The Lion and the Unicorn

Unicorn smiled as she swung the sword easily in her hand. She and Lion had picked up the tradition their ancestors had let go. She dodged easily his swing and twirled, grinning. As usual, they had a crowd of people around, cheering for one or the other. And as always, there was bread for them at the break.

However, this was not the time for a break and she let out a very unicorn-like squeal when Lion caught her arm. She retaliated with a swing and he let out a roar of pain. The pair was fighting with unparalleled abandon.

They broke apart when a trumpet blared and Unicorn grinned, going to take a break. She smiled at Alice and Cat. "Hello!" she greeted.

Alice was staring, half in shock. "Cat, you should have warned her. Tut-tut. And don't worry Alice dear. We don't ever aim to hurt each other too badly. We mostly chase each other around the town. We go by the bridge and through the market square," Unicorn explained as she ate her bread with honeyed milk.

She then set both down and went back. "Come you cowardly lion!" she challenged and took off.

"Come back here Unicorn!" Lion roared and chased after her.

Cat looked pleased. "It seems that Unicorn might win today," he murmured and he whisked Alice to the roof of a house, still sitting naturally.

They watched the pair meet and Cat looked interested. "Oh, yes. It might even end before the bridge. Sun has always had a soft spot for Unicorn," he purred out.

Alice started. "Um…why are they fighting?" Alice asked.

"Lion and Unicorn originally fought to keep the Queen of Hearts distracted while I retrieved things from her possession and deposited them back to the Dodo. Now, they do it because it is fun. It makes them forget as well," Cat answered quietly.

"Forget?"

"You are not the only one saddened by the loss of one close to you Alice. Unicorn has lost many, Lion his wife. Hatter got over his loss before he met you and I…I have lost all but Unicorn," he murmured.

Cat then fell silent and Alice watched. Occasionally they moved around, but Cat stayed silent. When they reached the bridge, Unicorn got the upper hand. With ease, she sent him flying against the sunset and into the water. "Top that Lion!" she retorted with a triumphant laugh.

He coughed and got out, standing at the foot of the bridge. "Well, you've won this time Unicorn!" he roared and left with a laugh, his shaggy brown hair like a wild mane around his head.

Unicorn grinned and looked up. "Want to get something to eat Legend?" she questioned and Cat deposited Alice next to Unicorn.

He then jumped off Alice's lap and onto Unicorn's shoulder. He purred and rested like a living scarf around her neck. She smiled and pet his head. "Come along Alice dear. I know the perfect place to eat," Unicorn stated and took Alice's hand.

Unicorn then led her off and walked right into a nearby café. "We'll have three house specials," Unicorn ordered and had Alice sit down in a corner right next to the window.

End Part Twelve