The only thing Iracebeth could do was watch along with everybody else on the battlefield as Alice was thrown upwards into the air, the perfect position to strike the Jabberwocky's neck. Vorpal blade held aloft, she seemed suspended in flight for a long moment before Gravity began to take its toll and pull her downward. "Off with your head!" She let out a hoarse cry as she brought the Vorpal Sword down forcefully upon the neck and severed his head from the rest of his body.

Her Jabberwocky.

She stood there, stunned, as the body reeled atop the crumbling ruins before falling down into the ocean. The head rolled down the spiraling stairs thump, thump, thump, as she stared in half-disbelief, until it came to rest at her feet.

Her darling Jabberwocky.

She remembered the day so many years ago when she had 'borrowed' a horse and slipped away from the Castle early in the morning because she could no longer stand being there with her parents and the fawning courtiers and that oh-so-perfect Mirana who made her feel nauseous with all her saccharine sweetness and put-on façade of perfection (because Iracebeth well knew that Mirana was Not as Nice as everybody thought). She had ridden for hours, through Crims and Witzend, round the Bend Mountains that separated the Outlands from the rest of Underland, keeping that land isolated and untraveled.

She had wanted to be alone, away from everybody. She had been sick of people, sick of them staring at the size of her head, sick of the whispers in the corridors that stopped when she came near making it blatantly obvious that they were speaking of her, and sick, sick, sick of the plans and preparations for the upcoming Wedding- her Wedding, her Marriage to some Prince from a neighboring country who she had never even met. She had wanted to get away from it all, if only for a brief time.

After traveling for quite a while she had, upon reaching the farthest region of the Outlands, quite by accident, stumbled upon the young Jabberwocky while he had been hunting. Having studied Dominion Over Living Things, she was aware of some of the traits of Jabberwocky: though they were wild and elusive creatures, she knew that when caught young enough they could be trained and upon reaching maturity they were huge, terrifying creatures.

A perfect weapon to keep the rabble in line once she became Queen, she had considered. After all, it wasn't as though the people loved her; they loved Mirana and she had had thoughts that once she was Married and Crowned Queen of Underland, as was her birthright, there would most likely be uprisings to put Mirana on the throne, and that was something she could not- would not- allow. If she could not rule the people's hearts with Love, then she would have to rule their heads by Fear.

It had been with these sorts of thoughts vaguely flitting about in her mind that she had first approached the Jabberwocky with the intent of capturing it and after a long time of struggle and rushing about, finally succeeded in that endeavor.

She knew that Jabberwocky had only one enemy, the Vorpal Sword, and that they concurrently feared and hated the Sword with a vengeance, for that was the only sword in the world capable of slaying their kind. By persuading him that if he went with her she could lead him to the Vorpal One so that he could destroy it, the Jabberwocky finally conceded to go with her back to her home. Of course she couldn't very well have taken him to the Castle, so she had hidden him by the ruins of the Old Castle which was deserted and not oft used except as a battlefield.

Then had begun the training. When Jabberwocky had been young, the training was difficult and terribly trying to Iracebeth's already-thin patience but she succeeded in it. After she was Married, though, duties often detained her and the chance to slip away for an hour or two to spend time with her Jabberwocky occurred less and less and she eventually had to enlist Stayne's help (though she swore him to Utmost Secrecy).

In the countless hours she had spent with Jabberwocky in training, she became fond of him, even nicknaming him "Jabberbabywocky" when he had been young. She had found him to be an extremely intelligent creature, fierce and undefeated but for the Vorpal Sword. Jabberwocky were born instinctively knowing the memories of their predecessors, so her Jabberwocky knew of the battles fought by his ancient ancestors and remembered them as though they had been his own, making his desire to destroy the Vorpal Sword even stronger.

It was on the Horunvendush Day that he had seized the chance to finally set out and destroy the Sword- but it turned out that the Sword was indestructible, and he succeeded only in destroying the Bearer of the Sword. They all knew that another Bearer would turn up soon enough, for as long as there was a Vorpal Sword there was a Bearer, so Iracebeth had made certain to keep the Sword locked up tight in a chest and guarded by a Bandersnatch so that there was no chance of her Jabberwocky being slain.

Yet here was his head, presently lying at her feet. As she watched, the red light dimmed from his eyes as the eyelids drooped down to cover them, like he was going to sleep.

She was aware that her mouth was trembling, as it generally did before she was about to cry. How strange. She never cried, or at least she hadn't since… since she couldn't remember when. Was it after her husband's betrayal? Yes, she remembered crying then, that night after the beheading. That had been the first beheading of her reign, the first of countless others. She had ordered and witnessed so many over the years that they had all begun to blend together, she could hardly remember any of them in detail; only his could she remember very clearly, but she was uncertain whether that was because she had done it herself or because that had been the first time she had ever felt remorse over losing someone she hadn't realized she loved.

Loved?

It was then that she realized that she actually felt something akin to love for her Jabberwocky. Not only because he had helped overthrow Mirana, not only because he had been her tool for keeping the rabble in line, but just because… he had been her pet Jabberwocky.

Her Jabberbabywocky.


A/N: Random little idea that occurred to me while watching the movie again. I always feel sorry for Iracie at the end, she looked so sad! This started off as a little drabble about Iracie and Jabberbabywocky and then, of course, once I started writing my mind wanted to go off on tangents (as it is wont to do) with back stories, memories, and things that are unrelated to the main focus of the story, and… you have this. I apologize if is not very coherent!

Thanks so very much for reading! Reviews and (constructive) criticism are greatly appreciated!