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EDIT: because I'm posting the whole thing!
Bender sat, feeling extremely bored. He didn’t want to admit it, but he missed Fry terribly, even floozies couldn’t fill in his loneliness. He sighed and spun an empty beer bottle on his finger like a basketball. But he wasn’t concentrating and it soon lay in shards on the floor. He pulled a fresh bottle out of his chest and looked at it, the circuits and clogs spun in his head and overheated. Bender’s anger rose quickly.
‘Damn the human race.’ He yelled as he tossed his still full beer bottle at the door. But instead of smashing against the frame, it connected with something much softer.
Bender stared in amazement and then became giddy with joy.
‘Fry! You’re back! This deserves a drink.’ Bender rummaged around in the fridge and produced a six pack of Slurm and a six pack of his beer. He handed Fry the slab of Slurm.
‘I got this for you… with the money I stole from you of course.’
‘Where am I?’ Fry said dazedly, rubbing a new lump on his forehead.
‘Oh yeah, sorry about that.’ Bender said dismissively and tugged Fry over to the couch.
‘All my circuits is going to start, I wasn’t going to watch it, but now that you’re here we can watch it all night long! Until nine o’clock that is because I have rocket skating tickets I won from this guy’s pocket.’ Fry gave a start
‘You took those tickets? I stood in line for hours for those!’
‘Well those hours won’t have gone to waste, let’s say you and I hit a strip joint afterwards.’ Bender winked at him. Fry moaned and buried his face in his hands.’
‘Those tickets were meant to be for Leela.’
‘You weren’t going to take me?’ Fry looked up to see Bender anxiously wringing the tickets and looking with desperate eyes. Fry felt a jolt of guilt shoot through him; he’d been abandoning his best friend in trying unsuccessfully to chase the girl of his dreams. Leela can wait he thought,
‘I was, but I guess now is our night.’ He punched Bender playfully.
‘Woo!’ Bender yelled and did a small victory dance. He stopped and jabbed Fry in the chest, ‘You’re paying though.’
‘Where in Babylon is Bender? And speaking of which, where in Funky town is Fry?’ Hermes sat with a clipboard in front of him and a chart with squiggly lines going which what everywhere behind him.
‘Why are you looking at me?’ Leela asked peevishly, her eye dark from lack of sleep.
‘Because last time we saw him he was with you.’
‘I’m not his babysitter.’ Leela scowled. Hermes cleared his throat in the uncomfortable silence.
‘Probably still in bed, the lazy slob.’ Leela said, glaring at everyone at the table. They all slid their chairs slightly away from her. Leela was not one to talk to when she was in a bad mood. Only Fry or Bender would be stupid enough to do that.
‘Scruffy’s going back to work.’ Scruffy got up and left, pulling out a magazine and packet of chips as he went. He left behind a tension so think you could slice it with a knife. So it’s not surprising everyone sat up in surprise when a far off voices was heard singing.
‘I’m walking on sunshine, whoa-oh, I’m walking on sunshine…’ Fry appeared in the doorway that was followed by Bender making up his own lyrics and dance to Fry’s song.
‘I’m Bender the great, whoa-oh, who’s great? Me! Bender! Whoa-yeah…’
‘Hey cool cats!’ Fry said cheerfully as he and Bender occupied their seats, failing to notice the tension in the air. ‘What up?’
‘Da electricity bill is, dat’s what.’
‘Well it ain’t me.’ Said Bender as he casually leant back on his chair. He lit up a cigar. ‘I’m past that.’
‘Well then good news everyone!’ said the professor enthusiastically.
‘Aw crap.’ Bender moaned.
‘You’re off to the electrical disturbance in the positively charged sector. Ooh-er, off you go then.’ Leela stood, her arms still crossed and brow narrowed she turned her heel and made for the ship with Bender equally as unenthusiastically trailed behind her. Fry skipped on ahead. Not trusting herself to speak to him, Leela simply sat at her controls and concentrated on her driving. Fry had thankfully stopped singing as he was trying to untangle a piece of string he had found in his pocket. Unfortunately Bender and had taken to another rendition of ‘Bender is great’ with a dance routine to match. Leela’s knuckles whitened on the wheel, she could feel that she was about to explode when…
‘Bender, can you shut the hell up? I’m trying to concentrate.’ Leela looked at Fry in surprise. He was hunched over his string which had more tangles in it than it did to start off with.
‘Hell no.’ was the instant rebuttal. Fry groaned in defeat and threw the string on the floor which Nibbler instantly pounced on.
‘Why? Because he is great! Who? Bender is- oh crap I’m out of alcohol.’ Bender rummaged through his chest. An oversized lamp stand fell out and fell to the floor with a crash.
‘I’m going to raid the fridge.’ Bender marched out, his song thankfully forgotten.
‘Here boy!’ Fry cooed, a new entertainment found. He swung the knotted string above Nibbler’s head; Nibbler tore after it as Fry whipped it around. Nibbler’s chattering and Fry’s snorted chuckles which would have been amusing for Leela to watch and listen to, for some reason irritated her today.
‘Would you two quit it?’ she snapped sharply, speaking for the first time since they left for the mission. It was then she realised how distastefully she had spoken. Nibbler had given a small yelp and leapt into Fry’s arms who in turn had given a squeak of surprise and fear at the sudden tone of her voice. Fry looked at her, his eyes full of fear and concern.
‘You ok? What up?’
Leela turned back to her console, ‘Nothing.’ She said sullenly. Fry stood up, still holding Nibbler and walked over to her. Leela tensed as Fry stood at her shoulder.
‘You sure?’ Fry said cautiously as he deposited Nibbler into her lap. ‘I mean, you look all pale and tired and mad and scary.’ He paused, ‘It’s not the sting poison?’
‘No Fry, I’m fine.’ Leela said, her voice cracking. She cleared her throat,
‘We’ll be there in an hour anyway.’ She informed them. Fry gently squeezed her shoulder.
‘Do you want a rest? I can drive.’ At Fry’s words a great tiredness she had been pushing away all morning overwhelmed her. Fry’s offer had never been so inviting. She gathered Nibbler in her arms.
‘Alright, but wake me when we get there, I don’t want you and Bender getting into trouble.’ Fry punched the air.
‘Yess!’ He hissed. He quickly ran to the front of the ship where there was a panel switch. The labels on it are all the names of the PE crew; the one currently selected was Leela. The display said ‘Qualified’. Fry flicks through all the names slowly to get to his, as he turns the dial to his on the other side of Leela’s. He clicks it to Bender, ‘Qualified’ remains on the screen, as it does for Amy. The Proffesor is ‘Pensioner’ and Scruffy is ‘Learner’. Hermes is ‘Qualified’ and Zoidberg reads as ‘RED ALERT, ABANDON SHIP’ Fry chuckles and turns it to his own name…
‘Probationary’ he said with smooth satisfaction, as a massive ‘P’ plate slides out at the front and back of the ship. He turned to grin at Leela, but she was already halfway out the door, Nibbler at her heels. Fry sat down and checked the coordinates, and while he sat on his own, he formed a plan.
Leela tumbled on her bed still dressed. She only had just kicked her boots off before sleep pulled her in. Nibbler scrambled onto her bed and concernedly stared his mistress over. When satisfied that there was no immediate need for worry, Nibbler slipped under her arm and nestled into the comfy space, glad for her closeness and that she was resting.
It wasn’t long before Bender non-chalantly slipped in and surveyed the scene before him. Cheerfully rubbing his palms together he reached for Leela’s wallet on the floor, but to his disappointment there was nothing of real value. He stashed what little cash he found and made his way around to the dresser beside the bed. He went to search through a draw, but paused. Nibbler had sat up and was glowering and baring his teeth in a threatening manner. Bender automatically retracted his arm from the drawer, shrugged, and got the hell out of there.
‘How’d it go?’
‘Well, she’s broke, and there’s that manic guinea pig…’
‘I meant is she alright?’ Fry said frustrated,
‘If you mean making thunderous breathy noises and looking like a haystack alright…’ Bender flicked uncaringly through one of his playbot magazines. Fry made an indistinct noise with his throat, but Bender had found a rather interesting page and began stroking the paper lustfully.
‘You’re a naughty girl aren’t you?’ Bender cooed. Fry sighed, as much as he was used to Bender and his mannerisms, he had been looking for a more reassuring answer. The autopilot looked inviting, but there was no real point as they were only twenty minutes away from their destination and he didn’t want to wake her any earlier than he needed to.
The electrical storm loomed before them, Fry stopped the ship at a safe distance and turned the power off, and they needed to avoid any failures or surges that could possibly be inflicted by the disturbance. Fry slipped into his space outfit and grabbed Leela’s for her. He carefully crept into her bedroom and stopped at the sight of her; collapsed and exhausted. Nibbler happily bounced over to Fry as he put her things on the ground.
‘Down boy, shhh.’ Fry petted the Nibblonian before stepping over to Leela’s bed. He didn’t have the heart to wake her, she lay so peacefully. He reached to her and gently coaxed her into a more dignified and comfortable position, and then tucked her in. Nibbler whined and tugged at Fry’s jeans; he was supposed to be waking her, not tucking her in. Fry misunderstood the tugging and picked up and placed Nibbler on the bed. After a moment of tickling the confused Nibblonian under the chin, he planted a soft kiss on the sleeping girl’s forehead and crept back out of the room. Nibbler sat on the covers, blinking his three eyes trying to piece together what Fry could possibly be doing.
‘Fry, what the hell are you doing?’
‘I’m getting the electricity.’ Fry said. He stood unsteadily with a heavy container on his back and what looked like a cattle prod in his hand. Bender rolled his eyes at Fry’s ridiculous getup before reaching for a pack of his own.
‘Wait a minute, Bender you can’t come.’
‘What?!’ Bender stood with his electricity gathering pack in his arms.
‘You’re a robot.’
‘And therefore my opinion counts.’
‘It’s not safe for you to be out in electricity… you could be electrocuted!’
‘Hey, I’m made of metal, I absorb electricity.’ Fry stood determinedly between his friend and the door.
‘Isn’t that the equivalent of jacking on?’
‘No, now get out of the way, lemme at it!’
‘I won’t let you.’ Fry snarled, fists clenched. He knew it wasn’t wise to take on a robot, but he didn’t want Bender to be caught in another religious trip.
‘Stay here.’ He said firmly.
‘Make me.’ Bender said, with equal determination. But that determination faded as Fry produced a Fifty dollar note and waved it in front of his face. Bender made to snatch it, but Fry held it firmly.
‘You coming or staying?’
‘Staying’ Bender said, dropping to his knees with pleading eyes. Fry slapped the fifty into his hand. Which Bender proceeded to kiss and promptly shoved it into his mouth.
With remorse Bender watched Fry bobbing about the electric clouds, carefully touching the lightning with his prodder, and on the odd occasion, being shocked if he accidentally drifted into an unsuspecting charged cloud. Nibbler joined Bender at the window.
‘He gets all the fun.’ Bender said depressively as Fry screamed in electrical pain. Bender pulled out the fifty and glared at the head displayed.
‘Curse you Al Gore.’ He said before greedily devouring it again.
Nibbler chattered anxiously as an exhausted Fry was filling up the last of the tanks.
‘Whoa man.’ Fry smelt of frying and burnt rubber. He had to yank his helmet off his head because of his static hair. Bender watched as he weakly slipped out of his protective suit.
‘Can I go out now?’
‘No! I need you to pilot back home. I don’t feel well.’ He tiredly shuffled past Bender. With an evil look in his eye, Bender leant forward and touched Fry on the ear.
‘YEOWCH!’ a (literately) shocked Fry sat on the floor in tears, clutching his ear in pain. Bender laughed and saluted him.
‘Right on meatbag.’ And he clunked out. Fry moaned and pulled out a partially sticky melted and burnt object from his pocket.
‘Oh, so that’s where I left my toffee apple.’ He said and without second thought shoved the remaining gooey mess into his mouth.
Leela slept peacefully, the shadow of a smile on her face and her faithful pet slept alongside her. A slight shudder and a sound of the engine breaks stirred her. She sat up rubbing her eye and stretched. Never had she felt so refreshed; ‘it’s amazing what an hour’s rest can do, I wonder when Fry’s going to come get me.’ She checked her wrist console.
‘That can’t be right.’ She shook her wrist and tapped on the console. ‘Surely not.’ Panicked she got up on shaky legs and threw herself at the door, and would’ve crashed straight into Fry had he not caught her.
‘Oh good, you’re awake, another hour and I would have sent Bender in with the volume turned up to the max.’
‘Why didn’t you come wake me when you were supposed to?’ Leela said, wrenching herself out of his grip.
‘Uh, yeah, bout that.’ Fry nervously tapped his fingers together, ‘I didn’t wake you.’ Leela groaned in exasperation.
‘Let’s get this electrical storm packaged and go.’
‘Uh, there’s something else about that too.’
‘Tell me later, when we’re not running behind on time.’ Leela stormed out onto the bridge and stopped in surprise. The ship was parked back in the planet express building.
‘You came back without getting the electricity?’ Leela rounded on Fry.
‘Not exactly. I went and got the electricity and Bender drove us back.’ Fry stood fidgeting, waiting for an explosive of insults and lectures usually full of big words like ‘immature’, ‘unimpressed’ and ‘disappointing’. But Leela just stood in surprise and shock as the delivery boy automatically winced.
Stealing the moment, Bender strolled in dusting his hands.
‘The electricity’s in the capable hands of the professor. Bender signing out.’ Bender sarcastically saluted and walked out. After a moment, Fry sidled to where Bender had just disappeared, hoping that the momentarily distraction meant that he could escape.
‘Stay where you are young man.’ Leela found her commanding voice and seemingly stood over him even though he was half a head taller.
‘That was reckless, you could have been seriously injured; you could have died.’ Leela’s voice broke and she took a shaky breath. She hadn’t told Fry about her ongoing dream while she was unconscious in the hospital, ‘it’s best that he doesn’t know’ she thought to herself as she watched him shuffle his feet guiltily under her gaze.
‘Better me than you.’ Came the ashamed reply. Guilt hit Leela like a cannon.
‘Don’t say that.’ She said her face ashen. Fry shrugged his face downcast. Leela took his hand with hers and pressed one hand to his cheek to make him look at her.
‘Don’t say that.’ She echoed, looking him squarely in the eyes, which was hard for her seeing as she only had one. She felt his cheeks warm beneath her fingers as he blushed. It made Leela realise how close in proximity they were and the physical touch insinuated by her. Part of her was telling her to pull away, but Fry’s hand holding hers, tingling as it were, was warm and inviting. Caught by his longing gaze, she leaned in slightly as did he…
‘LEELA! WHERE ARE YOU?’ Leela snapped back into reality and pulled away to the frustrated moan of Fry.
‘Damn you, Amy.’ He muttered as Amy threw herself into the room and immediately stopped. She looked at the pair standing hand-in-hand.
‘Am I interrupting something?’
‘No!’ Blurted Leela, and tugged her hand away from Fry’s.
‘Oh good.’ Said Amy, brightening at once, ‘I wanted to show you the new present Kif gave me.’
‘Okay.’ Leela said, barely able to fake her interest. ‘Fry can you lockdown? Thanks.’ Leela allowed herself to be led out by Amy. Fry scowled and kicked at the wall which contacted with a satisfying crunch. He grumbled to himself as he closed down the ship. Leela stood in front of Amy who was showing her all the fine details of her new party board. It all seemed to go through one ear and out the other, she shook her head to clear it trying to rid herself of the thought that Fry had seemingly hypnotised her like that. She kicked herself that she fell into his gaze so easily and frustrated that it had happened before and she hadn’t done anything about it. She didn’t want Fry to feel rejected but nor did she want him to get any ideas about a closer relationship. Her mind a blur she just nodded at Amy who was describing the intricate manoeuvrability of the rocket jet boosters. Fry slouched in, shot a dark glare at Amy, and resumed his place next to Bender on the couch.
‘Monique, what a picturesque tranquillity there is about this iron garden.’
‘Oh Calculon! You do go on.’
‘No really!’ Calculon walked to an iron statue of himself. ‘Such beauty enriches this creative art.’ Suddenly an out-of-control ride on lawn mower crashes into the statue and it topples in slow motion.
Bender and Fry are literately on the edge of their seats when the power surges and the screen go blank. Fry and Bender gasped.
‘What’s wrong with this stupid thing?’ Bender gets up and bangs on top of the TV to no avail. ‘Stupid, lousy, piece of junk.’ The power surged again and all the lights came back on, but the television started to smoke. Fry stood up next to Bender and began fiddling with the knobs on the TV. A bang went off inside the box and black smoke started to pour out. Bender stepped back worriedly but Fry kept pressing buttons.
‘Fry no!’ Leela grabbed the back of his collar, but it was too late. Bender hit the back wall with a slam from the force of the explosion. Warily he got up and looked at his now charred body.
‘Aw crap, I just cleaned up.’
‘Splug, My new party board’s all dirty.’ A dishevelled Amy held her once clean board, she promptly burst into tears. ‘What am I going to tell Kif?’ she ran out of the room crying with an angered Bender right behind her. Fry sat in surprise, his hair blown back, his eyes wide with shock. He wasn’t the only one, but Leela recovered quickly.
‘You moron.’ She criticised as she untangled herself from the table, ‘You could have blown up the entire building!’ Fry looked at her from the floor with the surprised look that seemed to be frozen on his face. Leela had to bite her lip to keep herself from laughing.
‘Meeting!’ Hermes called through the door.
‘C’mon.’ Leela heaved a still dumbfounded Fry to his feet and pushed him out the door.
‘Good news everyone! I have harnessed the electrical power!’ The professor laughed in manic triumph. Hermes drew happily on his chart a line going down from the high critical point.
‘Now is there anything that needs fixing? Cause the professor can take it if there’s not.’
‘Fry blew up the TV.’ Bender interjected. The rest of the witnessing crew nodded and glared at Fry who suddenly felt very small.
‘You can live without it.’ Said Hermes dismissively. An immediate cry of protest went around the table.
‘But I don’t want to miss the pageant!’
‘The Olympics are coming up!’
‘Bender shall have his TV back!’
‘This is an outrage!’
The shouts continued, Zoidberg’s angry whooping and clacking of claws distributing to the noise.
‘Alright!’ Hermes had to shout to make himself be heard. ‘We’ll get a new TV, but it’s coming out of your pay.’
‘But you said…’
‘We have other things to invest with this money. The water bill, perhaps.’ He sat down, and for a moment, Fry felt like the spotlight was on him; a very mean spotlight which glared from every angle. Bender slapped him across the back of the head.
‘Now incidentally, Hermes has some good news to distract us from this pitiful excuse for a… uh…’ The professor stared at Fry, ‘What are you again?’
‘A moron.’ Said Leela pointedly,
‘A meatbag.’ Suggested Bender helpfully,
‘A lovely scent of burnt apple and sugar.’ Zoidberg said dreamily.
‘Shut up, who cares?’ Farnsworth yelled at them, he diverted his anger to Hermes, ‘Tell them already.’ Hermes stood once again and cleared his throat.
‘I have been asked to step in to replace the Jamaican limbo team.’ The crew gasped.
‘Yes, and incidentally, I got free tickets for all of you.’ He pulled them out and handed around to everybody.
‘A ticket!’ said Zoidberg and held it to his cheek, ‘a delicious ticket.’ He caressed it lovingly.
‘Wow.’ Said Fry looking at his in delight, the seat number on his read ‘47’. He stole a glance at Leela’s. ‘46’
‘Yesss.’ He hissed under his breath.
And now, Halloween is on our tail! I'm excited cause it's also my birthday!
Huzzah, a reason for dressing up Bender;
------------------A guy doesn’t take a stinger in the spleen for any old gal.
Yes, the Bible is the real good news! - Prof F, 4ACV15