AN: Oh god. I have to say, to everyone who is lactose intolerant, that I am sorry for the ending. It is literally the cheesiest, fluffiest thing that I have ever written, and I'm still a bit surprised that it ended up on my computer. I can understand why after that piece of depression I most recently posted, but still. Despite that, I still hope that you guys find this an enjoyable story to read.
Disclaimer: I do not own Wreck-It Ralph. Disney does.
In all, Tamora had a total of four tattoos.
She had gotten her first the same day that her acceptance letter to enlist at the United Space Marine's Training Camp had arrived in her mail, a series of numbers and letters across the middle of her back that, for the longest time, Felix had no clue as to what they stood for. They had befuddled him as he tried to understand the meaning behind the gibberish that his soon-to-be wife had decided to mark her body with, though none of the reasons he had thought of had ever made any amount of sense. Finally, it was not until almost three weeks before their wedding that he questioned her about it, his curiosity far too great to just wait for her to bring it up like he would for all the others.
"It's my identification code, Short Stack," Tamora had said with an amused smile, her hand reaching out to flick the bill of his hat over his eyes as she knelt to be on his level. "It's traditional to get it tattooed somewhere on your body so that, if you die during combat and you're too mangled to identify by facial recognition, you save the Corps the money it would take to test DNA samples." Chuckling at the horrified expression that had crossed Felix's face at her explanation, Tamora had just shaken her head and pulled him in for a kiss before reminding him that it had never really been needed, that it had just been a precaution she had taken before realizing just how good she really was at her job.
Those words had calmed him, but at the same time Felix could not help but wince whenever he saw that line ink that held his wife's entire record within it and hope that there never would be a reason for it to fulfill its purpose.
Her second had been added the day after she had officially received the title of 'Private,' a commemoration of the hard work she had put into becoming one of the few women to ever pass the rigorous training that occurred at the Camp and prove that she had what it took to become a field agent instead of just another desk jockey. It had been the official seal of the Space Marines, the red hawk, gun, and helmet placed just above her identification code so that it was nestled between her shoulder blades. It had been something that everyone in her class who had survived the three harsh years of training, only six out of the original three hundred, had gotten together, a reminder of exactly what they had gone through.
"And to remind us of who we are, Fix-It," Tamora had added with shrug once the topic came up, finishing the root beer that Tapper had put before her. "No matter our pasts, no matter who we were before we joined, we're Space Marines now. And the Corps will always have our six." A fond smile had crossed her lips at this, her eyes gaining that faraway look that tended to appear when she remembered the better memories that she had been programmed with, no doubt thinking about the years she had spent in training and the friends that she had made there.
The third needed no explanation, though she still gave one when he finally saw it. It was small, a single, letter that had been tattooed onto the wrist of her right hand, barely noticeable unless you actively looked for it. Felix himself had never realized that there was something there until Green, while talking about his own tattoos one day while they were waiting for Tamora to finish yelling at Markowski so the two of them could go on their date, had, as a side comment, mentioned that she had three. Two that she had come to the planet with and a third that Johnson, the resident 'artist' of their group, had done for her. Seeing that Felix had had no idea what the other marine was talking about, Green had told him where to look, the expression on his face almost pitying before it became blank as Tamora joined them. Later that night, using the information that Green had given him, Felix found the tattoo and felt his heart break a little bit more for his dynamite gal as she explained the pale green 'B.'
"I pulled the trigger with this hand," Tamora had said darkly, her gaze hard as she glared at the tattoo she had caught him staring at. "Even though I'm moving on, Fix-It, that's something I can never forget. Or forgive. And, well," she had added after a small pause, some of the steel leaving her voice as she gently ran her finger over the beginning of his name, "even after the cy-bugs had been weaponized and we had been watching them explode for almost a year, he still loved the color green." She had fallen silent after that, and, for the first time since they had gotten married, had spent the night in her bunk at the barracks, choosing solitude instead of his always open arms as she forced herself to get over the still tender wound that their discussion had prodded.
She was fine the next day, but Felix was always careful from then on to avoid letting his gaze linger on her wrist, lest he once again force her to remember what she could never forget.
The fourth tattoo that Tamora had was not one that she had been programmed with, but instead one that suddenly appeared exactly three months after they had gotten married, the amount of time that, according to Johnson when Felix later questioned him, it took to prepare the hypoallergenic ink he used for the markings. At first he had not even realized that it was there, for it had been covered by the ring that was a match to the one he wore as well on his left hand, something that she rarely removed during the day. In fact, it had not been until she had been getting ready to turn in for the night, the only time she took it off (partly due to the face that she punched when she had a nightmare and did not want to damage the soft metal and partly because it was just uncomfortable to sleep with it on), that he even realized that she had gotten another one. Pulling her hand into his lap, tilting the lamp shade so that he could see what it said, the smile that had grown on his lips as he read their names and recognized the date as their wedding day, inked in to resemble the design that had been engraved onto their rings, had spread across his face like a wildfire.
"Love you, Fix-It," was all that Tamora had said when she pulled away from the kiss he had initiated, her smile warm and real as she pulled him against her chest so that they could cuddle. Bringing her hand to his lips so that he could place a kiss onto her finger, still amazed at the design that completely encircled the place where her real ring would sit when she wore it, Felix knew that he was the happiest man in the world.
In all, Tamora had four tattoos. Having seen them, Felix decided to get one as well.
It had started off as a passing thought, an interesting idea that, at the time, he had shrugged off as ridiculous. Besides Johnson, who, although a great guy and amazing with a blaster, was not the best of painters if the drawings that he had seen the man working on while in the break room were anything to go off of, there was no one else in the arcade that had the experience or tools for what he wanted. Also, although there had been phases of fashion where some of the more conscious characters had changed their designs when gameplay was over, before Hero's Duty had been added to Litwak's arcade, the very idea of doing something permanent to oneself that had not been done by the programmers had been looked down upon, for it changed the code and that, after the Turbo incident, was something that everyone actively tried to avoid.
It was still something that most characters shied away from, but as the fear over Turbo's reappearance began to disappear and the men of Hero's Duty actively worked to change what they looked like, adding and removing marks for fun as they pleased, the long-held belief that doing something permanent would cause a glitch slowly began to fade as well. So, as his passing though grew within his mind to become an actual plan, Felix, after exhausting every other possible source, went to Johnson and asked for his services.
"Felix," Tamora asked in a strange voice later that night as she watched him change out of his work clothes, her eyes fixed upon the bit of clear plastic that showed over the collar of his undershirt, "what is that?"
"N-nothing, Tammy," Felix had quickly stammered, though a moment later his attempt to lie was proven a waste of time as his wife pulled his shirt off for him, her eyes narrowing as they took in the bandage that covered part of his chest.
"If it's nothing, Fix-It," she replied tersely, poking him just hard enough in the center of the wound so that he winced, causing her scowl to deepen as she waited for him to reply, "then you one minute to tell me exactly what it is."
"Well," he said slowly, his cheeks flushing as he realized how it would look when she finally saw what he had done, "you see…"
"Time's up," Tamora growled as she pulled the bandage off herself, the look on her face showing that she expected a bruise or a cut to cover the spot he had been trying to keep from her. What she found, however, caused her eyebrow to rise as she read that name that had been permanently inked in over his heart.
"Tamora," she said softly, her eyes following the black, curling letters that made up her name before addressing her husband. "You got a tattoo of my name," she asked incredulously, a soft smile replacing the anger-tinted worry from before as she knelt so that they were level with each other, "over your heart? Why?"
"Because it belongs to you, Ma'am," Felix said, matching her smile even as his cheeks flushed an even deeper read with honey glows as he realized just how corny what he had said sounded, "and it always will."
"Would you like some wine and crackers with that cheese, Fix-It," Tamora laughed as she tugged him into a hug, her smile brilliant as her hand covered the ink marks that he had gotten just for her. "You're such a love-struck dork."
"So says the dynamite gal who got the date of our wedding day tattooed around her ring finger," Felix chuckled as he leaned into her embrace, his head tucked under her chin as he wrapped his arms around her waist. "It's okay though; we can be dorks togeth-"
The end of his sentence was cut off as Tamora pulled him into a kiss, still laughing over the fact that the first tattoo her husband had ever gotten had been, out of everything, her name.
Not that she could say she was actually surprised.