Disclaimer: Daria and associated characters are owned by MTV. This is fan fiction written for entertainment only. No money or other negotiable currency or goods have been exchanged.
This is the Fifth First Summer story and occurs during the summer between seasons 2 and 3.
Bored of the Dance
(Lane home. Jane and Daria are lounging on Jane's bed, watching television)
Daria - This sucks.
(Daria uses the remote to change channels. On the television screen, a group of women in skimpy swimsuits are running down a beach)
TV Announcer 1 - Coming up next! Bay Guards: The Movie!
Jane - This really sucks. Change it.
(Daria changes the channel. On the screen, there is a large explosion in a full parking lot and burning cars fly in all directions. Amid the chaos, a man and a woman stand in an embrace. Each is carefully made up to look like they've been through the wringer, but not detract from their appearance at all)
Woman - I knew you'd come back to help.
Man - I guess I cared more than I thought.
Daria - And blew up forty-six innocent cars just to show off for you. You suck, too.
(Daria changes the channel again. The screen shows a montage of young men doing dangerous stunts)
TV Announcer 2 - And now, back to our viewer submissions, on Stunts Too Stupid to Do at Home!
(Jane grabs the remote and turns off the television)
Jane - Daria, we've got to find something to do. You have a few to spare, but I can't afford to lose any more brain cells.
Daria - Then you better stay out of the house when Trent's band is practicing.
Jane - How do you think I lost all those brain cells?
Daria - I always thought it was the number of times you went through self-esteem class.
Jane - That could be it, too. Hey, your mother's a lawyer. Think I can sue them?
Daria - She's a corporate lawyer. You'd have to sell stock in yourself.
Jane - Hey, that could boost the old pizza fund.
Daria - Until the stockholders stage a revolt.
Jane - Ingrates.
Daria - It's been quiet around here lately. Is Mystic Spiral still on their "Return to Carter County" tour?
Jane - Yeah. Last I heard, they've only been pelted by beer bottles twice.
Daria - Wow, they have improved.
Jane - Hey, if you...um...you could...er...uh...
Daria - Could what?"
Jane - If I'm coming up with a smart-assed remark like that about you and my brother, I'm dangerously bored. We have got to find something to do.
Daria - Okay, we'll find something to do. How about some pizza?
Jane - I can do pizza. Yeah, I can really do pizza.
Daria - Just promise me something. Never...ever...tell me what you were thinking.
(Griffin home. Sandi, Quinn, Tiffany and Stacy are seated on the floor in a circle around several pages from a newspaper advertisement section)
Sandi - Okay, we're ready for the Fashion Club's Accessories Roundup at the Lawndale Mall. Everybody remember their assignments?
Quinn - Yes.
Stacy - I'm ready, Sandi.
Tiffany - Yeah. I remember.
(Sandi stands up and the rest follow)
Sandi - Let's go.
(Landon home. Jodie is stretched out on a living room chair with a look of "I don't want to move." Mack stands beside her)
Mack - Jodie, you've missed almost the entire summer.
Jodie - So missing one more day won't make a difference.
Mack - I was hoping to spend a fun day with you.
Jodie - I'm sorry, but I'm beat.
Mack - Do you want to risk your parents coming home early to find you're doing nothing?
Jodie - Oh God, no.
Mack - Come on, then.
(Jodie reluctantly gets up from the chair)
Jodie - It's a good thing I like you.
(Daria and Jane are walking along the sidewalk in front of Deuce Hardware and Lackluster Video)
Daria - Yeah, this is really shaking up our routine.
Jane - Pizza's pizza. It's still a lot better than brain-seized TV.
Daria - Oh. I thought it was must-heave TV.
(They reach the pizza place. A sign in the door says, "Closed for Vacation")
Jane - No pizza? We're gonna die.
Daria - You're not going to die. Grumpy, yes. Die, no.
(Jane holds up a shaking hand)
Jane - I'm already going into withdrawal.
(Daria rubs her forehead)
Daria - Drama queen.
Jane - Hey, there's that pizza place at the mall.
Daria - The mall? Have you taken leave of your senses?
Jane - Daria, I must have pizza.
Daria (sighs) - Let's grab a bus, I'm tired of walking.
(Outside the Lawndale Mall, a bus drives away revealing Daria and Jane standing in front of the doors)
Daria - Are you positive you want pizza?
Jane - March, Morgendorffer.
Daria - Too bad I don't really get hives inside a mall. Give me a perfect excuse to never set foot in one again.
Jane - Call of the pizza.
(Jane pushes Daria forward and through the automatic doors. Scene changes to them walking inside the mall)
Jane - Come on, we're almost there.
Daria - Good.
Jane - A couple slices and you'll be back to your usual chipper self.
Daria - Or at least well enough to throw your body into a chipper.
Jane - See, you're feeling better already.
(The food court is a mob scene with parents herding small children in overly cute costumes around a stage where a boy is singing off-key and dancing. Above them, a banner reads "ChildStar Dance Talent Contest")
Daria - I'm not that hungry. Maybe we can wait.
(Jane winces at the singing)
Jane - That kid could give Trent a run for his money. (She reaches up to one earring) I, um...could stand to find a replacement. The plating's flaking off and I'm a little hacked at Axl for selling me cheap plated stuff.
(The child onstage stumbles and falls. He begins to loudly cry. Daria grabs Jane's arm and drags her away)
Daria - Sounds great. Let's get out of here.
(Jane points off at an angle)
Jane - Sure, but we've got to go that way.
(Jodie and Mack are walking through the mall, holding hands)
Jodie - You win. I'm glad you got me out of the house.
Mack - I guess I am good for something other than making sure Kevin doesn't win a Darwin Award.
(Jodie leans against Mack)
Jodie - You're good for a lot more than that. Too bad we still have an hour's wait.
(They see Daria and Jane enter a store called Rings for Things)
Mack - That's odd. Never would've pictured Daria going into someplace like that.
Jodie (VO) - When you consider she got a navel ring last spring... (normal voice) Jane must be looking for something.
Mack - Oh, yeah.
Jodie - Maybe Jane's getting a fourth set of earrings.
Mack - Or more artistic replacements for the ones she has.
Jodie (playful smile) - We could always get yours...
Mack - It would mess with your parents' minds. But no, I can just cover the movie today.
Jodie - You do have a birthday coming soon.
(Inside Rings for Things. The walls of the shop and the center counter display many different rings for piercings, from simple hoops to very ornate pieces. Loud alternative music is playing inside the store. The clerk is a tall woman with short, brown hair standing within the circular center island. Jane looks at earrings while Daria tries to ignore most of the products)
Daria (VO) - Don't think about where they go. Don't think about where they go.
Clerk (to Daria) - Looking for anything in particular?
Daria - Just waiting for my friend to refill a couple holes in her head.
Jane - I heard that.
(Outside Rings for Things, Jodie and Mack watch the Fashion Club enter the store)
Jodie - I wonder who'll be more surprised.
Mack - I'm going for mutually assured distraction.
(Inside Rings for Things, Jane is squatting down examining earrings on one wall while Daria stares at the surveillance camera, so their backs are to the Fashion Club)
Stacy - Uh...this place is kinda creepy.
Sandi - Stacy, it's just like shopping for Alternapalooza. We have to keep up with even the alternative fashions.
(Tiffany reads from a product card and shivers)
Tiffany - Ideal for pierced...owww.
(Quinn takes card from Tiffany and hangs it back on the wall)
Quinn - Better stay with the earrings.
Tiffany - Yeah, earrings.
(Tiffany walks away and Quinn looks at the card again, raising an eyebrow. All four members of the Fashion Club start to browse the store)
Sandi (to clerk) - Do you have this in eighteen carat? My skin is sensitive.
(The clerk indicates the display case and removes a key from her pocket)
Clerk - In here.
(Stacy holds up a pair of earrings)
Stacy - Oh, Quinn, what do you think of these?
Quinn - I don't know. How about something over this way?
(Quinn spins and runs into Daria's back, who turns in annoyance)
Quinn - Eep!
Daria - Ahh!
Quinn - What are you doing here?
Daria - Nothing, except having people run into me.
Quinn - Really, what are you... (her eyes grow wide) ...you're not.
Stacy - Not what?
Daria - I'm curious about what, too.
Quinn - I knew it! You did do it!
Stacy (getting excited) - What, Quinn? What?
Quinn - Got her belly button pierced.
Stacy - No!
Daria - Oh, you're back onto that little fantasy.
Quinn - And Jane knows, too.
Daria - There's no hole in my navel.
Quinn - How did you hide it?
Daria - I didn't hide it. It's not there.
Sandi - Quinn, why are you talking to that girl who lives with you? We're supposed to be accessorizing for fall.
Tiffany - Yeah. Accessorizing.
Quinn - I was...uh...trying to answer a question. We are supposed to help others look good. Right, Sandi? To be fashion leaders, not fashion followers?
Sandi - Well, I suppose. She certainly can use some advice.
Daria - Like the finer points of cerebrosuction?
Sandi - Well, um...I think that would be a little drastic. Your thighs aren't that big.
(Quinn sees Daria's growing annoyance)
Quinn - Hey, guys. Why don't we head over to Scrunchie World?
Stacy - But, I...oh yeah, let's go.
Tiffany - That's a good idea, Quinn.
(Annoyed, Sandi shifts her attention to Quinn)
Sandi - Gee, Quinn. When did you become the leader of this expedition?
Quinn - Oh, Sandi. You're the leader; I was only making a suggestion.
Sandi - Well, we have explored the options available here. All right, then. We head to Scrunchie World next.
(Sandi exits and the rest of the Fashion Club follows, Quinn briefly looks back at Daria. After they're gone, Jane steps up to Daria)
Jane - That worked out great. I found a matching pair and you had some quality time with your sister and her friends.
Daria - Rah.
(Jodie and Mack watch the Fashion Club quickly leave the store)
Mack (imitating a sports announcer) - To nobody's surprise, the round goes to Daria.
(Inside the store, Jane hands the clerk a pair of earrings and some money)
Jane - I'll take these.
Clerk - Good choice.
Jane (to Daria) - How did your sister find out about the belly ring?
Daria - She saw me scratching when it itched.
Clerk - Miss, we have a great selection of belly rings. I think a gold-tone would work very nice with your complexion.
(Daria sighs and shakes her head)
Daria - Jane, they better have some damn good pizza.
(Jodie and Mack watch Daria and Jane exit the store)
Jodie - Jane's carrying a bag. I guess we didn't just see a sign of the apocalypse.
Mack - Think we should say "hi" to them?
Jodie - We should. They're heading in the direction of the food court. I could use a little something before the movie. Maybe they can join us.
(Jodie and Mack intercept Daria and Jane. All of them walk together)
Jodie - Hi, guys.
Daria - Hi.
Jane - Yo, what's up?
Mack - We were heading to the food court, want to join us?
Jane - We're heading the same way, why not?
Daria (shrugs) - Sure.
Jodie - So what brings you out here?
Jane - Pizza.
Mack - Don't you two usually go to...?
Daria - Closed for vacation.
Jane - You'd think they'd give frequent buyers like us advanced warning.
Jodie - So that's why you've braved the mall. Daria, still doing PR for your Mom's firm?
Daria - As much as I bet you're honing your paper shredding skills for the congressman.
(Jodie rolls her eyes)
Jodie - I'd like to shred him. Most of the paperwork is so boring; I don't know why I'm shredding it.
Daria - Padding. To make it harder to find the real evidence he's slipping into the mix. The needle's harder to find when you make the haystack bigger.
Jodie - I knew you could find the sinister motive.
Jane - It's a gift.
Mack - What's all that noise?
Daria - That dance contest must still be going on.
(They approach the food court and the dance contest is continuing. A girl of about 13 in a tuxedo costume with short pants, hat and cane is tap-dancing on stage)
Jodie - Thank God I was spared ever having to do something like that.
Mack - I don't know. You have the legs for the costume.
Jodie - How about we put you in a tux and make you dance around like Fred Astaire.
Jane - I'd pay a dollar to see that.
Mack - Um...but I'd need a Ginger Rogers.
Jodie (playfully smiles) - Yeah, somebody who can do everything you can - backwards and in high heels.
(Daria's been watching the stage like someone watching a horror show. She breaks her gaze and looks away)
Daria - You know, I'm still not that hungry. Jane, is there anything else you'd like to look for while we're at the mall?
(Jodie and Mack stop in surprise. Seeing Daria's unease, Jane takes a quick look at the large pizza shop crowd)
Jane - Well, it still looks like a mob scene by the pizza. I suppose I could pick up some fresh lipstick.
Daria - Sounds like a plan. Which way?
(Confused, Jodie and Mack look at each other. Jane looks worried)
(Daria, Jane, Jodie and Mack enter Norman William Cosmetics. Daria sniffs and makes a face)
Daria - Could we please smell just one perfume at a time?
Jane - This was your idea.
Daria - Fine. After this, we can stop by Food Lord, pick up a cardboard pizza and nuke it when we get back to your place.
Jane - You're really trying to kill me. I promise not to take long.
(Jodie and Jane examine the merchandise. Mack patiently waits at the front of the store and Daria leans against a counter, rubbing her temples. A thirtyish clerk with plainly artificial red hair approaches her with several bottles)
Perfume Clerk - Would you like to try out latest releases? Platinum is a bright, penetrating fragrance that shines like pure light. Viscountess is a haughty, elegant scent with a hint of dominance that will make men want to kneel and kiss your hand. Oblivion is a potent musk mélange to make men forget about all others, for those nights of deepest seduction.
Daria - Do I look like I'm in the seduction business?
Perfume Clerk - So Oblivion isn't for you.
Daria - I'd like to forget this whole day.
(The clerk holds up a card and applies a light spray of perfume to it)
Perfume Clerk - You look like the Viscountess type. An aloof, mysterious, and unreachable woman that men secretly desire to know. They'll bow before you if you give them the chance.
Daria - I prefer to wait until I seize my own title and they have to bow under fear of death. Anyway, I'm not interested in any perfumes. I'm with my friend, who appears to want to buy some lipstick.
Perfume Clerk - Oh. (she moves down to Jane, who's placed a tube of lipstick on the counter) Will this be all?
Jane - That's it.
(Quinn, Stacy, Tiffany and Sandi enter the store and stop. Quinn is embarrassed, Stacy surprised, Tiffany confused and Sandi horrified)
Jodie - Hi, everyone.
Stacy - Hi.
Sandi - Hello, Jodie. Hello, Mack.
Tiffany - Hi.
Quinn - Um, hi.
Perfume Clerk (to the Fashion Club) - I'll be right with you. Please look around.
(The Fashion Club members look around while Quinn moves next to Daria)
Quinn - What are you doing here? You're embarrassing me.
Daria - Relax, we'll be gone shortly.
(Quinn picks up perfume sample card and sniffs)
Quinn - Hmm. This would be really good for you, Daria. That is, if you ever decide you want to attract a guy's attention.
Daria - And here I thought hanging a t-bone steak around my neck would do the trick.
Quinn (shakes head) - You're hopeless.
Jane - I'm done.
Daria - Let's go.
(Daria, Jane, Jodie and Mack exit the store. Sandi goes over to Quinn)
Sandi - Is that girl and her friend, like, stalking us or something?
Quinn - Sandi, don't be silly.
Sandi - I'm being silly? We could be in serious danger if such unpopular people are stalking us.
Quinn - Jodie and Mack were with them. Would they be stalking us?
Sandi - Uh...no. It must be one of those coincidence things.
Quinn - Yeah, Sandi. (forced laugh) Coincidence.
(Daria, Jane, Jodie and Mack are outside Norman William Cosmetics)
Jane - Wow, that killed a lot of time. I don't care how bad the munchkins are, I'm hungry.
Jodie - And if we're going to get something before the movie, we need to get it now.
Daria (sighs) - Okay. Okay. But, you know how I am with too many people and not enough escape routes.
(They walk through the mall and reach the food court. Three children are on the stage, one is the tap dancer from before, one girl is in ballerina costume, and the third is a boy wearing dancer's tights. The MC stands in front of them)
MC - Now our three finalists will perform again for the judges.
Jane - It's almost over.
(Daria averts her eyes from the stage and keeps walking straight for the pizza vendor)
Daria - Uh, huh.
MC - Our first finalist!
(The ballerina begins dancing)
Jodie - Poor kid.
Mack - Jane, I think Daria picked up your pizza obsession now. She's plowing a path for us.
Jane - It's about time. (she pushes Mack) What are you waiting for?
(The four are seated at a cramped table with a pizza divided amongst them. The surrounding tables are also filled. Daria has her back to the stage, where the boy is dancing using a modern, interpretive form)
Jane - Daria, what's up? You've been acting all weird since we got here.
Daria - The mall was your idea.
Jane - Yeah, but you followed me into a store that'll pierce places that Axl won't touch.
Daria - How would I know that? I'd never been in there before.
Jane - And then into a cosmetics store, after you suggested more shopping.
Daria - I only asked if there was anything else you wanted while we were here.
Jodie - Daria, you making shopping suggestions instead of eating pizza is more than a little weird.
Mack - Jane, did she bump her head today?
(The table next to them clears and the Fashion Club move in to sit. Each has a small salad and a soft drink. Jane sees them and laughs)
Jane - So, we meet again.
Sandi - Quinn, that girl and your friend are stalking us. They keep showing up to places before we get there.
Daria - It looks more like you're stalking us. You keep showing up to places after we get there.
Sandi - Don't try those brain tricks on me.
Daria - Just forget it and ignore us like you normally do. We'll all be a lot happier.
MC (VO) - And now our final contestant.
(The tap dancer begins her routine on the stage)
Quinn - Oh, Daria. That tap dancer has on a costume like you wore last summer at your recital.
(Daria glares at Quinn with a look of "you will pay")
Jane - Last summer? Recital?
Daria - Quinn, I will kill you. Jane, I'll bury you with her.
(Jodie and Mack laugh. After a moment, Mack looks contemplative and Jodie elbows him)
Jodie (whispers) - I know what you're thinking.
Jane - So that's the big secret. Your mom made you go to dance lessons.
Sandi (folds arms) - Hrmph. You, dancing? I guess even geeks will try anything to be popular. Sad, really.
Jodie - But it's over now and there's no lasting humiliation.
Quinn - Except the videotape Dad made of when she tripped and fell. That was so funny.
Jane - So that's what your mother was talking about when we did that film project.
Sandi - Hey, Quinn. Can we go to your house tonight?
(Daria leans over close to Quinn)
Daria (quietly) - August third, Nineteen-ninety-five.
(Quinn sits back with her eyes wide. Daria returns to her normal posture)
Quinn - Um, uh. That box of tapes got run over by the moving van when we came to Lawndale.
Sandi - Bummer.
(Jodie stands up)
Jodie - Hey, guys. We need to get going. See everyone later.
Mack - Yeah, good to see you.
Jane - I'm done.
Daria - I was ready to leave ages ago.
(Daria, Jane, and Mack get up, join Jodie and they leave)
Sandi - They better not stalk us anymore!
Stacy - Quinn?
Tiffany - Quinn?
(Quinn is still staring forward)
(Daria, Jane, Jodie and Mack in front of the mall's movie theater)
Mack - Daria, don't worry about the dance lessons thing. We've all been subjected to things like that.
Jodie - Yeah, trust me. I've been there too.
Jane (shrugs) - And me.
Daria - Well, it's out now with the biggest gossips in Lawndale. But if anyone wants a demonstration, they'll get one on their backside.
Jodie - I'll remember not to ask, but I wouldn't worry about it too much. It's still a few weeks until school starts and they'll forget by then.
Daria - I hope.
Jodie - Try to survive the rest of the summer if I don't see you before school.
Mack - Take care, you two.
Jane - Have fun, kids.
Daria - See ya.
(Jodie and Mack go into the theater)
Daria - Jane, I'm going to the restroom. I'll meet you at the bus stop outside.
Jane - In a bit.
(They walk in different directions, the scene follows Jane)
Jane (smirks) - Dance lessons. Trent will love that.
(Lane kitchen. Daria and Jane are at the table)
Jane - I hope you're not mad about the whole mall thing. I really only wanted some pizza.
Daria - I'll get over it. I know you couldn't have planned that whole thing just to find out about what I did last summer. However...
(Daria takes a couple postcard forms from her jacket pocket and starts writing on them)
Jane - What's that?
Daria (innocent smile) - I'm sure Mom will be excited about Quinn being on the Piercing News mailing list. And, who knows what Mrs. Griffin will do about Sandi joining the Hole of the Month Club.
Jane - You're evil about payback.
Daria - I try.
Jane - You're really not mad about me finding out about the dancing?
Daria - What could I do, sign you up for the Paint-by-Number of the Month Club?
(Jane looks worried)
Daria - Kidding.
(Under the table, Daria is silently moving her feet to a tap-dance routine)
Thanks to Louise Lobinske, Kristen Bealer, Ipswichfan and Mr. Orange for beta reading.
September - October 2005