Continuing Tales

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 33 of 48

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A week had passed since Celeste's expulsion from the White Kingdom. Alice had hoped that with peace stealing back over the kingdom, she and Tarrant would have more time together. It was supposed to now be endless tea parties, music, and futterwhacken right?


Instead everything was calm and quiet.

"SPOON!" Thackery shouted as she entered the Queen's parlor.

Well at least as calm and quiet as Marmoreal can ever be Alice thought to herself wryly. She shook her head and made her way to the tea table. Tarrant stood behind her chair, ever ready to seat her and make sure she was comfortable. This was the only time she saw him anymore.

It was a sad reality but she smiled brightly at him anyways. They had been through so much lately and he had survived the worst of her mood swings, so she had made the conscious decision to be happy for him while he did … whatever it was he was doing.

Yes she would make it seem that all was well between them and that they were both perfectly content with the way things were.

"Alice." He lisped softly as he pulled out her chair. She nodded and sat down swiftly and let him push her in.

"Hatter." She said simply. She watched his left eye twitch at the name of his profession and not his name.

Good. He was beginning to connect the article with her irritation. She ducked her head and arranged her napkin across her lap to hide the satisfied smirk spreading across her lips.

She felt a nudge to her left knee and look up to see Mirana shake her head imperceptibly. The Queen obviously knew her thoughts so Alice shrugged and smiled openly. Mirana sighed and rolled her eyes heavenward.

The others eventually found their ways to the table and soon scones were being tossed and jam was being passed. Alice let the comforting honey tinted flavor of today's brew soothe her for the moment. She let her gaze travel out the open bay windows and watched a bird fly out of the cherry orchard and ascend to the blue sky.

She looked back to all her friends chatting and laughing. Happiness radiated from every face and the mood of the room is light and cheerful.

This is what she has fought for, each and every time she has come to Underland.

But now it was finally here and she still felt as if something was missing!

Alice sighed heavily and settled her gaze on the pink and gold tea pot at the center of the table.

Not a moment later, there was a faint smarting across her knuckles. It didn't really hurt but she still shook out her hand in agitation. She glanced down to see an equally agitated Mallymkun. She raised her eyebrow and blinked at her rapidly.

"Were you list'n to a word I said ye great lump?" Mally demanded.

"Mally …" Tarrant's voice rang with warning but Alice waved him off.

"Forgive me Mally, my thoughts seem to have steamed off with the tea. What was is that you wished to tell me?" Alice asked politely. Mally swished her tail and scurried forward to better be heard over Thackery's rambling.

"I asked if it be alright if I sat in the guards' exercises tomorrow. I had a thought to train meself a bit more in case trouble decides to make itself known again." Mirana shuddered delicately out of the corner of her eye and Alice had to fight off a grimace as well.

As much as she would have liked a little bit of chaos to liven her spirits, true trouble was not going to be welcomed here again any time soon!

She pushed the thought aside and focused back on the dormouse.

"I have no problem with that Mally. Just don't stab my men too much if you don't like something they say or do."

"Are ye giving me permission to stab at 'em on occasion then?" Mally asked excitedly. Alice grinned wickedly back at her.

"Would I really be able to stop you even if I didn't want you to?"

Mally giggled and swished her hatpin sword menacingly.

"Naw, Champion not even you could stop me!" She cried gleefully. Alice chuckled, refilled her tea cup, and sat back to continue her observation of the tea party. Her eyes found Mirana first.

The White Queen seemed to be regarding her with a great amount of curiosity and a little bit of suspicion. Alice cocked her head to the side in a silent question. The Queen merely shook her head again and continued to nibble on a scone.

Alice looked to Tarrant, wondering if he had an answer to the not-spoken question, but he too was staring at her curiously! Seeing her seeing him seemed to bring him back to the moment. He hurriedly placed another cucumber sandwich on her plate and smiled at her quickly. Before she could even thank him he had turned to Bayard, asking about the bloodhound's preference to silk or satin!

Alice sat back with a huff and decided her only option was to be patient.

Unfortunately, that was a commodity she hadn't had much of since her return to Underland.

It made her sad that the only time Tarrant seemed to wish to pay attention to her was during tea time when he could be most easily distracted. She bit her lip to keep from announcing her opinion out loud.

She would not be a selfish, love sick fool!

The minutes ticked by and for the first time since coming to Underland, Alice cursed time.

Eventually Mirana called them all to order and bid them a good afternoon. Thackery, the Tweedles, and Mally hopped, waddled, and skipped out of the room. Tarrant and Bayard moved at a more sedate pace, their conversation having evolved into debating the chaffing tendencies of velvet. Tarrant was quite adamant that velvet was not meant to be constantly against the skin while Bayard thought it would make a far more bearable collar than leather.

Alice, feeling considerably left out, rose slowly before stepping away from the table. She opened her mouth to bid them all ado before going to the training grounds, but Mirana raised a hand to silence the words yet-spoken.

As soon as the others had exited the room, Mirana made a follow me motion and pivoted to the opposite door.

Curious as ever and a Champion through and through, Alice followed her monarch.

As soon as she stepped into the blindingly white office, Mirana shut the door with a smart click. When she turned around, Alice flinched. The suspicious, piercing, slightly mad stare on the Queen's face wasn't one she had seen before.

"May I be so bold to ask why you have been insisting on causing small ruckuses in the castle?"

Alice stared guilty at the floor and muttered under her breath.

"I'm sorry Champion, what was that?"

Alice looked up, prepared to be defiant but once glance at the new concern shimmering in the Queen's eyes she gave up and flopped into the nearest chair. As she rubbed her burning eyes, Mirana drew up a stool and sat next to her. Her graceful hand soon captured one of Alice's more-recently-calloused ones and tipped her chin up with the other.

"What ails you my Champion to drive you to such behavior?"

So Alice told her. She told her of her guilt and of her desire for Tarrant's company, and the fear that she was losing him once again to her own selfish whims. All the while Mirana listened and patted her hand consolingly.

At the end of her speech as her tears were still trying to escape her eyes (determined little prisoners they were!), Mirana asked her the most pointed question she had ever heard.

"Why don't you just ask Tarrant about his actions yourself?"

Alice's jaw dropped and she openly gaped at the White Queen. Surely the woman couldn't be serious?

"It seems to be the simplest solution to me." Mirana said with a quiet smile. Alice cleared her throat and tried to arrange her expression into one of gentle grace.

"Majesty, this is Tarrant Hightopp we are speaking of. The Mad Hatter. There is no such thing as a simple solution when it comes to him." She responded as politely as possible. Mirana continued to smile.

"Yes, he is indeed the one of whom we speak. Therefore it will take an equally mad solution to fix this."

"Impossible …" Alice groused.

"Only if you believe it is." Mirana waggled her eyebrows, earning a choked laugh from Alice. She sobered almost immediately though and looked steadily at the Queen. Mirana rotated her hand gracefully, an action Alice had come to recognize as sign for someone to continue speaking.

"What must I do to do the impossible this time your Majesty?"

Mirana rose and stood before Alice. She smiled widely and held both hands out to her Champion.

"You must be bold, daring!" she replied gleefully.

Alice took the Queen's hands and stood up.

"Bold. Daring." She muttered as she shook her hair out of her eyes. Quicker than a sparrow after bread, Mirana produced a length of ribbon and bound back the unruly golden locks. Patting a few strays in place, she nudged Alice out the doors toward the training yard.

Alice walked away with a wave of thanks, not really paying attention to where her feet were going.

Bold. Daring. Bold. Daring … the litany continued in her mind as she watched the White Guard run through their drills. She barely took note of Mally's happy-stabbing antics until one of cards had to request a bandage from one of her more zealous attacks. This brought her back temporarily and she called the session to an end.

Her men left the field grumbling. Alice shot them guilty smiles and searched out Mallymkun. Before she could even ask her how she had enjoyed herself, the dormouse was glaring at her in outrage.

"Just where's your head been Miss Champion?" She asked waspishly. Alice shrugged and decided once more to be truthful.

"Looking for Tarrant."

"No need to look too hard. He's been here the entire time." Mally pointed over Alice's shoulder. Stumbling around, Alice caught sight of Tarrant's retreating back.

Without as much as a by-your-leave, she took off after him, ignoring Mally's gruff laughter behind her.

"Tarrant! Tarrant!" He seemed to speed up at her calls. Alice pushed herself even more and finally caught up to him as he reached the workroom door.

"By Fate Tarrant, stop and talk to me! Why are you avoiding me?" She bent over and huffed at him. Tarrant froze momentarily and looked back at her. He seemed to be having a mental debate, his eyes shifting from green to blue to purple to gray. The streaking colors made her dizzy, but she tried to focus.

The second she did focus however, so did he. His eyes calmed and he quickly stepped behind the door.

"So sorry Alice. I have much still to do." His eyes pled for forgiveness and in the next instant, the door was shut in her face.

Alice couldn't take it any longer. Releasing a pent up howl of frustration, she kicked the door. Pain shot through her foot and she proceeded to collapse against the offending object. She pulled of her boot and began to rub it, all the while cursing Time, Love, and Tarrant Hightopp.


On the other side of the door, Tarrant had to fight himself to keep from opening the door and pulling Alice into his arms.

Avoiding her while working on this project had been one the hardest things he had ever done. It hurt almost as much as watching her leave for Above again all those years ago.

This time apart was to prevent that same thing or anything else like it from happening again though!

His eyes found silvery-blue mass that was starting to take shape. The accompanying ribbon and pins sat next to it, just waiting to take their place in the masterpiece.

And it was a masterpiece because Alice deserved no less!

So, ignoring the faint curses he could here on the other side of the door, Tarrant set back to work. His eyes and hands worked with their usual speed and every now and then, he would bring out the little box and caress it with one finger.

"Soon my Alice. Soon."

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 33 of 48

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