For TheOriginalFangirl who both requested and pitched this idea for me. Hope it's alright!
Disclaimer; In a world beyond my imagination, I do not own HnKnA and all its wonderful bishies and characters.
Blood x Alice
Crescendo: a gradual, steady increase in loudness or force; the climactic point or moment in such an increase; peak
Music gently filled the ballroom air, entrancing the guests with its gentle melody. Dancers from all three territories waltzed along the floor, performing an elegant dance with graceful twists and turns.
How Alice ended up in such a place was beyond her. She had been very adamant on the idea of staying as far away as possible from Vivaldi's ball. In fact, she planned on staying cooped up in the Clock Tower while the festivities transpired.
So what otherworldly force possessed her into coming to the ball?
Irritation slowly took hold of her mind as she evoked a single name.
That stupid rabbit had actually kidnapped her from her residence in the tower and forced her to come to the castle. The queen then felt a certain obligation to set her maids on her to properly garb her. Since Alice was already there, Vivaldi thought she might as well go to the ball. She also thought it would be atrocious on her part if she allowed Alice to go garbed in such casual attire.
'Stupid Peter…' Alice growled mentally, self-consciously clasping the sides of her blue gown with gloved hands. She had never felt so silly. Really, why had Vivaldi forced her to wear something so… fancy? It made her feel incredibly out of place… especially around these people.
Even though they were merely faceless servants, Alice couldn't help but find herself taken aback by their sheer grace, their effortless movement… She held doubts she would ever move with skill as close as that.
'Not like I want to dance,' she pouted to herself, warily scanning her surroundings, 'Especially with certain people here…'
"Alice!" Alice jumped at the sound of a certain White Rabbit's voice, intrinsically diving into the mass of dancers. "Oh, Alice dear! Where are you?"
She had to hide. Under no circumstances would she dance with that annoying rabbit or deal with him for the remainder of the night. There had to be a place where she could lay low for a little while…
Her eyes caught sight of the refreshment table, its pristine, white tablecloths sweeping against the floor. A smile curled her lips. 'Perfect!'
Alice swiftly ran towards the table and dove underneath, sighing in ethereal relief when Peter walked past her. Certainly, she would be safe as long as she stayed right there…
"Hi, Alice!" The young girl jumped at the sound of her name, turning towards the source of the voice.
She took a swift, calming breath, taking in the comforting sight of the twins. Food encompassed their suited forms, their faces riddled with crumbs and other sugary debris. "Oh, Dee, Dum! You scared me! What are you doing down here?"
Dee answered, "We were banned from the snack table so we decided to hide down here to eat!"
"What are you doing here?" asked Dum as he placed a small, colorful pastry into his mouth.
"Hiding from a certain stalker rabbit," she replied in a hushed voice.
"Oh! Well, that's good. For a second, we thought you were hiding from our boss!"
Suddenly Alice froze. "B… Blood's here?"
The twins slowly nodded her head, regarding her in curiosity. She sunk into the cold tile floor, realization striking her like a smack to the face.
Of course Blood would attend to Vivaldi's ball. No matter how her heart prayed he wouldn't, he had no choice. All role holders were to attend these sort of festivities. The twins simply confirmed her fears.
'Great. Now I have two people to avoid…'
The scarlet-eyed twin kindly said, "But we're so glad to see you here. You look so pretty!"
Alice's cheeks flushed at the compliment and smiled in gratitude.
The other twin added, "Yeah, we missed onee-san so much, and so do Newbie-hare and Boss!"
The mention of the Mafioso caught Alice's attention. "What? Blood misses me?"
The twins vigorously nodded their heads. "Yeah! He would really love it if he saw you again. He should be somewhere close by. Look!"
Deciding to humor the kids, Alice complied and slowly peeked her head out from underneath the tablecloth.
Something within her seemed to shatter. Her heart nearly stopped beating.
There he was.
Alice held her breath, feeling her chest burst back to life and hammer noisily against her rib cage. How long has it been since she seen Blood? It felt far too long.
For the ball, Blood was without his customary top hat, freeing his long, black mane. His eyes were still that sultry, emerald green. His suit was an unblemished white.
She almost thought he looked rather handsome… if he wasn't dancing with another girl.
Rage spiked her veins, sending a fire into her cheeks. She spat out, "Oh yeah… looks like he misses me a whole lot right now."
Surprised by her sudden change in demeanor, the twins scrambled towards the edge of the cloth, peeking their tiny heads out. Their expressions blanched. A unison of 'ohs' sounded from their lips as they snapped their heads back to the foreigner. "B…but, onee-san…"
"I'm getting out of here. I think I'll be taking my chances with Peter," said Alice abruptly, angrily storming out from underneath her hiding place.
The twins grimaced and groaned at Alice's reaction, smacking their sugary hands onto their faces.
"Plan B, brother?" Dee asked, cleaning crumbs off his dress pants.
Dum nodded his head. "Plan B."
With a fire in their eyes, the determined duo sneaked out from their place and dashed off.
They planned on getting those two to see each other before the night was through.
Even if it meant binding and gagging Alice to do it.
The night seemed to drag on in a longer interval than she was accustomed to. Perhaps it may just be that she was so tired. She spent most of the night weaving in and out when she thought Peter was anywhere near her.
Now she was too tired to run. Laying her head desolately against her arm, Alice sat aside from all the merriment and dancing.
When would this night be over? How much suffering must she endure?
'Bet Blood is having the time of his life...' she sulkily mused. 'How many other girls has he seduced by now?'
She had also made sure that she avoided Blood at all costs. She hadn't seen him since that covert fiasco underneath the table, and she wanted to keep it that way.
'I definitely don't want to see Blood...' she thought to herself, burying her tired face into her arms and dismissing a strange tightness in her throat. 'There is no way I'll see him at all...'
"Alice?" Her body jumped at the sound of her name, her jade irises coming in contact with bright indigo.
"Oh, Elliot!" Alice said happily, smiling at the dapper March Hare. "It's been so long since I've last seen you! You look great!"
Elliot bashfully smiled and dropped his gaze for a single moment. "Aw... This is nothing. You look very pretty, Alice." His rosy cheeks became an even brighter red when Alice smiled. He promptly cleared his throat. "Listen, Alice, I was wondering if you would, er, dance with me?"
"Oh, I'm not sure, Elliot. I'm really tired and all..."
"Please, Alice? Just one dance?"
The fair foreigner felt her heart go out to the orange-haired rabbit, saturated by the sweetness on his face. It seemed so wrong to deny something as innocent as a dance when she was speaking to Elliot. What could be the harm?
The young girl sighed and lifted herself from her seat. "Just one dance."
Elliot beamed with joy, gently taking Alice's gloved hand into his. The two took their place on the dance floor. Elliot placed his hand gentlemanly on her hip and grasped her hand, holding her body at a respectable distance.
Once a lively upbeat tune poured into the ballroom, the duo began to dance. As clumsy Alice thought herself to be, dancing with Elliot was so easy and effortless. As he guided her around, turned her into wild, dizzying circles, she felt perfectly safe. It didn't matter if she made a mistake. For the first time that night, Alice felt herself smiling and laughing.
As quickly as the song came, it ended. The smiling March Hare elegantly swept his body down towards the floor to a bow. His giddy dance partner finally placated her laughter and curtsied.
"I'm not a bad dancer, right?" said Elliot. "You mind gracing me with yet another dance?"
She waited a moment to allow her dizzy haze to dissipate from her mind. Despite how much fun she had, Alice needed a moment to rest. That had taken what little energy remained and some seconds for recuperation was in order.
But just as she was about to open her lips to reply, a voice sounded. "Sorry, Elliot, but she's already taken for the next dance."
Her heart began to speed in her chest. Her breath fell stagnant. It was impossible for her to forget such a rich, deep voice. It could only belong to one man.
Alice slowly turned around, green orbs locking onto brilliant emerald.
"Oh! Blood! I thought you were still in the tearoom. How was it?" Elliot innocently asked his boss.
"The queen's tea selection is excellent as always," was the Hatter's succinct reply, his eyes firmly intent on the foreigner. "Well, are you ready, milady?"
Indignation arose from her heart as she retorted, "What are you talking about? I never agreed to dance with you!"
"But you never disagreed either," Blood countered smoothly. "Now shall we get ready for the next song, or do you wish to continue finding excuses?"
Alice regarded him in disbelief. 'What on earth was in that tea?' She was sure she was perfectly clear that she was not going to dance with him. What more could she say to get through that adamant, thick head of his?
She looked to her side, hoping to have Elliot be her savior and rescue her from the Mafioso.
She repressed a low groan of disappointment to see that Elliot had completely disappeared.
'Thanks, Elliot. Thanks a lot.'
Before she could follow the March Hare's lead and disappear, Blood grasped hold of her arms and pulled her into him. "Ready or not, here we go."
But it was too late. Her voice drowned at the start of the new song. The next composition was an elegant, yet sultry piece. She would far more prefer if the song was upbeat and fast. It would help her forget her current dance partner.
The slow melody only made her even more conscious of his presence. His white gloved hand felt like weights on her waist; his touch nearly burned through her gloved hand. She struggled to control the uneven pace of her breath, the rapid palpitations of her heart.
With Elliot, everything felt so easy, safe even. With Blood, she never felt so conscious of her movements, risking certain peril if she dared make a single mistake.
While you might be scolded by our boss for stepping on his foot, with more practice, that will hardly be an issue!
She kept her emerald orbs down to her heeled feet, making doubly sure that her clumsiness was kept intact.
"Eep!" Alice squeaked, leaping out of his arms once she stepped on his foot. "Oh my god! Oh I'm so sorry!"
Alice then felt herself rush forward, pressed against his chest once more, mesmerized by his eyes.
"Why so nervous, milady? I thought you were a far better dancer than that? Or perhaps your specialty lies in seducing other men?"
Rage sparked a flame in her green orbs, rushing blood into her cheeks. 'How dare that Hatter insult me again!'
Blood winced when a sudden pressure came down on his foot, shooting the foreigner a surprised look.
"Oops! I'm so sorry! Me and my clumsiness!" said Alice with feigned remorse.
The dark-haired male quickly collected himself, changing the subject with a quick clearing of his throat. "Well, milady. It seems you still have that temper of yours... as well as your beauty. You look lovely. Blue really suits you."
"So I have been told..." curtly grumbled Alice.
"Now that's rather rude. No thank you? No compliments on my attire?"
Alice offered no immediate words, regarding his overall appearance yet again. She snapped her head away, trying her hardest to conceal a slow blush staining her cheeks.
Blood merely chuckled. "My, it has been a long time since we've last seen each other!"
The fair-haired girl nearly scoffed at the statement. 'Not long enough...'
"Why haven't you visited?"
With that question, anger surged through her veins, contorting her visage into an irritated scowl.
"You really don't know? Well I do recall a certain Hatter trying to kill me last time I was there."
Blood remained impeccably silent. She knew full and well that he remembered perfectly. Her hand's grip grew tighter.
"I just want to know what's your problem? I've done absolutely nothing to you, and yet you're nothing, but cruel to me! I just want to say I'm sick of it!" Alice paused from her nearly raving rant, awaiting a response. "Well? What do you have to say for yourself?"
Blood merely stared at her, his countenance unreadable, but something in his eyes... seemed softer. Alice felt her fortitude waver ever so slightly, her walls slowly crack and crumble.
Pale lids slid over the Mafioso's verdant orbs, his lips mouthing a low curse. Alice jumped at the sound of the White Rabbit, frantically turning her head in all sorts of directions.
"Perhaps, we should continue our discussion in a more private setting?"
Before Alice could respond, Blood already picked up his step, dancing her off the floor.
Her surroundings slowly dimmed, alight with only steady streams of silver light. An unprecedented chill rolled down the length of her spine Goosebumps erupted all across her skin. The orchestra's slow adagio grew fainter, floating over her like the distant wind.
Once Blood finally released her, Alice realized they were outside on the balcony.
"Here we go. Now we won't have to worry about that annoying Prime Minister interrupting us."
An anxiety spiked her veins as she absorbed the general solitude, the eerily silent atmosphere. What did he plan to do? Finish her off like he almost had before?
Slowly edging around the dark-haired male, Alice nervously said, "H... Hey maybe we should go back inside. Peter won't find..."
"No. I still have something to say." Alice gasped when Blood grasped her wrist and pulled her back into him.
Promptly steeling herself for anything, she asked, "Oh? What do you have to say for yourself?"
She braced herself for the very worst. Perhaps more insults maligning her good name? Then again, she never quite could understand Blood. He was completely unpredictable, performing the unexpected.
The music slowly fell into a nearly silent hush as Alice waited.
"...You know, you really should visit our territory more often."
Alice nearly collapsed onto the floor at such an anticlimactic declaration. By no means was she expecting that from the Hatter. Brown lashes fluttered in genuine confusion as she slowly collected her fallen composure. "W... What?"
Blood repeated coolly, "You should really come visit the mansion more often. It's been rather boring without you. We all miss you."
"So I've heard. The twins and Elliot said they really missed me."
"I miss you."
Again, Alice nearly fell onto the floor. Had she really heard him correctly? 'I know Blood's unpredictable, but this... this is just absurd!'
"I miss you," he repeated, his veneer unwavering. "As I said before, it's been boring at the mansion, and at least when you were there, things were more interesting."
Alice wasn't sure how to react at first, flabbergasted by such a frank statement.
She quickly composed herself and scoffed. "Ha! You're just saying that. Do you think I could be duped so easily?" Watching Blood gawk at her with palpable inquisition, she then continued, "I don't believe you, and there's no way I will go anywhere near you. There's nothing you can say that can make me change my mind!"
The stubborn brunette had foolishly though she had the last word, that her point had finally came across. Hopefully, she would then be free of him the remainder of the night.
She never meant for it to appear like a challenge – a challenge Blood was determined to overcome.
"Nothing I can say, eh?" Alice felt herself freeze, surprised by the confident smile spreading over his lips. "Well I've never been a man known for his words. Perhaps it's better if I show you how much I've missed you."
Alice didn't know how to react when Blood smashed his mouth over hers.
The orchestra had slowly began their song again, gradually growing louder and louder with each passing second.
But she could barely hear any of it, perceive anything in her current state.
Her mind fell into a complete blank. Every point of her body was stricken with such warmth, such an electricity that it made every nerve in her legs wobble and weaken. Arms laced around Blood's neck, partly to keep herself from falling, partly due to this visceral sensation that struck her body. She couldn't seem to get closer to him.
As they continued sharing this deep, passionate kiss, as the orchestra's crescendo transcended to its greatest, and perhaps its loudest note, a single voice spoke up.
A gunshot thundered in Alice's unsuspecting ears, causing her to wince and snap herself out of her daze. She promptly separated herself and anxiously examined the target of the assault. The bullet had barely missed its desired target, fired dangerously close to a certain rabbit's long, unsuspecting ears.
"Boss, what was that for? You could have killed me… or mutilated my ears at the very least," cried an exasperated Elliot, protectively holding his brown ears from possible future attack.
"Oh, it's you. I was merely trying to silence that annoying White Rabbit… but you also deserved a little lesson as well," Blood said stoically, his voice holding undertones of agitation.
"Oh, does it have to do with me dancing with Alice? Well, you should really blame these two devious brats! They persuaded me into doing it!"
The said devious brats appeared on either side of the March Hare, lips wide in smiles.
Alice blinked in surprise. "Dee? Dum?"
"Hi, Boss, onee-san!" The twin greeted them harmoniously.
Blood's eyes narrowed, scrutinizing his two youngest employees. "What is the meaning of all this?"
Dum was the first to speak, "Well, Boss has been rather moody since he hadn't seen onee-san for a long time."
"So we tried getting you two together to see each other!" Dee grinned. "When the subtle approach didn't work, we made Newbie-hare help. It worked too since Blood got jealous!"
Another gunshot fired, flying right over Dee's defenseless head. Blood growled, "I was not jealous."
The twins nodded their heads acknowledgment, though their eyes seemed to believe otherwise.
Alice slowly absorbed this information, considering it in her mind. "So… that why you wanted me to see Blood when I first saw you? To try to get me jealous because he was dancing with some random girl?"
The twins rotated their heads towards the foreigner, lips spreading even wider. "We didn't make Boss do that!"
"Oh…" Realization slow dawned over her. "Oh!" Her hands clamped over her mouth, refusing to speak in fear that another word would start the apocalypse.
Blood snapped his head towards her, emerald eyes twinkling underneath the moonlight. "You were jealous?"
When such a question arose from the Mafioso's lips, Alice felt herself wither, cringe at her own verbal blunder.
The twin's mouth stretched to form a wide, Cheshire Cat-like smile. "Come on, Newbie-hare. We'd better get going. Onee-san looks like she's going to murder someone, and we don't want it to be us!"
Elliot nodded his head in fervent agreement, more so fearing the loss of his poor ears. The three Hatter subordinates dashed forward and stole back inside. Alice cursed them under her breath, glaring at their waning forms for abandoning her.
"So, milady was jealous that I was dancing with another woman… interesting."
Sprinkles of rose splattered over her cheeks as she cried with inordinate vehemence, "I was not jealous! I was merely expressing pity for that poor girl for foolishly wasting even a second of her time with a womanizer like you."
A dark brow arched upwards, indulgently nodding his head. "Oh really. Not jealous, eh? I would have never guessed you cared that much."
"So conceited… I don't care about you already!"
Streams of nightly illumination glimmered in his emerald eyes like silver shards. "I meant how you cared for a girl that you don't quite know. That's nice to know as well."
Alice stammered wildly, clumsily struggling to recover from her rash word choice. Her mouth then decidedly clamped shut. She concentrated her focus on the sound of the orchestra, its elegant crescendo rising once more with its original gusto. Alice turned on her heels and aimed to begin walking forward…
The foreigner felt herself pulled back, pressed against an uncomfortably warm surface.
"Now where do you two think you're going?" Blood asked, his breath fanning over her face like cool, sweet perfume.
She swallowed hard. Despite her sudden blankness and absence of thought, she attempted to speak firmly, "Back inside. There's nothing more I wish to speak to you."
A certain glimmer flickered over his silvery green pools as he drawled, "Is that what you think? My apologies, but there is still much I wanted to speak with you about."
She intrinsically moistened her lips, already knowing what his idea of speaking was.
The music's lovely crescendo dulled to a mere background noise as his lips captured hers once more, melting every point of her being into the light in the evening sky.
A/N Notes: Beware of Dee and Dum's matchmaking services. lol
Regardless how this turned out...
Thanks for reading~