Let the first time travel fic begin!!
Disclaimer: It all belongs to Syfy, I just play with it a bit.
It was all over now. The Hearts Casino was destroyed, the Queen overthrown, and Jack was made King of Wonderland. It was time to go home. And to her surprise, Jack had purposed again, this time offering a throne to go with it. She privately marveled at his nerve, after all he did lie from almost day one, but the offer was quite nice. But she knew it wouldn't work, and told him so. He accepted it with good grace, and they parted on good terms. She even managed to hug him good bye.
At last she saw Hatter and it almost looked like he was trying to leave, but why? She even gave up the purple velvet coat that had come to mean so much to her, returning it to him. As they talked, everything she had hoped for with him came crashing down, and she was shocked at his words. But if he really meant it, why did he seem so let down? What was he really trying to say? She didn't understand.
And then the technician grabbed her arm and pulled her away from Hatter, hurrying her forward when all she wanted was to stop and look back. She wanted to see his face one more time, engrave it in her memory so she would never forget the man that had done so much for her. Alice tried to stop her momentum but by the time she could get her feet back she was shoved through the mirror. And then she was falling, flailing, the silver clouds and mercury rushing by in a thunderous rush.
Suddenly she felt something, a shift in the silver clouds like lightning in her path and then--
Alice gasped as she jumped up, nearly bouncing out of the old bed as she jerked under the quilt. Her gaze darted around trying to adjust to the sudden shift in light, almost uncomprehending as she could barely make out the forest lining the clearing around the night-time ruins of the Red King's Palace. "Wh-what?" she breathed shakily. "Where--you can't be serious, I'm here in the"--
Her words died away as she looked around. Charlie was there, sleeping in his hammock, teddy bear held tightly under his arm. The fire barely made noise as it was dying down to embers in the cool night air. She was still in that purple coat of Hatter's--
Wait. Hatter. Where is Hatter? She looked around, slipping out of the bed and taking trembling steps to where he'd slept before. But he wasn't there. What is going on?! How the hell did I get back here?! The Looking Glass was supposed to send me home, not back to the Kingdom of Knights! But why is everything like it was two nights ago?! And where's Hatter? How did this happen?! Charlie, he might know!
She went over to the hammock where he slept, shaking his shoulder. "Charlie? Charlie, wake up!"
"(Snort) Hmm, nonny, non...(snerrr)"
"Charlie!!" She shook him so hard he almost fell out of the hammock as he sat up in alarm. "What, what? What is it, Alice of Legend? Are there Suits afoot?!"
"No, no, Charlie," she said, "Listen, how did I get here? What happened? Didn't I go through the Mirror like I was supposed to?"
He stared at her sleepily. "My lady, I'm afraid I don't know what you are saying. Yourself and Harbinger told me that you came here through the Looking Glass to find that knavish Jack fellow, er, the one that lied to you about being the Queen's son, isn't he?"
"Yeah, that's Jack," she murmured. "But that was two days ago! Didn't we destroy the Casino? And Jack was made King, and he sent me to turn on the Mirror, did I not do it right?"
A bit of clarity came to the Knight's eyes as he looked at her. "Did you perchance dream that such things happened, my lady? Do you have any gift for the Mystical Arts? For if such things are to come to pass, what happy fortune it would be indeed! Why, if you are casting prophecy such as this, we are sure to win!!"
"So"--she mentally reeled at the words about to come out of her mouth--"So none of it happened? We still haven't found my father, and Jack's still a prisoner, and--and"--
"I am afraid so, dear Alice of Legend," the old man said softly, patting her hand. "But fear not! With your bold prediction of success, we are sure to be victorious!!"
"T-Thank you, Charlie, I'm sure I'll sleep better knowing that," she said absently, her mind a million miles away. "You get some sleep, it'll be a long day tomorrow."
"For certainty!" He cried. "Good night, Just Plain Alice." He flopped back down in the hammock, instantly asleep and snoring deeply again. Not for the first time, she wondered if he might be narcoleptic.
None of it happened? Was it just a dream? She stared around her as she made her way back to the bed, laying on top of the quilt. She knew she was far too wired to sleep now. Could I have just imagined it? Alice suddenly remembered her father, dying in her arms--It can't be. It hurts too badly to be a dream! So then what happened? Did something go wrong with the mirror?
Wait. She thought back to when the technicians were talking, back when the Suits had tried to banish her back to her world. They'd said something about calibrating the Looking Glass due to a temporal shift, or something. Now she was no genius, but she had watched enough Star Trek to have a basic idea of what that meant. Time had been shifting? Time was different between Wonderland and her world? She thought back to the book, the original story, when Alice had awoke from her sleep, she'd only been out for maybe an hour or two. But it had seemed like days to the girl. Is that how it is? Time is longer here than in my world? Days here, but hours back home?
Well, at least her mother wouldn't be worried that she'd disappeared like Dad. Oh god, Dad. Daddy. She felt her heart wrench in her chest and her stomach heave as the pain of that greif hit her. She couldn't hold it back anymore. She curled up, arms around her knees as the sobs rocked her body. Tears flowed, hot and bitter down her cheeks as she let out the sorrow of seeing her father die in her arms. Minutes, maybe hours passed as she cried, she didn't know. But when they finally stopped, she felt the smallest bit better.
Alice got up and went to the small creek that flowed by the campsite, splashing her face with the cold water. She took a long drink of the delicious stuff, feeling much more composed as she took deep breaths to center herself like her sensei had taught her back at the dojo. Okay, okay now. Think. If you can jump between worlds, then time jumping around isn't that far fetched. If time had shifted when I went through, it certainly hasn't gone forward. It looks like I went back to the day before. Why? Was there something wrong with the Stone? Was it damaged and I just didn't know it?
More importantly, what now? If I am back in the past, and all signs seem to point to yes, then what can I do about it? Did it send me back for a reason? She wondered about that. With what she knew now, she could change things, couldn't she? She could stop the ambush by Mad March, even--I could save Dad. I could! If I pull him down before Walrus tried to shoot me, he won't get hurt! We can go home together! Assuming that we make it out of the Casino alive, but Hatter made sure--Hatter.
Her thoughts suddenly centered around Hatter. Why, why, why hadn't he wanted to come with her? He said he did before! What had changed? Was it something she'd said, something she'd done, hadn't done? Alice thought back to everything that had happened in their adventure and began to see a pattern. A rather ugly pattern that made her very, very angry. With herself.
"I never once thanked him," she said aloud in horror. "Everything he did, every time he got in danger or nearly killed, and I never said thank you for any of it!" She remembered the cuts and bruises on his face and hands when she'd seen him again in the Casino, remembered hearing the medics fuss over him after the Queen was led away, something about enduring--Torture. Oh god, Dee and Dum tortured him and I--It must have looked like I didn't even care!
And then there was the whole Jack fiasco! Oh lord, where to start about Jack? He'd used her to try and get to her father--Carpenter, to him, right? All to help the Resistance, which, while a noble purpose, was still false pretenses no matter how you looked at it. He was engaged to a gorgeous Duchess, lets not forget that. 'So he's two-timing you?' Hatter's words echoed in her head. And the fact that he was the Queen's son was a huge shock. A Prince, for god's sake! The fact that he'd been lying to her since the moment he'd met her was a real killer. And then he'd had the gall to insist that she trust him? The nerve of that man!
Hatter, now granted, he'd lied a bit to her, but after the first two hours with him--Everything was the truth, she thought, stunned. After they'd escaped from the Great Library, he'd not lied to her since. And she hadn't trusted him, not one bit, 'til after he found her in the Casino the second time.
My god, no wonder he didn't want anything else to do with me, she thought in numb shock. I must have seemed like the most ungrateful brat he'd ever met.
But that would change. She would make sure of it. She would make sure he knew how grateful she was for him, how much she appreciated his efforts and all the things he'd done for her. She would save her father and bring him home, she knew she could.
Of course, all of this would be hard to do, regardless of future knowledge. Nothing in Wonderland was easy. It would be easier to get people to go along with it if she told them she'd seen it all happen in the future, but who would believe a crazy thing like that? She was pretty sure that even in Wonderland, time travel like hers was beyond belief. She'd have to pretend that things were new, or confusing to her, or someone could get suspicious. Oh god, she groaned mentally, I'll have to act like I believe Jack again! But I can't act to save my life!
This is going to be much harder than I thought.