This was sort of a random oneshot I wrote because I hated the ending of the movie, and I think it addresses some things I was unsatisfied with. I own nothing.
Alice Kingsleigh was never fond of war.
She had read of it in her father's history books, terrified in her seat as the words seemed to come off the page, alive, and people were shooting guns and swinging swords, and then they died. Alice Kingsleigh hated death. She hated wars, battles, and especially death.
When she had first heard of the Frabjous Day and had seen on the Oraculum an animated picture of herself slaying the Jabberwocky, well, she hadn't expected it to happen. She hadn't expected herself to take the Vorpal Sword, she hadn't expected herself to ride on the Bandersnatch, and she definitely hadn't expected to be the White Queen's champion. But when Alice Kingsleigh walked out on that chess board in the silver armor of the champion, dismounting off the Bandersnatch, Vorpal Sword in hand, something felt right.
No, she didn't feel at all comfortable with the sword in her hand. No, she wasn't okay with a Jabberwocky slobbering in her face. But in those short moments before battle, Alice looked back at the White Queen's Army. She saw her friends, her family.
The March Hare.
The Mad Hatter.
And it was at that point she realized why it felt so right, going up to the Jabberwocky confidently. It was because she knew that she would be fighting the Jabberwocky alone, and her friends and loved ones would be saved. No more than one life would be shed on this day, whether it is hers or the Jabberwocky's.
Now, she was fighting the Jabberwocky. The large, dark beast grappled the ledge of the rocky ruins as it deftly avoided her strikes. And then it would strike back, and she would dodge. But the Jabberwocky was much bigger than Alice, it didn't get as tired as easily. Finally, she ended up cowering against a wall, the Vorpal Sword clattered out of her hand and the Jabberwocky readied himself to strike.
Alice did the first thing she could think of; duck. The fiery breath of the Jabberwocky hit the wall where her head used to be. Alice rolled to one side and grabbed the Vorpal Sword off of the ground. She prepared herself for another strike from the Jabberwocky, but something was wrong.
It never came. The Mad Hatter had pricked its tail.
"INTERFERENCE! OFF WITH HIS HEAD!" The Red Queen shouted shrilly.
The Jabberwocky recovered quickly, and began backing her up the stairs of the ruins. She slashed the sword at him but he just kept coming. Finally she found herself at the top of the ledge and she gasped. The Jabberwocky had grabbed her feet in its mouth and flung her into the air.
Time seemed to slow, she probably was fifty feet in the air by now, and tumbling rapidly, but she managed to get a slow glimpse at the field of battle.
Mallymkin (Alice was surprised she could see the dormouse from so high) was dangling by the tail from the fist of Stayne. The March Hare was hopping about, terrified at all of the men with swords. The Tweedles were back-to-back, fending off an armada of red knights, and the twins were armed only with their wooden swords. And all across the battlefield she could see white knights falling. They were losing.
And ashamedly, she thought, All of this is The Hatter's fault…
The Mad Hatter, mind you, was not struggling at all. He was happily dueling with red knights, advancing in the direction of the Red Queen. And that's when Alice realized that there was something truly wrong with her friend. He cares about his friends, she thought, but he's impulsive. And that affects everyone's safety.
The world sped up again, and she realized that she was still in the air. There was still a Jabberwocky, and until that monster was dead, the battle (caused by the Hatter, her mind added.) would continue.
She spun in the air and cried out, "OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!" as she brought the Vorpal Sword down on the Jabberwocky's neck.
Alice winced as she felt the blade cut through the Jabberwocky's skin like butter, and then she lost hold of the Vorpal Sword due to gravity and fell to the rocky ground. She hissed as she landed hard on her shoulder. She moved her head up awkwardly, and was able to see, upside-down, what was going on in the battlefield below.
As the Jabberwocky's head bounced down the steps, the fighting stopped. Alice gasped as she looked toward her friends.
The Tweedles were tied to each other with two red knights pointing their spears at them. Any second longer, they would've been dead. Mallymkin was tied up on the far side of the battlefield. The March Hare- Alice cringed- the March Hare was sitting next to Mallymkin, cradling his bloodied left ear and shaking violently.
And Alice, terrified out of her wits, looked on as the Mad Hatter had his sword at Stayne's throat.
The Red Queen stared at the head of the Jabberwocky aghast, and suddenly squealed and pointed at Alice, "OFF WITH HER HEAD!"
For a few terrifying moments, Alice thought that after everything she had been through, slaying the Jabberwocky, she would still be killed. But she was relieved as she saw the red knights drop their spears.
Alice began to push herself off of the ground, and grimaced as she saw her right shoulder was once again bloodied and raw. She stood and began slowly climbing down the stairs. She saw, out of the corner of her eye, the Hatter drop his sword. She saw the White knights untie the Tweedles and Mallymkin. She saw the White Queen gain her crown and the people rejoice. Alice took her time- no one was paying any attention to her anymore, as she had served her purpose.
"You look like you're in need of some evaporating." Alice jumped, startled, as Cheshire appeared floating next to her.
"Hello, Cheshire." Alice said, absentmindedly.
"You don't seem very happy, for someone who just slew the Jabberwocky." Cheshire began floating upside-down, trying to get her attention.
"You should probably go help March Hare." Alice stated.
"Oh, no, the Hare is fine, he's enjoying the festivities. Why not you?"
"Cheshire, I don't really want to talk." Alice assured him, trying to walk away and get rid of him.
Suddenly, he appeared inches in front of her face. She gasped. He glanced at her arm, "Sit down." He commanded.
Alice obediently sat on the bottom step of the ruins. Cheshire immediately began working on her arm, and she felt his sandpaper tongue on her wound.
"Cheshire, why does the Hatter hate the Red Queen so much?"
The Cat visibly cringed. "It's not my place."
"It's your story too." Alice told him.
The Cat sighed and sat down on the step next to her, finished with her shoulder. "The Red Queen kills and tortures people who speak out against her. The Hightopps were the leaders of the rebellion when the White Queen's rule ended. They were a large family, five children and two parents. In short, they were captured by Red Knights and taken to the Red Queen. The Red Queen wanted the names of all of their associates- people like me, the Hare, Mallymkin. They wouldn't tell her freely, so she tried to force them to. But the Hightopps had taught their children well, and none of them squeaked."
"Now, this is what I've gathered from what Tarrant has said in his violent moments. I won't give you the details, you are still just a young girl, Alice. But the Knave of Hearts, Stayne, was the slave master at the time, and when Tarrant picked a fight with the bastard, the Knave made his life miserable."
"What happened to them?" Alice questioned urgently.
"They are dead, Tarrant the sole survivor."
"No!" Alice wailed. "Is that why he's… mad?"
The Cat grinned, "No, my dear, the Mad Hatter was mad from the beginning." Cheshire began floating in circles around her. "Pray tell me, Alice, what provoked you to ask that question?"
"Well, I thought that might've been why-"
"No, the other question. The first one."
Alice frowned, and slowly spoke, "The Hatter started the battle, intentionally. He put all of our friend's lives in danger."
"…oh. I couldn't tell you why, but his impulsiveness is probably a result of insanity!" Cheshire smiled a large smile at her, and continued, "But look, it all turned out fine! So, why all the worry?"
"Because, Cheshire! What if it hadn't turned out fine?! What if someone had died?" all of the festivities became silent, then, as people began to stare at Alice. She lost her composure, then, and with tears streaming down her face, she ran into the forest.
She didn't notice a pair of green eyes watching her.
Alice finally collapsed near a tree stump. She couldn't bear the thoughts that were flashing through her mind now. Images of her friends dead on the chess board with spears through their chests. Images of the Mad Hatter killing the Red Queen, laughing maniacally. Images of her father in his casket.
Suddenly, she saw something different, more vivid, more real and terrifying than the fake images her mind was throwing at her. She was seeing a much younger, terrified, struggling Hatter, Stayne standing over him with a whip in his hands…
She shook her head and sobbed openly. She realized, now, what her nightmares had been all of these years. They were glimpses of the days here in Underland. She had seen all of this in those terrifying nightmares- Stayne, the Red Queen, the Hightopp family.
And she had seen the Hatter's violent moments.
And she had seen the Hatter's weakest moments.
And the pain.
And the suffering.
Alice rubbed an arm across her eyes, getting rid of the tears. She didn't know what to think. Should she be mad at Tarrant? Simpathetic? Piteous?
She frowned. She heard a twig snap behind her. Someone was there.
She whipped around.
The Mad Hatter emerged from the woods, staring at her through obsidian eyes. "Alice." He whispered.
"Tarrant." She choked on his first name.
"You remember now, don't you?"
He sighed, and sat down on the tree stump next to her. "You know, you're all wet." He said, lightly pressing his finger to her cheek and wiping away the tears.
"I'm so sorry." she mumbled, "I didn't want to slay the Jabberwocky when I came here. I didn't remember what she'd done."
"Those were dark days, Alice. I was almost hoping you wouldn't remember them." He muttered.
"I'm glad I did." She said, "Now I understand."
"I always knew you were there with me. I couldn't see you, but you were there. You saved me."
"I can imagine how disappointing it would be to discover I wasn't there at all."
"But you were."
Alice put her small hand over the Hatter's gloved one and squeezed his hand tightly.
"Hatter, how old are you?" Alice asked, curious. Recalling memories past, Alice realized that at the time when she had been having the nightmares, the boy and her had seemed the same age.
"I don't know." He said. "Time is slurvish and it moves of its own accord."
Alice nodded. "Hatter, why did you start the battle?"
"You needed help." He lied.
"You put all of our friends in danger. March Hare's ear was sliced. Mallymkin was tossed around like a rag doll. The Tweedles were nearly killed." She said.
The Hatter looked away, ashamed. "I'm sorry." He mumbled.
His voice became lower and raspy as he spoke, "She needed to see our rage. She needed to feel the pain and anguish."
"You want her dead." Alice surmised.
But he refused to look at her.
"My father used to get angry at people sometimes. They told him he was stupid. They called him insane. They tore him apart with their words, and one day I asked him if he wanted revenge." Alice recalled, "He looked at me, startled, as if it had never really crossed his mind."
The Hatter, now momentarily having forgotten his troubles, listened intently.
"He told me that he could call them names too, but what would be the point? He called it 'stooping to their level.' If you call a name-caller names, you're a name-caller too."
The Hatter muttered, "If you murder a murderer, you're a murderer too." He sighed, defeated. "Alice, I've been considering words beginning with the letter M, but I've run out of words. I'd like to move on to the next letter."
"N?" Alice asked.
"No, L. I've been going backwards."
"Okay." Alice smiled. "Lilies."
"Light." The Hatter supplied.
"Life." Alice said.
The Hatter's grin disappeared.
"What's wrong?" Alice asked, surprised.
"Love." He mumbled, looking away.
Alice moved her hand to the side of his face and pulled him towards her, kissing his lips lightly.
"Love." She repeated, grinning.
They sat like this for a few moments, before Alice began speaking again. "It's funny, the people in Underland remind me so much of people in my world."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, Mallymkin reminds me of my sister, Margaret. Stayne, her husband. The Tweedles would have a field day with the girls I know. They're twins too."
"And me?" The Hatter asked, curious.
"You're like me." She smiled enthusiastically.
The Hatter shot her a toothy grin, and then frowned.
A look of utter terror crossed his face as he frantically asked her, "You're not going to leave, are you?"
Alice's heart broke at the tone of his voice, so much more vulnerable than usual. The Madness, his cure for all things bad, seemed to have left him for the time being and his emotions were raw.
"I can't stay, however much I want to."
"If you want to stay, then why can't you?"
"I have to leave because I have unfinished business in my world."
"You have unfinished business here!"
"But Haymish asked me to marry him and I haven't given him an answer! And Margaret's husband loves another girl! And my father's company!"
The Hatter's eyes became a darker blue every reason she gave.
"You can't leave." He whispered. "We just got you back."
She was at a crossroads and she knew it. She didn't know what would become of her father's company if she stayed in Underland, she didn't know what would become of her friends if she left.
But, she thought to herself, I'm not even sure there is a way back yet.
"Come on." She stood. "Let's go to the celebration. You promised them a Futterwacken!" Alice wasn't entirely sure what the Futterwacken was, but it seemed to cheer the Hatter. His eyes returned, on the walk back, to their usual green. They named words that started with K and then J as they walked, and finally the edge of the Chess board could be seen through the foliage.
The first person to come to them was the White Queen, who had apparently been looking for them for quite some time to express her gratitude.
"You fought wonderfully, Alice!" She said in her high, musical voice. Her crown changed her appearance entirely, the silver, jewel encrusted piece sat upon her head in a graceful manner (as everything was with the White Queen.). It made her more… striking, as it were. Like a real Queen.
Alice felt her cheeks heat, "Thank you." She said.
The White Queen continued, "The Red Queen and the Knave of Hearts," Both Alice and the Hatter winced at these names, "have been exiled. I would execute them, but…" The White Queen's face became dark, "it is against my vows."
Suddenly Mirana's face brightened as she took out a vial from behind her back, filled with a vibrant purple liquid. "I wanted to give you a gift, as a thank you from all of us here in Underland, for overthrowing the Red Queen and restoring peace to the land." She handed Alice the vial, "This is the rare and pure blood of the Jabberwocky."
The vial felt small in the palm of Alice's hand. She looked up at the White Queen, "Will this take me home?"
"It will grant you one wish." Mirana clarified. "Choose wisely." Mirana glanced at the Hatter, who had left them and joined the March Hare and Mallymkin in a makeshift tea party, happily sharing with the White and Red knights, all gathered in a circle on the ground. "He really cares for you. More than he has cared for anyone else before. And I can tell you care for him too." Mirana smiled at Alice, "I hope you make a decision you won't regret." And then Alice watched as the White Queen walked over to the Tea Party and tapped on the Mad Hatter's shoulder and asked politely for a cup of tea.
Alice didn't know what to do. If she stayed, she would never know what happened in the upper world. And if she left, she would miss her friends in Underland! Oh, how she wished there was someone here to give her advice, like Absolem!
Follow your heart, Alice, and things will turn out alright.
Father? She asked the foreign thought, but just as abruptly it had appeared, it was gone. Maybe it was her mind playing tricks on her, maybe it was her father speaking to her, but she had made her decision.
"Please say you will stay!" The Hatter was standing in front of her now, she hadn't noticed him as she had been so deep in her thoughts.
"I want to follow my heart." She told him.
"Where is your heart walking? We can track it, if that is going to give you the answers…"
"No, Tarrant, my heart is with you." And it was at that moment that she kissed him.
And afterwards, he danced the Futterwacken.
It had been a fabulous Frabjous day, and now they sat (still on the battlefield, as no one wanted to walk the long trek back to their respective homes.) around a large blue Underlandian bonfire. There was talk around the fire (for it was a large bonfire, and there were two large armies surrounding it, so it was a large party and news traveled slowly) of Alice's decision to stay. There was also talk of Alice's re-coronation as a Queen of Underland, for she had been a Queen the first time.
But the most juicy bit of gossip was the talk of a Wedding, (when posed with this bit of gossip, Alice laughed it off as "too soon", meanwhile the Hatter listed it on his list of "Ideas to be used at a later-ish time.").
For Alice, the big question was not when the wedding would be, nor her coronation, but what to do with the Jabberwocky blood?
Finally, she left the blue glow of the bonfire, and sat alone in the dark on the step of the ruins.
She knew what needed to be done.
"I wish for everything, in my world and the Upper world, to turn out good, and alright, and happy for my friends and family."
So, it can truly be said that Alice Kingsleigh and the Mad Hatter did indeed have their happily ever after.
Cliche ending, but i thought it was appropriate for Alice in Wonderland. Review and I'll give you a virtual cookie!