Before I post this, I would like to remind everyone to keep Reviews appropriate. This is a community website that clearly states that bashing will not be tolerated. If you do not enjoy the story, please move on. I've messaged a specific Reviewer several times now, they know who they are, but continued the bashing within Messages. They have been reported. This is just a quick reminder, excluding those who have been behaving just perfectly. No need to punish everyone for one person's deed. The rest of you are just dandy! My apologies, now, let us go on.
Disclaimer: I sadly own nothing of Alice in Wonderland. Lewis Carroll, Disney, and Tim Burton do.
Inspirational Song: "When I Was Younger" – You Me at Six (Thanks for the recommendation!)
. . . . .
Alice did not see, but rather heard, Sir Lawrence fall to the ground. Mirana remained laying on her side near the wall. Her hands were working furiously at the boulder-ridden wall before her. She was trying so hard to level her dizzy head, but now it was set into whirring disarray.
She looked up and found the eye of Stayne peering at her between two large rocks. She hadn't heard him approach. The eye widened. "Ah, Alice!" she heard his oily voice drawl. "Didn't see you there."
"I WILL KILL YOU!" she shrieked. She sounded delirious and her throat felt tight; she held back tears as she peered back at Sir Lawrence's immobile form. "I will killyou, although you deserve so much worse!" Her heart hammered loudly in her ears.
"Oh, Alice," Stayne sighed, beginning to shake his head slowly. He frowned patronizingly at her. "You really ought to keep yourself together. You never know when you may need that . . . composure."
She wanted to throw one of these rocks at his head! "Just wait, Stayne! You must know I have my sword!"
He smiled at her, amused. "And what use is it doing you?"
She did not reply; her blood merely broiled.
He chuckled. "Remember when we first met, Alice? Back when you were a tike? And then later on again, as Um." He got a lusty gleam in his eye. "You could have joined me then."
"Joined you?" Alice said loudly. "I know this is Wonderland, but really, I'm starting to question your sanity!"
"Imagine the power, Alice," he whispered. "Imagine the history you would have created along my side. Together, we would have ruled Underland like no other pair." His scarred expression was up against the rocks. He reached a gloved hand in.
For the first time, Alice stopped tearing away at the wall. She met Stayne's lusty eye and spoke in a low tone. "Either tear this wall apart and fight me now, or leave this castle and save yourself some time before you find me and my army charging full-force at your head with our swords raised in the air."
There was a moment's pause before Stayne slowly stood back up. Alice began to rip rocks away from the wall again. She was so close; pebbles were beginning to rain down and send dirt flying.
"Take it as a parting gift. I will not be ending our dear Queen's life today. I want her to wake and see her most loyal companion's face empty of any flicker of life," he sneered. "Whether she lives or not will make no real difference to me. She is no threat."
Alice heard him take several steps away. She finally pulled the last and largest boulder out of the way. The wall fell down, rocks rolling down both sides of the pile of debris. Alice grabbed her sword, and ran through the dirt cloud, hoping she could pounce on Stayne's back and drive the sword through his chest, but he was already turned to her. He stood tall on the opposite side of the Throne Room.
"I will you be seeing you soon, Alice." He grinned maliciously at her. "Unlike that woman in the corner you call Queen, you, Alice, are a threat." He winked at her, making her want to vomit. "Take that as a compliment." And with that, he whisked away down the corridor like a bat.
Alice wanted so badly to run after him and greatly limit his breaths, but she was the White Queen's Champion more than anything. There were other matters to handle first.
She immediately took a step in Sir Lawrence's direction, but quickly remembered Mirana. She ran over to the Queen, who lay on her side facing the wall. Alice skidded to the floor and sat on her knees, pulling Mirana's arm and laying her on her back. She was even paler. Alice's blood froze.
Alice took Mirana's wrist with both hands and closed her eyes, beginning to count. Her pulse was steady. She had merely fainted.
A thick cough from behind made Alice bolt upright and turn to Sir Lawrence. When before she had wanted to sprint for him immediately, she now found herself walking slowly, cautiously, in his direction.
She'd been so used to the strong, pink-haired man that served as the White Queen's Knight and General that the image before her seemed surreal at best. She'd learned long ago to stop wishing for events like these to be dreams. Dreams, she realized, seemed to be coming less often nowadays. Her nights were more filled with the tossing and turnings from nightmares.
She'd reached the steps and was gaping down at what was left of the man who lay on the steps to where the throne used to sit, large and beautiful. She bit her lip, her throat tightening again.
Sir Lawrence's face was covered in blood. There were traces of the red liquid trickling out from both his nose and mouth, a thin line of it escaping from between his lips. His once completely white uniform was damaged beyond repair, with a long tear in the center of his jacket where his skin had been been sliced through. The blood had poured out from there.
That damage, too, was clearly beyond repair.
Alice fell to her knees, her sword slipping from her cold fingers and clamoring against the stone floor. She crawled over to where he lay, both legs bent at gruesome angles.
She found his bleary eyes already locked on her. The pain there was nearly impossible to ignore, but there was pride in it, as well. His jaw was clenched. He sputtered once and tried to clear his throat. More blood dribbled out.
Without thinking, Alice placed her hand on his cheek softly. "I'm so, so sorry," she whispered. She gasped lightly as two tears managed to escape.
Sir Lawrence placed his shaking hand, the fingertips red, on Alice's arm. "I heard you speak," he whispered thickly. Alice could hear him struggling to speak. "I am proud of you, Miss Alice."
She began to shake her head, closing her eyes tightly, but Sir Lawrence interrupted her with a sharp gasp. His hold on her arm tightened.
"My father-" he wheezed. "My father was a great man. He was the General before me."
Alice had never heard of Sir Lawrence's past before. She'd never asked.
"I worked so hard-" Here, he coughed once so vigorously that Alice's eyes began to water more freely before he went on. "-to please him. My old man better be proud." He grinned, teeth all red.
Alice nodded enthusiastically. "Yes," she whispered. "I'm sure he is." He damn better be. The most loyal man to Underland that ever existed was now giving up his life for it. How had Alice repaid him? Sir Lawrence had guided her through so much, whether she'd ever accepted that or not. And now, she felt so helpless.
"Underland would be good to have you, Miss Alice," he sighed shakily. His eyes closed. His hand lost its grip and fell from its place on her arm, where four red, wet blotches remained.
Alice's eyes widened. "Sir- Sir Lawrence?" she asked. He was still. "Lawrence?" She panicked.
When he still remained immobile, all expression fell from Alice's face. She felt as if she was watching from afar as she leaned down and gently pressed her lips against the Knight's forehead as one more tear slid silently down her cheek. Her blonde hair provided a curtain. She thought she heard him exhale a soft, "Thank you," before finally caving in on himself. The aggressive, strong, independent, pink-haired Knight would move no more.
Alice vaguely registered a light pressure on her shoulder. She heard the White Queen's strong voice speak.
"All his life, this was how Sir Lawrence had planned to leave this world, Alice. Do not worry. He has traveled to an even better one. A world far above even your former skies."
Alice looked up at her Queen, whose eyes were gazing down at Sir Lawrence's peaceful expression. He'd never seemed so calm, relaxed.
"How do you know that?"Alice wished her voice was more like Mirana's. Whereas her voice was light, airy, and confident, Alice's was still thick with emotion.
Mirana smiled softly down at Alice. "Absolem told me. Did I dare question him?"
Alice gave a small smile, more for Mirana's benefit than hers, before looking back at Sir Lawrence again. She felt the Queen's eyes on her as her.
She heard Mirana sigh. "It was good that you were here with him, Alice," she said. "Very good, indeed."
. . . . .
Insanity: I find myself to be feeling a peculiar emotion.
Rachel: I figured I was the sympathetic one.
Insanity: Sympathetic? Oh, no. I'm where your anger turns to. I find myself ANGRY.
~ Let me just say, that I love Sir Lawrence. I am very proud of him and what he stands for. I loved seeing the transitions all my readers made as they read on with Sir Lawrence. Many of you absolutely despised his guts at the beginning. I'd be interested to see where you stand with him now. Please let me know in the Review section. I know I rambled a bit today, so my apologies there. I just love communicating with those I hold so dear. Until next time! ~