A musical "Daria" Quickfic by Erin Mills

(Fade in on a light blue room. The only piece of furniture in it is a black baby grand piano. We dissolve into a closer view and we see a harmonica on a performer's harness sitting on the top of it.)

(Cut back to the wide angle of the room. Daria walks into the shot and stands next to the piano. She looks around, seeing if anyone is in the room. Seeing nobody, she pulls out the piano bench and sits down.)

(She lifts up the cover on the keys, and looks down at them for a few moments. She looks back up and around again. Satisfied that there isn't anyone watching, she places her hands on the keys and begins playing. Surprisingly enough, she's quite good, improvising a mellow jazz riff. We are treated to several minutes of Daria's piano work, when Jane comes into the shot, and looks over Daria's shoulder.)

JANE: I didn't know you played the piano.

DARIA: (shrugs but doesn't stop playing, or even looks at Jane) Mom put me through lessons between ages 5 and 7. What she didn't know was I kept it up when she wasn't looking.

JANE: Why?

DARIA: (shrugs again) Had to do SOMETHING when the power went out and the TV wasn't working.

(She continues improvising, switching from jazz, to classical, to ragtime, to boogie woogie, and back to smoky jazz.)

JANE: Damn! You're good!

DARIA: (smiling slightly) That's nothing. Check this out.

(She takes one hand off the keys and, still playing with her other hand, puts on the harmonica with the harness and adjusts it. Once it's settled, she goes back to improvising, this time playing the harmonica in melody with the piano.)

JANE: (Astonished) Did I say you were good? You're phenomenal!

DARIA: (when a logical break comes for the harmonica) Thanks.

JANE: Damn, I wish you had told me this sooner! Trent would have flipped to know we have the female Billy Joel coming over to the house on a regular basis.

DARIA: Funny you should say that. I've been working on something. I wouldn't mind your opinion.

JANE: Sure.

(Daria nods, and slows the tempo of her improvisation. After a few more transitional notes, she wets her lips and begin playing the opening notes of Billy Joel's "Piano Man" on the harmonica.)

JANE: "Piano Man?"

DARIA: Sort of...

(She finishes the intro and goes into the song proper.)

DARIA: It's nine AM on a schoolwork day
The usual drones stumble in
O'Neill goes over his study plan
DeMartino takes a swig of his gin

The intercom comes alive with the sound of Li
With a ploy to raise the school funds
To pay for more cameras or tests
Or bullet proof vests
Or the banning of dance cummerbunds

Tell us a tale, you're the Story Girl
Tell us a tale today
No one will believe us otherwise
And you always know what to say

(She goes off into an extended interlude)

JANE: (laughs) That's not bad. I like the line about the cummerbunds.

DARIA: Hang on, it gets better. The next couple of verses are about you...

Now, Jane of the arts is a friend of mine
She's free of her parents as can be
And she's quick with a joke and runs faster than smoke
And there's no one more important to me

And despite all the times she's annoying me
To the point where she needs a good hit
But she's never backed down from a nasty fight
And always calls me on shit.

Oh la-la-ti-di-dah-da


JANE: I need a good hit, huh?

DARIA: Sometimes.

JANE: Pot or booze?

DARIA: Depends on whether or not the month has an R in it.

(Jane laughs and Daria starts in on the next verse.)

DARIA: Now Jodie's our devoted class president
Who's an overachiever for life
And she's talking to Mack, who loves talking back
And just may make Jodie his wife.

(Daria starts playing with more passion)

And the Fashion Club's playing at politics
As Upchuck tries for a feel
Yes, we all do not want to associate
But we're all firmly under Li's heel.

(Passionate bridge)

Tell us a tale, you're the Story Girl
Tell us a tale today.
No one will believe us otherwise
And you always know what to say.

(Interlude the third)

JANE: Mack wants to marry Jodie?

DARIA: For all my lack of experience in modern relationships, I've learned that when a guy goes out of his way like that when he's already getting sex, he's got much more than mere physical intimacy on his mind.

JANE: How do you know they've had sex?

DARIA: Who do you think I first talked to back when I was having that little...crisis?

JANE: Damn! And she admitted she and Mack were--(makes some odd hand gesture)

DARIA: Not as eloquently as that. But the implication was there.

JANE: I wondered why she hadn't exploded yet. (beat) Hey, can I try a verse?

DARIA: I don't know. Didn't the cops take away your karaoke machine after the neighborhood cats went on a rampage?

JANE: There's no proof my singing did that. C'mon, it's really good.

DARIA: All right...

(She finishes the transition into the next verse as Jane sits down next to her on the bench.)

JANE: The bell rings and we leave for another day
Our brains have all turned to mush
And we go home to see just what's on TV
And wait for our thoughts to uncrush.

DARIA: Good! (she goes into an even more passionate tempo)

And school just seems like a carnival
Full of bimbos and psychos and freaks
And it's something that all kids experience
For four hundred and thirty-two weeks!

JANE: Bring it home!

DARIA & JANE: Tell us a tale, you're the Story Girl
Tell us a tale today
No one will believe us otherwise
And you always know what to say.

(As Daria plays the last few bars of the song, the lights go down, and soon we only see our heroines in silohuette as it comes to an end.)

JANE: That was really good. You should be proud of yourself.

DARIA: There's only one thing...

JANE: Yeah?

DARIA: "I wish my brother George was here."

(Jane laughs. Fade out)



Daria & Jane are copyright © 2001 MTV Networks and Viacom International

"Piano Man" is copyright © 1973 JoelSongs and Sony Music Entertainment, Inc.