Tehehe I'm excited about this chapter. We meet Retta's family!
This was a little challenging because I had to try and describe a family that is obviously related to her but doesn't look terribly like her. But I had fun
I don't own Alice In Wonderland
10 Meet Me Half Way
"So your Alice killed this beasty you mentioned before?" Hatter nodded. "Wow, Anarim will not let me near the Oraculum. I wouldn't know if Ecilan is to slay some monster. But the Blue King has many creatures that he has used to destroy Topland. I'm not sure if he has one that is as horrid as the Jabberwocky."
"I hope not." Hatter walked along side Retta. He was getting tired and the sun was nearly setting over the horizon. "When is it that we will be arriving at your home?"
Retta looked around and seemed to recognize something. "Right about now!" She skipped ahead and he saw the faint glow of colors on her white flesh. It made her look that much more bizarre and he stepped closer to her to look at what she was looking at. What he saw was wonderful.
It was a large clearing with houses and shops all surrounding a large grass area. Crisscrossing between all the buildings where different colored lanterns all glowing bright and casting a multitude of colored lights over the entire scene. The sun was just setting and it gave the sky itself a certain warm glow. People walked around and chatted and danced to festive music.
"This is all your family?" He asked her in shock.
"No…little less than half of it is. The rest is everyone else who lives in this town." The laughter and joy brought him bittersweet memories of the rest of the Hightopp clan. "Do you like it?"
Hatter was speechless, what could he say? It hurt him to remember memories, but the area was so beautiful. There was no one from his family dancing in the crowds. No Hightopps…and he didn't want to upset Retta.
"Tanara!" They both turned towards the voice and Retta was fast to tackle the speaker with a warm embrace. "Finally finishing with the Café, are you?"
"Not quite…I found a new friend." She turned away from the man in search of Hatter. "Tarrant, come meet my brother!" He stepped up to them and saw that the man had dark red hair. As if it were black with tints of reddish orange. He wore oddly placed colors as his sister did and had the same bright blue eyes.
"Nice to meet you, I'm Keon." He shook Hatter's hand and smiled.
"Tarrant Hightopp." Keon nodded and Retta bounced in her overly hyper manner.
"I'm going to tell Mother that we have a guest!" She was gone before Hatter could even attempt to follow her. Keon let out a booming laugh and patted him on the back.
"It's the caffeine. She drinks so much of it that there is more coffee then blood in her!" Hatter smiled at the young man, he supposed he was her older brother. He led Hatter into the fray of colorful people.
"Why, hello there!" A man's voice announced the man and woman who stood before Keon and Hatter. "My name is Ayden Tredsom and this is my wife, Ariana. Retta is our daughter." Hatter bowed with a nod and shook the older man's hand. "She tells us you are Tarrant."
"You can call me Hatter." He corrected and both of them smiled.
"You must be hungry. Come sit and eat!" Ariana took his arm and sat him down at the tables full of food that were stationed in the farthest area of the courtyard. There were plates of the oddest foods he had ever seen, combined with familiar foods. He took whatever he knew and could stomach and ate.
"Where is Retta?" He looked up and the woman smiled.
"She went inside for a bit. She will be out soon, I suspect." Retta's mother sat next to him and leaned on her hand. She watched the dancers and Hatter took a moment to look at her. She had the same long, smooth hair as Retta but a completely different shade. Her locks were of a dark brown but she did have the same pale color to her skin as her daughter. She had big hazel eyes, but other than that he saw nothing else that related her to her daughter.
Her father on the other hand—who was standing a distance away talking to a friend—looked more like Retta. He had the bright orange hair, much paler than hers. He supposed Retta's hair had that neon-like tint to it, but she did have his blue eyes and thin figure. Her facial structure was also akin to his, as they had the same smile.
"Hatter, are you too tired to dance with me?" He jumped at her sudden voice and stood up with remarkable speed. He faced her and bowed slightly.
"I'm never too tired to dance!" He took her hand and they marched into the mad mess of the dancers. Hatter wasn't familiar with the dance but Retta taught him and he soon caught on. They danced and twirled around among the crowds of young couples and friends dancing. He even went as far as to show her and her friends and family his Futterwacken.
He Futterwackened just as he had the day Alice slayed the Jabberwocky. Retta giggled and laughed at his dance and tried to imitate him, but didn't do so well. This caused Hatter to go into his own hysteric laughter.
They danced a few more times until Hatter retired to his seat. Retta then danced with her brother and several others. Hatter watched her as she laughed and spun around. He was growing tired and knew that he would have to retire soon so he would have energy for the next day. But Retta seemed to be growing more and more energetic as the night went on.
Must be the coffee, he reasoned and chuckled.
Retta collapsed in the seat next to him and giggled as she turned to Hatter. "I absolutely detest dancing!" She cheered and tossed a wide grin at Tarrant and he saw her blue eyes almost glowed with happiness. "Oh, Hatter! I nearly forgot that we are to travel again tomorrow morning! You must be tired!"
"Truly, Retta, do not fret." He tried to refuse but she already held him by his arm and was leading him through the crowds of multicolored people. They ascended the steps to the large colorful house and she opened the door and gave a wide bow to let him in. He giggled at her silly action and stepped inside her home…her real home.
It was much more lively and bright than the cottage in the Black King's garden. There were pictures and paintings covering every corner of the walls and there were many places where one could sit.
The walls, around all the frames, were a faint pink and the curtains were of a deep magenta. Retta smiled up at Hatter and slid her hand in his to lead him up the stair way of her home. He looked from the room to her small hand clasped in his and began to follow her. By now he had become accustomed to her habit of grabbing a hold of his person before she would lead him anywhere.
They reached the top of the stairs and as they past rooms and dim lamps he looked up at the picture frames. On every door that they past he saw a small painting depicting a sitting portrait.
"It's hard to get lost since every room has a painting of who's it belongs to. My room is right…here!" She released his hand and hopped to a door with a pretty picture of a girl splashed with bright colors and hair of the brightest orange. "My mother is a painter, she loves to draw and paint everything she sees."
"They are wondrous, shall I tell her in the morning?" Retta beamed and she led him to the room a few doors down, without a picture.
"Mum said you can rest here tonight." He opened the door and walked in. Retta bobbed back and forth from her heels to her toes, unable to stand still and Hatter saw that she did not know what to do or say.
"Come 'ere." He grinned and let out a burst of laughter at her enthusiasm. They sat on the bed and he laughed at the utter horror on her face when her hat fell to the floor. She hurriedly picked it up and slammed it atop her head before Hatter could blink.
"The pin's come loose." She grumbled to herself. Hatter chuckled and she blinked up at him. She crawled closer over the bed to sit next to him. "Can I see yours?"
"My hat?" He asked and she nodded. He took it off and handed it to her. She inspected it as if she were trying to see every thread in it and Hatter smiled as he plucked her hat off her head. He looked inside of it and it was so rich with detail that he was certain he himself made it. It looked exactly like his hat, to the smallest spec, but it was shrunk.
She then sat up straighter and grinned up at him, showing all her teeth. He smiled back and gently placed her hat atop her long hair. He saw her white face grow pink for an instant but thought of it as simply her never having someone else put her hat on for her.
Retta then lifted his hat and firmly set it on his head, adjusting it just right, the exact way he liked it. They smiled and she then blinked away and stood up.
"I should let you sleep. Tomorrow we arrive at Azurial." She skipped out of the room before he could say another word, but her tone was happier than it was the night before.
"Goodnight!" He called after her.
I don't have much to explain here…Except that Retta's constant caffeine rushes pretty much gives her superhuman speed! :D What else would happen with THAT much coffee in your system!
Also when she says she detests dancing its obviously meaning she adores it. Duh! *rolls eyes* ;)