(Black screen. White writing in Daria font reads...)


A Daria Fan Fiction [TLAS 4:01]

(Scene: darkened room. Door opens a crack, and a bar of light illuminates Daria, still in her clothes from Tour of Duty, still fast asleep. Pan to the door, where Helen and Jake's faces peer into the crack in the door. They look extremely worried. Jake moves to open the door wider, but Helen stops him and shuts the door.)

(Scene: Morgendorffer upstairs corridor.)

Jake: But Helen, the look on her face...

Helen: Jake, YOU know Daria. We'll NEVER get anything out of her until she's ready to talk about it. (beat) And anyway, she could use the rest. I heard her typing until VERY late last night.1

Jake: But HELEN...

Helen: Jake, I KNOW. But we'd have better luck with Quinn in any case. You KNOW she can't stand up to cross-examination.2

Jake: (small smile) You really are a lawyer, aren't you? (to Helen's blush) And I wouldn't have you any other way.

(Helen smiles shyly at him. It seems their marriage problems have been, for the most part at least, dealt with.3)

(Scene: Quinn's room; Helen and Jake's stunned faces.)

Jake: (flabbergasted) What do you MEAN, 'no'?

Quinn: I mean no as in, 'No, I can't tell you'. And even if I COULD, I wouldn't WANT to. Now please go away - I'm trying not to THINK about this.

(To Helen and Jake's utmost shock, Quinn forcibly herds them out of her room and slams the door in their faces. Then she flops down on her bed, hugs her smiley-face pillow, and sighs.4 Then she chucks the pillow across the room and just buries her head in the normal pillows.)

(Scene: Morgendorffer corridor. Helen and Jake are standing in front of Quinn's door, staring at each other.)

Helen: She...

Jake: That...

Helen & Jake: (in unison) GAH!

Jake: That's IT! I am NOT going to lose touch with my kids this way! This ... this ... what's that word Quinn uses?

Helen: (mutter) Sucks, Jake. This SUCKS.5

Jake: (shudder) Ewww... the things kids say these days... (blink) Anyway, to hell with this! (hammer on the door) QUINN!

Quinn: (OS) WHAT?

Jake: Pack your things! We're going away for a few days!

(Quinn flings the door open and stares at him.)

Quinn: But DA-AD, we just got...

Helen: We don't CARE, Quinn. We would like to spend some time with you and Daria before you go back to school. (beat) I'm going to call Eric and get some time off. You, wake Daria and tell her to pack her bags.

Quinn: (grumble) Neither of us have had time to UNpack yet...

(Helen just glares at her. Quinn glares back, not about to be cowed by Helen at this stage. Eventually, Helen just sighs.)

Helen: Do as we ask, Quinn.

(Helen and Jake walk away, Jake shooting looks back at Quinn over his shoulder. Quinn steps out of her room towards Daria's door, but stops when Daria's door opens and Daria pokes her head out.)

Quinn: Daria, they...

Daria: I know. I heard most of it.

Quinn: So what do we DO? I don't want to go away AGAIN!

Daria: We grab our bags and meet downstairs in five. We can't tell them our reasons for refusing. (beat) But we don't have to tell them anything.

(Quinn gives Daria a sombre nod and heads back to her room. Daria sighs, leans her head on the door frame for a moment, then goes back into her room.)

(Scene: another darkened room. Music: Dilate - Ani DiFranco. ["And I don't know what town I'm in/Or what sky I am under/And I wake up in the darkness and I/Don't have the will anymore to wonder..."]6 AP is sprawled out on a cot, fast asleep and snoring softly. One arm is outstretched and he is lightly gripping Lynn's wrist. Lynn is asleep and looks fairly peaceful. She stirs slightly and raises the arm that AP's not holding to brush hair out of her eyes ... then encounters the bangs. She opens her eyes and looks REALLY confused for a moment. Then her eyes go wide and freaked as recent events hit her like a freight train.)

Lynn: (*very soft whimpering noise*)

(She looks over to where AP is sleeping and her terrified expression turns to one of utter self-punishment. She gently disengages his hand from her wrist and gets out of bed. Her eyes scan the room ... then fall on an X-Acto knife in the litter of crafting tools on a table in the corner. She steps over to the table, picks up the knife, and looks at it for a moment. Then she shrugs and steps over to a wall, raising the knife.)

(Scene: Lane upstairs corridor. Music plays on. Jane is just coming up the stairs with a tray upon which rests a bowl - probably containing soup. Trent is following along behind her.)

Trent: Janey...

Jane: Last time she ate was two days ago. It's not healthy, we're supposed to be taking care of her, and so help me, she's going to eat something if I have to force every bite down her throat. Are you hearing me?

Trent: Janey, would you calm down?

Jane: TRENT, I... (sigh) It's been a hard few days.

Trent: Was that an apology?

Jane: As close to one as I'm going to get today, Trent.

Trent: I don't think you can force her to do anything anyway. Not after what... Y'know.

Jane: You make a point. (beat) But we could try to tempt her...

(Trent just shrugs and opens the door. Hold on his and Jane's facial expressions for a moment - from grim to pure horror. Jane drops the tray and the bowl smashes - soup everywhere.)

Jane: Oh SHIT.

(Pan to the room. AP is still asleep and oblivious on the cot by Lynn's bed. The X-Acto knife lies on the bed formerly occupied by Lynn. And carved into the wall near the bed is the following message - "CONSIDERING OPTIONS - YOU'LL HEAR".)7

Trent: (OS; camera still focused on the words carved into the wall) NOW what?

Jane: (OS) We make phone calls. (beat) Oh, damnit, WAKE UP, AP!

(Scene: Morgendorffer house, ext. Music: "Fell On Black Days" - Soundgarden. The SUV pulls out of the driveway and away down the road. And then we hear the very muted sound of a ringing phone from inside the house.)

(Scene: Lane living room. Music plays on. AP is pacing around the room. Jane is sitting in an armchair, staring at the phone as if it's personally offended her.)

AP: (utter speed-rant) I should have woken UP! I mean, she was carving stuff into the WALLS and I didn't even MOVE! I mean, what the hell kind of IDIOT...

Jane: (interrupting) AP, SHUT UP! This is NOT helping!

AP: YOU can talk! Damnit, "Considering options" ... what the HELL is THAT supposed to mean?

Jane: Y'know, AP, that's the LAST thing I want to contemplate right now. (beat) And where the hell is Daria? (beat) Who now?

Trent: (entering with coffee) That Rust guy?8

Jane & AP: (in unison, turning on Trent like rabid dogs) NOT A CHANCE IN HELL!

Trent: Well, who else is there?

(Jane stares at the phone for a moment ... and then it is grabbed out of her hands by AP, who begins dialing as the youngest Lane siblings stare at him.)

Jane: (trying to be flippant) Who're you gonna call?

AP: (not amused, but playing along) Merritt-busters.9

Jane: (grabbing the phone off him) We're NOT involving them!

AP: (grabbing it back) YES WE ARE! They might be able to find Daria and get Lynn before she considers the wrong damn option!

(They look at each other for a moment ... and then Jane nods.)

(Scene: Inner Sanctum, SF. Music plays on. The cots are still set up around the room - one is occupied by an unidentified blanket-shrouded figure. Warlock is at his workstation - he has moved his keyboard to the top of his computer screen and is at work cleaning a sniper rifle [I'm thinking the Para-Ordinance P-16]. He looks very tired. The phone rings; the blanket lump stirs and Warlock makes for the phone quickly.10)

Warlock: This had better be good. (beat; absolutely livid) WHAT?

(At his yell, the blanket lump unravels as its occupant [Kes] rolls out of bed and hits the floor hard.11)

Kes: (bleary blink) Hrmph?

Warlock: (flapping a hand at her to shut up) No ... no ... no ... no, Maverick, slow... Maverick, gi... MAVERICK! Give. Scarlet. The phone. (beat) Okay, now what the hell does he mean, 'they're both gone'?

Kes: (bounding upright) WHAT?

Warlock: (putting a hand over the mouthpiece) Shut up and get Pagebert. (Kes exits) Now. From the beginning.

(Scene: Lane living room. Music plays on. AP has resumed pacing. Trent, at a loose end, is standing in the doorway, nervously chewing a knuckle. Jane is still on the phone, nodding slightly.)

Jane: Yeah. (beat) Yeah, and we'll do the same. Thanks for this. (beat) Yeah, bye.

(Jane hangs up the phone and AP nearly pounces on her.)

AP: Well?

Jane: Daria's okay. Pagebert hacked the Vitale, Davis, Horowitz, Riordan, Schrecter, Schrecter and Schrecter e-mail account and it turns out Helen asked for some time off.12 It looks like they took some kind of vacation.

Trent: She couldn't have called to warn us?

Jane: It was pretty short notice, Trent. Knowing Helen, she probably bulldozed Daria into it really suddenly and she had no time. Otherwise she would have, you know that.

AP: And Purple Peril...?

Jane: They don't know. Yet. They're working on it, AP.


AP: (nearly conversational) I miss the guns. I wanna blow holes in things. (beat) Damnit, I should've woken UP!

(All Jane and Trent can do is look sympathetically at him.)

END ACT 1 - ADVERTS [Lead-in: Canon S4 moving bumpers - Quinn slamming door in Helen and Jake's face, Jane dropping soup bowl, Kes falling out of bed at Warlock's yell.]

User Friendly: Geek humour - home of AJ, Stef, Pitr, Erwin and the Dust Puppy. If you are a geek and are unfamiliar with User Friendly, check it out here. If you don't like the fact that I'm advertising geekdom, blame Ben.

Goats: To follow the netcomic theme, you might want to check out Goats, a surreal bit of humour introduced to me by ... I THINK it was Jill. Either way, look out for Kittens=Pop Tarts. Good for a giggle.

(Scene: rustic, rundown cottage by a lake. SUV pulls up in gravel driveway. Morgendorffer family unit exits SUV in a sullen, oppressive silence that has obviously been going on for most of the drive. Jake slaps a grin on his face and tries to break the silence.)

Jake: Well, girls? Whaddya think? The PERFECT place to get away from it all!

Quinn: (sotto to Daria) This place looks familiar. Didn't we stay here when...?

Daria: (sotto to Quinn) Probably but now is not the time. (beat; aloud to Helen) Mom, did you bring your cellular phone? I need to make a phone call.

Helen: Daria, do you REALLY think I'd bring my phone when we're trying to get away from it all and bond without any distractions? (Daria just raises an eyebrow at her and Helen blushes) Well, I DID bring it but I'm not turning it on unless there's another real emergency.13 Whatever you have to call people about can't be so important that it can't wait a few days.

(Daria says nothing; just gives Helen such an angry glare that Helen takes an unconscious step back from her.)

Jake: (OS; oblivious) Come on, Helen, Quinn, Daria! Let's unpack and plan some bonding FUN for the next few days!

(Scene: Lane kitchen. Music: "Judith" - A Perfect Circle. Trent walks in bearing pizza boxes, but freezes three steps into the room when he sees the looks on Jane and AP's faces.)

Trent: Oh God. What happened?

Jane: Rat did some checking and found a purple Laverda 750 Strike parked in the lot of Fremont's Greyhound station.14

Trent: Oh. (beat) He's so sure it's LYNN'S bike?

Jane: Trent, the Strike isn't available in purple - just black, blue and orange. Lynn had Amethyst custom painted.15

AP: Now, the odds on two people in this state owning the same make pricey racing bike custom painted in the EXACT same shade are ... let's see, carry the eight...

Jane: (weary) AP, that's enough.

Trent: So do we know where she's headed?

Jane: (sigh) No idea. None of the ticket agents remember seeing her - I guess short, bespectacled brunettes don't really stand out in a crowd.

AP: But Warlock said he had an idea where she'd be headed so...

Trent: Where?

AP: Wouldn't say in case he was wrong. He gets like that. But he said he'd know for sure in a few days.

Trent: Any word on Daria?

Jane: Nope. We've tried Helen's cellular phone but it's turned off.

Trent: (blink) Whoa.

AP: Yeah, that's what I said.

Trent: So what do we do now?

Jane: Nothing else we CAN do. Except wait.

AP: Which SUCKS.

Trent: (changing subject with sledgehammer) Anyway, got the pizzas. (He sets the boxes down on the table, then turns to AP.) How can you put all that weird crap on a pizza, man?16

(AP just shrugs, as does Jane - obviously she's acclimatised to the thought, if not the taste.)

(Scene: darkened room, cabin. Music: "Glory Box" - Portishead. Daria and Quinn on cots. Daria on her back, staring at the ceiling; Quinn huddled fetal, staring at the wall. After a long silence...)

Quinn: Daria...?

Daria: Yeah?

Quinn: I ... I've never SEEN you like that before. Usually you're so ... so...

Daria: (listlessly raised eyebrow) Timid?17

Quinn: Well, yeah, but then you put that gun in people's faces and blew up that whole HOUSE and I ... I ... I guess you needed to break something. It was, like, embolic or something...

Daria: That's SYMBOLIC. But yes.


Quinn: You were really worried about her, weren't you?

Daria: (very soft) Still am.

Quinn: (tentative) Were ... were you so worried about me?

Daria: (matter-of-fact) Yes. Less so when Lynn went after you, but yes.

Quinn: (perplexed) Why less...

Daria: Because I knew... (voice catches; starts again) Because I knew she'd get you and AP out safe. No matter what she had to do to make it happen.

(Long period of dead silence.)

Daria: Quinn...?

Quinn: Yeah?

Daria: When we went on that rescue mission ... there was a strong possibility we wouldn't come out alive. But you came anyway. Why?

Quinn: Well, it was KINDA because that Scar person pushed me into it ... and then there's that that Lynn girl's been almost NICE to me - not when she came to rescue me because I KNOW that was mostly because of that AP guy...

Daria: (raised eyebrow) Not 'that THING'?18

Quinn: (dreamy-romantic) He took a bullet for the woman he LOVES, Daria! No THING does THAT! (beat) Anyway, she helped when I needed money for that date outfit and she got us talking again even after I said something really REALLY bad to her and...19 (trails off, looks at Daria, steels herself) But mostly, it was 'cos I couldn't let you go against bad guys ALONE...

(In the resultant silence, Daria stretches out a hand. Quinn reaches out and takes it.)

Daria: Thanks, Quinn.


(Scene: Lane kitchen. Music plays on. AP pours himself a cup of coffee and moves towards the kitchen table, where a small envelope is sitting. He sets down the coffee, sits, and looks at the envelope with longing and pain.)

Trent: (OS) Hey; shouldn't you be getting some sleep?

(AP looks up at Trent as he enters the kitchen and pours some coffee for himself.)

AP: Could YOU?

Trent: (after a moment's consideration) Gotcha. (sits down at the table; beat) We got pictures back?

AP: (nod) Got 'em processed in that little town off Los Alamos. Probably shouldn't have - should've kept my head down like Warlock said but...

Trent: (nod) Yeah. (beat) They come out okay?

AP: (shaky) I don't wanna look.

(Silence. Trent and AP sit, staring at their coffee mugs, lost in their own thoughts.)

Trent: Listen... I just wanted to say ... (sigh) Sorry for being such an ass to you when you first got here, man.20

AP: (shrug) Yeah, same.

(More silence)

Trent: She's gonna be fine. I know Lynn pretty well - she'd never do something as stupid as kill herself.

(AP stares at him.)

AP: You were doing REALLY well until just then.21

(AP gets up and leaves, leaving Trent to stare after him with a "What'd I do?" expression.)

(Scene: a lake. Jake is cheerfully baiting a fish hook. Daria is staring out at the water impassively. Jake looks at her with concern in his face.)

Jake: Hey, k... Daria?

Daria: (not looking at him, distant) Yeah, Dad?

Jake: (choosing words carefully) Now, I know I'm not ... I didn't ... well, you know what I mean... (beat) But you know you can always talk to your ol' ... Jake ... if something's bothering you.

(Daria looks at him.)

Daria: Dad, you may not have sired me, but you're still my dad and I ... (sigh; "can't believe I have to say this") and I love you. (to Jake's beaming face) But I don't want to talk about it. I'm nearly an adult so could you please respect my wishes - and my privacy - and drop the subject?

(Jake looks at her in a kicked-puppy way ... then decides to take what he can get.)

Jake: Hey, you want me to bait that hook for you?

(Daria looks at him, eyebrow raised ... then decides to humour him and hands over the pole. Jake beams again.)

(Scene: a darkened room. Helen and Jake are in bed.)

Helen: Quinn STILL won't talk. I didn't think she had it in her.

Jake: Daria was really polite about it. Asked me to respect her privacy. (beat) Damnit, what the hell happened to them out there?

Helen: (sigh) Jake ... I'm beginning to think we'll NEVER find out. (beat) But does it REALLY matter?

Jake: Helen, our girls...

Helen: ...Went out into the big bad world and found some trouble. And they didn't come out of it badly, from the looks of things. So maybe we should count our blessings and leave the girls alone. And who knows? Maybe one day they'll WANT to tell us.

(There is a silence.)

Jake: Helen ... maybe we should go home. This isn't helping anything and I think it's bothering Daria - don't know WHY, but it IS...

Helen: (sigh) Maybe you're right. (beat) It was worth a try, wasn't it?

(Jake just hugs her for a moment.)

Jake: ('seductive' tone) Heeeeeey... this isn't a TOTAL loss. The girls are in that room downstairs ... far enough away not to be listening...

Helen: (throaty laugh) Oh, JAKEY.

(Scene: downstairs, some time later. Daria and Quinn have their pillows over their heads to block out the noises coming from upstairs.)

Daria: I guess they patched up the marriage.

Quinn: Ewwww...

END ACT 2 - ADVERTS [Lead-in: Canon S4 moving bumpers - Daria glaring at Helen, AP shrugging at Trent, Daria and Quinn holding hands.]

Coyote Ugly: Movie. From the trailer and the reviews, this is "Cocktail" meets "Striptease". *shudder*

Next time in The Look-Alike Series: The gang returns to school and finds a very familiar, very UNWANTED face attending with them in "Fifth Wheel".

(Scene: The remains of the Merritt compound. Music: "Let Me In" - REM. Lynn approaches tentatively, eyes completely confused. She has probably never looked this lost in her life. She stands on the sidewalk in front of the wreckage, staring blankly at it.)

Lynn: (muttered aloud) There was a building here...

Warlock: (OS) Yeah. There was.22

(Lynn wheels, hands raised in a defensive manner. Warlock holds his hands up, palms out - universal gesture of "I'm not going to hurt you". Lynn relaxes ... slightly. She turns back and goes back to staring at the rubble.)

Lynn: We've been here before.

Warlock: Last time you thought he was dead. But he's alive. And he loves you.

Lynn: And I love him. But with me in his life, he's gonna end up dead. It's in his best interests if I...

Warlock: Without you in his life, he's going to wish he was dead. (beat; Lynn nearly visibly winces at this) I know what you're thinking. But you're not thinking about what it'll do to him. Carpe the diem and grab what happiness you can.

Lynn: I don't deserve to be happy.

Warlock: Does he? You know he can't be happy without you. (stubborn silence from Lynn) And what about your sister? The sister who needs a sister who understands her, instead of just Narcissa?

Lynn: A sister who could have got her killed how many times now? Three? More?23

Warlock: Could have, could have. It didn't happen. And I doubt the Falcon is going to let that happen twice. (mutter) Still don't know why he let it happen ONCE.24

Lynn: Because frankly, dear Warlock, he didn't give a damn.25 So why should I?

Warlock: Because the rest of us do. (beat; wry half-smile) And, because YOU'RE getting quotehappy, tomorrow is another day, Per... Lynn.26

(There is a long silence. Lynn doesn't look at him; she stands, looking at the rubble. Then she turns to face him.)

Lynn: Is it over?

Warlock: You don't need to worry about that.

Lynn: Like hell I don't. It'll come home to me if it's not.

Warlock: Lawndale is about as safe as it gets.

Lynn: Tell that to AP. And while you're at it, get him to show you the scar on his arm from the bullet graze.

Warlock: They were lucky that time. They had something to work with.

Lynn: (sigh) Seems there's ALWAYS something. But right now, I'm going to take some good advice and think about that tomorrow. (beat) God, I need some sleep.

Warlock: (nods towards bigwhitevan) Come on.

(Lynn looks at him, uncertain. Then she shrugs and steps towards bigwhitevan. Warlock goes to take her arm but she flinches back. Warlock raises an eyebrow but says nothing, just lets her make her own way to the passenger side of the car.)

(Scene: Jane's room. Music: "Salvation" - The Cranberries. Jane is sprawled out asleep on her bed. AP is pacing the room. The phone rings and he literally leaps at it, knocking over a chair and waking Jane.)

Jane: Mwha...

AP: Yeah? (beat; sigh) Daria, where ARE you?

(split-screen; Daria at a payphone.)

Daria: Somewhere in Arkansas. Mom and Dad went ballistic and did the bonding thing. What's going on? You sound...


AP: Scarlet, y'got call waiting?

Jane: (mumble) HAD to after the last family reverse exodus. Penny and her damn trade wars.27

(AP hits a button.)

AP: Yeah? (beat) KES! You found her?

(Now split-screen; Kes in the small, overlit kitchen of the Sanctum.)

Kes: Warlock did. Archer, ballistics expert and amateur psychologist over there brought her in safe. She's a little ... hmm, let's say mentally off-colour ... but it's likely we can send her home by plane without worrying about her playing with the emergency exit doors.


Kes: Never mind - poor attempt at humour.

AP: So funny I could PUKE. Now when's she coming home?

Kes: She needs some rest right now - I don't think she's had a wink of sleep or a bite of decent food since she left Lawndale. We're sending her back tomorrow. And not on the wino-haven-on-wheels she used to GET here. Get your rear-ends to Carter County International tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 to pick her up.28 And you will CHAIN youself to her if you have to - she does not leave town again, are you hearing me?

AP: Yeah ... and thanks... I...

Kes: One or the other of us will be in touch as regularly as we can be. Keep safe.

(She hangs up. AP looks at the phone.)

Jane: (expectant) Daria's on the other end of it...

AP: (blink) Ohyeah.

(*bleep* Split screen with Daria again, who looks annoyed.)

Daria: (evidently been doing this awhile) AP? AP! AP, pick up the damn...

AP: Hey ho, Erudite Emerald!

Daria: (blink) You're back AND you're cheerful. AP, what is going on?

AP: How long you got?

Daria: *AP*...

(Scene: the payphone. Music plays on. Daria hangs up. Then she stands there and stares at the phone for awhile. Then she kicks the base of the phone.)

(Scene: Carter County International Airport. Music: "Welcome Back Victoria" - Jesus Jones. Daria, Jane and AP standing in a neat row, waiting. Former airline passengers exit the arrivals gate; Daria, Jane and AP scan them with growing worry. When the crowd starts to thin out, they spot Lynn far towards the back, ensuring that she will be the last to leave. Eventually, she stands in front of them at a distance of about 6 feet. They look at each other.)

Lynn: Uh ... is this the bit where you call me seven different varieties of cast-iron bitch?29

(Group nod. Then Daria, Jane and AP step forward. Lynn flinches back a little but forces herself to stand still as she gets group-hugged. After a moment, she returns it.)

(Scene: Plymouth backseat. Music plays on. Lynn and AP sitting side by side, a bit stiffly. Their hands [as in ToD, his right, her left] are resting bare inches apart on the seat between them. Lynn looks at their hands so near to each other, bites her lip and looks out the window. As she turns away, AP looks at their hands again. He opens his mouth, gets a considering look, then shuts his mouth firmly and puts his hand over Lynn's. She looks at him, stunned, and they lock eyes. Hey, 11 years of friendship, the look is all it takes. Lynn shyly slides closer to AP, who puts an arm around her shoulder as she rests her head on his shoulder and shuts her eyes. Pan to Daria and Jane, who exchange looks.)

Jane: (sotto) Is THAT what it takes to get those two together?

Daria: (shrug) Guess so.

Jane: Jeez... what is it gonna take to get you and Trent together?

Daria: (smirk) Armageddon?

Jane: (sigh)

(Scene: Jane's room. Music plays on. Daria reading "Meals with the Mob - The Cosa Nostra Etiquette Manual". Lynn is curled up at the foot of Jane's bed, fast asleep; AP is sitting nearby, sharing his attention between Lynn and a copy of "The Essential Hacker". Jane is putting the finishing touches on a painting of Lynn and AP as Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming. AP glances up at it and glares/blushes.)

AP: Better not let HER see that. She hasn't got much sense of humour when it comes to that kind of thing.

Jane: (shrug) Maybe I just got too big a taste for living dangerously, but I don't really care. (beat; smug smirk) Anyway, I don't REALLY think she'll mind.

AP: (raised eyebrow) Shows what YOU know. (beat) Anyway ... I'd be jinxing it BIG time if I said something like, 'Guess this worked out kinda okay after all'?

Daria: (looking up) Probably ... but say it anyway. After all, this could have come out a LOT worse. (to Jane's raised eyebrow) Well, Lynn's back, thankfully minus added ventilation courtesy of a sniper rifle, and she seems (beat) well, if not back to normal, than at least a lot better than she was when we left San Francisco.

AP: Whoawhoawhoa. Why would she...

Daria: There are a lot of unhappy people in San Francisco, AP, remember?

Jane: Yeah - people who wouldn't mind letting daylight through all four of us.

AP: (sigh) I was kinda trying to forget that.

Daria: Anyway ... she's made this return and recovery just in time to start school without leaving us with awkward questions to answer.

Jane: (blink) Y'know, I'd nearly forgotten about school.

Daria: Defense mechanism.

AP: I'm kinda looking forward to it. (to their looks) It's ... y'know ... normal. We can be kids again. (beat) Is this what Purple Peril feels like ALL THE TIME?

(Thoughtful silence.)

Jane: (genuine curiosity) You think school's going to hold any challenge for us anymore? After what we've done?

Daria: (shrug) The universe will surprise us.

(With that dismissive comment, they go back to what they were doing. And cut to the S4 opening montage [yet again, I couldn't put it at the beginning and spoil the suspense.]

LHS corridor. Daria, Jane, Lynn and AP by the lockers. As one body, they facefault and turn their heads to look at something out of shot. Lynn flicks her wrist, producing a knife, and dashes out of shot.

Football field, near the bleachers. Kevin and Brittany arguing. AP, sitting in the bleachers wearing a LHS marching band uniform and a completely disgusted expression, picks up a large pair of cymbals and smashes them together right near Kevin and Brittany's ears.

Pizza King. Quinn sitting at a table, sobbing with rage. Lynn looks at her, eyebrow raised in what is, for her, sympathy, and hands over a book. Quinn looks at the cover and stops crying as her face slowly brightens to an evil smirk.

AP's room. AP completely engrossed in a video game. Daria watches him play for a moment, disgust in her face, then starts digging through his cabinets.

LHS corridor. Mrs Bennett opens a door to reveal a broom closet in which Lynn and AP are making out; Lynn and AP break off a kiss as the door opens. They look at Bennett for a moment, then Lynn gives a wide grin and shuts the door in her face.

Morgendorrfer front hallway. Jake going completely ballistic at Jerome, who is standing on the front step and looking at Jake in a manner that suggests that he's two seconds from calling the men in white coats. Then Jake takes a swing at Jerome.

The Zen. Daria, Jane, AP, Andrea, Guy, Casey and Mara at a table. Upchuck is leering at Mara, who regards him for a moment and then pulls him forward by the collar and kisses him hard, mouth open. When she lets go, Upchuck falls over in a dead faint. Jane looks extremely impressed.

Lane front door. Jane [in artist's smock and beret] and Jodie [ratty jeans, baggy T-shirt, clipboard, pencil behind her ear] open the door to find Quinn standing there wearing a seirafuku and a hopeful expression.

Biers. Someone has set it on fire; Lynn and Daria are wielding fire extinguishers that were probably new in 1931 [they contain water and you have to hand-pump them], trying to control the worst of the flames.

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.)


To my two favourite beta readers of all time. Ben, thanks for helping me create Tour of Duty, the framework for this fic - not to mention all the help with the Lynn/Warlock scene. And to Jill "Leopard" Friedman, for general help and input. And to both of you for all the non-fic-related support - you know what I mean. I don't say this often so savour it - as friends, the two of you kick SO much ass. *hugs*


1] This is referring to the first and last scenes of "Tour of Duty" [Back]

2] In "The Big House", Quinn is seen as the type who cracks quickly under pressure. [Back]

3] Jake found out about Helen's affair (the one that resulted in Daria's birth) in "Sister, Sister". This caused some problems between him and Helen until None of Your Affair, when the rebuilding began. [Back]

4] We see this pillow in "The Daria Diaries". Constant smile. Full of fluff. Remind you of anyone? [Back]

5] Quinn is bawled out for using this word in "The Big House". [Back]

6] thanks to Jill Friedman, the Leopard Lady for sending me the lyrics to this track. It fits the scene *so* damn well. [Back]

7] This concept probably stuck in my brain courtesy of Lew Richardson's "Heroes". [Back]

8] They refer to Tom Sloane, a.k.a. "Rust", "Missing H" or "H". "Rust" makes his first TLAS appearance in "Sister, Sister" but isn't identified until "None of Your Affair". [Back]

9] This mainly refers to the climactic scenes of Tour of Duty, but anyone who spends a great deal of time in #Daria+ will see that this is a multi-level joke, coinciding well with "Boot to the head". [Back]

10] We first meet 'Warlock' in "Love's Labour", though we didn't get his name back then - he was only introduced by name in "Tour of Duty". [Back]

11] 'Kes', on the other hand, is Jan from "Rue Britannia" - Kes is her Family codename. Okay, fine, she's sort of a walk-on but what the hell, I couldn't let 'Warlock' have ALL the fun... [Back]

12] Full name of Helen's law firm courtesy The Daria Diaries. [Back]

13] Helen's hypocrisy saved the family in "The Teachings of Don Jake", when Helen, Jake and Quinn ate psychotropic berries on a camping trip. [Back]

14] SS Rat is seen in "Tour of Duty" as the Smythe connection in Texas. He got to do a number on Todd, which is good... [Back]

15] Read "Mercedes Bends" for the full story behind Amethyst. Suffice it to say, I did my research. [Back]

16] In "Relation-slips", we find out that AP's favoured pizza topping is "tuna, onions, capers, artichoke hearts, cayenne peppers and shrimp", occasionally with extra garlic. [Back]

17] The "Speedtrapped" little running gag. [Back]

18] Quinn's never been all that complimentary about AP, but this specifically refers to "The Blind Leading the Blunt", in which Quinn refers to AP as "that *thing* you're seeing". [Back]

19] These events took place in "Quinn-tessence" and "Admission: Impossible" respectively. And for the record, that "really REALLY bad" thing Quinn said was "Ooh ... why didn't you just DIE?" with reference to the events of "Liaisons". [Back]

20] Trent's been fairly nasty to AP since his arrival in "And Then There Were Four". Jealousy makes you do the wacky, I guess. [Back]

21] This is alluded to in a few other fics, and the whole story will be revealed when I finish "Growing Cynical", but Lynn made an attempt on her own life once. And, though no one knows about this one but her, Warlock and those our side of the fourth wall, she would have done so again after the climax of "Tour of Duty". [Back]

22] Until Daria blew it to hell with Pagebert's clandestine rocket launcher. [Back]

23] Well, the one time in Liaisons, the incidents in Pittsburgh, Vegas and San Francisco in "Tour of Duty" - that's actually four. [Back]

24] We start getting the impression that Jerome had a lot to do with Li's attack in "To Kill a Misery Chick" - this is confirmed for us entirely in "None of Your Affair". [Back]

25] Gone with the Wind refcrime. Well, Gone with the Wind *movie* refcrime, as Rhett Butler never actually says this in the book. [Back]

26] Ben suggested this line, but it seems to fall to me to explain why 'Warlock' used the RealName. Essentially, it's down to trust and friendship. Use the RealName only if you really care. To all appearances, Lynn needs an actual friend rather than a Family affiliate. [Back]

27] In Lane Miserables, Penny took over the kitchen phone calling all and sundry to recover enough money to restart her crafts stall. [Back]

28] Turnabout is fair play. I'm reffing rancour's fanfic work-in-progress "Sculptures" when I refer to this as "Carter County International Airport". *shrug* [Back]

29] The phrase "seven different varieties of cast-iron bitch" [or, if you want to get ornithological, 'bleepch'] is a Loomisism that I *had* to use. [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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