"Mole? Somebody get me a dermatologist!"
A Daria/Mole crossover by Belle Book


Daria Morgendoffer, her family, Jane Lane, and Tom Sloane are the property of MTV. The contestants and host are my own creation, though some of the characteristics of the contestants are inspired by those in the first American Mole series. And I got the names of the producers of Teen Mole, Craig Borders and Paul Morzella (the producers of the first Mole series) from the Internet Movie Database website.

The idea for this fanfic actually came to me toward the end of The Mole's first season in America. I thought that Daria would make a perfect contestant for The Mole, if she was old enough, since she's good at ferreting out clues, and that's when the idea came: why not put Daria on a teenage version of The Mole, complete with a younger, slightly less genial host, plus eight other contestants who easily suspect her, and one Mole? Of course, I'd have to get Daria on against her will, and add a character that could help her ease into this difficult situation, and hence Tom was added to the cast, and Jane came on board as well to get Daria on the show.

So, come with me and see what happens when a treacherous best friend and an equally traitorous boyfriend conspire to get past Daria's defenses and get her on Teen Mole!


Scene 1: Outside the Lawndale Post Office, one Saturday in mid-March

It's a typical late Saturday morning in Lawndale, USA. Outside the Lawndale Post Office, people are rushing in to drop off packages before the mail people deliver them to the intended addresses.

A somewhat beat-up tan car pulls up outside the post office. The driver, one Tom Sloane, steps out of the car, carrying a small, rectangular package in one hand, and a larger, rectangular package looking like a bunch of papers in the other. He goes inside the post office, obviously intent on dropping off the mysterious packages.

At about the same time, a teenaged girl can be seen from a distance, speed-walking up towards the post office. Her name is Jane Lane.

As Jane approaches the post office, Tom comes out, without the packages. Jane sees him before he sees her.

Jane: Yo, Tom!

Tom (turning and smiling at her): Hey, Jane! I see you're speed-walking, as usual.

Jane: Yeah. This is just one of the various routes I take whenever I speed-walk. I had to get out of the house today -- Trent's snoring even more than usual, and it was driving me up the wall. What were YOU doing inside the post office? Submitting a short story of some kind? (1)

Tom: No, that would be Daria. Actually, I was submitting an application for Teen Mole, and I was planning on going over to Daria's and telling her about it.

Jane: Teen Mole? Is that some new dermatological item coming out on the market?

Tom (smirking): No, it's a spin-off of that recent reality-TV show The Mole. That's the only show of that kind I'd ever watch.

Jane: Oh right, right. I've heard of that show. The Mole, huh? Well, at least it's better than that Survivor crap.

Tom (smirking): Tell me about it.

Jane (thoughtfully): You know, Daria would make an excellent contestant on that show. She's so good at observing people and ferreting things out, she might even win the jackpot at the end.

Tom: Maybe. But you have to volunteer for Teen Mole. And this IS Daria we're talking about here. I doubt she'd knowingly volunteer.

Jane (suddenly inspired): Who says she has to knowingly apply?

Tom (confused): Huh?

Jane: How did you apply for Teen Mole, anyway?

Tom: I filled out the print-outs from ABC's website, had Elsie videotape me explaining why I wanted to be on Teen Mole, and scanned a photo of myself from Fielding Preparatory Academy's yearbook onto my computer, then printed it out. Why did you ask?

Jane (suddenly smirking): You have a blank videocassette? And a camcorder?

Tom: I have both. Elsie used the camcorder to videotape me.

Jane: Come, Igor. We've got a very reluctant subject to get on Teen Mole.

Tom thinks for a moment, then smirks as he seems to realize what Jane has in mind.

Tom (in his best Igor imitation): Lead on, Mithreth. (The two conspirators get into Tom's car.)


Scene 2: the Morgendoffer home base, after lunch

Daria Morgendoffer is lying on her bed in her room, looking up at the ceiling, when the doorbell rings downstairs. Moments later, we switch to the point of view of her mother, Helen, as she answers the door.

Helen: Jane! How nice to see you!

Jane: Where's Daria?

Helen: She's upstairs in her room. Want me to call her down here?

Jane: Sure.

However, when Daria heard her mother speaking to Jane, she immediately got up and left her room, walking downstairs.

Helen: Never mind, here she is. I have to go now. I've got a lawsuit that's coming to settlement today, and I can't be late!

As she leaves, Daria turns to Jane.

Daria: If you want me to go have some pizza, you'll have to wait a couple of hours. I had lunch a half-hour ago.

Jane: Actually, I came to talk to you about something.

Daria (letting Jane in): What?

The two sit down on the sofa in the living room.

Jane: Earlier this morning, I went speed-walking to get away from Trent's snoring. My route would've taken me past the post office, except that I met Tom coming out of the post office. He told me he was applying for Teen Mole.

Daria: Mole? Did Tom have to go to a dermatologist?

Jane (smirking): No, it's not THAT kind of a Mole. Teen Mole is a spin-off of a reality-TV show called The Mole.

Daria (sarcastically): Reality-TV? Oh joy. Just what I always wanted -- another rip-off of Survivor.

Jane: Actually, The Mole is more of a who-dunit. A bunch of contestants go travelling around various foreign locales, accompanied by a host. They must solve various challenges, and each challenge solved adds money to a jackpot. All but one of the contestants compete to win the prize -- the one who does not is really the Mole, a saboteur hired by the producers to sabotage at least some of the challenges while going undetected.

Daria: And the winner must stop the Mole from sabotaging the game, right?

Jane (smirking): No, the winner must figure out who the Mole is and keep the other genuine contestants from figuring out the most about the Mole. Every few days there will be a quiz, and the one who knows the least about the Mole is "executed" and has to leave the game. Some of this I already knew about, and Tom told me the rest.

Daria: So, Teen Mole is the Mole with teenagers?

Jane: Yeah. You know, when I learned about Teen Mole, I told Tom you'd make an excellent contestant.

Daria: You forget my policy of non-volunteerism at all costs.

Jane: Tom reminded me of that. Still, who says you can't do a mock-application, just for the fun of it?

Daria: A mock-application?

Jane: Yeah. I managed to find the camcorder I used for the Jane-Cam project, and I don't have any blank videotapes. At least, you can make fun of all those reasons why people like Tom volunteer for these shows.

Daria (after a moment's pause): Where's the camcorder?


Scene 3: Casa Lane

Jane and Daria are in Jane's room, where the camcorder is set up.

Jane: Here it is. All set up for your mock-application. Also set up are these papers.

She points to a packet of papers on her bed which look a lot like print-outs.

Daria: I thought you said this was a mock-application.

Jane: It is. These papers are print-outs from the Mole website on ABC. You have to write a mock-questionnaire about yourself, and make a mock-video about why you want to be on Teen Mole. There's no videotape in the camcorder, so nobody will see you, and without a videotape of yourself or a face-to-face encounter with somebody at an open-call audition --

Daria: Which I would never go to.

Jane: Right -- you would not get on Teen Mole. Nor would you get on Teen Mole if you didn't have a photo of yourself along with the questionnaire and the videotape. And I'm not planning on taking a picture of you, so you won't have to worry about a photo of yourself.

Daria: All right. So, what do I do first?

Jane: First, we shoot the mock-video, then you complete the questionnaire.

Daria: Let's get started then.

Jane turns to pick up the camcorder, smirking as she does so. Fortunately for her, her back is turned, so Daria doesn't see the smirk. Jane turns the camcorder on, then turns to Daria.

Jane: Okay, Daria. I'm ready.


Commercial: A shot of Daria and Jane conversing about Teen Mole in the living room, followed by a shot of Jane meeting Tom outside the post office, then a shot of Daria and Jane in Casa Lane, and finally a shot of Helen opening the door for Jane.


Scene 4: Headquarters of Stone Stanley Productions in LA, approximately one week later

The producers of Teen Mole, Craig Borders and Paul Morzella, are examining applications for the show when Morzella picks up one of the applications.

Morzella: Here's an application from a Ms. Daria Morgendoffer, 1111 Glen Oaks Lane, Lawndale.

As he opens a packet full of print-outs and another one containing a videotape, we're treated to a flashback sequence: first Jane takes a videotape out of the camcorder; next, we see her on the computer, scanning a photo of Daria from the Lawndale High Yearbook onto her computer; then, we see her printing out the photo; then, we see her typing both Daria's return address and the address of Teen Mole onto labels; then, placing the labels onto the two packets Morzella now holds; then, we see her placing the printouts and the videotape in the packets; and finally, we see her slip the packets into Daria's mailbox before getting back into Trent's car.

Borders: Lawndale. Didn't we get another application from Lawndale?

Morzella: Yes. One Tom Sloane. He goes to Fielding Preparatory Academy. Also, I think he put Daria's name down as his significant other.

Borders: Let me see. (He gets Tom's questionnaire from a file folder of applicants who might be possible Semi-finalists and examines it briefly.) Yes, he put down his significant other as being Daria Morgendoffer. However, he goes to Fielding Preparatory Academy, which is a private school. Daria might go to the local public school.

Morzella: Yes. I'm going to put the videotape in our VCR. At least we can see if she is a possible Semi-finalist, if it turns out she and Tom go to different schools.

Morzella puts the tape in the VCR, and the first thing we see is Daria, staring at the camera. Then we hear Jane's voice off-stage, explaining that she's ready.

Daria: Before I begin, I wish to say that applying to be a contestant on Teen Mole was not my idea. I was coerced into it by my treacherous best friend. And I promise you that once I'm done, I am going to kill her -- slowly and most painfully.

Jane (sounding surprisingly calm for a girl who had just been threatened): I'm shaking in my boots already. Now, why don't you tell the producers why you want to be on Teen Mole.

Daria: Why do I want to be on Teen Mole? Let me count the ways. First, it would get me out of the house for a lengthy amount of time, and at least two months sooner than expected, a possibility that would fulfill my sister Quinn's fondest dream -- something that I'd be all too happy not to fulfill, even though I would do almost anything to get as far away from her as I possibly can.

The producers smiled at this; they saw potential already.

Daria (continuing): Second, leaving the house would also require leaving my room and my bed. I'd no longer hear the familiar click of the deadbolt as I lock the door to my room, the tomblike hush of my padded walls, and the soothing sound of the television, a combination which all but drowns out any inane prattle that the members of my family might make. And I'd no longer have the opportunity to stare at the ceiling for long periods of time. Instead, I'd be travelling through Europe in a van, extremely uncomfortable, and without a place to hide from any inane prattle. Oh, joy. (Sarcasm drips from her voice as she said it.)

Jane(joining in the sarcasm): Any other positive things about being on Teen Mole?

Daria: Yes. I'd leave my family and the shallow folks who mostly comprise Lawndale behind -- to travel through Europe with nine other contestants who would be complete strangers to me, and who, despite probably being deeper and more intelligent than much of Lawndale, would expect me to be just as friendly and outgoing with them as those same shallow and stupid people back in Lawndale. At least at Lawndale, I can choose whom I would like to assoicate with.

The producers were chuckling at this point, clearly amused.

Jane: But what about the challenge of solving a puzzle? Of figuring out who the Mole is? And the possibility of actually winning the jackpot?

Daria: Yes, that's probably the only thing that really attracts me to being a contestant on Teen Mole: the challenge of figuring out the identity of the Mole, and the possibility that I could win the money. The money could definitely help put me through college, and I would probably give half of the jackpot to my best friend Jane, if I won it. And I'd probably like trying to figure out who the Mole is. How many minutes have you been taping?

Jane: Nearly three minutes. Do you think you would make a good Teen Mole contestant?

Daria: Sure. I'd probably make an excellent Teen Mole contestant. I'm good at fading into the background, or conversely, at distracting the attention of others due to my natural charisma. And by distracting others, I can watch them very carefully, observe their actions, and try to tell the difference between a person pretending to be the Mole, and the actual Mole.

Jane: You got past the three-minute mark, Daria.

Daria: So, that's why I want to be on Teen Mole. Once I've figured out how to kill my best friend in a slow and painful manner, that is.

The screen goes black, and Morzella turns off the VCR, beginning to laugh hard. Borders is also laughing hard.

Borders: She's definitely got potential. What do you think?

Morzella: Well, let's read her questionnaire. If she's as sarcastic in writing as she was in that "interview", I think we might not even have to ask her to come to LA as a Semi-finalist. Do you think she really meant to kill her best friend, Jane, who I presume was the one videotaping Daria?

Borders: No. I think she was primarily letting off steam or just teasing.

They begin reading the questionnaire together. At one point, they stop reading and chuckle.

Morzella (reading): "Describe yourself." Here's Daria's reply: "I'm a sensitive teenage girl whom many describe as the misery chick, one who has low self-esteem. That's not true. I don't have low self-esteem -- I just have low esteem of many others."

Borders: And take a look at this one -- "What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?" Daria's reply: "Getting away from Beavis and Butt-head."

Morzella (reading): "What bad habits do you have that we should know about?" Daria's reply: "My best trait -- cutting airheads down to size."

Borders (reading): "What types of people would you choose NOT to have with you on the Mole?" Daria's reply: "Airheads, jerks, poseurs, and the brain-dead in general." Clever, witty remarks; sarcasm; a definite ability to make people believe you might be the Mole; -- what do you think?

Morzella: We just got our first Contestant. However, it would be too obvious to make her the Mole.

Borders: Yes, we probably should just make her a Contestant. And since she goes to Lawndale High, not Fielding Prep, if her boyfriend makes as positive an impression on us as she does, we could easily make him one of our Contestants or even the Mole, since social skills aren't one of her strongest traits.

They shook hands, a sign of agreement.


Scene 5: The Morgendoffer Home Base, a few weeks later

Daria brings in the mail for her father, Jake, who's currently sitting on the sofa, working on one of his many consulting assignments.

Daria: Mail. (Jake takes the mail and opens one envelope addressed to him.)

Jake: Goddamnit! Lousy, stupid insurance companies! What do they think I am, a sponge?

Daria (trying to distract her father): What about the rest of the mail?

Jake: Oh, yeah. (He picks up another envelope.) This is for you, Daria.

Daria picks it up, and reads the return address. When she sees it's from Stone Stanley Productions, she frowns.

Daria (to herself): Why would the producers of Teen Mole write to me? How would they have gotten hold of my address? Unless -- (she stops, as an unpleasant thought suddenly occurs to her. Out loud,) I'll read it upstairs.

She goes upstairs, in her absorption narrowly avoiding running into Quinn. Once inside her room, she opens the envelope, and begins reading the letter.

Daria (reading): Dear Ms. Morgendoffer, we're happy to inform you that you have been selected as a contestant on Teen Mole -- (she hurriedly reads through the rest of it, then looks up, her suspicions confirmed.) I smell a Lane.

Quinn (overhearing and misunderstanding, enters): Ewwww! Gross! Daria, doesn't your weird art friend bathe or something? (Daria walks past her.) Where are you going?

Daria: I'm a-hunting a Lane! (The doorbell rings as she walks toward the door.) And she's right on time.

Daria opens the door -- in time to see Tom!

Tom: Hey!

Daria: YOU'RE not Jane!

Tom: I think she's at her house.

Daria: That's where I'm going.

Tom: Mind if I tag along? I have some news to tell you, and if you're heading to Jane's, I might as well let her know as well.

Daria: Oh, all right.


Scene 6: Casa Lane, about a minute later

Jane hears the doorbell ring. Puzzled, she opens the door.

Jane: Daria!

Daria: I'm going to kill you. Very slowly.


Commercial break: Morzella puts Daria's video in the VCR, Tom is seen outside Daria's door, the producers are reading Daria's questionnaire, and Daria reads the letter from Stone Stanley Productions.


Scene 7: Inside Casa Lane, about a minute later

Jane has escorted Daria and Tom inside.

Jane: And to what do I owe such an honor?

Daria: This!

She thrusts the letter into Jane's face. Jane takes it and reads it.

Jane (reading): "Dear Ms. Morgendoffer, we're happy to inform you that you've been selected as a contestant on Teen Mole. Maybe you don't know what an honor this is. Normally, we select Semi-finalists whom we invite to L.A. so we can meet them in person. From the Semi-finalists, we then select ten Contestants. However, you've been chosen as a Contestant without having to go through the process of being a Semi-finalist. Your insightful remarks on your video and your questionnaire were what enabled us to select you this quickly. We have little doubt that you will make an excellent Contestant, and be a fine representative of teenagers in America.

"Once we have selected the other 8 genuine Contestants and the Mole, we will let you know where you have to go to begin the game.

"Once again, congraulations, and we wish you all the best as you begin the most important journey of your life so far.

Craig Borders and
Paul Morzella, Producers"

Tom: Wow! That's great, Daria! I have to go to L.A. early in May as a Semi-finalist, and you already got on the show!

Daria: You're a Semi-finalist?

Tom: Yep. I just got the letter today, and I went over to tell you. (Reads his letter.) "Dear Mr. Sloane: We are happy to inform you that you've been selected as a Semi-finalist on Teen Mole. We have enclosed plane tickets with this letter, so you can fly with your parents to our studio in L.A. the first few days in May, where we will interview you. If you impress us in person as much as or even more than your application has done, you will probably be one of our remaining Contestants or even the Mole.

"Once again, congraulations, and we plan to see you soon.

Craig Borders and
Paul Morzella, Producers"

Daria: So, you might also be a Contestant.

Tom: If I impress them favorably when I meet them in person. You don't have to worry -- you charmed them into picking you without your having to meet them in person.

Jane (smirking): Well, we both know how charismatic Daria can be.

Tom (smirking back): Indeed.

Daria (looking from Jane to Tom): Okay, is there something going on here? I know Jane somehow got a photo of me and taped me without my knowledge, but is there more to this conspiracy than I thought?

Jane (nervously): Uh, actually, I got rid of the camcorder that served as the Jane-Cam long ago.

Tom: I provided her with the camcorder. And with the blank video she used to tape you without your knowledge.

Jane: It was my idea, actually. I thought you would make a great Teen Mole contestant, but Tom reminded me about your tendency to avoid volunteering for anything. I then thought, "Why not trick you into applying?" Since I'd gotten rid of the Jane-Cam after the big argument with Tom (2), I needed another camcorder.

Tom: And since Elsie used our camcorder to tape me, I lent it to Jane.

Daria gives Tom and Jane a look that could kill.

Tom: Well, I might as well go now. Hey, Daria, tomorrow, why don't we begin looking at the episodes of the first Mole series? Maybe we can pick up some tips that might help you when you're playing Teen Mole.

Daria: Tomorrow? Why not tonight? We can sit very close to each other with your arm around me. It'd be that much easier to get at your neck.

Tom (smirking): That's why. I'll see you tomorrow, Daria.

As Tom leaves, Daria turns to Jane.

Daria: I hate you.

Jane (smirking): I know. So, going to kill me very slowly?

Daria: Much as I'd love to, I don't know what good that'll do me. However, I might have to go shopping for a new best friend and a new boyfriend.

Jane (smirking): Sure you will. Look, we have school tomorrow, so I have to say good-bye to you. See you in school.

Daria says good-bye, then leaves.


Daria's room, sometime in mid-May

Daria is watching an announcement for the next episode of "Sick Sad World".

SSW Announcer: Can there be moles out there that actually have the ability to transform into people and mingle into a crowd? The infiltrating shape-shifters next on Sick Sad World!

The phone in Daria's room rings. A moment later, Quinn's voice could be heard.

Quinn (off-stage): Daria! It's Tom!

Daria (taking the phone): Hello?

(Split screen with Tom)

Tom: Daria? I just wanted to tell you -- I'm a Contestant on Teen Mole! Looks like we both will be on the show.

Daria: I wonder how the viewers, watching the game later on, will react when they see an attempt actually made on your life?

Tom (smirking): Maybe the person you hire will miss.

Daria: Who said I'd hire anybody to do the job?

Tom (still smirking): You could still miss. Anyway, we've still got one episode of The Mole to watch.

Daria: I think Kathryn's the Mole. Steven's too obvious. And I've eliminated Jim thanks to his running ability in the Test Trap.

Tom: Well, the final episode will tell if you're right or not. And if you are, you really are very good. You suspected Kathryn from the second episode.

Daria: Her misleading the other contestants in the Iron Mask Challenge was a tell-tale clue, in my opinion.

Tom: Very clever. Anyway, gotta go. See you tomorrow. (He hangs up.)

Daria: I have to go to Europe with Tom and eight other complete strangers? And one of them is the Mole? Somebody get me a dermatologist!

To be continued in Chapter 1

1. A reference to "The Story of D"

2. A reference to "Psycho Therapy"