A Hat in Time Fanfiction: A Hat and a Tie in Time - 11. Chapter 11
Chapter 11: Hello Bow
“Mmmmmmm!” Hat cooed as she ate her second pancake breakfast that week. “I think the pancake rule stands, Tie!”
“Just this once…” I reminded her.
Me and Hat were sitting at the table in the kitchen, eating breakfast after yesterday. Pancakes again, CC thought t would help. She was standing at the kitchen sink. For some reason Boss the bottle was here as well.
“I can’t believe I passed out fighting the Conductor!” Hat huffed. “Sorry for that, Tie.”
“Eh, me picking up the slack is no different from usual…” I shrugged.
“Still though, at least you got the Time Piece back…and had to carry me back as well.” She went on, eating inbetween.
“That’s what the strength is for…” I said.
“Welp!” She jumped up on her chair. “Now we’ve got a new area of the planet to explore! I’m gonna go get ready!” She then bolted out of the room.
I sighed. Then I noticed that CC, Boss and even Roombi were looking at me. “…What?”
“Can she not tell you’ve been crying?” Boss asked.
“It’s better that she doesn’t.” I responded.
“You didn’t leave her room all night.” CC said. “And whilst we’re out here worrying, all of a sudden, you both come out ready for breakfast, as if everything is okay?”
“That’s because it is.”
“No it’s not, dear. Look at yourself.”
I had stayed awake all night, keeping Hat company, crying like a sad little sap. My face was red, I had bags under my eyes, my hair was a mess, still had a hole in my shirt from that knife, but I had healed up the wound with another heart Pon, just so that she wouldn’t worry.
“I don’t matter.” I stated firmly. “As long as she’s okay, that’s all that matters.”
“How can you say that about yourself?” CC reprimanded me.
“I don’t get you at all.” Boss admitted. “Up until now you act like she’s the bane of your existence, then all of a sudden you’re saying things like that?”
“Boss!” CC huffed. “It’s clear his feelings are…well…”
“A mess.” I answered.
“Do you want to talk about it?” The cook asked.
“I don’t even know what there is to talk about.” I sighed. “I’ve never been…right.” I was digging up bad thoughts in my head as the cat and the jar looked at each other.
“Tie! Tie!” Suddenly, Hat ran into the room.
“What is it, Captain?” I asked.
“There’s a ship pulling up next to ours!”
“What!?” I jumped out of my seat. “Don’t tell me that distress call actually worked!?”
“Come see!” I followed after her as we ran into the main room, followed by CC and Boss being carried by Roombi (traitor) as we pressed our faces up against the glass. What was pulling up alongside us was a ship tiny in comparison to ours, shaped like a triangle with thrusters on each point, that seemed to bloom oout like a flower as it attached ourselves to the side of our ship, almost like it was giving our ship an accessory.
“Machine Room.” I stated, and we all ran to there, waiting as the entrance doorway began to open.
“Who is it?” CC whispered.
“No clue.” I admitted, just before the door opened.
Standing there was a girl of our species, with dark skin, fluffy black hair, a blue dress under a green jacket, and a noticeable blue bow in her hair.
“Hey there!” She greeted cheerfully. “I picked up on the distress signal! Am I in the ri-WOW a cat wearing an apron! And some eyes in a jar!”
“We’re saved!” Hat cheered.
“No we’re not.” I denied. Not with that tiny ship. Besides, after all this no way I was just packing up and leaving.
“Hello!” Hat greeted her cheerfully.
“Hello!” She greeted back, equally cheerfully. “You must be the Captain!”
“I sure am!” Hat beamed proudly.
“And you’re-! Oh…” Her smile dropped when she saw me, and I looked away.
“I love your ship!” Hat exclaimed.
“Thank you!” Thankfully Hat redirected her attention away from me. “I really love yours though! Nice to meet you by the way!”
“Nice to meet you too! I’m Hat!” She greeted happily. “This is Tie, Roombi, CC, and Boss!”
“Did you just nickname me!?” Boss yelled from inside of his jar.
“Wowie! Most of them are amazing!” Wow, she didn’t even hide it with that one.
“Is this…another one of your species?” CC asked the room.
“What gave it away?” I snarked.
“So what’s your name? Waitwait! Don’t tell me…!” Hat made a ‘straining’ face. “It’s…Bow!”
“Bow! I love it!” She cheered. Of course that wasn’t her real name, but she was more then happy to go along with it.
“Oh great. Now there’s two of them.” Boss groaned.
“Look on the bright side. You could have two of me.” I responded, which CC gave me a look for.
“So, what’s the sitch, then?” The now-named Bow asked.
“I COULD tell you.” Hat mused. “Orrrr I could tell you over cookies and video games!”
“The latter!” Bow cheered.
“Tie! Cookie code!” She tried to take advantage of this.
“Still not getting it.” I denied.
“I’ll whip up a batch for you, how about that?” CC said.
“Yay!” The two of them cheered.
‘Great. Just great.’
I stood on the upper level, looking down at Hat and Bow. The Captain was supposed to be telling Bow about our situation…but really they were just stuffing their faces and playing Hollow Knight, alternating whenever one of them died, the non-player backseat gaming.
‘She must be really happy now that she has someone like her around now.’ I couldn’t help but think.
I felt something bump against my foot, and I looked down to see Roombi beeping up at me.
“I’m just giving them space.” I weakly defended myself. He beeped at me. “No, that was not meant to be a pun.”
He went away for a moment, and when he came back he was carrying-oh space, no…
“It’s official. I dislike your species as a whole is that is the status quo.” Boss said.
“I don’t need to hear the opinion of less then 1/5th of something.” I muttered.
“Hmph. Doesn’t look like you’d listen anyway.” He scoffed. “Why are you up here?”
“None of your business.” I spat. I was not in the mood.
“I am not a fool-“
“Could’ve fooled me.”
He bit his non-existent tongue. “-the way you two looked at each other…I have an eye for these things you know.”
“Eyes are all you’ve got.” ‘Go…AWAY.’
“You’re different from the rest of your species.” He discerned. “Is there a particular reason you two were travelling alone together?”
“…I’m going out.” I began walking down the stairs.
“Wha-? Where!?” He called after me.
“To get Time Pieces, why do you think?”
“On your own?”
“Yes.” I glared at him. “And don’t tell Captain I’m gone.”
I stomped into the Machine Room and jumped through the window, down towards Dead Bird Studios.
I platformed through the Time Rift expertly, using the Bat Bow to correct any distance mistakes I made. A Time Rift is, ironically, the perfect place to think. A crack in time, outside of time itself, or maybe even, time standing still. It was a mystery. Especially what with all the weird imagery surrounding it…and the fact that Moon Penguins were in here. Why were there Moon Penguins in here?
The point being, it was perfect to get your thoughts straight with just a bit of challenge.
So why couldn’t I get my thoughts straight!?
‘Arrrrgggghhh!’ I ruffled my hair in frustration. ‘Why is it all falling apart now!? Why’d I have to send out that stupid distress signal!? Why can’t I understand what I’m feeling!? Why!? Why!? Why!?’
I sighed. The Moon Penguins following behind me must think I was insane or something. I grabbed the Time Piece, causing the rift to disperse, and I was back in the rafters again…no Moon Penguins though. Where they real or just a manifestation?
“Well, well, well! I wondered what all that ruckus was, turns out it’s you, darling!” A familiar voice called.
“Oh, DJ Grooves.” I acknowledged his existence.
“Now why are you skulking around up here?” He said. “Let me take a good look at you…oh, on second thoughts maybe not, you look like the dead, darling!”
“Guess so…” I admitted.
“Now a big star like you can’t go around looking like this! Come with me, darling!” He began pulling me along by the sleeve. I didn’t resist. I could have just teleported back to the ship with the Time Piece, but I let him sit me down in what looked like a dressing room.
“This…isn’t necessary.” Bit late for that.
“Nonsense, darling! Besides, I was a bit worried you’d never show your face here after that big display down below.” He said, as he began combing my hair. “Now. Talk to me darling. Tell me what plagues your brain.”
“It’s…” I couldn’t. I couldn’t tell him what was wrong with me mentally. So instead… “Another member of our species arrived today.”
“Oh my! You mean like yourself and little Hat?” He said. “Is this another star in the making I feel? I’ve just got to get a good look at them!”
“Good luck with that.” I mumbled.
“Now isn’t that a sour tone. Something is UP here.” He noted. “So, what’s the deal with this one?”
“Ohohoho, a ‘she’ is she?” He seemed to be thinking for a moment, before saying: “Oh, sorry, do go on.”
“She just butted in and now Hat is all over her.” I muttered. “It’s obvious they like each other…”
“Ah, I see how it is…” He nodded. “You’re jealous.”
“Some new kid has come around who you feel is better then you with Hat.” He said as he finished combing. “So, how does that make you feel darling?”
“I…don’t know.” I mumbled.
“I don’t know how I feel about it. What SHOULD I be feeling?”
“Darling, there’s no feeling you SHOULD be having, only WHAT you feel! Now hold still.” He appeared to be applying makeup to the bags under my eyes.
“You’re surprisingly good at this.”
“Darling, please. You think somebody else can make me this fabulous? But no sidetracking.”
“Well…I just don’t know what I feel. It’s like…a pit in my stomach, that just sits there. It doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t make me feel sad, it’s just…there.”
“Hmmm…well I must admit, darling, that’s a new one to me.” Grooves admitted.
“Yeah…” I rubbed my arm awkwardly.
“But let me tell you something darling.” He suddenly spun me around to face him. “You may not understand how you feel, but by dove you’ve got a whole lot of feeling. Yesterday showed me that. And it showed me you care about her a whole lot, a real diamond in the rough you are.” He lowered his shades to reveal…really, really tiny eyes. “You’re a star through and through darling. You’ll figure yourself out in the end. Just have a bit of faith in yourself.”
“I’ll…try…” I couldn’t say no to those eyes.
“Good. Now then.” He suddenly spun me around to face the mirror, and, hey! My bags were gone! But, my hair was combed back, which was weird. “You go out there and be you, darling. Rough and all.”
“…Thanks, DJ Grooves.” I said.
“Anytime, darling.” He said. “Oh, and one last thing…” He then handed me something.
“A Relic piece?” I said.
“Is that what they’re called? I just saw you two pick up one or two on set and thought you’d like it.” He said.
“Well, I’d better head back.”
“Knock ’em dead, darling!” He waved as I teleported back to the ship. And then immediately ruffled my hair up into its original style.
I took a deep breath, and made sure to hide the Time Piece and Relic behind my back as I entered the main room. They were still sitting there, so I took that as my cure to put the Time Piece in the Vault.
“Tie!” Hat called, before looking at me. She didn’t even know I was gone. “Bow is gonna help us search for our Time Pieces!”
“Got to the point in the end then, eh, Captain?” I nodded as I walked over to join them. Bow’s smile was not present whilst our eyes met.
“Hey…what’s that behind your back?” She leaned over to try and look at it.
“Relic piece.” I showed it to her. It was a little train.
“Ooh! That must go with the mountain!” She exclaimed, not bothering to ask where I got it from. We placed it down on the set and sure enough, another pink Time Rift opened.
“What a pretty Time Rift!” Bow commented.
“Same as last time…Time Pieces are very finicky.” I noted.
“Let’s go!” Hat cheered, as the now three of us jumped in.
This new area seemed to be a culmination of everything we experienced at Dead Bird Studios. Sets suspended in a dark void illuminated by stage lights, as Express Owls, Moon Penguins and crows all wandered around aimlessly.
“Gotta admit, I’m disappointed.” I sighed. “Nothing symbolic here, it’s all stuff we’ve seen before.”
“This is amazing!” Bow ignored me in marvel.
‘Of course it is to you. You weren’t here when we did this.’ I thought.
“C’mon!” Hat beckoned us as we ran on ahead.
It was the same thing as with the first one. Collecting pictures as we seemingly made our way towards the Time Piece. Except now there were three of us, which made all the difference.
Bow being the same species as us meant she could essentially do everything we do, and keep up with us perfectly fine. She also, weirdly, had the same parasol that Hat did…which was almost creepily uncanny. And after journeying as a trio just through this one Time Rift, I knew all I needed to know.
She stuck closer to Hat. She’d make an effort to move away from me if I got too close to her. She always smiled and laughed when looking at or conversing with Hat but never with me. She copied all of Hat’s movements as best as possible, but never mine. She’d make a conscious effort to grab and present pictures to Hat before me.
She didn’t like me. But that was a given.
We eventually retrieved the Time Piece and returned to our ship. But the pit in my stomach only flared up again, knowing that this wouldn’t work.
“That was so fun!” Hat beamed, as I retrieved the photos we had collected from her.
I flipped through them. It was of the Conductor and DJ Grooves when they were children, going to Dead Bird Studios at the same time and becoming rivals.
‘Guess you were trying to talk from experience, Grooves.’ I thought, as I pocketed the lore whilst Hat chucked the Time Piece into the vault.
I took a look at Bow whilst we Hat was busy. I had to confirm it. She stole a quick, uncomfortable glance at me and then turned away.
That was it. She knew who I was.
“I just remembered!” Hat suddenly yelled. “We can go to a new area now! C’mon! Hurry, hurry!” She then ran towards the bedroom, and I sighed as I made to follow her, when suddenly I felt Bow tug on my shoulder.
“Why are you here?” She asked. There was no malice behind it, but it was wary.
“I’m Vice-Captain of this ship.” I stated.
“And you go by Tie now?”
“It’s the name she likes when we got caught up in things here.”
We were silent for a moment. An uncomfortable moment.
“Hat is nice.” Bow said. “If you-“
“I would never.” I spoke firmly, but controlled.
“Heyyyyyy! C’mon!” Hat called. “Cannoooooon!”
“What’s the magic word?” I called.
“You couldn’t be more wrong.” I responded, as Bow began walking past me. “…Hey.” She turned to me. I didn’t want to ask it. I shouldn’t ask it. Don’t ask it. “…How is everybody without me?”
She looked at me like I knew the answer, and I did, but I needed to know anyway.
“Happy.” She then continued walking.
‘Yeah.’ I agreed as I followed after them both.
Chapter 11.5: Goodbye Julia
I sat at a little desk for myself in my room, the planets sun coming into perfect alignment outside my window. I took out the paper and my pen, and clicked it a couple of times. What was I doing? I just…these feelings that I had, that I couldn’t even describe…I needed to try and do something about them. So this was what I had decided, and so I put pen to paper, and began to write:
I don’t know you, and you don’t know me. But I’ve always had this feeling that you exist out there, somewhere, influencing my life in some way. And recently, I had the feeling that you’re journey had come to and end. A happy end. And I feel like I should be happy for you, if you’re out there, but I’m just sad. And hurt? Maybe?
I found myself standing up and walking around as I wrote, eventually going down, where Roombi bumped against my foot.
My name is Tie. That’s not my actual name, but it’s the one I’ve come to be known by. I feel like you also had another name at one point. Did you like that name? What do you look like? There are questions I’d like to ask you about what you’ve done. Where have you been? What did you learn? What did you remember? What friends did you make? Who loved you?
I stopped for a moment and looked over the railing. Hat and Bow were playing Pokemon Diamond and Pearl separately. They seemed so happy with each others company.
I’m struggling with a lot of feelings right now. Things I can’t explain, even about myself. That’s why I’m writing to you. I feel like you’ve gone further then me, done a lot better then me. I doubt you and I had the same problems, but a part of me wants to know if you came out of it okay. Because I feel like my journey has become more difficult. And for some reason, this feeling that you’ve completed your own adventure, for some reason, that makes my own feel so much harder. That’s pretty stupid, right?
I sat in the kitchen for a bit. CC made me a cup of tea and I thanked her as I sipped it and wrote.
I’m scared, Julia. I’m scared of the future, and where my place is in it. I get this feeling that you know your place in this world, or at least you found it. You have your own ‘Hat’ and people who love you. I’m not as sure. Is this world better off without me? Should I deserve to exist at all? I feel more often then not that I am out of place here, that I don’t belong here. Do you feel that way? I sincerely hope you don’t.
I moved to the Machine Room, and Boss was actually respectfully quite. Guess he knows about writing letters.
I wish I knew you. I wish could talk to you, and ask so many questions. Because I want to know…would you like me? Or would you hate me? Would you fake-like me? I don’t know…but I reckon you’re kind. You’re definitely kind. But the part of me that hurts feels like I can never ask these things now. Are you happy where you are right now?
I moved to Hat’s room and buried myself in the pillows, trying to find some comfort.
I get this feeling that you’re so amazing, so incredible. And when I got this sense that you’re journey was over, I felt a little bit more empty, and it’s beginning to really hurt me. But that’s horrible of me. I bet you braved some challenges, got hurt, and fought hard to get where you are now, and you should be happy because you deserve it. Thinking that you’re gone now, is like I’ve lost a part of myself from long ago. And I’m worried about what’s underneath when I lose too much.
I eventually moved back to my room, and stared at the sun.
I’m sorry. I don’t know why I’m writing this. I just felt like I needed to talk to you somehow. If you exist. Because I really think you’re important to me, somehow. And I hope you’re okay.
Even though you’re just this thought, that right now is making me feel sad, I’m glad I have this idea you exist. I think just believing you exist has helped me push forward. And even though you’re ‘gone’ now, this sadness means that you’re important, and that you matter. So I should wish you the best, and congratulate you, for everything. I hope I can be half as good as you were.
Thank you, Julia.
Satisfied, I folded the letter up, put it in an envelope, and wrote ‘Julia’ on the front. Then I went into the main room and climbed up the slide, into the mail room. Fan still spinning like a madman, letters flying everywhere.
I looked at the letter, held it up, and let it get caught in the wind, as it danced in the tornado of letters.
“Hope you find your way.” I nodded, as I slid down the slide. Needed to go back to the forest and do more contracts after all. Souls aren’t gonna get themselves back.
I never saw that letter again.
Surprise chapter! Wasn’t this quick? And, well, I think you could tell why.
This chapter and a half is in tribute to Konan720’s ‘A Hat in Time: Amnesiac’s Journey’. The writer who drew the picture of Tie that I love oh so much, and who’s story inspired this one, the story that has now come to an end.
I didn’t know how to express my feelings for the story ending in a review, that not many people would read anyway. So I expressed it in this chapter, through Tie. Whether it’s canon or not is up to you. But Tie would definitely take a hug, if offered.
If it wasn’t obvious, if you haven’t already, go check out Konan720’s story. I hope you enjoyed this chapter and tribute, and I’ll see you next time!