The Talented Miss Morgendorffer.
By Thomas.

Thanks to Steve Brown for helping me with my grammar. And to Medea for beta reading it.

(The Multimovieplex. Quinn and Jamie are standing in line)

Quinn: You know, maybe we shouldn't go see "Bounce". I heard it's boring.

Jamie: (Genuinely confused) Isn't it supposed to be? It's a chick flick, right?

Quinn: I just saw they're showing "The Virgin Suicides" again. I didn't get to see it last year.

Jamie: (Still confused) But isn't that a brain movie?

Quinn: (Beat) There are lots of beautiful girls in it.

Jamie: There are? Ow right. (pause) I mean... What do I care? I'm here with you. (nervous) I mean, I *am* here with you. Aren't I?

Quinn: Let's just go see it, okay.

(Later. The theater. The lights come back up)

Quinn: That was ... different. It wasn't like the ones I usually see. And letting the movie be shown from the boys perspective, that's brilliant. Don't you think so Jamie? (pause) Jamie?

(Quinn looks at Jamie. Tears are running down his face)

Jamie: (Crying) They died. They *all* died.

Quinn: Well, yeah. Didn't you notice the title of the movie?

Jamie: (Crying) They all died! (buries his face in his hands) Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!

Quinn: Jamie, it's just a movie. Jamie? (pause) Damn.

(Morgendorffer home. A cab drives up to the house. Quinn gets out)

(Cut to the livingroom. Helen is standing by the window. Daria is laying on the couch reading the TV guide)

Helen: (Sigh) Quinn goes on a date and comes home in a cab. This is the third time that's happened in a little over a month. Should I worry about her?

Daria: Why? Just because she's got a brain tumor doesn't have to mean it's inoperable.

Helen: Daria, please.

Daria: Seriously. She smartened up this summer. The crowd she hangs out with didn't. She needs to find other people to be with. She just hasn't realized it yet. I don't think you need to worry. She'll be fine.

Helen: (Smiles) Thanks, Daria. Now she's bound to be in a bad mood when she comes in. Could you please try to be sympathetic to her?

Daria: But, mom. Have I ever given you reason to think I'm not sympathetic?

(Helen gets a pained expression on her face. Quinn enters)

Daria: So he dumped you did he? I wonder why.

Quinn: (Furious) I did not get dumped! I left him at the theater, *okay*!

Helen: Girls, please.

Daria: I can understand why he preferred to see another movie over your company. Maybe it would be easier if you start paying people to go out with you.

Quinn: At least people *will* go out with me. You're so cold and nasty that you had to look for two years before you found someone.

Helen: Don't talk about Daria that way, Quinn. Your sister is a warm and loving person.

Quinn: Warm? Loving? Are we talking about the same Daria here?

Daria: That story is going to haunt me for the rest of my life, isn't it? (1)

Helen: (Smiles) Well, maybe just the rest of my life sweetie.

Quinn: What story?

Helen: Mr. O'Neill had Daria write a ...

Daria: Mom, you promised.

Helen: (Sigh) I know. He had her write a story instead of an assignment he gave her classmates. But I can't tell you about it.

(Next day. Quinn and Daria are walking to school)

Daria: Stop following me.

Quinn: We go to the same school.

Daria: (Smirk) Why are you following me?

Quinn: About that story mom talked about last night...

Daria: Quinn, let me make one thing clear. You will never read it.

Quinn: I don't care about that. I want to know what she meant when she said you wrote it instead of a class assignment.

Daria: Figures. Mr. O'Neill had the others read a book. Me he had write a story using people I know as characters.

Quinn: That's it? I wish he would let me do that. Much easier than reading some book.

(Daria makes a short laugh)

Quinn: What's so funny? You usually never laugh.

Daria: I could tell you. But I'd rather you find out the hard way.

(Lawndale High. The class of Mr. O'Neill. The students leave. Quinn stays behind)

Quinn: About this book you want us to read...

Mr. O'Neill: "The Chocolate War". I know it's a controversial book. But that's no reason to have your mom complain to Ms Li. As an English teacher I have a duty to stand up against book banning. (nervous) Can't we at least talk about it?

Quinn: Calm down, Mr. O'Neill. That's not what I meant. I was wondering if you would let me write a story instead using people I know as characters.

Mr. O'Neill: Why Quinn, that's an excellent idea. But maybe not a story. How about instead you do a character study on someone you know. Like your sister, Daria.

Quinn: (Looks around) Keep your voice down. Someone might hear you. I can do a character study. But I think I'll do one on one of my friends. Daria would be my last choice. Her character is ... (shudders)

O'Neill: Oh. But I must say I'm surprised. Who would have thought you'd volunteer for additional work.

Quinn: You know me... (pause) Additional?

Mr. O'Neill: Yes. It will make a nice supplement to your review of the book. (leaves)

Quinn: (To herself) But... I was supposed to get less homework... Not more.

(Stacy's room. Quinn and Stacy are sitting on the bed)

Quinn: Mr. O'Neill wants me to do a character study on someone I know. So I thought of you.

Stacy: I'll be glad to help you, Quinn. How can help you?

Quinn: I suppose you could tell me about yourself.

Stacy: You want to know about the time before I moved here?

Quinn: You moved here? I thought you lived here your whole life. Let's just start with the present. Like, how is your typical day?

Stacy: It starts when I wake up in my canopy bed. Then I have breakfast with my dad, my mom, and my scary cousin. My mom often isn't there, she's a lawyer you see, she's really busy ...

Quinn: But your mom isn't a lawyer. (Looks at the bed) And you don't have a canopy bed. I do. (realization strikes) You know these things you've told me. It sounds an awful lot like you're describing my life. Not yours.

Stacy: And?

(Cut to the outside the Rowe home. Quinn opens the front door and runs away)

(Tiffany's room)

Tiffany: A character study. What's that?

Quinn: A description of you. So I need to ask you some questions.

Tiffany: You want to know why I'm so fat. Don't you?

Quinn: You're not fat.

Tiffany: Are you calling me a liar?

Quinn: Listen. I don't need to know anything about your weight. So can we please stop talking about it.

Tiffany: Okay. So what do you want to talk about?

Quinn: Like. Where do you come from?

Tiffany: I don't know. I was adopted.

Quinn: You mean your parents never told you those things?

Tiffany: They were going to. But I told them I didn't need to know. Because all that mattered to me was that they loved me.

Quinn: (Pause) You know, that's really sweet.

Tiffany: But that's just what I told them. The real reason I don't want to know is that I'm sure my real parents were these really fat people.

(Cut to the outside the Blum-Deckler home. Quinn opens the front door and runs away)

(Sandi's room)

Sandi: I'm a little surprised to see you here *Quinn*. It's been a long time since you last wanted to talk with me *alone*. I was getting the impression you didn't like me anymore.

Quinn: But, Sandi. Of course I like you. (voiceover) I wonder if it's possible to infect her with leprosy? Daria would know that.

Sandi: So *Quinn*. What can I do for you?

Quinn: I wanted to ask if you'd let me do a character study on you. It's an assignment Mr. O'Neill gave me.

Sandi: I see. You want to know what makes me the most popular girl at Lawndale High?

Quinn: But, Sandi. I'm the most ...

Sandi: Do you want to do this or not?

Quinn: (Beat) Yeah. Now my first question ...

Sandi: By the way. I know this sounds silly, but could I have some of your hair.

Quinn: My hair? What would you want with my hair?

Sandi: Just to have something to remember you by.

(Quinn looks at Sandi's desk. There is a doll with needles sticking out of it)

Quinn: What's that?

Sandi: Oh that. Just a small thing I made in arts and crafts. A gift for my niece.

Quinn: But you don't have a niece. Uhm.

(Cut to the outside the Griffin home. Quinn opens the front door and runs away)

(Next day. Lawndale High. Quinn is talking with Mr. O'Neill)

Quinn: About this assignment you gave me. Isn't there an easier way to do a character study. The ones I asked haven't been... uhm... cooperative.

Mr. O'Neill: Well. Maybe you shouldn't let them know you're studying them. Try asking what you need to know like it's part of a normal conversation.

Quinn: Wouldn't that be dishonest?

Mr. O'Neill: Oh my. I guess it would. But I'm sure it's okay when it's a class assignment.

Quinn: But it's not a class assignment. You only gave it to me.

Mr. O'Neill: So?

Quinn: (Beat) Never mind. Thanks for the advice.

Mr. O'Neill: Don't mention it. I'm glad to be of help to my students.

(Morgendorffer kitchen. They're having breakfast)

Quinn: Mom, can I ask you something?

Helen: Why sure, sweetie. What do you want to know?

Quinn: Like, what're you doing these days.

Helen: Oh, you want me to tell you about my work?

Daria: You mean there are other options?

Helen: (Looks cross at Daria, her phone rings) Just a moment, sweetie. (answers it) Hi, Eric, they *what*? I'll be right there! (hangs up) Looks like we have to postpone this discussion for another time. (hands Quinn the silver credit card) Here, sweetie.

Daria: I wonder. Do you think those kids who massacres their classmates got neglected at home?

Helen: (Sigh) Here you go. (hands Daria the gold credit card)

Quinn: But muh-om. It's not fair. You gave me the silver card.

Helen: Quinn you're not having the platinum, and that's final. If you want to know about my work I can take you there on your next "Take your kid to work day". No, that's not right. You told me your school wants daughters to spend that day with their fathers.

Jake: (Surprised) They do? The girls told me they wanted daughters to spend that day with their mothers.

Helen: (Soft voice) Girls.

(Daria and Quinn hand the credit cards back)

Helen: We'll talk about this when I get back from work. (leaves)

Daria: Busted and cardless. But at least punishment got postponed indefinitely.

Quinn: (Sigh) Dad, can I have a talk with you?

Jake: Dammit, Quinn. I'm not made of money! (hands Quinn twenty dollars) Here, but that's all I can spare.

Daria: Dad, you know you're not supposed to give Quinn money when mom won't let her have her credit cards.

Jake: Oh, that's right. Gah dammit! Now she'll have me sleep on the couch again!

Daria: Not if she doesn't learn of this little incident. I believe twenty bucks could make me forget about this.

Jake: Thanks, kiddo. (hands Daria twenty dollars) Now I have to go. Dammit! Why is it so expensive to be a father? (leaves)

Quinn: (Looks at Daria, voiceover) There is no one else is there? I have to use Daria. (outloud) Daria?

Daria: Is that a trick question?

Quinn: Oh, ha, ha. (Voiceover) Let's see. Mr. O'Neill said to ask the questions I need to ask during a conversation. So first I need to have a conversation. Daria always has her nose in a book. We could talk about a book we read. (outloud) I read this book. And I was wondering if I could discuss it with you.

Daria: Fifteen bucks.

Quinn: What?

Daria: You want me to help you with your homework don't you? Fifteen bucks.

Quinn: No, it's not like that. I just want to discuss a book I read with you.

Daria: One Mr. O'Neill told you to read no doubt. Nice try, Quinn. But I'm not helping you with your homework for nothing. We have not gotten *that* close.

Quinn: (Voiceover) Maybe a book is a bad idea. (outloud) Can we talk about a movie then?

Daria: (Suspicious) Yeah. We can talk about a movie.

Quinn: Great. I went to see "The Virgin Suicides" the other day. And it really inspired me, do you think ...

Daria: (Puts her hands on Quinn's shoulders) Quinn, listen to me. Don't do it. Things can't be that bad. I know we've had our differences but I promise to do whatever I can to help you.

Quinn: What're you talking about? I just wanted to know what you, like, thought about it. (Gets a pained expression on her face) Could you let go of me? It hurts when you squeeze so hard.


(At School)

Quinn: Mr. O'Neill?

Mr. O'Neill: Hi, Quinn. How's your assignment coming along?

Quinn: It's not. And the last person I tried talking to threatened to shave my head. Now can I please be excused from this?

Mr. O'Neill: Oh my. You know if it's so difficult for you to communicate, maybe you should just try to observe your subject. Base your character description on that.

Quinn: Wouldn't that be spying?

Mr. O'Neill: Oh my.

Quinn: But you're sure it's okay when it's a class assignment.

Mr. O'Neill: (Beams) That's the spirit. Say, have you ever considered becoming a teacher?

Quinn: (Voiceover) Have you? (outloud, fake smile) I'll consider it.

(Daria's room. Daria isn't there. Quinn enters)

Quinn: (Voiceover) Let's see. I should probably start with a description of herroom. Trouble is that I'm not sure Mr. O'Neill will believe this.

(Quinn takes out a note pad and starts writing. Suddenly she hears Tom and Daria out in the hallway)

Quinn: (Voiceover) Oh no. Daria will kill me. Quick, the closet! (hides in the closet)

(Tom and Daria enters)

Daria: That's strange. I could've sworn I closed the door when I left this morning. If Quinn has been in here I'll kill her.

Tom: Why would Quinn come in here? (smirk) She started slumming? (Daria elbows him in the stomach) Aaah.

Daria: You're probably right. Maybe I'm being paranoid. It's just that I thought we were getting closer. But you have no idea how nasty she got this morning. I won't even talk about it.

Tom: We have worse things to do. You were going to teach me to appreciate bad movies.

Daria: Right. And I have the worst of the worst.

Tom: "Battlefield Earth"?

Daria: I said bad, not sickening. (walks over to her VCR) "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes."

OS: Quinn: (Voiceover) I'll never get out of here alive. Will I?

(Later. The movie ends)

Tom: Amazing. I've seen bad movies before. But this was *bad*. I loved it.

Daria: After one of these. Jane and I just lie on her bed and talk about how bad it is. (2)

(Daria lies on her bed. Tom leans over and starts kissing her)

Daria: Jane and I never did that. But please continue.

(Tom and Daria lie and kiss for awhile. There's a knock on the door)

Daria: Oh, brother. Mom never gets back from work this early. It must be my dad.

Tom: He probably wants me to move my car. I guess I shouldn't have parked in the driveway.

Daria: He can't find you here. Last time he did that it took him two days to calm down. Quick, you have to hide.

Tom: Why? All we've done is some kissing. How old does he think you are?

Daria: There are things in this life I don't need to know. That is one of them. Get under the bed. Fast.

(Tom hides under the bed)

Tom: A dog collar? And are those dog slippers? (2)

Daria: (Quietly) Shut up! (louder) Come in.

(Jake enters)

Jake: Hi, kiddo. (looks around, nervous) It is still kiddo isn't it?

Daria: Dad, get to the point. What do you want? I was taking a nap.

Jake: So that's why your hair looks that way. I was looking for Tom.

Daria: He left an hour ago.

Jake: But his car is parked outside. It's blocking the driveway.

Daria: I'm borrowing it. I'm driving Jane to an art exhibit tomorrow. What? Don't tell me you think I'm hiding Tom in my closet?

Jake: No of course not. (pause) Can I see your closet?

Daria: Be my guest. But be careful not to disturb my spider. It just nested.

Jake: Spider nest. (shudders)

(The door to the closet flies open. Quinn storms out)

Quinn: Spider, spider, spider! (runs out of the room)

Jake: You know what, kiddo. I think I'll just leave, and forget this ever happened. (leaves)

(Tom crawls out)

Tom: What was Quinn doing in your closet?

Daria: I guess I'll never know -- as the dead don't talk much.

(Morgendorffer dinner table. The family finishes eating)

Helen: You help me clean the table, Daria.

Quinn: I can do that mom. You go get some rest.

Helen: Why, thanks, Quinn.

(Helen and Jake leave. Daria and Quinn starts cleaning the table)

Quinn: Daria...

Daria: What is it now? Spying on me and Tom wasn't enough for you. Have you found a new way to make my life miserable?

Quinn: At least give me a chance to explain.

Daria: Explain what? How there is a good reason you ended up in my closet? Let me guess. You just wanted to make sure you knew what my room looked like.

Quinn: That's exactly right. How did you know?

(Daria snarls and runs a hand across her throat. Quinn drops the plate she's holding and storms out of the house)

(Helen comes in)

Helen: Where did Quinn go? (looks at the floor) She broke a plate. That's not a reason to run away.

Daria: Quinn never made much sense. Maybe her tumor is inoperable after all.

(Quinn is standing outside the Lane house. She rings the doorbell. Jane answers it)

Jane: Oh, no. It's happening again (3)

Quinn: Ha, ha. Look I need to talk to you.

(Jane's room)

Quinn: Mr. O'Neill wanted me to do a character study on someone and I picked Daria.

Jane: Daria? Why didn't you just use one of the fashion zombies?

Quinn: Can we *not* talk about them.

Jane: It went that bad huh?

Quinn: Yeah. But it went even worse with Daria. I think she's planning some sort of horrible revenge. I was wondering if you could... uhm... Calm her down.

Jane: So that she won't take revenge on you. Now why would I possibly want to do that?

Quinn: Never mind. Should have known. (starts to leave)

Jane: Wait. Tell me from the beginning.


Quinn: ... and then I came here. So what do you think?

Jane: I'm wondering if you were born thoughtless. Or if it's something you picked up. Of all the movies in the world you had to pick that one.

Quinn: Hey. All I did was try to talk to her about some movie.

Jane: A movie about teen suicide. And you never talked about movies with her before. Why are you so surprised she misinterpreted the situation.

Quinn: Well... But she didn't have to freak out like that. I've never seen her so mad before.

Jane: You'd rather she thought you were contemplating suicide, and act like she didn't care?

Quinn: Uhm. I suppose not. (beat) I guess I'll never manage to do a character study on her.

Jane: Don't be too hard on yourself. I know her better that anyone and I still haven't figured her out. She's like one of those Russian dolls. Peel off one layer and there's a new one inside.

Quinn: You can't peel a doll. You're thinking about an onion.

Jane: (Smirk) She's just not like you. You're easy to do a character study on. Popularity fixated, fashion crazy, dates lots of boys. End of story.

Quinn: That's not true!

Jane: (Sigh) Admitted. Even Daria said you changed this summer. But instead of writing a character study on Daria -- you could write about your *failure* to do so.

Quinn: I don't think Mr. O'Neill would appreciate that.

Jane: To hell with O'Neill. Someone else might.

(Quinn doesn't reply)

(Next day. Daria's room. Daria isn't there. Quinn enters. She's holding a piece of paper in her hand)

Quinn: (Voiceover) I'll just leave this on her desk and be gone.

(Suddenly she hears Daria and Link out in the hallway)

Quinn: (Voiceover) Oh no. This time she'll really kill me. I just hope she made up that story about the spider. (Closes the door. Hides in the closet)

(Daria and Link enters)

Link: (Looks around) Wow.

Daria: So what do you think.

Link: Wow.

Daria: I take that as a sign of approval. There she is. (points at her computer)

Link: Thanks. (Sits at the computer and turns it on) I really appreciate this, you know. I hate my step-father more than ever. Said I spent too much time on the internet. Wants to monitor my use. Claims to be worried about me. Asshole.

Daria: But not worried about letting you get into a car with a strange woman.

Link: No problem there. I just told them you were my instructor from summer camp. (4)

Daria: They believed that?

Link: Parents can be so gullible. Great car by the way.

Daria: My boyfriend had to let me borrow it.

Link: (Disappointed) You have a boyfriend?

Daria: (Smirk) If you're interested there may be an open position as a younger sibling soon. I'm planning to kill my sister.

OS: Quinn: (Voiceover) Oh no!

Links: Need help? Army ants are great when it comes to getting rid of the body.

Daria: I swear by acid. Seriously though. Next time her cohorts comes over, all her fashion magazines will have been replaced with back issues of "Popular Mechanics". Let's see how they'll react to that.

OS: Quinn: (Voiceover) Why you...

Link: Things are that bad with your sister?

Daria: Actually I thought things had gotten better between us. But yesterday she was worse than ever before.

Link: (Looks at the screen) Ah. IRC. Come to papa.

Daria: Knock yourself out. (takes a book and lays on her bed)

(An hour and a half later. There is a knock on the door)

Daria: Not again. Dad or no dad. This time I'll teach him a lesson. (starts untying her shoelaces) Link get in the closet.

Link: Excuse me?

Daria: No questions. Hide in the closet. And be quiet. (loud) Just a moment, dad. I'm not decent.

Link: (Gets in the closet) Uhm. Daria.

Daria: Quiet (kicks her boots of, takes her socks off)

Link: Is your sister a redhead?

Daria: Yes. Now be quiet. (wraps her blanket around her so only her feet are visible, loud) You can come in now.

(Jake enters)

Jake: Hi, kiddo. (looks at Daria) Taking a nap again?

Daria: Yeah. And I started sleeping in the nude.

Jake: You what?! Anyhow I just wanted to know how long Tom's car will be here. It's parked in our driveway again. It's in the way.

Daria: Until he come get it. What? You don't think Tom is hiding in my closet again do you?

Jake: Well, no. Uhm.

Daria: Let me show you. (opens the door to her closet. Sees Quinn and Link) AAAAAAAAH!!

Jake: Tell you what, kiddo. Why don't I just stop coming into your room. (leaves)

Daria: Link.

Link: I'll go get the acid. By the way. Your sister is a great kisser. (leaves)

Quinn: That's a lie. You little ... (pause) That we kissed that is. Not that I'm a great kisser.

Daria: Quinn unless you actually have a brain tumor, I fail to see what excuse you could possibly come up with to make me let you leave this room alive.

Quinn: Mr. O'Neill made me do it. (hands Daria the piece of paper)

(A couple of minutes later. Daria is sitting at her desk reading Quinn's paper)

Daria: (Reads) So your making my life more hell than it already is, was something O'Neill set you up to do?

Quinn: Yeah.

Daria: (Reads, smirk) You got more homework instead of less. (reads) I overreached, I jumped to conclusions. (sigh) And you're jumping to conclusions here. Just because I blew up at you when I thought you joked about suicide doesn't have to mean I have these feelings for you, you credit me for. (reads) Honest? You wanted to make sure, you knew what my room looked like.

Quinn: Yeah. I guess it sounds silly.

Daria: I've heard sillier. It's okay, I believe you. (hands the paper back) If you'll excuse me. I have to drive Link home. And get the car back to Tom before dad has another heart attack.

Quinn: (Relieved) So you forgive me? No revenge?

Daria: I didn't say that. Let's see. Glue in the shampoo, paint in the face mask, and your perfume bottles. Now there is a world of opportunities.

Quinn: (Whining) Daria. Please.

Daria: There is one thing you could do to make me forgive you.

Quinn: What?

Daria: Figure it out. You've supposedly gotten smarter. (leaves)

(Next day. Lawndale High. The hallway. Quinn with bandages wrapped around her head walks up to Mr. O'Neill)

Quinn: Mr. O'Neill. Here. (hands him a folded piece of paper)

Mr. O'Neill: Quinn! What's happened to you?

Quinn: Daria beat me up for spying on her. My mom thinks it's all your fault. That paper I just gave you is a subpoena. And she's going to call Ms Li to have you fired.

Mr. O'Neill: She'll what? (runs away) Ms Li! Please let me keep my job!

(Daria walks up to Quinn)

Daria: That was... Not bad. There may be hope for you yet.

Quinn: Thanks. (starts removing her bandages) So I'm forgiven?

Daria: (Mumbles) Yeah, you're forgiven.

Quinn: Great.

Daria: What was that paper you gave him?

Quinn: My assignment. I did a character description on myself.

Daria: Must be a quick read.

(Quinn sends Daria a dirty look)

Daria: Just out of morbid curiosity. Can I ...

Quinn: (Small smile) Daria let me make one thing clear. You will never read it.


(1) "Write Where it Hurts"

(2) See "The Daria Diaries"

(3) "Gifted"

(4) "Is it Fall Yet"