Sappy Holidays
A Daria Christmas Story
by Kristin Wegner

Note: Certain parts of this wouldn't have been possible without a needed kick in the butt from Katherine. :)

PART 1: At school. DeMartino has left the room, after a tirade about the insignificance of Christmas. Daria and Jane are discussing plans for winter break.

Jane: So, basically, my parents are shipping the family off to a cabin in Wisconsin for the holidays.

Daria: Ah, yes. Wisconsin. The farming center of the universe.

Jane: Can't get enough of that cheese. What're you up to?

Daria: Just sticking around here, I guess. You know, spending a good old fashioned California Christmas - picking oranges, decorating the fire hazard that is our collapsible Christmas tree-

Jane: Made with real polystyrene and wood scrapings.

Daria: Just like our pioneer forefathers. (sighs) This sucks. What am I gonna do? I'll be stuck going Christmas shopping with Mom and Quinn. Then to the after-Christmas sales.

Jane: Then watching your father lapse into convulsions when he finds the bill.

Daria: Yeah.

Jane: Hmm. Let me think about this. (Brittany speaks up, and they listen for a minute)

Brittany: Oh, Kevin, I just love the holidays. Remember last year?

Kevin: Uh, you mean when we made out under the mistletoe?

Brittany: That wasn't mistletoe, you jerk! It was poison ivy!!!! (she storms out, and Kevin follows, "Hey, Babe - that wasn't ivy, it was just a rash!)

Daria: Kevin had an "outbreak". Well. I think that's more than I wanted to know.

Jane: No kidding. (she pauses) Do you think you could sell your parents on the idea of a "genuine white Christmas"?

Daria: I don't know. Why?

Jane: I have an idea. (the bell rings) Free at last. Come on, I'll explain at my house.

At Jane's house, they sit on her bed watching "Sick Sad Holidays - The Untold Story"

Jane: Huh. Who would have guessed - Rudolph has affiliations with the world of organized crime.

Daria: That would explain the semiautomatic strapped to his sleigh bells. (Jane smirks) So, what was your plan?

Jane: Well, there's a lot of houses for rent in the area - Racine, Wisconsin. So, we have to convince your parents that they've won some sort of vacation trip.

Daria: A vacation trip that they still have to pay for?

Jane: That's the problem. Hmm. What if...I phone the house, pretending to be from some vacation agency?

Daria: Make sure you ask for my dad - he's more gullible.

Jane: I'll give him the information. Then, we send him some kind of bill...say, from Lawndale High...for extra book expenses. Really, REALLY big expenses.

Daria: (catching her train of thought) He bursts a blood vessel, Mom wants to take a vacation, Dad suggests the new place he just heard about...

Jane: Bingo. No more boring Christmas break. You, Jesse, Trent, and I can ditch our families.

Daria: Jesse?

Jane: He's almost family. Trent and Jesse have been best friends since grade school. Trent insisted he come with.

Daria: I trust you had no objection to that.

Jane: (grins) 'Course not. Well, what do you think of my plan?

Daria: (smiles deviously) Operation Avalanche is underway.

Jane: All right. Let's do it. (Daria dials her dad's office and hands the phone to Jane) (she disguises her voice) Yes, may I please speak to Mr. Morgendorffer?

Some time later...all has happened according to plan. Jake sits on the living room couch, with a bag of ice over his eye. Helen herds Quinn and Daria into the room.

Helen: Girls, your father and I have some exciting news for you. Tell them, Jake.

Jake: Girls, we're going to have a White Christmas!

Quinn: Like, wouldn't that require a snow machine, or something?

Daria: Nah. Little paper snowflakes.

Helen: Even better - we're going to Wisconsin!

Quinn: WHAT?!!! We can't! I have dates lined up - I mean, study groups. I can't spend winter break in a cabin!

Jake: Don't worry, kiddo - it's not a cabin, it's a house.

Quinn: But...Wisconsin has, uh, cows. And stuff. (she looks around frantically) Daria, you remember, I'm allergic to cows. Right?

Jake: You are?

Daria: Dad, we don't have cows around here.

Jake: Wait a minute...she's right! No problems then, Quinn, that settles it - we're going!

Helen: Pack your bags, girls - we leave tomorrow morning, bright and early! Our flight leaves at 8:00 sharp!

Daria departs to her room to pack. She dials Jane.

Jane: Yo. How did it go?

Daria: Ok, I guess. Our flight leaves at 8:00.

Jane: Really? Ours too.

Daria: Gate 9?

Jane: Yup

Daria: Weird.

Jane: Yeah. The cool part is, my parents are each flying in from somewhere else, so they won't even be in Racine for awhile.

Daria: Cool. See you tomorrow, I guess.

Jane: Bright and early. Yuck. (she chuckles) Trent's gonna pound me for this one. We have to get up at 6 AM!

PART 2: At the airport - Daria exits the taxi, holding one suitcase and a carry on. Quinn gets out, dragging two huge duffel bags, a suitcase on wheels, and a purse. Jake and Helen each have suitcases and briefcases. After checking their luggage, the Morgendorffers head to the terminal, running into Jane, Trent, and Jesse.

Jane: Well, well, what have we here?

Daria: (faking her surprise) Jane! Gosh, what are you doing here?

Jane: My family is going to Wisconsin. How about you?

Jake: We're going to Wisconsin, too. How about that. What city?

Jane: Racine.

Helen: Same here.

Jake: Isn't that special, Daria? Maybe you and Jenny -

Daria: Jane.

Jake: (trying to be cool) ...Jane can "hang out". That would be "groovy" wouldn't it, girls?

Jane: You bet, Mr. Morgendorffer. Hey, I have an idea...can Daria sit with me on the plane?

Helen: I don't see why not. Just make sure you put your bag in the overhead compartment, sweetie. The stewardesses are particular about that. (both groups present their tickets and step through the gate)

Jane: Come on, Daria - we're in first class.

Jake: Flying "in style" huh Jenny?

Jane: Uh, you got it. (Daria's family moves on, leaving the four teens to locate seats. The curtain is drawn between first and coach) Thought we'd never get rid of them.

Daria: At least you don't have to live with them.

Jane: True. But my family just has different bizarre behavioral tendencies. (she nudges Trent, who is falling asleep standing up) Yo, Trent - snap out of it!

Trent: Oh. Sorry. (he grins sheepishly) Hey Daria.

Jane: Well, I guess we're across this row. (she glances at the tickets) Yeah, this is it.

Jesse: I call a window! (he flops into a seat)

Jane: I call Jesse. (she sits next to him) (Trent rolls his eyes) What?

Trent: (to Daria) Uh, I guess that means we sit...uh, here. (he scuffs his shoe in the carpet) Uh, do you want the window?

Daria: No, uh...go ahead.

Trent: Ok. (he takes the seat. Daria fiddles with her carry on for a few minutes to avoid sitting down) What's in there?

Daria: Deck of cards, pens, paper, parachute - you get the idea. (Trent chuckles)

Trent: So we can keep score of the poker game before the plane goes down in flames, then land safely, huh? (Daria smiles)

Daria: I guess so. (Jane pokes her in the back, and she sticks her bag under the seat, takes a deep breath, and sits down) Hey, Jane?

Jane: Yeah?

Daria: How did you manage to get me into first class?

Jane: Well, our parents travel.

Trent: Constantly.

Jane: So, we already had the frequent flyer miles. We just upgraded your ticket.

Daria: But wouldn't my parents notice?

Jane: Nah, computer code. Mom and Dad have connections.

Daria: You told them about our plan?

Trent: Actually, the first class thing was their idea.

Jane: Never let it be said adults couldn't be devious.

Stewardess: Attendants, prepare the safety instructions.

Jesse: Oh, I hate this part.

Stewardess: In case of emergency, oxygen masks will pop out of the ceiling...

Daria: And chips of molten metal will rain down on your heads. (Trent, Jane and Jesse laugh)

Stewardess: ...Take the mask, place it over your mouth and nose...

Daria: And prepare to implode as all viable oxygen is sucked from your lungs. (more laughter)

Stewardess: In case of a water landing...

Daria: The captain goes down with the ship. (more laughter)

Stewardess: ...the seat cushions can be used as floatation devices...

Daria: Until they become waterlogged, and the sharks drag you to your watery doom.

Trent: (laughing and grinning) Nice work, Daria. Very nice.

Stewardess: (frowning) Attendants, prepare for takeoff.

The plane taxis down the runway and lifts off. Jane leans on Jesse, looking out the window. Trent looks at her and shakes his head. He looks at Daria, who stares at the floor.

Trent: Uh, Daria - you wanna take a look? The mountains are kinda cool.

Daria: Um...Ok. (she leans over, trying not to fall on him, and conscious that Jane is watching) Yeah. That is neat, Trent.

They look out the window, watching the clouds speed past. Jane whispers to Jesse, then leans across the aisle. She shoves Daria closer to Trent at the same time Trent turns to talk to her. Trent and Daria bump heads, and quickly jump away from each other.

Trent: Woah. Sorry. (sheepishly) Gotta watch where I'm turning.

Daria: No it was my fault. I, uh...(she blushes and trails off) (Trent looks back out the window)

Jane: Nice scenery, huh Daria? (Daria checks to make sure Trent isn't looking, then discreetly reaches over and digs her fingernails into Jane's arm)

Daria: Very funny, Jane.

Jane: (grimacing) Just trying to help. (Daria releases her) This ought to be an interesting ride.

Daria: It better not be.

PART 3: Bound for an airport in Milwaukee, our adventurers doze off on the plane. An hour after takeoff, meals arrive. Jane and Daria wake up and eye the food quizzically.

Jane: Daria?

Daria: Yes?

Jane: Are scrambled eggs supposed to be orange and watery?

Daria: I don't know, but my fruit salad is staring at me.

Jane: Where do they get this stuff?

Daria: Good old fashioned cookin' from our government's nuclear test sites. Yum.

The meals arrive in coach. A loud, piercing shriek is heard as Quinn exclaims, "Eeeew!!! This pudding has skin on it!!!!" Trent and Jesse are startled awake.

Jesse: What the hell was that? (he looks at his tray) And what the hell is this?

Jane: This - breakfast. And that...

Daria: That would be Quinn.

Trent: Your sister? (Daria nods) I'm sorry, Daria - your house must be a zoo. My sympathies.

Daria: Thank you, Trent. It is quite an ordeal.

Jesse: No kidding. (he rubs his ears) I think I just lost my hearing.

Jane: As if being in a band hasn't ruined it already. (Jesse rolls his eyes)

Jesse: Seriously, need some kind of warning system or something.

Daria: Well, I suggested the idea to my parents...but they refused to let me spray paint "Quinn is a ditz" on the car. (Trent and Jesse laugh)

Jesse: Well, humor aside...(he eyes his tray with misgiving) What do we do with this slop?

Jane: Hmm...I have an idea. Trent, hand me your toast.

Trent: Uh, sure. (he passes it to her)

Jane: Jesse, Daria - you too. (they pass the toast to Jane) Watch this.

Jane stacks the toast between layers of sausage and eggs. She dumps some pudding on it, and then the fruit salad. Jesse grins and adds salt and pepper. Jane nods in approval and pours a glass of orange juice over the entire mess.

Jane: There, finished. (Daria, Jesse, and Trent applaud) Thank you.

Trent: (laughing) That has got to be the most disgusting thing I have ever seen.

Jane: Ha. Funny. (she scoops up a grape with her spoon) You mock it, you wear it. (the grape narrowly misses him)

Trent: Aw, come on can't be serious.

Jane: Of course not. (grins) I do have my artistic morals, you know. And this isn't art, it's vomit.

Daria: "Vomit." What a title. You'll draw crowds with that one. (Trent smirks)

Jane: (scoops up another grape) Incoming -

Stewardess: Miss? Are you done with your meal?

Daria: (whispers) Strange, I didn't see any meals. (Trent chuckles)

Jane: Uh, yeah. Sure. (the stewardess takes the trays and leaves) Fine, fine - take away my fun.

Jesse: Oh well. They'd probably kick us out of first class if we started a food fight.

Jane: True. But where would they kick us to? The cockpit?

Daria: How stupid of a move would that be? "Uh, air traffic control, we've got a bunch of teenagers staring at us. What's the standard procedure?" (laughter)

Jane: We'd take this plane somewhere cool, like...

Trent: Back home to our nice, comfortable beds. Which somebody dragged me away from at six this morning...(he yawns)

Jane: Yeah, yeah. Tell it to the judge.

Trent: Well, I think I'll catch up on that sleep I missed this morning. (he leans back and shuts his eyes)

Jane: And when do you plan on catching up on the daylight hours you wasted sleeping?

Trent: Sleep is not a waste.

Jesse: No way.

Trent: Every great musician needs to nap. (he and Jesse doze off)

Jane: Every great musician also needs to practice.

Daria: I'm sure they'll take that sage advice to heart, seeing as they're already asleep again.

Jane: Don't say I didn't warn them. (she leans her head on Jesse's shoulder and falls asleep)

A few minutes later...a stewardess walks over and shakes Trent awake.

Stewardess: Sir?

Trent: (reluctantly opens his eyes) Yes?

Stewardess: Do you need a pillow?

Trent: (through clenched teeth) No thank you. (she exits) Oh for the love of...(he turns to Daria)

Does it look like I need a pillow? I'm asleep!! (she smiles)

Daria: Well, what do you expect from a stewardess? If they had the brains, they'd fly the planes.

Trent: (chuckles) Yeah, I guess. (shifts in his seat) I hate early mornings.

Daria: Or early afternoons, for that matter.

Trent: (grins) Uh oh...she's catching on. (he sighs) I guess you're used to getting up early, with school and all.

Daria: Used to it, yes. But I never said I liked it! (he smiles)

Trent: That's the nice part about graduation.

Daria: You mean besides the dressing up? (she grins and he groans)

Trent: Ugh, don't remind me. Stupid school colors - they were really close to making us wear yellow robes for the ceremony. The student body almost staged a riot. (Daria smiles)

Daria: What a fashion statement... "Lawndale High - Lemon Fresh Forever" (he laughs)

Trent: Yeah. Not exactly something anybody wants to be remembered by. (yawns) Well, I'm about ready to drift off again. You?

Daria: Yeah. (she yawns) Talk to you later.

Trent: Uh huh. (he leans his head against the window and falls asleep)

PART 4: Our intrepid bunch is high over Milwaukee as the plane approaches the airport. Increased cabin pressure and beeping seat belt lights have rendered them unable to sleep.

Intercom: Attendants, prepare for landing.

Trent: (groans) Oh...shut up.

Jane: Trent, give up. We have to get off the plane soon anyway. A few minutes sleep isn't gonna make a difference.

Trent: Not to you, maybe. (he reluctantly opens his eyes and sits up, stretching) Erk.

Daria: What?

Trent: Nothing. My back cracked. How much longer 'til we're off this thing?

Daria: Probably half an hour.

Trent: Ok. Hey, Janey?

Jane: Yeah?

Trent: When is everybody meeting us?

Jane: Well, Mom's coming in from Vegas, Dad's flying from Boston, Wind's coming in from Flagstaff...when, who knows?

Trent: Sounds like we'll have some free time before "family togetherness" assails us mercilessly.

Daria: (groans) Don't remind me.

Trent: Oh, don't worry about it. You can hang with us.

Daria: (blushes slightly) That'd be great. Thanks. (Trent grins) Uh, Jane?

Jane: Yes?

Daria: How far away is your cabin?

Jane: You mean, how far away from "Torture Terrace"? Hmmm....a couple miles, I think. Don't worry, though, we're renting a car. We can pick you up.

Daria: Cool. So, uh...what is there to do in Racine?

Jane: Fall through the ice on Lake Michigan, watch icicles form...that's about it.

Daria: Sounds like Lawndale without the snow - Fall through the fault lines and watch the smog clouds form. (Trent and Jesse laugh)

Jane: We'll find stuff to do. The beaches are Ok. Well, when they're not ice slicks.

Daria: Just a minor detail, of course.

Jane: Of course.

Trent: This is gonna be weird, Janey. We haven't been to the cabin since we were kids.

Jane: Yeah. But...we are gonna get there first.

Trent: Before any of our family...

Jane: And you know what that means...

Trent: Our own rooms. Kick ass.

Jane: Yeah. But I hate to see an old tradition broken.

Trent: What's that?

Jane: The one where you and Wind beat each other up over who gets his own room and who has to share one. (Trent shifts uncomfortably) The fight you always lose. Then there's a gigantic snowball fight indoors and you get grounded. (she grins) That tradition. Remember that one?

Trent: Uh, yeah. (he grows flustered) I guess so.

Jesse: (laughing) Funny, I seem to remember you getting grounded more than just holidays...

Trent: Oh, you're going down for that one, pal. (Jane laughs) You too. Just let me find some snow...(he notices Daria start to smile) Uh no, don't you start...

Daria: Nah, I'm all for it. (she points to Jesse and Jane) Whitewash 'em. (Trent smiles)

Gradually, the plane dips down and lands. The runways are covered in snow as a storm sweeps the area. As they exit the plane, Jane and Daria put on heavy coats. Trent and Jesse exchange looks and follow behind them, shivering.

Trent: Yikes, I wasn't expecting this.

Jane: I told you not to pack your coat in your suitcase, moron.

Trent: Well...we were in California. I didn't need it.

Jane: (rolls her eyes) We're not in Kansas anymore.

Jesse: (shaking) Just call me Toto. (Daria and Jane laugh)

Daria: Well, I have to wait for my family. I guess I'll catch you later.

Jane: You've got our phone number. Call us as soon as you reach the house.

Daria: You bet. I'll try to jump ship as soon as I can.

Trent: Cool. Well, see you soon, Daria. We're gonna pick up our stuff. Man, I hope they didn't bust my guitar.

Jesse: Mine either.

Jane: Now, guys, calm down...these luggage handlers are trained professionals.

Trent: Meaning...

Daria: Your guitars did not get smashed.

Jane: And if they did, they'd at least try to glue the cases back together like nothing happened. (Trent and Jesse exchange worried looks. Trent sprints off through the terminal to the baggage claim, with Jesse right behind him. Jane smiles sinisterly) Was it something I said?

PART 5: Daria and family have arrived at the house. As Jake and Helen survey the place, Daria slips off with the phone to call Jane.

Jane: Grand Central Station, how may I help you?

Daria: Put me on the first train out of this loony bin.

Jane: Oh. It's you. What's up over there?

Daria: Well, for starters, Quinn freaked out when she realized we had to share a room.

Jane: Sharing? That's ridiculous. Her ego alone takes up a room.

Daria: Then my parents started reminiscing...

Jane: Uh oh. Let me guess - fireplace, eggnog, mistletoe....oh boy.

Daria: Yeah. My parents getting amorous is REALLY not something I want to be around to see.

Jane: Parental romance. (she cringes) Shivers.

Daria: Convulsions. Please get me out of here. Before I go into toxic shock.

Jane: No problem.

Daria: Thank you. What have you been up to so far?

Jane: Celebrating my freedom.

Daria: Um, I mean...

Jane: Trent? He and Jesse were checking out the fridge, when last I saw them.

Trent's voice is heard in the background - "Hey, Janey! There's like three turkeys in this kitchen!"

Jane: Counting you and Jesse. (silence) Ow!

Daria: What?

Jane: Trent threw an ice cube at me. Anyway, we'll be there as soon as we can. Bye.

Daria: Bye.

Daria heads back to the living room, which is rapidly filling with black smoke.

Helen: Jake, are you sure you remember how to start a fireplace?

Jake: Of course. Trust me, I'm a pro at this.

Daria: Mom? I'm going to Jane's.

Helen: Are you sure her family doesn't mind?

Daria: Not at all. She said they need me buy a turkey.

Helen: Well, I suppose you can...just be back by four. We'll be busy tomorrow, since that's Christmas eve.

Daria: Yeah. (Daria shuffles through the smoke to her suitcase, putting the items she needs into her backpack. She picks up a book and begins to read. A half hour passes..."Where the hell is she?" She packs the book as a horn honks) That's Jane. Bye. (she puts on her coat and exits. Jane stands in the driveway)

Daria: What took you so long? (they hop in the ancient station wagon, Daria and Jane in back. Trent pulls out of the drive)

Jane: Well, remember when I told you the cabin was a few miles away?

Daria: Yeah?

Jane: I lied. We're almost in the middle of nowhere.

Daria: The farther from my family, the better. Where is it really?

Jane: Out in the woods, not far from the lighthouse. (she pauses) I suppose it is only a few miles north from your place, but the woods make it seem like nowhere.

Trent: It just took us forever to get out here 'cause of the snow.

Jesse: Yeah. People up here probably never heard of snowplows.

Jane: Of course, plows aren't a prevalent sight in Lawndale, either.

Daria: So, where are we headed?

Jane: Downtown. Well, you could call it that if you were in a forgiving mood.

Daria: What is there to do?

Jane: Uh, non-major city stuff. Dumb stores-

Trent: -filled with little old ladies who wear puffy-paint kitty sweatshirts-

Jane: -and restaurants and stuff. There's a secondhand shop that's kinda cool.

Daria: So, realistically, nothing.

Jane: Yeah. When I'm up here. I usually paint. Landscapes and stuff.

Trent: I like to sleep a lot in Racine.

Jane: You like to sleep a lot everywhere.

Trent: (frowns) Well, at least you came, Jess.

Jesse: I told you there was no way I could fathom another week with the bacon-grits-eatin' relatives of the deep south. All I ever hear there is, "Cut your hair, Jesse! Get a job, Jesse! Shouldn't you have a girlfriend, Jesse? How the hell did you graduate from high school, Jesse?"

Jane: (coyly) Well, I could help you with one of those areas...

Trent: (pointedly) Yeah Janey, but Jesse likes his hair long. (Daria smirks as Jane frowns) Anyway, Jess, maybe we can drive to Madison. Pick up some girls or hit a club or two.

Jesse: Sounds good, a little window shopping. Are we talking U of W girls?

Trent: Would I suggest anyone else? (both guys smile stupidly at each other) (Daria and Jane look disgusted)

Jane: And that suave sophistication will get you-

Trent: Anywhere.

Jane: Funny, I thought your purpose in life was to avoid college.

Jesse: Well...

Jane: I mean, what if some girl wants to discuss nuclear physics? Then where will you be?

Trent: (raising his eyebrows) Nuclear physics? In Wisconsin?

Daria: (breaking the tension) Don't drink the water. (Jane, Trent, and Jesse laugh)

Trent: Probably shouldn't eat the cheese, either. (he catches Daria's eyes in the rearview mirror and grins)

Jane: (commandingly) Jesse?

Jesse: Yes?

Trent: Uh oh, now you're gonna get it. (Jane and Jesse smack Trent simultaneously) Hey, watch it. I'm trying to drive here.

Jane: Sure you are. (she turns to Jesse) You wouldn't, would you?

Jesse: Window shop? On Christmas? Nah.

Jane: I mean ever.

Jesse: With you, never. (he leans closer and kisses her)

Trent: Ok, break it up. (they don't) (Trent sighs) (he cranks down the window, scoops a handful of snow off the roof of the car and smashes it over Jesse's head) (Daria smirks and Trent grins back)

Jesse: (brushing it off) Very funny. We get the point. (he faces forward again)

Jane: Are we there yet?

Trent: Actually, yes. (he pulls into a parking lot)

PART 6: Everyone exits the car. Jane and Jesse back Trent up against a wall.

Trent: Be nice to me, I've got the car keys.

Jesse: Well....when you put it that! (he and Jane pelt Trent with snow)(Trent ducks behind the car)

Trent: Ok, enough! Truce.

Jesse: Fine. (Jesse and Jane link arms and stroll across the street) (Trent dusts himself off)

Trent: (looking at Daria, sheepishly) Well, I know one sister who's getting charcoal for Christmas. (Daria smiles)

Jane: (over her shoulder) I'm an artist! I draw with charcoal!

Trent: Never mind. (Jane and Jesse laugh)

Daria: I guess I'll have to find a use for it, then.

Trent: Charcoal for you? Nah, I'll get you something nicer than that. (Daria blushes. Trent offers his arm) Shall we?

Daria: Uh, sure.

They link arms and head across. Halfway through the street, they hit a patch of ice. Trent stops and spins Daria around a couple times.

Daria: (laughing) Do you ever stop goofing around?

Trent: Who me? On occasion.

Daria: (looking down the road) Um, car.

Trent: Whoops. (they jog out of the road. The driver honks and gives them a strange look) Friendly people in this town.

Daria: Yeah. Scary.

Jesse: Way to get run over, Trent.

Trent: (grinning) You are really starting to try my patience, you know that?

Jesse: That's the plan. (he nails Trent with another snowball, and takes off running. Trent follows)

Trent: (yelling) We'll meet you two at the cafe in an hour!

Jane: (sighs) Guys. What are they good for?

Daria: Laughing at.

Jane: Exactly. So, that was a rather interesting turn of events...

Daria: What?

Jane: Here comes the Icecapades....

Daria: Shut up. (they wander down the street) So, what now?

Jane: Now, we buy stuff. Stores are a wonderful invention.

Daria: Yes, I suppose I should try to get away from the old trading and bartering system. What stuff we buying? Food?

Jane: Nope, there's tons of food at our cabin. Mom flew in and stocked it last week.

Daria: Why didn't she just stay there?

Jane: Business meeting in Denver. Then on to Vegas.

Daria: Ah. So...

Jane: So, I have to buy stuff for my wacko family. And Jesse. And you.

Daria: Well, I can always use another couple boxes of crap to shove under my bed...

Jane: Seriously. What do you want?

Daria: I don't know. I'm not exactly in the market for a kitty sweatshirt. What do you want?

Jane: Beats me.

Daria: All right then. I'll go buy something for me.

Jane: Ok.

Daria: You go buy something for you.

Jane: Then we switch the boxes.

Daria: And act surprised.

Jane: Clever. And distinctly underhanded.

Daria: Merry Christmas to all.

Jane: Jesse gave me a list of CDs he wanted, so if we both chip in, that takes care of him.

Daria: Sounds good.

Jane: Hmm, what shall we get Trent?

Daria: (looks away) Where's a snowplow when you need one?

Jane: Touché. Anyway, I've got a list of CDs for him, too. (grins) What are you going to give him, Daria?

Daria: Weapons with which to attack you. (sighs) I have no idea, Jane. I mean, he's a good friend.

Jane: Which you have certain feelings for...

Daria: But I don't really know if I want him knowing that. (sighs) What am I gonna do?

Jane: Well, I don't know. Let's just look around. Maybe you'll get some ideas.

Jane and Daria poke around downtown Racine for an hour. Jane locates the CDs for Trent and Jesse and some secondhand clothes for herself. Daria dawdles inside a used book store.

Jane: Come on. We have to go find those two morons. (she looks out the window) Too late. They're right across the street.

Daria: Just a sec. I think I found it. (Jane looks over her shoulder)

Jane: (reading) Crime and Punishment? The Awakening? The Writings of Edgar Allen Poe?

Daria: Those are for me.

Jane: Oh. Happy Holidays. What about...

Daria: I haven't found anything yet. Um, go stall for time. I'll meet you guys in a few minutes.

Jane: Sure. Good luck. (she exits)

Daria: Great. Now what? To be continued....

PART 7: Daria scrambles for a gift for Trent. "Something that says...well...what the hell am I trying to say?" she mumbles.

Clerk: Merry Christmas, perhaps?

Daria: (startled) What?

Clerk: Sorry to break your train of thought. Can I help you, miss?

Daria: (thinking) I'm beyond all help. (she turns to the voice, which belongs to a sandy-haired, blue-eyed man of about twenty-five) Well, maybe. I'm looking

Clerk: A gift? For a certain someone sitting across the street?

Daria: Well, yes. How did you know?

Clerk: I couldn't help overhearing.

Daria: (blushing slightly) Really?

Clerk: Well, that and the fact that he's staring at you. (Daria starts to turn her head) No, wait. He'll stop if you look. Come over here. (he points to a large bookshelf covering part of the window) (Daria peers from behind the books and sees Trent staring at the bookstore, lost in thought) See? What did I tell you?

Daria: Er, thanks for the warning, Mr....

Clerk: Just call me Jack, 'cause in this town, one person don't mean jack. (Daria laughs)

Daria: Really, who are you?

Clerk: I told you, I'm Jack. (he smiles)

Daria: I'm Daria.

Clerk: Introductions aside, let's find your friend a gift, shall we? (he walks between the rows of bookshelves) Now, let me guess...musician?

Daria: (intrigued) Yes, how did you...

Clerk: I know the look. I had a band once. (he thumbs through books) You know, until college. After that, we had to split. And I ended up here. Ta-da. My life story. (Daria smiles) Anyway, as a former musician, I think I know what you're looking for. (he climbs a ladder)

Daria: Ok, shoot.

Clerk: Musicians need inspiration, so give him this.

Daria: A Dictionary of Quotes?

Clerk: I didn't know what to do with it when my girlfriend gave me one, but one rainy day I picked it up and haven't put it down since. That's what got me into this business.

Daria: Ok, but, I'm not...well, we aren't...

Clerk: Together yet? Yeah, I figured that out too. (he hands her the book) Trust me though. He'll get into it. (he pauses) While you're down there, get another copy of Poe. That stuff's good and creepy - it'll get him thinking.

Daria: All right. (she takes another copy) What now?

Clerk: The crowning touch. Here. (he passes her a plain looking, leather-bound book)

Daria: What's this?

Clerk: What's it look like? (he hops off the ladder)

Daria: It's blank.

Clerk: Exactly. Musicians write songs, don't they?

Daria: I've always assumed so.

Clerk: Well, you're all set. Let's wrap this up. (he puts Daria's books in a bag) Oh, I almost forgot. Open the blank book.

Daria: Ok, why?

Clerk: Do it. Take this pen and write what I tell you to.

Daria: But, I...

Clerk: Trust me, Daria. One book fanatic to another.

Daria: All right, if you say so.

Clerk: Ok. "This is the place where all my dreams become realities, and some of my realities become dreams." (Daria writes it)

Daria: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I loved that movie when I was a kid.

Clerk: I still do. Continuing: "To..." Psst-what's his name?

Daria: Trent.

Clerk: Ok. "To Trent, may reality never interrupt your dreams. Merry Christmas, Daria"

Daria: (writing) Um, thanks. But why...

Clerk: Because. (he wraps Trent's books up) There you are.

Daria: Great. Thanks a lot, Jack.

Clerk: No problem, Daria. Good luck. Merry Christmas.

Daria: You too. Bye. (she walks across the street and enters the cafe)(the others are seated at a booth)

Jesse: Hi. What took you so long?

Jane: She was detained by a gorgeous guy. (Trent slumps in his seat)

Jesse: Hey, what did we say about window shopping?

Jane: (pats his shoulder) Oh, you can't window shop from across the street. (they snuggle together)

Daria looks across the street, and sees Jack, who motions for her to sit down by Trent. She does, and he gives her a thumbs up sign and waves good-bye as he closes the book shop.

Trent: (kinda dejected) Hey.

Daria: What's up? You look...

Trent: Tired. (he gestures toward Jane and Jesse and speaks in a half whisper) They've been like this all day.

Daria: (also whispering) Yeah. Kind of irritating, isn't it?

Trent: Well, at least you aren't sharing a cabin with them.

Daria: But I do have my family.

Trent: (grins) You're right. I guess it could be worse. (he yawns) At least I found presents for them quickly.

Jesse: Twenty snowballs in the face does not constitute a Christmas present, Trent.

Daria: (checking her watch) Yikes, I've gotta be back soon.

Jesse: And you plan to obey your parents?

Daria: Damn my persistent conscience. (sighs) Well, I kinda have to. I'm not 18 yet.

Trent: Sucks, doesn't it?

Jesse: Some people turned eighteen awhile ago and still live with their parents...

Trent: (rolls his eyes) So do you, moron.

Jesse: Purely a temporary situation. I can find work...

Trent: (grins) Cough, cough, toll booth...(Jesse punches his arm)

Jesse: No way.

Trent: about lighthouse keeper?

Jesse: That would really suck. Solitary confinement.

Trent: Yeah, but you wouldn't have to live with your parents.

Daria: Count me in. (Trent and Jesse laugh)

A few minutes of driving brings the four back to the Daria's "prison". Daria walks through the door and is assailed by her family.

Jake: Hiya kiddo!

Helen: Daria, I'm so glad you're back! The weather station said it's going to snow tonight. I think you should be indoors.

Daria: I am indoors. (she shuffles to the couch and looks at the TV) Three to five inches? Some blizzard.

Quinn: Yeah, but snow totally dries out my skin. I've gotta find my moisturizer.

Daria: Snow is moist. Why don't you go take a walk in Winter Wonderland?

Quinn: Is that a theme park, or something? (she exits to locate her moisturizer)

Helen: Daria, I have something I have to show you. (she rummages through a bag and pulls out matching white sweatshirts with pink puffy paint kittens chasing yarn) Aren't they adorable? Now we can wear them together!

Daria: (mutters) Somebody's going to kitty heaven.

Helen: What?

Daria: Er, Jane wants to go to the 7-Eleven. And I'm going with.

Jake: Tomorrow? But...well...if you insist...

Daria: Yes. Yes I do. (she clomps up the stairs)

PART 8: Around 2:00 PM on Christmas Eve Day. Daria is packing some of her things into her backpack, such as the presents and her deck of cards. "Hmm...knowing Jane, I'll probably get locked outside with Trent so that we'll have a conversation. I better bring extra clothes." She shoves a pair of jeans and a couple sweatshirts into the bag and zips it shut. A horn honks from the driveway.

Daria: I'm going to Jane's. Bye. (she jogs out the door)

Helen: Keep warm, Daria. It's snowing. Be back by seven tonight.

Jake: Is Daria going somewhere?

Helen: (frowns and hides the matches) Jake, the fire is out.

Jake: Oops. Let me get that. (he dashes off)

Helen: You just don't get it, do you?

Daria jumps in the car, frowning as she sees Jane in the back seat with Jesse again.

Daria: Hi guys. What's up?

Trent: (lowering his voice and gesturing to the back seat) Well, my impatience is rising. Does that count?

Daria: (glancing back) Oh. I see.

Trent: I mean, aren't they running out of oxygen by now?

Daria: What can I say? Annoying sisters delenda est.

Trent: Huh?

Daria: That's Latin for, "must be destroyed."

Trent: (chuckles) I'll have to remember that one. (he clears his throat, nervously) So, um, what time do you have to be back?

Daria: The wardens said parole ends at 7:00.

Trent: Oh. That sucks.

Daria: Well, you have to admit there isn't much to do around here anyway.


Trent: I suppose.

Jane: (breaks off with Jesse for a moment) Christmas caroling.

Trent: No, I don't think we'll be doing that.

Jesse: Christmas concert.

Trent: Now you're talking. Let's find those guitars.

Jane: Wait. We promised Mom and Dad we'd find a tree first.

Trent: Accursed responsibility. (sighs) Well, let's do it.

Jane: Find a place that sells them, Trent.

Trent: Why not just chop one from behind the house?

Jane: Oh no - you are not touching that ax.

Trent: (hopefully) Chain saw?

Jane: No.

Trent: Damn. Can't blame me for trying. (he pulls into a parking lot full of trees) All right. What now?

Jane and Jesse hop out and walk around a bit. Trent takes one look at the two of them and heads in a different direction. Daria shrugs and leans against the car.

Jane: (yelling) Hey Trent! I think this'll work! (Trent finds her and nods)

Trent: Yeah, that should fit Ok. (he hands some money to the tree guy and grabs the tree's trunk) Ok, Jess, give me a hand with this.

Jesse: (takes the top) Ouch! Sure, sure - give me the pointy end.

Jesse and Trent haul the tree over to the car and stop to catch their breath.

Jane: Need some help, guys?

Trent: (glances at Daria) Nah, we've got it.

Trent and Jesse make several half-assed attempts to toss the tree on top of the station wagon.

Jane: Oh brother. You boys are pathetic.

Trent: Are not. (he grips the tree again) Ok, on three...(he counts and they lift - it finally stays put. Trent finishes lashing the tree to the roof, and everybody hops back in the car) About time. (he starts the car and pulls onto the road) Stupid pine tree. My coat has sap all over it.

Jane: Pathetic.

Trent: (deviously) Jesse? (Jesse threatens Jane with his sap-covered hands) (she shakes her head) Thank you.

Several minutes of driving bring them to the Lane's cabin. It is fairly isolated, and in addition to that, is surrounded by huge snowdrifts. Trent has trouble guiding the car towards the upward sloping, icy driveway.

Trent: I don't like the looks of this.

Jesse: You can make it. Pull in.

Trent: All right, hang on.

Trent gets the car onto the drive, but can't drive up more than a few feet before the tires start to spin

Trent: Damn snow. (he pounds his fist on the dashboard) This sucks.

Jesse: Yeah. Back out and try it again. (Trent pulls out of the drive and backs down the road) All right, gun it!

Trent steps on the accelerator and the tires spin for a moment. Suddenly, they catch and the car shoots forward. Trent makes the turn and the car climbs halfway up the slope.

Jesse: Nice work. You made it!

Trent is about to respond when the tires fail. Panicked, he spins them furiously but to no avail - the car slides back down the steep driveway.

Trent: Oh crap. Hang on guys!

He jams on the brakes and the car fishtails out of control down the drive. Jane and Daria scream, followed by Jesse. The car bounces into the road, spinning across the icy pavement. It slams into a snow bank across the road.

PART 9: The station wagon comes to a crashing stop in a snow drift. Slowly, Trent unclenches his hands from the wheel.

Trent: (shaken) Oh everybody all right?

Jesse: I'm fine. Jane?

Jane: Yeah. (she rubs a bruise on her arm)

Trent: Daria? (he reaches a shaking hand toward her and helps her sit up) You OK?

Daria: I think so. (she puts a hand to her forehead and feels a bump forming) Nothing a little aspirin won't fix.

Jane and Jesse get out. Jane crunches up the path to unlock the cabin, while Jesse surveys the damage. Daria is unable to leave because the passenger side is stuck in the snow. Trent sits silent in the driver's seat, staring at the snow bank and shaking.

Daria: Trent? What about you? Are you Ok?

Trent: (softly) No. I really don't feel...(he pales and quickly exits the car. Jesse notices and steers him behind a tree. Trent kneels down in the snow, gagging)

Daria: (climbing over the driver's seat and out of the car) Jesse?

Jesse shakes his head and motions for her to head inside. Daria carefully creeps her way up the slope. She pauses and studies the ground for a moment. "Odd, the ice is thicker here." She follows the ice towards its source, a burst pipe by the side of the house.

Daria: Hey Jesse! (he climbs up the drive) Look at this.

Jesse: So that's it. I was wondering where all that ice came from.

Daria: These pipes look pretty old. They must not have been used for awhile, so pressure built up and...well...

Jesse: If only we'd known...(shakes his head) I never should have told Trent to try it. He had no chance on this ice slick.

Daria: Rental cars don't exactly have the best tires either.

Jesse: What a mess. (they hear a shuffling sound and turn to see Trent limping up the drive)

Daria: (walking next to him) Better?

Trent: Not really. (he winces as he puts weight on his right ankle)

Daria: What happened to your leg?

Trent: Ankle. Twisted it between the floor pedals, I guess.

Daria: Maybe you should go lie down for awhile.

Trent: (sighs) Yeah. Listen...I'm really sorry about this whole mess...

Daria: It wasn't your fault, Trent.

Jesse: The pipes burst all over the drive. Look. (he enters the house and goes to Jane in the kitchen)

Trent: (eyes widening as he surveys the pipes) Yikes. (he shudders) I never knew winter could be so dangerous.

Daria: None of us did. (they enter the cabin and shut the door)

Trent shuffles to the couch and sits down, shaking. Daria sits next to him, trying to meet his eyes, but he only stares at the floor. She quietly reaches over and pats his shoulder.

Daria: Relax. It's over.

Trent: Yeah. (he leans back and closes his eyes) Man, I swear my heart stopped.

Daria: Mine too. But we're fine. All of us. (she meets his eyes) Get some rest. Ok?

Trent: (smiles weakly) Sure. (he limps over to the stairs and carefully heads up to his room)

Daria joins Jane and Jesse in the kitchen.

Daria: Hey, got any Tylenol?

Jane: You too, huh? (she gulps two of them and passes two to Daria)

Daria: Thanks. (she swallows them) You guys all right?

Jane: My arm is kinda sore, but it's nothing serious. Jess?

Jesse: Headache. (Jane passes him two Tylenol) Thanks.

Daria: Hit the window?

Jesse: Right here. (he points to a bruise on his forehead)

Daria: Me too.

Jane: (gesturing to the Tylenol) Hey Jess, why don't you take a couple up to Trent?

Jesse: Er, probably shouldn't. He's...kinda queasy.

Jane: Ok. I'll leave them out though. He'll want something for that ankle. (they exit the kitchen)

Jesse: Well, what now?

Daria: Er...something to pass the time. What kind of board games do you have, Jane?

Jane: Hmm...(she rummages through a closet) Monopoly...Clue...a couple puzzles...and Candyland. (she pauses) Candyland? What were my parents thinking?

Daria: Let's try Clue. Sound Ok?

Jesse: Sure. (Jane retrieves the game and they begin)(an hour passes)

Daria: Hmm...Professor the library...

Jane: With a big book of Calculus Equations. (Daria and Jesse look up, perplexed) That could kill anybody.

Jesse: I'll agree to that one. What about...Miss the lounge...

Daria: With diamond studded pool cue?

Jane: Through the heart. Now that would hurt.

Daria: What the art studio...with a big easel.

Jane: Ooh, an easel smacking. Now there's a crime. a classroom...

Daria: Death by boredom. (Jane and Jesse laugh)

PART 10: Jane, Daria, and Jesse are engrossed in Clue. Trent wakes up and shuffles down the stairs, groaning.

Trent: (wincing) This sucks.

Jane: Nice to see you too. How're you feeling?

Trent: I'm all right. (he eases himself onto the couch next to Daria and props his right foot up) Ouch. Maybe not.

Jane: Hey Jess - let's get the painkillers.

Jesse: Yup. (they head to the kitchen)

Trent: (to Jane) Did anything happen while I was asleep?

Jane: (yelling back from kitchen) You mean besides the communist takeover? Nah. (he rolls his eyes) But there were a couple messages on the machine - Mom called from Vegas and said flights have been delayed with all the snow up here. Dad's stuck too.

Trent: What about Wind?

Jane: Even if flights weren't delayed here, Wind would still be stuck. Flagstaff is snowed in. All the nearest airports have been shut down.

Trent: Huh, it figures.

Daria: What?

Trent: The one sibling I can get along with... (Jane chucks the plastic Clue wrench at him) Ow! See what I mean? (Daria smirks)

Daria: You are feeling better.

Trent: Yeah. My sense of humor has returned. Such as it is. (Daria smiles) How are you?

Daria: No major injuries, (she gestures to the game) although Mr. Plum is in for a lawsuit. (Trent laughs)

Trent: Good. Serves him right for bashing that guy's head in with a pipe.

Daria: Candlestick, actually. Jesse had the pipe.

Jesse: (entering the room) What did I do?

Trent: Murder in the first, apparently.

Jesse: No way. I'm too...uh...sane to be a murderer.

Trent: Wanna bet?

Jesse: Is somebody looking for an icicle through the head? (Trent shakes his head submissively) I thought not.

Jane: I think we've all seen enough snow for awhile. (she hands Trent the pills and water)

Trent: Thanks Janey.

Daria: Speaking of snow, I wonder how my family is taking to this blizzard.

Jane: Princess Grace is probably lost in it.

Daria: We can only hope. (laughter)

Jesse: I think I'm gonna try to back the car out, Ok Trent?

Trent: Go for it. I'd help you but...(he gestures to his ankle)

Jesse: Don't worry. I've got it. Keys? (Trent tosses them) Thanks. Jane, you wanna give me a hand?

Jane: Sure. (they put coats on again) Shovels are in the shed.

Jesse: Ok, let's go. (he opens the door and they stop dead in their tracks) Oh boy.

Jane: Damn.

Daria: What's up? (she walks to the door and Trent limps after her)

The four stand at the door, looking out at the sweeping storm. The car is buried in the snowdrift, nothing visible but the bumper. Snow has piled up all around the cabin, several feet high in some spots. More snow continues to float down, blowing into their faces. Jesse shivers.

Jesse: (shutting the door) Oh crap. Now what?

Daria: Looks like we're stuck here. I'm not walking home in that slop.

Trent: We wouldn't make you. (he limps back to the couch)

Daria: I'll just call and tell

Jane: The roads are closed. I mean, they've gotta be, at least the ones around here.

Daria: Yeah. Well, this is a pleasant surprise. No family.

Trent: Maybe this will be a fun Christmas after all.

Daria: Getting better all the time, except for that little adventure we had with the car.

Trent: I hate station wagons. And driveways. And stupid traction-less tires.

Jane: And anything that disturbs your naps. (he rolls his eyes)

Daria: Well, I'm gonna call. Where's the phone?

Jane: Kitchen.

Daria: (dials and waits) Hello, Mom?

Helen: Daria? Where are you? It's snowing really bad and I think you should be indoors.

Daria: I am indoors. (Jane, Trent, and Jesse laugh in the background)

Helen: I mean, I think you should come home. It's snowing.

Daria: Yes, we've established the fact that it's snowing. Mom, I can't come home. I'm at Jane's and the roads are closed.

Helen: Your father will come get you.

Daria: Mom, the snowplows aren't out, it's snowing like crazy, and the roads are covered in ice. Don't send Dad out - you know he'll just get lost anyway.

Helen: You have a point...but are you sure Jane's family doesn't mind?

Daria: Everything is fine.

Helen: But Daria - (a click sounds...then nothing.)

Daria: Hello? Hello? (she smiles) Saved. (she runs to the living room) Hey Jane - phone's dead.

Jane: Cool. We've completely severed contact with the outside world.

Jesse: Our own private Twilight Zone. (the lights flicker and go out)

Trent: Well, you got the Twilight part right.

Jane: What a mess. Well, Daria, welcome to your new home.

Jesse: And for quite some time, it seems.

PART 11: After locating some candles and flashlights to combat the power outage, our four suburban adventurers sit in stunned silence.

Jane: Well, this is an interesting turn of events...

Daria: I hope I'm not gonna be too much of a bother.

Jane: Relax, Daria. It's no big deal...we can share bedrooms. (she looks up at Jesse with a stupid grin)

Trent: (frowning at Jane) Don't even think about it.

Jesse: Trent, I think we forgot something.

Trent: What?

Jesse: The tree. It's still on the car.

Trent: Oh yeah. (looks out the window) But it's kinda snowed in right now.

Jane: No power, anyway. That means no lights.

Jesse: And that means no point in hauling it up here. (he shrugs) So what do we do in the mean time?

Trent: Start the fireplace. It's freezing in here.

Jane: Good idea. Jesse, let's find the matches. (they head to the kitchen)

Trent: "Jesse, let's get the painkillers." "Jesse, let's find the matches." (he looks at Daria) Do they think we don't know what's going on? (rolls his eyes) I shoulda left Jess at home.

Daria: Why? Does it make you nervous? (she claps her hand over her mouth, embarrassed)

Trent: Uh, actually...I guess maybe it does. I mean, my best friend...and my little sister....

Daria: (pointing to the kitchen) They don't seem to have a problem with it.

Trent: Well, I wouldn't say I have a problem with it...I just kinda feel...awkward. Like I should be spending time with my girl too.

Daria: (heart in her throat) Did her in Lawndale?

Trent: Me? (he grows flustered) Well...I don't really have one. (he shakes his head) I can't believe I just said that.

Daria: (relieved) Why?

Trent:, don't really discuss stuff like this. (he looks up impatiently) Janey, did you find those matches yet?

Jane: (after a pause) Not yet. Give me a minute.

Trent: Ergh. (he shuts his eyes and leans back against the couch)

Daria: Yeah. My words exactly. (Trent smiles and thinks for a moment)

Trent: So, what about you?

Daria: Huh?

Trent: Did you leave anyone back in Lawndale?

Daria: (blushing) No. (she stumbles for a quick remark) But I wish I'd left my family back there.

Trent: (chuckling) Well, they're out of the picture now. Must be kinda nice.

Daria: You've got that right. (Jane and Jesse enter) So the ambassadors return.

Jane: (frowning) Yes, we come bearing a gift - matches from the embassy.

Jesse: Enough with the formalities, let's get this fire started.

After arranging the firewood for several minutes, Jesse finally succeeds in getting the spark to catch. (How cryptic...) Soon a suitable fire blazes.

Trent: There. That's better.

Jane: Yeah. So what now?

Jesse: How about Christmas presents? There's nothing else to do.

Trent: All right. We have a plan. Be right back. (he carefully stands and shuffles up the stairs)

Daria: Jane, have you seen my backpack?

Jane: Yeah. It's by the door. (she retrieves her gifts from the hall closet) (Daria takes hers out of the bag) Jess, where's your stuff?

Jesse: (innocently) I was supposed to go shopping? (Jane rolls her eyes) Just kidding. I'll get 'em.

Once the four are reassembled, they begin. Jesse grins at the CD's from Jane and Daria. Trent hands him a box next.

Jesse: Hey, my shirt. (he pulls it out of the box, grinning)

Trent: The debt is canceled.

Jesse: Cool. Thanks.

Jane: You gave him his own shirt for Christmas? (Trent and Jesse nod as if it's nothing unusual) Guys are weird. (she passes a box to Trent)

Trent: (unwrapping) Kick ass. (he examines the CD's) Where did you find these?

Jane: The music store.

Trent: No, really? (he shakes his head) Ask a stupid question...(he picks up a box) Here Janey.

Jane: that's a pair of scissors. (she pulls them out of the paper) Nice. Very nice.

Daria: I change my answer. The murderer was the living room...with the scissors.

Jane: Don't give me any ideas. DeMartino's head would look nice on a platter.

Trent: Please. It's Christmas. (he pretends to shiver) Don't bring up those awful high school flashbacks.

Jesse: I think I've repressed most of those memories.

PART 12: Gift exchange continues...

Jane: Ooh...The perfect outfit. ever did you guess?

Daria: know...I have my ways.

Jane: Here's yours.

Daria: Well, well...what do you know...Edgar Allen Poe.

Jane: Surprise! (she and Daria exchange devious looks)

Trent: Poe...isn't he that weird writer guy who said something about hearing a hideous heart?

Jesse: He was probably delirious.

Trent: Yeah. What a psycho. (Daria shifts uncomfortably) I mean, what was that guy on?

Jesse: Yeah. And what about that other thing he wrote? Something about a bird...

Daria: "The Raven" ?

Jesse: Yeah. We read that in school that was pointless. (Daria hides Trent's gift behind her back, embarrassed)

Daria: (softly, to Jane) Oh crap.

Jane: What?

Daria: (frowns and whispers) Take a wild guess as to what's in this box.

Jane: frowns) Stall for time.

Daria: How?

Jane: Er, Jesse - why don't you be Santa next?

Jesse: Huh?

Trent: She means give us our presents, moron.

Jane: Way to be blunt, Trent.

Trent: Well, I try. (Jesse hands him a box) Hey, all right - new strings. Mystik Spiral is back in action.

Jane: You mean missing in action.

Trent: Ha ha.

Jesse: Knock it off, you two. (he picks up another box) Here Daria.

Daria: Er, thanks. (she unwraps it and takes out a fancy looking notebook and matching pen) Wow. This is really neat. Thanks Jesse.

Jesse: I'm glad you like it. Trent said you were into that kind of stuff. (Trent elbows him nervously) Well, last and certainly not least...(he hands Jane a small box wrapped in gold paper. She smiles and pulls the paper off...)

Jane: Jesse...this is beautiful! (she lifts out a tiny gold charm on a gold chain - it's a miniature palette and paintbrush) Where did you find this?

Jesse: Not here, that's for sure. I bought it before we left Lawndale.

Jane: (holding it closer to the candle) This is really cool. (she leans over and gives him a kiss. Daria and Trent look away) Thank you so much. (he smiles and takes her hand. They stand up and head through the kitchen to the sun room (which obviously isn't very sunny at the moment) Jane motions for Daria to talk to Trent)

Daria: Well...that was rather...

Trent: Incredibly awkward?

Daria: Exactly. (she glances at the fire nervously) So...uh...what does the Lane family usually do on the holidays?

Trent: Sleep. Eat. Argue. Sleep some more. What about your family?

Daria: We attend "social functions."

Trent: Meaning...

Daria: Visiting the relatives. You know, "Quality Family Time"

Trent: Yuck. I hate that. Family parties...

Daria: Yeah. The kind where you paste on a smile, polish your tarnished manners, and pray that the punch has been spiked. (Trent laughs)

Trent: And even if it has, it doesn't help much. (he smiles, then pauses) What are you hiding behind your back?

Daria: The Bill of Rights. (he chuckles)

Trent: No, really. From here it kinda looks like a box...(the light dawns) Did you, er, is

Daria: Well, yeah...I (she hands the box to him, biting her lip)

Trent: Oh...(he ducks his head shyly)...thanks didn't have to.

Daria: I wanted to. (she finally meets his eyes)

Trent: Well, just so you don't think I'm a complete jerk...I got you something too. (he fumbles around in the pile of discarded wrapping paper) Here.

Daria: Thanks Trent. (she takes the box and sits awkwardly holding it) (Trent holds his box) (neither open them) Well, um, I guess we should...uh..

Trent: Yeah. Ok. You wanna go first?

Daria: Uh, no you go first.

Trent: Sure. (he grins sheepishly and tears open the paper....)

PART 13: Jane and Jesse have relocated themselves in the sun room. They sit close together on a bench, watching the snow fall. (among other things, of which I won't go into detail) Trent is in the process of unwrapping his gift from Daria. She sits biting her lip in trepidation, especially after Jesse and Trent's negative comments about Edgar Allen Poe.

Daria: (worriedly turning over thoughts in her mind) Why did I listen to that kooky bookstore guy? (mumbles) Because you were absolutely desperate, Daria.

Trent: (pauses and looks up) Huh?

Daria: Er, nothing. (thinks) Great. Now he thinks I talk to myself. But I suppose I do talk to myself. Well, after all, not many other people on this planet are worthy of conversation...dammit, Daria, quit thinking for once!

Trent: (noticing her darting eyes) Uh, Daria? Something wrong?

Daria: I suppose you wouldn't buy the excuse that I miss my family?

Trent: No way in hell. What is it, really?

Daria: You'll see. Open it.

Trent: Is that what you're worried about? (she nods) Don't be. As long as it's not a bomb, a parking ticket, or a gift certificate to Wal-mart, I'll be happy. (Daria smiles slightly, in spite of herself) (Trent raises his eyebrows mischievously) It's not a bomb, is it?

Daria: You really think I'd try to blow up a friend? Seeing as I have...what, a whopping three of them? (Trent smiles)

Trent: Okay. I suppose it's safe. (he shakes out the books, and muses over them for a moment) Hmm, books. I'll be honest, I don't have too many of these.

Daria: Overdue library books?

Trent: Well, I believe their status is officially "missing" by now. (he starts to read the titles) Edgar Allen Poe...hey, weren't we just talking...(he realizes what Daria is thinking)...oh yeah. We kinda ran him into the ground, didn't we?

Daria: To put it mildly...

Trent: Sorry about that. I was just saying that stuff because I thought you all thought it was funny.

Daria: Well, it was sorta funny, now that I think about it.

Trent: Yeah, but...well, oops. (he pauses, in thought) Do you remember that creepy author-guy who had some story...I think it was about killing his wife...yeah. And that cat kept following him around...

Daria: But when he hid the body, the cat disappeared...

Trent: And the police heard the cat through the wall, pulled down the wall, and found the cat on top of her head. Who wrote that? That was a good ghost story.

Daria: He did.

Trent: (holding up the book) This guy?

Daria: Yeah.

Trent: Must have had my authors crossed. I thought Poe was the guy who went out in the know, that pond guy...

Daria: That was Thoreau.

Trent: Ah. That's the guy I don't like. All I remember from English class is Mr. O'Neill reading his was really boring.

Daria: You mean, Walden? When Thoreau was talking about how he got to know all the types of fish in the pond, and how deep it was, and how it was affected by rain...yeah. That was too much. Utterly desperate rambling. I think solitude must go to your head after awhile.

Trent: No kidding. Well, what else is here? (he takes the next book) Dictionary of Quotes.

Daria: I marked a couple of good ones.

Trent: All right. (he chooses one) "See the happy moron, he doesn't give a damn. I wish I were a moron, My God! Perhaps I am!" (he chuckles) "I'd rather be right than be President." Hey, cool. This is kinda funny.

Daria: It has some serious lines, too.

Trent: Neat. More song ideas. I can always use those. (he picks up the last book) This one doesn't have a title. (he pages through) Or any words. Now there's a nice simple plot for you.

Daria: It's a... well, somewhere to write down your songs.

Trent: Wow. This is useful. (he grins) Do you know where my songs are now? (she shakes her head) All over the place. I found a couple lyric sheets under my bed the other day. Jesse found one in his car. I've got little bits and pieces scattered everywhere. In fact, when I know I'm gonna need a particular song, I have to tape it to my door so I'll see it on the way out. (he taps the book and smiles) This is just what I needed, Daria. Thank you.

Daria: I'm glad you like it. (they sit in awkward silence for a moment)

Trent: Well?

Daria: Well what?

Trent: Aren't you going to open yours?

Daria: Well, in theory, keeping it closed forever would give it unlimited possibilities...

Trent: (swallows again) You're making me nervous. Open it.

Daria: Well, here goes nothing. (thinking) Here goes everything.

She begins to tug the paper off the box. It's about the size of a fact, it is a lunch box. She turns it over in her hands curiously until she sees the label on the top, "Magnetic Poetry." A smile slowly sneaks its way past her stoic stance.

Daria: Is this what I think it is?

Trent: Well, if you think it's a lunch box full of magnets...

Daria: I love messing around with these things in stores. You can write the most idiotic drivel, then hide around the corner and watch people read it. How did you know I wanted one of these? Did you consult Jane, or did you just guess?

Trent: (solemnly) Yes.

Daria: It wasn't a yes or no question.

Trent: (grinning) I know.

Daria: Wow. This does have unlimited possibilities. (she opens the box and begins pulling out words) Hmm...let's see...

PART 14: Daria begins to pull apart the magnets until she has individual words. She and Trent lean over the box, selecting random words and sticking them together.

Trent: Hey - "potato sauce". Yuck. That doesn't sound too appealing.

Daria: What about "pickle coffee"?

Trent: Ugh. (he rearranges a few words) There.

Daria: "do you fight tuna?" I can't say I ever have. (she mixes more words into the pile)

Trent: "the tuna fights delirious cheese". (he starts to chuckle) I don't get it. This is total nonsense, but for some reason it's really funny. (he selects a few choice words) What about this?

Daria: "raw tuna gobbles delirious potato sauce". That's a rather interesting mental picture. (she pauses thoughtfully) I wonder if this is good for writing serious things. (she begins to pick out other words)

Trent: Do you have an idea?

Daria: Sort of. (she dumps out the remaining words and shuts the box, standing it upright so that Trent can't see what she's composing)

Trent: Mind if I write something on the other side? I have an idea too.

Daria: Be my guest.

For several minutes they sit in silence, speaking only when locating words.

Daria: Do you happen to have a "was"?

Trent: Sure. (he tosses the magnet to her) Have you seen any I's?

Daria: Nope. Go fish. (Trent rummages through the pile) There. Done.

Trent: Just a sec. (he places the I) All right. What did you write?

Daria: No, you go first.

Trent: No, you. (they stare blankly at each other for a moment)

Daria: Ok, what about this - on the count of three, we flip the box.

Trent: Deal. One, two...three. (he turns the box and they begin o read each other's compositions)

Daria's Words:

"I was staring into the water

watching the silent sky stir

until my fall broke the still reflection"

Trent's Words:

"Music is not a smoke screen

I can not hide my moods behind it because they fill the notes"

Daria: Yikes. I guess this gift can be used to say serious things.

Trent: Yeah. (he reads her lines again) Daria, you can write like a poet.

Daria: Yeah. Scary, huh?

Trent: I mean it. That stuff would be great in a song.

Daria: Look who's talking. You've got some good looking lyrics there, too.

Trent: (brightening) Yeah. I guess I do. (pause) And I've got just the place to put them. Wait a minute. (he scrounges through the wrapping paper for his new songbook) Daria, you must be psychic.

Daria: (smiling) Psychic, telepathic...but be careful. If you combine the two, you get psychopathic.

Trent: There you go again....slow down! (he starts to scribble frantically) I don't know how you do it, but you certainly have a way with words.

Daria: That means a lot, Trent. Thank you. (Trent finishes and closes the book, but something catches his eye...)

Trent: Hey, there's something in here already. (he reads the inscription - the one Jack, "the kooky bookstore guy", had dictated to Daria) "May reality never interrupt your dreams." Did you write that, too?

Daria: It's my handwriting, but I can't claim the quote. It was just...something I heard somewhere.

Trent: Oh. Cool. (he reads it again) "...never interrupt your dreams" that an invitation to sleep late? (he grins)

Daria: Sleep late, pursue your goals...whichever you deem worthy at the time.

Trent: I wonder if I can do both? Well, there's only one way to find out. (he yawns)

Daria: I'll pass the word on to Jane and Jesse not to wake you up tomorrow.

Trent: (smiles) That's not what I meant. I already know I can sleep late...but I don't know about other things.

Daria: Such as...

Trent: (fumbling for an answer) You And stuff...certain people...

Daria: You mean, the future?

Trent: Yeah. There's certain people I just can't imagine my life without. Like the band. (he swallows) And Janey. (he finds himself rambling) Maybe we argue a lot, but when she goes to art school, I'll really miss her. (he gulps and averts his eyes as he speaks) And you.

Daria: (taken aback) Me? But...why?

Trent: Well...b-because...(he wasn't expecting her to ask) have great ideas...and because you can write...and well...uh...(he stammers to a halt and bites his lip)

Daria: If I didn't know better, I'd say you were...

Trent: (meeting her eyes and reading her thoughts) ...falling in love? (he sighs and hangs his head) Does that sound crazy to you?

Daria: Well, I suppose anybody would have to be a little crazy to fall in love...especially with me.

But no, Trent. I don't think that sounds so crazy.

Trent: Why?

Daria: thinks to herself: He's telling you his deepest secrets, Daria. Say something!!!)...because I find myself in a similar situation.

Trent: (turning away) I thought you said you didn't leave anyone in Lawndale.

Daria: I didn't. He's right here.

Trent: (disbelieving) Who, me?

Daria: Is anyone else in this room? (he brightens a bit) I mean, I'm not talking about the fireplace...

Trent: Well, I suppose if you were a might be attracted to the light.

Daria: Seeing as I'm not a moth...Trent, do I have to spell this out?

Trent: (smiling) No. I understand.

Daria: Good. (they sit in awkward silence for awhile...)

Trent: what?

Daria: Beats me. (she shakes her head) I should let you know...this has to have been, hands down, the most forward conversation I have ever had.

Trent: Same here. I didn't know I had it in me.

Daria: Well...after all this, I suppose anything's possible.

Trent: How so?

Daria: I got away from my family, yours never caught up with you, we got rid of those two trouble makers... (she gestures in the direction of Jane and Jesse)

Trent: And we had this conversation. Wow. What a holiday.

Daria: Yeah. Kind of a happy one.

Trent: It's a welcome change from my usual crappy holidays.

Daria: Or what Jane and Jesse seem to be having...

Trent: What's that?

Daria: A sappy holiday. (he smirks)

Voice: I heard that. (Jane and Jesse wander back into the room)

Jane: You two are ridiculous.

Trent: Huh?

Jesse: These walls are thin...

Trent: (looking at Daria nervously) Uh oh.

Jane: Where's a tape recorder when you need one?

Daria: (glaring) You didn't.

Jane: Nah. I wouldn't. Just be glad I'm not a spokesperson for Sick Sad World.

Jesse: Yeah. "Tune in next time for our breaking story - Teenage couple has lengthy conversation about -"

Trent: (frowning) Can it. We get the picture. (he kicks Jesse in the shin)

Jesse: (rubbing his leg) Er, consider it canned.

Jane: (bending over to retrieve Daria's lunch box) What's this? "raw tuna gobbles delirious potato sauce"?

Daria: It's a long story.

Jane: Cool. Let's make it longer. (she selects a few words) "Once upon a time two people fell in love (she hunts for a moment) but it took them -" Hey, there's no swears. Well, I'll have to improvise... "a dam long time"

Daria: (continuing the phrase) "they were trapped in a cabin in the snow"

Trent: (adding words) "but managed to escape the help of family life" (they all look up at him) Cover up the P in help.

Jane: Oh.

Jesse: "and they all lived sappily ever after"

Daria: I certainly hope not.

THE END (and it's way overdue, I might add. Don't give me that look. It was fate...yeah, that's it. I had to finish it exactly a month after Christmas.)