DeWitt-Clinton Maiden

In response to an Iron Chef posted by The Angst Guy on PPMB.

The challenge was “What kinds of Daria crossovers have not yet been tried that would be worth doing?”
A Daria/Rozen Maiden crossover

Daria turned off the TV and sighed. They'd moved to Lawndale a month ago, and it was even more boring than Highland. Less dangerous, even ignoring the uranium in the drinking water, but more boring. She hadn't even made a single friend, although that was pretty much to be expected.

She stretched, then stood up to go to her room and grab a book. “Plenty of time to keep up with my reading, at least,” she thought.

As she she was about to go upstairs, the phone rang. Normally she'd just let someone else get it, but her parents were out. Quinn was still around, expecting a date later, though. And this was the perfect opportunity to tweak her sister and her date.

Daria grabbed the receiver, and said, “Hi, I'd like to order a large pepperoni pizza.”

There was a pause on the other end of the line. This usually happened when Daria answered a call meant for Quinn, but this time seemed odd. For a moment she thought the line had gone dead. Instead of the usual background noise that went with a surprised pause, there was absolutely no sound at all.

Then whoever it was on the other end of the line spoke up. It was an obviously male voice, somewhat deep and sounding like a laid-back Doors cover band singer. “Will you wind? Will you not wind?”

Daria frowned. This was the oddest obscene phone call she'd ever answered. She decided to play along for a bit and see where it went. “Wind.”

There was no reply. After a moment, the off-hook tone started playing. Daria shrugged and hung up the phone. She heard the sound of the upstairs toilet flushing, followed by a door opening. Quinn called out, “Was that my date? What did he say?”

Daria called back, “He said he's a necrophiliac, so don't forget the ice.”

Quinn paused a moment before she gave up trying to figure it out. “Ha ha, Daria.” She quickly disappeared into her room.

Daria nodded. “Definitely wind.”

After Quinn's date had picked her up, Daria was getting set up for an all-night Sick, Sad World marathon when the doorbell rang. Daria flipped on the porch light and looked through the peephole, but no-one was out there. She opened the door and looked around, half expecting to find a burning paper bag.

There wasn't one, but there also wasn't anyone in sight. Sitting on the porch was a large case, easily the size of a suitcase. It was obviously well built; tooled leather with silver chased corners and an elaborate silver rose on the top of the case. Daria shrugged, and brought the case inside. Definitely solidly built, and with something inside.

She put the case on the floor, and looked it over. “No address label anywhere, so it hadn't been shipped. Some kind of special delivery, maybe? But then they'd have someone sign for it,” she thought. “Maybe something from one of dad's clients?”

She reached out and pushed the button to release the latch. “I can always close it again.”

Inside the case was the largest doll she'd ever seen. She quickly closed it again and frowned. She looked at the clock, but there was usually no guessing when her parents would come home, and her mom had called earlier to say “Get take-out.” Still, she decided on privacy and took the case to her room.

Opening it again, she studied the doll in more detail. It was curled up on its side in the velvet interior. Although the face was that of a young woman sleeping, it was dressed in an elaborate men's Victorian outfit, complete with derby, bright red waistcoat, and cravat. It had black hair and very red lips. Also in the case was an appropriately scaled pallet, with a small brush and paint case, and a clockwork key.

Daria sat and thought. The doll was incredibly detailed, and the case by itself had to be worth a few hundred dollars. Quinn might buy something like this, but their parents would kill her when they got the credit card bill, and there's no way Quinn would have it delivered like that. She'd be running around showing it off to all her friends.

“Maybe an rich, eccentric relative is going to leave me her fortune.” Daria muttered, lifting the doll out of the case. Upright it stood over two foot tall. Mentally upping her estimate of its value, she said, “Feels almost real.”

Looking back in the case, she wondered what the key was for, and picked it up. Turning the doll around, she found a small hole in the back. She inserted the key and turned.

The doll suddenly started moving, lifting its head. Daria scrambled backwards as the doll stretched its arms over its head and yawned. Daria sat and stared as the doll scratched its head, nearly knocking its hat off, before it muttered, “Why can't there ever be coffee around when I wake up?”

The doll looked around the room, ignoring Daria. It walked over to the model skull lying on the floor and picked it up. After examining it for a moment, it rapped on it with one knuckle and looked around the room again, wandering in a small circle. “Interesting wallpaper.”

Then it spotted the model heart on the dresser. It considered that for a moment, then sat the skull down before finally looking straight at Daria. “Studying to be a doctor? But you are clearly female. Things have certainly changed since last I was awake. What is your name?”

Daria rubbed her eyes and adjusted her glasses. “I guess we didn't get away from the uranium in the drinking water.”

The doll frowned. “I do not know this “uranium”, but I asked you a question.”

“Daria Morgendorffer.”

Tilting its head, it considered her for a moment. “Quite the mouthful.”

“And who are you? What are you?

The doll smiled. “My name is Jane. I am the fifth doll of the DeWitt-Clinton Maidens. And you, Daria Morgendorffer, shall be my servant.”