(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...)


(Scene: Daria's room. Daria's in bed, fast asleep ... at least until Wheatus' "Teenage Dirtbag" starts blaring from somewhere outside. We also hear the thump of someone working out.)

Daria: (springing into a sitting position) Gah!

(Her sudden sit-up has left her off-balance, and she falls right out of bed. After a moment, she gropes for her glasses and squints at the digital clock by her bed -- 7:05 a.m. She groans and staggers upright.)

(Scene: Quinn's room. Music plays on. Quinn, in workout gear, is running through a cheerleading routine in front of her mirrors. Daria walks in and turns down the volume on Quinn's boom box so that the track is merely background noise. Quinn turns on her angrily.)

Quinn: Daria! I'm trying to practice!

Daria: And I'm trying to sleep. So could you keep it down to a dull roar?

Quinn: Daria, look. It has to be loud so we can hear it over the crowd!

Daria: And I take it the assembled multitudes you're referring to are hiding in your closet.

Quinn: Daria, it took me forever to convince Stacy to play something a little less icky and now that I did, I need to get used to it so would you just go away and do your homework or whatever?

Daria: It's a little hard to do that when I can't hear myself think.

Quinn: Then get, like, headphones or something and leave me alone.

(Quinn moves to her boom box and makes to turn up the volume; Daria puts her hand over Quinn's own and looks her full in the face.)

Daria: Quinn ... maybe ... could you leave the practice for awhile?

Quinn: Why, so I won't be bothering you anymore?

Daria: No; I meant so we can talk about what's bothering you.

Quinn: I don't want to talk about anything! I don't want to think about anything! What I want is to get on with my life and you're not letting me and I don't want you hanging around here ruining my life again so would you just get out of my room?

Daria: Quinn, I...

(But Quinn has pulled her hand out from under Daria's and pushes her out of the room, slamming the door after her. Then Quinn leans on the door and squints her eyes tight against tears. Then she cranks up the volume again, even louder than before.)

(Scene: Morgendorffer house, upstairs hallway. Music plays on. Daria stands looking at Quinn's closed door for a moment, then sighs heavily and walks off.)

(Scene: Morgendorffer kitchen. Music: Ben Folds Five -- "Selfless, Cold and Composed". Daria is sitting at the table, poking at a bowl of cereal, looking dejected. Helen storms in, looking frenzied.)

Helen: Daria, have you seen my briefcase? I have a breakfast meeting and if I'm not out of the house in five minutes...

Daria: It's on the sofa. Mom, can I talk to you for a second?

(Helen freezes in her tracks.)

Helen: Daria, I'm really sorry but I honestly don't have a second right now. I promise as soon as I come back, we'll have a talk about whatever you want.

(Daria's shoulders sag.)

Daria: Would hearing that it's predominantly about Quinn's behaviour make you willing to stretch your schedule to include five minutes of family talk time?

Helen: Daria, really, I know that the music she's been playing is a little bit disruptive but she's working hard at her studies and doing well with the cheerleading squad and I'm not sure that now is the best time to discourage her. So could you please try to show her a little bit of patience?

Daria: Perhaps as soon as she shows the rest of us a little bit of respect.

Helen: Oh, Daria, I'm sure she respects us -- maybe she just doesn't realise that it's bothering you so much. Look, when you get back from Lynn's tomorrow we'll all sit down and I'm sure we can work something out. Maybe we can get you headphones or something.

(She moves to Daria, kisses her on top of the head and leaves. Daria pushes her bowl away and drops her head heavily on the table.)

(Scene: Chez Cullen living room. Music: Papa Roach -- "Broken Home". Lynn's curled up on the sofa, watching TV. We hear a key in the front door lock and then the door opening and slamming shut.)

Lynn: (not looking up) Dump your bag wherever; pizza's coming in ten.

(Daria enters and drops her bag on the floor next to the living room door. Lynn looks up to see the dead, disappointed look on Daria's face. Then she reaches for the remote and pauses the tape in the VCR.)

Daria: I'd propose we skip the slasher-fest and work on the history assignment instead, but I could really use the mindless escapism right now.

Lynn: How about we skip both the movies and the homework for a minute and you tell me what's with the deader-than-deadpan look on your face?

(Lynn gestures to the other side of the sofa, and Daria drops herself onto it heavily.)

Daria: It's Quinn. Her cheerleading practice is getting loud and it's distracting. I tried to reason with her, but she just blew up at me and shoved me out.

Lynn: I thought you liked the kind of music they're cheerleading to these days.

Daria: I did until Quinn convinced them to move to Sum 41 and Blink 182.

Lynn: Bands with numbers in their names are never good. At least it's not Matchbox 20. Or worse yet, 98 Degrees. (beat) Tried drowning it out?

Daria: I'm reluctant to call attention to my music tastes right now. Mom being a lawyer, she's sensitive to the court cases citing bands as the source of childhood dysfunction. Besides, she's in the middle of the case that could make or break her career. The last time I tried, she said that she preferred Quinn's brand of noise to what sounds to her like someone mutilating small animals.

Lynn: What's the case?

Daria: Criminal damages against a poodle parlour. Something about a Lhasa Apso and gardening shears.

Lynn: Then play the animal-mutilating music anyway. See if she appreciates the irony.

Daria: As far as Mom's concerned, irony is nothing more than a dietary requirement.

Lynn: Well, pardon me for trying to lighten the mood. Speaking of the maternal unit, have you tried getting her to police Quinn's music as well as your own?

Daria: I tried, but she's taking the total immersion approach to the poodle parlour case and I couldn't get an appointment until tomorrow night.

Lynn: That soon, huh?

Daria: Not that I think she'll do anything about it anyway. As far as Mom's concerned, Quinn's cheerleading career and improving grades just prove that she's getting over the breakup with Ted, which is what she seems to believe is bothering Quinn.

Lynn: And while she thinks that it might do Quinn harm to interfere with her supposed coping strategy, the only way you'll get her to intervene is if you prove that it's doing you more harm to let it continue. And knowing you, you have no intention of showing that lack of self-sufficiency.

Daria: Pot calling kettle, you are black. Repeat -- you are black.

Lynn: Did I say I saw it as a bad thing? (beat) So, since we've ruled out the other solutions, when are you bringing the rest of your stuff?

Daria: I appreciate the offer, but I'm not sure that me taking off again is the best idea just now.

Lynn: It would be the most effective way of showing how disruptive you're finding things.

Daria: And without making regular appearances at the dinner table to prove my existence, I'd be guaranteed a further stint of house arrest as soon as I came back. Besides, the last thing I want is to distract Mom from her case by making her worry about how I'm doing and why I left home ... again.

Lynn: Oh. Right. Parental concern. I think I read about that once.

(Daria raises an eyebrow at the bitter note in Lynn's voice.)

Daria: Excuse me?

Lynn: Sorry; it's just not something I can really empathise with. I'm not used to having anyone around taking an interest in where I'm going, when I got home, what music I play and how loud, or what I keep in the fridge.

Daria: Are you trying to torture me?

Lynn: I suppose you could consider it turnabout. If I was a different sort of person.

Daria: Yeah. Which of course you're not. (beat) So I guess you'd take badly to ... ah, forget it.

Lynn: Come on. If I'm going to take badly to something, I'd like to know what it is I'm expected to take badly to.

Daria: Well, let's say that a ... convincing copy of me made regular appearances at the Morgendorffer dinner table for a couple of weeks. While a convincing copy of you stayed here, ducked the Leibowitzes down the block and actually got some homework done for a change.

(Lynn puzzles over this for a split-second and then turns and stares at Daria in vague shock.)

Lynn: You mean switching places.

Daria: Just for a couple of weeks. I could really use the peace and quiet. And this way, if you can pull it off, I don't worry anyone while I get it.

Lynn: So you're suggesting this for purely selfish reasons. You're not mentioning it as a possibility because you think I'm lonely in this big house by myself and starving for a taste of family life. Because I would really hate it if you thought that.

Daria: Obviously. Which is why my motives are completely free from any altruism.

(They look at each other -- the subtext behind what they're both saying is abundantly clear.)

Lynn: And you're sure I can pull it off?

Daria: I know you can fool Quinn. Mom's too busy with her case to notice even if you slip a little and Dad's ... well, Dad's Dad. Add that to your Juliet and the "Jackie" thing, and it makes me very sure that you can pull it off.

Lynn: You're sure about this.

Daria: I wouldn't have suggested something this extreme if I wasn't.

Lynn: Okay, I want to iron this out before we agree to anything. The first wrinkle I can see is making sure you -- sorry, I -- get out of the house early enough for us to switch clothes. Unless you're willing to attract some very strange looks by changing clothes in the girls' bathrooms at school.

Daria: We-ell... Do you think you could manage accelerated math and chemistry for a couple of weeks?

(Now Lynn looks really shocked.)

Lynn: So you get a house to yourself and I'm getting classes slightly out of my league. My enticement for this is...?

Daria: The fun of pulling the wool over the eyes of most of the school?

(They look at each other. Daria sticks her hand out. Lynn takes and shakes it.)

Lynn: Done.

(She reaches for the remote again and starts the movie playing again. They both start to watch, but the look on Daria's face suggests that she's not quite sure she believes what she just suggested or that Lynn agreed to it in the first place.)


Volvo -- Sponsors ER. I'm not sure that's the best sponsorship deal for what's known as one of the world's safest cars.

Charmin -- Loo roll advert to the tune of "Toucha-toucha-toucha Touch Me" from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. On one level it works, but on most others it's so wrong it hurts.

(Scene: Lynn's room. Music: Ani DiFranco -- "Out of Range". Daria, in T-shirt and skirt, is standing in front of Lynn's dresser, going through the top drawer. Her face is a picture of incomprehension. Lynn's standing in front of the full-length mirror hanging on the back of her bedroom door, looking at herself in Daria's jacket.)

Daria: You know, I never paid attention to your underwear before.

Lynn: Good, because I think incest is still considered taboo in same-sex relationships.

Daria: What's wrong with plain white sports bras? (beat, in which Lynn shrugs) First rule -- I'm wearing my own underwear.

Lynn: Ah-ah-ah -- if we're doing this right, we have to go all the way. That's the kind of thing that'll get commented on when we're changing after gym. (beat; teasing smirk) Anyway, AP'd notice.

Daria: (wide-eyed panic) We are telling Jane, Trent and AP ... aren't we?

Lynn: Actually, I wasn't planning on it. (chuckling at the freaked-out expression on Daria's face) Twenty bucks says they'll notice before they see what's under the jackets, never mind the shirts.

Daria: Forget "notice". What if ... what if they don't care?

Lynn: Believe me. They will notice, and they will care when they do. And if they don't notice, we revoke certain boyfriend priviledges. Guys are expected to deal with a certain amount of testing. Otherwise, they get complacent.

Daria: You do realise who you sound like?

Lynn: (slight disgust) Urgh. So when do you want to start this thing?

Daria: Tomorrow morning. Before I change my mind.

(Scene: Morgendorffer living room. Music plays on. Helen's pacing the room, phone glued to her ear. Jake's sitting on the sofa, reading the paper. The front door opens and Lynn, dressed in Daria's clothes and glasses, enters slightly warily.)

Helen: (who hasn't noticed; into the phone) No, Eric, we can't take her word for it; she's a bitch.

Jake: (who has, and glanced up from his paper briefly) Hey, kiddo! How'd your sleepover go?

Helen: (into the phone) No, I'm not excluding her from the witness stand on the basis of her character, but...

Lynn: Disclosing that information to a male would break the teen-girl code.

Helen: (into the phone) No, Eric; I meant it literally. Your proposed witness is a Yorkshire Terrier.

Lynn: How's Mom's case going?

Jake: Oh, you know your mother; she's a real go-getter!

Helen: (into the phone) Oh, Eric, how are we supposed to cross-examine her? Get her to bark once for yes and twice for no?

Lynn: In this case, wouldn't she be more a "go-fetcher"?

Jake: (honestly thinking about this) Hmm. Maybe you're right.

(Lynn looks at Helen, who's listening to whatever Eric has to say with a disgusted look on her face, and then heads for the stairs.)

(Scene: Lynn's room. Music: Something for Kate -- "Prick". Daria is lying on Lynn's bed, idly doing her homework. After a moment, Lynn's cellphone, still lying on the bedside table, starts bleeping "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life". After a moment's worried-looking deliberation, she picks it up.)

Daria: He-- uh, Cullen.

(Split-screen to Nick.)

Nick: Hey, Lungs; I get you at a bad time?

Daria: (confused blink -- "Lungs?") Uh ... I think I can spare a few minutes.

Nick: How about ninety? Was talking to Trent and we thought we'd run through the set for Tuesday's Zen gig. (when Daria hesitates) Come on; you're the one always putting that SAS-issue of yours down about shirking rehearsal time.

Daria: Well, that's true, but I also must have explained that homework has to take precedence.

Nick: Yeah right; like the time you churned out a science assignment, a set of math questions and some blurb on "Gatsby" in the back of the A-Tank on the way to The Landfill Inn two months ago?

Daria: (slowly and somewhat irritated) I must have been out of my mind. Look ... I'll get back to you.

(Before he can say anything else, she hangs up -- single screen. Then she picks up the land line and dials. When she gets a busy signal, she hangs up in disgust.)

(Scene: LHS corridor. Music: Linkin Park -- "Crawling". Daria at Lynn's locker. Lynn standing behind her.)

Lynn: I don't see what you're so upset about. You handled it fine.

Daria: That's not the point ... "Lungs".

Lynn: That is strictly a Nick-name. So please just drop it.

Daria: I'll ignore the God-awful pun while I'm at it. But speaking of dropping things, you're seriously telling me that you drop everything for band rehearsals?

Lynn: It got done, didn't it?

Daria: In the back of the A-Tank. While dealing with chording debates, lyrics inspirations and potholes.

Lynn: I aced the "Gatsby" commentary and passed the others. Scenery doesn't make a whole lot of difference when it comes to me and homework.

(Jane has approached in time to catch that last sentence.)

Jane: And that's why you've been bitching about Weezer for the last week?

Lynn: Oh, that. It's the principle of the thing.

Jane: (turning to Daria) So what happened to you yesterday? Trent was really pissed about you skipping out on rehearsal. (beat) Well, that and Daria's phone being busy all night. The rehearsal idea came after he spent three hours trying to call you for a date.

Daria: (slightly pleased) Oh. (beat) Well, I thought my homework should come first for a change.

Jane: Okay, who are you and what have you done with... Waiiiiiiiiiitaminit. (squints at Daria) Daria?

Lynn: (smirk) I believe that's twenty bucks for me.

Daria: (checks her watch) I've got thirty-five seconds. (beat) Not bad, but not necessarily conclusive.

Jane: I don't know why you're doing this, but I do know that if you're betting on people figuring out that you've switched places, thirty-five seconds is the best you're going to get.

(AP jogs awkwardly into shot, sees the trio, grins and skids to a halt, somehow managing to keep his balance. Then he looks at them for two seconds, wraps an arm around Lynn and kisses her. When he lets go, all three girls have slightly freaked, wide-eyed expressions.)

Lynn: What do you think you're doing?

AP: Kissing my girlfriend. Problem?

Daria: Yes. Have you gone colour-blind in the last twenty-four hours?

AP: C'mon, Erudite Emerald, you can't fool me. It takes a lot more than a switch in colour coding to make me screw up that bad.

Daria: (digging in her pocket and handing a bill to Lynn with a sigh) Boyfriend priviledges maintained.

Lynn: (pocketing it) Hell, extended. Two seconds; that's got to be some kind of record.

AP: So how come you guys are doing the Parent Trap deal? (smug grin) Or is this just some big ol' plot to get to spend more time sitting next to me in class?

(Bell rings)

Daria: I'll explain everything at lunch.

(Daria and Lynn nod; Jane and Lynn take off in one direction and Daria and AP take off in the other. Two seconds later, they stop. Daria and Lynn switch places. They proceed.)

(Montage sequence. Music: Duran Duran -- "The Skin Trade".

Barch's classroom. Barch is pacing the room explaining something -- molecular diagrams for various acids are written on the blackboard. Daria is bent over a sheet of paper, and as Barch passes between Daria and Jane, she glances at Daria's work. It's an equation for the synthesis of aspirin. Barch looks very confused at the accuracy of the work.

Math classroom. Their current teacher -- high-necked blouse, cardigan, calf-length skirt, sensible shoes, off-brown hair in a bun, glasses -- is watching Lynn doing an algebra problem on the board. It has not come out quite right, from the slightly frustrated look on her face. Cut to the rest of the class -- Jodie looks confused while AP seems to be actively restraining himself from springing to the front and coming to Lynn's rescue.

Girl's locker room. Daria is trying to tie her hair in a braid the way Lynn normally does for a workout. She's messing it up badly. She untangles it with sharp, "I give up" gestures ... and then she catches Lynn looking at her. She sighs and tries again.

LHS gym. Daria [hair in a very messy braid] and Lynn are on opposite sides of a volleyball net. Jane, Brittany, Lisa and Alice are on Lynn's side and Andrea, Jodie, Angie and Karen [the Kara look-alike] are on Daria's. Andrea hits the ball at Lynn, who spikes it back hard. Karen and Angie dive for it and crash right into each other. Everyone stares at Lynn, who looks at Daria. Daria raises an eyebrow and lifts a hand casually, as in the canon opening sequence. Lynn rolls her eyes, disgusted with herself.

Art room. Defoe is pacing behind her students. The theme is apparently abstract. AP's gone the Pollack route, probably because he can't do much else. Jane has disassembled a picture framed and reassembled it in a starburst pattern so that only a small area of red silk shows in the middle. Daria's doing a geometric piece -- all ordered lines and multicoloured squares. She frowns at this, not thinking it's Lynn's style, and moves on to Lynn, who has smeared the black canvas with off-grey at the top and wedgewood blue at the bottom; she's now drizzling white paint like raindrops between the two. She looks from Daria, to Lynn, to Daria's canvas, to Lynn's canvas. Then she shakes her head and moves on.)

(Scene: Lane basement. Music: Coal Chamber -- "Anything But You". Lynn, still in Daria-wear, clumps down the stairs, guitar in tow. AP trails along behind. Trent and Nick, who are set up and by all appearances ready to go, just watch the duo.)

Lynn: Okay, I wanted to work on some of the cover stuff today. No matter how good the response is to our new stuff, people at the Zen still seem to like the covers pretty well.

AP: I'm gonna chalk that up to the cool-weirdness that is you makin' like Pete Steele and makin' it work.

(Trent and Nick are still just watching them. Lynn takes the guitar out of its case, plugs it into an amp and starts tuning. Trent and Nick just stare, and as AP moves behind the drum kit, she looks up, annoyed.)

Nick: That just isn't right. This whole picture freaks me out. Daria ... with a guitar. Just ... no.

Trent: I dunno. It could work. And I think it's kinda hot.

AP: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Stop it right there with that kinda thinking, Sir Naps-a-Lot!

Trent: I meant Daria with a guitar, punk.

AP: Yeah, but...

Lynn: (kind of eerie AP impression) Yeah, but they look exactly alike, mostly, and then there's that you ... I mean London ... I mean ... eee... (normal and flat) Now that we've got all that out of the way, can we just get on with this?

Nick: At least do one with the jacket, huh? It's just too freaky.

(Lynn sheds the jacket and flings it into a corner, giving Nick an annoyed look.)

(Scene: Lynn's room. Music plays on. Daria, who has also shed the jacket, is sitting at Lynn's desk, doing her homework. Jane is standing on Lynn's bed, painting an ornate silver frame around the Cobain poster on the wall.)

Jane: So ... is it starting to get to you yet?

Daria: Excuse me?

Jane: The quiet! The lack of constant interruptions and annoyances! This is a big change for you, Daria, and you've never been great at massive shifts in your personal balance.

Daria: First of all, I got used to changing situations the hard way. Second, what makes you think I don't get constant interruptions and annoyances?

(On Jane's quizzical look, the doorbell rings. Daria looks exasperated.)

(Scene: Cullen front door. Music plays on. The elderly couple we first see in "And Then There Were Four" are standing there. The woman's holding leaflets; the man's holding a Bible under one arm. Small squares of red, orange and black origami paper rain down on them from an upper story window. The woman picks one out of her hair. It's red and has "Hail Satan" printed on it in black marker.)

Daria: (OS) Have you got the hint yet, or do I send down the rain of napalm to hammer the point home?

(The elderly couple look at each other in panic and move off as quickly as they can manage. Pan to Lynn's window, where Daria and Jane lean out.)

Jane: Oh right. I forgot about the Leibowitzes. But on the plus side, fun with Bible-bashers.

(Daria shoots Jane a hard look.)


Vodaphone -- The suggestion that text messaging is an adequate replacement for foreplay is one thing. But every counterculture bone in my body screams rebellion at a Nine Inch Nails track being used to hawk a mobile phone network.

Next on TLAS -- AP's got money he can't explain to his family and so has to show that he "Will Work For Bandwidth".

(Scene: Lynn's room. Music: Bjork -- "Play Dead". Daria lying on the bed, homework spread out in front of her. She looks bored and a little depressed. After a moment, she picks up the phone and dials. Split-screen to Helen in the Morgendorffer kitchen.)

Helen: Oh, for God's sake, Eric...

Daria: Uh, no, it's ... Lynn.

Helen: Oh, hello, Lynn.

Daria: Yeah. Hi. Is, uh, Daria there?

Helen: No, she's not -- she said something about that Trent Lane and the movies. Though I can't see Daria actually wanting to see anything that's playing right now. But I suppose when you're dating, you don't pay much attention to what's playing... (beat) Well, look, can I get her to call you back?

Daria: No, that's okay, I ... just wanted to check an assignment with her. I'll call Jodie for it.

Helen: Now, listen, Lynn, while I have you, I know you're ... ah ... close to Daria and it seems silly that we've never properly met. I'm up to my eyes in subpoenas right now but maybe when I'm through with this case, you can come over for dinner -- I'm sure Daria would love to have you...

Daria: ("Say what?") I'm ... ah ... honoured, Mrs Morgendorffer. Maybe you can talk to Daria about that. Closer to the time.

Helen: Well, that's fine, Lynn, and I look forward to seeing you. Bye.

(Helen hangs up [single screen]. Daria looks at the phone a long moment before hanging it up. She actually looks a little homesick.)

Daria: Yeah. Me too.

(Scene: Morgendorffer kitchen. Music: Default -- "Somewhere". Lynn is sitting at the table, munching on an apple as she leafs through a stack of finished homework. Enter Jake, who looks at her for a long moment before going to the fridge and pouring himself a glass of juice. Then he looks back at Lynn. He puts the juice away and moves to the table with his glass. Lynn pushes the paper towards him without looking up but he doesn't move to take it. Instead, he watches her.)

Jake: Uh ... can I ask you something?

Lynn: (still not looking up) At your own risk and I reserve all Fifth Amendment rights.

Jake: Daria ... is okay, isn't she?

(That gets Lynn's attention in a big tearing hurry; she looks up at him in shock.)

Lynn: Excuse me?

Jake: You're that Jerome guy's ... uh, other daughter. Lynn, right?

Lynn: Dad, have you been taking that Comfo-Num stuff again?

Jake: Gaaaaaaaah, damnit, Lynn! All I want is to be a good father to my girl ... even if she isn't my girl, exactly. And I can't do that if I don't even know where she is!

Lynn: And what makes you think ... she's ... not sitting across the table from you right now?

Jake: Come on, I know my Daria.

Lynn: You had to request age, height and favourite colour from Jane.

Jake: Yeah, maybe I'm not that great on some of the stuff but I know that she never does her homework at the table. If she's not reading the arts section of the paper, she's reading one of those freaky books about teenagers in psychiatric wards. Like "I Never Promised You a Bell Jar", or something.

Lynn: Well. Uh. Would you believe me if I told you I was just ... trying a change?

Jake: Look, I won't make her come home and I won't even tell Helen if you two don't want me to. Just ... please tell me if she's okay.

Lynn: (heavy sigh -- "This just went straight to hell") She's fine. She's staying at my house.

Jake: (gearing up for his usual "going postal" rage) What is this, some kind of practical joke?

Lynn: No. We ... okay, she needed some quiet time to do her homework because of Quinn's cheerleading practice. And I ... just went along so that she could get that quiet time without worrying about you guys worrying about her whereabouts.

Jake: Oh. (beat; very embarrassed) And it's not that she's ... you know ... with that Trent guy?

Lynn: Oh, God, no. After all, you raised that one with morals, didn't you?

(Short silence as Lynn goes back to her homework.)

Jake: Uh ... say, Lynn... When Jane came to stay here, I got three questions...

(Lynn raises an eyebrow at him and Jake, deciding not to push it, reaches for the paper.)

(Scene: LHS cafeteria. Music: Alice in Chains -- "Don't Follow". Daria looks to be in a state of total shock. Jane and AP don't look much better.)

Daria: Mom hasn't noticed anything unusual at all. But Dad figured out the whole thing.

AP: That's just not right! That's ... that's like if my mom could tell you two apart.

Jane: No, AP. Jake figuring it out was a Sick Sad World moment; Carol figuring it out would be a miracle.

Daria: And he's not pushing for me to go home. Lynn? Care to enlighten?

Lynn: Hmm?

Jane: Maybe she still isn't over the shock yet. Will it help if I tell you that Daria blew the Leibowitzes out of the water yesterday?

Lynn: Soda bombs or molasses and feathers?

Daria: Leaflet campaign.

AP: So when're you guys gonna cut this out already? I dunno about anyone else, but it's freakin' me out. And Poppa Bear's gonna blow one Chernobyl-style if he has to see "Daria" on vocals much longer.

Lynn: We did say two weeks, so let's do the swapover on Saturday.

AP: Another nearly week of this? Oh, come on; have a heart!

Jane: (smirk) Yeah; how can you be so cruel to the poor boy?

Lynn: Twelve years of practice.

(AP drops his head on the table in utter disgust as the girls smirk.)

(Scene: Quinn's room. Music: Avril Lavigne -- "Unwanted". Lynn, carrying a shopping bag, enters and sees Quinn in front of the mirror -- she's wearing a deep pink V-necked cashmere sweater and short black skirt, obviously for a date. She wears a dangly silver earring in one ear and a rose-gold stud in the shape of a butterfly in the other, obviously undecided. She keeps turning her head to the left and right, trying to decide which looks better with the outfit.)

Lynn: Quinn?

Quinn: Daria, I only have two hours to accessorise before Kyle gets here...

Lynn: I brought you something.

Quinn: Why? What are you up to, Daria?

Lynn: It's "beware Greeks bearing gifts", not geeks bearing gifts.

Quinn: Fine; leave it on the bed and get out.

Lynn: Quinn ... I don't want to take up any more of your well-squandered time tonight... But I don't think you realise how worried ... I ... am about you right now.

Quinn: (a little thrown) You're what?

Lynn: You know that's the kind of thing I only say once. In a lifetime. (beat) I know you don't have the time right now. As it happens, neither do I. But I'll make a deal with you. On Sunday, you come into my room and you talk to me.

Quinn: And say what?

Lynn: Well, a good start might be, "Look, I know I've been acting weird and treating you badly. And I'm sorry. And I want to explain." After that ... just say whatever comes to mind.

(Lynn drops the shopping bag on the bed and turns to go ... then stops.)

Lynn: Oh, and we never had this discussion. Things are weird enough between us without you bringing up the fact that I practically had to beg to make you open up to your own sister.

(With that, she leaves. Quinn looks over her shoulder at the empty doorway, then moves to the bed and opens the shopping bag. Inside is a set of cordless headphones.)

(Scene: Pizza King. Music: Raindance -- "Intertribal Pow Wow". Trent and AP sitting in a booth. There are three cups of soda on the table.)

AP: Hey, thanks for the meet-up.

Trent: Why didn't you get Lynn up here for this? If you wanted a ride out of your place, she's got the better car.

AP: Today's the swap-back.

Trent: Man, that's gotta be the most warped thing those two have ever done. All that time they tried to point out that they're different people, then here they go exploiting the fact that they're practically identical.

AP: I dunno. Maybe they got used to it. Y'know, like, they look the same but they're not the same but they know each other so well that they can be each other. Like some kinda friendship test or something. And anyway, it gives Erudite Emerald all kindsa privacy.

(Jane enters, bearing three pies, in time to hear that last.)

Jane: (dropping the pizzas on the table) Not that respect-boy over here made any use of that there privacy, at the request of the lady fair.

Trent: (as Jane sits) There's more to life, Janey.

Jane: I still don't believe they pulled it off. Two weeks and only three people ... sorry, four people figured it out without being told.

Trent: Like the punk says, Janey. They know each other so well now that, even if they're not exactly alike, they can be close enough for government work when they have to be.

AP: Well, except in math and stuff. I think Miss Underwood thinks that Erudite Emerald's on drugs or something cos of Purple Peril and her anti-numbers thing.

Jane: And it was funny watching Lynn and Daria change for gym with their backs to the nearest locker so no one would notice that the shark tattoo was on the wrong misery chick.

Trent: I gotta admit, though -- I did like the underwear thing.

Jane: Well, Daria didn't, so don't get your hopes up.

AP: (raising his cup) Well, here's to Purple Peril, for managing two weeks at Madhouse Morgendorffer without a maiming!

Trent: To Daria, for getting over the sibling rivalry crap enough to suggest that whole scam.

Jane: And to us -- the only ones ... besides Jake "Dark Horse" Morgendorffer ... who saw through it.

(They "clink" glasses and sip.)

(Scene: Lynn's room. Music: Offspring -- "Not The One". Daria and Lynn are in the nightwear we know them best in but they still wear each other's glasses. In complete unison and with great ceremony, they remove the glasses and swap.)

Daria: (putting her own glasses back on) So how was it?

Lynn: Lasagne for two solid weeks, a dinnertime, sharing the bathroom and a curfew on school nights. Daria, I have a whole new respect for you.

Daria: And I for you, just for having put up with it for that long.

Lynn: Anyway, in honour of what we've just done, I rented "The Parent Trap".

Daria: (utter confidence) No you didn't.

Lynn: Okay, you got me -- I got "Heathers", "The Faculty" and "Disturbing Behaviour". Downstairs?

Daria: Your call. You're the lady of the house, after all.

(Scene: Morgendorffer living room. Music plays on. Helen's pacing the room holding the cordless. Jake's on the sofa reading the paper. Enter Daria.)

Helen: (who hasn't noticed) No, Eric, I don't care if the woman can't speak English. Are we too cheap to get a translator now?

Jake: (who has, and looks up from his paper) Hey kiddo! How was your sleepover?

Daria: Disclosing that information violates the teen-girl code.

Helen: Well, we must have someone around who speaks Spanish! Hell, aren't we always complaining about illegal immigrants in this country?

Daria: How's Mom's case going?

Jake: Y'know something? I just don't know anymore. I sit back and let her get on with it.

(Daria smiles, steps over to the sofa and hugs Jake, who looks shocked. So does Helen, who's finally noticed that something's going on.)

Helen: (hand over mouthpiece) Daria?

Daria: Well, fair's fair. (stepping over and hugging Helen as well) Give him hell, Mom.

(She heads upstairs, with both Helen and Jake looking after her. Helen's flabberghasted and turns to Jake, who just smiles.)

Jake: Oh, just enjoy it, Helen.

(Helen, still a little wide-eyed, shrugs at him, smiles back and turns back to her phone conversation.)

(Scene: Daria's room. Music plays on. Daria's unpacking her overnight bag when Quinn steps in tentatively.)

Quinn: Daria? Look, I know I've been acting weird and treating you badly. And I'm sorry. And I want to explain. (beat) Can we sit down, or something?

(Fade out on Daria's shocked expression.)



To WhiteRose for ploughing her way through the entire TLAS back catalogue in a few short weeks, never mind the nit-picks. Also to Caira for the Lhasa Apso stuff. To Ben, as always, for coding and reassuring me about the underwear back-forth by adding to it. And to Jill, whose "Icantwaiticantwaiticantwait..." made it halfway worthwhile when I thought the rewrites were going to reduce me to throwing this craptop out a window.


Underwear -- Well, they needed some wardrobe difference besides the colour, right?

"Lungs" -- Between the singing and the loud, rapid-fire profanity, it works. And the "Nick-name" pun came after I came up with that, so it wasn't just an excuse for a Ben-style bad pun.

Daria with guitar -- I have always thought that was wrong. I will always think that's wrong. But all the people who think that Trent would get off on it probably have a point, so that's my nod to it.

The Leibowitzes -- Five seasons and I didn't have the decency to name the elderly couple who think Chez Cullen is a crack den. How cruel of me.

Jake -- Surprise! Look, since he found out that Daria's not his genetically, he's bound to want to be a better father in other ways. So he's been paying attention as best he can, and consequently he worked it out while Helen was blinded by caseload and Quinn has a history of relying on the colour-code.


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.