The second story of the 'Visitations' fan fiction series by Brother Grimace


(As always, thanks go out to the folks at MTV who were (a.) intelligent enough to create a show based around Our Heroine, (b.) brave enough to actually put it on the air, and (c.) resilient enough to keep it there. Also, set up a big, frosty one of Guinness for the Canadibrit, whose 'Look-Alike Series' has been the genesis and primary influence on this series of fanfiction works (as well as keeping me from looking like a fool by informing me of plot holes the size of Bajoran wormholes).


This time, a very special acknowledgement goes out to two fanfic writers of extraordinary talent. Thanks go out to Invisigoth Gypsy - the Queen Mother of the Shippers - whose works brought me into the world of fanfiction (and whose 'The Disney World Story' is required reading if you're into 'Daria' fanfics). Also, a 'thank you' to another equally-talented 'Shipper - Diane Long, who I admit had a very strong influence on how the tone of this fanfic morphed from its original incarnation. Thank you, ladies - and those headaches you've had lately were simply my channeling you as I wrote.


Also, a silent moment of thanks: to the memory of Professor Richard Blumenburg, the best writing instructor I ever had. He said that he didn't want me writing television; in the case of 'Daria' - I think he'd understand.


(Timeline Note: This story takes place some hours after the end of 'Thrash Of The Titans.")



"This is Kurt Loder with an MTV Newsbreak," the image on the television rattled off with a Peter Jennings-wannabe quality. "Members of the recording industry have had sharply divided opinions over the issue of downloadable MP3 music files - opinions that have, no doubt, influenced by the recent court decision against the 'MP3.Com' web service."


"Serves 'em right,' Jesse Moreno mused, draining the last dregs of his Killian's Red beer from its cinnamon-hued bottle and reaching for another. Jesse only drank his beer from bottles, and was a hard-core purist on the subject. Two years ago, when he found out that Killian's Red was being marketed in cans while the Spiral did the bar scene after a gig in Oakwood, Jesse went off on a tearing, obscenity-laden rant in that got him barred from every single drinking establishment in the city.  On some issues, Jesse was a purist. Bottled beer was one - and music was another. "Listening to someone's tunes is one thing, man, but copying the discs and putting them online like that -!"


"Lighten up, man," Trent Lane said, pulling himself up once again in the worn, fake-leather recliner that sat in the middle of the room. "They're getting theirs the right way. The law's taking their cash."


Jesse slammed his beer in several surprisingly quiet chugs, and Trent tossed a handful of chips at him. "You won't be driving off tonight."


"I know," Jesse droned, dropping his hand off into the Styrofoam cooler for another bottle. "Lynn said what she'd do if she heard I was driving - but she took my keys anyway. She's better than okay, y'know?"


"Yeah - I know," Trent soberly agreed, biting down on a pretzel stick. "When she came on, I knew we'd be moving to the next level. She makes us better - she makes me glad that I'm into music."


The slender young man stretched, and covered his mouth as the near-constant coughs escaped from him. Got to get that checked, he said to himself.


"She's like - Lynn's like our Linda McCarthy."


"Yeah - I can see that," the muscular guitarist agreed, and a bit of a boyish smirk escaped across his face. "Hey, Trent. Just wondering -"


Trent sobered up in an instant. He had learned LONG AGO that any time Jesse started a conversation with those words, he was getting dragged into talking about something that he SERIOUSLY didn't want to talk about. "Lynn's really cool, and she's smart - the way she was set up with that 'Buck Rodgers' space chick outfit, she's world-class smoky - and she's hanging with the band even though she could roll with anybody-"


"Yeah - I bet her old friends from Oakwood would take her back in a moment."


"- So I'm wondering-"


"If you want Lynn to set you up with that Mara chick, that's a done deal," Trent said, unconsciously letting out a nervous breath as he got up and went for more chips. "She wants that leather off you in the worst way."


"No, I'm wondering why you and Lynn didn't hook up after New Year's in London," Jesse replied, freezing Trent in his tracks. "I'm also wondering why you didn't want to tell me about it.


"You knew-?"


"Hey, I know when somebody's gonna get some," the answer came after a half-bottle of Killian's disappeared. "I'm your best friend. I'm just wondering, man."


"Look, it wasn't right," Trent spoke, remorseful as he crunched chips. "I was buzzed into next week and already pissed after I saw -"


"Daria and that pale little Techno-weasel guy Lynn's into going up to the roof," Jesse finished - and throwing a serious shock into Trent. "What, and I don't notice stuff because I'm not a bookworm like Daria? You've been into her since she got here, and you've been kind of down ever since she started hanging out with him..."


That got Trent's attention. "Lynn's into that little punk? That's who she's got a thing for? I knew she wasn't- but him?"


"Yeah, and he's hot for her. I knew that, first day I met him. You did, too - guys can always tell when some other guy's into someone."  Jesse chewed slowly on a soft pretzel. "Unless they're really young, really old or somebody's gay, guys and chicks can't be just friends - and he's been around Lynn far too long. It just doesn't work that way - somebody starts getting feelings, and either people hook up or feelings get hurt. You ever see that 'Star Trek' show about that blonde robot chick and how the doctor's helping her learn how to date? He starts getting feelings, and she smashes him when she tells him that nobody there's good enough for her - "


Jesse's eyes narrowed as he looked over to Trent. "I'm not gonna be happy in a few minutes, am I?"


"What about him being around her far too long?"


"When he showed up, he just started hanging with her, Daria & Jane without really even trying to check out the female action around here," Jesse opinioned, "and he never talked about being with or being into anyone from his old school. Every guy talks about some chick he'd like to score on... unless he's already hooked on one. THE ONE. It just makes sense that he's into Lynn - probably the reason he moved on Daria like he did."


He sat up straight and faced Trent head-on. "What did you do?"


Trent paced the floor without answering him. "I just finished off some Jack when somebody's knocking on the door - and it's Daria, asking if I'm okay. I felt like God sent her, like he was saying, "Forget the little punk... It's a new country, a new year - a new start after I screwed up everything at that dance... and that's when I noticed it."


"Noticed what -?"


"That Daria was wearing purple."


"But Daria's like the Green Lantern - purple's Lynn's thing -"


"I know," Trent said. "I know."


Jesse's gaze followed Trent back to the chair as he sat down, popped a bottle of beer and took a long draw.  He watched Trent finish off the beer, and drained his own as a scowl contorted his handsome features.


"You knew that it was Lynn, and you -" Jesse didn't even want to look at his friend at that moment. "That was uncool, man. That was major-league uncool."


"I know, Jess. I know."


"We don't have to play that game, " the muscular guitarist growled. "We're too old, and we don't grudge f- we don't DO that! What the hell's wrong with you?"


"I wanted to pay the little punk back. He's got my girl, so I'll swing with his. It was wrong," Trent admitted, looking down at the floor. "I shouldn't have slept with her..."


"That's bull, dude," Jesse growled. "You weren't getting back at the weasel - you were getting back at her."


"Don't know what you're talking about."


"You've been bumming ever since just after that dance - when Daria said she just wanted to be friends," Jesse said, his voice becoming colder and clearer. "You know that they've been having that whole rivalry thing - even before they knew they were sisters - and you played that just because she didn't feel for you the way you wanted. You knew Lynn was hot for you back then, so you did Lynn just to say, "So? I bagged the better one anyway!"


"I'm not saying you're right or wrong about that, Jesse," Trent spoke after a moment. "If it is, I'm sorry. But that's not the reason why it happened."


Another long silence. "But...?" Jesse pressured, his eyes growing cold as he spoke.


"But, even though she wasn't Daria, and even though some of it might have been to get back at her, that's not why I did it," Trent said. "I did it because I wanted her. I'm pissed at myself because I wanted Lynn for who she was - not because she was a stand-in."


Walking over to his guitar, Trent began idly stroking the strings as he spoke. "I knew she wasn't Daria - but right then, I didn't want Daria anyway. I didn't want to make love, or care about someone else's feelings. I wanted sex. I wanted it hard, I wanted to feel - I wanted to let go with Lynn because I knew she'd make me feel like I was still alive for a few moments - and since Daria said I was out the door, I needed to feel like that. I needed it. I needed to just tear loose and burn."


Trent took a final pull off his bottle, and looked Jesse directly in the eye.


"And it was good."


Jesse took the bottle away from Trent. "Go upstairs and get some sleep. We both need to dry out and talk tomorrow - before I punch you out right now."


Wordlessly, Trent stood and headed for the stairs, looking back to see Jesse staring at him like an angered angel as he folded one of Amanda Lane's handcrafted quilts over himself; Trent shrugged and headed upwards.




Trent pulled his t-shirt off, tossed it off to one side, and sighed with relief as he fell deep into his bed, the warmth of the blanket brushing against the beginnings of muscle definition across his bare chest.  He reflexively pawed with his left hand at the cover, stretched, and curled up within the blanket.


He lay there for long moments with his eyes closed, enjoying the sensation of the wool on his skin, and arched his back as he felt the dual effects of both fatigue and alcohol pull him down deeper into his bed. Trent curled into the blanket, insensate and unaware of the small, delicate hand that reached over the bed and hung there, uncertain, and continued its journey across his form to stroke his brow.


"Oh, God, that's nice," he whispered, shifting slightly, "but move down, and slower... slow is so good - "




The young man's eyes flew open as Daria's image filled his field of view! "Daria -?"


"Hello, Trent," the tiny brunette said, her voice just a touch above a whisper as she moved back so that Trent could rise. "I've been here about an hour... I need to talk to you."


"An hour?" Trent was suddenly awake. If Daria heard any of his conversation with Jesse...


"Jane said you and Jesse were downstairs," she continued. "I didn't want to bother you, and I wanted to talk alone... Jane said I could wait up here -"


"Not a problem." Trent said, stumbling a bit as he rose and sat up on the side of his bed - and growing a touch flustered as Daria didn't try to move away or stumble so that he wouldn't enter her personal space. That was how he came to think of the way his sister's best friend and her habit of not moving physically close to most people...


So, what was different now; why was she letting him in so close, so close that he could see every nuance, every gentle curve that made up her wonderfully -rounded, heart-shaped face? What had he done that she would allow him so close - now - so close that the tiny perfection that was her nose all but touched his own; close enough that he could see the rich, hazel-gray hue of her large, soulful eyes, those eyes that some guy was going to become so lost in that he'd never find his way home, or want to...


Trent was so close that if he moved his head, his lips would brush against Daria's own; those slightly upturned lips with just a hint of pillow-soft plushness that he had kissed in more dreams and fantasies than he felt comfortable even thinking about. He could feel the warmth of her skin through the air against his own, and he could all but taste that unique scent that, over the course of months, came to mean 'Daria' to him: a blend of scents that reminded him of the deep, thickened covering mountain air over an emerald canopy of woodland after a hard rain... so clean, and so alive...




Trent knew it wasn't the liquor that was impeding his every movement; he could barely make his mouth work to get her name to form; everything animal within him screamed for release, to take Daria in his arms and just take her. He looked in her eyes and he saw the same hunger within, but locked away by that cast-iron self-control he had always admired within her.


"Trent, I want to ... I need to tell you that, after everything... "


She went silent for a long moment, absolutely lost as to what to say - at to what she could say, and then her face took on a look of resolve. "I want to tell you something, and you need to know that I haven't had a drop of anything to drink."


"Sure, Daria -"


And all intelligent thought left Trent as Daria moved herself forward, and gave her a lingering, gossamer-soft kiss that made a shudder pass through them both. "With everything that's happened, I can't let my life slip away because I'm afraid," she said, drawing back slightly and letting the fingers of her right hand slowly stroke his cheek and goatee. "I can't be afraid to trust, or try to reach out...or try to work on relationships..."


Trent looked directly into Daria's eyes, large and shining with light streaming through the bedroom window from the glistening, whitish disk that was the full moon. "Or afraid to admit when I've been wrong, and try to change it."


"About what?"


"About wanting to have you in my life only as a friend," she told him. "I don't want to think about this anymore, Trent - not now. I don't want to analyze, or consider, or talk-"


"You don't have to talk," Trent said as they moved closer, electricity flowing between them as his hands came to rest upon her shoulders; a barely-audible gasp escaped from between Daria's lips as she shifted herself and Trent slid her jacket away. "Words are for when we need something to say..."


Daria hesitated only slightly as she felt Trent's hands caress her shoulders; her head fell back slowly against him, and a slight quiver shook her slender figure as Trent brushed her hair back and gently began to bathe the nape of her neck in gentle, warm kisses that made her head sway. Her eyes half-closed, Daria's breath came in slower gasps as Trent took her glasses off with a casual gesture, cupped her face in his hands and slowly brought his lips to hers, a long, luxuriant embrace that found them both falling back slowly into the depths of his bed.


Daria's hands struck out on their own agenda; one hand stroked and fondled the night-black strands of Trent's hair with a growing intensity, stopping and beginning anew as he slid Daria's t-shirt away and began to nibble his way down her chest to her navel. Her other hand half-covered and was half-inside her mouth, trying in vain to keep her growing sounds of pleasure and excitement from escaping as Trent began to explore her navel with long, slow, spiraling motions from the outer edges within and back, each movement sending icy fire across her form.


"I need - I, Trent, please, oh, God, I don't want you to stop.... "


"Don't talk... we can... uhmmn, Daria... I won't... not stop, no..."


Daria pulled Trent up and to her; they shared a soulful gaze, and Trent let Daria pull him to her and into a blistering kiss that brought Daria into a position straddling him.


"Trent..." Daria's breath came in short, halting gulps of breath, and a thin sheen of sweat made her bare skin shine in the brilliant light of the full moon that streamed through the bedroom window. "Oh, God... I, Trent, I love you - "


Trent eased himself up to eye level with Daria, fastening into her eyes with the most serious gaze that had ever appeared upon his face. His gaze moved across her face like hands as he folded his arms around her, marveling at the way Daria's body felt against his as she matched his embrace.


"I love you, too, Daria."


She grasped Trent's head in her hands and forced a hard, hungry kiss on him that caught him totally by surprise, and he rode along, matching her with all that he was until Daria broke the embrace and began to nuzzle his neck, pawing at his sleek, bare chest.


"Daria, this is - like that, yes... I can - "


Trent lost the capacity for speech as Daria lifted her head, her eyes holding a sneaky glint within, and began to nibble at his chin. She moved slowly down his throat, alternating soft kisses, silken caresses from her tongue and tiny bites just hard and sharp enough to redden the skin but not draw blood; and as Daria reached his left nipple and began to concentrate on it, Trent couldn't have spoken to save his own life.


Oh, Jesus, Mary, Mother of God, Jesse and the guys were right...the quiet ones are always the wildest - just thank God she's not British, too, or I'd probably be killed in action by a heart attack, Trent thought, barely aware of anything beyond the way Daria moved and how she touched him. Wait a moment - she's half-British; I'll survive the heart attack... barely. Lord, I'll do anything you ask tomorrow - just please don't let any of my family show up tonight...


Don't let Jesse come up here, either...


Trent sank back into his bed as Daria continued to move on top of him. His left hand trekked across the soft skin of Daria's back down towards the clasp of her bra; his right hand found something else, something soft, squishy, warm and sticky -


He lifted his hand, and saw that he was holding a half-eaten three-layer submarine sandwich. Trent suddenly froze; Daria lifted her head and brushed her hair from her eyes as Trent suddenly sat up and rose from the bed.


"What's wrong -?"


"A sub sandwich - I had it the day before yesterday. I was wondering what I had done with it."


Daria rose slightly from the bed, shaking out her now-wild hair and slowly slipping a bra strap off her left shoulder. "Mystery solved," she said, leaning back against the wall in a suggestive pose that could sell billions of posters. "We'll inform Robert Stack later. Wash your hands and come back over here."


Trent grabbed a towel and started towards the door, when he stopped and took a slow, deliberate look around his room.


"I can't do this - not like this..." A short pause. "I won't make the same mistake again."


He turned back, truly regretful as he wiped his hands and came back over to the bed. "Not to you, Daria. You deserve better."


"Trent, I don't understand - "


"Daria - when we, I mean... I want you, and I want it to be perfect. All of it," he said, pacing back and forth in front of a now-frustrated Daria. "But not this. Not like this - not in a place like this -"




Daria reached over for her shirt, slipping it on as she stood up. "I see. Her, but not me."




"You can jump around with her in the dregs of a bottle, but with me, you won't even -"


"What? Who are you talking about?"


"I know that you and Lynn -" Daria's voice broke, and Trent's eyes fell; a wave of complete and absolute self-disgust washed across his soul as he felt the sense of pain, and betrayal, and total shame in her words. "I found out over at Lynn's - you can have your way with her, but you won't touch me - "


"Reality check, Daria, What were we just-" He stopped, his eyes closed, and counted to ten. "I don't think we should talk about -"


"Why did you choose her?"


"I don't understand," a confused Trent said. "Choose Lynn? I don't know what you -"


He saw the tear that appeared at the corner of Daria's eye, and every shred of self-worth he had disappeared down the widening canyon of loathing he felt for himself. He had long before set in concrete the belief that Daria was the most self-aware, grounded, and intelligent woman he had ever known - she was 17 now, almost 18, and he could think of her in those terms - and he had always known that she was beyond petty things like jealousy, or gossip, or comparing herself to other women. He looked into those eyes now, though - at the sadness and shame that now made up her face - and what he saw was the debris in her soul, the splintering remains of her faith in him. He saw what was the childlike belief in something or someone that could only be broken by the rituals of becoming an adult, and which left some people forever less than what they could have been - because those rituals stole more than the bliss of childish ignorance, but also innocence, and wonder, and curiosity. He saw into what Daria could have been in that moment, and Trent felt the light of his own soul fade, diminished by the pain he brought to her inner self.


Trent knew, in that moment, that there was only one reason he could have hurt Daria in this way, or to this degree...


"I knew, with her here, that more people would look at me like I didn't even exist," Daria said, each word coming out as though it had been broken on the rack before being tossed past her lips. "I know that, with AP here and with everything that's happened - especially to Lynn - even between you AND Lynn - I know that it's small, and it's petty, but I thought that you'd still be there -"


"Daria -"


"And I know that I don't have the right to expect anything from you, but I didn't think that you would - I didn't - not with her -"


"It wasn't like that - "


"Was it that easy to be with her? Was I that easy to get past - " Her voice broke into a gasping bark of grief and pain. "She's got my face, and she's more outgoing, but I thought that if I could come over, and just try and tell you straight out that I've been stupid all these years, and tell you that I love you - that I've always loved you - then maybe, just maybe, Lynn and I could get past the Drazi competition thing and we could try to - "


Trent cut Daria off by taking her face in his hands and kissing her, a soft, yet consuming touching of his lips to hers that embodied every moment, every ounce, every feeling of love that he ever had for her. He held her in his arms with a force beyond the physical, and she returned those sensations in equal measure with everything that she was.


"I love you, Daria," Trent said, his eyes in a mutual gaze with hers as their lips parted. "Nothing, and no one, has ever been or ever will be as important to me as you are."


"That's not true," Daria whispered, still unsteady from their embrace. "If you felt anything for me, then there's no way you could ever have been with her."


"Don't do this, Daria - "


"How can I trust anything you say?" she said, trying to pull away. "I can't, because I can't trust myself around you. I can't be sure of who I am when I'm with you, and I won't do that to myself. I won't lose myself in you, Trent. I can't lose myself for you."


"And I won't let you," he told her. "I won't become your life, Daria; I just want you to let me be a part of it."


"No," she half-spoke, half-sobbed, struggling in his arms. "I don't want you in my bed, or my life, or my head. I want you gone, Trent -"


"Don't lie, Daria," he cut her off. "You can't -"


"What do you want me to say?" Daria cried out, her voice an explosion of tears. "Do you want me to tell you that since the first day I met you, you're the last thought in my head in the evening and your name is the first word from my lips when I wake up? Do you want to know how much it physically hurts to hear the sound of your voice but how it hurts even more not to hear it? Do you want me to tell you how everything in my head screams that there's no way we could ever be together, but how every single piece of my soul cries out for me to go to you, regardless of what'll happen?"


"Daria -"


Trent felt ice cover his body as Daria looked at him with eyes that would never hold life again, and she went cold in his arms, as though he were embracing a block of cool marble.  His arms dropped away from the only woman he had ever loved; in her eyes, she had made herself as dead to him as if she were in a mausoleum.


Tears streaming down her cheeks, Daria went to his bedroom door.


"I want you in my life, Trent Lane," Daria said, her voice an emptied monotone of finality as she turned back to face him. "I want you in my life, and it hurts to know that you won't be there, but my world will not stop spinning. It'll spin a little slower, and the ride'll be a little rougher - but my world will not stop spinning because you're not in it. I've worked too hard, and sacrificed too much, to let that happen for anyone. It won't happen, because I won't let it."


"DARIA!" Trent cried out, stumbling as he fumbled to put his slippers on. "Daria - I won't let you go, not like this -"


He stumbled and fell; the world turned upside-down as his head hit...


Bare moments passed as Trent stumbled to his feet; he paced the floor of his room like a newly-caged panther, going to the door, then to the window, the closet, trying to get out but stopping just before crossing the threshold. He clenched his hands over and over without knowing it; a book, a half-eaten orange, the duck-motif phone - he grasped each as if to throw them, but finally seemed to just give up, slumping against a wall and letting gravity drag him down like a fresh, sticky gob of spit.


"Daria," he finally spoke, and the taste of her name in his mouth was like wormwood. "It's all gone without you."


"Well, you're absolutely correct about that."


Trent sat up immediately in bed! "Oh, you really don't think that I'm going to let you slip away as simply as that, do you?"


Trent turned his head slowly to see a nondescript, well-dressed man sitting on the edge of the bed, and cold sweat began to run down his slender body like a glacier as a slow smile moved across the man's face... a smile that carried as much joy and goodwill as a gang rape.


"You have to understand, Mister Lane, that I'm curious. Trent and Daria, Daria and Trent - I personally would pay well to understand why so many timelines have you and the lady traipsing along towards the setting sun with your paws fused together and saccharine blood flowing in your veins... What is it about the two of you that has so many ready to come to blows about your future together?"


Trent began to open his mouth, but stopped as the man held up his hand. "Do not speak, Mr. Lane. That was a rhetorical question. Simply listen. I could talk to you on a myriad of subjects related to you and the fair Miss Morgendorffer, but it is not necessary. I don't need to do anything concerning you and the young lady... you'll do it all for me."


The man leaned in close to Trent. "Somehow, you and Daria will find your way back to one another. This will be a good thing. You will make her happy for a time, and bring her into the illusionary warmth of your love. She will deny everything that she is and take you into her trust - and then, you will betray her. Does it matter if it is with your body, your words or in your heart?"


"No, " Trent said, with absolute conviction in his tone. "I won't."


"But you already have, with the fiery Dame Cullen," the man retorted. "Tell me that you really believe that Daria could even compare with her in bed. Please, try to sound honest - by the way, Lynn's got more than just a touch of the Crown about her, wouldn't you say? Personally, I've always found the sexual mores of the Kingdom to be truly profound, especially during the Victorian era - leg coverings to alleviate sexual innuendo, and yet one-quarter of the women in London were employed as prostitutes... "


"What does that have to do with anything?"


" Oh, pardon me - just reminiscing," the man said. "You knew that it was Lynn you were with. That's beautiful. With vengeful malice in your mind and lust in your heart, you led her to your bed and took her virginity.... Or did you? Not that she didn't come willingly - the fire in that fair maiden's veins would burn the hypocrisy out of the Grand Inquisitor himself - but you could have said 'no'. You could have been a gentleman, but you wanted sex and vengeance - and you even led yourself to believe you had made a mistake in making love to the wrong woman."


The man smiled that gloriously insidious smile once again. "And now, Daria, the young master Andrew Phillip, and the Dame Cullen are all aware of what's happened - albeit not to what level. They're young, and resilient, and strong, Trent - but you've taken a piece of their innocence away, and they can never have that back. Three hearts broken in the effort to satiate your own. Mister Lane, I am impressed. You are, truly, one magnificent bastard."


Trent looked away, shame returning to his eyes, and the man sighed.


"That which I would, I do not. That which I would not - I do constantly'. You will betray her, and bring her closer to where she needs to be," the man promised. "I will compensate you for your aid, whether it comes willingly or not - for you will betray Daria, willingly or not. You cannot change what is to come. You cannot change who you are, or who she is. As surely as the rising of the sun - you will destroy her heart, because you do love her."


The man rose from his seat. "Thank you, Trent Lane," he said. "Thank you for being who you are."


Trent's eyes snapped open. "I am awake now," he said, unmoving in his bed. "I think I'm awake now. I am awake now..."


"Maybe you are, Mister Lane," the man said, smiling down at him. "Maybe this is all just a dream - every single bit. Maybe it's not. Maybe you actually believed that Lynn was Daria - or perhaps you knew who she was, and you're just punishing yourself now. "


The man leaned over, and stroked Trent's brow with a touch that made every hair on his body wilt. "Maybe it doesn't really even matter. Craft a pleasant little tune about that dichotomy."


Trent's eyes snapped open once again. "I am awake now," he said, unmoving in his bed. "I think I'm awake now. I am awake now..."


Trent Lane did not sleep for the next six days.


-           END -





I wanted to commit genocide as I was writing this one. I was also working on my "Charmed" episode and two other 'Daria' fanfics, as well as my film script about the flying seal (long story) as well as playing handservant for my elderly parents (can you say 'Hurling Day', boys and girls? I knew you could!) and putting together my Workman's Comp case as well. How can being bitten by a poisonous spider while I'm at my office desk typing out a radio PSA be my fault and therefore not compensable... Paperpusher, Paperpusher, wherefore art thou?


Anyway, this was about to run my sanity into the sand dunes - and then, I thought to myself, "Listen to Canadibrit - she gave you good advice on not forcing things." So that, and a few extra hours of sleep (I kid you not - my average is five hours a day) helped me finish this one. I'll finish the next one up with the help of some Captain Morgan... Memo to all those fanfic writers out there - ask the lady for help. When you get it, let the 'Ivanova is God' speech from 'Babylon 5' run in your head, and just substitute 'Canadibrit' for 'Ivanova'. It's motivational, and a good way not to get too full of yourselves when you think your  'Daria' fanfic is ready to show to the public... (yes, maybe I have seen a episode or two too many - but c'mon: Lynn's Purple, Daria's Green - am I the only one who sees 'Babylon 5' parallels in TLAS? Does anyone NOT see Jodie and Mr. O'Neill in the Nightwatch, and I've always seen Helen as a Psi Cop - really, to paraphrase Wayne Newton from that 'Ally McBeal' episode: 'I can't look at Helen and NOT think 'riding crop!')


One of the things that I played up in this is one of the reasons why I believe Daria's attracted to Trent - because he's a little dangerous. I tried to play up that, but also even it out by putting in genuine remorse. I also decided to bring in Jesse as the voice of the angels; it gave me a little room to play with his personality as well (I mean, besides being muscular, a fan of leather and musically inclined - what else is there to say about the man?) I wanted there to be no mistake, though: that Trent did wrong (if he did it - after all, consider the source of the dream - the ultimate bad guy - not to mention that I don't want Canadibrit nuking my home for making Trent an absolute bastard.)


Did I go overboard with the Trent/Daria scene? I'm going with the standard that they use in episodic drama (okay, soap operas): no nudity, no groping of genitalia or buttocks, no overt use of fingers EXCEPT for sucking on (go figure). Although, I do remember an episode of 'All My Children' where Eva La Rue and Edward Callahan bend the rules with one inappropriate trip to second base... Let's be candid here - these are young adults with mature bodies and (somewhat) raging hormone flows that act like the storm surges off Hurricane Camille. Clothes are going to be shed. Sex is going to be had. If you can't accept that... wait until you turn fifteen, or resign from the Republican Party, or until someone frees you from the Collective and gives you a skintight suit with five-inch heels. At the very least, kids - safe sex is not a joke... not anymore. Don't be a statistic. Protect yourself.


On the other side of the spectrum, comments came up about whether Trent could have known that AP's always had a thing for Lynn. Two things: (1.) We see in 'Fire!' that Trent has a 'gift' for detecting emotional shifts between individuals. (2.) As any guy'll tell you - if a guy's not sleeping with someone, he's planning on sleeping with someone, and it's probably that girl he always hangs out with. AP's basically a normal guy, and really - he didn't even TRY to meet any new girls (when a new animal hits the ground, one of the first things it does is look for females as potential mates). As one guy I knew told a female acquaintance: "Look, I wasn't trying to have a relationship - I was just looking for sex. Don't make any more of it than that." Let's face it... we're men. Given the chance - we're dogs. (WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? WOOF! WOOF! WOOF, WOOF, WOOF!)


One of my influences in writing has always been Aaron Spelling - and yes, he's responsible for '90210', 'Melrose Place', 'Dynasty', 'The Love Boat' and 'Sunset Beach' (AAAUUGHH! Inappropriate use of a turkey baster! Fifteen yards - First Down!), but he's also the one behind '7th Heaven', 'Magruder and Loud' and 'Family' - and those were excellent family-oriented programs. So there. By the way, Aaron - If you or any of your people are reading this, I've got a 'Charmed' spec script, and I'd love to work for you.


One more thing. I am not making fun of the British. Hey - they gave us muffins, James Bond, a good workout back in 1776, Patrick Stewart, PINK FLOYD, some world-class bad-asses in the SAS, and women with English accents - an absolute turn-on in my book. And yes - you guys also were responsible for Australia. Thank you very much.


As always, is the target grid for comments, questions, helpful hints (for me), and tri-cobalt explosive devices (Starfleet-issue). Have a nice day.



18 September 2000