(Opening sequence. Music: "You’re Standing On My Neck" by Splendora.1

Daria and Lynn sit side by side in Ms Li’s office, looking warily at each other.

Daria and AP standing outside the Morgendorffer house, kissing. Jake rushes out the front door waving a golf club over his head in a threatening manner.

Daria behind the wheel of Lynn’s car, with AP leaning around behind her to yell at Sandi and Tiffany, who are driving next to them. Flying hair indicates that they are going at speed.

LHS corridor. Quinn walks past Daria, Jane, Lynn and AP wearing an outfit much like one that Daria or Lynn would wear – rose pink cardigan, cream turtleneck, knee-length denim skirt and flats.

LHS corridor. Lynn walks past Daria and Jane wearing something that Quinn would wear – purple T-shirt showing off her midriff, black boot leg jeans, high heels.

Nightclub dance floor. Daria gets shoved to the floor by a sneering burly lout of a guy. Jane and AP, standing behind him, look at each other and then they both hit him.

Hospital corridor. Daria holds her head in her hands – obviously crying. Trent, looking nervous, puts an arm around her.

Nightclub stage. Lynn, looking resigned, slings Trent’s guitar over her shoulder.

Lynn’s room. Daria and Lynn sit side-by-side, staring at the computer screen. They turn to each other at the same time, stricken looks on their faces.

Daria and Lynn side-by-side again, smirking slightly. As the original montage sequence, the camera pulls in and then out again to reveal two interlocking circles; one contains the Daria logo and the other contains a corresponding ‘Lynn’ version. Underneath are the words: "Daria in…"


(A Daria Fan Fiction – The Look-Alike Series Season 2 Finale)

(Scene: Lynn’s room. Music: "Turn You Inside Out" – REM. A lump of bedding suggests Lynn’s presence. A rapping is heard at the window and the lump of bedding shifts. Louder rapping produces a low groan.)

Lynn: (OS; muffled by covers) AP, go ‘way … it’s too early in the morning and we played a late gig last night…2

(The rapping becomes louder and more insistent. Lynn groans again, then untangles herself from the bedding, grabs her glasses from the bedside table and moves to the window.)

Lynn: (mutter; putting on her glasses) Damn late night gigs, damn checking on miserable friends at three in the morning and damn Psycho-Mavericks too… One of these days, AP…

(She flings the curtains open and steps back, a little surprised. Jane, looking tired, pale and fretful, is looking in at her from her perch on the ivy trellis outside the window. Lynn flings the window open and helps Jane in.)

Jane: Yo.

Lynn: Something wrong with the doorbell? Or the door itself?

Jane: I’ve seen AP do this and thought I’d try it out.3

Lynn: (looking closely at Jane) But after a long, fraught, sleepless night?

Jane: (sheepish) Yeah … well…

Lynn: (weary sigh) Come on; I’ll break out the Turkish coffee.4 (beat) Did you want to talk and plan out what you’re going to say to Daria, or did you want me to distract you?

Jane: Distract me – I’ve been thinking about that all night…

Lynn: Okay, but be prepared for information overload. I’m mapping out project of the year for 2000 and I could use a sounding board.5

(Jane gives a weary shrug and follows Lynn out of the room.)

(Scene: McIntyre house, exterior. AP slams out the front door, then stops short when he sees Daria perched on the kerb.)

AP: (bemused) Isn’t McIntyre Manor a bit out of your way? (hurried) Not that I’m not happy to see you…

Daria: (quiet) I just … wanted some company this morning.

AP: (cheerful) Cool! So was there anything you wanted to talk about?

Daria: (raised eyebrow) No … but I can tell YOU have an idea or two…

(AP grins.)

(Scene: LHS corridor. Jane and Lynn walking. Jane looks at Lynn strangely)

Jane: Only you would consider spending the best part of your year cataloguing the merits and drawbacks to various acts of violence.

Lynn: (proud) Hey, I’m unique. I had the most fun with blows to the head. Did you know that the same blow that would just stun you if it landed here (touches back of head) can kill you if it lands here (taps temples)?

Jane: There are days that you really scare me, Lynn. This is one of them.

Lynn: It’s a gift. And it’s true, anyway. The temples are the weakest point…

(Her voice trails off as we cut to another corridor, where Daria and AP are walking. AP’s voice fades in mid-sentence.)

AP: …mainly because of the length of the barrel. He’d have been better off with a shotgun at that range. And anyway, he was insane with fear. He couldn’t have hit the broad side of a barn.6

Daria: So you’re telling me that the fact that the Jules and Vincent characters in Pulp Fiction didn’t get shot in that apartment scene was no miracle.

AP: Exactly!

(They round a corner … and see Jane and Lynn, who spot them at the same time and break off their conversation. As the music stops, both pairs keep walking, but Lynn speeds up a little and AP hangs back so that Lynn comes to AP’s side a few feet behind them just as Daria faces Jane. Lynn and AP watch as Daria and Jane just look at each other for a moment.)

Daria: (hesitant) Hey.

Jane: (hesitant) Yo. (beat) I…

(A gunshot rings out and AP drops, yelling out and clutching his arm. Music: "Let’s Get This Party Started" – Korn. Daria and Jane wheel in shock but Lynn, rage evident in her face, turns and flings herself at a door across the corridor – where the gunshot came from. The door shuts … and after a very brief silence, the sound of a turning lock is clearly heard. Daria turns to Jane.)

Daria: Go to the office. Get them to call for help. Then find a first aid kit…

Jane: But I can’t just leave you…

Daria: You’re the fastest of us. Now GO!

(Jane hesitates a second longer, then sprints off. Daria goes to AP.)

(Scene: classroom. Music plays on. Lynn is standing with her back to the door, easing her hand away from the doorknob and making no sudden moves. For a very brief moment, her face clearly says, "oh I just did a very dumb thing", but then she regains composure.)

Lynn: I think you’ll find, if you think about it, that your main problem here is with me. So you just leave them out of this.

(Pan to who Lynn is looking at. Ms Li stands there, casually dressed, holding a small pistol in one hand and a baseball bat in the other. She looks a bit dishevelled and completely insane.)

Li: (sneer) I swore I’d see you all hanged for what you did to me…7

(Ms Li aims the pistol and Lynn tenses, stepping forward in attack stance…)

(Scene: LHS corridor. Music plays on. A knot of onlookers has gathered around Daria and AP. Daria is helping AP to his feet; one arm of his jacket is soaked in blood.)

AP: (wince) It’s not bad … I think it’s just a graze…

(Another gunshot, followed by the sound of breaking glass. The onlookers flee in panic but Daria and AP stay frozen for a moment. Then AP throws himself at the door and rattles the doorknob.)

AP: (hammering on the door) LYNN?

Daria: (panicked) AP, don’t…

(Scene: classroom. Music plays on. Lynn, still standing between Ms Li and the door, is trying to wrest the baseball bat from Ms Li. The gun lies forgotten to one side.)

Lynn: (over her shoulder) Get OUT of here, you morons! She’s gone nuts!

(Ms LI takes advantage of Lynn’s moment of distraction by grabbing the bat and making an awkward swing at Lynn’s head. The blow connects and Lynn drops. Ms Li kneels and wraps her hands around Lynn’s throat.)

(Scene: LHS corridor. Music plays on. AP is trying to force the door with a laminated library card. Daria watches fearfully. Jane runs to them, Mr DeMartino hot on her heels.)

DeMartino: You’re bleeding, McIntyre…

(The library card snaps in half. AP makes a frustrated choking noise, tosses the piece aside and then throws his uninjured shoulder at the door, bouncing off and wincing. As he backs up for another try, DeMartino joins him in charging stance.)

(Scene: classroom. Music plays on. Ms Li is cheerfully throttling Lynn when the door bursts open and AP and DeMartino stagger in, caught off-balance. Ms Li startles, releasing Lynn, and grabs for the gun. She stands, the gun trained on AP and DeMartino. There is a moment of silence – stalemate.)

Li: You’re not going to stop me…

DeMartino: (furious) Angela, CONTROL yourself!

Li: (desperate) You WON’T stop me! I was PROMISED this!

(Lynn, staggering slightly, looms up behind her – she’s evidently been playing possum. She grabs a double handful of Ms Li’s hair and yanks hard. Ms Li screams, drops [nearly tosses] the gun and lashes a fist out blindly, catching Lynn a hard blow to the side of the head. Lynn falls, striking her temple on the edge of a desk before hitting the floor. Ms Li advances on her … and then a final gunshot rings out and Ms Li falls dead. She has been shot through the heart.)

Jane: (OS) Oh, Jesus…

(Pan to the doorway. Daria, Jane and AP are staring in shock at DeMartino, who holds the smoking pistol in the two-handed grip of a master marksman.)

DeMartino: You have NO idea how GOOD that felt…8

Daria: (blank) I might.

(AP moves first, running over to Lynn and checking for a pulse.)

AP: (shaky) Oh damn…

(Jane approaches with the first aid kit. Daria steps over to DeMartino, puts a hand on each of his forearms, and gently makes him lower the gun. In the stunned, horrified silence, a distant siren is heard.)

END ACT 1 – ADVERTS [Lead-in: Daria, Jane and AP staring at gun-toting DeMartino]

Are you kidding? Real adverts in THIS fic? I wouldn’t dare.


(Scene: Cedars of Lawndale main reception. Music: "Disassociative" – Marilyn Manson. Daria and Jane sit side by side on a bench. Daria’s eyes are wide and blank and Jane is visibly worried about her. AP sits on a chair a short distance away, bloody jacket in his lap and shirt sleeve rolled up to show a bandage on his upper arm. He is trembling and very pale. When Daria speaks, it is in far more bland tones than usual.)

Daria: Maybe we should have said something about Operation Ace of Spades when giving our statements?9

Jane: No point. Why dig ourselves a hole?

(Daria nods slightly, acknowledging the point, and there is more silence.)

Daria: We were talking … before this started.

Jane: (worried) Yeah … we were.

Daria: It seems kind of pointless to hold a grudge about something so stupid. Life’s too short.

Jane: (sad) Yeah. Yeah, it is.

Daria: You were right. You ARE a damn good friend. I’m sorry for suggesting otherwise.

Jane: Me too, Daria.

Daria: (holds out a hand) All right then.

(Jane looks at the hand for a moment.)

Jane: To hell with that.

(And she grabs Daria in an impulsive hug. Daria doesn’t resist, but she doesn’t respond either. After a moment, Jane pulls back and looks at Daria, the worry in her face deeper now. After a moment, Helen rushes in and heads straight for Daria.)

Helen: Sweetie, are you all right? They called and work and said… If that – that WITCH laid so much as a HAND on you I’ll…

Daria: I’m okay, Mom. Really. I…

Jane: (aside to Helen) They wanted a family member to take her home. She’s in shock.

Helen: (concern) Oh, Sweetie… (sits next to Daria, hugs her)

Daria: Mom … please … I’ll be fine.

(At this point, AP gets up and walks unsteadily out. Helen turns to Jane, still holding Daria.)

Helen: Now, what happened?

Jane: (shrug) Ms Li broke out of jail somehow. She came after us … but it looked like she was mainly after Lynn. Mr DeMartino shot her, so we may never know how she got out or why she attacked us.

Helen: That’s the Lynn girl that nearly got expelled last year?10 (Jane nods) Blaming one student for losing that … that concentration camp she calls a school. The woman was clearly out of her mind. (beat) Does this Mr DeMartino need legal help? It isn’t my jurisdiction but…

Jane: But you can get him someone; right.11 (beat) I doubt he’d say no.

(Daria shrugs Helen’s arms off and gets up.)

Helen: Daria…

Daria: Just … going to check on AP.

(She exits under the worried gazes of her mother and best friend.)

(Scene: Cedars of Lawndale, exterior. Music plays on. AP is sitting on the lawn, staring into the middle distance. Daria joins him.)

AP: Any news yet?

Daria: Nothing anyone’s willing to divulge to anyone but a family member. (beat) What are you doing out here?

AP: I’m on the lookout for Lynn’s mom. Assuming Kate left as soon as I called and used the full force of her personality on the airline staff, she should be here soon. I thought she might want to have her fit outdoors for the safety of the patients and staff.

Daria: Right. (beat) Did anyone contact the rest of her family?

AP: I called Lorna. She’ll tell Jan.12 Can’t think of anyone else in her family who’d give a damn.

Daria: (frown) What about her father?

AP: (mirthless chuckle) You’ve got to be kidding. He hasn’t sent so much as a birthday card in nearly nine years. He used to visit, write, call … then when she was nine or so, he just stopped. (distant, lost in memory) It hit her hard – they were close until then. She was never the same after that.

Daria: But even so … she IS his daughter. He’d at least want to know if Lynn’s…

AP: (sigh) Yeah, you’re right. (beat) I’ll try Lorna again. She’s pretty clueless, but she might at least know where her own brother is. If not … (one-shoulder shrug) how hard can a Jerome Peregrine Smythe be to find?

(Daria freezes, eyes wide, as the pieces come together…)

Daria: (VO) The Smythe?

Lynn: (VO) One of dad’s relations. Mom wouldn’t let either of us keep his name after he ran off to Portugal.13


Jan: (VO) Oh yeah, how’s Kate anyway?

Lynn: (VO) Please let’s not bring my mother into this. I’m on vacation.14


Helen: (VO) … I met Jerome … Kate – his wife…15


Daria: (distant) Her dad’s named JEROME?

AP: (nervous) Yeah…

(Daria gets up and heads for the hospital. AP watches her go for a moment, then goes back to his vigil.)

(Scene: Cedars of Lawndale reception area. Music: "Der Perfekt Traum" – Rotting Christ. Helen sits alone, getting up when Daria enters.)

Helen: Sweetie, why don’t you come home and…

Daria: Your lover in the Catskills – what was his full name; do you know?

Helen: (thrown) What? Daria…

Daria: This is important, Mom. Your old lover – my biological father – what … was … his … full … NAME?

Helen: (thinking) Jerome P Smythe – and I have no idea what the P stands for; he wouldn’t tell me. Daria, I don’t…

(Daria, beyond shock now, sinks into a chair.)

Daria: Forget VC Andrews. Today, my life became General Hospital.16

Helen: (fearful) Daria, you’re not making any sense.

(Daria looks at her mother for a moment, obviously considering the best way to put this.)

Daria: Mom…

(A woman – age about 40, emerald-green suit with black trim, Helen’s colouring but Ms Li’s hairstyle and a rounder face – barges in. Her face is the same ‘really weird shade of maroon’ that Lynn’s goes when she’s mad as hell. Helen looks over and goes very pale. She barges up to the desk, grabs hold of a passing nurse and pulls her so that they’re nearly nose to nose.)

Kate: Lynn Jaquenetta Cullen – my daughter – was brought here this morning. I want the doctor in charge of her case here with a report of her condition and a DAMN good excuse for why NO ONE has been told ANYTHING about how she is AND I WANT HIM *NOW*, ARE WE *CLEAR*?

(The terrified nurse gives a nod. Kate releases her and the nurse runs for her life. Helen is still staring at the woman, utter shock written on her face. Daria looks from Kate to Helen and back again; this obviously confirms everything for her.)

Helen: (utter disbelief) Kate…

END ACT 2 – ADVERTS [Lead-in: Kate barging into the hospital]

Don’t you hate it when adverts come mid-dramatic scene. Aren’t I evil?


(Scene: the same. Music the same. Kate wheels and looks at Helen, and her rage turns to shock. Very quickly, it goes back to rage, but a cold fury this time.)

Kate: Helen. (beat) Ambulance chasing paying off?

Daria: (raised eyebrow) I see where Lynn gets the temper from, anyway.

Kate: (livid) And what’s THAT supposed to…

(And then she gets her first good look at Daria. She stares, stunned – then she looks from Daria to Helen and back again.)

Helen: Kate; my daughter…

Kate: You had his CHILD?

Helen: I…

Kate: You had the unparalleled GALL to have MY husband’s CHILD? And you passed her off as your OWN husband’s spawn, didn’t you?

Daria: (trying to get their attention) Excuse me…

Kate: You were ruthless enough to seduce another woman’s husband but not ruthless enough to abort the resultant bastard, is that it?

(Daria calmly stands, steps over to Kate, and then backhands her across the face hard enough to knock her to the floor.)

Daria: (cold, angry) EXCUSE me. Shouldn’t you be more worried about your OWN daughter than the parentage of hers (gesture to Helen)?

(Without waiting for a reply, Daria walks away, leaving Helen and Kate to stare after her.)

(Scene: Cedars of Lawndale cafeteria. Music: "Gone Away" – Offspring. Jane is sitting at a table, looking glumly at a cup of coffee. AP staggers in, bearing coffee, and stands at the head of the table Jane’s at, looking at her blankly.)

AP: (uncertain) Um … hey ho, Art-Smart Scarlet.

Jane: (looking up at him; concern) Oh, sit down before you fall down, AP.

(AP takes her advice, and there is silence.)

AP: Things got kind of weird out in reception when Kate showed up.

Jane: How do you mean, weird?

AP: Well, I kind of only caught the tail end of it – I was outside. But when I got there, Kate was picking herself up off the floor and her face was all red like she’d been hit. Helen was looking at Kate like she was the spawn of Satan or something…

Jane: Is that really that far off?

AP: (vicious) No, I’d say that’s pretty much right. But how would Helen know? (one-shoulder shrug) Anyway, then Kate started yelling about suing Daria for harassment and Helen yelled about counter-suing on grounds of defamation of character and then Kate called Helen a whoring opportunist and then security had to be called. Things are getting weird.

Jane: Have you seen Daria?

AP: She came looking for me while I was outside. She went a bit weird on me and then took off and I haven’t seen her since.

Jane: You’ve got to work on eloquence, AP. I’m really worried about her and all you can say is ‘she went a bit weird’? She’s been acting a bit weird for weeks anyway! Elaborate!

AP: (thinking) Well…

(Enter Trent, who looks around a little wildly until he spots Jane, at which point he runs over.)

Trent: You okay, Janey? The hospital called. They said…

Jane: I’m fine, Trent. Daria sent me to get help when the shooting started.

Trent: (slight smile) That’s typical Daria. (beat; worried) Where is she, anyway? I mean, she’s not…

Jane: No, Trent, she’s not.

Trent: So who got hurt? If you guys look like that, SOMEONE…

AP: (angry disbelief) I don’t believe he’s even asking this.

Jane: AP, calm down…

AP: (nearly yelling) Not a chance in hell! (to Trent; nasty) Do the math, Trent. If I’m here, and Jane’s here, and Daria’s unhurt, and we all look like we’re about to lose our best friend, who’s left?

Trent: (sensing he’s really messed up) Damn. I’m an idiot.

AP: Thank you for saving me the trouble of saying it.

Jane: AP, lay off him!

AP: Why the hell should I? He’s been dishing out this sort of crap to me – mostly behind my back – for months and I haven’t said anything but right now, the last thing I can make myself do is be is patient with some JACK-OFF of a musician who doesn’t even ask if his band’s singer is still alive and can’t even get my NAME right!17

(AP gets up and runs out. Jane and Trent look at each other.)

Trent: Aw, man…

Jane: He kind of had a point. I mean, you STILL haven’t asked how Lynn is.

Trent: (sigh) Hey, lay off, Janey, I just woke up.

(Jane raises an eyebrow and Trent lowers his head.)

Jane: Well, maybe you shouldn’t feel too bad. If you HAD asked, he probably would have yelled just for the sake of it. There isn’t actually any news, but she was unconscious when she was brought in.

Trent: Oh. Damn. Why … no. I don’t even want to know. (beat) So now what? I mean, are flowers right for something like this?

Jane: I don’t know, Trent – this is the first time I’ve had to think about it.

Trent: How are you coping?

Jane: (sigh) I’m coping. Just. I don’t think the others are, though. I mean, you saw AP. (Trent nods with a slightly shamed look) And Daria … well, Daria was already a bit quiet – like something was bothering her – BEFORE this happened. Now … well, I’m worried about her.

Trent: You talked to her?

Jane: We only just apologised to each other. I don’t think I can pry. (Trent raises an eyebrow, pats Jane’s shoulder and gets up.) I don’t think YOU should pry either!

Trent: Well, who else?

(Jane looks downcast. Trent gives a slightly guilty look and goes.)

(Scene: Cedars of Lawndale, random corridor. Music: "Desperate Now" – Stabbing Westward. Daria sits on a bench, looking pale and fragile. Trent approaches cautiously and sits beside her.)

Trent: Hey, Daria.

Daria: (morose) Hey. What are you doing here?

Trent: The hospital called. They didn’t want Janey going home alone. Because of the shock or something. (beat) Um … a question like, ‘are you okay?’ would be…

Daria: One with a pretty obvious answer.

Trent: Yeah. Sorry.

Daria: It’s okay.


Trent: I wondered about … I don’t know … bringing flowers. Purple ones – you know. I thought I’d ask someone first.

Daria: And you asked me?

Trent: Well, I can’t go anywhere near Lynn’s mom because Lynn told me how she feels about her daughter being in a rock band.18 AP can’t stand the sight of me. And Janey didn’t know.

Daria: (thinks) Well … from what little I know, she doesn’t like the idea of cut flowers. Something about leaving them alive to keep the planet in oxygen. (morose) Anyway, last I heard, she was still unconscious – so she can’t actually see them.

Trent: (downcast) Oh. Right.

Daria: It was a nice thought, though.

Trent: (heartened) Thanks, Daria. (pause) Janey’s … kind of worried about you.

Daria: I know.

(pause; Trent raises an eyebrow at Daria, inviting her to elaborate, but Daria doesn’t.)

Trent: (hesitant) Um … maybe … you want to talk about it?

Daria: I … don’t know what to say. Or how talking is going to help anything.

Trent: (thinking) Sometimes … it’s like writing a song, you know? Having it out in the open … makes it smaller. So you can wrestle it better. Know your enemy, sort of; easier to handle it that way.

(For a moment, Daria is silent, weighing her words. Trent looks expectant, then slightly disappointed. Then, slowly, Daria begins to speak.)

Daria: I just … don’t believe what she did (beat) I’ve gone over the scene in my mind; it’s almost like I was there. She went into that classroom knowing there was a maniac with a gun in there; she locked herself in to buy us time. I thought I heard her say something about ‘leave them out of it’, and I know I heard her yelling at us to get out of harm’s way. I think about that – about what that got her – and I feel about three inches high.

Trent: (sympathetic) Daria…

Daria: (overriding him) And even now, I catch myself thinking ‘damn her anyway, for being brave and self-sacrificing when I’m not’. And then I think that … if she dies … damnation is an option and (stifled sniff) and I feel really … cruel… (she lets out a sob and puts her head in her hands.)

Trent: (alarmed) Daria…

(Looking nervous about doing so, he puts a tentative arm around Daria’s shoulders and holds her as she cries. This lasts a few moments until the sobs taper off to little sniffles. She sits up – Trent takes his arm off her shoulders quickly – and collects herself, taking off her glasses and making to clean them off on her jacket. Trent takes them from her gently with one hand while groping in a pocket with the other. He produces a wad of tissues, handing some to Daria and using the rest to clean her glasses for her. Daria mops up her face and blows her nose, and then Trent hands her the cleaned glasses, which she puts on with a sheepish expression on her face.)

Daria: Sorry.

Trent: Don’t be. Tears clean you out; it’s healthy. I don’t think we’d do it otherwise. (beat) Feel better?

Daria: Sort of. A little. (beat; shy) Thanks.

Trent: Anytime, Daria. (pause) Daria?

Daria: Yeah?

Trent: Tell me a story?

Daria: No bedtime story until you brush your teeth, young man.

Trent: (laugh/cough) Good one, Daria. I mean one about you, Janey and Lynn. A memory that you have and I don’t. To get us through.

Daria: Okay… What do you want to know?

Trent: I always kind of wondered – what was it like meeting someone so much like you?

Daria: (slight wince) I would ask you to request a story that makes no mention of Ms Li, but there are so few…

Trent: (remorseful) You don’t have to tell me.

Daria: (slowly) Strangely enough, Trent … I WANT to. (beat) Actually, Jane was the first to really meet Lynn. Ran into her at the lockers. Saw her from behind.19

Trent: (wicked smirk) Mistaken identity?

Daria: (weak smirk) Oh yeah. Jane and I’d had a … (blush) disagreement, so when Lynn didn’t answer to my name, Jane thought it was just me being annoyed and tried apologising. And then Lynn turned around and said…

(Scene: long shot of hospital corridor. Music plays on. We don’t see Daria or Trent, but Trent’s laugh/cough can be clearly heard ringing through the corridors.)

(Scene: Cedars of Lawndale main reception. Daria and Trent enter. Helen is gone but Kate is there, talking to Dr Phillips, who we remember from ‘Ill’.)

Trent: Find out what you can. I’ll be with Janey in the cafeteria.

Daria: I’ll meet you there and let you know what’s said.

(Trent nods at her and exits, and Daria steps up to where Phillips and Kate are conversing.)

Daria: Excuse me … how’s Lynn?

Phillips: Hello, Daria. Sorry, but I can really only divulge this to family…

Daria: I’m her sister. Well, half-sister, anyway.

(Phillips looks thoughtful and sceptical all at once, and then Kate eyes Daria cautiously and gives a grudging nod.)

Kate: Now, Doctor, can you give me a vague time frame on when Lynn can be expected to recover? Only I’m slated to start a six-month secondment in Tokyo in two days and I’d like to be able to schedule for this.

(Daria and Phillips both stare incredulously at Kate, who doesn’t seem to notice.)

Phillips: (staying calm with an effort) Ms Cullen, I don’t think you understand. While it seems as though Lynn isn’t in immediate danger – she wasn’t strangled long enough to be seriously deprived of oxygen, for instance – she has taken some severe blows to the head. The scans we’ve had back indicate no clotting or visible trauma, but she’s comatose.

Kate: Cut to the chase, Doctor. I have a very full schedule.

Phillips: (only just keeping anger in check) Ms Cullen … it could be days or weeks or even months before she comes to. (beat) I’m sorry, Ms Cullen, but your daughter may never recover. There’s just no way to tell.

(Daria looks devastated, but Kate merely looks annoyed. Daria gets up and starts out of the room as Kate begins to harangue the doctor.)

Kate: Doctor, that just isn’t good enough. I mean, what the HELL am I paying medical insurance for if…

(Daria, at the door, shakes her head with a sad sigh, then exits so she doesn’t have to listen to this anymore.)

(Scene: Cedars of Lawndale cafeteria. Music: "The Great Below" – Nine Inch Nails. Jane and Trent are sitting side by side at a table, looking glum. AP approaches, face pale and eyes red. He sits down across from the siblings sheepishly.)

Jane: (tactful retreat) I’m gonna get another coffee. Anyone else?

(Trent and AP nod. Jane leaves. A moment of silence.)

AP: I guess I ought to apologise for acting like a jerk.

Trent: Me too, I guess.

AP: Can I just ask something?

Trent: What?

AP: What’s your problem with me, anyway?

Trent: I wanted to ask Daria out for weeks before you moved here and didn’t say anything … for one reason and another. The dance? I wrote a song. It said it all.20

AP: So I have something you wanted but couldn’t ask for and it eats at you?

Trent: Yeah. Basically.

AP: Makes sense.21

(Trent looks speculatively at AP, but AP refuses to meet his eyes, and Trent shrugs. A moment or so later, Jane arrives with a tray, upon which are three cups of coffee. She sits next to Trent, sets the tray down and all three grab for a cup.)

Jane: So I don’t have to worry about you two killing each other? (Trent and AP shake their heads) Good. One less thing.

AP: Hmm … very Forrest Gump.22 How well it fits you.

(Jane listlessly throws a sugar packet at him. More silence; the three stare at their coffee cups, lost in their own thoughts. Then Daria approaches and all three look up from their coffees expectantly. Daria stands at the head of the table for a tense moment.)

Daria: It’s bad. She’s in a coma. (beat) She could die.

(AP recoils as if slapped, then buries his head in his arms. Jane, a shocked look on her face, claps a hand to her mouth. Trent’s eyes widen with sorrow. Daria, a blank look on her face, sits down heavily next to AP. And a mournful silence falls over the gathering.)



Ms Li’s Return: Quite some time ago, back when I was finished "The Flack-Jacket Mafia", I asked if Ms Li should come back and, if so, how. Someone suggested Ms Li sue the gang for defamation of character and other such things, but I couldn’t make it work – not without extensive conversations with legal eagles that I just didn’t have time for. Then I wondered about Ms Li going after a more violent revenge if she got out of jail somehow. So I came up with this. Ms Li’s rather cryptic "I was PROMISED this!" may be explained if I decide to let Lynn survive – as with most of the cryptic stuff I come up with, there’s a logical explanation.

Sister, Sister: This is what I’ve been angling after since "The Parent Crap" – a few people had already worked it out on their own from the subtle hints I gave, so kudos to you and thanks to the ones who kept their mouths shut so as not to spoil it for the people who hadn’t worked it out. And to the one who didn’t - well, that wasn’t very nice. I know it seems far-fetched, but the idea hit me and would not go away. I thought that, if I examined it and tried to work it into the plot before working on this half of the season, I could dismiss it as unfeasible, but it turned out to work fairly nicely, I thought. And it DOES explain a lot.

Daria’s Tears: I am going to get a lot of comments on Daria actually crying, I’m pretty sure. Over the past few episodes, she’s discovered that a fair chunk of her family history is blatantly false, had some fairly disturbing experiences and one hell of a nasty dream, and now she finds out that a good friend of hers is actually her sister. And, to top the whole thing off, she may not even be able to tell Lynn the truth about their relationship because she might not survive. I think anyone would have a good little weep over that. And on Trent’s shoulder? Well, AP was in no state, Jane was feeling too tentative to try, and who else is there?

Kate – Demon Spawn?: Kate Cullen may seem somewhat extreme to readers – self-absorbed, lacking a fair amount of emotion and having her head stuffed firmly up her bottom. The reasons for this will be addressed in "The Oakwood Years".

Lynn – Live Or Let Die?: Well, I haven’t decided if I’m going to continue on this line. Nearly, but not quite. I could take a sabbatical, I could go on writing, or I could just stop here after writing Lynn’s swan song, as it were. Opinions? You know where I am.


1) The last time I’m going to cut and paste those teasers. Hallelujah!

2) That’s shown in "It’s A Passable Life".

3) We’ve seen AP come in through Lynn’s window in "Many Are Culled" and "Misshapen Identity", and he makes an attempt at it in "Miss Conception" and "How The Other Half Lives". We’ve never seen Jane witness this, but we can assume she has.

4) The lethal Turkish coffee, as seen in "World Geek Show", "A Hard Day’s Write", a variation thereof in "How The Other Half Lives" and "Relation-slips". See the latter for why Jane is so upset.

5) Another reference to "How The Other Half Lives". Project of the year 1994: a dictionary translating mumbled ‘I’m not awake yet’ into English.

6) Those two conversations mirror the kinds of conversations I have with Little Welsh Boy quite frequently. Pity him. Fear me. :o)

7) She did indeed say this as she was dragged off by police officers and trailed by Sick Sad World cameramen in "The Flack-Jacket Mafia".

8) Come on – if they throw darts at her picture, as "The Daria Diaries" suggests, don’t tell me they haven’t fantasised about shooting her.

9) Operation Ace of Spades is what Austin Loomis dubbed the events of "The Flack-Jacket Mafia".

10) Reference made to "Swear To Be Different" – Daria does tell Helen about the situation.

11) In "It Happened One Nut", Jane calls Helen and the first words out of Helen’s mouth are "Do you need a lawyer, Jane? I don’t do criminal work but I can get you someone."

12) We meet Lynn’s aunt Lorna and cousin Jan in "Rue Britannia".

13) Dialogue from "Lady And The Tank".

14) Dialogue from "Rue Britannia".

15) Mutilated dialogue from "The Parent Crap".

16) The VC Andrews reference comes from Daria’s diary entry in "The Parent Crap". The General Hospital reference is courtesy of Crazy Nutso – it was his first reaction when he worked out where this plot device was going.

17) Trent has not been kind to AP – this was pointed out quite strenuously on the ODFFMB the other week. And I didn’t delude myself that AP hadn’t noticed.

18) This is explained in "Blind Audition".

19) Way back in the beginning – "A Meeting Of The Brains"

20) Read "Trick or Trent", "Lady And The Tank" and "Kiss and Tell" for the history on this.

21) And it does, from his point of view. Read "Relation-slips" if you don’t believe me.

22) The reaction Forrest Gump has to being told that he doesn’t have to worry about money anymore: "Which was good. One less thing."


Daria and related characters owned by MTV, a Viacom company (created by Glenn Eichler and Susie Lewis Lynn). Lynn Cullen and AP McIntyre were created and are owned by Janet "Canadibrit" Neilson, copyright 1999, 2000. I’ve given all song titles with the names of the bands that played them. Don’t sue me – it’s not worth it. Feel free to archive this fic (tell me where it is, though, please) but if you want to use my characters, ask first or I WILL pull a Lynn Cullen on you. And then I’ll call lawyers.