Back with the Hatter's

The group had made it through the maze and doors leading to the Castle and were finally going through it's doors. Once in, they split up into three groups, Boris and Gowland, the twins in their own group, and Blood and Elliot. Each went their separate ways until Boris came upon Ace trudging out of the bathing room, still covered in cement that was quickly drying.

"Hey kitty cat, would you mind licking me off", Ace asked, attempting to wipe some of the gray gunk off his chest. Boris gagged internally.

"I'll do that when they start serving cats on a stick", he replied smartly, "I'm guessing you went through Alice's game?". Ace nodded, a grin on his face at the memory, the brunette was probably long gone by now.

"Well? Do you know which way Alice went?", Boris asked impatiently. Ace nodded and pointed down the corridor to the left, "She said something about being late for a date with the Queen, I'd hurry if I was you", the Knight smirked at the two. Gowland started pulling out his violin as they rushed down the hallway, leaving Ace still covered and quickly becoming a statue. They reached a room that had someone screaming from it, sounding very much like a woman's. Boris looked at Gowland and nodded. He ran off to get the others as Gowland stood there, prepared for the brunette to come out.

Back with Alice

She'd gone to the Queen who was waking up, tied to a chair in the tea room. She had the cage with the little animal that was to scare the Queen. It was a snake, a meer garden snake, but it was long enough to scare the wits out of the woman.

"Hello Vivaldi", Alice smiled sweetly, curtsing, the hat-crown combo swaying as she did. The woman's purple eyes were locked on her crown that was on the outsider's head. Thought of outrage and beheading came to her mind. Despite her cuteness, the Queen wasn't afraid to send Alice to a beheading for this insolence. She screamed against the bond in her mouth, which Alice removed.

"My majesties, I have a small trick I'd like to do with a certain animal", the girl smiled evilly and went back to the cage she had placed on the table.

"My game is for you to face your fear", Alice said bored, she was getting sick of saying these rules, "And your challenge is to kiss the critter in this cage", she rattled it, getting the satisfaction of seeing fear in Vivaldi's face at the sound of the snake hissing. Vivaldi started screaming her head off as Alice opened the cage and slowly drew the snake out. She got her hands on it's head and started pulling it toward the shrieking monarch.

"Get that wretched thing away from us!", she shouted, a high pitch sound that made the heart shape windowed shiver. All of a sudden Boris and the others came through the locked door, tearing it off it's hinges as they went. Gowland started playing his violin, meanwhile the others crowded around Alice who'd dropped the snake and was looking for an escape. Blood and Elliot had found a servant's quarters where extra pillows were held and had ripped one open for the stuffing. All of them had stuffed the pillows contents into their ears to protect them from the violin's scratchy notes.

Now Alice was clamping her hands over her ears, and still running around the room to try and find a place to get out, she'd locked all of the doors, a mistake on her part, and was now trapped. It ended with Elliot capturing her by grabbing her arms, pryng her hands from her ears, and letting her go dizzy from the music. Vivaldi was already knocked out on the floor, and the snake had mysteriously disappeared.

Blood got the cuffs out of his jacket and threw them to Elliot who placed them on the brunette's wrists. Boris, seeing that Alice was fully incapacitated, gave a signal to Gowland to stop. He cut it off and everyone pulled the pieces of fluff out of their ears.

"We caught Onee-san!", the twins high-fived each other. Blood coughed and held out his hand to Gowland, who bit his cheek and handed the video-tape over. And Blood promptly smashed the thing right then and there, stomping on the pieces with his boots to destroy the film.

There was one problem with their plan, they hadn't thought past getting the brunette under control.

"Well now what are we going to do with her?", Elliot asked, still holding the outsider by the forearms. She was starting to come around , and none of them wanted to deal with a angry, evil, Alice. Suddenly a idea formed in the three younger members of the party. Boris and the twins looked at each other and grinned evilly.

Boris clued the others in on the telepathically sent message. "She became like this at the Carnival, so why not unleash her on the Joker, he started the whole thing anyway", the Cat smiled mischievously. The role-holders, including Vivaldi who had been revived, looked at each other with similar smiles.

"Let's do it".

At the Outskirts of the Carnival

They found Alice's storage of sleeping pills and put one of the blue pill into her mouth to knock her out again. And left her at the edge of the woods.

"She'll be alright, after all, we'd have to go there anyway to get her back to her original self", Elliot told the two twins who'd wanted to take the girl directly to the Ring-master, "Besides this should give him enough motive to change her back", Elliot chuckled to himself.

They walked away, Blood was fuming silently in his head for not getting his revenge, but there'd always be time once the little girl was back to her harmless self, then he'd get his retribution. And a little after their departure, Alice's green eyes started to flicker as she gained consciousness. She staggered to her feet and found herself looking at a sign that said, 'CARNIVAL THIS WAY -'. Alice grinned to herself.

This was a very short chapter, but it was a build-up for the next chapter, the one I've been waiting for since I started this! *rubs her hands evilly*