0RL03 17 March 2007
The fiction was inspired by Colangel's fiction The Morning. I am grateful to him for permitting me to develop and publish this admittedly highly derivative work.
Nominated for Best Shippy - 2007 FMMB Fan Fiction Awards
Disclaimer: The Futurama name, characters, and settings belong to their respective copyright owners. This is a work of fan fiction which has no commercial intent or value and was created soley for my own amusement and for that of other Futurama fans. The author would appreciate it if this work is not placed on websites or reproduced in any form without his express consent.
I don't know why I ever thought I could
succeed. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but so did all
those other things I tried. But in the end, they were all the same.
All for nothing. I didn't have what it takes to go the last mile.
Nothing left to do now but ... what? I don't know what. Go home.
Go to bed. Worry about it in the morning.
"Please don't stop playing, Fry. I
wanna hear how it ends."
I turn around, squinting through the
lights of the empty Opera House. But it's not empty. She is there!
She stayed! She wants me to play.
In a flash the pain, the sadness, the
despair that filled me a second ago are gone, replaced with new
emotions that threaten to overwhelm me - replaced with a warm glow
that I've rarely known - it feels good - hell, it feels great. It's
hope and love and joy and all manner of good things all rolled into
Ok, Fry, concentrate. You can do
this. Go back to your seat.
I sweep the tails of my coat behind me
with a flourish, the joy I'm feeling makes me want to show off a
little. But I try to control myself. I can't afford to screw up
I play. In my mind's eye I see us,
together, holding hands. A kiss, symbolizing a love and a commitment
that could move the stars – that has moved the stars. And then
we turn and begin the walk of life, together, toward a far off
I'm not conscious of time - it could
have been hours or it could have been seconds - I just don't know.
But I know I'm done. I lower the holophoner to my lap. It takes a
moment for my mind to clear - to focus on the present, the here and
now, that dreaded world of reality.
I'm almost afraid to come back, worried
that it'll be a dream, or that something will blow up and suck it all
down a black hole.
I force my eyes open. Everything is at
is was. The stage, the Opera House, Leela, they're all still there.
But wait a sec. Not everything is as
it was. She has her hands clasped together, pressed to her lips. A
look on her face that I can't decipher.
We are walking down the street, hand in
hand. I can't believe it. She's actually holding my hand. My heart
is on fire, pounding in my chest.
I steal a glance.
She is smiling. A happy smile.
Something you don't often see on her lips.
She is speaking. A softness in her
voice I don't think I've ever heard before. And she's still smiling.
I've seen that smile somewhere before. Where? It comes to me - a
picture in a book, a picture of some famous painting. Enigmatic.
That's how they described it. I never knew what it meant - until
I stumble out some response. My mouth
is on autopilot. I hope it's not doing anything stupid - my mind is
still racing, trying to catch up, trying to process the overload of
She's fussing with my bow tie.
Loosening it and unbuttoning my collar. I can breath again. I
smile. Her smile broadens.
She has my hand again. She's leading
us towards a door. We enter. It's a bar. An unpretentious little
place, quiet at this time of the evening.
The bar is nearly empty. We have no
trouble finding a table away of the other denizens. We order drinks.
Not beer this time, we're celebrating, so we get something with a
fancy name that fills a glass that's half as big and costs twice as
A toast. To the Opera. A success by a
great virtuoso she says. I smile, embarrassed. But I raise my
glass, clink it against hers, and take a sip, our eyes locked
together as we do.
We talk. About little things. Things
that happened – a week, a month, a year ago. Just things –
in her life, in my life, in our lives.
Our drinks are empty. The waiter
unobtrusively removes our glasses, replacing them with fresh ones.
My turn to toast. I raise my glass.
“To the most wonderful person in
the whole Universe, and my best friend in the whole universe.”
“Is that for Bender?” she
asks, almost giggling.
“No. It's for you.” I say,
sounding too serious, but there's nothing I can do. I can't help how
She glances down, a slight flush of red
in her face. What's the matter I wonder, worried that's I've
Her eye is back, looking intently into
mine as if she's trying to to perceive something in their depths.
But I have no depths to plumb. I know that. Some people hide their
feelings, you never know what they are thinking or doing. I can't do
that. I wonder if she knows that?
The moment is interrupted by the waiter
inquiring if we'd like another round, which we do.
We are walking again, still hand in
hand. I'm not sure where we're going, but she seems to have some
definite destination in mind. I follow. I would follow her
She leads us to her apartment. I've
only been here once before. It's exactly as I remember it, except I
notice she'd had the window installed.
We are standing in the same spot where
I played the holophoner sonnet when I had the worms. It's dark. We
never turned the lights on when we entered, and when the door closed
the only illumination is the lights of the city filtering through the
We are drawn together like the poles of
a magnet. Our arms are intertwined, our eyes closing as the distance
between our lips closes.
We've been here before, and I brace for
the inevitable interruption. But, for once, it doesn't come. There
are no moronic Captains or murderous robots around this time. And no
clueless coworkers to show up just at the wrong moment.
This time it all works. Our lips meet,
softly at first, then with more intensity. I can hardly believe what
is happening. My brain, my whole body, every fiber of my being is on
Her hands are on my chest. She pushes
them under my jacket, over my shoulders, pushes it off me and lets it
drop to the floor.
Next comes my tie, hanging loosely from
my collar, pulled out and tossed aside.
Her hands are behind me again, one in
my hair, one in the small of my back pulling me against her. I hold
her just as tightly. The feel of her body pressed against mine, the
smell of her hair, that taste of her lips, it's the most incredible
thing I've ever experienced.
Suddenly we're apart. For a moment I
wonder what's going on. Then my still overloaded mind catches on.
We're heading for the bedroom. And, for a moment, I'm worried. Are
we moving too fast? Will we regret this later? And I realize that,
for once, I'm thinking about the future. It is a strange feeling for
me. I've never worried about tomorrow before, but now everything is
different. I want her forever. I want to spend the rest of our
I hope what I think we're about to do
won't ruin our chances. I don't think I could take loosing her
again. But I don't have the will to stop. This is what she wants,
and I only want to make her happy.
I guess we'll sort it all out in The Morning.
. -. -..