"I don't see what this has to do with helping me."

Trent looked down at her and couldn't help but to smile. He saw her in that skirt, jacket, and boots all the time but this candy stripers uniform gave her a completely different feel. It softened her look and though he had seen glimpses of her softer side, this displayed it, even with the scowl that she was determined to wear.

"Come on; I think that you need this."

She put her hands on her hips and tried to cock a brow at him.

"How is dressing up like a stripper going to help me?"

"It's not about stripping. It's about striping."

"You're never watching Sex and the City again," she stated and marched past him to get into the car.

Trent had arranged for her to be a volunteer candy striper at the hospital for a few hours while Mystic Spiral performed. He felt that it would be good for her socially and he could kind of keep an eye on her. He was certain that she was on the right track and he wanted her to stay that way. He watched her help the kids to get set up for the performance and saw how easily she handled the elderly patients that were in constant need of her assistance. He didn't let her catch him watching her, but he kept a watchful eye on all the good that she did.

Ah, hell she looks cute in that uniform.

They sat in the car on the ride back to her house after she insisted on changing at the hospital.

"So…how was it for you?"

"I lived," her voice was clipped.

Man, she's not giving an inch.

"You seemed to be enjoying yourself."

"I'm no do gooder type."

Trent shrugged with a slight smile.

"So… I guess you wouldn't want to go back next week when Mystic Spiral performs for the burn unit?"

She waited a beat.

"It wouldn't kill me."

Trent kept his smile to himself. As he pulled in the driveway, his mouth turned into a grimace. Daria followed his gaze to see Tom in the driveway waiting for her.

He looked at them in his rear view mirror as he slowly pulled away. He hated to leave her with him, but he knew that this was something that she would have to deal with. She obviously had feelings for the guy or she wouldn't have butchered her relationship with Jane because of him. Hiding from her feelings wouldn't her any good.

She can handle it.

"I thought that we should talk," Tom voiced somewhat nervously. Daria had gotten out of the car with Trent and stood there looking at him expectantly. He had been waiting for her for a while and had just about given up on her returning any time soon when she and Trent had pulled up. Hands in his pockets he stood facing her. "I want to date you…"

She opened and closed her mouth. Since they had kissed, Daria had pushed all thoughts of Tom and their betrayal from her mind. Now here he wanted to bring all of that back into the forefront of her mind.

"I know we didn't start out ideally, but we have something between us; something that I think is worth exploring."

She wasn't sure what she should say.

"If you tell me that you feel nothing for me, then I'll leave," he moved closer to her, "but if you do feel something- anything, then don't you think you owe it to yourself to see where it goes?"

"We hurt Jane."

He nodded.

"I know, but this- us- we also have an obligation to ourselves to find out what we have."

"She's my best friend. I want to try with you, but I don't want to hurt her."

"I don't want to hurt Jane either."

Both were quiet a beat.

"Okay…" she replied with clear hesitation.

"Don't sound so ecstatic," he quipped with a playful smile.

She returned the smile.

"What about a movie next Saturday night?"

"Sounds good," Daria agreed.

"Okay, pick you up around seven?"

She nodded.

"I have to meet my folks, but can I call you later and talk or something?"

She nodded. Tom got in his car and left, while Daria went inside.