Bouncing 'Round the Room (Part II)

Bouncing 'Round the Room (Part II)

By: Sam Lincoln (samlincoln@mac.com)

For Disclaimers and Spoilers see Part I

Dave drove them back to the Morgendorfer household. Daria let them into the house. Dave walked into the living room and rocked on his feet nervously.

"I'll go see if Quinn's up."

"Thanks Daria." Dave started to whistle tunelessly, before long Daria came back downstairs.

"Take a seat, she's in the shower so it'll be a while." Daria headed for the door. "Good luck."

"Where are you going?"

Daria looked around, "Out. I have a feeling I don't want to be around here."

Dave chuckled, "That's probably a wise idea. Take it easy Daria, thanks for the chat."

"Don't mention it, discussing human frailty is a favorite hobby of mine." Daria picked up her backpack and walked out the door.

Dave sat on the couch, aimlessly staring around the room. He sighed and walked outside to retrieve the newspaper. He settled back down on the couch and began to read. By the time Quinn came downstairs Dave had already read the comics, sports and was starting on the front page.

Quinn was somewhat surprised to see Dave sitting on the couch, "Oh, good morning Dave. I wasn't expecting to find you here."

Dave folded up the paper and smiled, "What you didn't believe my note?"

Quinn shrugged, "It just said you'd be seeing me today."

"What can I say, I don't have anywhere else to go."

Quinn shuffled her feet, "So, what do you want to talk about?"

"Oh, I just wanted to say I had a great time last night and I'll see you Monday." Dave stood up and moved to the door.

"Ohwell I did too."

"Well, bye Quinn." Dave hesitated for a moment then pulled Quinn into an affectionate hug. He kissed her and then quickly left before Quinn could respond.

Later that day Quinn was at Stacy's house describing the previous night's experiences. "Oh, it was horrible, the audience was full of hippies, and not just posers, real smelly hippies. Wearing filthy tie-died clothes and their hair was all braided in ratty dreadlocks, and it just so didn't work for them, especially since none of them had bathed in like forever."

"Oh Quinn it sounds so awful, it's really great of you to put yourself through such hardships for the Fashion Club, we are getting those tickets for NSync right?"

"Dave said he'd have them by the end of the week."

"Oh, that's great, this is going to be so cool. I'm just sorry you had to go through that ordeal with the hippies."

"Well, you know, I have my duty to my friends, besides Dave was there so it wasn't all bad."

"Really? You mean you like him?"

Quinn stopped for a moment, "I guess, I don't know, he's a nice enough guy, and he has been really cool about getting us to shows and stuff."

"But he's a geek, why would you want to seriously go out with a geek?"

"He's not a geek. Sure he's smart and doesn't like a lot of popular stuff, but he does un-geeky stuff too, like go to all those concerts, and he drinks and stuff."

"Doesn't make him any less of a loser."

"And he's given you all that Dave Matthews stuff, for free."

"Oh my god, that's right. Ok he's not a total loserstill Sandi doesn't like him, what do you think she'll do if she thinks you're going out with him because you like him, and not because you want stuff from him?"

Quinn frowned, "Sandi can go suck a lemondon't tell her I said that. I'm going out with Dave because I kind of like him, but more importantly I am getting stuff from him, so why change things?"

"Quinn you are just so clever."

"I know, now tell me, what do you think I should war to school next week?"

The following Monday progressed as usual for Quinn, with teachers droning on and on about things she didn't see the point to care about.

"Now class," DeMartino bellowed, "I know it's a little early to mention your research papers, but I figure if I start talking about it now it might seep into your pea-sized brains and you'll actually remember it for a change. Your papers are due six weeks from today, you may pick your topic, but it must be at least ten pages in length and it must be at least remotely researched. Good luck, I have a feeling you're going to need it." During DeMartino's diatribe Quinn was busily examining her finger nails. On her way to lunch she ran into Dave.

"Hey Quinn how you doing?" Dave asked as he pulled her into a brief hug.

"Hi Dave, I'm fine, thanks for asking." Quinn replied as she hastily pulled herself away.

"Say Quinn, would you mind stopping by my house after school? There's something I want to talk to you about."

"I can't I have a Fashion Club meeting after school."

"Can't you ditch this one? Please, it's important." Quinn's indecision was visible. "I'll throw in dinner as well."

"Ok, I think I can give Sandi a good excuse."

"Great, I'll pick you up out in the parking lot?"

Quinn shrugged, "Fine."

"Thanks a lot Quinn, see you then."

"Bye Dave." Impulsively Quinn gave Dave a peck on the cheek and continued on her way to lunch.

After school Quinn found Dave waiting beside his car. "Hi, this is sort of exciting. I haven't seen your house yet." She said as she slid into the VW.

Dave shrugged as he steered the car, "There's not too much to see, just a lot of empty roomsit's pretty much just my dad and me living there."

"You don't have any servants? I know if I were rich I'd surround myself with servants, I'd love to have a butler."

"Nope, not a one, it's something we don't need on a day to day basiswell ok, I lied we do have a cook, that's more because it's usually a bad idea for me and my dad to try to cook." Dave paused, "That was a terrifically stereotypical thing for me to say wasn't it?"

Quinn shrugged, "I still don't see why you don't have more servants."

Dave sighed, "I dunno, it's just not who we are I guess, well, there are my dad's aides, they count I supposeso I'm lying to you, we do have servants, just not traditional ones" He paused,, "Why in hell are we talking about this?"

"I don't know, you brought it up. I figured that Mr. Brain knew what he was saying."

"Quinn there are times when even the brightest genius talks out of his ass."

"Oh."

They drove on until Dave pulled in front of a wrought iron gate. He leaned out of the car and typed a number into a keypad positioned by the gate. Noiselessly the gate swung open and Dave drove the car up a long driveway. They eventually stopped next to a very large house, "Well, this is it, the new Wylie Manor." The house was of a style best described as modern Victorian. An array of satellite dishes bristled on one end of the lawn and a large assortment of wires snaked out of the house. "Come on, I'll give you the nickel tour." Dave lead Quinn inside.

The interior of the house was elegantly appointed, yet at the same time lifeless, like it was a catalog for wealthy homeowners.

"This is the reception area, where my dad has social functions, I don't spend anytime here, the other side of the house is the nerve center for the family business, so I'm sure you don't want to see that. Let's go check out the habitation zone." He motioned for Quinn to follow him through a set of double doors.

"How big is this place?"

Dave shrugged, "I've never bothered to ask, big enough and then some. Okay, we're now in the living quarters, there's a gym and rec room downstairs, the first floor's library and study space. My dad has the second floor and I have the third."

"You have a whole floor to yourself?"

Dave shrugged, "It's really no big deal; my bedroom, a bathroom, a personal study, and some storage space. I mean I have a fourth of a third of the total floor space, it's not that much if you think about it, one twelfth."

"Still you must have amazing closet space."

"I suppose, never really checked."

"Oh, you just have to show them to me."

"Uh, ok, this way." Quinn followed Dave up several flights of stairs and into his room. Dave's room was exactly as Quinn had imagined it, only larger. The walls were decorated solely with band posters. In one corner of the room a large array of computer equipment sat. In another a small recording studio's worth of audio equipment. Dave's bed was positioned in between them while the other wall was dominated by a large bay window that overlooked the back half of the estate. There were bookshelves filled with CD's and DAT's. While the floor was littered with books, papers and other bits of flotsam and jetsam. Quinn walked over to what looked like the closet door and threw it open.

"Oh my god, this is the most beautiful thing I've ever seenwell not the clothes but look at all this space." The closet was cavernous, Dave's clothes took up just a small portion of the available space.

"Hey Quinn, mind pulling up a seat, we need to have that talk."

"Hm, what?" Quinn asked as she pulled herself away from the closet. "Oh, sure." She sat down on the bed and Dave rolled a chair over from his computer workstation. "Now what's this all about?"

"Well, we've been hitting shows and doing other stuff for about a month now, and I'd like to think that in that time we've built some measure of rapport."

"Uh, sure."

Dave stood up and walked over to his desk. He picked up a framed picture and returned to his chair. "It's because of that rapporthell, I like you Quinn, you're an interesting person to be around, and because of that there's something I really have to tell you." He handed Quinn the photo. "This is Caitlyn Martin, we went out last year."

Quinn looked at the picture, it showed a pretty blonde with blue eyes who wore glasses. Quinn shrugged, she was much cuter, "So?"

"Dave rubbed his hands together, "So, I'm not sure if I'm done with her or not."

"You mean you're still seeing her?" Anger flashed in Quinn's eyes.

"No, no, nothing like that at all. I haven't talked to her since I movedwe just left things unsettled."

"Dave, what does this have to do with me?"

"Well, I'm thinking about seeing where thigns stand with her."

"Oh, then what about me?"

"I'm not saying you're a bad person Quinn, but Caitlyn's special."

"I see, and I'm not special," Anger began to creep into her voice.

Dave not quite realizing his mistake pressed on. "It's just that Caitlyn iswell, we understood each other, we connected, it's hard to explain."

"If she's so great why were you going out with me?"

"Why do you think? For starters you asked me out, and then after that, hey I was going out with the great Quinn Morgendorfer, why should I rock that boat, it's a ticket to acceptance. Why were you going out with me?"

"For you money, but that's different."

"Oh really, I fail to see it."

"Guys go out with me because they like me, I go out with them for what they give me for that privilege. That's how it works."

Dave's anger started to show now as well. "Okay, thanks for clearing that up, now all I need to know is how that's different from a hooker and I'm all set." The two of them were standing, glaring at the each other.

"You son of a bitch." Quinn growled, "How dare you call me that." She balled her fist and swung. She hit Dave square in the jaw, sending him crashing to the ground.

Dave stood up slowly, rubbing his jaw. "I guess I had that coming. Quinn I'm sorry."

Quinn crossed her arms and didn't look at Dave, "I'd like to go home now."

Dave nodded, "Fine, um, I am sorry, how about dinners on me for the rest of the week?"

Quinn shook her head, "No, I don't think so."

Dave sighed, "Look Quinn I want to make it up to you."

She looked at Dave evenly, "You can, by going to hell."

"Okay, fine, be that way." Dave said as he threw up his hands in frustration. He walked over to his desk and picked up an envelope. "Here are those tickets for you and your cronies, enjoy them cause they're your last from me."

"Fine, I don't need your tickets. We'll see how long you last being shunned by everyone before you come back and apologize."

Dave laughed, "Apologize? I already tried just now, twice. If you think I'm going to do so again you're delusional. If people at school stop talking to me, fine. I don't give a rat's ass what anyone in the insipid place things about me, you included." Dave caught himself and sighed, "I think you should be going home now Quinn, come on I'll give you a lift."

The drive back to the Morgendorfers' was completed in silence. As soon as the car came to a stop Quinn started to get out. Dave grabbed her shoulder in an effort to restrain her.

"Quinn I"

"Let go of me, you geek. I don't know why I ever thought a nerd like you would be a person to go out with."

"Because I'm rich?"

"Hm, yes, that was it, too bad you turned out to be such a loser."

"If that's the way you're going to be about this fine, I'm sorry to see that this is how things turned out." He let go of Quinn. "But I guess what else should I have expected from a spoiled brat like you."

Quinn's face flashed with anger and she stormed out of the car. She turned, "You can just fuck off!" Quinn walked inside her house, slamming the door dramatically as she went.

Dave angrily raked a hand through his hair, "Fuck!" He shouted as he pounded the steering wheel. He sighed, put the car into gear, and drove off.

The next day Dave was talking to Mack during lunch, "I'd be more than happy to trade some Ben Harper for a G. Love and Special Sauce show or two."

"Great, I've been dying to hear some of their summer shows, you've got my list right?"

Dave nodded, "Yeah, I'll have your discs tomorrow."

"Cool."

Dave extended a hand, "Pleasure doing business with you Mack."

Before Mack could respond Quinn and the rest of the Fashion Club walked past. "Oh look, it's Lawndale's favorite stoner, found the color of the music yet Dave?"

Dave smiled wryly, "Hey Quinn, clothes go out of style yet?"

Quinn huffed in exasperation, "For your information I'm never out of style."

Dave's smile turned into a sickly grin, "Sorry to say it sweetheart but around here you just did, now run along and torment some other poor slob, you're boring me kid."

Quinn's fists tightened with rage, "I don't have to stand here and be insulted by a loser." With that she pivoted on one heel and stormed off.

"Gee, for someone who is so rich you sure are a bigger loser than I ever thought possible." Sandi sniffed as she walked away.

"Yeahloser," was Tiffany's only comment.

"Um, yeah, you're a real dorkbut thank you so much for those Dave Matthews Band concerts, that was so nice of you"

"Stacy we're leaving, hurry up please, or do you want to be seen associating with a known geek?"

"Eek, coming Sandi."

Once the Fashion Club was out of range Mack turned to Dave, "What the hell was that?"

Dave shrugged, "Quinn and I broke up for lack of a better word and I guess that means my name is mudis it too late to join the football team?"

"Uh, yeah, the season's already half over, but why would you want to do that?"

"Seemed like it'd be a good way to lay low for a while, you know, lose myself in a group. Plus it'd be damage control from the oncoming assault."

"Oh come on, she's just blowing off steam, she wont" Mack paused, "Oh, I see what you mean."

Dave absent-mindedly pushed a stray lock of hair out of his eyes as he thought. "Well, other than a sport I'm drawing a blank on something for me to do, how about you?"

Mack sighed, "Yeah, me too. I can ask Jodie if she can thinking of something for you."

"Cool, thanks man." They slapped hands.

"Hey, no problem, you're a pretty cool guy Dave; Lawndale needs a few more folks like you."

"Oh Mack, stop, you're making me blush, you'll just sweet talk me right into beduh never mind. Take care man."

"See you later Dave." Mack watched as Dave casually sauntered out of the cafeteria.

"What was that all about?"

Mack turned in surprise, but relaxed when he saw Jodie, "Oh, nothinghey Jodie, you ever think that rich white-boys are going to become the next fashionably persecuted minority?"

"Huh? What do you mean, they have everything."

"I know," Mack mused, "That's the problem."

"What's got into you?"

"Mack shook his head, "Forget it, not important."

"Hey Mack-daddy, check this outwhoa! Help, I'm stuck." Kevin's voice rang out across the cafeteria.

Mack sighed, "Excuse me, I have to go extract my quarterback from a garbage can."

Later that afternoon Mr. O'Neill was attempting to lead a class discussion on their current reading assignment. "Now class, what can you tell me about Aldus Huxley's 'Brave New World'?" Kevin raised his hand, "Yes Kevin?"

"That the future is going to be real cool with everybody having sex and stuff.

"Um, well yes, but what point is Huxley trying to make when he describes the rampant promiscuity in the Brave New World?" This time Brittany raised her hand. "Yes, Brittany what are your thoughts?"

"I thought it was just so romantic when the two people ran away from everyone else and went to live on that island."

O'Neill chuckled painfully to himself, "Now Brittany that was the ending the TV movie adaptation, it's not how the book ends."

"It's not?"

"Oh no, in the book John hangs himself and the Brave New World continues on like nothing happened."

"But that's so sad, I like my ending better."

The besieged teacher looked pleasingly towards Daria and Dave's side of the room, "Does anyone have anything else to add?"

Daria sighed and raised a hand. "Huxley was writing a cautionary tale about the dangers of an overly capitalistic society. The funny thing is that nobody paid attention and now we live in a brave new world, complete with soma and over active consumerism. All that's missing is the test tube babies. If we aren't cramming Ritalin down kid's throats, we're eating Prozac like Pez. And just so that even though the world's going to hell in a hand basket we can put on a smiley face for everyone else to see."

"Oh, I don't know about that, drugs certainly do have their time and place." Dave interjected.

"Sure, if you have a real psychological problem, but not if you're just in a funk."

"Even then, just to give you a little something to help smooth over the rough patch till you're back on your feet, what's the harm in that?"

"What's the harm? You're denying basic human emotions, what's happy if you aren't sad? You can't have one without the other."

"But why not just shoot for the happy medium and go through life content. Look, say you're a generally happy, well-adjusted person, then something really bad happens, like your dog dies. That's an awfully sad thing and you'll always miss your dog, but in time it won't be as painful because you have to live your life. But, until then you're going to cry your eyes out cause you're that broken up about it. What I'm saying is why go through all that? Just pop a pill, smoke a joint, whatever, any time you feel the grief coming on and eventually the grief will fade and you'll be back to normal." The rest of the class just stared as Dave and Daria argued.

"That's wonderful, if it wasn't a load of crap. Just because you can find an out doesn't mean you have to use it. What you've said sounds like an excuse a junkie would come up with. We feel emotions for a reason and trying to circumvent them is a bad idea."

"What about when the pain is so bad you feel like it's going to drag you under? I'm not saying we need a soma filled society, but, doctors believe that pain impedes the body's healing process, so that's why the prescribe painkillers, why should the psyche be any different? Maybe mental pain hurts the healing process as well, and stuff like Prozac is a pain killer."

"That's absurd, you're suggesting the equivalent of taking morphine for a skinned knee"

"Hehehehe, while this is really a very positive debate the two of you are having can we get the discussion back to Brave New World?" O'Neill said hastily, trying to regain order. "Now, does anyone else have something to add?" The room was silent, "No one? Come now, this is one of the great novels of the Twentieth Century, surely it struck some chord with you when you read it."

"It's a little hard to talk about a work of fiction that's a reality for the reader." Daria commented.

"Ooo, can I be an Alpha? I've always wanted to be an Alpha." Jane added. The rest of the class sat in silence until the bell rang.

"We'll pick this up where we left off tomorrow." O'Neill said hopefully to the departing students. "Oh, Daria, Dave can I talk to you for a moment?"

"Yeah, sure."

Dave shrugged noncommittally.

"That was a really inspired debate the two of you were having, do you think you two could write up position papers and then read them to the class, for some extra credit?"

Dave glanced at Daria out of the corner of his eye, "Gee I'd love to, but I really don't need any extra credit. Thanks for the offer though."

"I refuse on the ground that it involves public speaking and unfairly singles out my opinion on the topic; thus implying that my fellow classmates are lacking in worth," Daria said flatly.

"Oh dear, you're right." The teacher wrung his hands, "Do you think the rest of the class would be receptive"

"No!" The two teens said forcefully.

"Oh well, thank-you both for your time."

After the teens exited the classroom Daria turned to face Dave. "Do you really believe that line of guff you gave about drugs?"

Dave shrugged, "Hey, I'm a stoner aren't I? Why disappoint my fans?"

"Your fans, what the hell are youyou told Quinn about that other girl and it blew up in your face."

Dave shrugged again, "Had to, what kind of a dick would I be if I didn't."

"True, you get honesty pointsok, that answers my question." Daria paused, "Um, don't let anything Quinn says get to you, she doesn't know any better."

Dave waved a hand dismissively, "Like I care what a bunch of self-involved teens think about me, but thanks for your concern."

"Don't mention it."

"Ever?" Dave asked impishly.

"All I ask is that when you write your memoirs, and you will, don't bring this up."

Dave chuckled, "Take it easy Daria."

"You too." The pair headed off to their separate classes.

As is often the case in life, that which is new and different quickly becomes routine. The alterations in the fabric of people's existence soon simply became a part of the pattern. This was definitely true in Lawndale, where the acrimony between Quinn and Dave faded into the background. Quinn never failed to get shot in at Dave whenever their paths crossed. Dave, for his part, gave as good as he got, though in truth neither party sought the other out. Quinn returned to her normal routine while Dave launched an image improvement campaign, of sorts.

"I'm going to make myself popular, in a way." He explained to Daria one day while she was at his house going over school work. "I'll try my hand at the swim time right now, maybe run track in the spring. Plus I'll throw parties, lots of parties."

"Don't you think you're being a little obvious? Besides what do you care about popularity?"

Dave shrugged, "For one thing I doubt many of our fellow classmates have read the Prince and hell, what else is there to do? And I was going to do the swim thing anyway, for entirely different reasons."

"Namely?"

"It's easier to forget how much your life can suck when you're totally exhausted. Physical pain always takes precedence over emotional."

Daria raised an eyebrow, "While I don't doubt that I don't see how it applies here."

Dave took off his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "I emailed Caitlyn, asked her what's up, you know, the usual stuff."

"Let me guess, she's seeing somebody else and doesn't share your sentimentality."

"Damn strait, not only is she seeing somebody else, but it's the star football player to boot, and they started going out not a week after I left."

"At the risk of look like an ass I will point out that you shouldn't have gotten in touch with her," Daria paused, "Um, you're ok right?"

Dave chuckled, "What, are you afraid that I'm suppressing all my rage about my fucked up love life and that the pressure will cause me to snap in a violent manner. Most likely at school, lashing out, seeking retribution for all the grievous wrongs the various social cliques have inflicted up upon me? That I might settle Quinn's hash with a hail of bullets and that you might get caught in the crossfire?"

Daria squirmed in her seat, "Well, uh, something like that, yes."

Dave laughed, "Do I really give off that much of a disturbed white boy vibe?"

"It's your preternatural calm, serial killers are always the quiet ones."

"So I guess that means I have to keep an eye on you."

Daria smirked, "I admit to nothing, and no I didn't think you were primed to fly into a killing rage. Though I was a little worried you might do something stupid and rash, like start swearing at Ms. Li or somethingyou aren't right?"

"I wasn't planning on it, but now that you mention it." Dave shrugged, "I dunno, I guess deep down I really was over Caitlyn I just couldn't admit it, and well, considering how fast and far Quinn booted me that's not really a big loss either, it's like my therapist says, look for the positive."

"You have a therapist?"

Dave nodded, "Yeah, pretty much ever since my mom and sister died. I was pretty fucked up by that." He regarded his hands, "Still am." He shook his head, "Feeling sorry for myself won't get me anywhere, let's go get some pizza and look over that econ stuff."

"You're buying right?"

Dave chuckled, "I always seem to end up paying when it involves the Morgendorfer girls."

"Just remember, I'm the cheap onethat didn't come out right did it?"

Dave laughed, "No, I don't think so, but I see what you're saying, getting pizza with you and Jane while we go over school work is a hell of a lot lighter on my wallet compared to dinners at Chez Pierre." Dave got up from his chair and walked over to the door. Daria followed.

"Yeah, about that, there's something I've been meaning to say."

"Well spill it then."

Daria sighed, "I can't believe I'm saying this but Quinn did go with you to a concert by a band named String Cheese Incident. You didn't force her to go and I'm sure you would have taken no for an answer."

Dave grimaced, "So what you're saying is any girl who would voluntarily go to a String Cheese Incident concert is one to keep?"

"No, but that does sound better."

Dave sighed, "I really fucked things up didn't I?"

"No more than anyone else, now go buy me pizza."

Dave chuckled, "Yes ma'am."

As the week progressed people started to hear murmurs about an imminent gathering. Flyers were soon seen for "The Party for a Party's Sake Party." No name was given to reveal the identity of the host, but people knew. The rumor mill began to churn out information to satisfy the demand for details. There was going to be a keg, drugs would be plentiful, everyone would have to take a hit of LSD to get in, the band Phish would being flown in to provide the music, and so on. Naturally the party was high on the agenda of that week's Fashion Club meeting.

"Alright, Dave Wylie's party, do we attend?" Sandi asked imperiously.

"I say we don't Dave Wylie is such a loser, he'll probably serve cheese and expect we all play board games or something."

"Gee Quinn, if he's that big a loser why did you go out with him for like a whole month?"

Quinn frowned, "I don't see you complaining about all the free stuff he gave you because I went out with him."

"Well I heard that the entire football team is going." Stacy said, trying to avoid a fight.

"And the cheerleaders too," Tiffany added.

"Well, then it sounds like this will be the social gathering of like, the week. We as members of the most prestigious club in Lawndale cannot miss any opportunity to demonstrate our superiority. Agreed?" Stacy and Tiffany nodded, Quinn just scowled. "Then it's settled, we will be at Dave Wylie's party, but for Quinn's sake, no dates, we don't want it to look like we think this is that important."

"Okay, fine just so long as I don't have to see Dave."

"Of course Quinn, I always have your best interest in mind. Now Stacy, what's next on our agenda?"

The week passed and the day of the party grew near. The day before the event flyers were found posted over the school providing the location of the gathering, the Wylie property, as well as making it quite clear that the affair was open invitation. Jane showed Daria the flyer after school.

"Did you get a look at these things?"

"I tried not to, but considering they were all over school, they were kind of hard to miss."

"I must say I was surprised, throwing a kegger seems like a rather obvious ploy to get the acceptance of our peers.."

"As Dave said, we are talking about Lawndale High students, subtlety is lost on them. They'll go drink the beer and it won't even occur to them that there might be some ulterior motive behind it."

"Want to go?"

"I refuse to participate in any activity involving my fellow students, you know that."

"Good thing too, because Tom and I already had something planned for that night."

"What would you have done if I said yes?"

"Would you, ever, in a million years?"

"That's not at issue here."

"Ah my friend, that is where you are wrong, for you live in a hypothetical world, while I live in the real world, and I know that you would never bother yourself with a party."

"Uh Jane, I hate to burst your bubble, but you spend more time imagining things than I do."

"Oh hell, you're right, at least give me this moment will you?"

"What moment is that?"

"The one where for a brief fleeting moment I was more practical than the great pragmatist Daria Morgendorfer."

"By all means go ahead, and while you're doing that I'll head home and watch the spectator sport of the Twenty-first century."

"Would this be watching your parents trying to be archetypal parental role models?"

Daria shook her head, "No, that was last century. The new sport is watching Quinn get ready for this party." She waved the flyer Jane had been holding.

"Ah yes, I can see how that would provide hours of entertainment, provided you had the proper perspective, and an endless supply of droll comments." She looked pointedly at Daria. "Well I'll be damned if you don't have both." She chuckled, "Have fun kiddo."

Daria frowned, "How many times have I told you not to call me that you bitch."

Jane shrugged, "I dunno, but it's just so much fun."

Daria sighed, "I need to get a new set of buttons for you to push." Daria stood and walked to the door, "See you tomorrow?"

Jane chuckled, "Ah Daria, a day without your company would be like a day without a cloud. I'll give you a call."

"See you then." Daria let herself out of the Lane household and walked home. As she expected, Quinn was in her room trying on a wide range of outfits. Daria snuck into her sister's room and quietly sat down.

"Damnit, this one's too formal, I don't want anyone to think I care about actually being at this stupid party." Quinn tossed a dress on her bed, she held up another outfit and considered her reflection. "Ugh, no, shows off too much chest, ."

"Why even bother going at all?" Daria asked.

"Huh, what? Who said that?" Quinn spun around. "Oh, it's you Daria, why the hell are you in my room?"

"Because I like watching you wrestle with moral decisions. Now tell me, why are you going to this party if you so obviously don't want to?"

Quinn sighed dramatically as she looked through her closet. "Because Daria, all the cool people at school will be there, so I have to go."

"Even though the whole event is being sponsored by a person you can't stand?"

Quinn looked at Daria, the exasperation plain on her face, "Daria, it's an event to be at. It doesn't matter that Dave is the host. It's a cool gathering despite the fact that he's there and it's just my lot in life to suffer through it."

Quinn thought about what Quinn said for a moment, "You know Quinn, for once I actually do feel your pain." Before Quinn could comment Daria continued, "I know if I had to sit through an evening with your peers I'd give serious consideration to either heavy sedation or a full frontal lobotomy."

Quinn sniffed, "I suppose this is a bonding moment, since neither of actually wants to go to this party."

Daria stood up and walked out of the room. "The difference is that I'm not going and you are." She paused at the door. "I suggest you protest your attendance by wearing all black, or not getting dressed up at all."

"Daria!" Quinn shouted, "Did I ask for you opinion?"

"No, but I know a hell of a lot more about having to do things I don't want to than you do. So I thought I'd lend a hand, you know pretend I'm a concerned big sister."

"Oh, well, don't think I'm not grateful, but the day I take fashion tips from you will be, oh never." With that Quinn shut the door in Daria's face. Daria shrugged and walked back to her room. Quinn sighed and returned to the task at hand. She kept considering and discarding clothes until her eyes fell on a long forgotten shirt. A smile crept across Quinn's face as a plan slowly coalesced in her mind. Quinn started to put away all the outfits she had already tried on, she had found the perfect outfit to wear.

The party, when it arrived, was a large affair set in an old servants house on the Wylie property. Music blasted in every room as high schoolers in various stages of inebriation staggered around. Quinn and the rest of the Fashion Club arrived fashionably late, as would be expected, and by that time the party was in full swing.

"Wow, look at all the people here." Tiffany commented, "It's like the whole school, just without the teachers."

"Yeah, I wonder where Dave is, I want to thank him for throwing such a great party" Stacy trailed off when she saw Quinn's glare. "I think I'll go find something to drink." Stacy scurried off into the crowd.

"Really Quinn, what is your problem, we're at the biggest party of the year and you're acting like a total loser." Sandi regarded Quinn's outfit, "And dressed like one too."

Quinn was in fact dressed in attire similar to what one normally found Dave wearing. Though in a way that was uniquely Quinn: khaki cargo pants, plaid over shirt, and of the Dave Matthews Band shirts that Dave bought for Quinn at their first concert.

Quinn shrugged, "Why should I bother caring Sandi, I know what Dave is trying to do and I'm protesting by not getting dressed up." She winced internally, knowing this was exactly what Daria said she should do.

Sandi arched an eyebrow, "Oh really."

"Yeah, he's just trying to buy our acceptance with a party and free beer. Well I'm not buying it; Dave's a jerk and I'm not going to let people forget it." During Quinn's monologue Sandi and Tiffany both wandered off into the throng. Quinn realized this and turned around, looking for them. She jumped when she saw Stacy standing near her, two bottles in her hands.

"Look Quinn, wine coolers, isn't that just the greatest, want one?"

Quinn growled in frustration, grabbed a bottle from Stacy's hand and stormed off.

"What?" Stacy asked in bewilderment, "Was it something I said?"

Quinn made her way through the crush of the party, trying to find a spot to herself. Along the way she saw Mack trying to stop a very drunk Kevin from attempting to tackle a large dresser.

"Hey man, don't do something stupid and get yourself hurt again, the team needs you."

"It's cool, Daddy Mack," Kevin slurred, "I'm the BQ, er QB."

"Don't call meoh forget it, go ahead and break your bony white ass, see if I care." Mack walked off.

"Hey Macky-dad, come back I"Kevin slumped down and passed out.

Quinn sighed and continued her trek through the crowd. Suddenly a door in front of her burst open and Jeffy, Joey and Jamie stumbled out, followed by a cloud of smoke.

"Hey Quinn," Jamie said, "We were just going to get some snacks, do you want anything?"

"Yeah, I've got a real hankering for some chips and salsa." Joey added, Jeffy just giggled.

"Um, no thanks I'm fine." The three teens stumbled away from Quinn. She sighed and sipped her drink. "What a load of horse shit this all is," She said to herself as she gazed out at the debauchery.

"And how is that different from any other party you've been to?" A voice behind her asked.

Quinn jumped, then turned around, "Oh, it's you."

"That it is," Dave said with his customary chuckle, "So nice of you to make it. What do you think of my little soiree?"

"I think it's a blatant attempt to score points with all the right people by getting them drunk. Just buying popularity is so uncool."

Dave sighed, "Come on, let's go someplace quieter to talk." Almost on cue Dave ducked to avoid being hit by a flying bottle. "Close but no cigar Chucky!" He shouted. "Shall we repair to a sitting room?" He held out a hand and indicated that Quinn should follow him. She did, reluctantly, and Dave lead her into a small room off the mail hallway. "Ok, so you're saying I'm throwing this party to increase my social status in Lawndale and you're just so damn clever that you saw through my little ruse. I'm guessing the clothes are some sort of protest move?"

"Why should I bother wearing my best to a party held by a loser?" Quinn retorted.

"Fair enough," Dave said as he walked around the room, the sounds of the party could be heard through the door. Dave stopped and faced Quinn. "What if I told you that wasn't why this party is taking place."

Quinn laughed, "Then I'd say you were lying since it's obvious you aren't going to be popular any other way."

Dave shook his head, "Quinn, when are you going to learn there's more to life than popularity?" He started pacing again. "No, I threw this party for two reasons. One was just to have a party, a real big blowout of a party. The other was to make a point. Quinn I'm not going anywhere, you're going to have to accept that you can't chase me away by insulting me and making me 'unpopular'."

"What are you saying exactly, that you want us to be friends?"

Dave held up his hands defensively, "No, nothing like that, I still think you're acting like a spoiled brat." Quinn glared at him. "But I do want to come to some sort of agreement and basically stay out of our respective ways."

Quinn thought about this for a moment. "So what you're saying is that we should just ignore each other?"

Dave nodded, "Exactly, we each do our own thing, and never the twain shall meet. Just stop harping on me and I'll do likewise. Lawndale's big enough for the both of us don't you think?"

"I guess," Quinn said slowly, "But you're banned from all Fashion Club sponsored activities."

Dave shrugged, "I don't think I went to any in the first place." He held out a hand. "Do we have a deal?"

Quinn thought about it for another long moment before shaking Dave's hand. "Deal."

Dave nodded, "Good, I'm glad that's settled." He paused, "Look Quinn I'm sorry this was the way things turned out, you are a really cool person and I did have a fun time hanging out with you."

Quinn shrugged, "Actually the only reason I ever went out with you was because you were rich."

Dave nodded again, "Yeah, I guess you were." He shrugged, "Whatever."

"Yeah, whatever." Silence, such as was available, hung over the room. Quinn stood up, "Well, I should be going."

Dave nodded yet again, "That's finewhere are you going?"

"Home," her mouth quirked into a smile, "this party is like so lame."

Dave chuckled, "Oh come on, you don't want to see your friends make complete asses out of themselves?"

"I'm just holding up my end of our bargain, and besides keg parties are just so last season. I don't know what possessed you" Quinn continued her monologue as she walked out the door.

Dave chuckled as he watched Quinn depart, "Boogie on Fashion Woman." He said to himself as he got up and rejoined the party.

Over at the Lane house Daria was hanging out with Jane and Tom, mainly because she didn't have anything better to do. Jane abruptly cocked her head to one side, like she was trying to hear something extremely quiet.

"What's up Jane?" Tom asked.

Jane shook her head, "I don't know, but I got the feeling something important just happened."

"Was it like millions of voices suddenly crying out as one and then being cut off?" Tom said blandly.

"You know what I always say about hokey old religions."

"That they're no match for a good blaster?"

Daria looked at Tom evenly, "No, that they're poorly written, over-hyped pieces of cliched amalgams of older, and better work."

"Hey now, we will not be having a repeat of the infamous 'Dagobah Debates' in my room. I just finished cleaning up after the last one."

Daria shrugged, "Fine by me, I'm not the one who gets so defensive about a silly movie."

"Hey, it's not just a movie" Tom trailed off sensing this was a fight he couldn't win. "So what was that all about Jane?"

Jane waved a hand dismissively, "Oh it was nothing, probably just someone walking over my grave."

"Or the onset of epilepsy."

"Cool, I've always wanted to be an epileptic, or maybe it was a leper, something that would give me real cachet in the art world."

"Well, that'd be one way to get noticed."

"A little hard on your body though. I keep telling her to just do some grandstanding." Tom chimed in.

"But I am a pure artist, I'm not trying to become infamous, I'm trying to achieve immortality. Tom here just doesn't understand art."

"Then why do you keep telling me to blow up my car?"

"That's not art, that's a community service."

"Uh guys, I hate to break up this great Socratic discussion, but are we going to do something?"

Jane looked at Tom, he shrugged, "Pizza King sound good?" Tom nodded, "Daria?"

"Works for me."

"Great, let's go." And so they did.

Later that evening when Daria came home she was surprised to find Quinn there. "Wow, what happened, the cops break up the festivities ahead of schedule?"

"No, I just wanted to go home, it was a stupid party anyway."

"Should I call the hospital, are you feeling alright?"

Quinn sighed, "There's no need to be so dramatic. I didn't want to be there in the first place. I showed up, stayed a while and then came home, it's no big deal. Besides it was just going to be a lot of people saying how cool Dave is for holding the party, which was the whole reason he's having it, despite what he says. So why should I help him?"

Daria shifted her feet, "Yeah, about that, um, Quinn, Dave's really not as bad as you're making him out to be. Why don't you just lay off him a touch. Maybe even give him another chance."

Quinn shrugged, "Come on Daria, get with the program. Dave's a brain, could you ever see me going out with a brain? Ewww. Ok, fine, he's not going anywhere. And fine because he's rich he's going to have a certain amount of popularity. But that doesn't mean I have to like it, or him. I just have to be civil."

Daria shook her head, "Quinn, the amount of time you put into making this stuff up is impressive." She yawned, "Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to bed." Daria walked upstairs, leaving Quinn sitting on the couch.

So another day came to a close in Lawndale. A day, that taken as a whole, was like any other, with the blending of the mundane and the extraordinary that can be found in any day. And as Lawndale slept that great unseen force known only as life busied itself in preparation for the next day, as it always had and always would.

The End

Play "Bouncing 'Round the Room" by Phish while the credits roll.

The woman was a dream I had though rather hard to keep
For when my eyes were watching hers, they closed, and I was still asleep.
For when my hand was holding hers, she whispered words and I awoke
And faintly bouncing around the room the echo of whomever spoke
I awoke and faintly bouncing round the room the echo of whomever spoke.
The place I saw was far beneath the surface of the sea
My sight was poor but I was sure the sirens sang their songs for me
They dance above me as I sink I see them through a crystal haze
And hear them bouncing round the room the never ending coral maze
That time and once again I'm bouncing around the room.

Author's Notes

Well, that was fun. For something that started out as just a light bit of stretch writing, "can I write something in which nothing blows up?" it did take on a life of its own. Beyond that, there are a few points I'd like to mention.

Why Dave? While Dave Wylie isn't a total Mary Sue, I did drew on some personal experience when creating the character, but as a whole Dave is not me, just thought I'd like to share that. As far as why throw the character into the mix? I'm of the opinion that if I want to see the characters interacting "normally" I'll just watch the show. The addition of a character lets you play around with dynamics and screw around with stuff. :) Plus, as it turns out Dave does bear a striking resemblance to Tom, though I hope I have done enough to make the characters distinct. Not to mention David, rasmafrasin bad luck there on my part huh?

What's with that title? It's a song from Dave's favorite band, Phish, a group that I'm something of a fan of as well. I don't have any good reason for using it beyond that I like the song.

What's the soundtrack business? Ah yes, the major conceit in my writing. Simply put each story's soundtrack will be a live concert from the band that performs the song named in the title. Why? I don't know, but it sounded cool when I thought of it. So, for example, the soundtrack for this show is the second night of Phish's stand at Radio City Music Hall, easy enough right. By the by, B&P's to anyone who wants the show named as the soundtrack. Just my way of spreading the good tunes, so everyone can share the good tunes. :)

It's a sign of the times: I was looking at the tourdates for Phish recently and I noticed that Irvine Meadows Amphitheater no longer exists, it's now known as the Verizon Wireless Entertainment Complex, or something like that. Such is life in the brave new millennium I suppose. This has, of course, nothing to do with anything related to the story, but I felt like sharing that nugget.

What's up with the location? For a long and complicated set of reasons, I have arbitrarily located Lawndale in California. It's really the only state that I can quickly think of that best fits the geographical information provided by the show. It's in a temperate region that's close to desert and high mountains. The only reason this is important is because I had to make a decision about concert venues to send the characters to, after all having all these bands come to Lawndale would be too big a stretch.

For the record: If the parts in here about popularity sound a little forced and somewhat cliched, there's a reason. Simply put I don't put much stock in the concept of "cliques." Maybe I'm too far removed from my high school experience, ooo a whole 5 years, but I never really felt like I was ever in a real "clique." Sure I hung out with my small circle of friends, but by the same token those friends had friends outside that group who in turn had friends outside that group, one big interlocking thing. I find the notion of a rigid caste system in high school to really be a false one perpetrated upon us by the media. Or to put it another way, my friends were jocks as well as brains, I even played varsity tennis for two years, not that I was any good at it. Sure when I was younger I was made fun of for various reasons, but never so much in high school. Basically I never thought of high school as "hell" per se while I was there so that colors my thoughts of it. Which means it's hard for me to write in a Daria vein since I think that the show is bunk in this regard.

What's the deal with those stereotypes?: Somebody commented to me about the inaccuracy of some of my comments regarding hippies and grungers. While those folks are correct and not everyone who is a hippie wears tie-dye(hell, Mr. Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead hates tie-dye and never wears the stuff), doesn't bath, etc, I'm not saying that, this is Quinn's reaction, or in some instances Dave's handling of Quinn's reaction. Believe me, I've been to SCI shows, Quinn would not react well in that sort of environment, regardless of the BO quotient. An additional addendum to this is that I recent attended a Phish concert (2000-09-18 Blossom Music Center) which only further strengthened my previous statement. Not all Phans of Phish dress like hippies (actually much like Mr. Bob Weir the members of Phish dress pretty "normal"...well except for Fishman), but good lord a great number of 'em do; Quinn would hate the scene at a Phish show.

Fan-boy continuity canon police alert: For a variety of reasons this actually fits quite nicely into the tail end of season 4, yet before the big drama of the last two episodes and the movie. That is, if I get around to jiggering it all together right.

Cliff Notes? Uh, if I botched anything regarding Brave New World, well, it's like this. I haven't read the book since high school so if I screwed up the ending or anything, well tough, I didn't really see the need to get my hands on a copy and get all serious about it. Probably should have, but I guess I just lack that attention to detail.

Fan-Boy Appendix: In case you were wondering, and I know you weren't, here are some setlists for the shows Dave and Quinn saw

Dave Matthews Band
Whenever/2000
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater,
Irvine CA

Warehouse (Stop Time Intro)
Two Step(Calypso outro) ^
Grey Street ^
Crash (Dixie Chicken Outro) ^*
Satellite
Lie In Our Graves ^
Granny
Busted Stuff
Crush #
Minarets ^
Grace is Gone ^
Dreaming Tree ^#
Typical Situation ^
Tripping Billies ^
SMTS-ASB-TM*^-
Ants Marching ^
Encore
Spoon ^
#41 (Sojourn of Arjuna Jam) $ -
Carter and Futureman drum jam
The Last Stop (Reprise Outro) $

Entire show with Butch Taylor on keyboard
^ with Bela Fleck on Banjo
# with Victor Lemonte Wooten on bass
* with Jeff Coffin on Saxophone
$ with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

Don't look for that show, it's more an amalgam of the best of the best, still it would be an insanely amazing show, especially since songs like Dreaming Tree and Spoon have only been played a handful of times w/the full band. Some people would say there are too many radio songs, but had to have em in there for Quinn. Yeah, I know, a lot of Bela, but hey, it's my "Dream concert" I can have as much banjo as I feel like it damnit :) It would also be about a 4 hour concert given the jam potential of a lot of those tunes. Ok, I've gone way beyond fan-boy here, I'll stop.

String Cheese Incident
Wherever, Whenever

Set 1
Rolling in my Sweet Baby's Arms
Rhum & Zouc
I'll be Waiting there for You (1)
Latinismo
Good Time Round the Bend (2)
Brazilian Choro (3)
Indian Creek
Lost
Little Hands -Black Clouds
Birdland

Set 2
Round the Wheel
All Blues (4)
Trail of Tears
Whiskey Before Breakfast (5)
Born on the Wrong Planet
How Mountain Girls Can Love
So What-Land's End- San Jose
(encore)
Wheel hoss
Remington Ride

1 - Title uncertain, first time played. Keith and Billy Vocals.
2 - Bill Nershi Solo
3 - Kang and Travis only
4 - Kang, Travis, and Kyle only
5 - Travis on mandolin

This is more of less the setlist from an actual String Cheese Incident concert that I attended last spring, great show and my DAT is killer, look for this one to make an appearance later on in the series if I ever get that far. Though I did add a bit more "jazz" than you'd normally find at a SCI show.

What's with the ending? Well, Kevin Smith is a big creative influence, I mean wow, my characters basically stand around and talk, isn't that the entire direction to just about all Smith's work? At times I felt like writing a "Chasing Amy" and at times I didn't(But I did throw in at least one Kevin Smith reference, see if you can spot it.), so the ending is two parts a compromise of that and one part lead in for something else I have in mind. :) So stay tuned for the follow-up, Busted Stuff.