AU AiW.

Alice follows a strange looking man to an even stranger place.

In no way do I own these characters.


The light blue silk dress she wore stopped just mid-thigh and her heels laced up her calf to just above her knee. Her cornsilk hair was held back out of her face by a black silk lace ribbon. Bright blue-green eyes looked around her as she stepped onto the casino floor. Her attention was caught by one table in particular. The man that had caught her eye had vibrant red hair covered mostly by a large purple top hat. The suit he wore seemed to be well tailored and well worn. It too was a purple color. The hat and suit were the color that one might think of when someone mentions the purple jewel known as an amethyst. When he turned his head to the side to look at one of his companions she noted that he had what looked to be a playing card tucked into the band of his hat. She stepped tentively forward. It was an Ace of Spades. She wondered a bit if he had it there a-purpose, or it was an absent minded thing. She didn't even notice that she had taken another step towards the table. That man was a bit intriguing. Why was that? She had been coming here for a reason. But what? She remembered now. She had been following what had looked to be a large rabbit. That "rabbit" had been dressed in a deep blue blazer and a pair of tan slacks. His ears had been long and white with pink on the inside. But he had had human ears as well. Curious. Perhaps he had been wearing a headband with Rabbit ears attached to it? But that had been why she was following him. To find out. But she had lost him when he had entered through the doors of this casino. Now her attention was caught up in a man whom, to this blonde girl, seemed utterly mad! And his companion! He appeared to be mad as well!

Now when one considers the word 'mad', usually they would assume that another means irritated, upset, or vexed. But no. In this pretense one means, Crazy, psychotic, insane! This is the meaning of my choice of words.

The mad man's companion caught her attention now. He wore a headband with rabbit like ears attached. Or rather she assumed it was a headband. Scanning his appearance she could discern no human style ears upon the sides of his head. Maybe his hair was covering them? She shook her head and didn't notice that she had taken yet again, another step nearer to the table. Looking around that table the young woman noticed that there were playing cards all over the place and several tea settings and many different sweets. What was this? Looking around her the girl saw that people were running around in a crazy sort of way. This place was a mad house!

Suddenly the man in the top hat looked up sharply from his current activity with his companion. His eyes were a bright piercing blue that seemed to see right into her soul. "Well Alice," his voice startled her. She hadn't imagined that he would speak to her, let alone know her name. "It is about time." Her own blue-green eyes widened in astonishment.

"A-about t-t-time, Sir?" Her voice was soft when she managed to find it, "I am afraid I don't understand."

The man in the top hat laughed, "You are late my dear girl!" His companion laughed and she could hear a tinkling sound issue from beneathe the table. She gasped as she looked for the source of that sound. "Oh that is Doormouse!" She looked back at the man in the top hat. "Doormouse?" She asked uncertain that she heard him correctly,

"Yes!" He giggled. Sticking his head under the table he chuckled,

"Doormouse, introduce yourself to Miss Alice!" He seemed to command. Sitting up again he giggled more and pulled out a pocket watch. When he opened it he seemed to give it no more than a cursory glance before he snapped it shut on another giggle. It seemed to her that he laughed a lot.

Suddenly her attention was diverted from the mad man in the top hat to a very small person with brown mouse ears twitching atop their head. "Hello Miss Alice." The little mouse yawned. "You must forgive her." The mad man snickered, "She is always tired!" The one that must be Doormouse nodded and crawled back under the table. "Come join us!" The other rabbit person exclaimed. "We have been expecting you and you were late!" He motioned with a flippant hand to a chair that she had not seen until then. It was in front of her. She timmidly took a seat and looked at the one that had spoken to her a moment ago. He had dual toned eyes. His left was a golden yellow and his right was a deep forest green. "Oh how rude of me!" The mad man in the top hat spoke again. "I am known as The Mad Hatter!" He had risen and gave a deep bow. "And my companions are Doormouse, whom you have met," A deep yawn could be heard from under the table, "And this one," He indicated the rabbit man, "is The March Hare." The man known as The March Hare spread his arms wide and gave her a deep bow from his seated position. "Welcome to my glorious place!" He chuckled darkly.

Alice looked about herself once more, "You own this casino?" She asked timidly. He nodded and smiled a smile that matched his chuckle only moments ago. "It's a mad house!" She gasped and watched everyone around the table. The only order to the whole dwelling was the table at which she sat. And even it was a bit chaotic.

"I know!" The Mad Hatter giggled, "Isn't it great?" She looked at the top hat man and regarded him with a raised eyebrow and a tilt of her head.

"To be quite honest, Sir," She adjusted her dress over her lap, "Oh please! Just call me Hatter! Everyone does!" She nodded a bit, "Very well, Hatter. To be absolutely honest with you Hatter, I'm not so sure that 'great' is the word I would use to describe this-" She waved her hand about in search of an appropriate word, "charming," She settled on this word as she looked at The March Hare with a polite smile, "facility." She finished her sentence as the two looked at her.

"What word would you use?" Came the drowsy question from under the table. "Excuse me?" She asked the narcoleptic one, "Yes!" Giggled the Hatter. "What word would you use?" He seemed almost to go into histerrics now as he giggled and awaited her answer.

"I'm not sure," She had sat up quickly when Hatter had startled her, "but I can garauntee that 'great' isn't the word." She watched again as The Mad Hatter pulled out a golden pocket watch and glanced at it.

When he snapped it closed this time he looked around him at the March Hare and herself, "Tea Time!" He giggled loudly. At that moment she figured that this was the most movement she would ever see out of the Doormouse. For this small person scrambled out from under the table and hopped into a chair squeaking about "Tea time!" Alice looked at her own delicate wrist watch and noted that it was barely noon.

"Excuse me, Mr. Hatter, Sir," She cleared her throat delicately. When all three looked up at her she felt a light blush creep across her cheeks.

"Yes, Alice?" He spoke with a fixed smile.

"Well, Sir," She looked at her watch again and pointed at it, "My watch has just before noon, Mr. Hatter, Sir." She stammered along. The other three looked at her a moment longer and then Hatter giggled and exclaimed, "But your watch must be wrong! Mine clearly says that it is six o'clock! And six o'clock is tea time!" the other two chorused another "Tea time!" After Hatter had spoken.

"But," She looked at her wrist watch again and was surprised when she looked up and a golden pocket watch was thrust under her nose by The Mad Hatter standing in front of her on the table, "Tea time." He stated simply with a giggle.

She took note that his watch did indeed say six on the dot. But she also noted that there was no ticking sound coming from it.

"Very well Mr. Hatter, I do believe that my watch is broken." She deemed to say in the hopes that he would back up and not be so close to her. For he was indeed invading her personal space by a few too many inches. Were she to look up any more she would see nothing but bright peircing blue eyes and his nose would be scant inches from her's. But she looked still at the watch until it was snapped shut and tucked away.

Hatter turned on his heel and made his was back across the table top to his own seat. His two companions and Alice watched him until he settled into his chair and looked around at them all, "Shall we have tea then?"


A/N Please R&R This is my first AiW fan fic.