The Other, Part 20
By Rye Guy
September 13th, 3003...
Meanwhile, at Planet Express...
The crew are all relaxing around the office seeing as how there are no deliveries planned for today. Amy is in the lounge painting her finger nails, Hermes is in his office doing some filing, the Professor is performing yet another abomination to the Lord in his lab, Zoidberg's scrounging through the crawl-space behind the wall in search of his breakfast, and Skyler is working out in the cargo bay of the ship. As Skyler continues with one chin-up after another (he's been at it for almost an hour now) his thoughts go back to the previous day at Leela's. Whether his words worked or not, he has no idea. All he can do right now is just hope that he helped her in some way.
"Scott..." he says speaking to himself, "I'm doing my best not to be afraid. But this is just so much harder than I ever thought. Being here with her is just..." he stops pulling himself up and just hangs from the bar, "...What if I fail? What if I can't prevent it? I'm so afraid." His sweaty, shakey hands slip from the bar and he falls to his knees. With his face buried in his hands on the floor, Scott's voice begins shouting at him.
"Get up Skyler!"
Skyler looks up to see Scott standing over him. "Scott?"
"I said 'Get up'!"
Skyler finds he is no longer in the cargo bay. The two are in some kind of vast, non-existant place in the reaches of Skyler's mind.
"But I'm afraid...afraid that I won't be able to do this."
"If you doubt yourself, then you won't. Skyler, listen to me; being strong and brave when facing uncertainty is difficult. We're all afraid of something, but no matter what happens, let your heart guide you. Then and only then will you posess the power to overcome all."
Skyler feels an overwhelming sense of certanty come over him.
"All the training I've put you though, everything I've taught you is useless unless you keep that in mind."
"I'll do my best."
"You'll have to do better than that. Now get up."
Skyler stands; now back in the cargo bay; feeling rejuvinated. He wipes the sweat off his head and hands, then quickly grabs the bar and carries on with his exercise.
"You have to push yourself beyond your limits. The task placed before you will tear at you physically, mentally and emotionally. Seeing her...seeing both of them will be hard on you. But don't let your mind be clouded by doubt or personal feelings. Follow your heart, but stay headstrong when you need to."
"But how will I know when to follow my heart or follow my head?"
"You'll have to discover that on your own."
Just as Amy is finishing up her last nail, her cell phone rings. Reaching into her pocket she retrieves the tiny phone and answers, "Hello?"
Skyler; who was about to enter the room; freezes outside the door and listens in.
"Oh, Kif!" she exclaims, I was just thinking about you." She begins to fumble with trying to hold the phone, let her nails dry, and put up all her supplies at the same time. "Kif, I kinda got my hands full. Let me put you on speaker phone while I manage with all this." She places the phone on it's charger and presses the speaker button.
"Amy? Can you hear me?" asks Kif's voice over the speaker.
she begins placing her polish and what not back into her bag, being careful not to touch her still damp nails, "Just fine. So what's up?"
"Oh, not much. Zapp and I have been busy dealing with negotiations amongst those terrorists on the planet Ipthala 5. Nothing dangerous, just routine stuff mainly."
"I'm glad to know you're not in any real danger. I worry about you, you know."
"Yes, I know. But you won't have to for a while because I've got a surprise for you."
"Really? What?" she asks in eager anticipation.
"I'm coming to Earth the first of next week to spend my vacation with you."
Amy gasps "Oh Kif! I can't wait! Two whole weeks together!"
Skyler, his presence stil unknown, stares down to the floor with an almost sad expression. The sound of Amy's cheerful voice snap him back to reality.
"And I've got one more surprise for you too. But I'm saving that for when I get there."
"Can't you just give me one hint?"
"Nuh-uh, no way. This is special."
Amy whines playfully "Awww, come on. Please, just one little bitty hint?"
"Sorry Amy, can't do it." The sounds of someone calling out orders interrupts him.
"Who was that?" asks Amy.
"That was Zapp. Look, my sweet, I have to go. Sorry to cut this so short but I'm needed in the control room."
"Ooh, ok. I understand." she responds with a down tone in her voice. She hardly gets to see her Kiffy, let alone talk to him. So she cherishes every phone call, no matter how short they are. "I love you Kif. So much."
"I know. I love you too. Well, I'll see you first of next week."
"Ok. Buh bye."
"Bye." They hang up and Amy continues putting her things away. Skyler does his best not to looks solemn and enters the room casually.
"Skyler, what's up?"
"Oh, nothing. It's just...this is going to seem kinda weird but I was hoping you could give me some advice...um, relationship advice"
"Oh well I'll go ahead and tell you now that I'm not really the best person for that kind of advice."
"You never know." he smirks.
She gives him a curious look "Hmm, eh, what the hey; gimme your best shot."
"Alright." he takes a seat next to her on the couch. "It's like this, I've got this friend back on my home planet who asked me for advice. I wasn't sure what to tell him so I figure'd I'd ask someone else."
"Why me though?"
He shrugs "I guess just because since you, me and my friend are all around the same age, you'd have the same kind of midset as us."
Her curiosity intrigued, she tells him to continue. "Makes sense. Go on."
"Ok. Say there's this person that you love. I mean actually love. Not lust, or stalking, but actual genuine; with all your heart and soul, love. But the problem is, the person you love is in love with someone else. You want so desperately to tell that person how you truly feel, but you know doing so would only cause problems for her and her love."
He looks her right in the eye with a very serious stare, "And even though you want to be with that person so much; you know in your heart that you two can truly share a lifetime together; you can't stand the thought of breaking her up with the one she loves. Then you realize that you love her so much that..." tears begin forming in his eyes as he sighs sadly "...that you would rather her be with someone else if it means that she'll be happy."
He tries desperately to hold back his tears, but one manages to escape and stream down his cheek. "What should he do? Should he tell her how he really feels, or should he just let her go with the one man in the universe who makes her as happy as he could?"
Amy is speechless. She has no idea how to respond, or why Skyler almost started to cry while asking. Why would he come to her for this? What should she say?
"Uh...that's a tough one. I-um-I don't know what to tell you."
"You love Kif, right?"
Where was this question coming from? "You kind of came out of left field with that. Yes, I do. Why?"
"Do you love him enough to let him go if it meant he could be happy?"
She stammers for a moment "I suppose."
"Well how much do you love him?"
"That's an easier one. I love Kif more than life itself. I know that sounds cliche but...See, I was born and raised as a rich girl on Mars. I've always had more money that I've needed, more stuff than I've ever wanted...but I would gladly give everything, every dime, every posession of mine up to be with him. Even for just one more moment." As she goes on, she gets lost in a dreamy haze of affection without even realizing the kinds of actions her words have set into motion. She completely forgets that Skyler is even in the room with her until he taps her on the shoulder. "Oop, sorry. Guess I started day dreaming a bit there."
"It-it's alright. Thanks for the advice."
"I hope everything works out for your friend."
"What? Oh yeah, yeah my friend. I'm sure it will. Thanks again." he gets up and quickly, silently, exits the room.
"You're welcome." she calls out but he doesn't respond being that he is now at the other end of the hall. "What was that all about?" she asks herself.
But, unbeknownst to her, Skyler has gone into the Professor's Angry-Dome upstairs above the docking back. The small glass dome is just big enough for Skyler to sit comfortably and look up at the bright morning sky. Knowing that the dome is sound proof gives him the incentive he wants to cry out loud.
"Why?" he keeps asking himself, "Why me, Scott; why? I thought that maybe I would have had another chance. I know you said not to let personal feeling get in my way, but I'm in a situation where I'm surrounded by people that bring me these feelings and it's just so hard." His thoughts linger on one undeniable fact that he's been presented with since he first arrived at Planet Express,
"The'yre all alive. Every single on of them."
He closes his eyes and images of his past begin running though his head...
The woman he loves standing before him in this dark room that fateful night. Her body almost entirely covered in the shadows coming in through the window. The night when he finally had something he had been wanting for so long; the touch, her touch. It had been years since she had been with another man. But that night, feeling as though she would never get another time, embraced his hand in hers. That intimate night, that fateful night, that night he wanted to last forever but in a way wishes it had never happened. The smell of her silky black hair as they lay there together the next morning. The assurance that something was finally going good in his miserable life of tragedy and loss. But this, like all good things, came to an end.
"I'm going outside to check on the ship. You need to work on the machine. See if you can find a suitable power source."
She walked out of the room, it would be the last time he ever saw her alive...at least, so it seemed. Hours later, he returned to that very room. All seemed well, but deep in his heart, he felt that something was terribly wrong. Gunfire, explosions outside followed by the scream of the one he loved. A force of incredible power, the power of fate itself blasted the door open. It's handle stabbing through his side and pinning him to the wall. On the floor lay her bloody, lifeless body. At that instant, he knew he had finally and truly lost everything.
Everything...on that fateful day...it seemed so long ago now.
Skyler awakens abruptly, not even realizing that he had fallen asleep in the first place. Checking his watch, he sees that he sas been asleep for nearly an hour and a half. He rubs his eyes,
"These memories. Everytime I sleep it's the same thing. My memories haunt my nightmares, reminding me why I'm here. They're what keep me going." he thinks to himself while still waking himself up.
A sudden cold chill running up his spine alerts him that's something's arry. This feeling; a presence he hasn't felt since before he left his home all those months ago. Trying to think of it as nothing more than just a reprocussion from his dream, he exits the Angry-Dome and finds himself in the lab where he sees Bender, who looks as though he has just pulled off the greatest grift of all time.
"Bender? What are you doing here? I thought you were using the fake religious holiday exscuse today."
"I was but I came here as soon as I heard!"
"Heard what?" he asks while yawning. Bender grabs Skyler by the arms and drags him through the building until they get to the elevator. Once inside, Bender presses the button for the ground floor. "What are you doing Bender? What's all the excitement about?"
"He's back!" shouts Bender clapping his metal hands together.
"Who's ba-...wait, you don't mean..."
With a ding, the elevator doors open and Skyler is met with the backs of the others. Him and Bender make their way through the crew and Skyler's jaw drops as he sees Fry and Leela standing before him hand-in-hand.
"Fry? You're back?"
"Isn't it wonderful Skyler?" asks an astonishingly joyful Leela.
Fry holds out his hand to shake Skylers "Nice to meet you Skyler. Leela told me that you took over my position while I was away. Thanks for helping out."
"Sure, no problem." he takes Fry's hand. The second their hands touch though, everything seems to freeze except the two of them for just a split second. Skyler and Fry look eye to eye and Fry grins as he takes a very firm grip of Skyler's hand.
Bender pats Fry on the shoulder, "I'll bet you've got alot to tell us. For starters, where have you been this whole time?"
"Look, let's head upstairs and I'll tell you all about it."
The rest of the crew head to the elevator leaving Skyler and Fry where they stand. There, for that moment that felt like forever, they stand and just stare each other down. Skyler can not figure out this strange feeling he's having all of a sudden. Maybe it's just the shock of him showing up so unexpectedly like this after so long, or could it be something else?
"You guys coming or what?" asks Leela who's holding the elevator door open.
"Coming Leela." responds Fry. "Come on Skyler. you can hear all about it upstairs. Maybe afterwards you and I can get better acquainted." he says with a certain tone that causes another shiver up Skyler's spine. Fry steps past Skyler and as he does, everything seems to move in slow motion for that on instant. Skyler turns his head and watches as Fry steps in the elevator with the others.
"Room for one more." remarks Fry. Skyler shakes his head and joins them.
Well everyone, there you go. Chapter 20. Where has Fry been this whole time? What's he been up to? What about the dreaded Bereave? What does Fry's return mean for Skyler? I know, and you don't. HA HA! Sorry :) All these questions and maybe more will be answered in Chapter 21 which, as always, is coming soon...