I decided to give this a try. I'm shamelessly ripping off ideas here from Brother Grimace, LSauchelli, Vukdlak and Dark Kuno and having a lot of fun doing it. This is set around about now rather than the timeline of canon. Daria and all recognizable characters are the creation of Glenn Eichler and the intellectual property of MTV/Viacom. This is fanfiction, written for fun and no money is being made. I mention the names of some real people but no infringement or insult is intended.

A New Direction

Jane eased her pace as she jogged up the hill at the back of Crewe Neck, she was only halfway through what she thought of as her 'Oh the Humidity!' route and she needed to conserve her energy for the long loop around the back of the shopping mall then home for a much needed shower. Once she got on to the old track bed of the Lawndale-Georgetown branch line she was able to speed up again as it curved gently around the hill toward the West and the setting sun.

Not far along the trail something off to the right caught her eye. A couple of large removal trucks were parked outside that huge faux georgian mansion that had been built between Crewe Neck and the Sloane Estate, she slowed down to see if she could get a look at whatever pimp, drug dealer or politician was moving in.

From her vantage point she could discern some pattern to the chaos as people milled around in the graveled driveway and got in each other's way. The removal men were obvious in their brown coveralls as were a couple of women in maid's outfits but the people with clipboards and the film crew were a puzzle. Intrigued, Jane sat down on an old log and settled in to watch, pulling out her water bottle from her belt pouch and taking a swig.

After a while one of the people, an auburn haired girl with glasses who was about her own age noticed her and pointed her out to a large African American man with a radio headset and an unfriendly aspect. Jane raised an eyebrow as Muscles climbed up the bank toward her.

'You're trespassing.' He stated without preamble. 'Get lost before I have to call the cops.'

'No I'm not, sorry, call 'em if you want, I gotta right to be here on the trail.' Jane replied with a cheeky smile.

'Listen missy, don't get smart with me, I told you to get lost so get lost, capisce?'

'Listen mister, see this trail? It's a Maryland Heritage trail, public right of way, ya know? Now I'm gonna wander off in a couple of minutes but just coz I want to, not coz you told me to, okay?'

'Now you...' The man started to say but he was interrupted by the girl with glasses who'd walked up behind him.

'What is it Jammy? She claiming the public has a right to know or what?'

'No Daria, she claims this is a public right of way, refuses to move. Want me to fetch the dogs?'

'No, wait, is it?' The girl identified as Daria (Where had she heard that name before?) asked Jane directly.

'Sure is.' Jane drawled, 'there's a marker just down there, see?'

Daria looked at her coolly, then pointedly walked down the trail to the marker which was a wooden tree stump cut at an angle with a brass plate screwed to the top of it. After a minute she came back. 'Dammit she's right. Mom musta missed this when she was surveying the place. We can't keep her off it. Look, just take your goddam picture and leave us alone OK?' She said to Jane. 'It's hard enough moving to a new town I thought we'd have a bit of peace before the vultures started circling!'

'What picture?' Jane asked, raising her arms to show that the singlet she wore concealed nothing, unfortunately. 'And why would I want to? Are you Lizzy Borden or something?'

'You're not a reporter?'

'Nah, I'm an artist, and a high school student but pardon my asking... what are you? Why all the...?' Jane asked, gesturing at "Jammy".

'You don't know who I am? Really?' The well but conservatively dressed girl asked.

'Well you kinda look familiar but honestly? No idea, have we met?'

'No I... no, we haven't but...' In the gathering gloom below bright lights shone out suddenly. 'Aannnd, here we go again with the circus.' Daria rolled her eyes resignedly.

'What the...?' Jane asked and was answered by the appearance of Quinn Morgendorffer... oh my GOD! QUINN MORGENDORFFER! who had come out of the door below and was ordering the maids to bring certain bags into the house. If she was there that meant they were filming MTV's "Celebrity Teen" and it also meant that this girl was...

'Daria Morgendorffer, hi.'

'Hi... but you... hi.' Jane managed, stupefied.

'Yeah we just moved here from Beverly Hills, just me, the immediate family, an army of staff and my sister's vanity project. Impressed are you?'

'Me? Nah.' Jane snarked, recovering her cool. 'We get that sorta thing around here all the time. Why here though? What's in Lawndale?'

'Close enough to the Capital for Dad to shoot his new political thriller without being months at a time away from Mom. This isn't really news, you know, it was on Entertainment Tonight last week.' Daria added, folding her arms.

'Never watch it. I'm Jane by the way, Jane Lane.' Jane replied, offering a hand.

Daria looked at it for a moment, then shrugged and shook it. 'From where?'

'Right here, born and bred.'

Daria sighed. 'From which publication? You know? Your employer?'

'Listen I told you I'm not a reporter. Artist, remember? And high school student.'

'So you're trying to tell me you just happened by?'

'Well... yeah... this is my route, I run here most evenings, this time of the year.'

'Oh... Ok, sorry then. It's OK Jammy, I think we're safe from attack by mutant rabid paprazzi, for the moment.' To Jane she added. 'It's not just the invasion of privacy - we signed an exclusive contract with that lot.' She jerked her thumb over her shoulder at the camera crew below. 'They're the only ones allowed to reveal our little family quirks and the regularity of our bowel movements.'

Jane laughed out loud, then said. 'Look, could I go through and out your front gate? It's getting dark now and there's no lights on the trail.'

'Sure, wanna ride home? One of the guards could...?'

'Nah, I'm good, it's not far if I go direct from here, could I use a bathroom though?'

'Sure, you have a choice of about twenty.'

'Ha, ha... you're kidding, right?'


'So.' Jane asked as Daria guided her into the triple height vestibule. 'You guys just moving in for a few months or what?'

'Nah, Dad plans to film all three parts of the novel in one big shoot and he wants to use the run up to the next election for all the background scenes and he has permission to have Tom stand in for Hillary for some scenes at all of the Democratic conventions to get it as real as possible, so a couple of years I guess, maybe three.'

'Oh yeah... those books. I read em, hot stuff. Tom who?'

Daria gestured into the living room where two older men in casual clothes were laughing and joking as they arranged vinyl albums onto a shelf. 'Hanks'. Daria replied smiling at the way Jane's jaw had just hit the floor. 'Hey.' She added, giving Jane a gentle poke on the arm. 'Bathroom's in here.'

Jane went in and locked the door then stared at herself in the mirror for a moment. Her eye was attracted to a metallic gleam and then she saw the little gold statuette on a shelf beside the toilet and flashed back to the infamous "Goddam you, OLD MAN" acceptance speech at last year's awards ceremony. 'HOLY S**T!' She said and filled the sink with cold water and plunged her head into it.

'Did you fall in?' Daria laughed a few minutes later when she came out with her hair dripping wet. 'Oh, quick, get back in.' Daria pushed Jane back into the bathroom and followed her, closing the door to within an inch of closed and putting her eye to the gap.
Jane understood when bright lights passed by outside and she could hear Quinn's voice talking about her pores. 'All clear.' Daria said a moment later. 'They're legally obliged to pixellate me out of any shot but it costs them so we have an agreement - I stay out of shot as much as possible and they leave me the hell alone.'

'Gotcha. So... you're gonna be here for a while, huh? Gonna join all the other nobs up at Fielding I suppose?' Jane asked as she ran a towel through her hair.

'No. Weirdly enough. I'm sure you, the world and his wife and little old hermits in Tibet heard about Quinn's incident during the Summer when she stole Matt Dillon's Ferrari and drove it down Sunset at ninety miles an hour? Yeah, well Mom's decided that the Hollywood lifestyle is to blame so we're gonna live in a macmansion and attend public school, some place called Lawndale High, you know it?'

Jane almost choked. 'Know it? I go there! I'm a sophomore, you?'

'The same, and Quinn's a freshman. Can you believe the principal has allowed MTV to film in the school?'

'Yep, when you meet Ms. Li you'll realize there's nothing she wouldn't do for money, nothing I tell ya!'

Daria laughed and showed her out the door. 'Well, I guess I'll see you in school?'

'I guess so, seeya Monday, bye.'