Chapter 7: Motorcycles and Jocks Don't Mix
Set-up: Kevin gets hurt while performing an ill fated stunt on a motorcycle. When Ms. Li finds out that the reason he bought the bike in the first place was because of a comment Dorian made, she makes Dorian join the football team. Are the Lawndale Lions doomed? Is Brittany actually trying to hit on Dorian? Can Dorian and Jane help Kevin before Jane gets suspended for trying to kick Brittany's ass?
Sidenote: Quotes from the episode "A Tree Grows In Lawndale" will be used.
Legal: Daria is owned by MTV/Glenn Eisher.
Motorcycles and Jocks Don't Mix
The second day of the new year was upon the town of Lawndale. In just under forty-eight hours, the students of Lawndale High would be returning to their classes. Dorian and Jane headed to the Lawndale Mall so that Dorian could spend the gift card that Quinn had given him for Christmas. Enjoying each other's company, they walked slowly to Movies and More. Even though the crutches were gone, Jane's ankle was still in a brace. After picking out several bad movies from the clearance bins, Dorian and Jane left the store. As they made their way to the food court, Jane noticed Brittany and Kevin leaving Gimme Some Skin. Kevin was sporting a black leather jacket. Spotting the other couple, Brittany and Kevin went to meet them.
"Hey Dorian and Jane...doesn't Kevin look like a rebel in his new jacket? The one he got for Christmas wouldn't fit over his shoulder pads so we had to exchange it."
"Where's the bike?" Jane asked.
A confused look came over Kevin's face. "Huh?"
"That's a motorcycle jacket. It's made out of leather to protect you from scrapes when your head's bouncing off the grill of a truck." Dorian replied.
Jane immediately added, "If you're just wearing it for style then it's a waste of a perfectly good cow."
"You wouldn't wear shoulder pads if you didn't play football," Dorian smirked.
"Or would you?" Jane asked.
Rubbing the back of his neck, Kevin looked knee deep in thought. Watching this for a moment made the Daria side of Dorian's brain kick in. Dorian leaned towards Jane.
"Don't think too much, the smoke might set off the sprinklers," Dorian whispered. The comment made a wide smile come over Jane's face. Classic Daria.
"You know.. you're right. I'm going to talk to my dad right now about getting a motorcycle. See you at school Monday!" Kevin and Brittany waved as they left.
"You don't think Kevin will actually go out and buy one..do you?" Jane asked.
"We are talking about the guy who actually bought a car for that economics class. Speaking of which, how's the portrait business going?"
"Pretty good. I painted one Thursday...made a hundred and fifty bucks. I was only going to charge them a hundred but they gave me a tip. Two more couples called me this morning so I have one portrait a week for the next three weeks. Between those and the window display at Kristen's shop, I should be in good shape for awhile. I am going to try to set half of each aside for a college fund."
"That's a great idea Jane."
Walking past the card shop, Dorian and Jane paused as they watched the Valentine's Day displays being put up. Knowing that Daria had never been a fan of that particular holiday made Jane wonder how Dorian was going to feel about it. Turning to look at him, Jane could see an expressionless face. The only time he or Daria looked like that is when they were or are in planning mode. After hearing the sounds of stomachs growling, Dorian's concentration broke. Deciding that thinking could wait, Dorian focused his attention back in the direction of the food court.
The last day of their vacation was spent watching movies with Amy and Lillian. Instead of flying home, Jake was driving Lillian so he could help her pack up her belongings. They were leaving first thing Monday morning. Amy was leaving on Wednesday so she could meet the movers. Before leaving to go to Jane's, Dorian gave his dad and Lillian each a quick hug. As he walked down the driveway, he noticed the knocked over trash cans. Better clean this up before dad thinks we are under attack by alien squirrels. Upon arriving at Jane's, Dorian walked in and washed his hands. Jane's level of awareness was somewhere between comatose and zombie. Handing over a thermos of extra strong coffee, Dorian laughed as Jane swiped it from his hands like a bear. The walk to school was quiet until the caffeine kicked in.
As they began an intense discussion about the upcoming "Sick Sad World" episode, they heard the sounds of a older motorcycle engine. Dorian shook his head in disbelief as Kevin and Brittany pulled up in a yellow Yamaha DT 25-E motorcycle circa 1977. Jane looked over at Dorian in disbelief.
"Oh look, the circus is coming to town," Jane smirked.
"On what appears to be a very fast lawnmower. I can't believe he bought that..wait..we are talking about Kevin."
When they pulled up to the curb, Dorian could see that Kevin was wearing his jacket. Both he and Brittany donned shades. Both driver and rider were smiling.
"Hey Jane.. Dorian..," Kevin said,
"Mean machine. Where's your Shriner's fez?" Dorian asked.
"Don't we look like rebels?" Brittany asked.
"Oh yeah, that cricket in your front teeth is very James Dean." Jane's comment caused Dorian to give a slight chuckle.
A look of horror came over Brittany's face. "WHAT!?"
"Don't worry about it Brittany..it's dead." This time it was Jane's turn to laugh.
Brittany quickly grabbed her make-up compact. Seeing the aforementioned bug, she began to shudder. "Ewww... I'm going to need to teeth."
By this time, other students had begun to make their way to the bike. Brittany took off running towards the girls restroom. Mack and the three J's walked over to Kevin. After trying to tell Kevin about the dangers of riding a motorcycle without a helmet, he made his way over to Dorian and Jane. Soon, Upchuck and other students began to make comments about the bike.
Soon the chants of "Pop a wheelie!' began.
"Five bucks says he tries it." Dorian whispered.
"I don't feel like losing five bucks today." Mack sighed. "I just hope he doesn't get hurt. The new season starts Friday."
"You know we are the ones who told him to buy a motorcycle." Jane whispered.
"Don't remind me."
The next thing they knew, Kevin was driving back up the street. As he attempted the ill-fated stunt, he jumped the curb and crashed right into the Tommy Sherman Memorial Tree. Splitting the tree in two, Kevin flipped off the bike. The crash caused Kevin to land awkwardly on the tiny barrier surrounding the tree. He began clutching his knee in pain.
"MY KNEE OWWWWWWWWWW!"
Brittany was in tears as the ambulance drove away to bring Kevin to the hospital. His father came in his work truck and picked up the motorcycle. While the groundskeeper was repairing the fencing and removing what was left of the tree, Ms. Li interrogated everyone who had witnessed the accident. After talking to Brittany for an extended length of time, she made her way over to Dorian and Jane. After escorting them to her office, she paged for Coach Smith. Once the gym teacher/football coach arrived, Dorian and Jane were told to sit.
"Ms. Taylor informed me that Kevin's wreck this morning was your fault. Care to explain?" Anger seeped from Ms. Li's voice.
"We ran into them at the mall when Kevin bought his jacket. Then I asked him why he bought a motorcycle jacket when he didn't own one." Dorian replied.
"I see. Brittany said that Kevin bought the bike later that afternoon." Ms. Li went to continue but was stopped by the phone ringing. Hanging up a couple of minutes later, Ms. Li turned to Coach Smith. "That was Kevin's mom. He has a sprained knee and won't be able to play for 4 to 6 weeks."
"Great ... we were already at the minimum number of players because of grades. I guess we will have to forfeit." Coach Smith exhaled a long sigh.
"I will not allow Lawwwwndale High's reputation to be tarnished like that. We will have to find someone to fill the roster and I think I know who."
Dorian realized that Ms. Li was looking directly at him. Oh shit. "Ms. Li ... Coach Smith will tell you I am lousy at football. I can't throw or catch worth a flip."
"This is true Ms. Li. There has to be another way." Coach Smith was trying to help.
"You can make him a bench warmer for all I care, but as of right now ... he is a member of the Lawndale Lions. I'll call your mother Dorian and inform her that you will need to take a sports physical."
"What about my glasses? I can't afford to get those broken." Dorian replied.
"I suggest you get your contact lens prescription renewed." Ms Li stated as she pointed for her door.
As they exited the principal's office, Coach Smith approached Dorian. "Ms. Li had a point. We need one more player and I wouldn't have to worry about you academically. I will try my best not to put you in any of the games unless it's absolutely necessary. Today during gym we'll try to figure out what position would suit you best."
"Okay ... Can I quit once Kevin is back on the team?"
"Yes, unless you decide to stay on." Coach Smith walked away.
Jane gave Dorian a sympathetic look. Then an evil grin came over her face. "I guess that means I'm dating a jock. So can I drive you crazy like you did me when I was on the track team?"
"You know I could dump you for a cheerleader."
Jane raised her hands in the air. "I'm kidding. Look at it this way ... it's only for a couple of weeks." They headed to Mr. DeMartino's class.
During gym, Coach Smith had Dorian work with Mack and the three J's. Mack would be taking over Kevin's role as quarterback. It was quickly discovered at dropping several passes that Dorian would not be a wide receiver. Although he was good at running with the ball, Dorian had a hard time seeing defenders coming to him sideways. Wondering if the contacts would help that situation, Coach Smith put the position of running back as a maybe. The coach then moved Dorian over to the defensive side of the ball. What Dorian lacked in catching skills, he made up for in swatting the ball down. Dorian knocked down every pass that Mack threw to one of the three J's. The coach asked him to allow the ball to be caught to see if Dorian could tackle a receiver. Dorian only missed a couple of tackles but was able to run the catcher down and push him out of bounds.
"Looks like we have ourselves a back-up cornerback and possible running back." The coach said as he approached Dorian. "Make sure you get this form filled out and brought back this afternoon. If you get back to school early, we will start going over Football 101 with you. Then starting tomorrow, we will run some simulated plays. You will be sitting out the first game, but hopefully you will be go to go in case we need you by the second game."
Jane waited for Dorian to say something, anything, about what happened in gym. They were halfway through lunch when Dorian was paged to the office. Letting out a long sigh, Dorian gave Jane a quick hug before walking out of the cafeteria. Sitting in the secretary's room was Jake. While exiting the building, Jake explained the situation.
"Ms. Li called your mom and told her about Kevin's motorcycle incident. Is it true you encouraged him to do that?"
Dorian began to tell Jake about what occurred at the mall and the events of that morning. The more Dorian talked, the more guilt washed over him. Feeling that his son was getting screwed, Jake could feel his anger build. Pulling into the optometrist's office, Jake began to calm down.
"Dar ... Dorian, what happened to Kevin was Kevin's fault alone. He didn't have to go buy that two wheeled death trap. As for popping the wheelie, he should have told the idiots who were cheering him on to take a flying leap. Now, Coach Smith thinks you actually have potential as a running back and cornerback. I know you hate football and sports in general. All I'm asking of you is to listen to the coach and try your best not to get hurt if you do get put into a game."
"Trust me ... survival is high on my list of priorities. Coach Smith and I actually get along pretty well, so I will try my best to help him out."
Once inside, Dorian got fitted for contacts. The new ones that were chosen were made of a different material. Dorian didn't feel the urge to pull his eyeballs out like he did with the old ones. The next stop was an the county health office for the sports physical. After getting all the necessary paperwork completed an filled out, Dorian and Jake headed back to school. Hearing his stomach growl, Dorian realized he didn't finish lunch. Jake laughed as he decided to stop by the Cluster Burger.
Dorian was enjoying his time with Jake. We should have done this more often, before now. Both father and son hated to see their time together end. Looking at his watch, Jake stood up to leave. Gathering their trash, Dorian followed. When they arrived back at school, Jane was waiting for him. Walking with him towards the stadium, Jane poked fun about his contacts. Coach Smith took the paperwork from Dorian and handed him a uniform, a playbook and a rulebook, then pointed to the bench.
"Welcome to the Lawndale Lions Dorian ... start reading."
Jane sat on one of the bleachers and began to draw the cheerleaders at practice. Realizing Jane was in the stands, Brittany ran over to her in between cheers. Concentrating on the drawing, Jane almost jumped when Brittany tapped her shoulder.
"Hi Jane, what are you doing here?"
"Ms. Li made Dorian sign up for football so they wouldn't have to forfeit any games." She pointed over to the bench where Dorian was reading.
"Ohhh," Brittany looked at the picture. "Jane, that's a really good drawing of us. Can you make us a couple of those?"
"Sure Brittany, give me a couple of days."
After about an hour, the coach went up to Dorian. Setting the books down, Dorian walked over to the locker room. Returning holding his boots, Dorian put on his track shoes. Pulling out a stop watch, Coach Smith checked his time in the forty yard dash. Much to his surprise, Dorian's time made him the third fastest member of the team. Watching from the stands, Jane and Brittany were impressed.
"Wow ... Dorian is really fast. I better get back to practicing. Thanks for the pictures Jane." Taking one more look at Dorian run down the track, Brittany turned to Jane. "He's cute when he runs."
Jane looked up and her eyes narrowed.
Jane was trying to focus on the canvas in front of her. Every few seconds, she would turn and watch Dorian read. Visions of the conversation between her and Brittany ran through her head. Feeling her anger rise, Jane threw her paintbrush against the wall. Closing the playbook, Dorian walked over to Jane. As he approached, Jane pushed him away. Walking past Dorian, Jane picked up the brush, cleaned it, then resumed her painting. Confusion still covering his face, Dorian sighed and went back to reading. What the hell?
"You look cute when you run," Jane said, refusing to look his way.
Dorian responded hesitantly. "I'm glad you think so."
"Oh ... I didn't say that. Brittany did while you were doing speed drills during practice."
"So you're pissed off at me for something Brittany said." Dorian began to pack his book bag. "I don't need this crap on top of everything else. I'll see you tomorrow."
While Dorian was turning the knob, Jane stopped him. Staring into her azure eyes, Dorian could feel himself calming down. Standing in silence, Jane lowered her head.
"I'm sorry, it's just the way she said it really ticked me off."
"Jane ... don't let something Super Squeak said upset you."
"But she's a cheerleader, blonde and ... pretty." Jane's voice trailed off. "Whether you like or not, you're now a football player."
"Jane ... you're artistic, sarcastic and smart." Dorian gently lifted her chin. "Brittany may be pretty, but you're beautiful."
The rest of that week was long and grueling. During gym class, Dorian was learning the basics of football. At practice, he was working on his speed and agility. By the end of the week, he had improved on his tackling and blocking skills. Although he was getting better, Coach Smith decided he was still too green to go into the game. The first game of the season was brutal. The crowd began to boo and even the cheerleaders quit caring. Dorian turned and saw Kevin sitting in the stands. One week down, hopefully only three more weeks to go.
The following Monday, Dorian was on his way to his locker. Hearing two people arguing, Dorian turned around and saw Brittany and Kevin exchange heated words. Can't those two just make out and get along? A few minutes later, Brittany threw her pom-poms at Kevin and stormed away. As Kevin tried to turn to go to class, he lost his balance and fell. The last thing I need is for him to get hurt worse than he already is. Running over, Dorian helped Kevin stand up.
The rest of the week showed no signs of getting better on the Brittany/Kevin front. Making matters worse was the fact that he was actually improving on the field. Watching practice, Quinn joined Jane in the stands. Quinn could tell something was troubling Jane, but decided not to push for information. After practice, Coach Smith pulled Dorian over. Both girls could see Dorian's body reactions to what the coach was saying. As he jogged off the field, Jane and Quinn left the bleachers and waited for him at the front of the school. When he finally exited the building, his shoulders were slumped and his head lowered.
"Why did Coach Smith want to talk to you?" Jane asked.
"He's going to put me in for a couple of plays during Friday's game. 'We need your speed Dorian.' I'm not fast ... at least not Mack fast."
Quinn spoke, trying to sound encouraging. "Dorian ... you don't want to admit it - but Joey, Jeffy, and Jerome can't wait for you to start playing."
"Even I can tell you're getting better. Look ... you said you liked Coach Smith right? Well, show it. Just try not to get your head knocked off your shoulders." Jane smirked.
Dorian grumbled an inaudible answer. The next day at practice, the coach worked with Dorian on blocking for Mack. As they left the field, Dorian and Mack were talking. While waiting for Dorian, Jane and Quinn were joined by Jodie. The three sat and talked until they noticed Mack and Dorian came out. The five of them stood together at Jodie's car. Jodie put her arm around Mack.
"Mack told me that the coach is playing you tomorrow. Dar - Dorian ... how you holding up?" Jodie asked.
"I have one simple goal ... survival."
"You'll do fine. Besides, you've seen us play. We can't get any worse. Man do we need Kevin back. I hate to admit it, but Kevin knows the ins and outs of being a quarterback."
"Brittany told me that he's decided not to come back to the team. Something about not wanting to be known as the one-knee guy." Jodie announced.
"WHAT!!!" The other four screamed.
"We have to figure out a way to get him to come back to the team. Any suggestions?" Mack asked.
Standing silently, the group tried to come up with ideas. After several moments of thought, Jane looked at her friends. "Tom mentioned once about how his school sends students to the elementary school to be mentors. Why don't we send Kevin? He could talk to them about the dangers of motorcycles. Maybe if he feels like he's needed, he'll want to return."
"That's a great idea Jane. We'll talk to Mr. O'Neill before class tomorrow. We better get going before my parents think that I've moved to Mexico. See you in the morning." Jodie and Mack left.
Getting Mr. O'Neill on board with their idea was easy. Convincing Kevin was harder than they expected. That night at the game, Dorian could feel his stomach knotting. The Lions were behind 14-0 and it was still in the first quarter. After their defense held and made Oakwood punt, Coach Smith turned to Dorian. Great, I hope Jane doesn't have a hard time finding a new boyfriend once I get killed out there. The play called was a simple slant pass to Joey. Unfortunately Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie were covered. As the play fell apart, Mack turned and handed the ball off to Dorian. Realizing that he had some open field, he cut to the left and headed up field. About twenty yards later, he was pushed out of bounds. The coach walked up to him and patted him on the back.
"Great job. Now run the same play and let's see if we can keep the defense on their toes."
Running back to the huddle, Dorian was praised for a good run. Relaying the message from the coach, the offense broke huddle. This time one of the defenders who had been with the receivers ran up to block Dorian, leaving Jeffy wide open. Seeing the opening, Mack connected with Jeffy. Dorian watched as Jeffy ran in for the first points Lawndale had scored that season. When they returned to the bench, Jeffy high-fived Dorian. This seemed to spark the rest of the team's motivation. The defense held Oakwood's offense to just a field goal. The coach turned to his offense and special teams.
"Here's what we're going to do. Mack, you catch the kick-off then hand it to Dorian. Try to give him a few yards to scan the field. Dorian, just get as many yards as you can."
Dorian nodded and put his helmet back on. Mack watched the ball sail through the air. The moment he caught the ball, Mack spun and handed it to Dorian, allowing Dorian to have a seven yard cushion. Dorian spotted a small opening up the middle of the field and took off. Forty-five yards later, Oakwood's kicker tripped him. Mack ran over to him and helped him up. The coach signaled for Dorian to come to the bench. The penalty had put Lawndale on Oakwood's side of the fifty. Dorian took off his helmet and scanned the crowd. Spotting his family, Dorian waved to them. Jake's face beamed with pride as he gave Dorian a thumbs-up. Jane and Trent were sitting next to them, waving back. Halftime approached and Lawndale was only down by three points.
The third quarter was a stalemate with neither team scoring. Dorian had a couple of good runs, but their kicker missed both field goal attempts. Fourth quarter started with Oakwood having to punt. After another busted play, Dorian ran for a first down that put Lawndale on Oakwood's eleven. Three plays later, Lawndale had their first lead of the game. It was short lived as Oakwood's kick-off returner caught the ball and proceeded to run the length of the field for the touchdown. Lawndale tried to march their way down the field, but ran out of time. The final score: Lawndale 21, Oakwood 24.
Feeling as though the wind had been sucked out of him, Dorian left the field. Losing after coming so close hurt. I can't believe I am actually upset over this damnit. Even though they were defeated, the team congratulated Dorian on a well-played first game. As he left the locker room to find the Lanes and his family, Dorian was approached by Brittany. Feeling the knot re-form in his stomach, Dorian gulped. Brittany walked slowly up to him.
"I just wanted to say that even though we lost, I thought you had a great game. We should hang out some after practice sometimes." Her voice lowered as she stared at him seductively.
Running out of the school's entrance, Dorian spotted Jane and his family. Jane could tell something was bothering him, but decided not to push it. As they drove home, Dorian tried to put the Brittany incident behind him. Upon arriving at Casa Lane, Trent slid out of the backseat. Jake started pulling out of their driveway and headed for home. Quinn and Jane laughed at the confusion on Dorian's face. Why isn't Jane getting out?
"I asked Jane to stay over and watch a couple of movies with me. You can join us if you want to. What time is practice tomorrow?"
"Noon. I might watch one with you if you promise not to fall asleep on me again."
"That takes all the fun out of it. Besides you look like you could use some cheering up."
"Don't be looking so down son, you played a great game," Jake chimed in from the driver's seat."
"Yeah, but it was for nothing ... we lost." Dorian's frustration showed in his voice.
Jane put her arm around him and squeezed. He gave her a quick peck on the cheek. Once inside his house, Dorian decided to skip the movie. Between Brittany and the game, he was afraid his mood would ruin Jane and Quinn's evening. Going up to his room, Dorian got dressed for bed. A couple of hours later, he heard a knock on his door. After getting up to open it, Dorian laid back down and continued to stare at the ceiling.
"Quinn and I just finished one movie and are about to start another one. Are you sure you don't want to join us?"
"Yeah." Dorian paused for a moment. "Jane ... I owe you an apology. I shouldn't have been such a bitch to you when you joined the track team."
"Apology accepted. I would have quit anyway. The more I thought about that whole grades thing, the more pissed off I got. Tonight really bothered you didn't it?"
Dorian sat up and placed his elbows on his knees. "Yes damnit. We were so close to winning. I'm not sure what I'm angrier about, that we lost or that I actually care that we did." Dorian buried his head in his hands.
Jane sat down beside him on the bed. "You're supposed to care and losing does hurt. Welcome to the human race Morgendorffer, we've been expecting you." When Jane patted his back, Dorian winced. "Are you sure you're feeling okay?"
"Nothing that a good night's sleep won't cure." Dorian sighed.
"Lay down on your stomach." Jane pointed at his pillow. Dorian looked at her strangely. "Trust me." she smirked.
Not wanting an argument, Dorian proceeded to follow Jane's instructions. A few moments later, Dorian began to relax as he felt Jane's hands run up and down his back. Kneading the muscles as she went, Jane massaged Dorian's back until she could hear his breath slow down and even out. Looking at his now sleeping face, Jane took his glasses off and set them on the stand. After a kiss goodnight on the cheek, Jane turned off the light and left the room.
Jane and Quinn had to be at Kristen's the next morning. After finishing the window display, Jane went to go watch Dorian practice. She was surprised to see Jodie in the bleachers. She was more stunned when Jodie came walking quickly towards her.
"Jane ... we need to talk about Brittany. Last night after the game, a bunch of us went to Pizza Prince for dinner. I heard Brittany talking to the other cheerleaders about Dorian. I think she's gonna to try to make a play for him."
"I know ... she made a comment to me about how cute she thought he was. Dorian is aware of it as well, considering I almost bit his head off for what she said," Jane growled.
"I want you and Dorian to ride with me and Mack to Cluster Burger after practice. We need to get her and Kevin back together before she really tries to sink her hooks into Dorian."
Jane looked over at the cheerleaders. They were too busy staring at Dorian running to work on their cheers. Jane began to walk down the bleachers before Jodie stopped her. Jane was fighting the urge not to rip the blonde hair right off of Brittany's scalp.
"Don't even think about it Jane. Brittany isn't worth getting expelled over."
Once practice ended, Jane and Jodie waited by Jodie's car. Dorian and Mack were heading towards them, shaking their heads. While they ate, the began to think up ways to get Kevin back on the team and in Brittany's good graces. Jodie would ask Mr. O'Neill if he had scheduled Kevin's speech to the elementary school students and make him set it up if he hadn't. Mack and Dorian's job was to convince Kevin that the team was in dire need of his return. Jane's part in the scheme was the hardest: try not to kill Brittany no matter how badly she wanted to.
Dorian spent the weekend trying to avoid Brittany. The fact that cheerleading practice ran at the same time as football made this difficult. Dorian would come to practice in full gear and then leave immediately after with Jane. The dark skies above him began to clear on Monday. Mr. O'Neill arranged for Kevin to speak to a bunch of students at Lawndale Elementary the next day. Brittany and the rest of the cheerleaders spent the afternoon in detention for trying to exorcise the ghost of Tommy Sherman from the ladies' bathroom. When Dorian asked how the cheerleaders got busted, the only answer he received was a smirk by Jodie.
Jane almost lost it on Tuesday as school was ending. Brittany asked Dorian if he could help her with an essay Mr. DeMartino has assigned that day on the League of Nations. Dorian politely refused. As Brittany walked away from them, she brushed her hand against his arm. Slamming her locker, Jane was about to chase after the head cheerleader when she felt a pair of arms wrap around her. Realizing that the arms didn't belong to Dorian, Jane turned to see Quinn who refused to release Jane until she calmed down.
Once inside the Morgendorffer abode, Dorian and Jane went to work on their papers. Thirty minutes later, they closed their history books. With their homework finished, Dorian, Jane and Quinn decided to go to Pizza King for dinner. Walking inside, Jane noticed Jodie talking to Brittany in one of the booths. Jane could tell Brittany was crying and heard the name Kevin and football mentioned several times. As Jane sat down, she heard Jodie talking.
"I know you want Kevin back on the team and that you miss him but going after Dorian won't help that situation. All you are doing is hurting Dorain, Jane and yourself. Tomorrow, you need to talk to Kevin about rejoining the team."
"Okay," Brittany mumbled.
Smiling at the exchange, Jane wrapped her arm around Dorian. Sitting on the other side of the booth, Quinn noticed the shift in Jane's mood. The rest of the evening was spent laughing at Quinn's fashion club stories. The next day in Mr. DeMartino's class, Kevin gave his report about his lecture at the elementary school. A whimsical look came over Brittany's face as she listened to Kevin describe the speech. Mr. DeMartino walked over to the former quarterback and sighed.
"KEVIN ... that report was PEACHY,"
"Thanks," Kevin replied.
"ALTHOUGH what it had to do with THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS which was your ASSIGNED TOPIC, I fail to UNDERSTAND!" The frustrated teacher shouted as he clenched his fist.
During lunch, Mack sat down next to Kevin. Dorian and Jane sat at the table across from them to watch the exchange. After a few minutes, Brittany joined them. The next thing Dorain and Jane knew, Brittany and Kevin were both standing up and yelling at each other. Dorian smirked as he listened to exchange. Oh great, now they are both trying to think. I hope the sprinkler system works in here cause the smoke should be hitting it at any moment. Dorian was so lost in thought that Jane had to elbow him to turn around. Then an awkward silence came over the cafeteria, followed by the sounds of two crutches hitting the ground. Applause and cheers filled the air as Brittany and Kevin embraced.
"I feel the urge to go into the woman's bathroom and puke." Jane said.
"I'm not allowed in there anymore. Besides, Tommy Sherman's ghost might still be in there."
"That Tommy Sherman ... he ruins everything." Jane smirked.
Kevin rejoined the team that afternoon after he was cleared to play. Thursday after practice, Coach Smith approached Dorian. Mack, Kevin and the three J's soon joined the two. Jane and Quinn watched as Dorian nodded a couple of times and was soon being patted on the back. As the group split up, Dorian headed towards the bleachers.
"Quinn ... is there any way you can get a ride home? Jane and I need to talk." Dorian's said.
"Sure. Let's see - last time Jeffy brought me home so this time it's Joey's turn. I'll tell mom and dad you'll be home soon." Quinn stood up and left.
Jane followed Dorian as he grabbed his backpack. The walk to Casa Lane had been a quiet one. Jane could tell something was really bothering Dorian but didn't want to press him about it. Once inside Jane's room, Dorian took off his jersey and shoulder pads. He sat with his hands between his knees for several moments. Moving herself beside him, Jane placed one hand over his.
"Coach Smith asked me if I would stay on the team so he would have a back-up player in case someone gets hurt again. This is his first year coaching. He can't help it that the former coach left him in a hole because of cheating." Dorian sighed.
"I thought that might be what happened. You must be considering it or you wouldn't be talking to me about right now."
"Yeah I am but I wanted to speak to you first. Look I know I was a complete ass when you were on the track team. So, if you were to tell me that you want me to quit, I would."
"I don't want you to quit Dorian. Yes, you did treat me like shit over the track team but you were right. I would have never been able to look at myself again if I had taken that bye. My question is what will you do if you find out it's still going on?"
"I'd quit immediately. Coach Smith hates cheating and cheaters. He has been upfront with me so far so I believe him."
Jane leaned over and whispered in his ear. "Then stay on the team and know I'm behind you one hundred percent. Daria, I know you can hear me in there. I just want you to know that all is forgiven."
The next morning, Brittany planted one of Kevin's crutches in place of the Tommy Sherman Memorial Tree in the hopes of getting rid of Tommy's restless spirit from the ladies' bathroom. That night, Kevin played his first game of the season. The entire team was rejuvenated by his presence. Dorian went in for a few plays when Mack needed a rest. He also scored his first points of the season when he ran a punt back for a touchdown. He was amazed at the rush he felt afterwards. The game though belonged to Kevin. He threw for two touchdowns and ran in for a third giving Lawndale it's first victory of the season. Several of the players hoisted Kevin above their heads on the way to the locker room. The crowd gasped as Kevin lost his balance and fell. The gasps quickly turned to cheers as Kevin got back up and started waving.
Coach Smith handed Kevin the game ball during his celebration speech. As Dorian was leaving the locker room, he found Jane waiting for him. As they walked out into the parking lot, they saw Kevin and Brittany making out in Kevin's jeep. Shaking their heads, Dorian and Jane laughed at the scene as they walked to Helen's SUV.