Delicious Surprise, Part 9
See chapter one for disclaimers!
Yes, this is going to be a good old fashioned non-explicit honeymoon; I'm very sure TLZ doesn't admit lemons ;-) . There is some mild sexual humor on display here, however.
And I hope the humor isn't too esoteric for the reader. It's just a silly little chapter that'll take us through the honeymoon to a whole new phase in Fry and Leela's life.
Fry awoke to bright sunlight, with the weight of his wife sprawled across him.
He smiled, then checked his watch. When it told him that it was currently noon, he frowned but decided not to move. New New York would survive for a few more hours without them.
More importantly, Leela was sleeping peacefully.
That was so rare that he lay in quiet appreciation of it. The war had changed her habit of peaceful sleep, and he had hoped that her tendency to have nightmares whenever she and Lilah were separated would diminish after awhile. But so far, no.
Leela stirred in his arms. "Mur? Morning?"
Fry nodded. "Yeah, but it's early," he lied.
She sighed, curling against his chest. "How many hours?"
Fry could remember a time when Leela had been a very sound sleeper.
"What're ya smiling about?" she slurred, still half-numb with sleep.
"Our honeymoon," he teased.
"Oh!" she laughed. "I remember. It was..."
He grinned, recalling that they hadn't slept very well then, either....
Since when was the world purple?
Fry blinked against a rustling curtain of hair. Some fell into his mouth and he coughed, spitting it out and trying to roll away from the pleasant weight over him.
Leela, however, had followed his warmth and now tangled her arms around his torso. Fry smiled to himself; the previous night had been pretty tiring for them.
He watched Leela with new eyes. Funny how the thrill beat inside his heart, even after the previous night's consummation.
Leela began to stir; only when her eye opened and she shifted backward a bit did Fry realize that she had been drooling on his neck.
"Morning?" she asked him. It was pitch-black in their sleeping quarters, and would stay that way until one of them bothered to reach for a light.
"Think so," Fry said. He didn't really want to move... well, at least, not out of the bed.
"Bleh," Leela said, as though it was the only word she could manage to conjure so early. "Stay here?" she asked, placing her head on a comfortable spot on his chest, above his heart. He had pictured her as a chipper, early-riser type, but he was more than happy to hold her against him for a while longer.
The peace was broken as Leela's wrist communicator began to beep somewhere on the floor. They groaned and moved away from one another, groping for it in the darkness. Fry found the device on his side of the bed and handed it to her. She pulled the sheets up to her neck before answering it.
"Captain?" the ship's navigation system reported. "We're approaching Fabio 69."
"Wait, we were told-" she poked Fry in the ribs, "-don't giggle!"
"I know what you told me, Captain, but Fabio 69 is the closest planet matching the coordinates you entered last night."
Leela nodded. "Very well. What's our ETA?"
"About ten minutes from now. Now, what would our ETA have been if we had left five minutes earlier?"
Fry groaned. "I didn't study last night! And I wanna-"
"Yeah, we wanna-"
"Ten minutes. Don't be tardy," the ship announced sharply. Leela disconnected the call, dropping back into Fry's embrace.
"I wish I hadn't put it in substitute teacher mode before we went to bed."
"Yeah, but I did like that astronomy lesson it gave me while I was waiting for you to get out of the bathroom."
She kissed his nose. "I promise it won't take an hour next time."
"Well, last night was special. I'm not going to be so... fancy every night, Fry."
"Oh, that's okay..." He paused. "Uh... fancy doesn't mean that thing where you-"
"Oh no." She sat up and began collecting the previous night's outfit. "I do that all the time."
Fry grinned to himself as he, too, prepared for the day.
By the time the ship landed, Fry and Leela were both collected and refreshed. A quick glance through the windshield confirmed that their friends, when working together, had a pretty good handle on what constituted a good time.
Placidly-waving flora lined the stone-walled gateway before them. A sign on high poles read:
Of Fabio 69:
Where Creatures of All Sorts Come to Bathe in Champagne Glasses
From their position, they could see over the wall: a series of buildings, arranged like sandcastles around a gigantic flowing fountain in the form of a man clinching a woman. Out back was a pool, and Fry could hear the splash of people hitting the water. "Hey, this looks like the Caribbean!" Fry announced as they walked down the gangplank together.
Leela frowned. "I don't see any pirates." Seeing Fry's confusion, she explained, "The Caribbean was annexed by the Puffy-Shirted Pirates Local 112 in 2020."
"Ohh..." remarked Fry, his hand in Leela's as they made their way to the front gate.
"Passes?" a guard asked, his tropical shirt a blinding combination of reds and greens. Leela handed them to him while avoiding looking directly at it. He examined them for a moment. "Looks good. You got the Passionada Suite. Any luggage?"
"Just these," Leela indicated the small suitcases she and Fry held, "but we can carry them our--" The short green stewards grabbed them anyway, and led the guests into the resort.
"Dear Amy, Professor Farnsworth, Bender, Hermes, and Dr. Zoid-" Leela frowned at what she had written on the virtual postcard, scratched it out, and replaced it with "Dear Everyone-"
"Leela! Watch me!"
She glanced over the top rim of her sunglasses. Fry, in brightly colored board shorts, jumped off the diving board. His body bent into a series of elegant shapes before he landed in the water belly-first, sending a wall of water over complaining neighboring couples.
Leela smiled to herself; their first day had been a sort of paradise. Heavy, jewel toned draperies and a dark-stained bed frame brightened their suite, and from their glass slipper-shaped tub they could see the gigantic pool that seemed to comprise half of the resort. The couples seemed mismatched: one partner was always young, well-toned, and skimpily dressed, while the other was older and at least six points less attractive.
For the first time in her life, she felt a willingness to be lazy. It helped that there weren't any tourist attractions nearby, no distractions from doing much more than eating, making love and swimming. Her lone deviation in exception to this idyllic routine was her morning kickboxing class.
She was so lost in thought as she scribbled in her postcard that she didn't notice when someone plopped down beside her.
"Hello, mon enchante."
Leela frowned at the person beside her. He was tall, with short blond hair and big teeth. Sort of like Zapp, but with a firmly toned body. Precisely the sort of man she had always imagined marrying.
"I'm not your 'enchante', whatever that means."
The man frowned. "Do you not seek the companionship of a roguish millionaire playboy with a heart of gold?" She stared at him in open disbelief. "I own the world's largest baby toy company!"
"Sorry, I'm married."
"To whom?" He caught sight of Fry, the only other man in the room. "Oh, you mean your evil ex-husband? Is he stalking you?"
The man smiled, but through clenched teeth hissed, "Lady, you ain't making this easy."
The abrupt change in his accent startled Leela. "What's going on here?"
He grunted. "You know where you are! Heartafire Resort: For the single and desperate!"
Leela blinked at him. "My husband and I are here on our honeymoon!"
"Yeah, well, someone gave ya a bum steer." He groped in his back pocket and withdrew a brochure. "Here ya go." He turned away, apparently no longer obliged to talk to her.
Leela flipped through the brochure in disbelief. Amusement warred with disgust. How had she not known about a place like this when she was truly lonely and...'in need'?
Realization came suddenly. These single men and women were renting fantasies: actors, portraying pirates, executives, cowboys, jetsetters. It was like a high-class emotional brothel.
"Bender!" she muttered under her breath. But she had one more question for the man beside her. "So... what's it like to be a prostitute?"
For a moment, the actor's mask slipped. "Kill me. Please."
"There's something weird about this place," Fry remarked. They sat in one of the resort's spacious dining rooms. "I don't know what it is."
"All the costumes?" she shrugged.
"Yeah! It's like the Village People." She laughed, and his jaw dropped. "Woah, look at that!" he pointed over her shoulder, and Leela tried to take a surreptitious look.
For a moment, she feared he was pointing out an elderly woman, gazing into the eyes of a man in a cowboy outfit with a heavy mustache. But as a desert trolley rolled by, he licked his lips.
"Would you like dessert?" their waitress asked.
Fry nodded. "That one!" He pointed to a particularly chocolatey example.
"One Chocolate Stroke, coming up." She dropped the plate before Fry, then whispered in Leela's ear. "This is goin' on your employee account, honey."
"But I'm not..." The waitress strolled away, and Leela groaned, resting her hand against her forehead.
"Y'know," Fry said, "there is something sorta wrong... they didn't give me chocolate sauce!"
"Fry!" Leela hissed. "This is a brothel! A weird, high-class brothel where actors play clichéd characters to fulfill the emotional needs of their... er, customers!"
Fry froze for a moment, then said, "So that's why that chick with the red hair kept asking me to save her family's farm during the lunch buffet!"
She laughed. "Be happy; they think I'm one of them!"
"You're pretty enough to be!" Her stony glare wasn't a comfort. "What? That's a compliment!"
Leela softened and shook her head, laughing. "I've got to go powder my nose, excuse me."
Unfortunately, Leela never made it to the lady's room. A tentacle, grasping her about the wrist, pulled her out a side door.
"I don't know what the temp agency told you when they hired you, but you're supposed to stay with your 'romantic companion'. No going from table to table!" a gooey, four-eyed alien announced in a snotty voice.
"No buts! Mr. Kompowsky is waiting for you!"
The tentacles shoved her into a darkened motel room, and before she could react, the door slammed shut behind her.
A light flickered on at the end of the hall, revealing a man more ancient-looking than the Professor. Not having the heart to use violence on such a wreck, Leela chose subterfuge. At least for now.
"Uh-hello. Mr. Kompowsky?" She coughed. "What do you have planned for the evening?"
"The most wicked thing I could think of." He turned around, his whiny voice hitting an even higher pitch. "Watching holograms of my late wife."
Fry, having finished his Chocolate Stroke, boredly played with the tines of his fork. The sudden apparition of a blonde in a dramatic pink hoop skirt distracted him.
"Uh, hey... that's my wife's ch-"
"My name is Ariel Mayfield Ponyweather the third, and I come to you with grave news!" she said, in a deep southern accent.
"Okay." Fry blinked. His eyes were on her trembling cleavage.
"My brother is planning to abscond with my family's fortune." Her impressive bosom heaved dramatically. "Only you can help me, er - clev - impressive stranger!"
"What?!" That drew him away from her superficial endowments.
"With your thundercloud - I mean, flame-red hair, there must be a thirst within you for justice and right!"
"I don't know you!"
A large fist crashed onto the table, splitting it in half. Fry's alarmed gaze took in the muscular, imposing figure beside them.
"Ariel, what are you doing talking to this man! You know the protection of your virtue is necessary for the protection of Hargrove Lasarium Estates!"
"Beau! How could you!"
"Now, harlot, home to be locked in your room... forever!" He weakly grabbed Ariel by the wrist, and both looked to Fry, expecting him to intervene. His expression, however, showed complete detachment.
"I really mean it! And her room has mice, and rats!"
"Good luck with that."
Beau released Ariel, withdrawing something that looked suspiciously like a lightsaber from his holster. "Sir, I challenge you to a duel!" he shouted, thrusting it beneath Fry's nose.
Fry's eyes were crossed as he stared at the sword. "But I don't have a-"
"Take mine, my love!" cried Ariel, tossing him a slimmer blade, which glowed a pink light at the push of a button.
"Uh, en-" But before Fry could "en garde", a strong parry knocked him across the room. Thus engaged, he raced back, trying to strike his target, succeeding only nominally. As Fry dodged one strong thrust, he fell through a breakaway wall and found himself in defensive movement as he parried his way down past a series of suites.
"...And that's Margaret at the pool." Leela smiled despite herself as the average-looking young woman danced in the arms of her husband.
"You must have loved her a lot," she nodded. "I feel the same way about my husband."
"You're married? Poor girl, having to do this to support yourself."
Leela shrugged. "Oh... he doesn't even know."
"Well, child, that's a grand mistake. Never, never hide a thing from your spouse. I did, and look what happened to us."
"Your wife left you because you didn't tell her something?"
"No, I didn't warn her before a Horrible Gelatinous Blob swallowed her whole. I thought she could take care of herself... but her peripheral vision was always lousy." He sighed to himself.
"I didn't tell Fry how I felt about him for a long time," she admitted. "It took me nearly dying to even consider going out on a date with him."
"Stubborn, stubborn," he tsked.
"Oh, he knows now." She smiled, holding to herself the knowledge that he HAD to realize how much he loved her after the past two days. A silence passed before she asked, "So... since you know about my plight and all... you're not going to ask me to do anything, are you?"
"Of course not." She breathed in relief. His expression turned deviant with a nauseating clarity. "...I'm asking you to do more! I paid double the money for a cyclops! You know how pricey they are? Oh, this place tried to trick me before. Once they sent up a girl with a lazy eye and charged me a thousand fifty for it!"
"How terrible of them," she soothed, planning a quick escape.
"Now, what kind of romantic scenario do you like?" He reached around the bed, pulling out a remote. "Ravishing Arab Sheik?" At the twist of a knob, the room turned into a tented paradise, complete with fancy pillows and silks. "No, too sandy... how about Medieval Conqueror?" Another twist and the room turned into a castle chamber with a dragon roaring outside the window. "Too drafty. Hmm... sleazy one-night stand?" The room was transformed into a gaudy, cheap-looking surface, with stains on the ceiling and a bright neon glow outside the door. "That'll do." He dropped the remote and kicked off his shoe. "You can start with my feet."
One glance at the wizened, bony, long-nailed foot sent Leela groping for her emergency blaster gun, strapped securely to her upper thigh. He misinterpreted her movement and drooled with excitement. She had just gotten a grip on the barrel when the door slammed open, admitting a panicked Fry and a tall, muscular man in a white shirt, both dueling away with their sabers. The old man dove for a corner.
Even though he was handling himself pretty well for his defensive position, Leela wanted the battle over and the two of them out of there immediately. A roundhouse kick and a karate chop sent the attacker flying. He came up weeping and holding his mouth.
"My beauthfulth teth!" he cried dramatically. "Th Prith of Cobth Counthy Ith Ruinth!"
Ariel raced up to them. "You've saved me! How may I show my gratitude, and in what positions?"
Fry's eyes were for Leela. "Thank her. She's the one who saved us."
Ariel shrugged. "Whatever floats your hydropod."
She moved toward Leela, who grabbed Fry and made for the door. Over her shoulder Leela said, "Sorry, but I think there's someone in there that needs you more."
Ariel straightened her décolletage and looked around. When she saw the elderly man rise from the corner, a smile on his lips and a tube of ViagraCreme in his hand, she sent the retreating couple a sour look.
"Up yours!" she said, in a New New York accent.
Leela and Fry decided that the following morning would be a perfect time to take their leave. The drama of the previous night wasn't mentioned by any of the employees as the couple checked out; apparently, it was considered the norm there.
As they flew through the reaches of space, they were content. They would not return to Earth for the rest of their honeymoon, choosing instead to spend it among the stars in a slow journey back.
"This," Leela announced to Fry as they moved smoothly through the darkness, "is paradise."
He nodded. "I still love you more than the stars, but it's nice to spend some time looking at them, too."
"And more than Ariel?" she teased.
"Even more than her chest?"
"I like yours better," he retorted cheerfully.
"Really? Show me."
And he kissed her, allowing her to place the ship on autopilot as they headed back to their quarters.
"Two black holes plus one ship equals nothing. Course is smooth and steady. Smooth means free and clear of bumps..." The autopilot droned on, the only being present unengaged by the night's activity.
Leela laughed. "I think I did the right thing by replacing the autopilot's voice with the voice of Jackie Mason's Head."
Fry nodded. "But I'm kind of attached to those multiplication tables."
Her laughter slowly ceased. "I'm sorry that it's not the same, Fry."
He held her. "Nothing's ever the same all the time. I know that."
It didn't stop him from wishing.