This is basically the PJO version of Alice in Wonderland. If you've ever watched the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland, you'll get this story better and you'll understand it more.
I hope you like it! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own PJO or Alice in Wonderland!
Annabeth in Wonderland
Annabeth sighed for the millionth time that day. She was currently sitting against a tree on the edge of a forest, and she was also currently bored. Extremely bored. For the past half hour, she watched a tree nymph a little ways away make a flower necklace with some pink and blue flowers Annabeth had never seen before. Yeah, she was that bored.
She could have been reading a book, or studying Daedulus's laptop, or maybe even doing some of the camp activities, but she just didn't feel like it. She was lying to herself, though. She knew why she wasn't doing anything, but she just didn't want to admit it.
She missed Percy.
He had gone off during the fall to go to school at Goode High School. Sure he would Iris message her all the time, but it just wasn't the same. The last time she had seen him was on Christmas Eve when he had come down for Christmas break. Now it was getting close to June, and he would be arriving at camp sometime.
She sighed again and watched the tree nymph finish the necklace and place it around her neck. Then, it disappeared in its tree.
Annabeth, sad to have lost her source of entertainment, shifted around until she was leaning back against the tree farther so she could stare up at the sky.
That cloud kind of looks like a rabbit…she mildly thought, her mind going fuzzy. She yawned hugely, closely resembling a lion.
Man, I'm tired…
She let out a long breath and felt her eyes grow heavier and heavier until they closed.
Then, suddenly, there was a snap. Annabeth's eyes shot open and she looked up to see a pure white rabbit sitting on its hind legs, staring right at her, a carrot hanging out of its mouth.
Annabeth blinked and slowly sat up.
A rabbit? She thought. That's weird. I've never seen a rabbit at camp before.
She knew it had to be some sort of trick or something. Maybe the Stoll brothers had found her.
"Travis, Connor, I swear to Gods if this is a prank…" she called out.
There was no answer, only the sound of the leaves rustling through the small breeze that wafted by. The rabbit's ears twitched towards her and he wrinkled his nose, still munching on his carrot.
Annabeth's brow furrowed as she studied the rabbit more. This rabbit, for some odd reason, was wearing a waist coat. A red and green plaid one, to be exact. And was that a pocket watch hanging just out of the pocket?
Annabeth thought this was getting a little too strange, and she thought that maybe the best thing would be to leave and forget about this whole experience.
She stood up, but then the rabbit freaked out and darted a few yards away before stopping. Annabeth just stared at the rabbit, watching its small body heave up and down heavily with fast breathing.
She was about to just ignore it and start walking back to camp when the rabbit did the strangest thing that made Annabeth stop dead in her tracks.
It picked up the pocket watch and looked at the time. It must have not liked what it had seen, though, because its ear twitched and it suddenly hopped up and started running through the trees.
Annabeth, perplexed, stared at it for a second before making a quick decision. She followed it.
Why she did, she wasn't sure. Was it because rabbits were an odd thing to see at camp? Was it because of the waistcoat and pocket watch? Or was it because she was curious and needed adventure in her currently boring life?
Whatever the reason may be, she followed that dang rabbit, sprinting around bushes and dodging trees. She could just barely see the pure white fur of the rabbit a few yards ahead of her. She felt herself gasping for breath already, but she pushed herself harder, willing her legs to move faster.
Suddenly, the rabbit slowed down a bit and disappeared. Well, that's what it looked like to Annabeth, but in fact the rabbit had fallen down its rabbit hole.
Annabeth realized this too late.
She tried to stop, but she was carrying too much momentum and she practically ran into the hole.
"Ahh!" she screamed as she free-fell to Gods know where. The wind whipped through her hair as she tumbled through the air. Suddenly, she slowed down, though she could tell she was still falling.
She dared to open her eyes. Around her were dirt walls and below her was a black oblivion. Above her she could see the light from above ground starting to fade, and plants growing from the walls started to illuminate her journey to the center of the earth.
It's amazing I was able to fit through that hole…she thought in astonishment. She grimaced and looked back down. She didn't like this feeling of slowly falling. It made her feel queasy, but that feeling was ignored when, out of the blue, she saw…well, she wasn't sure what they were called.
They were two blue and purple rocking horses with wings, and they were about the size of a dragon fly. She watched, perplexed, as they whinnied at her and then flew around her to somewhere else.
Her jaw dropped as she saw more amazing sights coming up.
While she fell down to who knows where, random things floated up and past her, like rocking chairs and computer desks. There was a floating quill that was writing on a floating piece of paper. A mop and bucket were mopping the dirt walls, creating mud. Some dripped onto Annabeth's shoulder and she scowled at it.
What is this place?
Suddenly, she was falling in real time again. She screamed, but it was stopped when she clunked onto the ground with a thud.
"Ow…" she groaned, rubbing her head. She sat up and found she was in a room. The floor was tiled with black and white tiles in a checkered pattern. The wall paper was beige with small flowers printed all over it. All around her were wooden doors, each containing a brass knob.
Annabeth stood up, brow furrowed. She looked up to where she had fallen from but instead just found the ceiling.
Great, she thought. Now how do I get back?
She sighed at her predicament. Well, sitting around certainly won't help.
She stood up and decided to try all the doors. She tried the first one, but it was locked. Brow furrowed, she went onto the next one, but found that that too was locked. She tried the rest of them, but they were all locked.
She started to panic as she came to the very last door—it was rather small. It only came up to her waist and she found it a bit odd.
She started imagining what her life would be like stuck in this room. She'd either die from hunger or boredom. She didn't know which one was worse.
With great hope, she slowly reached down for the doorknob and gave it a twist. Her heart sank when it didn't even budge.
Then suddenly, the doorknob sneezed against her hand.
Annabeth jumped back in shock and stared wide eyed at the demonic brass doorknob.
As she stared at the doorknob, she saw it form two eyes above the actual knob and a mouth below it. She blinked and stared in shock.
"Excuse me!" it exclaimed. "Oh, my. Sorry about that," it said sheepishly, smiling apologetically at Annabeth.
Annabeth just continued to stare. "Um…"
Suddenly the doorknob's face scrunched up. "Uh, my nose has a terrible itch. Would you mind…?"
Annabeth blinked, realizing what exactly it was asking her to do.
"Er, um…" she stuttered lamely. Finally she took a step forward and awkwardly started scratching the brass knob with her index finger.
"Ah, much better. Thank you. And uh…what's your name?"
"Annabeth…Chase…" Annabeth mumbled weakly. Here was this talking doorknob trying to make conversation…
Yup, she was crazy.
"Well, Annabeth Chase, you're too big to get through me. And besides, you need the key," it said, staring pointedly behind Annabeth.
Annabeth blinked and turned around to see a glass table sitting in the middle of the room. She stared at it.
"Uh, that wasn't there before—"
She stopped when she realized the doorknob was no longer talking. It was just a regular doorknob again.
Had she imagined the whole thing? It was possible. She had just fallen through a rabbit hole not too long ago.
Annabeth sighed. She figured she had no choice but to follow his instructions and go get the key. But what had he meant by too big? Was he implying she was fat?
Hmph. Stupid doorknob.
Annabeth looked down at the table to find the brass key that was smaller than usual and put it in her pocket. It would only be able to fit the smaller door with the talking doorknob. Along with the key was a small glass bottle with some dark pink liquid in it. Attached to it was a label that simply said: Shrink.
Annabeth vaguely hoped it meant shrink as in therapist, because after all this, she would probably need one. She swallowed nervously as she realized she would probably have to drink this to get through that door. Was it worth it? What if this thing had side affects, like she would be that way forever? Or even worse, like…death?
She shivered at the thought. But if she didn't at least try, she would be stuck in this room forever, dying of boredom.
She sighed. She really had no choice, did she?
She popped the cap off and set it on the table. She stared at the pink glop distastefully, swishing it in the glass a couple times. Then, in one swift movement and a clench of her stomach, she downed half the bottle in one swig.
She set the rest down on the table as she started coughing violently. She felt her stomach lurch, and she thought she was going to throw up, but then it suddenly stopped. She blinked hard, but when she opened her eyes, she was eye to eye with the doorknob.
She had shrunk.
Great, she thought. Just fantastic…
She took the key out of her pocket, which was now a regular sized key to her. She walked up to the doorknob, slightly afraid it was going to start talking to her again, and put the key inside. She listened as the latch unlocked with a snap. Swallowing nervously, she slowly pushed the door open, afraid of what she might see.
She stepped through the door, and her jaw immediately dropped in amazement at the world around her.
Annabeth seemed to be on a beach. Ahead of her was a forest, the trees different colors. Some had green leaves, some had blue, and some even had purple. She heard strange animal noises coming from the forest. The sand below her was a light red and light pink.
"AH!" Annabeth suddenly screamed. When she looked down at herself, she saw that she wasn't wearing the clothes she had been wearing earlier. She still had her dark blue Converse on, but instead of her shorts and t-shirt, she was wearing a blue dress that ended just above her knees.
Why the hell am I in a dress? She thought incredulously. She scowled at the gray sky above her, which was starting to look awfully cloudy…
Suddenly, she felt someone—or something—tug on her shoelace, and when she looked down, she found a small crab tying her shoe. She blinked as she watched its claws maneuver her small shoe laces until it was tied into a perfect bow.
"Uh…thanks…?" Annabeth muttered in amazement. Then she watched as it waved its big claw at her and then sidestepped off her shoe and into the sand, going somewhere else.
Annabeth could only look on in amazement for a while longer because just then she felt the first drop of rain on her nose. She looked up at the sky and saw that the clouds had darkened ominously. Then more rain started to fall until it was pouring down.
Within two minutes, Annabeth was soaked to the bone.
She turned to walk back into the door she had come from, but she froze when she saw it wasn't there anymore. All that lay before her was the blue, violent ocean.
Now how am I supposed to get back?
Swallowing her flash of fear, she turned back towards the forest, figuring she could find some shelter from this rain while she thought of her situation.
As she approached the first few trees, she heard some mumbling, like someone was talking. Getting excited that maybe she wasn't the only one here, she started running towards the voice.
Annabeth ran past quite a few trees before she finally came to a patch of tree-less forest. She slowed to a stop, breathing hard.
Before her were two identically dressed boys, both of them just a tidge taller than herself. They had on yellow long-sleeved shirts that had white and red striped cuffs at the end. Over that they had rainbow striped suspenders, each colorful strip separated with a thin black one. The end of the suspenders were cut off (rather horribly, Annabeth thought) and loose strings hung down. They weren't wearing any shoes or socks. What she found strange, too, was the party hat each one sported on their head.
And even stranger…they looked like Travis and Connor Stoll…
Annabeth felt dread creep along her spine as she stared at the twins, their arms looped together, both of them staring at her with smirks on their face.
"Travis?" Annabeth asked weakly. "Connor?"
"No!" one of them shouted, both of them stepping towards her. "Incorrect!"
"Meaning not correct!"
"Also meaning most certainly, definitely not right!"
"Okay!" Annabeth interrupted. "I get what incorrect means!"
Connor and Travis just continued to smirk at her.
Annabeth sighed. "If this is another one of your guys' prank…"
"Prank?" one said, looking incredulously at its twin.
"HA!" they both shouted.
Annabeth was starting to get scared now. If this wasn't a prank…then…where was she? What world had she fallen into?
"And our names are not 'Travis' or 'Connor'."
"I am Tweedle Dee," the one that looked like Connor said, stepping forward with a low bow to Annabeth.
"And I am Tweedle Dum," the one that looked like Travis said, following Tweedle Dee's movements.
Together they looked up at her with a huge grin. "At your service."
Upon closer inspection, she saw that they both had a nametag on their yellow shirts.
Well at least I can tell them apart…she thought sarcastically.
Annabeth sighed. "Listen Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, I really need to get home."
"But you are home!"
"Home is anywhere!"
"Home is everywhere!"
"As long as you have yourself!"
Annabeth felt her teeth clench against her will. These two bimbos were getting on her nerves.
"Alright, you bozo impersonators, knock it off. Tell me how to get back to camp."
"Camp? What is this camp?"
"Is it fun?"
"Is it dangerous?"
"Certainly not dangerous! Who would want to live in such a place?"
"Indeed. So it must be friendly."
"Or at least not dangerous."
Annabeth growled in frustration. She wasn't getting anywhere with these guys.
She decided to just ignore them and started making her way deeper into the forest. Suddenly, the two jumped in front of her, their arms around each other's shoulders, blocking her from moving.
"Where are you going?"
"Away from you guys," she said.
"But you don't want to go in there!"
"It's dangerous! You can't verge from the path otherwise you'll get incredibly lost!"
The two turned and pointed to her right. Indeed, there was a dirt path cleared through the forest.
"And where does that take me?" Annabeth asked.
"Not deep into the dangerous forest, that's for sure."
Annabeth rolled her eyes. "Thanks, I guess." Then she walked away from them onto the path.
"Hasta la vista!"
"Hope you get where you're going!"
"Glad we could help!"
Annabeth huffed. Help? Yeah right.
She walked down the dirt path, a few drops of rain falling through the cover of trees and hitting her. She was really concerned and worried about her situation. She didn't know where she was—she only knew that she was in a very strange world. But she was smart. She could get through this and find her way home.
As she walked farther along the path, she started hearing small whispers. She whipped her head around, trying to figure it who was talking. Starting to get freaked out, she started walking a little faster, their whispers getting louder.
"Where's she going?"
"The poor girl is probably lost…"
Annabeth slowed to a stop, a nervous feeling in the pit of her stomach. "Who's there?"
"Why hello, dear."
Annabeth jumped and looked around her.
"Who are you?" Annabeth asked.
"Not who, but what."
Annabeth looked down but only found dirt, flowers, and a few lady bugs.
Annabeth's eyes widened as she saw a flower wave at her with its leaf like it was an arm.
"Incredible…" she mumbled.
"Dear, are you lost?" the flower asked her.
"Uh, kind of," she said, kneeling down next to the flower. "I'm…I'm trying to get home."
"And where is that?"
The flower remained silent. "I don't know where that is. You'll have to consult with the Caterpillar."
Annabeth blinked. "The what?"
"The Caterpillar. He knows all, sees everything. He's very wise."
"A Caterpillar…" Annabeth repeated slowly. I officially belong in the loony bin.
The flower glared at her. Yes, it glared. "Do you question the Caterpillar's wisdom?"
"No, no. It's just that…uh…I feel so honored to be considered in his presence," she lied. She didn't want any psychotic flowers mad at her.
The flower nodded. "As you should be. Now come along. He's past us behind the trees in his thicket over there," she said, pointing behind her. "Just be careful and try not to step on us."
Annabeth nodded. She figured she'd better see this Caterpillar. It was better than wandering aimlessly in this strange world.
Minding the flowers, she carefully stepped around them until she came to the end of the talking flowers. Before her was a type of entryway created by the curving branches of a tree. She walked through it into a dimly lit room, the only light coming from the fungi on the wall, illuminating the room like when she had fallen through the rabbit hole.
Sitting on a huge throne-like chair with various random things (pictures, desks, pillows etc.) around it was a man with blonde hair and tan skin. He was wearing a dark blue tweed suit with a baby blue vest on the inside. He had a black ascot around his neck and on his feet he wore black leather dress shoes. He was also smoking a wooden pipe, but when he blew out the smoke, it formed letters and words.
Annabeth stared at the man (she couldn't deny he had style). It seemed like something had crashed into her chest.
"L-Luke?" she asked incredulously. "I-is that you?"
The man regarded her with suspicious eyes. "No," he spoke. "I'm the Caterpillar."
Annabeth swallowed back the anguish she felt. She sniffled and stared at him. She swore to God it was Luke. But maybe it was like with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. They looked like the Stoll brothers, but it really wasn't them.
"And who are you?" he asked slowly, puffing out the letters 'o, r,' and 'u.'
"Annabeth Chase," she replied, coughing from the smoke. "I'm trying to get home."
"Hmm…but how do you know you're not home right now?"
"Huh?" She wasn't following his logic at all.
"Perhaps you are home. You just don't realize it."
Annabeth crossed her arms. "I think I would know if I was back at camp."
The man just puffed out some smoke, the word looking suspiciously like 'denial.'
"Ignorant as usual…"
"I'm not ignorant!" Annabeth glared. "I'm just trying to get home!"
The Caterpillar glared back. "And like I said, maybe you are home already."
"But I'm not!"
The Caterpillar glared at her fiercely and then looked away from her. "If you won't listen to my advice, then why did you come here?"
"The flowers said you would help, but apparently they were wrong."
"I am helping. You're just choosing to ignore me. You're too proud for your own good."
Annabeth clenched her fists, her face heating up. "If you're just going to insult me, then I'm leaving."
She turned around and stomped off back towards the path, ignoring the flowers protests as she stomped on their leaves and petals.
"Good riddance," the Caterpillar sighed from his chair, continuing to smoke his pipe.
"I don't understand how he's so wise," Annabeth muttered angrily to herself. "Those stupid flowers…they just like him for his looks."
Not that she was saying he was cute or anything…
Gods…he looked so much like Luke…
Her heart ached at the thought of Luke. She missed him deeply. She felt pity for him when she thought of how he had been used by Kronos. It made her angry, too.
But that wasn't Luke back there, and she didn't feel pity. Just the anger.
Annabeth continued stomping down the path. As she got farther away from the stupid Caterpillar and his stupid flowers, she felt her anger dissipate. With each step that she got farther into the forest, things started getting a little stranger. She would see strange bugs scuttle across the path, making strange noises she had never heard before. She would see birds—at least, that's what she thought they were—fly above her before disappearing in the trees again.
Finally, she came up to a huge oak tree. Beside it was a sign that was pointing every which way with weird things written on them, things she couldn't understand.
Suddenly she heard a soft humming that grew louder and louder, like it was getting closer to her.
Annabeth stopped. I wonder where that's coming from…
She saw the leaves changing their colors—instead of the brilliant colors they were before, they had dulled down to an almost gray color. Then suddenly, on a huge, low branch of the oak tree, a man appeared. He was laying on his side, perfectly balanced, his head in his hand, staring down at her. He was wearing a pink and purple striped turtle-neck shirt and matching pants, his feet covered with matching socks. He had dirty blonde hair, and sitting on his head were pink and purple cat ears. He held a mischievous look on his face.
He looked awfully close to… "Hermes?" Annabeth asked incredulously along with a bit of dread. "There's no way…"
The man smirked and Annabeth saw something fall from underneath him and start swinging.
It was a pink and purple striped tail. A tail.
"Are you…talking to me?" he asked, pointing towards himself.
"Uh…yeah…" Annabeth mumbled, staring at the man that resembled Hermes. "Um…what are you? You look like—"
"I'm a cat," he replied, grinning widly and showing off his pearly whites. "A Cheshire, to be exact."
"But you're just a man in a costume!" Annabeth accused.
"Little girl, do you even know what a cat looks like?"
"Well of course I do! And I'm not a little girl! I'm seventeen!"
"Then you'll know that I am indeed a cat. And by the looks of it, you are, indeed, a little girl—physically."
Annabeth huffed. She gave up. It seemed anything was possible here. It also seemed everyone was mad here and illogical.
"Can you help me?" she asked.
"Depends…on what you are in need of help with…?"
"I need to get home to camp."
Annabeth then explained about everything that had happened, from following the white rabbit to the Tweedle Twins, and finally to the Caterpillar.
"Hmm…I think the Queen could help you."
Annabeth blinked. "Queen?"
"Yesss…" The cat purred, slinking down so he was lying on his back, his legs, tail, arms, and head hanging down from the tree. "The Queen of Hearts. She knows all about getting home."
Annabeth sighed in relief. "And how do I find her? Where do I go?"
"I don't know," the Cheshire answered, his eyes gaining a slightly crazy look. "You'd have to ask the Mad Hatter, or March Hare, or possibly Dormouse. Hmm…mouse…" He licked his lips and slunk up to the tree, standing and leaning against its trunk on his branch.
"But if you really want to know…he went that way," the Cheshire said, pointing to his left.
"Who did?" Annabeth asked.
"The white rabbit."
"He did what?"
"Went that way!"
"The white rabbit!"
Annabeth growled in frustration. This stupid Cheshire cat was barking mad! He had to be.
She glared at the cat/man, who was grinning down at her, like he had purposely ticked her off.
"Who's the Mad Hatter?" she asked through clenched teeth, her hands fisted at her sides.
"Oh, him? He knows just about everything. He lives down that-a-way," he said, pointing to his left over his head.
Then, out of the blue, his legs started disappearing. Annabeth stared as he continued to talk. "Be careful when you go there, otherwise," he chuckled crazily, "you might end up even crazier than you already are!"
And with a final maddening laugh, he disappeared for good.
Annabeth felt a slight shiver run down her spine. She stared up at a sign that had suddenly appeared on the huge tree. It was pointing to the left—her right—with the words "Mad Hatter" printed in messy scrawl.
Annabeth sighed. What was the worse that could happen?
She walked down the familiar dirt path. Soon, the path turned into a green brick path and she could hear noises up ahead. Up ahead, she saw a long, pale yellow house that was leaning greatly to one side.
She slowly walked up to the house, getting a slightly bad feeling about coming here. She stopped in front of the wooden door. On it were two signs that had been nailed to the door. One said "Mad Hatter, March Hare, Dormouse," the second one said, "Welcome."
From inside, Annabeth heard a loud crash and some yelling.
She gulped, but nevertheless knocked on the door. This was possibly her key to finding the Queen and getting home, so she would just have to suck it up and deal with whatever was thrown at her.
After she knocked, it was silent from within the house. After a few minutes of tense anticipation, the door finally creaked open to reveal a tall man (well, from Annabeth's shrunken height, everyone was tall) with shaggy black hair, sea-green eyes and a fair skin tone. He was wearing a dark purple velvety jacket over a black button down shirt that wasn't tucked into his pants. His pants were the same dark purple as his jacket, but they weren't velvety; they were regular flannel slacks. He wasn't wearing shoes, but he was wearing a colorful polka-dot sock on one foot and a striped one on his other foot.
Annabeth also saw that he was wearing a deep red fedora hat with a black stripe around it. She blinked at his rather odd outfit as he stared down at her.
She studied his face, his eyes holding a slightly crazy glint. She stared at him a while longer, and then her eyes widened.
Oh my Gods…no way…it's Percy…
"Ah," the man said. "It's a small child…or possibly a midget…I'm not sure, I can't really tell."
Annabeth felt her eye twitch. She crossed her arms. "Excuse me, but I am seventeen years old."
"Really! Why that's how old I am, give or take a few years."
Annabeth raised a brow. Give or take a few years? What does that mean?
"But then why are you so small?" he asked, confused. "Did you drink some of that um…ah…what's it called?" he pondered to himself, scratching his chin.
"Uh…Shrink?" Annabeth guessed.
"That be it!" he exclaimed. "You drank some of that there stuff didn't ya?"
"Yeah, I did. Is there any way I can get back to normal?"
"Yes of course! Of course! Absolutely, there is!"
Annabeth decided he was crazy. "Well…can you show me?"
"Yes, yes, yes! Come right in! We'll have you back to normal in no time, no time at all!"
He ushered her inside and slammed the door shut, causing Annabeth to jump. He didn't notice. He just continued to smile as he led her into the house.
Annabeth looked around the house. There were pictures hanging up of random things, but they were all tilted at impossible angles and they were cracked or ripped. Everything was a mess, too. All their stuff was piled on top of each other in mounds along the walls.
"So then are you the Mad Hatter?" Annabeth asked.
"Oh yes! How rude of me! I forgot to introduce myself! But yes, I am indeed the Mad Hatter." He grinned down at her, causing Annabeth to blush slightly. "And your name might be…?"
"Annabeth Chase," she replied.
He laughed. "A silly name, that is. But lovely to meet you, Annabeth Chase."
Annabeth glared slightly. "Just Annabeth."
"Okay, Just Annabeth."
Annabeth sighed. "Annabeth."
They then entered a long room that had a long green wooden table with lots of different types of chairs around it: recliners, stools, regular dining chairs, etc., and they all varied in color. On the table, oddly enough, were different types of tea pots and tea cups all in different colors, ranging from brilliant blue to vibrant red.
There was someone else sitting at the table. He had black hair, pale skin, and he was wearing a black suit with a white vest on the inside and a pocket watch. On top of his head was a pair of pure white rabbit ears.
It wasn't hard for Annabeth to place his face with Nico's face.
So what, everyone turned into fruit cakes? Or am I just the crazy one?
The guy grinned at the both of them. "Hatter! Who's our guest?"
"This here is Annabeth!"
"Ah, March Hare, here. Nice to meet ya, nice to meet ya."
"Um…nice to meet you…" Annabeth muttered.
"She drank some of that Shrink juice, she did," Mad Hatter said.
"Oh yes! We need some of that Grow food."
"Ah yes, ah yes. I believe we have some here somewhere…" the Nico look-a-like said, opening the tops of random tea pots and looking inside.
Annabeth watched him, slightly confused. Mad Hatter grabbed her hand and pulled her towards a chair. He pushed her down into it, and then he himself sat down in a chair next to hers, his legs crossed under him.
"So, did you come to join our tea party?" he asked conversationally, pouring some tea and sugar in a cup and passing it to her.
"Gotta be here somewhere…" March Hare continued to mutter.
"Did you check the butter?" Mad Hatter asked.
"Why no, I didn't!"
Annabeth blinked. "Uh, I came here because the Cheshire Cat said you—"
"CAT!" Someone suddenly screamed. Annabeth jumped and looked down the table to see a mouse-sized person with mouse ears.
"Is that Grover?" Annabeth asked, squinting at the running and panicking creature.
"Hardly!" Mad Hatter screamed back, stomping on the table with March Hare, shattering cups and plates and spilling tea. They were trying to catch the little person, but they kept falling and tripping over the tea pots and each other.
"Grab him!" March Hare yelled as the person ran straight towards Annabeth. "Grab Dormouse!"
Dormouse, huh? Annabeth thought. She complied though and quickly snatched Dormouse from the table, feeling him squirm in her grasp.
"Quick!" Mad Hatter yelled. "March! Get the jam, the jam!"
"Strawberry or grape?" March Hare yelled back.
March Hare grabbed the proper jam and then spread some on Dormouse's nose, causing him to instantly calm down.
"Twinkle, twinkle little bat…how I wonder what you're at…"
And with that silly little rhyme, he fell back into a tea pot. March Hare put the lid on and then the two crazies fell back in their chairs with a sigh.
The two glared at Annabeth, and she shrunk in her chair.
"How rude!" Mad Hatter exclaimed.
"It's not my fault! I didn't know he was afraid of—um C-A-Ts."
"Oh look!" March Hare suddenly exclaimed. "I found the Grow food!"
He pulled out a piece of cake from a tea pot and put it on a plate and set it next to Annabeth's tea that Mad Hatter had poured earlier.
"Eat it! Eat it!" March Hare and Mad Hatter said.
Annabeth stared down at the cake. She mildly thought it looked lemon flavored, and she didn't have anything against lemons, so she tore off a piece and ate it. Immediately, she felt herself start to grow. Then, finally, she was back to her normal size (she also thanked the gods that her dress had grown too).
She sighed in relief as March Hare and Mad Hatter cheered.
"This calls for a celebration!" March Hare called. "But first…" he stared into his tea cup. "New cup! New cup! Move along!"
"What?" Annabeth asked, confused. She felt Mad Hatter grab her hand and pull her along down the table until she had a new tea cup in front of her, the March Hare on her right and the Mad Hatter at the head of the table on her left.
"Hmm…" Mad Hatter hummed. "This hat will never do for a celebration!" He picked it up from his head and tossed it behind him where it hit the wall and then sunk to the floor.
"Should I wear this one—" he said, pulling out from under his chair a tall green hat with a four leaved clover stuck in the brim. "—or this one." He then pulled out from under his chair a bright yellow hat with a black lace pattern around it.
"Personally, I think the yellow one compliments your eyes," March Hare said, though Annabeth thought the exact opposite.
"What do you think, Annabeth?" Mad Hatter asked.
"I think the yellow one is too girly," she said truthfully. "In fact, I think all your hats are a little silly."
Then the two suddenly became silent. Annabeth stared at them, confused. Then she watched as Mad Hatter's face contorted into one of sadness, and he bit his lip like he was going to cry.
"My hats…are silly?" he asked softly, his voice cracking.
Oh Gods...he's going to cry. I made him upset.
Annabeth, feeling bad, shook her head. "No, no. They're fine. I meant they were silly in a good way."
"Really?" he suddenly exclaimed, happy again. "So which one do you like better?"
Annabeth sighed, his sudden mood swing not surprising her in the least bit. "The green one," she simply answered.
He stared at the two for a moment, and then tossed them both behind him. "I'll just wear my pink one!"
And then he stood on his chair and reached up to the ceiling and pushed a piece of wood back, reached in, and pulled out a pink fedora hat like his red one he had on earlier. He slid the piece of wood back into place and then plopped down in his seat.
He placed the pink hat on his head, and then grinned at Annabeth and March Hare. "Who wants tea?"
"I do! I do!" March Hare cheered.
"And some for you, dear?" Mad Hatter asked Annabeth as he poured some tea out of a green pot into a red tea cup and gave it to March Hare.
"Uh, sure," Annabeth replied. She saw March Hare lean on the table, his whole torso face towards her as he stirred his tea.
"So," he started. "If you didn't come here to join our tea party, then why are you here? Is it your unbirthday?"
"I came here because—my what?" Annabeth asked mid sentence.
"You're unbirthday is…well..." he stopped and sighed. "She doesn't know what her unbirthday is!" he whispered harshly to Mad Hatter.
"Gah!" he gasped. "No!"
"I can hear you guys you know…" Annabeth butt in.
"Eavesdropper!" March Hare shouted.
"Look, you only have one birthday, but there are three hundred sixty four unbirthdays. Get it?" Mad Hatter explained.
Annabeth did get it, so she nodded. "Well then…that means today is my unbirthday."
"Really? It's his too!" Mad Hatter said, pointing to March Hare.
"And his as well!" March Hare exclaimed, pointing to Mad Hatter.
"And it's also Dormouse's!" They both said, pointing at the tea pot that currently contained Dormouse, the Grover look-a-like.
"This also calls for celebration!" March Hare shouted.
"New cup! New cup!" Mad Hatter shouted. Annabeth was getting slightly tired of all their shenanigans.
When they had finally settled down in their new seats and after they had poured tea, Annabeth spoke up.
"I need to see the Queen of Hearts, and I need someone to take me."
The two stopped what they were doing and stared at her like she was mad.
Speak for themselves…
"Look, I really need to get home. I'm not from this place…whatever this place is."
"You mean Wonderland?" Mad Hatter spoke up.
"Wonderland?" Annabeth repeated. "You mean like…Alice in Wonderland?"
"You know," March Hare said, scratching his bunny ears. "I do recall an Alice coming through here quite some time ago…"
"As do I, March," Mad Hatter said. "So then where do you belong?"
She then explained to them what she had told the Cheshire Cat.
"Cheshire said that one of you could take me to her."
"Well I am certainly, most definitely not going to," March Hare said, crossing his arms defiantly. "Not after the last time."
"Last time?" Annabeth asked.
"Don't ask," Mad Hatter said. "He doesn't like to talk about it, and neither do I, for that matter."
"Okay then…will you take me?" she asked, staring at Mad Hatter with pleading eyes.
"I'd be honored to help you find your home," he said, standing up and bowing. "So let us be off now!"
"Good luck! Good luck!" March Hare exclaimed, waving to the two as Mad Hatter led Annabeth to the door.
"Keep the house clean!" Mad Hatter called back.
March Hare just barked with laughter. "Good one!"
The two exited the house, and Annabeth released a sigh of relief.
"This way, this way!" Mad Hatter exclaimed, pulling Annabeth's hand down a path different from the one she had been on previously.
He let go of her hand and she fell into stride beside him. Even though she was back to her regular size, he was still a head taller than her. A silence fell over them. Annabeth glanced over at him and saw he still had a smile on his face. It seemed he never stopped smiling—that is, unless you made fun of his hats.
"So," Annabeth started. "Can I just call you Hatter, or do I have to call you Mad Hatter?"
He grinned down at her. "Hatter's fine, fine indeed."
You know, he's actually not that crazy. I think maybe it's just the tea getting to his head. It's probably spiked…
"So tell me again what this rabbit looks like that you followed," Hatter said.
"He was pure white and he was wearing a plaid waist coat and there was a pocket watch hanging from his pocket," Annabeth replied.
He nodded. "Sounds like the Queen's rabbit."
"Is that good or bad?"
Hatter stared down at her, her blonde curls cascading around her shoulders, her blue dress a little shorter than was appropriate, her tanned legs tempting him (hey, he might have been crazy, but he was still a man). She was definitely beautiful. It hadn't slipped his mind in the least. And her feisty attitude just made her situation all the worse.
"Why?" Annabeth asked, brow furrowed.
"Depends on what the Queen thinks of you. If she's in a good mood, she'll let ya go. If not…you can say goodbye to that little camp of yours. Once she makes up her mind, she doesn't change it."
Annabeth took in this new information. Now she was worried. If she couldn't get home…she couldn't handle staying in this world. Everyone here was crazy. But maybe she was too. Maybe, on the contrary, she belonged here.
"And what if I can't get back?" she asked weakly. "Then what do I do?"
"Well…you could always stay with March and I. We could have tea parties every day!" he said in what he thought was comfort, wrapping his arm around her shoulders.
Tea parties everyday didn't exactly reassure her…
Annabeth sighed, and the two continued walking down the dirt path.
After about half an hour of walking, Annabeth stopped. "Can we take a break?"
Hatter grinned at her. "Alrighty, then." And then he plopped down on a log that was a little ways off the path. She watched as he took his hat off, revealing his black shaggy hair.
I'm telling you, it's Percy…she thought, staring at his face.
He placed his hat upside down beside him and reached in, pulling out a tea pot and a tea cup.
"Tea?" he asked, pouring some into the cup. He then pulled out a cup of sugar and spooned some in.
Annabeth felt her eye twitch. "No thanks," she grumbled, plopping down beside him
"Hm. Your loss," he shrugged, placing his hat back on his head and sipping his tea.
I don't even want to know how he got that in his hat.
A silence fell over them as they stared up at the slowly darkening sky. Night was approaching, and Annabeth didn't want to have to sleep out in the forest.
Annabeth sighed and rested her head in her hands, her elbows on her knees.
"What if I never get back?" Annabeth mumbled.
"Stop being so negative! Man, your world must have been full of it, because that's all I've heard from you," Hatter replied, throwing his tea cup behind his shoulder when he was done drinking his tea. He heard it crash against something, but didn't even bat an eyelash.
Annabeth glared at him. "There's nothing wrong with wanting to be back where I belong."
"I'll get you back. Stop worrying so much."
She stared at the smiling Hatter. His words were slightly harsh, but his expression was nice.
"You know, you're not all that crazy…" Annabeth mumbled.
He shrugged. "Depends on how you define crazy." He suddenly grinned. "And it also depends on my mood."
"So then you must be pretty calm right now."
Truth was, he wasn't that crazy, but when he was around too many people or people with exuberant emotions (i.e. March Hare) he tended to get influenced by them and he became someone else entirely. When he was around cool, calm, and collective Annabeth, just the two of them, his craziness was next to nothing.
He just nodded enthusiastically to her earlier statement, and by the way his eyes glinted just then, he reminded Annabeth of Percy.
"You remind me of my best friend in my world. You two look a lot of like." Nevertheless pretty much identical.
He smiled. "That's a good thing, then, yes?"
Annabeth smiled back. "Yup."
"And...maybe I could be your best friend in this world?" he asked hopefully.
Annabeth blinked, not expecting that one. But what was the harm of saying yes?
"Sure," she shrugged. "Why not?"
He grinned and crushed her to his side, causing her face to get buried in his side. "You're my first best friend," Hatter said.
Annabeth felt her stomach flutter at his announcement as she sat up so she wasn't suffocating in his purple jacket. She didn't know why exactly, but that made her feel special. "But I thought March Hare was your best friend?"
"Nahhh," Hatter said with a wave of his hand. "He's just a good friend to have tea parties with."
"Right," Annabeth mumbled. "Silly me."
Knowing that she was his first best friend made her feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and…well, she wanted to hug him. Even though she had only known him for a few hours, she did just that. She wrapped her arms around his chest and buried her face in his neck, giving him a tight hug.
Then she suddenly stood up, feeling her face heat up. "We should get going," she mumbled.
She glanced back at Hatter and found him staring wide-eyed at her, his face beet red. He awkwardly stood up and followed her back onto the path.
"Right…l-let's go," he mumbled, grabbing her hand and pulling her forward. Instead of letting go like he usually did, he held onto her hand, causing her to blush.
Behind them, hanging on a low branch and staring at the two, was the Cheshire Cat, a mischievous grin on his face as he watched them make their way closer and closer to the Queen.
After an hour of traveling, the Hatter and Annabeth finally made it to the kingdom where the Queen of Hearts resided.
Annabeth felt a quick spasm of fear, which was then replaced with excitement. She could possibly be going home within the hour if she was lucky.
Hatter glanced down at her and saw her gray eyes widen at the kingdom. It was strange—and selfish—but he didn't want to let his newly acquired best friend go back. But he couldn't make her stay here. He couldn't do that to her.
So, he gulped down his own want and gripped her hand tighter. "Come on," he said, forcing a grin. "Let's go."
Annabeth wondered about the lack of enthusiasm in his voice, but she didn't say anything.
The two stepped into the courtyard, which was lit up by spotlights. The grass was greener than anything Annabeth had ever seen. The trees seemed to stretch on forever. Ahead of them was the huge stone kingdom, looming high above the clouds.
Annabeth felt herself become slightly nervous at the sight, but she swallowed it down and the two stepped up the large granite stairs of the castle, the doors blocked with men dressed in black or red with a silver heart, diamond, spade, or club embedded into their armor.
"Uh…cards?" Annabeth mumbled.
"Well she is the Queen of Hearts," Hatter replied with a tone that said duh.
Annabeth glared at him. He finally let go of her hand and stood stock straight as he addressed the guards.
"We need to see the Queen," he said confidently.
One of them—a spade—chuckled and said, "And why would we let you?"
"Because she's not from this world and she needs to get home."
The two guards—the other one a club—stared at the two suspiciously, but then they finally relented and opened the huge stone doors, allowing them in.
Hatter nodded at them once and stepped inside, Annabeth following him.
"This way," he said, starting to go off down a hall.
"How do you know your way around here?" Annabeth asked, honestly curious.
"I used to make hats for the Queen before she decided they made her head look huge."
Annabeth blinked. Well that would explain the yellow hat that he pulled out earlier with the lace on it.
Then they came to a set of grand doors. They were wooden with an archway of red and black roses above it. The doors here were even bigger than the main ones they had come through.
"The court room," Hatter stated. "The Queen will be waiting in here." He stared down at her face, taking it in for probably the last time. "Are you ready?"
Annabeth swallowed and nodded. Taking a deep breath, she helped him pull open the door, and the two stepped into the room onto a red carpet. All along the carpet were guards, creating a pattern of red and black all the way up to a set of granite stairs where there was a huge stone throne. Sitting on the throne was the Queen of Hearts. She was wearing a bright red dress and there was a red crown sitting on her dirty blonde hair. She held a stern expression, her eyes always calculating.
Annabeth stared, eyes wide. Mother? She thought incredulously. You've got to be kidding me...
"My lady," Hatter said, bowing low with a grin. "Quite some time, yes?"
The Queen of Hearts just stared at Annabeth, who stared back with an equally hard gaze. Suddenly, she felt Hatter's hand on her back, pushing her down into a bow. Annabeth punched his side and he made a grunting noise.
"Ow," he whispered. "What the hell was that for?"
Annabeth just glared at him and then stood up, Hatter following her (although now he couldn't really stand up straight). She noticed his lack of craziness, so he must have been either mad at her now or scared of the Queen. She knew she was.
"Uh, Your Highness," Annabeth spoke uneasily. "I'm not from, er, Wonderland. I'm from a different world, but I don't know how to get back. Everyone keeps saying I need to talk to you, that you can get me home."
The Queen narrowed her eyes at Annabeth. "And how exactly did you get to Wonderland?"
With a small sigh, Annabeth explained for the third time that day how she followed the stupid rabbit and fell down the too-big rabbit whole and experienced a number of characters she never wanted to dealt with again. Well, one wasn't so bad, but the rest…yeah, she could live without them. Especially that damn—
"Cat!" she exclaimed, pointing behind the Queen where the Cheshire Cat stood, leaning against the throne, a smirk on his face. He leaned forward to whisper something in the Queen's ear, causing her to chuckle and smirk.
"Ah, yes," she spoke. "You've met my Cheshire Cat. He, along with my rabbit that you followed, are my eyes and ears of Wonderland."
"Well what was your rabbit doing in my world?" Annabeth asked.
"He likes to wander sometimes. You know what they say: curiosity killed the cat. No pun intended," she said, looking at Cheshire. He just smirked back.
"So are you going to help me get home?"
"Hmm…Hatter," the Queen called. Hatter's head snapped to attention. He stared at her with wide, scared eyes.
"Yes, my lady?"
"My cat here tells me that you've formed a little crush on the foreigner here. Is it true?"
Annabeth felt herself flush with embarrassment. She turned and looked up at Hatter in surprise, who was beet red and staring at his feet.
"Hatter," Annabeth asked, her voice a pitch higher. "Is that true?"
He didn't say anything. He wouldn't even look at her.
Annabeth felt her heart soar, but then it dropped. She liked Hatter, but she belonged in her own world. And he didn't.
The Queen just chuckled. "Foolish Hatter."
"Just leave him alone!" Annabeth yelled.
The Queen stopped her laughing and glared at Annabeth, causing the Cheshire's grin to widen. "How dare you yell at me? Incompetent girl."
"Annabeth," Hatter whispered harshly, grabbing her wrist. "It's okay. Don't make her angry."
"No, Hatter, it's not okay!" Annabeth exclaimed. She turned to the Queen. "I've been through one hell of a day. I fell through that damn rabbit hole down into this damn world that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Everyone here looks like people from my world, but they all claim to be someone else, and it's really starting to throw me off. All I want to do is go home. I don't need crap from you, and I don't need you insulting my best friend here!"
Hatter couldn't help but smile at her feisty attitude and the fact that she referred to him as her best friend. However, he frowned at the fact that she was yelling at the Queen of Hearts. That was generally a big no-no.
The Queen's expression only got angrier by the minute. By the time Annabeth was done with her little rant, the Queen's face had gone slightly red, and her glare had intensified ten-fold.
Annabeth's bravery, however, had simmered down immensely, and now she just felt like a meek kitten instead of a ferocious lion.
"You ignorant girl," the Queen exclaimed. "I've had enough of your attitude. Off with her head!"
Uh oh, Annabeth thought. That doesn't sound good…
Suddenly, guards piled out from hidden doors, each one intent on getting to her and the Hatter.
"Run?" Annabeth guessed.
Hatter gulped. "Yeah, run."
The two turned and started running back the way they came. They were back in the main foyer now.
"Up the stairs!" Annabeth exclaimed, pointing towards the grand staircase. Hatter complied and pulled her up the stairs onto the second floor. By the time the two got up there, they were breathing hard and they could hear the massive footsteps of all the guards down below.
"I know there's a way to get back to your world from inside the castle," Hatter said breathlessly.
Annabeth looked around worriedly, when suddenly a sign caught her eye. It was one of those signs you saw at big places like the Mall of America, or airports, or something like that. The 'you are here' signs that then show a map of the whole building.
"Over here," she said, pulling Hatter to the sign. "Okay, what are we looking for?"
"Uh… there!" he exclaimed, pointing towards a spot that said 'Looking Glass.'
"A Looking Glass?" Annabeth asked.
"Yup. It'll take you straight to your world." Annabeth couldn't help but notice the sad look on his face as he said this.
"Hatter, is what she said back there true?" she asked softly.
He refused to look in her eyes. "Just forget about it. Let's just get you home."
"Hatter!" she stopped him and grabbed his head, forcing him to look into her eyes. "I would stay if I could, but…I have to go home. You have to understand that I do like you, but…"
Hatter just smiled, albeit sadly. He pulled her hands off her face. "You don't have to explain yourself. Now let's go before they get you."
He grabbed her hand and started pulling her through the corridors.
"But what about you?" Annabeth asked. "What if they catch you?"
"Stop worrying about me. I'll be fine," he just replied.
Annabeth sighed, but allowed him to lead her through the halls.
They climbed up two more sets of stairs before they found the hall labeled 'Looking Glass.' Down the hall were five doors on each side and two at the end.
"Which door is it?" Annabeth asked.
"The last one on the right. Hurry!" he exclaimed, hearing a multitude of footsteps coming up the stairs.
"You two! Halt!" A voice called. Hatter and Annabeth looked back to see about twenty guards coming up the stairs, even more coming up behind them.
"Run, Annabeth!" Hatter yelled. The two ran down the hall, but it seemed like the closer they got to the door, the slower they started running.
"What's going on?" Annabeth asked, alarmed.
"It's the Looking Glass. Just ignore it and keep going!"
Annabeth obeyed and fought against the invisible force that was slowing her down. Finally, after some minutes, she reached the door, where time was back to normal. She opened the steel door to reveal, literally, a 'looking glass,' or a mirror, two feet from the door. She stepped up to it and put her hand up against it, only when she touched it, her hand fell through the glass.
She yelped and jumped back. "This is it?" she asked nervously.
"Yeah, now get going," Hatter replied, standing guard in front of the door.
Annabeth stared at him, frozen in her spot.
"Hatter…" she spoke. He turned around and stared at her, that crazy glint still in his eye even though he was obviously hurt that she was leaving. "Thank you," she said.
He stared at her a second more, and then suddenly grabbed her shoulders, pulled her forward, and gave her a hard kiss on the lips.
Annabeth was in shock at first, but then she grabbed his shirt and held him closer, if only for a second. Then he suddenly pulled back and grinned at her sadly. He took his hat off and placed it on her head.
"So you can remember me," he smiled. "Now go!" he exclaimed, shoving her towards the mirror.
He shoved her so hard that Annabeth had no choice but to fall through the glass. The last thing she saw was the Mad Hatter's crazy grin. Then, there was a flash of blinding white light, and she fell into unconsciousness.
"Annabeth…Annabeth, wake up."
Annabeth jolted up, sitting stock straight in her spot against the tree. Kneeling before her was Percy, who was sporting a happy grin.
"Percy!" Annabeth exclaimed. She threw her arms around his neck, giving him a big hug.
Percy grinned. "I missed you," he mumbled.
She pulled back and smiled at him. "I missed you too."
The two stood up and started making their way to camp.
"So why were you out here sleeping?" Percy asked.
Annabeth faltered. "Uh…I was bored…"
Was it all a dream? But how would I dream up something like that?
Suddenly she was hit with images of the Hatter who looked like Percy.
It…it had to be a dream. They looked too much like people I knew.
But why did that disappoint her? Was it because then she had to believe the Hatter wasn't real?
Annabeth shook her head. You're being silly. It was a dream.
"Hey, look at this," Percy suddenly said, pulling something out from behind his back.
Annabeth stared at the red fedora hat with a black stripe around it. It was exactly like the one the Hatter in her dream had worn.
Does that mean…
"Where did you get that?"
"After school was over, Paul took my mom and I down to Disney World to celebrate my finishing the school year unscathed. I saw this when we went through Alice in Wonderland, and I thought it looked pretty shnazzy," Percy replied, sporting a stupid grin.
Annabeth rolled her eyes and took the hat from him, putting it on his head. She bit her lip. He looked exactly like the Hatter.
She mentally sighed. I guess I'll never know if it was a dream or something amazing…
She smiled and wrapped her arms around Percy's neck. She leaned in and gave him a kiss.
"So, do you like the hat?" Percy asked, still smiling.
Annabeth grinned. "I love it."
Oh man. I really liked this story. I hope you guys did too. And I hope you guys got the whole PJO characters playing the Alice characters. I'm sure you did, though.
Okay, so when I was re-reading the part about Annabeth drinking the Shrink stuff, I put "she hoped it meant shrink as in therapist," but when I was reading it, I thought there was a space in therapist between 'the' and 'rapist' and I was like "the rapist? Why did I put that?" then I realized it was fine (it was like one 'o' clock in the morning people). But am I the only one who's ever noticed that therapist is "the rapist?" I just found that hilarious.
I really liked Mad Hatter Percy. I felt really bad for him though :( He really likes Annabeth, but he can't have her. I just want to hug him!
Thanks for reading and review please! You can even send Mad Hatter Percy a hug! Constructive criticism is welcomed! Flames are not!