SEVEN – Checkmate

Alice shifted her weight, freeing a hand that trailed down his chest, and wrapped around his erection. Hatter couldn't stop the groan that rattled from the back of his throat. He buried his fingers in her hair to pull her face even closer, deepening their kiss.

She stroked him purposefully, her small hand strong, and he gasped as she rubbed her thumb over the top of him, spreading the bead of semen that had oozed out around his tip. Hatter in turn ran a hand down Alice's body, and gently urged her leg up, so that he could tease her in turn.

He could sense her pleasure as the mist of emotion and sensation sunk into him. He was almost able to read her thoughts, able to sense exactly where she wanted his fingers the most, how hard, how fast, and soon she was the one moaning into their kiss, her breath coming in small sexy pants that almost made him weep with delight. If he focused on her sensations, he could almost control his own, even though her arousal amplified them and overtook him.

Suddenly, with a crash of sensation she was crying out, releasing her hold on him to grasp his hip as she bucked against his hand, and the wave of her abrupt orgasm slammed into him, making him cry out as well.

Her eyes focused in on him as she panted, surprised by his shout. "Did you–?"

"Yeah," he affirmed hoarsely. "Yeah, I felt that."

To his everlasting shock, her expression went from startled to utterly wicked. "Wow. Imagine what it's going to feel like when…."

Hatter shuddered a little. "I can't. Imagine, that is."

Alice smirked, rubbing her whole body against him. "Let's find out."

Hatter couldn't believe it. His stubborn serious Alice had turned into a wanton, wicked temptress. "You're trying to kill me." But he understood she was using humor to lighten the mood, to help him maintain his control.

She giggled, rising up to straddle him, rubbing her heated flesh against his. "If you can make jokes, you're not dying." Her humor and lust warmed him even more than her skin. It was bound about with trust and love and passion and all the wonderful flavors of her, bathing him in pleasure.

"You don't know that," he mumbled through repeated kisses. "I might go down laughing."

"Mmm, but what a way to go," she purred, a throaty sound that made goose-bumps prickle across his skin.

He caught her gaze with his. "There's no where else I'd want to die, than in your arms," he told her seriously. He didn't want to tell her that there actually was a distinct possibility this could kill him. Or at least, leave him utterly raving insane. She blinked, her eyes suddenly shining. "I love you, my Alice, my gorgeous girl."

"I love you too, my Hatter, my mad man."

He lifted her slightly, only to adjust their position, then let her sink, slowly, onto him, and the sensation of entering her was like coming home from war, a relief, a resolution, a rest and peace for his aching heart at last. She sighed as they conjoined, and satisfaction and love poured from her.

Together they moved, bodies pressed together from their lips downward. Hatter sensed the instant she felt the slightest discomfort, and carefully rolled them, holding her tight. Positions reversed, Alice wrapped her legs around his hips, and as he thrust deeper into her, her head lolled back with a happy moan, and he knew he satisfied her.

He braced himself on one arm, and with his other hand, he urged her to meet him in their movements, his hand grasping her backside and pulling her against him. Her breathing shortened again, and he felt her silent urges to him, arching his back to increase the angle of his thrusts, and he practically heard her shout There! in his head as he found her sweet spot. Then she was crying out his name as he pushed her closer and closer to ecstasy, her ever wilder emotions pulling at him like a tide, dragging him closer and closer to the edge of sanity.

Then she was flying, an orgasm tearing through her, and it overwhelmed him. He came with her, his body jerking hard enough that in some other world, they might have become one being. It seemed as if the top of his head came off, and he lost all sense of himself, his own identity lost within the sensations of joy that only two people in love together can create. His throat felt torn when he came back to himself, raw with the shout of her name he uttered in that moment, prayer and invocation, battle cry and vow.

He collapsed a little, feebly letting his weight fall to the side of her, his body slipping free of hers, and they both let out little moans of loss, condemned into individuality again. They both gasped for breath at the same pace, their bodies still in tune if separate. She'd clawed his back as she came, and he could feel the sting, a minor distraction.

Hatter felt vulnerable now, as if the insides of his head and his heart have been cleaned out, repainted and repaired, and someone new had moved in. He'd become someone new himself in that moment. Alice had moved into him. He knew more about her in that moment of blinding connection than anyone in either world, maybe even more than she knew about herself.

"Hatter," she whispered. He forced himself up onto an elbow, so he could look down into her face. Her eyes shone, her face flushed rosy, her lips swollen and pouty with his kisses, and he felt a jolt of pride that he had caused her to glow like that. Her lips curled into a smile. "Don't get smug now."

Hatter blinked. "You felt that?"

"You getting all proud and smug? Yeah." She blushed, and said, "Since the moment we… you know…"

"Now you're getting all coy and shy?" he teased, disbelievingly.

"Shut up. It was like… like I could hear you in my head. At least, I knew everything you were feeling. Is that what it's like for you?" When he nodded, she asked, "All the time?"

"Yep," he answered, popping the P to make her giggle. He shifted, drawing her into his arms so he could lie back with her resting against him. Their skin still radiated heat, and he gently stroked her side and her hair. "I overdosed in there somewhere, I think."

"Yeah," she whispered, her voice both a little scared and a little awed. "I felt that. When we came together, there was a second like you …. fragmented. Then you came back." She traced one of the scars on his chest, one of many he'd earned over the years. "It was scary… and thrilling. That I could do that to you."

Hatter tightened his arms around her. "I always come back to you," he swore quietly. It was a relief to know he could come back from that, so easily, unlike the long and painful withdrawals the Queen's emotion teas had required. She nodded against him, trusting him. He could feel her faith and trust, coiling through her satisfaction and tiredness. "Can you feel my emotions now?"

"It's fading, I think." She sounded sorry for it, but it didn't surprise him. Oysters weren't like Wonderlanders. "Will it fade for you?"

Hatter swallowed hard. "I don't know. They warned me…"

"What?" Her sudden spike of concern chilled him.

"They told me that sometimes the suits went mad, overwhelmed." He hurried to assuage the fear he could feel rising in her. "I think that was because they didn't know how to feel emotions on their own in the first place. But I'm not worried, Alice, I'm not," he assured her. He traced her face with his fingers, smiling. "I told them I'd be fine as long as I was with you. I think you'll just have to take over and make me fragment every once in a while."

"And then put you back together again," she joked.

"Like Humpty Dumpty," he agreed, and she laughed softly, her fear and concern fading back into love and happiness.

They laid there for some time, wrapped in their shared love, gently familiarizing themselves with the contours of each other's bodies. It was a sad comedown from their ultimate moment of connection and joy, and Hatter knew inside that he'd constantly want that moment back, again and again, with Alice, for the rest of his life.

As they drifted pleasantly on their emotions, Hatter tilted his head to press his lips against her hair. "Can I keep you?" he whispered into her dark locks.

"Yes," she sighed happily. "As long as I can keep you."

Hatter adjusted his grip on her, wrapping her even more thoroughly in his arms. It was possible he could still go mad. It was possible he'd never learn to control his ability to feel the emotions from oysters around him. It was possible he'd overdose on the sensations around him and go through some sort of terrible withdrawal, or die. Anything was possible. But he promised her anyway. "Always, my Alice. Always."


AN: yes, there's a line snagged from a movie. And despite its source, it's a line I've always loved.

AN2: Am I evil for not resolving Hatter's dilemma? Maybe. Maybe I wanted to maintain that edge of danger to Hatter– him being dangerous, and him being in danger. Maybe I didn't want a completely shiny happy ending. And yet, I doubt I'll do a sequel. So here endeth the tale.