Al:1 (VO [I don't know what he sounds like; use your imagination]) What has gone before...

Recently, Daria Morgendorffer discovered that, in a patriarchal society, Morgendorffer is not strictly her last name, as Helen Barksdale Morgendorffer, mother and pants-wearer at Morgendorffer Home Base, was forced to admit that Jake Morgendorffer is not Daria's biological father. Life got in the way at that point, and left Daria little enough time to consider the implications of her parentage ... until an attack on The Flack-Jacket Mafia by former Lawndale High principal and erstwhile jailbird Angela Li landed Daria's look-alike and all-around chaos machine Lynn Cullen in the hospital. As happens in such situations, people started talking, and Daria eventually got certain clues as to the identity of her biological father. And a meeting between herself, Helen and Kate Cullen [who retook her maiden name for herself and Lynn after divorcing Jerome Smythe, Lynn's father] pretty well convinced her that Lynn is her half-sister through the Smythe line. Unfortunately, the prognosis given for Lynn by Dr Phillips was fairly grim comatose and no telling if she will recover.

TO KILL A MISERY CHICK

"It's like a soap, a Dallas or a Dynasty
We live in hope, to put them out their misery
What a freaky family..."

(Pop Will Eat Itself, "Familus Horriblis")


(Montage sequence. Music: "Coma White" Marilyn Manson Daria's room. Daria is lying on the bed, staring at the ceiling. After a moment, she goes to a calendar on the wall a day is ringed in red. She sighs and goes to her closet.

Jane's room. Jane is dressed in the typical black shorts, leggings, boots and V-neck T-shirt. She reaches into her closet and pulls out a long-sleeved black shirt much like her red one. She pulls it on and rolls up the sleeves.

AP's room. AP, looking grim and pale and rather like he hasn't had a good night's sleep in too long, steps out of his closet wearing a black sweater with his usual black jeans and Docs. He grabs a bag from the corner of the room and walks outof the room.

McIntyre house exterior. AP steps out to see Trent's blue Plymouth idling on the road in front of his house. Jane is behind the wheel; Daria, clad in Quinn's black turtleneck and leggings2 with her own black pleated skirt over top, rides in the back. AP climbs into the front passenger 'shotgun' seat and tosses his bag into the empty seat behind him. He nods to Jane. The Plymouth drives off.

Cemetery front gates. The Plymouth pulls up in front and stops.

Cemetery, on top of a small ridge. Daria, Jane and AP sit in grim silence and watch as, below them and at a fair distance, a small funeral party begins to disperse.

The same, a short while later. AP points downwards; the service is over, the grave has been filled in and the area is deserted. They all get up and begin moving down the ridge.

A grave. Shot is taken from behind the tombstone so the name upon it is not visible. AP reaches into the bag and produces a dancing flower [one of those stupid things that dance when you clap or play music at it they were really big in the early 90s]. It is orange. Daria takes hold of it. He produces a red one and hands it to Jane. Then he takes out a blue one. They set the flowers in a row on top of the tombstone. AP produces a boom box. He hits 'play' on the tape. Background music fade out to tape hiss, which soon gives way to "Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead" from The Wizard of Oz loud enough to make the flowers dance.)


Daria: Good-bye.

Jane: Good riddance.

AP: (very bitter) Rot in hell.

(And we now read the name on the tombstone ANGELA LI.)


(Scene: LHS corridor. Music: "Black Hole Sun" Soundgarden. Daria, Jane and AP at Daria's locker; all look twitchy AP worst of all.)

AP: (impending speed-rant) I hate this. I ought to be there. I mean, what if something happens and we get there after school and they tell us she...

Daria: (attempt at soothing) I know, AP; I know. But there's not much you can do by being there.

Jane: Anyway, Trent's there. He swore he'd call the school if there was any change.

(Brooke and Tori3 pass by, slowing as they stare at the trio [the way cars do when they pass a wreck]. Daria, Jane and AP glare at them until Brooke and Tori speed up their pace.)

AP: The damn gossip vultures don't help either.

Daria: It'll get worse.

Jane: (pointedly) MUCH worse.

Daria: (realising) Oh, god... (to AP's puzzled look) You and I have O'Neill first thing.

Jane: You know, wimpy guy, teaches English, cries at the least little thing?

Daria: I've seen him in the face of genuine tragedy. It's not something I'd care to repeat.4

AP: (hopeful) I'm thinking total breakdown just LOOKING at a shooting victim?

Daria: Think harder.

Jane: Think 'recovery time'.

AP: (thinking) So after he's through with his own nervous breakdown ... he'll focus on the one he thinks WE'RE about to have?

Jane: (nod) Think walking, talking self-help book.

(Pause.)

AP: Is it too late to call in sick? (The bell rings.) Damn.


(Scene: LHS cafeteria. Music plays on. Daria, Jane and AP staring at bizarre, pasty grey substance on white mush that was probably rice once.)

AP: (vague curiosity) Wallpaper paste?

Daria: (distracted) Chow mein.

AP: (blink) Really?5

(A moment of silence ... and Andrea walks over.)

Andrea: News?

Daria: No.

Andrea: Damn.

Jane: You said it.

Andrea: (to AP; nearly admiring) Nice.

AP: (shrug) Eh.

(Andrea walks away, leaving Jane to stare at AP.)

AP: Wimp-in-the-Willows asked how I was feeling. You know, emotionally? (beat) I told him.

Daria: (looking sidelong at AP) With an eloquence and darkness of spirit I didn't know he had.

AP: Direct quote from one of Purple Peril's short stories. (beat) I have a memory.

Jane: I'm not going to ask. I don't want to know. (beat) But I assume the reaction was...

AP: He went fetal. And the last clear words I heard him say were "Make the hurting stop, Pinky!"6

Jane: Oh. Okay. (beat) Change of subject?

(No answer. Daria starts poking at the sludge on her tray, tuning out the world in favour of her own thoughts. A moment later, Jodie and Mack walk over ... carefully.)

Jodie: Um ... hey, guys.

(Generic muttered 'hello' noises from Jane and AP.)

Mack: Um ... can we ask...?

AP: Are you asking how she is?

Jane: Or are you asking us to clear up what you got from (finger quotes) "the mill"?

Jodie: Well ... both.

Jane: Lynn's comatose she's been unconscious since the attack. The doctors can't say when or if she'll come around.

AP: And as to the other thing ... I really don't want to go into it here.

Jane: Suffice it to say that Ms Li got out of jail somehow, went insane and came after us.

Mack: How'd she get out, though?

AP: Well, she's gotta know a lot about security systems by now...

Daria: (briefly tuning in) Comparison shopping will do that.

Jodie: We're serious.

Jane: Actually, we think someone broke her out.

Jodie: You're kidding. (beat; when she sees they aren't)But who ... and WHY?

Jane: (shrug) Dunno. I bet she paid someone to break her out if she ever got into more trouble than high-priced lawyers could handle. (beat; to Daria) No offence.

(Daria has gone back into her thoughtful trance and didn't notice. Jane looks a little worried.)

AP: I wonder, though. There was that "I was promised this" crack...

Jane: Yeah; 'promised this' by the voices inside her head, probably. She was WAY off-beam. (to Jodie and Mack; weary) We don't know a whole lot.

(Brief pause.)

Jodie: Sorry. You obviously don't want to talk about this.

AP: So, what HAVE people been saying?

(A silence, in which Mack and Jodie look flustered.)

Jane: Come on, you two. Spill.

Jodie: (extremely reluctant) They're saying it was a gangland hit.

(AP and Jane just look at her. Daria continues to poke at her food, oblivious.)

Mack: (sheepish) It's not like we BELIEVED it or anything...

Jodie: But ... well...

Jane: (wry) Knowing us, you wanted to be sure.7

Jodie: Well...

AP: That's almost cool. (beat) ALMOST.

(Jodie and Mack look at Jane, then at AP, then at Daria, who is paying no attention. They obviously want straight-forward confirmation and no one is giving it to them.)

Jodie: Um ... are they letting Lynn have visitors?

AP: Yeah. The doctors think that maybe talking to her would help. You know, if she can hear things. (beat; morbid) They aren't even strict about visiting hours, and that's NOT a good sign.

Jodie: (sigh) Well, I'll try to drop in later. Mom wants me to sign in and out these days ... now that she can't track me via my extra-curriculars.8 (wry little smirk)

AP: (bitter) At least your parents give a damn.

(Jodie looks at him curiously, but sees the expression on his face and decides not to press it.)

END ACT 1 ADVERTS [Lead-in the dancing flowers on the tombstone.]

I've now seen the horror that is American advertising. God, it's like I never left.

Corn Pops: Booboo, wasn't it? Who came up with a way to scam a sick day that actually works and then threw it in for BREAKFAST CEREAL?

Taco Bell: What's up with that dog? Well, you use cows to advertise milk products and, in my country, pigs to advertise pork products, so if Taco Bell's using a dog...

ACT 2
(Scene: Cedars of Lawndale main reception. Music: "Breaking The Girl" Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Daria, Jane and AP walk in and watch as a man with brown hair speaks to a receptionist in a tired voice containing the tattered remnants of a British accent.)

Man: Listen, I would just like to know how she's doing. I AM family, after all.

AP: (cold) Technically.

(The man turns around. Jerome hasn't changed much from the flashback scene in "Growing Cynical" [oh, shoot, I can't say that yet. Um ... basically take a male version of Daria and Lynn, age him 25 years, cut the hair and add a suit], except he currently looks a bit pale and haggard.)

Jerome: (sigh) Hello, AP. I...

(And he gets his first real look at Daria, who's looking at him much the same way she looked at Lynn when they first met curiosity, deadpan assessment ... but with some accusation thrown in. Jerome frankly stares, then blinks.)

Jerome: (clears throat) You ... must be the friends Lorna mentioned.9 A pleasure to meet you ... though I'm sorry it had to be under these circumstances.

AP: (sardonic) Well, you recognised me, and you didn't mistake Daria for Lynn. I'm almost impressed.

Jerome: (blink; suspicion forming) Daria...

Daria: (complete lack of inflection) Morgendorffer.10

(Dead silence. Jerome stares at Daria in complete shock. Daria stares back unwaveringly. Jane and AP watch them; Jane is baffled but AP watches with interest, enjoying the prospect of watching Jerome squirm.)

Jane: Um...

Daria: (cuts her off; "now is not the time") Lynn's comatose. The doctors are being vague about her chances for survival. (thinks about this) I think I've said that about ten times today. Maybe I should just print some leaflets and hand them out when people ask.

Jerome: Or perhaps just wear a sign. Uses less ink and paper and there's none of the effort of handing things out. (Daria raises an eyebrow at him this isn't the reaction she was expecting.) My next query would be who did this.

Jane: (tired sigh) It's a very long story.

AP: (sarcastic) It might bore you.

Jerome: (raised eyebrow) Do you speak to all your elders this way?

AP: No. Some we actually respect.

Daria: (cutting in) Can I just confer with my colleagues for a moment?

(Jerome raises an eyebrow but nods. Daria hauls Jane and AP out of earshot.)

AP: What? WHAT? You don't actually want to TELL him about this, do you?

Jane: (thrown) Why not? What am I missing here?

AP: (to Daria; livid) He just flaked off to God-knows-where! You KNOW what he drove her to when he did that!11 He doesn't DESERVE to know what's been going on in her life!

Daria: AP, if you'd just...

Jane: Daria ... AP ... what the hell is going on here? You're both being really rude to the guy and...

AP: He DESERVES it! Trust me on this one!

Daria: AP, shut UP! (beat) Think about this for two seconds. What did you tell Lorna when you got her on the phone?

AP: That Lynn was in the hospital...

Daria: And yet he asked who did this. Not WHAT, but WHO. (into the silence that follows this) He knows something. Or at least, he suspects something. And if we share information with him, he might be gracious enough to do the same for us.

(There is a pause.)

AP: It doesn't mean I have to like him.

Daria: (understanding) No. It doesn't. (beat) I'll talk to him alone and fill you in when we're through.

Jane: Now wait just a damn minute. You're keeping something from me both of you and I think I'd really like to know what it is.

(Daria looks at her, torn. Finally, she sighs.)

Daria: I'm going to go over and talk to him. And when I get back, I will fill you in. On ALL of it.

(With that, she walks towards Jerome. Jane and AP watch as she says something to him and he responds with something that makes her raise an eyebrow. Then Daria and Jerome walk away. Jane looks at AP.)

Jane: Like father, like daughter?

AP: (slightly nervous) Oh yeah. Purple Peril is nearly ALL Smythe.12

(And Jane looks thoughtful.)


(Scene: Cedars of Lawndale cafeteria. Music: "Familus Horriblis" Pop Will Eat Itself. Daria and Jerome sit across from each other at a table. Daria is studying Jerome, judging every flicker of expression. To the trained eye, anger and guilt are just barely visible.)

Jerome: (outward calm) Would you happen to know if this Angela Li had powerful friends?

Daria: As a matter of fact, she did. Mostly in the school board and local government. All bought and paid for with money earmarked for our education.13

Jerome: I see. But I was thinking of ... well, I'd say less law-abiding, but from the sounds of things... Let's just say more notably notorious.

Daria: (certainty) I seriously doubt it. Lynn would have said something about that ... or at least used it to her advantage somehow.

Jerome: (curious) But you don't doubt she would have known.

Daria: No. (debates whether or not to elaborate, decides 'to hell with it') Lynn has certain talents, and one of the most notable of them is keeping her ear to the ground.

Jerome: (professional interest) Gossip channels? Informants?

Daria: (wants to put a shock into him) Bugs. Hidden cameras. Carries a dictaphone everywhere just in case. She and AP were considering vampire taps in the school's now-inoperative security systems before Ms Li's arrest. And they've never said as much, but I think those two have hacked into the school computer systems a few times.14

Jerome: (approving) Straight to the horse's mouth I understand.

(Daria looks at him. The intended shock tactic failed miserably and she's briefly thrown. Then she thinks about the whole scenario and its implications as per the current situation and goes for the throat.)

Daria: And what's YOUR role in all this? What do you know?

Jerome: (thrown) Excuse me?

(This is said much like Daria would say it, throwing her minutely off-stride, but she recovers.)

Daria: (ticking off on her fingers) You knew Lynn had been hurt by a 'who' instead of just a 'what', without being told. You weren't surprised by the fact that someone would want to attack Lynn. You seem convinced that Ms Li's attack had more behind it than revenge when the only evidence of that is her "I was promised this" remark, which could have meant anything from Mafiosi to the blue gnomes in her underwear drawer.15 (beat) And you look just a bit too penitent. Even for someone who deserted the girl he thought was his only child eight years ago.

(Slightly cold silence.)

Jerome: (choosing his words carefully he knows what he's dealing with) I won't lie to you, or fob you off with riddles and half-truths ... mainly because you'd work it all out from the clues I'd give if I even half-explained. The truth is ... (sigh) The truth is that it's better all around if I keep what I know to myself for the time being. I would ask you to respect that.

(Daria opens her mouth to retort but is interrupted by the ringing of a cellphone. Jerome reaches into his inside jacket pocket to retrieve the phone, and the motion of his jacket reveals to Daria a brief glimpse of a gun in a shoulder holster. Jerome's attention is on the phone so he doesn't notice Daria's briefly widened eyes.)

Jerome: (into phone) Smythe. (beat) No, Lawndale, actually. Family business. (beat) Couldn't tell you, I'm afraid. (beat) Look, I'm in the middle of something; could I call you back? (beat) Later on this evening, then. Bye.

(He thumbs the phone off and sets it on the table, looking at Daria, who is now expressionless again.)

Daria: All right. I won't ask for now. (thought VO) Mainly because I have a feeling that knowing would be more than my life is worth.

Jerome: (slight relief) All right then. (beat; slight derision) For now, though, I'm going to have to find a way to keep an eye on that wayward daughter of mine ... saving your presence, of course.

Daria: No, I'm as wayward as the next cynic. I'm just not quite so proactive about it.

Jerome: (slight smirk) Well, if Lynn is going to run around making enemies of this sort, Kate won't be of much use when things go awry. (beat; suppressed bitterness) Which reminds me where IS Kate? If she catches me here, I'm a dead man.

Daria: (derisive) I wouldn't worry. She left for Tokyo a few days ago. Business.16

Jerome: (struck nearly dumb) Tokyo. (beat) Her daughter is hospitalised ... and she goes to Tokyo. On business. (beat) And she has the utter cheek to call ME an unfit parent.

Daria: (stating the now blatantly obvious) So severing all ties with Lynn wasn't your decision.

Jerome: (slightly offended) Do you honestly believe I'd desert my own daughter if I'd had any other option? And really THINK about your answer!

(Pause as Daria considers this.)

Daria: (shot in the dark) What has Kate got on you?

Jerome: (instantly on guard) Excuse me?

(Daria's briefly taken aback by the instant defensiveness she wasn't expecting the nerve she hit to be so raw but presses on regardless.)

Daria: If you didn't want to stop communicating with Lynn, Kate must have had something to use as leverage to make you back off ... before your 'bad influence' could corrupt Lynn too much. (slight pause as Daria surveys the effect she's having it's almost non-existent outwardly) But I suppose this is something else you won't risk giving me clues about?

Jerome: Precisely.

(Pause.)

Daria: Are we done?

Jerome: Just about. (beat; carefully) Listen ... I'm not about to lay any claims to parentage where you're concerned. Nurture counts for far more than nature at this point. But, regardless, you are part of the family and, as far as possible, we look after our own. (ignoring Daria's sceptical raised eyebrow with an effort) What I'm trying to say is that, should you ever need to do so, you can call on me ... or any other member of my family ... and be guaranteed any help and support you need.

Daria: (slightly sad) I seem to have figured that one out for myself. For one of ... OUR ... relatives, at least.17

(Jerome looks at Daria for a moment, then sighs)

Jerome: If we have a moment ... and I can't get the information I would like from the source for one reason or another would it be possible for you to tell me something about my ... shall we say, legitimate daughter?

(Daria looks at him for a long moment, letting him stew. Then...)

Daria: If I have to. And I hope I don't.

(Jerome nods, conceding her point. Daria gets up, nods an 'excuse me' to him, and walks out. Jerome watches her leave.)

END ACT 2 ADVERTS [Lead-in Jerome and Daria's first face-off in reception.]

Suave: Shampoo. "Don't you look smart?" Well, not if you've been buying the expensive salon crap for years...

And on the Ten Spot: Road Rules? Karaoke contests? And something that makes Singled Out look like the model way to snag a mate? I take it Daria's the only reason you'd get MTV.

ACT 3
(Scene: Cedars of Lawndale reception. Jane is sitting in a chair looking thoughtful when Daria approaches and sits down next to her.)

Daria: Where's AP?

Jane: Sitting by Lynn. (beat) Talk.

(Daria sighs.)


(Scene: hospital room. Music: "One" Metallica. AP stands in the doorway. He looks reluctant, and sad, and at a total loss. Then he squares his shoulders and walks into the room.)


(Scene: Cedars of Lawndale reception. Music plays on. Jane is staring at a deadpan Daria.)

Jane: So what you're telling me is that, by meeting Lynn, you didn't just meet some girl with an eerie but coincidental resemblance to you. You met your half-sister. And the resemblance between you is so strong because you got the same generous helping of Smythe genetics, thanks to Helen's affair, as she did.

Daria: Well, there's still the off chance that it's just a really huge coincidence - I'll probably talk to Jerome about having a blood test done. But pretty much.

(Silence as Jane mulls this over. Daria waits her posture is slightly tense.)

Jane: So ... anyone called Sick Sad World with this one yet?18

(They share a sort-of smirk; Daria's shows slight relief.)


(Scene: hospital room. Music plays on. AP is sitting slumped in the chair next to the bed in a tired sort of way, not looking at Lynn's still figure occupying it.)

AP: I'm supposed to talk to you. Dunno what to say since I don't know if you can really hear me or not. But I'll give it a shot. (beat) I mean, it's not like I haven't seen you asleep before or anything. Your tenth birthday ... when you finished Sunset Blade ... a few movie nights man, did we REALLY watch all the Star Trek movies in one sitting? And then at Jane's, when you were busting your butt over that writing comp.19

(Now he looks over at Lynn, watching her with sad eyes. After a moment, he looks away with a visible effort.)

AP: This is different, though. This is ... this is WRONG, it... (beat as he struggles) CRAP I can't do this! YOU'RE the one with the words! I could talk forever and STILL not get out all the stuff I want to say! But when I talk to you, doesn't matter how much I'm babbling; you always get it! Who's going to get it if...

(Rather than finishing that sentence, he sighs and slumps further in his chair, leaning his head back and closing his eyes.)

AP: (sleepily) I just want you back, is all...


(Scene: Cedars of Lawndale reception. Music plays on. It's Daria's turn to look thoughtful and Jane watches her shrewdly.)

Jane: So ... are you going to tell her about all this? (to Daria's bleak look) If you get the chance?

Daria: (slightly forlorn sigh) I don't know, Jane. Maybe it wouldn't be such a good idea...

Jane: You're afraid she'll knock you back not accept you as a sister.

Daria: (mild surprise) In a way, yes. How did...

Jane: Call it best friend's intuition. (beat) Listen; think about her family the members of it she knows anything about, anyway. They either don't give a damn, don't really understand her, or are living too far away to count as close. Then factor in a fully-grown sister living in the same town that she can actually relate to no pun intended. Hell, you've even gone through the sibling rivalry crap, even if you didn't know that's what it was.20

Daria: (thinking about this) That's actually true.

Jane: But how do YOU feel about it?

Daria: I ... guess I feel the same way you describe her as feeling.

Jane: (slight smirk) No surprise there, huh?

Daria: (mild amusement) Ha, ha. No, seriously. I never could work out how I fit into the Morgendorffer family at least on the Barksdale side, there was Amy to point to and say, "yes, I'm related to these people". And though I do care about Quinn ... well, let's just say that I would have given a lot to have had a sister like Lynn when I was growing up.21 (beat) Maybe I can't accept Jerome Smythe as a real father, but ... (very quiet) Lynn IS family. Don't ask me to explain it.

Jane: Don't need to. (to Daria's raised eyebrow) Well, you were cagey with me for about a week after we met. With her, you brought her to your house on day one.22 (beat) Maybe some part of you knew. I don't know.

(Silence. Daria blushes a little.)

Jane: So now, instead of having one whole sister, you have two half-sisters. (beat; slowly) Lynn ... and Quinn...23

Daria: Please I was in denial about that. This situation is weird enough.

(They share another small smirk.)


(Scene: hospital room. Music: "Make It Right" Anathema. AP is still sprawled out in his chair by the bed, fast asleep and snoring. After a moment, a hand comes into shot and shakes him softly by the upper arm. AP stirs slightly, vaguely awake but with eyes still closed.)

AP: Hngmph?

Lynn: (OS; slightly hoarse) Keep it down; I have a headache.

AP: Hmmkay...

(And then he realises, bolting fully awake and turning around so fast he nearly falls out of his chair. Lynn is looking at him; expression wide-eyed but unreadable.)

Lynn: You okay?

AP: (nod; still trying to process) Eee...

Lynn: Daria? Jane?

AP: (nod) Eee...

Lynn: (long, deep sigh of relief; propping herself into a sitting position) Good. That's worth a headache the size of Milwaukee.

AP: (finally processed new info) You're okay!

(To Lynn's unutterable surprise, he hugs her.)

Lynn: Um ... ow. Bruises. Pain.

(But AP is not letting go. Hugging her, it seems, is the only way he knows how to say, "Thank God you're okay", and Lynn understands that. After a moment, she hugs him back, but still wears a 'what the hell merits THIS reaction?' look. She looks up and sees Daria and Jane in the doorway, both looking immensely pleased at this turn of events. Lynn blinks at them.)

Lynn: He's hugging. You're smiling. (beat) I died and went to hell, didn't I.
(Daria and Jane both give her a 'that's not funny' look. Lynn raises her eyebrows but says nothing.)

(End credits [if there were any] over 'teaser' sequence for season 3 [which didn't appear at the start for obvious reasons]. Music: "You're Standing On My Neck" Splendora.

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

LHS science lab. AP standing with Stacy behind a lab table. AP looks at a beaker simmering over a Bunsen burner on the table, then at an empty test tube in Stacy's hand, then ducks under the table. A moment later, he grabs Stacy by the front of the shirt and pulls her down as the glassware on the table blows up.

The woods somewhere. Daria and Lynn are sitting around a campfire. Lynn holds up a hand and they both take on a tense, listening posture.

LHS gymnasium. Jane is in gym clothes, waving her arms in a 'pass it here' gesture. Seconds later, a basketball flies into shot, hitting her in the face hard enough to knock her over.

LHS corridor. Daria is wearing a slinky black dress and looking miserable and resigned. Upchuck leers something at her; Daria raises an eyebrow, gets an 'oh what the hell' look and then kicks him in the groin.

LHS auditorium stage. Lynn is onstage, holding a knife to her throat and yelling something at Mack, who looks extremely taken aback. Cut to the seats, where O'Neill looks ecstatic and Daria, Jane and AP look impressed.

Morgendorffer corridor. Jake stands in the doorway of Quinn's room, looking sad and horrified. Quinn, talking on the phone, looks at him scornfully and slams the door in his face.

Zen backstage area. Nick and Casey Wright from the Back Alley Name-Droppers are involved in a fistfight. Trent gestures to Jesse, who walks up to the two of them and knocks their heads together; both combatants drop.

Trent's Plymouth. Daria, Jane and AP staring out the passenger side windows. Facial expressions are confusion, disbelief and anger respectively.

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.)



ENDNOTES

Well, there you go. She lives. And maybe you didn't find out exactly who let Ms Li out of prison and promised her revenge, but you must have some idea and you may have gathered that I'm leading up to something. You've trusted me this far how about one more season for luck?

And all due thanks go out to the two beta readers I had on this one - mouserr and Ben Yee. Ben gets particular thanks for a] making those two little changes in the HTML so I could send this to Martin over the weekend and b] doling out the teasers to the IRC-ites. Hope they didn't lynch you when they finished reading this one and found out what it meant.

1] Al is my homage to Austin Loomis, who refers to himself in his prose adapts of TLAS as the 'omniscient and occasionally smug narrator'. If I need a narrator, may as well be him. [Incidentally, sorry about jumping the gun on the epigraph but I really wanted to use that quote and I didn't think you'd know it. PWEI's not very big in the US, as I recall.]

2] As seen in "Quinn The Brain" and, in the case of the turtleneck at least, "The Lawndale File".

3] Brooke we meet in "Too Cute" the fashion victim with the thing about cosmetic surgery. Tori Jericho, as I think Martin Pollard named her, is that 'popularity gauge on legs' from "The Invitation". I gave both of them a role similar to the chorus in Sophocles' Theban Plays in "Quinn-tessence".

4] In "The Misery Chick", O'Neill cries on Daria's shoulder. No, it's not pretty.

5] We had chow mein of this variety at my school during my brief foray in the States. No one ate it. Mainly it was used as weaponry or, in the case of my artistic best friend, sculpture material.

6] "Pinky and the Brain". Just two white lab mice trying to take over the world and, in Brain's case, constantly getting it in the teeth.

7] If you add up the rumours hinted at in "The Flack-Jacket Mafia", factor in some of the stuff that went on in "Run Away From Homecoming" and "World Geek Show " and top it all off with the truth behind "The Flack-Jacket Mafia", you get that sort of thing, I'd wager.

8] In "Grating Expectations", Daria and Lynn's expert coaching freed her from the desperate need to join anything and everything that might conceivably look good on a college application form. Are Andrew and Michelle expected to be happy about this?

9] Lorna would be Lorna Smythe, his London-dwelling younger sister as seen in "Rue Britannia". I have no delusions about how much she would have told Jerome about her houseguests [or how much she might actually remember about them] but I assume she'd have mentioned that there were some younger people wandering around her flat for a couple of weeks.

10] At the time of the affair, as a chapter of "Growing Cynical" will tell you when my muse is up to the task, Helen was indeed going by the Morgendorffer name. And the origin of Daria's first name is revealed therein too.

11] Yet another something that "Growing Cynical" will cover when it's finished. I just couldn't sit on this one anymore.

12] Yep AP knows. Also as of "Growing Cynical". But he's under strict orders to keep his mouth shut.

13] For example "Fair Enough". Money earmarked for capital improvements was spent on a polygraph machine. You'd figure the bribes [oh, sorry, "tokens of regard"] would come from the same budget.

14] Bugs seen in "Grating Expectations". Hidden camera and dictaphone in "Run Away From Homecoming". Idea of vampire taps from Nemo Blank's "Too Many Choices" ... I think. Hacking into the school's computer system ... well, they don't strictly need to change their grades [well, maybe AP and English] and wouldn't anyway but reading Ms Li's sent e-mail might have been fun...

15] Underwear gnomes courtesy of Lew and Austin Loomis. Well, who knows where THEY got the idea from. And it's probably safer not to ask, with those two. Oh. Hi guys! :o)

16] One of the currently posted chapters of "Growing Cynical" a.k.a. "Protest March" covers Kate Cullen's untimely departure for points Japanese.

17] Lynn has helped Daria with advice ["Kiss and Tell", "Love Him or Leave Him", "It's A Passable Life"], oh-so-nearly effective yenta-ing ["Lady and the Tank", "Kiss and Tell"], not doing evil things to her when she drove the Mercedes into a tree ["Mercedes Bends"] and giving her a place to stay, no questions asked, in times of trouble ["How The Other Half Lives"], not to mention the events of "Liaisons". Thankfully these things have been reciprocated ["Swear To Be Different", most notably].

18] Well, it wouldn't make a bad story for same, would it? It has all the necessaries sex, violence, weird coincidences and family hell.

19] In order of first mention [or what will be first mention when I get off my tookus]: "Growing Cynical" [chapter titled "Duly Departed"], "Relation-slips", nowhere but we can assume, and "A Hard Day's Write".

20] The whole "A Hard Day's Write"/"Misshapen Identity" arc. Well, it's the sort of thing twins worry about. I know Daria and Lynn aren't twins, but they're the next best thing, I guess.

21] Someone on the message boards pointed this out to people in general, stating it as just one more reason why Daria is being roasted over the coals in her personal hell at this point. Thank you, whoever you are please come forward if you want recognition.

22] This is sort of borrowed from Jon Kilner's classic "The Last Days of Solitude" and partly based on observation I don't reckon Jane saw Daria's room at any point in "Esteemsters". And of course, the tale of Lynn's first [and only non-covert] visit to Morgendorffer Home Base is covered in "A Meeting of the Brains".

23] I realised this far, far too late. Damn, damn rhyming names ... not to mention Aaron's live-action movie spoof thing where Quinn is actually Lynn Quinn Michaelis. I swear to whoever actually cares that I did NOT have that in mind at all. Lynn is my middle name.

LEGAL BLATHER

Daria Morgendorffer et al are the creations of Glenn Eichler and Susie Lewis Lynn but are owned by MTV, a Viacom company, copyright 1997, 2000. [Apparently, this is possible by 'work for hire', a concept that eludes me]. Lynn Cullen, AP McIntyre and Jerome Smythe, on the other hand, were created and are owned by me, one Janet 'Canadibrit' Neilson, copyright 1999, 2000. Touch my characters without consulting me and it will go hard with you. This is a "substantially transformative" derivative work, apparently [what a highfalutin way to say fanfic], and is protected by the Supreme Court's decision in re Campbell v. Acuff Rose Music, so keep the copyright notice where it is and don't post it for money. If you do so without my permission and that of MTV Networks, I WILL pull a Lynn Cullen on you. And then I'll call lawyers.

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