Text ©2005 The Angst Guy (email@example.com)
Daria and associated characters are ©2005 MTV Networks
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Synopsis: Thanksgiving is a time for families to go a little crazy, but it is also a time for—giving thanks.
Author’s Notes: This is a sequel to the Daria fanfic story, “Pause in the Air,” and thus the second in the series. This tale begins about an hour after “Pause in the Air” ends. It is assumed that the reader is familiar with the major characters of the Daria TV show, so explanations of who is who are not needed. As with the previous story, this one makes use of assumptions made in certain “Daria” fanfic stories about the actual nature of the relationship between Daria Morgendorffer and Jane Lane (i.e., that they are gay). The “Montana Cabin Fund” comes from The Daria Database, under “Budgets.”
This story was revised to correct an important date-to-come in the series. I wasn’t counting right, I guess. Additional stories in the Pause in the Air series include (in chronological order following this one): “Moving Day,” “Silent Night,” “Shock and Aww,” “Family Affairs,” “Writes of Spring,” and “April Showers.”
Acknowledgments: My thanks go out to PPMB denizens Deref and THM, who asked for a follow-up to “Pause in the Air.” If you had not asked, it would not have happened. Now I can blame the whole series on you. 8P
Quinn Morgendorffer’s soft footsteps echoed through the house as she went down the stairs to the main floor. She let out a long sigh after she reached the bottom and surveyed the silent living room, then walked to the kitchen. With dinner interrupted and the rest of her family locked in their respective rooms, it was a good time to grab a low-fat cookie unseen.
To her surprise, Jane Lane was still at the dinner table, at her place next to Daria’s seat. Jane’s elbows rested on the table, and her hands covered her face. All of the uneaten food from the Morgendorffers’ Thanksgiving dinner was still laid out, now at room temperature after an hour’s wait.
Quinn studied Jane for several long seconds, but Jane didn’t move. Chewing her lower lip in thought, Quinn walked back out of the kitchen. A minute later, after making small noises in the living room, she reappeared with a long-necked bottle in one hand and two wineglasses in the other. She walked to the table and carefully set the glasses down by her plate.
“Quiet around here, isn’t it?” she remarked.
Jane said nothing. It was obvious that her face and hands were wet.
Quinn shrugged and walked back to a counter drawer. She returned to the table with a corkscrew and began working on the bottle’s cork.
When the champagne bottle’s cork popped out, Jane jumped, startled. Her eyes were red, her face expression drawn and tired.
“Ah-ha!” Quinn was all smiles. She held up the champagne bottle. “I did it right! No mess!” She carefully poured a little from the bottle in each of the wineglasses, then placed one glass in front of Jane.
“Okay, sis,” Quinn said. “Let’s drink a toast.”
Jane wiped her nose on her napkin and looked at Quinn in disbelief. “‘Sis’? You actually called me ‘sis’?”
“You married my sister, so you’re my sister-in-law, right?” Quinn picked up her glass. “Drink a toast with me.”
“I might not be your sister-in-law much longer,” Jane said in a low voice.
“Oh, sure, you will. I know Daria. She’ll get over it. She’ll sulk, make a sarcastic remark, we’ll act like we didn’t hear it, and life will go on.” Quinn pointed meaningfully at Jane’s glass with her little finger.
Jane looked at her glass with a dead expression. “I blew it,” she whispered. “She’s really mad this time. Did she say anything when you went up to see her?”
“No,” said Quinn. “She locked herself in her old room and won’t come out.”
Jane seemed to deflate. Her head fell. “Damn,” she whispered.
“She didn’t want you to tell us she was pregnant? Or did she want to tell us instead of you?”
“She didn’t want to tell anyone at all,” Jane mumbled. “She wanted to pick out a right time and place, but this wasn’t it. She must have said that to me a hundred times, but then I went and . . .” Her voice died away.
Quinn sighed and sat down across from Jane. “When was the right time supposed to be, when she was in the freaking delivery room?”
Jane shrugged, listless. “I dunno. I really blew it.”
“Well, listen,” said Quinn, “I’m dying to ask you how you managed to work this whole pregnancy thing out. It’s killing me for us to talk around it, you know? But it can wait. A baby is a baby.” She raised her wineglass. The golden champagne swished around inside it. “To parenthood—and my future favorite aunthood.”
Jane stared at her own glass a few moments longer before she slowly picked it up. “Okay. To parenthood, assuming Daria doesn’t divorce me when we get back to Boston. Or sooner, like tomorrow.” She tapped her glass to Quinn’s and took a sip of her bubble-filled drink. After the first taste, she had a second, longer one. “This is good,” she said, putting down an empty glass. “Not that I’m an expert or anything, but this is good.”
“Best stuff Mom and Dad ever tucked away for special occasions.” Quinn grinned. “Not that I’m an expert either, being underage as I am.” She winked at Jane.
Jane finally did smile. “When I was little, I used to run around and drink what was left out of the beer cans Summer and Wind left around the house.”
“Ewww!” Quinn made a face, then laughed and sipped her champagne. “I bet you were a wild little party animal.”
“I dunno. Sometimes I guess I was. It wasn’t always much fun, though. If it wasn’t for—” Jane broke off as they heard the doorbell ring. “Who could that be?”
“We’d better get it,” Quinn said, putting down her drink and getting up from her chair. “Mom and Dad are locked in their bedroom, arguing about stuff. They’re trying to keep their voices down, but . . . oh, well.”
Jane groaned, but she got up as well and followed Quinn to the front door.
Opening the door revealed Trent, Jane’s older brother, wearing a ragged jacket in the cold evening air. “Yo,” he said, shivering. “Sorry to crash in. I lost my house keys.”
“You’re back from your road trip early,” Jane said, peering over Quinn’s head. “Did the band break up again?”
“Only for the holidays,” Trent said. “You and Daria back?”
“No, just our holographic images made it. You dope, of course we’re back. We got in last night.”
“Cool.” Trent sniffed the air, and his gaze drifted past Jane to inside the house. He shivered again. “Hey, something smells good.”
“I know you aren’t talking about me,” Quinn said with a smile, and she motioned him in. “Don’t stand out there. We’ve got plenty of turkey and everything else, sitting around waiting for someone to happen to it.”
“Um, thanks. Cool.” Trent walked in. Jane started to lead him to the kitchen.
“Hey, wait,” said Quinn. She caught Trent’s arm. “You and Daria are still friends, right? Can you talk to her?”
“Uh,” said Trent, confused. “I have before. Was I supposed to today?”
“No, I mean, would you go talk to her right now? Look, just follow me and I’ll explain.” Quinn took Trent by the wrist and led him to the stairs to the second floor. “Jane, we’ll be right back,” she called.
“Sure.” Jane watched them go, then meandered back to the kitchen and sat down at the table again. She eyed the turkey and picked up a small crisp piece to nibble. The house was quiet once more.
She was nibbling on a biscuit with cold gravy when a door opened upstairs and heavy footsteps descended. Jane’s hopes rose—but it was Helen and Jake Morgendorffer. They walked into the kitchen and nodded at Jane as they sat down at the table again. Helen frowned when she saw the open champagne bottle, but she said nothing.
“I’m going to be a grandfather,” Jake said in awe. “I can’t believe it. My old man said I’d never amount to anything, and now I’m going to be a grandfather!” He pointed up at the ceiling. “Are you watching this, you old bastard?” he shouted. “What do you say now, Mad Dog—or, should I say, Bad Dog?”
“Jake, please!” Helen said with a glare.
“I win!” Jake said, sitting back comfortably with a vacant smile on his face. “Let’s see Devil Dad screw this one up!”
Jane and Helen exchanged looks. Jane took the plunge. “Mrs. Morgendorffer,” she said, “Trent came over for a few minutes. He’s upstairs now. Do you mind if he has a little something to eat?”
Helen blew out her breath. “Fine with me. Why not?” She toyed with her hair, looking distracted for perhaps a minute. Her hand then fell, and she looked across the table. “Jane, can we talk about a very important matter?”
Jane swallowed. Her appetite was gone again. “If it’s okay with you, I’d rather wait for Daria to come down first. She should be the one to tell you the details.”
Helen shook her head. “A baby,” she said, and it was clear that she didn’t exactly like the idea. “And you both just started college. How did you—I mean, how did she—how did she manage to—”
“Uh, I don’t want to go into that right now, okay? When Daria comes down again, we can—”
“It wasn’t cloning, was it?” Jake asked anxiously.
“No, no, not that,” said Jane quickly. “Having one of each of us is quite enough.”
“I wouldn’t mind if you wanted to make a clone of me,” said Quinn, walking into the room. “May as well start at the top.”
“Quinn,” said Helen in a warning tone.
“Oh, Muuuh-ooom, lighten up! It’s Thanksgiving! We’ve got something new to be thankful for.” Quinn sat in her chair and picked up her wineglass, giving her mother a direct look.
Helen took a long, deep breath. Jane steeled herself. She knew down deep that Helen’s support for her marriage to Daria was not particularly thick; the situation was just too weird for her. The pregnancy could spell major trouble.
Footsteps echoed through the house. Two people were coming downstairs.
“Thank God,” murmured Quinn in relief. “He did it.”
Moments later, Daria came back into the kitchen, followed closely by Trent. Jane’s heart sank when she saw that Daria did not look at her. Jane tried to make herself small in her seat, scooting forward in case Daria wanted a wide space to go around to her own chair.
Daria did just that, but she stopped once she was behind Jane’s chair.
Her left hand gently touched Jane’s shoulder. Without thinking, Jane found her own hands moving up to Daria’s, and she pulled Daria’s hand to her cheek. She struggled not to cry.
“I’m sorry,” Daria said.
“I’m sorrier,” Jane said in a choked voice. “I shouldn’t have said—”
“It’s okay. It should have been said long ago. That was my mistake.” Daria looked down at Jane for a moment, her hand pressed to Jane’s cheek, then raised her head and faced her family.
“I’m about twelve weeks along,” she said steadily. “My appetite’s not very good most of the time. I’m really sorry I didn’t say anything about this earlier. I thought everyone would freak out, and I was the one who freaked out instead. Bad puppy. Jane did the right thing.” She drew another breath. “We went to a special reproductive clinic the week that we got back to Boston. We found a, um—” Her face colored “—a, uh, you know, uh, a donor, and we used one of my eggs. I’m due at the end of May or early June, right after finals.” Her mouth twitched. “I admit that our timing could have been better, but we sort of let the moment sweep us away.”
“Sounds like your mother and me,” said Jake, who then looked guiltily at Helen.
Helen glared at her husband before she looked at her daughter. “How could you possibly afford the procedure? How much did it cost you?”
“Actually, that wasn’t a problem. Jane had some money saved up, and I’ve been saving the money from all the bribes you’ve given me, and from all the bets I used to win off Jane and Quinn, and my summer jobs, etcetera. It was my Montana Cabin Fund. I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned it before.”
Quinn’s face screwed up in puzzlement. “Montana Cabin Fund?”
“It’s a long story. Don’t worry about.” She looked down at Jane. “So we have a Morgendorffer-Lane on the way.”
“Lane-Morgendorffer,” Jane corrected softly.
“Whatever.” She smiled, then bent and kissed the top of Jane’s head. “A little of me and a little of her. Something from each of us. We don’t know what sex the baby is yet. We thought we’d rather be surprised.”
A strained silence arose, surrounded by very confused faces.
“Wait,” said Quinn, beating her parents to the punch. “Maybe my biology’s sort of rusty, you know, and I don’t want to say something wrong here, but . . . a little of—”
“A little of me and a little of her,” repeated Daria. “It’s close enough. And since it’s Thanksgiving, I’ll say this once again.”
Daria stepped close to the table and put out a hand.
“Thank you, Trent,” she said.
Every eye turned to him.
After a moment, Trent stepped closer, too, then reached across the table and took Daria’s hand with a firm but gentle grip.
“You’re welcome,” he said. When they let go, he coughed and added, “Can we eat now?”
Original: 1/29/03; modified 12/08/04, 12/31/04, 04/08/05