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?
Trent leaned back in his chair at Amy's Asian Buffet and sighed. He picked up another napkin from the stack and wiped his mouth. Most of the butter that had been dribbled liberally across his chin clung to it, but his face still shone in the light. His fingers were mostly dry now, but they still smelled strongly of butter and crab. Once Jane had gotten home, they'd decided on something Asian, and had ended up here when Daria expressed interest in the $12.95 all-you-can-eat buffet with snow crab legs. Trent had managed never to have them before, but had soon taken a liking to them. He had strong enough fingers that the legs were easy to crack, and the girls all passed him the bits they had a hard time with. Daria grumbled as she exerted pressure against a claw to no avail. She attacked it with a claw cracker, and managed to dent it. With a sigh, she handed it to Trent. He braced his thumbs against the side and pressed it firmly, cracking it deftly. He pulled it apart carefully and handed the meaty end back to Daria.
Quinn moaned around a buttery mouthful. She dabbed at her mouth with a napkin. "Okay, no one tell me how many calories there are in this. I'm pretending that the butter is fake and that crab has negative calories, okay?"
Jane laughed and forked a section of meat into her bowl of melted butter. "Is that like how you can argue that doughnuts have zero calories as long as they have a hole?"
"Doughnuts? Okay, I like junk food sometimes, but that's like taking a cake, frying it, and then adding melted icing to the top."
"Which is different from pancakes how?" Daria asked as she dragged another piece of crab through her butter.
Jane poked at the pile of empty crab exoskeletons. "I feel like maybe I should have eaten *one* vegetable."
Trent pointed to the buffet. "They had some broccoli up there. You could dip that in the butter, too."
Daria stood up. "I'm going to look at the dessert before deciding whether I'll fill up on crab." The other three at the table just sat there for a few minutes until she came back holding a plate. "Okay, I had to put it on the plate to try it, but we have a yellowish pudding that tastes like nothing, some canned fruit that looks and tastes like the skin from the nothing-pudding, some dried out orange slices, a solidified glob of centuries-old raisins, and "Chinese doughtnuts". Except these don't have holes, so they have calories. And they taste like canned biscuits that were fried and rolled in powdered sugar."
Trent reached forward and grabbed one. He chewed it for a moment, then frowned. "Yeah, I think you're right. Um, I could make dessert if you guys don't mind waiting a little bit."
Quinn raised an eyebrow. "What do *you* know how to make?"
"Um, I think we have the stuff for strawberry cobbler at home."
Jane's fingers had been inching toward the doughnuts, but she stopped suddenly. "Ooo... Mom's old recipe?"
"Yeah. The really good one."
"Where did you get it? She hasn't made that in years!" Jane looked at Trent intently.
Trent leaned toward her. "Turns out mom had an old cookbook. I found it in the cupboard one day."
"I'm glad I didn't eat any vegetables. Gotta save room for the fruit."
Daria stretched her arms to the sides, then leaned forward on her elbows. "Is this stuff really that good?"
Jane clutched her hands in front of her and looked skyward. "Back when we all used to live in the house, we'd have it once a week or so. I don't know that it's the best thing you'll ever have, but it's still really good. I used to ask for it for my birthdays."
"Well, if you can have it for a birthday, I can try it." Daria wiped at her hands with another napkin. "Let's head out and get to it. I do need to proofread my paper tonight."
Quinn frowned. "Why didn't you do that earlier?"
"I like to have a little mental space between me and my work before I try to correct things."
"Oh! I did something like that with the lookbook I made up of my work clothes. I knew if I didn't step back from it, I was going to think that pleather and wool could be combined in the same look and that I could wear wooden jewelry with it, too. I mean, brr!"
Daria faced Jane. "My parents are sure I'm related to her, right?"
Jane shrugged. "Yeah, but they did drugs, right?"
Quinn kicked Daria under the table. "Since I'm buying dinner, you're supposed to be nice to me."
Laughing, Daria scooted her chair toward Trent. "I'll be nice to Trent. He's making dessert."
"Just save your 'niceness' until you're behind closed doors, okay?" Jane stood up. "Okay. Shall we?"
Quinn picked up the check and headed up to the desk with her purse after dropping a $10 bill among the carnage of butter-soaked napkins. Trent stood up and offered his hand to Daria. She used it to balance herself as she stood. The three of them made their way over to Quinn who was accepting her change. "Okay, guys. Let's do this dessert thing. I had way less than any of you here, so I can have extra dessert." She looked to Trent. "Well, if it's good."
Trent chose not to tell her about the whole stick of melted butter that was the base of the cobbler crust. "It'll be good."
They had walked to the restaurant and the walk back now was peaceful and quiet. Trent took a deep breath of the night air and held it in his lungs, then expelled it slowly, delighting in the way his breath looked like puffs of smoke in the night air. Daria took his hand silently and pulled him onward. "So," he said as she squeezed her hand. "What are we going to do tonight?"
Daria looked thoughful for a moment. "Try to take over the world?"
"I'd settle for cuddling, but we can do that."
Leaning against Trent, Daria bit her lip and smiled as she said quietly, "Cuddling? Well, if that's all you're willing to do, I suppose I'll take it. I had planned on more, though."
Trent laughed. "Well, I wouldn't want to ruin any of your plans. You can just do to me whatever you want."
Quinn looked over at Jane and frowned. "They're not, like, *loud* at night, are they? I need my beauty sleep tonight. I have to go into the new Cashman's here and make sure the opening goes perfectly. I'm supposed to be overseeing the whole thing, but I feel like I'm kind of in over my head, and maybe also like I'm being sabotaged. I mean, I asked if I could go in there today to get a feel for the layout, but I've been *assured* that it's just like the ones I'm used to dealing with and that they were fumigating today so, like, I couldn't have gone in anyway."
Jane let silence hang between them for a moment. "Do you breathe?" She shook her head. "Trent and Daria have not yet made it a habit of sleeping together, so I can't say how loud they'll be. But, I do have an extra pair of ear plugs if you want them."
Glancing back at Trent and Daria, Quinn smiled. "I'll take them. If I don't have to use them, oh well. And if I do, well that's at least good for Daria."
"Just in case, what time do you need to be up in the morning?" Jane saw that they were approaching the apartment and went ahead and dug her keys from her pocket.
Quinn put a finger up to her cheek in a manner that looked far too posed. "Um, the store's supposed to open at 9, so I guess I need to get up at 5."
"5am?!" Jane said as she unlocked the door. "It won't take that long to get there."
"Duh. I need to shower, get dressed, do my makeup, do my hair, have breakfast, do my lipstick, and *then* drive over to the bank to oversee the account info, and finally head to the store to make sure it's all good to go before we open." She sighed. "I really wish they'd given me an assistant."
Jane smiled and turned to Daria and Trent who trailed languidly behind them. "You guys head on upstairs, I guess. I'll get the princess her stack of mattresses and a single pea. We'll raid the ice cream if we really need dessert."
Daria waved off her friend and walked hand-in-hand with Trent up the stairs.
With Quinn's help, the sofa bed was set to rights within moments. Jane ran upstairs for a moment and came back down with a pair of ear plugs. "You... might need these."
Quinn rolled her eyes, but smiled. "You know, if they get married, that'll make us kind of sisters too, won't it?"
Jane's eyes went wide. "Wow. Yeah. I never quite thought of that, but yeah."
"Well, that's cool. You at least seem to know *something* about fashion, even if you seem to focus on the weird parts of it."
"Just what I wanted to hear." Jane grinned. "Go to bed. If I get up and you haven't yet, I promise to kick you."
With a smug look on her face, Quinn sat on the edge of the bed. "Thanks, sis!"
End: Chapter 18.
Part 11b NC-17