Stranger

 

STRANGER
WARNING CONCERNING GRAPHIC CONTENT
Please stop reading this if there is any chance you could possibly be offended by any subject that could possibly be found within any fanfic ever written. Starting with part 2 there is less chance of offense so skipping part 1 will not greatly affect your understanding of the story I am attempting.


Part 1

She heard the noise of something falling in the hall and it awoke her, sending her to the bedroom door. Her sister’s sense of balance currently seemed to be totally out of order and she fully expected to find her struggling to stand in the hallway.
Quinn Morgendorffer came out of her bedroom and gasped at the sight that awaited her. Her older sister Daria, not in distress but instead kneeling above the prone form of their mother, whispering softly. Quinn couldn’t hear the words but then her mind couldn’t make sense of the facts her eyes were telling her. An expandable baton lay next to Daria’s knee.

“Mom!” Quinn said.

“And I saw.” Daria said, this time loud enough for Quinn to make out the words.
The hall was dark but Quinn could still make out the smear of blood on her mother’s face.

“No.” Quinn gasped.
She backed away until she felt wall behind her lost the ability to process thought as Daria rose.
:Oh god.: Quinn thought in terror as her sister started toward her.

Daria collapsed the baton and slipped it into the back pocket of the jeans she was wearing.

Quinn whimpered as Daria drew closer with each step. :They said it would make her better.: Quinn heard inside her head.

“There’s a man going round taking names and he decides who to free and who to blame.” Daria said deeply and Quinn shuddered at the coldness in the voice.
Daria reached for her and Quinn squeezed her eyes shut and waited for the pain.

“Shhhh.” Daria said and Quinn felt supportive arms embracing her.

“Daria.” Quinn said confused.

“It’s going to be ok.” Daria assured her and Quinn started to relax. Allowing her mind to try to convince her what she was seeing was all just a mistake.

Then she felt her sister’s hands moving across her body in a non sisterly fashion, one coming to rest on her lower back and the other cupping her breast. Quinn gasped again as Daria fondled her through the thin night shirt. She had been groped by far too many boys who never got a second date but never with such intensity as her sister seemed to be bringing to bare.

“Da aria.” Quinn stuttered weakly. :It isn’t her. It just looks like her.: Quinn thought desperately.

“It’s all going to be ok.” Daria said and Quinn felt lips on her own. Felt the desire from her sister as she kissed and caressed her body.

:Oh god please don’t hurt me.: Quinn thought and her voice followed.
“Whatever you want, I’ll do. Please just don’t hurt me.” Quinn begged as tears flowed freely down her face.

“I could never hurt you Quinn. I love you.” Daria said and kissed Quinn again as her hands massaged her body lower and lower.

:This isn’t happening.: Quinn thought as Daria nuzzled against her neck as her hands continued their path.

“Besides. You’re pure.” Daria said when her hand rested Quinn had allowed none before.

Quinn slid to the floor as her legs gave up the struggle and she could see blackness moving in one the edges of her vision.

“It’s going to be all right. I’ll protect you. That’s what I’m here for.” Daria said with another kiss. Quinn felt her body responding to the need pushed against it and in fear her mind clung to the sharp safety it provided.

Quinn stared at the too still form of Helen Morgendorffer and shivered.

Daria noticed and gently and lovingly brushed Quinn’s hair from her eyes and spoke in a warm voice.
“I would never take your mother from you. She’ll be fine in a few hours. I have to go but then I’ll be done for a while and we can be together until they send me another message.” Daria said and leaned down and kissed her sister one last time before rising to her feet.

“The whirlwind is in the thorn tree.” Daria said coldly before walking through the hall and down the steps.
Quinn heard the front door open and closed and she curled into a ball on the floor and just began sobbing.

:It’s only been a week.: Quinn thought as she let the soothing blackness overwhelm her.

 

 

Part 2
Flashback one week earlier.
DAY ZERO.

Quinn Morgendorffer paced as she waited in the hotel room for her parents to return from picking up her sister from the hospital.

:First they make me ride coach and then I have to sit all day in this dump just because Daria had a breakdown. Well duh who didn’t think she was going to crack up.: Quinn thought worriedly trying to cover up the fear for her sister with the distain that had marked their entire relationship.
She heard the door knob turning and she moved to open the door.

“C’mon Quinn we’re leaving.” Her mother said as she started grabbing bags.

“What? We just go here.” Quinn said surprised.

“Your father and sister are down in the car and we need to hurry back to the airport or we’re stuck here for an extra six hours.” Helen said pushing several suitcases at Quinn to carry.

“Is Daria ok?” Quinn asked. :Careful won’t do for anyone to know how worried you are.: She thought.

“No.” Helen said and Quinn noticed how smudged her mother’s makeup was.

:What!: Quinn screamed in her mind.

“She needs some help and right she’s very sedated and it’s best to get the flight over with before it wears off.” Helen said sternly and Quinn knew the tone. It meant to step lightly and don’t even think about doing anything to your sister until further notice.

“Whatever I can do just tell me.” Quinn nodded calmly.

“Just help me get this junk downstairs.” Helen snapped.

“No problem.” Quinn said quickly and grabbed as many of the bags as she could manage and started out the door.
Quinn loaded the bags into the trunk of the taxi and started back only to see her mother coming out with the rest herself. Together they loaded them before climbing into the taxi and Quinn heard her father instruct the cab driver to the air port.
Quinn inspected the buckled in form of her sister and bit her lip hard enough to taste her own blood at the exhausted expression on Daria’s face. She dug into her purse and pulled out several tissues and started trying to clean up the spit and drool around her elder sister’s mouth as well as the dried tears around her eyes.

“Ummm.” Daria said and her eyes fluttered.

“Mom, she’s awake.” Quinn said softly as she continued cleaning up her sister.

“She’ll go back to sleep in a few moments.” Helen said strongly.
Quinn nodded and watched her sister’s eyes follow her hand as she continued to clean her and felt Daria squirm closer until her head was resting on Quinn’s lap.

“It’s ok.” Quinn said gently and rubbed Daria’s head trying to calm her and within seconds Daria was asleep again.

“How long until we get to the airport?” Helen demanded.

“Just a few minutes Ma’am.” The cabbie answered.

“Ok I’ve contacted our doctor and arranged for a house call. We will still need to take her into his office as soon as possible for a complete exam but maybe we can get some answers.” Helen sighed. “Did you have any luck with Daria’s roommate?” Helen asked her husband.

“No. I keep calling but no one answers. The police said they spoke with her this morning so my guess is she doesn’t want to talk to anyone.” Jake sighed.

Quinn tuned them out and rested and arm on her sister’s shoulder and leaned back against the seat.
:Please let her be ok.: She pleaded to whoever might be listening.

They boarded the plane before the other passengers and Quinn found out her parents had decided to sit Daria next to her.

“Ok but can you get some napkins and water so I can clean her up some more. I think she likes it when I do that.” Quinn shrugged.
Helen looked ready to argue that Daria was completely out of it but decided against it and she quietly agreed.
Quinn spent most of the flight cleaning up her sister’s arms and face and it was an hour or so before they were due to land when Daria started stirring awake and Helen called for the flight attendant.

Quinn grabbed her sister’s hand and started calmly talking to her. “It’s ok. We’re on a plane heading back to Lawndale and we’ll be there soon.” Daria’s eyes seemed to register her sister speaking and she grew still.

“Everything is going to be alright.” Quinn promised and Daria seemed to be relaxing.

Helen spoke quickly with the attendant who handed her something that Quinn couldn’t make out until her mother leaned over the seat with a syringe and made to grab Daria’s arm.
Daria reacted almost like an animal and cowered against Quinn trying to pull her body into itsself.

“Mom!” Quinn gasped.

“Hold her still.” Helen said and Quinn froze in confusion as her mother grabbed Daria’s leg and jabbed the needle in and quickly pushed down the plunger.

“What are you doing?” Quinn said shocked as her mother retracted the now empty syringe and placed a cap on it.

“We can’t have her acting out on the plane.” Helen said sternly.

“She wasn’t.” Quinn spat out and wrapped her arms around Daria who was still shaking in fear.

“It was the only way to get her on the flight. If anything happened they would land the plane and put us off.” Helen said sadly.

“I could have kept her calm. She was listening to me.” Quinn sighed as she rubbed Daria’s back. Neither of them noticing the black stare Daria was granting her mother as her eyes closed.

“Do you think I wanted to? All I want is to get her home so we can get her some help. If that means offending you or anyone else then I will.” Helen replied looking hurt.

“You didn’t give her a chance. How is anyone going to help her is she’s drugged out of her mind.” Quinn said before looking away from her mother in disgust.

“Is there a problem here?” The attendant said returning.

“No. It’s just a stressful time.” Helen sighed.

:For Daria.: Quinn thought enraged at her mother.



Quinn carried her sister up the stairs of the house refusing the offer of help from her father and pointedly ignoring her mother. Daria’s old room had been stripped of most of the furniture but the bed remained and after depositing Daria next to it she went and quickly retrieved some sheets from the linen closet and made up the bed. She added a pillow from her own bed and a blanket from her closet and tucked her sister in gently.

“Quinn.” Helen said from the doorway.

“What?” She responded as she stood after finishing with Daria.

“I know this is as hard on you as the rest of us but I’m not the bad guy here.” Helen sighed.

“I know but it’s like Daria always said. When you can’t tell the good from the bad anymore then what’s the point.” Quinn returned, striking coldly.

“Oh Quinn. Daria will be fine. Doctor Mathew will be here in an hour or two and he’ll tell us what to do next.” Helen sighed.

“What happened to her?” Quinn demanded.

“Apparently she disappeared for three days and then showed up dancing in the city park offering salvation to any who would seek it. The police thought she was drunk and tried to take her into custody and she resisted injuring an officer. Luckily the Boston PD has decided not to press charges. Something about not wanting to explain how a 5’2 hundred pounds soaking weight little girl took down an armed 6’4 260 pound officer in 12 seconds.” Helen said and Quinn was surprised to hear some form of pride in her mother’s voice.

“Wow.” Quinn nodded looking over at Daria’s sleeping form.

“That’s also why the airlines wanted her sedated for the entire flight. Otherwise we would have had to restrain her.” Helen explained.

“Oh.” Quinn said weakly feeling slightly ashamed of her anger toward her mother earlier.
Her father suddenly appeared behind them with his toolbox and he moved to the door and started working on the handle.
Quinn felt the anger return and glared at her mother.

“He’s removing the lock. We don’t want her to be able to lock us out right now.” Helen sighed.


A loud knocking on the door sent Helen out of the room looking hurt at Quinn’s mistrust.
Quinn followed as far as the hallway and heard her mother let the doctor in.

Dr Mathew took several blood samples and examined Daria before inviting them downstairs to discuss the problem.
Quinn took a seat at the table next to her father and just glared at her mother who looked almost ready to send her out of the room but changed her mind quickly.

“Well she is malnourished and seems to be suffering from fatigue. I need you to not give her any more sedatives so we can judge her state of awareness. I am writing a prescription that should help keep her calm. I want to run some bloodwork and then schedule a MRI as soon as we can, maybe in a week or so.” The doctor explained.

“Is she going to be ok?” Jake asked.

“Well it’s a little early still but I think if nothing else we will know a lot more about what’s happening really soon.” The doctor responded.

“What should we be doing?” Helen asked.

“Keep her comfortable and make sure she’s eating and having her looked at by a mental heath specialist is a good idea.” The doctor answered.

“Daria isn’t crazy.” Quinn said harshly.

The doctor nodded and answered before her mother could say anything. “I’m sure you’re right but it’s not uncommon for stressful times to cause chemical imbalances in people and making them act differently than they would normally. If that’s the case we can treat the symptoms and the problem and hopefully Daria will make a quick recovery. But we have to know.” He said calmly.

Quinn nodded but eyeballed her parents daring them to say anything to her.



“Ok Quinn since you seem determined to be involved I guess we need to update you on what’s going to be happening for the next few days or weeks.” Helen said sternly.

“What?” Quinn said calmly.

“I’m closing the firm … for a little while. To be here during the daytime to take care of Daria. She’s going to need someone to be alert incase she needs help 24-7 and we could use some help.” Jake said nicely.

“I can cancel my dates for the next two weeks tomorrow. I’ll help in any way I can.” Quinn promised and she noticed her father smiled while her mother only nodded.



Quinn awoke sometime early in the morning to Daria’s screams and she ran to the room where her sister screamed sitting up in bed like a child with a nightmare.

Quinn grabbed her sister and tried to calm her and promised there weren’t any beasts in the room and suddenly as her parents entered and looked shocked at the raw emotion exploding from their stoic daughter Daria spoke in a voice of anguish and calmed instantly. “And I heard.”

Daria cowered shaking against Quinn flinching and retreating tighter against her sister whenever Helen reached out to comfort her.

Quinn couldn’t bring forth much sympathy for Helen but it was there as her mother fought to stop the tears from falling.
:She’s afraid of you now. That’s what you get for choosing the easy path instead of the right one.: Quinn thought coldly.

 

 

 

Part 3
DAY ONE.



Quinn came out of her room dressed for school and almost ran into Daria standing in the hallway.

“Oh!” Quinn gasped in surprised. “I didn’t see you there.”

Daria turned and looked at her with a confused expression.

“Can I help you?” Quinn asked nicely.

“I think ... I can manage going ... to the bathroom ... alone.” Daria said strangely.

Quinn’s heart started pounding and she nodded and watched as Daria walked into the bathroom.

She waited for her sister to come out and offered her an arm to help support her as Daria’s movements seemed unsteady at best as they headed down the hall.

“Thanks.” Daria said as Quinn helped her down the stairs.

“You scared me yesterday. I’m just happy you’re ok.” Quinn admitted.

“Sorry I … guess all that … angst got out.” Daria said clearly having trouble talking.

“It’s ok. Mom and Dad will be so happy to see you a little better you could milk this for a car if you wanted.” Quinn joked.

Quinn heard her parents in the kitchen and kept a tight grip on Daria as they entered. She helped Daria take a seat at the table and asked. “What would you like for breakfast? Doctor’s orders are to feed you until you pop.”

“Pop.” Daria said and the effect of her voice was dramatic on both her parents.

“Kiddo. You’re feeling better.” Jake beamed at her.

“Well Daria if you wanted some time off of school you could have just asked.” Helen smiled weakly as she spoke.

“I’ll just have some cereal.” Daria said to Quinn without looking at her parents.

“Ok. One bowl of something that won’t help but shouldn’t kill you outright.” Quinn groaned looking in the cabinet where they kept the cereal.

“My favorite.” Daria smiled weakly.

“Daria the doctor suggested we give you a few days to rest and then take you to see some other doctors. Do you understand me?” Helen said gently moving next to the table.

When Daria didn’t answer Helen looked over at Jake in confusion before moving closer and Quinn saw Daria start to shy away from the approaching woman.
“Leave her alone.” Quinn said strongly.

“What, what.” Helen said spinning around.

“She’s a little freaked out by you right now. It might have something to do with shoving needles in her when she was scared and confused.” Quinn replied harshly as she finished the bowl of cereal and placed it in front of her sister. “Juice?”
“Please.” Daria answered right away.

Helen looked struck in the face but she maintained her composure and nodded her understanding.
“I’m so sorry Daria. I just didn’t know how else to get you home. I hope you can forgive me.” She said sadly.

Quinn placed a glass of juice in front of Daria and Helen noted it was in a plastic cup as was the bowl the cereal was served in.

“Dad’s taken some time off work to take care of you during the day wasn’t that nice of him.” Quinn said as she checked the time.

“Ya.” Daria answered and offered Jake a smile.

“I’ll be home right after school and we can watch that weird show you like.” Quinn said and an idea occurred to her. “I’ll stop by Jane’s and tell her you’re in town. She’s working at the mall but I’m sure she would love to see you.”

“That would be great.” Daria said and she reached out and weakly pulled Quinn into a hug before releasing her.
The physical contact surprised everyone and Quinn smiled at her own thoughtfulness.

:See just a little patience and understanding and everything is going to be ok.: Quinn thought as she headed to school.


Quinn arrived back home furious at Sandi and swearing to herself to beat the snob with a hair curler the next time she saw her as she made the turn onto her street. She started running as soon as she spotted the three firetrucks parked outside the house.

Once inside she followed the sounds of commotion to the basement where a crowd of firefighters and her parents were trying to talk to the air return vent.

“Those ducts are just big enough for her and we can’t get in far enough to even spot her.” One of the men was saying to her father.
Quinn marched up to her mother and stared her straight into the eye. “What did you do?” Quinn demanded.

“All I did was try to talk to her.” Helen defended herself but looked like a child caught doing what they knew was wrong.

“STOP. I don’t care what this family drama is but my problem is the girl in the vent. Now what I need is your permission to start cutting into the walls to find her.” The fire chief said strongly interrupting the conversation.

“I’ll get her.” Quinn said as she marched over to the vent pushing past the various men standing around staring at it.

Quinn looked at the cramped space and sighed before stripping off her shirt and kicking off her shoes and bending down to enter the vent. A snicker behind her reminded her she was now wearing only a bra above the waist and she turned to face the grinning men.
“Grow up.” She said before entering the vent. She didn’t hear the chief start verbally ripping some of the firefighters into pieces.

Quinn crawled down the vent until she reached a junction before calling out softly. “Daria, it’s me.”

She heard something to her left but she couldn’t make the turn and it to dark to make anything out.
“Please just let me know you’re ok.” Quinn asked calmly.

“So loud.” Daria said sounding frightened and Quinn saw the darkness break as Daria moved close to her.

“The men. I can send them away. We can go upstairs and watch TV and you can help me with my homework.” Quinn offered.

“I’m scared.” Daria said and Quinn felt her sister’s hand touch her arm.

“Me too. You know how much I hate dark cramped places. C’mon just follow me back and then stay close to the entrance after I get out and I’ll tell them to leave then you can come out.” Quinn promised.

“If you swear.” Daria pleaded with her.

“I do.” Quinn promised and she started to back down the duct and smiled encouragingly at Daria following her. When her feet left the duct Quinn felt people reaching to help her and she swatted their hands away.

“Everybody out of the basement. You’re scaring her.” Quinn demanded pointing over toward the stairs.

The fire chief knelt down back almost ten feet from the vent and saw Daria just out of arms reach and nodded. “Alright clear the room.” He ordered his men.
The firefighters exited up the stairs and Quinn held out her hands to her sister who quickly exited the vent and hid behind Quinn’s taller frame.

“I don’t care if it hurts your feelings or your pride you need to back off.” Quinn said glaring at her mother who nodded.

“We made an appointment with a doctor to exam her and it’s tomorrow.” Helen said calmly and her tone told Quinn what kind of doctor it would be.

“Good now I’m sure that someone is going to suggest sending her somewhere.” Quinn took a deep breath and continued. “I swear if you do without trying every other possible option you will lose two daughters because I won’t be part of that.” Quinn snarled.

“Quinn, no one is sending her anywhere. She just needs rest and some help.” Helen said strongly.

“Good.” Quinn said and she started toward the stairs with Daria in tow.

“Your shirt.” Jake said holding it out to her. She took it and slipped it back on not caring about the dirt and crime that covered her now.

“Thank you.” Quinn smiled at her father before moving up the stairs with Daria. “C’mon lets go take us some showers because no offense you’ve been in that duct to long.” Quinn teased Daria nicely and got a smile in return.


Quinn was awakened by an unusual sound in the backyard and she got up from the bed and looked out the window, looked down and saw her sister standing alone. She looked to see if one of her parents was standing nearby but no one could be seen.
She hurried down the stairs and out into the backyard and found Daria where she had seen her from the window and started pulling her into the house.

“There are many beasts.” Daria said softly.

“Well I don’t want them to find us, so lets get inside.” Quinn replied not really paying attention.

“I won’t let them hurt you.” Daria promised.

“C’mon.” Quinn said.

She pulled her sister into the house and noticed how filthy Daria was.

:She must have been out there for hours. It looks like she was digging in the dirt.: Quinn thought as she pushed Daria toward the bathroom and offered to get her a change of bed clothes. She checked Daria’s head as her sister’s hands seemed to be covered in long hair but it appeared that maybe she was just pulling out the knots that infested her head. :I’ll take care of that tomorrow. I think I still have some of that tangle-away spray.: Quinn thought.
Quinn waited for Daria to come out and walked with her to the bedroom and tucked her sister in. She turned to leave and felt Daria’s hand grab hers hard enough to hurt.

“Sit with me.” Daria said her eyes begging.

“Sure. Let me turn off the lights.” Quinn smiled and she felt the iron grip release. Quinn turned off the overhead light and reached for the reading lamp and a jerk from Daria convinced her to leave it on.

“You get some sleep. I’ll stay here until you are in dreamland.” Quinn promised as Daria started fading into sleep. She sat on the edge of the bed and smiled down at her sister lovingly.

Quinn watched her sister sleep until she was sure that Daria was peacefully dreaming before getting off the bed and heading to her room.

:Ok so she ended up in the back yard getting all dirty. That’s not so bad.: Quinn defended against the worrying voice in the back of her head.

 

 

Part 4

DAY TWO.

Quinn went to school in the morning but only after getting both her parents to agree to pick her up at the school for Daria’s appointment with the mental health physician in the afternoon. Quinn made it through the day on auto pilot waiting for the time to arrive in the day. There was one high spot to the day for her.

“Where’s … Sandi?” Tiffany asked as Quinn and Stacy joined her at their table at lunch the next day.

“Frankly I don’t care.” Quinn almost snarled.

“Quinn!” Stacy gasped.

“I’m tired of her treating us like we’re servants and I’ll be damned if I’m going to act like I’m sorry for passing a class or two.” Quinn growled.

“She is getting pretty bad since Shawn dumped her.” Stacy said at a whisper.

“She’s … the … president.” Tiffany stated like it explained everything.

“Not anymore. There isn’t a fashion club this year.” Quinn replied.

“Ohhh … that’s … right.” Tiffany nodded.

“I hope she’s all right but … I think you’re right.” Stacy blushed as she agreed.

“I like Sandi but she needs a reality check.” Quinn sighed. “I just wish she would relax some.”

She couldn't maintain the anger anymore. Venting to Daria before bed last night had helped her considerably. :First bedtime that is.: Quinn thought amused.

“Maybe a day off is just what she needs.” Stacy said hopefully.

“Ya … right.” Tiffany smirked.

“I have a bridge for sale if you believe that.” Quinn agreed.



“Quinn Morgendorffer? I’m not sure she’s in this class.” Mr. O’Neil said to the student aid that entered the class.
Quinn had already grabbed her bags and moved up to the front of the class.

“Oh there you are.” He smiled. “I forgot. You’re going with your parents to take your sister to the doctor.” He said loudly.

“Yes.” Quinn said through clenched teeth.

“She was always one of my favorite students. I hope she recovers quickly. The sensitive geniuses are always the ones to have emotional problems but I’m sure they’ll get her squared away. My brother had to spend a few months in a hospital after college and he’s fine now.” O’Neil continued speaking far too loud for Quinn’s comfort.

“It’s …” Quinn started.

“It’s nothing to be ashamed. Daria’s breakdown is a normal part of life in today’s America.” O’Neil smiled understandingly at her.

“She’s fine.” Quinn tried to keep the growl out of her voice.

“Perhaps discussing personal MEDICAL information in front of a class isn’t the best thing to do.” The student aid said looking shocked at Mr. O’Neil.

“Of course you’re right. Give Daria my best.” He smiled and Quinn could clearly see herself swinging her hand into his face for a few hours with pleasure.

“I will.” Quinn gritted.
:And I’ll tell my mom how you decided to tell the whole school about Daria’s problem.: She thought hating the man with a passion.


Quinn sat in the back with Daria on the way to the physiologist that her mother swore was the best in the area and talked gently to her sister.
“Hey it’s going to be ok. How about on the way home we stop and get some pizza.” Quinn said trying to get Daria to respond.
Daria just stared out the window.

“Jane wasn’t home yesterday but I left a note on her door and in her mailbox and I went inside and left one on the kitchen table.” Quinn said hoping to get any response.
Daria continued to stare out the window and Quinn had to fight the tears that wanted to come.

“I called her too and left messages and I’m going to keep trying. I’m sorry.” Quinn said on the verge of sobbing.

Daria’s hand reached over and weakly gripped hers, holding it gently while its owner continued to stare aimlessly out the window.
:She’s trying.: Quinn thought as the simple gesture spoke volumes of the inner pain and fear that raged within her sister.



“Well Daria seems to be in a state of disassociation that is hindering her ability to communicate with the people around her. Also the behavior from the police reports suggests she was hearing voices and may be having some form of psychotic breakdown. You have her scheduled for an MRI I see, that’s very good. Lets try to rule out any kind of health issue first. I understand this was her first time away from home, is this correct.” The doctor was say after spending an hour with Daria.

“Yes, she went to camp during the summers but never for more than a month.” Helen answered.

“And I understand Raft while not being considered Ivy league is one of the more academically minded schools in the country.” The doctor pushed.

“It is. She had made the dean’s list before winter break.” Helen said calmly and proudly.

“Impressive. Does Daria have any history of mental problems?” The doctor continued.

“No.” Jake answered and Quinn bit her lip slightly.

“Does anyone in the family?” The doctor asked.

“No.” Helen answered.

“Well I can’t give you any answers right now but the chances that Daria suddenly developed schizophrenia or something of that nature is unlikely. I think we are looking at either a stress related breakdown or something physical.” The doctor informed them.

“What?” Helen said confused.

“Possibly a reaction to some form of recreational drug or a chemical imbalance. The list is quite extensive but I think the MRI will give us some clues. I want to see Daria twice a week. Even if the problem is physical she is still a scared young woman going through what is most likely the most traumatic ever in her life and she can’t even communicate that fear effectively.” The doctor said calmly and Quinn decided she like him.
Both her parents glanced at Quinn sheepishly and their eyes burned with shame.

:I told you.: Quinn glared back.


Quinn spent an hour brushing the knots and tangles from Daria’s hair and fought the urge to start making over her sister. Daria hummed a tune wordlessly as she did and seemed to be in good spirits and Quinn found herself talking about everything that she could have think of.
:I should have gotten up earlier and done this in the morning. The shrink must have thought we were neglecting her.: Quinn thought as she finished the hair.

“It’s getting late girls.” Helen said from the doorway to Quinn’s room. She was being careful to not invade Daria’s personal space now.

“Ok. I’m almost done.” Quinn said smiling at her mother. There was an unspoken truce in the house now with Quinn calling the all the shots when it came to Daria. Her mother had confided in Quinn the hope that even the small amount of communication that occurred between the sisters would serve as a grounding line for Daria’s recovery.

“Ok. I picked up some of the cereal and breakfast food you asked for.” Helen said before leaving and moving down the hall.

“Good now you won’t have any excuse to not eat a fattening but healthy breakfast.” Quinn teased Daria.

“Oh yea.” Daria responded something close to the voice Quinn remembered.

“Well you have to gain about twenty pounds so it’s eat and eat some more.” Quinn scolded her pleasantly.
Daria just smiled and leaned back against Quinn and rested her head on her sister’s shoulder.


Jane showed up at the front door an hour after Quinn had left Daria’s room.

“Shhh.” Quinn said answering the door. “Daria’s sleeping.”
Jane looked beyond words.

“I guess you got my message.” Quinn sighed.

“..What’s ..wrong ..with ..Daria?” Jane asked slowly pausing on each word.

“Jane she’s ok but she had a breakdown or something. She’s underweight and a litt..” Quinn started and the tears ran down her cheeks.

Jane melted and grabbed Quinn’s hands in hers. “Tell me.”

“She doesn’t know where she is sometimes and she gets scared. They’re checking her to see if there is something wrong with her and having her see a shrink.” Quinn managed.

“Can I see her?” Jane asked.

Quinn just shook her head. “She needs her rest. I think she gets up in the middle of the night. But if you could come by tomorrow I know it would mean the world to her.” Quinn said honestly.

“OK I will.” Jane promised.

“She might not talk or seem to know you but that’s normal I think. Just be there for her.” Quinn cried.

“I will and I know we aren’t friends but if you ... I mean YOU need anything, even to talk just come to me.” Jane said tearfully.

“Thank you.” Quinn said crying.

“It’s going to be ok.” Jane said even though she doubted it.



Quinn heard the shower come on and came alert. The clock told her it was almost 5 am and no one should have been up. She moved out of her room and checked Daria’s bedroom before moving to the bathroom when she found it empty.

“Is everything ok?” She asked through the door.
When she didn’t hear an answer she checked the handle and slowly turned it and opened the door just a crack and said again.“Daria, is everything ok?”
Again only silence answered her. Taking a deep breath she opened the door and looked in. Daria was standing in the shower under the steaming water, her clothes in a dirt covered pile on the floor.
Quinn saw her sister’s skin turning red from the water and quickly grabbed Daria’s arm and pulled her out.

“What are you doing?” Quinn cried out. She grabbed a towel and wrapped it around her and tucked the corner to prevent it from falling away.

“I was filthy.” Daria answered at once.

“I see that.” Quinn replied as she assured herself that red scald marks on Daria’s shoulders and chest weren’t bad.

“The beasts are filthy and they make me filthy.” Daria mumbled as Quinn grabbed the first aid kit and led Daria into the padded room.

“You can’t go out wandering around. You might get hurt.” Quinn said frustrated with the childlike behavior.

“I’m sorry.” Daria responded sounding truly contrite.

“It’s ok but you scared me.” Quinn admitted.

Quinn pulled out a change of bed clothes for Daria and placed them on the bed before removing a tube of aloe from the kit.
She quickly applied the aloe to the angry marks on her sister’s torso before helping Daria get dressed.

“You are taking care of me.” Daria said sounding surprised.

“That’s what family does. When you love someone you help them when they need help.” Quinn sighed.

“I love you too Quinn.” Daria said and hugged her tightly.
Quinn looked down at her sister sitting on the bed hugging her waist with side of her face pressed against Quinn’s stomach and smiled.

“It’s going to be ok but just so you know. When you’re better I’m really going to rub this in.” Quinn chuckled.

“That’s ok.” Daria replied sounding tired.
Daria went to asleep with Quinn sitting next to her.

 

 

 

Part 5
DAY THREE and FOUR

Squad cars seem to take up half the parking lot as Quinn and Stacy climbed out of their separate cars.

“What’s going on?” Stacy exclaimed looking frightened.

“Maybe Mrs. Li turned up a cap pistol during this week’s locker searches.” Quinn shrugged not caring much about business as usual at Lawndale High.

“Do you think this is about Sandi?” Stacy asked her weakly.

Quinn turned and grabbed Stacy’s arm. “What about Sandi?” She demanded.

Stacy gulped and answered. “She was attacked. Some sick-o held her down in the mud and ripped out her hair and beat her up.” Stacy answered looking shocked at Quinn’s previous reaction.

“Is she all right?” Quinn barked.

“Her mom said she would be ok in a few days but she’s really freaked out.” Stacy answered shaking now.
Quinn just groaned and released Stacy’s arm.

“I’m sorry Stacy it’s just as mad as she makes me I don’t want anything bad to happen to one of my friends.” Quinn admitted.

“It’s really scary.” Stacy agreed.


Quinn noted the police presence at the school throughout the entire day but it wasn’t until her English period that she discovered what was occurring. Police officers walked the halls and seemed to be interviewing teachers throughout the day.

“Mr. O’Neil is dead.” A smiling boy said running around the classroom.

“WHAT?” Quinn said surprised.

“Someone killed the twit last night.” The boy said happily until several police officers walked into the room with Mrs. Li.

“Remove that student please.” Li said to one of the security guards that stood by the door.
After the student had been walked toward the office Li stood in front of the class and announced.
“A tragic accident has occurred and Mr. O’Neil has passed away. Teachers are available if you need someone to talk to and calls have been made to your parents. We hope to have a substitute teacher here tomorrow so please use this time to keep up with your other classes.” Li said calmly before walking out.

Quinn felt sorry but even the loss of life couldn’t weigh compared to the pain she faced over Daria’s problems and the feelings of guilt dragged her down.



Quinn arrived back at her house and found Jane there visiting Daria in the living room. The two looked like they were having one of their normal conversations and the sight lifted her heart.

“Hey you made it home.” Jane said and Daria smiled at her. “See I told you she would be here right after school.” Jane said pushing on Daria’s shoulder.

“I didn’t think the day was ever going to end.” Quinn sighed and she stretched out on the floor in front of the couch.

“Poor baby. It must be so trying to be the most popular girl in school.” Jane teased and elbowed Daria gently.

“I know, the pressures are so over whelming.” Quinn smirked.

“So what have you two been up two?” Quinn continued.

“Just hanging out a bit.” Jane shrugged.

“Jane was telling me about her job.” Daria said quietly.

“That sounds nice.” Quinn replied with a smile.

Jane looked surprised at Daria’s statement. “So you have been listening, well I was just kidding about having a crush on Mack.” Jane laughed.
Quinn tried to keep a cheerful face but the strain wore thin quickly.

“What’s up?” Jane noticed almost at once.

“It’s nothing.” Quinn said and nodded toward Daria. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Something is going on.” Jane mused but she didn’t push any farther.

Daria moved off the couch and slid down next to Quinn and hugged her sister roughly. Jane was almost floor by the action from her friend.
“It’s ok, just some stuff happening at school.” Quinn said and hugged her sister back.

“It’s nice to see you two getting along.” Jane responded weakly.

“She takes care of me.” Daria said as she broke the hug.

“That’s what sister’s do.” Quinn replied with a smile.


Quinn offered to walk Jane home and filled her in on Daria’s problems and the events she discovered at school during the day.

“So Daria is taking a mental vacation and some nut-job whacked your teacher and Sandi finally pissed someone off enough to smack her around. You aren’t having a good week.” Jane said with a sad shake of her head.

“She’s doing ok sometimes. I think she really liked you visiting. I hope you come over again.” Quinn said sheepishly.

“I’ll be over every day. Not for as long as today but for a few minutes at least.” Jane promised.

“Thank you.” Quinn sighed.

“What happened?” Jane said angrily.

“Only Daria knows and she isn’t saying. My dad is trying to get a hold of her roommate in Boston but she doesn’t return his calls. They have some medical tests scheduled for early next week and hopefully one of them will tell us what’s wrong.” Quinn said.

“Ok what are beasts she mentioned?” Jane pushed.

“I don’t know. She has nightmares about them and says they’re out there and that’s all I know.” Quinn admitted.

“Is she seeing … you know …” Jane said unable to say the words.

“Her second appointment is tomorrow.” Quinn assured her.

“Well this is my stop. Just keep me up to speed. She’s my Amiga and I can’t stand the thought of this happening to her. I need to be doing something.” Jane said forcefully as they arrived at her house.

“Just be there for her. That’ll be enough.” Quinn sighed and watched as Jane headed into her house looking crushed.



Daria was waiting for her at the door looking worried and panicked.

“You can’t be out in the dark.” Daria said as she grabbed Quinn as soon the door started to open and pulled inside the house.

“It’s ok.” Quinn replied. “I just walked Jane home.”

“Promise no more.” Daria insisted holding onto her tightly.

“I do.” Quinn said nervously.

“Good.” Daria said and released her sister.

Quinn walked with Daria into the kitchen to see what their father was preparing for dinner.




Helen caught Quinn alone while Daria was showering for bed. She approached nervously and with a shaken face. “Your father told me about your teacher. I’m so sorry.”

“I wish I could say it bothered me but with everything going on it barely gets a twitch.” Quinn shrugged.

“Linda, Sandi’s mother called and told me about what happened to her. I don’t want you going out after dark alone or with anyone you don’t trust.” Helen said worriedly.

“Ok.” Quinn agreed without argument.

Helen did a double take at her easy victory before nodding. “If you need some time to yourself or away from school I think we can arrange it.”

“No I want to take care of Daria and she still isn’t that comfortable around you but she’s starting to open up. Maybe when things settle down we could talk about that.” Quinn said thoughtfully. :And tonight I’ll set my alarm so I can try to stop Daria from getting outside.:


Quinn woke up to late and again found Daria wandering filthy but this time in the front yard and she was forced to admit to herself that it had become a problem beyond her ability to control or manage.
She brought it up with Daria in the morning.

“I do what at night?” Daria asked while their parents got painfully quiet.

“I keep finding you outside and it’s starting to scare me. I don’t want you to get hurt.” Quinn admitted.

“I don’t remember getting up.” Daria said honestly.

“You’re always really confused and dirty, like you were playing in dirt.” Quinn said taking Daria’s hands in her own.

“When did this start?” Helen asked gently.

“The second night Daria was home. I think it should be discussed at your appointment today.” Quinn said nervously, clearly worried this information was bringing more stress to Daria.
Daria nodded sadly. “I’ll tell him.” She said only looking at Quinn.

“It’s ok. I think maybe you’re sleep walking and then you wake up and don’t know where you are.” Quinn smiled trying to offer some kind of assurance to her sister.

“I just fade away sometimes.” Daria said weakly. “Then I’m ok.”

“And the doctors are going to find what’s wrong and you’ll be back on top real quick. You’ll see kiddo.” Jake promised.



Quinn went to school after the talk feeling better and with the promises from her parents to not do anything rash without speaking with her first she was ready for another boring day. Her constant entourage seemed determined to prevent that before she made it to her first class.

“My dad’s a cop and he says that he’ll have nightmares for the rest of his life after seeing what happened to Mr. O’Neil.” Joey was saying to his two friends as they carried Quinn’s books for her.

“I hear it took 4 hours just to find all the parts.” Jamie replied.

“Gruesome, do you think you could get some of the pictures from the scene?” Jeffy asked.

“Ewww. You guys are sick. If you can’t find something else to talk about then give me back my books and go away.” Quinn said as she grew tired of listening to the details and theories concerning the crime.

“Sorry Quinn.” Jamie said quickly.

“Ya sorry.” Jeffy and Joey parroted quickly.

“Good. I have math first period so start walking quicker.” Quinn sighed.



Quinn arrived back at her house after school to find both her parents home and waiting for her. Both of them sat quietly at the dining room table and Quinn heard Daria upstairs.

“What’s up?” Quinn said cautiously.

“The doctor was concerned about Daria’s increased disassociation at night and suggested some medicine that might help her.” Helen said calmly.

“That sounds ok.” Quinn said waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“It might make things worse.” Jake sighed.

“How worse?” Quinn demanded.

“It could cause her to have another breakdown. She might regress to how she was when we first brought her home.” Helen explained.

“I don’t like it but I’m assuming the doctor thinks it’s for the best, … that it’s worth the risk.” Quinn pushed. :Something has to help.:

“He does but we didn’t want to do anything without talking with you first.” Helen nodded.

“Can we … start tomorrow?” Quinn said her voice choking up. “In case … she does … get worse.”

“You two spend the night talking and then tomorrow we’ll start her on the pills.” Helen understood completely.

“She’s going to get through this. It might take a while but I’ve no doubt. Daria will get better.” Her father promised firmly.


Quinn sat watching Sick Sad World with her sister as the night began to wax.

“Quinn if I don’t remember all this after I start taking the pills, I want you to know I love you.” Daria said half way through an episode.
Quinn just nodded afraid any the sound of her own voice would set off the tears that were in her near future.

“I think I’m broken. My head hurts and I can’t write anymore. I’m really scared.” Daria admitted.

“It’ll get better.” Quinn said as the tears started to fall. She wrapped the smaller girl into her arms and held her tightly; almost afraid she would slip like water through her arms.

“Just be there and keep them away tonight.” Daria cried against her.

“I will.” Quinn promised and her mind tried to scream away the monsters that haunted her sister’s very soul.
Quinn stayed with her sister throughout the entire night and Daria never stirred from the fitful sleep until the morning.


Daria smiled at Quinn as she swallowed the pill only minutes before she would leave for school.

“I’ll be home later. I left you a note on your desk.” Quinn added with a whisper as she hugged her.

The school day passed in a blur that Quinn couldn’t remember as soon as she walked away from the campus. The only thing on her mind was what she would find when she got home.
Quinn entered her home that afternoon and was relieved to find Daria still unchanged. That night held no major changes in her sister and again Quinn stayed with her through the night.


The screams started at 5 AM in the morning.

 

 

Part 6



Daria stopped screaming somewhere around daybreak. Quinn hadn’t noticed at first until the silence become unusual. She held her sister tightly and continued to rock her as she had since the episode had begun. Both girls were soaked with sweat and tears as Daria finally became still.

Helen and Jake bustled about picking up on the easing of the screams before she had.

“We need to get her to the doctor now!” Helen was saying looking terrified.

“Maybe this is a good thing.” Jake said weakly. “Maybe this is what the drug is supposed to do.”

“And maybe our daughter just spent two hours screaming like someone was killing her.” Helen fired back.

“Call the number the shrink gave you for emergencies.” Quinn said after noticing they were there.

Both her parents looked at her like she was insane and then flashed to outright embarrassment. Helen pulled out her cell phone and started dialing as she headed out into the hallway.

:Please be ok.: Quinn thought as she brushed Daria’s hair away from her eyes.

Quinn saw the eyes soften when they focused on her and some of the concern melted away.
:She knows me. No matter what we can still get through this.: She thought firmly.

“Fooouur.” Daria whispered weakly.

“Shhhh. It’s ok. Just try to rest.” Quinn soothed.

“I understand now.” Daria answered. Her voice much stronger.

“What do you mean?” Quinn asked.

“I heard and I answered.” Daria said and then grew silent.

Quinn felt her chest tighten and to her it felt like her ribs were preparing to break.

“Just rest.” Quinn said and she continued to pet the top of Daria’s head.

Daria drifted to sleep in seconds.

“What did she say?” Jake demanded.

“Something about hearing something and understanding. I don’t know.” Quinn replied angrily.

“Jake the police from Boston are on the phone. The roommate is willing to talk.” Helen said coming back into the room.

“Tell them to put her on.” Jake said reaching for the phone.

“You’re going to have to go up there. They can’t force her to stay at the station.” Helen sighed.

“I’ll leave on the next flight.” Jake said and he looked back to where Daria lay. “I’ll bring back some answers if I can.” He promised.

“Just get going and call before you hop the flight back.” Helen said urgently.

Quinn watched her father hurry away and heard the faint sound of his car starting and felt relief start again. :Maybe this is the turning point.:

Her mother returned and was still speaking on her cell phone. “I have no idea what sensory deprivation does or is for but if you think it might help. Can we do it today? No I told you the MRI isn’t until Monday morning.”

“I haven’t gotten any of the blood test results back yet. I’m supposed to hear from him later.” Helen seemed to be almost arguing with the doctor.

“We’ll bring her in to your office in a few hours.” Helen agreed.

“What?” Quinn said as she tried to get feeling back into her legs after sliding out from under her sister.

“There is a treatment that might help her deal with whatever is confusing her.” Helen answered.

“The deprivation thing.” Quinn pushed.

“Yes.” Helen answered.

“Ok so lets get her cleaned up and get there as quick as we can.” Quinn said as she tested her leg to see if it was awake enough to support her weight.

“He said it’s a shock treatment. Not the electric kind but the surprise kind.” Helen informed her.

“Either this guy is a doctor or a nut so either we trust him or find another doctor today.” Quinn said forcefully. “So is he a doctor or a nut?”

“I just don’t know but we don’t have any other choice.” Helen surrendered.

“Didn’t you do any research before picking this guy?” Quinn fumed.

“There wasn’t any time.” Helen defended.

“Then we have to hope he isn’t making everything worse.” Quinn sighed as she walked to the bathroom and started soaking a hand towel.

“I’m sorry Quinn. I really thought this was just a school overload or something like that.” Helen looked dejected.

“I know. We all did but you keep taking the easy route instead of putting the time in. Just like on the plane.” Quinn scolded her mother as she started washing her sister’s face and arms.

Helen just looked shocked at the level of blame pushed onto her.

“The pills weren’t your fault but I made the mistake of assuming you won’t trust your daughter to just anyone. The fact you don’t know what kind of doctor he is really scares me.” Quinn admitted.

Helen bit back a retort and swallowed it along with the tattered remains of her pride. “I’ll make sure we have everything. Should we give her the pill for today?” Helen asked weakly.

“I can’t see how it could make things worse and we don’t know that it did.” Quinn shrugged. “Anyway did the doctor say not to give her anymore?”

“No he didn’t. He did ask if she took her pill yet this morning.” Helen answered.

“Then we give her the pill it might help keep her calm or force the doctor to see her when she’s in a bad way.” Quinn said coldly.

“Ok.” Helen responded.

“And Mom when this is all over. I’m thinking Cancun for me and Daria for a week.” Quinn said seriously.

“I might go with you.” Helen nodded.



Quinn watched as Daria was placed into the tank and the lid started to lower.
Her sister’s eyes darted nervously around and found her right before the lid closed down. Quinn saw a calm take over Daria’s face and was glad to bring at least some peace to her.


“What you seem to be describing is Daria facing whatever internal demons she is dealing with and clearly it’s a frightening experience for her.” The doctor said calmly.

“What about the headaches?” Quinn demanded.

“Well they could be the result of the stress or of something physical. Unfortunately until some of the blood tests are completed and the MRI preformed, we just can’t say if the problem is a result of physical or mental problems.” He responded.

“I called her doctor and he is reviewing the test results now. I hope to hear something soon.” Helen added.


They sat for three hours while Daria floated inside the seal tank and prayed. As the nurses started opening the lid Quinn felt her breath stop and she trembled to the very core of her being.

“I’m cold.” Daria said as a nurse reached down to help her out.

Quinn grabbed a robe and dashed over to where her sister stood on shaking legs and wrapped it around Daria.

“Hey you.” Daria smiled at Quinn.

“Hey yourself.” Quinn couldn’t help but grin.

“I’m feeling a little better.” Daria said firmly before losing her balance. “But my legs don’t agree.”

“That’s ok. Everyone already knows you’re a klutz.” Quinn teased warmly.

“True.” Daria said and then she saw Helen moving forward.

“Daria?” Helen said nervously.

“We’re going to talk in a later but right now I don’t want to even think about it.” Daria said glaring at her then her eyes softened. “I could use a hug right about now though.”




Quinn sat on the couch next to Daria after they got home and couldn’t wipe the smile from her face.
“So you can’t remember anything before the cops picked you up?” Quinn sighed.

“Well I remember going to class but I seem to be missing a few days.” Daria shrugged.

“Does your head still hurt?” Quinn asked gently.

Daria just nodded yes.




Helen answered the phone on the first ring and almost cried when she heard the doctor on the other end.

“Mrs. Morgendorffer I have some news.” The doctor said.

“What?” Helen demanded.

“The tests show that Daria’s endocrine levels are all out of whack. That along with the headaches and balance problems along with the behavior that you’ve described is leading me to believe we may be looking at a brain tumor.” The doctor said carefully.

“Oh my god. A tumor!” Helen moaned.

“Mrs. Morgendorffer. I’ve scheduled an emergency appointment for an MRI in the morning. Hopefully we’ve caught this early.” He said calmly.

“We’ll be there.” Helen answered controlling her voice.

She ended the call and stood in shock. She started to turn and saw Quinn staring at her shaking. “It’s going to be all right. The doctor thinks we caught it early.”

“We have to tell her.” Quinn managed to say before turning back and returning to the living room. Helen followed quickly.

Quinn took a seat next to her sister who saw the change in her almost at once.

“The doctor called?” Daria mused.

Quinn just nodded and hugged her.

“It’s a tumor and we’re going for a MRI in the morning to confirm.” Helen answered when Quinn couldn’t.

“So I’m not crazy.” Daria sighed. “It’s medical.”

“That’s right.” Helen answered at once.

“It’s going to be ok.” Quinn promised. “I’ll take care of you and you’ll get better.”

Daria just smiled and hugged Quinn back.

“This is the start of getting better.” Helen said strongly.



Quinn tried to go to bed with Daria only to be stopped. “I know I’ve been keeping you up and I think you need a decent night’s sleep so off to the pink palace.” Daria joked firmly.

“You’ll wake me up if you need anything?” Quinn pushed not wanting Daria to fall and hurt herself as her balance seemed to be even worse now.

“I’ll pound on the walls or yell.” Daria promised before kissing Quinn on the cheek. “Thank you.”

“Thank me when we’re on the beach in Mexico getting a tan.” Quinn laughed.

 

 

 

Part 7 has content in it that some people may find unsettling or generally disapprove of. If this describes you then please stop reading and thank you for your interest in my work. I will be starting up on Surprises in a few days.



Part 7 Flash back to the present.


Quinn looked over the hectic scene of police and paramedics milling around the hallway. She had been awaken by the sharp odor of smelling salts in the hands of a police officer and her father.

“Your mom is going to be ok.” Jake said for the hundredth time if the last fifteen minutes.

“Daria promised.” Quinn sighed.

“What?” Jake said surprised.

“She promised that Mom would be ok in a little while.” Quinn replied as she struggled to push away the coldness that swam through her body.
:I’m in shock. So this is what it feels like.: Quinn thought detached.

“It gives me hope that maybe my little girl is still in there.” Jake admitted.

“It’s the tumor.” Quinn said firmly.

“Helen mentioned that on my flight back. I thought I had the answers but now it seems there are just more questions.” Jake shrugged weakly as he watched Helen argue with a police officer and the Psychologist.

“What did you find out?” Quinn said realizing she had forgotten about her father’s trip to Boston until now.

“Her roommate said that Daria was complaining about headaches for a week so she decided to have a no stress night and the girls spent the evening watching old movies and listening to music drinking wine. Then Sally slipped Daria some acid to help her relax.” Jake groaned out.

“Then Daria freaked out and disappeared for three days.” Quinn said understanding the catalyst now.

“What movies?” The Psychologist asked, having moved over next to them.

“Just some slasher films.” Jake replied looking embarrassed he hadn’t asked about them.

“This makes more sense now. The tumor having gone into a growth period was starting to effect her and then with the drugs to push her past reality. It’s almost like she’s been programmed to act out a certain persona.” The Psychologist mused out loud.

“She kept saying things.” Quinn blurted.

“Like what?” He asked.

“The whirlwind is in the thorn trees. And something about a man taking name and deciding who to blame.” Quinn answered.

“There’s a man going ‘round takin’ names. An’ he decides who to free and who to blame.” A nearby police officer sung and sent chills down Quinn’s spine.

“That’s it.” Quinn said feeling the shock shifting inside her.

“Johnny Cash, when the man comes around.” The officer said with a grim face.

“What’s wrong?” The Psychologist asked seeing the face.

“It’s a song about Armageddon. The angels of death come forth to reap.” The officer said coldly.

“Oh my god.” Jake said understanding.

“So she is acting out as angel of death but then why didn’t she kill her mother.” The Psychologist mused.

“She hears voices, she said she had one more to do and then we … everything would be ok. Until she gets another message.” Quinn answered.

“And the voice are telling her … oh my god. The teacher at the school.” The Psychologist said stepping back stunned.

“Excuse me, this has just been upgraded.” The officer said and moved over to the detective that seemed to be in charge.

“What are you talking about?” Jake demanded.

“There have been several attacks recently including the murder of a teacher at the high school.” The Psychologist explained.

“Mr. O’Neil and Sandi. Oh no.” Quinn said as she realized something.

“What, it may be very important?” He demanded.

“I had a fight with Sandi the day before she was attacked and I talked about it with Daria. And Mr. O’Neil talked about her being sick in front of the whole class and I know I said something to her about that.” Quinn started to cry.

“So each day you talked with her about your day and … she went out to avenge the wrongs done to you.” He said looking like he had solved a puzzle.

The detective had moved up next to them and listened to them talk before asking.
“What about the Madisen kid. Did you know him?”

“Shawn, we went out a few times. What happened?” Quinn gasped.

“He got the crap kicked out of him and his car torched.” The detective answered.

:She was jealous.: Quinn thought and blushed slightly before speaking an easy lie.
“I complained a few little things. He was supposed to call me and forgot.”

“So just how sick is she?” The detective asked.

“Very sick. Full disassociation and possibly psychotic. Between the tumor and a bad reaction to the drugs she is beyond any ability to tell right from wrong.” The Psychologist defended quickly.

“Save it for the DA. Is she likely to die in the next 24 hours?” The detective groaned.

“Depending on how progressed the tumor is, it’s a possibility. We just don’t know until someone gets her into a MRI.” The Psychologist answered.

“Alright. Understand me on this. We have a deadly crazy person running around who might drop dead at any given moment but not before slicing up anyone around her. Is that about everything?” He waited for nods.

“I will do everything to contain this problem without hurting her but if she forces us my men will kill her.” The detective continued before walking away and giving orders into his radio.

Quinn watched him walk away and knew what she needed to do.

:I need Jane to help me.: She thought as she made her plans.

She slipped downstairs while the police were speaking with both her parents and was out the back door in seconds. :You better be home.: She thought as she ran toward Jane’s house.

Jane was home and not too happy about being woke up but after hearing Quinn’s story was ready to go. Several kicks later and Trent was driving them around Lawndale looking for Daria.

“Where would she go to prepare to punish someone?” Quinn asked.

Jane looked at the younger girl and bit back the smart response. “I don’t know. We didn’t do that kind of thing.”

“Who might she be mad at this time?” Trent asked having been filled in on the problem.

“I don’t know. I didn’t complain about anyone yesterday.” Quinn said while trying to think.

“Think, did you complain about anyone else since she came back down?” Jane pushed.

“Not that I know of.” Quinn said her voice trembling. :It’s all my fault.:

Jane didn’t need to be a mind reader to catch her thoughts at the moment.
“It’s not your fault.”

“Fire.” Trent said pointing toward the distance.

“What’s burning?” Jane asked.

“Something over by the mall. Could this be her?” Trent asked.

“It’s not by the mall.” Quinn said as she felt the gears in her head spinning. “It is the mall. I think I said something about wishing the mall would burn down so we would be forced to do something besides shopping.”

“Alright so lets hope that no one got hurt and try to figure out where Daria will go next.” Jane said upbeat.

“Where do you two go after you do anything?” Trent asked.

“Pizza King is closed.” Jane dismissed.

“So she just torched the mall I doubt a lock is going to stop her.” Trent shrugged.

“So whose up for a couple of slices?” Jane joked and Trent made a turn to take them there.

Trent pulled around to the back of the restaurant and not surprising the door was standing open.

“Trent go find a pay phone and call my parents and tell them to send the police. Give us about twenty minutes to talk her down.” Quinn said calmly as she got up.

“You want me to leave you here!” Trent said stunned.

“Get going and don’t you dare fall asleep.” Jane said firmly.

Trent pulled away as soon as the two girls started walking toward the open door.

“Jane you have to promise me that what happens here stays here.” Quinn almost whispered.

“What are you talking about?” Jane demanded.

“I know how to get her to calm down but you can’t hold it against her. She’s just sick and she’s really going to need her best friend to get through this.” Quinn responded.

“What are you going to do?” Jane demanded more strongly than before.

“Offer her what she wants.” Quinn answered and pushed away the nagging voice in the back of her head.
Jane just looked confused but she nodded her agreement.

They moved toward the open doorway and the sounds of someone trying to figure out how to work the equipment inside.

“Hey Amiga. Mind sharing some of that pizza.” Jane called through the doorway.

The noises inside stopped and several seconds of sheer silence began.

“C’mon Daria. We’re hungry.” Jane called into the dark room.

“You need to leave Jane. Go buy Trent a cheeseburger.” Daria’s voice called out to them.

“Trent isn’t here but Quinn has agreed to try a whatever can kill or make you fat with double bacon with me.” Jane replied.

“Quinn.” Daria’s voice said shakily.

“Hi. I thought you were going to come home afterwards.” Quinn said and Jane saw her gripping her forearms tightly.

“I was going to bring home some pizza to celebrate. Is Mom really mad?” Daria sighed.

“She’s scared but she called the police. Can we come in?” Quinn admitted.

“Maybe that’s not such a good idea.” Daria answered.

“But you promised.” Quinn replied without missing a beat.

Jane mouthed “What?” at her but Quinn paid it no mind.

“What about Jane?” Daria asked.

“It’s ok. Jane is your best friend so she’ll understand.” Quinn said firmly. “Now c’mon I’m hungry and I want to come in and so does Jane.”

“Ok, but close the door and turn on some of the lights but not all of them. It hurts when the light gets to bright.” Daria said weakly.

“Ok.” Jane answered and she followed Quinn in and quickly closed the door. Quinn looked at the row of light switches confused and Jane reached around her and switched up every third one and the room was lit although dimly.

“I have a couple of pies in the oven and they should be done in 15 minutes.” Daria said from behind them.

“You scared us there Amiga.” Jane said with an honest smile.

“Once I understood everything it was easy.” Daria smiled back but her face lit up when Quinn moved into full few and smiled at her.

“So it’s over for now.” Quinn asked.

“Yes.” Daria nodded.

“So we can be together.” Quinn said stepping toward her sister.

“I thought … I thought you didn’t want …” Daria said as Quinn hugged her tightly.

“You still want me right.” Quinn said nervously.
Daria just nodded yes.

“Then we can be together like you want. Like we both want I think.” Quinn said and she kissed her sister turning her slightly so Daria would miss the shocked expression on Jane’s face.

“I love you.” Daria said after the kiss ended and rested her head against Quinn’s chest.

“I love you too. And now we can be together until the police get here.” Quinn said wrapping her arms around Daria.

“I won’t let them take me away from you.” Daria promised.

“Yes you will. You’ll go with them and you’ll go to the doctors and then when it’s all done we can be together forever.” Quinn scolded her.

“Oh.” Daria almost purred.

“Get a room you two.” Jane said and Quinn had to give her credit for keeping her cool.

Daria looked over at Jane surprised.

“What ok so it’s a surprise but if it makes you happy I’m ok with it.” Jane shrugged.

“Thank you.” Daria cried softly.

“See, it’s going to be ok but not if you fight the cops or stop the doctors from fixing the tumor. I don’t want you to die.” Quinn said and again kissed her sister.

“Ok.” Daria sighed again resting her head against Quinn.

“Now what about these pies?” Jane said poking around the oven. “Hand made my ass. Those are premade.”

“Ya looks like the whole menu is.” Daria answered.

“That’s just wrong.” Jane complained.

The time passed quickly and they were sitting on the floor when they heard the police cars pulling around the building. Daria leaned against her sister timidly and felt Quinn kissed her forehead gently.

“Just go with them and do what they say and no matter what don’t hurt anyone. As soon as they see how sick you are because of the tumor it will just be a matter of time until we can be together.” Quinn promised.

“Ok.” Daria agreed.

“Just stay cool and I’ll go tell them you’re ready to give up.” Jane said getting up and heading quickly to the back door and out it.

“I’m scared.” Daria admitted.

“Just stay strong and know I love you and it will all be ok.” Quinn promised rising to her feet and pulling the older girl to hers.

“Now.” Daria sighed.

“No point putting it off.” Quinn said and together they walked to the door.




Later Jane sat with Quinn in what Daria always referred to as Pink hell and tried to process the evening.

“Offer her what she wants.” Jane mused.

“Please don’t hate her.” Quinn cried.

“I don’t and honestly I think I meant what I said. But it’s just because she's sick isn’t it.” Jane asked.

Quinn just nodded.

“Then no one ever needs to know just how good of a sister you really are.” Jane said truthfully.

Part 8 is going to deal with the aftermath.

 

 

 

All previous warnings are in effect.
Part 8


The guard wasn’t standing outside the door anymore and that brought a smile to Quinn’s face as she stood outside her sister’s room. Four months and the closest she had been able to see Daria was once in the court room when the judge found her innocent by mental defect. Quinn gathered her strength knowing what she would find inside. Her mother had described the effects of the surgery and following radiation treatment to her in detail.

:Like I care about that. All I care about is she is going to be ok.: Quinn thought as she pushed on the handle and opened the door.

Daria was laying on the hospital bed and clearly hadn’t expected to she her.

Quinn moved over next to the bed and leaned against the edge.
“Hi Daria.” She said tenderly.

Daria just turned away from her looking upset. Quinn sighed and reached over and grabbed one of her sister’s hands and squeezed gently.
“It’s ok.” Quinn whispered.

Her sister’s whole body shook. Quinn reached over and brushed away the messy hair from Daria’s face. “Please talk to me.” She begged.

“How?” Daria sobbed.

“That’s a good start.” Quinn smiled.

“Just say you hate me and leave.” Daria continued to cry.

“I don’t hate you. You are my sister. I love you.” Quinn said tenderly.

“How after what I did?” Daria said turning to look at her for the first time.

“You didn’t do anything wrong. You were sick and now you’re getting better.” Quinn said firmly.

Daria blushed and turned away again.

“Daria please. I haven’t told anyone but Jane and she understands it was just the tumor.” Quinn said gently.

Daria give out a sour little laugh through her tears.

“What?” Quinn said confused.

“Doesn’t work like that.” Daria said and again she turned to Quinn. “All that tumor did was take away my impulse control and my judgment. I couldn’t tell right from wrong.” Daria continued.

“So.” Quinn said not understanding.

“The tumor didn’t make me have those feelings. They just took away my ability to control my response to them. I must have those kind of feelings for you and have for a while but my mind keep it under wraps.” Daria sighed.

“Oh.” Quinn said weakly.

“Curse of being a brain. I know how things work.” Daria shrugged. “You should have let me fight the cops, that way I would be dead.”

“You didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t want to lose you.” Quinn started to cry.

“I killed O’Neil and hurt people and ... I sexually assaulted you.” Daria snapped at her.

Quinn got quiet and held tightly to Daria’s hand.

“So leave because when I tell Mom and Dad about these feelings they’re going to let them lock me away for a long time and it’s for the best.” Daria said coldly.

“No.” Quinn said calmly.

“Why not?” Daria responded.

“Because I love you. We’re sisters.” Quinn said before leaning over and kissing Daria passionately.

Daria didn’t pushed her away and allowed the kiss, even returning it until Quinn straightened up.

“What?” Daria said shocked.

“If this is us then I’m ok with it.” Quinn said firmly.

“Quinn.” Daria said timidly.

“I’ve never felt like I feel for you with anyone and I don’t have any problem kissing you so it this is what you want then … well I can’t stop thinking about it.” Quinn admitted.

“You don’t know what you’re saying. It’s just the stress.” Daria said in total disbelief.

“I don’t want anything to come between us and I do love you.” Quinn said truthfully.

Daria stared up at her sadly and answered. “I love you and I do want us to be together.”

Neither had seen the door open and close quietly moments before.

“I guess the question is what kind of together.” Jane said as she approached the foot of the bed.

Daria and Quinn both turned to look at her panicked.

“Cause I keep hearing I love you and I want to spend time with you and so on but I don’t hear nice ass. I like your tits. Lets take off our clothes.” Jane said plopping up on Daria’s bed.

“So your point is?” Daria pondered.

“Is there any chance that the love you two are feeling is just run of the mill sisterly love that all the fighting and scheming kept you from feeling before all of this and now it’s kind of warped from some seriously intense problems?” Jane mused.

“I don’t understand.” Quinn said.

“Ok let’s put it like this. Maybe all the closeness you want with each other doesn’t involve sex.” Jane sighed.

“But I like kissing her.” Quinn defended as Daria just looked thoughtful.

“So maybe we’re looking at some sexual identity issues as well. You two have never really showed much interest in guys touching you. Any chance you two are gay or bi or whatever.” Jane shrugged.

“It’s a reasonable argument. But what if it’s not that?” Daria mused.

“Then I know this guy that can get new identities for both of you and you can move away and start your new lives together. I hope you don’t mind if I tag along.” Jane replied.

“So how do we find out?” Quinn asked.

“Well normally I would say start kissing but you two are able to do that so strip down and start having sex. That should fill in the missing pieces or just try to be sisters.” Jane answered with a smirk at their faces.

“Jane!” Daria said shocked.

“Oh.” Quinn gasped.

“See! Still some part of you that doesn’t want to. So try being sisters for a while and see how that works out and get some therapy.” Jane laughed.

“I think she’s right.” Daria said almost sadly.

“Can’t we just kill her and go the easy route.” Quinn grumbled jestingly.

“No I think we’re going to need her help either way.” Daria deadpanned.

“Fine but if she’s wrong then she has to be the one to tell Mom and Dad.” Quinn sighed.

“I’m ok with that.” Daria agreed.

“Hey wait a minute.” Jane said amused.

“So we’re going to be sisters huh. I want my trip to Cancun.” Quinn laughed.

“Mom has already booked tickets for after I get out of here. I talked her into letting Jane come as well.” Daria said.

“Oh ya. Jane on the beach looking for action.” Jane squealed.

“As long as we can be together to work on the sister thing I can tolerate anything.” Quinn said rolling her eyes at Jane.

“You get used to it.” Daria groaned.

“See listen to Jane and you can’t go wrong.” Jane said from the foot of the bed before Daria pushed her off with her feet.





I’m glad this one is over. What is being posted as Part 8 was the first scene that came to me with Part 1 next. Everything else just kind of filled in. This one was a rollercoaster ride as I wrote it and I’m sure at some point it will come back to haunt me in some way. I liked this story because it was shocking and until I saw the words on screen I really was curious about what Daria had gone and done on the missing night. For the people who approached this story with an open mind I thank you and for those that didn’t I hope you aren’t reading this.