Every time she returns to Boston, Faith gets into a fight. The Buffyverse is the possession of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. The Dariaverse is the possession of Glenn Eichler and MTV. Rated R for sexual content. This is the first non-canonical romance story I've ever written. [F/RW, JL/DM]
by Eric Jablow
"So, Lane, why are we up on the roof of the Carl Yaztremski Parking Structure, and on a Friday night?"
"Professor Thanton, the little bat, says my paintings are losing touch with reality. He wants me to 'see the beauty in ordinary life.' And we're both between guys at the moment."
"Tony would have prefered Quinn in her Fashion Club days." Daria Morgendorffer no longer felt the need to cover up her T-shirts now that she was at Raft College, but she still wore her Doc Martens boots. Jane hadn't changed at all at BFAC.
"How is the little proto-brain doing?"
"She's doing well at Bryn Mawr. She didn't snag David, but she's doing okay. I just wish she wouldn't try to imitate that accent." She sat down on her camp chair and started writing in a notebook. Jane finished setting up her easel and watercolors and started to paint the cityscape.
"Hoo boy. Gotta stretch. I can feel my legs turning to wood."
"Huh? What did you say, Dar?"
"I'm getting stiff. We've been here an hour."
"It's coffee time!" Jane set her palette down and danced a little dance.
"Damn. You made the coffee tonight."
"Yep!" Jane pulls out a Thermos from her bag and pours two cups.
"You're allergic to decaf, aren't you." Jane chuckles while Daria takes a sip. Daria coughs a bit as Jane swallows a mouthful of 'Lane Blend.' "Can I have a look?"
Jane waves Daria around to look at her painting. It's a softened version of the streets and buildings before them, the streetlights have a gentle glow, and a couple of strollers look handsome on the street. "Very nice. But why is the moon so red and menacing?"
"I paint 'em as I see 'em, Morgendorffer. What are you writing?"
"A new story. 'It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, my home town.'" Jane spits out her coffee.
"Don't do that, Daria. Geez."
"Yeah. Lawndale is certainly not the little town that time forgot. That God forgot, maybe. I'm getting tired of Melody Powers, so I'm actually trying to write a fantasy story that doesn't suck."
"Let's see. You were in the bookstore, and you opened up Robert Jordan's latest."
Daria is in the local Boundary's, and she picks up a 700-page book labeled 'Book 23 of the Wheel of Time Trilogy.' She opens it to a random page, screams, and drops the book.
***End of Flashback***
"And I wanted to write a fantasy story where none of the characters are as brain dead as Kevin. I've got a few pages down."
"You hear screaming, Daria?"
"People don't usually scream until after they read my stories."
"No, really, Daria. Do you hear screaming?"
"Come to think of it, yeah." They walk to the edge of the roof and look at the street below. Four men are chasing a woman of about their age, maybe a little older. The woman cries, "Come and get it, boys!" "What should we do, Daria?"
Daria reaches for her cell phone, while looking down at the chase; the woman is heading straight for the parking lot. Daria gasps. "Look at their faces!"
Jane looks down at the woman and the fanged men. "Is this a 'Sick Sad World' episode?"
Suddenly, the woman reaches the base of the parking lot, jumps, and grabs onto the ledge of the second level. She drags herself over. "Daria, could Melody Powers be a real person?"
"Looks like Xena to me." One of the pursuers jumps and reaches the second level and continues to climb. The other three run onto the ground level, and Daria and Jane lose sight of them.
"Better call 911, Daria."
"Yeah, Jane." She punches in the emergency number, and Jane sees the climber reach the third level ledge and climb over. Daria starts taking into the phone. They hear a loud scream from below, and then a shout of "Slayer!"
Daria closes her cell phone and says, "What does Beavis' favorite band have anything to do with this?"
"I don't particularly care right now, Daria. We'd better hide."
"We'll be pretty obvious with all that." Daria points at the easel.
"Can't be helped." Suddenly, they see the woman run onto the roof from a stairway, while one of the pursuers reaches the roof from another stairway. The woman runs toward him, as a second pursuer follows her onto the roof. Suddenly, the woman throws something she was holding at the man she was running toward. The stake pierces his chest, and he vanishes into dust.
"Oh, shit," say both Daria and Jane.
The woman runs toward a light stanchion and jumps into the air, grabbing it ten feet above its base. She swings around and sees Daria and Jane. "Look out behind you!"
They whip their heads around and see a third pursuer climbing onto the roof behind them. Jane wrenches her Thermos open and splashes the climber in his face. The climber yells and brings his hands to his eyes; the hot coffee has taken its toll. He starts to fall onto the roof of the parking structure, and then Daria runs toward him and kicks him in the jaw. The Doc Martens boot makes a satisfying "Thud!" Then the climber starts rolling on the roof in pain; his upper fangs now pierce his chin and his lower fangs his cheeks. Daria steps back in fear.
Jane turns around: the woman has jumped from the light pole back onto the roof, and she is now trading blows with the pursuer. Jane watches for a moment, turns to Daria and her victim, and turns again to the fight. The woman pulls a piece of wood from her waist, and the man knocks it away. The woman gives him a nasty head-butt, and he falls back.
Daria stares at the thing she kicked with a sick fascination; its eyes are yellow, its head is all bumpy, and its hands are claws. The thing tries to unlock its jaw, and its claws tear the skin of its face while he does so. Daria watches for a moment, her face takes on her normal blank expression, and she kicks the thing in the ear. Daria hears its skull crack.
Jane now sees the woman force her opponent into an arm-bar; she twists, and Jane sees its arm break. The woman throws her opponent at the stanchion; it slumps to the ground. The woman watches as her opponent slowly gets up. "Ready for more, big guy?" Her opponent growls and calls out "Slayer," again. He staggers toward her and the woman turns her head toward Jane. "Hey, girlie, how about some help here."
Jane is stunned, possibly because she's watching a woman her age fight a monster, possibly because she just saw Daria kick a monster in the jaw, and possibly because a stranger just called her "Girlie." "Come on," calls the woman. She points at Jane's feet, and Jane follows her gaze to see a dropped wooden brush. Jane picks it up and tosses it underhand to the woman. The woman grabs it; in one fluid motion, she reverses it and stabs her opponent in the chest. He vanishes.
The woman walks past Jane to Daria and her victim; she whistles. "Wicked! You sure you're not one of us?"
"One of what?"
Jane steps beside them, and the woman takes their hands. "I guess not. Anyhow, you want to do the honors?"
"What?" asks Daria. The woman places the brush in Daria's fist and points at the thing's chest. Daria kneels above it and stabs where the woman pointed. It turns to dust.
"Well, that was a wicked performance. I'm Faith, by the way." Daria and Jane mumble out their names. "You two okay? You five-by-five?"
"Um, no," says Daria. Jane says nothing.
"You'll get over it." Suddenly, they hear a siren. "Oh, shit. You called the cops. The cops really don't like me."
"Jane?" says Daria. Jane mumbles something nondescript back. "Jane, paint Faith's portrait, please." "Right." Jane wakes herself up a bit, arranges Faith in front of her easel, and starts a new watercolor.
"What were those things?" asks Daria.
Faith replies, "Vampires."
Jane's both too engrossed in her painting and too stunned to say anything.
"It's not just on 'Sick Sad World'?"
"No, Vamps are real. I fight 'em for a living."
"Yeah, me too."
A police car drives onto the roof, and Daria goes to meet the policemen. She tells them that the three of them had been on the roof the entire evening, and that the running people had never made it onto the roof. The two policemen talk to Jane and Faith for a bit, and then they head back to the police car and drive off.
"Oh, hell. The Sargeant winked at me. He knows who I am. This can be trouble."
"You want to see the painting?" says Jane.
"Yeah!" It's a wonderful rendition of Faith in her primal fury. "Can I keep it?"
"Sure. Let me sign it." Jane does, and Faith kisses her cheek. Jane blinks a moment; she's stunned again.
Faith pulls out a cell phone and hits a pre-set combination. A few seconds later, she says into the phone, "Robin, can you pick me up at the Carl Yaztremski Parking Structure at Raft College?" She listens for a moment, and then she says, "We can either get steaks right away, or we can go to our room and get the steaks later. What are you up for?" She hears Robin's reply, and says "Wicked. Thanks." She hangs up.
Daria has set Jane onto her chair, and Faith walks to the two of them. "She'll be okay. It's hard to take at first, but she'll be okay."
"I hope so," says Daria.
"I really like those boots. Somewhat Willow-ish, but very practical. You sure you're not one of us Slayers?"
"Oh, well. Gotta go. 'Hungry and horny afterwards,' we always say. Here's our organization's card. Take care of each other, huh?" Faith picks up her portrait and walks away. Soon they hear a car drive to the front of the structure and stop. They hear a trunk open and close, a door slam, and then the car drives off.
Jane stirs after a few minutes.
"You okay there, Jane?"
"I just watched a stranger kill two vampires, one with one of my paint brushes."
"I just broke the jaw and the skull of a vampire, and killed it with your paint brush. How do you think I feel?"
Suddenly Jane pulls Daria to her and kisses her soundly.
"Have you lost it, Jane?"
"You don't feel it?"
"You know--estrogen poisoning. Damn--as soon as she touched me, I could feel it. If I don't jump somebody's bones right now, I might have to throw myself off this roof."
"Jane, is this an Alison thing?"
"Heck no. I know--weird for us, but you're the only one in this town I like. Love. Whatever."
"Not that I want to marry you, amiga. But I do love you, you know."
"So, either I pick up a stranger at the Electrum, or I do it with someone I love and respect."
"Well, I couldn't let you pick up a stranger; you might catch something."
Jane grins. "Ready to go, amiga?"
[A month later.]
Daria is in her dorm room; the phone rings. She picks it up.
"Hello. Is this Ms. Daria Morgandorffer?"
"If you're a telemarketer, I'll sue your ass off."
"Of course you will. No, I'm Xander Harris, of the WCI. I understand you are looking for employment?"
"Yes, I am. The library job doesn't pay very much."
"I've heard that said. Why don't we arrange for lunch at Legal Seafood at noon on Saturday. An acquaintence of yours would like to sit in, and your friend Ms. Lane is welcome too."
"That would be nice."
"It's a date."
"Daria," of course, was a spinoff of "Beavis and Butthead". Alison tried to seduce Jane in "Is It Fall Yet."