FIRST, THE DISCLAIMERS: I don’t own Daria, MTV/Viacom does. I don’t own anything worth suing me for, so please don’t. I wrote this for fun, of a sort. May you have fun, of a sort, reading it.
a Daria ficlet by wyvern337
Although she didn’t quite understand everything about what was going on, Daria had surmised that it was something important and, judging by the way her parents had been acting, even a little scary (which, to be sure, translated to a certain nervousness on Daria’s part). They had left for someplace called a “hospital”and, though Daria had gathered that this wasn’t entirely unexpected, when they left they had done so with more than a little agitation and in a considerable hurry, a fact which had not gone unnoticed by Daria and , to be sure, had her somewhat worried. This worry hadn’t been helped by the obvious fact that Helen had been in considerable pain, but Daria had been somewhat mollified by their reassurances that this place was somewhere where her mother would be made better. Exactly what the problem had been, well, that was where the explanations got a little bit murky. Things had been said about something called a “baby sister”, and attempts had been made to clarify, but although Daria was unusually bright and perceptive for her age, she still found the whole idea somewhat confusing. What she’d gathered was that, when her parents returned, they’d be bringing someone she hadn’t met before. Helen had described this someone as “being to you like Aunt Amy and I are to each other”, which Daria thought kind of sounded like it meant they’d be bringing home someone like Aunt Amy.
Daria liked the sound of that. Aunt Amy was one of her favorite people, and the fact that Amy was here now -- had been since her parents had left the day before -- took some of the edge off of Daria’s nervousness. Right now Amy was reading to her, just the way she liked it -- seated in her aunt’s lap, the book lying open on her own lap, with Daria in charge of turning the pages. They were nearing the end of the current story -- something about a place (an imaginary one, Daria suspected), an attic where all lost objects supposedly ended-up, when a noise outside caused them both to look up: Jake and Helen’s car had just pulled up in the driveway. Daria’s parents were home. Daria got up off Amy’s lap while carefully handing the book off to her -- anxious to see how her mother was but still not wanting to lose her place. Amy stood up somewhat more slowly, working a few minor kinks out of muscles that had been sitting in one position longer than they really liked to.
Amy unlocked and opened the door while Jake was still fishing for his keys. The adults immediately started talking rapidly amongst themselves, but Daria didn’t understand most of it and so didn’t pay a lot of attention. The first thing she noticed, standing there looking up at her parents, was how tired her mother looked. The second thing she noticed was the pink-swaddled bundle in Helen’s arms.
“Daria, there’s someone I’d like you to meet, said Helen , crouching down to bring the bundle to eye-level for her daughter, “this is Quinn, your new baby sister”.
“That’s right, kiddo”, Jake chimed in, “just look what we’ve brought you home from our little trip to the hospital!”
Daria peered closely at the little, bald thing gurgling there amid the folds of pink cloth. After a long moment, she slowly reached out and took hold of one hand, noticing its softness, how small it was compared even to her own. She then let go of the hand, and continued slowly looking this diminutive stranger up and down. Daria had to admit she really didn’t see the resemblance to Aunt Amy.
Finally, Jake asked, a little nervously, “so, kiddo, whattaya think?”
Daria took a step back from Helen and Quinn, Helen straightening-up as she did so and , looking up at the adults, pronounced her verdict. Helen looked furious, Amy didn’t quite manage to stifle a chuckle, and Jake just cringed. The adults’ reactions surprised Daria. After all, they’d asked her opinion, and she’d provided them with it, openly and honestly:
“She’s okay. You can take her back now.”