So, I was thinking about different Alice/Hatter pairings, from B: TAS to Wonderland to American McGee, and then I began thinking about reincarnation - the idea that souls are born again and again in different bodies. This came out. I'm working in the concept that they still love each other, after all they've gone through.

Melodrama? Much.

Confusing? Probably. E-mail me if you don't get it.

Review-worthy? You decide.

P. S: Alice starts off.

I own nothing.

For me it always starts with

the

downward

spiral

Really?

There's no spiral for me, just the drop. I've

Never been as strong as you. I've wanted to help you, so many times

but never could, damnit!

Please don't blame yourself

don't

don't

it does no good, we're equally to blame. You've gone mad for me; I've killed you and wept for you; somewhere it's got to even out.

Go forth and face your lover

Go forth and face your lover

Go forth and face your lover

As we've both done before

In this chance I've got to speak to you

I'd like to apologize, for that time in the Dark Wonderland

I was foolish to think perfection needed improvement.

More foolish of me to think

that the man I knew was gone. I should've known;

he was in there somewhere, under the clockwork armor behind those blank black eyes

I should've tried to reach out to you

and every day that's what I'm still trying to do please take my hand

I know I've let you down so many times

but put your trust in me

I won't let

you down

let the darkness pull as it may

Don't waste your time. I've been too many times broken; more patch than original now.

With love…

Love?

moons and junes and ferris wheels

the dizzy dancing way you feel

as every fairy tale come real

I've looked at love that way

but now it's just another show

you leave them laughing when you go

and if you care don't let them know

don't give yourself away

please don't think that

I've been broken too, I know the darkness

when

when you feel you could consume stars and remain black

subdue fire and stay cold

don't give in run out on faith

don't we still love - don't you still love me?

Still love you? I would die for you - already have -

I've fought for you, killed for you - when you've died, so dies my heart - you are the only bright thing in my dark world

you need to ask?

Oh Alice - Alice - don't cry!

Why are we condemned to this?

If we had rays of light for every scar we've made on the other's heart, we'd light up the sky!

What cruel twist of the threads of fate? This God-damned storybook pattern -

we've said our lines, I'm sick of them! What I wouldn't give to break the boundaries of this pattern - leave it crumpled on the ground -

I've never seen you without it.

nor I you

We've simply donned a variety of masks, really, to best suit our part - well-behaved actors.

Tell me, are we dreaming?

Of course.

I thought so. And we'll forget this, like everything else.

If I forgot to remember your name and your face

Excuse me forgetting, I must have misplaced

That part of my life that left all the scars

From the back of my mind to the bottom of my heart

Every time

we forget but can't forgive or give up

our futile battle-ground for things it would be better to lose

perhaps you're right

there's been no happy ending for us for longer than memory goes

no sunset - just nightfall

no dawn but the dark before

yet even though I know you'll only hurt me

still I ache to hold you close, away from the harsh world

and I still cling to you

although I know I bring you only pain in the end

remember Dark Wonderland?

Only too well.

No - no. Before the clock starting ticking out the seconds to the choice of me or you

you weren't always slave of Time

Remember before the Dark? Remember -

you'd ask that same riddle every time

but every time the answer would be different, and I could laugh at it again

But then there was the Dark. And I - I did not fight. I succumbed to it.

Nobody could fight it!

But the others did! They fought and were destroyed - a better fate for me, to go to Hell!

twisting and mangling - that's what I accomplished

and yet the gods have not given me punishment

Death does not relieve me until there is not an ounce more of pain to be wrung from me

My prison is walking through the world alone.

Then you - you!

You sat with me, and talked with me - you didn't seem to see the monster in me - and I - I had never been in love before… I didn't know how…

(Soft silence fills the darkness for a moment, like black feathers falling in the deepest well. Then Alice speaks)

I still love you. When I - when I killed you - it was the worst torture the worst devil could have devised.

No-one mourns the wicked.

I wept for you.

I do not deserve pity.

I don't care whether you do or don't deserve it; I'll give it.

We are cursed, aren't we? Why else would Light and Shadow, Sanity and Madness, Day and Night be drawn together? If we weren't so different, perhaps the pattern would be different -

If I were King of Morning

And you were Queen of Day

We'd walk in the sun together, love would find a way

If I were King of Evening

And you were Queen of Night

We'd pass the time in pleasure, we'd love until the morning light

It might still be like that… patterns can be broken. I'm tired of playing the damsel in distress; always having to run and fight to escape her past…

Must I act the outcast any longer - wander in the dark alone

seeing you within the light but unable to reach out

Must I be the villain? I'm tired of the pain in that role… not just to me, to everyone…

Someday, we're going to smash these empty plotlines

Write our own - it'll be hard

But worth it, worth it. Even if there's no happily ever after

I'd settle for a day-by-day existence, as long as I can feel your arms around me.

And I'd hold you forever, the sweetest surrender

feeling your heart beat irregularly, Out of Time

that cruel taskmaster that seeks to separate us even now. Must he run out so fast?

(It's as if you can hear the ticking of a clock

that seeks to match the drumming in your ears and the beat of your heart

invisible in the darkness but ever present.)

This can't last

Either our hearts or our minds will break beyond mending soon

they're already patched and scarred to the utmost

Even though they've held longer than I thought; your work is strong.

At least my talents are good for something other than

Killing, maiming, changing, setting all to a clockwork beat, unnatural order.

(A pause

In which you might discern two figures

One with hair long and silken, the other holds a top hat in his hands)

Until we meet again

I'll pray to every god there is

To recognize you next time

And break the vicious circle.

(He stoops over her hand

his lips barely caress, then he drops it and steps back

as one unworthy that has dared to seek the door of a temple)

Farewell…

(She seems to realize

and be afraid at the years that promise to divide them

before another rare moment of truth. Her arms clasp 'round his neck; her tearstained face uplifted to him.)

My Hatter…

(A thing

All too rarely shared between them. Not an inch between their lips

is not filled with their breath.)

Alice…

(His voice shakes with pain as he lets her slip away

called back to her own Time and place, reluctant but compelled. He feels the call of his own, but stands still;

Gazing after her, the one thing he loves and the one thing it seems impossible for him to ever gain.)

My Alice…

(And now his turn to go. The memories fall on the ground behind him, to be devoured by the greedy darkness. They can't take these memories with them, you see… no memories for dreamers.

Fadeout to black alone.)

FINIS