A Broken Night is an AU story by Angelinhel that takes as its point of departure Daria's break-up with Tom Sloane in Is It Fall Yet? Daria wanders the streets of Lawndale and encounters Anthony DeMartino, who projects onto Daria his memories of a nurse he knew in Vietnam.
Nominated for the 2005 Crappie for "Biggest "What the Fuck?" Ending" and almost won "Visual Most Likely to Cause the Reader to Gouge His/Her Eyes Out", though it lost to Kara Wild's "They Came from Planet Xulfanex" in a tie-breaker.
Warning: The following may contain plot or ending details.
Her History teacher, Anthony DeMartino happens to drive by and see her, offering her a ride. Though initially wary, Daria decides he is not a stranger, after all and accepts. Disturbed by his mercy killing of a dying squirrel on the side of the road by intentionally running it over, Daria wonders if she has made a mistake. Mr. DeMartino defends the action, saying he couldn't bear to see the animal suffer.
Confused by her argument with Tom and her failure as a mentor and friend to a camper Link, Daria struggles internally with the possibility she is destined to fail at all her relationships in life. Seeing her distress, Mr. DeMartino urges Daria to confide in him, which she does. He then tells her of a nurse he knew once while fighting in Vietnam, whom Daria reminds him of. His demeanor during the story alarms Daria slightly.
Her alarm grows when Mr. DeMartino does not take Daria back to her own home, but rather to his own shabby house. Asking to use the phone, Daria discovers it has been disconnected by the growing storm outside. Faking a conversation with her mother, she tries to get Mr. Demartino to take her home.
Mr. DeMartino suddenly grabs Daria and kisses her, confessing he has developed romantic feelings for her over the summer while they both worked at Timothy O'Neill's Okay To Cry Corral summer day camp. Frightened by his actions, Daria grabs the closest weapon she can find to ward him off, a rusty steak knife. When DeMartino aproaches her again, she stabs him in the shoulder. Seeing Daria's shock at her own actions, DeMartino uses the opportunity to wrestle her to the kitchen floor, restraining her. Having hit her head on the kitchen table during the struggle, Daria is disoriented and begs to be let go.
Caught between his memory of the nurse in Vietnam and his own slipping sanity, DeMartino tells Daria he loves her and can't bear to see her suffer. He snaps her neck, killing her instantly, thinking he has saved her from her pain.
She wrote the story with specific attention to creating atmosphere through description. The goal of the story was to feel "horrific".