(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 3:12]

(Scene: LHS auditorium. Music: "Tattva" – Kula Shaker. AP is pacing around a corner of the stage, script in hand, throwing out lines at random.)

AP: (sigh) "Ay me, sad hours seem long." (beat; stubborn-sounding) "I'll go along, no such sight to be shown/But to rejoice in splendour of mine own." (beat; lovesick) "Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!/For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night." (long pause, in which he looks dejected; then sigh) "I am fortune's fool."1

Daria: (OS) Hey.

AP: (jumping about 3 feet) YAAAAGH! (trying to calm down) Oh. Hey, Erudite Emerald.

Daria: (raised eyebrow) If this is what rehearsals do to you…

AP: Well, it was like Purple Peril said. No one pays any attention to drummers unless they make great big idiots of themselves.2 (groan) THIS way, I'm in a lead role, on stage in front of the whole school, and the only way I WON'T make an idiot of myself is if … actually, no, there's NO way I'm not going to make an idiot of myself.

Daria: You're not that bad.

AP: (mutter) Only because I'm not acting most of the time.

(Daria gives him a commiserating little smile. AP shrugs and goes back to pacing. Quick pan to the other end of the stage, where Lynn is sitting cross-legged on the floor, flipping through the script. Jane creeps up behind her.)

Jane: (smirk) "Go, girl! Seek happy nights to happy days!"

Lynn: (not looking up) If you were going to try to sneak up on me, you could have at least picked a cue line.

Jane: I didn't startle you? (throws up her hands in exasperation) Oh, no, of course I didn't. Lynn Cullen is IMPOSSIBLE to sneak up on these days, ISN'T she.

Lynn: (still not looking up) Not impossible. (beat; smirk) Just very, very hard.

(Enter Jodie, looking nervous. She steps over to Jane.)

Jodie: Um … Jane…? I never made a deal with YOU, right? About … extra-curriculars?3

Jane: (suspicious) That's right…

Jodie: And … you owe me one? From the tutoring?4

Jane: (ultra-suspicious) I guess I do…

Jodie: (panicked) You've GOTTA help me! I'm going NUTS! The set design is going to KILL me! Mr O'Neill doesn't know WHAT he wants and he wants ME to figure it out and I'm not all that great at the abstract and…

Jane: (totally bemused) Whoa, whoa, whoa. What is it you want from me?

Jodie: Ideas.

Jane: For the set design. (Jodie gives a weak nod) And we're putting on the play in two weeks. (another meek nod) Uh-huh. And what have you got so far?

Jodie: (almost inaudible) Diddlysquat.

(Jane looks at Jodie, who looks very small all of a sudden. Then she sighs and turns to Lynn.)

Lynn: (raised eyebrow) Think modern. Last thing in the world I want is to be slammed into Elizabethan-era gear. Bustles and ruffs and… (shudder) God defend me.

(Jane thinks a moment … then gets that evilly-inspired look. Jodie looks pleased. Lynn, knowing Jane better, looks nervous.)

Lynn: (slightly wide-eyed) Not asking. Don't want to know. (beat) Oh, I'm going to find out anyway. Damn. (beat; lesser of two evils) HEY AP!

AP: (OS) YAAAAAGH! (beat) Oh! Hey Purple Peril!

Lynn: (forcing herself to sound normal) We're running through the balcony scene!

AP: (OS; 'gleep' tone) Okay!

(With one final look at Jane's smug face, Lynn walks off. Now even Jodie looks a bit worried.)

Jodie: Um … what are you planning?

Jane: You'll see, my pretty. You'll see.

(Jodie has that 'what have I created?' look by now.)

(Scene: Lane front door. Music – "Angel's Don't Fall In Love" – Bangles. Daria is hammering on it. After a moment, it opens, and a puzzled-looking Trent peers out.)

Trent: Oh. Hey Daria. (beat) Um … Janey's not here. She's still at the school. She called about play sets or something.

Daria: Oh, actually, I just wanted to talk to Lynn. (shrug) I was knocking so loud to make sure you could hear me over rehearsing. (beat; realisation) Only … you're not rehearsing, are you?

Trent: (confused) Uh … no. But the knocking did wake me up.

Daria: (thought VO) She's still trying to cover it up. (aloud; shrug) Okay. Thanks. (turns to go)

Trent: (tuning in) Wait a minute, Daria. (Daria turns back) Who told you we were having a rehearsal today?

Daria: Lynn.

Trent: (thoughtful) Oh. (beat; slight trepidation) Um … Lynn IS okay, isn't she? (not noticing Daria's slightly hurt look) She's been acting...5

Daria: (cold) I know how she's been acting. I see it more than you do. (beat) I should go. Things to do.6

Trent: (bewildered) Oh. Okay.

(Daria turns and walks away from him. She gets as far as the end of the walk before she stops for a split-second, shaking her head in resigned dismay.)

Daria: Mr Oblivious. No kidding.

(She walks off. Cut back to Trent, whose face suggests that his brain has finally registered the anomalies in Daria's behaviour and, more importantly, their meaning. His eyes go big.)

Trent: (mutter) I blew it again. (beat) DAMN! (kicks the door frame for emphasis.)

(Scene: Biers. Music: "Cut You In" – Jerry Cantrell. Usual table, usual occupants [only we can now see both of them for a change].7 Lynn is frowning suspiciously at Tom.)

Lynn: You're only ever this easy on me when you have news. (beat) And it's not going to be news I like, if your face is any indication. (beat) I'd spill it, if I were you.

Tom: (sigh) Assignment.

Lynn: (blink) What part of, "I don't want any part of this" is so hard to understand?

Tom: Look, I don't like it any more than you do, but you're trained, you have built-in cover … you're ideal. (beat) And I'm going with you.

Lynn: "Built-in cover"? (to Tom's raised eyebrow) Oh no. No WAY. I had a hard enough time getting them to London.8 What does he expect – a county-wide tour?

Tom: You're missing a letter.

Lynn: (frowns for a moment, then gets it) No.

Tom: (nods) Your aunt's not as clueless as she looks.

Lynn: Or sounds. Or acts. Or the word from her multiple ex-boyfriends indicates. (sigh) And I can't do a tour without help. Which means… (beat; real fear) I've GOT to get out of this. (to Tom's reproachful look) Rust, listen to me. They don't know ANYTHING. And I can't tell them. Imagine the reaction … no, wait, you don't have to. You KNOW.9

Tom: (sigh) Yeah. I know. But…

(The door opens and Mara Fitzgerald steps in.10 The bartender raises an eyebrow at her and then turns to Lynn and Tom. Lynn just nods with a resigned look.)

Lynn: So much for a place where no one knows me.

(Mara spots Lynn and heads over to the table, sitting down without an invitation. She eyes Tom appraisingly for a moment [think farmer looking over livestock].)

Mara: Nice. I see why you kicked geek-ball to the curb.11

Lynn: This is Rust. We're not dating. (beat) You're not supposed to be in here.

Mara: And you ARE? (smirk) Hey, I'm a month your senior. And you KNOW I could party you under the table any day of the year.

Lynn: That's never been proven… (noting the challenging look on Mara's face) …and it isn't going to be proven today either. Now what ARE you doing here?

Mara: The Merc's outside; figured you were playing a gig or something. Wanted to talk to you.

Lynn: What about?

Mara: Well, you know Guy? Our singer?

Lynn: Goat-boy.12 What about him?

Mara: He wants info on one of your friends. (to Lynn's raised eyebrow) Tall, pale, cas/Goth clothes, hair from the mixing-bowl-and-kitchen-scissors school of hairdressing?

Lynn: Yeah, I know the one.

Mara: I want DETAILS! Name, address, dating status, the works. He doesn't like to show stuff like that in front of a lot of people, but he thought she was FINE.

Lynn: Wouldn't it be easier for me – and better for my friend – if I just let her know he's interested? She knows him – or at least, she knows OF him. She can make her own judgement calls.

Mara: That's just like you. (beat) Come on, do this for me. We have HISTORY.

Lynn: This would technically be a favour for Goat-boy, with whom I have no history.

Mara: Look, when this guy pines for a girl, he screws up musically. Not if he's been dumped, not if he's dumped someone and not even when he's in a … thing…

Lynn: It's called a relationship. Which you'd know about if you'd stayed with the same guy for more than three days running.

Mara: (dismissive) Whatever. But when he's pining over someone who doesn't know he's alive… (beat) He's screwing us up.

Lynn: I will mention him to her. You know where I can be reached. I'll let you know. (Mara just flashes a brief smile, gets up and walks out. Lynn rolls her eyes in an affectionate sort of exasperation, then sobers her expression when she sees the pain on Tom's face.) Sorry about that. It was the only way to get her off my case.

Tom: (unconvincing) It's okay. (beat) Now, what do I have to do to make you take this?

Lynn: (firm) Put a gun to my head.

(Tom's look suggests that he might do just that. Lynn looks scared and a bit resigned.)

END ACT 1 – ADVERTS [Lead-in: Trent kicking the door]

Millennium Dome: People still want to lure people into what looks like a giant slug trap and is sucking the Lottery Commission dry. Go figure.

Nescafe: New look. Same 'great' taste. It's freeze-dried instant coffee – get real.

(Scene: Lynn's room. Music: "In Your Room" – Depeche Mode. Lynn is sprawled across the bed on her stomach, reading a script.)

Lynn: (real feeling) "Oh, Romeo, Romeo; wherefore art thou, Romeo?/Deny thy father, and refuse thy name/Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn, my love/And I'll no longer be a Capulet."

AP: (OS) "Shall I hear more…"

(Lynn screams and pulls something out from the pillow she's leaning on. The very observant will see that it's a gun before she pushes it back under her pillow upon seeing her visitor, a very shaken AP, looking at her through the window.)

Lynn: (breathless) God DAMN it, Maverick! Warn a body!

AP: (cautious) Hey ho, Purple Peril. (beat; suspicious) Uh … what'd you flash at me? (after studying her a long moment) Y'know, I don't think I want to know. (climbing in) Sheesh, Purple Peril, you should be used to this. I've only been coming in like this for eight years.13

Lynn: That was BEFORE the security precautions.

AP: Oh, wanted to talk to you about those. Anti-climb paint? VERY easy to neutralise. And a pair of pliers deals with the staples. You want to use something more permanent. Saw about three-quarters of the way through some of the supports on the trellis, then paint over the cracks. Anyone trying to climb THAT falls seven-ten feet onto the lawn. No splat, but...14

Lynn: (interrupting) You wanted something…?

AP: (nervous) Oh. Yeah. Lines. (beat) But I like talking about your new booby traps a LOT better, so maybe we…

(Lynn waves a script at him sternly. He sighs and produces his own.)

Lynn: Okay, let's take it from … Oh, we did the balcony this afternoon and if we do the ballroom scene once more I'm gonna yack.

AP: Um… ('can't believe I'm saying this') The m-morning-after lines?

Lynn: (ever so slightly strangled) Oh. Yeah. We HAVE been neglecting them, haven't we.

(They flip through the scripts, find the places … then stand there looking at each other for a moment. Then Lynn sighs and begins.)

Lynn: "Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day./It was the nightingale, and not the lark/that pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear./Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree./Believe me, love, it was the nightingale."

AP: (sigh) "It was the lark; the herald of the morn…" (bursts out laughing) I can't DO this, Purple Peril!

Lynn: (sigh) Look. didn't we sometimes run around pretending that we were movie characters?

AP: (raised eyebrow) That was a long time ago. (beat) And I got to be Luke Skywalker. It's EASY being your sibling.

Lynn: (stifled sigh) Well, it's the same thing. Just in front of people who are specifically there to watch us pretend. (beat) Look, let's skip the lark and the nightingale and the bloody pomegranate and go from… (leafs through script; in character) "Therefore, stay yet; thou needs not be gone."

AP: (mad grin) "Let me be taken; let me be put to death/I am content, so thou wilt have it so!/ (beat; tender) I have more care to stay than will to go. (beat; teasing abandon) Come, Death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so! (tender again) How is't, my soul? Let's talk; it is not day."

Lynn: (sigh; quiet) "It is. (beat) It is. (forcing the words) Hie hence; be gone; away. It was the lark that sings so out of tune/Straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps. (beat) Oh now, be gone; more light and light it grows…

AP: (miserable) "More light and light … more dark and dark our woes."

(They've just about forgotten that this is a play, filling in the Nurse's lines from memory.)

Lynn: (trembling voice) "Then, window, let day in … and let love out."

AP: "Farewell. (beat) One kiss and I'll descend."

(They all but leap into each other's arms. The kiss makes the one between Rhett and Scarlett on the road to Tara look chaste. Then they spring apart, looking really flustered, and start talking over each other, oblivious to the other's reaction.)15

Lynn: Um … I don't think we were supposed to pull away so fast…

AP: Drowning people hanging onto the life preservers, sort of?

Lynn: That was the stage direction, but…

AP: Maybe we don't have to go through that right now. Um … I think we… (quick thinking) Shoot! I think I left the Bunsen burner on! There's gonna…

Lynn: I don't need to know; just…

AP: Yeah, but we'll…

Lynn: Yeah, of course. Later.

(AP nearly jumps out the window. Lynn looks at the window for a moment, then sits heavily on the bed.)

Lynn: Crap. (beat) Crap.

(Scene: Pizza King. Music: "Orange Crush" – REM. Daria is sitting across from Jane. Jane is sketching madly while Daria stares blankly at empty space. Eventually, she notices Jane sketching and looks at the half-finished work. She raises an eyebrow and nearly smiles.)

Daria: Lynn and AP'll love that. (beat; eyes widen a little) YOU'RE going to love THAT one, you sick…

Jane: (lofty) Disturb not the working muse…

Daria: (sigh) Do you really think O'Neill will GO for any of this stuff?

Jane: Sure. He has two weeks to get low-budget set and costumes together. He's too desperate to turn his nose up at something THIS tame.

Daria: (facefault) TAME?

(Enter Lynn, carrying books. She slides into the booth next to Daria, who glares at her.)

Jane: Yo, Lynn.

Daria: (cold) Hey.

Lynn: (slightly defensive) What?

Daria: (accusing) You had a rehearsal last night?

Lynn: (picking up on Daria's tone) Okay, okay, I thought you'd worry if I told you, I apologise for lying, mea culpa, mea culpa. Now can I ask Jane a question?

Jane: (ignoring Daria's glare) Shoot.

Lynn: Remember Goat-boy?

Jane: The guy with the blue hair and the sneer?

Lynn: The very same. He has the hots for you and Mara is … nudging me to arrange an introduction.

Jane: (wry grin) And welcome to the Yenta game! Isn't it fun?16

Lynn: As a sucking chest wound. Now just tell me no so we can get on to further business.

Jane: Actually … why not?

Daria & Lynn: (utter shock) EXCUSE ME?

Lynn: Was there extra garlic on that thing? If so, was it blue? One time AP got blue garlic on one of his 'pizzas' and … well, he spent about three minutes thinking he was a lemming. (to their looks) I locked all the doors, kept him from climbing too high and let him jump off the coffee table a few times. (they're still staring) Mom was in Albuquerque.17

Jane: Look, unlike YOU two, *I* haven't had a real date since… (sidelong glance at Lynn)

Lynn: Since Tom. You CAN say the name, you know.

Jane: Fine, whatever, since Tom. And maybe this Goat-boy…

Daria: If you're going to date the guy, call him by his right name. (beat) What IS his right name?

Lynn: (flipping through Jane's sketchpad) Guy.

Daria: (musing) Nicely anonymous for someone with blue hair and a voice like a chronic sinusitis sufferer.

Jane: ANYWAY, this Guy could be my next great romance!

Daria: (sceptical) How many great romances HAVE you had, Jane?

Jane: Well, I… (beat) Well, there must have been SOME!

Lynn: (still looking at the sketches) Tom, Bobby Bighead, Evan who you probably never touched, and a still-burning lust for Jesse even though you think he's as thick as elephant crap.18 What are these? (brandishes sketchpad)

Jane: (taking the pad, flipping a couple of pages, showing a drawing) That's you and AP. In the ballroom scene.

(Lynn looks at it. Then she looks at Jane.)

Lynn: Have you drawn these costumes without the … interaction?

Jane: Yeah, but…

(Lynn rips out the page, none-too-gently folds it in half, and crams it between the pages of one of her books. Jane scowls. Daria cranes to see.)

Lynn: Now are there any other… (before Jane can answer or take the sketchbook back, Lynn starts leafing through it. She takes another sheet out, doing the same cramming between the pages of the textbook as before … and a few pages later, there's one that she tears out and crumples. She looks at Jane.) I'm going to have to BURN that one. How did you ever get that much detail?

Jane: (shrug) I guessed? (to Lynn's hard look) All right, all right, I've seen you in the gym showers and have a really visual memory, okay?

Lynn: Only my PARENTS know about that birthmark, Jane. (beat; curious) And … AP…?

Jane: (sly) All imagination; sorry. Did I miss any detail?

Lynn: I wouldn't know. We were more into Swords and Sorcerers than Doctors and Nurses. Anyway, you want a time and a place for this date with Goat-boy?

Jane: Ah, send him to Pizza King. Friday? Eight?

Lynn: (shrug) Whatever you say. (beat) But be careful around the guy, Jane. He's not exactly known for mental stability.

Daria: (raised eyebrow) Never bothered her before…

(Jane glares at Daria, who just smirks a little.)

(Scene: Biers. Music: "F.I.N.E" – Aerosmith. Lynn is absently chucking her knife at the dartboard. Enter Mara, who shoots the barman a 'toss me out and feel my wrath' sort of look. The barman looks distinctly unimpressed but Lynn gives him a 'you want to mess with ME?' look and he backs down. Mara looks at Lynn with some respect.)

Mara: What, daddy departed own the place?

Lynn: (shrug) I don't know if I'd tell you even if it was your business. Now Jane's agreed Friday, eight, Pizza King.

Mara: (yuck-face) How do you eat that stuff, anyway?

Lynn: You got a bad batch. Sometimes they add another quart of grease to the pizza recipe, just to keep things interesting.19

Mara: Whatever. (beat) So what's she like? To tell Guy.

Lynn: Artist. A bit … smirky. I think they'll get on like a house afire.

Mara: (grin) Really?

Lynn: Yeah. Leaping flames, screaming victims, emergency services being called in from every direction…

Mara: (smirk) You haven't changed at all, have you? (Lynn shrugs) Now, there was ONE other thing I wanted to ask. Your friend Rust…

Lynn: (knows where this is going) No.

Mara: But LYNN…

Lynn: Trust me, you wouldn't want to.

Mara: But he's FINE!

Lynn: Give me awhile and I'll set you up with Leather-boy.20

Mara: (lecherous little smirk) We-ell … that IS tempting … but Rust is SO much more sophisticated about it.

Lynn: Believe me. More trouble than it's worth.

(Mara looks like she wants to keep teasing, but Lynn's face tells her it's a bad idea.)

Mara: And you're not dating him. (Lynn shakes her head) And none of your friends are dating him. (Lynn shakes her head again.) And you can fix me up with Leather-boy? (Lynn nods and smirks) All right, keep your cutie. I'm gonna go call Guy; he'll be stoked.


Mara: Watched 'Heathers' last night.21

Lynn: (conceding nod) Give my regard to Goat-boy.

(Mara smirks at her and leaves. Lynn looks at the knife in her hand, shrugs and then hurls it at the target; bull's eye.)

END ACT 2 – ADVERTS [Lead-in: Lynn and AP mid-kiss, then springing apart.]

Self-Promotion of the Day: Canadibrit Fanfic Awards summer ballot is up and running. Check the site for details.

Next in the Look-Alike Series: The moment of truth is finally at hand. The play's the thing and … wherefore art thou, Cullen? Find out in "Love's Labour" – the S3 Finale.

(Scene: Pizza King. Music: "Little Girl With Blue Eyes" – Pulp. Jane walks into Pizza King and sees Guy, sitting in one of the booths. His normally sullen face lights up a little when he sees her, and she gives an almost imperceptible shrug and goes to sit down.)

Guy: Hey. Jane, right?

Jane: Uh-huh. And you're Guy. Yo.

(Dead silence.)

Guy: Uh … order?

Jane: Good idea.

(Both of their faces take on a "maybe this wasn't such a good idea" look.)

(Scene: Lane basement. Lynn thumps down the stairs and sees Trent sitting on a rickety stool in the corner, strumming out chords nearly at random. Lynn rolls her eyes – she knows full well what this means.)

Lynn: What did you do?

Trent: (coming to a crashing halt) Huh?

Lynn: The aimless strumming and the kicked dog look on your face suggests that you've made yet another spirited attempt to gag yourself with your steel-toes as regards the object of your affections. (beat) What'd you do?

Trent: Ever have one of those moments when you felt – you really, REALLY felt – that if you'd just known right at that second what you figured out three seconds later, things could have been perfect?

Lynn: (sad) Yep.

Trent: Well, that.

Lynn: (sigh) Oh. (beat) Good lyrics could come out of that.

Trent: Not in the mood.

Lynn: (slight sarcasm) Jangle out "Nothing Else Matters" and let me sing along because you can't hold most of the notes?

Trent: (missing the sarcasm completely) That sounds cool. Thanks, Lynn.

(Lynn shakes her head softly but, when he starts playing the opening chords, she straightens herself up in preparation to do just what she suggested.)

(Scene: Morgendorffer front corridor. Music: "Nothing Else Matters" – Metallica. The doorbell is heard ringing and Daria walks into shot, opening the door … to find Tom standing on the other side of it, a nervous sort of look on his face. Daria's eyes go wide.)

Daria: What are YOU doing here?

Tom: I wanted to talk to you. (beat) About Jane. And you. And the other one.

Daria: You can talk to Lynn about me, Jane and the other one.

Tom: No I can't. She's at a lyric-brainstorming session with Trent. (beat) Anyway, she thinks what happened between Jane and I was all for the best. I need to talk to someone who might be at least a little more sympathetic.

(Daria has evidently been caught by the curiosity.)

Daria: But I'm still not riding in that car.22

Tom: Still with the common sense. Walk with me? (when Daria hesitates) You'll at least be safe from muggers with me around.

(This reminder serves to make Daria simply glare at him, but she follows him outside.)

(Scene: Lawndale street. Music plays on. Daria and Tom walking.)

Daria: So talk. Again.

Tom: Listen, I did and still do really like Jane. But I'm fairly realistic; I know she probably has some ideas about me because of what she saw on our last date…

Daria: Actually, most of her dates where kevlar nowadays. It cuts down on the scars on their backs later on in the proceedings.

Tom: (raised eyebrow) Really?

Daria: (shrug) No. Just wanted to give you a moment's pause.

Tom: (slightly grudging) Hmm. Good one. (beat) This is probably something you won't want to answer, but I kind of need to know – how much do you and your friends hate me?

Daria: I still don't hate you. I still don't even know you. But first you screw up my relationship with Jane – however briefly – and now I…

Tom: (sigh) And now you finally find a sister you could live with being related to and I'm taking her away from you too. (to Daria's look of incredulity) Don't you think I've heard that often enough from the other side?23

Daria: ('at what point did I lose control?') She… She said… ('okay, had just about enough of this…') Start at the beginning – what … the hell … is going on?

Tom: You wouldn't be impressed if I said I couldn't tell you all of it?

Daria: How did you get involved with her? As much as you can without … without doing whatever it is you're so afraid of doing.

Tom: It was a set-up. A family thing. (to Daria's look) Look, my dad has wanted some firmer connections with the Smythe family for years. Uncle Adam works really closely with the Smythes but Dad never got … onto the board, if you see what I mean. But because we live here, when Lynn got attacked, Mr Smythe thought that I would be ideal for...24

Daria: (snide) A guard dog?

Tom: (sigh) Woof. (to Daria's complete lack of amusement) Okay, so it was pathetic.

Daria: That just about covers it. (beat) So what are you protecting her FROM?

Tom: That I can't say.

Daria: Jerome told you not to?

Tom: LYNN told me not to.

Daria: ('okaaay') Why did it have to be YOU?

Tom: Around that time, we were finding out that there was another Smythe. And that I knew her and her friend. Dad and Mr Smythe thought it might be easier if I was…

Daria: (slight nod) I think I see what you mean. And now you want to know how much we hate you because…

Tom: You can make it easier for me. Or you can make it harder. And I'd at least like to know which it is.

(Daria looks at him, obviously weighing the pros and cons of having this … person … in her life and the lives of her friends. Tom watches gravely.)

(Scene: Pizza King. Jane and Guy are sitting across from each other, picking at pizza, not talking. Jane gets that *ping* look that means inspiration hitting and dives for a sketchpad, which causes Guy to blink hard.)

Guy: What?

Jane: (distracted) Sorry; working on the set and costume design for school play. Got an idea. Got to get it down on paper before it…

Guy: …Gets away. I hear that.

(Jane keeps sketching, but an eyebrow raises in interest.)

Jane: You push the paint around?

Guy: Nah. But lyrics are like that.

Jane: Yeah, that's what Daria and Lynn say about writing. But I don't see how it's the same, most of the time. I mean, it's creativity, but…

Guy: …It's got more and less to do with boundaries all at the same time.

(This time Jane looks up.)

(Scene: LHS corridor. Music: "No Excuses" – Alice in Chains. Lynn is looking at a sheet of paper speculatively. AP is looking over her shoulder with a grin. Daria, standing off to one side, looks indulgent.)

Lynn: Cyberpunks and Anne-Rice-style Mopeygoths?

Jane: Why not? They obviously don't mix; it's really visually powerful stuff. And the Cyberpunk look will suit AP's personality.

AP: (grin) Hey! This could be cooler than I thought! (beat) You ARE going to let me rig the lighting for this ballroom scene, right?

Jane: Could I do it without you?

(AP grins. Daria shrugs)

Daria: Plain black velvet dress. (beat) I guess I can cancel that tombstone order now, Jane.

Jane: (faux disappointed) Damnit; I always wanted to read my own epigraph.

Lynn: So that reminds me; how was the date with Goat-boy?

Jane: We're gonna try another one. (to the looks) Yeah, fine, it was MOSTLY death but at least we found common ground somewhere.

Daria: Be it ever so tenuous…

Jane: (derisive noise) Who went out with AP for six MONTHS just because she happened to find him cute? (Daria, AP and Lynn glare at her. Jane takes the hint.) Anyway, I'm not saying it's true love. (beat) Hell, I'm not even saying it's approaching LIKE. But he's … interesting. In an abrasive, go-to-hell-I-don't-like-your-face sort of way.

Lynn: If you like that sort of thing…

Daria: You ARE that sort of thing.

(Bell rings. Lynn hands the paper she's holding over to Jane.)

Jane: Pizza?

Lynn: Can it wait until six-thirty? I have…

Daria: (kind) I think we get the idea, Lynn. Say hi to Rust.

(And, with Jane, Lynn and AP staring at her, she walks off. Jane recovers first and jogs after her.)

Jane: What the hell was THAT all about?

Daria: Leading by example. (beat) I know you're freaked but be nice to him. (to her landed-fish gape) You maybe get the feeling Lynn's in trouble? (Jane nods, still not very clear) Wouldn't it be nice to have that gun you saw in his glove compartment between her and that trouble?

(Jane stops moving to consider this, letting Daria outdistance her. Then she nods, but by this time AP has caught up with her.)


Jane: (shrug) We're being nice to the guy.

(And, leaving a flummoxed AP in her wake, she walks away.)



Again, Ben Yee [someone's gonna get the wrong idea if I don't stop having to dedicate these things to him] … for a lot of things.


1] AP is playing Romeo to Lynn's Juliet in the school production of same. [An Irony of Errors] This is messing him [and her] up because they have stronger feelings for each other than they care to admit. [Relation-slips, for starters] [Back]

2] AP played drums for the Back Alley Name-Droppers, as has been mentioned a couple of times. Lynn is recorded as having reassured him with this wording in "Rock Banned". [Back]

3] Jodie struck a bargain with Daria – no attempts to get her involved in extracurricular activities for the rest of her junior year. [Run Away From Homecoming] [Back]

4] Daria and Jodie went to Caldwell as a team to demonstrate to Caldwell how his tutoring 'buddy system' was destroying his other student tutors – Jane, Lynn and AP. [Teachers' Pests] [Back]

5] The band has begun to notice something amiss with young Cullen. [Thrash of the Titans] [Back]

6] Explanation for this little scene: Daria has had it bad for Trent for awhile. ["The Invitation"] Trent fell for Daria but wound up spilling his guts to the wrong look-alike. [Trick or Trent]. Then he lost Daria to AP. [Kiss and Tell/Love Him or Leave Him] But now Daria and AP have broken up [An Irony of Errors] but now both she and AP seem to think that Lynn and Trent have a thing. [Back]

7] Our first TLAS exposure to Tom was as a mysterious voice. [Sister, Sister] He was later given the codename 'Rust' [An Irony of Errors] and was then finally named and shown to the gang and the readers. [None of Your Affair] And as for calling the bar 'Biers': I see the place as one of those holes in the wall that doesn't have a name, and that puts me in mind of various of the Discworld novels – Biers is a place that the undead gravitate towards to. Since it likely belongs to Jerome, a naturalised Brit and probably a Pratchett fan, I guess it fits. [Back]

8] Lynn brought Mystik Spiral and the Flack-Jackets out to London when her band-promoting, serial-dating aunt Lorna got them on the grunge bar circuit. [Rue Britannia] [Back]

9] She would be referring to Jane's reaction to Tom's wearing kevlar and carrying a large firearm – and the reason for their break-up in this continuum. [None of Your Affair] [Back]

10] Mara Fitzgerald is the keyboard player for the Back Alley Name-Droppers and has been since Lynn formed it. [Blind Audition, Rock Banned, Thrash of the Titans] [Back]

11] As with everyone at Oakwood High, Mara was under the impression that Lynn and AP were dating – they cooked this up deliberately to freak out Kate Cullen, Lynn's now estranged mother. [Relation-slips] [Back]

12] Guy Mann, new lead guitar/vocals for the Back Alley Name-Droppers. The Goat-boy thing does get explained. [Thrash of the Titans] [Back]

13] If I ever actually do finish "Growing Cynical" [you never know], the chapter called 'Duly Departed' will show AP doing this for the first time. Only via the backyard and with a ladder due to lack of ivy trellis. [Back]

14] Lynn has placed a number of security precautions on the house. A few were just for fun [How the Other Half Lives] but after awhile the feeling is that they're more serious than that. [Sister, Sister] [Back]

15] This is pretty much exactly what happened in the opening scene of Job Lots. [Back]

16] Jane is well known for her yenta-ing, mainly in "That Was Then, This Is Dumb" and a few minor efforts in "Pierce Me" and "Ill". Fanfic always carries this a lot further. [Back]

17] "Growing Cynical" or no "Growing Cynical", we'll keep tripping over Lynn and AP's shared history. Blue garlic – I've never gone non compos mentis because of the stuff, but if it's too old to be used, garlic can really make you sick. The warning sign is it turning blue when it's cooked. And Lynn's mom being in Albuquerque is yet another example of Kate's choosing business over Lynn, as mentioned from "The Things We Do For Dough" on. [Back]

18] Tom, we know. 'Bobby Bighead' – that guy she wound up in the laundry room with in "The Invitation". Evan – the track jerk from "See Jane Run". And we know Jane doesn't love Jesse but she's still allowed to lust after him – intellect not required for … *ahem* [Back]

19] Lifted pretty much wholesale from "Arts n Crass" – Daria: Did they add another quart of grease to the pizza recipe? [Back]

20] Mara has expressed an interest in Jesse twice, the first time chronologically before we'd even met Jesse. [Rock Banned and Thrash of the Titans] [Back]

21] That is the kind of movie I'd expect Lynn and her ilk to watch. That's Fashion Club and Flack-Jacket rolled into one neat package. [Back]

22] This comes from Daria's first [and in my continuum, only] one-on-one conversation with Tom in "Jane's Addition". Same for the common sense line. [Back]

23] Well, it's true, isn't it? Daria discovers that her new friend is her sister. Then said sister gets her time monopolised by the same guy who monopolised her other friend's time. I didn't even quite get the irony of this until I started writing this fic. [Back]

24] And this is your final clue as to who Tom is in this continuum – the son of the 'scapegrace brother' of Jerome Smythe's business associate. Things from "Sister, Sister" starting to make a bit more sense now? [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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