AN: Sorry that I haven't posted anything in a while. I've been having a bit of a dry spell where creativity is concerned, so I actually haven't written much these last two weeks. However, I am hoping that this marks the end of that! Due to popular demand, this is a direct sequel to 'Distress,' though it takes place a couple of years after the events of that story. Thank you for everyone who voted and helped determine the gender of the baby. You guys spoke, and so it was a girl. What you decide to name her, however, it totally up to you. I actually avoided giving her one, hopefully in a successful manner, so that you guys could give her whatever name you think fits best. I hope you all enjoy this story! Thank you, and have a wonderful day.
Disclaimer: I do not own Wreck-It Ralph. Disney does.
Fix-It Felix Jr. was a man who could say that he loved his life.
From the moment he awoke to the moment he slept, he could always be found with a smile on his face, kind words for his friends and neighbors, and a helping hand (or healing hammer) if that was what the situation called for. He was a popular and well-known figure in the arcade, and for those who had found themselves in some sort of trouble, he was the man they went to. For, even if he himself could not help, he always knew someone who could fix it for them. Even when he died at the hands of his brother, a well thrown brick from Ralph or an unseen duck catching him unaware, he still enjoyed his job, if just for the fact that it kept the players entertained.
Yes, Fix-It Felix Jr., the hero of the game Fix-It Felix, Jr., loved his almost perfect life.
However, every single day, he could not wait for the final call from the owner that the arcade was going to be closing, thus meaning that this would be the last play of the day. He could not wait until the 'all clear' that meant Litwak had gone home for the day was heard throughout the room, freeing them all from their pre-programmed movements. He could not wait until he had finished helping the characters that had come to him, one of the oldest games in the business, fix their troubles, and he could not wait until, on the days that they did do something together, to leave Ralph and Vanellope for home. Every day, Felix could not wait for the moment that he opened the door to his house, for that very moment was the one when he saw, for the first time since he had kissed her cheek goodbye that morning, his lovely little girl.
"Daddy, daddy! Look, I drew you a picture!"
"And what a wonderful picture it is, sweetheart," Felix replied happily as he lifted his child into his arms, pretending to almost fall backwards as he settled her weight on his hip to coax a giggle from her. "Were you a good girl for Ms. Mary today?" Even as he asked the question, his head slightly turned towards the Nicelander, silently asking for confirmation from the woman that his child had not been a burden. Smiling as she shook her own head 'no,' a complement to the verbal declaration by his daughter that the two of them had had a wonderful, problem-free day, it was with a slight sigh that he placed a kiss upon her forehead before putting back onto her feet, allowing her her freedom to return to her toys. "Thank you again, Mary, for watching her while I'm working," Felix said as he walked the purple-clad Nicelander towards the front door, speaking the exact same words that he had spoken for the last three years. "And the pies were delicious today, just like always."
"Oh, Felix, you know it's no trouble," Mary replied with a smile as she prepared to leave, her handbag dangling from her wrist as she slipped her heels on. "No trouble at all. She's a darling to look after, though I do have to warn you that she found her birthday presents in the closet. I moved them into the back of the pantry, but you'll want to keep an eye on that. She's curious, and growing more and more so every day." Pausing as she finally finished fitting her foot into her shoe, it was with a slight frown that Mary turned to face him fully, her fingers playing with the tips of her gloves as she continued in a soft, low voice. "You know, Felix, Gene and I would be happy to take her for all of tomorrow night, if you want us to. I know what day it is, so if you want to be alone, it wouldn't trouble us at all."
"Thank you for offering, Mary," Felix said just as softly, his own grin smaller, tired, and worn at the reminder of what tomorrow would mean, "but not this year. Have a good night."
"You do the same, Felix," Mary called over her shoulder as she hopped her way down the overly large steps, taking no offense at the dismissal within his voice. She knew just how hard tomorrow was going to be for him, and the fact that he actually wanted his daughter with him on that day gave her hope for the future. "Just remember, dear, that the offer is always open."
Nodding once more at her retreating back, it was with a quiet click that Felix closed and locked the door, knowing for a fact that no one else would be coming by that night. Forcing away the heaviness dragging at his limbs that had been absent before her comment, it was with a few awkward hops that Felix found himself standing in the doorway to his daughter's playroom, just staring at her as he often caught himself doing. Her head tilted down so that she could finish coloring the paper that she had waved at him earlier, the tip of her tongue sticking out from between her lips as she concentrated on getting the lines just right, another little piece of his heart broke as he realized just how much she looked like her mother.
Mod, she was beautiful.
"You ready for dinner, sweetie," he asked after a while to break the silence that had fallen over the house, an unusual state for them at this time of night. It would not be until much, much later that the quiet would come for him, and he had no desire to usher it in early. Without waiting for her reply, it was only moments later that he was in the kitchen, pulling out pots and pans and ingredients that he would need to make their meal. He knew, however, that she would follow him, just like she always did when he was home, and so was not surprised when her voice suddenly came without warning from behind him.
"Are we going to see Uncle 'Alph and Auntie 'Ellope today, Daddy?"
"Not today, sweetie," Felix replied as he jumped onto the stool that would give him access to the top of the stove, only part of his mind on what he was saying as he began to sort through what he actually needed at that moment to cook. "Ralph had a Bad-Anon meeting to go to, and Vanellope said that there was something going on between Gloyd and Rancis that she had to take care of."
"What about Uncle Koko, Uncle Geen, Uncle 'ohnson, Uncle Marko, and my other uncles from Mama's game?"
"Not tonight," he said again, though this time he turned and, smiling, dropped his hat onto her head as he did so, drawing a laugh from her as she struggled to push the over-sized cap off. "It's just going to be you and me tonight, sweetheart, so after dinner we can do whatever you want. We could watch a movie, read a book, play a game, or even-"
"Could we color?"
"Don't interrupt," he lightly scolded, though the grin that had appeared at her request took the bite out of his words, "but yes. After dinner, we can color all you want."
It did not take long for Felix to finish preparing their food, his many years as a bachelor serving him well even after he had gotten married, for Tamora had never been one to cook. Putting the casserole into the over to bake (and the things he would need to make her a sandwich when his daughter declared, once again, that his food was 'ucky' off to the side for later), it was without thought that his feet took him over to where she had settled herself at the table, pieces of paper and crayons covering the wood before her. Waiting for a moment to see if she would protest, when nothing was said he pulled the picture that she had waved at him when he had come home closer towards him, tilting it so that he could finally see what she had drawn for him.
It was a picture of her family, him, Ralph, Vanellope, the Nicelanders, and all of the marines from Hero's Duty represented by different colored blobs and a messy scrawl that counted as her handwriting. To her, it was probably perfect, a complete masterpiece that was to join the others that he had hung from the fridge. Normally, Felix would have agreed.
But right in the middle of the picture, under the bright blue line that he guessed said 'Mommy,' there was nothing more than a giant blank space.
None the less, despite the hole that was there, Felix managed to smile at her, his voice as upbeat as he could make it as he spoke.
"This is beautiful, sweetie. Thank you."
"You like it," she asked almost hesitantly, as if she was actually expecting him to say 'no.'
"Like it? I love it, sweetheart," Felix said with an honest grin as he turned back towards the kitchen, grabbing a roll of tape from the hall desk as he passed it by. Coming to a halt before the fridge, he carefully began to rearrange the pictures that already covered its surface, drawings of cybugs, kittens, and even one of all of them as dogs giving way to his silent command until, after a few minutes of shuffling and retaping, a spot in the dead center of the metal wall had been cleared. Using his teeth to tear off what he needed, Felix smiled at his little girl as he taped the picture she had drawn of their family into that spot, making sure that it would be seen by all.
"Everyone's happy," she said softly as she held out her arms to be picked up, a request he quickly and happily complied with. Reaching out her hand so that she could brush the tips of her fingers over the only spot of white she had left, her voice was barely a whisper as she continued. "Even Mama. You can't see it, but she's smilin' too."
"I bet she is, sweetie, I bet she is," Felix said as he placed a kiss on her temple, using the moment that his face was pressed against her hair to compose himself. "Now, how about we go check and see if dinner's ready, hmm? I make a casserole."
"But Daddy, cass'ols are ucky!"
The night progressed normally from there, the two talking, eating, and eventually coloring until, far too soon for either of them, it was time for her to go to bed.
"Did you brush your teeth," Felix asked from the doorway as he watched her climb into her bed, already knowing the answer from the mess she had left on the bathroom counter but asking none-the-less, just to keep her awake for a few minutes more.
"Yes, Daddy, I did," she replied sleepily, a tired yawn punctuating her words as she arranged the blankets over herself, making sure that they were just right. She had never been one to be tucked in, claiming that, each time that he had tried and she had been able to verbalize her thoughts, he did it too tightly. So, instead, he waited, standing by the door so that he would not be tempted to help her without permission, just watching as she struggled with the sheets and comforter, rearranging them just to her liking. It would take a few minutes, silent except for her angry grumbles as she kicked at a lump that was too far to the right but, eventually, she would be satisfied. Half covered by and half covering the blankets, finally, she would hold out her arms for him, her eyes half closed as he come over to wish her good night.
"Yes sweetheart," Felix answered quietly as he carefully tucked her stuffed goomba into the crook of her arm, his other hand smoothing out the blonde curls that were already beginning to tangle on top of her head. "Is there something you need?"
"When is Mama coming home?"
For a long while Felix remained frozen, his head slightly bowed so that she would not be able to see the moisture that had gathered in his eyes at her overly innocent question. They had never discussed the issue of her missing mother, instead preferring to focus on the present or, when Tamora was brought up, on the many things she had done and the adventures she had had before their baby had even been born. From this, his little girl had come to the conclusion that her mother was just on another quest, saving the arcade from one evil or another in an epic battle of wits and skills that had taken the last three years. Despite the advice that he had been given on the issue, Felix had never been able to break his child's heart, instead allowing her her daydreams of a mother that existed just across the way in Game Central Station.
For the last three years, he had allowed her the hope that, one day, she would get to be held by her Mommy.
"We have to wait and see, now won't we," Felix finally said, placing one last kiss onto his child's forehead as she turned to snuggled closer to her pillow, undisturbed by the ambiguity of his statement. It had been the same answer she had been expecting, the same one he gave whenever a question such as that was asked, and so he had just been upholding the norm. "Good night, sweetheart. I'll see you in the morning."
"Night, Daddy. Love you."
"Love you too, sweetie, love you too," Felix said softly as he pulled the door closed, the gentle click of the deadlatch meeting the wood causing him to wince. His hand falling to his side, it was with a quiet sigh that he slowly made his way back into the living room, his mind focused only on soft, overly stuffed couch that was to be his bed for the night. Normally, he could stand the lonely quiet of his own bedroom, could find some comfort and solace in the sleep that would take him when he laid his head down on what would have been her pillow three years ago, but not tonight. Tonight, he would be surprised if he got any sleep at all, and would just be glad when tomorrow was over.
A few hours later, as the clock in the arcade slowly clicked over to midnight, Felix, curled around one of the few pictures of his wife that he had left, silently wished his daughter a happy birthday and began to cry.
Fix-It Felix's life was almost perfect, but it was that one missing piece that kept him lying to his child about the date she had been born so that they could celebrate her life a week later and he could mourn her mother on the day that she had died.