A Hatter's Obligation

A Short Story by Yours Truly

Part 4

Two hands, one white and the other yellow, reached into a box for the last Christmas bulb. Because Hare had nothing to do and nowhere to go today, he showed up at the palace again and found Rabbit decorating, but he had no idea how gracious he was being letting him help out.

"I take it you and Hatta~'s issues continue?"

Hare sighed while leaning over a box of angel figurines. "Worse than ever... I'm not even speaking to him." Rabbit put on a face of pity momentarily before rummaging for the scissors. "I took the Queen's advice and waited for him in his bathtub..." At that, his listener turned around and gawked at him. "E-exactly," Hare finished. "He kept staring at me like I had lost my mind... And I think I have..."

"Well what did you say?"

"I don't even remember... I was so upset I just ran my mouth and got dressed and left."

"Well what did he say?"Hare's longing gaze on his lap seized and he gave Rabbit an incredulous look. Rabbit fidgeted with the scissors. "Hey, you star~ted it..."

Hare sighed once more. "He said, basically, that there was nothing I could do..."

"Welllll... To be honest with you, you were kind of a hopeless cause..." Rabbit offhandedly slipped.

Suddenly they heard voices nearing the thrown room. Rabbit continued on decorating but Hare looked up. Her Majesty and Alice were coming straight for him. He couldn't keep his eyes away.

"OH, Rabbit! The place looks marveloussss!" The Queen shouted, arms raised above her head.

"Hi, Mr. Hare!" Alice greeted, making friendly eye contact with him. He blinked a mess of times, then tried to smile his hardest.

"Hi!"

"I haven't seen you around at all!" He stood up and brushed off his suit to look a little more presentable.

"H'ohhh~ I've just been... busy Christmas shopping!" He lied, but she took great delight in it.

"I have too! But her Majesty paid for it... Which kind of defeats the point but..." The Queen gave her a knowing smile. "She wouldn't have it any other way." Hare let out a messy chuckle and gulped, then got back to work.

"Rabbit!" Rabbit, who had been standing on a step ladder hanging some popcorn string, wobbled around before returning to safe ground and giving her his full attention. "I need you to call the caterers again. I've changed my mind about the silverware. Gold will look much nicer!"

"Y-yes, Yo'a~ Majesty, I'll get on that right away..."

He rolled behind the girls as they left the room, and before he knew it Hare was alone, placing some angels on the make-shift fireplace. He couldn't remember ever feeling so lonely on this type of day, even though he had just seen the three of them. As he passed the opening to the courtyard, there was some jingling at the gates. Hare raised his downcast face and peered out.

"Pssst! Hare! It's me!" Hatter faux-whispered, clinging to the closed gate and extending a grey hand.

"What do you want?" Hare asked, point blank.

"I want inside, what does it look like?" Hare crossed his arms and stared at him across the way.

"The Queen closed those for a reason, you know."

"Of course I do! She closed every gate in the damn palace! I'm beginning to think she doesn't want Alice and I to see each other." Hare looked on impatiently, like he couldn't believe Hatter was shameless enough to even have this conversation with him. "I was gonna invite her ice-skating..." He added, solemnly.

"You really don't get it, do you?"

Hatter frowned. "Come on, Hare..."

"Don't," he put on a retarded voice, "'come on, Hare' me!"

"Seriously now! Just like that, y-you don't want me to be happy anymore just because we have to stay friends?"

"You know, Hatter, sometimes you forget I have feelings too," Hare asserted, jabbing his finger into his chest. Hatter choked on his words as his last chance at getting into the palace stomped away. He wasn't sure why, as all the opportunity in the world was still there, but he felt the enthusiasm of the pursuit flickering away inside of him. Like he was coming down from a sugar high, he sauntered back to the tea table and poured himself a fresh cup.

He sipped listlessly with his feet up for a while, occasionally eying the empty chair next to him. He stayed there surely an hour, re-pouring and working on a holiday crossword, when none other than his object of affection strolled past the walkway, not even noticing him. His posture stiffened.

"Hey Alice!" He called, trying to remember he didn't need to shout too loudly. She slowly took notice.

"Hi, Hatter." Her answer, without a hint of "why is he talking to me" put a smile on his face.

"I thought you were at the palace."

She thought about it a moment, then crossed the gate and stepped next to the table. "I was... I guess I'm just not used to the Queen's... energy level." She laughed to herself under her breath.

"Hah... Nobody ever will be." She laughed and took a seat, then straightened out her button-down sweater and leaned forward.

"You got tea for two?"

"There usually are two." He realized what he had slipped, but took the cup from Hare's spot and pouring to the top, generously. He seemed at a low, but he watched admiringly as she prepared her tea. Unlike Hare, who dumped in nearly the entire sugar shaker, she carefully sprinkled and stirred. Instead of a proud audible gulp, she sipped carefully. He cleared his throat. "You um... look very nice today, Alice."

"Hmph," was her only answer.

"No blue?"

"Hahah, there was a time when I was obsessed with that. Not anymore."

A considerable silence followed. For one reason or another, they just didn't have anything to talk about. Hatter had thought of a number of compliments about her looks to follow up, but was afraid she'd get annoyed. The only other thing he could think of was to ask how school was going. That didn't sound like a fun discussion.

"So... Does this mean you accept my apology?" He clarified.

"I accepted it yesterday," Alice replied. "I know that you meant it, I guess you liking me a little is just something I'll have to get used to for now."

"Great! I couldn't ask for more." Hatter weakly grinned. "Well... I was going to go to the mall to pick up some gifts..." He trailed. "Maybe you'd like to go with me?"

She considered it. "...Alright!"

Like a bad movie, cheery upbeat music began to play as the two vacated the premises. A montage ensued of them passing the various stores, and stopping for churros. They proceeded to get silly with the sale items, holding up Christmas sweaters to each other and singing along with dancing snowman figurines.

Their eyes appeared between shadows of items on shelves, looking for each other between isles, which lead to fast-motion chasing, until Hatter's coat-tail snagged a Santa display and the two were covering their mouths in front of an angry store clerk. Hatter had to empty his pockets to pay for the damage.

When all shopping was done, they emerged from a J.C. Penney's, bags swinging each way, and Alice's hand around Hatter's proud arm. They came straight for the ice rink, which Hatter acted like was a big surprise, and were seen gliding by amused passersby. Hatter's antics landed his ass on the ice numerous times before Alice came to his rescue, failing miserably, being half his size, to pull him up.

"OHHHHHHh, man!" Alice uttered between giggles as they left the mall. "This is what I remembered about you."

"Is it? Then I'm really embarrassed."

"No! I missed this. It's too bad Hare couldn't come."

"Uhhh... heheh, yeah. Too bad. I think he has... wrapping to do!"

"Maybe. I only caught him at the palace earlier, helping Rabbit. I thought it was strange, but then... do they get along these days better than they used to?"

"Pshh, Rabbit and Hare? Not at all."

"Hmm... He didn't look too happy, anyway. Maybe the Queen was forcing him."

Hatter left the rest to Alice's imagination and continued towards the bus stop. They took a seat on the bench and waited quietly. Hatter liked that they were in such close proximity, trying to get a whiff of her hair while she wasn't paying attention. Suddenly she looked up to him and he leaned back, pretending he had done nothing before that moment.

"Are you and Hare still as close?" When she asked, Hatter seemed to slump down.

"Yeah, basically. Why do you ask?"

"I don't know. I keep seeing you both at separate times and wondered."

"Psh! It's the holidays, Alice!" He bullshitted. "We're always out of synch at this time. Which reminds me! I still haven't gotten a tree. Maybe you can help us decorate when I do~~?" He softly nudged her.

"Hmph, why not? I've helped everyone else in Wonderland."

Just then the bus appeared, with fun rainbow letters on the side. Hatter waited for Alice to come in front of him and they boarded the bus. About ten minutes later, they stepped out to a crossroad. Hatter looked about ready to take her back to his place, but she didn't follow. "I'd better be heading home..."

"Oh, alright. T-that was fun!"

"Yeah, it was!" Hatter smiled for an awkward amount of time, expectantly, until she gave him a simple hug. He returned it and picked her up, which made her giggle. As soon as she slid away, he leaned down for a little somethin' and she stepped back hastily, giving him a frustrated stare. Hatter just seemed confused. "...I told you I just want to be friends."

"Oh! ...Well yeah! It was just gonna be a... a..." He thought quickly, "a friendly kiss." Alice slowly shook her head. "Oh. Okay. That's fine! Uhh..." He put his hands up, trying to make peace.

"See ya, Mr. Hatter."

"Bye..." He waved, deflated.

.


.

Back at Hare's, Oprah was wrapping up and he was sitting on his couch with a tissue box under his arms, blotting his tears. "Oh Gayle, you don't know how lucky you are to have her!"

He went to the kitchen to pour himself some more chamomile, taking a moment to smile weakly at his light-up candy canes on the window over the sink, when there was knocking on the door. He had a feeling for who it was, so he took his time answering.

Hatter took a few deep breaths before Hare opened up, sure he would slam it if the wrong words were said. Hare gave him a good intimidating glare, but he wet his lip. "Hare, I want to work this out." Hare leaned against the door frame and squinted. "Please don't make me beg. I just... I don't want to spend Christmas without you. No matter what I do, I'll be thinking of us fighting, knowing I've made you really upset. I mean, I can't change how I feel about Alice, but you were right... I wasn't considering how you felt."

Hare blinked. Speeches like this only came from Hatter once every few years, it seemed. His eyes wandered behind Hatter, off to the horizon, as he thought of what to do.

"Please? Can we make up?"

He shifted his focus to Hatter, who seemed soaking with guilt, or so he projected. He couldn't say no if he wanted to.

"Alright, get in here!" He commanded, turning around and heading back to the kitchen. Hatter followed him, looking down to the back of his fuzzy head, strangely overcome by the idea that Hare had the authority at that moment. He locked the door behind him and positively shined when Hare handed him a clean cup.

"Chamomile?"

"Of course!"

"Of course, of course. I can smell it," he chirped. Hare turned towards the counter and stirred his cup, but Hatter leaned to his side and tilted his head, invading his peripheral so he could no longer hide. He giggled a little, trying not to be too happy Hatter was back in his kitchen.

From behind him, Hatter pulled something out with a little green stickery bow on it. Hare took a good look and his mouth fell. "You didn't!"

"Apparently the new installments came in last week." Hare snatched the comic book from his fingers and flipped the pages excitedly, like he just had to make sure they were all there. "Now this is only part one. Part two is for Christmas, okay?" Hare grinned with his two front teeth scooping up his bottom lip and shook out all the giddiness, but immediately it died out and he stared at Hatter guiltily.

"I..I haven't bought you anything yet. D-did you want to go shopping together?"

Hatter nervously quieted. "Uh well... I'll come with you... if you like, but... I already went shopping today... with... Alice..."

Hare sort of knew this moment of let-down was coming. "Oh..." He set the comic down on the counter and headed into the living room.

"Hare, it's not what you think." Hare turned around and the silence was enough question. "She's... she's just not into me." Hatter's face went downcast as he said it. He was waiting for maybe an expression of sympathy, like a 'that's too bad, Hatter', but it never came. "I had a feeling... I just didn't want it to stop me. I felt so sure she just needed some convincing, but now I've made all kinds of advances on her and she's turned down every one."

Hare had to resist smiling a little bit, but he was losing the battle. He turned around and gripped the top of the couch.

"So I guess for now... she and I are just going to be friends." Hare was still smiling down to the couch, until Hatter stepped just behind him. "Ya' okay?" He whipped around.

"Yeah!"

"Hah! You look like you're about to cry."

"Ahahghghgaha!" He giggled. "Well I was watching Oprah before you got here, and..."

"Oh, well that explains everything." Hare put on mock-offense and flicked him in the chest.

"Ow! Hey!" In retaliation, Hatter leaned forward and made a popping sound while tapping Hare on the nose. He scrunched up. "Hey Hare." Hare opened his snapped-shut eyes.

"What?"

"You got any cookies around here? I'm all out."

"I thought I brought you a whole box last week."

"I ate them."

Hare put his hands on his hips. "Well I don't have any more~, unless you want me to make them right now."

"That's an idea," Hatter answered, swishing his hands together like they were plotting something. Hare looked towards the kitchen, pondering it.

"Okay, but you have to do as much of it as me. You're not gonna sit at my counter watching."

"Aww, but it's cute watching you," Hatter confessed, following him. Hare immediately got the sense he was being flirted with, and he didn't know how to take it. He was sure Hatter was now friends with everyone, and nothing more.

As dusk became night, the boys got themselves covered in flour and had bowls of dough all over the place. While the cookies were in the oven, they sprawled out on the rug making completely immature jokes and laughing away from each other. Every time they were face to face, Hatter felt he was being stared at, almost longingly, but every time he remembered his unexplainable commitment to Alice.

.


.

With crickets chirping out in the darkness, the two came stumbling to the screen door, the house behind them lit only by the Christmas decorations. Just as Hatter was lazily throwing on his jacket, Hare gave him a good slap in the shoulder and was nudged into the door frame. As his hand swung for Hatter's shoulder again, he was lifted off his feet a little. "Alright! Get out of my house!" He ordered through laughter. Hatter set him down, and both were conscious of their closeness a second later.

Hatter gradually smiled, so Hare mirrored him. This exchange, just in that way, was a staple of their interactions. After this long, still neither knew what entirely it meant.

"'Night, buddy."

"G'night," Hatter watched the dimple rise in Hare's cheek. "OH WAIT!" He hurried back into the dark and returned with a tupperware.

"Oh! Tchch, yayyy~!" Hatter cheered softly.

"Okay, goodnight!"

"G'night," Hatter repeated. He was watched until he could no longer be seen, and the screen door closed silently.

.


.

Hare snuggled his pillow and hid his face from the sun before crawling out of bed the next morning, wearing nothing but his tighty-whities. He was feeling fuzzy and light, almost like he'd been kissed. After brushing his teeth and washing his face, he threw on a clean shirt and pants and went downstairs to make waffles for breakfast. He cut them carefully and sprinkled them with cinnamon. He accompanied the waffles with a tall glass of orange juice.

When he was all finished, his first thought was to look out back at the (almost) completed rock garden when his doorbell rang. It made him giddy to think it was Hatter... He wondered if perhaps now he had changed his mind. There always had to be that chance.

He checked himself in a nearby mirror and opened the door. Instead, it was Alice.

"Hi!"

"Oh, hey, Alice!" He raised his shoulders happily and gestured for her to come inside. They came as far as the start of the kitchen before Alice turned slowly around, a smile missing from her face at first.

"...How are you doing?" Hare asked to break the silence.

"I'm doing good. And you as well?"

"Yeah." They smiled to each other, but the awkwardness was creeping up. Alice took a deep breath.

"Um... There's something we need to talk about."

"Let me guess - does this have to do with Hatter?" Hare raised his eyebrows, confident she was only clearing up the obvious.

"It does... Which is why I knew I should come to you first." Hare swatted his hands, flattered. "Um, he's been trying to ask me out a lot lately. I'm sure you knew about that, right?"

"Of course. Hatter's not good at hiding anything, really."

"Hmph. True. At first he really freaked me out. I just couldn't imagine a world where I would date Mr. Hatter... I think he just got excited to see me and overreacted."

"Heh! I'll say..." Hare widened his eyes and spoke more to the floor than her.

"But... yesterday it wasn't like that. It... It was a lot nicer. He was acting normally, and... I thought it was sweet." Hare darted his eyes around. "You know, I guess I started to feel like someone outside of myself, who hadn't known him as a kid, and I could just look at him for what a great guy he is. Isn't that the fair thing to do?"

Hare looked taken aback, but Alice continued to wait for an answer.

"O-of course."

"But I know how close you guys are! I mean, you two have always been my standard for best friends, and I wouldn't want to come between you. So if I went out with him... I'd want your permission."

"M-m... My permission..." He gulped. There was a twinkle in Alice's eye, matching Hatter's. Her unrelenting stare, waiting for that answer, had him feeling hotter by the second. He shuffled his hands.

"I... It's really not up to me. You should-... If you really feel that way, you should let him know. I-I'm sure he'd be thrilled," he said through his teeth. Though light laughter played at both their lips, Alice's was the only thing sincere.

"I'm sure, too. Funny how that happened..." Hare smiled to a nearby counter top, his hands still shuffling. "Well, thanks. You guys are... wonderful. Wonderful friends. With each other and with me... I didn't think I'd be getting into this when I came back. It's very funny..."

"Mheheh~!" He watched her near the front door and followed, steps very slow.

"Am I going to see you at the Christmas Eve party tomorrow?" She asked, backing up onto the porch.

"Of course! Heh."

"Okay, cool." With the goodbyes still unspoken, they shared a friendly stare. "...Mr. Hare?"

"Yeah!"

"...Was there anything ever... going on with you and...-"

"-Oh! ...There may have been. Once. It'd be silly to like someone that long though, wouldn't it." She narrowed her eyes at his ambiguous answer.

"Not necessarily." She glanced him up and down just once and headed off. He closed the door mere seconds after her back had turned and sunk down to the floor.

.


.

Shopping later on was a lot quieter than it should've been. Hare could tell Hatter was nearly tearing at the seems with excitement, having finally received acceptance of his courting from Alice. He didn't say a word about it, though. He only caught him smiling to himself and looking around the store full of wonder. Okay, so he did that anyway, but this time he knew there was a reason for it.

In his hands was a shopping basket of his own, which Hare continuously peered into when he wasn't paying attention, confusing him even more each time. Candles, chocolate cherries, a tape of Michael Bolton's greatest hits... There was also a teddy bear with a light blue snowflake scarf around its neck. Hare knew this stuff couldn't have been for him... As much as he wanted it...

As they were walking back to Hatter's, Hare spoke up.

"Uhm, so! Whose place do you wanna stay at on Christmas Eve? I know it's been yours the past couple years, but I was thinking we could um... stay at mine. I can always put that futon in my bedroom. O-or we could both sleep in the living room." He chuckled.

He interpreted what followed as a pause, but it continued much longer than he was comfortable with.

"...Actually, Hare, I've got plans on Christmas Eve. Do you think we could just meet in the morning? Maybe like ten or later?" The distance between them suddenly grew.

"But... We've never spent Christmas apart before."

"I know, I know, it's just... something came up," Hatter explained, holding to his shopping bag a little too tightly. Hare stared incredulously at it for a moment before shaking his head.

"Hatter... don't you think that's too soon?"

"Wh-," he suddenly looked defensive, "to me it isn't! Do you know how long I've been waiting for a night like this?"

Hare put a hand on his hip, knowing Hatter never had to wait for anything. "...W-w-what are you going to do, anyway?"

"Can you keep your voice down? I don't want to spoil it!"

Although it would do nothing but hurt him, Hare felt adamant about knowing the nitty gritty details by then. "Well there better be a good reason if we're not spending Christmas together!"

"Hare, It's only Christmas Eve, and I-I-I don't want to talk about it with you. I know that you would get upset."

Hare tried to ramble his way in to why he should know anyway, when Dee and Dum greeted them from behind, sending him for a jolt. They were, naturally, completely unaware that this was a bad time.

"Hey! Did you get the invitation for the party yet?" Dee asked, holding his in his hand.

"I sure did! Couldn't be more excited!" Hatter half-smiled.

Hare just nodded a little, suddenly put off from being around at all, now that all their secrets might leak to the others. "Heh, well I've got all these gifts, I really need to take them home and wrap them," he explained, inching away from them to make the escape easy.

"We've still got a whole day, you know!"

"I know! I-I'm tired. I guess that's it."

He could feel all three sets of eyes watching him head off without so much as a goodbye, but never stopped walking until he was back at home, where he dropped his shopping bags onto the dining table and sunk into a chair, not sure if he was devastated or embarrassed.

About a half hour later, he was out front picking flowers when he heard the Tweedles returning from Hatter's, speaking more loudly than realistic.

"Do you think Alice would really kiss him if he taped that mistle-toe on his hat?" Dee started. Hare silently gasped at the thought.

"I don't know, but otherwise, I think he's lost his mind..."

"Yeah, I mean what are the chances Alice is just going to walk into his bedroom, full of candles and romantic music and just hop onto his bed?"

Hare's eyes widened.

"Yeah, or eat all of those chocolates? He bought enough to feed a cow," Dum explained like it was a bad thing.

Next his jaw dropped.

"I don't know how I'd feel about the marshmellow bubble-bath..."

"Aghgh..." Hare sort of groaned to himself. It sounded wonderful to him.

"And I had no idea Hatter was that kinky. Fuzzy handcuffs? ... He never seemed like a bondage guy."

Hare looked down, realizing his hand had began to crush the stems of the flowers he had collected.

"Dum, I don't think he seemed like anything to us. Because we weren't interested."

"I'm interested..." He whispered to himself.

"It'd be a little too soon for Alice, too. He's on his way to a rude awakening with all that stuff. Too bad he didn't just use it on Hare. If anybody in Wonderland ever needed to get laid..."

Hare covered his mouth to stop his reaction from reaching their ears. They mentioned something about finishing the tree and kept on their way, leaving Hare now twice as aroused and frustrated.

.


.

It was the day of the party and Hare had not heard a single word from Hatter all day. To make matters worse, he could not get his mind off of the juicy details the Tweedles had shared about Hatter's plans for the night. It was too much for him to hear that Hatter even had thoughts like that, without the depressing detail that all of them were aimed at somebody else...

But all of his selections, they seemed so tailored for Hare... As if their time together was all Hatter knew... It just wasn't fair that this was Alice's treat when he had waited for it all these years, but he'd made it so far, he didn't want to lose it. It was Hatter's special night whether he was there or not... What happened to all his selflessness?

He was sitting at the picnic table in the back, eying a vase of the newly picked flowers, when the heat started getting to him. He knew it wasn't that hot, but all he wanted to do was pull off his clothes. A bead of sweat was rolling down just to the side of his eye. As it journeyed his cheek he raised his face and cracked his mouth to glide his tongue along his upper lip, like he might taste it.

Here he was, a half hour before that party, having an inescapably erotic thought of the two of them in Hatter's bathtub, lathering those bubbles all over each other. He could feel his own body tingling just from the thought of having a fantastical orgasm and finishing it off with dark cherry trouffles.

"Ogh God..." He moaned to himself, his breath a little tight in his throat. "Why am I doing this to myself?" He asked, staring ahead wistfully, when a drop of condensed water started down the cool side of the flower vase. His eyes followed it intimately. His tongue wet his lip again. "The Tweedles are... they're wrong..." He reasoned. "I... I love Hatter, but I don't depend on getting laid..."

"No, not at all..."

"...He's a grown man, he can make his own decisions... I can't stop him..." He continued to insist, his words growing weaker, until he was whispering them to himself. He stuck a finger into his collar to loosen it.

"That stuff isn't for me..."

"Just because he said we could h-have sex, i-i-it... it doesn't mean I need it..."

He looked up to the clock, glasses fogged, or perhaps he was only imagining it... the steamy bathroom mirror and sated moaning... "Oh dear God..." He voiced to the clock, on its way to reading 5:38.

"He must be on his way over there now... to seduce Alice..." He reminded himself, nodding a little with lips ajar. "But I don't need it..."

"It's not like he belongs to me..."

"I'm doing them a great favor letting them date... I should be proud of myself..."

"I don't need it."

Tick tock... tick tock...

Another bead of sweet was emerging, and another. His forehead grew itchy and he brushed back his bangs, feeling the cool air, like that in the bedroom when their hot passionate sex continued and he was thrown on the bed. Michael Bolton's greatest hits and the scent of apple-cinnamon...

Nearby was the comic-book Hatter had bought him, like a symbol of all his solitary orgasms. It didn't have to be like that anymore...

But it did.

"I don't need it..." He argued with himself. "I don't need it..."

Tick tock... tick tock...

"I definitely don't need it..."

He could surely feel his own fantasies burning a hole in his pants.

"I don't need it... I don't need it!"

He gripped the table.

"I NEEEEEEEEED ITTTTTT! WAAAAAAAAAAHHH!"

As soon as the words were uttered, he shot up like a ball of flubber, and Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" began a montage of him jumping over the gate and running through the forest faster than he had ever run before.

His features had gone wide but otherwise expressionless as he hurried to Hatter's, thinking of nothing but what must be done. He passed the Tweedles in a blur and they looked on, wondering what the fuck he was doing.

Not long after, he was propelling himself over mushrooms past the Caterpillar, whose pages of the book he was reading swished out of place by the sheer speed he was traveling.

As Hatter was innocently adjusting his Christmas attire in front of the mirror in the hallway, Hare burst through the front door. A pregnant pause followed as his chest rose and fell dramatically, but he only needed to spot him before he sprang forward and shoved him over the side of the couch. He laid there befuddled as Hare straddled him, huffing aggressively and shadowing his face. Hatter's eyes widened.

"Hatter, I can't take it anymore!" Hare rose and put his hands on his hips. "You're not allowed to go out with Alice!"

"What?"

"You heard me! I DISAPPROVE. It's NOT GONNA HAPPEN."

"Oh yeah?"

"YEAH!"

"Oh yeah?" Hatter shouted again, with less confidence.

"HATTER, let me explain something to you!" Hatter gulped. "You cannot just tell someone you would give them the most- the most fulfilling bedroom experience ever, a-a-and that they would be seeing God, and then just walk away! It's cruel and unusual!"

"I'm sorry! I-I wasn't thinking! I was talking out of my ass. I promise!"

"But you meant it," Hare hissed.

"What are you saying?"

"I'm saying, as your best friend, you owe me a sexual relationship!" Hare declared, falling into him and showering him with kisses. Hatter darted his eyes around as his attacker nuzzled him relentlessly. "Mmhwa! Mmhwa! Mmph!" He laid there taking it all for a long moment before smiling at the ceiling and cupping his hands around Hare's adorable little ass. If this were a woman, he was sure by now he'd be covered in lipstick. Eventually Hare retracted, breathing laboriously, his face completely pink from some combination of horniness, boldness, and heat. Hatter was still staring at him wide-eyed.

"Wow, I never thought you would do something like this."

Hare caught his breath again before he spoke. "I never thought you would do something like this!" Hatter frowned. "I mean, I... I-I-I thought it was over between us. Everything that brought me any type of happiness. I always thought you'd be around. I thought I'd have you without ever having you, somehow... I can't do that anymore! I have to really have you!" Hare whined, falling back down to Hatter's chest and huggling him, which only lasted a second before he swung back up and gripped at his shirt for emphasis. "And you're not going anywhere for Christmas! You've staying here and I'm making you cookies a-and... and... and we're making love!"

After all the stamina it took for Hare to reach his baby, Hatter returned him with nothing but an anticlimax. "Alright." Hare's declaratory finger hung in the air as he looked down.

"What?"

"Christmas Eve, cookies, love - sounds about right." He pulled Hare down by the waist, who began to wriggle as Hatter kissed him sloppily all over the temple.

"What? Wait a minute! We're not going to argue about this?" He tried to push Hatter away but his grip was too strong.

"Nnnope, I think we've argued enough this week," he answered, then pressed his lips back to Hare's forehead.

"What about Alice?"

"It didn't work out."

"But. But. You've only been seeing each other for a day," Hare reasoned, sitting up again, hand trailing a certain length and stopping.

"I know. And she got boring in a day."

"But yesterday, and the candles, and- but the other day you had a great time!"

"On it's own, yeah, maybe... But frankly, you and I could make more of a riot out of watching paint dry. I mean I was entertaining myself a lot. Besides our great looks," he ran his hand through his hair, "we really don't have enough in common." Hare faintly smiled, but Hatter continued. "And then today... we crocheted in front of my TV for like two hours. In which, I thought of a number of ways to off myself with those needles. And then she was crying about some Lifetime movie,"

"I cry over Lifetime movies,"

"I know, but we cuddle when that happens. She slapped me on the arm and told me to give her a few minutes alone. And then she said something about her mother's wedding..." Hare put on a look of disgust.

"But... but... what about all that stuff about you being meant to be and how it wasn't a choice?"

"Uhh... I think it was just gas."

Hare scrunched up his face incredulously. "You put me through all of that over gas?"

"Not entirely - it... it was the novelty, I guess. I mean, women never come to Wonderland, and Alice was from some far off mysterious place... When it wore off, I felt like a real douche. Even she didn't recognize me."

Hare didn't want to agree, even though he knew it was true, so he just bit his lip, which just sent Hatter on a cute overload. "HARE!" He clung to him again. "I love you! Why do I always find this stuff out after it's too late?"

Hare let out a pained laugh and pushed for enough room to say to his face "because you're an idiot." Hatter couldn't help but laugh, that his equally clueless partner was pointing this out to him. His laughter loosened his hold and Hare was able to swing his leg back and crawl to where Hatter's hat had rolled when he was 'attacked'. Once it had been retrieved, he turned around and Hatter was standing right behind him, so he fit it snugly on his head and gave him an indeterminable stare. "...I should be slapping you."

"Please don't?" Hatter tried. Hare looked guilty for having brought it up for a moment, before he realized something.

"What happened to the mistletoe?" Hatter tilted his head. "I.. I heard it from Dee." Hatter scrunched his shoulders in amusement.

"Welllll... since the plans changed, I..." Hare tried to make out like he wasn't looking around for wherever he had tossed it, but Hatter spotted it a mile away. He dropped his face closer and gradually smiled. "We don't need it, you know." As Hare mirrored him, Hatter closed the space and their lips touched momentarily. Suddenly Hare practically growled, grabbing Hatter by both the cheeks, and so began their ferocious tango to the bedroom.

.


.

Back at the palace, everyone had arrived except for the (currently love-making) duo. "It's fifteen minutes past 6:00! Where the hell are the Hatter and Hare?" The Queen shrieked. Everyone attending raised their hands and shrugged, including Alice. "Nobody knows anything?" She raised an eyebrow with kind of a smirk on her face.

"Well actually, Your Majesty," Dee interrupted. "Hare said something about not coming."

"Not coming?"

"M-maybe Hatter's convincing him," Dum suggested, but she had already gone off with a thought.

"Cat!" The Cheshire Cat, who had been peaking around the present area, casually glanced at the Queen, not really caring one way or the other. "Go see where they went."

"Oh psh. Why meeee?"

"Why do you think?" She answered, dead pan.

The Cat rolled his eyes and disappeared. The fun tempo of the music continued without accompaniment as the group waited for the verdict. A second later he popped back over the punch table, his hand over his heart. "You don't want to go over there."

"Hmph," the Queen thought fit to reply.

"I-I guess things wor~ked out?" Rabbit figured.

"I don't think I can un-hear that..." the Cat trailed.

"It's about time." The Queen ended that sentence with a squint towards the sky. "I suppose I can make an exception. Wouldn't want them at my party doing that..."

"Alice, I thought Hatter and you were... you know," Dum started. Alice smiled more to herself than to him.

"For a day, yes. I was going to call it off tonight."

Dee, who had his back turned, swished around to the two with drink in hand. "Let me guess... he freaked you out?"

"A little, yes, but it was actually a conversation I had with Hare... I realized they weren't through with each other yet. I-If I had gone through with it, it would've made me a real bitch."

The Tweedles thought about it a moment and laughed it off.

"Watch out, Alice, that's where we keep the mistletoe," Rabbit mentioned, rolling up for a Christmas cookie. He nibbled at it amusedly as she slowly glanced upward to some drooping garland, and so did Dum. They looked back to each other and laughed.

"Probably not," she said, weakly shaking her head. Dum tightened his lips.

"'Course not."

The End.


Please R/R if you like it, or for discussion. :)