Ok here is the next chapter. Sorry it's been awhile but oh well here it is. It's a lot longer than my previous chapters and I'm half asleep at the moment so it's probably got half a dozen plot holes and grammatical errors, spelling mistakes etc. Oh well. Read on if you dare.
*Insert someone else disclaimer here*
"No." Said the Hatter without a moment's hesitation.
"No?" Asked Time clearly taken back. "Did you just refuse my offer? Do you know how many people refuse my offers?" He was beginning to grow large and ethereal, horrifying tentacles growing from his back flying all around. Chessur vanished to avoid one particular appendage that came his way, and Thackery was grabbed by a horrible, deep-purplish one. He struggled to get out, slime beginning to coat the poor hare.
"Let him go!" Yelled the Hatter.
Time's face began to distort and slowly formed a dragon's muzzle smoke drifting wistfully from its nostrils. It roared "NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO REFUSE THE OFFERS OF A GOD! YOU SHALL DO AS I COMMAND."
"You miss understand," The Hatter's voice was becoming a rush words muddled all together. A tentacle slithered across the rough Earth towards him and still Time grew. "IwasnottryingtosayIdidnotwish-"He jumped to avoid the creeping Kraken "to,,sogenerously."
Time reverted to his Prince Charming style looks, tentacles retracted quicker than the eye could see. Thackery fell to the ground with a HUMPH and Chessur returned, this time floating just above the Hatter's right ear. Mally looked up at him fear showing clearly on her normally oh-so-courageous eyes.
"Oh." He said cheerfully, "I wish you had told me that from the start." He walked forward and pinched the Hatter's cheek playfully "Could have avoided all this mess. So what do you want me to give you in return? I would have felt Alice would be the only thing you could think about."
"I couldn't do that to her. She left for her own world because she needed to see her family. She will eventually return, I know she will, but I will not drag her back here just to make me happy." His eyes turned to a deep black and he looked down at the floor. "She'll come back when she will."
"Awww!" Said Time mockingly. "That's adorable. You waiting for your love to come back. Like a woman."
"Hey!" Yelled Mally her sword out and ready for a confrontation she could never win.
"ONCE AGAIN!" Yelled Time, "Vermin. Shall Not. ADDRESS ME!" A third eye grew from his skull and flew straight at the Hatter turning slightly upwards so as to look at Mally. It spoke with an ominous grating voice although no observable point of emanation could be seen. "I could destroy you without lifting a finger."
The Hatter grabbed the eye and crushed it in his hand although only black smoke could be seen coming from it. "So you want me to go after the Red King. Why would you want me to do it, surely you could do it without trying."
Time grinned slowly, a demented chuckle coming from him. "Unfortunately for us all, I am not able to enter the realm of the Red King. Nor may any of my people enter this realm. No you may have had annoyed Mr Hightopp; but the guardians of the Red King angered me so greatly that I threw them out of time and space, and now that he is waking up...I cannot follow."
"Then you would be most inclined to have a cup of tea while the world ends, Thackery will be more then happy to supply the drink or drinks if you lord wishes to have multiple mouths at the time of his drinking." He gestured towards Thackery who did not at all look like he wanted to supply Time with anything. "And unfortunately for us all drinking is what must be done as we were not in anticipation of a tea party and therefore have only brought stuff for drinking and not in fact for eating."
Time stared blankly at the Hatter for a few moments before commanding "Chessur, please explain to Mr Hightopp what I actually mean."
Chessur said in a reluctant monotone "When Time says that he cannot go he doesn't mean that you cannot go. Time is the Master of Reality..."
"But outside reality," Continued Time "I have no power. So I will be sending you to do the job for me."
"Why me? Surely their must be hundreds better than me."
"Hundreds? Ha. Try millions. Mr Hightopp I wish you would start understanding your own importance. You are nothing. An invisible speck of dust on an invisible speck of dust inside an infinite darkness of absolutely nothing. You are simple. I am so complex the universe can barely allow my existence. I want you to understand that the only reason I lower myself to your level is because I can." For emphasis he dropped to one knee and grew to be about 100 metres tall.
The Hatter laughed. A hollow laugh that barely hid the horrid feelings he was having in refusing to let someone bring Alice back, but it was a laugh none the less.
"What's so funny?" Said Time standing back at his usual size.
"You're lying. From what I've heard about you from Chessur and those few times we've managed to talk I have learnt a few things. Principally that you like to make yourself seem so much more powerful then you actually are. You have a huge superiority complex, you feel that you're shining, spiffing, supreme. But you are actually quite dependent on us mere mortals, aren't you?"
"DO NOT TRY MY PATIENCE." He transformed rapidly into a huge bird like creature with snakes for feathers.
"Admit it!" Roared the Hatter, "And I shall help you."
"Fine!." The bird-thing spat, before resembling itself into it's human persona. "You have to be the one to do it."
"Why me?" The Hatter took his hat off but allowed Mally to jump to his shoulder. He began to twirl it on his finger, "Why does it have to be me?"
"Because Destiny..." Time struggled to get the next part out "...said so."
At this the Hatter and Chessur burst into fits of laughter, Mally quite confused had to ask "What's so funny?"
Before either of them could answer however Time yelled "Don't you tell her! Do you accept Hatter. Will you go to the world outside this world."
"What's in it for me, your lord changey?" Asked the Hatter, mostly to be annoying.
"Ok, you don't want Alice to come to you, than how about this. I will send you to her."
The Hatter looked straight into the eyes of Eternity "You'd do that?"
"Yes. It'll be your reward."
The Hatter's vision slowly scanned over the eyes of his friends. First to Mally standing on his shoulder her expression equal parts happiness and gloom. He knew what she was thinking. His gaze than fell to Thackery who looked quite cross at the suggestion of the Hatter leaving Underland. The Hatter managed a weak smile. The March Hare and he had been together for so many years that they were like brothers. Mally and him were close, but Thackery and him were beyond close. Chessur grin was the next thing he saw, God he hated that grin. He turned towards Time who looked quite impatient for an answer (which is kind of odd considering he's eternal and can time travel). Once last glance towards his friends and then he turned back to Time.
I'm so sorry Thackery, he thought, a single tear rolling down his face "Yes. I take the deal."
Thackery looked heart-broken and hopped off into the forest as fast as he could. "Thackery!" The Hatter tried to run after him but crashed into an invisible wall. Well he thought it was an invisible wall until it turned into a wing and he realised it was apart of Time.
The Hatter fell to the floor and when he looked across from him he saw Mally standing next to him with tears in her eyes "It's ok Hatter, I understand."
"Oh you mortals are so emotional! Honestly you'll all get to see each other in death anyway, I don't see what you're complaining about."
The Hatter got to his feet, not noticing as Mally darted into his trouser pocket. She was going to have one last adventure with the Hatter. "Ok." He said trying to hold back the tears. "I'm ready."
"Okydoky" Time raised his hand and walked forward towards the Hatter. "Chessur will be accompaning you on this trip. He can explain all the particulars and the overall path to the Red King."
"Tarrant this is going to be dreadfully hard. You need to be 100% understanding." It was the Chesire Cat his grin faltering for a moment holding back great grief. "Just because you do this doesn't mean you will get to see Alice again. There is a great chance that you will die. Are you sure you want that?"
The Hatter was balling now, tears running down his face. "No, but if the Red King wakes up everyone dies. Not just here...but in Alice's world too. I won't let that happen. I won't let her die!"
"Awww touching." Time stepped closer once more his hand barely away from the Hatter's chest. Chessur grabbed hold of the Hatter's arm preparing for the moment of take-off. "This will hurt...a lot." And the last thing the Hatter heard before he vanished into an immense void was the sound of Time's laughing.
The Hatter found himself covered in sand his hat at least 2 meters away from him. Picking himself off the ground he tried as best he could to get rid of the horrible, gritty substance off his clothes and walked to get his hat. If he was going to save the universe he was going to do it in his best. Unfortunately he did this quite badly, stumbling around and almost falling over a couple of times. Thankfully he did manage to get to his hat.
He picked it off the ground and found the Chesire Cat's head right underneath. "Oh thankyou ,Tarrant. I couldn't find my way out of there." Chessur vanished from the sand and reappeared hovering above the Hatter's left shoulder. "So this is it. Un-reality."
"Kind of sandy. Dry. A desert. The sky's not even blue. I'm guessing there'll be no beach then. That's kind of bad. I liked beaches." The Hatter was still stumbling around trying to gain his balance "Actually I'm feeling quite happy. Wasn't I very depressed moments ago."
"That's the dimension travelling talking. You'll feel quite strange for a couple of hours like after very strong tea. Don't worry. It should get better." Explained Chesire. They both just stood their waiting for some sort of sign of what to do. And then they heard a sneeze.
They both turned to each other. "That wasn't you was it?"
"I think..." Said Chessur "That the noise came from your pocket."
The Hatter quite confused reached into his pocket and pulled out a certain Dormouse. "Mally! How did you get here?"
"I think it's sort of obvious, Tarrant. She got into your pocket before we left and stowed away with us."
"I think that's what I did." Said Mally trying not to hiccup. "But I'm not sure."
"Well as long as you're here you might as well come with us. I'll probably yell at you in a few hours but we'll cross that road when we come to it." Said the Hatter cheerfully. "Now what?"
"I think you two should get some sleep, so as you don't go around falling over everything we come across this trip. You both look beat."
"Ok," Squeaked Mally as she curled up into a ball. "But before nap-time I want to know what's so funny about Destiny telling Time what to do."
"Oh that!" The Hatter started to laugh. "Oh that well the thing about Destiny is that Time and her are sort of very close."
"How close?" Asked Mally.
Chessur was the one to answer "She is his wife." And with that our heroes dissolved into fits of laughter before falling over from exhaustion.
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