Daria licked pizza sauce off of her bottom lip and smiled. The pizza Trent had made for her last night was good then, and was still good the next day as she typed out some website content. She was back from school and waiting on Trent to get home from work. The fact that he wasn't already home was a good sign to her that he hadn't ended up quitting after all. Or, if he had, that he was actively looking for another job before he came home. Finishing up the file she'd been working on, Daria sent it off and checked the time in the bottom corner of the computer screen. If Trent had worked his regular shift, he would be home any moment. Jane had called earlier to let her know she had an unprecedented third date with James, so she and Trent were on their own for dinner again. Grabbing her plate, Daria walked it downstairs to the kitchen and had just put it in the dishwasher when she heard the door open. "Trent?"
"Hey, Daria." Trent joined her in the kitchen and gave her a hug and a kiss before sitting down at the kitchen table.
Daria sat across from him. "How did it go talking to management?"
Trent sighed. "Um, it was kind of weird. They said they understood completely. Then they said they had two other options available. Well, three. I could either go back to being a bagger, or I could move to overnights as a stocker, or I could try to be a department manager at the location they're opening in a few weeks on the other side of town."
"I guess there are pluses and minuses to all of those."
"Yeah. I mean, I didn't mind being a bagger, but the money's better in pretty much everything else. If I worked nights, I'd never see anybody, and I think I just got used to being awake during the day. And as nice as the money would be if I went up to department manager, I don't know if I want to drive 20 minutes every day to get to work, plus I don't know if I'm ready for that."
Daria put a hand over his on the tabletop. "Decide what's most important to you. Sure, money can be really nice, but there's going to be stress with that manager position. Well, more stress. More responsibility. You've already made some impressive strides just to get to where you are right now. I mean, you've only been up here a little less than a month and a half, and you've got this opportunity. You could say no and try for it when you feel ready. Or... you could try and see if maybe you're more ready than you thought."
Trent nodded solemnly. "Yeah. They told me they need an answer before I leave for Christmas. And I did get cleared to be off for a few days since I told them when I started I'd need off for it."
"Okay. Oh, by the way, does your family do some sort of get together that you'd like me to come to?"
"We do... we'll call it brunch. Whatever Lane family members are in town come by and there's pancakes, bacon, eggs, fruit, and whatever else anyone feels like making. We usually split by lunchtime, though."
Daria smiled. "I think I can manage that if you can manage to follow me back to my parent's house and do our traditional 4 o'clock turkey dinner. The turkey is usually from scratch. The trimmings are usually not. My mother only has *some* standards."
Trent shrugged. "The last time we tried to do a dinner, Mom and Penny made it all vegan. I'm pretty sure the main dish was lentils and dirt. There might have been some pepper in it."
Holding in a laugh, Daria squeezed Trent's hand again. "Then let's be glad of store-bought stuffing."
"Maybe I'll try out that job. It wouldn't really start before Christmas except a little of the training, and it *would* be nice to tell Uncle Max I'm not a bum anymore."
"I'm sure there's a story behind that."
Trent shrugged. "Family reunions."
"That one you and Jane always get pushed into attending?" Daria smiled at Trent.
"We haven't gone in a few years. After that last time with, like, six of us sharing a bed? I couldn't take it."
Daria gave him a quizzical look. "But you'll let me share your bed?"
"Hey, isn't it that you're letting me share your bed?" Trent rubbed the tattoo on his upper arm absent-mindedly.
"At this point, I kind of figured it was becoming *our* bed. That's so strange to me, though. For all the time I was with Tom, I never got to the point of thinking of the two of us as, well, an 'us'."
"But we're an us?"
Daria cocked her head sideways. "Despite the odd grammar of that sentence, yes. I always had something of a connection with you. Well, as soon as I could make myself talk to you. You've made a habit of being more than you seem."
Trent wrapped his arms around Daria and pulled her close. "Meeting you changed my life. It just took a while."
"There's nothing wrong with that." Daria pressed her face against him and smiled, soothed as she was by his warmth. "Everything has just changed so much since you got here."
"Has it really?"
"Hmm... New boyfriend, agent, sister doesn't annoy me as much, best friend has boyfriend that never dated me... Those are all pretty big changes in my life."
Trent laughed. "I can think of one other change you could do."
Pulling away from Daria slightly, he pulled up her shirt and traced a finger along her navel. "I only got to see your belly ring when you got it put in. You should get it pierced again."
"No." Daria laughed. "It itched like crazy. But, as a joke a few years ago, Jane bought a fake one for me. And for you, and only you, I will put it on."
Daria snorted. "No. That's not kinky. Human ice cream sundaes are kinky."
"That sounds nice, too." Trent pressed a kiss to Daria's neck and held her close as she shivered. "We should try that sometime."
"I... have no objections. Except that I'll want to get some kind of rubber sheet or something for the bed first. No sense sleeping in whipped cream unless you're into that kind of thing in the first place."
Trent laughed hard enough to send himself into a coughing fit. "Daria, that's one of the things I love about you. Say, you want to try anything else?"
Daria blushed and bit her bottom lip. "Let's try one thing at a time." She smiled softly up at Trent. "Thanksgiving is going to be interesting."
"I did mention that, at my parents house, I only have a twin bed, right?"
"Ah, that kind of interesting."
Daria pressed herself closer to Trent again. "One of the best kinds."
Trent ran a hand through her hair. "Yeah. Just like my life."
"Hmm. Maybe after dinner."
With a grin, Trent released Daria, opened a drawer, and took out a wooden spoon. "Yeah? What would you like?"
"Whatever you're making."
Trent handed over the spoon. "That's all I have the patience for right now. It's high in fiber."
Daria took the spoon and swatted at Trent's butt with it. "Fine. Make something that has to cook untouched for a while. We'll call it a compromise."
It took quite a while to get Daria to explain the look of horror that had crossed over her face. Trent worked on throwing together a casserole of mostly leftovers instead. Compromise. That's what made it work.