As I slid the ladder down the stack, I thought about all the books I've put away since I came through. Not once have I actually read an oyster book. I used to read as many books in the great library as I could, I was an avid learner. I loved to hear all the stories of the days of old, they seemed like such tale tales to such a young girl.
As I reached to put the book away, I heard the bell above the door ring. "Welcome to Hatter and Hares' for Alice's Alike. If you need any help, just ask me," I said. I think those words are among the very select few I've ever said to oysters. I was just about to put away the book when whoever entered to store answered.
"I'm flattered, September. I must admit, I'm a little disappointed you put your name second," I heard a very familiar voice say. I immediately slid down the ladder and ran towards the voice. I snatched him up in a strong hug as soon as I reached him. "Hatter!" I said into his chest. As small as he was, I was still smaller. "I knew you'd find me," I confessed.
"It's been far too long, Sep," he answers as our embrace ended. I grabbed him by the arms as looked him up and down. He was wearing a green paisley dress shirt with a deep emerald vest. His pants, as tight as they were, were a dark crimson. He had, on his head, a vintage pinstriped fedora which was fraying around the end of the brim. The years in Wonderland had been far kinder to him than the years through the mirror have been to me. He looks exactly as I left him, only about a year more showed. For a moment, and only a moment, I felt older. Of course, I'm younger than him in Wonderland years; but time passes differently in this strange land.
"It's so good to finally see you again," He said. "I must introduce you to Alice," he turned to the girl next to him. She was wearing simple jeans which showed about as much curves as her frame would allow. She wore a blue blouse and black converse. She had long black hair and stunning eyes. She was an unusual beauty, but it suited her. I hadn't noticed her before, but I'm now glad I have. I extended my hand out for her to shake. She took it with a smile. "Sep, this is Alice. Alice, this is September. She's a friend from Wonderland," Hatter introduced.
"Well, Hatter, you found your Alice," I said. I was a little proud of him. When we were younger, March would be out on a job. Hatter and I would lock ourselves in a closet only we knew about. We'd talk for hours, most of the time, about the novels we'd read in the past weeks. Sometimes, we'd talk about other things. Hatter always said he wanted to find his own Alice. We were very young when the last Alice had come to Wonderland, but Hatter became obsessed with her. He tried to collect anything he could about her. He succeeded too; he used his connections with the resistance to do so. Unfortunately, this attracted the Queen's attention. When she sent my brother, my brother just couldn't do it. Hatter was so young, just a boy really. So my brother made it look like Hatter had been killed. My brother took him in as an apprentice and he renamed him Hatter. No one doubted my brother, no one questioned his story.
We accepted Hatter as a brother. In return for the favor my brother had given Hatter, Hatter showed me the great library. I began to devour the books, one by one. Hatter and I would spend days on end reading in the library. Those years were the best; the years spent in the stacks of stories and the closet of secrets. But, like all good things, they didn't last.
Soon, Hatter became more and more interested with Tea and I became more interested with Knowledge. Both were very valuable forms of trade. Hatter became more conceded with helping the highest bidder and I became more fixated on helping the Resistance. I became a spy, and so did he, but we needed new hobbies apparently. Hatter had made it onto the Queen's good side and I had made it onto the list.
When Hatter found out, he immediately came for me; but March was faster. March was enraged. He never knew about the Library, Hatter and I never told him. It was a game we'd play. March was furious and was ready to get the location of the Library and the Resistance at any cost. He almost got it too, but Hatter saved the day. He hit March and knocked him out long enough to get me bandaged and out of Wonderland City. We made our way to the Palace. Hatter had a plan to get me out through the Looking Glass and into the oyster world. We had just made it to the Palace when March caught up with us. March dragged us the truth room and wouldn't allow even the tweedle twins to come in. He gave Hatter the sledge hammer hand he has now, and he gave me the scars I have now. Fortunately, my works with the Resistance hadn't been forgotten just yet. Caterpillar got someone to break us out and get me through the Looking Glass. From there, I don't know what happened. I can only assume the best, considering Hatter is here, with his own Alice. The Queen must have been defeated and March must have been killed. I'm glad. Not that my brother must be dead, but that the Resistance had won.
"Sep, would you like to come over to our flat one of these days?" Alice asked. Hatter looked at her as though he was confused. "I'm sure you and Hatter have plenty of catching up to do. Plus, I'd love to hear everything about Hatter when he was young. Especially the embarrassing bits," she looked up at Hatter and smiled. He looked right back into her eyes and his dimples showed. It made me so overjoyed that he was happy. He deserved it.
"Of course, I'd love to," Alice smiled. "And I'll make sure to bring with some very illuminating stories." I said with a small chuckle as I led them out. I waved as they left down the street.
Finally, some peace. I'd always wondered what had happened after I left Wonderland.
I went to go behind the desk when I remembered the book still in my hand. I'd not put it away yet! I went over to the shelves and looked down at the cover. 'Alice's Adventure in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking Glass' by Lewis Carroll. I smiled and put it on the shelf with a smile. They'll never know, will they? A Hatter must always have his Alice, and with that, a Hare belongs... Wonderland depends on it.
Author Note: This fic was meant to be a one-shot, but I'm thinking of continuing the same universe... Maybe... Review please! I really want to have feedback on this one!