Living inside the Houndstitch Home for Wayword Youths was absolute hell. Summer in the East End only proved that Alice was indeed living in hell…or something quite close to it. For the past three days, it was dreadfully hot, humid, and there was no sign of rain or wind for any relief from the heat or smell of decay.

The heat made everyone slow, stupid, and lazy. Even Dr. Bumby holed himself to his room proclaiming the weather is not favorable to do anything productive. The small reprieve was bittersweet; on the one hand she'd gotten some time off to herself. On the other hand, it had to be on the hottest days where she can't do anything on her days off. It was too hot to sleep, water was being rationed, the orphans just left her alone, and she didn't feel like going out knowing that she'll just bake under the sun.

What's even worse was the dress she's wearing is currently stifling her, clinging to her skin, making it itch. None of her clothing was light (none of her night things were anywhere near decent); everything was heavy and layered with fabric. She wants nothing more than to strip off her clothing and walk around half stalkers. Alice is already in a foul mood seeing Dr. Bumby walking around wearing nothing but a pair of cotton trousers…the smug bastard. How fine and dandy for a man to walk around shirtless (in the comforts of his house mind you!)without any repercussions , but for women they have to stay fully clothed. And his shirts are much lighter than any of her dresses which even made her more cross.

That just gave Alice a brilliant idea.

Idle children are bored children, and bored children tend to cause mischief. Well, she may not be a child anymore but she can still try and have a bit of fun while she can.

Bribing the children with her pocket money (hidden from Dr. Bumby) to cause a racket in the living room, long enough for her to sneak into his room and grab one of his shirts. He wouldn't miss one little shirt…not since he had so many identical ones anyhow.

In the safety of her old room, Alice quickly pulled off her stuffy dress and undergarments. Finally some respite from the sweltering heat! At least she didn't have to deal with all the buttons when trying the shirt on, it was far too large on her small frame, reaching down to her knees. It felt rather nice, it wasn't itchy and it felt like she wasn't wearing much. She surmised only the upper class could afford that kind of material given everyone else was wearing wool.

Feeling much better about the heat, Alice went off to fetch herself some lemonade from Bumby's personal larder (only by sheer dumb luck she found it). Unfortunately she ran into the owner of said larder and found herself in a heap of trouble.

How was she supposed to know that he would find her wearing his things so arousing?!

Alice forgot the most important lesson in causing mischief, never get caught unless prepared to pay the consequences of said mischief. In this case, she has gotten even stickier and sore because of it.

But at least she got to keep the shirt.

A/N: …yeah, not one of my better works. At least leave a review so I can at least know people are actually reading what I write!