AN: Four stories in one week?! I'm starting to get a bit worried that I'm spoiling you all. However, after all of that angst I put you guys through with that five-part mini-series, I thought that we could all do with some fluff. Not heavy fluff, because I'm still working my muses out of their depression, but some kind-of fluff that will still hopefully make you guys feel a bit better. Just so you know, this is based in the Real World AU that has been developing on Tumblr, which is why the characters are human and not from video games. One of the people I've been following has written some amazing things for this AU, and so I decided to give it a try. Hopefully you all like it!
Disclaimer: I do not own Wreck-It Ralph. Disney does.
Knocking on the door before, him, Felix could not help but chuckle as he realized that, ever since Miss Calhoun had moved into Apartment B-16, he had come to visit her exactly thirty-seven times.
Not that he could actually blame the poor woman, for the building itself had been built in the early seventies, using the best of the best for its time, and had not been fully upgraded since then. He had been able to do patch up jobs over the years that he had worked there, replacing pipes and electrical wires with newer, more modern versions as the old gave way, but there still always seemed to be something to fix. A lucky strike for him, who had been kept fully employed by this one building for the last seven years, but an inconvenience for the folk who lived there full time and did not have his ability to fix almost everything he touched. Had it been up to him, he would have destroyed the entire building long ago and have rebuilt it from the ground up, thus, in the long run, saving everyone a lot of time and money.
Smiling as the door before him opened, Felix could not help but be glad that the decision had never been up to him, for he would have missed meeting, and frequently calling upon, the most dynamite gal he had ever met in his thirty years of life.
"Hello, Miss Calhoun," he greeted with a tip of his hat, holding up his tool box with his free hand to show that he had come prepared. "I believe that you said in your message that you had something for me to fix. Am I right?"
"Right on time, Fix-It, just like usual," Tamora Jean Calhoun, former Sergeant of the experimental United Space Marines unit, said with a wiry smile as she opened the door a little bit wider so that he could enter, their routine one she had already memorized. Jerking her head over towards the kitchen, where she had already found and marked the dripping pipe under her sink with a piece of tape and a bucket to catch the water that was still leaking through it, it was with a sigh that she pushed her hair out of her face, already knowing most of what her companion was going to say. "It's that damn pipe. Again."
"I'm sorry, Miss Calhoun," Felix said sheepishly as he knelt down to take a better look, nodding in approval as he took in the quick repair job that she had done herself before he could get there. "The company that makes the kind of replacement part we'll need said that it should be in by next Tuesday, but until then we'll just have to make due. The last one I did should have held though," he mumbled under his breath as he searched through his box to find the different things that he would need. Three times in the last week alone he had tried to put a seal on the cracked pipe that was bothering the lady of the house, and three times it had given way just a few days later, causing a mess as water stained the wooden cupboards below. Pausing as a though hit him, he put it on his list of things to do to later to check the water pressure for the floor, making sure that it was not high enough as to cause the damages he was seeing. Smiling as he heard said woman shift against the wall that she was leaning against so that she could watch him work, it was with a smile that Felix began to talk, his hands automatically working as he did so. "So, how are you this wonderful evening, Miss Calhoun?"
"Ehh, can't complain," Tamora replied, just like she always did whenever the handyman asked questions of that nature. She had never been one for small talk, and so would have ignored him and the rules of society all together had it not been him who had asked. "You?"
"I'm just dandy, Ma'am. Thank you for asking," Felix replied happily, though he left it at that. He had learned that if Miss Calhoun wanted to talk that she would, and, so, except for the normal niceties that he exchanged with everyone he met, left it up to her to lead where their conversation would go. There had been many visits to her apartment where nothing more than what had just been said would be spoken, him instead working in a companionable silence as she watched. Others, however, had been hours-long exchanges that had always led to him learning something interesting about the former Marine, and while he would not push it, those were the visits he always enjoyed the most.
"How's your friend, Wreck-It, doing?"
"He's doing great, Ma'am," Felix replied as he scrapped the last of the putty he had tried to fill in the holes with the last time he had come over to fix the pipe, almost snorting as he heard the nickname his childhood friend had been given. Ralph, the head of a demolition team with a local construction company, was well known for always being covered in brick dust and for never knowing what to do with his overly large hands and feet, leading to him always knocking over or breaking something if he was not extremely careful. Careful he was not, however, and although Miss Calhoun had pretty much forgiven him for breaking the vase on her table the one time he had stopped by looking for Felix, she never let him forget it through her almost playful teasing. "His sister's been asking about you."
"What does the princess want with me," Tamora asked, genuinely surprised that the young girl had wondered about her. She had met the child many times over the last four months, the result of her and her older brother living only two stories up, but had never gotten the impression that she was well liked by the girl. Besides their first real interaction, where she had helped the kid reattach one of the wheels that had fallen off of the go-kart that she and her brother had made, they had never really talked. "Her name's Vanellope, right?"
"Yes, Ma'am," Felix said with a nod as he began coating the hole in the pipe, pulling out a role of duct tape with his free hand as he did. "Vanellope and some of the other kids are going to have a race in the park this weekend in those carts that they built, and she was wondering if you would come watch with me and Ralph." Pausing in his work to look over his shoulder at the startled woman, it was with a small laugh that he continued. "She really looks up to you, you know. Don't tell her I told you this," he said with a wink as he tapped the side of his nose, "but she's almost always late to the bus so that she can catch you and say hi when you go to the gym in the mornings. She thinks you're the coolest person since Shirley Muldowney."
"Didn't know the little cavity thought so highly of me," Tamora said warmly, her nickname for the girl a reference to her ever present sugary treats. "If you see her before I do, tell her I'll be there."
"Will do, Ma'am, will do," Felix said as he wrapped another layer of duct tape around the still drying sealing putty, hoping that, maybe, this time the seal would actually stay. Dusting off his hands, he pulled his tool box closer to him as he shifted so he was balanced on the balls of his feet, carefully putting his tools away so that they each fit into the spot he had mentally marked out for them. Reaching in so that he could return the blade he had used to remove the old putty, Felix, still smiling, froze as his fingers curled around the one piece he had specifically forgotten on purpose was in there.
Leaning a little to the side, as if he was just checking to make sure he had not missed anything while do the quick patch job, Felix glanced down and almost paled as he saw the small piece of piping that had arrive three days ago that he needed to fix Miss Calhoun's sink. The one he had forgotten to take out of his tool box, and the one he was still telling her had yet to arrive.
Although he felt awful about it, Felix forced his hand to relax, allowing it and the knife to fall wherever they would so that he was guaranteed at least one more visit to the woman who only ever seemed to need him to fix things.
"That should do it, Miss Calhoun," Felix said with a cheerful smile as he pushed himself to his feet, brushing off the small bit of white that had stuck to his free hand before offering it to her. "Hopefully this seal will last until the part comes in and I can fix it for good. But make sure not to run the water in that sink for a couple of hours to make sure that it dries, alright?"
"Thanks, Fix-It, I remember from the other times," Tamora said as she took his hand and gave it a shake, the feel of his skin against hers strange since he normally had his gloves on by them. His hands were rough, she could not help but notice, toughened by over half of a decade of working on the building, but still nice hands none-the-less. Warm against her normally cool ones. "Don't forget to tell the kid that I'll see her at the race."
"Wouldn't dream of it, Ma'am. I guess I'll see you Saturday then," Felix said before finally letting himself out through her front door, leaving her alone in her apartment once again.
The very first thing she did once she was sure that he was gone and could no longer hear her was turn on her kitchen faucet to full blast and let the water run until she was sure that the seal Felix had just finished putting on was good and gone. Then, for a couple of hours, as she ran a load of laundry through the washer and dryer, she did a bit of cleaning, dusting and vacuuming until her home almost reminded her of the bunks she had use to sleep in when she had stayed in the barracks, almost surgically clean in such a way that she automatically hated. Fixing it by throwing a couple of books onto the tables and blankets onto the chairs, it was with quick, precise movements that she retrieved her warm clothes from the dryer and folded them, careful to place her now two week supply of garments into their proper dresser drawer. That done, she pulled the machine out from the wall, pushed apart some of the more permanent pieces that would just be a pain to replace, and tore out the first thing she found that could just be plugged back in.
There was a reason why Felix had, over the last four months, been called in to fix something in her apartment thirty-seven times. Although a good number of those reasons had happened on their own, at least until one of them worked up enough courage to take their relationship to a first-name basis and she no longer needed something repaired as an excuse to see the cute live-in handyman who lived on the seventh floor, Tamora, so long as it did not completely destroy anything, was not above making sure that there would be a thirty-eighth, a thirty-ninth, and perhaps even a fortieth.