A/N: Annnnnd... We're back! Sort of. I'm actually in a weird situation right now when it comes to internet. So updates are not going to be 'regular' like back in the olden days. But... Anyway, more after the chapter.
Chapter 34: Stress Relief
Things were tense. Vanellope didn't know why... but things were tense. They weren't a good tense either, like the "Oh... no... I don't want to be around you because your new dead sexy look has got me all flustered" that Ralph had been putting out before they had started dating. Not that Vanellope had appreciated that as a GOOD thing at the time, but now she could see that that had been good. Because clearly this new tense was bad.
Ralph and Vanellope were strolling along down one of the boardwalks in Game Central Station, searching for a something to do that night. Vanellope was clinging to Ralph's arm and chattering away at a slightly faster pace than she usually did, trying to diffuse the situation.
The only thing that Vanellope knew for sure was that something had made Ralph angry. Vanellope didn't like angry Ralph, angry Ralph was never much fun to be around. He got quiet and sullen and sulked. But she had to hand it to him, he was doing his downright best to not be angry, even going so far as to agree to take her out somewhere. It just wasn't working very well.
Somehow Vanellope found this to be even more upsetting than an angry Ralph. If Ralph was his loud, destructive, and somewhat irrational self... then maybe Vanellope could do something. She was good at talking him down and distracting him until he was calm, even if that was usually accomplished by irritating him even more. But this Ralph that was holding back... who desperately trying to be cheerful and happy despite himself... she didn't know what to do with that.
"C'mon, I know where we should go." Vanellope said, she swung them around to go in the other direction.
"Whoa whoa! Watch it." Ralph said as he was pulled off balance and stumbled to right himself . "Where we goin?"
"You'll see." Vanellope said. It had only been a few games back, she wasn't going to keep him waiting very long.
"Fruit Ninja?" Ralph asked as he held up the sword skeptically.
"Yep!" Vanellope replied. "It's easy. The fruit falls, you swing the sword. Go to it big guy."
"Ummm..." Ralph gave the blade a couple of trial swings. "I'm not really sure about this."
"It's just another type of wrecking. It's time to branch out on your demolition skills." Vanellope said, sounding quite sure of herself. Before Ralph had any chance to argue she pulled the rope that started the downpour of melons.
"What? Wait- OWW!" Ralph exclaimed as the melons started coming down on him. He started swinging the sword as he got to the center and out of the direct line of fire. He missed most of them, but the sword connected with a couple. He had to admit, it felt pretty good to see the fruit split apart and feel the sword vibrate as it hit the rinds.
Vanellope watched with satisfaction as Ralph stood there and swung the sword around somewhat haphazardly. He wasn't very good at it, but that was alright. Whenever he missed a specific fruit he was going for he'd get all frustrated and swing a little more wildly, creating a spray of juices and chunks from the fruits that were in way. It wasn't long before Ralph was completely covered in fruit juice and Vanellope was getting kind of antsy watching the display he was putting on.
Vanellope let Ralph go on a little while longer, enjoying the view immensely, before deciding that Ralph has probably gone on long enough. She pulled on the rope again and watched as the rain of fruit came to a halt. Ralph was still standing on the target, panting a little. Finally he put the sword down and wiped his forehead with the back of his arm.
"That was GREAT!" Vanellope squealed as she ran over to him. "I could watch that aaaaaall day." She added suggestively.
It took a minute for the implications to sink in, but once they did Ralph blushed.
"You're terrible." Ralph complained.
"Ooo, pineapple." Vanellope said, ignoring him. She ate the pineapple chunk off his forearm, her lips attaching to the skin briefly. Ralph shivered.
"Quit it." Ralph protested. Vanellope snickered.
"Do you feel better now?" Vanellope asked sincerely. Ralph looked down at her face, currently contorted into a soulful little pout.
"Was I that obvious?" Ralph asked.
"Yes." Vanellope answered, not giving any leeway. Ralph sighed.
"Well, I DO feel a lot better now." Ralph said. He leaned down and gave her a little kiss.
"You gonna tell me what happened?" Vanellope asked while Ralph's face was still close.
Ralph stood up straight.
"Nope!" He said cheerfully. He walked away and put the sword back on the stand.
"What?! After I did this wonderful thing and made you feel all better you're not even gonna tell me why you were miserable in the first place?" Vanellope complained.
"Yep." Ralph answered.
"You're so mean." Vanellope pouted and crossed her arms.
Ralph just smiled at her.
"We should go to tappers. I hear Tapper just installed a karaoke machine." Ralph said incitingly.
"Ooo! Ooo! I wanna go!" Vanellope said, her mood doing a complete 180. "You're gonna sing too, right?"
"Not on your life." Ralph replied. "Do they have a place to rinse off around here?"
Vanellope got a dirty grin on her face and opened her mouth to reply.
"Stop" Ralph said.
"You don't even know what I was gonna say!" Vanellope protested.
"With a face like that I didn't have to." Ralph replied. He picked her up and headed for the exit.
A/N: So, this was more of an... interlude than an actual chapter. But it was more of a 'Hey! I'm still alive! And my Wrecking Muse has decided to grace me once again!' And I just wanted to try to get back into the swing of things and whatnot.
More on the internet situation. I went to live with my sister for a time, and she has no internet. The library is close, but the wireless card on my computer has given up the ghost, and the library computers have blocked ffnet for... obvious reasons. Anyway, I visit my dad once every two weeks, and have un-impeded internet there, so that's when you get updates. I'll try to make them really big updates of several chapters. But no promises.
Please do not ever send me another review of "When are you going to update?!" Or "I want more!" Or any of that. I know you THINK you're helping... though I'm not sure why. I actually really hate reviews like that and they just put pressure on me and make writing absolutely no fun at all.
TheSoundofAWESOME - I love that last review of yours so much. It made me laugh and made me really want to keep writing.
Aronim - Thank you for giving me an ACTUAL review. Those are so uncommon on ffnet. The weird shifting quality is easily explained by if I just came up with the chapter on the fly and banged it out in an hour or so (which is very common for me) or if I actually mused over it for a little bit, or could very easily see it in my head. Often when I'm just bridging the gap between 'fun bit's my writing gets superbly lazy.