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Change of Heart

In: Other Topics

Submitted By TheDarkLatias
Words 3560
Pages 15
Vanellope: "Eh… Pardon me, Smelly-One, but I wish to inform you that, as a princess, it would be rather inappropriate for me to associate myself with you. I understand that - at some point - you were my best friend, but due to a magical grey-face, I find that my status finds you rather..." She crinkled her nose, "...disgusting, really. Horribly disgusting. I thought I would at least do you the pleasure of seeing me one last time."

Ralph: “… That’s not funny, kid.” Usually, he would have humored her little quips with a hot-tempered rebuttal. It wasn’t anything he hadn’t heard before; however, the words stung a lot more than they should have, and Ralph swallowed a lump that formed in his throat. “‘Status’? You gave that up. You’re a president, not a princess. So drop the fru-fru act, Vanellope.”

Vanellope: Vanellope tittered. Yes, tittered. "Oh, you really are an oaf, aren't you? This isn't an act, I assure you. In fact, to make sure that I am not seen with you in the future, you are banned from ever entering Sugar Rush. I will have my Oreo guards keep watch. Step one fungus-coated toe into my game, and you will regret it." Her stare up at him was hard and unforgiving. "Am I understood?"

Ralph: “Forget that!” Ralph shot back defiantly, swiping his hand through the air to dismiss her words. “You’re not bein’ serious, kid—and I’ll come n’ go as I please.” The greys couldn’t have hacked her coding that badly, could they? The harshness of her gaze was enough to make the wrecker flinch, and he returned the look with equal fervor. “Quit it, Vanellope. This isn’t ‘cute’, or ‘presidential’, or nothin’—it’s annoying.” And hurtful, he thought to himself.

Vanellope: Durning his little rant, Vanellope rolled her eyes. She checked her fingernails and waited until he was done speaking to snap back. "I was hoping you would have a little more dignity than this, but what was I to expect from a knuckle-dragger?"

Ralph: Her body language alone was enough to get Ralph’s blood boiling. A knuckle-dragger? That was low—even by his standards. Ralph growled under his breath. “So this is who you really are, huh? Figures.” He glared back at Vanellope, rage and hurt clear in his amber eyes as he spoke without thinking. “You wanna talk about dignity, kid? Weren’t you the one livin’ in garbage not too long ago, wrapped up like a ‘little homeless lady’? If it wasn’t for this knuckle-dragging oaf,” he prodded himself square in the chest with a thumb, “then you wouldn’t have ever gotten outta there. You’d still be the rotten, conniving little glitching brat that everyone hated.” Ralph tore his gaze away from Vanellope as he moved to trudge away. “You know what? Don’t worry about throwin’ me outta here, kid—I’m gonna go. And I won’t come back.”

Vanellope: Those words... They wiggled their way past the grey-faces magic, her image glitching. Vanellope was in her sweater again, her eyes brimming with tears. "R-Ralph...?" She squeaked, her dress reappearing. She huffed and wiped her eyes. "Moron..."

Ralph: He knew that tone and the crack in her voice. Without turning back around, Ralph held up his hands. He then shut his eyes, albeit a bit tightly as that odd warbling sound of pixels coming undone and rearranging echoed in the air. Ralph couldn’t bring himself to look back at Vanellope, and as much as it pained him to do so, the wrecker took a deliberate step forward. “I might be a moron, a numbskull, a stinkbrain—whatever you can manage to throw at me, but you—” he sighed heavily before clearing his throat to prevent his voice from wavering. “You’re the one with the problem. And… I,” his next words were more of a realization as his shoulders slumped forward in defeat. “I can’t help you.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- STUFF HAPPENS WITH OTHER RACES, RALPH TELLS THE FIX-ITS ABOUT VANELLOPE, THEY CONFRONT HER, RALPH RETURNS

Ralph: "Kid, this needs to stop." He frowned harshly, keeping his hands fixed at his sides. His expression was devoid of anything but hurt and steeled resolve as he approached the altered little girl.

Vanellope: “I thought I banned you. Here, let me explain…” Vanellope looked up at him condescendingly, “Banned. It means you can’t come here anymore. Ever. Or do I have to say it slower?”

Ralph: “You think I care?” Before she could answer, Ralph cut her off with a sharp growl of a response. “No,” he shook his head and jutted a finger down at her. “You’re gonna listen to me. This high-and-mighty act—it’s not you, Vanellope.”

Vanellope: She held up a hand, opening and closing it in a mocking way. “I’m sorry, I don’t speak stupid! DON’T you point that meat-stick at me!” She growled right back, slapping his finger away. “You will RESPECT me! I am your princess!”

Ralph: “No, you’re not!” He shouted in response, gently taking hold of her tiny hand and shoving it aside before pointing at her again—this time prodding her shoulder a bit roughly as he took a step toward her. “You’re nothin’ to me, princess.” He spat the title disgustedly. “Nothin’ but a stuck-up, power-hungry, friendless brat! That’s not the Vanellope I knew. I risked everything for you, kid—everything! And you’re gonna forget all about that because of a stupid little grey-face?” He reached into the front pocket of his overalls, retrieving the handmade “medal” and tossing it down into the tiny noble’s hands. “You can have this back, kid. I don’t need it anymore.”

Vanellope: “How… DARE you!” He had touched her, the area glitching a little. “You did nothing! You were selfish! I wish you had never gotten that stupid medal, then you would have never met me!” She screamed at him. When he stopped and reached into his overalls, she flinched. Enough people had threatened her throughout the day that she half-expected him to pull something out and whack her.
Instead, she saw her medal. It was put into her hands, the feeling of the hard frosting and sprinkles rippling her code. It started from her fingers and didn’t stop until she was clad head-to-toe in her usual garb.
Vanellope opened her mouth, but her words were garbled and torn apart as the spell tried its hardest to take over again.
“NO! Youc cj kj YOUR MEDAcckn86t!” She tried to push off the bottom of the dress that was forming around her, her other hand still clutching the medal. But she couldn’t do it. The tiara reappeared and she threw the medal to the ground. Her foot followed after it, twisting and stomping until the medal was dust.
“GO!! I HATE YOU!”

Ralph: He watched in horror as the medal was reduced to crumbs and 8-bit dust right before his eyes. “You little…” He didn’t finish the thought, instead lunging forward and plucking Vanellope off the ground. He held her firmly, keeping her just close enough to his face to be intimidating, but far enough to avoid getting struck should she lash out again.
“I’m not going anywhere, Vanellope!” He shook her once—gently, as if to rattle some sense into her. “You’re right. Back then, I was selfish, I was stupid—I was wrong to do what I did and say what I said, but this time…” he bore into her eyes with his own, “This time you’re the stinkbrain, kid. What happened to bein’ the president, huh? And all the friends you made, what about them?” His shoulders slumped tiredly, but he didn’t let go. “I know you don’t really wanna be alone again.”
He plucked the tiara from Vanellope’s head, sending it crashing to the ground where it shattered beside the remains of the medal. “Hate me all you want, but I’m not gonna stand around and watch you ruin everything for yourself.”

Vanellope: “Let me go!” She screamed even louder, trying to peel his sausage fingers off from her tiny body. “You’re a horrible, stupid, smelly jerk and I wish I hadn’t met you!” She swung at him, but he had put too much distance between her fists and his face. “Come here so I can hit you!” She growled and stopped to speak, “I don’t have friends! I never did and I never will! I like alone!” She jerked forward, her hands reaching for him a few more times. Then she felt him removing her tiara. “Give that back! It’s MINE!” She watched him shatter it, the sound making her shudder. That, and the spell leaving her body left her feeling limp and empty-minded.
“Let me go, let me go, let me go.” She squirmed from his hands and hit the ground, not caring if she would be bruised later on. She scrambled over to the pile of crumbs and gathered them up in her hands, her chest heaving. “No… No… It’s not broken.” She held the crumbs to her chest, hiccuping and sobbing. “Ralph…” She whined pathetically needing him but not having the strength to get up herself.

Ralph: All Ralph could do at first was watch as Vanellope fell to the ground and whimpered. He glanced down at his hands before allowing them to dangle limply at his sides. They were no more than tools of destruction—he knew that now more than ever.“V-Vanellope…?” He whispered her name, wondering if the grey hack had been removed. She seemed so broken, so defeated and lost… Ralph began to reach out to her, but instead shrank back as he watched her gather the crumbs in a small pile. Let this be over, he pleaded quietly, inhaling deeply through his nose as if to quell the growing ache in his chest. He didn’t know what to say—what could he have said to make this right? As he struggled to find his words, the wrecker fell to his knees beside his best friend, placing his hand atop the remnants of the medal to prevent any more futile attempts at gathering them. Before any objections could be made, he pulled Vanellope over to his chest, embracing her as best as he could. “I’m sorry kid,” he mumbled lowly, resting his cheek upon the crook of her neck and shoulder. “I’m not letting you go.”

Vanellope: She felt him beside her, but it didn’t matter. Vanellope picked at the dust-sized pieces, until his gargantuan hand covered them. “No…” She groaned and tried to push his hand away. Why didn’t he want to fix their medal? The last few crumbs in her hand slipped out when he grabbed her. His smell hit her full in the face, and she couldn’t have missed it more. His hair tickled the side of her head, and she heard him speaking. She didn’t understand what she was saying through her own sobbing. “I ruined your medal, Ralph…” She hadn’t spent a lot of time on it, yeah, but she had poured her heart into it. And he had loved it. Now it was nothing. She buried her face into his chest and cried into his plaid shirt, not caring that it was going to be soaked soon. “I-I’ll make you a new one! I promise. It’ll b-be even better. Please don’t hate me.”

Ralph: “Don’t worry about it,” he muttered. He did what he had to do—even if it meant costing himagain, and it was worth it. Where there was Sugar Rush, there was candy, and where there was candy—well, you get the point. Fact of the matter was that Ralph knew that the actual cookie-medal could be replaced; the part that mattered was the sentiment behind the trinket, andthat’swhat he truly cherished. “I could never hate you, kid. C’mon, you know that.” He had almost smiled despite the growing puddle of warmth and tears staining his shirt. She was crying—and that wasa good thing—heck, it was a great thing when compared to the horrifically calloused persona that the racer had before—but he had helped to cause those tears, and with that realization, the wrecker held Vanellope out at an arm’s length and wiped a stream of tears from her cheek. “H-Hey. Hey, look at me, alright?” He gently nudged Vanellope’s chin to lift it. “I’m sorry.” He emphasized his apology so she wouldn’t miss it. “Those things I said—they were pretty rotten, n’ I know it. I just…” He winced and looked away. “I didn’t know what else to do, kid.”

Vanellope: Vanellope wasn’t quite done crying, even if he had wipe away most of her tears. Fresh ones would replace them, but there was something there now that hadn’t been there the entire day; a smile. It was small, but she was warming up again. At his apology, she looked shocked. She shook her head and put her own hands on his face, and now it was his turn to look at her. “No, it helped!” She insisted, “You made me mad, and I wanted to get out to strangle you.” She giggled a little, but it was blocked by old tears and snot. “But… You didn’t really mean any of it, right?” She hoped she knew the answer already, but some - no, most - of the things he had said killed her inside.

Ralph: He would wait until the little racer cried out every last tear—even if it meant sacrificing his favorite (and only) tattered plaid shirt in the process. As he caught sight of that sweet, much-needed smile, Ralph stroked Vanellope’s hair as tenderly as he could (albeit it being a bit clumsy, too!). Suddenly, he felt his cheeks being smooshed between her tiny, delicate hands. “Strangle me?” He guffawed playfully, although he retained a warm grin. “I was on the verge of returnin’ the favor, kid!” Well, maybe not as extreme, but Ralph was desperate to have her back—she’d get the point. At Vanellope’s question, Ralph flinched. Did he really use that as an opportunity to vent? After a seemingly endless moment of deep thought, the wrecker looked right into those dual-toned eyes of the little president and shook his head. “No,” he then cleared his throat and rolled his shoulders lightly. “That wasn’t youI was talkin’ to. That was someone else—someone awful.”

Vanellope: And while she had begun to feel better, his words were still stinging in her gut. She let go of his face, her little hands now resting on his shoulders. “But it was me. It was just a different me. You said I was nothing to you, and that… everyone hated me before.” She was done crying, but she let out a dry whimper. “Are you sure you were saying that stuff just to help me?” Her eyes moved away from his own. She couldn’t look at him, “You sounded like you’ve been wanting to say all that stuff for a while.”

Ralph: “It was a hack. You gave up that princess-y garbage, remember?” He tried his hardest to reassure her, but the last comment rendered him speechless. Ralph then lowered his hands and set Vanellope back down. “I… I didn’t mean allof it,” he blurted, unsure of how he’d get himself out of this one. “You mean everything to me, kid. I had be straight with you—about the past, n’…” His words eased into tense silence as he simply stared at her tiny figure. “I hadto say what I said. Otherwise, you would’ve…” He couldn’t bring himself to finish the thought, instead slumping his shoulders and groaning under his breath.

Vanellope: “But you meant some of it! What parts did you mean? And was I really that bad?” She was hurting again, but most of the pain was starting to fall behind a bubbling anger. “I would have changed back on my own, you know! I wasn’t going to stay like that forever!” “You didn’t need to say any of it. You could have waited with me! If you did care, you would have just waited! But, no, you wanted to yell at me and tell me how you really felt! Are you even upset that I ruined the medal?” She kept asking questions, her breathing a tad hitched. “Well?”

Ralph: “You were when you were under that spell thing!” He implored, dropping his arms heavily as he raised his voice. “If I would’ve waited for you to get it out of your system, who knows what kinda damage you would’ve done? You ever think about that, kid? I was tryin’ to help you, Vanellope—I don’t feel that way about you—the real you.” But she was right. He didn’t have to open his big mouth and say what he did; however, he could feel disgruntlement settling int he pit of his stomach, and with that he straightened his back. “Did you even hear the things you were sayin’ to other people? Let me tell you, kid—it was ugly. Real ugly—and you were burnin’ more bridges than Bowser ever could back there! You should be grateful that I stepped in.” “And of course I was upset about the medal—I shouldn’t have given it back to you. I’m sorry, okay? What more do you want me to say, kid?” His voice was nearly a shout as it cracked a bit, and he turned away sharply. “All I tried to do was fix things, but I know better than to try that again—especially if this is the thanks I’m gonna get.”

Vanellope: “I know what I said, and I told them I was sorry! I AM sorry! I’m trying to apologize to you, but you’re stupid head is… STUPID!” She clenched her fists and stumbled over her insult. She didn’t want to yell at him, and she didn’t even know why she was. When he turned, her heart sank. “Wait, wait…” She ran up behind him, her tiny fingers grabbing at the legs of his overalls. “You’re not leaving me again, are you? I’m sorry… I’m sorry I said those mean things when I was hacked, and I’m sorry for what I said now.” She tried to pull him away from the exit, knowing that she would only hole herself up if Ralph were to leave for good. “You scare me, okay? And I know you don’t trust me now. You’re going to think I’m gonna turn back into that, and I won’t! Okay? I promise. You believe me, right?” She leaned her head against his leg. “You’re my best friend, you’re supposed to believe me.”

Ralph: He stumbled backward as she pulled his leg, although he refused to turn back around and face her. “I know you are, kid.” He wasn’t here to beat her up over what she had done—there was nothing either of them could do about that now besides move on. The flickering gateway was just a hop, skip and a jump away, and Ralph stared at it—almost as if he expected it to give him some sort of answer. You scare me, okay? Ouch. Ralph winced as the words left the racer’s mouth. “So that’s the truth,” he mumbled. All at once, his expression became an odd combination of humor, hurt, sincerity and confusion. He could only expectthat kind of response. “But I never stopped trusting you, taffy-for-brains.” He pinched the bridge of his nose tiredly as he glanced at Vanellope from the corner of his eye. “Don’t think for me, kid. I know you’re not gonna go through that again—I’m not gonna let it happen.” His bottom lip twitched as he bit back a melancholy smile. He knelt down as a way of showing the child that he wouldn’t leave, hanging his head low as he glanced back at her over his shoulder. “… Now, are you gonna come hug me or what, kid? Hunkerin’ down like this is a killer on my back.”

Vanellope: “I don’t mean in that way…” He didn’t scare her physically. She knew he would be the last person to every lay a harmful hand on her, and that’s why she trusted him. What scared her was the thought of him never wanting to see her again. He shifted and knelt in front of her, a motion that made her heart clench a little. The only other time he had knelt down was when she had given him the medal she had mad and - more recently - destroyed. She made sure her nose and eyes were cleaned on her sleeve before she jumped up and clung to him.
“I’m not letting go this time, and I promise I won’t say anything stupid. I’m just gonna hug you.” She buried her face into his neck, her hands holding onto his shirt. “You aren’t banned and I…”
She gulped, but the words she wanted to say were coming up anyway. “I love you, stink-brain.” There, she said it. Not in the gross way, nuh-uh! But she did love him, and she loved Felix and Calhoun and Candlehead and all of her other friends. But Ralph would be the most special, of course.

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