Die! Die! You Bastard!
ďDariaĒ episode #413 (as I think it should have been)
Original text ©2003 by Roger E. Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Daria and associated characters are ©2003 MTV Networks
Feedback (good, bad, indifferent, just want to bother me, whatever) is appreciated. Please write to: email@example.com
Synopsis: After ruining Janeís hair-dye job, Daria fears she has lost her best friend. Jane, for her part, fears Daria is trying to steal her boyfriend, Tom. Will everything work out for the best? And what does T. S. Eliot have to do with any of this?
Authorís Notes: This alternate-history story is rated PG. To create this, the transcript for ďDariaĒ episode #413, ďDye! Dye! My DarlingĒ (by Glenn Eichler) was taken from Outpost Daria (http://www.outpost-daria.com/) and then sort of tinkered with just a tiny little bitóhardly at all, really [cough]. Anyway, the first half of ďDye! Dye! My DarlingĒ is not repeated here. We pick up the story from where things change just a tiny little bit.
Acknowledgements: My gratitude goes out to the beta-readers for this tale, who were (in no particular order): Brandon League, Thea Zara, Deref, Steven Galloway, Ruthless Bunny, Crusading Saint, THM, Robert Nowall, RedlegRick, Galen ďLawndale StalkerĒ Hardesty, and Brother Grimace. Thank you for your friendship, guidance, and support.
INT = Interior scene
EXT = Exterior scene
VO = Voice over (off screen)
We pick up the story the day after the disastrous hair-dyeing job. Jane does not come to school, and Daria cannot reach her by phone. Daria, at home sitting on the living room couch, tries again to call her on a portable phone without success. Looking very depressed, Daria next tries to call her mother, who is also unavailable.
SCENE X1. INT: LIVING ROOM, MORGENDORFFER HOME
As we cut away from Helenís office, Daria pushes the hang-up button on the phone. Frustrated, she tosses the portable phone on the round table in front of the couch. The phone lands on a large book there. Daria stares at the phone, then reaches for it again. As she picks it up, she stops to look at the book cover. We see from her point of view that it is The Complete and Ostentatious Coffee Table Book of T. S. Eliot, Unabridged. Distracted, she flips the book open to a random spot and looks down at the page. We see that she looks at a passage from ďThe Waste LandĒ near the end of the poem. Two lines of the poem stand out in her vision:
The awful daring of a momentís surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
Daria stares at this for a few moments in thought, shrugs, and leaves the book open. She slowly thumbs in a number on the phone and raises it to her ear.
SCENE X2. INT: A MOMENT LATER, SPLIT-SCREEN: LIVING ROOM, MORGENDORFFER HOME / LIVING ROOM, SLOANE HOME
A split-screen begins here. On one side, Daria sits in her living room with a worried look. On the other side we see a decorative telephone ringing on an antique table in Tomís house. Tom walks over and picks the phone up.
DARIA: Tom? Hi, itísó
TOM: [smiles] Daria! To what do I owe the pleasure?
As she talks, Daria occasionally glances down at the open T. S. Eliot book on the table, but she usually looks off at a random spot across the room.
DARIA: [worried] Listen, have you heard from Jane?
TOM: [rolls eyes, annoyed] You could say that. Why?
DARIA: Itís about that hair-striping job.
DARIA: [upset] Yeah. I really screwed it up big time. She wasnít at school today, and sheís not answering her phone, so I wanted to find out if you knew how she was doing.
TOM: [irritated] Well, she was doing well enough to call me at ten-thirty last night, yelling about her and me and you and some stuff about her hair that I didnít understand, plus making some really off-the-wall accusations. Ió
DARIA: [upset] Oh. Welló
TOM: [angry] Iím really getting tired of this garbage, you know? Itís like you and I talked about a while back during the paradeó
DARIA: [upset] I know, I know. Look, Iím going over to her place to see how sheís doing.
TOM: [calming] Oh. Yeah, thatís a good idea.
DARIA: I gotta go. Bye.
The split screen ends.
SCENE X3. INT: LIVING ROOM, MORGENDORFFER HOME
We see Daria sadly hang up the phone. With a last look at the T. S. Eliot poem, she gets up from the couch and leaves for the front door.
SCENE X4. INT: SAME MOMENT, LIVING ROOM, SLOANE HOME
Tom takes the telephone handset from his ear and looks at it with a resigned expression.
TOM: Bye, Daria.
Tom hangs up and looks thoughtful. He says ďHmmm,Ē then leaves, fishing his car keys from a pants pocket.
SCENE X5. EXT: A SHORT WHILE LATER, FRONT DOOR, LANE HOME
Looking miserable, Daria rings the doorbell. Moments later, Janeóher hair back to its normal jet-black coloróopens the door.
JANE: Ah. I thought you might shuffle around eventually.
DARIA: [surprised] Hey, your hair looks good.
JANE: Yeah, I dyed it again. Iím better off with jaguar black than splotchy tiger road kill.
DARIA: [upset] Look, Iím sorry I screwed the whole thing up. I told you I didnít know anything about dyeing hair, but I know that doesnít get me off the hook. Iím really sorry.
JANE: [irked] You look sorry.
DARIA: [upset] I am.
JANE: That wasnít what I meant. [sighs] Oh, címon in.
SCENE X6. INT: MOMENTS LATER, LIVING ROOM, LANE HOME
Daria and Jane wander into the living room and sit on the couch as they talk.
DARIA: Iíve been trying to call you all day. Why didnít you come to school?
JANE: I just had too much on my mind. Call it a mental health day, or maybe an insanity day, whatever. After the hair nightmare last night, I really needed to cool off and get my head sorted out about some things. Maybe a lot of things.
DARIA: What kind of things?
JANE: [glares] You canít guess? Iím not playing ďtwenty questionsĒ here, damn it.
DARIA: [anxious] I swear I didnít mess up your hair-dye job on purpose! I would never do that to you!
JANE: [glares] Thatís not whatís bothering me, Morgendorffer.
DARIA: [wide eyes] What? You mean Tom?
JANE: [fake surprise] Ah, the little light bulb over your head just came on.
DARIA: Jane, I swear Iím not trying to take Tom away from you! This is crazy!
JANE: [glares, loudly] Then whatís going on between the two of you? Why are you seeing him behind my back?
DARIA: [shocked] Jane! Iím not! I talked to him a couple of times, and thatís it! Thatís all! Weíre not seeing each other! If I ever did anything like that to you, I could never live with myself!
JANE: [becomes anxious] So, then, youíre not trying to make out with him oró
DARIA: [shocked, wide eyes] Jane, come on! [spreads arms] Look at me! Do I even look like I could make out with someone? Or even come on to a guy?
JANE: Well, there was that time you tried to do a cartwheel in gym and your t-shirt fell over your head, and all the boys got to see your bra.
DARIA: [blushes, very annoyed] Right, and how many guys asked me out as a result?
JANE: [sighs, relaxes] Oh, all right. But why are you and Tom being so friendly lately? I thought you couldnít stand him, but every time I turn around, youíre having some kind of cuddly intellectual story hour about Stalinism or some other equally steamy topic.
DARIA: [looks down, lowers voice] Well . . . I donít know. I can stand to talk to him now. Heís not the evil spawn of Satan I once thought he was. [pause] I think.
JANE: [raises eyebrow] Thatís a change.
DARIA: [irked] Well, I have to put up with him if I want to see you, right?
JANE: I guess. Mind if I ask when you talked to him last?
DARIA: I called him before I came over here. I thought he might know where you were all day, thatís all.
JANE: You called him?
DARIA: Yes, Jane, but he didnít know where you were, so it didnít go anywhere. He said that . . . [anxious] um, nothing.
DARIA: [worried, lowers voice] He said . . . the two of you had sort of a, uh, disagreement last night, over the phone.
JANE: [irked] It was more like a little nuclear war, with me doing most of the bombing. [again anxious] So, youíre not trying to . . . you know, go out with him or anything?
DARIA: Heís not my boyfriend! Heís your boyfriend!
JANE: Youíre not answering the question! Do youó
DARIA: [doesnít look Jane in the eye, looks down instead] No! I donít want to go out with him! I just miss being . . . [stops as if sheís said too much]
JANE: You miss what?
DARIA: [sad, looks at Jane, canít speak for a few seconds, low voice] I miss being with you.
Jane looks at Daria for a long moment. Janeís expression becomes sad and pained.
JANE: [low voice] I miss being with you, too. To tell you the truth, Tom and I arenít doing so well. Weíre not hitting it off like we used to. [pause] I guess Iím a little scared that heís sick and tired of me, or something.
DARIA: You think heís bored with you?
JANE: [depressed] Yeah, though I canít imagine how that could happen. Iím never bored with me.
DARIA: Are you getting tired of him?
JANE: [angry/defensive] No! [pause, expression softens] Well . . . I donít know. It hasnít been the same lately. All the fireís burnt out. I thought I could put a little spice into our love life with the tiger thing, but . . . oh, well. I donít know what to do.
DARIA: [pleading, low voice] Please believe me, I would never do anything to hurt you. Youíre my only friend.
JANE: [touched] I know. [sighs] Iím sorry. Maybe I need to see a little less of Tom for a while. I think Iím trying too hard. Nothingís working no matter what I do.
DARIA: I donít care anymore if you want to see Tom. I just . . . Ió
JANE: . . . want to see me, too?
DARIA: [low voice] Yeah.
JANE: And probably not as a third wheel, I imagine.
DARIA: [voices fades as she speaks] If we could work that out. Itís . . . itís been so long.
Jane stares at Daria as if seeing her for the first time.
JANE: [sighs, mind made up] Okey-dokey. Youíve got it. I apologize for flying off the handle, and I accept your apology for the hair whatever. I want to put this behind us. Pizza tomorrow after school?
DARIA: [relieved] Sure. [pause, looks at Janeís hair] You sure you donít want me to do up your hair with leopard spots or anything?
JANE: [gives Daria the eye] Donít pee in the corn flakes, okay?
DARIA: [relieved] Okay. [pause] Um, got any soda?
JANE: [grins] Now youíre talking.
SCENE X7. EXT: A SHORT WHILE LATER, FRONT DOOR OF LANE HOME
The door opens, and Jane sees Daria out. It is growing dark outside.
DARIA: [ill at ease] Um, Iím glad weíre . . . okay again. I donít think I could have taken much more of not . . . not . . . [canít say what she thinks]
JANE: [painful smile] I think I get it. We were always okay. Up, down, whateveróyouíre still my best friend. You always will be.
Dariaís eyes glisten. She looks away for a moment and rubs her eyes.
DARIA: [not looking at Jane] I could never live with myself if I did anything that botched everything between you and Tomóor you and anyone else.
JANE: Oh, I think Tom and I are doing a fine job botching things on our own. Weíll see. Pizza tomorrow right after school. Surrender to the power of the pepperoni.
DARIA: [gives Jane a slight smile] An age of prudence would not sway me from it.
JANE: [raises an eyebrow] Is that from a book?
DARIA: What? Oh, itís something I read before I came over, about surrendering to the moment and never being able to undo it.
JANE: Was this about Bill Clinton?
DARIA: No. It was a T. S. Eliot poem.
JANE: Of course, it wasnít about anything fun. You brains are all alike.
SCENE X8. EXT: A SHORT WHILE LATER, SIDEWALK IN FRONT OF MORGENDORFFER HOME
It is evening and growing dark. Walking down the sidewalk toward her home, Daria sees Tomís battered blue car parked in front of her house. She frowns and walks over to the rolled-down passenger-side window, which faces the sidewalk.
DARIA: Why are you here?
TOM: I wanted to talk to you. Your sister said you werenít home, so I figured Iíd wait in the car. It was safer than getting near their Blushathon, what with their giggling and painting stuff on their faces and drawing pentagrams on the floor with red lipstick. At least I think it was red lipstick.
DARIA: [unamused] What do you want?
TOM: Why donít you get in the car? At least your feet wonít get tired while we chat.
DARIA: I can talk from here.
TOM: [cups hand to ear, smiles] What? The acoustics outdoors are terrible.
With a doubtful look, Daria opens the car door and gets into the passenger seat, leaving the passenger door open.
SCENE X9. INT: MOMENTS LATER, FRONT SEAT OF TOMíS CAR
DARIA: Do you want to talk about Jane?
DARIA: [frowns] What, then?
TOM: I want to talk about our situation.
DARIA: [surprised/angry] Our situation? You mean ďourĒ as in you and me?
TOM: Exactly. Lookó
DARIA: [angry] No, you look. We have no situationóĒweĒ meaning you and me.
TOM: Why is everyone so mad at me?
DARIA: [angry] Why shouldnít everyone be mad at you?
TOM: Daria, come on! Talk to me. Why are you mad at me?
DARIA: [angry] Why? Why am I mad at you? Because when we moved to this stupid town, I knew right off I was going to be a total outcast, just like before. And in the one real stroke of good luck Iíve had in my entire life, I met another outcast who became my best friend, and I didnít have to feel completely alone anymore. Then you came along and screwed everything up royally! I hardly see her anymore!
TOM: [annoyed] That happens when people date, Daria. If Jane wants to make time to see you, she will. I should be so lucky, with all that art crap she does.
DARIA: [angry] Jane doesnít do ďart crap,Ē and sheís made some time for me already. Iím just not looking forward to seeing her drop off the face of the earth again with you. And how could you even say that about her work?
TOM: Look, itís not fair that youíre pissed at me about this. A while back, I met this girl I thought was really cool, and I went out with her. We got bored with each other, and the relationshipís run into the rocks now. Stuff like this happens all the time. Itís not my fault, and it certainly isnít hers.
DARIA: [surprised] Youíre breaking up with Jane?
TOM: I donít know whatís happening with usóher and me, I mean. After that crazy phone call I got last nightó
DARIA: Why arenít you over at her place trying to sort this out? Why do you need to talk to me?
TOM: [leans closer] Because I wanted to talk to you.
DARIA: [suddenly nervous, pulls back slightly] About what?
TOM: [softly] Us.
Tom suddenly moves much closer to Daria and leans over her, his face coming toward hers. Heís obviously about to kiss her. Startled, Daria recoils from him. Her hands leap up to shield her face and push Tom away. She strikes out reflexively with the palm of one hand, cracking him hard on the nose.
TOM: [grabs at his nose] Ow!
DARIA: [shocked] Oh! Oh, no!
SCENE X9. EXT: MOMENTS LATER, SIDEWALK IN FRONT OF MORGENDORFFER HOME
Daria jumps out of the car and runs up the sidewalk for her house, slamming the door behind her. Tom, still in his car, gingerly touches his nose.
TOM: [resigned] That definitely did not go well.
SCENE X10. INT: NEXT MORNING, KITCHEN, THE MORGENDORFFER RESIDENCE
Daria, running a little late, walks into the kitchen just as her father Jake is leaving, finishing a cup of coffee. Daria looks as upset as she can possibly be; her hair isnít combed, and her expression is stressed out. She sits at her place at the table, with no food before her, and stares into space.
JAKE: Hey, kiddo! Howís your morning going? Can you believe this damn town wonít let you shoot squirrels? Itís like 1984 all over again! Howís a man supposed to defend his home and family? Itís tyranny, and the people wonít stand for it! We should rise up and stick it to the Man! [checks watch] Oops, sorry, Daria, I have to run. Tell me more about your day during dinner tonight. You know you canít even poison the little monsters? See you later, kiddo! [to Quinn, entering the kitchen] Hey! Howís the day for you?
QUINN: Great, Daddy! Bye!
Jake walks out as Quinn walks in. Quinn makes a bowl of dry cereal for herself as she talks.
QUINN: Ohómorning, Daria! Listen, itís only fair to warn you that this afternoon is the final stretch of our Blushathon, and maybe you wonít want to come home and have to suffer through the incredible excitement going on in my room while you sit around and watch TV, and maybe thereís somewhere else youíd rather be, you know, like Janeís house or the library or something. That work for you? [pause, looks at Daria] Daria?
DARIA: [focuses on Quinn, flat voice] Whereís Mom? I need to talk to her.
QUINN: [looks inside the refrigerator] You need to talk to her? Ha! As if! I canít even remember what color her eyeliner is anymore. She goes on and on about this huge case sheís got, and she never comes home until really late, and pretty soon sheíll be a complete stranger to us and weíll all suffer terrible psychological damage and have to be sent to an insanitarium or something. Are we out of skim milk?
QUINN: [head still inside refrigerator] What?
DARIA: [anxious] If your best friend was going out with this guy, but this guy suddenly tried to kiss you, would you tell her?
QUINN: [pause, takes head out of refrigerator and closes refrigerator door] This is a hypothetical question, right?
DARIA: I didnít even know you knew that word.
QUINN: Do you want an answer or not?
DARIA: [anxious] Yes.
QUINN: Well, it depends. Is he cute?
DARIA: [shoulders slump] Forget that I brought it up.
QUINN: [thinking] Letís see. If weíre speaking hypothetically, say, about Sandi and me, and thereís this cute guy dating her but he tries to come on to me, too, like for example during school yesterday right after History, in the stairwell at the far end of the building, but letís say hypothetically he wasnít cute enough to get into a fight with Sandi over it, then definitely, Iíd tell her about it right away. Sheís my best friend, after all.
DARIA: [surprised] Oh. [pause] Youíre right. Thanks, Quió
QUINN: But, hypothetically, if he was really hot and he could keep his mouth shut, that could be different.
DARIA: Quinn, I think I seeó
QUINN: And we have to ask, what sort of kiss are we talking about? A friendly kiss, or the kind you get only after dinner out with a limo and a concert afterward? Am I wearing lipstick that will smudge on me or come off on him? Can he keep his tongue to himself? And where does he expect this will lead? A girl has to consider a lot of important angles when she looks the gift horse in the mouth, so to speak. In factó
Having heard enough, Daria gets up and leaves the room while Quinn talks on to herself, gesturing over her bowl of cereal.
SCENE X11. EXT: LATER THAT MORNING, FRONT DOOR, LANE RESIDENCE
Daria nervously waits at the Lanesí front door. The front door opens, and Jane walks out, closing the door behind her.
JANE: [cheery] Hey! Good to see ya.
DARIA: [without enthusiasm] Hi.
The two walk toward the sidewalk, heading for school.
JANE: So, whatís up, amiga?
DARIA: [worried] We need to talk.
JANE: We are talking. Or did you mean in code?
DARIA: About Tom.
Jane stops and stares at Daria, surprised and wary. Daria stops and faces Jane, her expression extremely anxious.
JANE: [flat voice] What about Tom?
DARIA: [anxious, pause] He tried to kiss me yesterday.
JANE: [huge eyes, stunned, shouts] What?
DARIA: [more upset] I was in his car, and heó
JANE: [furious] What were you doing in his car?
DARIA: [very upset, rushed] He was parked in front of my house after I left your place. He asked me to get in so we could talk. I thought he wanted to talk about you, so I got in. [lower voice] But he wanted to talk about us instead.
JANE: [shouts] About you? You and him?
DARIA: [upset] Yes. Thatís when he tried to kiss me. I didnít want it to happen. Itís the truth, Jane. Iím sorry.
JANE: [furious] You kissed him?
DARIA: No! [screws up her face] He tried to kiss me, but it scared me when he came at me, and I accidentally hit him. I think I broke his nose.
Jane steps back, reeling.
DARIA: I had to tell you! Iím really sorry, Jane!
JANE: [angry] You werenít trying to kiss him?
DARIA: Jane, I swear, I didnít try to kiss him! I would never do anything to hurt you! I shouldnít have even gotten in his car, youíre absolutely right. I thought he wanted us to talk about you, but he didnít, and Iím sorry I did it. [shoulders slump, looks down] I shouldnít have even gone near him. That was really stupid. Iím sorry.
Jane stares intently and angrily at Daria a few moments longer.
JANE: [glares, aloud to self] I can get there before he leaves for school, if I hurry. Iíd better take Trentís car.
Jane turns and runs back to her house, leaving Daria on the sidewalk alone.
DARIA: [calls] Jane? [face falls, looks down at her feet in misery] Damn it. Damn it, damn it, damn it.
SCENE X12. EXT: A SHORT WHILE LATER, FRONT OF SLOANE RESIDENCE
Jane parks Trentís car in the Sloanesí driveway, gets out, and walks to the front door. She rings the doorbell and waits. Moments later, Tom answers the door. His nose is still red and swollen.
TOM: [surprised, slightly nasal voice] Oh. Hi.
JANE: Oh, hi. Something the matter with your nose?
TOM: [looking guilty] Uh, yeah, I banged it yesterday. Itís better now.
JANE: I can fix that.
Jane suddenly punches Tom in the nose with a roundhouse blow with her right fist.
TOM: [staggers back into the house, hands covering his face] OW!!!
SCENE X13. INT: MOMENTS LATER, FRONT HALL, SLOANE RESIDENCE
Tom staggers back, hands over his face. Jane comes through the front door after him.
JANE: [furious] So, you want a little more action in your love life? Hereís a little more action for you!
Enraged, Jane flails Tom nonstop with both fists.
TOM: [trying to shield self with arms] Ouch! Ow! Jane, stop it! Jane!
JANE: [breaking off her attack, screams] You bastard! How could you? How could you do that to her? How could you do it to me? How could you do it to us, you total moron?
Enraged, Jane starts toward Tom with her fists balled up. Tom backs into a wall, knocking a picture down. Tom wards Jane away with one hand, the other covering his bleeding nose.
TOM: Jane, Iím sorry! Stop it! I know I screwed everything up!
JANE: Thatís brilliant, Einstein! Youíll get the Nobel Prize right after Iím through beating you over the head with it!
TOM: Jane, cut it out! Just back off! Iím sorry, all right?
JANE: What happened? Tell me what happened between you and her!
TOM: I was an idiot, okay? IóI donít know what got into me! I justó
JANE: Did she try to kiss you?
TOM: No! Damn it, Jane, it was all my fault! I did something stupid, really stupid! Iím sorry!
JANE: You just decided to plant one on her and see where it went, right? [blinks, face gets red, near tears] I canít believe you did that. You want to get it on with my best friend, while you and I are still going together? I canít believe you did that.
Tom and Jane stare at each other, breathing heavily. Tom covers his bleeding nose.
TOM: [softly] I canít believe it, either. It wasnít her fault. Iím sorry.
Jane stands there, then covers her face with her hands.
JANE: Youíre sorry. Youíre sorry. You tried to make out with my best friend, my best friend in the whole world, so I go nuts and accuse her of trying to make it with you, and youíre sorry. Damn you to hell.
TOM: [pause, low voice] You wanna talk?
JANE: [drops her hands from her face, looks at the floor as tears run down her face] I wanna give you some good reasons to have your medical insurance paid up, thatís what I wanna do. [wipes her eyes with her hands] Weíre through. You and me. Weíre done, weíre through forever.
Jane starts for the door. She stops before she gets there, however, and turns to Tom.
JANE: [calmer, but still furious] Just tell me something. All the time you were going out with me, was that just so you could get to her? Was it Daria you really wanted?
TOM: No. No, that wasnít it. I wanted to go out with you. I never met anyone like you. I just wanted to be with you, but then everything started to go wrong. We just couldnít get anything together. We were about to break up anyway, but Iím sorry that Ió
JANE: [angry] About to break up? What the hell do you mean by that?
TOM: [a little angry too] We were, and you know it! We stopped doing stuff together, we were always pissed off at each other, we couldnít get anything to work out, we never had the same plansówe just werenít working out! It happens, okay? Iím sorry for what happened with Daria, but it doesnít change the fact that you and I just werenít making it!
Another short pause with dark stares.
JANE: [low voice, grudging] Yeah. Yeah, I can see that. It doesnít excuse what you did, but youíre right, we werenít doing so well. [pause, upset look] Then . . . I donít get it. Why did you even go out with me? What was all that about? Whyíd you even bother?
TOM: [low voice] Because I liked you. I still do. Youíre funny, youíre smart, youíre . . . youíre not like everyone else. Youíre different. You live life the way you want, and youíre just . . . youíre like completely in charge of your life. You know your own mind. Youíre confident, youíre exciting, youíve really got it together. Youíre like the coolest person in all of Lawndale.
JANE: [pause, then smiles slightly] I am, arenít I?
TOM: [nods] You are. You really are.
JANE: [smile hardens] And that wasnít good enough for you, was it?
Tom has no answer to this. His mouth opens, then shuts. He looks down.
JANE: [smile fades, calm] So, Iím the coolest person in all Lawndale. [pause] Thanks. Iím just sorry that you had to [yells at top of her lungs] SUCK!
TOM: [pause, swallows, low voice] Canít argue with that.
JANE: [nods, calm again] Thatís right. You canít.
Jane turns and walks out of Tomís home, slamming the door behind her.
SCENE X14. INT: A SHORT WHILE LATER, HELENíS LAW OFFICE, LAWNDALE
Helen talks on a portable phone, pacing back and forth in her office.
HELEN: [furious] Iím not asking the impossible, you know! Itís only four or five hundred pages! [pause] Well, call me back when you get out of the emergency room! [thumbs a phone button, hanging up] Of all the nerve!
Helenís assistant, Marianne, opens the door to Helenís office enough to poke her head in.
MARIANNE: [clears throat] Excuse me, Helen?
HELEN: [yells] What is it? Itís crunch time! Cut to the chase!
Marianne opens the door wider. Behind Marianne is Daria, looking as depressed and upset as she can possibly be, just short of tears.
HELEN: [still ranting] I need the four one . . . [startled, calms down] one. [pause] Daria?
SCENE X15. INT: A SHORT WHILE LATER, AT THE SETTLEMENT RESTAURANT, LAWNDALE
We see a brief exterior view of The Settlement restaurant before showing an interior scene. Helen and Daria sit across from each other at a booth.
DARIA: . . . then Jane ran off, and I donít know where she is or how she is, and I feel like dog crap.
HELEN: Daria, you did nothing wrong. Itís hard being a teenager. Your mind is filled with all these new emotions and experiences, and your hormonesó
DARIA: This isnít about my rampaging teenage hormones, Mom. My best friendís boyfriend tried to kiss me, and I hit him and probably made them break up.
HELEN: You didnít make them break up, Daria. Janeís boyfriend seems to have done all the breakup work by himself. [darkly] And a good job heís done of it, too.
DARIA: I just want things to be like they were, with Jane and me. Everything was almost under control again, then this happened and now Iíve lost my best friend in the world. [pause] My only friend.
HELEN: Donít be too sure of that, Daria. Jane cares a lot about you, you know.
DARIA: [low voice] I canít imagine why she would, now.
HELEN: I canít imagine that she has any better friend in the world than you.
DARIA: [lower voice, looks down] I should never have gotten in Tomís car to begin with.
HELEN: [softly and carefully] Why do you think you did that?
Daria is silent for a few moments.
DARIA: [softly] I donít know.
HELEN: Tom always struck me as a nice young man. Heís a smart boy, well mannered, friendlyó
DARIA: Until he tried to put his tongue down my throat.
DARIA: Well, okay, not really. But he did try to kiss me.
HELEN: [carefully] Did you find him attractive?
DARIA: [crossly] I dunno.
Helen waits, watching Daria.
DARIA: A little. [pause] He was okay to talk to. [face gets red] He looked okay. [frowns] I still shouldnít have gotten in his car.
HELEN: If he wasnít dating Jane, would you liked to have gone out with him?
DARIA: [looks up, peeved] Mom, how would I know? Okay, so he was all right. He was smarter than Iíd thought. He was funny. [pause, looks down, low voice] I think he liked me. [stares at table, face gets red]
Helen looks at Daria with gentle sadness, sensing her loss.
DARIA: [low voice, looks down] I just hope Jane doesnít totally hate me for this.
HELEN: Give her time, dear. Sheís been through a lot today. As have you.
DARIA: [sad, looks down] Life sucks.
HELEN: Doesnít it, though? And yet, we still have those times when life is great. We have to keep ourselves going, so those good moments will catch up to us.
DARIA: Iím ready for one to drop by, any time now.
HELEN: Itíll come.
Helen smiles at Daria, who looks up and nods faintly.
DARIA: [low voice] I hope so. God, I hope so.
SCENE X16. INT: A SHORT WHILE LATER, LIVING ROOM, LANE HOME
Jane lies on her stomach on the living room sofa, her face turned away, one arm dangling off the edge. Her older brother Trent walks in, yawning.
TRENT: Yo. [pause, no answer] Janey?
Jane sniffs and wipes her eyes before turning her head to face Trent. Her eyes are red.
JANE: [low voice] What are you doing up?
TRENT: What time is it?
JANE: [looks at clock across the room] Two sixteen.
TRENT: Must be insomnia. [pause] You okay?
JANE: [wipes eyes] No.
TRENT: Your hair looks good.
JANE: [flat dispirited voice, tear runs down her face] Great. Thatís bloody wonderful.
TRENT: Want some breakfast?
JANE: [monotone] Itís past lunchtime, Trent.
TRENT: Late lunch, then. Pizza? My treat?
JANE: [wipes eyes again] Not hungry.
TRENT: [checks pockets] Thatís cool. I donít have any money. Letís go for a drive.
JANE: [looks at Trent] Why?
TRENT: We need to go for more rides.
JANE: [pause, sighs heavily] Okay.
SCENE X17. INT: A SHORT WHILE LATER, INSIDE TRENTíS CAR
Trent drives while Jane sits in the passenger seat, looking very depressed.
JANE: [depressed voice] . . . then I came back here and went for a walk. I shouldnít have run off on Daria like that, but I wasnít thinking. I was too mad. I called the school when I got back, but she didnít go in today, and sheís not home. I donít know where she is.
TRENT: Sheíll be okay. Sheís still your friend.
JANE: I hope so. It wasnít her fault. [darker tone] Though I still donít know why she got into Tomís car in the first place.
TRENT: [shrugs] She didnít know.
JANE: [grudging tone] I guess. [sighs] That jerk.
TRENT: Youíll pull through this.
JANE: If I donít throw up and die first.
TRENT: Hmmm. Want me to go by Tomís place so you can throw up in his yard?
JANE: [smiles painfully] Good idea. [smile fades] It would be better if I stayed away from him, though.
TRENT: Good for your mental health.
JANE: [darkly] I really wasnít thinking about my health. [looks at Trent] Where are we going, anyway?
TRENT: Dariaís. She might be home now.
SCENE X18. INT: A SHORT WHILE LATER, FRONT HALL, MORGENDORFFER HOME
The front doorbell rings. Daria walks to the door and opens it. Jane stands on the other side. Trentís car is parked on the street behind Jane.
JANE: [anxious] Yo.
DARIA: [sad] Hi. Iíll understand if you never want to see me again.
JANE: Okay. Pizza?
DARIA: Um . . . Iím not very hungry.
JANE: Iíll buy.
DARIA: [pause, expression brightens] Okay.
JANE: Letís save the talk until we get there. No point in torturing Trent. Not that heíd ever notice.
SCENE X19. INT: A SHORT WHILE LATER, A PIZZA RESTAURANT, LAWNDALE
Daria and Jane sit in their usual booth with drinks and a small, steaming pizza between them. Both look worn out and downcast.
DARIA: I was so stupid. I swear Iíll never talk to or go near Tom again.
JANE: Thatís funny. Thatís what I told him after I broke his nose this morning.
DARIA: [wide eyes, shocked] You didnít!
JANE: [casual shrug] Eh. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. I wanted the breakup to have an official ring to it.
DARIA: So you two broke up? [soft voice] Wow, you really are a lady and a tiger.
JANE: I guess. It surprised me, too. [pause, nonchalant] You know, you can go out with him if you want, after he gets back from the plastic surgeon. Itís okay with me.
DARIA: [shocked/angry] No way! I donít ever want to see him again!
JANE: [relieved smile] Weíre so much alike, you and me, itís frightening. [pushes pizza toward Daria] You first.
After a moment, Daria takes a slice and bites into it. She chews, then stops and blinks. She puts the pizza slice down, takes off her glasses, and wipes her eyes.
JANE: Too much pepper?
DARIA: No. [sniffs, near tears, then puts glasses back on and shows her red eyes]
JANE: [smiles, very moved] Itís good to be back with you, too, Morgendorffer.
DARIA: [avoids looking at Jane] Just shut up and eat.
Jane smiles and takes a slice for herself. Across the room at another table, Trent looks over at the twoóand he smiles in relief.
SCENE X20. INT: THAT EVENING, JANEíS BEDROOM, LANE HOME
After a brief outside view of the Lane home at night, we peer into Janeís bedroom. Jane sits on her bed, head down, elbows on her knees, hands clasped in front of her. Soft music plays from a CD boom box. Jane appears very depressed. She finally rouses herself and gets up to walk aimlessly around her room. She stops near a canvas picture with its face turned to the wall. She turns the picture aroundóand itís the self-portrait of her with tiger-striped hair, seen earlier in this episode. Jane stares at this for a while, then turns it back to the wall and stares down at it. She kicks it lightly with one foot, but not enough to harm it. She then shrugs and walks back to her bed, sitting down and covering her face with her hands. An image of Tom kissing her, after she finished the self-portrait, comes up from memory, then fades. She sniffs but sits quietly.
SCENE X21. INT: ABOUT THIS TIME, LIVING ROOM, MORGENDORFFER HOME
After a brief outside view of the Morgendorffer home at night, we peer into the living room. Daria sits on the couch, watching TV with an unhappy expression.
TV ANNOUNCER: [VO] Everyone knows that Hitler was clonedóbut why canít anyone find the runty little goosesteppers? Watch ďWhere have all the Fuehrers gone?Ē next, on ďSick, Sad WorldĒ!
Daria raises the remote and turns off the TV. She drops the remote on the couch beside her, staring sadly into space. Her gaze drops, and she sees the coffee table book of T. S. Eliot. After a pause, she reaches for the book and flips it open, then reads aloud softly.
DARIA: [talks to self] ďThe awful daring of a momentís surrender / Which an age of prudence can never retract.Ē [stares at page, then closes the book] I guess it could have been worse. I could have kissed him back.
Daria mediates on this and becomes sadder. She gets up and leaves for the staircase, taking the portable phone with her.
SCENE X22. INT: MOMENTS LATER, DARIAíS BEDROOM, MORGENDORFFER HOME
Daria walks in, drops the portable phone on her bed, and sits on the bedís edge. After a moment, she flops on her back to stare at the ceiling. Images of past conversations with Tom appear as she remembers her attraction to him: the parade (ďI Loathe a ParadeĒ), talking with him at Janeís house (ďFire!Ē), and so on. The images fade out and leave Daria alone in bed, looking sad.
The portable phone beside her rings.
DARIA: [calls loudly] Quinn! Can you get the phone? [low voice] Damn it. [picks up the phone, thumbs it on] Morgendorffers.
TOM: [VO] Daria? Itís me, Tom. Listenó
With an angry look, Daria thumbs the phone off, hanging up. She is still frowning when the phone rings again. Looking irritated, Daria picks it up and thumbs it on.
DARIA: [angry] What?
JANE: [VO] Yo.
DARIA: [instantly contrite] Oh. Itís you. Iím sorry.
JANE: [VO] No problem. You okay?
DARIA: Yeah, I guess. You?
JANE: [VO, pause] Eh.
DARIA: [after a pause] You want to come over?
JANE: [VO, softly] Not tonight. I need some alone time. Have to get my head sorted out, maybe cry my eyes out a little longer.
DARIA: [pained] Sure. [pause] Um, see you tomorrow?
JANE: [VO] You bet. The day after, too.
DARIA: [relieved] Good.
JANE: [VO] Good night, amiga.
DARIA: You, too.
Daria thumbs the phone offóand gives a tired but relieved smile to the ceiling.
Authorís Notes II: This story is not a direct copy of the original DDMD script. Only a few lines were retained from the earlier one, the rest being rewritten to maintain the flavor of the original (and the essence of its scenes) while adding more material and setting up the new ending. I borrowed the concept of the ďsnowball effectĒ from alternate history writing, in which a small change creates progressively greater aftereffects until a major break in the timeline occurs.
††††††††††† This story was influenced in part by CINCGreenís essay, ďThe Fall of TommunismĒ (http://www.geocities.com/cincgreen/tommunism.html). The essay appeared when I was halfway through this story already, but CINCGreenís observations about Tom and his role in ďDariaĒ were intriguing and useful. He is, of course, not of course to be blamed for any part of this story, and neither are the beta readers.
††††††††††† Kara Wildís essay, ďThe Other Side of the Kiss,Ē also influenced this story to a degree. It, too, is online (http://www.the-wildone.com/essays/kw_essays/tosotk.html), and its author cannot be blamed in any way for this storyís plot or outcome.
††††††††††† Sort of makes you wonder what the fifth season might have been like, eh? Alas.
Script, alternate history