Jane’s Theme: A PPMB Iron Chef

By: Angelinhel


Summary: In response to Manha Manha’s Iron Chef Challenge, In "Sappy Aniversary", Jane reveals that her favorite song is "The Morning After",Write a fic to explain why-on-earth would Jane like such a sappy, corny, song from the 70s. What event in Jane's past might cause her to develop a fondness for that song?

Legal: I don’t own anything, so don’t bother.


“Hey Daria.” Trent opened the front door mere seconds after Daria had rung the bell.

“Hey Trent.” She replied.

“Janey’s up in her room.” He moved aside so Daria could pass. He followed her up the stairs, intent on going back to work on a new Spiral song. They both paused outside Jane’s half-closed door.

There’s got to be a morning after…there’s got to be a morning after…” They could hear Jane’s not-quite melodious voice singing an old seventies love song.

Daria raised an eyebrow at Trent but he made no indication that he knew what was going on. She walked in the room but Trent remained in the doorway.

“Jane, I thought you were kidding when you said that was your favorite song.” Daria said as she walked around to see what Jane was working on. She was mildly surprised at the bright hues she was using in what Daria hoped was an abstract painting. Jane usually used darker colors.

Jane stopped painting and turned to Daria. “Well, even we tortured artists are entitled to a day or two of sunshine.”

“You haven’t been leaving the pain thinner open at night again, have you?” Daria inquired. “That’s seriously your favorite song?”

Jane smiled a little. “All right, you dragged it out of me, put the torture devices away. My mom sang that to me when I was five and had this really high fever. It’s the only time I remember her being really…motherly.” She shrugged and turned back to her painting.

Daria turned to Trent to see if he confirmed the story. He had a sad smile Daria attributed to the fact Jane hadn’t had much in the way of loving parents. She didn’t think Helen had ever sung to her, but she had brought soup and even taken a precious day off when Daria was six and had a severe case of the chicken pox.

Trent watched his sister painting and humming to herself.

“Moooooooooom!!!!!” Jane wailed. She was hot and tired and achy. “Mooooom-ieee! I don’t feel good.”

She flopped back on her bed, kicking the sheets off. She kicked and wiggled a little more, more out of frustration than anything else. They’d actually gone to the doctor the day before and gotten medication, but it was Penny who’d taken her and gotten the prescription filled. Jane whimpered into the darkness. Being sick was not fun.

Her door opened slightly letting a thin shaft of light fall into the room. Jane heard soft footsteps. “Mommy?” She couldn’t really tell in the darkness, and wasn’t entirely sure it wasn’t another fever-dream either.

She sat up in bed when she heard her mom rummaging on the bedside table, realizing it was time for more medicine. It tasted yucky, but it made her less hot and some of the dreams she liked to draw afterwards. She dutifully opened her mouth and swallowed the fake-cherry ickyness. She lay back down. “Will you sing for me Mommy? Just until I go to sleep?” She didn’t know what brought her to ask that. Maybe something she’d seen on Sesame Street.

“There’s got to be a morning after…If we can hold on through the night…” Jane fell asleep with a smile, thinking she could definitely hold on. After all, her mom was finally there, taking care of her like all the other moms.

Trent shook himself out of the memory and walked to his room. He has long ago gotten over the embarrassment that at ten years old, his singing voice had sounded like their mother’s.