Usual copyright disclaimer: CHANT: Characters are not mine, um-lalalalala they are property of MTV/Viacom - um, lalalalala. There is no profit derived from the release of this work. The sole intent is to expand enjoyment of the show and create an awareness that leads to further demand for a DVD set.

Author's Note:

This story is meant to work into the story arc left from Is It Fall Yet and Season 4 of Daria -- all inspiration is attributed to the script writers at MTV. This is taken from "It Happened One Nut" in what appears to be an evolving series of Trent's perspective vignettes. I'm the writer, shrug ask my Muse.

In a Nutshell
by medea42

You've hijacked my brain
Moth to a flame
If you don't release me
I'll go insane
-We got that from Jane

Jesse and Trent meant to write lyrics, really. But the Discovery channel called and for some reason became all the more interesting without the cool animal attacks.

"Shouldn't we write some lyrics?" Jesse asked about halfway through the show.

"Nah man, I think this thing on pheromones might inspire us."

The show actually was interesting, in a non-boring way. Most of the program focused on how mammals send chemical signals to potential mates. The last few minutes focused on humans, how they used perfumes and colognes to communicate their availability -- a way to "shout" their presence over a crowd of competition. The last few minutes of the show focused on how the scents worked for humans, and how perfumes acted as a booster to natural
pheromones. The program even gave a little information on why perfumes "worked" for and on some people, and not on others.

That made sense. Monique always wore this perfume that Trent remembered in a peculiar evocative way; one time when he was hanging out with her and Janey Janey tried some of it, and it didn't smell the same. Not as appealing, nor as powerful.

The last five minutes of the show talked about how men responded sexually to food laced with pheromones -- especially cinnamon, vanilla and to a lesser degree, honey. Trent normally would have had munchies after the last bit, but once the TV clicked off the creative drive commenced.

Trent and Jesse spent way too long arguing about the A diminished or A seventh cord. The whole argument fell into their procrastination language: they both felt blocked. Totally. Nothing flowed, not even the right notes for "Smell of Corruption." By 4 am the silent language of blocked creativity came to a petulant standoff.

"It's gotta be the diminished cord, "Trent argued. "It sounds right that way."

"But my hand cramps!" Jesse whined. "I can't play it if my hand hurts too much to finger the chord!"

"Quit bitching about cramps, man!" Trent knew he was overtired. "The pain is part of the art, man."

"Hey!" when overtired, Jesse, in opposition to Trent, could sometimes groove. "Part of the art, still tweaking my heart -"

They continued to produce, starting, stopping and shuddering like a Tank run on musical creation.

Jesse and Trent were awakened by their grumbling stomachs and the grumble that they still did not finish the song they meant to develop.

"What time is it?" Jesse moaned, reaching out for a soda can, or beer, or something.

"Uh..." Trent heard the TV. Janey was home. "Around 4, maybe?" he brushed himself off, in hopes of removing any debris gained from his bed. Janey hated it when he trailed crumbs into her room.

Jesse followed him to Jane's room. Trent suspected that Jesse liked checking on Jane with him for reasons differing from Trent's brotherly affection. If something happened to remove a vestige of doubt about Jesse's feeling, Trent would have to pound him. They'd still be best friends; the occasional murder in defense of sibling honor would never affect their friendship.

Jane was at her easel, drawing blue streaks in strange directions. Her friend Daria sat on the bed, watching TV. More of that Sick Sad World show. That Daria watched it, too, was an indicator of present and future coolness to Trent. She already appreciated society's decay. She'd be awesome to hang out with someday.

"Hi Jane, Hey Daria" he greeted them.

"Hi," Daria mumbled.

Jane stopped painting to look at Trent and Jesse. She only stopped painting when her creative zone was running on limited operations; evidently she was having a rough day too. "Wo, what happened to you guys?"

Apparently the long night showed on Trent and Jesse more than they thought; Trent assumed his usual state of disarray normally made it impossible for him to look disheveled.

"We were up all night, trying to write a new song." The exhaustion and paint fumes were playing tricks on him. For some reason, his mind kept wandering back to Jane's bed, and to nuts. Nuts on her bed. Honey roasted nuts. Yum. Even in his nut-trance, he managed to maintain his argument about the diminished cord. Jesse could be such a whiny bitch.

"For some reason," he said as the haze cleared, "I'm really craving some honey-roasted peanuts." And a bed. Trent interpreted this as too tired to eat.

Trent assumed he'd sleep off the craving along with the weirdness in Jane's room. His dreams disagreed with him -- and only increased his craving. Images flashed through his mind of him standing with Janey's friend while the sky rained peanuts on them. Then, in that transitionless transition only sleep has, he saw Monique, wearing a nutshell bra and cracking walnuts on his chest, spraying her perfume from a bottle filled with cashews. He turned his head back towards her in his dream, and instead of Monique, it was Daria, sitting on a bed of nuts -- and the figure flashed; Monique, Daria, Monique.

Janey woke him up just as he started gritting his teeth from the craving. "Hey Trent, can you give me a ride to the mall?"

He wanted some peanuts anyway. "Sure Janey, just give me a minute."

Trent woke Jesse up after making sure Jane left the room. Much as he'd like to catch Jesse off guard and discover for sure the man's intentions towards his little sister, it was probably best that she didn't find out. Today provided no clues, though: after shaking Jesse awake and handling a panicked moment where Jesse belligerently charged one of Trent's guitars with stealing his tequila - "Jimador(1), you jerk!" Trent corralled Jesse into a state where he was OK for a trip to the mall.

At the mall, Janey got weird, instead of Jesse. She started off to get paints, and then did a total about face when he mentioned nuts.

"Let's all get a snack together!" Jane announced. Jane usually did the whole on-her-own shtick unless the Lane collective was threatened. She marched in front of Trent and Jesse, proposing one snack after another.

"Buffalo wings! Pizza! Cheese fries -- c'mon, my treat!" When she started pointing and yelling "Naked models on monster trucks!" Trent was afraid if he turned his head she'd knock him out and take his wallet for whatever good reason she'd give him later.

"No way man," he finally said. "Those nuts have hijacked my brain."

Jesse added, from his own sector of universe, "Moth to a flame." He understood; the guy obsession with food, with a prey that must be hunted, even in the bizarre slackerness of the hunt now engaged.

Trent gave Jesse an appreciative look, and as their eyes met, the unheard snap that meant song creation began their roll:

"You've hijacked my brain..."
"Moth to a flame..."
"If you don't release me..."

Trent had to have those nuts. Crazy images from his dreams, the reflective sparkle of the song, new honey on his lips tasting like a kiss from a new girl, raining peanuts and beautiful women laced with guitars.

A few more lines were trashed. "You're driving me insane!" Jane shouted.

Trent considered. "Nah, too many syllables."

At last, the nut stand. The end of his hunt. Now, only to order, to fling the money like an arrow and to grasp his prey and eat it. Some dopey looking kid was working.

"I want some honey roasted nuts," Trent told him. The kid was taking forever, smiled at him, said something about "Hey, nutty nutty." Irritating, but minor compared to his ecstasy when united with those peanuts.

The kid finally went over and banged on the door to the back room. "Hey Daria!" he yelled. "I need some help!"

"Daria!?"

Jane inserted, "Not that Daria, oh no, she's not here-" confirming his suspicion.

A montage formed in Trent's mind; You've hijacked my brain voiced over the dream images from earlier that day. Raining peanuts while he stood with Daria, and the strange interchange between Monique and Daria when the imagery turned erotic. In the far back of his mind, Trent could hear the announcer from the Discovery program: "Human males respond powerfully to food smells, particularly when connected with pheromones." Food and girl. Nuts and Daria. Daria! He needed to leave and process, and save Daria some embarrassment too. She probably didn't even know all of what she did that she might feel that way, this time.

"Uh, that's OK, I don't need any!" He was afraid of what he would dream if he saw Daria in that awful squirrel hat. And, considering her age - eep! He'd dreamed that about someone her age!? She would live better without seeing him this time.

Jesse didn't get it. "But they hijacked your brain." He could stay confused this time.

"Now my brain has been hijacked by a burger," Trent told him and left as fast as possible. He steered Jesse far from the nut stand and made sure he did not look back. It would take too long to explain what happened, so Trent left it at his weird appetites.

Better than telling his best friend that Daria had hijacked his brain.

(1) At the time this was originally written Jimador was a brand of tequila only available in Mexico. NAFTA seems to have fixed that nicely.