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. 2005-2006.

Falling Into College. Year 2, Summer

Registering Annoyance
With spring term over, Karen prepares to head back to Georgia. Erin stops by to say goodbye and update Daria on Rita's new job and Grandma Tess's attempt to sell the old guest house to pay off debts. Jane tells them that she's adding an Art Education minor to her studies and will take extra summer classes. In the mail, Daria discovers a statement from Raft that she's not registered for summer, despite her registering online months before. She spends most of the morning applying to reactivate her registration, but not before she accidentally gets a strange blond man's attention while stretching her back, stiff from waiting. Daria manages to get her work schedule fit in around her planned class schedule, but not in the way she'd hoped. After Daria complains about the unwanted attention to her, Jane shows Daria how "attention getting" her back stretching was. The next day, she discovers she can't register because of a financial hold on her account. Financial Services tells her it is a $1 library fine that has to be paid at the library. The Library says she doesn't have a fine and gives her a printed form saying as much. However, she has to go to work and doesn't have time to drop off the form with Financial Services. While eating lunch, she has another encounter with the blond man that also goes badly. The next morning, Financial Services accept the form, but they blame the error on the library for sending them inaccurate information. Daria applies to reregister before going to work. That night, Trent and Mystic Spiral arrive for a gig in the area, after having slept all day while Lindy drove them. At the club, they discover a scout for a recording label is in the audience, but are disappointed when the scout makes no effort to see them after the show. The next morning, Lindy and Daria talk about Trent's disappointment and Lindy's upcoming wedding to him. Later, after tracking down additional override signatures to get into her classes, Daria successfully gets them. However, on the following Monday, she gets a notice for a $1 library fine.

Four Friends, Four Winds
After Spring term lets out at Pepperhill, Quinn visits Fran's home on the way back to Lawndale, meeting her Aunt and Uncle, Beth and David Stamford. They reveal plans to room together in the sorority house during the next school year. Soon after Quinn returns to Lawndale, Sandi Griffin also returns, and asks to stay with the Morgendorffers because her parents have disowned her after Sandi's testimony against Linda Griffin the previous fall. The previous year has been very tough on Sandi, alone at college, disowned by her parents and having gained weight. She reveals to Quinn that she's barely passing and probably attend a local college the next year. Quinn arranges for the former Fashion Club to get together. When Sandi is reluctant because of her looks, Quinn shows photos and tells about Fran, and her struggles to keep her weight up. Back together, Stacy tells about her time at Lawndale Community College, auto racing and working with her father. She's adopted much more of a tomboy look than before. Tiffany has been modeling athletic wear and working out at the direction of her agent. She's no longer painfully thin and healthier. When they visit the mall, the encounter a very pregnant Janet Barch, and Mr. O'Neill, wearing a sympathy weight. They have manicures, get their hair done (Sandi has her hair bleached blond and curled) and go shopping. They also encounter the Guptys, and as they walk away, Tad recognized Sandi from the homecoming parade. Stacy tells Quinn how she and Tiffany have drifted apart, and how she's no longer as interested in shopping, and was in fact rarely good at it. After eating at the mall's food court, they go to a free movie at Lawndale University. Stacy wanders away with a friend from school and then a cute guy, and Tiffany is also distracted by a guy. When those two leave, Sandi breaks down, feeling abandoned by her friends, and strikes Quinn in frustration before running out. Stunned, Quinn follows and manages to calm Sandi. The next day, Quinn gets her old job at Cashman's back, and helps Sandi get one. Going to bed, Sandi reminds herself that she's no longer alone, while hugging a stuffed cat similar to her cat Fluffy, still at the Griffin house. Quinn goes to bed, realizing that the Fashion Club really is over.

Apartment for Rent:
Michael temporarily moves into Daria's apartment while he searches for one of his own after the dorms close for the summer. Michael's mother Samantha calls to wish him luck and mentions that the Fultons will visit Boston for the July 4 holiday. The first place he and Daria visit is a four room apartment with 3 residents, who turn out to be mainly interested in parties and a fourth resident with steady income. While visiting the next place, one too vermin infested to even consider, Michael is stung by a wasp. Even using his epinephrine injector, he still needs an emergency room visit. Watching him sleep, Daria contemplates how much she loves him and wants to live with him, and also how much she isn't ready yet. Alone in the apartment that day as he recovers from the sting, Michael considers the same thing, and decides to use the cookbook Daria received from Amy 2 years before to make dinner from. Daria is surprised, but pleased by the result. Apartment hunting the next day finds one with filled with trash and debris, and a second with an impossibly long, involved lease. On the third day, they drive past the first apartment when they see open drug dealing on the street in front. The next apartment is very small, but is a possibility. At the third place, Michael finds an excellent apartment with a reasonable roommate, who happens to be gay. Michael decides to face his uncertainties and to move in. On their last night together, Daria and Michael both look forward when they will always be together.

Lindy Lane:
Trent recruits the band to clear the back yard of the Lane residence in preparation for his wedding to Lindy. Lindy's mother Elaine, who is not happy with many of the wedding plans, is introduced. To make up for time missed to attend the wedding, Daria uses her laptop to proofread an article for work during the drive from Boston to Lawndale, while Jane drove and Michael snoozed. After dropping Daria and Michael off at the Morgendorffers (where it's revealed the Michael will stay in Daria's room since Sandi's in the guest room), Jane visits Mack and meets his father, Colin. During the conversation, Jane finds out that Mack is really named for his grandfathers and the story that Mack was renamed after the basketball player is a long-standing joke of Colin's. At the Lane residence, Jane gets reacquainted with her siblings, all of whom are there for the wedding. Wind admits that his Russian mail-order bride ran off as soon as she had legal immigration status and Jane finds out that there's a betting pool on how long he lasts during the wedding before breaking down. At the bachelor party, Michael and Mack get frustrated being watchdogs for the band and get drunk anyway. They end up seriously hungover, Daria is furious and Jane recruits Colin to help tease Mack. It turns out Trent bribed the wait staff at the party to serve him non-alcoholic drinks and he made sure that everyone got home safely. Daria admits to Sandi how much weight she's put on since starting college and Sandi gets the idea to rescue her cat, Fluffy. Daria and Michael have a fight on the way to the wedding over his drinking at the party and her reaction after. During the wedding, Sandi recruits her brother Sam to get Fluffy out of the Griffin home. Part of the ceremony touches Daria and Michael, and the mistakes they both had made during the fight. During the reception, Quinn pushed Daria forward, making her catch the bouquet. Elaine gets drunk and tries to swat the butterflies released when the couple make their exit. Amanda soaks her with a garden hose to protect the butterflies. Back home, Daria and Michael are a little closer to the idea of marriage.

Family Collision
Michael's family, parents Ron and Samantha plus sister Gina, visit Boston and his new apartment. He succeeds (barely) at showing his beginning cooking skills to them. In Lawndale, Helen learns that Tess has sold the guest house and is now in better financial shape. When Tess learns that the Fultons will visit Lawndale later in the week, she invites herself to join in. The Fultons see Daria's apartment and meet Jane. Michael and Daria guide them around Boston, including the Raft art gallery of their early dates. For the Fourth of July, they (with Jane) go to see the Boston Pops performance and the city's fireworks. Gina learns about Mrs. Blaine and about how Daria would read to Quinn when both were very young. Mack arrives to visit Jane as Daria joins the Fultons to travel to Lawndale. Jodie, who is interning with Jake again, takes over the office to make it easier for Jake to take time off to see the Fultons. During the drive, Daria learns about Gina's interest in choral music and maybe leading a small choir somewhere. Samantha and Ron discuss the upcoming meeting with the Morgendorffers. Tension rises quickly between Helen and Tess as soon as the latter arrives. By the time the Fultons arrive, there is tension between Samantha and her children. Gina for missing a stop sigh while driving and Michael for letting her do that. Gina gets along with Quinn and Sandi, Ron and Jake get together over the BBQ grill and start drinking. Helen, Samantha and Tess get off to a bad start. Daria and Michael visit Jodie. They return to find Ron and Jake drunk and locked outside. Helen and Samantha not talking and Tess, Gina, Quinn and Sandi hiding upstairs. After getting updated, Daria and Michael stage a fight to get Helen and Samantha talking. They see through it, but play along. Quinn, Sandi and Gina are temporarily fooled by the act. After things settle and the Fultons head home, Daria and Michael joke about being good influences. At home, both sets of parents start romantic evenings after the example set by their children. At her home, Tess decides to reach out and make contact with Jake's mother, Ruth.

Melody of Life
A computer disk holding an important manuscript that Daria had proofed for work is missing. Since she was the last person to handle it, her boss expects her to locate it. That evening, Daria gets an acceptance letter for her last Melody Powers story. Daria begins editing her story as Melody is sent on a final assignment before her retirement after the end of the cold war - to stop a communist plot to retake Russia. Jane comes home covered in paint after "Jackson Pollack Day" at the art room of the children's hospital. Daria search for the disk the following day is unsuccessful and her mood is little improved by rude comments from neighbors of Michael's, who assume he's gay because Lewis is gay. Back to Daria editing the story, Melody find's that she will work with an agent she's been dangerously attracted to, Pyotr. At work, Daria realizes that she accidentally doesn't have a backup of the manuscript, and Dr. Findlay lets her know that her job is on the line if she doesn't locate it. After editing a scene where Melody and Pyotr save each others lives, Daria answers a call from Quinn and provides a reference for Sandi to get her own apartment. The next day, after still more unsuccessful searching, Dr. Findlay reveals that he has enemies among the faculty and that the disk may have been stolen to harm his reputation, but Daria's job is still on the line. With Michael's help, Daria finds the missing disk in the dumpster behind the office building, intentionally hidden amid junk mail. In Daria's story, Melody and Pyotr have gained entrance to their objective and found that the person they had been told was behind the plot was a puppet, and that they need to find the real mastermind. Daria returns the disk to Dr. Findlay, and he reassigns her to a career service position with benefits. During lunch, she encounters Dr. Findlay's predecessor, Dr. Killarny. During the conversation, Daria remembers he was in the room when the disk disappeared, and that from his oblique comments and offer to provide her a reference, she realizes he was behind the theft. Daria's story ends with Melody and Pyotr at a remote cabin after discovering that their respective bosses had been behind the plot, to keep their agencies and funding going. Daria tells Michael about what she's discovered and that both Findlay and Killarny were using her in a dispute, and now that she knows, she'll be keeping an eye on each.

Dividing Spiral
After spending the day shopping with his six-year old daughter Ariel, Nick takes her home while she talks about a blue dress she saw, but Nick couldn't afford to buy. Conversing with his ex-wife Sara, Nick learns that with their daughter starting school, he needs to earn more money to support his daughter. After dinner at Governor's Park, Quinn says goodbye to the former Fashion Club members. Sandi mentions that she may try to move out to California sometime. On the phone the next morning, Quinn talks to Daria, who had just returned from spending the weekend with Michael for his birthday. Before Quinn leaves for Pepperhill, they catch up on how Quinn's friends are slowly going their own ways, that Lindy is still dreamy over her wedding, and that Jake and Helen are back to working as hard as before. Between a practice session for Mystik Spiral and a return trip to the Mall to see the dress Ariel wanted, Nick begins thinking about his life, and starts looking for work. After four days driving, Quinn arrives at Fran's house for the night. It's not until she's been there a while and goes to take a shower that Quinn realizes that Fran wasn't wearing makeup to conceal her scars. Nick accepts work through a Temp agency as an electrician's helper. Quinn and Fran arrive at the Tri-Theta house and find their room, plus meet the other suite residents, Grace and Tammy. After the next gig, Nick tells the band that he's leaving. While Quinn worries about not hearing back from Stacy or Tiffany, Trent and the band prepare to audition for a new bass player. Over the next week, Quinn finally hears from Stacy and Tiffany, realizing that the delay wasn't intentional, but that all of them were living separate lives. After a series of bad auditions, bad practice and Max's car (Trent's old car) breaking down for good, Max and Nick realize that the band and their lives have stagnated, so they both leave. That Friday, Trent plays alone to cover the band's gig, and tells the crowd that Mystic Spiral's dream is over, but that his dream with Lindy goes on. Quinn takes Fran to a nearby beach and explains that she's accepted California as her new home, much like Daria has accepted Boston as her home. Her old friends are still friends, but that they have to lead their lives and not try to hang on to the past. After his first paycheck, Nick drops by his ex-wife's apartment to drop off the blue dress for Ariel.

Past Influences
Karen arrives back in Boston to find the apartment empty, except for Bump. By the time Daria and Jane arrive after grocery shopping, Karen has started a pot of boiled peanuts. Something Daria is familiar with from Texas, but Jane finds alien. Later, they have gathered in the living room to eat peanuts and catch up on things, such as Daria's Aunt Amy's wedding in two weeks, Karen's baby nephew Wayne and how Jane's brother Trent is adapting to married life. They are surprised by the arrival of Elsie Sloane at the door. Daria and Jane are even more surprised to learn that Elsie will not be attending Bromwell, she's on her way to Archbury, a college in England. In addition, she's bucking the family tradition as is planning on working at Grace, Sloane and Page after graduation instead of getting married off to be the lady of a manor. As they continue to talk, Daria and Jane learn more of how they influenced Elsie and how much Kay liked each of them. For the first time, Elsie also learns the true story about how Tom started dating Daria. Elsie is next surprised to learn that Daria is to be a bridesmaid in the upcoming Barksdale-Wyatt wedding, which, because of the Wyatt's wealth, has become the social event of the season for the mid-Atlantic states. Elsie is even more surprised to learn that Amy is the bride. At Elsie's request, Daria shows her the custom bridesmaid gown for the wedding. Karen's boyfriend Derek arrives. By the time Michael and Mack arrive at the apartment for a planned get-together, Elsie invites them all out for dinner as a thank you to Daria and Jane. After dinner, they say goodbye and Elsie goes to Boston's Logan Airport for her flight. She is surprised by her parents, who explain that they figured out why she was in Boston and asked about Daria and Jane. They also let Elsie know that they (with some reluctance on Angier's part), have accepted and support her plans.