“Paying For It”



How the hell did I talk myself into taking this job? Jane thought as she looked at herself in the dressing room mirror and adjusted her uniform...what there was of it.

Her early acceptance into Boston Fine Arts College had almost been the best thing that had happened to her. The best was that she and Daria had found an apartment together that they could afford and still have enough money left over to go out and be rowdy college freshmen once in a while. The down side of it all was that Jane only had enough money stashed away for one semester and part of the next. After that, she was toast.

She had decided to preempt poverty and start job hunting early. There were lots of positions available for wait staff, there always seemed to be in any city. Jane wasn’t particularly thrilled about jockeying burgers all day, so she stayed away from some places and started checking out some of the clubs around their part of the city. At most of the places she applied at, the pay was a joke, and the stack of applicants was three feet high.

Jane was about to give up and make the rounds of the restaurants greasy spoons when a classmate told of a club called Jumpers that had opened a few weeks beforehand. It was four nights a week for pay that was half again anything else she had been offered, plus all the tips she could wrangle. The only drawback was the uniforms that they had to wear, she was told, but Jane figured that she could put up with that and went in with her resume. She came out with a job.

And a uniform with less material than one of my paint rags, Jane thought as she straightened the gold clasp and white collar at her throat. Two strips of crimson, barely wider than her hand, ran from the gold clap to her hips, where they merged with the bottom. Jane was grateful that it wasn’t a thong bottom.

“Hey Jane, you about ready?” One of the bouncers called through the door.

“Almost,” Jane called back, sliding a gold spiral bracelet up her left arm to her bicep. She applied a little double-sided tape to her skin at a few strategic locations to keep her chest covered, sort of. “What’s the rush, Jim?”

“We got a new girl John wants you to keep an eye on,” The bounder said as Jane walked over to the door and opened it. “It’s her first night and she got here an hour ago.”

Jane walked out into the hall and looked waaaay up at the mountain of a man. Jim was gentile as a kitten to the girls, but protected them with a ferocity that a mother grizzly couldn’t match when things got rowdy. Jane was also pretty sure that he had a bit of a crush on her. She listened to the sounds of the club’s band blasting through the walls for a second as they walked. They were doing a Don Henley cover, she thought, and doing a pretty good job of it, judging by the sound of the crowd. Maybe she could get Trent a gig up here.

“So, where’s she at?” Jane asked as they started out front.

“Would you believe behind the bar?”


“Kelley never showed an’ Fran asked if this chick could help out. You know, pull beers, that kind of thing,” Jim said with a shrug. “She dove right in and has been goin’ to town like an old pro.”

“Huh,” Jane chuckled. “Reminds me of the time a friend of mine got shanghaied to Middleton. She ended up working the bar there till my brother and I showed up and rescued her...”

Jane stopped in med-recollection as well as mid-stride.

“What?” Jim asked

“Jim, what’s this new girl’s name?” Jane asked slowly.

“Dunno. Darla or Darci or something like that. Why?”

With a knowing smirk forming on her face, Jane headed for the door that opened to the bar with a long, purposeful stride. She pushed through the swinging door and stood there, hands on her hips, looking the “new girl” up and down.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Jane asked.

The “new girl” turned to Jane, wearing the same crimson lack of a uniform, knee boots, and the same red lipstick. She wore contacts instead of her usual glasses and it appeared that she was using a little more two-sided tape than Jane was.

“What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t help you pay for college?” Daria asked with a smirk of her own as she spun a bottle of Black Velvet end-for-end in one hand like she’d been doing it all her life.


Notes: Being “shanghaied to Middleton” is a reference to Rick Hennigan’s fic “Shaken, Not Stirred.” Jane’s uniform is shown on the Glitter Berries website in a wonderful picture by Kemical Reaxion entitled “Vampirella.”

Legal Drek: Daria and her cohorts are owned by MTV and Viacom who REALLY NEED TO RELEASE DARIA ON DVD!!