A Disclaimer: These characters are the property of MTV, and the intellectual property of the creators of Daria

A Disclaimer: These characters are the property of MTV, and the intellectual property of the creators of Daria.  I appreciate their indulgence in letting me build a world around them.  I am doing this for love, not money, so please do not get your panties in a twist about it.  Thanks.

And in the End

By Ruthless Bunny

"Trent, will you marry me?"  Daria asked as she handed the dripping plate to her boyfriend.

He took it from her and continued to wipe.  He didn't say anything; he was too stunned.  He wiped it dry for about a minute, deep in thought. 

"Trent?"  She poked him with the wooden spoon.  "You there?"

He carefully placed the plate on the stack and turned to her. "Yeah, I'm here.  Did you ask me to marry you?"

She got embarrassed and avoided his gaze. "Yes.  I did.  Will you?"

It had been six years since they first became lovers, and in that time all Trent had wanted, was to know that Daria returned the love he had for her.  They had endured separation, doubt, and the wackiness of the rock and roll lifestyle.  Trent never wavered in his regard, he knew that she was his soul mate.  Daria needed convincing. 

Trent thought back to all those times when he thought he'd blown it.  Forgetting her birthday.   It happened so often that it was one of those "relationship jokes."  The day he realized that she had thoughts that he might never comprehend, and the day that she recognized that fact.  His punctuality problems. His short-term memory problems.  His housekeeping habits.  All of these things made her re-frame their relationship.  She worried about their compatibility, and she was right to do so.  That's why he was so surprised.  They were just at that quiet time after a fight.  That part where you've decided that today is not the day to break up, but that perhaps Wednesday of next week might do.

Trent had taken Daria's car because it was blocking him in.  She had to take his car to work, and it was low on gas, so she had to stop and fill it up.  She didn't get stranded on the side of the road, but it was enough of an inconvenience to piss her off.   She was right.  He should have told her, or just moved her car out of the way, but as usual, he didn't do that thinking into the future thing she did.  Daria lived in a world where she weighed cause and effect for every action.  Trent lived in a fog.  Daria thought that when he did those things, that he was thoughtless, that he didn't think about her or her feelings, so she attached an emotional component to them that for him, was never there.  He apologized as usual; she had to accept it, as usual

"I thought you were mad at me." Trent said quietly, absently taking the various dishes and glasses, wiping them dry as he thought.

"I am.  But I can see that it's never going to change.  I just decided that I have to take you as you are."  She stood on tiptoe to kiss his cheek.  "You are a wonderful man and it's silly for me to expect you to express your love for me any way, but the way that you are capable of doing it." 

Trent smiled at her, she understood him.  That was all he ever wanted.  "So you want to get married?"  He kissed the top of her head.  He fought the urge to sweep her up and carry her to her room, to cover her with kisses, to call her precious, although that's what she was to him.

"No.  I want to marry you.  There's a difference."  She threw the sponge in the sink and led him downstairs to her sanctuary. 

In the morning it occurred to her that they needed to announce it.  Then they would need to plan a wedding.   It seemed wrong to her that something that was so private, so clearly between the two of them, should be shared with a hoard of people. 

She reflected on weddings that she had attended and shuddered.  She didn't want her vows to Trent to be dwarfed by swan ice sculptures, pale blue taffeta dresses or any other typical, tacky wedding crap.  But she knew that their family and friends would want to wish them well.  Family. Shit.  Between the two of them, their dysfunctional families could ruin Disneyland.  Vegas? No.  There was no place on the Earth that suited them less than Vegas.  The image that kept coming to Daria was the beach.  There was a place in Malibu that she felt was the most beautiful in the world.  She wanted a quick, quiet ceremony, only the most important people in their lives attending.  There could be a party to follow and that's where the mayhem could take place. 

Trent rolled over, starting the process of waking up.  Trent woke up like divers surfaced, it had to be done slowly, to allow time for decompression.  He was still in that twilight stage of sleep, where the dreams become vivid, but life also intrudes.  Daria leaned over to kiss him.  In his dream, he kissed her, covered in twinkling stars, her hair flowing in a soft breeze, his dreams and his life merged.  

They finally dressed and emerged.  Jane was standing at her easel.  "Hey guys."  She said as she continued to add paint to the canvass.  

"Hey, Jane.  Coffee?"  Trent inquired.

"Where it always is."  She was not devoting attention to them, she was painting.

"We're getting married." Daria said, seeing if that would draw her notice.

Jane stopped, still holding her palette.  She turned to face them.  "Really?  That's great.  About time actually."  She kissed them both on the cheek and set back to work.  "I'm not wearing any goofy get up, am I?" 

"Yes, I saved that dress from my cousin's wedding.  I've waited years to exact my revenge on you, finally that day has come." 

"Then your wedding dress must be a doozy."  Jane laughed, as Daria blushed. 

The phone call to Jake and Helen was painful.  They were thrilled for the both of them.  Daria and Trent had the phone on speaker, and on mute, since there were at least ten minutes where comments from their side of the connection were not necessary. 

"Oh Daria.  How nice!  I can't wait to start planning all of this.  You're coming home of course, we'll get the country club, have you picked your colors yet?"  Helen's part of the conversation was predictable.  They let her run her course and interrupted her when she paused to draw breath.

"Mom, that sounds really nice.  But we're doing a small, and I mean small ceremony, here, in California, on the beach."  Daria said, trying to invoke infinite patience and expecting a hassle.

Helen stopped.  She remembered having nearly the same conversation with her parents when she and Jake were married.  She remembered the nightmare of her mother's interference.  She repressed her disappointment and responded,  "Oh, that sounds lovely.  What can I do to help?"

Stunned silence from Daria's end of the line.  "Nothing.  Just come.  We're calling Quinn next." 

The rest of the phone calls were made.  Ceremony, immediately family only.  Dinner and reception, a slightly larger expansion of the family circle to include aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and band mates.

One of Daria's friends from work was a mail order minister; she was drafted to perform the ceremony.  It was to be quick and traditional.  No personally written vows.  Daria could not fathom publicly saying all the things she said to Trent privately.  That was between them. All she had to do was look at the yellowed parchment from her parents wedding to see how bizarre that kind of thing looked as the years passed. 

"Can I sing a song to you?"  Trent asked, when they met with the minister to work out their ceremony.  They were going with the typical, 'do you take' and a reading from Paul's letter to the Corinthians. 

Daria was conflicted, she loved how involved he was in the planning, but the idea of him singing a song to her, well that would mean that everyone would look at her.  But it's what he wanted to do.  It was his contribution, how could she say no?


Beyond arranging the ceremony, reserving the restaurant and picking people up at the airport, there really wasn't much to the wedding plans. 

On a breezy June day, Daria, Trent and their families drove to that point in Malibu, and as the sun set, they were joined together as man and wife.  A song was sung, tears were shed and time stood still for just a moment.  Just enough time for two people to become united forever.  If destiny is to be believed, they always had been united, they just didn't know it.  Well, one of them didn't, but she came around. 

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

THE END!!!!!

Author's Note:

I'd like to dedicate this to Renfield and his bride, in honor of their wedding. 

He was the first one to provide feedback on my very first fic, Daria's Wedding, and his support of everything I've done since is one of the things that keeps me going. 

Godspeed!  And may everyone find that special someone.