disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to Sonya for Christmas.
notes: barfs.

title: here, have some dead flowers
summary: Or, Alice and Hatter go to a wedding. — Alice/Hatter.

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"This dress is uncomfortable," Alice muttered dispassionately under her breath. She tugged on the short hem of her black dress. It laced up the back with silk the colour of bluebells, hit the middle of her thigh, and she kept pulling on it, trying to get the damn thing to stay down.

"And that is my fault… how?"

"You let me agree to stay on as Jack's advisor, of course it's your fault. And I went commando for you! I'm not wearing underwear, and it's freezing!"

He went by David, these days, but he'd always be Hatter to her. He raised an eyebrow at her, a crooked little smile pulling up his lips. "I though you said it was a good idea. Both of those things, in fact—especially the lack of knickers, love."

"At the time," Alice muttered grumpily, "it was. Now, though…"

Hatter slid an arm around her shoulders, pulled her close enough that he could press his lips to her hair. He did it all the time; Alice thought that perhaps he did it to reassure himself that she was real. Wonderland was still rebuilding, and reality was a bendy thing in a place where mirrors were doorways and dreamers had a hospital for rehabilitation.

"Well," he said, "Duchess refused to let anyone else stand for her."

"This is what I get for making friends. I shoulda stuck with training little girls to beat assholes into pulp," Alice grumped, and pulled her dress down again. Her stole slipped down her shoulders, and trying to keep her dress in one place and pull her shawl back up took more hands that Alice had to spare.

"You do that anyway, love," Hatter snorted, and fixed her stole for her. His fingers were warm against her skin, and for a moment Alice closed her eyes and leaned into the touch.

"Do we have to?" she complained, shuffling closer until her forehead was against his chest. "It's not like I'm performing the ceremony. Can't we go home and get a burger?"

"I think His Majesty would be very displeased," Hatter snickered. "Let's do it."

Alice eyed him for a moment—he looked entirely innocent, probably too innocent in fact, because he only got that bright little gleam in his eyes when he was planning something dastardly.

She loved him absurdly.

"Just so you know, one wedding is too many. We should elope. Also, you are the worst influence," she sighed. "C'mon, we shouldn't be late."

A smug little smile crossed his lips when they passed through the palace gates—they were much nicer, more like the fairy tales Alice remembered from her childhood, and less like a prison-cum-casino—and she narrowed her eyes at him.

"Frankly, I feel manipulated," Alice said.

"His Majesty may or may not have bribed me to talk you into coming," Hatter agreed easily.

"I'm going to kill him," she said, smilingly, blissfully. "And then I'll run away with Duchess, and we can get married to each other. I don't think she'd mind. We'd have pretty babies."

"I'd be very sad, Miss Alice," said Hatter gravely. He pushed his hat back from his eyes, tipped it back, and grinned at her crookedly. He was a bright spark in her night, and though Alice was the Oyster, he was the accidental pearl.

They were all mad here, and Alice wouldn't change a thing.

And so hand in hand, they walked into the palace, to attend the wedding of a King to his Duchess.

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fin.