Fry looked out the window of the limo as he approached Planet Express. All his friends stood outside the building in their evening cocktail wear, just as he told them. The car stopped and he stepped outside removing his sun glasses he was wearing, even though it was already dark out.
“Everyone ready?” he asked.
Fry watched as they got in the car and turned around seeing Leela. His jaw dropped and he gasped for breath. She was wearing her dark blue dress with the gold necklace and high heels.
“Wow,” he finally said, “you look great.”
“You don’t look to bad yourself.” she admired his black dress pants, his burgundy collared shirt and blazer. She watched as Fry held the door open for her and smiled.
“Yeah, lets go.”
They got inside the car with everyone else and drove off.
Meredith stood outside Forbidden Planet Hollywood tapping her foot impatiently. She had gone all out to promote this book, since Fry was refusing to write another set of novels. The limo pulled up and she walked over to it, since her and Fry always walked in together. She watched as the driver opened the door and Fry’s guests began filing out.
Bender stepped out and saw all the camera’s snapping pictures and he struck a pose. “I’m here baby!” he said walking towards the door. Next came Amy who had her arm looped through Kif’s. They were followed by the Professor, Hermes and LaBarbra, and Dr. Zoidberg. Meredith saw Fry’s foot step out and the crowd cheered. She smiled and was about to walk over to him but when the driver closed the door she saw him with his arm looped with Leela’s. The two of them began to follow everyone but walked a bit slower allowing their pictures to be taken and Fry to sign autographs.
Frowning Meredith walked around the crowed and sulked. Looking over people’s shoulders he saw him smiling at the crowed still having Leela on his arm. Oh God, she thought, he’s wearing those stupid sun glasses again. She watched as Fry walked right past some reporters as he talked and laughed with Leela. If you ask me, she seems more like a distraction than a muse. The door closed and Meredith frowned.
Inside Leela and Fry walked over to the table where everyone was sitting, arms still looped.
“Wow,” Leela said. “That was something else.”
Fry lowered his glasses revealing his eyes. “Yeah? You liked that? Life in the spot light?”
The two of them sat down as the waiters brought drinks around to everyone. The all clinked their glasses in a toast to Fry’s success. Meredith walked over with a half empty Champaign glass.
“Your introduction is coming up in a few minutes; followed by the Q & A. Hope you’re ready.”
She walked away and Fry finished his glass and ordered another one as the waiter walked by. “God, I always hate this. It’s the same thing over and over; ‘I’m your biggest fan.’ ‘Where’d you get your ideas?’ blah, blah, blah.” The waiter brought him his drink and Fry stood up. “Wish me luck.”
Leela watched as he walked over to where Meredith was standing with a few other people and introduced them to Fry. It was obvious that she didn’t like Meredith, and Meredith didn’t like her.
“You’ve got nothing to worry about Leela.” Amy said.
Leela turned but her eye shifted back to Fry. “I’m not worried.”
“Come on, you spend every day together, he writers a sex scene between you two in his book and you’re tell me you’re not jealous of the fact his publisher hangs all over him?”
“Face it Leela,” Bender said, “there’s gonna be a full blown cat fight for Fry’s affection between you and Meredith…hmm, I should start taking bets!”
Meredith walked up to the microphone on the small stage that was set up and tapped it to test it. “Welcome everyone, to the premier of the finale of the critically acclaimed “Second Chances” series. His first book alone has sold over 16 million copies on earth alone and now that he’s finished this novel he is currently working on another bestselling series.”
Fry winced. Damnit Meredith. Put me on the spot why don’t you?
“Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the bestselling novelist; Phillip Fry.”
Everyone began cheering and clapping and Fry walked on stage. He waved to all his friends and fans as Meredith pulled the sun glasses off his face.
“What did I tell you about these glasses?” she whispered as they posed for a picture.
“What? I like them.”
Leela scowled a bit, but refused to let her coworkers see it. Meredith had her arm around Fry’s waist and was standing too close to him for her liking.
The applause began to die down and Fry stepped up to the microphone. “Thank you, thank you everyone. First off I’d like to say that even though I was wary about writing another set of novels, I want all of you to be the first to know; I’ll be releasing a new book within the next year.”
Everyone started to cheer and clap and Meredith touched Fry’s shoulder. Leela looked down at the floor. That was it; he was going to leave again for God knows how long. She couldn’t deal with it and she couldn’t deal with the fact that he would be with Meredith that whole time. As Fry put on a show for the press Leela grabbed her purse and left. Only one person seemed to notice or care, and it wasn’t the person Leela wanted.
Meredith was looking at the Planet Express crew the whole time she was on stage and after Fry announced he was going to write again she saw Leela get up and leave. She tried to hide her excitement but couldn’t do it. Luckily for her everyone was smiling over the news so it worked.
Fry waved his hands to calm everyone down and smiled. “But before we start with the questions, there’s one person I want to thank for all my success. My constant source of inspiration, my best friend…and my muse. Everyone please welcome the extraordinary Trunga Leela!”
Everyone clapped and Fry looked over to the table where his friends sat, but Leela wasn’t there. He looked around the room as a concerned look fell over his face.
“Leela?” he paused and the applause stopped. “Has anyone seen Leela?”
Amy shook her head, almost in disappointment at him and Fry frowned. Meredith could tell Fry was about to walk off stage, but she decided to trap him.
“Anyone have any questions for the author?”
As the reporters yelled and the photographers snapped pictures, Meredith stood back and watched with a smile on her face. Finally, she had Fry exactly where she wanted.
Leela stood on the rooftop of the theater once again, shivering in the cold. All she had was a light wrap around her shoulders and she did her best to keep warm. She feared that if she stayed up there any longer her tears would freeze to her cheeks. Looking out at the star filled sky she couldn’t help but think of Fry. Until him she never appreciated their beauty and she thought about the one summer night they spent up on the roof. At that time he had started dabbling in writing and he would meet her up there, a picnic basket in one hand and his notebook in the other. But he never got any writing done, he usually sat up against the wall and Leela rested her head on his shoulder as they looked up at the stars. Leela felt the tears start to flow again when she realized that she wouldn’t be able to do that with Fry ever again if he left.
Suddenly she felt someone place something heavy and warm over her shoulders and she turned around quickly. She saw Fry standing behind her giving her a small smile. She could him on the jacket and felt a little spark ignite in her.
“I figured you’d be up here.” he said, “Good thing I came, you could have frozen.”
Though she was upset with him she accepted his jacket feeling her body warm up.
“Shouldn’t you be at your party?”
“Eh, it wasn’t that fun, so I just snuck out.”
She couldn’t help but smile. “Meredith’s gonna kill you.”
“Probably.” He stood next to her and put a hand on her shoulder.
“What’s going on?” he said seriously.
“It’s just…after all this time of being away from New, New York, being away from your friends…from me, you’re going to give it all up and leave again.”
“Leela, the last thing I want to do is leave you.”
“Then why are you doing it? I mean…I’ve missed you.” she said as he took her in his arms. “I just didn’t realize how much, until I thought I was going to lose you again.”
He smiled and looked in her eye. “I’ve missed you too.” Leela nuzzled against him and Fry gently rested his chin on her head. “I don’t think I could stand being away from you for any longer. That’s why if I go, I want you to come with me.” He was interrupted when his phone rang. Fry pulled it out of his pocket and saw Meredith’s name on the caller ID. Smiling at Leela he hit “Ignore” and put the phone away.
“You’ll always come first Leela. I promise. I’ll tear up my contract with Meredith, I won’t write another book. Just say what you want me to do, and I’ll do it.”
“I just want us to be together.”
Leela folded her arms around his neck and brought his face closer to hers, he wrapped his arms around her waist pulling her body towards him. As they kissed Leela felt her heart pounding with excitement, a wave seemed to crash over her washing away all the armor she wore so fiercely. In the moment she became free, free of control, free of responsibility. Free of herself. Leela pressed herself closer to him and the two of them stood there attracted by some irresistible force in nature that had no name, color or taste, only heat.
“Come on,” Fry said after they had broken the kiss, “I need to introduce my muse to everyone…Oops.“ He said remembering what Leela had told him weeks earlier, “Please don’t break my legs.”
She laughed and moved his arm around her shoulders. “Don’t worry, you’re safe. In fact, I sort of like it.”
The two of them slowly made their way back to the club, just enjoying each other’s company. Fry’s phone went off again as they were walking and he was about to ignore it, but Leela shook her head.
“It’s alright, answer it. She’ll kill you if you don’t.”
“Hello?” he said into the receiver.
“Fry, where the hell are you? You can’t just leave your premier party-”
“Meredith, relax, I’m on my way back right now.”
“You better be, and I swear if you ever do something this stupid again-”
Fry pulled the phone away and hung up smiling at Leela. “She’s probably still talking.”
Leela smirked. “Bet you ten bucks she’ll still be on the phone by the time we get there.”
They walked a little farther and finally arrived at the club where they found Meredith standing outside yelling into the phone.
“What do you say to that Fry?!” she screamed.
“I say I hung up five minutes ago.”
She looked up and saw Fry standing there with his arm around Leela.
“And I say you owe me ten bucks.” she said.
“Damn,” he said giving her the money as they walked inside laughing.
Meredith closed her phone and squeezed it in her hand before hearing it snap. “Damnit!” she said. Peaking inside the door she saw Fry step on the stage with Leela standing next to him. She watched as he spoke in the microphone and motioned to Leela as the crowed clapped. He kept his arm around her waist and kissed her cheek as photographers snapped pictures. She’d better watch it.
Inside Fry and Leela stepped off the stage and rejoined their friends at the table. They all gave the two of them looks and Fry just kept on smiling.
“So I guess everything is good between you two now?” Amy asked.
“Yeah.” Leela said taking Fry’s hand.
“Never been better.”
“Well that’s great guys.” Amy smiled.
“Uh-oh.” Bender said, “Crazy at three o’clock.”
Fry shifted his eyes and saw Meredith walking over towards them with an angry look on her face. Before she could reach the table a waiter rolling a cart with a few heads in jars approached them.
“Oh, hey guys.” Fry said. “Everyone these are my friends; James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Nathan Fillion.”
“Nathan Fillion?” Bender said. “You’re not an author.”
“No, but I played one on TV. Remember?”
“Sorry, but only real authors and their friends at this table.” Bender said picking up Nathan’s head and getting ready to throw it.
“Bender, put him down.”
“Aww, fine!” he said putting it down. “You’d better watch it Fillion.”
Meredith walked up behind the heads and looked at Fry. “I need to talk to you.”
“Can it wait? I’m with my friends.”
She picked up Nathan’s jar and threw it. “Now.”
“That wasn’t necessary!” Nathan yelled from across the room.
As they walked away Bender crossed his arms and sulked.
“What’s wrong Bender?” Leela asked.
“So she can throw Fillion, but I can’t?”
Across the room Fry stood with Meredith. “What’s going on?”
“Listen, this whole thing with Leela you’ve got going on? It’s not working.”
“What do you mean?”
“If you ask me, she seems like more of a distraction than a muse.”
“She is not.”
“Really? Then how come the times I call you and you’re not writing, you’re with her? How come you left your premier party for her?”
He was about to say something but then shoved his hands in his pockets. “Wait a second, I get it-you’re jealous.”
“I am not jealous.”
“Yes you are. You’re jealous of Leela. Meredith we had a one night stand and I’ve regretted it ever since, but you can‘t seem to let it go. You’ve been holding over my head ever since, but I don’t care anymore. I love Leela, there’s no one else I’d rather be with, so you’ll just have to deal with it.”
He walked back to the table leaving Meredith scowling and tapping her foot angrily. That’s it, she thought, Leela’s meddled enough, it’s time to end their relationship for good.
Fry reached the table when the lights began to flicker and they all heard the wind howling outside and the snow and hail beat against the window. Though the weather stayed calm for a few hours soon the manager of the club stood in front of the microphone and as he spoke his words cut in and out from the power going on and off.
“I’m sorry everyone, but I’m afraid we’ll have to cut this party short because of the severe weather. Everyone have a safe trip home and don’t forget to congratulate the author.”
“Come on,” Fry said, “lets get out of here. The limo’s outside.”
Once Bender was dropped off Fry and Leela were the only people left in the limo. Fry sat with his arm around her and the limo driver rolled down the divider. “Where to?’
They looked at each other and Leela smiled. “Fry’s hotel.”
Fry opened the door and let Leela inside his darken room. The power in the lobby of the hotel had been going on and off and the wind had picked up even more. Fry flipped the switch which illuminated the room for a brief moment before the power went out completely. As they stood there in the darken room Fry carefully maneuvered himself around Leela gently brushing against her.
“Hold on,” Fry said, “I saw a candle in one of the drawers.”
He pulled one out of the desk and flipped the tiny switch on it and he placed it in front of the mirror, multiplying its light giving it an orange glow that was both mysterious and romantic. Turning to her he smiled and gently placed his hand to her cheek. He moved a strand of hair out of her face stroking her temple as he did so. Leela placed her hands up to his face and moved them down his neck to his shoulders and onto his chest. The room may have been freezing but Leela felt an intense burning as his hands ran along her skin and as her lips met his. Their kisses were all at once, deep and urgent, familiar. Leela opened her eye slightly and saw Fry making a project out of his shirt as he fumbled with it and she finally ripped it open hearing one of the buttons skitter across the wood floor. Fry began unzipping her dress as she pulled the shirt off him and unbuckled his belt and began walking backwards towards the bed. When her calves met it she slowly began to fall back pulling him with her. Leela surprised him by pulling him closer, twisting around and landing on top of him. She stood up, looking down at him from the foot of the bed.
“You’re good.” he said looking up at her from the mattress as he slipped out of his pants.
Her dress fell to the floor. “You have no idea.”