I have decided to respond to this issue with a little story fragment I've had on my hard drives for a long time...one of the many that will probably just exist as fragments and never germinate into actual stories.
[The situation: because of various plot contrivance, Leela, Fry and Zapp are marooned on a deserted tropical planetoid. For some reason, Fry is finding Zapp exceptionally annoying - as much as, say, Günther in Mars U. Leela has sent the two bickering males off to search for food while she works on the shelter or something.
“Ah! The biggest kokonuts!” Zapp exclaimed smugly “Exceptionally round and firm. This will win me the hand of the lovely Leela. And other bodily parts as well.”
“Ha,” Fry muttered, though he abandoned three of his smaller kokonuts. As Zapp was noisily smooching his pair of nuts, Fry raised his voice and added, “The only hand you’ll get from Leela is the one making a fist. In your face.
“The fist of love,” Zapp declared, “I remember it fondly.” He delicately licked each kokonut on the nub of its broken stem.
Fry felt an uncommon heat rising in the back of his brain. As he savagely yanked a couple of nuts free from their trunk, he added “And the only other part you’ll ever get is her big honkin’ boot, as she makes a spectacular flying round kick into your flabby stomach!”
“Brave words from one who hasn’t so much as reached first blern, let alone driven home the grand sexy slammer that the Zapper has.” He accompanied his speech with descriptive thrusts of his pelvis.
Fry growled, and threw his kokonuts to the ground. “That does it! Maybe I’ve never gotten into her underpants, or even her overpants, but that’s just because she’s never felt nearly
as sorry for me as she did for you!” He put his hands on his hips proudly. “On the scale of losers, Zapp Brannigan, you are at the bottom, while I am comfortably ensconced in the lower middle range! Put that up your tacky miniskirt and swallow it!”
Zapp dropped his kokonuts and assumed a threatening mein (and glowering a mean threat). “You dare mock Zapp Brannigan and his spiffy velour uniform?”
Fry folded his arms and glared through narrowed eyes. “Huh. On you, it looks like gabardine.”
Brannigan’s eyes flared as wide as his skirt, quickly followed by his nostrils, and Fry suddenly remembered that Zapp had half a foot and twenty pounds of flab on him. “Nyuh!” he squealed, and ran instinctively for safety. “Leela!”
Leela had finally gotten the roof-frame stable again when the she heard Fry’s approaching voice, yelling “Leela! Help!”
Quickly she let the poles drop and sprinted in the direction it came from. Before she’d gone far, however, Fry burst into the clearing...followed a moment later by Zapp.
Fry immediately hid behind her. “Help, Leela! He’s after me!”
Zapp attempted to circle her, snatching at Fry, who was keeping Leela between them. “Your cowardice is revealed! If you were a REAL man, you’d have much better things to do from behind a woman than hide there!”
The realization that they were in no ACTUAL danger made Leela’s temper boil over. She half-turned, grabbed both of them by the collar, and slammed their heads together. It sounded oddly like two kokonuts colliding.
“Owwww,” Fry said, sitting up and rubbing his head.
Zapp moaned from where he sprawled in the grass. “....Kif, get the number of that cargo ship that hit me...have the pilot pureéd. And lay out my formal hospital gown.”
“All right!” Leela said. “I’ve had enough of you two! We have to work together to survive in this situation, in case you both forgot! If you’re going to act like children, then I’ll separate you. Fry, you go east. Zapp, you go west. And don’t come back until you think you can pretend
to behave like something vaguely approximating an adult!”
Fry scrambled up. “But Leela - “
Leela pointed over his shoulder. “Go!”
Fry said, softly but emphatically, “But Leela, he insulted
Leela rolled her eye, and lowered her voice. “Don’t you think I know that? He’s Zapp!
I don’t expect
any better from him. But I do expect a little
better from you.”
For half a second, Fry brightened, and then his face fell like a tottering tower of Slurm cans. With one last, mortified glance, he turned and hurried east.
Leela swallowed, already regretting her harshness.
“Ah, alone at last....” Zapp began.
Leela whirled on him, regret flown.
“ - ah, eh, I’ll...just be going bweast. Er, west
,” Zapp corrected, walking quickly away.
Leela closed the distance. “Wait one moment. I have something to tell you, Zapp dear.”
” Zapp spun back, smiling like a kid with a balloon. Quickly he recovered, pulling his smugness back on. “That is - of course you do!” He brushed off his uniform. “Which way do you want me? Myself, I favor on - “
Leela seized his collar in one fist, pulling his head down even with hers and twisting the fabric tight.
“GACK!” said Zapp.
“I can put up with your sleazy insults,” she began.
, zhck!” said Zapp.
“...and your inane insinuations, your single entendrés, and your utter lack of respect for me as a biological life form...”
“Hrh, hrh, glckhckhck!
” said Zapp.
“...but I want you to know one thing.” Leela brought his eye (the one that wasn’t wincing) even with hers and bored her gaze into it. “If Fry gets so much as a paper cut or a bug bite because of you, I’ll break your kneecaps, cover you with syrup, and leave you in front of a millipincer nest. Do you understand me?”
Zapp waved his arms a little, his face turning blue.
“Oh, and first,” she added, “To give them the scent, I’ll remove and throw them something of yours that’s small, soft, and rarely sees any use.”
“No. NOT your brain!” Leela released him.
ee-hyAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!” Zapp gasped, inhaling.
Leela turned her back on him and started over to the fallen shelter.
Zapp heaved in air a couple of times. “Leela, my - - “
Leela turned and GLARED.
“- - temporary but VERY respected commander, aye aye! At once! Zapp Brannigan, speeding away!”
Zapp Brannigan speeded away.