Down and out on Dega Street

Author: Deref

Category: Miscellaneous

Synopsis: Set immediately following "Lovers in a Dangerous Time" this story tells of Jane's adventures one night at the Zon and of the surprising capabilities of Nicholas Campbell. It will make more sense if you read "My Afternoon at Tom's" and "Lovers in a Dangerous Time" first.

Warning: This is R rated. Please be careful. Kids, you don't want to read this.

Jane held the door open for Daria as she walked out.

"Tomorrow, Amiga."

"Yeah. And, uh, Jane..."

"Uh huh"

"Thanks for, you know, being so cool about this."

"It's a front. Tonight while you're sleeping I'll creep in and pour poison in your ear.

"Shakespeare has a lot to answer for. Anyway, I'd wake up while you were removing my shorts in order to pour poison in my rear."

Jane winced. "Go home or I'll be forced to kill you now."

She closed the door and aimlessly wandered downstairs to the basement where Trent was doing battle with an acoustic guitar.

"Hey, Janey, wanna hear the new riff I've written for the middle eight in Icebox Woman?"

Disinterestedly "Yeah, sure. Why not?"

Trent fired off eight bars of hot licks and Jane mentally filled in the backing.

"Great Trent. Makes all the difference." Her voice was flat.

Trent picked up the vibe. Jane was always offhand about his musical accomplishments but today she seemed, what, distracted?

"You OK Janey?"

"Yeah - OK - sure. Why wouldn't I be OK?"

"No reason I guess. Are you and Daria coming to our gig at the Zon tonight?"

"Daria's spending the evening with her new sex toy. But yeah, I'll come."

Trent's eyebrows raised imperceptibly.


"You're beginning to sound like Jesse."

Trent smiled. "Cool."

Jane flipped him the bird, and slowly walked back upstairs to her room.

She lay on her bed, trying to ignore the sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. In the first time they'd spend together for several days Daria had spent the last hour recounting her night-time of self-psychoanalysis and the decisions that it had led to, her discussions with her Aunt Amy and, finally, her afternoon at Tom's.

Jane wasn't jealous exactly, it was more... well, she wasn't really sure what it was. Perhaps it was jealousy. She'd been honest when she told Daria that she was over Tom. If it was jealousy it wasn't the kind that made her wish that she still had Tom to herself. It was, well, whatever it was it had its roots in a growing realisation that Daria was climbing out of her well. Maybe she was on the way to a well-adjusted life, reconciliation with her family and a strong emotionally, intellectually and physically satisfying relationship with Tom. While she, on the other hand...

Daria was still Daria, of course. The wit, the Mona Lisa smile, the repartee, the unwillingness to suffer fools gladly were all still there. But it was unlikely, Jane realised, that her angst could survive in a world that, for Daria, no longer seemed so sick and sad. While she, on the other hand...

Before Daria had moved to Lawndale there were times when Jane had felt that she was balanced on a knife edge, but that was two and a half years ago. She'd been younger then and, let's face it, within reasonable limits younger meant less complicated. Now there were new issues to deal with -- boyfriends, life after high school, life after life after high school -- on top of her lack of self-confidence, her artistic temperament, her antisocial tendencies, her inability to make friends, her... Christ, that was enough, wasn't it? However you joked about it, having to attend O'Neill's self-esteem class six times in a row wasn't just something you did on a whim.

Rather than helping to explore and resolve her problems, Jane's friendship with Daria had been an ideal way to ignore them, to bury them under a shared cynical and jaundiced weltschmerz. But that didn't mean that they went away.

Somewhere in the recesses of Jane's mind floated images of Daria as she'd reacted when Jane and Tom were dating. Barely controlled resentment, jealousy, even hatred of the intruder who was interposing himself between the freakin' friends. As Jane's relationship with Tom had blossomed both her reliance on Daria and the time she had to spend with her had declined, leaving Daria all but friendless. Somewhere, in those same mental recesses, between the waves of the same feelings that she'd attributed to Daria, Jane felt a twinge of irony. But the irony was being drowned out by an increasing sense of aloneness.

She felt lonely and scared.

As Nietzsche said When you stare too long into the abyss, the abyss begins to stare back into you.

* * *

"Come on Janey, we've gotta go."

"OK. Keep your shirt on."

Jane drifted down the stairs and out to the tank. Perhaps a night at the Zon was what she needed to take her mind off things.

"Hey Janey," said Nick as she clambered into the tank.

"Hey Jesse, Nick, Max."

Jesse said "You sound tired Janey. You OK?"

"Yeah. Never better."

"Where's Daria tonight?"

"Fucking her brains out on a bearskin rug in front of a roaring fire while a string quartet in the corner plays Mozart, I imagine."

"Woah - sorry I asked!"

Trent's eyes widened. Something was definitely wrong here. Janey and Daria had had spats before, but that comment had been vitriolic, though it had been delivered in that monotone she'd been using all afternoon.

The rest of the trip passed in silence.

When they pulled up to the Zon Trent turned to Jesse, Nick and Max. "Guys, would you let me off the lug-in tonight?" looking at Jane as he spoke. The others clearly understood what he meant.

"Yeah man, sure."

"That's cool."

"Sure. You can do the lug out."

"Thanks guys." said Trent, following Jane inside while the others carried the gear in from the tank.

* * *

"Hey Trent, Jane."

"Hey Roxy," said Trent to Roxanne as they walked in and sat down. Jane was silent.

"C'mon Janey, what's up?"

Jane stared at the table. "I'm just feeling down, Trent. That's all."

"Have you and Daria had a fight?"

She looked up at him. "A fight? No -- no. Why do you say that?"

"That was a pretty vicious comment you made back there."

"It wasn't vicious, it was just a statement of fact. That's probably exactly what she's doing. OK -- I might have been wrong about the string quartet. Daria's more of your Bach type than your Mozart type. They're probably playing Bach." Quietly, "I envy her."

"Janey, are you still hung up on Tom?"

"No. No, Trent, I'm just hung up on me. I can't seem to see any way into the future. It's as if the road ends here, you know? I can't express it very well. Sorry." Jane was more distant than Trent had seen her in years. He was beginning to get worried about her.

"Five minutes Trent," called Nick from the stage.

"Thanks man." He turned to Jane. "I've gotta go tune up Janey. I'll come back after the first set and we'll talk. OK?"

"Yeah. Sure. Talk."

Trent hugged her and walked up onto the stage.

In a few minutes they started playing. There wasn't much of a crowd in the Zon tonight. A few people sat at tables around the stage, two couples were up on the dance floor. The air was mercifully free of cigarette smoke.

Jane stood up and wandered over to the bar.

"Hey Rox."

"Hey Jane. What'll it be -- the usual?"

"Yeah. Thanks."

Roxanne was cool. She never hassled Jane about the underage thing, but she made sure that Jane only ever had a couple of drinks during the night. What she did in her own place was her own business, but Roxanne took responsibility for what she drank in the Zon. It wasn't a problem; Jane never asked for more than two so she'd never had to refuse. She handed Jane a Southern Comfort and Coke and took the money. She decided against asking her what was up, but something clearly was.

Jane walked back over to the table, sat down and lost herself in the bubbles languidly rising in her glass. She took a disinterested sip.

"Hey babe, dance?"

Jane looked up. A tall guy with long, dark hair was standing beside her. He was thin with sharp, angular features and dark eyes with dark circles underneath them. He was wearing faded jeans, a black t-shirt and a well-cut leather jacket. He was quite good looking. Very, in fact. Jane had never seen him in the Zon before. His age was indeterminate, anywhere from early twenties to early thirties. Under normal circumstances she would have been enthusiastic, but not tonight.

"No, thanks."

"Can I sit down?"

"Yeah, sure. Knock yourself out."

He sat down, held out his hand and smiled a nice smile at her. "Dave Ferguson."

"Jane. Jane Lane." She shook the proffered hand unenthusiastically.

"Do you come here often?"

"Jeez - couldn't you at least have tried 'what's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?'"

Dave grinned. "Okay. Sorry. Let's start again. What do you think of the band?"

"They're OK, but it's hard to be objective. That's my brother on lead. I have to listen to them rehearse every day, so even if they were brilliant I'd be a bit jaded about them."

"I think they're pretty good. I've always liked the Doors. So Jane Lane, are you always this depressed or is tonight special?"

"Depressed?" Jane's eyes widened.

"Well, that's the first time I've seen you look or sound animated. I mean, it's not as if we've known each other long, but you've been doing a pretty passable imitation of Eeyore."

"Sorry. I'm a bit down tonight. You know, mid life crisis and all that."

"That'll go on record as the earliest mid-life crisis in history -- unless you're planning to have a particularly short life, of course. Guy problems?"

"Jane sighed. "No, girl problems. Me, to be specific."

"Oh - I thought for a minute there you meant..."


"Well, Jane, why don't we go back to my place? I've got something there that might cheer you up."

"Wow, you're a fast mover, Dave. Usually a guy'll have the panache to get a girl falling-down drunk before he tries to get into her pants."

Dave chuckled. "I'm not trying to get into your pants, Jane. I mean, you're cute. I wouldn't turn down the offer, believe me. It's just that, as I said, you look down and I've got something that might cheer you up. I only live down the street. We could be back in time for the band's last set."

Jane thought for a minute. "Yeah. OK. What the hell?" Somewhere, deep inside, a small alarm bell was ringing but it was drowned out by the desperate need to escape from the storm roiling inside her head.

As they walked out past the bar Jane turned to Roxy and said "Roxy, would you mind telling Trent that I've gone out for a while and I'll be back in time for a ride home?"

Roxanne said "OK Jane." but she looked just a little bit concerned. She didn't recognise the guy Jane was leaving with, but then if she wanted to go for a quick roll in the hay, it was none of her business. And the guy was pretty cute.

Dave led Jane a couple of blocks down the street to a old but well-kept apartment. Jane was actually a little surprised at how pleasant the place was. She'd expected a seedy crash pad but Dave had obviously spent some time thinking about the furnishings and the pictures on the wall.

"Schiele prints! Random selections or do you actually like Schiele's work?"

"That's pretty cool -- you're the first person who's recognised them Yeah, I do. I'm a bit of a fan of the expressionists and Schiele really appeals to me. Imagine what he could have done if he'd lived past thirty. Couldn't afford any originals of course."

Jane was impressed. Dave might be a serial rapist/murderer, but he had good taste in art and, besides, right now she didn't give a damn. Turning to him with a resigned look she sighed and said "OK, big boy, drop 'em and let's see if what you've got'll cheer me up."

"What?" Then, noticing that she was looking at his crotch, "Oh," he grinned. "Jane -- I told you, I'm not trying to get into your pants." He smiled a small smile. "Not at the moment, anyway. But look, if you're really hanging out for it..." He started to undo his belt.

To her surprise, there was nothing that Jane wanted less right now. Besides, it seemed as if he'd really meant it -- maybe this wasn't just another excuse to bring a young girl back to his girl trap for a grope. She was intrigued, which was a nice change. "No, Dave -- it's OK. What were you talking about then?"

"Hang on." Jane didn't miss the fact that he'd taken his belt off and dropped it on the floor.

He went into another room and came back a minute later with a first aid kit which he put on the table.

Jane looked puzzled. "Don't tell me -- rubber gloves and handcuffs?"

"Sit down, Jane, please." He indicated that Jane should sit at the table.

She did. Dave opened the kit, reached inside and brought out a candle, a box of matches, a spoon, a small folded piece of aluminium foil, a hypodermic syringe still in its sterile packet, and a small bottle of pure ethyl alcohol.

"Oh fuck. You're a junkie!" One part of her was revolted, but another part was fascinated. The first part wanted to run, but the other wanted to stay -- wanted very much to stay.

"If you mean I'm a drug addict or a dealer, no, I'm not. I've been a recreational user for a couple of years but I'm not addicted and I don't deal. I'm careful, and I understand the risks. I've been lucky so far. I only have a hit from time to time and I haven't developed a tolerance. I came close once after hitting it heavily for a couple of weeks, but I recognised the symptoms of a latent addiction so I stopped. Not everyone manages it of course."

Jane picked up the foil pack. "Heroin?"

"Yeah. What do you say?"

Jane's heart was beating so hard she was sure he could hear it. Quietly "I don't know. You first."

"With pleasure."

Jane watched with more than clinical interest while Dave prepared a hypodermic. She noticed that he was methodical and careful. The hypodermic was new, still in its sterile blister pack, and he swabbed his arm with a tissue soaked in alcohol. She'd never observed this ritual before, but it was nothing like the desperate, dirty process she'd pictured on the few occasions when she'd thought about a junkie hitting up.

"Ahhh. That's goooood." His face took on a blissful expression and he visibly slumped into the chair. Her removed the hypodermic and put it on the table. "It's the ultimate self-indulgence drug. It doesn't make you see visions or feel like going out and painting the town red. It doesn't make you creative or sociable or energetic. It just makes everything feel so damn good you don't want to do anything but sit back and enjoy the ride."

His voice was slow and soft.

"Well, Jane, what do you say?"

As soon as she'd seen his face after the drug had take effect she'd known that she wanted it. If the eyes were truly the window on the soul, then Dave's soul was in a place the she desperately wanted to be right now. Despite herself, she trusted him.

She quietly said "OK."

Dave went through the motions again, using a new hypodermic. She turned her head as the needle went in, but it was just a pinprick.

"I'm going to inject it it slowly, Jane, so I can see how you react. I don't want to give you too much."

"Do it." she breathed. Slowly he pushed in the plunger, watching Jane's face. Her eye's widened as she felt the first rush of the narcotic hit her synapses, then she, too, slumped in the chair, a smile lighting her face.

"Oh woooooow."

"That'll do you for a first taste." Said Dave, withdrawing the half-empty needle from her arm. "How do you feel?"

To the degree that she was able to thing at all, Jane thought about how she felt. All the pain, all the conflicting emotions, all the storm clouds were gone. All she felt was peace. The world was a beautiful place. Nothing mattered.

"Aaahhhhhh. This is sooooooo goooooood." Realising that she sounded just like Tiffany, she giggled.

Dave withdrew the half-empty hypodermic. "Told you. Glad you're enjoying it," misunderstanding the reason for the giggle.

The next hour passed in a haze. They shared some shallow conversation but mostly they just sat still and enjoyed the ride in self-absorbed isolation. Eventually Dave suggested that they'd better get back to the Zon.

"Um, Dave, I don't suppose you could let me have some to take home?"

Dave paused.

"Well, OK. But be careful Jane. I probably made it look easy but this stuff is dangerous, you know?. I want you to promise me that you'll do it slowly. The second you feel as if you're losing it, you'll stop."

"Sure. I promise."

"OK. I'll give you enough for one hit."

He went into another room and came back with a paper sack. Jane looked in and saw a new hypodermic and a folded foil. She put them in her pocket.

"Thanks Dave." She reached up and kissed him on the cheek.

"Jane, promise me that if you feel like any more you'll contact me." He wrote his number on a slip of paper and gave it to her. "Don't go looking for it yourself. You never know what you're going to get unless you've got a trustworthy supply. And I want to keep an eye on you to make sure you don't have too much."

Jane had readily agreed. She'd have readily agreed to just about anything at that moment.

He spent a few minutes explaining the finer points of self-administration before they left his apartment and walked, slowly, back down Dega Street to the Zon. Dave hadn't gone back inside with her. He'd given her a kiss on the cheek and walked back slowly down the street.

On the way back home she'd just sat in the tank, saying nothing, a small smile on her face.

When she and Trent had gone inside he'd asked her how she was feeling. "Fine. Great." she'd replied, actually sounding tired, but as if she'd meant it this time. She'd just gone upstairs to bed.

* * *

As they drove off from dropping Trent and Jane off, Nick turned to Max. "Did you catch that, man?"


"Jane was off her gourd."

"What -- you mean she was stoned?"

"Oh yeah."

"No, I don't think Jane does drugs, Nick."

"Maybe she didn't, but she does now. Trust me, she was out of it."

"What -- weed?"

"No. We would have smelled it, anyway her pupils were the size of pinheads. It wasn't weed or hash. Had to be something stronger. She was too relaxed for it to have been speed or coke. Did you notice that she was scratching? My guess is that it was H."

"Shit. Do you think Trent knew?"

"I don't think so, man. We should tell him."

"I dunno. It's none of our business."

"Come on Max. You know how Trent feels about Jane. He's our friend, man. We should tell him."

"Yeah. OK. But we should take it easy. Wait until practice tomorrow. Lead up to it. He'll be defensive."

"Yeah. You're right."

"How do you know so much about this shit, Nick? You don't do drugs."

"No way. But my brother did. I'll tell you about it some time."

* * *

After Jane went upstairs to be Trent was still worried. He decided to think about it tomorrow and went upstairs to his room to sleep. He lay awake for a while, thinking about how worried he'd been when he saw Jane leave the Zon with that guy and how relieved he'd been when she came back in a couple of hours later. Her mood change had obviously been the result of whatever they'd been doing since they left. He must have been pretty damn good to have cheered her up that much. That was good, wasn't it? Or was it? He was uncomfortable to realise that didn't really approve of Janey going back to that guy's place for a one night stand. "Damn," he though. "I'm not a prude, but she's my little sister."

It had been a new experience for Trent "narcolepsy" Lane to find that sleep had been a long time coming.

* * *

When Jane woke her mouth was dry and tasted like the bottom of a birdcage. The alarm clock next to the bed showed two o'clock. It was light outside, so it was two o'clock in the afternoon. Had she slept through the alarm or simply forgotten to set it? She didn't care.

As she slowly drifted into full consciousness the feelings of hopelessness came flooding back. She lay back staring at the ceiling, her thoughts slow and disjointed. She tried to force herself to think clearly, to push past the miasma, but she couldn't.

Last night's respite had been brief, but real. She wasn't stoned any more, that was for sure. She could remember the sense of peace, of euphoria, like something she'd read about but hadn't personally experienced. She visualized the ritual of injecting; the delicious sting of the pinprick; the quickening of her heartbeat at seeing her blood flow back into the syringe showing that the needle was in place; the sensation of the narcotic flooding her brain, like a thousand angels taking away the pain. Once again her heart beat faster.

She got up off the bed, slowly walked over to the chair with her jacket hanging over it and felt in the pocket. Her hand closed around the paper sack containing the hypodermic and the little foil packet.

* * *

Trent woke up at about three o'clock. He went downstairs and made a cup of coffee. Just as he sat down and took his first sip the doorbell rang. He got up and opened it.

"Oh. Hey Daria." Behind her guys had pulled up in the tank.

"Hey Trent. Is Jane here?"

"Didn't she come home from school with you?"

"Jane wasn't at school today. Haven't you seen her?"

"Er, well, I only just got up. She didn't seem to be feeling too well last night so I guess she stayed home from school. I was a little worried about her to be honest. I'm glad you're here, Daria. Why don't you go up to her room, she's probably there unless she's gone for a run."

"OK. Thanks."

Daria headed up the stairs while Jesse, Nick and Max came in behind her with some equipment from the tank.

Daria knocked on Jane's door. There was no answer. She knocked again more loudly. Still no answer.

"Running no doubt," Daria thought. "I'll go in and wait."

She opened the door and froze.

Jane was slumped on her bed. There was a belt around her upper arm and an empty hypodermic syringe next to her. She'd vomited on the bed.

It seemed like an hour before Daria could bring herself to react though in fact it had only been a second or two. She turned and ran downstairs to the basement where Trent and the other Spiral members were setting up their gear.

"Trent." It was no more than a whisper. Trent turned round the instant he saw Daria's face he knew something was terribly wrong. She was white and shaking. He ran past her and flew up the stairs to Jane's room.

"What's up, Daria?" said Nick.

"Jane." She whispered.

Nick walked over to her and took her arm. "Come on," he said and led her upstairs, followed by Jesse and Max.

When they got to Jane's room Trent was holding Jane in his arms, rocking her like a baby, whimpering "no, no". Jane flopped lifelessly in his arms.

"Fuck," breathed Nick. He ran over to Trent and Jane and picked up her arm, feeling her wrist. He dropped her arm and disappeared out the door. Nick and Jesse stood there not knowing what to do. Daria slowly walked over to Trent. Time seemed to have slowed down. She felt as if she was in a dream. She was in shock.

As she reached Trent and Jane, Nick burst back into the bedroom with a package in his hand. He walked up to Trent, put his hand on Trent's shoulder and said "Trent, she's not dead, man. She might even pull through on her own, but either way time is critical. Will you let me try to help her? Please?"

Trent slowly looked round. His face was wet with tears, his eyes uncomprehending. But he gently lay Jane down on the bed and stepped back.

Nick pulled a blister packed hypodermic and a small bottle out the bag he was carrying. He tore the hypodermic out of its pack, pulled the cover off the needle and inserted it through the rubber top of the bottle, drawing up the contents.

Trent didn't move, but his voice was almost hysterical. "What are you doing Nick? What the fuck are you doing?"

"Trent. Trust me, please man."

He rammed the needle home into Jane's shoulder and squeezed.

Trent, regaining some control of his body, lunged towards Nick and tore him away from Jane. "What the fuck are you doing?" he shouted, almost lifting Nick up off the floor by his shirt, the sinews in his thin arms standing out with the strain.

A small voice behind him said "Trent?"

Trent looked around at Jane. She was sitting up, though she looked groggy.

Trent dropped Nick as if he was radioactive and fell on Jane. He enfolded her in his arms, crying and rocking his baby sister gently, muttering her name over and over.

"Nick?" it was Jesse. "What the hell..."

"Naloxone, Jess. It's a narcotic antagonist. It neutralises the heroin. She's stone-cold sober."

"How..." Jesse again.

"Later man. Let's leave then to it. Jane's fine, and I need some coffee." He led Jesse and Max out of the room.

Daria had been watching the scene as if it was unreal, as if she'd been packed in cotton wool -- as if she was watching it through the wrong end of a telescope. When Jane had revived the fog had started clearing, reason started returning. Jane looked over Trent's shoulders and smiled weakly at her.

"Hey Daria."

Gently putting her hand on Trent's shoulder she said, croakily, " My turn, Trent."

Trent released Jane and stood up, wiping his eyes. Daria kneeled in front of Jane and hugged her. Then she drew back and held both Janes hands in hers. She looked into her friend's eyes.

"How do you feel, Jane?"

"Physically? OK. I feel like I just woke up."

"Are you sure? You feel strong?"

"Yeah. I guess I do. Well, as strong as I ever feel anyway. Why? What do you mean?"

Daria stood up, half-twisted her body to her right, raised her right arm to shoulder height and swung with all her might, slapping Jane's face with her open hand, putting all the force of her body behind the blow.

Jane's head snapped back and she almost fell off the bed. If Daria had been as muscular as Jane it certainly would have knocked her out and, perhaps, broken something.

"Daria!" Trent gurgled, his expression a mixture of horror and respect.

Daria bent over and looked at Jane straight in the eye. "What the fuck do you think you're doing, Lane?" Her voice was a low growl, powerful, under complete control, frighteningly controlled. It was a tone she'd only ever used a few times in her life but anyone who heard it never forgot it. Quinn had been on the receiving end only a couple of days ago and it had reduced her to tears.

Daria grabbed her friend's head between her hands and snapped it round to face Trent. His eyes were red and his cheeks were tear-stained. He sniffed and wiped his nose on the back of his hand.

"Look! Look at him Jane!"

Jane closed her eyes and tried to lower her head but Daria's hands were a vise.

"Oh no -- you don't get away with it that easily. Look at him! He thought you were dead, Jane! He thought you were dead! What the hell gives you the right to do this to him?"

Daria snapped Jane's head round to look into her own eyes, fire and fury flashing in them, but then, tears welling in her eyes, she relaxed her grip but kept her hands on Jane's face and said, gently, "What gives you the fucking right to do this to me?" Jane, dazed by the force of Daria's blow, put her hand to her throbbing face, covering Daria's hand, tears starting. "Oh God, I'm so sorry..."

Trent walked over, kneeled down in front of Jane and the three of them held each other tightly, sniffing, crying, saying nothing.

* * *

Downstairs, Nick, Jesse and Max went into the kitchen, made coffee and sat down at the kitchen table to drink it.

Max looked at Nick with something approaching awe. "OK, Nick. What the fuck was that all about? How did you know what to do? How come you were carrying that stuff?"

Nick looked distant. "My older brother was a junkie, Max. He died of an overdose of that shit two years ago."

"Oh man, I'm sorry, I didn't know." said Max.

"Yeah. Well, that's not the worst part. My old man's a paramedic. He was on duty when a call came in about an OD. It wasn't until they got to the scene and turned him over that he knew it was Dennis. It was too late. It fucked him round pretty badly."

"Yeah. Shit."

"Afterwards he made me promise that I'd always carry Naloxone and a hypodermic with me in case I was ever in a situation where I needed it. He's told me that half his drug-related calls came from clubs and that half of them were band members. I think that he was really worried about losing me too. He took a real risk getting me that stuff." He smiled. "He'll be really happy to know that it was actually some use. He's a cool guy."

"Would she have died without it, Nick?"

"I'm not a doctor, man. Maybe. Her pulse was really weak, but she might have come through it. Dad said that the effects of Naloxone are amazing, it works within a minute and it's just as if they'd never had the hit in the first place. He said that some people he's brought back from the brink got really aggro because he'd spoiled their high. You'll never catch me going near that stuff. I'm really surprised that Jane got mixed up in it."

Just then Trent came into the kitchen, walked up to Nick and hugged him.

"Thank you man, thank you so much. You saved her life."

"My pleasure, buddy. I might not have saved her life, she'd probably have pulled through all by herself. It's no biggie."

"It is to me, Nick. As far as I'm concerned you saved my baby sister. I owe you big time."

An evil smile crossed Nick's face. "Really? Then pay me back by dropping Icebox Woman from the list. I hate that song!"

* * *

Daria had insisted that Jane spend a few days at her place and Trent had gratefully agreed. Jane had showered and changed while Trent and Daria cleaned up the vomit as best they could and disposed of the injecting paraphernalia. She'd taken the bag they'd packed for her and Trent had driven them back to the Morgendorffers'. They didn't say much on the way. Jane was holding a towel packed with ice cubes against the side of her face. Every now and then she rubbed the sore spot on her shoulder where Nick had inexpertly injected the Naloxone.

Helen, Jake and Quinn had been shocked by the bruise on Jane's face but they'd stopped asking about it when Daria had given them a glare of such intensity that they all knew that this was one of those times to exercise the better part of valour. Daria carried Jane's bag up to her room and watched her climb wordlessly into her bed and fall asleep almost instantly.

She watched her friend sleep for almost an hour. Wiping away a fresh tear, she reached a decision.

Daria walked down the hall and stopped at the bedroom door at the opposite end of the corridor. Taking a deep breath, she stepped inside without knocking.

"Look," Daria said, without taking her eyes off the floor, "I know I was a bitch the other night, but I'm really worried about Jane and I need to talk to you."

This story is continued in Bird on The Wire.

Extra special thanks to Renfield and C. L. Basso, K.C.S., M.S. for their help, suggestions, time, support and friendship.

Disclaimer: All characters are copyright MTV except Roxanne who belongs, body and soul, to C. L. Basso, K.C.S., M.S., from whom I unashamedly stole her.

Quirks: I'm an Australian, so I've used Aussie English spellings and grammar conventions. I may also have inadvertently used some Aussie idioms though I've tried to keep in culture. There are references to other fanfics in this. I hope their authors will take them for what they are -- sincere flattery.

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