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Chapter Text

         Trent entered the room and saw her. She sat up in one of the emergency room beds with the other two curtains drawn on each side to give the other patients their privacy. She raised her previously bowed head and held his gaze. Trent’s heart was still racing as he approached her.

         “What can I do?”

         She gave a slight shrug, then to her complete and utter dismay, the felt tears stinging the corners of her eyes. He sat beside her and hugged her.

         “When the hospital called-” he swallowed hard just recalling how scared he had been, “I was so afraid. I didn’t know what to think. I just knew that I had to make sure that you would be okay.”

         She listened while he spoke taking note of the protective arm that he still kept her in.

         “I know that,” he coughed slightly, “that I fucked up- that I fucked us up. If you give me a chance, “ he looked down at her, “I will make trust me- trust us again.”

         It was slight, but he felt the slight nuzzle into his arms that she did. For him it was a sign that perhaps she was more receptive to what was saying. He pressed his lips to her forehead briefly and gave a gently squeeze to her shoulder.

         “I love you……”




         She heard Jesse’s voice, but said nothing. All she wanted to do was leave.

         “Did the doctor say that you could leave?”

         She sighed and turned to him after buttoning the last of the buttons on his shirt that she still wore.

         “Yeah, actually. They gave some stuff for pain, so…..”

         “Have you seen Tr-”

         “……yeah, I saw him.” She looked at Jesse’s concerned face. He was really being a good friend to her right now and that was something that she felt that she was in dire need of.

         “Let me give you a lift?” Jesse felt bad for the small woman.

         “I could call……” Daria realized that she had no one to call. Her parents would want explanations that she wasn’t up for and Jane- well they hadn’t been as close as she would have liked. Now given what had happened, she seriously doubted that Jane would be sympathetic to her situation.

         “Come on.” Jesse gently urged her out the door and into his ride.



         “You don’t have to do this.”

         Jesse looked at the petite young woman that had dominated his best friend’s thoughts and heart for much of the time since coming into his life. She wasn’t exceptional to look at, but she was pretty in her own way. Jesse was aware that she had the kind of smarts that could take her anywhere, but she had never made Trent feel inferior intellectually.

         “It’s okay.”

         I don’t think Trent would want you to be alone right now……I wouldn’t want you to be alone from the looks of you……

         “You should go and shower.”

         He watched her go into the other room and then hurried to change the sheets on his bed. He didn’t mind sleeping on them another night or three, but he was certain that she wouldn’t want to sleep in them.

         Thank you mom for coming by here and doing my laundry for me- again…… Trent, Trent, Trent- she’s a fucking wreck. She looks like she wants to cry or throw up or both.

         Jesse shook his head and fluffed the pillow as best as he could before heading back to the front room and the couch that would be his for the night. He let out the pull out and found himself grateful for his mother’s help again, for it was she who had found the sofa bed at a yard sale and had bought it with the excuse that when his ‘bandmates’ came over they would have somewhere to crash. At the time he had thought that she was just being over protective again and trying to fill his space with her stuff, but now- well, the saying ‘mother knows best’ felt appropriate.


         Her voice was small and unsure. He snapped out of his thoughts and looked at her. She stood with one bare foot slightly turned in, her hair slightly damp, skin flushed from a hot shower, a nasty purpling of her left eye and various cuts on her face and arms wearing his tee shirt that fit longer than most chicks dresses.

         “Uhm- I could take the couch. You’ve been kind enough to let me stay here tonight. I don’t want to put you out even further.”

         “I wouldn’t feel right- besides this,” he patted the mattress, “is quite comfortable, so don’t sweat it.” He gave her a smile to put her at ease.

         “Thank you Jesse….. for everything.”

         She turned and went back into the bedroom and shut the door.

         She looks……vulnerable……