Andrea's Roses.

A short fanfic by Wellive.

Disclaimer: Daria is not mine, I wish she were, but she's not. Sue me and be dammed - this is my most sincere form of flattery.

Anyway, you know the drill...

(Cue the usual montage of events that make Daria's life so very hers. A big difference this time is Splendora's rendition of "Standing on my neck", it's a lot slower and only preformed by the guitars and the vocalist. As the song winds to a close, the Daria font spells out "Andrea's Roses", then fades to show...)

(...Daria and Jane, resting quietly on their "Grassy knoll". It's a pretty dismal day (Dark, overcast and generally gloomy.) but our heroes are relaxing like it's the middle of summer. The few students seen in the background have a funny sort of glassy stare about them. Music: Central Reservation: Beth Orton -- The William Orbit Remix.)

Jane: So...anything else you want to tell me about your Christmas break?

Daria: (Glances over, chewing a grass stem.) Like what? You were with me almost the entire time.

Jane: ("Oh, yeah." expression.) Well, in the few days we spent apart...

Daria: (Dry.) You make it sound like we're engaged.

Jane: (Ignoring Daria's color commentary.)...You must have done something.

Daria: (After thinking for a few seconds.) Nope. You?

Jane: (Depressed.) Uh, no.

Daria: (Wary.) For some strange reason, I don't believe you. Why is that?

Jane: (Looking up at the sky.) Your high degree of paranoia acting up again?

Daria: Or it could be my long association with you.

Jane: Ah. (She concedes the point with a raised finger.)

(No, not that one, the index finger.)

Daria: Am I going to have to beat you like a rented stepchild to get an answer, Jane?

Jane: (Shrugs.) Ok, I locked myself in my room for five days and did nothing but paint. Satisfied?

Daria: Hmmm. Maybe. (Blinks. Worried tone.) Hang on, does this mean you..?

Jane: No, I went to the bathroom down the hall for that. (Sighs.) I just kind of lost it for a while and woke up a few days later with paint up to my armpits and an explosion of color before me. You?

Daria: Locked myself in my room for five days and read.

(They both look in mutual horror at their busy lifestyles.)

Jane: Holidays really do suck sometimes, don't they?

Jodie: (Coming up from behind.) If you had them to enjoy, maybe. (Seats herself.) Hi guys.

(Daria and Jane burst into their usual effusive greeting.)

Jane: Yo.

Daria: Hi.

Jane: So, your weeks away weren't exactly filled with much in the way of relaxation time?

Jodie: (Setting down her books and stretching her back.) What's that? Every time I stopped, I had maybe four seconds before someone was on my back about finishing those college applications, or extra-cirrucular activities, or baby-sitting my siblings. (She rubs her eyes.)

Jane: I wish I could say something uplifting, but for some reason...

Jodie: (Wry smile.) Thanks for your support. (She looks over a few separate papers, then groans.)

Daria: Let me guess, you volunteered for the next S.A.L.T talks, and they want you to broker the deal?

Jane: (Eager to participate.) It's "First Contact" time, and you're up there to "treat" with the aliens?

Jodie: (Dry.) "No" to both suggestions. (Holds up a sheet of paper.) I have to baby-sit the new students until Ms Li can process the hell out of them.

(In the middle-distance, a pretty girl pauses in her walk, looks over, then changes direction, heading towards the hillside trio.)

Jane: A new batch of freshmen to potty-train?

(Daria looks over to Jane with more than a hint of surprise.)

Jodie: (Reading paper.) And a few seniors too.

Pretty Girl: (Now behind Jodie.) Excuse me, are you Jodie Landon by any chance?

(Jodie turns to face her inquirer. She's young, petite and has a huge mass of tangled blond curls. Dressed in a casual mix of well-worn red denim jeans and a vividly purple long-sleeved T-shirt, she's walking on big purple-blue sneakers, the type that have an inch-thick sole. Her face is heart-shaped and her eyes are a vivid green.)

Jodie: (Plasters on her usual "meet-and-greet" smile.) Yes I am, how can I help you?

Pretty Girl: I'm Susan Karyn-Lywlendon. I'm one of the freshmen you have to baby-sit.

(The seated three look a bit surprised.)

Susan: (Slight grin.) Don't worry, you weren't being indiscrete, I've just got good hearing.

Jane: (Quite surprised.) From 50 yards away?

Susan: (Bigger grin.) You show me a kid that can't hear a candy wrapper being opened from that far away, and I'll show you a deaf-mute. (Gives Jane and Daria the eye.) So, what do I call my potty-trainer?

Daria: (With a slight smile, nodding over to her embarrassed friend.) I'm Daria, she's Jane.

Susan: (Raised eyebrow.) Just tell me when Tarzan shows up, would you? It's an introduction I'll look forward to. (Turns her attention over to Jodie again.) So, some quivering weirdo told me that you'd be able to help me settle in. (She shrugs.) Impossible, but I've got to make some sort of effort.

Daria: This weirdo wouldn't have happened to be wear a button-down shirt?

Susan: (Turn back.) Got it in one.

Jane: He's O'Neil. (Pause.) Look, I'm sorry about...

Susan: (Waving off the apology.) Nah, nah, nah. I'm cool with it. (Turn to Jodie, again.) Anyway, I'm wanting to take Metal-shop and Art, is there anyway you can think of arranging my timetable so that I can do both?

(Jodie wordlessly holds out her hand. Susan passes over her timetable and enrollment subject guide. As Jodie pours over the tangled documents, Susan seats herself.)

Susan: So, what's a girl like me to do for fun in a town like this? (Eyes the dark sky.)

Jane: (Arch.) Depends on how your preferences run...

Susan: (Dry.) Hopefully nothing involving chickens.

Daria: That narrows it down to malls, the occasional under-age gigs at the local nightclubs and school.

Susan: (Deadpan.) Wow. My life is complete.

Daria: (Same.) We try.

Jane: So, where are you from originally?

Susan: Well, we were in L.A. for a few hateful months, but before that, Alaska.

Jane: The Great White North?

Susan: Jane, isn't it? (Jane nods.) Now, I've only known you for a few seconds, and am not quite sure that you'll take this the right way, but any more jokes like that and I will hurt you.

Jane: (Raised eyebrows.) Point taken.

Susan: (Looking slightly embarrassed.) It's nothing personal, god, how could it be? But I've had to sit through 5 months of morons making the same half-witted comments...I'd rather that I'd start here with a clean run and no manslaughter convictions. (Beat.) And yes, I'm always like this.

Jane: (To Daria.) Ohh, she's good.

Daria: (Nods to Jane.) So, what made you want to move out to Lawndale?

Susan: My dad is now your Town Planner and Civil Engineering expert. (Dry.) It made a sort of sense to relocate to where he was going to oversee.

Jane: That makes a sort of sense, so what does your mother do?

Susan: She's dead.

Jane: Oh. Sorry.

Susan: (Looking Jane in the eye.) Why? You didn't know her.

(Jane looks quite embarrassed. Susan take pity.)

Susan: Once again, don't stress, I'd reached my limit on tactfulness about two months ago, so if I'm offending you, don't take it too seriously. (Pause.) And it was from breast cancer, it was horrible and I've been dealing with it through sarcasm. Questions?

Jane: (Taken aback.) No, not really.

Susan: Fine then. (She flops back and closes her eyes to the sky.) So, Jodie. Any luck?

(Cut to Jodie, who was sitting with her mouth open.)

Susan: Ok then. (She raises her head to look at Jane and Daria.) So, have I scared you off yet?

Daria: (Truthfully.) Sorry, not even close.

Susan: Good. I'll be nice to talk to people.

Daria: As opposed to pink fluffy puddings that only look human?

Susan: (Smiling, eyes closed.) Daria, I really like the way your mind works.

Jane: We all do.

(Jodie's scanning through the documents again, and writes a few things down.)

Jodie: Ok, I've managed to fit it in, but I hope you like maths as the last thing on a Friday?

Susan: Not a problem, I'm good at anything that involves numbers.

Jane: (With a grin.) We'll have to drag you into our secret world of underground betting...

Susan: (Tired.) Been there, done that, banned for life. (She pauses.) Let's just say that illegal gambling isn't such a big deal after you get too good at it.


Jodie: You are joking? Right?

Susan: (Waving a lazy hand.) Sure I am...but does anyone know when the next football game is? I'd like to find a few bookies that don't know about me yet.

(The faint strains of "Closer" (by NIN) float over to the girls. Susan winces.)

Susan: Crap.

Jane: (Looking around.) What is it?

Susan: My brother. (The music is louder.)

Jodie: (Also looking around.) Where?

Susan: Judging by the intensity of the music, he'll be pulling into the car park

(The music is pretty clear, so Daria and the rest stare a little at Susan.)

Susan: Look, if you knew how big the speakers are in the back of his car, you wouldn't be looking at me like that. (She opens her eyes and there is a decrease in music volume.)

Jane: Your brother wouldn't be "hearing impaired"?

Susan: Nope, just loud with whatever he listens to. (Shrugs.) He says he likes to feel it on a cellular level.

Jane: (Eyes alive.) We've really got to get our brother's together, it'd be a sound explosion.

Susan: Musician? (Jane nods.) Hmm, not sure, the last one blew out Balthazar's multistage amp and it took weeks for people's hearing to return.

Jodie: (Looking through the paper's in front of her.) Uhh, did you say..?

Susan: (Winces.) Yes, Balthazar. The parents were a little more than cruel when naming. To be honest though, he prefers Andreas.

(She pronounces it as "And-RE-Asss.")

Jodie: (Found the paper she's looking for.) Hmm, ok. Andreas Balthazar Seers?

Susan: Yes. Long story about parents, if you're ever bored enough to ask, I'll go steal a car and joyride until the police catch me.

Daria: (Lightly.) I'll take that as "Don't ask" then?

Susan: Thanks. I knew you'd be smart.

Jane: (Ignoring that.) So, how come you're here earlier?

Susan: Well, since I saw him cleaning out the carburetor in the bathroom sink, I assumed that he'd be a while before making his appearance and walked.

Jane: (Listening.) Sounds fine now.

Susan: (Warningly.) Don't trust the silence, he's been know to set the CD stacker on a timer so that he can bail early from class.

Jane: Clever boy! (Grins.) I wish I could do that with Trent, but he'd fall asleep in the car park.

Daria: Or get beaten up by the drug-dealers.

Susan: You have dealers here?

Jodie: (The voice of civic responsibility.) Well, we try and get rid of them...

Susan: Ohh, don't worry about THAT, trust me.

(Sure enough, there are hurried sounds of some cars making a fast getaway. Everyone looks to Susan.)

Susan: It'll all make sense when...(Looks at their expressions.)...oh, never mind.

Daria: (Worried.) He doesn't drive some sort of armored vehicle, does he?

Susan: (Honest.) Well, there are two opinions on that one...

Jane: (Thinking aloud.) So, he drives a tank, listens to loud music and doesn't like to hang around in class? (Looks to Daria.) Does anyone else here know of twins separated at birth?

Susan: Doubtful at best. (Expressionless.) I'm pretty sure that he's from another planet though.

Daria: (Dry.) There you go Jane, proof at last.

Jane: (With a hint of sarcasm.) Not a problem, I'll just ask some perfect stranger for a blood sample to test for alien DNA, shall I?

Jodie: (To Jane.) You really watch too much X-Files.

Susan: (Squinting in disgust.) He's arrived.

Jodie: (Looks around, surprised.) Whoa!

Jane: (Same, appreciative.) Mmmm!

Daria: (Puzzled.) What are you looking at? (Turns around.) Jane, Jodie..?

(Our unflappable cynic trails off in the face of what has Jodie's and Jane's undivided attention. Music: Darkest Days; Stabbing Westwards.)

(A beautiful youth is walking up the path towards them. Cue a slow motion montage of him interspersed with reaction shots of the girls. Andreas Balthazar Seers is around 6'1, has a disheveled mane of feathery black hair and has a body that models would pay fortunes for, all lean, taunt and with more than a hint of muscular definition. His narrow face is slightly foxy, with high cheekbones and a slender nose, but huge dark eyes, the blackest of eyebrows and the longest lashes imaginable bestow upon him a sinister beauty. The dark circles under his eyes are real and not artifice, but they lent him a humanizing element of pain and emotional sensitivity. Shot: Jodie: Looking blankly surprised. Shot: Jane: Looking frankly hungry. Shot Daria: Looking blank. Shot Susan: Looking resigned.)

(He spots Susan and quickly arrives at the "grassy knoll". He's wearing mostly black denim, with a faded cotton T-shirt (black) and some sort of work boots (black) Tucking keys away on a chain attached to his belt (black), he shifts a thick notebook to his other hand and waves slightly to Susan.)

Susan: (As he arrives.) Hey, ‘bro.

Andreas: Mm. (His eyes flick over Jodie, Jane and Daria, taking a bare second to note them and where they're sitting. Inclines head.) New friends, or have you found something young and tender to torment?

Susan: (To the other girls.) As you can see, tact and subtlety aren't really that much of an issue with my family. (To Andreas.) Yes, they're friendly. (False stage whisper.) Shut up, you'll ruin everything! Soon, they'll take me to their leader and I can begin to enslave this peace-loving alien world! (To the girls.) Just kidding. Really.

Daria: (Dry.) No? (Points to each person in turn.) Jane. (Jane straightens.) Jodie. (Jodie waves slightly.) Daria. (Points to herself.)

(Andreas kind of waves a hand in greeting, but remains focussed on his sister.)

Andreas: Have you a copy of the enrollment? (When Jodie hands it over, he nods at her.) Thanks.

(With that, he quickly strides off to the school's administrative center. The regulars have a mix of funny looks. Jane: Awe and lust. Jodie: Surprise. Daria: Thoughtfulness.)

Jane: (Slightly miffed.) Is he usually so...quiet?

Susan: (Tired.) You mean rude, and yes, he tends to be like that around strangers. (On a roll now.) Of course, if you're unfortunate enough to get to know him, you'll find that underneath all of that dark and foreboding exterior there is nothing but a gooey sea of Celeine Dion and the Culture Club. (Beat.) And please don't tell him I said that, he'd kill me.

Daria: (Turning to Jane and so very dry.) I believe that in first impressions, it's best not to drool too conspicuously.

Jane: (Checking, then looking at Daria. Flat and ugly tone.) I really hate you.

Susan: (Helpful.) It wasn't that bad, honestly. I've seen much worse.

Daria: A reassurance, I think, that Jane will take to the grave.

Susan: (Checking out Daria.) You on the other hand, man. (Catches the attention of the other girls.) You do realize that you have a real flesh-and-blood undead on your hands here? I've never seen anyone not react like that. (Pause.) Do you like girls?

Daria: (Guess the tone.) No.

Susan: (Stunned.) Wow. (Shakes her head.) That poker face is brilliant. (Looks at the sky.) Now, I realize that having a junior hanging around might destroy whatever "street cred" that you possess, but I'd like to meet up with you guys at a later date. Is ok?

Jane: (Wry smile as she gets up.) Si.

Jodie: No problem.

Daria: Popularity is not one of our objectives, to why not?

Susan: (Ticking points off on her fingers.) My abrasive personality, unceasing chatter, irritating observations and an astounding ability to say exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time. (Looks attentive for their reactions.)

Jane: (Turns to Daria.) Sounds good to me. You?

Daria: I've managed to not need the services of that handy nest of red-ants, so maybe the honey and staking-out equipment will remain unused.

Susan: You have all that?! Cool! (Goes to leave, but continues the conversation by walking backwards.) Hey, if I send you some people I met in LA, could I help tie ‘em down and take photos? (Checks watch.) Later!

(As she strolls off, the impending rain starts to sprinkle down with increasing intensity.)

Jane: (As they rush for cover.) Our cue?

(Cut to later in the day, lunchtime. Music: "Color Me" - Dot Allison. Daria, Jane and Jodie are seated at their "usual" table. Someone taps Jane on her offside shoulder and when she turns to see who, Susan slides neatly in on her blindside and seats herself.)

Jane: (Turning to face Susan.) Hi.

Susan: (Sounding surprised.) Do I know you? (Waves that one away.)  Hi, and is it my imagination, or are the majority of the people here sick, evil or just plain apathetic? I mean, really. The lotus-eaters would have a field day with this bunch of mouth-breathing, tranked-out, cable-fed...

Jodie: (Mostly in passing.) We've only recently come back from holidays, remember?

Susan: (Halted mid-rant.) ...Ahh. Good point. But does this explain the teachers too? Or is that DeMartino guy totally schitzed? He should really see an eye surgeon about that thing he carries around. I swear, at one point, I could memorize his retinal pattern.

(Jodie winces and puts down her milk.)

Susan: Sorry.

Jane: (Into the "munching silence") So, settling in well?

Susan: (Serious.) I haven't gone out for a gun yet, so "yes" on that one...

Daria: (Deadpan.) Give it time.

Jane: (Waving hands to stress points.) The feeling comes and goes. Try and ignore it.

Susan: (Smiling.) I'm not really sure; I tend to do the thing that the voices in my head tell me to do.

Jane: Now there's a surprise.

(All at the table laugh.)

Jane: (Very casually.) So, is your brother settling in?

Susan: Well, no screams and the parking lot remains empty of the local SWAT teams, so he's doing pretty good. And yes, he's available, no, he's not gay.

Jane: (A bit red-faced.) Er...

Susan: (False surprise.) What? (Dry.) It saves time this way.

Daria: (A bit amazed.) Not to mention all of that awkward tiptoeing around the subject.

Susan: (Resigned.) Why bother? We all know he's the most gorgeous thing that hasn't signed a modeling contract. Do you know how many guys I could pull with his eyelashes alone? (Pause.) Ok, that might have sounded weird coming from his sister, but one of the main reasons why he is such a bloody awful communicator is that half the time he's declining marriage offers.

Jodie: (Unable to help herself.) So what does he..? (Politeness kicks in and she winces. Susan doesn't care.)

Susan: Do about it? Gets really pissed off, mostly. He's quite skilled in the "verbal lashing out" department. He's also brilliant with his hands, I swear, he can make or fix anything.

Daria: (Slowly) I'm beginning to get this mental picture: if someone gave him a "home-made" article of some sort...

Susan: (Frankly.) He'd burn it. (Pause.) Maybe in front of them. (Looks at Daria with great respect.) You're really quite good at figuring people out, you know? Ever decide to look into psychoanalysis?

Daria: (Honestly.) I've enough problem without borrowing other people's.

Jodie: (With just a little chagrin.) At least you'd get paid for it.

Jane: (Nods.) She's got a good point there.

Susan: (Changing the subject, looks over at Jane.) So, what do you excel at? Judging by the paint under the fingernails, art is your passion?

Jodie: (Nodding.) Good call.

Daria: (Musing aloud.) Perhaps the number of works signed "J. Lane" in the art room may explain it?

Susan: (Smiling, to Daria.) You're good. (To the others.) She's very good. (To Jane.) I like art too, mainly the history and theory as I'm pretty mediocre when it comes to the messy side of things. Oh well. (Looks up, evil tone.) Hey guys? Watch the doors and scan the reactions.

Jane: Hmm?

Susan: (Explanatory.) I just spied brother dear walking by the window.

Jodie: (Looking out.) But it's still raining?

Susan: (With a sigh.) One thing you'll find about my brother and I is that we share none of dad's logic or spatial skills.

(Jane looks to Daria for the translation.)

Daria: (Sipping at her milk.) They get lost easily.

Susan: (Nods in agreement.) The sad truth is, if you blindfolded me and spun me a few times, I'd have trouble finding my ass with both hands. "He" is almost as bad. (She "shushes" them.) Ok, if he's following the same path as I did, he'll be coming through those doors any second now, so just sit back and look normal.

Jane: Normal for..?

Susan: (Disgusted.) Ok. Then just sit and enjoy the floorshow.

Jodie: (Sounding worried.) What show..?

(Quick cut to the cafeteria double doors swinging open with some force. They were smacked out of the way by a soaked Andreas, and they thunder closed as he strides through. His jacket is half-soaked and he's carrying it in one hand to protect his notes. This means the tight cotton T-shirt sticks to him in patches like a second skin, the sight enough to slow down, then stop, most conversation in the cafeteria. He locates then strides over to the "chow line".)

(Cut to...)

Stacy: ...And this week, Cashmans has released information about their...OH...MY...GOD. (States at Andreas.)

Tiffany: Er, what? (Looks to where Stacy is riveted.) Oh...

Sandi: Stacy? Tiffany? (Looks besides her.) Quinn? (She turns and sees Andreas.) Oh...

(Music: Break and Enter: The Prodigy. Andreas selects what looks edible and pays the stunned cashier. He looks out into the packed cafeteria and scans for a vacant seat. Instant shuffling of females to create as much welcoming space as possible. He makes his decision and walks towards the Fashion Club's table.)

(Cut to the Fashion Club: instant preening and not-so-subtle jockeying for position. Sandi and Quinn are trying hard to push each other out of the way, until Quinn makes a decision.)

Quinn: San-di, this is sil-ly. If "he" sits next to us, all that he'll see is our profiles, he should sit opposite us, so that our exposure is maximized.

Sandi: (After a half-second of thought.) Ex-cellent suggestion Quinn. (They turn in unison to a pale and worried Stacy and the mildly apprehensive Tiffany.) Would you two be so kind as to "bunch up"?

Stacy: (About three steps from breakdown.) But, but...but that will mean that we won't be able to maximize exposure, not to mention the possible threat of wrinkles and crushing our clothes may receive!

Tiffany: (Nods slowly.) Crushing...wrinkles...oh.

Sandi: (Vicious.) Would you like to go and get us all a diet soda, then, Stacy?

Stacy: But...but...that would mean that...

Sandi: (Seeing victory at the expense of others.) What Stacy?

Tiffany: (Sounding surprised.) Oh!

Sandi: (Distracted in her moment of triumph.) What, Tiffany?

Tiffany: (Pointing.) He...didn't...stop.

(Cut to Susan and the rest at their table.)

Susan: (Elbowing Jane.) See that? They were about to got to war over some guy that they'd never even seen before!? (Cue Pip (from "Southpark") voice.) Oh glorious day!

Jane: (Rubbing side.) Amusing yes. But could you go a bit easier next time? I think I've lost the use of a floating rib.

Susan: (Contrite.) Very sorry. It's just that...didn't you guys find it remotely amusing? At all?

(Jane shares a look with Daria.)

Daria: (Grudgingly.) Maybe. But nothing that couldn't be denied in court.

Susan: (Grins.) Lucky me, I'd still be tried as a child. (Mostly to herself.) I wonder where he's going? (To the girls.) Hey, watch this. (She stands slightly and waves.)

(Meanwhile, at the Fashion club...)

Quinn: Urghh!

Sandi: (Determined.) There is no way some brand-new unknown is going to steal away my future boyfriend! (Quinn gives her a nasty look, but jumps up and waves along with Sandi.)

(Within seconds, an awful lot of the cafeteria population is standing and waving. Also can be seen; the three J's staring death at Andreas, Daria holding Jane down with Jodie's aid, Brittany leading a cheer and Susan convulsed with laughter. This comes to an abrupt halt when Andreas walks past their table with only a slight nod at his sister.)

Susan: The hell!?!

(She cranes her neck to get a better view. Unfortunately for her, most of the school population have the same idea so she misses...)

(Music: Blood And Roses: The Smithereens.)

(Cue an eye shot of Andreas through the wet strands of hair that hang over his face. His eyes are dark and fixed on someone. Swing the camera around at the first drum beat to show...)

(Andrea, sitting in typical solitary splendor at her table. She's looking up with her usual lack of expression.)

(Camera: Andrea's POV: some dark and brooding young demigod is walking towards her.) (Sideways view now, and as Andreas gets closer, he see a slight crack in Andrea's renowned composure: her eyes dart from left to right in a single quick glance, scanning for anyone with a seat free, or something else of interest.)

(View from Andreas's POV: Andrea at her table, now only 2 yards away. He comes to a stop and inclines his head toward the empty seat opposite her.)

(We see Andrea give a terse nod toward the free seat. All conversation in the cafeteria has stopped, so the sound of the chair being dragged back is hideously disruptive. As he seats himself, Andreas inclines his head in thanks and arranges his jacket so that it can hopefully loose some moisture. After he does this, he looks Andrea straight in the eye. She stops mid-swallow.)

Andreas: (Introducing himself.) Andreas Balthazar Seer.

(Andrea blinks.)

Andrea: (Hushed.) Andrea.

(Andreas nods once with a slight smile on his impossibly handsome face to show his amusement at the coincidence of their names, then turns to his food. After a few seconds, so does Andrea.)

(Jane turns to an amazed Susan.)

Jane: (Imagine the tone.) So...this happen often?

Susan: (Stunned.) Yeah, like once a few thousand years. (Blinks.) I really hope she's not one of those "Darkness is cool, let's worship something dark and wear lots of white foundation and black eyeliner" goth groupies?

Jodie: (Very, VERY dry.) Andrea is Andrea.

Susan: Ok. (Pauses.) Her name is Andrea? This is going to provoke hilarity, I can see it now. (She rubs at her temples.)

Jane: (With an aura of experience.) Trust me, with Andrea, people find reasons not to laugh.

Susan: (Looking intrigued.) Oh, one of those, is she? (Thinking aloud.) Does she chatter?

Daria: A definite no.

(There is a conversational pause as Susan gets her mind around the new information.)

Susan: Well then...well...well...well.

(Fade the shot on Andreas and Andrea eating together at the table, ignoring the sidelong glances, looks and outright stares.)

(Music: Welcome To the Fold - Filter. Daria and Jane are walking out of the noble entrance of LHS when Susan joins them, walking in step. Daria nods a greeting.)

Jane: (Smiles.) Yo.

Susan: (Quizzical look.) Look, I've already said, I don't know you. (Waits for a response but continues when there is none.) Hey. Would you like a lift home?

Jane: "Shanks' Pony" is starting to branch out into public transport? (Looks at Susan's feet.)

Susan: (Slightly evil grin.) Nope, but my brother still hasn't left yet.

(Jane yanks both Daria and Susan along at a fast pace out of the shot.)

(Music: Killing An Arab -- The Cure. It's the LHS parking lot, seen in "Jake of Hearts" and "Daria Dance Party". A crowd of students (The usual as-yet nameless extras.) are crowded around something. The three girls walk into the crowd to be assaulted by...)

Upchuck: Laaadies, have you by any chance seen the newest addition to my...

(Susan shoves past him, causing him to fall backwards on his butt. She doesn't even bother to acknowledge his familiar patter, simply ignoring the irritation he provides but stepping over him like trodden-in gum. Daria and Jane share a look and step neatly aside, also avoiding him. The surprise on Upchuck's face is quite comic.)

Susan: (Over her shoulder, wending her way through some bodies.)  It's like this; I don't care.

(They come to a halt where the crowd ends, in front of a large patchwork car of an unfamiliar make. No two panels are the same color, some still only covered with metal primer, but the bodywork is flawlessly straight. In the back, most of the available space is taken up by a speaker that you could fall into. There is no interior trim, just bare metal and the electrical system of the car held in place by a mile or so of duct-tape.)

(There is a disturbance by the side of the crowd and we see a dishrivelled Andreas deftly avoiding the clutching hands of some girls. He pulls out a remote and unlocks the car, grimacing slightly when Susan jumps in and motions Daria and Jane to follow her lead into the back seat. However, he says nothing and gets in the driver's side, giving Susan his books to carry. He keys the ignition and fiddles with something underneath his seat.)

Susan: (To Andreas.) Still with that electrical..?

(The rest of her question is lost in the huge roar of the car starting up. Cue the typical cliché of a car, a rear-end view of the exhaust system and taillights. Students move carefully out of the way. And it motors neatly out of the parking lot and onto the road.)

(Music: Everybody Wants To Rule The World -- Tears For Fears.

(Open to the Fashion Club sitting at an outside table (Covered of course, skin cancers are soooo unfashionable.) with the usual reading matter in front of them. However, their usual source of enlightenment does not hold their attention, instead they all gaze over to Andreas seated some distance away.)

(Cut to a closeup of Sandii looking at Andreas.)

(Music: Closer -- Nine Inch Nails.)

(Sandii frowns and shakes her head.)

(Music: Crazy -- Britany Spears.)

(Sandii frowns again.)

(Music: Beautiful Stranger -- Madonna.)

(She looks worried for a few seconds, then shrugs.)

(Cut to a closeup of Quin, same target of interest.)

(Music: Backstreets' Back -- Backstreet Boys.)

(She looks happy.)

Cut to a closeup of Stacy

(Open to our favourite Goth walking around outside (Unlikely, I know. But so are Relationship ‘Maters.) with "Gender" by Orgy playing. As Orgy scream into life, she scans the holding pen of her fellow cattle. Seen in the pan shot are some of the other students and some guys clustered around a boom-box sorting through CD's.)

(Landscape shot of Andrea. She looks as impassive as ever, but by the way she's scanning, she's looking for something, even though she might not know or admit it.)

(Panning again, we see the Fashion Club seated, 2 footballers jogging to practice, Andreas writing something in a book while seated alone and some girls watching Andreas write, about 20 feet away.