A Rose-Filled Wonderland

Rating: PG-13/T (Mostly for the people who are aware of the content of both games.)
Genre: Angst/Drama
Summary: So why are you here?

Author's Note: Yeah, I know the 'Alice' part of this would probably be placed in the later 1800s, maybe the early 1900s, but it's- what- a forty, fifty year discrepancy? Sue me.
Disclaimer: I don't own Rule of Rose or American McGee's Alice. Rule of Rose belongs to Atlus, and American McGee's Alice belongs to- wait for it- American McGee!

Oh, and just so we're clear? destroys formatting. They make me angry.

"So why are you here?"

She acts as though she doesn't hear the older girl, who's maybe seven years her senior clara's-age-no-clara-would-be-older-now-a-year-older-almost-if-she-hadn't-let-the-monster-get-to-her-all-that-time-ago-

The brunette taps her fingers against the table and politely waits for a response. Most other patients would lose their patience (haha pun), say things like "Speak up, brat!" just-like-diana-would-have-but-now-diana's-gone-too-he-got-her-too-and-she-was-the-strongest-the-smartest-the-best-the-liveliest-

"Are you an orphan?"

Her mind goes blank at the word 'orphan'. Her pupils contract slightly, and the older girl sees, and thinks 'Ah, so she is alive'. She tilted her head to the side. Her gaze is curious. Just-like-meg-who-was-always-teaching-susan-to-read-and-always-leading-the-class-until-diana-got-mad-at-her-and-she-acted-dumb-sometimes-on-purpose-

She opens her mouth, just a bit, but no words come out. Maybe a little huff of air, though not loud or emphatic enough to be considered rude. She's at a loss for words. Or maybe she just can't think of any because she hadn't had to speak in so long. They try to make her, encourage her to, but she doesn't.

The first word that comes to mind is Rose. The image that follows is that of red roses her-most-favorite-and-most-hated-color-the-color-of-roses-the-color-of-crayons-the-color-of-blood-

"How old are you?"

She thinks 'eight' no-that's-not-right-she-was-eight-when-she-found-the-rose-garden-now-it's-a-year-later-and-she's-nine-now-one-year-older-one-year-smarter-one-year-wiser-wise-enough-not-to-believe-the-lies-

All during this one-sided conversation, she's stared straight ahead rather than at the brunette, who's sitting before her, but a bit off to the side; enough for her to see her speaker, not enough to look her in the eye. The only movement she's made thus far was that attempt to open her mouth.

The brunette is slim and tall; pale, and the chocolate brown of her hair contrasts greatly with her clear, emerald eyes. She's gaunt, could stand to get some sun, but a beauty just-like-diana-and-all-the-other-girls-even-poor-amanda-who-thought-she-was-ugly-because-all-the-others-drew-pictures-of-pigs-with-pigtails-and-pink-bows-

Carefully, the brunette beauty reaches over and gently pushes her young willing-though-maybe-not companion's bangs back, examining the younger girl with an appraising gaze just-like-eleanor-only-not-as-cold-and-not-as-aloof-not-as-uncaring-as-she-was-long-ago-when-she-was-alive-

"You're certainly a pretty little thing, aren't you?"

A compliment. She announces it like a little jury in her head had just reached a verdict it's-something-she'd-get-from-the-others-oh-no-they-all-hated-her-thought-she-was-ugly-and-wanted-her-to-just-go-away-and-die-and-never-come-back-because-she-was-stupid-worthless-filthy-little-

"I wonder what happened to you to mess you up so badly?"

Long story. Oh long story.

When she doesn't answer, the brunette continues. There's a mild suspicion that maybe this had been her goal all along: Find another unresponsive patient who didn't give a damn about her and unload her story and feelings onto them. Spite the asshole therapists who nodded indulgently and laughed in their heads at everything she said.

Oh well. What better did she have to do?

"My parents died in a fire. My cat, too. He knocked over a lantern and set the house afire. I listened to them die. They screamed a lot." She tilted her head to the side, now listlessly playing with a strand of the smaller girl's long, blonde hair once-was-short-now-was-long-

How had her parents died?

She couldn't remember.

She actually couldn't remember a lot.

"Amnesia," The psychologists said. Something about the mind blocking out that which was so traumatic it could not be handled by the person. The mind interpreted the information as an actual threat to the person's life, and thusly the information was repressed.

Amnesia meant that she wasn't actually mentally ill, per se. It meant she had experienced something traumatic. Her subconscious, currently, must be acting on those memories and is forcing her to be quiet and still and damn near comatose.

Didn't matter.

If you were here, it didn't matter what the paperwork said. You were sent to the nuthouse, ergo you are a nut. Nuts is nuts- No distinguishing between them, because there were just too many, and in the end, they all needed to be kept the hell away from society just-like-at-the-orphanage-send-them-away-and-keep-them-away-we-don't-need-them-here-

The next words out of the older girl's mouth are ones that draw the younger's attention; as well as give her a better idea as to the depth of the girl's psychosis.

"Would you like to come to Wonderland with me?"

She twitches. Just a bit. The brunette takes that as a cue to elaborate.

"It used to be quite the lovely place, though now I'm afraid the Red Queen's gone mad- well, madder- and turned it into a real dump." She blinked in a way that most patients did when they were saying something that was totally crazy yet sounded completely sane to themselves. "We needn't worry, though. The Cheshire Cat will guide us. He's gone a bit to the dogs as well, but he's still pretty useful."


The brunette jumps a bit, startled. "Pardon?"

The little one blinks her large, hazel eyes and looks up. "Brown. Dogs… Brown."

The older girl blinks back, surprised. "Well, yes, there are brown dogs. I don't know of any in Wonderland, though. Are you coming or not?"

Well. Why not?

… I don't know, okay? I got American McGee's Alice in April or May of 2009, and it was only on Christmas Eve that I realized that I didn't need patches to make it work on my computer. Then, once I got it working, I got halfway through the second level before hitting a banshee-like monster that I just can't work around. Ugh.

Point being, I wanted to write something with Alice, and I haven't written anything for Rule of Rose for a while. So here you go.