Futurama

Fan Fiction

For Lovers Only
By Frosty

Leela sat fiddling with her wedding ring in the space port waiting for her ship to begin boarding. It was her third trip of the year to Planet De Eifel and she was feeling a mix of relief and anxiousness. Every time she traveled to the Paris like planet she felt butterflies in her stomach, but it was part of the job and she had to suck it up. Her years as a Space captain were over; they had been for over a decade. After the death of Professor Farnsworth she and her crew made their separate ways. It was then she got a job as a reporter for a universal magazine and began her traveling. On one of her many trips around earth she met her husband. They dated for two years before he proposed and they had recently celebrated their eight anniversary. However, though Leela had everything she had ever wanted, something was missing. She missed her friends at Planet Express and the adventures they used to have. The last time she saw Amy, Bender and Hermes was at her wedding but Fry-her best friend and for one week (on Planet De Eifel) her lover-didn’t make it. She never blamed him or thought ill of him for missing her wedding; she understood how hard it would be for him. A few days after she became engaged she wrote to him telling him that she was moving on with her life and if he wanted to attend the wedding he was more than welcome but she never got a response.

She found out from Amy while chatting on the phone a few years earlier that Fry had also moved on and settled down. He was working as a photographer, selling his prints and taking pictures for things like magazines and books. Leela couldn’t help but think about when he first bought his camera and went crazy taking pictures-mostly of her. However, she didn’t mind one bit. She loved that Fry found her attractive, it wasn’t until Bender hinted at what he was doing with some of the photos that she asked him to stop. Amy had mentioned that for a brief time he worked as a professional for a modeling agency but quit after a less than a year. Leela often wondered why he would give up such a good paying job but found that the more she thought about Fry the more the questioned her relationship with her husband and whether or not she was truly happy.

Leela looked up when she heard her ship was going to begin boarding shortly and made her way towards the gate.


Fry stood on one of the many back roads in Paris with his camera in hand taking photos for his editor. His newest assignment was to compare the original Paris in France to the one on Planet De Eifel. Looking around he saw a dead pigeon, one that had appeared to have been ran over by a car or bike, lying in the middle of the road. He squatted on the ground and aimed the camera but when he couldn’t get the shot exactly how he liked it he lied on his stomach, his torso in the street and his legs on the sidewalk. He felt the road rumbling and stood up just as a truck drove by-its driver staring at him. Fry placed the camera in his satchel and began walking down the street hearing his shoes clicking against the pavement. Looking down at himself he marveled at how much his wardrobe had changed in the last decade. When he got a job as a photographer he ditched his ratty jeans, white tee-shirt and red jacket for clean, dark jeans, collared shirts and a blazer. He still sported his hair horn but his once clean shaven face now had a short rough beard. Fry had realized that at some point he had to grow up and his wife had helped him. When they were dating she was the one who gave him his makeover and he sincerely thanked her for it. He had always been comfortable with himself but having the new clothes and getting appealing looks from people made him feel better about himself. His coworkers always seemed to put him down and now he was well respected, he got to have fun and travel and every place he went he was able to relax and have some alone time. His wife had accompanied him on a few trips but mostly stayed home in their home in California.

Making his way down by the water Fry found a fence with a small old style padlock on it and he aimed his camera at it, snapping a few pictures. Witten in permanent marker was Fry <3 Leela. Sighing at the sight he leaned against the fence and rubbed his eyes. He remembered how shortly before the Professor’s death he had experienced a bit of a mental melt down and began showering his crew with gifts. Fry was given a large amount of the Professors fortune and to celebrate he invited Leela to Planet De Eifel for her birthday. They spent time walking around the city and Fry admitted his feelings for her. He wasn’t sure what happened but Leela grabbed him and kissed him before leading him back to the hotel. The rest of the week was blissful and Fry thought everything was perfect. When they got back to New New York the Professor passed away shortly after but when they lost their jobs at Planet Express everyone seemed to grow apart. Leela sat down with Fry and told him that she thought they were better of as friends. He always wondered why after the wonderful week they spent together she would back out.

Hearing his phone ring he put his camera away and pulled the phone out of his jacket pocket.

“Hello?” he waited as the voice on the other line spoke.

“Hey, it’s me.” Fry recognized his wife’s voice. “What are you doing?”

“Nothing.” Fry said. “That’s what I do every time I come here.”

“What do you mean? You’re in Paris, you must be doing something.”

“No.”

“That’s ridiculous. What’s going on?”

“I had dinner by myself last night.” He said. “That’s it. I’ve just been wandering….if you want to start a fight, go ahead-be my guest. But I’m tired, I don’t want to fight.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I do nothing every time I come here, you know that.”

“Well, I just miss you.”

“Alright,” Fry said rubbing his eyes under his sun glasses.

“I love you.”

“Alright, I love you too. Bye.”

He hung up and slipped his phone back in his pocket.


Leela looked out her window as the ship touched down at the space port. She remembered the first time she had arrived on Planet De Eifel with Fry nearly a decade earlier. But she wasn’t feeling the same excitement as she did before.

Once she was off the ship and had retrieved her bag, she saw the car her boss had called for her waiting outside. The driver was standing outside and opened the door for her with a smile on his face. Every time she traveled to Paris he had been her driver.

“Bonjour Madame Leela,” he said. “Bienvenue au Planet De Eifel.”

“Merci,” Leela said getting in the car.

As the car drove along she flipped through her day planner.

“How are you Jean?” she asked.

“Okay, but I’d be better if your flight hadn’t arrived during the middle of rush hour.”

Leela stayed silent and put her planner back in her bag.

“How are you Leela? Did you have a good trip?”

“Not bad.”

“Not bad?” he asked looking in his rearview mirror seeing Leela looking out the window with a faraway look in her eye. “Okay. Would it kill you to smile?” he asked jokingly.

Leela laughed a little and gave him a smile.

“Which hotel this time?”

“Hotel Amour.” She said reluctantly. It was the same hotel that she and Fry had stayed in when they visited.

Jean looked at her and Leela caught his eyes in the rearview mirror.

“What?” she asked. “What happened?”

“I just feel like every time you ride in this car…it slowly turns into a hearse….that was not very nice.” He said. “I apologize.”

“It’s alright,” Leela said.

“Well you-you’re in Paris, you’re supposed to have fun!”

“I know, I know…I don’t like Paris very much anymore.”

“I should have brought you flowers.” He said.

“Why?”

“I don’t know-to brighten your face.”

Leela watched out the window as Jean continued to drive along until they reached the hotel. He opened her door and got her suitcase out of the trunk.

“Thank you, Jean.” She said. “I’ll see you in a few days.”

After checking in she made her way up to her room and dropped her bags at the door before collapsing on the bed. She didn’t know how long she laid there but finally she got up and got out her notebooks and sat in the windowsill writing. The one notebook was her private journal where she wrote everyday about her life. She wrote the date and the location before writing one sentence with a shaky hand.

My life…a beautiful mess.


During the middle of the night as Leela laid in bed half asleep she found herself thinking of Fry. She remembered waking up one morning and finding him in bed with her rather than the pull out sofa and she remembered feeling happy. They had dinner at Lapẻrouse, shared a bottle of wine and took a stroll around town. She couldn’t remember being so happy, even with her husband. Yes, there obviously was attraction when they met and throughout the courtship but nowadays it had been getting harder and harder to maintain their relationship.

The room phone rang and she rolled over and picked it up. “Hello?”

“You sound horrible.” Her husband said on the other line. “What have you been doing? Having a great time?”

“Yeah, I was out partying all night.” She said sarcastically.

“Okay, great.”

Leela sighed and rubbed her eye. “What do you want me to say?”

“Your phone’s off.”

“Because I’m tired. I just turned it off.”

“Well I guess it was great talking to you.”

“Hmm.” Leela said. “You too.”

Slamming the phone down on the cradle she fell back asleep.


The next morning Fry sat in the office of one of the editors in Paris who reported to his boss, watching as one of the photography editors looked at the photos he took the day before.

“This is very original.” She said looking at one of the many pictures of the dead birds. She spoke with a French accent; one Fry had gotten used to since he travelled to Paris quite frequently. “But I don’t think it’s what your editor had in mind.”

Fry rubbed his upper lip with his finger and looked at the woman from behind his glasses.

“He did, after all, ask you to photograph the modern romance scene of Paris.”

“I understand,” Fry said nodding. He sighed and cleared his throat before speaking again. “But…dead pigeons….say…uh…”

“Say what, exactly?”

“Dead pigeons say….spring fever.”

“Ah, I see. But the magazine wants something like romantic destinations of Paris. Not dead pigeons.”

“But he was dead in the park-the Montmare.”

“The Montmare…Listen, I get it, I do, but they don’t.”

Fry nodded.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“Nothing,”

“Listen, take off your glasses and breathe the light. Then, go back to Montmare, okay?”

“Oui.” Fry said.

“Take off your glasses,” she said, “Go on.”

Fry did and put them in his jacket.

“Please, go back and make an effort.”

Fry nodded, “I’ll find something.”

He stood up and began walking out. “Like a pigeon and a pigeon.”


Fry walked around the city with local music blasting through his iPod and taking pictures he thought the editor would like. He found that whenever he was in Paris listening to local music always got his creative juices flowing. Sun light flickered off his wedding band as he aimed his camera at the sky taking a picture of the top of buildings. He made his way towards the metro and took it across town towards one of his favorite cafés. As he walked up the stairs from the subway he didn’t even notice the woman with purple hair walking past him on the sidewalk. He took photos of the outside of the café and began making his way back towards the waterfront. One of the back alleyways sloped down and had a short stairway going back down towards the street. He looked up and stopped in his tracks. He couldn’t believe that what he was seeing was real.

The woman on the opposite side of the stairs stopped and stared at him before removing her sun glasses revealing her one eye. Fry did the same and took a few steps forward.

“Leela…is it really you?”

“Fry…” she said staring at him. “I-I can’t believe it.”

They just stared at each other not able to say anything. All the memories came flooding back and they both continued to stand on the stairs in silence.

“Uh, um…” Leela said, “I’m sorry, I-I have a meeting I have to get to.” she reached in her purse and pulled out a card. “Call me, alright?”

“Yeah,” he said putting the card in his breast pocket. “Of course.”

Leela gently squeezed his arm before slowly walking away, her hand over her mouth. She turned back and saw Fry walking down the stairs with his hand on his forehead. As she continued walking she was forced to stop about a block up and put her hands over her face before exhaling sharply.


Leela sat across from the photographer she was interviewing for her magazine. She was recording their conversation and wrote down a few things but she couldn’t help but think about her run in with Fry. Ten years after being separated they were reunited in the place they had kindled their love. She knew that she had broken his heart when they returned to New New York but the panic of falling in love with her best friend got to her and she just freaked. After Fry moved away she realized her mistake but it was too late.

As the man talked she flipped her wedding ring around in her fingers listening. She slipped it back on and wrote a few more notes.

“Do you like Paris?” he asked.

Leela looked up and then stared out the window. “I liked Paris…once.”


__

Fry took the long way back to his hotel after running into Leela. He looked at the sights but didn’t snap any pictures, he couldn’t focus. Once he arrived back at Le Meurice he fell face first on his bed burying his face in his pillows. His head was spinning he couldn’t think. Taking off his jacket Leela’s card fell out of the pocket and he looked at her name tracing his fingers over the letters of her name.

Rolling on his back he closed his eyes and covered his face. His phone rang on the nightstand and he looked at it seeing his wife’s picture pop up on the caller ID. Letting out a heavy sigh he answered it.


____

As Fry talked with his wife in his hotel, Leela laid on her bed half-listening to her husband telling her about his day on the phone. She closed her eyes not truly caring about him finishing someone’s house or the fact that he was having a frozen dinner by himself.

“Leela,” he said, “What the hell is going on?”

“I think I was in an accident,” she whispered.

“What do you mean? Are you okay?”

“No, no, I’m fine I just…feel out of it. It’s Paris…I guess it was bound to happen.”

“An accident?”

When she didn’t answer he let out a sigh. “You know what? Why don’t you call when you actually feel like talking?”

Leela heard a click on the other line and let the phone fall onto the floor. She told herself that she shouldn’t have been so surprised that she ran into Fry. Amy had told her he was traveling a lot for his job, especially to Paris. She wished that she didn’t have to run off to her interview and that she could stay back with him. Staring at her phone on the floor she wished that Fry would call her. She wanted to meet up with him but part of her told her not to get her hopes up. After everything they’ve been through it wouldn’t have surprised her if he’d thrown her card away right after she gave it to him.


____

Fry stood in the office with the same editor he talked to that morning. She looked through his pictures on her computer and smiled.

“That was quick,” she said.

“It just hit me. A couple hours ago.” He paused. “I have an idea but I need to leave Paris….I have to.”

“Are you okay?” she asked.

“Yeah, I just…I need to go. I’m gonna take pictures outside of Paris.”

“Wait, wait, wait, Phil. Respect love.”

He looked up as she moved closer and put a hand on his shoulder.

“Let love come to you. Allow yourself to get carried away. Take what’s being offered to you.”


____

Fry sipped his wine slowly that night as he sat across from Leela at a table in Lapẻrouse right on the water. After leaving the editors office he called Leela and asked to her to meet him for dinner. He was following his editor’s advice; he was letting himself to be carried away.

The waiter filled their glasses and Fry asked him to leave the bottle at the table-he figured they were going to need it.

“How long are you in town for?” Leela asked.

“A couple of days….are you okay?”

“Yeah….I guess it was inevitable.”

“You runaway long enough, eventually you’ll-“

“Run into him again.” She finished. “Yeah.”

“I think if it wasn’t for gravity I would have fallen off the face of this planet.”

Leela sipped her wine before speaking again. “I didn’t think you’d call. I’m glad you did.”

Fry smiled. “Me too.”

She put her hands up to her temples. “God, this is crazy. I have so many questions I want to ask you.”

Fry leaned back in his seat. “Fire away.”

“Well…I don’t know if I can ask them or if I want to know the answers to some of them.”

He nodded. “I understand. I feel the same way.”

Finally she asked: “Did you ever think this would happen?”

Looking up Fry felt his heart stop a beat. Over the past ten years he never thought he would see her again but every day he had hoped for it. Now here they were in Paris the same place that they had spent a romantic week together, the place Fry had wanted to take Leela on a Honeymoon. Instead he spent a week in the Caribbean with another woman. Fry had never taken his wife to Paris, he couldn’t.

“How many times have you been here?” she asked.

“I’ve been here…” he looked to the ceiling. “I’m trying to think…I come a few times a year….and I don’t know my times tables.”

Leela laughed but still felt a bit anxious and put her hand up to her mouth. Fry could hear a clicking noise across the table.

“You’re nervous,” he said, “You only bite your nails when you’re nervous. I’m guessing the tabasco sauce didn’t work.”

“I started liking the tabasco sauce.” She laughed. When Fry had notice her nail biting years ago he lined her fingernails with tabasco sauce and the taste kept her from biting them. It worked for a while but finally Leela got used to the taste.

As the two of them laughed, they stared at each other from across the table and smiled.


The two of them walked by the water as night fell, keeping a comfortable distance between each other. They walked slowly as boats passed by and the street lights turned on. Fry held the wine bottle in his hand and they passed it back and forth.

“Tell me about the job you got for a modeling company.”

“Yeah, I just couldn’t do it, so I quit.”

“Why? Did taking pictures of beautiful girls get boring?” she teased.

“No,” he said seriously, “I lost my eyesight.”

“What do you mean?”

“I wasn’t seeing what they wanted me to see.”

Leela stared at him confused as he looked her in the eye. “What were you seeing?”

He paused. “You. I saw pieces of you in everything. You’re in freaking everything. Your eye, your nose, your lips…and now I just shoot things.”

“What do you mean?”

“Buildings, doors, walls…just things. Things that don’t have eyes, blood, or a heartbeat.” He shrugged and gave her a sad smile. “I’m a wreck Leela.”

Leela stared into his eyes and felt the same spark she did ten years earlier. Shaking her head she looked away. “What are we doing?”

“Talking.” Fry said. “Just talking.”

Leela turned away and rested her head in her hands as she leaned against the fence.

“Leela,” he said touching her arm, “come here.”

When she didn’t move he rested his forehead against her shoulder. “When are you leaving?”

He felt her move and lifted his head. She mumbled something and he moved closer.

“What?”

“Tomorrow afternoon,” she said.

Fry sighed. “Damnit.”

Leela turned and gave him a sad smile, one that mirrored the one he had just given her. Fry put a hand up to her face and pulled her closer.

“Come here.” He said before pressing his lips against hers. He expected her to pull away and slap him but instead she kissed him back.

They stood there, just as they had ten years earlier, wrapped in each other’s arms kissing in the night air. Fry pulled away and looked in her eye.

“Don’t stop,” she whispered before Fry kissed her again.


The next morning Leela sat up right in her bed staring out the window with tears in her eye. When she woke up Fry was gone from her room, no note or anything. Her emotions were all over the place. Part of her felt guilt and shame for coming so close to cheating on her husband. On the other hand she told herself how much trouble they had been having-mostly because her unresolved feelings for Fry. After their dinner and their walk in the park Fry came back to her hotel and aside from some heavy petting nothing else happened. They talked about their time at Planet Express and their new careers but not their spouses. Leela did want to confide in Fry her marital troubles; she wanted to tell him she hadn’t stopped thinking about him for the last ten years and how miserable she had been. But instead they just laid there all night staring at each other.

She didn’t know what to think anymore. After hours of sulking in her bed she got up and packed her bags. She looked at the card Jean left her with the time he would be there to pick her up and she just sat in the windowsill, waiting. Her journal sat open on her lap and she stared at the entry from two days earlier and closed her eye resting her head against the wall. Finally she picked up her pen and wrote a single sentence:

Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.


_____

Fry sat with one of the other photographers that had been working with the same editor that Fry reported in to. He was a young native of Planet De Eifel and he sat with Fry outlining a road map on a tablet.

“You’re going to see a lot of great sights on this route,” he said, “Very ancient French Riviera.”

“Nice,” Fry said running a hand through his hair.

“And then you should stop here,” he said making a spot on the tablet. “They have this theater festival, you’ll love it.”

Fry picked up his camera and the tablet before shaking the young man’s hand and walking out to the car that he had rented. Getting in he waited a moment before pulling out.


_____

Leela took the elevator down to the lobby from her room wheeling her suitcase behind her. She had called her husband earlier telling him she was on her way to the space port but she couldn’t tell if she was happy or sad she was leaving Paris. She walked through the lobby in a daze and when she reached the door she thought she was dreaming. When she exited she expected to see Jean waiting with the car but instead she saw Fry leaning against a rental car. He peered over his sun glasses at her and smiled. Leela slowly walked up to him and without thinking she dropped her bags, threw her arms around him and kissed him. He opened the driver side door and allowed her slide inside and he followed after tossing her bags in the back seat. Turning the key the engine turned over and they drove off to their first destination.

They drove along the open road talking and laughing. The front seat had no armrest in the middle so Leela slid right next to Fry and nestled herself in the crook of his arm. As they drove along Fry felt Leela kissing his neck and his earlobe as she ran her fingers through his hair. Leela grabbed his chin and turned his head towards her and passionately kissed him as he drove along.

“Wow,” he said focusing back on the road.

“So where are we going?”

“To hell, probably.” He laughed.

Leela laughed and continued running her fingers through his hair. “Before that.”

“Uh,” he said looking over his shoulder. “I need to get my thingy.” He let go of the wheel. “Hold that.”

Leela grabbed the wheel as it began to turn. “Whoa! Are you kidding right now?”

“Found it!” he said turning on the tablet. “Let’s see what we got here.”

“Why don’t you let me do it?” she asked still holding onto the wheel.

“No, it’s a surprise.”

Leela took the tablet and opened the map, declaring herself as the navigator. They drove for almost two hours before they reached a heavily wooded area and pulled over on the side of the road to go over the directions. As they looked over the map and Fry ran his fingers up and down Leela’s arm her phone rang. When she pulled it out of her bag they both froze. Leela sighed and got out of the car.

“Leela, what’s going on? I thought you were coming home tonight, why the delay?”

“Yeah, they gave me a new assignment, I’m working with a photographer.” She said leaning against a tree.

“Who?”

“I don’t know his name.”

“You don’t know his name? Leela…” he said suspiciously.

“I have to meet up with him and then I’m following him around for a few days.”

“Great,” he sighed. “Will you at least call me later?”

“Yeah, of course. Bye.”

She put her phone in her pocket and went back to Fry and saw him sitting on the hood of the car.

“How’d it go?” he asked.

“It’s fine. You?”

He shook his head. “She’s in bed by eight, lights out by nine.”

“You make it sound like a prison.”

“You said it not me. Let’s just enjoy our freedom while we can.”

“You make it sound so easy,” she said.

“What? This?”

“Yeah.”

He moved a strand of hair out of her face and kissed her. Fry whispered something in her ear and walked back to the car leaving Leela standing at the front of the car with a shy smile and biting her lip.

“Come on,” Fry said motioning to the passenger door.

Leela stared at him and motioned to his parking job. He was right on the edge of the road and thorn bushes were against the car door.

“Alright,” he said moving out of the way. “Come on this way…there’s like a dead deer over there or something.”


_

Their next stop was a beach about four hours outside of Paris. The chilly fall air had driven away tourists and locals but Fry and Leela didn’t mind. The two of them walked hand in hand in the sand, Fry occasionally snapping pictures of her.

“What do you see when you look through that thing?” Leela asked as Fry aimed his camera at her.

“What, you’re gonna interview me now?”

“No, it’s just a question. You know?”

“Lower your chin,” he said before snapping a picture.

“I mean what are you looking at?”

“Uh, the focus, the frame, trying to find something…I don’t know. I just take pictures.” He said lowering it. Placing his hands on her cheeks he turned up the corner of her mouth with his thumbs.

Leela expected him to take another picture but instead he moved closer and kissed her. She still couldn’t believe that after ten years she and Fry had reconnected in Paris and now were on a road trip. She hadn’t been on a trip like this since her honeymoon and in all honesty it wasn’t nearly as romantic as the trip she and Fry took before the Professor died.

Pulling away Leela took Fry’s hand and began walking back towards the car.

“Come on; let’s go find a hotel for the night.”


Fry kicked the door to their room closed as his arms were wrapped around Leela’s waist and she pressed herself against him. The short ride to the hotel had been hot and heavy and it only continued in the elevator. Fry fumbled with the key and kept getting the little red light flashing on the door but finally the green light beeped and he swung open the door. Before they even stepped over the threshold Leela was tearing his clothes off. Their bags fell heavily on the ground as Fry landed on the edge of the bed with Leela on top of him. Fry hadn’t thought about the repercussions or the moral implications of their actions until they fell on the floor wrapped in the beds comforter.

“So much for being an honest woman.” Leela said as Fry hovered above her. He sighed and Leela looked up at him. “What?”

“Do you want to stop?” he asked.

“No,”

“We don’t have to do this.”

“I want to do this.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

Fry smiled. “Alright then.”


___________

That night after the sun had set and the moon was shining over the water, Fry laid on his stomach on the soft bed, the right side of his face pressed against the mattress facing Leela as she played with his hair. The blanket was wrapped around them tightly and Leela laid on her side smiling at him.

“This is so crazy,” she said twisting a small strand of his hair. “Like, I was hoping I’d never see you again, you know? Then I wanted to see you every day I woke up…if that makes any sense.”

“Completely,” Fry said.

“Good. Because nothing else does.”

“I know,” he said placing a hand on her arm. “You just have to go with it or you can just sit here and think and think and think. I woke up this morning just racking my brain-thinking about all the moments we had and all the moments we didn’t have. Even just the little things. I was always wondering what you were doing. Grocery shopping to Xmas. It was like I was walking through someone else’s holidays and I wasn’t a part of it. And to think that every road, every twist and turn was just a straight line back to you.”

Leela smiled and continued running her fingers through his hair.

“I just stopped thinking.” He said.

Leela paused and stopped playing with his hair. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Depends on what it is.” Fry said looking up.

“Uh, it’s a personal question-exclusively relative to you.”

“Okay.”

“Didn’t my name used to be here?” she asked pointing to a tattoo on Fry’s bicep of a wolf.

He looked over his shoulder at the spot where, after a drinking contest with Bender, he got a tattoo of Leela’s name. He kept it hidden for almost a year, sacrificing lying in the sun on the beach while at the same time happily rejecting any experiments the Professor wanted him to be a subject in. It wasn’t until he and Leela traveled to Planet De Eifel that he revealed it.

“Yeah, it was.”

“It was?”

“Yeah. It had to change.”

“So you turned me into a wolf?”

Fry lifted his head. “Well, I mean it wasn’t exactly ideal with your name on my arm. I was trying to move on. I had two options: A frog or a dragon.”

“Yeah, but a frog doesn’t suggest that you thought I was a bitch.”

“Really?” Fry couldn’t help but chuckle. “Only you could draw that short of a line to a conclusion like that. But I didn’t even think that. Honestly. I didn’t really want a frog on my arm and the dragon was huge.”

“So?”

“Like, its flames went all the way down to my fingertips.”

“You should have gotten a sleeve.”

“Yeah? You’d like that?”

“I think that would be hot.”

“It was only like fifty bucks.” He chuckled. “On the boardwalk. But I was like ‘Give me that wolf.’ Howling at the moon.”

“They’re loyal, you know?” she said after a moment. “Wolves.”

“Yeah?”

“It’s like I put my stamp.” She laughed.

“He’s a good looking wolf.” Fry said looking at it. “I like him.”


“I’m looking for my husband; do you know where he is?”

Fry’s editor sat in her office listening to Mrs. Fry on the phone. It became obvious to her that when Fry left Paris he failed to tell his wife and had shut off his phone. She hadn’t been able to reach him and ask how his project was going but she figured that he was occupied with something-or someone-else.

“I’m sorry,” she said to Fry’s wife. “I don’t know where he is.”

“You’re his editor. You must know something.”

“Hmm,” she said leaning back in her chair. “Is it an emergency?”

“No, I just need to speak with him.”

“I see…listen-I’ve been his editor here in Paris for ten years. I look at his photos and when I want to say something I tell him-good or bad…If I was his mother, I would be very happy. If I was his wife…I would be very concerned. He takes photos of dead birds.”

“Well you’re neither,” she said before disconnecting.


_

Fry focused his camera as Leela circled around him on one of the bikes they had rented. His plan was to ride the trail on the outside of town killing two birds with one stone: working on his project and spending time with Leela. While he did snap a few pictures along the trail he spent more time chasing after Leela on his bike laughing. They raced down the trail until they came to a cliff side overlooking the water. Parking their bikes Fry wrapped his arms around her from behind and rested his chin on her shoulder. Leela gently bumped her head against his and closed her eye.

“You know what I think we should do?”

“Hmm?” Fry asked holding her closer. “What? Rob a bank?”

Leela laughed and rolled her eye. “No…well, maybe, but before that.”

Fry’s grip on her loosened knowing what she was going to say. “Uh oh,” he whispered.

“Uh oh, what?”

He sighed. “Nothing,”

Leela turned around, “I mean, let’s just do this. Let’s be together.” She paused and tried to look into Fry’s eyes behind his glasses. “What are you thinking?”

“I’m not.”

“You’re not what?”

“Thinking.”

“Thinking about what?”

When he didn’t answer Leela took his face in her hands. “Fry, I don’t want to quit. I love you. I know that I should have told you this a long time ago but I panicked and I didn’t realize my mistake until it was too late.”

“I love you too,” he said.

“So what’s the problem? Let’s just do this. I know it’s not going to be easy but look at us. I don’t want to give this up-give you up. How can you just walk away from this?”

“I don’t think I could even if I tried.”

“So?”

He smiled. “I would want nothing more.”


__

As Fry worked on his project-making phone calls and uploading pictures-in the small office the hotel had for its guests, Leela sat on the bed with her phone in her hands. She had promised her husband she’d call but instead her finger hovered over her mother’s number. After she was sure Fry hadn’t forgotten anything and wouldn’t be returning she called her mother.

“Leela,” she said happily. “How’s Paris?”

“Uh…it’s interesting.”

“Interesting?” she echoed. “Leela, what’s going on? David called, he sounded worried.”

She knew there was no point in hiding it from her mother. “Mom, there’s something I need to talk to you about but you have to promise that you won’t tell Dad or Dave. Okay?”

“You have my word. What’s going on darling?”

“Well, my second day in Paris I was just walking down the street to my interview. You know that Paris holds a lot of memories for me and…it was like I was dreaming.”

“What do you mean?”

“I-I turned a corner and he was there.”

“Who was there?”

“Fry,” she said with a small smile on her face. “Fry was walking in my direction.”

“Fry? Your friend from Planet Express?”

“Yeah,”

“Well, what happened?”

Leela told her mother everything, holding nothing back. Her life had been in such turmoil lately and her mother knew it. She needed some advice; she needed someone to tell her that she was making the right choices.

“What do you think?” Leela asked.

“Leela, I-I don’t know what to say. This is your life. I’ve seen how unhappy you’ve been, but you have to make your own decision and deal with the consequences. No matter what though, I’ll support you.”

Leela said goodbye to her mom and hung up the phone slipping it back in her bag. Sighing she laid on her back staring at the ceiling and closing her eye. The next thing she knew the door to their room opened and closed and she felt a movement next to her on the bed. Opening her eye she saw Fry hovering above her.

“Hey,” he said smiling.

“Hi,”

Fry leaned down and kissed her before snuggling up next to her. “So, someone in Paris told me about this festival going on down the road. Wanna go check it out?”

“Sure,” she said smiling. “Sounds fun.”


That night Fry and Leela walked around the town, their hands entwined as the stars and the lights of the festival filled the night sky. Fry had his camera bag hanging on his shoulder bouncing against his hip with every step they took. He had looked through the photos earlier thinking that somewhere within the 200 hundred he had taken the last few days, the shots his editor was looking for were in there but realized most of the pictures were of Leela. He soon came to realize that he didn’t care. He hadn’t been this happy in years and wanted nothing more than to have this last. All day he had been thinking about what Leela said and he didn’t want to give this up either.

“This place is amazing,” Leela said leaning in to him.

“I know,” he smiled. Stopping in his tracks he pointed to a booth just a few feet in front of them. “Do you hear that?”

“The music? That sounds like jazz.”

“Yeah,” he said as they got closer. “It’s Cole Porter.”

The chimpanzees in the zoos do it,

Some courageous kangaroos do it

Let's do it, let's fall in love

“You know of Cole Porter?” the older man asked working the booth.

“Yeah, I’m from the 20th Century. My Grandparents were big fans of the jazz age.” He looked at the box filled with old books. “This was my Grandpa’s favorite.”

He handed a copy of The Great Gatsby to Leela and she opened it seeing one line that stuck out to her:

She was feeling the pressure of the world outside and she wanted to see him and feel his presence beside her and be reassured that she was doing the right thing after all.”

“One of the few books I actually read in high school.” Fry said looking over her shoulder.

Leela couldn’t help but feel that at that moment, with the jazz, the lights and Fry by her side, everything was as it should be.

I'm sure sometimes on the sly you do it

Maybe even you and I might do it

Let's do it, let's fall in love


________

The next morning Leela laid nuzzled in the crook of Fry’s arm in the warm bed. The glass door leading to the balcony was cracked open and a cool breeze flew in. The sound of a cell phone ringing on the nightstand next to them startled her. Fry groaned and Leela loosened her grip on him as he got up. She heard him let out another frustrated groan as he picked up his phone and went out to the balcony.

“Hi,” Fry said feeling the fall wind hit him as he stood outside on the balcony.

“What are you doing?” his wife asked.

“Nothing, I was sleeping.”

“Fry, where are you? Your editor said you’re not in Paris anymore.”

“No, I-uh-I couldn’t get any good shots so I went towards the coast.”

“When are you coming home?”

“Soon,” he said running a hand through his hair.

“Call me, okay? I worry about you.”

“You don’t have to worry about me.”

“You say that…” she said in a good-humoredly voice, but at the same time Fry could hear the worry and concern in it.

“Everything’s fine, okay? I’ll call you and I’ll be home soon.”

“Okay, I love you.”

“Yeah, I love you too.” He said before hanging up and heading back into the bedroom.

“Who was that?” Leela asked already knowing the answer.

“That was my hangover.” He said crawling back into the bed and pulling the cover over him. “That’s what that was.”

Leela stroked his hair as he buried his head in the pillow. “Not so bright and cheery this morning, huh?”

He looked up. “Sorry. I’m sorry.”

Smiling, Leela got up and tugged at Fry’s hand. “Come on,” she said leading him into the bathroom.


Leela relaxed with her back against Fry’s chest as he gently ran a cloth over her shoulders and arms. They had been in the tub for almost an hour, just letting themselves relax in the hot, bubbly water. Leela rested her head on his shoulder as he lifted her leg out of the water and ran the cloth from her foot to her thigh. Goosebumps covered her skin as the cold air brushed against it. He repeated the motion but stopped suddenly and Leela opened her eye.

Fry sat stunned as he looked at a tattoo on her inner thigh. A name in cursive. A reminder. David. He sighed and felt Leela pull away, moving to the other side of the tub, pulling her knees up to her chest. Fry sank down and put the cloth over his face.

“I’m sorry,” Leela said softly. When he didn’t answer she pulled the cloth off his face and saw his eyes closed. He opened them and Leela reached out for him, but he pulled away. She watched as he stood up and wrapped a towel around his waist. Running a hand through his hair he let out a heavy sigh as he exited the room. Leela could see him sit down on the edge of the bed and bury his face in his hands.

Feeling her eye well up with tears, she submersed herself in the soapy water.


“He’s the complete opposite of you.”

Fry and Leela sat at a small table tucked in the corner of an empty café. She watched as he stirred his coffee and she tried to look into his eyes behind his sun glasses. The walk to the café had been uncomfortable and they kept a distance between each other.

“I mean,” She continued, “the last person I wanted to be with was someone who reminded me of you…but it didn’t matter. Everything reminded me of you. I’d see a photo online or in a magazine and always look see who took it…I guess I just needed something of you to hang on to.”

He remained silent but suddenly asked: “What’s the opposite of me?”

“He’s a carpenter.”

Fry smiled and chuckled.

“What?” she asked.

“You know, the bosses son was a carpenter.” He said pointing up.

Leela laughed but then paused. “He’s good at it-by which I mean he’s never home.”

“What about before you were married?” he felt weird saying that last word. It reminded him of what was really going on.

She shook her head. “I should have realized it before.”

“What?”

“He was gone, always gone. I mean, even on our honeymoon. Do you know what he did? Played nine holes of golf a day.”

“What? Who plays golf every day on their honeymoon? I mean, that can’t bode well for a happy marriage.”

Leela didn’t answer but the look she gave him encouraged him to reach over and take her hand.

“Wanna go for a walk?” he asked.

Leela nodded. “Yeah, let’s go.”


__

Fry and Leela walked down an empty pathway in the park but unlike the last few walks they had taken there kept a distance between them. Leela’s hands were clasped in front of her and Fry’s were entwined behind his back. She looked over at him and thought about how much he had changed in the last decade. He was still the sweet goofy guy she knew from Planet Express but at the same time he was…different. His sense of style, his demeanor even the way he walked. She supposed his wife was to thank for that. But if she had been such a big part and influence in his life, why was here there with her?

“What happened?” she asked.

He looked over at her and finally shook his head. “She never stood a chance.”

“Why?”

“I never gave her one.”

Leela slowed down her pace and finally stopped. “Because of us?”

Fry stood with his back towards her and finally turned around. “Because of us. You and me…I was a wreck, Leela, just a mess. And she was there.”

“What does she do?”

“Really?” he asked. “You really want to drag all this out?”

She shrugged. “I’m going to find out sooner or later.”

“She an artist. I was her photographer during a photo-shoot, that’s how we met. She also works at an art museum.”

“You’re both artists.” She said.

Fry gave a small smile. “I just take pictures, remember?”

They continued walking and Fry spoke up again. “I married myself.”

“What do you mean?”

“No one likes to cook, or do the dishes.”

Leela laughed a little. “I’ll do your dishes.”

For the first time since they left the hotel he took her hand. When she gripped his hand with both of hers he pulled her closer. “What’s wrong?”

She shook her head. “It’s so crazy. It’s like I’m jealous and I don’t have a right to be.”

“Hey,” he said moving a strand out of her face. “Don’t. Don’t ask these questions. They do us no good.”

“It’s just crazy, right?”

“Don’t. Not here, not now.”

“Life’s so strange.”

He stopped. “Kiss me in your jealous rage.”

Leela smiled and laughed a little.

“I want this jealous rage.”

“Are you sure? It might tumble you over.”

“I don’t care.”

Leela pulled his face closer to hers and kissed him.


____

They left the park shortly after their walk when it started raining. It continued all day and then the thunder and lightning started. They spent the rest of their day in the darken hotel room but at seven PM the power still wasn’t on.

“Are you hungry?” Fry asked.

“Starving.”

He picked up his phone and activated the flashlight app. “Come on.”

The two of the made their way down to the hotels kitchen in the dark with Fry’s phone as the only thing illuminating their path. A few people had checked out and headed to a nearby town that had power, but Fry and Leela decided to stick it out for the night. The elevators were out of order so they clung to each other as they went down the darken stairwell. The lobby was empty and so was the restaurant, and the two of them made their way around the tables and into the hotel kitchen.

“Come on,” Fry whispered. “Let’s find some food.”

He ran into a cart and a pan clattered to the floor. Fry stopped in his tracks and heard Leela laughing behind him.

“Shh.” He said “You’re making too much noise.”

“Did you just bump into that?” she asked laughing.

He shushed her again and tiptoed around the kitchen. “Should we just grab stuff?”

“Let’s see if they have a fridge.”

“Fine, you look on that side.”

As Leela searched the shelves on the one side of the kitchen he searched the drawers and found some utensils in one drawer.

“Ooh,” he said looking in one cabinet. “Leela, come here.”

“What? What do you have?”

“Close you eye.”

“What?”

“Open your mouth and close your eye.”

“Why? What do you have?”

“Just do it.”

Leela gave him a look. “No. What is it?”

“Just trust me.”

She thought about it and closed her eye. “Okay,”

Fry unwrapped the item he found but before he could place it in Leela’s mouth she shook her head.

“No, I can’t. I can’t.”

“Come on,” he said laughing.

“I’m afraid it’s something disgusting.”

“No it’s not. Do you think I’d put something disgusting in your mouth?”

Leela gave him another look and he laughed again.

“Okay,” she said closing her eye.

“I wouldn’t put anything in your mouth that I wouldn’t put in mine.”

She opened her eye and shook her head.

“I’m sorry,” he laughed. “Okay. Just don’t, don’t bite down.”

“’Don’t bite down’? What?”

“I don’t want you to choke.”

“Choke? Fry what the hell are you doing?”

Fry, laughing so hard, bent over holding his side.

“This is like heart attack time.” Leela said.

“Okay,” he said after catching his breath. When he saw that Leela’s eye was closed and her mouth was open he placed what he found in her mouth.

“So?” he asked. “What do you think?”

“Oh, it’s chocolate.” She said with her mouth full. “Thank you.”


____

After having their dinner of what little things they could find in the kitchen, Fry and Leela laid on the bed as Leela played with his hair. He had been quiet ever since they got back to the hotel only livingly up when they were in the kitchen.

“You okay?”

“Yeah,” he said. “Or…no. I don’t know.”

“It’s been a rough day.” She said. “I know you weren’t exactly thrilled hearing about him and I wasn’t thrilled telling you.”

“And I wasn’t thrilled talking about her.”

“But,” she said. “I think that if we take it all in in small doses it’ll be easier to swallow.”

“Well I can handle tic tac size right now.”

“Would it make you feel better if I turned him into a frog?”

Fry couldn’t help but smile. “I don’t know. That’s a pretty big frog. That tattoo was big. Why would you get his name tattooed there?”

“I don’t know.” She said laughing a little. “I wanted it to be racy. I thought it would help.”

“You thought it would help?”

“Yeah. It didn’t though. Now that I think about it, I don’t know why I thought that. It was soon after we got married that I realized that we weren’t right for each other.”

“Then why stay with him?”

“That’s something I ask myself every day.”


______

“Don’t let go of my hand, okay?”

Fry and Leela stood on top of a cliff overlooking the water crashing against the shore. When they woke up they rented two bikes again and rode along a trail leading from their hotel to the water. Fry seemed more upbeat and cheerful than he had the night before and Leela was grateful for that. He was right: the questions they were asking about their lives did them no good. Even though she knew that they would have to address their issues before they went back to earth, she just wanted to enjoy their time together.

“This is called Lovers Peak.” He continued. “Just, don’t let go of me and…look out for the rocks.”

“The rocks?” she asked looking over the edge. “Oh my God. You mean that giant rock at the bottom sticking up out of the water?”

“Yeah, surrounded by a bunch of little ones below the water.” He chuckled.

“And we’re gonna jump down there?”

“No. You jump out.”

Leela took a shaky breath and Fry took her face in his hands. “Hey. You can do this. Alright?”

“Yeah,”

“Okay. Don’t let go of my hand until you hit the water.”

“I’m not gonna let go of your hand.” She said squeezing it.

Fry smiled and kicked off his shoes. “Let’s do this.”

After leaving their phones and shoes by the bikes they stood on a little ledge clutching each other’s hands.

“Ready?” Fry asked.

“Yeah.”

“One, two, three!”

The two of them jumped outward clinging to each other as they sailed through the air. Both screamed in a mixture of fear and ecstasy as they began to descend towards the water. Then they hit the water and went underneath. Leela surfaced first shortly followed by Fry who let out a cheer. He shook his head and the water flew off of his hair horn.

“Oh my God!” he said. “I did a belly flop.”

Leela reached for his hand. “Come on, babe.”

“Why did we do that?!” he asked as they arrived on shore.

Leela didn’t answer him; she just wrapped her arms around him. As they plunged into the water she thought about whether or not she was ready to take the leap with Fry. Could she bring herself to finally leave her husband and be happy for once in her life? When Fry took her hand and jumped with her she felt like she was finally ready to take control.

As they made their way back to their bikes Fry could hear his phone ringing inside his shoe, where he placed it for safe keeping. He quickly walked over and was able to answer it right before it stopped ringing.

“Hello?”

“Bonjour Phil.”

Fry let out a sigh of relief. He had feared that the person on the other line was his wife but felt himself relax when he heard his editors voice.

“I got your photos,” she said. “They’re good. Very good.”

“Thanks. It was real easy, it’s beautiful here.”

She paused and Fry had an idea of what she was going to say next.

“Your wife has called me.”

“Uh huh.”

“That’s a very good sign you’re doing what I asked you to.”

Fry didn’t answer.

“Listen, I’ll see you Friday when you get back to Paris.”

“Alright. Goodbye.”

Fry looked over at Leela. “Come on, let’s go.”


_______

“You okay?” Fry asked as they walked down a busy street. People crowded the streets looking in the windows of all the shops the lined the road and gathered around street performers and venders. Fry noticed Leela’s distant behavior and tried to pull her close but she refused.

“That guy,” she said quietly. “He’s looking at us.”

Fry looked around but didn’t see anyone focusing in on them.

“It’s like he knows,” Leela said.

“Knows what?”

“What we’re doing.”

Fry looked over at her and saw her looking down at her feet. Gently lifting her chin up he looked in her eye. “No one is looking at us.” He said in a gentle voice trying to calm her. “Okay? And even if they were, they would have no way of knowing.”

“He’s frowning upon us.”

He paused. “He’s what?”

“Frowning.”

“He’s judging?”

“Yes,” she insisted, “He was.”

Fry kissed her temple. “He’s not looking at us okay?”

Leela shook her head. “Let’s just go.”

Fry felt her tug at his hand and lead him away from the crowd.

“What’s wrong, Leela?” he asked sitting her down on a bench away from everyone.

“I just-I feel like we’re in our own little world right now. And once we expose this, once we make it real….” She paused and looked at him. “Love doesn’t conquer.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s not some kind of a weapon that you wield. Which is what we would need.”

Fry sighed and took off his glasses. He didn’t want to admit it but she was right. He took her hand. “We don’t have to do this anymore if you don’t want to.”

Leela squeezed his hand. “We need a miracle.”


__________

Fry woke up the next morning in an empty bed. He looked over and saw Leela standing on the balcony of their room. She was fully dressed and her bags were packed. Slipping on his jeans and a shirt he joined her. Wrapping his arms around her waist from behind he pulled her close.

“No matter how many times I write it, no matter how many words I use and reuse” she said. “It always ends with the same sentence.”

He looked at her and saw her nose crinkle and her eye shut, her bottom lip quivering.

“Are you trying to write yourself out of this?” he asked.

“No.”

“Tell me the truth.”

Leela turned around revealing the journal she was holding. Pressing it against Fry’s chest she looked him in the eyes. “This is my heart.”

Fry looked at her and shook his head feeling an aching pain in his chest. “Don’t.”

“It’s yours. I’m not protecting it anymore.” She said before kissing him and walking away.

He spent the rest of the day standing on that balcony running his fingers over the cover of the leather journal. When he finally opened it he saw one sentence written by the days date.

No one will ever love me like you do.


_______

Leela sat on a train back heading back to Paris where she would meet Jean who would take her to the spaceport and she would be back in New New York. Opening her bag she found a piece of paper sticking out of her planner. Taking it out she recognized Fry’s handwriting. She ran her fingers over the creased paper and dried ink. She thought she saw a light on in their room the night before and realized she was right. He was up for hours writing her this goodbye note. Reading it she felt her eye fill up with tears. Folding it back up she put it back in a pocket where her husband wouldn’t find it when she arrived back to earth. Clearing her throat she picked up her phone and saw that her voice memos app was open with a new entry from the night before. Placing her headphones on she pressed play.

“I love you.” Fry said on the recording.


_________

Later on when Leela stood outside Hotel Amour she saw Jean’s car pull up and he, like every time he picked her up, opened her door and took her bags.

“Bonjour Leela.” he said. “Ca va?”

“Ca va.” Leela said getting in the car.

“How was your trip?” he asked seeing her smile in the backseat for the first time in a long time.

“Very good.” She said sincerely.

“You look better. More…joyful.” He said as they drove along towards the spaceport.

“Tell me something Jean….you’ve never been late but this time you didn’t showed up. Why?”

“Why?” he repeated. “You always need a reason.”

Leela smirked and laughed a little.

“But you’re right. Without reason, what would we become? We have to give meaning to things it’s our nature.” He paused. “You know how they ask your reason for coming to Paris at the spaceport? Pleasure or business?”

“Yes.”

“Tell me, in all honesty, who comes to Paris for business?”

Leela laughed again. “So is that why you didn’t come to get me?”

“Do you know what they say about Paris?” he asked looking over his shoulder.

“No, what?”

“Paris is for lovers only.”

“For lovers only.” Leela smiled looking out the window as they approached the Le Meurice Hotel.


___

Fry sat in his room in Le Meurice looking out the window watching the cars go by. He saw a town car stop in the traffic and for a moment swore he saw the door open and a woman step out. But he shook the thought away and sat down on the bed looking through the pictures on his camera. He didn’t know how long he sat there but soon there was a knock at his door. His heart fluttered as he approached it. Could it be? He thought. Leela?

Opening the door his heart jumped.

“Hi,” he finally said.

The woman on the other side of the door stood there, arms crossed and a scowl on her face.

“Annie,” he said. “What are you doing here?”

“I’ve called your editor; she said you were getting back today so I booked the first ship to Paris.”

“That still doesn’t answer my question.” He said shutting the door after she walked in.

“Well how about I answer your questions with another question: Where the hell have you been?”

Fry looked out the window and then back at his wife.

“Sit down, we need to talk.”

She did and just glared at him. “There’s someone else…isn’t there?”

“Yes.” He finally said. “There is.”

Her expression didn’t change. “I figured.”

He was about to say “I’m sorry”—It was an automatic response for him when talking with his wife, but this time he didn’t, for two reasons: One, he didn’t want to end the conversation like previous fights and two, he wasn’t truly sorry. He knew that he sounded awful but after his time with Leela he realized what he had been missing and how miserable he had been. Finally he just shrugged.

“What do you want me to say?”

“Who is she?”

“An old friend. We ran into each other on the street and it….it was like fate.”

“Fate?” she said with a smug smirk and chuckle. “Do you hear yourself? You run into an old friend and that’s a sign from the universe to go off and have an affair?”

Fry didn’t answer and his wife just shook her head. “You know what? Forget it. We will talk about this when we get home.”

He watched as she went to grab his suitcase but he stopped her. “I’m not going back.”

“What?”

“I’m staying here, in Paris.”


____

“What are you saying?”

Leela stood in front of her husband in their apartment. When she got back to New New York she arrived to an empty apartment. It didn’t surprise her. Like she told Fry, Dave was usually gone during the day. But this time, she didn’t mind it. It gave her time to think. She reread the note from Fry and listened to his voice on her phone over and over until her husband came home. By then she had made her choice.

“I’m saying that I can’t do this anymore Dave.” She said. “I’m tired of always coming home to an empty house, I hate the fact that I look forward to leaving my husband when I go on these trips. I shouldn’t feel like that! I should be heartbroken leaving you but I’m not.”

He ran a hand through his hair. “Leela, what the hell is going on with you? Where is this coming from?”

“It’s something that I’ve been struggling with for a long time and this past week I—This just isn’t what I’m looking for.”

“Then what is it you’re looking for, Leela?”


____

“You’re staying in Paris?”

Fry stood in front of his wife in the hotel room just looking at her with a blank expression.

“Yes,” he said. “I don’t want to go back to California.”

She just stared at him with an expression of anger and confusion. “Do you hear yourself?”

“Yes, and I think it’s the right decision.”

“I—I can’t even—who are you gonna stay with Fry?”

“No one. I’m gonna find a small apartment and just live here by myself.”

“You sound like a crazy person. Let’s just go home and talk about what it is we both want.”

“See that’s the problem. Right there, it’s always about us. But this isn’t about us anymore, Annie, this is about me and what I need to be happy.”

She was about to yell at him but finally sighed and looked him straight in the eyes. “Did you ever love me?”

Fry thought about it for a long time and finally answered. “Not the way you deserved.”

She let out a shaky breath and wiped away tears. “Then why’d you ask me to marry you?”

“Because so much of me wanted to.” He said sincerely. “And because I couldn’t think of a reason not to.”

She picked up her purse and shook her head. Her voice cracked a little when she spoke. “You know, I didn’t realize that what we had was a backup plan for you. A safe choice…I’m an idiot.”

She walked towards the door and Fry reached out for her. “Annie,”

“Don’t you dare follow me.” She said slamming the door.


___________

Two months later, Fry sat at his desk in his Parisian apartment surrounded by pictures of the city, the coast line and of Leela. He hadn’t heard from her since they departed ways and he thought about her every day what she was doing. Their time was the best time of his life and he would never forget it.

As he sat at his desk typing on his laptop he couldn’t help but smile. The day after Annie left Paris without him he began writing. It was something new to him but surprisingly the words came easily. That day he sat down and he wrote his and Leela’s story. He worked on it every day and was near competition—he just needed a title.

There was a knock at his door and he stood up leaving his computer by the window that looked over the city. Turning the knob his eyes went wide when he saw who was on the other side.

“Leela?”

“Hi Fry.”

“Hi.”

They stood there in the doorway staring at each other until Leela finally spoke.

“Can I come in?”

“Sure,” Fry said moving out of the way. “I can’t believe you’re here. Do you have another article to write?”

“Not exactly.” She said staring out the window. Turning around she simply said “Dave and I split up.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”

“It’s alright.” She put down her bag and walked over to him. “Amy told me about you and Annie.”

“Yeah, she showed up the day I got back to Paris and I told her I was staying.”

“How do you like it?” she asked smiling.

“I love it. It gets lonely sometimes.”

“Well…I’m actually here because I’m thinking of moving to Paris.”

“Really?” Fry asked.

“Yeah. So I was thinking that until I find a place, I could stay with you?” she asked with a sly smile.

“Eh, I don’t know, it’s kinda cramped here.” He chuckled before pulling her close. “Je t'aime.”

Leela smiled. “I love you too.”

They kissed and Leela realized she finally found what she was looking for. After the kiss was broken Leela motioned to his computer.

“What are you working on?”

“Uh, a little story.”

“What is it about?”

“It’s a story about a place, a time, a story about people. But above all things, a story about love.”

“What’s it called?”

“I don’t have a title yet,” he said.

Leela looked out the window. “Would this place happen to be Paris?”

“It might,” Fry smirked.

“Well, you know what they say about Paris, right? Who it’s for?”

“No. Who?”

“For lovers only.”

FIN.

Buddies