My Sons. Part 1
Jake Morgendorffer paused as he walked outside of the Burger King restaurant to stare at his car. He couldn’t see the young girl sitting in the passenger seat. The summer sun was beating down on the pavement and the air distorted just slightly as the heat rose back up. He was coming back from Tennessee after attending the funeral of one of his childhood friends and attending the reading of the will. He hadn’t expected to be mentioned and certainly didn’t expect to be entrusted with the most valuable thing his friend had, his daughter.
: Oh god I’ve done it good this time. If Helen doesn’t kill me Daria and Quinn will. : He thought as he mentally prepared himself for the conversation that would be happening in the car in just a few seconds. It was going to be bad enough explaining that he now had custody of another teenage girl but the wishes of his friend had been spelled out in a private letter and also from the girl herself. : Damn it Jim why did you land me in this mess. :
He waited for a compact to pass before crossing the parking lot with the bag of fast food then opened his door and climbed in. The teenager was sitting on the seat looking out of her window. She had barely spoken since getting in the car. : I bet she’ll have plenty to say soon. :
“I got some cheeseburgers and sodas. I thought we could talk as we ate.” Jake said trying to build up the nerve to begin the conversation.
“Thanks.” Susan Williams answered looking over at him. She looked like she was dealing with the death of her only parent better than most but then she had a long time to prepare as the cancer ate her father from the inside. “I know it’s weird and all but thanks for taking me in.”
Her blonde hair was short, cut right above her shoulders and the sadness distracted little from her natural beauty. He had no such desire for the girl but that didn’t stop him from being able to see her physical attractiveness. : She’s a looker all right. If I had boys, they would go crazy at the thought of her living with us. :
“Your father was one of my oldest friends. I couldn’t let his daughter go to the state.” Jake said truthfully. “About what he wanted you to do.”
Susan took the bag from Jake’s hand and pulled out a soda and container of French fries before answering. “He made me promise so I’m going to go through with it. It’s the last gift I’ll ever be able to give him.”
Jake sighed and tried to will himself strong enough to tell her the truth but she continued before he could say anything.
“Besides it’s not that bad. At least I have a choice. And nobody is going to be getting married or anything for awhile.”
“Well you see there’s something you should know.” Jake said weakly.
“I guess it’s sort of funny. The popular pretty boy or the brainy sensitive type. Isn’t that what it comes down to in every romance movie that is made? I do really wish you had some pictures of them.”
“Susan I have to tell you something.” Jake said forcefully. “I need to get this out before we get to Lawndale.”
“I lied to your father. We made that stupid bet when we were kids. I was the second to last to start a family and I lied about Darren.”
Susan’s face took on a calm mask but concern burned in the girl’s eyes. “Lied, how?” He didn’t know what was running through her head at that moment but it was clear she wasn’t happy.
“When they called to ask me if the baby was a boy or girl, I lied. Darren is really Daria and he is a girl. Everything else about her was true but she’s not a boy.”
: Why did I lie. I could have just told the truth and no one would have said anything. :
“That’s not so bad. I guess my choice just got narrowed down a bit.” Susan almost laughed in response to this information. She looked slightly disappointed but the concern was gone from her eyes.
“Quinn is a girl too.” Jake said weakly looking almost ready to cry.
People inside the restaurant couldn’t make out what was said but people for a block in any direction heard the shout. “WHAT?”
Jake didn’t do anything but drive for the next three hours as Susan glared at him from across the car. She hadn’t taken the news well but he couldn’t blame her for that. His hair and shirt were almost dry and the mustard should come out in the wash.
“I never expected anything like this to happen. I would have taken you in without any kind of promise. Maybe we could just forget about that part and go on from here.” Jake said as he took the turnoff to Lawndale. Susan just continued her glare, she didn’t answer for almost 5 minutes.
“Did my dad know? I’m serious, he always implied he thought I was … different. Did he set this up?” Susan asked without looking at him. Jake looked over at the young girl and felt ice run down his back.
“As far as I know he thought I had two sons.”
“He made me promise.” Susan said with a sigh before asking. “Do they know about any of this?”
“No. I didn’t tell Helen or the girls anything other than I was going to an old friend’s funeral. I didn’t know about the promise at that point either.”
“I’m going through with it. He was my dad and he wanted me to hook up with one of your kids and that’s what I’m going to do.”
“But … they’re both girls?”
“So is one of them gay or anything?” Susan looked far more serious than Jake was prepared to deal with.
“You heard me. Unless you got anymore kids beside these two girls, I’m stuck and so are you.”
“I don’t understand.” Jake admitted.
“I figured this was his way to un-gay me. I’m not even sure I’m gay but he seemed pretty sure. Now fate has turned this around. So I’ll ask again is either of them gay?”
“I don’t think so. Quinn goes on a lot of first dates and Daria just broke up with her boyfriend at the start of summer.”
“Ok. How exactly are you going to explain this to them?”
“I was hoping for a heart attack as soon as we get to the house.” Jake said with a half smile.
“I can’t believe this is happening.” Susan said as she leaned forward in the seatbelt and rested her head on the dash.
“We’ll be at the house in a few minutes and both the girls should be home. How about we pick them up and head out to eat and explain what’s happening then. You do understand that they might not be willing to go along with this.”
“You do understand that I promised my father on his deathbed and that means something to me. If they want to reject me they’ll have to do it.” Susan said forcefully and Jake was relieved to see his house come into view.
Daria Morgendorffer was sitting in her bedroom when her sister entered and started talking. “Dad’s back.”
“The father returns from Viking and the proud daughters greet him joyously.”
“Dad doesn’t play football.” Quinn said confused by her sister’s statement.
“Lets go say hi.”
: Why didn’t you just say so. You’re smarter than me, ok I get it. : Quinn thought as she followed her older sister down the stairs. : At least I’m taller. :
Jake watched his daughters come down the stairs with a heavy heart.
“C’mon I’m taking you two out for a bite to eat.” He said with forced cheer.
“Alright!” Quinn said in surprise.
“What did you do?” His oldest said in her typical manner.
Jake almost lied but something knew it would make things that much worse.
“I made a mess of things and I want a chance to talk to you two before all hell breaks loose with your mother.”
“I call shotgun.” Quinn said trying not to sound as unnerved as she felt.
“Susan already has shotgun. You girls get in the back ok.” Jake said calmly as he stepped back out of the front door.
Quinn looked at Daria, mouthed, “Susan?”, and received only a shake of her sister’s head in response.
Daria spent the car ride allowing her mind to fill in the blanks with what information she had available to her. : Dad disappears for a few days claiming to go to a funeral and comes back with some girl and apparently messed something up. This is pretty clear what’s going on. :
Quinn jumped to the wrong conclusion rather quickly herself. : I can’t believe he is letting us meet her before he tells Mom. She looks like she’s our age. I wonder who her mother is. :
Jake picked a nice Italian restaurant and the group went inside and sat down. Jake waited until after they ordered before trying to explain things to his daughters. “I’m sure you both are wondering who Susan is. …” Jake tried.
“It’s pretty clear what’s going on here. You had your mid life crisis and knocked her up didn’t you. Now she wants her child to be part of your life. Mom is not going to be pleased.” Daria said before taking a drink from her glass of water.
“Oh I thought she was our sister from an affair years ago.” Quinn said looking over at her older sister.
“…” Jake couldn’t answer right away.
“Ahh, No.” Susan answered for him.
“Which one?” Daria said pressing for answers.
“Susan is the daughter of my friend that died. He named me as he legal guardian in his will. She’ll be moving in with us.” Jake found his voice.
“So you aren’t sleeping with her and she isn’t your daughter or pregnant?” Daria said in relief.
Jake looked over at Susan helpless earning himself a kick under the table.
“I’m not pregnant or sleeping with your dad and he isn’t my dad.” Susan said, her annoyance seeping out clearly.
“Thank god.” Quinn said smiling widely. “No offense.” The last was directed at Susan.
“So what’s the big deal? You said you messed something up?” Daria
again pushed for answers.
Susan watched Jake flounder for several seconds before sighing and answering. “Your dad and my dad had a bet years ago about who would be the first one to produce a son. Your dad lied and claimed he had two sons.”
Daria and Quinn both turned looks of near rage at their father.
“Oh it gets better. My dad got your dad to agree to have me hook up with one of his sons. Then my dad had me promise on his deathbed to do so. I agreed.”
“Since Jake doesn’t have any sons.” Daria said, her voice dripping with venom as she continued to glare at her father. “The deal would seem to be mote.”
“I don’t see it that way.” Susan said calmly.
“You want to date us?” Quinn asked.
“In a nutshell yes. I promised my father and that’s what I intend to do.”
“And your take on this Daddy?” Daria said in a painfully sweet tone to her father.
“He has already informed me, after letting me in on the whole daughters thing, that you might not go for it. All I can do is try.”
“So YOUR father made you promise to date one of HIS sons and since he doesn’t have any, you plan on dating daughters instead.” Daria mused.
“Yes. I was hoping one of you might lean that way. It would make it easier.” Susan said with a shrug.
“The only thing for sure is that Susan is moving in with us. The dating one of my kids is entirely up to you two.” Jake said hoping to calm down the storm brewing on Daria’s face.
“This means a lot to you doesn’t it? To date one of us I mean.” Quinn said at the tightly controlled face of Susan.
“He was my dad.”
“So how is this supposed to work?” Daria asked. “I’m not agreeing to anything but I have to admit the whole concept is making the writer in me curious.”
“I haven’t really worked that out yet. I thought you would be boys. I figured at least one of you would find me attractive.” Susan said admitting flaw in her plan.
“Girls all I will say is the option is there. You aren’t doing anything wrong by not wanting to take part in this. I did something wrong and all the blame is on me.” Jake said as he waved toward the waiter carrying their plates over.
They ate in silence at first until Susan turned toward Daria. “I hear you’re going to Raft in the fall. That’s a really good school. In Boston right?”
“Yes. It wasn’t my first choice but I’m really glad I got in
there instead of Bromwell.”
“You said you’re a writer. What kind of stuff?”
“I like horror and spy dramas.” Daria said in answer and
suddenly her face lit up with amusement and she chuckled. “You’re good.”
Susan just smiled.
“Wait a minute she’s being the girl, trying to cater to your ego.” Quinn said amused as well.
“You’re the ones that are supposed to be boys so I get to be the girl.” Susan said with a laugh.
“I don’t want to be the boy. I can’t afford that much money.” Quinn wailed.
Daria and Jake both dropped their respective forks and turned to stare at her. “I mean if I agreed to the whole dating a girl thing.” Quinn said quickly.
“I’m a pretty simple date. Crashing and watching some movies or window shopping at the mall is always fun.” Susan smiled over at Quinn who blushed.
“Quinn brings up a good point. Boys would most likely get larger allowances to help fund their dates. Would that be included in this proposal?” Daria deadpanned.
“That was cold.” Susan laughed.
“I hadn’t thought about it. Am I wrong in getting the idea that dating Susan isn’t something either of you object to?”
“…” Daria froze then answered. “I don’t have a problem hanging out with her but dating I don’t know. Does she put out?” Daria grimaced as she heard the words come out of her mouth. “Sorry I tend to get sarcastic when I’m put in difficult positions by people.”
“We don’t have to … you know … kiss and stuff do we?” Quinn almost whispered.
“That’s part of dating isn’t it?” Susan looked at the redhead in surprise. “Don’t you kiss on your dates now?” Quinn just blushed in response and Daria was almost floored. It was clear what the answer was.
“No one is going to make you girls do anything you don’t want to do. Not me and not Susan.” Jake said and Daria believed him and it changed things a little for her.
“Ok I’m willing to have it on the table but it’s going to need to move slowly. I’m not attracted to woman but I’m willing to hang out with you and see what happens.”
“Quinn how about you?” Susan asked nicely. Quinn nodded slightly to the affirmative before blushing redder than her hair.
“Now how do we explain this to your mother?” Jake asked.
“Here put this on your eye.” Daria said to her father as she handed him the towel wrapped ice. She then retrieved aspirin and opened the bottle, placing a few white tablets next to a glass of water for him. The broken chair she had already moved next to the broken sliding glass door after calling the repairman who was on the way to replace it.
Her mother was sitting at the other end of the table holding her hand looking shocked. : I can’t believe she hit him like that. : Daria thought as she slid another towel filled with ice over to the older woman. Her parents had had some knockdown drag out fights but neither had ever raised a hand to the other before now. : They never even spanked us when we were kids. :
“I’m sorry.” Helen said as she placed her hand inside the towel against the ice. “I had no right to hit you or break anything.”
“You were upset and it happened. Are you ok now?” Her father asked and Daria had to admit she was relieved to see he was more worried about Helen leaving then the shiner he was going to have in the morning. : If any of the neighbors called the police Mom is going to be finding herself cooling in jail cell for the night. :
“Why didn’t you tell me that you were the godfather to Jim’s daughter? If I had known that I would have been a little more prepared.”
“I didn’t know he had really done it. All of this was drunken talk from the few times we’ve gotten together over the last 15 or so years.”
“Ok she’s here now and it won’t be any real problem taking care of her but honestly Jake how could you agree to let her date your sons when you don’t have any?”
“I didn’t expect this to happen. I tried to explain it to her but she’s determined to carry out the promise to her father. You’re the one who’s always saying Daria’s gay and won’t ever be able to find anyone to put up with her.”
“WHAT?” Daria said getting more annoyed with her parents. From
being told her father lied about her sex to finding out she had a same sex
suitor and now her own mother doubted her sexuality.
“He’s taking it out of context dear.” Helen said to her oldest daughter. Helen could read the explosion waiting just below the surface inside Daria and after the last hour didn’t want to see the same from her.
“I’m not gay! I almost slept with Tom and I would sleep with Trent in a heartbeat if he could keep his mouth shut long enough without falling asleep. I’m not the daughter you need to worry about.”
“Then why did you agree to date her?” Helen tried to outflank her.
“Because she seems really nice and I’m comfortable enough with myself to know that I’m not attracted to women. I’m also not so arrogant to rule anything out.”
“Where are Quinn and Susan?” Helen asked looking around.
“Quinn is taking her on a tour of the city to give you two time to calm down and stop yelling and hitting each other. Not that Dad did any of the hitting. Susan looked like she had been run over by a truck after you started accusing her of destroying the family.” Daria said looking at her mother like something that was scrapped off the bottom of a shoe.
“That poor girl. All she wants to do is fulfill a promise and I attacked her.” Helen said with a groan before laying her head down on the table. “Her father just died and the only place she has to go is now a war zone.”
“I’ve told Quinn and Daria that no one is going to pressure them into anything and honestly if they are willing to go along with it I can’t see a problem. It will be the fastest way for Susan to understand that it is or isn’t going to happen.”
“But what if she convinces one of them to … go that way?” Helen said pausing before finishing.
“Then doesn’t that mean it was going to happen anyway? Susan is certainly nicer than one of Quinn’s friends and god knows who Daria might have brought home.”
“Hey! I’m still here you know.” Daria growled from the kitchen as she continued to clean up the destruction from her mother’s temper tantrum.
“Sorry kiddo.” Jake said with a blush.
“Ok, one more person says I’m gay and I’m going to go find some guy have sex, record it and make you watch it. And I’ll do it with your camera.” Jake just shrunk into his chair as much as was possible.
“But what about Quinn?” Helen asked sitting back up flexing her sore hand.
“Ummm.” Daria looked from one parent to another then headed toward the door rapidly before calling back. “No clue got an evening of bad movies with Jane bye.”
“That’s not a good sign is it?” Jake said as the front door slammed shut.
“No it’s not.”
Quinn slowed the Lexus down and pointed over at the giant fruit. “That’s the Lawndale Strawberry. The largest piece of fake fruit in the state.”
“This place is really boring I take it.” Susan said with a
“Really boring. Once school starts at least there are things to do. Dances and fundraising things like that.” Quinn seemed to be watching every move Susan made more than she was watching the road.
“Relax, I’m not going to jump across the seat and start trying to make out with you. I’ve never dated a girl for your information. Haven’t dated much but they were all boys.”
“Oh. I just thought … well since you know …”
“That I was a Katie Lang fan. Lets just say I’m curved.”
“Curved?” Quinn looked over at the girl in the passenger seat and blushed.
“Curved, as in not exactly straight. I’m not sure if this is something I can even do. I guess I’ll find out.”
Susan just smiled as a song started playing on the radio almost perfectly timed with the question. It’s in his kiss.
“That about covers it.”
“I don’t kiss until the 5th date. That’s when I allow slow dancing too.”
“Well then I guess I’ll have to wait till then. Now where is a good place to go shopping around here?”
“That’s a question I can answer.” Quinn said with a smile as she moved the gearshift to drive and started toward the mall.
“How many people have ever made it to the 5th date?” Susan asked as they headed down the road.
Quinn blushed before muttering something so low she couldn’t make it out. “Excuse me?”
“I said none.” Quinn said with a sigh but it was loud enough to hear.
“I find that hard to believe. I mean you are really attractive and you seem nice. Why wouldn’t guys be putting in the time to get with you?”
Quinn didn’t answer out loud but her thoughts screamed out truthfully. : Because I don’t let them. No matter how nice or perfect they are I don’t let them get anywhere near five dates. :
“So let me get this straight and that was a pun. This girl is moving in with you and she wants to date either you or Quinn.” Jane said as she ignored the movie and turned full attention to Daria.
“Yes Jane. Quit spilling popcorn on me.”
“Is this your way of making me jealous so I’ll tell you my true feelings for you.”
“If you declare your love for me I’m going home.”
“So are you going to do it?”
“I’m going to be there and Susan can try all she wants. I like guys and I really can’t see any way that I’m switching teams but I think it’s going to really give me a chance to drive my parents crazy.”
“Has Quinn thrown a fit yet?”
“Only one about not wanting to have to be the boy in the
relationship. I’m going to need therapy as this adds a twist on all those girl’s
nights with the fashion club.”
“The fashion princess hits for both teams eh. That’s going to increase her popularity when all the guys start fantasying about hooking up with her and a friend.”
“Stop talking about it or I’m going home. I don’t need these kinds of thoughts.”
“So is she cute?”
“That’s it I’m going home.” Daria made it half way to the door before Jane convinced her to stay and finish the movies.
Quinn and Susan arrived back home shortly after dark and climbed out the car looking worn out and the reason became clear as soon as Quinn popped the trunk open.
“Are you sure your parents aren’t going to be mad about us spending this much?” Susan said as she started unloading the car.
“This is normal for one of my shopping sprees. Besides I needed some new shorts for the rest of summer.”
“Do you think your Mom has calmed down?” Quinn saw that Susan actually seemed nervous about reentering the house.
“Daria would have called and warned me if there was still trouble. Now lets get inside and start setting up your room. I love decorating.”
“Nothing to pink ok. I know you like it but I’m a dark colors kind of girl.”
“We could really use Jane to help out with the colors and everything. She’s an artist.”
“Who is Jane?” Susan asked as they walked inside.
“Daria’s friend. She does all this weird art but she really knows colors.”
Jake waved to the girls from the couch as they headed to the former guest room and started dropping everything onto the bed. “Now I’m thinking blue for the curtains to match your eyes.” Quinn announced holding up the curtains.
“Ok. I’ll put your stuff over here. Do you think your Mom will mind if I go ahead and use this dresser.” Susan asked as she pointed to mentioned furniture.
“Go ahead. That’s what it’s here for.” Helen said from the doorway.
Both girls jumped and took a step backward away from the door. Helen sighed as she entered the room. : I deserve that. :
“I see Quinn has used this as an excuse to have another shopping spree. Better than most I guess.” Helen said as she looked at the two stacks of clothes and various items sitting on the bed. “I want to apologize for my behavior earlier. It was uncalled for and quite honestly unacceptable. It is not how we act in this house.”
“Ok.” Susan said in agreement but still kept her distance out of arms reach.
“As for this dating the girls. Susan you understand that if they aren’t gay nothing you can say or do is going to change that. Wouldn’t it be better to find yourself some nice boy or girl which ever you want? Not your father or anyone else. You.”
“I know I can’t make them do anything but I have to try. Besides
Daria and Quinn don’t mind but I …” Susan started then stopped with a quick
glance at Quinn before looking at the floor.
“Go ahead and finish what you were saying.” Helen said looking surprised.
“I think they don’t mind for different reasons. Daria doesn’t mind me trying because she knows it won’t do any good. … Quinn doesn’t mind me trying because she’s not sure if it will."
Helen turned and looked at Quinn before catching control of herself and putting on a fake smile. “I see. Jake told me you already had an early dinner so I’ll just make some snack food in case anyone gets hungry.”
Susan waited until Helen left the room before turning to Quinn and speaking. “Sorry it just sort of came out.”
“Did you just tell my mother that you think I’m gay?”
Daria arrived at the table carrying her bowl of cereal and the gallon of milk ignoring her father who was buried in the newspaper. She ate in as much silence as the crunchy cereal would allow trying to find a reason to snap at him but he was careful to not even fold the paper loudly. After several minutes, he cleared his throat politely and she looked up.
"I was thinking you were right about the allowance thing. It is a little unfair that I might give boys more than girls so I'm thinking it's time to increase both your allowances. Maybe a 50 percent bump falls into a more acceptable range. This doesn't mean you are agreeing to anything or obligated to do ... anything." Jake said carefully.
: Ok not too bad, now lets see if he can go an hour without doing something really stupid. : She thought as she accept the bill he was offering her.
"It doesn't matter to me if you are or aren't ... that way. I'm not saying you are or not. I'm just saying we love you no matter what." He flinched slightly as he spoke clearly afraid of her threat from the previous day.
"Thank you. I'm not gay. … Ok so the only person I've ever been intimate with has been a girl but it's never been sexual. I am the straightest girl in town."
Jake just nodded before patting Daria gently on the forearm. : Somehow this is Tom's fault. : Daria thought with a sigh.
Susan followed a rushing Helen into the kitchen and looked questioningly at Daria who pointed to the cabinet where the bowls then the cereal were kept. She sat down in the chair next to Daria who passed the milk over.
"Got to go. The judge apparently can't read and wants me to explain our position in small words." Helen stated before dashing from the room followed by the sound of the front door then her car.
"She's a busy little bee isn't she?" Susan said with a smile.
"Just a bit. What are your plans for today?" Daria asked nicely.
"Not sure, Quinn was helping me setup my room and well ... it went south rather quickly."
Susan looked like she was about to answer but stopped when Quinn walked into the kitchen looking ready to wow someone. She was wearing the tightest pair of low rider pants she owned and a midriff exposing t-shirt with a deep v-neck.
"Good morning Daddy, Daria. Morning Susan." Quinn said as she grabbed one of her breakfast drinks.
"Hi Quinn." Susan tried only to be ignored.
"Hey kiddo. I decided to raise your allowance." Jake held out the money that quickly disappeared into Quinn’s back pocket. : I guess I lost that bet. I didn’t think she could have gotten anything in the pockets of those pants. : Daria thought with a smirk.
"And what are you doing today?" Daria asked trying not to laugh.
"Nothing. Maybe hang around the house then do some sunbathing in the backyard later."
Daria almost laughed at her. : Sure and you dressed in Come get me pants for breakfast why? :
"I'm really sorry I said it. I wasn't trying to label you or anything. I was just offering an opinion." Susan tried to apologize to Quinn's back.
Quinn spun around and marched over with a glass of juice and sat at the only empty chair almost defiantly.
"I was hoping we could finish my room. I was looking forward to seeing what you were describing with the bedspread and sheets." Susan said and Daria saw the slight wince on the blonde's face at the mention of the bed. Quinn just nodded before speaking.
"I don't think it will be a problem."
Quinn finished her glass quickly before getting up and heading in the direction of the stairs.
"What did you do?" Daria said turning to Susan.
"I might have inadvertently told your mother that I thought Quinn was gay. In front of Quinn."
"It just slipped out. I was nervous."
Jake looked uncomfortable and Daria took pleasure in his almost speedy retreat from the kitchen. Daria smiled over at Susan. "If you get free later my friend Jane and I are heading to the Park after Dark concert. Her brother and his band are opening for some of the better bands."
"That sounds great. Quinn mentioned something about Jane being an artist."
"That's the one."
Susan started eating her now near soggy cereal as Daria excused herself from the table and dropped her bowl and spoon in the sink before putting the milk away.
"Don't worry too much about Quinn. She'll calm down after a bit."
"I really didn't mean to say that. It was nice hanging out with her yesterday. I didn't have a lot of friends back home." Susan said and sighed as Daria smirked her way out of the kitchen.
She didn't see Quinn head up the stairs ahead of Daria looking furious.
Quinn helped her finish up the bedroom but the pair hardly talked during the entire morning. Susan was starting to get the distinct impression that Quinn was more than just a little annoyed at her. She stopped trying to apologize or flatter the redhead after Quinn started looking more upset with the comments.
"So what classes are you taking when school starts?" Susan tried hoping for small talk at least.
"Just the basics. I'm not smart like Daria."
"You seem ..." Susan started to respond and forced herself to stop. "Sounds like we might be in some of the same classes."
Quinn just shrugged.
: I guess the sitcoms are right. Dating women is a pain in the ass. : Susan thought with a hidden smile.
"So this is the evil temptress who is plotting after my woman." Jane joked as they drove toward the park after Daria picked her up. Jane and Susan seemed to get along well right off the bat, of course asking Jane about her art was the quickest way into her good graces.
"You're kinda of cute, maybe we could share her." Susan said with a smile that widened at Jane's near instant panicked look. Daria just shook her head at the sheer gullibility of her friend. Jane recovered quick enough and tried to fire off a counter salvo. "I don't know. I guess we could give it a try."
"I don't have a curfew. I'll spend the night with you tonight."
"Damn." Jane said with a sigh admitting defeat.
"So Trent is just opening tonight right?" Daria asked bringing the conversation back into the realm of normal.
"Yes. I promise you won't have to sit through hours of Mystic Spiral. Look the parking lot is full just like Trent said. Now lets see if this band pass really works." Jane said pulling out a small card while Daria pulled up to the manned gate. Jane handed out the pass to the guard who scanned it before hitting the button to open the gate and handing it back.
"I guess groupies are equipment for bands." Daria heard the guard mutter as she slowly pulled through the gate.
The trio left the car and headed toward the stage.
"I'm surprised that Quinn didn't ask where you two were going tonight."
"She did. I invited her along but she said something about catching up on her preschool shopping."
"At least she's talking to someone. I really didn't expect her to get this mad at me." Susan sighed from the backseat.
"You told her Mom that you thought she was a lesbian. I wouldn't be happy either." Jane said with a chuckle.
"I know, trust me I know." Susan sighed. "I was a little freaked out by Mrs. Morgendorffer yelling and then she was there talking to me and my mouth kept running after my brain shut down."
"Ouch. Well this is a night to forgot all the worries of life and lose ourselves in typical young people activities." Jane said with honest sympathy.
Most of the night seemed to Susan to involve trying to keep Jane from enjoying herself far more than either Daria or Susan was comfortable with. After 1 AM Daria called an end to the night and with Susan's help dragged a rather intoxicated Jane into the car. "But the night is still young." Jane slurred before passing out.
"I'm assuming she doesn't drink often."
"I've seen her take a few but this is the first time I've seen her passed out drunk."
On the drive to the Lane home Susan and Daria talked, keeping the subject material off anything stressful.
"So she likes to tease you about her brother even though she knows you're over him but the ex-boyfriend thing is off limits because it almost caused a pretty big rift."
"Not almost. I didn't think we were ever going to be friends again there for a while."
"That's a sign of a really strong friendship that something that big could happen and you two could get through it. I bet you did some really dark writing during that time."
"I don't even like thinking about it. But I did write some angst for a while."
"Any chance I could read some. I'm a sucker for angst and drama."
Daria turned into the Lane driveway and climbed out at the same time as Susan and together they carried the still asleep Jane into her house. "Trent I don't have to go to school today." Jane mumbled as they dropped her into bed. They crept out of the house and as quietly as possible backed the car down the driveway and headed home.
"I guess." Daria said without warning.
"I'm sorry?" Susan looked confused.
"You can read some of the stories I wrote but you can't tell anyone about them. I went a little farther than I do normally and it might cause problems."
"I can keep a secret. ... Sometimes." Susan said to Daria's doubtful look.
An hour after arriving at home the girls were in Daria's room with Susan stretched out on the bed reading while Daria typed on her computer. Susan rubbed her eyes after finishing one of the short stories then yawned.
"I want to keep reading but my eyes are protesting. I need sleep. Can I come back and read some more tomorrow?"
Susan stood up and stretched as Daria yawned herself. Daria stood and started to walk toward her bed until she stepped on one of her skulls that was lying under a jacket on the floor. With a cry, she started to fall only to be caught by Susan who deftly managed to balance her and prevent a spill to the ground.
"Careful there. I really don't want to have to explain how you cracked your head open because of a skull." Susan joked.
Neither saw or heard Quinn who walked into the room at just that second until she gasped loudly. At first Daria wasn't sure what was causing the look on her sister's face until she realized what Quinn was seeing. Her sister being held by a girl in what could look like a romantic embrace. "Quinn!" Daria said and quickly pulled away from Susan before realizing how guilty that action appeared.
"What's wrong?" Susan said as her brain took a few extra moments to catch up, then she groaned when it hit her.
"This isn't what it looks like." Daria said before Quinn's face made her take a step back.
Quinn walked with two feet of the two girls looking caught between shock and anger. : This isn't good. : Susan thought.
The sound of Quinn's hand across Daria's cheek snapped through the room like a gunshot.
Daria dove for her bed before Quinn could land another blow. Quinn tried to advance on her but Susan held it back. : Crap she’s gone nuts. : Daria thought.
“Why do you have to have everything?” Quinn shouted loudly.
“Daria’s the smart one, the older one. Daria is the one with real friends who don’t judge her. You have everything and you have to take this too. You don’t even want her.” Quinn screamed as Susan tried to hold her back from climbing onto the bed after Daria. “It’s fine for Quinn to have second rate friends who don’t even like her. It’s fine for Quinn to be an idiot as long as she’s popular.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Daria demanded as she tried to calculate the odds she could make it to her door before Quinn caught her. : That would be zero. :
“Just calm down.” Susan said as she managed to push Quinn toward the desk giving Daria some breathing room. Quinn didn’t struggle too much but she continued to glare at her sister and spit out hurtful remarks.
“This is just what you did to Jane. You told her you didn’t want him then you stole Tom away from her. And now you’re doing it to me.”
“I am not. I almost fell.” Daria said in her own defense.
“Sure you did. You fell into her arms and what? I guess if I walked in a few minutes later your clothes just happened to get ripped off.”
“No one’s clothes were coming off, she really fell.” Susan said trying to reason with her.
“It’s a trick, first she asks you out on a date then she seduces you right out from under me.”
“I’M NOT GAY.” Daria screamed.
“Then why where you making out with my girlfriend?” Quinn said starting toward the bed again with both arms raised.
“We weren’t making out.” Susan said from behind Quinn as she held on to the redhead in a bear hug.
“Quinn I don’t want Susan like that. I asked her to go with me and Jane to the concert because I thought she would enjoy it. I wasn’t making any moves on her or anything.” Daria said clearly fighting to maintain her own calm.
“I don’t believe you. That’s what you told Jane.” Quinn started to cry. The younger sister crumbled to the floor racked with sobs. “You have everything.”
: Ok I always knew that would come back to bite me. Thanks Tom. :
Susan knelt next to her and rubbed her back gently as she tried to reassure Quinn gently. “Nothing was going on, I promise. Hey you could have just said you liked me instead of getting mad at me.”
“Not now.” Daria said in a warning tone as she slid off the bed next to her sister and lifted Quinn up to something resembling a seated position.
“Please don’t do this.” Quinn begged.
“I’m not doing anything. Look if you and Susan want to give this thing a try more power to you but I’m not.” Daria said before biting her lip and asking. “So I’m guessing this means you’ve decided to … experiment.”
Quinn nodded her head still looking doubtful.
“I can promise you that nothing is ever going to happen between me and Susan. Besides, you know how much what happened with Tom and Jane hurt me. I would never do that to you, I’ve learned that lesson.”
“I have some say in this as well and Daria may be smart but she’s not smart enough to trick me into falling for her.” Susan said with a laugh.
Quinn sniffled and accepted a tissue that Daria held out. “So she really fell.”
“Yes. I tripped on one of my skulls. Susan caught me and then you walked in.”
“What were you two doing in here anyway?”
“Daria was letting me read some of her stories.”
“I was surfing the internet on the other side of the room.”
Quinn looked from face to face and read the clear truth on them before groaning and falling against the edge of the bed. “I thought you were going after her.”
“Obviously.” Daria deadpanned.
“Is everything all right in there?” Helen Morgendorffer called from the hallway and Daria could see the door handle was half turned.
“We’re fine Mom just some teenage angst coming to the surface.” Daria called through the door.
“Well I’ll be across the hall in my room working on some paperwork. Just call if you need anything.”
It was quiet for several seconds before Quinn spoke. “Why didn’t you tell her?”
“All that would do is get her involved into something she doesn’t need to be involved in. I think your sex life should be your own business.”
“If I told her we were fighting then she would want to know about what. Lies don’t work on her too well and once she knew you were upset because you thought I was making time with Susan then all hell would break loose.” Daria said with a shrug.
“So does this mean we’re dating?” Susan said without even trying to cover up the smile that was creeping onto her face.
“I thought we already were.” Quinn said with a sniffle.
“So we need to talk about this 5 dates rule. I don’t really want to wait that long just to dance.”
“Well we could talk I guess but …” Quinn started.
“Stop! I don’t want to know. Take this to one of your rooms.” Daria said forcefully.
Quinn rolled her eyes and nodded toward the door and asked Susan. “You want to come talk in my room?”
“Sure but we might want to leave the door open. I think the carefree days of having full rein are about to come to a screeching halt.”
“You crazy kids have fun. I’m going to get some ice for my FACE and then I’m going to bed.” Daria said.
“I’m sorry about hitting you.”
“Just don’t do it again ok.”
“See that’s a real sisterly moment. Where exactly does your family come from anyway?”
“Texas and any southern jokes will get you smacked.” Quinn smirked as she walked to the door.
“Easy there slugger, I was just kidding.”
: Great my sister is gay and has a live in girlfriend and my Mom is going hit the ceiling and I don’t even want to think about what she’s going to do to Dad. :
The next afternoon when Daria finally woke up was tense and no one she passed in the house spoke. Jake Morgendorffer seemed to have taken up avoiding his wife as he went from room to room and it was clear why.
“Work long hours to give your children a decent life and out of the blue one of them turns gay, THANKS to a lying gutless husband who started the whole problem then HIDES.” Helen was ranting in the kitchen as she cleaned the stove for at least the tenth time that day.
Daria ignored the rant as she loaded up her arms with sodas and snacks until she heard the next part of the rant.
“Quinn would have married some nice boy and had lots of children and NOW maybe she’ll have some cats.”
“Enough already.” Daria said slamming her items down onto the table. “Quinn’s fine and if you can’t deal then maybe you need to get some help.”
Helen’s head jerked up and a light burned in her eyes.
“Don’t even think it. There is low and then there is trying something like that.” Daria said surprised but quickly relieved by the look of shame that crossed her mother’s face.
“I’m just …”
“I don’t want to hear it. This whole family is going nuts and I’m tired of sitting at ground zero.” Daria said before stomping out the sliding glass door.
“So why are you here?” Jane asked confused.
“I might have lied and said your Mom was in town. My mother doesn’t want us left unsupervised while her and Dad are out.” Quinn said with a sigh as she looked down at the couch Jane had offered her a seat on.
“Why do you end up here? Is there a sign out front that says Lesbian love shack on my yard?”
“No Trent made you put it in the garage after the party.” Daria said as she dropped onto the couch looking exhausted.
Quinn and Susan both turned to look at Jane who blushed before answering. “I’m not; it was just a way to freak out the neighbors.”
“So where are your parents tonight anyway?”
“Daria sent them to a shrink.”
Jane’s face took on a look of incredible confusion forcing Daria to explain.
“I suggested they get some help in dealing with Quinn’s alternative lifestyle.”
“What alternative lifestyle? She’s gay not worshipping the elder gods.”
“So where are we sleeping tonight?” Susan asked.
“In separate rooms.” Jane didn’t miss a beat.
Jane returned to her room after checking on the two younger girls and found Daria spreading out the sleeping bag that had seen better days.
“So did you catch them doing wicked things?” Daria said with a smirk.
“No. Quinn’s asleep and Susan is reading quietly. I’ll learn not to bet against you at some point.”
“I hope not. Otherwise I would go broke in a week.”
Jane climbed onto her bed and reached for the lamp, her hand froze in mid air right before a loud sigh escaped from her.
“Can I ask you a serious question?”
“You just did. But I guess I can allow one more.”
“Smart ass. …. Do you … do you ever think about … you know?” Jane said clearly struggling as she indicated toward the general direction where the other two girls were.
“Think about Quinn and Susan, sure I guess but I think Quinn likes her so I’m cool with it.” Daria said with a shrug of her shoulders.
“That’s not what I meant.” Jane sighed again.
Daria had a feeling she knew where Jane was going and felt a rock hit her in the stomach. : Please don’t. :
“Do you ever think about me and you like that?”
Daria quickly swallowed the sarcastic response and answered truthfully. “I guess but I like guys otherwise it would be perfect but unless there is a really big secret you’ve been keeping all along …”
“I think about it sometimes too. God I hate being straight.” Jane said as she stretched out on her bed groaning.
“I know what you mean. Here’s this person who would be perfect for me but there’s this one tiny drawback that I can’t get around. You’re a girl.” Daria admitted with a half smile.
“Don’t suppose we could draw straws and the loser gets a sex change. … Nah you’d look terrible as a guy.”
“I just wanted to ask. This way I won’t feel guilty if I have another dream about you.”
“Just don’t tell me any details. I suppose it could be worse, you could be dreaming about my Dad.”
“Jake’s a real handsome man.” Jane started only to be struck with a shoe. “Owwww.”
Susan crept quietly down the hall and opened the door into the room Quinn was staying in. “Quinn you awake?”
“Yes. Jane checked in on us and woke me up about a half hour ago.”
“Can I come in?”
Susan heard Quinn’s sharp intake of breath seconds before the almost whispered reply. “Yes.”
Susan ducked inside the room and closed the door before walking over next to the bed where Quinn sat up looking nervous.
“Susan I … don’t know if I’m ready for …”
“Relax. I was thinking you under the covers and me on top of them. This place gives me the creeps. All it needs is some spooky guitar chords and it’s a haunted house ride.” As if cued a haunting rift drifted through the air.
“Please.” Susan begged looking a little frightened now.
“Ok.” Quinn said and she patted the bed next to her. : I’ll tell her it was Trent tomorrow. :
“Can I …?” Susan indicated wrapping an arm around Quinn.
“Ok but don’t get fresh. I’d hate to have to smack you.”
“It’d be worth it.” Susan said with a smile as she wrapped an arm around Quinn’s waist.
: Probably would be. : Quinn thought with a mixture of terror and delight as she settled in to sleep.
Jane answered the door blurred eyed as the knocking continued. “WHAT?”
“Good morning Jane. You really aren’t a morning person.” Helen Morgendorffer said with an understanding smile.
“Hey Mrs. M. I didn’t see you there. What do you want?” Jane asked not fully awake yet.
“I’ve come for my daughters and Susan. They slept over last night.”
“Oh yah. They’re still asleep. It’s only …” Jane tried to look at the watch that wasn’t on her arm yet, no matter how hard she squinted.
“Ten AM. I thought I would take all you ladies out for bunch.”
“Cool I’ll go wake them up. You wait here.” Jane said pointing into the living room.
Helen walked into the living room and shuddered at the thought of sitting on the couch be deciding to just stand. “So any problems and where’s your mother so I can thank her?”
“South America visiting Penny … or maybe she just went to the store.” Jane pondered aloud as she started to wake up.
“So your mother isn’t in town. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that Daria would lie.” Helen said giving out her own sigh.
“I’ll go get them.” Jane hurried out of the room.
Helen bent down to inspect a rather beautiful vase when she heard the scream.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN HERE?”
“I told you two to sleep in separate rooms and now your mother is downstairs and I catch you two together.”
Helen straightened up and started counting to calm herself.
“I swear we were just sleeping.” Quinn was saying as she moved down the stairs at a run.
Helen held a single hand up and Quinn took the advice and shut up.
“We were fully dressed and had a blanket between us. Jeez Jane you’d think you walked in on us going …” Susan said loudly as she walked down the stairs stopping cold when she saw Helen.
“And you weren’t joking about Mrs. Morgendorffer being down here.”
The sounds of boots hurrying down the hall filled the house as Daria rushed downstairs. A single look at her mother gave her pause. “Everyone just stay calm. Nothing happened.” Daria said jumping into a peacekeeping role without pause.
“Would you girls like to finish getting dressed so we can go to brunch?” Helen said with the closest thing to a smile she could manage. Quinn whimpered slightly and Daria felt touched by the sight of Susan moving next to the redhead in a supportive gesture.
Jane exploded into the room with phone in hand. “I’ve dialed the first two numbers already. I don’t want any trouble here.”
“Jane are you going to be joining us? I don’t know why I’m asking really, it’s free food.” Helen said trying to lighten the mood.
“Sure just as soon as I get a scarf to cover my neck, for after the aliens are done.” Jane said with a timid laugh.
Helen drove them to an upscale eatery with an outside dining area and they ate in silence until Quinn built up her nerve and asked. “What are you going to do to us?”
“What you think happened last night but it didn’t and it wouldn’t be any of your business if it did anyway so you can think what you want.”
“Ouch.” Daria and Jane both exclaimed as they tried to follow the lighting speed comment.
“If you say nothing happened I guess I can believe you. I’m assuming you aren’t denying dating Susan but rather any sexual going-on’s that might have occurred … or not.”
“Owwwwwwwwww.” Jane and Daria repeated their failure to understand the conversation.
“What?” Quinn asked confused.
“I’m trusting you.”
“Oh.” Quinn looked surprised. “Does that mean you’re ok with us dating now?”
“No … but I’m working on it.”
Quinn and Susan sat on couch with both Jake and Helen standing in front of them and Daria sitting off to the side in an easy chair.
“Now while we aren’t saying we don’t trust you we do feel that some ground rules need to be obeyed. First is no sleeping together, period. There is no reason to add to the temptation that your hormones will surely bring to bear. Second I think it might be best if people didn’t about Susan’s father’s promise. We’re going to catch enough heat from allowing you to date while living under the same roof.”
“And no making out in the living room.” Jake added looking horrified at the idea.
“So we’re allowed to date. So what are we not allowed to do?” Quinn asked confused.
Susan leaned over and whispered something in her ear causing Quinn to blush brightly before exclaiming.
“This is going to be fun.” Daria smiled.
“Don’t think I’ve forgotten about you and lying to me. I think a special punishment is in order.” Helen looked evil.
“Umm no. I decline the offer.” Daria said with a smirk. “18 remember. I’ll just move in with Jane until fall.”
“Damn it.” Helen sighed.
The next month passed quickly and Daria discovered that being
beyond parental control was a two edged sword if you desire money. Helen
suddenly came up with projects for Daria to do to earn extra money for her
normal summer activities.
Daria growled as she pushed the lawn mower through the thick grass cursing her mother in the process. “All I did was lie but somehow that’s a terrible sin. I don’t see her out here doing manual labor for smashing a door and smacking Dad.”
“You want money then you’ll work for it. Since you’re 18 now.” Helen said from behind her with a condensing tone.
Daria wiped away the sweat from her forehead and accepted the glass of lemonade her mother was holding out to her. “You are doing a good job, much better than the service does. Maybe we should have hired you sooner.”
“It’s good to know if the whole college and writing thing doesn’t work out I can mow yards.” Daria said sarcastically.
“It’s almost lunch time and I think you’re about done. Why don’t you wash up and come eat.”
“I’ll finish this last strip and be inside in 5 minutes.” Daria said as her stomach growled at the mention of food.
“Ok sweetie.” Helen said as she took the empty glass from her daughter and started back toward the house.
Daria started pushing the mower again and sighed as she caught sight of Susan and Quinn walking down the sidewalk to the front of the house. : You better remember this come my birthday. : She thought trying not to glare at the younger girls.
After putting away the mower then standing under a hot shower for nowhere near as long as her aching muscles wanted. She arrived at the table and sat in the no longer extra chair. The plate her mother placed in front of her emptied in seconds.
“Easy there kiddo, you’ll bust a gut.” Jake said.
“I’m starved. With all this physical labor I’m having to do to earn money is draining me down.” Daria defended her appetite as she reloaded her plate with fried chicken and potato salad.
“You’ve lost some weight.” Quinn added carefully.
Jake looked at the almost baggy pants his eldest daughter was wearing. The belt was tightened past the notches through a clearly homemade hole. Jake looked worriedly at Helen who seemed to be thinking.
“Maybe you might want to take it easy for a few days.” Jake started to say.
“I think she needs to go with me on Tuesday when I get my physical and get one herself.” Helen said calmly.
“I hate that quack you go to. He keeps pushing for growth hormones. Not everyone has a figure like Quinn mother.” Daria said through a mouthful of chicken.
“One hundred and no hormone shots.” Helen said not looking up.
“Fine I’ll go but if he makes a single crack about me hitting puberty I’m going to sign him up for a boy’s choir.” Daria said and there could be no doubt of her meaning.
Quinn elbowed Susan who cleared her voice gently before speaking. “There’s a party next weekend. At the new captain of the cheerleading squad house. We were wondering if it would be a problem if we went.”
: Grab food and run. : Daria thought before doing just that. She grabbed several pieces of chicken and the remains of the potato salad and hurried out of the room.
: Coward. : Quinn thought with amusement.
“Shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t think we have any plans.” Jake said.
“Cool.” Susan smiled brightly.
“I hope you two are prepared for what might occur at this party.” Helen said nicely.
“I don’t do drugs.” Quinn answered.
“Not that.” Helen said to Quinn’s confused face.
“We’ve talked about the possibility of people getting worked up over us being a couple.” Susan said and Quinn nodded as she got her mother’s message.
“Good. Just call us if there are any problems.”
“It’ll be next weekend and I think us hanging out till then will prepare some people and give us advance warning. Not everyone will be like Sandi.” Quinn flinched as she realized what she had said. Susan sighed gently as she knew the questions were about to come.
“What happened?” Helen asked.
“Lets just say that Sandi doesn’t approve of girls dating other girls. I don’t think we’ll be hanging out anymore.” Quinn said with a wry smile.
“Quinn. Please just answer the question and Jake go get the potato salad from Daria.”
Quinn waited for her father to leave on his task of locating and retrieving food from his now missing daughter.
“She slapped me and tossed a soda on us. Then called us a bunch of names before threatening to ruin our lives. Mall security dragged her out of the food court and that was that. Stacy and Tiffany have both sent me messages that she’s on the war path but what’s the worse she can do?”
“I don’t know she was freaky there before that rent a cop pulled her away.” Susan said with a shudder.
“I’ll talk to Linda and advise her to keep Sandi in check. If she does anything more than be an annoyance I want to know about it at once. This state does have hate crime statues and isn’t afraid to use them.”
“OOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.” Jake’s cry could be heard coming from upstairs followed by his stampeding feet. He rushed into the kitchen sink and held his hand under the faucet.
“What happened?” Helen demanded as she got up.
“I tried to take the chicken Daria was eating out of her mouth. She grabbed all the breasts.”
“So you stuck your hand in her mouth. Oh Jake sometimes you don’t have any sense.” Helen said with a sigh as she pulled the first aid kit out of a cabinet.
“She never bit me before.”
“She’s never had an appetite like this before. She hasn’t stopped eating for a week.”
“It’s almost like you were when you were pregnant.” Jake said with a smile that turned into a frown.
“I think I have laundry to do.” Quinn said quickly before disappearing with Susan in tow.
“She couldn’t be.” Helen said.
“Should we check my camera?”
“DARIA MARIA MORGENDORFFER!” Helen yelled as she started toward the stairs leaving Jake’s finger half wrapped up.
“Um honey.” Jake said weakly.
“I can’t believe my parents think I could be pregnant.” Daria
said as she tore through another slice of pizza. Jane just nodded her head.
“You’re paying today right?”
“Yes. I got paid my slave wages. How’s working at the mall?”
“If I have to put up with Sandi Griffin one more time I’ll scream. I should have worried when Cashman’s was paying two bucks more than any place else. The rest of Quinn evil circle are nice. Stacy even refolds the clothes she tries on.” Jane said shaking her head.
Jane watched Daria dig into the second pie after pushing aside the now empty tray of the first.
“You are eating at home right?”
“Not enough. I’m just starving. First it was painting the garage and then the outside of the house. Now she has me mowing the yard. I’m scared to think of what she has planned next.”
“At least she’s paying you. I brought the shorts.” Jane said lifting up the bag of clothes.
“Good. I can’t tighten this belt anymore and everything I have is falling off of me.”
“That might help you get a date. Guys like it when it’s easy to get a girl out of her pants.”
“Ummgh.” Daria shrugged as she continued to eat.
Jane snagged herself another slice and tried to open the jar of pepper-flakes until Daria plucked it out of her hand daftly opening it in one turn.
“Tell me Daria you haven’t by any chance gotten covered in toxic waste or bitten by any spiders lately have you?”
“No but I’ve had enough ant bites to last me forever. My ankles look like they caught the measles.”
Quinn and Susan walked through the mall toward the food court later that evening. Quinn kept sighing as she looked down at the supply-laden bags. “What a waste of a shopping trip.”
Her face made Susan chuckle with amusement. “It’s ok. I think we have enough new clothes to not have to worry about being seen in the same outfit for a month.”
“But school supplies, if people see me carrying this stuff they’ll think I’m a brain or something.”
“You’re the one that wanted to get study guides. Something about having a half day off for the last semester. I also recall you mentioning getting ready for the SATs.”
Quinn looked around almost nervously. “Shush. People will hear you.”
“Ok is there some problem with being smart or trying to pass classes and get into a good school?”
“No but … I like being popular and well people will assume that Daria rubbed off on me or something.”
“Quinn you are hot and funny. You got a girlfriend who worships you and I don’t think being a brain could hurt your popularity more than having a live in girlfriend.” Susan said getting annoyed.
“Hey if it isn’t the beauty and the beast.” Jane’s voice greeted them.
“Don’t call me a beast.” Quinn said harshly.
“Ego properly inflated now.” Susan said smiling again.
“So what are you two troublemakers doing tonight?”
“School shopping.” Susan answered.
“How many classes are you taking? Hey wait a moment those are books.” Jane said jokingly.
“Stop it.” Quinn said as she blushed and looked around to see if anyone was watching.
Jane raised an eyebrow to Susan who shrugged before answering. “She’s afraid people will think she’s turning into Daria if they know she cares about doing good in school.”
“We’re going to grab some food.” Susan nodded toward the wide
selection of vendors selling food like products.
“Heading that way myself, lunch hour.” Jane said.
“So what’s it like to work at Cashman’s?” Quinn asked.
“Seventy-five percent discount on anything over a month old but Griffin throws a fit at least three times a week.”
“Have I told you how much I admire your art lately?” Quinn said with a bratty smile.
“Cash up front and you can’t return anything.”
Jane moved them into line and made a decision. “Tell you what. Fill me in one what’s happening with Daria and I’ll by your dinner.”
Quinn and Susan just nodded before Quinn added. “We don’t really know but maybe you might be able to make some sense of it.”
Jane nodded and was forced to admit a grudgingly amount of respect for the younger girl’s honesty.
Daria sat in the small exam room trying not to feel embarrassed as she wiggled in the thin gown that covered her. So far she had been poked and prodded but none of it had been as humiliating as when half way through getting undressed her mother had walked in and scolded her loudly for the now wrong size under garments she was wearing. Daria had felt true and utter relief when the nurse had forcefully removed Helen from the room.
: This is just great. It’s her fault none of my clothes fit anymore. What did she think was going to happen if she worked me like a slave all summer. : Daria thought before noticing the door open then a woman in a lab coat walked in and sat down across from the exam bed she was sitting on.
“Good morning Miss Morgendorffer. How are you feeling today?”
“Just great. I love sitting around without my clothes on.” Daria
“Ok fair enough. I’m Dr. Jacks. I understand it’s been a while since your last checkup and there is a somewhat sudden weight loss happening.”
“I feel fine. I’m just hungry all the time.”
“All the tests look ok. Any change in your environment in the last few months?”
“No that doesn’t happen for four more weeks.”
“Ok. What have you been doing this summer?”
“Nothing really. My mother decided that if I’m an adult now I have to work for any money I want.”
“So how has that affected your activities?”
“I don’t have nearly enough time to watch all the good shows and I haven’t logged my Warlock in for almost a week.”
“Been keeping you busy, ok.” The doctor said with a smile. “Doing what?”
“Painting the inside and outside of the house. Yard work and any other manual labor she can think of.”
“Does this differ from chores you might have done before?”
“Loading the dishwasher just doesn’t compare anymore.”
“I see. Tell me, do you do any sports or physical activities?”
“So you spent the last month doing strenuous exercise and you
lost weight. Am I missing something?”
“I wasn’t over weight before.”
“I bet you’ve been sleeping better too and I even will go so far as to say you have more energy too.” The doctor said with a condescending look. Daria blushed and nodded her head.
“Ok lets see this weight loss.” The doctor said as she got a measuring tape.
“Ummmm.” Daria said as she turned bright red.
“Just slide out of the shoulders and let it fall to your lap. You act like you’ve never been examined before.”
“One of the many things I try to avoid.”
“C’mon you aren’t a kid anymore so lets get this over with.” The doctor sighed.
Daria complied and lowered the top of the gown baring her upper body. “Stand up please.” Daria slid off the table while using both hands to hold up the gown.
“Ok. With your height and weight, I’m not really concerned with your Body mass index but you’re right at the border of being underweight. Honestly other than that I’m not seeing a problem here.” The doctor said after measuring her waist and chest.
“You seem to be a healthy 18 year old. Unless you have something to tell me I can’t find anything wrong with you.”
“None of my clothes fit anymore.” Daria said before blushing.
“Ok that happens when you lose weight. I can offer some proper diet tips to avoid gaining the weight back. I’m guessing with the whole TV and video game lifestyle you weren’t eating properly.”
“I have hips.”
“Ah now we’re getting to the root of the issue. I take it there have been a few body changes going with this weight loss. It’s normal get used to it.”
“Oh.” Daria said then she looked to the wall and indicated her now covered chest region with one hand.
“I don’t think anything is going to change in that area at this point. If you’re unhappy we could discuss the various options that are available.” The doctor said gently.
“No that’s ok. At least you didn’t try to tell me I was going through puberty again.”
“You’ve had to see Dr. Malcom before I take it. Well just point out the hair plugs if you ever have to see him again and he’ll shut up.”
“Ok so is that it?”
“Yes. Try to eat healthy and stay away from the junk food and a little hard work never killed anyone on its own yet. Oh your mother is going to be unbearable on the ride home as she doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of patient rights. Expect a lot of questions because she won’t be getting any information from us on this visit, other than the bill.”
“Thank you. Maybe I can get another hundred out of her for the answers.”
“A woman after my own heart. You go ahead and get dressed then you can join your mother in the waiting area. The paperwork should be done quickly.” The doctor said as she left the room.
: Great why am I happy to find out I’m normal? : Daria thought as she quickly dressed.
Helen Morgendorffer stomped after her eldest daughter through the front door of their home complaining. “I can’t believe you went to the doctor dressed in clothes that had to be safety pinned up to stay on you.”
“You want me to have different clothes to wear then you give me the money to buy them. I’m not spending my money on clothes.” Daria said with a snort.
“I don’t have any problem with that. Why do you always have to make things so difficult?” Helen said tossing her purse onto the couch and looked around the room.
Jake was glaring at Susan and Quinn who were both in skimpy bikinis, Quinn standing up and Susan leaning across the couch.
“I don’t even want to know.” Daria said with a sigh.
“What happened?” Helen said forcefully.
“I caught them doing … well something.” Jake said angrily. “In the living room!”
“No you didn’t.” Quinn said and she stomped her feet as she
“I walked in on you.” Jake almost yelled.
“Susan had a splinter and I was trying to get it out.”
“Has a splinter and it really hurts.” Susan said and her voice had a pain induced tone in it.
“Like I’m stupid enough to believe that.”
“Damn that’s a monster.” Daria said as she bent down and
inspected the expose side of Susan’s right buttock.
“Owwwwwwww.” Susan cried out as Daria carefully pulled out the splinter using the tweezers Quinn had left on the couch. Daria held up the almost two inches long piece of wood in front of her face before passing it to her now surprised father.
“I think the correct response is I’m sorry Quinn and Susan for
not believing you.” Helen said as she dabbed the mildly bleeding area with
“That stings.” Susan whined childlike.
“Oh do you want someone to kiss your boo boo.” Daria said teasingly.
“Hey!” Quinn spoke up.
“I was talking about you.” Daria said before laughing.
“Oh … then it’s ok.”
Helen just groaned as she finished up cleaning the area then placed a bandage on the injury.
“Didn’t the first aid kit at least give you some pause that maybe they might be telling the truth?” Daria pointed out the selection of items on the couch.
“Jake sometimes you are clueless.” Helen said as she hugged him
Daria ducked out after dinner to spend the night at Jane’s house but only after surrendering a promise of a mother daughter shopping trip in the coming week.
“So you’re fine. No super powers huh. I was hoping to get to be a plucky sidekick.” Jane said with a laugh.
“Sorry but I hear Batman is hiring.”
“Well I do have the legs for the Robin suit. Are you planning on sitting down anytime soon?”
Daria froze in place as she realized she had been pacing the length of Jane’s bedroom. “I just feel … I don’t know.” Daria said, her voice filled with frustration.
“Like if you sit still parts of you are going to rip off and run down the road.” Jane said smiling.
“No … Yes exactly.”
“Cool. I’m feeling a little restless myself. Lets go for a run.” Jane hopped off her bed and walked into her closet. She exited several seconds later wearing one of her typical running outfits and tossed a t-shirt and shorts to Daria. “I think I have a pair of sneakers that will fit you.”
“I don’t run unless something is chasing me.” Daria said before she had a chance to think. “But it does sound … not bad.”
“So get changed and lets go.”
Daria looked down at the pair of sneakers Jane had pulled out from under her bed and shrugged. She walked into the closet and began to change.
Back at the Morgendorffer house, not a creature was stirring except for two not so little mice.
“Are they in bed yet?” Susan whispered down the hall toward Quinn’s open door.
“Yes hurry up and be quiet.” Quinn whispered back.
Susan hurried down the hall, closing Quinn’s door after entering the room.
“At least try to share the blanket tonight.” She said as she climbed into bed.
“Then keep your cold feet to yourself.” Quinn smiled as she snuggled up against her.
: What they don’t know about they can’t worry about. : Susan thought as she snuggled back.
My Sons Part 8
Susan and Quinn walked hand in hand as they started the long walk home. Walking hadn’t been part of the plan for an after party activity but it quickly became a top choice. The night had started well with Stacy picking up the two girls and even Tiffany greeted them both when she got into the car. The two fashion clubbers seem glad of a night without Sandi Griffin who apparently had better things to do.
Early in the evening went better than either of the two girls had expected but as the crowd thickened more and more of Quinn’s rivals started making their opinions known. At first it was limited to nasty looks and quickly tossed comments from disappearing backs. Stacy and Tiffany pretended not to notice and Quinn wanted to hug them for it.
: Then Brooke had to show up and start even more trouble. I guess she really wants to be on Sandi’s good side. Lucy was nice but I couldn’t ask her to toss out half the popular kids just to spare our feelings. : Quinn thought then felt Susan tighten her grip just a little.
“Penny for your thoughts.”
“You are new in town. Most people wouldn’t give me a half that much.”
“Look it happened. You handled it pretty well. I was about to cry and you just stood right up to her.”
“Well pointing out that her nose is fake doesn’t take much. Stacy and Tiffany were really nice tonight.”
“I have to ask why you turn the ride down. Walking half way across town in these shoes isn’t my idea of fun.”
“I was afraid I was going to start crying myself and I didn’t want them to see it. I’m supposed to be the strong one.”
“And even if they still want to be friends if they let it slip that you started crying over some name calling then those same people from the party will riding us all year long once school starts.” Susan said understanding.
“Right in one.”
“So … why didn’t you cry?” Susan asked. “I cried a little when we got out the door. But you haven’t yet.”
“I’m enjoying walking with you. Sore feet and all. It sort of distracted me from being upset.”
Susan smiled in response and leaned into Quinn as they walked.
“But the next party we go to, we drive.”
“Amen.” Susan said before asking nervously. “Are we going to tell your parents about tonight?”
Quinn thought about it for a few seconds before answering. “Yes. I don’t want to but if we start hiding things then she’ll get sneaky and we don’t her poking around.”
They walked a few more blocks before making use of a bus bench to remove their completely non-functional shoes. Susan waited for almost ten minutes before speaking again.
“So what do you think your mom is going to do when she does find out? I mean sooner or later it’s going to get out that we’re sleeping together. And I don’t mean the sleeping part.”
“Scream, rant, break something. I don’t know.” Quinn said with a sigh of frustration at the current state of her life.
“So what do we do?”
“Deal with it when it happens. Plus I have some money saved up and two packed bags in the garage.”
“Aren’t we a little old for running away from home.”
“I’m not stopping. For the first time I like myself and I don’t care if she likes it or not she’s just going to have to deal.”
“Wow.” Susan said honestly surprised at the admission.
“It’s funny. When we moved here Daria, Miss. I’m so full of my brains Daria gets tossed into self esteem class while little Miss. Do anything to be popular and liked is hailed as model teen.”
“Quinn.” Susan said trying to reassure the now clearly upset redhead.
“No, it’s ok. I had them all fooled, everyone but Daria. She could see the truth and she tried to help but I just pushed her away. I don’t think she ever stopped trying.”
“That’s what family does, isn’t it?”
“I don’t know. We haven’t spent much time acting like a family, … at least I haven’t.”
“So you’re really jealous of her aren’t you? It wasn’t just about me?”
“No it wasn’t JUST about you. Daria gets a friendship that survives the whole boyfriend stealing thing. I get Sandi Griffin. Daria gets teachers coming up to her saying how lucky they, THEY were to have her as a student. I get a teacher trying to set me up with a makeout scholarship.”
“Stacy and Tiffany.”
“An exception to the rule. But five years from now they won’t
remember me. It’s not like we’re going to be keeping in touch once we all go in
different directions. I’ll bet you right now that Jane and Daria will be at
each other’s weddings and baby showers. The only way my friends would show up
to something like that was if I was knocked up already.”
“Sorry that’s something I can’t do for you.” Susan tried to lighten the mood.
“If you could then you would have been dumped after the second date.”
“But now?” Susan asked wondering where the conversation was going.
“Now? Now I like me. I like not trying to date someone just to be able to show off. I like having someone I can talk to and that wants to talk to me. Someone who picked me.”
“Over Daria. You finally have something better than Daria.”
Susan said feeling flattered.
“That’s not why I’m with you.”
“I know but it feels pretty nice to be considered a prize.”
Quinn just laughed before saying. “Oh god, I’m glad you don’t wear hats. None of them would hit you anymore.”
With moods lifted the pair walked through the street lamp sidewalks home.
“C’mon Shorty work those legs.” Jane Lane teased her running companion.
“Go … to … hell.” Daria panted as she struggled to keep up with her friend.
“You may be in pretty good shape but you don’t have a bit of stamina.”
“Just over the rise and we’ll have nice cool grass to stretch out on and rest. Maybe even a water fountain.” Jane said encouragingly.
“Just … shut … up.” Daria said as she tried to control her breathing. It had been a week now that she had started running with Jane. Her so-called friend seemed to take a great deal of pleasure in burning up all of Daria’s now excess energy. She had been sticking with the diet the doctor had suggested and quickly realized it made the restless feelings worse.
A trip to the garage had rewarded her with a home workout machine that fit nicely in her room and she was forced to give it credit for some of the best nights of sleep she had ever had.
“I see it. Almost there. You did it.” Jane laughed before slowing to walk. Daria had learned quickly that walking for a few moments was not optional if she didn’t want to end up puking once she drank some water.
“Ok I understand why you run now.” Daria said as she accepted a water bottle held out by Jane.
“Oh really then please enlighten me.” Jane said sarcastically.
“You disappear when you run. Just gone then when you come back, it’s all brand new. Ideas, inspiration it all just pours in.”
“Close enough. You’re getting some tone to go with some of those work muscles. A few more weeks and you’ll be up in the early morning exercising.”
“That depends. I’m thinking early morning to you is around noon so maybe.” Daria said with a laugh before she spotted the couple walking down the sidewalk.
“But I have to admit it was a pretty good time for your first two mile run.” Jane was saying as Daria patted her on the shoulder and indicated toward the lovebirds walking by lost in their own world.
“Awwww how sweet. It’s your sister and her live in girlfriend.” Jane teased loudly.
Quinn whirled at the snide comment looking ready to punch someone out before seeing Jane and her sister. “Hi Jane. Still getting all sweaty for nothing.”
“Daria!” Quinn said shocked as she saw her sister’s condition.
Sweaty and dressed in running clothes that matched Jane’s.
“How was the party?” Daria asked with a smile.
“Wonderful.” Susan said but she didn’t bother to disguise her voice.
“Problems?” Jane groaned.
“Just some small minded people who can’t handle two people in a caring relationship.” Quinn said in a self-righteous tone.
“In other words you ran into more … people like Griffin.” Daria said with a sigh as she stretched out her legs on the grass.
“Yes.” Susan said calmly. “It got pretty bad so we bailed.”
“Anything physical?” Daria asked and her voice got slightly cold while asking the question.
“No. They didn’t even throw drinks like Sandi did.” Quinn said quickly.
“Um you don’t by any chance have your cell phone on you do you?” Quinn asked.
Daria tossed over her phone and grinned as Quinn called their mother and requested a ride home for her and Susan. “Mom wants to know if you and Jane want a ride back.”
“Nope. We’re running back as soon as my legs get feeling back in them.” Daria laughed in response.
“She’s says her and Jane are going to run home once they’re rested up. …. Yes I said Daria would be running. … No I’m not kidding. … I am not drunk!”
Quinn glared at her sister and friend who were rolling on the grass laughing and Susan was snickering behind her. “It’s not funny. She accused me of drinking tonight.”
“Hey if she’s thinks you’re drinking then you can just blame the booze when she catches you two shacked up one morning.” Daria said with a smirk.
“Eep.” Quinn said with a gasp and panicked look.
“You know!” Susan said.
“Of course I know. Did you really think I couldn’t hear the sound effects through the wall? C’mon it’s been almost every night for two weeks.”
“It’s not fair. Quinn shouldn’t be getting action before I do.” Jane said complaining.
“Amen.” Daria nodded her agreement.
“Oh grow up.” Quinn said with a smile.
“So you aren’t going to bust us out?” Susan asked.
Daria just rolled her eyes at the absurdity of the question. Jane looked almost offended by the very thought.
“Thank you.” Quinn said before hugging her still sitting sister and was shocked to feel Daria return the hug.
“Parent alert.” Jane said in a warning tone and the sister’s released each other. Daria and Jane watched the couple climb into the Explorer as Helen spied at them in disbelief.
“Let’s get Quinn off the hook.” Daria said standing up and shaking out her legs.
“Now you’re talking.” Jane said before both of them took off running.
: I should have done this years ago. : Daria thought as she lost herself in the rhythm of keeping up with Jane.
My Sons 9
Daria rubbed her wet hair with the towel as she walked back to Jane’s bedroom. The worn t-short and shorts almost matched the running outfit she had just taken off to shower. She made the turn into Jane’s room after stopping long enough to pull up the neck of her shirt.
“Have fun?” Her so-called best friend said in a teasing tone.
Daria rolled her eyes and plopped down on Jane’s bed and picked up her book. A day spent re-dry walling the garage followed by several miles of running with Jane had her muscles swore but in a way she had started to enjoy.
“I don’t remember my shower being as relaxing as yours seems to have been.”
Daria responded with a rude hand gesture.
“Is that an insult or are you giving me instructional advice.”
Daria blushed slightly and closed the book roughly. “What’s your problem Lane?”
Jane just shrugged and bounced onto the bed next to Daria. “Nothing. Look there isn’t anything wrong with it.”
“I know that but it doesn’t mean I want to have conversations about it.”
“I was thinking we could go out and have some fun. Maybe find some guys who don’t know us and let nature take its curse.”
“Don’t you mean course?”
“Depends on how they act.”
Daria sighed and seemed to think for a few seconds before answering. “I don’t have anything to wear. My Mom keeps talking about taking me shopping but it hasn’t happened yet.”
“I knew you would say that.” Jane said with an evil smile as she hopped of the bed and hurried to her closet, quickly returning with two store bags.
“Why did I just get Goosebumps?” Daria pondered out loud.
“Helen was having lunch at the mall and stopped in at the store. I arranged for her to get some items I thought you might be caught dead in.”
“I hate you.” Daria said accepting the two bags with a long groan.
“C’mon this is the one thing you’ve never been willing to do with me. I always have to go without a wingman.” Jane said clearly whining now.
“I can think of several things I’m still not willing to do with you.”
“Please it will be fun. Pleeeeaaaase.”
“Are you going to stop begging at any point?”
“I’m prepared to keep this up all night.” Jane said as she set a look of determination on her face and squared her shoulders.
“Fine. But I’m not hooking up with some loser just because he’s cute.”
“I’ll take all the cute losers and you can have all the really cool guys who got suckered there by their friends.”
“And where exactly is there?”
“Just a club that’s not the Zon.” Jane said sheepishly before adding. “It’s called the Last Night in Paradise.”
“I’m not dancing.” Jane stared her down. “Fine but I’m not dancing like a moron.”
“I’ll go.” Daria said with a resigned look.
Quinn and Susan were cuddling together on the couch watching several of Daria’s bootleg movies. A throw blanket covered their lower bodies.
“I hate zombie movies.” Quinn squealed pushing against Susan for protection.
“I’m really enjoying this one.”
“You are so bad.” Quinn said with a playful slap.
“Don’t worry I’ll keep you safe from the undead but I thought you might enjoy the whole oral humor a zombie movie allows one to make.” Quinn looked confused until she thought for a second. Several more slaps and a giggle quickly followed her understanding.
“I am finding a fondness for horror in general.” Quinn said as she pulled tight against the blonde haired girl.
“I’m starting to like this blanket.” Susan said in a playful whisper as one of her hands disappeared underneath the blanket.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Quinn questioned with a more playful tone as she shifted her weight slightly.
“I don’t know but it seems like a good idea.”
“I’m not that kinda of girl.”
“Then who was I having sex with last night?”
“WHAT?” A voice said from behind them.
Quinn and Susan both turned around on the couch only to see Helen standing their briefcase in hand. Both girls fell off the couch and scooted backyard toward the TV.
“What is going on in this house?” Helen said loudly but she kept her distance from the two girls. Their nervousness was like a slap in the face. : My own children are scared I’m going to hurt them. This is what happens when you let yourself lose control. :
“When did you get home?” Quinn said as she backed up until her back was pushed against the TV. Susan stayed slightly in front of her taking on a protective posture.
“Since you admitted liking horror movies as long as it involves questionable activities with Susan.”
“Mrs. Morgendorffer I don’t know what you think you heard.”
Susan started to say only to be stopped by Helen’s expression.
“Right now I’m upset. Lie to me and you can spend the rest of the summer doing manual labor like Daria.”
Helen slowly walked around the couch and sat down in the seat recently vacated by the two girls. She set her purse on the end table before unbuttoning her jacket and leaning back.
“At least you can’t get each other pregnant.” Helen said as she covered her face with her hands.
Susan and Quinn looked at each other and started to scoot slowly toward the front door keeping as much distance between them and Helen as possible.
“Don’t even think about.” Helen’s voice froze them in place.
“How long has this been going on? And I don’t mean the dating.”
“Two weeks.” Quinn answered.
“Honesty. I like honesty now lets see if we can continue this trend of honesty.”
Quinn and Susan sat silently while Helen seemed to think. “Is there anything I can say or do that would convince you to stop? Not dating, just the sex.”
“No.” Susan said before Quinn added. “I won’t stop.”
“No putting the genie back in the bottle once it’s out. I hope you don’t think we’re going to let you two shack up together.”
“Susan or I sneaking into the other’s bedroom has been working fine so far.” Quinn said standing up. Susan had to admire the sheer force of will that showed on her face.
“The ice is cracking.” Helen said coldly.
“I … can … swim.” Quinn said taking a step toward her mother. : Uh oh trouble. : Susan thought.
“What happens if I put my foot down?”
“Tell me how often you want letters on my way out the door.”
“You two are only 17.” Helen said almost casually. “I can just have the police bring you back home.”
“If you want us here then get used to the fact that we’re intimate.”
“So my choices are to turn a blind eye to you two engaging in sexual acts under my roof or risk causing a rift in this family that may never heal.”
“We can be tactful.” Susan said carefully.
“Out of sight, out of mind is that your offer.”
“Best one you’re going to get.” Quinn said almost whispering.
“I’ll think about it but until I make my decision I expect some of that tact to be used. I don’t need your father having another heart attack.”
Quinn nodded as her mother stood up, suddenly she jerked forward and wrapped her arms around Helen and hugged tightly.
“What?” Helen said surprised.
“It’s for not freaking out. It means something that you aren’t acting like we’re doing something evil.” Susan moved forward with a grateful look as she approached the mother and daughter.
Helen detangled herself from her daughter and sat back down. Susan and Quinn remained standing looking at each other confused.
“I want to know who, where and when you’ve had any problems and I want to know NOW.”
Susan sighed and started explaining.
Daria sipped the coke and smiled at the small amount of rum the guy who was currently trying to get another dance had tipped from his cup into hers.
“So like I was saying. Your friend likes my friend and we seem to be hitting it off.”
“And.” Daria deadpanned.
“So why don’t we get out of here. Maybe grab some food someplace where we can hear ourselves think.”
“Thinking wasn't on the agenda tonight but food sounds nice.” Daria said as she caught Jane’s eye. Jane started over with her dancing partner.
“What’s up Amiga?”
“Greg here is offering to buy food for us starving soon to be college students.”
“I was indeed.” Greg said with a nod.
“Well they have been really nice tonight and it would be rude to turn down such an offer.” Jane laughed.
“You two up for pizza?” He asked.
Daria smiled at him and offered her arm. “We’ve been known to eat a slice or two on the right occasions.”
The group headed toward the exit and Jane smiled at Daria’s back. : It’s about time you started acting your age. :
My Sons Part 10.
Jane and Daria walked down the sidewalk or rather Daria walked while Jane stumbled using her friend for support. Jane’s voice carried off key tunes away from the pair.
“I shot the sheriff but I did not shoot the deputy. Oh ya.” Jane sang as she clung to Daria for support.
“I really need to not be around you when you drink.” Daria said with a groan as her ears were assaulted.
“Oh c’mon Daria. I had too much to drink for the second time. I guess I have a real problem.” Jane said disgruntled.
“I just don’t want a trend to start.”
“I’m just having some fun. Didn’t you have fun tonight, it looked like you were from the backseat.”
“I don’t know how you could have seen anything laying down back there.”
“My pants stayed on, the whole time. They just got unbuttoned a little.” Jane said sheepishly.
“And how exactly did I end up wearing your shirt. Oh ya you tossed it into the front seat.”
Jane giggled. “If you had kept your own shirt on then that wouldn’t have been an issue.”
Daria blushed to her toes. “I was drunk.”
“You had one drink on a full stomach. You were horny.” Jane said poking Daria in the chest roughly. “Admit it.”
Daria fought the urge to drop her so-called friend on her butt with a sigh. “Hormones may have been involved.”
“See that wasn’t so hard. Daria Morgendorffer is human. Film at 11.” Jane said starting to shout.
“Hush or I’ll shove you into the next car that goes by.”
“Relax. He was a nice guy who was really into you. I think you turned him on more by talking then dancing which I think is pretty cool.”
“Ok it was nice to find a guy who thought a girl that could hold her own in a conversation was hot.”
“So you going to call him?” Jane slurred slightly. “I saw him give you his number.”
“I might. I’m in town for a few more weeks. I had a really not uncool time.”
“Daria and Tommy sitting in a tree k i s s i n g.” Jane broke into song again.
“So was it any good?”
“We didn’t go near as far as you and Mr. Hands did so why don’t you tell me.”
“Did he think you were a lollipop?” Jane continued to tease. Daria turned to Jane to chew her out when she started laughing instead.
“Oh he did. That’s always nice.” Jane nodded drunkenly.
“You are smashed.” Daria said with a groan when the fit of laughter passed.
“You sure your parents won’t mind me crashing tonight?”
“As long as you sleep on the couch and don’t puke on them it should be fine.”
“Look pretty lights.” Jane pointed down the streets.
: Oh hell that’s my house. : Daria said as she looked where Jane was pointing and saw the red and blue flashing lights of a squad car.
Quinn sighed sleepily as she tried not to listen to her mother ranting at the police officer. Susan had given up even trying to stay awake at least 20 minutes ago and now was sleeping curled up on the couch with her head resting peacefully on Quinn’s lap.
: I brought it on myself. I had to hug her, of course that was going to lead to questions. : Quinn thought rudely.
: I want to know who, where and when you’ve had any problems and I want to know NOW. : Quinn let her mother’s demand run through her head.
“It hasn’t been to bad just kids from school picking on us. We just try to walk away.” Susan explained.
“I really doubt the phrase of it being evil would come from a high school student. Now what happened?”
Susan looked over at Quinn with a defeated look before speaking. “You know the gas station and convince store right down the street.”
“I stop there quite often in the mornings.”
“We did to yesterday. Apparently one of the clerks has noticed us when we came in holding hands before and when we went in yesterday had a few choice words for us.”
Quinn looked down at her bare feet when her mother glanced over at her.
“What kinds of words?” Helen switched into lawyer mode.
“That we were terrible sinners and we are going to burn in hell. We tried to leave but his friends were blocking the door.”
“His church group.” Quinn said quietly.
“They all started calling us filth and splashing water at us to force the demons out of our bodies.”
“We just wanted to leave but they wouldn’t let us.” Quinn finally looked up.
“One of the men grabbed Quinn so this woman could rub some kind of oil on her forehead. When I tried to grab him someone knocked me down. Quinn started screaming and the woman slapped her. I grabbed the candy machine by the door and broke the front window.” Susan finished.
“She grabbed me and we ran for it.” Quinn added.
Helen reached out and grabbed each of the girls by a hand and pulled them down next to her on the couch then hugged each one of them. “So they tried to perform an exorcism against your will by locking you in the store and I have to be very clear. They put their hands on you.”
Susan and Quinn both nodded. “Show her.” Quinn said gently.
“It’s not bad. I landed on the newspaper rack when they knocked me down.” Susan said before lifting her shirt and turning so Helen could see the bruise.
“The Lawndale Herald.” Helen almost choked on the words.
“I asked about that window this morning. He said vandals had done it.” Helen said as tears rolled down her cheek almost as fast as the ones of the two girls.
Helen pulled out her cell phone and started dialing. “Hello this is Helen Morgendorffer I need to speak with Sergeant Tonnes please.”
Susan and Quinn looked at each other surprised by Helen’s actions. “Sergeant I need some help. My daughter and ward were attacked yesterday. Yes, they know by whom. I need you to send a car over but I’m calling about collecting some evidence. There may be video evidence if we act quickly, if they haven’t destroyed it yet. You have the address here right. Ok I’ll speak with you when you get here.”
“Mom.” Quinn said confused.
“There are lines that shouldn’t be crossed and I’m about to teach a few people why.” Helen said coldly.
: After that the police came and took our statement then left to see if the surveillance video tape showed anything. I didn’t think anyone would show up here. :
“Ok Helen we got the tape and reviewed it. It pretty much details exactly what the girls described. The DA is out of bed and writing up warrants. I’m not sure what he thought he was doing showing up here with an officer sitting across the street but he’s in custody and will remain there until a bail hearing tomorrow morning.”
“I want a car stationed here until further notice. I won’t have these people threatening or harassing my girls.” Helen said forcefully.
“I can get one here for the next few days without a problem after that it will be up to the chief.” The officer her mother seemed to know said.
“I understand and we’ll deal with that then.” Helen smiled.
“I have to get back to the station. I have about a week worth of paperwork to do now. I’ll still be there Sunday for tee off Jake so don’t be late.
“I will.” Jake said nicely.
Quinn saw her sister and Jane enter the front door looking panicked. Jake spotted Jane’s condition at once and rather expertly redirected her upstairs away from the leaving police. Daria moved toward her looking worried.
“Not tonight. I’m tired I want to go to bed.” Quinn said quickly.
“Lets get my girls upstairs then.” Helen said coming up behind Daria.
Daria and Helen scooped up the still sleeping Susan then moved up the stairs. Quinn followed behind them almost sleep walking. They deposited Susan on her bed as gently as possible and Daria wasn’t surprised to see Quinn in her current half asleep state crawl into the bed afterwards. She reached down to pull Quinn back off the bed but Helen stopped her. “Leave them. They’re busted as far as they sleeping together goes and after what happened I’m inclined to turn a blind eye tonight.”
Daria followed her mother out of the room before asking. “What happened?”
“Apparently they were attacked by Mr. Prier from the gas station and his church group. After I found out about the whole having sex thing, Quinn let it slip they had problems before. I called the police and after they left the first time he showed up here demanding that we renounce the evilness and filth or else. There was an officer walking up behind him the whole time as he’s trying to break down the front door. He was still saying it when they put him in the squad car. The video from the store backs up the girls and some people are going to jail.” Helen explained.
“Damn.” Daria said feeling shocked.
“Now my older daughter comes home wearing one of Jane’s artist do it in color shirts with a hickey on her neck smelling of booze.” Helen said turning to inspect Daria.
“We were in a car and the cops told us to get a hotel room. We got dressed and came home.”
“So you’re dating Jane now?” Helen let out a sigh.
“What? No I was with a guy. Jane was in the backseat with another guy. Our shirts got swapped because we had to get dressed … in the dark.” Daria said then blushed.
“Why doesn’t that make me feel better?”
“My pants stayed on.” Daria tried again borrowing Jane’s line.
“Ok that does make me feel better. Go to bed I want to have a few dozen drinks and as I fill in your father I’m assuming he will to.” Helen said pointing toward Daria’s room. “I reserve the right to discuss this tomorrow in a more motherly fashion.”
“I’m sure we will.” Daria said but too tired to care.
She quickly changed into her bed clothes before finding Jane half changed and passed out on her bed. Quickly finishing the job she pushed Jane up against the wall and climbed into the bed after her. : Nope not one impure thought. I like guys. : She thought with a mental laugh.
: I am curious what Mom is going to do to people who mess with her daughter. Wait didn’t I hear her say her girls. She’s counting Susan to, ok that’s cool. : Daria thought as she started to drift to sleep.
My Sons Part 11
Daria pushed the bar up and held it for two seconds before letting it back down. : 45. : She thought at the burn in her arms. She missed Jane getting up and heading for coffee and a shower minutes before then she missed her mother coming in and sitting on the foot of her bed. : 49. : “50.” She let the bar fall into its rest and sat up. The home gym according to the box, had been an impulse purchase by one of her parent’s years ago. They hadn’t even put it together before it ended up in the garage, just more proof of her parents complete entry into middle age.
It had taken a whole afternoon for her to figure out how to put it together but the half hour long workouts she did each morning and night helped her newfound restlessness even more than running with Jane did. She was so zoned out she still didn’t notice her mother as she stood up then opened her closet and pulled out a towel and change of clothes.
“I was thinking we could do a girl’s shopping day today.” Her mother said from behind her.
“Aeiiiiii.” Daria cried out in surprise. She spun around with her chest heaving from the shock.
“Good morning Daria.”
“Are you trying to kill me?” Daria gasped. “Heart attacks do run in our family.”
“Don’t even; you just had a physical remember.” Helen said with an annoyed look. “Is that your father’s 1200 dollar new body?”
“I found it in the garage.” Daria said with a shrug as her breathing and heart rate started to slow down.
“It certainly seems to be working. Between running with Jane and this you appear to be getting in great shape.” Helen said approvingly pointing at Daria’s exposed stomach that while not being washboarded yet was showing clear cuts.
“Results you want in just six weeks.” Daria said with another shrug as she quoted from the box.
Helen could tell her eldest daughter wasn’t pleased with attention or the comments about her body so she changed tactics. “About that shopping trip. I know you hate clothes shopping but I could offer a trip to the book store or maybe the electronics store.”
“I need some new clothes and I never turn down a chance to get free books or video games.”
: Even though I haven’t played in almost two weeks now. I hate
sitting still that long except to read or write something. :
“I was also thinking we could get you a smaller version of this … thing, for your dorm room.” Helen said with a wave at the machine.
“You are expressing a new interest and I don’t want to push but it seems like something to encourage.” Helen said carefully.
Daria flushed slightly before turning away to grab a second towel and started drying the sweat on her arms and legs. “How’s Quinn and Susan?”
“Good. They seem to be dealing with it better than I am. For them it was just another example of people who don’t understand what they feel for each other. I haven’t filled them in on the latest news yet.”
Daria straightened up and looked at her mother worriedly. “How bad?”
“Do you know a Mrs. Lynch, from Lawndale High?”
“I think she taught foreign languages. Hair looks like something exploded on top right.”
“That sounds right. She was one of the people arrested this morning.”
“She was one of the people who attacked them!” Daria said shocked.
“She’s on the tape. She’s the one that hit Quinn. It also seems that she had already informed the school that Quinn is … gay and was trying to get that Li woman to expel her for it. Apparently Li isn’t as stupid as she acts and denied the request before reporting the teacher’s behavior to the school board and sent in the video recording of the meeting. The secretary of the superintendent of schools called and tipped off the police about the tape after hearing what happened.”
“So Li did the right thing. I’m sort of surprised honestly.”
“This was a week ago. There were threats made during the recorded meetings that implied something like this was coming.”
“Mrs. Li knew and didn’t do anything! Now that sounds like her.”
“Her and several members of the school board as well as the
superintendent. All viewed the tape and didn’t report it to the police.”
Daria looked at her mother during the ice cold delivered statement. “What are you trying to tell me Mom?”
“I filed charges against them all. The law is very clear on this subject. If a person of authority has knowledge of a possible imminent threat, they are required to report it. Doctors, physiologists, and even lawyers aren’t immune to this. I understand that the arrests are taking place right now. By tonight, I’m assuming the media will be involved.”
“You want to have a nice family day before all hell breaks loose.” Daria said with a sigh as she gained understanding.
“It would be nice.”
“Can Jane come?”
“Just don’t wear each other’s clothes. The neighbors are already snickering about you two coming home drunk last night.”
“I wasn’t drunk, Jane was drunk.” Daria said quickly.
Helen just shook her head amused. “Did you like the clothes that Jane helped me pick out?”
“You know me. I’ll wear anything.” Daria said looking relieved to see Jane enter the room holding an ice pack to her head wearing Daria’s robe clinched tight while carrying a cup of coffee.
“The cops are here.” Jane announced as she slowly sat down on the edge of the bed next to Helen.
“I’ll go see what they want and Jane sweetie, that doesn’t help a hangover.” Helen said as she left the room chuckling.
“I’m hitting the shower. You try to look human because we’re all going shopping.” Daria said with mock cheerfulness.
“Oh goody.” Jane said groaning as she laid down on the bed. “You could at least pretend to feel my pain.” She said loudly before holding her head and moaning.
Susan watched Quinn model the stylish outfit even doing a heart-stopping twirl that raised the skirt to almost indecent levels. “I know I look hot in this so why aren’t you drooling?” Quinn said with a pout.
“You do, I mean you really do. It’s just freaking me out having police follow us around the mall. I mean doesn’t it bother you that people are going to find out about what happened now.”
“I don’t care anymore. I stood up to my Mom and dealing with anything else will be easy after that.”
“So no more worrying that people will think you’re a brain if you carry books around?”
“Lets not go overboard. Baby steps.”
Susan laughed out loud making Helen and Daria both look over from their ongoing argument about acceptable clothing.
“Are you ok with people knowing about us?” Quinn asked as she grabbed several items off a rack and held them out to her. Susan heard the insecurity in her voice and decided to be honest.
“I am. I don’t want to deal with the heavenly beat down again but I don’t want to have to sneak around just to be with you.”
“So you’re a little scared too.” Quinn said looking away.
“Of course but you know I’ll do anything for you.” Susan said teasingly and she was pleased to see it picked Quinn’s mood up in seconds.
“Then try this on and show me those legs.” Quinn said with an evil smile. Susan took the offered clothes and with a quick kiss moved into the changing room.
“So tell me little Quinn how did I get to bed last night?” Susan asked.
“I think Mom and Daria carried you.”
“And when did you join me?”
“I crawled into bed as soon as they dropped you. I think we got a free pass on tact last night once she found out what happened.”
“I’m sure the fact we were both too exhausted to do anything came into the decision making process.” Susan said with a snort.
“She IS a lawyer.”
“Where’d Jane go?” Susan said peeking over the top of the changing room door.
“I think she went to get her work schedule or something from Cashman’s.”
“Cool so stand back.” Susan said as she pushed opened the door and stepped out in the outfit Quinn picked out for her.
“I like it … but you’re never allowed to wear it anywhere but when we’re alone.” Quinn said as she eyeballed the short skirt and halter top set that allowed a long view of Susan’s legs and other ample features.
“This is supposed to be school clothing shopping and there is no way you’re wearing that to school.” Helen said walking over to them.
“I’ll pay for it with my own money.” Quinn said firmly.
“She can’t wear that to school.” Helen said trying to be reasonable.
“She won’t.” Susan just stood back and watched Quinn challenge her mother openly.
“Fine put it in the cart but it doesn’t go out of the house until you both are 18.”
“I doubt it will last that long.” Quinn said softly as her mother walked away shaking her head.
“I turn 18 in 4 months.” Susan said back to her as soon as Helen was out of earshot.
“I still doubt it will last that long.” Quinn said giving Susan a lustful glance.
“Oh my I do believe you have ill intentions for my bodice.” Susan said in a faux southern accent.
“Define ill.” Quinn said with a laugh causing the officer to look over this time. She almost felt sorry for him as he tried not to stare at three rather attractive young women changing clothes for over an hour.
The family was gathered around the dinner table sniffing plates of something Jake called Soldier’s Surprise looking disturbed as Helen spoke on the phone.
“I’m on a strict diet that the doctor put me on. I’m pretty sure this falls into at least two different groups she ordered me to avoid.” Daria said pushing the plate away from her chair.
“I’m sorry kiddo I wasn’t thinking.”
“I wouldn’t want to make Daria feel bad so I won’t eat it either.” Susan said quickly.
“Me too.” Quinn said looking more relieved than Daria had ever seen her.
“I guess we could order some take out. What kind of stuff do can you eat?”
“Chinese with lots of rice and steamed vegetables.” Daria said thinking quickly.
“Not sushi right?” Jake said nervously.
“No all the food will be cooked. Quinn why don’t you order.” Daria suggested.
“I’m on it.” Quinn said whipping out her cell phone. She was reading off Jake’s credit card number from memory minutes later. “Ok it’ll be here in 25 minutes. I hope no one minds but I ordered an extra dinner for patrolman Libb outside. His wife is visiting her sister in New York this week.”
“That’s very considerate of you Quinn.” Helen said hanging up the house phone with a sigh.
“Well I don’t want hunger pains to interfere with him taking a bullet for us or something.”
“Ok … anyway I just spoke with the DA who informed me that Mrs. Li has squirmed her way out of getting charged.”
“How did she manage that?” Daria said looking impressed.
“Apparently the law isn’t clear enough when it details out the whole reporting threats process. She did report it to her superiors. Her argument was that they should have contacted the police. The DA was forced to concede her point. Basically she dumped the whole mess on a failure to properly train her on how to deal with this type of problems. It does open up some doors for the civil portion of this.”
“Civil?” Susan said looking confused.
“When Mom sues everyone.” Daria said with a sigh.
“Not everyone just the people involved, the school board and the state of course. I’ve already drawn up some drafts. That reminds me, Daria I’ll need you to sign off on a client form so I can represent you.”
“You seem to be taking this rather personally.” Quinn said looking at her mother strangely.
“I am indeed.” Helen said with a smile. “Oh and consider the status quo in effect until further notice.”
“Just not in the living room.” Jake said with a weak smile.
Quinn jumped up knocking over her chair and hugging each of her parents before returning to straighten her chair and sitting back down.
“Don’t get to happy. We have bad news.” Helen said with a sigh.
The three youngest people at the table all looked at each other nervously before looking back at the elder Morgendorffers. “What?” Daria asked after a solid minute of silence.
“Mother is coming to visit.” Helen said with a sigh.
“Grandma Barksdale … is coming … here.” Quinn said with a nervous swallow. Susan just looked confused.
“Can I go ahead and move to Boston?” Daria said with a groan.
“No and I expect the three of you to behave while she’s here. I don’t want another repeat of the aliens incident.” Helen said clearly offering a warning to the girls.
“What about …?” Quinn said taking Susan’s hand to finish her statement.
“She has been advised and should be prepared. Try to remember she is older and less willing to accept change.”
“Hey with Susan here that means she’ll be staying at a hotel doesn’t it?” Daria said realizing something that might make the trip more acceptable.
“We’re not sure yet.” Helen admitted.
My Sons Part 12
Daria looked at her room that was filled with boxes that had been packed and stacked neatly against the wall for the third time. Her new exercise machine was still in the box it came in next to her worldly possessions. : Ok now what do I do for the next two weeks. : She thought with a sigh. : Maybe I can convince Dad he needs to fix something. Then Mom will pay me to fix it. :
“Daria are you packed already. You do know you don’t leave for two weeks?” Quinn said teasingly as she entered Daria’s room.
Daria held up two bags. “Two weeks worth of clothes and my laptop. I just need something to do until then.”
“You could come watch some TV with me and Susan later.” Quinn said nicely.
“You two need to get out more. You spend way too much time sitting or laying around.” Daria said not listening to herself.
“Did you … just tell me … that I need to exercise.” Quinn said looking more amused than offended by the statement.
Daria smiled with a shake of her head. “Damn it’s all Mom’s fault. First she gets me into all this physical activity then she cuts me off with two weeks to go.”
“Well I’m sure Grandma will be happy to come up with something for you to do. She’ll be pointing out problems as soon as she gets here. You’ll probably have to repaint.”
“What’s wrong with the paint job?” Daria said getting defensive.
“The spot in the living room where Dad backed a chair against the wall, It left this foot long skid mark on the wall. That’s why he moved the one chair, to hide it.” Quinn said laughing at her sister’s face. “You’re going to go fix it aren’t you.”
Daria looked annoyed with herself as she answered. “Of course I’m going to fix it. I don’t want Mom to be able to say I didn’t stand behind my work.”
Daria stomped out of the room and headed downstairs leaving Quinn chuckling.
“Rita I told you mother is fine. If you want to talk to her, I can hand her the phone. What are you talking about now Rita? She’s just down for a week, remember, she’ll be back soon enough.” Helen was saying as Jake drove the monstrous SUV at speeds closer to a walking pace. Helen ended the call and placed her phone on the dash with bang. “I swear it’s like she thinks we’re taking mother to sign away her inheritance.” Helen said then blushed. “Sorry Mom.”
“So I should read everything twice before signing anything while I’m here then.” Tess Barksdale said from the backseat.
“Mother! I can’t believe you would say something like that.” Helen said looking angry.
“Anyone who would let her daughters turn into hellions like you did has to be watched.” Tess said with an air of superiority. “You should have followed my example.”
“What pick one favorite and ignore the other until a life time of resentment prevents them from ever having a real relationship with each other?” Helen heard the words escape her mouth before she had a chance to stop them.
“If you and your sisters have issues it’s not my fault.”
“Are you joking?” Helen said turning in the seat. “Lets see. Rita was Miss. Perfect because she always had a boy on her arm. Amy and I were being silly for wanting to put an effort into our educations.”
“Rita got an education. You always act like she dropped out or something.”
“She got a degree in Spanish. She hasn’t worked a year since she got out of college. Meanwhile I put myself through Law School AND had a family. Amy is one of the most sought after experts on ancient poetry in the country. But somehow we failed.”
“No one said you failed, you never fail at anything. Rita has had it much harder than you have.”
“I’m sorry I haven’t picked one loser after another to marry and bleed dry. Jake I guess we’ll have to get divorced so I can try to catch up to Rita.”
“You act like it’s her fault.” Tess said defensively.
“She married a mobster thinking she was going to reform him. Now she’s convinced Erin that a woman needs to be married to be fulfilled.”
“Don’t start on Erin, she’s a good girl.”
“And what are Daria and Quinn, little monsters just because they got tired of you looking down at them because Erin was around.”
“Erin had nightmares for a month; she still won’t sleep without a light on.”
“It was a prank mother; children play pranks on each other. Maybe if you had taken the time and given them some affection instead of comparing them to Erin they would have thought twice.”
“I send cards and gifts every year. Not once have I missed a birthday.” Tess defended herself.
“And I’m sure that’s what Rita and Erin consider affection but Daria and Quinn want more than that. I’M the one that thinks you should spend more on them.” Helen said forcefully.
“Is this about the trips again?”
“You had a college account for Erin fully funded by the time she was ten. Unless I’m missing something why do that for one grandchild but not the other two. No you’d rather spend money on sending Erin or Rita on little trips to Rome or Sweden to relax.”
“I don’t think it’s any of your business how I choose to spend my money.” Tess said arrogantly.
“No it isn’t and I wouldn’t even know about it but Rita has to call every time and let me know just how much she’s still your favorite.” Helen said turning back around and sulking in the seat.
“Anyone want to stop for lunch before we start the home stretch to the house?” Jake asked hoping to cut through some of the tension.
“NO!” Both women answered.
“Daria, Quinn there are two really pissed off looking women in the front yard trying to stare each other down while your father unloads suitcases.” Susan said from the bay window looking amused.
“Great.” Quinn said slouching down on the couch. “Another trip into the wonderful adventures of Erin, queen of grandchildren.”
“I’m going to go help Dad.” Daria said with a sigh. “Maybe I can keep him from having a heart attack before I leave.” Daria started out the door avoiding eye contact with either her mother or grandmother as she walked to the back of the SUV. She quickly grabbed three of the suitcases and started back to the house.
“Just put them in the living room for the moment.” Helen said as she walked by. Daria just grunted in response.
“She looks different.” Tess said watching Daria put down one suitcase while balancing the other two to open the door.
“She’s started exercising and you can see the results.” Helen said proudly. “Also she’s been sending in her stories to every magazine out there. I’m expecting word that she’s going to be published any day now.”
“At least now she’ll be able to make some friends.” Tess said.
“Daria has plenty of friends. She works on keeping them rather than getting new ones.”
“I guess we should go inside so I can meet this Susan person.” Tess said starting toward the door.
“I’m pretty sure they just started talking about me.” Susan said her voice filled with dread at the window.
“No matter what happens remember to duck and roll. She’ll find a weak spot and keep poking it till you cry.” Quinn said with a sorrowful look.
“It’ll be ok. I’m guessing Mom’s going to put you in Daria’s room so Grandma can stay here and Daria won’t mind you sneaking over to sleep with me.”
“I don’t know. Daria’s looking really … taut these days.” Susan said teasing before catching Quinn’s face. “Oh c’mon now, you know which Morgendorffer girl I love.” Susan wrapped her arms around the redhead and hugged before kissing her gently.
“Now I’m going to be all insecure about my looks.” Quinn said with a sigh.
“You know you’re hot.” Susan almost laughed.
“But not … taut.” Quinn teased back.
“You think Daria will mind if we start borrowing the home gym.” Susan said with a gleam in her eye.
“But we’ll get all sweaty … and … ok I’ll ask her.” Quinn smiled.
“Ask me what?” Daria said joining them at the window. “Sorry I heard my name.”
“We’re thinking about getting in some exercise like you suggested.” Quinn said calmly.
“Cool. Hi Mom.” Daria said as Helen and Tess walked through the doorway. “Hi Grandmother.”
“Hello Daria, I see you’re taking an interest in your appearance
for once.” Tess said almost nicely.
“Well you know us college girls; it’s all about boys boys and more boys.” Daria said before walking past the two older women to continue helping her father bring in the luggage.
“Oh and little Quinn looking like a model, I guess this is Susan.” Tess said as she saw Quinn and Susan still embracing next to the window.
“Hi Grandma.” Quinn said curtly as she and Susan separated but still kept a tight grip on each other’s hand.
“Hello Mrs. Barksdale.” Susan said nicely.
Luckily, Daria was dropping off another set of suitcases in time to catch her grandmother’s next statement. “They don’t look gay, maybe it’s just a phase.”
“What?” Quinn said as she started toward her mother and grandmother with destruction burning in her eyes. Daria stepped in front of them and casually grabbed her sister stopping the advance then tossed Quinn on her shoulder before walking up the stairs with Susan in tow. “Lousy stinking no good put me down so I can talk to her old bat.” Quinn ranted as Daria carried her upstairs. “It was … nice meeting you Mrs. Barksdale.” Susan said shaking her head behind Daria and Quinn.
“Mother.” Helen said with a sigh as she held her own head in one hand.
“What did I say?” Tess said looking surprised.
Daria and Susan kept Quinn upstairs for almost three hours until she had begun to calm down. It didn’t take much past that to get her laughing about the absurdity of the comment.
“Well I guess we could invite her to watch, maybe that’ll convince her.” Susan was laughing.
“Make a video and sell it online.” Daria joined in.
“No and no.” Quinn laughed as well.
“Feel better baby.” Susan said wrapping her arms around Quinn from behind. “Maybe we should all get out of here and have a young people night. Go see a movie at the mall.”
“I think getting the hell away from here is a good idea but no making out during the movie.” Daria said seriously.
“Spoilsport.” Quinn smiled. “I’m in.”
“Can we make it the late show, that way we can grab Jane after work. Cashman’s closes before the last movie starts.” Daria said.
“That’s ok. I’m sure it will be an easier sell to Mom that way too.” Quinn said almost perky.
“And try not to smack our grandmother for the rest of the night.” Daria said with a smirk.
“That depends on her and I don’t care if she’s a hundred. I’m not taking anymore crap from people.”
My Sons Part 13
Quinn starred at her sister in complete disbelief as the movie served as no more than a backdrop.
“Daria people can see you two!” She whispered hoarsely trying to get the older girl’s attention. Daria was currently romantically entangled with a certain young man.
: I knew there was going to be trouble when this Tommy guy showed up. How can they go that long without breathing. : “Daria you’re going to get us tossed out.”
Jane and Susan were both trying not to laugh at Quinn’s obvious discomfort. Everything had seemed to be going so well. They picked up Jane after work then walk down to get their tickets. Even after Tommy had popped out of nowhere and Daria invited him to join them, it was still a great evening until this.
“At least her shirt is staying on.” Jane said with a hoot of laughter.
Daria offered a rude gesture as she pulled away from the embrace. “What?”
“You’re making out in a movie!” Quinn looked shocked.
“So, you and Susan make out … everywhere.”
“Not where people are staring at us.” Quinn said pointing to the several heads that weren’t facing the screen.
“Damnit.” Daria said as she blushed.
: At least they weren’t going too far but jeez Daria this is what happens when you deny having urges for 18 years. Now the urges are having your brains for lunch. : Quinn thought amused.
“The movie is almost over anyway so take a breather.” Jane said pointing to the villain running from the hero down a darkened alleyway.
“I don’t want to go home.” Daria groaned. Quinn sent her drink spraying across the seat in front of her at the way her sister was looking at her fellow. : It’s almost like she’s fishing for an invite to stay with him. No way. :
“Ummm I’m staying with my folks while I’m in town and it wouldn’t be a good idea.” Tommy said clearing getting the same message that Quinn got.
“I guess I can sleep on a park bench or something.” Daria said with a sigh.
“You can crash at my place tonight if you want.” Jane said with a raised eyebrow.
“Daria we told Mom we would be home after the movie. She’ll go insane if you don’t come home.” Quinn said reproachfully.
“Fine but you and Moaner here need to keep it down tonight. There’s only so much a person can take you know.”
“Hey! At least I don’t pant.” Susan said trying to look hurt.
“You said it was cute.” Quinn pouted.
“It is especially when you … .” Susan was suddenly cut off by a rain of popcorn from Daria.
“Oh god I don’t want to know that.”
“I cou… .” Tommy started. “Could stand to get some fresh air.” He quickly corrected himself as four women all turned to glare at him.
“Nice save.” Daria said smacking him gently on the thigh.
The movie ended and the group headed into the nearly empty mall on the way to the parking lot. “My car is over on the other side. I’ll call you this weekend.” Tommy said with kiss before hurrying away.
As soon as he was out of sight, Jane stalked Daria like a cat on a mouse.
“I can’t believe you were swapping spit in front of half Lawndale.” Jane said with a huge grin.
“Bite me Lane.”
“I don’t think so; I don’t know where you’ve been. Tramp.”
“My boot, your rear end, next 20 seconds. What do all these
things have in common?” Daria said musing.
Quinn and Susan both watched the playful exchange as they walked out the double doors. No one was paying attention in front of them when they reached the first row of cars.
“Looky here I think we have a meeting of the Lawndale alternative lifestyles club.” A male voice said bringing them back into reality.
“I knew those two were queer but Quinn too. It must run in the family or something.” Skyler said shaking his head. The four girls all looked forward and found themselves standing before three young men.
“I knew you were a loser Skyler but you being a complete and total ass is a surprise to me.” Quinn said looking annoyed.
“I say we show these girls what they’re missing.” One of the boys said.
“That’s a good idea Eric. Lets have some fun with the ladies.” Skyler laughed.
“I don’t think so.” Quinn said with a snort. “You little boys need to run on home and play with your video games then pretend your pillows are girlfriends.”
“Just like every other night.” Jane said with a smile.
“Maybe we weren’t asking.” The third boy said as he grabbed Daria’s arm.
“Thank you.” Daria said smiling widely.
“What?” He just looked confused until the fist smacked into his nose. He stumbled back with pain and surprise blinding him. Daria moved in and kicked him directly between the legs. Jane actually felt sorry for him when his feet came off the ground with the force of the blow. He dropped to the ground and laid there unmoving after a single convulsion.
“Oh my god she killed Henry.” Skyler screamed like a 14-year-old girl. Eric just fainted on the spot.
Daria walked over and made to grab Skyler but he ducked away, running away screaming like a banshee. She made to follow him but Quinn called her back. “Daria let him go.”
Daria heard the fear in Quinn’s voice and relented. “Sorry I just lost it there.” The sounds of footsteps spun them around to see a security guard running toward them out of breath.
“I … called … police … … .” He said as he panted. Jane got him to straighten up looking worried he was going to pass out. “They’re on the way.” He said as he recovered.
“You do know this means Mom isn’t going to let us go to the bathroom without a cop don’t you?” Quinn said shaking her head.
“I don’t know it wasn’t so bad.” Daria said with a shrug.
“You really need to get … .” Jane started then stopped taking notice of the security guard. “Maybe you should consider going on a camping trip with Tommy.”
“Jane!” Quinn said loudly but she didn’t bother to hide the smile.
The four girls road home in a squad car with Jane, Quinn and Susan in the back and Daria upfront with the officer. He spent most of the trip praising Daria for having to guts to stand up to their attackers.
“I doubt anything is going to happen to them. The worst they did was grabbing your arm and all a lawyer will have to do is make the claim it was some school mates having some fun that got taken the wrong way.”
“Of course.” Daria said looking frustrated.
“Hey unfortunately by defending yourself before something bad happened, you eliminated all the evidence. Don’t get me wrong now, I’m glad you taught them a lesson. The DA and myself would rather deal with a case like this then how it might have ended up.”
“I think Daria was great. She laid the boot down on him.” Susan said from the backseat.
“I like that. Well he won’t be dating for a while that’s for sure, and I feel really sorry for officer Turner who has to put the other two in his car. The smell is going to be terrible.”
“Did they find Skyler?” Quinn asked.
“He was hiding in a dumpster on the other side of the parking lot. Wasn’t doing a real good job, they heard him blubbering thirty feet away.”
“Tell me they took a picture.” Quinn said looking pleased with this information.
“Sorry, no pictures.” The officer said as he pulled into the driveway at the Morgendorffer home.
“Damn.” Quinn said with a sigh before spotting her mother and father rushing out of the house. “Oh no, you called them.”
“I had to.” He said with a smirk as he got out and opened the back door. Quinn braced herself for the hug and within seconds, both her and Susan were pulled into a motherly bear hug while Jane and Daria smirked nearby.
Daria was in the middle of her nighttime work out when Helen entered her room. She acknowledged her with a simple nod and continued to work her leg muscles.
“Susan will be staying in Quinn’s room.” Helen said with a pain expression.
“They’re milking it for all it’s worth.” Daria said with a smile. “Good for them.”
“Am I my mother?” Helen asked surprising Daria in mid lift.
“Um no.” Daria said as she lowered her leg and sat up.
“My mother would have never allowed Quinn and Susan to be together once something started happening. And she would have died before letting them sleep together under the same roof let alone the same bed.”
“Well she’s a bitch.” Daria said with a smile as she reached for her water bottle.
Helen nodded trying not to smile then asked. “Can I assume that I’m not?”
“Well you had me worried at first but after a while you relaxed about them. I think they really care about each other and hey they both turn eighteen in the next 6 months and giving them a hard time would greatly increase the chance of them dropping out of school and disappearing.”
“True. I’ve decided that I’m going to do the exact opposite of my mother with this situation.”
Daria blinked away the surprise and cleared her throat. “So Susan isn’t just staying there tonight.”
“That’s up to them. I get the idea they want to maintain separate personal spaces for the time being.”
“It’s something new to both of them. Quinn never got serious about anyone and from what Susan said, she hadn’t either. It’s the first real relationship for both of them and I would think it would be scary. Together time is great but I’m kinda impressed they understand the need for not together time too.” Daria said leaning back and restarting on her legs.
“That’s what scares the hell out of me. Well that and you coming home with another hickey and I still don’t know this boy’s name.” Helen said as she stood and made her way toward the door.
Daria blinked before answering. “Tommy, Tommy Baker. He’s a sophomore at NYU; he’s visiting his parents over summer break.”
Helen was taken aback by this rare sharing of information from her oldest daughter. “Maybe we could meet him sometime.”
“We’re probably going out this weekend so I’ll ask him to pick me up here.”
“That would be nice.”
: What the hell is wrong with me. I just volunteered information. : Daria thought as she continued her workout.
Susan and Quinn lay together with Quinn on her back with one arm wrapped around Susan who was resting her head on Quinn’s shoulder.
“Did you mean what you said earlier?” Quinn asked gently.
“What?” Susan said. “When I said it was cute when you … .”
“No not that. When you said I was the Morgendorffer girl you loved.”
“Oh that.” Susan said tilting her head to look up at Quinn. “Ya
“I love you too and it scares the hell out of me.” Quinn said as she rubbed Susan’s back in a circle motion.
“Because it means this is real and I can’t just get by doing the least possible work.”
“No you can’t. I expect to be worshipped and I want flowers and poems and … oh.” Susan said until Quinn interrupted her in the nicest way.
My Sons Part 14.
Daria pushed her mother out of her bedroom. “But Daria there isn’t anything wrong with trying to look good for your date tonight.”
“Agh.” Daria said with a grunt as she slammed the door.
“Daria you’re an adult now so we can talk about things.” Helen said through the door.
“Are you going to let her treat you like that?” Tess Barksdale said coming out of the bathroom. “You make her open that door and do what you tell her to do. For god’s sake are you their mother or what?”
“Mother this isn’t anything to get upset about.” Helen said with a sigh. “I was just offering Daria some advice on preparing for her date.”
“I can’t believe you’re letting her go out after what she did. In my day we didn’t reward people for poor behavior.” Tess said jerking her head firmly.
“Poor behavior?” Helen said in disbelief. “She stopped those boys from attacking her and her sister. You can’t really object to that.”
“Those boys were just responding to the goading those girls do. Walking around holding hands and kissing each other. It’s bad enough they are that way at home but to do it in public is… .”
“Stop it!” Helen almost shouted before taking a breath. “Mother you are coming very close to telling me that my daughters and Susan not to mention Jane deserved to be attacked. You need to go to your room now.”
“You’re sending me to my room but you’ll let those two girls do god knows what under your roof every night.” Tess said clearly disapproving.
“It’s called sex and I’m not happy about it but I know there isn’t any way to stop two teenagers from having sex. Now unless you want this conversation to go places neither of us wants then go to your room.” Helen said pointing toward Susan’s room. Daria poked her head out of the door smiling as she saw her grandmother walking down the hall. “You go Mom.” Before closing the door and calling through it. “But I still don’t want any help.”
“Why couldn’t I of had boys.” Helen said with a groan.
Daria answered the door and waved Tommy into the house. “I’ll make this up to you later.” She said whispering.
“It can’t be that bad.” He almost laughed.
“Tommy my man, how’s it hanging?” Jake Morgendorffer greeted him with an outstretched hand.
“Um well I guess.” He said with a stammer.
“Told you.” Daria said out of the corner of her mouth.
“Oh He’s here.” Helen said coming out of the kitchen. “It’s a pleasure to meet you Tommy.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you too. I know it’s a little cliché but I see where Daria gets her looks.” Tommy said smoothly.
In the kitchen, Susan and Quinn giggled. “He’s good.”
“Hush you two. Your sister needs all the help she can get and you two shouldn’t be making it harder.” Tess said harshly.
“I don’t want to help handle Tommy. I think Daria can handle that all by herself.” Susan said jokingly making Quinn laugh.
“Maybe if you two paid attention you wouldn’t have to date each other.” Tess said walking out of the kitchen.
Susan and Quinn both stopped laughing. “You promised Daria that you wouldn’t hit her.” Susan said quickly. “Don’t remind me.” Quinn said with a sigh.
“She’s going to say something bad out there.” Susan said looking into the living room.
“We better get out there for damage control.” Quinn started around the table. “Daria isn’t in the mood tonight for games.”
“No she’s in the mood for …” Susan started to say then smiled as they joined the group. “Hey Tommy.”
“Hi Susan, Quinn. I heard about the excitement after I left.
That’ll teach me to not walk a lady to her car.”
“I forgive you.” Daria said playfully.
“So where are you taking my granddaughter tonight?” Tess asked nicely.
“Under the Stars, it’s an open air café with dancing. My Dad is a doctor and he managed to get reservations for us.” Tommy said smiling at Daria.
“That seems very romantic; sounds to me like Daria might want to change her choice of schools.” Tess said.
“I would never ask someone to give up a chance to go to a school like Raft.”
“Some things are more important than what school you go too. Think about it Daria.” Tess said before Helen clamped a hand on her shoulder. “I doubt Daria is going to make a choice of schools based off a relationship, no offensive Tommy.”
“I’m just saying … .” Tess started up only to be pulled toward
the kitchen by Quinn. “C’mon grandma you can show me how to make cookies.”
“Since when do you want to know how to cook?”
“Since I’m dating someone with a sweet tooth.” Quinn said.
“You both do look like you’re half starved. I suppose Helen still doesn’t really cook anything.”
“There you go now what do we need?” Quinn forced a smile on her face.
“First get some flour and eggs.” Tess said pulling over a stool. “I guess even your kind need to eat.”
Quinn bit her lip hard enough to taste blood before starting to pull out the items. :You owe me Daria.:
Daria finally managed to pull Tommy out the front door. “We don’t want to be late. Bye.”
“Wow.” He said shaking his head as they walked to his car.
“I warned you.”
“Hey it wasn’t that bad but your grandmother was freaking me out. I kept getting this feeling she was going to give me advice on how to propose.” Tommy said.
“She probably was.” Daria said as she got into the convertible.
“Speaking of uncomfortable subjects. You are prepared if
something happens right.”
“You mean like after the movie the other night?” He said confused.
“No I mean protection if we … something … happens.” Daria said blushing.
“Oh. … I can stop at the drug store.”
“Good but don’t get your hopes up. I just want to be prepared.” Daria said weakly.
“No problem. Now on for a night of dining and dancing and intelligent conversation.” He said almost dismissing her concern as he pulled out of the driveway.
“Stop at the drug store first.” Daria said before blushing again.
Tommy was rather impressed, he didn’t wreak, but it was close.
Susan gingerly took a bite of the warm cookie Quinn offered up and was relieved to find it was actually good. “It’s great.”
“You don’t have to sound so surprised.” Quinn said looking annoyed.
“Your grandfather was the same way. Every time I cooked him something, he acted like it was a miracle it didn’t kill him.” Tess said grudgingly.
“Well I’m going to be grateful for anything Quinn cooks for me.” Susan said with a smile at the target of her affection.
“Kiss up, you just want another cookie.” Quinn said smiling.
“I’m sorry I haven’t slow danced much.” Daria said as she
removed her foot off Tommy’s shoe.
“Well beautiful and intelligent women tend to frighten away most men.”
“You actually believe some of this stuff you say, don’t you?” Daria said smiling.
“Almost all of it but I have to admit I never was a roadie for Van Halen.”
“You cad, take me home this instant.”
“No I’m not ready for this night to end yet.” Tommy said still dancing.
“Ok but you did help cure polio right?” Daria teased.
“Oh course. There’s a statue of me in France.”
“I guess I can forgive one small fib and I guess you should know I didn’t really jello wrestle Pink in a bikini last summer.”
“Oh that story was so cute.” Tommy mocked shock.
“Are your parents home tonight?” Daria asked shocking him for real.
“Maybe we could go over to Jane’s and hang out for a while. Just to talk.”
“Sure.” Tommy said looking as shocked as he felt.
“Close your mouth before something flies in.” Daria said as she leaned against his chest as they danced.
“Your grandmother is crazed but if you take away the homophobic comments every ten minutes tonight wasn’t bad.” Susan said as she crawled into bed.
“I know but she’s leaving on Tuesday and we’re getting serious brownie points with Mom and Dad putting up with her.” Quinn said as she pulled Susan next to her.
“I was hoping for something more than a cookie tonight.” Susan smiled evilly.
“Helen would you sit down, I’m getting dizzy just watching you.” Jake said as he drank his martini.
“Right now Quinn is having sex with Susan upstairs judging by the sounds, we’re going to need to consider sound proofing her room. Daria is probably having sex with Tommy and my mother is driving me crazy. I have crazed religious groups stalking my daughter and her girlfriend. The school board is calling three times a day trying to talk me out of suing them and Rita is threatening to sue us if mother changes her will. I’m going a little nuts ok.”
“Have a drink and seat down. You’ll feel better.”
“Jake how are you not going crazy with all this happening?”
“Two things. Golf and having the best wife in the world.” Jake said without missing a beat.
“It is the weekend isn’t it.”
“Yes it is.”
Tess Barksdale returned to her room quickly after walking into the hall near her daughter’s bedroom. :God no wonder the girls are so messed up. Having to listen to that all the time.:
My Sons Part 15.
Daria stretched lazily in Jane’s oldest brother’s room as she pulled the blanket over her head to block out the sunlight that was leaking in through the window. She rolled over and rubbed the recently vacated spot next to her. It was still warm and she whispered. “So that’s what all the fuss is about.”
A knock on the door made her roll over and make sure she was covered by the blanket. “Come in.”
“Hey Amiga.” Jane said walking in with an extra cup of coffee.
“Isn’t it a little earlier for you to be up?”
“Tommy’s car woke me up. Did you throw him out after having your way with him?”
“He has a family get together today, and yes I knew about it before now and was invited.” Daria said accepting the coffee while keeping herself covered.
“You really did it huh.” Jane said with a low whistle. “I want details.”
“C’mon, when I have sex I’ll tell you all about it.”
“I’m sure you will, no matter how much I beg you to stop.”
“Please.” Jane said trying to look sad.
“It was nice; I can understand why Brittany put up with Kevin for so long.”
“You slut.” Jane said with a grin.
“Now isn’t the best time to go there. I am feeling a little funny at the moment.”
Jane hopped on the bed looking concerned. “You want to talk about it?”
“It was nice and the whole night was romantic but … .”
“You don’t love him and he doesn’t love you.” Jane rolled her eyes. “Daria you met a nice guy that you were attracted to and he felt the same. You hooked up and … I don’t know, shared something special.”
“Do you regret doing it?”
“There you go, maybe it would be nice for everyone’s first time to be with someone they love but it doesn’t always happen. At least it was special and not a hump in the backseat of a car.”
“It was a special night. Have you ever been to Under the Stars?”
“It’s a really nice place. Music and slow dancing under the
stars, you should go there sometime.”
“That would require me to have something; I can’t remember what they’re called, oh ya a boyfriend.”
“Sorry.” Daria said with a smirk.
“It just gives me more to rag on you about.” Jane said with a shrug.
“Put some clothes on. Don’t either of you have a sense of decently?” Tess said rudely as Quinn and Susan walked into the kitchen wearing pajama bottoms along with halter-tops. Both girls quickly looked down at themselves expecting to find some form of clothing malfunction, but nothing seemed out of place.
“This is what I always sleep in.” Quinn said confused. “I’ve worn this type of outfit since I was 14.”
“That’s because your mother doesn’t have any sense.” Tess said with a look as if they were something scraped off a shoe.
“That’s not fair.” Susan said looking embarrassed.
“I’ve been fair. You two are good girls but all this gay nonsense is just more proof that she hasn’t done her job in teaching you values. If you were my daughters then …”
“Thank god we’re not.” Quinn said with a snort.
“I am still your elder, Quinn.”
“That doesn’t give you the right to talk about my mother like that. She’s a good mom, better than you.” Quinn said moving to stand in front of her grandmother.
“I really doubt that.”
“Think what you want but don’t you talk about my mother like that.”
“She’s my daughter; I’ll say what I want.”
Quinn grabbed the older woman by the shoulder and leaned her face close to Tess’s. “Not around me.”
Susan started pulling the redhead backward, relieved to see Quinn’s hand slip easily off Tess. “You need to calm down, baby.”
“I’m tired of her nasty comments.” Quinn said quite angrily.
“Let’s go get dressed and then you can take me out for breakfast.” Susan said as she pushed Quinn out of the kitchen. “Fine but I’m getting blueberry pancakes.”
Tess shook her head as she watched the girls leave then returned to her coffee. She heard Helen walk into the kitchen but didn’t look up even as Helen took a seat on a nearby bar-stool, sipping coffee. The moment of silence seemed to last for minutes before either woman spoke.
“Good morning.” Tess said ready for another fight.
“As soon as the girls have left, I’ll drive you to the airport. I think we can get you on a direct flight today without any problems.” Helen said calmly.
“You’re going home today.”
“I’m supposed to be here for three more days.”
“You’re lucky I’m willing to drive you to the airport after that scene you just pulled. Quinn and Susan have been through enough lately and I won’t have them made to feel uncomfortable in their own home.”
“I’m just trying to get them … .”
“I really don’t care mother. This isn’t a conversation, it’s me telling you what’s going to happen. You might want to start packing after you finish your coffee.” Helen said coldly.
“You’ve done a lot of things, but I never believed you could act this way toward your own granddaughter, knowing what has happened to them.”
“Helen.” Tess tried to find something to say.
“I don’t want to hear it Mother. Go tell it to Rita.” Helen said as she hurried out of the kitchen.
: Damn you Mother, I won’t let you do to my three girls what you
did to Amy and I. :
Jane and Daria walked into the small diner and spotted Quinn and Susan almost at once. It didn’t surprise Daria to see Stacy sitting with her sister but seeing her hanging onto one of Quinn’s old serfs did just a little.
“Hey Daria.” Susan said with a smile as she picked at her omelet. Quinn’s plate was already empty and Daria watched her sister trying to apologize to Susan. Stacy made her goodbyes and greeted Daria and Jane warmly as she and Jamie walked away.
“I’m sorry. First she attacks us then my Mom. I snapped, there’s only so many times I can get kicked before I want to kick back. It’s not your fault.” Quinn was saying.
“I know. I just really wanted her to like me. We had fun making the cookies didn’t we?”
“Grandma Tess has always been like that. Our Aunt Amy told me she once called her a tramp because she kissed a boy on the front step after a date. They had been going out for two months. Now Rita can have a pregnancy scare at 16 and that’s ok but no kissing for anyone else.” Daria said as she and Jane pulled two chairs over from another table.
“I think she came here to … I don’t know, fix all … of what she sees as Mom’s mistakes. She came here looking for a fight.” Quinn said admitting something to herself. “And I feel right into her trap.”
“Well Mom has had enough. She’s taking her to the airport as we speak. She called me from the car.” Daria said after ordering a light breakfast for her and Jane.
“It wasn’t because of us was it?” Susan said looking like she had just been slapped.
“No, Mom says she finally realized that either her mother is going to accept her choices or not. She’s also come to the conclusion that until Grandma can show some common courtesy to others then she isn’t welcome at home.” Daria answered before Quinn could say anything.
“I’ll write her a letter, a nice letter, apologizing for the way I acted. I’m also going to explain to her that I want her to be part of our life but she has to make that choice.” Quinn said with a sigh, reaching over and squeezing Susan’s hand.
“That’s really adult of you Quinn, … you must have slugged her.” Daria said appreciably.
“It was close.”
“I had to pull her away. I’m supposed to be the girl.” Susan said with a smile.
“We’re gay, we can both be the girl.” Quinn shrugged as she stole a bite of food off Susan’s plate. Jane looked at Quinn’s empty plate and then at the younger girl’s arm. “Have you been working out?”
Quinn and Susan both blushed and nodded causing Daria to look at them suspiciously. “You better not being doing anything on that gym until after I go to school.”
Daria had to bite back the sarcastic comment that came to mind at their guilty faces. : Mental note, wipe down bench before workout as well as after. :
Helen pulled the car into the driveway and got out slowly. : Be strong Helen, you did the right thing. : She was surprised to see Daria waiting for her looking fresh from the shower.
“Hi Honey.” Helen said trying not to sound as sad as she felt.
“Your grandmother is on her way home. I’m sorry about the way she acted.”
“You can’t control what other people do.” Daria said with a shrug. Helen knew the expression Daria was wearing even though she had only seen it one time before. “Is something wrong Daria?”
“I kinda of wanted to talk.”
“Are you throwing me a motherly bone to make me feel better?” Helen said lightly but her curiosity was peeked.
“A little but I could really use a talk myself.”
“I’ll take it, did something happen?” Helen said nervously.
“No … well yes but not anything bad. It was something good, really good.” Daria said before blushing brightly.
“Let’s go make some hot cocoa and see if Susan left any cookies for the rest of us.” Helen said understandingly.
“You aren’t mad?”
“No, I’m grateful. My daughter still feels like she can come to me for the important things.” Helen smiled warmly before taking Daria by the shoulder. “Now I don’t want to know details but please tell me it wasn’t in a car and that you … were safe.”
“No car. We stayed the night at Jane’s, in a spare room and we used protection.”
“Good, now how are you feeling?”
“I’ve got a few questions.” Daria said shyly.
“It just so happens I might have a few answers.” Helen said as they walked inside.
My Sons Part 16.
The newly extended Morgendorffer family walked calmly past the security checkpoint at the courthouse. Helen was shaking her head in amusement at her eldest daughter’s now socked covered feet sans her boots. Her steel-toed boots were not allowed past the metal detectors. Daria had been properly chastised by the guards but was allowed through in socks only. Her boots would be kept until the family left.
“I didn’t realize how much of a heel those things had.” Quinn said noticing the almost two inches difference in Daria’s height.
“Quinn this isn’t the time.” Helen said surprised at Quinn, the sister’s hardy ever teased each other anymore.
Something else seemed to be going on behind Quinn’s eyes, something more serious than teasing. Daria sighed and gave her sister the confirmation.
“Yes I started wearing them because they made me taller; I have height issues, ok.” Daria’s face flushed before she finished. “It gave me an extra year of being taller than you.”
“Wow so you were putting thought to your appearance.” Quinn said looking stunned but the wheels were still clearly spinning.
“I’m sure the way they called attention to her legs didn’t come into play at all.” Susan bumped shoulders with Quinn.
“Damn sisters and their observant girlfriends.” Daria mumbled under her breath.
“You know you love us.” Quinn said sweetly.
“Girls, behave.” Helen said trying not to smile. : I think you’ll find hiding a lot harder to do once you’re at Raft, your new look is going to turn heads, Daria. Boys are going to notice you and there isn’t going to be anything you can do about it, this time. : Helen thought back to the conversation she had with Daria just a few short days ago. Finding out that her daughter had spent years actively trying to avoid being noticed physically had shocked her. The reason for such an action would weigh on her for years. : I’m so sorry Daria, I was just complaining. One comment about an attractive classmate getting treated differently during my final year. One little slip and my daughter spent the next ten years hiding underneath layers of clothing. :
“What courtroom?” Jake said interrupting her chain of thought. “Oh … 6.”
“Looks like the school’s already there.” Daria said pointing to
where Principal Li and several others waited outside the courtroom doors.
“She’s not going to be at Lawndale next year is she?” Quinn said at the openly hostile glare Li tossed their way.
“No, she’s been transferred to Oakwood middle school. Something about her needing a less stressful environment.” Helen said returning the glare.
Helen led them to the doors and spoke briefly with the bailiff who then opened the door for them. “Go right in.”
They waited, talking softly as other involved parties started to arrive before being showed into the courtroom. Usually one at a time, various lawyers approached Helen and spoke to her quickly, offering paperwork for her to review. Minutes before the judge was slated to arrive and one of the lawyers started walking away looking pleased, Helen motioned for the three girls to lean close to her.
“We have an offer from the company that owns the gas station. They’re offering money and other perks.”
“What perks?” Daria said feeling her inner mercenary take hold.
“New cars for Quinn and Susan and gas credit cards for the whole family, which would be good for in store purchases as well, for life. The monetary offer could be higher but the thought of free gas forever is even more tempting after spending 60 dollars to fill up on the way here and as they are the least accountable it seems like a good offer.” Helen said.
“What kind of cars?” Quinn asked.
“Hybrid SUVs. The money is enough to take a real dent out of future college costs.”
“I say you two take it.” Daria grinned evilly. “I can live off of one of those cards up at Raft, those mini stores have everything.”
“The thought of my daughter eating junk food for the next four years frightens me BUT it is a really good deal.” : That’s not true really, I had to throw away a bag of potato chips yesterday because they went stale. She’s been eating a lot but not much junk. :
“Lets do it?” Susan said looking pleased at the thought of having her own car.
Helen got the lawyer’s attention and gave him the thumbs up, Daria noted how relived the he looked as he almost ran over with a bundle of papers. Helen started signing them with a smile.
The rest of the court appearance went without notable incident except those that had great amusement value for the girls. The school board and department of education both tried filing different motions to be granted some protection from the lawsuit, all were denied.
The family stopped for lunch to celebrate what Helen called the snowball victory.
“Now that the first group has dealed out, the others will start looking at the cost of dealing vs the cost of fighting it out. Once they add the potential settlement we could win, it starts to look better to deal. As long as we stay reasonable, it won’t take them long to give in.”
“But if they fight and we lose, they don’t have to pay anything right.” Quinn asked.
“That’s the beauty of this lawsuit, we can’t lose. The only thing that is really up for discussion is how responsible they are. Worst case scenario we win and are granted some token tangible judgment.” Helen said looking pleased with herself.
“Does this mean that Quinn’s going to have to really work hard next year to get in a better school?” Daria sought revenge for the earlier teasing.
“Oh yes.” Helen said in agreement. “No slacking off or messing around this coming year.” She said to both Quinn and Susan.
Quinn and Susan started giggling causing Helen to turn long enough to catch Daria stretching in her chair, much to the pleasure of the two men in the booth next to them.
“Daria what’s that in your belly button?” Helen said with a groan.
Daria pulled down her shirt covering the firm stomach and small silver ring. “Um … nothing.” Helen starred at her oldest for almost a solid minute. Daria quickly surrendered.
“I got my belly button redone.” Daria said before realizing what she had just admitted to.
“It looks very nice dear.” Helen said calmly. : Remember to count. She’s an adult now. :
Quinn and Susan’s mouths dropped down at the lack of reaction. “Does that mean we can?” Quinn started but she wasn’t given a chance to finish.
“No.” Helen answered. The resulting laughter filled the restaurant.
Later that evening Daria walked back to her bedroom after a shower, she had spent two hours running with Jane before they discovered Wind and one of his wives was visiting, which prevented either of them from showering there. After seeing Jane’s compete and total disgust at the thought of spending time with her own family Daria had invited her to stay the night. She found Jane sketching Susan working her upper arms as Quinn used the pretense of spotting to drool over the blonde. : You would think they got enough of each other every night. : She thought as she shook her head in amusement.
“Hey Amiga.” Jane said looking up. Her head was still damp from her own shower. “The girls are letting me spy on their makeout session. Opps I mean workout session.”
“It’s nice to see that this isn’t going to go back to the garage when I leave.” Daria said with a chuckle. She had grown rather fond of the torture device.
“We just want to get a little fitter, my legs have never looked better. Hell, Dad’s thinking about getting another one for him and Mom to use, something about spicing things up.” Quinn shuddered.
“I think it’s cute they’re worried about looking good for each other.” Susan said as she continued to work her upper body. It was clear she was also going out of her way to put on a show for Quinn, who was unable to look away.
“I can’t believe you’re leaving on Friday.” Jane said putting away her sketchpad.
“Were you able to get the weekend off?” Daria asked. She really wanted to cram as much time in with Jane as she could before being separated for 6 months.
“Yep, I’m riding along for the trip. This way I can go ahead and start the rumors about the sultry artist who rides into town and has her way with the menfolk.”
Susan and Quinn both looked over at Jane slightly confused. Daria just sighed. “Has Trent been watching the western channel again?”
“Hey, the Duke was really hot.” Jane said proudly.
“If you start dressing like a farmhand I’ll be forced to tell everyone about the crush you had on Kevin.” Daria warned with a roll of her eyes.
“NO!” Quinn said in shock.
“It was brief and I got over it. Some things are better left unspoken.” Jane said kicking Daria in the shin.
A strange sound came from the front of the house causing all four girls to head toward the open door to the hallway. As a group they walked into hall to investigate the roaring sound. A bright orange light seem to fill the window at the end of the hallway, coming from the front yard.
“That looks like …” Jane started.
“Fire.” Daria finished for her.
The girls hurried down the stairs and found both Jake and Helen standing in the living room staring out the large bay window as Helen spoke rapidly into the phone. Daria moved to the window and looked out, she gasped at the sight that awaited her.
Someone had dumped a pile of wood debris on their lawn before setting it afire. She heard Susan choke back tears as Quinn comforted her.
“I’m getting really sick of this.” Helen growled feral like.
“I got the tag number of the truck and your mom just gave it to the police. The fire department is on the way.” Jake said hugging each of the girls. Jane froze at her hug but calmed quickly before returning it then giving Daria a shrug. “What? The only time a guy hugs me normally is when they’re trying to mug me or get some.”
“Ok does everybody we know have issues?” Quinn said shaking her head sadly.
“Yes.” Daria said as sirens filled the air. Seconds later firefighters were expertly putting out the bonfire.
A few hours later after all the excitement had died down, Quinn and Susan were relaxing next to each other after exhausting all their leftover energy and pent up frustrations.
“I can’t believe she’s leaving.” Quinn said suddenly.
“It’s not that far away and we’re going to have our own cars so we can go up to see her.” Susan said pulling the blanket over their nude forms as she moved closer.
“It’s just we’re sisters, … finally. Now she’s leaving.”
“Hey it’s ok to miss her; I know she’s going to miss you.” Susan said pulling Quinn onto her side. Quinn snuggled tightly and rested her head against Susan’s chest.
“Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t feel like I wasted so much time we could have been hanging out. Now all I have to show for it is, one friend who hates me, two more who are trying to stay friends and a bunch of guys who think it’s ok to act like jerks because I didn’t put out.”
Susan cleared her throat. “And the best girlfriend in the world.” Quinn added.
“Thank you. I’m not saying it’s going to be hard but I think your parents aren’t going to mind you racking up phone bills to talk to her and despite the carefully crafted image you’ve maintained, I know you can work the computer for email and IMs. That plus weekend road trips and you two will be sick of each other in no time.” Susan said stroking the top of Quinn’s head lovingly.
In the next room, Jane was stretched out on the blankets Daria had put out on the floor for her.
“You going to tell me what’s wrong?” Daria said tossing her a pillow.
“You’re leaving.” Jane said. “All this time we’re been best friends but now we’re even more.”
“I’m missing something.” Daria admitted.
“Before it was us hanging out and talking, mostly complaining but now we hang out, exercise and go trolling for guys together. Now we do everything together. It’s been really nice to be able to share all that with someone who understands.”
“You’ll be up in Boston in no time.” Daria said hoping to reassure her.
“You’ll get up there and find lots of smart people to complain with and at least a few who aren’t couch potatoes. By the time I get up there, you won’t have time for me. I’ll be just another person begging for your attention.” Jane said speaking her heart.
“No.” She shook her head. “I’m sure it won’t the same as now but I can promise that it won’t be like that.”
“How can you make that promise?”
“Because we made it through everything from paintballing to
selling chocolate bars and even through Tom. You are so much more than just my
friend, Jane. You’re a part of me.” Daria said weakly. “Damn that sounds so
“I know and I love you to Daria.” Jane said as tears leaked from her eyes. “And I mean that in a non women’s prison movie kind of way.”
“Cool.” Daria said falling back onto her bed. “I can’t believe it’s almost over.”
“The truck belonged to a Mark Ellison, he works for the Feldmans. We found Skyler Feldman and a few of his friends driving the truck; they appeared to be heading home. They confessed to the officer this was revenge for Daria … beating the hell out of Henry.” The officer said reading from the paperwork with a huge smile on the front steps of the house.
“I’m assuming this isn’t something they can wish away.” Jake said looking ready to hit something, anything.
“Unfortunately it’s a vandalism charge so most likely they’re home already. The judge will toss a fine at them. It is enough to get a protection order. We’re issuing a temporary order but you need to file for a real one as soon as possible.”
“I’ll be at the courthouse tomorrow, again.” Helen said with a sigh.
The officer made his exit and watched the downstairs light go off as he pulled away.
My Sons Part 17.
Susan spent three hours trying to find Quinn, the redhead was sitting on the cold concrete floor of the garage digging through a box of old photos. She was tempted to make a joke about the normally pristine Quinn sitting on a dirty floor. “Hey beautiful.” She said as she plopped down next to her.
“Just looking at some old pictures of Daria.” Quinn said, answering the question Susan hadn’t asked.
“You miss her already don’t you?” Susan leaned over and gave the unusually sad girl a hug.
“I spent three years pretending she wasn’t around and now she isn’t.” Quinn said with a sigh. “I was working out this morning and I added ten pounds to my arm weight so I ran, actually ran to tell her. That was worse than remembering she doesn’t live here anymore, forgetting.”
Susan felt the pull on her heart strings. “Well it’s been two weeks and we’re about to start school on Monday, you miss your big sister.” Susan rose to her feet and pulled Quinn to a standing position. “You do remember Daria was pretty smart right?”
Quinn looked at her strangely and Susan wanted to laugh at the almost visual gears that were spinning in her head.
“Daria left us some presents, I’ve got them upstairs.” Susan said smiling brightly, as she pushed her girlfriend out of the garage.
“Presents?” Quinn said perking up slightly.
“Something for our next date was all she would tell me.”
“I guess it would give me an excuse to call her.” Quinn perked up a little more. “And why am I just now finding out about presents?”
“Daria made me promise to hide them until you were looking really depressed.” Susan said walking into the newly redone workout room. The padding had been removed from three of the walls, replaced with a sensible paint job on two walls then two large mirrors on the last wall.
While Jake and Helen’s interest in getting and keeping in shape was bond to wane Quinn and Susan were perfectly happy taking advantage of their elders flighty nature to obtain a great home gym.
Susan went straight to the closet and retrieved two wrapped boxes roughly the size of shoeboxes. She passed one to Quinn and tried to hide the smile at Quinn’s almost childlike pleasure at getting a gift from her sister.
“I should be cautious; the last gift I got from Daria was alive.” Quinn said before ripping the wrapping paper into tiny pieces. Susan couldn’t comment as her own gift was unwrapped in seconds as well.
“Mace!” Susan said sounding more than a little confused.
“And a stun gun.” Quinn added cheerfully. “This is Daria’s favorite brand of mace, it’s not the wimpy kind used by the police.”
“I’m not sure where she gets it from but it might not even be legal.” Quinn said as she carefully handled the container.
“The gift that keeps giving. I’m almost hoping we run into Skyler again.” Susan said followed by the sharp pop as she triggered the taser. The blue spark that arced between the metal contact points was bright and a smell of ozone filled the room briefly.
“Lets see; charge for eight hours, good for four discharges.” Susan read the instruction manual of the taser.
“Daria got tired of the ones that use a nine volt battery, back in Highland there were these two guys that would shock themselves with them just for fun, it sort of soured her on their effectiveness. She goes for the real modals now.” Quinn said letting awe creep into her voice.
“Only your sister would hand out weapons as I miss you presents.”
“I know.” Quinn said as she teared up. “I can’t believe how sweet she can be when no one is looking.”
Susan cocked her head to the side and chuckled. “Ummm sweet?”
“It says she’s worried about me.” Quinn started to cry.
“You know this means we have to go out on a date tonight.” Susan said with a grin.
“I guess if we have to.”
Tiffany Blum-Deckler saw Quinn and Susan walk into the movie theater but decided against saying anything; she didn’t want to listen to another rant from Sandi Griffin. : Besides, … what … are … the … odds … we’re … seeing … the … same … movie. :
“Are you coming in or are you just going to stand there all night?” Sandi said clearly still grumpy from getting her third speeding ticket of the summer an hour earlier.
“Sorry … Sandi.” Tiffany followed the other girl toward the ticket booth. : Maybe … if … I … offer … to … pay … she’ll … be … nice. :
Tiffany’s attempt to calm the former fashion club President failed and she was then subjected to a discourse on the excellent financial standings of the Griffin family.
As she carried their drinks and popcorn, no salt or butter, into the theater and took her seat next to Sandi she spotted Quinn and Susan sitting several rows in front of them. Tiffany took her seat and watched for some clue from Sandi that she had seen the pair. She didn’t have to wait long. “I see Quinn is still crossing the border for dates.” Sandi said dismissively.
“Susan … isn’t … a … foreigner.”
“Not that border.” Sandi rolled her eyes. “The one around her waist.”
“Ohhhhhh.” Tiffany nodded her understanding. She decided to take
a chance. “They … seem … really … happy … together.”
Tiffany wisely decided to let the matter drop and tried to interest herself in the coming attractions by figuring out how to improve the wardrobes of the actresses that appeared. The feature had started before she heard anything else from Sandi, one small whisper halfway through the movie. “It isn’t right.”
The movie was something of a romantic disaster but as Quinn and Susan walked out of the movie leaning against each other, they would have said it was a shoe in for an Oscar. As they approached Susan’s new SUV the sound of shuffling feet caught their attention.
“This night just keeps getting better and better.” Susan said as she pulled her taser out discreetly.
They turned and saw Sandi and Tiffany walking up behind them, Tiffany looked braced for the bad scene which seemed imminent.
“Hi Sandi, Tiffany.” Quinn said looking nervous.
“Hello dyke.” Sandi replied back, Tiffany just waved nicely.
“At least I know how to pick an outfit that doesn’t bring out the wrong highlights in my hair.”
“At least I don’t spend my time on my knees.” Sandi said almost shaking.
“That’s not what your last date said.”
Sandi rushed forward and grabbed Quinn pushing her against the SUV, she didn’t see Quinn wave Susan back. “Take it back.” Sandi demanded.
“Sure, what I really heard was you spent the whole date on all fours.”
“That’s a lie.” Sandi yelled in her face, Quinn fought the urge to wipe the spittle off her face. Her arms were still pinned by Sandi anyway.
“Yes it was a lie Sandi, and it was hurtful and mean.” Quinn said softly. “It doesn’t feel good for someone to say something just to hurt you, does it?”
“Susan, Start making up a list for me to use to convince you to forgive me.” Quinn said gently looking over at her.
“For what?” Susan asked looking amused.
“For this.” Quinn said leaning in and kissing Sandi passionately, finding her arms quickly released Quinn wrapped them around the shocked girl in a tight embrace that lasted past the point of any resistances from Sandi.
She pulled away after a few moments. “Sorry Sandi, I had to know.”
Sandi staggered backwards, she had a look akin to someone who had just been hit by a car. “Huh?’
“You are so sleeping on the floor tonight.” Susan said as she moved next to Quinn clearly not amused.
“But I’m not gay.” Sandi said dazed.
“So, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good kiss.” Quinn smiled. “I don’t know why you have such a problem with me being gay but get over it already.”
“You kissed me!”
“I know, I was there.”
“Don’t ever do that again.” Tiffany grabbed one of Sandi’s arms and wrapped it around her neck. “I’ll … drive.”
Quinn and Susan both watched Tiffany help Sandi to her car. “That was mean.”
“Hey, it’s not the first time we kissed.” Quinn caught the look of disbelief on Susan’s face. “It was just another way to get guys to fall at our feet. Nothing serious like that kiss, but a few little girl girl pecks here and there and guys will carry anything.”
“So what was the point besides you getting to kiss her?”
“Maybe she’ll think about it. She kissed a girl, does it make her any different than she was before.”
“And why did tongue have to be involved?”
“Well no reason to not enjoy it.”
In the Morgendorffer living room the next morning the two girls were sitting waiting for an announcement from Helen, only Jake seemed nervous about it but then he was missing his Sunday golf game. Helen returned to the room and walked to the center of the living room with a large shark like smile. “The lawsuits are over.”
“Ok.” Quinn and Susan said looking at each other; neither cared much for the outcome of the civil suits.
“At 10:00 AM tomorrow morning I will be signing paperwork that will ensure that you two can get into any school in the country you want to.” Helen said and gained the reaction she was looking for but only from her husband. “And there should be enough left over for new wardrobes … and a vacation.”
“Where?” Quinn asked.
“We were thinking England during Winter Break.”
“Cool, is Daria coming?”
The resulting screams, held in for too long, deafened both adults and caused at least two neighbors to turn up their TVs. Quinn and Susan danced around the living room bouncing with excitement.
Helen just smiled.