(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: Lane house, ext. Music: Moby -- "In This World". The Plymouth and the A-Tank are parked in the driveway. The B.A.N.D.wagon is parked on the front lawn. The Merc is parked at the kerb, with a ugly, battered off-yellow VW Beetle parked behind it. Lynn's digging around in the back [where, if I recall, engines are in Beetles], with Joe McKeon watching her nervously -- it's obviously his car. Nick is hauling pieces of drum kit into the A-Tank. Trent's stuffing a couple of duffel bags into the back of the Plymouth. AP and Mara are standing around the Merc, nosing through Lynn's big rucksack. Guy and Casey are leaning against the B.A.N.D.wagon, watching the scene. Jane's snapping pictures a mile a minute. Daria, who has been standing at the edge of all this, approaches Jane.)

Daria: It's like Barnum and Bailey out here.

Jane: And I've got it all on film. (beat) So what are you doing here?

Daria: Basking in the energy field of people who have lives.

Jane: Hey, you were the one who refused to come along on this weekend road trip.

Daria: Well, because I'm leaving for another continent in a few months, my family would prefer it if I was on call. Unlike your family, mine doesn't consider postcards an adequate form of communication.

Jane: No; they prefer fridge notes.

Trent: (approaching) Hey, we ready?

Lynn: (shutting the Beetle) It's as roadworthy as it'll ever be. But you're going to want to replace that fan belt because I don't think Mara's tights are going to hold for very long no matter what GTA or Getaway has to say on the matter.

Casey: 'Kay. C'mon. Lessgo.

Trent: (turning to Daria) Sure you can't come along?

Daria: (wavering -- but only a little) I'm sure. As interesting as the trip would be, I have family obligations. The question is still what I'm going to do with myself this weekend.

Jane: Why not blow some of your cash? Be frivolous for a change, Daria.

Lynn: Yeah; we're going nuts; why shouldn't you?

Guy: C'mon, people! I wanna be on the road before dark!

(Trent hugs and kisses Daria; she blushes but returns it.)

Jane: Remember, Morgendorffer; frivolity!

(AP and Lynn get into the Merc; Jane joins Guy in the B.A.N.D.wagon; Casey and Joe get into the Beetle; Nick gets into the A-Tank. Mara looks set to join Trent in the Plymouth but is stopped by Daria's glare. She wanders over to the Beetle and yanks Casey out of the passenger seat, joining Joe. Casey shrugs and gets into the Plymouth. Daria watches them drive away, looking a little sad.)

(Scene: Morgendorffer kitchen. Music plays on. It's empty ... at least until Daria walks in. She moves to the fridge and, sure enough, fridge notes.)

Daria: (picks up one, reads aloud) Daria, Quinn, Jake -- all-day debriefing. Fend for yourselves. I'll try to be home by nightfall. Mom. (picks up another note) Helen, Quinn, Daria -- client meeting; gah-damnit. Keep dinner warm for me. Dad. (picks up yet another note) Mom, Dad, Daria -- cheerleader practice and then Sandi wants me to come over as a guest speaker for the new Fashion Club on how to keep stylish even when you're maybe about to sweat. Then date with Ted so won't be home for dinner -- oh, and I borrowed the car. Quinn.

(Daria opens the fridge. She peers in and finds nothing of interest. Then she shuts the door and stares blankly at [or maybe through] the door.)

Daria: Frivolity. Hmm.

(Montage sequence. Music: The Smiths -- "Ask"

Main Street. Daria is sitting outside a Seattle Coffee, a notepad and a mug of coffee in front of her, a pen in her hand. However, she's not writing. In fact, she looks too bored to be capable of putting pen to paper.

Pizza King. Daria's poking at a slice. She looks up and around at the other people in the room -- Joey, Jeffy and Jamie are sharing a pie and laughing about something; Kevin, Brittany, Mack and Jodie are obviously double-dating and Mack and Jodie look like they've just disengaged their brains enough to have some fun; Andrea's at a corner booth with a couple of her Goth friends. Daria looks very lonely as she abandons her slice and leaves.

Arcade. Daria wanders through. Passes a bank of beat-em-ups. Passes a bank of shooters and nearly winces. Comes to the back of the room and finds Dance Dance Revolution. The baggy-trousered bishounen on the game finishes a particularly complicated dance move -- and his round -- before looking at her. He gestures to the front of the game, where a few tokens mark how many games he has before she can have a turn. She just backs away slowly.

Playhouse 90. Daria as in the original opening montage. From the screen, there are gunshots and screams heard; the rest of the audience winces, cowers or otherwise shows fear reaction. Daria, on the other hand, does not look particularly thrilled -- her expression asks "is that the best you can do?"

Second-hand CD shop, Degas Street. Daria browsing through a small shelf crammed to bursting with CDs. However, most of them are NKOTB, Kylie Minogue, Jimmy Nail, Matchbox 20 and Bananarama's Greatest Hits. Daria looks at the guy behind the counter -- he looks pretty well ashamed of himself but points to a sign. It reads "Management Cannot Be Held Responsible For Other People's Lack of Taste".

Axl's, Degas Street. Daria wanders past, stops in front of the place and actually seems to consider it before turning away with a look that suggests she doesn't believe she gave that consideration.

Daria's room. Daria at her computer. Intermittent mouse clicking and intense facial expression indicates she's doing some serious searching. Finally, she types up subversion_is_we; clicks on "News". Finds one item reading "Subversive Items Exhibit -- Oakwood Exhibition Hall". With an interested look, she clicks on it.)

(Scene: Morgendorffer living room. Music plays on. Jake reading. Daria comes in.)

Daria: Dad, could I borrow the Lexus?

Jake: Gee, I'd love to help you out there, Kiddo, but Quinn already took it. Something about cheerleader practice.

(Daria's eyes narrow a bit. Then she heads for the phone. She goes briefly through the phone book next to it, finds a number and dials.)

Daria: Yes, hello, I'd like a taxi, please. (beat) 1111 Glen Oaks Lane. (beat) Oakwood Exhibition Centre. (beat) Yes, that's fine. Thank you.

(She hangs up. Jake is looking at her oddly.)

Jake: That's an awful long way, isn't it?

Daria: That's right.

Jake: Kiddo ... you need money or something for that? I mean, a taxi ride that far's going to be kinda pricey, isn't it?

Daria: (absently) Don't worry, Dad. I can afford it.

Jake: But I thought your mother was socking away all that money for your college fund.

Daria: She did. I ... came into some money from another source.

Jake: You didn't win the lottery or anything ... did you?

Daria: No. (sigh; she's not getting out of this) Jerome Smythe...

Jake: (stone-faced; digging for his wallet) Then I'm paying for the damn taxi ride. Should've got you a car or something when you got your licence anyway.

Daria: ("Excuse me?" look) Dad?

Jake: I'm not having that ... that man buying my daughter's affections! I...

Daria: Dad, it wasn't a buy-off.

Jake: Well, what do you call it when a man who just happens to be your ... your biological father gives you enough money to afford long taxi rides and God knows what else?

Daria: In this case, I call it inheritance.

(The tone in which she said that stops him cold as the meaning sinks in.)

Jake: (face is dead white) Oh... Uh... Kiddo?

(The sound of a motor is heard outside, and then a car horn -- the taxi has arrived. Daria heads for the door ... then her conscience gets the better of her and she stops.)

Daria: (sigh) Come on; I'll buy you lunch or something on the way.

(She turns around and exits the house. Jake stays frozen a second before realising that an invitation has been made and scrambles to his feet, charging for the door.)

(Scene: so-called "family" restaurant [probably Denny's]. Music: Toad the Wet Sprocket -- "Before You Were Born" [especially for you, Jillcat]. Jake and Daria are sitting across from each other, both poking at their food. Jake looks very preoccupied.)

Daria: You know, it's hard to continue this conversation if you're going to continue to hog the ball.

Jake: Damnit, how the hell am I supposed to compete with a dead man?!? Oh, sure; eighteen years and he's nowhere to be found! But now that he's dead...

Daria: Now that he's dead, he's haunting me from beyond, and probably will do for the rest of my natural life. Which, if you think about it, gives us one more thing in common.

Jake: Oh. (beat) Oh, yeah.

Daria: Look, he felt somewhat responsible for the upheaval his arrival caused in my life. So rather than force his way further into it, he left half of his business assets to me, probably as some misplaced gesture to prove that he sees me as a member of his family. The rest of his family knew that I didn't want to pick up his life where he left off, they bought me out. Competition had nothing to do with it -- from what little I can tell, he was actively avoiding competition with you. Not for your sake, but for mine.

Jake: Yeah, and I guess your little friend wouldn't have been happy about it either.

Daria: Excuse me?

Jake: Well, it's easy to pay more attention to the new kiddo, y'know. You feel like, because the older one came along first, the younger one's going to resent the time they already had with their parents. So you try to make up for it, and you go too far the other way.

Daria: (raised eyebrow) I think I've seen it happen a time or two.

Jake: (blushing) So anyway, there's the older kid. And unless they make trouble, they maybe don't get the attention they deserve. Your little friend's like you; doesn't make waves. So if, when her ... your ... dad came here, he tried hard to make you his real daughter, she wouldn't say anything, but...

Daria: ("Oh my God, my dad has insight.") Yeah. I see what you mean. (beat) But you see why he felt he had to do something?

Jake: Oh, sure! I ... guess. I mean, who wouldn't want you as their kiddo?

(Daria blushes and turns to her food. There's silence as the two of them toy with their food some more. And then an idea hits Jake.)

Jake: Hey, Kiddo ... I was thinking ... why don't you get yourself a car?

Daria: Because I had a hard enough time getting my driver's license without the learning curve of driving on the wrong side of the road, especially with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car. Not to mention not being willing to expend the effort involved in attaching pontoons to the thing and driving it to Oxford.

Jake: Oh, come on, Kiddo, you'd be doing us a favour! Look, when you come to visit us, you'll have your own car to use, and you can get it back from Quinn when you move back! And when you're not here ... well, I miss the Lexus. Quinn's got it so much that all I see of it anymore is the tail lights!

Daria: I don't know anything about cars. And I'd be using it so little...

Jake: Oh, don't worry about that! I can help you pick something good!

Daria: (panic) Uh ... I'd be prying you away from your free weekend. Besides, I wouldn't want to tack your extortionate consultancy fees onto the price I'll already be paying for the car, the insurance ... the little fuzzy dice...

Jake: Hey, no book is more important than my Kiddo! And no charge for this one; it'll be great to shop for a car again!

(Daria gets an "eep" look.)

Daria: How about I sleep on it and get back to you?

(Jake looks a little disappointed, but nods. Daria guiltily goes back to her food.)


Argos -- There's this God-awful series of adverts with this self-absorbed, untalented rock star and his ... girlfriend? Personal assistant? The way he treats her doesn't make it very clear.

Great Britons -- Let's face it -- there are lots of them. And out of Darwin, Shakespeare, Nelson, Lennon, and believe it or not, Rowling, they're going to pick one? Bloody self-absorbed muttonheads.

(Scene: Daria's room. Music: Ash -- "World Domination". Daria is seated at her computer. Phone rings. After three, Daria picks up.)

Daria: Hello?

Jane: (OS) Greetings from Rock-Bitch Central.

Daria: Hey. How's the Landfill Inn?

(Split-screen. Jane's sitting on the trunk of the Merc. Her red shirt is torn, there are dubious splotches on her clothes and her hair is mussed beyond recognition.)

Jane: Well, Guy and the rest of the Name-Droppers were trying real hard to outdo the Reformed but our guys started the whole place pounding to a selection from Trent's Fetal Metal CDs. You know with a decent set of vocals and guys who know more than three chords, that stuff's actually good?

Daria: I'll call Ripley's as soon as I'm off the phone with you.

Jane: So ... amiga ... you walked on the wild side yet?

Daria: Not exactly. I'm considering buying something but the fact is that I... (*ping*) Hey, put Lynn on for a second, would you?

Jane: (frowning) Oh. Sure. (over her shoulder) Yo, COURTNEY! Lady Frivolity wants to talk to you!

(Lynn approaches, still in her Reformed costume. Her stern, displeased expression suggests the imminent unsheathing of a sword of fire in Jane's general direction. Jane smirks as she hands the phone over.)

Daria: And now I'm trying to imagine AP singing "Smells Like Teen Spirit".

Lynn: Please, Daria. It took me five years to forget. (beat) I take it since Quinn's out having a social life, you're spoiling for the sweet caress of a sisterly voice?

Daria: Actually, I'm looking for the sage advice of a seasoned con artist.

Lynn: Oh, great. One measly tie to a Mafia family and you get a reputation. Okay, what do you need?

Daria: This more involves your dealings with Chemically Cheerful Charlie.

Lynn: Daria. Sister dear. The Batmobile got bought by some dotcom millionaire-goof.

Daria: Have you got your copy of GTA or Getaway handy?

Lynn: I'm riding with the Plymouth, the A-Tank and Joe's Ding Beetle. With that convoy, I never let that book out of my sight.

Daria: Good. Tell me everything I need to know about car engines and how to tell if they're ... below reproach.

(Lynn raises an eyebrow dubiously, but shoves Jane off the trunk of the Merc so she can get into it. There is a *splort* sound as Jane lands.)

Jane: (OS from ground level) Hey! This outfit was... (beat as she realises) ...absolutely filthy anyway, who the hell cares.

(Scene: Happy Herb's Used Cars. Music: Garbage -- "Girl Don't Come". Daria and Jake step towards the admin building and Happy Herb himself steps out, grinning and approaching them. Every word he says is addressed to Jake.)

Herb: Hi there! What can I do for you?

Jake: We're looking for a good reliable used car for my daughter...

Herb: You did the right thing, coming to me! What sort of thing were you looking for?

Jake: Well, it's really Daria here who wants the car. Daria?

Daria: Well, I was thinking...

Herb: (still to Jake) Now, you seem the kind of guy who'd go for more of a foreign car. Now, buying American is all very well, but let's face it; the girlie won't know the difference, and cheap and cheerful is the way to go when you've got someone who won't have fun with it...

Daria: Excuse me...

(Herb leads the way down a line of cars. He stops and pats a black 1982 two-door Toyota Tercel that looks like a good kick might reduce it to its component parts. Jake stands next to him, looking at the car. Daria stands a little behind them, arms folded.)

Herb: Now, this thing's had maybe three owners since it was made. The gas mileage isn't bad, and it's not so flashy that it's gonna get your daughter car-jacked.

Jake: (turning to Daria with a grin) Whaddya think, kiddo? Nice and understated!

(She just shakes her head in something that's on the emotional scale between despair and disgust.)

Daria: It might decrease my chances of being car-jacked, but it brings the likelihood of my becoming an urban legend to something approaching Vegas odds.

Jake: I don't think Daria likes it...

Herb: Oh, come on; girls don't know what they like! (finally addresses this to Daria) Now, look, sweetheart. I think the best thing here is for you to head down to Cranberry Commons and let men talk. So whaddya say?

Daria: (raised eyebrow) I say ... (turning to Jake) I'm not buying a car from this misogynistic jerk.

(With that, she walks away. Jake shrugs at Herb and follows after her. Herb looks really unimpressed with himself.)

(Scene: a dank, dark basement room somewhere. Music: Gorillaz -- "Clint Eastwood". There are six sleeping bags, all occupied, scattered on the floor. Blue hair sticking out of one identifies its occupant as Guy; red hair sticking out of another right the way across the room indicates the presence of the techno-weasel. When the sound of three sets of booted feet tromping down the stairs is heard, it's Joe who stirs first, groping for his glasses. Nick groans and sits up as Lynn appears, with Jane and Mara close behind.)

Nick: It's too damn early...

Jane: Nick, it's noon.

Nick: Yeah; like I said, it's too damn early.

(Lynn rolls her eyes.)

Mara: Lemme wake 'em up? Please?

Joe: Oh, God, no, don't let her, please. You don't want to see how she does it...

Jane: Let Lynn handle this. She's good.

Nick: Aw, Christ, don't let her! She's evil!

AP: (from the depths of the sleeping bag) Mmmmmmmmmwrrrdnwnschtd.

Lynn: Then you're in luck; it's Sunday.

Nick: Guys, up. Or she's gonna do the thing with the divebomb!

Joe: Guys, up or she's gonna do the thing with the thing!

(Guy and Casey shoot bolt upright. Trent and AP don't move a whole lot.)

Jane: The divebomb scares them witless! (to Mara; awestruck) What do you do?

(Mara leans over and whispers into Jane's ear for a couple of seconds. Jane's eyes go really big.)

Lynn: I'd say I don't want to know, but that goes without saying.

Mara: (smirk) Whatever works, hon. Now you go pack the car, I'll get them up. (the smirk widens) One way or another...

Jane: You mess with my brother and ... and ... and...

Lynn: We will punish you. That's best friend and sister territory you're about to mess with.

Mara: Hey, don't worry...

(She walks up to Trent's side, crouches and whispers. After a moment, Trent bolts upright.)

Trent: No, Officer, you don't understand; she's of age and we've got pro... (He finally wakes up all the way; a moment's silence.) Oh. Uh. (beat) Isn't it too early...?

(Fade out on the looks that everyone's giving him.)

(Scene: another car lot. Music: Pitchshifter -- "Second Hand". Jake and another car salesman are watching with astonishment as Daria digs around in the engine of a 1992 Ford. A stack of paper rests on the bumper to her right. Every so often, she looks up at the notes for reference.)

Salesman: (nervous) Guess your girl's serious about her cars, huh?

Jake: My Daria's serious about everything.

(Daria emerges from under the hood and shuts it, then turns to the salesman.)

Daria: You have a rodent problem. Something's been chewing at the fan belt. Anything else?

Salesman: Okay, then take a look at this little beauty.

(He leads them over to a mint-green Volvo. It's not a bad looking car, but when Daria heads closer to examine it, he steps over a little to block her.)

Daria: Excuse me...

Salesman: Now, I can see you're thorough. I like that. I appreciate that. But the thing with this one is that about five minutes before you got in here, I got a call from a customer who's got his heart set on this little beauty. Now, he's going to be here in... (checks his watch) ten minutes, and if it's not bought and off this lot by then, this guy's gonna beat you to the punch. So if you like it, you might want to take it now.

Daria: You mean without even taking a look at the engine?

Salesman: Hey, no need; this beauty's in tip-top shape!

Daria: The only life lesson I've managed to take away from my parents is to never trust the word of a used-car salesman.

Jake: (leaning to the salesman) Hey, look, Daria doesn't really like the pre...

Salesman: Come on, sugar, don't overthink this! It's a great car and a great deal! Just do it!

Daria: Have you ever considered a career in Nike ads?

Salesman: No...

Daria: Then there won't be any irony in me walking away, rather than running.

(She walks off. The salesman looks after her oddly, and then at Jake, who grins at him.)

Jake: (proud and nearly smug) I tried to tell you. No one pulls a fast one on my kiddo.

(And he follows her away. The salesman watches them go, his face a picture of frustration. Then he snatches the hat off his head and tosses it on the ground in total disgust.)

(Scene: the Merc. Music: Levellers -- "The Road". Jane's driving. AP's in the backseat. Lynn, from the passenger seat, takes her phone away from her ear with a sigh.)

Jane: Answering machine?

Lynn: Quinn.

Jane: You hung up on her?

Lynn: Well, given that the first words out of her mouth were, (frighteningly accurate Quinn impression) "Look, unless it's, like, really important or something, can you call back later and not leave a message cos I have to be out of here in, like, five minutes or Stacy'll get really nasty -- God, I don't believe she got a backbone; what did that Lynn girl do to her anyway..."

Jane: Do you have any idea how much you're scaring me?

Lynn: And relishing every minute of it.

AP: Think Erudite Emerald found something fruh ... friv ... fun to do?

Jane: I hope so. I mean, I feel kinda guilty about leaving her all on her own. Y'know, she's going away soon, and we're not going to get to see her...

AP: And without us there as buffer solution, she might end up bonding with Flakey Jakey.

(Jane and Lynn share a slightly alarmed look.)

Lynn: I knew I should have got her a cellphone for her birthday in case of stuff like this...

(Scene: another so-called family restaurant. Music: Cake -- "Long Line of Cars". Daria looks fed up. Jake looks sympathetic.)

Jake: Well, Daria, we see a lot of this in consulting. It's ... it's creative marketing, that's all!

Daria: And I'd need all my creative powers to see those guys as anything other than worthless cheats whose raison d'etre is to make a quick buck by selling worthless piles of metal to the gullible American buying public

Jake: Well, there are more car lots, Kiddo. Let's not give up now, huh? I'm sure we'll find someone who's not...

Daria: A used car salesman?

Jake: You know, I'm really proud of you, Kiddo. A lot of girls would have been really intimidated by those guys. But you ... you just stood your ground and didn't let them get to you. How do you do that?

Daria: By following some very good advice from my friends. I'm looking at this as doing something fun.

Jake: Car shopping? (beat; hopeful) Hanging out with your old man?

Daria: Better. Moron-baiting.

(Jake grins kind of nervously in the face of Daria's Mona Lisa smirk.)


ITV -- They are trying so hard to revamp their image. Shame they spend more on their new ad campaign than they do on their programming.

Next on TLAS -- Just when you thought it was safe to ignore the darker side of the gang's recent history, a familiar and much reviled face turns up. Hell hath no fury as "A Cullen Scorned".

(Scene: the A-Tank. Music: RockBitch -- "Nymphomaniac". Mara has been crammed into the back amongst the instruments. Trent's driving; Nick has shotgun. Mara looks bored.)

Mara: (kiddie sing-song) Are we theeeeeeeere yeeeeeeeet?

Nick: Hey, kid, how big into ball gags are you?

Mara: (leer) Well, they definitely have their place. And why would a kept man such as yourself ask?

Nick: Cos I'm gonna use one on you if you don't shut that overworked mouth of yours!

Mara: (licentious in the extreme) You wanna see this mouth working overtime? Come back here.

Nick: (to Trent) Remind me why she had to ride with us?

Trent: Lynn warned us; this one's a bitch when she's bored. She was pissing everybody else off.

Nick: And now it's our turn?

Trent: Lynn said that since we're the oldest, we're probably mature enough to be able to handle her without doing what Joe did.

Nick: Heh; yeah, I didn't even know we had Quaker villages in Carter County. (beat; shrewd) But y'know, Trent ... if she did get herself stranded out there someplace ... no noise, no competition...

Trent: No way.

Mara: Awwwwww ... Babyfather scared of a little competition? Listen to the cold fish's squeeze; you know Lynn'd shoot you for rabid dogs if you ditched me out here.

Nick: Is she right?

Trent: Yeah. (beat; nasty smirk) But she gave us some ... options.

(Trent gestures to the dashboard where an envelope marked "Open in event of Mara-related meltdown" in Lynn's handwriting lies. Nick opens it, pulls out a piece of paper, which he scans ... and then his smirk gets even wider than Trent's. Mara looks a little bit worried.)

Nick: Hey, Trent, pull over a sec.

(Mara now looks exceedingly worried.)

(Scene: the Plymouth. Music plays on. Jane's driving. Lynn's trying to scrape mud off her white Docs in the backseat. Suddenly, the sound of overzealous car horns is heard from the outside world. Jane looks in the rearview mirror and gets a really confused look on her face.)

Jane: Lynn ... Mara's tied to the A-Tank roof.

Lynn: (not in the least surprised) Oh good. Trent caught up. We'll be there soon.

Jane: Lynn ... she's wearing clown makeup and a "Bush is just another word for cunt" sign. (beat) And nothing else.

Lynn: (still not looking up but smirking slightly) Ah, I was hoping they'd use that one.

Jane: You ... you ... how did ... why...

Lynn: Are you going to keep stammering at me all day, or are you going to shut up and hand me your camera?

Jane: Both. (digs in the glove compartment, hands the camera over) I got most of the extreme stuff -- Ace of Spades, Turn the Tables, fun with toothpaste... But this ... is...

Lynn: (snapping pictures) Given that she's been pissing us all off for about two days, the word I'd use is 'brilliant'.

(Slight pause)

Jane: I'm going to slow down so you can get a better shot, okay?

(Lynn waves general assent. Jane shakes her head bemusedly.)

(Scene: Car Dealership Strip. Music: Silverchair -- "Point of View". Daria and a very tired-looking Jake are standing outside yet another car lot, surveying their surroundings.)

Jake: And I thought taking Quinn shopping was hard... Kiddo, didn't you find anything you liked? Even a little?

Daria: No. And I also didn't find anyone I was comfortable giving money to.

Jake: Listen, Daria ... I know I sort of pushed you into this, but I guess it's just that I figured that wanting a car is the one thing that you'd have in common with other girls your age. And even though it would make things a lot easier on Helen and me if you did have a car you were willing to let your sister use while you're at college, if you don't really want one, maybe we should just get you a taxi to whatever that thing was you wanted to see in Oakwood.

(Daria looks at Jake for a moment, pondering.)

Daria: You said it yourself, Dad; I don't let anyone push me into anything I don't really want to do for one reason for another. And while my primary reason for car shopping wasn't exactly to buy a car at first, the more I thought about it, the more I saw the advantages. Even if I am going to England for the next three years, it'd be nice to not have to rely on my friends as a sort of unpaid taxi service while I'm still here.

Jake: So ... you do want a car? I haven't been too ... pushy?

Daria: I do want a car. I just don't want a second-hand car. Why don't we take another taxi ride and I'll show you what I have in mind.

Jake: Sure. (beat) Hey, Kiddo? If you weren't shopping for a car because you wanted a car, why were you spending all this time doing it?

Daria: (after a short pause; nearly muttering) It was as good an excuse as any for spending time with you.

(She heads off towards a payphone; Jake looks after her, beaming.)

(Scene: Morgendorffer living room. Music: Therapy? "Born Too Soon". Jake's gone back to his book. Helen marches in with a very confused, slightly worried, somewhat angry look on her face.)

Helen: Jake, what is that car doing in the driveway? You haven't gone and bought that without talking it over with me first, have you?

Jake: Relax, Helen. That's not my car.

Helen: Oh dear. Quinn hasn't broken up with that Ted boy again, has she? After what happened the last time, I don't think my nerves could take it...

Jake: No, Helen, it's Daria's car.

(Helen freezes, at a complete loss for words as she struggles to find some suitable words.)

Helen: Jake ... uh ... I know we sometimes don't do all for Daria that we could, and maybe it seems a little like Quinn gets all the attention, but ... don't you think buying her that was a little ... ah ... extreme?

Jake: No, Helen; she bought it herself. Paid for it out of her own pocket. (slight frown) Kind of.

Helen: (okay, that tears it) WHAAAAAT?!? I'm going up there right now to find out how an eighteen-year-old girl gets the money for...

Jake: (overriding) Helen...

Helen: (damn near biting his head off) Not now, Jake!

Jake: Yes, now, Helen. I think you need to hear this.

(The look on her face subdues Helen, and she sits down.)

Helen: Hear what?

Jake: How she got the money for the car. (beat) Jerome left it to her.

Helen: (back to indignant) Oh, isn't that typical of Jerome to vanish for eighteen years and then do something completely overboard like... (his choice of words hits her) ...What do you mean, "left it to her"?

Jake: (quietly) I'm sorry, Helen. She said he ... died.

(Helen just sits there, completely stunned. A moment or two into this heavy silence, Daria comes down the stairs; she's obviously heard none of this.)

Daria: Mom, Dad, I'm going to Lynn's. I think they should be back by now and I wanted to show them the car.

Jake: (looking at Helen) Uh...

Helen: (sounding better than she looks) Okay, sweetie; have fun, but remember it's a school night.

Daria: Uh ... are you okay?

Helen: Fine, sweetie, just a little tired, is all.

Daria: Uh ... okay.

(Daria exits. Jake looks at Helen, a little confused.)

Jake: I thought you were going to ask about...

Helen: (sigh) Jake, what are the odds she'd have told me how he died and what else went on? (beat) I think I'll go out for awhile. (nervous) Oh, unless you think.

Jake: It's okay, Helen. I guess you do kind of need some time. Hey, even I got a little ... uh... Well, you know.

Helen: (small smile) Thank you.

(Exit Helen. Jake looks a little bit at a loss ... and then Quinn barges through.)

Quinn: Can't stop; Sandi needs a little bit of help with her science paper and I told her that I kinda knew about chemistry and stuff and what I don't know, I can fake, so bye!

(Door slams. This one remaining slice of normalcy seems to have cheered Jake up a little. He smiles and goes back to his book.)

(Scene: Cullen living room. Music plays on. Jane has set an easel up in one corner and is rapidly fleshing out a painting of what looks like an Olympic medal ceremony. In bronze position are a trio of fat scruffy meatheads we've never seen before. In silver, the Name-Droppers [Mara in the clown makeup, trying to hide her nudity behind her Bush sign]; they all look pissed off except for Joe, who has a beatific smile on his face. In gold position, and looking incredibly smug, are Trent, Nick, Lynn and AP. Lynn wanders in with a bowl of chips and frowns at the artwork.)

Lynn: We didn't look that self-congratulatory, did we?

Jane: No, but damnit, you should've. Between the playing and the pranking, you were the winners all the way around!

Lynn: It wasn't a contest.

Jane: Suuuuuuuure it wasn't.

Lynn: Aren't you supposed to be rooting for your boyfriend in all this?

Jane: What, over my brother and someone who knows where I live and how to make my paint blow up? I wouldn't dream of it. Besides, he's...

Lynn: (slight smirk) A Goat-boy-come-lately?

Jane: Actually, he hasn't, but I'm not going into that with you.

(Lynn opens her mouth to retort, but is interrupted by the sound of a car horn from outside. Lynn goes to the window and looks out ... then freezes.)

Jane: So? Who is it?

Lynn: (dry) Bond. James Bond.

Jane: Say what?

(But Lynn's already made for the outside world. Jane shrugs, puts her paintbrush down [on the carpet] and follows.

(Scene: Cullen house, ext. Music plays on. Jane gets three steps out of the house and stops dead. Pan to what Jane sees; Daria leaning against the passenger side of a brand new Aston Martin in a green so dark it's nearly black. Lynn's walking slowly around the car, looking it over.)

Daria: (smirk) You were right about the Batmobile. So I got the next best thing.

Jane: How ... much ... did ... this ... thing ... COST?

Daria: Not enough to make a dent. (Jane lets out a small, pitiful, kicked-dog whimper.) So how'd the road trip go?

Lynn: We made out okay ... but not as well as you did, from the look.

Daria: (evasive) Uh. Yeah.

Jane: (who doesn't get the evasion) So how'd you slip that one past Jake? He may be sharp as a sofa cushion, but there are some things even he's going to notice.

Lynn: (who does) He knows, doesn't he.

Daria: And I think he told Mom.

Jane: So you're here to avoid the Inqui... (cuts her eyes to Lynn, stops)

Lynn: (very small, very wry smile) How can she avoid what nobody expects?

(Daria and Jane share a look -- obviously some demons are, if not totally banished, then at least effectively caged.)

Daria: Actually, I don't think there's much chance of that. Mom and Dad seem to have been made thoroughly aware of their boundaries.

Jane: (slightly impatient) So you came over to...

Daria: Prove that I've learned two lessons from you. Frivolity ... and how to show off.

(Jane shoots Daria a glare. Daria gives her a slightly smug Mona Lisa smile.)



Brian and Ben both helped jog this one along slightly, but Bea, J and THM get the majority of the credit for being supportive.


Lottery Wins -- Concept courtesy CE Forman's "Lotto Nonsense".

Batmobile -- Hey, who's to say that guy from "Sappy Anniversary" didn't still buy it?

The Grog -- For those of you who will wonder or ask, he said, "Awwwwww I don't want to go to school today".

Flakey Jakey -- Austin's accidental contribution. *wave*


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.