Disclaimer: Not my characters.

Summary: When Jane and Mack get paired together on a science project, Jane begins to notice some strange things about him. {comedy} [PGish]

Notes: Iím still playing with that time at the end of season three, pre-Tom. Big thanks to the folks at PPMB.

 

ďChange is in the CheerĒ
by Lupinsmoon12391
(lupins_moon12391@yahoo.com)

 

ACT I
SCENE 1: EXT. of Landon house. Inside you see Andrew and Jodie leading a (white) woman, dressed in a fancy pants suit, on a tour.

ANDREW: And this is our living room.

JODIE: (thought vo) Because I'm sure she couldn't have figured that out on her own.

WOMAN: (with a 'rich person' accent) Lovely!

ANDREW: And this here, this is the kitchen!

JODIE: (sarcastically) It's where we cook the food.

WOMAN: Fabulous!

ANDREW: She's joking. (Jodie makes a surprised face at her father. He cont.) Of course we have a staff that cooks for us.

Jodie rolls her eyes, noting that it's not out of the ordinary for her father to not really listen to her, or, for that matter, to exaggerate.

WOMAN: A staff! Well, you simply must tell me all about them!

ANDREW: Sure, I'll tell you about them while I take you up to my pride and joy, Evan's room!

WOMAN: Oh, he's the baby?

Michele comes into the room and stands next to Jodie, crossing her arms and frowning in a similar way.

ANDREW: Yep! (boasts) Why, I'm so connected to the kid, I feel almost like I gave birth to him. 

Everyone but Jodie laughs. Michele stops.

MICHELE: (darkly; eyes narrowed) Well, you didn't.

The lady gets big eyes and looks back and forth from Michele and Andrew as they stare each other down. She turns to Jodie.

WOMAN: I'm so happy that you're considering coming to our university, Miss Landon!

JODIE: At least that's one of us.

WOMAN: What?

JODIE: Err...I mean... (She looks embarrassed. Her parents are looking at her like she's insane.)

MICHELE: What do you mean, Jodie?

JODIE: Um...I'm just nervous! I mean, it's hard to be happy, it's such a prestigious school and all. I hope I get into... (struggles to remember the name; she can't) I hope I get into the school!

The woman looks flabbergasted for a moment, but then nods her head; puts on theatrical tears.

WOMAN: Oh, Jodie! (embraces the stunned Jodie; Michelle steps back, shocked) It's natural for young students to be overwhelmed by this time in their lives. It's either get into our school or spend the rest of your life flipping burgers---

JODIE: I kind of doubt---

WOMAN: (pulling off Jodie) Now, what about your life at Lawndale High. What's it like?

ANDREW: Jodie's an excellent student.

WOMAN: Oh?

ANDREW: Valedictorian---

JODIE: So far, Dad.

ANDREW: President of the French Club.

JODIE: Vice- President.

ANDREW: On the tennis team.

JODIE: You got me on that one.

ANDREW: In the marching band.

JODIE: I am? (bt) Oh, right. I am.

WOMAN: That's so wonderful, Jodie! But...

MICHELE: (in a this-better-not-have-anything-to-do-with-her-race voice) What?

WOMAN: Well, just in my day, all the popular girls were, well...cheerleaders. Are you one, Jodie?

MICHELE: Are you asking my daughter if she degrades herself by wearing skimpy, little outfits and dancing for fans at local football games?

JODIE: Yeah, Mom, I think she is.

MICHELE: (not as oblivious to Jodie's sarcasm; frowns at her and cont. to the lady) Why on earth would Jodie want to do that?

The woman frowns. Andrew intervenes.

ANDREW: Now, now, Michele. This isn't the 1920s. Things have changed since you were a kid. (He laughs to show that he's joking, but stops when he sees Michele frowning and crossing her arms again.) Anyway, it's not a sin for a girl to show a little skin nowadays. Look at how short Jodie's skirt is!

JODIE: What's wrong with my skirt?

ANDREW: (hastily) Nothing, honey! I'm just saying, in this modern society, women know how to use their sexuality to get what they desire. It's a tactic that Jodie's going to have to use in the cutthroat business world, so she might as well practice it now.

JODIE: Dad...?

MICHELE: So you're saying that the only way that women get ahead in the business world is by relying on their sexuality?

ANDREW: Now, I don't like to be so black and white about it---

MICHELE: Black and white?

The woman slowly starts to back away. Jodie looks like she wants to, but can't since she's stuck between her feuding parents.

ANDREW: I'm your own husband, Michele! You need some help with that paranoia! Anyway, take Jodie's little friend.

MICHELE: Now you're looking at Jodie's friends?!

ANDREW: Just the one I hired the private investigator on!

WOMAN: Oh, look at the time! Well, I really ought to be off. It was truly lovely meeting all of you, and Jodie...We'll, uh, give you a call! (runs out of the house; you can hear tires squeal away)

MICHELE: (to Andrew) The Morgendorffer girl? The one who might beat Jodie out for valedictorian? Now who's feeding into paranoia?

JODIE: You hired someone to spy on Daria?

ANDREW: Why is everyone so shocked about this? I just wanted to know a little bit of the girl's background.

MICHELE: I can't believe you'd do that. Besides, you know what freaks her parents are.

JODIE: Her parents are freaks?!

ANDREW: Anyway, (frowns at Jodie) you know that skirt she always wears. She's engaging her sexuality.

JODIE: Dad, I'm pretty sure that Daria was born without sexuality.

ANDREW: Nonsense! She's smart girl, Jodie! She knows that sex sells!

Cut to the Morgendorffer house. Daria's sitting on the couch in the living room, watching TV. The three J's are standing around, awkwardly.

SICK, SAD WORLD ANNOUNCER (on TV): They may live on the dog, but they doesn't mean they don't have OCD! Perfectionistics, next, on, Sick, Sad World!

Daria turns off the TV and turns to the guys.

DARIA: You can sit down.

JOEY: Are you giving us permission?

DARIA: No. I'm merely pointing out the capabilities of the human body.

JEFFY: Oh.

DARIA: (sighs) Yes, I'm giving permission.

ALL THREE: Oh.

All three sit down on the couch, as far away from Daria as possible. She raises an eyebrow.

DARIA: Do you guys do everything together?

ALL THREE: No.

DARIA: Oh...Well, I was just checking.

The guys stomp feet, look around nervously; Daria sighs.

DARIA: So you're waiting for Quinn to get back, huh?

JOEY: Yeah.

JEFFY: She's out with Shawn.

JAMIE: He's not even that cute.

JOEY: Yeah! I don't know why Quinn wants to date losers like that when she could have us.

DARIA: Maybe she thinks you guys aren't possessive enough.

JEFFY: Is that what you think?

DARIA: You know how much time you spend on Quinn? You should double it.

JAMIE: I've got to sleep some time!

JEFFY: You think that'll work?

DARIA: Oh, yeah. And Quinn just loves it when guys...Hold on. How much money do you guys have on you?

JOEY: (pulling out his wallet and getting a couple of bills out of it) I have fifteen dollars.

JEFFY: (doing the same) I have ten.

JAMIE: (following the others) I've got...Ha! I win! Fifty!

Daria smirks.

DARIA: Do you happen to know the retail price for some of Quinn's underwear?

The guys' eyes widen. They look at each other like they can't believe what she just said before turning to her and holding out their money.

Cut back to the Landons'. Now Michele, Andrew and Jodie are putting on coats, like they're getting ready to leave.

MICHELE: And I can't believe you think that cheerleading would be a good activity for our daughter. Of all the other valuable things she could be doing with her time...

ANDREW: I was just pointing out the value in cheerleading, sweetie.

MICHELE: There is no value in cheerleading. It's sick, sexist male drivel that men invented so that they could feel somewhat heterosexual while jumping around on other men. (Andrew smirks.) And don't you dare say anything that would make me slap you!

JODIE: Can I say something?

ANDREW: If you feel you have to, sweetie.

JODIE: (thought vo) Funny I should want a say in my own life. (out loud) I think I'm gonna try cheerleading.

ANDREW: Yes!

MICHELE: Why, sweetheart? Why would you want to do that to yourself?

JODIE: I'm not going to trash something I haven't tried, Mom. I'm going to give it a chance and see what happens. I, for one, try not to stereotype things that I know absolutely nothing about.

MICHELE: Who likes to adhere to stereotypes? But stereotypes exist for a reason.

Jodie gives her mom a pointed look.

MICHELE: (defensive) You know as well as I do that those are garbage! I mean, people don't even know me and assume...Oh, I see your point.

ANDREW: (grinning broadly) So, it's settled. Our little Jodie's going to become a stereo- I mean, cheerleader!

MICHELE: (sighing) Let's go get some dinner.

ANDREW: Great! I'll go get Evan!

He runs out of the scene.

JODIE: I guess our personal chefs are out tonight.

MICHELE: What?

JODIE: What Dad told the college lady.

MICHELE: (frowning) He needs a muzzle.

Andrew comes back with the baby; the family goes out the door. Rachel comes downstairs.

RACHEL: Hey, did you guys say you were going to go get dinner? I'm...(sees no one there) starved.

 

SCENE 2: EXT. of Lawndale High; bell rings. Daria and Jane are entering science class.

DARIA: ...So all I can hope is that they don't try to perform some voodoo ritual with them.

JANE: Wait. Hope that they do, or hope that they don't?

The girls sit. Daria shrugs.

DARIA: Hope that they don't. (bt) I've got my reasons.  

JANE: Okaaay. (looks at Daria suspiciously before going on) So, I'm making my sculpture out of shoelaces and used gum--

DARIA: And why did you pick used gum?

JANE: Well, duh, Daria. (smirks) Gum doesn't have the right consistence coming right out of the pack. You've got to work at it.

DARIA: Wow. All those hours of delighting in candy for the sake of your art. You're practically a martyr, Jane.

JANE: Practically?!

DARIA: And you wonder why I'm the only one who ever talks to you.

Mack approaches the girls.

MACK: Hey.

JANE: (to Daria, pointing to Mack) That's not you, right?

DARIA: It's not the 'me' in this chair. But there could be an alternate universe 'me.'

JANE: The resemblance is uncanny. (back to Mack) Yo?

Mack sits down at a neighboring desk.

MACK: Ms. Barch said we're starting a new project today, and I can't work with Jodie anymore.

JANE: Trouble in paradise?

MACK: No, Ms. Barch just says that Jodie's been doing all the work. (bt; bitter) Apparently she's forgotten the twenty billion other things that Jodie has on her plate. Anyway, she said I needed to pick a new partner for this one. You two think you can go without being attached at the hip for the length of one project?

DARIA: Unfortunately, advances in medical science will not allow it.

JANE: We're hoping to be rid of each other by the year 2020, though.

MACK: Come on! You've got to work with me! It's either you or---

Entering the class is KEVIN: Hey, Mack Daddy!

MACK: (to the girls; desperate) Please!

Kevin leaves view and more students wander in. Jane looks at Daria.

JANE: What kind of heartless creatures would we be if we left Mack to that fate?

DARIA: Run-of-the-mill heartless ones.

JANE: Come on. You can work with Mack. You'll actually have someone contributing to the workload.

DARIA: (reluctant admittance) I do like that thought.

MACK: Umm...actually, I was wondering if Jane would work with me on this one.

DARIA: Jane?!

JANE: Me?!

MACK: Yeah.

DARIA: But, why? I've worked with her before, Mack. She's not exactly scientifically-inclined.

JANE: (shrugging) I'm really not. (bt; upbeat) But I do have a rather large supply of Plutonium in my basement!

DARIA: I told you it wouldn't lend itself to sculpting, didn't I?

Jane grumbles incoherently.

MACK: Anyway, that's kind of why I want to work with Jane: to give Ms. Barch as little ammunition for failing me as possible.

DARIA: So you're saying that you don't want to work with me...because I'm too smart?

JANE: I told you that would be your downfall, didn't I?

Daria frowns.

JANE: Sure, Mack. 

MACK: Thanks! And, Daria, you can work with---

DARIA: Oh my god.

Pull out to show Jodie standing in front of the three of them, holding her books. She's in a cheerleading uniform.

JANE: (rubbing her chin) Now, hold on, there's something different about you...

JODIE: Oh, hardy har har.

MACK: (not exactly enthused) Hey, Jane and I are working together, so you're free to work with Daria.

JODIE: UhÖ Great! (smiles at Daria, who's still frowning; she frowns herself) What?

DARIA: Why did you do this? (bt) To yourself?

JANE: Yeah, because I wouldn't even wish this on my worst enemies. (bt) Actually, I would. But that's beside the point.

JODIE: I'm broadening my horizons.

MACK: (frowning) You've already got the whole horizon.

JODIE: (frowning, too) Mack...

Mack scoots his desk closer to Jane's and looks away from Jodie. She sighs.

JODIE: So, Daria...

She gets cut off by BRITTANY: (standing in front of Daria; twirling her hair) Daria, I was wondering if you would work with me on our new science project? Ms. Barch said I shouldn't work with Kevin anymore, if I know what's good for me.

DARIA: Gee, I dunno, Brittany...

BRITTANY: I really wanna do well, Daria! I'll work really hard; I promise! Just tell me what to do, and I'll do it, I swear!

Daria sighs and looks at Jodie, who's scanning a book, Your Inner Overachiever and You.

DARIA: (sighs) Sure, Brittany.

BRITTANY: Great! (gets a desk next to Daria and pulls it up to hers, like Jane and Mack have theirs)

JODIE: (noticing this and shutting her book) Who am I supposed to work with?

Kevin comes up behind Jodie and puts his hand on her shoulder.

KEVIN: Hey, we're supposed to be pairing up, right? (bt) Whoa! Jodie, you're like--- a babe!

BRITTANY: Kevvy!

KEVIN: (waving) Hey, babe! (back to Jodie) But, Jodie. Seriously. You're a cheerleader now, and I'm the QB, so---

BRITTANY: KEVIN!!!

JODIE: (moving her shoulder so Kevin's hand falls off) I wouldn't work with you in a million years.

KEVIN: (scratching his head) So that's a no?

Jodie walks off. Kevin continues to walk around the class looking at students as he passes them.

KEVIN: Do you have a partner? Do you wanna work with me? Do you have the Pigskin Channel? (He gets to Andrea.) Hey, do you have the Pigskin Channel?

ANDREA: No, but I have an ax.

KEVIN: Whoa! What do you use that for?

ANDREA: Shutting up annoying football players.

MACK: (frowning) Could I borrow it?

JANE: (to Mack, smiling) I think this is the start of a beautiful partnership.

Close-up on Daria; she looks pissed. Uh-oh, the jealousy bug! She turns to Brittany, maybe looking for some kind of sign that this is gonna be okay. Brittany holds up a piece of paper.

BRITTANY: Look, Daria; I drew a heart!

Daria's head drops onto her desk. Ms. Barch enters the classroom; she looks a bit in disarray.

MS. BARCH: (a little out-of-breath) Sorry I'm late, class. I got caught up in the teachers' lounge; erm, a line at the copier... (cough) Now, students, here are your assignment sheets. (begins walking around and passing papers out) I've talked to some of you about your previous arrangements, so you should be paired up accordingly. Now, if a boy and girl are paired together, the boy should give the girl their assignment sheet because everyone knows that lousy men can't keep track of anything. And don't worry girls, I'll take the fact that you're working with a nasty, little man into consideration when grading your projects.

MACK: (to Jane) Like that's not out of the ordinary. (Jane chuckles.)

MS. BARCH: (points to Jodie, who's sitting next to Upchuck) Shut up, Mack!

JODIE: Mack's sitting with Daria and Jane, now, Ms. Barch.

MS. BARCH: Oh. (goes to Jane and Mack) Shut up, Mack! (bt) You gonna keep him in line, Ms. Lane?

JANE: (glaring at Mack) I can try, Ms. Barch. But then again, isn't that all we could do with these sleazeballs?

MS. BARCH: (smiling) That attitude'll get you far, Lane. (sets the papers on their desks and walks off)

MACK: Yeah, into the nuthouse.

JANE: You know they don't actually have nuts there? Terribly misleading name, if you ask me.

Jane and Mack share a smirk. Ms. Barch is standing in front of Jodie and Upchuck, and sheís noticed Jodieís ensemble.

MS. BARCH: Jodie, why would you do this to yourself?

JODIE: Why do people keep saying that? (bt) I'm trying to broaden my horizons.

MS. BARCH: I'm sorry, Ms. Landon, but I'm going to have to take this into account when grading your project.

JODIE: What?! You're going to lower my grade just because I'm doing something that you don't approve of?

MS. BARCH: (blinking) Of course. (notices Upchuck leering at Jodie) But, I'll try to remember that you had to work with him, too, all right?

She walks off. Jodie sighs, dejected. The bell rings and the students leave the class. Daria's still got her head on her desk.

BRITTANY: Daria...Are you okay?

Cut to Janeís locker. Dariaís approaching, and her foreheadís still a little red.

JANE: Hey.

DARIA: (closing her eyes) Brittanyís a good person. Sheís a good person.

JANE: ĎAnd then I donít know what happened next, officer, but there was an ax in my hands, and she was dead!í (bt) Itís not gonna be that bad.

DARIA: (opening her eyes) You and Mack seem to be hitting it off.

JANE: (putting books in her locker and getting out a couple more; nodding) Heís really cool. I used to eat lunch with him every day in the 8th grade.

DARIA: (maybe a bit hopeful) And what happened to end that pleasant arrangement?

JANE: (shrugging) He made the football team, and I shaved off half my head. (bt) We ran in different circles freshman year.

DARIA: You shaved off half of your head?

JANE: It was an artistic statement.

DARIA: Saying what, that Iím a fool with a razor and I just donít care?

JANE: Are you making fun of me?

They start going down the hallway.

DARIA: (deadpan) No. If I was making fun of you, Iíd be going, ĎNa na na na na na. You were part-bald.í

The duo stop outside a classroom, apparently Janeís math one. Jane opens the door and leans against it.

JANE: Youíre not getting all weird and jealous, are you? Because youíve a tendency to do that.

DARIA: (strong) No!

JANE: (smiling) Good. ĎCause Mackís driving me home today.

DARIA: He has a car?

JANE: Apparently he has several of them. (motions with her hands) He likes to rebuild engines.

DARIA: Oh?

JANE: Yeah. He was explaining it all to me. Didnít understand a damn word, but damn did it sound impressive. (bt; smirking) I may go hang out with him after school, too. If thatís okay with you?

DARIA: Why would I care what you do after school? Iím fine with it. (bt; trying to one-up Jane) I may just hang out with Brittany after school. (frowns upon registering what she said)

JANE: (winking) You have fun, then.

Jane disappears into the classroom. Daria sighs and looks down at the ground. She starts walking down the hallway and passes Jodie, who is also walking while staring at the floor, upset.

 

SCENE 3: EXT. of the Morgendorffer residence. Inside, Helen is standing in the living room, on the phone. In the background, Daria and Brittany enter and walk upstairs.

HELEN: I told you, Eric! I think we have that case. All we have to do is convince Mr. Peliter not to speak in his own defense. Saying that those kids deserved to get attacked by his lizards is not going to do anyone any good! Can you hold on? I think I have another call. (bt; agitated) What? Oh. Hello, Mrs. Warr-White, I mean! Why are you calling me? You found something of Quinnís under your sonís bed? Her bra!!! Well, how did you know it was Quinnís? Oh, right. I forgot sheís labeled her clothes ever since she went to camp. (looks very troubled) Oh, god. I donít know what this means.

Helen has her back turned when Brittany comes back downstairs and looks around. Brittany's eyes widen when she sees the kitchen; sheíd been looking for it. She goes in there.  

HELEN: Why, no, Mrs. White that wasnít an invitation for you to relay your hypothesis to me, though it was a veryÖ vivid description. (calling over her shoulder to the kitchen) Honey, whatís your bra size?

Go to Brittany, perusing the refrigerator. She gets wide eyes.

BRITTANY: Eep!

She shuts the fridge door and drops the bag of chips she was holding and runs past Helen, back upstairs.

HELEN: (bt; wide eyes) That wasnít Quinn, was it?

Cut to Dariaís room. Brittany slams the door behind her and is breathing hard.

BRITTANY: Your parents are weird, Daria.

DARIA: (sitting cross-legged on her bed, reading a book, Your Self-Inflicted Alienation and You) You catch on quicker than Jane. She still finds them mildly amusing.

Brittany crosses Dariaís room and sits on the bed next to her.

BRITTANY: You were really nice to invite me to your house, Daria.

DARIA: (uncomfortable) Oh, erm, sure.

BRITTANY: So, what do you want to talk about?

DARIA: Talk? UhÖ You sure you donít wanna just sit quietly?

BRITTANY: Oh, silly! Havenít you ever done girl talk before?

DARIA: (closing her book and setting it on her bed) Ohhhhh. Girl talk. Well, in that caseÖNo.

BRITTANY: You havenít?

DARIA: Is having to repeat yourself part of this ĎGirl Talkí?

BRITTANY: What?

DARIA: (sighs; thought vo) I donít know why Jodie and Jane would voluntarily open themselves up to these so-called growing experiences, but this just isnít working for me. And no way is this going to make Jane jealous. Better cut the cord before she starts sucking the life out of you. Or threatening to give you a makeover. Whichever. (out loud) Brittany, Iím sorry, but I just can't hang out with you. 

BRITTANY: What?

DARIA: In my attempt to broaden my horizons, I realized that I'm already stretched as far as is comfortable for me. (bt) Go figure.

BRITTANY: What?

DARIA: (trying to put it delicately) I don't think we're the kind of friends who can hang out at each other's houses...Maybe Jodie can balance being a 'brain' and tolerating the cheerleaders, but I just can't. (bt) I don't think any, er, less of you, and I still find you somewhat okay, but I'm just not Miss Congeniality, and you're not my type. (thought vo) Not your type? What are you doing, breaking up with her? 

BRITTANY: (jumping up) Oh, no!

DARIA: (frowns like she feels bad for Brittany; thought vo) Good job, Morgendorffer. Now you've gone and hurt her feelings.

BRITTANY: (cont.) I forgot! Weíre having an emergency practice right now so that Jodie can learn the moves before the big game on Friday. Iíve got to go! Thanks for inviting me over, Daria! (grabs her little backpack and bounces out the door) 

DARIA: (frowning at the closed door) Thatís okay, Brittany. Itís not you. (bt) Itís me.

 

SCENE 4: The Lawndale High track. Jane and Mack are dressed to run and stretching.

JANE: Thanks for doing this, Mack. Daria has a serious aversion to doingÖanything.

MACK: Thatís okay. Itís nice to work out for fun, without having to watch out for Kevin tripping over his untied sneakers or dropping a dumbbell on your foot.

JANE: If I had a nickelÖ (bt) Hey, you wanna race? Iíll go easy on ya.

MACK: (smirking) Youíre too kind.

Jane and Mack get positioned at the starting line. Jane counts them off.

JANE: 4, 3, 2ÖGo!

They take off, and Janeís ahead for a few seconds before Mack catches up. He waves at her before running past her. He reaches the finish line right before she does.

JANE: (almost accusingly) I didnít know you were fast!

MACK: (shrugging) I donít think Iím that good.

JANE: (frowning) You beat me.

 

 

 ĎCommercialí Break
Fade out with scene of the Landons arguing

 

 

ACT II
SCENE 5: EXT. of Lane house. Daria knocks on the door, and Jane answers. Theyíre dressed for school.

JANE: Hey.

DARIA: UhÖHey.

JANE: How was your bonding fest with Brittany?

DARIA: Oh, it was too much fun. We gave each other guacamole facials and then gossiped about the cutest boys in school.

JANE: Funny; thatís what I did with Mack.

DARIA: How did things go with Mack?

JANE: I donít know.

The girls start walking.

JANE: (cont.) He was really weird, in that he wasnít.... (waves her hand, trying to come up with the right word)

DARIA: What?

JANE: (shaking her head) Nothing; never mind. It's probably just my overactive imagination.

DARIA: Well, thank god it's not your funny bone. (bt) I kind of put Brittany in her place.

JANE: (her face gets interested) Really? What'd you say? Please tell me you brought up something about those cantaloupes she so vehemently claims are her boobies!

DARIA: Unfortunately, I was very tactful.

JANE: Damn it!

DARIA: And in reward for my subtlety, the snub went completely over her head.

JANE: Damn it again! Can't you do anything right?

DARIA: (frowning) Apparently not. I get up the nerve to exercise my superiority, and somehow Brittany ends up blowing me off.

JANE: (like itís just dawning on her) It really does suck to be you.

Cut to Mr. OíNeillís class. He's sitting on his desk. His shirt is mis-buttoned and half tucked out.

O'Neill: Now, what do you think Harte was saying in ďThe Outcasts of Poker Flat?Ē (looks kind of hopeful) Kevin?

KEVIN: Um...That ugly girls can get married too?

O'Neill: (thoughtful) While that's not exactly the message that he was trying to get across, you did bring up a relevant plot point. (looks so happy that he's about to burst) Did you read the story, Kevin?

KEVIN: (chuckling, like, 'Duh!') No! Mack Daddy just told me what it was about before class!

MACK: (with his head in his hands, turns to Jane; quietly) It's a shame he didn't mention the rather important part of the story where the aliens attack the outcasts. O'Neill's face would've been priceless.

JANE: (Her eyes get wide, but she shakes her head and returns to normal. She replies, smirking.) With our luck, he'd just think that Kevin had stumbled upon some great symbolism or something. 'And just what do the aliens represent to you?'

Daria frowns at Mack and Jane's shared laugh.

O'Neill: Mack?

MACK: (sitting up) Yes?

O'Neill: What's the story about?

MACK: Ummm...This group of people that get kicked out of a town called Poker Flat.

O'Neill: (nodding) Uh huh. Uh huh. But what about beyond that?

MACK: What?

O'Neill: Beneath the surface?

MACK: Uh... (He looks uncomfortable, and catches Daria's eye. She's glaring at him. He turns to Jane, who's looking at him with curiosity. He swallows.) Um. I don't know.

Jane breathes a sigh of relief. Daria sighs, rolling her eyes, and opens her mouth to speak.

Sheís cut off by JODIE: Harte was saying that just because a person may appear to be one way, that doesn't mean that that's how they are. A person's not identified by what they do to pass the time or what their careers are. They're identified by themselves. He deliberately put ironical twists on popular stereotypes. The gambler, prostitute and 'witch' that were kicked out of the town were better-hearted than most of the townspeople.

O'Neill: (talking slowly) Good---job---Jodie.

JODIE: What?

O'Neill: You---understood----the----story.

JODIE: What?!

O'Neill: Who deserves a gold star? (walks over to Jodie's desk and hands her a sticker)

JODIE: You've got to be kidding me.

O'Neill: Rewards are no joke, Ms. Layman.

JODIE: Don't you mean 'Landon?'

O'Neill: Aren't you so smart! (claps his hands and looks giddy, approaches the front of the class again) Now that we're done with Harte, we can start on Twain!

DARIA: Thank god.

JANE: Now tell us how you really feel.

Back to O'Neill: Can anyone name any famous works by Mark Twain?

BRITTANY: Umm...Didn't he do that one story about that one boy who, like, tricked people into doing his chores?

O'Neill: (smiling) Wow! Two in one day! You're right, Brittany! (hands her a sticker) Here---you---go---Brittany.

BRITTANY: Wow! I got a star!

KEVIN: Cool! (bt) Hey...How come I don't get one?

Cut to the hallway. Jane's following Mack.

JANE: Hey.

Mack stops and turns to Jane.

MACK: Hey.

JANE: Uh, sorry I blew you off yesterday.

MACK: That's okay.

JANE: If you want to hang out some other time, that'd be cool.

MACK: (smiling) Okay; I'd like that.

JANE: Me too. (bt) Sorry that O'Neill put you on the spot like that.

MACK: Yeah. I hate showing off.

JANE: Yeah...Wait. What?

MACK: I don't like to answer questions in class. At least not the way Jodie and Daria do. I guess you feel the same way, though.

JANE: Uhh...yeah. So you knew the answer?

MACK: Of course I knew the answer. It was a pretty obvious story.

JANE: (frowning) I, uh, gotta go.

Jane turns and starts walking away. Mack looks concerned.

MACK: Jane? Jane? (bt) Are you coming to the game tomorrow?

JANE: (over her shoulder) I don't know. We'll see.

 

SCENE 6: The Fashion Club lunch table.

SANDI: So, it's settled. We'll go to the game tomorrow and support our school.

Sandi looks around at the other girls for a moment before all four burst out laughing.

QUINN: (rubbing tears from her eyes) Support our school!

STACY: Good one, Sandi!

SANDI: God, I am so funny!

The laughter slows down, until Tiffany's the only one left chuckling, quietly. When she realizes the other girls are staring at her, she stops.

SANDI: (to Stacy, who's taking notes) We're going to the game Friday to show off our new outfits.

STACY: Right.

QUINN: It's the perfect chance to. It's the final game against Oakwood for the season, so everyone who's anyone is going to go.

SANDI: Exactly.

STACY: Plus, the unveiling of such ensembles is, like, sooo important.

SANDI: Exactly. People judge you based on your appearance, so it's very important for people to take one look at the Fashion Club and think, 'Wow, is my outfit inadequate!'

Cut to the school hallway. Jodie's walking down the hall, upset (AGAIN! And they say Daria's whiny). She passes Mr. DeMartino's doorway. His voice stops her.

DeMartino (vo): Well, well, WELL, Ms. Landon. I wouldíve expected MORE from someone of your intelligence, though I GUESS the PRESSURE at home simply canít be FORGONE, even if it means sacrificing YOUR pride.

He comes onto screen. Jodie stops and faces him.

JODIE: Excuse me?

DeMartino: Do you have the TIME to talk to ME? I'm honored, Ms. Landon, though I'm a BIT confused. Certainly your BUSY social LIFE demands more of you than to just STAND AROUND and share pleasantries with a TEACHER, you know, one of those PEOPLE who try to PREPARE you for the SO-CALLED real WORLD.

JODIE: I wouldn't exactly call this pleasant.

DeMartino: Oh, whoa ho HO! It's good to know your sense of HUMOR is still intact, Ms. Landon! Now, if you don't mind me asking, just what was it about CHEERLEADING that drew you to embrace it and all its GLORY?

JODIE: Are you asking me why I'm a cheerleader?

DeMartino: (now getting a little impatient) Ms. Landon, despite the OPINION of some of my lesser-minded colleagues, I do not BELIEVE that social status IMPLIES intellect. (bt) The question still STANDS, Ms. Landon. I assume your new pastime is a result of DEDICATION to the (he makes air quotes) 'ART' of CHANTING and CHEERING and not of a more SELFISH nature. But then again, (he tilts his head and 'smiles') I'm just ASsuming.

Close-up on a biting-her-lip Jodie.

Cut to the lockers. Janeís leaning against a locker next to Dariaís, visibly disturbed- her hairís messy, and there are circles under her eyes. Daria opens her locker and sends a questioning glance Janeís way.

JANE: Oh no. Iím not gonna tell you whatís wrong, amiga. Youíll think Iím insane.

DARIA: Youíre pretty much running the risk of that either way.

JANE: Does Mack seem a littleÖ off, to you?

DARIA: Off?

JANE: Yeah. Like, heís really nice, and smart, and funny, and ridiculously easy to talk toÖ

DARIA: (a bit withdrawn) Are you getting a crush on Mack?

JANE: No! No! Thatís not what Iím saying at all!!!

Daria seems taken aback by her friendís outburst. Jane drops on her knees and begins pulling some papers out of her backpack. She finally finds what she was looking for and holds the paper out to her friend.

DARIA: (squinting at the paper and reading aloud) ĎLimits Quiz.í Oh. You got an 87. Good job.

JANE: (standing up; erratically) Me! I got an 87 on a math quiz. On the subject of limits, for Peteís Sake!

DARIA: I donít think youíre insane, but you are starting to freak me out. Maybe you should lie down or something.

JANE: Remember when you asked me what Mack and I did, and I said that he was strange?

DARIA: You mean remember something that I said this morning? Gee, Iíll have to stretch my wee brain and try to resurrect that memory.

JANE: (shaking her head) No! We donít have time for that! Anyway, Mack tutored me in math, and thatís when I made him leave my house.

DARIA: When?

JANE: (ominous) When it started to make sense!

DARIA: (smirking) So Mack managed to penetrate that thick skull of yours? Impressive. (thought vo) Is it horribly wrong that Iím happy that sheís disenchanted with Mack? (bt) Nah.

JANE: Daria! You donít understand! Mack doesnít just fix engines, or successfully tutor the un-tutorable. He understands short stories, he can run really fast, and he helps out the homeless on the weekends! I mean, who the hell does that?!

DARIA: The Fashion Club entertained the thought before they realized that the homeless arenít always on top of the latest fads.

JANE: HeísÖperfect, Daria.

DARIA: Heís not perfect. Heís just not one of the typical morons that most of the guys we come across are.

JANE: (deadpan, like sheís making her point) He puts up with Kevin on a constant basis and has yet to kill him.

DARIA: HmmmÖThat does seem a bit super-human, but itís nothing that canít be explained away.

JANE: (looking past Daria) And, look, here comes Jodie. I wonder if sheís one of them.

DARIA: One of whom?

JODIE: God, the nerve of Mr. DeMartino!

DARIA: Mr. DeMartino had something to say about your ever-broadening horizon?

JODIE: Yeah, but I don't really wanna talk about it. (bt) Whatís wrong with Jane?

Janeís looking at Jodie with wide eyes. She puts her index fingers up in a cross and hisses at Jodie before taking off down the hallway.

DARIA: Sheís finally lost it.

JODIE: I think I know why she did that. (bt) What does everyone have against cheerleading?

DARIA: Excuse me?

JODIE: I never thought that I'd be discriminated against for an extracurricular activity. Why does everyone act like itís some sin?

DARIA: Itís not a sin. Itís just pathetic.

JODIE: What?

DARIA: Youíre not going to like what I have to say.

JODIE: (rolling her eyes) Thanks for the disclaimer. (pushing) What?

DARIA: Everyone has their place at Lawndale High. Youíre the All-American African American, but youíre not the cheerleader. Frankly, Jodie, all the cheerleaders are idiots. Youíre not, the last time I checked, but I could be wrong. If you ask me, people fall far too easily into stereotypes around here for my tastes, but Iím not exactly the one whoís practicing what I preach.

JODIE: What?

DARIA: I recently invited Brittany to my house.

JODIE: Thatís nice.

DARIA: She extended the hand of friendship towards me, and I spat on it.

JODIE: Oh.

DARIA: Because Iím not a cheerleader. Because I donít associate with cheerleaders. Because I donít get them. You join the squad and suddenly people donít know what to think about you. ĎWell, thereís Jodie, sheís smart like me, but oh no. Sheís a cheerleader; does that mean Iím supposed to hate her like the others?í 

JODIE: (nodding) And thatís really what people think.

DARIA: Of course, most people arenít aware of it on a conscious level. In fact, some people may go as far as to come to bizarre conclusions if it means maintaining the status quo.

JODIE: What do youÖ?

Jane runs past the girls at this point and hisses at Jodie again. Jodie rolls her eyes and goes on down the hallway. Daria starts to leave, but is stopped by Brittany.

BRITTANY: Daria?

DARIA: Barbie?

BRITTANY: No, it's me. Brittany!

DARIA: Oh, right. Silly me.

BRITTANY: Are you coming to the game tomorrow, Daria?

DARIA: As much as I'd love to, Brittany, I've already got plans.

BRITTANY: (giggles) That's a good one, Daria!

DARIA: (eyes narrowed) I suppose it was.

BRITTANY: (twirling her hair) Well, I was just thinking I'd invite you because you said that we're not the kind of friends who can go to each other's houses---

Daria raises her eyebrows at this. So Brittany did understand what she was saying!

BRITTANY: ---and that's okay because you're still kind of a brain, but you're really nice, too, so I figured that getting out of your little house wouldn't hurt you, plus, your family's really weird, I mean, I thought that Quinn was horrible, but it's not just her, Daria, you have to deal with all those crazy people!

DARIA: Maybe I was wrong in thinking that you donít understand me, Brittany. (frowns) I, uh, guess it wouldn't kill me to go. (With each sentence, the camera zooms in on Daria a little more.) To the football game. Tomorrow. Night.

BRITTANY: Great! I'll see you then! Maybe if we hang out enough I can give you a makeover!

She bounces out of the scene.

DARIA: If I was optimistic, I'd be hoping that the game would kill me.

 

SCENE 7: EXT. of the Morgendorffer house. The hallway outside Quinnís room. Helenís approaching the door, which is open. Quinn is going through her clothes, tossing them around and making dissatisfied grunts. Helen eavesdrops.

QUINN: Well, where is it?

Helen knocks on the door. Quinn looks up.

QUINN: Oh, hey, Mom.

HELEN: UhÖHi, sweetie. Looking for something?

QUINN: Yeah.

After Quinn doesnít elaborate, Helen sighs.

HELEN: I brought you some tea, honey; would you like it?

QUINN: No thanks, Mom. Iím about to go to Tiffanyís.

HELEN: Oh. Okay. (takes a seat on Quinnís bed) You donít want to talk or anything? I meanÖYouíre growing up so fast, Quinn! (starts tearing up)

QUINN: Oh, Mom. (sits next to Helen; puts an arm supportively across her shoulders) I know what this is about.

HELEN: You do?

QUINN: Yes. (bt) Youíre getting older, andÖ

HELEN: Excuse me?

QUINN: Mom, itís okay. Sandi told me her mom was going through this same thing. Reminiscing about those times when Ďeverything still pointed up.í

Helen puts an arm over her chest.

HELEN: Excuse me? (bt) Lindaís upset about that?

QUINN: (doesnít look sorry at all) Oops! I wasnít supposed to tell you!

HELEN: Well, I mean, it would be considerate of me to call herÖJust to remind her that I think she looks good for her age.

QUINN: Youíre so sweet, Mom! (standing up) Are we good now?

HELEN: I guess. I guessÖYouíre careful, right, sweetheart?

QUINN: UmmÖSure!

HELEN: (standing up as well) Whatíre you looking for?

QUINN: My pink bra with the little roses on it. Have you seen it? Is it in the dryer? Iíve been looking for it; it goes really well with that top I bought at Cashmanís. It makes me look like I have biggerÖ (pauses before she says what she was thinking) like Iíve got bigger things to worry about than, um, appearances. (chuckles uneasily; notices her mom growing pale) Mom, are you okay?

HELEN: (sitting back down) I think I need to lie down.

 

 

ĎCommercialí Break
Fade out with scene of Brittany admiring her sticker

 

 

ACT III
SCENE 8: The Lawndale High hallway. Ms. Liís walking around with a megaphone.

LI: Are you pumped up, students?

Jane and Daria speak from their spot against the lockers near Dariaís.

DARIA: Ironically, Iím deflated.

LI: Who are we taking down tonight?

STUDENTS: Oakwood!

LI: Who are we going to embarrass?

JANE: How about ourselves, with imbecilic chanting?

STUDENTS: Oakwood!

LI: Good! Now get to class you little bastóer, I mean, wonderful, little children.

JANE: Hey, at least she didnít say---

LI: Letís bring honor to Laaaaaaawndale High!

JANE: Damn it all.

DARIA: Are you going to the game?

JANE: (uncomfortable) I dunno. Mack invited me. You sure you donít wanna stay in? We could have a lot of fun!

DARIA: Fun? Havenít you been taught to sell to your clients? (bt) Brittany invited me.

JANE: Brittany?

DARIA: Iím reattempting to broaden my horizons.

JANE: Oh, god, if I hear that one more time, Iím going to puke. Will that get me out of going to the game?

DARIA: No. Now, be prepared: Iím going to throw some armchair psychology at you.

JANE: How are you supposed to catch that? I guess it doesnít matter because I donít want to hear your sordid little opinions, Daria!

DARIA: Then why are you my friend?

JANE: I donít need you psychoanalyzing anything to do with Mack. Itís not all in my head. Iím not cuckoo!

DARIA: Well, you did just use the word Ďcuckoo.í

JANE: Iím telling you, thereís something not right about that boy.

DARIA: You still donít think heís Ďperfect,í do you?

JANE: Yeah. I do.

Daria frowns.

JANE: Fine. Iíll go the game if itíll shut you up.

DARIA: My Ďrents are insisting on driving me and Quinn. You gonna grab a ride with your elder sibling?

JANE: I guess. Football games arenít really his scene, but maybe I can convince him to go if I bribe him with free nachos. You paying?

DARIA: Why me?

JANE: Because youíve still got that money from Quinnís underwear.

DARIA: Oh, yeah. Have you ever made money off your sibling?

JANE: You kidding? Iíve still got a wad of cash from that time Trent prostituted himself. (Jane smirks.)

 

SCENE 9: EXT. of Lane house at night. Jane enters. The house is dark.

JANE: TrentÖ? Are you asleep? (cupping her mouth and yelling) I need a ride! (goes to the stairs and starts walking up them, slowly) Trent?

The ĎJaws Themeí starts to play as Jane continues to go up the stairs. As we get closer, we see Trentís door open a crevice, with light pouring out of it. Jane gets closer and closer to the door as the music swells, and then, finally, sheís standing in front of it. Her jaw drops.

Inside we see Trent sitting on his bed, and Mack, in his football uniform, fiddling with his acoustic. He hands it to Trent.

MACK: There you go.

TRENT: Thanks, man. (strums it and closes his eyes) Open D Tuning. Cool.

JANE: Aaaaaaaahhhh!

Trent and Mack look at the doorway, surprised, but Janeís already gone.

Cut to Lawndale sidewalk. Janeís running and screaming, flailing her arms.

Cut to the Morgendorffer living room. Quinnís sitting on the couch, and Jake and Helen are standing in front of her, in full-lecturing mode.

HELEN: Quinn, did you know that those boys have a shrine to you?

QUINN: Yeah. Isnít it great?

Helen rubs her head. Jake lets out a sob.

JAKE: Oh, dear god, Helen!

He embraces her, and she pats him on the back.

HELEN: There, there, dear. (to Quinn) Quinn, at the end of the day, you are just too young to be sexually active.

JAKE: (frowning) Yeah!

QUINN: What?

HELEN: And I know that those boys probably talked you into it.

JAKE: (deadly) Yeah. I know how boys are. At first they tell you to take off your shirt for a dare, and then the next thing you know youíre standing naked in a cornfield, unsure of how to get back to camp and crying into the dark night for your mom, for anyone, to come and save you. But, damn it, you need to be stronger and resist the urge to give into peer pressure, even if it means youíre labeled ĎChicken Morgendorffer!í

QUINN: What?!

HELEN: (still on her own thread) But that is no excuse. (bt; looks truly sad) I canít believe that you would be so irresponsible.

QUINN: But, Mom, I told you! Iím not having sex! Weíve had this talk before, remember?

HELEN: Yeah, and a lot of good it did you! (lets out a sob herself, so she and Jake are both wrecks, clinging onto each other) Where did we go wrong? Just where did we go wrong?

JAKE: Oh, where did you go wrong?!

Thereís a knock at the door.

QUINN: (frowning at her parents; going to answer it) You guys are being weirdÖ

Janeís at the doorstep. She looks crazier than she did at the lockers; her hair is all messed up, and her eyes are wide.

JANE: Hey, is Daria here?

QUINN: Aaaaaaaaaahhhh!

Quinn runs upstairs. Jane shrugs and enters the living room, raising an eyebrow at the still sobbing and hugging Jake and Helen.

JANE: A breakthrough at coupleís therapy?

 

SCENE 10: Helenís car. Jane, Quinn, and Daria are riding in the back with Jane in the middle. Helen and Jake are in front. There is an awkward tension.

JANE: So, uh, thanks for giving me a ride, Mrs. Morgendorffer.

No response.

JANE: Yeah. I never thought Iíd be asking the Morgendorffers to take me to a football game, but, here we are.

Crickets chirp.

JANE: (to Daria) Whatís going on?

DARIA: I donít know. (looks at her family, who are all still silent; lets out a smirk) But I think I like it.

 

SCENE 11: The Oakwood stadium; the game hasnít started yet. Jane and Daria are walking around the grounds, you know, near those souvenir stands and stuff. Mack and Kevin approach.

MACK: Hey, thanks for showing up.

JANE: Oh, er, sure.

DARIA: Shouldnít you guys be stretching? You know, preparing your muscles to take over while your brain shuts down?

MACK: (smirking) Football can be a pretty complicated game, Daria.

KEVIN: Yeah, and like, with the good luck ritual Andy taught me, weíre sure to win!

DARIA: (to Mack) Before you could even launch it, your argument lost all its power.

MACK: Damn it.

JANE: Whoís Andy, and what Ďgood luck ritual?í

KEVIN: You know Andy!

DARIA: You mean, Andrea?

MACK: Does she know you call her that?

KEVIN: Come on, Mack Daddy. Everyone likes nicknames.

Mack appears pissed. Kevin doesnít notice. He pulls out a quarter.

KEVIN: Like, she told me if I roll this from the top of my face to my chin, it would give me good luck! (does so, and yes, itís that old trick, so thereís a black line down the center of his face) Whaddya think?

MACK: What do you know? Andrea is magic. She managed to make you look like a bigger doofus than you actually are.

Daria smirks. Jane regards Mack with an uncomfortable expression. Brittany approaches.

BRITTANY: Come on guys, the coach is looking for you! (bt) Kevvy! What did you do to your face?

KEVIN: Gee, babe. Donít talk about stuff you donít understand.

JANE: But then sheíd never get to speak!

KEVIN: Like, Andrea wanted to help out with the game with this good luck ritual. Even, though, you know, sheís kind of a loser, she understands that a lot of people like the games and stuff.

DARIA: Somehow I donít think thatís what she was thinking.

KEVIN: Yeah, it was. Even though Iím the QB, she still, like, wanted to help me out. And, after awhile, I like, almost stopped thinking of her as the goth chick and started thinking about her as, like, just another loser, but a kind of cool loser, if that makes sense.

DARIA: It doesnít.

JANE: Yeah. It does. (Daria looks at Jane with surprise.) Iím sorry I thought you were an alien, Mack.

MACK: UhÖThatís okay, Jane?

DARIA: Thatís what you were thinking?!

JANE: I told you youíd think I was crazy.

DARIA: Would you blame me?!

JANE: (back to Mack) I guess I was kind of surprised that you werenít an egotistical jerk.

MACK: (smiling now) Sorry I let you down.

JANE: I guess, on some level, I didnít want to be friends with you because youíre the captain of the football team, and itís hard to be a weird, outcast art girl when youíre buddy/buddy with one of the jocks.

DARIA: Now whoís psychoanalyzing?

MACK: (insightful monologue; nodding) And now youíve grown to realize that labels are just labels, that they donít define who you are. You realized that you could be friends with me, and that perhaps you and Daria arenít as special as you like to tell yourselves you areÖ

JANE: ErÖNo. I like being the weird art girl. Sorry that we canít be friends, but I like being a condescending loser with oleí four eyes, here.

DARIA: Youíre making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And speaking of all that is humid and furry, (to Brittany) Iím sorry, Brittany, but everything that Jane said to Mack stands with me and you. I couldnít hang out with you because that would mean that Iím growing as a person, and I simply canít have any of that.     

BRITTANY: But, Daria, donít you wanna grow? Youíre so short already!

DARIA: (closing her eyes) Though itís almost impossible to deny that you always have great insight, Britt.

BRITTANY: Thanks, Daria!

KEVIN: (with that damn line still on his face) So, wait. You and Jane, like, donít wanna hang out with Mack and Brittany because, like, theyíre cooler than you? (bt) Thatís kind of weird, guys. I mean, who cares, like, what people do or whatever, if you get along with them? I mean, I hang out with Mack Daddy even though Iím the QB, and heís just the (looks around suspiciously, leans forward and whispers) captain.

MACK: Iím right here, you moron.

KEVIN: (waving at him) Hey, bro!

BRITTANY: (genuinely sad) Iím sorry that we canít be friends, Daria, but I still find you somewhat okay.

DARIA: (pleased?) UhÖthanks, Brittany. That may just be the best compliment Iíve ever received.

BRITTANY: Youíre welcome! (to Kevin; seductively) Hey, babe, I know a good luck ritual that youíll really likeÖ

KEVIN: Does it involve a quarter?

BRITTANY: No! (whispers in his ear as she starts to lead him away)

KEVIN: Oh, well why didnít you just say so, babe!

Kevin and Brittany are gone. Mack turns to Jane.

MACK: Itís okay. I was just trying to get into your pants.

He winks and walks off, and Jane chuckles.

JANE: Oh, that Mack.

DARIA: (nodding in consent) He really is pretty funny. (bt) For an earth invader.

JANE: (ignoring Dariaís teasing) My point exactly!

 

SCENE 11: The concession stand. Mr. OíNeillís manning it. Angie, surrounded by the rest of the squad sans Brittany, is buying a drink. She takes a sip and promptly spits it out.

ANGIE: Oww! (bt; perky) So thatís why the call it hot chocolate!

The rest of the squad giggles and says things like, Ďohhhh,í except for Jodie, who rolls her eyes.

OíNeill: You---should---drink---slowly----Angie.

ANGIE: Good idea, Mr. O!

Close-up on Jodie.

ANGIE (vo): Owww!

Jodie rolls her eyes. Pull back out and show Jodie walking over to the far side of the counter, where Mr. D is working. Heís wearing an apron and chefís hat. He takes concession stand duty quite seriously, thank you very much.

DeMartino: Well, hello, Ms. Landon! Would you like a HOT dog?

He holds a hot dog out to her, and she makes a disgusted face.

JODIE: Thanks, but I donít eat things that were cooked in places Iím iffy about.

DeMartino: But youíre all ABOUT trying new things, arenít YOU, Ms. Landon?

JODIE: (frowning) Okay, so you got me. I tried cheerleading to prove that I was above the dirty stereotyping that everyone else engaged in. But is that a crime? To want to try something before judging it?

DeMartino: NO, Ms. Landon, that is NOT a crime, but neither is ADMITTING that youíre above SOMETHING. Because pretending that youíre not above SOMETHING just to be ABOVE other PEOPLE is obnoxious. If that makes SENSE.

JODIE: It doesnít. (bt) But who would I be if I just put down everyone and everything I saw fit?

Jodie and DeMartino meet eyes.

JODIE & DeMartino: Daria.


SCENE 12: Andrew and Michele are sitting in the stands; the game has now started. Michele is holding Evan.

ANDREW: Admit it, Michele. Jodie looks wonderful down there! And just like that lady said, all the popular girls are cheerleaders. (smiles smugly) This is going to look great on her college applications.

MICHELE: (smug, too) Yep. And I bet that her college applications are what those men are thinking about.

She points in front of them, where a group of four redneck-ish men are gathered and whooping at the cheerleaders. Andrew looks at Michele with wide eyes before leaning forward and tapping one of the guys on the shoulder.

GUY: Yeah?

ANDREW: One of those girls is my daughter.

GUY: Really? Congratulations!

He laughs and so do the other guys. They continue cheering. Andrew leans back against the seat with a lost look on his face before turning angry.

ANDREW: Damn it, Jodie! What the hell do you think youíre doing?! Put some clothes on, child!

He runs out of the scene. Michele calls after him, smiling.

MICHELE: But itís a black and white cutthroat business world, honey! She needs to prepare!

Cut to the concession stand. The Fashion Club are showing off their new standing around in their new outfits while Brooke admires them. Jake and Helen are standing nearby, trying to be discreet.

BROOKE: (to Tiffany) Oh my gosh! Is that, like, real pleather?

TIFFANY: I thiiiink soooo.

SANDI: (to Quinn) Why are your parents, like, hanging around?

QUINN: I donít know. (frowning) Theyíre being really weird.

SANDI: But Quinn, I mean, your parents arenít, like, trying to spy on you, are they? I mean, not that theyíd have any reasons to, or whatever.

QUINN: Exactly! (She turns sharply to her parents. They quickly try to look away.) I canít believe you guys are spying on me!

HELEN: Now, Quinn!

QUINN: First, you accuse me of having sex---

JAKE: Oh, dear GOD!!!

SANDI: What?! Did you guys hear that? Quinnís having sex!

STACY: Thatís not exactly what she said, Sandi. (She receives a glare from Sandi.) But, uh, she didnít exactly say that she wasnít, either.

TIFFANY: You guuuys are being weeeird. Quinnís not having sex. Ew.

SANDI: (hands on her hips) What are you saying, Tiffany?

HELEN: What are you saying, honey?

TIFFANY: Like, Quinn doesnít have seeex because guys get all weeeird and dummmb and stoppp buying presents for you after you dooo it.

BROOKE: Thatís so true. (stops after getting one of Sandiís glares)

QUINN: Exactly! (sends a pointed look at her parents)

TIFFANY: Annnnd Quinnís always got new preseeents. Thatís why Sandiís jealooooous.

STACY: Ohhhh.

SANDI: I am not jealous of Quinn!

HELEN: You know, that does make sense.

SANDI: I am not jealous of Quinn!!!

QUINN: See, Mom? I'm not having sex, so please just cool down.

JAKE: But honey, then how come your bra was at Jacob's house? That little teenage pervert! I want to ring his little neck!!!

Close-up on Helen.

HELEN: (epiphany!) Daria.

Pull back out to show everyone again.

JAKE: You think Daria left her bra at Johnny's house?

HELEN: (rolling her eyes) Jake, just shut up.

 

SCENE 13: After the game. Jodieís sitting on a curb while cars drive by. Mack joins her.

MACK: Hey.

He pauses before sitting down next to Jodie.

MACK: Is this okay?

JODIE: (rolling her eyes) Oh, just sit down.

MACK: (sitting down) Waiting for a ride?

JODIE: Yeah. My mom had to drive my dad to the hospital. Coach Morris broke his nose.

MACK: (raising his eyebrows) Really?

JODIE: Yeah. Mom thought it was hilarious. (bt) Anyway, my parents said I canít do cheerleading anymore.

MACK: That sucks. (bt) For you.

JODIE: I know how you feel about the whole damn thing.

MACK: Iím sorry if I didnít want to see my girlfriend degraded, okay? I mean, I look at Brittany and then I look at you, and I think to myself, Wow! Am I lucky to not have to deal with that.

JODIE: With me or with Brittany?

MACK: Depends on the day. (smirking) You know how I feel about Brittany.

JODIE: But itís not even that. Itís just, you, like everyone else, assumed that this is just some magic outfit or something, and that by just putting it on, I was going to change. Iím still Jodie. Iím still the All-American African American; Iím the still the student council president. Being a cheerleader didnít make me stupider, it didnít make me shallower, and it didnít make me any easier!

MACK: Donít I know that.

JODIE: Whatís that supposed to mean?

MACK: Two things. The first one being that, I think a big part of you just put that outfit on so that you could prove that it wouldnít change you. That you could still be all that stuff you mentioned and a, gasp, CHEERLEADER!

JODIE: It loses the effect when you say the word Ďgasp,í and between you and Mr. DeMartino, I donít know whoís worse.

MACK: One would hope that he is.

JODIE: You always have to make stupid jokes. And I bet I know what the second thing is.

MACK: You should. Look, weíve been going out long enough, and I think we should go to the next level.

JODIE: MackÖ

MACK: And I know you donít have any moral convictions about the act of sex, you just donít have the time for me, and that kills me.

JODIE: (sitting up, with her hands on her hips; sassy) Weíll have sex when Iím ready, and how much time do you think youíll need?

MACK: (slumping over) Look, Jodie. Maybe I have been a bit pushy lately.

Jodie scoffs. Mack glares at her.

MACK: But only because Iím so crazy about you. (He slumps over some more and sighs.) You didnít have to ask Ms. Barch to force me to work with someone else.

JODIE: I just thought that we could use some time apart.

MACK: Time apart? When the hell do we have any time together?!

JODIE: Well, I, um, also thought that you could use a good partner. Like Daria. (frowning) Whyíd you pick Jane?

MACK: Because you wouldnít exactly be jealous of Daria, now would you? Besides, Janeís a lot more fun than Daria, and sheís wasnít as likely to do as much work, so Ms. Barch couldnít dare say that it was all her.

JODIE: (nodding) Thatís true.

MACK: Anyway, that backfired. She basically told me that her status as an outcast was seriously in jeopardy because of me.

JODIE: She did not do that.

MACK: Yep, and Daria did the same thing with Brittany.

JODIE: They are soÖshallow.

MACK: I know. Theyíre so happy to be loners, even if they have to shove everyone else away from them. I remember, Jane used to be my best friend. And then, high school happened, and she wouldnít even talk to me anymore.

JODIE: I remember that. She carved stuff in her desk during class. She creeped me out. But you used to eat lunch with her. I thought you were so cute. Whyíd you hang with Jane?

MACK: I used to have it bad for her.

Jodie raises an eyebrow at Mack. He ignores her, sighs, stands up, and holds his hand out to her.

MACK: Iím not riding the bus back, and my parents should be here soon. Want a ride?

Jodie takes his hand and stands up.

JODIE: A ride would be nice.

The two stand, holding hands, and Mack raises an eyebrow at Jodie.

MACK: Now that youíre free of cheerleading, you have an open spot in your schedule, right? (He waggles his eyebrows, and Jodie laughs.)

JODIE: You know that Iím overbooked as it is. And my momís making me sign up for community service at the Library. (not thrilled) Iím going to vacuum.

Mack drops Jodieís hand and glares at her.

MACK: Youíre just never going to stop, are you?

JODIE: I justÖdonít think that I need to.

Mack turns away and Jodie eventually looks in the opposite direction, as well. The scene ends with their tense silence.

 

 

SCENE 14: EXT. of the Morgendorffer house the next day. Jane, wearing her hair tucked under a beret, knocks on the door. Helen opens it.

HELEN: Oh. Hello, Jane. (curtly) Dariaís grounded.

JANE: Yeah. I know. I just wanted to talk to her about our science project.

HELEN: (calling over her shoulder) Does Dariaís class have a science project to do?

Coming in to view is QUINN: Yeah, I think that they do. I mean, thatís what I heard some of them talking about, but I have a tendency to shut people out when they start talking about school because, ugh, weíre already at school, do you have to talk about it? (chuckles)

HELEN: (sighing) Iíll take that as a yes, but if youíre up there too long, Jane, Iíll assume youíre having fun, and Iíll force you to leave.

JANE: (stepping into the house) There are many things you can do with Daria. Have fun doesnít make that list.

QUINN: Tell me about it! (bt) So why are you wearing that hat? Itís kind ofÖcute. Do you read Waif because they predicted that French influences would be big this season?

JANE: What hat?

She walks past the duo and goes upstairs. Helen and Quinn look at each other and shrug.

Cut to Dariaís room. Sheís reading that book again. Jane knocks.

DARIA: I knew I shouldnít have gotten my hopes up when you said youíd be cutting off my human contact.

JANE (vo): AwwwÖYou think Iím human! Thatís so sweet!

DARIA: Come in, Jane!

Jane does so.

DARIA: Whatíre you doing here?

JANE: Mack said heíd work with Brittany, so I guess weíre stuck doing that science project together. What happened with that Quinn thing?

She goes over to Dariaís wall and starts rubbing it.   

DARIA: Nothing. Before I got the chance to call my mom and freak her out, Jamie's Mom beat me to it. My parents wigged out and accused Quinn of having sex just like I planned, and I didn't even get the chance to enjoy it.

JANE: You? Enjoy something?

DARIA: All right. Add my color commentary. (bt) Why are you wearing that hat?

JANE: Oh, golly, only 'cause all the kids are wearing them these days. (bt) I was attacked this morning, Daria.

DARIA: Oh?

JANE: Yep. While you were locked up in this padded cell, I was risking my life.

DARIA: What?

JANE: I got in a fight with my gum sculpture... and lost.

DARIA: Funny.

JANE: You won't think it's so funny when I shave my head again.

DARIA: Will you ban me from your lunch table?

JANE: Nah. I'm too accustomed to your face.

DARIA: You ole' romantic.

JANE: Anyway, Trent remembered something about ice getting gum out of hair, so he brought the whole bag out of our freezer and put it on my head. Unfortunately, he moved so slowly that it was but mere water when it got to me.

DARIA: Thatís kind of funny.

JANE: Of course thatís not funny, Daria! How are we supposed to cool down the drinks we donít have without that ice! It was a waste! (bt; smirks) It was pretty funny. Anyway, that didnít work, so Iím still gummed and my headís freezing.

DARIA: And you thought youíd come over and spread the joy?

JANE: Only with you. (joins Daria on the bed) I figured we could start on that project, if youíre going to be held captive like this.

DARIA: Youíre voluntarily putting doing schoolwork on the table?

JANE: (shrugging) Blame it on the cold head. (bt) So whatís that project again?

DARIA: I have it hereÖ

She leans over, opens a notebook on the floor and pulls a piece of paper out of it. She reads.

DARIA: A research project investigating how an animal of your choice reacts to being put in an unnatural habitat.

Daria and Jane look at each other.

THE END