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"Ragged Denim"
A collaboration of the twisted minds of T. Wilde and Ivanovna.

All characters familiar to all are not mein own. So? Enjoy the story.

I
In a Big Country

 

(CLOSEUP we see a bed of pansies and stargazer lilies as the dour music to "Half a Person" starts. We then see the front of Lawndale High School, the bed of flowers resting in front of the sign.)

(Now we see Daria, carefully poised at a desk. Her face is poignantly mundane, her eyes seem lifeless as she glares at the blackboard. A haggard Dimartino stands at the board, his eyes bloodshot, possibly from a night of drinking rotgut.)

Dimartino: Now, you SEE, it is said that Adolf Hitler CARVED out his plans on a globe. On the country of Russia, he CARVED, 'I am Coming for YOU.' Eerily enough, he carved "I will be Here Soon", on the continent of the UNITED STATES. (a carton of orange juice flies out from nowhere and smacks Dimartino on the head, the juice pouring down to his trousers and staining his white shirt.) FUCKING HELL!!! (he pulls out a gun and starts shooting at random, hitting 6 people in the front row as the class panicked, racing about, while Daria stood at the front of the room, holding a gun herself. How she got it, she did not know, and she never would, as--)

-she awoke from the dream. It was only 7am, and the weather looked sunny, dreary, and pleasant. She stepped out of bed, wondering why she had in the first place. Hell, there was school to attend, right? What was the fucking point. More pointless banter from those clods. Ranting speeches from burned out, ex-hippie teachers. Yes, as someone would write one day, this was the way it had to be. She went into the bathroom and lifted the shirt over her head, pulling it off. She eyed her naked body at length, stroking her hair, before sighing in disgust.

"How ugly," she muttered, as started the shower. Begrudgingly, she slid off whatever remained from yesterday's outfit (it's always the same) and stepped in. Another pointless day is to begin.

She started the shower, set just right so her naked skin would not be chilled or scalded by the running current. It was so soothing and relaxing to Daria. Who knew that such an embittered, cold-hearted young woman would appreciate such everyday pleasures? The relaxing water soothed her as she rubbed the soap all over herself. She sighed as she ran her hand over her chest, her inner thigh, and her torso. She ran her finger across her pubic area, and as a result, she felt a strange sensation enveloping her body. Daria thought of flowers. She thought of coffee, she thought of Trent.

Stop that you sick little girl! You know better than that.

Daria quickly finished the shower, got dressed, and prepared the materials. There was a pair of essays that she had printed out, a strange drawing she made for art class, and of course, a self-made lunch that was beginning to age already. Leering into the closet, she thought of wearing something different for once, like that expensive coat, or those ragged jeans she got for her birthday. But it was too warm for that. She slammed the sliding door to the closet and walked out of the house. Another pointless day.

***

"Oh, fuckin' hell," Jesse groaned as he tore out of the bed. It was already 11:00am, and the General Assistance shithole was closed for the next two hours. He knew that he would have to go do the whole thing all over again the next day. What else is he going to do to make money? The band wasn't helping much at all. He was barely able to pay the rent last month. OH God, no, he couldn't move back in to his parents' home. Not after all that he'd gone through with them. No, he didn't want to bother them anymore.

It seemed inevitable, really. Jesse looked in the mirror. He pulled his hair back and inspected his handsome, Romanesque features. He became Narcissus; his body was like a fine sculpture, much like that of a Spartan athlete. Jesse knew where he would have to go. It would be painful. But he had to make a living somehow.

***

"FUCK!!!"

Blood streamed down Daria's arm as she pulled it away from the machine. She had been working on a bookshelf in shop class (doing a fine job, of course) but had daydreamed while operating the circular saw.

"Oh dear, are you okay?" the instructor befuddled. He was a man in his early 60s, complete with beard and disheveled work clothes. He presented her the First Aid kit. Calmly, she opened the case, retrieved a padded bandage, and suddenly--

"Oh GOD!! Call an ambulance!" A smelly young man whose body was permanently encased in a football jersey. A pool of blood had formed underneath a table; a slab of lacerated flesh hung off of the unconscious Daria's wrist. The sunlight reflected against the dark, small pool. Charles Ruttheimer ran to the phone and phoned the hospital. He was scared.

It was obviously an accident. The paramedics came in, revitalized her, and escorted her to the hospital. Once there, she was slammed down upon a bed, where she was restrained by bulky men as her wrists were stitched up, but not before the needles were jabbed into her bloodstream. Slowly, she dozed off.

Oh, heaven knows we'll soon be dust

'Twas a lovely place, ya know. Me and the lads, we would go out n' buy a pint of Harp, roll up a batch of waccy baccy and sing loudly, and albeit badly, to the music of James, Pink Floyd, and our friends from across the water, Aerosmith. We always come out here, ev'ry friday night. I work as a barmaid at the local bar, ya see, and I get fridays off for scurryin' about town with the most charming men in the world. No fuckin' leprechauns 'round here! Yes. I do have a lover, he goes by the moniker of Hummerboy. For some reason, ya know, he seems to enjoy buying these shitty Hummer vehicles to fix. I ask him why? He says, oh, he wants to start a band, and he needs a mode of transportation, and I ask him, "oh, Hummerboy, will you remain faithful to me when you're a tourin' in the states?" And he says, "Yes, Marabelle, you will always be my main lass," and he would just drink all his lagers into the night. I've known this lad for 3 years now, but I still haven't give him none of me. I mean, what difference does it make?

"Daria!!" an ear-splitting screech emitted into the room, awakening Daria from her Irish fantasy.

"Would you like to see the child? Too late. Little Jorge was deemed a retard and I had him ground into cat food. He is now being eaten by a cat who goes by the name of Sherman."

"Are you okay? Did you try to slit your WRISTS??!" Jake Morgendorffer screamed as he grasped the large cast on his daughter's forearm. Helen, who seemed as if she had completed service upon a potential customer, stood there, drenched in tears and sweat.

"Daria, you know what this means. We are going to have to send you away for a while. I think you're in dire need of special care. Doctor? When can she be released?" her mother left the room, as the doctor informed her that Daria would be able to leave the hospital before the end of the day. A pair of friendly faces entered the room. Daria's spirits lifted.

"So how was brain surgery?"

"Oh, it's no big deal, however I have lost all ability to comprehend mathematics," Daria dryly replied, as usual. Trent was out in the hall with Daria's parents, trying to explain that it was an accident involving shop class. They ignored him, naturally. He entered the hospital room, the light glimmering in his eye as if he were Daria's personal savior.

"Daria, I must be frank with you, your parents are the ones who need to be slapped into rubber rooms."

"Oddly enough, I am the one in the house with a special room. And now, my loving family will place me under careful surveillance at Freud's Memorial."

Jane looked at Trent, who had a deviant glimmer in his eye that was charming, yet disturbing. Daria thought about telling them about the strange dream she had, but thought better of it as Trent, the lanky, home-ridden guitarist/vocalist stood there in his leather trousers and ragged 49ers t-shirt. What a fucking day, Daria had thought as she glared at the malnourished boy before her.

"Well, now we must be off. Trent has to buy another guitar."

"Yeah, I got really incensed last night while trying to play "Reelin' in the Years." I kept hitting the WRONG fucking note in the middle of the main riff. Finally, after about 2 hours, I through the fucking thing into a wall. Totally demolished it."

Daria smiled at this. Ironically, the Smiths' "Girlfriend in a Coma" started in Jane's headphones, while Trent snuck out of the room for coffee. He dropped the dime and the quarter into the vending machine, which landed inside with a *clink!*. Suddenly, a styrofoam cup shot out from the automated cup dispenser. Scalding hot water, flavor crystals, and an Equal packets' worth of granulated sugar dashed the sizzling water. An addled mental patient, a black haired girl wearing damaged glasses and slippers, approached him.

"Hey hon," the young woman smiled. "You want some hot cookies? I got some hot cookies for you honey," she said, her breath emitting a familiar aroma to Trent's nostrils. A man in spectacles and a P-coat, accompanied by a haggard, small woman, led the inebriated young lady back to her bed. Trent smirked coyly as he sat down next to a drooling Mongoloid who kept counting his toes through his shoes. A nurse beside him informed Trent that her patient suffered from a fatal combination of cerebral palsy and OCD. He nodded and awaited Jane, who was still in the room with Daria.

"You know, you can stay at our place if you decide to escape," Jane encouraged. Daria just sat there, leering at the wall with the bleak prospect of being institutionalized. Sure, it might bring about good, long stories, but was it worth it, anyway?

"We'll see. I'm not known for being too quick on my feet, you know."

Jane made a hand gesture as if she were smoking a cigarette as Trent entered the room.

"Come now, child, we must leave before the toy store closes."

And off they went. Daria smirked coyly in response to Trent's own grin. How cute, he looked just like that Hummerboy character in her dream. Big deal. Or was it?

 

II
Behind The Wall Of Sleep

 

Jesse pulled off his shirt and walked into the bedroom. He wore a combination of cologne and baby oil with his glossy, attractive outfit. He had pierced his nipples years ago; large golden hoops hung off of them. He glared into the mirror and pushed back his hair. There he was again, as Narcissus. He smiled coyly before zipping up his leather trousers. It was warm out. Perfect night. Perfect business night.

He walked out of his seedy apartment, out into the seedy neighborhood, where a group of wheelchair bound crackheads sat in front of a liquor store. It was apparent that they were speaking of the Vietnam War, and to the looks of them, it was entirely possible. One of them, a clean cut, scraggly haired midget, leered at Jesse as he pranced by. His hair blew into his face, making him look quite pouty. The midget smiled, pulled out a 20 dollar bill, and--

"MORENO! It's been quite a long time. My, you must be starving."

The lanky, well-dressed young man led the boy into a limousine which smelled of cranberry sauce and cologne. The couple drove off, away from the seedy, filthy neighborhood, to a fantasy land of immortal nightlife. Jesse knew very well what was coming next after the first sip of wine.

***

"Now hon, would you like some jell-o?"

"No," Daria told the nurse. She had been in the hospital for 8 hours, and was just about ready to leave. Her parents, along with her sister, still determined that Daria had cut her wrist open with a circular saw on purpose, in a suicide attempt. The institutionalization tactic was still in effect.

"Well, just ring me when you need anything, okay Dana?"

"It's Daria," she mechanically retorted. As the nurse left the room, she muttered a profanity and got dressed. Home was, to paraphrase a writer, where they had to take you in. And that was where she would have to go, for now.

As the family left, a familiar face walked by. Daria knew right away who it was. Apparently her one-time associate had nearly died after he had thrown himself into the river.

"Hey, I remember you! You're that girl I used to like. Too bad I didn't like you anymore. What's with your wrist?"

"Well, Ted, I attempted to--"

"KILL YOURSELF??! God, Daria, I never realized what a complete loser you are! You should try and drown yourself like me! "

She abruptly left the boy and threw him the finger as she left the hall. Going home was a double edged sword; sure, there was isolation, relief. But then there were those restrictive, irresponsible parents who often shunned her as 'acting intelligent'. Fate had, as he had many others in this world, dealt her a faulty hand in the card game of life. Or so it seemed so, at this point. Ted was just one of the three incompetent males she had approached. One went insane, the second one was a schizophrenic, and Ted was just a lost cause who smelled funny. As for Trent...well...

He was at home strumming some chords on his guitar when the phone rang. He answered it and saw that it was Jesse. The young man was inebriated and a familiar sounding voice was yelling drunkenly in the background. He asked his friend to drive up to the Heiliss Hotel at the more "flashy" side of Lawndale. It was most notable for its old fashioned streetlamp.

When he got there, he saw his friend Jesse, laying out in front of the hotel. He was lying on his back, groaning, and laughing. He scraped the boy up from the sidewalk and dragged him into the Tank.

"You know, this is really cute of you," Trent said aloud as Jesse muttered incoherently. "I'm not letting you stay over MY place." Laughter and a kick in the wall was the response. The inebriated young man fingered his pocket and grasped the voluminous roll of $100 bills. All in a night's work, yesirree!

***

There's always something, you know. Family, money, clothes, all these superficial fringe benefits that people seem to adore. There's this friend of mine who is the model student, but sadly, she doesn't enjoy this distinction, when most people would use it to get people in bed.

After 5 minutes of futile contemplation, the journal went into the drawer for the evening. Daria threw off her boots and slid her body into the bed, a paperback in one hand, tea in the other. As she went on to the 4th page, she thought of a song which remained in her mind for the rest of the evening.

Poor woman,

strangled in her very own bed as she read

but that's okay

SHE WAS OLD AND SHE WAS GONNA DIE ANYWAY!

It was only 7:30 in the evening, but what difference did it make. Stay awake, regret it in the morning. Not like it mattered. Off to the dreamland dimension she went after the last of the tea made its way into her bloodstream. Too much sugar as always.

Daria found herself in Klinderstone park, where 2 months previously, a pair of children were brutally murdered and their bodies buried in a muddy ditch. The killer, a 19-year-old male who believed himself to be the equivalent of Jesus Christ, was arrested and frequently reamed as he had been shoved into jail quite swiftly. She walked across the meadow, where a potsmoking bum sat on the bench and muttered to himself. 'You dirty fucking bum,' a skinny, preppy young man said as he passed him by. 'Fuck you, CLOWN!' was the bum's ragged response. The two men fought until one had his face shoved into a pile of animal waste. The preppy wiped the shit from his lips and glared at Daria. 'What're you lookin' at, GEEK?' Daria just kept staring, until the shit-faced prep grabbed her arm. 'I'm gonna show you something to learn, little girl.' He then took out a switchblade and held it to Daria's neck. 'I'll give you something to be miserable about,' was the last thing he said before he was harpooned by an unknown force. The weapon pierced through his back and stomach. Blood sprayed upon Daria's glasses and rained on the ground. The prep writhed about as a group of cannibals ran out of some nearby overgrowth and prepared him up for the feast. The river of blood became the grounds in which they danced in, and oh, did they dance....splash splash splash.....

Daria abruptly awoke to the sound of Quinn's shrieking.

"SHE'S GONNA DO IT AGAIN!!! THE DOOR'S LOCKED!!!!!"

"Oh, dear," she said as she opened the door. There stood the family.

"I was sleeping," she explained, as she looked down at her heavily bandaged forearm. Oh, how she wished they would leave her alone. But they would stare, and oh did they stare!

 

III
Interesting Drug

 

Inevitably, the inebriated Jesse had been placed in the garage, while his burnt-out savior sat up in his room, smoking his peace pipe and enjoying the latest musical offerings from Ozzy Osbourne. Trent had developed a tolerance for marijuana; it merely relaxed him, at times. Occasionally it would conjure delusional thoughts and mood swings, though, like the recent incident with the guitar. That didn't matter though; he shelled out a hearty amount of cash for an acoustic guitar. As he inhaled the last of the drug, he leered at the leggy poster on his wall. Leather clad females and muscular, hard men posed in the most provocative positions. Trent had affection for women, but he found it difficult to see them as people.

He often hung around men because he felt that they were more communicative, while girls, in his view, wanted one thing. Trent knew several women, but most of them were too old for him, or they lived with their families, so he could never have sexual intercourse with them. He wasn't a virgin, exactly; but since the age of 17 he had been celibate.

Often he and his band would go out to gay bars and play to much fanfare. A favorite song in those places was "This Charming Man", a song in which he had altered in order to fit his style of playing. Jesse was notably more attractive than the rest of the group; his dim charms led to perverse propositions that he'd more often than not go along with. Often the other bandmates would wonder why he was such a slut; it was later explained when they found hundreds of dollars worth of speed in his hotel room. When confronted, he was forced to quit his habit, and inevitably went into seclusion. Mystik Spiral went on hiatus for weeks, until he quit his habit, with his best friend Trent's help, of course. He even nursed the boy back to health! It was also during this time that they became very close. This led to even more insularity, which had now claimed 2 of the band members. The others contemplated leaving when Jesse claimed that he "found" a song called "Angel in Black". They retitled it, recorded it, and things had gone smoothly, but slowly ever since. The brief, close relationship that Jesse and Trent had been shoved into the closet and forgotten by then.

***

"Men who want to get it on with cartoon characters, next on Sick Sad World!"

"Oh, that's grrr-oss!"

"Once again, we agree," Daria dryly uttered, looking at her sister's revealing outfit. Quinn sighed and left the room, a whiff of perfume filling Daria's nostrils.

"Oh, my delicate little brain."

She sipped her tea when suddenly, she dropped the cup on the floor. Luckily the floor was hardwood and only a little tea rained on the throw rug. However, she raced to the kitchen to fetch a dishtowel to soak up the spilled drink. Her wrist had started to heal up, quite quickly for some reason. She wondered what Trent was doing. Why not call? Shyness. Why not go over? I'm too ugly. So what?

What a life...wretched family, nothing to live for up to this point, and a degenerating education. She had been daydreaming a lot, feeling lonely....longing, and romantic. How she wanted a mate! Someone to run to when her family had tormented her to the point where she felt as if there was no answer but the noosed belt in her closet. She kept it in there for a reason.

***

 

Jane looked around the house for her brother, but apparently, he had gone and locked himself in the garage again.

"I hope he's not doing any of that speed again," she muttered as she fixed herself a cup of tea. There wasn't much else to speak of concerning the matter, so off to the TV she went. The doorbell rang, and immediately she could tell who it was. She let in her best friend, who seemed really sad and hurt.

"What's wrong, dear? You seem less chipper than usual."

"I wish I knew," Daria quietly replied. "I just feel incredibly morose about everything. I don't feel as if I'll ever be anything in this world."

Jane thought this over and took her friend to the couch.

"I mean, who, exactly, needs me?" Daria said in the driest monotone.

"Relax, I'll make some coffee, jeez."

Meanwhile, in the garage, something strange was happening...Trent was scribbling down a new song! Based on the incident from the night before. Before long, he hunched himself over his new acoustic and strummed a little bit. His guest determined that the guitar would sound better with a professional player. But that didn't matter. Jesse dug around his friend's laundry and found an extra shirt; it was a white, puffy silk shirt, possibly something modeled in a Victorian fashion. He pulled it on and buttoned it...it felt like fresh rose petals against his skin...it was 100% silk.

"Hey, I'm cold, could we, by any chance, go upstairs?"

"Sure, you big whiner," Trent gruffly replied. The couple went upstairs and sat on his bed for a while. It was definitely warmer upstairs. Jesse went upstairs and collapsed on Trent's cot, dozing off soon after.

3 hours and 5 cups of coffee later, Trent went back up to his room, to see Jesse's face, still pale, his lips slack as he continued his dreamless slumber. Trent watched his friend lying on his bed, seemingly aged beyond his twenty-one years. Jesse moaned softly, his eyes rolling behind his closed lids, his gorgeous long eyelashes resting against his face, the eyelashes that girls envied. Jesse's eyes, the liquid pools of green, that looked deep into Trent's blue eyes and saw emotions that no one else had been able to see.

Trent's chest heaved with a deep sigh. He leaned the guitar on the wall next to the bed and sat down on his bed next to his friend. His eyes drooped, heavy-lidded with sleep, but for some reason the heavy blanket of slumber wouldn't take over. He laid down next to Jesse and tried to sleep, again.

Which was, of course, a futile attempt. He found himself not sleeping, but staring into the beautiful sleeping face that was next to him. Jesse looked so perfect, like a fallen angel who had the luck to land in his bed.

Trent ran a hand through Jesse's hair. It was soft and luxurious, more sensual than any girl's that he'd ever been with. He let his fingers roam through the wavy brown silk, twirling strands idly between his fingers. Jesse's hair had always been the envy of all the girls. Trent placed a hand on the back of Jesse's neck and stroked the taut cord of muscle and bone. He traced a fingertip along the pulsing veins in his neck, and over the bump of his Adam's apple. How long was he going to have to deal with the women? There were women everywhere. Women seemed intrigued by the chemistry between the two men, but never attributed it to anything more than a bond between two artists.

Trent, lost in his thoughts, continued to run his fingers through Jesse's glossy long hair, brushing his fingers along his neck and shoulders.

Jesse stirred. Trent gasped, sat up, and attempted to ignore the slow throbbing ache in his groin. He closed his eyes and started thinking of increasingly unerotic things. Peeling potatoes...scrubbing the john...Jesse's lips, centimeters from his penis...NO NO NO, scrubbing the john...

"Trent?" Jesse blinked, sleep sticking his eyes together. He rubbed his eyes with a slender white hand, his soft fingers wiping at the corners of his lids.

"Uh, you feeling better?" Trent muttered.

"I think so...how much did I have, anyway?" Jesse licked his dry lips and tried to sit up. The swirling feeling in his head prompted him to fall back to the bed.

"More than anyone can take, as usual. You ought not binge, you know." Trent said.

"Hrm, tolerance..." Jesse groaned. He rolled over and his head found its way into Trent's lap. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply. "You ever think about stuff?"

"Stuff?" The blood rushed to Trent's head and groin at the same time, leaving him with a strange light-headed feeling.

"Ya know, stuff, like, you know..." Jesse slurred. "Like the future an' all that shit."

"Ah, not much...I mean, why waste time thinking about what hasn't happened yet?"

"There's gotta be something that you want to happen though," Jesse rolled his head over and looked at Trent, his large pupils seemingly pleading with him.

"I guess, I'd like to, you know..." Trent mumbled. Jesse's white silk shirt had fallen open. The small gold rings that accented his pebbled nipples glinted in the dim light that filtered in from the street light. Trent felt the pulsating heat of his arousal taking over. He swallowed.

"I, ah..."

"'S okay, ya know, 'cuz I can't do this shit my whole life..." Jesse said, his fingers tugging at his left nipple ring. Trent's hands had unconsciously found their way into Jesse's hair again. He brushed a few stray pieces out of Jesse's face. Bathed in the gentle moonlight, Jesse's pale form looked more lovely than it had in some time.

"You need to..." Trent said, swallowing mid-sentence. His hand covered Jesse's, and the man looked up at him.

Celibate since age 17.

His head began a rapid decent towards Jesse, who closed his eyes just as Trent's lips brushed against his own. The soft touch of Trent's lips was a welcome relief from the crushing pressure he was used to. Trent pulled away, waiting to be punched, shouted at, or worse, rejected in every way, shape, and form.

"What was that for?" Jesse said.

Trent had no response.

"Teasing me like that, I thought you were finally gonna give in..."

The corner of Trent's mouth turned up as Jesse wrapped his arms around Trent's neck and pulled himself to a seated position, pressing Trent to the wall and finishing the kiss that he had started. He allowed the kiss to continue, his tongue tracing along the roof of his...lover's mouth as Trent ran his fingers through Jesse's hair, pushing his shirt down from his shoulders.

"Is this..." Trent said in between fevered kisses, "right?"

Jesse silenced him with a kiss. This wasn't going to be anything more than what it was at face value, but Trent didn't have to know that. Both of them would get a release for the lust that had been gnawing at them for the past months.

Trent pushed Jesse to the bed slightly roughly, and disengaged his tongue from his lover's mouth, putting it to work along his throat and jaw. His left hand was clutched with Jesse's, his right smoothing away the wild strands of hair that kept finding their way inside his mouth. This moment he had thought would never come was upon him, soon to be in every sense of the word.

The CD was on its fifth loop through the player, Radiohead not holding the same feeling it did four hours ago. Daria looked up from the crossword puzzle at Jane, who was putting a third coat of blood red polish on her toenails. It reminded her of a cable access TV show that involved a disgusting, smarmy woman who painted her toenails, rambled and screamed at a disheveled feline.

"Jane, have you ever had sex?" Daria said.

"That's not a crossword clue, is it?" Jane said, turning her head to breathe air that wasn't laced with acetone.

"Well, I can't think of anything else to talk about."

"You, the girl of a million words?" Jane quipped. "Yeah, but what's it to you?"

"Really? Who with? Jesse?"

Jane laughed. "Now that, my dear Daria, is a good joke. No, it was more one of those things that you do, and then regret later, and even later just sort of accept. It did inspire some rather violent art, you know." She folded her arms across her chest. "How about you?"

Daria blushed.

"I thought so." Jane said, fanning her toes with a piece of typing paper. "Trent's down the hall, you know."

Daria blushed even more furiously. Jane just put on a weird, cheshire-smile. She clicked on the television, which was strangely tuned to CNN. They were doing another documentary on Ted Kacsynski. She changed the channel and to MTV, where "Cartoon Sushi" was beginning its marathon. The first 2 minute clip featured a group of stick figures; apparently they were a family of some kind. The father figure was a drunken, delusional character with the head of Hitler superimposed on a series of lines, and the mother figure simply cried and cried. She simply had a scribbled drawing of a flower with a face in the middle. The children consisted of an irritable coffee mug, a stop sign, and a pothead character who smoked and smoked through the whole thing. Altogether, there was no point, or plot. It ended with the father character dancing around and screaming. Jane giggled at this, while Daria sat in silence, barely amused at all.

 

***

 

Trent worked his hands into Jesse's shirt, rubbing his chest and stomach. The receiver of such treatment felt a throbbing sensation in his pants. His penis was stiff as a rock; all senses were directed into his groin. Trent kissed the boy on the neck, sucking on his clean, hairless flesh before undoing the shirt and sliding it off of him. He gripped Jesse's pectorals hard. He moaned in ecstasy, and in his mind, he thought perhaps this wasn't really appropriate, but it was too late now, according to his testosterone.

"You're such a little tease", Jesse smirked. His lover had not ventured into his leather trousers just yet. Before the minute of thought was over--

"Aaah, ohmigawd!" Jesse whispered aloud as Trent grasped hold of his hard member, who stood at attention, awaiting his gift. However, he would not get what he wanted, not tonight.

Slowly, Trent undid the leather trousers, rubbing Jesse's groin and stroking his palms up and down his inner thighs and causing more moans of ecstasy. He bit down on Jesse's neck, as he worked the tight leather things off. Before he could do anything about it, the trousers were ripped down, and the aroused Moreno was thrown to the floor. He looked to Trent, fear in his eyes. But he got no support, as Trent's eyes were emotionless; in a deviant darkness. He casually gripped his friend's pectorals as he placed his soft, yet hard phallus into Jesse's receptacle. Jesse tried to scream, but his throat held it back. He felt the heat stroking in and out roughly, the warm fluid flooding his colon. He began to weep softly, but he wanted more, oh, GOD, he wanted MORE!

But after 3 minutes it was over. Trent pulled out and lit a cigarette. He inhaled its relaxing smoke, and enjoyed its calming effect. Jesse rolled over on his back, smiling at his friend.

"You know what this means, right?" he smirked, still unclothed.

"Don't do anything unless I ask," Trent coldly commanded. "I'll fucking kill you if you try."

"Whaddya mean? You mean I can't have FUN? HUH??!" Jesse kneeled before his friend, his hair flowing over his shoulder, eyes upturned, and a pleading pout on his face. Trent remained as stone-faced as before, clearly attempting to resist the advances of a still amorous Jesse. Jesse draped himself around Trent's neck and reached around, counting up Trent's ribs and flicking his fingertips over Trent's nipples, sucking hard on his neck and pressing his painful erection into the other man's back. Trent responded by reaching back and taking Jesse's penis in his hand.

"Not like that..." Jesse murmured, licking quickly up Trent's ear. He stood up, pushed his hands through his long chestnut hair, and struck the Spartan pose he knew Trent couldn't resist.

"Come hither, Adonis."

He leapt on Trent, and they began to roll around on the floor. Their pants were still around their ankles.

***

"So, ya wanna go out for dinner?" Jane asked.

"Where to?" Daria moaned.

"Well, there's this quaint little diner that just opened up 3 blocks from here. Wanna go there? I hear they make good chef salads."

"Why not," was her emotionless reply, as she watched her friend put her coat on. Jane was wearing a long shirt, tights, and sandals. She looked almost as if she had given herself a makeover, but neglected to change out of her bedclothes. A deviant thought briefly appeared in Daria's mind, but it vanished before it became solid.

"Go tell Trent that we're leaving," Jane commanded.

"Why don't you go do it," Daria whined.

"Jeez, Daria, are you that obsessed? You'll have to approach him sometime, you know."

"Yeah, okay," she whined again, before walking upstairs. Daria paused outside the door. Was that an impassioned groan, or was Trent passing a kidney stone?

"Oh, shit!"

The two young men struggled to reclothe themselves, and thankfully were successful. Something, however, remained to be seen. Daria knocked on the door.

"Yeah," Trent opened the door. "Oh, hello Daria."

"Hi, umm," she blushes, and a weird smile came over her. Suddenly she started giggling, nearly falling down the stairs in laughter.

"It's not what you think," Trent tried to explain, but the evidence was written all over his face. Daria didn't notice the glaze on Trent's cheek; he didn't notice either. Jesse just sat on the bed and laughed. Jane was standing at the stairwell, giggling as well.

 

IV
Warning

 

After convincing Jesse to spend a little bit of his "GA money", all four of the group went to the new diner. The place was aptly called "Hot 'N' Hunky", a restaurant known best for its hamburgers. It was said that the place had such good food and service that a Mcdonald's had to move 5 miles down the road in order to keep business alive from the population. They all walked since it wasn't very far. This gave Jesse and Trent the opportunity to sneak touches and kisses in the dark.

"Daria, you haven't really said anything provocative lately," Jane said aloud.

"What do you mean," she dryly replied.

"Well, for one, you've been increasingly whiney, and in school, you seem like a lost puppy when I'm not around you. Why are you avoiding me? I don't really see you much anymore."

"I cannot answer that," Daria said, aloud.

"Well?? What's wrong? Tell me! I'm your friend, remember?"

Silence. The group stood as Daria glared deep into Jane's eyes.

"I feel horribly lonely," she casually replied, and they walked on, without another word, as Jesse and Trent trailed behind, smoking cigarettes. Little did the girls know what was going on. As they approached the diner, they stopped, entered, and stared at the wide menu inside. It was a modest looking place; modeled in the fifties art-deco style. It was a very sterile, clean place that everyone felt at home with. Oddly enough, the place was empty, with the exception of a strange looking man in the back area. He wore thick glasses, had long, filthy hair, and a beard which resembled a wad of pubic hair. He must've been responsible for the Dylan song playing on the jukebox. The group grabbed their meals and headed for the front window seats.

"This place is lovely," Jesse said, his voice very happy and uplifted. He sat across from Trent, while Daria sat across from Jane. The men started to indulge themselves rather quickly. Jane did too, but Daria sat there, pecking at her food with a fork, eating her salad rather slowly.

"Have you ever wondered about when the world will end?" Daria asked the skinny male beside her.

"Well, I'm not sure about that Daria. I often wonder if it will end in the night time or the daytime. Either way, society deserves what's coming to 'em," Trent observed.

"But that society includes us, Trent."

"True..." the conversation of doomsday ended then and there. Trent made his way to the jukebox with a handful of quarters. He saw no decent selections, except for a Doors song he enjoyed. "Crystal Ship" reminded him of those where he hung around his drug friends, people who supplied him with marijuana and alcohol. Them was fun days....and rotten ones too. He had a fat girlfriend named Sarah who was a complete bore and seemed to want sex all of the time. She wasn't really his girlfriend, though under the influence of alcohol, he was hers for the time being. It wasn't until she died of a speed overdose that Trent decided to stop such deviant, dangerous activities. That was when he declared himself celibate.

He selected the song and went back to the table. The effeminate Spartan athlete before him looked into his eyes, and fluttered his beautiful eyelashes, flashing his tongue over his upper lip. He then broke eye contact and indulged himself into the last of his meal.

"These burgers are fuckin' excellent," he said with a mouthful of beef and bread.

"Thank you very much," the passing waiter uttered.

"Well I'm full," Trent announced. "I'll be right back."

He went to the restroom and leered at himself in the mirror. He inspected the bags under his eyes, the ugly facial hair which hung off his chin, and that weird mouth.

What is this that stands before me?

Whatever this being was that was leering at him in the mirror, it was not his image of himself. Oh, how he wished to have the features of his dear Jesse! But not as beautiful. He wanted to be big, muscular and a SPARTAN! But alas, it was not to be--

"I figured you'd still be in here," a familiar voice whispered.

"Daria? What're you--"

"Unisex restroom," Daria interrupted. She approached the skinny boy who inspected himself carefully in the wide mirror.

"What do you want," he whined. Daria approached the shamed young man and bravely placed a hand on his shoulder.

"I think I know why we've been acting strangely around each other. There's no debate, really."

"Wha-What are you talking about Daria? Have you gone delusional again?"

She reached for him, but he pulled away and locked himself in the bathroom stall.

I'm the world's ugliest man!

"Leave me alone for a while, please..I can't face you right now."

Daria was persistent. She pulled on the door.

"Come on, it's not like you're any worse than I am, it's just that I'm willing to accept the fact that I'm madly in love you."

Trent's heart stopped. His blood ran cold. But he knew what he had to do. He opened up the stall door, took Daria's hand and pulled her inside. His eyes drilled holes into her own, and she removed her spectacles. He kissed Daria on the mouth, a long, warm kiss, that lasted only 30 seconds, but it felt so much longer...but eventually he pulled away. His admirer stood there, pale with shock. She could not believe what had just occurred. Oh dear, I just kissed a BOY!

"You're such a nice girl, Daria..really, anyone would be lucky to have you. I would, if I weren't--"

"Taken."

"I am taken," he said, trembling, sweating, and pale. Daria stood there, the floodgates ready to flow.

"You see, I'm not the man you think I am," he enunciated, feeling the weight of secrets diminish from his chest.

Daria stood there, silent, swallowing in nervousness. "I knew you were a KGB agent, Trent, and you know it doesn't bother me."

"I like men," he whispered.

"What do you mean?"

"Daria, I said, I like men. I'm sorry if I've shocked you."

She looked down upon the tiles of the bathroom floor. They were marble, glossy, and she saw a tear fall to the ground. "Well, I like girls, but I still like you."

"No, Daria...do I have to spell it out? I'm in LOVE with a MAN. Three simple words. I. Am. Gay."

Daria took a heaving breath, sobs waiting to shake from her throat. Trent took his friend's hand and held it, calming her, much like the incident where she had a needle jabbed into her belly months ago. She sighed and embraced Trent, somehow feeling relieved. But why? This was the one guy who seemed perfect for her, but it turned out that he was gay? What difference did it make?

It made none, really. More stories to tell.

***

Two days after the incident with Trent, it was the start of another mundane week at school, this time a more questioning one. People approached her with caution as usual, but now they wanted to know about the bandages that were still encasing her wrist. So-called "friends" Brittany and Kevin offered to take her out to the amusement park later on in the weekend, but she gratefully declined. Charles Ruttheimer offered her a drink, but of course, he faced rejection.

Daria started hanging around Jane again, for the first time in a week and a half. Since she fell under the pressures of love, she had been avoiding all contact with people because she wanted to harbor her crush on her own. But now that doing so was futile, all was normal again.

Yeah, everything is normal again. Big fucking whoop.

 

 

 

***

The End