Summary: Alice is nearly three years older and madder when she finishes her business in China. With an unexpected birthday gift she finds herself on a path to discover more of herself and Underland with a rather mad hatter at her side. AxT
Disclaimer: I only claim to think up the plot of this story. I do not own Alice in Wonderland, any version past or present. They belong to their rightful owners (That being Lewis Carroll, Tim Burton and the like) and short of taking over the world, I have no right to any of them. I am doing this for amusement purposes and am gaining no money from it. In other words, I am just going to borrow them to play with for a few dozen chapters. Although, if Burton so wishes to pay me by way of Mad Hatter, we should talk…
A/N: Okay, so… I've been really busy lately going this way and that trying to get my life into some kind of order and recently was promoted into a leadership role in Disney. But the call of writing fan fiction couldn't be held off for too long. Even though I may be writing this within the time that Tarrant fan girls run wild, it probably will be posted much later, but hey, I need to get it out of my system. I hope you like because I really loved the movie and felt that the ending should have been better. Really, Burton, give us fan girls some loving. On top of everything else, some things may be a little confusing plot wise, since I will be referencing Through the Looking Glass quite often along with the movie. I will explain through author's notes as we go on, if need be. If I do this correctly, I won't need to as often as I think I will. Always up for a challenge! Especially when I am the one that makes things more complicated in the first place. Now, without further ado, here is my contribution to the AiW fandom!
Can't Go Back to Yesterday
By Ana the Romantic
"I can't go back to yesterday- because I was a different person then."
-Alice, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
By Lewis Carroll
A gentle breeze flavored with the salty taste of the ocean swept across the deck of the Wonder as she made her way into the dock. The wood of the old dock creaked against the lapping waves in the distance as other ships and boats came into view. Some of the crew ran to prepare the ship for her final port, some stood at the bow to watch their home grow closer… as others looked back out to sea. The vastness of the world began to shrink the closer that the crew came to land. Places that were not even imagined while in London were fading back into their minds as memories and the grip of absolute freedom was melting away.
At least that's what it felt like to Alice Kingsley.
Alice gripped the railing of the Wonder as the ocean disappeared from view and the fact that she was coming back to England- a place she had always wished to escape- was slammed to the forefront of her mind. She felt the familiar, gentle bump of the side of the Wonder kiss the dock and patted the railing under her hands in a fond farewell.
"It has been an adventure," she whispered to the ship as if it was listening, "And I thank you for it, my dear friend. Fairfarren, Wonder."
"Thinking back on our trip, my dear?" a tired voice said from behind her.
Alice turned with a small smile to Lord Ascot who held a few of the trading papers under one arm. She nodded and walked to his side as they made their way to the gangplank, "As it seems I will do for years to come."
"Now, no feeling melancholy on your return home," he waved a finger in her face as if she was still a young child, "You have done us well. The company will survive on this venture for years to come all thanks to you, Alice."
"Thank you for the flattery, my lord," she blushed a little, still unaccustomed to the adoration, "I just wish I was there to enjoy the growth of the company along with you."
During much of the trading delegations she was asked to leave the room while Lord Ascot read from the notes she had written. Just for the fact that she was a woman. It infuriated her each time since it was her work and tireless hours poured out onto the table in front of them in the meetings. The men from both China and from her own father's company did not look on her with the respect that she deserved, nor earned. It seemed as if Lord Ascot was the only one who knew what a mastermind she really was and the asset to the company that she had become. For over two years, nearly three, she dealt with the uncompromising minds of their trading colleges. Now on the eve of her twenty-second birthday, she was finally feeling that she had accomplished her part in her father's dream- even if others didn't recognize her as the driving force behind the success.
"They will see the truth of it all soon enough, my apprentice," he patted her on the back and looked out on the dock at the small group that had come to greet them, "It looks as if my wife has come to greet me. My son must be busy with that new wife of his."
"I was so happy to hear from your wife's letters that he had finally found someone suitable for his indigestion," Alice smiled to herself.
"Indeed," Lord Ascot chuckled a little and then turned his eyes to the small group to the side of his wife, "And it seems as if your mother and sister have come to see you home as well."
Alice lifted her eyes to her family. Her sister, Margaret, held a small bundle in her arms, covered with blue and white lace. Alice smiled to herself when the thought that the small baby boy in her arms was made of the material himself since she had yet to see any of her nephew's skin. Lowell was nowhere to be seen, as Alice would prefer as she still did not take kindly to the man. Margaret smiled to her little sister and cooed at the little one in her arms.
Alice turned then to her mother who smiled at seeing her daughter returned, but had a crease in her forehead. Alice knew that crease well. It meant that her mother didn't approve of something.
Alice looked to herself and the clothing that she had chosen. In her two years abroad, she filled out in all the right places a young lady should and couldn't be mistaken as a young lad anymore, even when she decided to wear trousers. The suit that she wore on her voyage home was similar in cut to the clothing she wore when she left. Although, instead of a light blue, she chose a variety of greens that was just on the right side of being considered mad. She always had a penchant for green. Especially since her last adventure down the rabbit hole. Suddenly she remembered why she felt her freedom slipping. There was always someone watching, someone judging, and someone disapproving.
"Well, I didn't wear them for mother to be enthused," she muttered to herself before she followed Lord Ascot from the Wonder.
Lord Ascot turned toward her before they made their way to their respected families, "I do have one surprise for you before we part ways for the night."
"And what is that?" Alice asked with a slight tilt of her head.
Ascot laughed lightly and turned her around to see something being taken from the ship. It was a rather large, rectangle object covered with a dusty sheet. Alice walked slowly toward it as it was placed with some of the other objects. She gripped the sheet and uncovered an ornate, gold framed mirror. The gold swirled and wrapped around itself as it cuddled and caressed the glass. Alice tried to take in the details, but her mind couldn't grasp them all. At least, not yet. Her surprised reflection shown back at her and she touched the frame in astonishment before she turned back to Ascot.
"You didn't have to-" she shook her head a little.
He held up a hand to stop her from going any further, "I saw it and felt as if it was made for you and had to get it. It is for your help with the company. And if you won't accept that answer, than consider it an early birthday gift."
"Thank you," Alice smiled genuinely and stroked the mirror once more before a few men wrapped it in the sheet again and lugged it toward her mother's carriage. Alice watched them closely to make sure they were being careful and sighed.
It was strange.
She could have sworn that she saw a large blue butterfly escape from under the sheet before the last rope was looped around the mirror.