fell out of the box again and, in what seemed to be turning into a
nasty habit, landed on Fry again. He was out cold already so didn't
notice her impact, which was probably
a good thing, though she was sure he'd have a nasty bruise tomorrow.
Leela stared up at the box,
gun trained on its wide opening as she waited for something, anything
to appear. A moment, a moment more until, with a flood of relief she
realised that they probably wouldn't be following her through. The
gun slipped from her grasp and clattered on the floor like a cheap
plastic toy as she fell back against the neatly stacked shelves.
Leela slid down to the floor and put her head in her hands. Her
shoulder throbbed painfully but when she reached over to touch it she
could only feel a very slight welt, and the relative amount of pain
told her that it was at worst a bad surface burn. All she could do
was assume Amy had forgotten to turn the power up past 'sizzle'.
So that was it, then. Unless
by some miracle they found a way home, she and Fry were stuck in some
crazy parallel universe forever. Leela looked over at Fry's huddled
form, still unconscious and probably not any better for being dropped
from a great height three times in as many days. She reached toward
him and shook his shoulder to try and bring him around.
Leela mused on the possibility
of a concussion until Fry rolled over onto his back and began to
snore. She couldn't help herself then. She laughed, loud and hard,
because laughing was better thinking about the alternatives.
Eventually the laughter died away, subsiding into silent
contemplation as she watched Fry sleeping.
“You just rest there
then...” she straightened up Fry's coat, tugging his collar up
around his neck to keep out the cold, and then stood up. A slightly
breeze ruffled her hair as the door opened, with the inevitable
arrival of this universe's crew as they came to investigate the
racket she and Fry had made on their entrance. Leela turned toward
them and put on her best smile.
Her smile faltered when she
saw a strange man enter the room. He froze, right inside the door,
and stared at her in surprise but didn't say anything. Leela held up
her hand in a faint attempt at a wave.
“What are you doing in
“Oh... you know...”
Leela shrugged and tried to smile but it didn't really work. The man
took a stop toward her, confusion and not a little anger clouding his
face as he look Leela up and down. From this distance she realised he
actually looked very familiar. She narrowed her eye as she tried to
figure out where she'd seen the man before.
Fry snorted loudly and sat up.
what a nightmare that
was.” He stood up, hands over his eyes as he rubbed sleep and
dirt from his face. “Are we home yet?”
He looked up at her and
smiled. Before Leela could answer the stranger pushed past her and
grabbed hold of Fry's shoulders.
“Phil?” The man's
mouth opened in a wide 'O', eyes wider still as he looked into Fry's
face, tears forming in his eyes. “Phil is that you? Oh god, I
thought I'd never see you again...”
“Phil, it is you!”
Fry's face went pale as the
man threw his arms around his shoulders and hugged him tight. He
looked over the other man's shoulder at Leela, then struggled out of
the bear-hug and held the stranger at arm's length. For a moment Fry
struggled to speak as he stared at the man's face.