A/N: This came out of a discussion some of us were having over on Cheesemongers on LJ about a possible Polly/Alice ship, whether there was any evidence and how it might come about. I personally don't ship it, but after some discussion I had to admit I could see it. A little. Maybe. In a good light. This little piece came out of that discussion.
Summary: A glimpse into the future of Alice, long after the events of the fort recorded in the book known as Monstrous Regiment. An old friend stirs up old memories and new feelings.
Disclaimer: Terry Pratchett owns the characters and the world they live on. I am grateful for all the brilliant books and make no claims of ownership in any way.
We'll meet again
Alice stood before her looking glass, scrutinising her reflection intently. Turning slowly she examined the effect from all angles. This dinner was more important than any of the others she'd attended since she'd first had the talk with the General and decided that hiding was not for her. Interestingly, the knot in her stomach was tighter today than the first time she'd taken her courage in both hands and walked into the drawing room to meet the General's guests.
Lieutenant Perks was only one name amongst many on the guest list of those invited to dine as a reward for courageous or merely successful acts. None-the-less it was the reason she had spent so long picking out her gown and had insisted on an appointment with the hairdresser that afternoon.
Now, looking in the mirror, she admitted it. She needed Polly to see her as she was, not some weak broken child with religious mania, but a human being in her own right. This. This was Alice. Dressed in a stylish yet demure gown with her long blond hair up showing her perfect neck to advantage. An Alice who held her head up and walked confidently. Who was afraid of no one.
At this point she turned away from the mirror in disgust.
Who was she fooling? She was still afraid, she was afraid now as a point in fact. The knot in her stomach tightened. What would Polly say? What did she want Polly to say? Or do?
She'd imagined it so many times, Polly oblivious to her presence, unable to recognise her with her new airs and graces, eyes widening in surprise and respect as they were introduced. So why suddenly did she wish, beyond all reason, that Polly would take one look in her eyes and recognise her immediately?
What did she want?
Her reverie was abruptly interrupted by the dinner bell. Alice took a deep breath, hardened her resolve and, fighting against hope, stepped out into the future.