If you're reading this at all, I guess you must be at least morbidly curious. It's not a joke and I'm not crazy. But for some reason I can't put my finger on, Daria/Quinn is a darkly interesting idea and I'm challenging myself as a writer to make it work. So without further pretension, here goes. I don't own Daria.

The Depths of Shallowness

Chapter 1: Is It Wrong Yet?


It was kind of an accident.

I wish I could say it was completely an accident. But that wouldn't be true. And it is my life's ambition to be honest, so I can alienate everybody I know and end up a lonely old woman in a one-room apartment with a large number of cats. It's working all right so far.

She always steals the bathroom. I never see her do it. It's like she waits for the perfect moment, when I'm grabbing a towel and a change of clothes, to jump in there before me. And a shower isn't enough for her, she has to take a bath too. So she takes forever and uses all the hot water. A simple bear trap in the doorway could solve this problem, but such efficiency is the privilege of Melody Powers, not Daria Morgendorffer.

There was a Sick Sad World marathon the night before. Even with Jane out of town at a friend's art exhibit, it was required viewing. I should have slept in after it. But I'd set my alarm early in futile hopes of getting a hot shower, so I woke up still exhausted. I got the bathroom ready, then went back to grab some stuff. I lay on the bed for just a second to reach a shirt that was underneath, blinked, and opened my eyes 30 minutes later.

I guess I stumbled back to the bathroom half-asleep and nudged open a door that should have been latched. From there, my life descended into a new level of hell.

Had I retained a single functioning brain cell, I would have known Quinn was already in there. It was too much to ask of me that morning. But the steam in the air was a good clue. Quinn herself was a slightly better clue when she stomped out of the shower and threw open a cupboard above the sink. "Freakin' good shampoo, never where it's supposed to freakin' be. Quit freakin' hiding it, Mom..."

Quit freakin' looking, Daria.

I didn't until she found the right bottle and jumped back in. That's why it wasn't completely an accident.

I ran to my room, locked the door and threw my glasses aside, hoping to never see anything that clearly again. I dove under the blankets like a kid running from an imaginary monster. But I was a teenager and the monster was real. I was in the dark with my eyes closed and could still see her, muttering to herself and rummaging through toiletries. Standing on one foot to reach up a little higher. Ankle, leg, behind, back, wet orange hair clinging to her like liquid fire. Her body formed a soft continuous center line the entire room converged upon and held. A line I had definitely just crossed by looking at and not hating it.

In the interests of sanity, I used to think my sister was just a color-coordinated outfit with hands and feet, and on her best days a functional head. I hate being wrong.

I hated myself more when I remembered I forgot to shut the bathroom door.