Alice was about to go. Standing before him in the armour of the White Queen's champion, she had never seemed more beautiful to him as she did right now. He loved her, he understood that now. He had to say something, try something, anything to get her to stay. Working up all his courage he walked towards her and said the simplest thing he could think of…"You could stay."

She turned back to see him and then she smiled. A majestic, glorious smile. She said "What an idea. A crazy, bad, wonderful idea."

His heart leapt, he could not remember being this happy for an exceptionally long time. It took everything he had not to lean forward and kiss her where she stood.

And then she continued "But I can't."

Everything he felt came crashing down. No he thought to himself. No please stay. He wanted to yell, but instead his smile simply fell.

"There are questions I have to answer, things I have to do." She looked at him and he could see the sorrow in her eyes, this wasn't just hurting him. She took a sip of the jabberwocky blood and then said with a smile "Be back before you know it."

The Hatter could see through her smile, he knew the truth "You won't remember me."

"Of course I will how I could forget?" The Hatter could not tell if she was telling the truth or if she was simply trying to make him feel better. "Hatter, why is a raven like a writing desk?"

At this he couldn't help but smile "I haven't the slightest idea."

She smiled, and the sorrow once again set in. He leaned towards her and whispered "Fairfarren, Alice." He pulled back, and saw Alice dematerialize in the manner Ol' Chessur was so fond of.

Slowly.

First her arms and legs gradually faded from sight. Her body vanished soon after they were gone. Finally only her head remained and before long that faded away too. The last thing he saw before she vanished completely was her eyes. A beautiful brown, this site, of her eyes floating in the air for an instant would stay with him for the rest of his life. And then even they were gone.

He stood there, letting all of it soak in. She was gone; he would likely never see her again. Alice had gone back to her world and very shortly she would forget him, except for snippets of him her dreams would provide.

"Cheer up, Tarrant. She'll return back here someday." Chessur had materialized behind him. He sounded almost indifferent to her leaving.

This was too much for the Hatter. His eye shadow turned black and his eyes a fiery red. "You scoundrel!" He roared, swiftly turning around and slapping Chessur with dreadful force.

Chessur was clearly stunned. He was not used to be able to be hurt in anyway, as he normally just vanished at the first sign of trouble. This sudden outburst threw him at least 3 metres before he disappeared.

"Never under any circumstances talk about her to me." He roared, hoping the cat could be heard on whatever plane of existence he had buggered off too. "You ever speak of her to me again and I will obliterate you. Eviscerate you! Disembowel! I have been contemplating things that begin with the letter m. Murder, mangle, mutilate..."

"Hatter!" Yelled the March Hare.

The Hatter turned back to the mortified looks of all his friends. Tweedledum and Tweedledee wore equal expressions of puzzlement and fear. The March Hare just confused and insane (as per usual). The White Queen seemed sickened by this outburst. Typical the Hatter thought the whole world goes to hell and the Queen's sickened by physical violence.

But he knew it wasn't her he was angry at. In a hushed, cramped whisper he said "Thank you!"

Mallymkun ran towards the Hatter, her little mouse legs pumping to cross the relatively large distance. This forced the Hatter into a smile. For someone so small, she was oh so courageous. "Hatter," She squeaked "You have to calm down. She will come back. You heard her say so yourself."

The Hatter bent down to the ground and took off his hat. He placed it on the ground and gestured to Mallymkun. "Do you wish to ride?"

"I thought it was only for Alice?"

"It is," Tears began to form at the corner of his eyes "But I need a friend at the moment."

Her eyes filled with compassion for her friend, Mallymkun climbed onto the rim of the Hatter's hat. He placed it on his head and pulled himself off the ground. The tears were coming hard and fast now, streaming down the white of his face. His eyes were now a sorrowful blue, but his eye shadow remained black.

"Hatter," It was the White Queen, she was standing right in front of him now. "She will come back."

"Don't," The Hatter slipped into the Scottish-like accent of his childhood, "Please, I just need to return to the tea party. I would hate for it to have to eat itself."

"I believe I understand." She said and stood to one side. How could you he thought but kept this too himself.

"Thackery, come on. We best be returning." And without waiting to see if he would follow, the Hatter wandered off, into a world that while wondrous, seemed suddenly empty and cold without a certain girl from Upland.