Fan Fiction

Parallel Lives - A Road Not Taken, part 11
By Graham Dawson


She 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.

“Uh... hi.”

“What are you doing in here?”

“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.

“Woah... 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...”

“Wait, I-”

“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.