Disclaimer: I own none of the characters from Daria, they belong to the copyright holders. Don't sue me, I'm broke.

Daria: There and Back Again

One

Quinn Morgendorffer sighed softly as she rode the elevator up, her light brown hair flowing gracefully over her shoulders. She was not looking forward to this. "Hello," she smiled as she strode out of the elevator, "are you a receptionist?"

The grizzled reporter, his brown hair falling into his eyes, flatly responded, "No, I am not. What do you..."

"I was wondering," Quinn ignored his response and smiled sweetly, "could you direct me to my sister, Daria? I understand she works here."

"Daria Morgendorffer?" the older man blinked. "Yeah," he pointed towards the back, "that cubicle over there."

"Thanks," Quinn beamed before skipping off.

The office was loud and busy as men and women typed away on PCs, talked on the phone or otherwise did the various jobs of a newspaper reporter. As she neared a certain cubicle a familiar voice demanded, "Mr Senator, are you denying the accusation that you are padding your accounts?"

"No, I..." the voice stammered.

"So you're confirming the rumour?" Daria verbally pounced as Quinn reached the opening to peer inside. "Because I understand the Senate committee is getting ready to press charges."

"WHAT?" he squealed. "That's not what I meant," the senator squeaked.

Daria leaned back, a shark like grin on the brown haired woman's face. With contacts instead of those horrid coke bottle glasses and clothes that looked stylish rather than from a garbage bin, Daria had come into her own.

"Well, senator," Daria said to him in a dangerous purr, "this story is running in an hour, so I'd recommend deciding what you meant to say soon. Otherwise we'll just go with this conversation as your quote."

To the sound of incoherent bleating, Daria hung up.

"Daria," Quinn said as she leaned up against the wall, "are you torturing politicians again? Mom disapproves of that."

"Mom isn't here," Daria answered dryly as she looked her pretty sister up and down. "What do you want now?" she asked.

"I can't just visit my sister?" Quinn asked innocently.

Daria gave her a look, "Quinn."

"Heh," Quinn smiled slightly. "I have a favor to ask," she conceded.

Daria sighed as she picked up her cellphone and put it in her pocket. She said, "I want lunch if I'm going to have to listen to you whine."

"Let's go," Quinn said agreeably before adding, "and I do not whine."

"Yeah, right," Daria said, pausing to grab a jacket and tossing it over her t-shirt and blue jeans. Despite her informal clothes she didn't stand out too much, the men and women in her office also going for comfort rather than style.

The sun beat down as they strode out of the office tower, both women drawing the eye though only one was really aware of it. 'Poor Daria,' Quinn mused, seeing how women seemed drawn to the tough reporter, 'I wonder how long it'll take before she figures it out?' The café the stopped in was brightly lit and crowded, a good sign the food might be good too.

Daria confirmed it as she said, "This is where the newsroom usually goes. Good food, not badly priced." They sat at a patio table, and were quickly provided menus. They ordered, the waiter scurried off and soon returned with their food.

"I saw your byline on the Sick Sad World website. You must have been very proud," Quinn complimented her.

"Eh," Daria blushed a bit as she waved it off, "the site's become just a branch of News of The Weird, pretty much. Tho it was nice to get featured."

Quinn smiled. Daria could be so cute when she tried to be cool.

"So what did you want to see me about?" Daria wondered.

"Well, you know the Lawndale Highschool reunion is coming up," Quinn started.

"Oh HELL no," Daria shook her head.

Quinn ignored the interuption and continued saying calmly, "And the fashion club has ended up helping organize the event, as you would expect. It would look really bad if the leader of the club's sister didn't go."

"I thought you said to your friends I wasn't your sister?" Daria said with a wry smile.

"It's in the information packets the school sent out," Quinn responded, looking a bit sheepish over how she had treated Daria in school.

And while Quinn wouldn't TELL her that, but Daria was something of a big deal. At least by Lawndale standards. The only famous people in the reunion were a moderately successful quarterback, a model, Quinn herself, a painter and... Daria Morgendorffer, syndicated columnist.

"Still not going," Daria repeated.

Quinn fiddled with her drink then said, "You know, Lawndale still has a number of Jane Lane's old paintings. Now that she's famous, I could TOTALLY see Principal Li selling them to make money for the school."

Daria scowled. She clearly COULD see that happening.

"But if Jane and a certain well known columnist showed up and made a stink, I'm pretty sure she'd have to back off," Quinn smiled sweetly.

There was a moment of dead silence as Daria processed that. "I hate you," she said flatly after a few seconds.

"You're going, though, aren't you?" Quinn asked.

"Yeah, I'm going," Daria conceded grumpily.

"Good. Your girlfriend already agreed," Quinn noted chirpily.

"She's NOT my girlfriend," Daria blushed.

Quinn gave her a look. "We're not playing THAT game, are we? I know what I walked in on that one time," she pointed out.

Daria blushed the cutest pink.

Quinn polished off her meal and got up, slinging her matching purse over her shoulder. "I'll look forward to you sending in your acceptance package," she teased.

Daria growled something unmentionable under her breath.

"Say hi to Jane for me," Quinn waved as she trotted off.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

Daria DID in fact get a call back from the desperate senator's press secretary. He, of course, protested his client's innocence and that the whole thing was a complete misunderstanding. Which was amusing as they had photographic evidence. So she and her editor were running the quote and pics for the story... the responses should be hilarious.

Packing up her stuff Daria headed to her editor's cubical up the corridor. "Hey," she tapped on the divider.

"Morgendorffer," he nodded. "What can I do for you?" he asked.

"Dennison," she answered, "need a few days off in two weeks or so."

Matt Dennison raised his eyebrows. "You don't usually take days off," he noted, "family emergency? Or what?"

"Sort of emergency," Daria made a face, "high school reunion."

Matt snickered. "From what you've said in your columns, I thought you hated high school. Why go?" he asked.

"Blackmail," Daria answered dryly.

Matt wasn't sure she was serious or not, but decided it wasn't his business anyway. He got the dates from her and booked her off. "All right, that's done," he informed her. Matt smiled wryly, "Why not make it a working vacation? Write a column on the reunion."

"I'll think about it," Daria said as she headed off.

Though Daria had a car, she generally used public transit to go to and from work. Parking, as a example, was expensive as hell in the downtown core. Worse, her work had no parking at all, meaning she;d either have to rent monthly or pay tuinous fees daily. Better just to leave the boat at home.

"I'm home!" Daria called as she unlocked the door to the apartment.

"Welcome back!" Jane Lane called from her studio.

Technically it wasn't a apartment, but a converted warehouse space. It was on the edge of the bad side of town, which kept the rent reasonable for such a large space. It had originally had two bedrooms, a large living room, kitchen and dining area. Once they moved in they converted the living room to Jane's studio, one bedroom into a office for Daria and so on...

"Did Quinn ambush you yet?" Jane asked dryly as Daria entered the studio.

"You too?" Daria asked.

"Yeah, she said Principal Li still has your journals and essays, and probably would publish them without your permission," Jane growled as she swept the brush across the canvas. "Let's kick her ass at the reunion."

There was a moment of dead silence as Daria processed that, then she laughed.

"What?" Jane asked

"Sometimes I think Quinn is a lot more devious than she seems...," Daria said as she explained.

To be continued...

Notes: It occurred to me after I wrote the original bit that I needed a REASON Daria would go to a reunion, since she hated highschool with a passion. So I had Quinn blackmail her, sorta. In canon Quinn is shallow, but not actually dumb, so I don't think it's THAT big a stretch.

This 'revised' chapter will be part one, the original first chapter will be part two, and part three will involve them getting their stuff back from Principal Li and other stuff.