Title: Return to Wonderland and What Alice Found there
Book 1 in the Mad Sort of Love saga.
Summary: Alice has returned to her homeland of England but what happens when she finds that she yearns for her beloved Underland? And a certain Hatter that has won her fancy? She must fulfill her promise and return. But when she does, she will find a certain Bluddy Begh Hed has come back with revenge and bloodlust in her eyes.
Pairing: Alice/Tarrant, Iracebeth/OC, Mirana/OC, Hamish/OC
DISCLAIMER: OF COURSE I DON'T OWN ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Would I be writing fanfiction if I did :)
September 16, 2016- Nearly done editing. There may be some weird grammar things going on in this story, as I've considerably beefed up chapters and I might have missed some of that in the editing. I'll go back and clean some of that up with spell check and the like. I hope you enjoy the extended story I have come up with. This work has gone from 46 chapters to 50, with most chapters considerably added to. I hope this feels more polished and professional. - Lydia
He had watched her leave.
The brokenness in her green eyes mirrored his own, as she kept his gaze while she faded before his eyes. It started with her toes, her legs following in their escape to the unknown, her lean torso, then her arms, and finally her round pink face framed by her beautiful golden hair. She had drunk the purple blood from the small glass vial, returning home.
He understood why she had done it. She needed to answer questions, to solve things in her own world.
"Fairfarren, Alice." He whispered and little by little she disappeared. Just as he had thought she would; piece by muchy piece until all that stood before the Hatter was the gentle smell of the victorious Champion and her lingering memory.
Tarrant stood for awhile longer staring, hoping in every fiber of his being that she would come back. The Jabberwocky blood would have her return to him. This was her true home, was it not? Was this not where she returned to time and again?
"Hatter?" A voice came from behind him, pulling him from the world of his thoughts where he was slowly drifting off to, where voices argued in his head. He shook his head slightly and returned to Underland. Mallymkun stood with a group that looked at him in silence. "She's…gone." He muttered, trying to accept it for himself.
He should have kissed when he had the chance, he should have told her he loved her and maybe then she would have stayed. Instead, all he could mumble at the woman he had come to care for so greatly was his stupid unsolvable riddle; Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Mirana gently walked to stand before the sullen milliner and put a hand on his shoulder. "Tarrant, come along now. She will return. Let us go back and celebrate the Frabjous Day. We can fetch Absolem and read the Oraculum. Perhaps it will tell of her return. She would not want to see you in such misery after she had just saved you from true terror." The monarch did her best to reason with him.
"I must decline, your majesty." He said gently, his eyes looking downward, the same dull green they had been two days ago.
They had only illuminated when he had caught sight of her across the tea table, walking towards the trio of lunatics. Hope caught in his throat and he realized how sorely he had missed the tiresome child. Though, he was thoroughly surprised when his eyes fell upon the figure of a beautiful young woman.
"But you must! You are my Royal Hatter, one of my most trusted friends." She smiled, reaching a hand out to him. She was only trying to help, trying to lend comfort in a time of heartache for all of them. Alice had come and gone as quickly as she had the first few times, stealing everyone's affection in her journey.
He knew he should respond politely, tell her his heart wasn't quite in it and that he would much rather prefer to sit and ponder over some tea. But the cogs in his head were jamming once more, the coherency lost with the image of the girl that had been standing right before him. He responded as best as he could with a damaged heart and a confused mind. Tarrant began to laugh. Laugh and laugh. "Tell me, why is a raven like a writing desk."
"Tarrant," Mirana's dark mouth fell into a concerned frown, her brown eyebrows stitching as she looked up at him.
"Answer the question, why is a raven like a writing desk?" He insisted.
"I don't know." She said looking downward.
It was the answer he needed. Of course she didn't. Neither had Alice, but the muchy Champion could have wrestled it out. It was too late for perhaps now; the woman was gone.
Tarrant tipped his hat to Mirana and turned on his heels, walking through the aftermath of the war.
"Tarrant! Tarrant Hightopp!" Mirana called after him.
Tarrant paused a moment, the salmon colored ribbon from his hat blew in the wind, his eyes narrowing as he watched her approach.
"Tarrant, just give this a try. There is no need to be so dour on a day of great victory. We were ushered in hope today, surely there is enough hope to spare for tomorrow." She pleaded, holding her hands before her chest daintily as her brown eyes looked up at Tarrant, tears welling in the corner.
Tarrant did not have the strength to respond to the queen they way that he knew she would want him to. Without acknowledging her plea of reconsideration, he looked down at her and said, "Fairfarren." He turned to his two companions who stood among the small throng of worried onlookers, beckoning them to join him once they had spent their happy emotions. "Mallymkun, Thackery, join me later won't you?"
"Where are you off to Tarrant?" Mirana called, still trying to pursue Tarrant who was quickening his steps.
She motioned for one of her guards to get the small set of stairs for her horse. She mounted the steed and gently clicked it forward. Mallymkun had scurried up and clung to her shoulder, Thackery was hurriedly hopping behind. She caught up to the distraught Hatter. His eyes were an amber color and he muttered to himself in Outlandish.
"Where are you off to Hatter?" She repeated
"Teh whait." He strode forward, his accent thick with warning.
Mallymkun leapt to his shoulder. "Come, join the celebration of the White Queen's restored reign!" She tried to encourage her old friend, placing a small paw on her cheek.
"I will not celebrate until Alice returns to Underland."
"Tha' culd take years…stone…" Thackery said, picking up a large stone that had crumbled away from the boulder which had crushed the Jubb Jubb bird's head.
"It took her years before; she'll return when she does." Tarrant ignored his friend's plea for reason, knowing that reason would never appear until she did. He had fought the heartache once, now he was contending with its brother, and he proved to be a more abominable force.
"What if she doesn't Tarrant?" Mirana asked gently, her voice low and hushed. He was heartbroken, who could not see he loved the curious and brave women who had left them moments before?
"Then I will stay as I was. I survived thirteen years. I won't be woken by the Queen's escapees who tried to avoid Time at my table." He paused and looked at his two delirious companions. "Join the party if yeh want. Ahm goin' back tah teh madness." With relief he saw Mallymkun and Thackery turn away to go to the party.
Let them celebrate; their victory was won for them. He wanted to slip into the comatose state of the tea party, for surely Time would become offended that Alice had left again, and because of that he would stop them all once more. Until Alice returned to Underland he would remain dormant. If she never did, he should be glad he would never wake up.
Half the day was already spent by the time Tarrant reached the party scene. It lay untouched from when he left; smashed tea pots laying on the ground from Thackery's impromptu attack on the card guards, tables overturned from when Stayne had returned to search for Tarrant, after discovering he had Alice. He walked up the long table, ignoring the staling scones and the aging tea. He would not need them. Not anymore.
His chair at the head of the long table was empty, the teapot that had hid Alice sat at the front. He painfully observed the scraps of cloth that had come from Alice's undergarments, the remains of what he had carved the dress from. He brushed them and the teapot off the table onto the ground with the sweep of his hand. The porcelain shattering into pieces onto the cobblestone below. Tarrant ignore the mess as he took his familiar seat.
Time lay ticking slowly on his giant pocket watch near the tea stain of the large tea pot. "My old friend Time, it is past due to lose myself again." Tarrant whispered to the pocket watch, hoping his enemy would hear his wish and gleefully return him to slumber.
He settled into the ancient wingback, assuming the position he had maintained for far too long before. His eyes, an orange and green color, taking one last look at the scene before him, knowing that surely things would change about as Mally was ever so terrible at staying capture by time as he was. When he had satisfied himself with his final examination, he slouched his head slightly, shutting his eyes and waiting for the ticking to cease completely, to have him return to his dream state. A gentle creature landed on his shoulder and he was about to flick it away in bitterness when he noticed out of the corner of his barely opened eye that it was a blue butterfly.
"Who else would it be?" The creature's deep voice seemed annoyed at the milliner's question.
"I would have thought that you would be at the celebration at Marmoreal, along with all the rest."
"What mind have you to think with?" The butterfly scoffed the man in the top hat.
"None." He gave a mad laugh that quickly faded out. "Especially since she left."
"Alice is Alice now. She has other Jabberwockies to fight and other parties to keep…for now Tarrant. But who knows the Oraculum better than I?" The butterfly answered, his ennui toward all things Alice barely concealed. To him Alice was a silly girl who lost sight of herself far too many times, her name did not send shivers down his spine as it did to Tarrant. What did this little insect truly care about her?
"Why do you tease me, you troublesome insect? What have I done to ye?" Tarrant's accent grew thick in his rage. "She be returnen to 'er dark 'ole o' a land. She will forget. Jus' as teh wonderful creature forgot teh las' time."
"Time, Hatter, is her friend not yours." Absolem warned. "Let it continue to be amicable to her, he will not treat her as he treated you."
"Gow awey! Fer un who es so wise yeh certently know 'ow to make pehple angry."
"Tarrant have patience. Your wee spec of a girl will be back one day. McTwisp will return with her as is his usual duty. As for now I am to join her in the other life." Absolem responded rationally to Tarrant's hot temper.
"How long do I wait?" Tarrant's eye glowed green with a hope they had lost when she drank the putrid purple liquid.
"You must wait. Time will be kind to you, Hatter, if not for her sake alone. Stupid girl, hopefully she does what is needed and swiftly returns. I think this whole kingdom will go as mad as you Hatter if she doesn't."
"Alice would never make a promise she can't keep. Now go, and keep an eye on the Champion." Tarrant tried to shoo the small creature on his delicate wings.
"Before you rush me off, you crazed lunatic, listen to this; Alice will remember. Unlike last time, when she forgot just what you have all done for her, she will surely recall her heroic deeds proven here, as she will need that muchiness in her life above. I will lend you one kindness as I fetch the woman- you will be able to see her every day for a period of Time. Perhaps she'll stay to listen instead of taking off." Hatter looked at the young butterfly in confusion.
"Whatever do you mean?" He asked, but did not get his answer as the butterfly fluttered off. The windmill creaked silently in the background as it began to slow down. The watch that sat in front of him stood upright. Its hands came together at twelve o'clock and it began to spin in circles. It ceased almost as quickly as it started.
"Where is that curious little girl…what is her name again?" The clocked asked with a tense sharp voice, irritation unmistakable.
"Alice?" The Hatter offered and grinned knowing that time was growing slow and impatience.
"When is she to return?"
"Someday she said."
"Well I am tired of ticking and I'm terribly offended. I shall have to stop and wait for her all over again." The clock said in a gruff paternal voice.
And it paused.
Tarrant could feel the sleepiness take over again. He would only awaken with the watch now, usually when one approached the table. As he drifted off to sleep, up bounded the March Hare.
"Another adventure into Nothingland!" He laughed hysterically. "Teacup." He stared the cups before him down as if inspecting them for smudges and marks. Then his head promptly fell on the table. Hatter smiled at his sleeping friend then he too closed his eyes.
He crossed his hands over his midsection, falling into his own comatose state, almost missing Mally's cry of indignation. "More slumbering in wait for that incorrigible girl!" She squeaked.
"Mally you don't have to stay." Tarrant's voice was low, and he could hear in his semi unconscious state that he was growing inaudible.
"For Hattah I will. But Alice isn't coming back to Underland." Mally squeaked.
"Then neither should I. I've served my purpose, Mally. Now hush." He drowned out the world around him and bowed his head more deeply into his chest. His breathing slowed, his eyes closed, but his mind…his mind had only just started.