"And then," Vanellope took a deep breath, "I crossed the finish line, my game reset, I'm now the almighty ruler, yada yada. And this meathead is the hero. Understand now?" She crossed her arms and glared down at the Nicelanders from her perch on Ralph's shoulder. Ralph himself looked horribly embarrassed while Felix looked on with an understanding smile.
The Nicelanders were unanimously gaping, staring at the trio with wide-eyed shock. Then Gene threw his arms in the air and declared, "I don't know what to make of all this, but I'm having a difficult time believing it." Next to him, Mary nodded her agreement.
Vanellope groaned and exchanged a frustrated look with Ralph. "Come on, there's no way I could make all of this up on my own!"
"I don't think the problem is they don't believe you, kiddo," Ralph said to her in a low voice. "They're probably just having a difficult time wrapping their heads around this, y'know? I mean, they're used to thinking of me as just the bad guy."
"Pfft. Whatever." Vanellope rolled her eyes and turned to Felix. "Okay, Hammer Guy, this is where you come in. Tell 'em your side of the story, like about your girlfriend and stuff."
"Girlfriend?" Deanna exclaimed, and the NPCs all turned to their hero, aghast. "What does she mean by that, Felix?!"
"Of course, that's what they're focused on," Vanellope sighed. "Hey Ralphie, let's get out of here and let him handle this junk. I wanna see where you live!"
Felix jumped and his complexion went from normal to pale to bright red in a matter of seconds. "G-Girlfriend? Miss Calhoun isn't... I mean..."
"I'm not what?" a new voice joined in from the direction of the portal. Everyone started and turned to the train, where Sergeant Tamera Calhoun herself was stepping off onto the boarding platform. "Fix-It, you have to do something about this mode of transportation. Now, I believe I heard my name said somewhere around here?"
"Who is this?" Mary asked, dumbfounded. Tamera stood a good four feet over the entirety of the Nicelanders in all her armored glory, and it was clear she intimidated them even more than Ralph did.
"None of your business, civilian," the sergeant replied, and she turned to Felix with an almost bored expression on her face. "Alright, Fix-It. I just came to see how things are over here. I see the pipsqueak beat me to the punch, huh?"
Vanellope stuck out her tongue. "I win!" With a grin, she said, "Hey lady, since you're here, can me and Ralph skip out? They'll probably listen to you and Hammer Guy more anyway." Without waiting for Calhoun's nod of approval, the little girl glitched off of Ralph's shoulder and onto the ground, looking around curiously. "Now where would I find a dump around here...Oh!" With that, she took off towards the massive pile of bricks excitedly. "Hey stinkbrain, move your molasses!"
"Oh boy," Ralph sighed with a small smile. He turned to Felix and Calhoun, "Sorry guys. The princess demands my presence."
"It's perfectly fine," Felix said while Vanellope yelled across the area, "I'm a president!"
Ralph snorted and headed over to the dump, leaving the lovebirds and the curiously silent Nicelanders behind. "Yo kid, you shouldn't just go running off like that, you know. You could get hurt or something..."
Vanellope laughed. "Yeah, yeah. Hey!" She slid down the pile of bricks as if it were a ski hill and landed in front of the large man with a ta-da! pose. "You know, this place is actually pretty cool!"
"Yeah, well, try living here for thirty years with no running water or good food."
"Hmm. I can see where that would suck major lollipops."
"So how come when I offered to let you stay in the castle, you turned it down for this pile of garbage?" Vanellope put her hands on her hips and gazed across the massive pile critically. "There's nothing here but bricks and a tree stump."
"Well..." Ralph scratched the back of his neck. "This is my home. I can't imagine living anywhere else, you know? Like you and your little sponge cake bed in the mountain."
"Well..." Vanellope echoed, "That wasn't very great. I honestly like the castle a lot better. And you can still come visit any time!" She accentuated her statement with an exuberant salute, which Ralph easily returned. "We can practice driving and everything!"
"Like you need practice at this point, princess," the wrecker teased.
Felix was, without a doubt, completely exhausted. It was more difficult trying to convince his coworkers of Ralph's hero status. Well, it was difficult with his mild approach to the matter. Calhoun was making things a bit simpler. With her gung-ho attitude and no-nonsense tone, the Nicelanders were inclined to listen to what she was saying.
"So you see?" the fixer said for the hundredth time, about ready to collapse from the coming migraine. "That's what happened in Sugar Rush!"
Gene sighed heavily. "I suppose there's nothing we can do but believe it."
"And it's not like Ralph was always a bad guy," Felix continued desperately. "After hours, he never did anything antagonizing. He just does his job, like the rest of us!"
The group was silent, and Felix and Calhoun could see the expressions of guilt flashing cross their faces.
"That's...true..." Deanna said quietly. "The decent thing to do is apologize."
"Without him, your game is doomed," Calhoun replied sharply. "Surely you realize that? Learned your lesson by now?" She swept her blonde bangs away from her face. "It's time you started thinking of others beside yourself, and how they feel. Trust me, I walked away from this whole incident with a few lessons of my own." At the last statement, she rested a light hand on the top of Felix's head.
Mary looked silently between the unusual pair, before saying briskly, "Well. I have an idea."
Ralph gaped. Vanellope mimicked his expression. Both were dumbstruck.
"Uh...this is unexpected," the large man said weakly, looking at the group of Nicelanders in surprise. Behind the group, Felix and Calhoun appeared to be sneaking away together.
Vanellope grabbed his thick wrist and shook his arm excitedly. "They're handing you a pie! You have a pie! Throw it at them!"
"What?" Ralph frowned down at the child. "I'm not going to throw a pie at them."
"That would be appreciated," Gene said dryly.
"It's an apology pie," Mary said hesitantly, stepping forward. "We want to say sorry for all these years of ignorance."
"That's right," another man added. "We've been ridiculous for so long. It'll stop now."
Ralph blinked and reached out to take the pie, still hot from the oven. Vanellope jumped up and down in excitement.
"I told you!" she squealed. "I told you they would see you as a good guy! Because you are."
"Yeah you did, princess," Ralph smiled. "Wow..."
Deanna coughed. "Now that we're all friends. Ralph, would you mind explaining what's going on between Felix and that blonde woman from the shooter game?"
"Yes, please do," Mary frowned.
A slow grin spread across Ralph's face. "Not a problem at all. Though personally, I thought it was kind of obvious from the start..."
Welp, I did it. I succumbed to peer pressure. Here's the second (and FINAL) chapter. See, that previous chapter was just supposed to be a oneshot, but then I got an influx of reviews asking me to continue and I also got 26 follows. On a oneshot. Yeah. Well, here it is! Thank you for all the attention, everyone! Please review!
Hey, you wanted another chapter. I obliged. Now you review as compensation. Muahaha.