(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 [TLAS 3:10]

(Scene: the bar. Music: "Karma Police" – Radiohead. Lynn is sitting at a table. She does not look amused.)

Lynn: No way in hell!

Rust: (OS) It's kind of expected, Cullen.1

Lynn: Oh, GOD, Rust, this is damn short notice!

Rust: (OS) Hey, if I had told you any sooner, you would have found some way to worm out of it. This way, I have half a shot at making you do this.

Lynn: I HATE this sort of thing.

Rust: (OS) I'm not exactly overjoyed about it either, Cullen, but it's something we BOTH have to do. You particularly, and you need an escort.

Lynn: There's no way. (beat) I haven't got the right clothes, for one thing. And I have no idea what 'the right clothes' ARE for this.

Rust: (OS) Come on, you said some fashion fiend owes you a favour. Call it in.2

Lynn: (sigh) I was hoping to save this for a better… (beat; panicked look) Oh, hell…

(She dips under the table. Pan to the bar proper; Jake approaches the bar and waves at the bartender. He nods and brings Jake a beer. Jake looks at it and sighs. Enter DeMartino, who goes through the same dumb-show that Jake did and is presented with a beer. He looks sideways at Jake.)

DeMartino: Mr Morgendorffer. I didn't think this was your NORMAL drinking establishment.3

Jake: Mr DeMartino, it's just Jake here. And it isn't. I wanted to be somewhere I hadn't been before. Where no one knows me.

(Quick cut to Lynn, who winces and curses a little under her breath.)

DeMartino: Okay … Jake. And it's Tony. (beat) I KNOW about wanting to be somewhere where no one knows your face. But didn't think YOU would fall prey to that sort of mood.

Jake: (morose sigh; sips his beer) Why not? Am I too clueless to understand that the world isn't fair and that you can't trust anyone?

DeMartino: Well, I wouldn't be able to SAY. Not without knowing the problem. (beat) Unless it's about the RUMOURS I've been subjected to in that INFESTED SHELL I call a place of employment. About DARIA.

Jake: (surprised) Huh?

DeMartino: It's COMMON KNOWLEDGE that she and the Cullen girl are related. By common fathers. And I assume YOU weren't … shall we say INVOLVED … with Ms Cullen.4

Jake: (deep sigh) No. I wasn't. (beat) Gah, damnit, she lied to me. All those years and she lied to me! How could she do that? I mean, to look at my own daughter … who I THOUGHT was my own daughter … and know that…

DeMartino: Jake … I may not be the best placed to offer a SHRED of decent advice. I never married. I have no children – though, after THIS job, I think it's safe to say I would rather CASTRATE myself than run the risk of producing another Kevin.

Jake: (hopeful) But…

DeMartino: MRS Morgendorffer had an affair. EIGHTEEN YEARS ago. But she came back to you. (beat) That's SOMETHING.

(There is silence. Jake takes a thoughtful sip of beer.)

Jake: (musing) Yeah. I guess it is. (beat) Thank you.

DeMartino: If you REALLY wish to express your gratitude, you will order a pitcher and join me in it – and in a game of pool. I haven't had a decent game in YEARS.

(Jake smiles and turns to the bartender. While both their backs are turned, Lynn pops out from under the table.)

Lynn: (sotto) All right. I'll go. But this is under protest.

Rust: (OS) I don't mind. Now get out of here before they see you.

(Lynn slips out.)

(Scene: Morgendorffer living room. Music plays on. Helen is asleep on the sofa; a sheaf of papers on her chest and several stacks of documents spread out on the coffee table and around her. Jake opens the front door, walks in … and stops when he sees Helen. He watches her for a moment, then stretches out a hand … but stops before touching her. He smiles a little, though, before he walks away.)

(Scene: Lawndale street. Music: "Do You Feel The Same" – Silverchair. Daria, Jane and AP walking.)

AP: I don't like it. (beat) I just don't like it, I tell you! It's… (beat; musing) There's a Latiny word for fish…

Daria: Piscine?

AP: That's it! There's something piscine about this whole thing.

(Jane and Daria look at each other)

Jane: (to Daria, sotto) You sure your mother didn't have another affair? With HIS father, maybe?

Daria: (to Jane, sotto) No. He takes after the mother.

Jane: (to Daria, sotto) Oh. It all makes sense now. (beat) Jake?5

Daria: (to Jane, sotto but warning) Jane…

(Jane makes a zipper motion over her mouth.)

AP: Look, you guys know what I'm talking about! She says she's at play rehearsals - *I* haven't got play rehearsals!

Jane: (playing Devil's advocate) And how many rehearsals have you been to when SHE didn't have to be there?6

AP: Yeah, I know, I figured, but then I went in one day when she said she had a rehearsal and I didn't have a rehearsal and the place was EMPTY! It's piscine, I tell you!

Daria: (doesn't want to discuss this) You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.7

AP: Shut up. I'm trying here!

Jane: Maybe some of those times she was rehearsing with Mystik Spiral. Lead singers have to do that, you know.

AP: Last Tuesday?

Jane: (slight frown) Nnnnnnnno.

AP: Look, she wanders around all on her own without telling anyone where she's going or who she's with. It's not like her.

Daria: Um … yes it is.

AP: Well, it shouldn't be! Who knows what might happen? And anyway, it's a MYSTERY! And I'm going to solve it! And YOU'RE going to help!

(They have reached school, cutting through the parking lot. Lynn's Merc is parked in one of the spaces.)

Daria: Jinkies. A clue.8

AP: Shut up!

Daria: (sigh) Sorry. The fact is that I'm worried too but I REALLY don't think I want to ask her about this.

(Something in Daria's voice gives them pause.)

Jane: You know something we don't, don't you?

Daria: Oh yeah.9

AP: YOU'RE keeping secrets too? (throws hands up in despair) Damnit, what's WRONG with you two?

Daria: (slumped shoulders) We're Smythes. I have a feeling keeping secrets is something we DO. (to their looks) Never mind.

Jane: No, not 'never mind'. I'm getting kind of fed up with being dodged.

Daria: (sigh) Look, it's hard to explain. (to their hard looks) Okay, okay. So far, what I have is all circumstantial. Nor is it particularly helpful. But of course, it's ALL worrying.

(They just look at her. Daria takes a deep breath.)

(Scene: LHS corridor. Quinn is at her locker, doing her lipstick.)

Lynn: Narcissa.

(Quinn spins round and sees Lynn, looking rather reluctant.)

Quinn: I wish you'd stop CALLING me that!10

Lynn: The phrase 'tough nuggets' springs to mind. (beat) You owe me a favour. I'm calling it in.

Quinn: (nervous) What KIND of favour?

Lynn: (sigh) I'll tell you when we get there. How fast can you get out of your last class of the day?

Quinn: (certainty) 45 seconds from door to locker to outside.

Lynn: (musing) Add another 20 seconds to get to the parking lot… (beat) Okay. We leave RIGHT after school. Don't make me wait too long.

(Lynn walks off. Ted approaches, looking after Lynn, then at Quinn, who looks extremely confused.11)

Ted: Hey, Quinn. Um … what was that all about?

Quinn: I have NO idea. But looks like our date's cancelled.

(Ted looks askance at her. She shrugs at him.)

END ACT 1 – ADVERTS [Lead-in: Jake and DeMartino at the bar]

Neopets: These are the saddest things I have ever seen in my life. I signed on for this crap never realising that the things were so … cute.

Death Clock: Don't you ever laugh as the hearse goes by for you may be the next to die … but if you want to know for sure, go to www.deathclock.com

(Scene: LHS cafeteria. Lynn is reading "Urban Guerrilla Warfare the Belfast Way" and ignoring her lunch completely [it's vaguely grey slop on limp vermicelli; who can blame her?]. Daria, Jane and AP are looking askance at her.)

Daria: So how's the family?

Lynn: (not looking up, casual) As far as I know, fine. I was on IRC with Jan the other night. She told me that Lorna went nuts over those MP3s I sent of Mystik Spiral but she's been busy with promotional work and three guys – all named Mark – so she hasn't had time to e-mail.

AP: And Jerome?

Lynn: (still not looking up) Last I heard, he was in Pittsburgh, don't ask me why.

(There is silence as they wait for elaboration. They don't get any.)

Jane: So … pizza after school?

Lynn: (still not looking up) I'd love to, but I can't.

Jane: Well, I KNOW you don't have a Spiral rehearsal because Trent told me that Rachel's sick and Nick's staying home with her...12

AP: And Wimp-in-the-Willows has cancelled rehearsals for today – I think he has a BIG date planned with Bitter Pill...13

Daria: (getting to the point) So why not?

Lynn: (still not looking up; sigh) I have to go shopping. (beat) You DO remember I'm on my own in the house and there are certain chores that need doing?14 Like provisioning? Light bulbs, toilet paper, foodstuffs? (beat) Later on this evening I have homework.

(Lynn seems to sink deeper into her book. Daria, Jane and AP just look at her.)

(Scene: LHS parking lot. Music: "Spin Spin Sugar" – Sneaker Pimps. Lynn hurries towards the Merc and hops into the driver's seat. Seconds later, Quinn shows up.)

Lynn: (looking at her watch) Great timing.

Quinn: (pleased despite herself) Thanks. (beat) Now where are we GOING?

Lynn: (sigh) The world's second or third largest mall. (beat) You're going to give me wardrobe advice.

(Quinn stares at Lynn, who floors the accelerator and rips out of the parking lot. Jane and Daria exit the school building just in time to see the car – and its passengers – slip around a corner and out of sight.)

Jane: What the hell is she doing with Quinn?

Daria: (smug) Well, that's helpful. If I can't beat information out of ONE sister…

(After a pause, Jane gets it and smirks.)

Jane: You're good. Gotta hand it to you.

(Daria smirks back.)

(Scene: Morgendorffer kitchen. Music: "Middleman" – Terrorvision. Helen is sitting at the table, feverishly working. Jake walks in. Helen doesn't notice. Jake sits down at the table. Silence bar the tapping on the laptop.)

Jake: (quietly) Helen?

(Helen abruptly stops typing and looks up at him almost fearfully)

Helen: Jake! I … you startled me.

Jake: Helen, I … I'm sorry for some of the things I said to you … when I found out about…

Helen: (sad) Maybe I deserved some of it. (beat) I never meant to hurt you.

Jake: Helen … I wasn't ready to listen before. I think I'm ready now. (beat) Could you … maybe … tell me what happened? With this man? (beat) And why?

(Helen looks unsure. Jake tries a small reassuring smile. Helen looks down at the tabletop in front of her and seems to collect herself. Pan to the kitchen doorway, where we see Daria, wearing a Mona Lisa smile, watching. She turns and quietly leaves them alone.)

(Scene: Morgendorffer house, exterior. Music plays on. Quinn approaches on foot and sees Daria sitting on the curb. Confused, she walks over to Daria and sits down.)

Quinn: What are you doing out here?

Daria: Mom and Dad are talking.

Quinn: (confused) You mean YELLING.

Daria: No, I mean TALKING. Like human beings. (beat) Anyway, I wanted to talk to you. I saw you riding with Lynn this afternoon. Anything going on that I should know about?

Quinn: (nervous) No, nothing, I … I just… (can't think of a decent lie) I just can't tell you.

Daria: Quinn, this is something that you may not understand, but I'm really worried. I think Lynn might be in some kind of real trouble and if I don't know what's going on, I can't help.

Quinn: (nervous) I can't, Daria. I don't really know much of anything, anyway; she only told me what I needed to know to … to do what we did.

Daria: (sigh) I don't believe this. She's MY friend and MY sister and I have to ask YOU for information. And you can't give it to me.

Quinn: Ted asked me why anyone would go to gossip to find things out when you could ask at the source and get it straight.15 (beat) Can't you ask her? (Daria shakes her head) I promised. I owe her. (beat; real regret) Sorry, Daria.

(Quinn heads into the house. Daria looks up at the sky and heaves a very deep sigh.)

(Scene: Jane's room, next morning. Music: "Du Hast" – Rammstein. Daria is sprawled out across the bed in the 'something eating at my soul' pose. Jane is making a paper-clip chain without looking; her eyes are on Daria.)

Jane: She wouldn't TELL you?

Daria: I guess I can't blame her for that. Lynn can be … intimidating. (beat) But at least Mom and Dad are talking again. Though I wish I knew whether it was about patching up their marriage or who pays the alimony.

(Short silence)

Jane: Well, they have to start somewhere. (beat) Look, I know what'll cheer you up. Remember when Lynn had us all over for that pizza thing at her house?16

Daria: You mean the most normal meeting-up we've had in weeks? How could I forget?

Jane: I was thinking of recreating that. Maybe sit Lynn down, get into a friendly video marathon, raid the Cullen liquor cabinet, get her foggy and interrogate her until she can't help but spill her guts.17

(Thoughtful silence.)

Daria: Damn, you're good.

(Jane smirks and reaches for the phone.)

(Scene: the Plymouth. Music plays on. Jane driving, Daria riding shotgun, AP in the back. Jane stops the car … and all three of them stare out the passenger side windows. Daria looks unutterably confused. Jane looks horrified. AP looks extremely pissed off.)

Daria, Jane, AP: (in unison) What the HELL…?

(Pan to the Cullen house exterior. In the driveway, next to Lynn's Merc, is parked a very familiar rustbucket of a car. And on the front doorstep, dressed in a very good suit, is Tom.18 Door opens and Lynn exits in a purple dress [simple elegance; strapless, full knee-length skirt], black low-heeled pumps and a small black purse. He looks at her, smiles and bows. She raises an eyebrow and smiles a Mona Lisa smile Back to the threesome in the car, who are still staring.)

AP: (through gritted teeth) Who the hell is HE?

Daria: (looking at Tom's car, musing) Rust...19

(Back on the doorstep, Lynn shuts and locks the door behind her. Tom looks at her, raises an eyebrow and holds out his hand. Lynn looks at him, says something. He replies. She sighs, digs in her purse and hands over her keys. They walk towards the cars together and he opens the passenger door of the Merc. She raises an eyebrow at him and sits down. He shuts the passenger door, moves to the driver's side and gets in. As he starts the Merc, Jane suddenly shifts the Plymouth into gear and drives away. Daria and AP look at her. Jane's face suggests that she is lost in her own thoughts and none of them are pleasant.)

Daria: Jane?

AP: Do you two know who that is? I want to know who that guy is and why she's letting him drive the Merc!20

Daria: (insistent) Jane…

AP: I mean, she never told us about any … any GUY! Since when is she seeing a guy and not telling us?

Daria: (getting worried now) JANE!

Jane: (distant) We're gonna have to do something. Those two … oh GOD, this is gonna be bad…

Daria: Jane … before I die.

AP: Waitaminit. You don't like him. This is good. Having a good reason not to like him is good. (beat) Look, if this guy is doing something wrong, I want to know about it. It'll give me a happy.21 Give.

Jane: Look, it's not something I want to talk about…

Daria: Tough. We need information. Give.

Jane: (sigh) Okay, but can I maybe not do it while I'm driving?

(Daria and AP look at her, shrug and nod.)

(Scene: Pizza King. Music: "Janey's Got A Gun" – Aerosmith. Jane is sitting next to Daria, looking morose, frightened and angry all at the same time. Daria shows concern and AP, confusion and cheated anger.)

Daria: Is this to do with why you broke up with Tom?22

Jane: Pretty much, yeah. (beat) Look, I went over to his house while you were away in the country and invited him on an impromptu trip to the drive-in. He seemed reluctant, but I pushed it and we went. Things got a little … um … carried away and I put my hands under his shirt and … hello! Kevlar!

Daria: KEVLAR?

AP: As in bulky body-armour bulletproof stuff Kevlar?

Jane: Yep. I got a little freaked and started yelling at him and … well, I flailed around and hit the glove compartment. The lock on it doesn't work. It opened. And … he packs.

AP: What, like luggage?

Daria: (realising) No. Like firearms.

Jane: (into the silence) Great big damn gun. I got REALLY freaked and took off. (sigh) I realised next day that maybe it wasn't such a bad thing – maybe it was kind of a cool thing…

Daria: JANE?

Jane: Well, I at least wanted to know WHY he was going around armed and armoured, Daria! I really liked the guy! (beat) But he wouldn't talk to me. Wouldn't come anywhere NEAR me. So I decided it was probably for the best and gave it up.

Daria: And you're so scared now because…

AP: (horrified) She smelled of gunpowder...23

Daria: You don't think… Oh, what am I saying, of course you think – I think the same thing.

AP: So if he's some kind of crook…

Daria: Or if he's connected to Jerome…

Jane: But what if Jerome IS a crook?

Daria: I have a really hard time believing that. He was suspicious and secretive, but if he IS a criminal, he's not the common-or-garden variety.

Jane: Mafia?

Daria: It's a distinct possibility. (sigh) But we shouldn't be jumping to conclusions. For all I know, the guy could just work for MI6 or the SAS or something. He had that kind of spy mentality.

Jane: But then why would Lynn be doing all this stuff?

Daria: If I knew, would I be so worried? Damnit, Jane, I'm afraid to even ask – the man packs a gun!

(Sombre silence.)

AP: This is stupid. We know squat. Why don't we just ASK?

Jane: Better question: why have we waited so long TO ask?

Daria: Best answer: we didn't really want to know. (beat) Now I guess we have to.

(They fall utterly silent, staring at their food with worried, inward expressions.)

END ACT 2 – ADVERTS [Lead-in: Daria, Jane and AP staring out the Plymouth's windows]

Paperpusher's Links Page: Okay, you readers HAVE to go through Paperpusher's links. The man is a GOD at finding the warped, twisted and bizarre on the Net.

Next in The Look-Alike Series: Too many secrets + too many weird pizza toppings = AP's own seriously messed up X-Files crossover dream in "X Marks the Maverick".

(Scene: Morgendorffer living room. Music: "One" – U2. Helen and Jake are sitting next to each other on the sofa – not very far away from each other but not really close, either. There's tension, but not deep tension.)

Jake: So … what do we do now? More couples therapy?

Helen: (derisive noise) It hasn't seemed to have done a lot of good up to now.

Jake: But … Helen … there was a whole lot of stuff I didn't know then. (beat) And maybe you could … turn up in person for a few sessions.

(Pause. Helen looks extremely guilty.)

Helen: Yes … I could do that. (beat) And maybe we should talk to each other more. About what's really bothering us, instead of just…

Jake: Yeah. And maybe even listen to each other instead of going, "Oh, that's nice, dear…"

Helen: (really curious) Have I ever said that to you about ANYTHING?

Jake: (thinking about it) Not really … but I was always sure that was what you MEANT.

Helen: (small smile) Oh, Jake…

(She leans closer and puts her head on his shoulder. He slips an arm over her shoulders and gives her a little hug.)

Jake: Helen … what are we going to do about Daria?

Helen: (sigh) Jake, she doesn't see you any differently than she did before she found out about this. You raised her. That's what counts with her.

Jake: But she's so close to that little fr… (thinks) Lynn, right?

Helen: Well, that's different. They're sisters. And she and Quinn…

Jake: (frown) They get along, don't they?

Helen: (being kind) Yes and no. They're sisters and nothing's going to change that. But like does call to like, Jake. (beat; tender) Just because she's discovering a new family doesn't mean she's forgotten this one. She never can. We're … well, we're a FAMILY, that's all.

(Jake thinks about this, then smiles a little and rests his head on top of Helen's.)

(Scene: Cullen house, exterior, late afternoon. Music: "Bad Girls" – Madonna. The Merc pulls up next to Tom's rusted heap. Tom stops the car and bounds out, but before he gets to the passenger side, Lynn has opened the door herself and stepped out.)

Tom: Damnit, Cullen. You're supposed to be acting 'Lady of the Manor'. You don't DO that kind of thing.

Lynn: Nobody here but us chickens, Rust.

Tom: I wouldn't bet on that.

Lynn: Oh, you mean them. (beat) Don't worry. I'll think of something.

Tom: (sad sigh) What are you going to tell Jane? I mean … it ended badly.

Lynn: I kind of figured that. (beat) What do you WANT me to tell her?

Tom: Well … I … (sigh) I don't know. (beat) It probably wouldn't have worked out anyway.

Lynn: (slightly sad) Sometimes things don't. (beat) Look, get out of here. I've got to go in and do some damage control.

Tom: (slight smirk) In more ways than one?24

Lynn: (rolls her eyes) I really regret mentioning that to you now.

(Tom heads to his car. Lynn watches from the doorway of the house. Before he opens the door, he turns back.)

Tom: So … what did you think of them, anyway?

(Lynn pauses for thought.)

Lynn: Not so bad. I guess. For who they are.

Tom: Shouldn't you have…

Lynn: (adamant) No. I shouldn't have. They are staying as far out of this as I can make them.

Tom: (gentle) It might not be so easy. From what you've told me, they all care about you. Her especially. (beat) And she IS family.

Lynn: (struggling for control) Not that way. I don't want her involved that way. You KNOW that. And you know WHY. So don't push this.

(Lengthy silence)

Tom: Do you think you can protect them this way?

Lynn: I can try. (pause) I will see you tomorrow, Rust.

Tom: (tip of imaginary hat) Cullen.

(Tom gets into his car and drives away. Lynn looks apprehensively at the house.)

(Scene: Cullen front hall. Music: "Have You Ever" – Offspring. The door opens and Lynn steps in, dropping her purse on the floor and slamming the door behind her. She stands in the corridor for a moment, looking straight ahead. Then…)

Lynn: (fairly loud) If you've been in my room, it will go hard with you.

(And she steps through a doorway to the right.)

(Scene: Cullen living room. Music plays on. Daria, Jane and AP are sitting on the sofa, looking stern and worried in equal measure.)

Jane: Daria wouldn't let us.

Daria: (sheepish) It would have been an abuse of trust.25

Lynn: (raised eyebrow) And using an emergency door key to let yourself in for no apparent reason isn't?

Daria: Well, it seems like an emergency to me. (beat) I want some answers.

AP: (unable to contain himself) Who the HELL is he? And what are you doing letting him drive the Merc? And where have you BEEN, anyway? You've been gone for HOURS!

Lynn: What business is it of yours? This is none of your affair, and believe me, you don't want it to be!

AP: We're your FRIENDS, Lynn! I want to know what's going on! This is doing REALLY weird things to you! Are you in love with him?

Jane: I think I'd like an answer to that one too.

Lynn: (wide-eyed) WHAT? No, I'm not in love him! I barely LIKE him. I sure as HELL don't TRUST him. And anyway, what do you care?

Jane: He's my ex-BOYFRIEND, Lynn!

Lynn: Sorry, was that last comment addressed to you?

AP: Uh…

Jane: He carries a GUN! He wears KEVLAR, Lynn! And you … he … GAH! (bangs a sofa cushion)

Daria: (the only calm one of the lot) When did you meet him? That night I waited for you outside here?

Lynn: If you must know, yes.

Daria: Then part of the way you've been acting lately might be down to him. (beat; calm) Lynn, we're worried. I know you haven't been sleeping well – and that you've been having nightmares…

Lynn: Daria, as much as I care about you, I don't appreciate you telling other people that sort of thing. It's my business how I'm sleeping at night.

Daria: (going on) We're not going to stop worrying just because you say it's none of our business, Lynn. We're not going to stop trying to figure out why you're acting this way. It would be easier on all of us if you just told us what was going on.

(Deep silence. Daria, Jane and AP look expectantly at Lynn. She looks back at them, then sighs)

Lynn: I'll tell you as much as I can. But I warn you, that's not much.

Daria: (settling back on the sofa) We're listening.

Lynn: Ms Li's attack wasn't directed at us. It was directed at me.

Daria: We figured that. Ms Li went nuts and saw you as the primary menace to her school…

Lynn: Yes and no. That was why she AGREED to it. (beat; quiet) Someone let her out so that she could come after me and kill me.

Jane: (utterly stunned) WHAT?

AP: (worried as hell) Someone wanted you DEAD? WHO? WHY? And how do I get my hands on the little…

Daria: (it clicks) What did he DO?

Jane & AP: (in unison; very confused) WHAT?

Daria: Jerome looked pretty guilty about the attack, but he wouldn't tell me anything.

Lynn: And when it comes to that, I'M not telling you anything about it either. Suffice it to say that Dad has … connections…

Daria: He's mentioned that, yes.

Lynn: …and he hired Tom as a sort of a bodyguard-cum-personal trainer for me. That's where I've been after school; training. Dad figured that it'd be safer if I knew how to protect myself in case something like this ever happens again. (beat) Not that it's likely.

Daria: What IS he, Lynn? And why do I get the feeling you're not telling us all of it?

Lynn: No. I've said enough. I've explained the weapons and the sleepless nights and the rest of it.

AP: No you didn't! There's gotta be a reason that your dad packs a gun!

Jane: And why Tom carries one. AND wears Kevlar!

AP: Cop or crook, Purple Peril; which is he?

Daria: (sensing this could get ugly) Guys…

Lynn: I can't say.

Jane: Can't because you don't know, or…

Daria: Jane…

Lynn: Can't because I can't. That's all.

(There is silence; stalemate. Lynn looks at them with an expression that clearly indicates that, if she feels she has to, she will shut them all out of her life permanently. Daria, Jane and AP look undecided, as if they're trying to decide if they should risk it. Finally, Daria gives a small, nearly inaudible sigh of resignation.)

Daria: (thought VO) We've got all we can out of her. For now. (aloud) Okay. (beat) I can't speak for them, but I'm sorry for having barged into your house.

(Jane and AP look at her.)

Lynn: (small relieved sigh; small, rueful smile) It's okay. I think I kind of asked for it.

Daria: Is there … someplace you have to be tonight?

AP: (following Daria's lead) I brought the X-Files tapes! And we were gonna order in a few pizzas and hit the drinks stash! (looking into the still-wrecked hall) If you didn't…

Lynn: Lorna has a saying; no matter how mad you are, never waste a good drink by spilling it over a bitch's head. (There are smirks at this.) Who's calling the order in?

AP: Well, you're Lady of the Manor; guess it's your job! I'm having the usual!26 (beat) And I think I'll have two – I skipped lunch.

Jane: (disgusted) Urgh – how CAN you?

AP: (grin) It's a gift.

(Lynn shakes her head at them and heads for the phone, unaware of her friend's watchful eyes as they assess her for a moment … then shrug to themselves and let it go.)


This one is going out to Ben Yee, who was the first to know. As I've said so often on IRC - Thankyouthankyouthankyou. *hug* *smooch*


1] This gentleman introduced himself to Lynn in "Sister, Sister" and was identified as "Rust" in "An Irony of Errors", which is also the first time we see this bar.[Back]

2] Lynn forced a confrontation between Daria and Quinn in "Admission: Impossible" after Quinn asked her for help. [Back]

3] According to "The Daria Database", he normally drinks at The Rathskeller with 'the guys'. But precedent for Jake and DeMartino drinking together has been set by "The Daria Hunter".[Back]

4] The rumours about Daria and Lynn being related started as early as "A Meeting of the Brains". But in "Sister, Sister", Quinn found out and told Tori from "The Invitation" ["which means EVERYONE"] … unfortunately within Jake's hearing. [Back]

5] Judging from "A Hard Day's Write", AP takes after his mother physically, but we don't really know about personality because of her Valium-related vagueness. But come on, there's something of the Jake in AP's cluelessness. [Back]

6] It's true, particularly in bigger roles. Some directors like to focus on a particular scene and don't bother inviting the actors who aren't in it. And yes, they're all in the production of "Romeo and Juliet" they got forced to try out for in "An Irony of Errors". [Back]

7] Line courtesy S Morgenstern via Goldman – "The Princess Bride". [Back]

8] I know there's been at least one Daria/Scooby Doo crossover [hi, CN!]. And where Trent is seen as Shaggy-like, Daria is ALWAYS the Velma. [Back]

9] This is mainly referring to her conversation with Jerome back in "To Kill a Misery Chick". Would YOU tell many people if your biological father packed a gun? [Back]

10] No, I don't think she knows what it means. But she knows it's not complimentary or Daria et al wouldn't call her that. [Back]

11] See? I'm not forgetting that I set Quinn up with Ted in "Love Him or Leave Him". [Back]

12] I named Nick's daughter Rachel [and his girlfriend Angela] in "Miss Conception", because frankly I couldn't think of anyone else who could talk to Trent about potential impending fatherhood. [Back]

13] O'Neill and Barch [Wimp-in-the-Willows and Bitter Pill respectively] have had a thing going since "The Daria Hunter". And after the events of "Gym Dandy", they don't have to be secretive about it. [Back]

14] Kate took off for Tokyo in "Protest March" – chapter 4 of the nearly-completed "Growing Cynical". And, in "Sister, Sister", Lynn arranged to purchase the house and have it held in trust until she turns 18 [5 November, 2000]. [Back]

15] Ted gave her this gem of wisdom in "Admission: Impossible". It's helpful to have Quinn dating someone so innocent and smart. [Back]

16] This happened at the end of "Job Lots". She felt a need to be a normal teenage girl after issuing threats of the knife-wielding kind to Upchuck. [Back]

17] Jane would know all about this, since the last raid of the Cullen liquor cabinet resulted in her spilling Lynn and Trent's bout of intimacy [as seen in "Rue Britannia"] during the all-girl crash-out in "How the Other Half Lives". [Back]

18] We all know Tom, don't we? Now here's the caveat – this is NOT S4 Tom. Some things may be borrowed from what we learn about him in S4, but generally, this Tom diverges from canon the instant the end credits rolled on "Jane's Addition". [Back]

19] Daria knows about Rust, vaguely, after going through Lynn's Filofax at the end of "Gym Dandy". [Back]

20] Remember the hassle AP went through to make Lynn lend him the Merc for his date with Daria in "Mercedes Bends"? AND remember his admission to Daria in "Relation-slips"? Of course this is going to piss him off. [Back]

21] Line borrowed from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". AP sort of screams 'Xander' to me every now and then. [Back]

22] We know that Jane and Tom broke up in my continuum – I say so in "Lady and the Tank". [Back]

23] In "Thrash of the Titans". The concept of 'reeking of gunpowder' borrowed from my least fave Daria ep of all time – "Murder She Snored". [Back]

24] In "Sister, Sister", Lynn wrecks the house – pretty much to remove all traces of Kate Cullen's personality from it. [Back]

25] Lynn, in an uncharacteristic gesture of trust, gave her sister a key to the house in "Admission: Impossible". [Back]

26] As shown in "Relation-slips", AP's 'usual' is tuna, onions, capers, artichoke hearts, cayenne peppers and shrimp. Yes, I know, it was the grossest combination I could think of. [Back]


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 and AP McIntyre, 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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