(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 3:13]

(Scene: Lynn's room. Music: "M.I.A" - Foo Fighters. It's empty and slightly untidy. AP's head appears in the window.)

AP: Hey ho, Purple Peril! Rise and shine, cos... (sees the room) Purple Peril? (he clambers in through the window) HEY PURPLE PERIL! (nothing; worry) Lynn?

(Scene: LHS corridor. Music plays on. AP is drumming his fingers on his locker door, his forehead nearly pressed against the locker. Daria and Jane walk into shot and stop a few feet from him, watching him carefully.)

Jane: Forget the combination or something?

AP: No.

Daria: Are you okay?

AP: No.

Jane: Are you going to tell us why you're not okay?

AP: No. You'll think I'm nuts. I'll wait.

Daria: For...

(The bell rings. AP slams a fist into the locker.)

Jane: What did it do to you?

(AP doesn't answer; just walks off. Daria and Jane look at each other.)

Daria: (sigh) I'll talk to him.

(Scene: English classroom. Music plays on. Daria walks in to find a sullen AP looking down at the surface of his desk ... and, next to it, Lynn's empty desk. Daria does the math.)

Daria: Not home?

AP: There's this story I kind of remember Purple Peril telling me about. About this boat, and it went out, and they found it empty, but like people had just vanished. Pipe burning on the deck, I think she said...

Daria: The Marie Celeste.

AP: Probably. Well, that's what it's like at Chez Cullen. Coffee machine turned on and perking away. Another cup of coffee getting cold on the table, along with about half a microwave dinner. Book of those codeword puzzle things I don't get very well open on her bed, puzzle half-done. (beat) No Merc.

(Daria just looks at him. Then she gets a really fed-up look on her face.)

Daria: (idea hits) AP, do you have Mara Fitzgerald's phone number?1

(Scene: Biers.2 Music: "Perseverence" - Terrorvision. Daria barges in and approaches the barman, a not-bad-looking brunette in his early 40s; New York accent, clean-cut and somehow giving the appearance of being more than a barman. He looks up at her, studies her for a moment, then goes back to his paper in a dismissive way.)

Barman: Sorry, kid; we don't serve minors.

(Daria thinks fast and when she speaks, she modifies her voice to sound like Lynn's.)

Daria: The words faeces tauri spring to mind.

(The barman blinks, then laughs)

Barman: Nice try, but she'd have said bullshit. At least, in here she would. (beat) You'd be the other one.

Daria: (derailed) Uh ... yeah. I was looking for Lynn.

Barman: Well, you've come to the wrong place. She was here last night with Missing H...

Daria: (confused) "Missing H"?

Barman: (thinks) Oh. As a friend of the Peril's, you'd think Rust.3 (beat) Anyway, he came, she came, they left.

Daria: Okay, then I want to talk to him.

(The barman looks at her)

Barman: Sorry, no can do.

Daria: (raised eyebrow) And I assume you have some kind of explanation for that?

Barman: Hey, look, kid, I just take orders. (beat; relenting) Of course, you could hang around. He comes in around this time, when he comes in.

(Daria looks at the barman, sees the meaning behind his words, and gives a little shrug. The barman turns around and mixes ... something unidentifiable, handing it over to Daria, who looks at it.4)

Daria: (wary) Excuse me?

Barman: The Peril's drink of choice. (beat) On the house, of course.

(Daria looks a bit dubious, but takes a sip of the drink. Then her eyes widen and she sputters and chokes. She looks at it again.)

Daria: Would I regret asking what the hell is IN this thing? (barman sort of nods. Daria looks at the barman, then at the drink, then shrugs and takes another sip with a slight grimace) It grows on you. (beat) Kind of like fungus.

(The barman smirks at her and then goes back to his paper.)

(Scene: airport arrivals lounge [I think I'll leave it at that; do details really matter?]. Music: "Leave You Far Behind" - Lunatic Calm. Lynn sits at a table, cup of coffee in front of her, apprehensive look on her face. A hand drops on her shoulder and she looks up, not particularly surprised, into the face of a stocky, swarthy young man whose general stance and expression give nothing away. On Lynn's other side stands a mid-height woman with shoulder-length brown hair and a "mess with me and I kick you across the room" air about her. Lynn raises an eyebrow at the man, who nods slightly. She shrugs his hand off and stands. They walk off, the newcomers flanking Lynn and staying quite close, like either prison guards or bodyguards. At a glance, neither possibility can be discounted.)

(Scene: the same, a little later. Music plays on. Tom enters. And we hear a voice that, if we didn't know better, we would take for Lynn's.)

Daria: (OS) Salutations, Rust.

Tom: (mild panic) Cullen?! What the hell are you doing here? You're supposed to be in... (into the expectant pause) Nice try.

Daria: Damn. (beat) Still, it's nice to know we're not that interchangeable after all.

Tom: Not to people who know one or the other of you fairly well. (beat) How'd you find this place?

Daria: You're not the only one with connections. (beat) Where is she?

Tom: She's safe. That's all you need to know.

Daria: No, that is not ALL I need to know. I need to know a lot of things. Like why the hell she's there. And where 'there' is. And why you're so sure she IS safe.

Tom: (sigh) If it were up to me, I'd tell you. It isn't. (beat) How the hell did you find out we meet up here? It's supposed to be something of a secret.

Daria: Like I said, you're not the only one with connections. I made some enquiries and they led me here. Now stop trying to sidetrack me. Who IS it up to?

Tom: Lynn.

(This takes Daria somewhat aback)

Daria: She's THAT anxious to keep me out of this.

Tom: You actually care that much? (Daria just glares at him) Okay, okay, I won't make you say it. (sigh) Look, *I* personally think you can handle ... this. But...

Daria: (shrewd) She's the boss' daughter and what she says goes? (Tom gives her a sheepish look) Okay, how about I ask questions and you answer the ones you can. Will you do THAT much at least?

Tom: (wary) All right. But I reserve the right to plead the fifth.

Daria: Okay. (beat; to catch him off guard) "Missing H"?

Tom: ('aw hell' expression) Well, you know Tom is short for Thomas? Well, a ... an associate in Pittsburgh tends to spell my name T-*H*-O-M. And when it came to code-naming me... the fact that I spell my name without an H came up. It stuck.5

Daria: (in for the kill) And she never saw fit to tell us she was going anywhere.

Tom: It was ... kind of sudden.

Daria: Or leave a message.

Tom: Check your e-mail.

Daria: (raised eyebrow) She didn't mail AP.6 (to Tom's shrug) And how long is she gone for?

Tom: (eyes downwards) I don't know.

(Daria stares at him. Tom won't look at her. Dead silence for a moment.)

Daria: And you're so sure she's safe?

Tom: (half-shrug) Pretty sure. She'll be seeing some people. I'd trust them with my life. (rueful) Even if they DON'T use the right codename.

Daria: And the only way I could get answers to questions like "What does the Smythe family do?" and "How deeply is Lynn involved in whatever the Smythe family does?"...7

Tom: Put a gun to my head.

Daria: (accusatory) *I* don't have that option.

(And she walks out. Tom watches her go, looking unhappy.)

END ACT 1 – ADVERTS [Lead-in: AP punching his locker]

Organics: Shampoo. "Feed your hair". Well, I suppose it's better than putting egg in it and other such things.

"Pearl Harbour": Technology IS a wonderful thing. But if that film is going to be all about action shots of Japanese bombers zooming over Hawaiian landscape and things going *BOOM*, I'll be very disappointed

(Scene: Pizza King. Music: "Rhiannon" - Fleetwood Mac. AP has turned a rather unflattering shade of purple with rage.)


Daria: Apparently, packed her bags and left for an unknown destination for an indeterminate span of time. (beat; snide) But she's with people 'Rust' would trust with his life.

AP: That ... that ... that...

Daria: AP, calm down.

AP: But ... but ... but...

Daria: (sigh) AP, take your own advice and VENT.8

(AP lets out an anguished scream-whimper and bangs his head on the table. His soda cup wobbles and then falls over, dousing his head. He doesn't move – doesn't even seem to notice.)

Daria: Better?

AP: (into table) No. (beat) I guess there's that she didn't go with HIM.

Daria: (kindly) Yes. There's that.

AP: (into table) But we don't know what she's doing or when she's coming back.

Daria: (sigh) No, we don't.

AP: (into table, idle curiosity) Wonder if she'll be back in time for the play.

(Daria shrugs. They sit in silence for a moment ... then AP raises his head, wearing the same shocked, horrified look that's crossing Daria's face.)

Daria & AP: (in unison) The play...

(Scene: LHS auditorium. Music plays on. O'Neill is weeping into a stack of papers. Ink is running. It's not pretty. Daria, Jane and AP exchange looks.)

Daria: It had to be a grandmother sob-story, right?

Jane: Wow. It's like Niagara Falls.

AP: Well, what did you want me to say? Meningitis would take months, and what happens if she comes back tomorrow?

Jane: She gets to stay away from school until the senior year. (beat) You think this would be a problem for her?

Daria: But it would leave us in the same situation as if she doesn't come back. No Juliet.

Jane: You'd think the man would have the sense to cast understudies ahead of time like NORMAL people. I mean, after what happened with Kevin...9

Daria: He's the eternal optimist. He couldn't conceive of people getting sick or abducted by their fluffy-headed girlfriends or taking off for unknown duties three days before the play.

AP: Hey, he stopped crying. (Cut to O'Neill, who has that 'eureka' look on his face. Back to the gang) Wonder what he came up with.

Daria: (sudden premonition) He'd better not...

O'Neill: (approaching) Daria, I just had a wonderful idea...

Daria: If it involves me standing on a balcony reciting lines about my bounty... (She sees O'Neill's pleading look, then AP's, then a raised eyebrow from Jane; sigh) ...then okay. But only until Lynn comes back.10

(AP looks grateful and O'Neill looks like he could hug her [if he didn't remember the "Lawsuit" crack from "The Lost Girls"].)

O'Neill: Thank you, Daria! Now, I'd really appreciate it if you could get the lines memorised - as well as you can - and do some of the blocking. Can we go through the ballroom scene?

(They shrug and face each other. Jane steps off to one side. O'Neill stands back and gestures for them to start.)

AP: (rather flat) "If I profane with my unworthiest hand/This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this/My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand/To smooth that rough touch with a gentle kiss."

(There is a lag, then he remembers and moves to kiss her hand. O'Neill looks puzzled.)

Daria: (slightly more expressive than normal) "Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much/Which mannerly devotion shows in this/For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch/And palm to palm is holy palmer's kiss."

(She slips her hand over his until their hands are pressed palm-to-palm ... or rather tries to. But AP hesitates, then follows her, so the twining of their fingers doesn't work and he curls his fingers around the tips of hers, bending them back.)

Daria: OW!

AP: (jumping back) Sorry, Pur... I mean... Aw hell...11

(He runs out. Daria stares after him.)

(Scene: Jane's room. Music: "Jet City Woman" - Queensryche. AP has adopted the 'something eating at my soul' pose. Jane is sketching, a cold expression on her face. Daria is jotting things down in a notebook, pausing for thought occasionally.)

AP: This doesn't help. All the blood is rushing to my head. It's making me dizzy.

Daria: Yes, but after awhile, the dizziness drowns out the buzzing of unwanted thought.

AP: Oh. (beat) This sucks. I want answers. (sigh) But I don't even know all the questions.

Daria: (consulting notebook) What exactly does Jerome Smythe do, and what did he do in the course of recent events that caused someone to release a homicidal high school principal for the sole purpose of letting said principal kill his daughter? How deeply is Tom 'Rust' Sloane involved in Jerome's doings? How deeply is LYNN involved in those doings, and how much more so is she likely to be in future? And, on a slightly related note, does this have anything to do with Kate Cullen's divorce of Jerome Smythe and subsequent retaking of her maiden name for herself and her daughter?

Jane: What does that have to do with anything?

Daria: Might explain, in light of Kate's defection to Tokyo, why Lynn has taken to the Smythe family ... whatever it is ... so completely.12

Jane: Mmm. Good point. A bit psychoanalytical, but good point.

(Silence. AP sighs.)

AP: I don't get it. She used to tell me EVERYTHING. There was none of this ... this ... this keeping it all so close to the vest crap. It's like she's doing it just to piss me off!

Jane: I really don't think she'd do that... (hurriedly stops at that. The other two don't notice) Anyway, they're all good questions. Plan to get any answers for them?

Daria: Tried the first couple. Got informed that the only way I'd get answers for them is at gunpoint.

AP: I think I could get my hands on the crossbow...

Daria: AP...

Jane: I wouldn't mind holding him at knifepoint and carving strips off him until he gives.

Daria: (slight shock) JANE...

AP: Well? Before he turned up there was none of this knife-throwing, take-off-on-a-whim-without-a-word secrecy crap. She ... I ... damnit, it would make me feel a lot better if...

Daria: You could hurt him the way he's hurting you?

(AP glares at Daria, then tries to stay calm)

AP: Just ... she's my friend and I'm worried.

Daria: I know how you feel, AP, believe me. (beat; determined) Well, if this *is* some kind of family thing, then it involves me whether she likes it or not. And I'm going to get some answers.

(Jane and AP just look at her; the tone in which she says that and the look on her face as she does is so Lynn that it underscores the point she's making.)

(Scene: Tom's house, exterior [let's keep the exterior the way we see it in IIFY. Rich is rich anyway]. Music plays on. Tom's rickety car grinds to a halt in the driveway and he gets out ... and we see Daria, Jane and AP standing on the front walk, arms folded, looking at him. He stops and stares at them.)

Tom: How did you find out where I live?

AP: Neat little invention. It's called the phone book. There aren't that many Sloanes in Lawndale.

Jane: There aren't that many ANYONES in Lawndale.

Tom: Safety in numbers, Erudite? (They all glare at him; he sighs) I can't tell you where she is, I can't tell you what he does, and if you have any other questions...

Daria: Lots of them.

(She hands over a piece of paper. Tom skims it.)

Tom: I can answer the last one. (to general raised eyebrows) Do you want this or not?

Daria: (sigh) It's better than nothing. Go on.

Tom: Yes, you're right, it does have something to do with it. As far as I can tell, the Cullens have a very different attitude towards … things … than the Smythes do. And when Kate Cullen found out … certain things … about the Smythes, she wanted to show that she cut all ties with her husband's family - for herself AND for her daughter. That's why the name change.

AP: She hates Purple Peril so much because she's like Jerome? (Tom nods) But…

Daria: How ironic. (to the puzzled looks) Lynn's middle name is Jaquenetta, I think I remember – a character in "Love's Labour Lost". (beat) In regards to Kate, that's exactly what Lynn is.13 (Jane looks like she kind of gets it. Tom definitely gets it, and looks at Daria somewhat admiringly. AP is completely lost.) It doesn't really matter – that was just something I wanted to know from a … family standpoint. Nothing else you can tell us?

Tom: I talked to some people. If it makes you feel any better, she's still safe. (The general expressions say that yes, they're feeling better, but not by much.) I'm sorry I can't tell you more. (beat) Actually, no I'm not. I'll see you around.

(Tom steps past them, towards the front door and into the house without looking back. Daria, Jane and AP exchange looks.)

Daria: You think it's worth asking HER when she comes back?

AP: (sullen) No. I hate her and I hate HIM even more. I've had enough of this.

(AP walks off, hands in his pockets, dejected and angry. Daria and Jane look at each other.)

Jane: (distressed) He can't mean that.

Daria: (certainty) He doesn't. It's just anxiety talking.

Jane: It'd better be. I mean, she… (still holding to her promise to Lynn) …she'd be really miserable if he gave up on her.

Daria: (holding to her promise to AP) He hasn't. They've been friends for too long. There's no possible way he could give up on her after eleven years.

(Jane looks unsure. Daria looks slightly more certain … but only slightly.)

(Scene: shooting range. Lynn, wearing shooting muffs, is blowing holes in a target. A couple of red lights flash, and Lynn puts the gun down and pulls off the muffs, leaving them hang around her neck. Enter the swarthy man, who looks at her, then at the target.)

Man: Nice. (beat) Missing H called.

Lynn: (not looking at him; absent correction) That's Rust. (beat) And what is the sound of the suburbs?14

Man: The Erudite's asking questions. And she's not taking no for an answer.

Lynn: (controlled anger) Well, she's going to have to learn to live with the disappointment. (Pause. Lynn still isn't looking at him; her attention is on the target. The man watches her.) They'd probably try to get me out of it … or they'd get into it, and they might get hurt.

Man: Point. (beat) They?

(Now Lynn looks at him.)

Lynn: She could probably handle herself. So could Scarlet. But...

Man: That leaves Maverick. (beat; the look on her face says it all) Ah.

Lynn: I got him shot.15 Nothing like that will ever happen again. Even if I have to make him hate me to keep him out of my life. (beat) Are we done?

Man: Here? Yeah. (beat) Think you can handle a recurve?16

(Lynn raises an interested eyebrow.)

END ACT 2 – ADVERTS [Lead-in: AP bending Daria's fingers back]

(Trailer sequence. Music: "Everything's Cool" - Pop Will Eat Itself

Daria, Jane, Lynn and AP sitting at a table by the window in a restaurant. We see the Tank parked outside. Jane says something. Then the Tank blows up.

The Merc, travelling at speed, Quinn behind the wheel, looking scared out of her mind. AP riding shotgun, leaning backwards to talk to Lynn, who's rummaging in the backseat. He screams and recoils mid-word as she hauls out a sawed-off shotgun.

A strip bar. Nick and Max look at each other. They say a word in unison and then turn around and deck the person nearest them.

Daria and Lynn, both without glasses [Lynn has bangs cut in her hair and, without the glasses, they are entirely identical] peering over feathered fans. Pan back to see that they are wearing skimpy Vegas flow-show costumes.

Quinn, a large livid bruise up one side of her face, staggering through the door of a bar, nearly dragging AP, who looks beat up worse than she is. They collapse to the floor. Cut to the swarthy man Lynn speaks to in "Love's Labour", who blinks 'loudly'.

Daria, in a white shirt, black jeans and a black trenchcoat, stands firm and aims a gun at a small, lean, greying man in a good suit. The man is smirking and gives the appearance of laughing at her.

Daria and Lynn side-by-side again, wearing small evil smirks. 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… Tour of Duty". Below that ..."Coming soon to a Net-enabled computer near you.")

(Scene: LHS exterior. Music: "Breathe" - The Prodigy. It's evening, but the lights are on and cars are parked all the way around the block. [This is what a school traditionally looks like when a play is going to happen – I speak from experience].)

(Scene: LHS auditorium, backstage area. Music plays on. AP, in cargo pants with obscenely large pockets and a tight-fitting black top with a digital readout on the front flashing random numbers, is sitting impatiently as Jane [wearing a black PVC maid's uniform] sprays green streaks through his hair.)

AP: You got this in London? (picking at the top)

Jane: There's this shop in Camden called Cyberdog. I wanted one of the Jetsons dresses but couldn't afford one AND get Christmas presents so...17 (exasperated sigh) Will you hold still?

AP: Sorry, Art-Smart Scarlet. I'm just…

Jane: Edgy. In the bad way.18

AP: Damnit. Damnit, damnit, damnit! I mean, why NOW? I mean, I wouldn't be so nervous if… (trying not to talk about Lynn) I mean, she'd have said… (failing miserably) Damnit, what the hell kind of friend IS she?

Jane: (wavering on her promise) Look, AP, maybe you should go easy on her. I…

AP: (livid) Go easy? GO EASY? Damnit, she didn't even mail me! Erudite Emerald, yes. Me, no. What does that say?

Jane: (really teetering now) Um…

AP: (cold) Stuff it, Jane. She doesn't care. *I* don't care.

(He gets up and walks away. Jane looks sad.)

Jane: (muttered aloud) Yes, she does…

(Scene: backstage again, another area. Music plays on. The cast and crew are standing in a circle. Daria looks panicked. AP looks sullen. Jane is nearly white with tension. The rest of the cast and crew have the ordinary stage jitters, but Ted and Mack are watching Daria, Jane and AP with some concern. O'Neill looks green.)

O'Neill: All right now, let's…

AP: (nearly spitting the words) Let's skip the pep talk and get on with it.

(O'Neill, too nervous to deal with this, makes a miserable squeaking noise and runs off. Daria glares at him.)

Daria: (nearly yelling) Way to go, AP. Just because you're having a hard time with this doesn't give you the right to pick on other people.

AP: Get BENT, Erudite Emerald! I don't want to have to listen to him yammer about how we have to be onstage. I just want to get the lines said and go home!

Daria: Look, just don't take your frustrations out on other people! I've had three days to learn the lines and the blocking for this AND I'm still doing the damn chorus part and I don't want to listen to you bitch at people just because Lynn's pissing you off!19

AP: (enraged sputter) It's not… I don't… I don't GIVE a… (he makes a frustrated choked 'gah' noise and walks off)

Jane: Way to go. As if he's not wired enough already.

Daria: Stuff it, Jane. (walks away)

Jane: (to the world in general) Why do people keep SAYING that?

Female voice: Advice worth taking, maybe?

(Jane turns around and, in the words of the anime set, facefaults.)

(Scene: LHS auditorium, left wing. Daria is standing in the wing, arms folded, waiting for her cue. Brief pan to the stage; the portly redheaded girl [Lady Capulet; let's name her Alice] and Jane [Nurse] are onstage.)

Alice: "Nurse, where's my daughter? Call her forth to me."

(Back to Daria, who's turning white with fear.)

Jane: (OS) "Now, by my maidenhead, at twelve years old,/I bade her come. What, lamb! what, ladybird!/God forbid! Where's this girl? WHAT, JULIET!

(Daria clears her throat…)

Lynn: (OS from behind Daria) "How now! Who calls?"

Jane: (OS from stage) "Your mother."

(Daria turns just in time to see Lynn approaching [short, tight, black lace-edged purple dress with long black velvet lace-up-the-front surcoat thing; delicate suede thigh-boots; Goth makeup; hair done in ringlets and caught up in purple satin rose clips]. She steps past Daria with a slight nod in her direction and steps out on stage.)

Lynn: (OS from stage) "Madam, I am here./What is your will?"

(Daria stares out onto the stage as the play goes on. Then she gives a little smile.)

Daria: (thought VO) Well, she cares enough to be here, at least…

(Scene: LHS auditorium, stage. Music: "Everything You Want" - Vertical Horizon. AP as Romeo is wallflowering, watching dancers. On cue, Lynn drifts into his line of sight, dancing with Upchuck. The expression on AP's face indicates two things: a] he hadn't seen her yet and b] his resolve to hate her is being strongly tested.)

AP: (completely in character) "Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!/For I never saw true beauty till this night."

(Jane, standing nearby, gives a smile. Pan to the wings, where O'Neill is almost sobbing with relief.)

(Scene: LHS auditorium, stage, later scene. Music plays on. Crew Cut [nicked such in "Gym Dandy"] is onstage with Upchuck. Behind them stretches a sheet of gauze which, backlit, allows silhouettes to show through.20 Lynn can be seen in silhouette, sitting on a bed, apparently waiting.)

Crew Cut: (as Capulet) "Things have fallen out, sir, so unluckily,/That we have had no time to move our daughter…

(AP's silhouette moves into shot behind them, and Lynn's shape stands to face him.)

(Scene: behind the gauze curtain. Music plays on. Lynn and AP face each other for a moment, then step towards each other, going through the blocking, eyes locked.)

AP: (sotto, cold) And what do you have to say for yourself?

(Lynn looks at him, obviously planning to say something cold. She takes a breath … then lets it out in a sigh. She can't be cold to him. She looks him square in the face, expressionless.)

Lynn: (truthfully) I'm sorry.

(AP swallows. He can't stay mad. Following the blocking, he raises a hand to her face.)

AP: I know.

Lynn: (remorseful, putting a hand over his) I can't promise it won't happen again. I wish I could.

AP: (pulling her close under the cover of having to for the scene) Okay. Just … mail me too next time, okay?

Lynn: (quiet) Okay.

(And, as per stage directions, they kiss.)

Crew Cut: (OS) Well, get you gone. Thursday it be then.

(The backlight cuts. Lynn and AP move away from each other quickly, turning their backs so the other stands no chance of seeing them blush.)

(Scene: LHS auditorium, stage. Music plays on. Daria onstage, in spotlight.)

Daria: "…For never was a story of more woe/Than this of Juliet and her Romeo."21

(Spotlight cuts. Stage is dark. Scuffling of people exiting stage left, right and centre if possible is covered by applause from the crowd. Lights go up; actor types take their bows, starting with Daria, then miscellaneous Capulets and Montagues [Jamie and Jeffy, other football types] Kevin and Brittany. Then Alice and Crew Cut. Then Upchuck on his own. Then Joey [Tybalt] and Ted [Benvolio]. Then Mack [Friar Lawrence] and Jane. Then the guy with the eyebrow ring [Mercutio]. Then, from opposite wings, Lynn and AP. They meet centre stage and clasp hands by instinct.)

AP: ('last chance…') Give 'em one last show?

Lynn: ('I'll never get to do this again') Like at the end-of-year-dance at Oakwood?22

(They look at each other … then give big smug grins to the crowd and kiss. There is cheering.)

Sam: (OS) Slip her the tongue! Slip her the … (*smack*) OW!

Sandi: (OS) Shut up, you little freak!23

(Cut to the wings, where Mr O'Neill is in tears of happiness. Cut to Jane and Daria, who both wear looks of "I wish I was convinced that meant something – why doesn't he/she NOTICE?" Lynn and AP break the kiss, face the crowd and bow. Lights down, fade out scene. As we fade…)

AP: (OS; hopeful) Cast party?

Lynn: (OS; resigned) Well, there's a big empty house just waiting to be trashed. (beat) Again.24

(Scene: Cullen living room. Music: "I Am The Resurrection" – Stone Roses. Lynn is wallflowering, looking tense. Daria, Jane and AP approach.)

Daria: So … anything to tell us?

Lynn: (sigh) Look, mainly I was setting up some contacts. Lorna's set up a tour of the States for Mystik Spiral and she felt it was important to meet some of the people I might wind up working with or for.25

Daria: Is that the only reason?

Lynn: It's a reason.

(Short pause. Subject dropped for fear of reprisals.)

Jane: US tour? You never said anything…

Lynn: (reluctant) I know. My bad. I … could use some help on this one. (beat) Anyone spare a summer for a tour?

Jane: Count me in. This is cooler than going to London for Christmas! And anyway, Mom and Dad are taking a nineteenth honeymoon in Tahiti over the summer; they'd be happy to know I'm not going to be home all by myself. (beat) I think.

AP: Oh good, something to do for the summer. I think Dad's ripe for one of his "let's go camping and make a man out of you" trips. Now I can say, "Hey Dad, I'm a roadie. How's THAT for manly?"26

Daria: Oh, I don't think I'll have any problems. Mom and Dad are trying for patching up the marriage the … physical way and would be happy enough to have me out of the house.

Lynn: (sort of pleased but also chagrined) Great.

Jane: (sarky) You don't have to get so excited and happy about it.

Lynn: (more sincere) It IS great. Really. (beat) Even if… (scare quotes) …'Rust' is coming too?

(Dead silence as Jane and AP scowl and mull this news over.)

Jane and AP: (in unison, grumble) I can deal with that. Just.

(Jane and AP look at each other dubiously, then at Daria and Lynn.)

Jane: Oh, great. Now you've got US doing it.27

Daria and Lynn: (in unison; Kevin-like grins and Kevin-like tone) Sooooorry.

(They look at each other with that 'what the hell?' expression – obviously that was accidental. Then they smile and suppress laughter. Jane and AP, on the other hand, don't bother suppressing it.)



First to Rancour, whose nit-picking of the definition of "wherefore" broke the block. And then, of course and as very nearly always, to Ben Yee. He read the work in progress, made many helpful suggestions, and was personally responsible for half of the inspirational *ping*s that hit me over the course of the writing. And I hope like hell he has a fire extinguisher handy after reading this – he's gonna blush himself into an embolism. 8o)


1] Mara Fitzgerald, the wispy little Nympho-Goth of Back Alley Name-Droppers fame, made a return appearance in "Thrash of the Titans" and has drifted into Biers once, in "Sets and the Single Girls". No, Daria doesn't know this but anything's worth a shot and she does know that Mara's spoken to Lynn alone. [Back]

2] 'Biers' was finally named in SATSG but has been seen since "An Irony of Errors". [Back]

3] Lynn's codename for Tom Sloane. Doesn't necessarily mean it's his only codename. Remember, Lynn's a bit of a Peril-come-lately. [Back]

4] I envisaged this to be something like Long Island Iced Tea, except with a bit more kick. How you can get more kick than a Long Island Iced Tea I'm not sure, but I figure a qualified bartender [instead of a dabbler like me] could find a way. [Back]

5] In-joke. Serious in-joke. City of origin has been changed to aid later continuity. Pay attention; this will come up again. [Back]

6] They'd know by now if she had. AP's the type whose first action of the day is logging onto the computer. [Back]

7] We know SOMETHING'S going on with the Smythe family and have since "To Kill a Misery Chick". We just don't know quite WHAT yet. [Back]

8] A reference to "The Flack-Jacket Mafia", in which he advises Lynn to vent before she has a stroke after being presented with her own 'Wanted' poster. [Back]

9] For those who recall the eps, "Fair Enough" saw a jealous Brittany driving Kevin as far away as she could from that 'Morgendorffer temptress'. In AIOE, I speculated they got fifty miles into Fremont before Brittany's car died. [Back]

10] Okay, who DIDN'T see this coming? [Back]

11] AP can't really act. He doesn't get Shakespeare. He says so himself. But his affection for Lynn can be shown through the lines so he gives the appearance of a good actor. His cover's blown now…[Back]

12] Those of you who read the independently released "Growing Cynical" chapters will remember this from "Protest March". [Back]

13] There's a story behind Lynn's name, which will be told in more detail in a "Growing Cynical" chapter. Basically, Jerome wanted to name his daughter Daria [indirectly, of course, he did; Helen knew about his preferred name for his child] but Kate wanted something sensible, so they chose Lynn [Jerome getting a smirk out of the meaning – 'beautiful serpent']. Jaquenetta as a middle name was a concession to Jerome's liking of Shakespeare. I picked a "Love's Labour Lost" character because, well, children are a labour of love – and Kate lost hers. [Back]

14] Anyone know who wrote "The Sound of the Suburbs"? Come on, CN, you're into punk. [Back]

15] She's referring to "Liaisons"; AP happened to be in Ms Li's line of fire and got a bullet in the arm. [Back]

16] All due respect to Ben Yee, master tactician, muse-prompt and beta reader extraordinaire, who gave this definition for a recurve – "a regular bow that's sort of curved into shape; stored, the ends curve 'forwards'. One braces the bow by bending them backwards and securing with the bowstring." I would have used a compound bow, but Ben pointed out that "if someone hits their arm with a recurve, it stings. If someone hits their arm with a compound, it does serious damage. But recurves are harder to aim for two reasons - a) the arrow goes slower, has more time to fall, so the point of aim is different, and b) it's easier to hold a compound at draw." The challenge might appeal to Lynn's sensibilities. [Back]

17] "Rue Britannia" – gang goes to London and one of the subplots is the exchange rate and how expensive things are in London. Di fell in love with Camden and has recently expressed an interest in owning a 'Jetsons' dress [think George's wife Jane] and she's Smoochy Jane so… [Back]

18] "Edgy" as used by Val in "The Lost Girls" is a good thing, though the definition is rather unclear. "Edgy" as I know it means feeling like someone's tightened your nerves like E-strings. [Back]

19] No, this is not out of character, no matter how much it seems like it. Opening night, even the calmest of the calm winds up having a total bitch-fit over something or other. Stage fright does weird things to people. And Daria was keyed up enough before. [Back]

20] I don't know the technical name for this but I know there is one. Makes me wish I'd gone for a more technical aspect of the theatre. [Back]

21] I know the Prince of Verona actually says this line, but every production I've ever seen of this play has the Chorus say it. I think it works better, anyway. [Back]

22] No, you haven't seen this yet. It's another chapter of "Growing Cynical". Yes, you will get to see it. You may approve. [Back]

23] Of course I'm talking about Sam Griffin, Sandi's little brother. I would assume Linda would drag her kids to this sort of thing. After all, it shows that not only is she a big name in the business world and still attractive at whatever-age-she-is, but that she's cultured too. [Back]

24] I refer you to "Sister, Sister", when Lynn lets her demon-rage vent completely and rips up every room in the Cullen household but her own. [Back]

25] This was referred to in "Sets and the Single Girls" and is a lead-in to the interstice movie-length upcoming – "Tour of Duty". [Back]

26] We get the impression in "A Hard Day's Write" that AP's dad wishes AP were more a typical boy – into sports and girls and cars and so forth instead of being a geek. [Back]

27] As look-alikes and quite often think-alikes, Daria and Lynn often break into unison. [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.

Back to Canadibrit's fics