Demons From the Past
By Ralph Snart
This is my first attempt at writing anything, yet I watch the dysfunction between Fry and Leela with amazement, because I see it with people that I know. This is a story that shows what happens when couples don't communicate with each other and let demons from the past interfere with their lives. We will find why Leela is so hard to get close to, and the journey that both she and Fry (along with the Planet Express crew) to lay old demons to rest.
DEMONS FROM THE PAST, PART 1
One year earlier....
Fry had finished his failed concert with his holophonor; the Robot Devil had taken his talented hands away from Fry; Fry lost his musical ability and the crowd left the theatre in a rage. Sitting alone on the stage with his head down, feeling like a total loser, several thoughts went through his head. Being booed by the crowd really didn't matter, he knew that Leela had left with the crowd in disgust, because Fry once again was a failure.
He puts his holophonor on the floor and gets up to leave.
Leela: Please don't stop playing Fry. I wanna hear how it ends.
Fry turns around. Leela is the only person left in the room. He smiles then sits down, picks up the holophonor and starts to play. The smoke whirls around above him and forms a crude cartoon-like image of him and Leela who turn to each other and take hold of one another's hand. They kiss, turn around and walk away towards the horizon, never taking their eyes off each other.
Leela was awestruck; she knew that Fry cared for her deeply, but Leela could tell that Fry did love her because the holophonor image was from his heart. Leela, for a moment let her guard down and let Fry take her out.
Robot Arms, Bender and Fry's apartment.
Past midnight, Bender comes home from a hard night of gambling and hanging out with a couple of hookerbots, he sees light coming from under Fry's door. Choosing to ignore the 'BENDER, KEEP OUT!' sign on Fry's door, Bender opens the door and walks in. Fry is busy at a student desk reading a book and writing at the same time.
Over the past 12 months, Fry had changed: he started going to work on time, he had stopped hanging out with Bender as much, not only that, Fry had joined a gym and was working out 3 days a week and eating better. Fry now was actually buff and in good physical shape. The thing that really startled Bender was that 6 months earlier, Fry had started attending the New New York City Community College of Space Maritime Law night school.
'Hey meatbag!' Bender asked as Fry jerked his head up in surprise, 'What the hell are you doing? I had 2 fine hookerbots lined up tonight and you didn't show up. I had to entertain both of them by myself! (evil smile from Bender). So how much do I owe you?'
'Bender, learn to knock before coming in my room, will ya!' Fry yelled. Calming down, Fry simply stated, 'Bender, I have a big Space Torts Law exam tomorrow night, and there's a delivery that Amy and I have to make early this morning, so I'm studying while I have a chance.'
'Yeah meatbag, I've been meaning to ask what's gotten into you. Last year I thought that you and ol' one-eye were going to interface and merge your programming, but the two of you are even farther apart than ever. You're making deliveries with Amy and I'm the one that has to fly with the one-eyed-wicked-witch of Planet Express.' Bender sounded like he actually cared as he asked.
'I don't know, Bender,' Fry sighed. 'Leela and I had a couple of good months together after the concert, then out of the blue she tells me that she needs her space and we need to spend some time away from each other. I can't think of what I did to make her get so upset that she just dumped me like that, so the only thing that I can think of is that she's ashamed of the fact that I'm such a loser. It's no secret that she wants a successfull man in her life, so I figured that the only way that she'll ever love me is if I become successful, so I'm getting in better shape and I'm getting my degree in Space Law so that when I take over Planet Express from Professor Farnsworth, I can make it as successfull as MomCorp.'
Getting angry, Bender shouts, 'Fry dammit, you're not the one with the problem. Leela has more hangups than Microsoft Windows 2000! She's one cold bitch, Fry! If she gave a crap about you, then why did she flush your letter to her telling her about your deepest feelings down the toilet? Did she ever thank you for almost getting yourself killed trying to stop the bee that SHE bought aboard the ship from attacking her? Did she ever thank you for keeping her from killing her parents? All the crap that you've done for her over the past 4 years and has she EVER gone a day without yelling at you?'
Wincing at hearing this, and knowing that it's all true, all Fry could say is, 'I love her, Bender. I don't know what it will take for her to know that I will never hurt her like Sean, Adlai or Alkazar, but I feel like I'm beating my head against a wall and I'm running out of hope. I work out and I study as hard as I do so that I don't have to think about her. I asked Hermes to arrange the schedule so that Amy and I work together; that way I don't have to see Leela but a couple of days a week.'
'You bastard! You're the reason that I'm having to work with that mopey poster child for Prozac! It's hell, Fry. She's always yelling and nagging and bitching and moaning about nothing and everything. She deserves to be lonely, if you ask me. Meatbag, forget about her, she ain't worth your time and trouble!' Bender exclaimed as he stalks off, lighting up a Zuban cigar.
Sighing and looking down at his book, Fry silently acknowledges Bender's observations. Even though Bender was a robot, he was the best and closest friend that Fry has ever had; Bender had made Fry stop for the first time in six months and really think about the past 4 years that he had known Leela. Everything that Bender said was right: Leela did yell at Fry often and viciously; Leela did flush a letter he mailed her laying naked his soul and his feelings for her. There was a part of Leela that was so angry and bitter that everytime he would start to get close to her, she would viciously push him away. The last thought that went through Fry's mind before falling asleep at his desk was, 'I don't deserve to be treated this badly.'
7 AM, Planet Express Building
Fry walked in the building knowing that Hermes would be the only person there; the professor would still be asleep, Leela wouldn't come in until 7:30, Amy at 8:00 and Bender may or may not show up. Fry remembered that today was Leela's day off, so he may not have to see her after all. Fry came in early because Hermes was helping Fry with his courses; Fry never was a natural student, so he had to work hard for every point that he got in school.
Hermes was more than glad to help Fry because the Professor wouldn't be around much longer, and Fry probably would take over Planet Express so it is in Hermes best interest to help Fry get his degree. 'Hey mon, you be here early again, what can I do to help you?'
'I'm ready for my exam tonight, I just came in to get an early start,' Fry replied
'You're here early so dat you can get your stuff done before Leela comes in!' Hermes observed. 'Really, you two need to get your differences resolved. It's difficult to keep scheduling the two of you apart; besides when she doesn't have you to yell at, she yells at everybody else.'
Fry winced at hearing this. Even with his co-workers he was considered Leela's personal punching bag and whipping boy.
Fry heard the door open behind him, he saw Leela walk in while he was loading the Planet Express ship's cargo hold. Over the past several months, the conversations between Fry and Leela were short and polite, yet forced. Fry could feel that Leela was uncomfortable being around him, so he tried to give her as much space as possible. This morning he didn't feel the pangs of unrequited love, but a simmering anger about what Bender said about Leela treating him like crap for the past 4 years. The anger wasn't at Leela, but at himself for swallowing his pride and allowing her to treat him that way for so long. He looked at her and envisioned her flushing his letter down the toilet; he had a combination of hurt and loathing at the same time; how could somebody be so cold and callous to do such a thing to another human?
Leela walked up behind Fry drinking a cup of coffee, observing him load the ship for a few minutes. She fully expected him to start a conversation with her and was surprised when he didn't. She also noticed that he had lost weight and toned up; Fry was not too bad to look at. Leela also knew that Fry was attending night school (Hermes kept her informed about the adventures of Fry) and actually making good grades. This was a different Fry from just 12 months ago and Leela was proud that Fry was taking the initiative to improve himself. She wanted to say something, anything to him, but she knew that she had hurt him beyond belief 10 months earlier. If she had the power, she would have never let that night happen, but hey! Fry was making something out of himself and it was because of that night, so maybe it was for the best! Justifying her actions to herself, she walked onto the ship and started the pre-flight checklist. Even though it was Fry and Amy's day to make deliveries, Leela didn't have anything else to do, so she often came in on her day off to be around the people she knew best. Besides, there may be the chance that Fry would approach her and they could repair the damage from 10 months ago......