Author's Note: Daria and its associated characters are the property of MTV/Viacom. This was not written for money or any other compensation. It is only fanfic and written for the pure enjoyment of it.


Dreams and Reality

by Aloysius

Daria Morgendorffer sat atop the building and looked down at the Lawndale streets through the binoculars.

The dead were everywhere, shambling around, aimless, without a thought or care in the world.

A pity the same couldn't be said for the living.

A bird (It looks like a robin, she thought) tried to land on a park bench, and five of the closest dead jumped for it. If you could call the arthritic, spasmatic movements "jumped". The bird simply flew out of reach, almost as if teasing its pursuers.

"Amiga," Jane said from behind her.

Daria turned around and looked at her best friend. Several other Lawndale High School students (and a few adults) stood behind the runner. All of them were armed with various firearms, baseball bats and sledgehammers. She said nothing and waited.

"It's time to go, Daria."

"We just need to wait a little longer, Jane. They'll be here. This kind of thing is like their raison d'être."

Jane sighed and looked down at the brunette. Ever since she had "found" the fan fictions that concerned their lives, Daria had been like this. Personally, the raven-haired runner believed that her friend had dreamed up the fan fiction stories. Dreams, however, were never quite this detailed.

But then again, she reminded herself, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from a dream - twice.

"Daria, Ringbearers are fictional, just like the DC and Marvel superheroes, phasers and the assorted items found in the Star Wars series. It would be nice if they did exist, but they don't."

Daria turned back around and looked through the binoculars at the dead on the street.

"Let me try," Scarlett said and moved around Jane. The redhead knelt beside Daria. "I understand your faith, Daria."

"Why doesn't anybody believe me?" Daria asked.

"It's a scary time," Scarlett said and touched the other girl's right shoulder.

Daria looked at her.

"Think about this, Daria. It's better to wait for the Ringbearers in a place of relative comfort. That way we can get rest, be better fed and keep out of the elements. Then, when they do get here, we'll be able to join them and help fight the dead."

Jane notice how the redhead maintained eye contact with Daria and spoke in a slow, almost monotonous voice tone.

"Ready to go with us, Daria?" Scarlett then asked.

Daria blinked as she looked at the other girl, then nodded slowly.

Scarlett and Jane helped the brunette up, while Ted and Trent moved up and took her by her arms and led her away. Other students followed them and left the runner and the goth alone.

"You hypnotized her, didn't you?" Jane asked.

Scarlett looked at Jane and shrugged. "I've never done that before. Didn't know if it would work."

Jane smirked. "We can use you when someone needs surgery."

"It's too bad that Daria isn't right, you know. I'd really like to be a telepath." The redhead shook her head. "It would be neat to be able to read minds, just to see what the boys are really thinking."

"Please don't tell me you're that naïve."

"No. But Defender Rings and light sabers would be awesome tools to have. Especially right now."

Jane held up her pistol and said, "This comes in handy, too."

Scarlett nodded and the two girls moved to follow the others off the roof.


Author's Note: I'd like to thank the following people for their comments on this story when it first appeared on the PPMB: The Angst Guy, Brother Grimace, Richard Lobinske, vlademir1, Disco316 and losdia.