by Mitch

Daria was having trouble sleeping again. She tossed, turned, and looked at the ceiling. She had a busy day and felt kind of tired, so what was bothering her? Then she realized it...she wasn't used to sleeping without Trent.

Trent would usually fall asleep before she would and, in seven years of marriage, that was one of the things that was expected. She thought about how Trent was spending the night helping Jane move somewhere across town. Trent had talked his wife into spending the night at home to look after Lucille. This made sense, since Jane always looked after Lucille when -they- were busy anyway.

Trent would usually be gone during the times Lucille was sleeping so he could rehearse. Still, he would always be home by -this- time of night. Lucille was tough to get into her crib that night. It had been two years since Daria gave birth to her and now she was acting ...too curious for her own good. Well, at least the kid wasn't crying right then...

Then Daria heard footsteps outside her bedroom door which then creaked open. She thought it was Trent for a second until she heard that those where tiny -familiar- footsteps...footsteps
belonging to someone who should have stayed in their crib. Lucille climbed up to the bed and got inbetween the covers.

"Lucille, what are you doing here?"

"Lucille want to sleep with you."

Daria was too tired to argue and she -was- lonely.

"Okay, but -just- this once though."

Lucille snuggled closer to her mother. "Thanks, Dah-ree-ah." Daria closed her eyes and almost went to sleep when she heard her daughter's voice.


Daria was getting frustrated. "Yes, Lucille?"

"Do you love Lucille?"

Daria felt surprised. "Excuse me?"

"Lucille loves you. Do you love me?"

Daria sat up in the bed. "Lucille, you're the greatest thing I ever created. You're smart, your
adorable. Of course I love you. Why would you ask about it."

"Dah-ree-ah sometimes mad at Lucille. Keeps Lucille from looking for things."

"-sigh-Lucille, it's not that your curiosity's a bad thing. It can be a good thing. It's just that...I'm afraid you'll get hurt while exploring sometimes and it makes me mad that I have to keep telling you 'no' at times, doesn't mean I don't love you. I worry for you...maybe too much." Then she kissed her daughter's forehead. "Just go to sleep and don't worry about it."

"Okay, Dah-ree-ah."

Lucille closed her eyes. Daria sighed and snuggled up to her. After a while, she began to enjoy being with Lucille that night.
Trent finally got home around three o'clock. He went inside the house and went to Lucille's room. When he looked in her crib, it was empty. At first, he was frightened, thinking about what the little one may be getting into. Then, he thought of where she might be and smiled. Trent went to his and Daria's room. He opened the door, walked to the bed and saw his two favorite girls in there snuggled together. Trent climbed in with them and snuggled up to them.
Daria awoke the next morning looking at Trent.

"Hey Trent. I had this dream that Lucille climbed in and..."

Then Trent pointed to a sleeping Lucille, still facing Daria.

"Y'know, sometimes I think she's not spending enough time with you Trent. She's too attached to me."

"You're probably right Daria. Maybe I'll get up earlier from now on for bonding purposes."

Daria gently brushed Lucille's hair. "When she wakes up, I'll thank her for keeping me company."