Whatever, I have a problem. Leave me alone. :( Also I… really don't know what this even is, but I had to do it. I've been wanting to write something like this for, um, forever. So yes! Inspired by All Time Low's Painting Flowers, from the Almost Alice CD. Yes, I'm a dork.
Title is... actually supposed to mean 'annex'. As well as 'an ex'. Well, it makes sense to me.
Disclaimer: I own nothing someone else does.
The Hatter was going mad. Madder.
Every morning, he poured an extra cup of tea. Every evening, he cleared it away. He offered scones around the table, and set aside a blueberry one for Alice. But, oh, Alice didn't like blueberries. He picked those out for her, set them down on her plate with a fond smile.
Mallymkun and the March Hare watched this with concern. They had thought the Mad Hatter would be… less mad.
Above them, the skies of Underland were a bright, clear blue.
No, he wasn't Mad. He was rather saner now.
But he missed Alice, and pretending she was there made him so much less lonely. Sometimes – and this was a secret no one knew – he almost thought she was back. He could very nearly see her, tumble of golden curls and frilly blue dress, small enough to sit in the palm of his hand.
Why are you never the right size, Alice? The Hatter thought, a bit sadly. They couldn't hold a proper conversation when they couldn't even stand eye-to-eye. Or sit, for that matter.
The Hatter took a bite of his scone.
The blueberries were sour.
He would have liked to dance with his Alice. Just once, when she was the right size, clinking around in armor and finally stepping into her real life. He had liked her in that one moment, eyes bright and chin raised in something noble. She had validated his existence when she accepted their world as real.
Their world. That was nice.
But she hadn't had the time for him, had she? No time for Futterwackening or even one last drink. Not even a proper goodbye. How did she know that going back was the right thing to do?
Maybe if he looked hard enough, he would find another Jabberwocky. He could slay it, probably, and then call Alice back.
That would be nice.
The Hatter woke up to the memory of thick curls of hair sliding out of his grasp, and his most precious little girl's laughter in his ears.
He looked around. The table sagged under the weight of full cups of cold tea and plates of blueberry-free blueberry scones.
But Alice was gone.
The Hatter sighed.
He had always known that, hadn't he?
Thirteen years later, Alice appeared again. Her hair, her lovely long hair, was cut short, and she wore a white dress. She wore a hat not unlike The Hatter's, perched at a jaunty angle on her head.
"Is it tea-time, Hatter?"
She had no wrinkles, and she looked no older. She said nothing about her life aboveground when they sat down to drink, and he wondered if she was going to stay again.
He patted her on the hand and gave her a plate of the scones he had been saving just for her.
"I miss you, Hatter," she said.
"But you're here now," he reminded her.
Alice didn't answer.
The next morning, the Hatter poured a fresh cup of tea and threw away the still-full plate of scones. He took out a new one and began to pick out the blueberries for Alice, carefully, so they wouldn't crumble.
The Hatter was going mad.