Here is the sequel to Return to Wonderland and What Alice Found There, which if you haven't read just check my profile page. And technically...this is the first chapter. But I promise that this is going to be just an epic as the original was. I hope you enjoy this just as much. Reviews are appreciated but readers are just as loved :)
As always, I don't own the original characters. Tim Burton, Linda Woolverton, and Lewis Carroll do. I do however own the characters that you don't recognize from the books (aka OCs ;D) and the plot line. All my own.
Well, enough of my prattling already!
Fairfarren and Happy Reading
Alice was kneading out bread upon the countertop of the Hightopp residence. She was in the mood for something fresh that would pair well with the potato and bacon soup she had simmering over the Kitchen's fire in the corner of the room. The kitchen smelled wonderful and she savored the smell as she wiped perspiration from her cheeks. She was proud of the meal was making, glad to finally be in her own home to cook her own food. Not that the Marmoreal's staff made atrocious food. On the contrary, Thackey was one of the best cooks she had ever tasted- especially for a hare. Alice gently rolled the dough into a ball before placing it next to the other mound of raw dough on a baking rock. She lifted the thick stone in both hands and gently placed it into the fire. She smiled with her accomplishment as she slid into a chair at the table. She put her feet up, glancing at the clock. Tarrant would be home in a matter of minutes. He was out for the day running messages for Gavin, the White King. Thackery and Tarrant had been recruited to the White Castle's delivery force. It made Tarrant crazy, he would much rather be working on his fabulous hats in the workshop behind their house. He had only agreed because Gavin promised a steady income and that Tarrant would be able to work on hats at his pleasure. And her Tarrant had taken the job because he wanted to make sure that Alice was comfortable. Alice was extremely comfortable in this world. Her adjustment to Underland had been much smoother than expected, even if a nasty little red tyrant did attempt to ruin her first months here, and it was as if she was born in this land. Sometimes she even forgot about the world where she came from. She wondered on occasion whether her sister Margaret was getting along well with her children. She had at least two of them by now. Thoughts of her sister were creeping into Alice's head now. The blonde woman began recalling times where the two were forced to learn to cook together, their mother grew frustrated as the two of them wound up fighting over who got to stir or fold or beat or knead whatever was being prepared. One time Alice grew so angry at Margaret for telling her what to do that she grabbed the whole bowl of flour on the counter, dumping the contents over her sister's maroon dress. Margaret had turned red with fury and Alice's mother immediately began to scold her. Alice's father walked in on the scene, trying his best not to laugh at the sight of Margaret covered in white powder. Alice had gotten quite the thrashing that day for her indignation. She had indeed learned her lesson (Always control your temper!) but sometimes she had the urge to do it all over again to Margaret because it was just so funny. Alice went to her feet again to check the soup. Satisfied with the taste, she pulled the large pot away from the fire. The smell of the concoction engulfed the kitchen even further and mixed with the smell of the now baking bread. Alice's stomach rumbled with hunger at the sight of what she had prepared with her own hands. This thought caused Alice to smile. She couldn't believe that she was here in a kitchen, married, and cooking. She was certain that she'd be sailing the seas of China for years. She knew she would never find that someone in her world. She smiled at the thought that it took falling down a rabbit hole to make her completely happy. Her green eyes looked around the semi cluttered house that she lived in with her Mad Hatter. There were ribbons, bows, measuring tapes of various colors, pincushions, scissors, and hats strewn about the whole house. Alice didn't mind the small mess, it made the house feel lived in. Sometimes she hated going to extremely tidy homes because one felt as if they could never be in that environment. The smell of bread heightened and brought her out of her observation of the house. She grabbed some thick towels off the counter, pulling the bread from the oven. It was round and soft, Alice's mouth watered at the sight of it. As she placed the hot rock upon the counter with a clank, the front door flew open. Alice peered through the next door to the hall and smiled at the man who had entered. There stood Tarrant, his top hat askew on his wild red hair and beneath that his large green eyes looking about him. They never quite settled until he turned his head to look to her, a smile crossed his pale face and his gap teeth made her heart melt. He wore a deep brown overcoat today; his cravat was a bright red color beneath his pale chin. He removed his outer coat to reveal a chocolate brown waist coat. His brown pin striped pants and too large tan shoes finished his attire for the day. He placed his coat over one of the kitchen chairs as he entered the room.
"It smells deliriously delicious in here." He said to her with a nod of his head. Alice could only smile at him as he approached her. He looked to her for a second, but no more than that. She giggled as he took her in his arms and placed a kiss upon her lips. His kiss grew deeper, his hands making his way down her sides. Alice returned the kiss whole heartedly, sad when he broke it. "I much rather prefer Alice food." He took her lips in his again. Alice light heartedly pushed on his chest.
"Yes but you can have some of that later. You've been all across Underland today. Please, you must tell me of your time." Alice said with laughter. The man smiled at his wife and nodded his head.
"Alright, I suppose, but as long as I get some Alice food later…" He waggled his large red eyebrows at her. Alice giggled again and pushed on his shoulder.
"Go sit down, Lord Hightopp." She pushed him back toward the table and he reluctantly took his seat. She began conversation with him as she went among the lopsided cupboards to grab bowls for the both of them. "Were the messages interesting today." She filled a soup bowl and placed it before him. His green eyes looked at her sideways as she placed it before him. "I take that as a no."
"Silly little gossips." He answered as he stood. Alice smiled as he made his way over to the warm bread, his rough hands tearing a large chunk from it. She handed him a spoon before he returned to his seat.
"Well, my mad man, you have tomorrow free, am I not correct?" She smiled as she filled a bowl for herself. He smiled up at her mischievously as he began his soup. He moaned in pleasure as he chewed the potatoes among the creamy broth. Alice couldn't help but laugh at him. He swallowed before speaking to her.
"Indeed, however tomorrow is an Alice Day. Especially since I know that tomorrow is a very special day for my Alice." He smiled to her before biting into the bread he had dunked into the soup. Alice took some bread for herself before sitting down across from him.
"Oh, really? How is it a special day?" She smiled at him then took a small bite of the warm bread.
"Because tomorrow is your birthday!" He said with a laugh. Alice's jaw dropped.
"How did you know?"
"Well, certain White Rabbits have been running to and from this world following our Champion for quite a number of years." He answered him. "And he sent a message to Mirana several weeks ago about how your birthday was very near in the future. But I wish you had told me. How else am I supposed to make you just the right hat in so little time?" He asked and smiled at her, his green eyes turning a lovely emerald. Alice blushed.
"I just don't like making a big deal out of things like that." She tried to push away the topic but Tarrant only laughed.
"Well, we shall make a small deal then." He smiled. Alice shot him a half smile as he grinned full on at her. She sighed and nodded her head.
"Alright, you win." She gave in and he leaned across the table to kiss her lips. She laughed at him and took her rough hand in hers. "I love you, Tarrant Hightopp." She looked into his eyes. His only grew larger and his smile wider.
"And I am mad with love for you, Alice Hightopp." The two laughed and continued their dinner.
Alice held her hand out in front of her as a blindfold blocked her vision. Tarrant had woken her early that morning and the two had enjoyed a wonderful tryst. He worshipped her body this morning and parts of her still felt electrified from his touches and kisses. Then he had brought her out for a picnic among Marmoreal's grassy hills. He had packed cupcakes and scones, tea pots and warm honey chocolate tea. Alice had enjoyed the sweets almost as much as she enjoyed the frequent, sweeter kisses. Her birthday hadn't been this much fun to celebrate since her father had been alive. Alice thought of him as she held onto Tarrant's arm with one hand. He was leading her through the halls of Marmoreal, his boots echoing in the vacant hallways. The castle was unusually quiet for a mid afternoon and Alice had suspicions of a surprise party. She smiled to herself, it was wonderful to enjoy a day with friends, food, and fun. Tarrant's footsteps slowed and Alice tried to guess what was going on. She didn't feel as if they had turned any corners so it was possible they were going into one of the castle's rooms off the main hallway. She braced herself in anticipation for a surprise. A door did indeed open and Alice gripped Tarrant's elbow even harder.
"My fair one, you have quite the grip this morning." He teased as he stopped her. He pulled her blindfold off her face and she looked up into his green eyes. His top hat sat upon his head at a comical angle. He wore his peacock blue coat this morning and his dark, stripped bands. She smiled at him as she smoothed out the dress he had made for her and presented this morning as she lay nude on their bed. She cried out in glee as soon as she saw it. It was a beautiful ocean blue day dress, with a deep blue belt that cinched her slim waist. The skirt was loose and flowed, designed with tulle. It was a beautiful creation and Alice felt like the star of the day; which she promptly told Tarrant. He was giddy with glee at that. And of course, atop of Alice's head was a very beautiful fascinator; it was three rounded peacock feathers creating a beautiful arch in her hair. The feathers were fastened together by a clock face pin. It was a beautiful piece in her hair which Tarrant had carefully placed. Alice felt as proud as a peacock as Tarrant starred at her with absolute admiration.
"Are we here just to stand all day?" She smiled at Tarrant and rolled up on the balls of her feet to plant a kiss on the corner of his mouth. He let out a small mad laugh, taking her by her arms.
"Of course not," He replied and pushed open the door. All of Alice's friends stood there, more Underlandians behind them.
"Surprise, Alice!" Mirana said as she rushed forward to greet her friend. Alice accepted the Queen's warm hug with a laugh.
"Why, you have stopped everything in Underland in order to celebrate my birthday!" Alice cried out, quite shocked that it appeared that everything in Underland had been halted for the day.
"Anything for the Champion." She said with a small laugh, grabbing Alice's hands in hers. She leaned forward so as to whisper the next line in Alice's ear. "Though I doubt you're husband would have let us all go on without stopping to wish you the best for your life." Alice looked to Mirana with a nod. The Queen gave her friend a kiss on the cheek and stepped back.
"Yew must 'ave a try a' teh cake!" Thackery bounded forward, grabbing Alice by the hand. Alice giggled as the March Hare pulled her to the cake, wielding a large knife in the paw that didn't hold onto Alice's. Tarrant rushed up to her side as the celebrators gathered around the large, purple cake. "Aye decided teh make i' teh cahlors o' teh Jabberwocky bloud." He answered with a smile. "Since yeh 'ave bin our Champion twice."
"Indeed, Alice." Chess purred and flicked his tail. "And I do believe purple is a very appropriate color as well. You were our royal Queen after all." He floated to rest on Alice's shoulders. She stroked the disappearing cat's cheek as he wound around her neck like a shawl.
"We do owe yeh a lo'." Mally answered, stepping forward. Alice smiled at her once estranged friend, accepting the gratitude that was shone.
"Are we gonna stan' 'round 'ere thankin' Alice all day? Or are we gonna 'ave us some cake?"Tarrant exclaimed.
"Yes, let's have some. It looks so good, Thack." Alice said, turning to thank the March Hare. The Hare handed the knife to Alice.
"Yew do teh 'onors." He said. Alice bent over at the waist in order to give the hare a kiss. He blushed a very hare-like blush, his paws clasping together.
"Gew on, Alice." Her husband said and Chess disappeared from around her shoulders. Alice cut the cake as all the guests looked on in anticipation. A great cheer was given when Alice tried a piece for herself, nodding in approval. The door opened at this moment in time to allow the King to enter the festivities as well.
"I have an announcement!" He summoned the attention of the crowd and they all turned to their liege. All bowed or curtsied to His Majesty as he walked to the front of the room. He looked to Tarrant with a wink in his pale eyes, a curt nod of his head followed. He came to Alice now, standing over her. She forced a smile, frustrated she was never able to really read Gavin. He surprised her most by bringing her into a warm hug and placing a kiss upon her cheek. He then turned to the crowd, holding a scroll he just produced.
"I declare this day for every year to come 'Alice Day'!" His voice boomed through the place. "And it seems I have come at just the correct time. Let the celebrations begin!"
"And let them eat cake!" Mirana cried as she motioned for several of the serving frogs to come forward. They did so and began to slice the cake for the creatures that filled the room. Alice looked on with a smile, though she was a little embarrassed that they made such a big deal over her. She did everything she had because this place was her home, it always had been. The woman felt hands slid across her waist followed then by a kiss to her neck. Alice spun to come face to face with Tarrant.
"Have you tried Thack's cake yet?" She asked.
"I will have some later, you taste much better." He said as he chastely kissed her lips. She took some cake in her first fingers, mischief brewing in her mind.
"Try some." She said and offered her fingers toward her husband's face. As he was about to take the food that lay in her digits, she smeared it across his face. She laughed as he caught her up in his arms, his fingers finding their way to her very sensitive stomach. The crowd broke out in laughter as the scene, watching as Tarrant extracted his revenge by tickling Alice's dear body. She was wracked with giggles as his fingers that knew her light spots so well, found them. Before long everyone in the place was smearing cake upon their neighbors and friends. Gavin looked on in slight horror as the cake ended up more on the walls and floor rather than in anyone's stomachs. Alice finally wriggled her way out of the Hatter's grip, stumbling over to the King.
"Sorry, your Majesty." She said, panting as she tried to catch her breath. He lay a hand on her back, another going around her arm to support her.
"Whatever is there to be sorry for, Alice?" He asked and Tarrant went to find his faithful friend, the March Hare. A handful of cake the indicator of what was about to happen.
"I can't say that my family is the most….sane?" She smiled up at him. The King's look of worry melted into a friendly smile and he nodded his head.
"Yes, yes I suppose one can never expect things to end up normal when the Mad Hightopps are around." He gave a deep throated chuckled in agreement. Alice looked at the cake that was in his hand. It still lay untouched and, though Alice knew she shouldn't and she should have immediately banished the thought, the purple icing beckoned to her narrow fingers. Quickly, before the monarch knew what was coming, Alice took a scoop of cake and landed it right in the center of Gavin's head. He looked shocked at what had happened. Alice looked over to Mirana, who froze to watch her husband's reaction as he began to blink. Icing stuck to his dark eyelashes as they slowly opened and shut. The whole room froze as courtiers and denizens began to realize what had happened to their king. Gavin turned to Alice, his shocked look melting back into the smile he wore previous to the face full of cake.
"Happy Birthday, Alice." He said then promptly smashed the plate that lay in his hand and its contents into the birthday girl's face. Tarrant's mad laughter roared through the hall as he watched his wife receive the ultimate icing facemask from the king. She nodded her head, making her way toward the cake. She took a chunk in her hand and threw it. The room erupted in cake being thrown this way and that. Alice fell to the floor laughing at the scene going on around her. This was how half the tea parties ended. But Alice didn't mind. She loved her mad life in Underland and could care less if she ever had to return to the rules and expectations of her old world again.