"With the help of her friends"


Bob Marley

(Well gee, by this time, do you really need an opening notation from me when you read my stuff?  Here's one anyway.  This fic follows the timeline of the series, and starts immediately after Daria receives the phone call from Tom that ended "Dye, dye, my darling."  Like, "A mid-spring day's delirium", I'm going to be crossing some lines, breaking some china, playing mind games, and just generally going at this latest development in Daria's life from my usual unusual perspective.  So, before I start and I hope you don't mind, but I need to ask, did you... Y'know, go?  Because I don't want you to have to get up right in the middle of reading this for... Y'know.  Okay?  Good deal.  Now that we're all comfortable, forward march!)

[Establishing shot, we're in Daria's room and across from her bed where she is sitting with the telephone.  She looks decidedly anxious.  A moment later, she's gets up and starts to pace with her arms crossed.]

Music: Godsmack "Keep away"

Daria(Talking to herself): Good work Morgendorffer.  Dammit.  What the hell am I supposed to do?  Do I lock myself in here for the next year and a half or go get started on birth control?

(Looking mortified, she sits down again on the bed, contemplating that last thought.)

Daria(Thought VO: "Talking to yourself again, hmm?"): Oh, shut up!

[The next morning, side establishing shot once again, Daria is walking down the halls of LHS looking downright depressed.  Jane is noticeably absent.  Following OH as she walks, we see her pass Andrea who is standing up against a locker to the side of a classroom doorway.  She looks like.... Andrea.]

Andrea(Eyebrow quirked.): So what did Lane do to you?

(Daria tries not to look shocked, trying to regain her composure.)

Daria(Turning to face Andrea.): I'm not sure I know...  I mean,  I.

Andrea(Non-committal, she shrugs her shoulders): It's okay.  If you don't want to talk to me, just say so.

Daria(Confused, but being honest): No, that's not it.  Jane didn't.  (Looking lost and sad, Andrea is surprised slightly by how open she is.)  I didn't want any of this to happen.  It just did.

Andrea(The light of respect enters her eyes.): And you went ahead and told your friend anyway?  Cool..

Daria(Feeling more at ease, if that's possible.): Wait a minute, so you don't think I'm a total back-stabbing bitch who deserves to suffer horribly for kissing the boyfriend of her up to now only friend?

Andrea(Slightly quizzical.): Hey, you said it.  (With a somewhat self mocking smile) I guess I didn't get it until I heard what you said at Payday, but you do really care about other people, don't you?

Daria(Unsure and uncomfortable about how to take that, she blushes.):  I don't....  Look, just don't spread it around?  (She turns to go.)

Andrea(Almost an outright smile): Hey, wait... (Daria stops, back still turned.) Maybe you don't know it, but a lot of people respect you around here and not just because you're smart.  (Pointing her thumb at herself.) People like me.  (Pausing, then) Jane's lucky to have you for a friend.

Daria(Still unwilling to let herself feel better and unsure if Andrea is being sarcastic.): Uh.. Thanks.  (Turning to face Andrea again.) Maybe, I'll see you around?

Andrea(Still smiling slightly.): Yeah, maybe. (She walks away.)

[Daria watches her go, still looking confused, before she lets a slight smirk make it to the surface.  Obviously lost in thought, she starts walking again.]

[Above panoramic shot, we're in a familiar location (To the reader's of "You don't know Mack" anyway.), the Lawndale Presbyterian Church parking lot.  From above we go to a behind and back shot of a familiar green jacket clad figure looking at the well lit shed situated behind the main church building.  The doors are open and inside we see the form of one Michael Jordan Mackenzie, Eagle Scout, in full dress uniform and apparently studying from a good sized textbook.  We shift to a shot directly in front of the squared away looking Captain of the LHS Varsity Football team.]

Music: Bob Marley "Redemption Song"

Daria(Walking to the entrance, she knocks on the doorjamb enquiringly.): Are you busy?

Mack(Looking up, surprised but pleased): Oh hey, didn't see much of you around school today.  What brings you out here?

Daria(Looking very unsure, she obviously doesn't want to open up.): I don't know.. I mean, I don't want to.

Mack(Seeing that something is really wrong, he gets up and comes over.): No, it's okay, I did tell you any time you wanted to have a conversation, just ask.  You want to come in?

Daria(Still resisting but finally relenting, she comes in and sits down on an old office chair across from Mack's desk.): I, yes.  Yes I do.

Mack(Sitting down on an old piano stool across from her.): Okay, what's going on?

Daria(Still looking depressed.): I'm in a difficult situation with Jane right now.

Mack(Guessing about it already.): The thing with her boyfriend, right?  I heard about what happened.  That must have really been hard.

Daria(Blushing, she avoids Mack's eyes while looking angry.): Great, is there anyone at school who doesn't know what a total hypocrite I am?

Mack(A little surprised by that, looks concerned.): I don't pay much attention to rumors.  Actually, I was kind of hoping you'd get around to telling me what really happened.

Daria(Surprised Mack would care that much about her.  She looks up at him.): Well, Jane's boyfriend Tom shows up at my place.  I know they've been having problems for a while and he wants to talk to me, so I get in his car.  We're talking about how he and Jane are basically through, he's telling me how he feels about her and me.  I'm trying to defend my friendship with Jane against this rogue guy who just.. And then, well, it just happened!!  (Frustrated, she can't even look Mack in the eye's again.) I look over, he kisses me..  I can't believe it, and..  (Usual blown away look as the realization hits her again, spoken quietly.) I go back for more.  Then I ran like hell.

Mack(Really surprised and smiling at her.): Wow. No offense, but I don't know whether to envy or hate this guy, Tom.

Daria(Finally looking back up at him.): I don't know how I should feel either.  I mean, I guess I wanted to talk to someone who's in a relationship, who I know will be honest with me.

Mack(Still smiling.): And you didn't go to Kevin or Brittany first?  I'm flattered.

Daria(Laughs at that, but then goes serious again.): Well, I know you and Jodie don't.  (Mack's smile fades and he stiffens imperceptibly.) And I know you've been in a situation where you couldn't ever know if you did the right thing, so.  (See "You don't know, Mack." for that.)

Mack(Finishing the thought for her.): You wanted to get some advice from someone who can at least relate to what you're going through, right now?

Daria(Trying to figure out what she said wrong, she nods.): Uh, yes.

Mack(Looking sad himself, then looking at Daria again.): I have to be honest with you.  With me and Jodie, it's never been that way, sometimes I wish it was.  I can try to talk to you from my experience with no-win situations, but about what you felt that made you go back for more.  Well...  (Mack shrugs his shoulder's, helpless.) I'm not sure I know.

Daria(A little disappointed, but determined to follow through.): I, it's okay.  At least you can tell me what you think.  I know you can't tell me what I feel.

Mack(Nods, glad she understands): That's cool.  I guess, the best advice I can give you is just go for the ride.  Take what happens, take it as far as it will go and try not to regret anything.  And if it's more important to let it go, for whatever reason, just let it go.  You're smart, you've got common sense, you'll make the right decision.

Daria(Almost a smile as she looks up at him.): You really think so?

Mack(Smiles down at her.): Yeah, I do.

Daria(Getting up, she offers her hand to Mack, who looks happily surprised): Thank you for that, Mack.

Mack(Taking her hand, he smiles openly at her.): Hey, it's the scout slogan.  (Saluting her with a flourish of his right hand.) And don't worry about what the people at school think, you may not know it, but a lot of them respect you.

Daria(Surprised, that's the second time she's heard something like that today.): Guess I'll see you at school then.  (She let's go of Mack's hand and walks out, still not quite normal, but with less of a sense of impending doom in her step.)

Mack(Watches her leave, smile still on his face, he shakes his head): Yeah, see you later.  (Pauses a moment) Okay, I envy the guy.

(Still smiling quietly, he returns to the desk and gets back to work.)

Music: Everclear, "Wonderful"

[Yet another establishing shot, we're back with Daria in her room on her bed, deja vu back to the beginning.  We watch as she picks up the handset and dials.]

Daria(Looking nervous, but resolute): Hello, Tom?

The End

(HEHEheheheh... whew.  I'm evil.  Yep, sorry to disappoint you guys reading this but I wanted to avoid contradicting anything that happens in the movie and I'm not sure where to go with this whole thing yet.  Maybe I'll figure out a way to expand this bit without sacrificing too much continuity between my writing and the series.  Can you tell I'm enjoying this?  Also, in case anyone is curious, the scout slogan is "Do a good turn daily" which was what I was shooting for with Mack.  No, I'm not going to have Daria drop Tom for him but I'm hoping to establish Mr. Mackenzie as someone who does potentially care about Daria and will be there for her to confide in without any of the whole sexual tension deal cropping up.  If anyone has any ideas about how to expand this let me know.  Also, all characters copyright MTV etc. etc. Glenn Eichler, thank you for the work you've done in bringing this series to television.  As usual, my e-mail address is h_mycroft@hotmail.com and let the spamfest begin, I'm sure I must have annoyed somebody with this little voyage into the nether world?  Thanks in advance.  Also, there's no guarantee that Andrea respects Daria for the same reasons Mack does...  She's... Andrea.  Let's just say I still don't know enough about her to really say one way or another what she really thinks.