Magical beginnings

Summary: Ten years later, Stacy looks back on the day she found true love.

Daria and all its characters are property of MTV. I don't own them, and I'm using them without permission-Nyeah Nyeah : )~

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This will be kind of hard to understand unless you've seen "Life in the Past Lane."

...Withdraws like a bashful maid
Who runs away when attention's paid

--Upchuck, from "Life in the Past Lane"

I pick up the photograph. We were so happy that day! I was the typical "blushing bride" and he was just as charming as ever. In the adjoining frame is a torn ten dollar bill. The same ten dollars that bought my happiness-and our love.

"Beauteous maidens, may I show you something that will astound and amaze?" It was Charles. No mistaking that. The Fashion Club turned around anyway. They weren't really interested in what he had to say, but they'd never miss a chance to ridicule him. "Only if it's a disappearing act." Sandi said haughtily. God, she was always such a bitch! Charles then proceeded to do his ripped-bill trick, and even though she wouldn't admit it, Sandi was still impressed. Of course when I showed my interest in it she used the chance to insult me. "Oh Stacy, you are SO naïve. He obviously used mirrors or something."

Over the next couple of weeks, I couldn't help thinking about Charles. I really wanted to know how to do that trick, but was that the only reason he was on my mind? I finally got up the nerve to approach him, but he wasn't telling anything. "Oh how I wish I could quench your curiosity my pet, but I cannot reveal my secrets. It's the magician's code." " But I have to know how you did it! I can't get it out of my mind!" I know I must have sounded kind of desperate. I couldn't help thinking that I should have said I can't get YOU out of my mind.

The next day at school he really surprised me. "Stacy!" he yelled. I almost hit my head on my locker door. "Hi..." I said hesitantly. I gave him a sheepish smile after looking around quickly to see if Sandi was anywhere nearby. "What's going on?" "I'm doing a magic exhibition next Saturday, and I need a lovely assistant. From where I'm standing, I can't see anyone lovelier than you....grrr!" I probably should have been offended by his cheesy Casanova act, but it was kind of cute. "Well, I don't really have anything else to do. I mean I have a Fashion Club meeting earlier that day, but other than that..." I was starting to ramble. I always ramble when I get nervous, and for some reason that simple request was making me nervous as hell. Finally, I managed to blurt out "Sure! I'll do it!" "Good-we have to rehearse, so I'll see you tomorrow night...and hopefully many nights after that." "Sure, ok, see you then" It was hard to make up excuses to Sandi for being late to meetings, but I was getting tired of her better-than-everyone-including-God attitude anyway.

"Behold an approaching quartet of lovelies. It appears my 'magic mojo' is working overtime. Hi-Stacy." "Uh, hi!" I giggled nervously. As much as I hated myself for it, I was still embarrassed to talk to Charles in front of Sandi. I kept telling myself that one day I was going to tell her exactly where to shove the damn Fashion Club and all her back issues of Waif. When it came right down to it though, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Sandi's voice broke through my daydream. "Did you just say hello to Upchuck, or was that a hiccup?" I had to think fast "Must be all the diet soda I've been drinking." God, I was so spineless! Why couldn't I just tell her that over the course of the week Charles and I had started dating? What was she going to do? Kick me out of the Fashion Club? Big freakin' deal. She could write her own damn minutes. Oh well, I was going to get a little bit of revenge on Saturday.

The big day was finally here. "Are you ready, my sweet?" Charles asked. "Um, yeah, I guess so." I tried to sound confident, but I was really worried. Would I be able to cry on command? Would I remember my lines? Charles must have seen the insecurity in my eyes. "Stacy," he said, reverting to his normal voice for once, "You're going to do fine, I promise." Then he kissed me. My first real, true kiss. It was amazing. After that kiss, I felt like I could do anything. The show went off without a hitch. Everyone played their parts perfectly. I went into hysterics right on cue, and Mr. DeMartino and Ms. Barch did so well that you couldn't even tell they were acting. Now it was revenge time. Of course the Fashion Club had their snide comments about my "failure." I expected this and was prepared. "Good thing Upchuck's buried alive in there so you won't have to spend the rest of your life searching for revenge for the way he's humiliated you in front of the whole school." With that, I took my hands away from my tear-streaked face to show a wide smile. "Oh Sandi," I said mockingly, " You are SO naïve!" The look on Sandi's face was priceless!

I look again at the ripped ten-dollar bill. One dollar for every year we've been together. Who would have thought you could get so much for so little?

This is my second journey into Daria fanfic territory. Almost all of the direct quotes are taken from "Life in the Past Lane," and events from IICY are disregarded. Please R & R. Send any comments, questions, and especially praise to