Title: To Find the Missing Pieces
By: St. Minority
Characters: Alice, Red Queen, Hatter, Doormouse, Cheshire Cat, etc. (No pairings as of yet)
Warning: Possible character death later on
Disclaimer: I don't own "AiW," nor American McGee's "Alice." I make no profit. Property of American McGee, Lewis Carroll, Tim Burton, etc.
Summary: Alice is captured by the Red Queen's army, leaving the Hatter and Mallymkun to continue the dangerous task of finding the pieces of the Jabberwock's Eye Staff. Can she escape and find them before they meet an awful fate?
A/N: This is made up of several various things. Set in Tim Burton's Wonderland world, though contains elements from the PC game American McGee's "Alice." I've also had two dreams dealing with Wonderland and the Hatter, so I'm giving in and doing what I thought I wouldn't do. :)
Never, ever, was it a good thing to be brought before the queen. It typically meant death by getting one's head lobbed off at dusk in front of the morbids of the court. No wonder inhabitants all throughout Wonderland shivered when the royal's name was mentioned and were stricken with terror if they happened to unluckily find themselves kneeling before her throne.
Over the years, however, Alice had gotten over her fear of the Red Queen and showed no signs of being afraid of the woman dressed in blood red hearts at the moment as she was escorted by two card guards into the main foyer of the castle. In fact, she had a tiny smirk prying at the edges of her lips, which made the queen's eye twitch the closer the girl came. It was a celebrated accomplishment to have caught the blonde rival, but it hardly pacified the Red Queen's tempestuous temper, considering Alice's companions had slipped through the capture.
At the steps leading up to the throne, the party of three stopped, and Alice could not help but give a small amused smile from the evident anger welling within the malevolent woman's eyes.
"Well?" the queen snapped bitterly.
Alice held the icy stare with her own defiant eyes and said nothing.
"Young girl, I don't think you quite understand the gravity of the situation you are in. Now tell me, where is the Hatter?"
The blonde shrugged and answered calmly, "I don't know."
"Of course you do!" bellowed the queen, jumping to her feet. "Or at least the direction he's headed in!" Taking a deep breath, she contained herself and sat down. "It's a fool's errand, you know," she stated matter-of-factly. "The pieces of the Jabberwock's Eye Staff are scattered throughout Wonderland; it'll take years to find them. No one knows where they are. It's said that only in the darkest of places is where they will be found. You've sent him to his death."
The last sentence made Alice's confident expression falter to one of intense despair. The queen grinned wickedly at this, knowing she had hit the mark spot on. If nothing else would get the stupid girl to confess what she knew, threats of her dear friend's well-being certainly would. Alice swallowed hard, cast her gaze down to the floor, and was quiet. Nothing was spoken for a moment as the ruler gave her captive a minute to process the words.
At last, she stood and stepped down to stand before her opponent. Quietly, almost sweetly, she asked, "Now, dear, where is the Hatter?"
With one hand keeping his hat in place, his other flailed at his side as he darted through the heavily shaded woods. Mallymkun desperately held onto the Mad Hatter's coat collar to keep from flying off. The screeching could still be heard behind them, seeming to grow closer with every passing second.
"Which way? Which way?" he shouted as he bounded through the thorny underbrush and mud puddles.
"There!" the doormouse exclaimed. "Up ahead!"
Using all the energy he had left, the Hatter sprinted for the cliff not far off in the distance where a small cave could be seen. He didn't dare look back, even though he could now feel his skin start to heat up along with his insides. The banshee scream pierced their eardrums, making each wince and cry out in pain.
With a tremendous leap, he dove for the cave opening and crawled inside. It was a low cavern, and he hoped the cursed thing would merely fly by, seeing as how it was moving several feet above the ground. He made to peer out, but withdrew and pressed himself against the rocky wall when he heard the wind-like sound draw near. It was only a handful of seconds before the wretched boojum gave up chase and flew away, but it felt as if it had been an eternity to the two occupants inside the cave.
"Mercy, I hate those things," Mallymkun mumbled, climbing down from the Hatter's shoulder.
Hatter simply nodded, still panting and sweating from the exertion.
"How do you even know if it's here?"
He inhaled and let out a few more deep breaths before he responded honestly, "I don't."
The mouse threw her arms up in frustration and plopped on the ground. "What time is it?"
There was a pause as the Hatter dug around in his pocket for his watch. "Six-thirty," he said and laughed in amusement.
"Of course it is. Why did I even ask?"
There was a loud boom of thunder, followed by several more, before rain started pouring down. The two stayed put in their refuge for the remainder of the night – though it wasn't as if they were going to leave; the light swishing noises of boojums could be heard right outside, keeping them in place and on edge for the next several hours.
The term "morbids" came from a book I was reading that described the huge crowd gathering around to see John Dillinger's corpse. For this, used to mean anyone who watches an execution for entertainment or jumps at the chance to see a dead body.
boojum - banshee-like figure with a skull-like head. If killed, they burst into flames. (from A.M.'s "Alice")