Disclaimer: Daria and associated characters are owned by MTV. This is fan fiction written for entertainment only. No money or other negotiable currency or goods have been exchanged.
Original characters and plot copyright Richard J. Lobinske. 2004-2005.

Falling Into College. Year 2, Spring

Jane again prepares to enter the "Boston Ice Tea Party", BFAC's ice sculpture competition, so will Jane's friend Nell. To get time off from work for the project, Jane agrees to keep the children at the hospital updated on her progress. Daria learns she sold her first non-Melody Powers story to Musing Magazine. To further include her children, Jane has each make a small sculpture that she'll make molds of and cast in weak tea to include in her work, a girl looking at a collection of figurines on a table. Working around her arm crutches, Nell makes a frozen pond surface that she carefully tints by airbrushing different teas onto it. A snag happens when the hospital's Public Information officer becomes worried about having the institution associated with the contest, after the controversial nature of some previous entries. If the hospital pulls its approval, Jane won't get paid for any of the time she spent with the children working on the project. Jane gets some PR advice from Daria, who worked for Helen's firm's PR office between tenth and eleventh grade. At the meeting, Jane explains how the controversy has fallen off as more students seriously look at the contest as a springboard to get their art noticed, and also produces letters from the children's parents supporting the project. After, Bel tells Jane that this is part of a personal dispute between her and the PI office that resulted from some bad choices Bel made a couple years earlier. The approval goes through and Jane completes the project. Mack makes a surprise appearance to support Jane and they tell Daria what happened after New Year's. Neither Jane nor Nell win any prizes, but Jane does get some local press coverage for the children's participation.

Lane Closure.
As Lindy starts preparing for the wedding, she learns that the mortgage to Casa Lane has been paid off. Amanda tells her how the place was a commune in the sixties. She came to Lawndale looking to buy a used kiln from Lawndale State and discovered the commune had bought it. Wishing to get away from home, she moved in and later met Vincent, a news photographer who'd showed up to take photos for a story on the commune. Vincent shows her photos of the years at the commune, including Summer, Wind and Penny as babies and learn that Amanda nearly died giving birth to Penny. By the early seventies, the commune was fading and the old leader announced he would close down. Amanda and Vincent manage to get a loan to buy the house by lying about their income. To help pay, Vincent accepts work with American Geographic to be a traveling photographer. Because of the lifestyle changes, Trent and Jane received far less attention than their older siblings. That night, Vincent thinks of how all his children turned out and how much he and Amanda had short-changed Trent and Jane. He and Amanda decide to sell the house to Trent and Lindy as a wedding gift, at a considerable discount, and use the money to set up a trust for Jane's college expenses.

And the Bubble Burst.
As spring break nears, Daria gets another rejection letter, which she has learned to accept much better than before. Jane is accepted to run in the Boston Marathon. Daria and Michael plan to spend the break at a B&B in New Hampshire and Jane plans to visit Mack. However, their plans change when Erin calls asking for help in getting set up in Boston, where she has a new job. She's filed for divorce and has brought her important possessions with her. She also brings news that Tess Barksdale is almost broke from day-trading stocks and the collapse of the tech bubble. Daria agrees to see if she can get Helen and Amy to help Tess and Rita. After Tess and Rita tell Brian he has to move out, Tess finds a computer printed map to Boston and figures out where Erin is. She calls and tries to talk Erin into coming back. Brian leaves and gets picked up for public drunkenness. Tess refuses to bail him out and he spends the night in jail. The next morning, Karen finds out she's and aunt, her sister-in-law gave birth to a boy. Amy agrees to help financially, but because of old disagreements, can't directly intervene to get Tess to recognize the trouble she's in. Helen agrees to get some bankruptcy lawyers from her firm to help, but is upset Daria called Amy first. When Daria calls Tess, she only gets the answering machine. Brian is released and a deputy escorts him to the house to get his things, as per Tess's instructions. Brian calls Helen to see if Tess is there. This gets Helen suspicious and she quickly makes arrangements to fly to Boston so Daria won't have to deal with Tess alone. Warned by Helen, Daria prepares to have at least Tess and Helen, possibly Rita, at her place and grabs Michael for emotional support. Jane and Karen take Erin out apartment hunting. Tess and Rita arrive first and after much difficulty, Daria gets Tess to admit to the problem. Brian tells the deputy that Tess is broke and Erin gave him herpes before secretly defacing Jane's portrait of him and Erin. Just as Daria finishes helping Rita prepare a resume, Helen arrives and the Barksdale fighting starts right away. Daria pulls her mother into a bedroom to try to calm things down. Helen loses her temper and tells Daria how jealous she's become of her and how she regrets parts of her life. Daria reminds her of the good parts and succeeds in calming her enough to work with Tess and Rita. Erin moves into an apartment over a flower shop and Helen apologizes to Daria and she worries about Helen's continued stress level. With things settled, everyone continues with their now shortened spring break plans.

I Hope You Don't Have Plans.
Still in a good move after spring break, Daria and Karen plan for Jane's birthday. However, things get complicated for Daria when the editor in chief of the Raft University Press is promoted and a new editor, Dr. Findlay, arrives, along with his attitude and work schedule. Daria is late for Jane's party and spends most of the week working late. Tired, she sleeps in very late on Saturday, Jane has time to do a practice run for the marathon before she wakes. Daria is torn, she still enjoys the work and reading so many new books, but the work hours are rough. Over time, she begins to adapt, though during the week, she and Michael are only able to be together during lunch and he misses the time they used to spend together. Daria further learns to concentrate on the good parts of the job to keep going. Quinn calls and is worried because they haven't talked lately and Daria tells her she'll call later. The next Saturday, Michael arrives with a takeout breakfast to surprise Daria. While they talk, Quinn calls, impatient and worried that Daria hadn't called back. Quinn has decided on a minor to learn to help people deal with scars. When Quinn tells Daria that she should get out to have fun more and that she's starting to sound like their mother, Daria gets mad and chews Quinn out. Daria tells Quinn that her idea of fun doesn't have to be the same and that sometimes people do have to work hard and sacrifice time. Daria tells Quinn that she understands Helen a little more and asks Quinn not to be so hard their mother. Daria calms and explains that they are both learning and growing in their own ways, using their own interests and strengths.

Run Jane Run.
Jane prepares to run in the Boston Marathon. Recruited by Jane's boss at the children's hospital, Daria, Karen, CC and Nell have prepared a running shirt for her to show the hospital's sponsorship. That afternoon, Daria gets a letter from the Lawndale District Attorney's office, informing her that Upchuck has made a deal to plead guilty in exchange for psychiatric treatment. The hearing is the same day as the marathon. With Jane's encouragement, Daria decides to attend. The day before the marathon, Mack arrives to visit Jane and watch the race, as does Trent and Lindy. Early the next morning, Daria and Michael leave for Lawndale. Karen makes breakfast for everyone else before leaving for class, promising to return to guide everyone to the race later that morning. Mack drops Jane off at the starting area of the race and returns to Boston to meet up with everyone at the finish. Jane starts the race and feels good about her pacing by the time she reaches the 10 mile mark. Mack uses Jane's runner's pass to park near the finish line, while Karen and the rest take a bus. At the hearing, Daria learns that Ms. Li, Mrs. Griffin and Mr. Lamm turned on each other and plead guilty, resulting in fines and probation for each, and a result that ruined each career. Jane continues on the run, drawing on her determination to keep going. Bel joins up with CC and Nell, who've recruited two other BFAC students to film Jane's run. Jane makes it past "The Wall" as she passes what's known as Heartbreak Hill on the course. After Upchuck's plea, he looks at Daria with sad longing, and at Michael with jealous anger. Daria and Michael meet Jake and Helen outside, where they waited because of Jake's anger and ranting. Michael admits that he fully understands how Jake feels. Jane briefly stops in front of Bel to record a message for the children at the hospital before resuming her run. At a coffeehouse with Michael and her parents, Daria remembers that Quinn's birthday was the day before. When Jane finishes the race, she meets up with Mack, Trent, Lindy and Karen. In addition, Amanda and Vincent are there, courtesy of Trent, Daria and Karen. In California, Quinn picks up a special order copy of Musings Magazine for Daria's latest story, telling the clerk she was picking up her birthday present.