Something was bothering Daria. It was keeping her up too, which was frustrating even if it was Friday night and she didn't have to think of school tomorrow.

She was staying at Jane's house tonight, escaping Quinn, but the claim was somewhat phoney. Jane herself was out with Tom, so while Daria had told her mother that she would be hanging with Jane all weekend, it was a complete lie. When Trent had answered the door, he had, understandably, been confused until Daria had explained her reasoning.

The multimedia project, and ensuing apology from Trent, had happened a couple of days ago and was understandably still fresh in Daria's mind, but that wasn't keeping her up. At least, not exactly…

She'd been heading back to her room with a drink when Jake had asked her to sit with him a bit. The TV was on, and of all things, the car add with Trent's jingle was playing.

"Hey, that sounds like Trent!" Jake had exclaimed, surprised.

It surprised Daria that her father even remembered Trent, even if he had stayed over a couple of times – when the Lane house had been invaded by all of it's inhabitants, and during the storm – and it got her thinking.

"That's cause it is Dad," she said, getting up from the couch and heading up to her room.

The Fashion Club had chosen that moment to enter the house.

Daria had quickly swallowed her drink, packed her overnight bag, and told her mother where she was going. She didn't bother calling Jane, she knew her friend had plans, but she also knew that Jane was sympathetic to this plight of hers and unlikely to turn her down.

Now, in the Lane household, Daria was sitting in Penny's room with a book and listening to Trent practice down the hall.

She couldn't seem to absorb the words printed on the page before her however.

Trent explained that he was in a creative slump, and that he's no good working to deadlines, but … he must have worked that jingle to a deadline, and it wasn't even his usual style of music… the thoughts just kept running around in her head.

"Actually, I can understand how doing that jingle could sap his creativity," Daria commented to herself. The two events were kind of close together after all.

Daria checked the clock. Huh. It was almost 2 in the morning. She knew why she was still up: the confusion wouldn't let her sleep… but why was Trent still up? She could hear him playing still. Maybe he was out of his slump now and on a roll.

Hell, she wasn't sleeping. She might was well stop pretending. Besides, as much as she refused to admit it to Jane, she did like watching – listening – to Trent play. He was a pretty good musician. Lousy lyricist, but good musician.

---

His door was open, and while he wasn't singing – something for which Daria was grateful – he did seem to be writing lyrics down between chords, nodding his head and mumbling now and then.

Daria knocked, letting him know she was there.

"Hey Daria, come on in," he said. "Maybe you can help me out here."

"Come out of the slump then?" she asked, sitting down on the bed beside him, giving herself a bit of space between herself and him, but also providing a view of his lyrics book.

"Been inspired, but it's not coming together smoothly," he explained, sitting back away from the words he was writing and putting fingers to strings again.

"Well the music sounded good from what I could hear down the hall," Daria offered, leaning forward to see what Trent had written.

"Thanks," Trent said, before glancing the clock. "Man, it's early, sorry if I've been keeping you awake."

Daria shook her head. "I couldn't sleep anyway," she answered, her eyes fixed on Trent's lyrics.

Been such a fool

It wasn't cool

So much for school

One golden rule

Take all the blame

And feel the shame

Stuck to your name

Because you came

You were no help

Foolish whelp

Worse than kelp

So now you yelp

"What do you think Daria?" Trent asked, breaking off his strumming.

"I think that unlike most of your other original song lyrics, I think I understand this one," Daria said, slightly surprised by the coherency of the lyrics, even if she was simultaneously in awe of how many rhymes Trent had used.

"You find Mystik Spiral's lyrics confusing?" Trent asked, as if the idea of anything confusing Daria was beyond comprehension.

"I understood the song you wrote for Jane's birthday, and Icebox woman… kinda… but a lot of your others made absolutely no sense to me," Daria stated, as kindly as she could.

Trent nodded. That made more sense he guessed. It wasn't that the lyrics confused Daria, so much as they simply couldn't be understood enough to begin comprehending them.

"So what inspired you?" Daria asked, turning from the page to look at Trent.

"Thought you said you understood this one," Trent said, trying a smirk on and raising an eyebrow.

"I said I think I understand this one," Daria corrected. "It's about a screw-up, isn't it?"

"Yeah," Trent agreed. "Biggest damn screw-up to date, apart from the whole Monique thing."

"Did you end up getting a song out of that?" Daria asked, suddenly recalling that part of their parting when the Lanes had once more scattered around the world.

"Not that I can perform in public," Trent answered with a chuckle.

Daria gave a small smile at that thought. It helped that she knew that Trent had been the one to end it, so it was unlikely a song about how much he wanted her back or anything.

"So what was the mistake that inspired this song? Or do I not ask?"

"Selling out, and the slump it caused, and then blowing the assignment for you and Janey," Trent answered. "I can do deadlines, the damn jingle had one and I made it, but… Dammit, I really am sorry Daria."

"That's okay Trent," Daria said. "I don't know how I expected you to do music for a high school project, when you didn't even know what the project was."

Trent sat up straight and blinked a few times.

"That's a good point," he said. "I figured you would have wanted the kind of music the band usually plays, or you wouldn't have asked, but that's a really good point."

"So we both screwed up a bit on this one, and probably should have worked together on the music. Hell, it might have helped you out of your slump sooner," Daria suggested.

"Perhaps," Trent agreed with a shrug. "Hey, it's early, and I'm not getting any further with this song tonight. I'm going to sleep, you?"

"Yeah, thanks Trent."