Some rules jump right past stupid into inane, Quinn thought, as she was forced to use a wheelchair to leave the hospital for absolutely no reason. There was nothing wrong with her legs. She had no broken bones from the accident, just lacerations and internal damage. The wheelchair was beyond pointless.
Unsurprisingly, Daria was not there to pick her up. It was at once frustrating and relieving, because as much as Quinn felt a NEED to talk to her after everything that had happened, she was also dreading the conversation, with no clue what she would actually say. Apologies and/or admissions of wrongdoing had never been her strong suit, so putting off the inevitable even momentarily was not unwelcome.
Nevertheless, she made a beeline for Daria's room as soon as they got home, only to find it not merely unlocked, which was weird of itself, but also empty. Strangely empty, without the standard amount of Daria mess, which, while typically smaller than the usual Quinn mess, should not be absent altogether.
Back in the kitchen, Helen was preparing dinner. "Mom, where's Daria? I need to talk to her."
Helen continued to work, not speaking for long enough that Quinn was beginning to wonder if she had been heard, before finally answering, "She asked to stay at Jane's for the rest of the summer."
"What!?" Quinn shrieked. "You're letting her stay for months unsupervised in a house with an adult male that she has a giant crush on!? You would never let me do that! Unfair!" Quinn didn't really care about how fair it was. She was just didn't think she could handle putting off talking to Daria for that long.
"Trent hardly counts as an adult...or a male, for that matter. I don't think we have anything to worry about." Helen said, continuing to work on dinner.
"Fine. Whatever. I'm going over to Jane's house."
"No. The doctor said no strenuous activity for at least a couple of months. That means no walking that far."
"So give me a ride."
"That is no way to ask, young lady. Being injured is no excuse for bad manners. Besides, can't you see I'm cooking right now?"
"I don't think putting frozen lasagna in the oven and heating up fries in the microwave qualifies as cooking, but fine. Dad! I need a ride to Jane's house!" Quinn yelled.
"Sure, honey! Just let me grab my keys!" Came Jake's voice from the living room.
"Jaaaake." Helen said warningly as he entered the kitchen.
"Oh! Uhh, I mean, what does your mom say?"
"I say it's time for dinner as a family, and no one is going anywhere."
"Not really a family dinner when one of us isn't here, now is it." Quinn's frustration was peaking as they all sat.
"One of us isn't here? Who's missing?" Jake said in confusion, looking around the table.
"Dear, Daria is staying at Jane's, remember?" Helen said patiently, taking his hand.
"She is?! She is! That's right, of course she is! Where else would she...be...hah."
Quinn looked at her dad strangly, but didn't comment. She strongly suspected that Daria had recruited their mother in the attempt to teach Quinn a lesson by cutting herself off from her, and it hurt that Helen was taking Daria's side, but Quinn felt that she had learned her lesson plenty already, and she would explain that to Daria just as soon as she could talk to her.
However, over the next month, Quinn's parents seemed to be busy each and every time she approached them for a ride. Helen was also hovering about whenever Quinn got it in her head to defy doctor's orders and just sneak out and walk. She didn't regret breaking from her old croud, but it was terribly inconvenient now that she couldn't call any of them for a ride.
Frustration mounted, until she finally did something she really, really didn't want to. She called up Jeffy and begged him for a ride. The old her wouldn't have wanted him to see her scarred face. The new her just didn't want to deal with him. Both hers needed to sneak out through her window to meet him, to avoid Helen's mothering.
She wore a hoodie pulled around her face to conceal it and put off answering questions, which turned out to be an intelligent precaution. If their takeoff had been delayed by Jeffy trying to figure out what had happened to her, they would never have gotten away. As it was, they barely pulled out before Helen ran out of the house, screaming at her to stop, don't go, she doesn't know what she's doing, blah, blah. Quinn ignored her and convinced Jeffy to do the same.
As they drove, Jeffy kept glancing at her concealed face. "What's up with the hoodie?" He asked.
"Oh, yeah." Said Quinn, thinking on the fly. "I'm trying out a new makeup regimen. What do you think?" She drew back the hood.
Jeffy yanked his head back from her, the wheel jerking in his hands. "Oh, yeah, it looks great!" He said, quickly regaining his composure and straightening the car out. "Um, you're not going to do this all the time, are you?"
"I don't know. Maybe. Do you think I should?" Quinn blinked innocently at him.
"No! I mean...yes? I mean...what do I know, I'm just a guy?" Jeffy squirmed.
Thankfully, they arrived at Jane's before the conversantion could proceed far enough that even Jeffy's empty brain would figure out that something was wrong, prompting a discussion Quinn was unwilling to have.
"You sure you don't want me to wait for you? I'm happy to!" Jeffy said as she left the vehicle.
"I'm sure. I'll walk home. I need the exercise."
And then she was there, standing in front of the house her sister was in, about to have a conversation she both dreaded like death and needed like air. Her hand trembled as she raised it to knock.