The two girls walked down the stairs in a comfortable silence that often settled over the two of them whenever they were alone before they joined Helen on the couch. There was a generic Drama the woman seemed to enjoy playing on the TV, Daria thought it was called 'Cherrybirch avenue' or something similar until Helen saw the two of them sitting down on the couch adjacent to the one she was sitting on. "Oh god," Daria groaned, "not this crap..."
"Do you want to put a DVD on?" Helen asked, having not actually heard what Daria had said, but already knowing her eldest daughter couldn't stand the show. Daria looked at Jane who shrugged, so Daria agreed and stood up to move towards the cupboards that were built into the elaborate cabinet that surrounded the TV. After ten minutes of hunting through the (seemingly) hundreds of DVD in the cupboards, posing her suggestions only to have then turned down by either Jane or Helen. "Okay," Daria huffed, beginning to lose her patience, "Nightmare on Elm Street?" Jane nodded her consent and Helen pondered for a minute.
"I suppose if Quinn and her friends know there's a horror movie on, they'll try to come down here as little as possible."
"Wow," Daria replied, a subtle hint of surprise worming into her voice, "you're openly expressing your dislike for Quinn's friends." Helen gave her withering look as she put the DVD into the tray of the DVD player situate under the TV before she sighed.
"I try to support the both of you in everything she does," the woman said, "but I can't help but feel her interests are banal."
"That and they probably won't help her when she leaves school," Daria added, to which Helen nodded. Jane just sat there, listening to the conversation but not feeling that it was her place to add to it.
"And as for her friends," Helen continued, as Daria pressed 'play' and went to join Jane, "I hope either they grow up soon, or Quinn grows up enough to leave them behind." That was the end of the discussion as the three sat and watched the movie begin to play out.
After some silence, the movie had played out to the point where Tina was attached to the ceiling by some mystical force, being shredded open by something that wasn't there as her boyfriend watched on in horror. "I've always wondered how they did that," Jane mused out loud.
"Oh," Helen sighed distantly, "I remember when this movie first came out. Jake and I went to see it in the theatre." There was a beat of silence. "He spent the next week convince that Freddy Krueger was out to get him," she added dryly, making both the girls laugh.
"Sounds like Dad," Daria said, nodding along with Jane.
"The effects still amaze me to this day," Helen mused, going back to Jane's point.
"Do you think they used stop-motion animation?" Jane asked the woman who hummed in thought.
"It seems too clean to be stop-motion," she pondered. This soon lead to a nearly ten-minute-long discussion about the making of the movie playing out on the screen.
Just as their conversation came to a close, several sets of footsteps could be heard coming down the stairs, along with the loud chatter of The Fashion Club. "I mean," Quinn's voice sounded, getting louder as they moved closer, "sure, Joey has a car now, but Jamie just got a job so he has more money."
"What about Jeffy?" Stacey's voice piped up.
"Jeffy hasn't been on a date since February," Sandi's trademark, irritating voice drawled.
"And?" Tiffany's slow monotone asked.
"Oh my god, Tiffany, if he hasn't been on a date since February, he probably has forgotten how to treat girls with as much popularity as us on a d-OH MY GOD!" Sandi's voice was cut off by her own yell of horror as she stared, wide-eyed at the screen as Tina was being shredded (Helen, Jane and Daria had elected to rewind and analyse the movie a few times). Tiffany and Stacey soon followed suit, as expected of them, but Quinn just stared in content at the screen, until Tiffany and Sandi looked at her expectantly and she let out an overly exaggerated proclamation of horror. Daria raised an eyebrow as she noticed this, but Jane and Helen just looked irritated, though Helen did a better job of hiding it.
"Stacey, you get the drinks," Sandi instructed, pulling Tiffany and Quinn up the stairs as Stacey remained frozen, staring at the screen, clearly terrified. Daria glared up at Sandi as she disappeared from her line of sight as the three girls headed upstairs before she sighed heavily. She stood up and moved towards the quivering girl, gently taking her arm and pulling her towards the kitchen. She vaguely heard Helen mutter, 'oh, I can't stand that girl', clearly about Sandi, and she couldn't agree more.
Once Daria and Stacey were in the kitchen, Daria placed her hands on to Stacey's shoulders, who'd since started breathing heavily, tears piling into her eyes. "Stacey," Daria said, as calmly as she could as she looked up at the slightly taller girl, "it's not real, it's a movie, it's makeup and computers." Stacey made an effort to even out her breathing and repeated what Daria had said. After a few rounds of doing this, Stacey had calmed down enough to wipe the tears from her eyes and thank Daria. Stacey collected four cans of diet cola before hurrying off upstairs, pointedly not looking up at the screen. Daria swiftly joined her mother and friend in front of the TV.
"And Daria's small heart grew three sizes that day," Jane said, giving her friend a cheeky grin.
"Shut up," Daria instructed, using her shoulder to knock Jane, who just laughed. Helen smiled at the two, happy the Daria had a friend like Jane.
As the movie begun to come to its conclusion, the sound of a key being inserted into the door lock was heard, and all three of those gathered at the TV turned to see who it was, expecting it to be Jake. Needless to say, they were surprised, when Amanda walked in, holding a bag, followed by Trent, holding two. "Trent, what happened to your face?" Helen asked the man who had a bruised cheek and a busted lip.
"And why are you back so early?" Jane asked, suspecting that he'd been fired already.
"There was a bar fight," Trent explained as he put the bags down and gently pushed away Amanda's worried hands, "I tried to break it up but got beat up myself," he laughed before coughing, "so the boss sent me home."
"I'll get the first aid kit," Helen said, standing up but Trent shrugged it off.
"I'm honestly fine," Trent said," I think he was going to close early anyway." Helen gave him a sceptical look but sighed, deciding to leave it alone. After a few minutes of pestering, Amanda followed suit, hauling the bags out of the way and sitting beside Helen as Jane, Trent and Daria all headed upstairs.
Once they were in Daria's room, they all assumed the arrangement they had been in earlier, with Jane and Daria on the floor and Trent on the bed. "We should have bought up some DVDs," Daria sighed.
"I'll go grab some horror movies," Jane offered, jumping up, "hopefully Mum bought some of mine."
"She did," Trent confirmed and Jane hurried out of the door, saying something about a movie called 'Twelve Days Dying'.
"What's 'Twelve Days Dying'?" Trent asked, looking down at Daria. She turned to look up at him.
"It's a movie about a sadistic billionaire who drugs and locks a psychologist, a gymnast, a writer and a mechanic in a hundred-story story tall skyscraper he built in the middle of nowhere. There are several bombs set up all the way through the building, all rigged to go off twelve days after they all wake up. They start on the top floor and have to sneak through traps and solve twisted puzzles, a few on each floor, to get to the bottom story and escape and they have twelve days to do it," she explained to him and he nodded, not seeming to have any problem with watching it. (A/N: just in case you thought it was real, I just made that plot up it's not a real movie.)
There was a brief period of silence, where Daria fiddled with the hem of her skirt and Trent watched her do it."Why are you sitting on the floor?" he asked her after a minute and she shrugged. "You should sit on the bed before your ass get's sore," he told her, not that he was thinking about her ass. She clumsily stood before she gingerly sat on the bed, edging her way back until she was leaning against the wall, studiously avoiding his gaze. She sat there for a few seconds before she looked down and realised that her leg was very nearly touching his and began to shift away from him, but he placed his hand on her bare thigh to stop her. Daria stopped breathing. Then, almost absent-mindedly, he grazed the pad of his thumb over the soft skin of her thigh, tracing a horseshoe shape with a gentle touch and she noticed that the skin of his hand was calloused and surprisingly warm. She couldn't help the way her back arched slightly at the foreign sensation, or the dainty gasp that left her slightly parted lips. He stared at her with wide eyes, hand still on her thigh, and she turned to look at him wearing a sinfully innocent expression and a rosy blush. She could have very easily imagined it, but she could have sworn that he began to lean ever so slightly towards her until-
"Well," Jane said as she flung the door open, clutching a wad of DVD cases in her long-fingered hand, "Mum didn't bring Twelve Days Dying but- Woah, am I interrupting something?" Daria nearly leapt out of her skin and Trent snatched his hand away from her leg as they both stared at her.
"No," Daria breathed out in an airy voice that was highly unlike her. Trent just shook his head as Jane gave them both a sceptical look.
"Okay," she said in a thoroughly unconvinced voice, "anyway, Mum bought..." Daria's brain was so frazzled that she couldn't pay any attention to what her friend was saying and just nodded absently along with what the other was saying, telling her to put whatever movie she wanted on. Jane did so and moved to sit next to Daria on her bed, though not nearly as close as she and Trent were sitting. So, the movie began to play.
The movie played (a slasher from the previous decade) out and all was well until, "hey Daria, do your parents know you can play the piano?" Daria stared at Trent with wide eyes and Jane spluttered beside her.
"You what?" Jane asked, looking at the other girl with a surprised blue stare.
"Trent!" Daria yelled, shoving the man with her shoulder.
"You didn't tell her?!" he asked in shock, eyes just as wide as the girls'.
"NO!" they chorused and he flinched back at the sudden volume.
"Not even that you write your own lyrics to go with your music?" he asked and she glared at him, Jane throwing her hands up in the air in utter disbelief.
"Trent!" Daria hissed at him, "if she didn't know I could play, why would she know I wrote accompanying lyrics?"
"I didn't know you wouldn't tell her something like that," he defended.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Jane asked, a dark brow raised in question. Daria sighed.
"I didn't want anyone to know," she told Jane, "Trent just found my notebook..."
"Well, I'm utterly offended," Jane said, without sounding offended at all, "the only way I will ever forgive you is if you play me one of your songs and sing along." Jane grinned. Daria glared. Trent nodded in agreement.
Daria sighed heavily and stood up.
A/N: Do you guys think it's too early for Daria to sing for Trent and Jane?