Actions

Work Header

Burned Out

Chapter Text

Burned Out

 

Chapter 11: Woad Warrior

 

Daria flipped on the TV, and was treated to a whole twelve seconds of Alanis Morissette's Ironic video before the signal was lost, to be replaced with static. She tried going to another channel, but it seemed that luck was not with her today. With a sigh, she turned off the TV and put the remote down next to her math textbook. It was about then that the Harpies really started getting into their practice session. Their... music, for lack of a better term, easily bled through the paper thin walls, setting Daria's teeth on edge. It honestly would not be so bad if she couldn't make out the lyrics, but Jennifer's singing, while on key and full of emotion, just could not save the awful lyrics themselves, and was operating at full volume.

 

The meter is off, and whoever wrote that was trying too hard to rhyme. Shaking her head, Daria tried to concentrate on her homework, but it was no good. Every time she started getting into the work, another off-putting lyric would filter through, and she'd have to start the equation over again. “This is not going to work,” she said with a sigh. Pulling out a blank sheet of paper, she scrawled a hasty note to Jennifer explaining where she went, and gathered her stuff together into her backpack.

 

She could still hear them practice through the garage door as she left, and started walking down the sidewalk. She had just made it to the end of the block, when she heard the slapping footsteps of someone running up behind her. Turning around, she found an out of breath Jennifer coming to a stop a few feet away from her. “Jenn? You okay?”

 

Jennifer rested bent over, with her hands bracing against her knees as she struggled to get her breath. She held up a hand to stop her friend and gulped down a couple of lungfuls of precious oxygen. “You... you left before... I could ask...”

 

Daria stood there a moment before asking, “Ask me what?”

 

Jennifer gulped down another breath and stoop more or less upright, though she held onto her side as if it hurt. “The girls want to go to Alternapalooza this weekend, and I was wondering if...”

 

Daria stood in silence, watching the blonde, then said, “And you were wondering if I'd want to go?” She smiled at her friend's nod. “Well, I do have a few bucks saved up from the term paper writing thing that I did not too long ago, so, sure. Why not. Besides, what was I going to spend that money on anyway, pizza?”

 

Jennifer's grin was infectious. “Great! We're gonna leave home extra early to avoid the traffic, and stay out pretty late. Apparently, one of the guys that Lisa used to date is performing with one of the bands, and invited us all out to a party afterwards. You think your parents will be okay with that?”

 

Daria's mouth quirked into a sorta frown at that. “Hmm, dunno. Maybe if I phrased it right, and left out any mention of a party...”

 

If the party's a problem, we can bail on it early. I kinda get the feeling that's going to happen regardless. The girls sorta hinted in that direction,” Jennifer replied with a hint of a blush. “Sam outright said that she didn't want me exposed to the kinds of things that happen at them; something about the freaks coming out at night, but at the same time, wanted to ease me into them so that I'm not culture shocked at my first one.” She clasped her hands as if praying, and gave Daria her best puppy eyes. “Please say yes. Having you there would make this less weird and uncomfortable. I know you hate parties, but-”

 

Daria held up her hand to stop her. “I'll do my best to convince them. I won't outright lie to them about the party, though if I need backup, I'll be calling on you and/or Sam to explain things should the need arise. If nothing else, I think they'll want a promise from Sam to watch out for us at the party.”

 

Jennifer threw her arms around a surprised Daria, who awkwardly patted the girl's back. “Thanks, Daria! I was kinda weirded out about some of the stories of these after-concert parties.”

 

“Er, no problem,” Daria replied.

 

(\ /)

( . .)

*(“)(“)

 

Jennifer leaned against the tree, enjoying the late spring morning. She spotted Daria finally walking towards her and pushed her back against the tree to stand upright. She adjusted her backpack and waved to her. “Morning.”

 

“Morning,” came Daria's greeting. She tilted her head to the right and asked, “How long have you been waiting here?”

 

“Just a few minutes,” Jennifer lied. She had left the house a half hour earlier, eager to hear whether or not her friend could make the trip with her. As they walked to school, she asked, “So, what did your folks say? Can you go?”

 

Daria smirked a little and shook her head. “Yeah, I can, but I have to tell you about Quinn, first. She came home yesterday sporting a tattoo as fake as her personality, announcing that she would be going to Alternapalooza as well, along with the fashion police.”

 

“Uh, oh. I can see where this is going,” Jennifer replied.

 

Daria waved a hand reassuringly. “Calmez-vous. I managed to convince her that we would be able to lose each other in a crowd of ten thousand. She almost gave my dad a heart attack though, when she asked to get her bellybutton pierced. She settled on just getting thirty bucks for a fake nose ring, which was probably her plan all along.”

 

Jennifer nodded. “That sounds like her: devious and underhanded, yet utterly shallow. What about the party? Your parents okay with that?”

 

“They want to talk to Sam about that before we leave in the morning, so it's still kinda up in the air, but I think they'll concede in the end, as long as they can get a promise to properly chaperone us.” Daria looked to the blonde and added, “You'll have to talk to her to make sure she looks and acts as respectable as she can, though. The 'rents may be retired hippies, but that just means that they know what teenagers at concerts and parties can do, because they've done them themselves, and oh my god, I need to scrub that mental image from my brain now.”

 

Grinning madly, Jennifer replied, “Well, you'll have to wait another five years before you can order a mind eraser from any bars. So, did Quinn pitch a fit when she found out you might be staying behind for the after party?”

 

Daria grinned at her deviously. “She doesn't know, yet, and if I have my way, she won't until after it's over. I'm going to enjoy lording this over her head.”

 

Knowing that Daria wasn't the type to cackle maniacally, Jennifer filled in for her.

 

(\ /)

( . .)

*(“)(“)

 

As they pulled onto Daria's street, Jennifer tried unsuccessfully to comb out a cowlick in her sister's hair with her fingers. “So what do you say if they ask if there's going to be drugs there?”

 

Samantha sighed and rolled her eyes. This was the fifteenth time she had done that today, and it was barely past six. “Not to worry, Mr. and/or Mrs. Morgendorffer. Should any drugs make an appearance, I will be sure to make a hasty, yet safe exit with your daughter and my sister, and bring them straight home... after a quick stop at the police station to have them tested.”

 

Jennifer slapped Samantha's shoulder and pouted at her sister's grin. “Be serious! If they don't let Daria go because of you, I'm gonna stay behind and go to the movies with her! Then, you'll be out fifteen dollars from each of us for gas money!”

 

In the back seat, Sylvie said, “Be nice, Sam. This is important to Jenn.”

 

Turning to Sylvie, she replied, “I'm always nice. You know that.” Turning back to her sister, Samantha said, “Jenn, calm your tits. Daria's parents aren't the first adults I've had to pretend to be responsible to. It'll be fine.”

 

Jennifer took the wheel, as they had started to drift onto the sidewalk. “Sam, her mom's a lawyer. A lawyer! The kind that isn't afraid to prosecute! And her dad is so tightly wound, it's a wonder his head hasn't exploded yet!”

 

Your head's going to explode if you don't take it down a notch, Jenn,” Sam retorted. “Look, I got this, okay? Nobody who raises a daughter as levelheaded as Daria can be as bad as you're making out. She's got to get it from somewhere, right?”

 

“Ever heard of nature versus nurture?” Jennifer grumbled as she sat back in her seat.

 

They pulled into the Morgendorffer's driveway, and Samantha threw it into park. “Just keep calm, and let me do the talking, alright?” At her sister's nod, she ruffled the younger girl's head. “Come on. Let's go talk to the warden. Lisa, Monique, hold down the fort, okay?” She looked over to the snoring girls and smiled.

 

Samantha walked up and rang the doorbell, the three waiting patiently for a couple of minutes. When the door opened, they were greeted by the sight of Jake in his pajamas and bathrobe, bearing a mug of coffee, looking like he had yet to shower or shave. Samantha held out her hand. “Good morning, Mr. Morgendorffer. I'm Samantha Peterson. You're already acquainted with my sister, Jennifer.”

 

Jake took in the sight of the women before him. She was dressed fairly casual, with tight bluejeans and a Nirvana T-shirt, though her hair was an eye-catching snow white, she looked fairly normal, with no visible tattoos or piercings, beyond her ears. On the opposite side from Jennifer, stood a jaw-dropping platinum blonde with ice blue eyes, dressed similarly to Samantha, except her T-shirt had the My Little Pony logo (badly stretched out of shape to contain her... er, bounty). “Er, morning,” he said, clearly not at his best this early in the morning.

 

He stepped aside to admit them. “Just go on through to the kitchen. We just put a pot of coffee on. Daria should be down in a minute or two. In fact, I'll go check on her.”

 

As he walked up the stairs, Sylvie commented, “He seemed nice.”

 

Jennifer rolled her eyes. “Sylvie, you think the neighbor's dog wanting to take your hand off means that he just wants to play.”

 

Sylvie stuck her nose up in the air as they walked. “You just don't understand Ripper like I do.”

 

As they walked into the kitchen, they were greeted by the sight of Helen next to the coffee maker, dressed to the nines, even though it wasn't even six a.m., as if she were about to take down a criminal in court, and all the evidence was in her favor. Helen was still polite and all cheerful smiles, but she nevertheless gave off an air of menace that was palpable. “Good morning, Jennifer, ladies. I'm Helen Morgendorffer, Daria's mother.”

 

Jennifer stepped forward to introduce her entourage. “Good morning, Mrs. Morgendorffer. This is my sister, Samantha, but everyone calls her Sam, and Sylvia, but she prefers Sylvie.”

 

Helen held out her hand. “Sam, it's a pleasure to finally meet you. Daria's told us a bit about you, being her best friend's sister.”

 

“Only the good parts, I hope,” Samantha said with a light laugh as she took the proffered hand. “Everyone in the band loves her like our own little sister. We see a lot of ourselves in her, actually.”

 

Helen's smile still didn't quite reach her eyes, but it was warmer than it was before. Still, she didn't quite know what to make of the comment, but was reserving judgment. “I'm glad to hear that, but if she gets in the way of your band's practice, please feel free to send her home.”

 

Samantha gave her a wave of dismissal. “Psht. Please, she's quiet as a church mouse, and it's nice to have a new ear to ask for an opinion now and then. She's always welcome at the Peterson's. In fact, our mom wanted me to give you this, said she would like to meet with the parents who raised such a remarkable girl; her words, not mine.” She pulled a slip of paper out of a pocket and handed it over to the surprised woman. “She would have sent that along with Daria, but didn't want to use her as a messenger.”

 

Looking at the paper, Helen noted the name, Kimberly Peterson and a phone number. She didn't show it, but the gestures, both the offer to get together and the respect for not using her daughter to pass along a message touched her deeply. She tucked the paper into a pocket and turned to Sylvie. “I'm afraid I haven't heard much about you, Sylvie; other than you're in the band, and Sam's best friend.”

 

Sylvie grinned wide and shook Helen's hand. “Guess I gotta make a better impression. Daria's certainly impressed us. Our little Jenn hasn't had a close friend outside of the band since you could count her age on both hands.” She ignored the groan from Jennifer. “Your daughter's a real sweetie. We're happy to know her.”

 

“Er, thank you.” Helen jerked as if suddenly remembering something. “Oh! Where are my manners? Would any of you like some coffee? I just brewed it.”

 

Samantha stifled a yawn and nodded. “I'd love some with a bit of sugar, thanks. Got a long drive ahead of me.”

 

Helen gestured towards the table for them to sit down before pouring another cup. “So, about this party...”

 

“It's less of an official party, and more of an informal gathering of musicians with only a few fans and hangers-on,” Samantha replied. “There's likely to be beer, but there is absolutely no way we're letting Jenn or Daria get near it. Canned soda and bottled water, only, for them.”

 

Helen set the mug down and gave Sam a serious look from her standing position. “And... harder substances?”

 

Samantha took a long sip of the coffee to hide her smile. “I'm not going to lie, Mrs. Morgendorffer, there is also a high chance of some marijuana, but like the beer, we intend to keep both of them as far from it as possible. Should anything harder than that make an appearance, we can either continue our vigil, or leave, at your preference. In fact, I myself won't be drinking, since I'll be driving.”

 

The lawyer sat down and took a sip of her own coffee. “I appreciate your candor and willingness to work within our rules, Sam. It would be unrealistic to expect drugs to not make an appearance, especially at a gathering like this, so I would have known right away if you were lying. However, your maturity is promising, and intend to let you use your own judgment in this case. Daria has our permission to join this party, so long as she doesn't leave your sight. Needless to say, anything that would endanger her... virtue would be on the banned list as well as the alcohol and drugs.”

 

“Naturally, Mrs. Morgendorffer. No teen pregnancies on our watch,” Samantha replied.

 

Helen smiled and said, “Please, call me Helen.”

 

(\ /)

( . .)

*(“)(“)

 

Driving down the freeway, Daria turned back to look at the receding city of Lawndale, and couldn't help but smile a little. Even if it was just for the day, it felt like she had been let out on parole, and boy, did it feel good. She looked over at Jennifer squeezed in between her and Monique, who was snoring away the early dawn hours. She gave her a small smile and said, “Breathe in that free air, Jenn. That's the smell of shaking off the Lawndale dust from your shoulders. We'll be back to the dreary mediocrity soon enough, so enjoy it while you can.”

 

Jenn grinned and bumped shoulders with her. “You're so upbeat, Daria. How can you stand to be so bubbly?”

 

Daria shrugged. “It's a gift.”

 

“Alright, ladies,” Samantha called out to the car in general, not bothering to take her eyes off the road. “We're gassed up, watered, fed, and on the road for the next two to three hours. I hope you already went to the bathroom, 'cause there ain't no stops on the Peterson Express to Swedesville!”

 

Sylvie laughed and slapped Samantha's shoulder. “Sam, that's a double negative!” Daria was impressed that Sylvie mentioned it before she could.

 

Samantha smiled and nodded. “Right! Which means there really won't be any stops, short of a medical and/or mechanical emergency.”

 

Lisa, sitting on the right of Samantha and Sylvie, rolled her eyes. “I really wish you'd stop tempting fate like that.”

 

The drummer looked over at Lisa, and would have driven them off the road had Sylvie not instinctively grabbed the wheel to correct their course. “And I wish you'd come out of the Dark Ages with your superstitions, but here we are. Come on, Lise, cheer up. Aren't you excited to see your ex at the party? Maybe hook up with him again?”

 

Lisa grouchily slouched down in her seat and put her knees up on the Charger's dashboard. “I am not going to hook up with that cheater again. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”

 

“Didn't he say that he just wanted to try a threesome with a couple of hot redheads?” Sylvie asked.

 

Lisa turned her head toward the keyboardist. “One, my red hair comes from a box. Two, he didn't bother to ask me first.”

 

“So you'd have been okay with it if he had asked?” Samantha asked, knowing that Lisa didn't like to share her food, let alone her men. The rest of the car's occupants laughed at the bassist's good natured grumbling.

 

(\ /)

( . .)

*(“)(“)

 

Well, this is... interesting. Daria wasn't sure what to make of Alternapalooza. On the one hand, $75 was a pretty steep door charge for an open air concert fest... like, prohibitively steep, even if that single charge covered everyone in the vehicle. On the other hand, with things like the “Cyberpoetry Slam” and “The Famous Jack Sprat Photogenic Sideshow” playing counterpoint to bands whose talent ranged from the inarguably awful Mystik Spiral, to the passably decent R.E.M. cover band, Loathsome Cowboys, it could not be said that there was nothing interesting to see.

 

At the moment, she and Jennifer was standing before said sideshow with similar expressions of shocked disbelief. “Daria, am I seeing what I think I'm seeing, or have a suffered a severe head injury?”

 

“If it was a head injury, then we both suffered it,” Daria replied. “I'm more shocked that the Fashion Police aren't here trying to get in on it.”

 

The sideshow currently consisted of pretty boys and girls striking poses in front of a crowd. Granted, about half the crowd was jeering or throwing popcorn or crumpled up hot dog wrappers at them, but that meant that half of the crowd wasn't . The “performers” on stage were taking it all with good grace, at least, ignoring the jeers and projectiles with aplomb. This apparently, was the warm up act before the pretty boy pinhead came on to hammer a two inch nail up his nose.

 

Why aren't they here, trying to get into this... show?” Jennifer asked.

 

Before she could answer, Sylvie came up to them, eyes everywhere following her with either desire or envy, or in some cases, both. “Come on, guys, Ciggie Butt is about to go on next. They're one of the better bands here.”

 

For whatever that's worth,” Daria replied. “Honestly, I think the Harpies could compare favorably to at least half the bands I've heard so far today.”

 

Jennifer blushed, while Sylvie grinned and hugged the dour girl. “Aw, I knew you liked us. Come on, Sam's-”

 

“You there! Yes, you!”

 

The three turned to the voice to see the inimitable Jack Sprat himself, carnival barker extraordinaire, pointing to them, or rather, one of them in particular. “Young lady, you deserve to be up here among the angels! Won't you come take your place with the superior exemplars of humankind?”

 

The whole crowd turned to see who he was talking, or rather shouting at, suddenly making Daria and Jenn uncomfortable in the periphery of the spotlight. People parted so that there was a wide area around them, making sure all three were visible to everyone, and even opened up a path up to the stage. Sylvie's response surprised everyone except Jennifer. She burst out in a lilting laugh that had her bent over double. She rested a hand on Daria's shoulder to balance herself as she tried to regain control of her mirth. It took almost a full minute for her laughter to stop enough to stand up straight, but once she set eyes upon Jack Sprat again, her laughter returned and was absolutely helpless as Jenn took her other hand and led her off towards where the bandstand was erected, a smirking Daria glancing back to see the fuming barker glaring at them.

 

(\ /)

( . .)

*(“)(“)

 

Daria was rather impressed with Ciggie Butt. Not only were all the members onstage and with instruments in hand, at least half of them were sober enough to actually play the same song and be in tune. They weren't about to cause any sensation on American Bandstand or Ed Sullivan, but their particular brand of heavy guitar riffs, loud drumming, and incoherent screaming into the microphone wasn't entirely unpleasant, either. Even she had to admit, they were probably one of the better bands she had heard here today. A shame then, that they had to leave the stage when the bassist started vomiting an unhealthy shade of blue liquid for nearly a minute straight.

 

She looked over to where Jennifer was retelling the incident that had just occurred at the sideshow, much to Sylvie's enjoyment. The taller blonde was hiding her face in Samantha's snow-white hair and her shoulders were shaking with mirth as Jennifer recounted the events. They really are close, aren't they? she mused sadly. I wonder what it would be like if Quinn... She shook her head and returned her attention back to the stage, where the drummer for Ciggie Butt was arguing with the emcee over whose job it was to clean up the possibly toxic waste his friend had just added to the character of the no doubt already colorful stage floor, while some in the audience was adding to the mess by throwing their empty cups at them both. No sense crying over what might have been. Quinn is far too self-absorbed and competitive, and I'm too bellicose when it comes to her to make nice now and bond like that, no matter how nice they make it look.

 

Looking back at them again, she saw that they had been rejoined by the rest of the band, who were laughing along with them. Samantha looked at her, and waved her over to join them. Daria moved reluctantly towards them, and was rushed into a group embrace when Sylvie pulled her in by the arm. Daria wasn't used to this sort of affection, especially in public. It was through a concerted effort that she had weaned her parents off of hugging her in public at the age of eleven, and though they still gave her the occasional embrace in private, those too had been coming less and less frequently, of late. The thing about affection, is that it was easy to forget what you were missing until it made a reappearance.

 

For just a moment, Daria let herself sink into the group embrace, before gently extricating herself. She did have an image to maintain, after all.

 

(\ /)

( . .)

*(“)(“)

 

Jennifer handed a can of Ultra Cola to Daria as she sat down on the log next to her. She looked over to where Lisa was making out with Randy, the ex who had invited them to the party in the first place. “Well, that didn't take long, did it?”

 

“It was almost like their lips are magnetically attracted to each other. As soon as they got with in five feet, they just came together like two trains going opposite directions on the same track,” Daria replied with a shake of her head.

 

“Or like the Titanic seeing an iceberg for the first time?” Jennifer asked.

 

Daria shrugged. “Whichever disaster you prefer.” She popped open the soda and took a drink. “Let's just hope there's less loss of life with this one. So, do you think it'll last, or will it be like Monique with her on and off again boyfriend, whatsisname.”

 

“Trent,” Jennifer supplied. “He's okay looking, in a Kurt Cobain sort of way, but I honestly don't see why Mo keeps going back to someone that flaky. You know what he gave her for her birthday last year?” When Daria shook her head, she answered, “A piercing. Not on her, but on him. Yeah, he said it was for her, but honestly, he could use that tongue stud on any girl. The year before, he gave her guitar strings. I love Mo like a sister, but I really wish she'd exercise a little more selectiveness when it comes to boyfriend material.”

 

They sat in silence for a moment until Daria asked, “What do you know about this Randy guy? Is he gonna cause trouble for the band like Trent does?”

 

Jennifer shrugged. “Honestly, I don't know. All I do know about him is that he's lead guitar for Foam Party, and he's apparently a tiger in the sack, according to Lisa.” She smiled at Daria choking on her soda as some of it went up her nose. “Yeah, get used to hearing all about that if they do end up hooking up again. Lisa does like to brag about 'her boys' as she calls them.”

 

They spotted Samantha across the campfire, as she and Sylvie sat together, sharing a soda, and nodded back at her, when she raised the can at them. Daria stared down at her boots and noted, “They're really close, aren't they? Sam and Sylvie, I mean.”

 

Jennifer picked at the bark on the log where they sat and threw it into the campfire, smiling at the crackle and pop it made as it was consumed. “Pretty close, yeah. They've been friends since kindergarten, so I guess it's only natural. Sylvie's as much my big sister as Sam is. You should meet her little brother. Cute kid, kinda... goofy, I guess you'd say. He sometimes acts like he's not all there, if you catch my meaning, but he's not dumb, not by any means. Gets straight A's in almost all his classes, but he just doesn't... I dunno, it's kinda hard to explain. I think Sam, Sylvie and I are his only friends, and I think he's kinda crushing on me. Remember that picture I showed you a few weeks back? He drew that for me when I babysat him for Sylvie.”

 

“Kid's got talent,” Daria said with a nod.

 

Jennifer nodded in return. “Tell me about it. He can do things with a pencil I didn't think were possible.”

 

With a smirk, Daria replied, “I was actually talking about how he can capture your personality so well, but yes, he is rather remarkable with a pencil, too.”

 

“Sh- shut up,” she said, looking into the fire and taking a drink from her can, while Daria smirked at her again.

 

They watched the party goers for a bit, noting how the things they had noticed at the high school parties were still present with the “adult” set. People still congregated into their own cliques. Pretty people with the pretty people, geeks and music nerds with geeks and music nerds. There were still subtle striations within each group that seemed to depend on a given individual's popularity, both within the group, and with their perceived fame, but for the most part, it looked remarkably like the high school party they had attended at Brittany's house, just with more booze and a new standard for popularity. People drank, smoked (both regular and a more homemade variety), talked, or made out, same as any other party they had attended (which were, admittedly, few). Sometimes a couple would head off into the darkness, and return a few minutes later looking disheveled, or not return at all.

 

Several times, a guy, or couple of guys would start to walk their way, but the not so subtle insistence of Samantha, or Monique would deflect them towards other opportunities. They were surprised when a guy, admittedly, a quite attractive one at that, tried to hit on Sylvie, even went so far as to lay a hand on her shoulder. In an instant, Samantha had grabbed the guy's finger on the offending hand, and twisted until it almost touched the middle of his forearm. With a sweet smile still on her face, she leaned over him, and in a move that looked to Daria like she was kissing him, whispered something in his ear. Needless to say, he got whatever message she was sending him, and wandered off, cradling his wounded hand and pride.

 

A few people laughed at him as he retreated, but most went back to whatever they were doing. It looked like Samantha asked Sylvie if she was alright, but the blonde just laughed the whole incident off. That seemed to be a signal to Samantha, who came over to them. “Well, I have to say that this has been a pretty mild party, but I think that has more to do with all the weed going around than anything else. I usually have to chase the guys away from Sylvie a lot sooner than this. You two ready to go home? Monique got inspired by the atmosphere and wants to work on some songs at home, and Lisa's boy already cheated on her and is off with some other girl.”

 

“Wow, that must have been the fastest romance in the world,” Jennifer remarked.

 

“While I'm sure they beat out some may flies for that record, I doubt it was the fastest ever,” Daria replied.

 

Samantha chuckled and held out her hands to help them up. “Come on, you two. Lisa's already waiting in the car, and we gotta get you back home.” She sniffed them as they stood, drawing a wary look from Daria. “Better stop at the store on the way home and pick up some Lysol. You two reek of second hand purple haze, and I doubt Daria's parents would appreciate the walk down memory lane.”

 

Daria just smiled and shook her head.

 

(\ /)

( . .)

*(“)(“)

 

It was a very sleepy-eyed Daria with a nearly terminal case of bedhead who stumbled into the kitchen the next morning, and pulled down a bowl to fill with cereal. Quinn, already seated at the table arched an eyebrow at her. “You're awfully chipper this morning,” she remarked.

 

Still not quite awake, Daria mumbled something that could be generously be interpreted as, “late night.”

 

Quinn smirked at her. “That's right. You weren't back when I went to bed. Where did you all go, to an all night music nerd library or whatever it is band geeks do at that hour?”

 

“Party.”

 

The mumbled reply was so soft, Quinn had to ask for clarification. “Sorry, for a moment there, it sounded like you said party, but that can't be right.”

 

Daria sat down and began listlessly spooning cereal into her mouth. In between mouthfuls, she managed to get out a few intelligible sentences. “Friend of Lisa 'vited us to party after the c'ncert. Much drinking. Some make outs. Fun for all.”

 

Quinn's jaw dropped and her eyes went wide. “You didn't!”

 

A smile finally crept on to Daria's face as their eyes met. She didn't even need to say a word.

 

“Mo-oooom! Why did you let Daria got to a party and not me?” she screamed at the top of her lungs as she ran upstairs to find the responsible parental unit.

 

Daria shoveled another spoonful of Cap'n Crunch into her mouth and chewed slowly. She knew she would have to explain herself to her parents later, but for now, the sound of Quinn's emotional distress at the thought that her sister was having more fun than her (true or not), was an immensely satisfying companion to her breakfast.