Disclaimer: Daria and associated characters are owned by MTV. This is fan fiction written for entertainment only. No money or other negotiable currency or goods have been exchanged.

This is the initial First Summer story and occurs during the summer between seasons 2 and 3.

Richard Lobinske

Publicly Related

(Opening Credits)

(Exterior shot of Lawndale High School. Cut to interior of Mr. O'Neill's classroom. He is returning papers to students and hands one to Jane)

Mr. O'Neill - Jane, that was an interesting moral interpretation of Breakfast of Champions.

(Mr. O'Neill continues down aisle as Jane reads her grade)

Jane - B minus. Cool.

Daria - I'd say you were inspired.

Jane - Vonnegut's an artistic genius, I tell you. He portrayed the essence of the subjects so perfectly.

Daria - Including his rendering of the unofficial Lawndale High mascot.

Kevin (VO) - Aw, man!

Daria - Sounds like Kevin produced another masterpiece.

Jane - And somehow, he hasn't graduated early.

(Mr. O'Neill returns to the front of the room with his hands empty. Daria looks concerned and raises her hand)

Daria - Excuse me? You didn't return my paper.

Mr. O'Neill - That's right. Class, because Daria had already read all of the books from the report list, she was given a special assignment.

Daria - Oh, no.

Mr. O'Neill - She wrote a story with moral dimensions, and I'm going to read it…

(Ms. Li enters and stands next to Mr. O'Neill)

Ms. Li - Good morning, students. I hope I'm not disturbing anything.

Mr. O'Neill - Well, actually…

Ms. Li - Good!

Mr. O'Neill - Um…

Ms. Li - Students! I have wonderful news. The State High School Cheerleader Camp lost their venue and chose Laaaawndale High to be their new one.

Brittany - Yes! I won't have to stay in those icky dorm rooms this year.

Ms. Li - Therefore, we need to secure the buildings early. Everyone must have their lockers cleared and inspected before end of school on Friday. (She looks at O'Neill) And every teacher must have their classrooms fully packed away and grades submitted by the end of Monday. That will be all.

(Ms. Li quickly exits)

Brittany (excited) - Oh, Kevie! Since Famous Guy's QB Camp is in Oakwood, we will be together for the summer!

Kevin - Hey, yeah. Cool.

Jane - A camp full of cheerleaders and a camp full of quarterbacks.

Daria - Get ready for the Summer of Dumb.

Mr. O'Neill - Now, where were we?

Daria - We were about to discuss the symbolism of Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s artwork.

(Jane glares at Daria)

(Exterior shot of Morgendorffer house. Cut to overhead view of all four family members seated around table eating dinner)

Helen - Your first year at Lawndale High is almost over. Are you two ready for an exciting summer?

Daria - That voice tells me you're about to dole out our "useful summer activity" assignments.

Quinn - Mom, I'll have important Fashion Club duties all summer and should be excused.

(Helen sharply looks at Quinn)

Helen - Oh, no you don't. I've already seen that most of your Fashion Club duties involve shopping.

Quinn - Well, duh.

Helen - The rest of the Fashion Club will just have to work around your schedule.

(Quinn petulantly crosses her arms over her chest)

Helen - Besides, I've already talked to Linda Griffin. She has a very busy summer planned for Sandi, so I know you'll have time.

Quinn - Ooooh. Fine! What kind of horrible activity this time? Writer's camp?

Helen - You'll be volunteering at the Precious Tikes Day Care Center.

Quinn - Mo-om!

Helen - The Guptys have been very happy with how you handle Trisha and Tad. You can share that experience with more children.

(Quinn buries head in hands)

Quinn - Ugh.

Daria (faintly hopeful) - You know; writer's camp might not be…

Helen - Daria, you'll be an intern with my law firm's new Public Relations representative.

Daria (displeased) - I'll what?

Helen - Intern with our PR rep. This will be a special opportunity to work on some of your people skills.

Daria - You mean, acquire some.

Helen (sighs) - Fine, acquire.

Daria - And why do I smell office politics involved?

Helen - You're a bright, intelligent girl and a gifted writer that has a lot to contribute.

Daria - And, it never hurts to keep the PR staff on your side.

(Helen looks away)

Daria - Let me guess, Precious Tikes has the contract to provide the law firm's child care needs.

(Helen continues to look away)

Daria (cross) - In other words, you're prostituting us for your own personal gains.

Helen (frustrated) - Daria!

(Exterior view of Pizza place. Cut to side view of Daria and Jane are seated at a booth)

Jane - Well, another school year shot to hell.

Daria - Just two more to go.

Jane - You do have to keep seeing the dark lining of every silver cloud, don't you?

Daria - Call it a gift.

Jane - Let's forget that for now. This is going to be so cool. You, me, a summer of Sick, Sad World, and a town full of idiots.

Daria - Except.

(Jane raises eyebrow)

Jane - Except?

Daria (sighs) - Mom's already conscripted me into a summer activity.

Jane - Bummer. Uh, how bad?

Daria - Intern with her firm's PR flack.

Jane - Ouch. You, public relations?

Daria - Can you say disaster waiting to happen? At least it's only part-time.

Jane - So you will have a few hours free.

Daria - Mom knows to leave just enough free time to avoid open rebellion.

Jane- I was hoping to spend some more time with you. However, this will give me a chance to sign up for another leisure study art class at Lawndale Community College.

Daria - Another?

Jane - Yeah. You remember I took that life-drawing class last summer? It was there.

Daria - Don't you kind of need money for college classes?

(Jane grins)

Jane - Not if I get Ms. DeFoe to sponsor me again. As a high school student, the school district pays my tuition.

Daria - Wait, you mean you already have college credits?

Jane - It's not that good a deal. These are leisure study classes, not regular college classes. But they do count toward your high school GPA. And hey, I need something to boost my straight C average otherwise.

Daria - Isn't that awfully energetic for a Lane?

Jane - Hey, I needed something to do last summer besides watch Mystik Spiral practice.

Daria - You mean sleep.

Jane - Except for the decibel levels, what's the difference?

(Jodie and Mack enter the restaurant, talking)

Jodie - I'm officially jealous.

Mack - Look at it this way, we only have to work around your schedule instead of both our schedules.

Jodie - Hmm. Having you at my beck and call could have its advantages, but it still doesn't make up for having to deal with that sleazeball.

Jane - Sounds like another victim of parental activism to me. (waves) Hey, Jodie.

(Jodie and Mack walk to Daria and Jane's booth)

Jodie and Mack - Hey.

Jane - It sounds like you and Daria are in the same boat.

Jodie - What kind of slavery have you been sold into?

Daria - Public Relations for Mom's law firm. You?

Jodie -Go-fer for Congressman Sacks.

Daria - Isn't he under investigation?

Jodie - Yeah. You can almost see the slime dripping off his hand.

Jane - What about you, Mack?

Mack - Uh, nothing.

Jane - See, Daria, I'm not the only one.

Daria - Rub it in.

Jane - Now, Daria, you need deadbeats like us to make you go-getters look good.

Daria and Jodie - Bite me.

(Interior of Helen's office. She is seated at her desk, talking on the telephone, Marianne is at her workstation and Daria is seated on a chair to one side)

Helen (raised voice) - I don't care whose butt you have to kiss! We need those records before eleven o'clock! Then why are you wasting time talking to me? (pause, and then looks at phone) Oh, the nerve of some people.

Daria - It's hard to find good minions these days.

Helen - Tell me about...

(Marianne giggles and covers her mouth)

Helen - …it. (sighs) Daria, why don't we go over and see if Mrs. Levin is in yet?

(Daria shrugs, stands up and joins Helen exiting the room)

Daria - So, which one of us fetched a higher price, me or Quinn?

Helen - I'm not a liberty to divulge, but I can say it was nowhere near as much as either of you cost.

(After the office door closes behind Helen and Daria, Marianne laughs)

(Cut to Julie Levin's office. It has identical furnishings and décor to Helen's. Julie is in her mid-twenties, blond hair, and dressed in a tailored suit. A knock is heard at the door)

Julie - Come in, please.

(Helen and Daria enter)

Helen - Good morning, Julie. I'd like you to meet my daughter, Daria.

Julie - Hello, Daria. How nice to meet you.

Helen - Daria, this is Julie Levin, our new Public Relations Representative. She's a recent graduate of Ellis College.

Daria - Hi.

Helen - Well, I better let Daria get started. Sweetie, I'll be in court for most of the day, so take the bus home when you're done, I'll see you for dinner.

Daria - I'll try to contain my enthusiasm.

Helen (clearly ignoring comment) - Bye!

(Helen exits)

Julie - Welcome to the exciting world of public relations.

Daria - Woo…hoo.

(Interior view of Ms. DeFoe's classroom. When Jane enters, the room is empty except for sealed boxes and Ms. DeFoe is sitting at a desk, writing in a grade book)

Jane - Hi, Ms. DeFoe.

Ms. DeFoe - Jane, good morning.

Jane - Think you can sponsor me for another class at Lawndale CC this summer?

Ms. DeFoe - I'll be happy to. What do you have in mind?

Jane - I was thinking about their oil painting class. You know, get used to one of the classic mediums.

(Jane hands Ms. DeFoe a manila folder. She removes and signs a form)

Ms. DeFoe - There. I hope you have a good time.

Jane - Thanks. You have a good summer, too.

Ms. DeFoe - Once I get my old roommates out of my apartment, I'm sure I will.

(Exterior view of Precious Tikes Day Care Center. It is a converted residential house with overly cute children painted on the sign out front. Cut to inside with Quinn is facing a room full of small children. A woman in her late twenties with curly brown hair, Mrs. Watson, stands behind her)

Mrs. Watson - Quinn, you'll mostly be with the preschool children. They can be a little rambunctious at times, but I'm sure you can handle it.

Quinn - Oh, they can't be that bad.

Mrs. Watson (raised voice to talk over noise) - Children, this is Miss Quinn. Please say hello to her.

Children - Hi. Hello. Hey.

Quinn - Hi everybody.

(Little boy comes up and hugs her legs)

Boy - I like you.

(Boy runs off, leaving smeared chocolate on Quinn's pants from his hands. She wrinkles her nose at the mess)

Quinn (sighs) - No, not that bad at all.

(Exterior of Congressman Sacks' office. It is in one of the "classic" downtown buildings that tenants pay premium rents for. Cut to the interior and a nondescript, boring office. The congressman is middle-aged, balding with grayish hair and wears a blue suit. Jodie wears a forced smile as they talk)

Congressman Sacks - Glad to see you, Jodie. You father is one of my biggest contributors.

Jodie - He talks a lot about you.

Congressman Sacks - You don't say. Well little lady, why don't we get right down to work.

(Jodie very briefly frowns at the 'little lady' comment before resuming smile)

Jodie - Um…sure.

(Congressman Sacks points to a large pile of papers and then to a shredder)

Congressman Sacks - As you can imagine, a lot of confidential correspondence goes through my office. I need to have those letters shredded by the end of the day. Have fun.

Jodie - Oh yeah, fun.

(Exterior view of Lane House. Cut to Daria and Jane are sitting on Jane's bed watching television)

SSW Announcer - The fish isn't the only thing fresh, when he's slicing and dicing in the buff, the Chippendales Sushi Chef! Next, on Sick, Sad World.

Jane - So, how was the first day of servitude?

Daria - I'm beginning to think music camp would've been a kinder fate.

Jane - Hmm, thinking of some way to get out?

(Daria shakes her head)

Daria - No way. My mother will find something even worse if I get out of this.

Jane - The voice of experience?

Daria - Let's just say there's a reason I've never mentioned last summer and never will.

Jane - That sounds like a challenge.

Daria - One you will never meet.

Jane - Wanna bet on that?

Daria - No. If there's money involved, you'll never shut up about it.

Jane - Spoilsport.

Daria - It's one of the things I do well.

(Interior of Mrs. Levin's office. Julie is seated at her desk reading from a sheaf of paper while Daria is at a workstation like Marianne's)

Julie - Daria, these school essays are great and your command of language is exceptional. However, we will need to work on making your writing sound more positive.

Daria - Um, that was a positive essay…for me.

Julie - Oh, I see. (holds up another sheaf of paper) Let me read some more of your work.

Daria - Okay.

(Clock on wall goes from 10:00 to 12:00. Julie is still reading at her desk while Daria sits at her workstation, eyeing the clock)

Julie - Hmm. Not to disparage your writing, but it's just not what we're looking for.

Daria - Mrs. Levin, I'm sorry. I'm used to very direct and…accurate writing.

Julie - Well, why don't we take a break. It is lunch time.

Daria - Okay. I could eat.

Julie - I know! We can use lunch as a coaching session, and then I'll take you with to a small press conference we have scheduled this afternoon. To see if you work better in front of the media.

(Daria gets a "why me?" expression)

(Interior of Precious Tikes Day Care Center. Quinn, looking very tired, is seated on the floor and surrounded by small children, several running amok)

Quinn - Danny! Eric! Connie! Stop that!

(Two boys and a girl stop running and look at Quinn)

Quinn - That's better.

(The three giggle and resume running)

Quinn - Ugh!

(A small boy sits on Quinn's lap, crying)

Quinn - Bert, what's wrong?

Bert - I had an accident.

(Quinn gently picks Bert up and looks queasily at the wet spot on her leg)

Quinn - We, um, better get you cleaned up. (whispered) Ewww. And me, too.

(Interior Congressman Sacks's office, Jodie is seated at a desk, feeding paper into a shredder and talking on the telephone)

Jodie - Mack, all I've done so far is shred documents. From the size of his pile, I might get done by the end of summer.

(Split screen with Mack, seated in the MacKenzies' living room It is a clean, modest place with a sofa, a single recliner and a small entertainment center)

Mack - Sounds horrible.

Jodie - And I thought I might get some first-hand lessons about government.

Mack - Destroying evidence. I'd say you are getting first-hand lessons about government.

Jodie - And I'd say you're starting to sound like Daria.

(Interior view of a conference room at the law firm. Daria stands to one side while Julie makes small talk among a group of reporters, including one television crew. After a few moments, Julie walks over and stands next to Daria, facing the reporters)

Julie (whispers to Daria) - Just read the statements. If a question isn't covered, use your best judgment; you're a bright girl. A lot of my classmates in college would've killed for a chance like this.

(Julie brings Daria in front of reporters)

Julie - Good afternoon, everyone. I would like to introduce my intern for the summer, Ms. Daria Morgendorffer.

(Daria gives a brief wave while polite noises come from assembled reporters)

Julie - Why don't we get started? Vitale, Davis, Horowitz, Riordan, Schrecter, Schrecter and Schrecter have been retained by Top Consumer Corporation.

TV Reporter - Mrs. Levin, have they replaced the previous legal counsel of Top Consumer Corporation?

Julie - I can confirm that.

(Julie discretely nudges Daria, who holds a sheet with prepared statements)

Daria (stiffly reading) - Top Consumer Corporation has tendered an offer to Short Circuit Electronics to obtain majority stock ownership.

TV Reporter - Miss Morgendorffer, is this a hostile takeover attempt?

(Daria looks at page)

Daria (VO) - There's no way I'm reading that statement. Hmm, I can't directly say yes, but I can't really say no.

(Daria looks at reporters)

Daria - Well, um, I haven't seen anyone sharpening axes since I started.

(Julie flinches while there is mild laughter from the reporters)

Reporter 2 - Miss Morgendorffer, do you know what the law firm's role will be?

Daria (reading) - Vitale, Davis, Horowitz, Riordan, Schrecter, Schrecter and Schrecter will provide advice on relevant corporate and tax laws.

TV Reporter - Was your firm brought in to replace the previous legal advisors after Top Consumer Corporation was fined by the Internal Revenue Service, Federal Trade Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission for numerous violations during their takeover of Hacker Proof Computers?

(Daria looks at page)

Daria (VO) - Of course, they couldn't afford to keep the other firm after all those fines.

(Daria looks at reporters)

Daria - After considerable analysis, um. (she looks at Julie) A change of counsel was viewed as a more cost-effective option.

(Julie winces and there is louder laughter from the reporters)

Reporter 2 - Your firm is also known for product liability law. Will it be taking over some of the cases involving Top Consumers subsidiaries, such as the exploding bottles of Nitro-Nine Ketchup?

(Daria looks at paper for several long seconds before looking up)

Daria - Yes. I'm sure we all want to know the truth about detonating condiments.

(More laughter from reporters. Julie steps forward quickly)

Julie - Thank you everyone. That will be all for today.

(Cut to Julie's office. Julie is seated at her desk while Daria stands)

Julie - Okay, that didn't work out as well as I'd wished, but I don't think your humor did that much damage. It looks like we'll keep you behind the scenes. I hope you're not too disappointed.

Daria - I'll manage.

(Interior view of Morgendorffer living room. Jake is reading the paper, and Helen, watching television with a remote in hand, sits on one sofa. Quinn is on a second, reading Waif. Daria sits on the third, reading a )

Helen - Oh, Sweetie! There it is.

(Helen presses a button on the remote and a soft clunk/whir of the VCR recording is heard)

(Quinn looks at television in shock and points at it)

Quinn - Oh my God! Daria, you wore that on TV!

(Helen beams)

Helen - Our little girl on television, this is wonderful. (her voice lowers) Too bad I had to find out from Marianne instead of from you.

(Cut showing the end of the press conference viewed on the living room television screen)

Helen - Um…oh.

Quinn - They used your name! How humiliating. People might guess you live here.

(Quinn runs from the room)

Daria - Mom, Julie and I agreed that I'll work better behind the scenes.

Helen (sighs) - I guess I'm not too surprised. (she gives Daria a smile) Sharpening axes? I'll have to remember that.

(Jake lowers paper)

Jake - Sharpening axes? Is you mother coming for a visit?

Helen - Jake!

(Exterior view of Landon house. Cut to Jodie, Andrew and Michelle seated in the living room, watching television)

Michelle- Jodie? Isn't that your classmate, Daria?

Jodie - It sure is.

Daria (VO from television) - Yes. I'm sure we all want to know the truth about detonating condiments.

Michelle - Andrew, if that Helen Morgendorffer can get her daughter a summer internship that includes press exposure, why the hell can't you get one for Jodie?

Andrew - Well, I suppose I could talk to the congressman.

(Jodie pre-emptively cuts Andrew off)

Jodie- That's all right. I'm learning a lot of valuable first-hand lessons on government where I am now.

Michelle - Are you sure?

Jodie - Positive.

Michelle - Well, since you're learning something you might need someday, okay.

(Pizza place. Daria and Jane seated at a booth)

Jane - So your days as a media darling are already over.

Daria - Yep. I just wish I could've avoided it in the first place.

Jane - I wonder if Quinn's realized yet that nobody she knows from school would even have been watching the evening news. Well, except Jodie.

(Quinn, Sandi, Stacy and Tiffany walk by)

Quinn - Oh, thank you for filling me in on last night's Waif Fashion Report. Having our cable go out was so annoying. And the clothes those cable guys wear? Ew.

Stacy - I know, and when they bend over, the top of their butt is always showing.

Tiffany - Stacy, gross.

Stacy - Um, sorry.

Daria - I think she figured it out.

(Jodie enters and walks over to Daria and Jane)

Jodie - Hey, Daria. I saw you on TV last night.

Jane - I knew I should've made a bet on that.

(Jodie looks at Jane and then shakes her head as if saying "I don't want to know")

Jodie - You really came up with some good lines.

Daria - Thanks.

Jodie - Let me guess: after your performance, they won't be putting you in front of cameras again.

Daria - You're beginning to know me too well.

Jodie - Thank goodness. After seeing you, my folks almost tried to get Congressman Sacks to parade me around in front of the press, too.

Jane - But you got out of it.

Jodie - I managed to convince them I was learning more important things about government by staying behind the scenes.

Daria - See, Jodie, sometimes, you can be a little like me.

(Jodie gives her a Mona Lisa smile)

(Closing Credits)

Thanks to Kristen Bealer, Mister Orange and Ipswichfan for beta reading.

May 2005