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Daria:
"Best Years of Our Lives Revisited"

by John Berry [berry@sugar-river.net]

"Daria" & characters ©1999 MTV... why do disclaimers have to be long?

ACT I

[Int. Amanda Lane's room. Day.]
[Several "artsy" thingymabobs crowd the room, but there's otherwise no human
in sight. Eventually, Jane comes through the door dragging a kiln
haphazardly behind herself. She sets it in the middle of the room, rests
against it for a second, checks for any damage to the pottery left inside,
then finally plugs it in. She then exits.]

[Int. Lane basement.]
[Mystik Spyral is practicing. Trent sings, of course.]
TRENT: How can it be?
The hu-man-it-y.
Before I could leave you, you left me.
What can I do
With no grounds to sue?
I lost half of my possessions to you...
Including my heart...
[Jane comes down, shouting incoherently over the music.]
TRENT: I've had enough
Of all the stuff
That causes me to lose my love.
You took my heart,
JANE: Trent!
TRENT: Ripped it apart.
JANE: TRENT!
[Jane goes to unplug most of the equipment.]
TRENT: This stinks worse than whenever you- [stops singing] Janey? What?
JANE: I take it you've completely forgotten about helping me move everything
out of Mom's underground bunker?
TRENT: Um... Not now, I don't?... Uh, why?
JANE: She wanted to pump paint into a water sprinkler to touch up the walls.
Remember?
TRENT: Oh, yeah. Well, just gimme a few minutes here, and-
JANE: Forget it. I've already finished.
TRENT: Oh. Then why'd you come down here?
JANE: Just to humiliate you.
TRENT: Thanks, Sis.
JANE: It's my duty as a sibling.
JESSE: At least we'll get a chance to practice more now. [To Trent] Dude, we
really gotta change that last line.
TRENT: You loved it when I ran it past you.
JESSE: I was sick last week. I was on, like, a quart of Benedril.
TRENT: Fine, I guess. Will you do something about that spitting, though?
JESSE: I don't spit.
TRENT: Someone's spitting. And you're the only other one singing.
JESSE: Maybe Max is imitating the drums as he plays them again.
MAX: Dude, I stopped that after rehab.
TRENT & JESSE: Oh, yeah.
JANE: I think your pipe is squirting.
[The band looks at Jane strangely for a moment.]
JANE: I mean the plumbing! Behind you!
[The band looks back to find that a pipe on the ceiling really is dripping
and occasionally spritzing water. The Mystik Spiral members suddenly ad lib
with terms like "I knew that" and "Oh, yeah", etc.]

[Int. Lane living room.]
[Mystik Spiral sans Trent exit taking some of their equipment with them.
Jane holds the door open.]
JANE: So long. Ta. Buh-bye. In St. Louie, screwy. Bye, now. [Closes the door
behind them and leaves]

[Int. Lane basement.]
[Trent is examining the leaky pipe as Jane comes down.]
JANE: Looks like you had to wrap up practice early anyway.
TRENT: Just wish I could've ended it early by actually doing something
worthwhile instead of just because of bad working conditions.
JANE: It's alright. I'm used to it.
TRENT: I can still do something to help out.
JANE: After your nap.
TRENT: Nah. I've gotta get at it while I still have the energy for it.
JANE: What is this "it"?
TRENT: Dig out that toolbox, will ya?
[Jane does so.]
TRENT: Alright, I'll need the wrench to fix this leak.
[Jane digs through the box and hands Trent a wrench.]
TRENT: Bigger.
[Jane switches for a bigger one.]
TRENT: Hmm, I guess this'll work.
[Trent proceeds to start smacking the pipe with the wrench. Jane gives her
trademark smirk.]
TRENT: It works for the kitchen stove.

[Ext. Morgendorffer house. Close-up of the door.]
[The doorbell rings. Daria opens the door, then suddenly makes a shocked
expression.]
[Cut to a close-up of Jane and Trent, just outside the door. They are
completely soaked, clothes and hair constantly dripping.]
JANE: Um, could you possibly help us with something?

[Int. Lane living room.]
[Daria, Jane, and Trent enter from outside. The Lanes are still slightly
dripping but have otherwise dried out considerably.]
JANE: Could you just take a look at it?
DARIA: I guess, but I'm no plumber. For one thing, I don't have a mile-wide
butt-crack. I'll see what I can do, though.
TRENT: Thanks, Daria. You're a life saver.
DARIA: Uh, yeah, well, thanks. [Rests her hand on the basement doorknob] Why
didn't you call a professional, though?
JANE: Can you imagine how my mom'd bug out if she saw a mysterious van out
front?
TRENT: Actually, that happens quite a-
JANE: I mean we don't want her to think anything was wrong.
TRENT: Yeah.
DARIA: Oookay.
[Daria opens the door. A flood of water and one of the Lane cats quickly
make their way out. Daria closes the door as quickly as she can, the Lanes
coming to her aid. They rest against the door to catch their breath for a
moment.]
DARIA: Don't you think she'll notice SOMEthing going on?
TRENT: Oh man.
JANE: Okay, we can pull off a facade for a while here. Mom never does the
laundry; she won't be heading to the basement anytime soon.
DARIA: The water's gonna seep out of there, though.
JANE: We'll just say the cats did it.
DARIA: How long do you suppose that'll work?
JANE: I... I dunno. Oh jeez, oh jeez...
TRENT: This is all my fault.
JANE: Yeah, it is. But we're gonna hafta stick together if we don't want to
be murdered, here.
DARIA: Not that I'd have anything to worry about.
JANE: Quiet, you.
DARIA: No; it's against my nature.
JANE: Okay, first, what we gotta do is- [A rumble is heard] What was that?
[Everything in the house starts tilting. A couple of lamps and pottery
shatter to the floor.]

[Ext. Lane house.]
[The house is slowly sinking and tilting. It stops after a while.]

[Int. Lane living room.]
DARIA: I think the house is sinking into its foundation.
TRENT: Man, I'd better go out back and see if the guy under the porch is all
right. [Trots out the door]
JANE: What else could go wrong?
DARIA: You just had to ask that, didn't you?
[The house suddenly makes a jerking tilt, knocking both to the floor. Sounds
of shattering are heard outside.]
DARIA: What was that?
[Jane runs to the window and opens it, putting her head outside.]

[Ext. Lane house, at the window Jane's peering out of.]
[Shattered glass and clay bits are on the ground. Jane then looks up.]
JANE: Oh my God!!

[Int. Lane living room.]
[Jane suddenly pulls out of the window and runs upstairs. Daria follows.]
DARIA: What?

[Int. Amanda Lane's room.]
[The room is leaning towards a shattered window. A table has already toppled
over. The kiln is leaning over the windowsill, only being saved by the power
cord which is slowly pulling out of the outlet. Jane swings open the door
and dives for the cord just as it pops out of the socket. Jane is being
dragged by the weight of the kiln as she tries to pull it to safety.]
JANE: The plug is a little bent up. But I can still save the kiln! Mom won't
kill me!
[Daria tries to hold onto the cord as well, though not being much help as
the kiln tips over and dumps all its contents to the earth outside with a
crash.]
JANE: Okay, so all her work has plummeted to oblivion. I can still save the
kiln! Mom won't kill me!
[The cord finally snaps, sending the girls and the kiln in opposite
directions. The kiln is heard smashing to the ground as the girls try to
recover themselves.]

[Ext. Lane house, close-up of Amanda's window.]
[Jane and Daria peer out to look at the destruction. Jane is extremely
worried.]
JANE: I'm dead.

[Ext. Lane house, wide shot.]
[Daria, Jane, and Trent look at the house which is at an extreme angle with
most of Amanda's stuff on the ground beside it.]
TRENT: Um... I think she's gonna notice this.
JANE: Ohhhhh, yeah.
DARIA: You know, as much as I've always wondered what your mother's face
looked like... I don't think now would be a good time. Sorry. Seeya!
[Runs off]
JANE: What...
[A car pulls up.]
TRENT: Oh, look. Mom finally got her license back...
JANE & TRENT: Mom! Whooaaawahh!
JANE: Hold me, dear brother, in this moment of need!

[Int. Morgendorffer kitchen. Some time later.]
[Daria is sitting at her place reading the newspaper. Jake comes in with a
pitcher of water and sets it at the table.]
DARIA: Why were you carrying that from the other room?
JAKE: Just got a few pets here is all. Sea monkeys!
DARIA: Uhhh, why?
JAKE: To fill in the gap that my bitter loneliness has left due to the
resentment and ignoring I receive from my family.
DARIA: Oh... But wouldn't leaving a pitcher full of ordinary-looking water
on the middle of the kitchen table eventually lead to an innocent
family member coming for a drink and thus having an obvious spit take
occur?
JAKE: ...I guess.
DARIA: Why sea monkeys?
JAKE: Oh, y'know. They're minuscule and your mother wouldn't allow me to
keep a dog around the house. I've ordered a fish tank, though, so this
"spit take" theory of yours shouldn't happen as long as I'm careful.
[An arm has meanwhile reached in and grabbed the pitcher. It turns out to be
Quinn, who is drinking a glass of water.]
JAKE: MY SEA MONKEYS!
[Quinn spits out the water.]

[Ext. Lawndale High grounds. Next day.]
[Daria and Jane sit at their usual spot on the hill behind the school,
conversing.]
JANE: ...So Mom comes home with updates from the rest of the family via
postcards. After coming for the holiday season like they promised,
Summer's kids packed their bags again, this time taking the toddler
with them. Let's see, uh, Wind's new relationship is going steadily...
downhill. Penny displayed an interest in animation lately, so she
moved to the only studios available in Korea. I still don't know where
Dad went.
DARIA: You're certainly acting nonchalant about the fact that you faced
certain death yesterday.
JANE: Trying to suppress memories, actually. Mom herself took a little bit
to realize something had happened to the house. Then I distinctly
remember hearing some voices calling to me, and I started running
towards them with some light at the end of a tunnel. Most of
anything after that is a total blur. All I really recall is something
about Mom dipping into my college fund again in order to fix the house
up.
DARIA: Like you were gonna use it anyway.
JANE: Hey, I was so!
DARIA: For college?
JANE: ...I was gonna use it. Anyway, Trent took most of the heat since I at
least tried to save Mom's kiln. So he's gotten the worst punishment of
all: finding an exact replacement of it.
DARIA: Ouch.
JANE: Yeah. Now in order to afford it he's gonna hafta do the one thing he's
never done before...
DARIA: Face daylight?
JANE: ...He's gonna do the two things he's never done before: That, and
[witch-like voice while she holds up her hands] JOB SEARCHING!

[Int. Bernstein's office. Jane's last line echoes a little into this scene.]
[Trent is taking a job interview with the manager of a Cranberry Commons
department store, Mr. Bernstein (from my previous fic "Herself, an Elf").]
BERNSTEIN: So, Mr. Lane, you wish to get a job here?
TRENT: Well, I don't *wish* it...
BERNSTEIN: What?
TRENT: [Catches himself] I mean... I just need some cash, and since my
sister and her friend worked here and survived I thought I'd might as
well give it a shot.
BERNSTEIN: I guess I could let you. [Turns to his computer] Mind telling me
a little about yourself?
TRENT: Um, okay.
BERNSTEIN: Any previous employers?
TRENT: The Zen. I play some gigs there with my band.
BERNSTEIN: [Typing] Okay, and-
TRENT: Mystik Spiral. We've been thinking of changing the name for a while.
BERNSTEIN: Fine. Let's-
TRENT: I think we do okay with that. Won second place at the Lawndale Days
talent contest with them. [*]
[* In C.E. Forman's "Rain on Your Parade"]
BERNSTEIN: That's more information than-
TRENT: I'm trying for first place next year. But, y'know, second is okay for
now. Gotta pace myself. Of course there's still-
BERNSTEIN: [Calmly] Please shut your yap.
TRENT: [Embarrassed] Sorry.
BERNSTEIN: How far has your education gone?
TRENT: What? Oh, well, I never, um, went to college.
BERNSTEIN: This is a mall, Mr. Lane. Many employees here can't do math in
their head.
TRENT: [Brightens] Oh, cool. Well, I at least finished high school, but
that's about it.
BERNSTEIN: [Typing] Mm-hmm. And have you ever lied to your previous
employer or employers?
TRENT: Sir?
BERNSTEIN: Take a look at this, son. [Turns the computer monitor so Trent
can see.]
[Trent's eyebrows raise.]

[Ext. Lawndale High.]
TRENT: [V.O.] What do you mean I never graduated?

[Int. Ms. Li's office.]
[Ms. Li is at her desk, Trent sitting in front of her.]
LI: I'm afraid that means exactly what it sounds like, Mr. Lane. You had
flunked one too many classes, thus bringing great dishonor unto...
Lawndale High.
[Trent looks a bit troubled at the word "dishonor." Mr. DeMartino comes in.]
TRENT: [Quickly] But how could I not graduate? My friends got to graduate.
It's impossible not to graduate! What makes you think I couldn't
graduate?
DeMARTINO: So you actually WONDER that, huh, Trent? Your ENTIRE senior year
was spent SLEEPING, skipping CLASS to SLEEP, and even SLEEPING
through the GRADUATION CEREMONY ITSELF, and you STILL wonder?
LI: [To Trent] Didn't you ever receive any notice in the mail, Mr. Lane?
TRENT: I never really go through the mail. My sister usually collects it and
leaves it on the table for my parents to read. Actually she *used* to
leave it on the table till it collapsed under its own weight so we
just leave it boxes now, but still-
DeMARTINO: You never even got a DIPLOMA, and you were STILL WONDERING?
TRENT: I just thought that got lost in the mail too.
LI: [To DeMartino] I'll handle this. [To Trent] I'm afraid that this whole
situation is quite ludicrous. Heh. Not many can drop out and not realize
it.
DeMARTINO: You're a LOSER, Trent. I'm afraid that you'll stay that way,
which is quite a SHAME, really, seeing as how America manages to
gather quite a SURPLUS of them.
LI: I said I'd handle this!
DeMARTINO: [Continuing] As I recall, you're TWENTY-ONE, JOBLESS, and STILL
living with your PARENTS! And NOW you JUST realize your lack of
education?
[Trent suddenly gets up to face Mr. DeMartino.]
TRENT: Now listen, Mr. De! I never liked you and you never liked me! And for
your information there are plenty of jobs I *can* get without your
stupid help! [Storms to the door and opens it] If you think you can
kill my ego with your constant shouting, I'm afraid that you're
wrong! [Slams the door behind him]

[Int. Lawndale High hallway, outside Ms. Li's office.]
[Trent slouches more than usual.]
TRENT: [Quietly] Because my ego can't get any lower. [Walks away]

[Int. Ms. Li's office.]
LI: Now look what you did.
DeMARTINO: Ah, he'll be back when he realizes how wrong he is. As usual.

[Int. Morgendorffer living room.]
[Daria watches TV as Jake comes in from outside the house with a box. He
starts heading to the kitchen.]
TV: Adam Sandler's newest movie is the toppest grossing of the year! Now
*that's* sick and sad! We'll be right back!
DARIA: What have you got there, Dad? [Gets up to meet him]

[Int. Morgendorffer kitchen.]
[Both enter and sit at the table.]
JAKE: Well since Quinn devoured my previous colony of friends, I went out to
get a new one. I've talked with Helen; she still won't let me get a
dog.
DARIA: But you got one anyway.
JAKE: And I don't want to waste that fish tank I already paid for.
DARIA: So you got a *small* dog.
JAKE: But what could go in a fish tank, I asked myself.
DARIA: [Mock brilliance] A fish!
JAKE: So I got this.
[Jake opens the box and pulls out a garter snake.]
JAKE: [Very excited] I named him Waylon! Waylon slithers! Hahahahahahaha!
DARIA: [Deadpan] Ha.
JAKE: Isn't he great!? [Waylon starts going up Jake's shoulder]
DARIA: How did you talk Mom into this?
JAKE: Uh, well you see, that's the thing Daria. I'd rather you didn't tell
her about this just yet. At least not until the tank comes in.
DARIA: Well... he might come in useful if Quinn starts bothering me... I
guess I can keep from telling Mom.
JAKE: Thanks!
DARIA: Not directly, anyway.
[Waylon slides down Jake's collar.]
JAKE: Whoa! [Starts squirming a bit] Yee! Whoo. AAA! I knew I should have
worn my belt tighter.
[Helen enters.]
HELEN: Jake, are you all right?
DARIA: I guess I should mosey along. I'll be at Jane's. [Starts walking out]
How's the snake hanging, Dad? [Exits]
HELEN: [Not registering Daria's hint] Daria!
[Jake squirms more and laughs nervously, continuing to make weird noises.]
HELEN: What are we going to do with her?... Jake?...
[Jake's chair suddenly falls backwards.]
HELEN: Jake?...

[Int. Axl's Piercing Parlor.]
[Yet another job interview with Trent.]
AXL: [Continuing] ...Experience?
TRENT: [Pointing to an ear] I did the upper-most ones myself.
AXL: Oh really?
TRENT: No infections either.
AXL: What'd you use?
TRENT: Same disinfectant as you, I think.
AXL: Oh?
TRENT: I used a fresh cotton swab, though.
AXL: Cool. I'll hafta remember that.
TRENT: So?
AXL: I guess you could get a job here. Kinda light on staff, anyway.
TRENT: Alright! I knew I could prove DeMartino wrong.
AXL: Oh? `Bout what?
TRENT: I could get any job I want without a high school diploma.

[Ext. Axl's Piercing Parlor.]
[Trent is heading to his car as Axl stands in the door.]
AXL: Sorry, man. I try to keep an open mind, but this is no place for
someone without an education. [Starts heading in] Now where's that...
metal-y... stuff. [Door closes]
TRENT: [Sighing and reaching for the door handle] Things can't get much
worse.
[Trent yanks at the handle unsuccessfully. He then notices the keys left
inside. Trent shuts his eyes and rests his head on the car's roof.]
TRENT: Okay, I was wrong. *Now* things can't get much worse.
[A clap of thunder sounds. Trent opens an eye.]
TRENT: When will I ever shut up?

[Ext. Lane house. Raining.]
[Trent's car pulls up, the driver's side window covered in duct tape. The
house itself is back to normal.]

[Int. Jane's room.]
[Daria is lying stomach-down reading while Jane sits on the floor Indian-
style.]
JANE: So this monkey, a Rabbi, and a talking tangerine drag themselves into
a bar with their lips, and...
[Trent walks past the door, dripping wet.]
JANE: Oh, hi, Tr-
[A door is heard slamming. Daria and Jane wince at the sound, then look at
each other.]

[Int. Trent's room.]
[Trent lies on his back on the bed, still awake. A knock on the door. Trent
mumbles.]
JANE: [O.S.] Oh, sorry. This must be Henry Kissenger's room.
TRENT: [Clearer but not too much louder] I said "Come in."
[Jane and Daria enter.]
JANE: You okay, Bro? Buddy? Amigo? Dude?
TRENT: [Sitting up] I just found out I never graduated from high school.
[Pause]
DARIA: Well... that was... blunt.
TRENT: Oh, and I've been turned down from the jobs I applied for and I've
come to realize that I'm a hopeless loser since the day I was born
and always will be... And my car is more trashed than usual... I
think that's it.
DARIA: Tr-
TRENT: Wait. My shoes are squishy... There, that's about it.
DARIA: Trent, I don't think you realize all that you've done. Uh, you may
not have bothered applying to college, or... graduating, and you're
without a job, at least not at a steady rate, and you live with your
parents... Um, I'm not helping, am I?
TRENT: You've talked me out of the blahs before, Daria, but I'm not in the
mood for false honesty right now.
DARIA: [Wincing] Thanks.
TRENT: I mean... sorry. I just not in a good mood.
[Jane sits next to Trent, motioning to the door to Daria.]
DARIA: Oh, um, I'm sorry too, Trent. Oh, gee, I think I hear my mother
calling. But I'd better go anyway. [Exits]
JANE: [Mumbling] Real subtle, Ms. Swan. [To Trent] Here, Trent. Let a
survivor of six and a half self-esteem classes take a whack at it.
TRENT: Aw, Janey, I already said I want to be alone.
[Daria, meanwhile, opens the door a crack and peeks in.]
JANE: Trent, you still do what you want to all day, every day; the dream of
everyone your age.
TRENT: No I don't. I do what I can as close to what I want as a substitute.
Look at this... [motions to a crooked shelf on the wall, with only a
picture frame and a small record on top of it] This is my shelf of
accomplishments.
JANE: Kinda crooked.
TRENT: I've tried everything to fix that. But look at all there is: the only
single the band ever released, which didn't even sell, and a picture
of us receiving our check at the Lawndale Days talent show. Second
place, even. It seemed cool at the time, but now I'm realizing that
that's as far as I'll ever get.
JANE: Trent...
TRENT: I'm beginning to wonder if anything I do is worth it. If it's worth
anything I do to pursue my dream.
JANE: Trent, shut your damn mouth. You are not a loser, all bands start
slowly unless they are a sudden fad that dies down within a year, and
you're trusting Lawndale citizens to criticize your talents. Trust
me, your life isn't gonna be a waste.
TRENT: You're just saying that cuz you're my sister.
JANE: No, I *ridicule* you because I'm your sister. I'm complimenting you
because it's the truth.
TRENT: Right. Whatever.
JANE: [Gets up] Fine. Forget it. I don't know why I'm bothering.
[Jane starts heading towards the door, so Daria suddenly ducks away.]
JANE: Just remember this: You're only worth as much as you make yourself out
to be. If you want to be something, you have to WANT to be something.
[Exits]
[Trent sits in silence for a moment, then turns to his near-empty shelf.]

[Ext. Morgendorffer house.]
QUINN: [V.O.] AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

[Int. Morgendorffer living room.]
[Quinn is squatting on the table with a rolled up magazine, ready to kill.
Helen enters from the kitchen.]
HELEN: What's going on in here?
QUINN: [Solemn] I saw an uncute creature. It must be destroyed.
HELEN: Quinn, I think we've been over this. Don't go standing on the
furniture because of vermin: Rodents scamper away, insects may be
crushed, Mr. O'Neill can be-
QUINN: I saw a snake.
HELEN: A... snake?
QUINN: Yes. Very much a snake.
[Helen suddenly jumps on the table behind Quinn.]
HELEN: Honey, please kill till it's dead.
QUINN: Will do, Mom.
[Jake and Daria come in from outside, Jake carrying his new fish tank.]
JAKE: [To Daria] You haven't told your mother yet, have you?
DARIA: Um, doesn't look like I have to.
JAKE: What? [Sees Helen and Quinn] Ohhhhh... golly.

[Int. Lawndale High hallway.]
[Daria and Jane have their usual discussions walking through the halls.]
DARIA: My dad's been looking for a pet lately. I'm not sure how much longer
I can take his childish excitement.
JANE: Hey, it's not like he's acting any different.
DARIA: I know; those two sentences were just two separate statements. So,
how's Trent been lately? He back to his usual perky, energetic self
yet?
JANE: You know what's weird? He actually *is* perky and energetic lately. I
don't know what's gotten into him.
DARIA: Probably finally figured out how to open one of those Folger's
bricks.
JANE: Probably... though they weren't originally bricks when we got them.
DARIA: Hmm. I wonder...
JANE: We'll have to weasel it out of him when we get home.
DARIA: [Staring off-screen] Um, I don't think we'll have to wait that long.
JANE: What?!
[Trent then walks in wearing a backpack.]
TRENT: Hi, guys. I surprise you? I've re-enrolled.
[Daria and Jane look at each other; yes, they *are* surprised.]

[Commercial bumper: B&W slow-mo of the Lane house sinking into the ground.]

END ACT I

***

ACT II

[Int. Lawndale High hallway.]
[Daria has meanwhile fallen to the floor, while Jane tries to pull her up by
her hand and Trent watches.]
JANE: Great, you just gave my only friend a heart attack!
TRENT: Uh, sorry. [Pulls Daria up by her other hand]
DARIA: [Mock weakness] Uhhh, wha happa?
JANE: [Indicating Trent] Ask him.
DARIA: Ah, yes. Trent, I'm going to be forward here; tell me if you're used
to this type of questioning or not...
TRENT: Okay...
DARIA: What...
TRENT: Yes.
DARIA: ...the hell...
TRENT: Okay.
DARIA: ...did you...
[Very long pause.]
TRENT: Mm-hmm.
DARIA: ...do?
TRENT: Well, I got to thinking about what Janey said about fulfilling what I
wanted to do, and... well, this is the first step, I suppose. I can
prove that I'm not a loser if I succeed in this.
DARIA: What if y-... um...
[Daria elbows Jane; she takes over.]
JANE: What if you don't?
TRENT: I've filled my entire semester with classes. I have a one-in-eight
chance at least of succeeding! Listen, Janey, I've been ridiculed all
my life for being lazy, and I really am not. I just have nothing
important to do. The discovery of my school failing was actually a
blessing. I can fulfill my education, slap that on a résumé, show Mr.
De I can succeed, and finally bring my ego up a bit once and for all!
This will prove that I'm no bum.
JANE: But Uncle Max always loved you for that trait.
DARIA: His band's drummer's his uncle?
JANE: No.
DARIA: That fan I had at the department store?
JANE: No!
DARIA: Mighty Max? Fantastic Max? Montana Max?
JANE: No-no-no.
DARIA: I'm all maxed out.
JANE: Ugh.
DARIA: You may deduct ten Pun Points from my score in the game of life.
JANE: I shall do that.
TRENT: Uh, guys?
JANE: Oh, you're still here?
TRENT: I kinda had a climactic speech going on before you interrupted.
DARIA: Sorry.
TRENT: I know it may be weird to be in the same school with your brother
again, Janey... Even weirder for you, huh, Daria?
DARIA: Ohhh yeah.
JANE: [To Trent] You have no idea.
TRENT: But I'm going to win this time around. All it'll take is a little
hard work and dedication. I mean, how hard can that be, right?
[Daria and Jane simply glance at each other. The school bell rings.]

[Int. O'Neill's senior class.]
[O'Neill introduces Trent to the class, who's simply sitting at his place.]
O'NEILL: This is a new student to our class. I'd like everyone to give a
warm welcome to Trent Lane.
TRENT: Actually I'm not much of a new student.
O'NEILL: Oh, how's that?
TRENT: Remember me?
[Blank look from O'Neill.]
TRENT: Two-three years ago?
[Same.]
O'NEILL: You must be thinking of a different class. Anyway, class, you might
remember yesterday...[Continues]
[Evan (from "See Jane Run") is sitting behind Trent. He leans over.]
EVAN: Don't feel so bad about that guy. He takes forever to learn names. And
a fraction of a second to forget it again.
TRENT: Heh, I know. Just too hopeful, I guess.
EVAN: Lane, right?
TRENT: Yeah. You?
EVAN: Just Evan... You know a Jane Lane?
TRENT: Sister.
[Pause.]
EVAN: She's really weird.
TRENT: Yup.

[Quick cut to: DeMartino's senior class.]
[DeMartino suddenly gets into Trent's face.]
DeMARTINO: Would you MIND not TALKING in CLASS, Mr. Lane? SOME people here,
albeit a SMALL FRACTION, would care to actually LEARN in this
class.
TRENT: [Calmly] You haven't even started yet.
[DeMartino continues to just stare, trying desperately to save his slip-up.]
DeMARTINO: ...It's the principle. [Walks to the front of the class to
actually start] ...Now, class, I'm sure that you all remember
yesterday's lecture...
TRENT: [To Evan] Why do all the teachers keep saying that? I wasn't even
here yesterday!
EVAN: When I find that out I'll know everything there is to know about man.

[School bell segue:]

[Int. cafeteria.]
[Daria and Jane sit on one side of the table, Trent on the other.]
TRENT: So I guess I'm at an *okay* start, but I still feel like things could
have gone better.
DARIA: They *always* can.
JANE: Make any friends yet, Trent?
TRENT: I dunno.
DARIA: Don't worry about it. You're guaranteed to make at least one friend.
JANE: Right. She's bound by her father's wish to go buddy-buddy with every
single person in the school.
DARIA: From teachers to students.
JANE: From brains to morons.
DARIA: I just said that.
TRENT: Who is this you're talking about?
[Jodie suddenly comes in.]
JODIE: Did I hear someone talking about me?
DARIA & JANE: [Deadpan] Ta-da.

[Int. Lawndale High hallway.]
[Daria, Jane, Trent, and Jodie are walking along.]
JODIE: Of course I'll help you out with some work.
TRENT: You sure I won't be cutting into your full schedule?
JODIE: I never said you wouldn't.
TRENT: Oh.
JODIE: But you're my friend's friend's brother. We're practically family.
[Daria, Jane, and Trent just exchange several glances.]
JODIE: Who do you have next?
[Trent digs into his pocket and pulls out his crumpled up schedule sheet.]
TRENT: [Reading] Um... Ms. Barch, science.
JANE: OHHH NOOOOO!
TRENT: Why don't I remember her?
DARIA: The brain tends to block out excruciating memories.
JANE: Maybe if we put him in a dress she won't be so hard on him.
DARIA: Won't the sideburns and goatee give him away?
JANE: Not nowadays.
JODIE: I'm sorry, Trent. We've known each other for all but eight minutes,
but I'll always remember you for your... um... well, that tattoo's
pretty cool.
TRENT: Way to be supportive guys. I *am* gonna survive this.
[Trent enters the science room. The girls stand outside.]
JANE: I think what really makes him adorable is his naiveté.
DARIA: [Shaking her head] Poor, poor fool.

[Int. Trent's car.]
[Trent is driving rather peeved while Jane and Daria are in the back.]
JANE: Poor, poor, POOR fool.
TRENT: Shut up.

[Ext. Morgendorffer house.]
[Trent's car pulls up.]
JANE: [Never stopping] Poor, poor, poor, poor, poor, poor, poor, poor...
TRENT: Shut up!
[Daria exits the car covering her ears.]
JANE: [Continuing] ...poor, poor, poor, poor, poor, poor, poor, poor...
TRENT: SHUT UP!
JANE: [Hasn't stopped yet] ...poor, poor, poor, poor, poor, poor, poor...
TRENT: Stop it, Janey!
[The car pulls away as Daria enters the house.]
JANE: ...poor...
TRENT: [Quickly] Shut-up.
JANE: ...poor...
TRENT: [Quickly] Shut-up.
JANE: ...poor...
TRENT: [Quickly] Shut-up.
[Their voices fade out as the car disappears.]

[Int. Morgendorffer kitchen. Evening.]
[Family dinner.]
HELEN: What a week. I missed an important meeting despite my personal
calendar, the frozen lasagna didn't bake correctly-
[Quinn bites into her lasagna with a crunch and spits it out.]
HELEN: -Jake gets a disgusting pet without speaking with me first-
JAKE: [Looks up] Huh?
HELEN: -And the hands fell off the clock again.
[Jake turns to the handless kitchen clock.]
JAKE: God damn it! [Goes to the clock and starts beating it] Why won't you
work?! I'VE SCREWED THOSE STUBBORN THINGS BACK ON YOU SEVERAL TIMES
ALREADY!! *WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUUUU*???!!
DARIA: You don't suppose maiming it like a meat tenderizer has anything to
do with it breaking almost every week, do you?
[Jake leans against the cabinet to catch his breath.]
JAKE: Okay... okay... You're right... Gotta calm down... I'll be right back.
[Exits to the living room]
HELEN: [Attempting dinner-time conversation] So... anything happen today?
QUINN: Stuff.
DARIA: Stuff.
HELEN: Stuff?
QUINN & DARIA: Stuff.
[Jake re-enters with Waylon around his shoulders.]
JAKE: There, that's better. They say pets are therapeutic.
QUINN: Ugh!
[Helen runs behind the counter as Jake sits at his place.]
HELEN: Jake, I told you I wouldn't have as much a problem with that thing as
long as you kept it in its tank!
JAKE: But Helen...
QUINN: That isn't gonna crawl onto the table, is it?
DARIA: Or down your-
JAKE: No! He's my friend. He'll keep me company, listen when I want him to.
And stuff.
HELEN: Stuff?
DARIA: Stuff. What are you so afraid about anyway, Mom?
HELEN: What?
DARIA: Even Quinn is managing to stay in her seat while you cower behind the
kitchen counter.
HELEN: I am not cowering.
QUINN: Gee, Mom, you don't have one of those, like, fabios with snakes or
anything, do you?
HELEN: That's phobias, and no... Well yes.
JAKE: How could you? You work with snakes everyday! Ha ha!
[Helen glares at Jake.]
JAKE: Uh, I mean... [Flinches] Oh no!

[Int. Morgendorffer living room.]
[Jake runs out of the kitchen with Waylon still on his shoulders. Helen
gives chase until Jake holds Waylon out in front of her.]
JAKE: Blaugh!
HELEN: [Jumps back] AAAAGH!
[Jake runs up the stairs until Helen catches up. He repeats his tactic.]
JAKE: BLAUGH!
HELEN: [Steps down] AAAAGH!
[Jake runs up the stairs and a door is heard being shut. Helen soon runs up
as well.]

[Int. Morgendorffer kitchen.]
[Daria and Quinn look at the exit that their parents took then turn back to
their meals.]
DARIA: My life is one long Benny Hill sketch.

[Int. Ms. Barch's junior class. Day.]
BARCH: And remember that we have a childish field trip tomorrow to the
Oakwood Science Museum for no real purpose except to "teach" in a
dumbed-down "entertaining" way.
DARIA: [To Jane] So she fell for O'Neill instead of DeMartino because...?
BARCH: This class will be mixed with the senior class by request of a
certain female student.
[Daria glares at Jane.]
JANE: [To Daria] Actually, it was for my own purposes to see how he's doing.
What on Earth are you suspecting me of?
BARCH: To make this mix possible I had to hold off the trip for the
sophomore/freshman class till next month. I really had no problem
with this, as the sophomore class is mostly male, and nobody in the
right mind likes a freshman.
DARIA: Isn't that a bit narrow minded?
JANE: Oh, I don't know; your sister's a freshman, isn't she?
DARIA: She was last year.
JANE: You mean she passed?!

[School bell segue:]

[Int. O'Neill's senior class.]
[All the students are leaving after the bell, but O'Neill pulls Trent out of
the mess.]
O'NEILL: Would you hold on a moment, Trent?
TRENT: Uhh, sure.
O'NEILL: I have to say how impressed I am at your understanding of poetry,
*and* your ability to write it as well.
TRENT: It's my life, sorta.
O'NEILL: Have you considered turning this into a career?
TRENT: ...It *is*.
O'NEILL: What?
TRENT: I've got a band. I told you this my first day of class.
[O'Neill simply stares at him confused.]
TRENT: At least you got my name right.
O'NEILL: Oh, sorry... uh, I mean...
TRENT: Later. [Leaves]

[Int. Lawndale High hallway.]
[Trent passes by Daria and Jane going the opposite direction.]
JANE: How's life in Hell, Trent?
TRENT: Hell. [Gone]
[Daria and Jane go to their lockers.]
DARIA: Aren't you a little worried about him?
JANE: I dunno. Why?
DARIA: Well, y'know, he *is* a little...
JANE: Slow?
DARIA: Wellllllll...
JANE: You don't need to say it. I know. I'm just worried more about his
getting up at six thirty every morning despite staying up till one
A.M... and then having him drive us here.
DARIA: I just hope he isn't as failure-prone as he claims to be.
JANE: You can do next to nothing, get a D-minus, and still pass. I just
think that his worst enemy, yet his best friend, in this whole thing
will be sleep.

[Int. DeMartino's senior class.]
[DeMartino is in lecture-mode as Trent tries desperately to stay conscious.]
TRENT: [Thought V.O.] Must... stay... awake... Must... concentrate... Must
... zzzzz... No! Wait! I'm alright... I wish that Mountain Dew I had
for breakfast wasn't caffeine free... Fading... fading... faaadiiing.
DeMARTINO: TRENT! Would you mind REPEATING what I just SAID?
TRENT: [Aloud] Uh...
[DeMartino chuckles to himself almost evilly.]
TRENT: Uh, Franklin D. Rooselvelt and his New Deal weren't responsible for
the pull out of the Great Depression as was the entry into World War
II.
[Pause.]
DeMARTINO: L-lucky guess.
EVAN: [To Trent] I always wanted to do that to him.
[Alarms suddenly go off. DeMartino sighs. He's obviously been through this
drill too often.]
DeMARTINO: Bomb drill, everyone. You know what to do.
TRENT: Um, excuse me? Is this a "Being Bombed by Reds" drill, or a "Bomb is
Planted in the Building" drill?
EVAN: First one.
TRENT: Okay.

[Int. O'Neill's junior class.]
[O'Neill is running around frantically in panic while all the students have
meanwhile calmly gotten under their desks.]
O'NEILL: Don't panic anyone! We're not gonna die! I don't think! AAAAUGH!
JANE: [To Daria] You'd think after a while he'd distinguish a drill from the
real thing.
DARIA: I'm still left wondering how going under an open object can prevent
flesh being torn and melted from one's skeletal system.

[Int. Lawndale High cafeteria.]
[Daria, Jane, Jodie and Trent sit for lunch.]
JODIE: I wish those alarms weren't so loud.
TRENT: You need to build up a tolerance for noise, like me.
JANE: I hate to break this to you, Kid, but it's not an immunity, it's
called hearing loss.
DARIA: [To Trent] How's your head?
TRENT: Okay. I wish I knew they bolted the chairs and desks down before I
ducked down. Is that a recent thing?
DARIA: Yup.
JANE: [To Trent] You'd better just hope the surveillance cameras didn't pick
that up.
TRENT: Why?

[Int. Ms. Li's office.]
[Li watches a monitor of Trent hitting his head pretty hard on his desk. Li
does her snort-laugh and rewinds the tape. She repeats this a few times.]

[Int. Morgendorffer living room.]
[Jake is studying Waylon, who rests in the fish tank he left on an antique
table (which he obviously dug out of the attic or garage) he set in the back
of the room. Enter Daria.]
JAKE: Daria? You know what snakes eat?
DARIA: Anything small, helpless, and weak... much like my history teacher.
JAKE: Maybe I should ask *him*.
DARIA: [Sighs] Dad, let me handle this.
[Cut to later, where Daria opens a shoe box with the lab mouse she had back
in "The Lab Brat."]
DARIA: I have no idea why I've kept him around so long. Trembling with fear
due to one little brother is no life for him. It's the only humane
thing to do.
JAKE: I suppose so... You wanna do it or should I?
DARIA: It's your snake... but it *is* my mouse... But since it falls under
the category of "pet food" now, I suppose you'd better do the honors.
JAKE: [Somewhat reluctantly] Okay.
[Jake slowly pulls the mouse out of the box, then holds it by its tail over
the tank. Quinn comes in from the kitchen, notices this and runs in slow
motion.]
QUINN: Noooooooooo!
[She grabs the mouse. The scene returns to regular motion.]
QUINN: Dad! How could you!?
JAKE: But-
DARIA: It deserves better than the suffering of endless fear it lives in.
QUINN: I don't care! It's cute! Cute things don't deserve to die! [The mouse
bites Quinn's hand] Ow! Go to Hell, you bastard! [Tosses it into the
tank]
[Cut to a camera angle that seems to come from within the tank facing out.
Quinn, Jake, and Daria crowd to watch.]
JAKE: So, Daria, by your logic, did Quinn just give your mouse what he
deserved... or...?
QUINN: What is that snake doing?
DARIA: Squeezing the life out of it. It's better if the thing he swallows
doesn't put up a fight on the way down.
QUINN: Eww.
DARIA: It gets better.
JAKE: Wow, Waylon's mouth sure got... bigger.
DARIA: He just unhinged his jaw, Dad. Watch, now.
QUINN: I suddenly feel queasy.
JAKE: I as well.
QUINN: I call bathroom. [Runs off]
JAKE: No fair! [Follows]
DARIA: ...It's not as cool watching this alone. [Walks away]
[Helen eventually walks in. She looks over to the camera/tank.]
HELEN: What the...? Oh my God!! [Stumbles back and falls over the couch]

[Ext. a pair of school buses heading down the highway.]
KEVIN: [V.O., continuing a song] ...If you're happy and you know it, clap
your hands! [Clap, clap]...

[Int. Bus A.]
[Kevin and Brittany are seated behind Jodie and Mack.]
KEVIN: [Continues singing] If you're happy and you know it, and you really
wanna show it, if you're happy and you know it, clap your hands.
[Kevin and Brittany clap twice.]
KEVIN: [Singing] If you're happy and you know it, then make out!
[He and Brittany duck into their seat with the usual sounds of muffled
kisses and such. Jodie and Mack glance at each other and just wait. Jodie
looks out the window; Mack sticks his tongue in his cheek; Jodie bounces a
leg on the floor impatiently; Mack looks at his wrist despite the fact that
he doesn't wear a watch; etc., etc. This continues for a minute before Kevin
sticks his head back out, his hair a bit mess up.]
KEVIN: [Singing] If you're happy and you know it, then make out!
[He ducks back down and the same thing happens. Mack just shakes his head.]
[Pan over to where Trent is sitting alone in a seat in front of Daria and
Jane.]
JANE: [To Trent] You wanna do anything?
TRENT: Yeah. Sleep. Just wake me when we get to the museum, okay?
DARIA: Yeah, sure.
[Trent's POV as his eyes close. They immediately open when he's being
shaken.]
JANE: Trent! We're there. Get up.
[Cut back to a normal camera view. Daria and Jane file off the bus with the
rest of the students as Trent recovers in his seat.]
TRENT: I wish I was conscious when I'm asleep so I could enjoy it more.

[Int. Oakwood Science Museum lobby.]
[Both the senior and junior classes are gathered with Ms. Barch.]
BARCH: Well, it turns out that our tour guide won't be around for a while,
so I suppose I'd might as well let you all roam free for a while...
Y'know, that is as long as every male is accompanied by at least two
females to keep him out of trouble.
TRENT: [To Jane and Daria] Oh. No problem there.
[All three walk off. Most of the students themselves also eventually
scatter. Left alone is Evan. He blinks then looks around to find that Andrea
is the only other student left.]
EVAN: Awwww!
[Barch walks up.]
BARCH: Looks like you'll hafta stick by the teacher, male.
EVAN: AWWWW!

[Int. Museum "World of Electricity" display.]
[Daria, Jane, and Trent surround an electric globe. (Is it just me, or do
they have those in *every* childish science museum?)]
JANE: Dare ya to lick it.
[Daria simply puts her hand on it, making some of her hair stick up. Daria
looks up at her upright hair.]
DARIA: I knew it was only a matter of time before a part of my own body
tried to escape me.
TRENT: Cool.
[Trent places a hand on the globe himself, but nothing happens. Daria lets
go and her own hair falls back into place.]
TRENT: Why isn't anything happening to *my* hair?
JANE: Trent, how much more can it stick up? Really.
[Trent glares at Jane a moment before poking her in the arm, sending a shock
to her system. Daria smirks.]
JANE: Ow! Ya booger!

[Int. Museum lobby.]
[Barch, Andrea, and Evan just stand around.]
ANDREA: Soooo... you don't want to go anywhere.
EVAN: Uh... nope.
BARCH: Well, good.
[Pause]
EVAN: Alright, then.
ANDREA: Yeah.

[Int. Museum, near the door of the "World of Illusion" exhibit.]
[Several students are entering the exhibit. Daria and the Lane siblings walk
up to the door.]
DARIA: Why's this place so popular?
[Brittany comes up.]
BRITTANY: You don't know much about popularity, do you?
DARIA: I'm just a tad fuzzy about the matter.
TRENT: Wow.
BRITTANY: Kevvy managed to sneak a boombox inside! Everyone's coming in to
dance in the strobe lights! Seeya later. [Enters]
JANE: [To Daria] Did I hear her right?
[Daria dares to peak her head into the room.]

[Int. "World of Illusion" exhibit.]
[Lights are blinking rapidly, causing the entire room of dancers to be badly
animated. A random dance mix is playing somewhat loudly.]

[Int. Museum, near the door of the "World of Illusion" exhibit.]
[Daria pulls her head out and blinks a bit.]
DARIA: [To Jane] I dare you to look directly at one of those lights.

[Int. "World of Genetics" exhibit.]
[The tour guide (female, per Barch's obvious request) has finally taken the
students around, lecturing. In the back of the crowd of students, Daria and
Jane are meeting Evan for the first time in a long while. Trent stands by.
Jane and Evan have their backs turned to each other.]
JANE: [Cross] Oh... hello.
EVAN: [Same] Hey...
TRENT: Awkward.
JANE: [To Evan] I'm still shunning you.
EVAN: Well, I'm still shunning you.
JANE: I shun you more.
EVAN: I shun you times a billion.
JANE: Times infinity!
EVAN: Times infinity plus one!
JANE: [Turns around] You can't do that! It's impossible!
EVAN: You turned around. I win.
JANE: D'oh! You weenie!
EVAN: [Turns around] I am not the weenie! You are the weenie!
JANE: No, you!
EVAN: No!
DARIA: [Aside to Trent] Perhaps we should leave them alone for a while.
TRENT: Yeah. I can't hear what the teacher's saying from here anyway. [Moves
ahead] You coming?
DARIA: ...Yah.
[Daria and Trent make their ways ahead.]
GUIDE: ...So, are there any questions?
TRENT: Aw! I missed everything.
KEVIN: [Raising his hand, to the guide] What does "DNA" stand for?
GUIDE: [Help!] ...Uhhh... uhhhhh...
BARCH: You don't have to answer a male's question if you don't want to.
DARIA: [Sighs] It stands f-
TRENT: Deoxyribonucleic acid.
[Many stare at him, including Daria.]
TRENT: What? I looked it up in the dictionary once.
BARCH: So... since you answered *one* question that a woman couldn't, you
think you're so smart.
TRENT: D-did I say that?
DARIA: Uh-oh.
BARCH: You just think your little Y-chromosome makes you dominant, huh? HUH?
TRENT: Uh... isn't the Y-chromosome recessive?
[Pause]
BARCH: THERE YA GO AGAIN!
TRENT: Sorry!
BARCH: IF YOU'RE SO SMART, GIVE ME A REPORT ON YOUR VAST KNOWLEDGE!!
TRENT: What?!
BARCH: Ten pages over the weekend! Or you're flunked!
TRENT: [To Daria] Can she *do* that?
DARIA: The female principal doesn't seem to care what she does.
TRENT: [Dejected] Aww...

[Commercial bumper: B&W Slow-mo of Jake fending off Helen using Waylon.]

END ACT II

***

ACT III

[Int. Bus A.]
[Evan and Jane are in parallel seats facing their respective windows.]
JANE: Bitter.
EVAN: Bitter.
JANE: Bitter.
EVAN: Bitter.
JANE: Butter.
EVAN: Bitter.
JANE: Better.
EVAN: Bitter.
JANE: Bit player.
EVAN: Cut it out.
JANE: Never.
[Pan to Daria and Trent in the same seat.]
DARIA: Looks like the Lockhorns are still at it.
TRENT: What a day. My sister and friend hate each other, my teacher hates
*me*, I didn't learn a damn thing and I have nearly a dozen pages due
in less than three days.
DARIA: Um... on the plus side... uh... youuuuuu... impressed me.
TRENT: Impressed you?
DARIA: Uh, yeah. I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but... I was
surprised that you knew so much.
TRENT: It's mostly common knowledge.
DARIA: Yeah, but... y'know, I never expected you to be...
TRENT: Intelligent?
DARIA: I didn't say- ... yeah.
TRENT: Don't worry about it. I'm not insulted. I guess I just sorta stay
that way on purpose. Y'know, keep my expectations low so people will
quit bugging me.
[Pause]
DARIA: Wish I thought of that.
[Trent and his trademark laugh/cough.]
TRENT: Yeah, well not everyone can be as smart as me... Despite the fact
that I have no idea what to write my paper on.
DARIA: Well... if you need to type it, I've got a computer at home if you
want.
TRENT: Thanks. That'd be cool. I could get it done much quicker that way.

[Int. Daria's room. Next evening.]
[Trent is sitting at Daria's computer, just staring at the screensaver. Hold
for a few seconds. Daria enters.]
DARIA: Trent, supper's ready if you want to stay over... Trent?... How far
have you gotten?... Trent?... Tr-... Hmf...
[Daria goes to the computer mouse and moves it, shutting off the screen-
saver. Trent shakes his head a moment.]
TRENT: Oh, sorry. What?
DARIA: [Reading from the screen] "Name: Trent Lan"?
TRENT: Oops.
DARIA: "Science. Everyone needs it."... and that's... it, huh?
TRENT: Yeah, well... yeah.
DARIA: Are you okay?
TRENT: Y-... no. I mean... I'd better get home. I've been here all day.
DARIA: Oh... okay... bye.
TRENT: Yeah. [Exits]

[Int. Morgendorffer kitchen.]
[You know what they're having. Daria enters.]
HELEN: Isn't your friend joining us?
DARIA: He had to go home.
JAKE: Aw, c'mon. That's too bad.
DARIA: By the way, Dad, I found Waylon in my room again. He slithered out of
that skull I left on the floor; looked kinda like that band's logo.
Pretty cool. Still, I'd rather you didn't let him out so much.
HELEN: You let that creature out?!
JAKE: No, I don't do a thing. He's just such a smart little thing.
DARIA: Maybe if you didn't leave that tree branch sticking out he wouldn't
escape.
JAKE: It's an environmental thing; it makes him feel at home.
DARIA: He never lived in a tree!
JAKE: Will you quit comparing apples to bananas?!
DARIA: To oranges.
JAKE: There ya go again!

[Int. Jane's room.]
[Jane is on the phone, sitting on her bed.]
JANE: No, I hate *you* more... No, *I* hate *you* more... No...
[Trent enters.]
JANE: Oh, hold on, Evan. I'll call you back... No, you. [Hangs up]
[Trent sits in front of the bed and clicks the TV on via remote.]
JANE: Trent? You're not depressed AGAIN, are you?
TRENT: Mm.
JANE: Aw, COME ON!
TRENT: Mmm.
JANE: You've got me really annoyed, here. You're gonna hafta drag *yourself*
out of *this* funk, cuz I'm not doing a thing!
TRENT: ...Mm.
JANE: Alright, you talked me into it. Now tell me what's wrong.
TRENT: Mmm.
JANE: Can't you say anything?
TRENT: Nuh.
JANE: Hmm... [goes to her stereo] I'll just pop in this karoke tape. [does
so] Now I'll start. [grabs a microphone] After I get this warmed up,
maybe you can come over here, and express your feelings... in a song!
Yer good at that. [music starts] o/` Well- o/`
TRENT: THAT'S IT! [Runs out]
JANE: Yes, it *was* a very influential song, wasn't it?

[Int. Daria's room. Day.]
[Trent has pages of notes in his hand while Daria boots up her computer.]
TRENT: It just hit me! I wrote my entire report in verse... I hope she'll
accept it that way.
DARIA: You're really bending the hell out of your assignment.
TRENT: Yeah.
DARIA: I am damn proud of you.
TRENT: Heh.
DARIA: Okay, the computer's ready. Type away, my good man. [Lets Trent into
her chair]
TRENT: Thanks, Daria. You've really helped me through this. [Types]
[Daria picks up a page of Trent's notes. His writing is quite sloppy, such
as it was in the "Daria Diaries."]
DARIA: You could make a good pharmacist.
TRENT: Huh?
DARIA: Or a secretary.

[Int. Morgendorffer kitchen.]
[Since it's Sunday, Jake and Helen are in casual clothes. They each have a
mug of coffee.]
JAKE: Why *are* you so afraid of snakes, Honey?
HELEN: You don't really remember, do you?
JAKE: Remember what?
HELEN: [Sighing] It was quite a while ago, actually.

[Dissolve to flashback: The hippie Jake and Helen.]

[Ext. forest. Day.]
[Jake and Helen just stand there and take in the scenery. Beat.]
JAKE: Hm... groovy.
HELEN: ...Yeah... groovy...
[Another beat.]
JAKE: Y'know... I was hoping to dig some more wildlife than the flora here.
HELEN: [Pointing] Oh, well, there's one.
JAKE: Huh? [Looks down] Oh, well look at that. [Picks up a snake] Hey, neat!
[Helen looks at him] Uh, I mean "groovy." Here, you hold it.
HELEN: Okay. [does so] It isn't poisonous or anything, is it?
JAKE: I really don't know.
[The snake bites Helen.]
HELEN: Ow!
JAKE: Oh no! Put it down!
HELEN: [Bitten again] Ow!
JAKE: Oh, dear God!

[Dissolve to present.]

[Int. Morgendorffer kitchen.]
HELEN: I was lucky that it really wasn't poisonous, the panic about it
pretty much got me... "freaked out" [finger quotes] about those
creatures.
JAKE: Gee, Helen, how come I wouldn't remember something like that?
HELEN: Well they say that extremely painful or scary memories may be
repressed.
JAKE: You mean I was so worried about you I forgot about it?
[Helen glances back to remember:]

[Cut back to flashback.]

[Int. forest.]
[Helen is rubbing her arms from the bites. The snake in question, though,
is biting into Jake's crotch, causing him to scream like a banshee and
prance around.]

[Cut to present.]

[Int. Morgendorffer kitchen.]
HELEN: Uh, yes, Jake. [Nervous laughter]

[Int. Daria's room.]
[Close-up of the printer as Trent's lyrical essay comes out. Daria's hand
reaches for a page. Back to "normal view".]
DARIA: Wow. I didn't know you could rhyme "biology" with "proctology." The
weird part is, it works.
TRENT: So you think she'll like it?
DARIA: It? Probably. You? Eh...
TRENT: That doesn't matter to me anymore! From now on, I'll finally have the
satisfaction that I did something completely *and* correctly!

[Establishing shot of the Lane house. Next early morning.]

[Int. Trent's room.]
[Trent is splayed over his bed in his day clothes, as usual. An alarm clock
on the floor starts beeping, where Trent promptly hits the snooze button. A
couple seconds later, Jane enters, already dressed.]
JANE: Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep...
[Trent throws the clock at her without looking up. He misses.]
JANE: Whoa, gonna be trying out for football today? Get downstairs soon;
I've got pancakes hot on the griddle. See ya in a few, Van Winkle.
[Walks away] [O.S.] And remember your school paper this time.
[Trent finally opens an eye.]

[Int. Lane kitchen.]
[Jane takes a couple of pancakes for herself and walks to the living room.
Banging around is heard upstairs.]
JANE: I knew he'd come racing down for my world famous flapjacks.

[Int. Trent's room.]
[Trent is searching everywhere frantically! He throws junk around that's on
his floor, on his night table, under his duck phone, through his closet, and
finally under his bed.]
TRENT: Oh, phew, here it- [pulls out a bunch of pages] No, that's my middle
school book report. Well here- [again] No, my guitar pick analysis.
And this is- [pulls out a dead rat] GAH! [tosses it aside]
JANE: [O.S.] Trenty, these pancakes ain't gonna eat themselves! Hurry!

[Int. Lane living room.]
[Jane is eating her breakfast while on the couch watching the morning news
on TV. Trent is bounding downstairs.]
JANE: Good, you're-
[Trent continues running out the door, where he can be heard getting into
his car and screeching it down the road. Jane just blink for a couple of
seconds.]
JANE: [Shouting as if she can be heard by anyone] It's alright! I can walk!

[Ext. Morgendorffer house. Close-up of a window.]
[Pebbles are thrown periodically at the glass, occasionally followed by
Trent's loud whisper of "Daria!" Eventually, the windows are opened to
reveal:]
JAKE: [Still in his PJs and not quite awake] Daria's the one over there.
[points] The one with the filed bars on it.
TRENT: [O.S.] Oh, thanks Mr. Morgendorffer.
[Trent is heard running off.]
JAKE: [Mumbling] Uh huhhh mm. [Walks back to bed, closing the window]
HELEN: [O.S.] What was that?
JAKE: [O.S.] Hm?

[Ext. Daria's window.]
[Same routine. Only his second rock is a little too large, going through the
glass.]
TRENT: [O.S.] Whoops.
[Daria opens her window. All she has on is her mustard shirt and black
skirt.]
DARIA: What the... [squints] Trent?

[Int. Daria's room.]
[Daria's finished dressing and is booting her computer back up. Trent stands
behind her.]
TRENT: I swear! I looked everywhere in my room for my report! You've got to
reprint it!
DARIA: I'll get to it here. [Narrates] Wait for it to finish booting up...
Click on the word processor icon... Open your file... [the hard drive
shoots sparks and the monitor blacks; Daria continues] Watch
everything you've worked for hurl violently into oblivion...
TRENT: I... gchl... gpbbfft... ch...
DARIA: I knew I should've listened to Michelle and gotten that new Mac.
TRENT: Please tell me this is all a dream.
DARIA: [Concerned] Okay... but keep in mind I'm a huge liar.

[Int. Lawndale High hallway.]
[Daria and Jane walk to class.]
DARIA: I'm afraid he's really, really bummed out... and that's putting it
mildly.
JANE: And he's totally screwed.
DARIA: Also mildly.
[Zip-pan ahead to Trent walking to Barch's class. He closes his eyes, takes
a breath, reaches for the door... only to have O'Neill exit from it before
he can do so.]
O'NEILL: Oh! Trent! Just the person I was looking for!
TRENT: What were you doing in Ms. Barch's room?
[O'Neill's eyes dart around while he bites his bottom lip.]
O'NEILL: [Suddenly] Come with me.
[O'Neill takes Trent's arm and pulls him away. Daria and Jane watch.]
DARIA: What do you suppose that's about?
JANE: Probably that whoopee cushion from last week.

[Int. O'Neill's classroom.]
[O'Neill sits on his desk while talking to Trent.]
O'NEILL: No, it's nothing about that thing.
TRENT: Oh, well it was really Evan's idea, but-
EVAN: [His head suddenly popping through the door] What?
TRENT: I mean... [Desperately, to O'Neill] What *did* you ask me here for?
[Evan, meanwhile, walks back down the hall.]
O'NEILL: Well, as you must know, I'm a big fan of your literary talents.
TRENT: You mean my lyrics?
O'NEILL: Your poetry, yes. And I've heard around that you're taking these
classes voluntarily to catch up and what not.
TRENT: [He's told O'Neill about that several times already!] Around, huh?
O'NEILL: Yes! And I've talked with Ms. Li about this... We don't normally do
this, you know...

[Int. cafeteria.]
[Daria and the Lanes sit for lunch.]
TRENT: ...So O'Neill offered me one of those big exams that, if I pass, will
allow me to finish early.
DARIA: Wow.
TRENT: I'll finally have that one credit, allowing me-
JANE: [Finishing] -To bring my ego up a notch, prove to the world, et
cetera, et cetera...
TRENT: Have I really given that speech that much?
JANE: [Dripping with sarcasm] Ohhhh, NO!
DARIA: Of course you realize, Trent, that there's lots of studying ahead of
you.
TRENT: Yeah, well, that part sucks, but still...
[Pause.]
JANE: You don't know how to end that sentence, do you?
TRENT: [Bowing his head] No.
DARIA: When's the exam?
TRENT: [Recovering] This Saturday. I have a week.

[Int. Lane living room.]
[Trent is on the couch with a can of soda watching TV. Jane enters.]
JANE: Shouldn't you be studying?
TRENT: I've got a week.
JANE: It's Friday.
[Trent does a spit take into his can, causing some splash-back on himself
and Jane. He then runs wordlessly upstairs.]
JANE: Or is that Tuesday? Oh, well, I have the TV either way.
[Sits and clicks the remote.]
TV: Can this buffalo hold a tune? The yak-itty sax, next on Sick, Sad World!

[Int. Trent's room. Evening.]
[Trent tries hard studying, books and notes sprawled over his bed as he sits
Indian-style, looking through them. He shakes his head, and decides to call
a number on his duck phone, waiting for an answer.]
TRENT: ...Hey, Daria?... Yeah, it's Trent. I... need someone to help me
study. Can you come over?...... Um, are you still there?... Okay, ask
your mom...... No? [Sighs] Oh, well... No, don't sneak out a window.
I'll make do. I still have a couple of days left... Okay, bye......
Hang up, Daria...
[After a dial tone comes in, Trent hangs his phone up.]

[Close-up of a calendar by day, pages falling off one by one to show time
passing. Zoom out to show it hung in the corner of Jane's room as she and
Daria watch the pages fall off.]
JANE: I don't know why it's falling apart like that. I think it's the
humidity.

[Int. Morgendorffer living room. Day.]
[Jake runs down the stairs and to the couch in his pajamas.]
JAKE: Oh boy! Saturday morning cartoons!
[Helen and Daria follow down more calmly, Helen dressed for work, Daria
still in her night clothes.]
HELEN: I really wish he'd grow out of that.
DARIA: How much growing can a middle-aged man go through? If anything, he's
due for some shrinking in a few years.
HELEN: [Noticing the fish tank to be empty] Jake? Where's your snake?
DARIA: Isn't that a rather personal question?
JAKE: Waylon? Oh, I let him outside.
HELEN: Why?
JAKE: [Gets up] Well, I got to thinking how you... well, were a bit more
important to me.
HELEN: Oh, Jake.
JAKE: I didn't really want to get rid of him, so I let him outside... If he
leaves the yard, then I'll just have to accept that it was never meant
to be.
DARIA: Can you feel the love tonight?
[Doorbell.]
ALL: I'll get it... Okay, then, you get it... Who?... You!... Oh, forget it,
I'll get it!
[All three go to the door, Jake actually opening it. Jane is outside looking
a tad winded.]
DARIA: Jane.
HELEN: Jane.
JAKE: Um... Daria's friend.
JANE: C'mon, Daria. You know why we have to go to the school today.
DARIA: Yeah. Um, are you okay?
JANE: Yeah, just had a close encounter with a creepy critter. Some snake
came out; almost bit me, I swear.
JAKE: He did stay! Oh, and he's guarding the house, the little-
JANE: [Not really listening] You wouldn't believe how many whacks with a
garden hoe it took to get him away.
[This sinks in.]
JAKE: WAAYYYLLLONN!!!
[Jake bursts through the group of people and out the door. Daria and Helen
give Jane a dirty look.]
JANE: What?
[They just continue looking silently.]
JANE: What?!

[Int. Trent's car. Driving.]
[He's alone and a bit nervous.]
TRENT: Ow. My sweat's making me stick to my seat.

[Ext. Lawndale High.]
[Trent pulls up to the circle and exits his car. He finds a line of people
in front of the door. At the end are Daria and Jane.]
TRENT: What... what's going on here?
JANE: We're all here to wish you good luck, Trent m'boy. Go on, now.
[Trent walks down the line, each person greeting him.]
DARIA: Uh, hey.
EVAN: Good luck, man.
JESSE: Good luck, m-
NICK: That was said.
MAX: Yeah.
DeMARTINO: Um... Go on.
TRENT: Mr. De? What are you doing here?
DeMARTINO: The same as Ms. Li.
LI: Hi.
DeMARTINO: I guess, uh... I just...
LI: We found it remarkable that you would challenge yourself like this. Not
many drop-outs come back here... Well, none actually.
TRENT: I technically didn't drop out, but thanks.
O'NEILL: [Thumbs up] Good luck, Trent!
TRENT: Um, shouldn't you be *giving* the test?
O'NEILL: [Looks around for a second] ...Yes! [Darts into the school]
[Trent slowly follows him in, the doors closing behind him.]
LI: Well, tea, anyone?
[Sounds of the affirmative go around and everyone leaves.]
EVAN: [To Jane, while walking] Just for the record, I still don't get you.
JANE: Nobody gets me! I'm the wind, baby!

[Ext. Morgendorffer back yard. Next day.]
[Jake is holding onto a shoe box over a hole while crying. Daria stands
behind him with her arms behind her back and her eyes closed. Helen, Quinn,
and Jane sit on the patio in the background.]
DARIA: We find Waylon to have been one of our most admirable pets. He lasted
longer than that pet lobster five years ago.
HELEN: I thought it was dinner.
JAKE: Shh!
DARIA: And we gather here today to honor this departed. I regret that we
could not get a long skinny coffin, and I hope he can forgive us for
this.
JAKE: I tried, Waylon, I honestly did.
DARIA: He was loyal. He was smart. He was agile... though apparently not
agile enough.
JANE: I said I'm sorry!
DARIA: We loved you, Waylon... well, most of us... Well, Dad and I did, but
at least you have that. So long, my friend.
[Daria then plays "Taps" on a kazoo while Jake places the shoe box into the
ground, sobbing uncontrollably. Helen and Jane bow their heads.]

[Establishing shot of Lawndale High. Next day.]

[Int. Lawndale High hallway.]
[Daria and Jane wait outside Ms. Li's office.]
JANE: I'm missing class, and I don't care.
DARIA: I wonder how Trent's doing in there.

[Int. Li's office.]
[Trent sits in front of Li and O'Neill.]
O'NEILL: I know you're excited.
TRENT: Yes.
O'NEILL: This must've taken a lot of work.
TRENT: Yes.
O'NEILL: You've stressed over the exam.
TRENT: Yes.
O'NEILL: And now you're stressed over the result.
TRENT: Show me the thing already.
[O'Neill holds the exam up, with the grade C-minus in red.]
TRENT: [Disappointed] Oh.
LI: You passed!
TRENT: [Brightens] Oh!
LI: I apologize to be so unceremonious with this but... [hands Trent his
diploma] Congratulations.

[Int. Lawndale High hallway.]
[Same as before.]
JANE: I wonder how disappointed he'll be.
[Trent bursts through the door, the door itself whacking Jane in the nose.]
TRENT: YES!
[Daria grins as Jane tries to recover.]
DARIA: [To Jane] Would you like to give him your pity, or should I?
[Trent runs up to a stairway banister and throws up his arms.]
TRENT: I'm the king of the world! [Topples over the stairs] Whoa!
[Daria and Jane run up to see Trent fall O.S. down the stairs. Then they
look at each other. Evan walks up.]
EVAN: [To Jane] I take it back. He's even weirder than you.

[Establishing shot of Cedars of Lawndale Hospital.]

[Int. Trent's hospital room.]
[Trent lies in bed with his head and arm bandaged up. Jane and Daria look
over him.]
JANE: You okay, man?
TRENT: I'm fine. Nothing's broken. I guess I just got a little too excited.
JANE: Okay. Sorry I have to go so soon. I kinda... owe the Morgendorffers
some yard work. I'm in kind of a debt to the man of the house.
TRENT: What'd you do?
JANE: Bye. [Avoids the question by leaving]
TRENT: Oh... And I needed to ask her a favor.
DARIA: What? Maybe I can do it.
TRENT: I don't want to bother you with it. You'd have to go back to my
house.
DARIA: It's no bother.
TRENT: Okay...

[Int. Trent's room.]
[Daria enters flicking on a light. She carries Trent's framed diploma to
Trent's shelf of accomplishments. She turns back to the door missing the
fact that the shelf finally straightens out once the frame was placed on it.
She turns out the light, leaving the screen black.]

END

NOTES:
Yes, my first fanfic with authorial notes. Yippie-skip.

You may find me a cruel human being to have killed to animals in this story.
I hope I don't go to Hell for that. I would never do stuff to animals like
that myself... except for, like, a bug or something. I hope that didn't make
the story unbearable to read.

I originated this story thinking that Trent deserved a story line that
focused on him as a character instead of just Daria's love interest. I still
managed to get a few cheap jokes out of her crush, though. :P It turned out
that Trent was a harder character to work with than I thought. I hope I got
him alright.

And for those of you interested, Mr. Bernstein (who *originated* in
"Herself, an Elf" but still gets a bit here) was modeled after Jimmy James
from the show Newsradio, not, as some may think, after the boss in Dilbert.
And, yes, he was named after Anne Bernstein, writer of several Daria
episodes and "The Diaries."

Boy, I hope lyrics.ch comes back soon.