DISCLAIMER: I do not own Daria or any of it's characters. I just like to borrow them now and then. Any and all feedback is welcome.






(The Lane house. Daria walks in the front door. She is wearing jeans and a black T-shirt that says "Pandora's Books" across the chest. Her hair is pulled back in a ponytail and she looks hot and tired.)


DARIA: Damn, it's hot out there.


(Trent is lying on the couch in a black tank top and camo cargo shorts. He opens one eye.)


TRENT: TV said it's 98.


DARIA (unlacing her boots): Well it feels like 110.


JANE (walking in from the kitchen): You know it would be a lot cooler if you'd just buy some shorts. It's not like it would be any different than you wearing a skirt.


(Jane is wearing her shorts from high school, minus the tights, and a red tank top.)


DARIA: I told you. I need to go buy some new jeans, and then I can cut off my old ones.


JANE (rolling her eyes): And why do you have to go through all that? They sell them pre-cut you know.


DARIA (disgusted look): And have you seen the length of them? They barely cover anything!


TRENT (grinning): I think you'd look good Daria. You have nice legs.


DARIA (blushing): Not a word Jane. (Bt) And you are not helping Trent.


TRENT (shrugging as he closes his eyes again): Just being honest.


JANE: You're the one who's gonna suffer, not me.


DARIA (sighing): I know. Let me get a shower and change out of my work clothes. (grimace) And then we can go shopping.


JANE: Atta girl. You know, we could try Dega Street. They have clothing that's not as fashion forward.


DARIA: True. (thoughtful) Maybe that retro shop would have something.


JANE: The Funky Doodle?


TRENT: I wonder if they still have that dress...


(Jane raises an eyebrow as Daria blushes and holds up a hand.)


DARIA: Don't ask. (Bt) Why don't you go find your boots while I kill your brother.


JANE (grinning): Alright, but I'm determined to have you as a sister-in-law. I think Wind is single again...


TRENT: Not even a serial killer deserves that Janey.


JANE (walking upstairs): Well I don't think Penny and Summer are her type.


(Daria rolls her eyes as she steps out of her boots and walks over to the couch.)


DARIA: She's your sister.


TRENT: Exactly, I didn't have a choice. What's your excuse?


DARIA: Temporary insanity.


TRENT (grinning): If it was temporary, why are you still here?


DARIA (shrugging): She grows on you after a while.


(Daria sits on the couch near Trent's hips. She settles on the edge as if a bit uncertain.)


TRENT: Speaking of sisters... I ran into yours today.


DARIA: You did?


(Trent nods as he sits up and scoots back against the arm of the couch. He reaches out and pulls her towards him, making her turn so that she sits between his legs leaning back against his chest. He wraps his arms around her and leans his head against hers.)


TRENT: Needed some inspiration, so I went and sat in the gazebo in the park for a while. I was messing around with the acoustic when Lindsay wandered over.


DARIA (raised eyebrow): Wandered? Lindsay?


TRENT (grinning and kissing her neck): Okay, more like barreled in like a freight train, dragging your sister and Aiden behind her.


DARIA (smirking): That sounds more like my niece.


TRENT: She's definitely energetic. Little Dude is more my speed. But she's cute.


DARIA (settling against him and closing her eyes): Yeah, if there's one thing Quinn does right, it's make cute kids.


TRENT: They were both pretty fascinated by the guitar. (Bt) So much that Quinn told me to bring it to the birthday party this weekend.


(Daria's eyes immediately fly open and she tenses up. Trent waits patiently.)


DARIA (thought VO): Damn. (out loud) Oh?


TRENT (sighing): Oh? That's all you have to say is Oh?


DARIA: What do you want me to say Trent?


TRENT: You could start with why you didn't tell me about the party your family is having. The party that your sister says your parents invited us to a week ago.


DARIA (sighing): It's... complicated.


TRENT: You're really good at dumbing things down for me. Give it a shot.


DARIA: Trent...


TRENT: Are you ashamed of me? Is that why you don't want to take me?




(Daria wriggles free and turns so that she's facing him, he lets one leg drop off the couch to accommodate her. She places her palm on his cheek.)


DARIA: Absolutely not, Trent. It's... it's them. (sigh) I don't want to subject you to my family.


TRENT (confused): I've met your family Daria. I stayed with you during the Lane invasion.


DARIA: That was just a couple of days, Trent. (eyebrow raised) And as I recall, you spent most of it breaking up with Monique.


TRENT (smirk): And being grounded by your mom.


DARIA: That too. Point is, you weren't dating their daughter. (Bt) This is a whole new ball game.


TRENT (eyebrow raised): Does that mean we're dating?


DARIA: Don't change the subject.


TRENT: What? If your dad asks what my intentions are, do you want me to tell him I'm just following you like a lost puppy until you define our... whatever it is?


DARIA: You really want to go, don't you?


TRENT: Now who's changing the subject? (sigh) Yes Daria. I would like to go spend time with your family. And I don't know why you don't.


DARIA: Because they're my family. They were put here to make my life hell.


TRENT: At least you get to talk to them more than once a year.


(There's silence for a few moments as Daria studies Trent. He busies himself picking at a loose thread on his shorts.)


DARIA: So that's what this is about.


TRENT: No (Bt) Well maybe a little. It just feels like you're trying to hide me.


DARIA (sigh): I'm trying to protect you. (Bt) But if you really want to go...


JANE (coming down the stairs): Go where?


DARIA: Quinn invited Trent to Aiden's party, and he's decided he wants to go.


JANE (smirking): Nice knowing ya Trent. Can I make a memorial sculpture out of your guitar?


DARIA (smirking over her shoulder): Not so fast. I'm gonna need backup to make sure they don't eat him alive. (Bt) You're going too.


JANE: Damn!


DARIA (kissing Trent on the cheek): Just remember, you asked for it.


(Daria stands and moves towards the stairs.)


DARIA: You two discuss battle plans while I shower. (Bt) And no Jane, we are not giving them all fatal heart attacks.


JANE: Double Damn!


DARIA: Just think of ways to keep Mom from putting Trent on the witness stand. (Bt) And faking your own heart attack is out too.


JANE: Get out of my head Morgendorffer!


DARIA (smirking): Trust me, I'm trying.




(Lane House, Penny's room. Daria stands in front of a full length mirror studying herself critically. She is wearing a pair of khaki capris and a black tank top. On her feet is a pair of black Converse sneakers. The bed contains a few outfits like the one she's wearing in different neutral and dark colors. Trent pokes his head in the door and grins.)


TRENT: Looks good Daria.


DARIA (jumping): EEP! (blushing) Dammit Trent! You scared the hell out of me!


TRENT: Sorry.


DARIA: You should really learn to knock.


TRENT (shrugging): Knocking's not really a big thing here.


DARIA: What if you had walked in while I was changing?


TRENT (grinning broadly): Then you'd have murdered the happiest man on Earth.


DARIA (blushing): Did you want something?


TRENT (still grinning): Yeah, but that can wait. (Bt) Janey wants to know if you're up for pizza.


DARIA: Sure, when are we leaving?


TRENT: Soon, I've got to work tonight.


DARIA: Alright, just let me change.


TRENT: Why? You look fine.


DARIA (frowning): I at least need to put on my hoodie. Forgot to buy some shirts to go over the tank tops. Maybe I'll just change into a t-shirt...


(Daria walks to the closet, starting to rifle through her clothing. Trent comes up behind her and places his hands on her shoulders, gently turning her to face him. He leans down and presses a gentle kiss against her lips, wrapping his arms around her.)


TRENT: You look perfect just the way you are. There's no need to cover anything up. You're beautiful.


(Daria makes a face and Trent sighs, leaning his forehead against hers.)


TRENT: Why don't you believe me when I say that?


DARIA: Because I haven't seen a pig with wings yet.


TRENT: Daria, it's the truth. You are an attractive young woman.


DARIA (rolling her eyes): I'm sure you say that to all the girls.


TRENT (scowling): You know I'm not just trying to get in your pants. If I were, I'd be throwing a huge fit about the fact that you're still sleeping down the hall from me even though we've been... doing whatever it is you call what we've been doing for most of the summer. Which, by the way, will be over in a couple of weeks.


(Daria sighs and leans her forehead against his chest.)


DARIA: I know. It's just...


TRENT: You're not ready. I know. (sigh) Daria, you know I'll give you as much time as you need. But I can't stop the school year from coming. Eventually your time here with me is going to run out. And when it does, I'd like to at least have an idea of where I stand.


DARIA: I'll-


JANE (yelling O/S): Yo Lovebirds! Get your clothes back on and let's go. I'm hungry!


DARIA (looking up at him): Would you still like me if I killed your little sister?


TRENT (smirking): I think it might make me like you more.


 (He steps away, releasing her and holds out his hand. She takes it, giving him a small smile as they walk to the door.)




(Lane House, upstairs hallway. Trent comes up the stairs and glances down the hallway at a closed door. He sighs and opens the door to his room.  A thin shaft of moonlight illuminates the lump in his bed. He blinks in surprise.)


TRENT (whispering): Woah...


(A slow smile spreads across his face as he moves towards the bed. He quietly strips down to his boxers and sits, reaching out to stroke Daria's hair. She stirs giving him a small smile.)


DARIA (groggy): Mmm. Welcome home. Hope you don't mind.


TRENT: I don't mind at all.


(He leans down and kisses her forehead. She scoots away and throws back the sheet, revealing that she's sleeping in one of his t-shirts. His grin widens as he lies down beside her.)


DARIA: Did laundry (yawn) Forgot to put my nightshirt in the dryer... S'ok?


TRENT: It's more than ok. (wrapping his arms around her) I could get used to you in my shirt. (kissing her cheek) And I could definitely get used to you in my bed.


(Daria frowns and Trent sighs, kissing the tip of her nose.)


TRENT: I know, I know. The end of the summer is coming. (pleading look) But is it so wrong to cherish what we have now?


DARIA (sighing): No... no it's not wrong.


(She snuggles against him and starts to drift back to sleep. Trent closes his eyes and holds her tight.)


TRENT (whispering): Thank you.




(Trent's room. Trent is propped up on one elbow watching Daria sleep. Her eyes flutter open and she blushes.)


DARIA: Am I drooling on your pillow or something?


TRENT: No. I was just looking at you.


DARIA: Couldn't sleep? Did I snore?


TRENT: Just a little. (grinning) I slept great. Got up to go to the bathroom a little bit ago and just felt like looking at you.




TRENT (sad smile): I just wanted to savor the moment. Try and remember as much as possible.


DARIA (rolling her eyes): You act like you're never going to see me again after school starts.


TRENT: Well it's a possibility.


DARIA: I'm going to Boston, not Mars!


TRENT: And then?


DARIA: And then what?


TRENT: After you graduate, what then?


DARIA (shrugging): I'm not sure yet. I might use some of my savings to take a trip. Or I might jump right into a job.


TRENT: Where?


DARIA: I don't know yet... Why does it matter?


TRENT (sighing): Because I'd like to know where I fit into your plans Daria. (Bt) Do you see me in your future at all?


DARIA (irritated): What happened to cherishing what we have now?


TRENT: I do cherish it, but I can't pretend I don't want something more. (Bt) I love you Daria.


(Daria's eyes get wide and she just stares at him for a minute. She realizes he is waiting for a response and reaches out to touch his cheek.)


DARIA: You know I care about you Trent-


(Trent sighs gently pulling her hand away from him.)


TRENT: Nevermind. Forget I brought it up.


(He rolls over and sits up, grabbing a pair of jeans off the floor.)


DARIA: Trent I'm sorry.


TRENT (fastening the jeans and buckling his belt): Don't be. I'm sorry for pushing the issue.


(He reaches for one of his t-shirts, then drops it, grabbing a tank top instead. Daria sits up in the bed, grabbing her glasses.)


DARIA: Where are you going?


TRENT: Jess asked me to help him with some stuff. I'll probably just go to work from there. See you later.


DARIA: Trent, can we at least talk about it?


(Trent pauses at the door, but doesn't turn around.)


TRENT: What's there to talk about Daria? I love you, and you're not ready for that. I should've kept my big mouth shut.


DARIA: Trent...


TRENT: Gotta run Daria.


DARIA: Trent please.


TRENT (sighing): Not now Daria. (softly) Please? I promise, we'll hash it all out later. I just need some time.


(He gives a soft mirthless chuckle.)


TRENT: Now we both need time. Isn't that rich?


(He walks out, closing the door softly behind him. Daria flops back on the pillow and sighs.)


DARIA (thought VO): Way to go Morgendorffer. How are you going to fix this one?


(A small smile spreads across her lips.)


DARIA (thought VO): Maybe...




(Lane kitchen. Daria sits at the table across from Jane. Both have steaming mugs in front of them.)


JANE (shaking her head): Sorry amiga. I don't think there's an easy out on this one. You're just gonna have to tell him how you feel.


DARIA (sighing): That's a lot easier said than done. You know I have trouble with emotions. Why can't he understand that?


JANE: He's a sensitive soul Daria. Maybe it's because he's a musician, or maybe he got burned by that bitch Monique one too many times. (Bt) Either way, he needs to know that he's not wasting his time being set up for another heartbreak.


(Jane leans forward, looking at Daria earnestly.)


JANE: He's not is he?


DARIA: Of course he's not. (Bt) I do care about him Jane. But I can't just come out and say it. Every time I try, my tongue stops working and my brain shuts down.


JANE (shrugging): So then don't say it.


DARIA: And have him quit talking to me?


JANE (rolling her eyes): I mean, find another way to show him.


DARIA (irritated): Jane, sex does not solve everything.


JANE (smirking): What a dirty little mind you have. (Bt) I meant do something that shows him how you feel. Write a poem, buy him a special gift. You know, something to show him how much you care.


DARIA: I'm afraid my style of writing may not be suited to love poems.


JANE: You've heard "Ice Box Woman" right? Trent's idea of romantic is a bit off.


DARIA: He considers that a love song?


JANE (nodding): Wrote it for some girl he had a crush on in 9th grade.


DARIA: I guess he is a bit off the beaten path. (Bt) Wait a minute...


JANE: What?


DARIA: A love song. Trent communicates through his music. I can give him a CD with a love song on it.


JANE: As long as it's not Celine Dion.


DARIA (making a face): I want to show him how I feel, not make him jump out a window. (thoughtful) And I think I know just the song too.


(Daria stands giving Jane one of her rare smiles.)


DARIA: Thanks Jane.


JANE: Anytime.




(Trent's room. Trent walks in and looks disappointed to find the room empty. A CD case on the bed catches his eye and he picks it up.)


TRENT: Adele?


(He notices a piece of paper taped to the back of the case. It simply reads "Track 10" Shrugging, he tosses it into his stereo and finds the desired track.)


TRENT (thought VO): Got kind of a bluesy sound. It's not bad, but I wonder why she wants me to hear this? Maybe I should ask her. (Bt) Nah, she's probably asleep. That birthday party is tomorrow. (Bt) Maybe she is still up writing, I should check.


(Trent's eyes widen a bit)


TRENT (thought VO): Of course. Daria's into words.


(He reaches out and pushes a button, restarting the track. This time he pays attention to the lyrics.)


Aye Aye Aye Aye

Aye Aye Aye Aye

Aye Aye Aye Aye

Aye Aye Aye Aye


You say I'm stubborn and I never give in
I think you're stubborn 'cept you're always softening
You say I'm selfish, I agree with you on that
I think you're giving I think way too much in fact
I say we've only known each other one year
You say pfft I've known you longer my dear
You like to be so close, I like to be alone
I like to sit on chairs and you prefer the floor
Walking with each other, think we'd never match at all


But we do, But we do do do do do do do

But we do, but we do do do do do do do

I thought I knew myself, somehow you know me more
I've never known this, never before
You're the first to make up whenever we argue
I don't know who I'd be if I didn't know you
You're so prerogative, I'm so conservative
You're so adventurous, I'm so very cautious,

Combining you'd think we wouldn't


We do


But we do do do do do do do

But we do, but we do do do do do do do

Aye Aye Aye Aye

Aye Aye Aye Aye
Favouritism ain't my thing

But in this situation I'd be glad
Favouritism ain't my thing

But I'd be glad to make an exception

You say I'm stubborn and I never give in
I think you're stubborn 'cept you're always softening
You say I'm selfish, I agree with you on that
I think you're giving I think way too much in fact
I say we've only known each other one year
You say pfft I've known you longer my dear
You like to be so close, I like to be alone
I like to sit on chairs and you prefer the floor
Walking with each other, think we'd never match at all

But we do


(A small smile spreads across Trent's face and he lays back on the bed, letting the CD run.)




(Morgendorffer living room. The room has been decorated for a child's party and is currently filled with a dozen or so toddlers and their parents. The doorbell rings and Helen answers it. It opens to reveal Daria and Jane.)


HELEN: Hello girls. Where's Trent?


JANE: Getting his guitar out of the car.


TRENT (walking up behind the girls): Hey Mrs. M.


HELEN (overly sweet): Well hello Trent. Long time no see. What have you been up to? Still playing with that band?


(Trent is saved from responding by Lindsay barreling into his legs. Daria saw the attack coming and grabs his guitar case quickly as he nearly loses his balance.)


TRENT: Woah. Hey there Linds. (grinning) Hey Little Dude.


(Quinn walks over carrying Aiden, who is reaching for Trent.)


QUINN: Lindsay! What have I told you about that? You are not a football player, it's rude to tackle guests.


(Quinn gives Trent a frazzled smile as she hands over Aiden.)


QUINN: Oh you brought your guitar! Maybe you can keep them entertained for more than a second.


TRENT (chuckling): I'll try.


(The group moves into the living room where Daria and Jane stop dead, looks of shock on their faces.)


DARIA: Ms. Barch?


MS. BARCH: Not for much longer. I'll be Mrs. O'neill soon. Skinny! Grab Angela, she's pulling Anthony's hair again.


MR. O'NEILL: Oh dear.


(Mr. O'neill pulls a sandy haired girl of about 3 off of a boy that looks a lot like her.)


MR. O'NEILL: Now Angie, it's not nice to hurt your brother like that. Tell him you're sorry and give him a hug.


(The little girl glares at him and reluctantly mumbles an apology before hugging the boy.)


MR. O'NEILL: That's a good girl, now go play with the other children.


(Mr. O'neill chuckles as both of the children run off.)


MR. O'NEILL: She's got her mother's strength and willpower.


MS. BARCH: Good, then she won't get trampled on by any loser with a-


MR. O'NEILL: Janet... children.


MS. BARCH: Sorry Skinny. (smiling) So Jane, Daria. How are you girls?


JANE: Umm great.


QUINN: Mr. O'neill runs the daycare center down the road. The kids and I go there for Toddler Tumbling and Mini-Me Yoga.


DARIA: Wow, what made you leave Lawndale High?


MR. O'NEILL: Well when Janet got pregnant with the twins, we decided we didn't want our children to be raised by strangers.


MS. BARCH: But on the pittance that Li pays, we couldn't afford for one of us to quit.


MR. O'NEILL: So Janet and I started brainstorming. After all the years I spent running a summer camp for kids, a daycare couldn't be that hard. Now I have a job that I love, and I get to take my children to work with me every day! What parent wouldn't love that?


JANE: So Anthony and Angela?


MR. O'NEILL (nodding): Our little angels.


DARIA: Congratulations.


(Lindsay runs up, tugging on Daria's hand)


LINDSAY: Aunt Dawia, Twent needs his guitaw.


DARIA: Duty calls.


(She wanders over and hands Trent the guitar case.)


DARIA: How is it after all this time I'm still a roadie?


TRENT (grinning): Can't find anyone else who looks as good holding my guitar.


(Daria blushes and Trent chuckles.)


TRENT: I'll let you have a front row seat if you like.


DARIA: No thanks, I'll take my usual spot in the back. Easier to escape and harder for you to see my earplugs.


TRENT (laugh/cough): Good one Daria.


(She smirks at him and then moves back to stand by Jane.)


MR. O'NEILL: Say, didn't that gentleman with the guitar go to Lawndale?


JANE: Yep that's my brother Trent. He helped you with the protest song.


MR. O'NEILL (brightly): Oh yes! I remember. Is he going to play for us?


DARIA (smirk): Yes, he's been commanded by the birthday boy's big sister.


MR. O'NEILL (chuckling): Lindsay is a spirited one.


(All of the children are seated on the floor in front of the center sofa where Trent sits with his guitar. The coffee table has been moved out of the room for the day. The parents settle on the other couches and some folding chairs. Daria and Jane stand at the back of the room, leaning against the entertainment center.)


TRENT: I guess my usual stuff isn't gonna work today, huh?


(He grins and then begins playing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" encouraging the kids to sing along. After playing several kids tunes, he smiles.)


TRENT: This next song isn't really a kids tune, but I heard it the other day and can't get it out of my head.


(He looks pointedly at Daria as he begins to play. She blushes and Jane elbows her as Trent starts to sing.)


TRENT: When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love

When the evening shatters and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

I know you haven't made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I've known it from the moment that we met
No doubt in my mind where you belong

I'd go hungry I'd go black and blue
I'd go crawling down the avenue
Know there's nothing that I wouldn't do
To make you feel my love

The storms are raging on the rolling sea
And on the highway of regret
The winds of change are blowing wild and free
You ain't seen nothing like me yet

I could make you happy make your dreams come true
Nothing that I wouldn't do
Go to the ends of the Earth for you
To make you feel my love

To make you feel my love


(All of the adults in the room are a little misty eyed as he finishes. Mr. O'neill is openly weeping on Ms. Barch's shoulder. The children all clap and Trent smiles at them before turning his gaze to Daria. She gives him a small smile and Jane flashes him a "thumbs up" when Daria isn't looking. Quinn dabs at her eyes a little then claps her hands, smiling brightly.)


QUINN: Who's ready for cake?


(All of the children cheer and jump up to follow her into the dining room. Everyone leaves except Daria and Trent. He sits on the couch, lightly strumming his guitar as she studies him.)


DARIA: So I take it you liked the CD.


TRENT (nodding): It was pretty cool. Did you know that song was written by Bob Dylan?


DARIA (walking across the room): No I didn't. (smirk) I'm sure that was a bit closer to his version than Adele's.


TRENT (grinning): Probably.


DARIA: Sounded better than both of them.


(Trent smiles at her as she sits down beside him. He leans the guitar against the couch and turns to face her.)


TRENT: I'm sorry if it seems like I'm rushing you. I'm just scared.




TRENT: You are going places Daria. I'm worried that once you get a taste of the world you'll see me as dull.


DARIA: There's nothing dull about a man with a tattoo that means "I got this tattoo out of a magazine".


(They share a smirk.)


DARIA: I've been thinking about us a lot these past few days.




DARIA: And I can't make any guarantees Trent. Once the school year starts, this is going to get really rough.


TRENT (somber): I know.


DARIA: But I wanna try.


TRENT: You do?


DARIA (nodding): I've loved you for so long Trent. It would be stupid of me to toss it all away now.


(Trent just stares at her for a moment.)


DARIA: Yes I know I just used that word. (takes a deep breath) I love you Trent.


TRENT (smiling): That has got to be the most beautiful sentence I have ever heard.


(He leans in and kisses her just as Lindsay comes running into the room.)


LINDSAY: Aunt Dawia! You gonna miss da cake!


(She grabs each of the chuckling adults by the hand and drags them towards the dining room.)




(Trent's room. Trent is sprawled out on the bed face down and snoring. He groans as the duck phone starts quacking and fumbles blindly for it. Finally grasping the duck's head, he pulls the phone to his ear.)


TRENT (muffled through the pillow): 'Lo? (turning his head a bit) Oh hi. Um yeah I know the place. (squinting at his alarm) Sure I'll meet you there. Bye.


(He hangs the phone up on the third try and groans, running his hands over his face.)


TRENT: You just signed your death warrant Lane.


(CUT TO: The Lane kitchen, Jane is sitting at the table sketching when Trent walks in. She raises her eyebrow at the slacks and un-tucked dress shirt he's wearing.)


JANE: Look at you all spiffed up.


TRENT (shrugs, pouring a cup of coffee): Going to lunch. (taking a sip) Where's Daria?


JANE: She's at work until 2.


(Trent nods.)


JANE: So where are you going to lunch? Got a date?


TRENT: Trying to be Mom again?


JANE: No, she wouldn't care.


TRENT: Exactly.


JANE: Now Daria on the other hand, might be a little curious...


TRENT (sighing): Look Janey. It's nothing, I promise. Just a little lunch meeting. I swear I will tell you about it later, but I want to talk to Daria first. (glancing at the clock on the coffee pot) Now I gotta run.


(Jane gets up and grabs the phone, dialing quickly.)


JANE: I think we have a problem.




(A diner. We see Trent walk in the door and look around before heading toward a booth. He slides in and smiles nervously.)


TRENT: I'm gonna be honest. I was a little shocked by your invitation.


HELEN: Yes, well I thought you and I should have a little one on one time.


(A waitress wanders over.)


WAITRESS: What can I get ya?


HELEN: I'll have a Caesar salad, easy on the dressing. Oh just put it on the side and I'll do it myself. And a diet Ultra Cola.


(The waitress raises an eyebrow, but nods and turns to Trent.)


WAITRESS: Usual Trent?


TRENT: Who's cooking?




TRENT (nodding): Yeah the usual. Thanks Connie.


(Helen raises an eyebrow as the waitress walks away.)


HELEN: I guess you do know the place.


TRENT (shrugging): One of the few places open when we finish our gigs. (Bt) Or when practice runs late... or early, whatever.


HELEN: So you are still in that band...


TRENT: Only on the weekends. Monday through Friday, and occasionally on Sunday, I'm a DJ at 98.5.


HELEN: DJ? Hmm. Well at least it's a job.


TRENT: The boss is happy, ratings are up.


HELEN: And in five years do you still see yourself as a DJ in Lawndale?


TRENT: Maybe, maybe not. I could be a DJ in Oakwood.


(Trent grins and Helen frowns.)


HELEN: Trent...


TRENT: Just a joke Mrs. M. (Bt) I know it's not a high-profile job, but it's honest work and the pay is decent. Do I see it as a permanent gig? Probably not, but it's a foot in the door right now.


HELEN: A foot in the door to what?


TRENT: The music business. And no, I'm not talking about the Spiral. See the station manager is gonna be retiring in a few years. That's going to start a small chain of promotions, I hope to be one of them.


HELEN: Well that's nice, but-




(Lindsay scrambles into the booth beside Helen giving her a hug. Quinn follows her, pushing Aiden in a stroller. He is fidgeting wildly to be set free.)


QUINN: Mom, Trent! What are you doing here?


HELEN: We were just having lunch darling. (suspiciously) What are you doing here?


QUINN (getting Aiden out of the stroller): Oh the kids and I come here all the time. It's on our way home from the daycare center and Lindsay just loves Johnny's Mashed Potato Surprise. Mind if we join you?


HELEN: Of course not, how can I say no to lunch with my grandchildren.


(Connie brings over two booster seats. Helen places one between her and the wall of the booth, placing Lindsay in it. Trent slides over and allows the other to be put between him and Quinn as she slides in. Aiden smiles brightly up at Trent as he is settled in.)


CONNIE: Usual hon?


QUINN: Yes please.


CONNIE: I'll see if I can get Johnny to step it up so I can bring everything at the same time.


QUINN: Thanks. (turning back to Helen) So what brought on this meeting of the minds?


HELEN: Well I just thought that Trent and I haven't spent very much time together.


QUINN:  Mm-hmm. (to Trent) Has she asked you where you plan on being in five years yet?


HELEN: Quinn!


QUINN: Muh-omm! Why beat around the bush? We all know why you're here so let's get to it. Trent, do you plan on messing up Daria's future?




QUINN: There, was that so hard?


HELEN: Quinn! (to Trent) Daria is a bright girl and she's very close to finishing school.


TRENT: And I don't plan on stopping her. I think it's great that she's getting an education.


HELEN: And once she graduates, she's going to have a lot of options. (sternly) Not all of which are going to be here.


TRENT: I know that, and whatever she wants to do is going to be her choice completely. If her choice takes her to California or Jersey or even Indonesia, we'll figure out a way to make it work.


(Connie brings over their food. Quinn's is a salad just like her mother's and Trent's is a huge burger with onion rings and a plate of mashed potatoes with vegetables sticking out of it.)


QUINN (grinning): Looks like the kids aren't the only ones who like the mashed potato surprise.


TRENT: Hey the man makes vegetables taste good... who can resist?


(Connie hands Quinn and Helen sodas, the kids milk and Trent a large strawberry shake.)


QUINN: How are you so skinny?


TRENT (shrugging): High metabolism.


(Trent sees the kids staring at his shake and grins. He reaches into his napkin and pulls out a spoon, scooping up some of the shake and feeding it to Lindsay and then Aiden.)


QUINN (chuckling): When they are bouncing off the walls tonight I'm bringing them to the studio.


TRENT (grinning): I'll have little dude out in no time. (Bt) Now Princess over there I'll just put in one of the empty booths and let her go nuts.


(The three adults share a chuckle.)


HELEN: While we're on the subject... have you and Daria thought about starting a family?


TRENT (chuckling): I think it's a bit early for that. We've only been dating a few weeks.


QUINN: But you have known eachother forever! Things happen a lot faster when you start as friends. Trust me.


HELEN: And it can be so hard for a young woman to balance starting a career and a family at the same time.


QUINN: Writing is a career she could do from home...


HELEN: You know how hard it is finding five minutes to write a grocery list? How could you even begin to have the time to write a novel?


TRENT: I wouldn't want that for Daria anyway. No offense to you Quinn. I think you have probably the hardest job on the planet and I admire you for that. But Daria would be miserable. She's not the domestic type.


HELEN: Well some people would say that you can mold someone into a domestic.


TRENT: And those same people probably find themselves in divorce court before they can say "housewife". (leaning forward slightly) Look Mrs. M, I'm not out to change Daria or hold her back in any way. I love her just the way she is and I want nothing but the best for her.


HELEN (small, satisfied smile): I'm glad we can agree on that Trent. Now- (cell phone rings) Oh Da- ER.... Goodness, who could that be.


(Trent and Quinn share a smirk. As Helen fishes her phone out of her pocket.)


HELEN (irritated): Marianne can this wait? I'm in the middle of lunch with my- (cheerful) Oh Hiii Eric! (Bt) No of course, I was just finishing.


( Helen tosses some money on the table and blows air kisses to the children, scurrying out of the diner. Quinn moves to take her place.)


QUINN: Well that was fun. In the future, never agree to meet my mother alone anywhere.


TRENT: Oh come on, she's not that bad.


QUINN: Remember that in a few years when she's helping plan your wedding.


(Trent chuckles and  gives the kids another spoonful of his shake.)


QUINN: So you think you could give us a ride home?


TRENT: Sure, but I'd have to leave you here while I go grab the car seats we keep at the house.


QUINN (waving dismissively): Jane transferred the seats to your car when she dropped us off.


(She gives him a smirk that looks a lot like Daria's and turns to wipe Lindsay's mouth.)


QUINN: Oh and could we stop by the gas station at the corner? I promised the kids a sucker if they didn't tell Grandma that we usually come here with Grandpa... or that Johnny let's Grandpa in the kitchen.


TRENT: Jake cooks here?


QUINN: Who do you think came up with Mashed Potato Surprise? It was the only way Daria and I would eat any veggies when we were kids.


TRENT: But wouldn't your mom remember that?


(Quinn gives him an "Are you kidding?" look.)


TRENT: Guess not....


(Trent just stares at Quinn for a moment before shaking his head and grinning.)


TRENT: You Morgendorffers are full of surprises...


[SCENE 10]


(Lane kitchen Jane, Daria, Quinn, and Trent all sit around the table eating spaghetti. Trent is holding a sleeping Aiden.)


QUINN: Are you sure you don't want me to put him on the couch with Lindsay?


TRENT: I don't think he's completely out.


QUINN: He looks out to me.


(Quinn gets up and starts to take Aiden, who instantly grabs Trent's shirt in a death grip and whimpers. Trent smirks as Quinn shakes her head and sits back down.)


TRENT: Told ya.


QUINN: Alright Mr. Know-it-all.


DARIA: He can't be all that bright. He went to lunch with Mom (Bt) by himself (Bt) voluntarily.


TRENT (rolling his eyes): I told you, I didn't want to be rude. I want your mom to like me.


DARIA, QUINN, JANE: You'll get over it.


(The girls all look at eachother and smirk.)


DARIA: What we mean is, it's nice that you are making an effort. But if you jump at Mom's every command she will walk all over you. In the end, you'll just be another whipping post for her.


JANE: If you wanna make a friend, try Jake.


QUINN: Only if you like stories about Mad Dog and Ellenbogen...


JANE (shrugging): As long as you can play "What's that over there?" you're fine.


DARIA: Besides, Dad's mellowed out a little. I think Jamie's help with the company has eliminated a lot of stress for him.


QUINN (grinning): That and knowing he's almost done paying tuition.


(Daria smirks at her as someone knocks on the door.)


JANE: I'll get it


(Jane leaves the kitchen and returns a few seconds later with Jamie. Jamie leans down and kisses Quinn's check.)


QUINN: Hi hon.


JAMIE: Sorry I'm so late. We've got a big meeting with a potential client tomorrow.


QUINN: No problem. I don't get to have dinner with my sister that often.


DARIA: There's a plate for you in the fridge.


JAMIE: Thanks. (to Quinn) Should we get the midgets home to bed?


JANE: I don't know, (nodding towards Aiden) that one seems pretty comfortable.


(Jamie chuckles, moving to take Aiden from Trent.)


QUINN: Careful, he's kind of attached to Trent...


DARIA: Literally.


(Aiden makes some fussing sounds and tightens his grip. After a bit of coaxing and prying the toddlers fists loose, Jamie is able to take him. The toddler glares at his father for a moment before snuggling into his chest with a small huffing sigh.)


TRENT (standing): I'll come help switch the carseats over.


JAMIE: Oh I've got my own set, but we can toss them in the trunk.


(Quinn stands then leans down and hugs Daria. Daria looks a bit shocked and responds a bit awkwardly.)


QUINN: Thanks for dinner Daria. We should get together like this more often.


DARIA: Yeah we should.


(Trent grabs a covered plate from the fridge, then he Quinn and Jamie file out of the kitchen and Daria glares at Jane.)


DARIA: Not a word Lane.


JANE (smirking): I wasn't gonna say anything.


DARIA (standing): Mm-hmm.


(Daria starts clearing the table and Jane gets up to help.)



[SCENE 11]


(Trent's room. Daria is laying with her head on Trent's chest and he is stroking her hair.)


TRENT: Daria?


DARIA: Yes Trent?


TRENT: Do you think I could come visit you at school sometime? (Bt) As long as you're not swamped with work or midterms or something of course...


DARIA: I think I'd like that Trent. Maybe I could come visit you sometime too.


TRENT: I'd like that.


(The pair lays in silence for a moment. Trent staring at the ceiling and Daria tracing one of his tattoos with her finger.)


TRENT: And after graduation?


(Trent looks down at her with a slightly hopeful look. Daria looks up, gracing him with a rare smile.)


DARIA: No matter where I go, you'll always be welcome to visit me Trent.


(Trent grins, kissing her forehead. Daria settles back against his chest and smirks.)


DARIA: As long as you don't tell either of our families where I live......