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Daria, My Sweet
by Strider



A NOTE ABOUT THE FORMAT:

No, this is not the standard screenwriter's format. I'm sure there's a book on it
somewhere but I don't own one. I have omitted most of the petty scene directions
because I was interfering with the flow of the story enough the way it was. And real
Daria episodes don't have teasers or epilogues, either; I just thought it would be cool to
see what it would be like to have them in there. A one-hour format would be cool to try,
as well. (HINT, HINT)

I probably should not have written it this way, but I guess it's too late now.

* * *

TEASER

EXT. - MORGENDORFFER SUBURBAN HOME - MORNING - ESTABLISHING SHOT

It appears that it's going to be another dismal day in Lawndale.

INT. - DARIA'S ROOM

Daria woke up late and is hurrying to get ready. She didn't sleep much, due partly to
the nervous barking of a dog next door, and partly due to odd night-dreams that
troubled her nocturnal repose.

"Damn. You'd think by now I'd have this routine down cold." She stands in front of the
mirror in her room, knowing she hasn't time for more than a few strokes of her brush
through that thick mane she wears. Her sister Quinn has offered to cut it more than
once, but Daria knows better than to allow that to happen.

Besides, short perky hair is 'in' these days.

"Daria, honey, you're going to be late!" calls Helen from the living room in her
sickening-sweet tone.

Daria winces at this, knowing her mother is probably waiting near the door with a
chocolate toaster pastry wrapped neatly in a paper towel. With distracted disdain, she
replies, "I know, mom. I'll be right down."

Stuffing her books in her pack, she takes one last look in the mirror. Speaking to her
image, she orders, "Daria. You simply MUST stop dreaming all night about an oblivious
guitarist. Barking dogs notwithstanding. YOU have a reputation to maintain." She points
her finger at the image.

With that resolved, she glides down the stairs toward the front door.

EXT. - FRONT DOOR

She accepts the chocolate toaster pastry wrapped neatly in a paper towel along with
the customary air-kiss. "Bye, mom. Have a swell day at work."

EXT. - SIDEWALK

She walks alone toward the school a short distance, noticing that Quinn and the three
munchkins are far ahead. "Well. One thing is going right. I don't have to listen to
moronic hormonespeak this morning." She glances behind her. "I wonder where Jane
is?"

Just then, a small but vicious dog jumps the hedge and barks furiously at Daria,
blocking the sidewalk. She looks down at the nasty intruder. "Hey, boy. You must be
the Snyder's new dog." She scowls. "I heard you barking all last night."

The dog stops barking, stares at her blankly for a beat, then resumes barking.

She looks around suspiciously. "Here ya go, boy." Daria holds out the chocolate toaster
pastry. "Have a nice chocolate Pop-Tart."

As the dog takes the Pop-Tart from her hand, he jumps back over the hedge and can
be heard devouring it loudly.

CLOSE UP - DARIA'S FACE

A wide (but totally innocent) grin spreads on her face.

HARD CUT

* * *

ROLL TITLES AND THEME MUSIC

* * *

ACT I

FADE IN

EXT. - LAWNDALE HIGH SCHOOL - ESTABLISH

Students are filing into the main entrance.

INT. - BIOLOGY CLASSROOM

Daria walks into the Biology classroom just as the bell rings. As she sits down, she
notices that Jane is not in her seat. "Jane must be sick. Bummer. I hope she's all right."

MEDIUM SHOT - TEACHER AT HIS/HER DESK

The Biology teacher calls the class to order. "Okay class! Settle down! We left off
yesterday with canine physiology. Can anyone tell me what happens when dogs eat
chocolate?" Daria raises her hand. "Yes, Daria?"

MEDIUM SHOT - DARIA AT HER DESK

Daria remains seated. "It can kill them. The methylxanthines in chocolate can, in
sufficient doses, disturb the canine heart rhythm, resulting in nervousness, sickness, or
death."

CLOSE UP - DARIA'S FACE

An innocent grin spreads across her face.

TEACHER'S VOICE - OFFSCREEN

"Very good!"

Well, Daria thought it was.

* * *

INT. - SCHOOL PHONE BOOTH

After class, Daria calls Jane on the pay phone. "Hey, Jane. Are you all right?"

SPLIT SCREEN WITH INT. JANE'S ROOM

Jane sounds a little hoarse. "Ahem. As well as can be expected. Seems that I have the
flu or strep throat or something. Trent's band got it first."

A pang of worry crosses Daria's features, but she recovers quickly. "Oh. Is there
anything I can do?"

"Yeah. Get my homework, and bring some Vitamin C by this afternoon. And take some,
too; maybe you won't get it. I think they were contaminated last weekend."

"Contaminated? You make it sound like biological warfare."

"Well, I have my suspicions. We'll talk about it this afternoon."

"Right." There is a long pause.

Jane grins. "Soooo... I guess you want to know how Trent is."

Daria doesn't miss a beat. "I thought I would never ask."

"Neither did I." Jane pauses for a moment.

Daria begins to scowl, but says nothing.

"Well...Trent's not gonna die or anything, but he doesn't feel like practicing."

Daria keeps scowling through the phone.

Jane obviously senses the scowls. "He's hoarse, too. But bring the C; we'll get over it in
a few days."

Daria speaks. "Um, I think eight to ten days is the average."

"Right, Dr. Daria."

Daria is rolling her eyes.

Jane squints tightly. "Oh. Now I get it. They're gonna be sick for their gig this weekend.
And the doctor can't see us until Friday."

Daria leans back against the wall and sighs, looking down. "Well. I guess Dr. Daria is
just going to have to make a house call."

FADE OUT

* * *

INT. - JANE'S ROOM

Daria and Jane are sitting on Jane's bed watching television. Daria is dressed normally,
and Jane is in her pink robe with the frilly cuffs (the cuffs remind her of taffeta). Daria's
book bag is on the bed. One pouch is open.

INT. - TELEVISION SCREEN

'Sick Sad World' is going off. The announcer says, "Be sure and tune in next week to
see why mid-eastern terrorists wage biological warfare."

INT. - JANE'S ROOM

Jane clicks the TV off. "Wow. I wish they would have run that this week."

Daria displays skepticism. "Why? Surely you don't suspect that mid-eastern terrorists
are responsible for Trent's band being sick."

Jane looks down. "No, I was thinking more along the lines of a rival band."

Daria narrows her gaze. "Sounds like you're talking about 'Retrograde Amnesia'." Daria
makes 'quote signs' with her fingers.

"That's right," Jane says wistfully. "One of them came by last week, wanting to 'borrow'
some guitar strings."

"I see. Was this, perchance, right after Trent got the gig at the 'Slimy Noodle'?"

"Um-hmm." Jane held her lips together.

"And this is that death-metal group with all the spooky stage habits?" Daria is looking
more conspiratorial all the time.

"The same." Jane is now curious about what Daria might be thinking.

Daria stares impassively ahead. "Biological warfare, huh? So, you think exposing Trent
and the band was intentional."

"Indeed. To make the band sick so Trent would have to cancel. Then, the Retros could
steal the gig back."

Daria was not sure. "Could be, but that would require foresight. Something I doubt the
Retros possess."

Jane shrugged. "Well. Can't argue with that." Her expression brightens. "Hey, thanks for
bringing the C and the herbs.

FADE OUT

* * *

INT. - MORGENDORFFER DINING ROOM

At the dinner table, the Morgendorffers are having microwave lasagna. Helen, with
plastic concern, asks, "Daria, how is your friend feeling? Jean, is it?"

Daria pauses while chewing her food. "Jane." A beat. "She'll be fine. I brought her
some vitamin C and some herbs."

Quinn seems interested. "Herbs! Cool! What kinds are good for your complexion?"

Daria is chewing again. "Well..." She glances from side to side. "I think foxglove would
suit YOU very well. But you have to take a lot..."

Jake was obviously paying attention. "Did you hear about the Snyder's new dog?"

Quinn responded first. "Yeah! Isn't he cute?" She squints and tilts her head, grinning
sweetly.

Daria was not so enthusiastic. "Only if you don't have to sleep."

Jake was unperturbed. "Well, Mrs. Snyder took him to the vet this morning. It's having
the same problem with nervousness that their other dog had."

"It couldn't be its nervous owners," Daria observed.

"Now, Daria, be nice to your neighbors." Helen implored. "But isn't that what happened
to their other dog? Ran out into traffic like it was on acid?"

Jake looked shocked. "Honey, I thought we agreed to not to bring up the 'A-word'
again!"

Quinn looked as if she was ready to cry. "Ohhh! Poor doggie got sick! Hey! Maybe we
could visit him at the vet!"

"I'd rather host a wake," Daria intoned dryly.

Quinn tilted her head questioningly. "But I thought you LIKED to sleep!"

HARD CUT

* * *

INT. - DARIA'S ROOM - WIDE SHOT

On her bed, Daria is reclined against the headboard, writing in her journal.

ZOOM - WALL CLOCK

There is a clock that indicates shortly past 3 AM. The subtle tick of its quartz-driven
sweep second hand can be heard.

CLOSE UP - DARIA'S FACE

Daria is writing. "Dear diary. Dreams suck. I don't want to have any more of them.
Especially about guys that neither know nor care that I exist. I wish that damned dog
was still barking. At least I would have an excuse for my insomnia."

MEDIUM SHOT - DARIA

She holds the pen to her mouth, and then writes a few more lines. She recites the
verse in her mind.

CLOSE UP - DARIA'S JOURNAL (handwriting is the same as in 'Sealed With A Kick")

The dark desert wind
It is blowing again
Like fear, it grows on my mind.

FRAMING SHOT - DARIA'S BED, CLOSET AND NIGHTSTAND

Disgusted, she shuts the journal and pitches it into the closet. "Good grief. Now I'm
writing POETRY."

She puts her glasses on the nightstand, turns out the light and pulls the covers over her
head.

Some moments pass there in the dark. Suddenly, she switches the light back on, and
digs through the closet for her journal, retrieves it, and begins writing furiously. As she
writes, we can see a montage of different angles and expressions of her as she works.
A slow electric guitar walk (in 3/4, open and punchy, with reverb) can be heard in the
background.

When she has finished, she closes the journal and sighs.

FADE OUT

* * *

ACT II

INT. - DARIA'S ROOM

It is the next day, and Daria and Jane walk in to Daria's room at the Morgendorffers.
Taking off their bookbags, they sit on the bed.

Jane is concerned. "Okay, Daria, let's have it. Why so glum? What happened to the
sarcasm? You've been this way all day. I'm sick of it. I want the old Daria back."

Daria slouches and looks down at the floor. "I don't know. I guess I'm just worried."

"Why? Trent's over his cold, and mine's about gone, too; he can sing again, so the gig
should go down this weekend just fine, and 'Retrograde Amnesia" has been arrested
for dope and animal sacrifice. What is there to worry about?"

Daria sighed. "Biological warfare. Can you wait a minute? I've got something to do in
the bathroom." She gives a sly look.

"Sure. Go pee. I'll find something to keep me occupied."

Daria exits through the door.

Jane, glancing around the room, spies a suspicious diary-looking object on the
nightstand. She feels shame at what she is thinking, but practical considerations
temporarily outweigh decent ethical behavior. She strides to the nightstand.

FRAMING SHOT - DARIA'S NIGHTSTAND, THE WINDOW, AND JANE

Jane opens Daria's journal to the bookmarked place, turns to the previous page, and
begins reading. "Uh-oh. Poetry. I knew it; Daria's got it bad..." She reads some more,
and sighs.

"Biological warfare, indeed."

CLOSE UP - DARIA'S JOURNAL

The dark desert wind
It is blowing again
Like fear, it grows on my mind.

The dreams, e'er I wake
Seem much closer to fate;
But the Day makes me blissfully blind.

He steps light on the ground
And then turning around,
He sees nobody watching his ways.

But a wallflower's watch
Is much harder to botch;
In the shadows I hide from his gaze.

Beloved, my sweet
You taste too good to eat
And the days just go passing us by

Beloved, my sweet
My days are complete
I'm just dreaming, and wondering why...

FRAMING SHOT - DARIA'S BED, NIGHTSTAND, AND JANE

Jane digs out a pen and stationery from her purse, and quickly copies the poem. There
is the muffled sound of a door closing, and Jane barely manages to get everything put
away before Daria enters the room again.

INT. - DARIA'S ROOM

Jane is gathering up her things. "Daria, I just realized: uh, our family has company
coming over. I've gotta get home. So, are you coming to the gig tomorrow night?"

Daria is a little suspicious, but can't put her finger on why. "Well, I dunno... I was
thinking of going to the vet with Quinn..."

Jane scowled. "Isn't that kind of like the arsonist watching the firemen risk their lives?"

Daria winces. "Low blow. All right, you've blackmailed me. What time?"

Jane suppresses a sigh of relief. "7:30. We'll pick you up here."

"Okay. I'll walk you out." Jane and Daria move toward the door.

FADE OUT

* * *

EXT. - LANE HOME - ESTABLISH

The birds are tweeting.

INT. - TRENT'S BASEMENT

It is later that same afternoon. Jane and Trent are in their basement. The rest of the
band is there as well, getting ready to start rehearsal again after a break. Jane is
showing Trent and Jesse the verses she scribbled on the stationery.

Trent is looking it over, and tries a few chords. Jesse picks up on it, and suggests a
variation for the chorus.

Trent is impressed. "These are some hot lyrics. Did you write these, Jane?"

"Let's talk about that later." Jane's eyes are drifting uneasily. "Can you get this worked
up for tomorrow night?"

"Whoa, Jane. It's taken years for us to work up three sets! And we won't practice
tomorrow; it's a gig day." Trent seems overwhelmed.

Jesse, though, has more left in him. "Say, Trent, it doesn't look that complicated, and
we don't have to worry about copying someone else's style. It shouldn't take but an
hour or so."

Jane was getting worried; apparently he thought that SHE had written the verses. She
could see from Trent's expression that he thought so, too. Rather than take a chance
on screwing it up, she decided to spill the beans. "Well, somebody at school wrote it.
She's gonna be there tomorrow night, and I was just hoping you could play it for her
then." Well, maybe SOME of the beans.

But maybe Trent isn't as oblivious as he lets on. His eyebrows rose, and the true
meaning of the words in the poem began to soak in. "Okay, let's take another break,"
he said to the band, amid grunts of displeasure. "Five minutes. Jane, I need to talk to
you in the kitchen."

Jane turned white as a sheet. "Oops. Too many beans..."

HARD CUT

* * *

INT. - LANE KITCHEN

As it turns out, Jane ended up spilling the rest of the beans to Trent, and he was livid.

"Dammit, Jane, you can't just go nosing around in people's diaries, for crying out loud!
What would she think, what kind of friend would she think you are if she heard us
playing that song? On a REAL gig, and in FRONT of her?!? Man, you're sick..." Trent
paced furiously up and down the kitchen floor.

But Jane is not easily dissuaded from her task. "Dammit yourself, Trent! I didn't think it
was that serious, either; but she's been MOPING! Daria NEVER does that! Not solid,
stoic Daria! Maybe nobody else noticed; she's pretty good at being expressionless. But
I know her, and I can tell when something's wrong. So could you, I suspect."

Trent didn't know what to say to that, so he remained silent.

Jane went on. "So, I had to find out the truth. And this proves it; the verses prove that
it's moved beyond puppydog nuzzleface."

Jane was pacing now, winding up for the next salvo. Trent silently mouthed the words
'puppydog nuzzleface' in dazed perplexity.

As Jane opened her mouth for her barrage, the phone rang. Steaming, she snatched it
off the wall. "WHAT?!?"

ALTERNATING SHOTS - LANE KITCHEN, DARIA'S ROOM

Daria was stunned. "Jane? Uh, excuse me, is this the Lane residence?"

"Oh, hi Daria. Sorry about that. Me and the brother were just having a fight. No big
deal." Jane's molten dart vision riddled Trent, who looked away and shuddered.

"What? Fighting with company in the house?" Her suspicion waxed great.

Jane thought fast. "No, they called just now. Baby got sick, you know how it is."

Daria smelled rotten, stinking rat. Her suspicions were now confirmed. But, another
piece of the puzzle remained: was it a conspiracy, or a lone gunman? Non-chalantly,
she said, "Great. I can come over. See ya!" The phone hung up.

FRAMING SHOT - KITCHEN PHONE, JANE

Jane gently replaced the receiver on its cradle, trembling.

FRAMING SHOT - JANE AND TRENT AT TABLE

She sat down at the table, all blood having drained from her face. Nausea and dizziness
crept in, and funny black and orange spots obscured her vision. Then, clarity struck:
she realized that she had forgotten to put the bookmark back in Daria's journal.

Trent looked concerned. "Jane? You all right? Jane?"

She looked wanly up at him, and said, "Trent, I think I've really done it this time."

Trent gave a questioning look.

"She knows, Trent. I forgot to put the bookmark back in." She buried her head in her
hands. She was too scared to cry.

Now, Trent sat down at the table. "Oops. Now what?"

A deep breath. "She's coming over, Trent. Now. Get out while you can. You MIGHT
avoid most of her wrath if you're not here, but I can't promise that. She poisons dogs
that keep her up at night. What will she do to me? I'll keep you out of it if I can." Jane's
eyes narrowed. "But her gaze is quite pervasive."

"Jane, I'm not out of this yet. You did this for me, as well as for her. I can't just let you
go down in flames while I hide out somewhere."

Jane is thinking to herself, some of her color returning to her face. "Hmmm. Chivalry. I
can use that." A pause, she tilts her head slightly. "Maybe this is not over yet..."

FADE OUT

* * *

INT. - LANE KITCHEN

Trent is standing, and paces back and forth. Jane is seated at the table and has her
head propped in her arms, watching Trent.

ALTERNATING CLOSE UPS - TRENT, JANE

Trent was explaining what he thought of Daria. "Well, she's kinda cool, in a weird sort
of way. But she's not really the type who would go for a musician, you know, or that's
what I thought. I dunno, maybe I never really GAVE it much thought."

"Yeah, that figures. Typical guy, only thinks about himself." Fortunately, Jane didn't say
that out loud.

But Trent heard it just the same. "I know that sounds stupid, but hear me out for a
second." He swallows, and takes a breath. "I just, well, it's just that I love my music,
and I was afraid that, uh, I wouldn't be able to give her the attention she deserves. You
know, maybe in a few years, when I've established myself a little better, then yeah, I
would have more time for girls and stuff. But not now, I mean there's so much to learn
about music, and the more you learn, well, the more you know you need to learn."

LONG SHOT - TRENT AND JANE ACROSS TABLE TOWARD SCREEN DOOR

Jane suddenly realized that it was pleasant outside this time of year. Hell, it's ALWAYS
pleasant in Lawndale. But, since Trent was doing such a good job spilling his guts, she
decided not to interrupt him with such a trivial matter as the fact that Daria was
standing outside the screen door listening to every word he said. And, judging from her
expression (or lack thereof), she seemed to be enjoying it immensely.

CLOSE UP - JANE

Jane thought it was time to summarize now. "So, Trent, what you're saying is that you
think Daria is interesting, and worth hanging out with. And that you'd love to be friends
with Daria, maybe share a few secrets and all that, but put off getting serious until
you're both a bit older. Is that pretty much your plan?"

LONG SHOT - AS BEFORE

Trent felt like he was being railroaded all of a sudden, but it DID sound like a pretty
good plan. "Yeah. I guess that would work. Might be fun."

Jane thought that this was going a LOT better than it had any right to. She raised her
voice a bit, and looked over toward the doorway. "Okay, so, Daria; what do YOU
think?"

Trent just about pulled a muscle when he turned around.

CLOSE UP - TRENT

For a split second, his face was a visage of sheer terror.

LONG SHOT - OVER JANE'S SHOULDER TOWARD DARIA THRU DOOR

Jane could tell that Daria approved of having cracked his mask of obliviousness.

EXT. - DARIA AT DOOR

Daria considered for a moment. Due to the tension, the electricity of the moment was
copius. Finally, she replied, with deadpan aplomb: "Sure. I can live with that."

LONG SHOT - AS ABOVE

Trent had to sit down. At Jane's beckoning, Daria opened the screen door and sat
down at the table next to Trent. His pulse was still dangerously high, and showed no
signs of lessening. Jane's condition was not much better, but more successfully hidden.
Daria decided, in an uncharacteristic act of mercy, to let Trent and Jane off the hook
before one of them had a stroke.

FRAMING SHOT - TRENT AND DARIA

She reached into her blazer and drew out her journal, bookmark intact. She opened it to
the page where the verses were, and slid it over to Trent. "So. You think you can do
anything with that?"

FADE OUT

* * *

INT. - JANE'S ROOM

Daria and Jane retire to Jane's room. Dimly in the background is heard the muffled
sound of guitars tuning up.

VARIOUS SHOTS - DIRECTOR'S DISCRETION

Warily, Jane asks, "So. I thought you were coming over to kill me."

Daria, measuring her words, replies, "I did. I brought two pounds of chocolate."

Jane is a little distressed at that. "Hey. Is that an insult?"

Daria flashes a mischievious grin. "Well, no. Women don't die from chocolate; in fact
they live on it." She extracted a very large chocolate bar from her blazer and proceeded
to divide it between them.

They devour chocolate in silence for a time. Not sure if it was the right time to approach
this, Jane hesitantly ventured, "So. Was it the bookmark that gave it away?"

Daria gives a sidelong glance, her mouth full of chocolate. "Umm hmmm."

Jane looks down. "You must really hate me for what I did."

Another sidelong glance. "Umm hmmm."

Jane is nonplussed. "Then why are we eating chocolate instead of fighting?"

Daria swallows. "Because I laced your half with arsenic."

Jane twitches. Daria smiles, and says, "Not really. But I had considered it."

Jane started chewing again, rolling the chocolate around in her mouth checking for odd
flavors. "What made you change your mind?"

Daria paused for a minute, and put the chocolate down on the wrapper. "I'm not sure."
She turns to her, adding, "I guess I realized that killing the messenger isn't necessarily
the best way to deal with an uncomfortable message."

"O-kay." Jane was getting lost. "So what was the message?"

Daria winced. "Going to make me do this the hard way, huh?"

Jane shrugs. "Whatever it takes."

"All right." Daria takes a breath. "I guess it started with how you handled me about the
dog thing. I really shouldn't have done that, I suppose. You made me realize that I was
just taking my frustration out on that stupid dog."

Jane is impressed. "Not bad. You should sub for Mr. O'Neill."

A scowl. "Hey! Don't push it."

"Sorry. So, this 'frustration' had to do with your inability to connect with Trent?"

Daria scowls again. "I don't like the word 'inability'."

Jane didn't back off this time. "But you needed help."

Daria sighs, then looked down. "I guess I'm in your debt."

Jane beams. "Does that mean you've connected with him?"

Daria considers seriously. "No, not quite. More like..." She looks up, staring straight
ahead. "... like I've found an open socket."

Jane raises her eyebrows. "Poetic. You gonna eat the rest of that?" She eyes Daria's
chocolate hungrily.

Daria pulls another very large chocolate bar from her blazer, and opens the wrapper.

While they were eating voraciously, the cacophonous din that normally characterizes
the activity known as band practice resolved itself into a slow guitar walk (in 3/4, open
and punchy, with reverb).

Daria suddenly stopped eating and froze.

"What? What's the matter? Is the chocolate bad?"

"Shhbbthpptshh!" She was trying to get Jane to shut up, but her mouth was full of
chocolate.

Daria finally swallowed, and explained, "That... that's the melody that was going
through my mind when I wrote that poem."

Now it was Jane's turn to freeze. Actually, she got a cold chill. "Ooooh! Con-NEC-tion!"

Daria said nothing. She just sat there with her eyes closed, listening.

FADE OUT

* * *

ACT III

INT. - TRENT'S BASEMENT - BAND PRACTICE

Jane and Daria are seated on the stairs. Trent's band is playing his revision of 'Beloved,
My Sweet'.

FRAMING SHOT - JANE AND DARIA ON STAIRS

"Jane, these are woman's lyrics. Do they sound all right sung by a man?" Daria was
being diplomatic.

"No, but who'll notice? We're talking about the 'Slimy Noodle' here. They kinda go for
androgyny."

Daria shuddered, but resumed listening.

VARIOUS SHOTS OF BAND, DARIA, AND JANE - DIRECTOR'S DISCRETION

The dark desert wind
Is blowing again
Like fear, it grows on my mind.
The dreams, e'er I wake
Seem much closer to fate;
But the Day makes me blissfully blind.

*

O beloved, my sweet
You're much too good to eat
And the days just go passing us by
Yes, beloved, my sweet
Now my days are complete
I'm just dreaming, and wondering why

*
He steps light on the ground
And then turning around,
He sees nobody watching his ways.
But a wallflower's watch
Is much harder to botch;
In the shadows I hide from his gaze.

*
O beloved, my sweet
You are too good for me
Guess the days will just pass us right by;
So beloved, my sweet
Now my days are complete
I'm just crying, and wondering why...
I'm just crying, and wondering why...
I'm just crying, and wondering...
Why?

The song plays over again. Jane observes that they have recorded it and are listening
to the playback.

But Daria is still enraptured, and doesn't notice.

Near the end of the playback, Trent walks up to Daria. "Hey, Daria, our sound man is
still sick. You wanna run the board for us tomorrow night?" A pause. "Daria?"

FRAMING SHOT - JANE AND DARIA ON THE STAIRS

Daria's rapture is broken. She turns toward Trent...

ZOOM - ON DARIA'S FACE

...and Trent sees the tear in Daria's eye.

FADE OUT

* * *

EXT. - THE 'SLIMY NOODLE' CLUB

Cars are parked all around. Muffled music is heard coming from the club. It is a slow
electric guitar walk (in 3/4, open and punchy, with reverb).

INT. - BANDSTAND

The band is finishing the last song of the evening: 'Beloved, My Sweet'. Trent sings the
last line, and the crowd cheers. Daria and Jane are at the sound console.

FRAMING SHOT - DARIA OPERATING CONSOLE

Daria, pulling the faders down as the applause rises, displays a countenance of peace
and thoughtfulness.

FRAMING SHOT - BANDSTAND AND CONSOLE, PART OF AUDIENCE

Trent's microphone is still open. "Thank you, ladies and gentlemen! You've been a
terrific audience! And let's have a hand for Daria Morgendorffer, who wrote these great
lyrics!" He gestures toward the console.

FRAMING SHOT - DARIA AND JANE BEHIND CONSOLE

Daria begins to show embarrassment. Jane leans over, and says, "Stand up, Daria. Let
the crowd see you!"

She stands, and scowls briefly at Jane as she does so.

PATRONIZING SHOT - DARIA BEHIND CONSOLE AND AUDIENCE

She acknowledges the crowd with genuine appreciation. The crowd cheers.

WIDE SHOT- BANDSTAND, CONSOLE, AND AUDIENCE

Trent is getting a charge out of all the attention for Daria.

FADE OUT

* * *

INT. - KITCHEN TABLE

Back at the Lane's, the equipment has been unloaded from the van, and Daria, Jane
and Trent are sitting at the kitchen table drinking orange juice. It is very late, so
everyone is a bit punchy.

VARIOUS SHOTS - DIRECTOR'S DISCRETION

"So, Daria, how do you feel about having one of your works performed in public?" Jane
is beaming.

Daria considers a moment, then says, "I really don't know how to describe it. It's like,
well, being fulfilled and emptied at the same time."

Trent smiles. "I know, Daria. I call it 'musician's high'. We get it every time we play a
gig. It's what keeps us in this business. But I think it's more special for you, because all
we do is play. YOU got to actually create something, and see it blossom, and feel it
touch people."

Daria nodded, getting a little misty, but controlling it well. It IS late, after all. "But I'm not
sure that's exactly fair." She looked up into his eyes. "I mean, you adapted the poem,
changed things in it, made it, well, work. I couldn't have done that."

Trent understood precisely. He returned her gaze. "Sure. But that's the easy part,
modifying what's already there. But to create something totally new, well, that takes...
courage. A LOT of courage. And you have that. I can see that in you."

Daria appears visibly shaken, like her view of the world was being altered inexorably.

Jane is a little surprised to see Daria reacting with this much depth. She is also
surprised to see Trent speak this way. She grabs her hand.

Daria looks at her like a little hungry bird. She didn't understand what was happening to
her. Trent grasps her other hand, and that seems to help.

Jane smiles soothingly. "I know it seems odd that someone would actually
APPRECIATE something you've done. But not to worry! The world is still full of morons
who just don't get it. Don't let what happened tonight make you think otherwise."

Trent picked up the thread. "Yeah. Just remember: music and poetry is art, and art is
just... a chance to say something, to people who won't listen any other way."

FADE OUT

* * *

EXT. - MORGENDORFFER HOME - NIGHT

Trent's car pulls up to the curb in front of the house and turns off the motor. Daria is on
the passenger side, next to the traffic. Jane did not come; she was 'tired' and went to
bed. We see a car go by.

INT. - TRENTMOBILE

Daria makes no move to get out of the car, and is equally unable to think of a single
thing to say.

Trent breaks the awkward moment. "So, Daria, how does it feel to be famous?"

Daria looks over at him. "I don't feel famous. I was just scribbling in my journal. YOU
are the one that is famous, playing on stage all the time, groupies throwing themselves
at you..."

Trent's face turns grave at that. "Yeah. Groupies really suck. I'm glad we don't have
any. But if we keep playing songs like you wrote, well, I guess it might become a
problem."

Daria was impressed at his skill in turning her sarcasm around on her, but she was not
done yet. She could smell a checkmate just within her grasp. "Oh. I suppose now
you're going to ask me to write more verse for you."

Trent thought about that for a minute. "Well, okay, but you have to help me fight off the
groupies."

Daria tries to suppress a broad smile, but fails, and gives up trying to hide it. So much
for the checkmate; losing never felt so good. "Well, I see that the porch light just came
on. That means the police are on their way." Her hand reaches for the door handle.

"Uh, Daria, there's a car coming. Better get out on this side." If Trent had ulterior
motives, he kept them hidden. He opened his door and got out as she slid over.

EXT. - SIDEWALK NEXT TO TRENTMOBILE

As they get out, a small dog is heard barking next door.

Daria glances in the back seat of his car, which is cluttered with magazines, CD's, and
assorted junk. "Trent, you wouldn't happen to have a dog biscuit, would you?"

Trent considers briefly, and digs through the junk. "Here's one. I thought we had some
left. Sometimes we throw them at bands we don't like."

Daria takes it with a relieved smile, and walks over to the hedge.

PAN WITH DARIA

Over the top jumped the same small dog that barked at her days ago, healthy and
ready to eat something.

FRAMING SHOT - DARIA KNEELING WITH DOG

She unwraps the biscuit, and gives it to the dog, which proceeded to eat it up greedily.
She then doubles her fist and lets him smell and lick it. He stops barking. She stands,
and walks back over to the car with Trent.

MEDIUM SHOT - TRENT

Trent is leaning against the driver's door of the car. "Daria, what was that all about?"

Daria walks into the shot and stands facing him.

PULL BACK to REVEAL DOG nuzzling Daria's leg

Daria looks down at the dog, then back at Trent. "Well, it's a long story. Let's just say
that I had to do that. I could not sleep with this dog barking all night, but neither could I
sleep with him dead."

Trent was having trouble understanding what was going on. "Hmm. I guess that means
that it was not the dog keeping you up at night?"

CLOSE UP - DARIA

She winces. "Dammit, Trent, quit figuring me out like that. People are not SUPPOSED
to figure me out. It's supposed to be the other way around."

TWO SHOT - AS BEFORE

Daria turns, and walks out of the shot. The dog growls at Trent. Trent is frozen for an
instant, then...

CLOSE UP - TRENT

... a new realization dawns on his face. Then, he looks down slyly at the dog
(offscreen), reaches into the open window of the car and draws out...

CLOSE UP - TRENT'S HAND

... Daria's journal!

MEDIUM SHOT - TRENT

He opens it to the bookmarked page, and turns back one leaf, reading quickly. He
nods, then turns, and runs out of the shot.

POV - FROM THE CAR, LOOKING TOWARD THE MORGENDORFFER'S FRONT
DOOR

Trent is running up the walk toward the front door, carrying the journal. Daria is on the
step, preparing to open the door.

TWO SHOT - TRENT AND DARIA ON THE STEP

Trent comes up behind Daria. "Hey, Daria. You forgot this." He holds out the journal,
not realizing he is still marking the page with his finger.

She turns slowly, and takes the journal from him, instinctively inserting her finger into the
place that he was holding. It flops open, and she looks down at it. She realizes what
page it's on. They are only one step apart from each other.

Something passes between them. Trent breaks the ice. "Daria, I know it sounds stupid,
but..."

Daria looks up, with deadpan aplomb.

"... but I think we could make beautiful music together."

Daria's gaze lowers to be level with Trent's chest. She turns her head briefly at the
camera, then back to his chest.

Her head flops against Trent's chest with a thunk, the journal hanging forlornly at her
side.

Trent looks down at what has happened, but at first does not move. Then he also
steals a glance at the camera, raising his eyebrows quickly in acknowledgement. He
reaches his hand out to touch her shoulder.

FADE OUT

* * *

EPILOGUE

INT. - DARIA'S ROOM - WIDE SHOT

On her bed, Daria is reclined against the headboard, writing in her journal.

ZOOM - WALL CLOCK

There is a clock that indicates shortly past 3 AM. The subtle tick of its quartz-driven
sweep second hand can be heard.

CLOSE UP - DARIA'S FACE

Daria is writing. "Dear diary. Dreams suck. I don't want to have any more of them." She
considers for a moment, her pen in her mouth. "But I think I don't need dreams
anymore."

Just then, a small dog is heard barking in the distance.

Daria smiles. "But I think I DO need some time. And, from the look of it, Trent does too.
Opening up to people is not the easiest thing, and I don't want to do anything rash or
stupid." She stared at the ceiling. "For now, though, I think I will confine my poetry to a
stenographer's pad."

She closes the journal, and chucks it in the closet. She reaches down, and pulls out a
stenographer's pad from under the bed. She opens it, and we hear a slow electric
guitar walk (in 3/4, open and punchy, with reverb).

Daria closes her eyes, enraptured.

FADE TO BLACK

ROLL CREDITS

THE END