Futurama

Fan Fiction

The Dating Game
By Gorky

Opening Caption: Watch. Vomit. Repeat.

(The scene opens on the Planet Express Conference Room. All of the employees (save Fry) are seated, listening to Hermes (at the table's head) make his usual morning speech.)

Hermes: In conclusion, as you all head to de votin' booths on November 2, remember this...(turning to Zoidberg; viciously) lobsters belong in our gullets, not in our hair!

(Zoidberg starts sobbing hysterically and runs out of the room. As he exits, Fry enters, nonchalantly whistling and taking his usual seat next to Leela.)

Fry: What's wrong with that guy?

(The crew is just staring at him. After a few beats of awkward silence, he speaks up.)

Fry: What?

Amy: Spluh! You're 20 minutes late for work!

Leela: (softy) What Amy means is...(angrily) Why the hell are you late for work?!

Fry: I tried to make orange juice in the toaster and it didn't go so hot. (sincerely) I'm sorry.

Leela: You've got to stop being so childish, Fry. What do you think the Professor's paying you for?

Farnsworth: Ah, yes. Speaking of minimum wage, I have an announcement to make.

(The Professor stops there. The rest of the crew stares expectantly at him for a moment.)

Farnsworth: Dammit, Hermes! Make the announcement already!

Hermes: Oh, right. (he clears his throat) In orda' to create de illusion dat your company loves you, we're gonna start namin' an employee of da month.

Fry: (aside to Leela) Ah yeah, I'm a shoe in!

Leela: (aside to Fry) Oh c'mon, Fry. These things are always a sham. There just going to pick the worst employee and...

Fry: ...like I said, I'm a shoe-in.

Hermes: Now, wit'out further ado, the employee of da month is...

(He pulls out an envelope reading, "Booby Prize Winner" from his pocket and opens it.)

Hermes: ...Philip J. Fry.

Fry: Aw, man.

(Fry sits there, dejected, for a moment. Bender elbows him—or he would, if robots had elbows, but that's not the point—in the arm.)

Bender: Fry, that's you.

Fry: Really? Ah, yes!

(Fry gets up and walks over to Hermes. There, Hermes puts a medal around his neck. It has the words "Disco King '79" engraved on it. "'79" is crossed out and replaced with "04".)

Hermes: Let's hear it for Fry.

(There is a long silence. Everyone turns to Bender. He looks defiant, but then he relents.)

Bender: (sarcastically) Way to go, Meatbag.

(Fry isn't paying attention to their "overwhelming" applause. Instead, he's looking at Leela, who has an uninterested look and is slouched in her chair. He smiles, then looks back to Hermes.)

Fry: (aside to Hermes) Do you mind if I say a few words?

Hermes: Well, it is highly unethical...(maliciously)...So no!

(Fry stomps something on the ground, and a loud thump is heard. Hermes has a look of pain on his face.)

Hermes: (meekly) Go ahead.

(Hermes limps to Zoidberg's former seat and sits down.)

Fry: Thanks, all of you, for bestowing upon me this great honor. But, believe it or not, there's someone else here who deserves this medal even more.

(He turns to Leela again (she still has a look of utter indifference on her face), and he can't help but smile. Then, he slowly walks over to her and gently places the medal around her neck.)

Fry: Leela, this is for you.

(The rest of the crew adlibs "Ooos" and "Awws", and then applaud, somewhat enthusiastically. With this, Leela slouches even lower in her chair. She looks embarrassed, and puts her hand over her face.)

(The scene changes to the New New York Streets. Leela, obviously in deep thought, is walking towards her apartment. Just then, an out-of-breath Fry catches up with her.)

Fry: (catching his breath) Hey, Leela... Listen, I only have a few seconds...there's this dog chasing me over the mayonnaise in my pocket. (he takes a deep breath, and with that, he regains his composure) Um...I was wondering if, I mean, if you weren't doing anything, if you'd maybe want to...

Leela: ...Listen, Fry, I can't do this anymore. I can't lead you on like this, I can't go out with you, and I can't take this.

(She takes the medal off from around her neck. She takes Fry's hands in hers.)

Leela: (softly) Fry, you're very, very sweet...but...we can just be friends...

(She walks away, leaving Fry, crushed, all alone. He opens his hand and sees that Leela gave back the medal.)

Fry: (sigh)...Just friends...

(He hangs his head and starts crying, softly. After a few beats, a dog pounces on Fry, causing him to topple forward.)

(The scene changes to Fry and Bender at their apartment. They're sitting at their table (the old wire spool that I'm sure everyone used to use for a table...or maybe that was just me). Bender is reading "Zero-Maintenance Juggs" magazine, and Fry is just sitting there, a forlorn look on his face.)

Fry: Bender...do you mind if I ask you something?

Bender: Yes. But that's never stopped you before, so go ahead.

(He opens his chest cabinet and stuffs his magazine in it. Fry goes on.)

Fry: If you love someone, but they don't love you back, should you...give up on them?

Bender: Oh, why are you asking me this? Why can't you ask that annoying red guy that we work with?

Fry: Oh, I couldn't talk to Amy about this. Look, Bender, you've always been like the brother I never had...except for the one that I had. Anyway, the point is, what should I do?

Bender: Fry, you know I'm no good with the matters of that thing that pumps blood...whadda you call it?...the heart.

Fry: (he thinks for a moment) Okay, Bender, what about this? If you really loved smoking, but one day, you read that it was bad for your lungs, would you give it up?

Bender: That was an illogical comparison. For one thing, I do love smoking. Also, I don't have lungs (he pounds on his chest, and we hear a hallow sound). Pure Bender, baby.

Fry: Uh, forget it! Look, Bender, should I give up on Leela?

Bender: Refresh my hard drive. Leela...is she the one with the cans or the one with the eye?

Fry: The eye.

Bender: Oh...(pretends to contemplate the situation) Yes.

Fry: Are you sure?

Bender: Maybe.

Fry: (sigh) Give up on Leela...alright.

(He takes a picture out of his coat pocket. It shows Fry and Amy chasing Hermes, who in turn is chasing Zoidberg with a mallet. Bender is in the background with a chef's hat.)

Fry: Oh, wait...

(He puts that picture back in his pocket, and pulls out a strip of 4 small snapshots of Fry and Leela (you know, like those pictures you get from those photo-booth...thingies.) The first shows Fry and Leela smiling at the camera. The second shows Fry looking at Leela, a smile on his face, apparently pleading for something. The third shows Leela rolling her eye, but with an amused smile. And finally, the fourth shows Leela giving Fry a small kiss on the cheek.)

Fry: (sigh) Goodbye, Leela...

(He rips the photo strip in half and throws it on the floor.)

Fry: (to himself) I'll never forget you...

Bender: Oh yes you will...

(He opens his chest cabinet and pulls out a pitcher full of some kind of alcoholic beverage in it.)

Bender: Who's up for hooch smoothies?

Fry: Ooo, ooo, me!

(He pours the liquid into two tall glasses that he gets from his chest compartment.)

Bender: You want ice?

Fry: Sure.

(Bender takes the two glasses and conceals them under the table. He twists his antenna, and the sound of ice crushing is heard. After a beat or two, he brings the glasses back up to the tabletop. He hands one to Fry. Fry puts his glass up, and Bender does the same.)

Fry: To new beginnings...

Bender: Bender's great!

(They clink their glasses together, and then take two long swigs.)

(The scene changes to the apartment, at the table, a few hours later. The light is turned off, and Fry, obviously drunk, is still sitting, lopsided, in his chair. Bender has long since gone to bed, and Fry is all alone.)

Fry: (woozy; to no one in particular) ...So, I says to the guy...you wanna know what I said? I said...wait, what are we talkin' about?...

(He passes out, his head hitting the table with a loud thunk.)

(The scene changes to the Planet Express Building, the next morning. The crew (save Fry and Bender) is seated around the conference table, as usual. Hermes is at the head. He has a chef's hat on, and on a cart beside him, there is a plate with a large crustacean's claw on it (as well as a wine glass, candle, and fresh salad))

Hermes: ...and finally, you call up Red Lobster and tell dem to shove dat restraining order up deir ass. Den, all you gotta do is dig in.

(He pulls out a large mallet and prepares to crack open the claw. The crew warily looks on.)

Leela: Um, Hermes...where did you get that lobster?

Hermes: Why do you ask?

(Just then, Dr. Zoidberg walks in. He takes his usual seat at the table. He's looks the same as usual, with one notable exception...he's missing a claw. The crew looks to him, then to Hermes (now seated, his lobster claw before him), then back to Zoidberg, a disgusted look on their faces.)

Zoidberg: What?

Leela: Dr. Zoidberg...um...what happened to your claw?

Zoidberg: (shrugging it off) Oh, that? I lost it fighting with a dog over some mayonnaise.

(This reminds Leela of Fry, who, along with Bender, is still nowhere to be seen.)

Leela: (concerned) I wonder where Fry is....

(The crew gives Leela a look)

Leela: (nervous) I mean, not like I care... um, I just need him and Bender for today's delivery.

Hermes: What delivery?

Leela: Um...this one.

(She kicks something under the table.)

Hermes: (weakly) Oh...right.

(Just then, Bender enters, but Fry isn't with him. He nonchalantly takes his seat.)

Leela: Um...Bender?

Bender: What?

Amy: Where's Fry?

Bender: Oh, cool your exhaust pipes! He's right here.

(Bender opens up his chest cabinet, and Fry is seen inside, sleeping, still a complete wreck from the night before.)

Leela: What happened?

Bender: Nothin'. He just had a little too much to drink.

Leela: How much?

Bender: A couple of gallons. Oh, yeah, and that can of transmission fluid that came with the apartment.

Leela: What?!

Bender: Relax. Assuming it didn't kill him, he should be awake in a few months.

Leela: Gimme that!

(She opens up Bender's chest compartment and takes Fry out. She carries him over her shoulder into the lounge. The rest of the crew stays seated. Bender sticks his hand in his chest compartment.)

Bender: Hey! What happened to my reading material?

(Cut to the lounge. Leela is sitting on the far-right cushion, with Fry lying across the other two, his right leg hanging off the side. Leela is watching TV. We see that it's "All My Circuits".)

Doctor: Calculon...I hate to have to tell you this, but...you have cancer. I can cure you, but it will cost 500,000 pesos.

(A dramatic musical sting, closing in on Calculon.)

Calculon: (melodramatic) Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! (sudden realization) Wait, robots can't get cancer! You're a...a...fraud!

(Dramatic sting, closing in on the doctor.)

(Calculon's human friend enters the room, beaten and dirty.)

Human Friend: And I've come back from the dead!

(Dramatic sting, closing in on Human Friend.)

(The camera pulls out, revealing the three characters, jaws open in shock. It stays on the image.)

Announcer (v.o.): Stay tuned as Calculon parties, passes out, and gets a puppy....on "All My Circuits"!

(Cut back to Leela and Fry on the couch, same as before. Leela turns to Fry.)

Leela: (concerned) C'mon Fry...get up. (covering up) Um...I mean...you're gonna miss today's delivery...

Hermes (o.s.): What delivery?

(Just then, Bender passes by Leela. She stops him.)

Leela: Um, Bender, could you?...

(She whispers something in his ear. A grin forms on Bender's face. He walks off-screen. After a beat, the lights flash and we hear a loud electrical noise, as well as a scream from Hermes. After another beat, Bender walks back towards Leela.)

Bender: Anything else?

(Leela looks at Fry, still passed out, with a worried look. She sighs.)

Leela (pointing to Fry): Do it to him.

(We cut to the Conference Room, a moment later. Zoidberg is chasing a mouse. Just then, the lights flicker on and then off, while the same electrical sound and a scream are heard. When the lights turn back on, we see Zoidberg with something in his mouth and a sheepish look.)

(Cut back to the lounge. Fry is now awake (as well as disheveled), and Leela and Bender are in their respective spots.)

Leela: It worked!

Fry: What?...

Bender: Leela wanted me to wake you up, so I did that thing I just did. Speaking of which (he extends his arm and pulls a ten dollar bill from Leela's pocket)...I'll just collect my reward.

(Leela rolls her eye and Bender, content, leaves the room. This leaves Fry and Leela alone.)

Fry: Wait, wait, wait...you were worried about me?

Leela: Well, um...

(We hear the TV.)

Announcer: Now back to "All My Circuits".

Leela: ...I didn't want you to miss Calculon's wild hedonism.

Fry: Ah...

(Leela turns off the TV. Fry gives her a puzzled look.)

Leela: Um, it was a repeat. (beat) So...

Fry: Look, Leela, there's something I have to talk to you about.

Leela: Is it about that ferret in your locker? Because Hermes already found out.

Fry: What? No.

Leela: Okay, then. What do you want to tell me?

(Fry takes a brief pause, and then sighs quietly.)

Fry: ...Leela...I've been thinking about what you said yesterday. You know, about us being, "just friends"?

Leela: Oh, right. Listen, Fry, about that...

Fry: (ignoring her) Well, I've decided that you're right. So, from now on, things are gonna be different.

Leela: "Different"?

Fry: Yeah. I mean, I'm not gonna bug you anymore, or ask you out or anything.

Leela: (slightly disappointed) Oh...alright.

(Fry takes his hands in his, and looks her straight in the eyes.)

Fry: But, we'll always be friends. I promise.

Leela: Great.

(Fry gives her hand a small squeeze, and then gets up and leaves. Leela sits there, a look of disappointment on her face.)

Leela: (quietly; to herself) Great.

(Cut to Fry and Bender's apartment—that evening. The two are sitting on their couch, watching a newscast. We cut to the TV, and see the broadcast.)

Morbo: And that is why puppies make Morbo feel all fuzzy inside—because I eat them! (evil laugh)

Linda: (laughing) Coming up, Morbo and I stare vacantly at the screen for 28-and-a-half minutes. Stay tuned.

(Cut back to Fry and Bender. Fry turns the TV off. He sighs.)

Bender: (faking sincerity) Meatbag, as much as I enjoy you're company, you have to get out more. I mean, you're never gonna find someone if you don't get out there.

Fry: Bender, it's only been a day!

Bender: Oh, right. In that case, get the hell outta here! I'm havin' some friends over for a game of...um... Robotzee, and you can't be here.

(Fry sighs, then slowly gets up, headed for the door. Bender stops him.)

Bender: Um...leave your wallet here. You don't need it.

(Fry rolls his eyes, but relents, giving Bender his wallet. He leaves the room. After a beat, the door opens again. Roberto, Flexo, and the Robot Devil enter in, one after the other. Each walks towards Bender, and as they pass, he greets them accordingly.)

Bender: (to Roberto) Hey, buddy! How's it going?

Roberto: Fine, fine... Listen, buddy, where do you keep your...stabbin' utensils?

Bender: The forks? In the freezer with the knives and the shampoo.

Robert: Thanks...

(He goes off-screen, and Flexo approaches Bender.)

Bender: Flexo! How're things with Angleyne?

Flexo: Great! We have two kids and another on the way.

Bender: Really?

Flexo: Nah, I'm yankin' your chain. She left me for that scummy hobo who delivers our newspapers. (he hides his face in his hands, and we can hear soft sobs)

Bender: I'm sorry, pal...

Flexo: Why should you be? I'm just joshin' ya'. We're more in love than ever.

Bender: Good for you.

Flexo: Or at least she is...with that damn hobo...

Bender: Ha, ha...you're pullin' my leg...right?

(Flexo just shakes his head as he walks off-screen, his head down, dejectedly. Bender has a depressed look on his face. The Robot Devil approaches.)

Bender: What're you doin' here?

Robot Devil: It was either this, or my monthly Chairmen of Evil meeting. Tonight was open mic night, and if you've ever seen Joseph Stalin sing, you'll understand why I came here.

Bender: For the booze?

Robot Devil: Yes. (realization) Wait, no.

(We pan with the two as they walk to a flimsy card table set up between the couch and the regular "table". Roberto and Flexo are already seated, and the Robot Devil takes his place at the table. Bender pulls out Fry's wallet.)

Bender: Lets get started, gentlemen. I'm feeling lucky.

(He opens Fry's wallet, to find nothing in there but a movie ticket stub from "Star Wars: Episode 27: Another Lucasfilms Tax Write-off".)

Bender: Awww...

(Cut to the front of the Robot Arms Apartment Building. Fry is sitting--elbows on knees, head on hands—on the stoop of the building.)

Fry: (sigh) Who am I kidding? Leela's the only girl for me. I'm never gonna find anyone as great as her.

(Just then, we hear a woman's voice from off-screen.)

Woman (o.s.): Leave me alone, already!

Fry: Hmm...I wonder what's up.

(He gets up, and heads off-screen.)

(Cut to an alleyway, about a block from Fry's building. A 20-something, brown-haired woman is being antagonized by three familiar robots—DonBot, Joey Mouse pad, and Clamps. Fry approaches them.)

Fry: What seems to be the problem here? Are apes finally trying to overtake the planet? Because I'll have to run home to get my autograph book. And I'll be all like, "Can you sign my autograph book?", and they'll be all like "No, we don't have pens...or thumbs,". But then I'll give them a pen and tell them to write it with their mouths. And then they'll be all like (imitating an ape with a pen in its mouth...picture it) "Who should I make it out to?", and then...

(Fry continues talking and flailing in the background, but we cut to the three Gangster Robots.)

DonBot: (to Clamps and Joey) Why does he not stop moving him lips?

Joey Mouse Pad: I do not know, Boss, but it's showin' no respect for your presence.

Clamps: You want I should give him the clamps?!

DonBot: No, let's just mug him quick so we can get to our card game.

(Hearing this, Fry stops imitating primates and looks to the three robots before him.)

Fry: (gulp) Mug me? But why? I don't even have any money.

Joey Mouse Pad: He makes an interesting point, boss. Without money, what would be the object for which we'd be muggin' him for?

DonBot: Hmm...this new point makes me see the error of our ways. We must take our leave. (to woman; chivalrous) Farewell, madam.

(DonBot snaps his fingers, and with that, the three robots leave. That leaves Fry and the woman alone.)

Woman: You...you saved me.

Fry: I did? From what?

Woman: Those jerks were harassing me.

Fry: Oh, so that's what all that noise was about. (realization) So, I guess that means no monkeys trying to enslave mankind, right?

Woman: I'm afraid so.

(After a moment, she looks at Fry and gives an amused laugh. He looks up at her, and is surprised to find that she's smiling at him.)

Fry: Um...I'm Fry.

Woman: I'm Helen.

(The two stand in awkward silence for a moment.)

Helen: Um...this may sound presumptuous...

Fry: Presumptu-wha?

Helen: ...but would you like to get a bite to eat or something?

Fry: What, you mean, like a date?

Helen: Well, no, more like a friendly late-dinner.

Fry: Oh, I'm sorry, Helen, but...I mean, we just met and all.

Helen: Yeah...you're right.

(Beat, as the two just stand there, staring at each other.)

Helen: Wanna go get hammered?

Fry: I hear that.

(The two walk down the alleyway, towards a lit up strip of New New York City.)

(Cut to Bender's apartment—a few minutes later. Roberto, Flexo, the Robot Devil, and Bender are playing a game of poker. Bender is dealing out the cards to the other players. Then, he looks to his own hand.)

Bender: Let's see what I got here...

(He looks at his hand. Suddenly, his eyes widen, his antenna pops off his head and steam rises from the hole.)

Roberto: I'm foldin'.

Flexo: Ditto.

Robot Devil: I got nothin'.

Bender: Aw, dammit!

(Just then, the doorbell rings. Without leaving his seat, Bender extends his arm to the doorknob and opens it. DonBot, Joey Mouse Pad, and Clamps are standing in the doorway.)

Joey Mouse Pad: Ahem. We are pleased to introduce the great, Don...

Bender: What the hell took you so long?

Joey Mouse Pad: I think, Boss, what he means to say is...

DonBot: Enough exchanging of the words. We came here to play cards, and that we shall.

(The three walk towards the table and pull up three chairs. Bender deals them in.)

DonBot: Bender, in answer to your question regarding the whereabouts of I and my goons, we were enjoying a peaceful walk in a completely unsuspicious alleyway, until a spiny man in a red jacket came and started babbling about our Secretary of State enslaving the Earth.

Bender: Uh-huh. So, where did Fry go after that?

DonBot: My guess is that he went down to the watering hole with that tall brunette that we were trying to collect a..."donation" from.

Bender: (somewhat hurt) You mean, Fry has another drinking buddy?...

Flexo: What are ya gonna do? I mean, he's found someone else. (tearing up) Yeah, someone else who delivers second-rate periodicals for a living...

(He starts to weep on the Robot Devil's shoulder.)

Robot Devil: (reluctant) There, there...it'll be alright.

Bender: Say, DonBot, when did he leave to this watering hole you speak of?

DonBot: About 20 minutes ago, my friend.

Bender: 20 minutes? I can make it just in time to hear his encore of "Gorgie Girl". Um...not like I want to or anything...

(He gets up, and walks out the door. We stay on the card table.)

Clamps: (looking at his hand) Not one good freakin' card in the bunch! I think it's about time to give someone the clamps!

(He turns to Roberto, threateningly. Roberto pulls out a knife.)

Roberto: Don't make me cut you, man...

(The two give each other ice-cold stares, as the hostility in the air rises.)

(Beat)

Robot Devil (to Flexo, Donbot, and Joey): Wanna see what's on TV?

(Cut to the exterior of O'Zorgnaxy's Pub. A sign on the window reads " ‘I left my I.D. in my other pants' is an acceptable excuse". Bender rushes towards the building, out of breath (or at least he would be, if robots had lungs). Anyway, he walks to the doorway, and stops there. He looks on as Helen and Fry have an alcohol-enhanced conversation.)

Fry: You know what? This is the most fun I've had in a long time. You're fun...unlike some people I know.

Helen: Hold that thought.

(She falls off of her barstool. Fry gets up off of his, and rushes to her side.)

Fry: Helen, Helen? Are you okay? Do you need more peanuts?

(He takes a tray of peanuts (and other assorted items, such as cigarette butts and buttons) off the counter and holds it over her face.)

Helen: Eww. Get those things away from me...please?

(Fry takes a handful, stuffs them in his mouth, and then puts them back on the counter, shrugging)

Helen: Could you just help me up?

Fry: Sure.

(He takes her hand in his, and lifts her up. She wipes herself off with her free hand, and then looks to Fry.)

Helen: Thanks...

(She looks down and sees the two of their hands joined together. Then, Fry does the same. They look up at each other. They gaze into each other's eyes for a moment. Then, slowly but surely, their lips move closer together. They make contact, and the two soon become locked in a passionate embrace.)

(After a beat or two on that image, we cut to Bender, his jaw dropped in utter disbelief. He pulls out a car jack from his chest compartment, and uses it to lift his jaw. He puts the jack back.)

Bender: (shocked) Oh...some...God.

(We see Bender's P.O.V. as the following is spoken.)

Bender: If Leela saw this, it'd kill her.

(Cut back to Bender.)

Bender: Eh, like murder's a crime.

(He extends his left eye out of its "socket", and it flashes brightly a few times. He then pulls his eye back to its original state. He pushes down on his antenna, and we hear a dot matrix printer running for about 15 seconds. Bender then opens up his chest compartment, and a neat stack of photos is seen. Bender takes the first from the pile and pulls it out. He looks over the black-and-white image.)

Bender: Now that's what I call quality. A pure Kodak-bot moment.

(He turns his head both ways.)

Bender: Who am I talking to?

(Cut to the Planet Express Lounge, the next day. Leela and Amy are sitting on the couch, watching TV. We see that it is "The Scary Door".)

Announcer (v.o.): You're floating in an abyss. You pass creatures beyond the confines of your simple mind. They tell you to take a left at Spooky Drive, and then go straight towards Improbability Lane. You listen, and find yourself at a place where logic and science take backseat to misery and crackpot theories. You have entered...The Scary Door.

(The scene on screen changes to a man in the arctic, crouching behind a pile of snow. He has a rifle aimed at a polar bear.)

Announcer (v.o.): Please open up the following, preheat the oven to 250 degrees, and let simmer. Then, watch as Joseph Skinner, a scientist, prepares to kill a harmless polar bear—the stupidest of all Arctic mammals.

Joseph: (whispering) Look at that stupid bear—completely unaware of the danger lurking behind this unsuspicious snowdrift. Well, my friend, you've met your match...

(He takes a shot at the bear, and the bullet hits the helpless creature. But, instead of keeling over, the bear lifts itself onto its hind legs and slowly heads towards Joseph.)

Joseph: What...what's going on here?

(The bear reaches Joseph and, with a quick swipe of his paw, he disintegrates the drift of snow. Joseph cowers in fear.)

Joseph: H-h-how is this happening?

Polar Bear: (lighting up a pipe that he materializes from out of nowhere; distinguished) Well, wasn't it obvious? Being confined to such a desolate, uninhabited wasteland for so long, it was inevitable that us polar bears would one day become superhuman beings. Write that down, lest you forget it, science boy.

Joseph: I would, but my pen just turned into a fish!

(We cut to see that his pen has, indeed, turned into a fish. The polar bear licks his lips.)

Polar Bear: Fish, you say? Mmmm...

(The bear gives chase, and Joseph, terrified, runs for his life.)

Joseph: No...no! This doesn't make any sense!

Polar Bear: Well, obviously you've never watched this show before!

(The bear pulls out a gun, and starts taking shots at Joseph.)

(We cut back to Leela and Amy. Leela turns the TV off in utter disgust.)

Amy: Spleesh! What was that all about Leela?

Leela: This show is sickening! I mean, it doesn't even follow the laws of basic reality!

(Just then, we hear a large crash from off-screen. A loud, booming cloud of smoke covers the lounge for a moment. Then, after a beat, it dissipates. A slithering snake with the head of the Professor passes by Leela and Amy.)

Farnsworth Snake: Hello, ladies.

Leela/Amy: Hey, Professor.

(The snake slithers off-screen. Then, after a beat, we hear the sound of a phone ringing. Amy gets up and heads towards the wall of the lounge.)

Amy: That could be my Kiffy calling!

(Just then, Bender walks into the lounge. He sits beside Leela.)

Leela: Hey, Bender. (beat) Where's Fry?

Bender: (slyly) I'll let you decide...

(He hands Leela the stack of photos from his chest compartment. She picks the first one from the top, and looks it over. Just as we are about to see her reaction, we cut to Amy. She presses a button on the wall. It opens up, and a screen appears. We see brief static, and then Kif appears on the screen.)

Amy: (ecstatic) Kif! What's up?

Kif: Oh, Amy, I have the greatest news!

Amy: Zapp's dead?

Kif: No, no. Amy, darling, I've been awarded with the Interstellar Humane Society's "Animal Kindness and Tolerance" award!

Amy: Kiffy, that's wonderful! (beat) Wait, why?

(Just then, Zapp's voice is heard on the screen.)

Zapp (o.s.): Kif, where's my thong? You know, that velour one with the pink bunny rabbits?

Kif: (loud sigh)

Amy: Ah, I see.

(Then, on screen, Zapp walks in. He has a towel wrapped around his waist.)

Kif: Oh, Lord...

Zapp: You heard me, Lieutenant. Where're my rabbit panties?

Kif: Sir, I'd love to help you find you...ugh...undergarments, but I'm on the phone with Amy.

Zapp: Amy? Who's she?

Kif: My girlfriend, sir.

Zapp: Kif, I'd love to sit around and listen to you talk to this "Amy" of yours, but I need to find my underpants so I can put them on, then take them off for a night of wild sexcapades.

Amy: Ahem...

Zapp: What is it now?

Kif: Sir, could I please just have a moment alone to talk with Amy?

Zapp: Dammit, Kif! Normally, your stories of an imaginary woman...your "girlfriend"...would amuse me, but right now I need my...(he turns towards Amy, and sees that she is, in fact, real)...hello, hello.

Amy: Hi, Zapp...

Zapp: Hmm...you look familiar. I know! Are you on the box of those 6-pack suede boots? You know, the tight ones, that come in handy for...

Amy: ...Ugh! (to Leela) Leela, come set Zapp straight!

(Cut to Leela. She is looking at the photos, somewhat devastated. She hears Amy's cry for help. She rolls her eye, gets up (a photo still in hand) and heads off screen towards Amy.)

Zapp: Oh...my...God! Kif, your Chinese love thing knows my cuddle-buggy Leela?

Leela: Lord, help me...

Zapp: (seductively) I know someone who can help you have a serious...religious experience.

Leela: Look, Zapp...what do you want?

Zapp: Kif's having some stupid party for winning an award for something or other. (seductively) You know, I hold the award for long distance...

Leela/Amy/Kif: Just get to the point!

Zapp: Yes. Well, I needed a date for the occasion, and I was wondering if you would like me to escort you.

Leela: (sarcastically) Well, Zapp, as much as I'd love to be your date, I...

(Just then, we cut to see Fry enter the lounge. The rest of the crew turns to him.)

Fry: What up?

Zapp: Enough! Now, as you were saying, Leela?...

(Leela hesitantly turns towards Zapp, then to Fry, then back to Zapp. She then turns away from everyone else and looks at the photo. It shows Fry and Helen locked in the same embrace seen the night before. She turns back to Fry, and, with a fiendish look in her eye, turns back to Zapp.)

Leela: (a bit hesitant) Zapp, I'd love to go with you.

Zapp: Yes!

(He jumps up in the air. When he comes back to the ground, he finds that his towel is gone.)

Zapp: Um, Kif, could you get that?

Kif: I'll see you all tomorrow night. (loud sigh)

(The screen goes to static, then it reenters through the wall. The crew, minus Leela, exits the lounge.)

Leela: (slyly) Let the games begin...

Fry: (o.s.) What?!

(Leela turns around, worried, thinking that Fry is right behind her. But, as she heads towards the conference room, she finds that the commotion is about something else.)

(Cut to the Conference Room. As usual, the crew is seated around it, Hermes at the head. The one exception to the normalcy is the Professor, still a snake-bodied being. Leela takes her usual seat next to Fry.)

Fry (cont.): What do you mean I'm not allowed to use the microwave!?

Hermes: For da last time, Fry, I wasn't talking ta you! I was talking to da Professa'!

Fry: Oh.

Hermes: Professa', how'd you manage ta do dis?

Farnsworth: Do what?

Hermes: Turn yourself into a snake, you loony!

Farnsworth: Oh, that. Well, you see, I was trying to make a can of soup, and...

Amy: Look, I don't care how you did it, just make sure you undo it by tomorrow night for Kif's party!

Zoidberg: A party? Excuse me. I'm off to find myself a fancy tuxedo at a respectable...suit place.

(Zoidberg leaves the room.)

(Beat)

Fry: Does anyone think he wasn't talking about the dumpster?

(Everyone shakes their heads.)

Hermes: Hold up a minute. You didn't fill out Form 2A15—the Party/Boogie Waiver. Dis isn't a properly requisitioned party! I forbid you ta go!

Amy: Don't worry, Hermes. You're invited.

Hermes: Hot damn! (regaining his composure) Um, I mean...I'll let it slide dis one time. But let dis be a warning to ya...

(Hermes backs up slowly, taking the Professor with him. He then breaks into a run.)

Amy: Well, I'm gonna go beg my parents to buy me a dress for Kif's party.

Bender: Why? I thought you were loaded?

Amy: Spluh! This way is more fun!

(Amy exits the room. Bender turns to Leela and Fry.)

Bender: I gotta go. I have to see a man about a horse.

(We hear the sound of a horse neighing coming from Bender's chest. He pounds on his chest nervously.)

Bender: (whispering) Shut up!

(Bender trots out of the room, whistling nonchalantly. After a beat, Fry looks to Leela.)

Fry: Um, Leela, I have to talk to you about this party thing.

Leela: I'm sorry, Fry, but I'm already going to the party with Zapp Brannigan.

Fry: That's what I wanted to talk to you about.

Leela: Oh?

Fry: I just wanted you to know that I'm happy for you. In fact, I found my own special someone last night. (realization) That reminds me, I better go call Helen to invite her right away! (to Leela) See ya tomorrow night.

(Fry rushes out of the room, leaving Leela alone.)

Leela: Helen?...

(Cut to the Nimbus, the next night. It's pretty unimpressive, with a few random streamers and balloons hanging around. A banner reads "Congratulations on Your Acquittal, Zapp!". The word "Acquittal" is crossed out and replaced with "Win", and Zapp's name is replaced with Kif's. Zapp and Kif are standing in the doorway, greeting all the guests. The Hyper Chicken walks in.)

Hyper Chicken: (looking at banner) Congratulations on that there acquittal Zapp. Obviously you didn't done hire me to represent you (he makes a loud clucking noise). Which way to the (mispronunciation) horse do vers?

Bender (o.s.): (nervously) Horse burgers! What do you know?

(Bender and the rest of the PE crew enter (Hermes is escorting LaBarbera and Fry is doing so to Helen as well). Bender puts his arm around the Hyper Chicken and takes him off-screen. Zapp and Kif greet the rest of the crewmembers as they pass them. Then, they come to Amy, Leela, Fry, and Helen.)

Kif: Amy, you came!

Amy: Of course I came, Kiffy. Why wouldn't I?

Kif: Well, I thought you might have had more important things to do...

Amy: (seductively) Oh, I do...

(She whispers something to him, as his face turns red.)

Kif: Oh, my...

Amy: C'mon...

(She takes Kif by the hand and they head off-screen. Next up to Zapp is Leela. He takes her hand and kisses it. Leela cringes slightly at the touch.)

Zapp: Hello, my little love...bird of some sort.

Leela: (forced) Hi, Zapp...(small, disguised shudder)...Honey.

(Zapp puts his arm around Leela. He turns to Fry and Helen.)

Zapp: Hey...you. The buffet's over there.

Helen: Buffet? Fry, wanna see who can eat the most salmon eggs?

Fry: You're on!

(The two head off, hand in hand, to the buffet, leaving Zapp and Leela alone.)

Leela: (through gritted teeth; enraged) Get your hands off of me before I do it myself, sweetie.

Zapp: (nervously) Right.

(Zapp slinks away, and Leela follows.)

(Cut to a banquet hall. There are a number of tables set up around the room, a stage to the side, and a long table (the buffet) opposite that. All of our favorite inhabitants of New New York (Mom, Morbo, Linda, etc.) are there. Zapp & Leela, Kif & Amy (both disheveled), Hermes & LaBarbera, Fry & Helen, Bender, and the Professor are seated at one of the tables.)

Zapp: Ahem. (he rises and raises his glass) As you all know, me and (he turns to Leela; seductively) my woman, are both good friends of Lieutenant Kroker. So, I'd like to propose a toast...

Kif: (flattered) Why, sir, this is so...

Zapp: ...To me! If not for I, Captain Zapp Eugene Brannigan...

Helen/Fry: (quietly; to each other) "Eugene"? (they start snickering)

Zapp:...This pathetic green man wouldn't have had a leg to stand on! Or any other limbs, for that matter.

Leela: (puzzled) What?

Zapp: And so, here's looking at me, kid.

(He gulps down his cham-pag-en, and sits back down. The rest of the people at the table (save Bender and the Professor) look on at him with a disgusted look.)

Zapp: What?

Farnsworth: Wha--?

Bender: I grow weary of your blank gazes, mortals. I'm off to the utility closet. Something tells me that there's a lonely vacuum cleaner in there that needs some lovin'.

(Bender gets up from his seat and exits the frame. Beat. Then we hear the sound of someone eating coming from under the table.)

Farnsworth: What's that noise?

Hermes: I smell...(he sniffs the air)

(Fry sniffs under his arms.)

Fry: It's not me.

Hermes:...Zoidberg!

(He lifts up the tablecloth and finds that Zoidberg is chewing on Hermes's banana-shaped shoes.)

Zoidberg: What?

Hermes: You ate my shoe, you...you...whatever you are!

Zoidberg: I thought they were a fruit by-product of some sort.

Fry: Yeah, Hermes, why are you're shoes shaped like bananas?

Hermes: I'm Jamaican! Don't ya get it, mon!?

Zoidberg: No...

Hermes: Urrrgh!

(He gives chase, and Zoidberg runs for his life. LaBarbera runs after Hermes.)

LaBarbera: Hermes, no! Dat hideous, shoe-eating creature is a living thing, too!

(The three run off-screen, and that leaves the three couples alone (oh yeah, and the now sleeping Professor Farnsworth).)

Amy: Kif, to show you just how proud I am of your accomplishment, I wanted to give you something.

Kif: A present? Oh goody!

Amy: Yup...

(She brings Kif's face to hers, and quickly locks him in a very passionate embrace. He is taken off guard at first, but he quickly eases into the kiss, which lasts for several beats, as the other two couples look on. Finally, the two pull apart.)

Amy: Like it?

Kif: (nervously) Uh...um...er...

Amy: I'll take that as a yes.

(Beat, then Fry, following the example of Kif and Amy, makes his "move" on Helen. It's nothing big...he just puts his hand on top of Helen's...but it's still a rather sweet tableau. Leela catches a glimpse of this, and she sighs to herself. She then looks to her unimpressive date, and then, she just looks down. In her mind, she replays her exchange with Fry three days prior.)

Leela: (in her mind) ...Fry, you're very, very sweet...but...we can just be friends...

(She then replays Fry's exchange with her the next day.)

Fry: (in Leela's mind) ...We'll always be friends. I promise.

Leela: (quietly to herself) We'll always be friends...

(Zapp overhears her.)

Zapp: Friends, eh? Well, I can reintroduce you to my little friend...

(Leela looks at him disgustedly. But then, she smirks.)

Leela: (sarcastically) Well, Zapp, as much as I'd love that, I'd like to introduce you to my little friend first.

(She kicks something under the table, and Zapp's face becomes a map of pain. He falls down.)

Zapp: (weakly) That wasn't very friendly.

Leela: (patronizing) Life ain't always fair, sweetie.

(She gets up, a new look of self-confidence over her. She heads for Fry and Helen.)

Leela: Fry? Helen? I want you to know that I'm very happy for you.

(We hear Zapp, off-screen, writhing in agony.)

Leela: Let's get outta here...before he comes to.

Fry: (a bit confused) Um...okay.

(Just then, Hermes, LaBarbera, and Zoidberg enter, all of them disheveled. Then, Bender enters, disheveled as well. His antenna is also jerked to one side (was that as obscene as I think it was?). Everyone stares at him for a moment.)

Bender: (agitated) What?!

(He looks up and sees his antenna. Sheepishly, he jerks it back so that it is upright.)

Bender: (sheepishly) A-heh...

Leela: Okay, I'll go get Amy, and, Bender, you go grab the Professor.

Bender: Aw, man...

(He takes off his hands, and stuffs them into his chest compartment. He pulls out two gloved replacement hands and puts them on in place of the originals. He and Leela head off-screen.)

(Beat.)

(Leela comes back with Amy. Bender comes back, holding the Professor far out from his body, a disgusted look on his face.)

Bender: Let's get the hell outta here.

(The Professor starts drooling.)

Bender: Quick.

(Cut to Fry and Bender's apartment door, a while later. Fry, Helen, and Bender are standing outside the door. Bender opens the door, and walks in. Fry and Helen follow. They all have a seat at the table.)

Bender: Well, g'night, Meatbag. I'm gonna hit the hay.

(He reaches back on his neck and flicks a switch reading "Hit the Hay". His visor closes, and he falls asleep.)

(Beat.)

Fry: So, Helen, you want some coffee or something?

Helen: (seductively) Well, I am in the mood for something sweet...

Fry: (not comprehending what she means) Well, I think we have some Gershwin's Kisses in the bathroom sink...

Helen: A kiss sounds nice...

Fry: What?

(Helen pounces on him, locking him in a long, passionate kiss. She lets it go, a seductive smile on her face.)

Fry: (realization) Oh...

(Cut to Fry and Bender's apartment, the next morning. We close in on the sleeping Fry and Helen, wrapped up in a large blanket. Off-screen, we hear the sound of flashbulbs going on and off, and Bender's voice.)

Bender (o.s.): Oh yeah, work for me baby, c'mon...

(All this ruckus wakes Fry up from a sound sleep. He looks in Bender's direction.)

Fry: (nervously) Bender? What are you doing?

(Pull out to reveal Bender, at the table, taking pictures of a bowl of fruit. He looks up at Fry.)

Bender: I'm just workin' on...(stunned)...Oh...one of those gods...the one with all the arms...

(He looks up and sees what has happened between Fry and Helen. He immediately directs his attention to them.)

Bender: Way to go, buddy!

(Helen starts to stir, and wakes up. She sees Fry and Bender.)

Helen: (nonchalantly) What up?

Bender: Fry got you in the sack!

Fry: (agitated, and sort of embarrassed) Bender!

Helen: So?

Fry: (surprised) What? You mean, you don't care? We've only known each other a few days.

Helen: And your point is?

Bender: (laughing; towards Helen) It's funny. Fry's been tryin' to get this one girl to sleep with him for, what, four years? But he still hasn't...

Fry: (covering up; nervously) ...told you how much I like...syrup! Who's up for pancakes?

Bender: Ooo, ooo, me! Let me make pancakes!

Fry: (reluctantly) I don't know...

Helen: Ah, c'mon, let ‘im make pancakes. What's the worst thing that could happen?

(Cut to Fry and Helen on the couch, a little while later. The two of them have buckets nearby (imply what you will), thermometers in their mouths, and look plain old sickly.)

Helen: In my defense, this really isn't the worst thing that could have happened.

Fry: Yeah, yeah...

(He turns on the TV and, believe it or not, "All My Circuits" is on. Calculon and Monique are in bed, watching TV.)

Monique: Calculon, I'm impressed. Who would've thought that you could juggle being a doctor, actor, double agent, model, and male stripper and still be a fantastic husband?

Calculon: Yes, it's amazing, I know. But, as I always say...

(Just then, Boxy Robot kicks open the door with his nonexistent legs.)

Calculon: ...Boxy!

(We cut back to Fry and Helen. Helen turns to Fry.)

Helen: Fry, do you ever think about the future?

Fry: "Think"?

Helen: I mean, do you ever wonder about marriage?

Fry: I guess.

Helen: Oh. Like how?

Fry: I don't know.

Bender: (o.s.) You should get that printed on a T-shirt!

Fry (cont.): (oblivious to Bender's remark) Why do you care?

Helen: Well, Fry, I'm almost thirty. I have needs. I want to be married to a real man. And, since I haven't met one yet, you'll have to do.

Fry: What are you saying?

Helen: Fry? (she takes a deep breath) Will you marry me?

Fry: (in shock) Marry you!?

Helen: Uh-huh. I mean...I love you.

Fry: You...you do?

Helen: Sure, why not? So, will you marry me?

Fry: Look, Helen, we had fun, but, but...

Helen: But what? It's not like you have someone else waiting in line. Right?

Fry: No, no. (quietly; to himself) Do I?

(Beat, as Fry stares into space for a moment.)

Helen: Hello? Fry? Whadda you say?

Fry: (sigh) Look. Could you let me think about it? I'll let you know tonight, okay?

Helen: Sure. See you tonight.

Fry: ‘K. Bye.

(Helen gets up, and exits. Fry sits there for a moment, alone. He sighs.)

(Cut to Fry's room, a while later. He's sitting on his bed, in deep thought. He picks up his Holophonor. He starts playing it. A crude rendering of several events plays on-screen, vocals included.)

(First, we see Fry getting rid of the worms in "Parasites Lost".)

Worm Emperor: He's bluffing. No creature would willingly make an idiot of itself!

Fry: Obviously you've never been in love!

(That image changes to Fry's message in the stars being blown up (from "Time Keeps on Slipping"), and then him staring out the window, crushed.)

(The next image, taken from "The Why of Fry", shows Leela giving him a small kiss. Fry musters up a weak smile.)

Fry: Yes!

(The final image shows Leela telling Fry...well...that thing.)

Leela: Fry, you're very, very sweet...but...we can just be friends...

(He puts the Holophonor down, a look of despair on his face. He sighs. Then, he picks himself up, and heads out the door.)

(Cut to the exterior of a pizza place, "Crusty Joe's Pizza". On the window, a sign reads, "With a name that bad, we've gotta be screwed!" We see the silhouettes of Fry and Helen through the window.)

Helen: So, Fry, did you think about what I said?

Fry: Yeah...

Helen: So, whadda you say, already?

(Cut to Fry and Helen at the table. Fry pauses for a moment.)

Fry: (sigh) Helen...I can't marry you.

Helen: What? Why not? You said we had a great time, and I love you...I guess.

Fry: Helen, I don't know how to put this, but...

Helen: Yeah?

Fry:...I love you, but I'm not in love with you.

Helen: (understanding) Ah...

(She stares into space for a moment.)

Fry: Helen? Helen?

Helen: (snapping back) Oh, I'm sorry. I was just trying to figure out what the hell that means.

(Cut to Helen's apartment door, a while later. She's standing there, along with Fry.)

Fry: Look, Helen, I'm sorry things didn't work out. I hope we can still be friends...

Helen: Friends? You broke my heart, and now you expect me to be your friend!?

Fry: Well, I guess when you put it that way...

Helen: Sure, I'll be your friend.

Fry: What?

Helen: G'night.

(She walks into her apartment building, leaving Fry alone.)

Fry: What was that all about?

(Just then, Leela walks up to Fry.)

Leela: Hey, Fry.

Fry: (caught off guard) Leela! What're you doing here?

Leela: I just got out of work.

Fry: We had work today?

Leela: Yeah...

Fry: Oh.

(Beat.)

Fry: (shakily) Leela, um...can I walk you home?

Leela: What about Helen?

Fry: Things didn't work out.

(They start walking towards Leela's apartment.)

Leela: Oh, I'm sorry, Fry.

Fry: Ah, don't be. She wasn't my type anyway.

Leela: Whadda you mean?

Fry: She was too reckless. I need a girl who can help me out, protect me.

(Just then, we hear the sound of something falling.)

Sal (o.s.): Watch outs!

(Leela jerks Fry to one side. A second after she does so, a piano crashes, right where Fry was standing a moment earlier.)

Fry: Um, thanks...

Leela: No problem.

Fry: So, things didn't work out with Zapp?

Leela: (weak laugh) Huh? Who told?

Fry: I'll take that as a no.

Leela: Nah. He wasn't my type, either. I want a guy who can make me laugh, a guy who has some boyish charm.

(As Leela says the above, we see Fry swinging on the branches of various trees.)

Fry: Oh, I gotcha.

(By now, Fry and Leela have made it to the door of Leela's apartment building.)

Leela: Well, here we are.

(Fry and Leela look at each other for a moment, and we can see that something special is happening. But...not for long.)

Leela: (nervous laugh) Look, Fry...I'm sorry things didn't work out with you and Helen.

Fry: Thanks. I'm sorry things didn't work out with you and Zapp.

Leela: Don't be. Please.

(Beat.)

Leela: Look, the point is, don't worry. Sooner or later, you'll me the One.

(Beat, then Leela walks into her apartment, leaving Fry alone.)

Fry: (to himself; softly)I can't wait.

(He walks away, into the moonlit sky.)

The End

Buddies