The Missing Link

A Daria Fan Fiction by the Alchemist

Episode #501

 

DISCLAIMER Ė Daria and cast are wholly owned by MTV. I am merely borrowing them for the duration of this work. I try and have them back on time, but I make mistakes sometimes. What? You thought that it was MTVís fault that they cancel Daria showings at the last minute?

 

 

Setting - Mr OíNeilís class

Jane : So, did we have a nice time with Tom last night?

Daria : Go to hell, Lane

Jane : Well, did you?

Daria : Uh, (Bt) Yes. I did.

Jane : And?

Daria : (smirks) And it is time for class to start

OíNeill : Good Morning class! Welcome to another wonderful day at Lawndale high.

Daria : So when does it begin?

Jane : Tomorrow. Itís always a day away.

Daria : OK, little orphan Jane

Brittany : Jane, youíre an orphan? But Ö (twirls hair), isnít that a monkey or something?

Daria : Yes Brittany, but sheís a SPECIAL monkey who gets to go to school every day. In fact, Iím her trainer. I make sure that sheís put back in her cage every day, and that she gets her daily dose of bananas.

Brittany : But, (thinking), I thought that monkeys were all hairy or something? Like those cute ones at the zooÖ

Jane : (heavy sarcasm) EpiladyÖ

Brittany : Oh, (thinking) OK!

OíNeill : Class? Class! Can anyone Ö

 

(door opens and Ms Li walks in along with two police officers)

Daria : Thought police?

Jane : Not bloody likely around here

Ms. Li : Ms. Morgendorffer, may I please have a word with you?

Jane : Ok, whoíd you kill? (Bt) And why wasnít I invited this time?

Daria : (shrugs) Hey, I told you I had a nice time last nightÖ (smirks)

 

Daria gets up and leaves the room in the company of Ms. Li.

 

Cut back to Jane inside

Jane : (slightly confused) Well, alrighty then

 

Cut to the hall outside. Daria is talking with Ms. Li and the police officers. Suddenly, Daria jerks slightly and takes on a sour expression. She writes something on a piece of paper, hands it to the police officers, and slowly walks off.

Cut to front of Lawndale High.

Daria walks out the front of the school, turning to look back at it briefly, and slowly walks off.

 

Cut to school cafeteria.

Jane is sitting at the table alone, picking at her food.

Jodie : Jane? Are you alright?

Jane : Oh, hi Jodie. Iím fine. Iím just worried about Daria. She left OíNeilís English class with Ms. Li and two police officers this morning, and nobody seems to have seen or heard from her since.

 

Pan to Quinn walking behind the two

Quinn (to self) : Oh my GOD! Dariaís in jail! What did she DO last night?

 

Return to Jane and Jodie

Jodie : Did she say anything about why?

Jane : (VO, thinking) "Hey, I told you I had a nice time tonight" (To Jodie) Not really Ö

Mack : (trying to interrupt politely) Um, Jane? Could I ask you something?

Jodie : (slightly annoyed) Mack, weíre a bit busy now, could it wait?

Jane : Itís OK Jodie.

 

Jodie sighs

Mack : Do you know whatís up with Daria? (Jodie perks up and smirks slightly) Thereís some rumor going around that she got arrested.

Jane : Um, (Bt) I donít really know. Daria left the classroom with Ms Li and two police officers. She hasnít been seen since then, as far as I know. She didnít seem worried though, and didnít mention anything unusual this morning.

Jodie : Have you tried calling her?

Jane : Yep. No answer. Not that that means all that much with Daria. Look, if I learn anything new, Iíll let you know, OK?

Jodie : OK. Iím sure sheís fine.

Jane : YeahÖ

Kevin (VO, offscreen) : Hey, Mack Daddy!

 

Mack groans and walks off. Jodie looks at Jane briefly, and follows Mack offscreen.

Cut to hallway, Lawndale High

Sandi : You know, Quinn, I heard that cousin of yours got arrested or something. (Bt Ė smirking) Probably for, like crimes against fashion or something

Tiffany : YeahÖ

Stacy : She kinda creeps me out (Bt, puzzled) but why would she be in prison for that?

Sandi : STACY!

Stacy : (meekly) Sorry!

 

As the fashion club walks by, Quinn can be seen trailing behind them. She looks a bit sad, and is getting annoyed at the conversation.

Sandi : Quinn? What is it with your cousin anyway?

Quinn (definitely annoyed) : Well, how should I know Sandi? Its not like I was there or anything. Maybe they needed to ask her some questions or something. After all, she IS a BRAIN!

Sandi : (taken aback by Quinnís response) Um, well, OK. (visibly changing topics) So, are we going to Cashmans for the sale this afternoon?

 

The fashion club walks off, with Quinn still looking a bit depressed.

 

Cut to the Morgendorffer Residence, Dariaís room.

We see Daria from behind, typing at her computer and taking notes in her notepad. A can of soda sits nearby. Daria picks it up to take a drink, noticing that its empty. She drops the empty can into a significant pile of empty cans, and reaches to the floor, pulling another can out of the opened case. Sighing, she returns to her computer. As the camera pulls out, we see papers scattered over her bed and floor.

Cut to streets of Lawndale

Jane is walking down the street slowly as Trent drives up.

Trent : Hey Janey! Wanna ride?

Jane : Trent? Youíre up awful early. Itís not even six yet.

Trent : Yeah, well practice ran early. Or late. Whatever.

 

Jane smirks a bit and gets into the car.

Trent : So, where are we going?

Jane : (slightly down) Dariaís

Trent : What, she steal another boyfriend from you?

Jane : (forcibly) Trent!

Trent : Hey, calm down Janey. Everything OK?

Jane : (pensive) Well, Iím not sure.

Trent : Uh, OK.

 

Pan out as they arrive at the Morgendorffer household. As Jane gets out of the car, we see Tomís car at the curb. Tom is standing at the door as Jane walks up. Before she can say anything, Tom turns around to return to his car, looking disappointed, but not angry.

Jane : Tom?

Tom : (turning slightly) Jane? What are you doing here?

Jane : Um, looking for Daria. Is there something I should know?

Tom : Probably, but I donít know what it is. Iíll see you later, I guess. (leaves)

 

Jane shrugs, and walks up to the door. Just as she is about to knock, the door opens to reveal Quinn standing there.

Jane : No, Quinn, Iím not your date. Is Daria in?

Quinn : Daria is, um, busy right now. Iíll let her know that you stopped by if you want.

Jane : (angrily) So, sheís free to talk with Tom but not with me!

Quinn : She didnít talk to Tom. I did.

Jane : (abashed, and slightly surprised) Quinn? Is she OK?

Quinn : (sighs) I donít know Jane. Do you know what happened to her today?

Jane : Thatís kinda why I came over here. No one seems to know what happened after she left.

Quinn : I know. At least sheís not in prison or something

Jane : Always good to know. Thanks Quinn, its been, well, almost pleasant. Iíll let you get ready for your dates tonight. It is Friday, after all.

Quinn : (as door is closing) Youíre welcome. And I donít have any dates tonight.

Door closes as Jane stares at the door for a few seconds. She then slowly walks away.

Jane : Well, that was a bit Ö weird.

 

Cut to interior of the Morgendorffer residence. We see Quinn walking away from the recently closed door and up the stairs. She walks up to Dariaís door, where a note hangs on the door with ĎSTAY THE HELL OUTí written in large block letters. Quinn removes the note quietly and retreats to her own room, looking a bit concerned.

(phone rings)

Quinn picks up the phone

Quinn : Hello? (with little enthusiasm) Oh, hi Jamie. No, I have this family thing tonight, so I canít go on a date tonight. No, Iím not seeing someone else, its just that (pause as Quinn thinks), well, my Mom has some big work thing she wants us all to be around for. No, I canít get out of it. Um, yeah, Iím free Wednesday. See you then? Great.

 

Quinn hangs up the phone and looks at the note. Walking over to her dresser, we see her place it in a drawer and shut it. She returns to her bed, picking up a copy of Sense and Sensibility and begins reading. The phone rings yet again, and Quinn answers.

Quinn : Hello? Oh, hi mom. Youíre working late? Hang on, call on the other line. (Switches calls) Hello? Dad? Stuck at work with a big contract? OK. Bye. (switches back) Mom? Yeah, Dadís going to be late too. OK, Iíll be fine. Daria? Sheís over at Janeís for the night. Something about like, movies or something, and a girls night out. Itís just so 80ís. Yes? OK. OK, bye. (hangs up phone and returns to reading)

 

Cut to Janeís house, where Jane is angrily painting at a canvas. Sick Sad World is playing in the background

(knock at the door)

Trent : (Offscreen) Janey?

Jane : Nope. Not in. Try again later.

(door opens slightly, with Trent peeking in)

Trent : Janey? (sees her painting passionately) Uh, never mind

Jane : (exasperated but a little embarrassed) Trent? What is it?

Trent : Are you hungry? The bandís got a gig at some restaurant tonight. Free food if youíre interested.

Jane : (calming slightly) Yeah, OK. Iíll be down in a bit.

Pan to outside of Lane residence as Jane slowly walks out to the Tank and gets in. The Tank pulls away in an impressive cloud of smoke. Cut to the inside of the Tank

Jesse : Hey, Jane, whereís that friend of yours? Daria, is it?

 

Trent elbows Jesse, but the damage is done

Jane : Not here. Donít know where. (turns, giving a hostile look) Donít ask again.

 

Jesse pulls back, both surprised and concerned.

 

Cut to outside of Morgendorffer residence.

Quinn can be seen walking up to her house, carrying a pizza and a paper bag. Entering the house, she places the pizza on the living room table, and goes into the kitchen. Returning, she is carrying two plates and a teapot. Quinn places the teapot in the paper bag, a few slices of pizza on the plate, and walks upstairs with the plate and bag.

Pan to interior of Dariaís room. Daria is still working at her computer, a bit more slowly than before.

(someone knocks at the door)

Daria : Daria is dead. Go away.

(another knock)

Daria sighs and gets up. From behind, we see her open the door slowly, but see no-one at the door. Puzzled, she looks down and sees the pizza and the paper bag on the floor. Bringing them in, she looks into the bag to see the teapot (electric), a box of Mint Tea, and a box of sugar tarts. Daria shrugs, and picks up the pizza and begins to eat.

Pan to living room, as Quinn comes down the stairs. Sitting down, she takes the remaining plate and a slice of pizza. She moves to remove the cheese, then shrugs and starts eating, cheese and all.

Cut to restaurant

Jane sits at a table as Mystik Spiral plays on stage. A pasta-like dish sits in front of her, heavily picked at but sparsely eaten. Jane looks pre-occupied. Trent and the band begin playing Freakin Friends. Jane looks up forlornly, then gets up and walks to the bathroom.

Cut to the Tank, later that night

Jane is slumped in a corner of the van, half asleep as they pull up to the Lane residence. Trent picks up Jane, carrying her to her room, gently placing her in her bed and covering her.

Jane : (groggily) Thanks Trent.

Trent : (softly) Whatever. (leaves)

 

Cut to morning, the Morgendorffer kitchen

Helen is in the kitchen cooking pancakes as Jake reads the paper at the table. Quinn enters the kitchen just as Helen places the pancakes at the table and gets the syrup from the refrigerator.

Helen : Quinn, dear, have you seen Daria?

Quinn : Mo-om, I told you last night that Daria was staying over with that friend of hers to watch movies.

Helen : Well, do you know when sheíll be back?

Quinn : I think after lunch or something. They were probably up late or something.

Helen : Oh, well if you see her, tell her that Jake and I have a retreat today. We should be back by dinner.

Quinn : OK, mom.

Jake : Dinner? I thought it was still breakfast!

Helen (disappointed) : JakeÖ

 

Cut to Lane residence, interior

Jane lurches out of bed, still fully dressed. She walks to the closet, and we see her clothes sitting on the floor outside the door. Jane emerges in her usual attire, and walks to the phone.

Jane picks up the phone and dials

(Split screen between Jane and Quinn)

Quinn : Hello?

Jane : Quinn? Is Daria home?

Quinn : Yes.

Jane : Well, could I talk to her?

Quinn : Um, Jane, if you want to talk to her, you should probably come over.

Jane : Quinn?

Quinn : Bye Jane

Return to Lane household. Jane looks at the phone strangely. She gets up, hangs up the phone, and walks out.

 

Cut to Morgendorffer residence, interior

Door rings. Quinn walks from the kitchen to the front door, opening it to reveal Jane.

Jane : Quinn? Is Daria in?

Quinn : Upstairs

 

As Jane walks up the stairs, Quinn smiles briefly, and leaves the house

Upstairs, Dariaís door. The door is closed, so Jane knocks

Daria : (VO) The number you have tried has been disconnected. Please leave and never try again.

Jane : Daria, its me. Iím coming in.

Jane opens the door to see Daria at her computer. The room is covered in papers, and several maps are spread on the bed. Empty sugar tart wrappers are sitting next to the keyboard, with a cup with several teabags in back.

Daria : (tiredly) Hi, Jane

Jane : Daria, did you sleep at all last night?

Daria : (still working at the computer, back to Jane) Iíll give you two guesses.

Jane : Daria, either you turn around and talk to me, or Iím going to get some blond dye and we can stripe my hair again!

Daria : Wonít work. (turns slowly) You donít have a boyfriend for me to steal.

 

Jane is taken aback, looking shocked and slightly hurt as Daria turns to face her, but her hurt changes to concern when she sees Dariaís face. Dariaís eyes are bloodshot, and there are dark bags under her eyes. In addition, her face is red and puffy Ė she has been crying, although she tries to hide it. Daria is quite clearly exhausted, yet too stubborn to admit it.

Jane : OK, Daria, whatís wrong?

Daria : (mumbles)

Jane : Parents?

Daria : No

Jane : Cousin?

Daria : No

Jane : Tom?

Daria : No

Jane : Me?

Daria : No

Jane : OK, I give up. Whatís the problem?

 

Daria gets up and walks to her bed. Picking up a paper, she walks over to Jane and hands it to her. Without a word, Daria goes back to her computer and keeps working. Looking down at the paper, we see the picture of a child, with the caption "Runaway Minor" and a first name of Link. Scrawled beneath it in red pen is the phrase "help us find the missing link!"

 

Jane : Oh, I see. (Bt) So, thatís what the police wanted?

Daria : Yep. Asked if I knew anything. I said no.

Jane : And do you?

Daria : Thatís what Iíve been trying to figure out. (yawns loudly)

Jane : Tell you what. Get a few hours sleep. Youíll feel better, and be able to think clearer.

Daria : I just canít. Iím so close. I can feel it.

Jane : None of that missy. You go right to bed, and Iíll be back in a few hours to wake you up and help.

Daria : (groggily) I accept on one condition. (Bt) Pepperoni, cheese, grease. (Bt) Time to be determined.

Jane : (chuckling) You drive a hard bargain, but I agree. (pause) Howíd you persuade Helen to leave you alone about this?

Daria : You know, I didnít. (Bt) I wonder Ö

 

Daria nods off as she speaks, and with Janeís assistance, Daria collapses in her bed and falls asleep. Jane covers her and leaves quietly.

Jane : (leaving) Ah, how the mighty have fallen.

 

Cut to later that evening

Jane knocks at the Morgendorfferís front door. Helen answers

Helen : Oh, hi Jane! How was your girls night out?

Jane : Huh?

Helen : Your movie night with Daria yesterday.

Jane : (thinking quickly) Oh, it went pretty well, but Iím still a bit tired. Is Daria in?

Helen (suspicious, but guarded) : I think sheís upstairs

 

Jane enters the house and heads up to Dariaís room.

Dariaís room Ė interior

(knock at door)

Daria : Mmmrph

Jane : Iím coming in.

Daria : Blergh

 

Jane opens the door and enters the room.

Jane : Youíre so, articulate

Daria : (getting out of bed) I hate you.

 

Daria goes to her closet and removes her jeans and T-shirt (as per Road Worrier), and leaves briefly. She returns after a few moments and closes the door.

Jane : Now that youíre actually awake, would you mind telling me what exactly is going on?

Daria : (sighs) Ok, I guess. You remember how I told you about Link? (Bt) How weíve been in contact through E-mail?

Jane : YesÖ

Daria : Well, weíve been E-mailing a couple times a week on average. Recently, he seemed to be having more problems with his family, especially his stepfather.

Jane : OKÖ

Daria : So I encouraged him to make his wishes known. I figured that at least his mother would care enough about him to listen to him.

Jane : So what happened?

Daria : Well, he told his mother that he was tired of being ignored and pawned off to daycare. The poor kid just wanted a little attentionÖ

Jane : And?

Daria : His stepfather apparently got really angry that Link wasnít appreciative of everything they had done for him, and grounded him. The next morning, he was gone, his backpack missing, along with some clothes and candy bars.

Jane : So why did they come for you?

Daria : The aliens? The MIB?

Jane : The police.

Daria : Oh, them. (Bt) Well, they found my E-mail address by Linkís computer and wanted to know whether I knew anything about where he might have gone.

Jane : So what happened afterwards?

Daria : I came home. I dug into Linkís previous E-mails, trying to figure out where he might have gone.

Jane : Any luck?

Daria : No.

Jane : No idea at all?

Daria : Linkís a smart kid. Plus, its not like this is a new development. He must have had someplace in mind for some time now, someplace where he wouldnít be found. (sigh) I just donít know where.

 

Cut to Cashmans department store. Quinn and the Fashion Club are shopping for their usual attire.

Sandi : So Quinn, is it true that your, like, cousin or whatever is on death row?

Quinn : Nooo Sandi, they just wanted to ask my (pause) cousin a few questions

Stacy : Then, why did she leave school?

Tiffany : Yeah Ö Why?

Quinn : Well, if you could get out of school early, would you?

Tiffany : Oh, yeahÖ That makes sense

Sandi : Gee Quinn, if you know so much, maybe you should be President of the Fashion club!

Quinn : (pausing in consideration, faux sincerity) Oh, Sandi, I could never do that. You make such a good President.

Tiffany : YeahÖ

Quinn : Look! Sequins!

 

As the fashion club walks offscreen, we see that Quinn still looks a bit down.

 

Returns to Dariaís room, Jane and Daria are both looking at the maps on Dariaís bed

Jane : So, any ideas?

Daria : Donít know. Depends on what heís looking to do.

Jane : Huh?

Daria : Well, he doesnít like his real father, and the police have probably already checked there. So it depends on if he really ran away, or simply wants to punish his family for a while.

Jane : (sardonically) Gee, maybe we should just look into his hidden plans then?

Daria : Encrypted

Jane : Um, what?

Daria : There appear to be some encrypted files on his computer. What they actually contain, who knows. (Bt) Besides him, that is.

Jane : And did he tell you anything? Let you know he was leaving?

Daria : Nothing unusual. (pause Ė Daria is pondering something)

Jane : A lead?

Daria : An idea. Perhaps. Letís go.

 

Cut to Morgendorffer living room, as Jane and Daria are leaving. Jake is sitting reading the paper

Jake : (paper still up) Going out, kiddo?

Daria : Well, Daria is going out

Jake: Out with Tom again?

Daria : No, dad. This is Jane. Red shirt, long hair, and female, Jane.

Jake : (lowering paper sheepishly) Sorry. Have fun.

Daria : Tons.

 

Daria and Jane exit the house, walking down the street.

 

Jane : So, whatís this big idea of yours?

Daria : Well, I just realized one thing. Link doesnít have much family that he would ever want to stay with.

Jane : Sounds familiar.

Daria : Shut up. (pause) But anyway, I was thinking, and I figured that if he were running away on a whim, he would probably have taken some money with him.

Jane : He didnít?

Daria : Almost $50 in cash in his room. Police found it between the mattresses.

Jane : Interesting. And this helps us how?

Daria : It means that he knew where he was going, and knew that he didnít need money. Besides, if he were at a hotel, the police probably would have tracked him down by now.

Jane : (looks around and notices where theyíre going) So, are you thinking that heís staying with Tom?

Daria : Unlikely

Jane : Would it be wrong of me to ask why weíre going to Tomís then?

Daria : No

(pause)

Jane : (sighs) Why are we going to Tomís?

Daria : (slight smirk) Two reasons. First, we need a car. (Bt) And a driver. (Bt) Who would be awake at this hour. Second, Tom was supposed to drop by last night, but apparently he never did, and Ö

Jane : Daria? He did drop by yesterday.

Daria : What? How would you know?

Jane : I came by yesterday after school to see if you were OK. Tom was just leaving. He had apparently talked to princ... that is Quinn just as I got there.

Daria : I see. I take it you talked to Quinn too?

Jane : Yep. She said that you were home, alive, and not incarcerated, but that you were busy that night.

Daria : Incarcerated?

Jane : Well, not in jail, to quote Quinn exactly.

Daria : Hmmm. Something strange is going on here. I donít understand it, and that disturbs me.

Jane : Come on. You were already disturbed.

Daria : (smirking) Guilty as charged.

 

 

Cut to exterior of Tomís house, as Daria and Jane walk up towards the front door. Daria rings the bell, as Jane stands to the side, a just out of sight. Tom answers the door, and smiles when he sees Daria on the other side.

Tom : Daria! I wasnít expecting you today. Is everything OK?

Tom leans over and kisses Daria. Daria blushes a bit at the attention

Jane : Ahem

Tom : Jane?

Daria : Donít worry. (Bt) She had to learn about kissing eventually

Jane : Hey!

Daria : (under her breath to Jane) Paybackís a bitch, ainít it?

Tom : Um, if you donít mind, could you possibly explain whatís going on? I came over yesterday, but never got past your sister

Jane : Cousin?

Daria : (wincing) Whatever. (Bt) Can we come in? This may take a bit.

 

A bit later, inside the Sloane residence. We see Daria speaking initially, and then she leans back somewhat, with both relief and concern on her face

Tom : So, this Link ran away after a fight with his parents, and you feel responsible for it?

Daria : Sort of. (long pause) I guess Iím just concerned about him, you know. (Bt) Reminds me a little too much of myself, I guess.

Tom : (sensing that this is not the time for THAT discussion just yet) So, how can we help?

 

Morgendorffer living room. Quinn enters with a few bags from her trip to the mall. Before she can get upstairs, her beeper goes off.

Quinn : Oooh! What do you want now, mom?

 

Quinn picks up the phone, and dials

Helen : Hello?

Quinn : Mom? Whereís Maryanne?

Helen : Out for the day.

Quinn : What did you want?

Helen : Dinner tonight with the partners. They want to get to know my family (mumbles) damn short notice, no time for a prepared statement

Quinn : But my dateÖ

Helen : Will just have to be rescheduled.

Quinn : But he has a BMW!

Helen : And I have a Lexus. As well as power of attorney.

Quinn : (annoyed, but knowing she canít win) Fine.

Helen : Will you put Daria on please?

Quinn : Hang on.

 

Quinn walks up the stairs. Cut to Quinn peeking inside Dariaís room, and finding it empty. Quinn leaves and heads back down the stairs.

Quinn : Sheís not here.

Helen : Well, where is she?

Quinn : How should I know? I donít have the time to keep track of her with my fashion club duties and all.

Helen : (sighs) Could you please try to find her? (Bt) This is very important, Quinn.

Quinn : Perhaps Ö

Helen : Twenty

Quinn : Fifty

Helen : Thirty

Quinn : Done

Helen : Iíll be by at eight. Be ready.

Quinn : Sure, mom

 

Quinn hangs up the phone and carries her bags upstairs. She picks up the cordless phone, and calls the Lane residence

Cut to Trentís room. Trent is sprawled on the bed as the duck phone quacks. Trent gropes a bit, finally finding the phone

Trent : Ďlo?

Quinn : Um, hello? Is somebody there?

Trent : Yup.

Quinn : Is Daria there?

Trent : Wrong number. (hangs up)

Quinn : Oooh! (redials)

Trent : Hello?

Quinn : This is Quinn, Dariaís sister. Is Daria there?

Trent : (sitting up in his bed) Donít think so. Jane left a while ago too.

Quinn : Well, do you know where they are?

Trent : I think Jane was headed over there.

Quinn : Oh, never mind. Bye.

Trent : Bye, Dariaís sister

Quinn : Oooh! (hangs up phone)

 

Quinn dials another number on the phone

Elsie : Hello. Sloane residence, Elsie speaking

Quinn : Hi. Is Daria there?

Elsie : May I ask whoís calling?

Quinn : Quinn. Her sister.

Elsie : Tom, Daria, and Jane went out a little while ago. I donít know when theyíll be back.

Quinn : (annoyed) Great. (resigned) If you hear from them, could you tell Daria to call home? (Bt) Its important.

Elsie : OK Quinn.

Quinn : Thanks. Bye

Quinn : Great. Just great.

 

Cut to Tomís car. Jane is in the back seat, with Tom and Daria sitting in front. Daria has a map out and is giving directions.

Daria : Left up here, and that should be it.

Jane : Is this what I think it is?

 

Zoom out as Tomís car passes a sign for the OK to cry corral.

Jane : Never mind.

Tom : What are we looking for here?

Daria : All in good time, dear Watson

 

Daria, Jane, and Tom get out of the car and walk towards the camp. The camp is empty (being closed), and there is no-one around as the three make their way to a supply shed towards the back of the camp

Daria : (heavy sarcasm) Ah, my favorite summer resort. Learn the nuances of your inner child, compliments of your tour guide, Mr. OíNeil. Even Dante only had to go to hellÖ

Jane : Bitter?

Tom : What was your first clue?

Daria : Ah, here we go.

 

Pan out to see a door with a pushbutton combination lock. Daria walks up and punches in a series of numbers. The light flashes from red to green, and Daria opens the door and walks inside.

Cut to interior as Daria turns on the lights. We see a storage room, with various camp items stored on a series of dusty shelves. Daria, Jane, and Tom are walking through the aisles.

Jane : Didnít you tell me that all you did at this Ďcampí was sit inside and get in touch with your Ďinner childí?

Daria : Those are among the memories I have not yet repressed, yes.

Jane : So what is all this for? (gestures to shelves holding tents and dehydrated food)

Daria : Well, do you remember the big hurricane? (Jane nods) Well, Mr. OíNeil was worried about a disaster causing anxiety in the campers, so he stockpiled enough supplies to last through a major hurricane.

Tom : So he couldnít take the children outside for a hike, but heís ready for a disaster?

Daria : (looking at the shelves as they go) Yup. Remember that he IS a teacher at Lawndale High

Tom : Right

Daria : Who do you think bought Mr. DeMartinoís surplus Y2K supplies?

Jane : Ah, everything is now slightly less murky. (Bt) Since there was no disaster, why do you know the combination?

Daria : Barchís birthday. Youíd think heíd be a little more creative.

Jane : But just imagine what would happen if he forgot!

 

Tom winces at the thought

Daria stops and turns her right, looking at the shelves. We clearly see that some supplies have been removed, and some packaging is lying around.

Daria : Well, someone was here alright. Letís see what is missing. (Tom and Jane spread out and look at different shelves)

Daria : Iíve got a sleeping bag and a tent missing over here

Jane : (VO) Food. Ice cream, pizza, and stroganoff. The lima bean surprise appears untouched.

Tom : (VO) Looks like a cookstove and some fuel. Possibly more, I canít be certain.

Daria : Well, thatís enough to last quite a while. Anyone up for a hike?

Jane : (walking into the shot as she speaks) Why would Link know Barchís birthday?

Daria : She dropped by this summer. Scared the hell out of most of the boys too. But it was quite obvious that she and OíNeil were an item

Jane : So, a lucky guess?

Daria : I hope so.

Tom : And if we canít find him?

Daria : I donít know.

 

Cut to a hiking trail. The trio is walking along the trail and looking for Link.

Tom : Hey, hold up a second. (pointing into woods) Is that a tent?

Daria : It could be. (looking closer) I think it is, in fact.

 

They walk over to the tent. We see Link sitting on a rock in front of the tent, reading Nightfall by Issac Asimov

Daria : Link?

Link : Huh? (looks around) Oh, (disappointed) hi Daria.

Daria : Are you OK?

Link : (annoyed) Do I look OK?

Tom : Well, youíre not dead, dying, or injured, and you appear to be reasonably healthy. (Bt) So Iíd have to say yes.

Link : Gee, thanks. Who are you again?

Daria : Link, this is Tom and Jane. You can figure out which, I hope. (Bt) You want to tell me what happened?

Link : No

Daria : Well, will you? If you donít, sooner or later the police will track you down, and theyíll send you back.

Link : So

Jane : Do you expect things to get better when they drag you back?

Link : Fine. (loaded pause) I guess (Bt) I told my parents how I felt. Exactly how I felt. They werenít very happy.

Daria : How so?

Link : Well, my mom just sat there and did nothing. My dad told me that I had a bad attitude, and that I had (imitating his fatherís voice) Ďdamn well better appreciate all his hard workí, and locked me in my room. I could hear him yelling for a few hours after that. So I left.

Tom : (softly) After he threatened you.

 

Daria and Jane turn to stare at Tom

Daria & Jane : (in unison, confused) What?

Tom : (matter of factly) You were afraid heíd hurt you.

Link : How did Ö I mean Ö

Tom : (to Link) Donít worry. My mother helps out with some of the social services from time to time. I got pulled in once in order to Ďbuild characterí or something. Unfortunately, this happens all the time. (To Daria and Jane) We canít send him back until we know that heíll be safe there. And until HE knows that heíll be safe as well.

Daria : I agree. Do you think your mother would help us?

Tom : Definitely.

 

Cut to the Sloane residence somewhat later, as the four enter Tomís house.

Tom : Anyone want something to drink before I hunt down my mother?

Link : Do you have coke?

Tom : Sure. Jane?

Jane : Coke is fine

Daria : Make it three.

 

Tom walks out as Else enters the shot

Elsie : Daria? Your sister called. She wanted you to call her if you got in.

Daria : What did she want?

Elsie : I donít know, only that it was important.

Daria : With Quinn, its ALWAYS important.

 

Daria walks over and picks up the phone. Split screen between Daria and Quinn

Quinn : Hello?

Daria : Quinn? You called?

Quinn : Daria, finally! You need to get home RIGHT NOW!

Daria : Calm down Quinn. Iím busy right now. Whatís the problem?

Quinn : Mom has a big important dinner with the partners tonight, and apparently they want to meet us, and for some reason Mom wants you there too. You need to be back here by eight.

Daria : Your selflessness is touching. But I really canít make it. Mom will just have to accept that.

Quinn : But Daria, this is really important. Mom will flip if youíre not here.

Daria : Sheíll get over it. (Bt) Tell her that I had something very important come up, and that I simply will not be home in time for the dinner.

Quinn : ButÖ

Daria : Bye, Quinn

 

They hang up the phone, and we return to Quinn at the Morgendorffer residence. We see that she looks concerned.

Quinn (thought VO) : Mom is going to KILL her for thisÖ

 

Cut to later that evening at the Morgendorffer residence as Helen comes home.

Helen : Quinn! Daria! Are you ready?

 

Quinn enters the room, dressed up (of course)

Quinn : Iím ready. Daria canít make it.

Helen : What! I donít ask much (Quinn rolls her eyes), but as a member of this family, she needs to respect the rules. Well, I guess weíll see her in family court tomorrow

Quinn : But mo-om, thatís, like sooo (Bt) geeky. Wasnít once enough?

Helen : Quinn, would you rather be a witness or a defendant?

 

Quinn opens her mouth to speak, but thinks better of it and heads out the door.

Helen : (angrily, under breath) Damn. (leaves the house)

 

Later that night, at the Sloane residence. We see Daria and Tom leaving in his car as a police cruiser leaves.

Daria : So your mom will get in touch with the social services people tomorrow?

Tom : Yep. Theyíll look into the situation and figure out whatís best for Link.

Daria : Tom, thank you for all your help. It, um, (meekly, embarrassed) meant a lot to me.

Tom : (overly romantic exaggeration) For you, anything

 

Daria blushes and turns away

Tom : (teasing) Awww, how cute. Well, this is your stop.

Daria : Would you be up for something a little less (Bt) complicated tomorrow?

Tom : Bad movies and cheese fries? My place?

Daria : (deadpan) How romantic. (normal tone) Itís a date.

 

Tom gives Daria a kiss (causing an immediate blush), and Daria gets out of the car and walks inside.

 

Morgendorffer living room. The front door opens to reveal Daria entering

Helen : Stop right there, young lady!

Daria : (surprised) Mom?

Helen : You missed the dinner to spend the night with you boyfriend?

Daria : (hint of exhaustion creeping into her voice) Wait! I can explainÖ

Helen : Thatís enough out of you. Iíll see you in family court tomorrow. (heads upstairs)

Daria : Oh, hell. (pause, picks up the telephone) Hello? Is Tom back yet? (smirks as the scene fades out)

 

Fade to the next day, the family court is being set up. Daria is nowhere to be seen.

Quinn : Mo-om, can we get on with this?

Helen : Soon enough. Now whereís Daria

 

The door opens to reveal Daria, although we cannot see behind her

Jake : Hear ye, hear ye. This court is now in session, case 24601, the Family against one Daria MorgendorfferÖ

Daria : Honorable Judge Jake

Jake: Hey, thanks kiddo!

Daria : (groans) The defense counsel requests permission to approach the bench

Jake: (with trepidation) Um, OK.

Daria : Pursuant to the official family code, sections 3(a), 7(c), and 9(a-c,e), I wish to present an official list of witnesses. (Bt) I also wish to present notice of a counter-suit against one Ms. Helen Morgendorffer.

Helen looks shocked as Daria leaves the bench, and Jake just looks confused. Behind Daria, the witnesses enter, including Tom, his mother, and the police officers from the night before

Daria : For my first witness, I call Capt. William Stais of the Lawndale Police Department.

 

Interior, Quinnís room. Quinn is sitting on her bed as a knock is heard at the door. It opens to reveal Daria.

Quinn : Daria?

Daria : Quinn, could I ask a question?

Quinn : (nervously) Um, OK

 

Daria merely holds up the electric teapot

Quinn : Well, (quietly) until this afternoon, I didnít know what was going on Ö

Daria : (prodding) And?

Quinn : (nervously) But you seemed really down about something. (pause) And you always helped me when I needed it

Daria : (surprised) Um, Quinn?

Quinn : (suspicious) Yes?

Daria : Do you know what would happen if mom found out?

Quinn : (shocked) How much?

Daria : Fifty

Quinn : Thirty

Daria : Forty

Quinn : (resigned) Done

Daria : Including ten for the pizza, thatís a total of fifty.

 

Quinn looks suprised as Daria hands the money over and heads out.

Daria : Oh, and Quinn? (Bt) Thanks

 

Daria exits, leaving a rather confused Quinn standing in the middle of her room, looking at the money in her hand. Smiling slightly, she puts the money on the dresser and returns to the bed.

 

Lawndale High, the next day

Jane : So, not only did you beat the rap, but you got you mother grounded for a week?

Daria : Thatís about the size of it. She apparently neglected to fully read the rules as they applied to the situation. Specifically, the rule requiring three days notice for mandatory events

Jane : Why was that in there?

Daria : Initially, to make life easier for her, and prevent us from hiding school trips so she wouldnít go on them. But I doubt that her grounding will last longÖ

Jane : Why is that?

Daria : Well, lets say that in Family Court, there are no conjugal visits permittedÖ

Jane : Ah, I see. (Bt) Unfortunately (Bt) New subject. Pizza tonight?

Daria : How about after school?

Jane : (mockingly) Aww, does someone have a date tonight?

Daria : I hate you Ö

 

Zoom out and fade to credits