"ALL CLEAR!" was shouted throughout the arcade as Litwak's Arcade closed for the night. Ralph gets up out of the mud wiping the mud off of himself as he stands. Felix quickly runs over to him upon leaving the building.
"Hey Ralph," he says, "How about coming to Tapper's with me and Tamora?"
"Sure, is it ok if Vanellope comes with us?"
Felix smiles, like he knew he would say that, and says "Of course she can."
"Great! I'll go get her." And with that Ralph heads off to Central Station.
Just like always he stopped for a "random security check" and just like always Ralph is the only one who's stopped. Central Station is as crowded as usual and a lot of the characters are still afraid of him despite what happened in Sugar Rush. All in all it's just another day in the arcade.
Though something's different about today.
He doesn't know what's so different until he finally arrives at Sugar Rush. At first everything seems the same as it always is. Everything's still made of candy, the citizens are still sweet as can be and Sour Bill is still…well, Sour Bill. Oddly enough it's Vanellope who's different. She still greets him with a hug and the usual "What took ya so long Stinkbrain?" She's distracted. She's got this troubled look on her face and she can't keep up with the conversation they've been trying to have as they walk through her candy kingdom.
Finally Ralph caves and asks, "Is there something wrong kid?"
Vanellope looks up at him like she's debating about whether or not to tell him. Just as she opens her mouth to say something one of the racers speeds by them. The cake race kart stops not too far ahead of them where it looks like a small group of a few of the other racers are meeting. A racer with green pigtails and a candle burning a top her head jumps out it and turns their direction. 'Candlehead' Ralph remembers her name. She waves at them with a big grin on her face. Ralph waves back and looks down at Vanellope whose face is pink as she waves at the other girl.
Oh. Now Ralph gets it.
"You like her."
Vanellope's head snaps up to look at him so fast Ralph worries she may have gotten whiplash.
"What?!" she screeches, "I-I don't like her!"
"Yeah, you do." His face softens, "It's ok. To like her, I mean."
"Alright so maybe I like her a little." She grumbles, with her arms crossed and her face still pink.
"OK! I like her a lot!" she snaps and throws her hands up in the air. "Happy now?" she glares at him.
Ralph bends over and picks her up, placing her on his shoulder. "Come on," he says, "I told Felix we'd meet him and Calhoun at Tapper's."
When they arrive Felix and Calhoun are already sitting at Ralph's usual table at the back of Tapper's.
"Hey guys." Vanellope says as she jumps off Ralph's shoulder and onto one of the stools.
"Sorry we took so long." Ralph says, he takes a seat on the stool next to Vanellope.
"Why did you take so long?" Felix looks concerned, "Did something happen?"
"We just ran into Vanellope's girlfriend. That's all." Ralph grins. Felix and Calhoun have matching looks of surprise as they look at Vanellope.
"Ralph! Candle's not my girlfriend!" she snaps, her face ablaze.
"Candle? You already have a pet name for her?" He teases; he doesn't think it's possible for her face to get any redder.
"Wait," Felix cuts in. "You like one of the other racers?" He looks at Vanellope curiously.
"W-well…" She stammers and Ralph gives her a look. "Yeah."
Felix leans over the table excitedly. "Does she give you the honey glows?" Calhoun rolls her eyes at this.
"You guess?!" He exclaims incredulously. "Then how do you feel about her?"
"When I look at her…" she starts and turns her gaze to the table top. A small smile graces her face. "I feel like I'm gonna vurp."
Ralph chokes on a laugh while Felix and Calhoun look at her in confusion. "What's a 'vurp'?" Felix asks.
"It's vomit and a burp mixed together." Calhoun and Ralph burst out laughing while Felix looks disgusted.
"Isn't that a bad thing?"
She shrugs, "She mostly makes me feel like I'm in first place and about to cross the finish line. I get all nervous and excited and there's this rush an-"
"Ok, we get it Candy Kid. You got it bad." Calhoun interrupts with a smirk. "So, what are you going to do about it?"
"What!?" Felix shrieks, gaining the whole bar's attention. "But you can't just do nothing! You should complement her."
"Or, you should impress her." Calhoun says. "Do something dangerous."
"That's an awful idea." Ralph cuts in, "She's trying to get a girl to like her, not wind up in the hospital."
"Wait a sec-" Vanellope starts when a couple of the other customers start cutting in with suggestions.
"Act cool, girls like a bit of mystery." One of them says.
"Could you list-" she tries again.
"No no, pick-up lines are the way to go." Another one suggests.
"Hey! I'm trying to-"
"Get her a gift!"
"Show off your strength!"
"Kiss her on the hand!"
All the voices start blurring together. Ideas upon ideas on what she should do. Eventually Vanellope snaps and yells out "ENOUGH!"
The entire bar goes silent and everyone slowly turns in her direction. She takes a deep breath to calm herself down. She climbs up onto Ralph's shoulder with her hands on her hips as she rakes her eyes over everyone in the bar. "I'm going to do this my way. Ok?"
And with that she jumps back onto her stool and no one brings it up again for the rest of the night.