"Twinkle twinkle, little bat," Mad March's mechanical voice taunted, with just a hint of a singsong. He chuckled. "Good-bye Hatter."

And with that, Mad March lunged toward Hatter, who was still helplessly strapped to the hard metal chair.

Hatter barely had time to think. His instincts took over and he kicked hard at the ground, sending his chair tipping backwards. The impact was painful and jarring, but it put Hatter out of the reach of Mad March's blade, and threw March off balance. Hatter kicked his legs into March's midsection, sending the man with the cookie-jar head stumbling backwards.

Mad March quickly regained himself, and in a rage threw himself back toward the bound man. But Hatter had taken the few seconds of reprieve to climb out of the chair, though his wrists were still bound to its arms, and he used it as a shield to parry the next couple of slashes.

He could see the man lunging at him again. If March's face wasn't made of expressionless ceramic, Hatter knew it would be twisted in rage. He could feel the emotion pouring off the man before him. It was time to end this.

At the last second, Hatter turned, and March's knife, instead of bouncing harmlessly off the chair once again, sliced through the binding and Hatter's skin, freeing his right wrist from the chair.

Mad March barely had the chance to realize he had just made a deadly mistake.

Hatter's sledgehammer fist drove itself into March's cookie jar head, shattering the ceramic into a thousand pieces.

Adrenaline still fueling his rage, Hatter continued to hit and punch and grind the gears and wires that the rabbit head had encompassed into the floor. He was positively shaking with rage and screaming in such a hideously unnatural tone that even the evil doctors were stricken with fear and went into hiding instead of intervening with the cattle prod.

And just as quickly as the maddening rage had overtaken him, it was gone. Hatter stared at the prone and headless man, lying on the floor in front of him, broken wires and ceramic shards mixed with the blood that was now seeping both from March's neck and Hatter's hand.

Hatter crawled across the floor, his left arm, still bound, dragging the heavy metal chair behind him, until he was hovering over March's body. He swallowed hard over a lump that threatened to choke him.

And then a heavy sob erupted through his body, then another, and another. He put his right arm down on March's chest, and buried his head in the crook of his elbow, and let the waves of emotion wash over him as he cried like a child.

"The Hares and the Hatters, we've always looked out for each other," he wailed into the cold, dead body of one March Hare.

AN: Uh oh. And so starts another tale.