The Full Circle, Part 3
Kiyone Makabi was created by Naoko Hasegawa and owned by AIC and Pioneer LDC, inc. Used without permission.
John, Rob, and Sally (formally Susan) created by Mitch
Leela had just finished showering in the Planet Express ship's bathroom. She had just put on a robe and was about to use a hairdryer when she decided to try what she heard Kim did and wrapped it with a towel. She was so off-guard that she almost didn't hear the door slide open. She turned and saw Kim in her borrowed pajamas in the doorway.
"Oh, uh, Ms. Leela, sorry. I'll just."
"It's okay," said Leela, "just do what you need to do. Unless, it's."
"Actually," interrupted Kim, a bit sheepishly, "I think it was what you're thinking of, but I'll wait on that. I'll just brush my teeth. Anything I can use?"
"The red toothbrush is Fry's," explained Leela, "it's okay; he never uses it."
Kim, cringing a little, rinsed the brush, found some toothpaste, and began brushing.
"By the way," said Leela, "Bender and Rufus has run away."
Kim spat at the mirror.
"Relax," said Leela, offering Kim a note, "Bender does it all the time and he always comes back. Here's the note. It doesn't quite sound like Bender, though."
Kim looked at the note and smiled a little.
"They'll be fine," said Kim, wiping off the mirror and starting to brush again.
"I should make this quick," Kim garbled before she spat in the sink, "Ron doesn't know I left his room."
"You were in the same room last night?"
"It.it's not what you think! Well, I wanted some time with him and we spent the night together. Uh, that didn't come out right."
"It's okay," said Leela, "Fry cuddled with me last night. It was.rather nice. I guess we'll call it our 'first.'"
"It wasn't exactly our first. Ron and I would share the same bed for sleepovers until we were about six years old. Well, there was that one time when we were seven when my dad was out of town. In retrospect, Mom must have had hopes for the two of us."
"It seems natural."
"That's what everyone keeps saying," said Kim, "but we've been friends, good friends, for so long, I'm afraid of, well, bursting our bubble."
"Same with me, concerning Fry. For me, it's important because, well, I guess he was my first friend, and that was just a few years back."
"I guess it's the value of the friendship, not the number of years," concluded Kim, "don't get me wrong. I want this to work, it's just so.uncertain and that's never been a factor for us."
Leela heard some fear in Kim's voice as she said this. The older woman put her hand on the shoulder of the young woman.
"I know more than most that there's never a 'certain' relationship," explained Leela, "but I feel that you and Ron are capable of giving a good fight against any challenges you two will face."
"interesting choice of words," said Kim.
"Uh, I wasn't comparing this to your missions."
"I wasn't thinking of it that way either. Oh, I gotta go! I don't want him to think I ditched him. Thanks Captain."
Kim rushed out of the room and Leela looked in the mirror.
There were several things that she envied Kim for: a family, a life-long friend, and acceptance.
Of course, Leela wasn't complaining about what she had now: her parents, Fry, and acceptance among her friends.
She smiled and remembered another thing remaining that she always wanted: a child.
Well, thought Leela sadly, that won't happen soon.
Kim hurried to Ron's room and saw him turning everything over. Was he looking for her or was he upset? Either way, it seemed strange.
"Ron," she asked, "are you okay?"
He quickly turned to her with a worried look on his face.
"Um, I was only gone for a minute. I was hoping to get back before you got up. I.didn't worry or upset you that much, did I?"
"It's Rufus," explained Ron, sounding upset, "I just can't find him, Kim! He's gone!"
"Ron," said Kim softly and holding up the note, "I think it has to do with this."
She read the note out loud.
"Dear organ sacks,
We're ditching you for a while. Don't try to find us and think twice about that "power source" thing. See you on the New Frontier. So long, dudes.
Bender and Rufus"
"Funny," said Kim, looking at the letter with her analytical talent, "it looks it said 'jerks' and was erased and replaced with 'dudes'. Also, 'love' seems forced in."
"We shouldn't worry too much then," explained Kim, "if Rufus can resist Bender's influence, he'll come back to us."
Ron slowly smiled, he looked at Kim in a mixture of agreement and affection.
"Yeah," he said, "we'll tell Joan about this. Oh, what time is it?"
"Close to supper time.oh, yeah. It's your turn, isn't it?"
Joan and Ron had been taking turns at fixing dinner. From what Kim knew of Bender's cooking, they just dodged being poisoned.
"Adios, Kim," said Ron as he walked off, "I gotta get started on dinner."
"Don't burn yourself," said Kim jokingly as she waved at him, wishing that he wasn't going so fast, otherwise she would have blown him a kiss.
"I wouldn't diss his cooking," said Joan, walking to Kim's side, "I hear he's pretty good at it."
"I was kidding, not dissing," explained Kim, "he's a great cook and a good man overall. Yeah, he slips up at times, but he's really not that bad of a fighter."
"Uh, yeah. I mean, you two are a pretty famous team. I know that he doesn't get as much credit as he deserves, but I hear he's great and, well."
Kim could tell Joan was nervous, but wasn't sure why. She figured it would be best to at least make sure that the lady knew the situation.
"I'm dating him these days," said Kim.
"Whew!" said Joan, "I was skirting around that. I thought this moment might be from before that, so I tried to avoid leaking that out."
"Wait," said Kim, "do you.know how things will turn out between us?"
"I can't saw anything without fearing it may mess with the timeline," explained Joan, "our being here is too much of a strain on the nature of the cosmos already. Even if what I know is good news, and I'm not admitting or denying it, it might make you overconfident or something. You know, you had a better chance of finding out when I was unsure how you two were standing."
"Oh, about Bender and Rufus."
"Yeah, I heard," explained Joan, "don't worry. The New Frontier is safe. They could easily get lost, though. We'll give them time to cool of and find them."
Joan walked away and Kim felt like frowning at her, but realized that she was teasing with the last part. She was afraid of messing things up between Ron and herself; making their friendship into something more was a big step. Still, at least this way she didn't have something to watch out for.
On the third day, as Leela walked past the laundry room, she heard two voices and one of them was Joan's.
"Woah, lady. Calm down, it wasn't my idea."
"Look," shouted an unfamiliar female voice, "kidnapping is a serious offence, especially with a Galaxy Police officer! Now, what's going on here?"
Leela came into the room and saw Joan being threatened by an armed woman with long teal hair wearing a somewhat tight uniform. Joan looked ready to move, but was being cautious. Reflexively, Leela cart wheeled to the new woman and kicked the ray gun (of an unfamiliar design) from her hand. Joan caught it and disarmed it. Leela faced the woman in a protective stance, ready to deliver trouble.
"Sorry, lady" said Leela, "but I can't have you threaten my friend here."
The new woman grimaced and dropping from her sleeve and into her hand was a.yo-yo?
What's her game? wondered Leela, just as the woman threw the yo-yo at her. Leela expected that the woman was trying to bean her with it, but it instead split in halves and spun around Leela, wrapping her in a glowing yellow cord. She tried to break free, but it was unusually strong.
Then, Kim arrived, and quickly barrel rolled to Leela and cut the yo-yo cord with her lazar pen. As soon as Leela untangled herself, they both faced the attacker.
"Wait a minute," asked the woman, "why don't you just use that hand-held lazar or my own gun on me?"
"I don't kill," explained Joan, matter-of-factly.
"Neither do I," said Kim, "and besides, I've only been on this ship once before, but I already know it's against policy to use a ray gun in here or else we're all in trouble."
"A ship?" asked the woman calming down, "this is a ship?"
Kim and the new woman finally got a good look at each other. Kim noticed that the woman was in excellent shape and wore something that looked like a flight attendant uniform with a gun holster. It reminded her of the uniforms of the crime-fighting Global Justice Network, but a little looser. She had an orange headband and a pretty face and blue eyes. The woman seemed honestly confused, so Kim let her guard down. They looked at each other for a moment, as if there was some unseen connection between them.
The woman finally broke eye-contact and looked around, looking astonished.
"I was on a ship like this once," she said in a quieter tone than before, "it was called the Planet Express ship."
Just then, Fry entered the room and looked surprised.
"Kiyone? Detective Kiyone Makabi?"
"Fry? Phillip Fry? Then, this must be."
She turned to Leela and the two women looked at each other for a minute.
"Leela!" the woman greeted as she bowed, "I'm glad to meet you at last."
"A friend of yours?" asked Kim.
"We exchanged jobs once under unusual circumstances," explained Leela to Kim, "it was after we first met you and Ron."
The woman then dropped her face in an apologetic fashion.
"Captain, I'm sorry for my behavior; I should have recognized you from the pictures I saw of you from Planet Express. I just wish you contacted me somehow before bringing me here."
"Actually," said Leela, now sounding apologetic herself, "you're here by accident again, but I'm not sure how."
"The more time we spend here, the more likely the space-time continuum will weaken," explained Joan, "although I'm not sure where or when this lady is from."
"She's from an alt.alter.another universe," explained Fry.
"Ah," said Joan, "I get it. In my time, there was some correspondence between Dr. Tim Possible, Jonathan Farnsworth, and Washu Hakubi, the greatest dimensional experts of two universes. They said something about counterparts, approximate ones at least, being drawn to each other."
"The Professor said something about that," said Leela, "is Kiyone my counterpart?"
"Close enough, I guess," explained Joan.
Kim and Ron were walking down a hallway, missing Rufus. They were told that Joan's ship was completely safe and Rufus could certainly take care of himself, so they weren't too worried about him.
"At least we're alone now," teased Kim as they walked.
"I'm not sure that'll last," said Ron.
Just then, they noticed a flash of light coming from a nearby room.
When the light subsided, Kim and Ron saw a robot woman holding two human toddlers close to her. She had a shape and even a metallic ponytail similar to Leela, but her face had two eyes. She looked around, looking surprised, but not too surprised.
"The Planet Express ship?" she asked out loud, "how did we get here? And who are you?"
"I hope she doesn't think we're Fry and Leela's kids," whispered Ron to Kim, "it's happened before."
"I heard that," said the fembot, "I have good hearing, better than the average bending unit. And no, that would be hard to mistake, considering who I'm holding here."
She put down the toddlers she was holding.and Kim and Ron had the shock of their exceptionally eventful lives.
Right in front of them were two toddlers who, with exception of both of them having two eyes, looked identical to Fry and Leela.
"Weird enough," Kim asked Ron with her eyes still fixed on the pair.
"Oh, yeah," Ron responded while being just as mesmerized.
"What's going on?" asked Leela as she entered the room. Even in Kim's dazed state, she could tell that Leela was as surprised as they were.
"Mama!" said the toddlers as they ran up to Leela and hugged her legs.
"Okay," said Leela, still in shock, "now I'm starting to get weirded out."
LOOK IN LEELA'S HEAD AS SHE SEES THE TWINS
Time seemed to stand still as Leela looked at the toddlers, one which looked just like Fry while the other looked like...her, but with two eyes.
She felt so many emotions in that moment: confusion, curiosity, fear, pride, joy, and.love.
She had felt like this before, when she accidentally impregnated her alien friend Kif Kroker in a symbiotic manner. Due to the situation and the cultural differences of Kif's people, she had trouble seeing the offspring as "her's" or not. In the end, since she didn't have custody, she decided to consider herself at least the surrogate parent, perhaps an "aunt" at most (she'd probably like that).
This was a little different, legally anyway. Now these were children that were Fry's and her own. They were from another universe, but they were still related and the very possibility a world where she and Fry had kids was striking her hard. She had once visited a world which had a Leela and Fry that were married, but this was a step further.
Still, the longer she looked at them, the more her heart started to melt. The various dimensional paradoxes and legal concerns seemed trivial to the very existence of these two miracles. She smiled and fought to hold back tears.
The tears were a mixture of confusion and joy, but mostly joy.
Joan and Fry were walking past the laundry room when they saw Leela in the hallway with a toddler strapped to each leg.
"I think we have new passengers," said Joan as they entered the room.
"Daddy!" said the children as they ran from Leela to Fry's legs. Joan finally got a good look at them and was a little surprised.
"Okay," said Joan, "I have a theory."
She then saw the confused fembot.
"Fry? Leela? Aren't you gonna great your kids?" asked the fembot.
"Theory proven," said Joan.
Joan walked up to the fembot and whispered, "I think you're from an alternate reality."
"So," asked the fembot in a whisper, "this is an Earth where Leela and Fry don't have these kids?"
"Well, we're trapped in a field, but yes."
The fembot looked a little confused, but shrugged.
"I was wondering when something would happen to me," she said out loud, "I'm Sally, by the way, the wife of my Earth's Bender. I was sitting for the twins when I was brought here."
Joan then went up to Fry.
"Go along with it," she whispered.
"What? But I'm not their father," he whispered back.
"As far as they know, you are," Joan explained, "and I don't want to confuse them by explaining the concept of alternate realities. They may be too young to get it."
"I went through a few once," explained Fry, "and I still don't get it!"
"Just pretend you're their dad!" Joan almost commanded in a hushed but strict tone.
Fry gulped and bent down to greet his would-be prodigies.
"Uh, hi kids. Daddy's home."
"Home on space colony, daddy!" said Leela Jr.
"Oh, yeah, uh.I meant our home away from home.'cuz the ship has rooms and beds, yeah."
Seeing that Fry had the situation at hand, to a point, Joan turned to Leela.
"Just play along."
"Oh, I want to," explained Leela in a whisper, "but I'll be too busy to be with fixing the ships to be with them, well, part of the time."
"Hello," said Sally out loud, "I'm still sitting them."
"We'll help," said Kim, "you're a guest now, anyway."
"We will?" asked Ron, "what about Rufus?"
"We'll look for him while we sit for these two," explained Kim, "and I've been itching for something to do."
"I guess it's settled," said Joan, "Sally, I'll show you around and try to explain things."
"Uh, how long am I going to be here?" asked the fembot as they left the room.
"The good news is that whatever happens, you won't be here for long."
"The bad news is that we'll either escape or accidentally destroy the universe."
"Oh, that's bad," said Sally, "say, is the Bender of this universe on this ship?"
"He should be," explained Joan, "but we can't find him.. We think he's with Rufus."
"Who's that? A friend of those two kids?"
"He's a naked mole-rat. You know, the east-African rodent?"
"Oh, yeah," said Sally, "they were popular on my Earth in the early.22nd century?"
"21st on my Earth," said Joan, "why do you need to see Bender?"
"Actually," explained Sally nervously, "I would need to avoid him. I'm afraid that he'll remind me too much of my own Bender and I miss him already. Who are those kids, anyway?"
"Friends," said Joan, "like everyone here."
The woman was now purposely hiding. She didn't want her presence known yet. Not with all these people around. She decided to wait. They would eventually come to her. Then, she could pick them off as she went along.
With so many new passengers, Leela decided to take up Joan's offer and have everyone stay on the New Frontier instead of the cramped Planet Express ship. Leela was first impressed by the size of the ship, but she later became even more impressed by the contents of the ship. It had everything from a gym to a steam room to an indoor pool!
Leela decided to try out the steam room. Putting on a towel, she entered to find Kiyone there, already wearing a robe and her hair tied up.
"Oh, sorry Officer Kiyone."
"It's okay," said the officer, "I could use the company."
"There's a lot of that around here lately," said Leela as she sat down, "so, you're on a break?"
"Yeah," said Kiyone, "I'm qualified, but I can only stand so much engine work at a time. How about you?"
"I don't really know how our own engine works," explained Leela, "Professor Farnsworth invented it and knows it inside and out, but Joan and Rob seem to have an idea how it works."
"It confuses me too, but I don't want to talk shop right now."
"Same here," said Leela, "I'm a bit jealous, but I'm glad you 'kept shop' for me that other time we brought you to our world. And.while I have this chance, there's something more personal I should thank you for."
"'Something more personal'? What is it?"
"More of a 'who'. I mean Fry. He says that he thought of me while I was gone."
"Oh, yeah. He did. He really cares for you."
"He does," said Leela, "and the feeling is more mutual than I once thought."
"You mean.you and him? You two are together now?"
"Yeah. So, is anyone waiting for you back home?"
"A guy, no, at least for me. My friends and my partner, certainly. I'm more of a career girl."
"So was I. Well, I was looking for love on the side. That was hard to do for me. You know," explained Leela, pointing to her eye, "because of this. Did you know that my parents made it seem that I was from outer space?"
"That's what I heard. I can't say that I know how that would feel, but.it always feels weird being an alien mistaken for human."
"You'd do a better job than I would and I'm technically human," said Leela soberly, "all you have to deal with is slightly big ears and teal colored hair. I have to deal with a single eye purple hair."
"I mean that it's weird because in my universe, Earth isn't permitted to interact with the greater space culture," explained Kiyone, "but other planets are like your Earth: various species from all over are always living or visiting other worlds. It always feels weird on my Earth because people assume my friends and I are from there. On your Earth, it still felt like the same: everyone, even other aliens, assumed I was human."
"Wow," said Leela sadly, "never thought of it that way."
There was a silence for a minute.
"Sorry," said Kiyone, "I guess I wanted that off my chest. So, who does the cooking around here?"
"Lately, Ron and Joan," explained Leela, "we still want to find Bender, but I don't miss his cooking."
"Oh, yeah. Bender's hiding on this ship, right? Shouldn't we be looking for him?"
"I hear that Sally decided to look for him, but Bender always comes back in the end," explained Leela, "and Joan wants the rest of us to stick together until it's time to leave. Don't worry about it."
"Okay," said Kiyone, "I just don't want something to happen to any of us. That reminds me, I'm playing lifeguard at the pool room for the kids. Want to see us there?"
"I'm trying to spend some time with Fry," explained Leela, "but I'll make a quick stop over."
Joan was right, she did have a nice pool on her ship. The room itself was the size of a small beach and the single sunlamp on the ceiling. Leela was enjoying this break, but knew that she had to return to her own ship soon. She saw Kim and Ron is swimsuits playing with the kids while Kiyone walked around in lifeguard garb. They quickly waved at each other. Leela would think that they wouldn't need a lifeguard, but one would mistakenly think that Kim wouldn't need Ron or that Leela wouldn't need Fry. Leela felt some guilt with that thought.
Leela shrugged her guilt off and left. Looking back at the kids, she wondered if that could be her and Fry someday.
Ron felt like he was being tortured: there was Kim in a swimsuit, but he had to pay attention to Leela jr. He hadn't seen Kim in a swimsuit since they were probably twelve (her dad wouldn't let him). It was a non-revealing one-piece and Kim had a trim figure that wasn't that shapely but.it was Kim!
And she was putting some of Leela's tanning butter on herself.and a protesting Fry jr.
Ron forced himself to look away. He figured Kim wouldn't want him to stare and she may be impressed by how he took care of this little Leela.
The two year-old purple haired girl in her frilly and pink bathing suit splashed some water on Ron. Ron splashed some back, trying to be careful. The toddler giggled. Ron quickly turned to Kim, seeing her and Philip Jr. playing patty cake. There were a few times in the past where Ron would help Kim out with babysitting. He was impressed with how well she would do with kids most of the time. She would make a good mom, he thought. He always thought that Rufus would be the closest he would have to a child, but now.
He shook his head. He wasn't quite sure that things would go that far with Kim in the long run. In fact, he was happy with where they already were. He wondered if Fry was like that with Leela. He quickly decided that it wouldn't be his business.
"L.J.," Ron asked the toddler, "let's join your brother."
Hand-in-hand, they walked over to where Kim and Philip were playing. Kim looked up at Ron and grinned.
Ron didn't have the best physique, but Kim knew he could work well in a crisis. Also, he was cute, of course. His round chin emphasized that and the messy hair that Kim once complained about couldn't work better for anyone else.
Ron brought Leela jr. over and the two siblings faced each other. Then, Philip jr. splashed some water on Leela jr. LJ splashed some back. They kept at it while Kim wondered if she should interfere. She glanced at Ron who was looking at them like a worried father. Kim smiled. He would make such a good father, she thought. She looked at the kids again and realized something: would she be a good mother? She hadn't even thought about that since she started babysitting. Sometimes the experiences would strengthen the desire to have her own children and other times diminish them. She had decided to wait until she was older, but right now she was actually starting to consider it.
And she was also considering who the father would be and hoped that the man she had in mind would share her dream.
It had been a while since the pink thing left him. Bender felt okay, though. He was in a cozy little spot with no humans playing lip wrestling. No, he had everything he needed. His chest compartment had bottles of Old Frontran and to power him and issues of "Playbot" to entertain him. Life was good.until he got bored.
He thought of doing some wandering; there had to be something in this isolated part of the ship to keep him occupied.
The mystery woman watched the robot wander about. For a moment, she was afraid it was tracking her, but it seemed to be rather aimless. She wondered if there was something wrong with it's programming. In fact, she was starting to wonder if she should even call it an "it". It was acting more like a "he".
As it entered a vacant room, the woman saw a flash of light. When it subsided, she saw something, three someones to be exact. That had her flee into the darkness again.
For now, anyway.
To be continued...