Catastrophe, Part 4
Chapter 4: The Fur Flies
Fry lay in bed, trying to convince himself that he hadn't done what he had just done.
I did NOT just sleep with a woman in exchange for Amy's recognition as a species. I did NOT completely violate my love for Leela by trading my body for a favor. I did NOT do it another five times during the night. I did NOT smear myself wi-
Well, you get the picture.
Sure, he'd rationalized it. He was only doing it for Amy, he'd told himself. It's completely meaningless, and there isn't the slightest bit of emotion involved, he'd told himself. It's not like my relationship with Leela was ever going to go anywhere, he'd told himself.
The fact of the matter was, he hadn't exactly been completely of pure heart tonight. He'd definitely enjoyed himself.
Face it, Fry... for all the maturity you've supposedly gained, at heart, you're the same worthless slob you always were.
Well... at least some good will come out of this...
Morgan rolled over, lazily opening her eyes. "That was wonderful, Fry."
"Whatever." Fry replied, irritated with just about everything. "Just keep up your side of the bargain."
"Bargain?" axed Morgan in mock confusion. "What bargain are you talking about?"
"Don't play dumb with me, Morgan. I'm an expert at that. We had a deal. I spend the night with you doing whatever you want, and you get Amy's application processed so she can be treated like a person again!"
"You're right, Fry. That was the deal. Too bad I just changed my mind."
"What? You promised!"
"Yes... well, I lied."
"Well, I've had fun," she said, sliding out of bed. "I've had a night of pure carnal pleasure, made you compromise yourself, and left you with nothing to show for it. I'd say that my revenge is complete, wouldn't you?"
"Get the hell out of my apartment."
Ignoring his anger, Morgan leisurely got dressed. "Oh, and, in case you're planning to go over my head... I have pictures. Embarrassing ones that will mysteriously wind up in that Cyclops woman's e-mail box." And with that, she strolled out the door.
Damn, thought Fry. I am boned beyond any who have been boned before.
"How on EARTH did you manage to pull this off?" groused Leela, as she carefully pried Amy's tail out of the exhaust vent."
"Hey, keeping track of this thing's tough sometimes!" retorted Amy. "I bet if you had a tail, you'd be getting it stuck in all kinds of things and junk! But since you don't, you're hardly in a position to judge me!"
"My mom has a tail," mumbled Leela.
"Well, then, I mean, j'uh! You should be all sympathetic and stuff!"
"Maybe you should just go home before you screw anything else up."
"Well, maybe I should! ...except that you'd have to walk me."
"I'm a pet, remember? I can't be on the streets by myself without a leash and a collar. But I guess I could risk it... I bet Fry's all lonely and things."
Leela's eye narrowed in irritation. "Fine. Stay here. Whatever. I'm going to go check the delivery schedule for tomorrow."
And make one little adjustment...
Morning arrived at Planet Express, bringing with it a light drizzle and a breeze coming in from the East, making walking an unpleasant task. Leela slowly pulled her Urectum-12 Coupe into her spot, glad that her final payment had cleared.
She chuckled over the "special" delivery she'd added to the schedule. I can't wait to see the look on Amy's face when... nah, don't gloat before it happens.
As usual, she was one of the first ones there. Well, other than the Professor, who was always there... and Hermes, who came in every day at 4:20 AM for some reason... and Zoidberg, who was currently living in the dryer in the laundry room... and Amy had slept over last night...
...well, she was here before Fry and Bender, at least.
Surprisingly, Fry showed up a mere five minutes late, looking like he hadn't gotten any sleep all night (which he hadn't).
"Good morning, Fry..." she said.
"No I didn't!" retorted Fry. "And you can't prove it!"
"Uh... right. Bender called in malfunctioning today, so Amy's going with us. Go find her, okay?" Actually, I slipped him 20 bucks to fake a malfunction, but nobody has to know that.
"Right... Amy. Right," he said, looking around nervously as if he was worried he'd be caught any second. He scurried off looking for her.
I wonder what's got him all flustered, Leela mused, before returning to pre-flight prep.
"At 100% of capacity."
"Brooke level and holding."
"Funny little glow-in-the-dark buttons?"
"Blinking on and off randomly."
"OK... let's get going!"
The Planet Express ship lifted off from its hangar, Leela at the helm. Amy had taken Bender's usual seat at communications, though she was somewhat more conscientious about doing her job than Bender was.
"So, what's our first stop, Leela?" she asked brightly.
"Sirius Prime. Now, they have a serious taboo against humans setting foot on their planet, so you're going to have to make the delivery alone, being different enough to pass as something else."
"What about you, Leela?" axed Fry. "I mean, you're pretty different yourself, what with the hair."
"Well... I'm not different enough. Sorry. I don't make the rules."
The trip was uneventful up through the final approach and landing on Sirius Prime.
"Okay... here we are... it's all up to you now, Amy."
Amy loaded the crate onto the hover-dolly and headed out the hatchway towards the city in the distance.
After a long walk, she finally made it to the city limits. It just may have been the strangest city she'd ever seen.
What's with all the fire hydrants?
Why is there a butcher shop on every corner?
What's with the "bone" motif in the architecture?
Why does everything here smell like liver?
These and other questions swam around her head as she reached her final destination: 505 Canis Familiarus Boulevard. And what's with the crazy street names?
She rang the doorbell, then waited for the door to open.
"Planet Express! I have a delivery for Mr. ... Bowser?"
Her response was nothing but a low growl.
She looked up...
What stared down at her looked like a small mountain that someone had attached a bulldog head to. That bulldog head was staring down at her, foaming at the mouth. Three others were right behind it.
Zhen dao mei...
The lead mountain growled "Well, well, well... look what the cat dragged in."
The one to his left grinned - more of a snarl, actually - and said "Guess we get ta drag the cat in!"
The four dog men closed in...
Bender would appreciate this, thought Leela. He always did love a good prank.
It had been an hour. By now Amy had discovered this planet's little "surprise".
Echoing Leela's thoughts, Fry remarked "Wow, it's been a while."
"Uh huh," nodded Leela. "They, uh, have lots of paperwork. It's like Hermesworld."
"Oh, yeah... I hope we never have to go there again. They make you fill out a form to breathe! So... what was in the box, anyway?"
"Oh. Must be dog lovers."
"You could say that."
Amy ran back to the ship on all fours, sacrificing all pretense of civilization in exchange for the added speed and agility it gave her.
Unfortunately, the dogs were just a bit faster, and it was only a few minutes later that they had her surrounded. Thinking quickly, Amy called up all her strength for one desperate leap into the branches of a nearby tree. She climbed up as far as she could, as the dogs surrounded the trunk on all sides, growling.
When I get back to the ship, thought Amy, I am going to claw Leela's eye out.
"It's been five hours, Leela! She should have been back by now!"
He's right, Leela. Enough is enough. You really should go and pick her up.
"Okay, Fry. Grab yourself a weapon and let's go."
They headed directly to the armory, each grabbing a Kill-O-Zap™ Blast-o-Matic® laser pistol ("Vaporize your friends the Kill-O-Zap™ way!"). Just as they were about to leave, the hatch opened on its own.
Uh oh, Leela thought.
Standing in the entranceway was Amy, top gone, pants shredded, snarling.
"Oh, good! You're all right! I was worr-"
"Bi zui! You knew exactly what would happen to me, didn't you! This whole trip was a set-up!"
"Set-up?" Fry said, confused.
"Did this... jian huo here happen to tell you just what kind of creatures inhabit this planet? Well, let me fill you in. Dogs. Big, huge, vicious dogs twice my size. I had to throw my top at them to get them off my tail." She glared at Leela. "And you knew all about it, didn't you? I could have been killed, you ho zi de pi gu!"
I bet that means something bad, Leela mused. "I... fine! Yeah, I did this to get back at you for yesterday! It wasn't supposed to go this far! I'm sorry ab-"
"Yeah, you're sorry all right... a sorry excuse for a captain! Maybe I should tell Hermes what you did, hmmm? I'm sure he'll be really pleased you used company property for a stupid prank!" With that, she stormed off toward the aft compartment.
Fry scowled at Leela. "I can't believe you'd do something like that! I'd expect it from Bender, sure, but you've never been the kind of person who does this kind of thing!"
"I know, I know..."
"I mean it! I can't believe it! I've lost 4% of my respect for you." he said, walking off.
"Oh, lord, I've stepped in it now. Can't believe I let that one loss get to me like this."
Oh, come off it, Leela, said her wiser inner voice. You know and I know that the fight had nothing to do with any of this.
"Oh, really? Then what did?"
"No, I don't. Enlighten me, why don't you?"
You know that you know, Leela. Stop lying to yourself.
"*sigh* Okay, fine... I'm jealous! There, I said it! I am jealous of Amy spending so much time with Fry!"
There, she'd finally said it.
Don't look at me. I'm just the annoyingly smarter version of you inside your head.
Amy came storming back in. "And another thing..."
"You're absolutely right, what I did was horribly childish, and I deserve whatever I get."
"Um... okay..." Amy seemed taken aback by Leela's confession. Her anger seemed to just dissipate. "Uh... well, I guess I don't have to tell Hermes... Leela? What was this whole thing really about? It can't just be the fight..."
"I'd rather not say..."
"Is it the fur I've been leaving in the decontamination shower drain?"
"No, not that... it's well... Amy, what I'm about to say goes no further than this room."
"I'm jealous of you."
"Hey, if that's all, we could just repeat the accident..."
"No, not of your cat-ness! Jealous of all the time you've been spending with Fry."
"Oh? You should've just said so! Leela, there's NOTHING going on between us at all!"
A pregnant pause.
"I feel stupid now."
"Don't. My cat-ness makes me overly affectionate, and that's what threw you. Probably."
"Are we friends again?" asked Amy.
"It looks that way, yeah."
Yet another pause.
"Well, now what?" asked Leela.
"What we have to do is set things right with Fry."
"All right, but he's kind of mad at me right now. You go get him."
"We'll both go get him."
The two headed toward the crew quarters and arrived at the door of the room Fry usually shared with Bender. What they found was a note taped to the door.
"Dear Leela and Amy", it said. "By the time you read this, I will be gone. I've screwed things up for all of us, and now I have to set things right. I'll explain once I;ve sorted it all out. Love, Fry."
"He does realize we're on a starship in the middle of deep space, right?" asked Leela.
In response, there came a banging on the airlock door. The two women opened it to find a frantic-looking Fry fall out of it.
"Well, that didn't work. I guess we'll just go to plan B where I say "I can explain..."
TO BE CONTINUED!!!