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

Daria, Jane and Lynn stand wearing ugly peach tulle bridesmaid dresses and disgusted expressions as Barch and DeMartino yell at each other and O'Neill watches and wrings his hands in despair.

AP standing on the platform of a Dance Dance Revolution game. Mack and Quinn stand behind him, looking nervous.

LHS ext. Daria, Jane and Lynn watch as Lorna Smythe and Amy Barskdale look at each other assessingly.

LHS corridor. Ted and Quinn facing Daria. Ted hands Daria a yearbook, open to a spot somewhere near the middle. Quinn, beaming, hugs Daria, who looks nearly horrified.

LHS gym. A tall, burly man hands Lynn a blue and yellow garment. She shakes it out and then studies it -- the expression on her face is halfway between admiration and horror.

Lane kitchen. Jane, Trent and Penny yelling at each other.

Daria's room. Lynn making to climb out Daria's bedroom window when Helen puts a hand on her arm.

Lane front hall. Jane opens the door to a very angry Jodie, who carries a suitcase.

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: LHS corridor. Music: Dido -- "Honestly OK". Jane and AP approach Daria and Lynn, who are apparently arguing in usual tepid style.)

Daria: I'm not sure that's fair.

Lynn: I'm not saying it's conscious. That would be unfair.

(Jane and AP just share a confused look.)

Daria: So you're saying my subconscious mind has a grudge against your Mercedes.

AP: That would be had a grudge against her Mercedes. It is an ex-Mercedes.

Jane: Well, you ran it into a tree, you blew it up...

Daria: (to Lynn) You let AP drive it. (beat) You let Quinn drive it.

Lynn: I never said you had a grudge against the Mercedes. It was a hunk of European metal. I'm saying you have a grudge against my mother.

Daria: (blink) Even if you are right ... so do you.

Lynn: Sorry, did I sound particularly accusing to you?

Daria: You didn't sound particularly anything.

AP: She never sounds particularly anything.

Jane: You never sound particularly anything.

Caldwell: (over PA) Good morning, students! In a change to today's schedule, first period will be given over to an assembly. All students should convene in the auditorium after the first bell. Thank you!

(Feedback whine, silence, bell.)

AP: What now?

Daria: As long as it breaks up that non-conversation, I'm not sure I care.

(Scene: auditorium. Caldwell standing at the podium, teachers sitting behind him. Ms Morris looks exceedingly pissed off. Daria, Jane, Lynn and AP are seated at the back, watching a little warily.)

Caldwell: Good morning, students. I have an announcement to make concerning the future of Lawndale High's sporting events.

Daria: We're skipping all this weak-sister stuff and getting back to bloodsports?

Lynn: What do you mean "getting back"? Didn't you ever read "The Running Man"?

Daria: I preferred "The Long Walk". It was never made into a movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Caldwell: Can I have a little quiet in the back row, please? (Daria and Lynn share a look and shut up.) Thank you. Now, as you all know, this is nominally the beginning of baseball season.

Jane: (sotto bad singing) Take ... me out to the baaaaaaaall gaaaaaaaaame...

AP: Well, just so long as they take you and your singing out somewhere...

Caldwell: Will you in the back shut UP! (Jane and AP exchange looks and shut.) Thank you. To put it bluntly, ladies and gentlemen ... the baseball team is being disbanded due to budgeting problems.

(Minor uproar, particularly in the jock sections of the room.)

Kevin: Hey, man, you can't do that! It's like ... like ... unAmerican, or something!

Daria: Of course. Land of the free, home of the Braves.

Caldwell: There are other sports available to you, Mr Thompson.

Mack: Uh ... Mr Caldwell ... no there aren't. Before you got here, the lacrosse, soccer, tennis, track and wrestling teams got cancelled because of budgeting problems. We have football in the fall, basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring; that's about it.

Kevin: You suck you suck you SUCK!

(Cue general crowd-babble from everyone bar our four, who watch the scene with interest.)

Caldwell: Listen, if you would just... (no dice) Now look, students, I... (the crowd noise just gets louder; frustrated) I'm trying to expla...

(A tall, well-built man in a not-so-bad suit walks out of the auditorium wings, stands looking at the chaos for a moment, and then...)

Man: (yelling in a booming voice that carries well) WILL YOU KIDS KNOCK IT THE HELL OFF AND LET THE MAN TALK?!?

(And everybody shuts up and stares at this man, who obviously expected no less. Caldwell cuts his eyes to the man gratefully.)

Caldwell: Students, this is Edward LeRoy, your new coach. I'll turn the floor over to him.

Jane: (sotto) Yeah; from the looks of things, he could just up and walk away with it, carpet and all.

LeRoy: I'll give it to you simple, since you seem to have a problem with polite word games. The Dallas Stars are trying to give hockey a better rep in these parts, so they figured they'd sponsor a roller hockey league out somewhere to get people interested. Since Carter County already had a Pee Wee Junior League, we figured we'd start here.

(Lynn and AP share a look this time; one-third nostalgia, one-third pain, one-third schadenfreude.)

LeRoy: We're holding tryouts for the Lawndale team for the next three days. Now I know some of you seniors have a GPA to keep up. But we could use some experienced sportsmen, so I want to see all of you at tryouts.

Caldwell: There's a list on the bulletin board of students for whom participation in this thing is highly encouraged.

Jane: God, if I wanted to talk to Ms Li again, I'd dig out Summer's old ouija board.

Daria: I'm not calling in an exorcist just yet. He didn't say it was mandatory.

(Scene: LHS corridor. Music: Moxy Früvous -- "Canada We Love You". Mack and Kevin are standing at the bulletin board, looking at a notice. Kevin is frowning at it with a patriotic sort of anger. Mack just looks exasperated.)

Kevin: I'm telling you, Mack Daddy, it's a conspiracy or something!

Mack: It is not a conspiracy. And don't call me that.

Kevin: Sure thing, bro. But look, I mean, we've stopped playing all those good American games! We don't play football, we don't play basketball... And now they're taking baseball away from us and giving us some pansy Canadian sport.

Mack: I'm guessing you've never seen hockey played.

Kevin: (a so-called idea strikes) Hey, maybe the Canadians are trying to take over! I mean, Canadian sports coming to our school, Canadian beer at our keggers ... coincidence?

Mack: (firm) That's exactly what it is.

Kevin: (completely misunderstanding) It'll be reindeer in the cafeteria next! We gotta do something!

Mack: Ignoring it sounds good to me.

Kevin: We're gonna fight this all the way, Mack Daddy; you'll see!

(Kevin runs off humming "America the Beautiful". Daria, Jane, Lynn and AP, from their vantage point a little way down the hall, watch him go as Mack approaches them, obviously aching for some semblance of sanity.)

Daria: And to think I thought Kevin couldn't get any dumber.

Jane: The Russians I can understand. Doug Thompson probably pumped him full of anti-Commie propaganda while Charlene was pumping him full of breast milk. But Canadians?

AP: Canadian, Communist ... if you're not good with words, confusion happens.

Mack: Hey, at least it shakes him out of his stupor for awhile. (beat; to Lynn and AP) So am I going to see you at tryouts?

Lynn: How deep can that man dig? (to the look) AP and I were in that Pee-Wee league he mentioned.

Mack: And you're not anxious to go through that again?

AP: Damn right, Picard! I mean, ask GPA Girl about--

Lynn: I'll see you there after class.

Mack: (a little surprised, but relatively pleased) Oh ... okay. Cool. See you.

(And off he goes. Lynn meets the stares with equanimity.)

Lynn: It’s not like that. Not only could I use the workout, but ... well ... I feel a little sorry for Mack, okay? While we have each other to bond with after ... everything ... he's only got Jodie on a truly solid basis. All the rest is ... Kevin.

Jane: And to think everyone thinks you're Satan's spawn.

AP: (as something clicks) Also, now that she's not with the streetfighting and knife throwing and the rest of it anymore, she's got no real way to vent, physical-like. So this way she can beat on people for fun.

(Lynn just shrugs, collects her books and moves off. Daria and Jane look at each other, then turn their eyes on AP, who looks a bit dejected.)

(Scene: LHS gymnasium. Daria and Jane are sitting on the bleachers, watching the proceedings in the same sort of spirit that they watched a certain other roller hockey event lo these many moons ago.)

Jane: Why are we here again?

Daria: (dry) Solidarity. Sisterhood is powerful.

Andrea: (OS) You're not worried about there being a hell either, huh?

(Daria and Jane look around to see Andrea approaching. She is in goalie gear; under one arm is a goalie mask painted with various Norse runes. Andrea skates past them without another word. Daria and Jane share a look.)

Daria: It's always the quiet ones. What I want to know is, what's AP doing out there?

(AP careens into shot, completely out of control, manages to grab the bleachers and holds on for dear life.)

Jane: Trying out his human pinball imitation, from the looks. AP, what are you doing out there?

AP: Falling on my ass. (to the looks) Oh, you mean why. Well, love makes you do the wacky.

Jane: C'mon, AP. If that were true, Daria'd be a miniskirt-clad Reformed groupie by now.

(Daria makes with the glare. Jane wisely shuts up. Pan to an amused Mack at the other end of the bleachers. Then Kevin wanders over, carrying rollerblades.)

Mack: Kevin ... I thought you were against this.

Kevin: Aw, c'mon, Mack Daddy! You know why I'm here!

Mack: Actually, I'm scared to ask.

Kevin: (whispering) Canadians!

Mack: (facepalm) Kevin...

Kevin: It's okay, Mack Daddy! I know what you're trying to do! And I want to help!

Mack: What?

Kevin: We go in ... we make them think we're one of them! We can find out all kindsa stuff about 'em, stuff we can use! We're gonna be like the Matterhorn, or something! (claps Mack on the shoulder) Be strong, Mack Daddy! We'll beat 'em all!

(He walks off. Mack puts his face in his hands. Lynn skates over, in LHS gym gear and her hair in a braid, and sits next to him.)

Lynn: Would I be afraid to ask?

Mack: Oh, he's the Matterhorn, alright. Big, dumb lump of rock.

(Off Lynn's puzzled look, cut to...)

(Scene: LHS gymnasium. Music: Moxy Früvous -- "The Goal Judge". Caldwell is standing by the bleachers; he has turned an unattractive and unhealthy shade of puce as he faaces LeRoy, who's calm as only a man with that much bulk can be when being yelled at.)

LeRoy: There's talent there, Nathan.

Caldwell: I know! I've seen it! I don't care! Get the Thompson boy to do it!

LeRoy: I draw the line there, Nathan. The boy doesn't even know which end of the stick to hold. You have my pick for captain. Now, you want to accept it ... or you want to be called up in front of the school board for ... certain prejudices?

(Caldwell looks at LeRoy; it's obvious Caldwell wants to say a lot more, but knows that LeRoy will make good on his threat.)

Caldwell: ...All right, fine. But on one condition; you take the McIntyre boy on.

LeRoy: I'm saying no on general principles. Your insurance company would scream blue murder, the number of claims he'd rack up...

Caldwell: Tough titty. I don't care. Give him the water-boy job! Just get him out of my hair and away from my chem lab!

LeRoy: Okay, on one condition. There were two girls -- in Christmas colours, sort of -- sitting on the bleachers at tryouts. I want them announcing the games.

(Caldwell struggles with this; on the one hand, he remembers Radio Way-Too-Free Lawndale. On the other hand, a way to keep two more miscreants busy. The bell rings as he thinks.)

Caldwell: Morgendorffer and Lane? All right. But you drive a hard bargain, Ed.

LeRoy: Which I think is why you hired me.

(Enter Lynn, face as straight as her back as she stands three steps in from the doorway.)

Lynn: If this is about those baseballs painted with the American flag motif that got hurled through the staff lounge windows, while I'm flattered you consider me that patriotic... (notices Caldwell; stops)

LeRoy: Hello, Cullen. We're calling in the students who made the cuts, just to have a little talk with them about what we expect.

(With that, he hands her a blue and yellow garment. The expression on her face is halfway between apprehension and horror as she shakes it out and then studies it.)

Lynn: You ... may want to reconsider this, sir.

(But the look on the man’s face brooks no argument, and Lynn carefully arranges her face into a blank. However, you can almost see the scheming going on behind her eyes.)


Advert Break: I haven’t watched any TV in the past several months, so I don’t know what’s out there in the way of adverts and it’s a blessed relief. Carry on.

(Scene: LHS corridor, ext. Music: Arrogant Worms -- "Me Like Hockey". Daria and Jane are flanking the door to the girls' changing room. After a moment, Lynn walks up carrying a bag. She stops, and for a minute, no one says anything.)

Jane: Pay up, Daria.

Lynn: I’m taking it that you’re behind the uniform design.

Jane: Hell, yeah! I mean, come on, no one else in Lawndale is that good!

Daria: No one else in Lawndale -- or anywhere else -- is willing to work for no more compensation than a few extra “Get Out of Gym Free” passes.

Jane: Well, yeah, that too. But I'm still owed ten bucks from our "Lynn made the team and that's why she's been avoiding us lately" bet.

Lynn: And you might be making an issue of this to distract from the fact that you two have been made the official announcers for all home games.

Daria: It's not a bad job. The possibilities for causing public humiliation are endless. Now, don't you have to step into your phone booth and come out as Slapshot-Girl?

(Lynn rolls her eyes and brushes past them into the changing room.)

Jane: You're on top form tonight, Morgendorffer. Care to share a little of that biting sarcasm with the rest of the school?

Daria: Ten bucks says I have them rioting by half-time.

Jane: Not going there. Remember the saying: "I was at a fight, and a hockey game broke out". And speaking of ten-spots...

(Daria sighs, pulls a bill out of her pocket and hands it to Jane before walking away. Jane pockets it happily and follows.)

(Scene: LHS gym. Music plays on. In the background, you can just about hear Daria and Jane announcing the starting line-up for the Lions' opponents. Jodie is sitting in the bleachers, and she smiles and waves a Lawndale pennant as Mack rolls out in his hockey gear. A letter 'A' is sewn to his jersey [blue and yellow with a lion's head in profile reminiscent of the Minnesota Wild logo].)

Mack: Shouldn't you be over there?

(He gestures at the cheerleaders, who are standing on the sidelines uncertainly.)

Jodie: Nah; you know I'm allergic to pom-poms. (looks at the jersey; teasing) Only assistant captain? Someone's gone down in the world.

(Jodie's comment almost seems to cue the intro music; he smiles at her a little and moves away to the locker room doors.)

Jane: ...And here's the Lions' starting lineup; in goal, Andrea "The Waaaaaall" Hecuba!

(Mild applause and squeals from the cheerleaders as Andrea skates over to the net.)

Daria: The Lions defensive line; Joey Black, Jeffy Grey and Jamie White.

(Harder applause; the three boys skate out as a single unit, grinning and waving.)

Jane: You've gotta do it with style, Morgendorffer; style!

Daria: Grow your hair. Dye it red. Then you can start lecturing me about style.

Jane: (ignoring that) Iiiiiiiin right-wing position! He's quick, he's quarrelsome...

Daria: He wouldn't know a polite remark if it bit him in th--

Jane: (catching the stern look from LeRoy) He's Biiiiiiiiiiiiill Nolan!

(Assorted boos as Bill skates out; obviously very few people have forgotten his behaviour on "Little Brother". He makes obscene gestures at the crowd until LeRoy glares him into submission.)

Daria: In left-wing; the assistant captain of the Lions ... Mack Mackenzie.

(Very enthusiastic applause; Jodie jumps up and waves her pennant happily.)

Jane: (off-mic) Huh. I'd better not have to give that ten bucks back.

Daria: (ditto) Probably second-string. (on mic) The identity of the captain of the Lions' has been kept secret until this time, probably as a result of some weak attempt at showmanship. Starting centre forward and captain of the Lawndale Lions roller hockey team...

(Jane rips open an envelope lying on the table before them, yanks out the contents, then just stares for a moment.)

Jane: You're kidding.

Daria: (peering over Jane's shoulder; dry) No; you think it's kidding. Starting centre forward and captain of the Lions ... Lynn Cullen.

(Most of the crowd goes dead silent with a "what the hell?" look; a few knots of guys [ones who didn't make the cut, perhaps] and the guys on the benches raise a cheer as Lynn skates out. Then Jodie starts to applaud. Her former Council lemmings follow her lead; eventually, so does everyone else. Daria and Jane exchange a look.)

Daria: (still absorbing this) Can you say, "We who are about to die, salute you"? I knew that you could.

(Scene: LHS cafeteria. Daria and Jane are glaring across the table at a sheepish AP and a stoic Lynn.)

Daria: You made captain.

AP: (breaking under the glares) She wouldn't let me tell, okay? It was ... well, you never piss off any girlfriend 'less you want to lose the fun parts of your body but you never piss off the Peril! It was like our school motto!

Daria: How are the boys handling being ordered around by someone with two X chromosomes and two...

Lynn: We don't mention the B word. Last time someone held the fact that I have those against me, I simply informed them that I could make sure that they never had a problem with two protrusions that start with B ever again. (beat) After I explained it in much more graphic language, they pretty much shut up.

Daria: Congratulations. You've mastered command in the time-honoured tradition of drill sergeants nationwide.

Jane: I don't believe you're doing this. We raised hell over the basketball thing and now you're riding herd on a bunch of sports-jock goombahs ... and they didn't even have to blackmail you to do it! Y'know, I personally think you're losing your touch.

Lynn: What touch I've lost is completely made up for by the thwack I've gained. Would you like me to demonstrate?

(The tone is friendly, and there are slight smirks all around.)

(Scene: boys' locker room. Music: Jethro Tull -- "Thick as a Brick". Kevin is talking to Joey, Jeffy and Jamie, who are pulling on their hockey uniforms. In the background,, a few other members of the team are also suiting up; Bill's already suited up, sitting down the bench from the boys, reading a book.)

Kevin: Sure, she can play hockey, but doesn't that tell you anything? I mean, no one can play hockey that good unless they're a ... a beaver-eating Canadian!

Joey: Um ... Kevin, I'm pretty sure she's straight...

Jeffy: So ... you think she's bad news because she can play hockey, or because she likes girls?

Jamie: Or maybe it's because she can deliver severe butt-kicking!

Jeffy: Hey, yeah, did you see her hip check that Leeville right wing? Brutal!

Kevin: Guys, guys! You're missing the point here! Don't you see? Canadians are everywhere!

Jamie: Yeah. The Czechs too.

Kevin: Huh?

Joey: It's like LeRoy was saying! We Americans gotta stand tall out there on the rinks of America!

Jeffy: It's like, all these American teams have been winning Cups and everything but with Canadian talent. So it's up to us to show just how much of a whipping we can dish out!

(There is a hammering on the door.)

Lynn: (OS) Hate to break up the ménage, gentlemen, but we have practice!

(The three boys stand up and hastily dash past Kevin, who sits there, utterly dejected. Then he perks up and turns to Bill, who's carefully dog-earing the page he's on.)

Kevin: Hey, man! You believe me, right?

Bill: What I believe, man, is that even if you weren't talking complete horseshit, you wouldn't have the brains or the know-how to take her down.

(He then the book down on the bench and leaves. Kevin picks it up and looks at it for a moment, frowning in puzzlement.)

(Scene: LHS library. Music plays on. Evan [you remember, the jerk from "See Jane Run"] approaches Kevin, who's hunched over a book with a puzzled frown.)

Evan: It was the spoon. (to Kevin's perplexed look) Who the dish ran away with.

Kevin: You can't get me with that one, man! I read that last year for a book report!

Evan: What's got you stuck? Three-syllable words? (peers over Kevin's shoulder) Ouch. Higher learning, all right.

Kevin: I don't get any of this stuff! Whoever wrote it had to have been some kind of brain.

Evan: And they were using it. What're you after stuff like this for?

Kevin: I'm gonna save our sports teams from a ... a freak or something!

(Evan considers this for a moment, then gets a smirk on and sits next to Kevin.)

Evan: Well, you've come to the right place, m'man. Here; let me explain it to you niiiiiiice and simple.

(Kevin looks gormlessly grateful; Evan just looks evil.)

(Scene: Pizza King. Jodie and Brittany are sitting at a table, books in front of them and a half-eaten pie to one side.)

Brittany: Oooooooooh. A for "Adultery"!

Jodie: (hard-maintained patience) And 'adultery' means...

Brittany: It means being a lying cheating jerk! (beat; calming down) Or jerk-ette, I guess. (beat; as subtle as she's ever going to get) Speaking of lying cheating jerks ... what's going on with Kevvie -- er, I mean, Kevin lately? I mean, it's not like I care or anything, but you sort of get used to that bbig stupid grin and the spitwads and everything and he doesn't do that stuff anymore.

Jodie: (sigh) He's got other things on his m-- (rethinks) He's being a different kind of stupid.

Brittany: (twirling her hair around her little finger) Oooooooooh. (beat) Is this about the not getting the hockey thing? Cos all the cheerleaders were saying about how he's been hanging around their practices and being kinda ... kinda weird about everything. I mean, I know he has this kind of thing for athletic girls but watching that Lynn all the time...

Jodie: (stifling a smile -- barely) I don't think it's like that, Brittany. Don't worry about it.

Brittany: (bouncing to her feet) Who says I'm worried about anything? I mean, it's not like I care if Kevvie looks at other girls -- even weird brainy ones who aren't any competition at all and couldn't even cut it on the cheerleading squad aand... (it finally occurs to her that she's not making any sense) Oooh!

(Brittany scoops up her books and storms off. Jodie looks after her, bemused, until Mack shuffles over, looking a little worried.)

Jodie: (concerned) Hey. You look like she led you to hell and back.

Mack: It won't be me she sends to hell when she finds out what Kevin's gone and done.

(Off Jodie's far more worried and nervous look, cut to...)

(Scene: LHS corridor. Music: Rocket from the Crypt -- "On a Rope". Daria, Jane, Lynn and AP are standing in front of Lynn's locker, which has been redecorated. Someone's stuck CCanadian flag decals all over it, then crossed them out a la Brittany in "Arts n Crass". Someone's sprayed the words "CANUKS GO HOEM!" across the resultant mess in big block capitals. And over the door has been fastened a pair of antlers, serving as a gallows tree for a teddy bear dressed in a Mounties uniform.)

Daria: This looks like the work of a former football player with a grudge. But without a dictionary. Or, in fact, a clue.

(Lynn opens her locker. It's dripping with what looks like maple syrup, and someone's rigged it to play "Blame Canada" when it's opened. Lynn raises an eyebrow at it and shuts it again.)

Lynn: You sure? The Odin-Mountie struck me as a little too educated for him.

Jane: You know, if I took a picture of this, and sent it to your cousin, Kevin'd really learn to meddle not in the affairs of Canadians or their close relatives.

Lynn: I could do that, but there are enough gun-toting maniacs in our schools these days. This is probably just a one-off reaction to my getting captain. It'll blow over.

(Bell rings. Smash cut to...)

(Scene: Lane basement, the next afternoon. Music: The Murderdolls -- "People Hate Me". AP's futzing about with an amp; he's having to work around Jane, who's painting the thing. Daria is sittiing on the floor doing her homework. After a moment of this, Lynn comes down the stairs; she's still in her gym uniform but it's hard to tell, as she's covered from head to toe in maple leaves. The other three stare.)

Lynn: The guys not here yet?

Jane: They went to get ties that didn't make them look like 'the man' now what the hell happened to you?

Lynn: A bunch of former jocks whose names I didn't have time to get doused me in what feels for all the world like wallpaper paste, dumped the foliage and ran. (beat) Well, at least I have time for a shower and a change of clothes.

(With that, she steps back up the stairs and away.)

AP: That's ... getting worse, isn't it?

Jane: Let's see. The locker stunt, the snowballs in English, and now this. Since the school usually ignores all of us, I think it's pretty obviously worse.

Daria: I don't qualify it as worse until she increases this town's mortality rate. And if I were the law, I'd call their end an Ankh-Morpork Suicide.

Jane: Still, she had a point. We really don't want more guns. And I'm thinking guns from either her or cops if that moron doesn't knock it off soon.

AP: So ... what're we gonna do?


Next TLAS: A disillusioned Wandering Lane makes Jane’s secrets her new crusade in “Penny For Your Thoughts”.

(Scene: LHS cafeteria, three days later. Music: The Buzzhorn -- "Ordinary". Jodie, looking confused and almost horrified, is sitting across from Daria, whose normal deadpan expression is intact.)

Jodie: Nothing? What do you mean, nothing?

Daria: I mean nothing as in nothing. As far as I know, Jodie, Kevin Thompson and whoever else he's managed to rope into his anti-Canadian propaganda-fest is safe from the wrath of Cullen.

Jodie: Okay. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but we're talking about the girl who ... well... (leans in a little) ...We're talking about the person who got Ms Li arrested just for saying things about her that were ... well, sorry, but they were about three-quarters true anyway!

Daria: Yes, and normally we'd have to tie her down to keep her from exacting painful bloody revenge on Kevin for the treatment she's been getting the last few days. But if you think about it, normally Kevin wouldn't be quite clever enough for some of the elements of bullying he's been employing over that time period, so maybe it balances out on some cosmic scale of justice somewhere.

Jodie: Daria, someone told me to make sure she stayed away from Evan because they heard Canadians eat babies!

Daria: Despite the fact that Lynn shows no signs of racial prejudice elsewhere, I think she prefers white meat.

Jodie: Daria!

Daria: I've heard most of the rumours, Jodie. That one isn't particularly shocking. Neither, frankly, is the one about the lesbianism -- God knows that one's been aimed at me often enough. The bootlegger's daughter one would be a lot truer eighty-odd years agoo. I don't know where they got the 'bondage moose' thing...

Jodie: (bemused) I didn't even hear about the bondage moose thing. Though I got a weird story about beavers that might have been lesbian double-entendre or plushie thing. (beat) Anyway, that doesn't matter. The point is that, with the rumours and the vandalism and everything else, someone's going to get hurt.

Daria: The thing is, Jodie, that you and I both know this comes back to Kevin. But we can't prove anything. And frankly, the stupid are very difficult to anticipate ... unless you've had a lot of practice.

Jodie: (sigh) I asked for this, didn't I?

Daria: You and Mack, good-hearted fuzz-brains that you are, have managed to survive in the school system, actually friends with Kevin and Brittany, for years. You're the ones who stand some chance of turning this around without resorting to actual violence.

Jodie: But you said Lynn wasn't planning anything...

Daria: As far as I know, she's not. Which means whatever reaction she's eventually pushed to will be... (thinks; comes up with a way to put it) Have you ever heard of the concept of an 'emotional landscape'?

(Off Jodie's wary, "I don't think I want to go there" look...)

(Scene: Pizza King. Music: Rush -- "One Little Victory". Jodie and Mack at a corner booth, an untouched pizza between them. Mack looks angry, whereas Jodie loooks more worried.)

Mack: Remind me why I put up with this again?

Jodie: I think it's that "human decency" thing I read about sometimes. (covers Mack's hand with hers, smiling) You're a stand-up guy. Which is also why you want to stop Kevin before he does something more stupid than usual.

Mack: I don't know, Jodie; my sympathy meter's reading really low on this one. I've been fighting down the urge to whale on Kevin for years.

Jodie: And you'd really want Lynn to?

Mack: I think she deserves the chance, the way Kevin's been acting.

Jodie: I still don't think it's such a good idea, Mack. Rumours aside ... well, let's just say she's been expelled once already. So close to graduation with college on the cards, I think she'd be better off if we quietly took the problem and made it go away. (beat) Daria asked for this, Mack. She never asks for anything. Please?

(Silence for a moment as Mack mulls this over.)

Mack: You know, I've been your boyfriend for years, and for the life of me I can't think of anything I could have done to you that's bad enough to deserve this.

Jodie: (little smile) You have an idea, I guess?

Mack: Yeah, but don't think you're getting out of this scot free, girlfriend. If I'm going to make some magic here, I need a beautiful assistant, right?

Jodie: (smirk now) Yeah, maybe. But I draw the line at the sequined costume.

(Mack pulls a disappointed face; Jodie throws a napkin at him with a smile.)

(Scene: LHS corridor. Music: Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie -- "The War of 1812". Mack and Kevin are standing by Mack's open locker. Kevin's looking through some paper, lips moving. He llooks up, aghast.)

Kevin: Canadians invented basketball? No way!

Mack: And baseball. See, Kevin, just because a country invented a sport doesn't mean another country can't adopt it and do a lot better at it.

Kevin: Well ... but... Is this all that stuff about how all these American hockey teams keep winning that cup thing?

Mack: Exactly. No Canadian team's won the Stanley Cup since 1993. And anyway, as you'll see from this page, (grabbing the papers, shuffling, handing him one) Lynn isn't Canadian anyway.

Kevin: (frowning at the paper) Who's Lynn Smythe? (Mack just hands him another piece of paper) Oh; she changed her name! But, see, that's the work of a...

Mack: Of an American four-year-old, Kevin. Look, she's not a spy; she's a teenager, just doing the stuff that teenagers do.

Kevin: Yeah, with that Daria chick or something...

Mack: You've actually started believing the rumours you started? I don't believe you.

(With that, he grabs Kevin and drags him along the corridor a ways.)

Kevin: Where're we going, Mack Daddy?

Mack: (stopping next to a door) Kevin, this is your lesbian.

(He opens the door; Lynn and AP are in there, making out. They both turn and look at the two boys.)

AP: Hey! You knew we were gonna be in here! You said we should! What--?

Mack: Thank you; that's made my point quite nicely.

(He shuts the door.)

AP: (OS) There was a plan here?

Kevin: So ... she's not into girls? (Mack shakes his head) And she's not a Canadian? (Mack shakes his head again) And she's not an evil terrorist mastermind out to take over the world? (Mack hesitates a moment, then shakes his head again.)

AP: (OS) There was plotting going on and I wasn't in on it?

Mack: I have to ask. Where'd you get the know-how to pull this, anyway?

Kevin: It was all in this book. (hands it over) That Evan kid off the track team -- well, when we had a track team -- told me how to do all the stuff that's in here. (beat; dejected) Guess I reeally screwed up.

(With that, he slumps away. Mack looks after him for a moment, then looks at the book.)

AP: (OS) I got used. Again. I feel so cheap.

(Mack opens the door and hands him the book.)

Mack: Considering Kevin got all his bullying tactics out of here, consider it payment for services rendered.

(AP looks at the cover of the book -- it's "25 Sure-Fire Ways to Drive Any Teacher into Early Retirement". Apparently, Evan helped him edit it for use on others -- and read all those pesky long words. Lynn leans over towards it.)

Lynn: So where'd the tackling dummy get that kind of savvy?

AP: (clasping the book to his chest) Um ... never mind!

(He flings the book out of the broom closet, pulls her close with one arm and slams the door with the other. Mack can't suppress a grin as he picks up the book and walks away.)

(Scene: Pizza King. Music: Live -- "I Alone". Kevin's sitting at a table -- well, slumped over a table -- looking dejected. Enter Jodie and Brittany, who stopp by the door and look at him.)

Brittany: (looking terribly torn) I ... I don't want to go talk to Kevvie! I mean, he broke up with me just because I wasn't a cheerleader anymore and...

Jodie: And he's been your boyfriend and your friend since grade school, Brittany. I mean, look at him. Look into those big dumb eyes and tell me you don't want to try to help him.

Brittany: Well... All right. But this doesn't mean I'm going back out with him! (beat) I mean, it doesn't, right? I mean, I'd hate to get m-- um, his hopes up and then have it all go flooey on m-- hi-- us.

(Jodie, fighting a smile, just pushes Brittany towards Kevin's table. Kevin looks up as she approaches.)

Kevin: Oh. Hey, babe.

Brittany: (not correcting him; just sitting next to him) What's wrong, Kevvie?

Kevin: It's just all so weird, babe. I mean, first I think I'm not gonna be the QB anymore 'cos some big jerk brings in some pansy Canadian sport, but that's cool, y'know, 'cos I get to be the hero! You know, the guy who brings down the evil Canadian conspiracy! And then I find out that there aren't any Canadians and I'm not the hero and I'm still not the QB and ... well, I miss you, babe.

Brittany: Y-you do?

Kevin: Sure! I mean, when I was the QB and the hero-guy, I could stop thinking about missing you, but now I can't. And we can't even get together again because I'm not the QB or the hero guy and you're a...

Brittany: I'm a what? I'm not a cheerleader anymore and I do that modelling stuff but...

Kevin: You're a model now? Whoa, cool! (beat; worried) Um ... can not-QBs go out with models?

Brittany: (twirling her hair) Ummmmmmmm ... I think so?

Kevin: Cool!

(They lean in for the kiss. Pan away to see Jodie at a table further on, head buried in the crook of one arm, banging on the table with the other fist as she tries desperately not to laugh out loud. Enter Daria, who looks at her with some perplexity.)

Daria: Bill Hicks got resurrected and I missed it?

Jodie: Oh... (wiping away a tear) Oh, sorry, Daria. It's just that ... well, that was the most whacked-out love scene since the Rocky Horror Picture Show... (bursts into hysterics before she can finish.)

Daria: (turning her head in Kevin and Brittany's direction) Ah. Wonder-Dim powers, activate. (beat) Does this unholy pairing mark the end of Kevin's reign of error?

Jodie: (getting a grip on herself again) I think so. I have a feeling they'll be too busy making up for lost time ... well, just making time ... to worry about who's hip-checking whom.

Daria: (seriously) Thank you, Jodie. Seriously. You've done a good thing here.

Jodie: And I'll only ask for one thing in return.

Daria: What's that?

Jodie: Make some kind of restitution for those God-awful puns you just made.

Daria: (Mona Lisa smile) Pizza?

Jodie: That'll do it.

(Scene: LHS gym. Music: Our Lady Peace -- "Blister". Daria and AP are sitting on the bleachers. The sounds of vigorous hockey practice are heard in the background.)<

AP: Thanks, Erudite Emerald. I mean, really. I dunno who got Lobotomy Ken smart enough to read all that crap we came up with, but I didn't really want Purple Peril findin' out that he was hittin' her with the one Method I came up with on my own.

(We hear *thwack* *THUMP* and moans of pain.)

Daria: Yeah; I guess even if she is your girlfriend, she'd have made your life--

(Whistle blows; Daria and AP turn to look at LeRoy, who's scowling.)

LeRoy: All right, hit the showers, people -- not you, Cullen! Up here! Now!

(Lynn skates up to the coach as Daria and AP watch warily.)

Lynn: Sir?

LeRoy: What the hell did you think you were doing out there?

(AP gropes for the stopwatch hanging around his neck; amazingly, he keeps missing ... or maybe not so amazingly, given who's doing the groping...)

Lynn: Sir?

LeRoy: Slashing at the head, girl! (AP finally gets a hold of the stopwatch) That kind of crap gets you game misconduct! (AP presses a button on the stopwatch -- *bleep*) You want to use your skinny ass as a bench-warmer, you do it on your own time!

Daria: (shifting her eyes to AP briefly) What are you doing?

AP: Wanna see how long before he gets her usin' that stick as a Foley.

(Daria ponders this briefly and then shudders at the mental image.)

LeRoy: You want to take a man down, you learn to do it within the rules. On my team, you play legal; if you have to play weenie to do it, fine. Just shows you haven't got talent enough to play strong.

AP: Eee...

Daria: Seconded.

LeRoy: Now, I know you got it. You don't want my opinion to change, you start playing by the rules. Got me?

(Long moment of silence. Lynn just looks at him, blandly, no emotion visible. AP's trembling; the man's nearly twice Lynn's size. Daria's fists are clenched; her knuckles are white. Then Lynn bows, shallow but respectful.)

Lynn: Hai. Gomen.

LeRoy: The what now?

Lynn: (very small smile) Understood, sir. Sorry.

LeRoy: (still slightly thrown) Well, twenty laps'll call it even. Double-time. Go!

(And Lynn goes. Daria and AP first stare at the coach, then each other.)

AP: There was this movie ... with the school with the brainwashing and the freaky teachers and the "let's use that Pink Floyd song Purple Peril likes again 'cept not the new one like in the Rodriguez deal"...

Daria: "Disturbing Behaviour".

AP: What, the movie name or what she's doin' like?

Daria: Yes.

(Daria watches Lynn zip around the gym in circles as AP ponders that, then walks off. AP stands there a minute longer, wearing a puzzled frown.)

AP: Hold up, Erudite Emerald! Was that an answer?

(And he heads after her.)



Bullying -- I think the biggest problem with Lawndale as a representative American high school is that no one ever gets bullied. Peoplee like Daria are seldom just ignored -- they're usually harassed and quite often vilified. Add in something concrete to hang a bullying campaign on, and most kids will make the outsider's life a living nightmare. I don't think anyone can say it doesn't happen, and the one unrealistic part of "Daria" as a show is that it never does. So why Lynn getting bullied and not Daria? Well, for one thing, it's established in the show that she doesn't get bullied and I could never make it hang. Anyway, Lew Richardson handled that whole storyline a lot better than I ever could. Given the average intellect of the LHS student body, finding the combination to make real bullying happen was hard enough without throwing canon completely in the toilet.

Love makes you do the whacky -- Direct Buffy quote. He's a fan. It works.

Matterhorn -- For those of you not fluent in malapropism, he means Mata Hari.

Track-Evan -- Well, when it comes to freaks wrecking a sports team, Evan'd be the man to go to for a little payback, if you assume he's sstill pissed with Jane for ditching the team.

Ankh-Morpork Suicide -- Pratchettism. To paraphrase the man himself, "You didn't get much murder, but an awful lot of suicide. Walking through the Shades at night was suicide. Asking a troll, 'you got rocks in your head?' was suicide. Asking for a short in a dwarf bar was suicide. You could commit suicide very easily in Ankh-Morpork, if you weren't careful."

Evan Landon -- Two Evans for the price of one. The joke's in bad taste, but I trust the point gets across.

Foley -- For those of you who don't work in hospitals or watch ER, a Foley is a catheter, occasionally commandeered for urethral usee. And that's all even I can say without wincing too hard to see the screen.

Special vote of thanks goes out to PKnight, a fan of my recent acquaintance whose questions regarding, for example, how Kevin got smart enough to pull any of that kind of bullying helped get this fic finished. So thanks, kiddo. ^_^ And to the usual suspects, of course, particularly Jill "The Leopard Lady" Friedman, who served as Lady Lyric once again when I desperately needed wanted background music.


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 and their respective families, on the other hand, were created and are owned by me, one Janet 'Canadibrit' Neilson, copyright 1999, 2000, 2003. Touch my characters without consulting me and it will go hard with you. This is a "substantially transformative" derivative work, apparently [what a highfalutin way to say fanfic], and is protected by the Supreme Court's decision in re Campbell v. Acuff Rose Music, so keep the copyright notice where it is and don't post it for money. If you do so without my permission and that of MTV Networks, I WILL pull a Lynn Cullen on you. And then I'll call lawyers.