A tale of life of the young Lawndalians after the movie "Is It College Yet?" Also, the impact's here is on how cash affects all their lives. A sequel may be coming.
Daria (and associated characters and locations) is copyright © 1997-2000 MTV Networks.
This story is copyright © 2002 by Bacner ( ) and has been written for personal enjoyment. No infringement of the above rights is intended.
Daria Morgendorffer glumly looked outside. The rain fell on and on, like tears of a star- "Jane!"
"One of your dumb songs - it got stuck in my head!"
"Hey-hey-hey, the songs aren't mine!"
"Yeah, but you're humming them all the time!"
"Hey, I have to! I mean, I don't want to be like Trent!"
"No, that would require you growing a goatee, I believe, and having some Polynesian tattoos."
"Well, I could have tattoos, but a goatee - no way, Morgendorffer!"
"Then you won't be like Trent."
"And I said that that's my point!.. You know, it grows late. Let's continue with this yarn later."
"You're right. Study time's over, let us enter our personal inferno."
"Speak for yourself. I kind of like music."
Daria Morgendorffer exited her suite and looked around. All was clear, the hall monitors were absent - naturally. It was still too early for them to be active, but that state of things wouldn't continue for long. Daria ruffled through her hair that she had cut short to avoid hair-care advice from the local version of FC, put-in her lenses (for a change) and went out.
Jane winced. "For how many times do I have to tell you, Meg, that Lane is my brother's homing call? Call me Jane or anything else but Lane."
The taller Meg rolled her eyes. Jane still couldn't believe that she was in any sort of a team with her, let alone a band. Meg was really a scholarship girl - apparently if art colleges needed some athletic persons on campus - but because this was an art college, Meg's athletics were considerably less, compared to, say, Kevin Thompson, whatever he was doing right now. Meg's speciality wasn't football though; it was volleyball. And basketball, nevermind the racial stereotype.
"Droogs? Are we going play yet?" spoke the third member of their band, the Music Box.
Meg and Jane crossed their eyes at the same member. Judith was a daughter of Rodion and Sonya Zlato, two immigrants from Ural Mountains or something. Judith was about an inch shorter than Jane, and had some sort of a fascination with copper. She even died her hair that colour. Her parents, however, were too busy with their respective careers as jewellers to worry about her. And Judith was very good at staying out of sight and trouble; some students believed that she could pass through walls. Her English, however, wasn't in tip-top shape.
'So here I am," Jane thought silently. 'In a band with Judith "Slick" Zlato and Meg Hughson, about to play gigs in a bar. Gods, I blame Trent!'
"She's right," she said outloud to Meg instead. "The Solar Drop's manager won't pay us for arguing about name-calls. Are we ready or what?"
"Let's go," replied Meg. "But Jane - this discussion isn't over."
"Is it ever?"
Daria by now was out of her dormitory, walking through the darkened Boston streets. "Damn imagination," she muttered. "And damn my Literature teacher for getting us started on Dante. Just what I need before going to work - quotes from "Inferno" going through my head."
Daria turned around and tried to perk-up. "Well, at least I have done my homework!"
Brittany Taylor was unhappy. No, make that very, very unhappy. Dumb Kevin has phoned again, complaining that nobody respected him anymore back home. Big deal. Here she was, formerly head cheerleader of Lawndale High, about to submit to her nightly dose of humiliation, all to scrape some dumb cash.
"It's not fair," Brittany turned down to her dog, Ronald. "Just because Brian goes and lands dad and Ashley-Amber in a lawsuit of arson, doesn't mean I can get cut-off! Oh, and mom isn't about to do anything about me, either! Life sucks!"
Ronald woofed. He was a big dog, part Rottweiler at least. He had to eat at least two "logs" of sausage and a lot of frankfurters as well nightly. Yet Brittany never regretted that. Being around with Ronald meant being around with a very capable and impressive partner. And Brittany needed to have around a very capable and impressive partner, because as a local rent-a-cop she didn't look like a very impressive sight. 'Course, when some people got to know her worser side, they changed her mind. Those self-defence courses during her teenage years really paid-off. 'Course, so did those trips to local physical fitness gym that Brittany was undertaking every weekend.
"And Kevin says that he's losing his good looks!" Brittany turned to Ronald. "Look at me! I'm not even like a cheerleader any more! I mean, I'm getting like smart! And- and muscular!" Brittany didn't want to look overly muscular. She might lose Ronald or something.
"Woof!" the guard-dog said.
Brittany looked at his slightly dopey-face and sighed. "Ron, you're a doll of a dog, but you don't get what I'm saying, do you?"
"Well, at least you can't speak. That gets you one over Kevin."
Daria has already covered half the distance, when another person joined her, walking stride-in-stride with her, like a shadow. "Slummy sent me," Daria told the person, not faltering one step.
"Ha-ha, Morgendorffer. I knew I was going to regret that moment of revelation about Dickens, in the English class, didn't I?"
"Hey, don't get me started about the Literature course, Jackson," Daria shrugged. "At least you don't get to talk about "Inferno", "Purgatorio", and "Paradiso" for several weeks with no end in sight."
"Ye-ouch," spoke Tycho Jackson, Daria's fellow student in several courses, like English and Astronomy. "One can harp about those books for months and months of time and for pages and pages of paper." A pause. "So are you ready for tonight's?"
"Am I ever?"
"Glad to hear it."
"I can't believe it! I freaking can't believe it! What has happened? Great Depression? Devaluation of currency?!" Jodie almost wailed. "My parents would strange me if they saw me now!"
That was certainly true. However, what Jodie forgot to add that if she saw her parents now, they may be the ones to get strangled - for those paupery monthly incomes she received! Apparently, the white folks like the Morgendorffers' weren't the only ones struggling to make cash. The black folks like the Landons' did too.
And to think that Jodie once thought her parents to be rich! That was before she arrived at her place of higher education, and saw all those prices and receipts. It was then that Jodie Landon understood, that in the big wide world the scale of prices for services and goods was way off the little town of Lawndale's rocker. And sadly, she could not go back to that little town called Lawndale - her parents wouldn't understand, the narrow-minded bastards, that these weren't the 70s no more. The hippy movement was dead, and the all-mighty dollar was marching victoriously throughout the land, dictating humans what they must do.
In Jodie's case, it was to earn cash - and lots of it. And in Jodie's case, to earn that amount of cash meant spending most of nights (after she did her homework, however), working as one of the personnel in the video arcade shop. Once upon a time Jodie Landon had more activities than she could handle; now she could handle only one. And she was actually happy about it. No more beating against the doorsteps of people with power; now she only had to sit in a booth, and hand-out the right amount of coupons for the right amount of cash. The food was mainly fast food, given-out for the employees for free. Coupling that with Jodie's now rather inactive lifestyle, resulted in twenty more pounds of body weight, and climbing.
"I bet Brittany doesn't have those problems," Jodie sighed. "Or Daria, for that matter of fact. Heck, I believe that Daria is right on top of the world - or at least climbing high on it."
"I can't believe it that I've ended-up in this position: a high school graduate turned gambler, next on SSW," Daria muttered. "Well, at least I'm not hooking my body or picking pockets."
Daria had much to be grateful about, she felt so. When she quickly realized that her college tuition will just about give her the right amount to buy a rope to hand herself - nothing more - she quickly turned to other means of earning cash, like writing homework for other people. That was a good job, one single person could easily give her a $50 or a $70 just so that he or she couldn't flunk. But then she discovered gambling: it was apparently very widespread amongst her fellow students, and Daria, with her ultimate poker face, became soon very good with it.
And then along came Tycho Jackson. Jackson happened to be from Michigan, and he wasn't unlike Daria but for some points. One of them was sex. Another one was that Daria wasn't a nihilist like him. And the third, well, while Daria gambled and did homework for the new crop of Kevin Thompsons and Sandi Griffins (and let's not forget Tiffany Blum-Decklers!) in her life, Tycho bounced-out people in that watering hole for students, "Solar Drop". Also, Tycho looked very impressive physically - several summers working in a factory as a worker did that. And Daria had to admit to herself... she wouldn't mind going star-gazing with the young man one night... and she may even forget her bed roll too. But she would never admit it, not while she worked in the "Solar Drop's" shady corners, under the lax, but not too lax eye of Tycho and his superiours. A relationship here should be strictly professional amongst staff members, the policy said. Of course, few ever followed that policy... outside the club. So... who knows? Maybe she will get lucky. After all, she was now a waitress as well.
Daria idly looked at the poster. The band "Music Box" was playing in the club tonight. For some reason, the band's name looked remotely familiar.
It was some time later. Meg and Judith went straight to the bar to wet their throats, but Jane made a slight detour to chat to a certain waitress friend of hers.
"So how are we feeling? Perky?" she asked Daria.
"Hardy-har-har," Daria grimaced. "Fancy meeting you here. So who are your friends?"
"Meg and slick Judith? I don't know if we call each other friends, see? We've even met, by an accident. We've ran into this announcement, that there was a band opening, and since we know each other from the music class-"
"What music class? Yours' is an art college."
"Yeah, and its' rector, Janice Burzak, expects her students to be well-rounded in humanitarian arts. Thus - music class."
"And so you ran into each other and decided to make a band?"
"Well, it was Meg's idea. Me and Judith followed on it, 'cause you know, the moolah?"
"Jane, I'm a waitress... and that's only a part of what I do to make a living," Daria said flatly. "Yes, I know 'the moolah' part. Now sorry not to be able to stay and chat, but there's a table waiting to be served."
"Who was that?" Judith carefully asked, when Jane joined her and Meg at the bar.
"That? That was Daria, a friend of mine?"
"A friend? I didn't picture you having any friends," Meg chortled, before turning back to her own glass.
"And why not? Why's the sudden curiosity, Judith?" Jane ignored the Afro-American girl for a change.
"I don't know; I'm not sure that she's such a good friend to have around," Judith shrugged.
"Your sudden concern for the Lane here astounds me, Slick," Meg turned to copper-haired girl. "Where'd it come from though? It's not like we're good friends or anything."
Judith looked uncomfortable. "I don't know, it's just that my father, when he worked in the Red Army-"
"Your father? In the Red Army?" Jane and Meg exchanged looks.
"Yeah. He was a signal officer," Judith shrugged. "Anyways, he used to tell me that members of a team should look-out for each other, lest the whole thing cease to exist."
"I think that girl looks like trouble."
"Daria? Trouble?" Jane snorted. "We went to the same high school together in the same town; Judith, Daria is the type of a person to avoid trouble, though."
"Oh," Judith looked sort of dejected and small, like any other time she got into trouble.
Meg looked at Jane. "Hey, chin-up Slick, you've meant well. Come on, you can have my drink."
"Yeah," Jane spoke from Judith's other side. "You meant well. Thanks. We are a team, I think, even though it is unlikely that me or Meg will miss each other if the whole thing just falls apart."
"True," Meg nodded. "But speaking of the whole thing, our break is over. Let's get back and get busy."
"This is dumb," Sandi Griffin groaned. "This is really, really dumb."
Sandi Griffin surveyed her kingdom. Well, loosely speaking. Really, it was more a fiefdom, a small piece of influence even. After all, when all you said was finished and you took a good look around, a job of a manicurist-slash-cosmetician wasn't anything glamorous at all.
Sandi inwardly growled. "Mom or dad could've pulled some strings and looked nepotism aside. I'll bet that Sam and Chris won't have to put-out that financial independence and learning the ropes crap.
Things were openly lean in financial plan in Lawndale this year. Quinn has taken-up baby-sitting, Stacy was a junior janitor in the Lawndale Hospital, and Tiffany ended-up as a waitress. As a result, the Fashion Club itself was undergoing some rough times too.
"Oh wait a minute," Sandi shook her head, "we're not even a Fashion Club anymore - we've disbanded. Thanks God!" Sandi didn't even want to think how ridiculous they would look like now, as "Fashion Fiends", to quote Quinn's older sister - or was it cousin? Anyways, with weary and no-longer-too-perky Quinn and Stacy, Sandi who was slowly developing an anti-Fashion attitude, and Tiffany who was gaining weight despite her supposed fear of it, the four would look ridiculous as a FC.
But then again, Sandi doubted that other students would mind. The great ship that was America was in some rough financial waters, and everybody was having problems.
"Oh well," Sandi smirked. "At least studying in the great though impoverish educational institution calls "Llaaawndale High' will make us financially prepared for the big world."
At least, that was what Sandi Griffin really hoped.
"Well, ladies, it's a wrap," Meg turned to Jane and Judith.
"But a wrap skirt is a definite don't," Judith said suddenly.
Meg and Jane stared. "What? I think I've read it someplace," Judith defensively said.
"Must be one of those fanfic sites or something," Jane explained to Meg.
"Yes, well, Slick - I think you and us are going to have to talk about quoting various things," Meg shook her head.
"Yeah, let's pack it up and go - we've got classes later today," Jane added.
"Tonight's today already? Heavy!" Meg snorted. "Oh well Slick, Lane is right - 'tis time to go!"
"I told you not to call me Lane!" Jane groaned.
"Yo, Morgendorffer! Wait up! Slow down!"
"You'd better choose, up or down," Daria turned and waited-up for Tycho to catch-up with her. "What's the matter Nero, where's the fire?"
"Uh, nevermind that. You know, I had some chat with some of our co-workers, and I've been thinking."
"Yes?" Daria asked, keeping her facial expression carefully neutral.
"Say Daria, how would you like to go on our astronomy field trip in the beginning of the next month?"
"Is it a trick? 'Cause if it isn't, I don't have anything argue about," Daria shook her head.
"Glad to hear it. You know, Morgendorffer, I think I really like you."
"Is it a trick to get into my pants? 'Cause if it is, I advise you to cool it down a little - say, till the beginning of the next month?"
Tycho winced. "You got me Morgendorffer, your rapier wit got me skewered through the guts. Tell me, why didn't you have your own fan club back at home town?"
Daria's thoughts flashed briefly to Trent, Tom, and for some reason - Upchuck. "I don't know. Guess back then puberty wasn't involved yet."
"Oh well. Say, can I walk you to your dorm?"
"I'd love to!" Daria blurted before she could act.
"Great!" Tycho beamed back.
As the two of them walked back to Daria's dorm, Daria looked at the stars, and sighed. At least Jane wasn't around with her yenta-ing act.