Hey folks! Hereís another story that Iíve been working on. (Folks
here may recall that I first posted about this, looking for beta-readers,
something like four(!) years ago, as this here link
testifies. So that first sentence should really read Ďanother story that Iíve been working on since the Day Before Forever'. Anywhoo.)
My thanks to newhook_1, Zoidyzoid, SpaceCase, Boingo2000, Nurdbot,
Kryten, bender&fry, DrJohnZ, and anyone I mightíve forgotten. Short but
sweet (something familiar about that combo...
), and I think youíll
like it. Enjoy!
"And in This Corner..."
A Futurama Fanfic by THM
I've been watching the stars for like, a whole day
as we fly back to Earth, and that's the only thing I can think
The stuff that happened. The things she said. How she
never saw the most important thing of all. And how lousy I
We're far enough away from what used to be the
Tempis Nebula that you can't see that stupid black
hole anymore. Stupid professor and his stupid doomsday
devices. Man, it figures that the one whole time in my
stupid life I manage to do something big and showy
and romantic for a girl I like, it gets blown
up before she can see it and remember she saw it. It's
just not fair. I mean, what the hell else can I do? I
stick up for her with that whole extra-eye thing
(even when nobody else did), I help her dump that
awful Alcazar guy; I even learn how to drive the ship,
and use STARS to tell her how I feel, and what do I
get? Nothing; maybe a kiss on the cheek, but
c'mon, she's kissed *Bender* on the cheek before.
How much can something like that mean, if she does it
to someone she spends most of her time yelling at?
Of course, she yells at me a lot, too; I guess that
means that I'm not any better than some alcoholic,
foul-mouthed, klepto robot. (And that's coming
from his best friend!) She probably would've been
happier if I'd let those worms stay in my body - hell,
we'd probably already *be* married by now; we'd be
living together in her apartment, or a house even, and
we'd travel through space together. And at night we'd
come home and I'd cook dinner for her and play the
holophoner for her, and she'd eat and listen and
laugh and be happy. Only problem is, it wouldn't
be me she'd be in love with - it'd be the worms. I'd
just be along for the ride. I thought that was painful
when she turned me down then; this is a million
times worse. Maybe I should've given up then, instead
of pretending; it's not like I've done any better
since. I'd probably be a lot happier right now.
That's the one idea that's been going in and
out of my head all damn day. Up 'till now, I haven't
had time to think about what's happened; and the more
I do, the madder I get. Whatever trick he
pulled to get me to the altar has to be the lowest,
most irresponsible...and most painful thing he's
ever done. From a guy that does stupid, irresponsible
things on a daily basis, that's a real achievement. I
don't think I've *ever* been so humiliated in my entire
life - me, ol' "One-Eye", the original 31st century
Terminally Dateless Girl. Serves him right what
happened; idiot deserves it, after the way he
treated me. He just *had* to marry me in a
cathedral, right? Probably convinced me that it'd
be more 'romantic' that way; two people 'joining
their hearts' before the maximum number of people
possible - you know, for more witnesses, so nobody
could say they missed Philip J. Fry's ultimate
Jerk; I bet he even got Bender to grab the
crowd at the damn bus station again, the lazy, stupid,
thieving little -
Whoops; guess I didn't see that meteor coming. Great,
I'm so annoyed I can't fly straight. Dammit; I swear, this
is just like that whole fiasco with the worms - he
changes for the better, and all that happens is I end
up feeling like a moron. Well, maybe not exactly like
the worms; at least then he was acting like a gentleman
for awhile! Honestly, with all the stuff he does, it's
a wonder I don't smack him so hard, he wakes up in
*another* thousand years!
I think I'll just drive for awhile; it helps me to
relax, and I've got to calm down. Professor Farnsworth
would be mad if we ended up crashing - again.
I watch the stars as they stream past, and,
slowly at first, I can feel myself unwinding. I mean,
things *could* be a lot worse; we could still be
married. And even though it was a nasty trick, there
are worse guys I know than Fry who could've done
it - a certain fat, velour-covered gasbag comes to
mind, and I shudder. And he did aplogise; I know for a
fact that Zapp would never have apologised. And he wouldn't
have argued against me getting that extra eye, either; he
would've loved me to become 'normal'; that way, he could
say he'd 'conquered' me twice.
Fry did oppose it, though; and he defends me, even if he isn't
smart enough to do it right. Then there's the thing with that
sleaze Alcazar. Nobody else saw how miserable I was when I was
with him; nobody else tried to talk me out of marrying him. And
when he burst into the ceremony on the back of that
lizard...I'm repeating myself, I know, but nobody else
could've gone to such lengths to stop the wedding - nobody
else *would* have.
Then there's the worms. I know that they were parasites,
and that the only reason he got them in the first place is that
he was dumb enough to eat a sandwich from a truck-stop
bathroom vending machine, but still...he was so much better
then. He wasn't whiny or lazy or stupid or inconsiderate
then; in the space of a few hours, he became a perfect
gentleman - and he looked *damn* good, too. Part of me misses
that Fry, even now; well, especially now. The Fry with
worms would never have pulled a stunt like that; he
wouldn't have had to trick me into marrying him - I'd have
said yes at the drop of a hat.
But he was right in the end, the stupid jerk;
if it'd been me in his place I would've wanted to
check, too - whether I was loved for who I was, or
what some parasites had turned me into.
Maybe we could've made it work; I guess I'd have
been amenable to it, if whatever he'd done hadn't been
a trick. If he'd have done something wonderful, like save
my life or something, that would've made a big impression.
Less than that, even; if he'd just grown up a bit. Hell,
if he grew up a bit, he'd at least get a date. And while I'm
on the subject, there's that thing he had with Amy; you
couldn't call it a relationship - neither of them acted
like they were old enough to have one! And the minute she
asks for an iota of commitment, whoosh!; he's gone.
But then I bailed him out at Elzar's. I could've
left him to suffer, but I didn't. I know part of the reason;
despite all his faults, he's my friend, and even if he had been
acting like a pig throughout that whole Amy fiasco, having
to be a third wheel at the end of her Valentine's Day date
was too much. The other part...
The other part...I don't know.
Or maybe I do.
Two days. I didn't know that two whole days could go so
slowly. Two days since the time slips were fixed. Two days since
my message was destroyed. Two days since things went back to
'normal' - well, normal for here, anyway. Planet Express
is still here, still delivering stuff, so life goes on,
I guess. If you looked at us, you'd think the whole stupid
thing had never happened.
Leela and I haven't said two words to each other in two
days; that's different. I mean, she still orders me and Bender
around, but that's not the same thing; we always did kinda talk
now and then, even if she did end up telling me to shut up at the
end. And with the ordering; she still bosses me
around, but it's like she's distracted or something - her
heart isn't in it. I kinda hope that that means she's
thinking about all the stuff that went on, but I doubt
it; she made it pretty clear how she feels. I guess it was
always one-sided, you know?
That's what I'd been thinking for most of the last
couple of days; then I talked to Dr. Zoidberg. He's a pretty cool
guy, even if he does say goofy stuff sometimes, and cuts stuff
off that doesn't need to be and all. (Although we did forgive
each other for that whole Edna thing - I mean, it's kind of
hard for two guys to be mad at each other over a chick, when
the chick in question is dead!) We were talking about
junk and whatever in his office while he was poking
around in my intestines (man, I *have* to stop eating weird stuff
outta vending machines), and I thought I'd ask him - he's a
guy, right? I knew he knew something about women - I'd taught
him everything I knew, after all. Plus, Amy'd got him a book
called, "Women for Complete Morons", so...
But we were talking about women and stuff, y'know, and
in the middle of that, what does he come out with? Not much...
just that Leela *does* kinda like me! At least that's what she
told him. Something about she doesn't want to push me away, and
some other junk. When I heard that, I was like, "All right!
She likes me!", an' stuff. "My chances with her aren't totally
boned after all!"
Then again, maybe they are; see, there was this thing
she said when she said that other stuff. If I did it, maybe
we could get together. But it's tough, though, this thing
I gotta do. I've got to Grow Up. Be more, y'know,
Responsible. And Mature. More like an Adult, less like a
kid; take my life more seriously.
And I'm not sure I want to; I mean, life's pretty cool
the way it is...bumming around with Bender, cruisin' for
chicks, blasting around the Universe and having adventures.
Why do I wanna mess with that? It's not like my life's
gonna get any better; I'm stuck as a delivery boy,
forever. But then, I think about Leela, and then...I
dunno. It's like this new thought comes into my head; if
I can't have what I want most in the whole world, what's so
great about my life anyway?
And there's something else. I'm not sure what it means,
or even if it means anything at all. I'm not an expert at
deep meanings from people and stuff like that. And
it did happen pretty fast, too, so maybe I made a
mistake. It was the end of the day, yesterday; we'd got
back to the office, and were getting the equipment and
stuff put away. I came back from putting something
back, and that's when I saw it. Leela was on the
cargo lift, checking something with Hermes. I'd been
looking at my feet most of the way over, but when I
looked up, there she was, looking back. I dunno if she'd
been watching me the whole time or not, but she was
looking at me now.
I've had a whole day to think about it, and I'm still
kinda not sure what the look on her face was. It was kinda
sad, like she missed something. But it was more than that;
there was something else, I think - like hope,
too. She looked away really quickly, but I'm sure I saw
it. It was like she was saying, "Maybe", you know, but not
using words or anything.
So I'm gonna try - to grow up some, be a better
guy. It's not gonna be easy, and maybe I'll screw it up. But
I'm gonna try anyway; 'cause if that look means what I think
it does, then...maybe.
Maybe I do have a chance, after all.
------------------Fry: He was a good man, Leela.
Leela: Yeah...you were.
- Bender's Big Score