Title: To Look Beneath the Surface

Pairing: Alice/The White Queen, Alice in Wonderland (the movie)

Rating: R

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. No infringement intended, no profit made.

Summary: What if Alice didn't drink the Jabberwocky blood right away? What if someone *else* asked her stay, if only for a little while? Set after the final battle of the movie.

Spoilers: Yes. (Although seriously, these books have been around since the 1900's, if you are going to get pissy about being spoiled, grow up)

"You could stay you know."

"What a mad, wonderful idea," Alice responds, feeling the warmth of fondness that swells her heart just a little as the brilliant green eyes in front of her sparkle with hope. She can't help but love the Hatter, as crazy and loyal as he is. But…

"But I can't. I have people that need me and questions that need answers."

He nods in understanding and she raises the blood of the Jabberwocky to her lips with a hand that shakes from weariness and pain and not a little triumph.

The blood never touches her mouth.

Skin so pale shouldn't hold such warmth, but the White Queen's feather-light touch seems to burn where her fingertips graze Alice's hand.

"Can you not wait just a little longer? I would be remiss did I not bestow a reward upon my Champion."

The words are breathy and the gestures airy, but Alice sees what the others don't – if only for a second – the steel that lies beneath the frail beauty; the soul beneath the crown. So many things in this Wonder land are not what they seem – like the mad, loyal hatter with the heart and skill of a knight and this soft spoken, gentle ruler with the wounded eyes and soul of a warrior.

Just as she could see the vulnerability beneath the hardness of the Red Queen, Alice sees the strength and power within the White – the fire beneath the ice – but she is not repulsed by the woman in front of her.

If anything she is drawn.

Those dark eyes hold hers and those burning fingers reach out again to brush her cheek. It is the merest caress and yet Alice thinks she might melt; limbs already weakened by combat unable to resist this last, tender assault.

"You need rest my dear, let me give you this."

The whisper is for her ears alone and Alice finds herself nodding, unable to turn away from this woman she fought for; this Queen who gave her a choice – even if it was a terrible one – without deception or guile. It was the choice to stand alone, to be all that she was, to have her muchness back.

How could she not be grateful?

As they ride triumphant back to the glittering sanctuary that is the White Queen's castle and Alice's body begins to succumb to fatigue and pain from her battle, however, she knows it is more than that.

A touch at her elbow that she can feel even through the magicked steel of the Champion's armor steadies her for a moment.

"Just a little farther."

The words are a caress and Alice's eyes close, only to find herself when they open again in a massive room with vaulted ceilings. White, glistening marble and a roaring fireplace, a balcony that looks over the valley beyond, a massive four-poster bed capped in piles of white pillows and…

"Come, my Champion,"

The frilly dress and crown are gone, replaced by a simple gown of lightest silk that should be terribly immodest but is somehow, only beautiful.

It takes the last of her strength to step forward before her legs finally give out and Alice falls to her knees in front of her Queen.

Silk whispers and then her face is cupped by gentle hands, and lips - the softness of which she never could never even have dreamt - touch her brow. A wonderful heat suffuses her body from that kiss, spreading through her, easing away the aches and the strains and the exhaustion and suddenly she is trembling from something that has nothing to do with tiredness.

Those tender hands draw her up and Alice is hardly surprised to find she no longer wears the bloodstained armor. Magic lives in the air in this world, and she embraces it, even as her mind seems to flee under the White Queen's touch, leaving her heart alone to race in her chest, victim to a lightness she has never felt before but craves nonetheless.

Thumbs stroke her cheeks and though the gesture is innocent, Alice has never shivered so much at so fleeting a touch.

"My lady," she whispers, only to be shushed gently.

"It is customary for the Queen to give her victorious Champion a kiss. You saved us all Alice. You saved me."

And before Alice can respond those beautiful dark lips are brushing against hers.

This time it is not slow heat but sparking, living energy that courses through her blood. Someone makes a tiny noise in their throat and distantly she realizes it is her as those lips grow bolder upon her own. Suddenly weak all over again, Alice slips her arms around willowy shoulders, brushing her fingers through satin hair, clinging to the other woman and drawing their bodies together; silk warmed against skin sliding between them.

Alice has never been kissed. She is a proper young woman, brought up to keep her distance from suitors. And she never fancied them anyway - those stiff necked, stuck up young men with their noses turned up at the world – always so proper; so cold. She never gave them a second thought.

So of all the things her vivid imagination has brought her over the years, nothing has come close to this heat, this crackling fire under her skin; this inexplicable thrill as the White Queen slides her arms around Alice's waist and slips her tongue into her mouth and Alice lets her, surrendering to the wild, deeply buried passion she can sense in the woman she has chosen as her Sovereign. Because as much as others might be shocked, that they might never guess what lies beneath that beautiful, stony exterior, this is what a part of Alice sensed the moment she placed the Sword into the White Queen's hands.

Fire beneath the ice.

She knows distantly that she should be more afraid, that what she feels, she cannot, but at that moment the White Queen's - Mirana's - hand parts her dress and skin softer than any silk touches her own. A touch so tender as to make her heart ache moves up her body, across places no one else has ever touched until Alice thinks she might die from this nameless want that sings in her ears.

One hand is joined by another and then her dress is gone and all that is left is feeling: so much feeling that Alice doesn't know how her body can contain it all, until those tender fingers slip inside her, and she understands she isn't meant to contain it, and everything shatters around her.

Her hair is a tangled river of gold across the white landscape of the rumpled bed and her Queen's body. Alice drifts, her ear pressed against Mirana's chest, listening to the contented heartbeat.

Soon she knows she will leave this bed and the warmth of the White Queen's arms. Soon she will drink the Jabberwocky blood and return to the other world – what most would call the 'real' world but she, lying here with her heart and body sated, cannot – where she has so many, and so much, waiting for her. The knowledge pricks the backs of her eyes with tears, but then she feels warm hands on her body, pulling her close and soft lips kiss her temple and she knows that this is not the last time she will see Underland nor the last time her Queen's touch will shatter and remake her.

Pushing back, she prepares to leave. As she does, Alice looks into the dark eyes of her lover, pools of shadow in that glacial face, and sees love and pride and a thousand other things reflected back at her. It tightens her heart, but it also makes her smile just a little bit. One thing is for certain now…she knows that she is absolutely the right Alice.