Summary: Somehow, this epilogue became a story. Now witness what happens when Alice realize that Wonderland wasn't something made in her mind, but that it touches reality very directly. You can find a short synopsis at my livejournal, I use the same nickname there.
A/N: I wanted to write an epilogue to the movie, an alternative ending. I loved the movie, it was a great movie and a great ending, but I was devastated. I felt so hopeless after the movie; I felt very sad. As I couldn't find any fiction that suited my needs, I decided to write one myself. I haven't written in a long time and this is the first fic I write in English (before, I only translated fics written in German). So, if anyone finds mistakes or awkward wording, please point it out to me and I will collect them for doing better.
This wasn't supposed to be an epic, maybe 3-4 chapters, but sometimes stories dance on the top of my nose and do what they want.
I'm happy about every kind of review! I take concrit and love it!
ETA: I have corrected some spelling mistakes.
Disclaimer: I don't own any characters or locations from Lewis Carroll's novels Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, nor do I own any characters or locations from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. All rights go to Lewis Carroll, Tim Burton, Linda Woolverton, Disney, etc.
Seeing you again
Alice took a deep breath. She would swear the air had a different taste. It made no sense and her mind held that big sign in front of her mental eye: This makes no sense.
She shook her head, what happened to her? Since when was she one of those who couldn't think one step further as soon as something seemed illogical?
She knew the days where madness lay behind every corner were long gone, this, maybe, was the reason she felt the margins of her own mind. She didn't know yet if that was good or bad.
With a new, deep breath she opened her eyes again. The sea was more grayish than blue, for grey was the heaven above, it would rain soon. Now that was nothing causing suspiciousness in England.
She wasn't here for a long time but now she came back to her home. She had seen so many things, so many wonders and so many things of madness she couldn't share with anyone for the fear of being thought as mad herself.
But how many bad things had she seen? How much malevolence experienced? She couldn't bear what happened soon after the company had landed successfully in China. They didn't stay alone for too long; other traders appeared brought something horrible with themselves: Laudanum.
They started to make great opium plants in India and yet they weren't suffice for those people, they started trading it into China. Alice had seen what that drug made of people; she had seen how people got sick of it and how it made them unable to work, unable to speak, unable to think.
At last she had to witness her own boss, Lord Ascot, the best friend of her father, fall victim to this horrible thing. It was harmless, he said, everyone does it, he said. Everyone working in China and everyone of the high class in England did it. Especially the artists and poets which were held like pets by the lords furthered the use of that laudanum. Now he was too sick to be involved in any direct activity and when it was decided that he went home, she decided to go with him.
Five years were gone by, but there hadn't been much of a change by now. Her sister Margaret had made herself a wonderful home; she knew nothing of the affair of her husband, he was too afraid of Alice and her new grown influence to ever start a new one.
Her mother had died more than a year ago and since then she hadn't heard much of her sister. But Alice knew she would be welcomed and that Margaret always kept a room for her, as it made no sense to own an own home If she wasn't there most of the year, for several years in a row.
A few days were gone when Alice snapped out of the clouds surrounding her mind. The welcome by Margaret and her husband was cordially but a bit distanced. Margaret hadn't gone well with the funeral of her mother, all alone, with no support by her beloved sister. Alice couldn't give her any support right then and she couldn't when she returned. Too many thoughts occupied her, coming back to this country, this town, to all these memories…
Those days, she had sat there in her chamber and gave her sister nothing but worries. She asked what went wrong, why she was that way, what she was missing and how she could help. But she couldn't do anything, it was nothing wrong. Alice was just overwhelmed by her own memories, her own thoughts.
Lord Ascot was back with his family, who now had to care for him. For the whole journey she had that job, caring for him, and it prevented her from thinking too much.
It was different in these days. She couldn't forget over the things that happened shortly before she began her big plans, she couldn't procrastinate. Now the thought of Wonderland was back. She came from a Wonderland, like she did before, but both were so very different. She had a new perspective on madness now and knew that not everything called madness was mad at all.
She knew why she had always felt well down there, especially the last time she went there, no matter under what strange and dangerous circumstances.
She knew that those madmen, that madness, weren't that at all. She like those people, she liked that world. It wasn't mad – it was different and through many people in England seemed to be deeply afraid of difference, all that she felt was curiosity – as it was always.
Alice knew that day she said farewell to the hatter it was a farewell forever. She had lied to him, knowing he would've tried to stop her otherwise and it would have hurt him even more to not be able to. She couldn't see him suffer; he was so nice that time, so totally different from their first encounter. He had changed a lot although he hadn't made up with Time yet when they met again – he had grown to be an adventurer, he had grown to be a hero in the moments most needed – a leader, a revolutionary, a loyal man to the Queen. She hadn't understood how he changed so much and why he was acting so strange in front of her, why he was calculating her height that often. What did become of him by now? Did he still have tea parties with Mallymkun and the Marchhare? Or was he calmly doing hats for the White Queen and her court? Did he remember her or did… he even exist?
After all that time she wasn't sure she hadn't made up everything or large parts of it… her visits to Wonderland always happened at very important moments of her life and they had always led to a big change, especially in her character. Maybe it was only her way of growing into an adult woman because since that time she never felt any presence of Wonderland. The blue butterfly she thought was Absolem had left as soon they had left the haven and since then she was all for herself.
And yet, through never being sure of reality and fantasy, she… missed them. She missed them all, she missed the adventures. It wasn't like she had none in the past years – she had more of them than enough – but that all didn't count without the right people at her side.
And those people never existed.
She stroke her fingers through her hair which she still preferred to wear unbound, for unbound she was. How could she bring herself to such torment? Why had she even started thinking of this!
Wonderland was a hallucination, not more, there was no evidence for it, how could she miss persons that were not even there and to whom she would never have a possibility of making contact again?
Even when she had those moments that she agreed with her heart, accepted that she wanted back into that word, she knew that… this would never happen. Even if that world existed, she had no way of going back and she knew that when she said the hatter goodbye. In the very moment everything she saw turned into smoke, she knew she had made the wrong decision and that she couldn't take it back. She had lived well with this decision and learned to make the best of it in her world – but now, she knew she wasn't happy with all the success she had and she wasn't too sure if she could ever be happy again.
This stingy feeling of never being able to feel happiness again should intensify in the coming days. She had opened up to her sister, much to her liking, and tried to find a way back into normal society. Not like that was something she ever was good in…
However after accomplishing the facsimile of normalness something bad happened: Margaret showed That Face.
Alice recognized That Face before and she knew too well that she didn't like it. It was That Face her mother had worn all too often and That Face was always worn by Margaret in company on such occasions. It was That Face which said: Oh Alice! I found someone wonderful for you! Will you now please marry, yes? Thanks! Bye!
It was the face that promised a perfect husband – on account of the norms and economics of the time she lived in. This meant a husband she would never touch with a pole if he was the last civilized man on this very planet. It was not like she had something against men all together – it was just how her mother and her sister never had considered what she wanted in a man: Kindness, openness, maybe some wit and especially a good heart. All her relatives had looked into was making a good financial deal or bringing her up in society – at best both.
She deeply feared That Face, because she was slowly running out of options how to turn down an offered hand, especially now that she was at home and had no big journey in front of her. All her business she could do in the headquarters, despite being a woman she would soon be the representative of the company. Her head ached while thinking that intensively of running away or making excuses why to not agree with the choice her sister had made. But then she saw something else: Margarets husband wasn't happy. Now that was a surprising development. Usually he was very happy when another husband was chosen for her, because that would mean he would soon be rid of her and he probably hoped she would loose her influence and become a dear housewife to whoever the new target was.
However he looked outright miserable now, whatever could be the reason for this?
At the dinner table, she felt a downright cold breeze running down her back when her sister opened her mouth to speak: