Disclaimer: I'm not an owner, I'm just a random shipper.

Greater Love

A typical family dinner that night saw Jake alternating between blissful inanities and sudden angry outbursts, while Helen's attempts to start meaningful conversations were constantly interrupted by phone calls. Quinn babbled incessently about insignificant trifles, and Daria mostly remained silent, with the occasional witty interjection when she could not restrain herself passing predictably over the heads of her father and sister and completely unheard by her occupied mother. Finally, the opportunity Daria had been waiting for came. Dinner ended, Quinn retreated to her room, phone in hand, Jake went off to do...Jake things, and Helen ended her phone call. She was surprised to find Daria still there. Usually, Daria would have been a step ahead of Quinn in the quest to escape family dinner as quickly as possible.

"What's this? My self-sufficient daughter actually needs Mommy for something?"

"Please, don't make this any harder than it has to be."

"You'll have to forgive me for gloating a bit that you want to talk to me for a change. Usually it's like pulling teeth to get you to say anything."

"Believe me, pulling teeth would be much less painful."

"Well, it must be something pretty important to make you go through the horrible experience of talking to your old Mom about it. So spill, Daria. What's the matter?"

"What's with everyone telling me to spill lately? What am I, a carton of milk?"

"Daria, please. Don't keep me in suspense."

Daria paused, but there was no more putting it off. The time for stalling was over. "Mom, I don't like Quinn's boyfriend."

"I hope you don't think that's some kind of revelation to me, Daria. You don't like anyone...er, very many people."

"This is completely separate from my general dislike for humans as a species."

"Why? Did he do something to you?" Helen asked, concerned.

"You mean other than taking up space on the planet on which I live that would be better used by, I don't know, empty air? Not really, no."

"Then I don't see what the problem is. You don't like him, chances are he doesn't like you either, you stay out of each other's way, and that's it. What's the issue?"

Daria sighed. She couldn't believe she was about to say what she was about to say. "I don't think he's good for Quinn."

"You...don't think he's good...for Quinn?" Her mom responded hesitantly with incredulity. Her face turned suspicious. "Alright, Daria. What's going on, here?"

"What?" Said Daria defensively. "I can't be concerned about my sister's well-being?"

"Of course you can, Daria. In fact, I encourage it. I'm just having trouble believing that you are."

"Yeah, well, join the club." Daria crossed her arms and scowled.

"But this is a good thing, showing interest in your sister's life." Helen did a 180 as soon as she decided Daria wasn't working an angle. "Tell me more about why you don't like this what's-his-name."

"Come on, Mom. Do I really have to explain it? This guy is like a parent's worst nightmare. He drinks, he smokes, he does both of those things legally, which should be a concern all by itself, he's a reckless driver, he's a total ***hole, and everyone he hangs out with is just like him. You can't tell me none of this has you worried. As hard as it is to believe that I'm protesting Quinn's choice in boyfriends, it's even harder for me to believe you're not.

"You're right, Daria. Your father and I are worried about all of that. But parenting is all about balance. The fact is, Quinn is following all of our rules. As long as she does, there's not a whole lot we can do. We can't live her life for her. If we forbade her from seeing him, she'd just date him behind our backs and ignore all our other rules while she was at it. At least right now we can keep her safe by always knowing where she's going and when she'll be back. If she was sneaking out to see him every night, who knows what might happen?"

"Gee, and here I thought parents were all-powerful."

"Believe me, Daria, I wish she'd dump him as quickly as all her other boyfriends, too, but anything I say has the possibility of backfiring."

"There must be something you can do, Mom."

"I have an idea, Daria. Why don't YOU talk to Quinn? Maybe you can get through to her on this. She's more likely to listen to you than me."

"Mother, you have once again put on display for all to see your woeful ignorance of your daughters' natures. I'm the last person on earth she'd listen to for dating advice."

"Oh, come on. You never know unless you try."

"There are at least three fallacies in that statement."