Daria: "Is Summer Over Already?" by Mike Yamiolkoski.



"Is Summer Over Already?"

NOTE: This is a fifth-season story, taking place in the 4-month gap between "Is It Fall Yet?" and "Fizz Ed".

This story is best enjoyed by someone who is familiar with the events of the fourth season and the movie, as there are several references throughout the story. Actually, there are references to various episodes throughout the story – but none to other fanfics, even my own. I don't footnote – you'll have to figure out for yourself where the references are (I have complete confidence in the perception and intelligence of my readers).

It's also much longer than my previous works, so get comfy before reading.

part one



Daria, Tom, and Jane are at Pizza King splitting a pie between them. Daria & Tom are on one side of the table, Jane on the other.

Tom: "Show your school spirit with the gift of urine"? Did she really say that?

Daria: Yup. You could hear the Fashion Club "Ew-ing" clear across the building. I was tempted to bring in a few buckets of pee, but I decided that might look too much like willingness to participate. Besides, where would I get it all on such short notice?

Tom: Now that Howard Hughes is dead.

Daria: Anyway, I look upon the start of senior year much the same way I look upon my birthday. It indicates that I'm one year closer to my death.

Tom: Always the silver lining.

Daria: So, Jane, how was your day? I didn't see you much after DiMartino's class.

Jane: Hmm? Oh, fine. (draws in a long breath) Listen, I gotta go.

Daria: We just got here. You haven't even finished a slice.

Jane: Yeah, but I was planning a long run this afternoon. (she gets up) Don't want to fill up too much.

Daria: Um, okay. See you tomorrow?

Jane: Sure. (she exits)

Daria: I wonder what that was about?

Tom: You know, maybe it wasn't such a good idea, the three of us getting together like this. I mean, I know Jane said she was cool with it, but…

Daria: But, what?

Tom: I have to admit, it was pretty awkward for me too.

Daria: (sigh) This is going to take a lot of getting used to.

Tom: Look, let's forget the movie tonight. Maybe you should go talk to Jane instead.

Daria: What am I supposed to say to her? "Hi Jane, I know I stole your boyfriend, but that doesn't mean we can't all get along!" God, I don't know why I thought this was going to work out.

Tom: (a little angry) What do you mean by that?

Daria: Huh?

Tom: It's just that we've both been through a lot for this, and I don't think we should give up on it so fast.

Daria: No, Tom… look, that's not what I meant. I want "you and me" to work out too, I told you that. I was just kind of hoping that I wouldn't have to always divide my time between you and Jane. Both of you are really good friends to me, and I would hate it if we couldn't even share a pizza together.

Tom: Oh. Sorry, I didn't mean to jump on you like that.

Daria: It's okay. I think this situation has us all on edge.

Tom: Look, Daria… I don't want you to take this the wrong way. You really mean a lot to me, and I think we could really be great for each other. But, if it comes down to a choice between me and Jane… I'll understand.

Daria: (looking down) Thanks, Tom. (she gets up to leave) I want to go home and think about this. I'll call you later.

Tom: (a little down) No problem.

Daria starts to walk away, then goes back to Tom, gently turns his face toward her, and gives him a kiss. They both smile, and Daria leaves.

Across the street, Jane's leaning unhappily on a lamppost. She sighs a bit when she sees the kiss, then jogs away.

EXT: Daria walking home.

Daria looks thoughtful as she walks along, various flashbacks running through her mind.

Daria: Me? Try to take Tom away from you? Are you crazy?

Jane: Okay, maybe not trying to steal him or anything, but what's going on with you two?

Jane: Hey, what's up? Talk to me.

Daria: I kissed your boyfriend.

Jane: What?

Daria: I kissed your boyfriend. I kissed Tom. I'm sorry!

Jane: Tom and I broke up.

Daria: What? Not because of me!

Jane: No, not because of you. So, I don't care if you go out with him. It's fine with me.

Daria: So, you don't hate me?

Jane: Of course I hate you! You tell me you're gonna stay away from him and five minutes later you're making out in a car!

Daria: Are we still friends? …are we?!

Jane: Yeah, we're the kind of friends who can't stand the sight of each other.

Jane: Daria, I said, let it go.

Daria: I'm confused. What are we talking about here?

Jane: We're talking about you, Daria Morgendorffer. You thought that a boyfriend was worth screwing up a really good friendship. A really important friendship.

Jane: You know, I think I really am over that now, as opposed to before when I just said I was over it.

Daria stops walking, not in front of her own house, but in front of Jane's. She take a long look at it, then shrugs and continues home.


Jake's sitting at the kitchen table when Daria walks in.

Jake: Hey, Kiddo! How was your first day back at school?

Daria: That was yesterday, Dad.

Jake: Oh. Well, how was today, then?

Daria: Not too bad. The explosion only took out the west wing. Fortunately, the casualty count remained within acceptable levels.

Jake: (freaks) Oh my God, are you all right?!


Jake: (much calmer) That was a joke, wasn't it?

Daria: You're getting better at this, I'll grant you that much.

Jake: Ha-ha! Good one, kiddo!

Daria: Thanks. I'm thinking of leaving school and going on the stand-up circuit.


Daria: That was a joke too. But I'll admit, it was hard to tell.

Jake: Thanks, Daria.

Daria: I'm going upstairs.


It's twilight outside. Daria ties her shoes and get up to leave. When she opens the door, Jane's standing there.

Daria: Eep!

Jane: You didn't used to be that easy to startle.

Daria: What are you doing here?

Jane: Thought I'd save you the trip over to my place. Anyway, the Spiral is practicing tonight, so there's no way we'd be able to get anything said.

Daria: What makes you think I was coming to see you?

Jane: Were you?

Daria: I asked you first.

Jane: Invite me in.

Daria: You're just trying to render me powerless. It won't work.

(Jane comes in, Daria closes the door. They face off in the middle of the room.)

Daria: Are you uncomfortable hanging out with me and Tom?

Jane: Okay, that worked.

Daria: What did?

Jane: Cutting right to the chase to throw me off guard. You have learned much, young one.

Daria: Okay, now answer the question.

Jane: (sits on the bed) Look, I know I said I was over it, and I meant it.

Daria: There's a "but" in there somewhere.

Jane: Odd numbers just don't work very well. I mean, when it was two of us, things were great. When Tom came along, that made three, and that made you uncomfortable, until the two of you started actually getting along, which made me uncomfortable. And now, with all this emotional baggage, we're all uncomfortable.

Daria: I suppose the three of us don't have to hang out.

Jane: Yeah, but that's not fair to you. It sucks when your boyfriend and your best friend don't get along, believe me.

Daria: There's another load off my conscience.

Jane: Look, I'm not trying to make you feel bad. I think you feel bad enough about the whole thing without me making it worse.

Daria: I still feel like I owe you something.

Jane: (suddenly thoughtful) You know, that might just work.

Daria: Oh, no. Last time you got that look on your face, you turned the gymnasium into a really gruesome mural.

Jane: Don't you see? The whole problem is the numbers. As long as there's three of us, things will never work out.

Daria: Hm.

Jane: Unless we want to make some major changes to our lifestyles.

Daria: That Allison girl rubbed off on you, didn't she?

Jane: Look, I know how we can ease the tension, get a workable group again, and soothe your conscience all in one go.

Daria: This ought to be good.

Jane: It's simple: You need to find me a boyfriend.

Daria: Excuse me?

Jane: Look. The facts of the matter are these. I had a boyfriend. You stole him. You owe me another one to make up for it.

Daria: You want me to match you up with someone?

Jane: Hey, we need to balance the books here. And once you've found him for me, we can go to Pizza King as a foursome instead. The even numbers are restored, you've atoned for your sins, and Tom gets to see me with someone else and kick himself for letting go of such a fine woman.

Daria: Let me make sure I understand the nature of this plan. You want me, the Misery Chick, to find you, the Tiger Lady, a boyfriend?

Jane: I'm offering a settlement. (smirks) You pay me the sum of one eligible bachelor, or we go to court. And you know that you don't have a case.

Daria: Look, I don't want to bring up unpleasant memories, but do you remember what happened last time you wanted me to help you with something that I was almost entirely unqualified to do?

Jane: Okay, so the hair striping thing was a mistake. This time it's different.

Daria: How so? Except for this being a much bigger deal.

Jane: What's the worst that can happen? You might set me up on a bad date. I've had enough of those to thicken my skin.

Daria: One more thing: Are you doing this because you really think it will help, or do you just want to watch me squirm?

Jane: A little of both, I admit.

Daria: Honesty. That's what I needed to hear. All right, Lane, we have a deal.

Jane: All righty then.

Daria: Now get out. I've got work to do. Tomorrow at lunch, we meet on the roof.

Jane: Yes, ma'am. (turns to leave, singing) Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match…

Daria: Sing that again and the deal's off.

Jane: Fair enough.

Jane leaves. Daria waits until she hears the door downstairs close, then picks up the phone and dials.

Daria: Tom? It's me. You'll never believe what I just got myself into.


Jane: Okay, amiga, let's get me a guy!

Daria: First things first. I've prepared a little questionnaire for you. If we're going to do this, we're going to do it right.

Jane: Fire away. This is your project, I'm just the lab mouse.

Daria: First Question:

Jane: J-A-N-E L-A-N-E.

Daria: (glares) "What are you looking for in a relationship?"

Jane: Nookie.

Daria: Answers like that will get you a date with Upchuck.

Jane: This is me, taking you seriously. Um, let's see… I'm looking for short-term, possibility for longer. Casual dates without serious planning. Time alone when I want it. No getting past first base for two-week minimum. After that, renegotiate.

Daria: Fine.

Jane: Oh, and he has to like my best friend, just not as much as my last boyfriend did.

Daria: Funny. Next Question: "My new boyfriend must not be a…"

Jane: Jerk. Moron. Football player.

Daria: Those are all the same thing.

Jane: Okay, let's see here… I don't want another rich boy. No joggers, I run alone. No cowboys. That's all that comes to mind right off the top.

Daria: Got it. Now the good stuff: "The first physical attribute I notice about a guy is…"

Jane: Eyes. No question about it.

Daria: Any particular preferences?

Jane: Two.

Daria: Color, Jane.

Jane: Blue. The darker the better. Green works too.

Daria: "Second physical attribute is…"

Jane: Heiney.

Daria: How do you spell that?

Jane: B-U-T-T.

Daria: Good. Now: "My ideal first date is…"

Jane: Jet to a Hollywood premiere and reception with the stars. Five-star restaurant and ballroom dancing. Champagne on the beach at sunrise.

Daria: Second date?

Jane: Burger.

Daria: Seriously.

Jane: It's really not that important. As long as it's fun, that's what matters.

Daria: Okay.

Jane: And if he spends an obscene amount of money on me, I won't complain.

Daria: Moving right along: "My potential boyfriend likes to talk about…"

Jane: Art.

Daria: I typed that answer in last night.

Jane: Okay. Music. The pointlessness of life. Last night's episode of "Sick, Sad World". How breathtakingly gorgeous I am.

Daria: All right. (distant bell rings) We'll pick this up after school. Pizza King. No Tom.

Jane: I feel like we're making real progress here, don't you?


Jane and Daria sit in a booth with pizza.

Daria: Where were we?

Jane: Question thirty-seven.

Daria: Right. "Aside from –ahem– unauthorized kissing, if my boyfriend did this, I'd dump him on the spot."

Jane: Hmm… One: Gave me a flower to apologize for doing something stupid. Two: Insulted my paintings. Three: Said that Quinn was cute. Four: Said that Trent was cute. Five: Revealed himself to be related to Upchuck in any way.

Daria: I still have nightmares about that one.

Jane: (shudders) Think of what might have been. Eww.

Daria: I think we need another slice before going on.

Jane: Works for me.


Jane: "The Matrix", "Psycho", and "Dr. Strangelove, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb."

Daria: Got it.

Jane: Oh, and "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians".

Daria: I'm writing that down, you know. Your fault if you end up with the pizza delivery kid.

Jane: You'd never catch him. He's too afraid of us.


Jane is painting while Daria sits on the bed. We see only the back of the canvas. Sick, Sad World is muted on the TV.

Daria: Last one: "My biggest turn-on is…"

Jane: Foot massage.

Daria: Excuse me?

Jane: You never knew that? God, it's the best. Especially after a long run.

Daria: Is Tom any good at it?

Jane: That, my dear, I leave you to find out for yourself.

Daria: Mm.

Jane: Just do yourself a favor, and don't ask why when he stops rubbing for a moment. It's about to get even better.

Daria: Enough info, thank you. Is that painting ready?

Jane: Almost… there. What do you think?

Daria walks over and has a look.

Daria: (little smile) Perfect.


Daria hangs up the painting Jane was working on, steps back, and photographs it several times with a digital camera. From her POV, we see that it's a portrait of Jane herself, arms crossed, eyebrow raised, smirk. It's quintessential Jane.

Daria plugs the camera into her computer and loads up the images. She selects one, pops it into a word document, and begins typing.

Tom: Hey, great picture.

Daria: Eep! (she turns to see Tom standing over her shoulder) Will you people stop doing that?

Tom: Doing what? I dropped by to see how things are going with Jane, and Quinn told me to come up here. Actually, she more sort of waved me up and went back to the phone.

Daria: Figures. Anyway, I thought it would be good to punch up something like a resume. Jane in a nutshell, that sort of thing.

Tom: Are you sure that's the best way to go about this?

Daria: No. (she pulls her glasses off and rubs her eyes) Dammit, I'm no good at this sort of thing! Why is Jane doing this to me?

Tom: If you really want to know, my guess would be revenge.

Daria: Probably. She seemed pretty blasé about whether I'd actually succeed. She probably figures nothing will come of it, and just wants to watch me sweat for a while.

Tom: So, what's the problem?

Daria: The problem is, I actually do want to succeed. She kind of had a point, you know, about me "owing" her. And, I do think things would be less awkward if she had a guy at the table when we got together.

Tom: You know, I have a few friends. Maybe we could set her up with one of them.

Daria: Here's her list of requirements. Do they meet them?

Tom: Hmm… no.

Daria: They're rich, right?

Tom: All except Harold, and he doesn't have a very cute butt. So, what are you going to do?

Daria: Oh, I know what to do. I just shudder to think of the consequences.


Quinn's on the phone.

Quinn: So anyway, I feel like I have a really good shot at Pepperhill now. And you know, it would really be great if there was someone there I already knew, you know, so we could pledge the good sororities together. So, I was thinking that –

Knock knock

Quinn: Hold on a moment, Stacy. (covers phone) Who is it? I'm on the phone here!

Daria: (from outside the door) It's your cousin.

Quinn: (peevish) What do you want?

Daria: I need mumble

Quinn: What?

Daria: I need your help with something!

Quinn: Stacy, I'll call you back. (hangs up) Come in!

Daria opens the door, and she and Tom come in. She hasn't bothered to put her glasses back.

Quinn: You talked her into giving the contacts another shot, didn't you! Great! This time, let's get you some colored ones.

Daria: (putting her glasses back on) It's not the contacts, Quinn.

Tom: You wore contacts?

Daria: It was a dark, dismal chapter in my life.

Quinn: She looks so cute without her glasses.

Tom: With them, too.

Daria: I pray for death, and all I get is day after day of this miserable existence.

Quinn: If it's not that, what is it?

Daria: It's about Jane…

Quinn: (looks back and forth from Daria to Tom) You told her! Daria, what were you thinking?

Daria: Quinn…

Tom: Daria told Jane about us four months ago. It took some time, but she's cool with it now.

Quinn: So, what's the problem?

Daria: It's like this. I'm trying to set up Jane with a new boyfriend, to try to make up for all this. But I can't do it, because I don't know any guys.

Quinn: Let me get this straight. You want me to find a boyfriend for your weird art friend?

Tom: Is she always like this?

Daria: She used to be worse. Jane was once my "loser art friend".

Quinn: Hel-LO, I'm talking here. All right. What kind of guy is she looking for?

Daria: Here's a list of qualifications.

Quinn: Good, you're learning. (she reads down the list) What good is all this? How am I supposed to find a guy for her if she doesn't even say what kind of car he should drive?

Daria: This was a mistake. A huge mistake. Let's go, Tom.

Quinn: Hold on, it's not totally hopeless. There's some useful information here. (suddenly very businesslike) I believe I can help you. Let's discuss payment.

Daria: I thought of that one. Here's my deal. Do this for me, and you have one future claim.

Quinn: What's that?

Daria: You'll need something from me, eventually. Give me this favor and I give you one when the time comes, no questions asked.

Quinn: Hmmm… that idea does have merit…

Daria: Are we agreed?

Quinn: Yes. I think we can work together. (she pulls out her coral-pink organizer) Let's get started.


Daria sits at her computer, Quinn stands reading from her organizer, Tom slouches on the bed watching what's going on.

Daria: There, that's the last of them. Every eligible boy in your planner entered into a categorized database.

Quinn: Try not to sound so geeky, Daria. Hey, can I get a printout of it, though? Anyway, what's next?

Daria: We enter Jane's information and try to get as many matches as we can. (she punches the enter key and sits back to wait)

Tom: How long?

Daria: With this wind-up computer? Who knows. Hopefully, this side of the apocalypse.

Quinn: Whatever. Daria, I'm going to bed. Let me know when you've got your list of hopefuls. (she leaves)

Tom: Daria, just so you know, I will never, ever leave you for your sister.

Daria: Comforting. –sigh– The problem is, I'm not sure how much help she was.

Tom: Why is that?

Daria: That was Quinn's kind of list. It's nice, long, detailed information – about who has a good car, and who has access to a private beach or a ski lodge, or how much a guy was willing to spend on her. The odds of finding real compatibility with Jane are slim at best. (sighs again) What have I gotten myself into?

Tom: I'll help wherever I can. It's just as much my fault that you're stuck with this.

Daria: Thanks, Tom. Right now I just need some sleep.

Tom: That's my cue to exit. (gives her a quick kiss, then leaves)

Daria leans back in her chair for a moment, contemplating the ceiling. Then she turns back to her computer and starts typing some more.


Jane's at her locker, unloading books. Daria shuffles up to hers and spins the dial around. She doesn't look so good.

Jane: Wow, you don't look so good. Rough night?

Daria: You might say that. (yawns)

Jane: Oh crap, I didn't forget another test in DiMartino's class, did I?

Daria: Huh?

Jane: You were up all night studying, right? Wait, when was the last time you had to study for a history test? (pause) You were up because of me, weren't you?

Daria: Just getting a good start on our little project, that's all.

Jane: Whoa, Daria, who said you had to do all this in one night? Look, maybe I'm being unfair to you. If this isn't going to work out, we'll think of something else.

Daria: No, that's all right, I'm in too deep to back out now.

Jane: Look, don't kill yourself over this. I'd have to console Tom, and God knows what kind of complications that could cause.

Daria shuffles off to class, while Jane looks a tad concerned.


Daria and Jodie are by the vent. Daria has a stack of printouts.

Jodie: You know, we're really not supposed to be up here.

Daria: Don't worry, I checked the forecast. No hurricanes today. Look… I want to ask a, um, favor.

Jodie: (surprised) Name it!

Daria: Aren't you going to ask for anything in return?

Jodie: (frowns a tiny bit) Just because I try to be friendly with everyone doesn't mean I don't know what an actual friend is, Daria. I'll do a favor for you because I want to, not because I want some payback.

Daria: (a little embarrassed) Um, yeah. Thanks. Here's the thing. You know how I, er, stole Jane's boyfriend?

Jodie: Despite having been in a cave all summer, yes.

Daria: Well, we worked out this little arrangement whereby I have to find her another one to make up for it. So, I need some info on all the guys in school to try and match her up.

Jodie: All the guys in school? Why don't you just ask your sister?

Daria: I already did.

Jodie: (impressed) Wow, this is really important to you, isn't it? But what makes you think I have dossiers on all the eligible males? I've had the same boyfriend for the past three years.

Daria: The problem is, Quinn's portfolio doesn't include everyone – just everyone who Quinn finds desirable. I need info on the less popular crowd, too. So I came up with a little plan, but I need to pitch it to Ms. Li. And for that, I need someone on her good side.

Jodie: Unfortunately, I do meet that description. I'll ask what the plan is, but first, could you tell me why I'm up here on the roof?

Daria: Cloak and Dagger.

Jodie: Real reason?

Daria: That is the real reason. Ms. Li hasn't put the surveillance equipment up here yet.


Daria and Jodie sit in a pair of chairs with Ms. Li behind her desk.

Jodie: Essentially, my idea is this: We send around questionnaires to the entire student body, and they fill them out and send them in. Then, we set up a computer program that cross-references all the various forms, and we end up with something like a "compatibility list" showing which students match up best with students of the opposite gender. This could help students expand their social circle.

Ms. Li: (uninterested) I see.

Daria: Of course, we'd have to make sure all the forms were destroyed afterwards. It's not a good idea to have all that personal information about, where it could get into someone's file and later be used against them.

Ms. Li: (definitely interested) I see…

Jodie: (frowning sideways glance at Daria) And, with Homecoming just around the corner, it might help some students find dates for the dance, and increase ticket sales.

Ms. Li: Well, you girls seem to have thought this out very thoroughly, well done! I'll get to work on the questionnaire right away!

Jodie: Actually, Ms. Li, we already have it prepared. (hands over a slim stack of papers)

Ms. Li: Mmm. Well, I'll check this over for completeness, and then arrange for copies to be made. I see no reason why we couldn't get started immediately! Thank you girls, that's all.

Jodie and Daria leave. As soon as they're gone, Ms. Li starts into the questionnaire. Ms. Li: (to herself) Question one: Have you ever been convicted of a felony? If no, attach proof of innocence.

INT: Hallway

Daria and Jodie come out of Ms. Li's office and walk down the hall.

Jodie: I think she would have gone for it without the subversive plot angle.

Daria: Just covering all the bases. Listen, thanks for your help. I know you've got a pretty full plate, I can do the rest on my own.

Jodie: Are you sure? What about getting all the forms distributed and picking them up again?

Daria: Already taken care of. I slipped a stack to each homeroom teacher this morning. I'll pick them up tomorrow.

Jodie: What about Ms. Li's version?

Daria: I'll give her some convincing-sounding but totally meaningless answers. I've had a stack of those kind of answers prepared since I hit my teen years.

Jodie: And the computer database? Who's going to program it?

Daria: That's the part I've really been dreading.


Upchuck leans against the brick wall of the school, a lecherous grin on his face.

Upchuck: I must admit, when you told me to meet you back here, my heart leaped like never before. So tell me, fair one, why all the coy pretense, only to lead up to this?

Daria: Upchuck, don't make this harder than it is. I need a favor from you.

Upchuck: I knew this day would come! I never dared to imagine it would be so soon!

Daria: (shaking her head) Why am I doing this? Look, let's make this easy on ourselves. I'll tell you what I want from you, then I'll tell you what you can have in return. No negotiation. If you don't like the terms, no deal. Got it?

Upchuck: Grrr… feis–

Daria: If you say "feisty" I will kick you in the scrotum. Twice. With steel-toed boots.

Upchuck: -gulp-

Daria: That's better. Here's the deal. You've probably seen the questionnaires going around. I need you to set up a computer program that can take the resulting data, cross-reference it, and produce a list of compatible male-female matches. Then, I need you to set up a similar program which will produce a more detailed compatibility list for one particular female. No, it's not me. Finally, I need you to keep your mouth shut about the second part.

Upchuck: And my payment for this would be?

Daria: Do this for me, and you may set yourself up with high compatibility scores for anyone you want, excluding Jane and me.

Upchuck: Hmm… I don't know…

Daria: Please?

Upchuck is startled to hear this.

Upchuck: What – what did you say?

Daria: God, don't make me repeat it.

Upchuck: Oh, sweet one. That I might hear such a word cross those tender lips. (bows low) I will do this thing that you ask.

Daria: Thank you. (she walks off, a tired, resigned look on her face)

Upchuck leans back against the wall, places his hands over his heart, and sighs with contentment.


Tom and Daria are seated at a table, looking at menus. Daria looks tired, Tom looks concerned.

Tom: I hate to be a pest, but are you sure you're up for being out tonight?

Daria: I'm fine, Tom. Being here with you is much less demanding than eating at home with my family, believe me.

Tom: As long as I remain the lesser of two evils.

Daria: I didn't mean it like that.

Tom: Wow, you must be tired. Even your sense of sarcasm has betrayed you.

Daria: Sorry, Tom. I am pretty exhausted.

Tom: You're pretty when you're exhausted.

Daria: I do have a knife over here. A big, sharp one.

Tom: That's the Daria I've been missing. It's not fair for you to have to go through all this, you know.

Daria: The worst is over now. Once I've got the results from the questionnaire, it's Jane's turn to wish she'd never embarked on this whole thing. That's when she gets to go on dates with the top ten.

Tom: That "Barf" guy you talk about isn't going to be on the list, is he?

Daria: "Upchuck". No, I spared her that. At a terrible cost.

Tom's eyes get wide with shock.

Daria: Not that terrible.

Tom relaxes.

Tom: I hate to bring this up, but there's something I've been thinking about.

Daria: What's that?

Tom: Well, you've got a fairly comprehensive list now, but it's only guys from Lawndale High. Jane's been going there for three years now, and she's probably already formed an opinion on most of them. A fairly negative one, if I might make a wild guess.

Daria: You had to burst my bubble, didn't you? And just when I was feeling so happy and carefree.

Tom: There's a simple answer. We just need to get some prospects from outside the hallowed halls of your institution.

Daria: I really don't think I have the energy to spread this little questionnaire all over town.

Tom: Relax, you've done enough. I'll take care of this part. It's just a matter of checking the personal ads, narrowing it down to prospective dates for Jane, and making sure they're not psychopaths.

Daria: You won't be able to get the compatibility info.

Tom: Actually, I was thinking that it would be an interesting experiment to see whether the compatibility program is any better than my gut instinct.

Daria: How long to you think it'll take you to do this?

Tom: Give me a few days. And during that time, you need to get some rest. Go have fun with Jane, read some depressing novels, take advantage of the fact that you have a boyfriend with a jacuzzi. You're really going above and beyond here.

Daria: Well… okay.

Tom: Cool. Now let's get some chicken wings, I'm starving.


Tom sits in front of his computer (there's a small color portrait of Daria, almost smiling, taped to the upper left corner of his monitor), surfing through internet ads. He stops, writes one down, then continues.

Daria and Jane are out for Pizza, chatting like always. At another table, Brittany smacks Kevin for one of his usual dumb remarks, and storms out. Daria and Jane both smirk at this.

Upchuck types furiously away at his machine. There's a large black-and-white picture of Daria tacked to the wall just above, a picture that was obviously taken without her knowledge across a crowded Lawndale High hallway.

Tom sits surrounded by newspaper ads. He's circling some with red pen.

Daria and Jodie sit at a large scanning machine, running forms through it. Daria stops the machine for a moment, pulls out one form, with Quinn's name on it. Daria makes minor change, then puts it back. Jodie frowns, but lets it pass.

Tom talks on the phone, a stack of printouts in his lap, making notes.

Daria knocks at a door. Upchuck answers. She reaches in her pocket and pulls out a compact disc, handing it to him. Upchuck makes a sweeping motion with his arm, inviting her in. Daria shakes her head and walks away, leaving Upchuck doing his growl and tiger-claw imitation.

Daria and Jane leave Lawndale High for the day. Jane puts on some headphones and jogs off. A moment later, Tom pulls up. Daria gets in his car and they drive away.

Daria knocks again at Upchuck's door. Upchuck answers, hands her a large envelope. He then leans suavely against the doorframe and makes, presumably, an indecent proposal. Daria points back over her shoulder to where an angry-looking Tom stands by his car. Upchuck waves and grins nervously, then runs back into the house. Daria smiles at Tom, who smiles back and gives a thumbs-up.



Daria sits on her bed, papers surrounding her. Tom's at her computer.

Daria: I have to admit, Upchuck did some good work here. Jane's got about thirty matches. I should be able to eliminate a few based on personal experience, but that still leaves plenty to work with.

Tom: I was able to narrow my list down to four potentials. It wasn't easy explaining to my mother why I was looking through the personals for single men. Do you think it would be all right if we kissed a little more often in front of her, just to set her mind at ease?

Daria: You know me. Willing to go above and beyond.

Tom: You wouldn't believe some of the nutcases I talked to. Did you know that your history teacher's looking for a soulmate?

Daria: That was more than I needed to know. I hope the people you ended up with are more compatible than that.

Tom: We'll see. I've got a first-year law student, a musician, a photographer, and some guy from my school. He's a grade below me, just moved in, so I never met him.

Daria: Tom, not to pass judgment, but Jane said she didn't want to date a rich guy.

Tom: He's on a full-ride scholarship. He's one of the little people, not to worry.

Daria: Well, I guess all that remains is to narrow down the Lawndale list and set Jane up on some dates. I'll pick the top four from here.

Tom: Out of curiosity, who was number one on the list?

Daria: (checks the list, and smiles) Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.

end part one...