: Daria is owned by Glenn Eichler and other people who are not me. Buffy and friends are the property of Joss Whedon, et al. No infringement intended, making no money.A/N
: Slight side story in the TAaaL 'verse. Also, I will be referring to Jane Lane, of the family Burns, as Jane Burns to avoid confusion.
Jane looked up from watching her running shoes slap on the pavement and sighed. This was something that she would have liked to have shared with Daria- if she was sharing anything with Daria. Obviously she had taken the wrong kind of brownies at home before she went on her run, because, ahead of her, there was a big, closed-off truck painted, well, the way that she would have painted one. And since she hadn't taken a commission like that...She shook her head and passed the vehicle.
Once clear, she heard another pair of shoes behind, then beside her, keeping pace. She looked up, then stopped in her tracks. "No way," she said in a voice just above a whisper.
"Yes, way," her own voice, coming from her own face, replied. "If you want to hear the story, let's start running."
Jane shrugged her shoulders and followed herself.
"-And so we won the case and got married on top of our house, found the Burroughs device, met Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lazarus Long." Jane Burns finished up.
"But how did you get here? Why are you here, for that matter?" Jane Lane was puzzled.
"How we got here...I don't know the science, but it's has to do with worlds as fiction, and that Melody Powers chick of Daria's needing help, and leaving the right thing at the right place at the right time." She took a deep breath. "Why?" She looked at Jane Lane. "I think that you know why."
Jane Lane looked down at the pavement.
Jane Burns cleared her throat. "Things aren't the same across universes. Can you believe that Tom got Quinn
, well, Quinn and Stacy, in ours?"
Jane Lane muttered, "He deserves her."
"Well, she did a lot of growing up, so she wasn't a complete waste. But you're evading the point."
"But - she kissed him! When he was still my boyfriend! And when she knew I was worried about that!"
"Yep, and she was at fault - for getting in the car with no good reason, and kissing him back, and you don't let her totally off the hook." Jane Burns slowed down to a walk. "But, answer me this - how many boyfriends has she had?" Lane's glance at her feet was enough. "Right. Exactly one date with Ted, and a year and a half of mooning over Trent, none of which prepares her for this. Add to that young Thomas literally setting this all up to happen, and how many girlfriends has he
had?" There was silence from the Lane camp. "The high horse sinking a bit in the mud?" They walked a little longer. "But that's not the big issue. You're going to have to tell her."
Once again, Jane Lane stopped dead in her tracks. "I can't," she said, her eyes widened and her face pale. "I mean, tell her what?"
Burns gave a snort. "If your little 'oops' there wasn't a red flag, the way that you've looked at me and every other woman we've passed would be a dead giveaway." As they started walking again, she continued. "I don't know if you're in love with Daria Morgendorffer, but, please, we both know that you both love Daria and are into both guys and girls." She took a breath. "Are you still scared that she won't accept you?"
Shamefacedly, Lane nodded.
"Fine." She grabbed her doppelganger's hand, and walked her to the back of the vehicle. After she rapped on it, she turned and said, "I'm going to introduce you to my wives...and a few others." Luckily, Jane Lane didn't process all of the information quickly enough to avoid Jane Burns catching her wrist in an iron grip.
Her jaw nearly hit the floor as she saw Daria - but a Daria that she had never seen before. Her long auburn hair fell to her hips, her emerald eyes were not hidden by the glasses that were Lane's universe's Daria's signature, she was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and - Lane swallowed - she was leaning heavily on a cane.
"Jane, I heard that your universe's me hurt you. I can tell you that she did not mean to." Her eyes bored into Jane's. "There is exactly one person as important to me as Jane, and that's my other wife, Jen." The burnout girl from school, with really long hair, stepped around and took Daria's other hand. "If that's not the road that you've chosen, than I can almost certainly say that you are the most important person in the world to her, and that she would trade the world for you." She and Jen turned to each other and exchanged a smile.
"She won't care. If she's straight, she'll tell you, and she'll apologize again for messing up with that bastard Tom."
"Hey!" A familiar voice rang out from the vehicle.
Daria looked up and smirked. "I wasn't talking about you, Tom. And if you do something like that, I won't have to do anything, I know that your wives will kick your ass."
Jane Lane raised her eyebrow.
Daria smiled, not the Mona Lisa that she so often graced the school with, but the genuine smile that Jane had never seen in school, and precious few times out of it. "Eh, when they found out we were going universe hopping, they hitched a ride. Thankfully, his negotiating skills paid his fare."
"So how long are you going to be here?"
"Well, we really need to be getting back home. While it doesn't matter with most universes, we experience time on the same axis as this one, and it's a problem to move back and forward in time that way."
Jane Lane looked down. "I guess that I should let you go, then. You really think?"
"Tell her," Jane Burns said as she pressed an object into Jane Lane's hand. "And if you need to prove us to her, press this."
"What is it?" Jane Lane said as she climbed out of the vehicle.
"An electronic thumb. We got it off some guy named Chris Tucker, he traded it for a towel! April made it signal only us." Jane Burns waved as the door closed.
Jane stood back as the vehicle vanished into thin air, then turned and made her way to 1111 Glen Oaks. When she got there, after Jake let her in, she went up to Daria's room and knocked.
"You must knock three times on the ceiling if you want me, Quinn," the monotone sounded from the other side.
"I'm afraid it's not Quinn." Before she finished, the door was open and Jane was occupied with a double armful of sobbing, apologizing Daria. Jane rocked her back and forth, murmuring into Daria's ear until the heaves and shakes started dying down.
Stepping back, Daria took off her glasses and cleaned them, and then her eyes. "I'm so happy to see you, Jane," she got out. But the last time we talked, you said that we were the kind of friends who couldn't stand the sight of one another. What changed?"
Jane smiled. "As it happens, all it took was for me to have a good, long talk with myself, and decide that I need to tell you a few things. But first, how are you with parallel worlds and the World as myth?"