Questions Without Answers
I got the Daria DVD and was inspired to finish this tale of Daria Faith Morgendorffer. A long delay, but it's done.
To note, also: todhunter demons, and Susanna Curry, are my creation.
X X X X XWhen you're three days down the highway
and you're looking like I feel;
if it takes a lot to keep it going,
if it takes a lot to keep it real,
take sometime for yourself
and learn to yield.
– Yield, Indigo Girls
X X X X X
The ride back wasn’t quite an anti-climax; it bore no relation to “climax” at all. It was just a ride. But once they got to the other end, Daria tapped Susanna Curry on the shoulder. “Want a longer interview?” She asked.
“I’ll take one --” one of the other reporters said.
“Sorry, this is a limited offer. Limited to those I made it to. And you ain’t her.”
As the man walked away, Daria said, “Well?”
Susanna shrugged. “I should file the story soon, but more reaction from you would make it better; they’ll wait. Sure.”
“Follow me back to my hotel.”
Once they got inside, Daria said, “Hold on a second. There’s something I need to do first.” Then she leaned against the door and dialed her cell phone.
After two rings, the person on the other end picked up. “Hello?”
“G, it’s Daria. I got a favor to ask.”
“Certainly. How can I be of assistance?”
“Tell me what you know about todhunter demons.”
Susanna, on the bed, bolted upright, but was stopped when Daria took out her knife and made as though she were going to throw it. The reporter sat back down, a hurt, fearful look on her face.
“Have you encountered one on your sojourn to Texas?” Giles asked.
“Why, no. I just decided that 11:55 PM on a weeknight was a perfect time for me to brush up on my demon species. After this maybe we can discuss alternate dimensional politics. Or gum.”
“Foolish question, I suppose,” Giles said.
“You think? Now, do how do todhunters feed, and do they hurt the beings they feed from?”
Giles gave Daria a three-minute description which more or less matched the one Susanna had given her, but in high British Scholar instead of plain ol’ Texan. Daria spoke both. And Southie, for that matter. After he was done, Daria said, “Thanks. That jibes with what I got here. Just wanted to be sure. Catch you later.” She hung up, put the knife away, and said to the reporter, “So. You have any more questions for me?”
Gaping, Susanna said, “What --”
“No offense, but when it comes to demons I’ve never heard of, I go by the old line, trust everyone, but cut the cards.”
“Just in case I was lying.” Daria nodded. “And if--”
“You wouldn’t’ve been asking the question.” Possible hyperbole. But only possible. “So . . “
“So, Miss Morgendorffer,” Susanna said, recovering quickly. “Tell me . . . “
A half hour later, the reporter was done. Daria waited a few minutes and followed her out. Patrolling time.
X X X X X
Two hours later, she was back, and finishing up some snacks she’d picked up at a convenience store. They’d had pizza; but she knew better. She’d found one vampire, and he’d managed to get away; happened when you were on foot and the vamp had wheels.
The TV blared, “Are the undead running blood donation centers? Vampires of the Red Cross, next on Sick, Sad World
She flipped it off and lay down on the bed. She lay there and thought for a while before she went to sleep. Daria was fairly sure she wasn’t actually speaking to her parents, just to their memories. Still, it helped.Mom, Dad, Quinn: he’s dead. The son of a bitch who killed you, who changed me, is dead. I know you weren’t in favor of the death penalty – yes, even you, Quinn; you bugged the hell out of me at times but you weren’t nearly as shallow as you pretended to be – but I hope you don’t mind my temporary hypocrisy. He killed you. He deserved to die.
He has no power over me any more. He hasn’t for quite a while now. It’s too much to hope that he has no power over anyone, but I don’t have control over what anyone else thinks. When I do, the world will be a better place.
Joking, of course. That would be wrong. And too much work.
Anyway, Hell, I don’t always have control over what I think. Penalties of being a blended personality, where one personality’s a bright but uneducated girl with violent tendencies and the other’s missing four years of her life.
I got to keep – and there, that ‘got’, the old Daria never would have used that; anyway, I got to keep reminding myself that I’m 20, not 16. I don’t know what things would have been like, had we finished the move to Lawndale; if you hadn’t accepted that transfer to the Maryland office. (Though thank goodness you were never recruited by Wolfram & Hart.)
I would have liked to found out. I would give almost anything to find out. And, given what I know now, I probably could, but I ain’t stupid enough to use a wish demon.
Though, at times, it is tempting. You got no idea how tempting it is. But I’m going to stick with writing for my wish fulfillment.
‘course, I was going to be activated as a Slayer in May 1998 anyway. But you would have been there to protect me, to worry about me, and in Quinn’s case, to be embarrassed by me, even more than you already were.
Still. Those are counterfactuals. Useful fictions, but only fictions. Mom, Dad, Quinn: I know where I’ve been. I could really use your advice to figure out where I’m going. Yeah, even you, Quinn.
I’m a Slayer, yes. I will always be a Slayer, till something Slays me, and that’s going to be a while. But beyond that? Academics? Job? Anything?
There was no answer. Daria hadn’t expected one.
She rolled over and went to sleep.
X X X X X
The dreams of the night brought no answers. Not that she trusted the advice of dreams anyway. Even the prophetic ones came across like they'd been written by Laurell K. Hamilton channeling James Joyce.
She showered, dressed, packed, and checked out of the hotel, having no idea where she was going now. Randomly, she headed east.
On a stop late in the morning, she made a couple of phone calls. The first was to Buffy.
“Hey, Daria. Everything okay? Giles said you called about a demon last night.”
“Yeah, B,” Daria said. “Demon wasn't hostile. If you don't count aggressively questioning me.”
“The demon was also a reporter. I might've been better off if she had been hostile. Then I could have killed her without having it bothering my conscience.” A pause, then, “The way it's doing now.”
“Relax. I didn't. Didn't even think of it. And if that ain't a sign I've changed, what is? Anyway, I just wanted to call to see if any new emergencies had popped up that you might need my help for.”
“Naah. We're trouble-free, more or less,” Buffy said. “Couple of vamps here and there, that's it.”
“Good to know. You got my cell number?”
“Hold on,” she said, and Daria could hear faint sounds of scribbling in the background. “I do now. Why?”
“Because, clichéd as it sounds, I think I need – and I hate this phrase, and you ever say I used it I'll deny it, and kill you -- some me time. Find out who exactly Daria Faith Morgendorffer is. But I want to be available in case Hell, or even Purgatory, breaks loose.”
“Okay. Thanks. Keep in touch every once in a while, okay? Let us know you're still alive.”
“Will do. Catch you later, B,” Daria said, and hung up.
Then she called Angel and made the same offer, and was met with the same answer.
“Offer applies in reverse, you know,” he said. “You need help, call us and we'll come running.”
“And considering the running speed of the average humanoid, that should get you to me in roughly two months.”
Angel chuckled. “You know what I mean.”
“I do. And thanks.”
A couple of hours further generally northeast and she stopped at a pizza place for lunch. Good, but not great, but enough to keep her going. Then she made her third and final phone call of the day.
“Casa Lane. We fluff pillows,” came the voice on the other end.
“Jane,” Daria said. “You fluff pillows?”
“You try making sense at this time of the morning.”
“It's 12:30 PM.”
“You try making sense at this time of the afternoon,” Jane said. “What's up? Everything go as planned?”
“More or less. I called to ask if you'd like to go on a road trip with me.”
“Wherever,” Daria said. “So, yo: You up for it?”
“Eh. Why the hell not. Not like there's really anything keeping me here, anymore.”
“Trent was – traumatized enough by our paranormal experiences that it lit a fire under him,” Jane said. “Comparatively speaking, anyway. He's pushed Mystik Spiral into a tour up and down the East Coast and given the rest of the band an ultimatum: recording contract by the time they're done, or they're done. And I think he meant it this time.”
“So who'll take care of stately Lane Manor and preserve it in all its glory?”
“The cockroaches, same as always,” Jane said. “See you in a few days.”
“One thing,” Daria said. “Know anyone who's got a sidecar?”
X X X X X
The adventures of Daria Faith Morgendorffer will continue.