Disclaimer: I don't own Alice in Wonderland, or any characters, places, things, or ideas therein. Those belong to Lewis Carroll, Disney, Tim Burton, etc. I am writing this fic for entertainment purposes only, not monetary gain.

Summary: His heartbeat against my too-small body made me hope, as impossible as it was, that Wonderland really was real. AlicexHatter

Rating: K+

Warnings: Slight violence

Pairing: Alice/Hatter

Spoilers: Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland

Dedication: To all the lovely, warm, welcoming people who have reviewed and favorited and put on your alert lists me and my stories since I've entered the Alice in Wonderland fandom. Thank you all so much, and I hope you enjoy this little piece!

Special Thanks: Credit, as always, goes to the lovely jewel of athos for her wonderful beta job -- my stories would be basically nothing without her. Thanks girl! -hugs-

Author's Note: This little piece takes place during the scene when Hatter is running away with Alice from the card soldiers and Stayne in the woods. Thank you all for reading this, and I most sincerely hope you enjoy it! ~fyd





Everything was moving too fast. I just couldn't keep up with it! And it wasn't just my size, which was so small I could easily ride on the brim of a top hat. No, it was the fact that everyone was expecting me to be something I was not and could never be, and that some of them didn't even have confidence in me to begin with.

We were running, fleeing from the rapid approach of card soldiers. I had already been stuffed into a teapot to avoid these characters (a move I did not appreciate), but this time I had to admit the accommodations were a little nicer. Hatter had tucked me into the pocket of his coat and was even then holding me steady with his hand, careful not to crush me, though it would be so easy since he was so large, and I was so, so very small. His hands looked and felt rough, but he had always handled me with a gentleness I found almost surprising.

Then again, it made sense. I had, after all, dreamed him up. Though it figured that only I could dream up a Mad Hatter, with bright, almost inhuman eyes that changed color with his mood, frizzy orange hair topped with a battered but still regal top hat, and wildly colorful clothes that would look horrible on anyone else.

I curled up in his pocket, hanging on to one of his fingers for balance. The bandages that wrapped it made me wonder what lay beneath -- if I had dreamed him up, why had I done it in a way that hurt him? For a moment I had an overwhelming but irrational urge to unwind the bandage and press a kiss to whatever injury was there, like my mother used to do to the various scrapes and bruises I came to her with as a child. But I swallowed back the impulse and hung on as he raced through the dark, frightening woods, trying to save us both from the enemy that was drawing ever-closer behind us.

Hatter suddenly came to a halt, looking over his shoulder once. I felt his heartbeat drumming against my too-small body, and suddenly I hoped, as impossible as it seemed, that Wonderland was real. A man as wonderful and kind and gentle and protective as the Hatter, after all, couldn't be a dream -- not entirely, anyway…

He pulled off his hat with one hand, at the same time drawing me out of his pocket with the other. I sensed his urgency before I saw it on his face, in his eyes, which were pale yellow instead of the green I found I liked most. He gently set me on the brim of his beloved Hat, and I grasped handfuls of the fabric around the top of it and sat down as he lifted it up so we were as close to being face-to-face as we could be, considering our size differences. "Hold on tight," he whispered. Then he drew back his arm and threw the Hat, with me on board, across the water that kept him from following me.

I was thrown free of the Hat as it hit the ground, and I rolled to a stop in the grass. Scrambling to my feet, I moved around it so I could see across the water, feeling my hands curl into fists as I saw Hatter turn to face the oncoming soldiers, lift his arms triumphantly, and shout, "Down with the Bloody Big-Head!" just as the first of them came into sight out of the tree line.

Then the card soldiers were upon him, and I lost sight of him. Biting my lower lip to hold in a scream or a sob, I wasn't sure which, I turned and crawled under the brim of Hatter's sacrificed Hat. It was his most prized possession, I knew, and he had given it -- and himself, even more than that -- up to save me.

In this twisted, upside-down world, he believed in me when I didn't even believe in myself. I owed it to him to find out where those soldiers had taken him and rescue him. And I would find a way, even if I was smaller than a mouse at the moment.

With that firmly in mind, I curled up under the Hat, which smelled of tea, exotic fabrics, and just a hint of wood smoke, and rested up for the rescue to come.

~The End~


Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed!