Fan Fiction

Love, Lust and Leela
By Marcus

"Bless all the girls who know what love is about. They try not to cry and then they try to put out..."

The late summer sun beat down oppressively as Leela and Amy cut across NNY Botanical Gardens.

This short walk was becoming difficult for Leela. Everywhere she looked, it seemed, there were happy children rushing about the place, scurrying between the trees, soaking themselves in the sprinklers...their high-pitched chatter and squeals of joy were so...right, so pleasant to hear - as long as you didn't listen to what they actually SAID, of course...

"Hello, earth to Leela?" said Amy. "I said...hey, are you ok, Leela? You look  a little...weird."

"Just thinking. Amy, do ever wonder what it might be like to have children, some day?"

"Don't get me started," Amy replied. "EVERY time I see my parents it's 'Where's my grandchild, where's my grandchild?', sometimes I just just wanna..." glancing at Leela's disappointed face, she quickly changed tack. "Then again, I guess if I actually had one to look after, it might be different. Sure, it'd be a big responsibility, but I've had a pony since I was eight. It can't be THAT much harder."

Leela still looked dejected, and sat on park bench. Amy joined her.

"Ok, Leela, what's bugging you?"

"Oohhh, I don't know...Sometimes, I just think - 'What am I doing in life?  What's really important?' I mean, I look around, and there's all these smiling mothers and happy kids..."

"I think it's a lot of hard work to get there," said Amy, doubtfully.

"Oh, I know, I know, it'd be hard...but I'm not afraid of a little hard work when you get so much more out of it...are you?"

Amy looked down a moment, but then met Leela's gaze. She took Leela's hands and brought them up to her breast. "Not if you're here."

"Amy, I want to have a baby."

"Oh, Leela..." they leaned into each other, their bodies entwining, kissing passionately.

Two old-timers, shuffling by, slowed up a moment.

"Don't see that everyday," said one to the other.

"See what, Jasper?" said the other, peering shortsightedly.

"That woman. She's wearin' them fancy 'green-stripe' boots. Means trouble."

"You're full of crap, Jasper," he said, walking on.

"Ayuh," replied Jasper, sadly wise.

It hadn't been easy for Leela and Amy, or the rest of the crew, making the adjustment. Fry had taken the fact of their relationship particularly hard, but then Leela had bought him a SnoCone, and that had soothed his fragile ego.

Still, conversation had been somewhat stilted to begin with, but it was better than when Leela and Amy had tried to keep their love a secret, stealing a few moments together here, a clinch there. Fry seemed to keep barging in on them, and the old "Uh, um, we're...rehearsing a play?" line stopped working when Fry asked, "So when can I come see this play? I mean, it looks pretty hot."

Things were better now, and no one seemed to be walking on eggshells whenever Leela and Amy happened to be in the same room. And they knew that they'd been accepted as a couple when Fry sidled up to Amy and asked, "Soooo...you and Leela are definately a...you know, a thing?"

"Yes, Fry, we're a thing."

"Cool. In that case, can I come by some time and watch? Only Bender's robot pornos get pretty samey after a while, so I thought...Oowww!"

Amy had had to slap him, but Leela had laughed when she heard. No way, obviously, but at least it meant their friends were thinking of them as a pair.

Since then, they'd lived their lifes in the open. But for now, they decided, it would be better to keep Leela's plan under wraps, and Amy arranged a visit at an out of the way fertility clinic.

The doctor had removed various fluids from both women, and was now finishing his examination of Leela.

"Ok, you can get up now."

Leela removed her feet from the stirrups. Great bedside manner, she thought. But at least he had warm hands...

"Come on, Ms... Second Mate," he called out from behind the courtesy screen, consulting his notes. "There's a whole bunch of women out there waiting for me." Leela's eye narrowed menacingly, but she dressed a little quicker, and joined Amy and the doctor in the main office.

"The news is not good, I'm afraid." Leela glanced fearfully at Amy, who held out her hand to Leela. "You two are not genetically compatible. It's just not possible for you, Ms., uh, Ms....Second Mate, to bear Ms. Wong's child."

"So, so that's it?" asked Leela. "I can't have children?"

The doctor made a rocking motion with his hand.

"We-ell...maybe. Whatever your species is, it's close to basic human. Someone somewhere - several someones - are probably close enough for us to try it. If you like, I can run your DNA sequence through our files, see if there are any possible matches..."

"No! I mean, no - I don't want the father to just be some anonymous guy I've never met. Isn't there some other way?"

The doctor rolled his eyes.

"There's a device they use down at the docks for checking the DNA of imported animal species. If you get hold of something like that, you could test people, within a much smaller group, to see if they're suitable. I could certainly put you in touch with the suppliers. But I must warn you, there's probably only one person in..."

"I don't care," said Leela, and her eyes blazed with conviction, "I'll go to the docks, get this... thing, and find a way to get pregnant!"

"You go down the docks with that attitude, I'm sure you won't have any trouble," said the doctor, warmly.

The machine was quite a disappointment. It was a little like a watch, with a slot to insert the 'ideal' sample, and a second slot to put in a test sample. A digital display told you how close the match was.

"So," said Amy from her perch on the arm of the sofa, overlooking Leela, "who're we going to try first?"

"I don't know - I mean, it's a pretty big thing to ask. You can't just go up to someone and say 'Excuse me, I need to take a fluid sample to see if you can fertilize me.' They might take it the wrong way."

"I see what you mean. How about Fry?"

"Oh, that'd be sort of cruel. I mean, he wouldn't understand that..." Leela prompted Amy by a curiously explicit series of hand gestures.

"Oh. OH. Yeah, good point. Hermes?"

"Married. Too complicated."

"The Professor?"

"I work for him! It'd be...weird."

"How 'bout Zoidberg?"

Once they picked themselves up off the floor, and the worst of the giggling stopped, Amy said.

"But seriously, Leela, who're you going to try?"

"I don't know! It sounded good in the doctor's office, but I can't think of anyone I'd like to ask. Maybe I should just go through the DNA files like he said..."

"Oh, come on, you can't think of one nice person you'd ask?"

"Well, maybe...no. Look, I don't know that many nice people...except for you, a-and..."

Amy held Leela close.

"I know, I know..." she began to rock Leela back and forth as the tears came "It's ok, it's ok..."

"Amy, this was a stupid idea..." cried Leela from Amy's breast.

"It is not! We'll work something out..."

And then the doorbell rang.

"I'll get it," said Amy, glancing up gratefully. "It'll just be Bender or someone. I'll say it's not a good time..."

"No! you may as well let them in. I'm fine."

"You're sure?" Leela's eye was red, and her face a little flushed.

"Really. Go on, let them in."


Amy opened the door to Leela's apartment and was met by two enormous bunches of flowers. Or, rather, the stalks of two enormous bunches of flowers.

"It would've been more impressive if they still had the heads, huh? I had a little accident on the way here, but..."

"Who are you?" asked Amy, trying to peer through the dense mass of foliage.

"Surprise!" A man's face emerged from between the bunches. "It's me, Leela! R...oh. Uh, you're not Leela, are you?"






"Oh, yeah, sorry. So...does Leela not live here then?"

"Well, maybe. What did you say your name was?"

"It's Red. Red Ennium."

"Just a minute." Amy shut the door and went back to the living room.

"Leela, do you know someone called 'Red Ennium'?"

"How - how did he look?"

"Kind of a sap. Well, no, I don't know, I couldn't really see behind the flowers."

"Red? But..."

"Leela? Leela?"

It was Leela's eighteenth birthday, and her last day of freedom. In an hour's time, she'd know what her destined fate would be, what she'd be doing for the rest of her life.

Lost in thought, she entered the Fate Assignment Bureau and collided with a young man.

"Oh! I'm sorry..."

"No, my fault..." she began.

"No," he sighed, "it was mine. I should have looked where I was going. They just told me what I'm going to be doing for the rest of my life, and...well, I'm not looking forward to it."

"That's not good. But you know what they say: 'You gotta do what you gotta do'. I'm just about to go in. Any tips?"

"Yeah," he snorted, "don't go in..."

"Thanks, but I think I'd better give it a go. Anyway, I might get a good one!"


"Yeah. See you."

"Bye." he said, absently, and Leela went in.

An hour later, her future assigned, she left the examination room limping slightly. Damn Probulator, she thought.

The man was waiting for her, sitting on a chair.

"So how'd it..." he started, brightly. "Uh, what happened? Are you ok?"

"Umm, yeah, I'm fine. It was just that Probulator..." He'd waited! she thought.

"The what now?"

"The Probulator. You know," she gestured vaguely.


"The Fate Assignment Officer didn't tell you to strip naked and get on the Probulator?"

"No! He just took a blood sample and I did a few tests...Anyway," he said, valiantly trying to change the subject, "what are you going to be doing with the rest of your life?"

"I'm going to be a Fate Assignment Officer," she said distractedly. What the hell had that whole Probulator thing been about..."It might be ok. So," she said, remembering herself, "what are you going to be?"

"Theoretical Physicist," he said inconsolably. "I wanted to be an artist, or a musician, but I didn't get the grades."

"Cheer up. At least it sounds good."

"I guess. Even if everyone calls me 'The Boy' and keeps sending me out for coffee till I'm a hundred."

"Well, in that case, it's your lucky day."

"How come?"

"Because I'm going to get you a coffee, just so you know what it feels like," said Leela, standing up.

"Can I come with you?"

"Sure," she smiled, as they left the building, walking side by side.

Leela and Red had been inseparable that summer. They'd gone everywhere, and done everything together.

Sometimes Leela thought back to it, even now. It was different with Amy. Often, Leela let her take the lead, surrendering herself completely, and that was good. Other times, it was so...intimate, so complete a union of two bodies and souls, like nothing she'd experienced before, and that was even better.

But with Red...when they had made love... they'd fought. They wrestled and grappled each other to exhaustion, each claiming a victory. Red was more heavily built, but Leela found that she was stronger across the abdomen and thighs, and they'd been...equals. It had been special.

But the good times didn't last. Red had gone on to begin a lifetime of study and tutoring, while Leela's training - physical and mental - for her new job had begun. They'd tried to keep in touch, of course, but it couldn't work. In the end, life had pulled them apart.

And now he'd come back to her.

"Hello, Leela?" said Amy. "Do I let him in or not? Only I think the owls are attacking him."

"Well, I suppose we'd better."

Amy led Red in, lightly bleeding and only marginally concussed, still clutching his  stalks, which were scruffier than ever now that he'd used them as a weapon against the owls.

"Hi, Leela. These...these are for you..."

"Thank you, Red. I'm sure they were really nice when you bought them."

"Oh, I didn't buy them, I grew them."

"Oh, that's sweet! But I thought you were going to be a phyicist..."

"I am, sort of, but it's a funny story..."

"Just a second. Amy? Would you put these flowers in water?"

"Sure Leela!" said Amy as she went through to the kitchen with them. When she was sure she couldn't be seen, she mashed the useless stalks into the garbage disposal unit, listening as the whirr of the blades drowned out Red's voice.

She stood just outside the living room, waiting for an opening in their dull chatter.

It never came. Even when Leela told Red that she was "involved" with Amy, the moment didn't seem right, and in any case they quickly turned to other things.

Finally Red left, after leaving his new address with Leela.

"Geez, what a sap!" exclaimed Amy. "I thought you'd never get rid of him!"

Leela looked coldly at her.

"I haven't seen him since we were eighteen. I thought it was nice he took the time to look me up and stop over. He didn't have to."

"Well yeah, but..."

"He just got here, he doesn't know many people. And you could have been nicer to him. Polite, even. You went in the kitchen with those flowers and didn't come out the whole time."

"You sent me through!"

"But I didn't expect you to stay there!"

"Look, I'm sorry, Leela," said Amy, biting her tongue. "I didn't mean to be rude. It was just kind of a surprise, that's all."

"Ok then. Oh, look!" said Leela, going over to the chair Red had been sitting on. "He was bleeding the whole time," she said mournfully. "You should've let him in quicker."

Behind her back, Amy's lips pursed razor thin.

"I'd better get that off now, or it'll stain."

"No problem, I'll get the cleaning...stuff." Amy stamped off, but Leela didn't notice. She dabbed at the blood with a tissue, to see if it had dried in yet. The tissue came away red.

Leela stared at it. On impulse, she put the corner of it in the testing slot of the DNA sequencer she now wore on her wrist.

A moment later, the display turned light amber - "POSSIBLE MATCH", it read.

"Amy, Amy come quick!"

"What, what is it?" cried Amy rushing in.

"Look, look!" exclaimed Leela, removing the device and flinging her arms round Amy's neck. Through tears of joy, Leela couldn't see Amy's expression, but she seemed to smile. At least, her lips rolled back and she bared her teeth.

It was Thursday evening, and everything was just so.

Leela's apartment gleamed, the candles making for an intimate, cosy atmosphere, and the scent of light yet expensive dishes wafted through from the kitchen where they had been heated.

Red's a jerk, thought Amy.

He'd been in the apartment less than an hour, but Amy was sure of her opinion. He was so...such a....he tried to...

Anyway, he's a jerk, Amy reassured herself. But Leela likes him, and it's for something good...

There was no getting away from it. Leela really did seem to like him - as a friend, she'd said. Amy wondered whether the next logical stage of friendship was having your friend over to dinner so you could ask him to father your children, but it was a little late to worry about that now. He was here.

Whoops, started to wander there, thought Amy. Back to the conversation.

Just in time, as it turned out.

"Uh, Red? It's been wonderful, having you over, and it's been great catching up..." began Leela.

"There's a 'but' in this sentence, isn't there?" smiled Red.

"Yes." To Amy's horror, Leela bowed her head and blushed. "Yes there is. I've been trying to think of some way to lead into this gently, but...there isn't one."

"Sounds serious."

"I think it is. Actually, we - Amy and I - both think it is." Under the table, Leela's trembling hand groped for Amy's, but missed. "Red, I - we - we want to have a baby."

"What?! That's great, congratulations! I..." He stared into the maw of Amy's furious glare. "I... I shouldn't have said congratulations there, should I?"

"Well, not yet," said Leela, looking up again. "The thing is, our DNA isn't compatible. It's a little too different. Just a little.

"But your DNA is close enough to mine...or probably close enough...at least we'd have a chance of a baby..."

"Whoa." Red leaned back in his chair. "I don't know what to say, Leela. It's such a big step. I mean...children? Actually, I do know what to say - how d'you know WE'RE...compatible?"

"Just a blood test," said Amy.

"That's right. You left a little, uh, sample on the chair. I think it must have been the owls..."

Red winced in recollection. "Oh yeah - the owls...Anyway, back to the, the, the whole baby thing. What would I be doing?"

"You'd only have to give a second blood sample, just to make sure there's a chance it'll work, and then a tissue sample, to extract the..." Leela blurted out.

"That's not really what I meant," interrupted Red. "I meant, once we've - once you've - had the baby, what's my role? What would I do?"

As little as possible, thought Amy. But she had learnt her lines well.

"Just what you feel you can. Leela and I will...will..." she faltered, and Red stepped into the breach.

"Ok, that was an unfair question. I'm still a little...Oh, which of you is going to be the, y'know, the uh..."

"We're both going to be the parents," Amy said, her voice hardening. She caught hold of Leela's hand, which was still shaking, and grasping it firmly in both of hers, held it on her lap. "But Leela is going to carry our baby."

"I see," said Red. His eyes became hard as they locked with Amy's. After a moment, he broke the stare and with a softer look turned back to Leela. "So...well, if I...could I be like an uncle?"

Leela's breath hitched, but she still turned to Amy, searching her face for acceptance.

Amy looked into Leela's hopeful eye, and crumbled.

"I, I guess that would be ok. Leela?" said Amy, with a tremor.

"Yes. Oh, yes!" cried Leela. Laughing, she flung her arms round Amy and kissed her numb lips, before going to Red and giving him a little one-armed hug. He held her arm in both of his and laughed along with her.

And, or so it seemed to Amy as she ran to Leela, he held her just a little too long.

Although Leela now had a prospective mate, still she didn't go to the fertility clinic to have an embryo created and implanted in her womb. She told Amy she wanted to wait to let it sink in, until she was sure she was doing the right thing.

Things came to a head when Amy was away for a weekend, finally answering a persistent summons from her family on Mars...

Leela curled up on the couch in a nightdress and bathrobe, relaxing after a hard workout and a hot shower. It was...unsettling, not having Amy around. Unexpected silences reminded her how easy it was to be lonely, especially on a night like this, when the wind howled and the rain lashed down.

But a slight sense of relief tempered her yearning. Amy had been so possessive lately, so...well, 'committed' was the nice way to put it, but there were others...It felt good to be wanted, needed even, but Amy was being a little...every time Red came over, for example, she became so defensive and worked up it was a wonder he ever came back.

Leela stifled a giggle - was Amy jealous of Red? No, ridiculous! Leela wasn't that sort of...Oh, sure, they'd been an item in the past, but that was seven years ago...

Seven years! Leela felt old just thinking it. Maybe that was what was bothering Amy - she was almost five years younger than Leela, and at twenty, five years might still seem a big deal...

Well, I'll just have to reassure her that that's not a problem, thought Leela. She smiled and closed her eye as she considered the very pleasant ways she might reassure Amy.

Her thoughts were broken by someone banging at the door. Leela looked up, half in guilt and half in anger at being disturbed in the middle of...Amy? She thought as she held the cord of her robe and went to the door. No, she wasn't due back till tomorrow...

"Who is it?" she called through the door.

"It's me!" said a familiar male voice "Help, let me in, the owls ar-arrrgh..."

Leela opened the door and ushered Red inside.

"You're soaking wet! What have you been doing?"

Rainwater ran down Red's pale face.

"I'm, I'm not sure...it's all so complicated..."

"Wait here a minute," said Leela, leading him over to a chair. She went into the bedroom to change - or at least put on some underwear.

Red had followed her into her bedroom.

"Uh, Red, do you think you could..."

He flopped down onto the bed, his hands over his face, and began to rock himself.

"Leela, I-I..."

Biting her lip, and hating herself for pausing, Leela sat down on the opposite side of the bed, and placed a gentle hand over one of Red's. He was a friend, and he was clearly in some kind of trouble.

"What is it, Red? Let me help you."

"They're firing me, Leela. They're letting me go."

"How can they do that to you?" said Leela, shocked. She thought back to her time at Fate Assignment. "Did they say why? They have to say why, now, they can't just fire you."

"'Problems 'relating' to colleagues', whatever that's supposed to mean. I'm fired, Leela. No job, no accomodation, no pension, no money."


"Well...maybe a small package, in recognition of...ooh, seven years getting the coffee. Other than that, I'm on my own. And now...with you and the baby...geez, some rolemodel for the little guy. Or girl."

Leela opened her mouth to tell him that, as a matter of fact, she hadn't gone through with the procedure - not yet, anyway - but thought better of it. There was no need to complicate things further - Red was without a designated fate, a terrible...fate in the year 3000. With no protecion from his profession, and without a career chip, the future was dim. Instead, she said.

"I'll be able to tell them that you were a fine man, and a brilliant scientist, and a good friend. In fact," she smiled, "I won't have to, because you'll be there, and they'll know. This doesn't need to change anything, Red. I'm still your friend, and I'm still going to have your children."

"Thanks...thank you, Leela. That means a lot to me," said Red, struggling to keep his voice steady.

"It's only the truth. And who knows - this might be a real break for you. Quitting my job was the best thing I ever did. I wouldn't be with Amy, I wouldn't have met Bender or the others, and I'd never have known Fry if I was still with the Fate Assignment Bureau. You could be an artist, now, like you wanted."

"Yeah...yeah I could, couldn't I? It, it might work out." His face cracked in a grin. "You're amazing, Leela. That kid is so lucky." Still smiling at her, Red moved his hand to the bottom of Leela's stomach, and began to stroke her there, just under the cord of her bathrobe. Leela's back straightened, but she forced herself to keep smiling. Red's touch there, so intimate, made her uncomfortable, but he wasn't to know there was nothing inside. Still, she'd feel better when it stopped...

Perhaps Red sensed this, as he quickly drew back his hand.

"Sorry," he said, looking down, "I didn't mean to... I just wasn't thinking."

"No, it's alright. I'd better get used to it - soon everyone's going to want to give it a rub."

"Yeah, like Buddha's belly, for luck!"

"Red!" said Leela, frowning and laughing at the same time, as she gave him a playful punch on the shoulder.

"No, no!" smiled Red, absently rubbing his arm. "I'm sure you'll carry it off well - I can just see you in nine months time, tight pants, HUGE muscle shirt, bare stomach..." An enormous yawn stopped him in the middle of his musings.

"Red," asked Leela, in a more serious tone, "it's late. It's... oh my god, do you know what time it is?" she asked, looking at the clock "Where are you going to go tonight?"

"I dunno," he said, his eyes half-closed, "I'll get a motel room or something, sort it out tomorrow..."

Leela drew a deep breath. "Well, you could stay here. Just for the night, until you get something organised."

Red looked sharply at her. "You mean that?"


"Great!" he said, taking off his jacket and making himself comfortable.

"Uh, Red?"


"Get out of my bed," grinned Leela, uncertainly.

"Oh. Well, where else am I going to sleep?"

"There's no spare bed, but I thought the couch..."

"The couch?! Leela, I'd NEVER fit on that thing! My knees would be hanging off the end..."

"Well, you're not sleeping here. It's not that I don't trust you..."

"What, couldn't trust yourself?"

Leela's eye narrowed. "What I was going to say was that I wouldn't like to have to explain it to Amy."

"Leela, it's a double bed. We're two people. I've got nowhere else to go. There's an obvious solution...Look, I'm going to be a, an uncle, right? That makes us...well, like brother and sister. I'll be as chaste as a sibling, I swear," he said, and put his hand over his heart.

Leela glanced down at him, still frowning, and had to take a second look. For a moment, his pale, thin face seemed to shine through his five o'clock shadow and wet, bedraggled hair, peeking out like a child trapped in an adult's body, lost in the grown-ups world. And it's true, she thought. He's got no one else to go to...

Red slumped. "No, you're right Leela, this was a stupid idea. I'll go and I'll call a cab, get a room, and tomorrow..."

"No. No, Red. You can sleep here tonight." And I can leave as soon as you're asleep, she thought. "Just as long as you stay on your side!"

"I won't even get under the sheets, I'll just lie on top. You won't even know I'm here."

Leela turned the lights down low and smiled awkwardly as she got into bed, pulling her robe tighter.

They lay in bed a foot or so apart, neither moving, and barely breathing. After a moment, Leela said.

"You know, it might be nice to be the little one, just for once."

Red turned his head.

"Little one?" he asked quizzically.

"Yes, the little one in bed always feels better about themself compared to the big lug they're next to. It's a well known fact."

"Oh." Red's familiar smile crept across his face "Then I'm glad I could help you feel better about yourself."

"Thank you," smiled Leela, ironically.

Red turned over and  faced away from her. Leela relaxed a little and waited for his breath to slow down. And waited. And waited. And wait....

In the darkness, listening to Leela's light snore, Red smiled to himself.

The cold woke Leela up.

She fumbled for the sheets, but couldn't seem to find them. It was soooo cold... In the dark, she sensed rather than saw someone above her.

"Amee," she breathed faintly, " 'Scold. Lie down, bring back the covers..." She reached out, groping blindly.

Leela's eye snapped open. Her hand had hit a broad, hairy chest. A strong hand held it there.

"Shhh, Leela, it's alright..." A horribly familiar voice...

"Red!" she croaked.

"Leela, it's alright, everything's ok..."

She was cold because Red had not only thrown back the sheets, but had also opened her robe and hitched up her nightdress, almost to her chest. As she adjusted to the dim light, Leela saw him staring greedily at her.

She tried to bring her legs together, tight, but Red was too close to her, blocking her attempts.

"No, no, Leela, I understand...but Amy," he spat the word, "doesn't need to know."

"No, Red, stop. Please!"

Red smiled, and began to position himself between her thighs. Just so, he leaned over her, and laid his crawling hand at the base of her belly.

"It's my baby too, Leela. I have rights. And feelings, don't forget my feelings..."

With Red looming large over her prone form, and with a painful grip on her wrist, there was little Leela could do. From below, Red's stubble made him look menacing, frighteningly blank and anonymous, like, like...

...Like any rapist you see on TV, Leela's brain finished for her.

"Red, please, please no, don't do this..."

"Come on, Leela, give a guy a break...that's better..."

Leela had moved her right leg till it slid against Red's flank, further and further along until she had her foot just a little below his chest. Red released her wrist, using both hands to touch her foot, and began to feel along the length of her leg.

With an audible grunt, Leela kicked out at Red, catching him full in the chest and lifting him up off the bed and into the air. He landed heavily on the floor, just past the foot of the bed, where he cursed.

Leela was up on her feet, in an instant.

"Leela! That could have really hurt. What the hell were you think..."

"Get out," said Leela, softly, but with menace.

"Now, wait a minute..."

"GET OUT!" Leela's fragile grip on her self-control began to slip. Red stood almost doubled-up, half-naked and rubbing himself, and approached her. Leela went immediately into a fighting stance, and Red stopped.

"Leela, I'm getting a lot of mixed signals here," he sighed.

"You're what?!" said Leela incredulously.

Red backed off, both hands in front of his body in a gesture of appeasement.

"Well, I stop over, you all but invite me into your bed, then..."

"I did not! You, you..."

"I what, Leela? I didn't exactly have to force you. Anyway, you get me into bed, you give me all this 'Gee, Red, let me be the little one' crap," he mimicked. "Curl up next to me, and then act all surprised when I make a move! What the hell was I SUPPOSED to think?"

"Whatever might have been going on between your ears and in your pants had nothing to do with me."

"Sure," he snorted.

"I, I never wanted anything like this..." Leela flailed. Whose story sounded more convincing? "I said 'No'!" she yelled, clinging to her last bastion of defense. "I said no TWICE and you didn't stop..."

"Heat of the moment, who knows what anything means," said Red, his appraising eyes hard and narrow.

"That-that's not how it happened at all..." said Leela, tremulously. "Which part of 'No' didn't you understand?"

Red looked to the heavens, as though asking God to witness what he had to put up with.

"Listen, Leela, it's never that simple, and you know it," Red sighed. "It's late. Maybe I misread the situation, but you're not exactly innocent in all this either. Let's just go back to bed, and we can make like this never happened."

"No, R...No. You leave my house NOW." Red made no move. "NOW!" snarled Leela, advancing. Red backed up.

"Dammit, Leela, you can't act this way to me," said Red angrily.

"Oh, I think I can..."

"Well, you're wrong then. I'm going to be the father of our child." He pointed to her belly "I have rights, you know!"

"There IS no baby. I haven't gone to the clinic yet. And if you don't walk right now, the only way you'll be leaving is in a box."

"Oh... Oh, well, do you still think there's going to be a baby, then? See, you can just find someone else to jerk around, Leela, because I've had enough. I'm leaving." So laying, he left the bedroom, and Leela watched him go. She heard the front door slam, and made sure he'd gone, checking each room individually, and finally locked all the doors and windows.

Only then did she return to her bedroom. She lay on Amy's side of the bed and held herself as she wept.

Across the street from Leela's apartment, in a light drizzle, Amy watched Red closing their - closing Leela's door and scurry off.

"Hey lady," called out the cab driver, "you gonna pay or do I have to call the cops?"

"No. I'm not stopping here," said Amy, and she climbed back into the cab.

It was mid-afternoon, so Fry and Bender were putting in some serious work.

"So you can't get any picture at all?" cried Fry, distraught.

Bender emerged from behind the TV.

"Listen, pal. If you wanna get shocked, YOU fix the TV." Inserting a digit deep within the bowels of the set, electricity temporarily flowed through Bender's body "Oh-h-h-h yeah-h-h-h-h," he muttered. "Ooh, that was a bad one, heh-heh."

"Uh, no, it's ok, you go on," trilled Fry, backing away from the smoking robot. "I'll just go over here now," he said, going to the window and squinting in the nnaturally natural light.

On the street outside the Planet Express building, he saw Amy walking towards the main doors.

With a guy.

"Ooh-hoo, better not let Leela catch you, Amy," he murmured. "She'd...oh no, hide, Amy, hide!" walking not 10 yards behind them was Leela, her head down and arms around her body, bracing herself from the wind. And she was going faster - they'd cross paths in...

"Huh?" said Fry. Leela walked straight past them, barely noticing. But Amy noticed her. She threw an arm against the man she was walking with, trapping him against the side of the building. She drew him close and kissed him fiercely, right in front of Leela, who glanced round but continued walking. Amy turned slightly in her clinch, and when Leela entered the Planet Express building, she released her man and followed her in. Alone and shaken, the man picked himself up off the sidewalk and crossed the street, looking neither right nor left, lost in his own world.

Fry left the window with it's view of the mulitple pile-up and went over to the TV.

"Hey, Bender, I just saw..."

But Bender's limbs jerked randomly, and his eyes began to rotate of their own accord.

"Bender!" said Fry, irritated. He unplugged the TV, and left the room.

He caught up with Leela in the kitchen, where she was making coffee.

"Hey, Leela."

"Fry." Leela barely glanced in his direction, leaning against a worktop, watching the perclolator.

"So-o-o-o-o, uh, you and, you and Amy..."

"We broke up," she answered shortly, still gazing into the coffee.



"Sorry. Wanna talk about it?"

Footsteps echoed down the hall. Leela's back straightened, and she turned clear-eyed to face Fry.

"Not now, Fry."

Amy walked in.

"Hey, Fry," she said brightly. "If the coffee's done, I'll have some."

"Uh, I don't know. Leela made it."

"Hi Amy," said Leela in a small voice.

Amy frowned momentarily.

"Actually, Fry, I'll pass on the coffee. But thanks." And she left the kitchen by the same door as she came in.

Fry turned to Leela.


"Kinda." Leela turned again to face the wall, her shoulders slumped.

"Leela, I..."

"Can we just drop it, Fry? I'm not really in the mood right now."

"Oh, well, ok," said Fry, moving to the door "I'll be, I'll be right around here someplace, if you..."

"Thanks," said Leela, in a tone that marked the end of the conversation.

"So, Amy," began Fry when he caught up with her, "I was talking to Leela. She said you guys broke up..."

Amy flashed a Look at Fry, but she contorted it into a half-smile.

"Yes. We did."

"I'm sorry. You two seemed to be..."

"Yeah," said Amy through gritted teeth "that's how it goes."

"I'm not being insensitive, but...don't you think you were hitting on that guy in the street kinda fast? What with Leela..."

"She started it!" hissed Amy. "I've got work to do." She stormed off, leaving Fry as perplexed as ever.

Fry slouched his way downstairs, walking past Hermes' open office.

"Hey, Hermes."

"Fry! Can't you see I'm busy! Bother someone else."

"I wasn't gonna bother you, I was just saying..."


"Snnnnnrt!" Fry breathed deeply, trying to stay calm. What's with everyone, he thought.

Then the Professor poked his head round the corner from his laboratory.

"Fry, you insensitive moron, can't you keep it down? Some of us are trying to work!"

"Well, fine! Geez, what's up with you guys! I'm only trying to...oh, forget it!" He stomped away.

"Well, what's his problem?" asked the Professor.

"I don't know," said Hermes, concerned. "He's very unstable."

Dr. Zoidberg sloped out of his corner.

"And he never even said hello..." he crooned, mournfully. "Hello?" but Hermes had turned back to his workstation, and the Professor had gone back to his laboratory. "Oohhhhh..."

Fry descended into the depths of the Planet Express building, down the stairs and into the basement.

He easily dodged his way through the dimly-lit, labyrinthine mass of columns, hanging wires, and general detritus until he came to a corner behind the pipes. His Place.

It was warm here, warm, dark and secluded, away from prying eyes and mean voices. No one else could come here, because no one else knew about it, but on bad days Fry could rest here in his Safe Place for a short while, and come out feeling refreshed and strengthened.

He ducked down behind the pipes and lay on a mattress strewn with cushions.

Breathing deeply and at ease in his cosy confines, Fry began to feel better. Everyone had bad days. It was unlucky that everyone had chosen the same day to have one, but still...

Footsteps. Coming closer. Fry began to panic. Having a Safe Place was fine, but if anyone found out about it, they might think having it in a dark cellar was a little weird...He turned, utterly silent, and peered out between the thick pipes into the gloom. No one. Maybe whoever it was had gone. Fry gave out a little sigh.

Leela coalesced from the dark, not ten feet away, and approached Fry's hidey-hole. Fry bit his tongue. Leela frowned, bent down to clear a space, and then sat on the floor with her back to the warm pipes, scarcely a breath away from Fry on the other side.

She made herself more comfortable and took out a small device from her pocket. She took a deep breath through her nose and let it out in a wavering sigh. Raising the small machine to her mouth, she cleared her throat.

"Dear Captain's Diary," she began, and in a terrible monotone that was somehow worse than tears, she spoke about Amy, about Red, and about the baby she might now never have. She spoke of love, lechery, and desire; of betrayal and separation. But running through it all was an aching loneliness that was never addressed but ever-present.

Fry lay through it in stupefied horror. Many times - almost constantly - he wanted to reach out to Leela, to take her in his arms and tell her things would work out, that everything was ok, to say that he...But he couldn't. If Leela knew that he was here, that he had heard her, she might never forgive him, and Fry knew a Sno-Cone wouldn't do the trick this time.

Finally, mercifully, it ended.

"There," whispered Leela, "you feel better now, right?"

She wound back the recording a little way, and pressed play.

"...no one. Then he... And Amy thinks I'm a two-timing slut..."

"No," she answered herself softly. "No, it didn't work."

So saying, she arose, dusted herself off, and trudged back up the stairs.

Fry gave her a little time, and then followed her out. But when he returned to the main building, Leela was gone.

A little later, not far from her apartment, Leela walked out of the police station. She could go home now - she wasn't expected back at work.

That was part of the problem. The policewoman assigned to her had been quite insistent that there should be someone with Leela when she got home after making her statement. Leela had had to lie about this, and that made her feel even worse.

She bundled herself up ever closer against the wind and kicked her way through the fallen leaves, just ahead of a robot that was clearing them up.

The police had meant well, Leela thought. They'd listened quite sympathetically before explaining, gently, how unlikely a conviction was. The policewoman had given her the number of several crisis centres and help groups. If Leela had let her, she'd have arranged to have her driven home. And the coffee was surprisingly good.

But that was all they could do for her, and Leela needed more than that.

What she wished for, more than anything else, was to curl up on the sofa with Amy and watch All my Circuits while talking through the days' events. Somehow, knowing that they'd never do that again hurt the most.

He'd missed Leela, but Fry found Amy working on the hull of the ship.

"Say, Amy?" he said, with a calculating look.

"Yeah?" she answered, looking up from her spot-welding.

"Some girl on TV just said pink's the new blue."

"Oh, no! Wait. Who said?"

"I don't know, just some girl. There were some guys there, but..."

"Well, what show?"


"Which channel, then!"

"Not sure."

"Eughe! Fry, you're useless! Oh, I'll go look myself..." she began to wander off.

"Uh, no, not that way, Amy." said Fry "Bender's still working on that one...the TV's through here now..." and he drove her through to a small, forgotten work room of the Professor's.

"Fry, there's no TV here..."

"I know." he said, standing in front of the door, which he closed behind him. "It was a trick."

"What gives?"

Fry took a deep breath.


"Fry, I don't want to talk about it."

"Well, I do!"

"It's none of your business, Fry," she said angrily. "Leela and I...it's finished, and you've got no right to ask me about it."

"It's not about that!" yelled Fry, equally strident. "It's about, it's about how you, uh, should..."

"Oh, I've had enough of this. Look, if this is all you've got say, I'm leaving. Now get out of my way." She barged him aside and moved to the door.


"Drop it, Fry!"

"It's about last night, with Leela and..."

Amy stopped, and turned to Fry, fury printed in every line of her face.

"Red? Oh, so she told you about him. Well, I know, Fry, and I know because I was THERE. I was going to surprise Leela, come back a little early, when, oh wow, who's that sneaking out of the apartment? Why, it's Red, the jerk she went out with after high school and the guy who's going to father her children." She laughed, a bitter, derisive sound. "Guess they wanted to do it the old-fashioned way." A little of the fight left her. "Two days, Fry. I was gone TWO DAYS, and she..."

"Amy, will you just shut up and listen?!" Fry felt trapped inside his own body, as  though he was a fire somehow caught in the middle of a mountain. The words tumbled out, and he seemed to have no power over them. "Last night, when Leela was, Red - Red..."

"Red did what, Fry? It takes two to..."

The words finally came, ugly and crude.

"He tried to rape her." Fry stopped, and so did Amy. "She was sleeping, and Red tried to rape her."

Amy collapsed onto a packing crate.

"No. No, that can't be. I, I talked with Leela this morning."

"And what did she say, Amy?" The fire still burned in Fry, but now he was able to control it.

"W-well, she said that Red had come over, that he told her he'd lost his job, and that she'd told him...she'd, she'd said that he..."

"You didn't even let her finish, did you?" said Fry, darkly. "She was trying to tell you, and you just leapt straight in."

Amy looked down.

"Fry, I was so sure! I, I'd even talked to Red, and he said..."

"You talked to Red! When?!"

"I just called, just to check before I saw Leela, a-and..."

"Amy, who cares WHAT he said! You thought he was a jerk! Why would you believe anything he said, and HOW could you believe him instead of Leela?!"

"I was so afraid that Leela wanted him, and when I saw him coming out of our apartment..."

Fry began to wind down.

"It started to make sense," he said.

Amy nodded miserably.

"Fry, what am I going to do?"

Fry paused. This was already more than he'd planned.

"I don't know. Leela...Leela needs someone now." He sat on the crate next to Amy. "She's hurt, and sad, and just needs someone to...anyway." He looked away. "I can't do it, I can't be that person. It's you, Amy. Leela needs you."

Amy stood up, looking uncertainly at him.

"But how can I go back, now? I was so..."

"I don't know," said Fry, unable to lift his head, "but she still needs you. Go to her."

Amy hesitated a moment, before walking away. By the time she reached the hallway, she was running.

And in the abandoned storeroom, Fry closed the door, and sat on the floor with his back to it. He balled his fists and held them to his eyes.

"Guys don't cry," he whimpered. "Guys don't crieee..."

Leela made one last circuit of the apartment before she admitted defeat. She'd spent much of the day rearranging furniture, but as it grew dark the shadows became strange and unfamiliar. That evening, she moved everything back.

Leela had run out of afternoon, the evening had past, and now it was night. The first night after Red...The first night after Amy...

The bed seemed vast, desolate and empty. When she got in, it was like trying to sleep in the middle of a sports field. But if she got up, the four walls seemed to close in, threatening to crush her.

Leela stared miserably up at the ceiling, willing herself to go to sleep. If only Amy could have...

The doorbell rang.

Leela got up slowly, and put on her robe. The doorbell rang again.

Walking in darkness, Leela crept through to the front door. She peered through the newly installed camera, and watched as Amy moved to ring the bell once more.

"I'm here," she said, and opened the door.

Amy stood on the porch, the rain running down her face, shivering with cold.

"Leela...C-can I come..." But Leela was already bundling her into the warm, turning up the lights as she did so.

In the living room, Amy stood awkwardly, unable to break the silence. Womanfully, Leela did it for her.

"Amy, you're soaked - let me get you a towel." As she moved, Amy reached out for her.

"Please don't go," she said. "I've been...I've been out all night, trying to figure out what to say, and I can't. I was horrible, I am horrible. This morning, I didn't stop to listen, I didn't stop to think, I just..."


"...and then, when I heard that he tried...oh, I've screwed up, Leela, and now I'm so afraid I've lost you..."

"Amy..." said Leela, drawing closer.

"...and I know I can't make it right, and oh, Leela I'm so sorry, but please, please, give me a cha..."

"Amy," Leela pressed against Amy's trembling form, and embraced her, tenderly cradling her in her arms, "I forgive you."

"Leela," whispered Amy, leaning on her shoulder, gripping her tightly, "Leela, I think I love you..."

Leela's whole body stiffened slightly, and she drew back from Amy. She saw the tears in her eyes, and hated herself for what she had to say next.

"Amy, sit down."

Amy sat on the couch, eyes shining wet and hot. Leela sat in the chair next to the couch, and took her by the hand.

"What is it, Leela?" asked Amy uncertainly, wiping her eyes.

"Amy, I've...I've been thinking..."

"Oh, no. No, Leela, please don't say it. I...I let you down, and I know I don't deserve it, but..." she faltered in the face of Leela's mournful expression.

"It's not that. Really, it's not. Amy; I still want to have a baby. That hasn't changed."

Amy looked blank for a moment.

"Oh...oh that. But, nothing's changed there. You'll - WE'LL just have to find someone else who can..."

"No, no, you don't understand," said Leela, pained. "Amy, do YOU want a baby?"

"Oh...I thought you were going to have it..."

"Yes, but we'd both be the parents. You see, I...I don't think you do want to have children, and if I'm having any, I need to know that I'll be with someone who wants them as much as I do. And I think the child deserves that much."

"Well...it, it's difficult to say, exactly..."

"That's my problem," said Leela miserably. "If you don't want, no, if you don't feel the need to..."

"Fine! Maybe I don't right NOW, but...but we're still young. I mean, I could change totally in a few years; someday, maybe I'll want to..."

"Oh, Amy, I might not have children in a year, or five years, or ten or even more. But I KNOW that one day I will. And I need to be with someone who feels the same way. I can't wait for 'someday', always hoping that you'd change your mind." Leela's own eye began to grow hot, but she forced herself to keep looking at Amy's face. I owe her that much, she thought.

"But Leela, I LOVE YOU!" cried Amy, and began to shake.

Leela went to her knees in front of Amy, taking hold of both her hands, pressing them together.

"I know, Amy. And I love you. But it won't work." Leela felt  hot tears coursing down her cheek. "We want different things, important things..."

"Love is all we need!" spluttered Amy.

I can stop it, thought Leela. I can stop it here, stop the hurt, with a word, with a kiss, and...

And then a new thought occurred.

"Amy, if I couldn't have a baby... would you do it for us? Would you carry it, and nurse it, and love it, putting its needs before what you wanted? Before what I wanted? Look at me, please tell me you could."

"Oh, please, Amy, oh please say so," thought Leela.

Amy leant forward until her forehead touched Leela's.

"No. Oh, Leela, I'm sorry... I just couldn't do that. I'm so sorree-e-e-e..."

And Amy screwed her eyes up tight, and held Leela, clung to her as though she would never let go. Leela tried to be strong, tried to keep her mind together, but it was a hopeless battle. She dissolved in tears, heartrent sobs that came from deep, deep inside. And it felt so good to be held, to be loved...

Amy loosened her grip, and came away. Her eyes still shone, but when she spoke the words were clear.

"So...This is it?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I guess this is it," said Leela, desperately trying to pull herself together.

"I guess I'd better get going then...I'll always be there, Leela, if you need me."

"Me too," whimpered Leela, a barely audible squeak.

"I'll let myself out." Amy walked unsteadily away.

Leela heard the front door close. She sat on the couch a moment, as though afraid to move.

Eventually however, she got up and went to check the door had locked. On the way back, she caught a glimpse of herself in the hall mirror.

"Look at yourself," she told her reflection with a weak laugh. "You're a mess!" She then rubbed at her face  with the sleeve of her robe.

She turned out the lights, and walked in the darkness back to her bed. Exhausted and drained, and against all her expectations, she quickly fell asleep.

Early the next morning, Leela found Fry waiting for her in the kitchenette of Planet Express, the coffee already made.

"Hi, Leela."

"Hey, Fry."

"I, uh, I spoke to Amy earlier. She told me what happened."

Leela smiled at him, and reached over for the coffee he'd made.

"Oh, yeah, sorry. Here's your coffee."

"Thanks." Exactly what did Fry know, she thought. "We just wanted different things, I guess. Didn't make it any easier."

"No, I guess not. But it was a pretty big thing." He looked at her questioningly. "The thing you wanted, I mean. I think you were right to do what you did."

"Thank you, Fry."

They stood in a reflective silence for a moment, each gazing into the middle distance.

"Leela, I heard y..."

"I was just thinki..."

They looked at each other in mutual incomphrension.

"You first," said Fry.

"Oh, mine's stupid. I was just thinking; I'm asking a lot. The 'One' for me has got to be confident, sensitive, caring, mature, loving..." she fumbled in her pocket and drew out the DNA sampler. "And, now they've got to be genetically compatible with an alien. Silly..."

"It's not silly...and you're not stupid. It could happen; no, it WILL happen. There's someone out there for you, Leela. There, there's someone for everyone, I mean."

Leela smiled and put down the DNA sampler.

"That's sweet, Fry. But if there IS someone for me, I wish they'd hurry up and get here..." she looked down a moment. "Come on, what was yours?"

"Well," began Fry, biting his lip, "when you were..."

"Terrible news, everyone!" announced the Professor with a dark delight. "Grim, ghastly, gruesomely profitable news! To the meeting room!" he yelled, and he shuffled off as suddenly as he had appeared.

"Looks like it'll have to wait, Fry. Let's get going," said Leela.

"Right behind you," said Fry, moving lethargically. "Hey, Leela, you forgot your..." but she had already left.

Fry picked up the DNA sampler.

"What is this thing, anyway?" he asked the room. He poked and prodded it a moment, until a slot suddenly snapped down, drawing blood.

"Oww! No wonder Leela threw you away," he said angrily, tossing it into the trash compacter and hurrying to join Leela and the others.

Hidden from view, the display panel on the DNA sampler flashed a vivid green, and the device began to beep piercingly. For a moment, before it was crushed along with the garbage, the display read "PERFECT MATCH".

The End