Ill Will by medea42

Copyright Disclaimer: 2008. All characters in this story are property of Viacom/MTV and originated by the cast and crew of the late 90s/early 2000's show Daria. They are not owned by me and there is no intention of profit from the distribution of this work of fan fiction.

Author's Note: Set during the episode Ill this imagines what was going on in Trent's life around that time. Of note is that in this universe, Monique is not the fanfic stereotype of "evil." Monique happens to be a person with a history with Trent who, very clearly within the series, had stuff of her own going on.

Monique sat in the coffee shop, looking ghostly. Trent realized he hadn't seen her in full daylight since she'd moved back to Lawndale, and he was taken aback by her delicacy. He was hopeful about this daylight meet – she looked a bit nervous and this was their first personal meeting that had nothing to do with promoting their bands.

"Trent, hey!" Monique stood up, her boots squeaking as they brought them to equal height. She kissed him on both cheeks, and Trent thought he detected a hint of lingering, a slight breath released against his skin. His blood pulsed.

They sat, and Monique pushed a shockingly tiny coffee in front of him. "I hope you don't mind, I went ahead and ordered for you."

Trent raised an eyebrow. Was coffee really getting so expensive that a buck wouldn't cover it?(1) "Thanks," he said, knowing Monique was tacitly acknowledging he was broke – McGrundy's was getting progressively slower to pay him these days.

Monique leaned forward, her lips a little bit parted, and it was clear from the rhythmic bump in her slim neck she was nervous. This made Trent all the more hopeful that they'd end up watching the sunset together tonight, and if things went really well, the sunrise.

"I think we should quit hanging out for awhile." Monique grabbed her coffee and sucked it down, looking eager to have some way to occupy her hands.

Trent's mental sun rotation crashed and boomed, splattering pink oranges all over his mental walls. He took a generous gulp of the mini-coffee to gain a moment, but the coffee was not on his side. His eyes crossed as the bitterness seared the back of his tongue and then his epiglottis tried to escape through his nose.

Instead of gaining time for a cool response, he spewed across the table and onto Monique's shirt.

Monique jumped up, escaping some leftover coffee bursts. "Real nice Trent!" she snapped, and stomped away as Trent leaned over the table, clutching his throat in a futile attempt to patch the acidic holes burning his trachea.

Eventually he recovered enough to stagger out of the shop as the patrons stared in horror. Good god, he thought his face was going to fall off.

(1) Daria was set around 1996, just before Starbuck's and raised coffee pricing was a cultural phenomenon.