(Opening 'teaser' montage. 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. Writing in Daria font reads, "Daria in…)


A Daria fan fiction [LAS302]

(Scene: Cedars of Lawndale hospital room. Music: "Cat's In The Cradle" – Ugly Kid Joe. Lynn is sitting up in bed, in normal nightwear, reading "The Dead Zone" by Stephen King. Enter Jerome, looking extremely hesitant.1 Lynn glances up at him briefly and then goes back to her book.)

Jerome: Hello, Lynn. (long beat) How are they treating you?

Lynn: (not looking up) The food is worse than the stuff in the school cafeteria – I didn't think that was possible. They ration the coffee, which I'd mind more if the stuff didn't taste like dishwater and have about the same caffeine content. I'm bored out of my mind and they want to keep me in here another couple of days for observation. (beat) Make of that what you will.2

(Jerome looks at her. She doesn't look up. There is a long silence.)

Jerome: May I sit down? (she doesn't answer so he sits anyway. More silence.) You can berate me if you want to.

(Lynn folds a corner of the page she's on and shuts the book. She looks at him.)

Lynn: I just want to know why.

Jerome: Kate made me.

Lynn: (shrug) I don't think anything Mom did would surprise me, given. (beat) She has something on you, doesn't she. Something big.

Jerome: (raised eyebrow) Now where have I heard THAT before?3

Lynn: (Mona Lisa smile) That would have been Daria. She and I are … a lot alike, as you probably noticed.

Jerome: (evasive) Um … yes. (beat) Lynn, there are some things that I need to explain to you. About what happened last week … among other things.

Lynn: (blink) You're involved in what happened last week?

Jerome: (reluctant nod) In a way. (beat) May I just shut the door? It's … rather private.

(Lynn nods, still looking at him with an expression that says, 'you'd better start making sense soon, or I'm not responsible for my actions'. Jerome walks up to the door and we black out as the door slams shut.)

(Scene: Cedars of Lawndale corridor. Music plays on. A door opens and Jerome steps out – beyond him, in the room, we see an ashen-faced Lynn sitting up in bed, knees hugged to her chest, a horrified preoccupation on her face. Jerome looks back with a dubious, penitent expression, as if questioning his judgement in having told her. Then he shakes his head and goes for his cellphone. He hits a speed-dial button and waits.)

Jerome: Adam? Jerome. (beat) Any news on… (long pause, during which Jerome gets a really nasty smirk on his face) Good work, Adam. You know the routine. Now, I had a query. You know that scapegrace brother of yours? Well, I have a job for his son, if he's interested…

(Scene: Cranberry Commons food court. Music: typical mall Muzak. Daria walks in and spots Jerome at a table in the far corner. She hesitates, then moves to join him. She sits down.)

Daria: Why did we need to meet here?

Jerome: There wasn't much point in us meeting at the hospital – Lynn wasn't up for more visitors when I last saw her. And anyway, the cafeteria serves horrible coffee.

Daria: Is this coffee addiction some family trait I have yet to demonstrate?4

Jerome: Possibly. (beat) That reminds me – I've arranged things with the hospital. The blood tests will be rushed through and the results available in three days at the most.

Daria: How'd you manage that? Or can't you tell me?

Jerome: It's probably best if I don't. Let's just say I have connections. (Daria raises an eyebrow at this but lets it go.) In any case, I'm having the results mailed to me, but I assumed you would prefer to pick them up at the hospital in person. I trust that suits you.

Daria: Certainly makes maintaining the status quo at home a little easier.5 (beat) Have you…

Jerome: This is something she'd take far better from you, Daria. And I assume you won't want her told until you're sure yourself.

Daria: I thought … to warn her…

Jerome: Good point. It's your decision at the end of the day. I didn't feel it was my place. (beat) Well, I'm sure you have things to do, and I should be heading off myself. It was … interesting meeting you. I … may I say that I hope our next meeting is under better circumstances?

Daria: You just did.

Jerome: (sigh) So I did. Good-bye, Daria.

(He extends a hand. She looks at it for a moment, then reluctantly takes it. He gives a Mona Lisa smile, shakes her hand and then leaves. Daria watches him go, a suspicious, puzzled look on her face.)

(Scene: Daria's room, evening. Music: "Low" – REM. Daria is lying on the carpet, surrounded by balls of paper, writing. Every so often, she crosses something out. Eventually, she tears the paper off the notebook, balls it up, tosses it aside and starts again. After a few lines, she tears that sheet off too, crumpling and tossing it with a groan of disgust. As she starts up again, someone knocks on the door.)

Daria: (mild irritation) You! Off my planet!

(The door opens and Helen walks in. She looks down at Daria for a moment, then sits cross-legged on the floor near her. Daria, sensing that this is something important, sits up and faces her.)

Helen: (not wanting to get to the main thrust yet) What are you writing?

Daria: (going there anyway) I'm trying to figure out how to tell Lynn we're related.6

Helen: (going pale) Oh. (beat) You're sure?

Daria: Not yet. But it's only a matter of time. Anyway, the dates are right, and from what I've seen of Jerome Smythe, there are some fairly strong similarities…

Helen: (startled) You've SEEN him?

Daria: He was at the hospital. (beat) We talked. (seeing Helen squirm) Mom, he's not going to try to take Dad's place. I wouldn't let him even if he wanted to. Jake Morgendorffer is my father and always will be.

(Heavy silence.)

Helen: (unable to help herself) What … what did you think of him?

Daria: Let's just say I make a lot more sense now.

(Helen gives a reluctant nod and gets up.)

Helen: Daria, I… (beat) Thank you for being so discreet about this.

Daria: (shrug) Yeah, well … yeah.

(Helen, sensing that this is the closest she's going to get to a 'you're welcome', leaves. Daria stares at the wall for a moment, then goes back to her paper. She looks at it, sighs in exasperation, rips the sheet off the notebook, crumples it up and throws it at the wall. Then she starts again.)

(Scene: hospital room, late evening. Lynn bolts upright, hands over her mouth to stifle a scream. She looks around a little wildly, then realises where she is and relaxes … a little. She switches on a bedside lamp and picks up "The Dead Zone", settling in for a long night.)

Lynn: (thought VO) And to think I thought the pink taffeta one was bad…7

(Scene: Cedars of Lawndale reception, afternoon. Daria, Jane and AP walk in, still with their school things. AP bears a pizza box; Jane carries a thermos.)

AP: (morose) I dropped by yesterday and the nurse said she didn't want visitors. (beat) Why wouldn't she want visitors?

Daria: Maybe she doesn't deal well with the fawning concern of her peers. (beat) Or she doesn't like being seen in a weak position. Anyway, maybe she feels well enough to have visitors today.

Jane: Hey, if she doesn't, she's missing out. I mean, we brought decent food and actual coffee … and anyway, even SHE must be starving for company by now. (to Daria) YOU were.

Daria: Yeah … if only because it meant the nurses had to spare me the vampire act for an hour or two. I'm surprised I got out of here with any blood at all after that damn rash.8

(They get to the reception desk.)

Daria: We're here to see Lynn Cullen …

Phillips: (OS) I'm afraid you're too late. She's gone.

(Daria, Jane and AP turn to face Dr Phillips, who is standing behind them.)

Daria, Jane, AP: (in unison; a little worried) What?

Phillips: She discharged herself about an hour ago. I would have preferred keeping her in for observation for another few days, but she wasn't taking no for an answer. (to Daria) Never mind what's with your mother – what's with your entire FAMILY?9

(Daria, Jane and AP look at each other, a little hurt and very confused.)

(Scene: Lynn's room. Lynn is lying on her bed in the 'something gnawing at my soul' pose. She seems to be contemplating something. After a moment, something in her eyes indicates that someone pushed a button in her brain marked 'insanity'. She reaches for the remote control to her stereo and hits a button. The stereo starts blaring Ministry's "Thieves" loud enough to rattle the windows.)

(Scene: Cullen house, exterior, afternoon. Music plays on, from in the house, very loud. The elderly couple we saw in "And Then There Were Four" are ambling down the street, looking askance at Lynn's house, obviously appalled by the noise.10 Then there is the sound of very loud breakage, and the elderly couple hobble out of shot as quickly as they can.)

END ACT 1 – ADVERTS [Lead-in: Jerome leaving the hospital room and a shocked Lynn.]

Jailbait: Girl tries to talk to her father and gay stepdad about the taboo on discussing sex – the adults turn it into a smutty detail-sharing session. Actually, I know gay men like this.

Digital Cable: The 'investor confidence' meter. Somewhat amusing, but no one'd be stupid enough to hook themselves up to something that disables their bluffing capacity.

(Scene: LHS corridor, morning. Music: "Rusty" – Idlewild. Daria and Jane are by Jane's locker; Jane is collecting books and Daria is scribbling something on a sheet of paper. After a moment, she frowns at her work and crosses out a fairly large chunk of prose.)

Jane: So you haven't come up with any decent way to tell her?

Daria: Nope. I haven't been blocked this badly since Mr O'Neill's 'punishment for being smart' writing assignment.

Jane: (raised eyebrow) Well, you were getting pretty pathetic.11 (beat) No chance of getting you to ditch the subtlety and giving it to her blunt as a brick through a plate glass window?

Daria: It's not really my style, Jane. Anyway…

(Pan to Lynn at her locker, wearing an extremely overlarge grey sweatshirt and black jeans; both are spattered with paint, plaster dust and what looks like wood splinters. She's got that pale, jittery look that denotes too much coffee and not enough sleep.)

Daria: …I don't think it'd be healthy. For either of us.

Jane: I don't know. She looks like she's doing okay. (beat) For someone who was at the wrong end of a murder attempt last week.

Daria: I thought so too … but maybe you haven't noticed AP.

(Jane raises an eyebrow, and Daria gestures down the corridor. Pan to AP approaching. The phrase "long-tailed cat in room full of rocking chairs" comes to mind as per his facial expression. He looks over to Lynn's locker, but she's taken off; this makes his look worse.)

Jane: I think I see what you mean. (to AP; slight exasperation masking slight worry) Oh, come on! I mean, what do you think she's going to do?

AP: (distant) She has a top-ten of suicide methods. (Daria and Jane look at him; AP doesn't seem to notice) She did the research a long time ago but keeps the list current. They're on a one-ten scale by pain threshold, splatter factor and whether she wants to take people with her. It's kind of a hobby. (Daria and Jane continue to look at him) She has a morbid streak.12

Daria: One the length and breadth of the Grand Canyon.

AP: (finally paying attention to what he's saying) It's not like I think she's going to DO it or anything. I'm just worried. She's too quiet. (beat; to Daria) Told her yet?

Daria: No.

AP: Why not? Might cheer her up. (Daria and Jane both look at him) Well, it MIGHT!

Daria: (sigh) I'm going to. Eventually. I'm just trying to find the best way.

AP: Not just straight out?

Daria: You've known Lynn for about eleven years, right? (AP nods, not sure where this is going) What do you honestly think she'd say and do if I walked up to her and told her that?

AP: (automatic response) Think you were kidding, not think it was funny, tear you a new… (brain catches up with mouth) Oh. Yeah. Right.

(The bell rings. They look at each other, shrug and head off to their respective classes.)

(Montage sequence. Music: "19th Nervous Breakdown" – Rolling Stones [look, Martin! Classic rock!]
Close-up of a calendar. There is a small red dot in the upper right hand corner of a Friday. Daria's hand comes into shot and marks off the Wednesday with a large black X.

LHS cafeteria. Daria still writing in her notebook; her lunch sits forgotten on the table. Jane is reading over her shoulder, nodding appreciatively and then groaning when Daria crosses out a very large section of prose. AP, meanwhile, is looking at his watch and looking around, presumably for Lynn. Fast cut to outside, where Lynn is sitting under a tree, looking blankly at a sandwich. She sighs, tosses it into her backpack, and takes out a thermos [coffee] and a copy of "Skeleton Crew".

Daria's room. Daria is standing in front of the mirror on her closet door, reading aloud from a sheet of paper. She stops, crumples the paper and throws it to the floor, putting a hand to her head with a 'someone put me out of my misery' expression.

Lynn's room. Lynn sits bolt upright, hands clapped over her mouth and breathing heavily. She switches on the lamp and then pours herself a cup of coffee from the coffee machine she's obviously moved into her room from the kitchen. She slugs it down and pours another, then reaches down to the floor, coming up with "The Tommyknockers". She sips her second cup and starts reading, looking resigned to a long night.

The calendar. Daria's hand comes into shot and marks off Thursday.

English class. AP looks completely lost and worried. He looks from Daria [scribbling frantically in her notebook] to Lynn [slumped over her desk] and seems to ponder for a moment. Then he scribbles out a note and tosses it in a clumsy overhand. It actually hits its mark, landing on Lynn's desk. She doesn't look at it, nor does she trouble herself to brush it off her desk – it just sits there unheeded. He chews his lower lip, hurt and irritated, then tries again, this time aiming for Daria's desk. She, at least, gives some acknowledgement, waving an 'I'm okay, don't bother me just now' circle in the air with her pencil. AP sighs and gives up.

Lynn's room. She reaches for her bedside lamp to turn it off, then gets an expression on her face that clearly shows she can't face another set of nightmares. So instead of turning off the lamp, she goes for the coffee and pulls out "The Stand" [she's obviously trying to get through the entire Stephen King back catalogue as a way of staying up nights].

The calendar. Daria's hand comes into shot and marks off the red-dotted Friday. Pan to Daria's face; she closes her eyes and seems to collect her nerve.

Cedars of Lawndale reception area. Daria is sitting on a bench, holding an envelope and looking at it as if it were an unexploded bomb. After a moment, she tears the envelope open and pulls out a sheet of paper. She reads it … then sighs and nods with a complete lack of surprise and a look of having all her suspicions confirmed.)

(Scene: Daria's room, late afternoon. Daria is absent. Quinn's voice is heard from down the hall outside the door.)

Quinn: (OS) DARIA… I know you, like, don't care enough about how you look to want to borrow my stuff, but have you seen my Coral Shimmer lipstick? I…

(Quinn flings the door to Daria's room open, sees there's no one there and gets that "oh, I've just been talking to myself for the last minute or so, that was stupid" expression. Then she looks around the room, disgusted – "could this place get any GEEKIER? I mean, there's BOOKS and PAPER everywhere!" She picks a crumpled bit of paper off the floor and uncrumples it, face creased with slightly disdainful curiosity. Then her eyes go wide.)

Quinn: Oh … my … God…

(Scene: Morgendorffer front hallway, late afternoon. Enter Jake, briefcase in hand, looking extremely cheerful in his gormless way.)

Jake: Hey Helen! Daria! Quinn! Daddy's home and he just landed an account! (beat) Girls? Honey?

(He walks into the living room, dropping his briefcase next to the sofa, and looks at where the cordless phone should be. It's gone – someone's home. A note next to it reads, in Quinn's handwriting, "Mom working late. Lasagne in freezer." Jake reads the note, looking a bit downcast, then heads upstairs.)

(Scene: Morgendorffer upstairs hallway. Jake is walking past Quinn's half-open door when the high-pitched tones of an excited Quinn hit him, along with a blast of "C'est La Vie" – B*Witched.)

Quinn: (OS) I KNOW, Tori, isn't it UNREAL?13 And now it turns out that Mom had some kind of affair and she's only my HALF-sister! It's just like Dawson's Creek! (beat) And she's been writing little notes to that Lynn girl, telling her that they have the same FATHER! Isn't it WEIRD how they wound up in the same town and everything? (beat) Well, of COURSE I'm not going to treat her any differently…

(As Jake stands there, looking sad and horrified, Quinn appears in the half-open door with a scornful look.)

Quinn: (oblivious to what he's heard) Da-AD! Privacy!

(And she slams the door in his face, cutting off her gossiping [and, thankfully, that God-awful song…] Jake continues to stand there, staring at the closed door.)

(Scene: Cullen house, exterior, evening. Lynn, in Coal Chamber hockey shirt, black jeans, leather jacket and motorcycle helmet, exits the garage, wheeling out Amethyst.14)

Lynn: (thought VO) King just isn't going to cut it tonight.

(She mounts the bike and roars off, just a little too fast.)

(Scene: Morgendorffer living room, evening. Music: "No Son of Mine" – Genesis. Jake is sitting quietly – too quietly – on the sofa. The TV is off. The front door opens, then shuts, and Daria walks into the room a second later. She stops at the look on Jake's face.)

Jake: Hey, Daria, could you sit down a second? I want to talk to you.

(Daria, a little nervous at the lack of 'Kiddo', sits on the other sofa, clearly wondering what she's done wrong.)

Jake: If I asked you a straight question – even if you knew I'd hate the answer – you wouldn't lie to ol' Jake, would you?

Daria: (wary) Um … no…

Jake: Have you … heard anything lately about … about not being my child?

(Daria's eyes widen – this is the last thing she expected.)

Daria: Um … where did you get that idea?

Jake: I overheard Quinn on the phone. And she said that there were notes in your room. And there were – I'm sorry for looking through your room, but I just… (sigh) And one of them said that you were getting the results of some blood test today? (Daria's face is answer enough) Can I see?

(Very, very reluctantly, Daria hands the paper over. Jake looks at it a moment.)

Daria: Dad, I…

(She's saved having to say anything further by the sound of a car engine and Jake handing her the results again.)

Jake: Could you go up to your room? I … I want to talk to your mother alone.

Daria: Dad…

Jake: Just … just go, okay?

(Daria stuffs the paper back into her pocket and gets up. As she heads towards the stairs, her face tightens with anger.)

(Scene: the Zen. Music: "The Rose" – A Perfect Circle. Lynn is standing on the very outer edge of the dance floor, just watching the people flailing. A voice belonging to a young male is heard out of shot.)

Voice: (OS) Lynn Cullen, right?

(Lynn turns to face the source of the voice, eyes narrow and cold.)

Lynn: Who wants to know?

Voice: (OS) A friend of the family. (beat as he probably looks her over) Whoa, and they weren't kidding.

(Lynn raises an eyebrow, looking slightly less aggressive and a lot more curious.)

Lynn: That isn't telling me much. Except that you know more about me than I know about you. Which is a dangerous thing.

Voice: (OS) For you or for me?

Lynn: Both, if you continue to dodge me like this.

Voice: (OS; slight chuckle) C'mon. We'll talk somewhere quieter.

Lynn: (pointed) We keep to crowded areas. Where there are witnesses.

Voice: (OS; amused) A coffee shop with witnesses it is.

(Lynn watches the owner of the voice as he presumably walks away. Then she shrugs and follows.)

END ACT 2 – ADVERTS [Lead-in: Quinn slamming the door in Jake's face]

We The Future 2000: A 19-year-old male mayor? Thanks, but I prefer my politicians to be led by the mind, however twisted, than the hormones.

Next week(ish) on The Look-Alike Series: Star-crossed lovers, vicious rivalries, trouble with look-alikes and Shakespeare in chaos in "An Irony of Errors".

(Scene: Quinn's room. Music: "She's Got Issues" – Offspring. Quinn is still on the phone, draped across her bed. Daria flings the door open and walks over so that she's standing right in front of Quinn.)

Quinn: (slightly nervous) Gee, Tori, I don't know if I could get them to adopt her or anything…

Daria: Quinn, off the phone. Now.

Quinn: (hand covering mouthpiece) DARIA! Stop being rude! You can have it when I finish!

(Daria grabs the phone and thumbs it off without so much as a by-your-leave. She goes over to the door and tosses it out into the hall, at which point she slams the door behind her. Then she turns and faces Quinn, her face cold.)

Daria: NOW, Quinn.

Quinn: God, Daria, what is your childhood trauma?15

Daria: YOU are my childhood trauma, Quinn. Never more so than now. You've been talking about me, haven't you.

Quinn: (very nervous now) Why would I want to talk about YOU? I mean, you're not…


(Jake's yelling becomes a slightly softer sound, but is still audible as babble in the background, overridden occasionally by a shriller babble from Helen.)

Quinn: What…

Daria: You were gossiping about things that didn't involve you, Quinn. And Dad heard you doing it.

Quinn: But it DOES involve me, Daria! I mean, I'm…

Daria: (deadly) No. It. Doesn't. (beat) Dad didn't have to know this, Quinn. This has hurt him and I wouldn't be surprised if he had his second heart attack over this.16 And I don't know what it's going to do to Mom. I'm going to have to leave the house for a few days because neither of them is going to want me around to remind them what they're fighting about. (beat) Is this enough drama for you, Quinn? Are you involved enough now? I hope so, because too much more of you poking your nose in might kill someone.

Quinn: (scared) Daria … you're just trying to scare me, right?

Daria: Figure it out for yourself, Quinn. You've got a brain in there – try using it for once.

(Daria walks out, leaving a stunned and remorseful Quinn in her wake.)

(Scene: Cullen house, exterior. Music: "Six Mile Water" – Therapy? Daria is sitting on the front stoop, bag at her feet, waiting. After a moment, we hear the roar of a motorcycle and Lynn pulls up on Amethyst. She raises the visor, takes off her glasses, takes off the helmet and then puts the glasses back on, looking at Daria – her face is casual but her stance is tense.)

Lynn: You been waiting long?

Daria: Awhile. (beat) I tried to get in through the window, but…

Lynn: (raised eyebrow) Did you see the staples before…

Daria: Just. (beat) You have messages. Jane would like to know, yet again, what rodent crawled into your colon and expired.17 AP has all but warned me to keep you away from sharp objects and poisonous chemicals. Trent asks, via Jane, when you're coming back to rehearsals because Nick's falling back into bad habits and Max may not survive it. And on my own behalf, I'm not your damn message service so start talking to people again.18

(Tense silence.)

Lynn: (gesturing to the bag) More parent crap?19

Daria: More parent crap than you can imagine. (beat) We need to talk.

Lynn: (immediate defensiveness) Do we.

Daria: Yes. (beat) It's important. (beat; uncharacteristic pleading note) Please?

(Lynn looks at her.)

Lynn: All right. (beat) But you'll have to forgive the house.

(Scene: Cullen front corridor. Music plays on. Lynn walks in casually, slinging her helmet through a door to her right without stopping. Daria, however, stops five steps into the house and stares, absently shutting the door behind her. The walls have been paintballed and there are random markings etched into them. Daria peers into the living room and finds it in worse shape – not a single piece of furniture is intact, the walls and carpet have been liberally spray-painted with disturbing markings [black] and there are a couple of fairly large holes in the wall, along with more black spray-painted markings. A sledgehammer lies near what probably used to be the coffee table. Daria turns to Lynn, who has stopped halfway up the stairs.)

Lynn: (without turning around) Long story.

(And she continues up the stairs without another word. Daria, looking a little frightened, pauses a moment. She looks into the living room again, seems to try to imagine Lynn causing that kind of wreckage … and shudders – the picture comes a little too easily. She follows Lynn up the stairs.)

(Scene: Lynn's room. Music plays on. The room is intact but messy – every available surface is covered with coffee mugs, books, crumpled bits of paper and assorted garbage. Daria moves a pile of papers and a quarter-eaten peanut butter sandwich off Lynn's desk chair onto the desk and sits down. Lynn sprawls face-down across the bed in a pose reminiscent of Trent, pushing a can of spray paint and several books onto the floor as she does.)

Daria: Um … this is a new decorating scheme for you.

Lynn: (shrug) Eh. There's something therapeutic about chaos and wholesale destruction. I'm kind of enjoying the holiday from reason.

Daria: (gesturing to coffee mugs) And the insomnia binge?

Lynn: (sigh; admission) Can't sleep.

Daria: (raised eyebrow) Clowns'll eat you?20

Lynn: (softly) Not exactly clowns, Daria.

(Daria falls silent at this. After a moment, she gathers her courage.)

Daria: Lynn…

(Inconveniently, the phone rings. Lynn picks it up.)

Lynn: Cullen residence. (beat) You got my message? (beat) I think you'll find I CAN do that. And have. (beat) You can refuse to sell if you like. But I'll just find somewhere else. (beat) Because we couldn't live under the same roof. Because I'd much rather not see you again. Because you chose work over me one time too many.21 (beat) Good; we're even. (beat) Fine. All further communication on this matter should be handled through my lawyer. (beat) Through Dad, if that's any of your business. Good-bye, Kate.

(Lynn hangs up. Her face is expressionless but her eyes show pain; she voices a sigh that is almost a sob and lets her head hang off the side of the bed, face to the floor. Daria stares; she understood the gist of that conversation all too well.)

Daria: Um…

Lynn: (toneless) I don't want to talk about it. She's selling me the house and that's the end of it. (beat) I'm better off without family anyway.

Daria: I … I hope you don't mean that.

Lynn: (looking up) Excuse me?

(Daria debates for a moment … then simply hands over the much-folded piece of paper in her pocket. Lynn looks at her, then takes it and unfolds it. She reads it and not a flicker of expression crosses her face. Daria looks increasingly more nervous.)

Daria: I found out that … that I probably wasn't Jake's biological daughter a few weeks ago. That day you came back from Grove Hills covered in blue gunk.22 Then you were in the hospital and … my mom met your mom and…

Lynn: (softly; no inflection) My father sired you.

Daria: (growing more nervous by the second) That's … a poetic way of putting it.

Lynn: (still no inflection) You're a Smythe.

Daria: (fighting to keep from gibbering) Technically.

Lynn: (looks at Daria; face neutral) What do you think about all this?

Daria: (nearly speechless) Um … I … (deep, calming breath; then the admission) I kind of like the idea.

(The first flicker of emotion appears on Lynn's face – surprise. Then it's gone.)

Lynn: (neutral) You like the idea.

Daria: Well … not so much of being a Smythe, if you see what I mean. More of … of having another sister.

(Long silence. Lynn just looks at her, her face giving nothing away. Daria meets the look for awhile, then has to look away. After a silence that seems longer than it is, Lynn speaks.)

Lynn: I used to think, when I was younger, about what it would be like to have brothers or sisters. I would have been a burden to an older sibling and an unpaid babysitter to a younger one. But… (pause; admission of her own) I would have liked a twin.

(Silence. Daria looks at Lynn – her face is still neutral, but Daria has some idea of what telling this is costing her.)

Daria: Next best thing?

(They share a small smile that seals everything.)

(Scene: Lynn's room, late evening. Daria's voice can be heard down the corridor.)

Daria: (OS) Lynn … I just wanted to ask something about AP. He…

(She steps into the room [wearing the scrub-shirt and boxers] and the sentence dies. Lynn, still sprawled out on the bed on her stomach, is fast asleep.)

Daria: (relieved and rueful in equal measure) Never mind. (beat; wry) You've been hanging around Trent too long.

(Scene: LHS corridor, morning. Music: "My Sister" – Juliana Hatfield. Daria and Lynn at Lynn's locker. AP approaches, looks closely at Lynn … and then smiles.)

AP: Hey, you slept!

Lynn: Yeah. Final score: six hours total in the last one-twenty and got through everything but "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon". If nothing else, it's a new personal record.

Daria: You say that like it's something to be proud of.

Lynn & AP: (in unison) It is.

(Daria raises an eyebrow at them. Jane approaches.)

Lynn: In answer to your question, Jane – you have me confused with Richard Gere, and in his case I believe it was a gerbil.23

Jane: (searching short-term memory) Oh. (beat) It's called a figure of speech.

Lynn: It's called sarcasm.

Jane: (to Daria and AP; wry) Yep. She's fine. (beat; hesitant) Does she…

Lynn: Yes, she does. And she IS right here, you know.

Jane: So you really ARE like the Mowery sisters!24

Daria: (to Lynn) Do you want to say it, or should I?

Jane: Allow me; (imitation of Daria a la "The Invitation") Go to hell, Lane.

(AP chuckles. Daria and Lynn smirk.)

Daria & Lynn: (in unison) Couldn't have said it better myself.

(They look at each other in that dubious, 'what the hell?' sort of way.)

Daria: Whoops.

Lynn: We did it again.25

Jane: Quote Britney Spears again and I'll have to kill you.

(AP is watching this exchange, grinning.)

AP: So, the Jackboot's dead, she didn't kill anyone, everyone's talking… No more crisis!

Lynn: (slightly evasive) Yeah.

(Daria looks at Lynn dubiously, remembers some of Jerome's comments and, after an inner debate, keeps her thoughts to herself. And then the bell rings and they head off in separate directions, the moment lost.)



This one's going out to Robert Nowall, mostly because his comments on the series as a whole in that really long e-mail he sent the other week gave me a place to hang my hat on how Daria was going to tell Lynn the truth about their relationship.


1] We meet Jerome Smythe, Lynn's father, in "To Kill A Misery Chick".

2] Personal prejudice time – I hate hospitals because of the time I a] got two of my fingers gashed open to the bone and waited an hour and a half for treatment and b] had my appendix out, when I experienced the bad food and worse coffee.

3] He heard this from Daria in "To Kill A Misery Chick". It's a logical conclusion to come to, if you've got the kind of observational skills that Daria and Lynn seem to possess.

4] We get an inkling about Lynn's coffee habits in "Poetic Injustice" ["I've gone through two jars of instant coffee…"] but it comes out more in TLASS2.

5] I'm just about done with "Growing Cynical". An as-yet-untitled chapter will deal with the Helen/Jerome affair that resulted in Daria's conception.

6] Helen has never actually seen Lynn in person – she's been avoiding another Morgendorffer parental encounter since Jake's reaction to her in "A Meeting Of The Brains".

7] As mentioned as one of her classic nightmares in "How The Other Half Lives". "Science class, pink taffeta, no notes, project with Kevin."

8] The episode "Ill" – Daria's mystery rash had her in the hospital for a few days. And Phillips is her doctor in that ep – hey, I saved an endnote!

9] Dr Phillips knows the relationship between Daria and Lynn as of "Liaisons". And this question is derived from his line to Daria in "Ill" – "I do have one question. What is with your mother?"

10] The ones who, thanks to Lynn and AP, think that the Cullen residence is a crackhouse.

11] The classic episode "Write Where It Hurts". The Kevin/Brittany wedding disrupted by Jane a la "The Graduate".

12] Okay, this is another reference to the as-yet-unfinished "Growing Cynical". Lynn spent her tenth birthday thinking of the best way to commit suicide and very nearly did so.

13] Tori Jericho. The one-stop popularity consultant from "The Invitation".

14] The bike she bought to stand in for her wrecked car in "Mercedes Bends".

15] Line spoken by the character of Cordelia Chase, of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". We know Quinn watches "Buffy" because of a line in "Speedtrapped".

16] See "Jake of Hearts" for details on Jake's avocado-induced cardiac event.

17] From "Misshapen Identity", when Lynn in complete rock gear crushed her roll of film. "Whoa. What rodent crawled up HER butt and died?" And I recently changed the text to fit in with Austin's prose adapt. His way sounds a bit more polite.

18] Daria says something similar to Quinn in Martin J Pollard's "Sins of the Past". Thanks to Robert Nowall, Ben Yee and Thomas Mikkelsen, who reminded me where this came from.

19] Line from fic of same title. Lynn was in complete hysterics at the time, but I figure it might have filtered in. Plus Jane repeats it in "How The Other Half Lives".

20] Thomas Mikkelsen says this may be from 'Poltergeist' originally. I got another mention of Stephen King's "It" - that line did not appear in the book but I suppose it would make sense, all things considered. I got it from that Simpsons flashback ep where Bart is relegated to the freakiest-looking clown-shaped bed imaginable.

21] One of the already-published chapters of "Growing Cynical" ["Protest March"] shows Kate Cullen taking the secondment to Tokyo mentioned in "Liaisons" even though Lynn's still in a coma and may not live.

22] "The Parent Crap". AP and Lynn are coerced into touring Grove Hills and accidentally create a blue mess in the science lab.

23] Or maybe this is some kind of urban legend. All I know is the rumours that Richard Gere was admitted to Casualty in order to have a gerbil removed from his anal passage.

24] Daria and Lynn were likened to Tia and Tamera Mowery from "Sister, Sister" by the Fashion Club in "A Meeting Of The Brains" – foreshadowing something I wasn't even considering as a plotline at the time. Hence the fic title, pretty much.

25] Title of album and single, I believe. I don't think I've heard it but still…


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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