A Night To Remember To Forget
by Firah
Copyright August 2001 

Synopsis: Stacy and Upchuck go on a date. 

All characters are property of MTV/Viacom, Glenn Eichler, Susie Lewis-Lynn, and the staff of Daria. The story itself is mine. If you wish to post this story to your site please do not change or alter this work of fiction. Please feel free to post this story but leave my email address for further feedback or comments.

This story takes place during Season Five. There are some light spoilers in this story, specifically for the episode "Life In The Past Lane"
I also reference scenes in other Season Five episodes as well. 
For those that have seen these episodes, you will know what they are. 

For those that have not, then these references should not detract from the story in any way. 

My special thanks to MMan for beta-reading this story. His suggestions and encouragement were gratefully appreciated. 

This story is dedicated to Mr. Anonymous.

Beginning of Act I 

<SCENE - Wide shot of Stacy Rowe's bedroom (see the episodes Gifted and Art Burn). Stacy enters through the door wrapped in a towel. Her signature braids are gone. You notice that her hair, although wet and slicked back, is slightly wavy. As she dries her hair with another towel she stops by the nightstand to cut on the clock radio. Willa Ford's "I Wanna Be Bad" starts playing. Stacy walks up to the mirror and starts doing the 'towel-dance' to the music. > 

(You know...THE TOWEL DANCE? The one that every teenage girl has done since time immemorial? Well since the invention of the towel anyway.) 

Stacy smiles at herself in the mirror and executes some teen-pop-diva moves, but before the dance becomes too burlesque, she dances her way into her walk in closet and out of sight. 

<SHIFT SCENE - Close up of the phone on Stacy' nightstand. The phone starts to ring loudly over the music. The phone rings 2 and a half times and then stops. > 

<SHIFT SCENE - Back to the wide shot of Stacy Rowe's bedroom again. > 

Stacy's mother: (Off screen) Stacy! Telephone! 

Stacy: (Off screen: In the walk in closet) Who is it Mom? 

Stacy's mother: (Off Screen) It's Charles! 

Stacy walks out of the closet wearing only a dark blue half shirt and a pair of white cotton panties. The half shirt has the Fantastic Four logo on the front. Her hair is still down but a little drier, its draped down both sides of her face, flowing over her shoulders and down her back. She sits on the edge of the bed, picks up the entire phone, and sets it in her lap. She picks up the receiver and reaches over the nightstand to turn down the radio at the same time. 

Stacy: Hello? Charles? 

Charles: Why helloooo my sweet. 

Stacy: Hold on a minute Charles okay? (Stacy covers the mouthpiece of the phone and shouts over her shoulder) Mom! You can hang up the phone now! I got it! (She places the phone back to her ear and hears the familiar clicking sound of her mother hanging up the other phone) Charles? Are you still there? 

Charles: Oh yes Stacy I am still here. 

<SCENE - Screen splits in half. Stacy is on the left side of the screen, sitting on her bed with the phone to her ear. Charles is on the right side of the screen, probably in his bedroom, with a cordless phone and standing by a telescope. You notice a poster on the far wall that looks like an Alberto Vargas print > 

Stacy: (Nervously) Hi Charles, um...what can I do for you? 

Charles: What are you doing tonight Stacy. 

Stacy: (Getting even more nervous) Um...Homework? 

Charles: Oh no, Stacy, we're going out this evening. I have a place that I think you would like? 

Stacy: (Still nervous but getting suspicious) Um...Charles why would I just drop what I'm doing to go out with you? 

Charles: Because, my dear, you still owe me for showing you the secret of the 'shredded dollar trick'. 

Stacy: But I thought agreeing to be your assistant for the magic show at school made up for that? 

Charles: Ah my naive and gentle flower, that was merely a single mark under your account in my ledger. The debt you owe me still has an outstanding balance. 

Stacy: (Starting to get mad) Hold on a minute (You see Stacy on her half of the screen get up and close her bedroom door. She comes back and sits on the bed) Listen 'Upchuck' (Charles on the other half of the screen raises an eyebrow) you are not going to take advantage of my good nature so you can make a date with me whenever you (shaking with fury) you friggin' feel like it! 

Charles: Hold on... 

Stacy: (Now shaking with anger) No you hold on Upchuck, I went along with you on the whole magic show deal because I was curious on how you did your tricks. I also kept going along with you, even after I learned the tricks because, regardless of what everyone else said, I thought I saw a side of you that no one else knew was there. Now I'm starting to think I was wrong! 

Charles: Rooooowr! Such a wonderful display of feistiness! A performance almost worthy of another temptress of whom I have more than a passing acquaintance. (beat) You are almost ready to unlock Passion's door. Now I know that this will be a night to remember!

Stacy: (Frustrated) Ooh! (Hangs up the phone)

Stacy sits on the bed and glowers. On the other side of the split screen you see Charles redial the number. The phone in Stacy's lap starts to ring and she instinctively reaches for the receiver, and then pauses. The phone rings one and a half times and then stops.

Stacy's Mother: (Off Screen) Stacy it's Charles again. (beat) He says he apologizes for getting disconnected in the middle your conversation. (beat) He says the battery on his cordless phone must be going out.

Stacy has an incredulous look on her face. She stares at the phone in her lap for a few moments.

Stacy's Mother: (Off Screen) Stacy? Can you hear me?

Stacy: Yes mother I heard you! (picks up the receiver) I got it mother you can hang up now! (put the receiver to her ear) Yes?

Charles: Oh Stacy, why do you deny me? Why do you deny yourself? The favor that you owe me is merely an excuse...

Stacy: (Relieved) Well I'm glad that you are able to admit that...

Charles: ...an excuse to show you what your heart already knows, a chance to spend a wonderful night with me, the only man who truly knows who you are and what you truly want...

Stacy: (Getting angry again) You are not listening to me...

Charles: Oh but I AM listening to you, and what I hear is what all women say to me, with their hearts, but are never able to voice...

Stacy: (Frustrated again) Ooh! (Hangs up the phone)

Stacy starts muttering under her breath. On the other side of the screen you see Charles dialing the number again. The phone in Stacy's lap starts to ring. Stacy picks up the phone before the phone can finish it's first ring.

Stacy: (Threatening) Upchuck...

Charles: Is it such a thing to admit to...

Stacy hangs up the phone. The phone rings again. She picks it up and puts the receiver to her ear without saying anything

Charles: Your feistiness only enflames me to...

Stacy hangs up the phone again. Charles hits the redial button on his phone. Stacy's phone rings again. She immediately picks up the phone.

Stacy: Upchuck if you don't...

Charles: Wait Stacy! Please here me out! (Stacy notices that Upchuck has suddenly dropped his ultra suave voice. He now sounds like a very nervous teenage boy) Maybe I shouldn't have approached you like this. (beat) I know it was wrong. 

Stacy: (Shocked) What? 

Charles:  I said I was wrong okay. (Sighs) Usually the only way I can get a girl to do anything with me it to use blackmail, bribery, or deceit. (beat) Most of the time they want nothing to do with me...and I probably deserve it. I still wanted to take you out tonight because... 

Stacy: (Perplexed) Because?

Charles: ...it's (he starts to mumble) thethreemonthanniversaryofthemagicshowandIwantedtoshowmyappreciationforallyou'vedoneforme. 

Stacy: (Smiles understanding every word) Really? (Pauses) You know you don't have to play that suave role with me, not anymore. You know I even noticed that you let it drop a couple of times before, back when we were rehearsing for the magic show. (Gets a curious look on her face) Why do you still do it?

Charles: (Heaves a sigh) I don't know, it's so ingrained now. I don't know if I'll ever be able to stop it. (As if on cue the Upchuck growl creeps back into his voice) So will you go out with me tonight? I have a special place lined up just for you (Pauses) and it's the last place that anyone from Lawndale High would go to. 

Stacy: (Suspicious) And?

Charles: And I have a big surprise for you too. I think you will be amazed. More than the shredded dollar bill trick or the Trunk of Death trick combined.

Stacy: (Nervous again) Really? Okay Upchu...I mean Charles. When? 

Charles: I'll pick you up at 8pm, that's about 3 hours from now. 

Stacy: Okay, I'll be ready. 

<SCENE- The split screen vanishes and we are now back in Stacy's bedroom. She hangs up the phone and puts it back on the nightstand. Then she turns up the alarm clock radio and hears the A*Teens "Bouncing Off The Ceiling (Upside Down)" playing. Stacy smiles and gets up and walks across the room. As she walks by her dresser mirror, she stops and looks at herself. Then she starts doing a towel-less towel dance in front of it.

End of Act I 

Beginning of Act II 

<Music: He Loves U Not - Dream> 

<SCENE - Stacy is standing out in front of her house staring at the summer dusk. Her hair is styled like it was in the parade float scene in "I Loathe A Parade". She is wearing the black dress that she wore in "Pierce Me". She paces nervously outside the front door of her house until she sees a pink 1966 convertible Buick turn the corner. As the car comes down the street, she opens the front door and shouts that she is leaving 

As Upchuck pulls up to the Rowe' house you notice that he has the top down. He honks the horn and it sounds just like it did in "I Loathe A Parade". Stacy looks at the hood of the car and notices that Upchuck remembered to remove those cheesy cow horns. The ones that read 'HORNY' underneath them. 

She gives a sigh of relief. When she was secretly going over to Upchuck's house to rehearse for his magic show, she didn't know what would have been worse: To be seen riding with Upchuck, or to be seen riding with Upchuck in a pink car with those horns on the front. 

Stacy: (Voice Over) Stop that! His name is Charles, not Upchuck. (beat) Depending on his behavior tonight. 

Charles stops the car and flashes Stacy his infamous smile. 

Charles: (Looks her up and down) My dear, you simply take my breath away! (Charles is dressed in a late 50's tuxedo, ala James Bond. He stops the car and gets out. Then he comes around to the passenger side and opens the door for her) Such a lovely lady, should always be treated with chivalry and class (He bows as he holds the door open for her. Stacy is blushing so hard that her face casts a cherry glow.) 

<Music: Myléne S'en Fout - Myléne Farmer> 

<SHIFT SCENE - Charles is driving and it is dark. The convertible top is up and you can see Stacy and Charles are talking. However, you cannot hear them speaking due to the music. Slowly the sound of their voices gets louder as the background music gets softer until you can finally hear their conversation. > 

Stacy: Well, Charles, we've been driving for about an hour now. How far out is this place? 

Charles: Don't worry my sweet we are almost there. 

Up ahead she sees what looks like a club of some type. As she gets closer she notices that the architecture is more oriental than occidental. The sign out front has a big pink dragon wrapped around it, the sign reads 'The Tea Dragon". As they pull into the parking lot she does a quick sight check of the make and models of the cars that are parked. Most of them, she notices, are late model, and are on the high-end scale as far as price. She decides that you can't judge a book by its cover, at least according to Quinn. Sandi would have taken one look at the club's 'tacky Asian decor' and would have done a u-turn right back to the highway. 

Charles turns off the engine and looks at the building for a moment. 

Charles: Here we are my sweet, Carter County's greatest secret, a club that most of the high school students of Lawndale have never even heard of. (Turns to Stacy) You do have your fake ID with you?

Stacy: (Gives Charles a reproachful look) Of course. A Fashion Club member is never without one.

Charles gets out of the car and then goes around the passenger side to open the door for Stacy. They walk up to the entrance and are greeted by a very large black man. Although dressed in a nice suit and tie, Stacy figures that if they guy had to get 'physical' with anyone he wouldn't be averse to scuffing up his clothes. The bouncer asks for ID's and Upchuck and Stacy gives theirs to him. He checks them after looking at them both. He grunts and hands the ID's back to them. 

The bouncer lets them pass. Charles extends his arm to Stacy and she takes it, blushing again. As they walk through the entrance,  their ears are immediately assailed by extremely loud club music. The bass alone is so heavy that it could literally rip off clothing. 

<Music: Ass & Titties DJ Attack> 

Charles leads Stacy through another door and the music, as if by magic, is turned down to an almost imperceptible level. However they can still feel the bass in the soles of their feet. Stacy finds that they are in the restaurant section of the club. They take a booth down by what appears to be a stage. A waiter comes up and asks them if they would like anything to drink. Charles asks for a soda and Stacy asks for tea. 

While Stacy looks around she looks up on stage and sees a karaoke machine, complete with monitor. 

Stacy: (Voice Over) I'm so glad I didn't come here with anyone from the Fashion Club. Even Quinn would have had freaked if she knew there was a karaoke machine anywhere on the premises. I always dreamed that the Fashion Club, for once, would go somewhere, find a karaoke machine, and sing songs until we were hoarse (looks sad) Yeah, right. That would be so uncool. Sandi would say that 'our enemies' would use such a corny public display to humiliate the Club. 

Charles: Why do you look so unhappy my pet? Don't worry. The night is young. (Charles looks back at the stage then faces Stacy again) I saw you looking at the karaoke machine, and that's one of my big surprises. Tonight, the regulars come in, (Gives a mysterious smile) and oh what regulars they are. Maybe, my sweet, you might have the courage to go up there and sing yourself? 

Stacy: (Almost paralyzed by fear) Um...Charles, I don't know if I would have the courage to do it. 

Charles: You showed remarkable courage in standing before your peers, very critical peers, to help me perform my magic show. If you can do that in front of the students of Lawndale High, what is there to fear from perfect strangers? (beat) If you are...less than spectacular, then you can go home and never see these people again. 

Stacy couldn't fault his logic. But she decided to keep her peace on the subject. 

<Music: The Wound - The JazzyFatNastees> 

The waiter returns, and offers them menus. As Stacy and Charles order food, they make chitchat, and start to relax with each other. While this is going on Stacy notices that the restaurant is slowly starting to fill up with other people. By the time Charles and Stacy have gotten to dessert (Stacy declines, Fashion Club members consider eating an after dinner mint as a heavy dessert) both of them have noticed that the place was filled to capacity. 

They also noticed that the lights were being turned down in the restaurant and the lights on stage were being turned on. A large man, at least 30 years older than rest of the crowd, bounces up on to the stage. He flips on the karaoke machine and the monitor. Then he grabs the microphone and addresses the audience: 

"Welcome to Karaoke Night hear at the Tea Dragon. My name is Rob Thomas, the proprietor of this place. For those who would rather not hear or join the festivities, then may I invite you to join the wild, chaotic, endless beat next door? (light laughter) I see we have the regulars and some new faces out there. I hope you enjoy yourselves. Now without further adieu let's get this started (he reaches for the notebook with the list of people who have signed up to sing) who is going to be first? 

"Me" says a low voice from the audience. Rob looks over the crowd and then smiles when he finds the source of that voice. 

Rob: Speaking of the regulars, here is the one person who seems to add some class and taste to the place. God knows it needs it. (Some more laughter from the audience) Come on up here and sing another one of those beautiful old songs you do so well. Ladies and Gentlemen, give a warm welcome to one of our most popular and requested regulars: Tiffany! 

As Tiffany Blum-Deckler walks toward the stage, and towards Rob's outstretched hand, Stacy eyes go wide and her mouth pops open. Stacy looks like she is going to start hyperventilating. 

<Music: What If God Fell From The Sky? - Danielle Brisebois> 

End of Act II 

Beginning of Act III 

<Music: 2Wicky - Hooverphonic > 

<SCENE - Tiffany Blum-Deckler is on stage wearing a long, light blue, dress. She has the same type of hairstyle she sported, poolside, in the episode "Fire!". She looks very elegant, as if she had stepped out of an old black and white movie. Stacy is staring at Tiffany and feels an panic attack coming on. Charles looks anxious, but only for Stacy. Only after she gets the attack under control does Stacy suddenly realize that Charles had not been surprised when Tiffany had announced herself. 

Stacy: Charles? Did you know that Tiffany does this? 

Charles: Of course my pet, there isn't a secret in Lawndale High that I don't know about. I felt it was about time for you to see what your fellow Fashion Club member is doing when she is away from the rest of you. She is the other surprise I had planned for tonight. 

The music cues up, and Tiffany starts to sing. Stacy cannot place the type of music or the song -- it belongs to another age. All she does know is that Tiffany's low smoky voice affects her. It also moves her on an even deeper level because, she realizes, that her friend of so many years can actually sing; and sing so well. 

Charles (leans across the table to Stacy) Tiffany is singing an old Billie Holliday standard called "Good Morning Heartache". 

Stacy just sits in the booth, staring at her friend on stage, and listens to her low and beautiful voice. The song seems so sad, so...she searches for the right word and then remembers a beautiful old romance novel she had read, it had the word she was looking for...poignant. It was all she can do to keep from crying. 

Charles: (Sighs) It is bittersweet isn't it? 

Stacy notices that even under Charles' pseudo-suave demeanor, he is affected by Tiffany's voice as well. Once the song ends, Tiffany is greeted with thunderous applause. Stacy starts clapping so hard her palms sting, she is so proud of her friend she could just burst. She is so excited that she screams out Tiffany's name as she comes down off of the stage. 

Tiffany looks over in her direction. 

Before Tiffany can recognize who has called out her name, Stacy is already out of the booth and running across the floor to hug her friend. 

Tiffany's eyes widen as she sees who is running across the floor towards her. Before Tiffany can say Stacy's name she is already caught in Stacy's fierce embrace. All Tiffany can do is try and hug her back just as tightly. They hug each other for what seems like a long time, never wanting to stop. Unfortunately their embrace, and their moment together, is shattered by someone singing a truly awful rendition of 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart". 

Stacy releases Tiffany and looks her in the eye. 

Stacy: Tiffany, we need to talk. Can we go somewhere a little quieter? 

Tiffany: Yes, there is an outside patio that is only used in the daytime. We can go out there. 

Stacy looks back at Charles, and he nods his head affirmative, knowing that they are going somewhere else to talk. 

<SHIFT SCENE - Tiffany and Stacy walk through the crowd. Tiffany is greeted with compliments, smiles, and good will. They walk through the beat heavy outer room and leave through the front entrance. 

<Music: Black Milk - Massive Attack> 

<SHIFT SCENE - Outside: Tiffany and Stacy are walking around the building towards an outside dining area. Stacy notices that it is a beautiful summer night. She looks up at the night sky and realizes that since they are so far out in the country, she can see the stars much more clearly. The sky really does look like a 'Milky Way'. 

Before they can both sit down, Stacy gives a little squeal of joy, turns, and hugs her friend once again. Finally they both pull up some whicker chairs and sit down. 

Tiffany: (Slowly) Sooo.. . 

Stacy: (Impatiently) So! 

Tiffany: Who is going to go first? 

Stacy: I guess I will (gulps) I never thought I would live to see the day when I would see you up on stage singing. 

Tiffany: And I thought I would never live to see the day that one of my friends would be dating Upchuck. (Tiffany shivers) Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. 

Stacy: (Getting nervous) Look Tiffany this is the first and only time I've gone out with Charles. (Stacy clears her throat) Can I tell you something Tiffany? (Stacy leans close to Tiffany and says in a conspiratorial manner) He's all right once you get past that cheesy exterior of his. (Leans back in to her chair) Believe it or not, he knew you performed here, that's why he brought me. 

Tiffany: Really? I've never seen him in the audience. 

Stacy: (Nervous) I have a feeling that Charles is very good at not letting people see him when he doesn't want to be seen. (beat) Enough about Charles, (Smiling) I didn't know you could sing Tiffany? And you sing so beautifully! 

Tiffany: Oh yeah, I used to sing with my mother when I was a child (Pauses) before she died. (Sighs) Then I really didn't have anything to sing about anymore. 

Stacy: I'm so sorry Tiffany. 

Tiffany: It's all right Stacy. She died when I was very young. (Tiffany looks up and thinks for a moment) I remember that my mother liked a lot of old jazz singers like Sarah Vaughn and Billie Holliday. I thought they sounded kind of sad but my mother just loved to sing along with their records. I started to do the same thing, just to do what she was doing. (Tiffany looks down at the table) You know Stacy, as I got older, it seems like it got harder and harder to remember what her face looked like. All I remember of her now is her voice, and her beautiful red hair. (Tiffany sees the look of consternation on Stacy's face) I was adopted Stacy. The name Blum-Deckler is the last names of both my adopted mother and father. (Tiffany shakes her head) Anyway I hadn't sung a song in a long time. (Tiffany looks into Stacy's eyes) The only reason I started to sing again was because of you. 

Stacy: (Shocked) Huh? 

Tiffany: Remember the night that you were Upchuck's on-stage assistant for that magic show? That shiny, glittery outfit you wore? It was so amazing! All I wanted to do is be on stage like that, like you! (Tiffany gives a dreamy smile and then suddenly frowns) I couldn't tell anyone else that though. Not even you Stacy. Especially after Sandi went ballistic on you afterward. 

Stacy: (Looking sad) I know. 

Tiffany: But then you went to school on Monday, and everyone started congratulating you, and complimenting you, and telling you what a great performer you were. Then I got...(Tiffany's face starts to twist as if she's searching for just the right word). 

Stacy: ...inspired? 

Tiffany: Yeah, that's the word, inspired! (Tiffany smiles). But I didn't know how I was going to find an excuse to get on-stage. Then I found this place. (Tiffany stops and thinks really hard. Finally she looks up) Did you know I have a car Stacy? 

Stacy: What? 

Tiffany: My father bought it for me when I was fifteen. But he wouldn't let me drive it until I had gotten either my learners permit or my license. My father would try and give me lessons, when he could. (Looking sad) He is always so busy. (Sighs) I learned enough to pass the driving test but I was so scared to drive by myself. One day, I decided that I'm not going to be afraid to drive anymore, so I grabbed the keys and took off. (Grimaces) Then I took a wrong turn somewhere and got lost. I just drove around until I found this place. It was dark already, and I didn't want to waste any more gas. So I went in, met Rob, and he gave me directions, and a map that showed me how to get back to Lawndale. I was going to leave when I heard someone trying to sing that old song "Overkill" by Men At Work. 

Stacy: (Interrupting) Oh I love old 80's songs! (Calms down) I'm sorry Tiffany go on. 

Tiffany: I love old 80's songs too Stacy. (Smiles) Anyway, I thought that I could sing the song much better than he did. So I asked Rob what was going on. He told me that they have Karaoke Night every Tuesday. He asked me if I'd like to try it. (Looks at Stacy) Then I thought about you at the magic show. (Smiles) Here was my chance to be on stage, in front of people, just like you were. So I said yes. 

Then Rob gave me this huge binder filled with all these songs. I told him that I wanted to sing the same song that the last guy had just did. (Shrugs her shoulders) So I just got up there and sang. (Tiffany stops and thinks again) After I finished I got a standing ovation, even from the guy who tried to sing the song before I did. 

After awhile, I came back and started singing a lot of old 80's song because I knew so many of them by heart. That is if there were no Fashion Club meetings to attend. 

Stacy: (Nodding) When did you start singing jazz songs? 

Tiffany: One afternoon I was going through my parents record collection and found some of the old albums that my mother used to listen to. I pulled out a bunch of them out and played them, one by one. (beat) I hadn't heard any of those old songs since I was little. (Tiffany's face becomes very sad) I cried all afternoon. (Tiffany slumps in her chair) Stacy, I don't think I've ever cried so hard, or for so long before, not even on the day my mother died. 

Stacy's face becomes stricken and her eyes start to tear up. 

Tiffany: It's all right Stacy. (She smiles back at Stacy) If I hadn't played those records I think I would have forgotten my mother's voice and everything else about her. I sing those old songs to help me remember her. Those songs never let me forget who she was. (beat) Anyway, that's how I started singing old jazz songs. The people here really like it when I sing them, so I come back and sing as often as I can. 

Stacy: Tiffany, can I ask you another question? 

Tiffany: Sure Stacy. 

Stacy: (Getting very nervous) I think I've found out more about you in the past fifteen minutes than I have in the entire time I've known you. (Gets even more nervous) Tonight you seem so much, more...um...intelligent than I'm used to thinking of...(Stammers)...not to say that I didn't think you were intelligent to begin with but... 

Tiffany (Her face looks contemplative) Let me answer a question with some more questions Stacy: Why do you let Sandi walk all over you? Why does Quinn back down to Sandi on a lot of things -- even when she's right? (Pauses) Why do I try and side with both Quinn and Sandi whenever there is a conflict in the Fashion Club? 

Stacy: (Looking fearful and starting to visibly shake) Um.... 

Tiffany: (Looks at Stacy trembling) Because we are afraid Stacy. (beat) I don't like to fight. Neither do you or Quinn. We don't want to fight because, if we do start fighting, we might not be able to stop. Then we wouldn't be friends anymore. (Tiffany thinks real hard) We may not be perfect, (beat) regardless of what Sandi thinks (Stacy giggles), but we are friends, best friends, and whether we say it or not, we don't want to lose each other. (Tiffany looks away) I know most people think I'm slow, or dumb. I'm not. It's just my way of avoiding conflicts.

Stacy: (Voice over) ...or making a choice, or a decision (realizes what she's thinking) Ohmigod, Tiffany is telling me everything about her self and I'm being mean. (Feels guilty) I am such a rotten friend! (beat) Stop it! For once in your life really listen to what people are saying to you.

Tiffany: (Looks back at Stacy and gives her a penetrating look) Just like you and Quinn have your own ways of doing the same thing. 

Stacy's face registers shock and amazement. 

Stacy: (Voice over) She's right. We all do it. Avoiding conflicts (beat) or choices, or decisions. Even Sandi does it, in her own way. 

<SHIFT SCENE - Wide shot of the two girls, sitting in their chairs looking down at the table. There is an uncomfortable silence for a long moment. The scene shifts back to to a close up of Stacy and Tiffany.> 

Tiffany: (Finally looks up from the table) Did I answer your question Stacy? 

Stacy: (Subdued voice) Yes...yes I think you did. 

Tiffany: Now it's my turn to ask you a question Stacy; Why are you here with Upchuck? 

Stacy: Oh (Squirms in her chair) I'm here with Charles to celebrate the (mumbles) threemonthsanniversaryofthemagicshow. 

Tiffany: (Tiffany gives Stacy a sympathetic look) Uh yeah. Speaking of Upchuck, shouldn't we get back inside? 

Stacy: Yeah. (As they rise from their seats Stacy reaches over and squeezes Tiffany's hand. Tiffany flashes Stacy a radiant smile as they head back toward the entrance. ) 

<Music: Overkill - Lazlo Blane> 

End of Act III 

Beginning of Act IV 

<Music: So What? - Miles Davis> 

<SCENE - Collage - Tiffany is back on stage belting out another song. Another side shot of Tiffany singing and Charles and Stacy sitting in their booth watching her. Shot of Tiffany, Stacy, and Charles on stage. Charles seems like he is doing a Sammy Davis Jr. dance routine and Stacy and Tiffany both look at each for a moment and then laugh and start clapping. You see the audience jump up and applaud as well. Charles gives his trademark Upchuck smile and gives a low, flourishing bow to the audience and then to Tiffany and Stacy> 

<SHIFT SCENE - In front of the Tea Dragon: Tiffany, Stacy, and Charles are talking. > 

Stacy: I had the most wonderful time tonight. 

Tiffany just smiles in agreement. 

Charles: (Bowing to the girls) And I cannot think of a more splendid evening than being able to bask in the presence of two of the most beautiful young women that I've ever had the pleasure to know. 

For once, instead of a scornful reply, or simply a cold brush off, Stacy and Tiffany actually blush. 

Charles: Alas, our revels now are ended. (Charles looks back and forth at Tiffany and Stacy) I assume that you ladies will have to decide your social battle plans for tomorrow. This has been a night of startling, and life changing revelations. 

Tiffany and Stacy both look at each other. They realize that Charles is right. 

Charles: Don't strain your brain ladies; the Chuckster has the plan already mapped out for you. Here is the arrangement: You will continue through life like this night never happened. Thus your reputations, your secrets, and your peace-of-mind are safe. 

Stacy: (Starting to cry) Charles don't say that... 

Charles: It's just like the end of "The Breakfast Club" ladies; we get up tomorrow and don the same masks we wore before this night occurred. (Pauses) Ah, but the memories that we have of this night shall warm our hearts for the rest of our lives. 

Stacy and Tiffany look each other sadly. 

Charles: (Gives both girls a wink) However, for as long as it lasts, we can doff those masks from time to time, forget the lies that are our lives, and have another wonderful evening or two, like we had tonight. 

Stacy and Tiffany think about it and then smile. Then both of them look at Charles; they both give each other a sly look and then beckon to Charles. 

Stacy: Come here Charles, there's something we want to give you. 

Charles: (Flashing the Upchuck grin) Ladies, I see by the look in your eyes that you are struck by l' amour's silent bolt. Shall we go back inside and... 

Tiffany: (Cutting him off) We want a kiss Charles... 

Stacy: Yes Charles, and you are going to give us that kiss, right here, right now... 

At first Charles is in full Upchuck leer until he sees the hungry looks in both Tiffany and Stacy's eyes. As both of the girls slowly advance on Charles you can see the panic begin to spread across his face. Just as he is about to bolt Tiffany grabs one of his arms and Stacy grabs the other. They each plant a single kiss on each side of his face. 

Upchuck screams and dashes back into the club. Tiffany and Stacy look at each other for a moment and then burst out laughing. After they have calmed down Tiffany turns to Stacy. 

Tiffany: Well Stacy, do you need a ride home? 

Stacy: Sure! I think that Charles is going to be avoiding me for the rest of the night and I really need a ride back to Lawndale. 

Tiffany: (Walks up to the bouncer at the door) Malik, when you see Charles, could you tell him that Stacy and me have left already? 

Malik: No problem, Tiffany. You have a good evening. 

Tiffany: You too Malik. 

<Music: Gaze - Sweetback> 

<SHIFT SCENE - Wide shot of the parking lot. Stacy and Tiffany start walking between rows of parked cars. You lose sight of them as they walk around another row of cars, but you can still hear their voices. > 

Tiffany: Stacy? 

Stacy: Yes Tiffany? 

Tiffany: I never asked you when we were inside, but since you are one of my best friends, I'm pretty sure I can ask you now. 

Stacy: What? 

Tiffany: Does this dress make me look fat? (Silence) Just kidding Stacy (Silence) Stacy, don't look at me that way. (Silence) Well, anyway, here's my car. .. 

Stacy: (Gasp) Ohmygod! I didn't know your Dad had bought you a convertible? 

Tiffany: (Sounding disappointed) Yeah, but it's two years old. 

Stacy: You've had this car all this time? Meanwhile we've been making Quinn bum rides for us from guys we don't even like? Unpopular guys Tiffany! You really should have said something sooner! 

Tiffany: I know, but then Quinn, you, the whole Fashion Club, would start bumming rides off of me. You don't do that to your girlfriends Stacy, that's what boys are for... 

<Scene and conversation fades out> 

<Music: All I Need - Air > 

End of Act IV 


<Music: Here's Where The Story Ends - The Sundays> 

<SCENE - Charles Ruttheimer's bedroom. He is sitting in front of this computer. You can see on the monitor that there are multiple screen shots of Stacy, Tiffany, and Charles at 'The Tea Dragon' club. He maximizes one particular picture of him with Stacy and Tiffany on either side of him. 

Charles (Voice Over) It cost me $50 bucks to get a copy of the surveillance tape from the club but now I've got so much footage of tonight, I'll be busy for weeks. Roooowwwwrr! It has been a very good night! 

Charles minimizes the screen capture software window and you see on his Desktop a picture of Jane and Daria sitting on the grass together. It looks like they're talking to each other. Charles stops for a moment and you see his eyes soften. 

Charles (Voice Over) I'm sorry Daria. Jane. Although you two will always be my first, unrequited loves, I have to move on. (The Upchuck growl returns) Besides I have found two more luscious ladies to take your place. 

Charles makes a few keystrokes on the keyboard and then the Desktop blinks; and the Daria and Jane wallpaper disappears, now it shows the image of Tiffany, Charles, and Stacy with their arms around each other’s waist, smiling, side-by-side. It almost looks like the curtain call on a Broadway show. Or the end of a Las Vegas review circa the Rat-Pack era of the late1950's 

Charles: (Voice Over) Oh yes, it has been a VERY good night. 

Charles gets up from his chair. The camera slowly zooms in on the new Desktop picture until it becomes a mess of distorted pixels. 

End Credits 

<Music: Friends - Whodini > 

End Notes: Yes, I'm breaking my own rule. I usually don't like to attach explanatory notes at the end of my stories but I had to point out a few things. 

1) Stacy's behavior: Why would she go out with Upchuck? Especially after the horrible way he tried to trick Stacy into going out with him? Because she does like Upchuck, to some degree. She likes him because he is interesting. That interest was kindled by the magic act in "Life In A Past Lane" and it grew from there. Stacy goes out with Upchuck because she thinks this is a chance to feel what it's like to actually have a nice, friendly, relationship with a boy, instead of using him for rides, or gifts, or status. 

In the cold, mercenary, shallow, world-view of the Fashion Club, that is something that's is strongly discouraged. 

Stacy has finally grown a spine in Season Five, and she is learning how to use it. She is covertly, and sometimes overtly, rebelling against anyone who tries to push her into things she doesn't want to do (see "Fat Like Me" or "Art Burn") or anything that interferes with the pursuit of her own desires (see "Life In The Past Lane" or "Aunt Nauseam"). 

2) Upchucks behavior: Beginning in Season 5, Upchuck has shown that he is a very complicated character. In earlier seasons he was just a teenage lecher. In Season 5, especially in "Life In The Past" and "Prize Fighters" Upchuck has shown that he has more depth than anyone has given him credit for. 

The playboy-suaveness that Upchuck tries to portray is, after all, just an act. 

That's why I had Charles drop that act after Stacy went ballistic on him. He really did want to go out with Stacy, and he knew the only way he was going to make that happen was to be honest. He kept that honesty even when he dropped back into his 'ultra-suave' persona. This is why Stacy and Tiffany actually enjoyed his company; it shone through the phony, ladies-man act and made him appealing. 

That 'act' was also the reason why I had Upchuck run when 'attacked' by Tiffany and Stacy. I'm pretty sure that Charles would be a pussy (cat) if he were cornered by (an) aggressive female(s). He's all bark and no bite. Upchuck running away screaming when Daria let him hold the 'fake boob' in the episode 'Too Cute' revealed that. 

3) Tiffany's behavior: Tiffany has gotten steadily dumber and slower as the series progressed and this story is a rebellion against that. What happened to the Tiffany I heard at the party in "The Invitation"? The Tiffany in "Road Worrier" and "Malled" that spoke with the normal cadence of a teenage girl? Did her 'peer councilor' performance in "It Happened One Nut" damn her character to forever play the lugubriously voiced side-woman that she became in later episodes? 

Only the Daria writers know for sure. 

In spite of that, I do think Tiffany has a very sexy voice. The only other character on Daria whose voice comes close to it is Ms Claire Defoe, Lawndale High's art teacher. I could see (or should I say hear) Tiffany singing old jazz and torch songs with that voice. So, for this story, I had her doing just that, singing in an old karaoke bar in the middle of nowhere. 

The 'The Tea Dragon' is based on an actual bar that I went to a long time ago. I changed the name of the bar to protect the guilty! 

Inspiration for Tiffany's background came from a wonderful fanfic written by Mr. Anonymous called "Tiffany Blum-Deckler". Look for it in the Daria Section of Fan Fiction.net (whenever it's on-line) or on Wraith's Sick Sad World site. When you find it, read it! I promise, you won't be disappointed! 

Thanks for reading. These is my second Daria fanfic so if it seems a little rough and tumble, well I'm working on getting better. Please send any comments, good or bad, to f_samyaza@yahoo.com.