Forget Me Not
Summary: "You won't remember me." "Of course I will, how could I forget?" The Hatter feared that Alice wouldn't remember him, but he never considered the possibility that he would forget Alice. AxH
A/N: Hey everyone! I just wanted to let you all know that I kept this rating as T because according to the ratings guide, a T-fic can have "possible strong but non-explicit adult themes, references to violence, and strong coarse language." I feel like my scenes won't be overly graphic or too descriptive, more implications of what is happening than full-out descriptions. If you feel it is too graphically described, then let me know and I can edit it to tone down the writing. The only "adult theme" in this chapter is the dream in italics, so if you would like, feel free to skip the italicized part and start reading after that. All you need to know is that he had a less-than-innocent dream about Alice.
I hope you all enjoy the fanfic, and if you could R&R, it would be greatly appreciated! :3 I am always open to constructive criticism.
Disclaimer: I only own my OC's and this fanfic.
Chapter 1: One Drop
The Hatter looked up. In the dark, he could see the silhouette of her slender frame, hovering over his shaking body. His heart was racing; the entire situation was foreign. Not only was Alice here, years after she promised she would return, she was here, in his house, in his bed.
The Hatter suppressed a grunt as several sensations exploded within him. How could this be happening? How could this be-?
"What's wrong?" Alice asked in a whisper, leaning forward. He could feel skin against skin, and he released a shuddering breath.
"You seem frightened," she said. The Hatter bit his lip as Alice made a sudden movement, driving him wild. Frightened was not a word he would use to describe how he felt at that moment. He could feel himself moving closer and closer, the grip on reality he had quickly slipping away. Oh, no.
"Wait," he whispered, though in all honesty he did not want her to stop. He grasped her sides, feeling the movement between the two of them. She had to slow down or he was going to lose himself. He tried to tell her, but she didn't stop, a coy smile playing on her pink lips. The Hatter's eyes closed tightly, his breathing growing heavier with every passing second before-
The Hatter's rough Scottish brogue rang through his bedroom as he shot straight up in his bed, panting heavily and drenched in sweat. He looked wildly around and reached for the switch on his oil lamp, turning it on in extreme haste. No Alice, he noted. No clothes strewn about. It was just him, in his clock pajamas, in bed.
He collapsed into the covers with a muffled sigh. This had been the fourth in a sequence of Alice-related dreams, all less than innocent. He didn't understand what was going on, or why he envisioned Alice this way, but it severely distracted him during the day when spending time with his friends. The Hatter had always been a little off, but he was "off-ier" than usual, according to Mallymkun, his Dormouse friend. He seriously considered, after every dream, talking to the Cheshire Cat about it, but come morning he would always realize what a terribly embarrassing situation it would place himself in. Still, he could do with a dreamless sleep draught or even an answer as to why he was having them in the first place. How could he picture the Alice in such a way? It was so uncharacteristic of her bold, yet passive demeanor. She was a strong-willed woman, not a tigress waiting to prey on a Hatter.
The Hatter shook his head. Bad Tarrant, bad! Bad thoughts. Perhaps it was time to pay a visit to Marmoreal; the White Queen had a sizable stock of potions. She may have something to stop these dreams from occurring. If – when – Alice returned, the Hatter couldn't risk these dreams. He had already been surprised enough to see her grown up all those years ago, a truly proper Alice size. As the last remaining member of the Hightopp clan, he had to retain dignity, and he couldn't do so if he were constantly thinking of the Underland champion in such a way. Looking out the window, the Hatter saw it was still somewhat dark, but the sun would be rising soon. So he quickly bathed and got ready for the trip, heading out as soon as possible to be at the White Castle by late morning.
This was ridiculous.
Absolutely, incredibly, extremely ridiculous.
Alice had been returning to this accursed Rabbit Hole day after day since her return from China. She had been home in London for over a week now, but ever since docking she couldn't stop thinking of Underland and everyone she had left behind. Each day, after her meetings with Lord Ascot, she would take a stroll through his garden and end up pacing by the hole, the damned thing. It was calling out to her, wishing for her to fall through yet again. But how could she? She couldn't leave her mother behind after traveling for so long on business, and she was nowhere near getting married and moving out. At the ripe age of twenty-one, her mother already showed concern that she would never marry. Margaret, she had been reminded, had been married at nineteen, as had the Chattaway sisters.
No. Enough of marriage. She would be married - one day, in the future. But this was now. And this time she would do it. She would go down the hole. She didn't have to stay long. She could just visit. Yes, she would say hello, catch up with whomever was at the tea party, then have the White Rabbit escort her back up to London again. No one in London had to know she was gone.
Alice took a deep breath and closed her eyes. She lifted one foot, placed it over the hole, and-
Alice jumped and fell backwards, away from the hole instead of towards it.
"Mother said I would find you here. Always on business, just like father." Margaret, Alice's older sister, was walking towards her, huffing in her usual pretty, but frilly dress.
"Come now, I have found the perfect dress for you to wear next month."
"Next month?" repeated Alice.
"Really, where is your head today, Alice? I have been talking about it nonstop for the past several days! It is Lowell's and my fifth-year anniversary next month, and we're hosting a dinner party at our home."
"Oh," said Alice, biting her lip. "How could I forget?"
Scumbag. Lowell was only lucky Alice hadn't caught him sneaking off with another pretty, naïve girl. One more slip-up, Alice had promised herself, and Lowell's dark deeds would be out in the open. Hours later, after a terribly uncomfortable carriage ride, Alice found herself at Gibb Manor – the 'home' of Margaret and Lowell. Alice was looking into a mirror, less than thrilled with what she saw.
"What do you think?" asked Margaret expectantly with a big smile. Alice fluffed the dress a little. She didn't want to hurt her sister's feelings, but she also didn't want to show up to a formal dinner party looking like a swollen eggplant.
"It's very pretty, but I don't usually wear purple and yellow together, Margaret."
The Hatter looked left.
Then he looked right.
He turned around in a full circle, green eyes scanning every nook and cranny.
One gloved hand dove into his pocket. A split second later, he was holding a vial of burgundy liquid in front of him, examining it with an intense stare.
But one drop on the tongue, and that should help you forget the dreams that plague you so.
That was what the White Queen had said.
It takes a bit of time to kick in, but it should work. Just one drop, do you understand me, Tarrant? Beyond one drop and it will do more than you will ever expect.
He had assured her he understood the value of one drop.
The Hatter looked around again. He would drink this potion, he had decided on the way back from the White Castle, then go to the world above. Not for Alice, he tried to convince himself. He would go merely to see what it was like up in her world. It was only fair, was it not? She had the opportunity to see his world – their world – shouldn't he get the same opportunity?
Yes. That would be why he would go up, and if he ran into her, so be it! He wouldn't remember the nasty dreams he was having by then anyway.
He uncorked the vial and lifted the edge carefully to his lips. He felt one drop touch his tongue.
"You're not actually going through with this are you?"
The Hatter jumped and inhaled in a gasp, the liquid being sucked into his nostrils and stinging the back of his throat. He coughed roughly as a result. The vial fell to the grass with a quiet shatter, and the remaining burgundy liquid stained the bottom of his pants.
"So sorry. Those were your good pants." The Cheshire Cat appeared out of thin air in front of the Hatter, that smug grin traveling from ear to ear. The Hatter was still coughing, trying to catch his breath.
"Go through with what?" asked the Hatter between gasps, and the Cat brushed his tail against the man's orange-stained face.
"Going to the world above," the Cat clarified in a drawl.
"What makes you think that?" asked the Hatter defensively, and the Cat looked around.
"You're standing by McTwisp's door to London, and you're drinking something. Though you haven't shrunk, so perhaps I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. What are you doing?"
"Well, I was going to go to London," he began slowly, but he saw the look on Chessur's face. "It's not what you think! I couldn't dream of bringing Alice here against her will. I just- I want to see what it's like up there."
"And our Alice has nothing to do with it?"
"No," the Hatter lied. "Not at all." He was holding another vial now, one with clear liquid known to make the drinker shrink. Okay, so he had ingested a tad more than one drop of the White Queen's potion beforehand, but that wasn't his fault! It was Chessur's! Surely the potion would realize this and he would be all right? Potions always had good minds of their own here in Underland. Some of them, anyway.
"Tarrant, don't hurt yourself up there. McTwisp can handle himself, but I worry for you."
"I'm a grown man," The Hatter insisted, fixing his top hat with dignity. "I will be fine."
"Suit yourself, Tarrant," the Cheshire Cat, beginning to float away. "I will be here, keeping your seat at the table warm for your return."
"Thanks, Chess. I'll be back before you know it."
"That," the Cat said to himself as the Hatter began to shrink, "is what Alice said, and look how that turned out."
A/N: So, what did you think? :) R&R for the next chapter!