The Doctor's blue suicide booth had been placed on the bridge of the Nimbus, but the Doctor had been secured far enough in front of it that he couldn't access it. The Planet Express crew had all been secured on the other side of the bridge.
"So," said Zapp Brannigan, pacing in front of the Doctor. "You say that you have a suicide booth capable of travelling through time. Convenient for those rare times when you want to kill yourself in a bygone era." He stopped and turned around to glare at the Doctor. "Or kill your enemies."
"Sorry, what was the question?" asked the Doctor.
"The question is, where have you hidden the gold?" Zapp demanded.
"What gold?" asked Leela. "What are you talking about? Do you even have a reason for arresting us?"
"Gold! Yes! That would be inside the suicide booth," said the Doctor. "I'll just pop in and get it. Two tics, that's all I need."
"No!" shouted Zapp Brannigan. He gave the Doctor a suspicious glare. "I don't trust you."
"Yes, yes, you really shouldn't," the Doctor agreed. "What with my being evil and all. Tell you what? Why don't you have your men secure these three innocent civilians somewhere on this ship that certainly couldn't be unlocked using setting 47B on the sonic screwdriver, while you stay here and interrogate me?"
"And let them miss the moment you concede defeat at the hands of your enemies?" said Zapp. "I think not."
"Oh, well, if that's all you're looking for," said the Doctor, "then fine. I concede defeat. You, Zapp Brannigan, have bested me in a game of wits. Now, lock these three up somewhere else, so you can maintain your vigilant and heroic efforts to keep Earth safe by interrogating and watching me very closely."
Zapp examined the Doctor carefully. "Believe it or not," he said, "I'm beginning to think you might have some ulterior motive."
"Certainly not!" the Doctor insisted.
"Sir," said Kif to Zapp. "Earth President—"
"Not now, Kif!" said Zapp. "I'm busy." He turned, and walked towards the Planet Express crew. "Did this dangerous weapon really want you to take him to Earth?"
"Well, no," said Fry. "He wanted us to take him to… oomph!"
This last part was said in response to Leela side-butting him into Bender.
"Talk," said Zap Brannigan, grabbing a weapon from the nearest crew member, "or I'll bludgeon you to death with this…" He examined the weapon in his hand. "…spatula."
Fry gulped. "Planet Doom."
"Just as I thought!" said Zapp, turning back to pace the bridge between the Doctor and the Planet Express crew. "You were planning to go back to the Planet Doom and gather up every degenerate you could find, so that you could eliminate plumbers once and for all, thereby forcing us all to go with stopped up toilets and plugged up sinks." He pounded his fist into his gloved hand. "And so, you destroy the Earth."
"Sir," said Kif, with a weary sigh, "that makes no sense."
"I say it makes perfect sense!" said Zapp. "And what's more, I will make sure that the plan never succeeds." He turned to Kif. "Prepare the missiles for a planetary attack. I want anyone still alive on the Planet Doom disintegrated immediately."
Kif gave a weary sigh.
"No!" said the Doctor. "The Daleks only destroyed one city. Everyone else on that planet is innocent!"
"A likely story," scoffed Zapp. Then he noticed that Kif was just standing around. "Kif, why haven't you gone to fire the weapons?"
"Because there aren't any working weapons systems on this ship anymore," said Kif.
"Then fix them!" shouted Zapp Brannigan.
"All right! I surrender!" said the Doctor. "Take me, take my TARDIS, take anything. Just leave that planet alone."
Zapp looked over at Leela, shooting her the kind of facial expression that he believed to be manly and irresistible, although it made Leela gag. "You see what kind of hero this weapon of yours really is?" said Zapp. "He may seem dangerous and adorable, but on the inside, he's just a sniveling coward."
"Sir," said Kif. "Don't you think you should check in with Earth President—"
"This is war!" shouted Zapp Brannigan. "We don't need to check in with anyone."
"Technically, only the President is allowed to declare war," Kif informed him.
Zapp paused. "Really?"
"Yes," said Kif, with a weary sigh.
Zapp waved a gloved hand at Kif. "Fine. Put him through."
The screen flickered into life, and the image of a head in a jar appeared on the screen on the bridge of the Nimbus. A head with thick, bushy eyebrows, a receding hairline of deep brown hair, and angry, belligerent eyes.
"Barrruuuuh!" said the head of Richard Nixon. "Zapp Brannigan. You were ordered to locate item 33971 and return it to the planet Earth. What's taking you so long?"
"Mr. President," said Zapp, saluting. "We have recovered the weapon, and were just interrogating him, sir! I believe he's an evil enemy of Earth, trying to conquer the world by using his suicide-booth-time-machine to rid the world of plumbers."
"Time machine, you say?" said Richard Nixon. He peered at the blue suicide booth, and his eyes widened in recognition. His eyes flicked back to the secured Doctor. "Doctor? Is that you?"
The Doctor seemed surprised, for a moment, then hid it beneath a friendly smile. "Yes! That's right! Just little old me, wandering about."
"Well, I never!" said Richard Nixon. "I haven't seen you since that incident with that little girl a thousand years ago! It's been so long, I barely recognized you."
"Ah, well," said the Doctor, "understandable. What with faces… not being exactly the way you remember them… and whatnot."
"Oh, yes," said Nixon. "And I remember your two companions. Baruuuh! What were their names? Mr. and Mrs.—"
"Better let the past stay in the past!" the Doctor cut in. "Long time ago and all that. No need to tell… too many details. Now, if we could talk about my current situation…" The Doctor looked down at the ropes around him, and gave a sheepish grin.
"Brannigan, release him," Nixon ordered. "This man is a great hero of our country and hero of our planet. And, on a personal note, a very good friend of mine."
The Doctor just stared at the screen, his smile clearly trying to hide the severely unnerved look flooding across his face.
"But sir," said Brannigan, "this creature has confessed to being an evil enemy who wants to destroy our world! You can't just let him—"
"You will stand down, Brannigan!" said Nixon. "Unless you want to go on my enemies list."
Zapp Brannigan saluted. "No, sir!"
The Nimbus crew shuffled over and started untying the Doctor.
"Ah, and Mr. President, if you'd be so kind," said the Doctor, nodding towards the Planet Express crew, "my… latest companions, over there, seem to have gotten into a wee bit of trouble as well. Don't suppose you could see your way to getting them out of it?"
"Oh, all right," said Nixon. "But only because you've finally seen sense and abandoned that ridiculous bow tie of yours."
The Doctor's face went momentarily a little paler, before he recovered himself. "Yes, right! Of course. Thank you."
"If that's all, Brannigan," said Nixon, "I have work to do. Take care of yourself, Doctor."
And the screen flicked off.
"All right!" said Fry, as the Nimbus crew released him and the others. "We're free!"
The Doctor just stared, in horror, at the spot where Richard Nixon's head had once been.
"What's wrong?" asked Leela, taking a step towards the Doctor.
"I've just had a terrible premonition," said the Doctor, "that at some point in my own future, I'm going to think bow ties are cool."
Fry shuddered at the thought.
The Doctor composed himself, and plastered a smile on his face. "Right, well, if we're all done with that," he said, "I think I'd better… get back to killing myself. In my… suicide booth."
He fished a key out of his pocket, and put it into the lock.
"No!" shouted Leela, running towards him. "Wait! Don't go!"
"Yeah!" said Fry. "You don't have to kill yourself just because you're going to think bow ties are cool!"
The Doctor just winked at them, then rushed inside his suicide booth before Leela could reach him. The door clicked shut, and Leela ran into it.
"Come back!" Leela called.
The booth gave a wheezing, groaning sound, as the light on the top flashed, and it disappeared before their eyes.
Leela stepped away from the now empty spot, a sad, lonely look on her face.
"Oh," said Fry. He looked over at Bender. "Sorry, Bender. I guess you're not getting your suicide booth after all."
"Eh, whatever," said Bender, as he danced the Mexican Hat Dance back to the Planet Express Ship.--000--
Aboard the Planet Express ship, Leela bent her head over the control lever of the ship, trying not to cry. She'd been prepared to give up her freedom, her romantic prospects, and even her own dignity for that man, and he'd just waltzed off into the universe in his time-space-ship-disguised-as-a-suicide-booth, without even saying goodbye.
Maybe it was her. Maybe no man would ever love her.
"You okay?" asked Fry.
Leela looked up at him. Fry. Poor, stupid, ridiculous, irresponsible Fry. Who'd rather sit at home and watch TV than go out and fight against the most evil things in the universe. Who wasn't some cute and cuddly alien who was actually a heroic ancient being with a super secret time machine. Who barely understood enough to string words together into a sentence.
"Yeah," said Leela. "I am." She pulled herself together, and then started up the Planet Express ship. "Come on. Let's go home."
"Home?" said Bender. "No way!"
Fry and Leela looked over at Bender.
"I just got a presidential pardon," said Bender. "I'm going out to commit some felonies!"
Fry and Leela looked at one another.
"Well, I guess if we've got the pardon, we might as well use it," said Leela.
"All right!" said Bender. "Let's go rent ourselves a pimpmobile and steal a star system!"--000--
"And so the Planet Express Ship zoomed off into the stars," said Nibbler, narrating the story as the Planet Express ship faded into the starry depths of outer space, "ready to go on a Bender-style crime-o-thon the likes of which the universe would not soon forget. For you see, in the universe, there are many different kinds of…"
The sound of the TARDIS materializing echoed from nearby, followed by an English voice, shouting, "Oi! Mr. Have-Fun-Fighting-The-Daleks-By-Yourself-At-Arcadia! I want a word with you!"
"In conclusion," said Nibbler, as he jumped into his spaceship, "be safe, don't do drugs, and always have a ready escape route!" Then the space ship top closed, and he zipped off to follow the Planet Express ship.
The Doctor ran out, and, seeing Nibbler's departing ship, shouted after him, "It's only fifteen dollars!"