Tigresses of Lawndale – 09 – Quinn's Confusions & Comforts
By Dr T
Quinn thinks, the Fashion Club has an accident, and Daria finally shows what happens when she and Quinn are attacked.
Quinn Morgendorffer was a confused teen. Granted, her sister might have claimed, especially before the previous summer, that Quinn was always confused, but this was a level of confusion Quinn was very uncomfortable with.
She had had some insights into her confusion, and Daria had supplied a few more over the previous weeks, but Quinn just had not been able to deal with her changing life. Therefore, she had saved up her money and so the morning after the Lawndale-CCC football game she presented herself at the most complete day spa in the area. She would be exfoliated, depilatoried, waxed, massaged, sponged, and given both a pedicure and a manicure. As her body was taken care of, she hoped to let her mind drift off and think about where she was in life.
Whatever dissatisfactions Quinn had had the previous year, she had not been confused about herself. Of course, she had also had no real thoughts about the future then, either. Where had the changes started? In part, it had started when her sister had come to her to help Jane do her hair the previous spring. Jane had only kept the change for a month or so, but the activity seemed to have broken down some of the barriers between the sisters. Daria's willingness to change her look for writing camp, coupled with Quinn's desire to get into Pepperhill even if it meant studying over the summer, had also signaled that things were changing within each sister, so Quinn realized that it might also show that things would have to change between herself and her sister as well.
Quinn also acknowledged that the mere fact that she openly acknowledged Daria as her sister marked a real change. Both she and Sandi had been a little surprised when no one else was at all surprised by the admission. Even Tiffany had rolled her eyes at the thought that anyone would have believed otherwise.
The summer without Daria had actually been a little lonely; Quinn had found she wanted to talk with Daria. Her insights, while usually delivered with considerable sarcasm, had often been helpful – something she only fully acknowledged the previous August when she had watched the skits presented at Ashfield. The e-mails they had exchanged over the summer, sporadically at first and then almost daily, was more conversation than the sisters had ever shared before. Even now, the pair probably exchanged more news via e-mail than in person. It was odd, but considering the level of hostilities they had had before, it was likely a good thing.
Quinn remembered the video of Daria's third birthday, when she had blown out Daria's candles and the photo of Daria wrestling her to the ground. Those moments had pretty much defined their relationship until the announcement had come they were moving from Highland. Daria had loathed Highland even more than Quinn had, but she had established a place there. From then on, especially when they had arrived in Lawndale and Quinn had become the queen of the freshman year and one of the most popular girls in the school while Daria had been stuck in self-esteem class, she felt she had usually had the upper hand.
Not always, naturally, but in her opinion, often. Of course, over most of the now two-plus years since the move, Quinn had largely been living a fun life, while Daria had been struggling with her inner demons on the one hand and preparing herself for her preferred career on the other. Granted, Daria had in part lucked into that summer writing camp because of Jane, but her previous work had gotten her accepted and her work once she got there seemed to have started both a college career and a professional one, although the second was still problematic. Daria had always worked hard at school work and her writing and nothing else, preferring to watch tv, listen to music, and play computer games or surf on-line. Now Daria had gained focus, which was a bit disconcerting to Quinn, and both disturbing and a source of comfort for their mother.
Quinn had never worked hard at anything, other than to look good and to juggle dates, until that summer. She couldn't say she had enjoyed the experience, but she could see its value. Having a crush on her tutor had not helped, but she thought she was over it.
One part of her problem was, frankly, what would she do now? She had continued to work on her school work, enduring Sandi's occasional nasty sarcasm and Tiffany's blank disapproval, but she felt confident that when the mid-trimester grades arrived this upcoming week she would have that B/B- average she needed. Quinn had researched all the California schools, and Pepperhill was for her, and she would finally be a California Girl, like she had always dreamed of being.
Still, that wasn't enough. David had called her on it, and she knew it. She had even talked the problem over with Daria – what would she do in college, and after? Super model/actress was still a dream, but she knew in her heart that she was not about to study theater. That little foray into acting in the Chaucer skit had cured her of any desire to be a stage actress, although part of her still dreamed of being a movie/tv actress. The Fashion Club and a few other girls did some amateur modeling for Cashman's and a few of the other trendier clothing stores, but only a few of the photos circulated outside of the local malls. Quinn knew that some of the photos in the local ads were amateurs from other areas, even other states – if she was going to be discovered, she would have been picked up by now. Maybe, if she had won that modeling contract . . . well, too late for those regrets.
Worried, Quinn had done something several weeks before she never would have thought of doing. She went to Daria for advice on a level she could never have imagined.
It had been the night Daria and her friends had done the presentation at the law office. Quinn was impressed by their work, and also how quickly Daria had deduced the trap their mother had accidentally set and overcome it. In previous years, Daria would have been angry, and some of that wrath would have spilled over onto Quinn. Instead, Daria had just incorporated Quinn into the presentation. That had pleased Quinn, and led her to Daria's room that evening.
Quinn knew she did not need either her mother's pep talk or her 'you can be anything you want to be' talk – she knew she needed some real guidance. Her friends could not provide it, her parents would not, and Ms Li cared more for security and psych counseling than much general guidance counseling – that would be available for her only starting the next spring.
And so Daria had agreed that night to give up part of Labor Day to help her sister. She had been a little sarcastic, but really, compared to how they had usually spoken to each other, Daria was actually much more supportive than sarcastic, and not in any way nasty. Quinn knew that Daria had even been suffering from a terrible tension headache that Monday morning, but still took the entire afternoon to help her.
In fact, Quinn had decided to her surprise that Daria had actually been happy to help her, and most of the sarcasm was habit and the rest likely just her covering up how much she actually wanted to help Quinn. They had gone through the curriculum and majors at Pepperhill. Quinn agreed to look more at the public relations/advertizing, telecommunications, business, and film studies programs as possible majors, as well as the production/design area of the theater/film program. While Quinn did not have Jane's raw artistic talent, both Quinn and Daria could draw moderately well, and Quinn did have a good eye for color and design. The University also allowed students to design their own majors, and Daria had agreed to help there if things went in that direction.
To Quinn's surprise, Daria did not question her desire to go to the greater Los Angeles area. When Quinn mentioned it, Daria had replied, "Who am I to question that? With the exception of two last line safeties, the four places I'm aiming for are all in New England."
That discussion, which at least gave Quinn some direction for her future, had taken care of part of the problem. Even that was not fully settled, as Quinn was still very undecided about any possible career path. Talking with a number of people in her grade, however, made Quinn realize that she was well ahead of all of them, except the few who knew they would be going into their families' businesses and some who were fairly sure they knew which fields they were going to try for. In this respect, Quinn decided, being just a bit ahead of the game was probably alright.
There was something, or perhaps some related somethings, niggling at the back of Quinn's brain, and that was what she was hoping would pop out at the day spa.
Considering her age and popularity, it was not surprising that Quinn's mind first turned to her social life.
She knew serial dating was largely silly, but it was fun and that was how the game was played in and around Lawndale. If the popularity game had involved promenading up and down a town square, or being driven around on a motorcycle or in a hay wagon while trying to look better than the other girls, or even competitive dancing in music halls, she would have been just as happy doing any of those. Quinn was competitive, and wanted to show her peers that she was, in fact, peerless. She had taken a trio of semi-popular if attractive freshmen – a self-centered bitch, a cute but spineless follower, and a drone – and dragged them to near the top of the popularity ranks. By spreading out the attention a little, it just highlighted her own success while spreading out the jealousy.
It helped Quinn that she liked Stacy and could tolerate Tiffany. Her relationship with Sandi was more complicated. She would genuinely like to spend more time with Sandi and Stacy (and if need be Tiffany) just being friends. If only Sandi could give in just a bit on her inner-bitch. . . .
Quinn frowned, which drew a mild reprimand from the woman applying the facial mud.
'Why did I drift away from boys and dating?' Quinn wondered.
Part of Quinn's need to dominate the boys around her was fear – Upchuck was not the only male at Lawndale who was after whatever he could claim. Granted, the teen pregnancy rate at Lawndale High was low – about a fifth of what Highland High's had been. At least two of Quinn's eighth grade classmates had given birth by the end of that school year, and there had been a number of her fellow ninth graders who were at various stages of pregnancy at the start of that next year. Watching what some of them had had to go through struck fear into Quinn, as had the near-molestation in the hallway that Daria had stopped.
If there was one thing each female member of the Morgendorffer household strove for, it was self-control and refusing control over themselves by others, even if each expressed it very differently. For Quinn, it was still a source of inner embarrassment that she could be startled into slightly over-the-top reactions when boys got too close or became too grabby. Still, she was interested in boys, not girls, no matter what rumors were spread about the Fashion Club in general and her in particular. There were, in fact, a few quiet, self-assured (and discreet) guys who could tell wonderful things about the glories of Quinn's nude body and the softness of Quinn's hands. However, since they were discreet, willing to let Quinn take full control, and moderately intelligent, they kept those secrets to themselves, never suspecting there were others in on the secret.
Quinn knew these relationships, and the stunted ones she had with other guys, would not be healthy if they were what she really wanted over the long-term. For now, however, they fulfilled her current needs in different ways.
So no, it wasn't her relationship with boys that was bothering her.
Nor was it fashion. That was as major a preoccupation to her as literature and any other three subjects were to her sister. One idea planted into Quinn's head by Daria was becoming a fashion buyer for major store chains. The basic idea had some appeal, although both sisters realized the problems of gaining such employment. Still, it was a job Quinn could actually see herself doing.
In addition, although Helen downplayed both her daughters' success in that area when they had been in middle school, both showed they could handle a needle and thread in 'Home Ec.' 'Fashion historian' did not interest Quinn in the slightest, although the field held some of the same morbid interest to her as Daria's interest in objects like skull-crushers and skull replicas even though she no longer entertained thoughts of becoming a physical anthropologist or physician.
Maintaining and restoring old clothes? A little 'dusty' for a career, Quinn thought, but the production/design areas of Pepperhill's theater and communications department included courses in that area, and so Quinn had not ruled it out.
But no, fashion was not Quinn's problem – well, it was an all consuming interest which could lead to problems, but she decided it was not the problem she was trying to understand.
That brought Quinn's attention back to the Fashion Club. However, by then Quinn was at the waxing stage, and having hair ripped from a person's intimate area does tend to make the attention wander off other subjects. It wouldn't be until after enjoying a crisp salad and mineral water for lunch and then tucked into a sauna for half an hour that Quinn could return to thought.
It wasn't the Fashion Club that was the problem, it was that the Fashion Club provided everything Quinn wanted and needed except one thing.
Quinn realized that she wanted, perhaps even needed, a real friend; a friend like Jane was with Daria.
Not that Quinn would want Jane for a friend.
At that point all the little pieces jumbled in Quinn's mind came together to form a picture.
Quinn wanted to be friends with her sister.
"I've been sitting in this sauna for way too long," Quinn muttered, just as the attendant came to get her. Still, that thought would not go completely away.
Accidents happen at any school. However, in light of what had previously happened to Daria and Joey, what happened the Tuesday after the Lawndale-CCC game was suspicious to say the least. It was during the exchange of classes before the penultimate class period. The general classroom buildings had multiple storeys and, while all the entrances and the major intersections all had cameras, the main stairs did not, although the side stairwells did. One group of students tumbled down from the top of the stairs. Because the stairs were so crowded, no one fell more than three actual steps. No one broke anything, but there was a fair amount of bruising on at least eight different students, including the Fashion Club.
Ms Li was uncertain how Daria had learned of the incident, let alone how she had gotten permission to be absent from class. The pass in her hand, however, did show she had that permission. Ms Li was more curious than ever about the enigmatic and still somewhat anti-social teen, and so said nothing, just stepping back and observing.
In short order, Daria had quieted the whining of the students, allowing the nurse to finish checking them for damage and then she had them recreate the incident (a security officer scribbled frantic notes so he could write out an action report). It became clear that the first person to go down the stairs was Tiffany, who was more confused than usual. She was fairly certain she had not been pushed or even nudged, but nothing beyond that. "It was just so dizzying," was her drawled, repeated comment.
Daria had just sighed, borrowed a pocket mirror from Quinn, sat Tiffany in a shadowed corner, and used the mirror to flash light in Tiffany's direction. In less than a minute, Daria had hypnotized not only Tiffany, but everyone in the room but the nurse, Ms Li, and herself.
To Ms Li's quiet amusement, "Too bad I can't leave them this way," was Daria's only muttered comment before waking everyone but Tiffany quietly up. She made certain to wake Quinn up before she could start trying to channel Cleopatra again.
Surprisingly, Tiffany was not only much more coherent under hypnoses, she also spoke in a normal voice. Still, in the end it could not be absolutely certain if she had slipped, tripped herself, or was tripped. While the incident report was given to the police, it was generally considered an accident.
To Daria's surprise, after school, before Daria went off to Tai Chi, Quinn came to Daria's locker thank her for looking in on her in the nursing office. As the pair was chatting, Daria saw Quinn suddenly make a face of disgust.
"Well, if it isn't the Cock Tease and her sister, the Misery Chick," came a nasty voice. "What a pair of bitches."
Daria turned and glared at the voice, seeing it belonged to one of the 'stylish' males in her class who had three sycophants behind him, two from Quinn's year and a sophomore. A quick glance confirmed her knowledge: they were all in camera shot of one of the security cameras and the quartet of boys would also be in another. "What do you want, pretty boy?" Daria snapped, not in the mood for her usual defter verbal attacks.
Skylar Feldman colored – many of the jocks harassed him because he was so proud of his looks. "So, are you becoming a cock tease like your sister?" Feldman retorted. "Teasing that big softy along?"
"Better to be a soft-hearted real man than to just have a little one inch softy like you," Daria retorted, "or at least that's what the graffiti in all the girls' rooms claim is the most you can manage to get."
The cameras would clearly show Feldman lunging at Daria – and her knee connecting perfectly with his crotch, followed by her boot heel crunching his foot, breaking four bones. His three followers then tried to attack as well. Two were quickly screaming in pain as the pepper spray made direct hits to their eyes.
Daria then turned to the fourth teen, who had grabbed Quinn. "If you let her go and run, I won't cripple you for life," Daria growled, the canister pointed directly at his eyes. The teen raised his hands off of Quinn's upper arms and backed off, hands still in the air.
By now, three security people had converged on the area, elbowing through the small crowd that had gathered. "Miss?" Chief Drake demanded politely, holding out his hand.
Daria handed the canister over, saying, "Remember, I do have carry permits, from both the state and the school."
By then, Nurse Chase had arrived, and wiped the two boy's eyes with the counter agent. Part of the deal Helen had made with the school was Daria's supplying the counter agent.
It took another fifteen minutes to sort things out at the school, including sending three of the boys off to the emergency room under police escort. The four boys and Daria would be suspended for at least the next day, while the implications were sorted out.
While the Feldmans would complain and threaten the next day, they could not dispute the security cameras, which clearly showed the four boys approaching the Morgendorffer sisters in the uncrowded hallway and speaking first. It was also clear that Daria had acted only after the clear attack by Skyler and the attacking motions of the other boys. Those circumstances, plus the fact that Daria had not continued to attack them while the boys were incapacitated or used the pepper spray on the boy who had grabbed Quinn as he had backed off, pretty much spiked any accusations of overkill. Daria's one day suspension would be commuted to an excused absence in her records, and her bear spray returned. Skylar, who had already been expelled from three of the area's private schools for sexual harassment, was now expelled from Lawndale as well, and none of the other county schools would touch him, not even neighboring CCC. The other three boys would be transferred to three different school districts within the county, effective the following Monday, with their record showing three days of suspension for harassment. Those three's parents were not happy with them, and the three, to a large degree, straightened out their act over time.
To Dr. Feldman's angry demand of his son, "What the hell do I do with you now?" Jake suggested "Buxton Ridge Military Academy." Daria felt this was a good solution, even if she would never learn that Skylar would have a much more traumatic time there than Jake ever had.
All that lay in the future as an unhappy Helen came and escorted her husband and two daughters home that Tuesday. (Jake was far too upset to be trusted even driving to the school, so Helen had picked him up.) Fortunately, Helen had held her tongue as Quinn's avalanche of explanations rolled over her in the car, twice. After that second time, she had Daria explain.
"All right, I'll see what I can do, both with Ms Li and the police." Helen finally said as they pulled into the drive. "Jake, please continue to stay calm and I'll mix your martinis. Daria, how is your left arm?"
"I think it is fine, but if you don't mind, I think I need to soak in the tub for a while before you send me to my corner," Daria retorted.
"Don't tempt me, Daria," Helen responded. "I need to see that Ms Li makes the surveillance tapes available." Ms Li, who was for the moment very pleased with the oft-recalcitrant Daria because of the revenue her ideas and work were bringing in, would be happy to supply copies of the tapes to all concerned. Despite the many times Ms Li had had her run-ins with the quartet of Morgendorffers, the Feldmans were far more trouble.
"Yes?" Daria asked Quinn, who had followed her to the bathroom.
"Are you going to be a while?" Quinn asked.
"Yes; couldn't you have used the one down stairs?"
"No," Quinn said in disgust, "not that. I have some nice bubbling bath oils, if you'd like a bubble bath."
Daria blinked. "That would be very nice," Daria said, a little confused.
Quinn offered Daria three different scents. When Daria came back from her bedroom in her robe and bunny slippers, she was surprised Quinn was still there; she was even drawing Daria's bath. "The oils make the tub slippery," Quinn replied. "I don't want you to slip."
"Quinn. . . ."
"Oh, Daria, I know it's been a long time since Mom stuck us in the tub together, but please, I don't want you hurt more than you are."
"Quinn. . . ."
"It's either I help you in and out, or I hug you every morning in the hallway until Christmas to thank you, and we both know which we'd prefer," Quinn stated firmly.
"Quinn!" Daria snapped. "You win. I'll let you help me in and out of the slippery tub, but can I pee in private first? I promise not to fall off the toilet!"
A few minutes later, when Daria was settled into the large tub and her left arm was soaking, Quinn said, "Thank you for getting Georgie off me before he did something . . . well, anything more than he did."
"I'm your older sister," Daria replied. "While I retain the right to harass you, and even thump you as needed, I'll be damned if I allow anyone else touch you."
"I love you, too," Quinn teased. "I'll come back in twenty minutes. What do I tell Thor when he calls?"
"Tell him not to seek revenge until we see how things play out over the next few days," Daria suggested. "And tell him I hope to see him Thursday morning." Daria's one day suspension was automatic while the incident was under investigation.
Ms Li met with her security chief and one of the Lawndale police officers assigned to the school (the men were brothers) after the parents of the students left that next afternoon. They had hoped that one of the four would confess to being behind the earlier attacks. However, while Feldman had obvious issues with Quinn Morgendorffer, which had spilled onto Daria, there was no reason to disbelieve all four teens' denials about the previous attacks.
"Where do we stand on those? Li demanded.
"We have to work under the assumption that one person was responsible for both attacks," Chief Drake replied. "If it is a group, then we will have to catch someone red handed."
No one was pleased with that idea.
"Anyway, there were eleven hundred and forty-six students present on both days. We have the possibilities down from there, eliminating those we have on camera elsewhere at the time Ms Morgendorffer was attacked, or who we know did not enter any of the access ways to the locker room areas. Still, that leaves two hundred and forty-three students. We could probably eliminate those students over five foot four, which would leave seventy-eight. I think we can certainly eliminate those over five foot eight, which would leave a hundred and ninety-five. We can also probably eliminate the girls from the probables, just because I just don't think one girl could have taken care of the three football players, unless she did a lot of recon work."
"Which would leave how many males in the two groups?" Ms Li asked.
"Fifty-seven under five foot eight, twenty-one under five foot four, all but six of that group freshmen."
Li slid a 3x5 card across her desk. "Is this accurate?"
Possible Number of Single Attackers: 243
Total under 5 foot 8 inches: 195
Males under 5 foot 8 inches: 57
Total under 5 foot 4 inches: 78
Males under 5 foot 4 inches: 21
"Exactly," Drake confirmed. Unasked, he slid sheets of paper to the Principal and his brother, listing the names. "No name stands out as a possibility," he added.
Of course, neither he nor Ms Li thought to ask students of their opinions of the names.
Daria sat at the kitchen Thursday morning, for once looking truly unhappy as opposed to stoic. Helen breezed through as Daria was pouring her cereal. "Good luck today, Sweetie," Helen said as she picked up a single 'Breakfast in a Can.' Helen turned and yelled out of the kitchen, "Jake! Hurry up! We have to be at the production studio in half an hour!" They were overseeing the filming of the firm's commercials.
Helen kissed her daughters at their respective hairlines and rushed from the kitchen. "Jake!"
Quinn and Daria looked at each other, and rolled their eyes in unison, which made Quinn giggle.
"Whenever we think one of us is odd, we just have remember how well we've both overcome our genetics and upbringing, if in very different ways," Daria drawled.
"Daria," Quinn asked, sobering up, "are you afraid to go in to school today?"
"Frightened? As in thinking something bad might happen? Not really," Daria replied. "However, I don't like attention, and I think I'll be at the center of it." Daria frowned. "Do you think some of Skylar's friends will bother us?" Daria knew that Quinn would be more plugged into the social structure than she could ever be.
"I doubt that," Quinn replied. "Skylar had a few followers, but I don't think he had any real friends."
"Then what are you afraid of?"
Quinn frowned. "What makes you think I'm afraid?"
"You've been inching your chair around the table," Daria pointed out. "You're not normally clingy, especially not with me. Even when we were small, you didn't want to hold anyone's hand, you wanted to rush ahead."
"And you wanted to lag behind to watch," Quinn replied. She looked Daria in the eye. "I think I missed some important things. For instance, we were both usually mean to each other."
"We were," Daria agreed. "I think we've both been getting much better."
"We have, but I realized something. In a sense, you were right Tuesday afternoon, but you were also incomplete."
Daria cocked her head to the side, interested. "Meaning?"
"You were right; you've always been mean to me, but you've never allowed others to be mean to me. It wasn't just Tuesday and with that ape in ninth grade at Highland. You let the kids in elementary school pick on you and call you names. Most of the kids liked me, but you told off the ones who were mean to me. You . . . you wouldn't defend yourself, but you would defend me."
"I didn't have to do it too often," Daria pointed out. "As you have always said, you talked to all kinds of people, and they usually talked back nicely. You smiled at them, and they smiled back – you were born to be popular."
"And I never thanked you for being there when being popular wasn't enough," Quinn pointed out. "I was a little brat in some ways, if only to you. I'm sorry."
"You're my younger sister, if only by seventeen months. I think our relationship is probably fairly typical," Daria pointed out.
"So, it was only from a sense of obligation?" Quinn prodded.
Daria frowned. "Why are you trying to make me say it, Quinn?"
"I don't want you to say anything you don't mean," Quinn retorted.
"Why should I say it first?" Daria groused.
"Because you're the older sister," Quinn retorted.
"Oh, alright. The truth. I have rarely liked you, at least until recently," Daria snapped. Then she lowered her eyes, embarrassed, and maybe a little ashamed of what she had just said. "However, I have always loved you, and I always will. Happy?"
"Yes, well, at least about the last parts," Quinn admitted. "And I have to say, as badly as you've treated me, probably since I was born, I've probably treated you just as bad, if in different ways. I'm sorry, and again, I'm sorry I tried to pretend you were my cousin." Quinn stood, and then said, "And I love you too, Sis."
"Will you keep your three-pack near you today?"
"Probably. Since you can't have Thor close by, at least make sure Jane is."
"I don't think Jane would miss today for the world."
Thor sat down next to Daria at lunch and gave her a quick peck on the cheek. "And how has your day been?" he asked.
"Odd," Daria admitted to him and to John. "You two and Mack are the only three males who don't flinch when you're within five feet or so. Upchuck nearly fainted when I looked in his direction. On top of that, there have been a few ninth grade girls who seem to follow me like ducklings when they have a chance."
"The girls were probably harassed by Skyler and his friends," John suggested.
"I know, that's why I haven't chased them away," Daria acknowledged.
"As for the guys, well, Skylar was seen after his and his parents' meeting with Li still walking bent over and with a limp yesterday afternoon," John pointed out. "Best not to get on your bad side."
Daria looked at Jane and asked in her semi-Quinn-like voice, "Which is my bad side? I know. . . ."
"They're both bad," the two said together.
"They are both adorable, but evil," Thor corrected.
"I'll accept that," Daria retorted. "In all the excitement this week, I've forgotten – I do know it's a home game this week, but who are you playing?"
"Oakdale." Oakwood, located to the north west, was the other major school in the county, and hence Lawndale's 'arch rival'. Oakdale was a smaller school district to the north east, and generally an easier game. The game against the Oakwood Taproots would be in two weeks, and also be Homecoming.
Thor and John looked at each other, and decided it was probably not a good idea to tell their girlfriends they didn't have to wear school colors the next day, since they obviously didn't like doing so. Neither had been able to come up with a way to put it. Fortunately, Daria supplied a pretext.
"So, pep rally tomorrow," Daria said.
"Yeah, having them so often kind of wears down the enthusiasm," John said.
"We'll have to remember to wear the team jerseys," Thor pointed out.
"Yeah, I wouldn't even wear school colors, let alone the jersey, if we didn't have to," John added.
"Smooth, guys," Jane jumped in. "Nice try."
"We appreciate knowing it wouldn't bother you if we don't," Daria agreed, "although we knew that from the beginning."
"Oakdale's colors are orange and brown," John said.
"Those we won't wear," Jane promised.