A/N: I'm baaaaack! It's ridiculous really. How I'm unable to stay away from this fandom, that is. Well, this little snippet of a story was eating at me all day, demanding to be written. I blame imagination.

Disclaimer:Don't own nuttin'. Otherwise Tim Burton's movie would have ended with a certain blonde staying put with a certain hatter.

Summary: On Frabjous Day, the Mad Hatter fought against the Knave of Hearts. Wait. How in the name of the White Queen did someone like the Mad Hatter ever learn how to use a sword?! Or more precisely, who had the patience to teach him such a thing?!

"You're… you're not joking, are you?" the White Queen Mirana muttered, furrowing her fine brows. Staring back was none other than the Mad Hatter himself, giving her his signature gap-toothed grin. Sighing, she covered her eyes with a pale hand as she sat on her pristine throne. "I had never doubted it before but… this proves it. You really are mad, aren't you?"

"All the best people are, as someone once told me," he chuckled merrily. His face suddenly turning darker and far more serious, he murmured, "But my request still stands milady."

Knitting her fingers together, Mirana felt all the burdens of the past few days suddenly weigh themselves on her shoulders. It had only been two days ago when the Mad Hatter, the Dormouse, and Bayard's wife and pups had escaped the Red Queen's castle and returned to safety. Since then, the White Queen had commanded her entire army to prepare for the battle that was sure to come on Frabjous Day. Every soldier was training vigorously; every hour was spent honing what skills they had. Now, another surprise had come in the form of a madman's request.

"Find someone to teach me how to wield a sword." This time his request had become an order, which was quite audacious even for him. Although she was in exile, Mirana was still royalty. And their subjects did not command their rulers. However, she could make an exception just this once.

Releasing a delicate sigh, the White Queen conceded, "Very well. But remember, Frabjous Day draws closer with every passing moment. Time, the fickle man, is of the essence."

Giving a slight nod, he then asked, "Who then, shall be my instructor milady?"

A small smirk appeared on her face. "I believe one of your friends will do quite nicely. Last I heard, she was threatening my head cook to a duel. Surely she has some time to spare."

"It wasn't my fault, Highness!" a small voice cried out as an even smaller figure raced toward the White Queen. "The nefarious cook was putting parsley into my evening meal. Parsley, Highness! Everyone knows that I can't stand the stuff!"

"Is that why you were eavesdropping on our conversation?" the White Queen smirked as the Dormouse jumped into her waiting palm.

"Well, no one knows when danger might strike! You and Alice are the primary targets of the Red Queen, so we always have to be alert!" the mouse argued, swishing her small sword left and right.

"Thank you for you concern; however, your friend may need your assistance more than I do."

"Indeed," agreed the Mad Hatter, giving a sweeping bow. Strangely enough, his hat had defied the laws of gravity, and managed to stay on his head.

"Well c'mon then!" the Dormouse said, leaping down from the White Queen's hand. "We've got a lot of work to do before Frabjous Day arrives!" As the Dormouse scurried out of the throne room, the Mad Hatter paused thoughtfully by the doorway.

"Hatter," the queen suddenly murmured. "There's a question I meant to ask as well. Why do you want to learn swordsmanship? After all, a dagger seems to be more your kind of weapon."

It was a while before he answered. "Not too long ago," he began. "A certain person risked her life to rescue me. I would hate to leave that particular debt unpaid. You know how they tend to pile up over time."

"Indeed I do," she said, smiling as she shook her head. "Best of luck to you Hatter."

"Thank you milady," he answered, giving a tip of his hat. As he finally exited the throne room, a stray thought passed through his jumbled mind.

'And hopefully, I will be able to protect her as she has always protected me.'