Disclaimer: Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass belongs to Lewis Carroll. The movie adaptation belongs to Tim Burton, et al. Joss and Mutant Enemy partake, as well, and Jim Benton and J.K. Rowling finish everything out. Radiohead. "Hail to the Thief.". XL, TBD, Parlophone, Capitol, 2003. Bright Eyes. "Cassadaga.". Saddle Creek Records, 2007. The Decemberists. "Hazards of Love.". Capitol, Rough Trade, 2009.
Summary: Slowly, cautiously, he followed her into the first warmth of sunlight he'd seen in nigh on twenty years.
Notes: This idea just came to me. Hell, it actually makes sense, what with Xander's being the 'White Knight'. As for Luna, well - come on. Also, I do not ship Ron/Hermione. I never have, I never will. Those two would tear one another apart in real life.
Pairings, etc.: Alice Kingsleigh/The Knave of Hearts; Xander Harris/Cordelia Chase; Harry Potter/Luna Lovegood; Buffy Summers/Angel; Willow Rosenberg/Daniel Osbourne; Ginevra Weasley/Draco Malfoy; Hermione Granger/?; Ronald Weasley/?;
Timeline: post-Alice in Wonderland (2010), post-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, chapter thirty-six; post-Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season three;
Prologue: Upside Down and Inside Out
In pitch dark, I go walking in your landscape...Broken branches trip me as I speak...
One-hundred years earlier...
Alice had always expected to eventually return to Underland. She'd promised the Hatter and March Hare as much before she left. The Queen had made Alice her Champion, she couldn't just pick up and never return. That would be very rude and dishonest at that.
What she hadn't expected upon her return was to visit the Outlands on the chance of checking up on the Queen and Knave of Hearts and finding that not only had the Queen chopped her own head off in lieu of something to argue at, but that the Knave had been sitting forlornly next to the Outlands' only water source, his wrist still chained to the Queen's dead body, half-mad with loneliness and desperation.
He'd all but pounced upon her, causing her to shove him away and turn to begin the immediate walk back to the White Queen's castle when the Knave had caught her wrist. "Please. Please, I can't take this any longer. She's gone and done herself in - it's been years and all I can do is stare at her...where her head was once not off."
Alice turned and glared back at the Knave, his piteous voice only causing her to turn up her nose in disgust. "I came to see if you each were still alive, you are even if she isn't. It's your own fault you're stuck here. No one made you do what you did to those in our home."
The Knave began to pant, biting his lip and blinking back tears of all things. "I was different then, my head full of her power and her racket and I was selfish and - "
Alice narrowed her eyes, "Murderous, don't forget that."
The Knave flinched but could do naught but nod, his frown getting even deeper. "Yes, I was murderous, then - but I'm different now!"
Alice nearly sneered but restrained herself, "Yes, you can say that, but why should I believe you - you almost killed the Hatter and what's he ever done to you? Personally?"
The Knave went to open his mouth, but Alice cut him off, "Nothing is the answer so keeping your mouth shut would have been the thing to do."
She turned to leave again and the Knave caught her wrist once more. Alice whipped herself around, a snarl on her lips as she drew the Vorpal Sword, a homecoming gift received from the White Queen only the day before, and put it to the Knave's neck.
"You're no better than the Jabberwocky - worse, really, you are capable of free thought and motive and what motive did you have to hold Bayard and his family captive, to try to kill the Hatter, the Dormouse, to hunt me down?"
The Knave could only stay silent, staring heartbrokenly down at the grounds around them, as this was Alice's request - nay, order.
Alice frowned harder this time before taking a deep breath and swinging the Vorpal Sword. The Knave of Hearts fully expected to lose his head, but all he heard was a clanging noise as the chain that held him to the Red Queen's body was cleaved in two.
Before he could stammer any replies or cries of gratitude, Alice turned and began walking away. When he didn't follow, she turned and stared him down as she had the Jabberwocky. "Do you not have much to make up for? Get on, then. Your first reparations are to the Right Queen and if she enters you into her service, I shall see about keeping Bayard from ripping you apart."
The Knave's eyes widened terribly as he rubbed the well-worn rings of scars where he'd tugged at the chain keeping him to the WrongQueen's side all this time.
Slowly, cautiously, he followed her into the first warmth of sunlight he'd seen in nigh on twenty years.
...Some were ripe and some were rotten, I felt nauseous with the truth...
The Knave hated to watch Alice cry. He hated everything about every tear she shed because no matter how long he had searched Underland and Alice herself had gone to the Aboveworld, their Xander and Luna were seemingly gone forever.
The Knave stroked his wife's hair, kissed her crown, and wished he could think of something to comfort her - how could he? Their children were missing, their curiosity of the worlds around them having gotten the better of them. They were young, he couldn't blame them. Neither of them could, but it broke their hearts all the same.
The Knave dared not leave Alice now, wishing to keep her from embarking on the very same rampage the Wrong Queen had gone on so long ago when her world had ceased to make sense to her.
Alice's reasons were different than the Wrong Queen's, yes, but the result would still be something similar.
A mother without her children was a force to be reckoned with, indeed.
So, in the end, all the Knave could do was attempt to comfort her and await Xander and Luna to each return on their own. One could never leave Underland permanently. The scales of the Crumple-Horned Snorkacks shed easily and glittered through the air, attaching to all and acting as a call backward from whence they'd come.
It was the way things were meant to be, after all. The Knave hated admitting that their children had been destined to leave their sides, but took bitter comfort in the fact that eventually, someday, they'd be coming home again.