A/N: This is set seven years after Basil died. Sabrina would be two. I did the calculations straight from the Very Grimm Guide.

Disclaimer: Ugh, these are such a waste of time. We all know that my name isn't Michael Buckley, and I'm not wearing a mask. Pretending to be a guy just doesn't sound appealing to me. I'm sure Red feels the same way.

Chapter 1: Mr. Hatter

I check the 'Magical Armory Room' off my list.

That is, thankfully, one room less to take care of later. I still have seven hundred sixty-three left, but I'm trying to forget about it. At least I only have one more until I retreat for today.

Just one more. I can do it.

I wish Jake and Henry could be here to help me... maybe they'll come back one day. But there's a chance that they won't. I frown to myself.

Think happy thoughts, Relda.

Happy thought number one: Henry may one day visit with Veronica and little, infant Sabrina.

Happy thought number two: this is the last room today. Hm, it seems that I have to remind myself of this fact too often...

I move to the next door.

I pull out my key ring and am eventually successful in finding the right one. I swing open the hardwood door. I neglect to check the name of the room I was entering. I take a step forward and search for a light switch. Light floods my surroundings and my heart immediately sinks. I just entered what was no doubt, the messiest room of the Hall of Wonders. Junk was strewn everywhere.

I look at the compartments name only now and see that its label is 'Storage'.

So much for almost finished.

As much as I want to walk away and come back tomorrow, I can't. That's just not who I am. I've technically started something and now I have to finish the job.

"Mirror!" I yell as loudly as I can. "Can you bring me two of the biggest boxes you can find?" Dear heavens, that took a lot of breath.

I walk further into the room, but after a couple of steps I'm forced to wade through the stacks of garbage. Why we have kept these items stored is far beyond my knowledge.

"You asked for a couple of boxes, Relda?"

I swivel my torso so that I am facing the guardian of this spectacular mirror. My legs, however, are glued in place.

"Oh, Mirror, you are a dear. Yes, I did indeed call for some boxes," I reply, though my mind is on how I'm going to accomplish this hefty task.

"I see. Well, here you are. These are the biggest and sturdiest of them all," he states. "The smaller cardboard one is bottomless. I suggest you use that one for the trash."

"Good thinking, I thank you kindly. It shall come handy, I'm sure," I commend him. God knows he deserves praise. He's always helping me and never once has complained about it.

He nods and scurries out of the confines of the cluttered room.

"Mirror!" I call after him.

"Yes, Relda?"

I smile. "I'm going to look into a trolley so that you and I don't have to walk as much."

He lets out a small chuckle. "Speak for yourself, Relda. I need all the exercise I can get!" he exclaims and pinches his stomach.

"I've told you to stop eating all those Chips Ahoy! It's their fault," I laugh.

"Are you calling me fat?" Mirror asks. I can tell he finds this exchange of ours amusing.

"By no means! You're looking better than ever," I respond cheerfully.

"So you're saying that I was fat?"

I simply shrug. "If the girdle fits then wear it."

He laughs heartily and continues on his way down the hall.

A smile plays on my lips. I think about how I love talking to Mirror as I turn back towards the job before me. I start by sorting through the garbage and the things I cannot bear to part with.

Things like Henry and Jacob's baby clothes, which I find in a black plastic bag. I stare at them for the longest time and I can't help but laugh. I reminisce to when I was pregnant with Jacob. Everyone thought we were having a girl. He lived the first year of his life in dresses. My smile dissolves into a frown as I remember how tight we were on money at that point.

I continue to pile the garbage into the bottomless box. I soon realize that there isn't a whole lot worth keeping other than the occasional scrapbook and the boys' childhood mementos.

From the corner of my eye I spot a black cape. I'm sure that it's from that year Henry dressed as Dracula for Halloween. I pick it up and am about to throw it out when I realize my hand is tingling from what I know to be magic.

"This is where you were hiding," I mutter to myself. I recognize it to be the cloak of invisibility. My mind drifts to that night Basil came home shouting about how he'd won the cloak. He said that he had played 'the most exciting game of poker that there ever was'. That event left a certain giant killer cloak-less.

Apparently cleaning this room turned out to be more profitable than I had previously thought. I lay the cloak inside of the cardboard box that has a bottom.

As I turn back towards my work I trip on my own feet into a pile of rubbish face-first. I'm winded and my jaw is now sore. I decide that this is a good time to take a break.

I drag myself to my feet and flop onto the nearest chair. I shift my body weight here and there because this chair is hugely uncomfortable. It takes me a minute to realize that I'm sitting on something.

I reach to pull it out and see that it is a top-hat. It's a gray color with a burgundy sash around the center. It's got large, tan stains decorating the rim. It's not just any top-hat, though. I see that it's a top-hat that was given to Basil as a gift from the Mad Hatter himself. I haven't laid eyes on it for a few years.

"You've got quite an interesting

story that goes along with you, you know," I inform the hat.

••• Flashback •••

Basil hurriedly pulled on his coat and boots. He also grabbed an umbrella, because it was raining cats and dogs outside.

"Relda, dear, I'm going to visit the Mad Hatter for a few hours at the asylum," he called to his wife.

"Oh, Basil, you hate visiting the Hatter! Why do you torture yourself so?" Relda questioned as she walked from the kitchen.

He shook his head. "You don't understand- this is kind of like his therapy. Besides, if I don't then who will?"

"I'd be more than happy to go," Relda said confidently. "At least let me join you."

"No, you can't come. This man is in an asylum for a reason. He's simply insane," Basil tried to explain. "There's no way of knowing what he'll do."

Relda scoffed. "So what? You're unpredictable and bonkers, but I keep you around, don't I? I'm not a child that you need to shelter."

"I know that!" He sighed. "Relda, I'm not arguing with you right now. We'll talk about it when I get home."

"And when exactly will you be back?"

"Late most likely. I'll probably eat at Old King Cole's, so don't wait up for me." He gave her a peck on the cheek, and headed for the door.

"I love you," Relda told him as he walked outside.

"Love you, too, dear."

Basil opened his umbrella to stay as dry as possible as he made his way to the old family car.

The drive to the asylum was especially difficult, for he could not see a foot in front of himself. It was no easy feat, and the dirt, mountain road only added to the frustration that Basil was feeling. He made it, though, and in one piece, too. That was always a bonus.

He wandered through the white hallways of the asylum for a while, searching for the room of Mr. Hatter. The sound of his wet rain-boots squeaking against the marble floor was the only thing to be heard.

He knew how to get there, he had come every day for the past week, but all the big metal doors and winding halls were sometimes confusing. He found it eventually, though.

He slipped a small, metal key from his pocket and undid the first of the locks. From that same pocket he took a piece of paper that contained the combinations for all four of the pad locks. Next was the voice recognition analyses.

"Basil Grimm," he said aloud.

The door hissed and unlocked, granting Basil entrance.

He stepped into a dim room with only a ceiling fan. No windows whatsoever.

The Hatter sat in a recliner, looking genuinely distraught.

"Basil!" he shouted when he realized there was another person in the room. "Thank God you've come! I was worried that you weren't going to show up today."

"It's still early," Basil remarked as he forced a smile. "Besides, would I miss out on seeing my favorite mad-man? I don't think so."

"I love nicknames," Mr. Hatter exclaimed, his grin beaming more radiantly than the sun itself. His face then clouded up. "There is no time for terms of endearment. One of my highly prized top-hats has been stolen," he announced gravely.

Basil looked into the corner of the room, on top of a dresser, where the Mad Hatter kept his top-hat collection. He had a couple dozen, at least. For the most part they were stacked one on top of the other, but there was always the odd one that fell to the floor.

He turned back to the Mad Hatter. "Is that so? When did you notice that it was missing?"

"Just yesterday, after my visitors left," he answered. "Would you care to get me some tea?"

Now Basil's curiosity was piqued. Who else could be visiting Mr. Hatter?

"No, there is to be no tea for you today. Nurse Sprat called me yesterday to tell me that you drank too much last night. You know how tea makes you loopy."

"But I'm always loopy!" the Hatter complained. "You shouldn't punish me like this. It's bad for my health, I think."

"If you knew what was bad for your health then you wouldn't have drunk so much tea," Basil argued pointedly. "Now, tell me who your visitors were."

The Mad Hatter pouted and angrily answered, "It was that midget whose name was An Idiot. It said so on his pointy hat."

Basil knew who that was.

"That's Mr. Seven, he works for Charming."

"How would you know what his name is? You weren't even here," Mr. Hatter retorted somewhat accusingly.

Basil knew how to handle the Hatter's behavior, though. He simply nodded. "You're right. So, what did An Idiot want?"

The Hatter relaxed and shrugged. "He said that he just came to say 'hi'. It was odd, he looked very fidgety as if he was scared to be near me, but that's impossible. Everyone loves me! I wish they'd show it by visiting me, though..." he trailed off.

"How would you like it if I visited An Idiot to see if he has your hat?"

Mr. Hatter beamed at Basil. "That would make me feel delicious!"

Basil raised an eyebrow at the Hatter's description, but said nothing of it. He had grown accustomed to his strange ways.

He nodded his head. "I shall do that, then. I'll probably be back late tonight."

"With my hat?" the Hatter asked hopefully.


Basil exited the room and made sure the locks were set in place. He couldn't risk the Hatter getting out. He shuddered at the thought.

He made it out of the room and readied himself to run through the rain, but to his pleasant surprise, the sun was shining radiantly. The only evidence that it had been storming was the layer of wet that coated everything.

Once Basil was in the rust bucket, he coaxed it to start up. He was off to speak to Mr. Seven.

Basil walked towards the mansion gate at a brisk pace. Though, he wasn't surprised to find it locked. There was an intercom on the side, and it was to his knowledge that it lead straight to Mr. Seven. Bingo.

He hastily pressed the button.

"Seven here," the voice replied.

Basil grinned to himself. "Seven, my little man, it's Basil. Do you think you can slip out of there to talk to me without anyone noticing?" When he said 'anyone' he really meant Charming. Basil really didn't want to deal with that right now.

"I think so..."

Three minutes later Mr. Seven joined Basil outside of the mansion's gates. He was taking of his pointy dunce hat.

"It's nice to see you again, Basil. How's the family?" Seven asked considerately.

"They're great, thanks for asking. How's the boss?" Basil inquired as he gazed at the mansion that could pass for the White House.

"Same old, same old."

Basil smiled. "Good. Now, I'm sorry to be frank, but I'm sure you know that I didn't come to question Charming's health."

Mr. Seven nodded.

"I'm actually here to ask about your visit to the Mad Hatter. After you left he said that he couldn't find his top-hat," Basil explained. "Usually it wouldn't matter, but the Hatter was quite upset, and it's my duty to keep the peace."

"I understand completely," Seven replied.

Basil continued, "When Mr. Hatter said that you paid him a visit, I was intrigued. Did Charming want the hat or something?"

"Nothing of the kind," Seven said. He sounded nervous, to some extent. "I don't know anything about the top-hat, to be honest."

"Okay, then why did you visit him?" Basil felt like they were going in circles.

Mr. Seven looked at his feet.

Basil sighed. "Look, Seven, I don't want to think of you as guilty of this petty crime, but you're not exactly clearing your name."

Seven nodded. "Well, you see, I was at the Blue Plate Diner for my lunch break yesterday. The waitress there must know about Everafters because she asked, very nicely, I might add, if I would visit the Hatter for her."


Seven nodded.

"Okay, so why did do it?"

Seven blushed. "Well, I was being clumsy and spilled my milkshake. She replaced it for free. I felt like I owed her."

Basil smiled knowingly. Seven was just too kind for his own good.

"Um, Basil? Can you not mention this to Charming? He's been getting on my case for being 'too generous', as he says," Seven requested modestly.

Basil winked and said innocently, "Not mention what?"

Seven grinned cheekily. "Now, I've got to go before the boss notices my absence."

"Can't have that, can we?" Basil commented. "So, scram!"

Mr. Seven did just that.

Basil sighed. He would have to forget about the hat for the time being. His curiosity got the better of him. He had to find out why Farrah asked Seven to visit the Hatter for her. Perhaps it somehow connected to the hat issue.

"Maybe it's time for a late breakfast," he muttered to himself.

Basil pulled into the vacant parking lot of the diner. It was still too early for lunch—around 10:13. The few parking spots would all be filled in an hour or two.

He opened the door and a tinkling sound was made by the bell that was hooked onto the door. Stepping into the diner, a draft of all things fried invaded Basil's nose.

Farrah was in the corner of the building setting up tables.

"Farrah," he called, getting her attention.

She smiled at him. "Basil," she acknowledged him. Then her face clouded over. "You didn't bring the boys, did you?"

"This close to rush-hour? I could never put you through that," he laughed.

Farrah laughed along with him, gaining the attention of the couple of customers sitting at the booth. "And for that I am forever grateful," she playfully added. "How may I help you?"

"I'd like to talk to you in private," he replied, his every word carefully guarded. For special security reasons, of course.

Farrah took the hint. "Let's step outside." So they walked out of the diner and into the fresh spring air. "So, what is it?"

"I spoke to Seven earlier," Basil told her, still wary of nonexistent, prying ears.

Her ever-present smile faltered. "I didn't give it away, did I?"

"No, he doesn't know about you being the Blue Fairy, but he's suspicious of your knowledge of Everafters," Basil reassured her. "Not even Relda knows, don't worry about it. That's not what I came to talk to you about, though."

Farrah raised an eyebrow. "Is that so? Then what are you here for?"

"Well, Mr. Seven said that you asked him to visit the Hatter. After Seven left, the Mad Hatter claimed that one of his top-hats was missing. Do you know anything about that?" Basil asked.

Farrah shook her head. "Sorry, but I didn't ask Seven to steal from Mr. Hatter. I wouldn't want anything from him. That man gives me the heebie-jeebies." She shuddered as she stated that last sentence.

"Understandable," Basil agreed with a nod of the head. "But why did you request that of Mr. Seven?"

"Weird story, actually. I was taking a break yesterday by the Hudson right before lunch time rush hour, when Ariel's guards surfaced before my very eyes!" Farrah exclaimed.

Basil was stunned. "Does she know?"

"She doesn't, which makes it all the more surprising. Her henchmen slapped a starfish onto my forehead and dragged me into the water," Farrah started. "They brought me before the princess and she demanded that I ask 'the next person I see', as she had said, to go to the Hatter. Then they let me go."

Basil stared at her, eyes widened and jaw dropped. "She let you go? Just like that?"

"Just like that. It was so queer. They didn't even attempt to dust me!"

She had just confirmed Basil's suspicions that there was something bigger going on.

Basil hastily bid Farrah farewell.

"Where are you going?" she called out to him.

Basil didn't even bother to turn as he answered, "To the Hudson River!" With that he ran out of the diner out to his old car and cranked the engine.

If it had anything to do with the Hatter's hat, Basil doubted it. Hat or no hat, he had to figure out what was up.

Basil parked semi-closely to the river. He didn't want to be too close, but not too far either, for obvious reasons. Before getting out of the car he reached into the glove compartment and grabbed his portable CD player, silently praying that his plan would play out. Basil had gone to the music store before coming here, he had bought The Little Mermaid soundtrack. He had brought a little cooler that originally held his lunch, but it now had a more important purpose.

With his cooler and CD player in hand, he sauntered over to the water's edge. Basil then pressed play on the CD player and the song Under the Sea started to play. He didn't crank the volume, fearing it would echo. He didn't want to alert Ariel of his arrival. He just hoped that the sound waves would reach his fishy friend.

It didn't take long for a fat yellow fish with blue stripes to surface. He had the look of pure bliss on his face. Then he saw Basil.

"Mr. Grimm! What are you doing here?" the fish asked.

Basil turned the music off. "Flounder, it's nice to see you! Listen, I need to talk to the princess. Do you think that you could swim into this cooler for me? It's really important."

"Does it mean I won't have to deal with Ariel anymore? Please, don't make me go back to her! This morning she fried Sebastian, and I'm probably next!" Flounder cried hysterically.

Basil hesitated. "I can't promise anything, but it might buy you time," he replied encouragingly.

"Good enough for me," he hastily replied— ecstatic that he might not be eaten after all.

Basil lowered the cooler into the water so that Flounder could swim in. The fish found it quite a difficult task, considering he wasn't a small fellow. In the end his upper body was sticking out, but he was comfortable enough.

"Now, to get her majesty to surface..." Basil trailed off. He turned to Flounder, "Got any ideas?"

Flounder pondered it for a minute. "Let's go for the least dramatic approach," he suggested.

Basil was oblivious. "And that would be?"

"It goes like this," Flounder paused and then, as much as a fish can, he screamed, "Ariel, help me! I've been taken captive!"

Not two seconds later, two of the princess's mermen guards appeared.

"Go get her highness. Tell her Flounder is in grave danger," Basil commanded in his no-nonsense voice.

"Why should we?" the first snorted.

"Because, I'm holding the fat fish in my captivity," Basil responded, wearing a 'duh' expression.

"Hey!" Flounder cried indignantly. "I object to my being called fat."

The guards nodded and disappeared into the river's dark waters.

A minute later they surfaced with Ariel floating on the surface before them.

She sneered when she saw Basil, but her look of scorn melted into one of worry when she spotted Flounder.

"My poor baby!" she exclaimed. "Basil, you give him back right now!"

Basil shook his head. "No, your majesty. I have a compromise, though. I need information, so if you tell me what I want to know, then you may have Flounder back."

Flounder gave Basil a frantic look that clearly said, Don't do it!

The obese princess scowled, her hatred for Basil was written all over her face. "What do you want to know?" she barked.

"Yesterday morning a mortal was sitting by the river. She said that you told her to tell Mr. Seven to go see the Hatter," Basil explained.

"You can never trust humans and what they have to say," Ariel snarled. "I had to learn that the hard way."

Basil clicked his tongue disapprovingly. "Now, let's not be coy. I have your little friend," Basil reminded her, waving the cooler. Flounder took that as his cue to gargle pathetically.

"Flounder! Don't die!" the princess shouted, she sounded sincerely upset. "You win, top-sider scum. I did indeed request that of the mortal."

Basil nodded. Now they were making progress. "Would you like to tell me why?"

"No." She then sighed. "It doesn't look like you'll give me an option, though."

Basil shook his head.

"Then, if you must know, I was asked to do so by another of you two-legged good-for-nothings. It was a king. King Arthur, I believe," Ariel reluctantly responded.

Basil was puzzled. "Why did you do it?"

The overweight mermaid blushed profusely and looked at her reflection in the water. "He's a good looking man," she mumbled. Then she cleared her throat and straightened up. She then continued, "For a top-sider, of course. And I'm making myself become a better person. Haven't you noticed the difference?"

Basil figured it would be best to say nothing. He mouthed a sorry to Flounder before tossing the cooler into the water. It landed in her majesty's arms.

"Thanks for your cooperation!" Basil called over his shoulder.

As he walked away he heard the princess tell Flounder, "My goodness, you're getting big! You know what, I think you will be on tonight's menu."

Basil was satisfied with the previous event's turn-out.

Next stop, King Arthur.

The king and his wife, Guinevere, lived in their Victorian abode quite a ways from any kind of civilization. Considering how long it had taken Basil to drive there, he hoped that this visit might be the last. He also had hopes of this encounter clearing everything up.

Basil walked on a cobblestone path that led to the king's not-so humble castle. It was a salmon color and there was a tower. It was a round shape and had a very regal appearance to it. The first time Basil had visited he was actually surprised that there wasn't a moat or drawbridge.

He wasn't quite sure what to expect— King Arthur could be a real pain if he wanted to be. His wife on the other hand, was like spring after a brutal winter. But there was the chance that Guinevere wouldn't be the one to answer the door. Basil hoped for the best in either case.

There was an old fashioned knocker shaped like the head of a lion on the door. Basil took hold of it and slammed it noisily against the entrance's face. No sooner than he had done so the door was flung wide open. Low and behold— it wasn't Guinevere.

No, it was a short, stout man who physically looked forty, but his countenance showed much wisdom, the kind gained only in age. His face was etched with permanent stress creases.

"Who are you?" the man asked rudely.

Basil gave him a warm, friendly smile. "I'm Basil Grimm. I'm here to see King Arthur," he responded simply.

The man only nodded. He then scurried off down a long corridor, leaving the door wide open. Basil figured that that would serve as an invitation, so he walked right in. His feet were greeted by a beautiful persian rug that was burgundy with gray along the edges.

"Ugh," a voice said exasperatingly. "If you're to stand on the carpet at least take your shoes off."

Basil looked up to see that it was the king himself who had addressed him. He strained to smile at him. "King Arthur, how pleasant it is to see you again. How is everything going? Smoothly, I should hope."

The king glared at Basil. "You and I both know that it is not 'pleasant' to see one another again, so let's cut to the chase. We're both grown men here, are we not?" he scoffed.

"Quite right," Basil answered, not allowing his smile to waver in the slightest. "I have talked to the little mermaid—"

King Arthur interrupted by snorting. "Do they still call her that? Well, I suppose not many people have to witness her current profile. I envy them all; I'm truly scarred for life."

"Yes, well, as I was saying, I've spoken to her. She testified that you had given some time to visit her," Basil stated. "Is it true?" It's not like he didn't already know the answer.

"I'm sorry to say that I cannot deny it, no matter how much I'd like to," he informed Basil bitterly. "What do you care? It doesn't concern you."

Basil didn't hesitate to retort by saying, "Unfortunately it does. Now, will you tell me why you asked her to ask a mortal, to ask Mr. Seven to visit the Mad Hatter?"

"I didn't ask her specifically to tell a mortal to tell Seven to visit the Hatter. I'm sure that my wording was, 'ask the first person you see to ask another person to visit Mr. Hatter'."

Basil waved him off with the flick of his hand. "How you said it, I do not care. The point is that you asked that of the princess. Why? What's your motive?" Basil's face was void of emotion now. You wouldn't even guess that, not even a moment, ago he had been smiling.

"What's with the interrogation?" the king asked defensively. "I only asked her because someone told me to!"

"Who asked?" Basil was very agitated. It had been a long day, and he didn't want to have to put up with this. His patience had worn thin.

"Just Little John."

"Why did Little John ask?" Basil was starting to wonder if the king actually spoke English.

King Arthur rolled his eyes. "I didn't ask him. Why should I have? It didn't seem so wrong to me."

"Of course it didn't," Basil muttered under his breath. "Why did you do as he told you to?"

"Do you ever say anything that doesn't end in a question mark?"

"Do I?"

The king sighed exasperatingly. "Fine! I lost..." the rest of his sentence was incoherent.

"Care to repeat yourself before I flip you over my knee, Grandpa?" Basil inquired innocently.

"Was that a threat?" King Arthur shouted furiously.

Basil's straight face stayed firm. "If that's how you want to interpret it, then fine."

"I'll tell you," the king decided.

"Then please, take your time," Basil offered sarcastically.

King Arthur scowled. "Don't tempt me." He took a deep breath and continued, "I lost a game if Patty Cake. Satisfied?"

Basil couldn't stop a smirk from playing with his features. "How do you—"

"Yes, I play Patty Cake," he snapped angrily.

"As I was going to say, how do you lose Patty Cake?" Basil smirked before Arthur shoved him out of the doorway.

"Good day!" he shouted as he shut the door in Basil's face.

Once again Basil found himself walking towards the car and starting up the engine. He was starting to see a pattern...

Basil had been banging on the Sherwood Group's wooden door for a good five minutes. He was more than a little tempted to break it down. He was so irritated that, when the door was finally opened, he nearly punched the drunk, red faced man who answered Basil's profuse knocking. And though he refrained himself from any physical contact, he didn't even try to stop himself from pushing past the merry man.

"I'm here to talk to Little John," Basil said, not wanting to waste any more of his time.

The man chuckled. "I'm sure you mean Robin."

"If I meant Robin then I would have said Robin," Basil growled. "Now, go get Little John."

He guffawed scoffingly. "If you knew any of us you'd know that we don't take orders from no one," he commented and raised a tall ceramic cup to his mouth.

Basil counted to ten, frustrated with the man before him. "Tell him Basil Grimm has information on the case he's working on," he lied expertly.

The man had a look of confusion on his face. "I wasn't aware that Little John was handling a case."

"Would I say it if it weren't true?" Basil countered automatically.

The merry man shrugged and left to get Little John, Basil assumed.

Three minutes later an excited looking Little John appeared.

"You have information on the defense case for Gepetto?" the big man asked. He spoke so fast in anticipation that his words slurred together. "Because I'd hate to see the old man lose the store."

Basil shook his head. "I just said that to get you over here." Disappointment crossed Little John's face. "I'm here to talk to you about the Mad Hatter."

His face lit up, again. "Did it work? Please tell me it worked!"

"Wait— what are you talking about?" Basil had never felt so lost in his life.

"I'm talking about the bet," Little John replied. "Did it work?"

"I'm not sure what you're talking about. Can you explain yourself?" Basil requested.

Little John nodded.

"You see, Nottingham and I had a little disagreement. He's owed me money for quite a time, now. So, when I went to collect it he— being the cheapskate that he is— tried to squirm out of it. He proposed a bet, and we all know I can't resist a challenge. So, I accepted," Little John started to explain.

"I'm sorry, but what does this have to do with the Hatter?" Basil interrupted impatiently.

"I was getting there," he assured Basil gently. "The bet was that I'd ask a disagreeable person, King Arthur, to ask that whale of a princess, Ariel, to ask something of the next person she saw. That something was that the random person would ask another person to pay the Mad Hatter a visit."

When he had finished Basil's jaw was dropped to the floor. "It was a bet? No, it had to be more," Basil told himself.

Little John raised an eyebrow. "Does this mean that I won?"

"It does," Basil informed him glumly.

"Do you have any proof that I can show Nottingham?"

"Only my day that has been wasted." Basil sighed and readied himself to leave. "By the way, the first person that Ariel saw was Farrah. Farrah asked Mr. Seven."

Little John looked shocked. "She wasn't suspicious afterwards?"

"No, I dusted her," Basil made up, just to be safe. He was about to exit the law office when he turned around and asked the big man, "You wouldn't know anything about the Hatter's top-hat, would you?"

Little John simply shook his head.

Basil sighed. "I just thought I'd ask. Thanks for clearing everything up." And with that he left.

Basil found himself back in the asylum hallway at the time of 5:37. He stalled while getting past the security on the door, not wanting to face Mr. Hatter.

"No hat," Basil said once he was inside the room. "I'm sorry."

The Hatter shrugged nonchalantly. "I found it hiding behind the door as soon as you left."

Basil now saw that he was toying with a top-hat in his hands.

"When I saw it I realized that it's a mess up. The shade of gray and burgundy greatly upset my stomach," he commented. He then thrust the hat towards Basil. "You have it; as a token of my appreciation for you visiting me every day."

Basil just stared at him blankly.

••• End of Flashback •••

Basil came home that evening in an incredibly downcast state. He went straight to bed. He wrote the event down in his journal, but never talked about it to anyone. And the details that the journal gives are sketchy. He never went back to visit the Mad Hatter again. I think it's safe to say that that last visit had left a bad taste in his mouth.

I put the top-hat in the 'keeps' box and resume to my cleaning.

A/N: So, I know I probably confused some of you by having Relda not know the whole adventure but having the Flashback in perfect detail. Well, I'm making it so that the Flashbacks are like fishing into Basil's memory. So while you're reading the Flashbacks, think of it as Basil remembering the incident rather than Relda.

I'm sorry that the Hatter wasn't very insane-like. I was having a hard time working it in :/

I realize that I added two movie based characters, Sebastian and Flounder, and I'm sorry to anyone who dislikes that. But I just couldn't resist. I love them. XD

Updates may be sketchy, so sorry in advance.

Ciao blitz! - Cat