Yes I'm finally complete with this! Sorry it took so long guys, was swamped with school starting and all T.T Thus this will be and extra long chapter to celebrate! Hope you'll enjoy it as well :) And a BIG thanks for all the reviews! I was really encouraged to get this out as soon as I could so pls review and let me know if it's ok k!
Also, it might be weird but there's a slight change to how Peter thinks since I figured normally we would be talking to ourselves more instead of to another person.
XD And now, I present to you...
Disclaimer: I do not own anything HnKnA except for my story plot.
He adjusted his round-rimmed glasses while deep ruby orbs scanned the area around him. Evidently, he had felt a wave of distortion pass through the dream world and the scenery changed subtly, like a disturbed pool of smoke. But other than that, nothing major was worthy of his attention as it remained the same sea of emerald and violet clouds.
Urgh… Peter's nerve twitched impatiently as he gave Nightmare a dull stare. What nonsense is that guy sprouting now?
"Nonsense you say? What happened to good manners and 'thank you's?" The disgruntled silver-eyed man asked, placing his hands crossly at his hips as his body began to float sideways in the zero-gravity space.
Whatever for? I doubt he did anything at all… The red-eyed Prime Minister cynically thought as he glanced around him again sceptically.
"Of course I did something! Sheesh! Would a little appreciation hurt?" The Dream Master grimaced with a dented pride as he regarded his visitor before him upside down.
Would a little injection hurt? Peter leered.
"That's not the same." But sure enough, Nightmare's face grew even paler as he flinched at the mental image of 'little' gigantic needles viciously piercing skin that Peter had so generously provided.
It is to me so live with it. Smirking triumphantly, Peter casually ended the subject. But seriously, what the heck was supposed to happen anyway?
"Well, as you desired, you'll be seeing Alice soon." Nightmare nonchalantly replied as drifted back to being upright. And without turning back, the incubus dismissed himself with a wave to a blank-faced Peter, whose ears now stood at attention, and started floating up and away.
"Oh, and don't worry, I won't be interrupting while you both talk, I'll just go disturb someone else's dream-"
WHAT! What did you do that for! Peter yelled angrily, finally overcoming his state of surprise with full mental panic, yanking the dream demon back down by the bottom hem of his attire and causing Nightmare to stumble backwards uncomfortably and inducing a bout of heavy coughing.
However, despite his outburst, a furious blush covered his cheeks and it was obvious to anyone that his face was lit up with joy and anticipation; like a child waiting to receive his candy.
But still, Nightmare had no business butting his way into his life, as usual if he might add, but especially not at a time like now. How would he explain to Alice? If she found out about the white rose, would she chide him for being foolish? Peter felt conflicted.
I didn't ask for any wish to be granted! What are you? My fairy godmother now? He sarcastically remarked in exasperation.
"I'm not interested in playing your fairy godmother Peter..." Nightmare straightforwardly pointed out as he tugged his clothes free before bending over with a quick swipe of his handkerchief to his mouth as he continued, "…I'm Alice's."
Peter tilted his head to the side and cocked an ear, puzzled and disgusted as he watch the sick incubus cough up more blood. He doesn't even make sense anymore does he?
"Apparently it was Alice who requested to see you, and I can do no other then to oblige. She's in this dream now." The incubus murmured sickly into the red-dyed cloth. He pointed a weak finger to a particular direction and Peter noticed a trail of white rose petals that was not there before, fading into an unknown part of the dream.
She's really here then? His eyes widened, but were quickly countered with a deep pull of his brow. But… what do I tell her…? Peter thought hesitantly, more to question himself.
"Don't you have a lot to say to her?" Reading his thoughts, Nightmare suddenly appeared from behind, smiling knowingly.
Yes, but that was when I had the rose, and now that it's gone… Peter 'mumbled' to himself dejectedly at being reminded of it.
"That's where I come in again, but let me get this straight; I am NOT you're fairy godmother." Ignoring the odd look Peter flashed him, Nightmare sighed in resignation.
"Actually, like you, I'll be creating a 'malfunction', a break in the game, to temporarily allow you to fulfil what you couldn't do with the rose. Yes, Peter… I'll be giving you your voice back, and this time you'll be able talk rather than use telepathy, so stop gaping at me, it's kind of rude."
The Dream Master gave a snort and folded his arms, smiling amusingly and waiting patiently for Peter's reply, who was now too stunned to even think.
…Can he actually do that?
"You seriously need to have more faith in me!" Nightmare childishly huffed before regaining his usual cool composure. "You forgot that I control this realm Peter. 'Anything can happen in Wonderland', but it is even more so in a dream and that is the power I hold."
But why would you even help me in the first place? Won't you want something in return like before? Peter eyed the incubus suspiciously, who began to chuckle.
"Who knows? I oversee this game, and of course a game should progress shouldn't it? Otherwise it wouldn't be a game at all. And you made the rare white rose appear, that itself is enough of a price for me, and this exceptional event could not have been predicted, thus I'm sure Julius will pardon me this time too." Nightmare said confidently as he slowly glided in front with hands linked behind his back.
Then couldn't he have done so earlier in the first place! Peter's ears twitched impatiently as he thought to himself.
"Although I am all mighty and powerful, it's not that easy." Nightmare flipped his sliver locks back and regarded Peter with a poised smile. "Look how much you had to go through just to get a single white rose. Same theory applied here."
Peter admitted, he was already feeling beyond temptation to take the bait given by the one-eyed man. Peter's expression grew solemn, carefully evaluating the Dream Master and his situation.
You're serious then. What's the catch?
"You see, there's a limit to my powers." Nightmare twirled around gracefully and placed a finger to his thin lips. "I still have to abide the rules of the game after all, and thus I can only permit you to say ten words with your voice. Once I snap my fingers, it'll begin, and after ten words is spoken, that's it."
Peter nipped the edge of the glove of his thumb thoughtfully. How the heck was he going to summarise all his feelings for Alice into ten words? Will it even be enough? Surely his love for her could even overflow and drown the whole of Wonderland! But he didn't care, he had to try.
"Wow, your mind's pretty disorganised for once." Nightmare remarked in surprise as he circled back around Peter again, who shot him a look of disdain and thoughts of strangling the man.
It's not like I can say what's on my mind whenever I please you know!
"Hahaha! I'm sure you'll manage it one way or another! " The incubus chortled from behind, undaunted and much to Peter's annoyance.
You… know I'm not… going to say "Thank you"…for this… Peter grimaced as he forced himself to tell Nightmare, his face tinted with a little redness which he was so determine to deny.
"Well, well, aren't you a shy one! But of course, as usual, I keep that confidential between you and me." The incubus slyly replied, zipping his lips as a promise while he grinned, his mind-reading ability frustrating Peter all the more and wishing he hadn't thought of that in the first place.
Suddenly, the White Rabbit felt hands being placed on his shoulders as Nightmare's voice hypnotically whispered in his ears:
"Well then, go ahead… she's waiting for you."
Alice… Peter could only hear himself repeating her name, his heart yearning to see her with every second it ticked, and as Nightmare urged him with a subtle push, he finally took a step forward…
Peter walked alongside the chain of ivory flower petals, hands gingerly feeling about his chest and throat. He didn't feel different, whatever Nightmare did to him before he disappeared, but he wasn't taking any chances to test out his voice even though the pull to try was high.
There was no turning back now, and every step he took now was filled with anticipation, nervousness… and a hint of dread that was slowly tainting his confidence. Somehow, every meeting with Alice always ends in rejection, and this situation may be no different.
He frowned and shook his doubts off with resolution and Peter began to scan his surroundings.
All at once, his fears just seem to dissipate when he caught sight of her familiar blue dress, her golden silky locks, and her much-loved face.
Beautiful pools of sea-green orbs met with blazing red ones as they stood looking at each other in silence. Peter could feel her gaze boring straight into his once-cold soul and 'heart', unsure of what he should do next when all he wanted was to run to her and…
"Peter! I knew you'd be here!" Alice's face brightened up with a smile, one of which she so rarely showed in front of him that his clock nearly stopped ticking.
And when she suddenly ran straight to him and hugged him by the waist, the White Rabbit felt that he could die happy now.
"Oh!" Alice catches herself in that brief moment of happiness and relief and pulls away quickly but it was too late, Peter just stood there limply with a happy and dazed look on his widely smiling face cupped in his hands.
She swore she could see tiny hearts and sparkles all about him.
"Crap, maybe that was a little too much for him to handle." Alice mumbled to herself as she logically evaluated his love-sick expression, and waved a hand in front of him to catch his attention.
The white-haired youth snaps back to normalcy, pointing to her and then to himself with an uncertain and questioning look.
"Of course I'm looking for you, you idiot! Everyone at the castle is worried sick for you!" She replied, her robust tone attempting to hide the underlying anxiousness in her voice, but Peter folded his arms and regarded the foreigner sceptically with a quirk to his lips.
"O-ok not everyone, since Ace seems more amused and excited than worried, Vivaldi's angry that work is piling up that she keeps executing, the poor King is exhausted because she doubled his duty and the servants are living with more fear than before… so I g-guess it's… j-just me…" Upon realization, Alice blushed heavily while she twiddled her fingers.
Ah… She's too cute! If heaven exist then this would be it! Peter daydreamed again with an idiotic grin.
"B-but that's not the point!" Alice stuttered as she counter-reacted and jabbed an accusing finger into his shoulder, and he looked at her wide-eyed while tilting his head to the side.
"The point is, Sir Peter White, that you've been asleep for three cycles ever since I brought you back that day! I'd call for a doctor but Vivaldi said a vet would suffice." She recalled thoughtfully, oblivious to the agitated twitch in his smile as he cracked his own knuckles and cursed inwardly at the Queen.
"But anyway, he said your wounds have healed but… you just didn't want to wake up." She glanced worriedly at him, noticing that Peter tried to shield his gaze from under his white bangs, the tip of his snowy ears lowering a little.
The silence wasn't unbearable to Alice. In fact, it had grew on her after all these while, but what made her uncomfortable was that she couldn't read his expression which was something he seldom bothered to hide, and yet…
"Nightmare explained to me everything about the rose. Peter… why? You never told me it troubled you that much, that you… couldn't talk."
And it didn't, until she came along.
Peter smiled a small smile. They never really talked about his condition, but if his Alice was being considerate and open about it, to actually initiate something between them for once, then maybe he too, could be brave enough to face it again.
He gently took her hand and wrote with his fingers in her open palm. It quickly dawned on Alice what he was trying to do and she concentrated in making out the invisible words…
[It's all because of you.]
"Me?" She looked up at him with innocent bewilderment on her face. "But I would never mind such a thing and you should know that's true. Voice or not, you're still going to be obsessive, annoying, irritating, irksome, perverted and weird Peter to me!"
Ouch. He winced through his smile at her reprimanding defence. Ha ha ha…She's got such a sense of humour, my love does! He convinced himself weakly. But when he looked back, he soon found her staring forlornly at her feet that shifted about uneasily.
"I… don't understand, Peter. Why go so far as to find a white rose? Why… go so far… for me?" Alice dejectedly asked. She didn't do anything to deserve his undying attention and love at all, and yet, just because it's Wonderland, she knows full well she's at fault and her guilt was eating at her.
She didn't want to admit, but Alice knows it's especially so because of him…
Two light taps in the centre of her palm brought her attention back to him, stopping her breath effectively when he caressed her reddening cheek kindly with the back of his hand. No matter how many times she pushed him away or turn down his love, Peter always smiled at her tenderly, just like now.
Because he couldn't hate her, and would never blame her… for just being Alice.
[Alice is Alice, and that's all that I need for a reason...]
Peter wrote to her, and his velvet fingers continue to stroke her palm while he prayed deep down that she will understand, as she looked at him, confounded.
[…And for me to tell you these words, so listen well my dearest, and I hope you will always remember this.]
Peter took a deep breath and tightened his grip on her hand. I guess this will be over pretty quickly huh… and with that, he opened his mouth…
Her eyes grew even larger if possible as she stared at his moving lips, her beating heart skipped a beat at the sound of his voice saying her name so lovingly.
Ah… Peter savoured the taste of his first word, letting it linger on his tongue and overwhelm him in joy. How his voice found her name perfectly, sounded and felt exactly as how he had imagined it to be…oh so sweet.
"I love you..."
He said, finally smiling happily with no regrets as those three expensive words were delivered with all his hopes, dreams and love for her pinned on it.
Alice's face doubled the shade of her blush, her heart thumping painfully against her chest as she spotted small pools of tears at the corner of his eyes. But before she could speak to advise him to stop, Peter softly hushed her with a finger to her lips.
"I really do…"
He leaned in closer to her beautifully flushed and surprised face. The depth of his love was both a gift and a curse that haunted him in his silence. He needed to express it before it suffocated him, and he could feel the weight on his ticking clock slowly lightening.
Peter tugged her hand over and placed it above his clock for her to feel his 'heartbeat'. He was so close now that she could hear his slow and deep breathing.
"And always will."
And with that, he bent down, removed his finger between them and sealed his message within her heart with a kiss. But it wasn't forceful like that one he had given her before. Instead, he shocked her with its slow and welcoming tenderness, pressing, coaxing and caressing her full lips with his.
This time, she couldn't find the strength to resist, and the hand on his chest grabbed his collar for support.
His hand found its way up to cup her face, but he found wetness seeping through his glove.
Why is she crying? I shouldn't be making those precious tears fall.
Immediately, his lips left hers and he focused his concern on her cheek, kissing his way up the wet trail and licking away the bittersweet teardrop that was threatening to roll down from the corner of her eye.
"Peter…" Alice finally spoke as she subtly pushed him away and wiped her eye hastily, self-conscious of the intimacy she never thought she would allow with this particular man.
"Those valuable ten words that Nightmare gave… you used it on me. You did all that, just to tell me this?" She asked with her heart in her mouth as she covered her watering eyes with the back of her arm in disbelief.
At once, his long ears flopped down in disappointment. He had made sure to choose his words carefully; did it not work nor touch her heart? Is she going to be mad? I must have done something selfish again… Peter flinched at her question and looked away to the side, closing his eye and awaiting for her scolding…
"Silly white rabbit, I already know that."
His eyes flew open and stared at the girl, trepidation filled up upon hearing those words, but her genuine and affectionate smile shocked him.
"And I never doubted you a single moment, nor will I ever forget the words you say, no matter how many times you say it, with or without a voice."
And at that moment, he could almost kiss her again. But he chose to pull her into his arms fiercely and hug her waist tightly instead, trying to mask the sob that was stuck in his throat. He just wanted to hold onto her, to know that the Alice at this moment is real even though they are in a dream.
Well actually it's because you annoy me so much my mind's too conditioned to it…But… I guess this is fine too. Alice thought as she scratched her cheek sheepishly. She patted his soft white locks endearingly and let out a sigh. "What am I going to do with you?"
He didn't know that her hands moving through his hair could create such a wonderful feeling, and he felt his mind and body feeling laden and heavy with sleep. But Peter didn't want to let her go just yet, afraid that she might really disappear if he did.
Suddenly, her smooth hands framed his face and her thumb flitted gently across his lashes to wipe away those tears he was trying so hard to hide. To his surprise, she tilted his head up and placed a chaste kiss on his forehead, creating a warm, tingling sensation all the way down to his spine, and he could hear her alluring voice whisper to him as he lowered his lids slowly...
"So please Peter… wake up for me."
Peter called out for her fearfully and woke with a start. But thankfully, his eyes soon rested upon her sleeping form, her head nestled on her arms by the side of his bed. He heaved a sigh of relief and calmed his rapidly ticking clock down, looking about and taking in the view of his room.
He felt his own furry paws touch his chest and realised that he had not transformed back from his rabbit form since that incident, and he gladly reminded himself to spite and poison Vivaldi's newest rose garden.
He chuckled in silence as he entertained the scheming thought when his small red eyes saw a brand new notebook and his pen lying on the sheets of his bed close to Alice. Turning its head curiously and dangling its ears to the side, the white rabbit read the upside down words on the cover of the notebook:
[To Peter. From Alice.]
A present from Alice! He cried out to himself in delight as he wriggled out from under the bedcovers and quietly hopped over to take it, careful not to disturb his slumbering love.
Peter the rabbit settled down and took his spectacle, which had been removed and folded onto his jacket pocket, and placed it on his little pink nose. He then wiped a paw adoringly over her handwriting, his ears perked up gleefully and he hugged the notebook, promising to treasure it forever, before proceeding to turn to the first page.
"Hmmm…" The rustling of paper aroused Alice from her sleep and the fair-headed foreigner rubbed at her eyes drowsily as she sat up. "Oh, Peter… You're finally awa-AH!"
A mass of white fur ball dressed in a red chequered suit lunged at her and she landed on her back to the floor, only to find Peter bouncing excitedly on her stomach.
"Awake?" She ended, groaning and rubbing the back of her head as she tried to sit up. "Tch…Didn't I tell you not-"
She stopped short, feeling the temperature of her face rising steadily as Peter showed her a page on the notebook, pointing at it with a stubby small hand. The same sheet in which she had clearly written, in her own hand, a hundred "Thank You" notes all over the page. Peter figured as well that she had probably written them while waiting for him to rise.
"That's…er…I-i… erm… haven't got t-the chance to thank you for s-saving me…" She stuttered and blushed at him profusely, covering her mouth with the back of her hand in exasperation. "Y-you're not the only one having trouble expressing feelings you know!"
Peter blinked at her in astonishment and sniffed at the book in his paws. My straightforward Alice was actually relying on this? He couldn't believe it but hugs the notebook gladly anyway, unknowingly causing Alice to squeal privately at the adorable and cuddly sight.
"Goodness, you're not even supposed to see that till I leave the castle." Alice pretentiously frowned and grumbled to conceal her weakness towards him. She got up, carrying Peter with her and she placed him down on his pillow, tucking in his blanket and assuming that he should rest a little more since he hasn't turned back to human yet.
But the white bunny just pushed his small specs up its nose and, taking his pen in one paw, he flips to the next page and began to write. Alice observed, wondrously amazed at how an animal with no disposable thumbs could write in neat cursive writing.
Finally done, Peter then lifts the notebook happily for Alice to read, and of course it was none other than…
[I love you Alice!]
Alice traced his writing with her fingertips. It was nostalgic to read, something she had unconsciously been missing for a while.
Peter peered through his glasses at the girl from behind the notebook, trying to gauge her reaction. However, unexpectedly, she pulled the notebook down onto his bunny lap as she inched her face closer to his rabbit one, tapping his nose affectionately with a finger.
"And I think I may learn to love you too, Peter…" She whispered with a fond smile, but as the rabbit continued to stare at her, frozen in place with pure elation, her face contorted with acknowledgement, turning crimson once again and she averted her widened teal eyes away.
"I-I mean 'like'! Learn to…like… you…" Alice patted her feverishly blushing cheeks, but it did nothing to help reduce her face temperature and she shut her eyes against her own inflicted embarrassment.
Peter, on the other hand, was high on cloud nine.
Alice finally…loves… me? He questioned himself, unable to believe what he just heard. But if it was truly her love, then he will definitely seize it with everything he's got. He just didn't know what to do, what to say, or what to even think of it.
And so, he just let his body take control and do the talking.
Suddenly, Alice felt fuzzy paws pull her hands down from her face and the White Rabbit press a kiss on her cheek…
And soon, the silky fur that was brushing against her skin was replaced with the feel of his lips. He then feathers kisses to the corner of her mouth before hesitantly pausing briefly to look at Alice in the eye, wanting to know if she would refuse him this time.
When she didn't, he slowly moved his lips closer to her, his half-lidded crimson eyes never leaving hers, reluctantly patient enough to give her time to consider. At last, she closed her blue-green eyes shyly in admittance and his mouth took possession of her passionately, mashing his lips onto her soft ones, feeling as if his love overflowing to the brim of his clockwork heart.
Peter nibbled teasingly at her bottom lip, his moist tongue dipping and testing her. His fingers stroke up and behind her neck while his other hand wrapped around her waist, urging her closer as he rested back against his pillow. Alice let out a small noise of pleasure, a sound he could very well get used to, against his fervent onslaught, leaning against his firm and warm body and pulling him closer by his collar, allowing Peter to deepen the kiss.
As fantastical as it was, it was not a dream… Alice is in his arm, loving him back at long last, and it's real. With that thought, the silent Peter White smiled into the kiss…
"Definitely, some things are better left faced in reality than a dream."
[Mean while…for those of you who was wondering…]
"…Why the hell are you in my dream Nightmare? Explain yourself."
An irritated Clockmaster demanded with folded arms and steel azure eyes glared.
"Because I'm renting out my dream space and I have to be elsewhere for a little while?" The sliver-haired incubus tried nervously as he floated and rolled his thumbs.
"Hey! That wasn't necessary!"
"And you've chosen to disturb me even when there's no work?" Julius asked, wiping a hand across his annoyed face.
"Precisely! Aren't you glad I'm here to keep you company!" Nightmare perkily replied with a grin.
"No, I'm thoroughly disturbed and not amused, happy now? So be gone, demon." Julius sarcastically retorted and the raven-haired man about turned and began to walk away.
"Don't just 'exorcise' me like that." Nightmare commented dryly. "And that's rude, considering I'm the guest here!" he complained with a pout.
"Then consider yourself uninvited." Julius coldly replied as he continued to walk on.
"Come on Julius, don't be mean! Hey, are you listening to what I'm saying? You can't just ignore me! Wait up!"
"If this is what I get for taking a nap from work, I'm never sleeping again even if it kills me." Julius solemnly swore to himself, leaving the incubus whimpering and coughing up blood while drifting to catch up with the grumbling role-holder.
[That's all folks! Thanks for reading! ^^]
Hope the ending was ok and that it wasn't too cheesy with the 10 words XP For once, I'm pretty glad Peter got his way with her, though I must say I probably portrayed him and his fanatically behavious a little to subtle then normal. Maybe it got downplayed by my angsty-ness T-T
PLUS! The ending with Nightmare and Julius was a reference to my other Julius-story, The Solitary Heart, go check it out if you like and you'll know what I mean! ^^
Nonetheless, THANK YOU for reading and reviewing and hope you enjoyed my story! ^^ Again, I'd love to hear final reviews, hate it or love it, OOC or not, anywhere I can improve for my next writing let me know k! Muacks! XD