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

Note: This story is the next in the Unseen Phenomena Series. It takes place one week after "By the Twilight."

Strange Bonds

(The visible area is filled with a very dense smoke, The hand in front of the face can barely be seen. It is almost unbearably hot here, as Duncan crawls on all fours along the side of a hallway in search of the next door. A heavy concentration of soot in the air accents the beam of his high intensity flashlight making it seem almost like a laser cutting through the air. The echoed sounds of breathing are heard through an oxygen mask as someone's voice comes over a wireless com piece that Duncan wears under the mask.)

Voice: Duncan, say your position, ...over.

Duncan: That you max?

Max: It always is, ....now give me your position.

Duncan: Alright, keep your knickers on. I'm on the second floor, approaching the third door on the left hand side. There's no sign of anyone yet, are you sure there's anybody sill in here?

Max: The report is that a young woman about eighteen years old is unaccounted for and may still be in the house. She answers to the name of Eileen.

Duncan: Wonderful, why can't these people ever figure out where their own kids are.

Max: Who knows, you know how teenagers are these days. They take off in the middle of the night without telling a soul where they're going. Damned irresponsible if you ask me.

Duncan: (still searching for the next door) It's easy for you to say that, ....you have kids. I was a teenager only a few years ago myself, so it's still easy for me to understand why they do that.

Max: Oh good, then enlighten me. I'm waiting on your pearls of wisdom here, Duncan.

Duncan: (Stops and feels around) You're going to have to wait a bit longer then, I've found the next door. (Shouts through the door) Is anybody in there!! Eileen, are you conscious!? (Into the com) Max, I've got no response. I'm getting ready to go in.

Max: Use caution, the spotters on the ladder say the fire is on the floor above you and may be working it's way down through though the wet wall.

Duncan: Bloody marvelous. Forget the navy, THIS job is the real adventure.

Max: That's for damned sure.

Duncan: (reaches up for the door knob to feel it) The knob is warm, but not hot. I'm going in... (Duncan twists the knob and is about to open the door when he gets a strange sensation from directly behind him. He turns to see as clear as day, a red head in a cobalt blue overcoat trying to say something to him that he can't hear.) Are you Eileen? Jesus woman, don't you know the bloody house is on fire? You need to get the hell out of here!

Max: (over the com) Duncan, who the hell are you talking to?

Duncan: (looks at the woman trying to read her lips) Don't,.....I don't understand. No...no, ...no door. (Thinks for a moment) Don't open the door? (Duncan looks back at the door and then looks down at the bottom to see that smoke is being sucked into the room from under the door) .....FUCK ME!! (Lets go of the door and gets up to run) (into the com) Back draft, ...Back draft, clear the building!! (As he starts to run, the door which was no longer tightly shut opens a crack giving the smoldering fire behind the door exactly what it needs, ...air. The door explodes engulfing the immediate hallway in a wall of fire and sending a shockwave through the extent of the hallway launching Duncan into the air landing him hard against the staircase banister at the end of the hallway as the now compromised ceiling rains down on him)

(The scene fades and comes back opening at a hectic moment as a Gurney is quickly wheeled in from the outside into the emergency entrance of a local area hospital. The scene is frantic, EMT's reading off med stats as the hospital emergency team takes over and begins to prep the patient for treatment as they move in unison down to a vacant spot in the emergency room. The patient as you look down on him is lying face down with the head in a brace and lacking most of his original clothing as it was necessary to cut them to shreds to get them off without augmenting the current injuries. There are burns and liquid filled blisters all over the mans back)

Nurse1: (Wraps a hospital I.D bracelet around the patients wrist.) Jeez, what the hell happened to this guy.

EMT1: Volunteer firefighter, he was working on that place that went up over on fifth. He was inside looking for survivors and the ceiling came down on him.

Nurse2: (Takes the patients pulse) I've got a pulse but it's dropping slowly, shock is starting to set in. Start him on a ringer of 5 percent saline and lets see if we can get it back up into the green. Who's got the rest of the stats?

EMT2: (with out any hesitation) Second degree burns on the arms and back, no thirds. Apparent moderate concussion, pupils are sluggish but still responsive. Definite smoke inhalation for a prolonged period. Also, a compound fracture of the left tibia with significant blood loss as well as possible fractured ribs. No known allergies to medication or previous ailments.

Nurse2: I'll prepare to hook him to the hospital O2 supply. (Jogs off to rig an assembly)

Nurse1: (to a third nurse) Start a blood type search stat, before this guy losses more than his consciousness on us. And call the CMO (chief medical officer) on duty and tell him to prepare for a cat scan and an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) as soon as the patients vitals are stabilized. (Nurse three obtains a syringe and draws several blood samples before running off to start a match. The patient is wheeled into his space in the emergency room and Nurse1 as well as others continue to work) And somebody locate his family!

(Cut to Jane's house late that same evening)

(Trent is sitting on Jane's bed while Maria sits in his lap with one of Trent's hands wrapped about her waist. Jane stands a short distance behind her easel while attempting to paint a portrait of the two of them.)

Jane: Hey Trent, you're supposed to be holding her tight not feeling her up.

Trent: (looks up) Huh?

Maria: (smirks) She means take your hand off my boob, your making her feel left out.

Trent: (moves his hand and blushes) Sorry.

Maria: (turns and gives him a kiss on the cheek) (speaks in a Scottish accent just for him) You're busted ye` daft twit. The next time, wait until we're in private. (Resumes an American accent) Sorry Jane, hope you weren't about to lose your lunch on us.

Jane: No, which is a shame now that I think about it. It probably would have added a unique display of color to the portrait.

Daria: (Enters the room eating some cookie dough) What would have?

Jane: Oh nothing, my brother was just displaying some public affection.

Daria: Wow, I'm glad I missed it then. I guess it was good timing for me to get hungry, huh?

Jane: Oh yea. ...But as long as you were raiding the fridge, I hope you brought back enough of that dough for me. (Daria breaks off a large chunk of the dough and hands it to Jane)

Daria: Of coarse I did, As if my life depended on it.

Jane: (smirks and points one of her brushes at Daria) Funny that you should mention that.

Daria: Why what are you going to do, paint me into submission?

Jane: Hey, you know as well as I do that the almighty paint brush has a mind of it's own. It may very well demand a sacrifice for your insolence.

Daria: (raises an eyebrow) Um, ....Jane?

Jane: (holds the paint brush far our in front of herself) Foolish mortal, bow down to the almighty paint brush and all may be forgiven!!!

Daria: Um, ...Jane?? I brought you the damned cookie dough already, get a life.

Jane: (looks in her hand to see the cookie dough and takes a bite before speaking with a full mouth) Oh yea, ...sorry. I get carried away sometimes.

Daria: (mumbles) You'll get carried away alright, to a funny farm if you're not careful. (Maria chuckles as she seems to be the only other person in the room who heard the comment)

Jane: (puts her brush down on the easel) Oh no, ...no secrets. What are you laughing about, Maria? Was Daria mumbling something again?

Maria: I'll plead the fifth on that one, Jane. I fear that no matter what my answer, somebody is likely to kill me.

Jane: Damned justice system.

Daria: Why don't you ask your almighty paint brush for the answer?

Jane: No good, it doesn't feel like talking right now.

Daria: Too bad.

Jane; Yea, tell me about it. (Thinks for a moment) Well, the paintbrush is tired so what else is on the agenda for tonight?

Trent: What, you're not going to finish the painting?

Jane: (Picks up the painting and turns it around to show Maria in Trent's lap with the pose before Trent put his hand in a precarious position) I finished it a long time ago, I just got a kick out of making the two of you sit in a very uncomfortable position for all that time.

Trent: (picks up a nearby pillow on the floor and throws it at Jane) You're just mean, Janie.

Jane: (Tries to shield the painting) Hey now, the paint is still wet on this baby. Be careful!

Maria: (gets up off Trent's lap and proceeds to stretch) Ugh, ....I'm stiff.

Jane: ( she and Daria tilt their heads upward as Maria gets up) Is it me or does she get taller every time we see her.

Daria: This is a guess, Jane. But I think it's you.

Jane: How tall is she again?

Daria: Six foot four, I think.

Jane: And we're how tall?

Daria: I'm about five foot three, I think you're about the same.

Jane: (shakes her head) They don't make them like her anymore, I guess.

Daria; What tipped you off? (The phone rings and Jane walks out of the room to get the cordless in the kitchen, she soon returns with the hand set and proceeds to hand it over to Maria)

Jane: Hey Maria, There's some woman with an accent on the phone asking to speak to you. I think this might be your mom.

Maria: (Takes the phone from Jane) You have a talent for noticing the obvious, Jane.

Jane: (takes a bow) Hey, I try.

Maria: (into the phone) Hey mom....slow down, What have you got a frog in your throat? You sound like a congested Englishman. (Long pause) .........oh god, I'll be there as soon as I can. (Maria hangs up the phone and feels behind her for a place to sit, but misses the mark and stumbles to the floor.)

Daria: Maria, are you all right? What did your mom say?

Maria; (pulls her dark glasses off of her face and wipes some newly formed tears from her eyes) Duncan's in the hospital, he's been hurt pretty bad.

Trent: Oh god...., what happened?

Maria: I don't know, ....I , ....I have to get out of here. I'm sorry you guys.

Jane: I'll give you a lift, we can take my car.

Daria: Jane, your car hasn't had any gas for the past month. We'll take my car.

Maria: Whatever, I don't care who's car it is. I just need to go, ....can we go NOW please?

Daria: Yea, let me get my keys off the downstairs counter and I'll meet you guys at the front door. (Shortly after the group leaves in Daria's Cavalier and heads for the community hospital)

(Cut to The hospital waiting room)

( Daria, Jane, Trent, Maria, and Cheyenne enter through the emergency entrance and are immediately confronted by a nurse concerning the dog)

Nurse: I'm sorry, this is a hospital. We can't allow any animals in here.

Maria: (pulls her glasses off so the nurse can get a good look at her eyes) Seeing eye dog, you refuse her and not only will you find yourself in police custody right quick, but you'll be swamped with a legal battle you won't soon forget.

Nurse: look, ...

Maria: Daria is your mom still a lawyer?

Daria: Are you kidding?

Maria: Good, can you get her on your cell phone for me? I'm sure she'd be interested in this case.

Daria: You've got it. (Starts fishing through her pocket for her phone)

Nurse: (grits her teeth Slightly) Look, just....make sure the dog doesn't make a mess. (Walks away)

Maria: (calls after the woman) Nice meting you too! (Turns to Daria) Is she still in the area, I want to make sure she heard me.

Daria:(smirks) I'm sure she did.

Jane: (taps Daria on the shoulder) Don't look now but we've been spotted by the parental units.

Daria: (Turns to look where Jane has directed her attention to see Maria's parents approaching. Her mother is a red head just like Maria only much shorter, maybe an inch or so taller than Daria and Jane. Maria's father on the other hand is a black haired stocky man who happens to be slightly taller than Maria) So that's where she gets it from, ....damn. (Maria's parents rush forward and embrace her in sort of a group hug)

Maria: (grunts) Ugh, back off everybody. You're crushing me. (They let go) How's Duncan?

Kyrsten (keer-sen)(Maria's mother): Oh it's good to see you, Your brother is pretty banged up but he's going to live.

Maria: What happened?

Michael (Maria's father): I'll tell you what happened, that fool hobby of his is what happened. He was inside some building and the ceiling came down on him.

Kyrsten: (to Michael) Look love, regardless how we feel about it. This is what the boy loves to do, and we told him when he first started that we'd respect his decision.

Michael: Aye, and look at where it's gotten us.

Maria: Is Duncan awake?

Michael: No, he's been unconscious since he came in. They won't let us up to see him until they've moved him to a room, ....bastards.

Kyrsten: We've been camped out in this room since we got here.

(In the distance an automated sliding glass door leading to the emergency room opens and a female doctor carrying a clipboard and other paraphanalia. She walks halfway through the waiting room before stopping and looking up to speak)

Doctor: Kyrsten and Michael Macleod?

Jane: (looks at Daria and smirks while speaking in a hushed tone) Kyrsten?? (Daria looks back and shrugs)

Michael: Aye, over here. (The doctor approaches them)

Doctor: Hi, I'm Dr. Lasky. (Shakes their hands) I've got some information on your son Duncan, if you and the rest of your family would care to step into a conference room over to my right here, I can fill you in on what's going on.

Michael: Aye, (looks at Maria) Keep up behind us, Maria.

Maria: I think I can handle that. Cheyenne, follow dad. (At this command the dog leads Maria forward almost on her fathers heels and into the conference room where the doctor closes the door behind her and everyone has a seat)

(Inside the conference room)

Dr. Lasky: Okay, first and most important your son is stable. The lightest of his injuries seems to be some bruised ribs, which he should recover quickly from I think. He's suffered a nasty concussion so he may not regain consciousness tonight, but the way it's looking it's only a matter of time before he comes around. (Loads a disk into a nearby computer and after a moment turns the monitor around so everyone can see) This is an MRI of your sons brain. As you can see here, the point of impact came at the base of the skull right about here. (Points to an area where the spine meets the skull) It looks like an extreme force of some sort threw him against something else pretty hard. But....surprisingly enough the only real damage is cranial swelling which we've taken measures to control and a bruised vertebrate. The swelling should begin to subside during the night and possibly the next day or two, his neck is going to be stiff for a good while though..

Maria: Will he be able to remember anything when he regains consciousness?

Dr. Lasky: (bites her lower lip briefly while in thought) There's no actual trauma to the brain itself that I can detect, ... so I don't see why he shouldn't. He may have trouble recalling things at first but as the swelling comes down it will all come back to him I think.

Kyrsten: (crosses herself) Thank you god....

Dr. Lasky: Um...okay, anyway getting along here. Duncan has sustained second degree burns along the left and right sides of his back. The fact that there are none in the middle suggests that he was wearing something that protected him in that area. I'm told that your son is a firefighter, so I'm guessing that "something" was probably an oxygen tank. (Sighs) The burns ALSO appear on the backside of his arms suggesting that he was in the process of running away from what caused this. (Maria's mother buries her face in her husbands chest as she tries not to cry)

Michael: It's alright, he'll bounce back. You watch...

Dr. Lasky: (wishes she didn't have to go on) He's suffered smoke inhalation, but we'll put him on some antibiotics that will prevent any sort of infection. (Pauses to gather her thoughts for a moment) You're son will be going into surgery soon.

Kyrsten: (looks up in shock) Surgery??

Dr. Lasky: The procedure your son needs to undergo isn't complicated. Duncan has sustained a compound fracture of the tibia in his left leg and in order to set it back to where it needs to be to allow the healing process to begin the piece of bone that pierced the skin will need to be moved and set and then pins inserted before we can stitch up the open wound . There has however as a result been some significant blood loss. We've been able to give him some of what he needs but, blood supplies are low this time of year and your sons blood type is rare. AB negative, so we'd like to ask at this time is that any of you who are able, to donate blood. Do any of you posses his type?

Kyrsten: No, I uh....I'm AB positive the last time I checked. (The doctor looks at Michael)

Michael: (Shakes his head) B negative. (The Dr. looks at Maria)

Dr, Lasky: How about you?

Maria: The NAME is Maria, and I have no clue. I've always hated needles.

Dr. Lasky: Would you consider donating? There's always additional bleeding during surgery, even as minor as this, and what we have on hand may not be enough.

Maria: (whimpers) Yea, ....yea, I can do that. Just warn me when they're going to shove the needle in, will you. I'll ask my friends in the waiting room too, maybe they can help.

Dr, Lasky: Every little bit helps. That's all for now, I'll keep you posted. (Everyone gets up from the table) Mrs. Macleod?

Kyrsten: Aye?

Dr. Lasky: Um, I couldn't help but note that your religious. I'm not sure what denomination you follow but there is a small church on the third floor should you be interested.

Kyrsten: Aye, thank you. (They all move to leave the room)

(Cut to the waiting room where Daria and Jane have taken seats and are flipping through some magazines)

Maria: (As Cheyenne leads her towards Daria) Daria?

Daria: (turns to look at Maria) Hey Maria, How's Duncan?

Maria: He's seen better days, they're saying he needs some rare blood and they want to know if we can donate.

Jane: Rare huh, let me guess AB negative?

Maria: How did you know?

Jane: It's the only rare blood I know of. And don't look at me, I'm O positive.

Daria: (Raises her hand slightly) I know I'm going to hate this, But....I'm AB negative.

Maria: I don't suppose you could lie down on a table somewhere and start bleeding for me?

Daria; You know, for some reason I always imagined those words to come from the mouth of a vampire, or at least a wannabe. (Maria smirks)

Maria: Thanks Daria, I really appreciate this.

Daria: No problem.

Jane: Do you want me to come with you for moral support?

Daria: And let you watch me squirm as somebody shoves a needle into one of my arteries? No way.

Jane: Damn! Oh well, it was worth a shot at least.

Daria: (Looks squeamish) Let's hurry up and do this, the thought of me lying on a table while some guy drains blood out of me makes me want to lose my lunch. (Daria leads Maria over to the nurses station to make arrangements to donate. They are soon led through the automated sliding glass door to an adjacent room)

(At about two in the morning Dr. Lasky came down to wake everyone up and inform them that Duncan had been moved to a room, and that only immediate family would be permitted to go up to see him at this time. Daria, Jane, and Trent understandingly conceded and asked Maria and her family to keep them informed as they prepared to leave for home)

(Cut to Jane's house as everyone comes in the front door looking for a place to fall down )

Jane: I wonder if Maria would be able to get the doctor to give me a copy of that MRI. I've never had a photograph of someone's brain before.

Daria: Under the circumstances Jane, I think now would be extremely poor timing to ask for such a thing. But you're right, that would be cool.

Trent: Man, can you imagine what those burns of his must look like? All filled with puss, and blistery. God, that's going to give me nightmares just thinking about it.

Daria: Thank you Trent, we're so glad you were able to share that nightmare with us. Why should you be the only person who won't get to sleep?

Trent: Sorry, I couldn't help but think about it.

Jane: Well, while you're thinking about it there, Trent. Keep your ears peeled for the phone in case we get a call from Duncan's family.

Trent: No problem, we musicians are good listeners?

Jane: Really? The way you used to sleep through class in highschool, I never would have guessed.

Trent: Hey, I just hear better when one of my ears is pressed against a desk, that's all. Vibrations, you know?

Daria: (looks at Trent oddly) Trent, tell me honestly. When you hear yourself talk about music, does it make sense to you?

Trent: Always.

Daria: (smirks) Just checking.

Trent: (sighs and has a seat on the couch) It makes you think doesn't it?

Daria: (V.O) Now where have I heard THAT before? (Out loud) What does?

Trent: What happened to Duncan. I mean, here's a guy who volunteers for a dangerous job so that other people won't get hurt. And here, he gets all screwed up for his trouble. What's THAT about?

Jane: Trent, the guy knew the risks. It's like playing poker, he just got dealt a bad hand.

Daria: Besides, it could have been worse. At least the doctor is confidant that he'll recover.

Trent: Yea, I know. And that's terrific, but now it's got my mind going a mile a minute. If something like this could happen to a guy with everything going for him, What about somebody with a disadvantage?

Jane: (crosses her arms across her chest) You're worried about Maria, now?

Trent: I couldn't handle it if something happened to her man, I'd crumble.

Jane: (speaks in a hushed tone to Daria) Jesus, they've got it for each other worse than I thought. (To Trent) Trent, for god sake. Why don't you just marry the girl so you can watch over her twenty four seven? (Trent perks his head up and looks at Jane) (V.O) Oh god, what HAVE I just done?

Trent:(pauses for several moments before smirking) No deal, Janie. We're not ready for something like that.

Daria:(chuckles and speaks in a hushed tone to Jane) Jane Lane, I think Lady luck just saved your ass.

Jane: Yea, that WAS close wasn't it?

Daria: Look Trent, you can't spend your life worrying about every little thing that might happen. You just do your best with what you've got, and hope nothing goes wrong.

Trent: I guess. (Beat) So... as long as you're all over here, what's the plan for tomorrow?

Daria: The same plan we'd have if any of US was hurt. We wait for a phone call saying it's ok to come visit and then we haul our ass's down there.

Jane: And having said that, story hour has now come to an end. Please extinguish any smoking materials before going to bed as we'd all like to wake up in the morning a little less than crispy. And having accomplished that, find a suitable place around the house and fall down for the night. (At having said this Jane walks over to the light switch and no sooner has Trent left the room she turns the light off) Good night, Daria.

Daria: I take it we're not going to snooze in your room tonight?

Jane: We can't, I left a can of paint open earlier when I was doing that painting of Trent and the scot.

Daria: Yea, and?

Jane: Well, it sort of spilled all over my sheets just before we all rushed out the door earlier.

Daria: I guess you won't be sleeping in your own bed for a while then.

Jane: Nope, it's the couch for this girl.

Daria: I don't suppose, since it's obvious that I'm being dealt the floor here, that you could give me a blanket or something? Preferably without any paint on it.

Jane: Yea, there's that old sleeping bag in my closet.

Daria: (dryly) I don't suppose you could turn on the light?

Jane: No, that would require movement and I just don't have the energy right now.

Daria: You're a real pain in the ass, you know that right Jane?

Jane: That fact has been pointed out to me on numerous occasions, yes. (Daria sighs deeply and finds her way in the dark to Jane' s room and eventually returns with the sleeping bag.)

Daria: How Maria is able to do this so well, I'll never know. (Jane is heard chuckling in the darkness. After several moments Daria finds her spot on the floor near Jane and wraps herself up in the sleeping bag and nods off)

(Cut to the hospital sometime around noon the next day)

Daria: (Peeks in the door to Duncan's hospital room to notice that Duncan is still unconscious and that Maria is the only person currently in the room with him. Daria walks quietly through the door and is about to say something to Maria when she hears some very light snoring.) Sorry friend, Jane's got you beat in the snoring department. (Gives Maria a few light taps on the shoulder to wake her up and after a moment she stirs in her chair)

Maria: Huh, ...What? (Listens for a moment) ....Who's there?

Daria: It's just me Maria.

Maria: Daria? I wasn't expecting you so soon, ...what time is it?

Daria: (Looks at her watch) About half past noon. Have you been here all night?

Maria: Yea, My parents were getting pretty tired so I volunteered to stay here with my brother so they could get some sleep.

Daria: I see you were catching up on some yourself.

Maria: It couldn't be helped I guess. I didn't even notice that I nodded off.

Daria: It's no big deal. I'm sure your brother will appreciate the fact that you stayed with him. (Looks about the room) Maria, where's your dog?

Maria: (stops to listen for a long moment) I'm not sure. (Speaks loudly) Cheyenne?? ( A bark is heard from the bathroom off to the side of the room)

Daria: (Walks to where she heard the dog bark from to see Cheyenne squatting on top of the bowl with all four paws perfectly balanced on either side. After a moment the dog jumps off the bowl and after several tries manages to flush the toilet by pressing on the lever with her front paw and then walks past Daria to Maria's side) (in amazement) Maria, you HAVE to tell me how you taught that dog to do that.

Maria: Do what?

Daria: Maria, I just saw your dog use the toilet like a regular person.

Maria: (scratches Cheyenne behind one ear) Really? I didn't teach her that.

Daria: Did the people who trained her teach her that?

Maria: I don't think so, I was there every step of the training process and I don't ever recall covering that. I guess it would explain why she never barks to go out at night, though.

Daria: So, ....your saying the dog taught HERSELF to do that?

Maria: The only explanation I can think of is that she watched everyone in my house do it enough times to pick it up.

Daria: You let the dog follow you into the bathroom? Don't you ever shut the door?

Maria: Of coarse, but she sometimes find her way in there anyway. I don't know how she does it.

Daria: (Shakes her head in amazement) That dog needs to appear on Ripley's believe it or not, I swear she does. (Sighs and looks over at Duncan) So how is your brother doing?

Maria: About the same I think, I haven't heard him move or say anything. But I did hear him pass gas a couple of times so I guess that's step in the right direction.

Daria: Good point, you can't give off positive signals like that unless your alive.

Maria: They must have put some sort of lotion on the burns on his back. I've been smelling something funky in here all morning.

Daria: Are you sure that's not your brother?

Maria: Pretty sure, this is a different smell entirely.

Daria: (sniffs the air and sure enough there is a very faint odor. Daria walks up to Duncan to investigate) Yea, it looks like they did put something on him. It's probably some sort of antibiotic to prevent an infection from setting in. Either that or it's something to help the skin heal (Studies the burns on Duncan's Back) Ugh, those blisters look like they're going to hurt like hell when he wakes up.

Maria: If they feel the way people have described them to me then I don't doubt it. (Thinks for a moment) Hey Daria, where are the others?

Daria: Jane had one of her summer art classes this morning and Trent had to go to work. I still can't believe he actually holds a job now.

Maria: It's not so hard to believe, you just have to know how to motivate him. (Daria looks at her suspiciously)

Daria: Uh huh... (decides to dismiss the notion) Anyway, um....if you want I can stay here with your brother if you want to call your parents so you can go home and get some sleep.

Maria: Eh, that's no good. They both had to go to work today, that's why I offered to stay so they could go home. If they stayed here all day they would have both paced a hole in the floor, so at least work will keep their minds off the situation for a bit.

Daria: It was a thought at least.

Maria: Yea, it was. I appreciate it too, Daria. You can still stay if you want, these chairs are actually pretty comfortable. I can get some more sleep while you keep an eye on Duncan.

Daria: (shrugs) Doesn't sound too complicated. Just try to keep the snoring to a minimum, will you?

Maria: I snore? That's news to me.

Daria: Well, you haven't reached freight train noise levels yet but like everyone else it's just a matter of time.

Maria: (shrugs) I'll give it my best effort then. (Daria moves over to a chair and has a seat while Maria gets comfortable in hers and soon drifts off to sleep. After about two hours Maria is sound asleep and her snoring has kicked back in. Daria rolls her eyes and decides to be grateful that it's at a tolerable level. Daria thinks for several moments and then gets up to move her chair over next to Duncan's bed to keep a closer eye on him)

Daria: (After several moments Daria decides to break the silence) At the risk of making myself look like a nutcase if somebody happens to come in and see me talking to what would seem like myself here, I thought maybe you and I could have a little heart to heart Duncan. (Beat) I've heard that talking to someone even if it seems like they can't hear you can sometimes help to speed the healing process along. I've....uh, had some things on my mind since last week. That odd little incident after the fireworks to be specific, ....I've been tossing it about in my mind almost everyday now trying to figure out why out of the blue you decided to ask for a date. (Pauses) I mean,....we've known each other for what,... a year now? Granted,... we met under some rather unique circumstances, but still. I've never really noticed any sort of clues that you might like me in THAT fashion. I mean,.. I can relate to you pretty well. I think you're about the first guy besides Trent that I've felt comfortable talking too. (Daria is silent for several long moments before speaking again) But when you asked me, I was all set to give you the "you're a nice guy and all" brush off when for some reason,... I started to dwell on the manner in which you asked. I have to admit it was the first sincere request I've ever heard from a guy. I couldn't help but melt the more I thought about it, it was so... odd. (Chuckles) And that kiss on the cheek, I have absolutely NO idea where THAT came from. No premeditation had gone into that at ALL, I mean.... (Kyrsten's voice is heard coming from the doorway)

Kyrsten: (wearing a weak but hopeful smile) Is he awake?

Daria: (Startled, snaps her head up to look at the person speaking and then grabs her neck as if she pulled a muscle) OW! Damn....

Kyrsten: (walks further into the room) Are you Ok?

Daria: I'll live.

Kyrsten: It's just that I heard you talking and I thought that maybe....

Daria: (face turns beet red in embarrassment) No, I uh............um....just thought talking to him might help. (Beat) Somehow. (Awkward pause) So, ....I'm surprised to see you here. Maria told me that you had to work today.

Kyrsten: Aye, I did. But my boss let me get off early so I could come down here. (Looks at Maria) Can't leave the girl here all day. I doubt she's eaten anything since last night.

Daria:(under her breath) Now there's something you don't hear everyday. (Out loud) I can take her home Mrs. Macleod, you stay here with Duncan. You'd probably do him more good than I would anyway.

Kyrsten: Good lord, lass. Don't call me Mrs. Macleod, it makes me sound old as purgatory itself. Just call me Kyrsten.

Daria: O......k, Kyrsten. Let me just wake Maria's butt up and we'll leave you to spend some quality time with Duncan.

Kyrsten: (smiles) Aye, I'll thank you for that.

Daria: No problem. (Walks over to Maria and kicks her feet lightly) Hey sleeping beauty, you're mom's here. (Kicks her again when she doesn't wake up) HEY!

Maria: Mmmph....huh? What...? (Sits up in her chair and is still for a moment) Mom, are you here?

Kyrsten: Aye...

Daria: (confused) How did you know she was here? You were asleep when she got here.

Maria; (Smiles) It's kind of personal, ...maybe I'll tell you later.

Daria; (shrugs) Whatever.

Maria: Any change in Duncan?

Daria: (smirks) As a matter of fact, while you were asleep he decided to give the severe injury act a rest and walked out to get some coffee, and when he came back he performed swan lake right in front of you. He's really a good dancer.

Maria: (sighs) No change at all, huh?

Daria: Nope, sorry. Um, listen you're mom wants you to head home for a bit. She's going to stay with your brother for a while.

Maria: Thanks mom. (Gets up and feels around in front of her until she runs into her mother, then gives her a hug just before Cheyenne leads Maria out of the room right behind Daria)

Daria: (once they are out of the room) Affectionate bunch aren't you. (Maria just nods)

Maria: I hope you didn't mind staying with my brother while I snoozed.

Daria: Nah. We found something to talk about. (Maria wears an amused expression)

(Cut to That evening)

(Daria and Jane are sitting on the couch in the living room of Daria's apartment while flipping through the channels on the television)

Jane: Is it me, or is does the quantity of quality entertainment on tv become less and less with every passing day?

Daria: Hey, I guess quality violence just isn't what it used to be. All the good movie plots have been used a hundred times already. There are only so many cool ways to mutilate somebody on tv before the general populous becomes desensitized to it and inevitably bored with it.

Jane: Sad, ...but true. (Changes the subject) So what else is there to do around here? Oh yea, you were telling me earlier about Maria's snoring.

Daria: Didn't we totally exhaust that subject? How many times can you describe a person snoring?

Jane: I don't know, make it interesting somehow. Exaggerate the noise level or something, turn it into a story you could frighten your future kids with.

Daria: If I wanted to come up with a story like that, then I think your brothers new found sex life would make for a far more frightening topic.

Jane: You mean his LACK of one. That girl has a rock solid belief in her principals, she doesn't let him get very far.

Daria: Jane Lane, spying on your own brother? Shame on you. (Beat) So are you going to post the photo's on the Internet?

Jane: I can't, Trent intercepted me later and confiscated them.

Daria: Really? So... not so oblivious as we were led to believe, ....so much the better. (Smirks)

Jane: Yea, those pictures would have looked great on a new web site too. I bet it would done a whole hell of a lot better than Jane cam. (Lets out a small groan) So, how is the scot's brother?

Daria: Still unconscious, and still a little on the crispy side.

Jane; (frowns) You saw the his injuries did you?

Daria: (looks down towards the floor) Yea, his back is covered with second degree burns. He's gonna be in a good amount of pain when he wakes up. I'm just glad I couldn't see what that leg looked like underneath the brace.

Jane; I can imagine, compound fractures are no pretty sight to see from what I've heard. (Looks at Daria who is still looking at the floor) Something else is on your mind isn't there?

Daria: (doesn't look at Jane) Maybe....

Jane: Want to talk about it?

Daria: That depends, can you listen without turning it into something that it isn't?

Jane: Hmm, I don't know. You know better than anybody how I operate.

Daria: (looks up at Jane) That's what I was afraid of, I guess it's not that important then.

Jane: (looks at Daria as if she were trying to read her mind) You're serious aren't you? Something is bugging you THAT much?

Daria: I thought you couldn't just sit back and listen?

Jane: Hey, on occasion, when it's called for. A tiger can change her stripes, if just for a little while to help a friend in need.

Daria: Even if that friend once totally destroyed another friends hair?

Jane: (Smirks) Even if that friend once lost a sister, ...or is it still cousin?

Daria: ( smiles weakly) That'll do pig, ...that'll do.

Jane: Hey now, lets not get personal about it. So what's on you're mind friend?

Daria: Have you ever felt certain that you wanted to take one path in life, ....but you kept getting this nagging feeling that something or someone was pulling you in the direction of another?

Jane: Um,.....no. I can't say that I have. I've pretty much always known that I was destined for the art world, why?

Daria: (takes her glasses off and cleans them with her sleeve) I don't know.

Jane: (rubs her face) Ok, when per say did this nagging feeling start?

Daria: When I wrecked my old car. (1)

Jane: (thinks for a moment) So, ......you're getting this nagging feeling because you killed a deer? Tell me if I'm wrong but that sounds more like guilt than anything else.

Daria: It's not about the deer, dammit. (Clenches the air in her fist and holds it to her mouth as if in search of the right words) What if by some chance some weirdo told you that you were going to meet somebody, but you didn't believe them.

Jane: Sounds like an everyday occurrence to me. I meet weirdo's almost everyday, granted most of them are at my brothers gigs. But they DO tell me all sorts of funky things, of coarse that's probably due to intoxication, but still...

Daria: (scowls) I'm serious, Jane.

Jane: (holds her hands up defensively) Ok, ...ok, Some weirdo told you that you were going to meet somebody and you didn't believe this person. So then what?

Daria: What if I did meet somebody, ...but under the circumstances I thought it was dumb luck and didn't pay it any mind.

Jane: Sounds like a missed flight to me, I wouldn't worry about it. Stuff like that happens all the time.

Daria: That's the clincher isn't it, that same person is still around and no matter what I do we keep running into each other by pure chance.

Jane: This guy isn't stalking you or something is he?

Daria: No, nothing like that. I have no doubts that these are completely random meetings, but every time we meet something happens. Something really subtle, something that doesn't even catch my attention until later.

Jane: (makes an odd face) Are we talking about Static electricity here?

Daria: NO, Jane. We're NOT talking about static electricity here. I'm talking about a guy.

Jane: (her face lights up) DARIA! Since when do you believe in fate?

Daria: I DON'T! That's the part that's bugging me.

Jane: Ok I think you're losing me here, WHY is this bugging you. Just blow the guy off like you USUALLY do, ...... if you really feel that way about it.

Daria: That's what I think every time we meet at first.

Jane: But,.... you can never do it?

Daria: It was like with Tom, I hated the guy at first but the more we talked the more he grew on me until, well you know the rest.

Jane; You felt each other up for a while until you discovered what I had already found out, the guy was an asshole.

Daria; We did NOT feel each other up.

Jane: Hey, I call it as I see it. The two of you were fogging car windows everywhere you went.

Daria: (kicks the coffee table) Alright, I'll admit it. Even I, of all people, have hormones. Are you happy now?

Jane: Quite, so getting back to the mystery guy thing. So the more you talk with this guy, the more you start to like him. Where's the problem?

Daria: It's the way this is all happening that's the problem. It's all so subtle that I can never see it coming. How can I be certain of where I stand if I can't see what's coming?

Jane: I guess that's why they call it "taking a chance". Because you never know where you're going to end up afterward. So, ....you're starting to like the guy. But you feel really uneasy about it, ...then what?

Daria: He asked me for a date.

Jane: (leans forward fishing for information) AND......?

Daria : I did something totally NOT me.

Jane: (smiles evilly) You threw your principals to the wind and told him your rates? (Daria looks at Jane utterly appalled and picks up a pillow off the couch and then pummels Jane with it)

Daria: NO you freaking nympho, Is sex ALL you ever think about? Only YOU would paint me with an image like that.

Jane: OW! Hey, painting is what I do best. OOF! (Jane grabs the pillow and tosses it away) (Panting) Okay, so what did you do?

Daria: My heart melted,.... just before I kissed him on the cheek and told him I'd think about it.

Jane: (chuckles) Puppy love, he'll get over it.

Daria: And then I left him standing on the porch without an explanation. He stood there for ten minutes after I closed the door.

Jane: (smile fades) Oh god, ....you watched him until he left? (Leans back against the couch) You really DO like this guy. (Looks deep in thought) So what are you going to do?

Daria: What do you mean what am I going to do?

Jane: I mean,... what are you going to do? He made an advance, you reciprocated. You're just going to leave it at that?

Daria: How the hell should I know? Right now I'm waiting for the next bomb to drop in my lap.

Jane: All I can say is watch out, with your luck it just might be a tactical nuke.

Daria: Gee, thanks for the advice Jane. You were so much help tonight.

Jane; Hey, you asked me to LISTEN. You said nothing about wanting my advice. And in my defense, this sounds like it's a little to fragile for me to help you handle. I think you're going to need to figure this one out on your own, amiga.

Daria: (rolls her eyes) Wonderful..... (Daria gets up to walk into the kitchen to raid the fridge)

Jane: (calls after her) Um, ...Daria? Have I already met this guy? (Daria turns and looks at Jane and simply raises an eyebrow)

(The scene fades to black and comes back up on a moon lit road late at night somewhere down the shore. There is a nearby phone booth along the side of the road and every so often the intense beam of a light house passes over the tree's just before a foghorn is heard. The scene rotates and pulls back to show Duncan standing in the center of the road.)

Duncan: (looks about in astonishment) I know this place, ...am I dreaming? How did I get here? ( A whisper of a voice is heard from somewhere behind him)

Voice: Yes.....

Duncan: (looks about him) Bloody hell, now I'm hearing voices. (Decides to go out on a limb) Who are you?

Voice: A friend.

Duncan: I've got friends, can you be more specific? (No answer comes) Look, I'll be nackard before I carry on an extremely vague conversation with a voice. (No sooner had he said this when a shadow moved out of the darkness beyond the road and slowly came into focus as it came closer to reveal herself as a young red head in a cobalt blue over coat)

Red head; (places her hands in her coat pockets) Happy now?

Duncan: Aye, that's better. At least now I feel sane. (Studies her) I've seen you before, .....you're Eileen. Aren't you?

Red Head: (gawks) My name is NOT Eileen. Ugh, I wouldn't be caught dead with a name like that. (Thinks about what she just said) Oh wait, strike that.

Duncan: (rolls his eyes) Fine, what do I call you then?

Red Head : Look, .....my names not important.

Duncan: Well I've got to call you something. I can't just call you friend, now can I?

Red Head: (irritated) Well there must be SOMETHING nice you can call an attractive and popular girl. Ugh, ....why do guys have to be so difficult?

Duncan: (looks insulted) Why do most of the women in this damned country have to be shallow, egotistical, air heads?

Red head: (places her hands on her hips and is about to go into full Quinn mode when she stops in her tracks and thinks about what Duncan had just said as she reflects on how she had behaved in life. She then laughed nervously) Old habits are hard to break, ...I guess. (Pauses) Um, listen we kind of got off on the wrong foot back there. Maybe we could sort of start over?

Duncan: That's a much better attitude. I think that earns you enough points for a second chance.

Red head: Great, ....but listen. I'll tell you my name if you agree to keep this whole conversation quiet. You were never supposed to know I was around in the first place, I'm sort of going out on a limb by doing this.

Duncan: (looks weirded out) Um, ....right then. I think I can keep a secret if it's that important to you. It's not going to be something goofy like Rumpelstiltskin is it?

Red head: Ew, ...I hated that story. That dwarf guy simply did NOT know how to treat a....

Duncan: (rolls his eyes) Your name?

Red head: (abruptly) Quinn.

Duncan: Nice to meet you Quinn. And I was serious, I do remember you. Though it would have been better if I'd been able to hear you at the time, but I thank you for the warning none the less. So what's a girl like you doing in one of my dreams?

Quinn: Hey, getting a conscious person to hear somebody like me isn't as easy as it looks, okay. And I'm not in your dream, I'm in your hospital room talking to you in your sleep. You're mind is just inserting me into your dream to better associate with me. I'm not really sure how, I just know it's one of those complicated subconscious things.

Duncan: Whoa, back up lass. Hospital room?

Quinn: You were in such a rush to get out of that hallway you failed to close the door tightly after turning the knob and well, ...boom.

Duncan: (takes a moment to soak in the meaning of this new information) But I'm not dead, I gathered that part already.

Quinn: No, you'd be talking to a completely different person in that case.

Duncan: (nods) Lucky me then, I get to talk to you. (Quinn shrugs)

Quinn: Funny, you don't seem surprised that I'm here.

Duncan: (Laughs) I've always known I had somebody looking over my shoulder. I just didn't expect to meet that person. So you're what, a ghost? A guardian angel?

Quinn; (returns to her typical cheerful self) Oh no, blue coats aren't angels.

Duncan: (puzzled) Blue coats?

Quinn: It's this neat little thing, to sum it up we're all departmentalized. For example everyone in MY line of work wears something that's this color. Not necessarily a coat though, but the term sort of caught on. You know how it goes.

Duncan: Uh huh, and....are we stuck together for life or something?

Quinn: I doubt it, Laura(2) likes to shift people around occasionally to keep them from getting too attached to their assignment. It's a matter of time before I get reassigned to somebody else.

Duncan: And Laura is...?

Quinn: Think of her as sort of a district manager. You rarely see her but you're always getting some sort of memo from her.

Duncan: Ah.... All that is fascinating, but I doubt that you showed up at my bedside to tell me all that. So........ how bad am I hurt?

Quinn: You don't want to know.

Duncan: (shakes his head) It's going to suck when I wake up isn't it?

Quinn: You've got that right.

Duncan: Gee, thanks for the support.

Quinn: (looks about) Nice scenery, why did you bring yourself here?

Duncan: (stares) I thought you weren't really IN this dream? How did you know where I was?

Quinn: (pulls a PADD out of her coat pocket displaying a realtime image of the scene complete with both people.) These things are SO cool, you'd be surprised at the information I can call up with this thing.

Duncan: Aye, ..looks like a pretty fancy gadget.

Quinn: So like I said.....

Duncan: (takes a deep breath) I met somebody here.

Quinn: Can't get her out of your head huh?

Duncan: Hey now, I'm not that far gone.

Quinn: (smiles) Could have fooled me. Want to talk about it?

Duncan: No offense Lassie, but judging by how you reacted earlier. You don't seem the type to sit back and listen to a guy ramble on about another girl.

Quinn: (shrugs) Hey, I'm learning as I go. I'm doing good so far aren't I?

Duncan: (smirks) Aye, you regrouped nicely.

Quinn: So... what have I got to do to get you to open up, buy you a drink?

Duncan: (laughs) Have you got one?

Quinn: Hey it's your dream, whip one up and get wasted if you want to. I'm here either way. (Duncan smiles)

Duncan: And what's the reason for that, again?

Quinn: To give your family and friends a break, silly. They've been camped out at your side for the past couple of days. (Beat) Look, the more you think while we talk the more brain activity, right? The more brain activity, the quicker you wake up and the sooner they can all go home feeling reassured that you'll be OK.

Duncan: (looks at her curiously) You read that out of a manual somewhere didn't you?

Quinn: I had somebody e-mail me some instructions, yea.

Duncan: Somehow I thought as much.

Quinn: (rolls her eyes) Whatever, so listen. Dream yourself into a bar or something and you can tell me over a drink about this girl you met out here in the middle of nowhere. (Smiles knowingly as the two start walking down the road together)

Duncan: Actually lassie, I was just trying to make a joke about that. I don't even drink.

Quinn: (shoves her hands into her coat pockets again as they walk away) UGH, .....you've never really DATED much have you. You've got SO much to learn.

Duncan: Damn woman, are you sure you're here to help?

Quinn: (shakes her head) Ugh, ....men.

(Cut to Duncan's room the next morning)

(Daria opened the door to the hospital room quietly and peered in to see Maria sleeping in her chair as she had done for the past couple of days. Granted, this time she wasn't snoring. A godsend as far as Daria was concerned. Daria took a few steps further into the room to hear a slight whimper coming from Cheyenne somewhere in the room. Daria looked about the room, before coming about to the far side of Duncan's bed to find Cheyenne facing a corner of the room as she kept trying to hold up her paw as if expecting someone to shake it.)

Daria: (in a hushed tone so as not to wake Maria) Cheyenne? (The dog turns to look at her and then turns to look at the corner again) Come here girl. (Daria pats her leg as she says this. Cheyenne looks back her again before reluctantly getting up and coming to Daria's side) What are you staring at? (Daria looks into the corner to see nothing) I swear I'll never understand dogs. (Daria walks over to Maria's chair and is about to wake her up to relieve her when Daria hears what sounds like Duncan Mumbling) Huh?

Duncan: (groans) Oh god, somebody put my lights back out.

Daria: (walks quickly over to his side) Oh my god, how long have you been awake?

Duncan: Bloody hell if I know, there's no clock in here. (Tries to turn his head more to the side in order to see her better) Ow, ....damn , damn, ow....pain...ugh!!!! Oh my god my neck is so stiff. (Beat) Sorry lass, All I know is it seems like forever.

Daria; (smiles) I'll wake you're sister up, she'll be happy as hell to hear you talking. You're whole family has been worried sick about you.

Duncan: (groans) Don't wake her up just yet, I was enjoying the quiet. Who else is here?

Daria: Just us, I think. You're parents will probably be in a few hours from now so Maria can go home and get some sleep. So how are you feeling, besides the stiff neck I mean?

Duncan: (tries to laugh but cringes a his ribs start to ache) Oh god, don't make me laugh. Ugh, it hurts.

Daria; (smirks) Sorry, I'll keep the humorous remarks to a minimum. So, do you remember how you got here?

Duncan: (thinks for a moment) I remember a little birdie telling me that I'd been blown up.

Daria: (amused) A little birdie?

Duncan: Yea, bloody thing goes tweet, tweet, and never shuts the hell up. That kind of little birdie.

Daria: (laughs quietly) Sounds familiar, I knew a lot of idiots in school who were like that.

Duncan: I can imagine. (Struggles to lift one of his arms and then reaches out and lightly grabs hold of Daria's hand) Daria, can you do me a favor? Can you hit the nurses call button? I'm in some serious pain here and I really need to get jacked up with some morphine or whatever it is that they use these days.

Daria: (pauses for a moment as if deep in thought) Huh, ....um yea Sure. (Daria looks about the side of the bed and finds the call button and then pushes it. Daria then stops to feel the back of her neck to notice that the tiny hairs at the base of her neck had stood on end)

Duncan: Are you alright? You look like you'd just seen a ghost or something.

Daria: (snaps out of her daze) Huh, ....oh no. I uh, was just thinking about something.

Duncan: Do tell? Well, I could use a story to keep my mind off the matters at hand until the nurse shows arrives to shoot me up. Let's hear it.

Daria: This is going to sound weird, have you even gotten this really weird feeling that made the hair on the back of your neck stand on end?

Duncan: (tries not to laugh) I'm not even sure if the hair on the back of my neck is still there.

Daria: I'm serious.

Duncan: (sighs and thinks for a moment) My dad told me something about that once, he claimed that's how he knew for sure that my mom was the person for him. But he never really went into detail as to how he knew.

Daria: Have you ever had that feeling?

Duncan: (thinks) Once, at the pizza shop in town. ....But I'm pretty sure it was because I had walked underneath the air-conditioning vent in the ceiling. Why?

Daria: I don't know....

Duncan: Yea, I hate it when that happens.

Daria: (bites her lower lip) I gave some thought to what we talked about last week after the fireworks.

Duncan: It's alright if I'm not your type, Daria. But in my mind it was at least worth a shot.

Daria: Actually, I was going to take you up on your request. Provided you promise me that we take it slow, I went with this one guy once who's version of slow was just as fast as high gear. I don't need to go through that again.

Duncan: (smiles weakly) You've made my day, Daria. But I think that date may have to wait a bit, I'm sort of laid up at the moment.

Daria: (smiles) To quote someone I once knew, "I can consider a hospital visit to be a date."

Duncan: Strangely enough, I think I heard that in a dream I once had. (Daria looks puzzled)

(The nurse finally shows up to investigate the call)

Nurse: Ah, you finally decided to rejoin the world of the living. Judging by those burn I'm guessing you want some sort of pain killer, am I right?

Duncan: You're a bloody psychic, woman. Can you hook my arse' up? (Daria snickers at his pronunciation of the word)

Nurse: (Smiles evilly) I sure can. (She walks out of the room and returns with a tray holding a syringe) And speaking off hooking your ass up, it's the only fleshy part of your back side that isn't burnt. So guess where this is going?

Duncan: No wait, ...I didn't mean it literally.

Nurse: To late my friend, ask and ye shall receive as we like to say. (Duncan grits his teeth as the nurse injects a large needle into his posterior) There, that wasn't so bad was it?

Duncan: (as the nurse leaves) You're patients must recover quickly, ....to get the hell away from you.

Daria: Hey Duncan, it was a hell of a shot though. It's been a while since I've seen that kind of full moon.

Duncan: (Tries not to laugh) Ugh, ...don't make me laugh. My ribs are killing me. (Beat) So you'd consider a hospital visit a date would you?

Daria: Under the circumstances, I guess so.

Duncan: (smiles) I'm a happy man then, we're on our first date already. If I could move more than a few inches without severe pain I'd repay you for that kiss from the other night.

Daria: (looks about the room to see that Maria is still asleep and that there is no one else around) Tell you what, if we can keep this just between us then I'll give you a hand with that. If Jane finds out I'm involved with somebody she'll kick her matchmaking into high gear and I'll never hear the end of it.

Duncan: I can live with that, Maria tends to do the same thing.

Daria: (smiles) It's a done deal then. (Daria kneels down and gives Duncan a very light kiss on the lips this time)

Duncan: Wow, on the lips this time. That was pretty nice, lass. Any chance I can see the instant replay?

Daria: Hey now, don't get greedy.

Duncan: (sighs) Oh alright then, I guess we'd better wake my sibling there and let the embarrassing festivities over my semi recovery begin.

Daria; Are you sure you want that?

Duncan: No, but right now I can't move enough to pull you in close for a hug so this will have to be a close second.

Daria: (gets up and walks over to Maria preparing to wake her up mumbling as she goes) And so begins a new day, people. I sure as hell hope you're all ready for it.

(The scene fades to black)

The End>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Footnotes :

1. Daria wrecked he old Ford escort In "Issues" When she hit a deer that ran out into the road.

2. Laura made brief appearance in "Issues" when Daria along with Maria and Jodie Landon encountered the so called "weirdo".

Feedback is always appreciated I may be reached at wildgoose81@hotmail.com