Title: Rabbit Hearted
Rating: T (rating subject to change)
Summary: "The way I see it I've only got one option…go back with you, to your world." When Alice and Hatter leave Wonderland after escaping Mad March they had thought that they were done. But it seems as though Wonderland has far more in store for them. AU
Author's Note: Wow, I have not written fanfiction in more than a year. Holy cow. But I watched SyFy's Alice a couple months back and was totally sucked into fandom again. I have had this plot bunny in my mind for ages and have only now written it out of sheer force of will. I really hope you all enjoy and review because I really haven't written in a long time and encouragement would be amazing!
Author's Note (Part Deux): Also, I am wondering if anyone would be interested in beta-ing this story for me. I would be eternally grateful.
Alice has been here before.
Falling (always falling) dreadfully fast. The wind whips sharply against her face, cutting into her soft skin and leaving furious red welts on her pale cheeks. Tears squeeze of their own accord out her eyes as she shuts them tight. She prays for this dream to be over.
Oh, I've had such a curious dream.
She opens her eyes to find herself safe on the ground, wholly unharmed. Alice stands in a damp hallway, dead foliage carpeting the floors and the lights hanging precariously from the ceiling emit dangerous sparks that fly and die in the air. She sees a faint curious light at the end of the hall, barely there and flickering like a candle about to go out. She slowly makes her way towards the dim glow.
Her feet are bare against the dry grass and leaves of the hallway, each step rustling and echoing down the dimly lit hall. The lights overhead flicker and hum a soft tune that comforts her as she wanders around curiously. The noises soothe her; the sounds soft and gentle almost let her forget her purpose.
She needs to find her way home.
You're way? All ways are the Queen's ways.
She peers into one open door leading to an empty room, when the thick clunk of a heavy light being switched on pulls her attention away. The faint glow at the end of the hall is now a bright beam of light revealing an open room.
She stumbles her way towards the light but stops suddenly when she feels her feet step into something cool and wet. She looks down, the grass and leaves are now gone and are replaced by tiles and large puddles of water.
Curiouser and curiouser.
As the girl steps into the intensely lit room she shields her eyes from the blinding light. Her eyes slowly adjust and she blinks carefully as she takes in the room. The room is empty save for a small glass table in the center of the room.
This all seems so familiar.
On the table there is a small vile filled with a bright red liquid. On the face of the vile in miniscule text reads: "Drink Me". She picks up the vile, uncaps it, and swallows the whole bottle in one go.
"How doth the little crocodile improve his shining tail."
Alice spins around to find a well-dressed blond man standing behind her in the hallway, which is now filled with water up to their ankles. She attempts to move closer to the man, he looks so familiar like everything else in this strange place. She tries to move closer but finds that her feet are stuck to the floor. The man gives her a kind look and shakes his head, obviously indicating that trying to move is futile. He continues, "And pour the waters of the Nile on every golden scale."
The man pauses and coughs violently into his hand. His palm returns bloody and red. The man glances down at his hand, his brows lifting in faint surprise, but continues to speak nonetheless. "How cheerfully," another cough racks his body, "he seems to grin, how neatly spreads his claws," the coughing continues and his words are now coming out with coughs and heaves, "and welcomes little fishes in with gently smiling jaws". His lips are now bloodied like his hands; he smiles gently, "Alice, you really shouldn't waste that." He points to the table where there is a small cake sitting carefully where the vile used to stand.
Alice finds she can move once again and she turns. She lifts the small cake to her lips only nibbling on the treat this time, wary of what may happen next.
"'I'll be judge and I'll be jury,' said cunning old Fury."
She turns again to find an older man, dressed from head to toe in gleaming white armor. He has a small smile on his face and the water that carpets the hallway is now at their shins. Alice knows him for sure, she remembers those kind eyes and that understanding smile. She struggles to remember his name, tears welling in her eyes in frustration at not being able to recall such an important thing. The man speaks, "'I'll try the whole cause, and condemn you to Death.'"
The man's smile flickers and dies as he lifts his hand to the split in his armor between his chest and his arm. When he brings his hand back up it is covered in copper colored dust. The metal of his armor begins to rust and crumble away. His armor eventually falls to the floor in a burst of dust and metal. The knight is now left in his white undergarments which are stained red from the gaping wound stemming from his chest, just above his heart. A look of fear crosses the Knight's face but he bravely points to the table instead of voicing his terror. "You'll need something to wash that cake down."
Alice turns again and this time there is a cup of steaming tea sitting innocently on the table. Her fingers tremble as she picks it up, unable to stop a few drops of tea from spilling. She takes a deep drink of the tea and it warms her in the most pleasant way.
"Don't let him know she liked them best, for this must ever be a secret, kept from all the rest, between yourself and me."
When she turns this time there is a strangely dressed man in a hat watching her with an unreadable expression. The water is now at his waist and seems to be rising, but neither the man nor Alice notices. Seeing the man before her, Alice felt a jolt of recognition go through her. "Hatter!" She cries out, relief inexplicably filling her at the sight of him.
Hatter's expression changes from unreadable to pleased and he breaks into a lopsided grin as he continues to speak. "They told me you had been to her, and mentioned me to him: she gave me a good character, but said I could not swim."
He looks down at the rising water and Alice's eyes follow. However instead of finding water, she sees that now warm sticky blood surrounds them up to their chests. A slow feeling of nausea rolls over her as she tries to pull away but fails, her feet still stuck in their place. She looks back up at Hatter as the lake of blood reaches their shoulders, a look of sorrow and guilt mars his handsome face. A sad little smile curls on his lips, "Tell me Alice. Can you swim?"
The blood now rolls up to her chin and the stench is almost as unbearable as the taste of blood permeates her mouth. She can't breathe, she can't move, she can't think.
Off with her head!
Alice jolted up violently out of her bed, her body trembling and clammy. She shakily lifted a hand to her warm cheek, tears staining her face and fingers. She curled herself into a sitting fetal position, exhaustion outlined her silhouette in her darkened room. She ran the hand that rested on her cheek up and over her eyes. Then, like a dam bursting, she let out a dry sob followed by another and then another. Soon tears were pouring from her clenched eyes freely and her shoulders heaved from the fierce cries that consumed her body. Eventually, her cries subsided to whimpers and her heaves became little hiccups of breathes. Silent tears still swept down her face as she rolled over to grab her cell phone from the top of her dresser. She wiped the back of her hand over her eyes, clearing her vision. Alice dialed in the numbers carefully and then lifted the phone to her ear listening to the ring as she waited. Eventually she got the answering machine and an almost hysterical chuckle escaped her as she realized how late (or early) it was.
"Hatter. It's me pick up." A pause. "It's Alice. Answer the damn phone." She waited a moment, frustration beginning to creep into her face. "Wake up! Dammit Hatter. This is important!" Another pause. "Hatt-"
"Wha?" Hatter answered the phone, his voice still husky from sleep and a tinge of annoyance colored his tone. His familiar voice, that she had just so recently heard haunt her dreams, stole the air from her lungs and her sobs threatened to resurface. "Alice?" Hatter's tone was now devoid of annoyance and sleep, worry replacing them both as he sensed her distress. He sighed deeply into the receiver. "Alice, listen. I'm sorry about earlier, I was outta line. I understand if you don't wan-"
Alice cut him off, definitely not in the mood to start on thatsubject. "Hatter! This isn't about that." She took a deep breath as the guilt from the past month washed over her again. "We have to go back." She paused, waiting for a reaction.
There was a heavy silence, and then. "No." His voice was hard and strained.
Alice closed her eyes and a few more tears slipped free. Her voice is calm though when she repeated, "Hatter, we have to go back to Wonderland."
End Notes: I hope that wasn't too confusing. Basically (because this first chapter is meant to be confusing but I don't want it to be THAT confusing), this is an AU in which Hatter and Alice actually did cut a deal with the White Rabbit and fled Wonderland together. So yeah, this first chapter takes place a month after that. The next chapters will flashbackwards and show how Alice and Hatter got out of Wonderland and what they have been doing for the past month in Alice's world (*wink**wink*) And then the second half of the story will detail what happens after they decide to return to help Wonderland. So yeah, don't worry it will all sort itself out and I apologize in advance for getting all flashback, flashforward Lost-y on you. Please leave reviews!