Continuing Tales

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 46 of 48

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"Oh botheration."

Tarrant felt as if a very deep fog had taken over his senses. The world was extremely dark, with just a pin prick of light shining through. His limbs felt heavy and unyielding, plus it seemed as if all noise was coming from far away.

"Is your Tarrant prone to fainting spells Alice dear?"


His wife's name seemed to make the pin prick of light grow and grow before the world finally came into focus again. A pair of dark, concerned eyes were glancing over his face and a small hand was patting his cheek comfortingly.

"Oh thank goodness, he seems to have come to!" Alice sweet breath washed over him and Tarrant shuddered at the sudden need to sweep her up in his arms and run far away.

Curious. There was no Jabberwocky or Red Queen to run from, so why did he feel this way?

"He looks alright considering the shock you gave him." Tarrant's instantly recognized Lord Ascot's voice but was slower on the up take about this shock that had caused him to pass out.


Alice. Lord Ascot. Alice, Lord Ascot, and the wager.

The wager.

Tarrant bolted up and seized Alice's hands desperately.

"Alice?" He questioned fearfully. He was unable to get anymore out, so deep was his fear.

"Hush." Alice dislodged his grip and cradled his face in her own hands.

"Everything is going to be alright. We will win this wager, you have my word." Her determined whisper was sincere, but panic still flooded his veins. He hadn't felt like this since the day the Jabberwock had almost taken her from him permanently.

But this time, this time they could be permanently be taken from Underland. He had to make sure Alice understood that.

He gently removed Alice's hands from his face and stood to face their companion.

"Lord Ascot, my apologies for falling so gracelessly on to your lovely carpet."

Lord Ascot chuckled and patted him on the shoulder.

"No apologies necessary. That's probably the most action that carpet has seen since the day is was put on a ship to me from the Arabian Peninsula."

Tarrant smiled weakly and held out his hands to help Alice to her feet. She looked at him questioningly, concern still lighting her features. He turned back to Lord Ascot and gave a short bow.

"Would you mind terribly if I had a moment alone with my wife?" He lisped. Lord Ascot shook his head and once again patted his shoulder.

"Not at all, not at all. Take all the time you need. I'll be in the library when you're finished." He glanced past Tarrant towards Alice. "I trust you still know the way?"

Alice stepped forward and nodded. Lord Ascot nodded in return and left the room whistling.

Tarrant released a deep breath and moved towards the door. Locking it, he turned and leaned against it. Alice remained where he had left her, eyeing him cautiously. Tarrant could only stare at her.

The sunshine hit her in just a way that it appeared as if a crown of light shone upon her hair. Her dark eyes took on a golden glow and the soft flush in her cheeks made her look like one of the fae folk his mother had once told him stories about. Just like those mystical folk, his Alice had been surprising him and beguiling him since she was a wee lass. She was still a lass at heart, age made no difference. She was still determined to take things at a flying leap. Only this time he worried. She had leapt without looking first, taking him with her. And this time he was afraid there wouldn't be a prickle bush to land in but a very long, dark fall of the steepest of cliffs.

"Alice luv, do you realize what you have done?"

Alice stood a bit straighter and narrowed her eyes at him.

"I have done what we set out to do today. I have given Oliver a wager he can't refuse."

Tarrant shook his head slowly and willed the madness he felt creeping into soul into a more manageable part of his mind.

"I understand that part lass. It's what you wagered that concerns me. You told him that you would remain here until your first child was born." He watched her hand come to rest unconsciously on her flat stomach. The sight made something deep inside him burn.

The problem was he wasn't sure if it was hope or anger. He could feel his eyes changing color and his cheeks growing paler.

"What if that never happens?"

The question hung in the air as Alice's own face went white.

"Well that's … that's just silly. Of course we'll have a child someday Tarrant! We both come from fertile stock! I know for a fact that your family was very large before the Jabberwocky came and my mother and sister have both produced two healthy children a piece. We'll most definitely have children!"

Tarrant stared her down and Alice seemed to struggle with herself.

"Alice …" He whispered brokenly. "None of my siblings had any bairns before the Jabberwock came. Me eldest brother and his wife had been married nigh on ten years and they still hadn't a child when the fires came. Neither had any of the others. And believe me, they tried lass. They tried hard."

Alice's hand clenched into a fist over her stomach.

"That could be us lass. We may never return home. Can't you see? Yer tempting Fate Alice!" He cried desperately. In two quick strides she was in front of him.

"I said I would remain here until that time Tarrant. That doesn't mean you have to." She said quietly.

The madness finally burst free.

Tarrant felt his body catch fire as it erupted through him. The sane part of his mind in the back imagined that his face was quite the sight right then but he no longer cared.


His hands shot out and dragged her body to his so that their lengths were pressed together more tightly than the books in the White Queen's library.


His shouts descended into sobs as he sunk to his knees and pressed his face to her stomach. He could feel the tremors running through her body and let his sanity creep back in. Alice must have felt it as well as she hit her knees in front of him. Tarrant felt overly aware of everything. The harshness of the sunlight, the too insistent heat coming from Alice's small hands on his face, they all compounded into the horrid panic that had seized his soul. Only a few months ago they had been in this same situation to come together. Now they could easily be ripped apart, just because his Alice had to open her damnable, pretty mouth!

"I can't Alice, I can't. Don't ask, request, require, command –"


Tarrant froze and lifted his burning gaze to her own damp eyes.

"I'm NOT fine Alice. I won't be till this slurvish wager is over and we're HOME."

Alice rested her forehead against his and sighed.

"So you won't stop me?"

Tarrant snorted.

"Stop you my Alice? When have I ever been able to stop you from keeping your word? I just want you to realize that although Oliver Ascot may see Underland, that does not mean he will actually believe it."

Alice frowned at him.

"Tarrant, seeing much of the time is believing."

"Not always my Alice. I remember a particularly stubborn young woman who was very certain that what she saw was not real in the slightest."

Alice groaned and sat back on her heels. Tarrant rose slowly and pulled her up with him. He drew her into his embrace and buried his face in the crook of her neck. The familiar floral and fruit scent brought back the last of his sanity. He'd been happy only a few days ago to learn the fruity scent he always associated with her was not a figment of his imagination but a mysterious fruit called an orange. Now it seemed he may have to get better acquainted with Above fruits more than he originally intended …

"Tarrant, we will make him believe. Not just you and I, but Mirana, Mally, Chess, and all the rest of our friends will make it happen. Please have faith in them and in us. Have faith in me."

Tarrant sighed and released her.

"I'll try Alice. Fate help me Alice, I will try."

"Good." She rose up slightly on her toes and graced him with a lingering kiss. Tarrant was grinning his gape toothed grin as they pulled apart. Alice smiled in return.

"Now, let us retrieve Oliver and put the world to rights once again!"

Alice seized his hand dragged to the library, praying that she would finally be able to keep all her promises.


A three hour carriage ride later, Lord Ascot, Alice, and Tarrant all stood at the base of the tree farthest out on the Ascot property.

Oliver Ascot seemed to be eyeing the rabbit hole with some apprehension which Tarrant couldn't fault him for. He'd never been terribly fond of falling either.

"So we just fall down this rabbit hole and we'll be in, as you like to say, your world?" He questioned one last time. Alice nodded.

"That's the gist of it."

Lord Ascot frowned slightly at the phrase, but turned to stare down the hole once again. Alice stepped up beside him and patted his back.

"I'll go first, just to ease the way."

A sudden thought clutched at Tarrant's heart and he grasped Alice from behind to drag her away from the rabbit hole. Her undignified squeak did nothing to stop the words tumbling from his mouth.

"Alice luv, you're NOT actually pregnant are you? Because if you are, you could hurt the bairn and that could hurt you and I could lose you and then –"

"Hatter!" Tarrant's mind paused long enough to note the rather fetching blush that had stolen across Alice's cheeks.

"Thank you. I'm fine." He lisped. Alice smiled slightly and brushed his unruly eyebrows back into place.

"No Tarrant, I'm not pregnant. Everything will be fine."

He nodded at her after a heart beat and took a slight step back. Alice smiled at him one more time before facing the rabbit hole. She took a light step forward and paused at the lip of the hole. She turned her head slightly to smile benignly at Lord Ascot.

"Do mind the piano on the way down." With that she jumped down the hole.

"Did she say piano?" Lord Ascot sputtered as he glanced at Tarrant. The Hatter could only shrug and offer what he hoped was a comforting smile. Lord Ascot smoothed his mustache and frowned down the hole.

"Well here goes nothing." He muttered and stepped off into the abyss.

Tarrant thought he vaguely heard a shouted curse. Apparently Ascot had not heeded Alice's warning about the piano. Or maybe it was the books …

With that in mind, Tarrant leapt down the hole after them. When he finally reached the bottom, it was amusing to see Lord Ascot staring bemusedly around him. He turned to see Tarrant brushing off his clothes and settling his hat back in place.

"Am I really seeing this?" He asked carefully.

"Did you hit your head on the way down?" Tarrant asked kindly.

Lord Ascot shook his head. Tarrant beamed at him.

"Then yes sir, you are indeed seeing all of this!"

"Ahem." Both men turned to see Alice tossing a small glass vial in her hand.

"We have a schedule to keep gentlemen." She grinned at them playfully.

"Indeed wife, indeed." Tarrant strode forward happily. He was eager to smell the clean air of Underland again, even if only for a little while.

Following the tedious process of drinking and shrinking, they stepped through the smallest door and out into the green of Tulgey Wood. A bite of upelkuchen and a growth spurt later, Tarrant couldn't help but laugh at the look of astonishment on Lord Ascot's face.

The poor man seemed to be struggling with the sight of his former apprentice embracing a dormouse with a sword, a hare with a rather shiny spoon, and white rabbit in a waistcoat.

"Hatter you dog, come say hello!" Mally bellowed from her new spot on Alice's shoulder. Tarrant smiled and complied with the order happily.

"Oh Tarrant, Alice there you are! Right on time too!" A cheery voice came from around the path. The White Queen came into sight upon her horse, being carefully followed by another horse and the Bandersnatch. Tarrant was glad Lord Ascot wasn't a terribly old man, otherwise they may have given the gentleman heart failure.

"Ah! This must be your Lord Ascot! How do you do? I am Mirana, Queen of the White Realm." Mirana extended a pale hand to the already bowing Lord Ascot. The noble rearing of his life was thankfully helpful in this situation.

"Alice tells me you are an accomplished rider sir? Would you be so kind as to mount Folly here and join us on our ride back to the castle? We have much to show you!" Mirana gushed.

Lord Ascot merely nodded dumbly and climbed atop the waiting mare. Tarrant followed his wife's lead and hoped on the Bandersnatch. Within minutes they were on their way. Alice and the White Queen chatted the entire ride back to the castle, pointing out interesting sights to Lord Ascot as they went. But Tarrant kept his eyes on Oliver Ascot.

The man had said nary a word since their arrival and Tarrant was beginning to worry they may have sent him into shock. He leaned forward to express his worries to his wife during a lull in the tour.

"Have we perhaps put a little too much on him a little too soon lass?" He whispered.

Alice leaned her head back against his shoulder to reply.

"No husband. I know that look on Oliver's face and it is a good one. He is taking everything in and simply trying to process it."

Tarrant was kept from answering as they had just come up to the gates of the White Castle. Dismounting from the respective mounts, Mirana came forward and slipped her arm into Lord Ascot's.

"Come sir, let us all take some tea. I know it is terribly past tea time but a journey such as yours deserves some refreshment." She smiled gently at the older gentleman.

Lord Ascot cleared his throat.

"That would be lovely."

Well at least the man still knew how to speak.

Tarrant was itching to go check on his workshop but followed dutifully behind the rest of the party to the Queen's parlor. There would be plenty of time for hatting on their final return he tried to reason with himself. Alice needed him right now and she would always be more important than any hat.

Tea passed pleasantly enough, though Ascot continued to say little. His eyes had gone rather round upon seeing a fish butler push the tea cart into the room. Tarrant hadn't been able to contain the insane giggle that had escaped his lips at the sight. Alice smirked at him from the corner of his eye and tapped her foot against his beneath the table.

Eventually the sun began to set outside the windows of the parlor. Alice rested her elbow on the arm of her chair and her chin on the attached fist.

"Well Oliver, what say you?"

Lord Ascot eyed her for an overlong moment as Tarrant and the rest of the tea party held their breaths. In time Lord Ascot sighed and rubbed his eyes.

"You win." He finally stated.

A great cheer went up around the table and the party sprang up to wring his hand and dance about. Mirana smiled happily and rose to motion the three of them from the room as the others went about shouting for more tea to celebrate.

"I think it is time you all returned Above so that this matter may finally be sorted out." She murmured as she led them toward the room with the mirror.

"Too right you are Majesty." Lord Ascot said with a rather amusing grin. "Thank you for the lovely tour and hospitality. I shall always remember it fondly."

Mirana smiled graciously and swept him a small curtsey before turning to face Tarrant and Alice. She eyed them sternly, even though the hint of a smile still lingered on her dark lips.

"You have the necessaries correct?"

Alice smile serenely and patted her skirt pocket. The bottles of potions clanked merrily together.

"Very well then. I expect to see you two very soon. Lord Ascot it was lovely to meet you." Mirana uncapped a bottle of gold potion and splashed it on the mirror.

"Alice, as before. Off you go then!"

Alice smiled and reached for the two men's hands and pulled them through the mirror behind her.

When they made it to the other side, they were in what appeared to be a guest bedroom in the manor. The sun outside was just barely showing over the horizon.

"Well, let us be off. We have no time to waste." Lord Ascot announced as he strode from the room. Alice and Tarrant stared blankly at each other before hastening to follow.

"Where exactly are we off too Oliver? London?" Alice asked as they waited for the carriage to be brought around.

"No my dear, we are off to Middlesex. The time has come for me to act upon my nagging, fatherly duties."

He didn't wait for a response from them as he climbed into the carriage with all haste. Alice and Tarrant scrambled after him. After settling against the squabs across from Lord Ascot, Tarrant watched his wife watch her former employer for a while.

"You do realize we'll be arriving close to midnight? They may think you mad for it Oliver." Alice cautioned him.

Lord Ascot smiled faintly at her.

"My dear, as two people who I was and am terribly fond of so often have remind me, all the best people are."

Alice and Tarrant shared a smile as the carriage rolled on to what was hopefully, a happy ending for all parties.

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 46 of 48

<< Previous     Home     Next >>