Categories > Cartoons > Daria > Tigresses

The End of Many Things

by DrT 0 reviews

The aftermath of Thor’s accident through the end of the school year

Category: Daria - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama - Characters: Daria,Helen,Jane - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2014-04-07 - 3950 words - Complete

Tigresses of Lawndale – 19 – The End of Many Things

By Dr T

The aftermath of Thor’s accident through the end of the school year


Daria found herself waking up Sunday morning at around 7:00 with Helen seated next to her on the bed.

“Couldn’t wait to start the debate?” Daria asked sleepily. “Can it at least wait until I pee?”

“That can wait,” Helen answered, “but I just got a phone call from the Villars. For some reason, Theo went out last night.”

“An accident?” Daria asked anxiously, and now completely awake. When Helen merely nodded, she asked, “How bad is it?”

“Bad, but I don’t know how bad it is.” Helen paused. “I’m just guessing, but from their voices, it’s serious, but not necessarily . . . you know.”

Daria wanted to ask more, but had to make a trip to the bathroom first. By the time she got back to her room, she saw her mother had laid out clothes for her to get into. “Did the Villars tell you any details about what happened?” she asked Helen as she dressed.

Helen sat on the edge of Daria’s bed. “Theo got a phone call from some of the other football players; someone apparently discovered there was a water leak near one of the parking lots at school, turning it into a glare of ice.” Daria rolled her eyes at that; she could well imagine what certain types of teen males would think, and try to do, with an unexpected sheet of ice. “His parents easily talked him out of driving, but he walked there instead. That’s all they heard until shortly after nine o’clock, when they got a phone call from the hospital.”

“Nine last night or this morning?” Daria immediately asked, her concerns spiking to the point where even Helen noticed.

Helen shook her head. “No, nine last night. It’s just after seven now, sweetie! I agree, his being out in that weather all night would have been very bad. No, one of the other players called 911. Theo somehow broke his leg – a multiple compound fracture, and maybe more. They were in a hurry to get back to him.”

Daria winced, knowing this likely would put an end to Theo’s future football plans. She was glad he had the intelligence to get into almost any university without that, but it would be a major disappointment to him. Helen, meanwhile, continued on. “I don’t know if that was his only injury, or if there were others. It sounded like there could be, and I guess there could be complications from such a serious fracture.”

Daria nodded, knowing there could indeed be very serious complications, but merely saying, “Since you put out my clothes, I take it that it’s safe to drive?”

Helen nodded in return. “Be careful, since there may be icy patches in the shade, but it’s already nearly fifty.”

Daria again nodded and went down stairs, followed by Helen. She simply handed Daria one of her own ‘breakfast in a can’ drinks and wished her good luck.

Daria drove slowly and carefully to Cedars of Lawndale, silently cursing adolescent males in general. Thor was much better than most of the ones she had observed over the years, but this proved he wasn’t a total exception. Daria easily found a parking spot and made her way into the building she unfortunately knew rather well by now.

It only took her a few minutes to find the Villars, and she was shocked to see Theo’s usually cold and reserved mother sobbing in a chair, being comforted by her husband and a priest, with two physicians standing awkwardly nearby, one with an armful of forms.

Another physician observed all this from the side, and came over towards Daria. When she saw him coming, Daria realized it was Dr Phillips. He gently took Daria’s arm and led her into a side corridor.

“What happened?” Daria asked, knowing that Phillips would not have intercepted her unless he had information he could share.

“I heard the boy’s father call your mother, so I know you were dating young Mister Villars,” Phillips answered as Daria’s heart plummeted at his use of the past tense. “I wasn’t on call, so I can’t give you all the answers.”

Daria blinked, and Phillips could see the emotion draining from her face, her body stiffen. “He’s dead, isn’t he?” Daria simply asked, her voice as devoid of emotion as it ever had been.

Phillips simply nodded.

“Was it a fat embolism from the compound fracture, or something else?”

Phillips was unsurprised at the question, since he thought he knew Daria well enough. “I don’t know for certain but, despite the fact he would have be given treatment for that, the embolism is the most likely cause. He didn’t have any serious head trauma, that I do know. It is possible that there was a break in his pelvis in addition to the left tibia and fibula. That could have caused the embolism as well.”

Daria said nothing, trying to process what had happened.

“Do you want to see him?” Phillips asked gently.

Daria’s head jerked to look at Phillips, startled.

“Despite the accident and the embolism, he was a very healthy and athletic young man,” Phillips said delicately.

“So, you have him on machines until you have time to ‘harvest’ him?” Daria asked, her total lack of expression now worrying the physician.

“Me personally, no, but yes, we will,” Phillips answered, ignoring her term, since it was one often used amongst the medical professionals. In death, the young athlete’s body parts could save the lives of a few people, and improve the quality of life for many. “As you gathered, his body is still on life support.”

“His soul was in a very attractive package, but the part I cared for most is gone now,” Daria replied without hesitation. “I know I will have to deal with seeing his remains at the funeral, but by then it will have been processed into a mannequin, and I won’t have the illusion that he is still joined to it.”

“I think I know what you mean,” Phillips agreed.

“Thank you for talking with me,” Daria stated, turned, and left. Phillips merely shook his head.

Daria walked out of the hospital, avoiding the Villars, and went straight to the car. She carefully drove over to Jane’s, who fortunately had been up for some time.

“What’s up, Am . . . Daria? Daria, what’s wrong?” Jane was startled by the look, or more accurately, the total lack of expression, on Daria’s face. She had teased Daria about being expressionless in the past, but this was extreme, even for her right after Jane had met her, never mind over the past months.

“Is anyone here?”

“Just you and me.”

Daria nodded and went to the nearest phone. Jane was starting to panic. ‘Hello, Mother? . . . No, I am at Jane’s. . . . No, I didn’t. . . . If you let me speak for a moment, I will tell you why I didn’t see him. . . . Thank you. When I got to the hospital, Theo was already dead.” Jane’s eyes went wide from shock, and she fell back into a chair. “Yes, I said dead, mostly likely from a fat embolism. . . . No offense, but no, I am not in the mood to explain what that is. . . . So, no I did not see Theo, as he was no longer there, and I did not want to see his body before they started dissecting him for organ donations. . . . One of the doctors told me that. . . . No, I did not talk to the Villars, they were dealing with the trauma of losing him just a short time before and I did not think I could comfort them. . . . I am at Jane’s and will likely stay the night. . . . Yes, I am planning on going to the funeral, and yes, before you ask, I know I shall need some new clothes for that. . . . Thank you. Goodbye.”

Daria hung up the phone and turned around, seeing Jane’s wide-eyed mixed stare of shock and sympathy. Daria stood stoically for a moment, and then fell on knees in front of Jane before collapsing and burying her head in Jane’s lap as she finally allowed her grief to erupt in tears. Jane could only lean forward and offer what solace she could to her best friend as she cried.


Theo’s death sent shock waves through the student body of Lawndale High far stronger than those from Tommy Sherman’s had. Daria went through the next few weeks with a stony visage that even Kevin had enough sense not to intrude upon. Only Brittany had braved the frozen exterior and dare hug Daria. As it was done when the two were alone in a girl’s restroom, Daria had allowed it and even, very slightly, returned it. On the day of the funeral, Daria’s set expression had not changed, but seeing the few tears that still escaped and which had slowly trailed down that stony expression insured that none felt anything but sympathy.

Daria stolidly worked her way through the remaining months of her senior year. Her school work was impeccable, but as devoid of life as her expression continued to be while in public. Jane, and perhaps surprisingly, Quinn were the only people who were allowed to see the grief that Daria was actually still feeling. Perhaps more surprising to Daria when she looked back at this period, she had not turned to any of the forms of angst writing which had so filled her earlier teen years. Her romance writing was actually warmer, and this was also the time when she wrote the outlines of would later be her erotic romance story-series. She would also start outlining and detailing the arc of what would be her two sci-fi and fantasy series.

Of course, she did all this in part to pour her emotions into other directions than grief, and because she rarely slept more than five hours a night, usually in shifts of two to three hours while writing for two or three hours in between.

Therefore, that late spring was a miserable, but very productive time of the young woman’s life. She and Jody would tie for highest scholastic honors, Jody being named the Valedictorian because she had completed all four years at Lawndale, while Daria would win the Dian Fossey Award for Outstanding Academic Achievements. Daria merely noted things like Jody’s acceptance to Turner, Mack’s happy acceptance to Bromwell on a lacrosse scholarship, Brittany’s acceptance at a four year football university, and even Kevin’s acceptance at a community college that played football, since he had actually graduated with a 1.02 gpa.

Throughout it all, Daria mostly ghosted through the halls ways of the school. Her only school-related activity outside of class was her continued presence in Tai Chi. She was not even seen at Pizza Prince, although there would be plenty of pizza delivered for her when she was at Jane’s.

Jane made certain she spent time with Daria. Between her own grief, Daria’s, and John’s grief at the loss of his best friend, Jane ended the academic year emotionally wrung out. Her way of dealing with the emotional stress was two-part. One, of course, was painting. After the inclusion of her two paintings in the local museum that previous winter, the primary local art gallery, Gary’s, was willing to display her original paintings. Gary however had not hung the portrait of Daria simply called ‘Grief’ that Jane finished right before graduation – he called an auction for it. To the shock of Katherine Sloane, she had been outbid on the painting by a collector from Dover.

Jane also took emotional and physical solace with John and Daria (albeit always separately, now that Thor was gone). Granted, the way Jane and John worked through their grief together was often a great deal more physical than how Jane and Daria did. However, Jane welcomed both, both for herself and for how such activities healed her lovers. Still, Jane and John knew theirs was a temporary time of passions, not a long-term love affair. When it was time for Jane and Daria to leave town, Jane and John parted after a night of strenuous passion with happy memories and few regrets for themselves, other than John’s for his strained back.

As Daria pulled away from the Lanes’ house that morning to drive them first to Boston, where they would spend three days waiting for their boxed-up possessions to catch up with them, Jane made herself cozy with a small pillow behind her head and a large travel mug of coffee.

“Are you all right?” Daria asked simply.

Jane considered many things. First, she was quite relieved that there was life in Daria’s voice. That spark had usually been present when the two were alone these past few months, but not always. Jane hoped that she would never hear the dead tone of Daria’s voice which had been present whenever almost anyone else had been around them. Jane also knew she shouldn’t mention that point. So, to play for time, Jane asked, “Well, I’m here, and it’s just past seven o’clock.”

“I walked over last night.”

“Ah. John stayed until just before midnight. Sorry.”

“Nothing to be sorry about. And?”

Jane rolled her eyes. “And we were very active; I am pleasantly sore in all the right places; and John and I have said all our farewells. It’s just you and me again.”

“Is that a bad thing?”


After a few minutes, Daria observed, “You’ve been very good about not asking me how I feel the last couple of weeks.”

Jane looked over at Daria. “You’ve been getting better, and believe it or not, I don’t like nagging.”

“I think you’re right, but I have to admit, I am still not very interested in socializing.”

“And that’s different from when?”

Daria sighed. “If anyone but you said that, I would be unhappy with that comment.”

Jane shifted her coffee to her right hand and then placed her hand gently on Daria’s arm. “I’m sorry.”

Daria almost smiled. “Jane, you are you, and I take the prickly with the cranky.”

“Hardee har hilarious. Seriously, you were saying?”

“Last summer, we had fun at Ashfield.”

“We did,” Jane agreed. “Even by my standards, you enjoyed yourself.”

“We dated, and if Fred and Ted were in any way boastful, we might have a bit of a reputation when we get there.”

Jane considered that. “I really don’t think that’s likely, but it is possible,” she conceded.

“At the same time,” Daria went on, “we spent a lot of time with Alison’s crowd, which certainly led her to certain conclusions.”

“True,” Jane said. She had to admit, “As much as I still hate to say anything nice about her, she wasn’t as wrong about me as I thought at the time.”

“And, we’re a year older. Some of the people there who might have dismissed us because of our age are less likely to do so this year.”

“Also true.” Jane thought a moment. “Are you trying to say that we may very well get hit on more often this year?”

“I am,” Daria agreed. “And I really don’t want to mess about with any of that.”

“Daria. . . .” Jane said in a warning tone. In the back of her mind, Jane had been worried about, and watching for, any signs that Daria might decide to hide behind those impressively frightening psychological defenses she had had until Tom had stolen that kiss.

“Believe it or not, I actually do want to interact more with the other people at camp this year,” Daria said, replying to Jane’s unfinished admonition. “I just don’t want to, well, it’s still soon after Theo. If we had just been able to carry on until last night like you and John, then either we would have split up like you two, or be like Jody and Mack, trying to figure out if we should try the long-distance romance thing, but no, he had to die a senseless. . . .” Daria stopped herself; she did not need to get overly emotional while driving.

“Okay, it’s still too soon. I understand, really.” Jane’s mouth quirked. “To tell the truth, I don’t think I should date this summer either. John and I went a lot further a lot quicker than I thought I would go, and it might be tempting to plunge into to physical a relationship with some guy I’ll likely only know for the summer. I don’t want to be that type of person. Sex should mean more than just fun.”

After a long silence, Jane frowned at looked at Daria. “What was your point again?”

“Despite our current, and I’m sure especially in your case temporary, disinclinations, we are likely to be hit on this summer.”

“And we don’t want to drive away possible friends, just the attentions of Upchucks and Alisons,” Jane stated.


Jane smiled, glad that Daria had so easily agreed. “And do you have a solution, or do you just know the problem?”

Daria took a deep breath. “While I am willing to entertain any alternatives you can think of before we actually get there, I do have one possible solution.”

“And what is that?” Jane asked, curious. Daria was silent for a moment. “Come on, spit it out,” Jane finally encouraged.

“Last summer, everyone thought at first we were a couple,” Daria pointed out.

“Ah.” Jane thought about that, and then said, “We both still prefer males.”


Jane thought some more. After a few minutes, she asked. “Would we just be acting like a couple in public, or would we be a true couple while at Ashfield?”

“I know such exclusivity would not be a long-term deal for either of us, especially you, but I would be happy to make the commitment to you, or we could play-act, if you’d prefer,” Daria replied.

“I have no interest in any female but you, Daria,” Jane pointed out.

“I meant that sooner or later, you will want a male in your life,” Daria conceded.


“And I very likely will as well,” Daria admitted. After a pause, she added, “As long as we’re still best friends; I don’t want any relationship to come between our friendship, even our own physical relationship.”

Jane was satisfied. Daria was not really hiding, at least not in the long-term, and was unlikely to use their relationship as an emotional crutch. “In that case, the answer is yes, we will be an actual couple at Ashfield. I’ll think about how much of a commitment, if any, we might make afterwards and we can decide that together after this summer.”

Daria smiled slightly.

“Oh, one more thing.” Jane took the Celtic knot ring Daria had given her the year before and moved it from her right ring finger to her left.

Daria’s mouth broadened into a true smile for the first time since Theo’s death, and she carefully did the same.


Luhrman’s ex-lover had already left town, and both young men had packed away all their belongings and sent them on to the future addresses. Luhrman himself had stayed to greet the pair, transfer the utilities, and show them around the apartment building and introduce them to some of their fellow tenants.

The small apartment was in a fully urban part of the Boston metro area, neither upscale nor in anyway rundown. The apartments were over a storefront, currently housing a combo twenty-four hour bistro/bakery/coffee shop. As there was a police station less than a block away, and a fire station one block over, there was plenty of traffic for the shop, without too much noise (since the patrol cars’ parking area and the exit to the fire station faced other streets).

The tenants of the building were mostly young professional couples just getting started with a smattering of well-off graduate students. Only Luhrman’s recommendation and a strict lease when it came to possible nuisances like parties and general noise had gotten Daria and Jane into the building. One lesbian couple that Luhrman introduced them to that first evening were a lawyer (Daphne) and a professional portrait painter (Lois). The next day, while Luhrman was taking Daria around to transfer the utilities and to open up a bank account, Lois was taking Jane around the city to show her different useful venues, art stores, and other shops she might be interested in.

The day after that, Daria waited in the apartment for the movers to come while Jane indulged with a bit more shopping, as well as opening a bank account of her own. The movers were mostly moving a family to Maine, and were taking Daria’s and Jane’s possessions to fill up the load. Since they wanted to get to Maine as soon as possible, they managed to make Boston fairly early. By the time Jane got back to the apartment at 11:35 with take-out sandwiches, the movers had come and gone. The pair therefore took the rest of the afternoon arranging their possessions around the furniture that Luhrman had left behind.

That night, as Daria finished arranging her computer and work desk to her satisfaction, she said to Jane, who had been hovering all evening, “So, what’s on your mind?”

“Well,” Jane started, somewhat hesitant, “it’s about the rest of this summer. At Ashfield.”

“In what way?” Daria asked, still looking at her desk rather than at Jane.

“Well . . . damn, I know what to say, but not how to say it,” Jane protested.

“Take your time,” Daria encouraged, although still not facing Jane.

“All right. Let’s see . . . I enjoyed myself with you, and with John, and with you and John.”

“True,” Daria said simply, although she felt frozen to her seat.

“I enjoyed all of that. However, there are some things John and I did, that you and I can’t do.”

“Also true. John and I lack certain attributes in common,” Daria agreed.

“It’s not like I don’t like your attributes,” Jane pointed out.

“Thank you,” Daria replied. “I enjoy yours as well. So?”

“So, Lois showed me some interesting stores. I bought some silicon ‘attributes.’ I don’t have to use them on you, but it would be nice if you could use them on me.”

Daria swiveled around, and saw the shrink-wrapped ‘attributes’ in Jane’s left hand, and a leather harness and a large bottle of lubricant in her right.

Daria sighed and rolled her eyes. She should have known. “Okay.”

“Okay?” Jane was surprised; there was no resistance, let alone complaints.

“If it will please you, I’m willing to give it a try on either end,” Daria answered simply, shocking Jane even more. Seeing Jane’s reaction, Daria went back to the computer so that she could finish before Jane recovered. She had one more parting shot, however. “Just one thing. Those are all John’s size. Go back and get some for me that are Theo’s.”

Daria couldn’t actually see Jane’s jaw-dropping look of surprise, but just knowing it was there was good enough.
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