Disclaimer: Daria and all related characters are the property of MTV

NOTE : This story is the next in the Unseen Phenomenon Series, this one takes place approximately ten months after "If I Could Tell You"

A Mere Formality

It's the beginning of October, the tree's in Lawndale have already changed color and are beginning to drop their leaves as can be seen by the random leaf that blows down the sidewalk whenever the wind kicks up. It's unusually warm for October and as such, people walk around outside as if it were still summer. All this is being seen from the inside of a store that does it's business along the main street of town, Daria and Jodie are seen pulling up along the curb and approaching the door. The two are heard talking amongst themselves as they open the front door and walk into the shop.

Daria: I can't believe I agreed to do this. I've learned through experience that I simply do NOT look good in a dress. I just don't have the body.

Jodie: I'm not sure just how often you look into the mirror, Daria. But if I understand the facts right, you were fifteen when you were a bridesmaid at your cousins wedding.

Daria: Yea so?

Jodie: Well, ....you've sort of DEVELOPED since then. (Pauses and stares at Daria for a moment) What, ....you didn't think I knew about the minimizer bra? (Daria blushes heavily)

Daria: (Shakes her head) There's only one person who knows about that, and I know for a fact that you don't know that person. So how did YOU find out?

Jodie: That's not really important. I understand that you have an image to uphold, and that you don't want guys approaching you just for your looks. But it's okay to show off your body ever once in a while, if just for a special occasion.

Daria: Mmmph, ......I guess. Getting fitted for that dress was just such a scarring experience for me though. It's not exactly something I would want to do often.

Jodie: That's ok, neither is getting married.

Daria: (chuckles) I can't picture myself doing that.

Jodie: Neither could I until Mac proposed, I have to admit it was the furthest thing from my mind.

Daria; What was the closest thing to it?

Jodie: Strangling my parents for almost working me to death with extra curricular activities. (They both laugh as a sales person comes up from the back room)

Saleswoman: Hi, welcome to modern brides. What can I help you with?

Jodie: We're with the Landon, Mackenzie wedding. This is my maid of honor Daria Morgendorffer and I'd like to have her fitted for her dress.

Sales woman: (walks back behind the counter to check the computer and the returns) Yes, of coarse. If you'll both follow me we can get started immediately. (The three of them walk into a private room in the back of the shop where Daria could get out of her current clothes and into the dress so The sales woman could mark it for tailoring. After climbing into the dress Daria walks out of a nearby changing room to put herself on display)

Daria: So, .....how bad do I look?

Jodie: The color works for you, Daria. I don't know what your worried about.

Saleswoman: (looks Daria over and begins to insert pins at various points in the dress) Hmm, ....I may have to take it in a bit around the hips. I'll need you to hold still for me.

Daria: (Looks down at the woman) At least you didn't call me deary. ......OW!!

Sales woman: Sorry, I guess you have a little more to work with than I thought.

Daria: (rolls her eyes) Now there's a first. (The sales woman stands up and looks Daria over)

Sales woman: Hmm, ....Daria is it?

Daria: That's what they stamped on my birth certificate at the hospital.

Sales woman: The dress is rather low cut so you'll need to get something strapless to wear with it. I have such undergarments here in the store that would blend perfectly with that color dress. Would you like to try on a few?

Daria: (Glances at Jodie with a saddened look, Jodie offers no sympathy and motions for her to go ahead.) Yea, what the hell. It can't possibly look any worse than the last time I had to wear a dress like this.

Sales woman: Great! (Grabs a tape measure) I need to get an accurate measurement so if you wouldn't mind removing what your wearing now?

Daria: Couldn't I just tell you my size?

Saleswoman: (shrugs) You could, but.... with this style dress if you don't have something that fits perfectly you're going to be adjusting it constantly from the moment you put it on. (Daria just shakes her head and undoes the straps, then removes it without taking the dress off)

Daria: Happy?

Sales woman: (Notes how the top of Daria's dress has filled out since she removed the bra and shakes her head) Don't be so self conscious, I've seen better and I've seen worse. (Wraps the tape measure about Daria's chest to measure her bust) No problem, I'll be right back. (Walks off to another room in the store)

Jodie: (looks at the bra Daria was wearing) You had this thing squashing you down to what looked like a minimum C. How could you breath wearing this?

Daria: I managed. (Jodie notices the neck chain about Daria's neck)

Jodie: (Reaches out and pulls Daria's pendant out from her dress and looks it over backward and front. She then looks up at Daria and smiles) I hope you'll at least bring the guy with you to the wedding. That way we won't have to stick you with some loser as an escort.

Daria: You're not going to pry? Everyone else did.

Jodie: (Shrugs) I can wait to meet him. Whoever he is, he must be great if you've stuck together long enough for him to want to give you that.

Daria: (Smiles comfortingly) I already asked, he'll be happy to come.

Jodie: (looks down at Daria's chest) Let me Guess, .....HE was the only person who knew about the bra, right? (Daria blushes in embarrassment) (Beat) ....What?

Daria: I'm waiting for you to pull off one of those high tech masks and reveal yourself as Jane Lane. (Jodie smiles and shakes her head no)

(Cut to Daria's apartment that evening)

(Daria is sitting in her recliner in front if the tv while talking to Helen on the phone)

Daria: Well she seems happy enough, I haven't a clue if she's actually ready for all of this though. There's an awful lot for her to worry about, especially if her own family has anything to do with the planning. God, what a nightmare THAT could turn out to be.

Helen: Oh Daria, give her the benefit of the doubt. This is the happiest time of her life, as long as everything goes right during her moment in the spotlight I really don't think she'd mind if her family wanted to be involved in the planning.

Daria: I guess. As long as they're not bugging her already about when she's going to start spitting out babies then I guess she'll be able to hold her sanity. MAYBE......

Helen: Which brings another thought to mind, Daria. How are things going between you and Duncan?

Daria: (rolls her eyes) I was wondering when you were going to start bugging me about that. (Sighs) Duncan and I have been doing fine, mom. No problems on the frontier as of yet.

Helen: That's great sweetie, I'm so glad to hear that the two of you are getting along. So how long has it been now?

Daria: What, you mean you didn't mark it on a calendar?

Helen: Give me some credit here, Daria.

Daria: Eh, I suppose. But the interest rate will be rather high. We've been together a year and two months give or take.

Helen: Any chance of a future between the two of YOU?

Daria: Give me a break, mom. If I EVER get married it will be when I'm good and ready, NO sooner.

Helen: (sighs) Well, I just thought I'd ask. It's a mothers task you know, to want to see her children happy and well off.

Daria: Whatever mom. (Thinks for a moment) Um...you know what, I have to go. Jane is on call waiting. I'll talk to you later mom. Bye....

Helen: But.... (Daria hangs up) I swear I'll never understand that girl.

(In Daria's apartment)

Daria: (V.O) Great, now my mom is going to be hounding me from here on out. How Jodie could stand it I'll never know. (The phone rings and as Daria looks at the caller ID she see's that it's Jane) Damn, I called that one didn't I. (Picks up the phone) Yo.....

Jane: Hey, Daria. How did the dress fitting go?

Daria: Better than the last time I had to be fitted for a dress.

Jane: I imagine so, you've actually got hips this time.

Daria: Among other things.

Jane; (smirks) I wouldn't know, Daria. I've never paid much attention to your legs.

Daria: (rolls her eyes) That's okay, until recently no one else has either. So how about you, did you find anything to wear to Jodie's wedding?

Jane: Yea,... I just can't find a date. Any chance I can steal yours ?

Daria: No way, there's not a chance in hell that I'm leaving myself open for any Tomesque disasters. Get your own date.

Jane: Oh well, it was worth a shot. But speaking of your date, how IS the scot's brother?

Daria; A lot happier ever since he went back to work, he did so hate using that cane. (1)

Jane: Can't say I blame him, it made him walk like a tired old man. On the upside though, at least he has regular hours now and you can actually schedule quality time together. But on the downside, .....how are YOU taking it?

Daria: (sighs) Not as bad as I thought I would be. I don't have to listen to that pager go off anymore, I used to get such horrible knots in my stomach at the mere thought of him going out on a call when it went off. At least now I know when to expect him home.

Jane: (laughs) Listen to yourself, you sound like you've been married to the guy for years or something.

Daria: My mom has started dropping hints about that too, I can't believe this. We've only been together for a year and everyone is turning into a pain in the ass already.

Jane: What can I say, the two of you just give off that vibe I guess.

Daria: As opposed to that vibe that YOU give off, the one that seems to attract other women?

Jane: Your never going to let me forget that are you?

Daria: Not likely, no. This is the sort of thing that has the potential to last a life time, and who knows how long THAT could be.

Jane: I shudder to think. (Beat) (Smirks) So have you slept with him yet?

Daria: (looks appalled) NO! Jane you of all people should know me better than that.

Jane: Just checking, one can never with you Daria. First you pulled the secret boyfriend thing on us and then through covert measures I happened to catch wind that you two had taken a step beyond simple dating. Who KNOWS what else you could be hiding from me.

Daria: God you need a life, Jane.

Jane: Hey, I don't need a life. I have my art.

Daria: Well all I can say is that it can't be giving you everything you need in a relationship, otherwise why would you be so worried about how much I'M getting.

Jane: Everyone needs at least two hobbies there, Daria. You should feel flattered that I chose you as my second hobby.

Daria: (shakes her head) You truly are Pathetic, Jane.

Jane: (Elvis impersonation) Thank you, ....thank you very much.

(Cut to the day of Jodie's wedding. Jodie along with her bridal party are prepping themselves in a room adjunct to the main hall where the ceremony will be performed)

Jodie: (staring into a mirror trying to make herself look just right) Why is it that everything looks completely different on the day everything is supposed to happen?

Michele Landon (Jodie's mom): That's just butterflies in your stomach, Jodie. Suck it in and it will pass, this will all go smoother than a board meeting on Friday if I have anything to say about it.

Jodie: (looks at her mother unenthusiastically) Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence mom. I'm so glad you're here to run the show. (Vo) That way you can ensure that I don't have ANY fun whatsoever during the coarse of my life.

Daria: (pokes her head in the door) Um, ....hey Jodie. It looks like a full house out there. (Beat) So how are you coming along?

Michele: (answers before Jodie can) She'll be just fine, pressure is no stranger to her. (Daria looks at Jodie with sympathy)

Daria: Yea, I've uh.....noticed. (Brushes at her dress) So, .....how do I look in this thing?

Jodie: You look great, Daria. I told you that you would, in fact...you look quite different without your typical wardrobe.

Daria: (frowns and turns to face a nearby mirror) I look like I'm wearing a push up bra in this thing.

Jodie: (smiles) You look great, Daria. You're just not used to letting your figure show, that's all.

Daria: I'm used to keeping it compressed against my body, showing it was never really an option.

Jodie: At least the dress comes all the way down to your ankles, that should at least make you feel a little bit better.

Daria: (frowns) Oh yea, better to have people staring at my boobs then at my legs.

Jodie: (looks hurt) You really do look great in that dress, Daria. But if it's any consolation, you only have to wear it for today. When you get home you can throw on something as concealing as you like.

Daria: (looks at Jodie and then at Mrs. Landon) Um, Mrs. Landon? Can you give us a minute alone?

Michele: But......?

Daria: (scowls) SCRAM!!! (Michele looks at Jodie with an insulted glare, Jodie just juts her thumb towards the door and after a moment she complies)

Jodie: (After her mom closes the door behind her) Thanks Daria.

Daria: No problem, but I'm obviously going to take some heat over that for a while so you owe me one. So give, how ARE you taking all of this?

Jodie: If it weren't for my mom trying to tell me how to feel and act I'd be perfectly happy.

Daria: You're not at ALL nervous about taking your vows?

Jodie: (lifts an eyebrow) Can you keep a secret? (Daria nods yes) Mack and I took our vows last December.

Daria: (Stares in shock for a moment and then smiles evilly) Why you sneaky little......

Jodie: (cuts Daria off) This whole thing about the big wedding is just a show for everyone else. Mack and I wanted to get married OUR way, without a big fuss.

Daria: So no one else was the wiser, ....(chuckles) I can't say I blame you. It must have been a lot more comfortable that way.

Jodie: So you're not mad? That we didn't invite you or anyone else?

Daria: (shakes her head) Nope, and If I do say so myself. I wouldn't mind going the same route if my time ever comes.

Jodie: God forbid, right?

Daria: My thoughts exactly. (Jodie laughs. A knock comes at the door and someone from the church pokes her head in the door)

Woman: Jodie, everything is in place so whenever your ready.

Jodie: Thanks. (the woman backs out and closes the door behind her. Jodie then turns to Daria) So, .....tell me about your escort slash boyfriend.

Daria: What, ...no urge to rush out there and get the biggest day of your life started?

Jodie: (Laughs) Remember, this is just a formality to shut everyone else up. (They both laugh) So tell already.

Daria: There's not much to tell that you won't notice when you meet him, he's a great guy. He's originally from Scotland and he's Maria's brother.

Jodie: Maria has a brother?

Daria: Let me get this straight, you knew she wasn't born here, yet you didn't know she had a brother?

Jodie: (Smirks) I heard her slip once or twice and I sort of figured it out on my own. Speaking of Maria, is she here today?

Daria: No, she and Trent couldn't make it. She had some sort of appointment with an ocular surgeon over in Somerdale that couldn't be canceled.

Jodie: Really, What's going on?

Daria: If I understand it right, she's being considered as a candidate for that new experimental implant that they would graft to the retina and transmit visual images from the retina to the part of the optic nerve that is still functional.

Jodie: (eyes widen) Oh my god, that's incredible. I remember reading about that in Scientific American a few years ago. I still thought it would be a while before they actually got around to testing it on people though. I hope everything goes well.

Daria: Relax Jodie, she's just being considered. The entire thing is still up in the air. (Pause) Now if memory serves the people are all awaiting your arrival out there. What do you say we get the show on the road.

Jodie: I guess it's now or never. (Sighs and then walks over to her purse on a nearby chair and withdraws an envelope) I want you to have this, Daria.

Daria: (After she takes the envelope form Jodie and opens it) (Scowls) Is this a JOKE?

Jodie: It's no joke, Daria. And it's no insult either, I gave the same thing to everyone in the bridal party. The Hilton has it's own hotel attached to the reception hall so my family made accommodations for family and friends that would be traveling from far away. And I added a provision so that the bridal party would be able to stay the night as well if they needed to.

Daria: I seriously don't think I'll need..... (Jodie interjects)

Jodie: A lot of people drink at these receptions Daria. I know YOU don't make it a habit of drinking but if for some reason you begin to question your ability to drive home wether it be from alcohol or most likely fatigue from the days events, then don't hesitate to use the room. I just want to make sure everyone gets home safely tonight, that's all.

Daria: And what about Duncan?

Jodie: (Smiles) I was wondering when you would tell me his name. Each room comes with a couch that can fold out into a separate bed, that should take care of any moral or ethical problems you my have.

Daria: (Rolls her eyes) You know me better than that, Jodie.

Jodie: I know, but hey. If ....or should I say when, you don't need the key then just turn it in at the front desk on your way out tonight and that'll be the end of it.

Daria: (sighs and places the keys in her purse) So are you ready or what?

Jodie: (smiles) As ready as I'll ever be.

Daria: Right then, I'll send your mom back in and I'll meet you at the head of the isle. (Daria turns to leave the room)

Jodie: Daria? (Daria turns to face her) Thanks, ......this means a lot to me. (Daria just smiles and then leaves the room)

(Cut to Somerdale eye hospital)

(Maria is sitting in a recliner style chair while in the doctors office. There are some sort of devices suspended by arms attached to the chair. Trent is sitting in a rather uncomfortable chair nearby while they wait for the doctor to return)

Trent: You're awful quiet love, what's on your mind?

Maria: (without turning her head in Trent's direction) A lot of stuff actually. Basically I'm just hoping that none of this is going to hurt.

Trent: I seriously don't think any of this will be as bad as that nightmare you have once in a while. You know, that one where the doctor shoves a needle into your eye.

Maria: (Squirms) Gee Trent, thanks SO much for reminding me. I was just starting to forget about that too since I haven't had it in a good while.

Trent: Sorry...

Maria: (sighs) It's no big deal. (Beat) God I hope this guy doesn't take much longer, ...my legs are starting to go to sleep.

Trent: You don't have to stay in that chair the whole time you know, I don't see why you can't get up and move around.

Maria: Eh, that's a thought I guess. I just didn't think this guy would make us wait for so damned long. (She gets up from the chair and starts to make her way over towards Trent's voice and no sooner does she make it over to him does the door to the room open just before the doctor walks in with Maria's file in hand) Is that who I think it is?

Trent: Yea, ....it's the doctor.

Doctor: Hello Maria, ....sorry to keep you waiting. I trust you were comfortable?

Maria: I'll tell you once I have the feeling back in my legs.

Doctor: (shrugs) I guess you weren't then. Well, when you feel better climb back into the chair and we'll get started. (Sits in a swivel chair next to the patient's recliner and starts looking through Maria's file making notes here and there. After a few minutes Trent guides Maria back to the chair and she has a seat) Wonderful, ...... the first thing I need to do is to put some drops in your eyes so they may sting for a few seconds.

Trent: What will they do?

Maria: They'll force my pupils to dilate, which is always an interesting experience in itself considering they're not used to doing anything on their own.

Doctor: Been through that a few times already have you?

Maria: Oh yea, in several different countries as a matter of fact. I saw doctors in at least four different countries as a kid, (grins) my parents just didn't want to hear the fact that I'd most likely never be able to see.

Doctor: I'm glad to see that they were willing to do whatever it took to help you.

Maria: Eh, so am I but I never really got my hopes up. It was always the same, my retina's don't work.

Doctor: Well, keep your fingers crossed. But don't expect a miracle. If this does work on the handful of people who get it, the most they will be able to see is shadows and the outlines of the things in front of them. That is until we can improve the software and maybe fine tune the hardware itself a little bit. Then maybe over time the visual acuity will improve. Again, that's IF everything works they way we think it will.

Maria: Hey, it's better than what I've got now so I'll take my chances if you don't mind.

Doctor: Right then, I like your attitude. (Put the drops in her eyes and after a few minutes pulls over a piece of machinery that was suspended from an arm on the chair) I'm going to take some pictures of your retina's so hold still. And then after that we're going to head down the hall for some panoramic x-rays.

Maria: How long do you think it will be before somebody lets me know if I get to go through the procedure or not?

Doctor: That's a little difficult to say Maria, it could be a while though. I wouldn't wait by the phone. But don't loose hope either.

Maria: You're just full of confidence aren't you.

Doctor: Just don't like to give false hopes, that's all. (After a few minutes) Ok, ....I'm done here so let's head down the hall to the next room.

Maria: Great. (Maria gets up from the chair and Trent leads her down the hall to where the doctor is heading himself and the scene fades out)

(Cut to the main hall of the church. The pews are heavily decorated with flowers and a red carpet had been rolled down to cover the isle itself leading up to the alter.)

(The traditional wedding theme plays as Jodie along with her entourage walk slowly down the isle as the guests who fill the pews to capacity look on with awe. Some are crying out of happiness, some are indifferent, this all leads to a free meal later on as far as they are concerned, and some such as Jodie's younger siblings simply do not want to be there. Mack watches from the alter as his bride approaches, he smiles and looks on. Daria along with the bridesmaids are all wearing moderately low cut but elegant lavender dresses, each person holding their own bouquet of flowers)

Jane: (As Daria walks past Jane and Duncan) (Whispers) Oh SCARLET, you get lovelier by the day. (Daria doesn't turn to look, but instead stomps on Jane's foot as she walks past) OW! (Duncan Laughs as quietly as possible)

(Once at the alter Jodie joins Mac and the others step off a little to the side.)

Priest: Who gives this bride away? (Michael Landon Steps forward)

Michael: I do. (Priest offers a prayer for the family and then started on that all too familiar winded speech to the couple. After about half an hour the priest concluded the speech and continued with the service)

Priest: Do you, ....Michael Jordan Mackenzie, take this woman to be your wife, to have and to hold, in sickness and health, for better and for worse, for rich or for poor, for as long as you both shall live?

Mack: I do. (Looks at Jodie hiding beneath her veil)

Priest: Jodie Landon, do you take this man to be your husband, to have and to hold, in sickness and health, for better or worse, for rich or for poor, for as long as you both shall live?

Jodie: (smiles) I do.

Priest: Please take the rings and place them on each others ring fingers. (Waits until they have done so) Let these rings be the sign of a bond that will be forever unbreakable, and let no one put asunder the bond that these two have created in matrimony before god. (Pause) I now pronounce you, ...man and wife. Michael, you may kiss your bride. (Mack lifts Jodie's veil and gives her a passionate kiss) Turn to face your audience, please. (they turn) Ladies and gentleman, may I present to you, Mr. And Mrs Michael Mackenzie. (The hall erupts in applaud and the scene fades to the reception hall a few hours later)

Daria and Duncan enter the reception hall shortly after being announced and they find their seats at one of the tables)

Duncan: (looks at the name placards) I see they've put Jane right next to us.

Daria: Hey, they couldn't just stick her out in the middle of the crowd all by herself could they?

Duncan: I guess not. It's a good thing she wasn't here to witness that little glitch when we were announced to the rest of the guests though. I never thought the human face could turn that shade of red.

Daria: Yea, and I thought I was the only one to ever wear the tomato head look. (Beat) It's just a good thing no one was paying any attention, I can't believe the guy announced us as Daria and Duncan Macleod. Jodie needs to get her money back on that guy.

Duncan: That's what you get when you hire a DJ instead of a live band. (Jane Lane is announced by the DJ)

Daria: Ah hell, Jane's here. Duncan I need you to hold something for me before Jane comes over to sit with us. Otherwise she'll be dropping hints the entire night. (Daria digs for the key Jodie gave her) Hold on to this until we can give it back when we leave. I don't really have anyplace to keep it.

Duncan: (moderately surprised) Where did you get this?

Daria: Jodie gave it to me.

Duncan: (looks at it) Is your friend trying to send us a message or something?

Daria: (smirks in thought) Not likely, she said it was just in case we didn't feel safe about driving home. She gave one to each of the bridal party just to make sure everyone leaves safely tonight.

Duncan: Makes sense I guess, But I don't drink.

Daria: I don't either but a little bit is expected for sociability. You know, the toasts and stuff.

Duncan: Being the maid of honor, your supposed to make a little speech yourself, right?

Daria: (points to her temples) Got it all up here. I've always been good at that. (Jane comes to sit next to them)

Jane: Hey, I was wondering where you two had disappeared to.

Daria; Just using my well honed talents to blend into the background.

Jane: And you do that so well too. It's a good thing I took notes, I feel out of place without an escort.

Daria: You could have asked Tom for a favor, the two of you are still on good terms the last time I checked.

Jane; Yea, I thought about that too, but it just wouldn't feel right. He dropped me for you, and then you dropped him period. There's just too much history there to make it through one night. (Beat) But....don't worry about me. I've been through worse situations.

Daria: It's funny, I don't recall any of these so called worse situations.

Jane: There just have been, okay. (Daria shrugs and decides not to get into it)

(Jodie and Mack are announced as they come into the ballroom and the DJ puts on their wedding song as they walk straight to the dance floor and begin the first dance. The move about the floor elegantly as if they had been practicing this moment for the longest of times and for yet another moment all eyes are on them. To everyone, .... the clock seems to stand still as the couple dances their way into a new future. After the song had concluded Jodie and Mack left the dance floor to get something to eat as do many of the other guests while others take the opportunity to use the dance floor for themselves)

Jane: That was a pretty choice song if I do say so myself.

Duncan: (smirks) brought a tear to me eye.

Daria: (gives Duncan a light shove) Oh stop, "A Whole New World" Isn't THAT great of a song. But I will admit, it WAS rather symbolic.

Duncan: Speaking of symbolism, my stomach is suggesting that we go find something symbolically resembling food.

Jane: Now that sounds like a plan to me. I'll meet you up at the dinner line. (Jane gets up and quickly heads off to find food)

Daria: I guess that's our Que, then. (Moves to get up but is stopped by Duncan)

Duncan: Not quite yet, I was just trying to get her to find something better to do for a few minutes.

Daria; So, ....you're NOT hungry?

Duncan: On the contrary, I'm starving. But I was thinking as we were watching the newlyweds go at it. In all this time we've been together, we've never danced once have we?

Daria; (in disbelief) What? You can't be serious, I can't dance, I have two left feet!

Duncan: I've never seen you try, so how do you know?

Daria: I just know, I've never danced before in my life.

Duncan: It's not hard, I'll show you. All you have to do is follow my lead. (Waits for a response) Oh come on, we'll dance to something real slow. Even people with two left feet can waltz.

Daria: (scowls) Let me guess, your mom doesn't JUST cook. (2)

Duncan: Hey, you'd be surprised what she knows how to do. Now how about it, one dance and I promise if you don't have a good time then I won't ask you to do it ever again.

Daria: (is about to decline when Duncan leans over and starts kissing her at the base of the neck which melts her emotionally in seconds) Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm..............................................oh alright. Let's get it over with.

Duncan: (Smiles) I knew you'd reconsider. Give me a moment and I'll go request something to dance to. (He gets up and walks off, ...moments later he returns as "Tale As Old as Time" begins to play and then escorts Daria to the dance floor) (whispers) Just follow my lead lass, it's simple.

Daria: (Begins to go through the motions with Duncan, obviously she is very nervous) God, I hate being the center of attention.

Duncan: Don't look at them lass, just look at me. They don't exist. (Daria turns to look at him and finds herself staring up into his blue eyes and before she realizes it the dance is over) See, now that wasn't so hard. (They walk off the dance floor and now proceed to get something to eat)

Daria: That's it? I did it?

Duncan: Well, you did step on my feet a few times but all in all I would say you did pretty well for your first time. (Daria smiles) Would you be interested in trying again later?

Daria; We'll see. Right now I'm hungry. Let's go find Jane so we can butt into the dinner line. (Duncan laughs and they disappear into the crowd of guests moving about the room)

(The scene fades to black and the light comes back up as Daria opens her eyes the next morning and squints from the light coming in the nearby window. She rubs her face and is about to stretch when she notices that she is not in her own apartment)

Daria: (picks her head up off the pillow and looks about the room. The room appears very neat until Daria Spies her dress hanging on a coat hanger near the bathroom door. Prompting her to look under the covers, sure enough she's wearing nothing but her undergarments) Oh what the hell is this????? (Looks over to her other side and see's Duncan sleeping next to her, turned away. She looks under the covers at him to see that he's in his boxers and a T-shirt. She shakes Duncan awake violently) Duncan, .....wake the hell up.

Duncan: (wakes up and looks at her) Ugh...........what's wrong lass?

Daria: Where are we, ...and how did we get here?

Duncan: Relax love, we're upstairs. The hotel room you gave me the key to, remember? You had a little bit to drink last night and apparently your body didn't like it to much. You told me that you didn't feel to well so I brought you up here to sleep it off.

Daria: Duncan, I don't remember that. How much did I have to drink?

Duncan: (shakes his head) Not much at all, a little champaign and a few glasses of wine with dinner.

Daria; (Thinks back to the previous night and starts to remember complaining that she felt really warm.) Oh god, ......I got drunk didn't I.

Duncan: (laughs and turns towards her in bed) I'd say more like buzzed. But you did loosen up quite a bit before you started to feel that way.

Daria: (pulls the covers up closer to herself) I've never been drunk before, did I .......do anything weird?

Duncan: Eh, it all depends on what you mean by weird. You gave a good speech to Jodie and Mack, I have to admit you said some pretty profound and meaningful things about them. We had a couple of nice dances together. (Smirks) THEN you borrowed the DJ's mic and announced to everyone that your friend Jane needed a date, and that's putting it politely.

Daria: (turns over and buries her face in the pillow) Oh my god, ......she's going to kill me.

Duncan: Oh I don't think so, She seemed embarrassed as hell for a few moments until a half dozen or so guys came over at once and asked her to dance. She must have toyed with ALL of them until we left. I'd say she had a pretty good time. Don't be surprised if she still tries to get even though.

Daria: Was that it? Please god let that be it.

Duncan: Relax, you didn't get wild or pass out or anything. You just did some minor stuff that was a little out of character for you.

Daria: Really? Dare I ask?

Duncan: Indeed you should, when the bouquet was tossed it fell right into your hands without any effort on your part, .....then you screamed and threw it right back. like it was a live grenade or something. (Chuckles) Must have been a fear of commitment.

Daria: Oh shut up. God, it sounds like I made a complete ass out of myself.

Duncan: Oh it wasn't so bad, you should have seen some of the people who actually got WASTED. Man, that was a bloody trip. Then of coarse there was the little incident where you shoved a piece of wedding cake up against my face.

Daria; What the hell did I do THAT for.

Duncan: Bloody hell if I know, but it DID seem rather funny

Daria: (nervously) Um....did anything else happen? Anything between.....us?

Duncan: (Shrugs) What ABOUT us?

Daria: (lifts the covers so they can both see under) We ended up here under the covers together. ..........We didn't ........DO anything?

Duncan: (laughs) Those clothes wrinkle very easily, Daria. I was just saving us both a cleaning bill. (Shakes his head) I wouldn't come on to you while you were intoxicated, Daria. You know me better than that. All we did was get undressed and go to sleep.

Daria; Thank you.....(Sighs in relief) I've never been drunk before, I don't know what I might have done.

Duncan: I could tell, but like I said. You didn't drink all that much, your body just can't tolerate liquor that well, that's all .

Daria: Why didn't anything happen to you? You had about as much as I had.

Duncan: There's a difference, I ate BEFORE drinking, and I'm a larger person then you are, It takes more to effect me. But mostly it was the fact that I ate first, the food absorbs the alcohol.

Daria: Gee, thanks for sharing. I could have used such tips. (Sighs and rubs her face again as Duncan gets out of bed and prepares to get dressed) Duncan?

Duncan: Aye love?

Daria: Thank you for being a gentleman last night.

Duncan: Anything for you, love. (Daria gets out of bed and walks up to kiss him. As he turns around his eyes widen a little as her underwear is quite revealing)

Daria: I just want you to know Duncan, ......I'm in love with you. I know I've never actually said it before now, .....but I wanted you to hear it before we left today.

Duncan: It's music to my ears, Daria. (She wraps her arms about him, pulls him in close and kisses him. Then a moment later she steps back with a surprised look and then looks down at Duncan and smiles) Oh my god, ...... (She gently reaches down and pulls the waistline of his boxers away from his body and looks down his shorts, then she looks up into his eyes) Maybe soon, .....when we're better prepared. (Winks at him so he catches what she means by this)

(The phone rings and Daria picks up the receiver to discover Jane is on the other end)

Daria: Hello?

Jane: Hey there amiga, so the two of you spent the night together huh? I hope your prepared to surrender the details later.

Daria: (pulls the receiver away from her ear and covers the mouth piece) Oh god, you were right, Duncan. She DOES plan to get even. (Duncan laughs)

The End..........................................


1: Reference to "If I could tell you" Duncan had to use a can while recovering from a work related injury he sustained in "Strange Bonds"

2 : Reference to "If I Could Tell You" , Duncan managed to use the cooking skills his mother had taught him to salvage the Christmas dinner Helen was trying to prepare.