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.
The Planet Express ship flew through the empty tracts of space, on it's way home to Earth after a long delivery run. An icy silence, broken only by the noises of the ship and the occasional brief words absolutely necessary for it's operation, gripped the bridge.
Leela sat rigidly at the controls, gripping the steering yokes and concentrating on the traffic ahead; and equally not concentrating on a certain delivery boy who was seated off to her left. And in fact, she was trying hard to show that she was deliberately not paying the slightest lick of attention to said delivery boy so as to convey the impression that he might as well be invisible.
“Damn him!” she thought furiously, her grip on the yokes tightening. "Six years! Six years he's been after me to go out with him. He says he loves me. He finally starts getting his act together, and just when I realize I could be happy with him, he runs out and takes up with that bimbo."
Almost involuntarily, she cast a quick
glance at Fry, saw he was looking at her, and just as quickly looked
away, but not so quickly that she didn't notice his hastily averted
Angry at herself, Leela jerked the ship
into the left lane and stomped on the throttle to pass another ship.
The artificial gravity pumps, which the professor had bought used
from Sal and Sons Salvage, were a little undersized for the job they
were sometimes called upon to do and as a consequence were a little
slow responding to the move. Fry clamped one hand over his mouth in
an effort to keep his stomach in and held on with the other. The
rear view screen on the console in front of him displayed the grill
of the truck Leela had just cut off, along with blinking icons of a
horn and a raised middle finer, indicating that the truck driver was
concerned about the execution of their maneuver and wished to call
their attention to it.
"Jeeze Leela, watch out." Fry
said, also somewhat involuntarily.
Leela shot him a withering glance that
caused Fry to shrink back into the seat and try to make himself as
inconspicuous as possible.
"Why's she so mad at me?"
he wondered, racking his brain as he replayed the events of the last
few weeks in his mind, trying to find the reason.
Fry really would
have preferred to be anywhere but the bridge of the ship, but there
was nowhere he could go that wouldn't be occupied by his other
coworkers, and nobody was really comfortable to be with at the
Bender would be in
their cabin, and if he went there, Bender would retell his much
embellished tale of the League of Robots and how he, Bender, saved
the Universe, and Fry was tired of hearing it.
Amy was down in the
engine room trying to trace down some noise she imagined she'd heard.
Really Fry suspected, she'd be crying and that other emotional stuff
girls did, and he did not want to hear about Kif and Zapp for the
seemingly thousandth time.
And Zoidberg was
probably in the cargo bay, rooting around for something to eat and
otherwise being their "parrot" in case of any air leaks.
And Fry really didn't want to hear yet another rendition of how the
"robut" took him away from the "fabulous buffet".
The only other
place he could hide would have been the bathroom, but is was another
eight hours to Earth and he'd certainly hear about it if he spent the
whole time in there.
So the least
uncomfortable place to be was here in the icy silence of the bridge
with Leela, where he could at least be near her.
A few minutes later
Fry chanced another glance at Leela. She was still studiously
ignoring him. He sighed quietly, not wanting to draw her attention
and wrath again. His glance lingered, stretching into seconds, and
then tens of seconds. He felt the weight of the lonely depression
starting to settle over him again.
why won't you give me a chance? I love you. All I want to do is
hold you and make you happy, and I know I could. You loved Lars, and
I'm Lars. Why can't you love me?”
Fry sighed again,
this time loud enough to catch Leela's attention.
“What are you
looking at, Fry?” she snapped, jolting him out of his reverie.
Um ... nothing.” he said, the last word trailing off.
Fry shifted his
gaze and studied the floor at his feet.
that you keep it that way.”
Fry sat silent and
still for a moment, then leaned back and closed his eyes. Maybe he
could sleep for a while. Maybe he'd have one of those things –
like a headache with pictures except you were asleep - of a place
where there was someone who loved him, someone who would accept him
for what he was, someone who didn't turn out to have a tentacle
Over the next few
minutes, Fry kept his eyes shut and tried to get comfortable.
Reality, such as it was, slowly faded out.
a very pleasant voice called to him.
Fry looked around,
suddenly unconscious of his surroundings. It was dark, but not
completely black. More of a gray, with maybe just a hint of mauve.
“Huh? Whazzat? Who are you?
And where are you?”
“It's me Fryyy, and I'm over
Fry sort of turned
towards the sound that wasn't really a sound. It was all very odd.
A sort of ephemeral half body surrounded by a halo of light floated
“Leela?!? Don't hit me,
“Relax Fry,I'm not going to
hit you. I'm not solid enough. I need to tell you something.”
give up Fry.”
give up? Don't give what up?”
give up on Leela. She loves you.”
doesn't love me. She loved Lars. She doesn't want anything to do
upset with you because you took up with Colleen. You didn't give her
much time does she need?”
time, Fry. Time to come to grips with the death of Lars. Time to
come to grips with her own fears.”
know... I just get so lonely. And she ...”
give up on your dreams, Fry. It's easy to fall into the trap of
telling ourselves that we have to be realistic, to give up on silly
dreams, to start talking down to ourselves. Would you ever tell
someone else what you tell yourself? It's harder to be positive and
hold on to them, to believe, to dream BIG. But we need to. You need
to . And she needs you to.”
Are you sure?”
just a vaporous apparition in your dream, what do I know? Talk to
her Fry. Tell her you're sorry. Be her friend.”
half-Leela was fading, growing transparent.
Fry called, trying to reach out to the fading Leela. But the more he
reached, the further she receded into nothingness, and Fry suddenly
felt like he had reached too far and toppled over in a sort of a slow
somersault. And as suddenly falling ... falling ... falling ....
The world suddenly
went from being a very soft, quiet place to a very rough, hard place.
he heard Leela's voice mutter.
Fry opened his
eyes, and in a moment realized he was on the floor of the ship's
bridge. And things hurt.
he said softly.
Out of the corner
of his eye he saw Leela twist the steering yokes. The world tilted
and he rolled over, his shoulders striking the seat post and his legs
flailing against the console.
he groaned again.
Getting a solid
grip on the seat, he slowly worked his legs back under him and
maneuvered back into the seat.
uh .. how long 'till we get home?” he ventured.
Leela's eyes darted
to the bridged chronometer. “Six hours.” she said in a
thanks. .. Um Leela?”
Fry recoiled at the
hardness of her voice, but summoned up his courage and pressed on.
Leela, I know why you're mad at me. And
I guess you have a right to be ...”
“Damn right I
do.” Leela retorted. She instantly regretted it – she
had vowed to hate Fry in silence and felt that any reply was a sign
And, well, what I wanted to say was I'm sorry. I' m really sorry.”
Leela bit her lip.
A dozen retorts flashed through her mind and it took all of her will
power not lash out at him. Instead she cut off another truck. The
horn and finger icons lit up again.
Fly clung to his
console until the gravity sorted itself out.
know ... now ... how hard Lars' death was for you. And I wasn't
there for you. I'm sorry.”
intently ahead for a moment. Finally she looked at Fry.
That's it, you're sorry? You sure are sorry - you turned your back
and hopped in the sack with the first bimbo you met. You're as bad
Fry stumbled a step
backwards and dropped into his seat as if he'd been pushed, stunned
and at a loss for words.
Leela too seemed to
deflate. Her head hung down.
“What a fool
I was. After Lars died, I thought, for a minute, that you and I
might ... amount to something. That maybe you were the one for me
after all. God, I can't believe how stupid I can be sometimes.”
“Leela, I ...
I didn't know. I mean there were all those times before that I
thought, just maybe, you were starting to like me, but you wouldn't
go out with me. Even after the opera, when you stayed, I thought for
sure then. But it was just like all the other times.”
Fry hung his head.
“How was I to
know ...” his voice trailed off.
Fry closed his eyes
and swiveled his seat so his back was toward Leela. He didn't want
her to see the tears flowing from his eyes.
Leela didn't need
to see him, she heard the emotion in his voice. And this time the
retorts that bothered to show up were slow and half hearted. And
somewhere deep in the recesses of her mind was a tiny voice she was
desperately trying to ignore going “he has a point you
know”. She felt her eye growing warm and moist.
have given me some time.” she whispered.
Fry said with some heat, turning towards her. “I've given you
six years Leela. How much time do you need? You at least found
your parents. I've got nobody. Nobody ... but you. And you don't
even want me.”
He turned away
“And I need
somebody.” he said quietly.
Leela wiped the
tears out of her eye with the back of her hand. They sat in silence
with their own thoughts for a few minutes.
“That I don't
“What do you
Leela bit her lip.
“I don't know
what I want anymore” she said softly.
oppressed them for a few minutes.
Words from the
dream floated through Fry's mind: “Be her friend”.
sorry. I never wanted to hurt you. I only want you to be happy.
And so, um, can we try again?”
Leela looked at
“What do you
mean try again?”
let's try to be friends again and see what happens. If you need some
time, I'll wait; as long as it takes. I promise.”
A tiny smile graced
the corners of Leela's lips for the first time in weeks.
she said hesitantly.
Fry pressed on. “I
mean, I'm lonely, you're lonely. That's kind of stupid, isn't it?”
The smile crept up
“Yeah, it is
kinda. You aren't going to ask me out now are you?”
unless you want me too.”
wait 'till next week on that.”
Leela settled back
into the pilots seat with a relaxed, easy grip on the steering yokes.
“You do that,
Fry.” she said with a smile.
. -. -..