Okay, let me start by saying that I KNOW how cliche this story is. Everyone's doing these Alice In Wonderland "Mad Hatter and Alice's Time Together After She Randomly Decides To Stay" stories... but this is mine. I've decided that I'm going to collect a few reviews before I continue... IF I decide to continue. :/ If I get too many bad reviews, I'll stop. I'm really putting myself out here... hoping I don't get hurt too bad. So be nice. I do not own Alice In Wonderland :D All that Jazz.

Also, after a VERY professional review was left about my work, I've decided to go back and do some editing _ My bad. I would like to thank this person for their kind words and constructive criticism in EXACTLY the fashion that I needed to hear it. There are some things that I've done on purpose that my readers won't understand... but if I make a mistake, I like to see it pointed out (KINDLY and in a professional manner, may I add!). You guys are fantastic.

"Stay with us."

His vibrant eyes met mine and everything else around us faded away. He looked so hopeful standing there, hand outstretched. I wanted so desperately to make him happy… but what would everyone back home think if I never returned? Would they put out a search party for me? What would happen to my dear mother's reputation after it got around that her daughter had abandoned her family and disappeared off the face of the earth? No. I just couldn't do that to her. She'd never done anything to deserve it.

"I wish I could…" I replied, "but there are questions I have to answer."

I turned around and looked at McTwisp, who was wearing the same hopeful expression as the Hatter.

A smile played with the corners of my lips. "And things I'm late for doing."

Tarrant's face fell a thousand feet as I lifted the vial of jabberwocky blood to my lips. I don't know why I did what I did next… maybe I didn't really care about what happened back at home, or perhaps I couldn't bear the thought of so much disappointment among the creatures I'd learned to call friends. But as the first drop raced down the glass towards my lips, I pulled the vial back and threw it down on the ground.

There were gasps all around me as the vial shattered and the jabberwocky blood burned the ground like acid. A few seconds of silence followed as thoughts were collected, and before I had time to catch my breath, Tarrant had grabbed me up in his arms and spun me around. "Alice!" he cried, burying his face in my hair. "My dear Alice! Thank you!"

McTwisp jumped up and shouted with glee. The Tweedles nudged each other in excitement and even Mally let a smile light her tiny face before she turned away and made motions implying total disgust.

Suddenly Hatter grabbed my hand and pulled it up over our heads. "Our champion," he yelled, "is staying!"

His string of outlandish was drowned out by the cheers from the crowd. "Long live Alice!" they shouted. "Long live the White Queen!" Never in my life have I ever seen such an elated group of creatures… it was almost as though their whole world had saved by some twisted turn of fate. Oh wait…

"This is wonderful news!" Mirana smiled as she stepped forward. I found myself pulled away from the Hatter and into the arms of Underland's beloved White Queen. "We must celebrate this victorious occasion! Everyone go home and get some rest… and tomorrow we will meet in the grand ballroom for a glorious banquet and dancing!"

Everyone cheered once more in agreement before the crowd dispersed and I was passed back to the Hatter. "I'm entrusting you with Underland's most treasured hero," the White Queen told him. "It's your first official duty as my right hand man to escort Alice to her temporary residence in the west wing."

"Of course your majesty," Tarrant nodded, wrapping an arm around my waist. "You can count on me."

She curtsied sweetly and allowed herself to be swept away by a few of her servants, leaving the Hatter and I alone.

"This is all so crazy," I sighed, looking up at him. He grinned and pulled me against his chest, allowing me to bury my face in his jacket. He didn't smell bad at all… in fact, I'd describe his scent as a combination of tea and something musky that was all his own.

"Oh yes," he replied as he moved me back so he could look at my face. Every muscle in my body went limp when he leaned in close and grinned. "In fact, I'd say it's completely bonkers. All the best things are."

And with that he pressed his lips to mine.

Bad wasn't it? *cringes* Okay, I'm ready now. Give it to me and I'll decide if I want to keep going with this.