Alice returns to Wonderland after ten years. Does she still belong ?

The Alice and Hatter I'm referencing belong to the original Disney verson of their story.

Seems Like Old Times

Alice peered cautiously from behind the massive oak tree.

What am I doing? I have no business being here..

Hatter was at his table, as was his custom, making merry madness with his friends, just as she'd remembered him. He was perhaps just a little less animated, a little more pensive in his movements. As she stared, he held up his cup, and suddenly froze.

She ducked back behind the tree.

I'm mad..I have to be to think I could ever come back here. I don't belong. There's nothing for me here.

But she had to look again.

And this time he was looking right at her.

Alice flew into a panic, crawling to the furthest side of the tree . She pressed her back against the rough bark with her eyes closed, her heart was racing. Who was she to think that she could reappear some ten years later, and simply take up where she'd left off? She'd been in her own world too long. She was too far removed.

Something crawled across the back of her hand. She shivered with disgust, then felt it suddenly wrap itself around her little finger.

Her breath hitched.

It moved slowly across her hand, then held her hand.. gently squeezing, and caressing it.

She kept her eyes closed. She didn't look. She didn't have to.

The side of an arm pressed against hers. Then, the side of a thigh.

He was mimicking her stance, her attitude.

But it didn't feel like mimicking.

Alice turned her head just enough to glance at him. He was staring straight ahead, trembling just a little, and looking rather was just as she remembered him, maybe a little older.. a few grey hairs among the white..a hint of care lines at the corners of his eyes, but he was still entirely himself. When Alice squeezed his hand, he finally took a breath, looked to her, then away.

"Well, someone here has got to speak first, and it isn't going to be me," Hatter piped, "I'm not the guilty party."

"Guilty party ?" Alice huffed.

"Running around here like some kind of spy.." said Hatter.

"I beg your pardon!" said Alice.

"And I can see that your time abroad hasn't taught you any manners," he scolded.

Alice stared at him with widened eyes, and pursed lips. Then she had a sudden urge to kiss his mouth in a wholly inappropriate manner.

And so she did.

He received the kiss without hesitation, returning it while holding on to her shoulders, and making little pleased noises into her mouth.

Of course it didn't last.

When he broke the kiss, she received a lecture.

"Do I look like I'm drowning ?," he asked loudly. "I am not in need of artificial perspiration ! You take that back right now, young lady!"

And of course, he didn't wait, but returned the kiss to her, and then some.

When she finally fell back, gasping for air, he took inventory of her new, womanly form. "I see you've redecorated. I like what you've done with the place," he murmured appreciatively.

Alice looked at him, both amazed, and bewildered. "You're not going to make this easy for me, are you," she said.

Hatter squitched up his face , and stared at her..then past her. He thought he had been making things easy for her. He had argued with her, lectured her, and given her to know just what was what.

Then he remembered that that was what the other Alice of ten years ago liked. Now that she had moved everything around..

Suddenly his brain was packing to go on holiday.

"And I suppose you think that kissing people will solve all the worlds problems !" he yelled.

"Well, it might slow some of them down a bit," Alice said thoughtfully.

He looked at her a bit chagrined..he couldn't argue with her logic. Well, he could , and often did, but sometimes needed a little lie-down afterward.

He studied the tops of his shoes a bit. He wasn't entirely certain how to react to New Alice..he was just relieved to able to breath again.

Hatter pressed himself gently against her. She was soft, and warm, and all the world was in her eyes.

She wound her arms around him , and found his mouth in an especially long kiss.

"That's your answer to everything, " he breathed , longing for more questions. He propped his arms against the tree, encircling her face with his hands, so he could study her.

"I'd know you in one hundred years.. I'd know you in a thousand. You never left me," he said quietly.

Then he caught her up in his arms, and kissed her 'til the world fell away.

She buried her face in his neck.

"Never leave me, Alice..you're my home."

"Home is WHERE you make it," Alice corrected quietly.

"Are you going to make things difficult for me?" frowned Hatter.

"What's good for the goose, is good for the gander," smiled Alice sweetly. She slipped away, and started walking toward their table.

Hatter pulled his hat down tight on his head, and huffed after her.

"Goose references..now she's just trying to honk me off."