Disclaimer: All characters in this fic belong to Viacom. All hail Viacom. Disclaimer 2: Not intended to belittle those with diagnosed agoraphobia.
Trent Vignette as of Episode #106: Last Year's Model published 2003
Reformatted and Republished 2008
Shut It All Out by Medea42
YOU try to make getting out of bed epic. Especially with First Season Trent!
The waves of Trent's duet with Monique washed over him like rich wine. Every note held a subtle test, every stage movement wove an intimacy between them. Trent felt the fire rising in his belly at the end of each line- so dark, so hot, so earthy, his Monique. As they finished the last note of the Harpies original "I Hate You So Much I Love You," their eyes locked and Trent could swear that somewhere in the background he heard a harp riff - he'd talked to Nick about not fucking around on the keyboard during performance anymore so he was pretty sure it was a riff from within.
Trent could not wait to get her alone. He sidled over beside her as they broke set. They finished packing their boxes at the same time, and stood like an animus mirror of one another, dark to dark, piercing to piercing. Trent's breath caught, facing such perfection of connection.
Monique looked down for a minute, gave a brief laugh, then re-locked her gaze with Trent. "Great set tonight, thanks."
"Yeah. No problem. It was fun."
"Anyway, I gotta go"
"Will I see you later?"
Monique shrugged. "Nah. I think I need some time on my own." She looked Trent up and down. "You know, the creative thing. I just don't have time to hang out outside of professional stuff anymore."
Trent's heart dropped through his shoes. "Yeah, I understand. See you around," he muttered.
Monique put a hand on his arm. "Trent, you're cool and all, but you gotta look forward."
"What do you mean?" They were living the life, it all started small.
"I mean that you need to prepare. You're so right now I don't think you've given your future any thought at all. I can't be around that, not until I'm on a track I'm ready for myself."
Yet again, Monique shot him down just as he was starting to get into it with their relationship. He had already known she was all about the future, all about the career, but man, could he ever feel like a priority? He moped his way home, moped his way into bed, and pulling out the notebook from under his bed, wrote You're an angel in black/Who sure has a knack/for putting my heart on the shelf in the back. Not bad, he thought. Better than the five minute requiem to his goldfish.
The next afternoon Jane had kicked his door open. "Hey Trent, you might want to catch some daylight before you get rickets or something."
"The outside world is too cruel. I want to stay inside with my blessed darkness," he croaked at her from the bed.
"So you've decided to live the life of Emily Dickinson?"
Trent pondered for a moment. "Yeah. Shut-ins are cool."
Jane just shrugged and went downstairs. On the way back up, she left a bag of chips by his door.
That had been three weeks prior. Today, Trent could hear his mom and dad discussing his case in the hallway outside his room.
"Amanda, do you know how long he's been in there?" Vince's baritone sounded less concerned and more curious.
"I'm not sure - I got back from New Zealand two weeks ago and Jane told me he'd already shut himself in the week before."
"Do you think we should check on him?"
"No, no, if this is what Trent needs to find his expressive center, we should respect his sense of inner freedom." At least Mom avoided the butterfly story.
"In my center, this is bliss/hateful bliss while I sit in darkness!" he yelled at the door. "The world is cruel, and I am afraid to go out there!"
Vince and Amanda were silent a moment. "You know, if he's developed agoraphobia we can probably collect disability and get some rent from the boy. It would simply be his job to be himself," Vince mused aloud.
"Yup, our own schizophrenic shut-in," he heard Jane say, punctuated by the fall of her boots on the floorboards.
Jane entered his cave when she brought him his sandwich that night. Trent sat up to accept the tray. "Thanks Janey, you're the best."
"Thank Mom. She's the one who think you ought to eat something. I favor starving you out. That way I can use your bones for an art project."
Trent's chuckle ended in a cough . He wondered when he last smoked; his lungs started to crave club air after awhile "Yeah, but you're assuming I won't turn to dust in sunlight. So what's news from the outside?" He did want to avoid any faux pas such as Ronald Reagan (the actor?) being elected president.
"There's some modeling agency scavenging Lawndale High for fashion victims," Jane told him.
"How are the pickings?" Hot high school girls were high school, but they were still hot. He had not seen any hot girls in awhile. Seeing hot girls of any type, would, he reminded himself, require leaving Casa Lane. But it could help him with his own career as a musician - leaving the house, seeing models.
"Well, the vultures that represent the agency came to class today and they're being so VERY selective that they even tried to rope in Daria and me."
"They wanted you for a model?"
"And Daria. They tried to get her to take her glasses off and she told them she needed them for seeing scam artists."
Trent laughed involuntarily. Damn, that girl was funny.
A second discussion of whether Trent qualified as agoraphobic roused him in the morning - Trent was fairly sure it was the morning, as the light that snuck between his curtains hit the room at unfamiliar angles.
"Well, just to make sure he stays indoors the required time we can fasten his door shut," Vince proposed. "If he really is agoraphobic he won't try to break out, anyway, so no harm done. And if he does, well, it's a miracle!"
"That just seems too restrictive," Amanda countered.
"Well if he never leaves the house anyway -"
"Trent will still have basic needs like using the bathroom and eating."
Vince seemed enthused about his plan. "We can just get the boy a chamber pot. Besides, this leaves the bathroom free as a darkroom."
"There is that," said Amanda thoughtfully.
That was enough. All they needed to do was hand Jane the duct tape when she felt creative enough, and Trent would need to start climbing out of windows for reasons more legitimate than escaping a party bust. Trent entered the auditorium while the girls onstage were pretending to look like kittens and generally only managing to look like high school girls trying to scam their way out of a parking ticket. While cute in their own way, Trent admitted he would never take any of these girls home. Or a kitten, for that matter. Not after what happened to his goldfish. The floor show that he actually came for was already going, and not wanting to interrupt, he stepped over the auditorium seats and slid in next to Jane silently.
The vulture woman was telling the pop tarts something about finding a headless corpse in their brand new car when he decided to draw attention to himself.
"And it's a smelly old corpse," said Daria.
"In a really bad outfit," added Jane. Wow, Jane and Daria had the same rapport as he and Jesse. How cool.
"Hi Janey." This was the first break where he fit into the conversational rhythm.
"Trent? What are you doing here?" Jane apparently knew of their parents agoraphobia plan.
"Oh, you know. Whatever."
"Do Mom and Dad know you left the house voluntarily?" Jane definitely knew of the plan. She probably had a roll of duct tape sitting on her bed as they spoke.
"I'm not sure how to break it to them. You got any ideas?" Trent had a vague suspicion that if he ran into his parents around town, they might not recognize him in daylight.
"Nope," Jane told him. "How about you Daria?"
Trent leaned forward. He came at least in part for entertainment from her. "Hey Daria."
Daria managed to eject a "Hi," then looked fascinated with the stage show. Definitely shy. Damn. He hoped she got comfortable soon.
Jane was not about to let him away with a whatever. "No really, why are you here?"
"I figured that I need to get used to being around fashion types." Jane gave him one of her closed-mouth raised-eyebrows looks. "You know, for the future."
Daria joined Jane with the sidelong look. "You know - models -" he pointed to the girls, "Musician," he pointed to himself. "Models. musician," OK, at least he totally saw the connection of the concepts.
A whine worse than speaker feedback interrupted the pleasantries, such as they were. Some blond cheerleader sat beside Daria, bawling incomprehensibly and apparently expecting comforting from Daria. Daria offered no comfort whatsoever, not even a lame "there there."
Some jock came in and took over comforting duty, asking Daria what was wrong. "She's upset she's out here with the losers instead of up there with the losers," Daria said.
"Yeah, I can see that," said the boyfriend, returning to comforting his girl. Trent quelled his disgust with the complete blindness of jock-and- cheerleader, and his estimation of Daria rose. Why were so many hot girls like this bubblehead at the end of a row such a turnoff when they opened their mouths?
The jock getting called away only increased the feedback noises from the cheerleader, making it hard for Trent to follow the scene onstage. It looked like the fashion buzzards were going to lead towards the girls stripping into some underwear modeling when Herr Li came in and broke it up.
"Uh oh," said Daria.
"They're all going to kitty heaven" said Jane.
What a crappy payoff after five weeks locked in his house. "I knew I should have stayed home." Nothing like a few sexual scenarios to bring out uptight authority figures and censorship.
Upon returning home, Trent found his parents had gone ahead with their duct tape plan.
"Hi Trent," his mother said passing him in the hallway.
"Hi Mom," he answered, still reflecting upon the shiny metal surface of the tape.
"Trent!" Amanda realized for the first time in weeks, her son was interacting with more than Jane and a sandwich tray. "Well, since you're out, can you help your father and I with a few things before we go on our next trip?"
Trent pulled a piece of tape off his door and half-smiled. "Sure Mom. I think I just need to get out more. There's a whole future outside of this home."