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?
When Trent got home from work, he could hear Daria speaking to someone. He thought Janey said she'd be in the studio on campus for a while, but as he walked further into the apartment, he saw she was on the phone. "Mmhmm. Yeah. I guess." Daria grimaced and pulled off her glasses so she could rub the bridge of her nose. "No, Mom. I promise that I'm not seeing Tom anymore." There was a pause. "I don't care how much you liked him, Mom." Another pause. Daria adjusted her skirt. "Yes, I'm seeing someone now." She smiled. "Remember how I told you Trent moved up here?" Daria frowned. "No." She pounded one fist against the couch. "I'm happy, Mom. For the first time that I can remember, there is nothing going on in my life that makes me miserable except maybe this conversation." She slid her glasses back on and frowned until she looked up and saw Trent. Her lips smiled, even if it didn't quite reach her eyes. "Yeah." She waved to Trent, who returned the gesture. "Of course." Daria rolled her eyes. "Okay, Mom. I love you... What?" She grimaced again and sighed. "Okay. Two o'clock. Sure. Bye." She hung up the phone and looked slightly shell-shocked.
Trent came closer and sat down next to her, draping his arm around her shoulders. "Hey."
Daria leaned against him. "Hey." Her tone wasn't nearly as upbeat as his had been.
"Oh, the usual. Mom called to talk which is fine and dandy, really, until she started talking about how Quinn has a job now and why don't I have one. So, I explained that Quinn just finished a 2 year business degree while I'm working on a 4 year double major program, so I have just enough time for the job I do have and don't yet need to worry about what she considers a 'real' job. Then she said if I didn't spend as much time with Tom, then I could have time to work somewhere part time. I told her about us, and she started harping on how you're older than me and you're going to 'take advantage' of me. And, then I started tuning her out, but it seems I agreed to let Quinn stay here Sunday night. Her new job is with Cashman's, it seems. She's in charge of running store openings, and the local mall is getting a Cashman's."
Placing a kiss on the top of Daria's head, Trent smiled. "It could be worse. She could be staying Saturday *and* Sunday." Daria chuckled. "Don't worry. We'll just show her how happy we are and Quinn can take that news back to your mom."
Daria frowned. "I hope so."
"We should probably go ahead and get that new couch. Otherwise, she'll think we're bums. Heck, with this couch, *I* think we're bums."
Moving closer to Trent, Daria grunted. "Yeah. And this thing does horrible things to my bum."
"It's couches like this that make people arsonists, you know."
"Then let's go couch shopping. There's a place one of mom's clients owns. She gave me the guy's business card when we moved in and gave me some money. I blew it on a laptop instead. Worth it." Daria shifted back to the other side.
Trent stood up. "Cool. Let's go."
Daria stared at him for a moment, then shrugged. "Sure. I've still got an online discussion question to answer, but we have to answer in 100 words or less, so I can get it done once we get back. Want to do out to dinner?"
"Yeah. I hear there's a great Mexican place a few blocks over." He smiled. "Fresh chips."
"I could be persuaded in that direction. But, couch first. I had some popcorn when I got home, so I'm not hungry yet."
Trent shrugged. "I work in a deli now. It's like getting to have sandwiches all day long."
Daria finally got to her feet. "I can see the appeal." She kicked the couch. "C'mon, I'll get my coat."
Half an hour later, they were in a large home furnishings store, examining prices on various couches. A short, chubby man approached them and adjusted his tie. "Hi, I'm Kevin. Are the two of you finding everything all right this evening?"
Trent shrugged. "We're just looking."
"Ah, but what are you looking for?"
Daria frowned, but decided to try the man out. "Well, my mom, Helen Morgendorffer, sent us to find a reasonably priced couch."
"Helen, you say?" The man loosened the tie he'd just tightened.
"What particular features are you looking for? Leather? Microfiber? Sofa bed? Recliner? Matching ottoman?"
Trent looked over at Daria. "A sofa bed could be cool. Quinn could sleep there when she visits." He frowned. "Or, I could, too on most nights."
Daria reached over and grasped his hand. "For visitors, not for you."
Kevin nodded quickly. "Yeah, I think we've got one over here that's just right for you." He led them over to a plush red couch. "It's a sofa bed. This one comes with the mattress inside. We're actually running a special on it right now so it's only $398 plus tax. And, we can throw in matching sheets, a matching blanket, and two matching pillowcases for an extra $25, plus another $59 for shipping."
"Hmm..." Daria trailed off and appeared to be thinking about it deeply, but inside, she was dancing. She and Trent had already seen the couch and discussed buying it at the advertised $598 price without realizing it was a sofa bed. "Trent? I'm okay with it. Are you?"
Trent nodded. "Yeah. And I think Janey'll like it, too."
"And, were you wanting to apply for the financing? We're offering no interest for 6 months."
"Nah. I got it." He pulled out his wallet. "You guys take cash, right?" He looked inside his wallet briefly. "Can we pay extra to get it delivered tonight?"
The man loosened his tie further and undid the topmost button of his shirt. "Let me go speak with my manager about that while I get the paperwork ready." He gestured to the couch. "Feel free to have a seat."
Daria sat down and smiled. "You know, I'd almost forgotten what a couch was supposed to feel like." Trent sat next to her and grinned, shifting back and forth slightly for a moment. "So, I know you said you were getting the couch, but I have enough money that I can pick up half of it easily."
Trent shook his head. "No need. I got my first paycheck. It'll cover the couch. Oh, did I tell you I'm trading an old amp in the back of my car for that TV I told you about? I told him I don't know if the amp works, but he wants it anyway... something about the dial going up to 11."
Daria smiled and was about to respond when Kevin came back out, followed by a tall, thin man. "Ms. Morgendorffer, I'm Todd Chico, your mother's client. We'd like to thank you for coming in to shop with us this evening! We've called our two best delivery guys and they'll be here within the hour to deliver your couch tonight. And, don't worry about the cost. Helen kept me from losing the store last month, and I owe her."
Nonplussed, Daria pointed to the ottoman in front of her. "Then, we'll buy this."
"We'll just throw that in, too. It's no problem."
Frowning, Daria stood up and straightened herself to her full, if still somewhat diminuitive, height. "Look, I know you just called my mother and she gave you her credit number so she can pay for whatever I want. It's how she does things. But I want to buy my first piece of real furniture, not have it given to me. So, let her pay for the couch, but we'll buy the ottoman."
Todd cleared his throat and clasped his hands together. "Of course." He smiled. "You could get her to throw in the matching recliner."
Daria grinned. "I think we'll take you up on that." She glanced at Trent who wore a look of shock. "Does that sound okay to you?"
"Let's do this paperwork, then."
Twenty-five minutes later, Daria and Trent were sitting in a booth at a Mexican restaurant not too far from their apartment. "Can you believe my mother?" Daria said as she dragged a chip through the fresh salsa in front of her.
Trent took a moment to finish chewing his own chip. "I think it's cool. The two of you have this battle of wits going on. You've got to let her win sometimes, but in exchange, you get cool stuff out of it, like a new couch."
"I suppose." She smiled. "I can't believe we're getting a bright red couch. And I kind of like it."
"You just figured Janey couldn't object to that one."
"Or Quinn. Unless that red clashes with her hair. But that'll be worth it, too."
"Hey, I think that's our food." Trent moved the basket of chips off to one side so there was room for their waitress, a pretty Hispanic woman in a black polo shirt and apron over jeans, to put their food down.
"Can I get you anything else?" she said softly.
Trent pointed to the salsa. "Can I get more salsa? I love this stuff."
"Sure." The waitress walked off.
Daria glanced at their plates. "Further proof that most Mexican food is some combination of meat, cheese, and vegetables wrapped in a tortilla."
Trent glanced at his plate. "I think tomatoes are actually a fruit."
"I stand corrected."
"Y'know, Daria, even with all of the weird stuff that was happening tonight, I still had fun shopping with you. And I hate shopping."
Cutting into the tortilla-wrapped item on her plate, Daria smiled. "I think it was also what we were shopping for that helped. I don't like clothes shopping, but I like shopping for books. You like shopping for music stuff, right?"
"When you like something a lot, it's easy to be passionate enough about it that you don't mind being around it more than you're willing to be around things you like less."
"And is that why you don't mine being around me?" Trent bit loudly into a plain chip.
Damning the blush that colored her cheeks, Daria nodded slowly. "I thought it was obvious."
"Well, it is now. I couldn't really tell when I first came up here, though. I mean, I came up here to be with you, and I wasn't even sure you wanted me."
"Oh?" Daria lifted a forkful of rice to her lips. "What *was* it that made you decide to do that?" She slid the fork between her lips.
Trent sighed. "Okay, remember when you came home last summer?"
"Yeah. What about it?"
"I was dating one of Monique's friends at the time to make her jealous or something. Only, it wasn't going well. monique didn't care, and I *still* can't remember her friend's name. Tina? Toshi? Telly? I just knew she was the Asian one." He paused. "We didn't talk much. Anyway, you came over to get Janey one day, but she was in the shower, and we talked. You started talking about the physics of how showers worked, and I thought it was cool that you knew that. As she kept talking, you just opened up more and more to me, and I felt like I suddenly really knew you, and man, did I like what I was seeing. Just talking, we had a more intimate relationship than I ever had with Monique, and that was without even getting personal. When you came by the next day, I had, uh, kind of arranged for Janey to be in the shower again, just so we could talk more. And this time, you talked about worrying about your father because he insisted on bacon with his whole grain pancakes, and I talked about worrying about Mom and Dad because half the time, they go places where they don't speak the language, so how can Mom make sure there aren't artichokes in anything so she doesn't die of an allergic reaction? But you pointed out that she probably had one of those pen things, so I didn't need to worry, and I told you about Jesse's dad and what they were doing about bacon for *him*, and I just felt this click. It was like my aura had opened up to accept yours into it, and when you went back to Boston, I couldn't stop thinking about you. Um, it didn't hurt that I accidentally saw you half naked in Janey's room when you were changing into pajamas the night you stayed over. So, anyway, I decided that if I wanted to get the feeling and make it last, because it was awesome, then I had to be a better guy than the guy I was being."
The blush that had tinged Daria's cheeks before was full-blown now. She chewed silently for a moment, and Trent worried that he'd said too much. Smiling suddenly, Daria looked up. "Um, thanks." She pushed her fork through the pile of refried beans on her plate. "I didn't really think to question why you were suddenly trying to be with me because it's been kind of a fantasy for years. I mean, I thought you were cute the first time we met, and while there were times when I was mad at you for doing stupid things, I always recognized how great you were to Jane, and how you somehow managed to become more attractive as time went by. I know I told you before that I liked the ways that you've changed, but I never imagined that I was the reason behind it." She let out a puff of breath. "You make me feel good about myself. I feel smart, and sexy, and I feel like I'm worthy of being happy. I've never really felt that before."
"No one deserves to be happier than you, Daria. Well, you and Janey. And I'm pretty happy because I'm with you, and Janey's my sister, but, yeah."
"Yeah, indeed," Daria said as she reached out for Trent's hand. He took hers and squeezed it, then looked around thoughtfully for a moment. "Didn't I ask for more salsa?"
Daria smiled and returned to her food.
End: Chapter 13.
Part 11b NC-17