'Ello, all! Rosebud5 here...again. Haha... Anywho, this is my first AliceXHatter chapter story...Though I have many one-shots and one two-shot about 'em. This story is based off the song "The Poision" by the All American Rejects from the Almost, Alice CD (my current favorite CD that I listen to 24/7!)
At the start of each chapter I'll have some of the lyrics from the song that goes along with the chappy (and yes, the lyrics are in order as they are in the song.)
This fic is not in any way related to my other Alice-Returns-To-Underland-and-the-Hatter story "The Raven and the Writing Desk." This one is a bit darker and more angsty. But if you want to read my "The Raven and the Writing Desk" and "The Raven and the Writing Desk Pt. II," far be it from me to stop you! *Wink, wink, hint hint...Lol*

I hope you enjoy this and please REVIEW AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!!! :)

PS: If you haven't heard that song ("The Poison"), I highly suggest you listen to is ASAP. It's a wonderful song and perfectly HatterXAlice!

Disclaimer: Yes, I DO own "Alice in Wonderland" and the characters therein...IN MY DREAMS!!! No, I own none of these characters nor do I own "Alice in Wonderland"...That really should go without saying...:P


Chapter One:

You were so young; I guess I'm old
Open your eyes; I'll keep mine closed
I perfer standing; you take your seat
I'll be wide awake; you'll be asleep

Rain. The one weather that could ruin anybody's day. Especially when you felt like your heart was shattered into a thousand pieces and scattered around all of Underland. Which is exactly how Tarrant Hightopp was feeling and had been feeling for exactly 389 days. He had been counting. After all, what else was there for him to do now that Alice was gone other than count the days he had been without her?

Pitiful? Maybe. But that was quite frankly how he had felt every day since Alice had gone back to Overland. Oh sure, he put on the act that nothing was wrong with him, and that he didn't even miss Alice. He still had his tea parties with Mally and the Hare; he still told unsolvable riddles with Chessur; he even Futterwackened on the rarest of occasions when the White Queen requested it. But it was all an act. A mask he forced on each day. He sighed and turned away from the window of his darkened home, leaning against the wall. He looked around his house and shook his head. Hats. Hundreds and hundreds of hats in every nook and cranny. Hats for Alice.

Another thing that had changed since Alice left? He had never made so many hats in his life. Yes, he always made dozens of hats a month. But never dozens of hats a day. And that was what he was currently doing. Making about twelve or thirteen hats a day. All for Alice. Oh, she was coming back. He knew she was. And he was planning on have hats for her return so she would remember him. After all, if she saw the hats he made for her, she would have to remember her Hatter. She would have to.

He sat down at his sewing table and reached for a new pelt of material for yet another hat. He then dipped the hat into a tub of liquid by the table to cure it. He held it there for a moment, wincing at the odor wafting from the tub. He wasn't sure what it was, but something in the liquid made his head spin and his vision blur. For as long as he had worked with the odd mixture that cured the pelts, he still wasn't quite used to the stench and how it made him feel afterwards. In fact, it was quite often after he cured the pelts that he went mad. In the past 389 days, he had gone mad about six times a day. And always afterwards be would feel so tired that he would have to lay down for hours. He knew something was wrong with the mixture, but since he had no idea what it was, he tried to ignore it.

Suddenly, Hatter got to his feet, knocking over his chair in the process. His eyes burned gold and black lined his flaming orbs so dark that his eyes glowed like candles. He ran to the window, gazing out into the rain. Alice. Yes, it was her!! He saw her running through the rain, away from his house! She was back! At last! Alice was back!

Shoving open the door, Hatter raced out into the pouring rain, slamming the door behind him. His vision was blurred and a great roaring filled his ears, which the rain didn't help whatsoever. He saw her again! Just vanishing behind a tree! He raced past his tea-table and towards the tree hiding his beloved Alice. But when he got there...

"Nothing," he whispered, his voice heavy with a Scottish accent. "What game are you playing, Alice?" he screamed, the rain pelting him hard. He turned. There she was again! Running into the forest. "Alice!" he called, chasing after her. "Why are you running away? It's me! Tarrant!" And he ran into the forest. He shoved aside branch after branch, not really feeling it when one scratched his cheek. Rain continued to nail him, stabbing him everywhere along with thorns and brambles off trees and bushes. "Alice!" he called, his voice cracking. "You're not Chess! It's not your job to vanish into thin air! It's not a game you know!"

He kept on running, his heartbeat pounding unsteadily in his ears. Why was she running from him? What was--


He stopped, closing his eyes, breathing heavily. He had gone mad. Horribly, insanely mad. There was no Alice. He had become delusional. He sank to the forest ground, feeling the rain hammer onto him...feeling the sting of a thousand cuts on his face and hands. Slowly, his eyes opened again, the flaming gold they had been dimming into a pale yellow. He sighed, leaning back against a near-by tree, exhaustion and helplessness filling him. Breathing deeply, he closed his eyes, feeling an interminable darkness seep into his spinning brain. And the last thing he felt was the rain slipping down his face like tears.

Well? There was chapter one for you all! I hope you enjoyed it! I just love writing about Tarrant...He's just so tangled and mad that when you write complete nonsense for his thoughts, it's perfectly alright!

Well all I can say now is...REVIEW!!! The more reviews I get, the faster chapter two comes together! :)