Set after Madness returns, contains references to the end of the game so don't read if you don't like spoilers ;) CHeshxAlice drabble

-Taking Tea and Revelations in Dreamland-

Blue skies dominated most of Wonderland, the puffy clouds making shapes for their own amusement. Resting her chin in her hand, she took a sip of the tea in front of her. An arrangement of tea cakes, tarts, and other delights you couldn't find in an ordinary shop decorated the small table. But they were all untouched; unnoticed by the dark-haired woman. The table that was currently floating a distance above the ground, its white table cloth fluttering in the breeze.

Her hair fluttered and floated along with it, the dark strands tickling her cheeks. But she barely noticed, emerald eyes staring heavily lidded into the distance. With a sigh she placed her tea cup back on the table, her eyes occasionally watching the steam disappear into the sky.

Alice had been thinking about how, over the past few days, Wonderland had gradually reverted back to its old self and expelled the remnants of London in her memory. There was nothing left for her in the real world, so why stay there? After all, she remembered a certain cat telling her that she couldn't go home again anyhow. She scowled, but an odd smile tugged at the corners of her mouth all the same.

Chesh had sounded much too smug, much too happy when he'd told her that. Closing her eyes she tried to fight back the wave of loneliness that threatened to swarm her. Wonderland was swarming with friends and creatures willing to play or chat, but it still felt as if something was missing. Or someone, to be more exact.

Although the mad woman would never admit it, she actually missed the cat's company. Even if all he did was plague her with riddles, he and his grin were a comfort. She chuckled, deciding to admit it to herself. Besides some of the harsh words and uncaring tones he'd used with her, he had always been there when she needed him. Always there to help and to guide in his own way. He was her best friend in this world, and any others that might exist.

"Taking tea alone, Alice? My, my….why wasn't I invited? That's just heart-wrenchingly sad..so may I join you?," a familiar voice said with a purr. Snapping out of her reveries, she was shocked at who stood before her. Of course it was Chesh; she could recognize his voice anywhere. No one else had one quite like it.

But he was…well. Not Chesh in a way.

Masking her surprise she stared at him coolly, cocking an eyebrow. "You look different, cat. Now, why would that be?"

His grin, if possible, widened at her question. It's as if he was waiting for it. "Hmm whatever do you mean? It seems as if the saving of Wonderland did nothing to your manners or personality. Too bad; I thought I'd taught you better Alice."

When she did not reply he sighed, sipping tea from her cup that had mysteriously transferred to his right hand. "Oh alright…I'll give you a hint; I am in fact, not a cat. Did that help?" His infuriating, but still wonderful smile morphed into a sort of satisfied smirk.

"Oh Chesh, you don't have to pretend to be cryptic. It's aggravating, so stop it. By the way…I hope your enjoying my tea over there…mind giving it back?"

Shaking his head, he drained the contents of the cup and placed it down again. "It's not like you were drinking it anyway….so, would you like to guess at what's different?"

He was playing with her, and it annoyed her. "Well it wouldn't be a guess; it would be a fact. So, you've somehow become a human version of your usually cat-self? The question is how you did it."

He was slightly disheartened by her lack of surprise, but the cat did not show it. "Hmm, yes you're correct," he stated dryly. Unknown to him though, the woman was indeed surprised. So surprised that she was sure all of Wonderland could hear her heartbeat.

How had someone who had been a cat just yesterday, look so like a human today? His skin was the same deep gray, and his bony figure had not gone away. Even his tattoos, blazing golden eyes, ears and tail had stayed the same. But instead of being an abnormally tall cat he was now an abnormally tall humanoid-type-being.

Giving up and dropping her calm act, she let her full surprise show on her face. The cat was very happy about this, might I add. "Alright, tell me Chesh. What happened?"

Shrugging, he focused his attention on the woman. "Well, you could say that I no longer needed to be restricted to being only a guide….a sort of mascot, staying on the sidelines. Wonderland does not need a cat; it needs a human. Or, well….sort of, human."

She nodded, but was puzzled by one thing. "What do you mean by that? What do you mean your no longer needed to stay a cat? And why…..why would my mind need a human. Or sort-of human, whatever you wish to call your current self."

Suddenly he was on the table, leaning over her, his weight supported by the hands that now gripped the sides of her chair. Startled, she barely noticed when the tea cup was knocked off the table and fell into the grass below.

His golden eyes searched hers, gleaming with unknown but foreboding mischief. "Well, love…that's for me and Wonderland to know and you to…possibly find out." Then he was gone, and swiveling around in her chair she spotted him walking on the air, one hand in a pocket and one raised in a wave. He was looking back over his shoulder, smug and triumphant about successfuly irking the woman.

The cat knew he'd sparked her interest.

"Wh-what do you mean by that cat? Still speaking in damn riddles, no doubt about that anymore! Where are you-where are you going now? Off to bother some other innocent creature-get BACK here! You mangy cat! Tell me what you were talking about!"

As he walked away, he chuckled at the fact that her face had turned a delightfully rosy pink color. Staring up into the sky, he grinned some more. Musing to himself. "Oh Alice, you really haven't changed. Still as innocent as always….."

He flicked his tail, already looking forward to another tea time with his Alice. Well, she was his…she just didn't know it yet.

"So much innocence...well, we'll just have to change that won't we, Alice?" His words went unheard to her, lost on the wind. But she would know what he meant then eventually, the cat would make sure of that…