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Author Topic: Hooray! Not-so-newbie fanfic!  (Read 19838 times)
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Bending Unit
« on: 05-05-2005 23:14 »
« Last Edit on: 05-05-2005 23:14 »

Title as requested by Gorky. If I remember right. My last update is in the dearly departed thread here. http://www.peelified.com/cgi-bin/Futurama/4-000935-1/

Good timing though, with the quadruple cliffie. So tune in to the exciting conclusion, whenever I get around to writing it!

P.S. Heh, neat! The Kryten closed my first thread. Fun!

Urban Legend
« Reply #1 on: 05-05-2005 23:53 »
« Last Edit on: 05-05-2005 23:53 »

Oh...you went ahead and opened a new thread. Which makes the email i just sent you kinda ill-timed. Nuts to me! It's full of cursing. But the good kind.

I demand an update!
say what now

Bending Unit
« Reply #2 on: 05-06-2005 00:02 »
« Last Edit on: 05-09-2005 00:00 »

I knew the title was going to contain "not-so-newbie." Or at least, I hoped it would... !

Anyway, now I won't edit THAT post... I'll edit this one. I would now (I just reread some of the update), but I kinda have to get to bed. Yay for new thready-ness!

EDIT: Well, Gorky honestly covered everything there is to say about this chapter. But I promised I'd edit  :).

I really, really enjoyed this chapter. It's been a bit since the first read, but I do clearly remember getting choked up. Like Gorky said, you really did convey all sorts of truths in the mutant war. It honestly felt real. I feel like I could be reading this all in a printed award-winning book, of which there are millions of copies (all sold, of course  ;)). But it was beautifully written and sad, especially with the tinge of reality. If it makes any sense, I think it's the realest thing you've written for us.

The Fry and Leela scene killed me, of course. (Do come to my funeral). It was nerve-wracking, creepy, and sad at the same time. I could really see them struggling to keep their heads above the cold water and it even exhausted me a little (or maybe I was just tired!). But all kidding aside, you really got across the panic and resignation and struggle really well. It's making me sad just thinking about it *sigh*.

I know I'm missing like ten million parts, but I do remember your bits of comedic relief (though some of it was kind of sad comedic relief- strange!), and I do remember smiling sadly. But a smile is a smile, right? I'm sorry I'm missing so many things- these were the parts that truly stood out to me though. I thought they deserved lots of recognition  :D.

Anyway. I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY LIKED IT. It slaughtered my heart and put it on a mantle! In a really nice and gentle way, though. It was beautiful.

Urban Legend
« Reply #3 on: 05-06-2005 00:32 »

Layla, your thread was so awesome that Grandmaster Kryten descended from the monastery where he has been training in Wong Fu for the last year just to have the honor of locking it.

That's my theory anyway.  Also, you already saw my commentary for the last update, so I won't go on about it any more.

Also, do you check your e-mail every five minutes or what?

« Reply #4 on: 05-06-2005 02:49 »
« Last Edit on: 05-06-2005 02:49 »

so what does this mean your? BACK IN BLACK(hey it's a good albume and song).

cool cliffie ending for the last part can't wait for the next one.

and just wondering is it wrong that it took 20 minutes to figure out that they had closed your thread when i went to post...well this and to think that whole time i could have been eating a 2 footer pizza.

anyway it's good to know you have started a new tread and that your writing talents are still.....hhhmmmm whats the word..........BOOYA!!!  :D

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #5 on: 05-06-2005 06:36 »

Hey, you used my title! Neat (now I can take credit for all the teriffic stuff herein, right?  ;))

Anyway, I wrote this really long-winded review last night, but then I saw that this thread was closed while I was writing it. So, uh, yeah. That sucked. But, the good thing is, I saved it on my computer. So, uh, yeah, that didn't suck quite so much.

Anyway, here's my review...



Layla, the thing I like about your writing is how happy, sad, elated, sedated (yeah, it rhymes...ain't that neat?), and slightly jealous (in a, "Man, where did this girl learn how to write?" kind of way) it makes me. I mean, this last part is just the epitome of greatness, the perfect display of your comedic, dramatic, and shiptastic (comes right before "suspenshipping" in N-o-r's dictionary  ;)) writing abilities. It was sweet, good-humored (at points)heartwreching, jaw-dropping, tear-jerking, makes-me-wanna-laugh-and-cry-and-throw-a-party-all-at-the-same-time entertainment all the way.

Since it's the best way to go about it, I'll just review this amazing update section-by-section...

Okay, I must say that I like this whole Morris POV you had goin' on in this part. It was so down-to-earth and depressing and so well-written that it made me feel genuinely upset (in a good, "I can't believe a fic writer can do this sort of thing" kind of a way). It was so grim and everything--I just felt so bad for all of those mutants (which, again, is sort of pathetic...I mean, this is just some sci-fi cartoon fic thing...that couldn't be better if you tried).

The Nibbler thing was probably my least-favorite part of this update, only because I'm not really sure if telling a part of the story from his POV is working. Something in the writing seems sort of off or something. Maybe it's just the fact that a lot of introspection is going on, and we're just not used to seeing Nibbler thinking. We're more used to seeing him in that board room thing with the council of furry Nibblonians. I mean, as a solitary character, maybe he just doesn't work as well as others. Perhaps your writing isn't at fault. As for Zoidberg, he is a solitary character, and he offered some comic relief (as did Morbo...great writing there).

The next Morris section was...wow. If there was a part where I was near tears, this was it. I mean, it's really this poignant sort of thing, when you think about it. You were able to capture the human aspect of war, and make it so dark and deep and...amazing. Any writer who can devise this ludicrous sort of mutant war, and then follow through with it in a way that just makes my jaw drop is truly gifted. There were moments in this section that made my heart ache (especially considering how screwed up everything is in Iraq already (*shakes fists in Dubbya's general direction*), and how all of this wartime stuff is so relevant right now), and I'll get to them later.

You allowed for some comic relief with the next section, involving the "unlikely band of foiled escapees". You also made way for the drama, and again, worked the whole Zapp mojo thing. Kudos on making me laugh at a time when I felt so bad for fictional mutants and their lowly war.

There was also some comedy to be found in the next section. Bender and the Professor are, again, wonderfully written. And the tension...wow. I really loved how attached Chastity has gotten to Fry, and how she genuinely feels terrible about what is sure to happen to him. You're just so great at finding the humanity in each and every character, aren't you, Layla?

Oh, and now it's time for the creme de la creme, the icing on the proverbial cake, the...best part: the shippy! This is probably the best Fry/Leela writing you've done since...ever. They were so in character (Leela's POV is great, because you can see her devotion and all that warm, fuzzy stuff), and the emotion was, of course, top-notch. And, like most everyone else, I loved the song. (And Leela singing was so sweet.) Damn you, cliffies!

And, of course, the always less-than insightful quoting of the brilliant story!

“Gorilla?” came a confused murmur from someone in the crowd.

The necessary joke. This was so sweet and helped set up the anguish I later felt (again, how pathetic is that) when we found out the fate of this little guy.

“Did you find it difficult to become a massive disappointment to those who bore you?”

“I’m not a-”

“When did you decide to give up on all your meaningless hopes and dreams?”

“Uh, well, I-”

That's just funny. It's random and a nice break from all the tension. That's why it's called comic relief, dontcha know?

They say that the moments just before a battle are worse than the battle itself. Morris now knew that to be blatantly untrue. In a lifetime that could optimistically be described as wretched, Morris had done some hard, hard things in exceedingly unpleasant circumstances. He had never thought war would be one of them.

One of the best intros you have ever written, no lie. The truth in that is just...wow.

The mutants were still reeling from the devastating mistake as the agents coolly pressed the advantage. Despite the terror around him, Morris not afraid at present, he was wrathful. It was a strange word to describe his emotional state, but true nonetheless. His large hands trembled with the intensity of his fury as he thought of the wide-eyed youth Janice had asked him to protect, killed beside Morris in the opening volley.

And that was the part that got me. I don't know why that is. I guess it was the fact that you killed off a kid. And I can see why you'd do it, but...yeah, I'm not making much sense. Anyway...

Hermes seemed inclined for a good lament himself, but he was quieter about it, speaking more to himself than to anyone else. “Zombie Nana was right. I should have listened to her and stayed in the shack. Ever since I met Zoidberg I knew my life would be a series of unfortunate events ended by a highly improbable, ridiculously clichéd death.” He sighed heavily, "although I’d always hoped I’d have the pleasure of seeing Zoidberg die in the gutter first, after stabbing him with a shrimp fork.”

There's that Hermes wackiness We (and I'm using the royal "we", of course) all know and love. Great writing there. In character, too.

While there was some truth to the belief that it was her parent’s ludicrously exorbitant wealth that got Amy into Mars University, the vapid, cute, and giggly Amy was a serious student, especially when her professor was a hot guy. Her mediocre grades did not spring from apathy but rather from her passionate devotion to the noble cause of ticking off her parents. The intern had come to the conclusion that rebellion was the key, or at least one of the keys, to lasting youth. Familial closeness was a sacrifice she was willing to make for flawless skin and a perfect body.

As N-o-r said, Amy's POV is really interesting. It was also funny, in a weird sort of way.

‘You’re a hero, she whispered tenderly to him in her spirit, hoping that somehow his own spirit could hear it, ‘and we’ll never forget it.’

That ties in with that thing I was talking about earlier. I love how you showed her humanity in that scene. And her attachment to Fry is just so great. Again, a lot of heart and truth and...good writing...ness.

“This just in: we’re boned!” he called cheerfully as he flew by.

Those sort of Bender lines are always just funny to me. Great job there.

After a few seconds, Fry let his head tip sideways to rest on hers. Leela relaxed against the friendly intimacy, shifting her head just slightly so that wet red hair wasn’t poking her in the eye. It was such a childlike position for him to be in, and feelings of protectiveness rose up in her again.

“You’re exhausted,” she whispered, though she was no less so.

“Leela?” he began softly after some time had passed.


“Where are we?”

The quiet question caught Leela’s attention. “Don’t you know?” she asked, keeping her voice level.

“No,” he replied blearily, eyes closed. “We’re in trouble though, aren’t we?”

“Yeah,” she replied, staring over the dark waters.



“I’m sorry.” Fry sounded so repentant.

“For what?” she asked, keeping her voice gentle, as though he were a small child looking for comfort.

His brow furrowed in confusion. “I don’t remember. Whatever I did to get us in trouble this time.”

Leela’s breath caught, but her voice remained steady, even though the effort cost her dearly. “It’s not your fault, Fry. You did everything right.”

The redhead frowned in uncertainty, “I did?”

“Yep,” Leela said firmly, not wanting him to doubt her sincerity.

“Oh… well, good then.” He leaned heavier against her, clinging to her now as the water splashed his chin.

This moment is the perfect example of how well you can write their friendship. And there's so much love in that scene that it's overwhelming.

“This isn’t really the best time, but we’re running out of time. Leela, I want you to know…that you are my sunshine.”

What a silly thing to say.

Emotion choked her. Denial of their fate mixed with fear and sorrow, and a desperate desire to hold Fry, to tell him it would be alright, that they would be alright. He was still looking at her. Leela tried to joke; it was all she could do.

You're really doing a great job capturing Leela's desperationg and--dare I say it?--love here. It's always hard to get the ship in from Leela's POV, but you pulled it off, seemingly effortlessly, here.

Leela’s lungs heaved involuntarily, trying to suck in air, and after a few seconds, she could no longer control the need to breathe. As she sucked in nothing but black water, she clutched at Fry’s legs. Reaching up, she gave his hand one last squeeze. I love you and goodbye. You were my sunshine too, Fry.

Same thing here. Beautiful writing.

Oh yeah, and Fry's drifting in and out of the sort of delerium was really creepy. Mind you, it was a good kind of creepy, but I just felt so bad for him.

Wow, this is probably the most coherent I've ever been. I'm not strange anymore! I'm not a psychotic, schizophrenic, wannabe-maverick! And it's all your fault, Layla! (I don't know whether to thank you or kick you.)

Anyway, this was just brilliant. I can't wait to see how you all wrap it up.


So, yeah, that's my review thingy. This has got to be the best part you've ever written, if only because it showcases every aspect of your writing ability (and some we haven't even seen before). Like I said, can't wait to see how this all wraps up.


Bending Unit
« Reply #6 on: 05-06-2005 13:37 »

welcome back, layla, huge update. thrilling, and above all, you kept all the characters together in the same chapter. i recalled back the plot.. great work! how many words is it? i don't know how can you write such a long fanfiction 

Delivery Boy
« Reply #7 on: 05-07-2005 01:12 »

I've been reading this story all afternoon! It's so good!!! I love it! I want more! NOW NOW NOW! Haha!

Bending Unit
« Reply #8 on: 05-07-2005 12:14 »

NIC: Here you go, have a mint! Sorry to worry you. It amuses and flatters me no end that you turned off your phone to read my story in peace. Thanks dear! (Oh, and nice to see you're getting a following of your own story!)

Nerd-o-rama: You are entirely too good to me, really! I see you have a way with words your self... perhaps you might but that talent to use someday.  :flirt:

Saving Private Morris :   :laff: Cute! Love the titles, really. I did think of using leg mutant somehow, and you're right, that would have worked really well, especially without the laughs. I think I'm gonna change that. Sorry, Bertie! I really wanted to emphasize the futility of the mutant's fight. Heroism happens in war, but more often the heroic types get killed before they can really do anything at all.

Creature Feature: Well, I agree with you. Nibbler has been the bane of my writing existance ever since I first wrote him. The only time it seemed to work was during that council scene, and that's a distant memory to me now. I'm actually thinking of experimenting with Gorky's idea and never or almost never writing from his POV. It'll be a major rewrite, but if it works better, it'll be worth it. (Of course, you and I understand the challenge this will present in future stories... ;))

Try humming Beethoven's Fifth: I was just reading HGTTG last night. When I hit the airlock scene, I was thinking of you. Part of the fun of writing in an omniscient way is exploring everybody's motivations and Amy's a bit mysterious that way... 'cause as far as we've seen, there's not much there.

Suspenshipping: You should create a shipper dictionary: "From Awwwww to Zoo's with Taipers"
You know I alway kinda figured it would be Cubert who would get offed, but now... Ah well, you knew the Professor would get somebody killed eventually.

Mortal Peril: I like drama... as you may have noticed. Still, it is beyond comforting for me know you enjoyed it, 'cause somebody's got to keep my rampaging treacle in check, and you're pretty good at it. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

It's nice to be popular, but hard to say goodbye to my old thread.   :(

Ol'coot: Thank you! I have no idea how I do that, but I suspect it's largely illusion. The mind just skims over the less interesting parts you see. Thanks for your support.

AsaB:The next part should be up tommorow... or Venus will be sad. Sorry about all the cliffies, well, actually, I'm not so much sorry as I am enjoying the power trip. So very unCanadian of me. My next update will let you off the hook for some of the characters, but not all of them.

You're a wonderful reviewer, thanks so much, and you keep me going, really!It always amazes me the emotional responses I get. I'm too close to the story to see it really. After all, I know what's gonna happen.   :evillaugh:

Well, that does it for the old thread reviews. Goodnight sweet threat, may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
I'll edit replies to the new thread in a while.

Urban Legend
« Reply #9 on: 05-07-2005 13:43 »

Gorky... I think that was the most thorough review ever. Wow. 

Layla, what else can I say?  This time I got a little peek into your manufacturing process before the shiny new product was released, and for that I am all the more impressed.  What I thought was good the first time around was skillfully amplified in this draft.  I was glad to see you took some of my suggestions, but was even more pleased that you took it upon yourself to add a couple more lines and scenes which helped to make the whole installment more seamless and enjoyable.  Excellent work (you know which parts I liked already).
Shippy Mandy

Bending Unit
« Reply #10 on: 05-07-2005 14:08 »

Wow. This part was, overall, one of the best...the "Mortal Peril" part came close to making me cry. That's saying something...kudos. You get a pizza trophy.

Starship Captain
« Reply #11 on: 05-07-2005 14:16 »

Wow a mint. Taste good. Thanks Layla.  :) 

I can't wait for your next part.

Originally posted by *Layla*:
*It amuses and flatters me no end that you turned off your phone to read my story in peace.*

Well that day was hell. The phone did not stop to ring at all. I was about to throw it out of the window but I did not want to be on the front page of the newspaper.

(Newspaper Top Headline: Enraged young men throw phone thru 6th floor window and kill innocent bystanders waiting for the bus. 6 pages of photos of the poor broken phone. Bottom Headline: Prime Minister Paul Martin declares that he’s a moron.)  :p   :laff:   

So I just turn the damn thing off and read the rest of part 49.

I just wish that it will not be that mad next week or I will go crazy.  :hmpf:

Bye for now.

« Reply #12 on: 05-07-2005 16:06 »

I really am writing a longer review of the whole piece.  But just had to drop another comment.  The latest section is well worthy of all that lead up to it, and that's a heck of a lot of worthiness.  Fry apologizing for whatever he did wrong was a heartbreaker, and so was Leela's reply to it.  How do you keep outdoing yourself like that?  I'm in awe...

Delivery Boy
« Reply #13 on: 05-08-2005 16:38 »

Well, it took me since just after midnight on the 6th, but I finally finished reading.

Really loved it.  Sorry to people that said interesting things along the way, I really started skipping reading everything but the story after about page 10.

As for the story, I really loved it, it kept me reading.  I was quite sad when my internet died around page 12, and I couldnt get it back for about 12 hours.

Through the sad parts I was doing OK until I got to Fry's mom singing 'You are my sunshine'  That brought a tear to my eye.

Great story, cant wait for the end.  Sorry I was around for more of the ride.

Delivery Boy
« Reply #14 on: 05-08-2005 18:40 »

Greatings Layla just wrighting to tell you that this chapter was buuku sweet. And to tell you that I have started work on the sequel to fry's destiny and that chapter one is about his triumphent return to his new home world called Ka Tai so when i get through with it give it read and tel what you think eather by e-mail or by post. later day's

Bending Unit
« Reply #15 on: 05-08-2005 22:28 »

Ah, darnit! I had so hoped to get an update tonight in honour of the joyous anniversery of the momentous occasion of Venus' grand entrance into the world. I can't think of any more prepositions right now. Update tommorow though! It will be all the better for not being rushed.

Anyhoo... hipy papy bthhthdday, Venus!

Urban Legend
« Reply #16 on: 05-09-2005 04:19 »

That's okay, late Shippy birthday present is better than no Shippy birthday present.

« Reply #17 on: 05-10-2005 18:52 »
« Last Edit on: 05-10-2005 18:52 »

Venus, you're a Taurus, too?!  No wonder we've been having hive-mind syndrome...   ;) 

Happy Birthday, girl!

Urban Legend
« Reply #18 on: 05-11-2005 03:33 »

*points at Shiny* And i shall call her...MiniMe. And she shall live in my pocket.

Layyyyyla where are you?!

« Reply #19 on: 05-11-2005 15:11 »

That's actually a pleasant thing to contemplate on one's ****ieth birthday (number censored to preserve illusion of carefree youth).

Yeah, Layla, speak up.  You can still come say hi, even if your update isn't ready yet...

Bending Unit
« Reply #20 on: 05-11-2005 22:03 »

(a mysterious figure slinks cautiously into the thread)

MF: (clears throat softly)
MF: Erm... hello.
(longer pause)
MF: It seems that I have... erm...
(guilty pause)
MF: ... broken my promise...
(longer guilty pause)
MF: a birthday promise.
(Mysterious figure hangs head in shame and speaks almost inaudibly)
MF(Sincerely): I'm sorry.
(MF gathers itself together uneasily)
MF: I have a confession to make.
(MF looks back and forth warily)
MF: I had never actually read the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I played the online game, and I've heard a wide variety of selected quotes, but I had never read the books before.
(Voice of MF becomes filled with dread)
MF: On Sunday, I recieved a gift... the entire triology. It began innocently enough...
(Voice of MF speaks of shattered innocence and the weary beginning of jadedness)
MF: I said, well, I'll just flip through a couple of pages before diligently working on Venus's birthday present. There's no harm to that, is there?
(In the distance, the howling laughter of nerds everywhere is audible)
MF: Halfway through the first book, I hauled myself out of the universe long enough to write a rough draft of Part 50. Very good, I said to myself, now I'll clean it up a bit and post it on the morrow.
(MF shakes head in recrimination)
MF: But first, I will finish this book. So I did, and went to bed, and woke up, and said, I will just read a few pages of the next book, that will be lovely, won't it? Then I'll finish up that update.
(MF bangs head violently against a wall, then slumps dizzily to the ground.)
MF: I will skip ahead. Now, I have read the entirely trilogy (of 5 books for those of you not in the know) and still feeling a bit Marvinish at the ending. Sigh...
(MF jumps to its feet) Right then! I started looking at my update. It was rough, it was short, it was unworthy of a gift for the lovely Venus. I was shamed. I also couldn't decide which
perspective to start the update... Munda? Nixon? someone else entirely?
(MF begins to edge towards the exit)
MF: So, I'm writing again, and ruing not having read the books before, and ruing not having not read the books now, since I'm still geeking out over them. But I'm working on the update now, and it will hopefully be worthy of the lovely Venus and Shiny and Gorky and Say What Now and JBERGES and N-o-r and everyone else not currently hurling pitchforks at my windows. For those of you that are... could you stop? Thank you.
(MF tosses a novel over its shoulder callously and bows to the unseen audience. It hits a large button marked, "reply". Then, looks slightly to the left of the new message: Layla50

(Layla scrambles away into the night.)  :)


Urban Legend
« Reply #21 on: 05-11-2005 23:10 »

Even when she's not writing a story, she's brilliant.  Also, she miraculously manages to read even faster than I do.  Well, congrats on becoming Guide acquainted (now just go see the movie...I'm going to tomorrow night,) and don't forget your towel.

Ah, my ridiculously circuitous plan is one quarter complete!  Now to get her hooked on Discworld...three dozen novels and counting. BWAHAHAHA!  Oh crap I'm cackling out loud again.

« Reply #22 on: 05-12-2005 02:10 »

lets see Pitch forks,guides to the universe and broken birth-day promise.

sounds like it would make a good movie.

Urban Legend
« Reply #23 on: 05-12-2005 05:14 »

I guess i can understand. Truth be told, i never read Hitchhicker's either and i am now halfway through the first book after having seen the movie last Sunday. I only have the first book though. And shouldn't a five part series technically be a quintilogy?

Urban Legend
« Reply #24 on: 05-12-2005 07:56 »

You're not supposed to point that out.

Starship Captain
« Reply #25 on: 05-12-2005 10:03 »

Originally posted by Nerd-o-rama:
Even when she's not writing a story, she's brilliant.  Also, she miraculously manages to read even faster than I do.  Well, congrats on becoming Guide acquainted (now just go see the movie...I'm going to tomorrow night,) and don't forget your towel.

Ah, my ridiculously circuitous plan is one quarter complete!  Now to get her hooked on Discworld...three dozen novels and counting. BWAHAHAHA!  Oh crap I'm cackling out loud again.

And that pretty much sums up my thoughts exactly. Though I will have to wait some time for the movie...

 Also nice to finally find someone else who reads Terry Pratchett. All hail Discworld.

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #26 on: 05-12-2005 12:06 »

Originally posted by Venus:
And shouldn't a five part series technically be a quintilogy?

<Taps Venus' on the shoulder>
Psst... that's part of the joke.  :rolleyes:

Urban Legend
« Reply #27 on: 05-12-2005 12:37 »

ooooooohhhh. Right...right. I knew that.

Bending Unit
« Reply #28 on: 05-12-2005 23:21 »

Happy belated birthday, Venus! A whole fic, just for you, knocked off in four hours. Enjoy! Ignore typos!
It ain't a great plot, cause I can't squeeze interesting plots into short stories. Anyhoo, enjoy, or not, my first short Futurama fic. First complete one too, now that I think of it.

Misery Loves Company

   Leela was having a thoroughly miserable day. When she’d opened her eye that morning to the most radiant, glorious sunshine bestowing a loving blessing on the Earth from its cozy spot in a perfect azure sky, Leela had known without a shred of hope that it was going to be a personal record setting day of misery.

   She was late getting up thanks to Bender. He had come barging into her building last night and pounded on doors until Leela had staggered into the hallway, less dressed and more disoriented than she preferred to be in a public space. After the hoots and scandalized cries from her neighbours faded a bit, she realized Bender had zoomed into her apartment and slammed the door.

   Leaving her to the tender ministrations of Mr. McGertchem, who had been trying to get the cyclops into his apartment since she’d moved in.

   “Looks like you need a place to stay, toots,” he’d said slyly, sending a rancid blast of warm cabbage-scented breath into her airways. She’d been entirely too occupied choking on the fowl fumes to prevent him from pinching her backside and only thoughts of how long it had taken for her to find her homey, affordable apartment had prevented the cyclops from sending the sleazy landlord out the nearest window.

   “I’m fine, thank you,” she’d said in an acid-laced voice that promised pain. The two functioning brain cells in McGertchem’s head got together for a friendly conversation and after a lengthy debate, decided that life slightly outweighed the consequences of copping a feel. They sent the slovenly landlord back into his apartment.

   A cantaloupe-sized glare sent   the other gawkers grumbling back to their beds, leaving the bleary-eyed cyclops alone in the hallway. One problem down.

   Leela turned her attention to problem two: the robot.

   “Bender!” she hissed softly, not wanting to draw anyone else to the humiliating scene. There was no vocal response, but Leela heard the all too familiar sounds of someone rifling through her cabinets looking for liquor.

   “Bender!” she called again, the hiss morphing in to a growl. A gleeful chuckle told her he’d found her locked cabinet.

   “Bender!” she cried, thumping a furious fist against the door and hurting her wrist in the process. A shattering of glass accompanied a bubbling laugh.

   Leela squeezed her eye shut and took a slow, steadying breath. “All right,” she whispered, “we can play this your way.” Her eye opened into an intimidating slit. “You’re going to let me in by the time I count to three or I’m going to tell the robot Preacher that you’ve decided to take a vow of poverty… a binding vow of poverty.”

She hadn’t quite got the word ‘one’ out when the door flew open and she was dragged inside.

   “You humanoids, always getting worked up over little things.” Bender muttered, tossing her long-saved hope chest champagne bottle over his shoulder to shatter on Leela’s formally pristine floor.

   ‘If I scream, someone will call the police,’ Leela thought darkly. ‘Not because they care if I’m being murdered, but because I’ve interrupted their evenings.’ She contemplated Bender silently. ‘If he screams, someone will call the police. They will come and throw me in prison,” she took a slow step towards Bender, who had flicked on the TV and settled heavily on her couch, breaking the springs. “…and I will have peace and quiet.’

   Bender’s highly sophisticated self-preservation circuits alerted him to the eminent threat to his continued existence. It was time for action. “Zapp Brannigan’s added a new video to his website,” he said easily, not turning to look at her. Calculon had just been caught in a thresher. Well, his stunt-double anyway.

   This had the desired effect. “What?!” Leela shrieked, dropping the microwave and heading for her internet hook up.

   “Don’t worry,” Bender breezed, “It’s not your body. She looks pretty good for a flesh-based life form.”

   Leela hauled the VR helmet off her head and let it slip through her nerveless fingers. She opened her mouth up to protest when sanity once again caught up with her. It was pointless. It was always pointless. Breathing raggedly at this point, she once again approached Bender.

   “Bender? Why are you here?”
   He didn’t respond. Leela turned off the TV.

   “Bender?” she began. 

   “I didn’t do it,” he began.

   “Ah,” she murmured, understanding. “Out.”

   “I need to-”

   “Out,” she commanded in her best Captain Voice.

   Bender was unimpressed.

   “Robot Preacher!” she snarled. Pouting, which is a neat trick for a bending unit, Bender slowly headed for the door.

   “You know, that Preacher thing isn’t gonna work forever,” the robot pointed out helpfully.

   “Will it work now?” It wasn’t so much a question as a threat.

   Positively sulking, Bender muttered, “yes,” then left.

   Of course, if Leela had been on top of her game she would have realized that her convict coworker had capitulated far too easily, but her head had just delivered a spitting headache out of the nightmares of bananas everywhere and Leela wanted only to get to bed.

   It wasn’t ‘til the morning, late morning, therefore, that she realized that he’d made off with her alarm clock…. again.

   Leela had lost four alarm clocks before she nailed down the culprit. She’d lost five more since, and she expected to lose many more before she understood why, if she ever did. Bender had shrugged saying, “It doesn’t matter; it’s gone now, and it’s never coming back.” Offended, the PE captain had forced him to buy her a new one. She hadn’t even tried for four clocks; there’s no bending an unbendable girder. Well, she couldn’t do it anyway. Leela had liked the new clock, cheap as it was, and she’d enjoyed it for the two days she’d had it.

   Sometimes, even highly successful spaceship captains had to surrender.

   Leela had leapt out of bed, forgone her shower and skidded into the kitchen, frantic to feed Nibbler. She didn’t find him however; the little creature was prone to disappearing, especially when he was hungry. The cyclops didn’t know how he escaped her apartment, but locked doors didn’t seem to mean much to her insatiable pet. Leaving a tin of Kibbles and Snouts for Nibbler, Leela grabbed her jacket and headed for the door. Nibbler would be back; he always came back, generally dragging a puppies’ distraught owner behind him.

   Things hadn’t gone much better at work. Leela’s late arrival meant astonished stares and critical whispers would follow her for at least a week, and Fry would follow her around for at least two weeks, acting all concerned and generally intruding in her personal space.

   Except, this time, he didn’t.

   The Professor had been building his ranting strength in the angry dome, and it showed. He lambasted her mercilessly for more than thirty minutes, not counting the five minute break when he’d slumped exhausted into a chair. No one was particularly sympathetic of course. If anything, they were less sympathetic then ever, whispering and casting glances at her. ‘If they wanted to say something, they should at least insult me to my face,’ she thought bitterly, ‘rather than sneaking around like this.’

   Amy raked her two, perfectly adorable eyes, down Leela’s clothing, saying nothing. Fed up with the intern’s criticism, the cyclops lashed out with a vicious tirade of her own that was met by stunned silence.

   For the rest of the day, no one said a word to her unless it was business oriented. Fry in particular, seemed to want to avoid her, even after she’d bit the bullet and apologized for her irritability, he didn’t talk to her. First, it rankled her, then it worried her, then it annoyed her. As they took off for the day’s delivery, Leela wanted nothing more than to buy a new alarm clock and go home.   

   In following with the rest of her day, the delivery was a comedy of errors. That wasn’t particularly unusual. They went on a tour. That wasn’t at all unusual. They ended up running for their lives. That was old hat. Leela torn a hole in her beloved jacket. That was devastating.

   Still no one was talking to her, even during the “Hey, we’re still alive!” post delivery celebration. Leela was thoroughly miserable.

   She took a shower on the ship before disembarking for the day. The water was not cold. Leela could have endured a cold shower, maybe even enjoyed it. The water was a sickly lukewarm: too cold to be hot and too hot to be cold. It was completely indecisive water. Leela hated it.

   Wearily, she strode down the ramp and back onto earth. The lights were off, which surprised her. She didn’t think she’d been on the ship with the lukewarm water for that long. A sudden terrible thought struck her. What if they were planning a party? The very idea filled her with dread. Today of all days, no matter the good intentions, she did not want to be swarmed with cheerful well-wishers.

   She took a few cautious steps into the darkened bay…. nothing. Leela let out a breath she didn’t realize she’d been holding. She laughed lightly and addressed the empty air. “I don’t know what I was thinking. Why would anyone have a party for me?”

   A tiny flame flickered in the darkness.

   “‘Cause it’s your birthday.” Startled, Leela went around the end of the ship. Sitting on the ground, holding a cupcake with a little striped pink candle, was Fry.

   Leela tried to think of something more clever to say than, “Fry?” but she was too flabbergasted.

   “Fry?” she whispered.

   The delivery boy grinned the grin of the victorious. “This has been the hardest day of my life,” he chuckled.

   Leela did not know what to say to that, so she said nothing.

   By the light of the birthday candle, Leela could just barely make out the redhead. Even still, she knew his eyes were lit up in childlike joy. A sudden tenseness on her face told her she was smiling too. For the first time that day, she was smiling.

   Feeling a bit like a kid herself, Leela sat down next to Fry, cross-legged like him, close enough so that their knees were touching. With an ungainly flourish, Fry presented her with the cupcake.

   “Happy birthday, Leela.” Fry spoke
quietly, but with great sincerity. Touched beyond her ability to express, Leela was grateful for the shadows. They kindly hid the moisture in her eye.

   “It’s not my birthday.” The cyclops had no idea when her birthday was.

   “It is now. Go on, make a wish, blow it out.” Fry urged eagerly.

   A bubbly little laugh worked its way from her throat. Fry’s smile broadened. When Leela still hesitated, he began squirming with impatience. The gentlest, sweetest warmth settled over her. “I don’t need a wish,” she whispered, “with a great friend like you.”

   She could feel the startled expression on his face. Without seeing, she saw it slide into a smile people write lame poems about. It was his turn to be speechless, she noted with some satisfaction.

   “Thank you, Fry,” she murmured as, for once, the terrible loneliness of being an orphaned alien alone on Earth evaporated from under her.

   “Uh, Leela? The candle’s melting.” With another laugh, this one a bit more confident, Leela gave in and blew out the candle.

   With a whoop, Fry leapt to his feet, nearly knocking the wax-licked cupcake into her lap. “Whoo! It’s Leela’s first birthday!” Leela let him bounce around exuberantly for a minute then hauled him down to the floor.

   “Come share this with me. It’s not right to eat a birthday cake by yourself.” Fry was perfectly happy to comply with her request. She pulled out the candle and gently pulled apart the cake.

   While they munched on the treat together, Leela asked, “So, how long have you been planning this?”

   Fry shoved the rest of the cake in his mouth and swallowed it quickly, if messily. “Oh, forever,” he replied gleefully. “You have no idea how hard it was keeping this from you. I couldn’t look at you all day!” he chuckled. “I’d have given it away for sure.”

   It was a silly question, but Leela couldn’t stop herself from asking. “Did you mention this to anyone else?”

   Fry nodded energetically, “Oh yeah, everyone knew. We were gonna have this huge bash for you with balloons and presents and everything, but then,” he shrugged sheepishly, “I guess you weren’t having such a great day. I wasn’t sure how you’d react to having us all jump out at you, and no one really wanted to get booted,” Fry flicked her boots with a strange affection mixed with a healthy respect. “It seemed safer to break the surprise to you this way.”

   “Hey, Fry! Leela kill you yet?” Bender’s unmistakable voice careened into the bay.

   “No!” Fry bellowed back, making Leela wince a bit from the volume. He turned his attention back to the birthday girl. “We’ve got a party waiting for you, if you want it. It’s okay if you don’t,” he hastened to add.

   “I’d love to go,” she smiled at him. Fry started to stand, still glowing with the success of his surprise, but Leela caught his jacket and pulled him down again. “But first, let’s just sit for a while, okay?” She looked away from him, into the night. “I haven’t gotten to talk to you all day.”

   “Whatever you want, Leela?” he said equitably, a bit befuddled.
Leela didn’t know what to say once he sat down, however.

   Finally, Fry broke the silence. “That went pretty well, didn’t it?” Leela nodded happily, but Fry couldn’t see her smile. “I mean, I guess I get things right from time to time.”

   Feeling a bit giddy, Leela slipped her hand into Fry’s and gave it a tight squeeze. “No doubt about it, Fry, sometimes, you get things just right.”

   “Tell Leela Zoidberg ate her cake!” Bender yelled in their general direction.

   “Okay!” Fry yelled back.

   “C’mon, let’s go celebrate,” Leela said firmly, getting to her feet with Fry in tow.

   “That was company cake, you hungry shellfish!” 

   With light hearts, Fry and Leela entered the fray.
Shippy Mandy

Bending Unit
« Reply #29 on: 05-13-2005 00:01 »

Aww...dat's schoooo schweeet!

Seriously, that was cute. There's not much else to say, really. It was short but sweet, and I liked it.

Starship Captain
« Reply #30 on: 05-13-2005 00:49 »

Aww, dat´s schoooo schweeet indeed. Hooray for Venus, who was brought this wonderfull gift! Or, uh, well... Layla50 had an importent part in this as well, I´m sure. Happy Birthday everyone.

Urban Legend
« Reply #31 on: 05-13-2005 06:59 »

Originally posted by Layla50:
 It was completely indecisive water. Leela hated it.

I feel a chill. Is it the ghost of Douglas Adams? I think so!

*Dances for joy* Yay Shippy fic for Venus! All for me! Take that everyone who hasn't had a custom fic written for them and that includes you JBERGES! NeenerNeener!

The alarm clock gag was hysterical and the hole in her jacket being described as devastating was freakishly adorable.

I didn't understand the line about the headache with bananas though. Is that a refference to something i don't know about?

And i don't even have to talk about the Shippy. Everyone who knows me knows what i think about the Shippy.

also the last two Bender lines were hysterical as well as Fry yelling back the answers. Adorable!

Delivery Boy
« Reply #32 on: 05-13-2005 07:16 »

Thats a cool story. You're lucky Venus!!

Starship Captain
« Reply #33 on: 05-13-2005 12:02 »

That was so romantic.   :love:

Setting this story in the past was really great. (When I say past I mean before the Leela's Homeworld episode)

The whole thing with Bender invading Leela's apartment was really funny.

But the best part was the one with Fry and Leela sitting together in the darkness.  :)

You did it again Layla.
Keep it up.

« Reply #34 on: 05-13-2005 19:13 »

Intelligent comments require some mental effort.  And after a horrid week at work, I have no energy left to formulate any.

Can I just say I loved it, and it's the bright spot in my week?  I especially loved the brain cells riff.  And Fry being adorable.  And everything else.
say what now

Bending Unit
« Reply #35 on: 05-14-2005 21:41 »

So so cute... such a perfect shippy birthday present!

« Reply #36 on: 05-15-2005 02:47 »

ooooohhhhhh cup cakes
dr.bender nye

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #37 on: 05-17-2005 12:40 »

where are they?

Starship Captain
« Reply #38 on: 05-18-2005 16:10 »

*Joyeux anniversaire Layla!*  :D
*(It’s Happy Birth day Layla in French for those of you who can’t read it)*  :p

I hope that you’re having a great day.
(I’m stuck at the office and just can’t wait to get out and go to the movie theater and wait in line for hours to watch Star Wars epIII)  :cool:

Here I did a cup cake just for you.   :)
Better blow the candle out, that thing is melting fast.Enjoy this day Layla. Have a great party. (If you have one)  :laff:

Bye for now.
say what now

Bending Unit
« Reply #39 on: 05-18-2005 22:20 »

Thanks for helping me de-lurk and thank you for the insanely enjoyable writing (which I cannot wait to see more of   ;) ).
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