All characters owned and kept on a canister in a backroom by Viacom.

medea42 2004

Life of a Criminale
by medea42

Nick rifled the sugar packets at the Country Kitchen like he was plucking a deck of cards. "You won't believe what my kid did," he announced, completely sidetracking the heated conversation Jesse and Max were having about those lights you could install under cars that made them look ready to levitate off the ground. Jesse thought they were called ground lights. Max thought they were transmorgificators.

"Yeah? What did the tyke do?" Trent wasn't about to let Max know he was busted for reading Harry Potter (transmorgificators? was that even a word?). Besides, he loved kids. His nieces and nephews came up with some crazy stuff.

"Well, the next door neighbor came over after all the hubcaps were removed from his car this morning," Nick explained.

"So what would a six year old have to do with that?" Trent now had the attention of Max and Jesse.

Nick paused, nervously smacking a packet against his hand before he ripped it open and poured the sugar down his throat. After he swallowed, he explained, "My six year old tried to sell back the hubcaps stolen from my neighbor's car."

Max emitted a shocked laugh, that Nick cut short. "That's not all of it."

"What else?" Jesse wanted to know.

"My neighbor mentioned some dickering over a protection fee to ensure all hubcaps stayed on permanently."

The rest of Mystic Spiral exploded. Max slapped Nick on his back. "A criminale off the old block!"

Nick sighed. "Yeah, I guess it must be genetic - I mean, look at Trent's family. I remember Wind and Summer, they always had some teacher's panties in a knot. And Penny - did she ever get charged with arson?"

Trent tried to remember. "Not sure man." But he felt proud. Maybe being a Lane meant being lonely a lot, but it also meant a long family tradition that gave him an awesome rock star pedigree.

"Yeah, but those days are over for you man," Jesse pointed out.

"What do you mean?" Trent still partied. So he hadn't soaped anyone's windows in awhile. Even Nick avoided charges for possession.

Even Nick half-smiled. "You're like our point man, so out of all of us, you're kind of -"

"Respectable," Max supplied. "You're a criminale man, but it's like undercover for you."

Trent picked up the last sugar packet, swiping it from under the descent of Nick's hand. Undercover criminale - what was that, exactly, a suit? Next thing he knew, Jane would come home with some guy wearing cargo pants. Then came the cargo pants for Trent. Then, the day job.

Oh but what a day Trent had had. He slept, he scored (music on a sheet of paper) and he brought his latest work-in-progress over to Jesse's apartment only to see the gleam of a shiny new drumkit.

"What's this?" The kit gleamed in the reflection of the green lava lamp on the coffee table at the center of the room.

"It's Max's, man. His mom won't let him have at her place because of her headaches." Jesse stood over it, gazing at the drumkit as if it were going to start tap dancing if he looked hard enough. "I think it's because she's still embarrassed about what Max did to her curtains."

"We could totally stash it in my basement, man," Trent pointed out. Not that it made a difference - besides the couch and the coffee table, the only other furniture in Jesse's apartment was the mattress on the floor of his bedroom.

"We were gonna, but nobody could wake you up."

"You could have sent Jane to do it."

"Dude, it was like one. She was still at school."

Trent did a double take. "School?" he thought about it. "On a school day? Oh yeah, it's Jane, so I guess that would make sense." Jane was the only member of the Lane family that demonstrated any inclination to actually show up at school during its designated business hours. If she kept going, she might actually bother with college. He's tease her about being a goody goody but she was his little sister.

"Yeah, she'd never make a wing man. Maybe a roadie, though," Jesse began rubbing his chin in a semblance of thought.

"Nah, she's family. She posts bail," Trent corrected. Jesse could forget but Trent well remembered the fiasco with the album cover design -- Jane might drive them all straight to jail and dump them there herself if they irritated her enough with their antics.

Still, the drum gleamed shiny hurt into the pit of Trent's stomach. "So you guys went and got the drumkit without me."

"Yeah," Jesse admitted. "We tried our best to bring you along."


"Hey," Jesse said, going over to his mini-fridge. "Have a beer!" He tossed Trent a Bush lite.

Trent accepted. The bad taste in his mouth made the Bush lite almost taste like actual beer.

The mix of messages from the last two days fumbled around the brain cells enough that Trent was awake when Jane and Daria trooped into the living room.

"So what's the plan, amiga?" Jane seemed particularly intent and interested in her friend this evening.

"Well, the system has failed us, so now we attack the system," Daria explained. "Got a lipstick you can part with?"

Trent was intrigued. "And what crime do you two intend to commit with a lipstick?{

Jane smirked at her brother. "One where we need a getaway car - wanna help?

Trent smirked back. "I think driving a getaway car is just what I need."

He was so pleased that Jane had come around to the Lane misbehavior tradition, and that she invited him in on it, too. But what impressed him was Daria --- her plan, so simple, yet so subversive. "You guys did the right thing calling me," he told them. He wanted them both to know that he wanted an invite on any additional criminal activity. And he wanted to make sure that Daria was also aware of his experience "Here's the plan - I'll wait her with my foot on the gas, and -"

Jane quickly rearranged the plan. "Pull over there Trent, and turn off the car in case you fall asleep at the wheel."

Trent did doze off while waiting for the girls, but his mood was much better upon waking than usual when Jane shook him. "Let's go for sugar packets," he proposed. "Hey Daria," he called to the backseat, "What's a fair price for a hubcap protection service?"