A Disclaimer:These characters are the property of MTV, and the intellectual property of the creators of Daria. I appreciate their indulgence in letting me build a world around them. I am doing this for love, not money, so please do not get your panties in a twist about it. Thanks.
Turning A Page
Quinn walked down the halls of Lawndale High. She saw Stacy standing at her locker and they waved at each other.
"Hey, Quinn, are you coming to my party on Saturday?" The other students nonchalantly tried to eavesdrop on the conversation.
"I think so, I've got some stuff to put together, but I should be done by then. Do you need me to bring anything?" Quinn asked, mostly to be polite. She only attended these social functions to keep a hand in; they were quickly becoming boring to her. There were other people she'd rather spend time with, but it wasn't Stacy's fault that Quinn had outpaced her, and she didn't want to hurt Stacy's feelings. After all, it was their senior year, and everything seemed more important now.
"Great, I know everyone will be happy to see you there, we miss you." Stacy smiled, and it made Quinn sad that it meant so much to her friend that she would be at her party. "I've got English now, I'll see you later." With that, Stacy went skipping off to her class.
Quinn quickly appraised Stacy's outfit. Stacy was the prettiest of the girls in the fashion club, but she had no style. Stacy's clothes were always the most current fashion, but she never added anything to them. Stacy could have been a walking Gap mannequin. Oh well, it was enough for Lawndale.
Quinn saw Andrea standing in the corner by the water fountain. She had come to admire the goth's style. She accented her beautiful eyes with elaborate black eyeliner. Quinn used to think that it was extreme, but lately she could see that Andrea made the most of her face by highlighting her eyes. Something clicked with Quinn, and she walked over to speak with her. "Andrea, I've been meaning to find you. I saw the coolest outfit on Dega Street, I got the card for you, and I wrote the description on the back. I think you would look amazing in this." Quinn handed her the card.
Andrea didn't know what to make of it. She knew that Quinn was one of the popular people, so she was immediately suspicious. But she was also Daria's sister, and after sharing a class with her, Andrea knew that Quinn was no airhead. She took the card. "Thanks. You thought of me?"
"Yes, when I saw that outfit, I knew that you were the only one who could do it justice. I love what you're doing with your hair. Have you thought about adding a streak of eggplant right on this piece here?" Quinn had gently touched the one lock of hair that had been gelled into a sharp point.
"You think that would look good?" Andrea eyed the card and Quinn, thankful for the advise, but dubious of it's source.
"Well sure, it's the right tone for your skin, and it will set you apart from the crowd." Quinn leaned in, so that the general populace wouldn't overhear her next words. "I think you should accentuate your bust. Not just because you've got something to show off, but you could make much more impact if you showed some flesh." Quinn smiled and winked at her. The bell rang and everyone scattered for class. Quinn sailed into AP English with Mr. O'Neill, just in time.
Quinn had taken the SAT's over the summer, and had gotten great scores. It was no longer a question of whether she had the 1000 points to get into Pepperhill, she had dismissed that as pointless months ago, she had set her sites on the Rhode Island School of Design.
Quinn had labored all summer long, working with Jane Lane to get a portfolio together. That had been fun. She had designed outfits for Mystik Spiral, and photographed the band wearing them. The photos were shot with black and white film, giving them a dark and brooding quality. Jane had her Dad work with Quinn on developing them. In addition to producing some beautiful pictures, Quinn had learned a lot about photography. The pictures had turned out great and the band used them in their promotional materials. The portfolio had slowly come together. Quinn discovered that her unerring color sense could be used to paint and draw as well. Quinn began to work with fabrics, designing and sewing outfits for herself. She made Daria's graduation dress last year. At first Daria was skeptical, but when she saw how it not only complimented her physically, but how comfortable she felt in it, she was grateful that Quinn had made it for her.
Quinn was especially happy this cold February morning. She had received the news the day before that she had early admission to RISD, she didn't need a safety school. All of her hard work had paid off. Quinn tried to pay attention to Mr. O'Neill. He was discussing poetry. Quinn knew that she didn't need to focus too much of her attention, since Mr. O'Neill was happy with any kind of classroom participation. She opened her notebook, and scanned the notes that she had made the night before. She was well prepared for the class.
After class she stopped at Mr. O'Neill's desk to tell him her news. "Mr. O'Neill since you were one of the first teachers to believe in me, and your advice to get a tutor last year is primarily responsible for what's happened, I wanted you to share my good news."
He brightened. It was so easy to make him happy. "You have good news? Oh Quinn, I'm so glad you thought of me!"
"I've been accepted to the Rhode Island School of Design." She got out her letter to show him. He took it from her gently and read the whole thing.
"Quinn, this is terrific! I knew that you could do it." He went to hug her, but remembered that those types of display were no longer appropriate. Ms. Barch came into the classroom, and was surprised to see Quinn there. "Janet, look, Quinn's been accepted to college." He handed the letter to her, so that she could see what all the fuss was about.
She read it as well. Quinn had been one of her students, and while she had earned good grades in her class, she had never exhibited the spark of genius that her sister Daria had, at least not with science. "Quinn, congratulations. That's a hard school to get into. Your parents must be proud of you." She handed the letter back to Quinn, who folded it carefully and put it back in the official envelope.
Quinn smiled. Proud didn't cover it. Helen was beside herself and Jake, well, he was over the moon. "Yes, they are pretty happy." There were a few more polite comments made by the teachers, but Quinn had to get to her next class.
She didn't tell anyone else her news. After school, she headed over to Cashman's. Quinn had been working there for nearly a year. She started out as a cashier in the Junior department, but her ability to coordinate a whole look had brought her to the attention of the store manager. She was quickly moved up into a Personal Shopper position. It was good because she set her own hours, working with private customers, and she was on a commission. She was expecting Carol Schrecter, one of Helen's colleagues, she needed a new spring wardrobe. Quinn had spent two hours gathering everything she needed: suits, belts, handbags, scarves, and even fine jewelry. She arranged the ensembles on the pegs, designed for that purpose around the over sized fitting room. At around six, Mrs. Schrecter arrived; she was delighted with the assortment. After trying everything on, having the alterations lady in to fit everything perfectly, Mrs. Schrecter left with a whole new wardrobe, and Quinn was nearly one thousand dollars richer.
Quinn was able to get home early, 'in time for Buffy' as she liked to say. Helen was still in her business suit, on the portable phone. She wrapped up the conversation so that she could speak to her daughter.
"Hi sweetie. So, how'd you do tonight?" Helen took an active interest in her daughter's job.
"Well, Mrs. Schrecter bought a lot of stuff." She held out her copy of her daily register totals.
"Wow. That's great."
"It's funny, I think I was intimidated by work, because I didn't think I'd like it, but you know, since it's more like fun, than work, I don't mind at all. The only problem is that there aren't enough hours in the day."
"Don't I know it. So, has the Palm Pilot made a difference in helping you manage your time?" Helen was checking out the contents of the refrigerator, she selected a yogurt and sat down at the table with Quinn, who was using the device to review her assignments.
"Sure, it's great, just don't let the battery die on you, or you're screwed."
"Just make a note to yourself to recharge it." Helen said. They both giggled at her joke. A mutually shared workaholic joke. "So what homework do you have left?"
"I did all my homework in study hall. Great idea adding that to my schedule by the way." Quinn closed her Palm and put it back into her Kate Spade tote.
"Always build down time into your day, otherwise you'll never finish anything." Helen commented authoritatively.
"Yeah, well, you're right about that. Is Dad still awake?"
"He's in the living room, why don't you keep him company, I've got some stuff to wrap up, and I think he'd like to spend some time with you." Helen took her laptop out of her bag and set up on the kitchen table. Quinn went into the living room.
Jake was watching a kung fu movie. He smiled when he saw Quinn. "Hi kiddo! How was your day?" He stood up to kiss her hello.
"Great Daddy, how was your day?" She plopped on the sofa for some quality Jake-time.
"Pretty good. Played nine holes with Andrew Landon, he's having me do some consulting for one of his companies." Jake was proud of himself. Quinn liked it when he was happy. "Want to watch this movie with me? It's kung fu! One of the best, The Five Deadly Venoms."
"Sure, for a minute." She sat with her father, rooting for the good guy, and cheering when the bad guys had their heads twisted off of their bodies.
Quinn had to work on Saturday, she had two customers, and she generally spent three hours with each of them, so her day was full. Work flew by, and Quinn was able to leave an hour earlier than she had anticipated. That meant that she could soak in the tub.
Quinn set everything up in the bathroom; she filled the tub with bubble bath, lit an aromatherapy candle, balanced a goblet of Pelligrino water on the vanity and put Dido on the CD player. She sank into the tub, letting the music guide her thoughts. She wasn't looking forward to the party. It was becoming harder and harder to find common ground with her friends. She still socialized with them, but the sycophantic conversation was difficult to bear. When did everyone start taking themselves so seriously? No wonder Daria thought they were all such a nightmare, they were.
For the make up and dressing phase of her transformation, Quinn preferred The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. She hummed along, and danced a bit to the bouncy beats; she was trying to get psyched up for the evening. She emerged from her room at around nine, dressed in jeans, a white blouse, leather belt, jacket and boots. She looked beautiful, elegant and casual. Just as she should. Helen had agreed that she could borrow the car for the evening, so she swiped the keys off the counter, bid her parents a good night, and stepped out into the night.
Stacy had wanted to have a Valentine's themed party. She and Jamie dated for nearly three months, and she thought that by having a party, that he might be inspired to ask her to go steady. Quinn hadn't really discussed the party with Stacy, she just assumed that it was going to be a typical "parents out of town" kegger. She had a flash of concern that it was supposed to be a couples event. Oh well, no matter what, her plan was to hang out long enough to be polite, claim that she had a late date, and head over to the Zon to see what was going on over there. Since Mystic Spiral had left town for Los Angeles, The Harpies had become the de facto house band there. Quinn had formed a friendship with Monique after she had helped her pull some outfits together in a shop on Dega Street, on Trent's recommendation. Quinn liked to see what the underground culture offered, because some of the looks could easily translate to the mainstream.
Quinn pulled up to Stacy's house, and she got a feeling of déjà vu. It looked like the house party in Sixteen Candles. Cars were parked on the lawn, toilet paper hung from the trees and she thought she could see Angie and her boyfriend making out in the shrubbery. Quinn went to knock on the door, realized it was futile, and let herself into the house.
It seemed as if everyone in the school was at the party. There were even some kids who had come home from Middleton for the weekend. Quinn was amazed. How did this get so out of hand? Jamie, of course, it must be his fault. There was only one thing to do. Get a soda and mingle. She needed to be seen, so she could get the Hell out of there. She was on her way to the laundry tub full of canned beverages when she ran smack into him. David. Quinn yipped with surprise, she never expected to see him at a high school party, and certainly not this kind of high school party. He had his hand around the waist of a pretty blond. She was wearing a tri delt sweatshirt. David, who thought that Quinn was too shallow, with a tri delt at a cheesy keg party. Quinn flashed him a stunning smile.
"David! Fancy running into you here." Quinn saw that he was a cross between wretched and miserable. She had the unholy urge to milk it.
"Hi Quinn, how are you doing?" His embarrassment was apparent. "Oh, let me introduce you to my girlfriend, Leslie. Leslie, I tutored Quinn last summer."
Leslie, who exhibited signs of jealousy, until she understood how Quinn knew David, seemed happy to meet her. "Oh, one of your little students. How nice. Normally I wouldn't be at this type of party, but my little brother dates the hostess, so we thought we'd stop by." She seemed tipsy and a bit snotty. Quinn cheered up.
"So Quinn, have you applied to any schools yet?" David asked, he didn't really want to go back into the kitchen, so he was stalling for time.
Quinn considered what she wanted to tell him. She hadn't made her school choice public yet, and it seemed small to rub his face in his snobby attitude towards her, but Quinn was human, and she didn't want to let the opportunity go by. She stepped closer to the two of them. "Actually, I'm keeping this quiet for now, but I got my early acceptance to Rhode Island School of Design. You won't mention it to anyone, will you?"
David was shocked, but he had the courtesy to try to cover it up. "Really? That's a great school. Design, that makes sense for you."
"Thanks." She flipped her hair at him. "Oh, I need to see if Stacy needs any help. It was great bumping into you David, and it was nice to meet you Leslie." She walked off towards the kitchen.
As she walked away Leslie commented. "Why did she need to be tutored? She seems smart enough to me." Quinn could hear David cringe.
Quinn found Stacy sobbing in the pantry. "Oh Quinn, you're here. It's awful. Everyone is just ruining everything. Why? Why did Jamie do this? Does he hate me?"
Quinn would have hugged her, but she didn't want to get mascara on her blouse. She gave her a squeeze instead. "Stacy, he's just a guy, he doesn't know any better. He didn't mean anything by it."
"Do you really think so?" Stacy gulped and hiccuped.
"Sure. Do you want me to find him?" Quinn offered. Stacy nodded. "Okay, go upstairs and fix your face. I'll get him and bring him up. It's going to be okay. I'll help you clean up."
Quinn's search for Jamie ended at the keg. He was standing with a group of his fellow football players. They were commiserating with him. "Jamie, can I talk to you for a minute?" She pulled him aside. "I know, and Stacy knows, you didn't mean for this to happen."
"You've gotta believe me Quinn, I didn't. I would never do anything like this on purpose."
" Don't worry, we'll take care of it. You need to talk to Stacy, tell her you're sorry, and any other thing that might occur to you." She led him upstairs. Stacy had pulled herself together, but she was visibly upset. Jamie hugged her and a string of apologies poured forth from him. Quinn shut the door so that they could work it out in privacy.
Sandy and Tiffany were sitting on the landing, staying above the insanity below, but retaining a clear view of the carnage. "Oh, hi Quinn, we didn't think you'd make it tonight, with your schedule and all."
"Oh Sandy, you know I'd never miss one of Stacy's parties." Quinn fell into the familiar pattern; it was easier than getting into a hassle right now.
"Well, you haven't been as available socially as you once had been." Sandy had not taken Quinn's resignation from the Fashion Club well, especially since Quinn quit to actually work with fashion. It made them look silly, which they were.
"Yeah Quinn, we never see you." Tiffany drawled.
"I miss you guys too. I'm so busy with work and stuff." Quinn would never mention school to them, they wouldn't understand.
"We should get together." Tiffany suggested.
"Tiffany dear, I'm sure Quinn has better things to do with her time than to waste it with her friends." Sandy had something up her butt. Quinn wasn't rising to the bait, she did have better things to do, and arguing with a nasty piece of work like Sandy wasn't one of them.
"Don't be silly, I'll always make time for you guys." She glanced at her watch. "Oh, I promised my date I'd be there by now. Shoot, we'll catch up later though." She beat a hasty retreat downstairs.
Quinn arrived at The Zon in time to see the entire last set. Monique nodded at her as she came in. Quinn went to her usual place at the bar and got a club soda. She saw Andrea, in the outfit that she had recommended. Andrea was talking to an intense guy, but she waved to Quinn in acknowledgement. Quinn smiled back at her. She was right, Andrea looked hot in the outfit. Quinn studied everyone in the club. She made mental notes of what she saw. Chains, demi-boots, tattoos and extreme make up; it would all find a home with her, once she had a chance to 'Quinnify' it.
Monique and the Harpies packed up in record time and they headed out to the diner on Route 12. Quinn went with them. Monique asked if Quinn had heard anything from Trent.
"Well, you know, my sister isn't big on discussing her love life, but I know that they've played the Whisky A Go-Go a few times. When they were in the Bay Area, Daria arranged it so that they could sleep in the TV room in her dorm." Quinn picked at an anemic fruit cup.
Monique laughed. "Can you see that? A bunch of over-achieving college kids waking up, hoping to watch CNN or whatever the Hell it is that they watch, only to find Mystik Spiral passed out in their puke in the living room." The notion filled her with hilarity. The rest of the band found it funny as well.
Quinn liked hanging with The Harpies, it made her seem less prissy. She giggled as well. "Well, it's the rock and roll lifestyle, and as far as hotel rooms go, nothing beats free."
"True that." Monique agreed. "Hey, have you heard from that college yet?"
Quinn nodded. "Yes, I got accepted."
"Great! Congratulations. Guys, Quinn got in." Monique and The Harpies cheered for her.
Quinn felt cosmopolitan, hanging out with them in a diner in the middle of the night. But it was getting late. "Guys, I've gotta go. I promised a friend I'd help her with something in the morning."
"Hey, drive safe out there." Monique called as Quinn walked out into the parking lot.
"I will! Night guys." Quinn waved at her friends. She worked out some costume ideas for them on the drive home. Something with chains.
Quinn woke up at around nine. She could smell coffee. She jumped into some grubbies and went downstairs to whip up some breakfast. The blender was already out so she just dumped everything in and whirled it around for a minute, dumped it into a cup and walked over to Stacy's.
They were in the yard clearing up the most unsightly of the mess. Stacy, Jamie, Jeffy and Joey. No sign of Sandy or Tiffany. Quinn pushed up her sleeves, grabbed a garbage bag, and started to untangle the tissue from the trees. "You guys, is there someway we might be able to recycle this?"
"Ew!" They all responded. "Sick."
"Not that way." She rolled her eyes and counted the days until she would be leaving Lawndale.