Disclaimer: Wreck-It Ralph and all related titles, characters, etc. are owned by The Walt Disney Company and have no affiliation with me whatsoever.
The first time Felix even noticed was sometime back in 1984. Face pressed against the glass, all he could really do was stare blankly. Did he really live out there all alone in the bricks? Should it even matter? That was, after all, his place in the game and so that's how it should be. Still, Felix, face reddened from being peeled off of the sliding glass door, felt a tiny ache in the most intimate spot of his heart.
The Nicelanders. They were afraid of him, but what could he do? Their safety and well-being rested solely on him, the repairman, and despite the cruel things he had heard them say about Ralph, it was Felix's responsibility to ensure their peace of mind.
So he said nothing.
Maybe he should have. But just what would he say to them? It's not like he really even knew him well either, certainly not well enough to defend him.
Felix slid the door back and took several uneasy steps towards the balcony. He spent many a warm evening on that balcony those past two years. Felix was the type of person who always looked forward- he never looked down. In his profession, even a quick glance down could mean certain death. He spent his days looking up, and he spent his nights looking out. The window that shielded their data from the outside world of flesh was their hedge of protection, but it was also their looking glass. Almost every night would Felix be leaning up against the rails and dream about the view before him. The game cabins stood mighty and proud, dotting the arcade like mountains framing the horizon. The dimmed lights in the building glinted against their plastic surfaces, white as snow. There they were, the other worlds. He could never tell any of the Nicelanders, but he actually dreamed of adventure. Felix wanted nothing more than to be a digital Robin Hood- to travel and see other lands, to fight evil, and woo the hearts of ladies everywhere. Every daydream, however, would always end with a great sigh and a wistful gaze outside the screen. He knew that would never happen. The Nicelanders would panic if he had ever left.
Still, it was fun to dream, and being on the balcony was as close as he could come to that dream. That suited him just fine. Even if it was only a fantasy, Felix, bless his optimistic little heart, always looked ahead. Never did he even consider what would possibly be in the downward direction, much less actually glance there.
But that night in 1984 was a little different. He propped his elbows up on the rail and rested his head in his hands like usual, but tonight, his eyes were downcast. What a dump! He tried to imagine what it would be like to sleep on all of those bricks himself, the way his muscles would ache the next day. After time, he was so sure that his bones would have shattered just from the sheer pressure alone. How his colleague could stand to not sleep on a bed like he did was way beyond him.
Wait a minute.
Who said he was even comfortable at all? Ralph was hardy, but also not a complainer. Maybe he was miserable. Felix groaned. Maybe he should think about building him a home, or at least a bed sometime. He had the hammer. Why didn't he do that before?
Felix circled the crevices of his ears with the tip of his thumbs, not entirely sure what he should do from there. He was the hero, after all, he should do the right thing! But… what was the right thing? On one hand, Ralph was the bad guy, and heroes don't help bad guys. His commitment was to helping the good guys of Niceland, but that was just the problem. Ralph really wasn't a bad guy. The things he did in context of the game were only that, part of the game. The moment they all clocked out and went home, he hardly ever heard him say a word at all. Ralph was, Felix noticed, silent, clumsy, and awkward, but he was also docile. Once the lights dimmed and the quarters stopped coming, Felix never heard a rude comment or a complaint from him at all.
Perhaps that was why he never noticed until lately the work it took on Ralph's part to keep the status quo running for the past two years. Still, that didn't change the fact that he felt like a colossal tool. He had to make it right.
He was going to go talk to him- to say hello, to wish him well and tell him good job for the day. Even just going over to his place to borrow a cup of sugar would have been fine! Anything to make sure that he was really okay. A few nights prior, Felix had noticed just how he drooped when he picked himself from up off the ground and sulked away for the night. He had wanted to say something, but always found himself being pulled away. Someone wanted to show him something, or give him a pat on the back or a pie, and all Felix could do was follow them, glancing over his shoulder to see just how hunched over was the back of the unnoticed shadow that kept them alive in the arcade.
Yeah, it was pretty safe to say that he was feeling pretty bad about not including him in the rest of his activities when no players were there. Felix was definitely going to talk to him. He needed to, not just for Ralph, but for his own conscious as well. There was a right thing to do, and by gum, Felix was going to make sure that it got done. He was going to do it!