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"Daria", Season 10 Episode 4

"Brownstone, Green Eyed"

(an attempt at "Daria" fanfic, with a plot partly stolen from "Frasier")

by Acrobat

 

Summary: After Daria barely survives her first semester in a college dorm, she and Jane move into one floor of a house where the members of Mystik Spiral have already taken up residence. Domestic tranquility goes out the window when Trent starts dating one of the upstairs neighbors, who has some very familiar qualities…

 

PROLOGUE/TITLES

(Music: "So Much For The Afterglow", Everclear, the dreamy intro part. Montage of cast’s senior yearbook pictures. Varsity cheerleaders/sports, graduation, prom, etc. All is bright and sunny and nostalgic in that senior-yearbook kind of way. Everyone is smiling, almost eerily, in those gazing-into-the-distance, airbrushed, best-dressed senior pictures. After about 30 seconds of this junk we hit Daria’s senior picture. She, of course, is not smiling, and is wearing her usual outfit. The rest of the song kicks in. Montage of cast meeting various fates: Jodie campaigning for a college student body president, Kevin passed out on a fraternity lawn while Brittany kicks the crap out of him, Andrea reading tarot cards in an occult shop, Upchuck getting rejected by a bunch of sorority girls, Trent sleeping, Mack going for a touchdown, the stands holding up signs that say "Go Mack Daddy", Mack looking aggravated, Quinn leading a pack of about nine admirers with Sandi glaring after her, Jane smirking appreciatively at the male model in a life-drawing class, Ms. Barch marrying Mr. O’Neill, Ms. Barch kicking the crap out of Mr. O’Neill, Daria studying, Daria’s ditzy roommate and her ditzy friends, Daria putting on headphones in an attempt to drown them out, Daria slamming her books and walking out.)

 

ACT 1

SCENE 1

(The Morgandorffers’ dining room. The Morgandorffers are eating dinner, lasagna, of course. Their outfits are no different from the "Daria" we know and love.)

Quinn: …Well, I told him I can’t commit to a relationship now because in another ten months I’ll be off at college, and I can’t be held down by high-school relationships, because all of those fraternities will be counting on me to set an example, and having some high-school boyfriend is not the kind of thing a real sorority girl does! (sighs) But they just don’t get it!

Helen: (quickly) --Speaking of college, Daria, how has your first semester been? You’ve been so quiet since you got back.

Daria: I haven’t fully recovered from the horror of my experience.

Jake: Ah yes, freshman year. I remember my freshman year… (shudders) Some things you can’t forget, no matter what those "psychiatrists" say…

Helen: Jake! (to Daria) I can’t believe your classes were that difficult, Daria.

Daria: It wasn’t the classes. The classes were fine. It was my roommate. I think she’s majoring in intoxication, with a minor in hair and makeup science.

Quinn: (interested) They have that at your school?

Daria: (sighs) I just can’t stand the dorm mentality. These people are paying fifteen thousand dollars a year to act like idiots, and I’m paying fifteen thousand a year to be around them. I got that in high school for free. And back then I could leave at the end of the day.

Jake: (mutters) Their parents are paying fifteen thousand dollars a year, but does anyone care about their pain? Oh, no, of course not!

Helen: (ignoring him) Well, Daria, if you can find some rational solution for your problem, I’ll back you up on it. Providing it isn’t illegal. (phone rings) Helen

Morgandorffer. Oh, hi, Eric. (launches into business chatter)

Daria: (stands up) I’ll be at Jane’s. (leaves)

Quinn: I wonder if they offer hair and makeup science as a major, or do you have to take something hard like liberal studies?…

 

SCENE 2

(Jane’s room. Daria and Jane are watching TV.)

Announcer: Could ordinary cooking spray unstick the secret of a slimmer new you? The revolutionary Teflon Diet, next on Sick Sad World!

(Commercials start. Jane hits "Mute.")

Jane: Look. If it’s so miserable that it makes you miserable, you’ve gotta get out of there.

Daria: I don’t know what to do. I can’t put up with them anymore…but I can’t move back home, either. Not with Quinn in the middle of her senior year blowout. And besides, I’ve gotten used to being away from Lawndale. I feel much less crushing despair than I used to.

Jane: (shrugging) You got a problem, my friend.

Daria: You could be a little more sympathetic.

Jane: I can’t help it. I love where I am right now. …Well, not right now. You know what I mean.

Daria: Sure. (There is a crash from outside the room. Jane gets up and opens the door.)

Jane: Trent, do you mind? We’re in the middle of a crisis here.

Trent: (carrying a large box; Jesse is behind him, picking up another.) Sorry. Hey, Daria.

Daria: Hi.

(As you can see, in this story progress between Daria and Trent is, as of yet, nonexistent.)

Jane: Are you almost finished? I’d like to put my stuff back on the shelves sometime this century.

Jesse: We still have a few more loads to go. The band’s stuff took a long time. It really rattles around back there if you don’t, like, pack it in.

Daria: What’s going on?

Jane: One of the guys in Mystik Spiral found an apartment in the city. They’re all moving in.

Daria: Trent’s leaving home? Is it the end of the world already? (Shuts herself up. The others laugh.)

Trent: Good one, Daria.

Daria: (smiling, of course) Thanks.

Jesse: It’s an awesome building. We get the whole basement.

Jane: The basement? Last week you told me the first floor was empty.

Trent: Basements are better for the creative process.

Jane: And coincidentally, it’s easier to sleep all day without natural light…

Trent: (shrugs) Even better.

Jane: (thinks for a moment) But the first floor is still open?

Jesse: Yeah, as far as we know.

Jane: (raises an eyebrow at Daria) Pardon me, gentlemen, my associate and I need to

have a conference.

Trent: No problem. Bye, Daria.

Daria: Bye. (The Mystiks leave with their boxes. Jane closes the door and turns to Daria.)

Jane: Well, what do you think? Could you talk your parents into letting us move in?

Daria: I could. What about your parents?

Jane: Having both of their homebound children move out in the same year? My parents would be overjoyed, as long as I don’t vanish without a trace or go on a cross-country crime spree.

Daria: Okay. But…

Jane: But what?

Daria: ….I’m having overwhelming feelings of doubt and mistrust.

Jane: See? You’re feeling better already!

 

SCENE 3

(The Morgandorffers’ dining room. Helen is just hanging up the phone when Daria walks in.)

Helen: Hello, Daria. Have you thought of something to do about your housing problem yet?

Daria: Jane’s found an apartment near school. Can I move in?

Helen: (thoughtfully) Well, it sounds like a rational idea…as long as your grades stay up. And no parties, and don’t bring home any strange men.

Daria: (rolls her eyes) Well, Mom, you know me…

Helen: I guess you’re right. Are Jane’s parents agreeing to this?

Daria: Apparently you’ve never met Jane’s parents. (thinking, voice-over: I’ve never even met Jane’s parents.) They’d agree.

Helen: Well then, I think this could be a real test of character and independence! You

have my full support, honey.

(Note: Yeah, this is a bit out of character and all. But I wanted to get on with the rest of the story.)

Daria: Thanks, Mom. What about Dad?

Helen: I think your father still thinks you’re living upstairs.

Daria: He’s not giving me an allowance, is he?

 

ACT 2: A couple of weeks later

SCENE 1

(Daria and Jane’s new apartment. It is cozy (pretty small) and in fair repair (a few cracks in the walls here and there, nothing structural.) Daria and Jane are unloading Daria’s things out of boxes. There is a knock at the door.)

Daria: Open. But don’t get used to it. (The door opens. There are a few people in the hall, not all completely visible yet. The one in the front is Heather the tour guide from "College Bored", a couple of years older but not too much changed.)

Heather: Daria and Jane?

Jane: In-corporated.

Heather: Hi. We’re from upstairs. Just checking up on ya, you know, all that friendly neighbor stuff. (coming into room) I’m Heather.

Daria: You look familiar. Did you go to Middleton, by any chance?

Heather: Yeah. Class of 2000. …Hey, were you the one who got thrown off campus on a tour?

Daria: Uh…yeah.

Heather: Wow. That was legendary for a couple of months.

Daria: Thanks…I guess. Anyway, I’m Daria Morgandorffer, and this is Jane Lane.

Heather: Hey. (She motions to the person behind her) While we’re doing introductions, this is Jillian. (Jillian steps into the room. She is also a couple of years older than Daria and Jane.) She’s the one who got you here.

Jillian: (explaining) I’m Jesse’s cousin. (pauses) But don’t let that get out.

Heather: And last but not least, Dawna.

(Dawna steps into the room. She is the same age as Heather and Jillian. Her hair is on the dark side of brown and cut a little above her shoulders. She is about 5’5" tall. She is wearing a dark blue sweater, a black pleated skirt, combat boots, and glasses. Her face is nearly expressionless.)

Dawna: Pleased to meet you. Can I go now? I’ve exceeded my weekly dose of forced friendliness.

Heather: (shrugs) It’s your life. (to Daria and Jane) The real reason we’re here, girls, is that we’ve been planning a housewarming party to welcome everybody. Tomorrow night at eight.

Jane: Where is this shindig?

Heather: Your living room.

Jane: Well, in that case…

Dawna: Would you rather we had it in the band’s living room?

Jane: I make it a rule never to eat near where Trent keeps his stuff. You never know where it’s been or how long it’s been there.

Heather: Okay, then. Tomorrow at eight. Happy unpacking, girls. (The three of them leave. After a moment, Daria and Jane continue unpacking.)

Jane: Was it just me, or are you kind of freaked out too?

Daria: About what?

Jane: Never mind. (Continues unpacking.)

 

SCENE 2

(Daria and Jane’s new living room. The furniture consists of a rather worn couch, a TV, a strange, colorful, tilted, modern-art-like coffee table, a bookcase of Daria’s, and not much else. Some of Jane’s paintings are on the walls. There is assorted party food etc. on the coffee table. Daria and Jane are sitting on the couch; Heather, Jillian, Dawna, and the members of Mystik Spiral are mingling (though rather squished) in the rest of the room. Music: "Love Rollercoaster", Red Hot Chili Peppers.)

Jane: Watch the dip. (Daria catches one of the bowls as it starts to slide off the table.) I knew I’d find a use for this thing someday.

Daria: Yeah. It’s our only entertainment.

Jane: We can always watch my brother and his band make fools of themselves over the only girls they’ve met in two years. (They check out the room. Jesse is talking with Heather; we can’t hear clearly what they or any of the others are saying.)

Daria: See that?

Jane: Yeah, well, he’ll get over her. And besides, watch them. (She looks at the other side of the room; Daria looks too. We see Trent and Dawna in the middle of an intense, apparently philosophical discussion.)

Daria: (shortly) So?

Jane: Oh, nothing… (She looks smug; Daria looks annoyed.)

(One of those cheesy time-passes shots, indicating that the party is over. Daria and Jane

are still sitting on the couch.)

Jane: So…clean-up time?

Daria: I guess. (They start clearing off the coffee table.) What do we do with all these leftovers?

Jane: See if the guys want them. They’ll eat anything free.

Daria: Fine.

(She gathers up some stuff and heads off. She stops on the stairs to the Mystik Spiral lair. Its "living room" is not all that unlike the Lanes’ basement, without the washer and dryer. Music equipment is everywhere. Dawna has a guitar and is playing some chords. Trent picks up his guitar and makes up a lead part. He is watching Dawna the whole time and smiling. Neither of them seems to notice Daria.)

Dawna: (hits a bad note) Dammit. (tries it again) Sorry. I haven’t played in a while.

Trent: That’s okay. It’s not bad, actually. (She puts the guitar down. After a second,

Trent does the same.) You know…you’re pretty cool.

Dawna: Thanks. You’re cool yourself. (Dawna sidles over to Trent and kisses him. Trent, looking impressed, kisses her back. Daria appears in the living room looking guardedly angry. Jane is still cleaning up.)

Jane: They didn’t take it?…What’s wrong?

Daria: Oh…nothing. (She puts the stuff she’s carrying on the coffee table.) Excuse me. (She leaves. Jane watches, thoughtfully. The food slides off the coffee table with a crash. She sighs and starts picking up. Music: the guitar snarls from "Circus Envy," REM.)

 

SCENE 3

(Continuing music into scene. Daria’s room. Daria is at the desk, doing something which we can’t see; Jane is sitting on the bed. She has a camera around her neck.)

Jane: So, how’s your first week of classes been?

Daria: Fine. I’ve already started my psychology term paper, actually. And I was right—it’s a lot easier dealing with morons if you don’t have to share a bathroom with them. How are yours?

Jane: Great. I’ve got composition theory, advanced fiber arts, and black-and-white photography. (Lifts the camera.) That one ought to be interesting in this house. Sort of like an anthropological study.

Daria: If you need captions with searing comments on today’s society, you know where to ask. (pauses) Then again, maybe you’d better write them yourself. I have enough problems as it is.

Jane: What’s up with you? You haven’t been your usual perky self since we moved in.

Daria: Speaking of anthropological studies--I’m learning the true meaning of "intraspecies competition."

Jane: Would that have something to do with my brother and that girl from upstairs?

Daria: I didn’t say that.

Jane: You didn’t have to. If you have a problem with those two, you ought to tell one of them about it. Dawna seems like a nice enough person…underneath. You two could get along.

Daria: I don’t have a problem with them.

Jane: Daria, I saw how you looked at them at the party two weeks ago. And every time they show up together you find some reason to leave the room. Now, I’ve known you for a long time, for one thing, and I also know jealousy when I see it. And I think you have a serious problem with those two seeing each other.

Daria: I do not have a problem with them! (She stands up, carrying what she’s been working on, and hangs it on the wall. It is a dartboard with Dawna’s face on it. Daria takes aim with a dart.) No problems at all! (Thwack.)

Jane: Out of curiosity…what are you writing that psychology paper on?

Daria: It’s called "Snap: The Homicidal Tendencies in All of Us." (Thwack.)

Jane: Interesting. (She takes a picture of Daria throwing a dart into Dawna’s forehead.)

 

SCENE 4

(Music: "Battle of Who Could Care Less", Ben Folds Five. Daria and Jane’s living room. Dawna is watching TV. Daria comes in.)

Dawna: Hope you don’t mind. Last year Jillian refused to turn off "MTV Spring Break." So I threw the TV out the window.

Daria: (slightly interested) Did it explode?

Dawna: Spectacularly. Have a seat. (Daria sits on the other end of the couch.)

Announcer: …Coincidence…or conspiracy? Next, on Sick Sad World.

Daria: Great show.

Dawna: It’s my favorite. It almost makes me feel normal. (Daria smiles. There is a pause.)

Daria: So…you’re going out with Jane’s brother? --Or so I’ve heard.

Dawna: Yeah, I guess so. He’s a really nice guy. (pauses; thoughtfully) I used to think that nice guys wouldn’t have anything to do with me. I never let them know what I thought. Like for a long time in high school…but I’m sure you can relate, right? You’ve probably gone through something like that.

Daria: Maybe. (Jane pops into the door, takes a picture of Dawna and Daria sitting on the couch, and disappears.)

Dawna: You know, Daria, you kind of remind me of myself in freshman year. (Daria does not look all that encouraged.) Well, I know I learned that if those nice guys knew I was interested, some of them would be interested back. And if not, well, it’s what I expected in the first place. No one’s any worse off, and life goes on in its insignificant and pointless little way.

Daria: (a little more encouraged, smiling) Right. (Trent comes into the room.)

Trent: Hey, Dawna. Hey, Daria. Mind if I come in?

Dawna: You’re up during daylight hours? And you’re not practicing?

Trent: Later. (He sits in the middle of the couch, between Dawna and Daria; Trent and Dawna start making out. Daria gets up. Jane walks through and takes a picture of the three of them.)

Daria: Excuse me. I have to work on my term paper. (She pauses in the door.) And thanks. I almost had some faith in mankind for a second. (She leaves. We hear a door close, then a dart thwack. And another. And another. Then a camera click.)

 

SCENE 5

(Some music; I’ve run out of ideas. Jane’s new room, which is not that different from her old room. Jane is shuffling through her photos. Daria is reading a psychology textbook.)

Jane: There’s that guy in my textiles class…but if I handed that in I’d have to admit I knew him… this one I’m keeping for myself…(looks up at Daria, who is staring at the ceiling instead of reading) Now this one is interesting… (She holds up the picture from the end of the last scene, with Daria, Trent, and Dawna.)

Daria: Hmph.

Jane: No further comments?…

Daria: It’s actually surprising me that someone that seemed interesting and supposedly nice—who could have been my friend—can be such a jerk.

Jane: So what makes her a jerk?

Daria: You saw them.

Jane: So? As far as they know, you couldn’t care less. You don’t have a problem with it, remember?

Daria: Et tu, Brute? (sighs) Maybe I should pack it up and go home. I miss my padded walls.

Jane: Not so fast. (She has the crafty sound of someone laying out a plan.) I have an assignment coming up that I think you’ll enjoy.

Daria: There it is again. Doubt and mistrust.

Jane: There’s my girl.

 

SCENE 6

(Music: The intro of "Salome," U2. Somewhere in the Mystik Spiral basement. A tacked-up tie-dye backdrop covers the wall. Jane is directing Trent and Dawna, who are posing cozily, though not as cozily as the last time we saw them.)

Jane: (half-mocking the cliche photographer chatter, taking pictures all the while.) All right, look natural…that’s it… Perfect…They’re gonna love this one…Oh, yeah. Right there…Okay, that should do it. Thanks, guys.

Dawna: No problem. (She leaves. A few seconds later, Daria comes in.)

Daria: Well, Jane, I’m here. Hi, Trent.

Trent: Hey, Daria.

Daria: What’s going on?

Jane: I have enough candids for my assignment; now I’m working on posed shots. And I just got some great ones. (She fiddles with her camera. It starts to feel staged.) Wait a second… (opens camera) Dammit!

Trent: What’s wrong?

Jane: I forgot to put film in it! How could I forget film? I’ll be right back. Talk amongst yourselves. (She leaves.)

Daria: So…how’s it going? With the band and all.

Trent: All right. Max thinks he could get us a spot in this local band festival, to celebrate the opening of some club. It’s not much, but they’d charge money and everything.

Daria: (still holding back) That’s great. …I’d like to come and see it, if you don’t mind.

Trent: Of course. You’re over eighteen now, right? You always seemed like it.

Daria: In comparison to your average eighteen-year-old in Lawndale, I’ve been that old since I was five. (Trent laughs, but hardly at all.)

Trent: Do you really think we could make it? The band, I mean.

Daria: It’s worth a shot, isn’t it?

Trent: That’s what you’ve always told me. But lately it’s like…we’re still not getting anywhere. We’ve been doing this for six years, and we’re still in a basement.

Daria: Yeah…but you’re in a different basement. I guess that’s progress.

Trent: So you don’t think this is a waste of time?

Daria: No. Not if you still believe in it. Where did you get that idea?

Trent: Dawna. She means well. But she can be…you know, out of touch. She doesn’t understand this kind of thing.

Daria: I don’t mean to beat up on your girlfriend, but she doesn’t always know what she’s talking about. Believe me, I know.

Trent: (shrugging) We’re not that serious. Especially after what she said today. (Jane returns with her camera.)

Jane: Let’s try this again. Since one of our models is no longer with us, Daria, would you mind stepping in? I’m sure Trent wouldn’t mind, right, Trent? Now let’s see…you stand there, and…

(Click. Music: "36-24-36", Violent Femmes. Montage of the poses, in B&W: basic boring picture-day shot with Trent and Daria in their usual nonexpressive modes, photo-booth style with Jane leaning into the shot (and, in the process, shoving Trent and Daria closer together), a slightly friendlier arm-over-shoulder shot, a goofy "The Avengers" back-to-back shot, a rock-and-roll cliché pose with Trent’s guitar, an even goofier tango shot, a dip from the previous tango, another dip shot (you can see the chemistry in this one), a few more friendly poses, and by the end they look almost as cozy as Trent and Dawna were in the beginning of the scene.)

Jane: All right, that oughtta do it. It’s been great working with you, kids. I’ll have my people call your people. Ciao. (She leaves. After a couple of seconds, Daria and Trent straighten up.)

Daria: Well.

Trent: Yeah. (A pause.) So…what did Dawna say, that she didn’t know what she was talking about?

Daria: To tell you the truth, I’m starting to have second thoughts about that whole judgment. In fact, I’m starting to have second thoughts about a lot of things…Excuse me. I have to go rearrange my entire concept of reality. (She starts to leave; Trent stops her.)

Trent: She likes you, you know. She said you have a lot in common.

Daria: (cautiously) You don’t say. (Another pause.) Listen, Trent…I know this is bad timing, but let’s face it, there is no good timing for something like this. (sighs) I think you’re really great. God, that sounded stupid. I think you’re really interesting and you have a lot of potential and I can’t talk when I’m around you because you’re one of the few people whose opinions I actually care about, and I don’t want to look stupid. So that’s it. Pretty much. Oh yeah, and I wanted to ask you to the prom, but I didn’t want to admit that I wanted to go because it’s such a sentimental high-school cliche, and I thought you’d laugh at me. So anyway, I’ve just broken my own rules and made a fool of myself for no apparent reason, except that maybe I was jealous. And now I’m going to go upstairs and deny I ever said this and hope you develop selective amnesia, because I’m really regretting it right about now. And in the morning I’ll skip the country and/or enter an atheist convent. (She starts to leave again; Trent stops her again.)

Trent: So you were jealous.

Daria: Apparently you haven’t seen the dartboard.

Trent: I kind of hoped you would be. I mean, Dawna is okay, but like I said…she just doesn’t get it.

Daria: (guardedly) Do I get it?

Trent: Every time.

Daria: So…what now?

Trent: I think you saw this part. (He moves in and kisses her. For quite a while.)

 

SCENE 7

(Jane’s room. Daria is writing in a notebook and Jane is looking over some photos.)

Jane: What are you working on this time? More detailed death threats, perhaps?

Daria: No. I’ve decided to change the topic of my psychology paper. I’m calling it "The Green-Eyed Monster: Envy and Irrationality."

Jane: Not as catchy as "Snap", but it has potential.

Daria: Speaking of which…how did those pictures come out, the ones with me and Trent?

Jane: (shrugs) Oh, I never did put film in that camera.

Daria: (glaring at her, but smiling) Looks like I’m going to need a new dartboard.

(The end. Credit music: "Enid", Barenaked Ladies, the second half.)