a/n: Sorry, I'm a silly slasher.
That particular summer in Wonderland was hot.
The afternoons were the worse. The Queen took to laying in her room with a few fans on in complete darkness. The Tweedles laid around under the shade and slept. It was even too hot for tea!
So one day, out of the blue, The Queen left the darkness of her bedroom and announced that everyone in Wonderland was to be at the castle tomorrow at noon with their swim attire. The buzz went around Wonderland and everyone was excited but confused on what was going to happen. Alice was luckily around to hear the news and was most excited of all.
"I love swimming!" Alice told the Hatter as they went back to his house from the palace. "I always place gold at my school's swim team!"
"Same here, Alice," Hatter said with a smirk. "I'm a pretty good swimmer if I do say so myself."
So Alice skipped home to get her stuff ready for tomorrow while Hatter packed a bag full of his swimming goodies. Hare sat in a nearby seat, looking a bit frightened.
"Aren't you excited, Hare?" Hatter asked as he stuffed a few towels into the bag.
"Oh…yes, I suppose," Hare mumbled.
The truth was, Hare not only hated swimming, but he didn't know how. But if he wouldn't go, he knew everyone would laugh at him, so he eventually packed his own things and dreaded tomorrow.
The next day, everyone arrived at The Queen's palace at noon exactly. She was waiting for them all and was quite excited.
"I have rented out the Wonderland Pool for the day so we can finally find a way to escape this heat!" The Queen announced.
Everyone, save Hare, loudly applauded. So they all walked over to the Wonderland Pool. It was an outside pool with two dressings rooms for men and women. There were a few palm trees for effect and the shallow end actually had sand at the bottom. Towards the deep end was two diving boards waiting to be jumped on.
So Alice and the Queen went into the girls dressing room and the rest went into the men's. Alice was the first out(having put her clothes over her suit) and got into the water. It was nice and cool. As she waited in the water, she wondered where everyone else was?
Meanwhile, in the men's locker room, the war had already begun. The Tweedles had locked Hatter into a bathroom stall after he had dropped their trunks into the toilet. As Hatter slammed against the door, Rabbit was trying to find his suit altogether. Hare, on the other hand, was hiding in the locker. This little war could have gone on for awhile until the loud shrill of the Queen was heard.
The Tweedles ran out in their matching red and brown swim trunks. After Rabbit found his old-fashion black and white stripped suit, he let Hatter out. Hatter thanked him while cursing the Tweedles under his breath. He finally put on his lavender shorts and a green swim cap just over the top of his head. He was about to run out when he realized Hare had never left the room. After a massive search for him, he found him hiding in his locker, still in his suit.
"Hare, you silly you, did you get locked in there?" Hatter laughed and pulled him out. "I'll see you in the pool!"
Hare faked a laugh and sighed.
Out near the pool, The Queen, in a very elegant red suit with a red swim skirt embroidered in diamonds, told everyone that they had the pool all day to just themselves and to have fun. If they were hungry or thirsty, there was a small snack bar by the dressing rooms and to watch over everyone since there wasn't a life guard present. With that, Dum and Dee ran to the diving boards.
"Hey, Alice!" Dum shouted from the top of the board
Alice turned in the water and waved at the two up on the board. They nodded at each other and jumped, doing a double flip and landing in the cool water. Alice laughed as the two swam up to the surface screaming about how cold it was. She turned to see who else was coming in. The Queen was on a floating chair in the water letting her hands fall in while Hatter waited on a bench.
"Mr. Hatter, come on in!" Alice called to him.
"I'm just waiting for Hare," Hatter smiled, and continued to wait.
From the side of the pool, she suddenly heard a loud splash. They both turned to see Rabbit jumping feet first into the deep end. When Rabbit came to the surface, he was laughing like a child. The Tweedles were soon near him and the war part two had started.
Finally, Hare snuck out. He was in a full body wet suit with his feet, hands, and head exposed. He walked out like it was to his death and was hugging his body. Hatter jumped up and clapped.
"Finally, the fun can begin!" Hatter shouted and grabbed Hare's hand.
Hare's heart was pounding a million miles a minute and he just figured it was fear. But he couldn't help to notice that Hatter was showing much more body than usual. Unfortunately, Hatter began to drag Hare to the towards the deep end.
"Um…why don't we start in the shallow end?" Hare asked.
"Because then we couldn't do this!" Hatter shouted as he jumped in, pulling Hare with him.
Now, the last time Hare was in the water was when he was five and even then he hated it. Being down in the water were the worst moments of his life. He felt like he was choking and ended up opening his mouth, swallowing water. Hatter's hand was gone and he was reaching up as high as he could for the surface. This is it, he thought, I'm going to die right here. But before anything bad truly happened, he felt someone grab him under his arms and pull him back to the world of oxygen and not a watery death. He was dragged up onto the slippery floor with someone sitting behind him and holding him up, their arms around his waist. When he finally managed to open his eyes, he saw everyone around him except Hatter, who he now heard from behind him.
"Are you alright?" Hatter said into his ear.
Hare could only manage a nod and coughed up more water. He could feel his cheeks becoming red as embarrassment filled him. But he had to admit to himself, it was quite comfortable being held by the Hatter, who was now lightly rubbing his back. He got up, though, and cleared his throat.
"I'm sorry if I scared you guys," He sighed, and look down at Hatter, who was still on the floor with his legs splayed wide from where Hare had just been sitting. "I should have told you….I don't know how to swim."
Everyone gasped and looked at each other.
"If you didn't know how to swim, why didn't you just tell us?" Alice asked.
"Yeah, I would never have…"Hatter started, but Hare interrupted him.
"I was afraid you would laugh at me." Hare looked down to his feet again.
The Queen then stepped into the center of everyone and cleared her voice.
"Hatter!" She called.
Hatter jumped to his feet and stood next to Hare, as if to still protect him.
"I have now given you a mission for today!" The Queen announced. "You are to teach Hare how to swim!"
"Yes, your majesty!" Hatter replied before looking over to Hare and smiling.
When everyone went back to their business, Hare and Hatter went to the shallow end of the pool and began to practice.
"First off, you should learn how to hold your breath." Hatter told him, then turning to Alice, "Alice, dear, will you go get two pair of goggles from my bag."
Although Hare was terrified, he let Hatter take his hands and go under the water. At first, he was too afraid to open his eyes and kept forgetting not to breath, but after a few times he got it down. Being under the water with Hatter was quite nice. What they would do was on the count of three, they would push themselves under and hold on to a small weight. Once under, Hare had the opportunity to look around, but he really only caught himself staring at Hatter's blue eyes under the clear water. At these moments, he wanted to let go of the weight and pretend to drown, just so Hatter would hold him again.. But that was silly.
Finally, they began to practice kicking. Hatter first showed him how to hold the wall and move his legs in the water. Hare couldn't stop looking at Hatter's smooth muscles in his legs. But he finally paid attention and soon was kicking his legs himself. Hatter kept hold of him by the waist as he kicked, and his hand felt as if it was leaving a burning mark on his stomach. He tried to push it out of his mind, as he had always done in the past, but being this close and in this situation, it was nearly impossible.
Soon it was 3 in the afternoon and the group went to the snack bar to grab some smoothies. Rabbit made them in a jiffy and they rested in the sun. Alice watched everyone gently talk among themselves but happen to catch eye of Hatter and Hare. They laid on their stomachs talking quietly to themselves, sometimes loudly laughing between them. This wasn't unusual, but it was how they were staring into each other's eyes. Hare was resting his head in his arms glancing up at Hatter, who was propped up on his elbows. Alice smiled at the image. Whoever said those two weren't cute had serious problems.
Soon the smoothies were gone and everyone went back to the pool. Hatter crossed his arms across his chest and looked at his little friend.
"Hare…its time," Hatter slightly nodded.
"Time for what?" Hare said a bit nervous.
"Time for you to swim on your own."
So Hatter helped Hare get started by holding him up while he practiced. Hatter didn't want to say it, but he was more nervous than Hare was. When he had pulled him into the water, never did he think that his friend couldn't swim. But when he resurfaced and Hare didn't, it was one of the scariest moments of his life. He remembered screaming something to the rest before he dove into the water. Fighting against the chlorine in his eyes, he had finally found Hare at the very bottom, reaching towards the surface but his eyes shut tight. Hatter never recalled having swam so fast. He grabbed his friend under his arms and kicked as hard as he could. The Tweedles had helped them up as soon as they surfaced and they tried to pull Hare away from him, but he held onto him tight. Seated on the floor, Hatter let his friend sit between his legs as he caught his breath. The whole time, everyone was just staring, unsure whether Hare was alright or not. When he finally moved, it was as if the world started turning again.
Hatter was determined to not let that happen again. So, even though Hare could now do it himself, Hatter stuck close to his side. After going back and forth in the shallow end, they decided it would be a good time to swim in the deep end. With Hatter close by, Hare carefully swam to the deep end of the pool. When Hare reached the other side, he let out a victory cheer and jumped into Hatter's arms. Hatter could feel the joy coming from his friend and tightly embraced him before Hare tore away.
"Listen…I just wanted to say thanks," Hare shyly said, blushing a bright red.
"No big deal," Hatter smiled and slyly moved closer to his friend. "I just want to make sure you are safe."
But before the conversation could go any further, Dee plummeted into the water from the diving board, causing a wave to splash against them. Laughing, Hatter attack Dee as soon as he resurfaced. From the left, Dum jumped on top of Hatter's back and pushed him under. When Hatter would come up, he would be laughing and calling for Hare to join. But he was still frightened, so instead, he got out of the water and sat on a nearby bench. Alice saw him alone and decided to join him.
"You've done a really good job today," Alice smiled at him.
Hare shrugged and gazed off to the game of chicken currently being played. Dee had Dum up on his shoulder's and Rabbit had Hatter on his. Hare couldn't help being a bit jealous and wanting to join them. Hatter and Dum were trying to pushing each other over, but they ended up both falling off and into the water. They came up laughing and gave each other a tight hug. Hare's muscles tensed.
"Do you like Hatter?" Alice broken in.
"Of course I like Hatter," Hare laughed and sat back against the wall. "He is my best friend."
"I didn't exactly mean that way…"Alice shyly said.
Hare thought a moment about it, but The Queen shouted for everyone's attention. She stated that it was now 6 o'clock, which meant dinner time and there was a feast set up a little bit away. Everyone got out of the pool and began to dry off, but Hare didn't want today to be over. He thought fast, and before Hatter went to get changed, he stopped him.
"I…I want to go off the diving board!" Hare exclaimed, confusing himself as to why he said it.
Hatter got that look of 'Hare, you are brilliant!' on his face and while everyone else got changed, the two ran back to the pool. Hare took the left diving board and Hatter took the right. Securing the goggles on their faces. Hatter began the countdown.
3...They began their descent to the end of the board
2...Hatter did a small jump to get started
1...Swallowing the fear down, Hare jumped along with Hatter into the water.
Hitting the water wasn't so bad, it was being under that was scary. He suddenly froze, unsure as to what to do and too afraid to open his eyes. Feeling the panic raise, he lifted his arms and tried to push himself up. Before he could reach the top, though, he felt a pair of strong arms grabbing him around the waist. Finding the courage to open his eyes, he found himself face to face with Hatter. The water reflected off him in such a way that he looked like a painting. His lips were curved in a smile and Hare was pulled closer to his friend. Wrapping his own arms around Hatter's neck, he felt himself being pulled to the surface, the light becoming bright with each kick. They broke the surface and both took in a deep breath and proceeded to laugh.
"How was it?" Hatter laughed, his arms still around him.
"It was…"Hare tried to say, but found that he didn't really find the need to talk right then. Instead, he nestled his head in Hatter's shoulders. "Thank you."
"Don't mention it," Hatter whispered back, pulling Hare back so he could see his face. Softly, Hatter ran his hand down Hare's cheek. "It was all you."
Hare felt like something was about to happen and took a deep breath in.
"Mr. Hare, Mr. Hatter!" Alice shouted from the other end of the pool. Hatter broke the embrace and turned towards Alice. "The Queen request your presence at the feast."
Hatter nodded and helped Hare out of the pool. Hatter suddenly seemed embarrassed and ran ahead into the changing room. Alice though, absentmindedly said aloud.
"You know…I think Hatter likes you."
All Hare could do was smile.