by: Kemical Reaxion


After school in the gymnasium. The LHS student body has started gathering for the pep rally. There is a make-shift stage under one of the basketball goals where a podium and several folding chairs have been set up. Jane, Jodie, and Andrea are seated as far to the back of the stands as possible. Andrea is again smoking. Jane looks a little irritated by the smoke. Daria walks up next to them and sits next to Jane.

Jane: Glad you could grace us with your presence.

Jodie: Hi, Daria!

Andrea looks up at Daria and nods, but says nothing.

Suddenly the band starts playing the Lawndale fight song. The girls look up to the stage to see Li, Kevin, Mack, Brittany, and the coach seated in the folding chairs. They all stand as the song plays, as do all the students in the stands, with three notable exceptions. Jodie claps along with the music as do the other students and faculty members. The song ends and the students are seated. Mack walks to the podium and begins speaking.

Mack: Hi, I'm Michael MacKenzie, team captain for the Lawndale Lions. This season starts off...

His words are muffled as our attention is turned back to the girls and their conversation.

Daria: So, how long is this thing gonna last?

Jane: Why? You got a hot date?

Daria: Positively smoldering. (Jane grins) Actually, I was just going to get some pizza after school. I'm starving. All that radioactive cafeteria fruit didn't do a thing for me.

Jane: Hey, maybe we could go together. Any objections?

Daria: Not if you're buying. (beat) Sure, what the hell.

Jane: Great. I'll get Trent to drive us.

Daria: (blushes) Uh...that's not necessary. I can walk.

Jane: I can't. (beat, Daria looks at her skeptically) Farming accident. (taps her knee) Wooden leg.

Jodie: (joining the conversation) That's not true.

Jane: Yes it is.

Jodie: She's really a great athlete, Daria. She was on the track t-- (Jane elbows her in the side) Oh, uh...nevermind. (turns her attention to Mack's speech)

Jane: (turns back to Daria, persistently, grinning) I'll get TRENT to drive us.

Daria: I hate you.

Mack comes to the end of his speech and the audience applauds. Kevin hops out of his chair and joins him at the podium.

Mack: And now a few words -- (mumbles) one-syllable words -- from Kevin Thompson. (Kevin taps him on the shoulder, Mack looks at him then rolls his eyes) He's the QB. (sits back down)

Kevin: Hey! Alight, Mack Daddy!!! Woohoo! (Mack cringes and balls up his fists) Yeah!!! We're gonna kick some BUTT! We're gonna SLAUGHTER 'em! We're gonna rip out their lungs and stomp on 'em. Then we're gonna feed their brains to dogs! We are gonna RULE THE UNIVERSE!! Just like Ratboy! (applause follows and he sits down) Alright!!!!

Li: (goes to the podium) Thank you, Kevin, for that...inspiring and slightly disturbing speech. Now, Lawndale High head cheerleader, Brittany Taylor, would like to do a cheer, (under her breath) God help us. (to Brittany) Brittany...

Brittany: (stands and shakes her pom-poms around) Alright people. Ready? OK!
Throw a fit!
Give a wail!
Do a split
For ol' Lawndale!
Goooooo LIONS!!!!

The students in the gym applaud enthusiastically.

Li: Thank you, Brittany.

Brittany: (sitting back down) You're WELCOME!

Li: (to audience) Alright, I'll expect to see ALL of you at the game tonight to cheer on our Lawndale Lions. I'm CERTAIN that full support by the student body will help pull our boys out of their seven season slump. (excited) Now, get out there and kick some Ranger BUTT!!! (calms down, composes herself) Ahem...what I mean is...go Lions.

Cut to...

Outside the gym. A large mass of students is filing out. Kevin, Mack, Jodie, Brittany, Andrea, Daria, and Jane are among the last out of the building.

Kevin: Hey, check this out. (imitating Brittany) Throw a fit...give a wail...shake a...something, something... (confused) Hey, Mack Daddy! What rhymes with 'fit'?

Daria: (under her breath) Nitwit?

Mack: (yells at Kevin, finally pushed over the edge) I TOLD you not to CALL me that!! (lunges at Kevin and knocks him down)

While Mack and Kevin are busy rolling on the ground, beating each other up, Quinn and the rest of the Scorpions walk by. Quinn stops beside Daria and watches the display with obvious delight.

Daria: (to Quinn) They're not fighting over YOU.

Quinn: Like you would KNOW! (she turns and leaves in a huff, the other Scorpions follow)

Cut to...

Parking lot. Trent is sitting in the Tank in a parking spot. His head is leaning back and he is snoring quietly. Jesse is beside him fiddling with the radio.

Meanwhile, Daria and the rest of the group comes walking across the parking lot. Jane leads them to the Tank and notices that Trent has fallen asleep again. She's not surprised.

Brittany: Sorry we can't come with you guys, but I have cheerleading practice.

Kevin: (with messed up hair and a black eye) Yeah, me too. (beat) I mean, I like to watch.

Jodie: I'll just catch a ride home with Mack. SOMEBODY has to tend to his wounds.

Mack: (bruised and bleeding but looking very pleased) We'll see you tomorrow.

Various good-byes follow as the four turn around to go. Jane rounds the vehicle and opens the sliding door. Jesse doesn't notice and Trent continues sleeping.

Jane: (to Daria) Your chariot awaits, m'lady!

Daria: You sure know how to impress a girl. (climbs in)

Jane: Care to join us, Andrea?

Andrea: Not today. I'm meeting with my parole officer. (she turns and walks away)

Daria: Is she serious?

Jane: I don't know, but I'm not about to ask. (climbs in and slams the door) Hey, Jess.

Jesse: (doesn't even look up from the radio) Hey.

Jane: This is Daria. Daria, this is Jesse.

Daria: Hey.

Jane: (wacks Trent in the back of the head) Yo! Sleeping Beauty!

Trent: (wakes) What? Oh...sorry. I guess I dozed off.

Jane: You guess?

Trent: (yawns, starting the engine) So, where to?

Jane: The pizza place. Daria's wasting away back here.

Trent: (eyes widening) Daria?

Daria: Last time I checked.

Trent: (turns slowly) Hey, Daria. (looks guilty) Uh...I'm really know...

Daria: Yeah, I know.

Jane is a little confused on how they know each other, and starts to ask, but Jesse, who hasn't been paying attention, butts in.

Jesse: Man, did you know you can only get three radio stations in here?

Silence follows as the other three stare at him in disbelief. Without another word, Trent backs out of the parking space.

Cut to...

The pizza place. The group of four is walking in the front door. Upon entering, they make a B-line for their usual booth, only to discover that the Scorpions (AKA the Fashion Club) are seated there. The group is NOT pleased.

Jane: Hey! What are the Scorpions doing here?

Jesse: (obviously upset) That's OUR booth.

Daria: (in an Italian accent) You want I should off 'em, boss?

Jesse starts walking towards the table, looking really pissed off.

Jane: No need.

Trent: (watching Jesse) Uh-oh.

The three follow and stand behind Jesse as he confronts the Scorpions. He stands ominously over them, leaning on the table with his fists.

Quinn: (to Jesse) Oh, right. Like we're going to talk to YOU. Long hair is so...

Jesse: (interrupting) You're in our booth.

Sandi: Gee, that's funny. I don't see your NAME on it or anything.

Jesse: (leans closer to Sandi) You're IN our BOOTH.

Sandi: (glaring up at him) Why don't you, like, go find one that has SLACKER written on it. I believe THAT one is yours.

Jane: Ooo, she shouldn't have said that.

Jesse leans back, then calmly reaches out and grabs the slice of pizza on Sandi's plate and drops it on the floor. He proceeds to plant his boot right in the middle of it. Then, after it's thoroughly squashed, he picks it up and puts it back on her plate. Stacy hunches down further into her seat and looks terrified. Tiffany and Quinn and watching the whole thing with wide eyes. Sandi stands from the booth and takes her glass of soda off the table. She calmly and carefully grabs the front of Jesse's shirt (yes, he's wearing a shirt), pulls it out a few inches, and pours her soda down his shirt. She puts the glass back on the table and grins.

Jesse: This is my only shirt! You're gonna have to PAY for it!

Sandi: Oh, yeah? (looks him up and down) Tell you what. I'll give you a DOLLAR for everything...including your LOSER friends. (to the Scorpions) C'mon girls. We're finished here.

The other girls stand and follow Sandi to the front door. Jesse just stands there, at a loss for words. As Quinn passes by the group, she looks at Daria apologetically. Daria just shakes her head, unable to believe she'd go along with it. The Scorpions leave silently.

Trent: (trying to console Jesse) It's okay, man. They'll get what they deserve.

Jane: (hopping into the booth) Hey, at least we got our booth, right guys?

Trent, Jesse, and Daria glare at her.

Jane: What???

Just then, Helen walks up to the table wearing a light blue waitress outfit and a hair-net. She's carrying a dishrag and a large plastic dishpan. She starts cleaning off the table.

Helen: Excuse me. (notices Daria) Oh, hi, sweetie!

Daria: (mumbles) Hi, mom.

Helen: I see you've made some new friends. That's fantastic! I'll just have this table cleaned off for you in a jiffy.

Daria sits down in the booth beside Jane. Jane leans over to whisper to Daria.

Jane: I thought you said your mother was a lawyer.

Daria: She WAS, but she lost her license after the "prairie dog" incident back in Highland. (gets an inquisitive look from Jane) Don't ask. Long story.

Cut to...

Later, still at the pizza place. The four are finishing up their pizza. Jesse, who is now wearing his leather jacket with no shirt underneath, is seated next to Trent. Jane and Daria are sitting across from them.

Jane: You're probably going to kill me for this, Daria, but I'm curious...

Daria: No.

Jane: What? I didn't even get to...

Daria: No. I know what the question is, so don't even bother.

Trent: What question?

Jane: I was just going to grill Daria on the nature of her relationship with my beloved older brother.

Trent: (to Daria, confused) You're dating Wind?

Jane: Ah, yes. Wind...who apparently got ALL the common sense in the Lane family.

Daria: You realize you just insulted yourself, don't you, Jane?

Jesse: You know, if she marries Wind, you guys would be related.

Jane: (fake enthusiasm) Brilliant! Give the boy a prize!

Daria: Well, now that we've substantially cleared that up, I have a question. (to Jesse and Trent) I couldn't help noticing you guys have alot of friends that are in high school. And yet you are obviously NOT in high school. Is there a reason for that?

Trent: High school? Please.

Jesse: We're rebels.

Trent: Criminales.

Jesse: We live outside the system.

Trent: We hate the system.

Jesse: We eat the system for breakfast.

Jane: You'd just eat ANYTHING, wouldn't you!

Trent: We're too COOL for school.

Jane: No, you're too OLD for school.

Trent: (contemplating this) Oh, yeah. That too.

Daria: What I MEANT was...what are you doing hanging around with a bunch of high school kids?

Trent: Well, you're not just ANY high-schoolers. You're cool.

Jesse: Yeah.

Daria: (blushing) Really?

Jane: (grins) Fishing for compliments, Daria?

Daria: Ok, ok. (beat) But what about Kevin and Mack? How on Earth did you hook up with those two?

Trent: Me and Jess were playing a half-time show at a Lawndale football game last year. Mack and I got to talking, and as it turns out, he plays a pretty mean bass guitar. So, he joined up.

Jane: And the bozo?

Trent: Kevin just came along for the ride. He made an attempt at playing the drums, but, needless to say, it wasn't pretty.

Daria: So, basically he's just the whipping boy.

Trent: Basically.

Daria: Isn't it kind of impossible to have a band without a drummer?

Jane: Stupid, but not impossible.

Trent: That can be a problem, yes. But we're The T-Birds. We can withstand anything.

Daria: (amused) The T-Birds?

Jesse: Our band.

Trent: (adding) But we're thinking of changing the name.

Daria: (joking) To what? Mystik Spiral?

Trent: (ponders this for a moment) Hmmm...sounds cool. I'll have to write that one down.

Jesse: Yeah. (takes a pen out of his jacket pocket and starts writing on the palm of his hand) Is that "Mystik" with one "Y" or two?

Daria and Jane exchange looks and roll their eyes. Then, Helen comes up with their check and sets it on the table.

Helen: There you go kids. (to Daria) I'll see you tonight, sweetie. Have fun with your little friends! (she exits)

The four sit there in silence, the check sitting in the middle of the table, untouched. They are all trying to ignore that it's there. Jane, trying to get Trent to do the chivalrous thing, kicks him under the table.

Trent: Ow. What?

Jane does some not-so-subtle nodding towards the check, but Trent doesn't catch on. She slowly and carefully mouths the words "Why don't you pay?" but he looks at her, frowning, and doesn't understand her. Finally, Daria is tired of waiting.

Daria: Gee, guys. Let's not fight over it.

Jane: (over-exaggerated tone) Hey, Trent. Here's an idea. Why don't YOU pay?

Trent: Sure, whatever. (grabs the check and the four get up to leave, but he stops Jane) You got any money?

Cut to...

The four are outside of the pizza place in the Tank. Trent is just getting ready to pull out of the lot.

Jane: Nice of you to pay for the pizza, Daria.

Daria: Mmm...

Jane: You're not mad, are you?

Daria: Mmm...

Jane: Would you at least give me a chance to redeem myself? (Daria looks over at her) I'm having a get-together at my house this weekend. There's a "Sick, Sad World" marathon. You wanna come?

Daria: This little get-together sounds suspiciously like one of those paragons of evil known as...a "slumber party."

Jane: Oh, no way! It's just a couple of the girls coming over and spending the night at my house while we talk and pig out and...

Daria: Slumber.

Jane: We're not gonna give each other facials or anything, if that's what you're getting at. (beat) You wanna come or not?

Daria: (reluctant) I guess I have nothing better to do.

Jane: That's the spirit!

Cut to...

Sandi's car. It's her usual yellow convertible, but as she drives down the road, it occasionally spits fire out of the tail pipes. Sandi is driving, Quinn in the passenger seat, Tiffany and Stacy in the backseat. Stacy has a magazine on her lap, and she and Tiffany are discussing it's contents. Sandi looks extremely pissed off and is gripping the wheel ruthlessly.

Stacy: (excited) Ooo, aren't these just the CUTEST things you've ever SEEN?

Tiffany: Yeah...bunny slippers.

Quinn: (turns, glancing at the picture) That's WAY cute! I love how the little bunnies are all, like, cute and white and fuzzy and stuff.

Stacy: (turns the page) Awwww! Look!

Tiffany: Wow...puppies, too.

Quinn: (faces forward again) Puppies have just the cutest little noses. And they're all sweet and cuddly. (beat, pondering something, turns serious) Hey, Sandi?

Sandi: (spits out the word) What?!

Quinn: Um...I was just wondering. Well, don't you think that the name "Scorpions" is know...

Sandi: Just what? (glares at Quinn) Are you saying I may have made an ERROR in the naming of this group? Are you insinuating that I have made some horrible, inexcusable MISTAKE? Are you IMPLYING that you could do BETTER then ME??? (she speeds through a corner, sending the 3 girls flying to the right side of the car)

Quinn: No! Of course not. (steadies herself) I just thought maybe we could be, you know, something...cuter. Like....the "Bunnies" or something.

Stacy: That sounds so CUTE! The Bunnies!

Sandi: (slams on the breaks, the car screeches to a stop) Alright! Hit the pavement!

Quinn: (dumbfounded) What?

Sandi: (glares at her again) Did I, like, STUTTER, or something? I said get out. (looks back at Stacy) BOTH of you!

Stacy starts crying, her lower lip quivering in fear. She steps out of the car, and her feet land right in a big mud puddle, which makes her cry even harder. Quinn climbs out of the car, and Sandi speeds off, leaving them both at the curb. As she pulls away, Tiffany looks back at them with a blank expression and shrugs. Soon, the car speeds out of sight.

Quinn: (putting an arm around the sobbing Stacy) C'mon, Stace. It's ok.

Stacy: No it's NOT! (more sobs) I ruined my shoes!

Quinn: Don't worry about it. We'll hit Cashman's on the way home.

Stacy: Ok. (wiping her eyes) Quinn? Why does Sandi hate me so much?

Quinn: She doesn't hate you. (frowns) She hates me. She's hated me since the first day I got here.

Stacy: But this IS your first day here.

Quinn: Well, it's SEEMED like a long time.

Stacy: (sighs) I just don't understand her sometimes.

Stacy sits down on the curb, looking defeated. Quinn takes a seat beside her. Then, Stacy starts singing.

Stranded on the corner, abandoned and lost
(looking at her feet) Doesn't she know how much these shoes cost?

(wistful) Sandi, can't you see, that all I want to be
Is your friend until the end to shop with constantly
Now you've gone, where'd I go wrong?
I sit and ponder why-y-y oh why you hate me, oh Sandi

(angry) Oh Sandi tell me, why you're such a stuck up snob
Somehow, someday, (grins) I'll take over your job
But until, then we'll be planning your downfall
One day you will pay, oh Sandi

You left us to take the bus, but one day you'll get yours
One day you will pay, oh Sandi

The music winds up as the bus pulls up to the corner. The two girls stand and board the bus, arm-in-arm. The bus closes it's doors and pulls away. As the bus drives away, we see a large advertisement pasted to the back of the bus. It has a large wedge of cheddar on it, with big black letters above reading "Behold the power of cheese."

Cut to...

Jane's house the night of the slumber party. Brittany is seated on the floor at the foot of the bed searching for split ends in her bangs. Daria is seated cross-legged on the bed, a copy of "The Awakening" in hand. Jodie is seated on the end of the bed, flipping through the channels with the remote. Jane is at her easel, painting what looks to be Sandi being thrown into a volcano as a sacrifice. Jodie soon lands on the right channel and we hear the familiar start-up music of Sick Sad World.

SSW Announcer: Have flesh-eating aliens invaded our school systems? Carnivores in the classroom tonight on Sick Sad World.

Jane: I've always wondered what they put in their "tuna surprise."

Daria: (looking up) Yeah. Today's Biology teacher becomes tomorrow's main course. Surprise!

Jane: Hmmm...Barch on a bun. (Daria grins at that)

Jodie: Are you guys sure you want to watch this?

Daria: It's the most riveting and thought-provoking thing I've seen since I came to Lawndale. (glances at Brittany) And possibly the ONLY culture she'll ever encounter.

Brittany: (looks up at the screen, which is hidden from our view) Ewwww.....

Jane grins. The television show continues. We can only hear muffled voices and occasional chewing and chopping sounds coming from the TV, but we can tell by Jodie's disgust and Brittany's outright nausea that it's something gross. After a moment, Brittany looks ill, clasps her hands over her mouth, and runs out of the room, towards the bathroom.

Jane: I guess some people just can't HACK it.

Jodie: Ugh...please don't say that.

Daria: Guess she...bit off more than she could chew.

Jodie: Daria, please...

Jane: Yep, no BONES about it.

Jodie finally can't take it anymore. She too gets sick and runs out of the room.

Daria: Nice work, Lane.

Jane: Thanks. (goes to sit on the bed next to Daria) So, now that they're gone, I wanted to ask you something. What's up with you and Trent? I mean, how did you guys meet?

Daria: (sighs, putting her book aside) Before I came to Lawndale, my mother decided I needed to broaden my horizons. In English, that simply means learning something new and making friends. I figured one out of two would probably suffice, so I decided to take up the worst possible pastime I could think of.

Jane: You became a hooker?

Daria: Ok, second worst pastime. I took an interest in the guitar. I knew that with enough in-home practice, I would eventually drive my mother up the wall. Soon, she'd be BEGGING me to be boring and hobby-less again.

Jane: Good plan.

Daria: So, I thought the best place to start looking for a guitar would be on the Internet. It would take up less of my time that way and would keep me from having to resort to a trip to the music shop in the mall.

Jane: Smart move.

Daria: I came across a chat room for musicians, and that's where I met Trent. He gave me a few tips on what kind of guitar would be best for a beginner and what music I should start with. He even agreed to meet with me to help me practice, but he never showed up.

Jane: Go figure.

Daria: So, that's my big soap opera romance story.

Jane: Inspiring. Did you ever learn to play on your own?

Daria: Some, but my mother tired of the loud noise quicker than I thought. (beat) It's too bad, because I actually kind of enjoyed playing.

Jane: Leave it to the ol' parental units to take away every fulfilling part of your life.

Just then, Andrea enters. She's been outside smoking a cigarette. Jane turns as Andrea takes a seat on the floor.

Jane: Welcome back. Feel better now that you've had your daily dose of nicotine?

Andrea: Not really. It's hot as hell outside.

Jane: And you would know.

Daria: I'm rather disappointed in you, Jane. Making the poor girl go outside to smoke. I thought you said there were no rules in your house.

Jane: Oh, that rule isn't my mom's idea. This one is purely a personal decision of mine. The smoke makes me sick.

Daria: But if she stayed, you could be the suffering artist, just like you've always wanted.

Jane: If I wanted to suffer, I could just go over to YOUR house to paint.

Daria: Touché.

Jodie re-enters the room, looking frazzled but no longer ill. She takes a seat on the floor by the bed.

Daria: So, how's Brittany?

Jane: Still blowing chunks?

Jodie: (glares momentarily at Jane) Jane! (softens a bit) Yeah, she's still sick. (glances at the TV) Uh...could we please watch something else?

Jane grabs the remote and turns off the TV. She tosses the remote aside and goes back to her painting. Silence follows for a moment before Jodie speaks up.

Jodie: I don't know if I should be telling you guys this, but...did you know that Brittany's dropping out of school?

Daria: As opposed to "flunking" out?

Jane: So? What's the big deal?

Jodie: The big deal? Finishing high school is a very big deal.

Jane: Well, it's not like she's actually learning anything. She'll drop out and get a minimum wage job, marry Kevin, have about 15 kids and live happily ever after in the trailer park.

Jodie: Wrong! She's not getting a job. Not exactly. She's been accepted as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.

Daria: What?

Jane: Hey, stick with what you do best.

Jodie: I tried to talk her out of it. I tried to get her to wait a year, until she has her diploma at least, but there's no stopping her. She thinks this is her big chance.

Daria: I'm surprised at you Jodie. I'd think you of all people would encourage her. I mean, she's living up to her potential. She's seizing the day. She's getting motivated. You should be congratulating her.

Jodie: But she'll just be another faceless, uneducated person who couldn't even finish high school. She'll never learn anything that way.

Daria: You never know. Stranger things have happened. (beat) Although I can't think of anything off-hand.

Jane: What could Miss Bubble-Brain's USA possibly squeeze into that helium-filled head of hers?

Daria: That if she wears heavy, clunky shoes she's much less likely to float away.

Jane: Ah...a lesson which has served me well for so long.

Jodie: You guys, this is serious. Can't you at least try and talk to her?

Daria: I'd have to go with a definite 'no' on that one. I don't think anything we could say would make her change her mind. If there's one thing you can say about Brittany it's that when there's something she REALLY wants, she's very focused.

Jodie: Yes, but...

Jane goes to her dresser and pulls out two rubber bands. As Daria talks, Jane uses the rubber bands to pull her own hair into pig-tails. It looks rather ridiculous with Jane's short hair.

Daria: I mean, you're talking about her learning something, but she's been in school for twelve years--at least--and she's still working on mastering her shapes and colors.

Jane looks at her reflection in the mirror and laughs to herself. Daria looks over at her, notices the hair and gives her a strange look.

Jodie: Yeah, but...

Jane: (turns away from the mirror) Jodie, just think of who we're talking about here. It's BRITTANY, for crying out loud. Yeesh! (jumps up on the bed as the music starts)

Throughout the entire song coming up, Jane is jumping around, bouncing on the bed, running around the room, etc. Just being silly and trying to act like Brittany a little (twirling her hair, for instance). Jodie watches Jane, and by the end of the song, she's pretty amused by the whole thing, too.

Look at me I'm Brittany
Flaunting my big Double D's
Won't learn to speak
I'll just let out a SQUEAK
Because I'm Brittany (accidentally backs into Andrea)

Andrea: (spoken) Watch it!

Hey, that boy is mine!
Girlie, you've just crossed the line
May not be smart, but I've mastered the art
Of fighting for what's mine

I don't think, or care
I just twirl my hair
I put M&M's on layaway

Jane: Keep your sleazy eyes off my shapely thighs

Jodie: Or at least 'til Kevin's away

As for you my Kevvy-poo
With a negative IQ
Hunky and buff, I'm your little cream puff
Always, your Brittany

Upchuck, Upchuck, go away
Don't make me use my Pepper Spray
Just keep your distance, I know self-defense

Jane: (high-pitched) Hi! I'm Brittany!

As the song comes to an end, Jane is standing with her back to the door. Brittany has walked in during the last few lines and catches them making fun of her. Jodie makes a "throat- cutting" motion with her finger, trying to warn Jane that she's being watched. Jane finally turns around and looks sheepishly at Brittany, who looks like she's been hit by a truck. She looks positively awful. She's pale, sweaty, exhausted, and still looks extremely sick.

Brittany: Uh, guys? (the three girls sit in silence, looking guilty, waiting for Brittany to get mad at them) I think....I think....I think I'm gonna be sick. (turns and heads for the bathroom)

The three girls exchange glances, then shrug their shoulders. Daria picks up her book again, Jane goes back to her painting, and Jodie turns on the TV and starts flipping through channels again.

Cut to...

Outside Jane's house. Kevin pulls up in the driveway in his car. Mack is in the passenger seat, and he doesn't look terribly thrilled to be there.

Mack: Kevin, what are we doing here?

Kevin: Oh, please. Like you don't know!

Mack: If I had known, I wouldn't have asked.

Kevin: We're here to fetch our women, bro!

Mack: Fetch? (beat) On second thought, if I had known, I wouldn't have come at all.

Kevin: They're our girlfriends, bro. We can't just let them do whatever they want, can we?

Mack: Uhh....

Kevin: Besides, did you know that another GUY lives in that house?

Mack: Yeah. Trent.

Kevin: Exactly. And he's a musician! You know how they are!

Mack: Kevin, I'M a musician too.

Kevin: Then you know what I'm talking about. (Mack rolls his eyes, giving up) Point is, I'm getting Brittany out of there. I don't want that musician taking advantage of my girl.

Mack: (opens the door and climbs out) Fine, but leave me out of it. (he walks away)

Kevin: Hey, Mack Daddy! Where are you going?

Mack: (yells back at Kevin over his shoulder) Home. And don't call me that.

Cut to...

Jane's bedroom again. Jane has heard the commotion outside, and is now standing at the window.

Jane: Hey, guys, come look at this.

Jodie and Andrea go to the window to see what's going on. Daria, still sitting on the bed, looks up from her book, but doesn't move.

Jane: (yells out the window) Kevin. What are you doing in my driveway? (glances at her watch) At one in the morning?

Kevin: I need to talk to Brittany!

Jodie: And what is so important that it couldn't wait until tomorrow?

Kevin: I just want her to come with me.

Jane: Any particular reason?

Kevin: Cuz she's my girlfriend.

Jane: Your girlfriend? (pretends to be hurt) But what about US? Don't I mean ANYTHING to you?

Jodie: Kevin, can't she just spend one night away from you? She's independent, you know. She has a life outside your little silly, self-centered world.

Kevin: No way! (beat) So...where is she?

Andrea: She's in the can. Puking.

Kevin: Ewww. How come?

Jane: Morning sickness.

Kevin: Ohhhhh....

Brittany comes into the room, looking a little better, and spots the three girls standing at the window. She looks over at Daria.

Brittany: What are they all doing at the window?

Daria: Reenacting the balcony scene from "Romeo and Juliet." Jane's always wanted to play Juliet.

Brittany: (perks up) Really? So, like, who's playing Romeo?

Daria: Leonardo DiCaprio.

Brittany: Wow!! Are you serious?

Daria: (looks back down at her book) No, it's just Kevin.

Brittany: (confused) Kevin's playing Romeo? With JANE??

Daria: Actually, I think he's here to see you.

Brittany: Oh. (runs to the window) Kevvy!

Kevin: Hey, babe! Wanna go for a ride?

Brittany: Sure!

Brittany proceeds to slip out the window and starts to climb down the drainpipe.

Jane: So much for her independence. (beat, looks over at Jodie) You suppose we should have suggested she just use the front door?

Jodie (grins) Nah!

Brittany finally makes it to the ground. With a squeal, she leaps into Kevin's arms and kisses him.

Jane: Aww...isn't that sweet?

Andrea: Sickeningly.

As the girls talk by the window, watching Brittany and Kevin, Trent walks in. He's wearing black jeans, no shirt, and his hair is slicked back. Upon seeing the girls gathered around the window, he stops.

Daria: (looking up at Trent) Secret meeting of Voyeurists Anonymous.

Trent: Oh. (sits down beside Daria on the bed, gestures towards her book) Anything interesting?

Daria: (closes the book and sets it aside) Well, it’s for school, so I’d have to go with a ‘no’ on that one. (she's getting very nervous and is trying not to look at Trent) So...what are you doing?

Trent: Oh, you know, just chillin'. Doin' my thing. Keepin' it real.

Daria: (smirks) You've been watching MTV again, haven't you?

Trent: (laughs/coughs) I guess.

The other girls finally turn from the window, only to find Daria and Trent sitting side-by- side on the bed, talking. Jane grins.

Jane: Well, isn't THIS cozy?

Daria turns and gives Jane a dirty look. Trent, unfazed by the comment, stands.

Trent: Hey, Janey. I'm out of clean shirts. I was wondering if one of mine might have gotten mixed in with your stuff.

Jane: It's a very real possibility.

Trent: Can I look through all your clean clothes to make sure?

Jane: (points toward the enormous pile of clothing spilling out of her closet) Knock yourself out, big brother.

Trent: Thanks. (he goes to the pile, kneels down and starts wading through the clothes)

Jane: (walks across the room and sits down next to Daria) What are you all dressed up for anyway?

Trent: Monique and I are going out tonight.

Jane: This late?

Trent: Her father owns an all-night restaurant. We can get free waffles anytime we want.

Jane: Shame on you, Trent. Using a girl just to get at her waffles.

As Trent continues in his quest for a clean shirt, Jane glances over at Daria. Daria has been staring at Trent the whole time. Jane looks a little worried. She places a hand on Daria's shoulder and leans a little closer to her.

Jane: (whispering to Daria) Don't worry about it, Daria. When he gets tired of eating breakfast food for every meal, he'll come after you.

Daria: Why? Is he under the impression my mother can get us free pizza?

Trent: (standing from the pile, holding an extremely wrinkled white T-shirt) Found one. (pulls the shirt on over his head) Thanks, Janey. Later, Daria. (walks out of the room)

Jane: So, what were you guys gabbing about over here?

Daria: (obviously not in the mood to talk about Trent) Uh...nothing.

Andrea and Jodie make their ways back across the room. Something falls out of Andrea's pocket as she's taking a seat again. Jodie reaches down and picks it up. It's a photograph.

Jodie: Oh, Andrea, you dropped something. (beat, looking at the photo) Hey, who's this?

Andrea: My boyfriend.

Daria: (relieved by the change in subject) I didn't know you had a boyfriend.

Jodie is studying the photograph. Jane and Daria come up behind her and look at it over her shoulder.

Jane: Neither did I. Why all the secrecy?

Andrea shrugs. Daria reaches out and Jodie hands her the photograph. Finally, we get a look at the photo, too. On the right is Andrea, dressed in a long, flowing black dress. Her face is painted white and she has black circles painted around her eyes. The man next to her is tall and thin, wearing a black hooded cloak. The cloak comes down over his eyes and covers most of his face. All we can really see is his mouth and what little we see of his face is also painted white. He's holding a large book under his arm and has a canvas bag in his right hand.

Daria: (not sure what to say) Well, he' a...very strong jawline.

Jane: You can't even tell what he looks like here. What's up with the hood, anyway? Were you guys going Trick-Or-Treating or something?

Andrea: Or something.

Jane and Daria exchange looks and hand the photo back to Andrea.

Jodie: So, what's his name?

Andrea: Ben.

Jane: And such a normal, innocent-sounding name, too.

Daria: Those are always the ones you have to watch out for.

Jodie: Why haven't you ever introduced us to him before?

Andrea: He's not what you'd call an exceptional conversationalist. Besides, he doesn't live in Lawndale.

Daria: Does he ever drive up to see you?

Andrea: He's not exactly a very good driver either.

Jane: Geez, he must be good at SOMETHING.

Andrea: (smirks) Ohhhh, yeah.

Jane smirks too. Silence follows and she looks over at Daria. She's looking off into space, thinking. It's hard to tell what she's thinking, but Jane suspects it has something to do with Trent.

Jane: (after watching her a moment, nudges her) Wake up, lil' Suzie.

Daria: (snapping out of it) Oh, sorry. (beat) Uh...I think I'm gonna go outside for a minute. Get some fresh air.

Jodie: Are you feeling alright, Daria? My nausea wasn't contagious, was it?

Daria: (grabbing her notebook off the bed) No, I'm fine. You guys continue the party without me. (stops at the doorway) But if anyone starts dancing on the bed with a lampshade on their head, please come get me.

Jane: Sure thing!

Cut to...

Lane front porch, night. Daria walks out the front door, notebook in hand and sits down on the steps. She sits looking up at the stars for a long time, seeming very distant in her thoughts. Sighing, she opens her notebook and starts writing. After a moment of scribbling, cut to a shot of her paper, as she is still feverishly writing. The title at the top of the page is "Hopeless." The words to her poem echo inside her head as she writes.

(VO, echo)
Guess I'm probably not your first choice
Not the first girl on your list
But if you searched you'd find
That my mind harbors visions of you

I know it's just foolish to believe
You'd ever want a girl like me
I'm silly and naive
For centering my dreams 'round you
But I'm hopeless when it comes to you

But now there's nowhere to turn
And I guess I'll never learn
I'm crazy as Hell
For thinking my dreams could come true
Hopeless when it comes to you

My head is saying "You don't need him"
My friends insisting "Oh, yes you do"
Conflicted and confused
But one thing I know is true
I'm hopeless when it comes to you

She stops writing and sits back against the concrete step. Her face suddenly goes stony and she slams the notebook shut.

Daria: (shaking her head, defeated) Who am I kidding?

Shot pans back, revealing someone watching her from the window behind her, holding the curtains back out of the way. The figure is mostly hidden behind the curtains or in shadow, so it's impossible to discern who the person is. After a moment, the figure releases the curtains and they fall back into place.

Cut to...

The Lane living room. The lights are off and Trent is standing by the window. He stands in silence, staring at the now closed curtains. His brow furrows and he appears to be mulling something over in his head. Suddenly, there is a noise behind him. He whirls around to find Jane standing a few feet behind him, staring at him.

Jane: What are you doing, Trent?

Trent: Oh, you know. Couldn't sleep.

Jane: Couldn't sleep? There's a first. And you thought standing in a dark room looking out the window might help cure your insomnia? (Trent shrugs) What happened to your date?

Trent: She canceled.

Jane: No waffles? How ever will you survive?

Trent: (forcefully) Dammit, Janey. Why can't you just mind your own business?

Jane is speechless. Trent brushes past her and ambles into the kitchen. Jane shakes her head, unable to believe his reaction. Then, she goes to the window and peeks out. She spots Daria on the front steps, and a satisfied grin crosses her face. She closes the curtains and steps away from the window, still smiling.

Jane: I KNEW it.

Cut to...

An old, run-down cluttered garage. There are no cars in this particular garage. Instead, the T-Birds are there, in various places, looking around, picking up old stuff lying around, etc. Checking the place out, basically.

Jesse: Well?

Mack: Jesse, no offense, but this place is a dump! How are we supposed to get any practicing done here?

Trent: Hey, I see the potential. Sure, it's a mess now, but we'll fix it up. Build us a stage, put in some spotlights. We could do more than just PRACTICE here, man. We could open our own CLUB!

Mack: And do what? Pay people to come listen to us?

Trent: What do you mean?

Mack: C'mon, Trent. Let's face it. We suck! We don't even have a drummer.

Kevin: What about me?

Mack: What ABOUT you?

Kevin: Uhhhh....

Mack: We can't have a band without a drummer, Trent. And you KNOW it.

Trent: Then, we'll advertise for one. Once we get this place fixed up, people will be busting down our doors to get in for an audition.

Mack: (glances around at deteriorating building) It wouldn't take much. (beat) You're serious about this, aren't you?

Trent: Sure. We might as well do something with it. Jesse's got a two-year lease on it.

Mack: (to Jesse) How did you manage to afford this place? (beat) Or was it more of a punishment for committing some sort of crime?

Jesse: It's my uncle's place. I'm not actually paying for it. I'm working on his farm for the next two years as sort of a trade for the use of it.

Mack: (looking around) Well, congratulations. You got your money's worth.

Trent: C'mon! Where's your imagination? This garage could be just what we've been looking for. Someplace to practice. To write music undisturbed. To hone and perfect our skills as serious musicians. Or just hang out. Whatever.

Mack: Are you sure you don't need your eyes checked?

Kevin: Hey! We could get some of those inflatable chairs! That stuff is SO cool! (everyone stares at him for a moment, then continues ignoring him)

Trent: (stands in the middle of the room) Look at all this space, guys. It's perfect! (uh-oh...the music's starting again...) Why this garage could be energetic. Magnetic. Kinetic. Umm....

Kevin: Pathetic??

Mack: (under his breath) Very possibly.

Trent: Why, it could be leased lightning.
We'll get some overhead rafters and we'll paint 'em black, oh yeah

Mack: Keep dreamin', boy, keep dreamin'

Trent: A metal file cabinet with CD's by the stack, oh yeah

Jesse: But I like vinyl, I like my vinyl records

With a brand new, hard-wood floor they'll be breakin' down our door
They'll want our autograph

Mack: Oh, please, don't make me laugh

Trent: Leased lightning

Jesse & Kevin: Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go

Trent: Go leased lightning we're blazing up the billboard charts

Mack, Jess, Kev: Leased lightning, go leased lightning

Trent: Go leased lightning, we'll decorate with auto parts

Mack, Jess, Kev: Leased lightning, go leased lightning

Trent: You are the most, 'N Sync is toast, it's leased lightning

Mack, Jess, Kev: Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go

Jesse: We'll build a sturdy wooden stage and install strobe lights, oh yeah

Trent: Buy a set of kick-ass speakers to rock the house all night, oh yeah

Kevin: With a brand new drum set I'll be the coolest, hunky guy

Now if just for one day we could teach you how to play
Leased lightning

Trent: Go leased lightning, we're blazing up the billboard charts

Mack, Jess, Kev: Leased lightning, go leased lightning

Trent: Go leased lightning, you really are a work of art

Mack, Jess, Kev: Leased lightning, go leased lightning

Trent: You are the best, we killed the rest, it's leased lightning

(Jesse does a guitar solo)

Trent: Go leased lightning we're blazing up the billboard charts

Mack, Jess, Kev: Leased lightning, go leased lightning

Trent: Go leased lightning, we'll decorate with auto parts

Mack, Jess, Kev: Leased lightning, go leased lightning

Trent: You are the top, you just can't stop leased lightning

Jesse: Yeah!

(music and singing stops)

Trent: (grabs a broom out of the corner and tosses it to Jesse, who catches it easily) C'mon guys. Let's get to work.


Act I | Act II | Act III | Act IV | Act V | Endnotes