Author's note: this story diverts from the Lane Miserables episode. Thanks to respitechristopher for his worry over my copyright infringing dialogue.
This was a bad idea. The minute Daria saw Trent in her bedroom doorway, she knew that. And yet, she couldn't say anything when he invited himself inside to wait for Jane. Still, there was no excuse for the ribald thoughts that flew through her mind when he lay on her bed and smiled over at her. Trent remarked on her mattress as he placed his hands behind his head and crossed his legs.
Daria had pictured getting Trent into her room alone before, but hadn't given any real thought on where to go from there—mostly because the idea itself was as improbable as Brittany being accepted into Mensa.
Damn it, she thought. I can't do this. She tugged at her shirt. She was wearing practically nothing underneath it; if Trent continued to stare at her like that, that much would become obvious, even to the habitually oblivious. Plus, he was lounging on her bed as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Maybe for him it was. She was practically an adopted sister, after all. It was nothing to lay on Daria's bed and make her itch to join him. Join him and do what exactly? She didn't want to let her thoughts go there. Except that she did.
Daria crossed her arms over her chest reflexively as Trent's attention found its way to her Mark Twain nightshirt. They talked aimlessly about Huck Finn and his canine namesake. Daria sat on the bed, close to Trent's legs. She had to make a joke or she was going to end up doing something stupid. Like act on some of her more errant thoughts.
They laughed. Daria felt warmth spread through her cheeks. Maybe the impossible wasn't. After all, stranger things had happened. She had dressed like Quinn once. Trent had actually sold a song—even if it was a stupid car dealership jingle. Jane had become a jock. It wasn't out of the realm of possibility that something could happen with Trent. If he would stop looking at her like his little sister's friend and see the potential.
Maybe I can help with that much. Daria edged her hand along the comforter, close to Trent's knee. A little femur groping was about as adventurous as she was prepared to get. Besides, she had to ease Trent into the idea with baby steps.
"Sorry. I hope I didn't interrupt."
Daria almost choked. She pulled her hand back and turned to Jane; the other girl stood in the doorway looking flustered.
Daria rolled her eyes. All the times she arranged for us to be alone, now is when she picks to interrupt.
"That's all right," Trent said, swinging his legs over the side of the bed. He pushed away from the bed and walked across the room. "Janey, do you have a toothbrush?"
Jane reached into her bag. "Take it."
"Thanks." With one last wave, Trent walked out.
Damn it. A few more minutes and I might have gotten somewhere, Daria thought.
When Jane turned to Daria, she attempted to smile for a couple of seconds before giving up pretense. If she was inclined to believe in things like fate, this moment was a sure sign nothing was ever going to happen between her and Trent.
"Wow, kismet." Jane smiled. "What were you guys talking about?"
"Comparative literature," Daria responded. Next, I was going to bring up Anais Nin and offer Trent a private reading of "Delta of Venus." Right before he pats me on the top of the head, calls me funny and tells me how cute I am for my age. That interruption was for the best. The last thing I need is to sink further into my delusions.
It was long past time to get over him; talking to Jane and Quinn about it the night before had only cemented that fact in Daria's mind. The obsession with Trent wasn't practical. They could never go anywhere, let alone sustain compatibility for more than one conversation at a time. He was lazy, unmotivated and far too experienced. He was also funny, sexy and drew Daria into his orbit on a basic level in ways she couldn't put into words. That was why she couldn't put her feelings aside, no matter how ridiculous they were. The idea on its face was wrong. But so were most crushes. Emotional intelligence wasn't a mainstay of anyone in her age group, Daria just didn't want to believe she was as susceptible as others. It gave her far too much in common with some of them.
Daria waved at Jane as she trekked down the front walk; she offered Trent a small smile as he hitched his bag over his shoulder and stepped into the doorway.
He gave a small smile back. "Well, it was fun."
"Yeah, uh...sorry your date didn't work out." Daria wanted to believe she meant that. On some level, in the back of her mind, she couldn't help rejoicing in the idea that Trent was single. Long-term crush residuals. It would pass. She hoped.
"Yeah, Janey was right," Trent said. "Monique and I just aren't meant to be." Trent smiled. "Too bad you're not a few years older, huh. I could take you out." He laughed softly. The sound sent a shiver through her.
"Yes, you should," Daria responded. "Before I'm old enough to know better than to say yes," she added. Trent stared in silence. A long moment passed before she realized she'd said the damning statement out loud. A bright blush flooded her cheeks. Trent leaned closer, a smile tilting his lips on one side.
This is not happening, she thought. I'm in my room daydreaming. Any minute now, I'm going to wake up, cursing myself because I'm still hung up on something that'll never happen.
"Maybe you're right," Trent whispered. He reached up; his fingers grazed one cheek. "Even if we know better," he whispered, "there's no harm in trying."
Daria let out a small squeak just before his lips covered hers. Relax! Her eyes opened wide and she had to will herself not to hyperventilate. Not only is he going to know this is my first kiss, he's going to think I'm frigid because I don't know what to do.
When Trent's lips moved against hers, Daria sighed. Finally letting her body relax, she felt his arms come around her and leaned onto him. Their tongues met briefly before Trent pulled back, that familiar soft smile on his lips. The heat of his fingers lingered on her hips. Daria swayed. She grabbed the doorknob to steady herself.
"I'll see you later," Trent said. Before Daria could respond, he turned and walked outside.
Later? In an hour, after you've driven Jane home? Next week? The next time your house is overcrowded? Daria frowned. She would have to make this happen. There was no way she was going to let Trent give her hope and then just forget about it when something—or someone—else caught his attention. Daria continued to watch as he made his way to The Tank. She could see Jane sitting in the front seat of the rundown van, smirking. Screw the teasing I'm going to get for this later, she thought. It was worth it.