AN: This little monster was inspired by that picture of Felix being bullied as a teenager by fafafixit. I hope you all enjoy it, and sorry if anyone seems out of character, if the story seems rushed, or if you just don't like it. Finally, let's see if you can catch the shout out that's in here.
Disclaimer: I do not own Wreck It Ralph. Disney does.
"So, Fix-It, tell me again why it is we're going to your ten year reunion two years late?"
Glaring at the face that glowered back from the mirror, Tamora could not help the almost whining question as she tried, once again, to tame her hair. Running her brush through it for what must have been the tenth time in the last few minutes, she bit back a groan as it flopped back over her eyes, her bangs refusing to leave their normal duty of covering her face. Normally, if she had a bit a time and some bobby pins, she could beat it into something seemingly decent, at least something that would be appropriate for this kind of event. Time she had had enough of, for ever since Felix had received the invitation almost a week and a half ago, the reunion had been the only thing he had talked about, regaling her with tales of the friends he had made and how much fun he had had during those four years. However, ever since a certain racing-obsessed nine-year-old had entered their lives, her drawers had been severely lacking in said hair styling utensils, Vanellope having decided that they looked much better in her own hair with candy glued to them.
Giving up her hair for a lost cause, Tamora double checked her make up before sitting on the edge of the bed to pull on her shoes, still waiting for her long-time boyfriend to explain himself.
"Well," Felix said as he poked his head into their bedroom to check on her, though most of his focus remained on his still undone tie, "the event coordinator's house caught fire about a month before our actual ten year reunion was scheduled, destroying all of the documents. The hall that'd been rented for it refused to let anyone in without proof that it had been paid for. The year after that, we received a bomb threat a couple of hours before the reunion was set to begin, and the building had to remain closed until after it had been cleared, so the reunion was canceled. But you know what they say, Tammy: third time's the charm! Hopefully this year's will go off without a hitch."
Frowning as his tie refused to bend into its proper shape, it was with a slight pout that Felix finally looked at her, his request for help dying on his lips as he took in the sight before him. His gaze becoming thoughtful as he ran his eyes over her, for a moment he chewed on the inside of his cheek before going over to their closet and rummaging around the bottom, casting her a sly glance over his shoulder as he did so. Nodding as he found what he had been looking for, Felix turned and, holding a specific pair of shoes in hand, spoke.
"Wear your heels tonight."
"Why," was the first thing that came to Tamora's mind at Felix's request, and so was the first thing she said as her head jerked upward, the bid startling her. While she rarely went out of her way to address the many different aspects of their relationship if they were not causing a problem, their difference in height was something she tried to remain aware of, if more for Felix's sake then her own. While not so much now that he was more secure with how things were going, she knew, despite the fact that he had never said anything, that his short stature in comparison to her height had bothered him when they had first started dating. So she tried not to enhance the issue. Not that it was much of an imposition, for she hated almost any shoe that was not a sneaker to begin with, but the fact that he wanted to call even more attention to their height difference then a pair of simple flats would surprised her.
Smiling as he walked over and looked down at her, one of the few times he ever found himself the taller, Felix bent until his lips met hers, his free hand raising to cup her cheek as he did so. Sighing as she leaned into the kiss, it did not escape Tamora's notice when he pulled the flat from her unresisting hands, nor did she miss when he pressed the stiletto he had rescued from the pit that was her side of the closet into its place. However, the smirk on his face as she pulled away was too cute to destroy, so she let it slide.
"You still haven't told me why you want me to wear these," Tamora pointed out as she began to tug on the strap that kept the shoe closed, already frowning as the clasp refused to bend to her will.
"Because while you're always stunning, Tammy, tonight I want everyone to see just what a dynamite gal you really are."
Although she had tried to prepare herself, Tamora could not help the groan that escaped her as she saw just how cheesy the decorations were.
In short, it was as if someone had spent the last month watching old eighty movies and taking notes on what the teenagers featured in them had used at their proms. A mixture of streamers and cheap cardboard stars hung from the ceiling, while glitter and tinsel had been thrown over every flat surface available. Cookies, cakes, and various punch bowls on plastic, fold up tables lined the walls, and someone had taken it upon themselves to hang a 'Welcome, Class of 2000' sign just in the doorway. A pair of smiling faces, otherwise unnoticeable except for their sparkling white teeth, sat at a table covered in the school's colors, writing and handing out nametags that were perfectly legible. There was even an overly stern looking woman standing in the corner, a teacher playing chaperon so that, if anyone stood too close to someone of the opposite sex or a fight began to break out, she would be there to put an end it to it.
Almost twelve years' worth of memories said otherwise, but, for a moment, Tamora could not help feel as if she was eighteen again and that high school had really never ended. She was thankful when, a moment later, she was snapped out of it as Felix was pulled into a hug, the larger man laughing as he lifted him off of his feet and spun.
"Felix Fiset, I was hoping that you'd be here," the man said as he released the handyman, his face a crinkled mass as his grin grew. Smacking Felix on the back with a large, meaty fist, chuckling as he then grabbed him by the back of his coat to keep him from stumbling, it was with a shake of his head that he sighed, a wistful sound as he continued to speak. "It's been what, nine years since we last saw each other? I don't know if you recognize me, but I'm-"
"Buck Woodworth," Felix cut in, steadying himself by returning the hug, his arms barely able to touch as they wrapped around his old friend. "How could you ever think I could forget what yah look like, Buck? Besides, your wife just sent me a new picture! Tammy," he said excitedly, almost bouncing as he turned away to grab her hand, tugging her out of the nametag line and closer to the man, "this is one of my friends that I've been telling you about, Buck Woodworth. Buck, I would like you to meet my girlfriend, Miss Tamora Calhoun."
"Madam Calhoun," Buck said, taking one of her hands between his own as he gave a half bow, raising it to his lips to place a kiss upon her knuckles before continuing in an overly formal manner. "It is an honor to meet the woman who has made my friend so incredibly happy. Although it has been many years since we've seen each other, the distance has not stopped our friendship from remaining intact, and many a letter and e-mail has been exchanged between us. Forgive me if this is too forward, but I have heard much about you, and, if I may, the picture that Felix sent me of you two does not do you justice."
"I see your acting classes are finally kicking in, Bucky, but you might want to try using them on someone who's single. Like me, for instant."
"Davis, you old dog," Buck roared as he released Tamora's hand to take a swipe at that brunette who had snuck up on them, his purposeful miss and the twinkle in his eyes showing that there was no real anger in his words. "You just had to ruin it, didn't you? I was sure that I had almost won her heart." Winking at her with a cheeky grin, Buck just laughed as Tamora placed a kiss onto Felix's cheek as her response before turning her attention towards the newest addition to their group, appraising the man as Felix made the introductions.
"Tamora," Felix said as he wrapped his arm around her waist, casting a playful glare at Buck as he did so, "this is my friend, Davis Culone. He's the micro-biologist I told you about."
"Micro-biologist intern, Felix," Davis said with a slight blush, reaching back to rub his neck as he spoke. "It'll be years before I get to become a real one." His face darkening as he had to tilt his head to look up at Tamora, it was with a nod that he silently greeted her. He was short, even shorter than Felix, and, had it not been for the grin that seemed a permanent part of his face, Tamora would have thought there something almost rodent-like about him. "Nice to meet you," he finally said after a few moments more, holding out his hand for a shake. "Ignore the Theatre Major dropout, he just likes to make a scene every now and then."
"Ah, but what a scene it is," Buck said as he took a few steps to the side, motioning for them to follow so that they were no longer blocking the entrance. Settling on a spot where they could still keep an eye on the people coming and going, it was with a wave at Felix that he turned toward her, making it clear that Tamora was, once again, the focus of his attention. "I already know everything about you, Fiset, Culone," he said teasingly, "but you, Miss Calhoun, I still only know the basics about. Felix said that you were ex-military? Let me guess: marines?"
"Former sergeant, and you're correct," she confirmed, a smile coming almost naturally as she forced herself to relax. Perhaps the night would not be quite as tedious as she had initially thought it would be. Buck, at least, seemed entertaining enough. Opening her mouth to ask what he did for a living, her words were cut as he took off, weaving his way through the hoard of people with surprising ease, considering his size, to catch another person that he had seen. It did not take him long before he returned, a fourth man and a heavily pregnant woman in tow behind him.
"Look who sent out a notice saying that they wouldn't be able to come but showed up anyway," Buck proclaimed with faux annoyance, breaking character to place a kiss upon the woman's cheek before pulling the man into a half hug. "All we need is Ralph, and the whole gang would be back together again. Too bad he's a year older."
"My lands, Georgia, you look amazing," Felix said as he crossed the circle to give her a hug. He was careful not to squeeze too tightly, despite the death grip she threw around him as her face lit up with recognition. "And it's great to see you too, Carl."
"My word, Felix, you haven't changed a single bit," Georgia said with a thick southern accent, her hands fluttering to her stomach as Felix stepped away to allow Davis a turn at hugging her. "Buck, Davis, you two dearies are exactly the same as well. Oh, it's so good to see you again! And you must be Tamora," Georgia cooed as she turned toward her, walking over and placing a kiss onto Tamora's cheek before she could be stopped. "Felix has told us so much about you, dear. Why, I would say that he's happier and prouder with you then the day he took over the repair business from his father!"
"Nice to meet you too," Tamora said awkwardly as she took as half step back, shaking hands with Carl before shoot Felix a look. It was…unnerving, to say the least, having all of these people know so much about her when she had only just heard about them in detail for the first time a week and a half ago. At least the stories that he had told her during that time about just how much fun he had had during high school had prepared her for this moment, and she would not be stumbling over names that she was only just hearing.
"So," Buck started once the group had settled down once more, their numbers complete out of the people attending the event that night. "Since some of us have been horrible about updating our group e-mails," he said with a kidding glare at Davis, who only shrugged in return, "who wants to spill first and fill the rest of us in on what they've been up to for the last twelve years?"
While normally she would have found the conversation fascinating, especially when Buck confessed that he worked for a defense company and turned the topic to the newest developments that it had been making towards drone warfare, tonight Tamora could not help it as her mind began to wander. She could easily see why, despite their differences, Felix had been friends with the group of men and woman chatting before her. They were kind, decent people, just like him, people who actually seemed to care. Good, loyal friends, the kind that could just pick up after twelve years of separation as if not a single day had gone by. Having finally met the people that Felix had spent the last week telling her about, Tamora could easily see that they were all peas in a pod.
They were too similar, as it turned out, for as Carl passed fifteen minutes to explain how, exactly, one navigated the latest tax return laws and showed no signs of stopping, Tamora found herself desperate for an escape.
"I'm going to go get something to drink. You want anything," she whispered softly into Felix's ear, almost smiling as she noticed Carl's wife pulling the exact same move that she was, to which the other woman was given a smile and a nod without even a break in the sentence.
"If you don't mind, dear," he murmured back, only half paying attention to what it was that she had just said, most of his focus instead fixed upon what his friend was saying. Whether it was true interest Tamora could not tell, for Felix, just like the other men listening to Carl's rant, were all too nice to excuse themselves if they found the topic boring. She, however, and apparently Georgia as well, were not.
"Don't get me wrong, dearie," Georgia said with a sigh as the shorter, bouncier woman felling into step with Tamora, her hands automatically folding protectively over her swollen belly. "I love the man, but he sure can talk when the opportunity comes up. Then again, he was always like that, so I can't say that I didn't know what I was getting into when I married him."
"Felix thinks highly of him," Tamora said honestly as she paused, putting a hand on Georgia's shoulder as two men who had obviously drunk a bit too much stumbled past, almost knocking a waiter over a few moments later. "He's been telling me a lot about the friends he hung out with during high school since he received the invite, and Carl's probably the one I've heard the most about."
"I would think so," Georgia laughed as she tiled her head to smile up at Tamora, a glint in her eyes as she remembered the past. "Those boys were as thick as thieves, I have to tell you, back when they were all younger. They all lived in the same neighborhood, Felix, Buck, Davis, Ralph, and Carl, all within a block or two of each other. They became instant friends, though the group had a bit of a falling out when Felix and Ralph had some sort of tiff during middle school. The two eventually made up the year before graduation, bringing the group back to a whole, but in the meanwhile Carl and Felix became quite close." She let out a tiny laugh as she patted her stomach, looking over her shoulder to smile fondly at her husband. "It was Felix who actually introduced me to Carl, you know, so if it wasn't for him, this little one would have never existed."
"It is your first," Tamora asked as they finally reached the other side of the room, the display of sugary, almost childish snacks that had been set out for them to eat making her feel as if she was back in school for the second time that night, at one of the cheesy dances that the teachers had tried to put on to promote school spirit. Snagging two cups of punch, making sure to steer clear of the ones that had obviously had a little something extra added to them, she waited as Georgia finished the cookie she had grabbed, happily chewing the chocolaty treat without a care in the world.
"My third," Georgia admitted sheepishly as she took the cup from Tamora, rubbing her hand over her stomach to smooth a crease in the fabric and brush off a crumb or two that had fallen. "The other two are at home with the sitter. I thought about staying home, but since this is the first time I've been able to make a reunion, I thought why not. It's not every year that we get to celebrate our tenth year free from high school two years late. Besides, our oldest, Jason, is finally-"
"Why hello there, hot stuff. I don't remember you going to our school; believe me, I'd remember a body like yours. Mind telling me where you live, gorgeous, so I can take you there in the morning?"
For a long moment Tamora just stood there, hoping that whichever woman that guy had just hit on would have the sense to punch him and walk away, a tactic that she had used many times when her men had gotten out of line. However, as moments passed and she finally noticed Georgia glancing at her in shock and trepidation, Tamora was far too stunned to do anything as she realized that she, in fact, was the woman being addressed.
"Phillips," Georgia said coolly as she nodded at that man that had come to stand next to them, her distain for the person that Tamora recognized as one of the men who had almost knocked them over a few minutes earlier clear within her voice. "I believe my friend's silence means that she wants nothing to do with you, so if you don't mind, we have to go."
"Woah, woah, woah there, preggers," Matthew Phillips, former 'big man on campus,' said with a slight slur as he reached out to stop her, his hand almost falling upon her shoulder. He paused as Tamora intercepted, her fingers wrapping tightly around his wrist before he could touch the other woman, causing him to look at her with wide but glazed eyes. "I'll get to you in a minute, cutie," he said with a grin as he yanked his arm away, a move that Tamora allowed so as to avoid a scene. Turning back to Georgia, his smile grew as recognition appeared within his eyes. "Hey, Georgie, nice to see yah again! And all knocked up, too! Never thought it was gonna happen to be honest, but congrats. Lemme guess, the kid's that shrimp's, Felix's, am I right? I always knew you liked 'im. Glad to see he finally got some."
"N-no," Georgia sputtered at the accusations that had been thrown at her, her face a deep red as she glanced between the man and Tamora. Although she did shoot the woman a curious glance that had been combined with a raised eyebrow, for the most part Tamora kept her eyes upon the man before them, analyzing him for the moment she decided to break his nose. He was blonde, that much was obvious, though he was already balding at the temples and on top of his head, the hair loss made that much more obvious by the length of his hair. He had been fit once; probably one of those kids who had worked out to join the football team but had never been accepted because they could not play well with others. Whatever remained of his muscle mass had been almost completely buried under a layer of fat. Although he stood with a confidence rarely seen in men, something she could normally respect, she expected that, tonight, it was because of the drink he had obviously consumed if the stain on his jacket was anything to go off of.
The last twelve years had obviously not been kind to him, and tonight was his chance to attempt to regain some of the power that had once been his.
"Come on, Georgia, let's go," Tamora huffed as she squeezed in between Phillips and the pregnant woman, already done with the man's attitude in the two minutes that she had been listening to him talk. Had they been anywhere else, she would have easily taken him out already, putting him back into his place without a second thought. However, uncaring as she herself might be of the opinions of strangers, Felix always seemed to be very aware, and she did not want to ruin future reunions for him. Grabbing another cup of punch for Felix and Georgia's hand with her free one, Tamora turned away, ready to forget the asshole behind her and try to enjoy the rest of her night, when she came face to face with another drunk.
"Hello, sweetheart. You, girly, are one tall drink of water, and I think I'm a bit thirsty."
"Jeffery," Georgia squeaked from behind her, unknowingly pressing herself against Tamora's back as she tried to make herself less of a target. This one was smaller than Phillips, with short brown hair and still clear eyes despite the smell of spirits on his breath. At some point someone had beaten her, for his nose had obviously been broken and never properly set, giving him a crooked look that she easily saw through. He thought himself dangerous, a lone wolf that could easily score its prey.
She knew him a punk, and one that she could easily knock onto its ass if she wanted to. And oh how she wanted to.
"There you are, Tammy, Georgia. We were getting worried about you two." Although his words were warm as he wiggled his way between the two to stand by her side, it was clear from Felix's voice that he was on edge, his eyes flickering between the men as he forced himself to calmly take his drink from her. Nodding to Georgia, he tilted his head over toward where Carl and the others were standing, half hesitating to jump in as they watched with obvious fear on their faces. Taking in the newest factors that she had been presented with, Tamora quickly realized that, when Felix had been reliving his high school experience, he had not told her everything.
Her hands clenching into fists, her eyes narrowed as she re-examined and again found fault with the bullies that Felix had refused to mention earlier.
"Georgia, the babysitter called Carl about one of Jason's allergies, and for the life of him he just could not remember," Felix said calmly as he motioned again toward the group that was making its way through the crowd, finally ready to rescue and reabsorb its endangered members. "I think that's something you need to take care of."
"Right, Felix," Georgia said with a heavy hint of gratitude clear in her voice as she took her chance and wiggled out the same way Felix had come in, careful to keep her stomach from brushing against either of the men. Nodding once she was out of the line of fire, he turned his attention fully to the old bullies that he had spent most of his life trying to forget, forcing himself to accept it, move on, and only dwell on the good that had been happening in his life since a certain marine had moved into his building.
"Matthew, Jeffery," he said with respective nod at each man, his voice cool yet polite as he reached back to take Tamora's hand, "it's good to see you two, but if you'll excuse us, we-"
"Felix, my main man, Felix, that's who you are," Matthew suddenly interrupted, pushing his hair from his eyes as he reached over to smack Jeffery on the back. "Jeffery, it's Jr.! You remember Jr., right? I remember we all use to have some good times, way back when."
"Who could forget," Jeffery said with a smile and a nod, crossing his arms as he did so. "I didn't know you had a hot little sister, Jr., though I'm not surprised that you brought her with you. Where's your husband; he couldn't make it this year? Aww, that's too bad."
"Dude, good one," Matthew laughed as he pounded his hand against Jeffery's back, eventually leaning against his steadier friend as his already drunken state allowed his sense of balance to depart with any hope that Tamora had for leaving the party without making a scene. Ignoring Felix's whispered pleas for her to ignore them and just come with him back to their group of friends, Tamora decided that a little round of show and tell would go much, much farther than just her words.
Grabbing Felix by his shirt collar, it was with a smirk that she pulled him into a heated kiss, one he quickly replied to as his mind forgot just where, exactly, they were and focused instead on the taste of her lips again his own.
"Jeffery, dude, I don't think she's his sister. If she is, that is totally messed up…and kinda hot."
"I'm not his sister," Tamora growled as she pulled away from her flushed Felix, her point made as she turned to face the two, "nor did he pay me to be here," she added on, catching the question from Jeffery's mind before it could make it to his mouth. "I'm his girlfriend, so I would suggest that you bugs leave my sight before I decide that my fist needs to meet your face. Now."
Although she had been the one to give the order, Tamora was the one to be pulled away, finally giving in to Felix's insistent tugging on her hand. Growling at the show of weakness, her scowl deepened as she watched Felix visibly relax once they had passed them. Normally she would have questioned him by now, demanding to know what that was and all the details behind their little confrontation. However, Tamora was willing to bite her tongue and wait until they were home to interrogate him about what had just happened. Considering the circumstance, she was willing to let him enjoy the rest of the reunion, doing her best to keep his mind off of the two behind them until they reached a more appropriate place to talk. She would have been willing to do all of that, had Matthew not decided to open his mouth and cross a line.
"Looks like Jr. never learned to let go of his dead mother's dress skirt. None of those floppies ever did. Too bad about the blonde's such a bitch though. But, when you think about it, we probably lucked out with Porgy Georgie; she's always been a whore, so who knows what she might have giv-"
Felix, in spite of his small frame, was deceptively strong. It was a strength born from the last dozen years of running up and down a dozen flights of stairs, carrying with him everything he would need to fix whatever had broken in the apartment. Despite the fact that Tamora knew this, the sight of Felix dragging two grown men much larger than himself towards the closest set of doors surprised even her.
"You don't get it, do you," Felix demanded quietly as he flung Jeffery and Matthew down the short flight of stairs outside, a small, almost cruel smile crossing his lips as they fell into the mud. "I've tried to be nice, tried to ignore you two just like my father suggested, but my friends and I are no longer children." Stalking down the stairs until he was standing over them, it was with a voice so quite that Tamora, who still stood half in the doorway, almost couldn't hear that he continued, making himself clear to his tormentors for the first time in his life.
What he said had her grinning like a cat that had just been given permission to eat the prized pet bird.
"You boys know that I'm a pacifist," Felix began calmly, shrugging his shoulders as if they were just having a normal conversation, "but my girlfriend? One of those two lovely ladies you just disrespected? She's a marine, and she will end you if she sees fit. Georgia has always been like a little sister to me, something you two are well aware of, and I know for a fact that her six-year-old shows more common decency in a single day then either of you have shown in thirty years. She's a kind, caring woman who is a wonderful mother, one who just showcases where your own sadly failed."
Standing up, Felix slowly began to pace around them, forcing the two to turn their heads to keep their wary eyes upon him. Neither of them had ever thought that they would see that day that little Felix Fredrick Fiset Jr. would snap. Now that they had, they were scared to let him out of their sights.
"My friends and I are no longer children, gentlemen," Felix reiterated, crossing his hands behind his back as he circled them, an almost predatory gleam in his eyes as he did so. "We're not those defenseless little kids you tormented all those years ago, and, even if you try, we don't have to take it." Pausing to glance over his shoulder, where the outline of his friends could be seen partly peering around Tamora's silhouette, Felix slowly continued, making sure to annunciate each word so that, even in their drunken state of mine, the two still sitting before him would understand.
"Carl works at the largest accounting firm in the nation; he could easily destroy you financially if he finds a reason to. Davis is a micro-chemist. He works with some of the deadliest diseases known to mankind, and I reckon that, should the fancy ever hit, you boys would find yourselves contracting some particularly nasty version of the flu. Buck works with missiles. I think even you two are smart enough to imagine what might happen if you continue to make him cross." Pausing in his pacing and kneeling so that he was balanced on the tips of his toes at their level, Felix leaned in until their faces were almost touching, his nose crinkling at the smell of drink rolling off of the two. "My friends and I are no longer children," he said one last time, his voice almost deadly as he spoke the warning for a third time, "and if any of us ever decided to get even, you would never know until it was far too late."
"What about you, Jr.," Jeffery growled, though he shrank slightly under the gaze that Felix turned towards him. "What could you ever do to us?"
"I'm the worse, Jeffery," Felix said with a dark chuckle, shaking his head slightly as he spoke, shifting his gaze between the men before him, "I'm the worse. I'll destroy your plumbing. Not get out of here, and don't let me catch either of you around here again."
"Impressive, Fix-It," Tamora said as she watched Jeffery and Matthew pull themselves to their feet, their curses loud, angry, and fearful as they stumbled towards the front of the building. "What-"
Her sentence was lost as Felix took the initiative and pulled her down into a kiss, finally taking a few moments to fully appreciate the lingering taste of punch on her tongue that he had noticed when she had kissed him earlier to prove her point.
"Do you want to get out of here," he asked as he pulled away, his voice low as he gently nuzzled her neck with the tip of his nose. His hands hovered at her waist, ready to pull her back against him the moment he had her permission, letting her know just how eager he truly was for a positive answer. Smirking as she twisted herself out of his hold, placing a kiss onto his cheek instead when his face formed a pout, Tamora jerked her head towards the still open doors.
"Come on, soldier. I think you have a ten-year reunion that's been twelve years in the making to attend." Tugging him back into the main room, Tamora whispered one last sentence into his ear as their group of friends began to converge upon them, leaving him flushed as the others began their interrogation to discover just how much he had really changed over the dozen of years since they had last seen him.
"But if you really don't want to wait until we get home, I'm sure there's a back room with a couch or two that we could borrow."