Title: Untouchable Muse
Author: Desanera
Timing: Future Fic
Author's Notes: Credits for "Untouchable Face" go to Ani Difranco for -lyrics, acoustic guitar, vocals, bass and Hammond organ, Andy Stochansky - drums, and David Travers-Smith - trumpet. The characters of Daria, Trent, Jane, Monique, etc belong to MTV and Viacom. I don't own anything but the idea to smush them together. I know, I promised the last was my last shipper offering, and this one is kind of shipper. But I heard the song, and the story came out. I don't question the muse, I just write the stories.This fic is Copyrighted - Desanera (c) 2000
Author's Credits: Thanks to Lew and Aradia, fellow members of the Unholy Trio, who make me glad to be abnormal. CARPE ANATICULA! And because without the Trio, I wouldn't write Dariafic. Also to the denizens of the PPMB, who have given me great things to read, and the feeling that I should give something back. And also thanks to Radio Sonicnet without which I would not have even heard this song.

Untouchable Muse

Think I'm going for a walk now, I feel a little unsteady
I don't want anyone to follow me except maybe you
I could make you happy, you know if you weren't already.
I could do a lot of things, and I do.

The cold November air hits me like a kick to the face from the steel toed Docs I still wear. Feels good - something needs to be abused. May as well be me, I can take the hit. I've taken several since the last time I darkened the Lane door. Of course, they didn't hurt as much as this. You would think ten years would make a difference, that it wouldn't hurt now. Yeah, and I've also got a bridge for sale. I close the door behind me quietly. No one will notice I'm gone for a while. Well, almost. Jane has the sense to leave me alone, I'm not worried about her. And Trent? Well, if he had any sense, I wouldn't be in this mess. I almost miss the awkward days. When I didn't know what I was doing, and his greatest ambition was to sleep and practice at the same time. And it looked like we might actually get together some day in the distant future. I still haven't gotten used to the idea that he's not a musician anymore, even though I was there the night he gave it up. We've got our time mixed, you know? The man he was fits well with the woman I am. He didn't have the drive to go anywhere, and I have too much drive for one person. I'm headed to McGrundy's. They still have an open mike night - my version of church these days. Forgive me muses for I have sinned. Three songs and I won't want to strangle myself. Not sure if there's absolution in this faith. And who should get absolved. Granted, if it weren't for Trent, I wouldn't have my band. Then again, if it weren't for him, I wouldn't need one.

Tell you the truth , I prefer the worst of you
Too bad you had to have a better half
She's not really my type, but i think you two are forever
and I hate to say it , but you're perfect together

I did what I was supposed to do - showed up like a good little friend and tried to act like I was happy for the lovebird sellouts. Jane's better at acting than I, but then again she had the courage to live out her own dreams. She's only her own demons after her, and I've got the demons of two lives to live. You'd think seeing Trent awake, and a productive member of society would warm my heart. Especially all happy with his bride to be. It kills me to see him like this, mainstream corporate with a normal life. He laughs at his slacker past - one of those crazy things you go through before you wake up and figure out the way the world really works. Proud of his bohemian sister with the moderate success in the art world, and tells crazy stories about his hippie parents and his crazy family and so glad he ended up normal with all of that. Unaware of what an obscene word it really is, especially in this day and age. I knew this was going to be bad - even apart, he's always a part of the song humming in my bones. I knew it was going to hurt seeing him with another woman. It's so much worse now. If he'd just fallen in love with someone else, it wouldn't hurt so much. But he destroyed the man I knew and admired so much. Just threw him away like it didn't matter. For the woman he's marrying tomorrow. I have crazy dreams about killing her and getting him back. Only dreams. Because you can't be bought if you're not selling. And it's killing me that he sold himself. His dreams. His muse. For some redhead that had more of a past than he did. For someone who couldn't accept him for what he is. Was. Whatever. The scariest part is, she's perfect for the shell of a person he's become.

So fuck you, and your untouchable face.
Yeah, fuck you. For existing in the first place.
And who am I, that I should be vying for your touch?
Who am I? I bet you can't even tell me that much.

2:30 in the morning, my gas tank will be empty soon
Neon sign on the horizon, rubbing elbows with the moon
Safe haven of the sleepless, where the deep fryer's always on
Radio is counting down the top 20 country songs.

I was out on the road that night, ten years ago, driving away from everything. Trying to escape myself I guess. Home from the first year of college on a break, I was hating everything I wrote. It wasn't as good as I wanted it to be, and I was seriously considering trading it all in for a business major. Something nice and uncomplicated that would ensure I didn't move back into my parents' house once school ended. Anything seemed worth that prize. Saw Jane for a while, confident in her art and her future, and it annoyed me. Went to see Trent play at some dive on the outskirts of town. I sat in the back and watched him, the struggling musician who wouldn't cave in for anything. And it was different this time. No more dinky lyrics, no more laughable music. He sank into his music and after a while, he had this glow to him. You can see it sometimes, in the masters of any art. Painting, writing, baking even, dumb it sounds. It's a rhythm, a vibe they fall into when they're doing what they're meant to do. Cynic that I was and still am, it was still the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. He was free-forming, music streaming from his brain or his soul or wherever the music came from on him, and pouring it into the guitar. And it was strong stuff, so strong even the band was keeping up. I had believed that vibes were bullshit, a product of new age flakiness, but I felt them that night. So did everyone else. And I knew that if I even had half the chance at that kind of ability, there was no way I'd stop writing. Because that's what I wanted, to make everyone see the world like I saw it, if even for a minute. And I saw through Trent's eyes that night. I knew his love for his music. I knew his strength. And in three seconds he would have looked up, and I would have known what he had for me.

Out on the porch the fly strip is waving like a flag in the wind,
You know I really don't look forward to seeing you again soon.

She slammed open the door and the world shattered, falling in pieces as real as the glass that fell from my fingers. I'd seen Monique before, but never like she was now. Tamed hair dyed a subdued shade of red, piercings gone, tattoos covered, dressed in a blue sweater set from the softer side of Sears. Yanked the cord from the amp, the guitar from his hands and started screeching. I couldn't hear at thing, I pieced it together later at Jane's. Monique went legit, for reasons still unknown to me, and was dragging Trent kicking and screaming. That night was the ultimatum, the music or her. I have had faith in few things in my life. But that night I had faith in Trent Lane. And I knew he wouldn't let anyone come between him and this awesome thing he could create. He took a long look at the band, the stage, the audience half not looking at the fight, half-gawking for all it was worth. He couldn't see me from where he was, and the gawkers shoved me down when I tried to move to the front. To this day I wish I could have screamed around the damned lump in my throat, the one that formed when I saw the fear in his face, the same fear I'd come there to lose. The one that shoves the what-if's in your face, and tells you there's no way you could make it. He'd been at it longer than me, he had a lot more doubts stored up, and she knew how to hit every single one. It was a long fight, but when it was over, anything that had been the Trent Lane I'd cared for was gone. And as he let her lead him off the stage, I could see his eyes. And they were empty. Dead.

You look like a photograph of yourself taken from far far away.
I don't know what to do, I don't know what to say,

I walked to the stage like a woman in trance, the music he'd played earlier still buzzing just under my skin, a thin layer between flesh and bone. And as I touched the stage, I felt it. The music, or the flow behind it, the tune of a woman sobbing on the floor like a lover discarded. The tune matched the humming under my skin, and I knew who she was. They say that each person has a unique expression to bring to the world, a vision that can't be crafted by anyone else. And the vision had just been thrown for the joys of a normal life. Here I was with no damned clue about what I was doing, and he goes and throws this glowing thing away, just because he was afraid to live with it. And I was too scared that I would never achieve it and end up with dead eyes and no soul. So I climbed up on the stage and picked up the guitar. I tore myself open and invited her in. The girl I was died the second I started to play, I sold my life for a power discarded. I'd never played a note in my life, but I knew it wouldn't matter, and it didn't. I got three standing ovations, a sprained hand and six bleeding fingers. That night I spent alternately icing my hand and scribbling down lyrics. It took two months before she slowed down enough for me to heal and play without pain. And I've been living his life ever since.

Except fuck you, and your untouchable face.
And fuck you for existing in the first place.
And who am I, that I should be vying for your touch.
Who am I? Bet you can't even tell me that much.

See you and I'm so perplexed what was I thinking
What will I think of next where can I hide.

I haven't been to Lawndale since I picked up Trent's muse from that stage. Jane moved to NY though, and I eventually ended up there too. We're not as close as we were, but she's still a good chick, and one of the only people outside the band my demon can tolerate. She's the one who talked me back here. She figured the truth out about two months ago, when one of my songs hit too close to home. I've hidden what little success my band and I have had under a false name and a fictional past. In my other life I was a writer, it wasn't hard once I learned how. She'd have figured it out sooner or later - either my vibe or Trent's muse, she knows us by both names now. We had a long conversation in song and sculpture - a work she plans to leave the world when we die - and I showed her the burden and blessing I carry. She almost killed her brother that night before she realized there was nothing left to hurt. I still don't know why I listened to her, why I came back. He didn't care the night he threw both of us aside, no chance he'd care now. Damn I miss him. I miss the unattainable cool-guy he was, I miss the friends we became, his sharp insight and loose style. And although I have the best part of him in me, it's not the same. I'm not whole, and neither is she. We're just doing what we can with what we've got. I guess I came back to see if there was any hope at all. From the news Jane's given me, there isn't. And as much as I hate him for giving us up, I want him back even more. Back on that stage, playing for his life.

In the back room there's a lamp that hangs over the pool table
And when the fan is on it swings gently side to side.

He's really far gone though. Tried to talk Jane over to his side once, before he'd found the humor in his bohemian days. Took advantage of her doubt and fear and tried to get her into advertising for heaven's sake. Talk about selling your soul. The second I found out, I came over to her place and locked her in the closet of her apartment with a pen and no paper. Three days later, the pen was shredded and the walls were carved with the point before it broke. Her eyes were wide, breathing was heavy, her ink-crusted fingers were twitching and I knew she'd be alright. She used those walls in her latest exhibit, calls it "Darian Dementia". Maybe she'd be richer doing something else, more financially secure. But money can't buy your way out of the hell I'm living, and I was damned if I'd let her go through that. My muse - she's a real demon clawing my life as I birth song after song bathed in gasping breath and frenzied tears. I know she'll burn my blood till I've nothing left to give. And I've no problem with that. See, I'm as bad as he is, dumping my chance of a life for his - just because I didn't think I could get this far on my own. My sin's the same- control by fear but I'm doing my penance. It's funny in a way, I won't live as long as he will exist. Hell, at least I'll have lived. And maybe die absolved.

There's a changing constellation of balls as we are playing
I see orion and say nothing the only thing I can think of saying

And here I am, we are, at McGrundy's, with Trent closing in fast. I can feel him, weak as his life is, through the door and down the block. Seeing me's bothered him, he can taste a tune he can't remember, and it's got him twitchy. Any second he's going to come through that door come in and see me. See us. I'm not expecting a whole lot. Faith's something reserved for the music, this song I'm twisting through my fingers the one that tells the whole story in no uncertain terms. Only thing I've got, and it's not even mine. Irony, that. And so I don't waste hope that he'll take her back. He's been dead for too long. In another life, I'd want to spare him the pain. In another time, I'd hope the sight would stab him, maybe jump-start his heart and return him to the living. I almost wish I could be that stupid again. And it don't really matter what he does, once he knows. The muse I carry is a jilted lover, and she just needs to show him what he betrayed. As for me, I just need to see the look on his face when the song hits him. And he finally realizes just what he gave up.

Is fuck you, and your untouchable face.
Yeah, fuck you for existing in the first place.
And who am I, that I should be vying for your touch.
Who am I? I bet you can't tell me that much.
Somebody tell me, who am I?