|By the Campfire
Author: Nocturnal Elle PM
Alice and Hatter have gone camping, and sitting by the fireside reminds them of another time by the fire.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Alice H. & Hatter - Words: 715 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 12 - Follows: 2 - Published: 09-27-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8560566
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's note: After my boyfriend and I had been dating awhile and knew each other better, we would sometimes reminisce about how we became a couple. This story is a look at how Hatter and Alice might do the same on occasion.
Hours from the city, and worlds away from daily life, Alice has taken Hatter camping. A respite from the constant navigation of her world and its customs.
The warmth of day has faded. A campfire has been built. Hatters leans against a tree; Alice reclines on him. Together, they watch the fire.
"Too bad we don't have any borogoves to barbecue," Alice says.
Hatter laughs. "They're the devil to catch, I hear," he says.
"But well worth the effort," Alice finishes.
They smile in silence for a moment, remembering their Wonderland friend.
But Hatter continues to remember the fireside conversation they once had.
"Jack's a lucky guy," he murmurs aloud. Alice turns in his arms and gives him a quizzical look.
"What?" she asks, unconsciously repeating a scene that has played out before.
"That night, by Charlie's fire," he explains. "That's what I said. 'Jack's a lucky guy.'"
Alice smiles at him. Puts her cheek to his chest.
"I looked at you and it just came out. You'd given me something to fight for, something I didn't even know I'd lost."
He pauses before continuing. "But you were still fighting for him, and it was dawning on me that I wanted you to feel that way about me."
Alice tightens her hold around him. Then she voices her memories of that night.
"I didn't like it when you gave up on there being a 'we.' I knew it made sense. But I didn't like it," she recalls. "On the boat, when you said you were coming back to my world, that felt right. I liked us being a team."
"I like us being a team, too." He's referring to past, present and future.
The mood has turned somber and he wishes to lighten it.
"I've got another confession to make," he says. She tilts her head up at him, expectant.
"I wanted to sleep on the bed with you that night." He means it to be light, flirty. But Alice remains solemn, still in her memories of a forgotten kingdom.
"I have a confession, too," she says. She pulls herself away to arm's length to speak. Hatter's eyebrows draw together in a hint of concern.
"Before I left the camp, I stopped to watch you sleep." Alice places her hand on his face. "I didn't want to leave you."
Alice thinks of her time in Wonderland often. She has tried to deduce when she fell for Hatter. It snuck up on her. Everything in Wonderland happened too fast, and she could only process some of her feelings well after the fact.
That she trusted him when he said "take my hand."
That she could not leave him with Dodo.
That she liked the idea of him coming with her through the Looking Glass.
That she did not like leaving him. Not in the night, not with Jack, not through a mirror.
"I like you by my side," Alice says, her voice low. "I like being by your side."
"Then that's where you need to stay," he says and pulls her back to him.
She tucks her head under his chin.
He wraps his arms around her and speaks into her ear. A promise, a vow.
"I will stay by your side as long as you'll have me."
Alice takes a moment to feel the comfort of his statement. The sun has set. A tent is waiting. She pulls out of his embrace and reaches for water to douse the fire.
Hatter gives her a look that plainly says "where are you going? I thought we were having a moment here."
Alice stands and holds out a hand to him.
"I think I'd like to have you now if you don't mind," she says with smile.
He takes her hand and is on his feet to follow. "I don't mind a bit."
Old memories are put to rest. New memories are made.