Big fat update!
Scooping up her unconscious son, Mrs. Fry turned to the older boy.
‘Damn you Yancy, we’ll have to miss the playoffs... on television. Get my radio!’
‘I didn’t know he would…’
‘Just get the radio; you’re wasting precious game time!’
Yancy sat quietly in the backseat as they drove to the hospital. His father was at the wheel and rambling on about something, where as his mother was listening with disgust at her radio, and frequently criticising them. Philip lay in his mother’s arms, pale as a sheet and his breathing was harsh and forced. His dirty tear streaked face was a true picture of misery. But neither of his parents noticed. His depressing demeanour was not wasted though. Yancy observed his family quietly with a growing guilt. He had nearly killed his brother, and even though he voiced his liking for the idea, he realised he’d hate it if they were separated. A tear escaped down his cheek as he whispered.
‘I’m sorry Phil. I didn’t mean to hurt you, I’m really sorry Ph…’
‘…Fry, I didn’t know.’
The room came clear as Fry lifted his head from hiding behind his arms. Leela sat with her arm around him, Bender looked on worriedly. Everyone else was gone from the table. Fry sniffled.
‘That’s ok.’ Leela smiled warmly at him.
‘I’m going out with Amy ok? I might see you some time tonight.’ She gave his shoulder a squeeze and left.
‘Hurry up!’ Bender said with impatience. Everyone but Hermes and the Professor had left the building; they were going to hand out pumpkin treats at the door. Frustrated, Fry dug through a pile of clothes.
‘Clown, too stupid, prince, too pansy, pumpkin suit…’ he stopped and stared at it, thinking. But it came to him that Leela was being sarcastic and he tossed it aside.
‘She’s so great.’ Said Fry, his hand absentmindedly reached to scratch his wound. A metallic hand slapped down hard. Fry clasped his now red hand to his chest and glared painfully at Bender.
‘What the hell was that for?’ Bender’s eyes changed shape to rewind, back to stop and then to play. Leela’s recorded voice came from him,
‘Don’t touch it!’
Leela stood in front of her closet. She didn’t want to dig through the costumes with Fry because she knew she would end up picking something for him and she wanted him to have his own fun. She sorted through her formal dresses, each of them bringing back memories. She stopped at her special purple gown and traced the decorative holes in it. She had worn this at the opera, the night where Fry played his way into her heart. She softly sobbed and buried her face in the velvet material. She couldn’t remember the reason why they broke up after that, she couldn’t remember how. It was too painful to think about it.
She pushed the dress aside; it was too special to be wearing tonight. The next dress seemed more appealing. It was a simple black dress, true it sat slightly lower than her singlet and much darker than anything than she would have normally worn but seeing as she felt desperate and it was Halloween she could get away with it. She slipped into the dress and into a dressier pair of boots before applying her makeup. Nibbler ran around, chasing a venomous bug which had apparently infested the whole of New New York. Leela was able to catch him and she tied a new cape with stars and moons on it. Tossing a silk scarf around her neck and picking up a matching witch’s hat, she locked up the room, put Nibbler on his leash and made her way on the path to the transit tubes. The street was filled with people, giving out gifts, receiving gifts and people walking around for the view. Ignoring wolf whistles and wild eye stares, Leela picked up Nibbler, held down her dress and stepped into the tube.
‘Madison Cube Garden.’
‘Trick or treat!’
‘You’re too old to be trick or treating!’
‘Lady, give the pirate candy, or we turn the trick on you.’ Bender stood with a baseball bat in his hand. The lady’s tone changed immediately.
‘Of course!’ She emptied the plate of coloured toffees into Fry’s candy bucket.
‘Thanks mam!’ Fry winked roguishly at her. The effect was spoilt by the fact that he had an eye patch on.
‘Come on Wiggles, we have looting to do.’ Bender had spotted a pub across the road.
‘Yes Capt’n.’ Fry dug out his plastic cutlass from his belt. ‘Avast at thee! Scurvy dawgs, I send ye to Davey Jones’ locker by plank…’
‘Save some till later.’ Bender said, interrupting before Fry could get caught in a loop. They crossed the road and trashed the joint and left with a Benderful of beer.
They swaggered down the street, stopping whenever Fry wanted more candy. Bender smashed the windows of a house for giving Fry an apple and found a stash of high quality wine which Fry put in his shoulder bag for Leela.
‘Why can’t we have it?’ Bender whined.
‘We have beer, why are you complaining?’
‘She’ll have wine at that place with Amy.’
‘Wiggles, that’s Captian Bender… the great, no the magnificent!’
‘Whatever, my point is…’
‘Whoa, hold up. Booty at ten o’clock.’ He let out a wolf whistle as a fem-bot passed by. The fem-bot turned and eyed Bender with dislike. She walked up to him.
‘Hey babe,’ he said casually, ‘that’s a mighty fine…’ but he never finished his sentence as she slapped him across the face. Fry caught him as he toppled over in surprise.
‘Up yours, chumpette!’ he hollered after the disappearing figure.
Leela stepped over the threshold of the Madison Cube Gardens. It was all very pretty with fairy lights and pumpkin decorations. It was all very mysterious and spooky. The little black bugs running everywhere added to the effect, and it was particularly amusing for Leela to see people dancing around trying not to get bitten. Nibbler seemed unaffected by them; devouring them faster than one could crush them. Leela laughed at the sight before her, it had been good to come even to see the pandemonium. But she ceased laughing when a young girl was carried past; crying. Her whole leg was purple and she was in obvious pain.
‘It’s itchy!’ she cried as she was rushed to the car by her mother and they took off in the direction of the hospital. Leela watched guiltily.
‘Oh dear, I hope they clean up this mess soon.’ She commented as she tied Nibbler to a nearby post.
‘Stay here boy.’ She instructed her pet. ‘I’m not going to be long.’
‘Hey, Leela!’ Amy greeted her at the door, ‘You look great.’
‘Thanks, you do too, I guess.’ Amy was decked in pink and she looked like a playboy bunny. Way over the top Leela thought to herself. She pulled her hat on feeling better about her own outfit.
‘Where’s Kif?’ she asked politely
‘He and Zapp will be coming any second now.’
‘Zapp Brannigan’s coming?’
‘Well, duh, it’s his party.’
‘You failed to mention that earlier.’
‘Oh yeah, you don’t like Zapp do you?’
‘Not particularly… Fry could have told you that.’
‘Yeah, well Fry is obsessed with you.’
‘You don’t think I don’t know that?’ Amy frowned at Leela’s bitterness.
‘What up?’ she said, true Fry style.
‘I don’t know.’ Leela moaned. Even if Fry was dressed as a pumpkin, she would’ve preferred spending the evening with him then with Zapp Brannigan. She kicked herself for not accepting his offer earlier.
‘Y’know what? I might go and try and find him.’
‘In New New York?’
‘Sure, I’ll just follow the Bender trail.’ She said, imagining the trail of destruction that Bender and Fry would leave if they were let loose in New New York together.
‘Well, I hate burst your bubble…’ Amy said, as a limo pulled up. Leela moaned at the sight of Zapp Brainnagan dressed in royal best.
‘Amy!’ Kif ran over to his girl, ‘My cute fluff bunny, you’re here!’ Amy giggled at his costume.
Kif chuckled, ‘Well, I thought it would amuse you, seeing how I can climb on walls and celings and things.’ Amy gave him a loving kiss, making Kif’s camouflage reflex kick in and all that was seen of him was his spidey suit.
‘Well, if it isn’t the lovely luscious lady Leela.’
‘Well, if it isn’t the fat pompous buffoon Zapp.’
Zapp laughed at her and offered her his arm; she didn’t take it.
‘Well Amy, I came, I saw and, in the words of Bender, I’m cheesing it.’
‘Stay, dear Leela…’
‘I offer you free food, wine and the bed chamber for candy.’ Leela rolled her eye.
‘Fine, I’ll eat, but then I’m going to get some real candy.’
‘Trick and treating is for kids, Leela.’ Amy said, wrinkling her nose.
‘Of course it’s not!’ Objected Zapp, ‘Halloween is like one big party with lots of little parties and sexy love-making.’
Kif and Leela simultaneously sighed with exasperation.
‘Ew, what are those things?’ Zapp said with disgust as a bug came scrambling up to him and started gnawing on his boot.
‘An infestation of some sort.’ Said Amy, stepping back from it.
‘Kif, get rid of it.’ Zapp instructed. Kif sighed and went to scoop it up, but its pincers nipped hard and went straight through his gloves, piecing his skin. Within mere seconds, Kif was coloured purple. They stood in surprise and watched as he cringed.
‘Oh god, it’s itchy.’
‘Oh Kiffy!’ Amy’s eyes were wide in panic. ‘How do we stop it?’
‘To the ship!’ Kif wheezed, and made to start back, but grew weak after a few steps and fell with a splat. Amy picked him up and ran through the crowd.
‘So that leaves the Zapper and Leela, together, alone, on a romantic dinner?’
‘Show me the food and then I’m out of here.’ Leela said, her eye narrowed and arms crossed.
‘I’m walking on sunshine whoa-oh! I’m walking on sunshine whoa-oh!’
‘Bender is great – blah,blah- Bender is great – blah, blah-…’
Fry and Bender danced arm-in-arm down the street, their songs disjointed but neither of them caring. The street was reasonably clearer of young children as ten o’clock approached and the adults came out to play. A cream pie fight broke out in the middle of the street. The two buddies walked past, one of them stooping to pick up an unbroken pie and tasting it.
‘Mmm, lemon cream.’ Fry commented, he passed the gooey mess to Bender
‘No room.’ Said Bender, tapping his chest; he sounded solid. Fry opened Bender’s chest and caught a beer before it hit the ground. He quickly checked to make sure it was drinkable by humans before opening it. He stuffed the cream pie into the small space left.
‘Wanna drop the stuff off at home and keep going?’ Bender pointed towards their apartment.
Bender left his things and Fry’s candy in their room.
‘What about that?’ Bender pointed at Fry’s shoulder bag.
‘Well if we go past the Cube Garden I can give these to Leela. Oh, and can you grab me a six-pack slurm and Lobrau so I can have something to drink, this candy’s making me thirsty and itchy.’
Leela traced her finger over her wine glass, bored; Zapp would not let her slip away. Kif and Amy had not reappeared so Zapp talked to her the whole time. For some reason he would not hear, or get the meaning of her retorts. Instead she shut out all that was being said and imagined Fry and Bender waltzing down the street like they would. She imagined herself with them, laughing, drinking, eating candy and generally enjoying herself. They would walk down the street, Bender would eventually pick up some floozy bot and leave her and Fry alone to frolic together down the street, he would put his arm around her, do anything she asked, take her home safely, and by the light of the moon…
Leela jerked out of her daydream, much to her surprise and joy, she saw two familiar figures walking exactly how she imagined, right past the doorway. They stopped and the redhead asked the guard something, but he was obviously rejected as a scuffle broke out. Without thinking, she stood. But her foot had gone to sleep and she toppled. Her face ashen, she steadied herself. Zapp grinned at her; he obviously thought her drunk.
‘Say, do you want some of that candy?’
‘N-Yes!’ Leela said, changing her mind halfway. ‘Yeah, I wanna go trick and treating.’ She said breathlessly, staring at the door. Fry and Bender were retreating from the onslaught.
‘Sure.’ Zapp sounded disappointed, ‘but…’
But Leela was gone.
‘Hey, Nibbler. Did Leela leave you here by yourself?’ Fry crouched beside the Nibblonian and lovingly petted him. Nibbler burped and strained on his leash, pawing at Fry. Feeling sorry for the pet, Fry untied him and picked him up.
‘I’m sure Leela won’t be long.’ The Nibblonian chattered and nuzzled the familiar friend. Fry fished out a roll of meat from who knows where and Nibbler stuffed his face.
‘Don’t tell Leela.’ Fry whispered as he also gave him a few chocolate treats. Bender stood beside Fry, trying to push out the dent he’d received from a blow.
‘There we go.’ He commented as it finally pushed back out. He draped an arm around Fry.
‘Shure you couldn *hic* geh to Leela, bu *hic* joo ave moi.’ Bender raised his beer to him. Fry couldn’t help giggling, Bender had obviously drunk too much too fast and was on a power overload.
‘Let me tie Nibbler back, and we’ll get you to a club where you can use up that excess energy.’ The Nibblonian wasn’t too happy to be put back, in fact Nibbler had noticed the purple bruise on his cheek and was trying to make a panicked bid for escape, but Fry had uncoordinatedly tied knots that would not be untied easily. Fry thought it best that Leela find Nibbler where she had left him. Fry took a beer from Bender and they walked down the street and their shadows disappeared.
Nibbler sat in worry, he had thought the bugs to be harmless, with a distinct flavour of grape juice, but the oozing wound that should have started healing by now reminded him of something. Something bad for the human race. If only he could get to his ship and contact his home planet. But now that the Mighty One had made his escape near impossible until his mistress arrived, he guessed he would be too late and so he sat there sadly.
Breathless, Leela stood just outside the square. Fry and Bender were gone, but there was evidence that they had definitely been there; a stray slurm can sat in the middle of the road. She had no idea which way to go though, she glanced up and down the street. An excited chattering caught her attention, Nibbler was straining against his leash.
‘Oh darling! I’m so sorry!’ Leela went to untie him but stopped. The knot on the pole was different to the one she had originally tied. Her heart fluttered, Fry had been here because it was the most uncoordinated set of knots she had seen. She untied it, and held out the slurm can to Nibbler to sniff.
‘Where’s Fry?’ she asked nicely ‘Find Fry? I’ll give you a ham!’ with a shot, Nibbler almost pulled Leela off her feet. He tore as fast as he could on his leash through the streets.
‘Leeeeelaaaa!’ she heard Zapp bleat from somewhere behind her. But he would’ve barely seen her as Nibbler whipped around the corner. She could see them now, wandering in the middle of the road.
‘Fry!’ she called out in desperation.
‘Did you say something?’
‘I shaid tha hap*hic*py shhak *hic*…’
‘Wait, shutup, it’s that voice again.’
‘Oh my god… is that God?’
‘Why does God sound like Leela?’
‘Leela, shutup, someone’s trying to…’ Fry stopped and stared in surprise at the exhausted Leela who was glancing behind her nervously. She pulled the candy bucket from Fry’s hand.
‘Right, Zapp is on my trail and I…’ she trailed off as she took in Fry’s getup. From his plastic sword to the bandanas, golden hoop and eye patch, Leela could easily pick him as a pirate. But the eye patch was a nice touch, Leela wondered if he’d done it intentionally to look similar to her.
‘Nice,’ she commented, trying to sound sarcastic. ‘Did you think that up all by yourself?’
‘You helped a little.’ He said, turning his face so she could see the wound that complimented his tacky outfit. He slipped his arm around her shoulders. Leela stepped back slightly from him, placing her hands on her hips.
‘I think I would’ve preferred a pumpkin suit.’
‘Is the patch a little much?’ he asked smoothly, confirming Leela’s thought,
‘Just a little.’ She said coolly.
‘You wanna wear it?’ Fry sniggered. Bender let out a bellowing laugh. Leela’s brow was raised so high it was in danger of disappearing into her hair.
‘You think I came so you could make fun of me?’
‘No, you came to escape Zapp.’ Leela stared in surprise at Fry’s smug face.
‘How do you know?’
‘Cause you said. Shall we move?’ Fry pulled Leela in closer so he could properly drape his arm around her. The threesome set off, Bender jigging as the over fuelling was uncontrollable.
‘You’ve had enough.’ Fry said, confiscating his bottle.
‘Jush un morr.’
‘Bender, listen to yourself, how on earth are we going to get you to use up the excess?’ Leela looked at the robot with disgust. But Bender was trying to get his bottle back from Fry. Fry let go of it and it smashed on the ground and a set of bugs rushed from many directions to lap it up.
‘Damn you!’ Bender said tearfully, collapsing to his knees and trying to force the bugs out of the way. The bugs uncoordinatedly tried to walk and fell over.
Fry knelt next to Bender and emptied his chest cavity of the beer that had been collected.
‘Whoa, you guys have been busy.’
‘Wai till joo shee tha uns ah home!’ Bender said gleefully to Leela.
‘And pie!’ Said Fry, handing Leela what was left of the cream pie.
‘Aww, I wash shavin tha!’ Bender whined pitifully. Leela took hold of the robots shoulder and looked into his static eyes.
‘Fry, how much has he drunk?’
‘Dunno, a lot?’ Leela sighed,
‘I’ull be alhigh.’ Bender said as Leela hauled him to his feet. ‘Hey, wha joo doin wiff ma eer?’
‘He’s holding it for you.’ Leela said worriedly as the bot swayed.
‘Hey Bender, look what’s there!’
‘Isn’t that the strip club?’ Leela asked catching on to Fry’s ploy. Bender’s eyes lit up. Fry nodded at Leela, and she gave Bender a nudge.
‘All the girls are waiting for you.’ Bender let out a squeal of absolute delight and shot off like a cork.
‘Now what are we going to do with all this booze?’ Leela asked standing over the crate of beer.
‘Get drunk?’ Fry asked. Leela glared at him.
‘Excuse me sir?’ startled, Fry and Leela looked down to see Tinny-Tim standing before them, a simple ghost sheet over his head.
‘Trick or treat sir!’
‘Treat!’ Leela proclaimed and despite Fry’s spluttering protests, handed the crate to the small robot.
‘Bless you mam!’ Tinny Tim straddled off.
‘Leela!’ Fry cried indignantly. But Leela shushed him and pushed a single bottle of beer into his hand.
‘Here, I rescued this one just for you. Not that you need it.’ She said, as Fry’s breath immediately gave away that he had been drinking before. Fry grumbled and popped the top off of it.
‘Did you get any?’ he said, draping his arm around her; she was too tired to push him away.
‘No, I want to stay sober.’
‘To bad, I’ll have to drink this all by myself.’ He teasingly took a swig. Leela’s stomach grumbled in thirst. I have to stay sober she told herself one of us does, and Fry’s proving that it isn’t going to be him. Fry smacked his lips in Leela’s ear.
‘Alright already.’ Leela swiped the bottle and took a mouthful. After a moment of savouring it, she pushed the bottle back into Fry’s hands. Fry didn’t have another mouthful; he was having fun teasing her. He shook the bottle in front of her nose.
‘Want any more?’ Leela stopped walking and glared at him. A difficult thing to do that he was two inches away.
‘You’re as bad as Zapp Brannigan.’
‘Oh really? I thought that you thought I was a romantic hero in comparison to him.’
‘You’ve been into my diary.’
‘Actually that was Bender. You’re lucky I managed to put it back.’ he grinned at her momentarily.
‘What happened Leela, why did we fall apart?’
‘Oh, I’m going to have drink a lot more before you can get an answer out of me.’ Leela grabbed the bottle and slipped out of Fry’s hold. She downed the rest of the drink and tossed the bottle. Fry followed and teased her all the way.
‘You think I'm gorgeous... You want to kiss me...’
‘…You want to hug me... You want to love me...’
‘You want to smooch me... You want to hug me.’
‘You’re in trouble.’
‘What are you going do?’
‘Take this from you for starters, it doesn’t look right on you.’ She pulled his eye patch off and used the elastic to sling it away.
‘I got a present for you.’ Fry said, remembering the bottles in the bag around his shoulder.
‘What is it?’ Leela asked, intrigued. Fry produced the wine. Leela stared wide-eyed at the bottle.
‘Where did you get this? How could you possibly afford this?’
‘Bender.’ Fry simply said. Leela realised she didn’t want to know anymore.
‘You are trying to get me drunk.’
‘No, I’m not… I’m not!’
‘Well me and Nibbler are going home.’ She scooped up the Nibblonian who had been straining on his lead toward the tube. Fry watched for a second before realising that she was serious. He darted in just as she finished saying her address. He wrapped his arms around her.
‘I want to come.’ He said before they were swept up into the system.
‘Well, I’ll see you tomorrow… with a hangover and probably still an over-energized Bender.” Fry leant on the door of her apartment as she unlocked the door. He started to hiccough. A smile played on Leela’s lips, although it could be annoying at times, Fry could always amuse her and make her feel better, and he did it without realising it.
‘You want a glass of water?’
‘What? … nah, I don’t want to keep you anymore.’ Fry pulled the bandana from his head and ran his hand through his hair, and for the first time she noticed the fake tattoo he had drawn on his arm. A heart with his and hers initials inside and it caused some wall inside her to come crashing down.
‘I want you to stay.’ Leela was surprised at the words that had let themselves out of her mouth.
‘Are you sure that’s what you want me to do?’ Leela didn’t know until those longing words left his lips. His smooth full lips… Leela reached out to him and hungrily pressed her mouth against his. The kiss was wickedly sweet from his candy flavoured lips. Sighing in satisfaction, Leela broke the kiss. She opened her eye slowly and watched the gob-smacked Fry struggling to breathe from the initial shock.
‘I dunno, what do you wanna do?’ She whispered. Fry slowly grinned. With a seducing stare, Leela took him by his necktie and pulled him indoors closing the door behind him.
With his mistress and the Mighty One occupied, Nibbler stepped out of the shadows where he had been hiding and he slunk down the stairs back to his hidden spaceship in the alley.
(to be continued)