Scenes and quotes from the episode "Of Human Bonding" will be used so here's the legal: Daria and her compadres are property of Glenn Eisher and MTV.

So This Is Bonding? (Part 1)

Jane's prediction turned true as the Dorian, Kevin, and Brittany incident became the talk of the school the following week. Everyone involved tried to downplay what happened to little or no avail. As the week dragged on, Dorian was getting tired of the unwanted publicity. By Thursday, Dorian was ready for Friday to get there and the week to be over. With Lawndale missing the playoffs by one win, football was through until training began in August. After school, Dorian and Jane arrived at his house to find both of his parents already home. Walking inside, Dorian and Jane saw Jake reading a book written by the guy who invented the Pizza Forest chain, Terry Perry Barlowe, while Helen was on the phone with her law firm. Waving to his parents as they walked upstairs, Dorian and Jane were stopped when Helen motioned for them to join them. Dorian grabbed the brochure and started to flip through it.

"Your father has to attend Foodapalooza Eatertainment Conference in Philadelphia this weekend. Originally, I was going to go with him, but the Porta-Fry class action lawsuit is back on and the firm is counting on me."

"I'm sorry to hear that mom, I know you were looking forward to a couple of days off."

"Thanks Dorian."

"Say Dorian - why don't you come with me? Oh wait, you have school tomorrow ... and the tickets are non-refundable damnit." Jake's voice showed his disappointment.

"Mr. M - I can take notes for him and let him know of any homework he missed when you guys get back." Jane smiled over at Jake. Dorian looked over at her with curiosity. She leaned towards him and whispered , "This is a get out of school free card. I say go and forget about the crap happening at Lawwwwndale High for the weekend."

"That would be great Jane! Dorian ... what do you say?"

"Well, the convention is right near the Museum of Medical Oddities. I'll make a deal with you. I'll go to the convention with you as long as we can take a couple of hours to visit the museum. I want to see if they have a skull crusher in the gift shop."

"Sure thing kiddo. Skull crusher ... ewwwwwwww." Jake began to shudder.

"Promise me that you will take lots of pictures." Jane looked over at Dorian with puppy dog eyes.

"I would need a new camera. The lens on my old one cracked while I was working on the yearbook pictures last year."

Reaching into her purse, Helen handed Dorian one of her credit cards and the keys to her SUV. "Here, get a camera and something for dinner, but hurry ... you have to be packed and ready to go by eight tomorrow morning."

"Hey dad ... what hotel are we staying at?"

"The Crown Hotel, I booked it online last week. Why?"

"You might want to call them and confirm your reservation. I was reading online where several hotels have been experiencing problems with online reservations. We'll be back soon."

"I better do that right now. Thanks son." Jake waved as Dorian closed the door.

Once outside, Dorian stared over at his girlfriend, who had an evil look in her eyes. "Okay, spill it Lane. Why are you so eager to get me to go with my dad?"

"Because Spring Break is coming up in two weeks and I want to be able to spend some quality time with you alone. I have two portraits I have to do tomorrow and Kristen wants me to do a window display Saturday morning. That will give me extra spending money for us to go have a little fun. So if we kiss their asses this weekend, we can use it to our advantage then."

A wide grin came over Dorian's face. "Have you been taking lessons from my mother?"

Hearing the alarm clock, Dorian growled as he got out of bed. I can't believe I am getting up at five-thirty in the morning. Whatever you have planned for Spring Break better be worth it Jane. After a quick shower, Dorian headed downstairs for breakfast. Much to his surprise, Jake was already up and handed him a fresh cup of coffee. Thanks to Helen and Jane's prodding, the father and son had packed and loaded the car the night before. They needed to leave the house by six if they wanted to be at the airport at six-thirty. Helen came downstairs and wished them both good luck and gave Jake a good-bye kiss. As he was walking out of the house, Dorian saw Jane jogging their way. Jake sat in the car to give the two a moment of privacy.

"Whoa ... I need to mark this day on my calendar. Jane Lane wakes up before seven-fifteen on a school day."

"Very funny Morgendorffer. Try and have a good time with your dad, he's a pretty decent guy. I love you and will see you when you get back."

"I love you too. We should be home around six on Sunday, which gives us plenty of time for bad movie night." Dorian kissed Jane's cheek before entering the car.

Jane tapped on the driver's side door and gave Jake a thumb's up before jogging back towards her house. Jake looked over at Dorian and watched as his son's eyes followed Jane down the street. He wondered what Daria thought of the whole relationship, but had been afraid to ask. She must not completely hate it, or she would have put a stop to it by now. Hearing a car behind him honk their horn, Jake focused on the road before him. When they arrived at the airport, Dorian grabbed the luggage from the trunk while Jake attached the three-day parking pass. Once their luggage was checked in, they sat to wait for their flight's announcement.

Jake hated heights and offered Dorian the window seat. After drinking a cocktail to settle his nerves, Jake looked over at Dorian. I wonder if the Daria side of him hates me and Helen for not telling her? Dorian seems to be adjusting well - I should tell him that I am proud of how he is handling all of this and if he ever needs me, I'll be there for him. For a moment, he stared at a peanut he was holding in his hand.

"The peanut really is a second class nut. Now cashews, those are what the big guys eat - the CEOS!"

Dorian turned towards his father. Something is bothering him, but he's afraid to tell me what it is. Maybe I should tell him that I have gotten over my anger at his not telling me about the curse. Jane is right - he really is a good guy and I hate to say it, but our relationship has improved since the change. He really does need to hear that more from me than he does and I should thank him for how much he has helped me through this. Opening up the bag of pretzels in his hands, Dorian studied the cracker that was in his hand.

"How did a salted goldfish get in here? Weird."

As Dorian and Jake were on their way to Philly, Jane's day was filled with answering questions and taking down notes. Jodie and Mack joined her for lunch and asked where Dorian was. When Jane told Jodie about the Foodapalooza Conference, Jodie's eyes enlarged. Her parents had just left to attend the same conference. Jodie had told her parents about Dorian and pointed him out at some of the football games and parades. She also told them the cover story and now hoped that they wouldn't drill Jake about it. Then came the last class of the day. A wicked smile came over Ms. Barch's face as she realized that Dorian was not there. After the class was over, she asked Jane to stay after. Jodie and Mack stood outside of the room and waited. Ms. Barch closed her door and stared deep into Jane's blue eyes. Jane's eyes narrowed as she glared at the teacher.

"I think it's time we had a little talk about your boyfriend Ms. Lane," Ms. Barch growled.

"I think it's time we had a little talk about your boyfriend, Miss Lane" Ms. Barch growled.

"Only if we can talk about yours as well ... or better yet, maybe we should discuss yours with Ms. Li and Mrs. Morgendorffer - considering that the Lawndale school board made it a firable offense for teachers who work at the same school to date."

Ms. Barch's eyes widened. "Your treading on thin ice Ms. Lane. I can easily get you suspended for what you are implying."

"What - I remember a couple of incidences between you and Mr. O'Neill. When you brought him into your fortune telling tent at the renaissance fair or better yet ... when you were having that "discussion" about me and Dorian being late to your class after that failure project. So trust me, I'm not the only one with something to lose if this conversation keeps going." Jane grabbed her back pack and walked towards the door. "If you have nothing else to say to me, then I'm leaving."

"I just wanted to talk about your best friend - Daria," Ms. Barch put extra emphasis on the last word.

"You know that topic is off limits for you, besides I need to head home. I am expecting a phone call from Dorian at four-thirty. Have a good weekend with Timothy, Ms. Barch." Jane opened the door and stormed out without looking back. She was surprised to see Jodie and Mack waiting for her. Not saying anything to them, Jane walked past them down the hallway.

Following their friend to her locker, Jodie and Mack watched as Jane's facial expression never changed. Finally, Jodie broke the silence between them. "Jane - are you okay? Did she want to talk to you about Dorian?"

Jane nodded. "Yeah - but I cut her off and turned the tables. Bitch needed to know that she wasn't the only one in that room who knew how to tango."

Dorian and Jake arrived at the hotel and checked in. Jake thanked Dorian for having him check on the reservation. There had been a problem, so the hotel upgraded them to a penthouse suite for no additional charge. As Jake gathered their keys, Dorian proceeded to roll their luggage towards the elevator. As Jake was about to close the door, he spotted Jodie's parents heading their way. Pushing the hold open button, Jake smiled and waited for them to enter.

"Thank you, Jake. You remember my wife Michelle." Andrew shook Dorian and Jake's hands. "I see you brought your son with you. I watched you at a couple of the football games last season. You have some real potential. Are you going to play next season as well?"

"I haven't decided yet Mr. Landon. How are you Mrs. Landon?"

"I am doing very well Dorian. Have you heard from your sister lately? Jodie told us that she is living with one of your aunts?"

"Yes - she is staying with our aunt Rita and attending school there."

"Are you enjoying Lawndale High so far?"

"Well it's no Buxton Ridge, but I am having a pretty good time there, " Dorian replied. Jake looked over at his son and both broke into laughter. "Sorry, family joke. Which floor are two staying on?" Dorian asked.

"We're in Penthouse C. What about you?"

"Penthouse E."

Michelle looked over at the Morgendorffers. "After we unpack, maybe we can get together for an early dinner. The meet and greet isn't for another couple of hours."

"Sounds good to us. Meet you in the lobby in an hour." The bell chimed as the elevator door opened.

When they arrived in the room, Jake called Helen. While they talked, Dorian unpacked. Being in the penthouse suite meant that he and his father had separate bedrooms. Turning on the television, he began flipping through the channels to find "Sick, Sad, World." Once his father hung up the phone, Dorian called Jane. This way, they could watch the show together despite being in different state. The two talked about their day during commercials. Jane told him about her run-in with Ms. Barch. Before Dorian hung up the phone, Dorian told her that he loved her and gave her one sentence of advice.

"You need to talk to my mom, Quinn, and Amy about what happened - the sooner, the better."

Dorian hung up the phone, took off his glasses, and rubbed his temples. I should have known the first day I wasn't at school, Barch would try to go after Jane. Dorian stayed in his bedroom for a few minutes in order to calm down and change. After several deep breaths and some pacing, Dorian headed for his father's bedroom and knocked on the door. Jake opened the door and gave his son a big smile and a thumb's up. Dorian could sense his father's nervousness and did his best to calm him down.

"You look like you're ready to take over the consulting world dad. I'm not a big fan of basketball, but there's a hockey game tonight. You want to see if there are still tickets available? We are within walking distance of the Wells Fargo Center and it doesn't start until eight."

"That sounds like a great idea. I can still go to the meet and greet for about an hour than we can go to the game. I didn't know that you liked hockey."

"I actually started watching hockey after I went to that roller hockey game between the faculty and the classic rock deejays."

"You were still Dar - Daria back then," Jake's voice caught. "I'm sorry, Dorian."

"Don't be - let's go meet the Landons. We'll be a few minutes early, but knowing Michelle - she and Andrew are probably already in the lobby."

Dorian's words almost rang true. The Landons were leaving their suite at the same time. On the elevator ride down, they decided on where they were going for dinner. As the taxi drove past the arena, Dorian noticed the box office was open. Asking the Landons if it was okay to stop, Jake and Dorian stepped out of the cab and purchased the tickets. They reentered the taxi and continued on to their destination.

"I hope when Evan becomes a teenager, he will want to go to games with me."

"Actually, it was Dorian's idea." Jake's face beamed with pride.

Dorian began to remember his father's first meeting with the Landons and was surprised at how well the evening was going. After dinner, they looked at the clock. The meet and greet started at seven. Andrew took a few minutes to introduce Jake to some of his friends while Dorian and Michelle sat on a couch and talked about Lawndale High. After about twenty minutes, Jake walked up to him and they headed up to the hotel room for a quick change. The Morgendorffers left the hotel and headed for the arena. The hockey game was great with the Flyers beating the Hurricanes 4-3. Sporting two new Flyers jerseys, Dorian and Jake made their way back to the hotel.

Jane had spent the rest of that night thinking about what Dorian had said. Staring at the empty canvas in front of her, she began to paint, uncertain on where her inspiration would take her. Several hours later, she looked at the portrait in front of her and smiled. It was she and Dorian watching from a distance as Lawndale High was being imploded. Closing her eyes, she fell into a deep sleep. When she awoke around noon, she decided to take Dorian's advice and called the Morgendorffer house. Not expecting anyone to answer, she was surprised to hear Helen's voice on the other end. After briefly explaining her run-in with Ms. Barch, Jane could hear Helen's voice begin to tense up.

"Now that I don't have to worry about that damn Porta-fry case and Quinn deciding to have a weekend off from the Fashion Club, I decided to invite Amy and Lillian over for lunch. Why don't you join us. I think they should hear this story too."

Jane was surprised to see Amy's red convertible in her driveway. Before jumping into the backseat, Jane gave Amy and Lillian a quick hug. On the drive to Schloss Morgendorffer, Jane filled Amy and Lillian in on what occurred between her and Ms. Barch. Her two adopted aunts complimented her on the way she had handled the situation. As they pulled up to Dorian's house, Quinn opened the door with a smirk on her face. Amy and Lillian heard Helen's voice and followed it. Jane and Quinn sat down in the living room.

"Mom told me what Ms. Barch tried to do. I'm surprised she didn't try that with me earlier in the day."

"I'm not ... you have her first ... as long as you didn't say anything in class about him not going to school, she wouldn't have known. I have her last, which to her meant that she had a little more opportunity to interrogate me. So how is your Fashion Clubless weekend going?"

"Pretty good. Sandi and Tiffany went out of town with Sandi's mother. Mom just picked me up from work right before you showed up. We had a busy morning and we sold several dresses and tuxes. Oh, Kristen gave your phone number out to three couples who were really interested in your portraits. Expect them to call you Monday after school. Stacy and I have a double date tonight, then she is staying over to watch a 'Tales From The Crypt' marathon."

"I really miss that show. Wait, you're into 'Tales From The Crypt'?"

Quinn gave a slight chuckle. "Don't tell Dorian. I stayed over at Stacy's one night and watched a few episodes. We try to catch the reruns whenever we can."

"I have most of them on tape if you want to see the unedited versions. I know the channel that runs them cuts a lot of the good stuff out."

"Could you bring them with you tonight?"

"Sure. Wait ... did I just agree to hang out with you and Stacy for an evening? I really must need coffee." Quinn scowled over at Jane. "Just kidding ... Stacy can be a little annoying, but she's not half as bad as Sandi and Tiffany. I really don't see how you can hang out with them."

"Daria used to say that to me all the time, Dorian not as much. I think it's because he doesn't want to hurt my feelings."

"You're probably right. Now I wasn't joking about that coffee. I smell it brewing, so I know it exists. Come on - I need a caffeine fix and your house has some of the best in town."

Jane and Quinn joined Amy, Helen, and Lillian in the kitchen. The Barksdale sisters were laughing at some of the stories that Lillian was telling them about Ruth. Amy and Helen began to tell tales about growing up with their parents and Rita. Jane couldn't help but break down into chuckles. I thought Wind was bad. Wind ain't nothing compared to Rita. The conversation then shifted to what happened between Jane and Ms. Barch. Helen grabbed Jane's shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze.

"After I get out of court Monday afternoon, I'll swing by Lawndale High and have a talk with Ms. Li. Dorian warned me that his science teacher would not be able to accept this. I can't blame her. If I had not witnessed the transformation first hand, I would not believe it either."

"I might know of a way to get her on our side," Jane said, looking over at Helen.

"Okay ... I'm listening."

Jane began to tell the others about her plan. A wide grin came over Helen's face. "Are you sure you don't want to become a lawyer some day?"

Jane smirked. "I really love being an artist, but I'll keep that idea on the table."

Looking up at the clock, Quinn got up to get ready for her date. Amy, Helen, and Lillian decided to go out for an early dinner. Jane went home to gather her videos and to wake up Trent for band practice. Her thoughts then began to drift to how Dorian and Jake were doing.

Dorian had spent the day with Michelle Landon as they went to some of the museums near the hotel. Andrew and Jake had spent most of their day in seminars. When Dorian returned, he saw his father and Mr. Landon talking to Mr. Barlowe. He arrived just in time to hear the Pizza Forest founder ask his father if he wanted to go hot air balloon riding the next day. Knowing how much Jake hated heights, Dorian quickly stepped in.

"Remember dad, we have plans to visit the Medical Oddities Museum tomorrow morning. That way, we can be back here before Mr. Barlowe gives the closing speech."

"That's right Dorian. Sorry Mr. Barlowe, but I'm going to have to pass up the offer. I can't wait to hear your speech tomorrow though!" Dorian and Jake made their way to the elevator. Once inside, Jake turned to his son. "Thanks for getting me out of that one kiddo. The last speech is at noon. What time do you want to go to the museum?"

"It opens at nine. I know that going there isn't your cup of tea, so if you don't want to ... I won't make you."

"No - I'm looking forward to it. I've really been enjoying spending the past couple of days with you. So, what do you want to do the rest of the evening?"

"I say we order a pizza, watch some television, and talk. I'm pretty sure that mom has a list of questions she wants you to ask me, even down to finding out my shoe size." Dorian put his hand on his father's shoulder and laughed.

When Dorian and Jake returned from the Museum of Medical Oddities, they were told that the closing speech had been cancelled because Mr. Barlowe had been rushed to the hospital after his balloon crashed into a group of trees. The news made Jake's face pale slightly. They decided to go back to their room, gather their luggage, and check out. The Landons were leaving the elevator and the Morgendorffers wished them a safe trip back home. Jake called Helen from the hotel room. Dorian heard the words giant sleepover followed by the sound of laughter coming from his father's mouth. After hanging up the phone, Jake and Dorian loaded their luggage onto a cart and headed out the door. Jake filled Dorian in on the events at Schloss Morgendorffers the night before. I can't wait to hear about this one from Jane.

Once they checked out, they took the hotel's shuttle back to the airport. They ate a light lunch and went into one of the gift shops and bought everyone souvenirs. Even though Dorian had already picked Jane up a book and mug from the Medical Oddities museum, he decided to get her one more book - this one was about the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As they waited for their plane, Dorian flipped through the book and started making notes. Dorian closed the book when he heard the flight's boarding call.

Jane woke up around noon and stretched out in Dorian's bed. A slight feeling of loneliness came over her as she laid there. The loneliness was quickly replaced by warmth as she thought about the last time she had slept on that bed. A knock on the door broke her from her revelry and she got up to answer it. Quinn and Stacy were standing in the hallway and asked Jane for another one of her video tapes. Rummaging through her bag, she took one out and handed it to them before heading to the bathroom. They invited her to join them after she got out.

After a quick shower, Jane went towards Quinn's room to find it empty. Much to her surprise, she heard the downstairs television on. Everyone was sitting on the couch and commenting on one of the episodes. Dorian and Jake arrived home around seven to find the six women wrapped up in watching a marathon of "Dark Shadows". There were popcorn bowls and pizza boxes, and soda cans on the table. Hearing the front door closed, Helen turned around and saw Dorian and Jake looking at everyone with matching grins on their faces. Helen slid over and made room for Jake while Jane moved off the couch to sit on the floor with Dorian. She handed him a slice of pizza and some of her soda. After a couple more episodes, Dorian and Jake passed out their gifts. Dorian walked upstairs so that he could unpack. A few minutes later, Jane entered the room. Dorian put his arms around her as they shared a long kiss.

"Your Aunt Amy and Lillian are going to drive Stacy and me home in fifteen minutes. You know, Quinn and Stacy aren't so bad as long as Sandi isn't around. I think your mom and aunt have buried the hatchet and are starting to become friends. At least that's how it felt when they were teasing me mercilessly about us. It was nice in a way though, because my parents haven't been around for me to even tell them about you. What about you ... how was your weekend with Jake?"

"Not to bad. We took in a hockey game, went to the medical museum and just hung out. Last night, we talked about a lot of things and it made me think about when he had that heart attack last year. Then I realized, that this weekend almost didn't happen, I could have lost him." Dorian sat down on his bed, looking down at his floor.

Jane sat down beside him and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. "Yes, you could have ... but you didn't. I know you love him Dorian, but when was the last time you or Daria told him or your mom or Quinn that?"

Dorian turned to her and stared into her azure eyes. "I can't remember."

"Maybe you should more often. I better go. I'll see you tomorrow morning." Jane kissed his cheek as she stood up.

Dorian walked her downstairs and waved at everybody as they left. After closing the front door, Dorian turned to his parents. "Dad, thanks for letting me go with you this weekend. I had a pretty good time."

"So did I kiddo and from what your mom and Quinn have told me, they had a pretty good weekend as well."

"I'm going to head to bed, have a good night and I know I don't say it enough - I love you." Dorian headed up the stairs.

"Did he just say what I thought he said?" Jake asked as the fog lifted.

"Yes, dad he did. Mom, dad ... night." Quinn went upstairs and stopped at Dorian's door. "Daria - I love you too," Quinn whispered.