Futurama

Fan Fiction

Your Cold, Cold Heart
By Ramon_51

Fry plopped down onto a barstool in the “Texas Cowboy” bar. His mind was reeling from the events of the past hour. “How had things taken such a terrible turn?” he wondered. In the aftermath of the opera, Leela had really softened. They began to spend more and more time together. It had been really great.

Then, abruptly, everything changed. One minute, everything had been great between Leela and him. The next moment, they were having a terrible fight. He couldn’t remember for the life of him what started it.

All he knew was that it had ended with Leela shouting, “Get out of this apartment! I don’t care if I ever see you again!”

The bartender, a crusty grey-haired exemplar of the breed came up, intruding into Fry’s pain-wracked consciousness, “What’ll you have, buddy?” Fry focused for a moment, “Beer.”

“Any particular brand?”

“Old Fortran.”

“That’s robot brew, son. Humans don’t tolerate it well. You might want something else.”

Fry looked at the array of bottles over the bar, “I’ll have some Romulan Ale.”

The bartender grunted, “You aren’t planning on driving, are you?”

“Nope. I don’t even have a car.”

Without another word, the bartender took a bottle down, opened it, and poured Fry a glass, “Here you go. Two bucks.”

Fry pulled his wallet from his back pocket, fished out a ten and slapped it on the counter, “When I finish this, keep ‘em coming.”

The bartender took the bill silently and went down the bar to another customer.

There was a jukebox near the back of the bar. A blonde woman in a red dress got up, walked over to the jukebox, and began to feed coins into it. As Fry sat drinking his Romulan Ale, an old Hank Williams tune began to play,

I tried so hard my dear to show that you’re my every dream.
Yet you’re afraid each thing I do is just some evil scheme
A memory from your lonesome past keeps us so far apart
Why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold, cold heart?

Another love before my time made your heart sad and blue
And so my heart is paying now for things I didn’t do
In anger unkind words are said that make the teardrops start
Why can’t I free your doubtful mind, and melt your cold, cold heart?

You’ll never know how much it hurts to see you sit and cry
You know you need and want my love yet you’re afraid to try
Why do you run and hide from lies, to try it just ain’t smart
Why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold, cold heart?

There was a time when I believed that you belonged to me
But now I know your heart is shackled to a memory
The more I learn to care for you, the more we drift apart
Why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold, cold heart?

Somewhere before the end of the last stanza, Fry had already finished drinking his second ale. But he had listened to every word in the song.

As the last word died away, a tear – the first of many – rolled down his cheek. Fry felt as one with Hank Williams as he wondered about Leela, “Why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold, cold heart?”

Your Cold, Cold Heart – Chapter 2

Fry plopped another $10 bill on the counter. His mind was already fogged by the rapid consumption of five Romulan Ales, but he could still feel the terrible pain of Leela’s words. He wanted to drink until he passed out…anything to stop the pain.

Barkeep!” he shouted, “Keep ‘em coming.”

The blonde that had been feeding the jukebox watched Fry closely. Besides finding him cute, she was also intrigued that he had downed five Romulan Ales faster than she had ever seen. “He must be a hurting puppy,” she thought.

“Oh Hell,” she thought, “Why do I always pick the sad cases?” She stood up and walked resolutely to where Fry was trying to drown his sorrows.

She slid onto the barstool next to Fry. Realizing that Fry was already three sheets to the wind, she abandoned subtle lines. Instead she smiled broadly and said in an exaggerated, sultry southern accented voice, “Hey handsome, where you been all my life?”

Fry turned to face her, nearly falling off his barstool in the process. He peered at her, “I don’t know.” He paused, “You don’t know Leela, do you?”

“Who’s Leela?”

“She’s my…” Fry fought for control, “she was my…oh, heck, I don’t know anymore.”

She stuck out her hand, “Well, I’m Venus McMurtry. What’s your name?”

Fry reached out to take her hand, “I’m Philip J. Fry…” he hiccoughed, “pleased to meet you.”

“What’s the ‘J’ stand for?”

Fry eyes widened in an owlish look. He placed his finger solemnly over his lips before whispering, “It’s a secret.”

Venus laughed, showing two even rows of sparkling white teeth. “I really like this man,” she thought. “I need to keep him talking instead of drinking.”

“So, Philip J. Fry, what do you do for a living?”

“I’m just a lowly delivery boy. Maybe that’s why Leela doesn’t love me anymore.”

“Who is this Leela?” she asked a bit more insistently.

“She’s a beautiful purple-haired Cyclops who works with me at Planet Express.” His face assumed a look of concentrated thought, “She lives at 100 East 123rd Street in Apartment One I.” The he burst into hysterical laughter…followed by a fresh torrent of tears.

Venus put her arm around his shoulder, “Hey, hey Philip…it’s going to be OK. What has you so upset?”

“We had a fight. She threw me out…” he began to weep uncontrollably again.

“You really love her, don’t you?” Venus asked gently.

“More than life itself.” His voice trembled, “That song really got to me. I mean, why can’t I free her doubtful mind and melt her cold, cold heart?”

“That Hank Williams will get to you.”

Fry merely nodded a tearful response.

“Alright,” Venus said with grim resignation, “Let’s go.” The thought flitted through her mind, “Why am I doing this? What the heck am I, a social worker?

“Go?” Fry sounded confused, “I’ve got more drinks coming.”

“Like Hell you do,” Venus replied. “You are trying to drown your sorrows. But my Daddy said that whenever you try that, they just become better swimmers.”

She motioned to the bartender, “Joe, cancel the drinks. I’m taking this one home.”

“Sure, Venus. You want I should call a cab?”

“Nope, it’s a short walk. It’ll do him good.”

She helped Fry off the barstool, steadying him by placing his right arm over her shoulder.

Where are we going?”

“Well, Mr. Philip J. Fry, we’re going to 100 East 123rd Street, Apartment One I to meet the cold-hearted and beautiful Leela.”

Your Cold, Cold Heart - Chapter 3

The walk to Leela’s Apartment had been mercifully short. With the exception of two stops for Fry to vomit, it had been uneventful as well. The trip up the steps actually took longer, with Fry mumbling apologies to Venus when he lost his balance or missed a step…twice he called her “Leela.”

Finally, they arrived at Leela’s apartment door. Fry got a panicked look on his face, “We can’t go in there! This is Leela’s apartment.”

“I know,” Venus replied, “Let’s see if she’s home.”

“But…but…”

Venus ignored Fry’s protests and rapped on the door. In response Leela’s muffled voice came from the other side of the door, “Coming!”

Glancing at Fry as he heard Leela’s voice, Venus got the sudden image of a deer caught in a set of headlights. She laughed softly, feeling sympathy for Fry’s plight.

The door slid open, revealing a red-eyed Leela. She had obviously been crying, but the sight of Venus and Fry together caused her face to harden into a mask of anger. “Can I help you?”

“I take it you are Leela?” Venus asked.

“Yes, I am. And you would be…?”

“I’m Venus McMurtry,” she tried to sound as pleasant as possible. She gestured at Fry, “I brought your boyfriend home. He wasn’t in any condition to navigate on his own”

“Really?” Leela responded coldly.

To Hell with this,” Venus thought, “being nice isn’t getting me anywhere.” Changing gears, Venus spoke with some heat, “Yes…really. This man couldn’t do anything but drink, cry, and tell me how much he loves you.”

“So?”

“So Honey, if you don’t want him, I’ll take him off your hands.” Venus looked Leela up and down, “I’m not sure you deserve him anyway.”

“You bitch!” Leela shouted as she threw a straight punch at Venus’ midriff.

Surprising Leela and Fry, Venus blocked the punch. Then she counterpunched with a right cross at Leela’s jaw.

Leela dodged the blow. For the next few seconds, the two women threw a flurry of punches and kicks at each other. Leela landed one solid punch on Venus, whose nose was bleeding freely. Venus managed to land one squarely on Leela’s eye. It was obvious that Leela would have a ‘shiner’ by morning.

At first, Fry felt as though he were rooted to the ground. Then he moved forward in an attempt to stop the fight, “Leela! Venus! Please stop…”

His sentence was cut short by the bone crunching impact one of Leela’s punches intended for Venus. Fry spun around like a top, then collapsed to the floor.

Leela’s reaction was as surprising as it was immediate. She stopped fighting instantly and knelt by Fry, “Oh my Lord!” Fry was making a sort of gurgling noise as he lay there, blood trickling from the corner of his mouth. A wave of guilt swept over Leela, “Oh what were Fry and I even fighting over?”

Leela cradled Fry in her arms. Her voice trembled with genuine anxiety, “Fry, I’m so sorry. Did I hurt you?”

Fry coughed, “I’m sorry Leela.” He coughed and spit out some blood. He had bitten his tongue when she punched him. “I bit my tongue,” he said thickly.

Leela began to cry, “Oh, I have such a horrible temper.” Tears rolled off the end of her nose, “Venus was right, I don’t deserve you.” She kissed Fry on the cheek, “What were we fighting about anyway?”

“Don’t remember,” was all he could manage before he passed out.

Venus cleared her throat, “So I take it I can leave him in your care?”

“What?” Leela suddenly remembered that Venus was even there, “Yes, you can leave him with me.” She looked Venus full in the face, “You did me a favor. I was crying in my apartment because I’d thrown Fry out. He is such a gentleman, he just left! He didn’t even stay to argue.”

Venus knelt down to get at eye level with Leela. She dabbed at her own bleeding nose with a handkerchief, “There’s precious few men who won’t argue or fight with their women. You’re lucky to have such a one.”

Leela nodded, “I just wish I could control my temper.”

“Did you ever consider counting to ten?”

The thought of counting to ten struck Leela as funny. She laughed, “Maybe I will.”

Venus stood up. She knew that the worst was over, “Do you want me to help you get him into the apartment?”

A smile flashed across Leela’s face, “Please.”

They worked together to get Fry to his feet. With Venus supporting him on his right and Leela on his Left, Fry wobbled into the apartment.

Your Cold, Cold Heart - Chapter 4

It was a week later that Leela and Fry walked into the “Texas Cowboy” bar. They looked around briefly, then selected a booth near the door. A young Neptunian woman came up almost as soon as they sat down, “Hi, my name is Alice and I’ll be your server today.” She paused, “What will you have?”

Leela spoke first, “I’ll have bottled water.”

Pretending to look at the drink menu, Fry paused for a moment. “I’ll have a Slurm.”

The server laughed, “What, no Romulan Ale?”

Fry groaned, “I had hoped that nobody remembered that.”

Alice shook her head, “No sir. We’d never seen anyone drink that many Romulan Ales that fast without passing out.” She grinned, “We were placing bets on how many you could put away.”

“I’ll stick with Slurm, thanks.”

Alice hustled away. Before she returned, the door swung open to reveal Venus McMurty. Leela, who was seated facing the door, waved until they made eye contact.

Venus paused for a moment, then slide into the booth next to Leela. With a sidelong glance, Venus asked, “So how’s the eye?”

Leela laughed, “I finally got rid of the last of the shiner yesterday. How’s you nose?”

“Tolerable.”

Fry felt uncomfortable at their banter over the catfight, “Thanks for coming Venus. We both wanted to thank you in person.”

Venus smiled, “Well, you both did thank me a week ago as I recall.”

Flustered, Fry said, “Yes…but I wasn’t really at my best.”

Both women laughed at that remark.

For the next few minutes, they exchanged pleasantries. Then Venus skillfully guided the conversation to where Fry and Leela talked about everything. She was the perfect listener. They told her how they had met, what they did for a living, about their families…everything.

Leela suddenly realized that she had told Venus things she had never told anyone before. It horrified her and it showed on her face.

Fry caught the look first, “Leela, are you OK?”

“Fine, Fry…I’m fine.”

Venus looked directly at Leela, “So you’re worried that you’ve opened up too much?”

Startled, Leela replied, “How did you know?”

“Well,” Venus drawled, “I’m a psychiatrist that specializes in marriage counseling.”

The silence at the table was deafening. Time seemed to stand still. Leela said in almost a whisper, “What do you want, Venus?”

“Just to help,” Venus said quietly, “I liked Fry when I first laid eyes on him. Listening to him talk about you made me think of my Earl.”

“Who’s Earl?” Fry asked.

“Earl was my husband. He was killed in a mining accident.” Tears glittered in the corner of her dark blue eyes, “He was a supervisor at a dark matter operation on Tantalus Five. There was an explosion and cave in. The survivors said Earl made sure everybody got out before he did.” She paused, “They never did reopen the mine.”

Leela reached out and touched Venus’ arm, “I’m so sorry.”

Drawing a deep breath, Venus continued, “Then I brought Fry home and met you, Leela. I could see why he loved you. I think you both deserve a chance at a life together…that’s all.”

“So,” Leela asked, “Why’d you wait a week?”

The sly grin that spread across Venus’ face spoke volumes, “Well, I had to check both of you out to see if my initial thoughts were on target.”

Puzzled, Leela asked, “Initial thoughts?”

“Fry was easy to read. He’s pretty much an uncomplicated sort of fellow. No, Leela…you were the onion.”

“Onion?”

“Yes, you’ve got so many layers. You and Fry are actually both very sweet people who got handed a lot of rough breaks. But you’ve each reacted differently to the misfortunes of life. Fry just forgets things and moves on. He lives in the moment.”

Both Fry and Leela nodded in agreement.

“Leela, you’ve been hurt so many times. You’ve developed a survival strategy of not letting anyone even get near you to hurt you again. As a matter of fact, you panic when they do. Just like you did when you thought I’d gotten too much personal information on you.”

“Go on,” Leela said.

“Poor Fry, how many times did you find yourself getting close to him emotionally, then pulling away, Leela?”

“More than I’d care to remember.”

“Well, if you both want to work at it, I’m willing to help.” Venus brushed away a tendril of hair that had fallen over her face, “What do you say?”

Fry spoke first, “I’m in.”

Leela hesitated briefly, “You know Venus, I appreciate this but…” Her voice trailed off as tears began to fall from her eye. After a short pause, Leela wiped away the tears and said cheerfully, “Oh, heck. Why not?” Leela looked at Fry, “A good man is worth a little work isn’t he?”

“That he is Leela, that he is.”

Buddies