COMMITTED
a Daria fanfic by
Mike Yamiolkoski




EPILOGUE



INT: GRAND HOTEL BALLROOM

A small gathering of teenagers party amidst streamers, balloons, and lava lamp centerpieces. Some of them dance on the lighted floor while others chat around the punch fountain.

QUINN: (On cell phone) Hello, Hilda's Housekeeping for Hire? I've got a serious emergency. Can you send a team of experts to eleven-eleven Glenn Oaks Lane this afternoon, and make it snappy? Thanks! (hangs up)

DARIA: You know Quinn, I have to admit you were right. It would have been a shame to let this expensive reception hall go to waste.

QUINN: Hey, we deserve a party after all we've been through. Pity Mom and Dad didn't get to see it.

DARIA: I don't know. Looking around at this decor, I'm thinking it's a blessing.

QUINN: Anyway, this gets me off the hook what with Mom and Dad being gone for a week, and the obligatory house party I would have had to throw to celebrate.

JANE: Hey girls, what's shakin! Great party, by the way. Have you tried these little shrimp thingys?

DARIA: I wonder what percentage of my college fund went into those little treats?

QUINN: Oh Daria, lighten up. Can't you for once assume that everything will work out in the end?

There's a loud -pop- at the opposite end of the room.

JANE: Oh no, the band found the champagne. Excuse me, I have to go prevent tragedy.

Jane jogs off.

QUINN: By the way, Daria, what did you mean when you said before that you could have fixed everything?

DARIA: It's not important. You fixed everything just fine. (looks uncomfortable) Um, I don't want to sound condescending, and please don't take this the wrong way, but... I'm proud of you, Quinn.

QUINN: (honestly moved) Why... thank you, Daria. (takes a deep breath) Still, I'd like to know what you would have done.

DARIA: It's simple enough. Ever heard of a Common Law Marriage?

QUINN: What's that?

DARIA: It only works in certain states, and it so happens that Texas is one of them. Essentially, it means that if you live together as a married couple for a certain amount of time, it means you are married. Mom and Dad have been legal since the first time they filed jointly after moving to Highland; which means, incidentally, that we were both born safely in wedlock.

QUINN: (incredulous) You mean they've been married all this time and none of this was even necessary??

DARIA: Remember this moment the next time you appeal to my sense of optimism.

QUINN: Why the hell didn't you say something?

DARIA: I only managed to check the facts about it about a week after Grandma Ruth got here. Do you really think they would have called off the wedding at that point over a little technicality like the bride and groom already being married?

QUINN: Hm. I guess I can see that. Listen, Daria, I'm gonna go mingle a bit. I am sort of the hostess and it wouldn't be fitting for me to just wallflower all afternoon.

DARIA: Mingle away.

QUINN: And don't think for one moment that you can just hang here by the ice sculptures all night. This is the last time you'll see some of these people for months. So get out there and have some fun!

DARIA: I don't -

QUINN: - don't do fun. You're getting shamefully predictable, Dar. Hey Jamie! Can you get me a soda!

Quinn scampers off into the party, leaving Daria behind.

DARIA: She got the last word. ("Tiffany" accent) That's so wrong.

A phone rings. Daria looks and notices that Quinn has left the cell phone behind. She picks it up.

DARIA: Hello? (pause) Oh, hi. No, she's not available at the moment. (pause) Your flight got cancelled? Well, actually, it's just as well. (pause) No, everything's fine... it's a long story. (pause) I'll tell her you called. (pause) Bye, Grandma Evelyn.

Daria hangs up the phone. She starts to sit down, then pauses, looks around the room at everyone having fun, and goes to join them.




THE END







END NOTES

This story required me to specify some dates with a fair degree of precision. Helen and Jake's Commitment Ceremony date comes from "The Daria Diaries", as does the transcript of their vows. The "present" year was extrapolated from the episode "Fizz Ed" in which Superbowl Sunday happens on the 30th. This happened in January 2000, and so Daria graduated in the class of '00. It works out rather nicely that this is also Helen and Jake's 25th anniversary year. In case anyone is interested in the exact chronology, this story begins on June 20 (about a week after the events of my previous fic, The Next Step), their 25th anniversary was the 26th of June, Daria's Boston trip takes place on the week of Monday, July 31, Jake and Helen elope on August 11, and the wedding date as planned was August 12.

Also, in order for Erin to be eight months pregnant by the time she shows up in this story, it is necessary to assume that she was three months in around the time of "Aunt Nauseum". Of course, she wouldn't be showing much by then, so it's entirely possible that Brian didn't know about it at that time, and that Erin told him about it when he met her in Europe, and it was in fact the pregnancy that made them decide to give their marriage another shot - but that's another story.

I also needed to specify some places. I assumed that Raft is far enough away from Lawndale to make it a big deal to get there, or Daria wouldn't have been so upset over her missed opportunity to see the campus in "Is It College Yet?". So I figure at least a day's drive. The location of the Commitment Ceremony at Cape Cod is my own idea, but it fits with the landscape in Helen and Jake's "wedding" photos.

Jane indicated that she was rejected by "Lawndale State" and "State University". I saw no reason why "State University" and "Great Prairie State University" might not be the same place, even though the show does not specify. My wife disagrees with me on this one.

"The Jiggly Room" is an homage to Married With Children. I just couldn't think of a better name for a lower-class strip club.

During her conversation with Sandi at Cashman's, Jane asks Sandi how she's been since "that day". If you want to know what she's referring to, read "Outage" also by me. I usually try not to reference my past fics, but I couldn't resist.

In the episode "Speedtrapped" Jane shares a jail cell with Sue, whose husband is a judge. He makes his first appearance anywhere in the Daria universe here in my story. Grandma Evelyn was named by Ms. Kara Wild in her deservedly popular "Driven Wild" series. Quinn's middle name "Louise" is a common fanfic convention, though there is no supporting evidence for it on the show. Jake's brother Dave is a fabrication on my part. In the episode "Jake of Hearts" his mother Ruth speaks of raising "children" so we know that Jake has at least one sibling. I created the character of Dave Morgendorffer to be essentially a carbon copy of Jake's father. The nickname "Squirrel Boy" has no basis in canon, but I thought it would be amusing to provide a source for Jake's intolerable hatred of squirrels. The woman who makes decorative items out of cow chips actually exists. She is my wife's grandmother.

I hope everyone has enjoyed this story. It was a major effort to create, but it was a labor of love. I hope that Daria fandom goes on for years to come and that others find it worthwhile to put in the effort to add their tales to the Daria universe.


OTHER STORIES BY ME:

In addition to this story, I have written the following Daria fanfics:

Outage, in which Sandi and Jane are stuck in an elevator together.
Quinnderella, in which Daria and Jane tell an old fairy tale with a new twist.
Is Summer Over Already?, in which Daria attempts to find Jane a new boyfriend.
Community Disservice, in which the Lawndale High students are forced to do community service work.
Outside The Box, in which the Morgendorffers face a family crisis (inspired by "Boxing Daria").
The Next Step, in which Daria and Jane face the future after high school (the prequel to this story).
The Blues Others, in which Daria and Jane have an adventure curiously similar to Jake and Elwood Blues.
Guardian, in which Quinn's Guardian Angel has a particularly rough week (inspired by "Groped by an Angel")

I have several works in progress, anyone's guess as to what the next one finished will be. This story will be followed up by "In Like Quinn" in which Quinn begins her senior year at Lawndale High.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:

Thanks go out to...

Glenn Eichler and the other fine people who brought us five wonderful seasons and two movies of "Daria".

MTV and Viacom for airing the show, even though we're all disappointed in how they've treated it since then.

My lovely wife Rachel, who performed her usual stunning job as beta-reader and creative consultant.

My baby girl Krysia, who at only one year old became a fan of Daria (indicating her appreciation by dropping whatever she was doing to watch the show whenever the theme song came on). By the age of sixteen months, she was pointing at the image on the screen and saying "Dar-yah". She didn't help much with this story, but what's a list of credits without a few people who didn't really contribute?

All the webmasters who posted this story, and all my readers.


DISCLAIMERS:

Daria and associated characters are the property of MTV which, in turn, is the property of Viacom. Characters are used without permission. The fact that MTV and Viacom are aware of Daria fan websites with fanfic content and choose not to take action against such sites is taken as implicit permission to use their characters in stories such as this one.

This story is Copyright 2002 by Mike Yamiolkoski and may be distributed freely only in its entirety and with the above notices intact.

Contact the author at MikeYamiolkoski@msn.com. Comments, reviews, and particularly ILLUSTRATIONS are always welcome!