AN: Okay, so. To give credit where credit is due, this little piece was inspired by three things. The first of which is this picture and the concept that was written under it: post/37173301561/so- what-if-there-was-some-expansion-loaded-onto That's the picture that started it all, so you can thank fafafixit. The second thing is a picture that was based on the first picture, this one: .tumblr tumblr_mejk3mcQfv1qmsmdoo1_ You can thank nintendonut1 for that. Finally, the third thing that inspired this story was Owl City's new song 'Take It All Away.' If you haven't heard it, go listen to it. If you have, and if you looked at the pictures, then you can understand how seeing/listening to all three of these things within five minutes of each other can create this. Anyway, I hope that you all like this, and don't hate me for writing it.
Disclaimer: I do not own Wreck-It Ralph. Disney does.
Walking into Tapper's with his head bowed, his hand clutching the bag he had borrowed from one of the Nicelanders, and his hat pulled over his eyes so that he would not have to meet the gaze of the man he was seeing, it was the work of moments to pull himself onto the stool and place his order with the tender. His hand happily closing around a root beer a minute later, drink close by, Felix was finally ready to raise his head and look his strange drinking companion in the eye.
"Mr. Fix-It," the man said with a slight nod, his features wary as he watched the smaller man's actions. He was surprised, Felix could tell, for to him, the invitation must have seemed random and suspicious. Both of them knew what was at stake here, and to have a meeting like this in such a public place jeopardized it all.
To be honest, Felix no longer cared.
"Just Fix-It is fine, Scott," Felix said after taking a large gulp from his drink, the slight burn as it went down his throat quickly being replaced by a welcoming warmth as it hit his stomach. Although he normally condoned drinking on a work night, for this conversation, he wanted to be as drunk as possible.
Maybe, just maybe, it would give him the courage to do what he needed to.
"Why did you ask me here, Fix-It," Brad Scott asked softly, his eyes constantly flickering around the room for any who might be taking an interest in their conversation. Although his words were harsh and to the point, there was no malice in them, only confusion and wariness as he tried to figure out what, exactly, was going through the eight-bit man's mind.
"I think we both know what the answer to that is, Scott," Felix said with a shrug as he turned his gaze towards the drink before him, his eyes trying to see through the murky darkness for the bottom of the glass. Realizing that it was no use, he quickly took another sip before asking the question that had been nagging him for the last three weeks, one that only the man beside him, as much as he hated it, could answer. "How is she?"
"Your guess is as good as mine, Fix-It," Brad replied, his words accompanied by his own swallow of root beer. "When we're not in game mode, she finds every way possible to avoid me, going out on patrols alone to scout out areas that are way off our grid. Some of the others, Kohut and Markowski, perhaps, know where she's going, but mod forbid they tell me. And if she's not out looking for a fight, she's locked in her room, refusing to see anyone. Refusing to see even me." Letting out a sigh, Brad quickly finished his root beer and ordered another before continuing, the soldier having come to the exact same conclusion as Felix had earlier that night: this kind of talk needed to be had while under the influence. "Tammy's shut both of us out, and until she comes to a decision, we're both in the dark."
And that, in a nutshell, was their problem. Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun, Felix's wife and Brad's fiancé, was trying to choose between them, the lover she had been programmed with and the one that she had found. For the past three weeks, ever since the update for Hero's Duty that had allowed Scott to respawn at the end of each game had been added, this had been their problem.
Felix was finally going to fix it.
"Tamora still has nightmares about you, you know," Felix said softly, his words calm even though his eyes stared at the space marine accusingly. "About what happened at your wedding, and what she had to do after. It still haunts her."
"I know," Brad said guiltily, one of his hands running through his hair as he let out a sigh, "boy do I know. The men never let me forget it, though I don't really remember much. Just the beginning of the wedding, getting to the part where we were about to say 'I do,' and a crash. That's it, Fix-It. Everything else is just darkness."
"Tamora was the one that shot you," Felix said with a shrug, though a flash of guilt passed through him when he caught the brief look of horror that had quickly shot across from Brad's face. He quickly stamped the emotion down, for if he wanted this to work, the scientist next to him had to know everything that there was about the woman they both loved, not just the things he had been programed to remember. It was full disclosure time, and despite it being necessary, it was more than needed. "That's what her nightmares are about, for the most part: having to actually shoot you."
"I…I see," Brad said thickly, his throat partly clogged with the information that Felix had just so casually imparted upon him.
"Don't worry about the men," Felix said suddenly after a few moments of silence. "They're just angry that Tamora is so upset. Once things settle down a bit, they'll welcome back you with open arms. You're one of their own, and that'll beat out anything else they can hold against you."
"Doubt it, but we'll see," Brad replied with a snort. "I know those men just as well as you do, Fix-It, and some of them can hold a grudge. It'll take a long time for them to get over this."
"Maybe," Felix agreed with a noncommittal shrug, "but we'll see. If Tamora's having a nightmare and you can't wake her up, kiss her ear."
"What," Brad asked with a slack jaw, his eyes wide as he turned to stare at the heavily blushing handyman. "Where did that come from, Fix-It?"
"It works best with her left one, but her right will do just as well. Not sure how it works, but it seems to calm her," Felix continued, pretending that he had not heard the space marine's shocked question and that his face was not redder then Ralph's overalls. "She prefers pumpkin pie over cherry, and Mary already said that she would make them for you if you can't find the ingredients. Try to avoid Street Fighter after she's come to Tappers, they're still rebuilding after the last time she accepted one of their challenges. She loves chocolate, but will rarely eat it, so if you have a special occasion, get some. She loves to relax in Sugar Rush and play with the kids when the day is done, so I'll avoid there, but don't let her shoot any of the Laffy Taffy; they like to annoy her. Five's her limit, so if it is a work day, don't let her overdo it; my hammer can fix a lot of things, but even it can't take the sting off a hangover. When you hold her hand, make sure tha-"
"Fix-It," Brad interrupted, his expression both curious and interested in what the smaller man was saying, though obviously his curiosity had won out, "why in tarnation are you telling me these things? Don't get me wrong, it's fascinating, but why?"
"Because Brad," Felix said with an unhappy sigh as he pulled a stack of papers from his bag, placing them carefully before the soldier, "I'm not going to make Tamora choose. I'm not going to cause her any more pain. I'm done."
"Are these…divorce papers," Brad asked, stunned, as he flipped through the pile, his mind quickly working through the technical jargon to answer his own questions. "You're divorcing Tamora?"
"One of her men, Silivan, was programmed to be a lawyer before the cy-bugs got loose," Felix said as a way of answering. "He was the one that filled out the papers we needed to make the wedding legal, and he was the one who helped me write up this. I've already signed them, so all Tamora will need to do is add her signature and the two of you can finally be together." Draining the rest of his root beer, Felix carefully tugged the document from between the space marine's fingers and tucked it back into his bag before covering his face with his hands.
"What if she chooses you, Fix-It," Brad asked softly, the tone of his words showing just how shocked he was that this was actually happening, "what if she decides to actually stay with you?"
"Not going to happen, Scott," Felix said with a soft, self-deprecating laugh that sounded closer to a sob to the space marine. "I've always known that I was Tamora's second, and that there would always be a part of her that would continue to love you. How can a short eight-bit like me compete? No, I've let this go on far too long. It's time I step down and let the two of you find your happiness." Throwing down a couple of coins to pay for his drink, Felix slid from his stool before turning to face the space marine, his hand extended. "Just, please Scott," Felix said as Brad took his hand, the taller man bending slightly so that they were eye to eye, "take care of her. Just because I'm leaving doesn't mean that I don't still love her."
"I'll do whatever I can, and more, to make sure that she's happy," Brad said solemnly, "of that you can be sure, Fix-It. Thank you. You've just made this a lot easier for all of us."
Turning away without another word, Felix shrugged the strap of his bag over his shoulder and walked away from Tappers, heading straight towards Hero's Duty.
By the time Felix had reached the barracks and found Tamora's room empty, he knew, once and for all, that he was a coward.
Blinking rapidly as he tried to keep the tears that were threatening to fall locked away, at least until he could reach his own game, Felix carefully placed the pile of papers that would free them all on her table, making sure that, no matter where in the room you were, they were always visible. The quicker Tamora saw them and ended things, the better off they would all be. Placing the note that he had hastily written on top, after making sure that it would remain still, even in the harshest of winds, Felix ran from the game, his vision blurring as the tears he had been fighting for the past week finally ran free.
He was a coward that couldn't even face his wife when he asked her for a divorce, but at that moment, the only thing he could think about was the pain in his chest where his eight-bit heart was breaking.