Darkeresteemers

"Don't bother asking that moron questions," a boys voice emerged from behind her, "He's just reading from a memorized script."

Daria turned to face who was speaking to her, he was about her age with white-blond hair in a stylish look, he wore a black sweater, jeans, blue and white running shoes, and a smile that didn't quite reach his ice-blue eyes.

"Then how the hell are we supposed to get anything out of this?" she asked her unknown fellow prisoner of the Esteem Course.

"We're not," he explained, "This is a punishment for not conforming, I've done it six times already."

Daria raised an eyebrow at that, "Why are you stuck in the course then?"

The lad's smile did reach his eyes as he replied, "Because... I frighten people."

His dark laugh after saying that didn't bring the response he expected from the girl in the green coat and glasses, instead of looking frightened she seemed intrigued.

"I wonder," Brian Taylor thought to himself, "Is she... Like me?"

His eyes bored into hers as they began to talk and he began to suspect that the answer to that question was... yes.

"Good," Brian thought, "It'll be nice to have a new apprentice since Jane was arrested... and with Brittany gone I won't need to throw this one away."

He found her more and more interesting by the second, her cold deadpan face a mask that hid untapped depths of rage, rage against a world that didn't understand her.

Or him for that matter.

"Daria," Brian said during their talk, ignoring O'Neill, "Mind if I escort you home? There are all kinds of things we can discuss in a more private setting."

He wondered if she could read his inflections and tones to understand what he meant, and it wasn't sexual.

The half-smile she gave him was answer enough.

"She understands then," Brian thought with dark joy, "Good... I was starting to get lonely... And the animals have gotten boring to play with... I think she and I can find more interesting things to play with."

Mr. O'Neill by chance happened to glance over at Daria and Brian and the twin twisted smiles on their faces struck terror into his pathetic heart and caused him to release his bowels.

The Self-Esteem Class ended on that smelly note.