Continuing Tales

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 15 of 48

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Mirana left the gaping party behind in the throne room and sped after her champion. As she turned to close the door, she took the opportunity to glare at Celeste and Tarrant. Tarrant, as she expected, looked confused and upset. Celeste however wore no expression, but Mirana swore she could see the satisfaction in the young woman's eyes. The sight unnerved her and caused her to slam the door more forcefully than she originally intended.

Taking the stair down to the courtyard two at a time left Mirana breathless, but she hurried out into the fading light. There was no immediate sign of Alice in the courtyard, so the White Queen took a left toward the hedge maze. She'd never really like the thing, but it had brought amusement to those she loved long ago. To her though, it represented never finding the lost and that still saddened her more than anything. However, if Alice truly didn't want to be found, then this would be the place to go.

The question now though, was how to find out if she did enter the maze without Mirana actually having to set foot in it. At its entrance she stopped and made a quick decision.

"Alice, Champion of Underland! If you are in that dratted maze, I order you to tell me right now!" She shouted at the top of her lungs.

Minutes of silence passed. Knowing Alice as she did, the lack of answer meant that she wasn't in the maze. It would have been highly unlike Alice to disobey a direct order!

With that in mind, Mirana made her way across the opposite direction of the courtyard. Eventually she made her way to the stables. Poking her head in, she caught sight of a flash of blue in the last stall. Moving quietly, she came up behind her champion.

"He's missed you terribly you know …" She spoke quietly. Alice continued to stroke Bandy. Mirana sighed and laid a gentle hand on the young woman's shoulder. Alice didn't pause when she finally spoke.

"I know. I also now know that things aren't going to be as I originally thought."

"What do you mean by that?" Mirana asked.

"I came back and fixed Hatter thinking we'd be the best of friends. I then remembered how he pleaded with me to stay. I thought perhaps … that is I never realized that I … I thought we'd be able to pick up where we left off. I see that that's not possible now. I … I guess it's on to the other plan."

Alice's voice was lifeless and her eyes seemed glassy with what Mirana expected were tears.

"What plan would that be my Champion?"

"Simply that Majesty. I will be your Champion and continue on as though that's my only purpose. He's someone else's to care for. I won't interfere with that." Alice's voice was gaining a steely edge. Mirana recognized the glint of determination in her eyes.

The only problem was this was the wrong place to enact determination.

"Alice dear, I think you've got –"

Alice held up a hand to stop her words. She slowly turned around and squared her shoulders. Here was the Champion she thought she had once needed. Here was a soldier, ready for battle. The sight which once would have caused her joy now left her cold.

"I have the gist of things my Queen. I'll see you in the morning to take my duties up. Please give my excuses to those at dinner, I find that I need to rest after today's activities." With that Alice gave a short bow to the Queen and slipped out of the stables.

Mirana watched her go. Things were more complicated than she had originally thought. Somehow those she considered dearest to her, who were supposed to be together, we now in opposition. She could only hope that morning light would brighten all of their lives.

Mirana woke the next morning with a feeling of foreboding. After her morning wash and dressing, she made her way to the small parlor attached to her apartments. A quick bite to eat and she was off to the throne room. Poking her head inside the door, she expected to see Alice waiting for her. The room was empty though. Frowning the White Queen began to make her way up and down the corridors.

Several minutes later her search was becoming tiresome. It was still early enough in the morning, so she couldn't very well start shouting for her elusive Champion before the birds had started chirping. Sighing in frustration, she turned to head back to the throne room. Almost immediately she was stopped by Chess, who had taken the opportunity to materialize before her.

"Library." Was all he said, grinning as usual.

Mirana nodded and took off up the next flight of stairs. She had stopped questioning the cat's knowledge long ago and simply trusted him.

Making her way the South end of the third floor, Mirana quietly pushed open the door to the library. The room was quiet as usual, the silence only being broken by the turning of pages.

"Botheration!" Mirana jumped suddenly at the sound of Alice's voice. It was quickly followed by the resounding snap of a book being shut and the thunk of it being put back on shelf. Following the general sounds of aggravation, Mirana discovered Alice already reading the pages of another book.

Mirana took the moment to study her Champion. Alice hadn't grown in height, but her body was now that of a woman. Although still very thin, she filled out her tunic better than the last time she was here. Mirana shuddered to remember the amount of pins it had taken to keep the garment in place on the young woman's stick like frame. Now though, her health seemed returned and she had obviously gained some muscle. With the wild gold curls tamed back into a braid, she honestly looked the part of a Champion. The aura she was giving off at the moment though was one of an agitated lioness.

"Why is it, that there are no records of what Champions of Underland do at times of peace?" She huffed as she shut the book. Mirana jumped a little at Alice's recognition of her presence. Alice turned to face her queen and Mirana had to stifle a sigh at the shadows under her Champion's eyes. Obviously, she had gotten no sleep and was still not in the best of humors.

Mirana swallowed delicately before speaking.

"Because unfortunately, peace seldom makes history." Mirana watched Alice's shoulders droop. She closed the book dejectedly and walked back to the chairs sitting at a table. Alice collapsed in a squashy arm chair and pinched the bridge of her nose.

Mirana chose the chair next to her and scooted it so she could look Alice in the face. They sat there quietly for a few minutes until Mirana could bear it no more. Reaching out, she gently grasped Alice's cool hands. Up close, the shadows beneath her eyes were more pronounced, her skin was paler than usual, and her eyes were dull.

"Alice darling, please. What's this all about?" Mirana could not keep the sadness from her voice. Alice noticed and attempted a weak smile.

"I am … lost Majesty. I came here with a purpose in mind. That purpose changed on arrival. Then it began anew with, well, you know. Now though I am without purpose. I'm a woman without love and a Champion without anything to do. I can't do anything about the first and starting a war seems to be the only way to fix the latter. Though I seriously doubt you'd approve of that …"

Mirana could only gape at her companion.

"Do you want to start a war Alice?" The words tumbled out of Mirana's mouth before she could think better of it. Alice's face was still calm, although Mirana noticed that she had begun fingering the knife on her belt. She finally looked up and had a slight smile on her face.

"Only at certain moments my lady." Mirana raised an eyebrow at her.

"And when would that happen to be?"

Alice's smile faltered a little.

"When I see the seamstress, or more accurately, when I see the seamstress with the haberdasher." Her voice was tight with control. Mirana chose not to comment on her lack of using names.

"Well Alice dear, I can't condone a war, however you are wrong in thinking you have nothing to do." Mirana smiled gently and Alice sat up a bit straighter in her seat. The light of curiosity came back in her eyes and she tilted her head to the side. Mirana took the cue.

"As my Champion, you are supposed to be one of my closest advisors and frankly, the one I go to most often." She made the statement solemnly, but Alice seemed to be finding her fire again.

"How so?" She asked as she leaned forward in her chair.

"Well Absolem, as the keeper of the Oraculum, is technically supposed to be my main advisor; however his relatively new state tends to make communication, well, complicated. He only directs me to important dates the Oraculum decides to reveal."

Alice stared blankly at the Queen for a moment. Her mind seemed to be working hard!

"Absolem and I communicate … very well. At least, I was able to hear him speak while I was above." Mirana's jaw dropped. Alice looked equally confused.

"Well that is interesting to say the least. We'll figure it out one of these days I hope. Anyway, your duties as my Champion will apply to the here and now. You will advise me on matters of state, such as alliances and trade agreements. Also you will be in charge of the White Guard, as you are my man protection. Training them and organizing them essentially. Seeing as this is a time of peace, all of it shouldn't be too difficult."

Alice's eyes were beginning to glow with hope.

"Well, it seems this job was made for me!" At last a truly genuine smile broke on her face. Mirana beamed back at her.

"So when do I begin?" She asked eagerly. Mirana stood up and brushed off her pristine skirts.

"Well seeing as I have a meeting with the Mayor of Snud in a few minutes, right now."

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 15 of 48

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