The girls go to Brittany's Party and we discover some unknown sides to Daria.
Disclaimer: Daria and associated characters are owned by MTV and Viacom. This is fan fiction written for entertainment only. No money or other negotiable currency or goods have been exchanged. Special thanks to the Outpost Daria for the Transcripts available there, they were invaluable tools for the development of this chapter, and in the future I hope I can be less reliant on them.
* I II III IV *
I seemed that after our little heart to heart discussion on the value of family a week ago Quinn was once more in the top of her game, and of course that means that she is once again trying to get rid of me.
“Stop following me, Daria. Why are you following me?”
“We go to the same school.”
At that moment the latest, most extreme, and most pathetic of Quinn’s thralls approached, willing to do anything and everything for her.
“Hey, Quinn, can I carry your books?”
“Hey, Quinn, can I carry your... pencil?”
“Hey, Quinn, can I carry your, uh, um... got anything else?”
I must admit, if there is anything Quinn is good at is to keep their puppies in line, she didn’t hesitated for a second in getting him a weightless hair scrunchie to carry; keeping the balance of servitude between the jocks.
“Careful. Don't hurt yourself with that scrunchie.” It was a sad day when human dignity was so easily given away to a nice voice and a pretty face. Well it was time to leave for Jane and then to be interned in Madame Li’s gulag.
“Is that your sister?”
“Don't pry, Joey.”
“Whatever.” It was also interesting the way she subtly dehumanized her potential dates, to both make them more receptive of her conditioned approval and to successfully exploit them without any kind of remorse.
* I II III IV *
“Good work, Daria. Your cube is bursting out of the picture plane. You've really created the illusion of depth.”
“I'm thinking of going into politics.”
While Daria wasn’t anywhere near the level of Jane when drawing or painting, years of doing the precise movements needed for stenography, plus her own dabbling on traditional calligraphy, gave her a technical proficiency that until now had served her well on the Art classes. In this case that meant that she ended her assignment with time to spare…
…and she had used that time for a good deed. ‘One of these days I will learn how to be less of a merciful and charitable soul.’
One of Daria’s more unexpected virtues was her almost never ending well of patience and a high tolerance of morons, this remarkable ability of hers came to be on the streets of Highland, where she would take care of the biggest most insulting and sexually depraved idiots of the entire continental United States, and from time to time actually teach them a lesson by different means that pain. She usually kept those skills hidden whenever they weren’t necessary, to avoid abuse by third parties, such as teachers, parents and desperate students.
However, when Miss Defoe, Jane’s favorite teacher, was at the brink of doing an O’Neill and finding a corner to cry upon the impossibility of guiding Brittany on the complexity of the One-Point Perception while keeping the rest of the students from using their pencils as swords, she decided to help.
In the process she found that the way to attract the attention of the cheerleader was similar to the necessary techniques used on her sister when forced by her parents to tutor her on a particular subject, in this case to use her knowledge of the Lawndale Mall and based on that real life example to explain the use of the perspective, once she had convinced her that there were no special sales at Cashman’s.
* I II III IV *
Meanwhile, Quinn was making her own maneuvers to find her a spot on the Head Cheerleader’s newest party. For that purpose she when to find her most recent victims, the Three J’s, who were talking with both the captain and the quarterback of their team, The Lawndale Lions.
“…You're on the team, dudes. When a cheerleader has a party, all the football players are automatically invited.” Kevin Thompson, the savant QB of the team was explaining the Three J’s the mechanics of the high school’s parties.
“It's on page six of the play book.” Mack didn’t seem interested in explaining the obvious.
“Really?” Kevin on the other hand would believe anything if it came from the mouth of his captain, not that anyone else would have a hard time making him believe the sky had vanilla clouds
“Hey, Quinn, what about you?”
After such a strike of good luck the Three J's found themselves desperate for being chosen as the date with the red headed girl of their collective dreams. Not that she would choose one over another, after all in her own words:
“Everyone! You can't expect me to choose a boyfriend right away. That would be like eating the first pancake off the stove. You have to feed one to the dog.”
* I II III IV *
It was later at the cafeteria where Brittany, with a sense of fair play usually missing on the popular people, decided to repay her debt with Daria due to her help with the dreaded one-point perspective and therefore saving from remedial classes the busty girl (and the nice Arts Teacher).
The problem was that the medium she chose to repay Daria for her sacrifice was with an invitation for her party. It was one hell of a gesture from the cheerleader, even if she did it in part due to a promise to the rest of her squad to limit the number of pretty girls, while Daria wasn’t low enough on the school’s popularity organigram, no matter what Quinn believed, to be a pariah in that kind of party, it was beyond her means to get inside one.
A very familiar feeling of anxiety set in her stomach as the true value of the incitation and the ramifications of it became apparent on her mind. Part of her was dreading the night, another, more hidden part, was anticipating it.
* I II III IV *
For their own different reasons the stage was set for the Morgendorffer sisters to be together on a party not sponsored by any other member of the family, since… well, for the first time ever.
* I II III IV *
At Casa Lane after a short and sweet session of pleading and mock adulation, Jane had granted Daria unlimited access to her not so private collection of sketches. Right now she was flipping the pages of one of her sketchbooks, specifically the one Jane used for last summer life drawing workshop and later for assorted nastiness.
Some of the models they had found for the class had been well endowed, and Jane in her usual style had made sure that anyone looking at her drawings would know that.
“You're really bursting out of the picture plane here.”
“Oh, yeah. That particular model was quite bursty. I think she had her bursts done.”
‘Better let the cat out of the bag.’ This was as good an opening she was going to get. “Speaking of which... Brittany invited me to her party.”
“No kidding? Are you going?” Surprise, surprise, she wouldn’t have pegged Daria as a party girl, much less for this kind of party.
“Sure. And after that, I think I'll swallow glass. Why? Do you want to go?” This last question was about half sarcasm and half hope, not that her voice would betray none of the later.
“Oh, no, I'd much rather stay home and listen to my brother practice the opening to ‘Come as You Are.’ I bet I could get some great sketches there…” At this point the sarcasm was oozing out of her mouth.
“Well, I'm sure there'll be plenty of people posing. If you want to go, just make believe you're me. When you're popular, all unpopular people look alike anyway.” Once more her bitter feelings were kept carefully hidden under the witty reply.
At this point Jane takes Daria's offer along with her glasses, and starts a not so stellar interpretation of the green jacketed girl using her best try at the monotone voice.
"Hi, I'm Daria. Go to hell."
Then while removing the spectacles, the prescription of them was too high, she revealed a deathly fault in the plan. “It won't work. My face is too expressive.”
* I II III IV *
Quinn’s face when I told her about my invitation to the party at Brittany’s from the host own mouth, an invitation of higher standing that hers as a date of lesser members of the football team, was something I would treasure forever. In that moment my biggest regret was to lack Jane’s skill with the pencil and therefore being unable to properly immortalize the moment for the future generations.
Still deep inside down I was becoming scared about the night’s event. Quinn had a long history of ruining that kind of social gatherings for me, mostly by accident. And while she had toned it down for a while now, after my revenge using Beavis and Butt-head in retaliation for crashing my tenth birthday party; right now she was still angry with me.
And it was at this kind of events I was more vulnerable. Not that she had ever found out…
It was at dinner when Quinn tried a last ditch to stop me from going to the party, using our parents as her deterrent.
“Tell Daria she can't go to Brittany's party. My popularity is at stake.” Subtle wasn’t Quinn’s forte.
“Now, don't begrudge your sister a chance to expand her circle of friends.”
“Maybe now she'll have two.”
“Touché, Quinn.” Daria was impressed, that was far wittier that usual. It even hurt a little.
“And don't think you're confusing me with that French. You should ground her because... her room is a mess!”
“If I go down for that one, I'm taking you with me.” And she was going to pay for that one anyway; it was against the rules to tattle to the parents, especially to get the other sister in trouble.
“Wait, here's something worse. I asked her to do my homework for me, and she made me pay.” Now that one was plain stupid, mom and dad are Not amused. “Never mind.”
After a strategic comment from my mom about transportation, Quinn finally decided to cut her losses and flee the kitchen, leaving mom, dad and me behind. Meanwhile I took my little black notebook to record her latest transgressions; lately she was testing her boundaries and it was my duty as a sister to smack her down with prejudice.
“Daria, I'd like it if you'd keep an eye on Quinn at this party.”
“Fifty to check on her if everything is fine and dandy, a hundred if the cops are called and I keep her out of jail.” It was a good time to practice what mom called behind our backs the Barkdale’s parenthood system and get as much money and concessions to something I was going to do anyway. Even if from time to time I wanted to see her behind bars.
“Twenty and Fifty, plus a complete report of the evening”
“Twenty five and Seventy five, and immunity from prosecution for being in protection detail, plus a highlight of the party. You can’t put a price to the welfare of your youngest daughter”
“Deal, but if you are the one to call the cops the deal is off”
“I'll take that as a ringing declaration of parental approval.” At times like this it was good to be considered the boring daughter.
“Just the way it was intended, sweetheart.”
* I II III IV *
Daria, after politely refusing on last attempt of her father to get them there (Quinn had her own arrangements to get there and left the house half an hour earlier), went to Casa Lane, where Jane’s brother Trent was waiting for them in their old rickety car. Usually she would have commented about the Pintos and fire hazards, but she didn’t want to offend Trent, he had been such a gentleman to get them to the party, she couldn’t understand how her sister could say that he was a slacker when he was just so accommodating towards their needs. It was a shame he wouldn’t crash at the party, someone so tall and spindly with such wild black hair and a handsome goatee would be…
“Bye.” A dialogue worthy of Shakespeare Morgendorffer, maybe he didn’t notice?
“Nice conversational skills.” Well, she did.
“I hate you.” Although not as much as I hate my damn hormones, we weren’t even there and they were already messing with my mind.
And with that she was finally capable of rebuilding her ferrous control just in time of being challenged by the security guard to a battle of wit versus wit, a battle that they won not by outsmarting him (and to be tricked by him left Jane with a bitter taste), but by using the ancient techniques of bribery and semi pornographic sketches to gain a pass for Jane.
Brittany’s house was certainly part of the upper class, the trashy kind of upper class, with stuffed animals and fur skins everywhere, a classic example of people that came into money too fast to learn the class and taste that comes with old money or at least hard earned one.
Inside dozens of kids were already milling around, talking, drinking, dancing, some of them were even talking. In Quinn’s case it was a matter of reinforcing her dominance upon her lapdogs.
“Here, I-I-I got you a drink.” Joey was nervous, this was their first party together and her standards were high.
“This ice isn't crushed.” On the other hand Quinn no was in the phase of the training known as negative reinforcement, and therefore his efforts, and the combined efforts of the three of them would be wasted.
“I'll go crush some.” Then hoping to undermine the competition he whispered. “You know, Jeffy still sleeps with a teddy bear.“
Jeffy attempt with pretzels was just as successful. “These aren't twisty.”
“I'll go twist some. You know, Jamie's really a sloppy kisser.” And his own try at defamation more imaginative but far more pathetic. “I heard it from a girl!”
Jamie’s turn was up. “I like square crackers.”
Unlike the other who left Quinn’s presence in shame, Jamie wasn’t a thinker, he was a doer. With some quick bites he gave the desired form to the crackers. “Here. You know Joey was with a…”
* I II III IV *
“You really want to do this?” Now that she was so close to the house, the butterflies in her stomach were really flapping hard.
“You know, just because people are cliquey and snotty is no reason not to like them.”
“Or hate them.” ‘Or be hated by them’
“Chin up, nose up, let's go.”
After ringing the bell, Brittany opened the door, still playing the good host, at least until the rest of the cheerleaders and football players arrived, then it would be everyone for themselves. It took just a few words with the owner of the house and a promise of getting Jane to help her with geometry in the future, and the irony of a one eyed artist leading the blind bimbo was just the icing on the cake for the two friends.
It was at this point, while admiring the snack table, that one red haired boy approached the pair.
“Chuck Ruttheimer, here. And you are...?” There was something curious about his voice… something slimy.
“I'll be your social director for the evening. Would you ladies like a tour of the house? It's free.”
“Do you accept tips?”
“Ditch the bangs.”
“Feisty…” At this point he did try to make prolonged physical contact with both girls who shrugged him off, with a surprisingly low level of force.
The tour itself while not strictly necessary was informative, plus once the boy wasn’t directing his attention towards them he was almost tolerable.
“This five-bedroom house is designed in a combination of southern pseudo-plantation and late mock-Tudor styles. To your right, the quasi-Victorian breakfast nook. Straight ahead, the family den, which was inspired by the novels of Isak Dinesen.”
“And this... is the make-out room! Am I blushing? Confidentially, it's really the laundry room. Hey? Don't lean on the buttons!” Knocking on such places is always a good idea, never know what you are going to find.”
“Can it, Upchuck, or I'll break your face!” The reason was explained by the giggles of a girl inside.
“As we've reached the end of our tour, I'd like to thank you for your undivided attention. Any questions, maybe suggestions?”
“Yes. How did you get invited?”
“I dissected her frog.”
* I II III IV *
After being on the party for a while Jane notices two guys staring at both Daria and herself.
“Those guys are looking at us.”
“Don't they know we're from two different worlds? Regular and popular?”
“The one in the green shirt is cute... in a head-too-big-for-his-body kind of way.”
As Daria was shooting a disbelieving look at Jane she felt herself relaxing. ‘Once more into the breach.’
Of course Jane wasn’t able to see that, she just answered in automatic. “I hate you.”
“Hey. Partying hard or hardly partying?” The guy was a carrot head with one of the biggest chins she had ever seen.
“Who knows? It depends”
“So... where you girls been all our lives?” Bobby Bighead on the other hand had his brown hair in a neat cut.
“Waiting here for you. We were born in this room, we grew up in this room, and we thought we would die here... alone. But now you've arrived, and our lives can truly begin.” Betraying her sarcastic remark was one of her half smiles.
“She likes you.”
In Daria’s mind one word came to mind. ‘Showtime’
* I II III IV *
While Jane and Bobby Bighead went to the laundry room, she guided her temporal plaything to a secluded spot on the house that Upchuck had helpfully pointed during the tour. After the stress she had suffered during the last two months she needed this, moving out, being labeled by the school’s counselor, being denied by her own sister. Desperately…
“What’s your name?”
For all his former bravado the guy probably had less experience in these matters than Daria, and her answer did convey her reason to be there. “Does it matters”
It was not the first party she had ever attended, nor the first make-out session with an anonymous guy. During her misadventures with Beavis and Butt-head she had been considered one of the boys by them in more than one occasion. That had hurt; it had hurt her more that she ever thought possible. She had been on a desperate need to prove herself that she was a woman, that she was desirable.
Carrot Head was surprised by the skill and intensity of the kiss; he hadn’t expected the girl with the big boots and the green jacket to have any experience at all. Nor he had expected that she would use the tongue first.
At the age of fourteen, for the first time since her so called friends stopped inviting her to their slumber parties once the novelty of her adult library card had passed, she had seek other raves and parties, ones where her sister wouldn’t dare to step into. In those places she had learned how to french kiss, had been groped and had groped in return, and while she had been careful enough never to go beyond Second Base.
Daria was pleased with the attitude of Carrot Head, while she had far more passionate kisses before he wasn’t so bad, and even more important, while his hands had gone to the south in the middle of the session, they hadn’t touched anything more compromising than that. Her Green jacket was closed and it would stay that way all night.
On those parties she had been forced to defend herself twice, the first time using her house keys to scratch a pothead she had foolishly followed to the closet. The second time she had used newly acquired boots to stomp on his foot, and then her knee to kick him between the legs.
Once enough time passed and she was once again satisfied with herself, she started deescalating the situation, lowering the speed and intensity of the kiss, so that in due time it would end by mutual agreement rather than forcefully.
She had never dated anyone, neither inside nor outside the parties, her necessity was of a physical and egocentric nature, she didn’t need any boy to carry her books like her sister, nor was she ready yet for an emotional attachment of any kind. These liaisons had no further meaning for her, other than to release stream and gain the right once more of calling herself a woman, at least for a while.
* I II III IV *
After having her way with Carrot Head, Daria went to the living room and chose a spot against the wall to wait for Jane.
After a few more minutes Jane finally pokes her head in the living room and joins Daria.
“What happened to ‘Bobby Bighead’?”
“I wasn't really interested.”
“Too bad.” Then with an impish smile picks a sock off Jane's shoulder. “Is this yours?”
“Okay, fine. He thought my head was a lollipop. What about Chin-man”
“Chin-man, you’re out of your game tonight Lane”
“Whatever, tell girl.”
“I must tell you that he acted like a proper gentleman all time…” Was the answer she gave her on her usual monotone.
At Jane’s disbelieving face Daria added, now with a tiny bit of laughter on her voice.
“…He never touched anything I didn’t want him to touch”
Then going back to her usual monotone, she finally went back to business. “Let’s go find my baby sister, for once I want to be the one top humiliate her on a party.”
“Well, I didn't talk to a whole bunch of new people, I made out with a guy without outing my boot between his legs, and I'm going home with a bonus sock. All in all, a great night.”
* I II III IV *
Meanwhile Quinn’s experiments in brainwashing were slowly growing out of control. Her most recent step was to release them to see what their reaction was going to be, if the intensive training would hold or they would be too wild (smart) and run away.
“Joey, Jeffy... Jamie?”
“You got it!” There was power in the names, and Jamie was the more insecure about it, so Quinn used it to increase the pressure on him and the jealously on the other two.
“Uh... I don't think this is working out.”
“What? What do you mean? What are you talking about?” The huntress had chosen her prey well, in times like this it was hard to tell the Three J’s weren’t twins, much less unrelated people.
“I mean, you're really special guys, and you deserve a really great girlfriend. Three, actually. But I feel that you're pressuring me to do things I'm not ready for.”
“Huh? I don't understand. What do you mean?”
“That doesn't mean you have to stop paying attention to me and buying me stuff and driving me places, but it does mean that... I think... what I'm trying to say is...”
"Let's be friends?"
The end result was that recriminations between the three of them were launched, followed by punches. None of them would think for a second that the smiling red haired teen was responsible in any way whatsoever.
“Stop it... stop fighting. This is horrible.” Other people would have believed in the sincerity of her pleas if a pleased smile hadn’t been on her mouth.
“They're fighting over me.” Her relish of telling this to Jodie was palpable.
It was to a scene of complete pandemonium that Daria and Jane arrived from the living room. The three puppies that had been following her sister were fighting on the ground with kids around them cheering on one or the other, Brittany on the other hand wasn’t pleased by this, screaming for them to stop. And far away, beyond the music there was a certain noise that she was used to look for and dread in these kind of parties…
Taking stock of her surroundings she found the cube holding the ice for the assorted beverages, and with a mighty heave she launched its contents on the love-struck football players on the ground. Luckily for them the contents were already mostly melted so that instead of getting a few kilograms of ice in the face they were drenched in cold water and pestered by small and harmless pieces of ice. It was just desserts that some of the water had managed to reach Quinn, seated on the stairs behind in the back, far enough to be out of the danger zone, yet close enough to see her suitors fighting over her and now close enough to get her feet drenched in water.
“Oh, no! These shoes are suede!”
Daria was too busy tearing the Three J’s a new one to notice her sister’s fashion woes, giving them an ultimatum in a monotone far colder and more menacing that they have ever experienced.
“Stop this right now, unless you want a restriction order slapped on you that will have you using a telescope to see what Quinn is wearing to school. Undertood?” Only Jane was in a position to notice the house keys that her friend was holding on her hand hard enough to leave a mark.
“Huh? Yeah sure. Whatever”
She then walked towards Quinn, grabbing her arm as soon as she was within reach. “Were leaving. Now!”
She ignored her sister complains, pleas and threats, moving at a fast pace while pulling her from the arm in an almost painful way.
Jane was following her friend from a safe distance, wondering what the hell happened and just how many layers Daria Morgendorffer had. Until now she had her pegged as a bit of a prude, and the last person to be on a party, nor had she been as strict and direct with her sister before.
The reason for Daria’s haste became apparent when a couple of patrols stopped in front of the Taylor’s house. For the spectacled girl it was surprising there weren’t far more cops and those that were there weren’t far more aggressive. She had been thinking of the Vice squad raids on some of her stomping grounds with a simple noise complain.
By that point Daria was no longer holding Quinn, and after realizing that she was not going to be allowed back by the cops, was following them to the exit, her shoes squishing, complaining about her complete and total humiliation non-stop.
Once they reached the gatehouse they found that the place was desert with the exception of a clipboard, a cap and a familiar sketchbook that provoked a squeal of joy from Jane.
“My sketchbook, and a couple of souvenirs, lucky”
“Can we call Mom and Dad? My shoes are all squishy, my dates hate me, and I want to go home.”
“And shift the balance of power? We walk.”
It was at this point that Upchuck arrived on his so called ‘Love Machine?
“You ladies in need of a knight in shining armor?”
“Can we just take the armor and ditch the knight?”
“Hey, it's a package deal, toots.”
Without any more options the girls get in the car.
“To your left, the home of the town director of public works, built on unstable landfill. To your right, a flattened squirrel. Straight ahead, the future!” If High School doesn’t pan put for Upchuck he had already a brilliant future as a tour guide of the forgotten places of America.
“Stuff a sock in it, Upchuck.”
“Feisty!” Even his purring was slimy.
* I II III IV *
The next morning Helen was preparing herself for work when she managed to hear Quinn at the phone talking to an unidentified third person.
“…and then she like drags me out like a I don’t know… yes like that… I wish those cops would have thrown her to the jail, or the pound, or something…”
“Damn” Helen got some bills out of her purse and started counting. “…twenty, I really hope that Daria wasn’t the one that called the cops… fifty, now I will have to drink the sludge from the break room…”
* I II III IV *
I have wondered if Daria’s time with Beavis and Butt-Head didn’t have many, many negative effects on her. The way she was treated as not worthy of being a sexual object by two of the most openly perverted guys ever must have killed her confidence. And people under those circumstances can and will do stupid and even dangerous things to prove themselves wrong.
In this AU Daria is a little bit more open to people due to the fact that like Atticus Finch or Jake Brigance (John Grisham’s ‘A time to kill’) Daria tries to look beyond the skin, and to measure the true virtues and vices of people and then and only then she would pass judgment. This is her personal ideal, even if more than once she hasn’t been able to stop her natural cynicism and occasional lack of faith in humanity to reach impulsive and premature conclusions not always the correct ones.
This outlook of life is in many aspects better than the one of the original Daria but on the other hand it is enough to give her a chink on her emotional armor, and through that little hole on her defenses many things can affect her, both good and bad. She knows this so in the past she had taken many measures to prevent someone from finding that weakness and abusing her.
As always comments, suggestions, criticisms are not only accepted but encouraged. As a final question. Do someone knows how to do divisions that are accepted by FF.net? I’m starting to understand why so many people hate their interface, it keeps eating any and every division I have tried.
* I II III IV *