An 'Iron Chef' ficlet by Brother Grimace
NOTE: This fic was based on a drawing posted on the PPMB. The 'Iron Chef' challenge was to do a fic based on the drawing "Daria Asleep", by Beatnik Shaggy. It was of Daria, seemingly floating in the air and sleeping (which was how I interpreted it).
The drawing can be found at:
"She's still fixated on them?"
Dr. Hanley Phillips shook his head as he heard the voice behind him. "Only Clark Kent had a bigger hang-up over glasses," Dr. Kyle Armalin sighed, watching as Daria Morgendorffer hovered four feet above the floor, the left arm of her glasses dangling precariously in the junction between her right thumb and forefinger. "Well – whatever helps her get through the night, you know? How long has she been aloft?"
"Four hours – she went to sleep almost immediately. We ran her through several exercises, and then left her out on the confidence course so she'd have to walk back – as per your orders."
Kyle shrugged. "She won't exercise like the other candidates, and she won't sleep around – she won't even relieve herself in private, and that'll knock almost anyone out for a while. Had to do something to tire her out, otherwise she'd just blow through this exercise."
"You seem to know a lot about it..."
"Relieving yourself in private," Hanley smirked. "Play with yourself a lot, do you?"
"Never. When I do that – I'm deadly serious."
Kyle stepped into the well-lit, carpeted testing chamber, and walked slowly about the hovering, insensate form of Daria Morgendorffer. "What's her natural area of effect?" he asked, noticing the pale, wispy filaments of energy that seemed to flow about Daria as she floated in a fetal curl, her auburn hair flowing about her head as if having life of its own. "How far out has she expanded her field while asleep?"
"Her field extends out about three to four feet – even when she sleeps. We figure that the area of effect is subconscious, and an analog to her personal comfort zone. No one's getting in close to her."
"Wait until she discovers boys. When she falls asleep, that field will shrink down to around three inches." He shrugged at the look on Hanley's face. "Five words – 'Rudolph – I think you're cute.' You know the theory, Doctor."
Kyle stepped in close, leaning towards the flickering lines of force. "You can't hear her breathing."
"We think that's a natural property of the field," Hanley said. "It seems to dampen out low-level sounds moving in or out; the first couple of times Daria tried this, we had to use an air-horn to wake her up. Normal voices won't penetrate, and apparently, it acts as a cocoon against environmental variations. Had the other room up to 110 degrees, and then, we took it down to twenty below zero. She slept like a log."
His single orbit around Daria complete, Kyle stopped, and then walked back over to Hanley. "Any new orders for the staff, Major?"
"No. Just let her sleep."
Daria opened her eyes.
"Well. That was the weirdest dream I've had in a while."
She pulled herself up from her bed, and sat on the side. "Note to self. Do not tell Jane that I dreamed about the Sociology teacher and Dr. Phillips doing tests on how I can sleep above my covers."
"FOUR FEET above your covers," a voice from behind laughed, and Daria winced, then turned to see Jane Lane smirking as she stood next to her easel. "Soooooo...what else did they want to test out while they had their hands on you...?"
"I will kill you with my left boot – and bury you in the right."
"Yes, yes. Very funny, Morgendorffer. It comes from that social life of yours. Lack of kissy-kissy makes you droll."
"You know, if you want to feel as if you're floating about on a bed, I can always call Trent..."
"You know, if you don't stop it, I can always call an ambulance..."
"I can see that someone woke up floating over the wrong side of the bed this morning," Jane said. "You should dream like this more often. Gives me inspiration...and blackmail info."
Daria rose from the bed, and plodded over to the easel. "Do I always hold my glasses like that when I sleep?"
"Nah. You were too tired out from the walk back. You took them off, and were just too tired to place them on the nightstand. You know, if you'd just 'relieve yourself' in private, you wouldn't have these problems." Jane smiled a toothy smile at her best friend. "Instant solution – dial 1-800-'Oh, Trent!"
Another series of thumps could be heard in the living room of Schloss Morgendorffer.
Helen sighed, and set her pen down for a moment as she turned to the ceiling.
"Daria, would you please stop trying to beat up your best friend?"
28 February 2006
November 8 2006 (revision after seeing colored version)