Synopsis: Having discovered that she is pregnant, Daria attempts to come to terms with it, while seeking an ally in her favorite aunt. However, keeping it a secret, even for the moment, might prove to be a little harder than she thinks.

Author’s Forward: I am rating the following story PG-13 for content. The subject matter deals with teen pregnancy. I am not an advocate of teen pregnancy, and firmly believe that common sense should prevail in such cases. However, real life being what it is, this is not always the case.

The following story was written for entertainment purposes only, and should not be taken as educational material. I do not claim that the “technical” aspects of my story are even remotely accurate. If you have any questions, go to a responsible adult knowledgeable in the appropriate areas.

Other Notes: The author assumes that the reader is familiar with “Daria” and the characters therein. The previous story, “Empirical Evidence,” took place over the six to eight week period concurrent with the Fifth Season episodes “Sappy Anniversary,” “Fat Like Me,” and “Camp Fear.” This story takes place three days after the conclusion of “Empirical Evidence.”

Legal Drek: Daria and her cohorts are property of MTV and Viacom.

This story is Copyright April 26 2003.




Reflections and Revelations

By Greystar

~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~

Daria sat on her bed staring out the window next to her. On her lap, forgotten for the moment, was one of her favorite collections of Russian short stories and essays. Having read the same page of “Letter To Gogol” half a dozen times already, Daria had turned away from her book in an effort to clear her mind. She stared, almost unseeing, across the back yard and over the fence into the neighbors yard. There, a group of children, bedecked with water wings and life jackets, played and dove and splashed about in their swimming pool under the watchful eyes of two sets of parents. Daria tried to superimpose herself onto the scene that was playing itself out a few dozen yards away. Try as she might, she was unable to insert herself into that happy scene, or her child.

Her child. It was still almost impossible for Daria to wrap her mind around that concept. Three days ago, Daria had discovered she was pregnant.

Daria had returned home late that night and immediately locked herself in her bedroom. She had convinced her parents that she had a case of the flu, managing to keep them and her sister out of her room for the rest of the weekend. Daria used the flu excuse to get out of school that Monday as well, a story that Helen almost hadn’t bought until Daria had run from the room to be sick. After that, the rest of the day, and the house, had been hers.

The expected telephone call form Jane had come in the midmorning. Daria had made no effort to answer the phone, preferring to let the answering machine in the kitchen perform it’s primary function. In fact, it had performed that function three times that day, as Daria had found out when hunger had forced her out of her room and down to the kitchen that afternoon.

After pouring a partial bowl of cereal, she took Helen’s traditional place at the kitchen table and looked over at the machine, its indicator flashing the numeral 3 incessantly. Daria sat for a few minutes, stirring the sugar coated O’s in their bath of skim milk before relenting to the machine’s indicator. She turned and pressed the playback button.

“Hey, Daria? You around?” Jane’s voice filtered through the small speaker on the telephone base. “Look, if you’re there, pick up, huh? . . . Okay, um, I’ll get your assignments and call you again later.”

The machine made a sick beep sound before starting the second message.

“Yo, amiga, it’s me,” Jane’s second message started. “Pick up the phone will ya? I know you’re around there. Quinn told me that you were saying that you had the flu. I’ll stop by as soon as I can get out of here, okay?” The bell rang in the background. “I’ll call again later, I gotta get to class. Bye.”

The machine made another sick beep before it started playing the last message.

“Daria, it’s quarter after two. I know you’re awake around there someplace,” Jane’s voice said, sounding a little put off. “Would you please pick up the phone? . . . Okay, I guess not. Look, there’s one class left. I’ll be over there in a couple of hours.” There was a silence, then she heard Jane mutter, “Dammit, I better not be talking to an empty house.”

Daria looked at the kitchen clock and waited, absently stirring her cereal until it had turned into an unappetizing grayish mass. She was still doing that when the door bell rang. As much as Daria wanted not to go and answer the door, she was fairly certain that Jane wouldn’t give up too easily considering the events of the past few days. With a sigh, Daria pushed herself up from the table, abandoning the slop that her cereal had become, and trudged to the door. As she crossed the living room, Daria wondered if she could get away with just getting her homework and talking Jane into leaving.

Who are you kidding? Daria asked herself as she reached for the door knob.

“Hey,” Daria said sullenly as she opened the door.

“Yo,” Jane said in reply as she walked in, concern evident. “You doing all right?”

“Yeah,” Daria replied as she shuffled back towards the living room sofas.

“Could’ve fooled me,” Jane said as she followed.

“Mmm,” Daria said as she dropped down on one of the sofas.

Jane sat down at her friend’s side and looked Daria over with growing concern. Daria had quickly slipped into a funk since Jane had saw her last, which she thought was understandable, considering the circumstances. But something just didn’t sit right, as Jane looked at her friend. It appeared to her that Daria’s clothes had been worn for a length of several days. Her hair hadn’t been combed, and probably not washed for the same amount of time. Jane suspected that Daria probably hadn’t been out of her room since they had separated that Saturday night.

“So,” Jane started to say, fishing for a subject. “I brought your stuff from school.”

“Thanks,” Daria mumbled, not looking up from the toes of her stocking feet.

“O’Neill’s been starting in on Greek plays,” Jane said, looking for some kind of a reaction from her friend.

“Mmm,” was Daria’s only reply.

“Ms. Barch says that we’re going to be starting a unit on entomology in the next couple of days,” Jane continued, giving Daria an opening.

“Uh-huh,” Daria mumbled, eliciting an unnoticed dropped eyebrow look from Jane

“Bennett started a chapter on service based economies today,” Jane went on.


Okay, time to pull out the big guns, Jane thought. “She’s planning a field trip over to the ‘Wicked Girls Strip Club’ to demonstrate her point.”

“Mm-hmm.” No bites.

“She and Ms Li and Ms Barch are planning to get up on stage and do a three-way pole dance,” Jane said with a smirk. That’s gotta get her attention.


“Then Kevin and DeMartino are going to get up on stage and do their dog-boy and trainer act. I here DeMartino makes a convincing Jack Russell Terrier,” Jane said, praying for a response. Come on, Daria! I’m oh for four here!

“Mmm,” Daria mumbled.

“Dammit, Daria, will you do something other than grunt affirmatives here?” Jane sighed in frustration. “Say something . . . Please?”

“There’s a bunch of kids swimming in the neighbor’s pool on the other side of the fence,” Daria said without looking up, here voice even more monotone than usual. “I can see them from my bedroom window. Four boys and three girls. I’ve been watching them for most of the afternoon. Their parents are back there, too.”

“Yeah,” Jane said quietly. “I heard them when I was walking up.”

“I tried to picture myself down there, watching my kid with the rest of them,” Daria went on. “I tried to imagine myself doing all the clichéd things that mothers are supposed to do; join the P.T.A., sign the kid up for pre-school, parent-teacher meetings, school plays.”


“I can’t see myself doing any of that stuff,” Daria continued. “It’s not that I’m incapable, it’s just that . . . the concepts are so completely alien to me that I can’t get my mind to process the ideas.”

“Kind of like me getting an ‘A’ in math,” Jane said.

“Yeah,” Daria said. She looked up at Jane after a moment when she realized what she had just said. “I’m sorry. I guess I’m not making much sense.”

“Actually, you are,” Jane said with a slight smirk. “You’re scared out of your mind.”

“Yeah,” Daria said, looking back at her socks. She took a deep breath and let out as a long tired sigh. “How could I be so damn stupid? I should have gone with my first instinct and thrown him out of the house when I had the chance.”

“Daria, you’re not stupid,” Jane said, putting her hand on Daria’s shoulder. “You’re human, just like the rest of us.”

“Being human sucks,” Daria mumbled.

“Sometimes,” Jane said with a gentle smile. “Depends on who you’re with, though.”

“And who’s doing the sucking?” Daria groused, missing Jane’s expression.

“C’mon, Daria, that’s not who I was talking about,” Jane replied, smile replace by a slightly sad look.

“I know,” Daria said, glancing at Jane. “And you’re right.”

The two girls were silent for a long moment. The only sounds they heard were the creaks of the house, the quiet hum of air flowing through the heat vents, and each other breathing.

“I suppose I’m going to have to tell him sooner or later, huh?” Daria said.

“Eventually,” Jane agreed.

“How about the day I go into labor?” Daria quipped. “That sounds like a good time.”

“Yeah, but I think he’d notice that you’d’ve put on a bit around the middle by then,” Jane said with a small smirk. “He might get suspicious.”

“He is pretty observant sometimes,” Daria replied, showing a little more animation. “I’ll be honest, Jane, I haven’t even remotely considered how to bring the subject up. How do you think he’ll react to the prospect of being a father?”

“I don’t know,” Jane answered with a shrug. “Considering how you reacted . . . “

“Yeah, this’ll be a walk in the park.”

“Have you talked to him at all?” Jane asked as she turned on the sofa to face Daria.

“He tried to call over the weekend, but I asked mom to tell him I was sick and that I’d call him back,” Daria replied. “Beyond that I haven’t seen him since Friday.”

“Do you want me to be there when you do?” Jane asked.

Daria had to think about that for a few minutes. As much as she wanted to avoid the conversation entirely, she knew that was impossible. Having Jane there would definitely be a boost to her confidence, but she didn’t think that it would be a terribly wise idea. This was something that she and Tom would have to deal with on their own for a long time to come. Daria also suspected that one of the reasons that Jane wanted to be there was that she felt somewhat responsible for the situation. She was, after all, the one who had purchased the prophylactic that Daria and Tom had used, and that had subsequently failed.

“As appealing an idea as that is, Jane, I have no idea how Tom‘s going to take this,” Daria said. “I don’t want him blaming you for all of this.”

“Hey, if he blames me then he blames me,” Jane said with a shrug. “I don’t care about that. The important part is that he takes care of the two of you.”

“I’m not sure I want him taking care of us.”


“I can take care of myself quite well, thank you,” Daria said. “I’ve done it before.”

“Daria, this isn’t like a week with the parents out of town or babysitting Tad and Tricia Gupty,” Jane said with a frown. “This is gong to be a major chunk of the rest of your life.”

“I know,” Daria said with a sigh. “Believe me I know.”

“Besides, you’re getting a little ahead of yourself here, aren’t you?“

“I guess,” Daria said quietly.

“So, then, my question still stands,” Jane said. “Do you want me to be there when you talk to Tom?”

“I don’t know,” Daria said with a sigh.


Tom looked up from his book on Trotski when the living room telephone rang. His father, Angier, was sitting on the sofa next to the phone reading the financial section of the Sun-Herald, and put his paper down and picked up the receiver.

“Hello, Sloane residence,” he said into the phone. “Well, hello Daria. Tom tells me you’ve picked up a flu bug. I hope you’re feeling better.”

Tom looked up expectantly as his father talked.

“Of course, he’s right here,” Angier said, handing the receiver to Tom, who put his book down and gave his father a cocked eyebrow look as he got up and took the receiver.

“Hi Daria,” Tom said as he put the receiver to his ear. “Feeling any better?”

“Um, a little,” Daria replied. “It’s been a long weekend.”

“I can imagine,” Tom said. “Can I bring you anything?”

“No, you can’t, and no, thank you,” Daria replied. “Um, can I talk to you about something?”

“Sure, what is it?” Tom asked.

“Not over the phone,” Daria said slowly. “Can we meet face to face someplace? It’s kind of important.”

“Well, I can’t really get away tonight, but I’m sure I can tomorrow. Will that be okay?” Tom asked.

“Tom, this is really important,” Daria said. “There’s no way that you can get out tonight for a little while?”

“Well, if it’s that important, I’ll ask. Hold on,” Tom said before putting his hand over the mouthpiece. Whatever it was that Daria wanted to talk about, it sounded like it had her just a little upset.

“Hey, Dad?” Tom said, getting his father’s attention. “Is there any way that I can be a little late for dinner tonight? Daria's got something that she wants to talk to me about.”

“Now Tom, you know that we’ve had this dinner with Dean Hargrove scheduled for a month,” Angier said, turning the page of his newspaper. “I like Daria too, but you can’t just run off to be with your girlfriend whenever the whim strikes.”

“She says it’s urgent,” Tom said.

“If she can’t talk to you about whatever it is over the telephone when she has the opportunity, then it can wait until tomorrow,” Angier said. “You know how important this is.”

“Then can I beg out of this little gathering a little early?” Tom asked with a sigh.

“We’ll see,” Angier said, noncommittally.

Translation: Fat chance, Tom thought with a scowl, turning back to the phone.

“Daria?” Tom said, removing his hand.


“We’ve got some big dinner with one of the deans form Bromwell University,” Tom said sourly. “There’s no way I can get out of it completely, but I will try to get away early if I can.”

“When?” Daria asked.

“I don’t know, about eight-thirty or so,” Tom replied. “I promise I’ll call just as soon as I get free, okay?”

“Alright, if that’s the best you can do,” Daria said with a sigh. “Don’t forget, okay?”

“I won’t,” Tom said, curious at the change in the tone of Daria’s voice. He turned his back on his father for a modicum of privacy and lowered his voice. “Daria, are you alright? What’s wrong?”

“No, I’m not alright! How would you feel if you just found out that . . . that . . .” Daria started to say, but stopped herself.

“Daria, this sounds serious. What is it?” Tom asked.

“Not over the phone. Quinn just got home, and there’s no way in hell I’m talking about this on a party line. Just don’t forget, okay? I‘ll see you later,” Daria said in a diamond cold tone just before she hung up.

Tom slowly lowered the receiver, looking at it with undisguised concern. What ever was bothering Daria was apparently pretty serious. Family problems? One of her parents or her sister ill? He turned back towards his father and put the receiver back on the telephone base and wondered what the results would be if he just up and left.

Probably my getting skinned alive, Tom thought. But I’m not staying at that dinner one second longer than necessary.

“I’m going to go shower,” Tom said as he left the room.


Daria sat and looked at the telephone receiver in her hand as Quinn walked in the door.

“Hey, Daria, was that the phone?” Quinn asked as she closed the door behind her. “I’m expecting a call from Sandi so we can plan next week’s Fashion Club meeting, and I’m expecting a call from Larry too. He finally got a new car and he promised me the first date, that is if Sandi hasn’t gotten her hooks into him by then. Well, I gotta go change, Peter’s picking me up in two hours!”

“Hope he remembers to lift with his legs,” Jane said as Quinn scampered up the stairs.

“Mmm,” Daria said, putting the phone in her lap.

“So, what did he say?” Jane asked, looking back at her friend.

“His family has a dinner with a university dean that he can’t get out of, but he’ll try and leave early,” Daria summarized with a frown. “Damn, I almost blew it right there.”


“I almost told him right here on the telephone,” Daria said angrily. “I almost blurted it out like . . . like we were talking about the weather. ‘Gee, sunny day. By the way that pink prophylactic sprung a leak and now you’re going to be a father. Think it’ll rain?’ “

“Daria . . .” Jane started to say.

“Look, I can’t deal with this right now,” Daria said, standing up. She threw the phone onto the sofa. “I’m going up stairs and take a long hot shower before Quinn locks herself in there. I need to clear my head.”

“Mind if I hang out in your room till you’re done?” Jane asked, standing up as well.

“Might as well,” Daria said as they started towards the stairs. “You can watch television while I shower. I might be a while though.”

“No rush,” Jane said as they walked. “I can start on my homework.”


After a quick stop in her room to grab a bathrobe, Daria went into the bathroom and cranked up the heat in preparation for her shower. As the heater built into the ceiling poured hot air into the room, Daria automatically went through the motions of removing her clothes and deliberately tried to not think about anything. The rattling white noise of the fan and the warm air being blown over the now bare skin of her shoulders and back seemed to help a little.

Daria slid the shower door open and turned on the hot water, mixing in cold until it was at a relaxing temperature. She stepped inside and went through the motions on autopilot, standing under the cascade of hot water until her hair was thoroughly soaked through and streams of water flowed down her chest and back. She took a half a step and let the water massage her shoulders and upper back, slowly working out the tension that had been building up for the past three days. For a few seconds, she reveled in the heat in the enclosed space of the shower stall.

She turned around and stepped back under the water stream. Looking up into it, Daria let it clear the soaked tendrils of hair form her face as she groped for the shelf in front of her. Grasping the familiar form of the shampoo bottle, she popped the lid up and squeezed some into her hand with one deft movement. A second later, she was scrubbing the blue dandruff control goop into her hair and scalp. She pressed harder than she usually did, trying to massage her brain through the bones of her skull, and finding it oddly relaxing.

Daria kept her eyes closed as the shampoo ran down her hair and a little crawled down the bridge of her nose to run off of the tip. She grabbed the soap and began to unconsciously lather up the rest of her body. Unbidden, indeed almost unnoticed, Daria’s mind began to wander into some dangerous territory as she went through the motions with the soap. She remembered how, that first night, Tom’s hand had wandered around the front of her jacket and, when it had made contact with the side of her breast, every nerve ending there lighting up like the Fourth of July before common sense kicked in and she brought his explorations to a temporary halt.

All too temporary, it turned out. Daria had led him up to her bedroom with the purposes of . . . what? She hadn’t known at the time. Well, maybe she did, but would never have been the type to talk about it to either Jane or to Tom. It turned out that, for the most part, they didn’t really need to. He wanted to explore, and Daria wanted to be explored.

Unconsciously, a small smile crossed Daria’s lips as her soap covered hands wandered across the front of her torso. Unknowingly, she mimicked the paths that Tom’s hands had taken that night. For a long moment, Daria was lost in the memory of a few minutes in her room from almost two months ago.

Until her right hand ran over her abdomen, just below her navel, and stopped.

Daria knew what was going on down there with a high degree of certainty and mentally cursed the near perfect score that she’d gotten on the Reproductive Biology section that they had done last year. Somewhere over the last eight or nine weeks, the small life she carried inside had crossed that gray legal line that defined it as either an embryo or a fetus. Unbidden, other information was called to the forefront of Daria’s mind: it was about an inch or so long, now, about the size of a ping pong ball. Limbs would be growing, eyes would be recognizable, major skeletal features were forming. Daria remembered the pictures that she had seen in the biology texts she had studied for the unit and had thought at the time that it looked like it was still “growing into” its spinal column. Kevin Thompson had made the mistake of calling it a “mutant tadpole boy” and had suffered Barch’s wrath for a month. She had almost felt a little sorry for Kevin.

Daria finally opened her eyes and looked down at her abdomen as rivers of soap ran down her legs. She knew what else was coming as well. After another four or five weeks at best, if her guess was right, her abdomen would begin to swell. Then it would be impossible to maintain any kind of confidentiality about her condition. There would be other changes that would have to be monitored by a trained professional. And that meant Daria would have to tell her parents.

Any worries she had about bringing up the subject up with Tom were vaporized by the harsh, painful reality that she would, all too soon, have to inform her parents. Daria had no illusions that any happy feelings at becoming grandparents would hold up for more than an instant against the deluge of anger and disappointment that would be directed at her. Even with Jane’s support, Daria wasn’t sure that she would be able to withstand that onslaught.

Daria slowly sank to her knees in the shower as her mind conjured up what might happen when she told Jake and Helen. Her dad would probably fly off into one of his rages that was usually directed at either his father, or someone who was not even remotely within reach. If Tom were unlucky enough to be there, Jake would probably chase him around the house until Helen and the rest put a stop to it and got him calmed. After that, he’s probably get plastered and have to be hauled up to bed.

Daria knew exactly how Quinn would react when she broke the news. The rest of the Fashion Club would have the news before the hour was up, while Quinn wailed all the time about her ruined reputation because her sister / cousin was preggo. Of course Quinn would put her own spin on it, making Daria look like a charity case and Quinn look like the big hero, taking in the poor little brainy pregnant girl.

Helen, really, was the unknown factor in the whole scenario, Daria figured as she sat on the floor of the shower, her knees pulled up to her chin. When her father went off, most of the time it was fairly undirected - kind of pathetic, really. But when Helen went ballistic, she could focus her temper with an intensity that even the heartiest soul was hard pressed to endure. Daria had been on the receiving end of that temper and lived to tell about it, but that was only because Daria was just as stubborn as Helen could be. However, Helen had the added advantage of being her mother, and that was a trump card that there was no way around.

Daria sat on the floor of the shower, pondering her fate as the hot water cascaded down around and over her and steam filled the small space. Despite the heat, Daria shivered, afraid.


As Daria had stepped out of her bedroom with her bathrobe over her arm, Jane sat down on the bed and unpacked a couple of books from Bennett’s economics class. She tried to concentrate on the texts before her for a few minutes, but the soothing sounds of the shower from down the hall interrupted. Added to that was the raging concern that she felt for her friend over the past few days.

Closing her text book, Jane tried to put herself in Daria’s position, but there was no real way to do that. The Lanes and the Morgendorffers were as different night and day in parenting styles. Jane seriously doubted that her folks would even notice if she got pregnant -- Trent would be the one who would hit the roof, and probably out of a sound sleep, too.

Who’s actually got the cajones to run interference with Jake and Helen? Jane thought as she got up to pace the room She absently picked up various things as she paced around the room. She’d turn the item over in her hand, then toss it on the bed, desk, or a shelf.

Jane herself couldn’t stand up to them on her own. No matter how much they might like and respect Jane, and despite her recently having turned eighteen, she was still considered just a kid to them despite her legal adult status. She’d get flattened like a mouse under a tractor-trailer truck.

Quinn was completely out of the question for that job as well, Jane decided, chuckling ruefully at herself for even considering it. With all the fast talking Quinn did to justify her over-the-top purchases, dating practices, and just general Quinn-like behavior, she wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Quinn was just another mouse under the wheels of the Morgendorffer big rig.

Trent? Jane thought as she absently picked up Daria’s cell phone from her desk. Nah. He’d back me up, and by extension Daria, but he’s not crazy enough to go nose to nose with Jake and Helen.

Jane dropped herself into the desk chair and absently hit the power control on the phone, watching the little screen light up. Scowling to herself, Jane flipped through the short list of numbers Daria had stored. She immediately stopped scrolling through the numbers when she came upon one labeled ‘AUNT AMY.’

Daria’s Aunt Amy? Jane thought. Well, why not?

Jane remembered Daria telling her all about her Aunt Amy after her cousin Erin’s wedding. Daria had gone on and on about Amy Barksdale, and for Daria that was saying something. She’d shown Jane a picture of Amy on vacation in Hawaii during the contact lenses thing a while back. Jane remembered thinking that Daria could have been Amy’s daughter, they looked so much alike. Amy treated Daria as an equal on every conceivable level and had a positively lethal sarcastic streak. From what Jane knew of Helen, and had heard of Rita, she’d have needed it.

But would Daria want her aunt to know? Jane thought as she looked at the phone.

“Yeah, she would want her to know,” Jane answered her own question. She deliberately hit ’Select’ and then ’Send’ with her thumb, then held the phone up to here ear. “Hell, she’ll need all the allies she can get.”

The telephone on the other end rang a couple of times before it was picked up.

“Hi, you’ve reached Amy Barksdale’s machine,” Jane heard a woman’s voice say. “Leave a message, and I’ll think about letting her hear it later.”

Crap, a machine! This is not what I wanted to hear, Jane thought angrily. How do I --

THWEEP! went the machine’s beeper.

“Uh, hi, Mrs. Barksdale, you don’t know me, but I’m Daria’s friend, Jane Lane,” Jane said slowly. “Look, Daria’s gotten herself into a bit of a fix, and it would be a great thing if you could contact her as soon as -- “

“Hello?” Amy’s voice suddenly came on the line. “What’s that about Daria?”

Screening her calls, Jane thought before continuing. “Oh, hi. I, uh, didn’t know you screened you calls.”

“Depends on the book I’m reading at the time,” Amy replied. “Jane, is it? What’s wrong with Daria?”

“Well, Mrs. Barksdale,” Jane started in again slowly. “I’m not really at liberty to say it in so many words. You see, Daria doesn’t know I’m calling and would be pretty mad at me if she did, in fact she‘d probably flay me alive with a dull spoon if she found out I was talking to you. This isn’t really something that she can go to her folks with and expect a sane response about, you know?.”

“I see,” Amy replied, sounding curious. “So why isn’t she calling me about this?”

“She hasn’t really processed the whole situation either,” Jane replied. “She was out of school yesterday, you see, and told her parents and sister that it was the flu. It’s not, but . . .”

“I take it this is serious enough to make my tightly wound sister start dropping diamonds out of her shorts?” Amy asked.

“Oh, yeah,” Jane replied with an involuntary chuckle. “You could definitely say that.”

There was a long silence on the other end of the phone before Amy spoke up again.

“Okay, Jane, you get Daria to call me back tonight and I’ll see what I can do, okay?” Amy said.

“Thanks, Mrs. Barksdale,” Jane said with a sigh.

“Just ‘Amy,’ please,” Amy replied. “And you’re welcome.”

“Later, Amy,” Jane said as she cut the connection at the same time as the she heard the shower stop running.

Jane quickly reset the menu on Daria’s cell phone and shut the it off before putting it back on the desk where she found it. She tossed herself back on to Daria’s bed to wait. The only thing that she had to worry about now was how to get Daria to call her aunt.


Daria hadn’t bothered to dry off when she got out of the shower, but simply walked out of the bathroom and into her room, wrapped in her robe. She had her arms wrapped around her chest and looked like she was about to spring into a full blown panic as she entered her room.

“Daria, what’s wrong?” Jane asked, getting off of the bed.

“I can’t tell my parents about this,” Daria said, her voice wavering. “They’ll kill me! Quinn will have me so ostracized around school that’ll I’ll be a full blown pariah. Tom’ll . . . Oh, God, I was the one who suggested coming up here in the first place!“ Daria sat down heavily on the bed, hugging herself tighter. “Tom’s going to think that this is all my fault!”

“Whoa, Daria, calm down,” Jane said, sitting beside her friend.

“Oh, God, how can you even look at me?” Daria said, turning her face away from her friend. “You probably think I’m a total whore. Why don’t you just leave me to rot like everyone else is going to?”

“Whoa! Hey, come on now,” Jane said putting an arm around Daria’s damp shoulders and gently turned her friend’s face back towards her. “I don’t think that.”

“You don’t?”

“No, I don‘t,” Jane said. “I do think that you’re my best friend, and that you’re scared to death. And I’m not going to ‘leave you to rot,’ as you so poetically put it. I‘m here for the duration.”

“I can’t tell my folks,” Daria said, looking at the floor. “My clothing will let me hide it for a while, yet. I’ve got enough money stashed around that I can cover a couple of trips to the doctor, but after that . . . God, what then?”

“Daria, you can’t hide this from your family,” Jane said. “That just isn’t going to work.”

“So, what do I do?” Daria asked in a small voice.

Jeez, Daria, don’t make this too easy, Jane thought before continuing. “What we need to do is find someone who can tell us how to bring this up to your Mom. Some way that will get her on your side. Do you know anyone who can do that?”

“My Aunt Amy, but . . .” Daria’s eyes got wide all of a sudden. “Omigod! What’s she going to think?”

“Take it easy,“ Jane said with a gentile hug of Daria’s shoulders. “Why don’t you get in touch with her and find out? From everything that you’ve told me about her, she doesn’t seem like the kind of person to make snap judgments and go off the deep end on you.”

“Yeah, but she’s never had her so-called ‘favorite niece’ tell her she’s pregnant before!” Daria almost cried.

Okay, maybe this won‘t be so easy, Jane thought.

“I know that, and I’m going to be here for you through all of this. But I don’t have the pull to stand up to your Mom if she decided to go off the deep end. I think that your Aunt Amy does,” Jane said. “Daria, think about this. We need all the allies we can get, and I think that your aunt is going to be the best of the bunch. She can tell your Mom off in spades and Helen will have to listen. We can’t do that.”

“I really need her to be on my side in this,” Daria quietly admitted.

“So call her, get her up here,” Jane said. “Once she sees what’s going on . . . “

Daria knew that Jane was right. Amy wasn’t at all the type to make a rush to judgment about someone, no matter how stupid they were. She’d let them prove it first, and then say what was on her mind. If Daria could calmly and rationally explain things to her aunt and convince her that it was one possibility out of who knew how many then, she was certain, Amy would be there for her. Of course, Amy could also, just as calmly and rationally, tell Daria that she was hoist with her own petard and turn her back on her too. Daria shook that thought out of her head. Amy wouldn’t do that to her.

“You’re right. I’ll call her,” Daria said quietly as she stood up and went over to her desk, where she sat back down. She picked up her phone and looked at it for a moment, before looking back at Jane. “What if she tells me I’m on my own?”

“Daria,” Jane replied, looking Daria right square in the eye. “You’re not on your own.”

Daria looked back at her phone, turning it on and selecting ‘AUNT AMY’ from the speed dial list before hitting send. She held the phone up to her ear and waited.

“Hi, Aunt Amy, it’s Daria,” Daria said after a moment. “Can you come up to Lawndale? I’m . . . I’m kind of in trouble . . .”


Tom looked at his watch for the tenth time in half as many minutes, eliciting a dirty look from his sister, Elsie, seated beside him and looking bored to death. Dean Hargrove and Tom’s parents had spent most of the evening dragging up memories of Bromwell U, mutual friends, and various collegiate antics perpetrated by any one of a dozen people. So far any reason for Tom’s presence had completely eluded him. The more the dinner had progressed into the night, the more impatient Tom got. The eight-thirty that he had promised Daria had turned into eight forty-five, and was threatening to become longer than that.

“Damn,” Tom whispered to himself as he checked his watch for the eleventh time.

“Tom, will you quit looking at your watch,” Kay said. “It won’t be that much longer.”

“That’s what you said forty five minutes ago, Mom,” Tom replied. “And I promised Daria I would get in touch with her fifteen minutes ago.”

“Well, it will just have to wait a little longer, Tom,” Kay replied.

“Mom, this is kind of important,” Tom said with a slight scowl. “Daria sounded pretty upset when she called.”

“Very well, Tom, but please hurry,” Kay said with a frown.

“Thanks, Mom,” Tom said as he stood up. “Excuse me everyone. I’ll be right back.”

Tom set out across the dining room of the Winged Tree Country Club as quickly as he could get away with. As soon as he was out of visual range of his parents and the Dean, he dug into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone. Once he reached the lobby, he dialed Daria’s number from memory.

“Come on,” Tom muttered as he listened to the phone on the other end ring.


“Daria? It’s Tom,” he said. “Are you okay?”

“I guess,” Daria replied. “Where are you?”

“I’m still at the country club,” Tom replied flatly. “This dinner is taking forever. So far the only interesting thing this guy’s had to say is a story about my grandfather skinny dipping in the campus pool.”

“Look, Tom,” Daria said slowly. “You don’t have to come over tonight if you can’t get away. This, uh, flu bug is acting up again, and I’m really not feeling like seeing anyone right now.”

“Oh, okay,” Tom said, his shoulders slumping.

“Sorry to ruin your night,” Daria said.

“Actually, I’m desperately looking for an excuse to get out of here,” Tom said as he leaned against he wall and slipped his free hand into his pants pocket. “Did you still want to talk about whatever it was?”

“Yeah, but not tonight,” Daria said. “I’m really beat.”

“Alright. Think you’ll be well enough for a visitor tomorrow?” Tom asked hopefully.

“I should be, but my Aunt Amy’s coming through town tomorrow,” Daria said, sounding slightly more pleased about that prospect. “She should be here for a few days at the very least. I’ve told her about you. Maybe I can introduce you.”

“I think I’d like that,” Tom said. “You just get well, okay?”

“Okay. Tom?” Daria asked.


“What if . . .” Daria started, then hesitated.

“What if what?”

“Never mind,” Daria said with a sigh. “I’ll see you in a couple of days.”

“Okay. ‘Bye Daria.”

“Bye Tom,” Daria said softly just before she cut the connection.

Tom looked at his phone for a moment before slipping it back in his pocket. He stood in the lobby, leaning on the wall, trying to fathom what was going on with Daria. For the life of him, he couldn’t figure out what it could be. All he knew for the moment was that it had Daria seriously worried, and she wanted to talk about it but, for whatever reason, couldn’t bring herself to do so.

Could it have something to do with this aunt coming to visit? Tom wondered. He had his share of aunts that he could just as well do without, but this Amy didn‘t sound like one of those. But if that isn’t it, what is it?

Tom looked across the lobby and back into the dining room. Standing up and squaring his shoulders, he took a deep breath and mustered his stamina and started walking back towards his family’s table. He resolved to get through the rest of this night without fear of losing his sanity, or at the very least not falling asleep at the table.


The next day passed slowly for Daria and Jane. Apparently word that Daria had the flu had made the rounds, as she found a rather sappy “Get Well Soon” card from O’Neill stuck to her locker. Jodie and Mack had also spoken to Daria over lunch and hoped that she was feeling better. The only thing out of the ordinary was a sudden trip to the bathroom in the middle of gym class. Daria had claimed to a glowering Ms. Morris that she must not have been as over her flu bug as she thought, and asked for permission to leave class early. Daria had even managed to wrangle an early escape for Jane by saying that she didn’t want to be by herself. Afterwards, Daria felt like every eye in school was on her. That aside, the rest of the day went by pretty much as normal for the girls, until that afternoon.

“So, how are you doing, all things considered?” Jane asked as they were walking home.

“Alright I guess,” Daria replied sullenly. “I know nobody knows yet, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that everyone was looking at me today. It felt like they knew and were already making judgments.”

“Nobody but the two of us know. Besides, when did you start giving a crap about what other people thought?”

“Normally I don’t, but then this situation is hardly normal. How many pregnant girls do you see walking around Lawndale High?”

“Not too many, I’ll grant you. But you aren’t the first girl to get pregnant while going to Lawndale High, Daria, and you certainly won’t be the last.”

“You’ve lived here longer than I have. Name one,” Daria challenged.

“I can name several, if not by actual name,” Jane said, holding up her hands to start counting off on her fingers.

Jane was interrupted by the sound of a small but powerful sports car engine coming up the street behind them. When the car’s horn honked, both girls turned to see a red two door sports car pulling up behind them. Driving the vehicle was a woman who could have been Daria’s twin sister, were she about thirty-odd years younger, or very easily mistaken for her mother.

“Aunt Amy!” Daria exclaimed.

“Damn, you two look do a lot alike,” Jane said with a shake of her head.

“Hello there, Daria,” Amy said as she pulled to a stop, talking loudly over the engine. “Fancy meeting you here.”

“Uh, yeah,” Daria said. “Hell of a coincidence.”

“And you must be Jane,” Amy greeted Jane, looking at her with a very familiar smirk.

“Well, if I must I must,” Jane replied with a smirk of her own.

“I’ve heard quite a bit about you,” Amy said.

“I assure you, the more notorious bits are all true,” Jane replied.

“Uh, Aunt Amy, I wasn’t expecting you to show up until later tonight,” Daria said, slightly unprepared.

“Well, I figured that you’d want a this conversation as far away from the prying ears of parents and siblings as possible,” Amy said with a knowing look.

“Uh, I suppose,” Daria said, looking a little frightened.

“How about I ruin your dinner with a pizza with everything?” Amy offered. “My treat. Sort of a way to ease into things?”

“Works for me,” Jane said. “How ‘bout you, Daria?”

“Um . . .Sure?”


Sandi Griffin sat in her booth in Pizza King, the most recent issues of Waif spread out on the table in front of her and a partially eaten chef’s salad off to one side. She still hadn’t set an agenda for the weekly Fashion Club meeting, and that was only two days away. Sandi was finding it hard to concentrate on finding a subject that Quinn wouldn’t horn in on like she thought she knew everything. Sandi was still doing a slow burn over last week’s meeting where Quinn had yakked for an hour about the new fall line of party dresses that were rumored to be coming to Cashman’s for a sneak preview. What really burned Sandi when she checked into it the next day, was that Quinn had been right about almost everything that she had been talking about.

“This is where we usually sit,” Sandi heard that geek Daria say from the booth behind her.

Great, like I need another distraction, Sandi thought, frowning at her magazines.

“You guys get settled. I’ll go order and get some sodas,” an unfamiliar voice said.

Sandi looked up and saw an unfamiliar older lady walk up to the front counter and start talking to the cashier there, apparently placing an order. Sandi looked her over with a critical eye, noting her round glasses and a distinct lack of makeup, other than some subtle lipstick. The orange pullover and black slacks she was wearing didn’t reflect a lot of fashion responsibility, but she did have a figure that could be worked with by the right people.

That must be Quinn’s geeky aunt, Sandi thought as she repressed a shudder, going back to her magazines. How can she stand being related to people like that?

Sitting in their booth, Daria was looking a little worried. She kept casting unsure glances after her aunt.

“Daria, you okay?” Jane asked, leaning on the table.

“Jane, I’m really not sure about this,” Daria said hesitantly. “I’d like to believe that she’s not going to go on some hell bent rush to judgment, but . . .”

“But you’re still scared?” Jane asked reasonably, getting only a nod in response. “Hey, it’s not going to be that bad. I mean I know and nothing’s changed between us.”

“Yeah, but you were there when I found out,” Daria said. “Hell, you made the connection before I did.”

“Made the connection with what?” Amy said as she returned to the table, holding three drinks in her hands. She slid into the booth beside Daria, effectively trapping her there, and passed out the drinks and straws.

“Well . . . This is actually a little difficult to go right into,” Daria said, covering her nerves by putting her straw into her soda and taking a sip.

“Why don’t you girls start out at the beginning?” Amy suggested. “The best way to figure out how to get someone out of trouble, as you put it yesterday, is to figure out how they got into it in the first place.”

In the booth behind Daria and Amy, Sandi perked up slightly at the word ‘trouble’ and began to listen in with half an ear as she slowly worked on her salad.

“Okay, you know about this fellow that Daria’s been seeing, right?” Jane asked, getting the ball rolling.

“Uh-huh, she’s told me a little about him,” Amy replied, casting a mischievous sidelong glance at her niece. “Not a whole lot, mind you.”

“Well, before Tom and Daria started going out, Tom and I were going out,” Jane explained.

“Yeah, she told me about that too. Rough time,” Amy said. “Not a lot of friendships would stand up to something like that.”

“Yeah, I know,” Daria said. “It’s almost like she’s a glutton for punishment or something.”

“Hey! Have you been looking through my art supplies trunk again?” Jane asked Daria, faux accusingly.

“No, under your bed,” Daria replied, deadpan.

Amy just chuckled and shook her head. Over the back of the bench, Sandi rolled her eyes and looked as if she might be ill.

“Anyway, the important parts all started happening about two months ago,” Daria began to explain. “You see, Quinn noticed that it was coming up on the six month anniversary of my and Tom’s first date . . . “

Daria launched into the story of their six month anniversary, hitting most of the high points that were pertinent to the story: Quinn’s pointing out the date, Daria’s sudden concern about Tom’s missing the date, her reticence to tell him, their argument in the park and subsequent patching things back together. Using the blandest, most technical terminology she could think of, Daria also recounted their experimentation session in her room, and what it had led up to.

Behind them, Sandi was silently choking on her salad, trying not to start coughing out loud. Fortunately for Sandi, the pizza arrived at the other table at that time, giving her the moment she needed. Getting control of her self as quickly as she could, Sandi cleared her wind pipe and began listening intently, any thoughts of a Fashion Club meeting agenda left completely behind.

Daria continued her story, with Jane supplying a few extra details here and there, going into their discussion about how she thought stress made a menstrual cycle late, and that it had come once she had settled down some. Then she told about her having to run out of English class to throw up about two weeks later, and how she thought that it was just Jake’s crazy cooking experiments fowling her digestive system up. Amy couldn’t argue with the theory, considering some of the horror stories that she had been told of Jake’s imagined cooking skills.

“ . . . So, we jump ahead to about four days ago, heading back from Camp Grizzly,” Daria was explaining in the same tone of voice one would use to describe an autopsy. “We stopped about half way back for snacks and gas for the van. My stomach had started bothering me again and Jane and I took advantage of the bathroom facilities. About a week beforehand, I had determined that my cycle was supposed to start either that Thursday or Friday, and it hadn’t. Jane had asked me if I was getting stressed about the ‘physical relationship’ thing again, and I . . . Well, all of a sudden I threw up in the sink.”

“Yuck,” Amy commented, taking a bite of a slice of pizza.

“Tell me about it,” Jane said, taking up the thread of the story. “As disgusting as it was, that was what finally cleared away the cobwebs. All of a sudden I remembered that my sister Summer went through pretty much the same thing with one of her kids, but she didn’t suspect until she was something like two or three weeks late for her next period. And I told Daria that. Predictably, she was a little upset.”

“Of course I was,” Daria said with a frown. “What was I supposed to do? Smile and say ‘neat-o?’ “

“Seeing you smile and say ‘neat-o’ is something that I just couldn’t picture,” Amy commented to Daria.

“Anyway, she made some offhand remark about how they used protection and that it was neon pink,” Jane went on, looking guiltily down at her slice. “After the sudden house cleaning my brain had just had, it sparked another memory.”

“You see,” Daria picked up. “When Jane and Tom went out for the first time, he had dared her to go into the men’s room of some burger joint and get a condom out of the dispenser in there. It happened to be neon pink.”

“And he put it into his wallet,” Jane said without looking up.

“Where it rode around for a year,” Amy hypothesized. She suddenly discovered the magnitude of what she might be asked to mediate.

“Yup,” Daria said, staring at the table.

“I could have shot myself when I realized that,” Jane said quietly.

Behind them, Sandi had almost stopped breathing. Is she serious?!? That Daria geek might be . . . pregnant!?!

“So what happened next?” Amy asked, more for form’s sake than for any need for information. She looked from one girl to the other and waited for them to do this their way.

“We went to the pharmacy there and brought a home pregnancy test,” Daria continued slowly. “When we got back to Jane’s, I took it. It was the longest five minutes of my life.”

“I can imagine,” Amy said quietly, her own slice forgotten. “What was the result?”

Daria and Jane looked at each other for a moment. Jane looked guilty, and Daria looked scared. Without saying anything, Daria slowly reached into the pocket of her jacket and removed a two tone, pink and white plastic device about the size of a fountain pen. She looked at it for a moment before putting it on the table between her and her aunt. Before Daria had even put it down, Amy recognized it as an EPT testing stick.

Daria’s hand was covering the little indicator window as if she was afraid to have anyone else know what it said there. Amy looked at Daria as she took her hand back and folded it in the other on the table in front of her, closing her eyes. To Amy, it looked as if Daria was waiting for the world to come to a screaming end in the next few seconds.

Her heart breaking for her niece, Amy turned and looked down at the device, and saw the results.

“Oh, honey,” Amy whispered, tears in her eyes.

“I’m pregnant,” Daria whispered.

“Oh, Daria,” Amy almost sobbed, reaching over and hugging Daria tightly, then kissing her on the top of her head. Jane looked on, tears in her own eyes at the sight.

“You’re not angry?” Daria asked from the midst of the embrace.

“Angry? Oh God, no!” Amy said with a laugh.

“Disappointed? Disgusted? Disillusioned?”

“Try happy beyond words,” Amy said with a Mona Lisa smile. “You might come close.”

“Mom and Dad won’t be,” Daria said.

“Yes, they will,” Amy said, releasing Daria. “They might need a little time, but they’ll come around.”

“I haven’t even told Tom yet,” Daria said. “I’m almost as afraid of how he’s going to react as I am of Mom and Dad’s reactions.”

“Well, let’s worry about telling Tom and your parents a little later,” Amy said, sipping from her soda. “The first thing we need to do is get you and your kid to a doctor and make sure that both of you are perfectly healthy. Once we’re armed with that information, then we’ll worry about going to this Tom and your folks.”

“Yeah, I guess that might be the best way to . . .uh,” Daria said slowly, then put her hand over her mouth.

“Daria?” Amy asked, concerned.

“Amy, you might want to get out of the road,” Jane said, recognizing the look on Daria’s face.

Amy didn’t have to be told twice, sliding out of the booth with Daria hard on her heels. As soon as her boots hit the floor, Daria ran for the door to the Ladies restroom in back. Amy only hesitated a second before following her niece. Jane waited a moment longer, pausing to pick up the EPT stick from the table before pocketing it and following her Best Friend and Best Friend’s Aunt.

Unseen by the three she had been eavesdropping on, Sandi slowly slid over to the edge of her booth and watched as Jane walked through the restroom doors. Slack jawed and wide eyed, she tried to process what she had just heard.

“Phone!” Sandi almost squeaked, and heading for the door, her salad and magazines completely forgotten.


Quinn was sitting at her usual place at the kitchen table, absently picking at a place of celery sticks in front of her. She had the cordless handset balanced on her left shoulder as she talked.

“Well, I don’t know, Larry,” Quinn was saying into the phone. “I mean it’s a cute idea and all, but that’s just so early nineties. Why don’t we go to C’est la Veal out on the lake?”

Whatever Larry was going to say was preceded by the phone making a beeping sound in her ear.

“Oh, hold on, Larry, that’s my call waiting,” Quinn said before lifting her head long enough to hit the ‘flash’ button with her thumb. “Hello?”

“Quinn, you’re never going to believe what I just heard your geeky cousin and her weirdo mother talking about at Pizza King,” Sandi said rapidly.

“My cousin and her what?” Quinn asked, taking the receiver in her hand and glancing over shoulder towards the living room. Helen was in there arguing with someone over her cell phone and waving papers around in the air. “But Mom’s not -- Sandi, what in the world are you talking about?”

“Your aunt or whatever that you said abandoned that geek Daria on your doorstep, remember?” Sandi shot back as she walked down the street, putting as much distance between her and Pizza King as she could. She shifted her grip on her cellular phone. “I just left them at Pizza King, and she’s pregnant!”

What!? Waitasecond,” Quinn said rapidly before hitting the flash button again. “Larry, I’ll call you back.”

Quinn cut Larry off and went back to Sandi’s call as she stood up and opened the glass doors to the back yard.

“Okay, Sandi, calm down,” Quinn said, taking a few steps out onto the grass. “Start again from the top. Who said my Aunt Amy’s pregnant?”

“No, not your --! God, Quinn, pay attention will you?” Sandi said. “That geek Daria is pregnant!”

Quinn looked at the phone in shock for a moment, then stuck the end of her left index finger in her ear and swiveled it around a little before putting the phone back up to her ear.

“Okay, Sandi, let‘s try this again,” Quinn said with a dead calm and took a deep breath. “WHAT in the HELL are you TALKING ABOUT???”

“OW! Gawd, Quinn, take it easy!” Sandi winced, almost dropping her phone. “Alright. I was at Pizza King, going over material for Sunday’s meeting. You’re sister, her artsy friend, and your aunt came in and sat down in the booth behind me. They started talking about how Daria and that Tom geek -- ugh -- did it up in her room or something. Then they talked about how she started getting sick -- this was while I was out of school when I’d broken my leg, remember?”

“Yeah, I remember, “ Quinn replied, suddenly remembering Daria swiping a carrot stick through a box of chocolate ice cream. Was she having a craving?

“She said that she had got sick again when she was coming back from that silly camp thing that you went to last weekend,” Sandi went on. “That artsy girl said her sister went through the same thing that your sister did. Then they bought a pregnancy test and used it as soon as they got home. I guess she showed your aunt the stick thingy, because she said that she was pregnant, and your aunt started acting all mushy and hugging her and stuff. Then that Daria got sick again and ran off into the bathroom.”

“Did you see the stick thingy?” Quinn asked, her free hand on her hip, not believing a word of it.

“No, I think that artsy chick must have taken it with her when she followed them into the bathroom,” Sandi said. “They left the restaurant and passed me just before I called you.”

“Sandi, is it possible that Daria and Jane knew you were there and were just pulling your chain?” Quinn asked with a frown. “Aunt Amy’s damn good when it comes to doing stuff like that on the fly.”

“Kuh-winn, are you saying that my information is unreliable?” Sandi said, coming to a halt on the sidewalk and jamming a fist on her hip. “Besides, we’ve both pulled some pretty dammed good acting jobs on our parents before, and we’ve never come close to that good. No way it was an act.”

“But --” Quinn started to say, but stopped as she heard the high powered raspberry of a sports car engine as it pulled up in front of the house. She turned around and looked through the open glass doors. “Dammit, they just got here. Look, keep this quiet for now, alright? I’ll talk to you tomorrow in school.”

Quinn hung up just as she heard the front door open. She started walking back to the house, still not sure what to make of Sandi’s bombshell. Quinn hoped that Sandi would keep her mouth shut for a little while.

“Amy! Now this is a surprise!” Quinn heard Helen exclaim as Amy and Daria obviously walked in through the door. “Quiiiinnnn! Your Aunt Amy’s here!”

“I’ll be right there!” Quinn said as she slid the door shut, then put the receiver on the kitchen table. She stood there and watched as Daria and Amy each took seats on the living room sofas. Quinn squinted slightly, looking closely at her sister. She did indeed look a little paler than usual. If Daria had just been sick in the bathroom, that could explain why she was so pale.

Sandi doesn’t know what she’s talking about, Quinn thought. There’s no way Daria could be pregnant . . .

Could she?


to be continued

Author’s Notes:

Once again, I must give thanks where it is due (in no particular order): Galen Hardesty, Ben Breek, Deref, Steven Galloway, Tafka, Roger E. Moore, and Robert Nowall, who’s suggestions have once again made this story more than it could be on its own. Also, a special tip of the hat to Galen, who pointed out a gaff to me referring to “Letter to Gogol” as a book, an idea I shamelessly swiped from “Beaches of Barksdale,” instead of an actual published letter/essay.

If there are any gaffs in this part of the story, the blame for them falls squarely on my shoulders. I usually send out the revised copy for reading before posting it anywhere. With this installment, however, favorable reviews on have prompted me to skip that step.

Well, with that, Thank You for reading my story.

Questions? Comemnts? Even better - a route to Lawndale??

As always, an open invitation for any fan art is out!

Send ‘em to

And Fan Art! I’d really love it if someone drew some fan art!

~~~{ Finis }~~~