Tastes Like Fry
‘Congratulations honey, she’s beautiful.’ Turanga Munda gently rocked a gurgling Lucy in her tentacles.
‘No extra anythings, no missing anythings.’ Morris let the child wrap her hand around his finger.
‘Careful dad, once she’s got a grip she won’t let go.’
‘Uh-uh, you have to call me Grandpa now.’
‘Da-ad.’ Leela moaned.
‘Ah-ah’ Lucy imitated. Leela looked at her surprise.
‘Ah-hah! See? Clever girl!’ Morris said tickling her.
‘Isn’t she the cutest thing in the whole world?’ Munda gently poked her stomach. Leela sighed tiredly and leant back on the couch. It had been rough the last little while, having to wake up in the middle of the night to tend to Lucy seemed to take the energy out of her. Fry had tried to be of some help, but as it become regular and instilled less panic he had somehow learnt to sleep through the screams. She scanned the room; Fry and Bender were in the corner playing cards with Nibbler seated beside Fry and trying to get a pat from him by pawing at his elbow and whining in his best begging voice; Fry was oblivious. Leela watched with amusement as Fry and Bender were playing their game of ‘Go fish’ so seriously.
‘Nibbler, come here hon.’ Leela reached out for her beloved pet, who realised that he was getting nowhere with Fry and scampered over to his mistress for a hug. It was short lived as Leela’s wrist console started to beep wildly. Nibbler shot from Leela’s lap and landed scrambling on the floor. Leela sighed as she glanced at the screen.
‘We’ve got a delivery, we’d better go.’ She stood and collected Lucy much to the surprise of Munda and Morris.
‘You’re taking Lucy with you?’
‘Leela, isn’t that kind of dangerous?’ Munda pressured worriedly.
‘Yeah, how about you get baby sitter?’ Morris said.
‘That’s a great idea dad, but really, not all that practical.’
‘We’ll do it for free.’ Morris and Munda gave their best pleading faces. Leela cradled a squirming Lucy whilst she thought for a moment.
‘Look, it’s not that I don’t trust you, but I want to keep Lucy with me, at least until she’s stopped breast feeding.’
‘Say what?’ Fry perked up from his game and staring wide-eyed at Leela. His cards drooped and Bender leant forward to quickly glance at them.
‘We’ve got a delivery to make.’ Fry scrambled to his feet.
‘I thought I heard you say brea-…’
‘Fry! Outside, move it, take Lucy.’ Leela slipped Lucy into Fry’s arms and nudged him toward the door. She stuffed the strewn things that were across the floor into a large baby bag and gave a hug to both of her parents.
‘Are you sure…?’
‘She’ll be fine mum. Both Fry and I will be there for her.’
‘We’ll be fine.’ Leela emphasised each syllable as she firmly hugged her mother. She drew back, surprised to see her mother in tears.
‘Nothing.’ Munda sniffled, ‘You go on your mission, stay safe, and look after your family.’ She planted a kiss on Leela’s forehead and ushered her out the door.
‘Lucy-lu, where are you.’ Lucy responded with fierce giggles as she slapped at the hand blocking her view.
‘Ow! Not so hard.’ Fry retracted his hand from the baby’s face and shifted her from his left to his right; she had gradually become heavier as she grew older and Fry had difficulty holding her with one arm. He quickly grasped her with both hands as she made a bid for freedom.
‘Easy, stay here. Mummy wouldn’t like it if you suddenly fall.’ He tried to hold her still, but an uncomfortable Lucy started to squirm. Panicky, Fry looked around for a place to set her down. The sewage didn’t provide many options, after a moment he sat down on a bench and was able to move Lucy without fear of dropping her.
‘That’s better.’ He said as Lucy stopped struggling and started to snuggle.
‘Fry?’ Leela stepped out of the house looking somewhat flustered. With a firm grasp on his daughter, Fry stood and wandered over to her and Bender who had swaggered up from behind.
‘You said something before about breast feeding?’
‘Fry, can you stop obsessing please.’ Leela dug around in the bag until she found a sling which she looped around her neck to make a pouch at her front.
‘I find it offensive.’ Bender said with disgust as Fry carefully slid Lucy into the homemade pouch. ‘Suckling milk from a teat, it’s disgusting.’
‘No, it’s normal.’ Leela said as she tucked Lucy in safely.
‘It’s hot.’ Fry said bluntly, hitching the pack onto his back. Leela shot him a look of warning.
‘I mean… it’s what the baby has to do.’ Fry buckled under Leela’s glare.
‘Whatever, it doesn’t make it less offensive.’ Bender launched himself onto the ladder to the surface. Leela went to move after him, but Fry took her arm.
‘I’m sorry, I just…’
‘Fry, enough already.’ Leela’s tone was not a patient one and Fry had the sense to fall back before following her up the ladder.
‘Good news everyone!’
‘Yeah, real original.’ Bender muttered.
‘You’re off to the planet of Shiny…’
‘Say what?’ Bender had sat up at mention of his third favourite word.
‘I didn’t, you didn’t let me finish! As I was saying, you’ve got to make a delivery to the planet Shiny, the party planet.’
‘We’re going to a party?’ Amy asked excitedly.
‘No you hussy!’ Farnsworth shouted angrily, ‘No parties!’ He glared at her before resuming his composure and continuing.
‘Now, you have to go to this party and deliver this mirror ball.’ Professor Farnsworth pointed at a sphere which was five meters in diameter which was wrapped up tighly.
‘Neat, can we see it?’ Fry said as he, Bender and Amy stood up eagerly.
‘No! Wait till I dismiss you!’ The professor glared angrily, furious at the amount of interruptions. They gave a sad sigh and sat back down in their places, staring longingly at the package.
‘Now, where was I?’ The professor said, ‘Oh yes, off you go!’ Immediatally Fry, Bender and Amy jumped up to rush over but a commanding voice stopped all of them in their tracks.
‘Bender, put it in hold; unwrap it and I’m not bringing you. Fry, take Lucy, set up her things in my quarters, and do not through my underwear drawer. Amy, where the hell do you think you’re going?’
‘With you?’ Amy edged toward the ship with a hopeful expression. Leela dumped Lucy in Fry’s waiting arms.
‘And why do we need you with us?’
‘I-I…’ Amy scrambled for a reason as Fry scrambled to gather Lucy’s numerous things while juggling Lucy in his arms, providing a small distraction.
‘Fry, just go to the ship.’
‘But her things…’
‘I’ll bring them, you go.’ Leela shooed at him with hands.
‘Dgo-o-o-o.’ Lucy flailed her arms in imitation and narrowly missing Fry’s nose. Dropping half the contents of the bag, Fry ambled over to the ship cooing to Lucy on the way.
‘I’ve got it!’ Amy snapped her fingers. ‘I have been there before!’ Leela gave her a look of ill content.
‘If that’s the best you’ve got…’
‘No wait, listen. Uh, it’s complicated; they won’t let you on the planet without a total cool percent of 100 megaphonzies.’
‘Uh-huh, what and how do they rate you?’
‘Well, it depends.’ Amy twirled her fingers in her hair nervously, ‘Your attitude, your clothes, the amount of people you’re with and their status.’
‘We’re making a delivery; those sorts of things don’t matter.’
‘Well, unless you dress up, mell out and take me along; Bender will have to make the delivery himself.’
‘He’s been there before, with me, and we got in on 250% on the megaphonzies, with that record he’ll be able to get in at 125% by himself, but if you or Fry are there with him, it’ll bring that down.’
‘Alright, you’re confusing me.’
‘Look, just let me get on the ship and I’ll make everything go smoothly okay?’
‘Zoidberg come too?’ Zoidberg had ambled up hopefully.
‘Splug! Don’t bring him, we won’t be allowed to anywhere near there.’
‘Say Bender. Beeeennnddeeer.’
‘Hacku!’ Lucy reached up to grab the robot’s finger.
‘No, Bender.’ Bender emphasised the pronunciation of his name.
‘Abrrt!’ Lucy tugged on his arm. Bender was getting frustrated.
‘Say ‘Bender’ damn you!’ Bender yelled, frustrated with the unintimidated young girl.
‘Am yooo.’ Lucy imitated.
‘Bender! don’t teach her that sort of language.’ Leela glanced over her shoulder at Bender who was crouched on the floor next to Lucy’s safety spaceship seat, ‘At least not until she’s eight.’
‘She can’t speak properly anyway.’ Bender said glaring at the cheerful girl who gave him a grin displaying her single tooth whilst drooling over her chin.
‘She has a language and intellect all her own.’ Leela said as she turned the steering wheel to avoid an asteroid field.
‘Really?’ Bender rubbed his chin, ‘Well tell us mini-meatbag, who’s going to save the world from certain doom?’
‘Dadadada.’ Lucy noticed her father stroll in the room. Bender snorted derisively.
‘Want a break?’ Fry asked Leela. She glanced at her wrist console,
‘Yeah, might as well, Lucy needs to be fed.’
‘With a bottle.’
‘Yeah, yeah.’ Bender reached inside his chest cavity and produced a full baby’s bottle. ‘I wish you get an actual portable fridge.’ He said as he pulled the cap off the bottle.
‘Who needs a portable fridge when we have you?’ Leela said kindly as she sat next to the bot and unbuckled Lucy who was shrieking excitedly as the sight of the bottle.
‘Yeah, well…’ Bender trailed off lost for words.
'You shut up.'
He absentmindedly placed the bottle in the small snatching hands of an overly excited Lucy who immediately squeezed it perhaps a little too hard. Leela’s quick hands were not fast enough as some of the milk was projected from the teat squirting the distracted robot directly in his face. Bender spluttered and set off sparks as Lucy squealed with laughter. Leela had to bite her lip from laughing. Bender rubbed his hand across his milky eyes.
‘Why you little…’
‘She didn’t mean it Bender.’ Leela tucked Lucy into the crook of her elbow and stuck the teat in her mouth; she was immediately subdued and suckled noisily.
‘Yes she did.’ Bender glared. Leela ignored him.
‘Go slow, hun.’ She pulled the teat from Lucy’s mouth which she had such suction that it was not unlike pulling the plug in the bathtub. Lucy gave a gurgled cry of discontent. Leela sighed and gave in and Lucy downed the last of the bottle within milliseconds, before Leela plucked the bottle from her. Lucy let out a belch that was almost Bender worthy and contently sighed before relaxing into Leela’s arms.
Leela shook her head
‘I dunno where she gets it from.’
Behind her, Fry noisily gulped down a can of Slurm before tossing it over his shoulder and letting out a belch before sighing contently and relaxed into the pilot’s chair.
‘Yeah, it’s kinda hard to tell.’ Bender said sarcastically. Lucy laughed at him,
‘Oobut.’ She chirped.
[to be continued…]