DARIA 2010: THE JUDGEMENT OF QUINN
ONE-SENTENCE SUMMARY: When two of the three Jís blow back into Quinnís life, what will the one J she kept do about it?
I suppose itís unlikely that anybody who reads this will be completely unaware of the other three in the series. If anybodyís reading this, theyíre probably not far away. In any case, they are: "Destiny Deferred," "A Meeting of Two Minefields," and "QB Ghost." Iíve tried to make each story completely independent...but it wouldnít hurt your understanding of this story if you *have* read them.
But, I suppose, some background backfill is in order. Itís 2010. Daria has taken a job teaching history at Lawndale High. Jane teaches elementary school art. The two of them struggle to make ends meet.
Quinn, though, has taken over Morgendorffer Consulting from Jake, and turned it into a howling success. She shares a downtown Lawndale apartment with Daria and Jane, and by the deal puts up half the money for half the apartment.
Also, Iíve made the assumption in these stories that "Daria" will leave the air sometime in the early part of the decade. (Okay, so we all know thatís going to happen. I canít really claim credit for predicting it.) Iím assuming that itís been revived, but I still need to describe how each character and place has changed over the rest of the decade...
DARIA in THE JUDGEMENT OF QUINN
SCENE 1: OFFICE OF MORGENDORFFER CONSULTING. MORNING.
(Shot of a non-descript steel-and-glass Bauhaus-style office building. Cars pass by on a highway in front of it. On a sign at roadside, thereís a list of firms whose offices are inside. We can make out one, clearly, at the top of the sign: MORGENDORFFER CONSULTING.
(Cut to interior of large office. Itís stylishly decorated with several desks spread around. We can see one frosted-glass door, with visible lettering, backwards, MORGENDORFFER CONSULTING. Thereís another door, wooden, opposite it. This one has lettering, not reversed, saying QUINN MORGENDORFFER, PRESIDENT.
(There are several people, both men and women, in the office. Theyíre all standing in a group. Most are holding paper cups.
(The camera focuses on Quinn, dressed in a business suit similar in cut and color to what her mother used to wear, but looking a little more attractive on her. She has managed to scrape up a real champagne glass.
(Next to Quinn is Jamie, dressed in a standard business suit. Heís in the process of opening a bottle of champagne.)
QUINN: (in a laughing mood) Donít get any on the carpet. I donít want to have the cleaners up here again.
JAMIE: Right, Quinn. (The cork comes off with a *POP!* and the others applaud. Thereís no foam-up or mess; it all stays in the bottle.)
JAMIE: Thank you, thank you, everybody. (He pours champagne into offered cups. Everybody seems pleased with themselves; theyíre smiling and chuckling.)
(Quinn has stayed a step back. She takes a pen in one hand and taps it against her empty glass. It makes a bell-like sound.)
QUINN: Can I have your attention? (As the others turn towards her, she continues.) Iím pleased to say this new consulting deal for the Compton Company will mean at least five million dollars for Morgendorffer Consulting over the next three years.
(Ragged cheer and applause goes up from the crowd.)
QUINN: And Iím also pleased to give the credit where itís due. Without the efforts of Jamie White, we wouldnít have this deal to celebrate.
(Jamie looks pleased, as the crowd applauds. He pours champagne into Quinnís glass.)
JAMIE: Thanks, Quinn.
QUINN: A toast. (She raises her glass. The others raise their cups.) To us. Itís all our work. (Everybody chuckles and drinks. Quinn smiles at them, then puts on a mock-serious face) Now get back to work, everybody. Weíve got to keep doing a good job.
(The crowd breaks up. Quinn nods to Jamie. The two of them retreat into Quinnís office and close the door behind them.
(The decoration of Quinnís private office is the same as the outer office, with the exception of a large painting of Quinn hanging on one wall. In the painting, Quinn looks much as she does right now. Another wall is a big sheet glass window; there are vertical blinds but theyíre not drawn. There are two desks and a couple of scattered chairs. One desk, the larger, sits in front of the painting, and is clearly Quinnís desk; amongst the phones and paperwork there are pictures of Jake, Helen, and Daria. Thereís a smaller desk, clearly Jamieís; the only picture on it is a small one of Quinn in high school.)
QUINN: I mean it, Jamie. A really good job. Iím glad to have you working for me.
JAMIE: (starting to swell with pride) Gee, thanks, Quinn. Coming from you, that means a lot to me.
QUINN: (smiling) I know. (Pause) I wasnít kidding about a lot of work, Jamie. We have to go over the contracts for the Kenseth deal---
(There is a buzz from the phone on Quinnís desk. Quinn bends over and touches it.)
QUINN: Yes, what is it?
WOMAN: (speakerphone VO) Quinn? Thereís a man out here. He insists on speaking to you.
QUINN: Did he give a name?
FAMILIAR VOICE: (muffled, in the background) Tell her itís Jeffy!
(At the mention of the name "Jeffy," Quinn positively beams. Simultaneously, Jamieís face falls into a frown.)
WOMAN: He says itís---
QUINN: I heard. Send him in.
(A moment later the office door opens. Jeffyís hair is combed neatly and styled now, and heís wearing a tailored suit; other than that, he looks much the same.)
JEFFY: Quinn! (Steps over to her, grabs her hand and shakes it.) Itís good to see you again, really good.
QUINN: (dreamily) Yeah. (Shakes herself.) Yes, itís good to see you again. Where have you been, and what have you been up to lately?
JAMIE: Yeah. How are things in Fairbanks, Alaska?
JEFFY: (grinning, his eyes on Quinn) Couldnít be better. I just brought in a million dollar deal with Texaconomo Oil---several million dollars, actually.
QUINN: Thatís great. (Pause) We just closed a five million consulting deal here.
JEFFY: Well, congratulations. (Grabs and shakes her hand again.) I donít know why they say the economy is so bad.
JAMIE: So what brings you back to Lawndale?
JEFFY: (shrugs) Oh, I had to come back to sign on for the deal. Thought Iíd drop in and say hi.
JEFFY: So...are you free tonight?
JAMIE: Well, we *were* going out tonight to celebrate our new deal. (Looks at Quinn) Werenít we?
QUINN: Oh, yeah. Tell you what. Weíll all go out together, and talk over old times. Itíll be fun.
JAMIE: (sourly) Great.
SCENE 2: CHEZ PIERRE. EVENING.
(Still the fanciest restaurant in Lawndale despite some serious competition. Itís been redecorated, but the bust of Marie Antoinette and the picture of Louie-who-cares can still be seen on the wall.
(Quinn, Jeffy, and Jamie sit at a, relative to the camera-eye, table upfront. Quinnís in a black evening dress and Jamie and Jeffy are wearing tuxedos. Quinn and Jeffy are laughing and Jamie looks thoroughly disgruntled.)
QUINN: Oh! Remember the time the three of you thought Mr. OíNeill was too old to be my guardian angel? (Laughs)
JEFFY: Yeah! At Brittany Taylorís *C-minus* party! (Chuckles) Well, itís hard thinking straight when youíve had a few beers. (Pause) Remember when you wanted to try steady dating, but your sister fed you that story and you didnít know what to do?
JAMIE: (wanting to steer the conversation away from that topic quickly) Say, Jeff...whatís it like living in Alaska?
JEFFY: (grinning) Oh, itís great! A good place to live! The air is clear, and a guy can breathe!
QUINN: Yeah. The smog here can be a real killer on your makeup sometimes! But what about the cold weather?
JEFFY: Oh, sure, it gets cold in the winter, but you can get around fine, and, well... (suddenly somber) I donít know. It gets so lonely there sometimes!
JEFFY: I mean, itís my home and all, but all my friends are back here. (Takes Quinnís hand in his. Quinn doesnít resist.) Quinn, Iíve known for some time about my feelings---
JAMIE: (*really* wanting to steer the conversation away from *this* topic) Quinn? Remember the time when the three of us came over to your house that morning, when we hadnít seen you all weekend?
QUINN: Yeah, and us four girls came down the stairs and ran up again when we saw you? (Laughs, joined in by Jamie and Jeffy.) Oh, that taught me a lesson. Put on your makeup *before* you go downstairs!
(Everybody laughs. Theyíre joined by a fourth laugh, which they donít realize at first. Another person comes up to the table. Itís Joey. Heís wearing a more casual suit than the others, and is laughing and grinning.)
(Joey keeps grinning. Jamie and Jeffy both look sour.)
JOEY: Hey, Quinn! I called your apartment. The concierge told me you were at Chez Pierre!
(Quinn gets to her feet.)
QUINN: Itís good to see you, too.
JAMIE: (not rising) So how are things in Mexico City?
JOEY: Oh, just great! Once the kinks of NAFTA got ironed out, you canít help but make money by crossing the border! (Looks somber) But I miss Lawndale and my friends. (Looks at Quinn when he says this; quite obviously doesnít look at Jeffy or Jamie.)
QUINN: Ah, well, weíve missed you, too. Havenít we, guys?
JEFFY: (together with Jamie) Oh, yeah, yeah, we have.
JAMIE: Oh, we have, yeah, yeah.
QUINN: So...pull up a chair and weíll talk some more about old times.
(Quinn sits down again. Joey grabs a chair from an empty table and pulls it up next to Quinn. They all move a little to accommodate him. This puts Joey on Quinnís left and Jeffy on Quinnís right. Both look happy. Jamie, now opposite Quinn, looks unhappy.)
JOEY: Remember the time you were in that Cadbury play? When Mr. OíNeill decided which one of us would play opposite you?
QUINN: (blushing a little, putting her hands up in mock "pushing away.") Puh-lease! Thatís one of my most embarrassing moments!
(Laughter around the table, except from Jamie. Quinn picks up her soda glass, which is empty. Raises her hand and turns. A waiter, an older man, nearby comes over.)
WAITER: (snooty and phony French accent) Yes, mamíselle?
QUINN: Uh, waiter? More soda, please, with a teensy slice of lemon?
JOEY: Iíll get you some, Quinn!
JEFFY: No, me, Iíll get it!
QUINN: (looking pleased) Guys, guys! (Pause) Let the waiter bring it.
(The waiter leaves. Jamie looks very unhappy.)
SCENE 3: LAWNDALE STREET. LATE EVENING.
(Itís late and the street is deserted. Quinn walks along with Joey and Jeffy, with Jamie trailing at the rear. He still looks unhappy. They stop outside an apartment building.)
QUINN: Here we are. (Smiles) Thanks for a wonderful evening, guys.
JOEY: Yeah, thanks.
JEFFY: Thanks millions.
JOEY: You made it great, Quinn.
JEFFY: Yeah, you made it fantastic, Quinn.
JOEY: You made it wonderful.
QUINN: Guys, guys. (Pause) How about we get together tomorrow? For lunch?
JEFFY: (simultaneous with below) Yeah, thatíll be great.
JOEY: (simultaneous with above) Cool, Quinn.
QUINN: So...drop by my office, say...elevenish?
JOEY: Iíll be there!
JEFFY: So will I!
QUINN: Itís a date! (Turns and is in the door and gone before they can respond. Joey and Jeffy stand for a moment, drinking in whatís left of her presence.)
JOEY: She liked me better!
JEFFY: No way! Iím her favorite! Youíre crazy!
(They walk off, still arguing. Jamie stands a moment longer. He looks at them, then at the door, then at them, then at the door..."
JAMIE: Hhmph! (He turns and walks off, in the opposite direction.)
SCENE 4: BAR, LAWNDALE. SAME NIGHT.
(Establishing exterior shot of a bar; a brick building with a single door in it. The door says: BAR.
(The bar is nondescript and dark; chairs, booths, a bar. The camera focuses on one booth. Jamie is visible on the left, but the booth occupant on the right canít be seen. Jamie is dressed casually.)
JAMIE: I mean, all these years, and Iím right back in the same situation I was in back in high school.
(Cut to the occupant on the right. Itís Upchuck. Heís gone a little gray on the sides, but is as thin as he always was. Heís also dressed casually.)
UPCHUCK: So the romantic interludes between you and the *bee-you-tiful* Quinn Morgendorffer continue unabated. (Leans forward.) Tell me more.
JAMIE: Romantic interludes. (Leans back and crosses his arms.) I wish.
UPCHUCK: Then thereís *nothing* between the two of you?
JAMIE: I dunno. Itís not really the two of us, you know. (sighs) I remember when I talked her into going to the movies. It was gonna be awesome. I mean, she even agreed to sit by me...
(Shot becomes flashback-blurry...)
SCENE 4A: FLASHBACK: MOVIE THEATER.
(Think the theater seen at the opening of every regular episode of "Daria" so far. A high-school-age Jamie is sitting to the left of a high-school-age Quinn (wearing her smiley face shirt); he has a big bucket of popcorn. Quinnís eyes are on the movie, Jamieís eyes are on Quinn. Movie theme end music plays.
QUINN: Oh, that was a *wonderful* movie!
JAMIE: Yeah, Quinn.
(Joey sticks his head up from behind Jamie.)
JOEY: Yeah, itís great!
(Jeffy sticks his head up from behind Quinn.)
JEFFY: Itís the best movie I ever saw!
JAMIE: (adult V. O.) Or there was the time she actually let me park the car in Loverís Lane...
(Shot again becomes blurry...)
SCENE 4B: FLASHBACK: CAR AT LOVERíS LANE.
(Shot of high-school-age Jamie in driverís seat next to high-school-age Quinn (now wearing her butterfly shirt) in passenger seat.)
QUINN: A beautiful end to a beautiful evening. (Sighs.)
(Jeffy sticks his head up from behind Quinn.)
JEFFY: It was great.
(Joey sticks his head up from behind Jamie.)
JOEY: The best ever!
JAMIE: (Adult V. O.) Or there was the time I took her to that motel room---
UPCHUCK: (V. O.) Enough!
SCENE 4 (CONTINUED):
(Shot jerks back to the present, with the sound of a needle across a record on the soundtrack. (For those out there who donít remember what that sounds like, think the end of the second act of "Speedtrapped."))
UPCHUCK: I donít want to hear about *that* escapade again. To my surprise, it disgusts me. (Pause) And none of it answers my question, you know. *Is* there anything between you and Ms. Morgendorffer?
(Jamie shrugs, makes a barely audible "I donít know" sound.)
UPCHUCK: (yawns) Look, Jamie. Iíve watched you moon over the, *ahem,* unobtainable for lo! these last dozen years. Youíre a successful businessman, a man on the move. Why do you still stay with her, if she doesnít think of you as anything but, let us say, one of the many?
JAMIE: (looks past Upchuck with a dreamy look in his eyes) I just think sheís the most beautiful, most wonderful... (dreamy look shifts to anger) ...most *frustrating* woman Iíve ever known! (Looks at Upchuck again) I tell you, Iím thinking of calling it quits and leaving her! How can she do this to me? How can she take up with Joey and Jeffy like theyíd never been away?
UPCHUCK: Steady, wild stallion, steady! Youíre going too fast, even for me! Take a deep breath and calm down.
JAMIE: (takes a deep breath, lets it out) Phew. Yeah. I was getting carried away. And... (looks furtively around---thereís still nobody else in the place) ...donít call me *wild stallion* around here.
UPCHUCK: (sighs) Okay. Okay. I can accept that. Despite a, *ahem,* stunning lack of reciprocation, you are in *amour* with the, shall we say, *mighty-mighty* Quinn.
JAMIE: (groans) Oh, God, itís true. Oh, God! (Puts his head on the table.)
(Upchuck stares at Jamie for a moment.)
UPCHUCK: Well, youíll never get her by sitting here talking to me. Have you told her of these feelings?
JAMIE: (lifts head from table) Not since high school.
UPCHUCK: (looks a little surprised) Why, Jamie, I find that hard to believe. Youíve worked, side by side, in *very* close quarters, with the *wonderful* Quinn and have not *shared* your feelings. (Smiles.) Why, I would *never* let a day go by without telling a beautiful woman how I feel.
JAMIE: Yes, well, I canít bring myself to hit on Quinn the way you hit on anything female.
UPCHUCK: Now, wait, I do *not* force my attentions on every girl that passes my field of vision. (Crosses arms across chest) Iím more *selective* than that.
JAMIE: Toned it down since high school?
UPCHUCK: Look, do you want my help, or do you want to heap more insults on me?
JAMIE: Of course I want your help.
UPCHUCK: Then hereís my advice. (Leans forward) Tell her. Tell her how you feel. Tell her as soon as possible. (Leans back) Or if you donít do that---or *wonít* do that---put your resignation on her desk in the morning.
(Jamie groans puts his head on the table again.)
UPCHUCK: Let me share a story with you. (Looks thoughtful.) When we were all in high school, I was attracted to this girl. She was dark, beautiful, and...(growls). She was *feisty.* (He pauses. No response from Jamie.) I had no hesitation in telling her *how* attractive she was. She knew exactly how I felt about her every time I saw her. Sure, from time to time she treated me like something she scraped off her combat boots, but she knew how I felt.
JAMIE: (Lifts head.) If this girl youíre talking about is Quinnís sister, I always thought she hated your guts.
UPCHUCK: Not hate! Not hate at all! I was merely, *ahem,* patient with her. (Pause, as Upchuck grins) And it paid off, in our college years, when we moved in together!
JAMIE: You lived in the same college dorm building with her. (Pause) And then for only a month, till they all banded together and made you move.
UPCHUCK: But we were together! (Looks past Jamie, a wistful, dreamy look in his eyes.) Wonderful girl. She had it all. I wonder what sheís doing now?
SCENE 5: DARIAíS / JANEíS / QUINNíS APARTMENT: QUINNíS ROOM. SAME EVENING.
(We see an establishing shot of the apartment building seen in Scene 3.
(Cut to a room inside the building. The layout resembles Quinnís room in the Morgendorffer home, with clothes strewn about, but the wall posters and furnishing (bed, desk, chairs, TV) suggests "young wealthy executive."
(Quinn sits before a mirror, dressed in mismatched pajamas, combing her hair. Behind her stands Daria, dressed in her usual for-bed outfit of T-shirt, shorts, and socks. Her arms are crossed and she looks angry.
(The whole set-up takes less time to play through than to describe.)
QUINN: So Joey and Jeffy and Jarman and I went out together. So whatís the big deal?
DARIA: Itís Jamie, Quinn. *Jamie.*
QUINN: What-*ever.* Besides, Joey only joined us part way through.
DARIA: And that makes the difference. (Pause) I donít understand why you went out on a date with them.
QUINN: (does not stop combing) Itís *not* a date, Daria! Itís not even *a* date! Try to understand. Itís just four old friends, gathering together and going over all the old times.
DARIA: Did *they* think it was that?
QUINN: (Stops, puts down comb, turns) What do you mean?
DARIA: (sighs) Back when we were kids, those three were pretty hot and heavy for you. All the way through college. You arenít taking up where you left off with them?
QUINN: (turns around, picks up brush and brushes hair.) Ohh, donít be ridiculous. We just talked. About things that happened. Years ago.
DARIA: Civil War or Revolutionary?
QUINN: (forced) Hah-hah! (Pause) Look, it was just me, Joey, Jeffy, and Jamal. We talked. That was it.
DARIA: Is it? (Pause) And itís still *Jamie,* Quinn. You never make that mistake when the other two arenít around.
QUINN: Oh, he doesnít mind.
DARIA: Doesnít he?
QUINN: (stops brushing and turns back.) What do you mean?
DARIA: I mean, heís stuck with you for years now. What *will* he think, these other two, back in both your lives?
QUINN: Why should he think anything? (Pause) Look, Daria, thereís nothing between me and any of them.
DARIA: Not even Jamie?
QUINN: Not even him. He works for me. Thatís it, thatís all. (Suddenly a little angry.) Are you implying that thereís more to it than that?
DARIA: Okay, okay. Jamie just works for you. Thereís nothing more to it than that, and it was wrong of me to imply that there wasnít. (Pause) But just be careful. Youíre not in high school anymore. You might be surprised.
(Daria leaves. Quinn turns around, and begins brushing her hair again, a slightly worried look on her face.)
(end Act 1)
SCENE 1: OFFICE OF MORGENDORFFER CONSULTING. MORNING.
(Shot of building, then shot of interior, Quinnís office. Quinn sits behind her desk, and Jamie behind his. Joey stands in front of and Jeffy leans against Quinnís desk. Quinn, Joey, and Jeffy are in laughing mood. Jamie looks angry and is trying to work; it also looks like heís nursing a slight hangover.)
QUINN: Oh, you guys are the best, but Iíve got to get some work done.
JOEY: Yeah, see you at lunch, Quinn. Iíll bring flowers.
JEFFY: Iíll bring candy.
JOEY: Iíll bring---
QUINN: Guys, guys! (They stop and look at her. She smiles at them.) Itís been a long time since high school. You donít have to do this.
(The two of them look at each other, uneasily.)
JOEY: Okay, Quinn.
JEFFY: Yeah, Quinn, okay, but Iíll bring the candy anyway.
JOEY: Iíll bring the flowers.
QUINN: Aw, thatís sweet, but go now, go! See you at lunch! (When both of them seem hesitant, Quinn makes a shooing gesture with her hands.) Run along! See you!
(They leave. Things are quiet for a moment or two. Quinn looks at Jamie, whoís still hunched over his desk, not looking at her.)
(Jamie doesnít react.)
QUINN: I thought theyíd never leave.
(Still no response.)
JAMIE: (raises his head, but doesnít turn to look) Yes, Quinn?
QUINN: Youíre not, um, ah, *upset* about this, are you?
JAMIE: (slight hesitation) About what?
QUINN: About Joey and Jeffy. (Pause) Look, theyíll be here for a few days, and then theyíll be gone, okay?
JAMIE: Okay, Quinn, but why should I be upset about it?
QUINN: Oh...no reason. (Pause. Quinn assumes a more business-like tone of voice.) Itís just that, with the Kenseth deal coming up, and the Nemechek meetings later this month---
JAMIE: (slight bit of anger creeping into his voice) Iíll be fine for them. Business. (Pause) Look, Quinn, you go ahead, go have lunch with Joey and Jeffy. Iíll just work straight through lunch.
QUINN: Well, all right, then.
(Quinn turns her attention to something on her desk. Jamie returns to some paperwork.)
SCENE 2: MORGENDORFFER CONSULTING. NOON.
(Jamie is at his desk. Upchuck sits opposite him. Both are eating from Chinese takeout food boxes. Upchuck uses chopsticks; Jamie a fork.
(Outside the window, itís starting to rain.)
UPCHUCK: You know, I wouldíve thought Morgendorffer Consulting would have a more, shall we say, *glamorous* luncheon plan for its employees than this delightful repast?
JAMIE: I didnít want to be seen outside. I told Quinn Iíd work through lunch. (Pause) Sheís out with the two of them right now.
UPCHUCK: At Chez Pierre?
JAMIE: Yes. (sighs) It was our place.
JAMIE: Well, it was her place.
UPCHUCK: Look, Iíve been thinking about this, and I really donít think you have anything to worry about. Joey and Jeffy are here for a while, but only for a while. Eventually their far-flung business interests will fling them far from here. (Pause) Oh, by the way, Iíve been meaning to ask. You did set them up in business, didnít you?
JAMIE: What do you mean?
UPCHUCK: You *did* arrange things so Joey would go to Alaska and Jeffy to Mexico, didnít you?
JAMIE: Itís Jeffy in Alaska and Joey in Mexico.
UPCHUCK: Whatever. But you did have a finger in it, didnít you?
JAMIE: Well, I did set up the possibilities that took them there. And I did send some business their way, that kept them there. (Pause) But thatís all.
UPCHUCK: All to keep them away from the *beauteous* Quinn. I *am* impressed, old sport. I didnít think you had it in you. (Pause, as Upchuck swallows a little more Chinese takeout.) Now, Iím going to tell you something I should have told you a long time ago.
JAMIE: Whatís that?
(Upchuck slams his chopsticks down and gets to his feet.)
UPCHUCK: (Raises his hand over his head.) I have had it up to *here* with your complaints about Quinn. You love her, you canít tell her, you think Joey and Jeffy are serious competition, you think she thinks of you as just a business partner! (Walks behind Jamie as he speaks; picks up a coat from the coatrack behind Jamie and puts it on his shoulders.) I am sick and tired of hearing about it. Youíll never find out how she feels if you keep it to yourself! Would a man who drove off his chief rivals settle for not knowing how she feels? No! (Lifts Jamie to his feet and steers him towards the door.) Now youíre going to go over to Chez Pierre right now and tell her exactly how you feel! (Pushes him towards the door.) Go!
JAMIE: (Hesitant at first, then abruptly firms up.) Right!
(Upchuck watches as Jamie closes the door with a *slam!* He smiles, shakes his head.)
UPCHUCK: He doesnít stand a chance.
(Upchuck sits down again at the desk, picks up his chopsticks, and reaches over and grabs one of Jamieís cartons; resumes eating.)
SCENE 3: CHEZ PIERRE / A HOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LAWNDALE. NOON.
(Interior of the restaurant: same as before. Joey and Jeffy are sitting at the table: theyíre staring at each other and not talking. Quinn is not there, but food for the three of them is on the table...nobodyís eating.
(Cut to the outside of the restaurant. Quinn is there, talking on a cell phone and pacing up and down in front of the restaurant doors.
(Here, the sky is overcast; it only *looks* like rain.)
QUINN: Iím glad I caught you at home. Iím in a tight spot here.
(Cut to a shot of Stacy, sitting on a couch in an elegant apartment. (Think Aunt Amyís as seen briefly in "Through a Lens, Darkly" and "Aunt Nauseam," but a little more wholesome and middle-American.) There are boxes strewn about, indicating a recent move.)
STACY: Oh, things are hectic here. Dannyís out at work and Iím just at my wits end trying to find which box has what stuff in it. The apartment is a mess.
QUINN: Having a good time cleaning it?
STACY: Never better. I need a break. Whatís up?
(Split screen between both of them.)
QUINN: Well, the past couple of days, Joey and Jeffy have been back in town. Weíve all had a couple of lunches and dinners together. Iíve had a good time, but, well, I think itís making Jerry angry.
STACY: Jamie. You mean Jamie.
QUINN: Whatever. But I think heís angry about it all.
STACY: Look, Quinn, heís stayed with you through thick and thin. Why would he be angry now?
QUINN: I donít know, but I think he is.
STACY: (sighs) Okay. And the other two?
QUINN: Well, thatís kind of the problem. I think they want to take up where we left off, and I really donít want to. I think.
STACY: Theyíve told you that?
QUINN: Not in those words, but they keep dropping hints. Really, theyíre just friends. (Pause) Daria thinks Iím behaving badly. Says Iím not in high school anymore.
STACY: High school? I thought you had an MBA.
(A loud *crack* of thunder disrupts her train of thought. Camera cuts back to just Quinn.)
QUINN: Whoops! (Looks up) I think itís gonna rain here. Gotta go.
STACY: (phone V. O.) But Quinn, what about--- (cut off as Quinn disconnects.)
(Quinn looks up at the sky again, then sighs, puts her phone in her purse, and turns and enters the restaurant.)
SCENE 4: CHEZ PIERRE. NOON.
(As Quinn comes into the dining room, Joey and Jeffy are loudly arguing. The argument goes on as she approaches.)
JEFFY: She likes me better!
JOEY: Youíre nuts! Itís obvious she and I should be together!
JEFFY: And youíre out of your gourd! (Pause, gets to his feet.) Look, why donít you just clear out right now and leave me and Quinn alone?
JOEY: (also rising) She doesnít want me to go! *You* leave!
QUINN: Guys, guys! Quit arguing! Weíre in a public place!
QUINN: (holds up a forefinger to her lips.) Shh...shh...shh! (Pause) I canít believe you guys. Here we are, getting together for a good time, and here you are, about to fight it out. Weíre not in high school anymore, and its time you realize it.
JEFFY: But Quinn, we---!
QUINN: I donít want to hear it. I---just---donít---want---to---hear it.
(Just then, Jamie comes into the dining room. Heís a little wet.)
JAMIE: Quinn! Itís time I told you something I should have told you before! I love you! I---
QUINN: (screams) Please!
(Quinn puts her hands over her ears. Casual conversation around the room comes to an abrupt halt, and the attention of every other person on the room is on her.
(We see a quick shot of one diner in particular: Jane Lane. Sheís alone. Sheís wearing a too-small blue business suit. She doesnít speak, but lets a crooked smile form on her lips.
(After a couple of seconds, Quinn calms down and lowers her hands. A couple of deep breaths later, she speaks.)
QUINN: Guys, youíre my friend---my dear friends---dearest friends! But I just donít feel that way about any of you!
(The three of them look at her, unhappy befuddlement on their faces.)
QUINN: Iím sorry.
JOEY: (mumbling a little) Uh, gee, Quinn, well, itís been nice. But, uh, I gotta get back to Mexico City. (Starts to leave.)
JEFFY: (same degree of mumbling) Yeah, Quinn, uh, Iíve left things in Fairbanks too long already. Iíve gotta get back. (Starts to leave.)
(As they do, Quinn turns her attention to Jamie. Jamie stands, some rainwater still dripping off him, an expression of poleaxed bewilderment on his face. Quinn steps over to him.)
JAMIE: (snaps out of it...his voice shakes a little.) You donít have to explain, Quinn. You donít feel about me the way I feel about you. You wonít see me again.
QUINN: What? But your job---?
JAMIE: Thereís no point in my staying around your company now. (Pause) Iíll clean out my desk and be out by this afternoon. You donít have to face me again. (Pause, turns away; his voice starts to choke.) Because I...really...donít want to see you now.
(Jamie leaves, with Quinn staring after him, a stunned, near-tears expression on her face. Cut to the outside of the restaurant. Itís raining heavily now. Jamie stands for a moment, then looks up and opens his mouth to scream. Thereís a simultaneous lightning / thunder strike.)
(Cut back to the interior. Quinn stands as she did. A balding waiter walks up to her, a small tray held at shoulder-height by one hand, a paper---the restaurant bill---on the tray.
(Another lightning / thunder strike dims the lights, which brighten in a second back to normal.)
(end Act 2)
SCENE 1: OFFICE OF MORGENDORFFER CONSULTING. AFTERNOON.
(Music plays: Don Henleyís "The End of the Innocence."
(Establishing shot of the building. Itís raining heavily now.
(Cut to Quinn and Jamieís private office. The rain streams down the big glass window. The door is open, and we see Jamie is at his desk. Heís packing assorted items from his desk into a basic office-supply cardboard box. He stops at a framed picture of himself and Quinn, stops for a moment, and rubs the glass frame with his thumb. He resumes packing.
(At the door are three people, two women and a man, all seen earlier in Act 1, Scene 1. They whisper among themselves.
(Abruptly they look to the right, then move quickly to the left, out of the door frame. Quinn appears in the frame. Sheís a little wet from the rain and looks upset. Jamie does not see her at first.
(Finally Jamie is through packing. He puts a cardboard lid on the box. He stands up, picks up the cardboard box, and stops as he sees Quinn. Quinn doesnít speak. Jamieís expression is neutral, then hardens into a frown. He walks by Quinn.
(Cut to outer office. Jamie walks past Quinn, who turns and watches him. Without turning, Jamie goes to the frosted-glass MORGENDORFFER CONSULTING door. He hesitates, but only a moment, then puts his hand on the door handle and pushes the door open. The door swings shut behind him.
(Quinn looks at the door, an expression of sadness on her face. Behind her, a crowd of Morgendorffer Consulting employees whisper among themselves. Quinn turns around, and her expression becomes sharp. The crowd scatters.
(Quinn turns around and faces the door. Her expression is back to sad.)
SCENE 2: DARIAíS / JANEíS / QUINNíS APARTMENT: LIVING ROOM. EVENING.
(Shot of the exterior of the building, then cut to the interior. This room hasnít been seen before in this episode. The living room is a large room, two stories high. One wall is a large glass window; the wall opposite it consists of four doors, two upstairs, two downstairs, with a rickety 7-shaped stairway-and-landing up to the top two. The front door is on one of the other walls, with a door to the kitchen on the remaining one. What little wall space their is , is taken up by an art collection obviously belonging to Jane.
(Furniture consists of a couch, some chairs, and a coffee table; a television set / stereo combo; and an easel that also belongs to Jane.
(The rain outside has let up and a beautiful sunset can be seen from the window.
(Daria is sitting on the couch; she wears a white jacket with her usual glasses, skirt, and combat boots. Sheís watching TV. We see the picture: a man in a kilt, pointing a camera at a rocking car with fogged-up windows.
SICK SAD WORLD ANNOUNCER: This Scotsman says itís all in good fun, but wait until you see the results. Randy Roddy Peeper (familiar logo appears) next on Sick Sad World!
DARIA: (uses remote to switch TV off) I saw that on an episode of "The Simpsons" once. Theyíre scraping bottom.
(Jane enters, still wearing the ill-fitting business suit she wore at Chez Pierre. Daria turns her head to look, then turns away.)
DARIA: Donít let Quinn know you borrowed her clothes.
JANE: I donít think sheíll care today. (Pause) Is she home?
DARIA: I havenít actually looked in her room, but I donít think so. Sheís not in this room.
JANE: Spoken like a true trial lawyer. (Pause) I saw Quinn in Chez Pierre today. She was giving the three Js the brush-off.
DARIA: She probably---what? All three of them?
JANE: All three. (Smirks) It was really rather touching. Joey and Jeffy were just fighting over---
(Just then Quinn comes in the door. She still looks a little shell-shocked, but seems to be at a "minimally able to function" level. She looks over at Daria and Jane but doesnít seem to see them. She walks into the kitchen.)
DARIA: (gets to her feet, whispers) This is bad.
JANE: (whispers) Worried about her?
DARIA: (whispers) Itís not something Iíd want nosed around, but I do care for her. Sheís---shh!
(Quinn emerges from the kitchen. Sheís carrying a glass of water. She drops two tablets into the glass, which start to fizz when they hit the water. After a moment, she starts to walk up the stairs.)
(Quinn turns but doesnít speak.)
DARIA: Is everything all right?
QUINN: (Shrugs.) So-so. Whatever. Bad day. Iíll get by. (She turns away and walks up the stairs. Daria and Jane watch her until she gets to the top.)
JANE: Um, ah, Quinn?
(Quinn looks at Jane from the top step.)
JANE: Your room is down here.
QUINN: Oh. (She descends the stairs, and goes into one of the rooms on the lower level.)
JANE: (Turning to Daria) So Joey and Jeffy were fighting when Quinn comes in. Just after that, Jamie comes in, and declares his undying love.
DARIA: Oh, no.
JANE: Yeah, he finally worked up the nerve. Quinn gives all three the brush-off. Then the three of them leave, one at a time. (Pause) Oh, and Jamie quit, too.
DARIA: Oh. No wonder sheís taking it so hard.
JANE: Yeah. Itís not so easy to find a good business associate.
DARIA: I suppose we should go in there and see how she is.
JANE: Yes, I suppose we should.
(They stand there for a minute. Daria turns back to the TV and turns it on; Jane takes a seat next to her.)
QUINN: (muffled) Aaaaaaah! (She emerges from her room. Now she seems more "back to normal," not shocked, but in control of herself. Her expression is angry.) Jane, get out of my dress!
(Jane looks at Daria, shrugs, and begins to remove the dress.)
SCENE 3: BAR, LAWNDALE. SAME EVENING.
(Itís the same bar as before, but a little more crowded now. Jamie and Upchuck are sitting in the same booth. Jamie looks more than a little drunk. Upchuck is talking into a cell phone.)
UPCHUCK: (into phone) Right. Right. (hangs up, folds up phone, and puts it in his suit pocket.) Iíve confirmed it. Joey caught the connector flight for JFK Junior. He has tickets for Mexico City. *Jeffy* didnít wait for a connector to Newark, he rented a car and is *driving* there. *He* has tickets to Fairbanks, Alaska.
JAMIE: (shrugs) I donít care. Just figure out a schedule for me.
UPCHUCK: Leaving town? *Boffo* idea. But where is it you wish to go?
JAMIE: Just as far away from Quinn as possible. (Slumps over on the table, head down.) Iíve lost her. I feel awful. Iíve lost her.
UPCHUCK: But I donít understand! How can you lose something you never had?
JAMIE: (thinks about it for a moment without raising his head, then groans) My...head hurts.
UPCHUCK: I must say Iím not surprised. (Pause) Jamie, my lad, they say that for every door closed three more open.
UPCHUCK: But from what youíve told me, youíve driven off your two main rivals. (Grins) What say you, Jamie White, to another try at the *wonderful* Quinn?
UPCHUCK: You *know* youíre still in *love* with her. I can see it in your eyes... (leans his head down to try to look at Jamieís face) At least, I could see it in your eyes if I could see your eyes.
JAMIE: (holds up a hand without raising his head from the table) Donít...just donít bother me. I donít want to think about that now. I donít want to think about anything.
UPCHUCK: Well, itíll take time to consult, so, well, yes, rest awhile. Soon, though. Very soon. Weíve got to strike while the iron is hot.
JAMIE: (raises his head---with some effort---at last) Wait a minute. Who do you know that knows Quinn?
UPCHUCK: (frowns) I could take offense at that. I know a lot of people besides you.
SCENE 4: DARIAíS / JANEíS / QUINNíS APARTMENT: QUINNíS ROOM. LATER THAT EVENING.
(Theyíre back in Quinnís room. Quinn has recovered some: sheís dressed a bathrobe and is smearing some white gook from a spray can onto her face. Daria and Jane stand behind her in their usual night clothes.)
QUINN: So whyíre you making such a big deal over this?
DARIA: Quinn, you come home in semi-shock, and you expect me to say nothing about it?
QUINN: I was *not* in shock! Anyway, Iím better now. Iím... (Puts down the spray can.) Okay, Iím not better about it. I hate it. Jamieís gone. (Pause) How can I ever replace him? (Pause. Quinn frowns.) Whoíll do the paperwork for the Schraeder people?
DARIA: There you go. Thatís the *big deal* I want to make. A man whoís worked for you since you both graduated from college confesses his love for you, and youíre treating it as if youíve broken a nail.
QUINN: Well, it *is* hard. It hurts. Pause) Okay, you win. It hurts a lot. You just donít find a business partner like Jamie every day.
DARIA: (a little exasperated) Look, Quinn, Jamie doesnít want you to think of him as a business partner. Heís in love with you. And you hurt him. Badly.
JANE: Much worse than he hurt you by quitting.
QUINN: Oh, nonsense. Jamie doesnít love me. Heís just got a silly infatuation.
JANE: (sighs) Daria, I think Iíll put my two cents worth in, after all. Quinn, Jamie is in love with you. Jamie has been in love with you since high school. I think that he is *still* in love with you, no matter what you said to him today.
DARIA: Yes, itís true. I know it, Jane knows it, and I think half of Lawndale knows it. Weíve all known it for years.
JANE: (to Daria) Sorry now we didnít organize that betting pool back in college?
QUINN: Well, now youíre both just being ridiculous. (Picks up the spray can again; sprays a little more on her hand and begins smearing it on her face.)
DARIA: And youíre not upset?
QUINN: Not as upset as you think I should be.
DARIA: Then why are you putting shaving cream on your face?
QUINN: (looks at the spray can, reads it) Oh. (Reaches for some tissues, begins to wipe the shaving cream off her face.) I, uh, need a shave?
DARIA: Okay, but donít ask to borrow my razor.
QUINN: (now finished wiping the shaving cream off her face) All right, you two. Iíve had a hard day, and Iím going to have a hard morning tomorrow at work. Now just go away, *go now* (turns and makes "shoo-ing" gesture with hands). Go!
(Daria opens her mouth as if to speak. Jane nudges her, and shakes her head. Daria nods to Jane; they both leave.
(Quinn turns back to her mirror, staring solemnly into it. Then she begins to sob softly. The camera stays on her for a few sobs.
(Cut to Daria and Jane, standing outside Quinnís door. The sobs are quite audible on that side of the door. They stand there silently for several seconds, just listening.)
JANE: Some story, huh.
DARIA: Yes. It even drowns out petty details.
JANE: Like what was Quinn doing with shaving cream and no sign of a razor?
DARIA: No, more like, what were you doing in Chez Pierre in the middle of the day in a stolen dress?
JANE: I *could* explain. But, uh, one big story at a time?
DARIA: Later, then. Unless Quinn-dressing becomes a habit with you.
SCENE 5: DARIAíS / JANEíS / QUINNíS APARTMENT: DARIAíS ROOM. MORNING.
(Itís the morning after the last scene. Dariaís tossing and turning in her bed when the phone next to her buzzes. (Incidentally, itís a larger, alphanumeric keyboard phone---this is 2010, remember?) Thereís a digital alarm clock that says "6:55" next to the phone; her glasses are next to that. She blearily reaches out and puts her hand on the phone.)
PHONE VOICE: (think the "Welcome...youíve got mail!" voice from a certain online service.) Call for...Daria.
DARIA: Uh...oh... (Picks up phone receiver and puts it to her hear.) Uh...
STACY: (phone V. O.) Daria?
STACY: (phone V. O.) Daria, itís me. Stacy. Stacy Rowe?
(Picture becomes a split screen with Stacy. Sheís in the same apartment as in Act 2, Scene 3.)
DARIA: (fumbling for her glasses, next to the phone.) Um, yeah, Stacy, Stacy. You must want Quinn. Let me connect you. (Puts her hand on the phone.)
DARIA: What? (Finds her glasses, puts them on. Sits up in bed a little straighter.)
STACY: Did Quinn tell you what happened between her and Jamie?
DARIA: Yes. Yes, she did.
STACY: Well, itís just awful, isnít it?
DARIA: (sighs) Stacy, right at this hour my tolerance for awful is at the high end of the scale. (Pause) *Why* are you calling me?
STACY: Iím calling on behalf of a friend of Jamieís. He thinks, and I think so, too, that with a little help, we can get the two of them to patch things up.
DARIA: Oh. (Frowns a little.) Well. Let me think. No. I donít want to get involved.
STACY: Oh, but you canít not! You know how Jamie feels about Quinn!
DARIA: And I know how Quinn feels about Jamie. (Pause) Look, itís something they should discuss between themselves.
STACY: But thatís what I want! A chance to let them do it! Thatís what uh...what Jamieís friend wants us to do!
DARIA: Well, Iím all for that, as long as it doesnít include me.
STACY: But, Daria, at least *listen* to him.
DARIA: Uh... (shrugs) Okay. Give me his number and Iíll call him tonight.
STACY: Oh, you donít have to do that! Heís on the line right now! Here! (Stacy leans over and presses a button on her phone.)
UPCHUCK: (phone V. O.) Daria, my sweet!
DARIA: (pales) Oh, no.
(Screen becomes a three way split with Upchuck on top. (Keep your dirty minds to yourself!))
UPCHUCK: (suddenly apologetic) Daria, Iím not asking you to like me. Iím not asking you for a date. I just want your help in getting Jamie back with your *magnificent* sister.
DARIA: (Looks up in a "why me, Lord?" pose) Oh, okay. What do you have in mind.
UPCHUCK: I propose we get the two of them on neutral territory. We host a catered party, all of us, with the two of them. Then we let them argue it out.
DARIA: What, a fight between the two of them with all of us as witnesses?
UPCHUCK: Aw, címon, Daria! Iíll book the banquet room and bear all expenses.
DARIA: Sounds expensive.
UPCHUCK: *I* can cover it.
DARIA: (groans a little) Look, why are you doing this?
UPCHUCK: Gee, Daria, canít a friend help a friend?
DARIA: No, no, *what* are you doing? Are you arranging this so Quinn and Jamie get together, or so that Quinn and Jamie call it off.
UPCHUCK: Iím arranging this because I donít want to be sitting next to Jamie at the retirement home, listening to him moan and groan about the girl that got away. (Pause) They get together, they break up, they get together and *then* break up, itís all the same to me.
STACY: Iím hoping theyíll get together. Itíd be great.
DARIA: Not me, Iím neutral on this. Not even sure I want to be involved.
UPCHUCK: Then you will?
DARIA: (Pause) I donít think so.
UPCHUCK: Aw, *sweet* Daria, could you come up with a better idea?
(Cut back to picture of Daria alone.)
DARIA: (Nods.) Okay. Okay. Iíll go along. But call me tonight. Iíve got to get some sleep, right?
(Daria hangs up the phone. She puts her glasses back down and falls back in bed with a *thump!* and closes her eyes.
(The alarm clock switches from "6:59" to "7:00" and begins to buzz. Daria opens her eyes.)
SCENE 6A: DARIAíS / JANEíS / QUINNíS APARTMENT: LIVING ROOM. EVENING.
(Daria stands with Quinn; both look angry. Jane stands to one side, an amused expression on her face. (Jane is now dressed *exactly* as she did in high school.))
QUINN: No way, no how, no way.
DARIA: But you said you missed him.
QUINN: Missing him has nothing to do with it. Iím not going to beg him to come back.
JANE: As a business associate or a lover?
QUINN: I wouldnít crawl for either.
DARIA: Quinn, it doesnít matter to me what you do. But, a word of sisterly advice. This may be your only chance to get him back *as* either. If you donít take it---
JANE: Heís gone. For good. (Pause) Remember, you hurt him bad.
QUINN: Oh. (Looks a little uneasy.) All of you will be there, right?
DARIA: (sighs) Yes, Quinn, we will all be there.
QUINN: (sighs even more deeply) Okay, but I wonít crawl. Remember that.
(Turns and goes into her own room.)
JANE: Can I bring a date?
DARIA: Yes, but heís got to be immune to Quinnís evil powers.
JANE: Well, Davidís never exhibited any interest in Quinn, so I suppose heís been inoculated. (Pause) You bringing Mack?
DARIA: Mack? Right. Like Iíd inflict this on him.
SCENE 6B: BAR, LAWNDALE. EVENING.
(Jamie and Upchuck sit in the same booth.)
JAMIE: No. No. Iím not gonna do it.
UPCHUCK: Look, bonehead, you have one chance, and only one chance, to get back with the, ahem, *awe-inspiring* Quinn Morgendorffer.
JAMIE: Iím not saying I donít think itís my only chance. Iím just saying I donít know if I should take it.
UPCHUCK: All right, all right. (Holds up his hands in mock-defeat.) You donít have to go. But if you donít go, I donít want to hear another word out of you about how you lost your chance at the love of your life.
(A shot of an unsure Jamie glaring at Upchuck is followed by another of Upchuck with a sly grin on his face.)
JAMIE: No. The answer is still no.
UPCHUCK: (still grinning) Then you leave me with no choice. (Pause) I remind you of the summer we *both* spent at Camp Dragonfly, the time you clowned for the girls in the canoe and fell into the water...the time we all discovered you couldnít swim?
JAMIE: (uneasy) Uh...yeah.
UPCHUCK: Remember who it was who dove in and pulled you to shore?
JAMIE: Yeah. It was you.
UPCHUCK: Well, Iím now calling in that favor. (Stops smiling) You *will* come to this banquet. You *will* talk to Quinn. And you *wonít* try to get out of it.
JAMIE: Um...yeah. (Pause) But Iíll never forgive you for this.
UPCHUCK: (smiling again) Oh, thereís always a chance.
SCENE 8A: MENíS ROOM, LE GRAND HOTEL. EVENING.
(Establishing shot of Le Grand Hotel, a large luxury hotel in downtown Lawndale.
(Cut to shot of door that says GENTLEMEN. Cut to interior. Upchuck, wearing a garish purple tuxedo, and Jamie, looking splendid in a white tuxedo, are at the sinks, washing up. Camera POV is behind the mirror.)
UPCHUCK: Let me make sure, one last time, that you donít do anything stupid. First off, donít propose to her.
JAMIE: Oh, yeah, right! (Pulls a small ring box out of his pocket and throws it in the trash.) Donít wanna get caught with that on me tonight.
UPCHUCK: I canít believe you still have that. (Pause) Never mind. Just...if you get the urge to confess your undying love to her, suppress it. Say as little as possible. Let her speak.
UPCHUCK: If the time is right, youíll know what to say.
SCENE 8B: LADIESí ROOM, LE GRAND HOTEL. EVENING.
(Cut to shot of door that says LADIES. Similar set-up. Quinn, attired in a stunning silver evening gown, and Daria, also in a less-stunning silver gown, are at the sinks. Camera is also in the mirror.)
DARIA: You can say what you want. Iím just recommending that you keep it to a minimum.
QUINN: Oh, yeah. Itís Jamieís call. Heís the one who left me. Heíll have to start it.
(Quinn turns and leaves. Daria stands for a moment at the mirror.)
DARIA: Well, this is going to be a dull evening.
SCENE 9: BANQUET HALL, LE GRAND HOTEL. EVENING.
(Shot of banquet hall door. The door is closed, and a sign on it reads: RUTTHEIMER ASSOCIATES BUSINESS DINNER. PRIVATE.)
(Pan by camera as if it were in the middle of the table. The table is round and the group sits, boy, girl, boy, girl. Camera turns slowly around the whole table, making a full circuit. All are eating, slowly, and not speaking.
(We see, in order of appearance: (1) Quinn Morgendorffer, looking seriously disgruntled. (2) Jamie White, also looking seriously disgruntled. (3) Daria Morgendorffer, looking only a little disgruntled. (4) Mack Mackenzie, in a light brown suit with elbow patches, looking puzzled. (5) Jane, in the same ill-fitting blue dress she previously "borrowed" from Quinn, looking interested in the people, but not the food. (6) A short guy with salt-and-pepper beard wearing a black tuxedo who looks as confused as Mack (This is David, Janeís current long-term beau). (7) Stacy Rowe, in another stunning white gown, looking at Quinn with concern. (8) Another unfamiliar face, who resembles (but isnít) Jesse Moreno, Trentís guitarist / friend / partner (then again, why shouldnít he look like Jesse, since heís his younger brother Danny), whoís wearing a battered blue leisure suit and looking at Stacy with concern. (9) Sandi Griffin, whoís wearing a black number a little less stunning than that of her fellow former Fashion Clubbers, and looking a little put-out by it. (10) Charles "Upchuck" Ruttheimer, the only person at the table who looks *remotely* happy.
(The camera cuts to a shot over the shoulders of one side of the table, pointed towards Quinn and Jesse. Several chairs and tables can be seen around the roomís edges. The silence goes on for several seconds longer, until finally broken by, of all people, David. Camera cuts to each conversation participant as circumstances warrant.)
DAVID: This is an excellent dinner.
UPCHUCK: Why, thank you, good sir. I use this hotel for all my affairs.
MACK: (making an effort to sound cheerful) Yes, Iíve attended alumni banquets here in the past. Itís a class act, all the way.
DAVID: Iíll have to keep it in mind for the next business conference. (Pause, points to something on the table.) These baby carrot things, what do you call them?
SANDI: (looks at what David is pointing to) Baby carrots.
DAVID: Well, theyíre really good, whatever they are. (Pause) Jane?
JANE: Hmm? What?
DAVID: Donít you think itís an excellent dinner?
JANE: What? Oh, yeah, yeah, sure. Itís okay.
UPCHUCK: Yes, a good meal...*excellent* companionship. Itís a fine combination. (Reaches over and takes Sandiís hand.) Iím just glad we all could make it.
SANDI: (jerks her hand away from Upchuck.) Donít *touch* me, Charles.
(The silence resumes for several seconds, until broken by Sandi.)
SANDI: Ahem! Perhaps the *guests of honor* have something to say.
JANE: Yes. Do they have anything to say?
(Pause, as the attention of everyone else focuses on Quinn and Jamie.)
JAMIE: (softly) I think the baby carrots are good.
DARIA: (loudly) Damnit! Weíve all come here tonight so the two of you can be together and talk it out. But, damnit, itís been one of the most excruciating hours Iíve lived through!
QUINN: What do you want us to do? I donít think we can say anything to each other.
JAMIE: (turns to Quinn) Not anything?
QUINN: (holds up her hand without looking at him) Not now, Jamie.
JAMIE: Not now? Thatís the problem! You think men are things put on this planet for you to use!
QUINN: (*now* turning to Jamie) I do not!
JAMIE: Youíve never *had* a relationship with someone who couldnít *do* things for you!
QUINN: Look, just because you canít accept that Iím not in love with you is *no* reason to try and hurt me.
JANE: (softly) Well, theyíre talking now.
JAMIE: Look, this whole banquet thing was a big mistake, and Iím sorry I ever agreed to come, for any reason!
QUINN: Me, too!
JAMIE: Even though Upchuck high-pressured me into coming, I thought something mightíve come of it.
(Upchuck exhibits a flash of anger at mention of his nickname, but hastily suppresses it.)
QUINN: But there---wait a minute. The only reason you came is because Upchuck made you?
JAMIE: (takes a long hard look at Quinn) Yes. Yes. Thatís the only reason I came.
(Both turn their attention to the food on their plates. Another eerie silence descends upon the room, as the others turn back to their plates.)
SCENE 9: BANQUET HALL, LE GRAND HOTEL. LATER.
(The table is deserted and the people are now grouped among the chairs. As the camera pans across the room, Quinn and Jamie can be seen sitting on opposite ends of a big couch. Thereís a table on front of them, with a bucket of champagne and a couple of empty glasses, and a clean plate and some silverware.
(Quinn and Jamie still look angry.
(The others have taken up positions as far away from the two of them as possible while still remaining in the room. Theyíve formed two distinct knots. Whispering conversations can be heard taking place all around.
(Focus in on one group. Upchuck, Sandi, Stacy, and Danny. Stacy has her arm around Dannyís arm. Sandi is holding a martini glass and looks unhappy.)
SANDI: ...all Iím saying, is that Jamie is not the only one whose attendance here Charles called a favor in to get.
STACY: Sandi, you mean, you...you...
UPCHUCK: Hey, I needed to bring a date, and Iím, ahem, between women at the moment. (Pause) But, Sandi, didnít you say you needed a night out? And didnít I pay for a babysitter?
SANDI: You did, Charles, you did. (Sigh) As principal of *Llawndale High* I donít spend as much time with my friends as I used to.
DANNY: Me, neither. (Pats Stacyís arm) But since I found Stacy again, I havenít had the time.
(Stacy smiles. Sandi looks a little put-out by this display of their relationship.
(Cut to Daria, Mack, Jane, and David.)
JANE: It was just a job interview. I was *trying* to look presentable.
DAVID: And your crime-fighting costume was at the cleaners, I take it. (Grins) Did you get the job?
DARIA: And what was it?
JANE: I havenít heard. *And* it was a summer position supervising an art department. I needed the money. (Shrugs.) It was hopeless.
DARIA: Speaking of hopeless. (Looks over at Quinn and Jamie) Itís frustrating.
JANE: But certainly amusing. It appeals to the same thing in me that makes me slow down and look at a traffic accident.
MACK: Your artistic vision?
JANE: Yeah. (Jabs with her thumb.) The two of them, breaking up. Itíll make a terrific painting. (Pause) The only thing I regret is not being able to bring my camera.
DARIA: (sighs) This isnít a parade, and they arenít strangers. And weíre not in high school anymore.
JANE: I donít think we need any more reminders about that.
MACK: You really donít think your sister and Jamie will work out?
DARIA: *Will* implies thereís something *to* work out. No, I donít.
(Cut to Quinn and Jamie on the couch.)
QUINN: (Smiles a little) Oh, Jamie, it *is* sweet, your crush, I mean, after all these years.
JAMIE: (Looks at her coldly) Itís not sweet from my end.
QUINN: (Frowns sadly) Iím sorry. I really had no idea.
JAMIE: (Shakes his head) No, you never did. I know.
QUINN: I care about you. Just not that way.
JAMIE: I know.
(They look at each other uneasily for a couple more moments.)
QUINN: Jamie, whatíll you do now?
JAMIE: Iíll find something. Donít worry about me. Iíll be all right.
QUINN: Oh, Jamie, oh...Morgendorffer Consulting just wonít be the same without you there. (Pause) Whoíll handle the Marcis plans?
JAMIE: I was thinking of taking the account with me.
QUINN: (Suddenly angry) What! No way!
JAMIE: Hey! Iíve quit! Itís none of your business what business leaves your business!
QUINN: But you canít just set up something somewhere and expect to do well!
JAMIE: I *said* itís none of your business!
(Cut to Daria and Upchuck. The groups have regrouped.)
DARIA: Well, theyíre talking again.
UPCHUCK: And about business. Something in common. (Pause) Maybe thereís a slight chance, after all.
(Cut back to Quinn and Jamie.)
QUINN: All right, all right. You can have the Marcis plans. You can have the Nemechek account. But you are *not,* repeat *not,* taking the Compton Company away from me!
JAMIE: All right, you can have it! I told you I donít care!
(They glare at each other for a moment...then Jamie softens and slides closer to her.)
JAMIE: Quinn...I never meant to hurt you. I would *never* want to cause you pain.
QUINN: (turns away, leans against the couch arm and leans on her elbow) Well, well, itís just...(through clenched teeth) just *business.*
JAMIE: Well, we canít go on working together, not like it was.
QUINN: No, not like it was. (Suddenly brightens.) Not like it was! (Turns to Jamie.) Jamie, how would you like to be a full partner in Morgendorffer Consulting?
QUINN: A full partner. Fifty-fifty. Weíll rename the business Morgendorffer-White Consulting.
JAMIE: Morgendorffer-White Consulting...
(Jamie looks at Quinn. Sheís trying to be bubbly, but Jamie catches something in her eyes, some sense of pleading. Heís shocked at how strong her desire not to let him go really is. After a moment, he comes to a decision, and holds out his hand.)
JAMIE: Itís a deal.
(Quinn takes his hand in hers. Sheís smiling. Jamieís smiling.)
QUINN: Well, weíd better let everyone know.
(Quinn rises, grabs a butter knife and a champagne glass from the table. She taps the knife on the glass. A bell-like tone rings through the room.
QUINN: Your attention please...oh!
(Quinn blushes slightly, realizing that the attention of all the others had *always* been on the two of them. After an uneasy moment, she shrugs, and slips her arm under Jamieís arm.)
QUINN: Oh. Well. Iím pleased to introduce to you my new partner, Mr. Jamie White, and to announce that Morgendorffer-White consulting is now open for business.
SANDI: Congratulations. (Takes a drink out of the martini glass sheís still holding.)
UPCHUCK: Couldnít be happier for you.
QUINN: Well, the two of us have a lot to talk over...weíve got clients to inform, sign painters to contact, a letterhead to design...Jamie needs a new desk...I guess that *is* it...the partyís over...
(General sound of agreement among the others. This is followed by a general gathering-up of coats and a rapid departure. Sandi goes to the table and dumps some food in her purse. They all leave, Quinn and Jamie in the lead, the others following.)
SCENE 10: HALLWAY, LE GRAND HOTEL. LATER.
(Quinn and Jamie, followed by the others, head up a non-descript hotel hallway. Over a door on the left side is a sign saying GENTLEMEN, on the right side, LADIES. (The same ones as before; now theyíre seen at an angle.) Quinn stops Jamie.)
QUINN: Oh, Jamie, Iíve got to stop here to, er, freshen up a moment.
JAMIE: Sure. Take all the time you want. Iíll be in here. (Jamie jerks his thumb towards the menís room door.)
QUINN: Oh, well...
(The two of them part. The crowd following them also parts, men going in one direction, women in another.)
SCENE 10A: LADIESí ROOOM. LATER.
(Same bathroom as before; same camera angle. The women have all gathered around Quinn, who stands at the mirror touching up her makeup. Quinn is happy, but the others look less than thrilled.)
STACY: So thatís it?
DARIA: Youíre just going to form a partnership with Jamie? After what heís said to you?
QUINN: Oh, Daria, I told you not to take it so seriously. Jamieís back, thatís whatís important.
DARIA: And if heís still in love with you?
QUINN: Then weíll see...what weíll see. (A little frustrated.) Daria, Iím not gonna force anything here.
DARIA: But if he---
QUINN: (holds up hand) Daria, no. Not another word about it. Got it?
(Daria, a little sullenly, nods.)
SCENE 10B: MENíS ROOM. LATER.
(Same bathroom, same camera angle. Jamie is at the sink, washing his hands. The other men have gathered around him. Same happy / not thrilled relationship as the women.)
UPCHUCK: Is that all youíre going to settle for? A fifty-fifty partnership?
JAMIE: Hey, thatís a better relationship than we had before. (Grins) Fifty-fifty.
MACK: Well, at least you didnít propose.
JAMIE: Oh, yeah, right! (Bends over, reaches into the garbage can.) Whereíd it go?
DAVID: I believe youíre looking for this. (Pulls the ring box out of his pocket.) Found it earlier. Thought I might propose to Jane with it. (Hands it to Jamie.)
JAMIE: (Takes box.) Thanks!
UPCHUCK: So youíre going back to the *incredible* Quinn Morgendorffer, and allís right with the world, then?
JAMIE: Couldnít be better.
SCENE 10C: MENíS / LADIESí ROOMS.
(Split screen: views of Jamie and Quinn.)
STACY: So what happens now?
DAVID: So whatíll happen now, Jamie?
(Jamie and Quinn pause, think a moment, then speak simultaneously.)
JAMIE / QUINN: I really donít know.
(Both shrug and leave the shot. Mutterings and shaking of heads all around.)
UPCHUCK: Itíll never work.
DARIA: Itís a disaster waiting to happen.
SANDI: Sheíll never.
DANNY: Heíll never get her.
SCENE 10 (CONTINUED):
(Quinn and Jamie emerge simultaneously. They turn and lock arms with each other. The others come out as they speak.)
QUINN: Together, partner?
JAMIE: (broadly grinning) Together, partner!
(They walk past the camera. The other couples also lock arms and follow. Daria and Mack. Jane and David. Stacy and Danny. Last of all are Upchuck and Sandi. Upchuck attempts to lock arms with Sandi, but Sandi shoves him hard as they leave the shot.)
DISCLAIMER: "Daria" and the characters and settings from it are the property of MTV Networks / Viacom International.
This parody of "Daria" is copyright © 2001 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
Written 6/12/01 to 7/21/ 01