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Author Topic: Parallel Lives (a saga in so many parts)  (Read 17487 times)
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Urban Legend
« Reply #320 on: 08-19-2008 00:22 »

finally got a chance to read your last update.  It was neat to see Leela's drunkenness through the eyes, or I guess I should say eye, of Neena.  Its so typical of Leela to be disgusted with a copy of herself for making the same mistake that she'd already made.  I see bad things on the horizon though.  There is no way Neena is going to take the death of her parents well when she discovers who they are.

Bending Unit
« Reply #321 on: 08-19-2008 04:50 »

Consistently great as usual.  Perhaps the most detailed treatment of Yancy I've seen anywhere...

Space Pope
« Reply #322 on: 08-19-2008 11:28 »

I got a lot of tips on characterisation from Officer 1BDI. She did a lot on Yancy before me.

Space Pope
« Reply #323 on: 08-22-2008 11:47 »

It didn't take me a week to read the latest update *shifty eyes*....

Great update. I agree with aknightofni about the combination of events that are going to end up extremely bad for someone or someones

Stupid stupid Leela she's probably just going to end up as another notch in Veks bedpost. If she's using Vek to make Fry mad or even to hurt him then she is going to end up getting bit on the ass because of that.

I wonder how Neena is going to react to the fact that she is a mutant and that her parents were alive but they were very recently murdered and who ever's id was left there is going to have major problems. I was suprised when Fry didn't make an ass out of him self but he's over due so soon.

I wonder where Evila was in this update...

Zim- Why is there bacon in the soap?!?!

Gir- I made it myself!

Space Pope
« Reply #324 on: 08-29-2008 00:56 »

Just a note: Evila won't be appearing much until the end of this particular plot arc. I'm going to be doing another story with much more focus on her soon... soonish... though I can't decide if I should save that for later or do it after the end of this particular arc. The thing is, this goes on for a long time. It's a serial, a series, a bleedin great epic. I'm still trying to work out if this is good or bad.

Space Pope
« Reply #325 on: 08-29-2008 02:34 »

Damn well I guess we can live without Evila if there will be more with her in a while... Also good thing for us not sure about you though
La Belle Leela

Starship Captain
« Reply #326 on: 08-29-2008 15:15 »

Will you be revealing anything about what made Evila so,,, um, evil? wink big grin

Space Pope
« Reply #327 on: 08-29-2008 17:11 »
« Last Edit on: 08-29-2008 17:28 »

Eventually. smile The current arc, that is this universe, is about 65000 words long...

* Archonix waits for everyone to pick up their jaws again

... so that means it'll take a while to get to the next one. big grin The next story will feature a lot of Evila and she'll be doing something other than just popping up twice to shoot someone, which I'm sure you'll all appreciate. I don't want to get boring and repetitive. wink There'll be an entire story dedicated to explaining her later on.

Space Pope
« Reply #328 on: 08-29-2008 17:27 »

Yes I want to learn more about her. Can't wait for the next part Arch.

Starship Captain
« Reply #329 on: 08-29-2008 19:20 »

Will be patiently awaiting the next chapter!


patiently waiting...



... there we go.


Well waiting at any rate :P

Space Pope
« Reply #330 on: 08-30-2008 11:49 »

Leela was drunk and she knew it. That was the worse part, knowing it was so and not being able to do anything about it. It was making her do things, stupid things, like being a complete ass toward Fry, thinking bad thoughts about Amy or not beating this Veklerov idiot senseless for the way he was touching her arm all the time. Not that she’d have been able to do it in her state, Leela realised. She was so far gone that she’d had to make at least three attempts to stand after the bill had arrived, drawing a sympathetic murmur from Amy that left Leela feeling highly embarrassed. Fry hadn’t looked at her. Well let him be all high and mighty and remote and, and whatever the hell he was, god-damned selfish no good bastard letting her make a complete fool out of herself just so he could, what, prove he was better than her? To hell with that!

It was only the knowledge that she’d not be able to finish the sentence that actually prevented Leela from spitting it all out. Besides, it’d only prove him right.

“Leela, I would like to have you in tomorrow for more tests,” Farnsworth said as she finally managed to haul herself upright. Leela swayed slightly as she peered at him. What else about tomorrow was so important? Oh yeah, the russian wanted to prove he was a better pilot than she was.

Leela giggled at the thought and then quickly stifled the laugh, knowing even as she did it how incredibly dumb she looked. She vainly tried to focus on the Professor’s face and his all-too-shiny forehead and that nose just like Fry’s... “What?”

“I said, would you prefer to wait?”

“I’m nearly ro- n... no, I’ll be there, I just need to Fry... fly... lie down. For a bit,” she added, trying not to sway again.

“Well, of course,” Farnsworth replied. “I shall see you and yourself bright and early.”

He left then, with Hermes following dutifully behind, already filling in the expenses claim for the meal as he walked. Somehow that seemed very impressive, though Leela could no longer work out why it should be so. She stumbled away from the table, ignoring the first tiny bout of nausea that was the inevitable result of her excess.

Somewhere between the table and the lobby she lost her footing. Leela fell forward, unable to properly will her arms out to break her fall, until a hand caught her arm. No, both her arms. She was hauled upright, suspended between Veklerov and Fry, who were staring at each other across her face.

“I have her,” Veklerov said, tightening his grip on her arm. Fry glared.

“She can look after herself.”

“I think we can both see that is not the case.” Veklerov tugged at Leela’s arm, not-so-gently easing her away from Fry’s grasp and Leela, not thinking, flexed her arm to break Fry’s hold on it. She saw Fry stiffen and draw back, but her mind was so dulled by the alcohol that she couldn’t even work out how to respond before he’d turned away.


His pace faltered. For a moment Leela thought he might turn back but, no such luck. He kept walking, away from her. For some reason that seemed very important yet, she suddenly had no idea why. And all she wanted to do was lie down, fall asleep.

There was an insistent pressure on her arm. Vek, leading her away. “Come, Sirochka...”

“What...” she lurched back from the pilot and stumbled against a table. And there was Fry again, looking at her, confused and... well nothing else, really. She lurched toward him, getting her foot tangled in the hem of her gown.“Fry, wait, please.”

He didn’t stop. Leela kicked out at the hem of her gown, accidentally knocking a chair on its back in the process. “Dammit!” And still he didn’t stop or even look at her. She took a step, adrenaline surging through her body thick enough to sober her up, then stopped. “Well... well fine, you go off and leave me here! Dammit, Fry!”

“Leela.” Veklerov again, pulling at her arm. She shrugged him off and stalked from the restaurant with the pilot trailing behind her like a rejected puppy. “Leela?”

“Go home, Vek.”

“In a moment,” he said, following Leela out onto the street. They both stopped then, Leela shivering slightly in the cool air. She wrapped her hands around her bare upper arms, bundling up against the light breeze and the chill night. The cold was enough to bring her mind somewhere back to normal, though Leela could still feel how sluggish her thoughts remained.

She’d actually done it. She’d actually managed to turn him away, after all this time, and all it had taken was acting like a complete jerk. Leela shivered again as the wind gusted down the street, carrying a swirl of leaves past her. Then, she felt an arm slipping around her shoulders and turned to look at Veklerov, smiling benevolently at her. Normally it would have been Fry’s homely face peering at her. Leela felt something twist just beneath her heart.

“So, the ploy, I assume, didn’t work?” Veklerov started walking Leela toward his car, parked a short distance away with a valet waiting alongside. “It is the way of things. Men such as your Philip Fry don’t react to well to tricks and lies or those other things you women are always so famous for, though choosing me as your fake date... it has a certain poetic justice, I suppose.”

A shrug. Leela felt another twinge of nausea, though whether it was brought on by the drink was hard to tell. “You seem remarkably confident in yourself.”

“Oh, I am. You see, your choice wasn’t accidental, Sirochka. You knew you would need someone to comfort you once the inevitable betrayal occurred and so, here I am.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Hm?” Veklerov turned to watch Leela shrugging his arm from her shoulders. He smiled, but he was confused. “I know I seem a little forward-”

“You think I’m going to sleep with you just because I screwed up with my friend?”

“Well, no, I-”

“Forget it, Veklerov. Whatever mistake Neena might have made, I’m not going to make it as well. Good night.”

She turned to walk, and was satisfied to hear Vek’s heavy footfall behind her a moment later. “Leela, wait.”

“Why?” Leela rounded on Vek, catching him off balance so that he stumbled against her as he tried to stop. She grabbed his lapels and hauled him upright. “I just had my best friend look at me like I was the scum of the earth and it’s not put me in a very good mood so explain, in very small words, just why I should wait for you.”

“I have a foolproof way of proving you are not... ‘scum’, as you put it,” Veklerov said, gently removing Leela’s hands from his jacket. He brushed himself down, smiling at her again. “We could go back to my-”

“Oh hell no!” Leela shoved the pilot away and began to retrace her path from the restaurant.

“It will happen to every friend you have,” Veklerov shouted when she was a few paces distant. “You can’t have friends, not when you give them orders! They betray you! Every single one!”

Leela stopped again and turned to face Vek. She folded her arms. “Lonely at the top, huh?”

“One captain to another,” Veklerov replied. “You know it is.”

“I’ve heard that one before,” she said, advancing toward him again. “You know what I did to the last guy who used that line on me?”

“Oh, your friend Philip Fry told me you slept with him. I figured...” he paused, smiling as Leela put her hands on his shoulders. “So it does work? Well-”

“No... I’m just getting your guard down so I can do this.” And then she drove her knee into his groin. Veklerov’s eyes bluged and his face turned a deep crimson. “God only knows why Neena didn’t do that to you years ago,” Leela muttered, watching Veklerov collapse in a gasping heap on the floor.

Leela turned away, then, leaving Vek whimpering on the floor, her satisfaction marred only by the thought of where he’d got his information from. Why would Fry betray her like that? What else had he told?

“Guess you were right about some things, though,” she whispered as she entered the tube stop. For a moment she thought she saw Fry in the distance, standing outside the restaurant, but it was just a trick of the light. “So much for friends.”


Yancy found Neena outside her apartment building, leaning against the wall with a peculiar smile on her face. She pushed off and walked over to Yancy as he stepped from the tube stop.

“You took your time.” She stopped a short distance away, hands on her hips. “I almost gave up and went to bed.”

“I won’t ask how you figured I’d be here.”

“Remember who wrote your file.”

Yancy nodded. “I remember.”

They stood awkwardly staring at each other for a moment until Neena took it on herself to take Yancy’s hand. “Want to come inside? I know it’s a bit late for coffee, but... or we could just talk,” she quickly added when Yancy frowned. He forced himself to lighten up a little and even managed a smile.

“Yeah. Yeah, I’d like that. Somewhere quiet.”

“There’s a park nearby, I think it’ll still be open.”

They walked down the street, hand in hand and not saying anything, until they reached a small square park. It was barely worth the name, little more than a patch of trees and grass, though it did manage to fit a reflecting pool near the middle. Neena led Yancy along a winding path beneath the trees that seemed to go on for much further than was strictly possible in the tiny park, still in silence, with nervous glances at each other every now and then.

Eventually the reached a small Orientalist bridge that arched from the shore of the pool to a little island in the centre, complete with a weeping willow and a clump of gently bobbing bulrushes. Yancy paused on the bridge and looked up at the stars.


“Seen something?”

“I just realised, there’s probably someone living around nearly every single star up there,” Yancy replied. He slowly turned to take in the sky, eventually settling to look at the half-moon as he leaned on the bridge railing. “I’ve never really looked up at the stars. I mean, not as anything special, it’s always just been a bunch of lights in the sky. I’ve barely even seen this planet, never mind all of those,” he said, waving his hand across the sky. “Having adventures in space was more Phil’s thing.”

“I look at them all the time.” Neena, too, stared at the sky as she wandered across to the island. She paused beneath the tree, her eye fixed on a star shining between its two largest boughs. “My parents are out there, somewhere. One of these days I’ll go and look for them.”

Yancy joined her, sitting down under the tree. The grass was damp from an early dew and a faint mist was starting to shimmer on the water’s surface. After a moment’s thought he laid his jacket down on the floor for Neena to sit on and beckoned her over.

“So, you wanted to tell me something,” Neena said, once she’d made herself comfortable. Yancy sort of nodded his head, unsure of how to reply. When it had come to his brother’s dreams it had always been easy to dismiss them as meaningless fantasies but, with Neena, he couldn’t do that. And yet Phil had been right, and Neena was...

“What if I told you they weren’t as far away as you thought? Your parents, that is.”

“What do you mean?”

She looked at him with a curious half-smile. Yancy rubbed the back of his head and looked away as the magnitude of the decision he was taking settled on his mind. “Phil told me something yesterday, about his universe. About where you come from.”

“He knows? He knows where... oh, oh god, you mean I might actually...” Neena choked back the question and leaned toward Yancy. “There’s something wrong, isn’t there? What did he tell you?”

“I... I don’t know if it’s really my place-”

“Yancy, I’ve lived my entire life without my parents, if you have any idea of where they might be I need to know! Are they dead? Is that it?”

Yancy took a breath. He looked up at the stars again, not for any other reason than to give himself an extra moment before he spoke. “He said- Phil said, in his universe, you found out...”

“Go on,” Neena said, all eager excitement.

“He said you weren’t an alien.”

“You mean, I’m... I’m human? But that doesn’t make any sense, if I were human I’d...”

Her eye widened a fraction, the effect enhanced by her pupil contracting to a tiny dot. Yancy could almost see the adrenaline flooding into her body, the fight-or-flight instincts kicking in as her blood drained from her face. Neena abruptly stood up and paced to the face side of the little island, where she sat down again, right on the very edge, staring at her reflection in the smooth water’s surface. Yancy didn’t know what to do. He stood up, then he sat down again, pulling at his face with one hand as he tried to think, tried to work out what he should do... what his brother would do. Eventually he picked up his jacket, surprisingly dry despite the damp ground, and walked over to Neena. He put the jacket around her shoulders as he knelt down beside her.

Her eye moved slightly to look at his reflection in the pool. “You must think I’m a monster.”

“If it helps, I always did.” That earned Yancy a humourless chuckle. Neena seemed to relax a little then, leaning over on Yancy. He settled down next to her and even risked putting his arm around her shoulders then. It seemed the right thing to do. It was the kind of thing Phil would do. “I’m sorry.”

“No. Don’t be... at least it narrows down my search from an entire universe to a single city. That has to count for something, right?”

The mania behind her sudden cheerfulness was a little unnerving. Yancy nodded, not wanting to say anything lest he broke some part of Neena’s mind. “I guess.”

“It all makes sense when you think about it. I mean, look at me. I have the same body, skin, organs, the same hair even. If it wasn’t for this god-damned eye I’d be human,” she yelled, throwing a stone at her reflection in the pond. The surface scattered, splitting her reflected face for just a moment, so that her reflection stared back with two all too human eyes. Neena wailed and grabbed hold of Yancy’s arm. “Oh Yancy, oh god!”

She sought for him, her arms wrapping around Yancy’s body before he could react, burying her face in his chest, weeping quietly. Yancy awkwardly slipped a hand around Neena’s shoulders and patted her arm, completely at a loss. She stayed like that for some time until a lone owl fluttered into the tree and hooted mournfully.

Neena lifted her tear-streaked face from Yancy’s shirt. “It’s all true,” she whispered. “I should have known...”

“What do you want to do now?”

“I want you to take me home.”

“Oh. All right, I’ll be able to take the tube from your place-”

“No, Yancy, she’s there, I don’t think I’d be able to look at her tonight without...” her voice drifted off as she stared at her reflection on the lake again. “Let me stay with you tonight.” She pressed her hands to his chest, rocking back on her knees as she looked into his eyes. “Please?”


The apartment was dark as the deepest pit of Robot Hell when Leela finally arrived – or darker, in fact, from what she could recall of the place. Leela slunk across the room, not bothering to turn on the light, knowing precisely where the single chair was.

She glanced briefly in the direction of the bedroom, seeing nothing in the darkness and wondering if Neena was within. And Yancy. They’d left together, hadn’t they? It was fairly likely they’d be in there. She couldn’t hear much but that didn’t signify. She’d always been quiet, lest people hear things and gossip about her.

The kitchen was within reach, and a particular cupboard easily accessible. Leela reached inside and grasped the neck of the bottle she knew was there. Special occasions, she’d always said it was for though, quite what you could celebrate with a hundred percent proof grain spirit, she wasn’t sure now.

Half way back to the chair, with the bottle grasped firmly in both hands, Leela stopped. She looked down at the whiskey, just barely visible in the glow from the chronometer on the wall. Memories tickled at the edges of her mind, of another version of herself locked in a darkened apartment, cradling the same bottle. Was she really so weak?

With great care Leela placed the bottle on the floor before stumbling back to the chair, where she slumped down with a relieved sigh. Leela leaned back in the seat with images of Fry flitting around her head, taunting and distant. She wondered if she would ever be able to speak to him again. Her last conscious thought was of what she would do when they found their way home.


... and then there were the tunnels, always the same but always different, and again she wandered them, mourning all she had lost and crying vengeance on the man she had once loved...

Urban Legend
« Reply #331 on: 08-30-2008 12:34 »

Nice one, Arch.

We can but hope that Leela remembers how she behaved that night, and isn't too proud to beg Fry's forgiveness...

Space Pope
« Reply #332 on: 08-30-2008 17:57 »

Great update. Finally someone showed Vek where he belongs and Leela didn't fall for it. Neena isn't going to be happy sometime very soon. She finally knows where to look for them but now they are dead and how is she going to react. Finally Fry is finally realizing that Leela is a bitch and that he should just get over her. Can't wait for the next update.
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
« Reply #333 on: 08-30-2008 19:49 »
« Last Edit on: 08-30-2008 19:55 »

Leela's been trying to get rid of Fry for a long time.  Now whe's got what she wanted.  Life sucks for her right now, doesn't it?

I guess Fry left with Amy - I hope he and Amy enjoy some drunken snu-snu.

Neena and Yancy - nice.  Maybe Yancy can get lucky for once.

Poor Neena, she now realizes she's a sewer mutant.  Will she be able to stand the indignity?

The Professor want to do more experiments on Leela?  That's scary.

And Evila, still lurking in the sewers, Phillip J. Fry on her mind - and not in a good way.

Good update Arch.  I'm betting that Leela pride and temper, along with Fry's cluelessness and being tired of being Leela's punching bag will prevent them from burying the hatchet for quite a while.

Starship Captain
« Reply #334 on: 08-31-2008 21:38 »

Great to see Yancy with Neena, hope everything works out okay for them in the near future though!

Kinda hope Fry gets to his apartment, sees Yancy and Neena there and hauls ass over to Leela. Not like him to walk away from her frown

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #335 on: 09-01-2008 01:00 »

Nice one, Arch.

We can but hope that Leela remembers how she behaved that night, and isn't too proud to beg Fry's forgiveness...

That's essentially what I was thinking. Seems like everybody's haveing a really bad night.

Urban Legend
« Reply #336 on: 09-01-2008 01:18 »

Something tells me Leela won't be begging Fry's forgiveness in the near future.  She's not too understanding when it comes to Fry's accidental slips of the tongue.  In her mind, Fry's 'betrayal' of her will probably justify her being a jerk to him.    I'm curious to see what Leela's reaction is when she discovers that Fry let slip that Neena is a mutant.  Will it make her angry?  My guess is probably.

This Yancy-Neena shipiness thing that you've got going is really swell, Arch.  Its nice to see Leela- well, an alternate version of her anyway- actually falling for someone that isn't a complete asshole.  I just hope she can keep it together once she discovers that her parents are dead. 

Space Pope
« Reply #337 on: 09-01-2008 02:19 »

That is the hope, isn't it? wink

I keep telling myself I'll have the rest of the story finished before I post another bit of it, and it keeps getting longer... what hope the other plots?

Starship Captain
« Reply #338 on: 09-01-2008 02:53 »

Maybe Amy will come comfort Fry on his lonely dejected walk home!

Urban Legend
« Reply #339 on: 09-01-2008 02:55 »

I keep telling myself I'll have the rest of the story finished before I post another bit of it, and it keeps getting longer...

heh, I hate it when that happens.  Why is it that fics always end up being twice as long as they were supposed to be?  Well, I don't mind reading this chapter of Parallel Lives even if it ends up being 100 pages long.  I can understand why you wouldn't be quite as thrilled to write that much though. big grin

Space Pope
« Reply #340 on: 09-01-2008 03:47 »

106 and not finished yet. tongue

I love the speculation that comes up here. It's fun seeing how right or wrong people might be. big grin

Space Pope
« Reply #341 on: 09-17-2008 01:52 »

Well here we go. I apologise for the slightly long post this time around but the way I write precludes the usual idea of splitting things up into neat, evenly spaced chapters. So...

Fry lay in the twilight with just the glow of shimmering, distorted light cast on the ceiling from somewhere behind his head. The air was filled with the sound of splashing water, running between the three-level decorative pool that wound around the bed, and the heady scent of whatever incense had been burning when he’d arrived, filling the air and his mind with its seductive scent. The sheets were silk, the room was airy, yet made strangely intimate by its plush red decoration, and the company was...

He turned his head slightly to look at Amy nestling in the crook of his arm. It was the sort of situation where he’d normally have felt a deep contentment, even if it was just for a few hours. Why didn’t he feel it now?

His slight movement must have been enough to wake Amy again. She stirred and sighed, wrapping her arm around his chest a little further as she snuggled up to him. He did smile then, though it was a sort of instinctive reaction. A moment later she opened her eyes and looked up at him.


“Hey yourself.”

There wasn’t much to be said past that, so Fry pulled the sheets up a little higher and wrapped his arm around around Amy’s shoulder, which was met with a sigh and a languid stretch before she resumed nuzzling against his neck. She stopped a moment later to prop herself up on her elbows.

“There’s something wrong, isn’t there.”

Fry shrugged. The tinkling of Amy’s Ch’i fountain was lulling him into a semi-conscious state, not quite asleep, but sluggish enough to leave him unable to think straight. Or at all. Amy rolled onto her side, with her hair trailing across the pillow like a black silk shroud. She smiled. He couldn’t quite bring himself to smile back.

“Hey, what’s the matter?”

Fry moved as carefully as he could manage in his sleep-enfeebled state. He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to tempt a little more life into his brain. “If I tell you... it’ll screw everything up,” he mumbled, vaguely recalling that it really wasn’t a good idea to mention other women in bed. Amy persisted, though, teasing at him, convinced he was hiding some sort of kink or other until he wondered why he even bothered.

“Oh, Philip,” Amy said as he pushed her advances away yet again. “I’m not that bad in bed surely?”

“Wha? No, it’s Lee-”

Fry slapped his hand over his mouth. He screwed up his eyes again, wishing a bottomless pit would open up and swallow him whole; why did he always do things like this? Just once, couldn’t he keep his big stupid mouth shut?

His self-berating crashed to a halt when he heard Amy laughing, and not in the evil way a lot of women laughed at him. Fry teased an eye open to look at her, now sat up in the bed and smiling beatifically down at him.

“You’re not mad at me?”

“Why would I be? Ooof... I have to do something about the heating in here.” Amy tugged the sheets around her body a little more, against the gentle chill of the room. “There’s no reason to be mad at you.”

“But I just-”


Fry tried to ignore the feeling of her finger on his lips. Amy smiled at him again, leaning back just enough for the sheets to pull tight across her body just long enough to send Fry’s mind reeling. He shook his head, trying to concentrate on the calming fountain until Amy withdrew her hand.

“You needed a break,” Amy said out of nowhere. “And like I said, you’re cute, and I haven’t had a boyfriend for nearly a month.”

She climbed out of the bed and padded across the carpeted floor to the nearby kitchen, leaving Fry to ponder the ceiling again for a while, arms folded behind his head. He could already imagine what Leela would have to say about this, and in a way, in the sober pre-dawn light of the morning, he wondered if she might be right. Why had he done it, anyway? Boredom? Stupidity?

“It was tension,” Amy said, from somewhere out his sight, as if reading his mind. She hove into view bearing a bed-tray with two cups, a large, steaming teapot and a few small, pink, pill-shaped things that Fry didn’t even want to ask about. The smell of fresh green tea filled the room as Amy set the tray down next to Fry, before hitching up the silk pyjamas she’d acquired on her brief errand, the better to curl her legs together on the bed. Not for the first time Fry remembered why he’d fallen for her the first time. Plus she was easier to talk to than Leela, as long as you didn’t mind plenty of inane chatter about clothing and make-up.

She poured the tea, wordlessly dropped two of the pink pill-things into her cup and handed the other cup over to Fry.


Amy raised her cup in toast and Fry, not wanting to offend, followed suit. They sat in silence, sipping tea and looking at each other with a strange sort of shyness, which hadn’t been there before and that seemed to come and go in waves. Now and then Amy would look at his face and then look away with a nervous smile. Fry felt himself doing the same. Crazy.

“What did that mean before?”

“It’s kinda like ‘cheers’,” Amy replied. She grinned wickedly as Fry started to protest it wasn’t want he’d meant. “Silly... I meant tension. Like, sexual tension? Even an idiot can see you’re completely kwong juh duh over her.”

“I’m what?”

“Nuts. Crazy. Kinda...”

“And that leads to...” Fry circled his cup to take in the bedroom and Amy.

“Oh it doesn’t. I just figured you could use a good time, get your mind off things for a few hours.” Amy finished off her tea and set the cup down on the tray with a rattle of porcelain. “And I wanted a good time too. Everyone wins!”

“Not me. Leela thinks I’ve been trying to get this ever since we got here. I mean, I don’t even know you! Or... well, I do, but it’s a different you, so it’s not you, but it is... if... if you see what I mean?”

Amy paused in pouring herself another cup of tea to look at Fry with a delicate frown. Lord, even her frowns were cute. “Not really.”

“When she finds out-”

“So let’s not tell her!” She leaned toward him, drifting in a scent of perfume and sweet green tea that insinuated its way into Fry’s hind-brain with barely a grunted greeting to his higher faculties. “It can be our little secret...”

Fry almost bit through the edge of his cup. The scent, the fountain and his own libido were conspiring against him again. In fact the only thing preventing him throwing the tray aside and grabbing Amy for another round was the distinctly Leela-shaped barrier put up by his conscience. It hadn’t been there before. With great care he put the cup down. Amy’s face fell just a little, as if she knew exactly what he was thinking. Why did this keep happening to him?

“You’re not going to tell her, are you?”

“She won’t find out from me,” he promised. Amy smiled as he took her hand in his own, without reproach. It felt like he was dumping her all over again, only this time he could see plenty of reasons why he shouldn’t. And one very big reason why he should. “She’s smart, though. If she hasn’t figured it out by now then she’s not Leela.”

“Does that matter?”

“It kinda does to me.” He leaned back against piled-up pillows, his tea carefully balanced in one hand as he supported himself with the other. “I don’t want to upset her.”

She touched her finger to his lips again and smiled. “You are like your brother in some ways. You’re sweet. You care a lot more about Leela than you seem able to admit.”

“I care about you too.”

She sighed and then laughed quietly. “I wish I could believe that. You don’t care about me, you care about some other version of me, out there. And you care about Leela more than either of me.”

“You’re the same person, though, and I want to try and make up for... for what I did. How can I prove it?”

“I don’t think there’s any way,” Amy said, looking away. Fry put his cup down, feeling a sudden determination and incidentally rattling the tray again.

“I can stay.”

She looked up at him, her normal sweet expression giving way to complete surprise. “What? You can’t do that.”

“I can do whatever I want!”

“But, you... but, Leela-”

“Forget that, did you see the way she was crawling all over that Scottish guy earlier?”

“You mean Veklerov,” Amy said, frowning at the memory. “I don’t know, she didn’t seem interested in him. She spent the entire night looking at you,” she added with a heartfelt sigh. “It’s kinda romantic.”

“Amy, she’s been on my back ever since we got stuck out of our universe. I don’t...” his voice trailed off, then. He couldn’t say it, not that. Not even now, when it seemed so true. “The Professor will have his doohicky finished soon. Leela’s given me plenty of hints she doesn’t want me along when that happens and I’ve got plenty of reasons to stay here. Yancy. You...”

“You’d stay? For me?”

“Yeah,” Fry said, realising he actually meant it. “Yeah. I would.”

“Oh, Phil, that’s so sweet!”

She hugged him, gently at first, but then with more vigour as their closeness overrode other, higher thoughts. The tea was swept from the bed as they rolled into a tighter embrace. He paused for a moment to look down into Amy’s eyes and smile, with the thought that perhaps things wouldn’t be so bad in this universe. Then Amy giggled, tossing her pyjamas over his shoulder. After that he didn’t see much point in thinking.


The journey across town had been fairly peaceful. Of course it was hard to carry on conversation in the tube, what with one side always having to talk to the other’s feet but, even so, Yancy had to admit the tubes at night were surprisingly pleasant. There was none of the crowded claustrophobia brought on by knowing there were thousands of other people behind and ahead of him, no nagging fear of the possibility of getting stuck in a blockage. All that left was the possibility of the tube breaking. It didn’t seem likely on a night like this.

Yancy looked over his shoulder yet again to reassure himself Neena was still behind him. For propriety’s sake he’d gone first in the tube. It had been one of those ‘trust’ moments; the constant worry of whether she was still behind him had kept dragging Yancy’s head around to look, so that by the end of the journey he had an annoying crick in his neck. She’d been there, though. Every time.

They emerged about half a block from the Robot Arms apartments and carried the rest of the way on foot. Arm in arm. He couldn’t quite believe it, or shake the feeling that he was betraying his past somehow in the process.

“It’s the strangest thing,” Neena said as the entered the building. “I read it, I understood it, but I never really thought about the fact that you live in a robot’s closet.”

“One of those things, I guess,” Yancy replied.

“I hear they’re pretty roomy.”

Yancy nodded, somehow realising Neena was talking to keep from thinking about herself. “You wouldn’t believe how big.”

They were silent in the elevator. Neena stared at the little gap at the base of the doors, narrowing her eye slightly in time to the passing light of each level until they reached Yancy’s floor. Outside the door, Yancy paused and shuffled his feet.

“It’s a bit of a mess.”

“I doubt I’ll notice.”

“Right...” He waved his hand across the lock pad. The door responded with a quiet chirrup and slid open. Bender stood slightly to one side, limbs locked in place and faceplate sealed shut. “Oh yeah. Bender. You’ll have to sort of squeeze past him a little.”

Hrr... kill all... humans...” the robot muttered, twisting his head to one side as Neena edged past him.

“That’s one way to stop people interrupting,” Neena mused as she passed through to the interior. She stopped and stared at the panoramic window. The moon was sinking behind the skyline, silhouetting a few of the taller buildings and casting bright pin-pricks of light through their darkened windows. “Oh. It’s beautiful...”

She turned away from the view as Yancy approached her. There was a tear peeking from the corner of her eye. She quickly rubbed the moisture away and smiled a melancholy smile. “I don’t have a window at home. I’d kill for a view like that.”

Yancy shrugged, at a loss for words. “It’s just a window.”

“It’s still beautiful.”

She gently touched Yancy’s elbow and smiled again. Yancy shivered, losing focus for a moment. He abruptly turned away and shuffled a few steps toward the kitchen. “You want a drink of something? Coffee? I managed to find a place that sells twenty-second century-style beans. Not quite my own time...”


“... but I, it makes me feel more at... home...” he turned back to look at Neena, that odd cramp tugging at his gut again. It seemed a little weaker this time. “What?”

“I’ve tried to be subtle.”

“Oh.” A strange tingle worked through his chest and settled in his stomach, displacing the nervous cramp, as he realised what Neena meant. For something to do, Yancy took off his coat and tossed it onto the couch. He approached the shelf holding his most precious memories, what few he’d actually been able to find or salvage, and laid a hand on the little box holding the most precious of them all.

“I’m sorry, Neena. I told you. I can’t.”

“If it’s about your past, Yancy, you have to let go some time.”

“No. Well yes, there’s that,” he said, picking up the box and flipping it open. The ring glittered at him like a tiny star in a black-velvet sky. Yancy snapped the box shut again and held it in his closed fist. He turned to look Neena squarely in the face. “But that’s not the only thing. It’s not right.”

“Not right?”

“You’re not thinking straight. I’d be taking advantage of you.”

“No you wouldn’t, I want this! Don’t you understand? I need... I need you, Yancy.” She grabbed his shoulders and turned him to face her. Yancy winced at the sight of her passion and anguish, so very clear in her face. “I need to know I’m still... that I’m not a freak, that I’m normal!”

“Does it matter?”

“It matters to me!”

“But nothing is normal here!” Yancy shrugged out of Neena’s grip as it loosened. He straightened his shirt a little. “You’re living in a world full of carnivorous blobs and alien monsters and heads in jars for god’s sake. What difference does it make if you’re-”

“Don’t say it!”

“A mutant,” Yancy finished. Neena turned away to put her head in her hands. She sniffled and then let out a quiet sob. Yancy gently guided her to the couch and sat down next to her, resting her head on his shoulder and quickly finding out just how much water she could squeeze out of her eye. He slipped an arm around Neena’s shoulder, remembering how it had always comforted Laura when he did that.

After a few minutes Neena’s weeping faded to a muted whimper. She sat up, blinking back tears. She snuffled and wiped at her face with bare hands in a vain attempt to make herself a little more presentable.

“I’m sorry, you shouldn’t have to see me like this.”

“Probably would have eventually,” Yancy replied, but Neena wasn’t listening. She turned a little to look at the sky.

“All my life I’ve believed I was something special, inside. That I belonged out there somewhere,” she said, pointing at the stars, slowly fading as the sky brightened toward dawn. “To find out I’m almost literally mud...”

Neena seemed to fold in on herself, staring at the carpet. Yancy tried to comfort her again but she wasn’t paying attention, or wasn’t reachable, almost as if she’d crawled inside herself somehow.

“There was always the dream I’d find another member of my species, that they’d take me away from all this and I’d be something worth looking at instead of this freaky, bug-eyed alien everyone sees me as,” she said, glancing up at Yancy. “I’ve been alone all my life. It didn’t matter how close I got to people, I was always alone inside because I always knew I was different, I just didn’t realise... You people don’t realise what it means to be so completely isolated that way.”

“You aren’t the only one who’s alone here,” Yancy said, twisting the box around in his hand. Neena turned to look at him “Remember how you talked me away from that suicide booth?”

“I remember you said afterwards you weren’t really going to use it,” Neena replied. “So it wasn’t really much of an achievement.”

“That was the story I wanted to believe afterwards, but... if you hadn’t been there I’d have walked straight in. I had no one left.” He turned to look at Neena and sort of smiled, just a little. “Everyone I know and love, they’re all gone. I didn’t even have the hope of finding them, I didn’t have anything to live for until you came along and talked me out of it. You saved my life.”

“And now I guess you’ve just saved mine,” Neena said. A tear squeezed out of her eye as she closed it. “In a manner of speaking. At least now I know where I belong.”

“That’s what friends are for,” Yancy said with just a hint of sarcasm colouring his voice. He shook his head.

“Now you know you didn’t call me a friend before today, Yancy.” She grinned at him now, though he eye was still watery. “I know you hated the sight of me. Face it, when you thought I was an alien you would barely even let me touch you.”

Yancy smiled just a little and rubbed Neena’s shoulder. She sniffled and chewed her lip. “I won’t say I didn’t find you attractive. I... aliens just scare me, really, and I had other things on my mind as well most of the time. But if you’re a mutant, then you’re just an odd looking human. You’re not going to try and dissolve me with your blood, or use my skin as a cocoon or something.”

“You don’t know, I might have haemophilia and sharp teeth.” She laughed, briefly, stopping before her laughter could turn into another sob. Neena put her head in her hands. “I’ve been such a fool.”

“No...” Yancy couldn’t think of anything else to say. Instead he sat back, loosening his grip on the little box he was still holding. The box flopped onto the couch between them, where it caught Neena’s attention. She picked the box up and snapped it open.

“Oh my,” she said, her eye widening in shock. “Is this the ring? I have an idea of what what diamonds cost back then. She must have been worth a lot to you.”

“Yeah. She was.” Yancy gently took the ring back and held it up to the light. “Phil said we had a kid in his universe. First man on Mars, he said, but apart from that I didn’t amount to too much. I was just there. Then I was gone.”

“That must have been disappointing.”

“In a way it’s kind of a relief, knowing my life here isn’t any worse than it would have been back then.” He snapped the box shut and put it in his pocket. “If I’d stayed, I wouldn’t have had it any better. And I wouldn’t have met you.”

“The mutant freak.”

“You’re still you.”

“Yancy, what if people find out? I’ve seen memos about how mutants are supposed to be treated if they’re caught on the surface. I’ll be outcast, I’ll lose my job, my friends...”

“They won’t find out, and if they did... I... I’d try and do something.”

Neena turned away, nodding slowly. She leaned back and yawned, reminding Yancy how tired he was after the long night.

“I’ll tell you one thing,” he said, rubbing his eyes. “I am never going to get up in the morning...”

“Tell me about it, I might just call in sick tomorrow,” Neena said, her exhaustion overriding any other concern for the moment.

“You definitely have a reason.”

“Hah...” She looked around the closet-cum-apartment with a leery eye. “Is there somewhere I can sleep?”

“Take my room, it’s clean enough. I’ve no idea if Phil will be back tonight so I’ll probably be all right on the couch,” he said, noticing how bright the sky was. “Or this morning, I guess. Maybe I’ll call in sick as well.”

“Everyone will think we were at it all night.” Neena had a wry smile on her face. “Ironic.”

Yancy shrugged. He stood to help Neena to her feet before walking her to his bedroom. “I have a bunch of old t-shirts if you need something to wear.”

Neena nodded on the threshold. She seemed torn between needing sleep and repeating her offer. Eventually she just closed her eye and leaned her head against the door frame. “Thanks. For everything.”

The door closed with a quiet click. Yancy turned away to face the empty living room and its oh-so-comfortable couch, and quickly realised he hadn’t changed out of his evening-wear. He sighed and the injustice of it all and sat down to stare out of the window.

Yancy pulled out the little black box with his ring in it and stared at it. He opened up the box again, turning it this way and that to make the jewel sparkle in the dim light. There were moments when he barely even thought about the ring these days, when he could almost forget. Maybe.

He turned to peer at the door to his room, wondering if perhaps he’d made the wrong decision. No. he’d been right. But... she was right, too. He’d have to give it up soon or he’d lose himself in it.

He must have dozed off at some point because suddenly the sun was rising, filling the room with the sort of golden early morning light that Yancy rarely got to see, and the answer machine was beeping merrily to itself in the corner. Yancy sat up and tried to stretch the knots out of his back, with little success – if this was going to be a regular thing he’d have to get a spare bed, he thought, as he slouched over to the machine.

There was only one real message amongst all the spam and wrong numbers. One more than normal. He pressed the ‘play’ button and looked up to the screen. It was blank. No, more like in shadow, with a very familiar silhouette.

“Hello Fry, it’s Leela. Don’t bother picking up if you’re there because it won’t make any difference. It’s over. I’m leaving as soon as I can and I won’t be taking you with me. I’d say it’s been fun but that’d be a lie. So long.”

The screen blanked out and faded to a slowly shifting panorama of green fields and hills. Yancy stared at the empty screen. Something prodded at the back of his mind, a little discomfort, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. Perhaps it was just the thought of having to share an apartment with his brother now. He turned away to find himself breakfast.

Starship Captain
« Reply #342 on: 09-17-2008 02:24 »
« Last Edit on: 09-17-2008 02:30 »

If reading made sounds, I would sound something like this:

MMFFF MMMM MAMMM MFFF *so good* MFF MMMM *shove* MFFF MMMM *need more*

Epic update as always! Hooray for Fry! Glad he is taking an interest in Amy this universe, of course it's going to get ruined frown Looks like Evila is in the leaving nasty messages business now, kinda sucks. Would be kind of funny if that is her master plan to make Fry miserable, only to watch him just go: "Oh well, back to your place Amy?"

Ooh what about Leela... Probably went back to Neena's and is too busy trying to keep her head from exploding to say, send nasty messages to Yancy's answering machine.

Urban Legend
« Reply #343 on: 09-17-2008 02:36 »

well, I certainly didn't see any of this coming...  Fry was really quick to decide he would stay with Amy.  I mea sure, Leela's been even nastier than usual to him, but I wasn't expecting him to give up on her like that.  And I can't help but wonder at the message that Yancy found on his machine.  If that was really Leela speaking- and not Evila- then I didn't follow the last update quite as well as I thought.  I mean damn; Leela's going to abandon Fry there?  But, on the other hand, if its Evila talking instead, then how does she know about everything thats been going on between Fry and Leela in order to use it against them?  

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, but I just love the chemistry that you've invented between Neena and Yancy.  I find myself actually caring more about them then I do about Fry and Leela.  Also, when the heck is Neena going to find out that Fry and Leela know where to find her parents?  You went and created a ticking timebomb when Evila killed Neena's parents, and its been ticking away in the background for months now, slowly driving me crazy.  Esso demands it be detonated, for the sake of sanity!

Starship Captain
« Reply #344 on: 09-17-2008 04:26 »

I thought Leela was more worried about talking to Fry again than angry at him for leaving. The shadowy figure thing just screamed Evila to me. But yeah, if she knew about their situation wouldn't she have known Fry is with Amy anyway?

Actually... you know it would be kind of cool if Leela went out on her own stomping through other universes trying to find home, and Fry went after and they met up down the road. One or two universes by themselves would be pretty interesting. Fry would be trying to not die all the time, and Leela would hopefully cool down a hell of a lot.

It's gonna suck for Fry to lose Amy / his brother. Fry with Amy is interesting to see, he did try to ask Amy back out at the end of BWABB, although she was probably just the next closest female creature. It makes you wonder what if Amy never had Kif, if Fry had another option after all the Leela rejection would he have gone for it?

Yancy and Neena are great, with any luck after the Neena's parents time bomb goes off, they will both be there to help each other out. It has been ticking a long time now too...

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #345 on: 09-17-2008 04:27 »

well, I certainly didn't see any of this coming...  Fry was really quick to decide he would stay with Amy.  I mea sure, Leela's been even nastier than usual to him, but I wasn't expecting him to give up on her like that.  And I can't help but wonder at the message that Yancy found on his machine.  If that was really Leela speaking- and not Evila- then I didn't follow the last update quite as well as I thought.  I mean damn; Leela's going to abandon Fry there?  But, on the other hand, if its Evila talking instead, then how does she know about everything thats been going on between Fry and Leela in order to use it against them?  

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, but I just love the chemistry that you've invented between Neena and Yancy.  I find myself actually caring more about them then I do about Fry and Leela.  Also, when the heck is Neena going to find out that Fry and Leela know where to find her parents?  You went and created a ticking timebomb when Evila killed Neena's parents, and its been ticking away in the background for months now, slowly driving me crazy.  Esso demands it be detonated, for the sake of sanity!

Patience sO. The great one will reveal all in time.

Space Pope
« Reply #346 on: 09-17-2008 12:20 »

This is why I prefer to post stories in one big chunk... I know it's been a while for you but there's been just a few hours between this update and Leela's apparent rejection of Fry in favour of Veklerov. That would have to weigh heavy on his mind. smile

Starship Captain
« Reply #347 on: 09-20-2008 04:28 »

But "Amy is hot" has to carry some weight too!

It would be nice if he told Amy where to find Kif before he left. Might be a way to make it up to her.

Space Pope
« Reply #348 on: 10-08-2008 00:36 »

More! Just a short update while I work my way toward the end. smile


Much later, with the first light of dawn creeping past the tall curtained windows, Fry reached out to touch Amy’s shoulder and then just watched her as she slept. He felt it then. Contentment. The peace of a decision made. He smiled and rolled onto his back to stare at the ceiling.

Something pressed against his temple, something cold, hollow, and then he heard the sickening metallic click of a gun being cocked, at the same time as that malevolent eye rose out of the darkness. She stared at him, anger and confusion filling her face.

“Now, how did you get here? Time to leave, Fry...”


The gun flashed. Fry sat upright with a silent yell and a deep, shuddering breath. He looked around but the room was deserted. There was only Amy, quietly snoring in the bed next to him, her pale bronze skin catching the first rays of light from the window. He blinked away a terrified tear and lay back against the pillow until his heart stopped trying to leap out of his chest.

Sleep refused to return. The dream had seemed so immediate that Fry almost couldn’t believe it had just been a dream. Of course, he was still alive and didn’t seem to have any bullet holes in him. Just too much excitement, that was all. He slipped from the bed and padded across the apartment to find himself a robe.

Things came to life as he stepped away from the bed. The curtains drew back, revealing a panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline, and lights around the edge of the spacious room brightened to highlight nooks and niches in the walls, all accompanied by a few bars of some sort of oriental music.

Fry stopped in his tracks to look around the room. It seemed much bigger in the daylight. “Wow.”

“Don’t act like you’ve not seen it before,” Amy said through a yawn. She stretched out on the bed and smiled at Fry, before flipping over to pull her pyjamas from the floor. “You must have been here when you were with ‘me’, right?”

“In my universe your apartment is tiny.” Fry felt oddly exposed and wondered why until he remembered he was butt-naked. He cast around for something to wrap himself up with, eventually settling on an old piece of cloth hanging from a nearby table. “And it was dark when we came in last night. You got a robe I can borrow?”

“Sure, there’s a dozen or so in the bathroom, you should find one in your size.”


“And then you can put my priceless Japanese silk scroll painting back where you found it,” Amy added to his back. Fry looked down at the cloth wrapped around his waist and spent a moment marvelling at the fine brushwork on the tiger’s fur. He grinned over his shoulder as he carefully put the painting back in it’s place.


Amy just shrugged and grinned. “It’s okay, mom and dad can always buy me more.”

Which was just Amy all over, Fry thought once he was safely in the bathroom. And she was right, too; the closet was filled with robes of all different sizes, from a few silk ones that looked like they’d barely fit over even Amy’s slight frame, to something that looked like it’d been left behind by a one of the Harlem Globetrotters. And probably had, he realised. Fry carefully pushed the robe aside and selected something a little more his size.

There was a smell of frying bacon in the air when he emerged. Fry sniffed appreciatively and made his way toward the kitchen where he found Amy gingerly poking at a skillet.

“Wow, you can cook?”

“Oh, sure.” Amy smiled as she shuffled the bacon around. “I’m not great, but you men always seem to come back if you see a woman cooking breakfast. I once strung out a guy for three weeks with badly made waffles. I swear- ai hsi bal!

Amy leapt back as the skillet suddenly burst into flame, filling the kitchen with thick white smoke. The sprinklers erupted, drenching them both to the skin in seconds and Fry bit his tongue  at the sigh of Amy’s attempt to look dignified in the pouring stream. She gave up eventually with a defeated grin.

“I guess we can order out...”

Fry just laughed.


“I suppose I’d better call Yancy,” Fry said, some time later.

“Sure, whatever,” Amy mumbled before rolling onto her side. She started snoring a moment later. They were back in bed again. It had been Amy’s idea, with the reasoning that they were already naked anyway, and Fry hadn’t seen much to argue against. He rolled over to pull at his robe, hanging near one of the concealed air vents, lurching Amy out of her nap again. She stared at him, bleary eyed, and smiled as she flopped over to the side of the bed.

Amy pulled a cellphone out of some tiny nook under the bed and held it up. “I’ll call up some breakfast. Video phone’s over there,” she added, waving toward the far end of the apartment.

Fry took a little time to marvel at the apartment again as he made his way to the phone. He couldn’t remember too much of Amy’s place at home. It had seemed impressive at the time, if a little messy, filled with high-tech gadgetry and the trappings of wealth and a rather impressive array of discarded underpants. This Amy seemed to have a lot more taste, as far as Fry understood such things, preferring the sort of understated opulence that mere wealth never achieved. With that in mind he was starting to wonder about his own motivations for staying. On top of the thought that he might be doing it just for the money, there was a niggling thought at the back of his mind that kept asking is it just to spite Leela? And, in all honesty, he couldn’t deny that it was.

The phone was hidden away in a little alcove, bathed in a soft light from some diffuse location above. Fry sat down with a heavy sigh and stared at his reflection in the black screen. “Sure you want to do this, me?”

Of course I do, he thought as he dialled the number for his- for Yancy’s apartment. His brother answered almost immediately.


“Hi bro, how’s things?”

“Oh great, except you didn’t come  home last- wait, is that Amy’s apartment?”

“Yeah.” Fry grinned and wiggled his eyebrows.

Yancy stared at him through the screen, his expression carefully neutral. “At least now I know you were somewhere safe and not in some back alley having your organs removed.”

“Hey come on, Yancy, give me a little credit. I make plenty of good decisions!”

“And don’t mention Michelle, right?” Yancy returned Fry’s suddenly strained grin and leaned toward the screen a little. “I hope you know what you’re doing, Phil.”

“Oh, do I ever! I’ve got something to tell you.”

“Yeah, well much as I’d like to hear about your sex life, it can wait, I have something more important to tell you first. I got a call from Leela.”

“Leela?” Fry wrapped his robe a little tighter and shivered. The room suddenly felt very cold. “What did she say?”

“She said she was leaving you behind and something about things not working between you. I... I didn’t realise you two were-”

“We’re not.” Fry shook his head slowly and sat back, frowning. “Are you sure that’s what she said?”

“She was pretty precise about it,” Yancy replied. “I’m sorry, Phil.”

“Yeah, don’t worry about it. I was calling to tell you anyway. I’m staying.”


“I guess I don’t have to call her now,” Fry said, ignoring Yancy’s apparent lack of enthusiasm. Of course his brother was glad to have him around, right? “So I guess...”

His voice trailed away as Neena walked into view, wearing one of Yancy’s t-shirts and apparently very little else. Fry felt his jaw drop at the sight and grit his teeth to keep it closed. Yancy couldn’t quite meet Fry’s eyes when Neena leaned down to peer into the screen.

“Oh, hi Phil! I should probably thank you...” she glanced at Yancy and smiled. Her brow crinkled just a tiny little bit in a way Fry recognised as Leela when she was scared and hiding the stress. “We’ll talk later. Yancy, coffee?”

“Oh, uh... sure.” He waited for Neena to walk out of range before giving Fry a plaintive look. “This isn’t what it looks like.”

“The hell it isn’t! She- you... Yancy, what-” was all Fry could manage before Amy, out of nowhere, draped her arms around his neck and planted her lips firmly against his. Fry wilted under the assault and slid down in his chair, dazed, when Amy finally let him go. She rested her head on his shoulders and sighed at the screen.

“Okay, I guess I can’t really talk,” Fry muttered.

“Hi Yancy!”

“Amy,” Yancy said with a stiff nod. He glanced over his shoulder again and leaned a little closer to the screen. “This really isn’t how it looks, Phil.”

“Yancy, your coffee’s getting cold!”

“I’d better go. See you at work?”

“Sure,” Fry said as the screen blanked away. He stared at his reflection for a minute then sighed, stood up and returned to stare out of the panoramic window. A moment later Amy joined him, slipping an arm around his waist and leaning on his shoulder.

“I heard what Leela said.”

“It doesn’t seem right,” Fry said, watching the traffic as it built up around the Manhattan skyline. “I know she was mad at me last night but I didn’t think she’d actually leave me behind.”

“You were going to make her do it.”

“I guess...” He turned away from the view and stared around the apartment. It was a very nice apartment. “I’d better get going.”

“Oh, there’s no rush,” Amy said, walking her fingers up his back.

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #349 on: 10-08-2008 02:23 »

I give Fry less than 12 hours before he has a mental breakdown and changes his mind.

Starship Captain
« Reply #350 on: 10-08-2008 13:48 »

It's nice to see at least some backbone in Fry, sticking with his decision to stay. Really hope when he does leave Amy 1) she doesn't get shot, already iffy with Morgan but if Evila sights Amy then bitch has to die. 2) Fry manages to do a better job of it the second time round. Get her set up with Kif maybe.

LOL at his reaction to Neena! Good to see this universe Yancy keeping up the status quo from Fry's universe. Still stealing everything Fry wanted!

Wheres our adorable hung-over Leela?

Urban Legend
« Reply #351 on: 10-09-2008 03:33 »

Probably wondering if Neena also has a supply of extra-strength Jamaican coffee secretly stashed somewhere in the kitchen. Stands to reason, the whiskey was there... smile
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
« Reply #352 on: 10-10-2008 04:49 »

Probably wondering if Neena also has a supply of extra-strength Jamaican coffee secretly stashed somewhere in the kitchen. Stands to reason, the whiskey was there... smile

Sounds like an excuse to draw a pic, doesn't it.

Unfortunately, all I can draw are flies, gnats and mosquitoes...

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #353 on: 10-10-2008 05:21 »

Unfortunately, all I can draw are flies, gnats and mosquitoes...

Don't forget the seething hatred of some of PEEL's more thick skulled members. big grin

Starship Captain
« Reply #354 on: 10-12-2008 22:58 »
« Last Edit on: 10-12-2008 22:59 »

Often people post a smilie with a face holding a knife and fork to show how much they enjoy a piece of fan fiction. Implying they want to "eat it up". Well to that I say: what kind of lazy person half asses something like that?!

When you REALLY want more, when you HAVE to keep it coming: you bust out the double forks! That knife is just slowing you down.

Parallel lives is indeed: double fork awesome.

Urban Legend
« Reply #355 on: 10-12-2008 23:12 »

Double-fork awesome, indeed.  I loved Amy's botched attempt to make bacon and her explanation for knowing how to cook in the first place. 

Space Pope
« Reply #356 on: 10-13-2008 00:59 »

Double-forks eh? I like that. big grin

Space Pope
« Reply #357 on: 10-18-2008 07:01 »

Damn there have been three updates that I still haven't gotten around to reading. Freaking college interrupting my reading of this good story

Space Pope
« Reply #358 on: 10-21-2008 16:39 »

Makes a change from not having anything to read, doesn't it? wink


Leela felt the door open more than heard it, as a sort of dull thump somewhere in the back of her skull that jarred her out of fitful sleep. She opened her eye just in time to see the light turn on, and just as quickly shut it against the glaring white bloom that she assumed was a wall. Footsteps that felt like iron spikes hammering into her skull echoed around the room until a shadow fell across Leela’s face. She risked prizing her eye open a fraction, knowing she’d regret it in one way or another.

“Oh, it’s you.” Leela squeezed her eye shut again to block out Neena’s disapproving look. She turned away until a sharp pain shot up her neck. “Oh, god, leave me alone...”

“Not much chance of that,” Neena said. Something about her voice caught Leela’s attention. She risked opening her eye again to look at her twin and was almost blinded by the bright, plain white oversized shirt Neena was wearing.

“If it’s about last night-”

“How could you embarrass us both like that?”

“Nothing happened!” Leela pressed her hands to her head and leaned forward in the hope it would ease the skull-shaking throb behind her eye. Instead she found she could add nausea to her list of symptoms. Any thought of arguing with herself disappeared until it had passed.

“You were practically tearing his clothes off when I left,” Neena muttered, stalking away and adjusting her pants. They seemed a little oversized as well, held up by a belt cinched tight around her waist. “I don’t know how you can even try to deny it. He was all over you!”

“Yeah, well, you left early.”

“And then you came back here with that wannabe ‘pilot’ and raided my best liquor...” Neena held up the bottle Leela had discarded the previous night, with the seal still intact. “Or at least tried to. So, is he in there? In my bed?”

Leela shook her head and mumbled a negative but Neena wasn’t listening. She thrust the bottle into Leela’s unresisting hands and stormed over to the door. “Veklerov, I’m coming in and you’re going to get your ass- oh...”

The door swung wide, revealing the very empty bedroom. Neena paused on the threshold, momentarily taken aback, until a smile crept onto her face. “The wardrobe, right?”

“Neena, I’m telling you, nothing happened.” Leela struggled to Neena’s side and stared into the bedroom. The sheets were still nicely turned down, undisturbed from the previous day. “Oh I could have been in bed...”


“Never mind,” Leela grunted. She pushed past Neena and slipped into the bathroom before the other woman could reply. “I’m going to take a shower.”

Leela shut the door and stumbled to the shower, which activated as soon as she came near it, filling the air with warm steam that softened the air and after a moment started to ease the sense that her eye was filled with quicklime. The bathroom light flickered painfully until she turned it off. She stood in the darkness for a moment with her eye closed, ignoring the persistent sound of Neena’s thumping on the door.

“You can’t hide from me in there forever!” Neena banged her fists against the door a final time. “You’re hiding him in there, aren’t you!”

“I am not-” Leela shook her head and turned on the light again. She yanked the door open and dragged Neena into the bathroom with her. “Do you see him in here?”

Neena looked around the little bathroom with an increasingly perplexed look on her face. She backed out into the bedroom, winding her fingers together. “I was so sure...”

“Yeah, well I’m not so impressed by a guy with a big spaceship.” Leela looked down at her feet with her eye half-closed. “At least, not twice. Now if you’ll excuse me I’d like to get out of these clothes and clean up.”

Neena stepped back to let Leela close the door. Alone again in the close, humid atmosphere of the bathroom, Leela found her headache slowly starting to disappear, or at least fade to a bearable level. She slowly undressed, easing tired and aching limbs out of sweat-stiffened garments, and stepped into the shower, sighing as the hot water soaked and pummelled her skin. The repetitive drumming of water quickly lulled Leela toward sleep, until she felt her eye closing and couldn’t muster enough strength to open it again.

Her head jerked back, she was suddenly wide awake. She could hear someone talking quietly, whispering almost, just shy of her perception but loud, steady and constant at the same time. She turned off the shower and stepped out into the bathroom, shivering, the air chill as the warmth of the shower leached into the cold tiled floor. Leela paused to listen to the voice; it sounded like her own, like Neena, muttering about a giant staring eye and travelling to the father. Then it began to wail.

Leela crashed through the door into the bedroom to be greeted by an incoherent shriek, that she joined with her own. She halted in shock. Neena looked up at her with a confused expression.

“What in heaven’s name are you doing?”

“Uh, I...” Leela tried to swallow her confusion. Neena didn’t look like she’d been crying, or even slightly distressed. “I thought I heard something. You weren’t crying?”

“No, I wasn’t.”

Leela closed her eyes and rubbed her temples. The headache was back again, just for a moment. “I thought I heard you. Maybe I was daydreaming.”

“If you want my advice you’d be wise to put some clothes on next time you start hearing voices.”

Leela felt her face colouring. She pulled a towel from the closet and wrapped it around herself under the disapproving look of Neena. “You weren’t talking before, either,” she asked as she sat down on the bed.

“Nope,” Neena replied, making a very obvious point of not looking at the water that ran out of Leela’s hair onto the bed. “I was thinking. I’ll accept you didn’t bring him here, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t-”

“Dammit, Neena, I told you! Nothing happened. I did not sleep with Vek, I did not want to sleep with Vek and I wouldn’t let him talk me into it no matter how many big planets he showed me.”

“How did you... I mean, well, good!” Neena reached up to touch her ponytail, then forcibly put her hands down on the bed. “But that doesn’t explain why you were draping yourself all over him last night.”

“I wasn’t draping myself over anyone, I was... I... had my reasons,” Leela said, pressing her hands between her knees. “I admit I can’t quite understand them. You’ll just have to trust me. It’s only like trusting yourself, really.”

“I wouldn’t trust anything that involved McDiarmid.”

“Why? What happened between... oh... oh god, he didn’t-”

“No.” Neena stood up and took a few steps away from the bed. “It’d be easier if he had...” She turned and pulled a towel and a some clothes from the many neatly bundled sets in the wardrobe. Neena tossed the bundle on the bed and draped the towel over Leela’s hair.

“It was staining the sheets,” she explained.

“Oh, yeah, that wouldn’t be good.” Leela started drying her hair, drawing the water out in long streams as she ran the towel down her locks. “So...”

“I’ll tell you what happened, but you have to promise me something in return.”

“For you, anything.”

“Take me to my parents.” Leela paused in drying her hair to look at Neena, who merely shrugged at her frown. “Yancy found out from Philip and dropped it on me last night.”

Leela stared at the floor for a moment as she digested this new information. So Fry had been shooting his mouth off about her again had he? Didn’t he realise the risks he was taking, with her life no less.

“I’m not sure what to say,” she replied eventually.

“How about ‘I’m sorry I didn’t tell you earlier’ for starters?”

“That could work...” Leela carefully pulled on her underwear, making sure to stay hidden until she was suitably covered. It didn’t matter if it was technically only herself. Odd how that sense of modesty was so flexible. “I swear I was going to tell you about it, as soon as I was sure you wouldn’t go off the deep end.”

“Why would I do that? You obviously didn’t.”

“Yeah, well, I had Fry to remind me things could be worse. The last universe we were in, I met a version of us that had gone completely psycho after finding her parents.” Leela thought back to their first encounter with ‘Blue’, as they’d nicknamed her, trapped in her darkened apartment and doubly so inside her own mind. She shook her head. Some things weren’t worth dwelling on. “I can tell you where they are but I don’t think I should take you. It’d be too confusing if two of us turned up. Skip work, come to Planet Express with me.”

“I suppose I do have to see Yancy later today anyway,” Neena replied, her face thoughtful for a moment. But then she closed her eye and swallowed. When she opened it again, Leela could see it was slightly bloodshot. “I’m worried about you going up with Veklerov.”

“I told you, the whole spaceship thing doesn’t impress me. I’ve been flying that thing for six years. Even with this damned hangover I’m a better pilot than he could ever hope...” Leela realised Neena was almost crying now, for real this time. She put an arm around Neena’s shoulders and shuffled a little closer. “Neena, what’s wrong?”

“You sound like I felt back then.”

“What happened?”

“It was about two months after Yancy had arrived,” Neena said. After a moment she leaned into Leela’s arm, wiping a tear from her face. “I had just started his intervention...”


“The initial process will take about three weeks, after which we’ll be able to ascertain whether you are eligible for a career chip re-assignment assessment. I have to warn you that very few career re-assignment requests achieve a positive result, but...” Leela put down her clipboard and stared across the table at the defrostee opposite. He had his eyes fixed on the table. “Mr Fry, are you even listening?”

“What? Oh, yeah, you’re telling me I have maybe a snowball’s chance in hell of this actually working.”

“I am simply trying to give you a realistic expectation of this intervention, Mr Fry.”

“Sure,” he said, without looking up. Leela rolled her eye and tried to concentrate on the paperwork in her hand.

“First I have to monitor you in your workplace for a few days to build up a picture of your interactions with your colleagues and-”

“Leela, why are you doing this?”

“I explained, Mr Fry, I have to-”

“No...” He looked at her, right in the eye. Leela blinked uncomfortably and tried to return his gaze. “You hate your job, why don’t you change it?”

Leela narrowed her eye as she thought about the question. “You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do, Mr Fry. I’ve seen more than enough attempts to change employment to realise how futile the process is, so I don’t even think about the idea.”

“Then why even give the chance? Why provide this illusion of choice if it’s impossible to actually take it?”

“It isn’t my place to question the system we work in, Mr Fry, and it definitely isn’t yours. Now, as I was explaining, this week will be spent gathering data on your interactions with your colleagues, after which the process will turn to weekly interviews until a decision on your status is reached. The decision is usually made within three months.” Leela brought up the appropriate paperwork on her clipboard, filled in a few details and handed it over to Yancy to sign. “Please read here and here,” she said, indicating two red outlined boxes on the form. “And then sign where necessary to begin the process. I’ll visit your place of work tomorrow.”

Leela watched Yancy as he read the form, pausing now and then to re-read certain passages. Right then she knew his career assignment had been wrong, even though the thought was an implicit and dangerous doubt; no mere delivery boy would be so conscientious about a simple form, he seemed more like a fairly competent bureaucrat.

He signed the form and handed it back to her. “Leela, don’t get me wrong, I know you helped me get this job with my nephew-”

“I understand, Yancy. Mr Fry. I just want you to be prepared for the most likely outcome, that’s all.”


“I’ll see you tomorrow. Nine?”

“Oh don’t bother, we don’t get started until eleven. The Professor normally isn’t able to walk before then.” He stood up and tugged at his jacket. Leela noticed he didn’t hold out his hand before he left. It had to be the eye. “I hope you like flying,” he added as he turned to leave.


She’d visited Planet Express just once before, delivering Yancy to his first career position after using up all her credit with Ipgee to get him placed there. Leela had no idea why she’d done it, except that, perhaps after the suicide booth incident, she’d felt sorry for him. She’d not been past the reception that time.

The building was no different to how she remembered, perhaps a little the worse for wear. Planet Express might be one of the more successful delivery companies in the Sol system but that didn’t seem to translate into actual care for its facilities, of which there seemed to be very few. In fact for such a large company it seemed to do very little actual work, Leela thought, as she examined the endorsements behind the secretary’s desk.

“Sorry for the delay,” the secretary said, holding up a phone in one of her hands. She waved Leela over to the desk. “Mr Conrad will be with you in a moment so if you’d just like to start filling in this paperwork for him. It’s just standard forms, liability, insurance, that sort of thing.”

She handed over two small clipboards. Leela returned to her seat and swiftly filled in the forms. She was just about done when Hermes Conrad arrived in the reception.

He paused and looked at her, his expression as inscrutable as it had been the few previous times they’d met. “Ms Turanga.”

Leela handed over the forms as she stood up. “Mr Conrad. I’m here about Yancy.”

“Yes, unfortunately young Mr Fry is indisposed right now,” Hermes said. He perused the forms for a moment.


“The squits or somethin’. He’s making his prayers to the white throne. It’s a shame your journey here was wasted,” Hermes said, entering his own signature on the forms. He slipped the clipboards into his case and gave Leela the briefest of smiles. “If you want to arrange another visit...?”

“No, I’m here now. I can still carry out interviews of his closest colleagues.”

“I see. In that case I hope you like flyin’, they’re already runnin’ late for a delivery.” Hermes held the door open for Leela with another brief smile. “This way.”

Hermes led her through a cluttered loading dock, pausing to indicate the stairway up to the employee areas. “You might find your boy up there with our doctor.”

“I’ll look in on him afterwards.”

“I expect you’ll be wantin’ to look at our facilities as well? We’re fully compliant with all city employment facility codes.”

“The, uh, facilities will be on my list of things to check, yes,” Leela replied, looking about the loading dock. It seemed to be unusually sparse for such a busy company. “My primary concern is with Yan- Mr Fry’s interaction with his workmates and their opinions of his behaviour.” Hermes opened his mouth to speak, but Leela held up her hand to silence him. “I’ll interview you when I return, Mr Conrad. I don’t want your opinions as his employer to influence my questioning of your employees.”

“If you say so.”

They stepped out into the hangar, giving Leela her first real view of the company’s spaceship. She stared up at the sleek red hull towering above her, overcome with a momentary sense of awe. Some day, she thought, a ship like that could-

“Hey, hey Hermes!” Leela’s train of thought was interrupted by the heavily accented voice echoing around the hangar. A man in a scruffy jacket and pants emerged at the top of the ship’s gangway, brandishing a chunky wrench in Hermes’ general direction. “Number two motivator coil needs replacing before it burns out. Tell the Professor-”

“Find the money for it and you can have as many coils as ya like,” Hermes replied as the man descended to the hangar floor. He lead Leela over to the gangway. “Ms Turanga, this is our pilot. Veklerov McDiarmid.”

“I am very pleased to meet you,” Veklerov answered, holding out a hand. “I don’t believe I recognise your species,” he added, staring into Leela’s eye with obvious fascination.

“I, uh, don’t know what it is,” Leela replied, feeling a little flustered by the sudden attention Veklerov was giving her. She blushed and looked away. The pilot smiled and released her hand. “I was abandoned here as a child.”

“An orphan of the stars, hmm? How romantic.” Veklerov turned to Hermes, all business. “Now Conrad, you and I know that engine can run on just single motivator but the reason we have redundant coil is because of your own favourite regulation set Seven Three Twenty Six Space Flight Redundancy-”

“Oh don’t you go quotin’ regulations at me, McDiarmid. I know the regulations like a greensnake knows sugar cane and I know they also allow for the elective abrogation of sub-section seven in emergency situations.” Hermes glanced at Leela with another brief smile. “Losing a delivery boy is an emergency in my book. You can have the coil at the start of the next financial year, and not a minute sooner!”

“Assuming we haven’t exploded by then.” Veklerov muttered once Hermes was safely far away. He turned back to Leela with another, more confident smile. “So then, Sirochka... can I call you Sirochka?”

“I’d prefer Leela if it’s all the same to you,” Leela replied. But then she frowned. “What does it mean?”

“Cute little orphan. It seemed appropriate,” Veklerov said, lowering his gaze just a little. He gestured toward the ship. “The others are already on board, if you wish to interview them it will have to be during the trip. It is only a few hours, you won’t need to pack or anything.”

“Assuming we don’t explode?”


The pilot lead her up the gangway. As they approached the airlock Leela felt an unaccustomed flutter in her stomach, enough to make her pause on the threshold. She gazed up at the scarlet hull, staring at her face reflected on its surface, until Veklerov put a gentle hand around her arm.

“Come, Leela,” he said, guiding her inside the ship. The interior was dim and cluttered in a way Leela felt she wouldn’t have tolerated, but she could see a certain insane order behind the apparent randomness. Veklerov lead her up through the cramped galley to the bridge, just as apparently messy as the rest of the ship. Leela examined an open floor panel, pipes snaking from it across the floor to another access panel in the wall, and felt a vague disquiet.

“I’m not quite so sure about this now.” She turned to Vek, already strapping himself into the pilot’s seat as he activated the ship’s systems.

“Have you not flown before?”

“Cruise liners, passenger ships, that sort of thing. I’ve piloted sims and flown atmospheric, never in space.” And never in something so decrepit, she didn’t add.

“It is a great adventure,” Veklerov replied. He tapped the intercom on the flight column and leaned forward. “Crew to bridge for take-off please. So...” he turned from the column to Leela again. “You are here about the boy Yancy, eh?”

Leela nodded. “He’s shown signs of incompatibility with his assigned career. I’m assessing him for a career chip re-assignment.”

“Oh, my brother, he used to be a street sweeper, he tried one of those. After two months they came back and told him he’d be a mobile highway pollution monitoring and displacement officer. Then they gave him a new broom.”

“I’ve already heard all the stories, Mr McDiarmid.”

“Please, call me Vek.” The pilot leaned back as his remaining crew entered the bridge. Leela nodded to the young Asian girl – Amy, was it? - and then drew back in surprise at the sight of a cigar-smoking bending unit following behind.

“You really have a bender on your crew? What use is that?”

“I bend food into interesting shapes,” Bender replied. He pulled the cigar from his mouth-parts and examined it for a moment.

“You’re the cook? Well now I’ve heard everything.”

“Beats staring people to death, eyeball.”


“Ignore Bender, he’s got a bad personality patch,” Amy said as she ushered Leela toward the couch. She sat down with her and grinned. “I’m Amy. You must be Leela. Yancy said you’d be coming today.”

“That’s right.” Leela held up her clipboard and brought up her first interview form. “I’ll need to ask you a few questions.”

“Do I have to fill in any forms?”

“Oh, no, I do all that. You just have to answer as best you can.” Leela looked over the bridge and decided to put the clipboard down. She could see Vek looking at her with an odd expression on his face. “Perhaps after we’re on our way...”

“Amy, radio.” Veklerov frowned at his console and let out a growl. “And Amy, note in the log, number two motivator secondary coil off-line until repaired. Make sure you add that it was all Conrad’s fault in case they send the inspectors around. I’d have this whole ship stripped out and rebuilt if it were mine,” he muttered. He ran through a final check and activated the launch ramp.

Leela felt her stomach drop as the ship tilted back, and then a rather odd sensation as the gravity pumps came on-line, tugging her back toward the floor. She swallowed and looked over her shoulder at Vek, who just smiled and held up a thumb before concentrating on his controls.


I hate cutting off half way through a flashback but it would have meant making everyone read a hell of a lot more. And besides, if I tease this out longer, it'll give me  more chance to work on the rest of the story. big grin
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
« Reply #359 on: 10-21-2008 23:52 »

Nice update.

Leela's really suffering from her hangover.  Serves her right for mixing liquors.  She should know better than that. smile

Man, Neena's going to be majorly upset when she finds that her parents have been slaughtered by Evila.
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