Bonus Features: Deleted Scene #2
AN: I was only going to do one deleted scene, but bkwrm19 made a wish and I just had to grant it! So here it is – Carol's arrival in Wonderland at the end of Crumbs in the Butter. This is my last bonus feature for this story, friends. Crumbs in the Butter is officially…complete!
Carol handled the trip through the Looking Glass far better than Alice thought she would, looking only slightly disheveled and dazed when she popped out in Looking Glass Hall and was caught by a technician. Alice followed closely behind her, tightly clutching a cardboard box. The Aces who guarded the Looking Glass were surprised to see them, to say the least.
"Lady Alice. We were not expecting you."
"Yes, well, I would have called ahead. If you had phones." Alice opened the top of the box and checked to see if Charlie the goldfish, sealed up in a plastic bag with lots of water, had made the trip okay; he darted around in quick circles.
"Will you be visiting the Palace, then?" one of the Aces asked.
"Yes." Alice gestured for her mother to join her. "This is my mother, Carol. She'll be visiting Wonderland for a week or so."
"Lady Carol." The Aces both bowed.
"Thank you," Carol said, looking a bit bewildered.
"One of us will escort you to the Palace, Lady Alice."
"That's not necessary. I know the way," Alice protested. After all, it was only three ledges down.
"By order of the King of Hearts, Lady Alice. You shall have someone to accompany you. For safety purposes."
Alice sighed. She should have expected something like this. But one glance at her mother assured her that it would be a bad idea to refuse. She'd given Carol a watered-down version of everything that had happened, but her mother was good at reading between the lines.
"I shall take it from here," a voice boomed. Alice felt the grin blooming across her face even before she turned around.
"Charlie!" Alice set down the box and ran across the room. She hugged Charlie, an easy prospect as he was not wearing his white armor.
"Just Alice!" Charlie was grinning as well, his curled beard quivering. "You have returned, as I was shown in a vision!"
"I'm back, Charlie," Alice said. She stepped back. "And I've brought my mother with me. Mom, this is Charlie, the White Knight. Charlie, this is my mom, Carol."
Charlie strode forward, then dropped to one knee. He took Carol's hand and kissed it. "This is truly a momentous occasion, a rare honor. To meet the mother of a Hero of Wonderland, at this time, in this place…"
"Charlie," Alice interrupted. "Can you take us to the Palace?"
Carol looked relieved when Charlie dropped her hand. The White Knight got laboriously to his feet and dusted off his knees.
"But of course, Lady Alice. That is why I am here."
"Of course it is," Alice murmured. Ignoring Charlie's protests, Alice picked up the box and motioned for her mother to follow as Charlie led the way out of Looking Glass Hall.
By the time they reached the Palace, even the usually fearless Carol was looking a bit green around the gills. Alice only smirked, remembering her first views of Wonderland City from a very narrow ledge. Only Wonderlanders could be so blasé about the heights.
Alice and her mother were shown to guest quarters and given some time to freshen up before meeting with Jack. Alice looked around the beautifully appointed room and sincerely hoped she wouldn't have to stay there very long. She was desperate to see Hatter, but afraid as well. What if he didn't forgive her for leaving?
"So Jack is the King of Wonderland now?" Carol asked, running a brush through her hair.
"Yeah. He's the top banana around here."
"I see." Carol's lips were set in a firm line that made Alice nervous.
"Mom. What are you thinking?"
"Nothing at all," Carol assured her. Alice was pretty sure she was lying, but there was no time to call her on it. Sandro was at the door.
"Sandro!" Alice gave him a hug, which seemed to startle the Club, but after a moment he returned it.
"Welcome back, Lady Alice," he said solemnly. "You were missed."
"I'm Alice's mother, Carol." Carol came forward, her hand out. Sandro shook it, his lips tugging up into a grin.
"It's a pleasure to have you here," he said.
"Alice told me everything you did for her. Thank you."
Sandro inclined his head, then gestured to the hall. "The King of Hearts is ready to receive you."
Alice linked arms with her mother and they made their way down the plushly carpeted hallway to Jack's office; not an unfamiliar walk for Alice. This time she didn't want to punch his face in, which was a nice change. When they reached their destination, Sandro held the door for them.
"Alice." Jack was standing in front of his desk, looking impeccable in a dark plum suit jacket and black pants. "And Carol, what a delightful surprise."
Carol walked over to Jack and slapped him hard across the face. Alice and Jack both just gaped at her, and Sandro's eyes were wide in astonishment. Jack's cheek was red.
"Mom!" Alice tugged her back by her arm, but Carol shook her off.
"How dare you!" Carol said. Her voice was tight with anger. "I welcomed you into my home, fed you, and you treated my daughter like some kind of…of thing, to be used!"
Jack backed up against the desk as Carol advanced on him, wagging her finger in his face. Alice couldn't believe her mild-mannered mother was acting this way.
"Mom! Stop it!"
"I had to watch my daughter suffer because of you, because of what you did to David. You selfish bastard." Carol's voice dropped to a dangerous tone. "If I hear of one more thing, one single slight against Alice or David, I will be back. And you won't get off with a slap the next time."
Alice and Sandro exchanged glances, and Alice had to fight the sudden urge to laugh. Jack had the wisdom to look contrite.
"I have apologized to Alice," he said. "And now I apologize to you. I make you a promise that Alice and Hatter will be treated like the Heroes they are whenever they are in Wonderland."
Carol backed off and took a deep breath. "Well. I'm glad that's settled. Now, Alice will need someone to go with her to see David. In the meantime, you can show me around this Palace of yours."
"I can see where Alice gets her muchness," Sandro remarked with a grin.