(Opening montage. Music: "You're Standing On My Neck" - Splendora.

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.

Morgendorffer 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. Writing underneath in the Daria font reads, "Daria in...")


A Daria Fan Fiction - [TLAS 4:06]

(Scene: Morgendorffer kitchen. Full family complement at table. Quinn burbling in a happy sort of frustration. Daria reading "50 Ways To Tune Out What Irritates You"; her expression indicates that she hasn't learned enough from it yet. Helen and Jake look like they're TRYING to pay attention and it's killing them slowly.)

Quinn: And it's not like I don't TRUST him or anything - I mean, like, he's my BOYFRIEND and who can you trust if not your BOYFRIEND, after all...?1

Daria: God, your parents and the President. (beat) No; wait...

Quinn: (ignoring that or maybe not hearing it) But it's just so HARD; I mean, Halloween is only a few days away and because of this stupid ... Pigtail-on and Gal-latte dance...

Daria: (nearly groaning it) That's Pygmalion and Galatea...2

Quinn: WhatEVER; some pair of ancient Greek-geeks. (over Daria's pained sigh; "will things NEVER change?") But he won't tell me what he picked as my costume - just said that it was PERFECT for me and I'd see when the time came! I really really like and maybe even love him and whatever but sometimes ... ooh!

Helen: (must ... change ... subject ... NOW...) So what are YOU doing for Halloween, Daria?

Daria: Well, since I haven't got a Pygmalion and would rather chew my own arm off than be seen at another Lawndale High dance, I'd vote for either handing out candy to the little brats so they don't egg the Lexus or standing on Lynn's roof paintballing the TPers.

Helen: Daria!

Jake: That's the spirit, kiddo!

Helen: JAKE!

Jake: What? We're supposed to encourage the girls, right?

Helen: Daria, PLEASE be serious for a change. We'd just ... feel more comfortable if we knew you were expanding your social circle...

Daria: (sigh; let's tell her SOMETHING) Well, maybe Jane will organise a party or something. (slightly snide) She does that.

Helen: (beaming) That's GREAT, sweetie! (reaching for her purse) Here; let me contribute to the snacks and things...

(CU on an appalled-looking Daria.)

(Scene: Pizza King. Music: "What The Hell Have I" - Alice in Chains. Daria sitting across from Jane, looking morose. She throws the money at Jane, who counts it.)

Jane: Whoa. Your mom's on a SERIOUS trip about this, isn't she?

Daria: I suppose I can't blame her. I haven't exactly been a scintillating conversationalist since we got back from that damn tour.3

Jane: And that's different from HOW, exactly? (to Daria's look) Oh, I get it.

Daria: So I have two choices. Use the money for my own purposes and lie...

Jane: ...Giving me a cut for providing an alibi, of course...

Daria: Of course. (beat; resigned sigh) Or I persuade you to organise this party.

(Jane raises an eyebrow ... and Jodie approaches)

Jodie: Did you say something about a party? (sigh as she sits without being asked) I have GOT to get out of the house sometime this week - the parents are going NUTS.

Daria: (slight sympathy) The SATs?

Jodie: Or at least the fact that I'm not destroying my physical and mental health in the cause of prepping for them.4 I really need a break. (sheepish) Sorry to butt in on you like this, guys, but...

(Enter Lynn, who looks at Jodie with a puzzled expression and then sinks down with a sigh.)

Lynn: You know how I feel about this, so don't facefault at me when I ask but ... Jane, any chance of hosting some kind of Halloween bash?

(The facefaults happen anyway.)

Daria: Okay, who are you and what have you done with Lynn?

Lynn: Look, this is NOT my idea. (to Jane) And I'm surprised YOU don't know about this yet.

Jane: Huh?

Lynn: The Back Alley Name-Droppers want to do the Halloween party thing.5 They got half of Oakwood High involved and came to ME assuming I could host the the thing since Mom's absent most of the time...

Daria: ALL of the time...?6

Lynn: If I told them THAT, Daria, I shudder to think. That house is only ever getting wrecked at my hands if I can help it.7 (beat) Anyway, I told them no but they insisted I had to know SOMEONE who could host it and...

Jane: Well, that about tears it, Daria. I say we party.

Lynn: One thing. Please ... set ... a theme ... to this thing.

Daria: Do I even want to know why?

Lynn: No.

Jodie: Well ... how about keep it simple? "Come As You Truly Are". YOU guys would be good at that. I've never known anyone who knows who they are the way you guys do.

(Daria, Jane and Lynn exchange looks.)

(Scene: Lynn's room. Music plays on. Daria sitting on Lynn's bed; Jane sprawled out on her stomach along the foot. Lynn at her computer.)

Daria: I don't believe I'm doing this.

Lynn: I know. How the mighty are fallen.

Jane: Well, I can't fit that many people into our house! And Trent'll want to invite people too!

Lynn: Yeah, I can hear him now. (passable Trent imitation) Party. Cool. I'll call the guys. We'll show you how it's done. (normal voice; snide) Like I haven't been able to party him under the table for two years at least... (to the looks she's getting) I told you about the summer I came to Lawndale, right? (to the blank looks) Then I must have had a reason.8 (turning back to her computer) So. What are we all wearing to this thing?

Daria: Would you believe ... I'm not sure?

Lynn: (admission) Tougher than you'd think at first, isn't it?

Jane: What's the problem? We are who we are! The Flack-Jacket Mafia! The... uh... 9

(She stops - the silence that greets her is deep and cold.)

Daria: (changing subject NOW) So ... who IS coming to this thing, anyway?

Lynn: Goat-boy and Mara have invited some of the dregs of the Oakwood scholastic pecking order ... Joe McKeon invited Matt and the American Band-scags...

Jane: (somewhat surprised sarcasm) Ooh. The venom.

Lynn: (real viciousness) Bite me. It's fun.

Daria: (almost scared) Uh...

Lynn: (sigh) Sorry. I just hate being pressured into this. I...

(*thud* as ladder hits the window frame.)

Daria & Jane: (in unison; smirking) Hey, Sam!10

(Lynn snickers as AP's head pops up over the windowsill. He gives them a scathing glare.)

AP: NOT funny.

Lynn: (watching AP clamber in through the window) I dunno - I thought it had a certain chuckle-factor.

AP: Yeah, but you ... you're ... what's that sad-word?

Lynn: Applied to me? Probably sadistic.

AP: That's it! You have a sadistic sense of humour. (steps up to her and puts a hand on her shoulder. She stiffens a little but tolerates it and he's nerved enough to kiss her on the cheek) Hey ho, Purple Peril.11

Lynn: (small smile at the kiss) Salutations, Maverick. (beat) Any of the Advanced Math squad you want invited to this stupid party?

AP: You're KIDDING, right? I mean, one of them does TAXIDERMY and keeps wanting me to... (it hits) What party?

Lynn: Celebration of the dead souls that will supposedly wander the streets in three nights' time. But we, instead of wearing masks to make them think we're one of them and leave us alone, will reveal our true selves to them in the hopes that they will drag us down to hell.

(Everyone stares at her.)

Daria: (let's move on from this) Halloween party. "Come As You Truly Are".

AP: (blink) Oh. Cool. (shrug) Can't be hard. I mean, what, we're just ... us ... right?

Lynn: (dark mutter) Yeah. Just us. Whoever THAT is now.

(This garners her some very worried looks that she doesn't even notice.)

(Scene: LHS corridor. Music: "The Man Who Sold The World" Nirvana (cover of tune by David Bowie). Tom at his locker, not looking very pleased about the whole thing - probably mourning the change of surroundings from the prep school.12 Suddenly the locker slams shut - Tom wheels and finds himself face-to-face with a very angry Psycho-Maverick.)

Tom: (nervous) Hey.

AP: I don't want to be here. But I don't want HER anywhere near you either. So... (thrusting an envelope at him) Here.

Tom: (looking at it) What's...

AP: Invite to a damn Halloween party. We all kinda figured that it'd be useful to have some guy packing at this thing in case something went wrong - bad at the whole shooting thing as you are...

Tom: Hey, who got himself blown out a window?

AP: I HIT what I aimed for. And I saw your targets. (beat) Anyway, come if you're coming. I don't care.

(AP turns away. Tom watches him, notices he's maybe just that bit too angry for only having to invite Tom to this party to be a problem...)

Tom: (calling out) What's wrong?

(AP freezes, pauses ... then turns around.)

AP: You ought to know. It's your damn fault.

Tom: WHAT? I... (he figures it out) Lynn.

AP: She's still not right. Will she EVER be? YOU tell me, smart guy!

(Tom looks away. AP makes a derisive noise and turns away. This time, Tom lets him go.)

END ACT 1 - ADVERTS [Lead-in: moving S4 bumpers - Daria throwing the money at Jane, AP's scornful glare through the window, Tom getting the locker slammed in his face.]

Pawnography: TAFKA, muse-driven dragonlady and ficter of note, was last seen working on this fic at 5:50 am her time. It's gonna be gory, folks, and one you won't want to miss.

The Cynic Bride: Jill "Leopard" Friedman just doesn't stop. She's currently working on a "The Princess Bride" parody called (well, duh) "The Cynic Bride". Spoilers received in chat indicate this one's going to be a very well-cast DOOZY of a fic. So stay tuned.

(Scene: Jane's room. Jane at her easel, painting an emaciated ghoulish figure. She's tracing out the shadows of the ribs when...)

Scar: (OS) Okay, good; parallel to the ribs. Last thing you want is the knife getting bound up - you'll lose your weapon and a lot of time and you can't afford that, y'know?

(Smash-cut - scene: TBM dojo. Music: "Knives" - Therapy? Jane, knife in her hand, is standing in front of the practice dummy.13 Scar standing behind her, an assessing look on her face.)

Scar: You're an artist, aren't you?

Jane: How'd you know about that?

Scar: What, you mean besides the three bags of art supplies they brought in with you? (Jane nods sheepishly) It's simple - you're a natural with a knife. (gesturing to Jane's right hand, where she holds a knife with practiced ease) Seems you've held one before. And that means you're either a cook, an artist or a street hood. And Lawndale hasn't got enough hood-streets for that last to be an option.

Jane: (raised eyebrow) Uh-huh.

Scar: Seriously. You follow the lines of the body well too. Like you're practiced at it. Never get embedded in the ribs, never have a hard time aiming for the big vessels or tendons ... you've done Life Study?

Jane: (remembering) Oh yeah.

Scar: (slaps Jane's shoulder) That's probably better for you. When this crap is over, you'll still be an artist and nothing but. This is an extension, that's all - it'll be easier for you to handle in the long run. (beat; quiet) Almost wish your friends were so lucky...

(Jane blinks... turns to Scar as if to ask...)

(Smash cut - scene: Jane's room. Jane, sprawled face-first on her bed, lifts her head to look at the half-finished shot of the emaciated ghoul-boy. She blinks at it speculatively ... then smiles and gets up, going back to work on it.)

(Scene: Morgendorffer front corridor. Music: "Nothing As It Seems" - Pearl Jam. Daria walks through the front door ... stops ... then walks in a lot more slowly. She can't put her finger on it, but the house is somehow different. She approaches the stairs, her eyes falling on the family portrait on the wall ... and she facefaults.)

Daria: (stunned) What ... the ... HELL...?

(It's very similar to the one we see in "The Daria Diaries", but two of the main players are very, very different. Instead of holding hands with Jake, Helen is standing next to Jerome Smythe, who has an arm around her shoulders. Helen has a hand on Daria's shoulder - Daria is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Lynn; their arms are folded and they have a slightly arrogant stance, but they wear Mona Lisa smiles. Quinn is nowhere in sight.)

Daria: My god...

(She belts up the stairs as fast as her feet can carry her.)

(Scene: A doorway. Music plays on. The door bursts open - CU on Daria, who freezes in the doorway and facefaults. Pan out and back to see what she sees. This is NOT Quinn's room anymore. The walls aren't black but charcoal grey; the trim, drapes and carpet are bright purple. The Temple of Groom is gone, replaced by Lynn's desk; Lynn's bookshelf stands where the mirrors used to be. There isn't a teddy bear in sight. Lynn is sprawled out on the bed, reading "Killer Arguments - How To Deal With Your Temperamental Assassin".)

Lynn: (looking up) Hey, Sis. I thought we agreed to knock.

Daria: (taken totally aback at the casualness of this) Uhhhh... hey?

Lynn: (blinking at her) Any reason for the deer-in-headlights look?

Daria: Uhhhhh...

(There's a thump at the window and AP clambers in.)

AP: Hey ho, Purple Peril!

Lynn: (getting up quickly and stepping over to him) Salutations, Maverick.

(They kiss. Daria stares - she's never seen them be so overt.)

AP: (breaking the kiss but with his arms still around Lynn) Hey ho, Erudite Emerald. Ready for the date-thing?

Daria: Uhhhh...

Lynn: *sigh* Remember, double-date-cum-training-session? All three Godfather movies at Playhouse 90? Followed closely by a Quentin Tarantino-fest in the Smythe living room?

Daria: (blink; "Smythe?") Double... date...?

Lynn: Yes, double-date, no, you're not backing out of it and no, we're taking the Volante so we don't have to ride in the heap.

Daria: (giving up) Right. Uh.

Quinn: (OS) So ... like it?

(Freeze frame on all but Daria and Quinn, who's standing in the doorway, a nearly hurt look on her face.)

Daria: Quinn ... what's going on?

Quinn: Well, DUH, Daria! (gesture to Lynn) SHE'S your sister now. You're ... GOD, what's that thing they always do on those geeky sci-fi show? Uhhhh... In an alternative REALITY or something.

Daria: And in this one... I grew up with Lynn? As a SMYTHE?

Quinn: Yeah, well, in THIS world Mom and Dad divorced when they found out she was pregnant with YOU and that Falcon guy divorced Lynn's mother and Mom married that Falcon guy and you and that Lynn girl were raised almost like TWINS or whatever! (beat; sad) An' *I* didn't get born at ALL.

Daria: (alarmed) Quinn...

Quinn: ANYWAY, so you both know about all that gangster stuff and have since you were REALLY little so you're all pretty happy about the whole thing. And SHE... (gesturing at Lynn) Well, just LOOK at her!

Daria: (looking at Lynn, frozen with her arms around AP, looking comfortable) Yeah.

Quinn: And I guess if you had been living this life you'd be happier too. Right?

Daria: (not wanting to consider) I ... I don't know.

Quinn: Well, maybe think about it. Hell, *I* may not want to know but you HAVE to. Might make a lot of difference, really being her sister.

(Fade out. Fade up on Daria's room - she's sitting up in bed, a pensive look on her face.)

(Scene: AP's room. Closet door shut. A small whimper comes from inside it.)

(Dream sequence. Music: "Thugs' Prayer" - [can't find the band name to save my life - allmusic.com crashed and burned on me]. AP sitting in the Sanctum, having his ribs checked by Kes. DJ is holding out an envelope.)

AP: What the hell is this?

DJ: Deposit. You offed Jensen for me; I guess you get the pay.

(AP throws the envelope at her and turns away.14 Freeze frame all but AP and Warlock.)

Warlock: Did you ever ask yourself why you did that?

AP: (standing up) Did WHAT? Turned down the cash for a hit I didn't really make?

Warlock: YOU pulled the trigger, Maverick.

AP: It wasn't a 'hit', though. It was...

Warlock: (raised eyebrow) Revenge?

AP: Basically. You didn't see what they DID to her.

Warlock: (raised eyebrow) Point. (beat) But you DID kill him.

AP: I know - I was there. But it wasn't a hit. It was personal. One of those ... crimes of passion or something. You know, the kind of thing people get off lighter for in court because everyone knows that sometimes people can't help themselves.

Warlock: Would you do it again?

AP: If the situation was the same? In a heartbeat. Any other reason ... well, I'll see. Not something I'm planning on, to be honest.

(For a moment, Warlock looks at him.)

Warlock: Okay. It wasn't a hit.

(Scene: AP's room. The closet door fumbles open and AP staggers out. He looks at himself in the small square of mirror stuck to the inside of his closet door and blinks. Then he shrugs and goes back into the closet, shutting the door behind him.)

(Scene: Lynn's room. Lump of blankets moves restlessly.)

(Scene: the holding cell of the Merritt stronghold. Music: "Stripped" - Depeche Mode. Lynn stands in the doorway and peers in at the crumpled figure in the straitjacket who's been flung into the corner like so much dirty laundry.15)

Jensen: (OS) So now you know how it feels to break.

Lynn: (as if to herself) I did NOT break.

(Jensen, his head half sheared off [as the last time she saw him], comes to stand in front of her. A look of sadistic amusement is visible on what's left of his face.)

Jensen: Don't lie to yourself. You broke. If it hadn't been for that Maverick git, you'd still be where you were here. (gestures to the figure in the corner.)

Lynn: (closing her eyes) I did NOT break.

Jensen: You just ... bent a little, is that it? (derisive chuckle) You were GONE, Smythe. And there's no coming all the way back. (oily false concern) Maybe you should have given in to it. Less pain for you in the long run, having to put together all those pieces of yourself and not being sure where they fit; not even knowing if you're going to like the results of all that work...

Lynn: (turning on him, furious; voice echoing) I DID *NOT* BREAK, I SAID!

(Jensen steps towards her, eliciting a shudder.)

Jensen: You just keep telling yourself that when you try to hide the cracks in your repair job from the rest of the world.

(He puts a hand on her shoulder and with the speed of a striking viper she smacks his hand away.)

Lynn: Don't touch me.

Jensen: (evil smirk) Don't much like to be touched any more, do you?

Lynn: (after a nearly inperceptible beat) YOU don't touch me. You're dead.

Jensen: (wider smirk; checkmate) To the world, I am. In your mind? I'll live forever.

(Scene: Lynn's room. Lynn sits up with a start, eyes wide and frightened as she mulls over what her subconscious has shown her. She hugs her knees to her chest and shudders uncontrollably.)

END ACT 2 - ADVERTS [Lead-in: moving S4 bumpers - Daria facefaulting at sad-looking Quinn, AP tossing the envelope away, Lynn smacking Jensen's hand off her shoulder.]

"A 'Family' Holiday: Enough of this fic is written that I feel comfortable enough in announcing that it will happen. Another Canadibrit/Ben Yee collaboration, this fic is so far best described as "Tour of Duty with a higher body count and mistletoe. Oh, and eggnog. Can't forget the eggnog." And before the nagging even starts, it will be done WHEN IT IS DONE and not a moment before. And we learned a few tricks last time about how do deal with naggers. So be warned.

Next in the Look-Alike Series: A certain Purple Peril has become a legal adult at last ... and the first test of her adult life is likely to be the hardest. The reunion you've all been waiting for in "Children of the Scorn".

(Montage. Music: "Who Are You" - The Who.

Daria looking at her closet speculatively. Eventually, she shakes her head, shuts it and walks out.

Lynn looking at her own wardrobe. Eventually, she starts pulling things out of it seemingly at random, tossing items on the bed.

AP on his computer, bashing away, seeming oblivious to the fact that he should be getting a costume ready.

Jane pulling an artist's smock out of her closet ... then reaching for a box on the table - Rit-dye.

Lawndale Commons. Daria is talking to a saleslady [well-groomed, Perma-Smile type], who looks completely appalled as Daria speaks. After awhile, the horror leaves her face and she looks interested.

RxPlex; HourGlasses. Lynn is pointing out something to Beth, who looks freaked as all get-out.16

Lane bathroom. Trent, wearing a towel, steps into the tub, then frowns and lifts out his foot - bright red. Jane dashes in, pulls out a dripping wet piece of wet fabric, then notices that Trent's standing there and shoos him out by flapping the fabric at him, splattering him with red. He frowns at her and wanders out.

AP's room. AP still working away, oblivious.

Daria's room. Daria putting her hair up in a tidy bun. She blinks at her reflection, then nods with a hint of satisfaction.

Lane basement. Jane digging through a trunk, flinging out old items of clothing, hats and so forth at random. Pan to Mystik Spiral [Lynn included], covered in old clothes, looking irritated.

Cullen bathroom. Lynn holding a bottle of something and smirking at her reflection. Pan to the counter before her ... several other smaller bottles of various bright colours sit there.

AP's room. AP looks at his watch, blinks, and then heads for his closet.)

(Scene: Lane living room. Music: "Falling Away From Me" - Korn. Jane is sitting on the sofa next to Jodie; they're surveying the decorated house. Jodie is wearing a baggy T-shirt reading "Sorry if I look interested. I'm not." and the ratty jeans she adopted in "Grating Expectations". She carries a clipboard and has a pencil tucked behind her ear. Jane is wearing the leather trousers she got in ToD and her normal black T-shirt with a bright red artist's smock over top. She wears a beret and is looking at Jodie curiously.)

Jane: What exactly are you supposed to be? Again?

Jodie: (sheepish) Well ... you saw the Muppets? (to Jane's raised eyebrow/nod) Well, I guess I'm Scooter.17

(Jane tries to hide a snicker. The doorbell rings.)

Jane: (faux perky) Let's get this party started; RIGHT!

(Jodie rolls her eyes at Jane and they head for the door.)

(Scene: Lane front door. Music plays on. Jodie and Jane open the door to find Quinn standing there. She wears a seirafuku and a hopeful expression.18 Ted walks up behind her after a moment - he's in the white outfit Luke wears in "Star Wars - A New Hope". Jane and Jodie blink at them.)

Jodie: (taking refuge in banality) You're ... not on the guest list.

Quinn: I KNOW, but we took one look at the school thing and it just seemed so LAME all of a sudden and the costume Ted picked out for me was really better for a "Come As You Really Are" party and I heard Daria talking to you on the phone the other day and I KNOW I shouldn't have but anyway we thought you wouldn't mind if we kinda crashed the party and...

Jane: (flapping a hand to shut Quinn up) Okay, okay, okay! (to Jodie; sotto) Put her on the list - it's the only way we'll shut her up before 2001.

Jodie: Go in; the party hasn't really started yet but...

Quinn: GREAT! Come ON, Ted! I want to request a song!

(Quinn barges in. Ted looks apologetically at them.)

Ted: She ... gets better. Sometimes. Since she came back from the summer, she has deep moments but a lot of the time, she seems to want to avoid that kind of thing.

(Jane looks a little guilty; Jodie and Ted look askance at her. Ted shrugs and goes into the house. Jodie jots down a note on her clipboard.)

Jodie: First crashers and the party hasn't even started yet. (beat) I think this means it's a success.

(Jane shrugs and Jodie goes into the house. We dimly hear...)

Trent: (OS) No, we don't HAVE the freakin' BACKSTREET BOYS!

Quinn: (OS) Well, then, what about N*Synch?

Trent: (OS; desperate) JANEY!

(Jane turns around to go in and do damage control...)

AP: (OS) Hey ho, Art-Smart Scarlet; and way to live up to your name!

(Jane turns around again. AP ambles up the walk, wearing his normal black jeans and boots with a T-shirt that reads "Will work for bandwidth". Over top is flung the black leather duster he got in Tour of Duty.)

Jane: And what are YOU supposed to be?

AP: (glancing down at his clothes) Boots and jeans as standard. T-shirt - geek. Duster - to show that I can kick ass if I have to. (shrug) Psycho-Maverick.

Jane: (blink; can't fault the logic) Okaaaaaay... (looking over his shoulder; facefault) Oooooooooooboy.

(AP turns around and finds himself face to face with a girl with blond hair with colourful streaks in it; it's been held back in bobby pins so that most of the hair falls on the left-hand side of her face and it's frazzled. She wears a ragged baggy purple sweater and a tattered skirt over what looks like a fishnet body stocking. Her eyes are two different colours - probably due to contact lenses. But on closer inspection, the facial features give the girl away as Lynn. Just about.)

AP: Gihh...

Jane: Ummm... (*ping* forming) Waitaminit, wait, wait, I know this one... Sandman. Delirium.19 (Lynn gives a sort of one-shoulder shrug) WHY?

(Lynn just looks at her for a moment. Then she pecks AP on the cheek and brushes past both of them into the Lane house. AP looks at Jane.)

AP: Does that actually WORK?

Jane: (after a pause for thought; with a somewhat sad expression) Yes. I think maybe it does.

(Scene: Lane living room. Mystik Spiral is pounding out a not-bad rendition of Faith No More's "Introduce Yourself". Jane walks over to Daria, who's wearing an emerald-green suit and her normal boots with her hair tied in that bun.)

Jane: I'm guessing Erudite Emerald.

Daria: (admission) And the Smythe Consigliori, if asked, yes.

Jane: (alarm) DARIA!

Daria: (sigh) She's my sister, Jane. That's all. She's ... she's done a lot for me. And if she needs me to stand by her, damnit, I'm going to.

Jane: (mild nervousness) You ... DO realise that if you go in, I go in with you, if they want me?

Daria: (alarm of her own) Jane...

Jane: Well? Maybe it won't be an issue. She doesn't WANT in.

Daria: (watching Tom [total MIB-wear; much like he appeared in AP's "X Marks the Maverick" dream-sequence] watch Lynn like a hawk) Yet.

(There is a pause.)

Jane: So who ARE we?

Daria: (sigh) We are the Flack-Jacket Mafia. (beat) And we'll be lucky if we make it through adulthood alive.

(They exchange a look as the band finishes the song.)


The usual complement and them some this time around. To Jill Friedman for the supportive words, to Ben Yee for the nitpicks that were the only things he could think of to improve on the last draft he got [you flatter me unduly, Mr Yee - *^_^*] ... but this time a few new faces in the thank yous! To Shelby McGowan for flattering me by begging to beta this puppy, and to Brian aka Tolshack for offering to be of help with the BGM [he didn't, but thanks for offering all the same. Makes me feel special.] So thanks all - with this much support, no wonder I'm doing so well! Couldn't do it without you. *hugs all*


1] She'd be talking about Ted DeWitt-Clinton as of "Love Him or Leave Him". My muse is suitably warped for that to work in my continuum. [Back]

2] Pygmalion, if I remember my mythology correctly, created a statue of a maiden and then fell in love with it. The point of this dance is therefore meant to be that the guys pick the costumes for their dates to 'create' the date they want for the night. [Yes, we ARE getting the impression, after this and "Many are Culled", that Caldwell has his sexist side and only considered the co-ed gym courses in "Gym Dandy" because he was afraid of getting maimed by Barch.] [Back]

3] We're reffing "Tour of Duty". If you haven't read it yet, turn back NOW before it's too late. Without the detail you'd read there, this fic will make NO sense. [Back]

4] Just because "Grating Expectations" has her getting a life and not living out her parents' every whim doesn't mean they LIKE the idea. [Back]

5] The Back Alley Name-Droppers, first invoked as Lynn's first band [her on lead guitar/vocals, Mara Fitzgerald on keyboards, Casey Wright on bass and AP McIntyre on drums] in "Rock Banned", and reappear with a new line-up [Joe McKeon on drums and Guy "Goat-boy" Mann on lead guitar/vocals] in "Thrash of the Titans". Jane should know because she started dating Guy in a casual sense in "Sets and the Single Girls". [Back]

6] Kate Cullen took off for Tokyo while Lynn was still in the coma during the framing sequence to "Growing Cynical". So all of the time as opposed to the "pop into the country, drop off a note and bog off again" trait shown in fics like "The Parent Crap". [Back]

7] She tore the house to bits in "Sister, Sister". Demon-rage to the extreme. It's only just getting fixed again, thanks to Jane's ... unique home decorating skills. [Back]

8] She has referenced this before - when sort of describing a "crash-out" in "How The Other Half Lives". Just no in-depth. I'm still afraid of corrupting you on that one. [Back]

9] That phrase was coined by Lynn herself, but was twisted by Ms Li, who then tried to kill them all. And the "Mafia" terminology may not be all that welcome after "Tour of Duty" and following fics. [Back]

10] I can't count how many times people have likened Lynn and AP to Clarissa and Sam from Nickelodeon's "Clarissa Explains It All". The comparison is mainly based on AP's messy hair and tendency to climb in through the window. Of course, for that to really fit, Clarissa would have to be possessed by Satan or something. [Back]

11] After "The Prisoner of Zelda", yes, they finally worked it out and are "a couple". Isn't that NICE? [I know, I know, so cute we could barf; moving on.] [Back]

12] We didn't know it at the time, but that e-mail in "Tour of Duty" was sending Tom to Lawndale High to keep an eye on the Smythe daughters. We found that out in "Fifth Wheel", just after Lynn put a knife to his throat. [Back]

13] If this reminds of one of the ToD training montage clips, good, you're paying attention. [Back]

14] ToD again. One of my fave scenes. [Back]

15] We are now getting some inkling of what was done to Lynn to make her blank out the way she did at the end of ToD. This may be all you see of it. [Back]

16] We saw "HourGlasses" [Austin's 'drebley' name for the place] and "Beth" the nervous service girl in "The Blind Leading The Blunt". Why not bring her back? [Back]

17] Anyone remember Scooter from The Muppet Show? The harried, harrassed gofer? Well, doesn't Jodie sometimes SCREAM "Scooter" at you? [Back]

18] A seirafuku, IIRC, is that completely indecent schoolgirl uniform they have characters wearing in Japanese anime [and apparently in RL too, if Ben's right...].[Back]

19] I haven't read much [okay, ANY] Sandman, so the desription is courtesy of Austin Loomis primarily, and then thanks to Jill, who sent me this link to tell me more. Check it out if you want more details because it would take too long to explain.[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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