Daria, Jane, Monique and Quinn help-out Trent and the Mystik Spiral, getting to know each other in the process. Nothing serious.
Daria (and associated characters and locations) is copyright © 1997-2000 MTV Networks.
This story is copyright © 2002 by Bacner () and has been written for personal enjoyment. No infringement of the above rights is intended.
It was yet another stay-over of Daria’s at Jane. Well, it was a sleepover technically, but neither Daria nor Jane cared a whit for such technicalities, see? Basically, at this moment Daria was reading, Jane drawing something on a canvas, and both were happy for each other’s company. Then the phone rang. Daria and Jane both stalled for time, but at the end, Daria gave-out first.
“Yes?” she spoke into the receiver.
“Oh, hello Daria,” Trent’s voice came from the other end. “Can I talk to Janey please?”
“Right away,” Daria shrugged. “Hey, Jane – your brother’s on the phone!”
Jane sighed and stopped painting. “What is it, Trent?” she asked grouchily.
“It’s Tank. It eats gas.”
“Trent, it’s me. I know it eats gas – remember our non-trip to that place where Daria sat on a sandwich?”
“Janey, look. The Tank eats gas and our money, and we're a little bit short on both right now. Can you get us some cash?”
Jane paused, warily. True Trent was her older brother and the main money-bringer in the Lane household (in its’ disassembled state), but Jane preferred to spend her money on art-related stuff alone and as often as not got along without food – if her muse willed her too. “I'm broke too,” she decided to reply.
“You are? Oh crap. Well, ask Monique then.”
Jane blinked. “Ask Monique for what reason?”
“Not reason Janey, Monique got this crazed vehicle that has a lot of push, and we need it to push the Tank along to our gig spot, ‘kay?”
“The things I do for my family,” Jane groaned. “’Kay Trent, we’ll do it.”
“Well, what did Trent call for?” Daria asked, looking up from her book.
“The Tank broke down,” Jane said simply.
“Isn't it indestructible?”
“It is – but compared to Nick’s faith in it – it’s pretty much touch and go,” Jane sighed. “Come on, according to Trent, Monique got her own car that can help.”
“Well, good luck,” Daria said not getting off the couch.
“You’re coming too, you know?” Jane said.
“Give me one good reason.”
“You're my guest.”
“I'll be guarding your house while you're gone.”
“Daria, the Lane house has never been robbed.”
“Ahem – my staff?”
“Nobody with criminal connections knows you're here.”
“O-kay, but don't you trust me?”
“Let’s go, Daria.”
After about a short walk around town (and Lawndale isn't exactly a big town, no), the two girls found the place where Monique lived. “Monique!” Jane yelled, as Daria still steadfastly refused to do anything that required effort with Monique.
There was a pause.
“Monique!” Jane yelled a second time.
“MO-NIQUE!” Jane barked in a voice that would make a field commander proud. “GET! UP!”
“Don't yell Jane, I'm up already,” a grumbling voice came from the other side of the door and Monique appeared, wearing her usual get-up. “What is now Jane, something wrong with Trent?”
“Yeah, the Tank broke down, and Trent said they need your vehicle to push it along,” Jane replied.
“What? Oh for Chrissakes, the Dega street isn’t that far!”
“They’re not on Dega,” Daria spoke-up suddenly. “They’re on Jabrillo.”
Monique whistled. “That’s some distance away? Where exactly on Jabrillo?”
“5120 Jabrillo street,” Jane said in her turn.
Monique whistled again. “That does it. Jane you’re riding in the back; your friend – she’s steering me.”
“Excuse me?!” Daria looked surprised. “Why should I come along?”
“Jane is terrible with maps,” Jane sighed. “According to Trent, once Jane almost took them across interstate border to Salem, yes. And besides, you, uh, had a crush on Trent – or so he said.”
To a person, unskilled in reading Daria’s expression the last statement seemingly gone into the big beyond; Jane, however, was quite skilled, and so she saw that her friend was dealt that metaphorical two-by-four into the solar plexus. “Monique, why don't you get your vehicle now?” she nervously asked.
“Sure thing,” Monique nodded and went into the garage.
Jane and Daria were alone once again, but for some reason, this development did not make Jane happy. “Daria, you okay?” she asked.
“Clueless, is he?” Daria said out of the blue. “For crying outloud, he tells that to her and not to me? Sheesh! Jane, you and your yenta act—“
Daria and Jane turned around and saw a very long steel-grey van drive out of Monique garage.
“Okay, here’s the drill,” Monique said, getting out of the machine. “Daria, you’re in the seat next to me; Jane, there’s a chair in the back. Sit in it.”
“Where did you get it?” Jane said, a trifle verily.
“From the graveyard of lost cars,” Monique sighed. “Basically, only the front was any good, device-wise; the back we added bits and pieces as time went on. As I said before, we had a chair installed into it, so Jane will sit there.”
“Do you have a name for it?” Jane asked, as she and Daria inched closely to the steel-grey car.
“Alexa wanted to name it simply “Dragon”, but we eventually settled on “Leviathan” instead – more appropriate, you know?”
“Let’s get driving – Trent’s gig is in four hours or so and we still don’t know where Jabrillo street is,” Daria said.
“Well let me get this straight – to that intersection and to the right?”
“Yes. Then pass three more and to the left, then right once again, then straight left again, then-“
“Chill, kid. What was your name again? Darla?”
“Daria, please,” Daria said icily.
“Why’s the chill-pill treatment, kid?”
Daria paused. “It’s Trent mostly. He’s been a rather sore point between me and Jane for about my first six months or so in Lawndale. And Trent’s attitude didn't make it any easier either. And now I learned that Mr. “Starlight and Snapdragons” has been aware of this all that time?”
Monique shrugged. “What did you expect? He’s a guy. No guy likes to touch such a situation with a really long pole. ‘Cause, considering his sister’s inner matchmaker his solution wasn't quite ideal, either.”
“So what did you think?” Daria said warily, keeping her eyes on the road and the map.
Monique shrugged. “What can I say? Me and Trent – got nothing permanent yet and it’s hard to say what’ll happen. ‘Course, Jane doesn't like me very much.”
“Why? You aren’t family?”
Monique shrugged. “Jane is an odd kid.”
“Or just an average Lane?”
“Well, more unusual than Trent, I believe. ‘Think she might be gay or something.”
Daria coughed. “I bet your pardon?”
“Well, she is a tomboy but is kind of shy around boys,” Monique shrugged. “And some of her relatives are gay, I was told. So – it’s possible, no?”
“I don't think so,” Daria shook her head. “Genes are passed-on through breeding, and breeding and homosexuality – they don't quite mesh.”
“Ah, Mr. O’Neill’s self-help class, yes?”
“It's called different nowadays – you attend it, hah?”
“Yeah – met Trent there, as a matter of fact.”
There was a bump. “Oh great,” Monique said. “I knew I should’ve bought gas.”
The gas station, like countless other gas stations in and around Lawndale, was small, grey and nondescript. Also, the Harpies’ “Leviathan” took-up most of its’ parking space. “Monique,” Jane said from the back seat. “I've always told Trent and am telling you now: what you own here is a bloody mowing truck!”
“Jane, chill,” Monique rolled her eyes. “You’ve got the fun seat after all.”
“The fun seat?” Daria’s own eyebrows went up. “What’s that?”
“You know one of those revolving chairs in business offices?” Jane replied. “Well, Monique’s band fastened one to the floor and added a seatbelt to it.”
“I told you that we added bits and pieces through time to it,” Monique said. “Now who’s got the gas money? Jane?”
“I have money but it is for pizza only,” Jane said firmly.
“Well, pizza does make gas in your stomach,” Daria said thoughtfully, “but unfortunately you don't have the power of this car. Cash out.”
“No! Without this money my art supplies’ will run dry!” Jane wailed.
“Look, I'll pay you back,” Monique said, as this was becoming embarrassing.
“Under what percentage?” Jane instantly perked-up.
“Jane!!” Daria barked. “If we don’t get the equipment in time, Trent’ll kill you!”
There was a pause, and then Jane exhaled, her face making Melpomene’s face like bright and cheery. “Daria, you do know how to get to the bargain, don't you?” she asked. “Very well, you can have my money.”
“Thanks Jane, you’re a gem,” Monique beamed. “Now let’s go and buy that gas!”
As the three girls entered the gas station’s shop to get the gas canister, they noticed that it was more disshevelled than expected. “What has happened here?” Jane frowned.
“Daria? That you?” a familiar (to tears) face appeared from the other side of the shop, looking at Daria.
“Quinn? What are you doing here?” Daria instantly asked her younger sister.
“I can ask you the same thing.”
“Trent’s car broke down, Monique’s here to provide the cavalry, I’m for the family relations, and Daria reads the map,” Jane said. “We're here to buy gas. You?”
“Oh, I wanted a drink, and Joey, Jeffy and Jessie decided to stop here, and-“
“It’s Jamie, Quinn.”
“Your third Romeo is Jamie, not Jessie,” Jane said.
“Who cares Jean? Johnnie, Jessie, whatever. Anyways they all got me different drinks, a-and started to argue, and the argue became a fight – and the police came and impounded them and stranded me. Can I hitch a ride with you and your friends?”
Jane and Daria looked at Monique – after all, it was her van. “Very well. But we’re going to Jabrillo street and stay there for who knows how long,” the older girl said. “Also, you and Jane will have to share a seat.”
“What? But that means that she’ll be sitting in my lap!” Jane protested. “Monique! Now’s not the time for you to force me to come out of my closet, in which I ain’t, by the way!’
“Just kidding,” Monique sighed. “There’s another seat in the corner – Quinn, is it?”
“Yeah,” the red-head nodded.
“Well, you’ve got small stature – you’ll probably fit in there. Now where here is that gas?”
Soon the van got moving again. “This is embarrassing,” Quinn mumbled. “What is this – a modified baby seat?”
“Something like that, yeah,” Monique replied. “Basically, we found a broken armchair and fixed it and fastened it somewhat.”
“You mean fixed it somewhat,” Quinn said, giving Monique’s back an evil eye. “I'm practically sitting on the floor here!”
“I'm sorry, but Daria is telling me where to go, and Jane refused to share her seat with you.”
“I will not have her sitting on my lap!” Jane yelled. “I'm not a lesbian!”
Monique shrugged and gave Daria a conspirational wink. “Don't they all say that?”
Daria paused, wondering. She probably should stand-up for Jane or something, but on the other hand, Jane did deserve some comeuppance for her yenta act between Daria and Trent, and Monique wasn't that bad a person, and it was her van after all… Daria decided to ignore Monique’s remark and consulted the map instead. “Okay. Take the next turn to the left: that’s where Jabrillo street is. And once we're there look-out for the Mystik Spiral, okay?”
“How can I look-out?” Quinn complained. “I can’t reach the window, you know!”
“I was talking to Jane – her chair can go around in circles,” Daria said calmly.
“Great. My chair is practically a cushion on the floor, hers goes around in circles… who designed this van? Dr. Loveless?”
“You watched “Wild, Wild West”?” Jane asked, surprised.
“Yeah. Mom thought that that could help her understand how the Landons think,” Quinn shrugged. “What a maroon idea.”
“Jane!” Monique called-out sharply. “Quinn there may not be able to see through windows, but I don't see why you can’t!”
“I see them, leave me alone!” Jane barked. “There they are, with the equipment but no van.”
“At your left.”
The reunion, if you could call it that, was brief. Apparently, “Tank” was already taken by the towing service and was brought back to the Lane house while “Leviathan” was thundering up the streets. However, the Mystik Spiral was allowed to use “Leviathan” for a fee, which included gas money (Jane’s pizza money really). “Well, all is cool,” Monique turned to Daria. “We’ve got cash, the guys got a means of transportation – all’s fixed, I say.”
“Yeah,” Daria nodded. “I can see why Jane doesn't like you – you make her life experience very unpleasant. Are you sure you’re not some long-lost Lane?”
“Pretty sure I’m not a Lane yet,” Monique nodded. “Besides, I’m not that serious. If Jane gets a boyfriend and everything – it’ll be cool.”
“And how would Trent react?” Daria responded.
Monique noted that that question wasn't as bland as Daria tried to make it. “Worry about your own family,” she replied wryly. “Your sister there is about to make yet another fight, it seems.”
Daria groaned. “Quinn!”
“Well, that was an interesting evening, I daresay,” Quinn said much later, as she and Daria entered the Morgendorffer house. “Especially the rides in Loveless-mobile.”
“Cut it out, Quinn!” Daria groaned. “Monique is cool person and her “Leviathan” is no worse than “Tank”.”
“That’s ‘cause you sat in a proper seat, not on the floor with a thin cushioning separating you from it,” Quinn sighed. “’Course, Jane’s brother and his friends are kind of cool – if you take them in small amounts. Rarely,” Quinn said and added. “And what’s with Jane? Is she gay or not?”
“Quinn, let’s not go there,” Daria said firmly. “Go somewhere else.”
“’Kay. So it’s over between you and Trent?”
Daria almost blushed. She would’ve blushed if she wasn't Daria. “How did you know about me and Trent?” she asked instead.
“Well, you remember how he and Jane stayed with us for a few days? I'm not dumb Daria, I saw that you were attracted to him – for a while.”
“I got over my crush,” Daria shrugged, “and can probably say that Monique can have him – even if Jane disapproves.”
“Fair enough,” Quinn agreed. “Your type is more intellectual, anyways. Maybe you can find someone via Internet?”
“Don't got there either, Quinn,” Daria said. “Want to go and see if there’s anything eatable left in the fridge instead?” The pizza night didn’t happen because Jane… well, things just didn't happen, and so Daria’s sleepover at Jane’s had to be postponed for another time.
“I can dig that,” agreed Quinn.
The two sisters laughed and went to the kitchen.