Hey, guys… My first fic here, but don’t think that means you have to be nice. I love all reviews, even flames, mostly because flames are usually true, if they’re about the writing style. So, eh, yep. This is sort of a song fic, but not really. Well, it incorperates the song ‘Hey There Delilah’, but in this fic it’s ‘Hey there Leela’, because Fry writes it. Not as corny as it sounds, at least I don’t think so…

(hopefully) happy reading,

Audrey

p.s- oh, almost forgot, there isn’t any Bender Fry slash in this, even though some of those stories are pretty good… If it seems strange to you, just remember I’m trying to go for a strong friendship bond, and almost an implied parental figure… You’ll just have to read. He he…

Inside Robo Apartments, a bending unit was mumbling in his sleep as he usually did. Kill all humans…

With a small whirring of gears, he awoke to his internal alarm system. Yawning and stretching, Bender made his way into his closet, where the meatbags snores could be heard all the way to Neptune.

Sure enough, hunched over on the couch was Fry, holophoner still clutched in his once more human hands and his cheek plastered to the cover of a holophoner practice book. He had fallen asleep practicing again, and his drool was making a small puddle on the cover of My First Holophoner. Bender paused, looking upon the scene with amusement, disgust, and some fuzzy feeling he didnt quite want to place.

Bender slowly slid the practice book from underneath Frys cheek, rolled it up, and whacked him, hard, on the head.

Rise and shine, meatbag! Fry yelped as he lost his balance, rolled off the couch, and planted his face into the carpet. There he grumbled something unintelligible into the wooly fibers of the floor, waving his hand as if to shoo the robot away.

Bender narrowed his eyes. It wasnt usually this hard to wake hiim up. You know what I told you about sleeping on the couch! The couch is for the cockroaches, you get your bed.

Five more minutes, mom, Fry groaned sleepily.

The response was slurred, but Bender had heard perfectly, and he was caught very off-guard. What did you call me? But Fry was asleep again, still with a death grip on his stupid holophoner and snoring louder than ever.

Slightly alienated, Bender retreated slowly into the kitchen. Without thinking, he opened the moldy pantry and took a can of bachelor chow from the top shelf, choosing to open it with a pocketknife from his chest compartment instead of daring the can opener. He set the breakfast neatly on the table along with a grubby spoon and stood back to admire the effect. Then something he had said a few weeks or so previously floated across his memory chip.

You know Fry, sometimes I wish your real parents were still alive! Not often, though.

Bender turned his head to look at his roommate and best friend. He was still comatose. Anger at his stupid fuzzy emotions boiled to the metal surface of his exterior.

Fry! I aint screwing around anymore, were gonna be late for your par- I mean late for work.

Fry, as usual, was oblivious to Benders slipup. Another miserable groan from the blob on the floor was heard. Sorry, Bender. I was up all night practicing.

Bender huffed. He wanted to tell Fry to shove his holophoner up somewhere not kid-bot appropriate, but as he opened his voice box to say just that, something very different came out. Well, youre not gonna get any crappier than you already are, so I guess trying wont kill ya.

Frys head was still buzzing with exhaustion and stray tunes from his practice book, but Benders somewhat two-sided words of encouragement drifted through effortlessly. He perked up at once.

You really mean it?

Bender shrugged awkwardly. Iuhnno. I think my voice-box matrix is acting up.

Well thanks, anyway, buddy, I really needed that, Fry said, clumsily rising to his feet. As he did so, an odd thought struck him. You know, I remember my Dad used to say that exact same thing to me.

Bender stared hard at Fry, as if deep in thought. Fry blinked. What?

Bender shook his head. Nothin. Now get your flabby ass up, I took a whole minute out of my morning to make you breakfast!

Thirty Minutes Later

Surprise!

The Planet Express crew jumped out from behind various pieces of furniture in the lounge. Sitting on top of the coffee table was a huge box wrapped in brightly colored paper and a bow on top. Above the scene, a poorly made sign read, Happy Birthday, Meatbag!

Behind Fry, Bender cackled in a satisfied manner and clapped the slumped delivery boy on the back. Ha! Didnt expect a party at work, did ya? Well, happy birthday, anyway, buddy. Made the poster myself He puffed on a cigar, obviously very pleased with his handiwork.

But Fry only felt a small tug in his chest, and he vaguely wondered if the worms had come back for revenge. Thanks guys, its great, really, he smiled sadly.

Whats wrong, Fry? Leela asked, her eye narrowing in concern.

Fry sighed, sinking down onto the couch.

I didnt even remember my birthday until now, and I just realized If its my birthday, that means Im 29.

Whats the big deal? Amy asked, simultaneously painting her nails. Its not like youre old or anything.

Fry shrugged. Its just that when I was a kid I used to think that Id have a good job and at least a steady girlfriend by now. I also wanted to be the first man on Mars, but I guess thats not gonna happen now.

Whats your point? The professor demanded angrily.

I just wish I couldve done something with my life by now, thats all. But its no big. Maybe being a delivery boy is all Im meant to be.

On Leelas lap, Nibbler opened an eye and suppressed a small chuckle. The human will never learn he thought smugly.

Yeah, yeah, we get it, Frys all sad n stuff, now open the present, loser! Bender insisted, yanking him off the couch and shoving him toward the hulking box on the table.

Okay, okay Fry said, giving the huge gift a good looking-over. It stretched over halfway to the ceiling- it was a wonder the coffee table wasnt buckling under the weight.

O-pen-it! O-pen-it! The Planet Express Crew chanted.

Without further adieu, Fry ripped off the wrapping paper, which suspiciously came off in one tear.

Squinting at the side of the revealed cardboard box, Fry sounded out the label slowly. Serecrome Music Incorporated The musical mind reader? he frowned in confusion, something he did quite often. What is it?

Well, The professor said importantly, stepping forward, as we were brainstorming what to get you for your birthday gift, we decided to watch security tapes of you to get some ideas. What we found was this

He pulled a remote seemingly out of thin air, pressed a few buttons on it, and a giant screen Fry never knew existed lowered from the ceiling. After a few moments of flickering uncertainty, a little scene began to play for three weeks previously.

Fry and Bender are sitting in the Planet Express lounge. Fry sighs and puts his chin in his hands.

Its hopeless, he says miserably. I can hear all this great music in my head but my stupid hands cant keep up.

Aww, Bender says sympathetically. You know what cheers me up? Laughing at other peoples misfortunes! Ha ha!

The screen once again went blank, as was Frys face.

So? That just proves that Benders a jerk.

I resent that, Bender sniffed.

Dont you understand, you nincompoop? You wrote an entire opera! You obviously have a talent for music! I professor cried, now waving his arms around in frustration.

Calm down, professor, Ill explain. Why dont you take a nap? Leela said comfortingly, patting his bony shoulder.

Oh, no, I couldnt, Im not even tir- The rest of his sentence was cut off as he promptly fell asleep.

So anyway, Fry, we realized that it wasnt the Robot Devils hands that wrote the opera, it was you. You just werent able to play the opera with your hands.

Uh-huh, Fry said doubtfully.

So, we got you a serecrome guitar. It tunes in to your brain waves when you turn it on, and it plays the tune you think.

(A/N: Serecrome is derived from the Latin roots cerebrum acroama, or brain music. Little trivia for you)

We also paid extra for a voice modulator. Cause, you know, weve all heard you sing, Fry, Amy snorted.

By now Fry was grinning from ear to ear and hopped from person to person, giving them each a tight hug (excluding Zoidberg, of course). Wow, thanks, you guys! I cant believe that you all did this Its so, like, awesome! Thankyouthankyouthankyou!

Why dont you try it out? Leela suggested, before he began another round of bear hugs.

Y-yeah, I will! Fry tore open the package with a wild ferocity, all previous thoughts of depression and un-accomplishment forgotten.

After several layers of packing peanuts, which Nibbler quickly disposed of, the strange metal contraption was unearthed.

Wow Fry breathed.

What he held in his hands looked like a regular acoustic guitar, but with two metal hands. One hand attached to the back of the neck and curved around to have complete access to the strings and frets; the other was imbedded into the face of the instrument, and instead of fingers like the first, had multiple picks attached as appendages. In the back were two thin wires connecting the hands to a tiny saucer-like satellite and a small speaker.

Fry, mon, before you play, you better know what youre doin. The serecrome guitar requires your full attention. If you think about anything else, itll come outta dat speaker, Hermes warned.

I think I got it, Fry said nervously. He gingerly picked up the instrument in his hands, screwed his eyes closed, and thought of the first tune to pop in his head.

Immediately the serecrome chirped mechanically and picked up Frys brain waves. What came out of the speaker made them all groan first, then gasp in amazement.

Im walkin on sunshine, woah-oh! Im walkin on sunshine, woah-oh!

A near exact replica of Katrina Leskanichs voice blared out through the speaker, along with a lively acoustic guitar accompaniment. The metal hands worked furiously over the guitar, pressing and plucking and strumming like mad.

Fry looked down in shock, astonished that it had actually worked, and the music petered out.

Why does the guitar have a chick voice? Bender demanded.

Fry shrugged. I guess cause I was thinking of the song, and I cant imagine it being sang any other way.

So you can make that thing have any voice you want?

I dunno. Lets see. Scrunching his eyes shut once more, he thought of another song.

This time the screeching and shouting of Kiss oozed out of the speaker, but not as loudly as Walking on Sunshine.

I can barely hear it, Leela observed.

I guess its cause I dont know this song as well. I never liked Kiss. They always gave me nightmares He shivered at the memory.

This is quite incredible, the professor observed, who had apparently awoken from his nap. I doubted you would even be able to play after years of practice. Incredible indeed.

Fry beamed with pride and felt obliged to puff out his chest. Wow, so I really am smart

Oh my, no, the professor replied. Just quite a bit of talent.

This is great! So, Leela, now that Im a musical genius, how about that date? the newfound prodigy suggested smoothly.

Leela sighed. She didnt want to embarrass him on his birthday in front of everyone. Uh lets go out here and talk

Fry had apparently taken this as a good sign and high-fived Bender on his way out to the balcony. He leaned against the railing, trying to look suave, but ended up slipping. He stood instead.

So? Where do you want to go? Rocket skating? A movie?

Leela had never felt so guilty in her life (besides, of course, in her coma when she thought she had actually killed Fry inadvertedly).

Look, Fry, Ive said this so many times before, and I know it hurts you, but I have to. I just dont think the two of us would work out.

Fry face fell slightly. So you dont want to go out with me? But the opera

Was an incredibly sweet gesture, she finished for him.

A gesture? A gesture? Leela, I dont know what to do! Ive jumped in front of a poisonous bee, given you the rest of my oxygen, written you an opera, I even wrote you a love note in the stars- all for you! Whats it going to take for you to give me a shot? He sank the ground and wrapped his arms around his knees.

Leela sat crouched to him and put a hand on his shoulder. I dont know, Fry. I just dont know. She gave him a peck on the cheek and went inside, where she could hear the others getting the party started.

Gleesh, Leela, I cant believe you said no again! Amy said around a large bungalow leg. The others seemed miffed as well.

What? How do you all know?

Bender jabbed a finger towards the serecrome guitar, which was playing one of the saddest tunes shed ever heard.

Leela felt something in her melt. Oh.

Sorry for the sad ending for the chapter, but isn’t that what Futurama’s all about? Unrequited love? Remember, this isn’t a one-shot, though I was planning on it to be at first… It got too long. There’s going to be one or two more chapters. Keep a lookout, pretty please?

love you all!

Review, would you, pretty pretty pretty please?

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