A/N: since a few seemed to really enjoy my Cheshire musings, I've decided to add him into a few additional scenes. Also, after reading absolutely every fic on here for Alice, am I the only one that noticed Hatter was holding a hat in the final scene where he kisses Alice?? It's not the same one from Wonderland. It's black, and you can really only see it if you look at the reflection in the mirror. Maybe I'm just imagining things.
After bashing in Mad March's face, Hatter quickly found a way out of the room and started to race down the hall. Skidding to a stop and flattening himself against the wall, he peered around the corner to make sure the hall was clear of suits. Spotting two suits walking across the open area, he popped his head back so they wouldn't see him.
"Finding what you're looking for isn't as easy as finding what you're not looking for."
Hatter jumped and turned in the direction of the voice. "Chesh?" He asked the open air.
"Hatter." The voice almost appeared to be scolding as Chesh became visible.
"What are you doing here?" Hatter asked, his eyes bulging slightly while he tried to keep his voice low.
Ignoring his question, Chesh continued his scolding, "Find yourself back to torture. I'm here to kill then rescue you." Hatter just stared at him, slightly confused. Chesh shooed Hatter with his hands, "Go on now. Go back so I can find you."
"Chesh!" Hatter was losing his patience. "You've found me. How 'bout we skip the rescue?"
Chesh contemplated his answer, "Fine, but I want to kill something." With a grin, he finished, "Preferably fat and red!"
"We'll get there, but we need to find Alice."
"She certainly finds her way to lost very easily." Chesh commented. "Where is she now?"
"If I knew, I wouldn't exactly need to find her, now would I?" Hatter lost all the patience he had left. "How 'bout you use that nose of yours and sniff her out?"
Chesh raised his head and stuck his nose in the air. "Sweet, sweet death."
Hatter's heart sank. "She's dead?"
Chesh snapped out of his daze and looked at Hatter. "No, she's down that hall way headed for the casino. But someone killed Marchie."
Hatter sighed in relief then smiled at his friend. "Sorry."
"That hare has more lives than a cat." Chesh moved to follow Hatter in the direction of Alice and the casino.
They came in the back door just as Alice was coming in from the other side. Hatter watched as Alice raised her hands in defeat before the two suits. Nodding his head to Chesh, they slithered down opposite sides of the room.
With a whistle, Hatter got the attention of the first suit, knocking him out with one punch. Alice acted quickly and was able to disarm the other suit, but before Hatter could get a punch in, the suits head flew off his shoulders into the air and thudded onto the ground.
Hatter stared at Chesh. "A machete?"
Chesh grinned from ear to ear. It truly looked unnatural, and when his eyes widened, he looked completely mad. "Guns don't suit my maniacal manners."
Chesh turned his back as Alice wrapped her arms around Hatter. It was a few moments later, when his nose caught a scent. "Fe, fi, fo, fum."
"What do you smell, Chesh?" Hatter asked after hearing that Alice wasn't ready to leave the casino.
Chesh pointed toward the door he and Hatter came through. The door that wasn't barricaded. "Doors that don't have locks are like a friendly invitation."
Hatter and Alice ran toward the door. Alice peeked through and saw the suits approaching. "Get something to block the door." She instructed Hatter as she turned around and realized exactly what she had to do in order to bring the Queen of Hearts down.
After using a broom to block the door, Hatter turned around to find his friend missing from the room. Shaking his head, he made his way toward Alice, "That's never ceases to annoy me."
The casino was destroyed. The oysters, suits, Jack, Alice, Hatter and the Queen of Hearts were all standing, just a little ways from the shambles of the tall building. Hatter looked around as Alice argued with the Queen. A grin quirked on his cheek as he spotted an unnatural shadow moving closer and closer to the group before him.
"You'll have to cut my finger off."
Hatter pulled himself back into the conversation in front of him to hear Alice saying it could be arranged. Looking at the Ten of Clubs standing next to him, he asked if he had a knife.
Before the Club could produce the knife from his cloak, a much larger knife was floating in the air next to Hatter. A hand quickly appeared around the blade, followed by a body. "Taking the whole hand would solve more than one problem."
Hatter took the knife the Club offered him. "Discretion, old friend. Discretion."
Hatter moved forward to the Queen and was surprised to feel a hand on his shoulder. Especially when he looked and saw that it was attached to Jack Heart. "Make sure it's a clean cut. We don't want blood on the ring." Hatter grinned at the future King and moved toward the Queen.
Unfortunately, she took off the ring before Hatter had a chance to get close, and placed it in Alice's hand.
With the Queen dethroned, the gathering rejoiced in their freedom from her devious rule. Hatter had just asked Alice if he could get that hug when he felt something circling his feet. Alice looked down at his feet only moments before he did. "Chesh!" Hatter scolded. He looked up in time to see Charlie greeting and giving Alice a hug. Looking back down at the cat at his feet, "That was supposed to be my hug."
"Chances are you'll get another chance."
It took everything within him not to kick to feeble cat.
"Cheshire?!" Hatter quirked his brow looking at the origin of the voice. "Cheshire, is that you?" The Duchess walked over and picked up the cat, holding him in her arms, while looking into his large beady eyes. "It is you!" She enveloped the cat in a hug.
"Breathing is extremely overrated, dear Duchess." The cat squeaked out at his loss of breath.
Releasing him slightly, "You shouldn't haven't run off like that. You've had me worried sick for years!"
"Careful, Duchess, it looks feral." Jack came to stand next to his fiancee
"He's not feral." The Duchess started to explain. "He's just-" but was quickly interrupted when Alice rejoined the group with Charlie.
"A bit mad."
Cheshire turned and looked over his feline shoulder at Alice. Giving her a last toothy grin, he disappeared.
"I missed you." Hatter said, before pressing his lips against Alice's once again. Hatter began to chuckle half way through the kiss. Pulling back, he looked down at his feet. "I've brought an old friend."
"Meow!" The animal croaked from the ground.
"What a large cat." Carol said, bending down to look at Cheshire.
"He's not really frie--"
Carol jumped back as the cat hissed and swiped a clawed paw at her.
"Cheshire." The cat turned his attention to the person scolding him. Looking up with wide eyes and an extremely unnatural grin, he waited for Alice to pick him up. "Be nice." She scolded under her breath, so her mother wouldn't think she was mad. Not that she wouldn't already for kissing the strange construction worker as he walked through the door into their home.
"Alice?" Carol had a very questioning look on her face. "What's going on?" She asked with a bob of her head toward Hatter.
Hatter grinned and placed the black fedora that's he'd been holding, since Carol opened the door and asked him, onto his head.
"It's a long story, Mom, but right now we," she motioned between herself and Hatter, "need to catch up."
"Fine, but you'll be explaining yourself later." Carol walked away to the kitchen while Alice motioned for Hatter to follow her down the hall to her bedroom. Cheshire was still held tightly in her arms.
Once in her bedroom with the door closed, Alice set Cheshire down on the bed. "What kind of a person tries to pet a strange cat?" Cheshire asked as he circled and curled himself up on the bed.
"He can still talk." Alice was astonished, not that she should have been. There was no reason why he wouldn't still be able to talk.
"You're not hearing me. It's simply a figment of your imagination." Cheshire disappeared so only his grin remained, but only for a moment as his body reappeared.
Alice looked at Hatter. "He can't be doing that here. Cat's don't talk and they certainly don't disappear before your eyes."
"You're acting like I can control him." Hatter said with a grin of his own. He had his arm around Alice's waist and he wasn't planning on letting go anytime soon.
"You can't talk. It's just not natural." Alice said, looking back at the cat on her bed.
"Your world is strange. No talking cats. No head hunting Queens. No one is mad. The possibility of my continued residence is unlikely."
Alice couldn't help but laugh. The cat actually missed the insanity of Wonderland. Turning her attention away from the cat, she looked at Hatter. He was fixing his hat with his free hand. "It's just not the same."
"No, it's not." Hatter replied, finally relinquishing Alice's waist so she could turn to face him. "But I'll gladly give it up if it means I can stay here." He paused not sure if he wanted to continue his sentence. Deciding it must have been obvious by now, he finished, "With you."
"You gave up Wonderland? Your home?"
"Told you there wasn't anything left for me. My Tea Shoppe was obliterated. Not that the options of occupation are much better here. I don't really see myself in construction." He held up his hands. "Manual labor doesn't suit me."
"I'm sure we can come up with something for you." Alice smiled pulling his lips into another kiss.
"Now that's the maddest thing I've seen all day." Cheshire grinned from his position on the bed.