"Beneath the Blue Suburban Skies"
by Jill Friedman, the LeopardLady
MTV owns Daria. I don't. They don't own this, though.
For timeline's sake, let's assume Penny is 10 years older
than Jane, and 5 years older than Trent, making her 28.

Scene: INT Lawndale High classroom.

SUPER: Lawndale High, 1988

The camera pans across the students so we see that they're decked out in 80s clothes, acid wash jeans and all, and a younger looking Penny Lane is sitting looking bored. The camera pans to the door, as a much younger looking Mr. DeMartino enters the room. Conversation continues until Mr. DeMartino makes his way to the desk.

DeMartino: (sounding suspiciously like Mr. O'Neill) Hello, class. My name is Anthony DeMartino, and I'll be your homeroom and history teacher. Please pass this sheet of paper around and write down your names. The ditto machine is broken, so we don't have proper attendance sheets yet.

(the class groans, and passes the sheet around. It makes its way back to the front, and Mr. DeMartino looks at it.)

DeMartino: Ok, everyone. I appreciate the creativity, but I know there's no one called "Seymor Butts," "Amanda Huggandkiss," "Penny Lane," or "Abby Rhode" in the class, so nice try.

Cut to: Penny Lane, as she groans and raises her hand.

Penny: Uh...I'm Penny Lane.

(The class chuckles, as the camera pans to a small honey-blonde girl raising her hand.)

Girl: And um...I'm Abby Rhode. (She shares a knowing smile with Penny- they were both cursed with hippie parents. The class totally loses it. Mr. DeMartino looks like a deer in headlights.)

DeMartino: Oh! I'm sorry. (the bell rings) Ok, class, homeroom is over, (the class is filing out of the room before the bell is finished ringing) have a nice day, and a good start to your Senior year at...(the room is empty, DeMartino drops the smile on his face.) Ah, screw it.

(A piercing buzz comes through, and we see that this was all a dream sequence, and it ends...now.)

Cut to: INT a small hut in Central America.

SUPER: Guatemala, present day
A touseled present-day Penny Lane smacks the battery-powered alarm clock down as she rises. We see her grab a towel and leave the hut, heading for a waterfall.

Penny: (staring deadpan at the waterfall) I may not be able to drink it, but at least it'll keep me clean. (sighs) I've gotta get the hell out of here.

(We see only a head shot as she strips and goes under the spray of the waterfall. The flashback we just left now continues...)

Cut to: INT Lawndale High hallway. Students are still dressed out of Cyndi Lauper's closet. Penny is at her locker, and Abby walks up to her.

Abby: And I thought only my parents had a sense of humor that sick.

Penny:(turning to her with a grin) Oh, my parents didn't stop the torture with me; my little sister's name is Jane.

Abby: Ouch. What kind of drugs were they on?

Penny: I don't know, I haven't found their stash yet.

Abby: I found my mom's a year ago, but...it's almost kicked. (Penny raises an eyebrow in that trademark Lane way.) Yes, Penny, that was an invitation.

Penny: Well, at least we're getting to the marijuana interest nice and early.

Abby:(shrugging) Just laying the cards on the table.

Penny: I appreciate it. Oh, you'll probably like to know that my parents are almost never home. Most of the time it's me, and my little brother and sister, Trent and Jane. The elder Lanes have scattered to parts unknown, and I don't much care.

Abby: Cool. (beat) I think.

Penny: Jane's a little young for it, but what can you do?

Abby: Well, we still have to finish high school, so...

Cut to: EXT the waterfall. Penny is wrapped in a towel and is making her way back to the hut. She freezes when she sees a jaguar marauding her home. (such as it is)

Penny:(exasperated) That's it, I'm leaving.

Cut to: A few days later. Penny is at a small, beaten up airport in Guatemala with a backpack and a duffel bag. She is at a very old-fashioned pay phone, attempting to call home.

Cut to: INT Trent's room, he's asleep, and doesn't notice the duck phone quacking away.
Cut to: INT Jane's room, she's not there, so no one answers.
Cut to:INT the kitchen. No one's there.
Cut to:INT the Guatemalan airport. Penny slams the phone down in frustration.

Penny: Dammit! Oh well, guess I'll just show up like I did last time.

BG Music: "Homeward Bound," as covered by Moxy Früvous
Cut to:INT a really shabby plane. Penny is trying to sleep fitfully.
Cut to: Later, Penny is trying to read, but a shipment of chickens is clucking in her ears.
Cut to: INT another backwater airport, this time in Haiti. She tries to call home again, but with the same luck as last time.
Cut to: INT a nice airport, this time in Puerto Rico. Penny tries calling again, but again to no avail.
Cut to: EXT Casa Lane, a cab pulls up and Penny gets out.
End BG music

Penny walks up and fishes around her bags for a key. Not finding one, she looks under the mat, and doesn't find one there either.

Penny: Dammit.

She tries the doorbell and it doesn't work.

Penny: Oh for the love of...

Just as she raises her hand to knock, the door opens to Jane, dressed for jogging.

Jane: Penny!

Penny: Jane!

(The two sisters hug.)

Jane: What are you doing home? Another volcano? Tropical storm, perhaps?

Penny: Not really...I just...got tired of the jungle. Figured I'd come home for a while. You go on your jog, I need a shower. When you get back, we'll sit down and have some coffee, ok?

Jane: You bring some back with you?

Penny: Damn straight, I did. Picked it myself, too.

Jane: Guatemala, right?

Penny: Yeah, now go on! Coffee waits for no woman!
(The two sisters grin at each other as Jane turns and jogs off.)

Penny:(walking in the house, talking to herself) Well, she's still more like me than like Summer. Thank God for small mercies...

Trent: (barely awake, not really aware of who it was who said that) Who's more like you than Summer?

Penny: Trent!

Trent: (becoming more aware) Penny! (the two hug) How are you?

Penny: Dirty. And tired. I'm hitting the showers, and then I'm making coffee.

Trent: Cool. Guatemalan?

Penny:(walking away) Yeah...

Cut to: EXT Jane jogging

Jane:(thought VO) God, I hope Penny's return doesn't spark another mass un-exodus like the last time she was home. That was maddening. She seemed really frazzled, I wonder if she's gotten disillusioned with the Zapatistas or whoever she's rooting for these days...
(Jane turns a corner and starts jogging up Glen Oaks Drive and sees Daria about to leave the house)

Jane: Yo! Daria!

Daria: Hey, Jane.

Jane: Penny's home.

Daria: Oh really. Should I dust off the manger?

Jane: Not yet. It may only be her, for all I know. I hope. You're up early.

Daria: So are you.

Jane: (shrugging) It's still hot out, so I like to jog before it gets too bad. What's your excuse?

Daria: I have a history paper to research, so I was about to head over to the library. Want me to drop you back home? (Daria shakes car keys in the air.)

Jane: No thanks, I'll see you later. (She jogs off)

Daria: to herself) I'll give mom the heads up that some of the Prodigal Lanes are returning...

(we see Quinn exit through the front door, and then close it behind her. She has a backpack, and is carrying more books and papers in her arms.)

Daria: I don't see why we have to go this early. It *is* open until 7:30, you know.

Quinn: The earlier we go, the less people who see me.

Daria: Uh-huh. Get in the car and let's go.

(Quinn and Daria get in the car, Quinn takes out the baseball cap and glasses we saw in "Quinn the Brain" and puts on her "incognito" outfit. Daria raises an eyebrow at this, then shrugs.)

Quinn: Drive.

Daria: (sarcastic/bitter) Yes'm Ms. Quinn...

Cut to: INT Penny's room. She's unpacking a bit, presumably looking for the promised Guatemalan coffee. As she continues searching, we get another flashback.

Cut to: INT Lawndale High gymnasium. Penny and Abby are in the blue and yellow PE uniform, but Abby is wearing a hoodie sweatshirt over it. They are sitting out, looking at a note from "Amanda Lane" that sits between them, but it's clear from their giggles that Penny wrote it herself.

Penny: I can't believe Ms. Morris bought it...oh well. No more gym for the rest of the school year!

Abby: This is so cool. I hate PE.

Penny: Doesn't everyone? Phaugh, it's hot in here. (Penny tugs at her shirt)

Abby: (nervous) Uh..is it? Hadn't noticed.

Penny: Yeah. Jesus, Abby, take that sweatshirt off, you're making me hot just looking at you!

Abby: No, it's ok.

Penny: Oh, come on! Penny reaches for Abby's sleeve.)

Abby: (violently) I said NO! (all activity in the gym stops, and everyone turns to look at Abby. She tears up and runs away.)

Penny: Abby! Come back! I didn't mean... (everyone's now staring at Penny, she glares back) What! (to herself) Ah, hell... (Penny runs after Abby.)

Cut to: INT Girls' locker room. Abby has taken the shirt off, and we see bruises all up and down her arms. We see the door open, and Penny come through, but Abby doesn't notice. Penny walks closer, and sees the bruises. Her eyes widen, and she walks back to the door and opens it more loudly.

Penny: Abby? You in here?

(Abby sniffs and pulls the sweatshirt back on)

Abby: Yeah, I'm over here.

(Penny walks over carefully, knowing she's on dangerous ground.)

Penny: You ok, hon?

Abby: Fine, why? (She has a challenging look in her eyes that says, "What do you know, because I'm not talking.")

Penny: Uh...you just ran screaming out of the gym because you wouldn't take your sweatshirt off.

Abby: (sadly) Oh. That. It'll never happen again.

Penny: Abby, please talk to me, what's going on?

Abby: (making a decision) I...um...(sighs) My mom found out I've been smoking her stash, and she beat me. (wincing) And then my stepdad joined in.

(Penny is dumbstruck. Seeing the bruises was one thing, hearing the story was another.)

Penny: Oh God...Abby, I'm sorry. (She starts to hug Abby tenatively)

Abby: Don't! Ow. Please. I appreciate it but...ow. She got both shoulders this time--

Penny: THIS TIME?!? Abby, how long has this been going on?

Abby: For as long as I can remember. My dad used to beat both of us, so she divorced him. Things were better for a little while after that but...they got worse again. When she married Mr. Congeniality, they stopped being good at all.

Penny: Why didn't you tell me? I could have...I... (sighs)

Abby: Who could I tell? Who could you turn to for help that I didn't already think of?

Penny: I don't know...I...sorry.

Abby: Well, there's no one TO tell, so don't, ok?

Penny: (sighing) Ok. (changing the subject) Let's get dressed and blow this popsicle stand. There's only two more periods left, anyway. We could go to the movies?

Abby: Sure. Let's jet.

Cut to: EXT Casa Lane, Jane is jogging up the block. She reaches into her sock and pulls out a key and lets herself in. The camera follows her as she walks in the house, sniffing loudly.

Jane: Yo, Penny! Where's that coffee?

Penny: (coming down the stairs with a small burlap bag in hand) Right here, Jane. I had trouble finding it.

Jane: Ah. Well, now I have time for a shower. (passes Penny and starts up the stairs) The grinder's in the pantry.

Penny: Ah, so that's where you keep it these days.

Jane: Funny.

Cut to: INT the upstairs hallway. Trent is standing in his doorway, waiting for Jane.

Trent: Hey.

Jane: Yo.

Trent: Coffee ready yet?

Jane: Nope, she has to grind it first. So what do you think brought her home?

Trent: Huh?

Jane: She hates the US. She hates home. There's gotta be a reason she's here.

Trent: Whatever it is, she ain't talkin'.

Jane: She never did say much. Then she graduated, and pfft, south of the border she went.

Trent: She was always a loner. Wind and Summer stuck together, and it was always you and me.

Jane: Did she ever hang out with anyone else?

Trent: There was some blonde...Abby, I think her name was.

Jane: Well, no matter, Abby's not here. Penny'll tell us what's up if she wants to. I won't press her.

(Trent cocks an eyebrow)

Jane: Well, not too badly, anyway. *sniffs* Oooh...coffee's brewing. I'll be right out. (Jane heads into the bathroom)

Cut to: INT Lane kitchen. Trent wanders in, sniffing.

Trent: Smells good, Penny.

Penny: Thanks. Uh...why don't you go into the living room, and I'll bring you a mug when the coffee's done?

Trent: (taking the hint) Ok, sure.

(He turns and leaves. Penny turns around and leans over the counter and sighs heavily.)

Cut to: EXT the parking lot of Lawndale Library. Daria parks the car, and she and Quinn get out. As they head for the library, Jamie's BMW swings into the lot.

Quinn: Ohmigod!

Daria: What?

Quinn: It's...Je...Ju...Jer...Jamie! (she turns tail and tries to run)

Daria: (grabbing her shoulders) No, Quinn, we're going inside.

Quinn: But...but...he'll see me!

Daria: No one will see you. We'll go into the back in a corner, and no one will find us. I do it all the time.

Quinn: But people will be LOOKING for me!

Daria: What are you, a fugitive?

Quinn: No, but I'm POP- er...easily recognizable!

Daria: (sighing) I'll tell you what. We'll go in, then you give me your list of books, and I'll get them for you. That way you won't have to leave the corner.

Quinn: (confused look) List? Of books?

Daria: *PLEASE* tell you have a list of books.

Quinn: Uh...no?

Daria: (sighing again) Let's go...

Cut to: INT Lane living room. Jane is coming down the stairs in clean clothes.

Jane: Penny, I tell you, that coffee smells WONDERFUL!

Penny: Nothing better than fresh grown.

Jane: Hell no.

(Penny looks around the room and her eyes fall on a stack of what appear to be postcards in the corner.)

Penny: What's that in the corner? Cards from Mom and Dad?

Jane: Neither. We actually don't know who they're from. They've been coming for years, and they're in some sort of code-

Penny: (suspicious panic) CODE?!? What's the name on the address?

Jane: Lumma Lane, why?

Penny: (Penny goes white as a sheet) LUMMA?!?!? Oh *shit*.

Jane: What?

Trent: Penny? Are you okay?

Penny: No, I'm not ok! Those cards are for me!

Trent: But your name is...

Penny: I know what my name is! It's in CODE! 1

Jane: Calm down, we had no idea.

Penny: Why didn't you tell me about them the last time I was home?

Jane: I tried, but I couldn't get near you! I got so fed up with everyone being here, and I went to Daria's. By then I forgot...I'm sorry.

Penny: (heavy sigh) Shit. Whatever. Fine. (walks over to the stack of cards and picks them up) If you'll excuse me, I have some reading to catch up on... (she walks away, leaving Trent and Jane staring after her.)
BG Music: "3 Speed"-The Eels

Trent: Whoa.

Jane: This can't be good.

Cut to: INT Penny's room. She's gone to the bottom of the pile and is staring at a card.

Cut to: the card. We see that it is indeed in code.







Penny stares at it for a minute.

Penny: Dammit! I can't believe how much of this I forgot! (she gets out a pen and paper and sets to work decoding)

Cut to: flashback INT Penny's room. Penny and Abby are sitting on the floor talking. BG music continues.

Abby: (rolling up a sleeve) She did it again last night.

Penny: Oh god. What now?

Abby: She found out we went to the Zen last week. How she knew, I'll never find out.

Penny: Yeah, you stayed over here afterwards.

Abby: The only way...oh SHIT.

Penny: What?

Abby: The only way she could have known is if she read my diary. Bloody hell, I'm lucky I got away with this one bruise...

Penny: Yeah, no kidding.

Abby: Hell.

Penny: Now what?

Abby: (idea filtering through) Well...why not write in a code? That way if my mom or the teachers ever read stuff we write, it'll be unintelligible.

Penny: Unless Ms. Li finds out and hires us as her personal scouts. 3

(they both laugh)

Cut to: montage
BG music: "Secret Agent Man"- the Toasters
Scene: INT the library, the two girls hovering over a code book
Scene: INT Abby's room, she's got the alphabet in front of her in rows
Scene: EXT the quad at LHS, they sit looking at a piece of paper with triumph in their eyes.
Scene: INT DeMartino's classroom. DeMartino is well on his way to being the nutjob we know and love, Abby and Penny are passing notes
Scene: INT classroom Penny and Abby scribbling away furiously
end montage

Cut to: Penny's face. It holds a bittersweet mixture of relief, happiness, and sadness. You can tell she's in total shock from this find.

Penny: (muttering) Ten years...I can't believe...wow. (sighs)

Cut to: INT Lawndale Library. Daria and Quinn are at a table strewn with papers and books, both are pouring over books.
BG Music: "Shallow Water," Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians 4

Quinn looks up and Daria does the same...both realise the humor the sight of the two of them must make.

Quinn: I'm really enjoying History this year.

Daria: Yeah, DeMartino's a good teacher, as long as you don't drive him crazy.

Quinn: I'd hate to see what he's done to Kevin and Brittany.

Daria: It's actually pretty funny.

Quinn: (businesslike) Ok, so I have a lot of info on the Haight-Ashbury, New York City, and Detroit in 1967. I haven't found any stuff on other places. Or at least (almost bitter) none that this crappy library has.

Daria: No kidding. Although, you don't get any better information than from primary sources.

Quinn: Primary sources? Like an autobiography or an interview or something?

Daria: Yeah.

Quinn: But where would I find anything like that? Who would I...

Both: (eyes lock) Mom and Dad. 5

Cut to: INT Morgendorffer household. Helen is in the kitchen pouring over books and papers of her own, and Jake is watching TV with a martini in hand. Quinn and Daria walk in, Daria heads upstairs, and Quinn eyes the house with trepidation.

Quinn: (VO) Mom or Dad? Dad, he's not busy...
(Quinn walks into the living room)

Jake: Hey kiddo!

Quinn: Hi Dad. Um...I'm writing a paper about the 60s for school and...

Jake: You want to interview me? Ask me my views on the issues?

Quinn: Actually...yeah.

Jake: Groovy!

Quinn: Right...so uh...didn't you say once you went to Altamont? 6

Jake: Yeah! Lousy bikers...ruined it for everyone!

Flashback: Cut to: EXT Altamont. Two Hell's Angels are standing watching things, each with a beer in hand.
BG music: "Get Off My Cloud,"-Rolling Stones

Hell's Angel #1: I swear to God, if another freakin' hippie asks me where the can is, I'm gonna deal some damage.

(Jake walks up, looking much like he does in "The Daria Database," and taps the Hell's Angel on the shoulder)

Jake: Excuse me, man, but where's the--

(Jake is cut off by a fist to the jaw, thereby starting the fighting at Altamont)

End Flashback: Cut to: INT Morgendorffer living room.

Jake: I don't remember much after that, sweetie.

Quinn: (looking a little scared) That's...that's good, Dad. Thanks... (she dazedly gets up and heads to the kitchen. mutters) My God, my father is Forrest Gump ... 7

Cut to: INT Kitchen. Enter, Quinn.

Quinn: Hi, Mom.

Helen: Well hello, sweetie. Researching a paper, I see?

Quinn: Yeah. I'm doing this paper on the 60s for DeMartino, and...

Helen: You want to interview me! Oh! (tears up a la "Write Where it Hurts") I don't believe it...my girls...

Quinn: (exasperated) Muh-OHM!

Helen: (collecting herself) Oh, sorry sweetie...any stories in specific?

Quinn: Well...were you any part of the famineist movement?

Helen: *feminist* movement, and why yes, I was!

Quinn: Want to tell me about it?

Helen: Well, it all started with a group I had on campus...

Flashback: Cut to: INT the basement of a sorority house (no, I don't know which one). Helen is sitting at the head of a group of women, all in various stages of hippie-ness. One particularly fierce-looking woman sitting next to Helen is glaring daggers at her.
BG Music: "I am Woman"-Helen Reddy

Helen: Thank you all for coming to the first meeting of the Solidarity Sisterhood! (polite applause) Let's go around the room and say our names and our goals. I'm Helen Barksdale, and I'm a pre-law major. My goal is to be a partner in a law firm before I'm 40! 8 (Helen turns to the fierce-looking woman)

Woman: I'm Melinda Graves, and I'm a journalist major! My goal is to prove that women can kick ass just like any man! (with that, she takes her bra out from under her shirt, pulls out a zippo and sets it afire)

End Flashback: Cut to: Morgendorffer kitchen. Quinn looks just as scared as she did before- she's not used to Diesel Dykes 9 , even in anecdote form.

Helen: Melinda was an...interesting woman. I think she's an editor of Ms. Magazine now...

Quinn: I...see. Ok, well, that'll be enough, thanks! (Quinn hightails it out of the kitchen and back upstairs.)

Cut to: INT Daria's room, she's on the bed reading. Quinn walks by.

Daria: (looking up) Hey Hunter S., how'd it go?

Quinn: I don't know whether to fear or loathe them. 10

Daria: (impressed) I choose to ignore, it saves energy.

Quinn: (sighing) This research stuff is HARD!

Daria: Yeah, fortunately, after the first few papers at Lawndale, they start recycling topics.

Quinn: (catching on) So I can recycle sources?

Daria: Sometimes entire pages.

Quinn: Wow.

Daria: You'll get the hang of it.

(The two sisters smirk at each other with a level of regard that seems to only be growing lately. With a polite nod, Quinn leaves and goes back to her room. Daria smirks after her, then goes back to her book.)

Cut to: INT Penny's room. Penny is sitting on her bed reading the postcards. Jane walks by the doorway and knocks on the doorframe.
BG Music: "Most of the Time"-Bob Dylan 11

Penny: Yeah? Oh. Hey.

Jane: Hey. You ok?

Penny: Yeah.

Jane: I'm sorry I didn't tell you about the postcards, I-

Penny: It's okay, Janey. I overreacted. How would you have known they were for me?

Jane: Mm. So...how are you?

Penny: (sighing, making a decision) Well, I'm a hell of a lot better, now that I'm reading these postcards.

Jane: Really? That's good.

Penny: She's why I came back...(almost fighting tears)...and...why I left in the first place.

Jane: (eyebrows arching) Excuse me?

Penny: When did I leave?

Jane: Uh...right after graduation? I don't remember. I was eight.

Penny: No, you were right. Right after graduation. Mom and Dad were never around, Trent was an idiot the way only 13-year-old boys can be, and you were eight. And then Abby left.

Jane: Abby left?

Penny: Yeah. One day she was there, and one day she was...gone. She didn't tell me where she went, and her Mom wouldn't answer any questions. She'd slam the door in my face and hang up on me on the phone. She was so sure I was the one who (finger quotes) "corrupted her daughter." (angry) Stupid bitch should have looked in the mirror more often...

Jane: Whoa...and no one knew? Not Mom or Trent? Not even WIND ? 12

Penny: Nope. There was no one around for me to talk to, so when she skipped town, I did too.

Jane: And so the Lane wanderlust lived on.

Penny: Yeah, something like that. I bummed around the States for a while, but nowhere felt right. When I finally got down to Texas, the next obvious move was Mexico. Suddenly, four years of high school Spanish made sense. Anyway, once I was south of the border, a lot of stuff made more sense. My art, my interest in craftwork, all of it. I stopped caring so much about what had happened to Abby, and about what was going on in the world around me. The best part of Mexico and Central America is that if you get bored with one crusade, a short bus trip and you can find a whole new one. God, that sounds awful, but...being a gringa trying to fight for a cause didn't always work.

Jane: Wow, you must've seen some crazy stuff.

Penny: Yeah. I'd trade it all to know where Abby is, though. (can't talk about it anymore, sighing) But enough about me, what's going on in your little corner of the world?

Jane: Well, it's not half as interesting, but...I was going out with this really great guy up until the spring.

Penny: What happened?

Jane: He ran to Daria.

Penny: Daria? The friend of yours Trent told me about?

Jane: Yeah. Her.

Penny: Are you ok?

Jane: (sighing) Yeah. Most of the time. 13 Every once in a while, though...I just get angry all over again. I think it's the principle of the whole thing rather than the fact of it.

Penny: Whatever you do, don't let it screw up your friendship.

Jane: Huh?

Penny: If you two are as close as Trent tells me, then you want to hold onto her. Hold on as tight as you can. (close to tears again) I wish I had...

(Jane leans over tentatively and puts her arm around Penny. Then she goes in for a full-on hug. The two sisters embrace.)

Jane: It'll be ok, Penny. It'll be ok.

Cut to: INT Quinn's room. She's at the computer typing.

Quinn: (thought VO) Annnnnd...done! Phew! (looks at the clock. It reads 9pm.) Oh, no. I missed the Fashion Club meeting!
(As if to corroborate, the phone rings, and Quinn picks it up nervously) He-hello?

Sandi:(OS, through the phone) Well HERE you are, Qu-inn. We were beginning to get WORRIED about you. What was so important that you missed the Saturday meeting of the Fashion Club?

Quinn: (thought VO) Think fast, Morgendorffer... (out loud) Uhhhh...Mom caught me coming in real late last night and I was grounded for the afternoon.

Sandi: (almost disappointed) Oh. Well...The next time that happens, CALL me, and you won't be marked ABSENT from the meeting.

Quinn: (without thinking) You're taking ATTENDANCE now?

Sandi: Well, Quinn, we thought we had to do SOMETHING to make you be more attentive. After the way you've been acting lately, we thought the only way we could make you come was by making it more like SCHOOL. Or is your foray into BRAININESS just a phase?

Quinn: (knowing she's been caught) Oh, no, Sandi! The Fashion Club is always foremost in my thoughts!

Sandi: Four most? What are the other three things?

Quinn: I mean, it's like, really important!

Sandi: So there aren't three other things more important to you?

Quinn: No, Sandi!

Sandi: Ok...I'll believe you this time. Hmm. You've missed the meeting, so...I guess we'll see you on Monday, ok, Quinn?

Quinn: Uh, okay, Sandi. Bye. (she hangs up the phone. There is a knock on the doorframe, it's Daria.)

Daria: Trouble in Fashion Land?

Quinn: You could say that.

Daria: Don't let it bring you down, if anything's supposed to happen, it will.

Quinn: (suspicious) What's THAT supposed to mean?

Daria: I mean, soon she'll figure out that you're doing well academically...

Quinn: And? (almost knowing the rest)

Daria: (sighing, with resignation) And you'll figure out you're bored stupid by them.

Quinn: (sighing) I figured THAT out ages ago. But thanks.

Daria: So why are you still hanging out with them?

Quinn: Because...God, I don't know. I'm not ready for this.

Daria: (realizing now would be a good time to leave) You'll figure it out, Quinn. (turns to leave)

Quinn: Thanks...Daria.

Daria: Mm. (she leaves)

Cut to: INT Lane kitchen, the next day. Penny is at the table sipping coffee.

Cut to: EXT the window, where we can see the mail truck drive up, put some things in the mailbox, flip the flag, and drive off.

Penny: (to herself) Hmm. Mail's here.

BG Music: "Sherry Fraiser"-Marcy Playground
(The camera follows as Penny walks out of the kitchen, through the living room, out the front door, to the mailbox.)

Cut to: INT the mailbox, as Penny opens it, her hand reaches in.
Cut to: Penny's POV. At the top of the mail is a postcard, once again addressed to "Lumma Lane"
Cut to: Penny's face. A smile spreads, and tears well up.
Cut to: The postcard.


Cut to: INT DeMartino's classroom. Quinn is sitting at the back with the rest of the fashion drones.

DeMartino: While SOME of you chose to write ORIGINAL pieces, I noticed at least TWO papers that were identical. NICE try, but the internet SUCKS sometimes. No less than THREE of you wrote the plots to Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and RAMBO- EACH! Did you THINK I'd not NOTICE?!? However, ONE of your classmates wrote a THRILLING piece on the sixties and its SOCIAL impliCATIONS! CongratuLATIONS, Ms. Morgendorffer. Much improvement!

(Quinn is sinking in her seat, obviously scared.)

Quinn: Oh god.

(DeMartino walks around handing out papers. Groans and the odd sighs of relief are heard around the room.)

Sandi: Gee, Quinn. You must have written *some* piece for DeMartino to like, praise it and stuff.

Quinn: Oh Sandi! I don't know WHY he gave me such a good grade. I mean, I wrote it on the FASHIONS of the sixties! (Thought VO) Yeah, I fleetingly *mention* how sexism was so rampant girls couldn't wear pants at school.

Sandi: Well Quinn, if that's the *great topic* that got you an *A* with DeMartino, then I want you to report on it for the next Fashion Club meeting.

Quinn: (long-suffering sigh) All right, Sandi. (mutter) paranoid halfwit...

Sandi: WHAT was that you just said, Quinn?

Quinn: Uhh...ballplayers have mitts?

Sandi: Ohhh. I see. Well...are you going to become a JOCK in addition to a BRAIN?

Quinn: Oh NO Sandi! I'd never do that! Either of those things! (Sees Sandi's rage has been deflected; sarcastic mutter) Not the jock one, anyway...

Cut to: INT LHS Girls' Bathroom. Quinn is at a mirror doing her makeup. Daria walks in.
BG Music: "Don't Let it Bring You Down"-Annie Lennox

Quinn: Hey Daria!

Daria: You're speaking to me on school grounds?

Quinn: (not getting it) Well there ISN'T anyone else in here!

Daria: (sighing)(thought VO) Rome wasn't built in a day. . .

Quinn: Anyway, I have another problem.

Daria: Do I need to start charging you for this?

Quinn: Ha, ha, Daria. Seriously, I need help.

Daria: What now?

Quinn: I did really well on the paper for DeMartino, and I told Sandi that I didn't know why I'd done so well seeing as how I'd written it on 60s fashions-

Daria: You wrote it on the changes in the social climate, Quinn. I proofread it for you.

Quinn: Sandi doesn't know that!

Daria: So aside from blatantly lying to your quote-unquote friend, what's wrong?

Quinn: She wants me do to a presentation on 60s fashion for the Fashion Club!

Daria: Is that so difficult?

Quinn: No! No...but...I have so much other work to do...I'd never be able to do it all AND that.

Daria: So why not do a half-assed job?

Quinn: I can't! Sandi would know!

Daria: Quinn, remember when I said "if anything'll happen, it will"?

Quinn: Yeah...

Daria: This could be that anything. If you want this to be your turning point, you can make it that. If you want things to keep on the status quo, you can do that, too. It's your call, Quinn.

Quinn: (sighing) Yeah. Thanks, Daria.

Daria: No problem.

(Daria leaves. Quinn looks at herself in the mirror and sighs again.)

Cut to: INT Lane living room. Penny is sitting on the couch, almost shell-shocked. The last vestiges of tears remain on her cheeks, with a watery smile on her lips. Her eyes have a wistful joy that they obviously haven't for years. She holds the postcard in her hand, and she reads it over and over, chuckling every so often. Enter, Jane.

Jane: Penny did the mail come...looks like it did. Penny? Penny? Is that a postcard?

Penny: (noticing Jane) Oh! Janey! I got a postcard from Abby!

Jane: You did? (Penny nods) That's wonderful! What does it say?

Penny: She's...she's coming back!

Jane: She is? (Penny nods again) When?

Penny: The 25th. Jane, uh...this is kindof awkward but...could you...

Jane: Not be here? Gladly.

Cut to: INT Daria's room. She's on the bed reading in her normal clothes, sans boots.
BG Music: "Revolution"-the Beatles

(Phone rings)
Daria: Hello? (Split screen to Jane)

Jane: Hey, is it cool if I come over? Penny's having a friend visit, and I want to give her some time.

Daria: Sure, I'll be here.

Cut to: Morgendorffer living room. Quinn comes through the front door laughing hysterically. We follow her as she makes her way up the stairs and goes right to Daria's room.

Quinn: Daria! (still laughing) Daria! You HAVE to hear what happened! (laughing)

Daria: Let me guess. Sandi's head exploded?

Quinn: (renewed laughter) You're not far off! Look in your closet.

Daria: What?

Quinn: Look in your closet.

Daria: (getting up) Oh, all right. (looks in) Dammit, Quinn! Where are my boots!?

Quinn: Right here. (hands over a shopping bag, presumably with the boots in it)

Daria: What'd you need these for?

Quinn: I gave them their 60s fashion, all right.

Daria: Oh?

Quinn: 60s military fashions from Vietnam. (Quinn starts giggling again, and Daria gets a chuckle or two out of it herself.) Sandi was so outraged! But that's not the best part!

Daria: Oh?

Quinn: Turns out Stacy's favourite movie is "Full Metal Jacket." She didn't shut up about it! So Sandi got all pissed off, started yelling at STACY, "Gee, Stacy, if you think you could be a better Fashion Club president..." Then her eyes got REAL wide, she screamed, then ran out of there like a bat out of hell!

Jane: (OS) Sounds like she got more than she bargained for, huh?

Daria: Hey, Jane. You got here just in time for Quinn's attempt to overthrow the Fashion Club by making them use their brains.

Jane: Wow! Didn't know you had it in you!

Quinn: It was beautiful! If you could see the look on Tiffany's face...

Cut to: INT Lane kitchen. Penny is running around like a hummingbird on meth 15 ,making coffee, cleaning up, generally getting ready for Abby's arrival. The doorbell rings.

BG Music: "I Will Hold On"-Moxy Früvous
The camera follows Penny through the kitchen, to the living room, to the door. Door opens to see an older-looking Abby on the doorstep with a teary smile and the two women hug. The song continues as we go through a montage:

Cut to: Penny and Abby grinning at each other in Barch's class.
Cut to: Penny and Abby showing Jane how to paint.
Cut to: Penny and Abby at the Zen.
Cut to: Penny getting her diploma.
Cut to: Abby getting her diploma.
Cut to: Penny and Abby hugging in their caps and gowns.
Cut to: Abby leaving Lawndale.
Cut to: Penny morose in her room.
Cut to: Present-day Penny and Abby hugging on the doorstep.
Song ends. Fade to black.

"Penny Lane" by the Beatles plays as alter-egos run.

A note of thanks:
Major thanks go to Canadibrit. If not for her bootlace threat, and the positive encouragement of chocolate and friendship, chances are this fic would probably have sat on my hard drive to rot. Good on you, CB! Further thanks goes to Crazy Nutso, for once again giving me direction, and to Chad Page and TAFKA for beta reading.

1. The Code is this thing called "Zip." My friend Erin made it up when we were in 7th grade, and well...it's just fun! [back]

(What, you thought I'd leave you in the dark on this?!?) [back]

3. Who's to say Ms. Li wasn't then the capital control freak she is today? [back]

4. Thanks to Medea42 for suggesting this song. I never would have thought of this one on my own. It fits perfectly! [back]

5. Come on, who didn't see this coming? [back]

6. He did. In "Road Worrier." [back]

7. This line is stolen almost wholesale from the Drew Carey show. [back]

8. Well, we know that Helen's 46- er, 43. She's 43! [back]

9. This isn't meant to be offensive, just a description. We all know they exist, we all know they talk/act like that a lot of the time. After all, Hothead Paisan wouldn't exist otherwise, right? [back]

10. Ok, so Quinn might not get the reference, but the joke works, right! Right? [back]

11. Yes, I know this song is a little romantic and implies a different kind of relationship between Penny and Abby, but DAMN the tone fits well. Ever lose track of a friend? It feels a lot like this. [back]

12. Amanda may have been around SOMETIMES, she might have talked to Trent ONCE in a while, and Wind MAY have been around a little, too, being the next oldest and all. [back]

13. There's that phrase again! Maybe it fits for Tom and Jane, too...hmmm... [back]

14. PENNY-

15. Or a bee on speed. Can't you just see it? [back]

Songs from this story:
1. "Homeward Bound," as covered by Moxy Früvous
2. "3 Speed"-The Eels
3. "Secret Agent Man"- the Toasters
4. "Shallow Water," Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians
5. "Get Off My Cloud,"-Rolling Stones
6. "I am Woman"-Helen Reddy
7. "Most of the Time"-Bob Dylan
8. "Sherry Fraiser"-Marcy Playground
9. "Don't Let it Bring You Down"-Annie Lennox
10. "Revolution"-the Beatles
11. "I Will Hold On"-Moxy Früvous
12. "Penny Lane"- the Beatles