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"Conformity for Hire"
by Invisigoth Gypsy (InvisigothGypsy@starmail.com)
http://members.xoom.com/IVGypsy/
7-1-98

Summary: A hit local band from a nearby town invites Trent to join them, and
he'll do anything to fit in-- including bad-mouthing Daria.

Thanks to DeRaptor for her ideas for the scifi dream scene-- namely the bits
from _Alien_ and _Space Ghost: Coast to Coast_.






(Opening credits ending in title screen: Daria in "Conformity for Hire")

(Scene opens on the bridge of a futuristic spaceship. Daria is standing by
herself wearing a green jumpsuit with power bands on one wrist. She is look-
ing slightly puzzled.)

DARIA: Robot, status report!

(Brittany comes in wearing a costume and looking somewhat like the [original]
Lost in Space robot.)

BRITTANY: (robotically, yet with her usual perkiness) Warning! Warning!
Danger, Daria, danger! There is an unknown spacecraft approaching! Warning!

(Daria looks panicked.)

DARIA: Janvin! Can you identify the space craft?

(A silver-skinned Jane wearing a waiter's outfit comes trudging in.)

JANE: (sounding put-out and depressed) Can I identify the space craft. Here
I am, brain the size of a planet, and she asks if I can identify the space
craft.

DARIA: (annoyed) Well? What is it?!?

JANE: It's the Fashion Borg. Obviously. No one else has a ship like *that*.

(Cut to a shot in outer space. There are two ships: one typical-looking and
one that looks like a giant Rubix cube. Cut back to inside Daria's ship.)

JANE: (sarcastically) Glad to be of service. God, I'm so depressed. And
where did I put my Radiohead CD?

BRITTANY: The Fashion Borg! We're *doomed*! (She goes ballistic, spinning
around frantically.) Warning! Warning! Danger! Go Lions! Warning!

(Cut to a shot of a computer's red fish-eye lens set in the wall. When the
computer speaks, he sounds like Mr. O'Neill.)

COMPUTER: Now, Robot, I think you should take a stress pill, try to relax,
and think things over. Get in touch with your inner self, and--

DARIA: (snapping) Shut up!

(The computer yelps and shuts up. Cut to shot of Upchuck in a prison pod off
to one side of the computer.)

UPCHUCK: (to the Fashion Borg) Excuse me, ladies, but those suits look awww-
fully nice. Especially the *tight* ones!

(Cut to show Daria glaring at him. She aims the wrist with the bands at him
and zaps him. Cut to shot of smoking-- literally-- Upchuck.)

UPCHUCK: Rowwwwwwwwwwwwrrrrrrrrrrrrlllllllllllllll! *Fiesty*!

(Cut to shot of Daria.)

DARIA: Janvin! Contact the Fashion Borg ship!

(There is some grumbling from Jane, then the Rubix cube ship comes up on the
screen. There is some static, then the interior of the ship appears. We see
the Fashion Club wearing Borg-like outfits.)

SANDI: We have, like, captured you. Resistance is, like, futile or whatever.

QUINN: You will be punished for your total lack of cuteness, Daria!

(Cut to shot of a horrified Daria.)

DARIA: You mean you're going to assimilate me?

QUINN: No *way*! You're, like, too uncool to be assimilated. We'll just
make you watch bad movies!

(Sandi turns to Quinn angrily.)

SANDI: Excuse me, Quinn, but *I* am, like, the Fashion Borg Queen, and *I*
decide their punishment. Unless you think *you'd* make a better Queen than
me.

QUINN: Oh, *no*, of course not! I could *never* be Queen. Not with *you*
around anyway.

STACY: Quinn has a good idea, though.

TIFFANY: Yeah, 'cos if we, like, shoot Daria or something, we might mess up
our outfits. I just got the electronics replaced in this one.

SANDI: Fine, then, if everyone is on *Quinn's* side, then I suppose I'll have
to make you watch movies, Quinn's cousin... or whatever...

(Cut to Daria's ship. Lights start flashing and sirens go off. Brittany
starts freaking out again.)

BRITTANY: Oh no, we've got movie sign! Danger! Danger! Warning, warning,
MAKE A TOUCHDOWN, KEVVIE! Danger! Go Lions! Warning!

COMPUTER: I think everyone is overreacting. Now we should just--

JANE: Oh shut up.

(The computer starts whimpering.)

DARIA: What can we do? We're doomed to watch bad movies forever!

(Suddenly there is a loud thump and the whole ship rocks sideways. Daria
and the robots stagger backwards.)

DARIA: Status report!

BRITTANY: Danger! Danger, Daria! Alien presence detected on board!
Warning!

JANE: Oh, what now. More work for me I suppose. Janvin, can you pick up
the Robot's pom-poms. Janvin, can you turn on "Sick Sad World." Can I turn
on "Sick Sad World." Here I am, brain the size of--

(Suddenly one of the slimier aliens from the _Alien_ series jumps down from
a newly made hole in the ceiling and snarls at Daria. Cut to the Fashion
Borg ship.)

STACY: Eeewww! That thing is, like, gross.

TIFFANY: It's so *uncute*.

(Cut back to Daria's ship. The alien advances on her, but at the last mom-
ent she pulls out a huge gun and blasts it, splattering alien guts all over
the floor, which the blood promptly eats through.)

JANE: I suppose *I'm* going to have to clean that up.

(Cut to the Fashion Borg ship.)

SANDI: (put-out) Umm, if you're like *ready* now, I need to get the movie
started. We don't have all day you know.

JANE: Face it. We're doomed.

DARIA: Robot, what can we do?

(Cut to shot of Upchuck.)

UPCHUCK: Maybe you could use the *spank ray* on them. Rrrrrrooooowwwwllll!

(Cut to shot of Brittany.)

BRITTANY: Ummm... (brightly) scream like hell and die?

(There is sudden, loud laserfire, and the door to the bridge melts. Trent
steps onto the bridge, dressed in space-mercenary gear.)

TRENT: (to Daria) Looks like it's up to me to rescue you, your worship!

(Cut to the screen showing the Fashion Borg.)

QUINN: Oh my God, it's Trent Solo!

TIFFANY: Oooh. He's cute!

STACY: "Your worship"? Oh no! That means that she's--

SANDI: *Princess* Daria Morgana?

QUINN: Not only is she the beloved princess of a thousand worlds--

ALL FOUR: (moaning) She wears her hair in cinnamon roll twists!

(They scream.)

SANDI: This calls for a worse movie than we planned. I was going to make
her watch "This Island Earth" but *I* think she deserves-- "Clueless!"

(Cut to shot of Daria looking worried. She turns to Trent.)

DARIA: (snapping) I can take care of myself!

TRENT: Then why are you trapped here about to be tortured, your worship?

DARIA: Don't call me that!

(Trent saunters over to her.)

TRENT: (suavely) Why? Because you like it too much?

JANE: This is depressing. Just propose to her, for the sake of the Almighty
Zarquon.

(Daria glares at Jane, then turns to glare at Trent.)

DARIA: For your information, I'm fine, thank you!

TRENT: No you're not. You're scared.

DARIA: Am not!

(He leans closer.)

TRENT: Then why are you trembling?

(He moves in as if to kiss her. Just as their lips are about to touch, there
is a loud buzzing. Sudden cut to Daria in bed. She jumps and sits straight
up, then glares.)

DARIA: I have *got* to stop watching the Sci-Fi Channel right before bed.

(Cut to Daria and Jane sitting in the Lawndale High cafeteria at lunch. Jane
is laughing.)

JANE: The Fashion Borg? That is too cool. You need to write that down.
Might make a good plot for Mr. O'Neill's next writing assignment.

DARIA: I wonder if he can read lips!

(Jane snickers again.)

JANE: Hey, you didn't tell me how it ends. Did you have to undergo "Clue-
less"? Or were you rescued by a knight in shining armor?

(Daria looks down, embarrassed.)

DARIA: Actually it was Trent in a Han Solo costume.

(Jane laughs out loud again.)

JANE: Man, I wish I lived in *your* head! (She calms down somewhat.) So
you've started dreaming about him now, hunh?

(Daria looks indignant as she remembers that page after page in her journal
is filled with descriptions of dreams about Trent.)

DARIA: Just the one.

JANE: Oh, I haven't told you his big news, have I? (She laughs at Daria's
stricken look.) Don't look so worried, it's not marriage. (Daria scowls.)
You heard of Conformity For Hire?

DARIA: She's right over there.

(She points at Quinn, who is skipping class to flirt with a group of sopho-
more guys.)

JANE: Well, these guys are just imitations of the real thing. They're a band
from some place a few miles away. Just getting to be really popular. Any-
way, they want Trent to join.

DARIA: What about Mystik Spiral?

JANE: (shrugs) That's what I said, but he told me he could do both. Appar-
ently, these Conformity guys are really something. The last time I saw Trent
so excited was when he had the flu and got to sleep for three days straight.
(She sighs.) I'm kinda worried about something though. (She looks at
Daria.) They didn't ask Jesse or anyone else from Mystik Spiral to join,
only Trent. Jesse wasn't too happy about it either. I don't want this to
break up their friendship or anything.

DARIA: I wouldn't worry about it. He's probably just a little jealous that
Trent got the big chance.

JANE: (glares) Oh, come *on*, Daria. Jesse wouldn't be jealous of Trent!
He'd be *happy* for him. That's why I think something's up.

DARIA: (a little offended) Jesse's not perfect, Jane, even if *you* think he
is! He doesn't sound like much of a friend, getting all upset just because
Trent gets asked in a band and he doesn't!

JANE: (stands up and picks up her tray angrily) Come off it, Daria! You
wouldn't think that if you didn't worship the damn ground Trent walks on!
*He's* not perfect either, you know.

(She stalks off, leaving Daria by herself.)

(Commercial break scene showing the Fashion Borg arguing.)

(Cut to Daria's room that afternoon as she's sitting on her bed watching
"Sick Sad World". The phone rings, and Daria switches off the TV and answers
it.)

DARIA: Hello?

(Cut to split screen of Daria and Jane.)

JANE: Umm... Daria?

DARIA: (hesitantly) Yeah?

JANE: Those guys are over here, the ones from the band. I... uh... really
think you ought to come over here and meet them.

DARIA: (too interested to be mad) Why?

JANE: (lowers her voice) You'll see when you get here. I think I was right.
About there being something up, I mean.

DARIA: Okay. Be there in a minute.

(Cut to her standing outside the Lane residence. She rings the bell, and
Jane answers the door. She looks angry.)

JANE: Come on in and prepare to be humiliated.

(Looking puzzled, Daria follows her into the living room. Trent and two
other guys are there, lounging on the sofa and chairs. One of the guys is
heavy-set with greasy long brown hair in a pony-tail, and the other is about
Trent's build with short-cut blond hair.)

JANE: (flatly) Daria, this is Wes (She gestures to the brown-haired guy.) and
Erik. (She gestures to the blond guy.) This is Daria.

(The guys look rather amused. Daria looks at them, completely deadpan.)

WES: Uh... hey... Dara.

DARIA: It's *Daria.*

ERIK: (sardonically) Oh, ex*cuse* us, *Daria.*

TRENT: (glaring at Daria) Lighten up, Daria, will you?

(Daria looks a little hurt, then angry. Jane glares at Trent and goes up-
stairs, with Daria following her to Jane's room. They sit down on the
floor.)

JANE: See what I mean? They're total jerks. All they've done since they
got here is order me around like I'm a maid. (She sighs.) And the worst
part is that Trent's just going along with it. Usually he'll stick up for me
and stuff, but... well, you saw how he's acting.

DARIA: He's never talked to me like that before.

JANE: I know. I guess it's just guy stuff, like he's trying to impress them,
but... if you have to be a jerk to impress somebody, then they aren't worth
it.

(The door to Jane's room opens, and Trent sticks his head inside.)

TRENT: Daria, will you go get us something to drink?

DARIA: Uhh... sure.

TRENT: Great. We'll be in my room.

(He shuts the door. Jane turns to Daria indignantly.)

JANE: Are you out of your mind?

DARIA: Not any more than usual. I have a plan.

JANE: (looks interested) Oooh. Do tell!

DARIA: What better excuse for standing outside the door for a minute? One
never knows what one might hear.

JANE: (grins) I've trained you well, young one. Go out there and make ol'
Janey proud!

(Daria just rolls her eyes. Cut to her sneaking towards Trent's closed door
holding three cans of Coke. She pauses beside the door, then stands up
close to it, listening. Cut to inside Trent's room. Wes and Erik are flop-
ped on either end of the bed, while Trent is sitting backwards in a chair.)

WES: What is with your sister, man? She freaks me *out*.

ERIK: Yeah, she like... glares all the time.

(Trent shrugs.)

TRENT: I told you guys, my whole family's weird. But Jane's the really
freaky one.

(Cut to shot of Daria, glaring.)

WES: (offscreen VO) Yeah, well she's not as boring as that other chick...
Delia.

(Daria glares even more. Cut back to inside the room.)

ERIK: (snickers) I bet she's never even kissed a guy before.

WES: Yeah, she probably scares 'em all off. (He glances at Trent.) What you
think, man?

(Trent glances down, then looks up at the other guys.)

TRENT: (without too much conviction) I bet you're right. All she ever does
is complain about stuff and talk about how stupid everyone is.

WES: Man, what a loser. Hey, that reminds me, she never brought our drinks.

ERIK: (snickers) Probably got herself lost.

TRENT: (gets up) Guess I'll have to go find her.

(He walks over to the door and opens it. Daria is standing there, still
holding the drinks, and looking completely expressionless.)

WES & ERIK: Oooooohhhhh.

(Daria wordlessly hands the drinks to Trent, who is nervously waiting to
either be cussed out or dissed very sarcastically. Neither happens; Daria
just turns and walks away. Trent shuts the door solemnly.)

WES: Man, you got off easy!

TRENT: (sadly) Yeah. I did.

(Cut to Jane's room. Jane is painting on a canvas, which is covered in black
and white squares, checkerboard style. She carefully finishes the last
square as Daria comes back into the room.)

JANE: You hear anything interesting?

(There is no response. Jane turns to Daria who is completely expression-
less.)

JANE: Daria? You okay?

DARIA: I... I... (A tear rolls down her face.)

JANE: Uh oh.

(Cut to Daria sitting on the bed a few minutes later, still crying. Jane is
sitting facing her, looking concerned.)

DARIA: And then, when I heard him coming to the door, I-- I couldn't move. I
just *stood* there, until he opened it. (She sniffs and takes off her glass-
es, wiping her eyes angrily.) At least I wasn't *crying* then. Dammit, I
*hate* crying. I shouldn't cry just because I found out how Trent *really*
feels about me.

(Cut to close-up of Jane. She looks furious.)

JANE: (angrily) I'm gonna kill him. I'm gonna kill *all* of them, but I'm
going to kill Trent the worst.

DARIA: (puts her glasses back on) Oh, don't even say anything to him. I
don't want him to think that I actually care. (sniffs)

(Jane gets up and stalks over to her canvas. She looks at it and glares,
then picks up her brush and, dipping it in red paint, paints a large red X
over the whole canvas. Daria stands up.)

DARIA: I'd better go home. I'll see you tomorrow.

(She leaves the room, and Jane watches her go, sadly.)

(Commercial break scene: Trent opening the door to find Daria listening.)

(Cut to the Morgendorffer living room that night. Jake is on the couch
watching TV as Daria enters the room in a bathrobe.)

DARIA: Dad? Can I talk to you for a minute?

JAKE: (looks surprised) Er... I, uh... I mean, sure, honey! (He moves over
and Daria sits down on the sofa. trying to sound "cool") What's up?

DARIA: If you find out that someone you care a lot about doesn't like you the
way you are, what should you do? Should you change yourself so they'll like
you?

JAKE: (suspiciously) Is this one of those "talks" that involve parenting?

DARIA: Uh... no. I'm just, um, asking out of curiousity.

JAKE: (relaxes) Oh, okay. So, uh, what were you asking? Ohh, yeah. *No*,
of course not, sweetie! If someone doesn't like you the way you are, it's
their problem not yours. Never, ever change yourself to suit someone else,
even if you love them. (begins to get angry) If they *really* loved you,
they'd understand. But nooo, some people are just *so* damn narrow-minded,
they won't accept you, will they? (ranting) No, you have to do everything
*just* the way they want it, and then it's *still* not good enough for them!
Why, even if you--

(Helen stalks into the room, still dressed, looking mad.)

HELEN: (snapping) *Please* Jake, keep it down! I'm *trying* to get some work
done. (She stalks off.)

JAKE: Um, sure honey! Sorry, I'll be quiet! (to Daria) Now what was I say-
ing?

DARIA: (gets up) Uh, thanks Dad. You were a big help. (thought VO) Welcome
to conflicting actions theater.

JAKE: Any time, honey! My ears are always open!

(Cut to Lawndale High the next day. Daria and Jane are walking down the
hall.)

DARIA: So I tried talking to Dad. He told me to be myself. Right before he
meekly promised to obey Mom's every command.

JANE: Parents. (She shakes her head.) Daria, I wish I knew what to tell
you, but I really don't. Maybe you should talk to somebody here.

DARIA: Here? (false laugh) Like who? Maybe Brittany will teach me a self-
esteem cheer, or Sandi will give me fashion advice.

JANE: (sighs) Oh, I don't know. I really hate to do this to you, but-- well,
tonight Trent has a gig with Conformity for Hire over at that new club, and
Mom's making me go, I think just to get me out of the house. (She looks at
Daria.) I know the last thing you want to do is be around those jerks, but I
really don't want to go by myself. I'd ask someone else, but... (Her voice
trails off.)

DARIA: (sighs) Don't worry, I'll go. I couldn't let my only partner in crime
undergo such torture alone.

JANE: Thanks. (She looks at Daria and tries to smile.) You're a great
friend.

DARIA: (remembering that Trent had told her that once before) Yeah. I guess.

(Cut to Daria and Jane sitting on the grass outside Lawndale High later that
day. Jane is drawing in a notebook, but Daria is just sitting and thinking.
Daria then notices Jodie reading by herself nearby and stands up.)

DARIA: Um, Jane? I'll be back in a minute.

JANE: (without looking up from her drawing) 'Kay.

(Daria walks over to where Jodie is and looks at her nervously.)

DARIA: Um, Jodie? Can I, uh, talk to you for a minute?

(Jodie looks up, a little surprised.)

JODIE: Sure.

(Daria sits down beside her and begins to speak while looking down at her
hands in her lap.)

DARIA: This is just a hypothetical situation, but suppose... suppose you
overheard Kevin saying some stuff to Mack about you, like putting down what
you wear, or how you act. And then Mack agrees with him, or says something
even worse. (She looks at Jodie.) What would you do? Try to change your-
self to make Mack like you? Or just be yourself and lose him?

(Jodie looks thoughtful.)

JODIE: You probably expect me to say that I'd just be myself. That seems to
be the answer I'm *supposed* to give. But-- (She looks Daria firmly in the
eye.) --we have to take a couple things into consideration. First of all,
guys are basically pack animals, and narrow-minded ones at that. If one guy
says something, all the others will usually agree, just to stay in the group.
That means that they can get so brainwashed, that even if they don't *mean*
what they're saying, they might believe it, at least a little. And the other
thing is that everyone screws up every once and a while. Even the most
sensitive or intelligent guy says mean things from time to time. Maybe
because he's had a bad day, or is upset about something, or because he just
isn't thinking. Girls can be cruel too like that; it has nothing to do with
what they really feel. It's just human nature.

DARIA: (forgetting to keep up the pretense of the "hypothetical situation")
But even if all that's true, how do I know he doesn't *really* hate me?

JODIE: Has he ever given you reason to believe that he does?

DARIA: (looks down again) No. He's always been wonderful to me. (softly) I
guess that's why it hurts so bad.

(Jodie pats her hand.)

JODIE: (tenderly) If you care about him so much, then there's no way he could
hate you. Whatever he said and whoever he said it to, I'm sure he's just
being thoughtless; maybe he wants to fit in so bad, he isn't thinking about
how he's doing it. (She sighs.) It sounds like what he needs is something
to wake him up. (Suddenly she perks up.) I have an idea. When will you
see him next?

DARIA: (remembering the gig) Tonight, probably.

JODIE: (smiles) Then I've got a plan.

(Cut to Daria and Jane leaving Lawndale High after the last bell.)

DARIA: Jane, I'm going to be a little late getting to your house tonight,
okay?

JANE: Daria, you *can't* leave me with those cretins. (sardonically) What
am I saying, I *live* with one of them.

DARIA: Don't worry, I'm still coming. I just... I just need a little extra
time, okay?

JANE: 10-4. See you tonight then.

(They start off in opposite directions. Cut to Jane.)

JANE: I wonder what she's got planned. I bet it involves Trent. (She
scowls.) If I don't kill him first.

(Cut to Daria and Jodie in Daria's room. Daria is sitting on the edge of
the bed, while Jodie is perched in a chair, holding a notebook.)

JODIE: Okay. Tonight, your man-- (Daria blushes.) --is going to get his butt
shocked back into reality. First off, tell me what he likes about your
personality.

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

JODIE: Oh come *on*, he had to have said something. Tell me something he's
complimented you on, anything at all, whether you believe it was sincere or
not.

DARIA: Umm... my sense of humor. And... he said I'm really intelligent.

JODIE: Okay, good start. That gives you an idea of how to act. Try to be
funny, but *don't overdo it.* The last thing you want is to come on too
strong. Same way with the other-- don't act like a total bimbo, because
pulling a Brittany doesn't sound like it's going to help anything with this
guy. But don't be so grown-up you seem unapproachable. And Daria?

DARIA: What?

JODIE: One more thing. I know that it probably isn't what you're used to,
but... flirting, just a little, never hurt anything. (Seeing Daria's expres-
sion, she talks faster.) I'm not saying you should come on like Quinn or
anything, but try to be a little outgoing. Be upbeat, not too shy, and what-
ever you do, whatever *he* does, *don't* let him drive you away. Be strong!

DARIA: (deadpan) I'd better go eat my Wheaties.

JODIE: (laughing) That's just what I mean! Be yourself, only a little bit
more than usual. Emphasize what he *likes* about you. (She stands up.) But
he's going to have to notice you first. *That's* why I'm here.

(Time lapse. Daria is standing before the mirror, wearing fitted black
jeans, a white sleeveless shirt, white sandal pumps, lightly applied makeup,
and a small barette on either side of her head.)

JODIE: Perfect.

DARIA: But... I feel so weird.

JODIE: Not weird. Just different. This isn't permanent, remember, but...
every once and a while, it can't hurt.

DARIA: (sighs) No. I guess it can't. (She smiles at Jodie.) Thanks.

JODIE: (smiles back) Any time, girl. Any time.

(Cut to Daria outside Jane's house. She takes a deep breath and rings the
bell. Jane opens the door and stares.)

JANE: Wow. I see why you were late. (sneakily) Do I smell a plot?

DARIA: I don't smell anything. Just... spaghetti.

(Jane rolls her eyes.)

JANE: Dinner for the Dumbass Society. (She sighs.) Come on in and help me
with the food.

(She and Daria, being careful to smile, walk to the kitchen. As they pass
through the living room, Daria notices Trent sitting in a chair, while Erik
and Wes sit on the sofa.)

DARIA: (smiling at them) Hey, Erik, Wes. Trent.

ERIK: (appreciative) Hey there.

(Daria and Jane go on into the kitchen.)

JANE: Smooth move, chica.

DARIA: (scowls) You have no idea how hard this is.

JANE: Can't be any harder than trying to restrain yourself from throwing
things at your idiot of a brother.

(Cut back to living room.)

WES: Was *that* the nerdy little girl?

ERIK: Yeah, man.

WES: Whoa, she's looking *good*! At least eighteen.

ERIK: Nineteen, man. At least. Trent, you shoulda told us that she's really
a babe in disguise.

TRENT: (scowling) I didn't know. I've never seen her like this before.

(Wes and Erik grin at each other.)

WES: Suuure you haven't, man. Hey Erik, what do you bet he tried to get her
and she turned him down?

ERIK: No, man, he probably didn't even have the *nerve* to try. Not a wuss
like Trent. (They laugh, seemingly good-natured, but Trent is still scowl-
ing.)

WES: Trent my man, just watch *me* tonight. *I'll* show you how to get a
chick.

TRENT: Guys, come on, don't mess with Daria.

WES: Jealous, hunh?

TRENT: (defensive) No.

WES: Okay, then. What's the problem?

(Trent opens his mouth to speak, but Daria walks back into the room, smiling
again.)

DARIA: Food's ready if you're hungry.

ERIK: Sure, babe. (He gives Daria a killer smile.) Did anyone ever tell you
how good you look?

DARIA: (thought VO) Excuse me while I go throw up. (out loud, smiling) Not
recently.

ERIK: Then consider yourself informed.

DARIA: Why, thank you. (thought VO) For making me lose my appetite.

(She saunters off toward the kitchen. Wes gives Erik a high five and they
follow. Trent glares and goes after them.)

(Commercial break scene: Daria examining at her "new look" in the mirror.)

(Cut to Jane's room after dinner as the girls are getting ready to go to the
club.)

JANE: Well, if attention was your goal, you sure got it.

DARIA: (sadly) But not from Trent. (She sighs.) Jodie was wrong. I guess
he really can't stand me.

(She looks down, trying to hide the fact that she's near tears. Jane looks
at her sadly.)

TRENT: (yelling, offscreen VO) Are you two ready yet?

JANE: (sighs, to Daria) This is *not* going to be fun. (yelling) Yeah, we're
coming.

(Cut to Jane and Daria coming downstairs. The boys are waiting for them in
the living room.)

TRENT: (to Daria, softly) You want shotgun?

DARIA: (looks at Jane) I don't want to leave Jane with--

JANE: (interrupting) Don't worry about it. (She gives Daria a pointed look.)

DARIA: Umm... okay then.

(Trent gives her a little smile and heads out to get the car.)

JANE: That's a good sign.

DARIA: (sighs) He's probably just trying to keep me from being mad.

JANE: I dunno. (She shrugs.) Maybe he's finally coming around.

(Cut to them in the car. Jane is in the back between Wes and Erik, looking
miserable, while Daria is in the passenger seat, looking sadly out the win-
dow. Trent glances at Daria then away.)

TRENT: (thought VO) I really ought to apologize to her. Not here though.
I'll do it after the show. (He smiles a little, not noticing that Daria had
glanced at him.)

DARIA: (thought VO) He sure looks pleased with himself. Probably thought of
something else to tell Wes and Erik about me. (She sighs softly and looks
out the window again.)

(Cut to the outside of the club as the group approaches it.)

DARIA: (softly, to Jane) Will they let us in here?

JANE: (to Daria) I bet they won't even check ID if we tell 'em we're with the
band. Besides, you *look* over eighteen tonight.

DARIA: (mutters) Don't remind me.

(Sure enough, they don't check ID, and the group walks on in the back
entrance.)

TRENT: (to Jane and Daria) We're going to get set up. Why don't you two go
get a table?

WES: (nudges Erik) *Daria* can stay if she wants to.

DARIA: I'm going to stick with Jane.

(The two girls make a quick getaway and find an empty table in the smoky
room. There is another scraggly band finishing a song on stage. Daria
coughs.)

DARIA: I *hate* cigarette smoke.

JANE: (looks around nervously) This place gives me the creeps.

(The other band stops playing and leaves the stage as Trent, Wes, and Erik
come on.)

JANE: Hey, look, I think they're about to start.

(Cut to shot of the stage, where Erik is behind the drums, Trent is holding
his electric guitar, and Wes is up in front holding another guitar. Cut back
to Daria and Jane.)

DARIA: Where's the rest of the band?

JANE: (looks puzzled) They must not be coming. That's weird. Come to think
of it, I don't think Trent's even met them yet.

(Cut to the stage again. Wes is at the microphone in front.)

WES: All right losers, you think *that* crap was music? You ain't heard
nothin' 'til you've heard Conformity for Hire!

(Cut to Daria and Jane, looking annoyed.)

DARIA: You'd think they could be a little nicer about it.

(The band begins playing something that sounds like an electric guitar get-
ting mugged out on the street late at night. Jane winces.)

JANE: They call *that* music? This makes "Icebox Woman" sound like a dang
lullabye!

(This reminds Daria of when Trent played Green Day to help her fall asleep,
and she looks suddenly sad.)

DARIA: Jane, I don't feel so good. I think it's the smoke.

JANE: (sullenly) Go ahead and puke here. Couldn't hurt the atmosphere any.

DARIA: I'll be back in a minute.

(She gets up and hurries to the bathroom but doesn't get sick. Instead she
locks the door and leans against the wall, looking at her reflection in the
cracked mirror.)

DARIA: Who am I kidding? Dad was right-- well, the first time, anyway. I'm
not going to get anywhere by changing the way I am. Trent isn't shallow like
the other two, no matter what he's acting like now, and I know that if he
didn't like me before, he'll never like me. (She sighs.) At least that
means I can get rid of these stupid barrettes.

(She takes out the barrettes and washes the makeup off her face. Finally
she leaves the bathroom and goes back to her and Jane's table, noticing that
a new band is onstage.)

DARIA: (sitting down) What happened to Conformity?

JANE: Turns out that the "gig" was only a couple songs. At least it means
that we don't have to stay here much longer.

(The boys walk over to the table as she is speaking, and Wes overhears her
last comment.)

WES: Hell, you think we're leaving now?

ERIK: Yeah. I think we need a little post-gig celebration.

(He and Wes grin at each other.)

DARIA: I have a headache. I'm going to go sit in the car.

JANE: I'll come in a minute, Daria. (to Trent, angrily) Can we talk?

TRENT: Uh... yeah.

(They get up, and Jane and Trent move to an empty table, while Daria heads
out to the car. Wes goes up to the bar and orders beer for him and Erik.
Cut to Jane and Trent.)

TRENT: Aww, c'mon Janey, don't get mad at me--

JANE: Why shouldn't I? After the way you've treated me, and what you've
done to Daria--

TRENT: (snapping) Daria doesn't seem to be feeling any pain. She's got
those two tied up in knots.

JANE: And do you know *why*? (She glares at him.) She's been miserable the
entire evening. You think she *enjoys* having two morons with one-track
minds ogling her? I've never seen Daria compromise herself for *anyone*,
but that's what she's doing tonight. And she's doing it for *you*.

TRENT: (angrily) I don't believe that.

JANE: What proof do you need? You want me to tell you about how she cried
for an hour after she heard what you said about her? Or about how she was
thirty minutes late tonight just because she wanted you to notice her? And
now she thinks she's not worthy of you. But you know what?

TRENT: (nearly yelling) I don't care, Jane! (He gets up from the table,
but Jane keeps talking.)

JANE: *You* don't deserve *her*. I thought I could always count on you, and
so did Daria. I guess we were both wrong!

(Trent glares at her and stalks back to the first table. Jane gets up and
goes into the bathroom where she leans her forehead against the mirror. Cut
to Trent at the table, where Erik is now sitting by himself.)

TRENT: (looks around) Where'd Wes go?

ERIK: Out to the car. Want a beer?

TRENT: Uh, no thanks. (He starts walking off.)

ERIK: Where you going, man?

TRENT: I, uh, forgot to tell Jane something.

(He ducks behind a group of people then sneaks out the back entrance. Cut
to Daria in the passenger seat of the car, leaning back against the seat
with her eyes shut and the window rolled down. She doesn't see Wes
approaching her.)

WES: Hey, babe.

DARIA: (jumps and opens her eyes) Uh... hey.

(She slides her hand over and locks the car door without him noticing. Wes
leans over the window.)

WES: (grinning) So... want to get something started?

DARIA: (moves away from him a little) Umm, I really don't think--

WES: (leans closer) Why not, baby?

DARIA: (fed-up and angry) Because you are a complete moron, and you make me
sick!

WES: (angrily) Oh, so you're too good for me? Then who's more along your
lines? That loser Trent? (He gives a mirthless laugh.)

DARIA: (snapping) Trent's a hell of a better person than you'll ever be!

(Wes glares and reaches for her through the car window. Daria moves over to
the driver side as fast as she can. Wes tries the door, and finding it
locked, reaches through the window to unlock it.)

TRENT: (offscreen VO, angry) Leave her alone, Wes.

(Cut to outside as Wes pulls out of the car and turns to face Trent.)

WES: (sneering) Whatcha gonna do about it? Beat me up?

(Suddenly he hits Trent, catching him offguard and knocking him to the
ground. Daria, watching, suddenly looks furious. She opens the car door and
jumps out, kicking Wes viciously in the shin. He yelps in pain and spins
around, pinning her to the side of the car. Trent gets up when Wes isn't
looking and hits Wes in the head, knocking him to the ground, unconscious.)

TRENT: (to Daria, gently) Are you all right?

DARIA: (shortly) I'm fine.

(Jane comes towards the car.)

JANE: Daria, are you still out-- Whoa, what happened? (She runs over to the
car.)

DARIA: (grimly) It's a long story.

(Cut to the three of them in the car, driving back to the Lane house. Daria
and Trent are in the front, and Jane is in the backseat.)

DARIA: ...and so when Trent hit him, it knocked him out. (She looks down and
swallows hard.) I-- I thought he was going to... (She breaks off.)

JANE: (gently) Don't think about it. (annoyed) I hope this teaches them
something.

DARIA: (sardonically) If getting beat up doesn't, getting left without a
ride will.

(Trent pulls up at the Lane residence and Jane gets out.)

TRENT: You'd better let me drive you home, Daria.

DARIA: (glares at him) I'll be all right.

JANE: He's right, Daria. (She looks sympathetically at Trent.) I'd go too,
but I've got a headache. I just want to go to bed.

DARIA: (scowling) Fine.

JANE: (smiling at them both) 'Night Trent. Good night, Daria.

DARIA: (sighs) See you, Jane.

(Jane goes inside, and Trent starts the car. As they drive, neither of them
says a word. Daria is staring pointedly out the window, and Trent keeps
glancing at her nervously. Finally he pulls over a block from her house.
She looks at him worriedly.)

TRENT: Daria, I'm not going to try anything, okay?

DARIA: (sighs) I know. It's just... I was so scared. I don't feel like I
can trust anybody.

TRENT: I sure haven't given you any reason to trust me. (He looks at her
earnestly.) Daria, I'm really sorry for the way I've been acting. I can't
explain how bad I feel. It's just... well, I wanted them to accept me, and
I felt like I'd do anything for that to happen. I really believed I would,
until it got to the one thing I couldn't do. I couldn't just stand there
and let them hurt you.

(Daria turns away from him.)

DARIA: (flatly) Okay.

(Trent looks heartbroken, but puts the car into drive without another word.)

(Cut to Jane's house, as Trent comes home thirty minutes later. Jane is sit-
ting on the couch, smirking.)

JANE: What took you so long?

TRENT: I drove around after I took her home. I needed to think.

JANE: (smugly) Suuuure.

TRENT: (missing the innuendo) Janey, I told her I was sorry and she didn't...
(He pauses, then continues.) I went on and on like an idiot, and all she
said was "okay". (He looks desolate.) I knew she wouldn't forgive me.

(Jane, realizing she misunderstood, looks saddened.)

JANE: I'm sorry, Trent. Give her some more time. Maybe that's all she
needs. You know, I'm sorry for what I said to you tonight. What you did for
Daria was really great. I was wrong about you.

TRENT: (scowls) I was the one who got Daria into that mess. (He sighs.) Face
it, Jane. I've ruined everything between us. She'll never want to talk to
me again.

(He goes out of the room, moping. Jane just smiles a little.)

JANE: I wouldn't count on it.

(Cut to Jane's house the next day. Jane picks up the phone in the living
room and is about to dial when Trent walks in.)

TRENT: (flatly) Are you calling Daria?

JANE: (hopefully) Yeah.

TRENT: (bitterly) Do us both a favor and don't mention me, okay? I wouldn't
want her to start throwing up.

(He stalks out of the room, and Jane looks after him, shaking her head, then
dials. Split screen.)

JANE: Yo.

DARIA: (sadly) Hi Jane.

JANE: Umm... what's up?

DARIA: Nothing.

(There is a long pause.)

JANE: Umm...

DARIA: (interrupting) Jane, is Trent there?

JANE: (hopeful again) Yeah...

DARIA: Could I... um... talk to him for a minute?

JANE: (relieved) Yeah. Hang on.

(She sets down the phone and goes to Trent's room. He's lying on his bed
with loud music playing. Jane turns down the music, then turns to him.)

JANE: Trent, Daria wants to talk to you.

TRENT: (glaring) Dammit Janey, I told you not to--

JANE: I *didn't* mention you. *She* did.

(She stalks out of the room. Trent hesistantly picks up the phone. Split
screen.)

TRENT: Hello?

DARIA: Umm... Trent... I was thinking about what you said, and... I just
wanted to thank you for sticking up for me like that.

TRENT: (seriously) I always will, Daria.

DARIA: I appreciate that, Trent, really. I'm sorry I didn't say anything to
you last night but... I kind of had a lot on my mind.

TRENT: I understand. I'm just glad you aren't upset with me. Our friend-
ship means a lot to me. I don't want to lose it.

DARIA: (softly) Neither do I.

(There is a long, friendly silence.)

TRENT: Well, I'll put Janey back on.

DARIA: Um, that's okay. I'll just talk to her later.

TRENT: Oh. Okay.

DARIA: (smiling) Bye, Trent.

(Single shot of Trent only.)

TRENT: (smiling) Bye, Daria. I'll talk to you later.

(He hangs up the phone as Jane comes back in.)

JANE: (smiling) Well... so is everything cool?

TRENT: Yeah. (He smiles at her.) Everything's cool.

JANE: I *told* you she'd come around. (She smirks.) So I guess this means
it's back to Mystik Spiral again, hunh?

TRENT: Yeah. In fact, I'd better call Jesse and apologize to him too.

JANE: (playfully) Hmm, but Daria's first on your list? (Trent glares, and
she holds up her hands in submission.) Just kidding! (She leaves the room.
under her breath) Not!

(Cut to Lawndale High on Monday. Jodie comes up to Daria when she's at her
locker.)

JODIE: So... how'd it go Friday?

DARIA: (deciding not to tell Jodie that her plan wasn't what fixed things)
Fine. (She smiles a little.)

JODIE: (grins knowingly) So you guys are cool again?

DARIA: Yeah. We're cool.

(Jane walks up to them.)

JODIE: (laughing) Well, invite me to the wedding, okay?

(She walks off. Jane looks at Daria suspiciously.)

JANE: What the hell *did* Trent say to you on the phone?

DARIA: (rolls her eyes) She was kidding, Jane.

JANE: Famous last words, there, kiddo.

DARIA: You sound like my dad.

JANE: Gads, I must be getting old. (She shrugs.)

DARIA: C'mon, Gramps, or we'll be late for class.

(They start walking off to class. Shot from behind them.)

JANE: All right, all right. Just 'cos *you're* the princess of a thousand
worlds, and *I'm* just a menial robot...

DARIA: Shove it, paranoid android.

JANE: Hey, you better be nice to me if you want my brother to save you from
the Fashion Borg...

(Daria hits Jane on the arm.)

JANE: Owwwww! I was just kidding!

(They walk on down the hall, still arguing, as the sound fades out.)

(End credits with pictures of the various characters in their costumes from
the space dream instead of the usual makeovers, while "Wrong Thing Right
Then" by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones plays:

As I remember the events,
I'm trying hard to make some sense
My mouth is my arch-nemesis,
You'd think that I'd be used to this.
Nothing nice to say, sticks and stones,
I blew it now, and I'm all alone,
Let me take it back, I was only joking,
My mouth is shut but my heart is broken.
I sure said the wrong thing right then, try to forgive.
I'll never say that again, as long as I live.)


The End