The Great Pretenders

by Grey Bard
Email: fitzrose at email.msn.com

 

ACT I, Scene 1

JANE'S BEDROOM.

JANE is facing the camera, painting a picture that we see only the back of. DARIA is on Jane's bed, reading and occasionally looking up to talk with Jane.

JANE

<Angrily slapping paint on canvas>

Dammit! My last week as jailbait half-over and no one to help me commit illegal acts. Tell me they're all blind.

DARIA

They're all blind.

JANE

<Amused>

That would also explain some of the reactions my art gets.

<Annoyed again>

I swear, I'm going out tonight and chasing the first decent guy I meet. It worked with Tom.

DARIA

<VO>

And we all know how well that worked out

<Aloud>

Do you want me to be your bridesmaid at the Hall O'Elvises Chapel in Vegas?

JANE

Very funny. I'm tempted to do it.

DARIA

Should I book the Jungle Room for you and Mr. X?

JANE

Nah, the Velvet Portrait Studio is more my style.

<Washes the brush and picks a new color.>

Don't look at me like that! I just want a good time, you know.

DARIA

Not Mr. Right, just Mr. Now?

JANE

Bingo

DARIA

Sounds a lot like a sister of mine.

JANE

<Smirking as she washes the brush and uses a palette knife to scrape a

little paint off the picture.>

Don't knock anonymous flirtation. It has its charms.

<Steps back from painting, thumb at arms length in the "painter pose". Turns painting toward DARIA and audience. It shows a tiny screaming figure shaking a fist at a sky of angry oranges reds and purples>

What do you think? I call it "Primal Rage".

DARIA

<VO>

Looks more like "Sexual Frustration"

<Aloud>

Very evocative

JANE

So, coming to Pizza Palace with me tonight?

<Pretending to wheedle>

We can chase guys together...

DARIA

<Makes a face>

I'll leave you to your fun, Ms. Hefner. I have an appointment with my tv.

JANE

Fine, be a shut in.

<Smirks>

I have a date with destiny.

DARIA

You do that.

ACT I, Scene 2

PIZZA PALACE, that night.

JANE is absently eating a slice of pizza as she looks at the clientele for a likely male. CASEY is dark blond, vaguely reminiscent of Tom Cruise and about 19 or 20. He is watching her watching them.

JANE

<Mumbling while glancing around>

Too fat... Looks familiar... Reminds me of Tom... Looks stoned...

<CASEY taps JANE on the shoulder>

CASEY

What's a beautiful girl like you doing in a place like this?

JANE

<Looks up at CASEY and smiles>

Waiting for you.

CASEY

<Pleasantly surprised, then gets a predatory look on his face>

Wanna go somewhere?

JANE

<Rising to the challenge>

Anywhere with strobe lights, loud music and you.

CASEY

<Attempting to sound seductive>

Are you sure the dark isn't better?

JANE

<Oblivious to his intent, and matter of fact.>

Nope, still holding out for strobe lights.

CASEY

<A little harshly, trying to control himself>

Fine. There's this place I know.

ACT I, Scene 3

PARKER'S - A RAVE, a little later.

JANE and CASEY are in the background, dancing to fast techno. The focus is on QUINN and her date du jour, WARREN. Neither looks much impressed by the music and wouldn't think of dancing. They're busy standing around and looking popular.

QUINN

<Shocked>

Ohm god, that's Casey!

WARREN

<Coldly>

Is there anything I should know?

QUINN

<Nervous, but trying to calm him down.>

Oh no, no, just this guy this girl I know met.

<VO, Horrified>

It's him. Oh god, is that Jane he's dancing with? (bt) I should do something. Even losers don't deserve him. (bt) What do I owe her? (bt) Nothing, but he did hurt Tiffany.

<VO, Hushed>

If I don't, I'll hate myself.

<Aloud>

Warren? I have to go to the little girl's room.

<QUINN walks away from WARREN and into a hallway near a door marked "Lady's room" in spray paint. She looks around nervously and flips out her cellphone and dials. DARIA answers.>

DARIA

<VO>

Nautilus seafood,

<Cut to: DARIA answering the phone at the MORGENDORFER HOUSE, QUINN is calling from PARKER'S>

<Aloud>

All the giant squid you can eat.

QUINN

<VO>

It's me.

DARIA

<Enjoying herself at QUINN's expense>

You can't be me, I'm me.

QUINN

<Whining>

Daria, it's important!

DARIA

<Rolls eyes>

You forgot your spare lipstick? You double booked your dates tonight?

QUINN

<Angrily>

I'm trying to do you a favor!

DARIA

Go on.

QUINN

I'm at Parker's. You remember Parker's, right? Well Jane's here and I'm worried.

DARIA

Why?

QUINN

<Darkly>

Because I know the guy she's with better than she does.

DARIA

<Getting worried>

What are you getting at?

QUINN

He's the jerk that raped Tiffany!

DARIA

<Hushed>

Oh.

QUINN

An you know Jane won't listen to me.

DARIA

<Closing eyes and sounding quietly in pain.>

Yeah.

QUINN

<Nervous giggle>

Besides, he doesn't take "no" real easy.

<All business>

Look, my date's going to wonder where I am. She's your friend, you get down here and deal with this.

DARIA

<Seriously>

I owe you.

QUINN

Good.

<Hangs up>

DARIA

<Semi-collapses, head in hands>

Oh damn.

<Breaks into a run for her bedroom>

<VO>

You'd better appreciate this, Jane.

<Flips through closet quickly, several crumpled items of clothing come flying out.>

I'm giving up what little dignity I have left, here

<Runs out of room into an unidentified other room, all you see is the door crashing closed. The rest of the scene is off camera, as the viewer watches the closed door.>

And raiding the one closet I swore I never would.

JAKE

<VO>

<Shocked>

Kiddo?

DARIA

<VO>

<Hurriedly.>

Uh, hi Dad. Mind if I borrow the car? It's an emergency.

ACT I, Scene 4

PARKER'S - A RAVE, even later.

<The music is very loud. JANE is dancing wildly oblivious to the fact that a slightly drunken CASEY is watching her gyrations with a hungry leer.>

JANE

<Shouts>

This music is great!

CASEY

<Leering harder>

Yeah!

JANE

Thanks for telling me about this place! I could dance all night!

<Closeup on: JANE dancing. A hand grabs her shoulder.>

DARIA

<Offscreen, speaking gruffly in a foreign accent>

No, you won't

<JANE turns around and looks in shock. It is DARIA and she is wearing a leather jacket, a t-shirt with "Iron Man Gym" on the front, and jeans with her usual boots as well as an "angry boyfriend" sneer as well as an abundant and well groomed mustache. Her hair is in a low ponytail, it is obvious that DARIA is attempting male mannerisms, and any curves that she might normally have are absent>

JANE

<Shocked>

Dari...en!

<Henceforth DARIA in male disguise and voice will be indicated as DARIEN>

DARIEN

<Angrily>

Jane. You are leaving this man and you are leaving him now.

JANE

Darien!

DARIEN

<Gives deathglare>

Now.

CASEY

<Peeved>

Now wait just a minute...

DARIEN

Go away, little man.

<CASEY drunkenly makes a punch at DARIEN, but DARIEN catches his fist>

DARIEN

I mean it.

<JANE gets up and follows DARIEN outside. They get in the MORGENDORFER

CAR and the door shuts.>

JANE

<Really mad>

I don't know what you think you're doing, but it had better be good.

DARIA

<Still dressed as DARIEN, but speaking in her normal voice>

It is.

JANE

<Sarcastically>

I suppose you're going to tell me you saved me from the Lawndale Stalker.

DARIA

<Angrily>

Yes!

<More gently>

Jane, I don't know where you met him, but I got tipped off that he was the guy that raped Tiffany Blum-Deckler.

JANE

<Confused>

Somebody raped Tiffany?

DARIA

Apparently that's why she's been even more neurotic and obnoxious than ever.

<Shudders ever so slightly and looks down.>

I couldn't let that happen to you.

JANE

So you went in drag?

DARIA

<shrugs>

I had to get your attention.

JANE

<Slowly dawning smirk, grabs DARIA in a hug>

My hero!

<DARIA blushes>

END ACT I

 

 

ACT II, Scene 1,

LAWNDALE HIGH, THE HALL, the next day,

<Close up on: The Fashion Club together in the busy halls.>

SANDI

Casey was with that strange girl last night. If he would sink that low, why did you date him Tiffany?

TIFFANY

<Attempting not to cry.>

I feel soooo horrible, Sandi. I totally had no idea what a rat he was.

<SANDI looks like she is trying to contain amazement at TIFFANY's unusual behavior. QUINN and STACY look sympathetic and knowing.>

STACY

<Patting TIFFANY lightly on the back>

It's okay, Tiffany, we all make social mistakes. He didn't look like a loser. At least you dumped him.

QUINN

<Distracting SANDI>

You know Casey wasn't with her long.

SANDI

<Irritated.>

So?

QUINN

I think you were more interested in her jealous boyfriend.

STACY

<Starstruck>

Yeah, he was so commanding! I wouldn't cheat on him.

SANDI

<Scheming, while attempting to sound casual.>

He may have had potential. What was his name? Derek something?

<Pan back: JANE is behind them, leaning against a wall and smirking as she watched. DARIA is somewhere in the background looking annoyed>

JANE

<Insufferably smug>

Darien, Darien Rozatova. And I love provoking him. Those Czechs are so passionate...

<SANDI tries to ignore her and walk away. JANE calls after her.>

JANE

The brooding ones are the best once you get them going!

<SANDI shudders and the fashion club hurries off. QUINN looks over her shoulder for a moment and smiles.>

DARIA

<Walks up to JANE>

Darien is Czech?

JANE

Ah, my little drahy hlupak*, who speaks Czech? Besides, no one would believe you as a Norwegian.

<DARIA rolls her eyes.>

ACT II, Scene 2,

LAWNDALE HIGH, THE CAFETERIA, that afternoon

<JANE and DARIA are sitting at a table. JODIE approaches, tray in hand.>

DARIA

We don't want any.

JODIE

Come on, it isn't that hard. I just want some help setting up for the

bingo barbecue we're holding for the Swansong Fund.

JANE

<Gets a sadistic look.>

Oh no, my date is taking me.

JODIE

Oh?

JANE

<Mock dreamily>

I'm going with Darien, the incredible Czech.

DARIA

What!

<JODIE looks intrigued, DARIA seems ready to shake JANE, MACK comes up and sits down.>

MACK

Did I miss anything?

JODIE

Jane has a Czech boyfriend and Daria...

DARIA

Jane. Are you sure this is a good idea? I mean, how well do you know him anyway, and what makes you think he'll want to go with you to a high school barbecue.

JANE

He'll go.

DARIA

Are you sure?

<DARIA and JANE have a short staredown. JODIE looks at MACK worriedly.>

MACK

<With false cheer.>

So, want to hear what happened at practice yesterday?

ACT II, Scene 3,

LAWNDALE HIGH, THE CAFETERIA & HALLWAY, approximately 32 minutes later

<DARIA is leaving the almost empty cafeteria.>

DARIA

<VO>

Will her "Czech boyfriend" go to the bingo barbecue? Maybe little pink flowers will grow in hell too.

<QUINN is waiting by the cafeteria door.>

QUINN

<Conspiratorial>

Hello... Darien.

DARIA

Shut up.

QUINN

<Enjoying herself>

You were almost a hunk in that stuff. Who knew?

DARIA

<Grudging>

Okay, how much?

QUINN

<Ignoring DARIA>

It sounds like Jane enjoyed it.

<Looks sly>

Oh, those passionate Czechs!

<All business>

Sandi seems to have fallen for it.

DARIA

<Not liking this at all.>

So?

QUINN

<In full Quinn-devious mode.>

So I want you to make it easier for her. Not that I'm asking you to be unfaithful to Jane or anything, of course.

<QUINN smiles very knowingly and DARIA shoots her a death-glare large enough for several walruses,>

QUINN

Just make sure there's a Darien for her to want. Brood, look Czech, drink coffee with ethnic stuff. I don't know how you do that drag thing, but make sure it's Darien she gets an eyeful of. The bingo barbecue would be great.

DARIA

And I should do this because?

QUINN

I need something for the next time Sandi tries to put me on fashion sabbatical. Besides, you owe me, remember?

DARIA

<Tightly>

Fine.

ACT II, Scene 4

JANE'S BEDROOM, early that evening

<JANE and DARIA walk in. DARIA is wearing her normal school clothes and carrying a duffel bag. She looks furtive. JANE sits down on the bed.>

DARIA

Thanks

JANE

No problem. Trent's cool with it. He'd better be after some of the stuff he's worn.

DARIA

Like?

JANE

Let's just say I called him goat boy for a while there and leave it at that.

DARIA

It's a good thing I can change here this time. The neighbors are already speculating about Quinn's secret lover from last time.

JANE

And that would be bad because...

DARIA

Even Darien has self respect.

JANE

Right, sorry.

<JANE rummages around in the pile of things as DARIA starts to brush her hair.>

JANE

So this is how it all comes together, hmmm?

<JANE picks up a long strip of pink cloth from the pile.>

JANE

What's this I see, an Ace bandage? That does what I think it does, right?

<DARIA looks uncomfortable as she takes it from JANE, then picks up her t-shirt and jeans with the other hand.>

DARIA

Yes.

JANE

<Delighted>

Have you been buying drag gear for the sake of little ol' me?

<DARIA turns her back to the camera and JANE as she kneels to unlace her boots, her drag clothes folded neatly beside her. >

<Close up: The focus is now on JANE and only JANE. She can see DARIA, but DARIA is offscreen.>

DARIA

No, it's from the time I sprained my knee.

<DARIA'S jacket sails past JANE and onto the floor. Her shirt follows it.>

JANE

<In disbelief>

And I suppose the spirit gum and whatever else goes into that mustache of yours comes from your father's latest midlife crisis?

<DARIA'S skirt hurtles at JANE'S head, hard. It is obviously aimed.>

JANE

<Barely catching the skirt>

Goof.

DARIA

No, that's from last April Fool's day. You'd be amazed at how many decibels Quinn can produce when she realizes that she's woken up with a goatee.

JANE

<Curious>

But her hair is lighter.

DARIA

See that bear I brought along?

JANE

Yeah.

DARIA

That's what Mr. Ted is for. If only Quinn knew why her bear was going bald.

<Pause>

JANE

This is just like watching the Nature channel.

<A rustle of fabric.>

DARIA

Excuse me?

JANE

No, seriously. The moth special. The whole watching a metamorphosis at work thing. It's kinda cool.

<JANE digs around through the pile and tosses DARIA a pair of socks.>

JANE

If these go where I think they go, you'd better not forget them.

<The sound of a zipper and DARIA is on screen once more, curveless in a t-shirt and jeans, with her... lower profile.. subtly altered.>

DARIA

Just hand me the old bootlace, okay?

<JANE gives it to her and DARIA uses it to tie her hair in a ponytail. JANE roots around in the diminishing pile and offers DARIA a flat round object.>

JANE

Need the mirror?

DARIA

Thanks, could you hold it for me?

<DARIA carefully applies DARIEN'S distinctive facial hair. She checks it once, then nods, satisfied. JANE tosses her the leather jacket.>

JANE

Hey Romeo, let's rock and roll.

DARIEN

<Takes JANE'S arm, gentlemanly.>

Indeed.

ACT II, Scene 5

LAWNDALE HIGH: THE GYM, that night

<It is set up for the Bingo Barbecue>

<Close up: THE FASHION CLUB>

SANDI

Remind me, Quinn, why we are here. What does the fashion club have to do with cheap gambling and fatty meat?

QUINN

Oh, Sandi, everybody who's anybody has to support some charity. Otherwise why would Val be seen at a Spinabifida Survivors luncheon? At least this isn't something icky like Lyme Disease prevention?

STACY

I don't like ticks!

<QUINN, SANDI, and TIFFANY stare at STACY, who shrinks back.>

QUINN

Anyway, it's the Swansong Fund , Sandi, everyone supports them. They send the sweetest little girls on fashion shoots as their dying wish. Jean Paul Marnoff and Chantal and Claudia Brinkley all support Swansong.

SANDI

They have decent benefits. We seem to have a gym full of unfashionable people and barbecue sauce. Isn't summer bad enough? But, of course you could be right. After all, I'm only the president.

QUINN

No, no, Sandi, of course you're right, probably. Oh look, it's that foreign guy!

<QUINN points at DARIEN who is entering with JANE>

SANDI

<Looks interested, then masks it.>

Do I look like I care?

<Cut to: JANE and DARIEN>

JANE

Awww, they're all looking at you. Isn't that cute?

DARIEN

Cute.

JANE

Come on. What's the point in coming if you don't talk to people?

DARIEN

Real American sztyle semi-illegal gamblink? Third-rate barbecue?

JANE

You're here to let me show you off so that I can blow Lawndale minds with you, hezky vetreloc*.

<DARIEN takes JANE aside and whispers to her as DARIA>

DARIA

We need to get something clear here. Quinn's blackmailing me to let Sandi try to seduce me.

JANE

<Outraged>

What! On my first night out with a decent boyfriend, I'm supposed to share? With her? Nope. No way, not going to happen.

DARIA

Do you want everyone to know about...

JANE

<Interrupting>

I don't care. Like anyone ever believes Quinn anyway after years of trying to convince people that she's "only Daria's cousin".

DARIA

Jane...

JANE

Just no. Okay? Consider this payback time for Tom.

DARIEN

<Aloud, and looking at the ground.>

Fine.

JANE

<Falsely cheerful, she walks him over to a table.>

Right. I'll introduce you to Mac and Jodie they're friends of mine, you'll like them. Oh, and this is Kevin.

KEVIN

<Trying to sound tough>

Darien, hunh? We've heard a lot about you. Just how old are you, anyway?

<Cut to: The TEACHERS, standing in a clump and chatting while sipping drinks.>

O'NEILL

I wonder who that boy with Jane is. He looks strangely familiar... No where have I seen him before?

DE MARTINO

<Takes a hard look at DARIEN and then O'NEILL.>

I THINK I am going to have a chat with a certain PERSON about what he PUT in the PUNCH.

<MS. LI takes the podium and fiddles with the microphone.>

MS. LI

I will now begin announcing bingo numbers as I see fit, for our first annual bingo barbecue for the Swansong Fund. Remember to buy more cards if you want a better chance to win our fabulous lawn furniture prizes. The first one is G-37.

<Cut to: GYM CLOCK. Watching the hands, forty-five minutes pass.>

<Cut back to DARIEN, JANE, KEVIN, JODIE, and MACK. BRITTANY has joined them and is hanging off KEVIN while KEVIN is hanging off of DARIEN'S every word>

MS. LI

O-67

JODIE

<Quietly to MACK.>

She's just calling out whatever number she feels like!

MACK

You're surprised?

DARIEN

But if you threw it towards your own goal would not the opposink team be szurprised?

KEVIN

Yeah! Cool! I wonder why I never thought of that? You know, you're a really great guy, Darien. Be good to Jane, 'kay? 'Cause I'd really hate to pound you.

MS. LI

N-12

BRITTANY

Kevie, that is so sweet!

JANE

I don't know if you could, Kevin. Darien's Uncle Shandor Rozatova was with the Spetznatz during the Cold War. He taught Darien a few tricks, didn't he, Darien? Darien?

<DARIEN is looking away, distracted. There is a crash and a chorus of angry squeals>

JANE

What's that?

<Pan Back: THE FASHION CLUB is clearly visible in the middle distance. There is a large quantity of barbecue spilled on the floor and various expensive shoes.

TIFFANY

Ohhh Sandi, I'm sooo sorry. I just couldn't catch it quick enough.

SANDI

What is with you Tiffany? Ever since that Casey guy, you have been completely spazoid. I would tell you to take a Valium if you weren't already too slow for words. I think it was your fault what happened to you because by the time you could remember how to say no, he was finished.

TIFFANY

Ohhh... That's harsh...

<TIFFANY starts shivering uncontrollably and SANDI gets up to get punch.>

JANE

That's it.

DARIEN

What, darlink?

JANE

<To others at the table.>

One moment please.

<JANE drags DARIEN to the end of the bench they're on furthest from the others.>

You can forget what I said about sharing. B*tch girl there just crossed the line. Don't humiliate her for Quinn, do it for me.

DARIEN

Jane?

JANE

Sic 'em boy! Go get her.

<DARIEN gets up and strides through the crowd towards the punch bowl and SANDI. He goes for the punch and "accidentally" bumps SANDI.>

DARIEN

Excuse me.

SANDI

Do you know who I am?

DARIEN

<Raising one eyebrow.>

Szhould I?

<SANDI looks him up and down.>

SANDI

You wouldn't. I am Sandi Griffin of the Baltimore Griffins. We do not have ties to Russia and places.

DARIEN

And what is Sandi Griffin of Baltimore Griffins doink here?

SANDI

<Loftily>

This is for charity. The Fashion Club supports the Swansong Fund even if the local benefits are quaint.

DARIEN

Ah, the Szwansong Fund. Is that not the group that gives money to szend sick children to Indian Playland or let Hooters waitresses visit teenage boys that are dyink?

SANDI

<Stiff>

Yes.

DARIEN

<Amused>

Instead of giving it to find the cure for sick children or prevaps find a way that saves young dyink horndogs szo that they may visit a bar on their own pfennig when they are fat old men?

SANDI

Please. That is what taxes and scientists are for. You're a foreigner, of course you wouldn't understand. Half your people eat cabbages all the time, and your major contribution to fashion is the headscarf.

<DARIEN returns the favor and looks SANDI up and down appraisingly.>

DARIEN

Whereas America has introduced the plastic miniskirt and the Payless platform heel.

SANDI

Are you denigrating me?

DARIEN

Do you know, I think I am, you szilly szpoiled child.

SANDI

We will talk.

DARIEN

You do that.

QUINN

<Peevish>

What do you think you're doing? This was not what I told you...

DARIEN

Do you think I care what you planned? I did my best. You will see. I have nothing else to say to you, pig-dog.

QUINN

<Horrified>

What did you call me?

DARIEN

Pig-dog. The translation of a very old Czech insult. It implies that not only are you indiscriminate...

QUINN

<Flouncing off.>

I don't have to listen to this.

<DARIEN looks self-satisfied. QUINN'S three perennial boyfriends, the 3 J'S, do not look as happy with DARIEN'S remarks..>

JOEY

You insulted Quinn!

JEFFY

Yeah!

DARIEN

Ah, yes. Szo I did.

JAMIE

That's not nice.

DARIEN

And you are tellink me this because?

JOEY

We're gonna pound you.

<JOEY, JEFFY and JAMIE all try to menace DARIEN who looks unimpressed, perhaps because as DARIA he has seen their pitiful fights too many times to really fear them. He elbows JOEY in the ribs and trips JEFFY casually.>

DARIEN

<Looks at JAMIE>

You were sayink?

JAMIE

N-nothing

< JOEY and JEFFY look stunned. Intimidated, JAMIE backs into the wall. DARIEN gently pins him to the wall with one hand. He is too terrified to resist as DARIEN slowly pours punch down the front of his shirt.>

DARIEN

It is better not to tangle with a man whose uncle was in the Spetznatz.

JAMIE

Yessir.

<The three J's pick themselves up cautiously and scuttle away. The teachers look disturbed. JANE walks up and catches DARIEN'S arm>

JANE

Cathartic as that was, I think you've done enough damage for one day, Rambo. Apparently even implied testosterone has side effects.

<DARIEN looks abashed but still perversely proud of himself. It is obvious that there is something left of the very physical little girl that used to thump her sister. JANE sees DARIEN to the door.>

JANE

I hope you don't mind, but I'm hungry and I still have some barbecue left. You can change back at my place. You know where the key is.

<DARIEN walk out into the parking lot, followed by SANDI, who stops him, wallet in hand.>

SANDI

How much is she paying you?

DARIEN

Excuse me?

SANDI

<Businesslike>

Oh come on. Older man, girl like her, Eastern Block. I do not think you are in it for her underdeveloped body. I can pay you more. Everyone knows the Lanes aren't rich.

DARIEN

If anyone was doink the payink it would be me. I am not a gigolo for bored bigots, Ms. . Can you not find a date without your checkbook? Goodnight.

<DARIEN starts to walk away.>

SANDI

<Yelling after DARIEN, spitefully.>

What did she promise to do? Marry you for your Green card?

<QUINN comes running out of the GYM.>

QUINN

Was that Sandi? What just happened?

DARIEN

Nothink.

QUINN

Daria...

<DARIEN looks at her coolly and dispassionately. For a moment he looks nothing at all like Daria.

DARIEN

<Emphatic>

Nothink.

<DARIEN trudges off into the night.>

ACT III, Scene 1

LAWNDALE HIGH, THE HALL, the day after the barbecue, end of the day

BRITTANY

<Amazed>

He's smoother than my Kevie?

JANE

Of course he is. He also prefers me to Sandi. And you heard he took on the three J's last night...

BRITTANY

And he saved you from the evil Casey! That is sooo sweet!

JODIE

I hate to say this, but Daria might have had a point yesterday. How much do you know about this guy, and how long have you been involved?

JANE

Oh, I've known him for a while. I only started to get interested towards the end of last summer, but hey, I feel like we've known each other all my life. I just never said anything because I didn't know if he'd show up.

He's a writer who reports on social injustices. Don't let the Clark Kent thing fool you. Once you get him going, he is fiery. Not to mention brilliant and loyal and clever and strong, but those are plusses too, of course.

JODIE

He sounds too good to be real.

JANE

And let me tell you...

<Pan back: DARIA is standing nearby. JANE notices her.>

JANE

Wow, look at the time. Gotta go. Hey, Daria, wait up!

<JANE catches up to DARIA>

JANE

Okay, I'm busted. How much did you hear?

DARIA

Enough.

<Uncomfortable>

Where did all... that... come from?

JANE

<Nervous>

I thought you liked messing with their minds?

<DARIA gives the "Are you serious?" death glare>

JANE

<building confidence>

Well, it is true, sort of. Most of it. Well it could be! Let's face it, Darien hasn't treated my head like a lollypop, isn't a dork with nothing but sports on his mind, and he probably won't drop me for you, unless you're more twisted than I thought, not to mention flexible. In fact, he's a pretty great guy.

<JANE smiles softly.>

Aren't you flattered?

DARIA

<Frustrated and pained>

I'm not Darien!

JANE

<Smirking>

What makes you think I care?

<JANE kisses DARIA in a gentle but romantic way. DARIA starts to respond when JANE pulls back and walks off, whistling happily out of tune. DARIA is shocked and shaken.>

JANE

< Turning back to look at DARIA for a second.>

See you on my birthday! Noon!

ACT III, Scene 2

THE MORGENDORFER HOUSE, THE LIVING ROOM, later.

<DARIA is watching television and looking zombie-like.>

HELEN

Daria? Is something wrong?

<DARIA sits silent in front of the television.>

HELEN

I know I'm not the world's most perceptive mother, but you didn't say a word through dinner.

<DARIA shows no sign of listening.>

HELEN

<Losing patience>

If you don't talk to me, I'll assume it's because I'm a bad mother and I'll take us all to family therapy.

DARIA

<Irritated>

Fine, okay? I got surprised by the fact that things weren't as simple as I thought they were. I guess I was hoping that if I didn't think about it, it would all go away.

HELEN

<Sardonically>

It never does.

DARIA

I know. What do you call it when the world turns upside down and you find out your subconscious has been a making a fool of you and you aren't who you thought you were at all?

HELEN

<Raising her eyebrows and sounding more interested.>

Growing up.

DARIA

And when you can't quite convince yourself to get rid of the evidence?

<HELEN looks down at her immaculate suit and then over at JAKE who is asleep in his chair, rumpled and snoring.>

HELEN

<Gently>

Falling in love.

DARIA

<Looking resigned>

I was afraid of that.

ACT III, Scene 3

THE FRONT DOOR of the LANE HOUSE, Noon, Jane's birthday

<DARIA knocks. JANE answers.>

DARIA

<Full shy mode>

Ummm, hi.

JANE

Hi, yourself. Okay, spill. What did you get me?

DARIA

Nothing much. Just the security footage that shows Casey adding stuff to Tiffany's drink.

JANE

Would this be a gift in my name to the Lawndale P.D.?

DARIA

I think Officer Bob will find it interesting.

JANE

When in doubt, talk to the bored night-watchman?

DARIA

Of course.

JANE

Oh yeah, come in. Trent has some crazy idea that he's going to cook for my birthday, so he invited the guys in the band. Be prepared. Domestic Trent is even scarier than you think.

ACT III, Scene 4

The LANE FAMILY TABLE, later during Jane's Birthday

<TRENT is hovering and MYSTIK SPIRAL is chowing down happily. JANE and DARIA are pick at their food. It is lasagna.>

JESSE

Good food.

TRENT

Thanks. Daria's dad taught me.

<JANE and DARIA roll their eyes.>

JANE

Those Morgendorfers make good stuff.

TRENT

Yeah.

JANE

<Taking another bite gingerly.>

Crunchy, yet unexpectedly sweet.

<Spits out a hard bit.>

You have to watch out, they'll surprise you.

<DARIA gets it. She chokes for a moment, then rights herself.>

DARIA

Interesting interpretation...

TRENT

I added some cumin. Audacity is a Lane Family tradition.

DARIA

<Never taking her eyes off JANE.>

Nothing like a Lane to spice things up.

JANE

<Relaxing>

You know, some like it hot.

<DARIA glares at JANE, who grins sheepishly at the horrible pun.>

JANE

Well it's true...

<DARIA looks away.>

DARIA

<Awkwardly>

It's unexpected, but I think it could get addictive. I think it might be the way I would have wanted it all along if I had known what I was missing.

<TRENT smiles sadly. JANE'S eyes go very wide and she puts down her fork.>

JANE

<Strangled>

Cake, anyone?

ACT III, Scene 5

JANE'S ROOM, Jane's birthday, even later.

JANE

<Satisfied>

Now that's over with. Remind me to have a long talk with your father one of these days.

<Frantically>

Quick, what time is it?

DARIA

<Flustered>

2:35, why?

JANE

<Grins, shrugging off her shirt jacket and undoing her top two buttons.>

I turn 18 at 3:02. You have 27 minutes to help me indulge in lascivious acts and corrupt a minor.

<DARIA stands agape in shock.>

JANE

<Tosses herself on the bed.>

Come on! I intend to be taken advantage of!

<DARIA looks at JANE for a moment, then smiles one of her tiny, truly happy smiles. She starts to take off her jacket.>

ACT III, Scene 6

JANE'S ROOM, Jane's birthday, 3:15 pm.

<JANE looks amazingly content. She is buried up to her neck in covers. DARIA is putting her glasses back on, and is sitting cross-legged on the bed in only her boxers and shirt.>

DARIA

<Quietly, looking at the floor.>

I hope you know this meant something.

JANE

<Sleepily>

More lascivious acts as soon as possible?

DARIA

<Upset, looks at JANE, eyes burning.>

I'm not like that. As far as I'm concerned, I hope this is permanent. There isn't going to be anyone else, Jane, I can't help it.

<Looks back down.>

If you aren't okay with that, I'm not sure what I'll do.

JANE

<Smirks>

Nah, you're about as much as anyone can handle. I wonder if the Hall O'Elvises Chapel has a Vermont branch?

<DARIA looks up with dawning joy. She picks up a pillow and swats JANE with it.>

JANE

<Laughing and fending DARIA off with a pillow. >

Hey, what did I say?

 

CREDITS

END SONG: "The Great Pretender" as sung by The Platters

Transformation 1: Trent as a mournful cowboy, singing the blues

Oh yes I'm the great pretender
Pretending that I'm doing well
My need is such, I pretend too much
I'm lonely, but no one can tell

Transformation 2: Disco Jane

Oh yes I'm the great pretender
Adrift in a world of my own
I play the game, but to my real shame
You've left me to dream all alone

Transformation 3: Quinn as the Evil Queen from Snow White

Too real is this feeling of make believe
Too real when I feel what my heart can't conceal...

Transformation 4: Daria as The Queen of Swords (from the tv show of that name)

Basically, an extremely dashing female Zorro

Oh oh, Yes I'm the great pretender
Just laughing and gay, like a clown
I seem to be what I'm not, you see
I'm wearing my heart like a crown
Pretending that you're still around

Transformation 5: Sandi as a very annoyed Queen of Hearts playing card

Yeah, oh ho
Too real when I feel what my heart can't conceal

Transformation 6: Helen and Jake as 1940's style reporters like Lois Lane and Clark Kent.

(Old style camera, tablets in hand, fedoras with press-passes in the bands and all)

Oh yes, I'm the great pretender
Just laughing and gay, like a clown
I seem to be, what I'm not, you see
I'm wearing my heart like a crown
Pretending that you're
Pretending that you're still around

Written by Grey Bard
With art by Jikei
And writing assistance from RatGrl

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Footnote:
Drahy hlupak means "darling fool" and hezky vetrelec means "handsome imposter" in Czech. (Yes, I am the person with a collection of obscure foreign language dictionaries that you can bother for help with all your esoteric language needs.)

 

 

Grey Bard