: All recognizable characters are owned by Glenn Eichler and MTV; no infringement is intended, and no money is being made. Also, close paraphrasing and some verbatim use from various episodes, again, no infringement intended.Sophomore Year
Daria turned to Jake as she was about to close the door to the Lexus and head into the new school. "I'll try to help Quinn through this difficult period of adjustment, Dad. See you." She sighed as she made her way, ignored through the doors of Lawndale High.
A short time later, she, Quinn, and the other four students that had transferred in a week after the start of term (due to a "clerical error" by the school that Daria suspected was a ploy to more easily control the new students) stood in front of their new principal, Ms. Li. The slightly heavyset, middle-aged Korean woman cleared her throat and adjusted her glasses as she continued the tour.
"As you can see, our Lawndale High students take great pride in their school. That's why you'll each be taking a small psychological exam to spot any little clouds on the horizon as you sail the student seas of Lawndale High."
"SOS, girl overboard," Daria quipped, folding her arms in front of her while she thought, Gee, isn't this a wonderful tool - to keep "undesirables," like gays and non-Christians, out, or at least put more pressure on them to stay in the closet.
"Nobody told me about any test!" Quinn piped up.
Daria rolled her eyes. "Don't worry. It's a psychological test. You're automatically exempt." As Quinn was relaxing from this knowledge, Daria whispered into her ear, "You have to have a functioning brain to test."
Quinn pondered that, then just as they were about to go into the office, said, "Hey!"
Daria walked out into the hallway and gently closed the door to Mrs. Manson's office behind her. Smooth, Morgendorffer. Just because she mispronounced your name - twice - you get into a battle that you can't win with someone that might actually start Mom and Dad thinking and digging.
She leaned against the wall and softly tapped the back of her head against it. Yeah, you were true to yourself, but you violated a basic tenet of working in a system - don't be different without a good reason.
She shrugged her shoulders. Oh, well, it's done,
she thought with a smirk, and the look on that hack's face when I said, "It's a guy and a girl and they're discussing... a herd of beautiful wild ponies running free across the plains," was worth it.
Her smirk lasted into her History class, where her teacher, who at least got her name right, decided to quiz her almost as soon as she had sat down. Fortunately, she knew the answers and found that he didn't mind her spin on the facts. Plus, there were students that seemed to know even less than the two morons in Highland.
At dinner that night, Daria sighed to herself. This should be no surprise at all.
First, her sister babbled on about all of the people who liked her and wanted her to join their group, then Mrs. Manson called, and now she had to go to this self-esteem class.
Daria walked next to the tall, black-haired girl that she had just met that day. "I don't get it, Jane. You've got the entire course memorized. How come you can't pass the test to get out?"
"I could pass the test, but I like having low self-esteem. It makes me feel special." Jane replied with a grin.
"Oh," said Daria, quietly. "The only thing that makes me special like that is that I'm gay," she replied with a Mona Lisa smile on her face.
Jane stopped in her tracks. Daria continued a couple of steps on, then turned to face her new friend. "Gay?" she asked in a short voice. "You mean you're -"
"Attracted to women and not men, yes, Jane," Daria said, waving her hand. "Don't worry, I'm not hitting on you. I just wanted you to know in case it ever came out." She looked down at the sidewalk. "It looks like we're becoming friends, and I wouldn't want you to get blindsided." Daria blushed. "You're the first person that I've come out to, besides myself."
Jane put her finger to her lips, said, "Hmmm," then shrugged her shoulders. "Can't see where it's such a big deal. I mean, as an artiste
, I pretty much expect to be around alternate sexualities all the time." She looked up. This is my house, see you tomorrow."
"Seeya," Daria replied as she made her way home. Wow,
she thought, a new friend. And she didn't freak when I told her!
Daria wore a small smile on her face all the way home.
Of course, once she got home, her mother had decided to take an afternoon off to wipe away her guilt with some "mother-daughter bonding," which translated into Daria watching her as she tried on new suits at Cashman's, but even that wasn't enough to take Daria completely out of her mood. "It stands up and proudly proclaims, 'I am,'" she said of her mother's choices.
The next morning, Daria and Jane were walking to their first class when they saw Quinn, leaned back against a wall as a boy asked her questions about after school stuff. "Oh, nothing special. Go to the movies... or, like, a theme park... or out for a really fancy meal now and then... or maybe go to a concert, if, like, I know somebody's got good seats and is renting a limo and stuff."
Jane looked at Daria. With a smirk, she said, "You hear that? He hasn't got a prayer." Teasing, she added, "Who knows? You might, though."
Daria looked at her friend. "Ugh. That's my sister." She shook her head. "But you're right, he stands no chance - I'm just glad that we aren't after the same dates."
They were just passing out of hearing range when the boy asked, "So do you have any brothers or sisters?"
Quinn replied, "No, I'm an only child." Daria gritted her teeth.
"Damn, that's cold," Jane said. "She doesn't want to be the 'Lezzie's Sister'?"
"No, like I said yesterday, I haven't come out to anyone but you. This is all Quinn being Quinn."
As they were exiting self-esteem class that afternoon, Daria turned to to Jane and asked, "You know all the questions on the release test, right?"
Jane smirked and patted her messenger bag. "Got'em all here in my notebook, why?"
"Well, why don't we just take the test tomorrow and get out of the class once and for all?"
"Sure, but what would I do with my afternoons?" Jane had an idea of where this was going.
"Well, you could definitely use the time for math, but you could have more time to paint, or...go to UFO conventions?" Daria said, while bumping Jane's shoulder.