Disclaimer: Daria and all related characters are the property of MTV.

Note: This is the next in the Unseen Phenomenon Series, it takes place approximately three years after "A Mere Formality"

Fate's Twisted Sense of Humor

It is late in the afternoon on a Friday sometime in May, the weather is lousy out complete with wind and rain. The scene pulls pack from the bedroom window to show Daria lying face down in bed apparently half asleep. After a moment she sighs deeply and moves slightly to the side to show that Duncan is underneath her as he wraps his arms about her and holds her close.)

Duncan: I thought you had fallen asleep on me there, lass. Stereo-typically that's the guys job. (Smiles)

Daria: (Kisses his chest) I think I did, sorry. I'm just comfortable where I am I guess. (Turns her head towards the window and sighs) This was a great way to end a long day, I'm glad you were home.

Duncan; So am I, I probably would have kicked myself if I'd missed out on alone time with you.

Daria: (sits up while still straddling his lap. The covers slide down her back to reveal that she's not wearing anything) Did you want to go again...............? (the phone rings) (Scowls) Oh for gods sake.

Duncan: (groans) Only when you're having fun. (Daria picks up)

Daria: This had better be DAMNED good.

Jane: (Shakily) Hey Daria, I'm not interrupting anything am I?

Daria: Hey Jane, ...as a matter of fact you were, ....(sighs) But it's no big deal. What's on your mind?

Jane: Um....I was wondering if you could come pick me up from the hospital . I had a bit of an accident and I can't seem to get a hold of Trent.

Daria: Oh god, ...are you okay?

Duncan: (in the background) What happened?

Jane: Yea, .....I'm okay, aside from a bit of a gash on my forehead and a major headache that is.

Daria: How did it happen?

Jane: I don't know, all I do know is that I when I was leaving college I went to turn out on the highway and wammo!!! The front driver side of my car looks like a taco, .....(chuckles) I hope the cops will give me a picture of it.

Daria: Jesus, .....It's amazing you're not badly hurt or anything.

Jane; Yea, tell me about it. So like, can you come pick me up? Or is what I was interrupting THAT good.

Daria: Yea, ...it was. But I'll come get you anyway. I'll be there soon. (Is about to hang up) By the way, which hospital are you at? I figure I may need such vital information.

Jane: I'm over at Mercy hospital in Dunnsville.(Chuckles) No need to send you wandering around the state all afternoon is there.

Daria: Not unless you REALLY want to piss me off.

Jane: I'm not really feeling up to pissing you off right now, will you take a rain check?

Daria: Just have two forms of ID ready for me. I'll be there soon. (Hangs up and looks Down at Duncan who is still underneath her) Jane's had an accident.

Duncan: Bloody hell, is she alright?

Daria; She mentioned a gash on her forehead and a headache but other than that she seemed well enough to make an intelligible phone call.

Duncan: (Sighs) Damned people don't even watch where they're going anymore. (Motions for Daria to get up off him) Well, I guess we should get up then. (Daria doesn't move)

Daria; We'll get there, fortunately it's not an emergency so we have time to finish.

Duncan: I thought we were.....(Daria places her finger against Duncan's lips to get him to stop talking)

Daria: We have time for a quicky. (Duncan smiles and the scene fades and comes back in as they are coming into the hospital emergency room to meet up with Jane who as they enter the room see her sitting up on a Gurney with a large white gauze patch on her forehead.)

Jane: Hey there, Daria. Thanks for coming. (Looks beyond Daria to see Duncan) Hey Duncan....

Daria: Have you managed to get a hold of Trent yet?

Jane: Yea, but I told him I'd meet him at home later since you were coming to get me.

Daria: That's good, no need to pry him away from the Scot unnecessarily. So are they ready to release you yet?

Jane: They've been ready, I had nothing better to do while sitting here so I kept pressing the call button just to watch the pretty little light go on above my slot here. I'm beginning to think it's starting to get on the nurses last nerve, she offered to pay me if I'd stop.

Daria: Really, ....how much?

Jane: (Smirks) Not enough, ....my art is worth more and I'm not even dead yet.

Duncan: I can fix that for you if you like.

Jane: No thanks, I've seen enough blood running down my forehead to last me the rest of the day. (Presses the palm of her hand against her forehead) Ugh,......I can't believe this place has the nerve to charge me ten dollars for an aspirin and the thing STILL hasn't kicked in yet. God, I should have asked them for something narcotic. At least then I could rest assured that I would be out of my mind for the rest of the day.

Duncan: (looks at Daria) Well, at least we wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway.

Jane: Hey now, give a girl a break. I've just had my car totaled by some guy in a cast iron boat. The damned thing practically cut my car right in half.

Duncan: Who's fault was the accident?

Jane: (raises her hand) According to the cops, anyway.

Duncan: So is the other guy hurt at all?

Jane: Just a light bruise where the seat belt held him in place. Lucky bastard, unfortunately the seat belt I was wearing doesn't keep you from smacking your head against the side window. They had to pick a couple pieces of glass out of my forehead.

Daria: Ouch, ...did you at least get some pictures of THAT?

Jane: (holds up a couple of Polaroids) Ironic isn't it, that they just happen to take snapshots of your injuries for insurance purposes? (Thinks for a moment) Speaking of insurance, I'm going to need a ride for a few days until I can pick myself up a new car. Is there any chance either of you would be willing to help me look?

Duncan: If you can wait until the weekend then I would be able to help you, but as it is I don't get off work until four. Sometimes later if work warrants it.

Daria: I'll do it, when do you think you'll want to get started?

Jane: In a day or so, I want to wait until I kick this headache first.

Daria: No problem. (Looks about) So where did the guy you hit run off to? Was he even brought here just to get checked out?

Jane: I have no idea, I think he was brought in here but I haven't really seen him since he pried my car door open.

Duncan: Do you remember what he looked like?

Jane: Nah, I was dazed out of my mind. All I remember was punching him in the face and calling him a blind asshole when he tried to move me.

Duncan: (laughs) You punched the poor bloke out for trying to help you out of your car? (Shakes his head and laughs some more) That's a Kodak moment right there folks.

Jane: Yea, ....yea. Can we get out of here now? (Juts her thumb toward the curtain wall) There's a woman in the next slot over who's been mumbling eerily to some person who isn't even there. And it's really creeping me out.

Duncan: Like how?

Jane : (Imitates the woman) Ethel........oh god, I'm coming Ethel, I've got two things going for me here. I've gotta shit, .....and I don't have to shit. Oh god, ....ETHEL! (Resumes her normal composure) She either died or dropped off to sleep shortly before you guys got here, now all I want from you is to get me out of here before she wakes up, ......or she comes back from the dead, whichever happen first.

Duncan: Oh if we must, ....let's go visit the nice people at the front desk and see how large of a bill they want to slap you with. (Jane gets up and the three of them head out and down the hall)

Daria: Hey, aren't they supposed to wheel you out of here or something?

Jane: Hey, they didn't see it. I didn't do it, now keep walking. (Daria laughs)

(Cut to Jane's house about an hour and a half later)

Jane: (comes barging in the front door) Four HUNDRED dollars for a THREE hour emergency room visit and a ride in an ambulance. Which mind you was the only cool part of my entire day, I liked the idea of people pulling off the road to get out of my way. It made me feel sort of important. But anyway, how the HELL do those people sleep at night knowing that everyone they allegedly help is sucked dry at the end of the visit. The only difference between a hospital and a vampire is the fact that a hospital uses a sterilized needle to suck the blood out of you.

Daria: Wow, ....now I can rest assured that I'll have nightmares tonight about doctors chasing me with needles. Thanks so much Jane.

Jane: No problem, glad I could be of service. (Looks at Duncan) Hey Duncan, can you go into the kitchen and see if there's any aspirin in the third cabinet? The stuff they gave me at the hospital hasn't done jack for me.

Duncan: I think I can manage that. (Walks off towards the kitchen)

Jane: (turns to Daria after Duncan leaves the room) So what was so important that I was interrupting earlier?

Daria: Nothing life threatening, don't worry about it.

Jane: You're going to make me pry again aren't you?

Daria: Jane can't you just for once lay off so I can have a few details of my life all for myself?

Jane: (looks hurt) Do I have to? I love knowing everything about you, it's like seeing my real life alter ego or something.

Daria: (looks amused) Yea, well your alter ego wants some privacy so back the hell off.

Jane: Oh all right, ....you try to be an involved friend and look what it gets you, ....jeez.

Duncan: (Comes out of the kitchen) I can't seem to find the stuff, Jane. Are you sure it's where you think it's supposed to be?

Jane: Hmm, ....maybe we ran out or something. I'll go ask Trent, I saw his car out there when we came in the driveway so he's probably in his room. If there's any aspirin in the house he should know, he uses it all the time when he comes home from playing a gig.

Daria: Ok then, have fun. (Jane walks up the stairs to Trent's room)

(Cut to the upstairs hallway as Jane approaches Trent's bedroom door. She raps her knuckles lightly against the door and when she doesn't hear a response assumes that Trent is probably sleeping or something. She opens the door and peers in to see a unique sight indeed. Trent is in bed sleeping as Jane had assumed and right next to him wearing a pair of jean shorts and usual purple turtleneck is Maria. As Jane looks about the room she notes to herself how much the room now looked like the dining room. There was a small fold up table set for two and a couple of now extinguished candles sitting between the plates of leftovers from their meal.)

Jane: A candle light dinner in Trent's room, can you get any weirder. (looks on at Maria noticing that her left leg was uncovered from the fringe of her shorts down) (V.O) God DAMN, she's got some long legs. Man, everybody has got someone these days but me. (Shakes her head and is about to back out of the room when something shiny catches her eye. She opens the door wider to get a better look and see's that on Maria's left ring finger is a small diamond solitaire. Jane backs out Quickly and makes haste down the stairs)
(Cut back to the living room)

Jane: (as she reaches the bottom of the stairs) Hey guys, you're not going to believe this.

Daria: What, that there really ISN'T any aspirin in the house?

Jane: (looks at Daria with irritation) Who CARES about aspirin. (Daria and Duncan exchange looks)

Duncan: Okay Jane, before you go and flip your lid on us and we have to have the men dressed in white take you off to the little rubber room, Tell us what your so exited about.

Daria: And if you can, leave out any parts about little green men from mars abducting you from your brothers room. We've heard about them so it's nothing new to us.

Jane: (rolls her eyes) I went to check on Trent and I saw Maria in the room with him.

Daria: (unenthusiastic) We're unimpressed with your report thus far old friend.

Jane: Oh, ......did I forget to mention the fact that they were both sleeping next to each other in bed?

Daria: So they did the deed, it was bound to happen sooner or later. They've been together for six years now I think.

Jane: (returns fire) Uh huh, and you and Duncan have been together for four, what's the status on the two of YOU?

Daria: All right .....all right, you caught the two of them in bed together. Congratulations already, we're impressed now are you happy?

Jane: Not really, they were still fully clothed so I don't think they did what you thought. But that was just a tidbit of information, I wanted to see if Duncan was the protective sort of brother. What I really wanted to tell you is that Maria has a ring on her finger.

Duncan: (raises an eyebrow in interest) She doesn't wear jewelry on her fingers, it tends to get caught on things as she feels around her surroundings.

Jane: (smiles) Well she does now, (point to her ring finger) She wearing a nice shiny rock on this finger.

Duncan: (tries to picture what she's talking about and then it hits him) Oh god.........

Daria: What?

Duncan: If Jane's not actually pulling our chains then it sounds like Trent did the one knee dance.

Daria: (Tries not to laugh) The one knee......., Oh god. Jane are you kidding?

Jane: Hey, I draw the line at joking about marriage proposals.

Daria: No you don't, you cracked a joke about Mack's proposal to Jodie. Remember, .....you asked if Mack spiked the ring after she accepted?

Jane: (scowls) You would remember that. Ok....FINE, But starting NOW I draw the line on joking about marriage proposals.

Duncan: (Chuckles) Mom and dad are going to have a bloody heart attack.

Jane: (turns to Daria) Isn't it cool how his natural use of grammar can make something like that seem so graphic by accident?

Daria: Hey, it's just another thing I happen to love about the guy.

Duncan: I guess we're all going to have to act surprised when they finally break the news to everyone.

Jane: Any chance we can rub their noses in the fact that we saw them in bed together?

Duncan: (annoyed) Prying about Daria's personal life is one thing, Jane. If you start butting into my sisters then I'm afraid I'm going to have to break your legs. Besides, you said yourself that they didn't do anything.

Daria: (punches Duncan's shoulder) Hey, no fair! Why is she more special than I am?.

Jane: (laughs) Well, at least we know for sure now that you ARE a protective older brother.

Duncan: Aye, ....I just lurk in the shadows. She doesn't need to know I'm keeping an eye on her.

Daria: Duncan Macleod, ....family stalker at work. (Jane shares a laugh with her and the scene fades out)

(Cut to the next morning. Jane Stumbles down the stairs having been woken up from a sound sleep, it's too early to decide wether or not her headache is still persisting so Jane just holds her palm against the gauze patch on her forehead just to be safe. She's oblivious to her appearance as she's still in her boxers and t-shirt and her hair is seriously slept on. Never the less when she opens the door she simply stands there while waiting for her eyes to focus in the morning sun which is shining brightly against the front steps. Through her sleep blurred eyes she can barely make out the form of a young dirty blond haired man about the same age as Jane standing there staring back at her.)

Jane: (rubs her face slowly) Mmph.......you're a little early to be the mail man aren't you?

Man: (raises an eyebrow and scowls at the same time) Funny, ......by the way nice clothes... (Looks her up and down and a little to the side)......... Or lack of them.

Jane: (tries to slick her hair back a a bit) Ugh....., I've been seen in less. So who are you already?

Man: You mean you don't remember me at ALL? (Laughs to himself) We ran into each other only yesterday, .....literally if I recall correctly. (Jane stares at him blankly) I was heading down route twenty one past Somerville college for the arts and you pulled out of the main parking lot right in front of me, ....do you remember now?

Jane: I remember having an accident at that intersection yesterday.

Man: (leans a little closer) Well at any rate, you and I collided with each other hence the need for the bandage on your forehead. (Pauses) .....And when I tried to help you out of your car to make sure you were okay, ....you decked me. (Points to his left,... black eye.) Remember me now?

Jane: (Squints as her vision finally begins to focus more clearly) Oh god, .....did I do that? Does it hurt?

Man: (nods enthusiastically) Yes, as a matter of fact.

Jane: (smiles) Good, it serves you right for appearing out of nowhere like that. (Thinks for a moment) Wait a minute, .....how did you find out where I live?

Man: (Holds up a little black wallet) You dropped this on the ground when I tried to help you out of your car.

Jane: (scowls angrily) You picked my pocket?

Man: I did NOT pick your pocket, it fell on the ground when you jumped up to hit me. (Looks at her for a moment) Feel free to check it, everything is there that was in there when I found it yesterday.

Jane: (looks through it thoroughly) So it is, ...I'm amazed. There's actually some honest people out there. (Looks at him) Ok, ...you gave me my wallet back. So why are you still standing there?

Man: Well, it WOULD help if we exchanged insurance information. I'd feel a lot better knowing that I would eventually be reimbursed for my car.

Jane: (holds her hand up in front of her face to block the sunlight coming into her eyes) Ugh....it's to bright out here. Listen, um guy. What's your name?

Man: Timothy Ravens.

Jane: Do you drink coffee Timothy?

Timothy; Are you kidding, ...sometimes by the gallon,... on a work day at least.

Jane: (smirks) Well, you live on caffeine so you can't be all THAT bad. And I need some coffee myself if we're going to discuss this stuff,... so do you want some?

Tim: (Smirks) Do you always drink coffee on the front steps?

Jane; Come on man, it's too early for bad jokes. I'll make it simple, take a step in the front door so I can make some coffee and still keep an eye on you.

Tim: Wow, you've made me an offer I can't refuse. I'm impressed, this is the first accident I've ever had where I got free coffee out of it. (Walks in though the door)

Jane: (As they walk into the kitchen Jane starts searching through the cupboards for a coffee filter) Dammit, I told Trent to pick up some more on his way home from work yesterday. (Sighs) God, ....it seems he only remembers anything when his girlfriend is with him. (She's interrupted by Tim)

Tim: Use a couple of paper towels.

Jane: (Stands upright from looking at the cupboard under the sink) What?

Tim: (points to a roll of paper towels sitting on the counter) Peel off a couple of paper towels and lay them together in the coffee funnel, ...they should hold up just as well as a filter.

Jane: (thinks about it and then decides to try it) When did you figure that one out?

Tim: (smirks) At work a long time ago, they never remember to order more filters for the office coffee machine. And when you live on coffee like I do, you have to learn to be inventive. (After the coffee is done brewing she pours Tim a cup and goes into the fridge to search for milk and then pulls out half a carton before turning around to see that Tim is already gulping it down)

Jane: Jeez, you drink it black?

Tim: Not normally, but I left early this morning to be sure I'd catch you at home. I haven't had my fix for the morning yet.

Jane: (pours herself a cup and stirs in some milk before they both sit down at the table) I Can relate, I'm a complete zombie before I have my coffee in the morning.

Tim: (Chuckles) So I noticed. (Reaches into his pocket and pulls out his insurance cards, license and so forth, then moves to hand them to Jane for inspection) There's my stuff. (Jane reaches out to grab them and grabs his hand instead by accident and then drags the cards out of his hand) Still asleep are you?

Jane: Mmmph.....yea, I think I'm going to need some more coffee. (Squints and rubs the back of her neck as she gets up and moves to pour herself some more coffee) God I hate it when the AC kicks on suddenly like that.

Tim: You felt that too, huh? We must be right under the vent or something. (Looks up at the ceiling to search for the vent as Jane comes back with the coffee pot and starts to pour)

Jane: (Spills some of the steaming hot coffee on her hand she's using to hold the cup with and drops the cup causing it to break on impact with the floor) OW......dammit!!

Tim: (gets up from the table to search for a towel) Are you alright?

Jane: Yea, ....I'll live. Listen, can you look over in the corner for a dust pan and brush I can clean this up with?

Tim: (shrugs and walks over to the corner that Jane indicated) Yea, ... Ok (comes back a moment later to see Jane at the sink running cold water over her hand where the coffee scalded her.) It's not bad is it? That coffee looked pretty hot.

Jane: Eh, ....it'll hurt like a bitch but at least it didn't leave me with a killer headache and blood running down my forehead like this did. (Points to the gauze bandage on her forehead)

Tim: (Walks over) I couldn't tell, you were too busy beating the hell out of me to get a close look at it.

Jane: (chuckles) Yea, ....sorry about that. I was kind of out of it at the time. It's not all gory and cool looking like it was but if you want to have a look then feel free.

Tim: Eh, that's ok. I'll pass, coffee and gore never seem to sit very well with me. At least not this early in the morning. (Smirks)

Jane: Oh give me a break, You destroyed my car yesterday, you sent me to the hospital for a couple of hours and then you showed up on my doorstep wanting to exchange insurance information. (Smirks) The least you can do is take a look at your own handiwork. Come on, it's still sort of cool looking.

Tim: Are you always this friendly to people who show up on your doorstep?

Jane: Well, the cops didn't bust you on anything at the scene of the accident. They MUST have done a background check on you because they sure as hell did one on ME, and you're honest enough to return my wallet without touching anything in it.

Tim: (holds up his index finger) Not true, Jane. I had to check out your drivers license to find you.

Jane: (rolls her eyes) Oh all right, one strike against you. But still you've had close to half an hour so far, I figure if you were going to try something you'd have done it by now. Besides, ...if you DID try something....(reaches into a drawer and pulls out a large knife, brandishes it, and then puts it back) If I don't cut your balls off first then my friends would make sure you paid heavily. (Smiles) Feel better now?

Tim: Actually,...... I have this sudden urge to run away.

Jane: Perfect, now come see what you've done to me.

Tim: Done to YOU? You pulled out in front of me, remember?

Jane: Hey, you must have sped up or something. Because when I looked to check the traffic, you were still a ways off. So it's YOUR fault for speeding.

Tim: The police report says otherwise, Jane. I was doing the speed limit, and since YOU were pulling out into traffic, it was your responsibility to yield. Like it or not, that's what the report will show when you get your copy in the mail. (Sighs and stares at Jane as she crosses her arms in defiance) Oh all right, show me and get it over with.

Jane: (reaches up and gently pulls the tape away from her skin followed by the bandage as Tim comes closer to look) I figure it'll make for a great painting once I get a better look at it in the mirror.

Tim: You're interested in art are you?

Jane: Artist extraordinair, that's me. (Tim tilts Jane's head down a little with his hand so he can see) So what do YOU do to pass the time?

Tim: (doesn't respond to the last comment) Hmm....six stitches, .....must have hurt like hell. But I imagine the blood made it look worse than it actually was, the face and scalp always bleed heavily for some reason. (Jane picks her head up as he points to the rather nasty black eye that Jane had bestowed upon him.) I bet it hurt almost as much as THIS. That's quite a left hook you've got there.

Jane: (leans closer and looks at the area around Tim's eye) Oh wow, did I do that? Jeez, I should train for a professional title or something. Oh look, and I've branded you too.

Tim: What?

Jane: Look in the mirror some time, the mark from my class ring is imprinted into your skin.

Tim: Yea, well don't get used to it. If it doesn't heal then there's always plastic surgery.

Jane: So what is it that YOU were in such a rush to do given that you WERE speeding.

Tim: I was NOT speeding, Jane. And for your information, ....I'm an aircraft mechanic, and in my spare time a pilot. I work at the flight line airport over near Somerville.

Jane: (smirks) Oh well, if you drive like you fly then I guess this mustn't look all that bad compared to the injuries you've probably sustained in one of your crashes. (Sticks her finger out and rubs it against the bruised skin around Tim's eye)

Tim: OW! Hey, I've never crashed once in my life. And if you would watch where your driving then THIS (presses his thumb against Jane's stitches) wouldn't hurt so much.

Jane: OWW!! Dammit, you son of a.... (Jane moves to throw a punch and her hand is caught by Tim and they struggle for a moment while staring angrily into each others eyes. After a few minutes the anger bleeds away yet they are still staring into each others eyes as the scene fades out)

(Cut to Daria's apartment as she opens the front door to allow Duncan to come into the apartment and then once he is through shuts the door behind him)

Daria: Shouldn't you be at work?

Duncan: Aye, I'm on my way there now. I just thought I'd stop by and see how you were.

Daria; What's the matter, to much of a man to use the phone?

Duncan: Hey, I don't do that macho crap. I just prefer stopping by to see you in person preferable to calling you on a cell phone. You sound much better this way for one thing.

Daria: (wraps her arms about his waist and then pushes him away so she can return to the computer) Uh huh, .......right.

Duncan: (follows her to the computer) So as long as I'm here, what are you up to?

Daria: Just ordering my graduation announcements over the net.

Duncan: Hey, while your at it can you see if you can find something as an engagement gift for my sister? I'll spot you the money when you get the bill. (Thinks for a moment) When is the graduation ceremony again?

Daria: Yea, I guess I could find something. And it's on the thirtieth, ... I sure as hell hope you requested off. I'd really like for you to be there to watch me walk.

Duncan: Aye, I'll be there. What about your parents?

Daria: I know my dad will be there, ....and he'd probably find some way to blame it on his father if he can't. As for my mom, that's whether she can pull herself away from her career or not. Hell, she was barely involved in my high school education as it was. She always avoided the meetings with the teachers whenever they were "concerned" about my attitude. Not that I'm really complaining about that in itself. It actually seemed to serve my purpose rather well, it ensured that I could lead my life the way I wanted without much outside interference.

Duncan: Ugh, a career mother. That had to be tough to grow up with.

Daria: Yea, ....so what about you? What was it like growing up for you?

Duncan: Not too bad really, the hardest part was moving from Scotland to the US. I had a lot of friends back home, ....but we were coming for a good reason. They don't have many resources for the blind back home. At least here there's a much better chance for Maria to lead a near normal life, there's no commission for the blind in Scotland, and with no commission there's no guide dog, no special education to help her get around and so forth. As for working parents, ....my mom didn't get a job till we moved here. Before that she was a home maker. And my dad, ....I'm not really sure what he did over there. I just know that he left in the morning and didn't come home until after dark.

Daria: Sounds like a really informed childhood. So what do they both do now?

Duncan: Well, my dad once we got over here worked a part time job while putting himself through school and now he's an electrical engineer for Lockheed Martin. And my mom, ...is a secretary for some mortgage company. (Shrugs) It's a job I guess.

Daria: Hey, it puts food on the table. And as long as she likes what she does, then I can't imagine it being that bad.

Duncan: Good point. It's probably the same philosophy my parents used when I went to become a firefighter.

Daria: (smiles) They must have, otherwise they would have used common sense and yanked you back home by your shirt collar.

Duncan: (tries to wrap his arms about her waist) Don't think they haven't tried, love.

Daria: (squirms free) Hey now, none of that. You have to go to work, remember?

Duncan: You would have to remind me, wouldn't you.

Daria: (Turns Duncan around and pushes him toward the door) Out the door now, I'll see you after you get home. (Shuts the door behind him and pants a little) God, that guys heavy!

(Cut to the inside of the Lawndale mall. It's not very crowded given that it's a weekday, and Trent and Maria are taking advantage of the lessened presence of mall patrons by walking the halls themselves. Maria holds onto Trent's elbow instead of Cheyenne's leash this time although the dog is still with them and walking directly alongside of Maria to her right.)

Trent: I'm glad we were able to get out and do something different for once. Most of the time we either hang out at my house or go to the pub for a gig. I'm surprised you never got bored with me.

Maria: (chuckles) I'm used to not going out that much, Trent. If you recall I can't exactly walk out of the house, jump into the car and drive wherever I please at a moments notice. If I ever want to go someplace it either has to be within walking distance, ....or I have to arrange for a ride which can tend to be a rather tedious task. Nobody is ever around when you need them, I've noticed.

Trent; What about me?

Maria: You're around when you can be, and I appreciate that. But your not just a means of transportation,..... I hope you know that. Besides, You've got a job to go to.

Trent: I know.

Maria: And as for me, ...well lets just say that job options are rather limited if you know what I mean. (chuckles) People are a little apprehensive when they find out that the person they are interviewing for a job is blind. They tend to feel the need to walk on eggshells around me. (Sighs) What's a girl to do?

Trent: Well, no matter what happens. You know I'll always take care of you, whether you find a job or not.

Maria: (smiles and reaches over to feel his face) I know, I just want to feel useful. I hate the idea of sitting on my butt, and because it's a result of no one wanting to give me the chance to prove myself in the workplace makes it even worse. If I could find someone outside of a grocery store willing to take the necessary steps to help me get started then that would at least be something.

Trent: What job skills do you have?

Maria; I can type, I've got the keys to the keyboard memorized and all I would need to use a computer in the workplace would be a speech program to vocalize the text on the screen. (Pause) But that could be EXPENSIVE.... and nobody wants to spend any extra money even if it would help someone. (Sighs again) I can use the phone with no problem, .....but telemarketer's are such a pain and I don't want to become something that I hate.

Trent: (thinks for a moment) What about if you were required to work something with a bunch of switches and knobs?

Maria: Typically that requires sight, but just for the sake of example I could place a braille label on each of the switches or knobs telling me what that thing was. But like I said, that would require sight. Switches and knobs are typically associated with gauges or something that would need to be watched. Why, what did you have in mind?

Trent: I could talk to Matt, my boss at work. I could see if I could get you a job working with me in the sound booth. You're a great listener, you might not even need the gauges after a while and as for the rest I might be able to be your eyes.

Maria: Not to burst your bubble, but wouldn't that be a conflict of interest given that we're sort of involved with each other?

Trent: (shrugs) We'd have to contain ourselves until after work but I can manage that if you can. I'll talk to Matt the next time I work.

Maria: It's a great thought, Trent. And I appreciate it, but I'm not going to get my hopes up. I hope you don't feel offended.

Trent: (shakes his head) I don't think it's possible for you to offend me. (Beat) Speaking of being involved with each other, ........have you shown the ring to your family?

Maria: (Smiles brightly) Nope, I haven't shown it to anyone yet. I want to savor it for myself for a bit before people start badgering me with questions like "have you set a date yet?" and "when are the grand babies coming?". God, that's all we need right now.

Trent: (cough/laughs) I can't see myself as a dad.

Maria: (Shrugs) That's okay, I can't see myself as being a mom so lets do ourselves a favor and be careful. Is that cool with you?

Trent: (Smirks) That's cool with me. (Sighs) I just have to figure out how big of a wedding I can pay for. I hate to say it but I can't promise you something very big.

Maria: (reaches out in search of Trent and seizes him for a stiff hug) I don't care about that, as long as both our parents are there and a few of our friends then I'll be happy beyond belief.

Trent: (laugh/coughs) I guess I'll have to make sure I can track mine down then. They tend to take off on their own for long periods of time.

Maria: (Smiles) Just do your best then.

Trent: (looks ahead to see that they are nearing the mall movie theater) Hey, want to listen to a movie?

Maria: I think I could manage enough energy for that, do you want me to spring for the food?

Trent: We'll split it, you get the food and I'll get the tickets. With theater prices the way they are these days we should pretty much come up even.

Maria: (Turns her head in the direction of her dog) What about you Cheyenne, feel like watching a movie? (Cheyenne lets out a cheerful bark and lets her tongue hang out as she pants in enthusiasm) It sounds like it's a date then.

Trent: (smirks) Cool, I'll read off the movie titles as soon as we are close enough. Anything you've been wanting to see?

Maria: (Smirks) ANYTHING, .........literally.

(Cut to Jane's house at about one on the afternoon. Daria walks up to the front door and Knocks. After a minute and no answer she knocks again and after another minute or so Daria feels around the top of the door ledge for the spare house key and upon finding it she lets herself into the house.)

Daria: (looks about the house as she enters and from the living room she can just barely see into the kitchen and noticed that it looked like a hurricane had been through there.) Jane...? (Beat) Jane are you here? (Daria walks into the kitchen to notice that things are not as disturbed as they had appeared. There was some spilled coffee on the floor accompanied by a broken mug. The kitchen table appears to have been moved slightly as if someone had backed into it. She could tell by the rings of filth on the floor as the table had been in the same spot for years on end. Cleaning did not seem to be a characteristic of the Lane clan. Daria walked out of the kitchen and down the hall still on the first floor to the den. At least it had been intended to be one at some point in the past. As Daria opened the door slowly she could hear the tv and as she opened it wider she saw two people lying on the couch under some sort of old blanket while sleeping. Upon closer examination she notices one of these two people to be Jane.) (Daria walks in and shakes Jane awake) Jane....? Yo ...Jane, wake the hell up already.

Jane: (Stirs from under the blanket and opens her eyes) Oh......hey Daria. (Looks about the room) What time is it?

Daria: It's one in the afternoon. I take it you didn't go to your class today, .....you know you only have one more before your final. (Looks over at the other person) And who the hell is this....?

Jane: Yea, ....I know.....I KNOW I have one more class. It was an accident, ...okay. I didn't mean to fall back asleep. (Rubs her face and gently gets up so as not to disturb the other person) This....is Tim, he's the guy who hit me yesterday.

Daria: So this is how you meet guys now is it? Interesting, ......HAZARDOUS, .....but still interesting. So what happens if you meet a guy who already HAS a girlfriend, .....drop her off a cliff?

Jane: Oh your hilarious, Daria. (Points to the hall) Look, while sleeping beauty is still out can you help me clean up the kitchen. We um..... sort of made a mess of things.

Daria: (follows Jane out of the room and into the kitchen) Yea, I saw that. So what happened?

Jane: (picks the dust pan and brush up off the floor) I have NO idea, apparently I dropped my wallet when I jumped out of my car to punch his lights out yesterday and he showed up this morning to return it and exchange insurance information.

Daria: And it didn't occur to you that he could have been some nut who picked your pocket and shown up here with some ulterior motive?

Jane: Of COARSE it occurred to me. But I doubt he's just ANY nut, he's got the black eye I gave him and my class ring is imprinted into the bruise right where I hit him.

Daria: Okay, so he is the same guy you hit. He could STILL be a nut.

Jane: Hey, what can I say. We share the same taste in coffee, ...besides I made sure to intimidate him in case he tried anything.

Daria: Like...?

Jane: (smiles) I pulled out a big carving knife and threatened to make him a Eunice.

Daria: (nods) That'll do it. So you let some stranger in your house and had coffee with him because ...what? You felt sorry for pulling out in front of him and placing both of your lives in danger? Or were you just THAT bored and wanted somebody to talk to?

Jane: Look, I had just woke up and I wasn't awake yet. At the time coffee was a much larger priority than worrying about a possible deranged psychopath.

Daria: (Crosses her arms) Makes sense, why worry about death if your not even awake enough to know you're alive yet. So what else happened?

Jane: (smirks) It got weird, ....and that's putting it lightly. (Sighs) We started talking and comparing battle scars. He showed me the black eye I gave him and I showed him the six stitches my side window gave me. The next thing I know we were both pissing each other off, I took a swing at him, he caught my fist and we struggled a little bit. (Smirks) The next thing I knew we were just staring into each others eyes and I tried to shove my tongue down his throat.

Daria: Taking the whole aggressive dating thing to a new level are we Jane?

Jane: Hey shut up,.....I don't even know what got into me alright?

Daria: Judging by what happened I would say lust got into you.

Jane: It wasn't lust and we did NOT have sex, .......it was something different. I don't know what, ...I just know it was different.

Daria: (Sighs and takes a moment to reflect) Okay, ....I can swallow that bit. So what do you know about him?

Jane: Just his name, rank, and occupation. He's a mechanic of some sort and he like to fly.

Daria: So you're into a grease monkey?

Jane: Hey, he's not so bad. And paint can be made from grease so he might just turn out to be useful.

Daria: Wonderful, maybe he'll let you stand behind the engines of whatever plane he flies you can do one of those funky art projects where you let the prop wash blow paint onto a canvas.

Jane; No thanks, I think that's just a little TOO risky for my taste.

Daria; Riskier than letting a complete stranger into your house because you hit his car and then making out with him on the couch?

Jane: You really DO know how to take the fun out of something that turned out to be rather fun don't you?

Daria: (smiles) I have been told that before, yes.

Jane: You know what, .....he didn't even tell me what he flies. I think I'm going to have to wake him up and question the blonde little bugger some more.

Daria: How could he, .....you were too busy trying to shove your tongue down his throat if I recall correctly.

Jane: (laughs and throws a piece of that broken cup at Daria) Oh shut up and let me have my fun will you.

Daria: Fine, ...but before you do. Where are your paints, ...we might as well have some fun with him as long as he's out.

Jane: (thinks for a moment) And.....when he wakes up and see's what we've done, ....his first reaction would give us a pretty good clue as to what sort of guy he is. (Smirks) That's just evil, Daria. ....I love it! (They both finish cleaning and leave the kitchen)

(Cut to the kitchen a few hours later. Daria and Jane had just woken Tim up a few minutes before and Jane invited him into the kitchen where there are many shiny surfaces to see her handy work on)

Tim: Listen, I'm really sorry about falling asleep. And.....I know what happened earlier was a bit unusual for someone you'd just met.

Jane: Hey it's no sweat, ...really. And I hate to just kick you out and all but you know, I can't avoid my friends.

Tim: No, ...no, I wouldn't expect you too. Um, ....I'll just take my rental car on home then.

Jane: You've got the insurance info I gave you?

Tim: Yea I've got it, ...thanks. (Jane and Daria show him to the door and open it to find that Trent and Maria were just on their way in.) Oh, ....uh excuse me. (Moves to walk past them but pauses to look up at Maria before proceeding the rest of the way out the door) DAMN, ....you're a tall one.

Trent: (stares oddly at Tim's face as he walks by as he notices the words "Jane wuz here" written in paint on several locations on Tim's face accompanied by arrows pointing to Tim's black eye) Hey uh..........(Jane motions for him not to say anything) Take it easy. (Tim responds in kind as he walks out to his car and Trent closes the door behind him) Who was that?

Maria: Did anybody besides me smell paint as that guy walked by? (Jane and Daria burst out laughing)

Jane: (trying to contain herself) That was the guy who hit my car last night. He came over to get some information from me and we started talking, we both fell asleep on the couch, Daria showed up later and woke me up so we decided to have a little fun with him for our trouble.

Maria: (Turns in Trent's direction) Which means they did what?

Trent: Jane painted her name on the guys forehead .(Maria laughs)

Maria; Let me know what happens when he finds out. (Maria and Trent walk up to Jane and Daria and they all walk into the kitchen)

Daria: Hey Jane, is that mint chocolate chip ice cream still in the freezer.

Jane: Yea, ....dig some of that out while Trent tells us the news. (Daria heads to the fridge and digs out the ice cream, then goes to the cupboard in search of bowls) So while she's doing that, Trent. Let's hear the news already.

Trent: (shrugs) What news? Why don't we talk about that guy who just walked on out of here?

Jane: Hey, ... enough about mystery boy already. (Looks down at Maria's left hand) I saw the new jewelry, Maria. So like I said, Let's hear the news.

Maria; (lifts her hand in the air for all to see) Oh, ....you mean this? I'll give you two guesses but I'll bet you'll only need one.

Daria: (As she sets the bowls on the table) Puff the magic dragon asked you to marry him? (Shakes her head) Tsk...tsk, Pete will be jealous that your stealing his invisible friend away. (Jane smirks as she decides to cut the joke short)

Jane: Congratulations Maria, oh and Trent. Just to let you know that if you let Maria down in any way, I've heard straight from the horses mouth that Duncan will break both your legs.

Daria: That was YOU he was talking about, Jane.

Jane: Hey, it can apply to Trent too. Why should I be the only one living in fear?

Maria: You two will have to fill me in on that later, as for now. Thank you, .....and just to cut you off early. No we have not made and concrete plans as of yet.

Trent: We'll be upstairs if you guys need us. (Moves to guide Maria out of the kitchen)

Daria: You're not going to share this stuff with us? If I put it back in the freezer god knows how long it will take to thaw it from a frozen block the next time. Don't you remember the cake Jane got me a while back when I got my license?

Trent: Hmm....yea, better leave it out over night for us. We'll eat it later, right now Maria and I just want to talk about some stuff alone.

Jane: Well, don't do anything that I wouldn't do. (Trent and Maria leave the kitchen)

Daria: Don't you mean that you WOULD do?

Jane: (Smirks) Oh shut up.

Daria: (studies Jane for a moment) So, ....what's the deal/

Jane: What deal? We're about to eat some ice cream.

Daria: I mean what's the deal with you and this Timothy guy? It's obvious that there were sparks and you've only just met the guy. This isn't going to turn into another Tom fiasco is it?

Jane: Look, it was nothing so don't even soil yourself over it. It was just something weird that happened, you of all people should understand the power of a crush.

Daria: (scowls) It didn't look like any sort of crush I've ever seen.

Jane: How could you know? You've only had one. (Daria flips Jane the bird) Look, ....we exchanged information, granted things got a little hot under the collar so to speak but that's it. End of story, ......I'll most likely never see the guy again, which of coarse would no doubt make you happy.

Daria: I have no problems with you finding a guy, Jane. I'm just saying be careful, that's all. We've both been hurt before, ....history doesn't need to repeat itself.

Jane: (Smirks) You're not going to quote that thing about the butterfly my mom tends to say are you?

Daria; Not if I can still retain my sanity, I'm not.

Jane: (Smirks) Just rest easy knowing that life goes on, Ok? I'm cool with it and I don't doubt that I will have forgotten all about whatever it was that happened between Tim and I by tomorrow.

Daria; (Raises an eyebrow) You've got his name pretty well engraved into your vocabulary don't you?

Jane; Hey, he only just left. Give me a night to sleep it off, ...it would be like we were in high school again. (Daria just smiles and starts to scoop out the ice cream into the bowls)

(Cut to the next morning, it's early...roughly the same time as the day before when Jane woke out of a sound sleep. The front door to Jane's house opens and Jane steps out with a smile and her back pack slung over one shoulder indicating that she is on her way to college for the day. As soon as she closes the door behind her she looks about eagerly hoping that a familiar face will drop by as a result of having forgotten something. But she see's no one out of the ordinary)

Jane: (Smile turns to a frown and sighs) Okay, ....so maybe it won't be so easy to forget. Aw hell, maybe I'll just get lucky and DARIA will run into him for me. (She says this as Daria's car happens to pull up right on time to take her to school. Jane pauses for a moment and then proceeds down the walk and gets into Daria's car and they drive off as the scene fades.)

The End.........................................................

Feed back is always appreciated, ..I may be reached at wildgoose81@hotmail.com