Disclaimer: I get so tired of writing these things. Does anyone ever even read them? Ah well, I don't own and make no money!
A/N: Thanks again for all the reviews guys, it makes me happy and keeps me writing. I promise the story will pick up soon, probably in about two chapters or so. That's when the *insert dramatic music* villain appears! Dun dun dun! Yes, I'm crazy and a little bored. Dangerous combination, that.
Also: Massive apologies for the wait Gah, I didn't realize it had been a month. Please forgive me, I beg your forgiveness! I won't bore you with details, just lots of life stuff and a minor block trying to get wording to cooperate.
Tea had wrapped up late in the evening, finally freeing the betrothed couple to retreat to the private sanctuary of their bedchambers. The castle was quiet at this time of night, and as such there were no passersby as they traversed the white halls, arms linked together.
When they passed through near an archway that led to an outer walkway, Alice gently steered her fiancée toward it, choosing the scenic route to their chambers though it was longer. Mirana couldn't help but smile and was about to comment when she noticed the pensive look her champion wore.
"Alice?" she inquired with a soft voice, her stray hand reaching over to rest gently on the arm of her lover, causing them to stop.
The simple touch broke the Champion from her reverie, causing her to blink rapidly as her mind quickly shifted gears. A soft hand turned her face to that of her Queen's, which was full of concern.
"Forgive me, Mirana." Alice replied, taking the hand that still rested upon her cheek. "I'm afraid I became a bit lost in thought."
"A dangerous thing, indeed." Mirana replied lightly. "Tarrant often advises against too much thinking." Becoming serious once more, she searched the warm brown eyes she so adored. "What troubles you, sweet Alice?"
Looking away, Alice continued leading them along the path for a few minutes as she gathered the thoughts of her wayward mind.
"So much has changed so quickly." she finally started. "I wouldn't change any of it, but it does seem to have gotten away from us a bit. If you think about it, we haven't really gotten the chance to talk very much, about certain things."
Seeing the protest forming on dark lips, Alice pressed a finger to them with a little smile before elaborating.
"Think about it, Mirana. The first time I was here, we never got to meet. On my next visit, I was only here for a few days… most of which consisted of doubts and accusations of whether or not I was the right Alice, and finally concluding with the battle against the Red Queen's army and the Jabberwocky. Even now that I have chosen to make Underland my permanent home, I have only been here a few months—during which we have talked," she conceded, "but only about current goings on. We know little to nothing about each other's lives before we met, and my knowledge of Underland is still rather limited. Now with our engagement, things will become more hectic than ever."
Quickly seeing where this was going, Mirana nodded slowly. "I can see your point, my dear. I, too, would like to know more of your past experiences. They shaped you into the woman you are now. I certainly wouldn't want you to be anyone else."
She smiled when Alice laughed.
"I just want to get to know you more." the younger woman continued. "There's so much I don't know about you, Mirana. I want us to share everything."
Raising her arms and wrapping them around her Champion's neck, Underland's Queen pulled them closer together. "Oh Alice…" she said softly, smiling. "I shall tell you everything you wish to know; all I ask is that it wait just a little while longer. There is much for us to share, and the night already wanes late."
Her words made Alice realize just how tired she really was. After a brief kiss under the stars, the pair completed the journey to their adjoined rooms.
Now behind locked doors, Mirana first set about relieving Alice of the cumbersome armor. Weary eyes looked at her gratefully, receiving only a smile in return. Each piece was carefully removed and set aside until it was needed again at a later date.
Once finished, she gently turned her Queen to face away from her. Mirana obligingly moved her hair so that Alice's nimble fingers could undo the complicated clasps of her dress.
These were things they had done dozens of times; Mirana helping Alice in and out of her armor or Alice helping Mirana with the fastenings of her gown. Always innocent help, no deeper meaning… but now everything was different, and they should have realized that. It was a mark of just how tired they really were that neither thought anything of it until Alice's fingers brushed Mirana's bare back, causing her to gasp at the sudden sensation.
They were both suddenly, sharply aware of their predicament. Alice stood in only light underclothes behind Mirana, who was practically half-naked after undoing the back of her gown. Unbidden, the Champion's eyes drank in the exposed flesh of her Queen, pale in its perfection. Her fingers itched to touch, caress, mark…
"Alice?" Mirana's voice was soft, lightly trembling with unasked questions as she stood still. Goosebumps had risen at the feeling of Alice's hand on her skin, and she could swear her heart could be heard pounding against her rib cage.
Silence reigned in the room, but for the gentle crackling of the fire.
It took all of Alice's muchness, but she refastened a few clasps then stepped back, hands dropping to her sides. Confused, and a little disappointed, Mirana turned to look at her heart's desire.
Seeing the slight fear in those dark eyes made the blonde's heart ache. Reaching out she took a snowy white hand and brought it to her lips, kissing it softly. This gave her a few moments to find her voice.
"I want you," she whispered hesitantly, unwilling to say something wrong and Mirana misunderstand her intentions "to the point where it frightens me a little. Actually, I… I'm not entirely sure I'm ready for anything like… that. So perhaps we should follow tradition in this and wait for our wedding night?" Her cheeks were tinged pink when she finished; the mere thought of laying with her beloved in a moment of heated passion caused the butterflies in her stomach to flutter.
Mirana felt a knot she hadn't known was there loosen somewhere in her chest. Her Champion… always so worried about doing what was right for her. Such honest love sent a gentle warmth through the ruler, calming her nerves.
Taking Alice's other hand, Mirana gave it a reassuring squeeze. "I think that's a fine idea, my dear." she spoke softly. Simple words, but that was all it took. Eyes met and understanding passed between them. Neither was quite ready for the next step, though sometimes their bodies seemed to think otherwise.
Pulling her sovereign into her arms, Alice captured her lips in a tender kiss that conveyed a small part of the affection she felt for the older woman. Mirana melted against her Champion, the world consisting of only the two of them.
When they parted, they continued to hold each other, unwilling to let this moment end just yet.
"We should get some rest." Alice murmured, fingers running through white locks, reveling in their silky texture. "It won't do for you to have bags under your eyes; it's quite unbecoming."
Mirana laughed quietly at that, her arms tightening about her Champion before reluctantly separating. "I suppose you are correct. Nivens would certainly never let me hear the end of it."
Giving her a smile, Alice walked Mirana to the door that joined their chambers. In the doorway, the two women bid each other goodnight with a gentle kiss.
"Sweet dreams, my Queen." The words followed the sovereign as she walked into her room. Turning, she smiled back at Alice.
"You as well, my dear Champion."
They stood like that, gazing at one another, both having no desire to part. Each afraid that if they did, they would wake to find the whole day a fantasy.
Finally, and with great difficulty, Alice took a step back into her room, reaching out and shutting the door with a quiet click.
Hours later, Alice still lay awake in bed. Sleep eluded her, all she could think about was Mirana, even more than usual. For now she knew the taste of her lips and the loving caress of her fingers.
After so much tossing and turning, Alice was about to give up and find some task to occupy her time since sleep was not forthcoming. Before she could throw off the covers, she heard the unmistakable sound of a door opening and lay completely still.
She said nothing, nor did she move a muscle, save for the act of grasping the sheet's edge to fold it back, leaving an open space beside her. After several moments a warm, slender body slipped into the bed beside her.
"Mirana," she breathed, eyes still shut. It wasn't a greeting or a question. It was just the simple pleasure of allowing the syllables to pass her lips.
The only response was Mirana curling up against the Champion's side, Alice's arm snaking around a slim waist to hold her Queen close. No words were needed. Just this simple comfort, and both women soon fell into a content slumber.
Again, apologies for the wait. Please R&R and I'm sure gonna try to get the next bit out quicker.