So this is just a very random oneshot I came up with. Basically, what might have happened if Lady Long Ears had seen Alice and Hatter in the workshop when Alice had been holding the Hatter's face, instead of that later encounter with Stayne. Get ready for an honest Alice, a flirtatious Queen, a jealous Knave, and a very happy Hatter!
Disclaimer: I don't own Alice In Wonderland. With the amount of disclaimers in these stories, I'm pretty sure everyone knows this by now.
Um And The Hat Man
They were just standing there in the workshop, her hands gently holding his face, speaking lovingly to him. The Hat Man – as the Red Queen called him – was gazing up at the large girl with sparkling green eyes, a bright smile on his face. It didn't take very long for Lady Long Ears to guess that there was something going on between these two. And since the door had been partially closed and they were speaking quietly, she also guessed that they didn't want anyone to know about their "affair". Well, that will soon change.
Lady Long Ears hurried away with a smug grin, heading straight for the Red Queen's dressing room. Ever since that 'Um from Umbradge' had replaced her as court favourite, Lady Long Ears had been plotting, trying to find a way to have the Queen screaming her infamous words which would see the last of this 'Um'. And she was certain that what she had seen would do it. Um was a lady at court; it was unwise to have an affair with someone as low as a common hat maker, especially when that hat maker had been the enemy not a few hours before.
"Hat Man, where are my hats?" the Red Queen screeched as Lady Long Ears entered the dressing room. "I am not a patient monarch!"
"He is busy, Majesty," she told her with a curtsy. "I just saw him."
"Busy making hats?" the Queen asked. "What are they like? Do you think they'll take the size away from my head?"
"Certainly, your Majesty," Lady Long Ears replied immediately, even though she hadn't actually seen the hats. "But that wasn't the only thing I saw, Majesty. Lady Um was there with him, and they were...closer than they should be."
"What do you mean by that?" the Red Queen asked, her eyebrows knotting together.
"I think they might be having an affair, Majesty," Lady Long Ears replied. "They were standing together, face to face, her hands holding his face. They were both smiling at one another, and she was speaking to him softly and quietly. The door was almost closed, too, and I assume that they didn't want anybody to see them. But I saw them, and I thought that you would want to know."
She leaned back again, waiting for the Red Queen to burst, and scream her infamous words which everyone feared above all. It was why they all wore fake over-sized body parts, for pete's sake! Her face turned slightly red, but not as red as Lady Long Ears was hoping for. In fact, after a couple of moments, it turned back to it's original colour as the Red Queen took in a few deep breaths to calm herself down. It was only a small affair, after all. It wasn't like Um was flirting with her Knave!
"Send her in," was all she said. "And then tell the Hat Man to hurry along with his hats for my beautifully big head, otherwise he will find himself without a head."
"Yes, your Majesty," Lady Long Ears acknowledged, giving a small curtsy and leaving the room.
Well, that didn't go as well as she had planned. But the Red Queen wanted to talk to Um, so there was still a chance of the blonde saying the wrong thing. She was young and naïve; it was bound to happen sooner or later. She spotted Um fleeing the workshop with all haste, hurrying down the hall in the opposite direction.
"Lady Um!" she called after her.
She came to a halt and allowed Lady Long Ears to catch up with her.
"Her Majesty wishes to speak with you at once!" she said, trying to hide the bitterness in her voice, before she turned to go into the workshop and tell the Hat Man his message.
Alice hesitated. The Hatter had told her that the Vorpal Sword was hidden somewhere in the castle, and that she needed to find it. Of course, Alice was still unsure about slaying the Jabberwocky, but there was something she definitely wanted to use it for, and that was freeing the Hatter so that they could go to the White Queen together.
But then she realized that if she didn't go to the Red Queen now, she may never get the chance to do even that. Her head would be floating in the moat outside alongside the others. So she made her way to the Red Queen's dressing room, where the Queen herself was sitting alone, admiring herself in the mirror. Alice then realized that the mirror she was looking into made her head seem smaller than it actually was; it was no surprise to Alice, though.
"You wanted to see me, your Majesty?" Alice spoke up, cautiously stepping closer.
"Ah, yes," the Queen said, turning to her. "Sit!"
Alice obediently sat, lowering herself carefully down on the stool held by two monkeys; she put all her weight on it so that it touched the floor, allowing the monkeys to give their arms a rest.
"I have heard a whisper, Um," the Red Queen began, with an expression which Alice found hard to read; her emotions were not close to the surface, unlike the Hatter's. "Is it true that you and the Hat Man have been having an "affair", so to speak?"
Stunned, Alice just stared at the Red Queen. Where had she heard that from? Where had anybody got that information? Alice suspected that someone had seen her earlier in the workshop, when her hands had been holding Hatter's face. Lady Long Ears, more likely. Thinking fast, Alice pondered over how she should answer. She could correct the Queen, and say that her gesture was nothing of the sort, but then she would have to make up some sort of story to explain why she had been holding the Hatter in such a way. It would be too complicated, and would most likely end in having hers and Hatter's heads chopped off.
But if she told her the truth, how would the Queen react? She didn't look at all angry, but that could change in a hurry if Alice said the wrong thing. Alice could remember the rules of court from her History lessons, and remembered that it was unwise to have an affair with one who was below you. Not only that, but the Red Queen cared for no others; how could she possibly know about these sorts of things?
It was then that the Knave of Hearts entered the room, and the Red Queen briefly turned from Alice and held out her hand, allowing the Knave to kiss it. Alice immediately caught her facial expression; she had been wearing a similar one earlier on in the throne room, when the Knave had made his entrance. It was a look of pure admiration; she was in love with him. And he was lower than her. When the Red Queen turned back to her and Stayne gave Alice a lustful look, Alice decided that it was best to take a chance. What did she have to lose, besides her head?
"Well, is it true?" she asked again. "Is it true that you and the Hat Man have been having an affair?"
Stayne immediately went into shock mode, and looked from Alice to the Queen, then back at Alice. A beautiful creature like her having an affair with someone like the Hatter? It couldn't possibly be true!
"It is, your Majesty," Alice lied in a quiet voice.
"I see," the Queen stated with suspicion. "Are you aware that he is lower than you? And by that I mean class, not height."
"I am aware of both, your Majesty," Alice replied, gradually growing bolder, as if she was standing up to her own mother. "But I guess the heart wants what the heart wants. I have fallen in love with him, your Majesty. Just like you are in love with your Knave. Of course, I can see that your love is a lot stronger than mine."
Seeing an uncharacteristic warm smile form on the Queen's face, Alice knew immediately that she had said the right words. Comparing herself to the Queen's love, and giving a compliment. A double strike. But for some reason, Alice didn't feel awkward about lying. Usually when she lied, like she had done outside when she first met the Red Queen, she always felt awkward and sometimes guilty. But as she spoke those words, she found that she spoke them with ease. Either she was getting a lot better at lying, or she wasn't lying at all...
"I guess when it comes to love, it doesn't matter what class you are," she shrugged, casting a flirtatious glance up at the Knave.
She didn't even notice him shudder.
"And if you love him as much as I love Stayne, then I approve of you both," she continued, turning back to Alice. "But on one condition: don't get engaged before I do."
For some reason, Alice just had to smile at that comment.
"Wouldn't dream of it, your Majesty," she assured her, before giving a small curtsy and leaving the room.
It had strangely gone better than Alice had thought, and she found herself smiling even more as she turned to walk down the hall again. Maybe the Red Queen wasn't as bad as everyone said she was? But when Alice caught sight of the monkeys holding up candle sticks, and the birds flapping above her whilst holding up the chandeliers, that thought dismissed her head immediately.
Meanwhile, the Knave pondered over what he had heard. How could she choose someone like that Hat Man over him? It was unheard of. Before he became a Knave, women were falling all over him, but never had he been used to a woman choosing someone else over him. And the Hatter, of all people; his skin was white, his hair was bright orange, and his eyes were green. Why would any woman want to be near him? Stayne was unsure, but there was one thing he knew.
If he couldn't have Um, then he would prevent any other man from having her.
He walked the hallways all night, pondering over what he could do to get Um headless. He could always create a rumour? No, too obvious. Or, he could tell the Queen that he had seen Um and the Hatter doing...stuff they weren't supposed to be doing in an inappropriate place? No, she wouldn't mind this. The two of them almost did something similar once before, which made Stayne shudder even now. That was a day he would very much like to forget.
Morning had come, and Stayne was just on the verge of giving up when he caught sight of the girl in question, hurrying along the hallway with something in her hand. Stayne hid behind the corner and watched. It was the Vorpal Sword! How had she gotten into the Bandersnatch's stable? But he focussed more on how he could use this to his advantage. She was clearly stealing the Vorpal Sword; this would no doubt result in her losing her head! In a flash, Stayne called upon two Red Knights and followed her to the workshop.
The door was open just a crack, and Stayne peeked in to see what was going on inside. There was Um, sword raised high above her head, and the Hatter sticking his leg out underneath. She was going to cut the chain and set him free! In an instant, Stayne suddenly realized the true reason why she had come; she had come to rescue that crazed hat man! Anger boiling inside of him, he burst into the room with the Red Knights behind him.
"Arrest that girl for theft and attempted freeing of a prisoner!" he bellowed, pointing an accusing finger.
Alice gasped at the Knave's sudden entrance, and held out the Vorpal Sword in front of her as she backed away. The Hatter stood up and placed himself in front of her in order to protect her.
"Take it to the White Queen!" he hissed out the corner of his mouth.
"I'm not leaving without you!"
He picked up two rolls of fabric and threw them, each hitting the two Red Knights. Stayne stepped fully into the room, a smug expression on his face.
"I knew that there was something suspicious going on here," he spoke. "I knew that you two must have known each other before all this. No one can fall in love with a Mad Hatter that quickly."
The Hatter's eyes went wide as he glanced over at Alice, who's eyes were equally as wide. But more out of worry at what more the Knave would probably say, as opposed to the shock of what he actually said.
"Now, don't seem so surprised by it," the Knave continued, noticing their wide eyes. "Nearly all the court knows about you two. Lady Long Ears saw you both in here last night, giving each other that loving look. And Um herself was admitting it all to the Queen. "I guess the heart wants what the heart wants", she said. "I have fallen in love with him", she said. And now here you are, attempting to free him and make an escape together."
Alice bit her lip as the Hatter looked over to her with surprise, and their eyes met. It was then, and only then, that Alice realized she hadn't been lying at all. She had in fact fallen in love with him, and all it took was a misunderstanding, a white lie, and a jealous Knave to make her realize this. She caught the Hatter giving her a smile.
He was...happy about it?
Suddenly, the Knave lunged forwards with his sword drawn, and the Hatter blocked him with one of the manikins. Stayne tossed it aside, almost hitting a startled Mallymkun, and the Hatter took a hold of one of the perfume bottles and stood up onto the chair, preparing to spray the thing in the Knave's eye. All the while, Alice backed away towards the door.
"RUN, ALICE!" Mallymkun yelled, before slapping her paws over her mouth when she realized her mistake.
Stayne froze, and looked over at Alice with a look of realization.
"RUN!" the Hatter cried.
Alice had no choice but to do just that. She allowed a sob to escape her when she heard the torturing sound of the Hatter falling to the floor, and in an instant, she realized what his smile had meant.
He loved her, too. But now, she may never see him again.
Yes I know, a sad ending, but it was the best place I could leave it, really. And how it ends? Just think Blood Of The Jabberwocky ;)
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