a/n: This is bloomed from something Hatter said in the episode 'Diary of a Mad Hatter.' I hope you enjoy it!
For the record, Hatter did invite Hare to the city that night.
Hare declined, saying he was busy with his gardening and would see him the next morning for breakfast. So when Hatter came home early into the next day, no one suspected Hare to be waiting up for him. But, of course, he was.
Hatter came stumbling into the first door with a clumsy stride and turned on the light. He let out a dramatic gasp when he saw Hare sitting in his recliner, arms crossed and teeth clenched. The sun wasn't up yet, giving the shadows a eerie anger to Hare's face.
"Hare, good buddy, good pal, good friend…"Hatter started, but ended up just falling on the rug and laughing.
"This isn't funny," Hare glared, "Do you have any idea what time it is?"
"Tuesday…"Hatter said seriously, looking out the window.
"Time!" Hare stood up and threw his arms up in the air, "I said time! What were you doing all night? And…what is that smell?"
Hatter smelled himself but shrugged his shoulders. Hare helped him up and let out a small gag.
"You smell like…like…overly-brewed tea!" The Hare gasped.
"Oh…just a little-y bit-ly bit," Hatter tried to make the motion with his finger and thumb, but proved to be too complicated to him and he fell onto Hare's shoulder.
Hare sighed loudly and helped his friend to his bed. After getting Hatter into his bed, Hare sternly began lecturing him, but he was much more interested in the shadow's above his head. Although Hare wanted to know what happened last night, he didn't dare ask. But he didn't have to.
"I met someone last night," Hatter mumbled out.
Hare, just about to leave the room, stopped dead in his tracks. Turning around, he saw Hatter laying on his side towards him, his head resting on his hand. Hare felt like a large rock was dropped in the pit of his stomach.
"Want to hear about her?" Hatter giggled like a child.
"No, I do not want to hear about her," Hare managed to say, "Go to sleep, you need it."
Hare once again tried to leave, but Hatter stumbled out of bed. Before Hare could reach the door, Hatter had his arms wrapped around Hare's shoulders and he was swinging him around in a drunken dance.
"I mean, Hare," Hatter cried to him in a joyful voice, "I really met her!"
"I don't care!" Hare pushed Hatter back onto his bed. "Now go to bed!"
Stomping out of the hat shaped house, Hare couldn't believe the nerve his friend. If he didn't want to hear about some stupid girl, he shouldn't have to hear it. But the angrier Hare became, the more the lump in his throat grew until he got back to his house. When he collapsed onto his bed, the damn broke, but he tried to cry as silently as he could, mostly because he wasn't even sure why he was crying.
Of course Hare forgave Hatter later that day and even helped him recuperate from his hangover. The days went by and turned into months and not once did Hatter ever bring up that night. So they went about their days just as they were before, although it always hung over Hare's head like a bad dream.
Then, one day, Hatter got a surprise.
He had just finished getting dress and was just brushing his teeth when the doorbell rang. He tried to shout 'Just a minute!' but it came out as 'Shush-a-minny" and he knew that made little sense. So he quickly finished, rinsed, and than ran to the 'in' door. When he opened it, though, no one was there. Shrugging, he was about to shut the door when he saw something on his door mat. It was whicker basket with a blanket convering the top. Hatter grinned, thinking it was muffins or (could it be!) Grandma Hatter's cookies, he picked the basket up and brought it inside.
"This is a bit heavy for cookies," Hatter said to himself.
He set the basket on the counter and rubbed his hands together in delight. He couldn't wait to see his gift. Counting down from three, Hatter threw the blanket off the top and froze. It was not cookies or muffins.
It was a baby.
Not baby cookies or baby muffins, but a real baby. The little thing slept wrapped in a gingham blanket. On the baby's chubby little fist was a note. Gently taking the note, he opened it.
"This is yours"
Before he could stop himself, he panicked and ran out the door, calling for Hare as he raced to his house. Luckily for Hatter, Hare was out in front gardening when he ran by.
"What is the fuss about?" Hare said as he stood up.
Hatter was sweaty and in such a state that he could barely speak. So instead, he grabbed Hare's hand and they raced back to his house. Now, Hare was used to Hatter's antics, but he had never seen his friend so scared in his life. This caused Hare to become frighten for him.
"What is wrong?" Hare shouted as they jumped over the fence.
"Hare…you can't tell…anyone!" Hatter wheezed as he caught his breath.
Hare quickly agreed and Hatter led him into his house. At first, all Hare could see the basket on the table , but as they approached, he began to see a plaid blanket and a bit of blond hair. By the time they arrived to the table, Hare's mouth was wide open.
"What did you do!" Hare shouted before Hatter cupped his hand over his mouth.
"Shhh!" Hatter whispered. "I don't want to wake it!"
"It is a baby, not a toaster!" Hare said through clenched teeth.
"Either way…"Hatter started, but it was too late.
The baby woke and began to cry.
"What do I do, what do I do!" Hatter shouted, looking into the basket.
"You pick the baby up!" Hare motioned to the baby.
Hatter took a deep breath and reached into the basket. The baby was still howling when Hatter held the baby in his hands.
"You are holding the baby like a sack of flour," Hare stated and helped Hatter get the baby into his arms.
As soon as the baby was situated, the crying died down. Hatter had a look of pure confusion on his face as he looked down at the little thing. He wasn't sure who would leave a baby on his doorstep claming him as the father. He was a good man was morals and never did anything like that.
"We have to find out whose baby this is," Hatter said quietly as to not wake the baby.
But as he looked to Hare to find agreement in his eyes, he instead for discontent.
"You will help me, wont you?" Hatter pleaded.
"I think…the baby is yours…."Hare finally responded.
Hatter was about to argue, when he recalled a night less than a year ago. As the hazy memory returned, his heart sank. He found his way to a chair and carefully sat down. Finally finding the courage, he looked down at the little thing. Sure enough, the baby had Hatter's blue eyes and blond hair. The baby stared up at Hatter with a look of innocence and in that moment, Hatter knew Hare was right. This child was his.
"What have I done," Hatter asked himself.
"Screwed up, fumbled, did a oopsie?" Hare threw out a few options, but after seeing Hatter's face, decided to stop.
Hatter looked up from the baby to his friend with a look of helplessness. Hare didn't know how to help him, but he knew he would stick around no matter what. So smiling, Hare came over to Hatter's side and put his hand on his shoulder.
"Well…the baby takes after you," Hare said in reassurance.
"Yeah, you are right, old buddy," Hatter smiled.
They both looked down at the baby, who was looking up at them with big curious eyes. Smiling, Hatter began to rock the baby back and forth in his arms and knew that this was going to change his life forever.
Hare was up in the attic looking for stuff for the new baby. He found a cradle, a stroller, and a box full of toys. But while he did this, he found himself wondering how Hatter was going to explain himself to Wonderland. Especially little Alice, her little mind just wouldn't be able to comprehend.
Speaking of Alice…
Hatter was still in the chair, watching the baby sleep when there was a knock on the door. Gently getting up, he was about to open the door when he realized no one but Hare knew about the baby. Turning on his heels, he quickly, but carefully, laid the baby back in the basket and then answered the door.
"Hello, Mr. Hatter!" Alice happily greeted him.
"Oh…haha…Alice…" Hatter nervously looked around, "How are…um….how are you?"
"I'm fine…may I come in?" Alice tried looking over his shoulder, suspecting something was going on.
"Um…" Hatter tried to think of a way to make her go away when, as if on cue, the baby started to cry.
"Is that a baby?" Alice asked, pushing her way through Hatter and up to the basket.
Hatter tried to stop her, but she pulled back the blanket and saw the baby. Her face went soft and she let out a long 'awwwww!" before picking the baby up. She rocked the baby back and forth, but then stopped and sniffed.
"I think somebody needs a diaper change," Alice cooed at the baby.
"Alice, I would think by now you would be wearing big girl pants!" Hatter exclaimed
Alice rolled her eyes and found some diapers inside of the basket and changed the little baby with ease of a skilled babysitter. When she was done, she picked the baby back up and continued to rock back and forth.
"So, what is the little guy's name?" Alice asked.
"It is a boy?" Hatter suddenly grinned and ran to the stairs. "Hare! It is a boy!"
A short "yay" was heard from the attic and then the rustling started again. Alice cocked her eyebrow and Hatter blushed. He didn't expect to get himself so excited over the baby, that they now knew was a boy, and he rubbed the back of his neck before he quickly explained to Alice the situation. Hatter thought she would be angry or confused, but she was neither.
"I have a cousin who is a single father too," Alice smiled and handed the baby back to Hatter.
As she said that, it finally hit Hatter. He was a father. This child was his son and he was this child's father. Looking down at his son again, he smiled the brightest he ever had, and the little boy followed suit.
"He looks just like you," Alice smiled.
"Yeah…my son does," Hatter glowed with happiness.
Alice knew, though, that Hatter didn't know the first thing about baby's, so she said she was going to the store to get him some baby supplies. After she left, Hare finally got the cradle set up in Hatter's room and the stroller down stairs. Sitting down on the last step, Hare took a breather. Across from him was Hatter, again sitting in the chair with the baby in his arms, humming a little lullaby. Hare wanted to say something, but felt that perhaps right now wouldn't be the best of times. Instead, he watched his friend in all his happiness. Finally Hatter looked up and saw his friend.
"Come here," Hatter nodded his head towards Hare.
Hare couldn't say no to his friend, so he walked to Hatter's side.
"This is my son," Hatter smiled, looking up at Hare.
After they had laid the baby down, they decided it would be a good time to pick a name for the baby. Sitting down on Hatter's bed while the baby was sleeping in the new cradle, they began to brainstorm.
"Harry?" Hare suggested.
"No," Hatter rejected.
"Jeez, that's that last suggestion you are getting from me!" Hare huffed.
Hatter apologized and looked out the window. This was a lot to deal with in just a few hours. Of course, he was glad Hare and Alice were there to help, but it still was a mind puzzle. Now they were just waiting around for Alice to get back to show them how to take care of a baby.
Once again, as if on cue, the little thing started to cry.
"Why?" Hatter cried out, but Hare had already jumped up and got the baby.
"It's ok, Hatter," Hare said, slowly rocking the baby, "I got this one."
"No, its ok,' Hatter said, getting up, "He's my son, I should deal with this."
"But I'm here to help," Hare forcefully laughed.
"Yes, but I don't want you to have to do all the work," Hatter just as forcefully smiled.
"Hatter, I'm fine with doing this," He said seriously.
"I know, but it isn't fair if you are helping me so much over something I should deal with," Hatter sighed.
Just then, Alice came trotting up the stairs and stopped the disagreement before it started. She had four shopping bags in each hand and a backpack full. Hatter sighed and realized this was going to be more than he thought.
"First," Alice said when they were downstairs and in the kitchen, "Is how to change the baby."
" But I think Hatter likes him as a boy," Hare whispered.
"No, I mean change his diapers," Alice laughed.
"Hatter, shouldn't you be in big boy pants by now!" Hare gasped.
"She meant the baby!" Hatter pointed with his hands towards the baby, which was currently laying on the counter looking up at them.
Alice had a diaper, baby wipes, baby ointment and a towel laid out in front of them. She picked the baby up and put him on top of the towel and removed his blue onesies. Then, she put the new diaper under his bottom.
"I'm no professional, Alice," Hare spoke up, "But you can't put the new diaper on the old one…doesn't that defeat the purpose."
"I'm not putting it on the new one," Alice laughed, "I'm just putting it there so when I'm done, it'll be ready."
Hare shrugged and they continued to watch. But the moment Alice lifted the top of the diaper, the two passed out onto the floor.
"Second thing," Alice said as they sat in the living room after the boys recovered, all three sitting on Hatter's purple couch, "Is feeding the baby."
"Oh!" Hare bounced in his seat by Hatter, "I saw this in a movie once!"
Hare then proceeded to unbutton his shirt. At first Alice and Hatter were confused, but then Alice released what he meant and proceeded to stop him.
"Wait…but I thought this is how…"Hare said, motioning to his now bare chest.
"No, no, no!" Alice said, "Only girls can do that, Mr. Hare!"
"Well…if that isn't sexism then I don't know what is!' Hare huffed and buttoned his shirt up.
Alice shook her head and began to feed Hatter's son, who was laying peacefully in her arms. Hatter and Hare stared at Alice as she quietly let the baby suck on the bottle.
"Alice," Hatter whispered. "This is boring."
"I never said it was going to be fun!" Alice began to wonder if they were really serious.
So they sat in silence, waiting for the baby to finish, and when he did, she burped him. After this was finished, she handed the baby to Hatter.
"I really should be going now," Alice said, "But I'll be back tomorrow to help. He should be good for a couple of hours. If he wakes up, just rock him back to sleep. Oh, and you should really pick out a name."
After Alice had left, Hatter laid the baby down for the night upstairs and turned to Hare.
"You can go for the night," Hatter said, "Alice said he should be fine."
"Are you sure?" Hare asked, "I can stay."
"Nah, old buddy," Hatter laughed, "I mean, I'm sure he will sleep for the rest of the night. What could possibly go wrong?"
Oh, Mr. Hatter…many things could go wrong…