"Cheaters Never Prosper"
by Invisigoth Gypsy (

Summary: Jesse enlists Daria's help in making up after a fight with Jane,
leading to a plan that convinces Jane and Trent that Jesse and Daria are
dating. Meanwhile, Helen and Jake take a second honeymoon, leaving Daria
and Quinn in the care of their aunt, Amy, who finds herself involved in
Daria's crisis.

(Opening sequence ending in title screen: Daria in "Cheaters Never Prosper")

(Scene opens in the Morgendorffer living room. Quinn and Daria are sitting
on the sofa; Quinn is watching TV while Daria reads the paper. Suddenly
there is a loud crash from the kitchen. Daria and Quinn look towards the
source of the sound.)

HELEN: (offscreen VO, yelling) Dammit, Jake, don't you *ever* pay attention?
That was one of my best dishes!

JAKE: (offscreen VO, yelling) Well *you're* the one who left it on the table!

HELEN: (offscreen VO, yelling) It was *your* turn to clear off the table!

JAKE: (offscreen VO, puzzled) It was?

HELEN: (offscreen VO, frustrated) Ooooooohhhhhhhhhh!

(Daria and Quinn look at each other then resume their activites. A few min-
utes later, Helen storms into the room, followed by a meek Jake.)

HELEN: Girls, we have to have a family discussion.

(Quinn glances at the clock.)

QUINN: 'Kay, but make it quick. I have a date.

HELEN: Your father and I have been having some little... arguments lately,
and they're beginning to get out of hand. So we've reached a decision on
how to handle the... problem.

JAKE: We have?

DARIA: All right, which one of you is filing for custody?

QUINN: (wailing) Am I going to have to change schools?

HELEN: We're not getting divorced, dammit!

DARIA & QUINN: (flatly) Oh.

HELEN: We're taking a second honeymoon!

QUINN: (laughs) Oh, come on, Mom. Only *young* couples take honeymoons!

(Helen glares.)

DARIA: Uh, why are you doing this?

HELEN: To bring back the romance in our marriage!

(Daria stands up and puts her hand on Helen's arm.)

DARIA: Mom, I'm sorry, but I think the romance has run far, far away by now.

(She leaves the room as Helen glares after her. Cut to Daria outside the
Lane house later that day. Daria rings the doorbell, and Trent opens the

TRENT: Hey, Daria. C'mon in.

(Daria steps inside.)

DARIA: (shyly) Hey. Is Jane around?

TRENT: Yeah, she's in her room. But Daria?

DARIA: Yeah?

TRENT: Watch out.

DARIA: Hunh?

TRENT: (darkly) You'll see.

(He stalks out of the room. Daria shrugs and goes upstairs. Cut to her
knocking on Jane's door.)

JANE: (angry offscreen VO) Go to Hell!

DARIA: But I don't *want* to go home yet.

(The door opens, and Jane sticks her head out.)

JANE: Oh, it's you. Come on in.

(Daria goes into the room and sits down in a chair as Jane sits on the bed.)

DARIA: Uh, is something wrong?

JANE: (scowling) Other than the fact that Jesse Moreno is the biggest jerk
on the face of the planet, no.

DARIA: Uh oh. I'd better tell Upchuck that he's lost his title. (When Jane
doesn't respond, Daria says hesitantly) Uh, you want to talk about it?

(Jane jumps to her feet and starts pacing.)

JANE: It's just... well, I went to the band's gig last night with Jesse and
Trent and there was this *really* cute guy there, so I started talking to him
and stuff, then Jesse got all mad just because I was flirting with this guy
I didn't know instead of him!

(Cut to shot of Daria looking deadpan. Cut back to Jane, angrily pacing.)

JANE: Jesse said that if I didn't take our relationship seriously enough,
then he would just find another girl who would! (She stops pacing and turns
to Daria.) He called me today and said he was sorry, but what does he
expect me to do? Just because I go out with him doesn't mean I'm *dead*!

DARIA: What *did* you do?

JANE: (shrugs) I told him that I wasn't about to let him control me. I said
that he'd just have to go find that other girl.

DARIA: (hesitantly) Jane, don't take this the wrong way, but... he did sort
of have a point.

JANE: (glares) Whose side are you on, anyway?

DARIA: (stands up, scowling) I'm just saying that flirting with another guy
when you're dating someone isn't exactly polite!

JANE: Oh, since when do *you* know so much about dating? You can't even
*get* a boyfriend!

(Daria looks stunned, then she glares and leaves the room. Cut to Daria
walking angrily down the stairs as Jane's door slams. Daria winces, then
storms out of the Lane house without even noticing Trent, who watches her
leave. After she's gone, he shakes his head and sighs.)

(Cut to dinner at the Morgendorffer house that night. Daria is more morose
than usual, but no one seems to notice.)

QUINN: (casually) So, uh, Mom, where are you and Dad going on your little

HELEN: We decided that a romantic weekend at the beach would be just the

JAKE: That's right! We're leaving this weekend.

QUINN: (interested) Oh, really?

HELEN: You know, we were lucky to find anyone to stay with you girls on such
short notice.

QUINN: What? We have a *babysitter*? Moooo-oooom, don't you think Daria and
I are responsible enough to stay by ourselves?

DARIA: (sardonically) Speak for yourself.

HELEN: Now, Quinn, she's not a *babysitter*. I just thought you two might
need a little... supervision.

DARIA: Who *is* staying with us?

HELEN: (less enthusiastically) Your aunt Amy.

QUINN: (horrified) Aunt *Amy*? But she's *weird*! (moaning) I won't be able
to have the Fashion Club over for the whole weekend! I'd *die* if they met

DARIA: Then by all means, let's arrange the introductions.

(She gets up and leaves her dishes in the kitchen, then heads for the living
room. Suddenly the doorbell rings, so Daria answers the door to find Jesse
standing there looking miserable.)

DARIA: (shocked) Uh... hey... Jesse.

JESSE: Can I talk to you?

DARIA: Er, sure.

(She goes outside and shuts the door behind her. They sit down on the door-

JESSE: It's about Jane.

DARIA: Yeah. She, uh, told me what happened.

JESSE: Yeah. (He sighs and looks down.) I don't know what to do. I apolo-
gized to her, but she won't listen.

DARIA: Jane's like that sometimes. Er, look, why don't you talk to Trent
about this? He'd probably be more help that I would.

JESSE: I did. He said to talk to you.

DARIA: (surprised) He did?

JESSE: (looks at her) Yeah. He said you always helped him when *he* had
problems. And besides, you're a girl. And so is Jane.

(Daria is silent a moment in the face of this indisputable fact before reply-

DARIA: So you want me to help you think of a way to get Jane back?

JESSE: (nods emphatically) Yeah! (admiringly) Trent was right. You *are*
good at this.

DARIA: Er... yeah. (thoughtfully) Well, if she won't accept your apology,
maybe the best thing is to do exactly what she told you.

JESSE: Hunh?

DARIA: She said for you to get another girl, right?

JESSE: Yeah.

DARIA: Then get one! You don't have to actually *go* with her, just pretend.
When Jane sees you with someone else, she'll be jealous and realize how much
she likes you. She'll be begging for *you* to take *her* back.

JESSE: Wow! That's a good idea. (puzzled) But won't the *other* girl be
mad then?

DARIA: Not if she understands *why* you're doing it. You need a girl who
knows about the situation and won't mind helping you out. (thought VO) I
solved *that* problem easily enough.

JESSE: Great! So when do you want to go out?

(Cut to closeup of Daria looking stunned.)

DARIA: What?

(Cut to show both of them.)

JESSE: (looks puzzled) I thought you meant that *you* would help me.

DARIA: I... uh... (resigned thought VO) I'm going to regret this. (out loud)
Er, yeah. I will.

JESSE: (smiles) Great. You know, Trent's doing a song solo at a place over
in Manningham Friday, and he wanted me and Jane to go along for support.
If you go too, Jane will definitely see us together.

DARIA: Okay.

(She and Jesse stand up.)

JESSE: Thanks, Daria.

DARIA: You're welcome. (casually) Say, Jesse, don't mention the plan to
Trent, okay? He, uh, might tell Jane or something.

JESSE: Okay. See you Friday.

(He walks towards his car.)

DARIA: (sighs) Yeah. See you Friday. (She turns to go back inside. mutter-
ing) How do I get myself into these situations?

(Cut to Friday morning as the Morgendorffers are waiting for Amy to arrive
so Helen and Jake can leave. Helen and Jake are sitting on opposite sofas
in the living room, having already fought that morning over who had to drive
the first 100 miles of the trip. Suitcases are piled up near the door.
Quinn is perched on the sofa next to Jake as Daria comes downstairs.)

DARIA: I see the honeymoon is off to a great start.

HELEN: Don't even start, Daria.

(Daria sits reluctantly on the edge of Helen's sofa.)

QUINN: (impatient) When is Aunt Amy supposed to be here? Sandi's supposed
to pick me up to go to the mall in 10 minutes!

HELEN: That reminds me, girls. (She looks at her daughters severely.) I
have a few rules I'd like to impose. (She produces a piece of note paper
scrawled with a list.) You're to be home at seven o'clock every night, and
*no* going out after that.

QUINN: (horrified) What?!?

DARIA: (remembering her "date") Isn't that a little harsh?

HELEN: (sternly) I'm not going to have this vacation ruined because of worry-
ing over you girls.

DARIA: Next you'll be telling us you only do this because you love us.

JAKE: That's right, Daria! (to Helen) Isn't she smart?

HELEN: Shut up, Jake. (to the girls, pointedly) I wasn't finished. Also
you're not to have any boys over, and *no one* spends the night. Understand?

QUINN: Mooo-ooom, this is *so* unfair! What are we supposed to do? (melo-
dramatically) You're crushing our fragile youth! You will return to find us
bruised and broken, our lives tragically--

JAKE: (interrupting, worriedly) Quinn, honey, calm down. Helen, see what
you're doing to the poor child?

HELEN: (angrily) Jake, if you don't--

(Luckily for Jake, she is interrupted by the doorbell. Helen immediately
turns saccharine.)

HELEN: That must be Amy!

(She goes to the door, and sure enough, there is Amy. She is dressed some-
thing like grown-up Daria from "Write Where It Hurts" only she isn't wearing
her glasses.)

HELEN: Amy! How *are* you?

AMY: I'm still breathing.

(Helen frowns a little, then perks up again.)

HELEN: Well, we're all ready to go, so we'll just leave you with the girls.
Oh, and here's a little list of rules for them. Nothing too strict, you
know, just a few guidelines.

(Quinn makes an offended noise. Amy takes the paper from Helen and glances
at it.)

AMY: Er... yeah.

HELEN: Now, girls, you be good for your aunt. We'll call as soon as we get
there, and we'll be back Sunday evening. (She hugs Daria, then Quinn, both
of whom wince.) Bye bye!

JAKE: Bye girls! We'll miss you!

DARIA: (thought VO) I bet you will.

QUINN & DARIA: (deadpan) Bye Mom. Bye Dad.

(Helen and Jake start out the door, then Helen turns back to Amy.)

HELEN: Do let me know if they cause any problems. (darkly) I'll deal with

(She finally leaves. Amy and the girls regard each other warily.)

AMY: So... these are the rules, hunh?

QUINN: (doubtful) Are you *really* going to make us follow those?

AMY: (blankly and innocently) Of course! I couldn't let you disobey your

QUINN: (frustrated) Oooh! (There is a horn honking outside. brightly) Oh,
there's Sandi! Bye!

AMY: (smirking) Remember, be back by seven.

(Quinn glares and runs out the door. Daria looks suspiciously at Amy, who
has the sneaky look on her face that Daria herself often gets.)

DARIA: Do I sense a plan up someone's sleeve?

AMY: (still innocently) Whatever gives you that idea?

(Cut to the exterior of the Lane house. The Tank is parked outside. Cut to
inside the house. Jane is coming down the stairs and pauses as she sees
Trent and Jesse walking towards the door. Trent is carrying two guitars,
one acoustic and one electric, while Jesse is carrying a couple of speakers,
a mic, and a bunch of cords. Jane and the camera follow them outside.)

JESSE: Damn, Trent, why do you need all this stuff?

(Trent opens the back doors of the Tank and puts the guitars in. Jesse dumps
all of the other equipment in after them and shuts the doors.)

TRENT: Jesse, I've *told* you, a good musician is always prepared. (to Jane)
Hey, Janey, you're still coming to help me set up, right?

JANE: Sure. (pointedly) Anything for *you*, Trent.

(Trent looks vaguely uncomfortable. Jesse ignores the comment.)

JESSE: (casually-- is there any other way Jesse *ever* speaks?) Trent, I
meant to ask you, is it okay if Daria comes too?

TRENT: (surprised) Daria? Sure. But, uh, why?

JESSE: (shrugs) I just asked her if she wanted to come and she did.

JANE: (suspiciously, forgetting that she's not talking to Jesse) When did
*you* talk to Daria?

JESSE: I was over at her house last night.

(Jane and Trent stare at him.)

JESSE: (ignoring their looks) I gotta go, Trent. See you tonight.

(He turns and walks off, actually smirking a little. Jane turns to look at

JANE: Trent, something really weird's going on here.

(Trent shrugs and walks back toward the house, turned away from the camera.)

TRENT: What's weird about it? Jesse can go see Daria if he wants to. (Cut
to close up of Trent. The look on his face can only be described as deadly.)

(Cut to the Morgendorffer house late that afternoon. Daria is sitting on the
sofa reading the newspaper when the phone rings. Amy picks it up.)

AMY: Hello? (pause) Sure, just a minute. (She covers the mouthpiece and
brings the cordless to Daria.) It's for you.

(Daria takes the phone.)

DARIA: Hello?

(Cut to split screen of Daria and Jesse.)

JESSE: Hey. This is Jesse.

DARIA: Er... hey.

JESSE: Are you still coming tonight?

(Daria pauses, wondering if Amy's really going to go by Helen's rules. Fin-
ally Daria decides to take a chance.)

DARIA: Yeah.

JESSE: Cool. We'll pick you up around seven. Manningham's kind of far off.
(He pauses.) Daria, are you having a fight with Jane?

DARIA: (uncomfortably) Er, yeah, sort of. Why?

JESSE: Because when I mentioned you today, she acted kind of mad.

DARIA: Wait, I thought you weren't going to say anything about us.

JESSE: I didn't. I just told Trent that you were coming, that's all.

DARIA: Oh. Uh... (trying to be reassuring) See, if she's mad, that means
it's working already!

JESSE: Oh. Cool.

(There is a very long pause.)

DARIA: Uh, Jesse?

JESSE: Yeah?

DARIA: So seven o'clock then.

JESSE: Yeah.

DARIA: Um... bye Jesse.

JESSE: Yeah.

(Daria shrugs and hangs up the phone. Cut to shot of her only as Quinn comes
back into the living room carrying several shopping bags.)

QUINN: (mournfully) Only three hours until our freedom is lost forever!

DARIA: What, you're thinking you won't survive the night?

(Amy walks back into the room.)

AMY: And here's the jailer now.

(Quinn glares and opens her mouth, but Amy is spared by the phone ringing.
Daria answers.)

DARIA: Hello?

HELEN: (snappish phone VO) Daria, we're here. (irritated) Barely. Let me
speak to Amy.

(Daria hands the phone to Amy.)

DARIA: It's Mom. Have fun.

AMY: Hello? (pauses) Yeah. Yeah, well I was wondering if we could amend
that. (pauses, quickly) No, of course not. I just had an idea.

(Daria and Quinn look at each other questioningly.)

AMY: Yeah, I was thinking the three of us would go somewhere. I hear there's
a lock-in at the church and--

QUINN: (horrified) What?!?

DARIA: (to Quinn) Hush, dammit!

AMY: Yeah. Okay, good. (sweetly) Have fun. *Sis*. (She hangs up.)

QUINN: A lock-in? At a *church*?!?

AMY: (still innocently) I don't see what you're so upset about. I just
bought you a whole evening of freedom. No reason for your parents to call
and check in on you. *I'd* think you should be pretty grateful.

(The idea of a grownup actually helping her to break the rules is a little
too much for Quinn to handle. Her mind boggles.)

QUINN: But you... I...

DARIA: Look, Quinn. Amy just *told* our parents we were going to a lock-in
so they wouldn't call here later to see if we're home. (Quinn looks at
Daria, still puzzled. Daria sighs.) Let's put it this way. You can go out
tonight, and Mom and Dad will never know.

(Reality hits Quinn.)

QUINN: Ohh! I have to call Sandi!

(She grabs the phone and runs out of the room. Amy shakes her head.)

AMY: Why I did that for *her* I'll never know. She's too much like my sis-
ters used to be. (pauses) Well, still are is more like it. (She looks at
Daria.) What are you doing tonight then?

DARIA: Actually I was already planning on going over to Manningham. A friend
of mine has a gig at a place there.

AMY: (smirking) You already *had* plans? You put a lot of faith in me.

DARIA: (shrugs and actually smiles a little) I took my chances. (She
pauses.) What are *you* going to do?

AMY: Raid Helen's private computer files and look for evidence of an extra-
marital affair.

DARIA: I always wondered what was up with her and that Eric guy.

AMY: Actually I'm not doing anything. Yep, I actually lied just for you and
Quinn's sake. And to undermine your mom's authority, of course.

DARIA: (awkwardly) Um, do you want to come to the gig with us?

AMY: That's sweet of you, but I'm not *that* near-sighted. Debts aside, you
don't have to accommodate me.

DARIA: No, really, I'd like you to come. I know my friends won't mind once
they meet you. And, uh, I think I'm going to need some support tonight any-

AMY: Okay, if you're sure. (She smirks again.) I'll try not to embarrass
you with stories of your awkward childhood.

DARIA: You hardly ever saw me as a kid.

AMY: (shrugs) Then consider yourself lucky. I won't be tempted. (She turns
to leave. over her shoulder) Support, hunh?

DARIA: (under her breath) You have *no* idea.

(Cut to a little before seven. Daria is sitting on the sofa watching the
end of "Sick Sad World" while Amy looks out the window after Quinn, who had
just left.)

TV ANNOUNCER: They pose as popular, attractive teenagers, but they really
have no minds of their own! High school zombies, next on "Sick Sad World"!

AMY: (as the sound of a car fades into the distance) There goes their proof.

(Daria switches off the TV. Amy, wearing black jeans and a purple sweater
turns to face her.)

AMY: Do I look decent?

DARIA: Yup. (She stands up.) Do I?

(She is wearing her same old jacket-and-skirt ensemble.)

AMY: Never better.

(The doorbell rings, and they both walk to the door. Daria opens it to see
Jesse, looking nervous. Behind him, the Tank can be seen in faint silhouette
in the fading light.)

JESSE: Uh, hi Daria. (He notices Amy and looks at her in surprise.)

DARIA: Hey. This is my aunt, Amy. I hope you don't mind if she comes with

JESSE: 'Course not. (to Amy) Hi. I'm Jesse. (He sticks out his hand rather

AMY: Hey, Jesse.

(She shakes his hand firmly. He looks vaguely impressed. Daria and Amy
walk outside, and as Amy shuts and locks the door, Jesse puts his arm around
Daria affectedly. They start walking to the Tank, a somewhat surprised Amy

JESSE: (softly, to Daria) Things aren't going too well. Jane's still mad,
and Trent's real nervous.

DARIA: (sighs) Here goes nothing.

(They walk around to the passenger side of the Tank. Trent is sitting in
front by himself. He glances idly at Jesse and Daria then does a double take
when he sees that Jesse has his arm around her. He starts to glare, then
looks surprised when Amy appears.)

JESSE: (to Amy) You can sit in front. We'll get in the back.

AMY: Sure.

(She gets in the front seat, as Jesse opens the back door. Jane is sitting
on the floor in the back, arms folded, glaring like hell.)

JESSE: (to Daria, apologetic) We forgot to bring anything to sit on.

DARIA: Uh, that's okay.

(She and Jesse climb in the back as Amy gets in the passenger seat next to
Trent. Sensing the awkwardness, Amy takes matters into her own hands.)

AMY: (to Trent) Hi. I'm Amy, Daria's aunt.

TRENT: (relaxing subtly) How's it going. I'm Trent. My sister Jane's in the
back. (darkly) I guess you already met Jesse.

AMY: Yeah. (She leans back in her seat.) Daria said you're doing some kind
of gig tonight?

TRENT: Yeah. Solo thing. You know.

AMY: You in a band?

TRENT: Yeah, we're called Mystik Spiral. We're thinking about changing the
name though.

AMY: (laughs) I know how that is.

TRENT: (interestedly) You've been in a band?

AMY: Yeah, way back in the 80's though. Me and some of my friends started
a girl band called Silver Goddess. Played Bangles covers and stuff like
that. (She laughs again.) We thought we were so great just 'cos we could
sing "Manic Monday" and actually stay on key.

TRENT: (smiles) Were you lead?

AMY: Nah. Well, really we switched around, but mostly I just played my dad's
old acoustic guitar and dreamed about saving up enough for an electric. The
only song I'd sing lead on was "Total Eclipse of the Heart." (wistfully)
God, I loved that song. I thought Bonnie Tyler was a *goddess*. (She laughs
a little ruefully.) Those were the days. Looking back now, it all seems so
stupid, but then... I loved it. (She looks at Trent.) I think those were the
happiest days of my life.

TRENT: That's what's important. That you were happy. I mean... it doesn't
matter whether you got anywhere or not, just that you enjoyed it.

AMY: (smiling a little knowingly) Yeah, but do *you* believe that? That it
doesn't matter if *you* never get anywhere?

TRENT: (blushes a little) Well... I guess you're right. (He does that
endearing laugh-cough thing.) I *do* want to go somewhere eventually. But
at least I'm happy *now*. Happier than most people.

AMY: That's pretty smart thinking, Trent.

TRENT: (morose again) Yeah. Daria told me that.

(Amy looks surprised. Cut to the three in the back of the van, at the same
time as Trent and Amy are talking. Jane is sitting on one side of the van,
purposely ignoring Daria and Jesse. They are sitting on the other side;
Jesse still has his arm around Daria. He leans down to whisper to her.)

JESSE: (whispering) How am I doing?

(Daria glances at Jane and sees that she's scowling.)

DARIA: (whispering) Just great.

JESSE: (whispering) Good.

(To Daria's-- and Jane's-- surprise, Jesse kisses Daria on the cheek, then
wraps both arms around her. Daria reluctantly puts her arms around him and
leans against him. Jane glares at them, then Trent catches a glimpse of them
in the rear view mirror and also glares. Amy looks at the two scowling Lanes
and shakes her head.)

(Cut to a shot of a beautiful sunset over the ocean.)

JAKE: (offscreen VO) Isn't this great, Helen? (long pause) Helen?

HELEN: (offscreen VO) Dammit, Eric, why didn't you tell me *before* I left?

(Cut to shot of Helen and Jake sitting on towels at the beach. Helen is
talking on her cell phone, as usual.)

HELEN: Well, I can't do anything about it until Monday, so it's *your*
problem. I-- Hello? Eric? I can't hear you. I--

(She takes the phone away from her ear and looks at it.)

HELEN: *Damn*! The battery's dead.

(She rummages through a beach bag at her side and looks panicked.)

HELEN: I can't believe this! I forget the recharger! This is just great.

(Cut to shot of Jake only.)

JAKE: Actually, it *is* pretty great, honey! Now we can concentrate on
bringing back the rom--

(The cell phone comes flying into the shot and hits Jake on the head. Cut
to shot of angry Helen only.)

HELEN: Don't even start.

(Cut to the bar and restaurant in Manningham where Trent is to sing as the
five walk in and look around, Trent carrying his acoustic guitar. The rest-
aurant looks considerably better than McGrundy's, or anywhere else Mystik
Spiral has ever played for that matter.)

JANE: Trent, you're moving up in the world. This place isn't bad.

TRENT: (absent mindedly) Yeah. (He looks at a sign announcing the night's
performers.) Hey, they have me first! Guess I'd better get ready then.

JANE: Break a leg.

JESSE: Yeah. Good luck, Trent.

(He and Trent clasp hands, forgetting their tension for a moment, then Trent
turns and walks away. There is a long, awkward silence.)

AMY: Guess we'd better get a table.

(She walks off towards an empty table, and the other three follow her,
grateful for the break in the silence. Jesse pulls out a chair for Daria,
something that he never did for Jane, then sits down beside her. Jane point-
edly sits on the other side of the table with Amy. Just as they sit down,
the host comes out on the stage to announce the first performer.)

HOST: Good evening everyone. I hope you're having a great time here tonight!
Our first performer comes to us all the way from Lawndale. Here's the lead
singer of Mystik Spiral, Trent Lane!

(The audience claps as Trent walks out on stage carrying his guitar and
adjusts the microphone before sitting on the stool behind it. He's obviously
a little nervous.)

TRENT: Um, good evening. I'm going to play a couple songs for you, and I
hope you enjoy them.

(Still nervous, he looks over at his friends' table. Jane gives him a thumbs
up, then Daria smiles at him. Trent relaxes and smiles back a little before
beginning to play.)

(Cut to a little while later, after Trent has finished performing. The
audience claps wildly as he leaves the stage and makes his way to Daria's
table and sits down between Amy and Jesse.)

AMY: That was impressive, Trent.

TRENT: (modestly) Thanks.

(They look up as the next performer, a boy just a little older than Daria
and Jane, steps up to the microphone with an acoustic guitar. He's much more
nervous that Trent had been.)

BOY: Um, hi everyone. I'm, uh, going to play a very famous song by, uh,
Bobby Darrin. It's called "Dream Lover."

(Trent looks suspiciously at Jesse, then leans over him.)

TRENT: Daria.

(Daria looks up, surprised.)

DARIA: Yeah?

TRENT: You want to dance?

(Daria looks stunned.)

DARIA: I... uh... yeah.

(They get up, walk away from the table, and begin to dance, not particularly
closely or slowly.)

TRENT: So, uh, what's up with you and Jesse? I didn't know you were going

DARIA: (quickly) We're not going out. I mean, we are *tonight,* but... well,
he's not my boyfriend or anything.

TRENT: Oh. (He moves a little closer to her. apologetically) I guess it was
rude of me to ask, but...

DARIA: No, that's okay. He, uh, just asked me to be his date *tonight*.
It's nothing serious.

TRENT: That's good. (Daria looks at him quickly.) Otherwise, it would be
pretty low of him to get a girlfriend so soon after Jane. (Daria glares.)

DARIA: Jane was the one who broke up with *him*.

TRENT: Yeah, but still. Can you imagine how you'd feel if your best friend
and ex-boyfriend started dating?

DARIA: (coldly) No, I can't. I'm the one who can't even *get* a boyfriend,

(She lets go of Trent and stalks off towards the bathroom area. Trent looks
a little hurt, then mad, and he goes back to the table and slouches in his
seat. After a few minutes, Daria comes back and sits down, without looking
at either Trent or Jane. The awkward silence is finally broken as the host
comes back onto the stage.)

HOST: And now, get ready for a tradition: open mic time!

AMY: This should be interesting.

HOST: Who's our first volunteer?

TRENT: Amy, why don't you go up there? You do still practice, don't you?

(Amy looks a little embarrassed.)

AMY: Well, yeah... but...

TRENT: C'mon. (He smiles at her. Daria glares.) I'm sure you can do it.

AMY: Well... okay... can I borrow your guitar?

(Trent hands her the guitar, and she stands up.)

HOST: Ah, I see we have a volunteer! Come on up.

(Amy goes up onstage and walks over to the microphone.)

AMY: Hi, everybody. My name's Amy, and I'm going to introduce you to the
sappiness that is 80's music. This song's by the Bangles, and it's called
"Eternal Flame."

(She begins to strum the music on Trent's guitar. Jesse turns to Daria.)

JESSE: Want to dance?

DARIA: (pointedly) Yes. I'd love to.

(They get up and move away from the table. They begin to dance, much closer
than Daria and Trent were dancing.)

JESSE: Do you think it's working?

DARIA: I... I don't know.

JESSE: (sighs) I think I'm just making Jane mad.

(Daria looks over at their table. Jane and Trent are both glaring at the

DARIA: Trent's upset too. I guess he's on Jane's side.

(There is a long silence. Daria finally looks back up at Jesse to find him
looking down at her.)

JESSE: Daria?

DARIA: Yeah?

(Jesse suddenly leans down as if he's going to kiss her. Daria turns her
head at the last moment, and he only kisses her cheek.)

JESSE: (hurt) What's wrong?

DARIA: (stunned) I... I don't...

JESSE: Well if we're supposed to be dating, they'll expect us to kiss.

DARIA: I... yeah, I guess.

JESSE: (quietly) If you don't want to kiss me, I won't make you.

(Daria is quiet for a long moment.)

DARIA: No, it's okay. I don't mind.

(Jesse leans toward her again. With the expression of someone about to be
executed, Daria shuts her eyes then opens them again in surprise when he
finally kisses her. Sudden cut to the Lanes' table. Both Trent and Jane
are staring in surprise.)

JANE: Trent, did--

TRENT: Yeah.

JANE: (thought VO) I'm gonna kill her.

TRENT: (simultaneous thought VO) I'm gonna kill him.

(Cut back to Jesse and Daria. Daria still looks surprised.)

JESSE: Are you okay?

DARIA: Yeah, it's... just... really...

(She blinks. Jesse looks hurt again.)

JESSE: Sorry.

DARIA: (quickly) No, it's not you. You were... I mean, I...

(She sighs, confused. Amy finally finishes her song and starts walking back
to the table. Daria lets go of Jesse quickly and turns away. He follows
her dejectedly back to the table.)

TRENT: (without enthusiasm) You were good, Amy.

AMY: Thanks. (She looks at the hurt, angry, and sullen faces around her.)
Are you guys ready to go home? I'm kinda tired.

DARIA: (quietly) Me too. I want to go home.

TRENT: (shortly) Let's go.

(Cut to the Morgendorffer house as the Tank pulls up. Amy gets out, then
turns back to Trent.)

AMY: Bye, Trent. Thanks for the trip and stuff.

TRENT: Any time. (shyly) You still sing really good, you know.

AMY: (smiles) Thanks. Good luck with Mystik Spiral.

TRENT: Yeah.

(Daria gets out of the back of the Tank.)

JESSE: Uh, bye Daria.


(She turns and walks back into the house without another word. Amy looks
from her to the group in the Tank, then follows Daria. Trent puts the van
in gear and drives away.)

(Cut to early the next afternoon as Daria walks downstairs carrying a book.
A meeting of the Fashion Club is being held in the living room.)

STACY: Okay, now I'll read the minutes from the last meeting. (She clears
her throat.) "Sandi called the meeting to order, and I read last meeting's
minutes. Tiffany gave her presentation on the bad effects of wearing your
blush too dark, then we took up a collection to buy Carole a new headband
to replace that ugly one she always wears. Quinn told Sandi that the coll-
ection was a great idea, and Sandi said she couldn't have come up with it
without us. Then I..."

(Daria walks off to the kitchen as Stacy is talking. Amy is sitting at the
table reading the paper. Daria looks at her, then turns and leaves again.
Amy glances up and frowns, looking puzzled. Daria walks past the FC again,
then goes outside and sits down on the front step and opens her book. She
then sighs and puts it down again, then sits with her chin in her hands.
She sits up again when a car slows to a stop in front of her house. Cut to
Daria's POV as Jesse gets out of the car and walks over to her.)

JESSE: (awkwardly) Uh, hey.

DARIA: (just as awkwardly) Hey.

(Jesse sits down beside her on the step.)

JESSE: I don't think it worked. Jane wouldn't even look at me last night,
and now Trent's mad too.

DARIA: (dejectedly) I'm sorry. It was a dumb idea. (She slumps a little.)

JESSE: It's not your fault. You were trying to help me.

DARIA: Yeah. Well.

(There is a long silence, much like the others that this fanfic is riddled

JESSE: Uh, about that... kiss last night? I'm sorry you didn't like it.

DARIA: It's not that I didn't like it. It's just... well, I guess I should
be honest about this. (She looks at him.) I'd never kissed anybody before
that, Jesse. It was just really different than what I expected. It has
nothing at all to do with you.

JESSE: (surprised) Really? You should have told me it was your first time.
(a little shyly) Were you nervous?

DARIA: (smirks a little) Yeah. A lot, mostly because I didn't know what the
hell I was doing. But really, don't worry about it. In fact, if I had to
pick someone to kiss out of the guys I know, you'd be pretty damn high on
the list. (miserable thought VO) Right after Trent.

JESSE: Really? (He actually looks pleased. reassuring) I couldn't tell
you've never kissed anyone before.

DARIA: (wryly) Thanks.

(They're quiet for a moment, both looking down, then they look up at the
same time.)

JESSE: Daria.

DARIA: Jesse.

(They start laughing, then fall silent again. Suddenly Jesse leans forward
and kisses her again gently. He starts to pull away when Daria puts her
arms around him and kisses him back. This time it's Jesse who looks shock-
ed, but he blithely continues the kiss. Finally they let go of each other,
Daria looking embarrassed.)

DARIA: I-- I shouldn't have done that.

JESSE: Why not? (openly) I really like you, Daria. This started out just
as a way to get Jane back, but now--

(He breaks off as she shakes her head emphatically.)

DARIA: You don't mean that, Jesse. You miss Jane, and you just think it's
me you want. She really does care about you, and I know you care about her
just as much. (She sighs.) I like you too, but not like that. You're one
of my closest friends, and I care a lot about you, but I think... I don't
think we really need each other *this* way. Jane's the one you really like,
and I just want *somebody*.

(Jesse is quiet for a long moment.)

JESSE: Yeah. I guess you're right, Daria. (He doesn't look too sure, but
he stands up.) I think I'm going to go drive for a little while. I'll see

DARIA: (dejectedly) Yeah. Bye.

(Jesse gets in his car and drives away. After he's gone, Daria stands up,
picks up her book, and goes back inside. The FC is still holding its meet-
ing as she trudges upstairs. Amy comes out of the kitchen in time to see
Daria going up. After a moment's hesitation, Amy follows her.)

(Cut to Daria's room. She's sitting on her bed with her knees drawn up and
her arms folding, staring into space. There is a quiet knock on the door.)

AMY: (offscreen VO) Daria? Can I come in?

DARIA: (flatly) Yeah.

(Amy opens the door, then closes it behind her. She sits down at the foot
of Daria's bed and regards her niece solemnly.)

AMY: (gently) What's wrong?

(Daria looks down.)

DARIA: Nothing.

AMY: (with a small smile) Look, I know it's been ages since I was a teen-
ager, but I haven't forgotten everything. You need to confide in *somebody*,
and you know you can trust me.

DARIA: (sighs) It's... well it's about Jesse and Jane. They were dating,
but they had a fight, so Jesse asked me how to get Jane back. I had the
brilliant idea of making her jealous, which was why I was with him last
night, to pretend to be his girlfriend. My plan obviously didn't work; all
it did was make Jane madder. I made things worse, but I don't know how to
fix it.

(She breaks off, suddenly aware of how much she's been talking.)

AMY: I see. (She's quiet a moment, then she looks at Daria again.) That's
not everything, though, is it?

(Daria looks hunted.)

DARIA: What do you mean?

AMY: I mean that you're more emotionally involved in this than just being
upset for your friends.

DARIA: (uncomfortably) Well... Jane *is* mad at me too, because of me being
with Jesse last night. (She begins to open up a little more.) And when I
found out that she had dumped Jesse, I sort of took his side, and we had a
fight about it. (with more force) She made some smart-assed comment about
me never having had a boyfriend before, and it really made me mad.
(thoughtfully) I guess that's one reason I went along with this whole thing.
I wanted to prove to myself that I *could* have a date.

AMY: That's reasonable. How's Trent involved?

DARIA: (defensively) Trent?

AMY: Yeah. And don't say he isn't. I saw his face last night. He's no
neutral party.

DARIA: Well, he's mad too. I guess because he thinks we've done Jane wrong.

(She looks down, and Amy gets a knowing look on her face which passes

AMY: (softly) This is about him too, isn't it? At least for you.

(Daria looks at her in shock, then looks down again, finally deciding to
admit everything.)

DARIA: I like Trent. A lot. I guess Jesse was kind of a substitute for
him, just like I was for Jane. Jesse and I used each other. But... (She
looks at Amy, sadly.) Amy, he told me he liked me. The first time in my
life any guy said that to me. I could have stayed with him, but... but I
told him that I didn't like him that way, and that he didn't really like
*me* that way either. (She looks down again.) I think I really hurt his
feelings. But... I can't get over the fact that it's really Jane that he
cares about, just like *I* care about Trent more than Jesse. He might be
able to lie to himself about it, but *I* can't.

AMY: Daria, there isn't any easy way to fix this. All I can tell you is
to be honest. You've already been honest with yourself and me and Jesse,
so that's a good start. But now you have to go talk to Jane *and* Trent,
and tell them what's really happened. (quickly) Not all of your feelings,
of course, just the facts. They'll probably still be mad, but it'll blow

DARIA: (sadly) I don't know. I think I really screwed things up this time.

AMY: Look, Daria. You care a lot for your friends, otherwise you wouldn't
have gone through all of this for them. And even if they're mad right now,
they care about each other, and they care about *you*. They'll forgive you
*and* each other.

DARIA: I... I don't know.

AMY: (firmly) I do.

(Cut to Jane's house the next day. The doorbell rings, and Jane opens the
door to find Jesse and Daria outside.)

JANE: (glares) What do *you* want?

DARIA: We, uh, have to tell you something.

(Cut to closeup of pissed Jane.)

JANE: I don't *believe* this!

(Cut to closeup of amazed Jane several minutes later.)

JANE: I don't believe this!

(Cut back to show Jane in a chair and Jesse and Daria on the sofa in the
Lanes' living room.)

JANE: You did all this just to make me jealous?

DARIA: (looks down) Yeah. It was my idea, and a very stupid one at that.
I'm sorry, Jane.

JANE: (still surprised) Well, your plan worked. I *was* jealous. (quietly)
You really had me fooled.

JESSE: (looks sideways at Daria, quietly) So was I.

JANE: I... I really don't know what to say about this. I know I treated you
wrong, Jesse, and I'm sorry about that. And I'm sorry I was bitchy to *you*,
Daria. But... (She looks at them.) But you two really made me mad Friday.

DARIA: I know. We shouldn't have done it. But... well, we did, and it was
a mistake. This is the only way I know to fix it.

JESSE: Yeah. Jane, I'm really sorry.

(Jane smiles a little.)

JANE: I know. It's okay. It sounds like we *all* were being pretty stupid
about this. Everyone makes dumb mistakes and-- Do you smell something
burning? (She looks puzzled.)

DARIA: Yeah, kind of. What is it?

JANE: I don't-- (She suddenly looks panicked.) Oh my God! My pancakes!

(She gets up and races to the kitchen. Jesse and Daria watch her in bemuse-
ment, then Daria sighs sadly. Jesse looks at her.)

JESSE: What's wrong?

DARIA: I dunno, it's just... I guess I kind of *liked* pretending to have a
boyfriend. It made me feel more... normal or something. (quickly) Not that
I didn't want you and Jane back together. I just... I dunno.

JESSE: (hesitantly) Uh, if it makes you feel any better, you make a good

(Daria looks surprised.)

DARIA: Uh, thanks.

JESSE: You're a good friend, Daria.

(He hugs her. Daria, still looking surprised, hugs him back just as Trent
enters the room. Jesse and Daria let go quickly, as Trent scowls.)

TRENT: (acidly) Sorry if I interrupted anything. (He turns to leave again.)

JESSE: Trent, Jane and I are back together.

(Trent turns around surprised.)

TRENT: Hunh? But you... (He gestures at Daria and Jesse.)

JANE: (offscreen) It was all a long, complicated plot to get me to realize
how much I miss Jess when he's not around. (She walks onscreen, smirking.)
And it worked too.

TRENT: I still don't-- Hey, what's that burning smell?

JANE: That *was* the pancakes you wanted me to fix. I'll have to start a
new batch. Hey, Daria, will you help me?

DARIA: Uh, sure.

(She follows Jane into the kitchen. Jesse stands up, and Trent looks at
him, still a little puzzled.)

TRENT: So you really weren't dating Daria? (He looks confused.)


(Trent looks relieved, but Jesse is looking down and doesn't notice.)

TRENT: I guess you're pretty happy now that you got Janey back.

JESSE: (without much feeling) Yeah. I guess.

(Cut to Daria and Jane in the kitchen.)

JANE: This has been one weird weekend. But it turned out okay in the end.
(She looks at Daria with a smirk.) I guess you're pretty happy to be rid of
Jess, aren't you?

DARIA: (without emotion) Yeah. I guess.

(Cut to later that afternoon as Jake and Helen arrive home. Amy, Quinn, and
Daria are in front of the house as the Morgendorffers drive up. They get
out of the car and stand with their arms around each other, looking all

AMY: (sardonically) I suppose the trip went well?

HELEN: (absentmindedly) What? Oh, hello girls. Yes, it was *quite*

JAKE: Boy, once that cell phone went out--

HELEN: (pointedly) That's enough, Jake. (to Amy) Were the girls any

(Amy looks over her shoulder at Quinn and Daria, both looking deadpan.)

AMY: No trouble at all.

(Helen and Jake go inside, followed by Quinn. Daria turns to Amy.)

DARIA: (wryly) Take me with you. I can handle my parents' fights just fine.
I just can't stand it when they get along.

AMY: (laughs) If anyone can manage, you will.

DARIA: (looks pleased) Thanks. And, uh, thanks for everything else too.

AMY: No problem. (softly) How did things turn out, anyway?

DARIA: (shrugs) They're okay. Jesse, Jane, Trent and I had a long discuss-
ion about it over pancakes, and I think we got it straightened out.

AMY: (smiles) That's good. May I say "I told you so"?

DARIA: (smirks) You're entitled to it. (Her smile fades.) But... it's still
not quite normal. (She looks down.) I don't know if things'll ever be
exactly the same again.

AMY: (gently) They probably won't. But stuff like this is what changes you
and makes you a better person. I think this taught all four of you a lesson
in appreciating each other.

DARIA: Yeah. I think it did.

(There is a companionable silence.)

AMY: Well, guess I'll be seeing you. (She smirks.) Maybe at your wedding?

DARIA: Not likely.

AMY: Hmm, I see I've trained you well. (She smiles.) Bye, Daria.

DARIA: Goodbye, Amy.

(Amy gets in her convertible and backs out of the driveway, then drives off
with a wave. Daria waves back and watches her go, then sighs and goes
inside. Quinn is sitting on the sofa, sulking.)

DARIA: What's the matter with you? Disagreement among the ranks in the
Fashion Club.

QUINN: No. It's just... (She sighs and looks at Daria.) Daria, I actually
miss Aunt Amy! I used to think she was really weird and all, but she's
actually pretty cool. I mean, she actually *let* us break the rules.

(Daria sits down on the sofa.)

DARIA: I miss her too. She *was* pretty cool.

QUINN: Daria, do you think that when we're grown up, we'll be different
than we are now?

DARIA: Everybody changes. But sometimes they change for the better. We
learn stuff about ourselves all the time. Even the bad stuff we learn helps
teach us to be better people.

QUINN: You mean like when I used foundation that was a shade too dark? It
was a horrible experience, but it *did* teach me not to get that shade

DARIA: (deadpan) Yeah. That's *exactly* what I mean.

QUINN: Wow. That's pretty... cool, Daria. I guess that's how Aunt Amy got
to be the way she is. The bad stuff she went through made her a better
person. Now, I don't think *anything* could phaze her. (She looks at
Daria.) You know, Daria, if you try really hard and maybe get a little
lucky, I bet you'll be just like *her* when you grow up.

DARIA: (surprised) Thanks. (thoughtfully) I think I'm already on my way.

(End credits as "Insensitive" by Jann Arden plays:

Oh you probably won't remember me
It's probably ancient history
I'm one of the chosen few
Who went ahead and fell for you
I'm out of vogue, I'm out of touch
I fell too fast, I feel too much
I thought that you might have some advice to give
On how to be insensitive)

The End