(Montage teaser sequence. Music: Splendora -- "You're Standing On My Neck".

Lynn at her locker, converged upon by Stacy and the other cheerleaders [huddled into a protective knot formation] on one side and Brittany [dressed in a pink skirt and white T-shirt that looks like her cheerleading uniform but isn't] on the other.

Jane surrounded by a mid-sized group of children aged six through twelve, standing in front of the Lawndale Elementary School sign. She holds up a bag -- it is full of cans of spray-paint, a few tubes of Crazy Glue and several containers of glitter. The kids grin and reach into the bag.

Daria, Jane and Lynn walking down a Lawndale street, talking. They stop and turn as they hear a noise, and then a screaming AP staggers quickly past them, being dragged by a number of dogs -- a giant Rottweiler, a German Shepherd, a Great Dane, three Corgis, a Chihuahua and a pair of sickeningly cute Lhasa Apsos.

Jake on a used car lot, talking to a dealer. He pats a black 1982 two-door Toyota Tercel that looks like a good kick might reduce it to its component parts. Jake turns, grinning, to Daria, who is standing at a slight distance from the car, arms folded. She just shakes her head in something that's on the emotional scale between despair and disgust.

Daria and Jodie in a makeshift broadcast studio, talking into a mike. Visible through the soundproof glass behind them is Caldwell, looking strangely agitated. After a moment, his expression takes on a more worried look and he jogs out.

A deserted factory. Tiffany, dressed in white, peering blankly into a birdcage. Lying at the bottom is a dead bird. Upchuck approaches from behind her, his hair slicked back, dressed in black in best post-makeover tradition. He turns her around and they kiss deeply.

A men's room. O'Neill huddled into a ball on the floor, sobbing his pathetic little heart out. Four familiar pairs of boots walk into shot and stop in front of him. Pan up to the confused-looking Daria, Jane, Lynn and AP.

Daria and Lynn, side-by-side, looking at each other and giving the traditional Mona Lisa smile. Pan in and out to change to the TLAS logo. Writing in Daria font underneath reads...

And The B.A.N.D. Played On

(Scene: Trent's room. Music -- Ani DiFranco -- "Wish I May". Trent is sitting on his bed, not doing much of anything -- just looking at the wall opposite in a vague sort of way. The duck-phone quacks. Trent picks it up.)

Trent: Hello? (beat) Oh. Hey. (long beat) Look, if you want to do this, talk to our manager. She... (pause) No, man, my answer's not gonna be any different. (beat) Cos the Spiral broke up over Christmas ... or didn't Lynn tell you? (beat) No, our rhythm guitarist's not coming back. (beat) Replace him? Mr McGrundy, you really should have this talk with our manager. (beat) No, I don't care how much she swears at you; she... (beat) She said that? Whoa. (beat) No, man, it stands. Maybe without the swearing, but it stands. (beat) Yeah, so'm I.

(Trent hangs up, then goes back to staring at the wall.)

Jane: (OS) That McGrundy?

(Trent looks over to where Jane stands in the doorway.)

Trent: Yeah.

Jane: So it's really over? No more Mystik Spiral?

Trent: We're a guitarist short, Janey. No one's ever gonna be able to replace Jesse. And that NCM guy dug a bullet and three bone fragments out of Max's shoulder -- said it'd be months before he played again, if ever.

Jane: What happened to "eyes on the prize", Trent?

(Trent looks at her a moment longer, then goes back to staring at the wall. Jane waits briefly, then lowers her eyes and walks out.)

(Scene: Chez Cullen, ext. Music plays on. The BAND's converted ice-cream truck is parked on the front lawn. Lynn's Merc pulls up in the driveway and Lynn exits the car with a perplexed frown as Mara charges across the lawn.)

Mara: You stupid ... stupid ... and again there aren't any good enough swear words!

Lynn: (shrug) Bitch? Cunt? Slut? Imbecilic semen-gargling demon whore from the Ninth Circle? (beat) MTV Legal exec?

Guy: (who's leaning against the van) That last one'd do it for me, no shit.

Mara: After what went down with Red, you vanish on me? Damn, freak, what's with you?

Lynn: I'm not used to being on speaking terms with you, Mara. Cut me a little slack, okay?

Mara: Yeah, well ... if you're gonna pull that crap again, wanna at least drop me an e-line?

Lynn: You're online now.

Mara: Well, yeah; how else d'you expect me to cyber?

Lynn: The Nympho-Goth rides again.

Guy: Hey, she gave it a decent mourning period, kid. Well, for a guy she dated for, like, a week.

Lynn: For Mara? Dating any guy that long's equivalent to marriage. Or at least engagement while the pre-nup goes through.

Mara: Well, hell, I'm still gonna mourn and crap. Just ... life goes on, I guess.

Lynn: (dry) Obla-di, obla-da.

Mara: Speaking of, you said something about me and Leather Boy?

Guy: That's the only reason she noticed you were gone, so you know.

(Casey has joined the group at this point, and they've all noticed that Lynn's gone pale.)

Casey: (usual barely intelligible grunt) Lynn? Y'kay?

Lynn: (slowly) That ... isn't ... going to work.

Mara: Damn! Why not?

Lynn: I'd rather not say. In fact, it's been a very bad Christmas and I really can't talk about it.

Mara: Yeah ... well ... call me, okay? We'll raid the hose-beast's liquor cabinet and get 'faced. And I can score some weed off one of Guy's friends.

Lynn: Yeah. Sure.

(With that, Lynn goes into the house and shuts the door quietly behind her. The trio look at each other.)

Casey: (grunt) Whoa.

Guy: Maybe I oughta go talk to Jane or something. Shit went down.

(They pile into the van. We see Lynn watch them from the window, face inscrutable.)

(Scene: Jane's room. Music: Smashing Pumpkins -- "Through the Eyes of Ruby". Jane is glueing together jagged bits of metal in a sculpture that looks somewhat painful -- nearly impossible angles, rust and wicked edges.)

Trent: (OS) Janey! Goat-boy's here!

Jane: Send him up!

(Enter Guy a few moments later, looking at the sculpture with a combination of admiration and fear.)

Guy: Now that belongs on an album cover, no shit.

Jane: Hey. Sorry it's been awhile.

Guy: Cool, y'know. (beat) Heard you had a bitch of a Christmas.

Jane: Where from?

Guy: Lynn. She doesn't give much up like that, but ... y'know, watch her for a couple years...

Jane: Yeah. It was "a bitch of a Christmas". Can we change the subject now?

Guy: So what's up with your brother? He have a bitch of a Christmas too?

Jane: Same Christmas. Same bitch. I said change of subject.

Guy: Got a call from some dude named McGrundy out here in Lawndale. Said he wanted us regular. (beat) Thought the Spiral had that gig.

Jane: Not anymore.

Guy: Break-up? Damn, girl, that shouldn't stop anyone. I mean, when that Lynn chick and her geek of a boyfriend left the Name-Droppers, they kept going, right?

Jane: Yeah, but no one died, did they?

(There's a pause. Jane goes back to her sculpture.)

Guy: Okay. You're telling me someone got dead on the Spiral side?

Jane: Yeah, someone got dead. Someone else got hurt. The rest ... well, it's called mourning, okay; heard of it?

Guy: Well, yeah, but...

Jane: Well, then show some damn respect, okay?

(Another pause, longer this time.)

Guy: Hey, look, I ... didn't know, right? I just figured ... life's gotta go on. (When Jane doesn't reply) I mean, damn, girl, what's that brother of yours gonna do, not being in a band anymore? He gonna go civvy? Work in some burger barn in this pissant burg?

Jane: I don't know. That's up to him.

Guy: And the rest of 'em? I mean, take Lynn, for example. What's she gonna do when she's not singing and managing and that? She got something on the sideline for the rest of her life?

(Jane doesn't look away from her sculpture but her hands do stop working on it and her eyes go wide.)

Jane: I ... think she might have something. It's just not a something she'd...

Guy: Yo, Jane? Did I say something?

Jane: Yeah, I heard words leave your mouth, so I guess you did. (beat) Could you leave now?

Guy: But...

Jane: Leave. Now.

(Guy backs towards the door.)

Guy: I'll ... call or something. Maybe we could do pizza or...

Jane: OUT!

(Guy cuts his losses and scrams. Jane looks at her sculpture again and then just knocks the whole thing over on the floor.)

(Scene: Daria's locker. Music: Coal Chamber -- "Burgundy". Daria putting books away. Jane standing at her side.)

Daria: And you want me to do what about this, exactly?

Jane: Talk to her! Hell, talk to him! Do you really want to think about what Lynn's going to resort to without the Spiral?

Daria: Jane, she's not that stupid. She's got options.

Jane: What if you're wrong? What if she is that stupid?

Daria: Then we hope that it isn't entirely genetic.

Jane: Look, Daria ... she's your sister. He's your boyfriend. You have more pull than I do any way you look at it. And if Mystik Spiral's breakup ever leads Lynn down the road from "what else am I good at?" to her little inheritance back in San Francisco, how're you going to feel if you didn't at least throw some roadblock in the way?

Daria: Well...

Jane: And what about Trent? What about all that stuff you told him back around Alternapalooza time about going after something?

Daria: That's different. Think what he's been through. Is it my place to push him into a situation where every move he makes up there makes him remember Jesse and what could have been? And then there's the other question -- do you even know how he feels about Lynn right now?

Jane: I'm damn sure I don't like what you're getting at here, Daria...

Daria: Do you know if he sees Lynn as even partly to blame for Jesse's death, Max's injury and the resultant breakup of his band? Do you know for sure that he doesn't resent or even hate her a little? Before she came along, he was the top of the totem pole and, while they weren't doing all that well, they were at least doing exactly what they wanted. Then she came along and...

Jane: You know she made them better. You know she got them chances.

Daria: And I know that their involvement with her...

Jane: ...Meant the Mario Puzo US tour and that miserable excuse for a Christmas; yeah, I know. But we don't know he feels that way.

Daria: So why don't you ask?

Jane: Why don't you? Given who Lynn is, you should wonder about that more than I do. (beat) And obviously do, since it was one of the first things out of your mouth on this.

(They look at each other.)

Daria: What if ... what if he has a problem with me for the same reason, Jane?

Jane: You remember when he came back to the ranch house from hell? You think he'd have done that if he thought you were at all to blame? (Daria blushes, but says nothing.) Do it, girl. You need to have a talk with him about his intentions anyway.

(Daria just glowers at Jane, who smirks back almost happily -- she knows she's won.)


Lenor -- Washing powder with aloe. The next time you want a new outfit and your mother asks if you think such things grow on trees, you can always say this ad led you to believe they do.

Sure -- Antiperspirant. I'm pretty sure they didn't intend for the ad to make people feel sorry for the scent-causing bacteria that this stuff doesn't allow to breed.

(Scene: LHS parking lot. Music: Duncan Shiek -- "Serena". Lynn's throwing her book bag into the backseat of the Merc as Daria approaches. Lynn turns and addresses her pleasantly enough.)

Lynn: Hey. Want a ride home?

Daria: Isn't it out of your way?

Lynn: Never bothered either of us before.

Daria: Well, I was actually going to the Lanes'.

Lynn: Hrm. If you wanted to talk to Jane, you'd be walking home with her, so it has to be Trent. So, would "talk" be a bit euphemistic?

Daria: Do I get that ride or not?

(Scene: in the Merc, through the streets of Lawndale. Sedate pace. Music plays on.)

Lynn: So spill it. (to Daria's querying look) Under normal circumstances, you'd have just walked to Casa Lane to work through the stomach butterflies. The fact that you wanted to ride with me means...

Daria: What's going on with the Spiral?

(Lynn's face gives a very good impression of a slammed door.)

Lynn: You know.

Daria: You could rebuild. Reform. Whatever it is you do with a band that...

Lynn: That made the band in "The Wedding Gig" look like they had an easy life? At least they were forced into it. Not to mention that when the bullets started flying...

Daria: It's different now. That's not going to be a problem.

Lynn: And where do you suggest we find a guitarist to replace Jesse who won't be seen as the outsider for the rest of the band's career?

Daria: I hear Danny Moreno can play. Was actually teaching Jesse for awhile.

Lynn: True, but he's in a band of his own now -- when Mystik Spiral got a new member from outside, he decided it was time to strike out on his own. Once they get to an age where they can play brewpubs -- and when Danny gets through his own mourning process -- Processed Brain Food are going to be giving the Name-Droppers a serious run for their money.

Daria: Well ... you play...

Lynn: Ah yes. (beat) Well, if you're so smart, perhaps you can suggest a temporary replacement for Max?

(Daria just looks at her. Off Lynn's realisation...)

(Scene: McIntyre Manor, ext. AP approaches and sees the converted B.A.N.D. ice cream truck parked outside. Mara's leaning on it; she straightens when she sees him.)

AP: Nympho-Goth?

Mara: Geek-ball. (beat) I wanna talk to you.

AP: Hey, look, if this is about the NASA thing, I -- ACK!

(The "ack" happens when he is grabbed by the collar by Mara and nearly tossed into the passenger seat of the truck.)

Mara: Now siddown and shaddup!

AP: (OS; meek) Yes'm.

(She slams the door; gives a congratulatory smirk)

(Scene: the Zen, ext. Music: Pop Will Eat Itself -- "R.S.V.P.". The A-Tank is parked outside it. The B.A.N.D.-wagon pulls up behind it. Exit AP; he steps towards the A-Tank and looks back at Mara sitting in the driver's seat. His look is pleading. Mara cranks the window down and leans out.)

Mara: The eyes don't work on me, Geek-ball!

AP: They work for Dustpuppy...

Mara: I don't know what you're talking about and I don't even care. Go!

AP: Going! Going! (turning back towards the A-Tank) Jeez, why don't you just get a bullwhip?

Mara: Don't tempt me, Geek-ball...

(AP's eyes go big and he starts towards the van again. This time he hammers on the side door.)

Max: (OS) Hey, man, sign says I can park here 'til nine!

AP: Do I sound like a cop to you?

Max: (OS) Oh. You.

AP: You gonna open the door?

Max: (OS) Why should I?

AP: Cos I gotta talk to you. (beat) Look, there's a Nympho-Goth out here and I think she has a bullwhip and I don't really do pain so could you at least let me in and make like I tried?

(Silence for a moment longer; AP looks apologetically at Mara in the truck ... and the A-Tank door opens. AP looks at it, looks back at the truck -- Mara makes a "go on" motion with her hand -- and then he steps in. The door slams shut.)

(Scene: A-Tank int. Music plays on. Max sits sprawled on the floor of the van with his back against the far wall. His left arm's in a sling and he looks drawn. AP sits cross-legged in the corner.)

Max: What?

AP: It's about the band. The Spiral, y'know? I wanted to know if you were gonna come back in, if they start up again. (to Max's harsh glare) Hey, look, I don't wanna be a buttinski, but...

Max: So why are you?

AP: Nympho-Goth is making me.

Max: Why does she care? I mean, the Spiral's competition for her.

AP: (*shrug*) Not my business. But you kinda are. See, I figure that if I talk to you and you don't want back, next thing's gonna happen is that they're gonna call me in. So I guess I wanna know before that happens if you want that.

(Max watches him warily -- there's fear there.)

Max: I hit things, man; things are not supposed to hit me!

AP: What, no one ever tossed things at you onstage?

Max: Well, usually that stuff hit Nick first... (beat) But that's not the point! They messed with the Spiral, man! And we were the ones that went down.

AP: We did say, right? That that part's over?

Max: Stuff like that's never over, kid. But even if it is...

AP: If it is, you're missing out big time, Little Drummer Boy. I mean, I dunno much from the whole Spiral bunch -- I don't pay attention much, y'know -- but I kinda thought that whatever, you'd do it together as much as, kind of thing. Isn't it kinda what you want?

Max: I don't wanna die, man!

AP: You're gonna die someday, but it's not gonna be 'cause of that. But ... well, it'd be like me giving up the 'puters. There's something we all got put here for and tell me you're not here to hit things to music.


Max: My arm, man...

(AP rolls up his sleeve, shows off the bullet graze scar.)

AP: This wasn't so bad as all that, but it healed. You're gonna too. Until you do ... I can do the hitting things. (beat) Gives you time to make up your mind, right?

(Max looks at the unassuming little geek-ball sitting across from him.)

(Scene: Lane basement. Music: Cold -- "She Said". Trent's just sitting there. His guitar's leaning against the wall; he's not even looking at it. The basement door opens and boot-tread is heard coming down the stairs.)

Daria: (OS) Trent?

Trent: Oh. Hey, Daria.

(The boot-tread comes the rest of the way down the stairs and Daria stands there, not quite sure what to do. She settles for sitting on the stairs.)

Daria: You okay?

Trent: Not really.

(There's silence.)

Daria: I ... I don't know how to start this, so I guess I should just come out with it. (beat) Do you hate her? Lynn, I mean.

Trent: What? No. No, I don't hate her.

Daria: You don't think it's her fault? (When he opens his mouth to reply) No; really think about it.

(He does.)

Trent: It was her family's fault, not hers. I don't blame her.

Daria: So then why not keep the Spiral going?

Trent: Daria ... the Spiral was as much Jesse's band as mine. The name was something we came up with together, and when we got Nick and Max on, we did it together. (beat) Daria, I can't just keep it the way it was without him. It's not ... I dunno. Fair, maybe.

Daria: What about what's fair to you, Trent? And to Nick and Max? And to Lynn? Don't you think Jesse would care about that?

Trent: What do you mean?

Daria: You and Jesse worked together on this for how long? A decade? Something like that, anyway. And you did it together -- for yourselves and for each other. Let's say that Jesse just got hurt too badly to ever play again.

Trent: Instead of getting shot dead, you mean.

Daria: Yeah. Instead of that. (beat) If he was here to see you like this, do you really think he'd let you get away with letting the band go?

Trent: No. I guess he wouldn't.

Daria: What would he tell you?

Trent: That I should keep my eyes on the prize. No matter what.

Daria: Then why are you sitting down here, alone, instead of calling Lynn, picking up that guitar, and venting whatever this must be doing to you into music? (beat) I don't know if I believe in an afterlife, Trent, but if there is one, and if Jesse's capable of watching us, is this the picture you'd want him to see?


Trent: I guess the punk could do the drumming until Max heals up ... if Max still wants it. (beat) And Lynn could take the rhythm. (beat) I dunno, Daria. It just doesn't feel right.

Daria: Do you think it's a decision you can make without the others?

(There is a pause. Trent looks at her gravely.)

Trent: How'd someone so young get so wise so fast?

Daria: (blushing) Most people say that the wisest part of me is what I'm sitting on. And that comes from being raised the way I was.

Trent: Come on, Daria. Take a compliment for once.

(Daria looks down at her boots, blushing even more.)

Trent: Hey. Daria.

Daria: (looking up) Yes, Trent?

Trent: I know you're gonna have to bail in a minute -- I know when you get that red. But before you have to, I just wanted to say ... thanks. Really. I couldn't think and you helped make things a little clearer.

Daria: Uh. Yeah. Right. No problem. Uh ... that "bailing" thing you were talking about?

Trent: I'll let you know how it turns out.

(Daria smiles a little, stands up, turns towards the stairs, then stops. Turns around, trots quickly towards where Trent is sitting, kisses him [think the final scene in "IIFY?"]. Then leaves quickly. Trent finally smiles a little, watching her go.)


Ariel -- More washing powder. You'd think that someone making as much money as Tim Henman would be able to afford to use a launderette rather than stripping off in front of crowds at Wimbledon to get his washing to a friend.

Next on TLAS -- Meet Lawndale's answers to Howard Stern, Robin Williams ... or maybe just Bing and the Spatula Man in "Good Morning, Lawndale High".

(Scene: Jane's room. Music: Therapy -- "30 Seconds". Daria's seated on the bed, watching Jane as she pokes idly at the remnants of her sculpture with a long metal ruler. What was once an eerily ordered assemblage of lines and angles is now a jumbled mass of jagged-looking metal that cries out "incipient tetanus shot".)

Jane: And you left it there?

Daria: I got him thinking. I figured my work there was done.

Jane: You got him thinking, and then you kissed him, probably wiping all logical thought from his mind...

Daria: I don't think one kiss is going to turn any man into a brainless puddle of mush, Jane.

Jane: It is if you're doing it right. (beat) Anyway; you made do with one lousy kiss and then took off just because he complimented you? (to Daria's sheepish look) Didn't AP compliment you at all while you were dating?

Daria: Not in any manner that didn't require a translator, no.

Jane: I'm guessing "nrgh".

Daria: "Nrgh", "mnuh" and a particularly emphatic "wwwheh".

(Jane raises an eyebrow and gives the sculpture a slightly less tentative poke. Bits fall off. She frowns at it.)

Jane: And all he said was he'd think about it? I'd have thought after a kiss from you that he'd do anything short of giving you the moon as a necklace if you asked him to.

Daria: I don't wear any jewellery, Jane. (beat) And I didn't want to push things. It's not like Jesse just moved away.

Jane: (bitter) Tell me about it. (She pokes the sculpture harder. It falls apart completely.) Damnit!

(Jane looks at the remnants of her sculpture while Daria watches Jane with some concern.)

Daria: Jane...

Jane: (waving the concerned tone away and changing subject) God, I hope they get the band going again. It's way too quiet in this house without the rehearsals.

Daria: If you tell me you miss Trent's occasional depressed forays into the early '80s, I may have to report you to Ms Manson.

Jane: No, that's what the headphones are for. That way, his God-awful renditions of "Tainted Love" get drowned out by either Static-X or incipient tinnitis. What I do miss is counting how many different dialects or languages Lynn swears at Nick in when he blows a chord.

Daria: What's the record so far?

Jane: Eight and a half.

Daria: Eight and a half?

Jane: American, British, some French that probably came straight out of a Montreal gutter, Spanish, German, Polish, some Asian that could have been Japanese and ... maybe Greek but I'm not sure.

Daria: And the half?

Jane: Her own personal blend. Sort of a combination of the other eight and a few juicy phrases I hadn't even considered.

Daria: All that in the same session?

Jane: In the same breath.


Daria: If they do get back together, record that.

Jane: Gotcha, amiga. (beat) Speaking of She of the Multilingual Profanity, what'd she have to say for herself?

Daria: You mean verbally, or otherwise?

Jane: Cut to the "otherwise". She's too much like you for "verbally" to mean much.

Daria: She wants it back. She just doesn't want to have to ask.

Jane: Guilt by the bucketload? (Daria nods) They're gonna talk, right? (Daria nods again) So we just wait for that? (When Daria nods a third time, Jane bursts into typically bad song) o/` So tired / Tired of waiting / Tired of waiting for you-hoooooo-- OOF!

("Oof" resulted from Daria throwing a pillow at her, hitting her right in the face.)

(Scene: Lynn's room. Music: Demons and Wizards -- "Fiddler on the Green". Lynn walks in with a plate bearing a sandwich and a steaming mug. She sets them down on the desk next to her school texts and sits down at the desk. She opens a history textbook and starts reading. AP's head appears in the window.)

AP: Knock knock!

Lynn: I don't do knock-knock jokes.

(AP crawls in through the window, comes behind her and looks at what she's up to, putting a hand on her shoulder as he does so. Lynn cringes a little but doesn't say anything.)

AP: And I'm as big a joke as it gets. (beat) History homework?

Lynn: No. I'm researching for the third "Bill and Ted" movie.

(She picks up a pen and starts jotting down notes.)

AP: I talked to Little Drummer Boy today. (beat) He's thinking about coming back when his shoulder gets better.

Lynn: (not looking up) If the band gets back together.

AP: Yeah. And I ... kinda thought, if things go okay with the rest, that I could ... y'know...

Lynn: You mean the drumming.

AP: Duh I mean the drumming! (beat) So...

(Silence bar the music and the scratching of her pen on paper)

AP: Wanna help me out here, Purple Peril? Even a dirty look'd at least tell me what you're thinking...

(Land line phone rings. She gets up and goes for it.)

Lynn: Hello? (beat) Oh. Hey, Trent. (beat) What for? (beat) Oh. I see. Yeah, we could talk about that. (beat) That's actually more convenient than you think. (beat) Yeah, bye.

(She hangs up and looks at AP.)

AP: Now all that look tells me is that you're not blind.

Lynn: Before we go, I have a question. How much did Mara have to do with this?

AP: To do with what? Wait -- before we go? Go where?

Lynn: You will tell me on the way.

AP: But where are we go ... eep!

(The 'eep' comes when Lynn grabs him by the sleeve and drags him out of the room.)

(Scene: Lane basement. Music plays on. Trent, Nick, Lynn and AP sit around on any available surface. They have cans of soda and slightly grim expressions.)

Lynn: So, does she love it when a plan comes together?

AP: She doesn't know it has yet, right?

Lynn: Well, one way or another, I'm sure she will soon enough. (beat; businesslike) So. The Spiral.

Trent: I got to thinking. About the band, and everything.

Nick: It's gonna be easier now, sure, but without Jesse, you know...

Trent: What I was thinking was that Jesse would want the Spiral to go on. A legacy deal. He worked hard to get us where we are, and I guess he wouldn't want all that work to die with him. So we owe it to him to keep the Spiral together.

Nick: But we couldn't be Mystik Spiral anymore, right? I mean, we're not the same band.

AP: With me hitting things 'til Little Drummer Boy gets better, and Purple Peril on guitar, guess you're not.

Lynn: (putting a hand on AP's) We're not.

Trent: We needed to change the name anyway, I guess.

AP: I always liked "Barfing Anarchists"...

Trent: No good. That was one of Jesse's.

AP: That could be good, though! Memorial kinda thing... (to the looks) OkayIllshutup.

Nick: Guess we could go with "Criminales". Max'd be cool with that, if he wants back in.

AP: He wouldn't, though. I think the "criminale" phase is over.

Lynn: Anyway, we're reformed these days.

(Lynn and Trent share an inspired look.)

(Scene: Jane's room. Jane has collected the remnants of her sculpture and set them on the table, staring them as she wonders how to reassemble them. Enter Lynn with the look of a woman on a mission.)

Jane: So how'd it go? Do you guys spiral on?

Lynn: Yes and no. We have an idea but I need something from you.

Jane: You need a backup singer?

Lynn: If we ever need a dying cat's wail as background noise, we'll call. No, this uses some of your better-known talents. I need a costume designer.

(Jane raises an eyebrow, then grabs the metal ruler from the edge of the table and scrapes everything sharp off the table. Then she hefts herself onto the table and grabs a notepad and pencil, looking at Lynn expectantly.)

Jane: Inspire me.

(Scene: LHS art room. Jane's painting, but we don't see what she's working on. She looks very intense, working from a series of notes and sketches strategically stationed around her on tables, chairs, bits of what used to be the still life -- any surface she could get hold of. Daria appears in the doorway, watches for a moment as Jane stays focused on her task.)

Daria: Don't you have a home to go to?

Jane: (does not stop painting) I have a house shaking with missed chords and profanity and a bedroom I can't walk in. (beat) Life is good.

Daria: (small smile) He actually listened. Life is good. (beat) So what's up with your bedroom? Did that health hazard you call a sculpture take on a life of its own?

Jane: Not exactly...

(Scene: Jane's room. Focus on the doorway, where Daria and Jane stand. Daria looks awed. Jane looks proud to the point of smug.)

Daria: This place is a mess.

Jane: Yes, it is, isn't it?

Daria: And this is for her?

Jane: Yyyyyyyyyep.

Daria: This is something you're going to have to explain.

(Scene: the Zen. Andrea, Mara, Casey and Guy are at a table. Enter Daria and Jane; they take seats with Andrea and the representative members of the B.A.N.D.)

Mara: So why'd Lynn want to meet us here?

Jane: (smirk) She has a surprise for you, O Meddlesome One.

Guy: Come on, what's this about? Tell me the freak who runs this place is gonna announce an add-on to the bill and the new and shrunk Spiral's gonna come out on that stage in a minute.

Daria: Not exactly...

Jane: Oh, here we go.

(Onstage, the lights have gone up. AP's sitting behind the drum kit. He's wearing a white shirt. Nick and Trent, in identical white shirts and black jeans, flank Lynn. The dress is white and off the shoulder, with a corset-style bodice edged in feathers; the skirt is loose, edged in lace and stops just above her knee. On her feet are high white Docs. On her back are a set of white angel's wings -- Jane's work, evidently, from the proud smirk she wears when we cut back to the gang. Daria's got the Mona Lisa smile on. Mara and Guy are drop-jawed, bug-eyed staring. Casey and Andrea share a look.)

Casey: (grunt) Whoa.

Guy: What he said, DOUBLE.

Mara: That ... isn't ... right...

(Cut back to the stage.)

Lynn: We're the Reformed now. Hence the get-ups. Enjoy the show. First song's ... for absent friends and the ones who made it. If you don't know ... just enjoy it anyway.

(With that, she lowers her eyes -- in that one moment, the costume fits better than anyone could have guessed -- and then they start to play.)

Back, back, back beyond
The trials and former glories
Time, time, time will tell
A different set of stories
On, on, on we go
Along this road we're paving
Try, try, try to run
From lives we failed in saving

The way is never neat for us
Nostalgia won't be sweet for us
But we don't think about that much these days

Cry, cry, cry my love
For what your life has taken
Die, die, die my hate
For all that we've forsaken
Blind, blind, blind the eyes
That saw us when we started
Twist, twist, twist the knife
You planted when we parted

We can't afford to be naive
We've seen too much not to believe
But we don't leave much time to grieve these days

And sometime in the future
You may see us soldier on
We're veterans and we're outlaws
And our innocence is gone
But God we can't just wallow
Cos we know that means you've won
So we just keep on fighting through these days

Deal, deal, deal the hand
And somehow we'll play through it
Rage, rage, rage is ours
We find ways to subdue it
Try, try, though you will
You won't hurt or unnerve us
Know this, know it well
You never did deserve us

We may not live in luxury
Or under shields of destiny
But we can find what tools we need these days

Beyond the theory and surmise
We've finally come to realise
That what we are is all we are these days

(Fade out on the dying chords; from the solemn faces of the Reformed to the slightly confused ones at the table -- all but two, because Daria and Jane have lowered their heads in a gesture of respect and farewell.)



The sculpture -- Yeah, inspired in part by the piece Caira had Jane working on in "I'm Going to Jane's", just a lot smaller.

"The Wedding Gig" -- Stephen King story out of the "Skeleton Crew" collection. Involves, if you hadn't guessed, a band playing at the wedding of a bootlegger's sister.

Band names -- Don't remember where I first heard "Barfing Anarchists", but it isn't my idea. "Criminales" was a nod to Brother Grimace's "The Sun Will Come Out, Tomorrow", and I would have stuck with it if it hadn't been for Caira.

The wings -- I've been reading Lew's "Heroes...".


This one's for those on the List -- the coder and co-author, the musicman, the umtwin, the geek and the adapter. You know who you are. Also to the guy who mailed me with the reminder that, even though they will be kids and be glad of it, none of the characters in TLAS will ever be children again -- and that's expected and right. And finally, oddly enough, to the Ruthless and the Sink, even though they'll never know. Why? Because I can.


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, AP McIntyre, Mara Fitzgerald, and any other character you don't recognise from any ep, on the other hand, were created and are owned by me, one Janet 'Canadibrit' Neilson, copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002. Touch my characters without consulting me and it will go hard with you. All cameos used with permission, though by this point they're more characters in their own rights. 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.