Disclaimer: Again, I don't own it. Please don't sue, I'm broke.
A/N: So here it is, the last chapter. I hope you like it. Please leave me a review and let me know. I try my best to reply to all reviews.
The next morning, Daria came to consciousness slowly, only vaguely aware of the warm pressure of Trent's arm lying across her hip. She smacked her tongue against the back of her top teeth in a futile attempt to fight her perpetual morning dry-mouth, and recoiled slightly at the fuzzy feeling. Rather than get up and head to the bathroom for her morning ablutions, she closed her mouth again and snuggled further into the bed linens, warming her bum against Trent's crotch. She smiled softly at his morning erection as he grunted in response as he turned toward her, pulling her to him in a spoon position. As she slowly began to wake, Daria let her memories of similar situations crash over her.
She woke slowly, the light filtering in from the window making her head throb mercilessly. She threw her left arm out to retrieve her glasses before making her way to the bathroom, needing desperately to relieve herself. Instead of coming in contact with her bedside table, she felt a head of short, bristly hair, and suddenly she remembered where she was. There was a soft grunt and a muttered "The banana stole my keys, officer." Daria resisted the urge to snicker as she placed both palms against her eyes in an attempt to block out the light.
Daria felt the bed shift and suddenly, Trent was no longer lying next to her. She heard him groan and scratch at some part of his anatomy as he walked out of the room in nothing but his birthday suit towards the bathroom. A few minutes later, when he returned, she had resorted to pulling one of his pillows over her head. She groaned when she heard his chuckle, which quickly disintegrated into a hacking cough.
"Morning, sleepyhead. I'm going downstairs to get coffee. Feel free to come down, or sleep. Whatever."
By the time Daria had dressed and made herself semi-presentable enough to wander into the kitchen for coffee, Trent was nowhere to be found. Daria let herself out of the Lane household, locking the door behind her as she left, and made her way home, knowing her mother would be full of questions about her birthday party. As she trudged down the sidewalk and around the corner, Daria completely missed Trent, who was getting out of his car, a box of doughnuts in his hand.
As she walked, she became vaguely aware of the soreness in her groin and the backs of her legs, and couldn't help grinning slightly to herself. Her temporary grin quickly turned upside down as she realized that this experience was probably a one-time thing. That idea being noted, Daria also realized that she was likely to be uncomfortable the next time she saw Trent. No, she told herself, I will not do that again. We're both adults, I can handle being near him. With her mind made up, Daria quickened her pace. Just as she slid her key in the front door knob, her mobile phone began to chirp.(1).
Daria slid the small, silver cellular phone out of her pocket carefully and quirked a brow at the unfamiliar number before deciding to answer it, even though she didn't know who might be on the other line.
"Talk fast." Daria stated into the phone in her normal monotone.
"Hola, mi amiga. So, how did your night go?"
"Mission accomplished, thank you."
"You're welcome, and how is my brother this morning?"
"I wouldn't know, he was gone when I finally dragged myself downstairs."
"That ass. I'll get him for leaving you there alone."
"Don't sweat it."
"Well, do you want to get some pizza for lunch and compare notes?"
"Compare notes? You mean you're not a German anymore, Comrade?"(2)
"Not for a few months," Jane laughed in reply, "I've been spending a lot of time with Mr. Moreno."
"Y'know, Jesse, the bass player in Mystik? Usually wears leather pants and a vest?"
"Oh, him. I wasn't aware he could string two words together."
"He's just a quiet guy, Daria. So, Pizza King at noon?"
"See you there, I just have to get a shower and let the parental units know I'm still alive after last night. I need to decompress before dinner tonight anyway."
"Oh, the family birthday thing? Sucks to be you."
"Yea, whatever. Later."
As Daria stretched and turned towards Trent, watching the sunlight filter across his stubbled jaw, she smiled softly at the memory of those last few months before she'd left for Raft. Jane had, indeed, taken Trent to task for leaving her alone in the house, and he'd hastily explained that after he'd realized there was no edible food in the house, he'd made a pastry run, and when he'd come back, she was gone. Jane encouraged Trent to call her best friend and make it up to her for the mistake, and the next Friday night, Daria had been surprised at the sound of Jake shouting that she had a phone call.
They had spoken briefly, figured out they had missed paths, and decided to go see the latest movie, simply as friends. Daria tried not to blush as Trent threw his arm around her waist as they walked back to his car, and she even caught herself smiling softly as he held the passenger door open for her. She guessed she should have been bothered that he went straight to his house afterward, but she found she wasn't, especially when he leaned over the seat and uttered gruffly in her ear,
"Janey is out again. Want to keep me company?"
Over the next few months, Trent and Daria established a routine. If he didn't have a gig, he would pick her up at her house around seven, and they would go out to a movie or dinner, then make their way either to the giant strawberry or to Casa Lane. If the band was playing, Jane and she would ride together to the gig and Jane would take Jesse home, leaving Daria free to ride home with Trent. Daria always enjoyed the rides to the Lane household with Trent. He never expected her to make small talk, instead content to remain silent on the drive, occasionally broken by the sound of a yawn. When they would reach his home, they would usually go straight to bed. Sure, they would occasionally have sex, but most of the time they both fell asleep, knowing that the sensation of waking up next to a warm body in the morning was fleeting, lasting only until Daria left for Boston with Jane.
Every morning, Daria woke up at the crack of dawn, when the light filtering through the window in Trent's bedroom flitted across her face. She would watch him sleep for a few minutes, then kiss him softly on the forehead before dressing and making her way downstairs, saying goodbye to Jane if she happened to be home from her morning run. Daria would then head home, quietly let herself in, dress for school, have breakfast with her family, and carry on her day as if nothing was out of the ordinary.
Currently, as she watched Trent sigh in his sleep and turn over on his side, she thought about the last morning she had woken up at his side. It was a Sunday, the day her parents had scheduled to take her to RAFT and get her settled in the dorm. She, Jane and Trent had had a long, wonderful summer of hanging out, talking and laughing together, but the time had come for it to end. As she had leant over to place her usual soft kiss on his forehead, his eyes had slowly opened and he gave her one of his rare soft smiles.
"When will I see you again?"
"I don't know."
"We'll come to Boston, Jesse and me, soon."
"That'll be nice."
As Daria had walked out of his bedroom, she still wasn't entirely sure, but she thought he'd mumbled something at her before falling back to sleep. He'd never visited her in Boston. Jesse had come to visit Jane on a bi-weekly basis, and Daria had looked behind him at the empty doorway, hoping that this time Trent would follow him in, with the soft smile that he reserved just for her. One day in the middle of her sophomore year, Jesse gave them both the news that Mystik had been signed by a small Independent record label, and they would be hitting the road within the next week.
As Daria traced her fingers gently down the side of Trent's face, feeling the scratchy stubble on his chin, she recalled the short conversation she'd had with him. It had taken all of her nerve to punch in the numbers to the Lane household, and all of her nerve to not hang up after the first few rings. After twenty-two, Daria remembered counting, Trent finally answered with a gruff, sleepy hello.
"Still a late sleeper, I see."
"Oh, hey Daria."
"I hear the band got signed."
"Yea, it was pretty cool. So, uh, I guess Jesse told Jane."
"It would've been nice to hear it from you."
"Yea, about that. Sorry I haven't been up there. Been busy."
"Sure, I understand. Look, I have to go."
"Sure," Daria heard Trent swallow, "Hey, Daria?"
"I'll miss you. While we're on the road and stuff."
"I'll miss you too, Trent."
Daria sighed in resignation. Until the previous night, that was the last time she'd even spoken to Trent. Every time she had come to visit Jane, the band just happened to be on the road. It was convenient for Daria, as she could put off facing her feelings for Trent, and now was no exception. As she leaned of to place her customary kiss on his forehead, Trent's eyes opened and grinned sleepily at her.
"Good morning, sleepyhead." Daria replied as she pulled away from him and sat up in the bed. She scooted backwards until her back hit the headboard just as there was a loud banging on the bedroom door.
"Uncle Trent! Mom says to get your lazy ass out of bed or she'll eat all the waffles!" Summer's voice came through the door in a loud shout, and the two heard her skip down the hall to the room she assumed Daria was sleeping in. They heard her knock again, this time softer. She waited a few minutes and stated, not quite as loudly,
"Aunt Daria, mom says breakfast is ready." Trent and Daria both chuckled as they heard the rapid thump-thump of someone running down stairs, then Summer's voice drifting up.
"Mom, I knocked on both doors and didn't get an answer, but I peeked in Aunt Daria's room and the bed was empty. I think she might have went to keep Uncle Trent company." Daria huffed when she heard Jesse and Jane both burst into hysterical laughter, and punched Trent lightly on the arm when she felt him quivering with suppressed chuckles. They shrugged at each other as they got out of bed and began to dress in the dim light of the room, neither wanting to flip the light on, filling the room with the harsh glare from the bulb. A few minutes later, they again heard the thump-thump of someone running up the stairs, and Summer's voice again came drifting through the door.
"Mom says for Uncle Trent to get out of your pants, Aunt Daria! Are you playing dress-up? I don't think your pants will fit him. There's lots of waffles, if you don't hurry I'll eat them all!" And again, she ran back down the stairs, completely missing the burst of laughter that this time came from inside the bedroom. The duo finally dressed and made their way downstairs, each fixing themselves a mug of coffee before taking a seat at the table, Daria sitting next to Jane and Trent between his sister and his best mate, where he could watch Daria. She would be leaving that afternoon to head back to Boston, and he wasn't entirely sure if it would be another ten years before he saw her again. He knew it was entirely possible.
Everyone finished their meal; Daria helped Jane with the dishes, and helped Summer dry and put them away. Daria then went back upstairs to pack her bag and make sure she wasn't forgetting anything before taking her bag downstairs and setting it next to the door. Before everyone knew it, it was Sunday evening and time for Daria to get back on the road and head back to her home, job and life in Boston. Daria was a bit saddened that Trent had made his escape early, with a quick "See ya around, Daria," but she wasn't altogether surprised. She had missed her chance years ago, and she could live with that decision.
As Daria threw her bag in the passenger seat of the Jag, and got comfortable in the driver's seat, leaning out of the window for one last hug from her god-daughter, she caught a glimpse of something glinting on the dash. When she reached the stop sign at the end of the road, she pulled the package to her, to find Mystik Spiral's newest CD, with a note folded and attached with a rubber band. Curious, she unfolded it to find Trent's messy scrawl.
I'm sorry I wasn't there to say goodbye this afternoon, but I'm so tired of telling you goodbye with no knowledge of when I'll see you again. I know it's late in the game for apologies, but I think that's the reason I never came to visit while you and Janey were in college. Jess would come back to our apartment and mope for days and I didn't want to be in that same mood, it kills my muse. I want you to know that you cross my mind every day, and I hope you think of me every once in a while.
Remember the morning you left for college? I don't know if you heard me as you walked out of my door, but I didn't think so then, and I'm confident now that you have no idea how much I love you. I wanted to give you this disc now, before I miss my chance. It doesn't even go out to the stores until next month. Most of it is our normal stuff, but I want you to hear track 8. I asked Janey to give you my cell number. Call me, anytime, day or night. I'll be here for you.
Daria sniffled a bit and wiped at her eyes in frustration. She was a grown woman, damn it, a simple note shouldn't have the ability to make her into a weeping mess. She unplugged her Mp3 player and popped the shiny disc into the car's player and flipped through the tracks to number eight, as he suggested. Trent was right, the song was quite different from their usual style, which leant heavily on steel guitar riffs and fast drum beats to make up for the unintelligible lyrics. The sound of a soft acoustic guitar playing came through the speakers, and Trent's voice, perpetually voice from a lot of loud singing, softly crooned the lyrics, and Daria listened as she flew down the freeway towards Boston, tears streaming unheeded down her cheeks. She wasn't sure why she was crying. Perhaps it was homesickness, or already missing her friends, or for missed opportunities, but with each tear she felt a little bit of her stress and bitterness melt away, and her soul felt a bit freer. When Daria finally reached her apartment building late that night, she reached in her pocket for the keys she had stuffed in there when she'd gotten out of the car, and felt another folded piece of paper, one she assumed Jane had stuffed in her pocket when she'd hugged her goodbye. She pulled it out and found a ten-digit number with two simple words: Call him. Daria pulled out her cell phone, punched the numbers in, committing them to memory as she did so, and pushed send as she shut the door behind her.
(1)Daria and I would be about the same age, as we both graduated high school in 2000. By then, I had a cell phone, a very small silver Samsung (even smaller than the ones made today, ironically enough) All it did was make and receive calls, and you could save numbers in the address book. It didn't even have the simple snake game (I believe Nokia was the first to have that.) As Helen is a hot-shot lawyer, and Jake a consultant, therefore Daria comes from an affluent family (as did I) her parents would be busy a lot (as portrayed by the show) and want to keep track of her and Quinn any way possible. Helen would see a mobile phone that Daria could carry in her pocket a perfect way to keep tabs on her, even if it was her secretary that was doing the tabbing.
(2)Just a funny side note, this is what my best friend and I used in reference to losing our virginity, so our parents wouldn't know what we were talking about. Teenagers can be stupid, we all know this.
Because I know people will ask, I made up some lyrics for Trent's song to Daria, I'll Be There For You.I'm not going to promise they are good, by any stretch of the imagination; I've always sucked at writing lyrics.
I'll Be There For You
You've taken my heart,
And you've taken my soul.
The time as it passes
Is taking its toll.
Hear the shattered pieces
Of my heart as it falls
To the floor, hear me scream
As I beat on the walls
Surrounding this cell
I'm standing in hell.
Are you standing here with me?
Is your love for me true?
When you're in Purgatory
I'll be there for you.
I'll be there for you
When you fall
I'll be there for you
When you cry
I'll be there for you
When you're sad
I'll be there for you
I'll be nigh.
When the going gets rough
And you feel like you're losing control.
When life gets tough
And you're down on your luck
Just remember I love you
And I'm missing you, dear
No matter how far away I am
My heart will always be near.
'Cause I'll be there for you
When you're sad
I'll be there for you
When you're mad
I'll be there for you
When you no matter what.
I'll be there for you
And I hope you know that.