Overloard Mikey posted an Iron Chef Challenge about gender-bending a character in mid seasons and how the other characters would react. I didn't want to post my response on that thread because I really feel as though I can take this idea and run with it.
Legal: Daria and her compadres are owned by Glenn Eisher and MTV.
Daria/Dorian>From the episode "Jake of Hearts": Daria: Heart disease, borderline psychosis - I shudder to see what's behind Door Number 3 in the Morgendorffer genetic code.
Chapter 1: Unsweet 17
March 26th, 1535 in a village outside of Hamburg, Germany.
As Kluas Von Morgendorffen arrived back at his estate, he was greeted by his daughters. His oldest, Katherine, was set to marry the oldest son of business partner. The marriage had been arranged shortly after the birth of both. Katherine, however, was not happy with who her father had chosen to be her husband. Frederick was a cold and bitter young man. Frederick had been given the option of leaving the arrangement but refused. She begged her father to cancel the arrangement but he would have no part of it. Their wedding was to be on her seventeenth birthday, which was just weeks away. As the time approached, Katherine tried in vain to find a way to escape her fate.
At midnight of that fateful day, she waited for her family to retire for the evening. Putting on a heavy coat Katherine left through the servant's entrance. It was late January and the weather was horrid. As she wandered into the woods behind her family's estate, she looked up into the night sky and saw the moon being eaten by darkness, a lunar eclipse was occurring. Fear gripped her for she took this as a sign that her marriage would end in disaster. If I had been born a boy, I would have a choice. Continuing to watch the moon in horror, Katherine paid not attention to the temperature as it continued to drop. She did not notice how bad she was shivering. Her body and mind began to betray her as she became colder and colder.
Around four in the morning, her sister went to check on her. Opening her sister's door to find Katherine gone, she immediately ran and told her parents. They quickly got dressed and went to find her. After another hour, they saw Katherine lying on the ground near the entrance of the woods. They rushed to her. Her father grabbed her frozen hand. She turned to him with a sad smile.
"I cannot allow any other woman of this family to suffer the same fate as myself. It is with these dying words that I shall carry this out. Any child born as a female to this family shall be turned into a male if their seventeenth birthday is greeted by the swallowing of the moon. That way, they will have a chance to be free." Katherine closed her eyes and drew her last breath.
Katherine's wish had only come true two times in four hundred plus years she uttered it. Generations of Morgendorffers knew about it though and wondered when it would happen again.
November 22, 1999 - Lawndale - Two days before Daria's 17th birthday
"So Morgendorffer, what kind of evil plans have you come up with for your birthday?" Jane turned from her canvas.
"Ummm - I haven't really thought about it. There is a lunar eclipse that starts at midnight so I might watch it."
"Okay.. that gets a big ole 2 on the birthday fun meter."
"I guess we can do what we did for yours ... get a pizza, come back here to watch a bad movie, and then listen to you talk about Tom for half the night."
"Ouch. Okay.. point made. I guess we can skip the Tom part."
"I feel honored. Besides, we are out of school next week which will give you plenty of time to regale me with Tom stories." Daria winced at her own words.
"I really wish you would try to get along with him Daria," Jane sighed.
Daria grabbed her book bag and looked at Jane. She felt as though she had to say something, even if she truly didn't mean it. "I'm sorry. I'll try." Lowering her head, Daria gave a weak wave and left.
Walking away from Casa Lane, she stopped and turned back around. She feared that her friendship with Jane was falling apart. Just forget about it and focus on your birthday. Drawing a deep breath, Daria continued on her path home.
The next day at school, Daria and Jane began to make a bad movie list. As they were heading home, Tom pulled up and offered them a ride. Jane opened the front door and hopped in. Daria stood beside the car.
"Care to join us for celebratory week off from school pizza?" Jane asked.
"Can't. My parents want to go out to dinner tonight."
"At least let us give you a ride home," Tom offered.
Daria waited a moment. "Okay. Thanks." This should appease Jane for awhile.
Jane smiled from the front seat. As they pulled into Daria's driveway, Daria grabbed her book bag.
"I'll see you tomorrow. What time do you want to start the birthday celebration?"
"Jane, I know you like to sleep in on Saturdays. Just call me when you are up and have had at least two cups of strong coffee in you."
"I hope you a happy birthday Daria."
"Umm.. thanks Tom." Daria got out of the car.
"See you tomorrow amiga."
Daria waved at them as they left. She went inside and headed to her room. Frustrated, she turned on the computer and started typing. After riding in Tom's car, she felt the urge to kill some zombies. After the rest of her family arrived, they headed out for her birthday dinner. At the restaurant, they offered her a slice of a suicide by chocolate cake with a candle sticking out. Before it could be lit, Daria asked for the cake to be boxed. The waiter obliged. When they got back home, her parents gave her their gifts ... a new DVD player for her room and three hundred dollars. Quinn gave her a gift card to her favorite bookstore. Standing up, she thanked them before placing the cake in the refrigerator and heading upstairs. She laid down to read. A few minutes later, she was asleep.
Daria woke up a couple of minutes before midnight. She went into the kitchen and grabbed the slice of birthday cake, a matchbook and a fork. Wanting to go outside for a moment, she quietly opened the front door. Her watch chimed at the stroke of midnight. She stuck the candle on the cake and lit it. I guess it's time for me to make a birthday wish. I should wish that Tom was out of the picture. At that, she blew out the candle and took a bite of the cake. Suicide by chocolate was an understatement. She looked up at the moon. The eclipse would be starting soon. She yawned, took one more bite of the cake and headed back inside. As her head hit the pillow, Daria closed her eyes and fell into a deep sleep.
As Daria slept, she began to have a strange dream. She was walking through some woods foreign to her. There were no lights or signs of any modern devices. The air was bitter cold. She began to see her breath. Her sleeping form began to shiver. The further Daria walked into the forest, the more the fear inside her grew. She tried in vain to wake herself up. Entering a small clearing, she stared up at the sky. Why am I dreaming about the eclipse? More importantly, where in the hell am I? A few moments later, a young woman begins to approach her. The woman was wearing a heavy coat from a time long past. Daria was amazed at how the pale woman's features hauntingly matched her own.
"Wh - Who are you?"
"I am Katherine Von Morgendorffen. You must be Daria."
"How do you know who I am?"
"I know the name of every female first born our family has had for over four hundred years, though you are only the third I have met."
"What do you want with me?"
"I am giving you a chance to be what I could not."
"What is that?"
"Free. Tonight as the moon is swallowed by the darkness, you will embark on a new journey in your life. You will experience the transformation from a young woman to a young man. This is my birthday wish to you."
"I don't understand. Where I come from I am free."
"This change will allow you to do what you want to do."
"I want to be a writer. I don't need to be a man to do that."
"I promise you ... this will be for the better."
"What will happen to my mind? I don't want to be some brain-dead sports obsessed drone."
"Your intelligence and your memories will stay. They will help you as you transition. Good Luck Daria." Katherine vanished into the growing darkness.
Daria woke up drenched in sweat yet freezing cold. Then, the physical pain started as her bones and muscles began to stretch slowly. Her screams woke her family up. They rushed into the room. A look of horror flashed over their faces.
Jake took her hand. "Daria, calm down..it's going to be allright."
"What is happening to me?"
"Daria.. did you have a dream about a woman named Katherine?"
"Yes!" Daria winced as another round of pain shot through her body. "She said she knew who I was. She said it was her birthday wish for me to change AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" Daria passed out.
Helen turned to Jake with rage in her eyes. "Jake what the hell??? I thought we had this planned out?! I thought we calculated this right."
"We did, but she arrived a week early." Jake turn back to Daria. Her features and body structure were changing slowly from the tiny petite female form it was to a taller, lean yet well built young man. "There is nothing we can do to stop what is happening. All we can do is try to explain it, apologize for not warning her and help her with her soon to be his new life."
Helen and Jake spent the next two hours wrapping their heads around what was happening. Helen was still looking down at her oldest and crying. "I better call Amy, Rita and mother. They need to know. You need to call your mother and sisters too Jake. My little girl ... damn that curse! Damnit all to HELL!!!"
Quinn awoke when her mother screamed. She left her room to hear crying from Daria's room. Great what did she do to them now? Cautiously, she walked in to see her mother holding Daria's body against her, wailing and her father trying to calm her down. No, don't tell me she... she wouldn't have. That is when she noticed something else was wrong. Daria's feet were almost touching the end of her bed. Wait... Daria can't do that.. she's too short. Quinn then began to see the other changes...longer arms, bigger feet. She was confused and scared. Jake turned and saw her standing there. As Jake stood up, Helen began to lower Daria onto the bed. Daria however, was no more. A stranger had taken her sister's place. A boy with Daria's hair and facial features.
"Daddy.. WHO IN THE HELL IS THAT?"
Quinn's yelling woke the sleeping form on the bed up. With a body still in pain and eyes watering, the figure tried to speak. "Quinn.. is that you?" A masculine voice whispered.
"Yes.. how did you know my name? Who are you and where is my sister?!"
"Don't you mean cousin?" The person lying on the bed replied.
Quinn froze. Her parents made their way to her and took her hand. They stood beside the bed looking down at the young man who was occupying it.
"Daria.. Quinn.. there is something we need to tell you. We should have done this a long time ago, but we didn't think we would have to. A few hundred years ago, Katherine Von Morgendorffen a distant ancestor of mine, placed a curse or a wish whatever you want to call it on the first born daughter of every generation since her death." Everyone listened to him in silence. He drew a long breath and continued. "I am not sure of all the details, but from what our father told us, Katherine died on her seventeenth birthday, she was found in the woods during a lunar eclipse. When her parents reached her, she was near death. Her final words were her 'wish' to every first born daughter our family has ever had."
"Why didn't you tell me?? I should have known!" Her face began to contort. The pain was returning.
"I didn't tell you because I thought the wish wouldn't affect us. See your birthday was supposed to be November 30, but you came a week early. I had no clue an eclipse was supposed to happen tonight. I let you down kiddo."
"I remember Katherine saying something about the swallowing of the moon by darkness. That's why she had only met two others before me."
Guilt and shame covered Helen's face. "Daria, your dad may not have known, but I did. I found out right before we moved here. I never told you because I didn't believe this could happen. Even though I didn't believe it, I wanted to be prepared for it. I had paperwork drawn up in case this actually happened."
"What kind of paperwork? Are you going to have me committed because I am a freak of nature? That way you can get rid of the evidence before it hurts your precious career?"
"No-- I had a birth certificate made and a social security card created, which was no small feat mind you. I also informed Ms. Li that this might occur. So she has been keeping a second set of your records so that you can stay in school. Remember when you came home from school and told us that Mr. O'Neal had called you Dorian in class?"
"Yes." Daria was very relieved to find that her memory was in tact like Katherine promised.
"Dorian is the name I gave you if this was to happen. I truly thought that this was not possible."
"How can I go back to school? What about my teachers? My classmates? JANE AND TRENT?" Just then, the pain increased and Daria passed out again.
Jake walked over to Quinn. "I apologize to you too Quinn - this is a lot for you to take in. I know that the two of you didn't get along that well, but you're still siblings."
"I know. This isn't going to kill her is it? I mean she is really hurting."
"It will be okay."
Then a thought hit Quinn. "Oh no! Could this happen to me?"
"No-- it only affects the first born."
"Good. I wouldn't want to have to explain that to the fashion club. I'm going back to my room." Quinn walked away.
Quinn laid back down on her bed and stared at her ceiling. I won't have a sister anymore. I know we used to pick on each other, but that's what sisters do. I mean she may not have cared about the things I liked, but we were starting to get along better. I don't want a big brother. I want my sister back! Quinn turned her head to face the wall between her and her sister's room. "I love you Daria... I'm going to miss you." She whispered and began to cry.
Helen and Jake stayed in Daria's room as the worse of the physical transformation occurred. Over the course of the next hour, her body shook violently as the changes continued, but she remained unconscious. Helen grabbed the phone in the room and began calling her sisters. Rita and her mother barely responded. Amy was already on the computer looking up flights to go to Lawndale. Daria needed her. Helen was happy to see that Amy was coming. She then handed the phone to Jake who called his mom and sisters. They were in shock. All of them had heard the story, but didn't think it would happen again. They asked him if he wanted them to come, but he decided against it. Daria is going to want people around she knows, not those she rarely sees. After hanging up the phone, Jake and Helen sat down on the floor next to the bed.
"That covers everybody for right now. We can't call the school until after Thanksgiving break. Eric is out of town until Monday." Helen but her head in her hands.
"Not everybody. Hand me the phone ... we have one more call to make. Maybe this should have been the first call." Jake waited as the phone rang.
"It's four in the morning so unless you are Publisher's Clearing House saying we won you better have a good reason for waking me up." The voice growled on the other end.
"Sorry to wake you up Jane." His voice was shaky.
"Mr. Morgendorffer?" Jane was surprised to hear his voice on the other end of the line.
"Can you get your brother to bring you here? We need to have a talk with the two of you."
"I think so. Is everything okay? Is there something wrong with Daria?" Jane was full awake and scared.
"We will explain when you get here." Jake hung up the phone.
Jane quickly got dressed and ran up to her brother's bedroom door. She began to pound on it.
"Trent wake up! Trent! TRENT!!" She heard footsteps heading in her direction.
Trent opened up his door slowly. "What is it Janey?"
"I need you to take me over to the Morgendorffers now. There's something wrong with Daria."
The drive to the Morgendorffers was short and quiet. Jane could not get her leg to stop bouncing up and down. Trent put his hand on her shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze.
"What if Daria is sick Trent ... I mean really sick?"
"Calm down. I'm sure the Morgendorffers will let us know when we get there. They called you for a reason Janey."
"Mr. Morgendorffer asked for both of us Trent. Something has to be seriously wrong."
Trent thought about the statement. Jane had a point. For her dad to make sure we both went over there ... it had to be serious. He hoped that they would not be met by an ambulance or police car. Trent gave a sigh of relief when he turned onto Daria's street and found it quiet. After he parked the car, he turned to his sister. She was curled up in a ball beside.
"I can't go in. I won't be able to handle it." She could feel her eyes beginning to water.
"Come on Janey. Whatever is going on, she needs us."
Trent got out and opened the passenger door. Jane stood up and leaned against the car. Trent gave her a brotherly hug and led her to the front door. They were met there by Helen. The look on her face made her appear to have aged a decade in one night.
"Jane, Trent ... I'm sorry we had to call you." Helen's voice was broken and ragged.
Jane went to head upstairs before Helen stopped her. "I can't let you go up there right now. After we talk, maybe, but not right now. Please, sit down."
Jane joined her brother on the couch. Helen sat down on the chair beside them. She looked at the siblings with distant sad eyes. Jane feared the worst. Helen drew in a long breath.
"Jane ... I know that you are Daria's best friend. Trent, I know she considers you a friend as well. That's why we had to call. You see ... after tonight, Daria won't be Daria anymore."
Jane looked at Helen confused. "I don't understand ... is she sick ... is she hurt?"
Helen stared blankly at the floor. "Jake's family has a secret ... a terrible one. There was a curse placed on it over four hundred years ago."
"Come on - a curse? What does it do ... cause uncontrollable hair growth or worse give them the IQ of Kevin?" Jane was beginning to question Helen's sanity.
"No Jane. It changes the first born daughter into a son."
Jane and Trent sat there for several minutes in silence. Their minds went into a complete shutdown. Jane couldn't form a coherent thought. Finally she shook her head to knock the cobwebs out. "So what you are telling me is that Daria has been turned into a guy?"
"Turning - that's why I can't let you two up there. Apparently it has something to do with the lunar eclipse. The transformation begins at the start of the eclipse and ends when the eclipse is over."
"So does this mean that Jake started out as a Joan?"
"No ... it only affects first born daughters whose seventeenth birthday falls on a lunar eclipse."
"How many more of Jake's family members has this happened to?" Trent asked, finally out of his stupor.
"There have been two others - but that's all I know."
"Well, the eclipse is supposed to last another hour. How can we help?" Jane was still reeling.
"Don't turn your backs on her ... him." Helen choked out the last word. "Jake has been in the room the whole time. I felt it was best to come down here to meet with you. Dorian is really going to need both of you to help him out."
"Dorian ... I remember Mr. O'Neal called her that once in class. Did she pick that name?"
"No -- I did. I warned the school when we moved here that this might occur. I'm sure saying it was an accident, but he would have her other name on record."
"Did ... did Daria know this was going to happen?" Trent asked as he turned to look upstairs.
Helen shook her head. "We never told her. I had a hard time believing the curse was real."
The three sat in silence for several minutes. Memories started to flood into Jane's mind. Memories ... oh ****.. what if she doesn't know who we are ... who I am? What if she/he isn't the same sarcastic person I am friends with? Jane lowered her head and fought the tears trying to form.
"Does she ... know where he is or who you are?" Jane's mind feared the answer.
"Yes, all of Daria's memories and intelligence are still in tact so far. We won't know if that stays true until the change is complete." Helen sighed.
A few moments later, the bedroom door opened. Jake headed down the stairs and saw Jane and Trent. He slowly made his way to the group.
"Jake - is she - he ..." Helen could barely get the words out.
"He is asleep right now. I think its almost over. Jane, Trent ... thanks for coming." Jake gave Helen a hug. "The last time he woke up, I told him you were down here talking to them. He desperately wants to see you two but is afraid you two will leave once you do. I told him that I would ask, but he said he understood if you weren't ready." Jake sighed.
Jane looked at her watch. The eclipse would be over in about thirty minutes. She was afraid that Daria's mind would not stay in tact. As much as she was uncertain that she wanted to go up there, she knew she had to. Trent could sense what his sister was about to do. He got up and followed her up the stairs. Staring at her best friend's door, Jane drummed up her courage and knocked on the door.
"Mom, dad - you can come in." the voice was monotoned but low.
"It's not your parents," Jane replied.
"Are you sure you want to come in?" The voice inside the room cracked.
"Yes ... your parents told us what is going on. I'm worried about you. Trent's with me and he's worried too. Can we both come in?"
There was an intense moment of silence as Daria felt as she was drowning in fear. She didn't want to lose their friendship. She? I guess I need to stop referring to myself in the feminine. After giving herself a quick self inspection, her mind went into overdrive. Nope, definitely not a she anymore. The thoughts were broken by another knock on the door.
"Come in." Please don't leave. Please.. I didn't ask for this. Don't freak out and leave.
Jane grabbed the handle and slowly opened the door. The only light that was in the room was the growing moonlight shining through the sawed off bars on the window. Entering the room first with Trent right behind, Jane turned on a small desk lamp. They hesitated for a moment before looking down at the bed. Jane gasped at the sight before her.
Jane formed a mental picture of Daria in her head and compared it to the person lying on the bed. Their facial features were the same as well as their hair. He is sooo going to need a haircut. Even though he was covered, she could see the difference in height and arm and leg length. She knelt down beside the bed and held one of his hands. She felt a firm yet gentle squeeze. Trent kept his distance, sitting down on the computer chair.
"Daria - open your eyes ... its just us."
"Jane, Trent -- don't look at me I'm a freak." A tired voice replied.
"Good you know our names. I was hoping you hadn't forgotten about us. You're not a freak unless you have three extra toes I haven't seen yet."
A slight laugh came from the bed. "I wouldn't know.. I can't see a thing without my glasses."
Trent found the glasses on the desk. He handed them to Jane. Jane carefully placed them on Dorian's face. Slowly, a pair of deep auburn eyes stared back at her with a slight smile. She brushed away the hair from his face.
"Thanks." Dorian's face contorted and the his grip on Jane's hand tightened.
"Yeah ... but near as much as before. I passed out from the pain a couple of times tonight."
"You should feel better soon. The eclipse ends in about twenty minutes. Do you remember any of what happened?"
"Yeah ... but I don't want to talk about it right now. I just want to know are we still friends?"
"Freaking friends amigo ... don't worry. Right Trent."
"Absolutely." Trent grinned. Freaking Friends ... sounds like a good song title.
"Good - cause I'm gonna need one helluva press secretary at school."
They laughed then sat silently for a few minutes. Dorian let go of Jane's hand only to have her refuse to let his go.
Dorian looked up at Trent. "Can you do me a favor?"
"Will you get my mom and dad. Take your time."
Trent nodded and left the room.
"Look ... I don't know what kind of insane roller coaster this is. So, if you want to run off screaming into the night, I would understand." Dorian whispered.
"I wouldn't be here if I wasn't in it for the long haul amigo."
"I'm scared Jane."
"I'm scared for you." Jane decided to try to lighten the topic. "So ... are you going to stick with Dorian?"
"Yeah ... I am. Kinda fitting in a way."
Helen, Jake and Trent came into the room. Helen ran over to the bed and began to stroke his face. Dorian looked at her with a sad smile.
"Mom.. can you get me a towel or a robe? I have to go to the bathroom and well..."
Helen blushed. She left and came back in with a large bath towel. Everyone was shooed out of the room. Dorian was barely able to sit up. He quickly took off the nightshirt that had been drenched in sweat and the now inappropriate panties and wrapped the towel around himself. He walked into the bathroom,stood in front of the mirror, and slowly unwrapped the towel. This is soo weird. I might as well get used to this sight. He made his way over to the toilet. Let's see if I can do this without having to lift up the seat. After finishing, Dorian washed his hands and rewrapped the towel. He went back into his room and closed the door.
A couple of minutes later, Jane knocked and watched the knob turn and the door open. She waited a minute before entering. Dorian was lying back down. As Jane took her place back beside the bed, he reached out a shaky hand. She held it as another round of pain went through Dorian's body. A few moments later, she felt him loosen his grip as the pain subsided. Looking at her watch, Jane exhaled a sigh of relief.
"It should be over now. The eclipse just ended." She whispered.
"I keep hoping that this is one bad dream induced by eating too much suicide by chocolate cake."
"Trent went home to get you some of Wind's clothes. That way you will have something to wear until you are ready to deal with the denizens of Lawndale. You realize that Quinn is going to burn your old outfit in a glorious ceremony. She does know what's going on?"
Dorian flinched. "Yeah ... this has really upset her. I could hear her crying when I went to the bathroom."
"You want me to check on her?"
"Please." Dorian began to move back and forth on the bed. "My bedding is soaked. I need to change my sheets and blanket."
"Where are your spares?"
"On the shelf in the closet."
"I'll get them ... you start taking off the stuff on your bed." Jane got up and headed for the closet. She turned around to see Dorian still lying in bed covered.
"Umm ... I feel uncomfortable wearing just a towel in front of you."
"I can see your point there. I'll go in the hall ... just let me know when you are done." Jane walked out of the room.
Jane stood in the hall waiting for Dorian to finish. She could hear Quinn crying through her door. Carefully, she opened it. Quinn turned around and saw Jane enter her room. Jane walked up to her.
"Quinn--" Jane whispered.
"Daria's gone Jane! My sister is gone! I want my sister back! I want her back NOW!" Quinn cried into Jane's shoulder.
Jane held her, letting the younger one scream against her. I never realized she cared this much about Daria. Damn this is bad. "Quinn, Daria's not gone. Dorian is just her outer shell. His mind and personality are one hundred percent Daria."
"What if one day his mind changes? She was turned into a boy! What makes you so sure her mind won't do the same thing! I don't want her to forget me." Quinn shook in Jane's arms.
"You will just have to remind him so that memories of you stay fresh in his mind as well as hers. Look - we have to be his rocks. This whole thing might be bad for us, but it's going to be a nightmare for him." Jane whispered.
Dorian was standing by Quinn's door, listening with tears in his eyes. I knew this was hitting Quinn hard, but I didn't know it was that bad. I promise, I won't forget you Quinn ever. Jane, how can you be soo strong? Dorian watched as Jane held Quinn before heading back into his room.
Jane walked back into his room several minutes later, looking tired and emotionally drained. As she leaned against the bed, Dorian put his hand on her shoulder. Reaching up for it, she placed it on her cheek. Dorian stretched his fingers out as Jane tilted her head.
"Your mom and dad are talking to Quinn."
"Are you sure you're going to be okay?"
"Yeah. I'll probably fall apart when I get home. Either that or I'll throw up on a canvas."
"Thank you for sticking with me." Dorian yawned. "You realize we can't have any more sleepovers after bad movie night. Don't want to freak Tom out."
"Or your parents." They both laughed.
Dorian yawned again and stretched out. He took off his glasses and closed his eyes. He didn't realize that the blanket had moved off his chest. "Will you let my parents know that I am going back to bed." His voice began to trail off as his hand slipped off her face.
"Sure." Jane had been staring at his closet door zoning in and out herself.
"Dorian.. where do you want Trent to ..." She turned around to find him asleep, watching his chest rise and fall with every breath. Tom - I think things just got complicated. She leaned her head against Dorian's arm and closed her eyes.
Dorian woke up a couple of hours later. Refusing to open his eyes he felt a weight against his arm. He carefully turned to grab his glasses, put them on, and surveyed the room. Jane was leaning against his bed asleep, using his arm for a pillow. Trent was sprawled out into front of the closet. A pair of boxers, pants and a t-shirt were within reach. Carefully, he moved his arm out from under Jane. He reached for the shirt and quickly put it on. Taking the boxers, he laid back down and covered back up. Please don't let Jane wake up. He quickly undid the towel and slid the boxers on. Then he sat up in bed with his hands between his knees and stared down, his thoughts running rampant.
Why did this happen to me? Who is Katherine? Why make this wish? She said she had met two others before me? When? Is there any way this can be reversed? Why didn't mom believe it when she was told that? I have a thousand questions and zero answers. I just want to be me damnit! He began to pound his fist against the padded wall. Each time the blows became harder as he began to silently cry.
The movement of the bed stirred Jane awake. She turned to see Dorian's head leaning against the padding while his right fist wailed against it. Quickly, she grabbed his arm and slid behind him on the bed. Putting her arms around him gently, Jane could see the tear stains on his face.
"Breaking your hand isn't going to help the situation." Jane whispered.
"I just started thinking and the next thing I know I just started punching my wall. I want answers." Dorian sighed in a tone that reminded Jane of Daria.
"Unless your walls can talk, I don't think they can help you." Jane squeezed his shoulders. "I wonder if Ms. Li and Ms. Manson will try to put you back in self esteem class."
"Oh crap ... although the nocturnal emission class would be interesting." They both broke out into laughter.
Trent woke up when he heard the noise coming from across the room. He looked at the scene before him with sad eyes. Trent had liked Daria - not in a romantic way - but as a friend. Now, he wasn't sure what his role was supposed to be in her, well his, life. He saw how protectively Jane had her arms wrapped around him. A few moments later, he watched as Jane gave Dorian's shoulders another squeeze before getting up and leaving the room. Dorian signaled for Trent. Trent hesitated before walking over to the computer chair and sitting down.
"Can we talk for a minute?"
"Thanks for bringing Jane over and being here last night. Thanks for the clothes too."
"No problem. How are you doing?"
"I feel like I have been hit by a bus while it's being hit by a freight train. Look, there are going to be times when I'm going to need someone to talk to who isn't a female or my father."
"You mean like a big brother."
"Yeah- and I have it on good authority that you're not half bad in that department. So, I was kinda hoping you could fill that role."
Trent thought about it for a minute. Big brother ... I was kinda like that for you before. "I'm sure Janey will try to charge you a borrower's fee." Trent chuckled through his cough.
Jane stepped back into the room. "Quinn heard us and woke up. Your parents are asleep on her floor. She wants to see you."
Dorian drew a long breath then nodded. Trent got up and headed downstairs with Jane right behind him. Dorian took a moment to put the pants on. He waited for the next knock, uncertain of what would happen. He heard a light tapping against the door.
"Can I come in?" A scared and tired voice called out.
"Yes Quinn." Dorian steadied his nerves.
Slowly the knob turned and the door crept opened. Quinn waited a moment before entering. After Quinn took a few steps in, Dorian stood up. Quinn froze in place as she stared at what her sister had become. With tears filling her eyes, she rushed to Dorian and threw her arms around him.
"Quinn ... calm down. It's going to be okay." Dorian's voice was low and steady.
"This isn't fair Daria! I want you back! I'm sorry for every time I called you my cousin or said I was an only child. I'll do anything just come back." Quinn buried her head in Dorian's shoulder and sobbed.
"Quinn, I'm right here. I'll always be right here ..." Dorian pointed to his head. " ...and right here." He pointed to Quinn's heart. "I love you Quinn. Just because this happened, that hasn't changed." He whispered.
"I swear. Besides, who else are you going to bribe the next time you need out of a baby sitting job."
Quinn gave a slight laugh. "You really do remember everything don't you?"
"Yes ... and I promise that I'll never forget you." Dorian lifted his sister's face off his shoulder and kissed her forehead. I would have never done that as the old me but she really is having a time with this. It's weird ... she is taking this whole thing harder than I am. "Look ... if it makes you feel any easier about this, when you are with your friends or at school, you can call me your cousin."
Outside of the Quinn looked at Dorian. She began to shake her head. "No-- you're my brother. I'll just tell everyone you had been at that military school dad went to and that we sent Daria back to France." A smirk came over her face.
Jake and Helen stood in the hall and listened. Helen turned to Jake and placed her head on his shoulder. He put one arm around her and stared into the room. They both knew that the road ahead of them was going to be long. They then looked down the stairs at the siblings sitting on the couch. Trent was holding Jane like Dorian was Quinn. Helen and Jake were proud of the Lane siblings. They hoped that Trent could help Dorian with becoming a big brother.
Dorian chuckled, then got serious. "I'm going to need you to be strong Quinn. I don't want us to be battling Barksdales anymore."
"Okay ... I'll try my best." Quinn finally let go of Dorian.
It was then she finally looked at him. She turned into a not so bad looking boy. "You realize that hair has got to go ... those glasses too. When are we going to take you clothes shopping?"
"I'm not sure. If you promise not to try to GQ me, I'll let you pick me out one outfit. Okay?" That's the Quinn I need to see.
"Really? It's a deal." Quinn gave Dorian another quick hug. Before she left the room she turned back around, "So ... can I destroy your old outfits?"
Everyone but Dorian sat silently at the kitchen table, their faces etched in exhaustion. Amy had just called saying she would be there in about three hours. The group collectively agreed to get some more sleep after breakfast. They heard the shower cut off from the bathroom above them. A few minutes later, Dorian walked down the stairs. The group looked up when he walked in the room. He stared back at them uncertain of what to say. The Morgendorffers got up and gave him a quick hug. Dorian gave a weak smile in return. He joined them after grabbing a bowl of cereal.
"You look almost human." Quinn smirked.
"Aww thanks. Oh, I had to borrow one of your black hair bands. I hope you don't mind."
"Your hair looks good in a ponytail. Do you plan on keeping it long or cutting it short?" Helen asked.
"I haven't thought about it. I need a pair of shoes. I don't even know what size foot I have."
"I have a pair of sneakers in the closet I never wore. Try them until you can get some new ones." Jake smiled.
Dorian sat down next to Quinn and began eating. Trent, sitting beside Jane, began to smirk evilly. Jane had not been able to take her eyes off Dorian since he first came down the stairs. Trent elbowed Jane to snap her back into reality. Quinn blushed as she covered her mouth to giggle.
"Amy called. She will be here around one. We're going back to bed. Trent feel free to use the spare bedroom. Jane, I'm sure Quinn will let you use her bed." Helen chimed as she headed for the stairs.
"Jane can use mine. I'm going to sit down here for awhile. Besides, its my turn to take care of the dishes. If I get tired, I'll just crash on the couch."
"Okay Dorian." Helen's voice cracked.
"Thanks son." Jake patted Dorian on the shoulder before following Helen.
Quinn headed upstairs to get a little more sleep before calling the fashion fiends. She pulled Dorian into a quick hug. Dorian looked at Jane. She was still slightly dazed. Dorian started clearing off the table. Jane watched him walk into the kitchen. This isn't right. I'm checking out my best friend's butt. I have somebody ...Tom ... I have Tom. This can't be happening. Dorian headed back to Jane.
"Are you done?" He said pointing at her bowl of now mushy cereal
"Ummm-yeah." She blushed.
Dorian grabbed the bowl and stared at her for a moment. "I meant what I said about if you felt you had to bolt-"
Jane cut him off. "I'm fine ... really. I think I'll take you up on your offer about crashing on your bed though. Just don't think too much down here alone. These walls aren't padded."
"I'll be okay. I'm just going to write down all the questions I need answers to. I think if I keep busy, I won't fall apart at the seams." Dorian lowered his head.
Jane walked up to him and took his hands. They stood there in silence. Jane gave him a quick embrace before heading up to Dorian's bedroom. As she reached the foot of the stairs, she looked back at him.
"If you do decide to cut your hair, leave enough for a ponytail. You look good with it." Jane's said as her face turned as red as her lipstick. She quickly walked up the stairs.
Dorian stood there for a moment and raised his eyebrow. He sat down on the couch with his notebook and tried to concentrate on the questions he wanted answered. His mind, Daria's mind, kept drifting back to the comment Jane made and her blush. Jane never blushes, even when she gets embarrassed. He threw the notebook against the couch and stretched out. Staring up at the ceiling, his eyes grew heavy and he slowly drifted to sleep.
Amy was driving from the airport to her sister's house. She had never been there before and had to get directions before leaving the car rental booth. Although she missed her convertible, she had begun to like the size of the rental SUV. She tried to focus on the road, but the conversation she had with Helen several hours early replayed in her brain. Helen had expressed her fear about this happening, but had sworn Amy to secrecy. Amy had wanted to tell Daria while eating cheese fries after Erin's wedding but kept her word to her sister. She regretted that decision. Daria needed and deserved to know. After pulling into her sister's driveway, she raised an unsteady hand to the door and knocked.
Dorian heard the wrapping but hesitated to answer. Checking to see if anyone else was awake or downstairs, he got up. One and a half inches of wood stood between him and his favorite aunt. You can do this Daria. He hesitated before turning the knob. The door slowly opened and the two stood face to face.
"D ... Daria?" Amy's voice was barely above a whisper.
Dorian couldn't look straight at her. He just lightly nodded. Feeling his aunt's arms go around him, Dorian sank into her arms. She led him back to the couch. He curled up into a ball against her.
"Don't hate me. Please, just don't hate me. This isn't my fault. I couldn't stop it." He whispered over and over again.
"I don't hate you. You should hate me. Helen told me about the curse. I, like your mom, didn't believe it. She swore me to secrecy. I'm soo sorry Daria. Forgive me." Amy broke into tears.
"It's Dorian now. I can see why no one would think this could happen. This is insane. I'm waiting for a camera crew from 'Sick, Sad World' to show up any minute now. Either that or some kind orderlies from the funny farm to whisk me away from here."
"Well you better straightjacket me up with you. Maybe they have arts and crafts time with macaroni." Amy remarked.
Dorian let out a light laugh and started to stretch out. Breaking from Amy's grip, he walked over to the kitchen sink. Amy stayed on the couch. He returned holding a box of tissues. She stood up to get a good look at him. Amy had always thought that Daria kinda looked like her. Dorian, however, could have easily been her male clone. They were the same height, their hair was the same length. Dorian was lean, but not skinny. Amy stood in amazement.
Amy wasn't alone. Jane was the first one awake. She made her way downstairs and her mouth dropped. Stunned, Jane looked at the woman who Daria would have become. Dorian was standing beside her as though he was a bizarre reflection in a fun house mirror. Dorian heard the bottom step creak and looked up. He motioned for Jane to join them.
"Aunt Amy meet my best friend and handler at school Jane. Jane ... Aunt Amy."
"So your the one that Daria ... wait Dorian here had told me was going to set the art world on fire."
Jane stood there speechless. Finally, she came out of her stupor. "Yeah, but my luck, they'll charge me with arson." Jane turned to Dorian. "You told me you were a lot like your Aunt Amy but ... are you sure she isn't your mom?"
Dorian and Amy laughed. "So what are your plans for the rest of today?" Amy asked.
"Originally, it was going to be bad movie day. Now its figure out what the hell is going on day. That and I desperately need a pair of shoes that fit. My dad let me borrow a pair from him but they are tight."
"You know I think we can fix that." Amy said.
"Did I hear you're going shoe shopping? I'm there!" Quinn ran down to join them.
Dorian turned to Jane. "Save me!"
"Let me run home and take a shower and change. Be back in twenty." Jane smiled and left.
"What about Trent?" Quinn asked.
"We'll wake him up in a day or two. Trent is Jane's brother who brought her over last night. He's passed out in the guest room."
"Got it." Amy heard footsteps. "Helen, Jake ... Hi ... I'm just getting to know my new favorite nephew." She went up and hugged them.
"Thanks for coming Amy." Helen still looked like the living dead.
"I couldn't let Daria - wait Dorian down. Look, why don't you get some more rest. I'm going take Quinn, Jane and Dorian shoe shopping."
Helen handed Amy her platinum card. "Don't let Quinn get a hold of it."
Quinn turned to Dorian. "Let's get you some clothes ... you promised me you let me pick out an outfit for you."
Dorian drew a long sigh. "Alright. Can we go to the Mall of the Millennium? I'm not ready to see people I might know at Cranberry Commons."
"How far away is it?"
"A hundred miles. It takes about two hours to get there." Quinn answered.
"Okay. We'll leave when Jane gets back." Amy smiled.
Jane showed up about fifteen minutes later. Dorian called shotgun and the foursome left. Quinn noticed the faint smell of perfume. I don't ever remember Jane wearing perfume. Dorian thoughts kept drifting. He leaned his head against the window. Amy reached over and grabbed his arm.
"Are you sure you're ready for this?"
"No, I keep hoping that tomorrow I will wake up and this will all have been some kind of cruel cosmic joke. Quinn is right though. I need clothes, a haircut, glasses, shoes, sanity."
"If you're going to a mega-mall to find sanity you are in serious trouble. I don't think you should cut your hair. Trim it maybe, but not cut it." Amy replied.
"That's what I told him." Jane said as she blushed again. Amy and Quinn shot each other an evil grin.
The rest of trip was filled with generic banter. When they arrived, they went to a couple of stores to get the basics. He find a pair of Doc Martens and sneakers that fit perfectly. He selected several pairs of black and green pants and shirts. Amy and Jane were told to follow Quinn when he picked out boxers. They loaded the purchases into the SUV and went to the one-hour eyeglass center. Dorian chose a pair that reminded them of Clark Kent's frames. After they were through, Dorian got his hair trimmed. Exiting the hair salon, he could see the three others smiling. He didn't get a lot cut off but it was enough to fit his new face better. It was still in a ponytail. After grabbing a bite to eat, he looked at Quinn.
"Okay.. you held your end of the deal, now I'm holding up mine."
"Yes!" Quinn whisked Dorian away from Amy and Jane. They had to run to catch up.
After almost forty minutes, Quinn handed Dorian a handful of clothes. Try these on. Then, we'll vote on which one you keep."
Dorian yanked the clothes from her hands and headed to the dressing room. The first three were suits. The three agreed that the all black looked best. He exited the room in his regular clothes.
"What about the other stuff I picked out?"
"I told you one outfit Quinn."
"Come on Dorian. Please?"
He looked at the three and knew he was beaten. Jane and Amy know how much I hate shopping. I will get my revenge someday. He headed back to the dressing room.
The other outfits were casual. They liked them, but decided they weren't him. Then came the last outfit. It was a pair of well-fitting black jeans and a tight fitting red shirt. As he stepped out of the dressing room, Jane's mouth went dry. Her face matched his shirt. Dorian even noticed it and let out a laugh. Amy and Quinn both gave a thumbs up.
"I guess this is payback for all those times you picked on me about your brother."
Jane however was oblivious to the comment. Holy ****. He looks so damn hot in that! Damnit! Damnit! Damnit! I can't be thinking this. He's my best friend. My best friend whose now a guy. Her thoughts were broken by Quinn tapping her on the shoulder.
"We're leaving. Dorian's glasses should be ready."
"Okay." Jane stood up to follow. The vision of Dorian in that last outfit danced through her head. She wondered if she would ever get to see him in it again. She forgot about Tom.
When they returned home, Helen and Jake were up and ordering dinner. Dorian showed off the new outfits. Helen was not surprised that he stuck to the same color scheme. Dorian then brought the new clothes up to his room and threw his old undergarments in the trash. He stared into his closet and the multiple sets of his old clothes, the signature shirt, skirt and jacket. I'm going to miss you ... but I have to let you go. He took out all but one set of the outfit. He shoved it to the end of his closet and placed a pair of his old glasses in the pocket. Looking down at his boots, he picked them up and gave them a quick hug. Placing the old outfits in a bag, Dorian went downstairs and handed the bag to Quinn.
"Give them the glorious send off they deserve."
She grabbed the bag from him and smiled. "It will be fantastic. You sure you don't want to watch?"
"Absolutely." He turned to Jane and Amy. "I'm still in the mood for a bad movie ... if you are ... I'm thinking bad like 'Ishtar' bad."
"I'm in." Amy said. "Jane?"
Jane nodded. They headed upstairs when the pizza arrived. Trent smelled food and headed into the room. After the movie was over, Jane and Trent decided to go home. Before she left the room, Dorian pulled Jane back in.
"I remember you once asking if you could have these." Dorian whispered, picking up the boots. "Take good care of them for me. Who knows ... I might need them back some day." He placed them in Jane's hands as his eyes began to water.
Jane looked at him and nodded. She walked out of his room. She waved goodbye to Amy and met Trent at his car. As they drove home, Jane held the boots against her chest and cried.