AN: Hi! This is my first Wreck-It Ralph, and I hope that you all really like. I love Hero's Cuties, and so this fanfiction is for them. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own, Wreck-It Ralph, or Hero's Cuties. Disney does.
"You know I hate it when you come here, Fix-it."
Bounding off of the train that had carried him into the cold, dark world of the first person shooter, Felix could not help but smile as he caught sight of his wife's disapproving glare. Although under normal circumstances he would have complied with her standing order and have waited for her at the entrance to her game, safe from the dangers that crawled within Hero's Duty, today he just could not help himself. Excitement overriding his common sense and deep-rooted fear of the bugs, he had hopped on the train without a second thought, his mind solely fixed upon the woman he knew would be waiting for him.
How often did one get to celebrate an entire ten years as the most popular game in the entire arcade?
"Hello to you too, Ma'am," Felix said with a grin as he jumped to her side, placing a kiss on her cheek before planting his feet on the ground so that he could look up at her without his constant movement blurring his view. As always, the moment their eyes met the honey glows rushed to his cheeks, casting a light dusting of pink over his skin even as Tamora knelt to his height for a proper greeting kiss. The expression on her face softening as she pulled away, her own smile beginning to grow as it always did when he was around, it was with a soft sigh that she returned to her full height and motioned for him to follow her.
"Stay close to me, short stuff. It might be the long weekend for us, but that doesn't mean we're safe. Those puppies could hatch at any moment, so the second the ceremony is over, we're leaving. Got it, soldier?"
"Yes Ma'am," Felix said excitedly as he half walked, half jumped after his wife, his eyes wide with glee as he turned to examine every aspect of Tamora's world that he could. Despite the danger he knew was lurking in every corner, the world that his beloved inhabited had always intrigued him, leading to him wish more than once that he could spend some time there just exploring. Now, with an entire hour promised that he could remain, even if most of that time was to be spent watching the weapons exhibition Tamora's men had been practicing for this day, he was planning on using it to its fullest.
"Calm down, Felix," Tamora finally said after a few minutes of his antics, her hand capturing his own even as her voice lost most of its edge. Her normally cold look was replaced with a soft smile as she tilted her head to look at him, her fingers intertwining with his own as he fell into step with her. "We'll get there in time."
"Sorry Tamora," Felix said with a slight apologetic smile as he dropped formalities, his face flushed from embarrassment instead of the love and anticipation it had held just moments ago. "I guess I let my emotions get the better of me again, didn't I," he asked with a slight laugh, his grip tightening around her hand for a moment as he smiled up at her. Tearing his eyes away, it was with a much calmer level of curiosity that he continued to make his observations, occasionally wincing as evidence of the latest battle caught his eye. Rubble littered the ground where blasters and bug legs had left their marks, dried stains of green and specks of red adding a depressing reminder of the purpose of the game. Where there had once been buildings were now shells kept for the slight cover they offered when things went wrong, and if he looked close enough, Felix could almost see the outline of a city around him, a ghost of what had once been. A reminder of the past before the experiment went wrong.
Now, of course, all there was were the cy-bugs and the barracks that served as the space marines' home.
Smiling and waving with his free hand as other soldiers started to come into view, it was with once again a slight shock of surprise that the men waved and smiled back, their former distrust and dislike of him that had been present at the beginning of his and Tamora's courtship now long since gone. It had taken a while, but, eventually, they had come to accept him as much a part of their lives as Sergeant Calhoun was herself.
It helped that, when Felix was able to keep her happy, Tamora tended to go easier on the men during training, a fact that all of them praised him for.
Just as Tamora had promised, it was not long before the makeshift parade ground came into view, the men that were taking part in the presentation already standing around the edge of the clearing with their weapons ready. Talking, laughing, and playing around like they were, for a few moments Felix was able to believe that there was nothing wrong with the world they were living in, that it was just a cloudy day on a rocky beach where the water was too far away to hear. Soon, the sun would break through the cover, the chill would be banished from the air, and everything would be perfect in a world had that long since been destroyed. However, the moment Tamora let go of his hand and stepped forward, silently commanding the attention of every soldier nearby, that useless dream was gone.
This was their world, and nothing about it was ever going to change. But that did not mean they could not have some fun.
As if their arrival had been some kind of signal, it was only moments later that the men had fallen into their ranks, their eyes fixed upon their fearless leader as she paced before them, making eye contact with each space marine as she passed them. Her face was blank, her eyes cold, and it was clear that she was examining them, searching each face for the memories that the past ten years had left her with. They had fought together, lived together, and, most importantly, survived together, becoming the kind of team that most people could only dream might exist. Most of them died before level ten was up, but to Sergeant Calhoun, that did not matter.
These were her boys, her men, and for the past ten years they had made her proud.
"All of you, every single one of you, have made me proud. Now get out there and do it again."
With that, the men roared in agreement, some of them wiping away at the grains of sand that had gotten stuck in their eyes at the Sergeant's words. For them, there was no need to have some long, drawn out speech about what they all knew they did every single day. For them, just hearing that they had their leader's approval was more than enough to make everything they had suffered for the past ten years worth it.
The fact that they had the next hour off to play around with the big guns that they never got to use in battle probably also had something to do with their very good mood.
It did not take long for the targets to be set up at the end of the field, their glowing red and pristine white showing clearly through the grim darkness. The weapons that the men had pulled out were unlike any that Felix had ever seen, nothing like the standard issue blaster that Tamora always found fit to hang from her belt, even when settled in for the night at their apartment in his own game. Some of them were huge, taking three or four men to carry into position so that it could be fired at its target, the resulting explosion drawing an excited yell from the observers. Others were small, tiny enough that Felix himself could have easily handled them, though it was clear from the way the men staggered back after firing them that they could pack quite a punch. Smiling as the cheers from the latest blasting died down in anticipation for the next weapon to make its way onto the scene, it was with the slightest of laughs that Felix finally allowed himself to relax and enjoy the show.
With this many weapons and soldiers around, they were all perfectly safe from any cy-bugs that might have resisted the pull of the beacon.
The smile slipping from her face as she recognized the gun that Markowski had, without her permission, grabbed, Sergeant Calhoun stepped forward to put an end to his nonsense.
His name had not even fully left her lips when the ancient, glitchy pistol that had been banished to the depths of the armory for a reason fired and all hell broke loose.
When the creators of Hero's Duty had begun to first design the game, it had been with multiple fighting styles in mind, the players, if they so desired, being able to choose between fighting the bugs that infested the land or turning their weapons on each other, seeing who could earn the medal of heroes while slaughtering their friends and foes alike. When the game had been put into practice, this option had been deleted, instead awarding multiple medals to teams that were able to work together to make their way to the top of the tower. However, one weapon, one very special, very dangerous weapon had been left over from that form of gameplay, and Markowski had just fired it.
"You idiot," Tamora snarled as she tore the gun from his hands, her face twisted into a grimace of rage as she emptied the chamber and removed the clip, once again rendering the weapon useless to those who knew nothing about it. "Do you have any idea what you could have done, soldier? This is a seeker pistol, designed to hit anything within a fifty yard range, friend and foe alike. Its' target is always random, and it's always uncontrollable. No better than a cy-bug, but this we can at least keep locked up. Be glad that nobody was hurt, or I would be-"
For a single, long moment, Tamora could not move, her very blood frozen by that one single word. Although a common enough nickname coming from her husband, it was one of the few that were kept private between them, reserved for when they were alone, away from the ever prying eyes and ears of others. For that single moment, a part of her knew that it was just a slip of the tongue, a mistaken word that could be credited to fear and nerves. When she turned around, Tamora knew, knew with every pixel of her being, that she would find her husband standing there, staring at her with eyes widened by the excitement going on around them, his voice shaking from the fright. He would be trying to calm her down, trying to explain that Markowski had just made a mistake and should be forgiven for it, and that would be it. That was all she would see.
The moment Tamora turned around, everything that she thought she had known turned out to be a lie.
"Tammy," Felix muttered softly as he sank to the ground, his face pale as he pressed his hands over the slowly growing patch of wetness that was spreading across his shirt, darkening the blue material into an almost black. His gaze already growing unfocused, the bright spark that had inhabited them just moments before dimming as his eyes glazed over, it was with a gasp of pain that he fell to his knees, his only support the armored arms that had wrapped themselves around him.
"No, Felix, baby, stay with me, I'll fix this," Tamora said swiftly as her hands fumbled for the hammer at his belt, the panic that she was just barely keeping under control making her fingers clumsy as she undid the straps that kept it in place. Finally tugging it free, it was with a small triumphant smile that she tapped it against his chest, relief flooding through her as she waited for the magic of the hammer to take hold. "It's okay Felix; you're going to be fine."
"Sorry Tammy," Felix gasped out after a moment, his breathing ragged as he struggled to keep his eyes fixed upon her face, "but not even you can fix this."
It was only then that she realized that the hammer was no longer golden, nor was the wound healing.
"No," Tamora screamed as she flung the hammer away from her, her panicked gaze turning towards her men, the few people who had never once in ten years let her down. "Get me a medic," she ordered, though even as she spoke she knew the words were useless. There were no medics. In a game where death meant popping back to life the moment the round was over, there had never been a need for a medical team. Their wounds would disappear the moment they were done, and that was the end of it.
Pressing her hand as tightly as she could against the wound as her men hurried off to fulfill an impossible command, his blood welling up to soak into her glove, for a single moment, Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun was not the warrior that her coding said that she was. She was not the tough-as-nails son-of-a-gun that had led her soldiers through thousands of battles, who had looked into the face of death more times than she could count and laughed. In that single moment, she was nothing that she had ever been before.
In that moment, she was a woman who was watching as the man she loved died in her arms.
"Sorry…Tammy," Felix coughed out, a bead of blood bubbling at the corner of his lip as he tried to smile. "I guess I…shouldn't have come."
"And you're never coming back," Tamora growled, drawing his body as close as she could to her own, trying to will the life to remain within him. "The moment you're better, I am chaining you to your own game and you're never leaving it again, do you understand? Answer me, Fix it!"
"Un-understood, Ma'am...love you."
Biting her tongue to hold back the sob that had grown within her throat, it was with only slightly trembling lips that Tamora pressed one final kiss to his forehead, the only acknowledgement that she gave to tell him that she had heard him. Tightening her grip as the sound of his breathing finally faltered, the pounding of his heart that before had always been so loud now nowhere to be heard, for the first time in her life Tamora forgot where she was, ignored who might have been watching, and allowed herself to cry.
The moment Tamora awoke to the sound of her husband's voice, his gentle tones calling her from her slumber, the first thing she did was tackle him to the floor, her hands already searching for the scar that marked the spot that had almost caused her to lose him as her lips confirmed that he was there, that he was real, safe, and, beyond everything else, alive.
She had almost lost him that day to a stupid mistake, and it had only been because one of her men had found some lost power-up from some visiting character that he had been saved. It had been the only time she had ever cried, and every day she swore that it would be her last, for the next time she did, he would have to truly be gone.
And she would be too busy following him to worry about controlling her emotion.