Robert Nowall



ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: The collapse of Stacyís marriage is closely followed by the separation of Helen and Jake.





If you havenít read my previous story, "Destiny Deferred," this story might not mean anything. Iíve tried to make both stories stand alone, but I might have failed. Find "Destiny Deferred" and read it---if this story is around, that one shouldnít be far away---and then read this. But in case you canít find it, or donít want to bother, let me fill in a little background right here and now.

Itís the year 2010. Daria, having gone through college, hasnít been able to get her writing or journalism career off the ground, and is now teaching history at Lawndale High. Quinn, having gotten her MBA, has taken over Morgendorffer Consulting from Jake and turned it into a profitable business. And Jane teaches art in elementary school. The three of them live together in an apartment in downtown Lawndale, with the deal being that the more-prosperous Quinn puts up half the money for half the space.

Iím making the assumption, here and in the previous story, that the show went off the air sometime in the early 2000ís, but then was revived, with the characters all somewhat older. That way I can have my fun describing them, as if this were actually written in 2010.

Other details will be dealt with as they arise in the story.



Opening shots, titles:


ACT 1.


(The apartment we see here is one large almost-two-story room, sparsely furnished. The place is a little messy, but not terribly so. One wall consists of doors (two up, two down) with a stairway and landing arrangement in front of it. The other side is one large window. It is late afternoon and the setting sun shines through this window. On the large couch near the window, as we pan in, we can see Quinn and Stacy. Stacy is crying on Quinnís shoulders, and Quinn is patting her and making soothing noises. Stacy wears her hair long and loose here (a bit disheveled, actually), and is dressed simply in shirt and slacks.)

STACY: ...it was just *awful,* *awful,* the *things* he said to me, before he left! (Cries again)

QUINN: Itís all right, Stacy.

STACY: But I had to leave! I just *couldnít* let him run my life anymore!

QUINN: There, there, Stacy, everythingís going to be all right.

(Stacy continues to cry and Quinn continues to try to soothe her. Neither notice Daria come in quietly. Sheís wearing a white jacket like the one she wore in the fantasy sequence from "Lane Miserables," but with her usual boots and glasses. She stands behind them, looking at them, with simultaneous embarrassment and confusion.)

STACY: ...I mean I donít even know if heís coming back. (sniff) Thereís nothing to come back to. He wonít even go to a marriage counselor!

QUINN: Itís going to be all right, Stacy!

(Daria coughs gently. Stacy and Quinn jump, let each other go, and turn around to face her.)

DARIA: Excuse me.

QUINN: Oh! Daria! Youíre home!

DARIA: (sharply) Yes! Iím! Home! (sighs) Okay, whatís going on here?

(Stacy, on the verge of blubbering throughout the last exchange, lets go with a sob and collapses against Quinn. Quinn gives Daria a "look what youíve done" look. Daria looks away, with a "Why me?" look on her face. She comes and stands next to the couch, then puts a hand on Stacyís shoulder.)

DARIA: (with great unease) There...there.

(Stacy looks up at Daria, then reaches up and pats Dariaís hand; her crying subsiding to whimpering.)

QUINN: Daria, can you get us *something* to *drink*? (Gestures with her head for Daria to leave the room.)

DARIA: *Something* to *drink,* yes, I can *get* that.

(Daria enters the kitchen, through a doorless door frame---a counter, a sink filled with dirty dishes, a stove/oven, a refrigerator covered with Janeís weird magnet collection, and a table with four chairs in the center. Itís quite dingy, actually. She reaches into the refrigerator, grabs a can of an unrecognizable brand soda (probably a diet version), and splits it in two plastic glasses. As she does this, in the background, Stacyís sobs subside. Daria starts to bring the glasses out of the kitchen when Quinn breezes in and grabs the glasses.)

QUINN: (in a whisper) Stacyís left her husband.

DARIA: Oh. And... (Unable to complete her sentence because Quinn breezes right out again. Daria follows behind her. Stacy is still on the couch, teary but not sobbing. Quinn hands a glass to Stacy, who drinks it and looks a little calmer.)

STACY: Iím...sorry, Quinn. Iím just a burden to you. (Looks over her shoulder.) Sorry, Daria.

DARIA: Um...thatís all right, Stacy.

QUINN: So, then, Stacy, itís settled. Youíll stay with us here tonight.

(Daria abruptly looks outraged, but doesnít speak out.)

STACY: (Shakes her head) I just canít face that apartment again. (Sniffs.)

QUINN: I understand.

STACY: I donít know, Quinn, Daria, youíve never been married. You donít know what Iíve gone through. I donít know if you would understand..

DARIA: Well, you could start by saying it. *Aloud.*

(Stacy nods. Just then the apartment door opens and a paint-spattered Jane enters. Sheís carrying a paper bag of groceries. Sheís dressed the same way she dressed in high school. At this interruption, Quinn and Daria both look frustrated.)

JANE: Boy, you wouldnít believe the day Iíve had. (Looks around, sees Stacy, smiles.) Well, well, if it isnít Shy Stacy!

(Stacy looks up, blushing nearly beet red.)

DARIA: (surprised at this nickname) "Shy Stacy?"

STACY: (polite but forced) Please donít call me that.

JANE: Oh. What brings you here?

(Stacy looks as if sheís about to start blubbering again. Jane leans back, disgusted. Quinn steps over to Stacyís side and puts her arm over Stacyís shoulder.)

QUINN: Itís gonna be *fine,* Stacy. Youíll see.

DARIA: (forced) Stacy is staying the night.

JANE: (whispered to Daria) Troubles with the old boyfriend again?

DARIA: Husband, this time around.

JANE: (Nods) Mmm. (Pause) Tough day at Lawndale High, Daria?

DARIA: No more so than any other day at Lawndale High, student days or teacher days.

JANE: *I* had a tough day. (Looks at Stacy) Bu-ut, I donít think itíll compare with the night ahead.

QUINN: Letís get out tonight, Stacy. Weíll check out a few clubs, see whoís playing where. Itíll be just like old times!

STACY: (sniff) No, no, I couldnít.

JANE: Hey, wait a minute, it was my turn to cook dinner tonight! We agreed! (Holds paper bag up.) I bought enough to make meat loaf for three!

QUINN: Ewwwwwww! Jane!

DARIA: Jane, I *thought* we agreed. No more Janeís Mystery Meat Loaf!

JANE: Hey, my cooking skills are limited to mixing paint.

QUINN: Was *that* what the red sauce was?

STACY: (suddenly brightening) I can help! What have you got?

(Daria, Jane, and Quinn look at each other, then at Stacy)

DARIA: What more have we got to lose?

JANE: Just our stomach contents.

DARIA: We would have lost that if you cooked.




(Daria, Jane, and Quinn sit at the table, satisfied looks on their face. Dirty plates sit in front of them. Stacy putters around in front of the sink, washing dishes. The whole kitchen is substantially cleaner than it was when we saw it last. Stacy is smiling.)

DARIA: Well, *that* was surprisingly delicious.

QUINN: Stacy, I didnít realize you could cook so, so...*well.*

STACY: (without turning around) Just happy to help.

QUINN: Yeah, help. (Glares at Jane)

JANE: (Glares back at her) Like you do any better when itís *your* night in the kitchen.

QUINN: Look, Iím just saying that was the best home-cooked meal Iíve had in a long time. (Glares at Jane, then at Daria, who both shrink a little.)

DARIA: Um. Thanks, Stacy.

STACY: Just happy to help.




(Quinn and Stacy are sitting on the couch, sipping what appears to be coffee from cups. Jane has put a new canvas on her easel and is painting. Daria sits in an armchair behind Jane, reading a book. Itís dark now.)

STACY: (sniff) ...I, um, donít want to tell you what he said, not word for word. Itís too, too...

QUINN: Unpleasant?

STACY: Yes, unpleasant. He said weíd talk about it when he got back. (sniff) I didnít want to stay there. I didnít want to be there at all. (sob) I didnít know where to go.

QUINN: Well, youíre welcome to stay with me until things work out for you. I donít know how, but they *will* work out.

DARIA: (looks oddly at Quinn.) Mom must have used that line a lot.

QUINN: (Ignoring Daria) Yes, stay with me.

JANE: Yes, stay here, with us.

(Daria looks at Jane with disgust.)

JANE: Well, she does makes a great meat loaf.

STACY: (smiles weakly) Thanks, you guys.

QUINN: And tomorrow weíll do something, together, the two of us. Weíll go out, have a fun. Itíll be just like old times!

STACY: But, Quinn, your job---

QUINN: Oh, *that*! I can afford to cut a day or so from my schedule. Thereís nothing going on that canít be put off. (Reaches for cordless phone on table nearby.) Iíll call Jamie. Heíll cover.

JANE: Imagine that. Quinn blowing off work.

DARIA: (sarcastic, of course) The wonders of this future we live in.

STACY: (smiling) And I can cover it! (Reaches for her purse, on a table nearby, roots around in it, then holds up a set of credit cards.)

DARIA: Secure in the knowledge that you can still break your husband even when heís far, far away.




(Music plays: Ricky Martinís "Liviní La Vida Loca." Why not? Just the kind of thing two girls who were once teens in the late 1990ís would know.)

(Quinn and Stacy, walking through Dega Street, smiling and laughing.)

(Quinn and Stacy, shopping in a store in Dega Street.)

(The two of them, emerging from the store in new, and stylish outfits.)

(The two of them wandering through the Lawndale Zoo, pointing at the monkey cage and laughing.)

(Lunch at Chez Pierre; Quinn cracks a joke and Stacy laughs, while a stone-faced waiter stands by holding a pitcher of water.)

(Brief separation after lunch, parting and laughing.)

(Split Screen: Quinn at the phone at her office, while Stacy shops in a supermarket.)

(The two of them passing by a fancy hair salon, looking at each other, then nodding smugly.)

(The two of them under hair dryers.)

(Quick succession of shots, alternating between Quinn and Stacy, each time with a different Ďdo.)

(Emerging from the salon, hair looking the same.)

(The two of them, carrying *more* bags and wearing a *second* set of new outfits.)

(Final shot of the montage. Quinn and Stacy, outside the apartment building, going in, with piles and piles of bags.)




(Somehow the kitchen is cleaner than before. Daria, Jane, and Quinn sit around while Stacy serves. Jane looks eager.)

STACY: Thanks, guys, for letting me cook tonight.

JANE: Happy to oblige.

STACY: I mean, Iím just a guest here.

QUINN: Oh, Stacy, if anything, *we* should be cooking for *you*!

DARIA: I donít think thatís medically safe.

(Others chuckle, Stacy included. Stacy sits down and they begin to eat.)




(Itís now about midnight. Daria is coming down the stairs, wearing a T-shirt down to her knees, and socks---her usual sleeping garb. Yes, she has her glasses on. She freezes when she hears noise---a rustling of pots---in the kitchen, then proceeds, more cautiously. When she gets there, she sees a shape moving about in the dark. She reaches over and switches on the light.

(Itís Stacy.)

STACY: (yelping noise)

DARIA: What are *you* doing here?

STACY: Umm...I couldnít sleep? (Daria glares at her.) Well, I couldnít.

DARIA: All right, youíve been through enough, I guess. You arenít...cleaning up in here, are you?

STACY: Nno. (sniff)

DARIA: All right, then. Do you want to talk about it?

STACY: Itís just---

(Just then the phone rings. Daria reaches over and puts her hand on it, but doesnít pick it up. In this short glimpse, we can see that this phone has a large alphanumeric keyboard attached. A mechanical voice, like the online "Welcome" and "Youíve Got Mail" voice, begins to speak from the phone.)

MECHANICAL VOICE: Call for...Daria.

(Daria picks it up then.)

DARIA: Hello? (Suddenly animated and pleased) Trent? (Then, just as suddenly, shocked) My father is *where*?




(The place is as grungy as it ever was, but we donít really get a good look at it right here. We see Trent, talking into a payphone. Trent is a little balder. He looks something like he did in Dariaís fantasy in "Lane Miserables," but a little more together, somehow.)

TRENT: Heís been here for a couple of hours. I thought you should know.

(Becomes a split screen with Daria)

DARIA: Whatís he doing?

TRENT: Itís karaoke night, Daria. Anybody with twenty dollars can come and sing with the band. Every twenty minutes, you father put down his twenty and sung with us. (Pause) I called you because heís had a few and I thought you might need to help him.

DARIA: Okay. Iíll be down as soon as possible. (Pause) And, uh, thanks, Trent.

TRENT: Thatís okay, Daria. What are friends for? (chuckles, coughs.)

DARIA: (hangs up) Quinn! Get up! (looks over at Stacy, whoís staring solemnly at her.) Weíve got to go down to a grunge club and pick up my dad.

(Back to the Zen. Trent hangs up the phone and looks towards the stage. We can see the customers; they run more to twenty-somethings than before. Probably the same bunch; it is 2010, after all. The club isnít crowded.

(We can see that Mystik Spiral is playing in front of a big backdrop of their name. Max has let his hair grow out (heís going bald) and Nick has let his go brown; Jesse cut his hair short but still has the same leather vest and no shirt. Trent, having just been on the phone with Daria, isnít with them.

(At the mike at center stands Jake, singing. Heís old-man thinner, dressed casually, sloppily, even, and has gone gray. Something like his appearance in "Write Where it Hurts," but not as old. The song heís singing is "Have You Seen Her?" )

JAKE: "...why, oh, why, did she have to leave and go away? / Whoah, ho, ho-ah, Iíve been used / to having someone to lean on / and Iím lost / mmm, baby Iím ah lost? Whoh, ho..."







ACT 2.


(Shot of the outside, looking much the same. Close-up on poster board outside front door. It says: FRIDAY. OPEN MIKE NIGHT. KARAOKE WITH THE SPIRAL. In smaller type: NO GARTH BROOKS.

(Music starts: "Just My Imagination," an improbable combination of both the Temptations version and the Rolling Stones version. We hear the intro as Daria, Quinn, Stacy, and Jane enter. The first three look a little nervous and uneasy. Jane looks sleepy.)

STACY: Wow. I havenít been here since high school.

QUINN: Me neither. (shudders, looks around) Whereís Dad?

DARIA: (pointing) Does that answer your question?

(Jake is still on stage, still singing. Trent still isnít with the band.)

JAKE: "Itís late in the evening, I watch her as she passes by/ I say to myself, youíre such a lucky guy..." (The whole song plays out while the Gang of Four comment.)

QUINN: Dear God, this is embarrassing.

DARIA: Tell me about it.

(Trent comes up to them.)

TRENT: Daria. Good. Youíre here. (Looks over the others, focuses on Stacy, smiles.) Hey, itís Shy Stacy! (laughs, coughs.)

STACY: (reddens) Please donít call me that.

DARIA: "Shy Stacy?"

QUINN: Never mind about that! Whatís wrong with Dad?

TRENT: Um...come over here where we can talk.

(They follow him to a two-seat table near the bar, a little back from the stage. Quinn and Jane take the seats while Stacy and Daria and Trent remain standing.)

TRENT: Um, your fatherís been in here all evening.

DARIA: Not...*singing.* (Looks at the stage.)

JAKE: (singing) ...but it was just my Ďmagination, once again/ runniní away with me/ It was just my Ďmagination, runniní away with me...

TRENT: Every so often. Heís had a few drinks, too. I thought he might not make it home. I would have called him a cab and sent him home, but... (shrugs) you know.

QUINN: You remembered he was Dariaís father.

TRENT: That and the vibe heís been giving off all evening. I, um, didnít think he wanted to go home. (Looks over at the stage.) But itís nearly done.

DARIA: I hope he hasnít caused you any trouble.

TRENT: He hasnít stumped us yet. (Pause) Look, Daria, Iíve got to take care of a few things. Heíll be over when he gets done.

DARIA: Youíre not in trouble with the management over this, are you?

TRENT: Daria...I *am* the management. I own the Zen now.

DARIA: What? When did this happen?

TRENT: End of last year. Really, Daria, we *have* lost touch with each other. (Laughs, coughs, leaves.)

(The band finishes "Just My Imagination." Jake, laughing, leaves the stage, then bounds over to the table.)

JAKE: Quinn! Daria! Good to see you! (hugs the standing Daria, then squeezes the sitting Quinnís shoulder. Looks at Stacy.) Well, if it isnít Quinnís friend, Shy Stacy!

(Daria looks really sour at mention of this nickname)

JAKE: But what brings you down here at this hour?

DARIA: Oh, just a mild case of daugterly concern.

QUINN: (serious) Dad, what are you doing here?

JAKE: Oh, Iím just hanging. Having a damn good time. I always wanted to sing my heart out. (laughs) See? Heart jokes!

DARIA: We were worried about you.

JAKE: What for? Itís not like I havenít done this before. (All of them look at him.) Okay, okay, itís not like Iíve ever done anything like this before. I just wanted to have a little fun.

(Jake laughs again, which quickly turn to sobs. Quinn relinquishes her seat and Daria guides him into it with her touch.)

JAKE: Oh, kids, I didnít mean for you to find out like this.

QUINN: Find out what?

JAKE: Your mother and I have split up! (He gets up, and runs off.)

QUINN: Dad! (runs off after him.)

DARIA: (shrugs) Iím going to find Trent. Jane--- (Sees Jane fall over asleep.) Umm...Stacy, see that nobody steals Jane till I get back.

(Daria walks over to the bar. Itís the usual thing, with counter, stools, and bottles. Thereís a TV, turned on, mounted on the wall over it. Trent is talking with the bartender, a short guy in a hat and a green pattern shirt.)

TRENT: Weíll need more beer in cans. This crowd just doesnít take to tap. Hello, Daria.

DARIA: Hey, Trent. It was good of you to call.

TRENT: Thatís all right, Daria. I had to call somebody about him. Every time he got on stage, heíd drive customers away. (Chuckles, doesnít cough.) Besides, I figured youíd want to know.

DARIA: I did, Trent.

(They glance at the TV. A picture of an old bald man and a middle-aged woman being interviewed on a talk-show set appears.)

ANNOUNCER: He claimed to be a Democrat! She claimed to be a Republican! Mixed-message marriages, on the next "Sick, Sad World!"

(They turn away)

DARIA: So...when did you buy the Zen?

TRENT: Last year. The band and I pooled our savings, and, well, here we are.

DARIA: Doing okay?

TRENT: Canít complain.

(Bartender coughs, loudly.)

TRENT: Oh. You remember Pat.

(Daria looks at a grinning Pat, the bartender. Confusion on her face at first, then the shock of sudden recognition plays across it. Itís the spirit of St. Patrickís Day from "Depth Takes a Holiday." Heís older, though, and his shirt, though green, at least doesnít have shamrocks on it. )

DARIA: Oh. Hey, um, Pat?

PAT: Hey, Daria. Havenít seen you since that beer blast on your twenty-first birthday..

DARIA: (gives a small smile) Please. I still get nightmares from it.

(Meanwhile, Quinn has tracked Jake down, outside the menís room.)

JAKE: *Please,* Quinn, I donít want to talk about it.

QUINN: But you said you and Mom split up!

JAKE: I just canít. Donít ask. Please!

QUINN: (throws up her hands in disgust) All right, all right, you donít have to talk about it. Whereís Mom right now?

JAKE: At home...I think.

QUINN: You donít know?

JAKE: Honey, she was there this afternoon.

QUINN: All right. Where are you staying now?

JAKE: (looks confused) I, ah, havenít had time to find a place.

QUINN: You mean all this happened *today*?

(Back at the bar, Daria is still talking with Pat. Trent is there, doing some calculations on a paper notepad.)

PAT: ...so when they decided St. Patrickís Day wasnít PC and canceled the parades, I had to clear out of Holiday Island right away. (Pause) I ran into Trent end of last year, and he gave me this job. Iím bartender *and* chief bouncer.

TRENT: Heís really good at it, too. We havenít had to call the cops in since he came.

PAT: Just Immigration. (Grins) To them, Iím some Irish wanker without a green card.

DARIA: You, the spirit of St. Patrickís Day, without a green card?

PAT: (makes hushing gestures) Please! Not so loud! Iím trying to live that down!

(Quinn comes up, with a subdued Jake in tow.)

QUINN: Itís decided. Dad will come home with us. Heíll be staying in the spare room.

DARIA: Wasnít Stacy staying in the spare room?

QUINN: Oh, youíre right! Well, Dad can stay in my room, and I can sleep on the couch.

JAKE: I donít want to be a burden.

DARIA: ...but youíre going to be.

QUINN: Shut up, Daria. Letís collect Stacy and Jane and get out of this... (Sees Trent standing there.) ...here. (Heads off with Jake in tow.)

DARIA: See you, Trent.

TRENT: Drop by, any time.

(Daria follows Quinn. At the table, Jane and Stacy are both slumped over, asleep.)


(The four girls and Jake are sitting in the living room. Jake sits alone on the couch; the others have chairs. Jane and Stacy look done in.)

JAKE: (slumped over) Iím sorry to be such a burden. (Buries his face in his hands).

QUINN: Youíre not a burden, Dad. (Glares at Daria, daring her to speak. Daria doesnít. Turns back to Jake.) Now, weíve got to work out the sleeping arrangements. Dad can have my room, Stacy stays in the guest room.

DARIA: You mean our walk-in closet.

QUINN: The *guest* room, Daria. And Iíll sleep right here. That way, nobody is inconvenienced.

DARIA: Itís far too late for that.

QUINN: Daria! Can I see you...in the kitchen? (Gestures angrily with her head.)

(They get up and go into the kitchen. By now, Jake has slumped over and fallen asleep.)

QUINN: Look, Daria, weíll never get to the bottom of this if you keep making sarcastic remarks.

DARIA: I canít turn it off, itís--- (Looks at Quinnís angry glare.) Okay, Quinn. What do you want?

QUINN: As near as I can tell, Mom threw Dad off. Weíve got to talk to her. Weíll go tomorrow morning. Itís Saturday. Sheíll be home.

DARIA: I see. And if we both go, whoíll keep an eye on the Karaoke King out there? (Jerks her thumb towards the living room.)

QUINN: Well, uh, um, one of us will go to Mom and the other will have to stay here with Dad. I pick---

DARIA: Stop, stop, weíll flip a coin for it. (Reaches over and opens a drawer. Pulls out what looks like a giant Roosevelt dime.) Novelty coins. Mmm. Cute. Okay. Heads you pick, tails I--- (Stops, shakes her head) Damnit! I donít want to pick. Okay, heads I go to Mom, tails you go to Mom.

(Daria flips the coin. We watch it spin in space, and watch Daria catch it, and flip it onto her arm. When she pulls her hand away, "tails" is facing up.)

DARIA: Damn!

QUINN: But you won!

DARIA: Which one of these choices is this thing you call *winning*?




(We see Helen emerge from the house---sheís wearing a blue powerwalker suit similar to the red one she wore in "Lane Miserables," and sheís carrying a cup of coffee. Her hair is partially gray now. She walks down to the middle of the driveway and picks up the paper, then goes back into the house. The camera pans down the street and onto a car parked a couple of houses down.

(The camera angle cuts to the car and we can see Quinnís personal slave from school, Jamie, behind the wheel and Quinn in the passenger seat. Quinn is casually dressed. Jamie, too, but, somehow, more neatly.)

QUINN: Okay. Pull up to the curb and let me off.

JAMIE: Right, Quinn.

(The car moves down the street to in front of the Morgendorffer house. Quinn gets out of the car, then leans back and speaks to Jamie through the window.)

QUINN: Now, Jamie, find a coffee shop and wait there until I call you.

JAMIE: Right, Quinn. (Drives off.)

(Quinn approaches the Morgendorffer front door, keys out, then hesitates a moment and rings the doorbell. After a moment, Helen opens the door.)

HELEN: Quinn!

QUINN: (slight edge in her voice) Hello, Mom!




(Theyíre in the kitchen. Daria, Jake, and Jane sit at the kitchen table eating, while Stacy hovers in the background, cleaning up. Jake wears what he wore last night, a little rumpled. Stacyís wearing a bathrobe and slippers, borrowed from Quinn. Daria and Jane wear pullover T-shirts and socks. Daria and Jane look a little wasted, but Jake and Stacy look fine.)

JAKE: This is really good.

STACY: (smiles, blushes a little) Thank you, Mr. Morgendorffer.

JANE: (looks at the two of them, whispers to Daria) I thought broken relationships were supposed to be *hard* on people.

DARIA: (whispering back) Itís not like that for them. We canít judge them by us.

JAKE: So what are you doing today, Jane?

JANE: Well, Iíve got an art workshop to attend this morning and afternoon. My evening is free. (Looks over at Daria.) What about you, Daria?

DARIA: (Glares back at Jane) I might get together with Mack tonight. If I can get together with him on getting together. *If* I hear from him today.

JAKE: I like Mack.

JANE: (Still into needling Daria) We all like Mack. Everybody likes Mack. (Glances at the clock on the kitchen wall.) Oh, Iíve got to get ready. (Gets up, grabs a glass of juice from the table, drinks it in one gulp, and hurries off.)

DARIA: Dad...do you want to talk about it.

JAKE: About what, kiddo? (After Daria glares at him, he becomes more subdued.) No, Daria, I donít want to talk about it.

DARIA: (sighs) Well, I wonít force you to talk about it if you donít want to.

JAKE: (smiles) Thanks, Daria.

(Stacy has poured a cup of coffee in a styrofoam cup while this exchange went on. Jane comes running in, dressed in her usual outfit, and grabs the cup out of Stacyís hand.

JANE: Bye, gotta go, good-bye! (Exits)

(The phone rings. Daria reaches over---a difficult lean---and puts her hand on it.)

MECHANICAL VOICE: Call for...Daria.

DARIA: (sighs. The lean is too difficult to maintain.) Um, put it on speaker. Hello?

SANDI (V. O.): Ms. Morgendorffer.

STACY: Eep! (goes pale)

DARIA: Yes, Ms. Griffin, what do you want.

SANDI (V. O.): A matter has arisen that must be discussed by the faculty of (speaks now in dramatic Ms. Li flourish) *Llawndale High*. We must get together as soon as possible.

DARIA: Iím sure weíll all be there Monday morning.

SANDI (V. O.): No, it canít wait until then. I have scheduled a meeting for ten oíclock this morning.

DARIA: (frowning) Um...canít it wait till Monday?

SANDI (V. O.): No, it canít. I need you there. (Pause) Do you know where Mr. OíNeill can be reached? He was not at home or with Ms. Barch.

DARIA: (another, really loud sigh) No, I *donít* know. (Pause) Is it really necessary that I be there?

SANDI (V. O.): Iím afraid it is.

DARIA: But I have guests.

JAKE: (smiling, with that goofy look weíre so familiar with) Thatís all right, kiddo, you can go. Iíll just stay here.

SANDI (V. O.): Then it is settled. Be at *Llawndale High* at ten. I will try to locate Mr. OíNeill and have him here. (Pause) Oh, and if that *odd* noise at the beginning of our conversation came from the *former* Stacy Rowe, please extend my congratulations to her on her marriage.

(Dial tone comes from speaker, which soon cuts off.)

STACY: Oh, God, she can be *so* cruel! (breaks down into sobs.)

DARIA: Um...there, there. (Pats Stacy on the shoulder, gently guides her into a kitchen table chair.)

JAKE: Yeah. Things look bad right now, but theyíll improve. (Starts sobbing himself.) My marriage is over!

DARIA: Oh, damn. *Now* they open up. (Looks at both of them) Look, Iíve gotta go. (Leaves the room.)

(Stacy and Jake continue sobbing.)




(Quinn and Helen sit in the kitchen, sipping coffee. The only difference we can see is the clock: itís now digital, and always displaying "12:00.")

HELEN: (tense) I must say, Quinn, Iím surprised, um, *pleased* that you stopped by for a visit.

QUINN: Oh, itís just one of those spontaneous things we young people do. How have you been?

HELEN: Oh, just fine. Healthy as a horse. Iíve cut back on my caseload some...I *am* getting older, you know.

QUINN: And howís Dad?

HELEN: Oh, just fine. He putters around the house...driving me crazy... (sees Quinn looking at her with suspicion in her eyes) You know?

QUINN: I know. (Pause) Muh-om! We found him at the Zen last night.

HELEN: Well, *I* donít want to talk about it. (Pause) That grunge club?




(Jake and Stacy are still crying)

JAKE: She said she didnít want to live with me! She said I just irritated her!

STACY: He was trying to control me! He *always* said I couldnít handle it myself!

JAKE: She wouldnít let me do anything by myself! She treated me like a child!

STACY: He *always* said, "No! Itís too complex! Let *me* do it for you!"

(Daria enters, dressed in her usual green jacket. (People pick a certain look in high school and stick with it.) We can see her body is a little more mature than it was in high school.)

DARIA: Look, Iíve got to go.

JAKE: Didnít matter what it was. It was always, "Jakie, you canít do it right!" "Jakie, youíll just screw it up!"

STACY: I *wanted* to go back to college, but he wouldnít let me! He said heíd take care of everything!"

DARIA: Um...good-bye? (Turns and leaves.) Oh, God.

(Jake and Stacy, still crying, show no sign of noticing her departure.)




(Helen and Quinn are still in the kitchen.)

HELEN: Look, Quinn, youíre my daughter and I love you very much. But Iím simply not going to discuss this with you.

QUINN: All right, all right, I give up. (Stands) Iím *sure* I can find out what I need to know from Dad, anyway.

HELEN: (standing) But heíd say--- (blushes, looks down.)

QUINN: (folds her arms across her chest) *What* would he say, Mom?




(Jake and Stacy have moved to opposite ends of the couch. They are still wailing.)

STACY: ...a little sympathy was all I wanted!

JAKE: She said she couldnít stand me anymore!

STACY: He said I was being stupid!

JAKE: I told her thereís only so much *I* could take!




(Helen and Quinn have now moved to the Morgendorffer living room. They sit on the couch, still drinking coffee. Some of the furniture has been replaced, but the only major difference is a painting of Daria and Quinn on one wall, that we get glimpses of as the camera angles change.)

HELEN: Ohhhh! Your father is the most aggravating person on the face of the earth. I couldnít take it any more.

QUINN: But youíve been married for (stops, counts in her head) thirty-five years now!

HELEN: That was thirty years too long. (sighs) When I think of all that time we spent in couples therapy...

QUINN: (looking somber) So you threw him out.

HELEN: (thinks about it, nods) Yes, I threw him out.

(Quinn sighs.)




(Jake and Stacy are still on the couch. The crying has subsided to sniffles.)

JAKE: Ohhh, Iím glad I could let it out like that. I feel...so much...lighter.

STACY: I feel a little better, too. (Pause) But Iíve got all this pent-up energy now! I need something to do. (Stops, smiles.) I know.

(Jake grins back at her.)




HELEN: I forget what we argued about. Some small, petty thing. But we said...a few things Iíd rather not repeat.

QUINN: And then...you...?

HELEN: Well, something finally snapped. I told him to pack his bags and get out. (Pause.) He didnít stop to pack his bags. I havenít heard from him since. (Pause, looks intensely at Quinn) You know where he is, donít you?

QUINN: I *did* see him this morning. But Iím not going to tell you. Itís for the best, for now. (Pause) And he didnít say one thing to me about this.

HELEN: Oh. (Looks defeated)




(Focus in on the front door from the inside. We hear somebody turning the key in the lock. We can hear the voices of Daria and Quinn.

DARIA (O. S.): ...total waste of time. Discussing changing the school colors could have waited for Monday morning. (Enters here, stops and looks stunned.)

QUINN: Thatís Sandi Griffin for you. Sheíll inconvenience you, Mack, everybody who works for Lawndale High. Far be it from the youngest high school principal in the state to consider... (Gets a good look at the apartment, raised hands to face in "Home Alone" style.) Aaaahhh!

(Both have looks of shock on their faces. The apartment is now immaculate. Everything is neat and in order and clean. Daria runs for the kitchen door. A quick shot of Daria looking into the kitchen shows that it, too, has been cleaned within an inch of its life, without an item out of place.)

DARIA: I...donít know what to say.

QUINN: (Sudden realization. Runs into the apartment.) Stacy? Stacy! Oooh! And to think I took her in here!

(Jane comes in the front door.)

JANE: Oh, man, Iím tired. Iím so tired I--- (Takes in the apartment, jerks as if shot.) Aaaah! What did you do?

DARIA: Not us!

JANE: My room! (Runs up the stairs and disappears into her room.) (O. S.) AAaaaaahhhh!

DARIA: My God, sheís cleaned our rooms, too.

(Stacy comes in. Sheís carrying a couple of bags of groceries. She looks at Daria and Quinn.)

STACY: (cheerful and relaxed, bubbly and almost serene) Hi, guys! What do you think?

QUINN: Stacy, you...you...you *cleaned* the apartment?

STACY: I knew youíd like it. (Pause) But I couldnít have done it alone. Your father was a big help!

DARIA: Dad? Helpful?

STACY: (missing the point) Yes! I couldnít have done it without him! He was so good! Now, Iíve got cold stuff to put away. Bye! (Goes into the kitchen with the groceries.)

QUINN: You brought this on, Daria. You left them alone.

DARIA: Hey! You invited her to stay here!

(Jane comes out of her room and slowly walks down the stairs, looking depressed, not speaking until she reaches Daria and Quinn.)

JANE: (more-or-less neutral) Itís...clean! Itís clean! (With more life.) Weíve got to get her out of here.

DARIA: No kidding! Her and him both!

QUINN: Yes, Iíve got to agree with you on this one. I mean, you leave Stacy and Dad alone, and...and... (realization strikes, bringing on sudden shock, deeper that before.) Oh, God, no!

DARIA: I had to leave the two of them alone, Quinn, I... (the same sense of realization and shock comes on her.) No. No, thatís not right. It canít be right.

JANE: What canít be right?

DARIA: Itís Dad and Stacy weíre talking about! I mean...Dad and Stacy!

QUINN: Look at the evidence, Daria! The two of them, here, in this apartment, alone together...(shudders) *lonely* (takes a deep breath, and relaxes.) No, Iíve got to keep calm.

JANE: What *are* the two of you talking about?

DARIA: We think Dad and Stacy... (chokes up, canít say it.)

JANE: What, *what*?

DARIA: (blushing furiously) That they...had...had...

JANE: (getting it...finding it amusing) That they did the two-backed beast? (Sighs) Oh, Daria.

QUINN: But what else could they...wait a minute. Stacy!

(Stacy emerges from the kitchen.)

QUINN: Stacy, when you were here alone, did you and my father...er...uh... (blushes deeper than Daria had.)

STACY: Did what?

DARIA: It doesnít matter. She had no business asking you.


JANE: Stacy, they want to know if you had sex with their father. (Smirks at Daria and Jane.) There. I said it.

STACY: With their... (looks shocked) Ewwwwwww!

JANE: (smiles) Good. That settles *that*! Now letís get down to the more important stuff. (Angry) Why the *hell* did you clean my room?

QUINN: Shut up, Jane. *Whereís* my father?




(Jake is onstage with Mystik Spiral again, singing "Third-Rate Romance." Thereís an extra guitarist as well, a young brown-haired guy who looks something like Jesse, but more together and less spacy...heís also wearing a shirt.)

JAKE: "...she kept sayiní, ĎIíve never really done this kind of thing before, have you? / Third-rate romance, low-rent rendezvous..."

(Camera pulls back to reveal Trent, at the phone frantically dialing, a slightly-miffed but concerned look on his face)







ACT 3.


(Daria, Jane, Quinn, and Stacy enter the club again. Jane carries a sketchbook. Jake is nowhere in sight. Stacy is finishing an account of what Jake had been saying to her, in her best "Fashion Club Secretary" style.)

STACY: ...so, in conclusion, Jake is upset that Helen threw him out, for what seemed like no good reason. (More seriously) Thatís *all.* And I mean *all,* Quinn.

DARIA: Good old predictable Dad. (Looks around.) Where is he?

JANE: He could have left by now. (Points to the stage, where the band is playing a fairly heavy, but unrecognizable, instrumental.) At least heís not up there anymore.

(Pat comes up to them.)

PAT: Daria, good, youíre here. Weíve got your Dad locked in the storeroom. Trentís with him.

QUINN: Heís all right, isnít he?

PAT: Well, he was when he went in. (Pause) Daria, Trent would never say anything to you about this, and, really, I donít mind, either. But every time your Dad got up on stage and sung with the Spiral tonight, half the customers left.

DARIA: Well, weíll try to put a stop to it.

PAT: Well, if you canít, have him go down the street to the Karaoke Cotillion, okay?




(Pat leads them to a door. He knocks on it, then opens it. As they enter, we see Trent and Jake, sitting on crates (the room is full of them), each with an open bottle of beer in his hand.)

TRENT: (with a little enthusiasm) Daria! Youíre here! (Pause) Can I get you a beer?

DARIA: Um, no thanks.

STACY: Iíd like one. (She is promptly elbowed in the ribs by Quinn.) Ow!

DARIA: So whatíve you been up to?

JAKE: Oh, just shooting the breeze, letting it all hang out, getting it on...you know, the usual.

TRENT: We just talked.

QUINN: Right. (Nudges Daria the way she nudged Stacy)

DARIA: Um, Dad, we know what happened. (Glances at Stacy, then speaks hastily) Between you and Mom.

JAKE: She threw me out, Daria! Thirty-five years of marriage, and she threw me out! (Begins crying.)

QUINN: (To Daria) Iíll handle this. Iíve talked with Mom and I know what she said.

DARIA: (Looks at a still-sobbing Jake) But I---

QUINN: Look, Daria, do you want to handle this?

(Daria glances at her dad, then leaves, followed by Trent, Jane, Stacy, and Pat.)

JAKE: Thirty-five years of marriage, six years of living together, all over, all done with.

QUINN: (Puts her hand on Jakeís shoulder.) Itís all right, Dad.

(Outside, Pat and Stacy wander off, while Daria, Trent, and Jane go to the bar)




TRENT: You sure I canít get you anything, Daria?

DARIA: No, Iím not much of a drinker.

JANE: (Holds up sketchbook) Iím gonna wander around and see if there are any choice faces in this crowd. Iíll leave you two alone.

TRENT: Okay, Janey, but donít annoy anyone. Weíre not in high school anymore.

JANE: Ohhh, donít I know it. (Wanders off)

(Trent and Daria sit on the chairs in front of the bar)

DARIA: I canít begin to tell you how sorry I am about this.

TRENT: Itís all right. These things happen. (Pause) Yíknow, your father was giving off the weirdest vibe this evening.

DARIA: You said that before.

TRENT: No, this was a different one. Like heís been having an affair, or something. (Pause) Guys know these things.

(Daria looks a little disgusted, but suspicious at the same time.)




(Stacy had wandered closer to the stage. The band finishes their instrumental. Max, Nick, Jesse, and the new guitarist spot Stacy.)

NEW GUY: Hey, itís Shy Stacy!

ALL: (blended together) Hi, Stacy! Hello! Hi!

STACY: (blushes) *Please* donít call me that. (Manages a weak smile)

(The others go back to their instruments. The New Guy climbs down from the stage to speak to Stacy)

NEW GUY: Hey, Stacy, remember me? (Pauses as Stacy shakes her head, then continues) Danny Moreno.

STACY: (blinks) The football player?

DANNY: (looks a little non-plussed at this, but recovers and smiles) No. We were at Lawndale High together. You were a senior when I was a freshman.

STACY: (not remembering, but wanting to be polite) Nno. Iím sorry.

DANNY: No problem. We ran with different crowds. You had your fashion friends and I was in a band.

STACY: (suddenly remembering, smiling more broadly) Yeah! Ministerís Bone! You played at my eighteenth birthday party!

DANNY: Yeah, well, we broke up after that. Iím sitting in with Mystik Spiral tonight Ďcause Iím in town visiting my brother Jesse. (Pause) Iíve got a real job now. Research Chemist at Polymer Properties.

STACY: Thatís cool.

DANNY: (a little bragging creeps into his voice) Yes, one of my patents made the company a hundred million last year. The companyís been generous to me, too, but itís a long way from home. Iím thinking about taking a job back here in Lawndale.

STACY: Well, Lawndaleís a decent place to live, I mean, if you want to start a...a family. (Starts sniffling)

DANNY: Hey, Stacy, whatís wrong?

STACY: Oh, itís my husband.

(At the mention of a husband, Dannyís face falls.)




(Daria and Trent are still at the bar.)

DARIA: I mean, Jake and Stacy got together and cleaned our apartment so much that it doesnít seem like our apartment any more.

TRENT: Harsh, Daria.

DARIA: Itís not just that. Itís the worry about my parents breaking up. (Sighs.) No matter what the subject, no matter how old I get, itís like Iím ten years old again when I talk to them.

TRENT: I know what youíre talking about. Just last year, my father showed up in town long enough to tell me what a terrible mistake I was making, buying this place. (Chuckles, coughs)

DARIA: It didnít influence your plans, did it?

TRENT: Not in the least.




(Jake and Quinn are still in the storeroom, talking.)

JAKE: ...and then Helen told me to get out. (Sniff) I didnít want to tell you.

QUINN: Thatís all right, Daddy. (Pats him on the knee.) Everythingís going to be all right.




(The sudden noise of the band starting up startles them. Cut to Daria and Trent, also startled. Jane sits in the back, sketchbook open, pencil in motion, smirk on her face.)

(The band starts playing, an improbable heavy-metal version of Fleetwood Macís "Rhiannon." We see the stage. Stacy has joined them as a singer, and is cutting loose on the vocals.)

STACY: "Rhiannon rings like a bell through the night / and wouldnít you love to love her..."

(Trent, with Daria behind him, walks purposefully towards the stage. Jake and Quinn come out of the storeroom.)

STACY: "She rules her life like a bird in flight / and who will be her lover?"

(Shots of crowd reaction: generally pleased and smiling. Trent looks around and takes this in, then smiles)

STACY: All your life youíve never seen / woman, taken by the wind / Would you stay if she promised you heaven / Will you ever win..."

(Trent reaches the stage, picks up his own guitar leaning against the wall, and quickly plugs in and joins in. Daria watches, impassively.)

STACY: "Rhiannon..."




(The club is quieter and more deserted. The band isnít playing. Stacy and Danny have taken seats at a table in the corner.)

STACY: Aw, címon.

DANNY: No, you were really good singing that. Iím glad you could hang around. (Pause) You know, Stacy, when we were in school, I had the biggest crush on you.


DANNY: But I never had the nerve to ask you out or anything. I mean, you were, well, the Fashion Club princess, and I was, well...

STACY: (in a smiling mood) Oh, I was a stuck-up zombie snob.




(Trent and Daria, sitting nearby, hear this.)

TRENT: (soft tones, almost inaudible) Sheís married, you say.

DARIA: (similar tones) Yes, but I donít have any details.

TRENT: I donít want to see Danny hurt by her.

DARIA: Isnít that a bit, um, far ahead?

TRENT: I know Danny. (Pause) You donít want to see *her* hurt, either.

DARIA: After what she did to me, I donít care. Besides, sheís Quinnís friend, not mine. (Looks up). Uh-oh!

TRENT: Something wrong?

(Mack approaches the table. Heís carrying some long-stemmed non-rose flowers. Heís dressed casually but neatly. Daria stands as he approaches.)

MACK: (pleasant) Hey, Daria.

DARIA: Mack, Iím sorry. I forgot. I mean---

(Trent stands up, but does not speak.)

MACK: (smiles, hands flowers to Daria) These are for you.

DARIA: Thanks. But you didnít---I mean, after this---

MACK: No, thatís all right. You told me about all this. I figured you got hit with more of the same. Let me guess. Jake, or Stacy, or both.

DARIA: (looks over at the table where Stacy and Danny sit) Uh, right now, itís both. (Looks around) Where is Jake?




(Jake and Quinn sit next to Jane at the bar. Jane, oblivious to their presence, and that of Pat behind the bar as well, scribbles in her sketchbook.)

JAKE: Itís *good* to spend a night out with my girls.

QUINN: (tired) I just hope I can catch up on sleep tomorrow morning.

JAKE: Iím just sorry it had to be under these circumstances. (Looks over to where Daria sits.) Whoís that talking to Daria?

QUINN: (glances over, sees Daria and Mack) Oh, thatís Mack. Youíve met him before, I think.

JAKE: (mostly to himself, trying to remember) Mack. Mack. (Gets to his feet, followed by Quinn)




(Back to Mack and Daria and Trent, still at the table. Mack remains standing.)

MACK: The concierge in your building told me where you were. (Pause) Good guy, for a robot.

DARIA: We have a concierge?

(Jake and Quinn come over. Jane walks up behind them.)

QUINN: Nice guy. Knows everything that goes on in the building. You should get to know him.

DARIA: I know too many people already. A robot would just be one more. (Looks over where Stacy and Danny are sitting.) Oh. Thereís one now.

JAKE: Whoís that sitting with her?

TRENT: Danny. Heís the younger brother of my guitarist and partner. Heís sitting in with us this week.

QUINN: Oh, they make a cute couple!

JANE: Cute couple of what?

(Another man, a blond stranger, comes in carrying flowers---white roses, this time. He looks around, and spots Quinn and approaches. Quinn looks appalled.)

DARIA: (looking at him) *Your* date for the evening?

QUINN: Oh, no. Itís Stacyís husband.

JANE: (looking at the stranger) Evan?




(The stranger approaches. It *is* Evan, from "See Jane Run," just ten years on and with shorter hair; heís wearing a business suit.)

EVAN: Quinn, whereís my--- (He spots Stacy, who doesnít notice him.) Whoís the punk? (He turns away from the group.)

QUINN: Evan, donít.

EVAN: Donít you think youíve done enough? I just want to talk to my wife.

JAKE: (slight hostility in his voice) That would depend on what you have to say to her.

EVAN: (a more hostile tone) Have we met, old man?

QUINN: Let me introduce you. (Touches Jakeís arm) This is Jake Morgendorffer, my father. (Touches Dariaís shoulder.) This is my sister, Daria. (Touches Janeís arm) This is---

JANE: (very cold) Weíve met.

EVAN: (Pause, while he searches his memory, and comes up with something.) Jane, right? You were on the track team?

JANE: Only briefly. I got off right away because I didnít want to hang around with jerks and losers.

EVAN: Yeah, I remember you. I never did get you.

DARIA: (remembering him now) No, you got Stacy.

EVAN: Oh, the hell with it. (Walks away, towards Stacy.)

(Pat comes up to the table, joins the group. The rest of the band come up as he speaks.)

PAT: Trouble, Trent? Want me to toss this guy out?

TRENT: No, not yet. But hang loose. Weíll see what happens.




(Evan comes up to Stacy and Danny. Stacy spots him, and gets to her feet.)

STACY: Evan!

(Danny looks at them, then looks intensely unhappy.)

EVAN: Stacy, come home.

STACY: (turns away, and speaks very coldly...but sheís shaking a little.) Evan. I was upset before, but Iíve had time to think. Thereís nothing to discuss, Evan. My mind is made up. Iím not coming home. Thereís no future for us.

EVAN: I didnít ask you, Iím telling you. Come home!

STACY: (whirls around and points a finger at him. Her voice is angry now.) You donít get it! Itís over! Iím not your slave, to be at your beck and call when you want! You canít order me around anymore!

EVAN: (looks a little stunned at Stacyís outburst) But, Stacy...darling, I--- (remembers he has flowers, which he hands to Stacy and speaks in a softer voice.) Iím sorry. Please. Come home. We can work something out.

STACY: (a little softer, the reaction to her outburst sinking in) Nno, thereís nothing to work out. Itís over. Finished. Done. I know that now. (sniffs) If I came home, it would just be the same.

EVAN: (a little frustrated now) Couldnít we, um, see somebody? A marriage counselor?

STACY: When I wanted to, six months ago, you didnít want to. (Pause) Itís too late.

EVAN: (looks pathetic) Please, Stacy! (Puts his hand on hers on the table)

(Stacy turns away. All around, the others watch, some with expressions of surprise at Stacy asserting herself like this.)

EVAN: (the frustration boiling over) The hell with this! (Grabs Stacyís wrist.) Címon! Youíre coming home!

(Another hand---Dannyís---shoots out and grabs Evanís wrist and holds it. Stacy doesnít move. Evan and Stacy look surprised. So do Trent and Jesse.)

DANNY: Look, the lady said she didnít want to go with you.

EVAN: (looks coldly at Danny) Butt out, kid. This isnít any of your business. (Tries to move Stacy, but Danny jerks him back, almost pulling him off his feet.)

DANNY: (looks at Stacy) Stacy, do you *want* to go with this man?

STACY: (real nervous now) Um...no.

DANNY: (to Evan) Then itís settled. (Pause) Iím going to let go. I suggest that when I do, you leave.

EVAN: (coolly) And if I donít?

DANNY: Look around.

(Evan does so. Pan around the room. Trent, Pat, Mack, and the band are standing, ready for trouble. Even Daria, Jane, Quinn, and Jake look intimidating. Evan starts to look nervous. He lets go of Stacyís wrist, and Danny lets go of his.)

EVAN: Hmmph! (Stalks out of the club. They watch him leave.)

JANE: (Turning to Stacy) You were married to *him*? Oh, Stacy, you have my sympathy.

STACY: Itís over. Iíve known it for some time. I just---oh, I donít---I canít--- (starts blubbering. Falls into Dannyís consoling arms.)

(Jake watches the two of them, with somewhat bemused longing on his face. Daria and Quinn see him watching the two of them, and pick up expressions of disgust and shame and embarrassment, all together.)

TRENT: Well, Iím happy he didnít make trouble. (Turns to Pat.) See that he goes away and doesnít come back.

PAT: Right-o! (Gives Trent the "okay" thumb and forefinger circle, then leaves)

QUINN: Iím surprised she stood up to him like that.

TRENT: Iím surprised that "Mr. Iím-a-Man-of-Peace-and-I-Donít-Fight-in-Bars" stood up to that jerk like that. (Pause) He must really have it bad for her.

JESSE: Yeah. It was cool.

MAX: Hey, weíre *criminales!* That guy went for us, he was going down!

NICK: (irritated) Oh, give it a rest, wuss! (The band members, except Trent and Danny, wander off.)

MACK: Yeah. (To Daria) Happy I could be here to intimidate him with you. Daria? Call it a night?

DARIA: Yeah. Itís not much of a date.

MACK: Hey, I had fun. (Leans over and kisses her on the cheek. Jake and Trent look at him funny.) Call you tomorrow?

DARIA: Maybe the next day. I might sleep all day, I mean... (waves her arm around) ...after this.

MACK: (trying to imitate Patís accent) Right-o! (Leaves)

TRENT: Man, you guys should come down to the club more often.

DARIA: Sorry, Trent.




(The club has mostly emptied out. The band, minus Danny, has resumed the stage and is playing a gentle instrumental. Danny and Stacy sit in a corner table and talk, but we canít hear what theyíre saying. Daria and Jane sit where they can watch both the band and the couple.

(Jake and Quinn are nowhere in sight.)

DARIA: What a night!

JANE: Yeah, boy, well...Iíve got a pile of pictures and some ideas for a new painting. But Iíll take care of it in the...late afternoon, I suppose.

DARIA: I wish I was a kid again, just so I could sleep for a week. (Looks over at Stacy and Quinn.) Think theyíll make a couple?

JANE: A couple of what?

DARIA: (shakes her head to clear it) Yeah. Funny. (Pause) Jane, itís been bothering me since I heard it. Whatís this "Shy Stacy" deal?

(Before Jane can answer, they hear a familiar voice.)

HELEN (O. S.): Daria!

(Daria and Jane turn to look. Helen, dressed in the same clothes we saw her wear that morning, approaches.)

DARIA: Mom? What are *you* doing here?

HELEN: The concierge in your apartment told me where you were.

JANE: Weíre really going to have to take a pair of pliers to that guy.

DARIA: Yes. Robot or no robot, he shouldnít be telling so many people where we are.

HELEN: Daria. *Whereís* your father?

(Cut to the stage. Jake has climbed up on it. He speaks briefly, but inaudibly, to Trent, a pleading look on his face. Trent scans the room, spots Helen, then nods. The band begins to play: "Still in Love With You Baby.")

JAKE: "Itís been a pretty long while / Itís been a mighty long time / Donít know why I feel this way / canít figure out the reasons why...

"Still in love with you baby / Youíre still driving me crazy / Still in love with you baby donít you know my heart is breaking up inside of me!"

HELEN: (suddenly enthralled, clasps her hands to her chest) Oh, Jakie!

JAKE: (continuing): "I canít go on this way forever / I canít go on this way for long / I got a feeling you donít love me / Why donít you prove that I am wrong?

"Still in love with you baby / youíre still driving me crazy / Still in love with you baby donít you know my heart is breaking up inside of me..."

(Helen steps away from the table and towards the stage, still enthralled. Quinn steps up to the table, arms folded across her chest, a slightly sour look on her face.)

JAKE: "Iíd like to know that you were mine it would be fine with me / But I canít tell whatís on your mind I hope you find itís me..."

(Helen sighs as audible as a year 2000 pre-teen at an NíSync concert)

JAKE: "What can I do so I can prove it? / What can I do to show my love? / If you want my heart please remove it / Donít want no one-sided love...

"Whoah, still in love with you baby / youíre still driving me crazy / Still in love with you baby donít you know my heart is breaking up inside of me...

"Still in love with you baby donít you know my heart is breaking up inside of me!"

(As the song comes to an end, Jake leaps off the stage and into Helenís arms. They embrace and kiss. The band, the remaining patrons, and Daria, and Jane watch with bemused expressions. Quinn, though, is a different story.)

QUINN: (shock, turns away, holds up her hands.) Ewwwwwww!




(The door opens and Daria, Jane, and Quinn come in.)

JANE: So Stacy went off with Jesseís kid brother. (Pause) At least sheíll be out of our hair for a while.

QUINN: Do you think itíll lead to anything? Stacyís vulnerable right now. Breaking up a seven-year marriage isnít like busting up with your weekend boyfriend.

JANE: (shrugs) Dannyís, well, uh... (searches for a polite phrase to describe what sheís thinking, but fails) Dannyís smarter than his brother. *And* he *likes* Stacy. He wonít hurt her. Itíll be good.

(Quinn smiles, and goes into the kitchen.)

DARIA: At least sheís out of our house and home.

JANE: (looks around, at the neatness) But the memory of her will linger on. Sure, weíll miss her cooking for us, but we wonít miss her cleaning. (Starts to climb the stairs.)

DARIA: Oh. Jane?

(Jane stops and looks back.)

DARIA: "Shy Stacy"?

JANE: Oh. Stacyís eighteenth birthday party. You were already away at college. Trent and I were there, but I donít remember why.

DARIA: A date?

JANE: (shrugs) I donít *think* so.

DARIA: But the nickname?

JANE: Well, it was at some banquet hall somewhere. Big thing, parents, teachers, everybody. The whole high school crowd, at least those who were still in high school. (Pause) Stacy was sitting at the center table with the Fashion Club and the three Jís and all the usual popular crowd hanging around. She seemed kinda nervous at the attention. She seemed to retreat a while, then she suddenly leapt up from the table, grabbed a bowl of guacamole, and began spooning it on everybodyís tacos. She went round the whole room like that. She spent most of the rest of the evening trying to serve everybody, taking orders like a waitress, and so on.


JANE: Towards the end of the night, somebody---I forget who---shouted, "There she goes! Shy Stacy!" Everybody laughed...and I think everybody who was at the party has called her that, from time to time, ever since.

(Daria gives us one of her "Mona Lisa" smiles.)

JANE: Good night, Daria. See you sometime in the evening tomorrow.

DARIA: Sleep well, O Partner in Crime!

(Jane leaves. Quinn emerges from the kitchen, carrying a glass of water. She drops two tablets in it and the drink fizzes.)

QUINN: Well, our parents are back together.

DARIA: (sourly) If you can call agreeing to live apart from each other "together." (Pause) I canít figure them out.

QUINN: Welcome to the club.

DARIA: Why would they do that?

QUINN: Why do they do anything they do? Oh, Daria, itís like shopping for Christmas presents for them. Theyíre just impossible to buy for.

DARIA: At least Dad wonít be sleeping on our couch for a while.

QUINN: (turns away in disgust) Ohhh! I donít even want to think about where heís sleeping.

(Just then the front door opens again. Itís Stacy.)

STACY: Hi, guys!

QUINN: Stacy! What are you doing here?

STACY: Oh, Danny dropped me off. (sighs) Such a sweet guy. (Pause) You know your parents were still at the Zen when we left?

(Daria and Quinn look at each other with puzzled expressions.)




(The place is practically deserted. The band (minus Danny) is still on stage, backing Jake and Helen, who are singing a duet of the end of "Papa Geneís Blues.")

JAKE AND HELEN: "I have no more than I did before / But now Iíve got more than I need / For I love you and I...know...you...love...me!"

(Music continues to play as the credits roll.)



DISCLAIMER: "Daria" and the characters and settings from it are the property of MTV Networks / Viacom International.

This parody of "Daria" is copyright © 2000 by Robert Nowall. It is not intended to profit the author in any way, and may not be distributed without permission of the author. (That means please donít post or circulate this without getting in touch with me first.) For the time being, Robert Nowall can be reached at: RobtNowall@aol.com



"Have You Seen Her?" written by Eugene Record / Barbara Acklin, performed by the Chi-Lites.

"Just My Imagination" written by Barrett Strong / Norman Whitfield, performed by the Temptations and the Rolling Stones.

"Third-Rate Romance," written by Russell Smith, performed by the Amazing Rhythm Aces and Sammy Kershaw.

"Rhiannon," written by Stevie Nicks, performed by Fleetwood Mac. (Iíve had this heavy-metal version kicking around in my head for years now, but I lack the technical expertise to bring it to sonic life. Happy to dump it somewhere.)

"Still in Love With You Baby," written by Ron Elliott, performed by the Beau Brummels.

"Papa Geneís Blues," written by Michael Nesmith, performed by the Monkees.


"Liviní La Vida Loca," written by Child / Rose, performed by Ricky Martin.


Written 7/19/00 to 9/10/00