A/N: Oh. My glob, you guys. Oh. My glob.
For any of you who may have read my stuff before, or been justifiably furious with me for not finishing my Alice in Wonderland story ( which, and I just want to get this out of the way right now . . . will probably not ever be continued . . . I'm sorry ), you know that this is my first appearance on FanFiction in about four years. The truth is, after burning out on Dreams of a Memory I had resigned myself to permanent fanfiction retirement. But then . . .
Then . . .
Wreck-It Ralph. Wreck-It Ralph, you guys.
I'm geeking and gushing over this movie like I haven't over any movie in a long, long time. I've got WIR fever and it's gone straight to my fingertips, compelling me to come out of retirement and take a crack at a new story. Here is the prologue. This is planned out as a fairly big multi-chapter, so let's hope I can keep the steam up and update the darn thing in a timely manner . . . just so you know, reviews will encourage me to work faster!
It's good to be back, kids. I hope you enjoy!
Token Disclaimer: I own nothing. Like literally, absolutely nothing. No characters, copyrighted concepts or other trademark products that may weasel their way into this thing.
"I'M GONNA WRECK IT!"
As soon as he heard the electric buzz of those familiar words and looked up, the ten-year-old boy stopped sucking on the straw of his Slushee. He paused with his hand hovering over the joystick, narrowing his eyes confusedly at the glass screen of the old Fix-It-Felix console. He scrunched up his nose, leaning forward to peer closer at the pixilated figure in overalls. He pushed his glasses up with two fingers and blinked.
"What the . . . ?" he mumbled, tilting in so closely his nose almost touched the glass.
Was . . . was the wreck-it guy smiling? That couldn't be . . . he had played this game a hundred times, and he had never seen the wreck-it guy smiling. He reached out his free finger to tap the glass, then suddenly he blinked, and the game screen was back to normal. The bad guy was glaring his regular bad-guy-glare, and had jumped up and started pummeling the building with his giant monster fists, roaring and smashing windows. The boy stuck out his bottom lip thoughtfully, wondering if he'd just imagined it. He shrugged and settled his hands over the controls, ready to concentrate. The wrecking guy was at the top of the smashed building and the little people were all crying out from their windows.
"Fix it, Felix!"
With his regular blipping sound, Felix jumped out of the right-hand screen, holding up his golden hammer.
"I can fix it!"
The boy grinned, hunched over and psyching himself into the game-play. Felix jumped up onto the first ledge, and the wreck-it guy roared and tossed a brick his way.
"Come on, big dude, show me what you got," the boy muttered out of the side of his mouth, his left hand expertly swiveling the joystick and his right rapidly punching the jump button. Felix blipped and bleeped as he hopped from ledge to ledge . . . the boy had played this game a hundred times, and somehow it never got any less addicting, even though he'd gotten so good at it he never lost anymore. In less than a minute, it was over. The building was fixed, Felix was on the roof, surrounded by the fat little townspeople, and the wrecking guy was . . . .
The boy blinked in disbelief did a double take at the screen, nearly knocking his Slushee off the console.
The wreck-it guy was standing on the roof next to Felix and the little people, his huge arms hanging down in defeat just like always, but . . . he was smiling! The boy's mouth opened quizzically as he stared at the pixel face that was supposed to be in a pouty little frown, but instead, was grinning from one 8-bit mutton chop to the other. He grinned while the little people from the building hoisted him up in the air and carried him the edge of the building, and there, just before they were about to toss him off . . . he turn and looked at the boy.
The boy jumped in shock and jolted back from the game console. He quickly whipped off his glasses and wiped them on his shirt, but even after he put them back on, the wrecking guy was still staring straight at him! Not only that, but the people weren't throwing him off the building like they should be; they were just standing there, almost like they were holding him up so he could look at something . . .
His jaw hanging in confusion, the boy realized that the pixel eyes weren't looking at him . . . they were looking past him, at something behind him. He whirled around, but there was nothing there . . . nothing but the other game consoles. There was the old beat up Whack-a-Mole game, some dumb Bass-Fisher game, there was . . .
And then, a bright flash of something green caught the kid's eye. It was only there for a split-second, but it was there, he was positive . . . one of the characters in that kooky pink racing game had blipped onto the screen. She had only been there for half an instant, but he could have sworn he saw her flash the thumbs up in his direction . . . in the wrecking guy's direction . . . before disappearing again, leaving nothing behind her but the first-person camera play screen scrolling down the candy racetrack.
The boy whipped back around to look at Fix-It-Felix Jr. just as the ham-fisted wrecking guy was tossed off the roof of the building. He arrrrghed in frustration, just like he always did, before landing splat in the mud . . . just like always.
The boy stood there, rooted to the spot, watching the congratulations screen flashing in front of him. Felix had his medal, the game was over . . . in a few seconds it was back to its automatic screen, flashing for more quarters. The boy blinked, his mind racing. It . . . no, it was impossible. He couldn't have just seen what he thought he saw. It made no sense, it . . .
"Closin' time, chief!"
"Aaauugh!" the boy shouted in surprise and jerked around as a hand suddenly reached out and gave him a friendly tap on the shoulder. Mr. Litwak, the owner of the arcade, stepped back and held his hands up apologetically.
"Whoa, I'm sorry, son! Didn't mean to scare you there."
The boy gulped and took a deep breath to steady himself. "Muh . . . M-Mr. Litwak," he gasped, breathing hard. "I saw . . . I saw . . . I mean, I think . . . I think I saw . . . the, the little dude . . . the wrecking dude, in the game he . . . he was . . . h-he . . . and, and her! In that game! She . . . !" he pointed at the candy racing game,and his mouth flapped silently, but he couldn't seem to get the words out.
Mr. Litwak looked over his shoulder at Sugar Rush, then back over at Fix-It-Felix Jr., then raised one eyebrow quizzically at the boy. He waited a few seconds, then shrugged and good-naturedly patted him on the back, trying to steer him as nicely as possible towards the arcade doors. He reached back and nabbed the Slushee cup from the Fix-It-Felix console top and pushed it back into the boy's hands.
"Think you might want to take it easy on the sugar there, partner," Litwak chuckled. "Thanks for playing, and have a nice night now!"
The summer sun was just beginning to set, and a lazy orange glow was beaming through the wide arcade windows. The boy stammered as Litwak opened the door for him and propelled him gently outside.
"But . . . but . . . th-the guy! The wrecking guy! He's . . . !"
"Come on back now!" Litwak smiled and shut the glass door in the boy's face, turning the key in the lock and flipping the sign to Closed. He gave one last thumbs and turned away, shaking his head chuckling to himself at the dumbfounded expression on the boy's face.
These kooky kids . . . the stuff they come up with to try and play past closing time . . .
On the other side of the glass, in the little night-time world of Fix-It-Felix Jr., the Nicelanders were congratulating each other on another day's work as they filed back down the roof top staircase and into the penthouse below. They were so excited and hasty to begin their preparations for the night that they actually forgot to fawn over their hero for once, leaving him standing alone on the rooftop with his gold medal hanging around his neck.
Felix smiled, twirling his golden hammer once in the air before sticking it back in his hip holster. Straightening the bill on his blue cap, he strolled jovially to the edge of the building and looked down over the edge.
"You alright down there, partner?" he called in his bubbly, trademark tone of buoyant friendliness.
Far below him, an enormous, mud-splattered hand answered him with a thumbs-up, followed by a lightly smiling, mud-splattered face and head of dirty, rust-colored hair. Wreck-It Ralph pushed himself up on his huge arms, spitting out a small glob of mud and rising to his feet. As he wiped the mud off his face and the front of his tattered overalls and lumberjack t-shirt, he squinted up at Felix, grinning down at him from the edge of the roof. Ralph shrugged and grinned back.
"It's a living, right?" he joked.
"That it is, brother!" Felix saluted him with two gloved fingers, then winked. "Mind if I take the shortcut down?"
"Nah, go for it," Ralph waved him off.
"Alrighty! Here I come!" Felix held his shoulder with one hand, stretching it with a windmill motion, then stepped up onto the building ledge, and bleep! hopped over the side. He tumbled down in a barrel roll, landing at the bottom with another blip! straight into Ralph's outstretched, waiting palm. Ralph set Felix down on the ground and saluted him back with two huge fingers.
"Obliged as always!" Felix chirped as the two of them walked toward the front of the Niceland apartment building. "Say, Ralph . . . are you sure I can't persuade you to make an appearance at the party tonight? You know that everybody's going to miss you somethin' fierce, friend!"
Ralph did a slight double-take down at Felix's hopeful smile. Even after a whole year, he couldn't help but still marvel at how it felt to have friends in his own game, to have a friend who was the hero of his game . . . to actually be invited to a party, to be told that he would be missed at a party. Looking down at Felix now, the comical ratio of their sizes magnified by standing right beside each other, it was almost hard to imagine that there had ever been a time when they weren't friends . . . when the tiny repairman had even intimidated him. Ralph smiled, the warm feeling that still came up whenever he reflected on his new life flooding every inch of his huge barrel chest.
"Thanks, Felix, really . . . but I think you'll just have to give everyone my regards. I'm afraid I have a prior engagement."
Felix sighed his almost school-girlish sigh and smiled resignedly. "I understand. You know . . ." he said jokingly, leaning over to elbow Ralph in the ribs ( or rather, elbowing him in the side of his leg, as it was the highest point he could reach with his elbow ) " . . . if it weren't such a special night, I'd be tempted to give you a little talking-to about keeping in character in front of the players. I think your happy face tonight gave that poor boy a bit of a start."
Ralph rolled his eyes and gave Felix a friendly punch on the shoulder, holding back as much force as he could but still knocking his pint-sized protagonist flat on the ground.
"Yeah, I'd like to see you try and give me a talking-to."
Felix laughed at took the finger Ralph offered him, lifting him back to his feet. "You just take care not to party too hard tonight! I don't want to have to wheelbarrow you back home from Tapper's to get you to work on time again!"
"No worries, it's gonna be a small, private affair. Nice and quiet," Ralph assured him, letting just one little white lie slip through his teeth as he lumbered toward the tiny train running in and out of Fix-It-Felix Jr. "Have Mary save me a piece of pie for later!" he called back to Felix as he clambered into one of the tiny blue cars, rocking the train nearly off it's tracks. "Oh, and say hi to the Mrs. for me!"
Felix waved back from the front steps of the apartment building. "And you be sure to give my regards to Miss Von Schweetz! Happy anniversary, Ralph."
The train was just rattling into gear and heading out of the little station as Felix's words caught up with him, and suddenly Ralph caught himself turning just the faintest shade of red at the mention of he and Vanellope's anniversary. Even after one full year, he couldn't quite get used to it . . . having a friend. Having a best friend, someone who cared about him more than he had ever imagined that anyone ever would. Even if that someone was a hyperactive, sugar-faced little twerp with a tongue as sharp as her hairpin turns . . .
Ralph blushed again, and couldn't help but smile to himself as the Fix-It-Felix train lurched into the dark tunnel connecting his world with Game Central Station.
His one year anniversary with Vanellope.
There had been a time, not so long ago at all, when Ralph would have thought that there was no place in the world he'd rather be than up in the penthouse with the Nicelanders at one of their parties, eating cake, and dancing, and generally just not being made to feel like the bad guy. There was time he'd have traded anything for that.
The light at the end of the tunnel grew larger and larger, and finally the blue train chattered to a stop at the entrance gate to Game Central Station. Ralph pried himself out of the seat with some difficulty, then found himself setting off practically at a jog, suddenly eager to get to Sugar Rush as fast as he possibly could.
He'd found something he was more than willing to miss a Nicelander party for.
A/N: Welp, there she is. Hope the old fanfictioning skills haven't gotten too rusty after all these years. Also . . . and I sort of hate to do it . . . but I just want to say right now that this story is not a RalphxVanellope romance. Some of you may want it . . . want it bad . . . but I just plain don't. So, if that's a dealbreaker on this story for you, happy trails, partner. Please leave a review!