Categories > Cartoons > Daria > Slight Return0 Reviews
Things finish coming to a head, and Daria and Jane have a few Questions for Crowley.
Part 4: Come and See
Crossover with /Good Omens/: Lawndale gets to deal with fallout from the end of the world... well, sort of.
Disclaimer: Neither involved universe is mine; just shoving them together for the hell of it.
Also, this will make a lot more sense if you've read /Good Omens/. If you want to carry on wihtout, do so, but... it's a wonderful book.
They had just finished off their second pizza when Jesse and Trent walked in.
"Oh, hey, guys," Jane said. "So you finally decided to leave the house, eh, Trent?" Both guys acknowledged her and Daria's presence before heading for the counter.
"Large pizza, extra pepperoni," Jesse said. Someone came up from the the kitchen and talked briefly with the cashier, who then replied, "Sorry, dude, but we just ran out of dough."
"Oh. Bummer. Burgers?"
"You go ahead," Trent responded, seeming a little distracted. "I'm waiting for some people." Daria and Jane looked at each other when they heard that.
"I'd ask if you knew who he was waiting for," Daria mused, "but you apparently don't know either."
"Nick and Max, maybe, except the Spiral hasn't had a full practice in weeks..."
"Curiouser and curiouser." She went back to pondering the "come and see" thing Jane had mentioned earlier. She knew she'd read it somewhere - possibly the Bible?
A string of very loud cursing from the kitchen area of the store, directed at the freshly broken dishwasher, snapped her out of her thoughts once again. She hadn't seen the third J walk in, but the muddy tracks across the floor gave away his presence - to hear Quinn tell it, he'd been very mud-happy as of late. The tracks led, of all places, to the booth Trent had claimed about five minutes previously.
"What kind of meeting of the brains is /that/?" Jane boggled.
For his own part, Crowley was watching the booth intently. That was two of them. He half-wondered what was holding the third up. Chances were she wanted out of there as badly as he did, if for polar-opposite reasons.
They barely heard the bell above the door jingle under the further uproar from the kitchens:
"What the hell is this?"
"I don't know, everything's broken. And we're out of pizza dough."
"So why haven't you started fixing it?!"
Meanwhile, the red-headed girl who had just walked in took one look at the booth in the corner and said, "/Fi/nally! Where have you been, anyway?" Sidestepping and following the mud all at once, she sat down next to the blond and glared expectantly at the lanky dark-haired guy.
Oh shit, /now what do I do?/ After giving the situation a few moments' thought, Crowley finally said, "Look, girls, I hadn't exactly expected this to be a 'come and see' sort of event, but if you want to stick around-"
Jamie White was left to wonder who bleach-washed his favorite shirt, how he got so much mud on his shoes, and who the sleepy-looking guy across the table was. One table back, a young man with faded blond hair and dull grey eyes had just turned up. He was easily ignored, at least for the moment.
Over the combined chaos of three separate arguments in the kitchen and the last gasping strains of the broken dishwasher, Daria thought she could pick out "Who Are You" from the radio.
"Well," Jane said, "we hadn't expected to come and see how Pizza King holds up under stress..."
Another subdued /pop/, with much the same effect: Trent Lane felt extremely tired, and somewhat curious as to why he was sharing a booth with Daria's sister. Someone else had turned up at the booth behind them. This someone had a trim black beard and looked for all the world like some kind of businessman.
"Call it a side benefit," Daria shot back, before turning her attention to Crowley. "Anyway, that's my sister over there, and her brother, and one of my sister's friends." There was the slightest hint of a smirk in her eyes. "We just wanted to come and see what's up with some people we care about."
Pop the third: Quinn Morgendorffer looked at the mud on Jamie's sneakers, and the little bit that had snuck onto her shoes in the process, and at the camouflage tank top she was wearing, and at Daria's weird friend's brother who could never remember her name. She opened her mouth to say something, not necessarily sensible, and failed to even get a squeak out.
Scarlett closed her eyes in relief. "Tell me, how did I manage to survive nearly two months with that girl?" she mused quietly.
"I'll let you know when I've figured that out," White responded in kind.
"Why are you here, then?" Sable asked, addressing Crowley. "Have we been recalled or something?"
"No. You're on your own again. And I kind of doubt you need to ask why I got the honors..."
"Oh, so Below finally got tired of waiting, did they?" It had never been Scarlett's style to beat around the bush - she much preferred just shoving the damn sword straight through the small animal hiding inside it. "They should try it like this sometime."
As the three of them left, Crowley realized Daria and Jane were staring at him, and sighed.
"Congratulations, girls. You managed to do... about half of what I was sent here to get done. Not that I'm exactly happy about having to do any of it in the first place..."
"Who were those guys, anyway?" Jane wondered. "And while we're at it, who are /you/?"
< It was a lot to absorb for a five-minute car ride. Jane thought of several more questions based solely on the answer to the first one, and at least one of them was a subject Daria never wanted to talk about again. She figured on saving them until her friend was out of the car, and did so.
"Okay," she started as she moved to the Bentley's front seat. "Supernatural occurrences... aren't exactly uncommon in Lawndale, but I still don't get it. I mean, I've got the Four Horsemen-"
"Bikers," Crowley corrected.
"Whatever. What I'm not seeing here is, why Lawndale? That's part of what I'm not seeing, anyway."
"I think it either came up as a good short-term idea, or as being very, very funny. Couldn't tell you for certain."
Jane thought about that for a while before asking her next question. "Still, couldn't they have left on their own? I can't figure out why you got dragged into it."
"They probably would have found a way out eventually, yes, but... if you must know, I think I got dragged into it because I ruined their fun the first time."
"It's a long story. Suffice to say the world nearly ended in August, and the only thing stopping it was the fact that nothing went according to plan. Well, not the plan everyone knew about."
"Sounds like bureaucracy at its finest. Except for the end-of-the-world part."
Crowley smiled slightly. "Two of them, actually. And don't think I didn't have help. I suppose you'd call it more of a 'like-minded opposite number' thing." A pause for thought, then: "Wait a minute. You said something about supernatural occurrences earlier?"
"What did that mean?"
"Exactly that, weird stuff. There was a huge mess involving holidays a while back, and the whole town sang through a hurricane not long after. Daria doesn't want to hear about one of them for the rest of her life and won't tell me which that is, since that would mean discussing it. But I think, though there's absolutely no chance of getting her to admit it, that this particular mess gave her a few good story ideas."
"Glad to be of service."
"Yeah, I'm sure you are. You mind if I try the music again?"
"If you want. But I'm warning you, the tapes are going to work out the same way they did last time."
Jane considered. "I'd tell you not to be such a pessimist, but it is your car. Besides, I use that line enough on Daria." With that, she opened the glove box and pulled out a tape at random.
"Funny, I thought you were both pessimists."
"Well, if you ask her she'll give you the dark cloud to match every silver lining. Sometimes she's a little too good at it." Before starting the tape, she treated it to a glare which suggested it had better play whatever had been recorded on it.
And it did. But that was the problem. She popped it out before much more than the opening strains of "Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy" played, and decided to read the tape's label after all.
"Oh, bloody hell," she said upon being informed it really was a Best of Queen cassette, and started laughing.
"You never answered my question," she finally said.
"Could be because I never got a chance... what was it again?"
"Where were you that whole time?"
"Apparently, that guy doesn't go shopping very often. Or, for that matter, have much motivation to leave the house at all. Took me far too much effort just getting him on a regular sleeping schedule."
"Narcoleptic?" She'd heard of the condition before, and vaguely remembered trying to cope with a particularly sleepy baron in France, back even before the arms-delivery business. That had worked out only marginally better than dealing with those fashion heads.
"No, just incredibly slothful." The slim smile crept onto his face. "I did at least get a few people to notice something was up. All in all, though, it was pretty uneventful."
"Too bad you didn't get out sooner; you should've seen the job White pulled on that football stadium." A pause for thought, then: "See, I don't get how you can stand that much quiet. It gets on my nerves after a while."
"Maybe it's something to do with you always being surrounded by chaos."
"Eh. Could be. So... now what're you going to do?"
"I have a business to get back to. You know that."
"You mean you're sure it's still going?"
"Just because I've been gone for six weeks doesn't mean the demand for the product went down. You were in a school cafeteria, weren't you? Those places are some of my top clients."
"Oh. Point taken. I guess I should see if my job with the pulp magazine is still... you know, mine. If not, I know where I can get a truck and lots of weapons, and that'll hold me over until I think of something new. The Middle East needs some action anyway."
"Looks like we're once again headed our separate ways. I'll see you when I see you, I suppose."
Of course they were splitting up again. Given the nature of their respective jobs, and the fact that they crossed paths less and less under normal circumstances these days, was it really possible for it to end any other way?
...Well, yes. It was. And she never wanted it to end like that again.
< Stacy glanced away from the mirror, in Quinn's direction. "So, you're sure it's over now?"
"I think so. I hope so. Really, I don't know." Quinn had gone back to her usual pink shirt and jeans, and had informed Sandi that morning that it was her plan to burn those tank tops. "I tried to get Daria to explain it, but she hates talking about that stuff."
"Her friend might know."
"Yeah, she might. I hadn't thought of that. Thanks."
For her own part, Stacy was extremely relieved to see the relative dip in the club's stress level. Over the last month or so things had gotten particularly bad - Quinn had been extremely aggressive in their style debates. It was almost like she'd been trying to pick fights. Whatever the problem had been, it seemed to be gone this morning, even though Sandi and Quinn were still harping at each other. That was what they always did.
"No, it's probably not over," Quinn mused. "Sandi's definitely not going to let me off easily about those clothes, whether I actually burn them or not. Besides..." She left off in the middle of the sentence.
"I'm getting kind of sick of the Fashion Club anyway. I mean, if the point of different styles of clothes is to express yourself, and Sandi just wants to pin everybody to her definition of good taste, is there really a reason to stay in?" And then there's that whole tutor business, she added to herself.
"I see your point," Stacy reflected after a few moments. "I'm not sure I agree with all of it, but I see your point."
"That's all right. You can think for yourself." She glanced at her watch, then said, "I have to go grab my stuff. See you later."
When Quinn opened her locker, she noticed an envelope sitting on top of her pile of books. She pulled out the things she needed for her first couple of classes before she opened it. Inside were a bracelet of some kind and a note:
So maybe I didn't give you enough credit. You've got a brain, and you're even using it - sort of. Can't say the same for a couple of your friends. Chances are, you'd be better off without them. Oh, and for the record, I think red looks /much better on you than pink. But I'm probably biased. -Scarlett/
Quinn had no idea who Scarlett was meant to be, but whoever she was, she definitely had a good eye for jewelry. The bracelet mostly consisted of blood-red beads, and there were a few that had the same sheen as oil in a puddle of rainwater. She was about to put it on when the bell sounded, so she just carried it to homeroom.
It turned out the be an anklet anyway, so it was just as well.