I'm aware this idea's been used before. It's kind of emo-ish, but oh well. I just hope it's not a total flop; I don't do tragedy often. I'll accept any reviews, even flames. For any of those like me who really can't stomach tragedy, I'll make a second chapter where he doesn't die if anyone requests it. If you want it, fine. If not, then feel free to end it with this chapter. It's marked as complete since this is really supposed to be the only chapter.

Ralph's POV

As he fell, Ralph couldn't help but feel a sense of regret. If only he hadn't tried to be a good guy and got the medal from Hero's Duty, maybe Vanellope's game wouldn't be in the process of being destroyed. He wrecked everything he came across, but now all that mattered was making sure that Vanellope had another chance to cross the finish line and kill all the bugs in the process. He didn't even think about what might happen to Fix-It Felix Jr. without him. All he could think about was saving Sugar Rush and letting Vanellope have the chance to reset the game.

His oversized hands gently gripped the cookie medal that Vanellope had made for him and he closed his eyes. Diet cola was surging up all around him, he knew that he was going to die. And it was okay. Vanellope would live.

All of a sudden, there was the whine of a candy cart engine and an annoying voice crying out, "Ralph!" His eyes shot back open just as his body thumped heavily onto the tiny vehicle. Vanellope was smiling at him, and the world felt right. In the seconds they were airbourne, Ralph could see that Vanellope had aligned her commandeered cart with the other section of broken track. They were going to make it!

It's amazing how the universe can crush a tiny sliver of hope just as it appears.

A fierce rumble ripped through the mountain and the cola exploded upwards, engulfing the candy cart in a boiling sticky liquid. Before Vanellope could even scream, the cart disentrigrated and she disappeared in a brief flash of code, a look of horror on her tiny face. Ralph couldn't even react as the acid burned at him. It was all over for him. Numbly, everything faded away.

Vanellope's POV

Everything was dark. Where am I? She blinked awake, sitting up and staring at the debris that used to be a race track. Fix-It and the Soldier Lady were standing over her, looking worried. There were no sign of the cybugs anywhere. Vanellope cast a desperate glance around her, hoping to see Ralph somewhere nearby. She'd had him in her grasp, right? What happened after that?

"Hey, where's Ralph?" she asked, looking at Fix-It Felix. He didn't answer, didn't have too. His face said it all. "That's not true, is it? Tell me that's not true!" she cried, tears welling up. Ralph had become her best friend in the short time she'd known him. He'd helped her build their cart, and convinced her that she wasn't just some glitch in the system. He couldn't have died!

"Let it not be said that the man didn't have some courage to sacrifice himself to save the game," Calhoun said in a clipped tone. For her, that was the equivalent to giving condolences.

Tears blurred Vanellope's vision as they overflowed. It was true. Ralph was gone forever. Despite being a glitch, Vanellope had been able to respawn after the diet cola exploded around her because she was in her own game. But Ralph...this wasn't his game. He was gone. Vanellope was about to dissolve into little more than sobs when Felix's hand came down on her shoulder.

"Here. Don't let his sacrifice be in vain," he said, his face looking like a man sentenced to the gallows. That's right. Without Ralph, Felix's game couldn't function, either. It looked like Felix was just trying to hold himself together for her sake. He swept a hand out towards her repaired cart, the one that her and Ralph built together, and the finish line that he had fixed.

Feeling empty, Vanellope got into the cart. Whatever laid over on the other side of that line, Vanellope didn't care what it was. She slowly rolled the vehicle forward until it crossed the checkered mark. Lights lit up around her, lifting her up. The game repaired itself, sweeping the desolate gamescape with color. Vanellope became draped in an obnoxious pink dress. It was all a mockery. This was supposed to be her happiest time (besides the horrible dress), she was a princess after all! But it just wasn't worth it.

The sight of her former enemies vying for her forgiveness was kind of funny, but she just couldn't find the motivation to even joke around. She just chose to glitch out of the dress and abandon her position as princess. It wasn't fun as a princess, and Vanellope didn't really want to just play her role and pretend to be happy as life went on around her. Since her coding wasn't so messed up as it was before, she could leave the game.

She did so often to visit Calhoun and Felix. They'd gotten married. They were fairly happy. Happy as they could be with Felix's game being gone and all. Felix often made himself useful and helped build shelters for the other homeless characters in Game Central Station. Calhoun helped during the night, when she wasn't busy with her game. The Nicelanders even found work to do, whether it was helping Felix or whatnot.

Everyone else moved on, but Vanellope couldn't. All she could do was race and pretend that Ralph was watching somewhere, proud that she'd chosen to stay a racer.