Felix had headed straight for the penthouse once he’d left Tapper’s. When he reached his condo, he closed the door and locked it behind him for the first time in weeks. As soon as the lock clicked, he lost all composure, tears streaming down his face. He strode slowly to his bedroom, sitting on his bed so that his feet hung off the the edge.
He pulled off his gloves and set them on his nightstand, letting his gaze linger on the framed picture there for a moment too long. From the photographs scattered around Felix’s condo, it would be hard to believe that Sergeant Calhoun rarely smiled. Felix had a way of making people happy, and not even the battle-scarred sergeant was immune to it.
This particular picture had been taken by Vanellope; she claimed she’d followed them around on each date they took to Sugar Rush for a week; Calhoun vehemently resputed this claim, for she would never be so unobservant. Vanellope had given them the photograph for their first wedding anniversary. In it, Calhoun was standing with her arms around Felix, who stood in front of her. Her smile was almost as big as his, and Felix’s cheeks were bright red with the “honeyglows.”
It was a perfect shot. There was none of the feigned sincerity of a posed shot; every bit of emotion was real. She had been at her most beautiful when she was smiling; it was a rare gift when she did.
He tore his gaze from the photo, his eyes drifting to his hands and resting on the gold wedding band. He patted his chest, eyes widening in a panic when he didn’t feel metal beneath his shirt. He grabbed at his neck and his panic subsided as his fingers made contact with a thin metal chain. He tugged on the chain until he had her dog tags in his hand and held them up to his chest, pressing them against his heart. His racing heart slowed back to its normal rate and he dropped the dog tags, letting them fall until the chain caught and they could dangle at his chest.
He’d stopped crying, although he was still shaken over the day’s events. He wanted to hate her for coming in and replacing his Tammy. For taunting him with her likeness, when he knew she wasn’t quite the same. But he couldn’t hate her, because he knew it wasn’t her fault. She wasn’t trying to replace anyone. She’d been plugged in and was now doing her job.
He didn’t know what he was going to do now that Hero’s Duty was back, now that he’d have to face the possibility of seeing her at any time; however, it was growing late and he was tired. Even though tomorrow was Sunday- and, as such, the arcade was closed- he only wanted to rest. He considered and promptly rejected the idea of donning pajamas, instead simply taking off his pants and work shirt, leaving them at the foot of the bed. He curled up comfortably, habitually remaining on only the left side. He refused to part with the dog tags or wedding ring; he took them off only when showering.
Felix set his alarm for ten, a few hours later than most Sundays. He deserved to sleep in on occasion, and there wasn’t much for him to do, anyhow. Tapper’s wasn’t an option- not for a while at least; not until he was more sure of how he was going to deal in the chance he’d run into Calhoun. He supposed he could visit Sugar Rush with Ralph- and maybe he would, after a decent morning’s rest- but he wasn’t entirely sure he could take the saccharine sweetness of Vanellope’s kingdom.
His thoughts slowly became jumbled due to his tiredness, and he settled in again amidst the blankets. His thoughts were sporadic, his eyelids heavy; he was just about asleep. A stray thought struck him, and he was fixated on it, his previous drowsiness forgotten. The lyrics to a familiar song danced around his head. The song immediately reminded him of Tammy.
The first time he had heard it, she had been the one singing it. She was singing it quietly while she was in the shower, apparently unaware that Felix could hear her. He asked her about it once she’d gotten showered and dressed, and she brushed it off as just some song she heard one of the gamers playing. With some gentle prompting, she admitted that it reminded her of Brad, and he gave her a sympathetic look and held her close, not saying anything more.
Now, the same song reminded Felix of Tamora, and the lyrics played through his head almost relentlessly. He wasn’t sure if he couldn’t chase the song from his head or if he just couldn’t bring himself to; it brought a bittersweet, almost ironic kind of sadness. He felt somehow closer to her. Finally he fell asleep, "I followed your ashes into outer space. I can’t look out the window. I can’t look at this place. I can’t look at the stars,” following him into his dreams.
- noivurn posted this