of her chicken and watched as Trent chewed.
"Yeah. But you gotta wait to see what it is."
"Okay, Trent." Daria tried a bit of the pasta salad and discovered that it seemed devoid of mayonnaise, automatically making it better than most pasta salads she'd tried over the years. She couldn't tell what was in it, but it wasn't bad, so she took another bite.
They talked a little more about Trent's new position at work, and what Daria was doing in her classes, and managed to polish off almost all of the food, leaving only a single chicken wing, a yeast roll, and half the bottle of soda. Trent packed the items back in the picnic basket and helped Daria fold the blanket up. They got back in the car and Daria tried to make sense of where they might be headed as Trent drove off. Suddenly, she squinted at a sign. "We're going to Cambridge?"
Trent grinned. "Yeah." A moment later, they pulled into the parking lot of a large building. It took her a moment, but Daria recognized it as an observatory. Trent grabbed her hand and pulled her toward the building. "Ralph, he's one of the managers, told me about this place. You wanted stars, so I kind of had to."
Daria smiled as Trent paid a small fee for them to enter. "So, we're going to watch a show about the stars or something? Isn't that what they do at these places most of the time?"
"Nah. Not this time. Tonight, we get to use the big telescope." Trent followed a path marked off with arrow signs and Daria was happy to try to keep pace.
The path led them into a circular room where several other people stood waiting to use the large telescope. Through a gap in the ceiling, Daria could see several formations of stars. They were clearer than they had been over the field, and she was glad of it. She and Trent stood counting the stars as everyone else took their turns gazing at them from what seemed to be a much closer vantage point. Finally, the man at the scope said, "Are you two ready?"
Trent stepped forward. "Yeah, thanks." He gestured for Daria to take her turn first.
Daria stepped up to the eyepiece and watched the man show her how to adjust it to finetune her view. Within moments, she had a close look at the galaxy above her and felt suddenly tiny. She was about to pull away from the scope when she gasped slightly as something streaked across the viewframe. "I think I just saw a meteor," she said as she stepped backward.
"Oh? That's great," the man said. "We record everything that gets seen through here and we don't manage active movement often except during meteor showers. There wasn't one tonight, so you're lucky. I'd make a wish." A younger version of Daria wouldn't have done it, but this Daria closed her eyes briefly and wished that Jane could stop suffering because of a bad decision that Daria made in high school.
Trent smiled brightly as he walked past her and took his spot at the eyepiece. He looked for several minutes before finally pulling himself away. "That was cool," he said as he grabbed Daria's hand again.
Daria bit her lip. "Yeah, it was. I had a lot of fun tonight." She leaned a little closer to Trent as they made the walk out of the building. "Did you have anything else planned?"
"Nah. Figured we'd play it loose."
"We could go to bed."
Trent frowned. "I'm sorry. I didn't think you were tired."
Daria grinned. "I'm not."
"Wha- Oh!" Trent grinned back. "Well, I suppose we can head back and see what happens."
End: Chapter 11.
Part 11b NC-17