Special Chapter: The Fall
Today marked the third day since Mihawk had left (for an unknown reason) and Garrett was reading a book on the steps of Mihawk's castle. Maddie had come to him complaining about how she was bored and she wanted to play a game; it was his turn to pick the game so he picked hide-in-seek, Garrett's favorite game. Maddie is well known for being… absent-minded so she tends to forget things like what day today was or that she was playing a game of hide-in-seek with her brother. The game has been on for about 3 hours and Maddie has yet to remember that she was playing hide-in-seek with her brother. The norm was that after 2 hours Maddie would remember that she was playing a game… but never with Garrett. She would most often think that she was playing the game with the Humandrills. She could remember what game she was playing but she could never remember who she was playing with. An hour ago Garrett gave up all hope of hiding so he took a book from Mihawk's library and moved to the castle's steps. He would occasionally look up from his book; 'The Rules of Chess' and make sure his sister wasn't causing too much trouble. It normally wasn't that difficult to keep his sister out of trouble when Mihawk wasn't around but today was not normal. Garrett has not seen his sister for at least half an hour. It was absolutely impossible for Maddie to go more than half an hour and not see her brother, and since Garrett hasn't seen his absent-minded and turquoise and magenta headed sister he was starting to become distressed. Garrett closed his book and decided that he just couldn't focus on it without knowing that that his sister is alive and well.
Garrett determined that Maddie would probably be in the forests, since she loves climbing all the high trees on Kuraigana, so he started his search in the forest. Some time ago Maddie was able to talk the Humandrills into helping her train. He has no idea how she was able to do it, but she did and she would often disappear into the forests of Kuraigana training with them. He only hoped that the 'training' that Maddie went through with the Humandrills was somewhat peaceful, he hopes that they aren't attacking her or causing her harm.
"Stupid monkey hybrids! I'll show them!"
To his left Garrett heard his sister's voice, like a rational person he followed her voice and he sees his sister up high in the highest tree on Kuraigana. She's climbing branch to branch and steadily getting higher and higher off the ground. All Garrett could do was deadpan and just watch his sister.
After a few minutes of feeling that someone was watching her Maddie looked down and she sees her brother staring at her with one of his faces. While Garrett's face was void of any emotions, Maddie's face was bright and cheerful once she saw her brother. Maddie released her right hand from a branch and she started to wave down at her brother.
"Hey Garrett! What's with that look on your face, if you continue to pull faces like that your face will freeze to a permanent frown just like how Dracule's face froze hundreds of years ago."
"Dracule is NOT young! He's like… like… 200 years old! That's super old!"
"For your information I'm up here because of those stupid monkey hybrids! They took my hat when we were playing hide-in-seek!"
"I do too know what a hybrid is!"
"… Well a hybrid is a… hyper bird?"
Garrett stood still for a few seconds on the ground trying to absorb what he heard his sister had just said to him, after the information soaked into his little head he buckled over holding himself and trying his hardest not to laugh at his sister.
"HEY! Stop laughing at me! It was a good guess right? Will y- wahh!"
Garret quickly stopped laughing and he looks up to see his sister dangling from only one branch up in the tree. Her hands coiled around a branch while her feet hung openly in the air up high in the tree. Garrett sees his sister's face full of panic and worry written on her face, she started to slowly pull herself up to a high branch and now she's perched on a thick main branch of the tree. Maddie collects her composure and the worry and panic fade from her face, she looks back down at her brother with one of her famous cheerful smiles. Maddie might be smiling but Garrett isn't. He wants his sister down next to him on a solid surface, not just a tree branch.
"I'm fine Garrett. My feet just slipped; I'll just be more careful now, okay."
"I'm not coming down! I'm fine! Listen to me! I'm older than you so what I say goes! I'll come down when I get my hat back!"
To Garrett's right he hears the distinctive laughter of the Humandrills, he looks to his right and up high in a nearby tree sits two Humandrills laughing at them. Garrett quickly glares at them, the Humandrills stop laughing for a brief second… then they continue with more power behind their laughing and now their aiming their laughter just at him.
"Shut up you brainless wanna be human monkeys!" Then Maddie sends a death glare at the Humandrills. Once they catch her glare they freeze and they swing away from them into the depths of the forest.
Maddie and Mihawk's glares always stop them, but whenever Garret tries to send the Humandrills glares they just laugh at him.
"It's fine Garrett. You're just not the intimidating type. You're more like… a cute cuddly little baby bear."
Garrett looks down at his feet, it's his job to protect his sister but in the end she just ends up protecting him… how can a little girl with turquoise and magenta hair with a dress on be intimidating?
"WoooW! Garrett look out!"
At the mention of his name Garrett looks up and he sees a tree branch falling towards him at a dangerously fast speed, but in a jiffy he runs closer to the tree until his back makes contact with the bark of the tree. In less than 5 seconds after Garrett moved to the tree, the large but thin tree branch makes contact with the ground and breaks into millions of pieces. Garrett shields his eyes from the scene trying not to get any little pieces of wood or bark in his eyes.
"GARRETT ARE YOU OKAY?! DID YOU GET HIT?!"
Garrett looks at where he just stood less than a minute ago and he could only think that that branch could have hit him on his head and he might have died.
Maddie's voice brings Garrett out of his little daze and he looks up to see Maddie panicked and out of breath.
"Don't make me worry like that ever again okay Gar!"
Garrett shakes his head furiously up and down as an answer.
"Good!" then Maddie continues to climb higher and higher in her pursuit of getting her hat back from the clutches of the tree.
Garrett knows he has to do something. His sister might lose her grip on a branch again and she could fall and die. If she dies then he would have… nobody. Garrett furiously shakes his head to try and shake that horrible thought out of his head. In the end he decides that he has to tell her to get down and they could get her hat later or she can order the Humandrills to get her hat for her. Garrett opens his mouth forming words in his mouth, but the words won't escape the clutches of his lips. He tries over and over again, but whatever he does nothing comes out. He can't talk. Garrett looks around seeing if he can use anything to get his sister's attention; he finds nothing. He looks back up and he sees Maddie reaching for a branch and once she grabs it she's be able to grab her hat. She grabs that branch and she pulls herself up and with one swift movement from her left arm she has her hat in her hands. Maddie looks down at her brother with a proud smile on her face and she waves the hat around for him to see that she has the hat. When Garrett sees the hat in his sister's hand a small smile graces his lips. Maddie puts her hat on her head and then she makes her way down the long climb back to Earth. Everything is going splendid, Maddie is being careful and Garrett is watching her every move, but then they come back. The two Humandrills that had previously scattered came back and they started to make noises to distract Maddie; their pursuits worked. Maddie tries to ignore them at first, but her patience wears thin fast and she turns her head to them to insult them and scare them off but as she turns her head her feet slip and her reflexes couldn't catch up with what just happened so she fails when she tries to grab onto a tree branch. Maddie falls out of the tree.
Time travels in slow motion for Maddie. She doesn't register that her body's hitting branch after branch on her fall down to Earth. She doesn't register that she screams out in pain when she hits each branch. What she does register is that her hat left her head and she commands her body to reach out to grab her hat. But her left arm doesn't move, she looks at her left arm and all she sees is blood and multiple cuts and busies. Maddie panics over the condition of her left arm but she forces that thought out her head. With her left arm out of commotion she commands her right arm to grab her hat, and this time her arm obeys. As her right arm extends in-front of her Maddie sees that her right arm does indeed have multiple cuts and bruises just like her left arm but she notices that she can still move her right arm and it's less gory than her left arm.
All that Maddie can think about is that someone will help. Someone has always helped her in the past. But who will help her? The Humandrills are still around, even if she can't hear them she knows that they are still laughing at her; they always do. Garrett's out of the question. Garrett is too little to help, he might be able to catch her before she falls but she might crush him and hurt him too; she has to protect him, even if it means that she has to die. She made a promise to a dead woman that she would protect Garrett and she will do that for the rest of her life. Since the Humandrills and Garrett are out of the question of helping her there is only one person who might help her. There is only at the most a 5% chance that he will help her, but she feels gravity pulling harder and harder on her little body, forcing her to fall faster and faster. Tears form in the corner of her eyes, she knows she's going to die, her body feels heavier and heavier the more she falls, she knows that if she wants to live she has to at least try; even if it means that she hast to swallow her pride.
"…MIHAWK!" after she realizes what she just said her tears in the corner of her eyes leave her face and she watches them fall along with her to her ultimate doom. She waits. She waits with what little hope she has that he heard her and he will come and rescue her from death again. But as the ground comes closer and closer to Maddie she realizes that he's not here and he won't help her.
Maddie closes her eyes. If she's going to die today she doesn't want Garrett to see her lifeless body shattered on the ground with her lifeless eyes open. It's the least she could do for her brother before she dies. The last Hatter on this Earth is going to die today.
She waits… a breeze. She expected death to be more mean and evil, not a breeze. She expects to feel every bone in her body explode and all her organs to collapse and she waits for her blood to fill her lungs and suffocate her to death. But she doesn't experience or feel any of those things, what she does feel is a slight breeze and warmth.
Maddie expects to see fire and Demons when she opens her eyes but when she does open her eyes she sees gold. She sees sharp gold eyes staring into her soul.
"Care to explain why I came back to you almost dead and to Garrett passed out?"
"I-it wa-was the s-stupid monkeys' faults!" Maddie wanted the words to be strong and powerful, but when they left her mouth they come out weak and hoarse.
"Is that so?"
Maddie tried to nod her head but her strength was starting to leave her little body. All she could do was blink her eyes as a yes. Somehow Mihawk understood that when she blinked it was a yes. Without unlocking his gaze from Maddie, Mihawk exhaled a deep sigh and he started to walk back to his castle.
"I-it wa-wasn't my fault this time."
"I-it wa-was the monkeys' fault."
"T-th-they st-stole my ha-hat!"
"Th-they dis-distracted me."
"I di-didn't ne-need yo-your help!"
"I-I'm j-ju-just f-fi-fine!"
On their way back to Mihawk's castle, each statement became more hoarse and scratching because Maddie started to sob. She turned her head into Mihawk's cloak and she sobbed, she sobbed on their way to his castle. She bawled when he put her in her bed. She wailed when he dressed her wounds and she wept herself to sleep that night.
After Mihawk dressed Maddie's wounds he went back into the forest and he picked up the still unconscious Garrett and he put him in his bed.
At the dead of night after Mihawk was sure that both Maddie and Garrett were in deep slumber he left his castle with Yoru. He went to the ruins and he talked to each and every Humandrill about what happened that day and why it will never happen again.
It was later determined that Maddie had dislocated her shoulder; broke her right leg and she had at least 10 of her bones bruised. When Garrett woke up the next morning he remembered nothing that happened to Maddie the previous day, he actually remembered nothing from that day. The Humandrills were not seen for many weeks after Maddie's fall and when they did appear they came back wounded and were forever scared of Dracule Mihawk for the rest of their lives. Because of Maddie's injuries she was immobilized for 2 months and during those two months she had as much Peppermint tea and cookies as she wanted… and it was reported that Mihawk made less frequent outing off the island after Maddie's fall too.
Since Maddie and Mihawk were the only ones who remembered that day (not including the Humandrills), they vowed to never speak of that day again. Maddie vowed never to speak about how that day was the first and only day in her life were she called Dracule Mihawk, Mihawk. And Mihawk never spoke about how when he heard Maddie's screams he ran to her and when he heard his name leave her lips, the corners of his lips twitched upward for a brief second. The two never spoke of that day, but that day never left neither of their minds.