A/N: I want to personally thank everyone for being so patient with my slow updates. Long story short, I got rejected from CalARTS. It's been a huge blow to my self esteem and my craft. My artwork and story has suffered, and I'm so sorry this chapter is rather short. As I'm nearing the last chapter of Wrecking Limits (either chapter 196 or 197) I'm finding myself even more sad than I thought. I could really use some uplifting. I'm having a really hard time letting go of what I know, what I knew, and what I anticipated. I know nothing good in life last forever, but there was a time back there where I really believed it would. All good things must come to an end... Though, it's not the end JUST yet! Stay tuned you guys!
"Does that mean I can go home?" Gloyd asked with a nervous smirk as he pointed to Vanellope, everyone's eyes shot to him. He scrunched his shoulders in a sheepish way and widened his eyes as he meekly continued, "Or not."
"Oh this is going to get good," Tammy said quietly to Emery, she eyed her classmate nervously.
"Where have you been all day?" Vanellope wondered nervously, "Tammy told me you vanished this morning."
"I would like to know why Orion is out of his perch, quite frankly," Candlehead said nervously as the large beast loomed near the entrance of the castle. He tilted his head down with an almost annoyed frown.
"Is it illegal for me to leave my perch or something?" Orion snapped as he shifted on his large feet, Taffyta looked back at him with a knowing smile.
"Just odd," Vanellope chimed as she gently shifted Tessa onto her hip; she babbled nervously as her large, innocent eyes held onto Orion's massive figure.
"You have something to say, Auntie Taff?" Tammy asked nervously, Emery hugged her book bag closer to her chest, as if she were merely getting comfortable, a brace she needed for the unfolding show before her.
"I-I have a lot to say," Taffyta mumbled as her confident sweep suddenly vanished. She looked down to the ground and wrinkled her nose as she scanned her brain for the right words to say.
"Time is of the essence," Orion reminded to her, quietly.
"Right," Taffyta snapped, as she furrowed her eyebrows; the room before her was painfully quiet, a sort of still anguish she could feel seeping out of the cracks of the massive castle before her; her home had suddenly never felt so foreign.
"Oh, User, this elephant in the room could NOT get any bigger!" Gloyd suddenly barked as he threw his hands up, "I think ALL of us have something to say, though we're all too scared to say it! Taffyta, it's your news, why don't you just come out with it."
"Fine! I'm pregnant!" Taffyta suddenly hollered, as if she was a ticking time bomb on it's last few seconds, "I'm pregnant with Rancis's baby. But I don't need to tell any of you jerks that because I guess you all already nosed around my code box!"
"We didn't nose around your code box, Taff," Vanellope said with a hint of a smile; a bubbling joy, for her future niece, hid underneath her skin like rising lava in an active volcano.
"I-It was partially my mom's fault, if you will," Tammy interjected nervously as she held up a finger. Poised with Felix's grace, she lightly stepped forward a little bit and pushed into Taffyta's presence, "Since Hero's Duty is a lot more advanced than your guys' games, she knew of a way to bring back a dead gamer… It was a shot in the dark, really. I don't think any of us were expecting for my mom's plan to really work."
"The fact that you guys held this information from Taffyta is the very reason I climbed out of my sorry hole of isolation," Orion grumbled as his two eyes shifted every which way, as if he had to reassess the surroundings of the castle, having not been around for the last few years.
"So now that Orion looks like an almighty savior to Rancis, can I speak my peace please?" Vanellope said through a tired sigh as she shifted Tessa on her hip; Taffyta cocked an eyebrow and glared at her sister.
"Speak your peace?" Taffyta suddenly snapped, "You think hiding this valuable information from me was a good idea? I'm due tomorrow, Vanellope… When exactly were you planning on telling me?"
"Tonight, Taffyta, let me explain!" Vanellope urged, Taffyta waved her hand around impatiently.
"You decided, since I'm a hard smarty to approach, that waiting until the very last second to tell me about Rancis's supposed revival?" Taffyta began to grow angrier as she put her hands on her hips. Tessa began to whine in a nervous, complaining way.
"We just wanted to respect your privacy," Vanellope protested, her eyes gazed pleadingly into her sister's eyes, "There's more to this story than you're seeing."
"You guys could have had Rancis back by now," Orion grumbled, "The fact that we're all sitting her arguing about who said what is what's going to be your guys' ultimate downfall, here."
"He's right," Taffyta snapped as she furrowed her eyebrows in pure annoyance as her shoulders stiffened, "We're sitting here wasting time. We need to get Rancis back."
"Taffyta, wait," Vanellope urged, though Taffyta pushed past everyone. Tammy and Emery nervously shot each other looks of uncertainty as Candlehead, Gloyd and Ralph suddenly tensed and began to head after Taffyta in an anxious manner, as if they were moths to a flame; they knew they would ultimately get burned in the end.
"Taff, let's just think about this wisely for a moment," Ralph said quickly as the four stormed after her.
"Stop prolonging it," Orion growled as he wormed his way into the castle. Tammy and Emery easily stumbled to the side and gazed upwards in awe of the large creature pushing into their presence. Orion stomped into the castle with ease and stood tall before the group, "Any minute longer and Taffyta could go into labor, rendering this whole journey moot."
"It's not as easy as you think," Candlehead argued as they continued onward after Taffyta, though they each nervously looked back at Orion, who was silently making himself present inside the castle, the center and core of the very game he sought to destroy years ago.
"Nothing is as easy as I think," Taffyta grumbled as she flung her arm back, "Losing the love of my life to the duplicated jerk who hated every last one of us? Carrying on for the last two weeks, thinking my unborn daughter is going to live life without a father? Having the ONE jerk in this whole game find me and cheer me up with the most incredible news I've heard in a long while?"
"Our game isn't exactly set to peaceful mode," Gloyd muttered through slightly closed lips; Candlehead elbowed him.
"Out of everyone who held onto the most important news of my entire life, I have to hear it from nerd for brains over here?" Taffyta barked sarcastically towards Orion, though he knew her sarcastic front had an underlying tone of their newfound friendship. Taffyta flung her arms upwards in a fit of dismay, "Out of EVERYONE it had to be him? I thought you guys were my family!"
"We ARE your family, Taffyta!" Vanellope tried to restrain her volume for Tessa's sake; Ralph delicately removed Tessa from her arms as Vanellope stormed her sister, "You realize what torture we've all been through? Knowing that you were pregnant with a wonderful, new addition to the game? Though not being able to tell you or be excited for you or share any sort of updates with you?"
"Oh yeah, I'm sure it's been hell for you, huh!" Taffyta hollered sarcastically, the two girls were merely feet from each other, "You try going your whole two weeks being pregnant, not being able to tell anyone in fear of rejection, with the weight of your dead fiancé on your shoulders, being worried about parenting all by yourself. I'm so sorry you've had it rough, bursting at the seams sure seems like a difficult job, huh!"
"This isn't a matter of keeping secrets for fun, Taffyta," Vanellope practically growled, "This whole mess comes at a cost!"
"What! Rancis comes back with four arms?" Taffyta bellowed a sarcastic laugh and gestured her arm towards the code room, "I'll take my chances."
"Taffyta," Ralph urged as he tucked Tessa closer to his chest, "It's a greater cost than Rancis respawning with more limbs than intended."
"Then walk and talk, wreck-it," Taffyta spat as she head for the code room, her back was to the group. Ralph glanced at Vanellope, Gloyd and Candlehead.
"Bringing Rancis back isn't an easy task for Sugar Rush's core," Ralph called after her, "It could mean the cost of your own life, in your own game or not."