Hey guys! Once again, I have appeared to bring joy to your lives! Unless of course this is the first story of mine that you've read, which is entirely possible. In that case, welcome, potential fan! I hope I don't disappoint!
Disclaimer: I don't own Chip 'n' Dale's Rescue Rangers. Like, at all.
No, Chip Maplewood and Dale Oakmont weren't brothers, but they might as well have been with the way they fought. Every day, there always seemed to be something they disagreed on, the disagreement usually leading to fistfights right in public. However, it didn't matter what the fights were about, because they always made up in the end.
Many creatures had mistaken them for being related, but the two chipmunks were amused at the thought. They could both verify the day that they met, but it wasn't a story they enjoyed sharing for personal reasons. Not even the other three Rescue Rangers knew their story. They never pressed it for the sake of their friends' privacy, but they knew that they would eventually be told.
Chip started off as the only child of a single mother. His father had run out on his mother before he was born, leaving her to raise him all by herself. They still lived comfortably by themselves, doing without the father figure that Chip's mother thought he desperately needed. If anything, not having his dad there made him want to please his mother even more, helping her with whatever chores needed to be done and making sure his things were never messy or out of place.
He was perfectly happy with this life until one cold, rainy night.
It was a perfectly ordinary rainy night. It wasn't as if rain never happened where Chip lived; it was a forest after all. The thunder did make him a little nervous, but he knew he was safe as long as he remained in the tree with his mother. In truth, the sound of the rain hitting the walls of the tree was soothing.
Suddenly, a tremendous banging came from the front door, making him jump. It continued until his mother reached the door and opened it. The harsh wind blew in rain from outside, and also a young female chipmunk. She was gasping for air, and carrying something that was wiggling slightly and wrapped in a yellow blanket.
"Oh my gracious," exclaimed Mrs. Maplewood, "Are you alright?"
The stranger snapped her head up to look at her with eyes filled with desperation and tried to shove the bundle into her arms. "You have to take him! I don't have much time!"
Looking confused and frightened, Mrs. Maplewood awkwardly took the bundle. "What is going on? Are you in trouble? What can I do to help you?"
Tears were streaming down the stranger's face. "Please, he's my son, and I need you to take care of him! I'm being chased; I can't stay! Please promise me you'll take care of him!"
She was still bewildered, but Mrs. Maplewood nodded and said, "I…I promise."
The stranger nodded and lifted back a corner of the blanket. Brown fur showed through, and she kissed it gently and whispered, "I love you, Dale; be strong."
And with that, she dashed out of the tree, slamming the door. The sound of wild dogs howling passed the tree. "Mom, what's going on?" asked Chip, a little frightened.
The blanket fell to the floor, revealing a chipmunk about Chip's age. He had been asleep and was now shaking the sleep out of his eyes. "Whuh…Where's my momma?" he mumbled.
Suddenly, a shrill scream rang through the night, and Mrs. Maplewood eyes widened, knowing what was happening. She set Dale on the floor and said, "Chip, why don't you go show Dale the guest room; he's going to be staying with us for a while."
Chip had questions filling his brain, but he did as he was told. Taking the young chipmunk by the hand, he lead him back toward the bedrooms. "So you're Dale? My name's Chip," he said, trying to smile.
Dale simply stared at him for a moment, and then he gave him a buck-toothed grin and said, "That's a funny name."
Chip's eye twitched.
The next few weeks were incredibly noisy and disorienting. Chip had quickly discovered that Dale was almost the complete opposite of him, and a burning dislike set in him. It seemed like wherever Dale went he left a mess behind him, and he had this inexcusable need to get into all of Chip's things. He ate up all the food, hogged the television and had a tendency for breaking things such as Chip's favorite crayons and his homemade "action figures".
As it so happened, Dale disliked Chip right back, calling him "Neat Freak", "Mr. Sourpants" and the like. This lead to frequent fistfights and wrestling matches with lots of biting and fur-pulling thrown in. The fights lasted until Mrs. Maplewood broke them up. "Really, boys," she would say sternly, "You should know better than this. Now no more fighting or no dessert for either of you."
The boys would pout and then go off to do something by themselves until Dale would do something else to make Chip angry.
After two weeks of this, Chip had had enough and stormed up to his mother. "Momma, when's his momma going to come back for him? I'm sick of him making messes and breaking my stuff! I don't want him to live with us anymore!"
She paused from chopping dandelion leaves, carefully setting the knife down. She then turned around and knelt down to Chip's height. "Chip…his mom isn't coming back to get him."
Chip was shocked. "What? Why not? She has to!"
She took a deep breath. "Do you remember when she brought him here, and you could hear those wild dogs howling?"
He nodded. "Yeah, why?"
"Well," she said, "Those dogs were chasing her, and…they caught her. She didn't make it."
The sound of the scream that had rang through the forest appeared in his memory, and all he could say was, "Oh…"
She grasped him by the shoulders. "So I know that he can be irritating sometimes, but I ask that you bear with it. He has nowhere else to go."
Chip pondered this for quite a while, even as he did other things. They did get into another argument, but this one didn't lead to physical fighting. It did get him angry with Dale all over again though. "I don't care if his mom is dead," he thought, "It doesn't give him a right to mess with my things!"
His irritated mood lasted until just before he went to bed. As he was heading down the hall to his bedroom, he heard a strange sound coming from Dale's room. He put his ear to the door. It sounded like crying. He slowly opened the door and peeked inside.
Dale was sitting on his bed sobbing, big salty tears dripping off of his round red nose and soaking into his fur. Chip had only ever seen Dale cheerful or angry, never sad. He opened the door wider and stuck his head in. "What's wrong?"
Dale jumped in surprise, and upon seeing who it was, frowned and said, "What do you care? You hate me. Leave me alone."
Chip stepped all the way into the room and shut the door, feeling awkward. "I don't hate you, you just make me mad a lot."
"That's practically the same thing," Dale grumbled.
Chip sat on the bed next to him. "Why are you crying?"
Dale hung his head, rubbing his eyes with the back of his hand. "It's just…I miss my momma is all. I wish she'd come back and get me."
A twinge of guilt shot through Chip like a cheetah on caffeine. This whole time, Dale had been putting up with Chip yelling at him, and Chip hadn't once thought about how much Dale must miss his mother. The scream that had rang out that night once again appeared in Chip's head, and he gave an involuntary shudder.
Dale was sniffling again, making Chip feel even guiltier. The tears on Dale's face made Chip come to a decision.
"W-well," he said, tentatively, "While you wait for your mom to come back, you could always…borrow my mom."
This statement startled Dale out of his crying briefly. "Huh?"
Chip squirmed in his seat, feeling a tad awkward. "I mean…while your mom's gone, you can call my mom 'momma' if you want."
Dale was confused for a moment. Then grinned a small grin and said, "Honest?"
Chip nodded. "Yeah, sure, I mean, it's not like you can just go without a mom or anything."
Dale smiled wider, wiping his nose with the back of his hand. "Golly, thanks, Chip! Thanks a lot!"
Dale's sudden cheerfulness was a little unsettling for Chip, and he jumped off the bed, heading for the door. "Well, goodnight," he said.
Chip paused, looking back to the red-nosed pup. "Yeah?"
"If I get to call your momma my momma, does that make us brothers?"
Embarrassed, Chip nodded curtly, said, "Sure, whatever. Goodnight," and dashed off to his bedroom. As he dove under his covers, he couldn't help but be a little excited at the prospect of having a brother.
Despite Chip's unofficial acceptance of Dale, they still managed to get into massive fights over the littlest things. Mrs. Maplewood finally gave up on trying to stop them from fighting, figuring that they would eventually sort out their problems themselves. She was right, because their arguments were always about something petty.
Time went by, and the boys gradually began fighting less and less. There were still disagreements, but they were less violent, the strongest reaction being a bonk on the head from Chip. Mrs. Maplewood was delighted.
However, as the boys grew and matured, she grew weaker, and feebler. Chip noticed and would do anything he could to make her more comfortable. Dale wasn't quite as observant and had to be alerted to her condition, but once he was made aware he too helped.
This wasn't quite enough, and she was soon restricted to bed-rest. Still she grew weaker. Chip was frustrated. "Why is this happening? It doesn't make sense!"
Mrs. Maplewood smiled weakly. "Life doesn't always make sense, Chip."
"But you've never had health problems before," insisted Chip, "So why should they happen now?"
"I'm an old chipmunk," she replied, closing her eyes. "My time is simply running out."
"You're not that old," Chip yelled, slamming his fist on the table, "You don't deserve this, Mom!"
She simply responded with a chuckle, which turned into a wracking cough. Chip quickly stepped forward to work her into a more comfortable position. "Chip," she said quietly, "Would you please get me some water?"
"O-of course!" he said, dashing off.
The moment he was out of the room, she said, "Dale, dear, come closer."
Dale was surprised for a moment, but obeyed. "Y-yes momma?"
"I…need you to promise me something."
Dale gulped nervously. "What do ya want me to promise?"
She was breathing harder now, her words becoming more faint. She whispered her request into his ear. His eyes widened at hearing it, but he nodded and took her hand, letting a single tear trail down his cheek. "Okay, I promise."
Chip then returned to the room, holding a half-walnut shell with water in it. "I've got it, mom!" he said, almost frantically.
He and Dale carefully helped their mother to sit up and take a sip of the water. Almost immediately after, she erupted in another coughing fit. "Chip," she gasped, "I want you to know…how proud I am of you. You've become…a fine young chipmunk."
Tears began to fill Chips eyes. "Mom, take it easy, you're gonna be—"
"No, Chip," she interrupted. "You know…I'm not going to make it through the night. I need to say these things…before I go."
Her words stopped chip cold. He knew in his head it was true, even if his heart didn't want to accept it. His mother reached up to stroke his face. "I…I love you, son…don't ever forget that," she said in a voice barely louder than a whisper.
Chip pulled her into the tightest hug he could manage, and as she sighed out her last breath, he whimpered back, "I love you too, mom."
And then she was gone. It was as if all of the oxygen, or the sky, or some other force that had always been there had suddenly vanished. Chip let his mother – no, what used to be her – slide out of his arms and back onto the bed, his eyes dull and his mind numb.
He fumbled through digging the grave and burying his mother without truly noticing what he was doing. Dale helped as well, watching Chip nervously as if waiting for him to explode. When the last handful of dirt had covered the hole and the homemade tombstone was set in place, they both just stood there, staring at the fruits of their labor. Chip still hadn't said anything that whole time.
Dale finally cleared his throat and muttered, "You gonna be okay, Chip?"
Chip let out a choking, heart-wrenching sob in response.
Dale took a deep breath and pulled Chip into a hug. He didn't say any inspiring or comforting words, and he didn't need to. Letting him cry on his shoulder was enough.
Time passed, and broken hearts were mended. The two of them stayed in the tree house together, not wanting to make any big changes. After all, there were plenty of nuts nearby to keep their stock up, so it wasn't like there was a need to go anywhere. They quickly established a routine where they would go out to gather acorns and whatever other types of nuts that happened to be nearby, Dale would do or say something stupid, Chip would smack him for it, and they would go on their merry way. There were still arguments that would result in wrestling for dominance, but otherwise they got along.
It wasn't until the duck moved into the house a mile or so away that they realized how much they truly had in common. Neither of them had anything particularly against ducks, nor did they particularly have a liking for them. However, this duck just happened to be the most ill-tempered duck that the Earth could possibly scrounge up, and when he decided that he needed their tree more than they themselves did (although, to be fair, he didn't actually know they existed at first), the opportunity to cause him havoc was too much to pass up.
Pranking the duck became their favorite hobby, and they were good at it too. The look on his face when they made him blow his fuse was just so hilarious that they couldn't help but do things like steal his breakfast out from under his very beak, or use his Christmas tree as their winter home. It happened so often that they and the duck came to a mutual understanding, and even a strange kind of friendship. As for the two chipmunks' own relationship, they had never been on better terms.
And that's when she appeared.
Neither of them had had very much experience with females, and to them, she was a chipmunk goddess. They had spotted her strolling through the forest one spring day, and both of them immediately fell for her, and fell hard.
This lead to a rivalry that was harsh and violent. Each was trying to outdo the other in impressing her while also causing great amounts of bodily harm to each other. If Clarice noticed the hatred passing back and forth between them, she never said anything about it, and was pretty much equally sweet to both of them. This caused the boys to be even more confused as to who she truly liked, and the fights escalated; sometimes they even broke out in fistfights right out in public.
Clarice finally put a stop to their shenanigans when they started an all out brawl in the nightclub where she worked. Hey had broken half of the tables an had caused several plates of food to land on the owners' faces when Clarice let out a loud scream of, "That's enough!"
The tone of her voice was enough to freeze their blood in their veins. The look on her face was even worse. She chewed them out for over an hour, and not much long after, she ran off with a squirrel. The two of them picked up the pieces of their shattered hearts and began rebuilding whatever they had before.
It took a while for them to notice how small the forest was getting. Sure, the duck was always chopping a tree down somewhere, but with the rate of consumption that was happening, there was no way that it was entirely his fault. It seemed like every time they went out the tree line got closer and closer to their resident tree.
They soon discovered why; someone had bought the land and was getting rid of all the trees in order to build an apartment complex. Within a month, the forest would be completely gone.
"What are we gonna do, Chip?" asked Dale, panicking. "There ain't any trees outside of the forest; not ones we can live in, anyway! Where are we supposed to go?"
"I don't know," said Chip in frustration, "But freaking out isn't going to do anything. We've got to start planning now."
"Planning what?" Dale cried out in frustration. "Chip, there's no place nearby that we can go to, and even if there was, there's no way we'd be able to lug everything over in time! Face it," he said, grabbing Chip in a frantic grip, "We're doomed! Doomed!"
Chip jerkily pried the red nosed chipmunk and slapped him in the face. "Pull yourself together! We have about three weeks to figure something out; I'm sure something will turn up."
Sure enough, something did turn up, or rather someone. A few days after their initial panic, there was a loud knock on the door. When Chip answered it, a tall, lean chipmunk barreled in and enveloped Chip into a bone-crushing hug. "Chipper! It's great to see ya!"
Chip let out a strangled cough as his lungs were forcibly emptied. "C-cousin Marwood!" he got out.
Marwood finally let him down and gave him the biggest buck-toothed grin possible. "It's been way too long, li'l cuz! I was starting to wonder if you were avoiding me. 'Course I knew you wouldn't be able to resist my charm for long," he teased, winking. He then noticed Dale, and stepped forward to shake his hand vigorously. "Hey there, I'm Marwood Nesbit. You a friend of Chip's?"
Once Dale stopped shaking from the force of the handshake, he replied, "Aw, you bet! Chip's my best buddy."
"Marwood," Chip interrupted, "Not that I'm not happy to see you, but what are you doing here?"
"I just happened to be in town, and I decided to stop by for a visit," Marwood chuckled. His expression then changed to one of confusion. "Say, is it just me, or has this forest shrank since I was last here?"
Chip sighed. "It's not just you. Humans are tearing the forest down to put up some buildings."
Marwood's eyes widened. "Really? Wow, that's horrible! Where are you going to go?"
Chip shrugged. "We don't know yet. We don't really have a lot of options open."
Marwood scratched his chin thoughtfully. "Huh…well, have you considered going to the city?"
Chip raised an eyebrow. "The city? Where you live?"
"Oh yeah," Marwood replied, "It's a real lively place, always has something to do. And as it so happens, I know a friend who knows a friend who recently hightailed it out to the country and left his old place open and ready for anyone who might want to move in. It's in a park, so it shouldn't be too noisy for you."
While Dale seemed to be barely able to contain his fascination with the idea of the big city, Chip looked decidedly uncomfortable at the prospect. "I don't know, Marwood. The city's awfully far away, and we'd be leaving a lot of…stuff behind."
Marwood turned sympathetic. "You mean like your mom's grave." When Chip's gaze whipped up to meet his, he said, "Yeah, I heard about your mom, and I'm sorry about your loss. She'll be missed by a lot of family and friends."
Chip nodded sadly. "The grave is far enough out of the forest that the construction probably won't disturb it, but…it would feel weird going so far away from her."
Marwood put a comforting hand on Chip's shoulder. "I understand, Chip. But you've got to get past it. If what you say is true an it really is safe, you'll be able to visit it whenever you want."
"Yeah, come on, Chip," Dale spoke up, "It's not like we really got a choice, anyway."
Chip was quiet for a moment, and then took a deep breath and said, "How soon can you get us out of here?"
Marwood grinned. "Next car goes out that way in three days, or I can arrange a couple of birds earlier than that."
Chip glanced around at all the homemade furniture and knickknacks from his childhood that were scattered about the room. "Better make it the birds. We should get out of here as soon as possible, and besides, if we go by car I may be tempted to take stuff with me out of nostalgia."
Marwood saluted. "In that case, I'd better get going now if I want to get this done quickly. It was good to see you again, cuz!"
"You too," Chip nodded as Marwood scampered out the door and down the side of the tree.
All was silent between the two remaining chipmunks, and then Dale remarked amusedly, "Chipper?"
An embarrassed flush appeared on Chip's cheeks despite the fur. "It's a family nickname, okay?"
"It's cute," Dale chuckled, "I think I'll start using it."
Chip glared at him, but didn't say anything in opposition. Then his face changed, and he asked, "I'm your best buddy?"
Dale was surprised at the tone in Chip's voice, as if he could hardly believe he had said such a thing. He said in the most serious tone he could manage, "Absolutely. My best and only buddy. Why, do you not like that?"
Chip grinned. "Nah, wouldn't have it any other way."
Three Years Later
It was very quiet at Oakwood Apartments. It was in the dog days of summer, so a good deal of its residents were vacationing out of town. The people who were still there didn't notice – or if they did, they didn't care about – the tiny blimp that was gently landing behind the complex.
The first figure to jump out of the cab was Chip, now clothed in a tiny bomber jacket and fedora. He carefully helped out a blonde mouse in a lavender bodysuit, his girlfriend, Gadget. Dale, clad in a red Hawaiian shirt leaped out the other side. Monterey Jack, a large Australian mouse, wasn't far behind. Zipper, Monty's fly friend was buzzing excitedly around the balloon of the blimp.
"Boy, does it feel good to be back home!" sighed Dale happily.
"This is where you two used ta live?" asked Monterey in surprise. "I was expectin' it ta be more…y'know…woodsy."
"It used to be that way, Monty," Chip replied, with only a hint of regret in his voice. "The forest used to go way out past these buildings."
"Yeah, and our tree was over there!" said Dale, gesturing wildly with his right hand.
Chip bopped him on the head. "You dummy, you're pointing completely in the wrong direction!"
Dale glared at him, rubbing his head. "Well it's not my fault; everything looks different since the last time we were here!"
Gadget stepped between them, effectively stopping their argument before it escalated. "You said you wanted to show me something, Chip?" she asked.
Chip immediately got the big, goofy grin on his face that he always did when he talked to Gadget. "Of course! Follow me," he said, taking her hand and pulling her along, picking a primrose off of a bush along the way.
As the other three members of the Rescue Rangers tagged along farther behind, Monty gave Dale an amused look. "A few months ago, if he had been actin' that way, you'da been getting' between them every chance you got," he said in a slightly entertained tone of voice, with Zipper making a squeak of agreement.
Dale shrugged wit a bit of a sheepish grin. "Yeah, well, Gadget's obviously not gonna go for me now that she has Chip, and I don't blame her. As long as she's happy, I am too."
"Well, that's right mature of ya," said Monty appraisingly.
"Yup, that's me," Dale said, puffing out his chest in a comedic fashion, "Maturity is my middle name!"
"Yeah, but obviously not humility," chuckled Monty.
Suddenly, after going through the hedges surrounding the complex, there was the forest again. And by the forest, I mean a copse of about five old pine trees and an oak tree, which was all that was left of Chip and Dale's old home. Chip pointed to a small stone sitting next to the oak. "That's it."
Gadget walked up to it curiously. "What is it?" she asked, always the inquisitive one.
Chip kneeled gently down next to the rock, brushed off some dirt and set the primrose gently in front of it. "This is my mother's grave."
Gadget immediately dropped to her knees, although it was unclear whether it was out of shock or respect. "Really?" she said in almost a whisper. "So that's what the flower was for."
Chip nodded, a sad smile on his face. "I used to come here when I was frustrated with life. No one else, not even from my family, knew its location except Dale. It was like…she could still comfort me, even after she was gone."
She gave him a look of wonder. "And you wanted to share that with me?"
He scratched the back of his head, blushing. "Well, yeah, because you're really important to me, and…I wanted you to meet her in a way."
She was positively beaming at him, and before he could react, she swooped him up in a tight hug, which he soon returned. When she pulled away, she had tears at the corners of her eyes. "Gadget?" Chip said in alarm, "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine," she laughed, "I'm just…really happy."
She then turned to the headstone. "And Mrs. Maplewood, I just want you to know that you have a wonderful son, and that I promise to take good care of him."
The scene was causing tears to come to everyone's eyes, and Zipper pulled out a tissue and blew his nose in it. "Ain't this just the most beautiful thing ya evah saw, Zippah?" asked, wiping the moisture from his own eye.
Chip then stood up and dusted off his knees. "Alright, enough tears," he said, "Come on, let us show you that old duck's house that e told you guys about!"
As everyone else turned to walk in the opposite direction, Dale called out, "Uh, you guys go on ahead; I'll catch up."
Chip gave him a curious look, but didn't say anything about it as he and the others continued walking. When he was sure his teammates were out of range, Dale walked up the gravestone and sat down next to it. He stared at the inscription on the stone, "Sharlene Maplewood; beloved mother who will be missed dearly."
His mind jumped back to all of his most treasured memories of the chipmunk who had basically raised him; the way she would laugh at his jokes, or how she would let him lick the batter bowl when she made walnut cookies, or the loving way she would tend to him whenever he hurt himself. The memories he sustained of his birth mother were only glimmers; a large red nose much like his own, and a laugh that one could compare to a bubbling brook. These glimmers, however, were far and in between. He found it far easier to consider Mrs. Maplewood to be his true "momma".
The last memory of her that passed through his head was that horrible day that she died.
"Dale, dear, come closer."
Dale was surprised for a moment, but obeyed. "Y-yes momma?"
"I…need you to promise me something."
Dale gulped nervously. "What do ya want me to promise?"
She was breathing harder now, her words becoming more faint. She whispered her request into his ear.
"I want you to promise me, whatever happens, no matter what bad times you two may go through, that you'll always look out for Chip and stay by his side. Promise me that."
His eyes widened. He had never thought of Chip as being one for needing looking after; as a matter of fact, he had always thought that Chip was going to be the one looking after him. However seeing the serious and desperate look on her face, he knew there was no way he could disobey her.
"Okay, I promise."
Dale let out a soft chuckle. "Well, momma, I did it; I looked out for him, just like you said. It was tough, but I did it. He's got Gadget to look out for him now, but I'll stick around for as long as it takes. I'll make you proud, you'll see."
As he got up to join his friends, he swore he could feel her smiling down on him from heaven, and in that moment, he knew everything was going to be alright in life.
Afternote: Okay, this is the longest oneshot I've ever written! I almost considered splitting it up into chapters, but the chapters wouldn't have been long enough. Either way, some history on this:
When I started writing this, I wanted to connect the original Chip and Dale shorts with Rescue Rangers, and that's just what I did. I know that I left out them meeting Pluto and Mickey, but honestly, there are only two or three of the shorts where they get to meet as compared to almost twenty where Donald shows up, so I considered him to be more important.
Picking names for Chip's mom and cousin was slightly tricky since I was looking specifically for names that sounded like they could belong to chipmunks. Hopefully I did and okay job at that. (The reason that Marwood has a different last name from Chip is because he's from Chip's dad's side of the family, and Chip took his mother's last name.)
Also, I don't know if I made Dale too serious. Let me know if you see anything wrong with the story; I'm open to critisism (as long as it's fair)!
Anyway, thank you very much for bothering to read this! I hope you were satisfied, and if you want to check out some of my other stories, I would not be adverse to that!