Summary : Insights into Fry and Leela's on-again/off-again relationship, from Rebirth onwards. T for mentions of sex, but nothing explicit. This is intended to cover season six (Rebirth to Overclockwise) but I might do 7a as well, if anyone wants it.
Fry keeps taking her to dinner.
Leela isn't sure how she feels about this. On the one hand she's relieved, because he's respecting her desire to take things slow and rarely even moves in for a kiss at the end of the night.
On the other hand . . . if she keeps eating like this, she's going to burst out of her stretch-pants.
It's not like he's even that into food. Bender has more interest than he does, and the robot has no sense of taste. Still, every Friday, without fail, Fry will now ask her out for dinner, and every Friday, without fail, Leela will agree to it. She debates turning him down from time to time, but she doesn't think she could bear the look on his face if she did. Besides, in a weird way she is having fun.
He brings her flowers every time, and this week is no exception.
(After a month, her apartment looked like a hothouse. It now resembles a Venusian Garden.)
At the restaurant he pulls out her chair for her and holds the door and is otherwise on his best behavior, which is endearing, but not quite as endearing, somehow, as watching him order from a menu he only half understands. Right now he's gawping at his plate and Leela is suppressing a smile.
"It looks like frogspawn," Fry says warily, prodding the quivering yellow pustules with his fork.
Leela sips her wine.
"Close," she says. "Bologrolieeg. It's Neptunian. It's a delicacy there, but the nearest Earth equivalent . . . well, you don't want to know."
"I thought it might be baloney," Fry sighs.
He raises a forkful and steels himself to take a bite, just as Leela says casually "More like whale-sperm omelet."
"Mmm." Leela twirls her pasta around her fork. "I think that would be it, anyway. Although omelet might not be the right word, and the animal it comes from isn't exactly a whale . . ."
Fry waits for her to continue, and when she doesn't he gags.
He doesn't eat after that, but then, he rarely does. He's too nervous. Fry, Leela is learning, is a completely different person on a date. He behaves normally around her all day, but as soon as he knocks on her door with flowers in hand, his nerves kick into overdrive. He fidgets all through dinner – tugging at his collar, blinking too fast, gesturing too much when he talks – and he's clumsier than ever.
He reaches for her hand across the table and knocks over the salt.
Leela watches it spill onto the floor, like sand rushing from an hourglass, and suddenly she wonders what they're doing.
"Let's get out of here," she says.
It's a nice night and they both feel better without a table between them. Fry decides he's hungry after all and Leela decides she has room for dessert, so they stop for ice-cream.
His hand is sticky, but she holds it anyway. At the end of the night she's still holding it.
Oh, what the hell, she thinks, and she moves in for the kiss.