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Author Topic: Yet another newbie posting fic.... (and maybe eventually some art)  (Read 10281 times)
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« on: 04-09-2005 01:01 »
« Last Edit on: 04-09-2005 01:01 »

[Kif voice] Ah...er...hello. [/Kif voice]

Nervous?  Me?  Nah...okay, yeah. 

I'm calling myself Shiny.  It refers to Bender's third favorite word, and is also a reference to Firefly, another brilliant show cancelled by the Network that Deserves Not to Be Spoken by Name. (Not that this is vital info, but I wanted to assure Adnawun that I didn't steal it from her subject line. )

So anyway.  I have this fic.  My first Futurama fic, though I've written in other fandoms.  Comments are invited, good bad or indifferent.  Okay, the indifferent won't care enough to reply.  Anyway. I love praise but I want to hear the critical stuff, too. 

And so, without further nervous babbling...the story.

A Thousand Summers
by Shiny

“Leela,” Amy whispered, “wake up!  I need your help.”

Leela struggled slowly out of sleep. Am I still at work? she wondered.  She managed to pry her eye open. She had fallen asleep on the sofa in the lounge, watching the All My Circuits marathon with Fry and Bender. 

They were both asleep, too, one on either side of her, snoring in counterpoint.  All three of them were exhausted from the last delivery; no wonder no one had made it past Calculon’s second resurrection.

“What is it, Amy?” Leela said.  Fry’s hand lay flopped against her elbow.  Leela pushed it away and got up, staggering after Amy.

“It’s in the professor’s laboratory,” Amy whispered.  “I had a teensy accident with some of his equipment.”

Leela woke up fast.  “You called for backup, right?  Do we need to evacuate, or just seal off that half of the building?”

Amy shook her head.  “No, Leela, it’s not like that.  It’s just...something that needs some attention, and I can’t stay up any longer.” 

Amy’s eyes had bags beneath them - she looked like Leela felt.  “I thought you were going home hours ago,” Leela said.

“I was. I have to fly out and take two exams tomorrow, but I was looking for something in the lab, and I fell over some equipment, and while I was picking that up, I knocked over some beakers, and while I was sweeping those–“

“I get the picture.”

Amy reached the door to the lab, but held up her hand in warning. “Be careful going in - it keeps trying to get out.”

Leela nodded and strode forward through the opening door, looking for a hulking monster or perhaps a new variety of killbot.  But “it” turned out to be a small, hairy brown shape that tried to rush past her shins. 

Leela jumped.  “Hah!” she cried, leaping into a roll and coming up in a fighting stance.

“RARF!” said the creature.  It was small quadruped with a shaggy coat of fur, and a tail that whipped back and forth like Bender’s eyes at a circuit convention.

Amy blocked the door with her feet as it slid shut.  “See?  He keeps barking and scratching at the door.  Oh, why did the Professor have to fix his Clone-o-Matic?”

Suddenly Leela recognized the creature.  “It’s Fry’s dog!  The one we tried to bring back from a fossil!”

Amy nodded sadly.  “I fell and hit the Clone-o-Matic’s control panel.  I guess Seymour’s information was still loaded.”

Seymour - yes, that had been the dog’s name.  Seymour.  The creature recognized its name; it looked at Amy and gave a short little whine.  It looked at Leela as though hoping for something.  Then it sat down and sighed.

The sigh startled Leela.  It seemed so–human.

Seymour rose and walked a few steps toward the door.  His movements seemed jerky, uneven.  When he settled down on all fours, it seemed almost like a controlled collapse. 

“Is he all right?” Leela asks.  “He looks–tired, somehow.”

“That’s the problem,” Amy said, playing uncomfortably with her zipper pull.  “The Clone-o-Matic brought him back, but the youth calibrators weren’t adjusted.  It brought him back at the exact cellular age at which he died.”  Amy dropped her gaze.   “I...didn’t want to tell anyone else.”

Anyone else like Fry.  Leela suddenly understood.  “How long does...Seymour have?”

“I would guess an hour, not more than two,” Amy said sadly.  “Oh, Leela, what am I going to do?”

The dog was listening to them - Leela could actually see Seymour’s eyes shifting to follow their voices. His ears had twitched the tiniest bit when she said his name. When the conversation stopped, his eyes went back to the door.

“You are going to go home, Amy,” Leela found herself saying.  “I’ll look after Seymour until...”  Until he didn’t need looking after.

“Oh, Leela, thank you,” Amy said, grasping her hand and giving it a quick squeeze.  “I have to get some sleep.  But I couldn’t leave him alone.”

“No,” Leela agreed.  She felt awake now, alert enough to keep one little animal company in its final hour or two.

Amy tiptoed away and let herself out through another door; Seymour continued to stare at the near one. 

Leela sat down on the floor and looked at him.  “What a strange little creature you are,” she said.  She’d never had much contact with dogs, though she’d admired them from a distance.  Seymour reminded her of Nibbler, a little - not in appearance, of course, but something about his demeanor. 

Amy had put down two petri dishes, Leela noticed - one filled with water, the other holding half a sandwich.  Neither looked like it had been touched.  “You probably don’t have long at all,” Leela said.  “Poor thing.”  Leela propped her chin on her fist and sighed.

Seymour, eyes on the door, sighed too. 

The sigh really did seem full of dejected boredom, though Leela supposed she was just anthropomorphizing.

“Seymour,” Leela said.  The dog raised his head and looked at her, his tail giving a thump or two.  But he put his head down again.  “Come here, Seymour.”  She patted the floor in front of her.  That always worked with Nibbler.

Seymour stood, his hindquarters faltering a split second before they came upright.  He walked over to her slowly and sniffed her outstretched hand.  His tail began to swish back and forth. Cautiously, Leela reached toward his head and stroked it; the tail-swishing increased.  “I guess the tail thing means you’re happy,” she said. “Does your tail wag when you’re happy, Seymour?”  The dog wagged harder, hearing his name.

“Good Seymour,” Leela said, and patted her knee.  “Come and sit in Auntie Leela’s lap.  Nibbler generally prefers it to the hard old floor.”

But Seymour stopped his tail-wagging and turned toward the door.  “No, Seymour,” Leela said, but Seymour ignored her.  He went to the door and lay down with his nose right against the crack.

“Poor Seymour.  You must be a little senile.”  Leela remembered what Fry had said when he stopped Seymour’s cloning. “Seymour lived a full life after I was gone.   I'll never forget him. But he forgot me a long time ago.

Sometimes Fry could surprise her.  Carefree and impulsive, he drove her crazy getting himself into trouble which she had to get him out of; but then he’d turn around and be selflessly heroic, or show a mature wisdom that touched her heart.

“You’ve probably forgotten a lot of things, haven’t you?” Leela asked the dog.  “I’m glad we didn’t tell Fry.”

Seymour’s head shot up.  He stared at her with a fierce intensity. 

Leela blinked.  Was it because...? “Fry,” she said to him.

Seymour’s ears perked up, and his tail began swishing, hard.

“Fry?” she asked, not quite believing.  “You still remember Fry?”

Seymour jumped up–a wholly different movement than the slow, painful rise before.  He came to her in two trots and stood there, staring.  He looked at the door, then back at her.

With a growing suspicion, Leela held out the elbow that Fry’s hand had flopped against on the sofa.

The effect on Seymour was electric.  Suddenly he was sniffing her arm with a single-minded focus.  Leela kept very still, though his dry little nose tickled her skin.  He sniffed and sniffed the three-inch square of her elbow as if it were the world’s most fascinating object.

And then he sat down, and broke into a smile.

Leela berated herself for thinking that; she had to be projecting.  But the way the dog’s mouth opened and the corners tipped up looked just like a smile.  Seymour’s tongue lolled and his tail was swishing like crazy.

“Do you really remember Fry?” she asked, still not quite believing.  Twelve years was a long time for a creature so small to remember.

Seymour stood and then bent his front half to the ground, his forelegs spread out.  He gave a little yip. Then he stood again and barked out, “Row row row row row, row, roo rooo!”

It had a tune, and Leela recognized it.  Fry was always singing it - “I’m walking on sunshine, whoa-hoh.”  He’d said Seymour could sing, and now she was hearing it for herself.  In fact, Seymour sang it better than Fry did.

Seymour watched her face, then bounded over to the door and scratched gently with his paw–not a real scratch, but almost a pantomime.  Then he turned to her, looked at the door, and back at her.

Leela just stared.  Surely the dog couldn’t be communicating as clearly as it seemed.  So she didn’t do anything, waiting to see what he would do next.

After a long, silent moment, Seymour’s head drooped. He turned toward the door, moving as slowly and painfully as he had before.  He lay down again, and sighed.

Leela felt a lump in her throat.  Seymour’s previous sighs had seemed bored and resigned; this one seemed like the depths of black despair.

Stop projecting, Leela, she told herself firmly.

Still, Seymour seemed so...focused.  He sat before the door as if he would sit there for a hundred years.

A terrible suspicion occurred to her.  A hundred years–or maybe a thousand? 

Maybe only twelve?

Leela stood up, watching him.  Seymour kept his nose to the door, but his eyes followed her every move.  Slowly she approached.  As she did, the tail started swishing again.

She stopped a foot away.  Seymour’s tail slowed, then stopped.  He gave a little whimper.  Leela reached toward the door.  Seymour stood up, his whole body quivering with excitement.

Could it be possible?

Leela had to know.  Cautiously, she reached down and picked Seymour up.  It was a little awkward, but he let her; even licked her chin with his little, warm tongue once she had him settled.

Leela smiled.  “You are pretty cute.  But be quiet.  I’ll let you see him, but don’t wake him up.”

She opened the door.

Seymour’s nose strrrretched out, and she heard his quick, soft sniffing.  He “smiled” again, and she found herself smiling back.

She walked toward the lounge room, and Seymour’s nose was like a homing beacon.  It pointed the way before she made the turn, and soon his tail was thumping against her ribs with its metronome swishing.

When she came through the door, Seymour’s legs started moving, swimming in the air.  He made a frantic little sound.  “Shh,” she said, but suddenly Seymour gave a convulsive wriggle and squirmed free of her arms. 

Leela gasped as he fell to the floor.  His tired old legs collapsed under him, and Leela stooped to grab him, but Seymour was on his feet again with remarkable speed.  He lept away, toenails clicking on the floor, right towards the sleeping Fry.

Leela cringed.  Seymour was on a collision course, and she had no way to stop it.

But to her surprise (and this night seemed to be full of nothing but surprises) Seymour stopped just in front of the sofa.  He sat, tail sweeping crumbs from the floor in a little arc.  His floppy ears were closer to erect than Leela had seen them yet.  He raised his paw to touch Fry’s knee gently, and then sniffed where he’d touched.

Seymour’s whole body trembled–not with age, but with what seemed to Leela to be ecstatic rapture.

With a grace his age belied, Seymour leaped lightly to the sofa.  Again Leela cringed, sure Fry would wake up now.

But Seymour only snuggled up under Fry’s arm and buried his nose in the crook of Fry’s neck.  Leela could hear the dog sniffing, but a deeper, slower sniffing than before.  He stayed there, quiet and still, breathing in Fry’s scent.

“Oh, Fry,” Leela whispered.  “You were so wrong.  He does remember you.”

As she watched, Seymour’s pink tongue emerged and licked Fry’s neck, a delicate little kiss.

Fry twitched, then smiled in his sleep.  His hand slid up and rested on Seymour’s head.

Seymour’s quivering stopped.  He sighed once more, with the infinite contentment of a soul in bliss, and laid his head down on Fry’s lap

Leela realized tears were spilling from her eye and dripping off the end of her nose, and she wiped them away.  She could no longer doubt that Seymour remembered Fry, remembered him and loved him with a depth she’d never seen before. No wonder Fry had been shocked to see him on display, desperate to bring him back.

She knew she had to move Seymour, had to retrieve him before Fry woke, but she couldn’t.  She came closer and knelt beside the sofa, reached out and touched Seymour’s softly rising flank.  How could she take him away now?  He was aware of nothing but Fry, and she could not bear to separate them.  She left her hand on the coarse, scruffy fur, torn by dilemma.

And so she felt it, the moment when the short exhale was not followed by an inhale.  Even as she held her own breath, waiting, she knew Seymour’s next breath would not come.

“Oh,” she whispered.  “Oh, no.” 

Fry muttered in his sleep. His hand shifted on Seymour’s head, and his smile faded.  Somehow, though still in the depths of unconsciousness, he sensed something was wrong.

That spurred her.  Gently, but firmly, Leela leaned forward and gathered Seymour up, sliding the small, limp body out from under Fry’s arm.  As Fry’s hand slid away, he muttered softly and turned his head.

Leela got to her feet, Seymour held against her chest, and walked back to the lab.  By the time she reached it, her eye felt hot and vision was a watery blur.  When she got inside and heard the door slide shut behind her, she couldn’t control it any longer.  She set Seymour gently on the floor, then sat back against the wall and cried.

She couldn’t help it.  The enormity of it overwhelmed her.  “Seymour lived a full life after I was gone,” Fry had said.  What a horrible, cruel joke.  Not a full life, but a bleak half-life.  Leela had a vision of Seymour waiting, waiting with an forlorn patience for his best friend to return, until his tired old body gave out.  And Fry’s selfless gesture in letting him go had denied Seymour the one thing he had lived the rest of his life to see.

Leela cried until her head hurt and her nose was running like a faucet.  She didn’t know why it affected her this much.  Except that in the face of a love and loyalty as great as Seymour’s, Leela felt humbled.

“It’s not fair,” Leela said, holding her chest and staring at the small, curled body in front of her.  “What kind of cruel universe could do this!”  Silly question–the universe had done much crueller things.  But Leela always felt them harder when they happened to animals.  Animals were innocent.  No one could love like an animal, perfectly and unconditionally.

And no one could suffer like one.  Suffering as vast as that was too cruel to exist.

And yet...Amy’s mishap had brought Seymour back.  For less than an hour, perhaps, but finally, after a thousand years, Seymour had found Fry once more.

Maybe–just maybe–the universe wasn’t completely cruel, after all.

Leela sniffled and rubbed her eye with the back of her hand.  She looked at Seymour, curled up as if in sleep.  Somehow she couldn’t bring herself to put him in the recycler.

She buried Seymour beneath a loose bit of sidewalk on one side of the Planet Express building. Recycling the way they did it in his day.  Fry liked to come out here and sit, sometimes; it seemed fitting.

She finished just as dawn arrived, laying the little piece of sidewalk back in its place.  The next thing she was going to do was go home and give Nibbler about 36 hours of quality time. The thought of him waiting all those hours while she slept carelessly here on the sofa ate at her.  What did he do all day when she was gone?  She prayed he didn’t just stare at the door, waiting....

She heard a familiar yawn behind her and jumped.  Quickly she kicked the shovel out of sight.

“Morning, Leela,” Fry said.  “Whatcha doin’ out here?”

“Oh, nothing,” she said quickly.  “I just...thought I’d get some air.  How did you sleep?”  That was an inane question, but it just popped out.

To her surprise, Fry ducked his head.  “Not so good.  I dreamed about Seymour and woke up sad.  You remember my dog, Seymour?”

Leela nodded.

Fry smiled wistfully.  “I dreamed he was here, in the future, and he remembered me.  I could smell him and everything.  But then he got up and started walking away from me, and I couldn’t go fast enough to keep up.”  Fry shrugged, stuffing his hands in his jacket pockets.  “I guess I still miss him.”

Her lower eyelid felt hot again, and she firmly blinked the tear away.  Keeping her voice very even, she said, “I’m sure he loved you very much.”

Fry smiled.  “Yeah.  He was great.  But that’s what dogs were like.  Everyone else could turn away and leave you, but a dog would stick by you to the end.”

You don’t know how right you are, she thought, and felt a welling of sympathy for Fry, and anger at the universe that had turned his most generous, selfless decision into the cruelest thing he’d ever done.

Without thinking, Leela leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek.

Fry’s jaw dropped, and he stared in surprise, confusion and not a little wonder.  “Wow!  What was that for?”

“Just for being you, Fry,” Leela said.  Fry would never know about Seymour’s return, Leela vowed to herself.  Fry deserved to remember Seymour with happiness.

Leela turned and sat down on the sidewalk, just beside Seymour’s resting place.  “I thought I’d stay out here for a while,” she said.  “This seemed like a good place to sit and think.”

“It’s also a good place to sit and not think,” Fry said, carelessly flopping down in his spot.  “I do a lot of that.”

Leela smiled.  “That sounds good, too.”

They sat and watched the grey dawn grow paler.  After a while she realized Fry was singing softly.  “I’m walking on sunshine...hmmm, hmmmm....

She felt a tear trying to well up, and blinked it away, refusing to be sad any more.  After a thousand summers, Seymour was finally where he wanted - next to Fry, which wasn’t a bad place to be at all.  And she rested her head on Fry’s shoulder as they watched the sun rise.


Urban Legend
« Reply #1 on: 04-09-2005 01:32 »

Loved it. loved it. Loved it.

Starship Captain
« Reply #2 on: 04-09-2005 02:08 »

Awwwwww, that is so sad. :cry: Write some more soon!

Bending Unit
« Reply #3 on: 04-09-2005 10:22 »

Oh...wow... That's so sad!! And beautiful!!! Yay!!!! Someone's who's even more sap-tastic than I am!!! I love you!!! Whoo!!!

Sorry... but, wow!  I am a very happy, and emotional Layla right now, and we're always happy and emotional!

Urban Legend
« Reply #4 on: 04-09-2005 10:46 »

Layla, I think you left out a few exclamation marks  :p

That was very well written, Shiny.  I can't really think of much to critique... I guess it could have used a shot or two of comic relief... but I say that to everyone. Yes, there was more sap than a large maple tree, but luckily, that’s OK in small doses... kinda like maple syrup.  Where was I going with this?  Right. Excellent job.  Keep writing, and if this story is an indicator of your overall artistic ability, then we should all be looking forward to the EventualArt™.


Bending Unit
« Reply #5 on: 04-09-2005 16:36 »

Wonderful story Shiny! It was very well written and paced, looking forward to your next fic!

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #6 on: 04-09-2005 16:52 »

That was incredible.  You got me crying.  At work.  (I have a sneaking suspision people are pointing and laughing at me right now.)  Some advice though: like JBERGES said, a little of this goes a long way, and this story threatened to become overlong.  (It never actually did, but you had me worried for a second.)  Raw emotion like this works best when you don't stretch it on so much that people recognize you're trying to play their emotions like a piano.  And even then it's hard to pull off as well as you just have; listen to country radio for half an hour and you'll see what I mean.  (If I hear one more song about a dying dad... wait, where was I?)  You've done a wonderful job here, but don't try to make a longer story out of similar matter.

None of which detracts from the fact that this story was excellent, moving and honest.  Nicely done.
Starship Captain
« Reply #7 on: 04-09-2005 18:15 »

that's the kind of stuff that makes futurama more down to earth than the simpsons...

Space Pope
« Reply #8 on: 04-09-2005 18:23 »

Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahah!!!!!!!!  :cry: I have tears in my eyes really! That was so beautiful. This is excellent work! *Five thumbs up*.

« Reply #9 on: 04-09-2005 18:32 »

Thank you everyone! Your comments are most appreciated.  :)

Though I do have to clarify: I didn't intentionally write it to pull on the emotion strings.  Quite the opposite.  I wrote it because Jurassic Bark made a complete emotional wreck of me one evening right before bedtime (not even the episode, mind you; a transcript of the episode) and I literally could not sleep till I scribbled out the bare bones of the story above. 

I've got another story written that I'm still polishing; I think it's funnier and not quite as sappy (though still on the higher end of the sap scale--no fears, Layla50).  But it was written for the sheer fun of writing it, not as therapy, so it will hopefully give you a better idea of my standard sap and humour levels. 

But in this case...well...[Bender voice]Blame it on the episode, baby!  Yeah![/Bender voice]

« Reply #10 on: 04-09-2005 18:49 »

Awwwwww, man! Fantastic!
I'll forgive you for borrowing from the emotion of the episode, beacuse that was very well written. I went all teary too, it was great to see Leela's take on the Seymour thing. Hope you write some more soon, and some art would be great  :).

Bending Unit
« Reply #11 on: 04-09-2005 21:18 »

I think I have something in my eye...
Great stuff. I mean it, that was incredibly well written. Not too long either, but just right. Hope you'll do some more arty, written or drawn.

Bending Unit
« Reply #12 on: 04-10-2005 02:59 »

Great stuff, just like Ása said... Left me with a hard lump in my throat... DO write more shippiness... you get it well...

And you've made me to post... just like Layla... And thanks to you both I have become... A bending unit...


Bending Unit
« Reply #13 on: 04-10-2005 03:30 »

EXCELLENT! stay the course, my friend.

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #14 on: 04-10-2005 07:48 »

Wow. That was...amazing. Yes, it was full of sap, but it's acceptable when it's well-written sap, like that was. Like others have said, a bit of comic relief wouldn't have hurt it. You did have some gags in the beginning, but they sort of dropped out as the story got more intense...which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but neither are a few gags, here and there.

Well in any matter, that was great. I liked the last couple of paragraphs, for totally shippy/emotional reasons. It's as great as the rest of the story.

Wow...that was too much thinking for one day. That's not like me at all, to think. What can I do to make myself forget thinking altogether?

Who's up for some margaritas?

I apologize in advance to everyone if this post scares Shiny away. Um, Shiny, let me just say that I'm actually not quite this insane. I'm just sayin'...

« Reply #15 on: 04-10-2005 13:51 »

No worries, Gorky.  :)  Though I may be busy for a couple days, you will definitely see me again this week, barring major disaster.

Thank you everybody.  I never know what to say in response to comments besides "oh cool" "wow they liked it" and "thank you so much."  My limited social skills fail when commenting on comments.  So lemme just say...

Thank You So Much

...one more time.  :D 
say what now

Bending Unit
« Reply #16 on: 04-10-2005 15:28 »

Ahh, it was wonderful. I loved it... so well-written and... just really pretty. It made me feel better about Jurassic Bark too... now I can console myself when watching it by thinking, Well, in Shiny's fic, he stops waiting!

Starship Captain
« Reply #17 on: 04-14-2005 18:14 »
« Last Edit on: 04-14-2005 18:14 »

Wow!!! How did you...

That was really good. You made me ran to the men's room in tears (No joke) Thank god I have a cold now because everyone at work was looking at me. I had to tell them that I was out of Kleenex.

You sure hit my soft spot with your story. (You see, when I was 14 years old (wow that was 12 years ago) I lost my best friend. He was a big husky dog. I got him when I was 3 years old. I grew up with this dog. The day that we had to put him down (He was very sick) I hold him in my arms until he died. Even today it’s hard for me to talk or write about this.(I have tears in my eyes right now)When I saw that episode of Futurama, my t-shirt was all wet from the tears at the end. And now with your story, and the dream that Fry had... (Had a similar one the night that my 'Kimo' died)

Anyway, all that to say that your story was fabulous. Keep it up.

« Reply #18 on: 04-16-2005 13:09 »
« Last Edit on: 04-16-2005 13:09 »

I'm sorry about your Kimo, Nic.  Animals are something special.  There's a book called "A Dog Doesn't Lie About Love," and that's so true.  (Cats don't, either, but few people speak cat fluently enough to tell when they're saying it...so cats don't get as much credit for love as dogs do. )


Thank you again, everyone who's responded. It definitely encourages me to keep working. Speaking of which, I've been threatening/promising to put up another story and I finally have it more or less ready.  So here goes....


What Might Have Happened Next
by Shiny

“Please don’t stop playing, Fry.  I want to hear how it ends.”

Fry stopped and turned toward her; slowly, he smiled.

Leela smiled in return.  As he took his seat and began to play, the notes wobbly but the pitch true, the image formed: a sketchy Fry and Leela who turned to one another, joined hands, and kissed.  The simple tune seemed all the more bittersweet for the hollow way it echoed in the empty hall.  But none of that seemed to matter as much as the fact that Fry’s smile had come back.  It was there on his face so often, you ceased to notice it–until it went away.

Leela clasped her hands together tightly.  She’d stripped off her gloves; her sweaty palms had turned them clammy and uncomfortable.  It was good, too, just to feel her hands there, both of them reassuringly warm and alive.

She wondered how Fry felt about his. 

The hologram figures walked away, hand in hand, and Leela applauded–slowly at first, then as hard as she could.  Her claps resounded from the walls and the echoes made it seem, for a moment, as if a whole audience joined her in applause. 

Fry stood, and with great dignity, took his bow.  Leela rose, too, a standing ovation of one.  Then he crossed the stage and disappeared into the wings.

Leela stopped clapping.  A strange panic came over her.  “Fry, wait!

 Slowly, Fry leaned back around the curtain, his eyes wide.

 “Don’t go, Fry!  Wait for me.”  Leela edged out of the row to the side aisle and hurried toward the stage, cursing her narrow gown.

Fry came down the stairs to meet her, looking a little dazed.  He clasped his holophoner in both hands, like a weapon.  Or a shield.

Leela closed her hands over his.  “Fry...I want to thank you.”

“Uh...you’re welcome.  I guess.” Fry looked up guiltily.  “Leela, I’m really sorry I almost got you sent to Hell.”

Her own guilt panged her. “I’m sorry I cost you your robot hands.” His human hands, beneath hers, were locked on the holophoner in a death grip.  They were cold - but oh, so much warmer than the metal ones had been.

Fry shrugged.  “It’s okay.  I just wish I could have finished the opera first.”

“And I just wish I could’ve heard more of it.”  Reflexively, Leela’s hands went to her ears.

Fry stared.  “Hey!  You’re not wearing your robot ears!”

Leela smiled.  “No.  They’re in my purse.  I discovered my own hearing came back on its own, after the Robot Devil left.  Ironic, isn’t it?”  She grimaced.

“I guess so.”  Fry smiled sadly at her.  Then he straightened.“Listen, I–uh–I want to ask you something.”  He took a deep breath.  “Leela, will you go out with me tomorrow?”

“Yes, Fry,” she answered.  There was no decision involved; her mouth worked independent of any thought.  But she had no objection to it.

Fry’s smile went radiant.

Leela smiled back at him. And once again her mouth opened and spoke without any conscious decision on her part.  “Fry, will you come home with me tonight?”

Fry stared. 

As the moment of utter silence stretched longer and longer, she was tempted to laugh; Fry really did look cute when he was dumbfounded.    But she was more tempted to kiss him.

Well...why not?

She cupped his face in her hands and leaned in.  Leela half-expected something to interrupt them, as something always seemed to do; but whatever perverse forces in the universe always kept them apart must have been sleeping.  Their lips met.

Fry’s eyes closed and he made a soft, yearning sound; his lips trembled a little against hers.  The holophoner fell from his hands and bounced on the thick carpeting. 

Leela felt an overwhelming tenderness for him.  She didn’t know what she was doing until she wrapped her arms around Fry’s neck. Is this what it’s like to be impulsive? she wondered.  She felt her fingers ruffling Fry’s hair, realized she’d always wanted to.  She wondered why she never had before.

Suddenly Fry grabbed her shoulders and he pushed her away; Leela stared dumbly into his suddenly worried face.

“Oh, god, the Robot Devil did something to your mind, didn’t he?!  What is it, brainwashing?  Hypnosis?  Or–or some kind of hypnotic, brainwashing nanobot?  Leela, if you’re in there, speak to me!  I’ll get you back, I promise!”

“Fry, Fry!”  Leela grabbed his arms.  “I’m not brainwashed!  Calm down!”

“You’re not?” 

She shook her head. 

Fry’s brow furrowed in concentration.  “You didn’t eat anything Bender made tonight, did you?  I told him to keep his bottle of ‘confidence’ out of the concession stand.  I don’t need another panic like the last ‘Flight of the Bumblebee.’” Fry shuddered.

“I”m not drugged, either.  I’m not anything.” Concerned, Leela took his hands and squeezed them in hers, hoping to reassure him.  After a moment, Fry smiled tentatively back. 

Leela gave him a quick, soft kiss.  “Come on.  We can sneak out the back–I have my cab calling card, and I just replenished the minutes.”

Fry reached down and picked up his holophoner.  “Wait, Leela–I have to ask.  Is this a pity thing?  Because if it is, I’m okay with that.  Really.  I just want to know.”

In exasperation, Leela grabbed him and fastened her mouth on his like an airlock's seal.  He staggered and fell back against the stairs to the stage with Leela on top of him; the holophoner rolled down the steps and back to the floor.  Ruthlessly she used her weight to pin him down until his astonishment melted and he moaned with pleasure, wrapping his arms around her waist.

It’s true, Leela thought with wonder, and a mischievous delight.  I really do make him breathless.

She pulled away, laid one hand on his chest and smiled seductively at him.  “Did that feel like pity to you, Fry?”

He blinked up at her.  “Uh...maybe a whole lot of pity?”

Ooh!” Leela sat up and pounded her fists on her knees in frustration. What was she doing wrong?

“No, really.”  Fry sat up, solemn and earnest. “Leela, I’m probably being really stupid, because this is everything I ever wanted.  But I don’t want you to regret this later or anything.  I’m not any different from the times you said ‘no.’  I’m just the same clumsy, dumb, untalented Fry I’ve always been.”

Leela reached out to brush back a lock of hair over his ear. “You aren’t any different, Fry. But I am. I can see something different in you.”

“I don’t get it,” Fry said.  He ducked his head.  “You hardly heard any of the opera.  And I can’t ever play for you again.”

“It’s not the opera.”  Leela struggled to explain.  “You know how sometimes, when there’s something you can’t figure out, and whenever you think about it, you just get more confused–so you stop trying?  But then this one little thing happens and it’s all crystal clear.”

Fry considered.  “I know about that first part.”

She smiled ruefully.  “Well, tonight was like the second.”  Leela stood up and began to pace. “Remember on the balcony, when I said I’d been a fully justified, prudent fool? I realized tonight I was wrong.  I’ve only been partially justified.  And I also realized how sick and tired I am of being prudent.  If I have to be a fool, I’ll be a fool for something I really want for a change!”

She turned back to him, nothing but the simple truth in her. “And I really want you, Phillip J. Fry.” 

Fry’s mouth dropped open.  Then he said, “Excuse me a second.”  He stood up, faced away from her, and jumped, pumping his fists.  “Yes!  Yes!  Yes-yes-yes-yes-yes!”

Before tonight, that might have put Leela off, but now she just watched him fondly.  That was the other thing she had realized.  Fry would always be Fry–impulsive, feckless, and childlike, irresponsible about the little things...but utterly selfless about the big ones.  He’d never be the brightest star on the scanner, but his heart was as wide as the cosmos and good all the way through.   

And he loved her–not just wanted her for her body, or because he was desperate and single.  His love was really for her.

Fry turned back to her, beaming.  He squeezed her shoulders.  “This is for real, right?  Tell me I’m not imagining things!  You really want me, even without my robot hands?”

Leela nodded happily.  She felt as giddy as Fry was acting.  “It wasn’t the hands, Fry, it was what they helped me see in you.  That’s still there, even if they’re gone.”  She shrugged.  “Besides, they weren’t all that great.  I could never have let those cold, metal hands touch me...here.”  And she moved his hand about six inches lower...

 “Yo, meat pies!” roared Bender’s voice from the lobby.  “Get a move on, you two, the taxi doesn’t hover for free!”

“Oh, ice weasels!  Quick!”  Leela grabbed Fry’s hand and dragged him up to the stage–he barely had time to snatch up his holophoner.  Leela didn’t care.  She was not going to let them get interrupted again.  She towed him, stumbling, through the opera hall’s rear corridors and out the back door. Leela flagged the first taxi she saw and offered a double fare if the cabbie-bot got them to her building in under thirty seconds.

He did.

Out on the sidewalk, as the taxi zipped off, Fry turned again to her.  “Leela, I want you to know that this is most incredible thing that’s ever happened to me.  The only thing I could possibly wish is that I could play for you again.” Fry smiled gently.  “Just once.”

He looked at the holophoner in his hand, and sighed.  “But I guess that’s not gonna happen.”  He reached out and held it over a loose sewer grate.

The yearning in his voice touched her.  Leela reached out and stopped his hand.  “You know, Fry...you could teach yourself to play again.  In time.”

Fry grimaced, and his shoulders slumped.  “I already tried that.  I have stupid fingers.  Mrs. Mellenger said that to learn anything, I’d have to practice ten times more than someone with normal fingers.  One times for each stupid finger.”

“Hmm.  That is a lot of practicing.” Leela smiled. “But I know something that might help.”

Fry blinked.  “What’s that?”

Leela interlaced her fingers with his–his stupid, clumsy, wonderful, warm  human fingers–and drew him toward the door.  “You could do it sitting naked on my couch.”


Urban Legend
« Reply #19 on: 04-16-2005 13:31 »



DOOP Secretary
« Reply #20 on: 04-16-2005 20:14 »

Originally posted by Venus:


I sure ain't cleanin' this mess up...

Anyway, I don't know what to say about this. It was shippy, but not so much that it became saccharine. There were a couple of gags, but they didn't undermine the ship. All-around nice writing, even though it never would have happened on the show. (I don't mean that in a bad way, because fic doesn't need to follow canon completely...and, when the writing is as exceptional as that was, then some variations in things like characterization are totally acceptable, in my book.)

It's great to see that we have another talented writer around here. Can't wait to see what other writings (and art) you might have waiting for us.


Bending Unit
« Reply #21 on: 04-16-2005 22:43 »

Sometimes when I read good (especially shippy) Futurama fics, I get this very peculiar sensation running down my spine and my hands get slightly numb. (Everyone who's ready with a snappy comeback kindly shut their yaps!) So, I'm pleased to tell you that you managed to call it forth. And Big Time!

Like Gorky has already said, I can't quite see that happening in the show, but hey, what are fics then for? You also write wonderfully, so I completely accept that.

One thing was slightly bothering me, though. Fry's reaction to Leela's interest. Even though I can see Fry saying those thing ("The Robot Devil has brainwashed you!" ), you still think he'd actually push Leela away when she's kissing him out of her own free will? And numerous times, too? I can definitely see where you get it from, because he would never take advantage of Leela, brainwashed or not. I was just thinking of that other more primitive side of him that'd rather pull her in, if you get my drift  ;)

...I'll stop. Now, these were just some ponderings of mine, take them with a grain of salt. Besides that little thing, I just loved it. Continue soon, won't you?

Bending Unit
« Reply #22 on: 04-17-2005 02:48 »

That was nice... And I must say quite funny in the end... Keep writing...

Urban Legend
« Reply #23 on: 04-17-2005 03:27 »
« Last Edit on: 04-17-2005 03:27 »

Originally posted by Shiny:
Animals are something special.  There's a book called "A Dog Doesn't Lie About Love," and that's so true.  (Cats don't, either, but few people speak cat fluently enough to tell when they're saying it...so cats don't get as much credit for love as dogs do. )

I speak cat. It's not that hard. When they purr and make chirpy noises, and bump forheads with you, and rub up against your legs, and follow you around the house, and allow you to pet their tummy, and try to climb up in your lap, and sleep with you every night, and wait outside the bathroom door for you to come back out, that means they love you. It's all rather obvious. Unless i just happen to have abnormally expressive cats. I'm not much of a dog person though. If Seymore had been a cat i would not have been able to handle that episode. Hell, i had Anica in my lap the whole time i watched it the first time.

I don't know how long my cats would wait for me if i went away, but this one time Diego tried to rescue me from the bathroom when i decided to be mean and call to him for help while pretending i was trapped and couldn't get back out. He freaked. It was real mean of me cause he was only a little baby, i had only had him for a month or so. But he jumped up onto the hamper and scratched at the door and cried for quite a while. Then he gave up and walked away, but hey, at least he tried.

Urban Legend
« Reply #24 on: 04-17-2005 06:08 »

When they purr and make chirpy noises, and bump forheads with you, and rub up against your legs, and follow you around the house, and allow you to pet their tummy, and try to climb up in your lap, and sleep with you every night, and wait outside the bathroom door for you to come back out, that means they love you.

Sounds ta me loike yoo speak wimmins'.

I've actually only visited this thread just to make this smartass comment, so... I'll be off now.

« Reply #25 on: 04-17-2005 12:53 »
« Last Edit on: 04-17-2005 12:53 »

Originally posted by SlackJawedMoron:
 Sounds ta me loike yoo speak wimmins'.

Ha, ha...thanks, Sal.     :rolleyes:     :laff:

I've actually only visited this thread just to make this smartass comment, so... I'll be off now.

What?!  Get back here and read my new story, you!  Five posts up, go on...you heard me, no loitering without consumption of fanfic!


Venus: I speak cat, but some people don't.  Whereas dog is more readily understood by the untrained.   ;)


Thank you Gorky and Asa for commenting, and Venus for exploding.  :D (Yeah, okay, I'll clean it up...and I won't even grumble! )  I was hoping that it would strike people more as something that could have happened in the show, if, you know, they had ever finally resolved to getting Fry & Leela together.  But if I didn't succeed, then I didn't...no one's fault but mine.

What I was going for with Fry's reluctance is that sometimes, when you've wanted something for a long time - and almost achieved it only to have it snatched away time after time - when you finally get it, you are afraid to believe it's true, for fear it'll be snatched away yet again.  That's how I saw Fry in this situation.  After all, his opera failed miserably, he has no reason to think he's won Leela's heart anyway.  Notice he was perfectly willing to accept a pity romp from Leela, he just wanted to know if that's what it was...so he wouldn't be disappointed again by hoping for more. 


Urban Legend
« Reply #26 on: 04-17-2005 13:22 »

i got what you were trying to say. And for what it's worth i didn't see it as being implossible. That may just be my wishful thinking but nothing about it seemed off to me.

I like these shortish one-off fanfics. you should do missing-scene type fics for other eps too.

« Reply #27 on: 04-17-2005 15:04 »

Actually, I'm working on another one...(who, me? predictable?)

Urban Legend
« Reply #28 on: 04-17-2005 15:54 »

I forbid you to do the Sting! I have that one covered and you will not out perform me! Grrrr!! *insert threatening posture here*

« Reply #29 on: 04-17-2005 22:47 »

Don't have any ideas for that one, yet...no fear.  ;)

Space Pope
« Reply #30 on: 04-17-2005 23:15 »

Originally posted by Venus:


I was waiting for her to do that, really. Oh and nice story. Very good. *Thumbs up*.

Urban Legend
« Reply #31 on: 04-17-2005 23:27 »
« Last Edit on: 04-17-2005 23:27 »

*Reads Shiny's story*
*Reads Gorky's post*

And that pretty much sums up my thoughts perfectly.  Extremely well written, but not quite fitting with canon, which is perfectly fine.  I’m not one for an all shippy story, personally; I’m more of a shippy moment person, if one is to insert those sort of things. But that’s just an opinion, not a criticism, of course.
    I will add this, however; I will definitely continue to read what you write, because you show a lot of skill in what you’re doing.  I admire that, and I hope you keep it up, no matter what demographic of fans you’re pleasing. 

Starship Captain
« Reply #32 on: 04-18-2005 14:59 »
« Last Edit on: 04-18-2005 14:59 »

Hey that was great!   :)

I really like the way you write. (You really like to play with peoples emotions. I like it)

But I had that déjà vu feeling when I read it.

Maybe you should check this out and tell me what you think of it.


 Keep it up.

Bye for now.


Urban Legend
« Reply #33 on: 04-19-2005 09:19 »
« Last Edit on: 04-19-2005 09:19 »

What? A guy can't just swing by a fanfic thread, and not comment on said fiction, or render any kind of service to the author?

Well... it could depend on what service is requi- Bad EvilSlackJaw! Bad!


In any case, let it first be said that I am not a fanfic... um, fan, and that I'm not remotely shippy (shippiness can get in the way of teh funny, and often leads to appalling amounts of overaught melodrama, you see), so that you understand exactly where I'm coming from.

Now that that's out of the way, let me state that I believe this to be an acceptable effort. The writing never devles into annoying internal monologues or dialogues, it's kept in the here and now where it belongs (I slipped in a Star Wars reference. God I rule). You run through what appears to be a Shippy 'wishlist' (what every shipper desperately wants to happen deep in their cold, pitiless hearts) without making it overly sweet, and also made it just a little dirty... which brings me to my main criticism. I don't think Leela, even in her most impulsive of moods, is going to immediately ask Fry to come home with her (at least, not without an axe-murder spree, first). Yes, this is the culmination of years of pent of romantic and sexual tension,  but Leela's still, at heart, a pragmatist, who'd insist in doing everything right. Which, in this case, means slowly. Well, slower than that, in any case.

Fry, of course, takes any chance he can get, of anything.    ;)

So, yeah. Hope this post has been of some use/amusment to you. Now, release me from my fealty.

And one more thing...
He robbed from the rich
and he gave to the poor!
Stood up to the man,
and he gave him what for!
Our love for him now,
ain't hard to explain!
The Hero of Canton,
The man they call... Jayne!

« Reply #34 on: 04-19-2005 20:11 »

[River] Jayne is a girl's name. (smirk) [/River]

Thanks for writing in!  Thy duty is fulfilled, good knight. 

Thank you also swidzi, JBERGES, Spacedal and NIC.  I appreciate all comments.  Really.  (Hooray!  People are paying attention to me!)


I also have my other story ready...I'll throw this one out and see what happens.  I admit it's a response to some of the things I've seen people say about Leela.  It's a little tale I call...

The Other Side of Parasites
by Shiny

“I got rid of the worms.”

Leela stared in dismay at Fry.  “What?! Why would you do that?”

“Leela, I had worms.  I needed to know who you loved–them or me.”

Leela pulled the blanket higher, self-conscious of her clothing, or lack thereof.  It was silly - this was Fry, and Fry (worms or no worms) was no one to be afraid of, even if she were buck naked, let alone safely covered by the twelve square inches of fully opaque cloth in her negligee. 

And wasn’t his question a valid one?  Leela grasped at a straw.  “Well...which of you wrote me that sonnet?”

“I did,” Fry said brightly, and Leela felt her hopes rise.  “I think,” he added.  “It was probably about fifty-fifty.”  Leela’s hopes fell back, flopping sadly on the ground.  “But that’s how I really felt about you, I swear!”

Leela wanted to believe Fry.  One flopping hope lifted its tattered wings and struggled for the sky. But its flight was erratic.  “I don’t know....”

“Please, give me a chance to be romantic on my own,” Fry pleaded, and Leela felt herself beginning to relent.  After all, hadn’t the worms just made Fry...more Fry?  So now she was back with less Fry...but he seemed so sincere, so eager to please her.

He was holding out a baggie of oil, talking fast and desperate.  “–going to give you my super backrub, just like I used to give Amy when I was–”

Shock washed over Leela like icewater.  The last of her hopes, pierced by a bolt of mortification, died in terrible suffering mid-flight.

She snatched up the holophoner, and was mildly surprised when it didn’t snap in her fist.

Fry was oblivious.  “...and she always seemed to–” he finally noticed her. “Uh-oh.”

She thrust the instrument at him, not trusting herself to speak.

To his credit–or perhaps just his instinct for self-preservation–Fry left without another word.  Leela waited, her hands trembling as they clutched the blanket, until she heard his footsteps fade down the stairs.

Leela’s anger broke down.  She flopped over on the bed, buried her face in her pillow, and burst into tears.

She wept in hard, painful sobs–as usual.  When she cried, she wailed like a siren, choked and gagged; her eye swelled and turned red and her nose ran like a fountain.  She’d never been able to cry delicately, like a normal girl.  It was just another example of how she was mannish and unlovely and a freak, as the other orphans never tired of telling her.

Well, now she was alone and she could cry as hard as she wanted.   

She had almost believed him.

But then he mentioned Amy.  Mentioning another woman was bad enough–but he had also reminded Leela of how he acted when he and Amy had their brief little fling.

She's getting way too serious...She's smothering me....I'm not a one-woman man...

So, he thought of her the same way he did of Amy, did he?  Amy, who he was happy to have sex with, happy to give backrubs to...and then just as happy to break up with right before Valentine’s day. 

Amy, luckily, had bounced back unfazed, her emotions as brief and sunny as a tidal pool, and just about as deep. 

But not everyone was that lucky.

The storm of Leela’s tears finally slowed.  She rolled over and sat up, breathing in long, shuddering breaths.

“I’m an idiot,” she said out loud.  “I was there when he was teaching Zoidberg how to pretend to be in love.”

She reached over and picked up the flowers where they lay in the puddle of water and smashed glass.  “I just can’t believe I was dumb enough to think he’d be any more sincere with me.”

The lingering pain in her heart faded beneath the anger.  Good, that was how it should be. It was nothing to be upset about, just a nice day with a rotten, humiliating ending.  A typical date.  It wasn’t like it had been anything more important than a brief, insane moment of physical attraction.  It wasn’t as if she’d started to fall in love, or anything.

There was just one more thing to do.

Leela took a slip of paper from her dresser–the note Fry had given her after the staff meeting broke up.  I wrote this while I was waiting for you, he’d said. 

She hesitated, torn by a desire to read it one more time–then crumpled it in her fist as hard as she could.  Better not to torture herself any more.

She went to the bathroom and dropped the note and the flowers into the toilet.  As she watched the swirling waters carry them away, she sighed.  Not a one-woman man...too bad I’m a one-man woman.

* * * * *

Turanga Munda bustled happily into the living room of her home in the sewers.  “Look, Morris!  There was something in the net from our daughter’s toilet today!”

Morris looked up from his paper.  “A letter and flowers, huh? Another bad date.”  He shook his head.  “I don’t like the men Leela goes out with, sweetheart.  I’m beginning to think the baby girl we abandoned at birth to strangers has relationship issues or something.”

His wife looked up from the note, smiling, her lovely eye misty.  “I don’t know, Morris.  This one seems kind of sweet.  Read it.”

Morris took the note.

   Dear Leela,

   I’ve never been very poetic before, but I was thinking of you, and this sonnet sort of happened.  I hope you like it.

      For Leela

      I have seen the pearl-grey, dusty Moon
      Turn lustrous in the glow of Earthly light;
      And endless velvet black with starlight strewn;
      Yet I recall a far more lovely sight.

      I have seen blue skies grow thin and turn
      To violet satin, deep and rich and fair;
      Yet all their beauty only makes me yearn
      To see again a fall of twilight hair.

      I have skimmed event horizon’s edge
      And marveled at the thought of worlds beyond,
      And caught my breath in awe; but I allege
      They pale before a sight unparagon’d

      More wondrous far than all the gifts of space–
      Your beauty, courage, spirit, strength, and grace.

   With all my heart–
   Love, Fry.

“Pretty,” Morris said.  “But he can’t be all that great if she flushed it.”  He crumpled it again.  “Ah, well, I could use some more pulp for the paper-maker.  Some corrasable bond always strengthens the toilet tissue fiber.”

“No, wait!”  Munda snatched the note back and flattened it carefully, smoothing the damp folds.  “I’m keeping this one.  If nothing else, it’s a nice poem about Leela.”

She laid it on the curio cabinet with the other fragments of Leela’s existence.  It was times like this she truly regretted being a mutated monster too hideous to deserve a place in their beautiful daughter’s life.  She longed so badly to dispense some motherly wisdom.  Ah, well.

You know best, Leela sweetie.  But if I could, I’d tell you this one has potential.  I’d tell you you might want to give him a second chance.

Munda sighed, and went off to finish her dusting.


Urban Legend
« Reply #35 on: 04-19-2005 23:19 »

Hurray! Finally a story that refferences Parasites Lost that doesn't portray Leela as a cold-hearted bitch!

Starship Captain
« Reply #36 on: 04-19-2005 23:29 »

Awww.... how very sad.

Very well written shiny, all characters were in character. My favorite part was the end bit with Munda and Morris.

And since I read the other story but forgot to review it, I'll review it here...

I thought this one was actually much better than "The Other Side of Parasites" though both were good. I like he fact that you put the very ending of TDHAIP to the beggening. I especially liked the ending bit too, keep it up. Great work so far.

Drftwd Dragon

« Reply #37 on: 04-20-2005 07:21 »

“Look, Morris! There was something in the net from our daughter’s toilet today!”

lol, ewww, that's so gross! But so true.

Your writing is really great!

Starship Captain
« Reply #38 on: 04-20-2005 11:30 »

That was really good.

You made Leela cry again. (I love it when Leela cry!)
Btw, did you check out my version of what happens after the opera (You don't need to read the whole story, all you need to read is part 1) Tell me if you liked it.

Bye for now

P.s. Keep it up


Urban Legend
« Reply #39 on: 04-20-2005 11:43 »

NIC2001, is this some kind of round-about way of accusing Shiny of plagerizing? Cause i read part one of your fic and they aren't anything alike.
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