Continuing Tales

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 48 of 48

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Alice's curse echoed off the white marble walls of Marmoreal. The sun was low in the western sky and the cherry trees were starting to shimmer in the setting sun. Typically this was Alice's favorite time of day in Underland. But typically she was already seated at the tea table at this time, her knee pressed against that of her husband and the laughter of their friends echoing in the southern courtyard.

Then again, she wasn't typically scampering through mirrors and dealing with overly emotional mothers.

Helen Kingsleigh's unabashed tears from two hours ago made Alice extremely nervous for the next eight months. Weren't high emotions a side-affect?

What an utterly terrifying sight that was going to be for her soldiers.

Alice gave a reluctant smile while imagining the pure panic that would roll over the card and chess piece soldiers if and when she began to break down in the predicted tears and maniacal laughter. She was fairly certain that the soldiers didn't know how to handle tears, much less overly emotional females.

She was lost in the thoughts of their individual reactions when she ran head long into a wall of flesh.

"Oh for the love of bread and butterflies!" She groaned. "Forgive me, I wasn't looking and –"

"Hush my Alice, tis just your Hatter."

As Tarrant's warm voice washed over her, Alice let her other senses take over in replace of the relief rushing through her system. She had worried that her overlong absence would get to him and cause the madness to make an appearance.

It hadn't happened since that day in the mirror room five years ago, but still, anything was possible in Underland.

Now that she had a modicum of calm, she could easily smell the trace amounts of dye on him and the carrot soup Thackery must have made for lunch. The feel of his well-worn coat beneath her fingertips and his faint heart beat settled the last of her nerves.

Tarrant moved to her side and offered his elbow with a waggle of his wild eyebrows. Alice giggled and slipped her arm into his.

"How did it go?" Tarrant asked her as they made their way to the courtyard at more sedate pace than that which Alice had previously been moving at.

"As expected. Surprise, tears of joy, ridiculous amounts of pride, more tears, and more questions than I think I have ever asked, even as a little girl. Just you wait, she'll be wanting monthly reports in her next letter!"

Tarrant chuckled and patted her hand comfortingly.

"Thank goodness we figured out how to send letters to her at all then." He said. Alice snorted.

"Thank goodness Nivens was able to install a mirror into the bloody post box. We'd never hear the end of it otherwise." She responded.

"Agreed, agreed." Tarrant nodded so vigorously that his hat almost fell off. Alice paused to reach up and adjust the familiar headpiece. She smiled as she remembered his vigorous futterwhacken when she had given him the news a week ago.

"How is everything else on the other side?" He interrupted her thoughts.

"Oh fine, fine. Oliver continues to badger his assistants. Apparently there's been an increased demand for saffron and he's trying to capitalize on it."

"And Mr. Hamish?" He inquired politely.

"Better than fine. He and Claire have purchased a new summer home near Dover and little Oliver Jr. continues to be the prime example of perfect British child rearing." Alice continued with a roll of her eyes.

Tarrant's smile broadened.

"And your sister?" Alice smiled bemusedly at that inquiry.

"Still married to Jonathan. All six of the children are developing sea legs and Margaret will soon have a mutiny on her hands if their dreams of wanting to become pirates continue."

Tarrant released a gale of laughter at that and dropped a kiss to her forehead. They came to a final stop right before entering the courtyard. Tarrant gave her a teasing grin.

"Are you sure you're prepared for this Alice? They're going to be most put out by our stalling. Especially the Queen."

Alice grimaced.

"So long as we're together, I think we'll be able to weather the storm." Tarrant nodded.

"Too right you are my Alice."

They entered the courtyard to a chorus of admonishments and questions.

"Yer late for tea!" Thackery flung a freshly buttered scone at Alice's head, which she ducked with practiced ease.

"Indeed. Whatever happened to cause this tardiness, my Champion?" Mirana bade from the head of the table.

"Oh, Mother was just very emotional your Majesty. I needed to calm her before returning." Alice answered as Tarrant tucked in her chair.

"Emotional? Whatever for?" Mirana asked in concern. Alice glanced quickly at her husband. Tarrant smiled and nodded encouragingly.

"Alice?" Mirana's concern was increasing and the table fell silent. Alice swallowed nervously.

"She was emotional because I informed her that Tarrant and I are expecting our first child within the year." She kept her expression neutral, fearful of the reactions she was about to receive.

The table remained silent for several seconds before the White Queen began to stutter.

"You told her – within the year – expecting – Alice!"

"Yes your Majesty?" She asked innocently.

"You're pregnant? And you didn't think to inform your queen immediately? How long have you known?" Mirana was almost trembling in agitation.

"Only a week." Alice replied calmly.

"A week! Oh Alice, you really should have told me as soon as you knew!" Mirana exclaimed in exasperation.

"Please remember Majesty that Alice needed to inform me first and she had a made a promise to her mother that she would know before anyone else." Tarrant reminded her gently.

"Oh yes, I know. But … but this is all so exciting!" The White Queen finished with a smile.

And with that, the table fell into discussion of the new addition to the Hightopp family. Mally and Thackery began bickering about who would be a better fit for the babe's familial protector. Mirana and Lily discoursed over whose traits, Alice or Tarrant's, the babe would have the most of. The Tweedles deliberated over whether if the child would be a boy or a girl.

The only voice Alice didn't hear in the discussion was Chess, surprisingly enough.

"Let's see here Alice. First you were late to tea all those years ago, then you were late in returning home to us, you were late to the rescue of your Above friend, and now you are late in telling the Queen we will soon have another Hightopp's madness to manage. Terribly naughty of you, you know."

Alice turned to see Chess hovering over her left shoulder, his signature grin firmly in place.

"You forgot that I was also late in deciding if I was going to fight the Jabberwocky too." She murmured. Her gaze swept out over the table. It was full of her chatting, happy friends. Soon, she and Tarrant would be introducing them to a new member of the family. For that was what this motely group of silly, spectacular, special friends were. Her tried and true family.

She caught Tarrant's gaze and smiled contentedly. She continued to speak to Chessur over her shoulder as she continued to smile at Tarrant.

"But you're right Chess. In spite of all this happiness, I was bonkers to be late."

Chess evaporated and reformed in her lap. Alice, Tarrant, and Chess smiled at each other, eyes twinkling, knowing that people who were mad, bonkers, and off their heads, were still and always would be, the best.

Surely that was no secret by now.

Bonkers To Be Late

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by RosieLilyIce93

Part 48 of 48

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