On The Shoulders Of Giants, part 2
Three years had gone by since Fry had begun his graduate work at Mars U, and in that time he and Barry had made 2 new close friends: Liz who was majoring in theater and Eddie who was a business major. Both of them were also down the hall from Fry and Barry in the dormitory. While Fry was having fun with his new friends he hadn’t even talked to his old friends at Planet Express besides Amy. He had tried numerous times to call Leela but was never able to do it, though he was very busy it was mostly because he just was too scared. Everyday he wondered how she was doing, if she was thinking of him, if she had gotten over him and moved on. He wasn’t sure exactly how he felt about her now, after three years of not seeing her and thinking about everything she had did to him he came to the logical conclusion that he should have no feelings for her. He had talked to Liz about it, since he was so confused.
“I just don’t understand Liz,” he said one day when they were out having coffee and studying for finals. Liz was taking the required Physics class of all undergraduates, but it wasn’t her strongest subject so Fry was helping her studying, “After everything I’ve done for Leela she’s never given me a chance and has never shown any affection for me.”
“Then maybe she’s not for you, Fry. Why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t care about you?”
“That’s just the thing; I don’t know why I love her, I just do!”
Noticing that he was practically yelling, he calmed himself down and turned away from the people staring at him.
“I mean, I love how she’s strong, and independent, and she’s fun to be around, and brave, and beautiful. I mean, her eye, her hair, her…curves-”
“Fry you got some drool.” Liz said.
Fry wiped his mouth and smiled embarrassed. “Sorry. But see what I mean? I can’t stop thinking about her.”
Liz sighed, “I don’t know what to tell you Fry. I don’t know what to tell you.”
Fry had hoped that Liz would help him, but he was as confused as before afterwards.
It was the night before graduation and Fry was packing up his dorm room. He was a little sad, because it had become his home away from home for the past three years, but now he was going back home to New, New York, he and Barry were going to be roommates and got a apartment down the street from Planet Express, and they were going to work the Professor.
Packing the last box, Fry gathered the pictures off of his shelf and the wall. He had pictures of himself with Liz, Barry, and Eddie around campus, he had some of the four of them with Amy, and the same pictures he brought with him. Looking at the one of Leela he smiled before putting it in the box. He was glad that he was finally going to see her, this way he couldn’t chicken out trying to talk to her. He hoped.
Sealing up the last box he heard a knock at the door.
Barry, Liz and Eddie all walked in smiles on their faces.
“Hey buddy,” Eddie said, “we’re going out to celebrate.”
“We’re graduating tomorrow, genius.”
“I know.” he said smiling.
“So, you in?”
“Of course! Let me just change.”
A few minutes later the four of them were walking down the street to the local bar. They all took a seat and waiting for their drinks.
“So Fry, are you excited to be going home?” Liz asked.
The bartender placed a beer in front of Fry and he took a sip. “I mean, I don’t know.”
“Because of Leela?”
“Fry, it’s been three years.”
“I know, I just-” he stopped and sighed, “Never mind. We’re out here to have a good time and that’s what we’re gonna do!”
They spent the night reminiscing about their time at Mars U, all the classes they had taken over the years, and what they planned on doing after graduation. Liz was first going home to Iowa to see her family before heading to New, New York City to audition for Broadway and Eddie was starting his own business in California with his brother.
At last call Fry stood up and raised his beer.
“Too my new friends, and the class of 3012!”
The three of them clinked bottles and after finishing their beers each went back to their own dorms.
Fry was blinded by the sun peaking in his room the next morning and he groaned.
“I shouldn’t of had that last beer.” he said rubbing his head. That’s when he noticed that his alarm was going off and he sat up before looking at it.
“Oh damnit!” he said jumping up, “I’m gonna be late for graduation!”
He quickly dressed in his shirt and slacks before putting his gown on and his hat.
“Damnit, damnit, damnit!”
Running out the door he heard loud snoring from the dorm across from him. “Uh oh.”
Banging on the door Fry began screaming, “Barry! Barry wake up!”
A few seconds later Barry answered. “What?”
“It’s 11:30! We’re gonna be late!”
“Oh my God!”
Barry quickly dressed and soon he and Fry were running to commencement.
“I can’t believe we over slept!” Barry said straighten his hat. “I mean, why didn’t Alex or Liz wake us?”
The two of them stopped dead in their tracks and looked at each other. “They’re not up either!”
Sprinting back to the dorm the two of them banged on the doors. “Wake up!” they yelled.
Soon the four of them were running as fast as they could around campus. As they were running Fry tripped and waved at them. “Go on without me!”
“Oh for God sakes.” Liz said helping him up.
Once they finally reached the arena the four of them burst through the doors and then silently made their way inside. Dean Vernon had already given his speech and was handing out diplomas.
“Alex Fredrick…Lindsey Frost…Phillip Fry….”
“That’s me!” Fry said running up to the stage. He knocked over a few people on his way and finally reached Vernon. “Sorry.”
“You’re late,” Vernon whispered.
“I know I’m sorry.”
“Well, here’s your diploma.”
Fry took it and smiled. I’m Professor Phillip J. Fry. Nothing could ruin this moment.
He looked over to where the Professor was sitting with Hermes, Bender, Dr. Zoidberg, Leela, and another man who had short brown hair and a rough beard.
He must be the new delivery boy, Fry thought.
Fry looked at him closer and his jaw dropped when he saw him holding Leela’s hand.
Fry turned around when he heard the Professor’s voice and saw all his friends walking towards him.
“Thanks guys.” he said, “It means a lot to me that you’re here.”
Leela walked up to him and without hesitating gave him a hug. “I am so proud of you Fry.”
She said it like a sister or cousin would say it and Fry felt a bit of disappointment. But not wanting to create a scene just smiled. “Thanks Leela. How are you?”
Fry was about to say that he had missed her but his mechanical friend Bender ran up and hugged him. “Fry! Congrads buddy, you’re no longer a kid from the stupid ages.”
Everyone came up congratulated Fry and he finally got the chance to talk to Leela while the Professor introduced everyone to Barry.
“You have no idea how happy I was to see you in the cap and gown.” Leela said. “I knew you could do it.”
“Thanks Leela.” he paused and looked in her eye, “I’ve really missed you.”
“I missed you too.”
“Listen, I wanted to talk to you about-”
“Wait, before you say anything there’s something I need to tell you.”
This is going to kill him, she thought.
“I’m seeing somebody now.”
“You mean like…a boyfriend?”
“Well, I mean, I like him.”
Fry swallowed hard but forced a smile, “That’s great. You know, companionship.”
“Well, maybe more.”
“More?” he asked, feeling his heart being broken all over again.
“I don’t know.” she whispered.
“Leela?” the brown hair man said walking up behind her. “You left your purse on your seat.”
She looked at Fry and motioned to the man, “Uh, Fry, this is Doug.”
“What’s up bro?” Doug asked smiling.
Fry not knowing what else to say just shook his head and awkwardly said, “Not much….bro.”
“So, what did you want to talk to me about?” Leela asked.
“Oh, it’s not important.”
I can’t believe this! He was shocked and felt frozen. He wanted to run away, from her, from Doug, from everything but he couldn’t move.
Leela knew how hard this must have been for Fry to hear, but what was she suppose to do? She just hoped that he would handle this like an adult and not to something stupid. Hearing the Professor come over to them Leela breathed a sigh of relief.
“Good news everyone! Hermes and I have planned a graduation party for Fry and Barry and are writing it off as a business expense!”
“Great.” Leela said attempting to lighten the mood between her, Doug and Fry. Her voice showed that something was bothering her and Fry wanted to tell her that it was okay but she started talking again. “That’s great. In fact we should go right now.”
She spun on her heels and began walking briskly towards the exit. Fry was about to run after her to see what was wrong but Doug beat him to it. He wanted to beat Doug to the ground and tell him to stay away from Leela, say that Leela was his and they were meant for each other. But it wasn’t true. Fry already had his chance but had only just realized it.
I’m too late, he thought, I blew it.
After a awkward flight home Fry walked into the Planet Express building for the first time in three years. Looking around he saw that nothing had changed and smiled feeling a warm feeling inside. After all this place held many memories for him and he was glad to be home.
Fry and Barry walked into the conference room with everyone and saw a big banner hanging with the words “Congratulations Fry and Barry!” On the table were gifts and there was a buffet table set up.
“You guys did all this?” Fry asked.
“Yep,” Bender said, “I actually supported seeing you meat bags happy.”
“Thanks Bender,” Fry said.
For the rest of the afternoon and the night Fry and Barry told everyone about their time at Mars U, their classes, their friends, the wacky pranks they pulled, the parties, everything. As the night began winding down Fry saw Doug and Leela across the room talking quietly. Then Leela nodded and the two of them walked over.
“Hey everyone,” Doug said, “Since we’re all so happy and tonight is a night for great news, I have some. Leela, has just agreed to marry me.”
Everyone except Fry began clapping and congratulating them. He just sat in his seat staring at her. Leela looked a mixture of happy and embarrassed, like she wanted to announce it another time.
She knew that this was Fry’s moment, but Doug couldn’t wait to tell everyone. There was no way Fry was going to get up to say anything to her and she watched as he got up and went upstairs. After everyone was done talking to her and Doug she excused herself. Going upstairs she went to Fry’s special thinking spot.
“Oh no,” Barry said to Amy, “I’ve seen that look before. This is just going to be two weeks of moping, tedious emo songs and calling me down to the pet store to look at cats.”
She looked at him and he sighed, “I don’t think I can take it.”
After the announcement Fry went up to the balcony and just stood on there looking at the star filled sky over the skyline. He heard a noise behind him, but didn’t even have to look to see who it was. Leela was the only one who knew that this is where he would go whenever he was upset.
“Fry?” she said walking up to him.
He turned his head but didn’t meet her eye. “Congratulations Leela.”
“Thanks, but…you got to understand. Doug, he’s kind, and considerate.”
“That’s great.” Fry said turning his head back looking at the sky.
“He brings me flowers just because.”
“That’s impressive.” he responded rudely.
“Stop it Fry.” Leela said tearing up, “The main thing is that…Doug’s never let me down the way you have.”
Tell her you still love her, Fry thought, tell her now!
Doug walk up behind her and Fry just walked passed them without looking back.
“I-I meant what I said, I’m happy for you.”
He made his way downstairs and ran towards home.
About half an hour later Barry came home and found Fry sitting on the couch with his head in his hands. Quietly he prepared some tea and handed a mug to Fry.
“What’s this?” Fry asked.
“Tea. It’s the social protocol to bring people hot beverages when their upset.”
Fry took it but just rotated the cup in his hands, “Thanks.”
“There, there,” he said patting Fry’s shoulder, “Do you want to talk about it?”
Fry looked up and Barry shrugged. “ ‘There, there.’ was pretty much all I had.”
“Good night Barry.”
“Good night Fry.” he said going to his bedroom.
Fry stayed up for a few hours and finally went to bed and after much tossing and turning fell asleep.
Fry pulled on his mask and began swinging from the buildings using his web. He loved swinging through New, New York City on nights like these. They always reminded him of the night he met Leela, clear bright skies. He was about to use his web again but it ran out and he began to fall. He screamed and finally hit walls of the buildings and crashed into a bunch of trashcans in the alley. Pulling off his mask he looked around.
“Ow, that hurt.”
He tried to shoot his web again but it didn’t work and he looked at his hands. “What’s going on?”
Going over to the wall he began climbing but soon felt himself begin to slip and fell backwards towards the ground.
Fry woke up from his dream and looked around realizing he was in bed in his apartment.
“Weird.” he mumbled before lying back down. He put a hand up to his head as he felt a headache come on and he groaned.
What’s wrong with me?
He went into the kitchen for some aspirin and realized his shirt was soaked with sweat.
Headache, night sweats, I must be sick.
The next morning Fry took a walk to the doctors office and sat in the waiting room. Luckily for him there was few patients and was able to get a appointment right away. About 40 minutes later he was sitting on the exam table in his boxers as the doctor finished examining him and looking at his blood and urine test results.
“You’re not sick. In fact your healthy as a horse.”
“Really?” Fry asked, “Then what’s going on?”
“Well, before this happened what was your day like? Stressful? Exciting?”
He was too embarrassed to tell him what happened with Leela so just skipped that part. “Uh, I graduated from Mars U, saw all my old friends at my graduation party, and that was it.”
“You were probably just over tired. Just get some rest and if you have any problems just give me a call.”
After the doctor left Fry dressed and began making his way to work.
I guess I was just over tired or something. But what about that weird dream?
Turning the corner the Planet Express building came into sight and he walked briskly the rest of the way. Once inside he found Barry and the Professor in the lab.
“Hey there you are.” Barry said, “What did the doctor say?”
“He said I just had to get some rest.”
“Well you wont be doing that.” the Professor said, “We’ve got work to do.”
The weeks went by and Fry, Barry, and the Professor worked hard everyday. Fry did his best to avoid Leela but since they worked in the same building it was almost impossible. Every time he saw her they would just stare at each other before one of them walked away, but the other one would want to run after them. But Fry realized that she wasn’t his and Leela had to remind herself that she was engaged.
Doug, as it turned out, was not the new delivery boy and Bender had taken over Fry’s job. Doug was a teacher at New, New York University with a masters in World Literature.
Some days Doug would stop by to see Leela and would pop in on Fry, Barry and the Professor in the lab. Everyday they shared the same greeting.
“Hey Professor Farnsworth, Professor Sybok, Professor Fry.” Doug would say.
“Mister Mitchell.” Barry would reply with a smirk.
Doug rolled his eyes, “I have a masters.”
“Who doesn’t?” Fry asked laughing. He, Barry and the Professor started laughing. Doug just walked away and Fry smiled.
Barry and Fry took every moment to bash Doug, and it didn’t just stop at work but continued when they got home. It made Fry feel a little better, and he kept telling himself that Leela was settling for a loser instead of picking him. But deep down, he knew that he was wrong, and that she wanted to be with him but was afraid of getting hurt.
Over this time Fry had also had more of the dreams, where he was like Spider-Man climbing walls and falling. He wasn’t sure what they meant but finally just decided they meant nothing and were just weird dreams.
Seeing Leela everyday was becoming harder and harder for Fry, every morning he dreaded getting up and going to work. Just seeing her or knowing that she was in the room next to him made his heat ache. Finally it was too much for him and he called in sick three days in a row. Barry looked around the Planet Express building looking for Leela and finally found her outside the ship.
“Leela I need to talk to you.”
“Sure Barry, what about?”
“Could you consider getting back together with Fry?”
“Just tell me what it is he did wrong and I’ll make sure he doesn’t do it again.”
“Barry, forget it. It’s over between me and Fry.”
“Well what happened?” he asked following her as she walked away.
“You want to know? You really what to know?”
“Fine.” she sighed and crossed her arms looking into the distance wishfully. “We were young and we were so in love, but we could only communicate through a time traveling mailbox at my lake house.”
Barry scowled. “Not only did you make me watch that movie, now you mock me with it?”
The fourth morning came and the night before the Professor told Barry to talk to Fry and get him back. He didn’t want to do it but realized that the only solution to get Fry and Leela back together was to kill all the men in the universe. He had called Eddie to ask him what he thought Fry should do and all he had to say was to not give him the body spray where the woman undress in the commercial because, as he said “That doesn’t work at all. No matter how much you put on.” So his two other options were apocalyptic genocide and go easy on the cologne.
Walking into Fry’s room Barry saw Fry in his bed face down wearing the same tank top and sleep pants he had been wearing for the past three days, his hair a mess and a un shaven face.
“Fry, come on, you have to go back to work.”
“No. As long as Leela’s there I’m not going.”
“You can’t let this get to you.” Barry said walking over and turning on his bedside lamp. Fry groaned and rolled over his back facing Barry.
“You don’t understand. She’s the only girl I’ve ever loved and now she’s getting married.”
“Fry if you two are meant to be together, you’ll be together. Who knows? Maybe she’ll realize that and leave Doug.”
“You think so?” Fry said.
“It’s not likely but it is plausible.”
Fry glared at him buried his head in his pillow. “Forget it. I’m not going.”
“Okay, how about this: What if we convince the Professor to let you work at night? That way it’ll just be you and your work, no one else to bother you and you wont have to see Leela.”
Fry sat up and rubbed his eyes. “That could work.”
“Alright. But you’ve got to go today and ask him yourself.”
Throwing the covers back Fry grabbed his clothes and went into the shower.
Soon the two of them were on their way to Planet Express. Fry practically ran to the lab trying to avoid Leela and Barry followed closely behind him. “Relax. They all don’t show up for another half hour.”
“Right, right.” Fry said slowing down but still walking briskly.
They entered the lab and found the Professor looking at his computer.
“Hey Professor,” Barry said, “Fry has something he wanted to ask you.”
He pushed Fry forward and Fry sighed. “Professor, I was wondering if I could work here at night.”
The Professor looked up with a questioning look on his face. “Why?”
“Well, you know how it is between me and Leela-”
“Oh my yes.”
“Anyway, it’s just too hard for me to be around her right now. I would just like to work at night for a few weeks so I wont have to see her all day. I mean, it would just be until after she’s married. Please try to understand Professor.”
“I do understand Fry. Lord knows I understand romantic relationships at the office. It’s okay with me.”
“Thank you Professor.”
“Be here tonight at 8:00 okay?”
“No problem. See you tonight.”
Fry walked out of the lab with a smile on his face and as soon as he turned to go out the door onto the streets he ran into someone. Looking up he saw Leela and stuttered.
“Fry, I was just about to go look for you.”
He didn’t answer.
“Can I talk to you?”
“Please?” she said touching his arm.
He finally nodded and they went outside and sat on the park bench just like they did the first day he went to Mars U.
“First I just wanted to say I was sorry for not telling you about Doug and for not calling you or anything while you were away.”
Knowing she was going to add something Fry remained quiet.
“And I wanted to say I was sorry for what happened that night we had out date.”
Fry just nodded again.
“I wished things would of worked out between us.”
“So do I. I’m sorry too for just walking out like that.”
Leela paused, “I’ll admit at first I was upset with myself for hurting you like that. But then I was mad.”
Fry looked at her obviously confused. She continued, “I was mad at you for walking out and not giving me a chance to explain. Fry if you really loved me you would have at least let me explain.”
She’s right, he thought, you idiot!
“It took me a year before I could even think about it without getting upset.”
There was a certain tone in her voice that made Fry retaliate, “And you don’t think it didn’t hurt me?”
“I never said that.”
“But you thought it, didn’t you?”
Leela started becoming angry with him. She liked, loved, the old Fry, not this one. “Yes I did. Because the old you never would of done that. I loved the old Fry.”
“Then why did it take you so long to say something?”
“Because I was scared. I was scared to open my heart to someone.”
“Well you didn’t have any problem opening up to Zapp.”
“That was a accident and you know it.”
“What’d he do? Fall into you? And out of you? And into you again?”
She just scoffed and Fry shook his head.
“Leela what was a suppose to think? It was just like when I had the worms. I thought you loved me for me, but no.”
“God, you are so arrogant. Fry, I have never stopped loving you, but you weren’t there for me so I had to move on. If I wasn’t seeing Doug-”
Fry knew what she was going to say but she stopped herself short. She was going to say something like “I would be with you.”
“This has been very hard for me.” she said.
“Really? I had no idea because as you can guess it has just been a frickin picnic for me!”
“Stop trying to make this all about you! This is about both of us.”
They stood there silently and Fry finally spoke.
“Leela, I walked out because I was hurt and scared. I thought that even if we were together what would happen when I went to Mars U? Would we have been able to make it work?”
Leela looked down at the ground. “I think we would have.”
“Will you think about it then?”
“Think about what?”
“Picking up where we left off.”
“Where was that? We never got on. You cant get off if you don’t get on.”
“Leela, I don’t think it’s that simple.”
“No, no of course not. That’s because you complicate things.”
Fry sighed, “Listen to me, I-I’m different now. Punch me and I bleed.“
“You always did. You could never take a punch.”
“I mean I’ve had time to think about things. Can we at least try and see if there’s still that spark there?”
“Fry, I’m getting married.”
He paused and just smiled, “I always imagined you getting married on a hill top.”
“And who was the groom?” Leela asked standing up.
“You hadn’t decided yet.”
Leela shook her head and walked away, “I’m getting married in a church.”
Opening the door she was about to go back inside but stopped and looked at him, “You are different.”
Putting his hands in his pockets Fry started walking down the street. So much for avoiding her.
“I just don’t get it.” Fry said looking out the window at the Head Museum, “She’s says she still loves me but won’t try to see if we can reconnect.”
Turning around he looked at the shelf, “What am I suppose to do?”
He was in the Hall of Scientists and Authors and was talking to the brilliant mind of Albert Einstein. “Phillip, if you want to win her back you have show her what life would be like with you. Let her know how happy she‘ll be. Do you love her?”
“I do. I feel like we’re destined to be together. Do you think I can try to impress her with my work or something? I mean obviously she wants someone smart.”
“No, this trick wont work. How are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as true love?”
Fry sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “But what if I can’t get her to listen to me, or to love me?”
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. Nothing worth having comes easy, Phillip.”
“So, if I work hard to show her that I’m the same person she’ll fall in love with me?”
“Ja,” Einstein said nodding, “And if you need anymore advice I’ll be here. After all, where could I go?”
“Thanks a lot Professor. I’ll see you around.”
“One more thing Phillip,”
“A good friend of mine said if you want a woman to fall for you, read her poetry.”
“Never fails. Time present and time past are both perhaps present in time future. Science and love. They’re closer than you think.”
Fry nodded and smiled before walking out.
“What a nice young man, don’t you think?” Einstein asked the head next to him.
T.S. Eliot frowned, “Couldn’t you give me some credit?”
That night Fry was at Planet Express working on his research but he wasn’t able to concentrate. Einstein’s words were running through his head all day, “Science and love.”
Is there room in my life for both?
After leaving the Head Museum he took a trip to the library and picked up about five books on poetry and spent the afternoon reading them. When Barry got home it was pretty obvious to him that Fry was terribly love sick. He just hoped his friend would be okay.
After finishing his page of work he entered it in the computer to check it. But for some reason it was being slow. So he sat on his stool and picked up the poetry book he brought with him.
“‘He saw a tall and slender maiden all alone upon a prairie; Brightest green were all her garments, and her hair was like the sunshine.’” he smiled and kept reading, “Day by day he gazed upon her, day by day he sighed with passion, day by’-”
He looked up when the computer dinged and checked it. Realizing most of his math was off he began doing it over, again. He thought that working by himself at night would make things easier, but it turned out that all he could think about was Leela. Every time he heard a noise he hoped Leela would walk in only to be disappointed.
Putting down his pencil he picked the poetry book up again. “Day by day his heart within him grew more hot and longing for the maid. But he was too fat and lazy, to bestir himself to woo her. So he only gazed upon her, only sat and sighed with passion for the maiden on the prairie.”
Closing the book he sighed and rubbed his eyes. Deciding to just put his head down for a few minutes he cleared the table and closed his eyes.
I’m just resting my eyes, I’ll get back to work…soon.
Fry felt someone shaking his shoulder and looked up. Wiping the drool from his chin he saw the Professor glaring at him.
“Fry I didn’t spend all this time developing that chip in your brain and sending you to graduate school for you to sleep on the job!”
“I’m sorry,” Fry said groggily, “I didn’t mean to fall asleep.”
“Well, go home and get some rest. That way you wont fall asleep again tonight!”
Getting up and walking home he passed Leela and Doug on the way. They stopped and stared at each other for a few seconds before Fry walked pass them. But a few lines of the poem he was reading popped up in his head.
You have stolen the maiden from me, you have laid your hand upon her, you have wooed and won my maiden.
“What have I done?” he said to himself quietly.
He began walking down the street feeling tears well up in his eyes. But when he got to the corner he stopped. Grabbing the side of the building he bent over and got sick.
“What is going on?!”
For the past few days he had been getting sick and having the dreams again. He wasn’t sure what to think and finally decided he should go to the doctors again.
After taking a cab he walked into the doctors office, talked to the receptionist and sat down. He rested his head on his fist and sighed. His stomach was doing flips and he felt like he was going to get sick again. Luckily the nurse came out and called him back to the room.
Shaking he sat down and waited for the doctor. He had never felt this way before. He was dizzy, nauseous, sweaty and couldn’t sleep.
“Back again Professor?”
Fry looked up and saw the doctor walk in. “Yeah,”
“What’s been going on?”
“I feel horrible. I’ve been having the night sweats again, I’m getting sick, and I can’t sleep.”
“Well lets run some tests again and see what’s going on.”
After the routine tests the doctor came back in the room with a puzzle look on his face.
“Physically you’re fine. My diagnosis?” he tapped his temples, “It’s all up here. What’s been going on? Heartbreak? Bad dreams?”
Fry just nodded, “I’ve been having this weird dream where I’m Spider-Man.”
“A comic book character from the 20th Century. Anyway I’m climbing a wall but I keep slipping and falling.”
“Uh huh.” he said setting down Fry’s chart. He sat on the exam table next to Fry. “Tell me, why, in your dream, are you climbing these walls?”
“That’s just it, I don’t know.”
“Well, these dreams must mean something so I suggest you do some soul searching. Find out why you’re climbing these walls. Who knows maybe you’ll find out that you don’t need to climb them.”
After leaving the office Fry went straight home and sat on the couch. Soul searching.
The next thing Fry knew he was in his old house with his parents and brother on Christmas. This was the last time he saw them before he was frozen, but it wasn’t a happy time. He and his Dad fought all night and finally Fry just stormed home. But this time it seemed different, his Dad had his hand on his shoulder.
“Son, I always knew that you could make something of yourself. I want you to know I pushed you as hard as I did so you could succeed.”
“I realize that now. But I didn’t need a drill sergeant, I needed at dad.”
“I’m sorry, we all are for ever doubting you. But listen you can’t let this broken heart get in the way.”
“But don’t you understand? I’m in love with Leela. I can’t be a scientist anymore. I can’t. It’s not worth losing her.”
“It’s not worth losing her.” Fry said standing up. “Leela means more to me than anything.”
Putting on his jacket he ran to Planet Express but as soon as he got to the door he stopped. “Wait, what am I doing? I can’t just walk in there and tell her I love her and expect her to take me back. I need a plan. But first things first, I need to tell the Professor that I’m done.”
Walking inside he went to the lab and found Barry and the Professor hunched over the lab table. “Professor I need to talk to you.”
“What is it Fry? I’m very busy.”
“I want to go back to being a delivery boy from the Stupid Ages.”
“What?!” the Professor said looking up.
“I can’t do this anymore. It’s costing me the person I care about the most.”
“Fry, you can’t just abandoned your intelligence!”
“Fry, just think hard and long about it. Don’t just decide to give everything up.”
“Fine,” Fry said with a sigh.
He walked out into the hall way and saw Amy standing there. “Fry, there you are. Listen Leela wants you to meet her at the café across the street.”
“Oh, I-I don’t know Amy. I mean-”
“Okay, Fry either you go over there or so help me God I will go to your apartment and un bag all of your most precious mint condition comic books. And on one of them, you wont know which, I’ll draw a tiny happy face. In ink.”
Fry just stared at her, “You can’t do that. If you make a mark in a mint comic book it’s no longer mint.”
“Fry, do you know what blackmail is?”
“Well of course I do-Oh!” he paused and finally smiled, “I’ll be over at the café if anyone needs me.”
He walked slowly across the street. I wonder what Leela wants.
Carefully he walked up to her and sat down.
“Hi,” she said smiling, “Surprised?”
“Uh, very. So what’s going on?”
“Last night, I did some thinking. You know how our minds play tricks on us.”
“Tell me about it.”
“Well, mine did a number on me.” she paused and folded her hands, “I thought about how when we talked yesterday, part of me heard what you had to say, but I just didn’t want to listen.”
“Wait, there’s more for me to say.”
Leela looked at him surprised. She had exactly what she planned to say to him and just wanted to get it over with. But she had to let him speak.
Fry swallowed hard and sighed, “My mind, was playing tricks on me too. I-I might of let my emotions get the best of me and…rushed into things.”
“Wait, what are you saying?”
Everyone’s words kept rattling around in his head. His Dad’s, the Professor, the Doctors, and they were all over powering what his heart had to say.
“I-I thought I could be there for you Leela…but I can’t.”
Leela forgot about everything she was going to say to him and looked him straight in the eyes. “Do you love me, or not?”
He stuttered and finally whispered, with his head hung low, “I don’t.”
“You don’t.” Leela sighed and looked down at the ground. She couldn’t believe this. Yesterday he was trying to get back together and now he no longer loves her. Looking up she realized there was only one way to get the truth out of him.
“Kiss me,” she whispered leaning across the table.
Fry looked up, his eyes wide, “Kiss you?”
“I need to know something.”
“Just one kiss.”
She scooted her chair over near him and took his hand and placed it around her waist. Fry drew her closer and soon his lips met hers. She felt him tremble a little but kept him close. This was what she was looking for, she could tell by his kiss that he loved her. He still loved her. The moment was broken when she felt Fry pull away from her. But when she opened her eye she saw Fry on the ground with Doug standing over him.
“Get away from my fiancée!”
“Doug, just let him go.” Leela said grabbing his arm when he reeled back getting ready to throw a punch.
Fry got up and dusted himself off before just walking away.
Doug turned around and glared at Leela. “What the hell is going on?”
She shook her head, “I’m sorry, I-I just need to get away and clear my head. I’ve been having all these thoughts-”
Doug had softened up and put a hand on Leela’s shoulder, “I understand. It’s natural to get cold feet before your wedding.”
“Thank you for understanding.” Leela kissed his cheek. “The Professor’s testing out the new auto pilot so I think I’ll go. I‘ll be back the day after tomorrow. Just in time for the wedding the next day.”
“Okay. Uh-Should I be worried?”
Leela shook her head, “No, I don’t think so. I’m gonna go home and pack.”
Smiling she kissed him and rested her chin on his shoulder. “I love you.”
Fry walked into Planet Express and went looking for Amy. He found her sitting in the lounge. “Amy I need to talk to you.”
He explained what had just happened outside and ran a hand through his hair. “What am I going to do?”
“Fry, why don’t you get away and clear your head? The Professor’s testing out the new auto pilot tomorrow, why don’t you go?”
“That’s a great idea. It’s exactly what I need. Thanks Amy. I’m gonna go pack.”
“Be here at 4:00 AM. He wants to see how good a job it does of taking off and not disturbing the passengers.”
After he left Barry, who had been listening from the other side of the door came into the lounge. “Are you sure this is going to work?”
“Positive.” Amy said, “They need to get away from everyone and everything. That way it will just be the two of them. So Fry’s gonna be here at 4 and when I talked to Leela I told her to be here at 5. Both of them are suppose to go straight to their cabins and once they wake up they’ll be in space and can’t get out of it.”
“I hope it works. I’m worried that Fry’s suffering from broken heart syndrome.”
“Is that even real?”
“Yes, people can die from a broken heart. It wears them out physically and that’s what’s happening to Fry.”
“Lets just hope this works, before it’s too late.”
The next morning Fry woke up in his cabin after getting a few more hours of sleep and grabbing some clean clothes he went into the bathroom. Taking a long hot shower he thought about how good it felt to just get away from everyone and finally have some time to think. Once he was dressed he went down into the kitchen to have some breakfast.
Opening the door his eyes went wide and his jaw dropped. There was Leela sitting at the table in her bathrobe drinking coffee. She looked up and set her mug on the table before standing up and backing away from him.
“What are you doing here?” they asked at the same time.
“I’m here testing out the new auto pilot.” Fry said.
“No, I’m here testing out the new auto pilot.” Leela replied.
Fry shook his head, “What is going on?”
“Amy told me I should get away and clear my head and suggested this.”
“She told me the same thing.”
“She set us up.” Leela said.
The two of them sat down and Fry rested his chin on in his hand. “Do you wanna go back?”
Leela thought about it and shook her head, “No. I think this is what we need. We have to talk about what is going on between us. Otherwise what’s going to happen to us? We’re gonna end up living the rest of our lives wondering ‘What if?’. ‘What if we actually talked about what happened to us?’ ‘What if we fixed our friendship?’ I know that I don’t want to spend the rest of my life wondering that about my best friend.”
“Neither do I.”
But Leela knew that he didn’t want to just be friends and deep down she didn’t either.
“Well, what do you want to do?”
Fry just sat there looking around the room. “I dunno.”
She got up to refill her mug and got Fry his own. “Thank you.”
He took a sip and smiled. “I miss this. Hanging out like we use to.”
“I miss it too. You don’t know how many times I tried to get myself to go visit you so we could do this.”
“I tried to come to see you too.”
“You have to understand how hard it was for me.”
“I understand, it was hard for me too. I mean, I changed and I knew it.”
He put down his mug and got closer to Leela, “The main reason I didn’t call you or anything was because I was scared. Scared that I would hurt you again. Leela, you know that the last thing I want to do it hurt you.”
“You should of told me that. We could of tried to work it out.”
“I realize that now, I blew it.”
“But I’m also at fault. I mean look at us now. Every time we try to talk about what happened we’re at each other throats.”
“I know, I hate it when we yell at each other. I mean, usually it’s just you yelling at me.”
Leela couldn’t help but laugh knowing he meant well. “I also wanted to apologize for what happened yesterday at the café.”
“I’m just glad he didn’t hurt you. I didn’t see though, what happened?”
“He just, uh, pulled me off of you,” he said uncomfortably, “and that was it.”
“Then was about to punch you.”
“Yes, then that. Luckily you were there to stop him.”
They sat there silently for a few minutes before Leela stood up. “I think I’m gonna go shower and get dressed.”
“Alright, I’ll be up on the bridge.”
They made their separate ways and Fry, before going to sit on the couch went into his cabin and picked up the poetry books. Sitting down he flipped through them and soon heard Leela walk up behind him.
“Hey, what’s that?” she asked.
“Oh, uh, I’ve been…reading poetry.”
“Why?” she asked curiously.
“I felt like it.” he lied.
It was obvious that she wasn’t buying it but didn’t pressure him and just smiled. “What are you reading now?”
“It’s called ‘The Song of Hiawatha’ by Henry Longfellow.”
“Read me some. Please?”
Looking at the page he cleared his voice. “ ‘Though the birds sang to him, thought the wild-flowers of the meadow filled the air with odors for him; though the forests and the rivers sang and shouted at his coming, still his heart was sad within him, for he was alone in heaven.’.”
Without even looking up at Leela he continued, “ ‘One morning, gazing earthward, like a ghost that goes at sunrise he beheld a maiden walking all alone upon a meadow. Still the first thing he beheld there was her blue eyes looking at him, two blue lakes among the rushes and he loved the lonely maiden.’.”
He felt her place a hand on his and looked up to see her eye filled with tears. Not even realizing it he began reciting more of the poem with out looking at it.
“Day by day he gazed upon her. Day by day he sighed with passion. Day by day-”
Closing the book he shook his head. “I’m sorry.”
“No, I’m sorry. I-I’m having so many mixed emotions now.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean this isn’t right. I have a fiancée now. I can’t love both of you.”
“I-I don’t know what to say.”
“Fry just tell me something; am I making a mistake marrying Doug?”
He was speechless. Here she was practically telling him that she didn’t want to be with Doug and wants to be with him but all he could do was sit there and stare.
He was interrupted when the ship suddenly gained speed and the alarms started going off. Leela jumped up and ran over to the controls. “The auto pilot’s failing. We’ve lost all control.”
“What? Can’t you switch to manual?”
“It’s not letting me. I don’t know what’s going on. Why is this happening?”
The ship gained even more speed and got closer and closer to earth. The alarms were still going off and they heard everything in the back of the ship fall to the ground. Leela put her arms around Fry and looked in her eye feeling his whole body shake.
“Leela…in case we die-”
“You do love me.”
He nodded, “I do.”
She smiled, “Even though you said you didn’t.”
They entered the atmosphere and held each other tight.
A few seconds later they felt the ship slow down and they looked around.
“What’s going on?” Fry asked.
Leela pulled away from him and checked the controls. “It-It’s on manual. Strap in Fry, this could be a bumpy ride.”
She gently slowed down and soon the ship was back in space hovering over the planet. Both of them slid back in their seats and gave a sigh of relief. Leela looked over at Fry and smiled.
“I always had a feeling the old Fry was still in there.”
He shook his head, “Leela, listen. We both said it; I changed. And I don’t trust myself enough to not hurt you again.”
Leela looked down at her feet and Fry sighed. “I’m so, so sorry but if you ever got hurt I could never forgive myself. The old Fry, the one you loved…I’m not really him anymore. I want you to know that I will always be there for you, I will always be there to protect you…I will always be your friend.”
She bit her lip to stop it from quivering and wiped her eye. “Only a friend, Fry?”
Looking up she saw Fry’s eyes were watering too.
“That’s all I have to give.”
The next day Leela was at the Temple of Robotolgy getting ready. She looked at herself in the full length mirror and sighed. All of her friends, except for Fry and Barry, were out in the church waiting for her to walk down the isle.
She wished Fry was there, not sitting in the pews but up at the alter waiting for her. They talked for hours the night before and finally decided that it was best they went separate ways and just be friends. But deep down it’s not what either of them wanted.
He had done so much for her, but what had she done for him? Just break his heart over and over.
The door opened and Amy stuck her head in and said something but Leela wasn’t listening. She couldn’t believe what she was about to do. I belong with him, no one else.
“And so,” Fry said to Barry as they sat on the couch in their apartment, “that’s why while I’m sitting here, Leela’s across town getting married.”
Fry had just told him about what happened on the ship the night before and Barry patted his shoulder.
“I’m sorry buddy. But can I tell you something?”
“Amy and I set it up so you two would be on the ship and the auto pilot would fail. I was actually controlling it from Planet Express and we had a hidden camera on the bridge. Once we saw you two say what you really felt we put the power back.”
“So you staged the whole thing to get Leela and I to say that we loved each other?”
“Pretty much, yeah.”
“Thanks. I mean it. But I guess it was all for nothing.”
“You’re gonna be alright Fry. Why don’t I just give you some time alone? I’ll be at Planet Express.”
“Thanks Barry, see you later.”
After he left Fry lounged on the couch for half an hour before hearing a knock at the door. He figured it was his landlord seeing as though rent was due and he shouted, “Come in Mr. Jean.”
The door opened and he heard a voice, but it wasn’t who he expected.
“If you think I’m your landlord,” a voice said.
Fry shot up from his seat and saw Leela standing in the doorway, in her wedding dress, and a smile on her face.
“Then you just hit the jackpot, Tiger.” she finished.
“Leela,” he said walking up to her slowly. “Wha-What about Doug?”
“He’ll survive. But I wont. Not without you.”
She got closer and took his hands. “I know you think we can’t be together, but it’s not your choice to make.”
Gently she moved her one hand up to his cheek, “I love you. So here I am standing in your doorway.” she watched as a smile formed on Fry’s face, “Isn’t it time I saved your life?”
Fry just kept smiling.
“Well say something.”
He just kept shaking his head back and forth in disbelief. “Thank you, Leela.”
Smiling Leela pulled him closer and kissed him long and hard. Everything that they had felt for each other for the past few years came pouring out and they knew everything was going to be perfect from now on.