procuring jovial wit

------------------------------------------- standard disclaimer applies. -------------------------------------------

Jane answered the door before Daria had a chance to knock.

"Amiga! Right in time. Trent, Seth and I are all about to go for pizza. You're coming, no?"

"Uh, sure." She hadn't had a chance to tell Jane about the little back rubbing party three nights ago, and she hadn't seen Trent since then. He'd kissed her quickly on the cheek and left when Helen knocked on Daria's door to tell her dinner was ready.

"Actually," she thought, "maybe I won't tell her just yet." Jane had made her life around Trent pretty humiliating thus far, so retribution was certainly in order.

Daria stepped inside, and carefully looked over Seth, who she vaguely recalled from weeks prior. "Hi."

"Hi. You're Daria, right?"

"Yeah. Sorry I was so spaced out that first night."

"No problem. I was kind of concentrating on Jane anyway."

Jane looked smitten and stared at her feet, then called for Trent, "Yo! You coming, bro?"

The basement door opened and there he was, looking as bored as ever. His t-shirt and tattered jeans were wrinkled; he'd most likely been asleep. She suddenly began to have doubts. That intellectual wall she had up around her emotions told her to question Trent. Why hadn't he seen her since that night? Was this just some little fling; he thought it'd be fun to mess around with her for a while? What if he had decided he was too old for her, or she wasn't pretty enough, or- Their eyes locked and Daria blushed, but she didn't look away. "Hi, Trent."

"Hey, Daria." He raised one corner of his mouth in a smile for a second, and then turned to Janey. "We going, or not?"

"Yup. And you're driving," she said, chucking his keys at him.


On the way to the pizza place Trent and Daria didn't talk much. Neither of them was sure what to say, especially in the presence of others. Jane was filling up the silence pretty well on her own, though, telling them both about the stuff she and Seth had done lately.

After they had ordered pizza and sat down, Jane and Seth on one side of the booth with his arm around her, Trent and Daria on the other side, Jane continued to banter on about something. Usually, Daria would have been attentive, and she knew she had let Jane down before when they first hung out with Seth. Damn Trent for being so distracting. They were sitting a couple of inches away from each other, and she couldn't tell if they were just being discreet or their relationship had turned back into something platonic. "Which would suck," she thought. She tried hard to focus on what Jane was saying.

"Actually, the existential sculpture exhibit they had set up reminded me of some star trek set that had been dismantled by cats."

Trent felt the need to reassure Daria that things hadn't gone back to the way they were, but he didn't want Janey to know yet. He wasn't sure what she would say, and kinda wanted to talk to her about it before he let his libido take control- which it wanted to do, desperately. Once word had gotten round from his brain to his hormones, he hadn't really been able to think about much else. He eased his leg over so it was pressed up against Daria's, and felt better when he felt her pressing back.

"Hey Trent, aren't you playing a gig tonight?"

"Huh?" Right- I'm listening to Janey, I'm listening to Janey. . . "Yeah. We're playing a couple of the new songs me and Daria came up with."

"Oh really? And how's that been going?" She winked at Daria out of pure habit.

"Good. The band's really into the songs, too. Should be a pretty good concert. You guys coming?"

"Hell yeah! Miss out on the first Morgendorffer-Lane collaboration? I don't think so. What time?"

"Uh, eight. Actually, I think the band was gonna try and show up early for an on-stage rehersal."

Daria was rather enjoying this. Jane was making all her usual remarks, in an effort to drive her nuts. Knowing what Daria knew now, they just seemed extremely funny, and didn't bother her at all. She smiled back at Jane sweetly, halfway attempting to appear slightly pissed. She was gonna play with this for a while.

As if in answer to Trent's comment about the band, Jesse walked in and spotted them. He looked at the table and remarked in his usual Captain Obvious way, "Hey, pizza!" He pushed himself into the booth, smashing Trent into Daria, and started devouring a slice the pizza.

"Hey," Trent said.

"Hey," Jesse managed to mumble back through a full mouth.

"We still meeting early to rehearse?"

"Uh, nope." He tried to chew and swallow quickly. "Nick and Max had to go somewhere. . . can't make it till later." He started right back in on the pizza.

"Aww, man." Then he thought about Daria again. "Oh well." Trent looked at Seth, "So what are you and Janey doing now?"

"Actually, we were gonna go hook up with some of my friends who haven't met her yet. I want them to meet Jane." He looked at her with googly annoying boyfriend eyes and kissed her on the cheek.

Daria rolled her eyes. Jane seemed to be as mushy as him though; which was unusual. "Well, you two have fun with that," Daria deadpanned and took a bite of pizza.

Trent turned to Daria, "You wanna try and write another song? The band's already learned all the new ones." His foot slid to the inside of hers so their legs were wrapped around each other.

She looked back at him and blushed, partly out of habit, and partly because her mind wondered what it was he really wanted to do. "Uh, sure. That'd be cool. I don't have anything else going on."


The four of them looked down at the empty pizza pan as Jesse got up to leave.

"Thanks, guys. I gotta go take a nap, then load up the tank," Jesse said and walked out.

Seth checked his watch. "I told my friends I'd meet them pretty soon, so we should get going. We have to go back to your house and pick up my car."

"Sure thing." Trent picked the keys off the table and slid out of the booth; he wasn't about to be the one to stall him and Daria being alone together in his house. The other three followed him and soon they were home and making their temporary goodbyes.

"See ya later, comrades!" Jane waved goodbye and gave Daria a look, then grabbed Seth around the waist and pushed him out the door.

Daria was nervous. Actually, she had been nervous ever since they got back in the car. Mostly because she didn't know what would happen between them, or even what she wanted to happen. Plus, she was so inexperienced at this stuff that she didn't want to embarrass herself in front of him. When she looked over at him, he was looking at her. She couldn't read his expression, which frightened her to some extent.

As soon as he heard Seth's car pulling away, Trent looked at Daria. She looked nervous, he figured she probably was. So he tried hard to act normal. "My notebook and stuff is down in the basement, so let's go down there." He smiled at her and she nodded. As they went down the stairs their steps were in synch with each other. He ran and grabbed his notebook from the far corner of the room. When he returned, Daria was seated on the couch, her brow slightly furrowed, looking rather unsure of herself. He could tell she was having a hard time keeping that wall of intellectual stoicism from crumbling.

Trent came in and sat down next to her. He handed her the notebook and pencil and smiled at her. She still looked bewildered. "Hmm," he looked at her, then took the pencil and notebook back from her. He set them down on the ground and moved to the end of the couch, one leg on the floor, the other stretched out next to the back of the sofa. "C'mere," he said, patting the spot in front of him, "You know how to deal with this." He saw relief flash across her eyes and she moved over to sit in front of him, their bodies touching slightly.

She unzipped her jacket and he helped her take it off then draped it over the back of the couch. Instead of starting to massage her back, his hands just ran over her, smoothing down the small of her back and over the tops of her shoulders. He ran his fingers up her neck and into her hair. Eventually he very slowly began to rub his fingertips harder into the muscles of her neck, then down her back till he was massaging the very base of her spine. As he reached the bottom of her mustard t-shirt, he slid his hands under it and up onto her bare back. She shuddered and leaned forward so it was easier for his hands to go under the fabric. The calluses on his fingertips heightened the sensation of his hands on her bare skin.

It had been a while since Trent had had a girlfriend, and he had forgotten how soft girl's skin always was. He ran his palms up the entire length of her torso, then down again. His fingertips led the way back up, but this time they ran under her bra straps, and he felt her shiver a little. Gently, he undid the clasp fastening her bra together and slowly pushed the straps to her sides. He wasn't going to do anything he thought would freak her out, so he just went to work kneading and massaging her back again, this time the way the way it should be, skin to skin. The only difference was his boundaries had expanded slightly; his hands reached over her shoulders down to the top of her collar bone, and around her sides under her arms, further displacing her bra. When he finally got down to the top of her black skirt, he massaged slowly around to her sides then wrapped his arms around her bare stomach and pulled her into him.

Daria was breathing heavily through her mouth. She felt like her body temperature had risen ten degrees, and yet she was shivering and tingling all over. She leaned back against him, and lost for words, and kissed his neck. She pressed her face into his neckline and closed her eyes. Half of her wanted him to run his hands up the front of her shirt and under her skirt, and the other half just wanted to curl up into a ball and let him hold her and keep her safe. She found herself trusting Trent as much as she trusted Jane, which was a big deal. She pulled her face away from him and turned partially so she could look into his eyes.

Fear swept into her, as she imagined him leaving her alone, unprotected. Now that he had broken through the wall that kept her safe from her own emotions, if he dropped her, she would shatter like glass.

He looked back into her eyes, wondering what she was thinking. She looked nervous and tense again, but she didn't feel tense in his arms, so he figured she must be thinking something that had made her worry. "What?" he asked quietly.

She stared back at him for a while. "Can I trust you?"

He wasn't sure exactly what she meant, but something in her voice told him it was important that his answer be yes. "Yes." He looked back into her eyes, willing her to believe him. After a long time, a little grin crept across his face. "As long as it's not to be on time."

Daria smiled back. She was safe for now. She did trust him. Before she could lay back and get comfortable, he shifted his weight underneath her and slid his hands up her bare back again. She leaned forward a little to accommodate, and felt him reach up to around her shoulders and gently find her bra straps. His fingertips followed them down and around her sides, where he smoothed them out and refastened the clasp. She readjusted it in the front, and slid forward on the couch so he had room to take his leg down.

He looked at her and grinned. "I have to be at the show in about an hour. I figured if we stayed there, we'd just fall asleep."

She faced him on the couch, cautiously took his hand and pressed it palm to palm with hers. As she looked at the size difference between her hand and his, her curiosity got the best of her. "Why do you think I'm 'cool'?" She looked up into his eyes, apologizing for her insecurities. "I mean, you've known me for a long time. Why now?"

Trent took her hand in his, spread it out in his other palm and began to trace it with his fingertips. "I dunno, really," he paused, trying to collect his thoughts, "I guess suddenly I just realized you weren't only the coolest," he paused, "ex-highschooler I knew, you were the coolest girl I knew, period. And then, I just looked at you one day. . ." He didn't really know what he was trying to say.

She waited patiently for him to answer, enjoying the feeling of his hands caressing hers.

"You just looked so small." He could tell he sounded lame, and he didn't want her to think he was insulting her. "Um. . . this is hard to explain. I just. . . felt the need to take care of you. You're really smart Daria, and you have really good defenses, intellectually and whatnot. But I just want to protect you from. . . all the other stuff, I guess. Because I feel like I can, and because you deserve to be safe."

He wouldn't meet her eyes, and looked almost afraid, like he was ashamed of himself for saying that. She reached her hands up and ran them through his hair, around the back of his head and down the sides of his neck. He closed his eyes as her hands rubbed down the front of his chest. Her hands reached around his back, and she pulled herself on to his lap, wrapping herself legs and body around his torso. She took off her glasses and pressed her face into his neck again.

"Okay," she said softly. "You can take care of me."

Relieved she had responded so positively he hugged her back and crossed his legs, so they were once again a little human knot. He held her tightly for a long time, not really thinking of anything- just enjoying her company. Then he slowly pulled her back from him. A slow, devious smile crept across his face. "As much as want to protect you, there are a lot of other things I want to do to you, too." A part of him had slowly awakened while they were sitting there, as if to say, "Yo, Trent, there's a girl sitting on your lap. . ." He pushed the hair away from her forehead, and caressed her cheek with his hand. His hand crept its way to the back of her head, and he slowly leaned in and kissed her.

Even though she had kissed Tom, it was nothing like this. That seemed silly and compulsory. This time it had purpose, and she gradually opened her mouth and their faces locked together, like they fit perfectly. She could feel Trent's kisses in the base of her spine and she pressed her hips into him. He was much better at this than Tom, and momentarily she felt embarrassed, knowing she probably wasn't very good at it either. But it didn't seem to be bothering Trent, so she decided not to let it bother her. Steadily his kisses got more aggressive, his tongue almost ramming down her throat, and they were both pressing their bodies against each other, hard.

Trent could tell a different part of him was definitely in control now. His groin was twisting under Daria's weight and he held the back of her head steady as he tried to cover ever inch of the inside of her mouth with his tongue. Her hands slid up under his t-shirt and started rubbing against his bare skin. Overcome, he gradually leaned forward until he was lying on top of her. He wanted to touch every part of her body, to encompass it with his own.

Trent had managed to disconnect her brain from her body again, so now all she knew was that whatever they were doing felt really, really good. Daria loved the feeling of his body pressing down on hers, and his bare skin under her hands. She grabbed at his back with her palms and wrapped her legs around him again, so their pelvises were smashed up against each other, rocking slowly. He slowly detached his mouth from hers and began to kiss her throat and neck slowly and passionately. The neck of her shirt went down just far enough that he ran his tongue and kisses down the length of her collar bone.

He knew he should be stopping, that he shouldn't go too far right now. It was too fast, he didn't want to do that, not yet. And he hadn't talked to Janey. Desperately trying to regain control of himself, he kissed her neck again, and followed it up to her mouth, where he made his kisses shorter and less intense. Panting, he finally pulled his head away from her and looked into her eyes. Before he had a chance to say anything, Daria lifted her head up and kissed him intently. Whatever small amount of control his brain had gained was fading fast as her bare hands on his back pulled him back onto her with surprising force. He pulled away again by moving his kisses to her neck and around to her ear. He whispered through pants, "We should slow down." She seemed to agree, and when he felt her grip on his back loosen, he kissed her mouth again, lightly this time, and she slowly untwined her legs from around his hips.

He stopped kissing her, and Daria took her hands out from under his shirt and started running them through his hair. He moved down and laid his head on her chest, to where he could hear the fast beating of her heart.

She could feel hot air on her chest and his body moving up and down on top of hers with every breathe he took. They lay there for what seemed like an eternity, her fingers entwined in his hair, letting their bodies relax again. Slowly, Trent lifted his body off of hers and she slid out from under him. They arranged themselves in a more civil position on the couch, and she rested her head on his shoulder. "Hey Trent?"

"Yeah Daria?"

"About Jane," she paused, "I'm kind of enjoying keeping this a secret from her for a while, so. . . can we. . . like, not do anything in public yet?" She wasn't sure she was ready to explain just why she wasn't telling Jane yet, and hoped he wouldn't ask.

"Uh, sure. I kinda wanted to talk to her about it, too."

He suddenly remembered he had a gig tonight, and should probably check and see what time it was.


On the way to Dega Street, they both seemed to regain their ability to speak. They had talked about the new songs, and how pleased the band was with them. Trent mentioned he did actually want to try and write some more, not just use it as an excuse to be alone with her. Daria had agreed, and he was planning to come over the next day to see if they couldn't knock out another good set of lyrics. Daria marveled in the memory of the shocking level of comfort that had already been established between them as she stood next to Jane and Seth in their usual spot at the edge of the crowd.

"Wow." At the end of the first song, Jane turned to Daria. "It made sense! Apparently you have been able to concentrate when you two are together, despite obvious distractions. I'm impressed."

Daria looked back at her. "Stranger things have happened. Listen again."

Jane turned back towards the stage and watched her brother sing. Something seemed familiar about this song. . . "It's about your room, huh?"

At this Seth raised his eyebrows and looked a little harder at Daria, thinking "He is saying 'domestic padded prison,' right?"

"Yeah, well, my room was the only thing in sight that inspired his muse."

"Right on. That's very cool. Quite the opposite of what it was in that room, though, eh? I know it was getting hot hot hot in there. . ." she nudged Daria in the ribs, teasing her.

Daria tried to fake a blush, then pretending to be angry, said: "Would you just lay off, Jane?"

Jane smiled at her hopeless friend. Apparently things weren't as improved between Daria and Trent as she had hoped.

Trent was singing the last song before the break, when he looked down at Daria. This time she gave the over-enthusiastic thumbs-up, but discreetly so Jane didn't notice. The frisky girls at the front of the stage were trying to get his attention again, so he stared at Daria and thought about what they had done earlier that day. "Man, that felt good," he thought to himself and quirked a smile. It really had been a while since he and Monique had broken up. He felt himself wanting to be alone with Daria again, right then. As he announced that the band would be taking a short break, he spotted Daria heading for the bathroom. He quickly set his guitar down and rushed after her, after checking to make sure Janey was still preoccupied with her new boyfriend.

When he reached the hallway that led to the bathrooms, he weighed his options. Actually, though, it was a pretty small crowd tonight- and another girl had just come out of the bathroom. Risking it, he waited till no one was looking then slipped into the little girl's room. Daria jumped about a foot when he came up behind her in the mirror.

"Holy shit," she screeched, turning to face him, "Don't do that!"

He smiled slyly at her. "Sorry."

She could tell he was clearly not sorry.

Trent regarded the flush of her skin and the way her chest raised with her breath. He pulled her roughly to him and kissed her.

"Whoa. Hi, Trent," she thought. Then she realized they were in the middle of the girl's bathroom and she'd be really embarrassed if anybody walked in, so she tried to pull away from him. Instead he held her tight to him and kissed her forcefully so she couldn't get away then started to back up slowly. He turned them around and led her backwards into the farthest stall from the door.

"This is so trashy," she thought with a mild satisfaction, commenting on how removed from her normal behavior this was. They kept kissing and Trent reached his hands to her chest and unzipped her jacket. His hands went back around her and up the back of her shirt towards her bra.

It was times like this he wished she weren't quite so tiny; it was getting uncomfortable stooping over to kiss her. Just then, the bathroom door swung open. He felt Daria tense up and she gasped. Before she could say anything, he reached under her butt and picked her up, then turned around so his feet would be facing the correct direction. She wrapped her legs around him and hung on to his neck. "Actually," he thought, "this is a much better height." Ignoring whoever else was in the bathroom, he started to kiss her throat.

Daria was having a very hard time keeping quiet as her heart raced at the sensations she felt. It was obvious Trent's comment earlier about going slower wasn't at the top of his list at the moment. She was thankful for the extra-tall stall dividers. The kisses on her neck intensified and now he was sucking on her collar bone and those hands were doing more than just supporting her weight. She let out a sigh and ran one hand up into his hair, pulling it a little. She started twisting it around her fingers harder and clutched herself into him when she felt his hand move from under her butt up her thigh to her bare skin, then back down again under her skirt. As his hand curled under her leg to her inner thigh, she was having difficulty making her breaths inaudible.

Trent tickled the skin under the edge of her underwear and felt her chest heaving as she sighed deeply into his ear. He was oblivious to how much noise was drifting outside of their cozy stall. That is, until the door opened and he heard, "Yo Daria, you in here?"

They both froze.


Trying to soften her heavy breathing as quickly as possible, she debated whether to answer or not.

"Look, I know you're in here. Are you okay?"

Daria looked at Trent. He raised his eyebrows and shrugged at her.

Her voice was shaky and weak when she said, "I'm here. I'll be out soon."

They heard Jane come closer to the stall. "What's wrong? Your lust for Trent overcome your emotions and you just had to escape to your fantasies?"

"Shit," Daria whispered, as Trent looked at her, eyebrows raised much higher than before. She kissed his lips lightly, then pulled her head back behind his so they were facing opposite walls. "No. I'm fine," she tried to say as deadpan as she could, but her voice was still weird.

"You don't sound fine." Jane walked to where she was standing right in front of the last stall. "C'mon, Daria. What's up? I promise I won't tease you if it's about Trent. I'll give up completely if you want me to- you can throw yourself at him on your own time. I'm making a truce here. Talk to me, Morgendorffer."

Daria was mortified. This time she meant it when she growled, "Go away, Jane."

Jane looked at the stall for a second. As she was turning to walk away, something caught her eye. Those weren't Daria's shoes. She faced the door again. "Daria?"

"I said, go away, Jane."

Jane wasn't going anywhere. She stooped down and had a closer look at the legs at the bottom of the stall. Those shoes looked awfully familiar.

It hit her who's they were. "Holy fuck."

Trent figured that was his cue, so he unlatched the door and pushed it open, still holding Daria up in a rather suggestive position; Daria wrapped around him and his hand up her skirt. "Hey, Janey."

Jane stood, mouth agape, and stared at him and the back of Daria's telltale green jacket. Trent turned around in the stall silently so that she was looking at Daria's red face.


All she managed to reply was, "Yo." Slowly she recovered her senses, but her mind was still in a state of shock. "I'm just gonna go back out there now. See ya in a minute, right Daria?"

Daria just looked at her. "Right." She slid one hand out from around Trent's neck and closed the stall door in Jane's face and held still until she heard her footsteps leave the bathroom. Trent slid his hand back to the outside of Daria's thigh, then slowly lowered her to the ground. He looked down at her, and she knew she should say something. "Uh," her face was beet red. "Can we talk about this tomorrow?"

He didn't know what all that meant, but he hoped it wouldn't scare Daria away. He stroked her hair and was shocked and frightened when he saw two tears sneak out of her eyes and down her cheeks. He had seen more emotion out of her in the past two months that in the past three years combined. He kissed her forehead and looked into her eyes. "You want me to go or stay?"

"Go now," she said, "We'll talk tomorrow."

He tilted her chin up and kissed her mouth. "Ok," he said, and maneuvered his way out of the stall.

Daria covered her face in her hands. "It wasn't that bad," she tried to tell herself. She finally forced herself to regain her composure, and ten minutes later left the bathroom to go face Jane. She was embarrassed, but she was also really pissed off. She knew Jane wouldn't have said those things if she knew Trent could hear them, but unfortunately he did hear them. She spotted Jane sitting at a booth with Seth. When Jane looked up at her from across the room, she sent Seth away with a glance in Daria's direction. When Jane was alone, Daria slowly headed towards her.

Sitting down across from her best friend, Daria crossed her arms and stared Jane down, unwilling to be the first to speak.

"How long?"

"Not long."

Jane looked at the table.

"I figured all your taunting deserved some punishment. That's why you didn't know yet."

"Punishment accepted."

They sat in silence for a moment. Daria realized she wouldn't stay pissed at Jane for very long anyway, so she might as well get it over with now.

Jane felt a sharp kick from under the table. "OW!"

"You deserved that, too."

Jane looked at her crossly. "For what?" She was rubbing her leg. That had hurt.

"Those things you said in the bathroom about me throwing myself at Trent. Now I have to explain that." She was pissed, but Jane looked genuinely hurt. "Good," she thought.

Jane scowled. "It would have come out anyway."

"That wasn't the ideal moment."

"Obviously not, you sly fox."

Daria knew Jane was trying to be funny, but chose not to respond. She had done her duty and talked, but now all she wanted to do was go home. "Will you take me home?"

It was obvious to Jane that Daria needed to be alone for a while. She got up and they walked towards the up to the front of the stage, pressing through the crowd. As soon as the song finished, Jane called to Trent.


He looked at her for a second, then understood, and took the keys out of his pocket and tossed them to her. He looked down at Daria, but she was looking at the floor. Then they were gone.


Driving to Daria's house, Trent began to think about what Janey had said in the bathroom the night before. He had basically forgotten until now- if something wasn't in his face, he tended to let it slip from his mind. But now it all came back to him. Janey had joked about Daria's lust for him, and throwing herself at him? It didn't make sense. "I guess that does explain her willingness," he thought. Most girls put up at least some kind of fight- she had been with him the whole way. His hormones locked that information up for a later date as he pulled up in front of Daria's house.

"Hey," he said as she opened the door and led them up to her room, locking the door behind him.

"Okay." She paused and looked at him expectantly. He sat down on the edge of her bed, just watching her. "I guess I owe you some kind of explanation."

"Whatever." He shrugged.

"Huh?" Daria looked confused and slightly ticked off at the same time. "You don't want an explanation?"

"Well. . . Sure, I guess. But you don't have to tell me if it's gonna make you upset."

"Oh." She crossed her arms and thought for a minute. "No. I'm just gonna tell you, otherwise it'll bother me." She had no idea where to start. It had been completely planned out in her brain earlier this morning, but now it was gone, and she knew she would forget something and it would all come out fuddled. She took a deep breath and looked into his eyes.

"Well. It boils down to this. I've liked you since we first met, and ever since then I've been too chicken-shit to tell you." Saying it angrily helped it come out, but she felt like that was the wrong way to go about it. She was putting herself in the victim position, and she didn't want or deserve his pity.

Trent didn't know what to say. "You hid it pretty well."

"Yeah. But you're also pretty oblivious." It was an attempt at a joke but neither of them smiled; they just kept staring at each other.

He wasn't sure if this upset him or not. It was surprising, but he wasn't sure if it really affected them now. "Does this change us now?"

"I don't know. That's up to you."

"Oh. Okay." He looked at her. He didn't feel any differently about her. "I think we're still okay."



She finally cracked a smile and sat next to him. That had gone very well. And he hadn't asked her any embarrassing questions. "You wanna write now?"


She looked at him, eyebrows raised. "I thought it was time for a new song."

"It is, but. . ." Something was working itself inside his brain. He had a revelation. "So you have fantasies about me?" Daria's eyes went wide, and he watched her with amusement as her face went from its normal pale to color to one bordering on fire engine red in under six seconds. "Guess that answers that question." She covered her face with her hands. A second later her boots were off and she was backed into the corner of the bed against the wall, hiding her face from him.

Mortified, she sat waiting for him to say something else. When she opened her eyes and lifted her head, he had laid back on the bed with his hands under his head. He grinned and turned his head towards her.

"That's pretty cool!" He scratched his chest with one hand and smoothed down his shirt, as if petting his own chest. "Well. You may not have been in my fantasies before, Daria, but you are now." He closed his eyes and replaced his hand under his head. "Hmm.."

She started to blush for a new reason, wondering what Trent was doing to her under his eyelids. She took note of how happy she was at this second, and wished she could thank him; nobody had made her this happy in a long time. She scooted over to where she was sitting next to his torso. It was amazing that only a week ago she would have felt so ashamed to look at him like this, she would have turned away in fear of him opening his eyes and catching her staring. "He's so beautiful," she thought to herself. She wasn't much for commenting on people's appearances, but this was different. Now she was allowed to. And he was right here.

Suddenly, she said it out loud for no reason. "You're so beautiful." Trent's eyes opened, but he said nothing. He looked a little confused. Sitting up, he pulled himself against the wall and looked at her. She pulled one of his legs toward her, then moved over it and pushed the other one farther apart. Then she scooted up and sat on her butt, putting her legs over his so she was facing him with about a foot and a half of space between them. "Close your eyes again."

Trent did as he was told. He had no idea what she was thinking. Then he felt a fingertip on his eyebrow. It traced down around his eye, running softly right over the top of his eyelashes. She traced his other eye, then down his nose. The back of her fingers ran down the sides of his face, and around the bottom of his chin. Her touch was so soft that it almost tickled. She turned his head and stroked from the tip of his chin down his neck and up again, caressing the skin under and around his ear. The feeling of her soft fingers tracing over his ear, then her hand barely brushing his neck around to the other ear ran shivers up and down his spine. It was unlike anything he had felt. It was sexual, but so sweet at the same time that he didn't know how to proceed. So he just sat quietly and let her touch him.

As she traced his hairline, Daria was consumed by his beauty. She didn't think he had ever been as beautiful to her as he was now. She admired every curve and line on his face, and traced them again. His skin was so perfect. She slid the back of both her hands down his neck, then across his shoulders. Next, she found the bottom of his t-shirt and pulled it up on his chest. Without a word, Trent raised his arms above him and she slid his shirt off completely. She thoroughly traced every line on his chest with her fingers, caressed his stomach with the back of her hands, and coming back up ran her hands slowly down his arms, making sure she touched every inch of visible skin. She held his right arm and ran her finger softly in the crease of his elbow. Her hand slid down his forearm and she traced every curve on his hand.

Trent felt his entire body slowly overcome with 'warm, fuzzy feeling' for lack of a better term. At the same time, wherever she touched sent shivers down him. He was breathing through his mouth now. Short of sex, this was the best thing he had ever felt. It ignited his hormones but at the same time had a calming effect rest of his body. It put everything in slow motion. After she finished tracing the lines in his left hand, she put his hands down on the bed next to her feet and ran her hands up his chest, fingers spread. Her fingers went up his neck again and thinned out till just one finger was running around the edges of his goatee and smoothing it down. She traced around the edges of his lips, then ran her finger across his bottom lip, then across the top one. Her finger kept tracing his lips until he slowly closed his mouth and kissed the very tip of that finger. Trent opened his eyes slowly as she said what he was thinking.

"Thank you."

He just sighed at her and smiled. "Okay."

Daria backed off the bed and picked up Trent's notebook. She sat on the edge of the bed and looked back him. "Work now."

"Okay." If an 800 pound gorilla came into the room and started singing pop music he didn't think he would really mind, or even notice. He just stared at Daria, lost in her eyes. He slid forward and wrapped his arms around her, squeezing her tightly for a second, then looked down at the notebook from over her shoulder. "Let's call this song 'Jane's Discovery.'"

Daria laughed. In retrospect, last night was pretty funny. "Let's do that, but without names, please."

Trent her kissed on the cheek. "Okay," he said and they went to work.


As Daria and Jane walked slowly the sidewalk, Jane didn't know where to begin. Daria and her brother were obviously a 'couple' now. She'd never actually thought about what that would mean. "So. Does this mean now when you stay the night you will no longer be occupying the space next to my bed?"

Daria glared at her. "We've been together for two weeks."

"Plus three years of longing and fantasizing. And believe me, if you're willing, so is he. . .and the way you guys were goin' at it the other night-"

"Don't go there, Lane."

Jane smiled. "I'm just happy for you," she paused, "are you happy?"

"Well, last night my mom asked my why my sarcastic wit had suddenly turned so jovial. Needless to say, I didn't tell her the real source of my new found joy."

Jane just laughed. That was a happy Daria for you.

"Are you okay with. . . us?" Daria looked at Jane sincerely.

Jane just stopped walking and put her hands on Daria's shoulders. "Are you kidding? You've wanted to be with Trent ever since I've known you. Of course I'm happy for you. I'm happy for you both." She took her hands off Daria and they kept walking. "Trent seems pretty happy lately, too. The other night I found him sitting at the kitchen table rubbing his lips with his fingertip in some sort of trance. I assume that has something to do with you."

"I have nothing to say unless my attorney is present."

"Somehow I think if your mom were here, you would be saying even less."

Daria smiled inwardly. She missed hanging out with Jane. They had both been kind of caught up in the relationship thing lately. "How are you and Seth?"

"Well, I haven't procured your jovial wit yet, but I'm having a pretty good time." She squinted at Daria, "We haven't checked out the bathroom stall scene yet, but only because Seth seems to have this thing about germs."

"Bite me, Jane."

"I'll leave that to other members of my family, thank you. I have other people to bite."

When they walked into the front door of the Lane house, Trent was standing in the kitchen, digging for food. He visibly brightened when he saw Daria. "Hey."

"Hey," she said back, then stopped where she was. "I'm gonna hang out with Jane tonight. I'm serious. Its girls night, or something." Trent looked forlornly at her, but she just stared him down.


"Tomorrow." She pulled a Mona Lisa on him.


After watching "Repo Man" and having uncommonly typical 'girl talk,' both Jane and Daria went to bed. When Seth came early the next morning to pick up Jane, Daria fully planned on continuing to sleep. Unfortunately, Jane running the shower made he need to use the bathroom. She untangled her pajamas, or rather, Jane's pajamas- she had spilled chocolate sauce all over her over-sized t-shirt- and stumbled to the bathroom without her glasses.

Jane's shower had woken Trent up as well. Usually it wouldn't have, but he had had gone to sleep early the night before to keep himself from thinking about Daria. He was wandering around his room in boxer shorts and a tank-top trying to find semi-clean jeans when Daria caught his eye as she fumbled with the light switch in the bathroom. Her hair was messy, and she didn't have her glasses on. She looked really cute, in an unkempt sort of way. When she came out she headed for the kitchen, and didn't see him looking at her from his doorway. She kept one hand against the wall to guide herself. Trent followed behind her, as quiet as he could. Upon reaching the kitchen, she headed for the cabinet where they kept water glasses. Unfortunately, all the glasses from the lower shelf had been used, and she couldn't reach the top shelf. She reached as high as she could though, revealing some of her back. Eventually she gave up and went to the freezer and opened it, searching for ice. She found a tray and took it out, and finally managed to break a chunk of ice out. She popped the cube in her mouth for a second, then started breathing through her mouth because it was too cold.

Turning to head back to Jane's room she finally noticed that there was someone there. At least, she thought it was a person. Then he moved. "Morning," she said through the ice.


"You're up early."


"I'm going back to bed now," she said, and tried to walk around him.

Trent moved in front of her, trying to be annoying. It worked.

"Trent. I'm tired and I'm hot and I want to sleep."

He grinned at her. "I know you're hot, but I'm not tired and I'm not gonna let you go to sleep."

"Trent," she pleaded. "I wanna sleep." She was still slurring over her ice cube.

"Uh. . . . no." He crossed his arms and looked down at her.

"Fine." She turned and went back to the freezer and pulled out the tray of ice again. She could tell she was going to need more of it, especially if Trent insisted on being difficult. When she turned around, he was standing about two inches from her.

"I want some ice."

Daria looked up at him and scowled. "Here, take it," she said, shoving it in to him. She tried to move around him but he scooted in front of her wherever she went, and she was too tired to really put forth an effort so she just punched him clumsily in the stomach. He grabbed her arms and held her still. "Trent, let go of me." She was starting to get pissed off. It was too damn early for this. She wiggled free of him and tried to get away. He held on to one of her hands as she tried to escape. Eventually she tried punching him some more.

"Hey, Daria, that's not nice. You shouldn't hit people."

"Screw you." She was extremely pissed off now.

"Hmm. . ." he cocked his head to the side and gave her an insinuating look. "That wasn't nice either. I think you need a time out to think about that last little statement."

Before she had a chance to rebuke, he had picked her up and slung her over his back.

"Dammit, Trent, let me down!" She tried to wiggle free without toppling over and hurting herself, but he held her tight and started walking up the stairs to his room. Her arms were still free, so she tried punching him in the back. No effect. She realized she was now fully awake, which made her more pissed off, but also brought to attention Trent's hand sliding up and down her leg and lingering on her butt. She attempted to ignore that and kept hitting his back and yelling at him to put her down. Eventually her mind gave in and she slapped his ass, suppressing a giggle. "Whoa. I was about to 'giggle'," she thought.

"Oooh, now you're asking for it." He grabbed her butt and kept heading towards his room as she slapped him in the butt again. It wasn't until she pinched him that he lost his balance and the two of them went tumbling down. Luckily they were just on the outside of the mess he called a room and landed on a pile of dirty laundry. He landed on top of her and she managed to squirm away back into a corner of his room. But he could tell she couldn't see very well, and he followed after her quickly, grabbing her and throwing her onto the bed. She squealed and tried to get away again but he pinned her down. Eventually she stopped writhing beneath him and lay gasping for breath.

He panted over her for a while, then dove for her mouth and they kissed intensely until Trent pulled away and kissed down her neck. He released her hands and they found their way back to his hair, then under his shirt. He gently pulled them out, and Daria looked at him questioningly. "I thought you were tired."

"Well, you put an end to that, didn't you."

"Don't worry, I can fix it."

Daria's eyebrow went up. Trent sat up, then pulled her up, too.

"I don't usually sleep sitting up."

"Just be patient, okay? Turn around." Daria turned, and Trent scooted up against her, then ran his hands around the front of her shirt. He kissed her neck and unbuttoned her shirt slowly. "It's okay," he said, "my eyes are closed."

Daria was unsure what Trent was doing, but decided to believe him. He finished with the top button and slowly slid her shirt off around her shoulders.

"Lay down on your stomach," he said as his hands ran down her back, pleased to find no bra to unclasp. She lay down and he began to massage her back for real. He gently pulled her arms out from under her and massaged them, too.

Daria sighed and closed her eyes. Having your own personal masseuse was certainly nice. He was right, he could put her back to sleep- if it weren't for the pheromones his hands on her naked body aroused.

When his hands started getting tired, Trent lay down on his side next to Daria. He rested his head on her outstretched arm and looked at her face. She looked really happy. He slid his hand over her back, lightly brushing her skin. He leaned over her back and kissed the center of it, moving down slowly- kissing down her spine till he came to the top of her pants. He pressed the side of his face against her warm skin. Eventually he lifted his head from the small of her back and lay back on his side next to her. His hand snuck under her stomach and she lifted up a little to compensate. He hugged her from the side, kissed her shoulder and said, "Okay, now you can go back to sleep."

She half opened her eyes. "Okay." Daria brought her arm over his head, pulled herself on top of him and proceeded to fall asleep.

Trent absent-mindedly rubbed his hands up and down her unclothed back and stared at the ceiling. He thought about how good it felt to have a girl in his arms. And not just any girl. This was Daria. Sometimes when he thought about it, it still seemed strange. If he hadn't gotten to know her through Janey, he probably would never have given her a second look. Usually he went for a different kind of girl. . . the beautiful, dark ones who were obviously trying to be sexy. He looked down at Daria's head. She didn't wear any make-up, or wear revealing clothing. She was just Daria, and she was beautiful in her own way. He felt like he knew exactly who she was.

Smiling to himself as Daria let out a tiny snore, he reached for her shirt and draped it over her back, then slid his hand back underneath it and fell asleep.