“This feels very familiar.”
Leela had her arms crossed over her chest, and she was frowning intensely at the scene as it played out before her. Fry winced a little at the sight of her displeasure. “Buzah?” he asked, just to shift the topic, because he really did hate it when she got mad at him.
“No, Buzzing,” Leela said, and pointed to the hive of very angry looking hornets who had chosen to nest on the side of the Planet Express building. “Those little suckers have been worming their way into the crawl space, and Zoidberg keeps complaining about them stinging him.” She raised an eyebrow and added, “we’re going to have to use … drastic measures.”
Fry gasped. “Drastic? But I just changed my pants!”
She sighed. “Just … please go get me the bug spray that’s in the garage. You won’t be able to miss it. It’s huge and it’s got a big x on it.”
“Anything!” Fry said with a salute, and he tromped back toward the building.
“God he’s so dumb. Thank Robo-Jesus for that butt,” she mumbled to herself, and turned toward the task at hand. “I’ve survived bees bigger than you!” Leela said, shaking her fist at the hive. “You’re not going to get me down.”
Fourteen minutes later, Farnsworth came out to find the two of them running in circles, shrieking, as hundreds of little sharp-tailed hornets began to circle their heads.
He let out a pained sigh, and withdrew a red remote control from his pocket, no bigger than the size of his own thumb. Pressing a button made the world reverse itself, running wildly backward.
They’d get it right eventually, he had faith that they would.
“But Fry - doesn’t any of this feel familiar to you?” Leela asked Fry, as they stood below the nest of hornets with two very large spraycans of hornet-corroding mist. He was wearing an oversized beekeeper’s hat, and when she asked him that question he stuck his tongue out,
“Fry, I’m an intelligent, well-spoken professional,” she said. “I think I know how to kill a bunch of hornets before they sting us to death.”
“Oh no, don’t worry Leela - I believe in you!” Fry said. “It’s the hornets I don’t believe in.”
“Right,” Leela said flatly, eyeballing him. “On the count of three, let’s get it.”
“Two…” Fry said, concentrating intensely.
Their screams filled the air and they charged toward the buzzing nest.
Followed by more loud, pained screams. Farnsworth sighed, adjusted his spectacles, and left his office.
This time, Leela was entirely certain she’d tried to do this before. In fact, the eerie, stomach-clenching feeling of déjà vu that filled her entire body was almost spooky at this point. But she had Fry by the collar as was directing him firmly with all of her strength, pointing at the nest, yelling, getting him to do exactly what she needed him to do when she needed him to do it.
The last thought she had before the metallic hornet stung her between the eyes was that she needed to hire an exterminator before the stupid things killed the both of them.
This time she woke up too early, when the Professor was adjusting her arm, pressing a can of the spray into her hand. The reflexive karate chop she gave him to the nose was well-deserved, in her opinion, though she noticed the blood that spurted from his nose came out as a pile of pale red dust.
“How old are you?” she asked reflexively, as she dragged him back into the kitchen and got a wet paper towel.
“Jell-O,” he said seriously.
“Professor, would you like to tell me why you’ve been forcing Fry and I to battle mechanical wasps which keep overwhelming us and stinging us to death?”
“Well, first of all it’s firmly within your job description to kill wasps and sundry pests, including Zoidberg,” said the Professor. “Secondly, your repeated failures have encouraged me to test the limits of temporal reentrance to the timestream! Your repeated failures have allowed me to test a number of theories. .”
“Thank you for making me feel like an idiot,” she grumbled.
“Oh, I’m quite proud of your idiocy,” the professor said, adjusting his glasses. “Thanks to you I know that I need to replicate a moment exactly within the unsealed loop of time, or the subject will retain memories and grow suspicious. But at least the time loop has been resolved, which means there won’t be any further resurrections. Now I’ve equipped you with super-strength spray, so this should do this job and conclude your repeated subjection to the stings of those creatures - to my regret – I really did want to see what might happen if I allowed you to skip their extermination.”
“Full-blown confusion,” she said flatly. Then Leela’s eyebrow quirked. “Where’s Fry?”
A moment passed before the Professor adjusted his glasses. “Excuse me,” he said, and doddered off with great speed in the direction of his lab. “Oh, and if there are any cracks in his foundation, don’t worry! They’ll settle within the next few days!”
“What does that mean?!” But the Professor waved her off and went to grab Fry from his purgatory.
It took them two more tries to get the nest sprayed and the wasps killed. She was bandaging Fry’s hands when the Professor handed them two ancient-looking candy bars.
“Huh. Miss Mom’s Newfangled Kelp and Coriander Candy Bars,” said Leela, eye on the label.
“As a little bonus for a job well-done!” he winked slowly. Very slowly. In fact he was just starting to close the lid of his eye when Zoidberg scuttled into the room.
“What’s this? Candy? The sweetest of candy? May I have a small piece?” he asked, claw dancing upon the table.
Leela and Fry met eye to eye and shrugged. “You can have the whole bar,” she told him.
He quailed in delight, snapping the bar in dusty twain with his claws and then swallowing it in powdery gulps.
“Thank you for letting me help you,” Fry said.
“Thank you for helping me,” she said, and reached for a hug.
His knees made an alarming crackling noise when their bodies made contact.
She strained to ignore the sound.