So here's the final chapter! Sorry for the wait; I wanted to get it just right. I hope you all like it, and don't forget to review!
The entire castle was busy, hanging up flowers and setting out chairs in the courtyard, and the royal musicians were taking their seats and practising for what was about to happen that afternoon. Up in one of the many rooms of the castle, Tabitha was helping her mother into a beautiful white and blue dress, of similar designs to the one she said she wore the day she first returned to Underland. Of course, there was not a corset or a pair of stockings in sight.
"I can't believe how quickly it's gone," Tabitha commented, who herself was wearing a matching dress, only it had tints of green in it to match her eyes.
"Neither can I," Alice admitted, just as Tabitha finished tying up the final lace. "But I guess Time flies when you're having fun, as one would say."
"Oh yes, having lots of fun with my father," Tabitha said with a smirk.
Alice found herself blushing. It was during their love making two weeks before that the Hatter had whispered to her in his Outlandish brogue "marry me", and who was she to argue when he said it in such a way? And right in the middle of giving her pleasure, no doubt. Since then, they had been doing it whenever they could, to the annoyance of a certain daughter and a certain dormouse. The two of them had become good friends, unsurprisingly.
"Tabby, please," Alice told her, trying to hide her blush. "It's been thirteen years since I last saw him, and we were just making up for lost time, so to speak."
Tabitha sighed. Sure, she was happy that her parents were finally together again and getting married, but she would like to spend some time with them, too. They tried, of course, but Tabitha always found herself making a hasty escape when her parents kissed, which turned a bit more passionate than first intended.
"I would like to spend some time with you and Father, though," she spoke aloud. "I know you're in love, an all, and I'm happy for you both, but every second it's kiss, kiss, after kiss-"
Alice smiled at how like her father Tabitha was.
"Believe me, Tabby, you'll understand when you find that special someone," she explained to her daughter. "If your father will let any boys near you, that is."
"Don't worry, I think I'm gonna catch up on the childhood I missed before I even consider finding a boyfriend," Tabitha stated. "I missed out on so much, and I would like to have some bonding time with Father."
A smile crept across Alice's face as she sat down in front of the mirror. It made her so happy to see the love of her life and their daughter getting along so well; no more than a couple of days ago, Tabby had stolen his hat and danced away with it, and Tarrant had chased her, caught her, and then tickled her until she could barely breathe. And he had already started teaching Tabitha the Futterwacken.
"I know he'd be happy to hear that," she sighed, pinning a non-human faced daisy in her long blonde hair, which was flowing down her back. "That means he won't have to get his scissors and pins out just yet."
"Why scissors and pins?" Tabitha questioned. "He uses those anyway, when he's making hats."
"No, he said that if a boy ever got near you, he'd chase them away using scissors and pins," Alice said, snickering at the memory of it.
Tabitha couldn't help but laugh at the mental image of her mad hatter father chasing away young boys, scissors in hand and throwing pins at them all.
"I like it that he's protective," she stated. "It makes me feel safe."
"Yes, and especially now there's another little one on the way," Alice spoke quietly, in case there was anyone listening.
She had found out that she was pregnant with hers and Hatter's second child not very long after their first "love making" session, and she had kept it a secret from everyone, save the White Queen and her daughter. She wanted it to be a surprise, especially for Hatter.
"When are you going to tell Father, anyway?" Tabitha asked, as she gave her hair a bit of a brush.
"After tonight," Alice replied. "I want our wedding night to be special, and the last thing I want is him taking it easy because I'm with child. I know we have been doing it these past few weeks, but I'll never convince Tarrant of that. I don't want it getting in the way."
"Mother, you say that like you two never do anything," Tabitha said with a raised eyebrow.
Alice smiled before she stood up, flowers in hand, and ready as she could ever be. Together, she and Tabitha walked along the white corridors until they arrived outside, where many were waiting for them. Mallymkun, who was a bridesmaid alongside Tabitha; the Tweedles, who were both page boys, and each had a basket of flower petals; McTwisp, who had offered to walk Alice down the aisle; and the Bandersnatch, who she was to ride to the courtyard like a white horse at a normal wedding. But this was no normal wedding.
"My, don't you all look lovely," Alice complimented them all. "Even you, Bandy."
She admired how clean the large beast looked, since he had been rather frumious before.
"You have no idea how long it took us to clean him," Tabitha commented.
Her mother ignored her complaints as two of the queen's footmen helped her up, sitting side-saddle style on the Bandersnatch before Tabitha led him across Marmoreal and towards the courtyard. The entire courtyard was covered in beautiful white roses, creating a beautiful scene as Alice arrived with a big smile on her face. The footmen helped her down again, and seeing that they were ready, the White Queen signalled for everybody to rise as the music started to play. Alice walked down the aisle with McTwisp at her side, Tabitha following on behind with Mallymkun, and the Tweedles bringing up the rear. The two boys were scattering flower petals, but began pushing a shoving each other when Tweedledee supposedly threw some of the petals in Tweedledum's face.
But Alice couldn't bring herself to care. The scene was nothing short of perfection. Her smile crept even wider when her eyes fell upon the Hatter, standing in front of Mirana and wearing the very kilt which made her shiver with excitement. Chessur floated beside him, holding a box which Alice guessed must have the rings in. She wondered why Tarrant even chose Chessur to be his best man (or cat, in this case), since they had never really been on very good terms, but on second thoughts, he was a better choice than Thackery. The Hare would probably end up losing the rings, or chucking them in a fit of madness.
When they arrived up at the front, the others went to take their seats whilst Alice stood in front of the Hatter, who smiled a grin wider than Chessur's when he saw how beautiful his wife-to-be looked.
"You're beautiful," he complimented, his eyes lingering on the border of his usual green and passionate blue.
Alice found herself blushing before they both turned to face the White Queen.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, and animals," she began, "we are gathered here today in holy matrimony to witness the union of Underland's great Champion, and our very own Royal Hatter. Never have I seen two people more perfect for one another. Have you both written your vows."
Alice just nodded before she turned to face Hatter.
"Hatter...Tarrant," she began, "I had always dreamed about falling in love as a little girl, and going on a grand adventure. And when I met you, I experienced both. And in a way, true love is an adventure in itself. When we first kissed, I felt something deep inside of me; something which told me that...you would be the only one for me. I could never love anyone else after that. I don't know why I ever even considered leaving you...you gave me your heart, and a daughter...I have never been so grateful to anyone as much as I am to you, and I will spend the rest of my life thanking you for what you did for me. My father excluded, you are the only one ever to truly understand me. And no matter what life throws at us, I vow to always love you...forever."
Everyone, even the White Queen, were fighting to hold back their tears.
"Tarrant?" she asked.
The Hatter nodded, before turning back to Alice.
"Alice," he began. "My beautiful, right-sized Alice. I lost my heart to you from the moment I first saw you the second time, waltzing towards me with some of your muchness missing. I helped you find your muchness again, something which I would do a thousand times again, and a thousand times after that. You brought hope back into my life, Alice. And you brought love, too. I never knew that I was going round as just a half until I met you. You completed me. That one kiss made me whole, and I have no doubt that it made you whole, too. But then you had to leave, and I had to go round as a half again. I couldn't believe how I had coped before you, since it was unbearable. You had promised to return, though, and it was that one promise which kept me sane throughout. But I was still suffering, like before when I was waiting for you to return the second time. And then, one day, a young girl appeared at the Tea Party instead, and she turned out to be your daughter. My daughter. Our daughter. And she made me so happy once more. You both do. And I vow to love you both forever, even after the day I die."
Even the Bandersnatch was sniffing on his tears.
"The rings?" Mirana asked.
Chessur held out the box which the Queen took, holding one out each to both Alice and the Hatter. They each took them, and holding out their hands, placed the rings on.
"Alice Kingsleigh, do you take Tarrant Hightopp to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, to love and to cherish, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, from this day forwards, till death do you part?"
"Death could never part us," Alice spoke, before she nodded. "And I do."
"Tarrant Hightopp, do you take Alice Kingsleigh to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, to love and to cherish, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, from this day forwards, till death do you part?"
"I agree with Alice," Tarrant agreed. "Death could never part us. And I do."
"In that case, I pronounce you both husband and wife," she said happily. "You may kiss the bride."
"Finally!" the Hatter cried, before he dipped Alice and kissed her passionately.
The crowd cheered and threw hats in the air, and Tabitha clapped loudly above the noise. For she knew, as did her parents, that she was illegitimate no longer.
She had been legitimized.
TA-DA! A big thanks to those who reviewed, and for those who didn't...meh.
There's won't be a sequel, sadly, but I have lots of other AIW fics up and more coming soon! The ones I have up now are Little Alice In Wonderland (just a friendship, this one, but still), But Now You're Back (a romance), Musical Madness! (a collection of songfics, mostly Alice/Hatter) and Return To Wonderland: Through The Looking-Glass (a sort of sequel to the film, how I would write it). Please give those a read, too!
And if you want more great reads, check out my Community called Almost Alice. And please also check out my forum The Underland Underground Resistance.
So, until next time, Fairfarren!