Part of the Ram, Expanded series
Beta: Shirozora, ExpositionFairy, tanks4thememory, infiniteviking
Summary: Seven moments in Ram's captive life.
Warnings: Minor violence in this chapter. (Graphic violence, graphic torture and minor character death in later segments. Lots of emotional Ram-whump and hurt/comfort schmoop that can be read as either platonic or shippy. Bring tissues.)
A/N: Heed the warnings for this fic. The first few chapters are fine and cheerful (and short), but it takes a drastic turn downward fairly quickly. Chapter-appropriate warnings will be posted at the start of each chapter.
While he would never admit it out loud, and certainly not to Tron, Ram was actually a little happy that the memory guards had arrested the security monitor when they had. Of course, he immediately felt guilty for feeling that way, but that didn't change the fact that life with Tron in the compound was far more bearable.
The lessons Tron began teaching him were a respite from the crippling monotony of the pit complex. The actuary watched and listened, absorbing it all like data-growth soaked up electrostatic. The insurance calculator in him welcomed the opportunity to multitask his functions and feel productive; everything else…well, now that he was aware of it, there was so much to experience here; things that he'd never seen or done before. Good or bad, Ram couldn't help but keep track.
The first time the Reds came to summon Tron to the Games, they made several fatal mistakes.
For instance: trying to corral him in an open area.
When the compound force field deactivated and the guards filed in, energy lances at the ready, Tron shrank back from them, taking full advantage of the fact he had plenty of space to move. If Ram hadn't seen the gleam in his eyes, he might've thought it was a retreat; as it was, the guards had no choice but to be lured into the trap.
There was a beautiful and deadly grace to the way Tron wielded his disk. Ram had never seen him in action on the gaming grid, as Disk Wars were a one-program event, but Tron had demonstrated his skills in practice during downtime. He moved like a predator, smooth motions that were at once acrobatic and yet expended no further energy than was necessary.
With an arcing shot, he derezzed two of the Memory Guards before they could react and sliced another's staff into a shower of bright pixels before the remaining guards wrestled him to the ground and jabbed an energy lance into his back.
Even with his circuits bruised and cracked, the feral grin on his face as they hauled him to his feet and march him out was fierce and defiant. Ram decided he fell in love with him a little, at that moment.
"You have got to teach me that move," he begged later, when Tron had been returned battered and exhausted but still kicking. "How did you get your disk to arc like that? I've only ever managed to throw it straight and duck for cover."
Tron grinned and bent his head conspiratorially. "The trick is in the wrist, and calculating the angles."
Ram smirked back. "Calculation is my middle function. Show me what you got."