Title: Press Your Luck

Author: LM Simpson (Kady the Red Panda)

Pairing(s): None

Rating: K

Warning(s): None

Disclaimer: Chip n Dale ain't mine. Nope…

Other tidbits: Chip n Dale Rescue Rangers was "mah sho" when I was a preschooler. I remember being four and throwing a tantrum because my mother refused to make a Chip n Dale themed cake for my birthday. LOL

I'll admit to never really caring for pairing centered fic for CDRR. I'm more of a Chip n Dale friendship fic girl, but those are so hard to find. So, this is mine. Please sit back and enjoy.

0000

"Rats."

The statement was not an interjection, a curse, or an identification. At least, there were no rats outside that Dale could see. His nose wrinkled. "Rats, Chip?"

His friend stared outside the same treehouse window as he, and nodded without turning to him. "Yes, Dale, rats."

Dale's entire face wrinkled in confuzzlement now. "Well, what about rats?"

"We're rats, Dale."

"Are ya blind, Chipper? I'm pretty sure we're chipmunks!"

Chip finally faced his friend. He had his serious face on. Dale did not like his serious face; nothing good ever came from it. "I mean we are rats, dummy!" He forced a digit against Dale's Hawaiian themed shirt. "You! Me! We!"

Dale scratched his head. "I don't think I get ya."

Chip sighed. He scratched at the dark brown shirt he wore. "What I mean, Dale, is that we're pretty much common thieves."

"What are ya talking about?"

Chip turned, and Dale followed. They both stared at their treehouse, the treehouse decorated by human objects improvised by creative chipmunks. "Like, that wristwatch we use to tell the time—we stole that from that duck we used to bother in Duckburg!"

Dale guffawed. "Oh, yeah, him! I loved to mess with him and that big mouse's dog… We didn't steal that watch, we found it in the grass! It was his fault he lost it, not ours!

"Cheer up, Chipper! It's not like we're evil or something! We're just a little naughty, that's all! …Isn't everyone a little naughty, anyway?" Dale forced a smile, hoping the expression would be contagious.

Chip walked towards the front door, his head drooped.

Dale faced his friend. "Hey, where ya going this time of night?"

"I need to take a walk. I won't be out long. I'll see you later, buddy."

Chip stepped up the domino stairs and out the door. Dale monitored him at the window, watching his fellow chipmunk trek into the city nightlife until he was hard to make out. The normally carefree chipmunk sighed as he turned on the television. Maybe a cheesy horror movie would cheer him up.

I hope Chip gets out of this funk soon, he thought as he curled up on a tomato pincushion.

While Dale watched cheap costumed monsters decimate dim-witted teenagers, Chip entered through a hole into a mouse sized bookstore. He enjoyed reading as a child, but befriending Dale made him more playful, less likely to hit the books. He was long overdue for literary adventure.

A single, portly mouse manned the checkout center.

"Good evening sir," he said, mouth obscured by a large gray handlebar mustache. "How may I help you today?"

Chip stalled in the middle of the store. "Well, uh... Sure. Can you recommend me anything?"

"Gladly," he called out. Would you prefer something old or new?"

Chip scratched his head. "Uh… Something old, I guess. Preferably classic mystery novels."

"Mysteries, eh? Have you read… Britannica Green?"

"All 153 of them."

"The Soft Boys?"

"Didn't like them."

"Uh…" The portly mouse grabbed a tissue and blew his nose. "Lacey Crew?"

"Too girly!"

"Um… Sureluck Jones?"

"Y-… Actually… No, I haven't…"

"Really? Sureluck Jones is the most famous literary detective all time!"

Chip scurried to the desk. "Are you pulling my leg?"

"Oh, no! Everyone has read Sureluck Jones… Except you, apparently!"

"Hmmph! Well then, I'll read it! Where can I find it here?"

0000

Sunlight shone in Dale's face. He yawned and rubbed his eyes.

"Chipper?" He called out. "Are you here?"

No response.

"Chip?"

He hopped out of his bed, changed into his favorite Hawaiian shirt, and sighed. "That's funny… That's not like him…"

Did he even come home last night? The unusually pensive Dale thought. I went to bed at three and that's early for me! Surely he would've been at least sleeping in if he came in that late…

Dale heard a door slam elsewhere. "What the—?"

Armed with a tiny baseball bat, Dale slowly stepped towards the den. Please don't be intruders, please don't be intruders, please don't be intruders…

The bat dinged when it hit the floor.

"Chip? Is that you?"

The Chip before him was not the Chip he encountered last night. Last night-Chip was depressed and wearing a brown T-shirt. This morning-Chip was, well, chipper, wore a bomber jacket, and carried some white plastic bags against his left hip.

"Yes sirree, it's me, Dale!"

Dale unknowingly nodded his head, still taking in the sight."Uh-huh… What's up with the new clothes?" Dale asked, while pointing.

"I wanted to get a trench coat, but the thrift store only had a bomber jacket." He shrugged. "At least Sureluck wore a bomber jacket in 'Flight of the Albatross'…

"Say, Dale, can you turn on the police blotter?"

"Uh… Sure. Why?"

"I got the coolest book yesterday!"

"…Book? What do books have to do with police blotters?"

"Uh-huh… I like detective novels and this one makes me want to go and solve some mysteries myself!"

Dale droned an "Uh…" as he scrambled for a response. "…That's cool, Chipper. What station is the blotter on again?"

As confused as Dale was, he was happy that Chip was finally experiencing joy again. His friend had been in the dumps for months and he had been worried that Chip's depression was going to take both of them down. The pressure of having to lead and take care of Chip (who was definitely the born leader of the two) began taking its toll on his well-being for the past week or so. With Chip being happy again, Dale could now be himself without guilt.

"Oh! Oh! Oh!" Chip cried. "Do you hear that?—" (Dale heard police sirens in the distance) "—That's near us! Let's go check it out!"

Dale just had to smile. When Chip was into something, he was into something. This detective and police obsession was probably not going to last long, but if Chip wanted to do something fun and excited, he was sure to tag along.