A Roger E. Moore "Iron Chef" ficlet series, based on the challenge "Write a story featuring Daria fanfic authors".
Starring, in order of appearance (or mention): Helen Morgendorffer, Quinn Morgendorffer, Daria Morgendorffer, Roger E. Moore, Jake, Renfield, Brandon League, Cynigal, Harry Harrison (guest mention), Galen Hardesty, Jane Lane, Kemical Reaxion, Jeffy, Joey and Jamie, Crazy Nutso, Crossada, Brother Grimace, C.E. 'Devilkitty' Basso, Wyvern, Tafka the Dragon, Lew Richardson, the Lawndale High Cheerleaders, Andrea, Marcello, Kara Wild, and introducing: Lulubelle as herself.
"Kids - we have a visitor."
Quinn's voice drifted down the stairs. "Jeffy?"
Daria peeped round her bedroom door. "Jane?"
"You'd better come and see." said Helen.
Quinn walked out onto the landing and squealed "Uncy Roger!" She bounded down the stairs and ran to the door, almost knocking the avuncular visitor off his feet with the enthusiasm of her embrace.
"Uncy Roger?" Daria ran out of her room. "Uncy Roger!" She ran down the stairs and fastened herself onto the other side of the smiling, bespectacled and distinguished-looking gentleman. The cut of his Italian overcoat and the gleam of his bespoke shoes spoke eloquently of someone for whom style was a way of life; a given, not just something added on as an afterthought.
He dropped his French pigskin suitcases and hugged the two girls who, it was clear, could barely contain their excitement. "How are my favourite nieces?" he beamed.
"Roger?" Jake strode out of the kitchen, removing his "Kiss the cook" apron and tossing it aside as he held out a welcoming hand.
"Jake! It's good to see you!" He brushed aside the proffered hand and embraced Jake, giving him a hearty slap on the back.
Jake stared past Roger through the open door. "Wow! A Ferrari?"
"Just picked her up in Milwaukee. Like to take her for a spin?" He reached into the pocked of his overcoat and tossed a gleaming set of keys to the grinning Jake. "You won't need to take her out of second around town," he chuckled.
"Do I want to take her for a spin? Does a bear sh..."
"JAKE!" Helen interjected. Let Roger get in. He's come a long way."
"Oh - yeah." Jake grinned sheepishly. "Let me take your bags up to the spare room. You're staying for a while, right?"
"For a week. If you'll have me."
"Oh roger, you know you're always as welcome as the flowers in spring." purred Helen. "The girls are always asking when you're coming for a visit. You know Daria always says that she wants to be just like you."
"Tell us a story Unca Roger!" squealed Quinn.
"A story! A story!" yelled Daria, jumping up and down with excitement.
"Girls, let Roger get in. I'm sure he's tired. He's come a long way. Can I get you a coffee, Roger?"
"Or a beer?" Asked Jake. "Hey - how about a martini?"
"Jake - you know I can never resist your martinis. I swear it's the only reason I come to visit." He winked at Helen as Jake grinned and hurried off towards the kitchen. "A story then, is it my poppets?" he smiled, giving his adoring nieces a hug.
"Yes, yes! A Story!" the girls chorused.
"Alright then. Come on." Roger walked in and sat on the couch, the two girls snuggling up to him with anticipation gleaming in their eyes. Helen sat opposite as Jake returned with a brimming pitcher, three martini glasses and a bowl of olives.
"Alright now.” He said. “Are you all sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin..."
"Unca Roger?" Quinn interrupted.
"Yes, Quinn honey?" he smiled.
"This isn't going to be the story where Mom takes fertility drugs and there are five of me is it?"
"You mean the one where Jane spanks you with the hairbrush, and you get confused about oral sex?" giggled Daria.
"Well, no, I..."
Daria interrupted. "Oh, and it's not going to be the one where Jane and I get married and I get pregnant using Trent's sperm and a turkey baster is it?" asked Daria, her eyes wide.
"And it's not the one where Aunt Kara has me shipped off to a funny farm is it?" Jake looked panicky and poured himself another martini. "Goddamn cognitive behaviour therapy!"
Roger sighed. "Now that you mention it, I am a little tired. Maybe a little nap before dinner."
"Of course dear," said Helen. “Girls, let Uncle Roger get up.”
"Aw. Can we have a story later, uncy Roger?" asked Quinn, disappointment plain on her face.
"Yes, of course my dear," smiled Roger as he wearily trudged up the stairs.
"Mom?" whispered Quinn. "Daria says Uncy Roger's a shipper. What's a shipper?"
"Well dear..." started Helen, when she was interrupted by the muted burble of a V16 engine from the street outside.
Daria ran to the window. A dark blue Maserati had pulled up behind Roger's red Ferrari.
"Uncy Renfield!" she squealed.
"You girls have never been to Uncle Brandon's farm have you?" Jake asked as he swung the Lexus up the drive toward the pretty white clapboard farmhouse.
"You're in for a treat!" Jake enthused. "Last year Uncle Brandon won first prize at the County Fair for growing the longest string bean in the world! They couldn't fit it all in the back of his pickup truck so he had to hire an eighteen-wheeler just to get it there! How about that, eh?"
"Wow." mumbled Daria.
"I can't wait." muttered Quinn.
As they approached the farmhouse they could see Uncle Brandon waiting for them, straw hat on his head, blue overalls buttoned over one shoulder, pitchfork in his hand and the ever-present straw dangling out of his mouth.
"Jake, Quinn, Daria!" he drawled as the Lexus silently rolled to a stop in front of the flower-lined path that led to the front door. "It surely is mighty fine of you-uns to visit li'l ol' me." He hawked a loogie at a hound that lay asleep on the porch. The dog, who had long ago learned to ignore these indignities, wearily opened one eye and followed its path as, true to form, the loogie landed three feet to its left on a potted geranium.
"Hi, Brandon! It's great to be here, isn't it girls?" Jake grinned as he pumped Uncle Brandon's hand.
"Great." mumbled Daria.
"Yeah. Great." muttered Quinn, looking down at her shoe and sneering at what she'd mistaken for mud until she noticed the smell, and suppressing an "Eeew".
"So how's the wonderful world of agribusiness, Brandon, my man?" Grinned Jake.
"Wheeeel now, t'aint bin s' good, Jake." drawled Brandon. "Somethin's bin a gitten at mah stock. Plum put 'em off'n their feed it has. Cow ain't a milkin', hens ain't a layin. And ol' Nutso thar..." he cocked a head at the hound, "...why, as ya can see, it just ain't right." The hound yawned, stretched arthritically and padded over to the geranium, cocking a leg to add its offering the the loogie.
"Oh, poor old fella." said Jake. "How old is he?"
"Six months." Drawled Brandon. "And he ain't a he, he's a she."
"Um, Dad, Uncle Brandon, can we go and play in the barn?" asked Quinn.
"Sure honey!" smiled Jake. "Is that okay, Brandon?"
"Mighty fine, mighty fine." croaked Brandon, hawking another loogie at the dog.
Daria and Quinn wandered off in the direction of the barn. "I like uncle Brandon..." said Quinn, "...but New York is where I'd rather stay."
"I get allergic smelling hay." added Daria.
"I just adore a penthouse view." sighed Quinn as they neared the open door of the magnificent red barn.
"Darling I..." started Daria, but before she could finish a cacophony of sound drowned her out.
A dozen chickens ran flapping out of the barn, feathers flying. The distressed sound of Bossy, Uncle Brandon's prize milker, was unmistakable.
They ran towards to the barn, following the pathetic mooing.
A voice came out of the darkness "Quinn? Daria?"
Slowly their eyes adjusted.
"Uncy ROGER!" the girls squealed, half covering their eyes. "Eeeeeeew!"
"Cousin Cynigal! You came!"
"Yeah yeah. Happy birthday, kid." Cynigal walked in and tossed Daria a small package wrapped in black paper with a black ribbon tied round it, ignoring Daria and casting her eye around the room.
Daria carefully pulled off the ribbon, unwrapped the small box and opened the lid.
"Gee - it's a, um..."
"A four-inch-long turtle skull with sequins and feathers glued to it." Cynigal continued her scan of the guests.
"Oh, gee, I've never had one of those before." Daria put the box down on the table with other presents, most of which were books.
"Yeah, well kid, you know me. I...hah..." Cynigal had clearly spotted her quarry. She strode off across the room without a backward glance.
"Daria, do you suppose Uncy Roger's going to come?" Quinn asked.
"He called earlier and asked whether Uncle Brandon was bringing any of his livestock. I said that I didn't think so and he remembered an urgent appointment, so I guess that means no. He did send me a copy of the Harry Harrison Compendium though." Daria smiled, picking up a large tome from the table.
"Oh." Quinn's face showed her disappointment. "I was just worried a little about Uncy Renfield. He's been drinking pitchers of Dad's martinis - he's on his third now - and you know how, um, 'confused' he gets after his third pitcher of martini." Quinn said, making the 'quote' sign with her fingers as she said the word 'confused'.
"I wouldn't worry about Uncy Renfield. He's got an amazing constitution. If I know him he'll be swapping hospital stories with Uncy Galen within ten minutes. Uncy Galen was in the kitchen eating dad's peyote chilli last time I saw him so they should be good company for each other about now. I'm more worried about Jane - I haven't seen her for a while."
"You're worried? How do you think I feel?"
"Hmm, point taken. Let's see if we can find her. I'll take this floor, you take upstairs." They nodded in agreement and walked off in oppposite directions.
Daria passed by Cousin Kem, who was surrounded by Jeffy, Joey and Jehosephat all trying to outdo each other for her attentions. She looked bored, but waved and smiled at Daria as she walked by. Uncle Nutso had resumed his usual place, standing on his head in the corner.
A tall, balding man was standing by himself, as if there was an invisible force field around him. He was leaning heavily on a cane and clutched a beer in his hand. "Hi Uncle Crossada. Are you enjoying the party?" Daria asked.
"Hm. Guns. Liberals." grunted Uncle Uncle Crossada. "Damn right!" agreed Jake from across the room.
"Er, yeah." said Daria, hurrying by. She'd scanned the room by that stage - still no sign of Jane. "He'll enjoy himself more when Uncle Grimace and Uncle Devilkitty arrive." she mused.
She walked into the kitchen. Sure enough, Uncy Galen and Uncy Renfield were sitting at the table babbling incoherently in animated conversation. "I wonder if they can understand each other?" she thought as she passed. Every now and then one of them would pick up a nail from the jar that Jake had left on the table after repairing the wonky shelf, and nibble it with obvious enjoyment. "Wow," Daria thought. "They're going to be in for an interesting time tomorrow."
She walked to the laundry room and opened the door. The sight that greeted her made her start. "Jane! Cynigal!"
Jane quickly pulled down her t-shirt. "Um, Daria! I, um..."
"Hey, can't we get little privacy around here?" grunted Cynigal, not bothering to do the same.
By an amazing co-oncidence, Quinn appeared at that very moment. "JANE!" she squealed.
"Look you two," said Cynigal. "Admit it - I'm more cynical than you, Daria. And Quinn, sorry Hon, you're just no competition." She looked down, her meaning clear. She kicked the door closed, leaving Daria and Quinn staring, speechless, as the sound of heavy breathing drifted out through the louvred door.
Daria put a sisterly arm around Quinn's shoulder. The sounds coming from the laundry room prompted her to lead her younger sister back toward the kitchen, where Uncy Renfield and Uncy Galen, having finished the jar of nails, had started on a tube of PVA glue from the toolbox that Jake had carelessly left under the table.
"Sis, I wouldn't worry. I have a suspicion that everything'll be back to normal soon. Cousin Cynigal has to go back to Oregon tomorrow."
Quinn sniffed. "Do you really think so?"
"EEP - IT'S THE HAMBURGLAR!" Cousin Kem's scream interrupted from the living room. They ran in to see her staring at the window, through which a masked face was peering. The head that contained the face supported a broad-brimmed hat with a yellow band, and the neck that supported the face was attached to a short body surrounded on all sides by a black and white striped jumpsuit.
Quinn giggled. "Oh, that's just Uncle Wyvern. He probably won't come in, he seems to prefer lurking." The face disappeared, only to reappear a minute later at the window on the other side of the door. As Quinn gazed out past Uncle Wyvern, a large livestock freighter pulled up outside.
A minute later the doorbell rang. Quinn threw it open and in strode Uncy Roger. "Traded the Ferrari in for something more practical. She's a beauty, isn't she?" he asked, indicating the truck.
What most people were looking at, however, wasn't the truck, but Uncy Roger's companion.
Beside him stood a sheep wearing red lipstick and a blue silk bow around it's neck.
Quinn was tempted to suggest that L'Oréal "Blazing Red" clashed terribly with the blue bow, but she didn't want to offend her favourite uncle, or his date for that matter.
"Everybody, meet Lulubelle," announced Uncy Roger.
Mutters of "Hi Lulubelle", "a pleasure", and "charmed" came from the guests. "Lambburger!" whispered Uncle Wyvern through the open door.
"Baaaaaaa" said Lulubelle.
"Uncy Roger gives new meaning to the expression 'animal husbandry'" thought Daria, but she was too polite to say it out loud.
Uncy Roger led Lulubelle through the crowd straight towards Uncle Brandon, who was thoughtfully sucking on a straw and clutching a cider. Uncle Brandon glanced down at Lulubelle. "Ain't spent much time around farms, have ya, Rog boy?" he asked.
"No, Brandon, I admit that I haven't. But those few weeks at your place have given me a whole new outlook on life, and Lulubelle and I wanted to thank you."
"Well, it was my pleasure, Rog. And since ya left things have gotten pretty much back to normal, though Bossy does get a kind o' far away look in her eye from time ta time." He removed the straw from his mouth. "Rog, there's really somethin' y' oughta know about your friend thar." he drawled.
"What? About Lulubelle?"
"Yah." He took off his straw hat, scratched his head, and replaced the hat. "Um, I'm not sure how to tell ya this, Rog, but Lulubelle ain't a ewe."
"She's not 'me'? What do you mean? We're a perfect match, aren't we Lulubelle?" he said, looking into Lulubelle's eyes.
"Baaaaa" said Lulubelle.
"No, Rog, that's not what I meant. I meant that Lulubelle's a ram."
Roger grinned. "She sure is," he chortled, elbowing digging Brandon in the ribs.
"Rog, listen carefully to whut I'm a' sayin'," Brandon sighed. "Lulubelle is a male - a boy sheep."
A startled look crossed Roger's face. "Brandon! I'm shocked! I may not know much about animals, but even I know that a boy sheep is a goat! You're just jealous! You're trying to come between me and Lulubelle!"
Grabbing lulubelle by the bow, he led her away as fast as possible toward Daria. Brandon sighed, took a large mouthful of cider, and resumed sucking his straw.
"Daria," he said. "Where's your laundry room? Lulubelle and I have to...talk...yeah, that's it. We have to...talk."
"It's through the kitchen uncy Roger," she said, "But you really shouldn't..." Too late.
Roger and Lulubelle dashed off through the kitchen. As they passed Uncle Renfield and Uncle Galen, Roger paused, pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped a dribble of glue off Uncle Renfield's chin. "You boys really ought to pull yourselves together." he muttered.
"I can't look," thought Daria as she heard the door to the laundry room open, then close with a hurried slam.
"Baaaaaaaa" said Lulubelle.
"Shuddup. I don't want to talk about it." Jane scowled at Daria as she stomped by. Daria thought it best not to remark on the fact that she was wearing Cynigal's jeans. Backwards.
As Jane stalked off in search of Quinn, Daria turned to see Aunty Tafka and Uncle Lew lead Andrea out of the laundry room by a rope tied onto a studded leather collar. "Heel!" ordered Uncle Lew, and Andrea trotted obediently into position behind him.
"Andrea?" said Daria, hoping everything was alright. Andrea turned, lolled out her tongue and panted, just like a dog in the ecstasy of a tummy scratch. No mistaking that expression Daria mused.
"Struth, that was bonza." winked Aunty Tafka as she passed. "Now where's the beer?"
They were followed out of the laundry room by Uncle Roger, who looked crestfallen. He gloomily trudged into the kitchen and sat down between Uncle Renfield and Uncle Galen, both of whom had miraculously recovered - a tribute to the exceptional physiques, robust good health and extreme strength of character. They were arm-wrestling, their bulging biceps threatening to burst through the sleeves of their fine freedom-silk shirts. A group of admiring and scantily-clad cheerleaders surrounded them, eager to reward both winner and loser in the best way then knew how. Little did they suspect that they were to be disappointed, for both men were of impeccable moral fibre.
"I wonder if I can get the Ferrari back?" Roger muttered.
Cynigal trotted out of the laundry room smoking a cigarette, followed closely by the sheep. "Call me next time you're in Oregon, eh Boris?" She patted the sheep's head and strode off to join the party, Jane's pants exaggerating her already impressive figure.
"Baaaaaa" said Boris.
Daria strolled back into the living room, past an intellectual group listening in silent and rapt attention to Uncle Marcello, who was reciting his sensual poetry inspired by some of the finest literature that the 21st century had produced or, for that matter, was ever likely to produce. Daria was unable to resist joining them and time, as it always does in transcendent moments, flew.
"Dinner everyone!" Jake's hearty call made the guests realise that they'd been having such a good time they'd completely forgotten how hungry they were. The individual groups broke up and drifted over to the table which Jake had piled high with a mouth-watering assortment of burgers and condiments. Conversation lulled as members of the extended Morgendorffer-Barksdale clan helped themselves to the delicious treats. Jake beamed as the compliments flowed.
"Jake, Honey, I have to admit you outdid yourself." Helen sighed. "These burgers are simply wonderful."
"Mmmm, good!" agreed Aunty Kara through a mouthful of burger.
"Yeah Dad, I actually ate a whole half burger!" agreed Quinn, patting her distended stomach, belching loudly and blushing as she quickly covered her mouth.
"Magnificent, Jake old chap." said Uncle Grimace, giving Jake a hearty slap on the back. "Better than anything we ever had back at the old frat house and, believe me, that's high praise. However did you manage it?"
Jake grinned. "It was almost a disaster. I'd made a huge pot of my famous peyote chilli, but someone had polished it off while I wasn't looking. Lucky for me Crossada and Wyvern offered to help out and, dammit, in half an hour they'd come back with enough meat to whip up lambburgers for everyone."
Conversation, which had started to resume, died. Silence descended like a meat cleaver on a chopping block.
"Um, Dad, did you say 'lambburgers'?" asked Daria hesitantly.
"Yeah!" Grinned Jake. "Great, aren't they?"
"Gutted him m'self." mumbled Uncle Crossada, who was grasping his beer so tightly that his fingers had left deep indentations in the container. Daria noticed in passing that the container was a glass bottle.
"Oh, by the way," said Jake, still grinning, "Did anyone lose this?" He held up a large blue bow.
"Lulubelle!" wailed uncy Roger.
"Boris!" shrieked Cousin Cynigal.
"Lambburgers!" chortled Uncle Wyvern from the side window.
"Buuuuuurp" said Lulubell/Boris from Quinn's stomach.
Disclaimer: Daria, her family and friends belong toMTV.
Further disclaimer: I have no evidence that Roger E. Moore has anything other than a perfectly natural relationship with farmyard animals. I doubt very much that either Renfield or Galen Hardesty partake of any intoxicants other than delicious drinking alcohol.
Friends - your inclusion in this silly little fantasy indicates nought but the highest degree of respect and affection. If I've neglected to include you, it's because the story was never finished.
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