Continuing Tales

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 11 of 48

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Alice had been staring the door for a solid five minutes. She was caught between trepidation about he who was on the other side and the deep affection she felt for him. The guards had not said a word or made any movements. The sight wasn't encouraging.

Alice could see a spot of blue out of the corner of her eye. Not too long after, she felt Absolem land on her shoulder. His antennas were twitching slowly. She took it as him gently prodding her to go forward. Then again with Absolem he was probably extoling her many faults for not having already started.

"Alright, alright. I'm going." Alice bent and retrieved her candle and match book, successfully dislodging Absolem from her shoulder. He flew away rather sporadically. She could only guess what he was thinking.

As carefully and as quietly as possible, Alice opened the door to Hatter's room. The place was still as dark, cold, and smelly as before. Putting her plan in motion, Alice sat her candle on the tea table and put the matches in her pocket.

As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, Alice caught site of the figure standing across the room. He seemed to be leaning his head against the boarded window. Her ears picked up on his heavy breathing and faintly whispered words.

"Alice, Alice, my Alice. Where are ye lass?"

Alice steeled her nerves and cleared her throat.

"I'm here Hatter."

The man across the room stilled briefly. Then, in a few quick strides, he was there before her. Alice could almost feel the madness radiating off him.

"I told ye not to come back figment! Now I make good on me promise!" Hatter's hand shot out and gripped her arms. Before she could even react, his had released her. He was close enough now that Alice could feel him shaking. Whether in rage, fear, or sadness, she could not tell.

"That … that cloth …" His voice was a cross between a raged whisper and his endearing lisp.

Alice said nothing. She simply held her breath, unsure of what would happen next.

"Alice?" There, yes. There was fear and hope in his voice. Alice released her held breath and reached out blindly for his hands. Eventually she was able to grasp them.

Carefully, still slightly unsure how fast his mood would change, she ran his hands along her arms and shoulders. The more he was able to feel the familiar cloth of her robe, the more he seemed to shake.

"Alice? Why? How? Where have ye been laddie?" His voice seemed so small, so unsure. It brought her back to when he'd told her of Hightopp village. Before the madness had slipped in, when he'd been remember the good times there. Before he'd lost those he had cared for most.

Suddenly realization hit Alice. She had hurt Hatter just as badly as the Jabberwocky and Stayne had. She had hurt him and re-driven him into madness by leaving him. Just as his family had left him long ago, only this time was worse because she had made the choice to leave him. Tears welled up in her eyes as the thought.

Not thinking, she threw herself into his arms and hugged him tightly. He froze but only briefly. His arms soon wound around her and hugged her back. His cheek rested against the top of her head.

After sniffling into his rather filthy waistcoat, Alice finally spoke.

"I've been stretching my muchness Hatter. I'm sorry I was gone so long, but I'm back now. I'm back to stay."

"Oh Alice, I wish … I wish I could see …"

"Oh! Right!" Twisting carefully out of his arms, Alice reached for the matches in her pocket. In a few seconds, she had the candle lit. Turning back to Hatter, smile in place, Alice was unprepared for what happened next.

Her eyes met his and for the briefest of moments, they were a happy emerald green. But then his gaze scanned her and they began to bleed to red and black. Alice shrank back from the sight.

"Liar! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! Yer not her! Damn you figment! I'll kil –" He didn't get to finish his sentence. The two chess guards had burst through the door and wrestled him back into his bedroom.

Alice didn't wait for them to reemerge. Instead she turned tail and fled to her room. Once there, she slammed the door shut and locked it.

There was no need for her cries to join the Hatter's as they echoed off the castle walls.

Dinner was a somber affair. Mirana had obviously ordered the others not to ask questions about Alice's … work and thus, they all had danced around her. They tried to make her smile and laugh for a while but to no avail. So they had finished the meal in silence.

Now Alice sat in her room waiting for the seamstress, Celeste, to arrive. As Hatter's apprentice but a member of the White Court, she wasn't sure what to expect. Would she be bonkers like Hatter or would she be cool as a cucumber like the rest of the Queen's court? Maybe she would be a bit of both …

Tap, tap, tap …

Alice jumped at the gentle rap on her door, but quickly recovered as a young woman slid into the room.

Celeste was a tall woman, much taller than Alice's petite frame at least. She had the same white hair and dark eyes as the rest of the court and wore a simple white shift. All in all, a perfect member of the White Court.

But yet …

Alice felt a sense of … something … coming off her. It wasn't quite madness but there was a certain hostility to her. Celeste interrupted Alice's train of thought though.

"Whenever you're ready miss." Her voice was clear, strong, and slightly deeper than Alice would have thought.

Silently Alice moved to stand before her. Celeste quietly took her measurements and when she was finished, she asked Alice to sit down.

"Now what type of garments did you have in mind for your visits with Tarrant?" Alice knew she shouldn't have been, but she was startled by Celeste's blatant words.

"Simple things really. Trousers, blouses, maybe some vests. A couple of tunics. I need pockets mostly." Alice felt herself rambling and forced a stop to her speech. Celeste simply nodded and wrote her words down.

"Any particular colors you had in mind?"

"Just not all white please." Celeste laughed a little at that and smiled. It was a very nice smile Alice noted.

"Understood miss. I'll put in an order for some belts and boots for you as well. Those will probably be best for when you're dashing away from Tarrant." Alice tried not to sputter as Celeste's flippant tone. The woman in question was already packing up and making final notes on her paper. At last she turned back to Alice, but her expression was dark compared to her former smile.

"You must bring him back Champion Alice. Nothing is right here without him. Bring him back to m—to us. Please." Celeste's voice had gone from commanding to desperate, but Alice's temper had already sparked.

"And if I can't?" She bit out.

"Then you'll have consequences to deal with won't you?" Celeste was smiling again, however now it was full of malice. Alice smiled thinly in return and opened the door for her. The seamstress swept from the room, humming under her breath. Alice couldn't help but slam the door behind her.

Once done though, Alice couldn't help thinking about the young woman who had left. Celeste obviously care greatly for the Hatter and was hopeful for Alice's success. However, she did not seem to care for Alice at all.

"Bring him back to m—"

Obviously she was some sort of threat to Celeste when it came to Hatter.

The only question was why?

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 11 of 48

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