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A MEETING OF THE BRAINS
by Canadibrit

(A Daria Fan fiction)

(Scene: Jane's room. Music: Deftones with 'My Own Summer (Shove It)'. Jane is sprawled out on her bed, looking at something with her chin on her hands. We cut to what she's looking at: a blank canvas. She seems to be trying to stare it down. She finally shakes her head, turns down the stereo and turns to the phone. She dials Daria's number from memory.)

(Split screen between Daria & Jane)

Daria: Hello?

Jane: Yo! What's happening?

Daria: Nothing much. Staring at the ceiling. Plotting my next move against Quinn. Wondering how I can make my parents pay for the latest torture they've inflicted upon me. That sort of thing.

Jane: What'd they do this time?

Daria: Mini-vacation to the country.

Jane: Again? Why? Didn't they have enough after they got their stomachs pumped the last time?

Daria: Mom only agreed to it if Dad promised to pack plenty of Kraft Dinner.

Jane: And that's supposed to avoid food poisoning?

Daria: Of course. You can't get food poisoning if what you're eating isn't food.

Jane: Good point. So, when do you guys leave?

Daria: Ten minutes, actually.

Jane: No good-byes?

Daria: You don't deserve any after what you did to me yesterday.

Jane: Look, Trent was asleep, he never heard a word, and for the millionth time, I'm sorry! You know he's so quiet you can't always tell when he's in the room.

Daria: Right. So, what were you calling me for?

Jane: I'm blocked. The canvas is staring at me; I can hear it saying, "I've finally beaten you, Lane" and laughing at me.

Daria: Promise me you won't open cans of turpentine with the windows closed anymore.

Jane: But that's how I get over blocks.

Daria: Whatever. Look, I'd better go. I'll see you when school starts next week, okay?

Jane: Sure. Oh, Trent said he'd give me a lift to school that day. Want to come along for the ride?

Daria: No. I'll just see you at school.

Jane: Suit yourself. I'm getting a ride even if you can't look Trent in the face after I mentioned your dream about...

Daria: Hanging up now. Please take it personally. *click*

(Jane puts the phone down, then looks at the canvas. Her eyes get that evil scheming look, and then she gets up, turns the stereo up and starts mixing paint.)

(Scene: outside Lawndale High. Music: Cold's 'Give'. Writing at bottom centre of screen says in Daria font "One Week Later". Trent's car pulls up in front of the school, and Jane steps out. She waves, pauses, then hammers on the door. We see that Trent has fallen asleep at the wheel again. Jane grabs a cup of coffee from a cup holder on the dashboard and pours it down his front. He yells; Jane smirks. The car pulls away.)

(Scene: Jane walks down the hallways at school, looking at her locker assignment. She spies it, and a few feet away, she sees a head of brown hair from behind. The girl with the Daria-hair is wearing a jacket almost exactly like Daria's except for the colour - it's purple - and her black skirt is not pleated. Apart from that, from behind everything is the same; the boots, the stance, everything.)

Jane: Yo, Daria! Like the new jacket. You getting Fashion Club seasonal on me?

(No response. She doesn't even turn.)

Jane: (looking confused) So how was the trip? Helen and Jake have to be airlifted out of the forest again?

(Still no reply.)

Jane: You're not still mad at me about the Trent thing, are you? Look, I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sor...

(The girl turns around, and Jane steps back, because this girl is obviously not Daria. Her hair has no fringe and is somewhat longer, her glasses are smaller and more oval, and she wears a grey high-necked T-shirt under the purple jacket. Her face is rounder, too.)

New Girl: (voice almost exactly like Daria's, but not quite) Excuse me?

Jane: Ah! Who the hell are you?

New Girl: Who wants to know?

Jane: Jane Lane. Straight C math student and greatest artist this school has ever seen.

New Girl: Lynn Cullen. Straight C science student and this generation's answer to Tolkien. Nice to meet you. So who's this Daria? You're the third person today who's called me that.

Jane: Well ... it'd probably be easier if you met her yourself. Who have you got first?

Lynn: O'Neill. English.

Jane: Ooh. Well, if you won't answer to Daria, how about Lydia, Louise, and Lila? He's bound to call you all those names, plus a few no one's thought up yet.

Lynn: I see. Never forgets a face ... just the name that goes with it, huh?

Jane: (bursts out laughing)

Lynn: What's so funny?

Jane: I can't wait until you meet Daria.

(Kevin and Brittany walk past them, arm in arm.)

Kevin: Hey Jane! Hey Daria!

Brittany: Oh, hi, Jane, Daria! Did you do anything nice this summer?

(They walk away without waiting for a reply.)

Lynn: That's five. Wonder when it'll go into double figures. Look, I'm going to do what I do best - question authority.

Jane: Question authority? What?

Lynn: They usually know where the bathroom is. See you later.

(Jane looks after Lynn for a moment. Daria comes up behind her.)

Daria: Hey.

Jane: AAAAAAAAAA!

Daria: (jumps back, taken aback) What the hell was that for? I was just saying hello.

Jane: Sorry, I... Oh, never mind. Who do you have for first period?

Daria: O'Neill. Oh joy. Wonder if he'll remember my name after a whole summer.

Jane: You're the only kid whose name he CAN remember. (mutters) That's gonna change; hoo boy is it ever...

Daria: What are you babbling about? Did you inhale whiteout again?

(Jane starts to speak, but is interrupted by Ms Li's voice from the PA system)

Ms Li: Will Daria Morgendorffer and Lynn Cullen please report to the principal's office immediately!

Jane: Never mind. You'll see for yourself soon enough.

Daria: Is it me, or does it feel weirder than usual at school this year?

Jane: Go on, can't keep Ms Nazi waiting! (starts shoving Daria along the corridor)

Daria: Take your hands off me, Lane.

(Scene: Ms Li's office. Daria is shoved into the office and looks back at the door.)

Daria: (grumbles) To hell with you too, Lane.

Ms Li's secretary: Ms Li will see you now.

(Daria walks into Ms Li's inner sanctum. There she is confronted with Lynn, who is seated.)

Ms Li: Please take a seat, Ms Morgendorffer.

(She does. The two sit side by side in front of Ms Li's desk, looking sidelong at each other with identical expressions of deadpan assessment and masked curiosity. In this shot, the similarities are unmistakable.)

Daria & Lynn: (in unison, thought VO) Excuse me?

Ms Li: Ms Morgendorffer, I'd like you to meet our new student, Lynn Cullen.

Lynn: (monotone; wary) Hi.

Daria: (equally monotone and wary) Hey.

Ms Li: While Ms Cullen's science grades are only average...

Lynn: Just above average. (beat) C+ last year.

(Daria looks at Lynn, not quite able to believe that someone is actively correcting Ms Li.)

Ms Li: (look of annoyance)...Only just above average ... her grades in her other subjects, particularly English, I note...

Lynn: I have an unfair advantage. I've been speaking it all my life.

(Daria only barely hides a smirk.)

Ms Li: (dangerous eyes) ...Her grades, if not her ATTITUDE, will be an asset to the school. Her essays and poems will bring honour to Lawndale High.

Lynn: I feel a rendition of the school fight song coming on. (belch) Sorry. False alarm.

(Daria can't help it. She actually smiles this time.)

Ms Li: (loses it) Ms Cullen, you seem to be a promising student, despite your recorded attitude problem! I would appreciate it if you kept your comments to yourself and let others get on with learning!

(Lynn scans the desk during this speech. Her eyes rest on a few pieces of paper for a moment and she opens her mouth to comment ... but then shuts up.)

Ms Li: Now, Ms Morgendorffer, you would be doing a favour to myself and to the school if you could show Ms Cullen here the ropes.

Daria: I thought Student Greeter was Jodie's job.

Ms Li: It is, and believe me, I'd much prefer her to be taking this student around. But she seems to have come down with mononucleosis...

Lynn: Ooh, the kissing disease! Scandalous school you have here, Ms Li.

Ms Li: (chooses to ignore that one) ...And will be out of school for the next two weeks.

Daria: (deadpan) Oh, the humanity.

Ms Li: (fed up with wisecracks) Both of you, out of my office, now. You have class in two minutes, and lateness means automatic week's detention!

(Lynn and Daria regard each other sidelong for another moment, this time more approvingly. Then they turn in unison and leave.)

Ms Li: Okay, Angela. Deep breaths. They will not bring dishonour onto your school. You will not let it get to you...

(She draws a wrapped package out of her desk drawer - the label reads, "To Superintendent Richards; a token of my regard! Angela". She unwraps it to reveal a bottle of good bourbon and proceeds to pour a generous measure into a coffee mug.)

Ms Li: (staring at the mug in disgust) I don't believe this. You are not going to let those kids drive you to drink ... ESPECIALLY not Superintendent Richards' bri ... token of regard. (beat) Oh, hell, there's two of them! (swills down the bourbon, pours again.)

(Scene: LHS corridors. Daria and Lynn walk side by side.)

Daria: So...

Lynn: So...

Daria: You met Jane.

Lynn: Yeah. She thought it was really amusing. (beat) Well, apart from when she had the heart attack after spending nearly two minutes talking to me as if I were you.

Daria: (raises eyebrows) Jane has a sick sense of humour sometimes.

Lynn: So do I. Probably so do you. (pause for thought) Question.

Daria: Yeah?

Lynn: Did you ever say about Mr O'Neill, "Never forgets a face, just the name that goes with it"?

Daria: (eyes widen) Yeah. Yeah, I did. How did you know?

Lynn: (sighs) Lucky guess.

(They have reached the door of Mr O'Neill's classroom. The bell rings. They look at each other again.)

Lynn: Into the jaws of death rode the 4,000...

(They enter. There is a pause. Then we hear Mr O'Neill begin to sob.)

(Scene: lunchroom. Jane is sitting opposite Lynn and Daria, who sit side by side at a lunch table, poking at indeterminate lumps that are supposed to be food.)

Jane: So how are the Olsen Twins anyway?

Daria: Go to hell, Lane.

Lynn: Yeah. Keep in mind that my hobby is torture devices.

Jane: Really?

Lynn: No. But I have a passing familiarity with the art of torture. Required learning for the damn novels. Also helpful if you want to threaten someone.

Upchuck: (OS) Well, well, well! Do my eyes deceive me, or do wishes really come true?

Daria: Crap.

(Upchuck approaches the table, sleazy grin firmly in place)

Upchuck: I have always loved the feistiness of our Ms Morgendorffer here; the only way that I could think to better her would be to make more of her. And look; my prayers have been answered. Want to double date with the Chuckster?

Lynn: I'd rather pull your nose hairs out one by one with a rusty pair of pliers.

Upchuck: Ooh, feisty!

Lynn: (still seemingly calm, she grabs Upchuck by the throat with surprising strength and heaves him across the table so that they are almost nose to nose, then speaks in a pleasant tone) Listen, maggot. I can castrate you in so many different and painful ways that you couldn't even begin to hear them all today. Most of them would have you retching where you sit anyway. I can cut your ears off and stuff them so far up your ass you won't shit them out until graduation. Give me an excuse to mess you up, sleaze-bag; I've been studying pain and suffering for years. I'll make it so bad you'll beg to die, but you'll live on, feeling the most unspeakable agonies you've ever imagined. Just give me an excuse.

(She releases him. Upchuck looks at her a moment, fear and disbelief in his eyes, and then he makes his decision)

Upchuck: (meekly) Sorry for offending you, Miss. I'll take my leave now. Good day. (exit shamefully)

(There is an awe-struck silence. Andrea, sitting two tables down, stands up and starts to applaud. All the girls in the cafeteria follow suit. Lynn takes a bow.)

(Scene: corridor. Jane, Daria & Lynn are standing by Lynn's locker.)

Daria: I have to admit, you impressed me out there. Points lost for lack of subtlety, but an overall 9.3 for style.

Jane: Oh, come on, Upchuck is as subtle as a brick! Perfect 10 from the Lane jury; you blew him out of the water!

Lynn: Eh. Just because I give out crap doesn't mean I have to take it, too. I could see him sliming around for the next two years, and there was no way I was going to let him mar my pursuit of higher learning.

Daria: (dubious) I think you have too much faith in Lawndale High.

Lynn: No. My pursuit of higher learning is going to revolve around what I really need to know; how to cut losers and twist the cerebrally deficient around my little finger to suit my own ends.

Daria: (nodding) In that case, you've come to the right place.

(Cut to Fashion Club, who are staring at the trio in some shock. None look so aghast as Quinn.)

Sandi: Oh, my god, the rumours are true.

Stacy: They might not be twins. They don't look ... exactly ... alike.

Sandi: Explain that statement, Stacy.

Stacy: Um ... ah ... they aren't wearing the same colour?

Sandi: Even losers have fashion originality; in fact, that's the problem with the unfashionable - too much deviation from the accepted fashion norm. Now, Quinn... (Quinn cringes, feeling her card house of lies about to come crashing down.) ...You told us your cousin or whatever had no family and that was why she had to live with you. Now it turns out that she has a twin sister. What's the deal here, Quinn?

Quinn: Look, if they are twins, wouldn't the other one be living with me too? Well, she's not. How can they be?

Stacy: Well, there's this show on TV, called Sister, Sister...

Quinn: She is NOT my sister!

Sandi: Calm down, Quinn. No one SAID that Darla girl was your sister ... except maybe YOU.

Stacy: Well, in this show, there's this set of twins that were put up for adoption, and they wound up in the same town and discovered each other years later! Then their parents - a single woman and a widower, who each adopted a twin...

Sandi: Will you stop babbling, Stacy, and get to the point?

Stacy: Well, what if Quinn's cousin wasn't actually her cousin, but her ADOPTED sister? Maybe her parents thought they couldn't have kids and adopted Quinn's cousin or whatever, and someone else adopted that other girl, and now they're meeting up years later!

Sandi: Well ... what do YOU think, Quinn?

Quinn: (pause; she can't believe her luck) Well, I always did think it was strange that we had a cousin living with us for all those years ... and how her parents never got off on parole no matter how much time they served...

(The Fashion Club wander away. Jane turns to Daria and Lynn)

Jane: Did you hear that? First you're the Olsen Twins, then you're those girls off Sister, Sister!

Lynn: How lucky I am to be such a hot topic of conversation on my very first day. Pass the drain cleaner, please.

Daria: My sentiments exactly. Well, except for the very first day part.

Mr O'Neill: (quivering slightly; to Lynn) Hello, Daria.

Daria: No, Mr O'Neill; I'm Daria.

Mr O'Neill: (shaking more) Right. Good. Longer hair and purple means Lynn. Longer hair - purple - Lynn. Longer hair - purple - Lynn.

Jane: (to Lynn) I'm sure he'll be back to his perky self. Once the Prozac kicks in.

Mr O'Neill: Right, Lynn; that test you did for Dr Manson came back today. It looks like you may have to take my Self-Esteem Workshop. It will have the added benefit of helping me to be able to tell you apart from Dar... Um... I mean, get to know the real you better.

Jane: (whispers to Lynn as she slips a sheet of paper into her hand) Just ask to take his final exam now.

Lynn: Mr O'Neill, I was ... feeling a little jetlagged that day. Not my usual self. Could I take your pass-out exam now? I'd like to prove myself to you.

Mr O'Neill: (looks a little worried; some flashback to Daria and Jane's easy pass) Oh. Okay... Question one: Self-esteem is important because...

Lynn: (glancing at paper) It's a quality that will stand me in good stead for the rest of my life.

Mr. O'Neill: (uncertain) Very good. Now, the next time I feel bad about myself...

Lynn: Stand before the mirror, look myself in the eye, and say, "You are special. No one else is like you."

Mr. O'Neill: (stifling a whimper) You really must have been jetlagged. You have this stuff down cold. Okay, there's no such thing...

Lynn: (after last reassuring glance at paper) ...As the right weight or the right height. There's only what's right for me. Because me is who I am.

Mr. O'Neill: (on the verge of tears - his luck has run out) I guess we don't have to go any further. I am really pleased. (looks hangdog for a moment) You wouldn't ... be interested in Drama Horizons...

Lynn: Requires facial expressions. Sorry.

(Mr O'Neill walks away sobbing slightly, assured of a year of hell as he tries to tell Daria and Lynn apart and fails)

Jane: That was great! You've got this school thing beat!

Lynn: With a little support from fellow outcasts, I guess I do.

Daria: That jetlag excuse was pretty good. Where did you transfer from, anyway?

Lynn: Oakwood.

Daria: The next town over?

Lynn: I didn't think Mr O'Neill would remember where I was from, if he couldn't remember my name or tell me apart from you. (looks after Mr O'Neill) Looks like I've got him down cold too.

(Scene: streets of Lawndale. Daria, Jane and Lynn walking home.)

Lynn: So Ms Barch hates men, Mrs Bennett hates pennies, and Mr DeMartino hates everyone. That seems simple enough to remember.

Jane: Did Ms Barch give the "avoid all men or they will drain your will and bank account before running off with pretty blonde college girl in stiletto heels" speech?

Lynn: Yep.

Daria: Then your initiation is complete. Welcome to Lawndale. Strict IQ limits enforced.

Lynn: Hmm. So what do Lawndale social outcasts do after school, anyway?

Daria: Eat pizza. Watch Sick Sad World.

Lynn: Bitch about the nauseatingly stupid people at school - teachers included?

Jane: Oh yeah. And you have got to see Daria's room.

(Lynn looks at Jane in confusion, then turns to Daria.)

Daria: (sighs) The owner kept his schizophrenic shut-in mother in it. There are padded walls and sawed-off bars on the windows ... also violent poetry carved into the walls of the closet with a key.

Jane: You never told me about the poetry!

Daria: You didn't ask.

Lynn: That sounds cool. Shame my mother won't let me do that to my room. She did give me money to buy paint and do the place up myself. She told me she was going to redecorate herself, and I'm sure she would ... around the same time she signs my third-grade report card.

(Jane and Daria look at each other.)

Lynn: So I pushed for a DIY job. You guys want to help me do the place up?

Jane: What are you doing with it?

Lynn: Black walls, purple trim, purple velvet drapes ... the whole 'dark and mysterious and possibly suicidal but no one can be sure' look.

Daria: Nice touch.

Lynn: Eh. It's a gift.

(Scene: Morgendorffer living room. Jake is sitting on the sofa reading the paper and drinking a beer.)

TV: Do you have a twin that you don't know about? Does one of your children?

Jake: I ... don't think so...

TV: Evidence has been released suggesting that doctors and nurses in hospitals throughout the country are making a trade in stolen twin babies. A doctor will take one twin and sell him or her to a waiting childless couple, leaving parents blissfully unaware of their double miracle.

Jake: My god!

TV: Fathers, take note. If you were not present at the birth of your child, you could have been robbed of a special gift.

Jake: Thank God I was there at Quinn's birth. But what about Daria? Oh, God... (picks up phone, dials.)

(Scene: Helen's office. Helen is pacing the room. Phone rings, Marianne picks up.)

Marianne: Helen Morgendorffer's office. Just one moment. (to Helen) Helen, it's your husband on line one. He says something about one of the children being snatched.

Helen: WHAT? Oh my God... Jake, what's wrong? Which one of the girls is missing?

(Split screen; Jake and Helen)

Jake: Helen! Helen! Do you remember if you had twins when Daria was born?

Helen: Jake, what the hell are you talking about? Are Daria and Quinn okay?

Jake: I wasn't there when Daria was born! What if we had twins and the doctors stole the other baby away from us? My God, Daria might have a sister!

Helen: Jake, Daria DOES have a sister; she has Quinn. Are you saying that Daria and Quinn are okay?

Jake: But Helen, what about our twins?

Helen: Jake, we never had twins. Now will you go back to your paper? I'm running late for a video conference.

Jake: But the TV said...

Helen: What have I told you about believing everything you see on TV?

Jake: (meekly) Don't do it?

Helen: That's right, Jake. Now let me get to my video conference. (hangs up. Screen fully Helen's again.) Honestly, I don't know why I put up with it...

(Scene: Morgendorffer living room. Jake looks at the phone handset.)

Jake: Helen's right. Helen's always right. Except TV is right so often too ... except about that man-eating vegetables thing I watched with Daria last week...

(Door opens, then closes again. Daria, Jane and Lynn walk to the kitchen behind Jake, who is lost in thought about man-eating vegetables and snatched twins. The noise finally registers.)

Jake: Boots. Daria. Second set of boots. Jane - or maybe it's Jean... Anyway. Third set of boots... Third set of boots? (epiphany) OH MY GOD, DARIA HAS A NEW FRIEND!!!

(Jake drops his paper and his beer and charges into the kitchen to meet the new friend.)

Jake: (outside of kitchen) Hey there, Kiddo, heard you come in. Who's your new little...

(Jake enters the kitchen, sees Lynn, stops cold.)

(pause)

Lynn: Hi, Mr Morgendorffer...

Jake: Oh ... my ... God ... we ... DID ... have ... twins...

(Jake collapses to the floor in a dead faint. The girls surround him, looking down on him for a moment. All of the following conversation is completely deadpan - no emotion at all.)

Jane: Think we should have warned him?

Daria: Nah. That was almost fun.

Lynn: Is he always like this?

Daria: Pretty much. Usually he just bursts a blood vessel in his eye. (pause) Maybe he burst one in his brain this time.

Lynn: Should we check his pulse?

Jane: He's breathing. Don't bother.

Daria: Maybe we should go to your house, Jane. They like weird there.

Jane: Well, Trent and the rest are holed up in the basement, and God knows what they're on by now, but ... sure.

Lynn: Can we at least have a peek at Daria's room first?

Daria: We should go before he wakes up. You can come another time when Mom's home. Maybe you can make her faint too. And Quinn. Though I'd rather see her tear her hair out ... it'd be hard for her hair to bounce with multiple bald spots.

(The girls walk away without looking back)

(Scene: Jane's room. Jane is looking at a half-finished canvas - all we see on it is Daria dressed in a slinky black dress. The pose suggests she's lying in dinner club singer style on top of a piano.)

Daria: You were going to PAINT that?

Jane: Your little dream sequence was the only inspiration I had ... at the time. Now, I have a better one. You have earned a reprieve. (She puts a new canvas up on the easel and starts sketching)

Lynn: Was that the Trent thing you were trying to apologise for?

Daria: Why don't you put it on a billboard, Jane?

Jane: Because I would be hung from it about two hours after I did it. Life ain't much, but it makes great art. (We see the outlines of two faces, and a pair of glasses on each face.)

Lynn: (rooting through Jane's junk) Jane; question.

Jane: Shoot. (sees that Lynn has come out with the Stigmata 5000 glue gun) NOT LITERALLY! (A pair of lips has appeared on each face, both set in identical stoic lines.)

Lynn: Yeah, right. (puts down glue gun) No offence, but what's that smell in the hallway? Smells like iodine.

Jane: It IS iodine. That smell comes from under Trent's bed - I think he left his bottle of iodine there from his "orange skin" phase. (Hair has been sketched - it is now obvious that she is drawing the initial confrontation between Daria & Lynn in Ms Li's office.)

Lynn: I'm not even gonna ask.

Jane: It has its advantages, though. We don't have to fumigate Trent's room nearly as often as we used to. When you start smelling mouldy food or dead mouse, then let me know. I'll write out one of those blank cheques Mom left us to an exterminator or something.

Daria: Have you heard anything from your parents recently?

Jane: Well, the Hamlets were boring, so they went their separate ways. Mom's doing terracotta pottery in Israel somewhere, and Dad's potholing in South Wales.

Lynn: This is a weird family. I like it.

(Crashing guitar chord, played badly. Dim, muffled laughter.)

Lynn: Who is torturing that poor guitar, and can we make them stop?

Jane: That would be Trent or Jesse. They have a band called Mystik Spiral.

Lynn: Sounds like the name of a band that plays Doors covers at brew pubs.

Daria: They're thinking of changing it.

Jane: To Helpful Corn, Daria. Don't defend my brother just because...

Daria: (to Lynn) There's still such a thing as justifiable homicide in this state, right?

Jane: Come on, we'll go tell them to keep the noise down. I want Lynn to meet Trent and the others anyway. And you can visit with Trent; I know he'd LOVE to see you...

Daria: Jane, one more word and you're toast, I swear. I still have that bridesmaid dress to bury you in.

(Scene: the Lanes' basement. Jane leads the way down the stairs, followed by Daria and Lynn. We see Trent, Jesse, Nick [stocky and short with long brown hair in a ponytail, for the sake of the story] and Max [blond & skinny] trying to hammer out a song and failing.)

Trent: As darkness grows/I see my woes/spread out like a carpet of bugs...

Lynn: (to Jane) Good lyrics. Bad instrumental section.

Trent: In absence of light/pass visions of night/and shallow graves left halfway dug...

Daria: This stuff always reminds me of that poetry on my closet wall.

Jane: You heard "Spite", right?

Daria: Ow, my nose? Oh yeah.

Trent: Behind my eyelids/it's a world you cannot see/a place that's just for me/behind my eyelids...

(Rampant, ugly guitar solo commences)

Lynn: Interesting imagery. (beat) Good rhythm. (beat) Can we pull the amp plugs? The only thing wrong with this song is the music.

Trent: You watch a tear/it trickles clear/and glistens on my skin...

Lynn: (deadpan) Ooh. Glistening skin. Kinky.

(Daria shoots her a death glare)

Lynn: On the drummer, maybe...

(Daria relaxes)

Trent: Corn is a grain/it grows on the plain/please, baby, let me in...

Lynn: What the hell?

(Music comes to a screeching halt)

Jesse: Trent, what the hell...

Trent: Sorry ... what?

Max: Hey, man, you changed that line. Remember; "my liquid pain, oh world profane"? We talked about that corn crap. What is it with corn?

Lynn: Aside from being a damn cool band, you mean?

(She's said this loud enough to be heard, and the band snickers but doesn't look over.)

Jesse: Hey, Trent, remember Alternapalooza?

Trent: Hey, yeah - Helpful Corn.

Nick: We talked about that too, you guys. No damn corn. Anywhere. Not in the lyrics. Not in the band name. If we get an album, under no circumstances will we call it Helpful Corn. No corn ... anywhere!

Lynn: How about corn on a dinner plate? Will that make this guy cringe? Corn-o-phobia, anyone?

Trent: (finally notices the girls) Hey Janey. Hey Daria. Hey... (double take) Hey Jess, what was in that muffin you brought over? I'm seeing double here.

Jesse: Cool. (looks over) Whoa, double Darias!

Jane: Guys, whatever drug-induced fantasies you think you're having, you're wrong.

Lynn: (to Daria) This time, anyway...

Jane: The one in purple's name is Lynn. Meet Trent (gestures to Trent, who is still blinking at them), Jesse (who's collapsed on a chair and giggling), Nick (who grunts a little) and Max. They are Mystik Spiral.

Max: Hey Lynn.

Lynn: (thought VO) Can't speak. Must ... speak. (aloud, meekly) Hey.

(Daria looks over at Lynn, stunned. She's heard this before. Jane notices too.)

Jane: Well, maybe we should leave these boys to their male bonding. You guys playing anytime soon? I'm sure Daria and Lynn would love to watch you guys 'perform' sometime...

Lynn & Daria: (in unison, whispers to each other) Hand me a guitar string so that I might silence my friend. (they raise their eyebrows, surprised)

Max: Yeah. Zen. Friday.

Trent: We'll pick you up on Friday. Sometime after dinner. Not too early. But before seven. Or after.

Lynn & Daria: (unison) Um ... okay.

Max: Or better yet...

Trent: Why don't we leave it loose?

(Daria and Lynn look at each other for a moment, then break into identical little Mona Lisa smiles.)

(la la LA la la...)