The Futurama name, characters, and settings belong to their respective copyright owners. This is a work of fan fiction which has no commercial intent or value and was created solely for my own amusement and for that of other Futurama fans.
All original content © 2012 Red_Line@sbcglobal.net All rights reserved. The author grants permission to reproduce this story provided that no changes are made and that the author (Red_Line@sbcglobal.net), source, and copyright information are included.
Thanks to Chris at TSFFC for reviewing this fic and pointing out my myriad of typos.
"I can't believe I would ever do something that stupid." Fry thought, reading the passage again.
From the next room came the clank of weights hitting the floor.
Shoving the papers into the middle of his latest Space Boy comic book, he just had time to assume the proper comic-reading pose when Leela came through the door, her workout clothes soaked in sweat, a scene Fry never tired of looking at.
"Time to get ready to go, Fry. I'm going to take a shower, and then you can have it."
"Ok," Fry replied. "I'm gonna run down to the drugstore while you're in there."
A look of annoyance flashed across Leela's face, but she checked herself before the "No" escaped. Closing her eye, she took a deep breath and remembered what the marriage councilor has said - don't command, tell him your feelings, tell him why you are concerned, try to find a compromise.
"We can't be late for this Fry. I'd feel better if you didn't go out right now. Can't you run your errand tomorrow?"
"Um .. No, I kinda need to do this before we go. It'll only take ten minutes, fifteen tops. I'll be back before you're done with your shower, I promise."
"Alright, but take your cell phone with you. And make sure it's on, and set to ring ..."
Fry held up his phone to show her that it was on. "Yeah, I know the drill Leela. I promise, I won't get abducted by aliens this time, and I'll be back before you know it.".
"Ok," she sighed. "Get going."
Leela headed into the bathroom and closed the door.
"Love you too," Fry grumbled. He grabbed his keys, double checked his phone, and left.
Fry passed the entrance to the drug store and turned the corner. Glancing around, he pulled out his phone and dialed a number.
"Come on, come on ... Hello? Hey, this is Fry, I've only got a few minutes, do you have it? ... Of course I've got the money. Where can we meet? ... Ok, I can make that, give me five minutes."
Fry hung up and sprinted for the nearest tube entrance.
Out of breath and sweating, Fry slid back into the apartment some twenty two minutes after he'd left. He was relieved to hear the shower still running. Leela had his clothes laid out on the bed so he quickly stashed his purchase in the pants pocket, along with his keys and wallet. He stripped off his outer clothes, pausing in the act of dropping them on the floor. Leela was a little anal about things like that and he remembered what the councilor had said about being sensitive to the things that were important to the other person; and besides, the hamper was sorta on the way to the bathroom so he rolled them up into a tight ball and, reliving the winning play from the Yancy-dome, made the three point shot from downtown on the way by.
The bathroom was warm and full of steam and Fry could see Leela's exquisite silhouette on the shower curtain. He knew that she would have their schedule planned out to the minute, something else that she was anal ... that was important to her ... but maybe there’d be time in the schedule for a little fun. Fry eased the shower curtain back and slid in behind Leela.
The high pitch scream echoed in the confines of the bathroom.
Leela reached around Fry's shivering form and turned the hot water on before stepping out of the tub.
"I heard you coming," she smirked. "Now, I'm gonna go do my hair and get dressed. You've got about 15 minutes to shower and shave. Do you want me to set a timer?"
"N..N..No thanks," Fry squeaked. "I don't think I'll be that long."
The taxi deposited them on the corner across the street from Planet Express. As it pulled away, Leela stopped Fry and fussed with his tie.
"Fry, I need you to do something for me tonight."
"Well, you know how important this event is to the Professor and Hermes, and by extension Planet Express and our jobs. All the big names will be there. Bender will be there, and I know how much you guys like to party, but this is a special occasion and I really need you to ... not let Bender talk you into anything we'll regret later. I really need you to be on your best behavior. Ok?"
"Yeah, no problem, Leela. I'll be good,"
"Thanks Fry. I knew I could depend on you. Now, I think it's OK if you have one beer, but can you please limit to that?"
"I know what you want. I was just going to stick to diet Slurm."
"Great. I just don't want you to get drunk, and then, well, you know ..."
"I GET it, already," Fry said, starting to feel a little annoyed.
"Ok, good," she said. They crossed the road and entered Planet Express. The rest of the crew was waiting for them.
Leela made a slow circuit of the room, pausing for the occasional word with various people as the occasion required. Approaching a cloud of smoke with fog hat gray metal legs sticking out of it, she said "Bender, is that you in there?".
"Oh, hey big boots, I was just chatting with Mayor Poopenhead but he seems to have passed out or something. Heheh, humans, they can't stand a good cigar."
"I don't blame them," Leela thought.
"Have you seen Fry lately?" she asked.
"I can't remember," Bender replied, rubbing his fingers together.
Leela grabbed Bender's arm and bent it around behind his back. From a distance, it looked like two friends in casual contact.
"I don't have time or the patience for your games right now Bender, yes or no?"
"No. Not lately anyway."
"How not lately?"
Bender closed his eyes and mumbled numbers.
"48 minutes, 37 seconds. And that's gonna cost you. You know what kind of computational load that is since Mom took out all my extra processors."
"I can make it up to you," Leela said, "I can tell you where there's something you'll be interested in, but first I need one more bit of info."
"Tit for tat Leela. Give me a sample first."
"Hmmm. Solid gold you say?" Bender's eyes swept the room hoping he could spot what Leela was talking about and maybe up the ante. Whatever it was, it wasn't obvious. Bender resigned himself to give a little more. "Ok, you win. What do you want?"
"You remember that outline of the life that Fry and I were gonna have, the one you made just before Momcorp hauled you away and reset you to factory specs?"
"How could I? They wiped that from my memory.”
“But we have the hard copy, you read it later.”
“Oh, yeah. Must be in extended memory somewhere, just a sec … ugghh ... man, this is a bitch with only one lousy processor. ... it's gonna cost you ... Oh yeah, here it is. Hehehe. Humans are so cute when they fight.”
"Fry and I have a really big spat and we separate for a while. We almost call it quits. When is that?"
Bender grunted again. "Got it. What's the rest of this info you think I'll be so interested in?"
Leela sighed. "Zapp Brannigan is wearing a solid gold codpiece. It's gotta be worth a fortune."
"A fortune you say, eh. Hehehe. This I gotta see ..."
"Hold on Bender. The info. Remember, I know where your off switch is."
"Oh, all right. Fry gets drunk and you catch him in the bathroom doing the ... well, it isn't really horizontal, and it isn't vertical ... anyway, it's some kind of sick human mambo with some floozy."
"Don't know. I didn't print out the date. It was sometime this year at some fancy dress party we all went to. Also Zapp's gold codpiece got stolen."
Leela felt her blood pressure going up. She looked around, still not seeing Fry. His orange hair was unique enough that he ought to be easy to spot in this crowd.
"Alright Bender, one last thing. The last time you saw Fry, nearly a hour ago now, exactly where was he and who was he with?"
“Last time I saw him he was heading down that hall over there with some human floozy. Black hair, about 5 feet 4 inches, you want her measurements?”
"No!" Leela fumed. "They're both going to be zero as soon as I catch up to them."
Leela stormed off.
"If he lives, tell Fry he's welcome to move back in with me," Bender called after her. Chuckling at his own wit, he zeroed in on Zapp Brannigan. "Now, let's see if I wrote down how I pulled this off."
Leela ducked into the ladies room. Part of her wanted to cry. Part of her wanted to kill something, starting with a certain shiftless, no good, unfaithful delivery boy. But, mindful of what the councilor had said, she ducked into a stall and slowly counted to ten, at the end of which she did a long, slow, relaxing exhale. That being done, order restored, and calm and reason prevailing, she saw no reason that some serious ass kicking wasn't the appropriate calm and reasoned response. After touching up her makeup, she made a quick stop by the cloak room to retrieve her wristamajigger from her purse.
Slipping into the hall that Bender had indicated, she clipped it on her wrist, tuned it to Fry's career chip, and activated the homing feature. Slowly she proceeded down the corridor.
"Cold... Cold... Cold... Getting warmer... warmer.... hot... hotter... boiling!"
There were two doors, one on either side of the hall. The free version of the spouse finder app wasn't sufficiently sensitive to distinguish which one Fry was behind so Leela switched it off, mentally flipped a coin, and placed an ear against one door.
"Well, those are kind of the right noises ..." she thought. "That doesn't exactly sound like Fry, but then again, when Fry's been making those kinds of noises , I haven't really had the presence of mind to memorize his sound track."
Selecting the pick-o-matic app on her wristamajigger, she pointed it at the lock and set it running. After a few moments the lock clicked. Slowly and quietly, she turned the door knob and eased the door open a crack.
"Oh, Lord, no," she gasped at the scene within.
"Ah, Leela, my bosomy swan, I've been waiting soooo long for you."
Zapp Brannigan was laying on the bed, arms and legs tied to the bedposts and wearing nothing but a solid gold codpiece.
Bender, wearing a purple wig, black stretch pants, and a white tank top stuffed with a couple of melons from the buffet table was prancing around the room.
Leela eased the door shut.
"After I kill Fry, I gonna be sick. Then I'm gonna take Bender apart piece by piece with a rusty hacksaw," Leela growled.
Turning and facing the other door, she took a deep breath ....
"Wow, I can't believe that was the fifth time. Most guys are finished after three at the most. Do you think you'll do it again?"
"No," Fry gasped. "Please, no more. That's enough. I can't take any more."
"Then let's get you cleaned up and dressed and get back to the party before your wife ..."
At that moment, the door exploded off its hinges to a "Hiii Ya!". The remains of the door crashed into the tub behind them as Leela landed, looking somewhat incongruous in her combat stance and evening dress.
"Spluh, Leela! All you had to do was knock."
"Amy?" Leela said, surprised when she suddenly recognized Bender's description. "You ...?"
"I'm glad you're here. Fry's been sick as a dog. He'd been puking like a freshman for the last hour. You get to take over, I'm gonna go find Kiffy and get back to the party. No need to thank me."
Amy checked her hair and make up in the mirror, picked a sliver of door frame out of her locks, and left.
Leela watched her go, thinking that she ought to stop her, but still confused at not finding quite what she expected to find, she turned to Fry. He was on his knees, arms on the toilet, and looking rather pale.
She reached down and took him by the arm and helped him stand up.
"Ah ... you want to tell me what's going on?" she asked him.
Fry looked embarrassed. "I'm trying to save my marriage," he said.
"You .. huh? What?" Of all the answers he could have come up with, that was just about the one that she was least expecting. She was having difficulty coping with this sudden change of gears. When some of the clashing and grinding subsided, she relaxed her grip on his arm.
"Ok Fry, tell me about it."
"Well, " he began, "you know that thing Bender did for us when he was all smart and stuff? The thing that told about our future."
"Well, I read it sometimes 'cause I knew that something bad was supposed to happen. Something that would nearly ruin our marriage and it would take a long time to get back from. And I love you, I didn't want that to happen. But I had one of those ... things ... a picture .. in my head..."
"Yeah, that's it. I thought if I could stop the first bad thing from happening, maybe it would stop the rest. Maybe I could change the future, and make ours better. I tried asking Bender but he said he didn't know and I didn't want to waste my allowance on him."
"You're getting smarter."
"Thanks, so anyway, I asked the Professor and he gave me this long winded .. something ... about changing the future. I think he said that if I changed one thing, then all the other things might not happen. It was kind of like going in a different direction."
"Alright. That's great, but I need you to tie up a few loose ends. Like where you've been for the last hour and why you were in here with Amy and what made you sick."
"The first and last ones are easy," Fry said with a weak smile. "For the last hour, it's just like Amy said, I've been in here puking my guts out. Why Amy? Just luck, she was nearby and helped me get back here. And what made me sick, this."
Fry pulled a small container out of his pocket and handed it to Leela.
"Polydisulfiram? Fry, is this what I think it is?"
"If you're thinking that it makes you hurl if you drink alcohol, you're right."
"But, I don't get it? Why would you take this if you knew you were going to be drinking?"
"I didn't want to drink. I took it so that if I did drink, I'd get sick and wouldn't be able to do what Bender predicted I was supposed to do. I didn't want to hurt you, so I did the only thing I could think of to change the future."
Leela smiled for the first time that day, and put a hand on Fry's cheek.
"That's sweet. So .. uh ... obviously you did drink?"
"Yeah. So it was a while after we got here, and you were talking with that bunch of aliens and I was bored so I kinda slipped away and got a diet Slurm from the bar. I was headed for the buffet table when Zapp Brannigan latches on to me."
"Oh lord." Leela rolled her eye.
"Yeah. He had this group of people and was telling one of his stories about how he conquered some planet and got this solid gold jockstrap thingy. Anyway, there was a lot of yada yada and next thing I know this chick that was hanging on Zapp's every word all of a sudden finds me the most interesting guy in the known universe."
"Really?" Leela said, menace creeping into her voice.
"Yeah. She's got this really low cut gown on, and keeps bending over a lot, and keeps trying to steer me to the bar."
"I keep trying to get away, but she just won't let go. Finally she grabs a glass of something off a tray as a waiter goes by and practically pours it down me. That's when I had another on of those idea things. I said that was good and tossed off a couple more. Then I got her in a dark corner."
"You what?!" Her grip tightened on his arm.
"Calm down Leela. I did it so when I hurled, I wouldn't make a mess in the main ballroom and create a disturbance. I got it when you told me not to embarrass us. Most of the first blow went straight down her cleavage. I don't know what happened to her after that 'cause she ran away screaming and I was face down in a potted plant. Fortunately Amy and Kif were right on the other side of the plant. Kif went to find the cleaning crew and Amy helped me to the nearest bath room before the second wave came in. And the third wave. And the fourth …"
“Ok, Fry, I get it.”
She took his arm and gently tugged.
“Come on, we've done our bit, let's get you back to the ship. We can take a nice warm shower, that ought to make you feel better.”
. -. -..