Disclaimer: I do not own American Mcgee's Alice or Doctor Who. This was intended for fun, and is not distributed with any malicious intent. This is a fanfic, and the real stuff is much more fun than a zit-faced fan with an overactive imagination. Go out and buy the games, and watch the real show on the BBC- if nothing else, to see the genius that inspired this fanfic!
A/N: For the tea-party scene, I'd recommend playing Evanescence (esp. 'The Other Side', 'The Only One,' or 'Bring Me To Life') in the background (for those who want this scene from Alice's perspective).
Chapter 10: One Last Tea Party
"Alice, Welcome to the TARDIS."
Alice stood there, almost dropping her rabbit in shock, as she took in the entirety of the scenery: A massive, elaborately decorated room with an impressive glass platform in the center, supporting a central decorative pillar with several assorted implements mounted on some kind of table.
"…Are you sure we're in the real world? This kind of thing seems…more Wonderland to me." Alice asked.
"Oh, Alice, this is better than Wonderland – this is the TARDIS, short for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space! It really is bigger on the inside, and really can go any where and any when you want… within reason, of course."
"Within reason?" Alice scoffed, "This defies all laws of logic!"
"Actually, it works on laws of logic you humans won't discover for several million years! And I know that because the Time Lords, when they were around, made it their business to police time travel! Speaking of which, you heard of Dickens' Christmas Carol?"
As soon as Alice nodded (hesitantly), and explained that her nanny read it to her on one occasion as a child, the Doctor continued: "Well the basic concept of this 'time machine' is that it allows me to be the ghost of the past, the ghost of the present, and the ghost of that which has yet to come, all in one! I've shaken hands with Asian warlords, met roman emperors, and even got married to Queen Elizabeth the First…by accident of course." he closed this little monologue with a laugh.
Alice, too, saw the humor…but then she asked: "So what are we doing here?"
"First, I must ask you:" the Doctor's countenance suddenly took a serious turn, "Do you promise to not change the things that happened in the past, in any way, shape, or form? To follow my instructions very carefully?"
To this request, Alice replied: "Yes."
"Right then!" he exclaimed, his cheerfulness returning, as he rushed over to the central pillar, and started manipulating all the varied attachments. A glass structure in the center of the pillar started bobbing up and down, and a familiar whooshing sound echoed through the entire chamber…
…as on the outside, the police box faded from sight.
The now-materialized TARDIS rested in between a pair of trees, under their shade. All around these trees were either more trees, or beautiful meadow. And not 30 yards away, the outline of a two-story house could be seen.
It was in this setting that the doors opened, allowing Alice (who, by the way, was dressed in a cleaner version of her typical Wonderland dress) and the Doctor to exit. Alice, surprised at the change in scenery, asked: "Where are we?"
"Oxford countryside, 1862. The year before the fire, according to Dr. Wilson; and yes, he shared some details about you and your family with me during our conversations."
"...But… why?" asked Alice.
"Well...follow me." the Doctor simply said.
Initially, Alice was slightly annoyed with the Doctor's lack of explanation...but as soon as she caught a glimpse of the building between the trees, all explanation was rendered unnecessary;
"That's...that's my house!" she exclaimed. The Doctor simply nodded in confirmation.
"Now remember Alice," said the Doctor as they walked up to the front door, "I gave us a little paradox prevention from the TARDIS, but still under no circumstances can you let them know who you really are, or what's going to happen to them in the future. As such, you will respond to the name 'Elise.' Oh, and don't touch your younger self, that would bring everything terrible down. Understand?"
Alice, who was still struggling to believe that this is actually happening, only managed to nod.
Upon seeing the nod, the Doctor said: "Alright then… here goes nothing," and grasped the ornate knocker on the door. With punctuated movements, he clanged the metal knocker against the door three times.
Around three minutes later, the Door opened, revealing a finely-dressed woman in the doorway. "Can I help you?" she asked as Alice gasped.
"How do you do! Mrs. Liddell, I presume?" the Doctor asked.
"Yes," replied Alice's mother.
Alice nearly said: 'Mum?' before the Doctor gave her a slight nudge. She immediately stopped, just as she realized she was staring as well! Embarrassed, she curtseyed and said: "Sorry, I… I didn't mean to stare, Mrs. Liddell."
"I see. Well, you haven't introduced yourselves yet, nor have you given your occasion to knock!"
"Oh, that's right; I'm John Smith, and this is my friend, Elise. Here's my visiting-card," said the Doctor as he presented his psychic paper to Mrs. Liddell.
She nodded, and said: "I see…Another of Arthur's undergraduates?"
"Yes indeed…and I heard that Professor Liddell hosts fantastic tea-parties. Might today be a good day to drop by for afternoon tea?"
Mrs. Liddell sighed; she had lost her appreciation for her husband's students after the last one gave poor Lizzie such a terrible time. "Let me ask my husband," she said, before disappearing into the house.
Alice, meanwhile, reflected on what just happened: she heard her dear mother's voice once again! She felt a tear stream down her cheek as the Doctor patted her shoulder, saying: "You're doing great, Alice."
"Thank you, Doctor."
Shortly afterwards, Arthur Liddell greeted them at the door, and accepted their offer with a formal invitation. At this point, he guided them into the house, stating that it is nearly teatime anyway. "Mary-Ann!" he called out to the household maid, "We have a guest for tea! Fix the garden-table!"
The Doctor and Alice walked through the hallways, as Arthur Liddell guided them to the garden where they would have their tea. Along the way, they passed a room filled with lots of assorted toys, and a little 6-year old girl in a beautiful blue dress who was running around aimlessly. Alice stopped to look at her, memories coming back to her own mind, and the Doctor followed suit.
"Oh, that's my youngest daughter, Alice," said Arthur, noticing that 'John Smith' and 'Elise' were taking the time to admire his little wonder. "Alice," he addressed her, "how do we greet guests?"
Upon receiving the prompt from her father, the little girl turned towards the two strangers, curtseyed, and said: "How do you do?"
"How do you do, Alice?" the Doctor said with a grin and a bow.
"Fine, thank you." And with that, Alice curtseyed again, and resumed her pointless running.
Smiles on all faces, the three people continued walking. "Wonderful child, Alice;" said Arthur happily, "Although she is a bit too over-imaginative..."
"Over-imaginative? I don't see why that's a bad thing, Professor Liddell!" exclaimed the Doctor, who began walking faster, and in a weaving manner: "If we didn't have imagination, things would be so boring! I mean, look at all the great authors: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dumas, Austen, all of them were over-imaginative! And fiction's not the only thing to come of imagination and innovation: the mathematics, the sciences, the medicines, the music, the thousands of myriad ways to thank the Lord...if somebody didn't imagine them first, they never would have happened! Imagination is, by far, one of humanity's greatest gifts!"
"...I see your point, Mr. John Smith!" Arthur said with a laugh, in which the Doctor joined in.
Alice, meanwhile, felt another tear coming to her face; hearing her father laugh exactly like he used to!
When the two of them were done laughing, they found themselves at the back-door, where they saw Mrs. Liddel and a teenage girl in a pink bonnet were waiting at the table, already set with teacups and saucers, just outside.
Just before they sat down, however, Arthur asked: "By the way, Mr. Smith, I wonder what occasion prompted you to ask for an invitation? I do not recall hearing of a 'John Smith' in need of academic assistance."
"Indeed, Professor. But this is more for Elise's sake," replied the Doctor, as he gestured towards the adult Alice: "She's been through a rough time as of late, you see; and as soon as my schoolmates told me about your tea parties, I thought, 'Perhaps what she needs an afternoon with some honest and polite gentlemen and ladies!' So, here we are!"
"Oh, Mr. Smith, you flatter us!" noted Arthur.
Meanwhile, the teenage girl sighed: "Here we go, another one buttering up Papa for a higher score on the exams…"
"Lizzie! Mind your manners!" exclaimed Mrs. Liddell, offended at her daughter's lack of respect for their guests.
"Oh, that's okay," said the Doctor as he sat down, and adjusted the nearby chairs so Arthur and Alice could follow suit.
Just then, the maid arrived with the teapot in its cosy, and set it down on the table. "I'll be right back with the edibles," she said, just before she went back inside.
Soon, Lizzie began pouring (with careful instruction from her mother), and the tea-party began officially.
"You know, Mr. Smith," said Arthur after a sip, "you came upon me in a much better mood than normal, hearing tales of young Alice's dreams. Otherwise, I might have turned you and Elise away! I'm considering ending my practice of inviting my students to tea."
"Why?" asked Alice, despite already knowing the answer.
"The last one I had, one with a certain Mr. Angus Bumby, whom I'm sure you've heard of, brought my daughter much discomfort."
Alice involuntarily cringed at the mention of that monster's name, but quickly regained her composure so she didn't spill her tea. "Is he a problem student?"
"Yes indeed; that's why I invited him, to provide counsel on his questionable classroom behavior. What a mistake. After the way he treated Lizzie, I am quite convinced he is beyond help."
"How right you are," said the Doctor, despite Alice knowing he really knew nothing about Bumby. He then said "Have you seen the way he behaves around campus?"
"Oh, I have. His numerous papers on the worthlessness of children have unsettled many of us teachers; despite the fact that many of them are well-written arguments, the things he suggests people should do to children offended many of us."
"Once," Arthur said as he leaned in over the table, "I heard that the campus minister had threatened to excommunicate him…but dropped the subject after a few talks with Angus. And ever since, Mr. Bumby has been much more thrifty with his spending."
"Ooh," commented the Doctor; "That's one for the ethical debates for sure! On one hand, it's a donation to the church; but on the other hand, it's a bribe."
"Yes. I've also heard rumors of cheating and plagiarism on his part, but have been unable to confirm them. I wouldn't put it past him though, given his taste for fighting and abusiveness towards his fellow students…"
At this point, Lizzie ceased her consumption of her sandwich, to say: "Papa, I find this conversation unsettling. And it seems Elise does too. What would you say to a change of subject?"
"…No objection on my part, Lizzie my dear! Besides, I'm sure the deans will give Bumby what he deserves soon." Arthur's statement caused Alice to sigh in relief.
"But then, what should we speak about…ah! Why not I tell you all about Alice's most recent dream?"
"The Walrus and the Carpenter? I heard Alice reciting that a few days ago!" exclaimed Lizzie as her father mentioned that little poem.
"You did?" asked the Doctor, "Did Alice remember how it went?"
"She actually asked me to write it down for her! And since Mama keeps saying I need to get back to my music lessons, I've been thinking of a little tune to go along with it!"
This got Mrs. Liddell's attention at once. "Oh really? I would like to hear it!"
An appreciated grin creeping across her face, Lizzie gently stepped out of her chair, cleared her throat, and began to sing. The parents watched in amazement at their daughter's melodious voice, while Alice clung to the Doctor to avoid breaking out into tears.
The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright–
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.
"Little sister can surely imagine, can she?" laughed Lizzie as Arthur's tale of Alice's 'Wonderland' finally finished.
"Yes indeed! She imagined an entire world behind the mirror! And you're saying she recalled the entiredream?" asked the Doctor, to which Arthur nodded.
"Oh, such a fanciful, idealistic world it was, too!" commented Mrs. Liddell...who then asked Alice: "What did you think, Elise?"
"...I think it was a rather depressing story."
After everyone looked at her in mild confusion, she explained: "It had an ending."
Instantly, the Liddell family understood. "You don't like things ending, don't you?" Mrs. Liddell asked, and Alice replied by nodding, and then sipping some more tea while the Doctor said: "Like I said, tough time".
Arthur Liddell, however, leaned in and said: "Then it should be a comfort to you, to know that there's hardly ever a true ending; Often, endings are just new beginnings! Even death isn't truly and end, because you've got heaven to look forward to!"
He looked her in the eye, and continued: "If you don't like thinking about that which ended, then look forward to that which shall begin!"
Alice fought back a tear, sniffed, and said: "I miss...people like you."
"Hey, remember Alice's riddle?" asked the Doctor, to which everyone nodded.
Smiling, he went on: "Well, I've figured out one possible meaning for it! Why is a raven like a writing desk? Because Poe wrote on both!"
Everyone chuckled briefly...except for Alice, who was content to watch her family be happy.
Around an hour after it began, the tea party finally came to an close. Mr. Liddell thanked 'John Smith' and 'Elise' for an exceptionally uplifting occasion, a sentiment both returned wholeheartedly.
Mrs. Liddell, remembering the Doctor's story, asked: "Miss Elise? Did you find what you were looking for?"
"...(sniff)...More than you could ever know." Alice replied with a tear and a smile.
"I appreciate the opportunity to help." Mrs. Liddell smiled.
The Doctor could tell that Alice was getting emotional right now, so he said: "Come on, Elise; It would be impolite to be a burden on these people." And with that, he beckoned her inside the house, where they would begin to retrace their steps to the TARDIS.
On the way, they passed by Alice's nursery again...and the Doctor called young Alice to him, then whispered something in her ear. When they continued on their way, Older Alice asked "What did you say to her...to me..."
"Spoilers," the Doctor replied.
Within the courtyard of Rutledge's Asylum, tucked away in a corner, a light blue outline suddenly appeared, accompanied by a faint glow and a sound of rushing air.
Three seconds later, the TARDIS in its Police-Box disguise had fully materialized, and the Doctor and Alice stepped out the doors.
"Oh, Doctor...What can I say except...thank you! I have new memories of my family to treasure!"
"You don't just have memories, Alice. They're still alive...in the most important spots of all: Up here, and in here!" said the Doctor as he poked her forehead, then pointed to the area above her heart.
...Alice couldn't contain herself any longer; she wrapped her arms around the Doctor, and held on tight.
"You know," the Doctor noted after the hug had finished, "Just yesterday you totally despised men!"
"You're not a man. You're a Time Lord."
Just then, Alice and the Doctor heard Dr. Wilson say: "Don't worry, sir; The Doctor assured me that Alice will be back shortly."
The two of them rushed towards the source of the voice, and found...
"...Dodgson?" Alice stated in disbelief.
"THE Charles Lutwidge Dodgson? A.k.a. Lewis Carroll?" the Doctor asked in excited surprise.
"...Y-yes-s," the man stuttered, "That's me. Charles Do-do-dodgson."
Alice looked in confusion, remembering the man who nearly capsized their boat in
the Isis long ago…while the Doctor couldn't stop exclaiming: "Oh, it's you! One of the
most famous authors of all time! Your books are just amazing!"
"N…now, I wouldn't.t.t go that far!" Dodgson said modestly: "The b-books I write are hardly best-s-s-eellers!"
"Maybe not yet, but give it a few years and BAM! Your name will be synonymous
with wonderful and wacky children's books!"
"Now," Alice suddenly interrupted, "I'm sure you'd like to gush all over
this 'celebrity,' but…why are you here, Dodgson?"
"W…well," Dodgson began, fiddling his hat in his hands nervously, "Dr. Wils..on put
out a call-all for anyone who …who'd be willing to ta-t-take Alice in! He started-d
with friends of the Lid…Lidd…Liddells…and my name came up first!"
Alice, upon hearing Dodgson's words, remembered what the Doctor said before her
trip to the past…
…And before she could ask the question, the Doctor provided the answer: "Yes.
Charles is here to help you. I've done all I dare in this timeline, now he can do the
rest. Take care of you till you can move out on your own…. that sort of stuff."
"I-I owe your m-mother and f-f-father a fa…favor, after all, Alice. I…I think this would
be a perfect wa-way to redeem it…"
Alice looked at Dodgson, then the Doctor… and then said: "You won't…try to hurt me
in any way?"
"Oh no! I w-w-would never mean to!"
"I'd never have called him," explained the Doctor, "if he wasn't someone who could
be trusted. I checked. I had you in mind the whole time, Alice."
Once again, Alice looked at the two of them…and then walked over to Dodgson, then
turned, and said: "Thank you again, Doctor!"
"I p-p-promise I'll take good care of her, Doctor!"
The Doctor gave both of them a thumbs-up, and then performed a 180-degree twirl,
and walked off towards the TARDIS…
"But you will drop by for a visit?" Alice called out to him.
"Of course! What sort of trustworthy Doctor would I be if I didn't visit old friends
now and then! It could be any time I please, with my time machine and all! In fact, I
could drop by next month…. anywhere from one to a hundred years from now!"
The last exclamation solicited a laugh from everyone involved. With another
thumbs-up, the Doctor finally entered his Police-Box… which soon began fading
away, to the shock of Dr. Wilson, slight surprise from Charles Dodgson, and the
happy reflections of Alice.
"…. Nothing in this day makes sense!" exclaimed Dr. Wilson with an insecure
laugh, "Talk about murderous statues, people breathing like steam engines,
disappearing police boxes, whatever they are... and Alice having a livable life to look
"I'm not complaining," said Alice.
A short time later, Alice was formally remanded to Dodgson's custody, and the two
set about moving Alice's meager possessions into his house.
At one point, Dodgson remembered how the Doctor referred to him as a famous
author…and he had some manuscripts that were waiting to be published, but they
The story, he mentioned, was based off a tale he heard from his old friend Arthur
Liddell…and had the working title of: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland….
Eighteen years earlier, Alice was running through her nursery, imagining she was
walking among fields of speaking flowers…
When suddenly, the guests Mama and Papa had invited over to tea stopped by her
nursery, and the man beckoned her over to the door.
Curious, she walked over to him…and he whispered into her ear:
"Alice, there are going to be some very tough times ahead. Things may get hopeless,
and it may seem like there's no way out…but remember, there's always a way, and it
can be found. It seems like there is no way, because only a very few ever find the way;
some don't recognize it when they do, some don't ever want to."
*Cue the creepy victorian rendition of the Doctor Who theme.*
The Doctor – Matt Smith
Alice – Susie Brann
Cheshire Cat – Roger Jackson
I took a few inspirational cues from 'Vincent and the Doctor' for these last few
scenes, but I don't think that detracts from the story in any way!
Oh, and this is in no way accurate to the REAL Alice/Dodgson relationship, or publishing date for ALICE IN WONDERLAND/THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS; this is within the continuity of American Mcgee's Alice. (after all, the real Alice's parents didn't die in a fire.)
Thank you for following my longest story so far for two straight months! It may be finished now, but that just means I can start working on more fanfics! (The next one will be a WordGirl/Doctor Who crossover, so keep watch there if interested.)