Continuing Tales

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 31 of 48

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Mirana was surprised to see her Royal Hatter sitting listlessly outside her Champion's door. His eyes were that muddy green-grey she had come to associate with profound sadness and confusion. Treading lightly, she bent down to capture Tarrant's attention.

"What ails you old friend?" She asked gently. He raised his eyes to her face and seemed to ponder the question deeply.

"Alice won't see me … us … anyone. She's being quite naughty, not even coming to tea! How anyone could refuse tea is beyond me. Why tea is the cure all for all, especially after such bloody, blasted, bad –"

"Hatter." Mirana brought him back firmly after seeing the unpleasant yellow of his eyes.

"Blighted … thank you … I'm fine …" His eyes faded back to muddy green but he did not smile. Mirana straightened and looked worriedly at the closed door behind him.

"No you're not. But maybe I can help. Please go to your work room. I don't want Alice to feel cornered."

Tarrant stood up quickly and opened his mouth to retort but Mirana held up her hand for silence. Her glare was one of a queen. Tarrant shrunk back into himself, sketched a bow, and stomped off.

Mirana's shoulders sagged and she showed a rare sign of fatigue by rubbing the back of her neck. She had a fairly good idea of what was bothering her Champion but still had not found a good way to approach the problem.

Her daughter and Chessur (surprisingly) had recommended simply asking Alice and then going from there. At the time she had been appalled by the thought of not having a plan, but now she was out of options.

With that in mind, she quietly opened the door and stepped into the coolness of Alice's room. The Champion in question was sitting on her bed, holding her head in her hands. She didn't look up at the sound of Mirana's entrance, but seemed to retreat further into herself. Mirana swiftly move forward and knelt.

She reached out and tilted Alice's chin up. The fear and despair in her eyes made Mirana want to weep.

"Oh Alice …" she whispered.

"I killed him Mirana. I killed him and didn't think about it. I only felt satisfaction when I saw the light go out of his eyes. Who kills someone without any remorse? People like your sister. Am I turning into something like her?" Alice's voice reached a desperate peak and Mirana bolted up to gather the young woman in her arms.

"Hush dear one. Of course you aren't like Iracebeth. You couldn't be! Your heart is too good."

"Good? GOOD? How is killing without a second thought good? How is that an action of someone pure of heart?" Alice slammed a fist into the duvet and choked back tears.

"That's enough!" Mirana's sharp command made Alice flinch, but Mirana knew she couldn't regret it. She was the Queen and she would right the situation!

"Alice I said you have a good heart, not a pure one. None of us truly has a pure heart. We all think and feel evil thoughts. It's how we act on those feelings that defines how good or evil we are. You told me you felt satisfaction after Stayne was dead. Now I need you to tell me what you felt while killing him. What did heart tell you? What images did you see in your mind's eye?"

Alice looked away and stared at the vanity for a long time. Mirana felt time slow down and made a mental note to thank him for giving Alice a chance to find herself. He really wasn't as bad as Tarrant made him out to be …

"I thought about all of the pain he had caused Underland. I thought about Tarrant in the dungeon with that … monster torturing him. I remembered his disgusting touch and couldn't bear to let it poison our home."

Mirana nodded and smiled softly.

"You acted to protect everyone and everything that you love Alice. That is an act of a good heart and all though I abhor violence of any sort, I and the rest of Underland are extremely grateful to you. So, instead of thinking on these dark things, remember that there are others here who would have done the same and that you are not alone."

Alice hiccupped and Mirana rubbed her back.

"Come my Champion, I fear we are awfully late for tea."

Alice's eyes were overflowing with tears which she quickly dashed away. She finally looked at Mirana with clear eyes and arched a brow at her.

"It would be absolutely bonkers for us to miss brillig." She said with a watery smile.

"Yes well, we're all mad here." Mirana said matter-of-factly.

Alice chuckled and stood.

"All the best people are." She said with a smile.

Mirana followed her to the door and ushered them out, smiling happily in return.

"We should probably stop by the work room and pick up Hatter." Mirana said as they entered the hall.

"Tarrant …" Alice's eyes went in the direction of the man's work space and then she was gone.

Mirana looked at the space that was once Alice for a minute. She blinked several times and decided to ask Chess if love gave people evaporation powers as well as wings.


Alice was slightly out breath when she reached the work room's door. She raised a hand to open it and then paused.

How would Tarrant receive her? She had pushed him away for the most part since their return to the castle and had hurt him terribly. If only there was a way to know he would forgive her before she actually had to see him …

"Oi! We all need a little light to shine you know!" A voice squeaked.

Alice looked about wildly and her eyes came to rest on the door knob. It was a beautifully crafted piece of brass whose key hole distinctly resembled a mouth.

"I beg your pardon?" She stuttered.

"You happen to be blocking the sun which makes my lovely polish shine with that hovering hand of yours! Either open me and get inside or drop it!" The door knob squeaked again. Alice blew out an exasperated breath and glared down at the offending object.

"Now see here sir, I am Alice, Champion of Underland! I will hover if I want to and am not above tarnishing you!"

The door swung open as she ended her proclamation to reveal an awfully confused looking Tarrant.

"Alice? What's all this about tarnish? I don't think the castle cleaning staff would appreciate it very much if you tarnished something." Tarrant was watching her carefully, apparently trying to guess were her mind was.

"I was merely informing your gate keeper of who was who and what was what." She said as she poked her head around the door to glare at the knob.

"Ahh! Yes that makes perfect sense now. He can be the most bothersome accouterment but Nivens informs me daily that taking him away would ruin the effect of the hallway, whatever that means." Alice shrugged and giggled slightly. She sobered up quickly though and turned beseeching eyes in his direction.

"Forgive me Tarrant. I treated you horribly even after all you offered was love and support. I know I don't deserve it, but I realize now that what I did was trying to protect you. You're such a good person. I felt tainted by Stayne's blood. I was stained actually, both my hands and my heart. When I … when I killed Stayne, I didn't feel regret."

Alice paused to swallow. Tarrant's eyes were shadowy and his expression closed off, so she barreled on ahead.

"I felt like I was a monster because of it. I thought I had to protect you from myself and the person I was becoming. But now I know I did it to protect Underland and the Queen and most importantly you from Stayne and his vileness. I'm so sorry Tarrant! So very sorry."

Alice ducked her head after her apology and waited for him to tell her that he was done with her constantly changing moods and her unsavory habit of hurting those she loved most.

She missed the moment when his eyes changed to that bright happy green ringed with warm purple.

Instead she felt his gentle, thimbled and bandaged fingers grasp her chin and force her face up toward his. She drew in a breath at the sight of his eyes and the emotion pouring from them.

"Alice, why is a raven like a writing desk?" Tarrant asked her quietly. She smiled at him with blinding radiance.

"Hmmm … I'm still think about it." She answered slyly. Tarrant laughed and drew her into his arms. She giggled slightly at his breath tickling her ear, but quieted in time to hear his vow.

"I'll always forgive you my Alice and I will always wait for you. Come what may, I'll always wait for you, till the end of time."

Alice kissed him in thanks, trying to put all of her harebrained ideas and emotions into the brief brush of lips.

Once they drew back she couldn't help but to tease him.

"I'll have to keep you to that. You wouldn't want to fulfill that promise so soon by killing Time." Tarrant shook his head at her foolishness and tapped her nose with a finger.

"Agreed love. Though I suspect we're perturbing both him and the Queen with our lateness to tea." He stepped back into the work room briefly to retrieve his hat. Alice took it and set it on his head, both of them smiling like children getting a rare treat.

He held his arm out to her and as she grasped his elbow, Tarrant decided he need to make her one of her own.

One that would match the article in the small box still sitting on his workbench.

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 31 of 48

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