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hehehe, I *know* I'm gonna hear about this... B-)



One-sentence summary: Daria borrows the family car in an effort to get
closer to Trent.

First off, let me say that I love the TV show just the way it is, and
have tried to be as true as possible to it here, keeping the general
style and plotline in the direction the show's writers seem to have
their minds set on. You won't find the start of any outrageous story
arcs, new major characters or departures in style from the "Daria" we
all know and love. Please let me know how close I got. (And if you're
from MTV, I should mention I'd love to do this for a living.)

If the first two seasons are any indication, the producers of "Daria" like
to schedule what I call the Big Daria/Trent Episode to air late in the
season (#111 -- "Road Worrier", and #212 -- "Pierce Me"). This being my
12th Daria fanfic, I decided I'd use the milestone to do a story idea I've
held onto for a long time, and make this *my* Big Daria/Trent Episode.
(I get to do one, just *one*!) To me, this is the next logical step up
after "Pierce Me". In a sense, it's my first conventional Daria/Trent
story. In another sense... well, just read it and see for yourself.

(...la la LA la la...)

Daria in "Driven Wild"
Written by C.E. Forman (ceforman@worldnet.att.net)

BEGIN ACT 1.

EXT.: A COURTYARD SOMEWHERE, BESIDE A FOUNTAIN. LATE EVENING.

(MUSIC: "Heaven Knows", Squeeze.)

(Trent sits alone on a bench, deep in thought. He hears footsteps, and
looks up to see Daria approaching. No one else is around, and the only
other sound comes from the fountain.)

TRENT: (Nods greeting.) Hey, Daria.

DARIA: Hi Trent.

(He gestures at the bench, and she sits down beside him.)

DARIA: So... what did you want to talk to me about?

TRENT: (His "deep" mode.) Daria? How long have we known each other?

DARIA: Awhile... We met the week after I moved here... The first time Jane
invited me over.

TRENT: (Nods quietly.) Yeah. And for awhile I always thought of you as...
"Janey's friend". But I'm not so sure anymore.

(A small gust of wind tosses Daria's hair and some spray from the fountain.
She shivers.)

DARIA: You think of *us* as friends too?

TRENT: (A little awkward.) Well... sure.

DARIA: (Shyly.) *More* than friends?

TRENT: (Quietly.) I'd like us to be.

(She lowers her eyes, blushing. Trent gently touches her chin, turning
her head so she faces him again. She looks up at him hopefully, her hands
trembling a little. Trent takes them in his and she relaxes somewhat. Slow
zoom-in as each of them looks deeply into the other's eyes... Trent gives
the arched eyebrow, and Daria returns a genuine, radiant smile...)

TRENT: (Smiles.) I think Janey always secretly wanted it too.

DARIA: (Not really listening, just staring into his eyes.) Really? (With
some embarrassment, even a little shame, as she realizes what's about
to happen.) Trent, I've... I've never done this... before...

TRENT: (Puts a finger to her lips.) Shh. Doesn't matter.

(The music swells. Trent pulls her close, their faces mere inches apart.
Daria closes her eyes, parts her lips, not even noticing Jane come up
behind her.)

(Music cuts off abruptly as Jane speaks.)

JANE: (Loudly, sharp contrast to their dialogue.) Hey, whatcha writin'?

(With a poof, the fantasy vanishes. The bench becomes Daria's desk chair,
and suddenly we're in:)

INT.: DARIA'S ROOM. AFTERNOON, FRIDAY.

(Jane looks over Daria's shoulder as she sits at her desk. [C'mon, you
didn't *seriously* think that was for real, did you??])

DARIA: (Startled, eyes wide.) Ah! (Grabs the story she's been writing,
pulls it to her chest to cover it up.)

JANE: (Hint of amusement.) Sorry. I knocked but you didn't answer. So can
I read whatever it is?

DARIA: (Quickly, embarrassed.) It's nothing, nothing at all, really!

JANE: (Smirks.) Yeah, obviously. (Obnoxious.) C'monnn, lemme see it,
*pleeease*?

(Before Jane can question her further, Daria tears it into quarters and drops
it in her wastebasket. But one piece doesn't quite go in, and it drops to
the floor where Jane snatches it.)

DARIA: (Alarm.) Hey, give that back!

(Delighted, Jane holds it out of her shorter friend's reach, above her head,
while she reads it.)

JANE: (Smiles, nods knowingly.) Ahh, I see my brother's name here. *Now*
it all makes sense!

(Daria stands on her desk chair to grab the scrap away. Jane moves away,
still holding it out of her reach.)

JANE: (Reads some more.) Oh *my*! How *romantic*!

DARIA: (Reddens, turns away.) God, just... open the window and I'll jump
right now.

JANE: (Drops the scrap back in the wastebasket. Isn't-that-cute voice.)
Awww, look, she's blushing!

DARIA: (Beet-red, covers her face with her hands.) I hate you so much...

JANE: (Teases.) I'm not all that fond of you, either.

(Daria sits on the edge of her bed, still covering her face. Jane sits
beside her, puts a friendly hand on her shoulder.)

JANE: Don't worry, I won't tell a soul. (Thoughtful.) Except maybe Trent.
(Impish, playful.) He's asleep right now, you could come over and
practice if you want.

DARIA: (Shakes her head furiously.) I am not going to... (She can't bring
herself to say it.)

JANE: (Smirk.) Kiss Trent while he's unconscious?

DARIA: (Like she means it.) I'm going to murder you. Someday when you least
expect it, I'm going to murder you.

JANE: Relax, I'm joking. (Looks kinda guilty seeing just how badly she
embarrassed her friend.) Look, I'm sorry, okay? Tell you what, I'll
make it all up to you.

DARIA: (Doubtful, but she does lower her hands.) How?

JANE: I'll help you step up to *non*-fiction. Give you the *real* Trent, in
the flesh no-no-no-wait, hear me out!--

(Grabs Daria's arm, pulls her back, she was starting to get up and leave.)

JANE: (Looks at Daria with utmost seriousness.) --This weekend. A special
day. Just the two of you. (From inside her jacket, produces an
envelope.) Here. It's why I came over in the first place.

DARIA: (Takes it, opens it, wary.) It's not a marriage license, is it?

JANE: Nope, it's a gift certificate.

DARIA: (Lifts it out of envelope, eyes widen.) *Chez Pierre*??

JANE: My parents won it as a door prize last year. But everything there's
all hoity-toity -- snotty, stuck-up people catering to other snotty,
stuck-up people.

DARIA: No wonder it's Quinn's favorite restaurant.

JANE: Mom and Dad won't miss it, they'd never be caught dead in a place
like that.

DARIA: And what makes you think Trent's any different?

JANE: Trust me, Daria, I know my brother. He'll go... if you ask him.

DARIA: (Wide-eyed, disbelief.) Me?... Ask *Trent* out??

JANE: Wait, it gets even better: He's dropping his car off for a tune-up
tomorrow and needs a ride back home anyway. It's the perfect cover!

DARIA: (Reluctant.) I dunno...

JANE: (Insists.) He doesn't have a ride yet, he's waiting till the last
minute like he always does. (Takes the gift certificate back, gets up
to go.) Just call him tonight, okay? Talk your parents into giving
up the Jakemobile. When Trent asks me for money I'll just give him
the gift certificate! (Smiles.) And then, barring any further
complications...

DARIA: (Sighs, this is just too much for her.) My whole life's a further
complication.

JANE: (Tries to be encouraging.) Hey, c'mon now, have I ever let you down?

(Daria lets her expression answer this question.)

JANE: (Gives in.) Right. Well this time I won't.

CUT TO:

INT.: KITCHEN. EARLY EVENING.

(Dinner. Helen's starting to nod off listening to Quinn.)

QUINN: (Mid-obsession.) --so then Sandi said it was *my* turn to pump the
gas, even though I just did it before Tiffany last time and Stacy the
time before, which means it was really *Sandi's* turn! But Sandi said
since *she* was giving us rides in *her* car, *she* didn't have to do
it, which I thought was totally unfair! And we were meeting the guys
in like five minutes so I didn't want my hands to smell like gas, plus
I didn't have my gloves, and if I *did* have my gloves, I wouldn't
want that smell on *them* either! I swear, this town better put in a
full-service station pretty soon or I'm leaving!

DARIA: Is that a promise?

QUINN: Fortunately, just before I touched the pump this *unbelievably* cute
guy came over and offered to do it for me! Which made Sandi really
jealous, so I guess everything worked out okay.

DARIA: But we have to hear about it anyway.

QUINN: God I can't wait until I get my own car!

HELEN: (Wakes up a little now that Quinn's on a different topic.) Quinn, if
you want a car when you're old enough, I think you should start saving
now. Your father and I can't afford to pay for a third vehicle.

JAKE: (Hears his name, decides he'd better join in, lowers the paper.)
So girls, I was thinking--

HELEN: (Cuts him off.) Your father was thinking it might be fun for the
four of us to play a round of golf tomorrow, do something as a family.

DARIA: (To Jake.) Why would that be fun?

QUINN: Sure, I'll come.

HELEN: If you don't already have other plans made, of course. (She looks
specifically at Quinn as she says this.)

QUINN: Well, I *was* going with the Fashion Club to look at swimsuits, but
Sandi told me Stacy's grounded so we're rescheduling for next weekend
because I think they're having a sale then anyway.

DARIA: Ah. The frugal beach-bunny.

HELEN: Daria, what about you?

DARIA: No thanks. Umm... Dad? Can I borrow the car tomorrow?

JAKE: What for, kiddo?

HELEN: (Emphatic.) Absolutely not.

DARIA: I need to give someone a ride somewhere.

HELEN: (Suspicious.) Where? And who?

DARIA: Why does that matter?

(Quinn smiles, she enjoys seeing Daria go through this.)

HELEN: It's not that we don't trust you, Daria, it's just that driving is
such a big responsibility--

DARIA: (Insists.) I *am* responsible. I got an A in driver's ed. [*]
And you put me on the insurance forms, remember?

[*] She took driver's ed in Highland, on "Beavis and Butt-Head."

JAKE: (Concedes.) She's got us there, Helen.

HELEN: (New approach.) That doesn't matter, Jake, the point is the car is
our property and it's up to us to decide who is allowed to use it.

DARIA: (To Jake, cunning.) Isn't that the same line Grandpa used on you?

JAKE: Y'know, I think you're right! (Fist on table.) And I *swore* I'd
never be *that* kind of father to *my* kids! (Defying Helen.) You
can *take* the car, Daria!

HELEN: Jake--

QUINN: (This isn't going like she'd hoped. Whines.) This isn't *fair*!
Howcome Daria gets to use the car but *I* can't?

HELEN: Quinn, sweetie, as soon as you get your learner's permit, we'll
discuss it. Besides, Daria does *not* get to use the car--

JAKE: (Cuts *her* off!) *Dammit* Helen, just *once* would you let me handle
something *my way*?

HELEN: (Unfazed, rolls eyes.) Jake, can't you see she's just manipulating
you into giv--

JAKE: *Here*! (Pulls car keys from pocket, slams them on the table in front
of Daria, victoriously, like he's won something.) Take 'em!

HELEN: (Furious.) *JAKE*!!

DARIA: (Pleased, snatches up keys before Helen can.) Thanks, Dad!

HELEN: (Calms herself. Icily.) Fine, Jake. It's your car, do whatever the
hell you want!

DARIA: (Stands, heads out.) Umm, I'll be upstairs, I have to make a phone
call. (Turns.) And *don't* listen in.

(The rest of the family exchanges curious/bewildered looks as she heads out.)

CUT TO:

INT.: DARIA'S ROOM.

(Daria closes -- and locks -- the door, then quickly goes to her bed and
dials the phone. Split the screen, showing Trent asleep in bed on the other
side. Daria fidgets nervously as the duck-phone on his end table rings
several times before it manages to wake him up.)

(MUSIC: On Trent's stereo we hear "Blind" by Korn.)

TRENT: (Answers it, sleepy.) Huh?

DARIA: Hello? Trent?

TRENT: (Lying on his stomach, his head and phone arm extended off the edge of
the bed.) Yeah.

DARIA: (Awkwardly, when he doesn't ask.) Umm, this is Daria.

TRENT: (Gets lopsided smile.) Hey, Daria.

(Shrink the two half-screens to make room for a third that suddenly appears.
Jane's listening in, on the kitchen phone.)

DARIA: Uh... Jane says you're taking your car to the shop tomorrow?

TRENT: Mm-hmm. It's way overdue for a tune-up. (Abruptly he sneezes,
startling Daria, then wipes off the mouthpiece.)

DARIA: (Braces herself, she's gonna hafta be the one to ask.) So... you
need someone to drive you home?

TRENT: Yeah, I forgot about that. (Beat, he considers.) I didn't know you
were old enough to drive, Daria.

DARIA: (Ouch, that kinda stings.) So can I give you a ride back?

TRENT: Sure. Max took the Tank to a concert, so I'm glad you called.

DARIA: (Pleased to hear this.) Really?

TRENT: I'll set my alarm, so I'm up early.

DARIA: Okay.

TRENT: See you around noon.

DARIA: (Smiles, lies back on her bed, dreamily.) Yeah. See you then.

(Daria hangs up, her window disappears. Expand Jane's and Trent's to
refill the screen. Trent falls back to sleep before he can even replace
the receiver.)

JANE: (Success!) *Yes*!!

(Trent hears it, stirs momentarily before dropping back off to sleep.)

CUT TO:

INT.: QUINN'S ROOM.

(MUSIC: "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)", the Backstreet Boys.)

(Quinn's in front of her mirrors, trying on outfits. Daria knocks, enters,
this time with some reluctance.)

QUINN: (Turns, when Daria doesn't speak. Irritation.) *What*? Just *say*
it and go away! (Heads over to her makeup table.)

DARIA: Quinn? (Can't believe she's asking *Quinn* this.) ...What's it like
...to kiss a guy?

QUINN: (Stops in her tracks. Little laugh.) Why would *you* ever need
to worry about that? (Joking.) What, is there some guy you're
fantasizing about, or something? (Sees her sister's chagrin, grins
ear-to-ear, delighted.) Oh my God, there *is*! Who is it? Is it
Joey? Is it Jeffy? Is it that weird guy you and your friend hang
around with?

DARIA: (Thoroughly regrets even asking.) That's it, I'm outta here. (She
turns to leave.)

QUINN: (Grabs Daria's arm.) DariaDariaDaria, wait! (Lecture mode, like she
used in "Weighting to Exhale".) Okay, first off: You can't just kiss
some guy because he's cute or you like him, God, don't you know
*anything*? You have to make him work for it, let him take you out
for a really fancy dinner and a fun evening--

DARIA: (Sees where this is going.) You know what? I'll figure this out on
my own.

QUINN: And once you go through with it he'll start expecting it every time
you go out, so if you're really gonna do this you should probably
start looking for a reason to break up with him *now*, don't wait
until after.

(Daria's brow furrows with frustration. Quinn's no help at all.)

CUT TO:

INT.: JAKE AND HELEN'S BEDROOM.

(A first! All we've seen is the headboard of their bed, in the "Diaries".
And that's where the scene begins, in close-up, as Daria pulls out one of
her parents' relationship books, looks at it.)

JAKE'S VOICE: (From behind.) Need somethin', kiddo?

DARIA: (Startled, slams book shut and quickly places it back on the shelf.)
No! Um... I was just... (Thinkthinkthink! She looks around, as if
not realizing where she is.) ...a little disoriented. You know how
I am sometimes.

JAKE: (He falls for it.) Oh... er, right.

(*Whew*! Daria starts to edge toward the door, but--)

JAKE: Uh, kiddo? (Nervous laugh.) Your mother had this crazy idea...
She's convinced you don't want us to know you're going out with a
guy tomorrow. (Chuckles.) Isn't that crazy?

DARIA: All right, if you must know, it's Tr--

JAKE: (Quickly.) But it's okay with us! Really! (Uncomfortable topic.)
I mean... you do *like* guys... right, Daria?

DARIA: (Sighs.) Yes, Dad. I just haven't met any as charming as you.

JAKE: (Faulty sarcasm sensors.) Aww, that's sweet, kiddo! (Beat, holds up
a couple of particularly hideous golf shirts on hangers.) Now which
of these do you think would look better on me? Your Mom, er, liked
'em both about the same.

DARIA: That's more Quinn's area, I'd ask her.

JAKE: Hey, yeah! (He heads out.)

(Daria grabs the relationship book again and beats it outta there.)

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT.: MORGENDORFFER RESIDENCE. NOON (OR THEREABOUT), SATURDAY.

(Both cars are in the driveway. Jake puts his golf bag in the trunk of one,
closes it. Quinn has on tan slacks and an off-white short-sleeved top,
sneakers, and one of those visor hats where it's just the visor, nothing
over your actual hair. Helen's in her usual casual wear, and Jake sports
a particularly dorky ensemble of checkered shirt and pants, and the kind of
golf hat with the little ball on top.)

(Trent pulls up as Daria, who's been watching for him from inside, emerges
through the front door. Jake and Helen immediately go over to her and start
with the overly-concerned-parent routine. Quinn watches, seething with
jealousy that Daria gets the car.)

HELEN: (Hugs Daria, she winces.) Be careful, sweetie.

JAKE: (Lecturing.) Wear your seatbelt, kiddo. And always use your turn-
signal.

DARIA: (Rolls her eyes, they're embarrassing her in front of Trent.)
I will, Dad.

HELEN: And watch the speed, for God's sake don't drive like your father.

JAKE: (Incensed.) Hey!

HELEN: You do remember the right-of-way rules, don't you?

DARIA: (God *please* get this over with.) *Yes*.

JAKE: (Frets.) Just... don't get in an accident, okay, Daria?

DARIA: (Sardonic.) Aww, but that was the whole idea.

HELEN: We're just concerned for you, honey. (Syrupy.) Have a good time!

(Sans Daria, the Morgendorffers climb into the other car and back out of
the driveway.)

JAKE: (Rolls down window, sticks his head out, calls back as he drives away.)
And slow down at yellow lights, it's better to be safe!

HELEN: (Voice from car, shouts.) JAKE, WATCH THE ROAD!

(Only after they're gone does Trent emerge from his own car.)

DARIA: Sorry you had to witness that.

TRENT: No problem. So, you're following me?

DARIA: That'll work.

TRENT: Janey suggested a place for lunch.

(Daria gets that combined excited/nervous look.)

TRENT: Mind if we swing by Dega Street first? I gotta pick some things up.

DARIA: (Eyes widen, remembers what happened the last time she went to Dega
Street with Trent.) Um, sure.

JUMP-CUT TO:

EXT.: SEDIMENTARY ROCK GOLF COURSE.

(MUSIC: "Enid", Barenaked Ladies.)

CUT TO:

INT.: PRO SHOP.

(A teenage boy working the shop brings a bag of rental clubs out to Jake.
Quinn's already got hers and is holding a driver up to her clothes, seeing
how they match.)

JAKE: (To Helen.) Here honey, try these out.

(Helen takes up a practice stance with one.)

QUINN: (Holds up golf bag, awkwardly.) Do I have to *drag* this big bulky
thing with me the whole time?

BOY: (Scampers over, eager to help.) I'll carry 'em for you!

QUINN: Really? (Hands them over, puts on the flirty charm.) Thanks!

HELEN: Quinn, we're renting a cart. You don't need a caddy.

BOY: That's okay, I don't mind!

CUT TO:

EXT.: DEGA STREET.

(MUSIC: "Surfboy", Underworld.)

(Daria eases into a parallel-parking space behind Trent.)

CUT TO:

INT.: GUITAR SHOP.

(Trent's at the counter paying for some strings. Daria browses, trying
desperately to look like she belongs there.)

COUNTER DUDE: So how's the string project coming, Trent?

TRENT: It's gettin' there, few more years. Right now the Markleys are ahead
by twelve points.

DUDE: (Notices Daria back there.) New girlfriend?

(Daria hears this, BTW.)

TRENT: Oh, that's Daria. We're goin' out--

(You can practically *see* Daria's heart leap at these words.)

TRENT: --to drop off my car.

(Little bit rueful look on her now.)

DUDE: She's cute, man. How old is she?

TRENT: (Doesn't really react to the "cute" comment.) She's Janey's age.
Still in high school.

DUDE: (Knowing look, hands Trent his change.) Ah. Been there, man.

CUT TO:

EXT.: SEDIMENTARY ROCK GOLF COURSE.

(Jake's behind the wheel of the golf cart, seems to be truly enjoying
himself. Beside him is Helen, and Quinn and her caddy/date are in the seats
behind them. Someone they pass does a double-take, as he recognizes:)

ERIC: Helen?

HELEN: (Turns, surprise.) Eric? (Steps on the brake, stopping the cart and
startling Jake.) I didn't know you golfed! (Introductions.) Jake,
this is Eric Schrecter, my boss. Eric, my husband Jake!

(Handshake.)

JAKE: (Gestures to the seat beside Quinn.) Hey, let's make it a foursome,
whadya say? (Notices the boy, some irritation.) Move it, son.

CUT TO:

EXT.: CHEZ PIERRE.

(Trent pulls his car up under the covered driveway at the front entrance,
where he is waved to a stop by a valet who looks at him and his car like,
"You have *got* to be kidding me.")

TRENT: (Rolls down window.) Hey.

VALET: Park your car..."sir"? (You can tell he uses the term very loosely.)

TRENT: (Obviously his first exposure to valet parking.) Sure.

(Trent climbs out. The valet moves to the car door, coughs politely, hand
outstretched ever so slightly for a tip.)

TRENT: (Misunderstands.) Oh. They're in the ignition.

(The valet scowls condescendingly, brushes off the seat with a disgusted
look before easing into the seat. A second valet takes the Morgendorffer
vehicle, and Daria and Trent proceed into Chez Pierre.)

(...la la LA la la...)

(COMMERCIAL LEAD-IN: Trent stirring as Jane cheers triumphantly into phone.)

END ACT 1.

(COMMERCIAL: Danny Bronstein said I should do a commercial for "Varsity
Blues" or "The Faculty". So, okay, here goes: There's a commercial for
"Varsity Blues". See, I just did it! See? See? Then there's a commercial
for "The Faculty". There, howzat? Oh, and we'd better do one for Mike
Judge's new film, "Office Space". And also a little plug from TCI, my local
cable provider, telling me how my cable service is so much better than a
satellite dish and I should definitely stick with it for many years to come.
I assume everyone else gets something similar to these in their area?)

BEGIN ACT 2.

RETURN TO:

INT.: MCGRUNDY'S BREW PUB. LATE EVENING.

(Our first visit here, too. Mystik Spiral is onstage, playing the closing
guitar licks to some song. The crowd is going wild.)

TRENT: (Basking in applause.) Thank you! Thank you, we love you!

JESSE: (Fist raised.) McGrundy's audiences are the greatest audiences in
the WORLD!!

TRENT: (When applause dies down.) I'd like to dedicate this next song to
the love of my life... c'mon up here, Daria!

(Fast zoom-in to Daria at the back of the crowd, just beaming. The throng
parts, allowing her to approach the stage, where Trent extends a hand to
help her up.)

TRENT: (Pulls her close.) This is for you, Daria.

(MUSIC: "My Heart Will Go On", Celine Dion. [I know, I'm sick of it too,
but this part cracks me up.])

(Trent lip-syncs Celine's words, neither singing nor playing. Slow-mo shot
of the crowd going wild, then cut to the very back for a distant shot of the
stage. Trent wraps his arms around Daria as the stage and crowd dissolve
into the ocean and the prow of the Titanic. Do the same sweeping shot from
the movie as Trent holds Daria around the waist, her arms outstretched, eyes
closed, flying. [And this is the *last* "Titanic" reference I will ever use
in any script, for the rest of my life, *EVER*, and I *MEAN IT*! Thanks for
putting up with one final indulgence.])

TRENT: (Whispers in her ear.) Daria...

DARIA: (Doesn't open her eyes.) Hmm?

TRENT: (A bit louder.) Daria?

DARIA: (Sweetly.) What is it, Trent?

TRENT: (Shakes her gently.) Daria!

(The daydream bursts, and Daria finds herself:)

INT.: CHEZ PIERRE.

(The Celine Dion music is playing in the restaurant, that's how it screwed
with her fantasy.)

DARIA: (Blushing, Trent's looking at her curiously.) Huh?

[I keep this up for the whole script, see, so you might as well get used
to it.]

TRENT: (Seeing the maŒtre d' approach.) I think our table's ready.

MAITRE D': (Uses obviously fake French accent.) So sorry, "monsieur"--
(Again, using the term loosely.) --but we cannot allow you to
dine in our establishment dressed like *zat*.

DARIA: (Points at his head, says it loud enough that some patrons at nearby
tables can hear.) Apparently the dress restriction doesn't apply to
toupees.

MAITRE D': (Blanches, but he gets the message.) Zis way, please...

(Trent shoots Daria a "you go, girl" smirk as he follows. Trivial detail:
One of the empty tables they pass has a little prop-up sign, "RESERVED FOR
QUINN MORGENDORFFER AND GUEST". The maŒtre d' leads them to an isolated
table, as far away from the other guests as possible. But not so far away
that they aren't recognized by three familiar faces:)

STACY: Hey, isn't that Quinn's cousin over there?

TIFFANY: (Looks.) Yeah. And she's with that *guy* again. [*]

[*] The Fashion Club saw Trent with Daria in "All Washed Up", recall.

SANDI: (Haughty tone.) What are *they* doing here?

(The Fashion Clubbers are interrupted by the J's, shamelessly sucking up.)

JOEY: Hey, girls! Need us to order some more soda?

JEFFY: How is everything? Are you ready for dessert?

JAMIE: (Hopeful.) Is Quinn here yet?

SANDI: (Irritation.) I already *told* you, Quinn isn't coming. Apparently
she had *better* things to do. (Evil smirk.)

TIFFANY: (To JJ&J.) Shouldn't you be back at your *own* table?

SANDI: We said you could buy us lunch, *not* sit with us.

CUT TO:

EXT.: SEDIMENTARY ROCK GOLF COURSE.

(On the links. Jake takes a swing, slices wildly, looks disappointed.)

HELEN: (Anxious not to let him spoil this.) It's okay, honey, you're still
warming up.

(Quinn tees off next.)

JAKE: ("Helpful" instruction, standing behind her, adjusting her stance.)
Stand with your feet a little farther apart, honey. And bend your
knees more. Keep your eye on the--

QUINN: Daddy, let *me* do it!

JAKE: (A bit defensive, holds up hands.) Okay, okay! But you won't get--

(Quinn swings, and the ball just *soars* down the fairway. Jake's jaw
drops. Eric raises his eyebrows, impressed.)

HELEN: Oh my God, Jake, I think she's on the green!

CUT TO:

EXT.: CHEZ PIERRE.

(MUSIC: "Embrasse Moi (You Fly Me Up)", Vanessa-Mae.)

INT.: CHEZ PIERRE.

(Daria and Trent at their table. Trent looks around at the place, sitting
with his practiced slouch. Their waiter approaches, bearing a water pitcher
and menus, fills their glasses, lights the single candle in the center.)

WAITER: (Also fake accent. One look at Trent tells him he doesn't have any
money.) May I ask how "monsieur" will be paying today?

TRENT: Oh. (Pulls crumpled gift certificate from his pocket.) Here.

(The waiter looks at the gift certificate, rolls his eyes like, "another one
of *these*". He takes it with a cloth napkin, like he doesn't even want to
risk touching Trent. Trent shrugs it off, but Daria looks pretty bothered.
He hands them each a menu, then leaves.)

TRENT: (Reads menu.) Man, look at some of these prices. I don't even know
what this stuff is.

DARIA: (Shyly.) I know a little French. Need some help? [*]

[*] She takes French at Lawndale, it's in "The Daria Diaries".

TRENT: Nah, I'll just pick something.

(He sneezes loudly, earning across-the-room glares from a few of the distant
diners. Daria notices that he's blown out the candle. A think plume of
smoke rises from the wick.)

DARIA: Bless you.

TRENT: (Sniffs.) Think I'm coming down with something.

(Trent blows his nose on one of the fancy cloth napkins, which makes the
arriving maŒtre d' cringe in disgust. He produces a book of matches, flips
the cover to relight their candle.)

TRENT: (Produces his lighter.) 's'okay, man, I got it. (Starts the wick
aflame once again.)

CUT TO:

EXT.: SEDIMENTARY ROCK GOLF COURSE.

(Eric and Helen are on the green. Jake lines up a chip shot from a nearby
sandtrap. On the far side of the green, Quinn and her caddy wander about,
searching.)

ERIC: And the Dawson treadmill injury case?

HELEN: Got a copy of the manual from the manufacturer, it never specifically
warns against running backwards on it. That's our angle.

QUINN: (Calls, wrecking Jake's concentration.) Daddy? I can't find where
my ball went!

(Jake overshoots, his ball landing on the green but cruising past the cup.
Eric lifts the flag, notices something.)

ERIC: There's a ball already in here. (Bends over, picks it up.)

QUINN: Is it carnation pink? (Eric tosses it, she catches.) Yeah, this is
mine!

HELEN: (Thrilled, as Jake trudges up.) Jake, honey! Quinn hit a hole-in-
one!

(Jake looks stricken.)

ERIC: I think they give out trophies for that!

QUINN: Can we play mini-golf after this? I like those little windmills.

(MUSIC: Jean Michel Jarre, "Oxygene 4".)

CUT TO:

INT.: CHEZ PIERRE.

(Close-up of Daria at her table, awkward expression. Zoom out, and we see
it's because Trent's dozed off on her. Sandi's noticed it too, and she
makes a special effort to lead the Fashion Club and the J's by their table
on the way out.)

SANDI: (Condescending tone.) Hey, Quinn's cousin.

TIFFANY: (Leans over, looks at Trent.) OhmyGod. Is he asleep?

SANDI: (Sneers.) Maybe he should have chosen a more interesting *date*.

(Stacy gives Daria an apologetic look, like this wasn't her idea. JJ&J
glance forlornly at Quinn's vacant table as Sandi leads them out.)

CUT TO:

EXT: SEDIMENTARY ROCK GOLF COURSE.

(Another hole, midway down the fairway, at the edge of woods. Quinn's caddy
is now hitting for her, while she sits in the cart and drinks a diet soda.
Eric and Helen stand by the ball-washer, Helen turning the crank on it.)

HELEN: (Pleasant, just-asking.) So, have you talked to the rest of the
"family" about me?

ERIC: (Like he doesn't want to get into this.) Yes, Helen, I did put in a
good word on your behalf, but... at the moment the other partners are
hard-set on giving the promotion to Karen... I hope you understand.

HELEN: (Turning the ball-washer crank with more and more force.) Don't be
ridiculous, Eric, of *course* I understand. (Beat, bitter.) Anyway,
when -- not *if*, but *WHEN* -- I *do* get promoted, I want it to be
for my *work*, not because of a tight miniskirt and a boob job!

ERIC: Helen, I hope you're not upset--

HELEN: (Snaps.) I'm *not* upset, Eric. (Turns, shouts into the woods.)
Dammit, Jake, will you just *take* the stupid extra stroke!

CUT TO:

INT.: CHEZ PIERRE.

(MUSIC: "Sweet Lullaby", Deep Forest.)

(Trent sinks into his chair, sighs with combined content and sleepiness,
hands on his stomach. There's still quite a bit of food on his plate,
Daria's too.)

DARIA: Stuffed?

TRENT: (Nods.) Yeah. Good, though. We'll hafta come here again sometime.

(You can just imagine Daria's face when she hears *that*.)

TRENT: (Sits up, gestures at her face.) Here, you've got a little spot of
sauce...

(Daria wipes with her napkin, but doesn't get it.)

TRENT: (Smiles.) No, right... (Reaches over, wipes the corner of her mouth
for her.) ...there.

(Daria blushes prettily in the candlelight. The snotty maŒtre d' reappears.)

MAITRE D': (Dirty look, really wishes they'd leave.) Are we *quite*
finished?

TRENT: (Looks at the uneaten food on his and Daria's plates.) Can we get a
doggy bag?

(The maŒtre d' rolls his eyes, sighs almost imperceptibly.)

CUT TO:

EXT.: SEDIMENTARY ROCK GOLF COURSE.

(Jake uses an iron to reach for his ball in the mud at the edge of a water
hazard.)

ERIC'S VOICE: (Off-camera.) Fore!

(A ball sails into view and hits Jake in the leg, making him lose his
balance and topple head-first into the lake. Helen, hearing Jake's yelp,
comes running up, stares at her soaking-wet hubby.)

HELEN: (Bursts into laughter despite herself.) Oh, Jake! (Covers her smile,
turns away, bent over laughing.)

QUINN: (Hears Helen, joins them, horrified.) Daddy! You're embarrassing me!

BOY: (Holds out ball-retrieval wand to Jake.) Wouldn't this work better,
sir? (Ducks as Jake, furious, hurls his club at the kid's head.)

CUT TO:

INT.: CHEZ PIERRE.

(MUSIC: "Sweet Lullaby" by Deep Forest, still.)

(The table is vacant. Cleaning up, the waiter notices something: Zoom-in on
the now-unlit candle. Either Daria or Trent has stuck a single penny into
the wax for a tip. [I actually did this once.])

CUT TO:

EXT.: CAR DEALERSHIP STRIP.

CUT TO:

INT.: CAR DEALERSHIP.

(Trent's at the counter filling out a form while Daria waits.)

TRENT: (Mid-sentence.) --definitely change the oil and filter, front tires,
check the brakes and spark plugs, and I'm pretty sure the muffler's
ready to break loose.

SALESMAN: (Takes the form.) Will do. Should have it ready in a couple days.

TRENT: Cool. (Turns to go.)

SALESMAN: (Not about to let a potential sale slip away.) Y'know, this
lemon's awfully old, ever considered getting a newer vehicle?

TRENT: No.

CUT TO:

EXT.: CAR DEALERSHIP STRIP, PARKING LOT.

(Trent, Daria and the salesman walk down the lot. The salesman has his arm
on Trent's shoulder like Trent's his bestest, most friendiest pal in the
whole world. [I'm drawing completely from experience here.] Trent shrugs
him away.)

SALESMAN: I'm serious, Mr Lane -- may I call you Trent?

TRENT: Whatever.

SALESMAN: (Not missing a beat.) Trent, my friend, you're gonna love this
little peach. Now the sticker says ten-five, but I'll let *you*
have her for nine. Now that's for you only -- not for your
friends, not for the little lady here -- but for *you*, because
you're my friend, Trent.

TRENT: Uh huh.

SALESMAN: Nine thou, right here, right now. You leave, you call me later
today, it's back at ten-five.

DARIA: (Sardonic.) What's a little high-pressure extortion among friends?

(Trent chuckles at this. He enjoys her take on the situation, although the
dealer understandably doesn't.)

SALESMAN: Three years old, mileage is real low, only one previous owner.
Little old lady, tool real good care of it--

DARIA: Only drove it to church on Sundays, yes, we know the story.

(They reach Trent's and Daria's cars, there's a sporty little red jobber
parked beside them.)

SALESMAN: (Mock-surprise, badly acted.) Why, here she is right now! One of
the other dealers must've parked her right next to yours while we
were inside, what a coincidence!

DARIA: You must really think we're idiots.

SALESMAN: On the contrary, little lady. Lettin' a car like this go at a
price like that, if anything *I'm* the idiot.

DARIA: (Sahara-dry.) As long as you admit it, and make an effort to change.

(This earns her another appreciative chuckle from Trent, this time he does
the cough.)

TRENT: Good one, Daria.

CUT TO:

INT.: SEDIMENTARY ROCK GOLF COURSE, PRO SHOP.

(Jake's at the counter, head in his hands, utter defeat. Quinn's at the
counter examining her trophy, a metal number "1" with a notch in one side
to hold her winning ball.)

QUINN: (To guy behind counter.) Is there enough room for "Quinn Louise [*]
Morgendorffer"? That's my full name. And could you change it so it
says "Most Popular Lawndale Student"? Sandi would be *so* mad!

[*] Peter Guerin used it in two of his fanfics, "The Dinner Date from Hell"
and "Return of the Lawndale Militia", and I like how it goes with Quinn.
-- C.E. "I'm blatantly ripping off Peter Guerin's footnote idea, just
try and stop me" Forman

CUT TO:

INT.: CAR DEALERSHIP STRIP, PARKING LOT. IN DARIA'S CAR.

(MUSIC: "Freak", X-Dream.)

SALESMAN: --you let me know right away if you change your mind, okay? Maybe,
*maybe* my boss'll let me sell it to ya for nine.

(Trent gets in the car, passenger-side, shuts the door. The salesman waits,
thinking Trent might make an impulse purchase.)

TRENT: That was really cool how you told that guy off. (Fastens seatbelt.)

DARIA: (Quiet smile, pleased.) Thanks.

(Wearing a please-don't-let-me-look-stupid-in-front-of-Trent expression,
Daria nervously turns the key, starts the car, pulls the gearshift into
reverse... And backs out way too fast, reacts by quickly applying the
brakes, too much. The car jerks to a stop. Daria flushes furiously,
keeps her eyes firmly averted from Trent.)

TRENT: (Misinterprets the cause of her nervousness.) Relax, Daria. You
just gotta get the feel of it.

DARIA: No, I... (Can't figure out how to finish.)

(Daria moves into drive, slowly turns the car out of the lot and back onto
the road. Trent rolls his window partway down. Daria maintains a sharp
focus on the road, afraid to look at Trent lest she do something stupid.)

TRENT: Hey, I know a place we could stop on the way home...

DARIA: Really? Where?

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT.: LOVERS' LANE. EVENING.

(MUSIC: "Enchanted", Delirium.)

(The car is parked at the edge of the quarry, and we see the silhouettes
of Daria and Trent inside, in the back. Cut to inside the car, close-up of
Daria's green jacket as Trent unzips it, then Daria kicking her boots off.
Her face a bright crimson, she reaches over to undo an already bare-chested
Trent's pants... Then starts in panic as a shudder courses through the
entire car. Peering outside, Daria watches helplessly as the rim of the
quarry crumbles around them, sending the car plummeting down the side in
a cloud of dust and rock. Daria and Trent grab onto each other, their
yelling coalesces into the piercing sound of a car horn--)

(Daria snaps back to reality just in time to see the sign at the top of the
hill: "Seven Corners -- Proceed With Caution" -- and the other car, obviously
confused, coming at her head-on, horn at full blast. In her confusion and
inexperience, she's slow to react.)

DARIA: (Panics.) Trent! Which way do I go?!

(He doesn't even have time to answer. The next few shots are a blur, too
much to take in at once: Daria wrestling frantically at the wheel, wide-eyed
with terror, her foot slamming on the brakes, screeching tires, Daria finally
letting go and cringing, bracing herself for the impact, arms shielding her
face. Abruptly, freeze the action and drain all color to shades of grey.)

(COMMERCIAL LEAD-IN: Replay the last terrifying scene, in slow-mo, no music.)

END ACT 2.

(COMMERCIAL: The customs guy stopping a new kind of Pop-Tart driving a car,
not believing it's really a Pop-Tart. About six ads for CastleVania for N64.
And a plug for that despicable Tom Green show. Anybody watched that? I'n't
it about the most vile, reprehensible piecea crap y'ever did see? And worst
of all: Tracy Grandstaff is listed in the credits as one of the show's
writers! Bad Tracy! For *shame*!)

(COMMERCIAL: D'ja ever notice how commercial breaks seem to last the longest
when you *really* want to get back to the show? Like say the last act ended
on a really intense moment and you can't wait to see what happens next, but
then there's all these commercials and you don't want to get up or change
the channel cuz when the show comes back you're afraid you'll miss the first
part of it? So you actually sit there and *watch* all the wretched ads!)

(COMMERCIAL: ...And it seems to take longer than usual, and you wonder if
it's just your imagination or if some sadistic cretin intentionally scheduled
more commercials to run this break *knowing* you'd be glued to the set and
be unable to do anything but watch them!)

(COMMERCIAL: This happened to me when "Pierce Me" first aired. Both breaks.
You know, the first time where it ends right when Jake opens the door and
Trent's standing there. And then right after Daria gets pierced. I mean,
it's been rerun for almost six months now, but I still remember not being
able to look away the first time.)

(COMMERCIAL: So it's like just when you think *that* was the last commercial,
like some ad for something else on MTV, and *now* it's over and the show's
coming back, they slip in *another* one!!)

(COMMERCIAL: Though I should probably mention "Pierce Me" isn't actually
my number-one "Daria" episode. My all-time favorite is "Arts 'n' Crass".
But "Pierce Me" grabbed my attention better than any other, on the first
viewing.)

(COMMERCIAL: Same for "Road Worrier", during the first season.)

(COMMERCIAL: But anyway, the point is, I think the advertising people sneak
in more ads during really intense episodes on *purpose*, don't you?)

(COMMERCIAL: Awright. Everybody's got the joke by now. Enough's enough.)

(COMMERCIAL: Ah, hell. One more.)

BEGIN ACT 3.

RETURN TO:

EXT.: SEVEN CORNERS, ACCIDENT SCENE.

(Silence. Three-quarter overhead shot of the intersection, the
Morgendorffer car in the ditch on one side, the front end smashed up, hood
bent at a circumflex angle, thick black smoke oozing up from the engine
block.)

(Cut to a windshield close-up, driver's side. The airbag slowly deflates to
reveal a terrified Daria, still clutching the wheel in a white-knuckled grip,
all color drained from her face. She's badly shaken up, and her breathing
comes in rapid, frightened shudders. She swallows hard, her mind straining
to absorb what's just happened, then suddenly remembers:)

DARIA: (Turns.) Trent!

(Inside shot of the car now. Trent is slumped in his seat, his head turned
away from Daria. He doesn't move when she calls his name.)

DARIA: (Getting even more scared.) Trent?! (Grabs his arm, shakes him.)
Trent, are you okay?!

TRENT: (Snorts, jerks awake.) No problem, officer, we're both consenting
adults... (He sneezes again.)

(He turns, sees who's in the car with him. Daria gasps, puts a hand to
her mouth as she sees the fresh red gash across one side of his forehead,
blood smeared on the edge of the partway-opened passenger window.)

TRENT: ...*Daria*??

DARIA: (Reaches gently toward his forehead.) Oh my God, Trent you're
bleeding! (Undoes her seatbelt, digs in the glove compartment for
a Kleenex, hands it to him.)

(Slowly Trent reaches up, winces as he touches it, the tissue coming away
bloody.)

TRENT: (Confused.) Daria...? What *happened*? What am I doing here?

(Cut to exterior. Both Daria and Trent are out, inspecting the damage.
Trent looks a little woozy. Daria's mouth widens in horror as she sees
the full extent of what's happened to the car.)

DARIA: (Very quietly.) Oh my God. (Beat.) Oh my God.

(Suddenly sick to her stomach, Daria turns away and retches, losing her
Chez Pierre lunch, then leans against the car, stricken.)

TRENT: You okay, Daria?

DARIA: (Scared.) Oh my God, Trent, what am I gonna do?

TRENT: (Hand on her shoulder, comforting.) Shh, it's gonna be okay. C'mere.

(Daria hesitates, holds back, then finally lets the sixteen-year wall around
herself melt away and goes to him. Trent takes her in his arms and holds
her. Daria just squeezes her eyes shut, letting him. She's as close to
crying as we've ever seen her before, but with Trent there with her she
chokes it back, forces herself to hold it in.)

(Cut to a little further up the road, a familiar yellow convertible.)

(MUSIC: "Here We Go", N Sync.)

STACY: (In back, leans forward, sees the two cars.) Oh my God, an accident.

TIFFANY: (Shotgun, looks up, she's been using a CD as a mirror to do her
lipstick.) Yeah.

SANDI: (Spots Daria, gets a big grin.) It's Quinn's *cousin*! (Slows the
car to a stop, sees Daria and Trent in their embrance, calls:) Hey,
Quinn's cousin! Like, get a *room*!

(She and Tiffany laugh, though Sandi laughs more. Face burning, Daria shoots
them a look of pure, unrefined hatred.)

TIFFANY: (Believes Sandi's joke that they're making out.) What do you think
they were *doing* when they crashed?

STACY: (Concerned for the weird girl who was nice to her when no one else
was.) Are they okay? (Opens door.)

SANDI: Where are you *going*, Stacy?

STACY: I just wanna see if everyone's okay. (Hurries toward the accident.)

(Tiffany watches the two with interest.)

SANDI: (Becomes angry, yells.) *Dammit* Stacy, get back in the car!

(But Stacy doesn't obey. Furious, Sandi punches the button, putting the
top back up. Tiffany raises her eyebrows, but wisely says nothing. Pedal
to the metal, Sandi screeches off, leaving Stacy behind looking pained.)

STACY: (Forces herself to forget Sandi. Quickly takes in the damage,
Trent's injury.) OhmyGod, are you guys okay? Need me to call for
help? (Takes a cell phone from her purse. Answer's Daria's
questioning look:) I'm on-call for the Fashion Club this week.
(Talks as she dials.) Who's in the other car?

DARIA: (Wide-eyed.) The other car! Jesus, I completely forgot!

(Stacy talks on the phone as Trent follows Daria to the other car, equally
smashed up. Opening the passenger door reveals a simply-dressed man curled
up in a fetal position across the front seat, apparently uninjured but
nonetheless sobbing uncontrollably.)

DARIA: (Another round of shock.) *Mr O'Neill*?!

(The sobbing abruptly cuts off, and the man turns, slowly sits up, his lip
quivering.)

O'NEILL: D--... Daria?

(His gaze moves to the side, sees another familiar face, a former student.)

O'NEILL: T--... Terry??

TRENT: Uh, that's "Trent".

O'NEILL: Oh... y-yes, of course...

DARIA: (The full weight of what's just happened hits her.) Oh my God...
My Dad's gonna be so pissed...

CUT TO:

EXT.: ROAD SHOULDER.

(Close-up of Jake behind the wheel. Already upset after the rotten day of
golf, he now grips the steering wheel tightly, seething with rage. Pan
right -- passing Quinn in the back, admiring her trophy -- and we find out
why: The swirling red and blue lights of a police car behind him, an officer
stepping out to write him a ticket.)

CUT TO:

EXT.: SEVEN CORNERS, ACCIDENT SCENE.

(A pair of patrol cars, lights swirling, have arrived during the cutaway.
Mr O'Neill waits beside one, where a pair of officers question them and
direct traffic. A third officer helps Trent into the back of the squad
car. Trent has a handkerchief to his head, keeping pressure on the wound.)

DARIA: (Approaches, hands something to officer.) Here's the insurance card.

OFFICER: (She takes it.) Hop in. We'll do the rest at the hospital.
(Notices Daria's frightened reaction.) Relax, you're not under
arrest. We just wanna get your boyfriend's gash looked at.

(Daria blanches at this, wondering if Trent overheard, but climbs in back.
Stacy's already there, between her and Trent.)

OFFICER: (Climbs in, lifts radio.) Dispatch, this is Unit 12, en route to
Cedars from 11-81 at Seven Corners. One minor head trauma, ETA ten
minutes.

RADIO: Ten-four, 19.

TRENT: (Glances around the squad car's interior, nervous fidgeting.)
Oh *man*, this brings back some unpleasant memories.

RADIO: (Crackle of static.) All units, this is unit 19, I have one white
male, age 40-45, stopped for routine traffic violation, showing signs
of extreme agitation. Send backup, over.

CUT TO:

EXT.: MORGENDORFFER RESIDENCE. MID-AFTERNOON.

(MUSIC: Jewel, "Kiss the Flame".)

(The car pulls up into the driveway, now with Helen driving.)

CUT TO:

INT.: KITCHEN.

(The family enters. Jake throws down his clubs as soon as he's inside.)

JAKE: (Goes to the liquor cabinet.) I need a drink.

HELEN: But it's 2:30 in the afternoon.

JAKE: I'm aware of the time, Helen!

(Still carrying her trophy, Quinn goes to the answering machine by the
cordless phone, presses a button.)

ANSWERING MACHINE: You have... seventeen... new messages.

(Beep.)

JOEY: (Answering machine.) Hey, Quinn, it's Joey! Call me!

(Beep.)

JEFFY: (Answering machine.) Hi, Quinn, this is Jeffy! Call me before you
call Joey!

(Beep.)

JAMIE: (Answering machine.) Hey, Quinn, Jamie here. Call *me* first!

(Beep.)

JOEY: Hey Quinn, it's Joey again. Don't listen to Jeffy or Jamie, call *me*!

(Quinn gives an impatient sigh, repeatedly pokes at the next-message button.)

CUT TO:

INT.: JAKE AND HELEN'S BEDROOM.

(Jake lies on the bed with his martini, wallowing in depression.)

HELEN: (Sits on edge of bed, removes her shoes.) C'mon now, honey, it was
just a little game... and *another* little speeding ticket... Don't
let one bad day get you down.

JAKE: (Doesn't make him feel better.) Aww, Helen...

HELEN: (Snuggles up to Jake, puts a little sensuality into her voice.)
*I* know what would make you feel better, Jakey... (She leans over
him, undoes the top button of her blouse.) Hmm...?

QUINN'S VOICE: (From downstairs, ruining it.) MOOOOM, DAAAAD! Daria's in
the hospital!

(Both parents sit bolt-upright, sheer blood-running-cold looks of horror.)

CUT TO:

EXT.: CEDARS OF LAWNDALE HOSPITAL. (I know, it sounds weird, but I *think*
that's what it says over the entrance when it's shown in "Ill". It's
really hard to see though, so I could very easily be wrong. Can anyone
confirm this for me?)

(MUSIC: "10,000 Miles", Juno Reactor.)

CUT TO:

INT.: WAITING AREA.

(Daria and the officer sit in adjacent chairs, taking down an accident
report.)

OFFICER: (Polite, but all-business.) Name and age?

DARIA: (Quiet compliance, not a hint of smart-ass in her.) Daria Marie [*]
Morgendorffer, sixteen.

[*] I used it in "To Helen Back", though it's likely incorrect.

OFFICER: (Nods as if this confirms something, "another one of *these*".)
Address?

DARIA: Eleven-eleven Glen Oaks Lane.

OFFICER: That here in Lawndale?

(Daria nods. The office produces a breathalyzer device.)

OFFICER: Take a deep breath, blow into this.

DARIA: (Humiliated beyond belief.) Is this really necessary? I don't drink.

OFFICER: (Curt.) Standard procedure, Miss Morgendorffer.

CUT TO: EXAM ROOM.

(Extreme close-up of Trent's forehead as some of those little white things
-- I can't think of what they're called -- are applied to hold his stitches
in place.)

FAMILIAR VOICE (MALE): Your x-rays came back fine, Trent...

(Cut to zoomed-out shot encompassing the entire room. Trent sits on a metal
exam table while Dr Phillips finishes reinforcing the stitches. Stacy sits
on a chair nearby. Daria enters, sits next to her.)

PHILLIPS: We'll take these out in a couple of weeks, though you'll probably
have a scar.

TRENT: (Sharp contrast to Daria's reaction.) Cool. (Sneezes again.) Got
anything for a cold?

DARIA: (Still sick with worry.) Do you remember anything, Trent?

TRENT: (Shakes his head.) Not really.

(Daria looks absolutely crushed. The most romantic moments of her life,
and Trent doesn't even remember them.)

PHILLIPS: (Confident.) I expect your memory will return with time.

(Too bad for Trent his memory does absorb what happens *next*.)

HELEN'S VOICE: (From down the hall. Shouting, terrified.) ...*been* there!
*Somebody's* got to know where she is, don't you people keep
track of what goes on in your OWN HOSPITAL?! Why won't anyone
*TELL* me anything?!

JAKE'S VOICE: *HEY*!! DON'T YOU WALK AWAY FROM US LIKE THAT! GET BACK HERE!

(A very panicked Helen and Jake spot her as they pass the room. Both of
them swarm in and lavish concern on Daria. Quinn's behind them -- she still
has that stupid trophy with her -- but keeps her distance from her parents.)

HELEN: (On the verge of a nervous breakdown.) Oh my *GOD*, sweetie! Oh, I'm
so *GLAD* you're safe! (Sobbing uncontrollably, she squeezes Daria
tight.)

DARIA: (Too tight. Squirms.) Mom... you're hurting me...

JAKE: (Already well into his nervous breakdown.) CAREFUL, HELEN! SHE MIGHT
HAVE INTERNAL INJURIES! (To Dr Phillips, freaking out.) IS SHE OKAY?
IS SHE GONNA PULL THROUGH, DOCTOR?!

PHILLIPS: (Reassures him.) She's fine, Mr Morgendorffer. Not a scratch on
her. Just a little shaken up.

JAKE: Oh, thank *God*. (Breathes sigh of relief, then immediately:)
THE CAR!! (Pushes Helen aside, grabs Daria by the shoulders.)
WHERE'S THE CAR?! IS THE CAR OKAY?!

PHILLIPS: (Sees Jake's scaring Daria.) Mr Morgendorffer...

JAKE: DAMMIT DARIA I *TOLD* YOU NOT TO GET IN A WRECK AND *LOOK* WHAT YOU GO
AND DO!!

PHILLIPS: (To a nurse out in the hall.) Cheryl, call security!

HELEN: (Slaps Jake across the face.) *JAKE*! JAKE, GET AHOLD OF YOURSELF!

(In all the confusion, Trent, not wanting to deal with Daria's nutty parents
right now, quietly climbs off the table. As inconspicuously as possible, he
makes for the door.)

JAKE: (Lets go of Daria, grabs the doctor.) JUST TELL ME IF THE CAR'S GONNA
PULL THROUGH, DOC!! I'LL SIGN CONSENT, *ANYTHING*!!

PHILLIPS: (To nurse.) Cheryl, cancel security, get me psych instead.

HELEN: JAKE, WOULD YOU *SHUT UP* ABOUT THE DAMN CAR, YOU'RE SCARING YOUR
DAUGHTER TO DEATH!!

QUINN: (She's slipped over to her sister. True concern.) You okay, Daria?

DARIA: I think so. (Weakly.) Better than Mom and Dad, at least.

QUINN: (Finally notices her friend. Confused.) Stacy? Sandi said you were
grounded!

JAKE: *I'M* THE ONE WHO LET HER HAVE THE CAR IN THE FIRST PLACE! THIS IS ALL
*MY* FAULT! JESUS *GOD* WHAT THE HELL WAS I *THINKING*?! (Spreads his
arms, shouts, as if to the heavens.) IF YOU CAN HEAR ME, SAVE THE CAR!
TAKE *ME* INSTEAD!!

PHILLIPS: (Time for something more drastic.) Cheryl, get me 30 cc's of
thorazine, stat.

CUT TO:

EXT.: LAWNDALE HIGH. MONDAY.

(Bell rings.)

CUT TO:

INT.: HALLWAY.

(Daria and Jane on their way to class.)

JANE: So lemme get this straight, you had Trent *in* the car with you.
Completely unconscious. And you didn't even *try* to kiss him?!

DARIA: (Deadly, somebody might hear.) *Jane*!

JANE: Sorry. (Serious now.) Hey, at least nobody was hurt that bad. (Beat,
Daria looks away. Jane, sensing something's wrong, probes.) Right,
Daria?

DARIA: (Genuinely upset.) God, my Dad got so mad... He still won't even
talk to me.

JANE: (Never expected to hear this from Daria.) And... that's a bad thing?
(Play-punches her friend in the arm.) Hey, relax, he'll get over it.

(Daria doesn't look so sure.)

JANE: (Beat.) So tell me about Trent!

DARIA: What's to tell?

JANE: (Eager to hear.) Well, aside from the accident, did you two at least
have a good time?

DARIA: (Shakes her head, miserable.) He doesn't even remember it.

JANE: Maybe it'll come back. I'll ask him, if he ever wakes up.

CUT TO:

INT.: MR DEMARTINO'S CLASSROOM.

(Daria and Jane enter, and right away it begins:)

KEVIN: (Fake panic, teasing.) Lookout, it's Daria! Everybody get outta the
ditches! (He ducks behind his desk.)

(Laughter from a good portion of the class, including Mr DeMartino. He may
like Daria as a student, but his inherent sadistic tendencies can't help but
single her out as a victim.)

DEMARTINO: Ah, DARia! We were just enGAGING in a spirited pre-class
discussion of CURRENT EVENTS, specifically your own weekend
vehicular deBACLE! (Evil chuckle.)

(Daria's frowns, her eyes narrowing. It's gonna be a loooong day.)

CUT TO:

INT.: MS LI'S OFFICE.

(Ms Li and Mr O'Neill.)

LI: (Scheming.) We're going to fight this.

O'NEILL: But why? (Overwhelming positivity.) I'm sure we'll both take extra
caution now, so you might say we've actually learned from this!

LI: (Having none of it.) You're so na‹ve, Timothy. That girl needs to
be put in her place. (Beat.) Besides, we need money for more metal
detectors.

O'NEILL: (Feeble protest.) But Ms Li, it *was* an accident! If anything,
it was *my* fault!

LI: (Considers.) Do you like your job, Timothy?

O'NEILL: (Delight.) Oh, *yes*! Seeing students learn is so *uplifting*--

LI: (Cuts him off, chiding.) Then I suggest you keep your mouth shut and do
exactly what I say!

CUT TO:

EXT.: MORGENDORFFER RESIDENCE. AFTERNOON.

CUT TO:

INT.: KITCHEN.

(Daria and Helen, at the table, Helen doing her best to work and parent
simultaneously.)

HELEN: What's the matter, honey? You look down. (Beat.) Umm, more so than
usual, I mean.

DARIA: (Depressed.) I don't know how much more of Dad I can take.

HELEN: (Puts a comforting hand on her daughter's.) Now you know your father
and his moods, sweetie. He can't stay upset forever--

JAKE'S VOICE: (Shouting.) TWENTY-TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS?!

(Follow Daria into the living room.)

JAKE: (Mid-rant, looking at repair bill.) *TWENTY-TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS*?!?
(Looks up sharply as Daria walks in.) *DAMMIT* Daria, do you have
ANY IDEA how much *DAMAGE* you've done?!

DARIA: (Over the initial shock, now if she can just get through *this*...)
Umm, twenty-two hundred dollars' worth?

JAKE: (That kind of blows his train of thought.) ...*Yeah*!

QUINN: (Storms in.) This *sucks*! Mom said I can't use the car and it's
all because of *you*! You've ruined my life, I hope you're *happy*!

SANDI: (Enters, with Tiffany.) Hey, Quinn's cousin. Cause any accidents
today?

TIFFANY: Yeah.

(Daria slow-burns at their snickering. Someone nudges her from behind.
It's Jane and Trent, the latter handing Daria a handgun. Before we can
blink, she snaps it up at Quinn, squeezes the trigger, her sister goes
down. Then Jake. Shifting aim to Tiffany, she peels off another shot,
then pumps about five into Sandi. Staring coolly at the bloody carnage
before her, Daria raises the handgun's muzzle so it points upward, puffs
off the cordite.)

(Dream-shattering effect, and Daria's back in study hall. She stares at the
paper before her, genuinely disturbed by what she's just written.)

CUT TO:

EXT.: LAWNDALE COURTHOUSE. LATE AFTERNOON, THE FOLLOWING WEEKEND.

(Single gavel-bang sound effect.)

CUT TO:

INT.: COURTROOM.

(Helen stands fearless at Daria's defense, with Trent there for support.
The prosecuting team from "To Helen Back" is with Li and O'Neill, the latter
of whom has some fake bandages and a neck brace and looks like he just wants
to go home.)

BAILIFF: All rise, court is now in session.

DARIA: (Thought voice-over, as she sees who the judge is.) Oh, fu--

REINHARDT: (Cuts off the VO, so we don't hear the full profanity.) Please
be seated. (Sideways glance at Daria, raises his eyebrows.
Oh yeah. He remembers her. But he also sees how worried she
is, how badly this has worn her down.)

(Dissolve to some time later.)

REINHARDT: (Close-up. In his deep, gurgly voice.) ...After reviewing the
scene of the crash and the events leading up to it, my conclusion
is that, through lack of driving experience-- (Here he looks
directly at Daria.) --or... for whatever reason... (Here at
O'Neill, who's looks about to cry... and has probably been that
way through the whole trial.) ...I doubt this accident could
have been avoided.

LI: (Furious.) *WHAT*?!

REINHARDT: (Gavel, pointed look at Li.) Case dismissed.

(Mr O'Neill bursts out with loud sobs of relief.)

REINHARDT: (Points, irritated.) Will someone *please* shut him up?!

CUT TO:

INT.: TRENT'S CAR, PARKED OUTSIDE MORGENDORFFER RESIDENCE.

(Daria and Trent.)

DARIA: Thanks for the ride.

TRENT: No problem. It's good to have my car back.

DARIA: (Self-disgust.) I'm sorry. For this whole mess.

TRENT: (Shakes his head.) Doesn't matter. At least we had a good time,
right?

DARIA: (Smiles, pleased he remembers.) Yeah...

CUT TO:

INT.: LAWNDALE COURTHOUSE, REINHARDT'S CHAMBERS.

(Everything is in apple-pie order, from the shelves of legal books along the
walls to the slew of perfectly-arranged photos of his little granddaughter
on the walls to the objects on his desk. Reinhardt pores over a case, but
glances up as Ms Li enters with her briefcase.)

LI: (Sets it on his desk, opens it to the pile of money.) All right, C.J.,
how much is it going to take?

REINHARDT: (Straightens a photo and the "Cornelius J. Reinhardt" nameplate
Ms Li bumped when she set down the briefcase.) You're too late,
Angela. I've already made my decision.

LI: (Furious, slams briefcase shut.) You'll regret this, C.J.! I'll
remember this the next time your precious little Lexie wants front-row
IceCapades seats and you need money from me!

REINHARDT: (As Li turns to go.) You can leave the briefcase, Angela. Your
zoning violation is up next.

(Ms Li scowls viciously.)

CUT TO:

INT.: TRENT'S CAR, OUTSIDE MORGENDORFFER RESIDENCE.

(MUSIC: "Heaven Knows", Squeeze. Faintly at first.)

TRENT: Think your parents'd mind if I crashed out here for awhile?

DARIA: (Strange look.) Your house is only three blocks-- (Stops, sees he's
already dozed off. Quietly:) ...away...

(Silently, Daria opens the car door, then gets an odd light in her eyes that
we've never seen before. Before climbing out, she leans over... hesitates,
heart pounding, wondering whether to go through with this...)

(...and gives Trent just one tiny little kiss, on his stitches.)

DARIA: (Whispers, her cheeks bright-red.) Thanks, Trent.

(Trent stirs ever so slightly, turns...)

(...and promptly sneezes, right in Daria's face.)

TRENT: (Opens his eyes, sees what's happened.) Oh *man*. Sorry 'bout that,
Daria. (Can't keep from laughing, which quickly turns into another
coughing fit.)

(The music swells, as Daria just sits dejectedly.)

CUT TO:

INT.: DARIA'S BEDROOM.

(Daria lies face-down in her pillow, arms at her sides. She makes some
sniffling sounds.)

JANE: (Begging.) C'monnnn, at least tell me what happened!

DARIA: (Muffled by pillow.) Nothing. Nothing happened. Nothing ever
happens.

(Daria lifts her head, revealing red, watery eyes and a stuffed-up nose.
She's not crying -- she's caught whatever bug Trent had.)

DARIA: (Congested, dismal.) I give up. I can't take this anymore. Reality
sucks as a storyteller. Maybe fiction *is* better.

JANE: Oh, now that's not the Daria I know. You'll snap out of it, I'm sure.

TRENT: (Knocks, peeks in.) Hey, Daria. Ready to go?

DARIA: (Sits up, confused.) Go? Where?

TRENT: (Questioning look at his sister.) Janey said your Dad needed a ride
to go pick up your car.

(Daria's look to Jane says, "I swear, I'm gonna kill you for this", but she
follows it with a faint smile. Standing, Daria follows Trent out.)

JANE: (Success again!) *Yes*!!

CUT TO:

INT.: TRENT'S CAR, OUTSIDE MORGENDORFFER RESIDENCE.

(Jake waits in the back as Trent and Daria climb into the driver's and
passenger's seats, respectively.)

JAKE: Heyyyy, thanks for doing this, my man!

TRENT: Um, no problem. (He turns the key, and the car roars to life.)

RADIO: Aaaand that wraps up our Max Headroom mini-marathon here on 102.4,
WRET! Now it's Request Block time, and while our first listener's
want-list isn't quite from the WRET decade, it's a damn good song
so we're gonna play it for ya anyway!

(MUSIC: WRET pounds out AC/DC's "Highway to Hell".)

DARIA: (This particular song doesn't set well with her right now.) Trent?
Do you mind turning that off?

JAKE: (Thinks she's being considerate for him.) Oh, it's okay, Daria.
I like this "new wave" music! (Makes finger-quotes in the air when
he says "new wave".)

DARIA: Dad, this song's twenty years old.

JAKE: (Laughs.) Oh, Daria, you're such a kidder! I'm not *that* out of
touch! But really, I like your generation's music. (Moves to it,
not realizing how foolish he looks.) It's kinda... groovyyyy...

(Trent smirks, but says nothing, keeps the music on.)

DARIA: (Winces.) Dad, don't ever say "groovy" again. (But she smiles,
happy to have the old, sweet-but-essentially-clueless Jake back.)

JAKE: What? Just cuz I'm your Dad doesn't mean I can't be "down" with you
kids... It's "down", right?

(Cut to exterior shot, Trent's car driving away.)

JAKE'S VOICE: Say, you wanna do the driving back home, Daria?

DARIA'S VOICE: (Still a little sore.) C'mon Dad, I'm not in the mood for
jokes.

JAKE'S VOICE: No, I'm serious, kiddo! (Beat.) Just... don't tell your
mother, okay?

DARIA'S VOICE: Sure, Dad.

JAKE'S VOICE: Oh, I almost forgot! Your friend suggested a great place for
lunch!...

DISSOLVE TO:

INT.: DARIA'S ROOM. INDETERMINATE TIME LATER.

(Daria at her desk writing, Jane behind. With a final flourish, Daria leans
back, hands her first Trent *non*-fiction story to Jane, smiles.)

(...la la LA la la...)

(CREDITS AND CUTE LITTLE RENDERINGS OF THE CHARACTERS.)

(Play AC/DC through the closing credits.)

THE END

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Mmmmm... nah. Think I'll let the Daria/Trent-heads analyze
this one themselves. B-)

Would you like to be updated when I release new "Daria" stories and
get sneak previews of what I have in store just around the corner? If so,
send an e-mail and ask to be put on my Daria Fanfic update list. This
won't cram your mailbox full, I promise. One update a week at most.
Also let me know if you want to receive new stories by e-mail, as I'm
doing that now too.

Anybody got any fan art based on my fics? If so, you can send it to:

C.E. Forman
6823 N. TerraVista #706
Peoria, IL 61614
U.S.A.

I'd love to see it, and Martin Pollard will probably put it up on his
Outpost Daria site. E-mail is good too, JPEGs, GIFs or bitmaps work best.

[Disclaimer: "Daria" and all related characters are trademarks of MTV
Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc., and are used here
without permission for the purpose of fan fiction. I suppose if you
represent MTV's legal department you could sue, but think about it,
what's it really going to get you? I mean, *I* sure don't have any
money, and there's like fifty other people writing these fan stories,
so you might as well just live with it and maybe learn to appreciate
the fact that your show has such a loyal, dedicated legion of fans who
care enough to write things like this. Of course, you *could* just
hire us and that'd solve your problem nicely too.]

[This "Daria" fanfic story is copyright 1999 by C.E. Forman but may be
distributed freely in unaltered form to fans of "Daria" everywhere,
provided the author's name and e-mail address remain intact. Thank
you, and good night.]



--
C.E. Forman ceforman@worldnet.att.net
Ye Olde Infocomme Shoppe http://netnow.micron.net/~jgoemmer/infoshop.html