With hasty, but well co-ordinated shuffling, Daria had re-arranged the celebratory evening. Her parents were allowed to take her to dinner, Quinn was to be nowhere in sight – something both girls could agree on – and then Daria would be allowed seventy-five bucks for whatever she felt like blowing it on.

Once dinner was over, she would be going to a club with Jane, Trent, and unfortunately Tom. A slightly more sanitary club than the Zen though, even if it had a DJ rather than a band providing the music.

Furthermore, she would be wearing the dress. After what her mother had confessed to her, it was even more embarrassing to wear it – on one level. On another, it made it feel even better to wear.

Trent had bought her the dress. He had explained himself to her mother in order to get the dress to her without looking suspicious. Her mother approved.


Daria was glad when the dinner was over. Her parents were cool, but if she heard the words 'isn't she great' or 'we're so proud of you' from either one of them one more time, she may not let them live to see the next day.

When her parents dropped her out front of the club, Helen got out of the car too, for one last word with her daughter before she said goodnight.

"If the Lane's don't mind, you can stay until Sunday," she said. Considering it was Friday night now, that was a lot of parent and sibling free time. "I hope you don't mind, but I packed your overnight bag," Helen continued, reaching into the SUV and pulling out a saggy grey sports bag that Daria honestly couldn't remember ever owning.

"Thanks Mom, that's really cool," Daria said, accepting the bag before turning to head to the club door where she was meeting the others.

"One more thing Daria," Helen said, causing Daria to pause and turn to look at Helen again. "I know I sometimes seem more protective of you than you like, and it feels like a double standard when I'm not as protective of Quinn, but that's because – and if you repeat this, I will deny it – you're my first and favourite daughter."

Helen took a deep breath as Daria blinked under the weight of the statement that had just been made.

"Now, go in there, have fun, and get your man," Helen instructed proudly, a feminist at heart, even after so many years.

Daria smiled.


Daria spotted the Lane-mobile pulling into a space and, dress and all, jogged to where they were parking. Two cars away and slowed down to a walk and managed to catch Jane's door before it shut, throwing her bag in.

"Mom said not to come home tonight," she said by way of explanation.

Jane didn't seem to notice, she was rather distracted.

"By budda you're wearing it!" she exclaimed, eyes fixed on the figure-enhancing dress Trent had delivered to Helen approximately two weeks ago.

"Mom can be persuasive," Daria said.

"You look good Daria," Tom said, standing next to Jane but without his arm around her.

It was a dangerous first sign that Daria took note of. She had no interest in Tom, and while she had no idea what Jane saw in him, she was happy with him. She refused to be the one to change that.

Jane noticed it too and sparked a lovers' quarrel with "And I don't?"

"Hey Daria," Trent said from behind her.

"How long has he been there?" she asked herself as she turned around.

"Hey Trent."

Jane and Tom headed for the club door, arguing along the way.

"I think there's a couple of things we need to talk about," Trent said, his usual husky voice lowered slightly into a conspiratorial tone, in further effort to make sure the conversation was not overheard by little sister's and their boyfriend's.


Trent opened the car door and let Daria get in the passenger side, climbing in the diver side himself.


"Hey, where's Trent?" Jane asked, stopping her argument with Tom when she noticed the absence of her brother.

"And where's Daria?" Tom added.

Jane looked at Tom suspiciously, not liking how much attention he had been paying to her best friend lately. She had asked Daria to be more polite and personable with him, but she also knew Daria didn't enjoy it. If Tom was getting ideas into his head about Daria, then they were completely his ideas. Whatever this was, it didn't bode well. Rather than pointing the finger again so quickly, Jane decided to let this one lie, for now.

Especially since she'd just spotted her brother over the crowds. It really was useful that he was taller sometimes.

The gentle swaying motion of what little she could see of him surprised her a little. He didn't normally go in for slow-moving unless he'd just woken up, and lately he'd been awake a lot more. Besides, even when he was moving, his head didn't usually dip and sway the way it seemed to be doing. It was definitely him though.

Leaving Tom for a moment, Jane went to inspect this phenomenon. When she had reached a point where there were few enough bodies in between for her to see Trent clearly, Jane realised that he was on the dance floor.

Jane herself was floored when she saw that he was dancing with Daria. In a grinding, pressing, clinging, sexy way.

"I never knew you had it in you, Morgandoffer," Jane said quietly to herself, a smile on her face. "Good for you Trent."


Trent smiled down at Daria, basking in the sight of her smiling back up at him. Life was really looking up for him now: Mystik Spiral was signed, he was off the couch and going somewhere with his life – even if it wasn't far yet, cause the label was just in the next town – and best of all…

He lowered his head so that his lips pressed against Daria's neck, where he lay gently nibbling kisses all up and down her beautiful pale throat, eliciting a moan from his new girlfriend.

It felt so unbelievably good to be in this new relationship with her. She was smart and sexy, they'd already had a minor blow-up over commitment – the main thing that drove couples apart – and it had actually helped to bring them together.


Daria had no idea how Trent did that, but he made her feel hot all over and she just forgot about thinking when he touched her. She couldn't remember ever feeling this way before.

Not only that, she was happy. Trent made her happy. Sure he had some habits that bugged her, but she probably had some habits that would bug him too, and now they were a couple, they'd get to figure those out.

Helen approved the relationship, and she knew Jake liked Trent too. Quinn would probably be hysterical that she was dating a musician, particularly a sexy musician, even if it was "just Trent". Another good reason to cling to this happiness she had found.

Slipping a hand into his hair, Daria gently drew Trent away from her neck, and brought her lips to his. It just felt so damn right.