Written as a peripheral to the episode "Pinch Sitter." Perspective, writing and approach intended for adults. Intentionally short. Intentionally non- conclusive, because Trent is intentionally inconclusive. c. 2003 Not beta- read; this is a warm-up piece.

Obligatory disclaimers: the characters mentioned in the fic belong to Viacom. All hail Viacom.

Snow White Gone Bad: Trent's Stop at the Guptys' by Medea42

Jane greeted Trent by the front door with an evil twinkle in her eye. He hadn't seen that particular twitch since she somehow convinced the UPS guy that she kept the mailman chained behind the house on alternative Tuesdays as a special "relationship arrangement." The pranks stopped somewhere between the time she tacked gummy handcuffs to the screen door and her discovery of the entertainment available through regular attendance at Lawndale High. Ms. Li and Mr. O'Neill did make for great train-wreck watching, Trent had to agree. By the looks of it, though, Janey had found herself a whole new train wreck.

"Can you give me a ride to Floral Street?"

Floral street was only five blocks from Casa Lane. Yes, Jane had definitely found herself a show. "Any reason you can't walk it?"

Jane gave Trent an around-the shoulder hug. "Because I want to spend a little time with you, big brother!"

Uh huh. Not that he really minded; Monique took showing up early as the kind of offence most women took from showing up late. In fact, him picking her up tonight went way outside their normal pattern. "Not a big deal, I'm heading out that direction anyway."

Trent took a few detours on the way to Floral Street. "What's going on at this place?"

"Oh, Daria's babysitting and asked for some help."

Trent had seen Daria a few times when she came over to hang out with Jane. Apparently this was turning into something good for Janey, if she was giving up her Friday night paint time. She also spent less time with him and he missed that, but he figured her finding other stuff to do was probably good. Janey was only in high school, and while she could took care of herself, he felt uncomfortable with some of the guys in the brew pubs assuming Janey was available for their scene. But for now, he wanted some clues as to what events might splatter his sedan. "Daria doesn't seem like someone who likes kids."

"Daria doesn't like people."

"So how does she get along with you?"

"I'm not people."

Trent stopped in front of Lawndale's most disturbing property. "Woah... "

Jane's eyes also widened. "No kidding. It's like Snow White became evil and began abusing the world with bad ceramics. Oh wow, I gotta get a look at the kids of the people who live here!"

Trent waited as Jane dashed up to the door for fear a lawn gnome might turn rogue. Rogue Gnomes. OK, definitely NOT a good band name.

Trent saw the door open, and one end of what looked like a bushy pigtail around Jane's shoulder. Jane half-turned to wave to him and he could swear he saw both of Jane's feet leave the ground as what must have been Daria yanked her into the house.

Trent was still chuckling when he pulled up to the curb in front of Monique's apartment complex. Monique was waiting outside, looking like her usual smoky self. As she opened the door and slid in beside him, she had to comment. "You look happy today. Are you that thrilled to be behind the wheel for once?" Oh yeah, Monique usually did pick him up. It was easier since he fell asleep or forgot a lot.

"There's something you gotta see."

"Yeah?"

That was what he liked about Monique. She understood a good conversation. "Yeah."

Monique marveled about the lawn ornament abuse that the Guptys inflicted on their neighbors. "Holy shit. You gotta stop so I can take this in!"

So Trent stopped the car across the street while Monique gazed into the ceramics.

"Jane's right," Monique agreed. "Snow White went bad. I'll be the people who live here are in a cult or something."

"Yeah, like one of those New Age cults that only allow kids to watch the weather channel."

Monique snorted. "I'll be Janey's having a good time tonight."

Trent smirked. "Maybe she's engaging in some deprogramming."

"Maybe taking notes so she can start her own cult."

"Hey ... that's not a bad idea. I'd never be broke again..."

Monique laughed, full-throated. "C'mon Trent, there's a pool table waiting for us. We get to name teams tonight."

"I call the name."

"Yeah?"

"Rebel Gnomes."