Delivery boy Phillip J. Fry carefully held the precious crushed opal in his hands as he and his coworkers Leela and Bender entered the head museum. After the Professor used all the Earth’s supply of the opal to go back in time and stop his ancestor David Farnsworth Planet Express was sent on a mission to find another supply. After weeks of searching the universe the Planet Express crew found a planet rich with it and now had a contract with the museum to deliver more supply of the substance. Leela opened the door for him and the three of them made their way towards the Hall of Presidents. Fry and Leela sprinkled some of the crushed blue opal into the jars while Bender kept track.
“Okay,” he said checking off another name. “Truman’s next and then we can get the hell out of here.”
Fry looked up and saw the 33rd President on the top shelf. Standing on his tip toes, Fry struggled to reach the head, but was able to get a few sprinkles of opal in the jar. “There,” he said. His fingers brushed the rim of the jar and he began to lose his balance causing the entire box of opal he held above his head to fall into the jar. Fry watched as Harry Truman fell off the shelf and the opal water fell all over the three of them.
“Oh no,” Fry said looking at his friends as a multicolored flash surrounded them.
NEW YORK: 1947
The Planet Express crew unshielded their eyes-or in Leela’s case eye- as the multicolored flash receded and they all took a look around their surroundings. Fry looked down at the black suit and vest combo that now replaced his jeans and red jacket. Black and white dress shoes shined on his feet and he could feel the snug fit of a Fedora that matched his suit on his head. Looking to his right he saw Bender- a black vest covered his metallic body and his foot cups were now shaped like loafers. A derby hat sat on his head which moved around on his antenna. Then to his left he saw Leela. Her purple hair was let down onto her shoulders, she wore a blue dress with white open toed shoes and a mink scarf was wrapped around her shoulders. Fry stared at the way the dress hugged her curves until he saw her glaring at him and he forced his gaze elsewhere.
“Uh, where are we?” Leela asked.
Fry observed the people around him: The men dressed in suspenders and collared shirts. Some women wore knee length skirts and matching jackets others wore long dresses and heels. Ford Coupe’s drove down the street, jazz blared from turntables in store windows, Army officers and young Sailors on leave walked down the street chasing after a group of young women. The street lights burned in the night sky and the neon signs outside bars and clubs lit up in pink and light blue while the yellow lights of the theater behind them buzzed loudly until one bulb exploded causing sparks to rain down upon them.
“I don’t know,” Fry said. “All I know is my head hurts!”
“Maybe because Truman fell on your skull,” Bender said.
“The opal must have sent us back in time again.” Leela pointed out.
“Guys look at this!” Fry said pointing to a news stand. He picked up the paper and held it up. “Look at the date: March 5, 1947.”
The three of them stared at the paper for a moment before Bender spoke up.
“We just have to keep to ourselves until the effects wear off and we can go home.” Leela said.
“But the whole box fell on us.” Fry said. “Who knows how long we’ll be here! What are we going to do for food?”
“And booze!” Bender exclaimed.
“Well, we’ll have to get jobs of some sort.”
“Who’s going to hire a robot and a Cyclops?” Fry asked.
“Who’d hire you?” Bender said lighting a cigar.
“Okay boys, enough. Let’s figure out how we’re going to get by.”
They all stood on the sidewalk watching bars open their doors and turn the neon lights on.
“Let’s go get wasted.” Bender said.
Fry nodded. “I’m in.”
Slowly the three of them made their way around the once familiar city trying to keep to themselves. Leela kept her head down fearing that someone would notice her one eye and start a panic. They looked for a empty bar where they could hopefully find a small table in the corner and make a plan on surviving their time in the 20th century. They finally came across “The Blue Room” where a door man wearing a tux opened the door letting them inside the darkly lit blue room as a jazz band played. A young black man took Fry’s coat and hat before checking it as the three of the made their way to the bar.
“Welcoms!” the bartender said in a gravelly voice. “I’m Sal, I owns the Blue Room. What can I get ya’s?”
“Wow,” Leela whispered to Fry, “He must be one of Sal’s ancestors.”
“I’ll have a martini,” Bender said, “Shaken not stirred.”
“That’s brilliant!” a British accent said down the bar as middle age man wrote in a note pad. “A perfect catch phrase: Shaken not stirred.”
“Yeah rights,” Sal said to the man. “Ian, that’ll never catch on.”
“Uh,” Fry said “I’ll have a scotch on the rocks.”
“Same here.” Leela said.
As Sal prepared their drinks a young man in a grey suit with rusty red arms and collar approached the bar.
“What’s going ons Roy?”
“Sal, we’ve got a problem. Elsa’s a no show.”
“What? Just great, first my bartender calls in sick and now my singer is missing. I’m not filling in for her too!”
“What are we going to do?” Roy asked impatiently. “We can’t have a band of Negros up on the stage all night-it’s bad for business.”
Sal placed the drinks in front of Fry, Leela and Bender.
“Fry,” Leela whispered. “How are we going to pay? We have no money from this century.”
“Crap,” Fry said pulling away from his glass. “You’re right.”
“Sal,” Roy said slamming his fist on the wooden bar. “What the hell are we going to do? That German junkie whore screwed us.”
“Leela can sing.” Fry said suddenly.
Everyone stopped and looked at Fry who could feel Leela’s eye on him.
“Listen Sal,” Fry said, “We’re in a bit of a jam. We just got here from…New Jersey and have no money.”
“New Jerseys? You poor bastards.”
“If Leela sings, can our drinks be free?”
“If she sings, not only are yours drinks free I’ll pay yous.”
Leela stood and grabbed Fry’s arm. “Give us a minute gentlemen.” She said pulling him away. “What the hell are you doing? I’m not getting up on stage and singing in front of a bunch of people.”
“Oh come on Leela, we need some money. Besides, you’re a great singer! You’ve got nothing to worry about.”
“Not until they see I have only one eye, then what?”
“Oh come on Leela, it’s not your eye they’ll be looking at.”
Leela frowned and gave him a hard punch in the arm.
“OW!” he said rubbing his bicep. “Leela, please, just go up there and sing your heart out.” When she didn’t budge he put his hand on her arm. “Pretend I’m the only one out there.”
She looked over at Bender who already downed his drink and was ordering another one. Letting out a heavy sigh she turned back to Fry. “I guess I have to now,”
Fry smiled and let out a sigh of relief, “Thank you, Leela, I promise I’ll make it up to you.”
“Yeah,” she said nervously looking at the stage.
“Don’t worry, you’ll be great.”
Sometime later Leela stood in the middle of the dressing room located in the back of the Blue Room with the lyrics to the songs she was supposed to sing with the band. She sang them silently to herself and looked up at her reflection in the mirror. Moving a thick strand of hair she was able to slightly mask the fact that she only had one eye. She remembered singing in the Orphanarium’s choir but that was years ago, she hadn’t sung in front of a crowd in years. She kept telling herself that she had to do this, they needed the money and Bender needed booze. Plus, maybe she would get over her fear of singing. And Fry’s out there cheering me on, she thought smiling.
There was a knock on the door and she jumped at the sound.
“Leela?” she recognized Roy’s voice on the other side. “You’re on.”
Taking a deep breath she opened the door and saw him standing on the other side with that smug look on his face. Something about him rubbed her the wrong way, but at this point she didn’t care as long as he didn’t hit on her. Their time would be up in the century any time and they’d never have to see Roy again and they could get back to their normal lives. The only problem was that it could be days or weeks before they returned home.
The bar was full of people as Fry and Bender sat at the bar and the band played on stage. Fry saw her walk out of the back room and gave her thumbs up as she stood at the base of the few steps it took to get on stage.
“Don’t screw this up,” Roy said behind her.
Leela took one last deep breath and ascended the steps onto the Blue Room’s stage. The lights grew brighter and she took the microphone in her shaky hands as the band began to play. The piano began with a low sultry tune and the bass soon joined in. Leela closed her eye and began to sing, quiet at first until her confidence grew.
“I see the sadness in your eyes, is more than you let on, they ask where love has gone. Was it some magic or a twist, a spell that crossed the stars? Whatever happened, here we are.”
Fry nudge Sal, “So what do you think?”
“Wows,” he said ignoring the rest of the customers trying to order drinks. “She’s amazings!”
“To love and lose and love again: like seasons come and go. It’s what hearts are made for, it’s all we need to know.”
Leela opened her eye and saw Fry sitting at the bar with a huge smile on his face and she couldn’t help but smile as well as she continued to sing for the crowd.
“To lie with you under a hundred moons, memories that time could not erase. I’d give it all to feel the sun again, and let it warm my face.”
Looking around the club she saw that almost everyone was looking at the stage and actually enjoying her singing. To her surprise she didn’t freeze up when the crowd stared at her, it only fueled the fire inside her and she began to sing more passionately.
“To love and lose and love again: as sure as planets turn. Have faith in love, that’s everything. Fait toi a l’amour, c’est tu. To lose and love only to lose again, it isn’t bad if you believe,”
Leela looked back at Fry who was still smiling but his smile had somehow grown broader.
“That now and always you stay in my heart. Mon chere, I could never leave.” She gave him a playful smile and bit her lip. “No, I would never leave. I will never leave you…”
The song ended and Leela stepped back from the microphone as the bar erupted with applause. Smiling she stepped off the stage and walked over to Fry who stood up before pulling her into a hug.
“Leela, you were great!”
“Really? I was so nervous.”
“He’s rights Leela,” Sal said. “That’s some of the bests singins I’ves ever heards.”
“You did good up there Leela,” Roy said as he seemed to appear out of nowhere. Leela turned and saw him standing there with that smart ass smirk still on his face. She kept a grip on Fry’s arm as he continued in that creepy voice of his. “Real good.”
“Thanks,” she said warily keeping a hold on Fry’s arm.
Before Roy could say anything else the young black man who checked Fry’s coat and hat approached it.
“Roy,” he said with a French accent.
“Ah Alfonse,” he said. “Fry, meet Alfonse he’s a French Negro from Africa. Can you beat that?”
“The Congo,” Alfonse replied.
Fry extended the arm Leela wasn’t gripping. “Nice to meet you Alfonse.”
“Nice to meet you too sir. Roy, I just saw Elsa arrive.”
“Finally,” he said turning to go towards the back room. “Time to give her a piece of my mind, and let her know what happens when she screws us like this.”
“Uh, I don’t think that’s a good idea sir,” Alfonse said putting a hand on Roy’s arm. “She’s very-“
Roy threw his arm in the air and shoved Alfonse away. “Never tell me what to do or don’t do. Remember your place with me, Alfonse. You’ve got a good gig here-don’t spoil it. Come on Fry,” he said motioning to the back with his head. “Meet Elsa, you’ll like her-she’s something else.”
“Uh, sure.” Fry said. “Leela why don’t you get a drink with Bender?”
“Okay,” she said finally releasing his arm and sitting next to Bender at the bar.
“So,” Roy said. “Do you call him Bender because he drinks a lot?”
“Uh…sure why not?”
Roy opened the door to the dressing room and called out to Elsa-the young beautiful German immigrant who had nearly escaped the Nazi’s when Hitler controlled Deutschland. Fry jumped back a little when he saw Roy duck and a glass crashed against the wall shattering.
“What the hell, you bitch?” Roy yelled. “Why did you miss your set?”
“Lou is dead, Roy! They found him shot in the alley.”
“Oh cry me a river.” He said.
“He was my best friend Roy! The only man who loved me without putting his hands on me.”
“Get over it; I brought someone for you to meet: this is Phil Fry.”
“Why would I want to meet another fascist like you?”
He clenched his jaw and looked at Fry before slowly walking towards Elsa. “Sorry about this Fry. Hell of a night I’m having-first our singer doesn’t show up, then a Negro puts his hands on me and now this.” He quickly turned landing a hard slap across Elsa’s cheek. “Who the hell do you think you’re talking to? Try that again and see what happens.”
When Elsa didn’t move or respond he walked away. “I just wanted to tell you that Fry’s girl filled in for you. Did a hell of a job too, the hopheads out there loved her. So we won’t need you tonight. Good luck getting your fix. Come on Fry.”
Fry quietly followed Roy back out into the bar and quickly took a seat next to Leela so she was between him and Bender. After the display of misogynistic behavior he didn’t want anything happening to Leela. He knew that she was strong and could defend herself but with a guy like Roy who knows what else he was capable of. Maybe something worse than a slap across the face.
“Sal,” Roy said going behind the bar standing in front of Fry and Leela which caused Fry to become even more alert. “Elsa’s not going on tonight; we need someone else for another song.”
“What’s hers problem? Is it the drugs again? Roy, listens, this has happened too many times. Elsa’s no longers reliables, I say we hires Leela heres as our club singer.”
“I agree.” Roy said shifting his gaze towards her.
Fry clenched his fists and felt a pain shoot through his jaw as he gritted his teeth. Easy man, he told himself.
“What do you thinks Leela?” Sal asked. “Yous wanna be the Blue Room’s official singer?”
“I’m sorry Sal, but we don’t plan on being in New York long. We’ve got some…personal issues to work out and the second that happens we’ll be gone.”
“Well hows about until thens? You’ll make some money durings your times here and it’ll gives Elsa time to gets back on her feets.”
Leela looked over at Fry who was giving Roy a low stare but was only being ignored.
“Do it Leela,” Fry said.
Sal said. “Buts don’t expects free drinks all nights longs. I can’t handle all these orders.”
“Where’s Cole?” Roy asked.
“He’s got pneumonia, won’t be back for a while.”
“I can fill in.” Fry said. “I’ve done a little bartending before.”
“Hey,” Bender said. “If you need a chief I’m available.”
“No!” Leela and Fry said in unison.
“Aww man.” Bender said crossing his arms. “You two never let me have any fun.”
After the club closed and the crowd disappeared Sal paid Fry and Leela in cash for their service and pointed them in the direction of a cheap hotel they could stay at for their “Visit” to New York. They stepped out into the cold night air and Fry saw Leela shiver as a gust of wind blew past them. He slipped off his coat before placing it around Leela’s shoulders. To his surprise she didn’t reject his offer.
“You-uh-you did great tonight, Leela.” He said nervously.
“Thanks Fry, and thanks for helping me overcome my fear of singing in front of crowds.” She said looking at him straight in the eye and smiling.
What is going on with you? She thought.
“No problem,” Fry smiled back as they approached the seedy looking hotel “Why don’t you guys wait while I try to find a room?”
“Good idea,” Leela said.
Fry checked in and paid for two nights for the time being but showed interest in keeping the room for possibly a few more days. The man behind the desk handed him a brass key with the number 250 engraved on it. He walked outside and flipped the key in his fingers. Fry led the two of them to the second floor of the hotel and opened the room with the key. He shook the door handle when the lock didn’t open and he slammed his shoulder against the wooden door.
“Ow!” he said as the door opened and felt around for the switch on the wall. His fingers felt the small piece of plastic and he flipped it letting the overhead lights illuminate the room. A king size bed was against the one wall with two end tables on both sides one with an ash tray and the other with a small lamp. There was a small closet located against the opposite wall and a dresser with a TV on it. The carpet was a dirty brown color and the walls were dark green.
“Well,” Leela said, “It’s sure not the Ritz but I guess it’ll have to do.”
The three of them entered the room where Bender took out a bottle of beer and made his way towards the closet. “Well I’m going to have one last beer and then power down. See you losers in the morning.”
Bender closed the door on the tiny closet as Fry sat down on the edge of the bed taking off his shoes and let out a loud yawn.
“Guess we got a pretty good gig, huh?” he asked loosening his tie.
“Yeah,” Leela replied sitting down next to him and kicking off her white shoes. “God, I’m exhausted.”
“Me too.” Fry said falling on his back and closing his eyes. “Let’s just try to get some rest.”
Leela looked over her shoulder and looked at Fry falling asleep on the bed. “What are you doing?”
He opened his eyes. “What? I’m going to sleep.”
“You’re not sleeping in the bed.”
“Because I am.”
He sat up. “What’s the big deal?”
“Fry, I’m not sharing a bed with you. In fact, why did you get this room? Did you think there was a chance of getting lucky or something?”
“No! It was the only room available…why is there a chance?”
She took a pillow and smacked him. “Oh get bent.”
“Well where am I supposed to sleep? In the closet with Bender?”
“How about the tub?” she asked opening the door to the bathroom. She took a look inside and saw the filth that covered the entire room and closed the door.
“Fine,” she finally said. “But if you try anything I will hurt you.”
“Understood.” Fry said.
The next morning as the sun rose and traffic began to make its way down Broadway, Fry was awoken by the sound of an old car horn outside the hotel window. Opening his eyes he saw Leela laying in front of him and felt her nose against his. He let out a quiet gasp as he tried to sit up when he found Leela lying on his right arm and his left one draped over her waist. Oh no, he thought remembering Leela’s warning from the night before, please don’t wake up, please don’t wake up, please don’t-
The moment he shifted his arm Leela’s eye popped open and a scowl came over her face. “What the hell are you doing?” she said pushing him away and getting up from the bed.
“I’m sorry, we must have moved in our sleep” He said as he stood up with his back facing Leela. Turning around his jaw dropped before he could say anything. She stood in front of him wearing is white dress shirt which came down just below her waist and her hair was still let down on her shoulders. Fry shook his head and forced the thoughts running through his head away before Leela became even angrier with him.
“I’m sorry.” He said looking away. “Believe me I didn’t try anything.”
Leela ran a hand through her hair and refastened the top button on the shirt she was wearing. “It’s alright, uh, let me change and you can have your shirt back.”
Turning around Leela couldn’t help but smile to herself. Though she’d never admit it to anyone she felt like she could get used to waking up with Fry’s arms around her. But then she paused and bit her lip worrisome. Me and Fry? She thought. No, it would never work. How could it?
So you’re just going to spend the rest of your life alone? The little voice in the back of her head asked.
What? No! Of course not! I’m going to find someone who will want to spend their life with me.
Why look when he’s standing right behind you?
Fry? No, he’s not marriage type. I can’t see him settling down with anyone.
Are you sure?
He’s never shown any interest in long term commitments-that’s for sure. He’s too childish and irresponsible.
And what’s your excuse?
“Will you shut up?!” Leela said out loud. She looked over her shoulder and saw Fry sitting on the bed tying his shoes.
“I didn’t say anything.” He said.
“Sorry Fry.” She said blushing.
Serves you right, the voice said.
Fry and Leela entered the two story department store down the street from their hotel. Fry felt the cash Sal had given them the night before in his pocket. When they approached the building it took him a moment to realize that the door wouldn’t open automatically for them, but like a gentleman he held the door open letting Leela enter first. Some Billie Holiday played overhead as Fry looked at the suits hanging on the wall. He only planned on getting a clean shirt or two, but he forgot the prices had gone up immensely during the last thousand years. He found a black suit with a red vest for only $15. He picked up some clean socks and underpants as Leela found a red dress for her set that night. The total cost of their purchases: $30, which left them with enough for lunch and some toiletry items, as well as some liquor for Bender.
“I could get used to this era,” Fry said as they sat in a diner booth looking over the menus. “Look at these prices! I could get like thirty chili dogs for the price of one in the 31st century.”
“Please don’t,” Leela said glancing over the menu.
“Plus I’m sure being a bartender is a lot less dangerous than working for the professor.”
“Well don’t get to use to it, we have no control when we go back. Then it’ll be like it was before.”
The sound of bells jingling on the door filled the air as well with the sound of foot cups. Bender quickly approached the table: faint rust around his mouth.
“Guys, I’m out of booze!” he said. “I need some liquor, now!”
“Hey Bob!” the waitress behind the counter called out. “The new water heater’s here!”
“Hey! I’m not a water heater!” Bender said.
“Bender, just sit down.” Fry said tugging his arm. “Here, we got you some malt liquor.”
“Oh yes!” he said taking a bottle and downing it. “Oh, that calms the shakes. By the way: Roy stopped by earlier.”
“Wha-What did he want?” Fry asked shifting in his seat.
“He just wanted to let Leela know there’s band practice at three so she can practice her songs for tonight.”
“What do you make of that guy?” Leela said. “There’s just something about him that seems… shady.”
“I don’t know I like him.” Bender said lighting a cigar.
“Can we just stop talking about Roy?” Fry said putting down his menu. “I say we just stay out of his way and then eventually we’ll go home and this will all be behind us.”
“What happened to you getting use to this era?” Leela asked.
Fry shook his head. “Just forget it. Let’s order, I’m starving.”
That night at the club while Leela was back in the dressing room Fry worked the bar making martini’s for the large crowd. Word had gotten out about Leela’s singing which had drawn in a great number of people. Fry looked up as the door opened and a middle age man with black hair wearing a fur coat walked in with a young skinny guy as well as two hefty men behind him.
“Mickey!” Roy said walking up to him shaking his hand. “Glad you made it. How’s the City of Angles?”
“Anything but,” Mickey said, “Lots of business though. How are things holding up on your end?”
“Another shipment of…supplies is docked at Staten Island. I’ve got some guys checking it out.” Roy said shifting his eyes making sure no one was listening. “Mick there’s someone I want you to meet.”
He led Mickey over to the bar and Fry looked up from the martini he was shaking.
“Fry,” Roy said. “This is Mickey Cohen.”
“Mickey Cohen like the gangster?” he asked nervously.
Mickey laughed and patted Fry’s cheek. “You got stones kid. I can’t answer that question, so let’s just go with: No.”
“Oh!” Fry said smiling. “Nice to meet you then. Can I fix you a drink?”
“Double scotch,” Mickey said sitting down at the bar next to Bender.
“Coming up,” Fry said “Bender, what about you?”
“Same here buddy.”
Fry quickly poured the drinks and set them in front of Bender and Mickey. “There you go. I’m gonna go make sure Leela’s ready for her set.”
Fry untied the white apron he was wearing and hung it up on the wall. His white shirt had the sleeve rolled up to his elbows and he wore suspenders to hold up his black pants. His hat and coat were in the back room with Leela and before he walked into the dressing room he checked himself in the mirror behind the bar. He could see the red stubble forming on his jaw and felt it when he touched his skin. Shrugging knowing there was nothing he could do about it now he looked at his slick back hair and smiled. Leela had styled his hair earlier so he no longer had his hair horn sticking up. He smiled remembering the feeling of Leela running her fingers through his hair as he knocked on the door.
“Come in,” she said on the other side.
“Hey,” he said closing the door behind him.
“Hey Fry,” Leela said applying eyeliner and shadow.
“I just wanted to say break a leg tonight.”
She looked at Fry’s reflection in the mirror and smiled. “Thanks.” Leela finished applying her makeup and stood up facing Fry. “I’m glad you came in to check on me. I always get freaked out when Roy comes in.”
“Like I said, there’s something about him. What do you think?”
He wanted to tell her about the conversation between Roy and Elsa the night before, but part of him wanted to keep it from her. He knew that she was strong and would stand up to Roy if she knew what happened, but what would happen to her? Fry didn’t want her to get hurt so he kept his mouth shut.
“Yeah,” he said. “There’s something weird going on there.”
Leela waited for him to respond but he just stared at his shoes. Finally she spoke up. “Do you mind making me a drink before I go on? I still have butterflies in my stomach.”
“Sure,” he said holding the door open. “Come on.”
The two of them approached the bar and Fry slipped his apron back on. Looking down the bar he saw Bender and Mickey chatting but decided to ignore them. Mickey seemed harmless. After all he’s not the Mickey Cohen, Fry thought. Looking up he saw a strand of loose hair hanging over Leela’s face and without thinking reached out to brush it back.
“What are you doing?” Leela asked jerking back.
“I’m sorry,” he said pulling back cursing himself. “You had a strand of hair I was going to move it.”
“You were going to move my hair?”
He gave her a look. “Leela, have you ever considered yourself to be a guarded person?”
“I’m guarded because I don’t want you reaching over the bar to move my hair?”
She spun around in her seat as a couple walked by and gently tugged the woman’s hair.
“What the hell?” the woman said spinning around holding up purse up like a shield.
“Yeah, it’s alarming isn’t it?” Leela asked before turning back to Fry. “See?”
“Ma’am I am sorry,” Fry said going around the bar and setting Leela down. “I’ll get you two any drink on the house.”
“No thanks.” They said before walking out.
Fry sighed and quickly made Leela a martini, then moved from her to the elderly man two seats down from her.
“Can I get you a drink sir?”
“Yeah, get me the strongest thing you got.”
Fry did and set down the glass in front of him. “Something bothering you, sir?”
The old man took a sip and chocked as the alcohol burned his throat. “It’s been ten years since my wife died, ten miserable years.”
He pulled out his wallet and showed Fry a picture of the two of them when they were much younger-around Fry and Leela’s age. “We were married when we were 17, and we were together fifty years.”
“Wow,” Fry said. “That’s incredible. Fifty years?”
“Yes, now I don’t know what to do with myself. I’ve tried to move on, but I just can’t.”
Fry looked at Leela out of the corner of his eye. “Can I tell you something sir? I know what’s it’s like to lose someone you love. My entire family is gone. But one day you’ll wake up and realize you don’t mind carrying it around with you.”
“How can you say that?” the old man said. “How can I just forget about her and all the time we spent together?”
“I’m not saying to act as though it never happened. But you had what most of us only dream of: a life with someone you love. All the pictures, ticket stubs, mementos you two collected over the years-all of those are evidence of a life shared with someone. Proof that what you and your wife had was real. I know that when you have something so real you’d do anything to hold on to it, but sometimes saying goodbye is the right thing to do.”
Leela looked up from her glass as Fry talked to the elderly man next to her. Never before had she seen Fry act like this. She watched as the man smiled and patted Fry’s shoulder before paying for his drink as well as slipping Fry a few extra bucks before walking out. Fry washed the glass and put it away before looking her way smiling. Leela didn’t know what came over her but all her previous thoughts about Fry seemed to wash away as well as her own insecurities and fears. Seeing him talk about wishing he could spend the rest of his life with someone he loved gave her hope. Maybe that little voice was right, maybe Fry was the right one for her.
“Fry,” she said, “I need to tell you something.”
“What?” he asked pouring Mickey and Bender more drinks.
“Well, I-uh-I’ve been thinking-“
“Leela.” A voice said behind her.
Leela turned around and saw Roy standing there. Damnit, she thought.
Leela nodded. “Okay, yeah I’m coming. Fry, we need to talk later.”
“Okay,” he said a bit confused.
Leela took the stage and the crowd started to clap which brought a smile to her face.
“Hey Leela,” the piano player said rolling up his sleeves. Leela could see the red track marks on his arm. “What song do you want to do first?”
Leela looked at the sheet music laid out on the top of the piano and smiled. “Let’s go with ‘Torched Song’”
The clarinet and bass started playing as Leela approached the microphone and looked over at the bar where Fry was leaning on the counter watching her.
“Well I need something, to soothe this pain. To cool the love you pump through my veins. ‘Cause I’m burning….I’m burning up for you.”
Fry couldn’t help but continue staring at the stage puzzled. What did Leela want to talk to him about?
“And I need something, to quench this fire, before it becomes a funeral parlor. Yeah, I’m burning…I’m yearning so much for you.”
Fry looked over his shoulder at Bender and Mickey who seemed to be becoming fast friends.
“So listen,” Mickey said, “You seem like a guy who can handle a business. I need some help.”
“Eh, I don’t know Mickey.” Bender said. “I’m not into doing lots of work.”
“I’ll pay you five grand.”
“Shh!” Mickey said placing a hand on Bender’s shoulder. “Keep it quiet, I don’t need word of this getting out, alright? It’s kind of a…private business.”
“What’s the job?”
“Tonight at the docks, the SS Hazelwood is going to dock with soldiers returning from Germany. I have a few buddies on the ship who are in charge of moving supplies including cases of cigarettes, some BAR’s and some syrettes of morphine. Big money can be made from this stuff. I’ll give you five grand to meet these guys at the dock with some of my other associates and load them onto the truck that will be waiting there to transfer all of it to my warehouse. Then we’ll go from there. If you do a good job, I’ll give you a percent of the profits.”
“Mickey, my friend, you’ve got yourself a deal.” He said shaking hands.
Fry couldn’t hear their conversation but just shrugged and turned back to Leela who was still looking his way as she sang.
“You struck the sparks; you fed the flames in me. And now my heart’s a flaming ruin. You said that you were only fooling.”
Fry gave her an up and down realizing how beautiful she looked in the red dress she got earlier. He put his elbows on the bar and rested his chin on his fists.
“Don’t walk away, don’t do me wrong. Don’t leave me singing this torched song. When I’m burning, I’m burning up for you.”
Hmm…Fry thought, I wonder what she wants to talk to me about.
“What do you think, Mick?” Roy asked as he sat down on the barstool. “She can really sing, huh?”
“Yeah she can. And she’s easy on the eyes too.” He said smiling while looking at the stage. “Listen Roy, my new friend here,” he said motioning to Bender,” Is going to handle that business for us at the docks and he said he can get his friend to do it to. I’m sending Larry with them.”
“Oh God,” Roy said. “Not Larry! He’s an idiot!”
“I know he is, but he’s my wife’s brother, what can I do?”
“Ugh, fine. But if he screws this up I’ll kill him myself.”
After her set Leela took Fry’s arm and led him back to the dressing room closing the door.
“So, what up?” Fry asked sitting down on the beat up couch.
Leela took a deep breath and sat down next to him. It’s okay, she told herself. You deserve to be happy; you don’t need to be afraid anymore.
“I-uh-I thought that was very sweet of you talking to that man like that. You seemed to really help him.”
Fry shrugged. “It’s true though, he was very lucky to have someone for that long.”
“It got me thinking about why I haven’t been able to have a real relationship. I’m scared. I’m scared to open up to someone. I’m scared of the risk. What if I find someone who I love and care about, but it doesn’t work out?”
“What if it does?” Fry asked. “Leela, life is scary and it’s a gamble. But you’ve gotta roll the dice or lose your turn.”
“Yeah,” she said. “That’s actually what I wanted to talk to you about. What you said to that guy-that he had was what most of us only dream of having?”
“I realized that,” She scooted closer to him. “I want what you want.”
Great, Fry thought disappointed, she just wants to complain about her love life.
“Well, Leela, I’m sure that someday you’ll find someone who-“
“Why should I look when he’s right in front of me?” she said putting a hand on his chest.
Fry’s eyes grew wide. “Wha-what?”
“Fry, I want what you want.”
It took a second but Fry finally understood what she meant and smiled brushing back her hair-which she allowed this time. “So, what do you think we should do about that?”
Leela ran her hand along his jaw and brought his face closer to hers before kissing him. Her lips trembled slightly as Fry ran his hand up her arm holding her gently. They broke this kiss and Fry pressed his nose against hers as she took hold of his suspenders.
“Wow,” he said. “So you, you want to be with me?”
Without hesitation Leela looked him in the eyes and smiled. “Yes.”
“Leela,” he said taking her face in his hands. “You have no idea how happy I am right now.”
“I’m happy too,” she said, “And you know what else?”
“I’m not afraid anymore.”
The sound of foot cups outside the door caused Fry to hesitate kissing Leela again and Bender soon busted in the door.
“Hey Leela, come on and finish your set. Fry and I got business to do with some of Mickey’s friends.” He looked at how close the two of them were sitting and how Leela’s hands were on his chest. “What the hell are you two doing?”
Leela pulled away slightly. “Nothing, Bender.”
“What kind of business?” Fry asked.
“Just receiving some supplies for his private business, he’s paying us a ton for it.”
Fry turned back to Leela, “Come on, the sooner we get all this done, the sooner we can spend time together.”
Fry and Bender stood on the docks with Mickey’s brother in law Larry Finklestein waiting for the “inside men” on the Hazelwood to receive the shipment.
Fry looked down at the revolver in his hand that Roy and Mickey had given them when they left the Blue Room. It felt heavy and his hands were sweating, he was worried he might drop it in the ocean. Part of him wanted to, he wanted to throw the gun in the water and walk away from this situation right now and take Bender with him, go find Leela and hide out until their time in this century was up. He knew that a lot of people thought he was stupid, but he knew that something about this wasn’t right. He didn’t trust Roy and was beginning to doubt Mickey, thinking he had lied about his true identity.
Larry flicked the cigarette he was smoking and Fry saw the ashes fall on the dock before he took another deep drag. Finally when the ember on the stick was almost touching his lips he tossed it into the water before lighting up another one-his fourth of the night.
“Hey Larry,” Fry said. “Why’d Mickey give us these guns?”
“Don’t ask questions you don’t need the answer to, kid.” He said in a thick New York accent. He stepped into the light and Fry could see a small medallion of the Star of David hanging from his neck. “Just mind your business and do the job Mick’s paying you to do, okay?” he looked down the dock and saw a few men wheeling large crates towards them.
“Open them,” Larry said. The young soldiers opened the crates revealing one with army issue morphine, one with cartons of cigarettes and one tall box with a rack of BAR guns. Larry inspected the crates carefully. “Something’s missing.”
“I believe you’re looking for this.” The one man said handing over a piece of paper.
Fry looked over Larry’s shoulder and saw the ships manifest.
“What’s your name son?”
“Lieutenant James O’Carrol.”
“What about you, son?”
“PFC Ryan Moore, sir.”
Larry looked over the manifest before folding it and putting it in his coat pocket. Without hesitation he then took out his revolver and shot both of the soldiers dead on the dock.
Fry took a step back. “What the hell?! You just killed those guys!”
“Relax Fry; it was orders from Mickey. The ship’s been docked here for a while and we’ve been working all the kinks in this deal out. These bastards were getting greedy, so to protect our interest our next job is to get everyone on this manifest to make sure they don’t squeal…we don’t need to add you to this list do we?”
Fry swallowed hard. “No,”
Fry entered their hotel room about two hours later, his mind had been engraved with the memory of Larry shooting the two soldiers and he couldn’t shake it the entire way home. Every little noise he heard on the street made him jump while Bender didn’t seem to notice or care, in fact half way back he got sick of Fry jumping and walked off in a different direction. His heart was pounding with fear and he kept telling himself to keep his mouth shut and that he wasn’t going to say anything to anyone. Not even to Leela. As far as she needed to know, he and Bender just picked up the cargo and delivered it, nothing else. No manifest that led Mickey’s gang to soldiers, no dead bodies at the dock, nothing.
“Hey there,” Leela said as he entered. She sat on the bed wearing one of Fry’s shirts again reading a book that had been in the nightstand.
“Hey, nothing happened, it was fine.” Fry said in a cracking voice.
“Oh, alright. Where’s Bender?”
“He went to a bar with Mickey.”
“Oh,” she said walking up to him and taking the lapel of his jacket in her hands. “So, he probably won’t be back for a while then.”
“So, what do you want to do?” He felt Leela’s hands go inside his jacket and slip it off before she reached for the hat on his head and threw it across the room. Fry watched as she slowly began unbuttoning his shirt and he could feel her fingers brush against his skin as the memories of the dock suddenly began to fade.
Leela chuckled, “Your heart’s racing.”
“Yeah,” he said breathlessly.
She stopped unbuttoning his shirt, “Don’t tell me you’re already out of breath.”
“No!” he said eagerly. “No, I’m fine!”
“Good,” she said as she grabbed him by the suspenders and pushed him against the wall.
“Wow!” he said surprised before Leela pressed herself against him and kissed him.
Fry started to fumble with the buttons on the shirt she was wearing, but Leela kept her grip on him swung him around and he flew through the air landing on his back on the bed hearing the springs squeak under his weight. He looked up as Leela slam the door he left open and locked it before pouncing on him. Within seconds their clothes were on the floor and they were under the cool smooth sheets.
Fry and Leela laid curled up in afterglow later on that night- Bender had yet to return from the bar which was perfectly alright with them, especially Fry. He was extremely content lying there with Leela lying on his chest, her lips pressed against his neck and jaw line and her feet entwined with his under the blankets.
“I was wrong.” He whispered in her ear as he ran his fingers up and down her spine.
“About what?” she asked.
“I thought that there was no way I could be more in love with you, but this moment right here and now….” He paused and smiled. “I’m crazy in love with you.”
Leela looked up and smiled. It seemed so crazy that overhearing one conversation could cause her emotions and feelings about Fry to do a complete 180, but yet here she was. More importantly: she had never been so happy before, so blissful, than in that moment with Fry.
“I love you too,” she said. “I never thought I could love someone like this or have someone who loves me. I’ve been alone my whole life Fry…but not anymore.”
Fry smiled and kissed her again. Leela nuzzled herself against his shoulder as he continued running his hand up and down her back. Suddenly he began humming.
Leela looked up at him and chuckled. “What are you doing?”
“For once in my life, I have someone who needs me. Someone I’ve needed so long,” he sang.
“You’re a terrible singer.” She teased.
“For once I can touch what my heart used to dream of long before I knew, someone warm like you, can make my dreams come true.”
Though she thought it was very sweet and romantic Leela kissed Fry stopping him from singing. She noticed that he didn’t seem to mind as he wrapped his arms around her. Leela was about to roll onto her back pulling him with her but there was a loud knocking at the door.
“Hey! What the hell meat bags? Why’d you lock the door?”
The two of them opened their eye(s) and broke the kiss before groaning.
“Why is he back?” Fry asked. “It’s only 2:30, he can usually convince the bartenders to stay open for at least another hour.”
“Should we let him in?” Leela asked.
“Do we have to?”
Leela looked over her shoulder as the door knob turned and the door swung open. Bender walked in and put his bump key back in his chest cabinet.
“Why didn’t one of you answer the-“he paused and looked at the two of them in bed and their clothes on the floor. “Oh. Your. God.”
Leela wrapped the sheet around her and sat up against the head board as Bender continued to point. Fry frantically reached for his underpants on the floor but failed to find them.
“Bender, listen-“ Leela said.
“I knew something was going on between you two. How long have you guys been doing it?”
“Bender,” Leela said rolling her eye. “It’s none of your business.”
“Alright, alright, fine.” He said crossing his arms. “I’ll go power down so you two can keep shooting DNA at each other.”
They watched as he went into the closet and shut the door behind him.
“Well,” Fry said, “Do you wanna-“
“Hold on,” Leela said wrapping the sheet around her tighter as she stood up. Walking towards the door she took hold of the knob and pulled it. The brass piece came off with no problem and she saw a glass yellow eye looking through the hole. “Bender!”
“Wha? Oh! Hey Leela!”
“You’re sick,” she said opening the door and saw all the film equipment he had.
“Oh come on, I was going to split the profits with you 95-5.”
“Well,” Fry said, “If he’s going to pay-“
“Fry!” she said eyeing him. “No!”
Fry slunk back down and pulled the sheet tighter around his waist.
“Aww,” Bender said, “Fine! How about just a picture?”
Leela glared and flipped the on/off switch on Bender then closed the door. Turning around she saw Fry sitting up against the headboard. Smiling mysteriously she let the sheet fall to the ground.
Leela laid in bed wrapped in Fry’s arms, her back pressed against his chest, his cool exhale on her neck, their legs entwined. The clock read 4:30 AM and she began to feel herself drifting into sleep, something Fry had done only 20 minutes earlier. After their wild night of passion they spent a long time talking until he finally fell asleep. To Leela, nothing in the world seemed to matter; she had Fry, someone who loved her and not a care in the world.
Fry opened his eyes the next morning and slowly sat up feeling his vertebrae pop as he stretched. Letting out a groan he rolled his shoulder a few more times to loosen up all his joints until the pain had subsided. The clock on the night stand read quarter after noon and he gently placed a hand on Leela’s arm nudging her awake. She mumbled something in the pillow and he nudged her again. In response she swung her arm blindly at him making contact with his stomach-hard. Fry gasped for breath and sat down on the edge of the bed as the room began to spin.
Leela opened her eye and saw Fry sitting next to her and sat up. “Morning,”
He looked over his shoulder and croaked out a hello.
“You okay?” she asked.
“Yeah, I’m-I’m okay aside from being punched in the gut.”
Leela bit her lip. “Did I hit you in my sleep?”
“Yeah, but I’m okay, really.”
Leela quickly slipped her dress on and Fry pulled on his pants as she continued to apologize.
“Leela, really it’s fine. I’m not hurt.”
“Okay…” a smile came across her face. “Then I guess I don’t need to make it up to you later.”
Fry’s eyes grew wide and he held his gut. “Now that you mention it, I might have internal bleeding.”
Leela rolled her eye as she looked at her reflection in the mirror and ran a brush through her hair.
“Oh, I almost forgot, will you go turn on Bender?”
“Yeah, sure.” He said opening the closet and found his metal friend powered down on the ground. Fry quickly flipped the switch and Bender came to life almost instantly.
“I’m just saying,” he said still unaware of his slumber, “one picture can make-hey, what the hell?”
“Sorry Bender,” Fry said. “Now come on, Leela’s got rehearsal in an hour.”
“Well,” Bender said standing up. “You’ve calmed down quite a bit from last night, buddy.”
“What are you talking about?” he said tugging at his collar nervously.
“Oh, there you go freaking out again. You humans are so sensitive about witnessing a double murder.”
Leela dropped the bottle of perfume she was holding on the dresser and the glass shattered.
Damnit, Fry thought.
“What double murder?” Leela asked. “Fry, what happened last night?”
“Well,” Bender said. “For starters you two did it-“
“Bender!” she screamed, “Shut up! Fry, what the hell happened at the dock?”
Fry looked at his metallic friend and sighed. “Mickey’s brother in law Larry shot the two guys we got the supplies from, and they gave him a list of all the other soldiers involve so they can kill them to.”
Leela’s eye grew wide and her jaw dropped. “What?!”
“Hehe,” Bender said, “You humans are so fragile. One little piece of hot lead and-WHAM!”
Bender did a high kick which made instant contact with Fry’s nose. He cried out in pain as blood covered his lips and he put a hand up to his nose.
“Oh my God,” Leela said finding a towel and handing it to him. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” he said nasally. “It’s just a little nosebleed. I get them when it’s dry, or when my face get kicked.”
“Fry,” Leela said sitting him down on the bed. “Did Larry really kill two soldiers?”
He sighed. “Yes, and he threatened to kill us if we told anyone.”
“Fry, we can’t let this go. He’s already killed two people! How many more were on that list?”
“Tons, but only about five of them were circled. Those must be the guys he’s going after.”
“Get dressed,” she said tossing him his shirt and jacket. “We’re going to the police.”
“Leela, are you crazy?” Fry asked standing up. “If we do that, Mickey will have them kill us.”
“Then we’ll leave an anonymous tip and hide out.”
“Leela,” he said taking her arm, “these guys are professional’s. They’ll find us. Who knows how long we’ll be here, it’s been three days and we could be stuck here for weeks! We can’t hide for that long.”
Leela sighed. “I guess you’re right,”
“Trust me Leela, its better if we just let it go. These guys got involved with the wrong people and that was their choice.”
“What happens if the police do find out? And what if they realize you and Bender were involved?”
“I don’t think it’ll get that far. These guys are sneaky, they have great lawyers who know what they’re doing and have been in trouble before. They know how to turn the tables so they can walk away untouched.”
Leela looked down at the ground and then back at Fry’s pleading eyes.
“I-I just can’t keep quiet Fry, I can’t let innocent men die just because they made a bad choice.”
“Leela, please. I’m asking you to walk away from this. They’re going to come after us if we tell...and if they knew about us….” He paused and sighed. “If anything happens to you, I….I….”
Leela placed a hand up to his cheek. “Okay, I’ll do it for you.”
Fry let out a huge sigh of relief before wrapping his arms around her. “Thank you, Leela.”
“Bleck!” Bender said. “You two and your lovey-dovey eyes and your emotions. Makes me sick!”
Fry and Leela walked hand in hand to the Blue Room with Bender behind them towards the Blue Room. The sky was dark with promise of rain and Fry could see people clutching umbrellas and he held on to his hat as the wind blew fierce. He put his arm around Leela’s shoulder and pulled her close as she shivered in the cold. Cars fly by on the street and with each one Fry felt his heart pound a bit with fear. The walk towards the Blue Room seemed to take an eternity, but they eventually reached their destination and Fry made sure to lock the door behind him.
“Heys you guyses,” Sal said. “Leela the bands alls readys for yous.”
Leela got on the stage and Fry took a seat at a table in the front row as the band started a lively jazzy tune. He saw Leela smile as she grabbed the microphone.
“Baby you know I’m guilty. Cops, Judge and Jury they all agree. If loves a crime I’m doing time and it don’t look like I’ll ever get free. ‘Cause baby you know I’m guilty.”
Fry leaned back in his chair and smiled as Leela serenated him. Bender sat down next to him and placed two glasses on the table.
“Thanks Bender,” Fry said reaching for one.
Bender pulled them away. “No, these are both for me.”
“Baby you now I’m guilty. While you’re my Clyde I’ll be your Bonnie. I could pretend I’ll be good again, but if loving you’s the judge I’ll never be. ‘Cause baby you know I’m guilty.”
The band stopped playing suddenly when the door’s opened wide and Mickey and Roy walked in. Roy flipped keys around in his fingers as he whistled the tune Leela was singing.
“Crap,” Fry whispered to Bender, “I forgot he works here.”
“Sounds great boys,” Roy said. “Leela nice job, I could hear you outside. Draw in the hopheads, they love this jazz crap.”
Fry moved from his chair to the edge of the stage at Leela’s feet and he felt her nudge his hip as Roy walked over.
“Hey Roy,” the bass player called out before Roy could reach Leela and Fry, “Got anymore of the good stuff?”
Roy stopped and his eyes went from Fry and Leela to the bassist. “Yeah,” he finally said. “But it’ll cost you. You still haven’t paid me for your last fix.”
“I know, but I promise I’ll pay you double next time I get my check.”
“Fine,” he said motioning for Mickey to join him. Mickey handed him a brief case and Fry watched as Roy handed over a few very small rectangular boxes.
“Double,” Roy said. “Or bad things are gonna happen, got it?”
“Yeah, yeah, of course.” He said gripping the boxes before slipping them in his pocket.
Mickey put a hand on Roy’s shoulder and led him away from the stage speaking in a low voice. “Listen, you gotta stop selling to these guys. They never pay up and there’s no reason that should be coming out of your share just because a few musicians can’t pay for their fix.”
“What are you saying?”
“I’m saying: take care of them.”
Roy paused and finally nodded. “I’ll make a few calls.”
Fry watched as they walked away and let out a sigh of relief before looking up at Leela who looked equally relieved Roy had left.
“Hey guys,” Leela said, “let’s wrap this up.”
That night Fry, Leela and Bender walked back to the Blue Room after having their dinner at the diner down the street. The streets lights were shining brightly once again but the crowed seemed to get lighter the closer they got to the Blue Room. The outside wall of the club which had been lined with people the night before was bare and the lights on the sign were out. A simple sign saying the club was closed hung on the door.
“What the hell?” Fry said. “They’re closed?”
“Why didn’t anyone tell us?” Leela asked trying to look in through the frosted windows but failed to see anything in the dark room.
“Wait a second,” Fry said pressing his ear against the door. A soft moaning sound was on the other side and he took a step back. “Someone’s in there, they sound hurt.”
Fry took a few steps back and motioned for Leela and Bender to step aside. He took a deep breath and charged at the door. His shoulder made contact with the wood and glass and a sharp pain radiated through his arm. His eyes rolled back as he gritted his teeth and fell to the ground.
Bender looked at the door before twisting the knob and the door swung open. “God you’re dumb.”
Fry got to his feet and the three of them entered the darkened club. Bender found the light switch on the wall to his right and flipped it. The overhead lights illuminated the room revealing the destroyed tables, the broken glasses, instruments scattered on the stage and more importantly the shot up bar and bodies.
“Hello?” Fry called out. “Is anyone here?”
Fry jumped over the bar and found Sal lying in a pool of his own blood. His arm and torso each had a bullet hole and he was immobilized on the ground. Fry could see the sweat on his pale face and looked for a towel.
“Sal, what happened?” he asked.
“Fry, you’ve got to put pressure on his wound!” Leela said.
Fry placed his palms over Sal’s chest wound and pressed hard but blood continued to seep out. Sal began convulsing and Fry placed two fingers against his neck feeling his pulse slow.
“Sal, who did this to you?”
The three of them watched as his eyes rolled back in his head and his body went limp. Fry sighed and stopped applying pressure to his bullet hole and stood up. “He’s gone.”
“It was Mickey and Roy,” Leela said.
Bender rolled his eyes. “No way.”
“Bender, who else could it have been?”
“Guys,” Fry said. “Look at this.”
Fry held up a blood soaked piece of paper. “Sal’s only owned the Blue Room for about three weeks.” He lifted up Sal’s right arm revealing a US Army tattoo on his forearm. “He was a soldier.”
“How does a GI afford a bar like this?” Leela asked.
Fry went around the bar and jumped onto the stage looking at the slaughtered band members. He inspected all their arms but found no tattoos, only track marks.
“They must have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Bender said.
“No,” Fry said. “Roy gave them something earlier but…” he looked around the stage. “Where is it?”
Fry opened the trumpet case and picked up one of small metal keys rolled it around in his finger and then placed it back. When he put it back in the case it made a small click. “What the hell was that?”
Leela and Bender walked over and watched as Fry picked up the next piece and placed it back and then repeated the action with the third piece. On the third click a small compartment popped out of the side.
“It’s like a Chinese puzzle box.” Leela said.
Fry looked at the contents of the box and shook his head. “Look at all this stuff.” Inside there was an elastic arm band, a few needles and syringe and two empty boxes of Army issue morphine. Fry took the box and showed it to Bender.
“So,” Leela asked. “Sal was one of the crooked soldiers on the ship that sold the morphine to Roy and Mickey and used his share to buy the Blue Room? But then why was Roy working with him?”
“That’s not important,” a voice said.
The three of the turned around and saw Roy standing in the door way with a pistol in his hand pointed straight at them.
“You know, usually in situations like this, I’d just kill you. But I like you guys too much. So I’ll give you one chance: walk away and don’t look back. Go back to New Jersey.”
“You killed these men,” Leela said. “And you expect to get away with it?”
Roy cocked the gun. “Yeah, I will. And I’m giving you one last chance to walk out of here alive.”
“Roy,” Fry said, “This is crazy!”
“Shut up Fry. Don’t you remember our deal? You keep your mouth shut or you can join all these fine young men who served their country.”
“And what did you do?”
“Hey what did I tell you?” he yelled pointing the gun point blank at Fry’s head. “Keep your Goddamn mouth shut…” he paused and gave them that disgusting smirk of his before moving the gun to Leela. “Or your girl here gets it.”
Fry took Leela’s arm stepping in front of her. “Okay,” he said. “We’ll leave, you won’t hear from us again.”
Roy aimed the gun at Fry’s chest. “Go ahead. Leave.”
Fry leaned over and whispered to Bender. “You still have those guns they gave us?”
“When I say to I want you to take them and shoot Roy. Okay? He’s not going to let us just walk out of here.”
“What the hell are you waiting for?” Roy yelled. “Get out or I’ll blow your f**king heads off!”
“Okay, okay, we’re-Now Bender!”
In a split second Bender pulled two guns out of his chest cabinet and opened fire. Fry flipped the table and the three of them hid behind it as bullets exploded in the air. Bender handed Fry one of the guns.
“Give it up Roy!” Fry said. “Someone is gonna hear the shots and call the cops.”
“Give up the tough guy act Fry, you and your friends are dead!”
Fry peaked around the flipped table and saw Roy crouching behind a table he had flipped. Fry emptied a few rounds but they only exploded in the table top causing the wood to splinter.
“You can’t hide Fry,” Roy said, “Even if you escape you can’t hide from me.”
Fry crawled to the other side of the table and crouched. “You got that ass backwards, Roy, you can’t hide from me.”
Quickly Fry pounced up and began firing. Roy stood up and turned around and shot at Fry hitting him in the arm. Blood spewed from the wound and Fry fell to the ground.
“Fry!” Leela said reaching for him.
“I’m fine; he got me in the arm.” He said standing up and pointing his gun only to find Roy gone.
Where the hell did he go?
Fry gently walked around the table with the pistol drawn. His heart was pounding, his palms were sweating and his mouth went dry. He heard the sound of a gun cocking and quickly turned around seeing Roy aiming a gun at him. He let off two rounds both hitting Fry in the chest.
Fry fell to the ground, pain filled his body and his limbs went numb as his life flashed before his eyes.
Leela watched in horror as Fry fell to the ground. She froze and just watched as Roy approached him and knelt down next to Fry writhing in pain. She felt Bender’s hands grab hold of her arms to prevent her rushing to Fry’s side, putting herself in the crosshairs.
“What the hell was that?” Roy asked. “Your last stand? That’s pathetic. I’m just gonna kill your friends anyway.”
“No,” Fry said breathlessly, “You’re not. I made sure about that.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You’re finished Roy…we both are.”
Fry used what little strength he had and pulled off three rounds into Roy’s chest at point blank range. He watched as Roy’s eyes rolled back in his head and as the last bit of life fell out of his body he slumped on the ground.
Leela released herself from Bender’s grip and ran to Fry’s side. His eyes were half closed and his breathing labored, but when Leela knelt next to him the smallest smile came across his face. She stroked the side of his face with her fingers before looking at his chest. Blood spilled out of two small holes turning his white shirt a crimson red. She quickly applied pressure to them trying to stop the bleeding.
“Fry, you’re gonna be fine. I’m right here. Come on, don’t leave me, please.”
Fry tried to speak but no words came out.
“Fry, stay with me!” Leela said in a breaking voice as tears rolled down her cheeks. “Fry…I love you.”
Leela swore she saw the faintest smile come across Fry’s face and a tear rolled down his cheek before his head slumped back and his eyes closed.
“No!” Leela said pumping his chest harder. “Fry, no, please! Stay with me.”
Bender put a hand on Leela’s shoulder and pulled her back. “Leela, stop.”
Leela pushed Bender away and put a bloody hand up to Fry’s face and started to sing.
“For once in my life, I have someone who needs me. Someone I needed so long. For once, unafraid I can go where life leads me and somehow I know I’ll be strong. For once, in my life, I won’t let sorrow hurt me. Not like it’s hurt me before. For once I have someone I know won’t desert me…I’m not alone anymore.”
Fry felt his limbs go numb and a soothing warmth flowed through his body. He saw a blinding bright light above him and he felt as if he was floating in midair until he realized that he had no surroundings. Nothing but darkness. Fry tried to gather his thoughts about what happened: the destroyed club, the bodies, and the gunfire. He remembered getting shot in the arm, then twice in the chest and then pumping three rounds into Roy’s chest before passing out. He swore he could hear Leela’s voice singing to him in the last few moments of conscientious. Even now, he could still hear her, singing the same song she did the first night at the blue room.
I see the sadness in your eyes is more than you let on, they ask where love has gone.
Fry looked around continuing to see only darkness.
Come to me, Fry.
“What the hell?” he said under his breath. “Leela?”
Please don’t leave me,
“Leela!? I’m here! Where are you?”
Suddenly Fry felt an electric shock go through his chest and then shortly another before his heart started pounding. He closed his eyes and yelled in pain before finally feeling at ease.
Fry opened his eyes and looked around his surroundings. White walls and tile floors, the smell of disinfectant and anesthetics overpowered him and he coughed. He could hear voices talking and felt two fingers placed against his neck. His vision began to clear and he saw a man and two women standing over him, all wearing scrubs, though the man also wore a white lab coat.
“Can you hear me?” the man asked.
“Yeah,” Fry responded, not realizing how weak his voice was. “Where’s Leela?”
“Can you tell me your name sir?”
“Phillip J. Fry.”
“Do you know the year?”
Crap, Fry thought. Are we back?
He looked around his surroundings and saw all the advancements in technology and smiled. “3011.”
The man let out a sigh of relief. “Welcome back Mr. Fry. We lost you there for a second.”
“I-I was dead?”
“Yes, we’ve never seen your kind of injuries before. Three little pieces of lead in your chest and arm. Do you remember what happened?”
Fry thought about it but finally shook his head. “No, I don’t.”
What’s the point? He thought. He knew that if he told them they might think he was crazy. All that mattered to him was that he was alive.
The doctor looked at one of the nurses and nodded. She waked away as the other woman helped Fry sit up in his bed. He was able to look down and see the bandages that were wrapped around his abdomen and bicep.
He looked up and saw Leela rush to his side, tears ran down her cheeks and she grabbed Fry’s face before kissing him.
“I was so worried.” She said in between kisses. She moved from his mouth to his cheeks, his nose and eyes.
“I’m fine,” he said smiling. “Just a little scratched up.”
Leela smiled and brushed his hair back. “I love you, Fry.”
“I love you too.”
She sat on the edge of the bed and held his hand.
“What happened?” he asked. “How’d we get back?”
“I don’t know, it just sort of happened. It was a few seconds after you got shot and we ended up outside the hospital.”
“Wow,” he said. “Talk about great timing.”
Later that day, after the Planet Express crew came to visit Fry in the hospital, Leela remained at his side sitting in the chair next to his bed. She had left only for about half and hour to get Fry a little gift: some sprinkled doughnuts from his favorite bakery, which were a hell of a lot better than the hospital food he was getting. She set the small box on the table next to him and sat down.
“You doing okay?” she asked.
“Yeah,” he said in a somewhat slurred voice. “I mean, I had this horrible pain earlier and I kept pushing this button but the nurse never came.”
Leela looked at the little clicker in his hand. “Fry, that’s not the call button, that’s for morphine.”
He paused. “Oh…that would explain why I suddenly felt better after I hit it.”
Leela couldn’t help but laugh and Fry couldn’t either.
“Ooh,” he said wincing, “stop making me laugh.”
“Oh come on, it’s not like you’ve been shot, or something.” She said laughing again before breaking one of the doughnuts in half.
Fry smiled a little and chuckled. He watched as Leela moved from her chair to the edge of his bed and handed him part of the doughnut.
“Sprinkles,” he said. “Am I really that predictable?”
“Maybe I just know you too well. Although, I didn’t know you would get in a gunfight to save me.” She reached over and brushed some sprinkles off his chin. “Promise me you’ll never do something that dangerous again. I mean, if you end up in the city morgue, I’ll kill you.”
“I promise.” He said hooking his pinky finger with hers and tugging.
As Fry took a bite of his sprinkled doughnut and looked at Leela sitting in front of him he finally felt that everything was going to be okay. Then hours later when she fell asleep with her head on his shoulder they seemed to be the only two people in the universe, nothing seemed to matter or even exist in that moment of complete bliss.