Disclaimer: If you recognize it, it's not mine. Some lines taken from Alice in Wonderland script; they may have been changed during the making of the movie but not likely by much.
AN: Next up is Last Laughs from the White Queen's POV. I couldn't resist sneaking in a few small mentions of Alice/Tarrant. I hope you guys enjoy this and that the story isn't developing too slowly for you.
Mirana, the White Queen, newly crowned Queen of Underland, watched with a heavy frown dragging her dark brows together. The Jabberwocky had escaped. One thick eyebrow arched gracefully as she hummed, pale hands fluttering around her. "That can't be good."
The blonde's eyes narrowed upon the hazy spot before Alice as the rip closed. The connection, the ability to feel all Underlanders snapped harshly as the Jabberwocky exited this realm. She stored her feelings and questions away until she could return to her castle and brew up a potion to have those questions answered. For that to happen, she had to deal with her sister foe first.
Mirana pushed the dark emotions away, the voices in her head that screamed for red blood to be spilt from the Red Queen in retribution. She was not that woman, every living creature (even her horrid sister) deserved life. Though none could detect the slight twitch in the muscles of her face, she could feel the malicious smirk pull at her skin. She would have the last laugh … figuratively speaking, of course.
"Iracebeth of Crims, your crimes against Underland are worthy of death. But that is against my vows. Therefore, you are banished to the Outlands. No one is to show you any kindness or ever speak a word to you. You will have no one to speak to … not a friend in the world."
Mirana watched detachedly as the Knight bowed and curried for her favor.
"Ilosovic Stayn, you will join Iracebeth in banishment in the Outlands from this day until the end of Underland." All the better if they killed each other, a dark part of her mind piped up. They were certainly well on their way, a knife being wrested from the Knight's hands.
The Red Queen's voice rang through the quiet, yelling towards her Knight, as they were dragged away by their own red suited cards. "You tried to kill me! YOU TRIED TO KILL ME!"
Yes, the last laugh indeed.
The White Queen hummed as she moved around her expansive potion's room. A dash of this, a pinch of that, a finger here, and a dash of the Jabberwocky's blood scavenged from the ruins.
"Yes, that should do," Mirana murmured pleasantly as she inhaled of the rancid cloud rising from the pot. She turned her head, eyes still focused solely upon her potion, to the small dormouse watching eagerly from the end of the table. "Fetch me the Hatter, Mallymkun," the Queen commanded absently. Her pale, slender hands worked meticulously as she bottled the potion—two doses and not a drop more.
Right on time too, for the door cracked open not a moment after she corked the bottle to admit the familiar hatted head of Tarrant Hightopp. His body followed shortly after as he slipped around the partially opened door. So like him to take the hard way when simply opening the door fully and walking through would have been so much easier. There were times when she missed Tarrant, not this mad Mad Hatter of now, but the young man who stood at her side and danced the Futterwacken for her on Frabjous Day. Mirana missed the dancing the most, but this Hatter was much funnier, especially when she got him going. The things that man could spout out in his rambling babbles.
Ah, right, she was supposed to be finding where the Jabberwocky disappeared to, not daydreaming of Futterwacken. "I require your aid, my Hatter. The Jabberwocky must be found, and I have just the thing to do that." The White Queen shook the bottles in her hand gently, causing the silver specked white liquid to swish and swirl.
"Will it be brought back for the Alice to slay?" Hatter asked curiously.
Mirana knew he both hoped and dreaded the return. There had not been enough blood to be salvaged to return Alice home, even with the amount that was needed for her potion. If the Jabberwocky could be returned and slain there would certainly be enough to return Alice to her home realm. Her poor Hatter was terribly in love and seemed not to notice. She wondered how he was going to take the news she needed to share with him? "The Alice she may be, but my champion she is not."
"But you said …" Hatter had never looked so stunned and utterly speechless.
"I said what I thought was true, what was once true. I have consulted with Absolem and the prophecy has changed. The tear in the realms which pulled the Jabberwocky through has changed the course of Underland's future to irreversible extents. There is a new champion and a new location within the prophecy. The Alice is the Alice no more; she is merely Alice, and merely Alice is not my champion."
Hatter's head tipped to the side, nearly upside down, and Mirana wondered how his famous hat stayed atop his head at such an angle. "Are we to find this new champion with your potion?"
Mirana sighed as she pulled the prophecy scroll from behind her back, spreading it across a clear space on her work table. There before them was a colored drawing when once it was simply black ink upon old parchment. The Jabberwocky stood out in all its black glory; its eyes shown with fire and hatred. Before the menacing creature stood a girl child in odd clothes, by no means the regal armor Alice had worn to the battle, but the vorpal blade was clear to see from where it was held masterfully in the painted figure's hands. "Why she could be a cousin of yours, my Hatter, with hair of that color." It was true, the tiny figure's hair flowed down her back, a perfect match to Hatter's if only in color. Where Hatter's was a riotous mass of frizz, this woman's laid straight but for the windblown strands that tangled around her neck.
The Hatter ignored her comment as he always did when family was brought up. "Is she the Alice?"
"No, according to Absolem she is the Willow, a warrior of her own realm. We must make her aware of the danger that has passed through the tear and give her the means of dealing with such a threat." Again, she pulled the vorpal blade from behind her back. It was such a nifty trick that Mirana couldn't resist using it often. She held the blade aloft, inspecting its length with a critical eye.
With a sigh, she handed over a bottle of potion, popping the cork of her own bottle. "This should take us to where we need to be, best to sit down though," she commented as she breezed to a wooden chair in the corner. The Hatter threw himself onto the floor before her and gulped his potion in one go. Mirana shook her head as she watched his body collapse. "Children of today, they have no patience." She downed her own potion quickly and allowed her body to slump backwards.
The world was dark around them when they arrived but quickly lightened to reveal the Hatter standing crossed eyed beside her. Perhaps she should have warned him about the roughness of the journey? The muscles in her face gave a twitch.
"Here is not the place we just were, but if we are not where we were, where then might we be?"
The world lightened more as if in answer to Hatter's nonsensical question. It looked like a version of Underland. The trees were much the same and sprouted up oddly through the darkness. There was a whisper of movement and Mirana felt the Hatter tense beside her. Yes, she had felt it as well. The Jabberwocky was prowling the darkness. There was another whisper of movement and their eyes found the redhead of prophecy suddenly appearing within the clearing.
The girl was pretty, Mirana guessed, in the way of Alice. Her skin was pale, made paler by the black backdrop, but no where near the whiteness of her own skin or Hatter's too white skin. Her eyes were green but nothing terribly vibrant, pupils too small and color too dull. The hair was a beautiful shade of flame but had none of the manic wildness or ethereal gleam of an Underlander. Still, the color made up for the lack of oddness much the way her own does. Why must her champions be so dull? She hoped this one's mind was as mad as Alice's; that would certainly make up for anything.
Mirana began the chant shortly after the girl's arrival, the Oraculum¹ of the Jabberwocky falling softly from her darkly painted lips. The Hatter caught on quickly and added his deep brogue. One eye focused on the redhead while the other followed the movements of the Jabberwocky. Though this was to be a dream taking place in the girl's mind and the Jabberwocky was to be but a figment of imagination, it didn't surprise the White Queen too much that the beast had actually been pulled in, was truly here and not a simple conjuration.
Anticipation welled up within her as the poem reached the part of the vorpal sword. It was a simple matter of displacing the blade into the redhead's hand. Excitement gripped her heart as she watched the girl fight. Mirana was glad of the distraction the Jabberwocky presented as her eyes glowed through the dark with triumph. This was the champion she had wished for. The redhead wielded the vorpal blade as it was meant to be wielded, taking down the Jabberwocky with victorious flourish.
The White Queen watched as the world lit up and realization set in on pixie like features. She was correct in her assumption then; the girl had already encountered the Jabberwocky in her realm. The muscles in her face twitched once more as the Hatter's mad and manic laughter rang and echoed off the deserted rubble.
The checkerboard floor beneath their feet faded back to darkness as the girl disappeared from the dreamscape taking the Jabberwocky with her. The vorpal blade appeared in the White Queen's hands as if it had never left them. Mirana quirked a brow at the sword sternly. "Your work has just begun, off with you." The sword faded reluctantly from her hands, lingering for as long as it could.
Mirana sighed sadly to see the blade go. It was only just recently returned to her after such a long absence. She hoped it didn't stay gone for long. Her raised hand turned palm upwards and the Hatter's settled around it. "Our work is finished, my Hatter. I am sure your Alice is beginning to wonder where you have wandered off to. Let us return to Underland, for the Jabberwocky is no longer our concern."
The White Queen and the Mad Hatter faded from the blackness and their bodies, stiff and still in the potions workroom, jerked awake. Mirana watched with a twinkle in her eyes as Tarrant hurried from the room, stumbling over numb feet in his attempt to make teatime with merely (his) Alice.
Yes, the last laugh indeed … figuratively speaking, of course.
¹ Oraculum is the compendium of Underland. The original script (much was changed in the making of the movie) commented on the poem and stated that it was in the Oraculum. I figured an Underlander would reference it as such instead of calling it a poem.
The next part I have tentatively named The Conclusion. I have high hopes that it will be the last chapter, but I have some small (tiny, really) doubts that everything will be tied up with a pretty bow. I hope to have it posted by Monday night if all goes well. Anything you guys desperately want to see before the end? What about Buffy; do you guys want her brought back or left dead? Input is always welcome. Leave a review and let me know. XD