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

In order to gain at least some sort of understanding of the continuing story line of this series, it would be helpful to read the stories that preceded this one in order.

1. A New Experience
2. All Good Things
3. Issues
4. Shadowed Wings
# Season's End

Shadowed Wings
Written by

The sun had long since set for that day, the stars had appeared as they always had, and life continued to march forward regardless of anyone or anything that stood in it's way. And despite all this, Daria lie on her back in bed late that night staring up at the ceiling and counting the cracks in the ceiling as she had done on so many occasions before, though never quite for this reason. She had counted over a thousand of those tiny little cracks in her ceiling, the same number as there always had been and for some reason she never found any new ones. "A comfort" Daria thought to herself, at least this was a sign that all the critical members in the ceiling were acting as they should and there was no reason to worry about wether or not the ceiling would come crashing down on her as she slept, "If I could get to sleep" Daria mumbled to herself just to break the dead silence that filled the room like a thick cloud. Helen And Jake had long since gone to bed having said their goodnights to Daria and once in their rooms having done the deed as Daria could tell by the various ungodly sounds that could be heard down the hall coming from their room. "I'll bet that's what's keeping me awake" Daria thought, " My subconscious is scared that the thought of what my parents might have been doing would provoke a nightmare so horrible it would be sure to stop my heart in my sleep. Leave it to your parents to indulge themselves at the absolute worst time imaginable" Daria turned over on her side in an effort to get comfortable and closed her eyes hoping that sleep would come eventually, but she found no such luck. Even the sound of her own breathing was keeping her awake. " I don't believe this" Daria thought, "I've never had insomnia this bad before." Daria sat upright in her bed and looked about her room, There was a dim white glow emanating from the edges of the window shade where it failed to completely cover the window, an obvious result of the full moon that was out tonight. After staring at this minute amount of light coming from the window Daria reached over to the opposite side of her bed and flicked on the lamp next to her bed which immediately bathed the room in a hard white light because there hadn't been a shade to cover that lamp with since the move to Lawndale. No doubt the movers found it far too enchanting an item to let slip through their fingers and decided to keep it for themselves, possibly as the object on which they could focus their affection. Daria smiled briefly at the concept of a bunch of brainless idiots forming a cult who's purpose in life was to worship a lampshade. Looking about her room now as she squinted in the bright light, Daria got up and walked over to the bookshelf on the far side of the room. It was quite a selection of noted authors she had, Hawthorne, Poe, Whitman, just to name a few. But all of these she had read countless times and could knowingly quote several passages from each book. As a result Daria dismissed the idea of re-reading any of them even for the sake of attempting to tire herself out. Daria walked back over to her bed, picked up the remote, and flicked on the TV. Daria flicked through every channel available on her little thirteen inch tv set at least three times just in case by some strange coincidence she happened to miss something interesting, she couldn't forgive herself if she accidentally missed some poor soul getting his head ripped off by a deranged axe murderer. "It's all crap" Daria said out loud and turned the tv off just before she tossed the remote back onto the night stand. Daria paused for a moment to notice a familiar sensation within her own body and a moment later left her room and went down the hallway to use the bathroom. About five minutes later Daria returned to her room and spent several moments debating if she should give Jane a call and deprive her of sleep as well. "They say misery loves company, why should I be the only one to suffer tonight". And at that she picked up the phone on the night stand and dialed Jane's number and let it ring for the longest time. (Cut to Jane's house) (Jane is seen sleeping at an odd angle on her bed with one arm draped off the edge and the pillow covering her head. Cutting to Trent's room he is sleeping on the floor having long since rolled off the bed while turning in his sleep. Despite the persistent ringing of the phone, both of the Lane's are far too dead to the world to hear the phone to say nothing about actually managing some sort of bodily movement that would enable either one of them to pick it up. Cut back to Daria who finally gives up on her friend and hangs up the phone) "Dammit" Daria turns curiously to notice a strangely soft warm breeze of summer air circulating through the room. Daria paused perplexed as she saw the window shade swaying ever so slightly in the breeze. She walked towards the window and lifted the shade and was amazed at the fact that her bedroom window was open halfway. "I must be losing it, I don't remember leaving that window open" she said as she closed the window and lowered the shade for a moment only to lift it again and stare out the bedroom window towards the driveway setting her eyes upon her ninety nine cavalier which she had only recently purchased as a replacement for her now defunct escort. Daria stood deep in thought for several moments debating how best to pass the time until her old friend sleep finally showed up."The hell with it" Daria said, "It beats tossing about my room all night waiting for sleep that won't come." Daria threw on her shirt as well as her jacket out of pure habit followed by her boots and then grabbed her keys off the night stand and quietly padded downstairs leaving a brief note for her mother stating that she had left the house "early" as a precautionary measure so Helen wouldn't search the earth for her if she happened to wake up in the middle of the night. After doing this she went out the door to her car and left the driveway on a midnight drive. She drove around town for about an hour adding to the twenty some thousand miles that were already on the car when she had bought it. She had been up and down every street in Lawndale that was familiar to her, she even drove past the high school which she had sworn to herself that she would never go near again after her graduation even if the fate of the world somehow depended on it. Yet for some reason she still did not feel tired even though simply watching the dotted lines on the road has been known to cause people to nod off. Daria turned down Newbold's corner road since this was one of the few roads left she had yet to venture down this night, and after a moment Daria happened to see a truck parking in front of Maria's house as she was preparing to pass it. Daria slowed the vehicle and pulled alongside the truck slowly to notice that it was Duncan who in turn had seen her headlights behind him and turned to notice her, or at least her car.

Duncan: (Approached Daria's car cautiously as she rolled down the window) Is there something I can help you with? (Once close enough to see Daria's face) Oh it's you, good lord lass. I thought I was about the become the victim of a drive by or something.

Daria: No such luck I'm afraid, I left the Uzi at home and the rest of my gang is out vandalizing street signs or something.

Duncan: (snaps his fingers) Dammit, just when you think things are about to get interesting for once.

Daria: Sorry to put a damper on your evening.

Duncan: Eh, stuff happens. (Looks at the time on his pager) But speaking of evenings, or even times much later. What are you doing up this late, it's three in the morning?

Daria: I think a gremlin snuck into my room and sabotaged my sleeping habits, I can't get to sleep tonight.

Duncan: (Smirks) So you decided to wander aimlessly in the night. Was this a last resort?

Daria: Pretty much, I've read all the books in my room more times than I want to count and there's absolutely nothing on tv. So it was either go for a drive or sit in my room and watch myself go slowly insane from having nothing to do all night long.

Duncan: So the choice was obvious then,... Good call. (Waves his hand back and forth a few times in front of his face) Well this is fun and all, but if you want to chat and pass the time then why don't you park you're car and kill the engine, you're exhaust is giving me a headache.

Daria: This from a person who makes his living running into burning buildings and breathing smoke all day long.

Duncan: Well, everybody's got to have a hobby. But that carbon monoxide, it's murder on the sinuses.

Daria: (smirks) Oh very well, I suppose you may have a point.

Duncan: Wonderful, I guess that's something in my favor then.

Daria: Careful, don't let you're point go to you're head.

Duncan: Too late, it's been there and back already. (Daria cocks an eyebrow at this and then pulls her car up against the curb in front of Duncan's truck and gets out after shutting the engine off. Duncan's eyes widen briefly and then return to normal before Daria is close enough to notice) Warm tonight huh?

Daria: (looks at him oddly) Uh, ....yea I guess.

Duncan: (looks her over quickly) Come on, we can chat inside. You want something to drink?

Daria: Um...no, I'm okay.

Duncan: Suit yourself. (Once inside the house) Are you sure I can't get you anything, a drink, something to eat,......a pair of pants maybe?

Daria: (scowls) Excuse me? (Duncan turns on a light and motions for her to turn and face a mirror that's hanging on a nearby wall. Daria does so and her face quickly pales and then turns a bright red) Oh please god let this be some horribly demented nightmare. (Duncan walks over and pinches her) OW!!

Duncan: No can do lass, you're wide awake and strolling around in your boxers. I have to admit though, they go well with the jacket.

Daria: (Scowls) Do you ALWAYS manage to find a way to be a complete jerk?

Duncan: Jerk? (Leans up against the wall) You know,.... you're not the FIRST person to be paid a visit by the fuck-up fairy . Or is this something common for you?

Daria: NO, but you could have used a little more tact you know.

Duncan: Tact huh? I didn't mean to be rude or anything but you showed up at my door in the middle of the night only half dressed. Knowing some of the people you went to school with they probably would have let you humiliate yourself. At least I brought you inside, what did you want me to do stand there and guess the color of your underwear?

Daria: No, I......

Duncan: Okay, blue. Are you happy now?

Daria: (scowls in a combination of anger and embarrassment) LOOK, ......I just did something that you would normally expect from somebody who hasn't seen their marbles in half a lifetime, okay? I'm embarrassed, a little humiliated.....

Duncan: Take it easy lass, you act as if doing something without thinking is a first for you?

Daria: NO!! I'm only human, and I make mistakes like everybody else. But at the moment I'm trying to deal with the fact that I just drove around the neighborhood and am now standing in front of my friends brother without wearing pants....

Duncan: (chimes in) And you've got nice legs to boot....

Daria: (Stops mid sentence and blushes) Excuse me....?

Duncan: Oh bloody hell, must be my lack of sleep talking there. But it could have been worse you know, you could have been wearing a pair with little hearts on it or some cutesy item like that.

Daria: (chuckles) Oh please kill me if I ever wear anything like that.

Duncan: Is that a modeling invitation?

Daria: NO!! Look, I'm feeling extremely awkward here can you.....

Duncan: (Snaps his fingers and then reaches behind a nearby sofa and pulls out a throw blanket and tosses it to Daria) It was wondering if you'd ask, ...catch.

Daria: (Catches it and then wraps it about her waist) Um.........thanks

Duncan: There is one up side to this little malady you know.

Daria: An upside to the most embarrassing moment in my life, does it involve a guillotine?.

Duncan: Unfortunately no, but I think I DO have an old battle axe lying around here that you could be beheaded with. But you don't always have to take the easy way out you know.

Daria: Perhaps not, and under the circumstances I'm not about to go running out the door any time soon so you have a captive audience, enlighten me already.

Duncan: It's not much really, I'm just not exactly known for spreading information about so unless you talk yourself, no one will ever know about this. (Thinks for a moment) Other people have done worse you know.

Daria: (lifts an eyebrow) You must be joking.

Duncan: Nope, take the call I was coming back from tonight for instance. This woman's house went up because she left the grate open on the fire place after getting one going all because she was too busy getting some from a guy behind her husbands back

Daria: (smirks) I guess she wanted to be thorough about destroying any incriminating evidence.

Duncan: (begins ad-libbing to the animaniacs theme) Because we're pyro-maniacs, we set our lighters to the max.....

Daria: (just stares at him as if his head had just rolled off his shoulders and onto the floor) Oh yea, you're gone alright.

Duncan: Well in that case leave a message and I'll get back to you when I'm done hiding the ashes from my victims.

Daria: (shakes her head) You are a very demented individual, just so you know that.

Duncan: Aye, and it's probably one of my more endearing qualities too. (Daria laughs a little) Anyway getting back to the story at hand, the house is going up like roman candle and here she is standing out side wearing only what she had on during her little escapade.

Daria: Do I even want to know?

Duncan: Just this little thong thingy, you could see everything for gods sake, and she was none the worse for it. Acted like there wasn't a thing wrong with the picture.

Daria: Yea, but I'm guessing that she didn't have time to throw anything on. My dad almost burnt the kitchen down a while back and I barely had time to grab anything before being shoved out the door.

Duncan: That's what I thought too, but I asked if she wanted a long coat to wear and she just said "no, it's not cold enough out." Eventually the cops noticed and took her away for indecent exposure.

Daria: Okay ........um, How does this in any way relate to me?

Duncan: At least you realized the situation before making a spectacle of yourself, this woman was so unnerved she didn't even notice what she wasn't wearing and as a result everybody got to look. Imagine how she'll feel when she comes to her senses. There's that and you're wearing much more than she was.

Daria: (yawns) Ok, so .........maybe it's not as humiliating as I made it out to be, but it's still embarrassing..

Duncan: Insomnia wearing off?

Daria: It's kept me up this long, I doubt it's going to take a leave of absence any time soon.

Duncan: That's good, I was afraid I was going to have to tuck you in or something.

Daria: (looks at him crossly) Don't even think about getting any ideas. These boots are steel toed and all I need is one good shot.

Duncan: (cringes) Cripes, I was only trying to crack a joke love. You needn't get all violent on me, it makes me think of that high school science teacher Maria was telling me about. What was her name, ....the man hater.

Daria: Ms. Barch.

Duncan: Aye, that's her. By the sound of it I think she may have been a praying mantis in a past life or something. You'd think she would have come back as something better.

Daria: I guess she just couldn't ditch that natural urge to make dinner out of the opposite sex.

Duncan: (shivers) Gives me nightmares that woman does. Anyway, where was I.......oh yea, don't worry about it, there are women out there who walk to the grocery store in the dead of night wearing only a bathrobe.. Besides there's bound to be more embarrassing stuff to come you're way as life goes on.

Daria: Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence.

Duncan: Anytime. And since you're decent at the moment with a blanket over you're lap, I'm going to make some tea. Want some?

Daria:(yawns) Why not.

Duncan: Right then, I'll be a moment.(he begins to walk towards the kitchen)

Daria: (calls after him) White.

Duncan: (stops in his tracks while flashing Daria a bewildered look) What?

Daria: You guessed wrong.

Duncan: (blushes heavily and laughs nervously) I didn't expect you to answer,.... like I said I was just trying to break the ice a little.

Daria: I just wanted to make sure I wasn't the only one drowning in embarrassment, so I figured I might as well take you down with me.

Duncan: (smiles) I'll let you know when I go under for the third and final time then. (Turns and continues into the kitchen)

Daria: (rests her head against the back of the couch) Oh god, I always thought the awkward moments would end with high school and puberty. (Closes her eyes for a moment) Dumb.......

Duncan: (comes back into the room about ten minutes later with two cups of tea in hand only to see Daria has fallen asleep) Hey Daria,.................ah hell. (Smiles) It looks like I get to tuck you in after all. ( He puts the tea down on an end table, coaches Daria to lie down on the couch and puts her feet up, then gently covers her with the blanket she had around herself.) Bloody shame I don't have a camera. ( Duncan picks up the teas from the end table and walks back into the kitchen)

(Cut to late the next morning)

(The house is quiet, and no one else in the house appears to be up yet. Daria is woken from her slumber by a warm breeze blowing through a halfway opened window right next to the front door. Daria stumbles off the couch in a sleepy daze mumbling to herself as she slowly pads to the window seemingly unaware that she is not in her own room.)

Daria: (Barely awake) Dammit, who keeps leaving this window open? (As she shuts it the doorbell rings waking Daria from the remainder of her half consciousness) AHHH...... What the hell? (Daria instinctively and without any thought at all opens the front door to come face to face with Jane )

Jane: (turns from watching a couple of squirrels going at it over a couple of nuts on the nearby lawn) Hey Duncan, You've got to check this......DARIA!!?

Daria: (noticing that she is not wearing her glasses, she squints to get a better look at the person at the door) Jane?

Jane: What are YOU doing here? (Looks Daria over to notice she's lacking her skirt) And boy can I not wait to hear THIS!!!

The End

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