AN: Inspired by a conversation with Fix-It Feesh from Tumblr and a more depressing take of Pink's song 'Just Give Me A Reason.'
Disclaimer: I do not own Wreck It Ralph. Disney does.
Smiling as the waitress brought him his third cup of coffee, Felix decided that he was greatest fool to ever live.
He never should have agreed to meet her. When he had seen her name pop up onto the screen of his phone, telling him that he had a new text, he should have just deleted it. Even if he hadn't deleted it, he should have just told her 'no.' It's not like he would have been without reason, a dozen explanations that would have been perfect if she had asked why he couldn't already at his disposal. A day already too full of repairs that he was going to be skipping lunch and working late; a set of rusted pipes that he had to fix in his small amount of downtime so that they wouldn't floor the fourth floor; the fact that meeting with her would make him late to all of his other appointments for the rest of the day, and the list continued on. Any of them would have been an acceptable excuse to not see her, and all of them would have been sufficient enough to hide the real reason behind his refusal.
The fact of the matter, however, was that, the moment he saw her name for the first time in two long years, his mangled little heart had twisted a bit in his chest, causing him to almost cry out as his cell fell to the floor. Being the masochistic sucker that he was, Felix hadn't even stopped to think about the pain it would cause him to see her again, and instead had just texted back a simple 'yes.' He was being the pathetic little puppy that he had promised himself he would never be again, running toward her the moment she beckoned, but honestly he couldn't care.
Despite the pain he knew was to come the moment they parted ways, the chance to see her one more time and figure out just what went wrong was too much for him to pass up. This decided, he went to the little café she had mentioned half an hour early and waited.
"You're here. I thought…"
"That I wouldn't come," Felix asked wearily as he turned to face the hesitating woman standing behind him, a small, tired smile gracing his face as he took the sight of her in. "I gave my word, Ma'am, and you know I always stick by it." Pausing to watch as she shifted where she stood, it was with a sigh that Felix waved over the waitress and continued, allowing some of his exhaustion to seep into his voice. "It's good to see you again, Tammy. It's good to see you."
Having said those words, Felix realizes that it was. It had been two years since he had last seen Tamora Jean Calhoun, two years since he had spoken to her or heard her name in a casual conversation, and it was good to see that the time had been kind to her. Very little about her had changed; the same blue eyes stared at him through the same blonde bangs, while the same style of clothing hung from the same body that he had once known so well. If anything, the change was in her personality, a kind of calm acceptance that had not been there two years beforehand now present. Watching as she took the seat across from him and ordered a cup of coffee (black, no sugar, no cream. That had stayed the same as well, and if he concentrated, he could still taste it on his tongue from their many morning kisses.), Felix decided that it was, in fact, good to see her.
"How have you been?"
"Fine," Felix replied, though he left it at that. While it was clear that she wished for him to go on, to jammer and jabber in the way that he normally did when asked those kinds of questions, to fill in the awkward silence between them, Felix refused. She had been the one to ask him there, so while it might be a bit impolite on his part, it was up to her to make herself comfortable with their level of noise. If she wished for them to talk, she would have to be the one to start the conversation. Though he would throw her a bone. "And you?"
"Fine, fine," she said, falling silent once again as the waitress returned with her drink. For a long while the two remained that way, he out of curiosity and she out of a combination of emotions that he couldn't even begin to make heads or tails out of. There was guilt, yes, as there should be, but others mixed in there as well. Sadness, anger, happiness, and the slightest bit of hope seemed to come from her with each movement that she made, though what each emotion was directed towards he had no clue. So he waited, playing with his empty cup until she decided to speak. He had his questions, but they could wait.
"I guess you're wondering why I asked you here, Fix-It."
"That I am, Ma'am, but my name is Fiset. Or Felix, if you prefer, considering our history together, but not Fix-It. I haven't been Fix-It for a long, long time."
He could tell that she was startled, perhaps even a bit hurt over his correction, for she had called him Fix-It since the day that they had met. She had been, in fact, one of the only people he had actually allowed call him that. For him to take away that privilege, small as it might be, showed just how far apart the two of them had become. Turning her head to clear her throat and hide the look on her face, Tamora nodded.
"Right, sorry. Fiset." The name sounded strange on her tongue, almost twisted as she carefully pronounced it so that it would not resemble its stuttered variation, but say it she did as she continued. "I'm glad that you came. I've been wanting to talk to you. About what happened between us. About how things ended."
"I'm not sure there's much to talk about, Ma'am," Felix said coolly as he leaned back in his seat, his arms crossing protectively over his chest as he spoke. "The way I remember it, you made things pretty clear. You wanted out, so you left and let me worry myself to death for a week before you decided to call and tell me it was over."
It was this, perhaps, that had haunted Felix the most over the last two years that he had been living without her. He could have dealt with a breakup; he had before, and he most likely would again. What had gotten to him, however, and what had stayed with him for all this time, was the fact that Tamora had just left. Without telling a single soul, she had packed up her apartment, had gotten a new phone with a new number, rented a PO box somewhere in New York, and had just left. No warning, no note, and nothing to let him know that she was okay and not dead in a ditch somewhere. It had taken her a week, a full seven days, to call him from a payphone to let him know that it was over, and by then he had been a wreck. The bad breakup he could have handled and moved on from; the sleepless nights wondering if he would have to start making funeral plans while the police told him there was nothing they could do were what got him.
"I'm sorry about that," Tamora said softly as she refused to meet his gaze, her eyes instead fixed upon the dregs of coffee that remained within her mug. "I didn't mean to-"
"You didn't mean to what, Tamora," Felix demanded, though instead of continuing he just sighed, allowing his posture to slump so that he was leaning against the table. He hadn't come there to make wild accusations; he had agreed to meet with her to get answers, and while he had every right to be cross, allowing those emotions to show would get him nowhere. "Can you tell me why?"
"I saw the ring."
Squeezing his eyes shut, Felix nodded as what Tamora just said made a little bit of sense, the ring in question still the one sitting in his sock drawer at home. He had bought it on a whim, had followed the strange impulse in his heart to get that ring for a future date, and had instantly regretted it the moment he had gotten home. While he hadn't heard the whole story, he had known enough about Tamora's past to know that, at least at that time, marriage had been off the table and something that was never to be spoken about between them. A possibility, yes, but not for quite some time. This had led to him doing everything he could to hide the small piece of jewelry so as to not cause waves within their slowly developing relationship, but obviously he had failed.
"I saw the ring," Tamora repeated, "and I freaked out. It seemed like things were becoming too serious too quickly, and I just had to get away." Tilting her head so that her bangs were covering her face, Tamora took a moment to collect her thoughts before finishing, her words chosen so that, cliché as they were, they were real. "I was only thinking of myself, and for that I'm sorry. I never meant to hurt you; I just had to leave."
"It wasn't just me who you hurt, Ma'am," Felix pointed out. "Ralph, Vanellope, Mary and the other residents of the apartment; all of them were mighty upset when you left without a single 'good bye.'"
"How are they doing," she asked guiltily, raising her already empty cup to drain the last of her coffee so that he wouldn't be able to read her face as she heard the names of the people she had been friends with. Vanellope's name seemed to hit her especially hard, for her and the now eleven-year-old had been close during the time that Tamora had lived two floors down. The little girl had missed her older female companion, and, seeing her now, Felix could tell that Tamora had missed the little racer just as much.
"They're doing well," Felix said honestly. "Ralph was promoted at the wrecking company, the other tenants have been living their lives without much change, and Vanellope won the local racing tournament in the kart that the two of you had been working on. She even named it 'The Sarge.'" Watching as Tamora smiled even as her head bowed so that he could not see her eyes, Felix decided that enough was enough. Their conversation either had to reach its point or end.
"What are you doing here, Tammy," Felix asked with a small shake of his head. "Why did you come back?"
"Shortly after I left, I met someone," Tamora said instead, turning her head so that she could look out the window as she spoke. "He was a nice guy. Shorter then you, drank too much, and he had a mustache, but a nice guy nonetheless. We started dating, and, after a while, he asked me to marry him." Turning back to face him, her fingers fiddling with her napkin while her eyes locked with his, Tamora dropped perhaps the biggest bomb she could have as if she was doing nothing more than discussing the weather. "I said yes."
"Congratulations," Felix choked out with a forced smile, his teeth clenching together as he struggled to keep his gaze from her hands. Why she was telling him, out of all people, this little fact about her life after them he didn't know, but like it or not he would be supportive. "T-that's great, Tammy! When's the wedding?" Whatever the date, he would be busy, for there was no way he would be able to sit and watch as she married another man. But, for the sake of politeness, still he asked.
"Two weeks ago."
This time he couldn't help it as his eyes flickered to her left hand, nor could he help the baffled look that crossed his face as he found her fingers bare. She had just gotten married, so why wasn't she wearing the ring?
"I couldn't go through with it," Tamora admitted with a shrug as she read the look on his face, her hands migrating from the tabletop to her lap as she returned to staring out the window. "I thought that I could, thought that I would, but, when I finally got to the alter, I said 'no.' I just couldn't marry Gene."
"Why is that," Felix asked, his slight lean towards her over the table showing his interest for the conversation. While he felt sorry for this 'Gene' character, he couldn't help the small voice in the back of his mind that was rejoicing at her rejection of him, and he was curious as to why she had. "Why couldn't you marry him?"
"Because," she said as she faced him, her gaze filling him in on the meaning of her words, "as sappy as this sounds, I'm still in love with someone else. And the reason I came here, Felix, and the reason I asked you to meet me, was so that I could ask for another chance."
"Tammy, I…I'm sorry, but I can't." Slowly shaking his head, Felix swallowed thickly as the words forced themselves from his mouth to hang in the air between them. Although one part of him, the larger, stronger, celebrating part of him wanted to say that they could, that he would gladly forget the last two years for another chance to be with her, the part that he was following had decided to say 'no.' There had been too much pain and too much time for them to just 'try again.' He still loved her, but he just couldn't. Pulling out his wallet, he quickly paid for their drinks and stood, his soft voice cracking as, for the first time in his life, he spoke with his head instead of his heart.
"I'm sorry, Tamora, but I can't. It was nice seeing you again. Good bye."
That said, ignoring the blurriness of his vision and the pained look that had occupied her features, Felix, without looking back, exited the café and left behind the woman he loved for good.
As much as he wanted to, he just couldn't try again.
(Although neither of them knew it then, it wouldn't even be another year before the ring that was hiding in Felix's sock drawer was finally put to good use. But not for the person it had been intended.)