Professor Farnsworth was going over the final touches of his latest experiment. Years ago he had designed a hat for his monkey, Gunter, which gave him super intelligence, but now he was going to attempt to place a chip in a humans brain.
“This will surely win me a Nobel Prize,” the 160 year old man muttered to himself. “If this works the universe will no longer be full of imbeciles!”
Tweaking the chip a little he smiled. “Finished. Now all I need is a test subject. But where am I going to find someone with the brain of a monkey? Hmm…”
The next day Phillip J. Fry walked into work with his hands in his pockets and a smile on his face. For some reason he was in a very cheery mood and nothing could ruin his day. Once inside the building he was greeted by his nephew.
“What up Professor?”
“I need your help Fry. I’m working on an experiment.”
“Is it gonna hurt?”
“No, no of course not. Right now I just need you to take some intellectual exams that will measure your IQ and level of intelligence.”
Fry scratched his head obviously not sure what the Professor was talking about.
“Just come with me.”
The Professor led Fry into his lab where he had a few books, a Rubik’s cube and a book of Sudoku puzzles.
“What’s all this for?” Fry asked sitting down.
“Here,” the Professor said handing Fry the Sudoku book, “do the first on in the book. It’s ‘light and easy’. Once you get it done say ‘Sudoku’ and I’ll check it.”
The Professor sat across from Fry as he looked at the puzzle constantly scratching his head. About 20 minutes went by and Fry was chewing on his pencil.
“How far are you?” Professor asked.
Fry showed him the page and he saw that Fry had written not a number, but the letter ’Q’ in.
“That doesn’t go in there. You‘re suppose to put a number.”
“Damnit!” Fry said.
“Okay, lets just move on. We’ve got more test to do.”
Captain Trunga Leela walked into the lounge with a clipboard in her hand going over the deliveries for the day. She saw Bender sitting on the couch but noticed that Fry wasn’t with him.
“Bender, where’s Fry?”
“I didn’t kill him.”
Sighing, she sat down at the table going over the papers again. But soon she found herself not able to focus on it and her mind wandered to Fry. Even though he screwed up the day before she didn’t yell at him. Bender had pointed out how odd that was for her. Usually she would of screamed at him, but instead did nothing. When she got home she wondered why the sudden change but couldn’t figure it out.
Hearing the door open she saw Fry walk in with a blank look on his face.
“Fry are you okay?” Leela asked.
“No, the Professor ran all these tests on me.”
“What kind of tests?”
“He made me do a bunch of puzzles and exams and stuff like that. Hey did you know there’s a letter after ‘C’?”
Bender and Leela just stared at him.
“God you’re dumb.” Bender said.
“So why did the Professor make you do all those tests?”
“He said that he was developing a new experiment and wanted my help.”
“Why would he want you to help, idiot?” Bender asked.
“I dunno. He thinks I’m smart?”
Bender started laughing hysterically and when he saw Leela and Fry staring at him he stopped. “Oh, wait you were serious?”
Leela shook her head and put a hand on Fry’s shoulder as Bender continued laughing, “Come on Fry, lets go get the ship ready.”
“Okay.” he said happily.
Leela had never asked him to help her before, and her tone didn’t suggest she was forced into doing asking for his help. Following her into the hanger he found his mind wander off thinking about what it would be like if they were together. He was so lost in his head he ran right into the wall falling backwards. Leela helped him up, but couldn’t help but giggle.
“Are you alright?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
They continued walking to the hanger but Fry couldn’t figure out why Leela didn’t let go of his arm the whole time.
Once the Planet Express ship touched down back on earth after their delivery, the crew was greeted by the Professor who had a exciting look on his face.
“Good news everybody!”
“Uh-oh,” Bender said, “I’ll be back on the ship.”
Leela grabbed him preventing him from going anywhere.
“What’s going on Professor?”
“Fry, do you remember all the tests I made you do this morning?”
Fry thought about it for a second, “No, not really.”
“Well, all of you come to the lab. I’ve got something to show you.”
After 10 minutes the Professor caught up to his crew in his lab. Once there he had Fry sit on his lab stool and got the chip he had designed from the protective case it was in.
“Now, I’ve developed this chip that will give a human being superior intelligence. It’s similar to what I used when developing the hat for Gunter. But this is implanted directly into their brain, so that way it can only be damaged in a serious head injury and they cant make the choice to abandon their intelligence. I also don’t have to break their legs if they no longer want to have the chip.”
“Professor, doesn’t that sound a little…I don’t know….horrible?”
“Not at all, it‘s like a lobotomy. And I don’t think it’s horrible when I can make this available to the universe and rake in $60,000 a chip.”
“$60,000 a chip?!” Bender said eyes popping out of his head. “Do you know how much booze and hookers I can get with that?”
“Who cares? I can use that to fund my research, and I’ll have a new assistant to help me.” he said pointing to Fry.
“Wait, you’re going to use Fry to help with your research?” Bender said.
“Once the chip is implanted in his small, empty brain.”
“But what about Cubert?” Leela asked.
“No, he’s to busy working on his own research. The drag co-efficient of tassels on flying carpets . Plus he’s very annoying.”
Fry, Leela, and Bender all agreed before the Professor got out his tools to implant the chip in Fry’s brain.
“Leela, Bender I’m going to have to ask you to leave while I put the chip into our friend Fry’s brain. His simple, simple brain.”
“Okay, good luck.” Leela said, a little afraid for Fry. She and Bender walked out of the room and the door closed. She winced a little when she heard a saw start up.
It was obvious to Leela that Bender wasn’t worried about Fry, seeing as though he was just sitting on the couch watching TV. Leela however was scared. Most of the Professors inventions didn’t work or went horrible wrong and she didn’t like the idea of him probing her friends brain.
An hour had went by and the Professor came out of the lab smiling.
“How is he?” Leela asked.
“He’s fine. Come on, I’ll show you what a success this is.”
He led Leela and Bender into the lab where Fry was sitting on the stool again, but with a bandage around his head.
“Now, earlier today I filmed Fry doing a few tests, so now we’re going to make him do them again and compare the results.”
Putting a tape into the player a image of Fry popped up smiling and the Professors voice could be heard.
“Now Fry I want you to attempt to do this Rubik’s cube.” the tape said as the Professors arm appeared handing Fry the cube.
A few minutes went by and on the tape Fry was now beating the cube on the table and chewing on it.
Shaking his head the Professor said “Now that was before. Fry, I want you to attempt the cube again.”
Fry picked it up and examined it. Less then two minutes later Fry held up a completed Rubik’s cube. “Done.”
“That’s impressive,” Leela said “Professor it actually worked.”
“I know! Now Fry tomorrow I want you to dress up because I am going to present you to the board at Mars University.”
“Present me? Like I’m some sort of object?”
“Not at all. I meant as a future Professor at the University.”
Fry’s face lit up brightly.
“Wait, Fry as a Professor?” Bender asked. “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”
“Why not?” Fry asked standing up, “I mean, with my new intelligence I can do anything. Like, prove the Professors hypothesis, or win the Nobel Prize.”
“Exactly!” the Professor said. “That’s why we are going to be a team, right?”
“You got it Professor!”
“Excellent! Now go home and get some rest Fry. Tomorrows a big day.”
Fry was smiling the whole way home. He noticed that with his new intelligence he saw the world differently, and he saw himself differently. This was his chance to prove he wasn’t just a kid from the stupid ages. He was going to be working in a lab and presenting his findings at Mars University. But the thing he cared about the most was that he would finally be able to impress Leela. He wasn’t that different, deep down he was still the same old Fry, only smarter.
Walking upstairs to his apartment he thought about how great it felt when she held his arm as they walked into the hanger. Then he thought about how that was before he had gotten the chip. Stopping dead in his tracks he replayed what happened back in his mind. She asked him to help her, something she had never done before, then when he fell she helped him up and held his arm the rest of the way. There was no real reason for her to hang on to him, he wasn’t hurt, but she did it anyway.
What’s that about? he thought as he continued going upstairs, for years she shows no interest in me then all of the sudden she’s being nice to me?
Even with his new brain, Fry still couldn’t figure it out.
Unlocking the door he took a step inside his apartment and stopped looking around.
“Great Shatner’s ghost look at this place. It’s a mess!”
Taking off his jacket and hanging it up (for the first time) he got some trash bags out and began cleaning.
While Fry was cleaning his apartment Leela was sitting in her own thinking about him. She couldn’t believe that the Professor’s chip actually worked, but she was worried that Fry would become a different person. Obviously his intelligence level would change, but what about his funny, loving personality? Or the way he felt about her?
Why couldn’t that senile old man wait to do this experiment?
Leela had decided the night before that she was going to ask Fry out on a real date. She finally came to the realization that she loved Fry and wanted to be with him, needed to be with him. That’s why she was being so nice to him during work. Asking for his help, holding his arm even though she didn’t need to. She almost got around to asking him out while they were on the delivery but each time she got too nervous. Never before had she felt this way about someone, and now every time she saw Fry her heart would start racing, she couldn’t stop smiling when she thought about him, which was a lot. It had taken her years to come to terms with her feelings for him and she was going to ask him out tomorrow, no matter what. Leela knew that it was now or never. Who knew what would happen when he went to Mars University? She could lose him forever and that was one thing Leela was not going to let happen.
The next morning Fry was up early, dressed, and ready to go. He noticed how the chip apparently made him more responsible, he had cleaned the whole apartment, woke up early, showered, brushed his teeth and by 8:00 he was out the door while Bender was still sleeping in his room and showed no sign of getting up soon.
It was a cool autumn day and Fry had done as the Professor said and dressed up for his meeting with the board at Mars U. He found a pair of khakis, a collared shirt with a red sweater and a tie. Never before had he been excited to go to school but he knew that this was his chance to really make something out of himself.
Fry turned the corner and knowing that Hermes wouldn’t be there to unlock the door for another 20 minutes he walked over to the bench over looking the river. He saw someone sitting there and smiled.
“Morning Leela,” he said sitting down.
“Hey Fry,” she answered smiling, “how’s the brain?”
“You look very nice.” she said noticing his clothes.
“Thanks. So do you.”
“Fry I wear this everyday.”
“I know, but still.”
Leela smiled and moved a strand of hair out of her face. “Thank you, that’s very sweet.”
“No problem. So what are you doing here so early?”
“Oh, sometimes I come out here just to think.”
“Lots of stuff.”
“That narrows it down.”
“My parents, my friends…the person I love.”
Great, Fry thought, she’s got a new boyfriend.
“You know I never realized that this person’s always been there for me?”
“No. I mean, I’ve been searching for Mr. Right and he was right next to me.” she said looking right at him.
Oh my God. Is she’s talking about me?
“Wha-what are you saying Leela?”
“Well…I guess that I-I-”
“Fry get in here!” a voice yelled.
The two of them looked up at the building and saw the Professor looking out the window from the observatory.
“We’ve got to get everything ready to take to Mars University! Now hurry up or you’re fired!”
Fry turned and looked at Leela, “I’ve got to go.”
“Lets talk about this more when I get back.”
Fry got up and started walking towards the building but stopped when Leela called his name.
Just spit it out, she thought. But she couldn’t do it.
Fry had an idea of what she was thinking and was upset that she couldn’t bring herself to say it.
As Fry walked upstairs to meet the Professor he thought about the fact that if he didn’t have his new brain he would of never realized that Leela was talking about him. But why couldn’t she say it?
Opening the door he saw he nephew pacing around.
“What took you so long?”
“Sorry Professor, I was talking to Leela outside.”
“I don’t care about your girlfriend Fry. Lets go damnit, lets go!”
“Okay, okay, take it easy.”
The two of them boarded the ship with Amy, who was moving stuff into her dorm for when classes started next week, and headed for Mars. The whole way Fry kept thinking how he loved the idea of Leela being his girlfriend.
After she saw the Planet Express ship take off Leela sighed and made her way inside. She was responsible for answering phones while Fry and the Professor were gone. Sitting on the couch in the lounge she cursed herself for not telling Fry exactly how she felt.
What is wrong with me? she thought, Why can’t I just tell him how I feel?
The door opened and Dr. Zoidburg scuttled in.
“Hello Leela, you wouldn’t happen to have some food you could spare?”
“No, sorry Zoidburg. But…can I talk to you about Fry?”
“Of course! I’ll listen to anyone who wants to talk to me!”
He sat down next to her and it took Leela everything inside of her not to gag at his stench gland.
“Here’s the thing: I know that Fry’s had strong feeling for me for years.”
“Yes, yes he has.”
“And I know that I’ve been sort of…a bitch, to put it mildly, to him. But I’ve finally realized that I love him.”
“Yes, I do and I don’t know what I’d do without him. But I don’t know what’s going to happen once he talks to the board at Mar University.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean what if he gets a job as a professor or a researcher there? What if he changes and doesn’t love me anymore?”
“Leela, nothing could stop Fry from loving you.”
“I know. He’s always loved you and he’ll never stop.”
“Thanks Dr. Zoidburg. I really needed someone to assure me he wasn’t going to change.”
“You’re welcome Leela. Now can I borrow some money to buy some food?”
I guess he deserves it, she thought reaching in her pocket pulling out a $10 bill.
“There you go Zoidburg.”
“Yes! Zoidburg will eat tonight! Huzzah!” he said before scuttling out.
Leela smiled and decided that the second she saw him she was going to tell Fry exactly how she felt.
“Are you ready Fry?”
Fry was standing outside of the room that he was meeting with the board and the Professor noticed that his Uncle was starting to get nervous. He was breathing rapidly, sweating and he had a twitch.
“Yeah, I’m good to go.” he said before grabbing the wall for support, “Although, I am a little nervous.”
“Trust me you’ll do fine. This chip has given you the same level of intelligence as Einstein!”
“Although compared to what we know now and what he knew back then he’s considered an idiot.”
“Oh,” Fry said disappointed, “but without his work you wouldn’t know what you know now..”
“That’s very true. Good point Fry. You know the old you probably would of never been able to make that point?”
“You’re right. I love this chip! It’s like I’ve been asleep my whole life, and now I’m finally awake. It’s like I’m on crack I’m so awake!”
“I wouldn’t say that again.” the Professor whispered.
Dean Vernon came out of the room and motioned for Fry and the Professor to follow him.
“We’re very excited to see what experiment you have for us Professor Farnsworth.”
“The chip, Professor.” Fry whispered.
“Eh-whaa? Oh my yes!”
The two of them sat at the table with the rest of the Deans and the Professor pulled out the tapes of Fry doing the tests the day before.
“Deans I have with me, my Uncle Phillip J. Fry. He’s from the 20th century, but now he has become a genius worthy of becoming a Professor at this fine school.”
“How has he gone from kid from the stupid ages to genius?”
“Thanks to my new invention. Inside his brain he has a chip implanted which gives him mass intelligence. Here’s the X-Ray of it.”
The Professor held up a sheet with a outline of Fry’s head and showed his skull and brain with the chip in it.
“Now before I implanted the chip I had Fry here do some tests. Observe.” he said putting the tape in.
The deans watched as Fry attempted and failed each and every test and once the tapes were done turned their attention back to the Professor.
“Now watch him. Fry, what is the lightest element on earth, with no stable isotopes?”
“Correct. What is the quantum-”
“Professor Farnsworth,” Dean Vernon said, “if you don’t mind we would like to ask Fry our own questions”
“Mr. Fry, what is the attractive pressure between two parallel thin metal plates placed very near each other in a vacuum?”
“The Casimir effect.”
“If you were to travel to the center of the planet, how much would you weigh?”
“Nothing.” Fry answered smiling.
“Why do you say that?”
“Because gravity is the function between the centers of the mass of two objects. So if I’m at the center of the planet the centers are zero.”
“Impressive. Professor Farnsworth you have done a fantastic job in designing this chip.” Vernon said rubbing his chin.
Fry smiled and looked over at the Professor who was sleeping in his chair. “Uh, Professor?”
He shot awake and looked around. “Whaa?”
“Let the other deans and I collaborate and we’ll let you know out decision of what to do with Mr. Fry.”
“Thank you very much,” the Professor said before walking out with Fry. “Who was that guy?” he whispered.
Back at Planet Express Leela was pacing back and forth waiting for Fry and the Professor to come home. He said they would be back around three and it was 2:58. Bender had come in around noon and was now sitting on the couch watching TV and drinking beer. It was obvious that he was getting annoyed with Leela walking around.
“Hey Big Boots, calm down already.”
“I can’t! Bender you got to understand-”
“Oh Jeeze, are you gonna start blabbing on and on?”
“Yes. Now shut up and listen.”
Bender groaned and Leela turned off the TV standing in front of him. “I’m worried that Fry is going to get accepted at Mars University.”
“Because I love him!”
Bender just stared at her. “No, seriously why?”
“That’s the truth. I don’t know what I would do without Fry.”
“Wait, wait, wait.” Bender said waving his hands, “For years Fry asked you out, every night I had to listen to him complain how you would never love him, he would mope around the apartment every Saturday night, and at work all I heard was you complaining that he never left you alone and suddenly you love him?!”
“Bender I’m sorry what you had to endure, but how do you think I feel? I never realized that I was hurting him, but now I realize that he’s the one.”
Leela watched as Bender sighed and stood up. “Leela, I’m going to be honest with you right now. I know I’ve never shown this side before and if you tell anyone about it I’ll kill you. Fry’s my friend, for years I’ve seen him try everything under the sun to make you at least like him and not once have you ever, ever shown that you even value him as a friend. And now you love him? Honestly you don’t deserve someone as great as Fry.”
Bender walked out and Leela sat on the couch. He’s right, I don’t deserve Fry. But I love him! Oh, what am I suppose to do?
The door opened and Fry walked in with the Professor laughing.
“Oh, hey Leela.” Fry said once the two of them calmed down.
“Hey, how’d it go?”
“Oh wonderful, just wonderful!” the Professor said, “Fry made a great impression on the deans. We went out to lunch and Fry told the most hilarious joke I’ve ever heard.”
“Really? What was it?”
“It’s so funny,” Fry said laughing, “There’s this farmer and he has these chickens, but they wont lay any eggs. So, the farmer calls a physicist to help him. The physicist then does some calculations and says ‘I have a solution, but it only works with spherical chickens and a vacuum.’!”
Fry and the Professor started laughing hysterically while Leela just stood there. Once they saw that she wasn’t laughing they stopped.
“Oh, sorry. I’ve just never heard it before.”
“Anyway,” the Professor said, “Fry has been accepted as a graduate student at the university!”
“Really?” Leela asked, trying to sound excited for him, “That’s great!”
“Isn’t it? And when he’s finished he’ll join me in my research.”
“Can you believe it Leela?” Fry asked smiling, “I’m gonna be a scientist!”
“Yeah, it’s great.”
“Well, I have to go.” the Professor said, “It’s almost 4 PM and I have to get ready for bed. Goodnight everyone!”
He left the room and Fry shoved his hands in his pockets. “So Leela, there’s something I wanted to ask you.”
He took a deep breath and finally said, “Do you like me?”
No, I love you!
“Of course Fry, we’ve been friends for years.”
“No, I mean like me.”
“I’m not following.”
“It’s just that, when we were talking this morning I thought I saw your pupil dilate and that points to sexual attraction. You know unless you’re a heroin addict.”
That’s because I am extremely attracted to you!
“Well…uh, I did have a poppy seed bagel for breakfast.”
“That would show a positive urine test for opium’s but not dilate your pupil.”
“Oh, then I guess there was no point in bring it up.”
They stood there silently and finally Fry shook his head. “You know what lets just forget I said anything.”
Tell him now!
“Okay. But there’s something I wanted to ask you.”
“Can I take you out to dinner tonight? You know to celebrate?”
“No, no, let me take you out.”
She knew he was going to be persistent so she just gave in. Besides she just wanted to spend some alone time with him.
“So what do you say?” he asked smiling.
“Okay, it’s a date.”
“Yeah, a date.”
“Cool,” he said, his voice nervously cracking. He cleared his throat and smiled, “I’ll pick you up at 7:30?”
“Great. I’ll see you then.”
That evening Leela was sitting on the edge of her bed dressed in her backless pink dress and ready to go, but she was feeling like her heart was about to jump out of her chest. She had already avoided telling Fry how she felt twice today. But I can tell him before he leaves for Mars U, it’s not like he’s leaving tomorrow. Right?
Her pet Nibbler jumped up on her bed and jabbered something.
“Oh Nibbler, what am I gonna do? I want to tell Fry how I feel, but every time I try I get nervous. Like he said ’I feel like my mouth if filled with peanut butter, even when it’s not’.” she laughed a little and started petting Nibblers head, “But what if he doesn’t love me back?”
“The mighty one has always loved you Leela, and even though he has a new brain it hasn’t changed his feelings.”
Leela’s eye went wide and looked at Nibbler. “Did-did you just talk?”
“How long have you been able to talk?”
“Leela, there are many things you are not suppose to know about me. But I need you to listen carefully; you need to tell Fry exactly how you feel. I know that when you do you’ll make him the happiest man in the universe.”
“You’re right. I want it, he wants it, we should be happy together.”
“Exactly. Trust me, he’ll treat you right, he wont cheat, or hurt you. Unlike all the other guys you’ve dated.”
“Okay, I know I haven’t picked the greatest guys in the past.”
“I’m just saying, I have seen man after man leaving this apartment.”
“It is not man after man!”
Nibbler stared at her and she sighed, “Well that’s all over. It’s just going to be me and Fry from now on.”
“Good. So bring him back here for coffee, or what ever it is you humans have after a date, and tell him.”
There was a knock at the door and Nibbler hugged Leela’s arm. “Good luck Leela. And could you not tell Fry about our conversation?”
“Okay, no problem.”
She got up and started walking towards the door but turned around and looked at Nibbler, “and thanks for the talk Nibbler.”
Taking a deep breath she opened the door and saw Fry standing there, in the same outfit he had on earlier but with a jacket. Smiling he said, “Hey Leela, ready to go?”
“Yeah, let me just grab my purse.”
Picking up her purse she saw Nibbler peak out from her bedroom. He nodded his head and Leela took a deep breath. Turning around she smiled, “Lets go.”
Fry held out his arm and Leela looped her arm through his as they made their way outside.
After a short walk they arrived at Elzar’s and they walked inside.
“Table for two please.” Fry said.
“Right this way.” the four armed chef said as he led them into the dining room. He found them a small table in the back and Fry pulled out Leela’s chair.
Elzar handed them the menus and pulled out a pad of paper, “What can I start you folks off with to drink?”
“Bottle of wine please,” Fry said.
“Fry, you don’t have to go all out.” Leela said.
“It’s fine, don’t worry about a thing.”
“Alright then,” Elzar said, “I’ll be back.”
After he was gone Fry smiled.
“What?” Leela asked.
“Nothing,” he chuckled.
“What is it?”
“Your pupil dilated.”
He started laughing and Leela reached across the table and playfully slapped him.
“Your pupils dilated too.”
A few hours later Fry and Leela walked upstairs to Leela’s apartment laughing and were holding hands. During their dinner Leela kept telling herself to tell Fry how she felt but couldn’t do it. Once they were done with dinner they took a walk through the park before heading back to Leela’s.
“That was fun Fry, and thanks again for paying for dinner.”
They stood outside her apartment and Leela remembered what Nibbler had told her.
“Do you wanna come in for coffee?” Leela asked.
“Sure, sounds great.”
Unlocking the door the two of them walked inside and Leela went into the kitchen and Fry, not knowing where else to sit, sat on the floor besides her chair. Leela came out of the kitchen with two cups of coffee and sat down next to him.
“Here you go.” she said.
They sat there for a few minutes before Leela spoke. “I wanted to ask you, when are you leaving for Mars U?”
“Oh, uh-” he rotated the cup in his hands and sighed, “ the day after tomorrow.”
“Oh, I didn’t realize you were leaving so soon.”
“I tried to tell you earlier but we were having so much fun and I just didn’t want to ruin it.”
“No, I understand.”
They sat there in the silence before Leela spoke up. “I’ll miss you.”
“I’ll miss you too. But I’ll visit when I can.”
“You promise?” she said teasing.
Chuckling Fry smiled, “I promise.”
They sat there for a while more in the silence before Leela spoke up. “Fry, there’s something I want to tell you.”
She nervously twiddled her thumbs and started stuttering. Never before had Fry seen her so nervous and he took her hand in his. She felt herself relax but kept rambling in her head.
What if he doesn’t love me back? What if the chip changed him? But what if he does feel the same way, what will happen next? Oh my God look at the size of his feet! I never noticed how big they were before. Ask him how he shops for shoes. Wait, what is wrong with me?
“Leela?” Fry asked.
She took a deep breath and was just about to say it but choked on her words.
Oh for the love of Benji, just spit it out already! But be careful. I mean, do you remember what you told him last time? When he had the worms, and you said that stupid, stupid thing saying that-
“I love what you’ve become.”
Fry let go of her hand and stared at her. “What?”
Oh no, she thought, you said that out loud!
“Wait, Fry I-”
“Forget it.” he said standing up, “I should of known that it was too good to be true. You actually loving me for me.”
Leela stood up and reached for his arm, “Please Fry just listen-”
“No.” he said pulling away, “I’m done.”
“I didn’t mean-”
He opened the door and stepped out, “Good bye Leela.”
He slammed the door but Leela followed him out.
Leela watched as he quickly ran down the stairs and she ran back inside slamming the door behind her. Nibbler greeted her at the door.
“What‘s going on?” he asked when he saw tears in Leela’s eye.
“I’m an idiot!” she said running into her room and closing the door.
That night Fry tossed and turned trying to sleep but kept having dreams about Leela. Although he thought they were more like nightmares. In everyone he gave her his heart only to have it broken. Just like in real life, he thought. After every dream he would wake up and think about what happened. He couldn’t believe what she said and then tried to defend herself.
Sitting up he rubbed his eyes and saw that it was only two in the morning. Sighing he got up and went into the kitchen to get some water and when he laid back down he stared at the wall for a few minutes before setting down his water. He was about to go to sleep but picked up the picture of him and Leela that was on his nightstand. For a long time he stared at it and finally in his anger chucked it across the room watching it break into pieces. Laying back down he closed his eyes.
“Screw you,” he mumbled before falling asleep.
The rest of his night wasn’t any better and he was sitting up against his headboard when his alarm went off. It was 7:30 and he picked up his phone scrolling through the numbers. He thought about calling Leela and apologize for leaving like that, but decided that she should be the one apologizing and instead called Amy. It rang a few times before she picked up.
“Hey Amy, it’s Fry.”
“Hey Fry, what’s up?”
“I wanted to know if you were going back to Mars U today.”
“Yeah, I’m putting the finishing touches on my dorm room.”
“Is your roommate okay with what you’re doing?”
“Roommate? Fry I have my own private dorm. My parents practically helped build the school.”
“Oh, that’s right.”
“If you want I can get you your own private dorm.”
“Really? That would be great! But I called because I was going to try to head up there and just move in today. I was wondering if I could bum a ride.”
“Today? Aren’t you even going say goodbye to anyone?”
He didn’t want to tell Amy what happened between him and Leela so he lied.
“I’ve said goodbye to everyone already.”
But not in the way I wanted to.
“Oh, okay. I’ll pick you up around 8:30 at Planet Express.”
“Uh, can you just pick me at my place? I-uh-I don’t want to lug all my stuff to Planet Express.”
“Sure. I’ll be there in a hour.”
Hanging up his phone he got up, showered, dressed and began packing his things. About 45 minutes later he had everything ready and was just waiting for Amy. Bender stumbled out of his room for a beer and Fry walked in the kitchen with him.
“Hey Bender, I just wanted to say that I’m leaving a day early for Mars U.”
“What? Why? I had a fun day planned for us. We were gonna go get drunk and find us some hookers.”
“Sorry Bender, but I have to leave today.”
“Just personal reasons.” he said going back into the living room.
“Does this have something to do with Leela?”
Fry remained silent.
“Fry, I know how you care for her-”
“I don’t just care for her Bender, I love her. I always have. But I realized that she could never love me, only what I’ve become.”
“What are you talking about?”
“That’s what she said, ‘I love what you’ve become,’. I couldn’t believe it.”
There was a car horn beeping from outside and Fry picked up his boxes. “I got to go. See you Bender.”
“I talked to Leela yesterday, and I know that she does care about you.”
“Yeah, the new me. She could never love dumb Fry, so guess what she’s not gonna get me. I’m over her.”
“You’ll never be over her Fry.”
“Bender you know it as well as I do, I have as much a chance of having a real relationship with Leela as the Hubble Telescope does at finding at the center of every black hole is a little man with a flashlight searching for a circuit breaker!”
Bender knew that Fry wasn’t going to listen and with his attitude, he didn’t want to even talk to him anymore.
“Fine. You want to run away from your problems? Go!”
Fry opened the door and walked out with his boxes, “Good bye Bender.”
While Fry and Amy were making their way to Mars U, Bender was making his was to Planet Express. 8:30 was unusually early for him to show up at work but he had to talk to Leela, and he knew she was there. Entering the lounge he saw her sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee in her hands.
She looked up, her eye bloodshot and her cheeks stained with tears.
“What happened with Fry last night?” he asked sitting down.
She didn’t answer, just hearing Fry’s name made her bury her head in her hands to muffle her sobbing.
“I said something stupid and hurt him.”
“Leela, I’ve never seen him so upset. This morning he packed up and left with Amy for Mars U.”
Bender told her about the conversation between him and Fry earlier and then pulled out a folded piece of paper.
“And last night I heard him get up, then a crash against the wall. After he left I looked in his room and found a shattered picture frame with this.” he said handing her the picture.
It was a picture of the two of them at Xmas. Fry had given her a necklace with a purple stone in the middle and Amy had taken a picture of him putting it around her neck.
“He threw this at the wall?”
“It’s all because of what I said. I tried to tell him that I love him, but I was so nervous, then I just kept rambling on and on in my head, and I thought about when he had the worms and I accidentally said what I told him then.”
“That you love what he’s become?”
“But that’s not true. I love him, the real him. It just slipped out. I was going to tell him the truth at work today, but now what am I gonna do?”
“I don’t know,” Bender said standing up, “but we’ve got to get him back.”
Amy pulled into the parking lot outside the University dorm and turned off her car.
“Okay we’re here.”
“Thanks for the ride Amy, I appreciate it.”
“No problem. Now you wait here, I’m gonna go talk to one of the deans about getting you your own dorm.”
Fry had a physics book from the Professor and while Amy was inside he began flipping through it before reading it seriously. 35 minutes later Amy walked out of the building zipping her top up.
“Alright Fry, you got a private dorm room.”
“You’re welcome. Now you can concentrate on your work.”
He stared out the window and Amy put a hand on his shoulder.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I‘m fine.”
When he didn’t add anything Amy just shook her head.
“Okay, but you know if you need to talk to someone you can talk to me, right?”
“Yeah. Thanks Amy. I’ll see you around.”
He got out of the car and got his boxes out of the trunk before walking upstairs to his new room.
Opening the door he saw that he had a bed, a desk, a bookshelf and a window over looking the courtyard outside. Smiling he began emptying the one box that had the books the Professor gave him and a few pictures. Putting the books on his shelf he began taking out the pictures.
The first one was of his parents, Yancy and himself, it was one that he found in Old New York and got reframed. The next one was of him and Seymour, taken a few months before he was frozen. The last one was of himself, Leela and Bender. Looking at it he wished he hadn’t destroyed the other one, but his rage just took over. Sighing he put that one down on the bookshelf and sat on his bed.
Hearing the a knock at the door he was relived, he needed something to take his mind off Leela. Opening the door he saw the Professor standing there with a young alien man, about 22, who had dark blue skin with light blue spots scattered around, and had short black hair spiked up. He also had only three fingers and 5 eyes.
“Ah Fry,” the Professor said, “Amy called me and said you were coming up here a day earlier and I wanted to introduce you to Barry Sybok. He’s a graduate student of mine as well, and is going to be your research partner and he lives in the dorm across from you.”
“Nice to meet you,” Fry said extending his hand.
“Nice to meet you too.” Barry said with a lisp.
“I thought you two should get to know each other since you’re going to be working together.” the Professor said, “Too bad you two aren’t roommates. I have to remember both your phone numbers now. Anyway, I’ll be in my office if you need anything.”
“So,” Barry said after the Professor left, “You’re the Professors Uncle?”
“Yeah, I was frozen in 1999.”
Fry laughed a little and moved out of the way letting Barry inside his dorm. “How rude of me making you stand out there.”
“It’s fine.” Barry said looking around. He noticed the pictures on his bookshelf and motioned to the first one. “Your parents?”
“That’s them with my older brother, and the other one is my dog Seymour.” Fry replied taking more stuff out of the boxes he brought with him. “I gotta say, you guys caught me in the middle of moving in.” he chuckled.
“Oh, here let me help.”
“Thanks. Can you start unpacking that one?” Fry said pointing to the one on his desk.
As they unpacked all of the boxes, Fry and Barry got to know each other. Fry told him all about growing up in the 20th century, being frozen and working at Planet Express until the Professor implanted the chip in his brain. Barry, who had a passion for 20th and 21st century earth, was from the planet Ceti Alpha VIII and went to college there before transferring to Mars U for graduate school.
Opening another one of the boxes Barry pulled out a small metal rectangle box and looked at the words on it.
Fry looked up from the box he was emptying and smiled. “Yeah, my brother and I played it all the time when we were kids.”
Barry examined the box some more before smiling, “You wanna take a break?”
“Sure!” Fry said moving his end table between the bed and the chair from his desk.
That night back on earth Leela was sitting in her room with the phone in her hands. She wanted to call Fry but wasn’t sure what to say. Finally she dialed his cell phone number and listened as it rang a few times.
“Pick up,” she said softly, “please Fry, pick up.”
“Hey,” a voice said.
“Fry, it’s Leela-”
“I cant get to the phone right now,”
Leela sighed heavily, damn.
“Leave a message and I’ll get back. Live long and prosper.”
There was a beep and Leela closed her eye before hanging up. She needed to talk to Fry, not leave a message and hope that he would call her back.
“Nothing?” Nibbler asked jumping up on the bed.
“No, I’ll try calling him again in the morning.”
While Leela was sitting in her apartment, Fry was lying in bed in his dorm staring up at the ceiling. He had class the next day at 10:30 but had a feeling he was going to be up way before he had to.
Sitting up in bed he picked up his cell phone. He knew Leela had called but couldn’t bring himself to answer it, even though wanted to talk to her, but every time he just thought about her he felt as if he was being punched in the stomach and felt sick.
He laid on his side and closed his eyes going back to sleep.
If I could sleep, he thought.
To Be Continued…