Part II: Ghosts


July 1987

"Hey Daria, come play with me!" Four-year-old Quinn knocked on the side of the box. She knew her sister hated that, but she was so lonely.

"No." came the usual answer, muffled by the cardboard.

"Mommy just got me my overalls! She says they're for playing in, and I wanna play!" she whined.

"I don't care. Now go away. I'm reading."

Quinn's lower lip began to quiver. "Daria, please?"

"Go play with one of your dumb friends."

"DAH-riaaaaa!" Quinn got angry. She pulled the refrigerator box open. Daria looked up at the far end, startled. Quinn knew that look; she was reading a book she didn't want to get caught with. It had two people touching each other on the front-

"GET OUT!" Daria yelled at her.

"I'm gonna tell Mom and Dad on you!"

"I hate you, you little brat!" She pulled the box closed.

Nobody had ever told Quinn that before.

She felt like she'd just been stepped on. Huge tears fell from her eyes. She wanted to disappear forever.

Weeping, Quinn turned and ran down to the basement. The shadows were longer there, and no one would see her.


"So Quinn," Dr. Millepeids said once the pleasantries were out of the way, "How do you feel about what happened with Mr. Sareth?"

"Awful," she said dully.

He nodded, scribbling something on his notepad. "You realize none of it was your fault."

She hesitated, sitting tensely on the edge of the couch.


"Like, I don't know, okay?!" she burst out. "Maybe if I'd come home later."

"No. That's not…"

"Maybe if I'd worn less makeup. Or if—"

He put down the pad and leaned forward. "Nothing you did could have changed what happened. Quinn, look at me."

She did, reluctantly. There were tears in her eyes.

"Quinn, everything that happened that night was because of him. He chose to break in. He chose to try to hurt you. He chose not to let you go. And you only did what you had to do."

"I didn't want to k-kill him…" her voice broke.

He nodded soothingly. "No. Of course you didn't."

"I feel like I'm wearing stretch pants to the prom," she whimpered. "I wish I were dead!"

Quinn burst into tears. The doctor put a hand on her shoulder and she recoiled, squirming towards the end of the couch.

"It's okay, Quinn. Let it all out," he said softly.

And she thought guys her age were easy to fool.

She might as well lie, she thought, if that would keep the truth a secret and get her out of this stuffy office faster. Besides, he didn't really want her here. He just wanted the money and something cute to look at.

He pretended to care, but he hated her. And he would hurt her if she let him get too close. Just like everybody else.

She wondered what it would feel like to kill Dr. Millepeids.


April 30-May 1, 1998

They came home about an hour later that night to find the burglar's body cooling on the floor and Quinn sitting petrified in the corner.

For once it was Helen who lost control. She dropped her briefcase and began shouting questions nobody could answer. Jake became strangely calm, kneeling beside his daughter and asking if she was all right. She nodded and wept into his shoulder. Daria couldn't seem to pass through the open doorway. She kept looking at Quinn then at the stranger, as if unable to put the two together.

"Helen!" Jake said, interrupting her terrified rush of words. "Honey, we need you to go sit down in the kitchen right now."

She looked up at him with wild eyes. "The...the kitchen?"

"Yes. We're going to need your help in a minute, and you have to calm down." He coaxed her out of the living room. "Daria? Call the police."

Daria stepped inside, edging along the wall away from the body. Quinn sat silently with her head down and her arms locked around her knees.

"'s okay. I'm calling 911 now," Daria said lamely. She turned away and picked up the phone.

Quinn looked up slowly, watching her.

What followed was one of the more difficult chapters in Morgendorffer family history. All of them had to leave the house as the police inspected the scene and removed the man's body. He was identified as Joe Sareth, a notorious cat burglar with an extensive criminal record. A crowd soon gathered as the family left with a few of the officers. They asked questions down at the station, but did not press hard. Quinn's answers were quiet and straightforward. She appeared to be in shock, but besides that and a few bruises she was unharmed.

Finally they were allowed to leave and spent the night at the Dutchman Inn-"the place with the giant clog," as Quinn remembered it. It was also where Mr. Sareth had stayed prior to his break-in, though this did not become known until the next day.

It was clear enough to everyone there what had happened. Self-defense laws were not flattering to home invaders, the family was from Texas, and the mother was a lawyer; nobody would dare blame them for the incident. When Helen and Jake spoke of it that night to concerned friends and relatives, they said Quinn had encountered a would-be murderer but somehow managed to defend herself. This was what all of Lawndale, including the police, would remember.

When Daria called Jane later that night, all she could say was, "I think my sister killed someone." It took five minutes and the evening news to convince her that it wasn't a joke.

Jane promised to come over the next morning. Daria had hoped for tonight but her mother was firm: no visitors. Just her and Quinn in one room so she could be close to her daughter, Daria and Jake in the next. Daria found herself in an uncomfortable position, and it wasn't just sleeping in the same room with her dad. She needed sarcasm to cope with a situation like this, but knew that voicing said sarcasm would be wildly inappropriate.

She compromised by whispering to herself in the hotel bathroom. "Boy, you know its spring when the sexual predators start getting in the house. It's a good thing you got this taken care of now, ma'am." Pause. "Hey, look at this killer scarf in the mall ad...oh, sorry sis." Pause. "So tell me the truth Quinn, did you do it because he was wearing white socks with dark pants?"

Daria felt like a monster, but at least her family didn't have to hear it.

She stepped out and settled in to the empty bed. The lights were already out.

"Dad?" she asked. "Are you awake?"

"Sure. What is it, Daria?"

"Did you think Quinn could something like that?"

"Kiddo, if there's one thing I learned in military school, it's that some people can do pretty amazing things when they have to. Maybe not old Jake. But some people." The usual bitterness was absent from his voice. "Dad, you old bastard...your genes were good for something after all."

"Dad..." Daria's voice broke.

He sat up. "I know. Come here, kiddo."

She couldn't remember the last time they hugged. But even now Daria had doubts, doubts about her sister and everything else.

In the next room Quinn seemed to lie awake forever, staring at the ceiling. For the first time she found herself wondering about that man. Not much, but a little.

No matter what kind of ugly criminal he was last night, he was someone else's child. Once he was even an infant, drinking milk from a bottle without a care or a grudge in the world. If their ages were switched she might have babysat him. She knew this.

What happened to that baby? What happened to me? Quinn turned and stared at the dim figure of her own mother, sleeping fitfully in the other bed.

I should feel guilty about this.

Brittany Taylor talked to her once about that quarterback guy, the only other death that affected her a little. What did she say? And I told your sister I didn't feel so bad about it 'cause he was such a jerk, but then I felt bad about not feeling bad! Now Quinn knew what she meant. She buried her face in the pillow.

It was worse than just not feeling bad. She'd never felt so good, so powerful...or so sexual, not that she knew very much about sex. But it seemed like the right word. It was the first thing she'd ever done in her life that made a difference. And she probably saved other, less cute people a lot of pain by doing it. A ghost of that dark, delicious feeling still lingered somewhere inside of her, mourning the loss of itself and not the man.

Quinn shushed it gently and closed her eyes.


Days passed, and life soon returned to normal in Lawndale—or as close as it got.

The halls of Lawndale High were abuzz for a while. A lack of information combined with Quinn's absence fueled conflicting accounts of the incident. As usual, Daria volunteered little information and blew off anybody who asked about it. Among the rumors circulating was that Quinn's father or sister/cousin/maid had snapped and killed the intruder, that the man broke into the Morgendorffer home and killed himself, and that he was an older date who tried to get fresh with Quinn and therefore ended up dead. (Guys who tried it always disappeared quickly, at least from the popular kids' radar.)

Principal Li cryptically announced on the intercom that a beloved, popular student was recently involved in a traumatic and very mysterious incident, which could have easily been averted with higher security such as (hypothetically) the barbwire fences she wanted to put up around school property.

The media reaction was brief, though intense. It wasn't every day that high school girls going on 16 killed in self-defense. Uncharacteristically, this one did not savor the attention. Soon enough the police stopped the questions and the papers moved on to the next big story.

Quinn's first trip to the mall since that night was short and awkward. She picked out clothes and makeup as skillfully as ever, but she didn't talk about them. And without her to spark the conversations, the rest of the Fashion Club had little to say—even Sandi. After the obligatory group hug, what could they say? Quinn's ordeal had been a stiff dose of reality, and that was one thing the Club just didn't deal with.

She got home before her parents did, but no such luck with Daria. Her sister muted the TV and stood up from the couch, looking like she wanted to say something. Uh-oh.

"Go on, Daria," she sighed and braced herself for the usual sarcastic or insulting remark. "Whatever you're thinking, say it and get it out of your system."

"Um…remind us not to throw you a surprise party this year?"

Quinn rolled her eyes. "Fine. Don't throw me a surprise party this year."

Daria blinked. Now she just felt stupid. Not a feeling she used to have around her sister.

"So what do you really want to tell me? You feel bad for me? Everything's going to be okay? You LOVE me or something?" Quinn rolled her eyes. Her knuckles were white as she gripped her shopping bag. "Well, that would be really nice and everything if I could believe you, which I can't, so don't worry about it. Not that you ever do."

Daria glared back, but words failed her when she saw the brand new scarf around her sister's neck.

"Thanks for the pepper spray, though. I guess that came in handy," Quinn said bitterly. She walked past Daria and up to her room.

"Um…I'm glad we had this talk," Daria said to no one.



May 15, 1998

Principal Angela Li strode confidently into another Friday morning at Lawndale High. Ghosts followed in her wake as they did everywhere, unseen and unheard, but ever present.

It was strange, she thought, how this job mirrored her childhood dream of being a dancer. She must dress just right, memorize her routine, and occasionally learn new steps. To adroitly manuever among the petty politics and parcel out dwindling federal aid required nothing less than a grand performance each time she took the floor. Li took pride in those performances. The destinies of herself and the school she managed were one and the same. Each could not exist without the other, at least that was her judgment-and she made the rules.

The same was true for school security, she reminded herself while fiddling with the padlocks and security code on her office door. The safety she wanted so badly must also benefit the students, otherwise she was Wrong, and that word no longer had a place in her life.

She would not be betrayed, mocked, and cast out of here as she was in dance. Never again, she thought as the door locked solidly behind her.

Principal Li had made strides toward her goal, but much remained to be done. There were security cameras in every hallway, but not in every classroom. Each entrance to the school was tightly locked and manned by a security guard, but the guards did not do their jobs with the seriousness she desired. There were fences, but they were not high or thick enough. And each deficiency harmed the reputation of Lawndale High.

The glory of the school's name-hers-must be the top priority. Today Li would take another opportunity to boost the school's prestige. Great as her leadership was, the students needed role models among their peers. And she was about to present them with a new one.


"Oh NO," Stacy Rowe fretted as the Fashion Club sat down for history class. "Is it true that chartreuse is officially out? Nine of my tops are chatreuse!"

"Stacy dear, I've warned you about committing too much to a single trend or color," Sandi shook her head, not without sympathy. "But at least you picked up on this yourself without me having to put you on probation." Thanks for spoiling my fun, was what she didn't say.


Tiffany sighed. "It's a shaaame. Chartreuuuse is such a cute woooord."

"That's SO true, Tiffany," Quinn chirped. "If it wasn't fun to say, it wouldn't have been so popular to begin with! I mean, can you imagine if Brad Pitt was named Hubert?" she giggled at her own joke to a chorus of agreement.

"Excuse me GIRLS," Mr. DeMartino growled from the front of the room. "But if you are quite FINISHED discussing shades of YELLOW and the two-time presidential CANDIDATE, the rest of us would like to GET ON WITH CLASS!"

Quinn was surprised he knew what chartreuse was.

"Now TODAY we will be discussing the WATERGATE AFFAIR! Which you would actually know something about if you read the assigned CHAPTERS. Brittany?"

"Watergate? that the big red bridge thingy in San Francisco?" Brittany chirped.

"Naw, babe," Kevin Thompson guffawed next to her. "It's one of those big walls they put up to stop rivers. Water gate, you know?"

DeMartino's eyebrow twitched. "What an entirely INCORRECT yet unusually VALIANT attempt at sentient awareness, Kevin."

"Thanks, Mr. D!"

Just as DeMartino launched into a rant/lecture about some political guys breaking into some other political guys' hotel rooms or whatever, the intercom crackled ominously to life.

"Good morning, Lawndale High students!" the principal paused as though giving the students a chance to say 'good morning' back. None of them did. "Will our brave young heroine-I mean, Quinn Morgendorffer-please come to the principal's office, reasons? Thank youuuu."

Quinn suppressed a sigh and stood up from her desk. What was this all about?

"At least that girl had enough sense not to get herself killed," the intercom crackled a moment later. "God knows we don't need another Tommy Sherman at this school. His crazy parents are still trying to get money out of us…oh my. Is this still on? Um, forget what you just heard, everyone." Click.

None of the students batted an eye. No big surprise, since most eyes in the room were already closed.

Quinn waved to her friends and quietly slipped out of the classroom. She surprised Jane at the drinking fountain as she turned a corner.

"Whoa! Fashion VP on a mission," Jane chuckled. "You look like you're holding up pretty well, after...well, you know."

Quinn cracked a smile. "Jane, I'm popular! I have to hold up. So what are you doing out here?"

"Late, as usual. The teachers don't even notice," Jane shrugged. "Off to give Ms. Li some fashion tips?"

"For her sake, I hope so. See you later."

"Quinn?" Jane said suddenly. She turned back. "Um, I don't like to be nosy or anything, but...are you sure everything is okay? You didn't hear it from me, but I think Daria is worried about you."

"Yep, I'm fine, OOPS, gotta run, byyyyye!" Quinn made a quick escape. She doubted if anyone could handle the thoughts that had been haunting her. Since that night, she had killed the man not once, but over and over in her dreams. She would wake up with a terrible itch in her hands, a knawing emptiness in her stomach, and no amount of calamine lotion or carrot sticks would satisfy either one. And every time she woke up, the same conflict...


Guh-ODDDD, not again. Go away.

Do it again. Just one more time. We both want to.

I can't. It's over. I have to move on.

It's never over. There are others, little Quinn. Others who are being hurt. And those who are hurting them.

Quinn shook her head stubbornly, her carrot-colored hair whipping around her head. She had to get rid of these thoughts. The scary thing was how well she found herself able to hide them. Somehow it was easier than before. Her emotional outbursts on fashion had lessened. She was much more aware of other people than before. She couldn't just talk to them-she could feel them, and reacted more strongly to them.

The scarf seemed to chafe when they made her mad.

She took a deep breath and put on a smile before knocking on Ms. Li's door.

The prim Asian woman opened it with her usual tight, robotic smile. "Ahh, Miss Morgendorffer. I was expecting you approximately one minute sooner!"

"Yeah, sorry. I got held up a minute in the hall," Quinn shrugged.

"I know, I saw y-I mean, I was a teenager once myself!" Ms. Li chortled. "Please come in."

She locked the door and quickly moved behind her desk. Her rush to take a place of authority was not lost on Quinn.

Gawd, I'm thinking like such a geek. Quinn chastised herself. She sat in one of the less comfortable chairs on the other side of the cramped office. Think about nail polish or something, Quinn.

Ms. Li's nail polish was clear. Staid but professional, much like her business suits, glasses, and immaculate bob.

"Well, Miss Morgendorffer! Let's not waste any time," the principal said. Her voice quivered with sudden excitement as she launched into her spiel. "There is a golden opportunity at my-I mean, your fingertips, and time is of the essence!"


"I am referring of course to your little accident," Ms. Li clarified, like there was anything little or accidental about it. "I'm sure it was a terrible business for you and your family. Please rest assured that our thoughts and prayers are with you. But now that you've had sufficient time to collect yourself, we can turn this terrible situation into something that can benefit us all!"

Quinn tried to sound interested. "Like what?"

"Public speaking, Quinn. Remember when our quarterback Kevin Thompson was tragically injured last fall? Well, did he sit at home every Friday night and watch 'Smackdown?' Of course not! He jumped up and said, 'I'm going to help. I'm going to talk to others and inspire them to be safe, so that what happened to me does not have to happen to them'!"

Quinn doubted if Kevin had thought of it in that many words, but whatever...

"Now that is what makes a select few of our students true role models here-the desire to be known. To be heard. To reach out to others! Unlike some of us who bury their noses in books all day-they know who they are." Ms. Li winked at her.

An obvious reference to Daria. "But wasn't, one of the brains who gave Kevin the idea in the first place?"

"Let's not split hairs, Miss Morgendorffer," Li replied smoothly. "The point is, you have a chance to take your place as one of those model students!"

"Thanks! But I don't think a 'B minus' average is really-"

"I'm not talking about that crap!" the principal snapped, momentarily losing patience. "Er...I mean, that by taking this chance, you will inspire everyone else at...Llllawndale be as strong as yourself. Not to mention draw funding for our new Self-Defense and Fitness Club, eh? Let's get started, shall we?" She whipped a mountain of paperwork out of her desk drawer. "All we require is your signature here, here, here, and...well, everywhere really. And the injury waiver, as well as the promise not to hold Lawndale High accountable for any post-traumatic stress episodes that may arise. And should you happen to come across the phrase 'immortal soul' on any of these papers, I assure you it's a typo."

Quinn hesitated. It was the kind of thing her old self would've jumped on. But that Quinn had moved out two weeks ago.

The new one did not need an audience.

Slowly, she slid the papers back across the desk. "Um, it's a cool idea and all, but it's not really something I want to talk about all day...especially to little kids who might not need to hear about icky things like that. Plus, two lectures a night is kind of a lot and really not conducive to a healthy dating schedule." As if I'm still dating now. "But, you know, thanks anyway!"

Ms. Li's sunny expression clouded over. "Well, Miss Morgendorffer, I must say I am disappointed. I was hoping it wouldn't come to this, but due to the urgency of this matter, I must make your participation in promoting my new project-I mean, healing yourself-mandatory."

Quinn's gaze rose slowly from the papers to Ms. Li's stern face. "What are you talking about?"

"Let's be frank, Quinn. A story like yours does not come along very often, and I would be remiss if I did not allow the school to benefit from what you've learned."

If they only knew what she'd learned. No, that wasn't stuff any of them would need to know. Not if they were lucky.

"Oh, Ms. Li," Quinn said sweetly, as though she were talking to Sandi. "Your self-defense club is such a great idea in the first place, there's no way you need my help to make it work. I'm sure it'll do great!"

"I couldn't agree more. And I'm sure it will do even better with your services," the woman's eyeglasses gleamed. "It would be selfish not to use the benefit of your experience for the glory of the school. In fact, I am certain that once you join us in this endeavor, any sudden analyses and/or investigations of your surprisingly good history grades can be easily avoided."

Quinn's eyes narrowed. "I earned those grades."

"My committee can be overzealous at times," Ms. Li said. "But their dedication to Lawndale High more than makes up for their occasional witch hunts and finding problems where there may actually be none. We all make mistakes, don't we, Miss Morgendorffer?"

She's right, isn't she, Quinn? We all do make mistakes, a voice whispered. There were shadows everywhere, even in this fluorescent shrine to OCD. Especially a tyrant in an unflattering suit who is-

Making. Me. ANGRY. She finished.

Quinn licked her lips, a bit like a reptile tasting the air. And behind Ms. Li's empty words, she tasted something bitter. Resentment. Betrayal. All people got lost somewhere in life. The strong ones tried to find their way back; the weak spent their energy leading others astray.

There was nothing strong about Li because she was the principal-just like being president of the Fashion Club didn't make Sandi special. It was something they called themselves. And it sounded good, like 'chartreuse.' But there was a difference between clothes and people: with people, the label didn't tell anyone what was really there. Not even the labels of 'cute' and 'popular' that she held so dear. Li was wounded and weak, hiding behind her status just as Quinn had.

What had she been through that she needed the fake, transitory world of high school more than the students did? Why should Quinn or the rest of them suffer with her? No door could lock tightly enough to keep out this woman's demons. But she still tried, and that effort was hurting the people around her. And for the people who cared-like Daria, not that Quinn needed to do her any favors-it dragged down their education too.

"I'll make you a deal," Ms. Li said smugly. "Simply sign this contract agreeing to give one speech at the pep rally tonight, just to get your feet wet. Give it a chance, and you will see what is best for you-and us. Perhaps it will even be your calling. I remember my own brief career as a dancer..."


Several hours later, Quinn found herself walking up to the podium in the middle of a roaring gym full of her classmates-and not really wanting to say a word to them. She struggled to think of something.

"Um...hi, everybody! I-" More cheers. She laughed and waved her hand. "Oh, you guys. I have to start talking sometime!" Slowly it decreased to a dull roar. "Okay. So I'm supposed to be out here talking about what happened to me last month and about how it's really important for some self-defense thingy at school or whatever. But I think it kind of speaks for itself. You know, like a girl who spends two hours making herself look even cuter, even though her date that night drives a Buick? She doesn't have to think about why she's doing it, she just does!"

The audience clapped. Well, the girls anyway; the guys seemed a little confused. Quinn caught a glimpse of Daria and Jane studying her from the back row.

"And that's just how it was for me," Quinn continued. "Remember, it's wrong for people to hate you just because you're beautiful, and even if you're not they shouldn't get to push you around. Kind of like a really pretty popular girl with great hair and the best body in the universe shouldn't have to do a bunch of 'extra-circular' activities if she doesn't want to."

Jodie Landon in the front row seemed to think Quinn was talking about her; she was clapping the loudest. Speaking of extra circular, even Brittany was jumping up and down in an impromptu cheer.

"And since I don't really want to talk to you about safety and I think you should just celebrate school spirit instead, I'm going to follow along with what I learned at this school and stop talking now. And remember, you can have hair almost as bouncy as mine if you bounce from the inside too. Bye!"

Her fellow students seemed to appreciate her brevity. They cheered long after she had left the gym.

Quinn slipped unseen through the broken emergency exit they weren't supposed to use, and around the far side of the school where the athletic storage shed was. She pulled on a green 'Hefty bag' jacket and matching gloves against the evening chill and kept walking. Ms. Li had been wrong about her enjoying this, just as Quinn thought. But now that it was over with, she had no reason to stick around.

She had to get home. Fast.

"You disappointed me again, Quinn," a cold voice hissed from behind her. Li. Her glasses shone white in the shadows, picking up what little light remained. "That was not even close to the speech I had prepared for you."

Quinn glared at her, unafraid. "Let's call it stage fright."

"Let's call it something to improve on." Li pulled out the contract she had signed."And you'll have the chance to do just that. Perhaps you missed the first page of our contract, that bound you to other appearances if necessary. And in this case, they certainly are."

"There was only one page to begin with!"

"Oh, is that what you thought? Well, you know what they say about teenagers' attention spans these days." Another reptilian smile.

Quinn smoldered with anger. "I'm NOT going to do it, Ms. Li."

"Really? I'm sure you're aware that insubordination like this can be quite damaging to one's permanent record. Nor are there many beauty schools that will offer scholarships to discipline cases," Ms. Li said calmly. "I believe that is checkmate. Some authority cannot suffer questioning, Miss Morgendorffer. Take that as a moral victory if you like. I'm sure your sister would agree."

"My sister doesn't talk to me. She hates me. Just like I hate you!" Quinn couldn't believe this. To use her old Highland vocabulary, it was bull****. One phone call to her mother could probably burst this woman's bubble of deceit in thirty seconds.

Li advanced on her. In the dark, she looked like a crafty rodent cornering its prey into a hole. And as Quinn backed into the shed, she found that was exactly the case.

Please God let me get to a phone. My hands itch so bad...I keep telling Mom I need my own cell!

But you don't believe in God, do you? Her mind taunted her.

Quinn had believed a little, once. But then Daria said she should believe whatever made her happy, and believing in God didn't make her happy. It was another empty substitute for what she didn't have. Like fashion. Like dating. Like everything, except for...

Mr. Sareth's death rattles echoed in her ears.

"You cannot walk out on your obligations, Quinn." Ms. Li whispered, shutting the door behind them for effect. "Any more than I can walk out on mine as your educator."

Yes, Quinn. You can't walk out. You want it so bad, and yet you've been so patient. You deserve to feel this one more time...

There were no security cameras in the shed. Or on this side of the building, for that matter. It was one of the oversights Li had not yet remedied.

"When I was a little girl, I wanted more than anything to be a dancer," The principal said as though talking to herself. "I thought I would be safe in the world of fine arts. Alas, I was quite mistaken. I was nothing but fresh meat for them to prey on. My family offered no help. I was given no structure. No direction or potential. No way through. They were all against me. But that will not happen to any of you-I will not allow it. Look, Quinn. Here is structure. Here is order."

Quinn backed off as she advanced again. She held out papers, any number of papers, an unspoken command to sign.

"Beautiful order."

Quinn's back hit the basketball stand.

"My order."

Quinn knew what she had to do now. It was give in, or lose herself. She reached out and took the pile of papers. "Do you have a pen?"

Ms. Li grinned with triumph. She looked down to reach into her suit pocket.

Quinn wound up and slammed the heavy file across her face.

Li gasped and stumbled back, falling to her knees. She looked blearily up at Quinn as the beauty approached again, throwing a vicious kick at the side of her head. She went all the way down with a thud.

She couldn't stop now if she wanted to. She was so hot for this. So ready. Her hands shook while she fumbled with the scarf. At last she pulled it taut in her hands and pounced with the grace of a cat, an exquisite predator, prey to an instinct she could no longer deny.

"Oh PLEASE," Quinn snarled hungrily as she twisted and pulled, relishing the principal's first chokes of pain. "Yes, yes, like everything so neat and tidy, huh? Mmmm, this is just perfect…won't leave a mark."

My, Quinn, we're learning fast aren't we? Who would have thought an empty suit could struggle so much? But you hold on, you just hold on now and soon you're going to feel it, you deserve it you sweet little thing, yes you do…

It was just like the first time. It seemed to happen in slow motion, but didn't last long enough. It was wonderful and awful all at once. The waves of pleasure crested higher, rising with her victim's desperation into a tidal wave.

She cried out, replete with joy as it slammed into her and washed her conscience away.



A/N: The flashback scene was directly inspired by 'Also Known as Quinn the Great' by Austin Covello-IMO, one of the best Quinn stories ever written.

My fanon timeline is as follows: Daria was born in 1982, Quinn in '83, which makes them 16 and 15 respectively in 1998. Daria is a junior and Quinn a sophomore, with both nearing the end of their school year. They moved to Lawndale almost two years ago. Quinn's birthday is May 20. Where this story falls in canon is tenuous since she has the scarf from 'It Happened One Nut' and the outfit and intelligence of Seasons 4-5, yet Tom does not appear in the story. I guess that part's not really important. xD