Alice stood proudly while all around her Wonderlanders cheered in victory for she had succeeded in securing the ring of Wonderland from the Queen of Hearts. Alice found it amusing how she had spent the majority of her time here denying that she was the 'Alice of Legend' and now she had created her own legend and truly earned that title. With the ring secured Alice was looking forward to going home and being reunited with her mother. Wonderland had stolen her father and Jack and Alice was ready to say goodbye to it. However, there was one person she didn't want to leave ... Hatter. Despite their initial differences she had come to care for the Wonderlander who kept coming back for her no matter how many times she pushed him away.

Upon this thought Alice immediately looked around the crowd desperate to find her ally. The last time she had seen him he was stood beside her holding the knife in case the Queen didn't fancy co-operating, but now he had mysteriously disappeared. Alice wondered around trying to avoid the suits and oysters all desperate to congratulate her. She didn't want congratulating she just wanted to find Hatter and go home. After a few minutes Alice found herself at the back of the crowd where Hatter stood leaning against a tree. At first she thought he was just trying to look cool ... but then she noticed the blood.

It hadn't escaped her notice that Hatter was hurt when he once again rescued her in the Casino but the death of her father and the collapse of the building had meant there wasn't much time for asking questions and so in her grief Alice had accepted Hatter's comments that he was fine as she allowed him to pull her out of the Casino. But now standing in the broad daylight Alice could see how the young man was shaking ever so slightly and there was sweat dripping off his forehead. All in all he looked like he was about to fall over. Alice rushed over and quickly held out an arm to steady him.

"Hey, you look awful" said Alice her voice tinged with concern.

"Oh its nothing" replied Hatter

Alice wasn't fooled. She could see the blood seeping through his shirt and after seeing many injuries where she worked she could tell by the way he held himself that there were many hidden injures.

"Hatter please sit down before you hurt yourself further" she implored

Hatter opened his mother to reply but found himself short of breath and unable to do more than gasp in pain as he felt himself falling forwards. Hatter felt the blackness sweeping over him, but he forced himself to remain conscious for Alice's sake. Speaking of Alice, Hatter was drawn to the fact that he was now lying on her lap as she was gently stroking his hair. Her lips were moving but Hatter couldn't make sense of what she was saying. He felt his grip on reality slowly fading away and with his last bit of energy he gently stroked her face before the blackness claimed him.

Cliffhanger what's going to happen next?

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Thanks Wonderlander123