Notes and Disclaimers: Futurama, et al, owned by large corporate entities who are not me. No profit garnered ever. Thanks to Mosca.



DAS FLAMING BOOTS




Bender lit his cigar from the bonfire he'd found in the bowels of the ship. It probably wasn't supposed to be there, but Bender wasn't alarmed. Until Leela ran in, screeching, "Fire! Fire!"

"Clearly," Bender said.

"Those are my boots! My boots and my back-up boots! And the other boots I bought for festive occasions! They have a stripe!" Leela grabbed a fire extinguisher from the wall. It only emitted a slow sigh of steam, since, like all tools for safety on the ship it had expired twenty years earlier and had been bought by the Professor at an auction for products that had been recalled for a complete lack of effectiveness.

"Does this even work?" Leela looked at the fire extinguisher just as it exploded in a hail of rubber bullets and toxic ooze. "My eye! My eye!" Leela fell to the ground holding her face.

"Maybe if you'd been smart to grow more than one, it wouldn't be such a problem," Bender said. He was staring at the microscopic red mark left by the explosion on his metal foot.

He was still staring, calculating what he'd need to polish it off, when Fry ran in. "Leela," he said. "Should we be heading for that supernova?" Then he noticed the fire and Leela moaning in pain. "Did we forget marshmallows? I hate that."

Leela dragged herself to her feet and ran out crying. "Typical," Bender said. He flicked the bit of rubber off his foot. "Women are always so emotional when they're in pain from being burned in an explosion." Bender noticed the bonfire of boots was between him and his cooler of beer. "Better put that out before my beer gets warm." He used one of his lower extensions to put out the fire and got a beer. "NOOOOOOOOOO," he cried in anguish. "IT'S WAAAAAAAAARM!" He ran out so Fry wouldn't see him cry.

*
In her room on the ship, Leela applied the anti-burn cream she'd bought because the hypnotoad spoke of it so highly. The one in the first aid kit the Professor provided had curdled and been used by Bender for a disgustingly foul cream sauce two nights before. Amy was applying nail polish with a nail polish gun on Leela's bed.

"Men," Leela said to Amy. "They don't care about anything besides themselves."

"Spluh," Amy said. "Can you believe Kif hasn't called all day?"

"Isn't he on a secret mission? It would get him killed to contact you."

Amy sighed. "I guess so. But he usually finds a way."

"I can't believe the DOOP is so stupid. A secret mission!" Leela paced around the compartment and missed her boots. Her slippers were so un-emphatic and at the moment, Leela felt very emphatic about everything. Her painfully healing face, her lack of boots, back-up boots and striped festive occasion boots, Bender and Fry, all of it.

"Kif is excellent at secret missions," Amy said loyally.

"But he's on it with Zapp Brannigan! He'll get them both killed. Just like a man!"

Amy sighed again. "I'll miss Kif." She didn't mean to give up on him, but a long distance relationship with someone who worked for someone like Zapp Brannigan meant she was pretty much always prepared for loss.

"I'll miss my boots," Leela said. She sat down next to Amy and sighed.

"Don't you have three identical pairs?"

"They're not identical, Amy. One is my primary pair, with built in knife and corkscrew, one is my back-up pair without corkscrew and the third one is for parties."

"Corkscrew, knife and miniature laser curling iron?" Leela nodded. Amy said, "Have you ever thought about not wearing boots? They're not very cute. And they make people think you, you know."

"That's a silly stereotype," Leela said. "And my boots are practical."

"Yeah, in my sorority, we had another word for that. Not-cute."

"That's two words," Leela said, standing up. She tried to stomp but her slippers made the gesture more cute than emphatic.

"It is not. There was a hyphen!" Amy went back to her nail-polishing. Leela marched out.

*

"I've done a search through all the nearby planets and the best place for me to purchase my replacement boots, back-up boots and festive occasion boots is the planet Bruce 3. It's only a slight diversion on our delivery route, just a few days or two," Leela said at the ship meeting.

Scruffy put his boots up on the table. "Scruffy doesn't need any more boots," he said. He put his boots down and walked out.

"Bruce 3? Sounds neat," Fry said.

"If you're a homosexual," Bender said.

"What?" Fry said.

"I said, if you're a homosexual. Bruce 3 is a planet completely made up of homosexuals. Flamers. Lasergun lickers. Robosexuals."

"Yes," Leela said. "And that's where they sell my boots. I can get two different colors! Black and Deep Grey Black." Amy giggled. "Shut up, Amy."

"Wait, is this planet really gay?" Fry looked panicked.

"Completely gay," Bender said. "Like a male figure skater. Like a gaggle of sorority girls experimenting with their sexuality in tiny underpants and wacky weed."

"We didn't have weed at Kappa Kappa Wong," Amy said. "I'm not afraid of Bruce 3. I bet they have super cute sweat pants there. Not in my size, but I can use my shrink-to-fit ray."

"I'm afraid," Fry said. "I'm very very afraid! What if it rubs off? What if they have like, gay plants with gay pollen and I breathe it in and then I want to have sex with Zapp Brannigan like Leela?"

"Everything is gay on Bruce 3," Bender said. "The pollen, the plants, the air, the celebrations, the parades, the shoes, the boots, the sweat pants, the lug nuts. Every single thing. But it doesn't rub off unless you already feel that way. Do you, Fry?"

"I don't! I don't! I don't!" Fry screamed and ran out of the room.

"So me and Amy then," Leela said.

"I am not a robosexual," Bender said. "Also, I'm banned from landing on every planet in that system. You don't want to know. But it has to do with biting my shiny metal ass."

"You and me then," Amy said, smiling.

*

Leela and Amy were in the shoe and toy store when the loudly clanging alarm went off. "What's that?" Amy backed into a display of pink toys which all started vibrating when she got close. Vibrating in a good way.

"It's the parade, silly!" A man with perfect hair said as he walked quickly by them. "You can't miss the parade!"

"I do like a parade," Amy said. "I bet it's really sparkly."

"They probably have one every day here," Leela said, but she let herself get dragged along in Amy's wake.

"Every other day," said another man with perfect hair standing next to her.

Then, to Leela's horror, she saw the most horrifying sight imaginable on one of the floats. "Amy, we have to run," she said.

"Why? This is spectacular, Leela! Look at all the clothes! Do you think I could wear that dress? I don't have the shoulders, but it's so shimmery." Amy shrugged off Leela's grasp on her arm.

"Look over there," Leela hissed.

"Is that Kif? In a thong? That's a little scary," Amy said.

"Behind him. No, don't look, spare yourself!" But it was too late. Amy looked behind Kif's noodle-like undulations on the float and saw Zapp Brannigan. In assless chaps and sunglasses. Attempting to dance with a drag queen with four tentacles who was still doing a remarkably apt tribute to Mother. Amy screamed in horror.

"Oh no, he heard you! Quick, Amy, kiss me!" Amy understood, and turned quickly to plant a long wet one on Leela.

They kept kissing as the float passed by, under a shower of shimmery confetti that got stuck in their hair and hands. After a minute, they broke apart and Leela said, "Thanks. I appreciate that."

"Sure," Amy said, blushing. "It was no problem."

Leela turned around so Amy wouldn't see she was blushing, too, and noticed the shoe store had closed. "Oh, no, now I can't buy my boots until tomorrow."

"Of course, dearie," said the old woman next to her. She was wearing fetchingly similar boots to the ones Leela had wanted to buy. "We always close after the parade. After the sex pollen shower, who wants to buy boots when they can be knocking them off? I see you've already got your boots knocker picked out." She winked at Leela and walked off humming an ancient anthem of Bruce 3 Leela had heard on the radio coming into town. Something about flavors of ice cream and there were only 32. And possibly more.

Leela turned back to Amy and said, "I think we might need to stay overnight. I really want those boots."

"I really want you to have those boots," Amy said. She grinned. "Maybe we should get a room?"

"Okay," Leela said. "You know, I think we're under the influence of gay sex pollen."

"Well, it wouldn't be the first time," Amy said. "I was in a sorority."

"I wasn't," Leela said. "But there was this one time at the orphanarium."

Amy grinned, all bright shimmery gay sex pollen and cute in her sweat suit and her lips still wet from their definitely above average kiss. Leela decided she didn't really care that Amy was sort of shallow and rich and always made fun of her. Amy decided she didn't really that Leela only had one eye and always seemed too above it all for Amy and wore those practical boots.

They found a hotel that advertised magic bubble baths and scented candles in every room and rented the last available room. Room service delivered some of the vibrating pink toys Amy had been meaning to get for her own use.

*

"Wow," Leela said. "I don't know if it's the gay sex pollen talking, but that was so much better than Zapp Brannigan. And that one time at the orphanarium. And that other time when I was in training."

"I am good," Amy said. "And so were you! You know, your hair looks really good like that."

Leela laughed and looked up at the ceiling. She could see herself in the mirror, naked and flushed all over. "I don't think I have time to do this every morning before work so I can get this look again."

"Yeah, me neither," Amy said. "But I think there's an attachment to your curling iron that'll do it if you get one of the ones they were selling in that store. Next to your boot store."

Leela looked at the clock. "Oh, damn. It's morning. We should get the boots and get back to the ship. Hopefully there haven't been any more fires. I don't trust the guys to actually put them out."

"Well, Scruffy's the one setting them, he should have been more responsible about it." Amy was already gathering her things for a quick shower.

"Scruffy? Why did he burn my boots?"

"Don't you know? He has OCA. I think Bender stole his meds to sell on the last planet we stopped off at, that's why he started burning things again. You know, we should buy him some more. I think I saw a Pill Emporium on that street, too." Amy went into the bathroom but turned the shower on low so they could still talk.

"OCA? He has obsessive compulsive arsonism? Huh, I never knew, " Leela said. She gathered the blankets around her. The gay sex pollen had pretty much worn off somewhere in the night. They'd kept going, of course, but Leela was starting to feel her usual post-sex shame. "Hey, uh, Amy, we're okay, right? Still friends, right?"

"Totally," Amy said, walking back in with a towel wrapped around her. "You think you're the first girl I've ever had a one-night stand with because of gay sex pollen and really fragrant bubble bath? Now we'll be even better friends! And I know Kif is actually alive, so frankly, I have a boyfriend who's coming home to me any day now. I know you don't, but I bet you will soon. Maybe not even a total loser like Fry!"

"Fry's not so bad," Leela said. She smiled. "Better friends, really?"

"Totally," Amy said. "It's a proven after effect of gay sex pollen. Like increased immunity to MM influenza."

"Oh, good," Leela said. "We'd better go get all that stuff. And I guess we should keep these toys."

"I want the big one," Amy said. "It reminds me of Kif."

"And I'll take the small cute one," Leela said. "It reminds me of you."

THE END.


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