Shameless Self Insert Into Daria

A/N Here I shamelessly insert myself, er, a male character totally not me into the Daria world. How many episodes will it be? Unsure. I just finished my newest book, UNIQUE MONSTER by Seth Quillet, on Amazon now in Paperback and Digital format. I want/need a return to FF after finishing that monster.

Adrian sees Jane walking with Daria. "Get over it and forgive her." He sighs, clenches his right hand into a fist, and then relaxes it.

Daria sees him walking over and is a little nervous until he smiles. "Hey Daria, uh, sorry about what I said. I messed up, you messed up, they cancel each other out."

She nods in response and feels the stress she'd been feeling all weekend disappear.

Jane is surprised by Adrian's about face but hides it.

Only to be replaced by a new headache inducing issue. "College class that doesn't count for credits but are about how to, what?" She reads the pamphlet over again. "How to prepare to prepare for college." She throws it on the cafeteria table.

Jane and Adrian shrug their shoulders.

"My mom is making me go. Quinn too."

Jane and Adrian grimace before Jane speaks. "If you want, we could give you moral support."

Adrian elbows her in the side. "Speak for yourself. Army grunt here. I go there, get a degree in bio mechanical engineering, and walk out debt free."

Jane elbows him back. "What if you have to go to war?"

He pushes her playfully. "I'll be in college in the early two thousands not the nineteen sixties. There are no wars anymore."

Jane throws a fry at him and he picks it off his shirt. "Thanks for the free fry."

Daria is silent as she watches the two close friends. She doesn't want to feel jealous or insecure yet both flood her. She is still new, and is friends with Jane, but not Adrian. "Uh, please don't start a food fight."

"Food fight?"

Adrian, being closest to Kevin, turns just in time to see him grab a handful of mashed potatoes. "Duck!" All three move under the table as Kevin starts throwing his food like a chimpanzee throws its poop.

Two days later, the trio enter the classroom for their college course on how to prepare to prepare for college.

Daria sits down, Jane on her right with Adrian behind Jane. "This class still doesn't make sense. What a waste of time."

Jane already has her sketchbook out and is working on her next doodle.

She doesn't stop when the teacher walks in. "Hello, I will be here to help the future prepare for their future."

Daria almost snaps her pencil at his insipid lecture pulled straight from a book written by someone who knew nothing.

As he speaks of what they wanted from college everyone day dreams of what they want.

Jane imagines having a studio apartment in New York City. Having skipped college, she has no debt, and can focus on being an artist.

Jane looks back at him, and adds him to her studio apartment.

She looks over at Daria and adds her as well.

Seeing Daria as her promoter, using her writing skills to write up better advertisements than Jane could for the next gallery showing. Adrian fixing the sink, a loose floorboard, and helping kick people out after a party.

She can't help the smile that grows across her face.

Daria's fantasy got her a trip to Paris. Even if the reason was because the professor was going to use her empty dorm for his affairs, she would be going to France.

She looks over at Jane and Adrian and can't see either of them going to the same place as her. Jane would go to an art school and Adrian already said he was joining the Army. Would she lose Jane in only a couple of years? She liked having a friend and yet this class made her think too much about the future. One where she has to start over trying to make a new friend.

Adrian sees himself leaving the Army after college. Having a degree as a bio mechanical engineer and going to work at any hospital he wanted. Fixing medical equipment pays well and with the Army paying for school he'd have no debt.

He chuckles to himself as he thinks about what Jane would be doing. "Probably hitch hike across the country or go back packing in Europe. Sleeping on strangers couches every night and having a good time."

He sees Daria peeking at him and Jane from the corner of her eye. "She'll probably be at Bromwell or Raft or some other fancy ass school."

After the class, they talk about the last part the lecturer said.

Jane asks Daria first. "What college are you thinking of?"

"If I could choose, Raft. My parents will probably drag me to their alma mater."

Adrian and Jane are silent, so Daria continues.

"Middleton."

"Ah, that place is... A school." Daria narrows her eyes at Adrian. "I've heard things, okay? My dad did security for someone who is involved with that school. He said he would never let me go there and would rather I live on a commune with hippies than go there."

Daria processes this information. "Maybe it got worse since they went there."

Jane doesn't like how tense the two are being and puts herself between the two. "Why worry about college? Save your money and just write books for a living while I sell my paintings to galleries."

Adrian raises an eyebrow. "What about me?"

"Be the handyman at my studio apartment. That way Daria and I can save money not having to pay for repairs."

Adrian smirks. "Landlords are responsible for repairs. Not the tenants."

Jane looks away. "Oh, well, you'll be faster in case it is an emergency."

Sure enough, like Daria dreaded, her parents wanted to take her and Quinn to Middleton.

Sitting at the dinner table, Daria mentions Raft. "But Middleton is a family tradition! Follow in our footsteps, Kiddo."

Daria wants to shoot her dad's idea down but Helen backs him up. "Visiting Middleton doesn't mean you have to go there. You should visit a college and Middleton has some family history to it."

Daria mumbles under her breath. "Yes, Daria?"

Daria speaks up. "And it isn't a long drive."

Quinn makes a comment about how she might go to a college that Daria knows isn't real. "You don't know that."

Daria shakes her head and goes back to her lasagna.

Daria mentions the upcoming trip to Jane while they wait for Adrian to get done talking with Mr. DeMartino after class. "Sounds fun."

"Fun?"

Jane smiles. "Go to college, hit a sorority or fraternity party, have fun. You do know what fun is, right?"

Daria doesn't respond as Adrian joins them. "Hey ladies, what'd I miss?"

"What'd? That isn't a word."

Adrian laughs a little. "If I can say it then it is a word. Jane taught me that rule."

Daria knows this is a joke between the two. Something she isn't a part of. The few seconds she feels like an outsider again hits her harder than she would care to admit. "Anyways, I'm going to Middleton with my family to check it out."

Adrian grimaces before responding. "Road trip? Can Jane and I come?"

Jane backs away from him like he just said he had Ebola. "Whoa, I never said I wanted to go."

Daria gets likes the idea. "You did say you wanted to check out the fraternity parties. I'll ask my parents if you two can come."

Jane holds her hands up in surrender. "It was a joke but I guess I'll go if we're allowed."

Daria is quick to ask her mom before dinner. "Will they be riding with us or will their parents be driving them out?"

"Uh, riding with us, I think. I didn't ask."

Daria hadn't actually met Jane's parents. Or Adrian's. She'd heard about his dad but never anything about his mom. Maybe there was a divorce or death and he didn't want to talk about it. Whatever the case was, she'd met no parents in the few weeks she'd known both teens.

As Helen considers the invite, Daria realizes something else. I never told mom the truth about Adrian. How do I bring that up?

Just before Helen speaks, Daria spits out. "Adrian isn't gay."

Helen is confused. "He's not? You said he was." She crosses her arms and her body language screams "Explain yourself" without any words.

"I uh, thought he was. Him and Jane are friends but they don't date. I assumed that was because he was gay but he isn't. They just don't date."

Helen sighs. "What have I told you about assuming?"

"It makes an ass out of you and me. I know, I'm sorry, I forgot about it until just now."

Helen's eyebrow arches. "Why now?"

Daria braces herself for the hormone talk. "I didn't want you asking questions about, that, and him telling you the truth."

Helen nods her head. "As long as everyone behaves, it shouldn't be an issue. Tell your friends to be here by eleven, okay?"

"Yes, mom."

Daria goes up to her room to try and get some homework done before dinner.

Jane is not happy to be awake before noon on a Saturday but she makes it to Daria's house. "Yo, are we doing breakfast there?"

Daria smiles. "Breakfast is usually had before lunch."

Jane yawns before responding. "Fine, lunch, whatever."

Both flinch when they hear Helen yell at Quinn who is dragging her feet about getting ready for the trip.

"Hey!"

Daria ignores Adrian as he walks up. "So, are we doing breakfast before we get there or after?"

Jane punches him on the arm playfully. "Daria says it is called lunch if you eat after noon."

"Gah, fine. I can't believe I got up this early for a joke."

Daria, feeling like an outsider again, interjects. "It is your fault, and Jane's. I don't even want to go and yet both of you said you wanted to come."

Jane yawns again. "I regret every life choice I've made that led me to this very moment."

Helen comes out of the house, sees the trio, and smiles brightly. "I see our guests are here on time. Thank you, both of you, we'll be leaving soon."

Daria decides to take pity on Jane, and Adrian, and asks her mom if they can stop for lunch before reaching Middleton.

Reaching Middleton, after eating, Helen and Jake get distracted and wander off from the tour guide.

Quinn runs off on her own leaving the trio with the tour guide. "Are you three actually looking to come here?" All three shake their heads. "Want to come back to my dorm and watch some TV?" All three nod.

The tour guide, a pretty brunette woman, leads the three to her dorm.

Daria is busy with helping two students with their papers while Jane and Adrian laze about on a couch. "So, this is college?"

The tour guide takes a sip from her soda. "Pretty much. Gaming the system for better grades and less work. Watch TV when you're not busy doing required volunteer work."

Adrian ignores what she says as he checks out the ladies in the room leaving Jane to speak. "Required volunteering? Isn't that the opposite of volunteering?"

The tour guide laughs. "Yes, but it is part of the college experience."

Jane turns to Adrian. "Forced volunteering sounds like something Ms. Li would try."

He pulls his eyes away from a college co-ed long enough to fake fear. "Don't give her ideas. She has enough evil spreading around Lawndale High as it is."

Jane nods in agreement before turning back to the show they were watching.

After a bit more money making by Daria, the three are led to Fraternity Row by the tour guide.

Adrian is ready to hit a party, which is already in full swing, when they see the Keg Queen. "Daria, is that your sister?"

Daria nods as the tour guide explains what the Keg Queen does. "She doesn't even have a drivers license."

Jane smirks. "Neither do you."

Adrian continues her train of thought. "None of us do."

Soon, Helen and Jake find the three, and Quinn, and freak out.

Adrian and Jane back away when Helen rails Daria for not keeping a closer eye on Quinn. Adrian, stunned by what is happening, tries to defend Daria. "We stuck with the tour guide. Weren't we supposed to stick with her? If we ran off after Quinn we would have gotten lost and never found you. You're our ride back so if we don't find you we're boned."

Helen is about to berate him harshly but stops. After a deep breath she more calmly explains to him. "When you're older and have children of your own you'll understand.

Adrian, not wanting to piss off his ride, stays silent.

Daria is thankful that Adrian distracted her mom and stopped the responsibility speech.

Helen yells at the frat boys when campus police show up. Finding that a minor was at a frat party, the whole group is kicked off campus.

At the next class, everyone goes over their experiences.

After Kevin's tale of being covered in syrup and left in a field, Adrian tells the story of Middleton. "Then the campus fuzz stepped in and kicked us out. Overall a waste of time."

Jane continues the story. "We could have slept in. It was Saturday and I was awake before noon. Even if getting kicked out of college before even being accepted was funny it wasn't worth it."

The man teaching the class shakes his head and mumbles about teens today before continuing asking the others about their experiences.

The trio go to the pizza place to talk about how stupid the class was some more.

Daria sits on one side of the booth with Jane while Adrian sits on the other side. "A waste of time even with the amusing story."

Jane finishes her bite of pizza before adding on. "Nothing is worth being up before noon on a Saturday."

Adrian holds up his slice. "What about free pizza?"

Jane gives him a look before smiling. "Okay, I'll give you that."

Daria, seeing the two start doing what they do, jumps in. "Food of any kind is a motivator. I wouldn't leave my room if this place didn't have food."

Jane perks up. "Daria, have you shown Adrian your room?"

Daria, in mid bite, can only shake her head.

Adrian is confused. "What's so cool in her room that makes your eyes light up like that?"

Daria wants to tell Jane to shut up but with pizza in her mouth she can't. "She has the coolest room. Some schizo person lived there previously and the walls are padded."

Adrian turns to Daria. "Holy hell, really?"

Daria finishes her bite. "Yes. I can't hurt myself but I can't hurt anyone else either."

"Whoa, seriously, can I see it?"

Daria looks down at the remaining of her pizza instead of answering.

Jane notices and saves the situation. "I'll take pictures next time I'm there. I don't think her mom would be okay with her bringing a boy up to her room."

Adrian laughs. "A boy? Is that all they'd see me as? Seriously, the first couple of months we hung out, Trent made sure to keep an eye on me."

Jane laughs back. "You were a boy hanging out with his little sister."

Adrian looks at Daria for a second before turning back to Jane with a joke brewing in his mind. "Until he realized we are just friends and my having a vagina and you having a penis doesn't matter."

Daria's face turns red as Jane laughs so hard she starts to cry. "Oh, god, seriously Adrian, I can't believe you said that."

He laughs with her and both ignore how much Daria is blushing.

When the two finally stop laughing, Adrian sees Daria's face. "Hey, you don't know what we have. At least, what I have. You don't have gym with me."

Daria feels even more uncomfortable and can't say anything.

Jane decides to take mercy on Daria. "Adrian, that's enough. She's about to be mistaken for a tomato."

Adrian apologizes to Daria followed by another joke. "I'm a funny guy, but hey, looks aren't everything. Right?"

Daria still can't speak so Jane insults him. "Dork. If you don't stop I won't take pictures of her room for you."

He holds his hands up. "Fine, I'll stop." He sees Daria almost trying to sink into the booth seat and feels a little bad. "Daria, seriously, I'm sorry. Jane and I know we're of the opposite sex but it doesn't matter. Trent learned after a couple of months that it didn't matter. She's as interested in me as I am in her brother. We joke about it but I get being new you're not used to it."

Daria mumbles thank you before picking up the crust of her pizza and starts to nibble on it.

Adrian sees the time, says he has to leave, and gets up from the booth. "See you ladies tomorrow at Lawndale Hell."

Jane and Daria say goodbye to him before he leaves.

Being alone, Jane turns to Daria. "So, uh, I know his joke was crude but I didn't expect you to react like that. You must have read books with romance and sex in it before."

"I have, even if they aren't my usual style. I just, it was unexpected. And weird. How you two are and how little it matters that you're a girl and he's a boy. You two never thought about dating?"

Jane shrugs her shoulders. "I've known him since him and his dad moved here back in sixth grade. Before dating was a thing. We went to a couple of dances in the eighth grade but it was as just friends. He could dance with other girls, I could dance with other boys. I know some people don't understand,"

Both girls look over at Kevin who was currently pretending to be a walrus with his straws.

"Others do. Jodie and Mack get it. You get it, right?"

"I do. Just, you two are so close. You have jokes and rules and other things I'm not a part of. You two can share a look and start laughing and I have no idea why."

Jane can almost feel the sadness coming off of Daria. "Hey, you just moved here a few weeks ago. Stick with the cool kids and you'll get it."

"Cool kids?"

Jane smiles and places a hand on Daria's arm. "We're the coolest. We might not be popular but we're still the coolest."

Daria's smile is weak but there. "Thanks."

Jane pulls her hand away. "I know you still don't gel well with him but he's a great guy. The best. I had friends at art colonies my mom took me to over the summer but I never had a friend like him. We can sit and make fun of whatever show we're watching while I paint. He bitches about his dad being away for weeks, I comment I last saw my mom three months ago, and we understand."

Daria has a question she wants to ask but held back. She decides now is a good time to ask. "Adrian, his mom, uh, what's the story there?"

Jane purses her lips together.

Daria knows she is treading the line. "Forget I asked."

Jane sighs. "It's not something he wants people knowing but I'm sure it will be okay if you know." Jane takes a deep breath. "His mom cheated on his dad while he was overseas for the army. Multiple times. He found out, filed for divorce, and when the courts gave her custody of Adrian he tried to, um, hurt himself." Jane bites her lip before continuing. "He was honorably discharged and made to see a doctor."

Daria is shocked by this. "Wait, then how is he here?"

"Less than a year later she uh, was with the wrong guy who got drunk and beat her into a coma. Adrian called 911 and when they came out and found the situation his dad flipped. Sued for custody, won, and moved as far from Colorado as possible. He hadn't seen his dad in months, was happy to be with him, but now his dad takes bodyguard work. Politicians mostly when they go on oversea trips. Just as he got to be with his dad again his dad takes all of these jobs and isn't home."

Daria thinks about how at most she might go a day or two without seeing her dad. He goes on a trip for a business conference on Friday but is back on Sunday. "Wow. Um, this is a lot. I shouldn't know this. You shouldn't have told me. Why did you tell me?"

Jane hugs herself. "He hides it but I know he wants attention. He was neglected by his mom and even though his dad isn't the same, Adrian feels abandoned. It messes him up. He bottles it up but it does mess with him. Why he snapped at you as badly as he did about that stupid rumor. He tries to put on the happy face and be funny but deep down I know he's in pain. You two aren't friends, I know that, but maybe you will be. I think you're cool and I like having you as a friend. Maybe he will see what I see and let you over the wall he has up."

Daria thinks of her past interactions with him and how little they spent alone without Jane. "I can try." The thoughts of how her parents work a lot but they were home more often than not eat away at her. How Jane hadn't seen her mom in months. Adrian going weeks without seeing his dad after being neglected by his mom. It makes her see how good she has it. The minor things she complains about seem even more minor in comparison. "He goes weeks, you go months. How do you feel?"

Jane relaxes. "Okay. They pay the bills, make sure I have money for my art, and love me. I know they do. My mom always praises me and my dad loves seeing my artwork. Just because they aren't home doesn't mean I don't know." She looks towards the door. "Adrian knows his mom didn't care. He knows his dad works to pay the bills but wishes he was home more. I look at him and see how good I have it."

Daria is surprised to hear that Jane thought the same way as she did. "It really makes you think. No matter what gripes I have, someone else has something worse."

Jane tilts her head and stares at Daria.

"What?"

"Adrian, he said the same thing. He pushes forward and ignores the past because he knows others have it worse. At least, that's what he says. I know it affects him more than he lets on but he tries to keep it behind him because he knows others have it worse."

The two look around the pizza place and wonder who else around them was hiding pain. Hiding a dark history.

Jane tries to smile but fails. "Good job being a Misery Chick, Jane Lane."

"You're not a Misery Chick." Daria pushes away her own dark thoughts. "I'll try harder to be friends with him. Just, don't tell him you told me. He might not like that you told me. If we ever become close enough that he tells me I won't tell him I already know."

"Thanks." Jane leans over and hugs Daria before letting go. "Now that I've lost my appetite, want to come over and watch me paint while you make fun of whatever?"

Daria knows that is what Jane said she and Adrian do. Being included like this makes her feel better. "Sure."

A/N With my newest book, Unique Monster, finishes and on Amazon I could go back to FF for a bit. Finished my Drake, Chapter 5 being the best of the series. And now this episode is done and I feel is the best. Got a little dark/emotional at the end but we learn more about a new character that we didn't know. None of this is based on my life, just an amazing back story, for my Adrian character. Hope you enjoy, and if you have the time, review!