A fic based on a request by Omnios yesterday, sorry it took so long!
"That big dumb jerk, I can't believe he missed my roster race!" Vanellope was trying to keep her anger in check, but was finding it difficult.
"Maybe something important came up?" Candlehead suggested, trying to put the President back in good spirits.
"What could be more important than my roster race!" Vanellope groaned, throwing her arms into the air, "That ham fisted dough ball probably has too much brick dust in his ears and slept through his alarm!"
Candlehead's face scrunched into a frown, she didn't like to see the President so upset, but she didn't quite understand what the big deal of missing one race was. The two were walking through a crowded Game Central Station, the hustle and bustle of characters making it hard for the two small Sugar Russians to move very fast. It was Monday, Litwak's was closed, and many characters were spending their day off meeting with friends from other games. Vanellope had planned to do the same with Ralph and Candlehead, but he hadn't shown up to the roster race like he had promised. Now, with Candlehead in tow, Vanellope was going to give Ralph a piece of her mind.
"I can't wait to get my hands on that knuckle-dragging, stale cake headed-" Vanellope's tirade was interrupted by Candlehead.
"Hey what's going on over there?" She said a worried look on her face.
Vanellope stopped her rant and suddenly noticed the large crowd gathered around the entrance of a game. She was too short to see over the crowd of taller characters so she and Candlehead had to push their way through the legs of the crowd, which got a few gasps and annoyed looks from the onlookers they bumped into.
"Hey, move out of my way, President of Sugar Rush coming through!" Vanellope shouted while glitching to the front of the crowd, growing impatient of moving through the thick press of bodies.
"You're Presidentness wait!" Candlehead shouted as she fell behind. Candlehead was feeling nervous. She might not be the brightest candle on the cake but Candlehead could tell by the tone of the whispers and the looks on people's faces that something was wrong.
"Ok, what the heck is going-" The words caught in Vanellope's throat. Before her lay the entrence to Fix-it Felix Jr. taped off and blocked by the surge protector who was talking with a worried looking Zangief and Clyde. The sign above the entrance was black and empty.
"W-what's happened." Vanellope whispered looking around at the gathered onlookers frantically. She felt her pulse quicken, her anger at Ralph completely forgotten.
"What's happened." She said a little louder, she could feel her eyes water. "Why is the sign off?" Her thoughts were racing, thinking of the possibilities, each one worse than the last.
Everyone in the crowd still hadn't noticed the diminutive President.
"WHAT IS HAPPENING!" Vanellope shouted, tears flowing freely down her cheeks.
She fell to her knees and covered her face, the worried crowd now turned its attention to Vanellope. A few knelt down and tried to calm her down. Candlehead had finally managed to catch up with Vanellope and knelt beside her, giving her a comforting hug. The surge protector and the bad Anon members he was talking to turned away from their conversation and approached the crying girl.
"Shhh, my child, no need for tears." Zangief cooed, kneeling down to place a reassuring hand on her shoulder.
"Where's Ralph?" Vanellope said her voice cracking. The bearded muscleman grew pale.
"We are not sure, but it seems as though. . ." He trailed off, unable to mouth what they'd all been thinking.
"It appears Fix-it Felix Jr. has been Unplugged." The neon blue surge protected said, awkwardly shifting his feet, the sight of Vanellope crying making him uncomfortable.
Vanellope was now weeping uncontrollably, Candlehead tightened her hug. Zangief gave the surge protector a disapproving look and turned his attention back to Vanellope.
"Now, we don't know what's happened, it could be that Ralph's game has been unplugged for some minor repairs, or is being moved to another part of the arcade." Zangief said, trying to stay positive. "Never in all my years at the arcade have I seen a game Unplugged without warning."
"B-but it could happen." Vanellope said, Zangief's reassurance starting to calm her. Her head was still hung low.
"Now look at me little one," Zangeif said pointing a finger at her, "There is no use wallowing in despair, just wait and see, everything will be alright."
Vanellope turned to Candlehead, who throughout the whole ordeal remained clinging to her President, and returned the hug.
"O-ok," Vanellope said, taking a deep breath and turning back to Zangief, a small smile on her face.
"Good." Zangief smiled. "You truly are as tough as Ralph says".
"Ralph said that about me?"
"Of course, all the time!" Zangief said boisterously, massive arms of solid muscle gesticulating theatrically. Bowser who was standing nearby nodded in agreement.
"What else does he say?" Vanellope asked, her curiosity peaked.
"He says that you are the best Racer in all of Arcade." gesturing to the Game Central Station with his truck like fists.
Vanellope beamed, blushing slightly. She never knew that Ralph talked about her like that.
"He also say that you could easily crush head of man like sparrow's egg."
"So let us find some chairs and wait and see what happens."
The hours passed by painfully slow. The crowd had dispersed quickly enough, having seen what the fuss was about, returning to their day off, albeit with a much more dour mood. The entire Bad Anon sat around the entrance to Fix-it Felix Jr. in metal fold out chairs, some barely fitting in the small frames, while Candlehead and Vanellope sat with their legs dangling off the sides. Satan had brought snacks and Bowser had lit a small campfire, much to the distain of the surge protector who only allowed it due to the days circumstances. Huddled around the fire they all told stories of their various adventures with Ralph, including a very embarrassing escapade at Tappers involving some spaghetti and a red turtle shell that Vanellope would have to remember to mention the next time she saw Ralph; if she ever did. The thought seemed to put a damper on her spirits again, Candlehead took notice.
"It's ok miss President, I'm sure Ralph's ok" She gave Vanellope a big goofy smile that she couldn't help but smile back at.
"Thank you Candlehead, you're a great friend." Vanellope took Candlehead's hand, who was blushing at the complement, and held it.
"Well, who wants to hear some music?" Kano asked, taking out a worn acoustic guitar from its case, the assembled bad guys clapped with enthusiasm. The songs lasted well into the night.
Everyone had fallen asleep in their chairs, or on the floor next to the smoldering remains of the camp fire. Candlehead was curled up in a ball at the foot of her chair, her candle out for the night. Vanellope couldn't sleep, however. She sat on the floor looking directly into the empty socket that was once the entrance to Fix-it Felix Jr. Bathed in the moonlight drifting in from the arched windows of the station, she clutched her knees to her chest.
"Please, please be ok Ralph." she whispered, looking down at the floor.
"Don't leave me Ralph, I need you."
"I promise if you come back, I'll never call you names again, I'll let you break anything you want and won't get mad."
"Please you're my hero." Looking up she half expected to hear Ralph say that everything would be alright, but only silence greeted her.
Vanellope buried her head in her arms and cried.
Vanellope hadn't realized that she had fallen asleep, but she was forced awake by the sound of metal screeching followed by a loud boom. Her exhausted mind couldn't quite piece together what was happening as she rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. Around her the Bad Anon members were awakening also, except for Zangief who had to be slapped awake by Bison.
"Wh-what, who slaps the flawlessly handsome face of Zangief!" he awoke with a snort. He sat bolt upright when Bison pointed to the entrance.
Everyone began to talk excitedly when they realized what was happening, but fell silent when they heard a noise coming from the blackness of the entrance. It was faint at first, but the noise soon grew louder.
"Don't worry Vanellope, I'm coming!" Ralph shouted, bursting out into the dawn light, stumbling when he saw his friends gathered around.
"Guy's, what is-?"
Vanellope was in his arms before he could even finish.
"Woah, hey kid, I don't know how it happened, " he began, trying to talk as fast as he could, "but, somehow I slept through the entire day yesterday and I missed your race, I'm so sorry kid."
"I-it's ok, stinkbrain." Vanellope said, tears in her eyes. "Just don't ever scare me like that again."
Ralph was just about to ask what was going on but he was soon interrupted by the entirety of Bad Anon rushing him and enveloping him in a group bear hug. Everyone was cheering and patting him on the shoulder, Candlehead hopped up and down, trying to join in the festivities.
"RALPH IS BACK EVERYONE! HIP HIP HURRAY!" Zangief bellowed, and soon the rest were chanting with him.
Ralph, thoroughly confused at this point, was lifted by the mob and carried away towards tappers, Candlehead trotting after them. Vanellope glitched onto his shoulders and held onto his head in loving embrace.
"What is going on Vanellope?" Ralph asked, "What happened?"
"Nothing Ralph," Vanellope smiled, "Nothing as bad as what happened to all that spaghetti at tappers".
Ralph grew pale and began to stutter, failing to form coherent thoughts. Zangief burst into thunderous laughter and Vanellope couldn't help but giggle with him.
"Zangief!" Ralph shouted, "Why would you tell her something like that? She's just a kid for controller's sake!"
Zangief and Vanellope laughed the whole way to Tappers.