A/N:I got this random plunny from drawing a picture of what Oz would look like if he didn't have Jack's body and instead had the hair and eyes of the B-rabbit. Before I knew it, I started forming a story around it, and the one I came up with seems like Pandora Hearts, but at the same time, it is unique in its own way. I hope you will enjoy the first chapter. By the way, bandersnatch is a word. It means an imaginary creature. Thanks, Jun-sama! You taught me a new word! I do not own PH or its characters. They belong to Jun Mochidzuki and Square Enix. It's extremely AU, so be ready for some role reversal.
Retrace I: Bygone days of happiness
"One hundred years ago, the wicked Vessalius dukedom decided to drop the capital, Sablier, into the Abyss! The head of this cursed plan was Jack Vessalius, and he used the power of a powerful chain whose name has since been lost to history. Do you remember what this incident was called, Lady Alice?"
The woman paused in her lecture and turned to where a young girl of around fifteen was sitting in a large upholstered chair. Her hands were propped up on her face and it was evident that she was not interested at all in the gibberish the woman was telling her. Her purple eyes blinked for a moment before she answered dully.
"The Tragedy of Sablier."
"Yes, yes, very good. Now, who stopped Jack Vessalius?" The tutor asked.
"Glen Baskerville, my ancestor. Do you have any meat? This is boring as hell." The black-haired girl said, before stifling a yawn,
"Lady Alice, you will be the heir to the Baskerville legacy! Don't you care about your heritage!?" The woman scolded, shocked that she could say such a presumptuous thing about the family that had raised her since she was an infant.
"I don't care." Alice Baskerville responded, before stroking her pet cat, Cheshire. "Fortune this...legacy that...no one cares, anyway. That sort of thing happened a hundred years ago. We don't need to worry about superstitions like that."
Her tutor frowned. "Lady Alice, a proper lady does not speak in that tone! Please sit up and stop slouching! You must have inherited your rebellious genes from your cursed mother." The woman sighed.
Alice's eyes flashed in anger. "Did you insult my mother?" She growled. "She wasn't cursed."
"She was a Child of Ill Omen! Of course she was cursed, you silly girl!" The woman laughed raucously at Alice's innocuous comment.
"Shut up. Screw this stupid lecture. Alyss, let's go."
She tugged on her twin sister's arm. Her sister's lavender eyes opened and she drowsily sat up before pushing her snow-white hair out of her face. "What is it, Alice?"
"Let's go. This lecture is stupid."
"What lecture? I fell asleep." Alyss admitted sheepishly.
"What am I going to do with you girls?" The poor tutor said before burying her head in her hands.
However, the tutor didn't expect a black dog to come flying at her. The next thing she knew, the dog was encircling her and growling viciously. His grey eyes were full of hostility. The dog approached Alice. She held Cheshire back because he was afraid of the dog. Bandersnatch smelled Alyss and smiled as Alyss patted him on the head. He drew back when Alice approached.
Alyss had always been able to draw the chains near her side. She was a descendant of the Intention of the Abyss, and as such, she could see the golden lights of the Abyss, and deeply feel its pain. She was not allowed to become a member of the Baskervilles for that reason.
"No, no, bad Bandersnatch, you mustn't sneak up on people like that!" A childish voice whined. What the tutor didn't know was that the girl actually meant to attack her. The young, brown-haired girl with blue eyes winked at Alice and Alyss.
"Go, Ojousan." She whispered.
Alice grinned and took this opportunity to flee. She and Alyss ran until they found the perfect hiding spot. Lily would never find them in here.
"Alice, I don't like it in here." Alyss whined. "It's so dark."
"Shut up! How old are you now, fifteen or five?" Alice hissed. Cheshire meowed again and Alice promptly put her hand on over his mouth, stifling his cries.
"Lily! Have you seen that little brat? This here Onee-san's been looking everywhere for her!"
Lily turned at the source of the voice and found herself staring at a girl with pink hair and red eyes. "Lottie-san...have you seen Alice-san? I just can't find her...anywhere!" She started to sniffle, hoping that Lottie would fall for her act.
Much to her surprise, it worked. "Hey, please don't cry, Lily. Did something happen to that little brat? Leon and I've already been looking everywhere for her and we've had no luck." Lottie asked curiously.
"I...don't know. Last I heard...was that she was headed down to the hole in Sablier with Alyss." Lily said nervously, not knowing if Lottie would fall for the half-baked lie. Lily was not very good at lying yet...but she hoped Lottie would buy it this time.
"Aha! She headed down to Sablier, huh? Let's go catch her, Leon, and maybe you can have Cheshire for dessert!" Lottie cried. Her lion followed after her.
Lily sighed and turned her attention to a door where she heard laughter from behind it. "...Alice-san, please come out."
The next thing she knew, the door nearly fell on her as two girls stumbled out of it. Alyss and Alice both fell out, followed by a hissing Cheshire, who abandoned Alice and went to Alyss, who was more gentle to the young cat. Cheshire happened to be more fond of Alyss than Alice for some reason.
Alice felt jealous when she saw her cat get hogged by her sister. If only she had something she wouldn't have to share with her sister. Someone who would be her only friend and stand beside her when bad things would happen...
Suddenly, she heard a voice enter her ears...
Her ears pricked up and she looked around, but couldn't find anyone and shrugged. "Must've imagined it."
"Sister, is something wrong?" Alyss asked, casting Alice an interested stare.
"No, it's nothing." Alice said. "Let's go outside and play a bit more."
"Ah, so here you girls are. Trying to ditch school again, huh?" A low voice said from behind them. Alice, Alyss, and Lily gasped as all three of them were picked up by someone. When they saw who it was, however, all of them cheered.
"Uncle Oswald!" Alice cheered. Alyss shivered and suddenly turned away.
"She still doesn't like me, huh?" Oswald joked. Alyss sent him a piercing stare, one that read: don't piss me off, or else.
Alice smiled. Her uncle Oswald was one of her favorite people to hang out with. His name was really cool, too. She liked to call him Os, much to his horror. All of the Baskervilles lived here together. While the rest of society either revered them or thought of them as freaks, here everyone was equal. Even the weirdest person could expect to fit in here.
The Baskervilles did not seem it at first, but they were extremely caring people who cared for their own. All of them had chains, for example, but they were extremely kind to their chains. Lily was a little rough on Bandersnatch, but Alice knew those two were a match the moment they laid eyes on each other. Uncle Oswald had once told her that she would know the right chain for her when she laid eyes on it.
She hated calling chains "it", though. She thought of them as living beings with sentience. Alyss felt the same way.
"Now, shall we get you naughty girls ready for the ceremony? Alice, why are you trying to skip out on your big day?"
Alice frowned. "I just have a bad feeling about today. I think...something bad is going to happen." She shivered suddenly as a powerful feeling came over her...almost like someone was watching her from an unknown place with eyes full of hatred. Bright, piercing red eyes...like blood themselves...
I'm going to make you mine. You won't resist me, Alice.
Alice shivered in pure terror. That voice sent chills down her spine.
"What's wrong, Alice?" Oswald said, before setting the three down. Alyss scampered away to go play with Cheshire while Lily stared worriedly at Alice. "Pre-ceremony jitters?"
Oswald was normally not this friendly towards strangers, so the fact that he was communicating so openly with them like this showed them that he truly trusted them.
"Can we go play a bit more?" Alice asked.
"Fine." Oswald said. Alyss and Cheshire came running back in, followed by an angry Bandersnatch.
"Were you teasing my wittle Bandy?" Lily scolded. Bandersnatch nodded and licked Lily's hand while she stroked his head.
Alice didn't feel as carefree as the rest of them, though. She still felt something terrible was going to happen today. Little did she know how right she was.
As the three girls played in the garden, they were unaware of a shadow watching them with curious green eyes.
"...So they've finally returned at last, hmm? Now the fun shall begin..." The girl hissed before giggling. "...Right, Dinah?"
"Say, I heard that those mean Vessaliuses can send you down to Abyss if you're not very good." Alyss said darkly before chuckling. "The core told me so."
"The core always tells you things and not me." Alice huffed.
"Your sister is special. She can communicate with the Abyss. Lucky." Lily pouted. Alice just snickered and patted Lily's head.
"I've heard tales of the worst chain around." Alyss said conspiratorily. "They say...his name...is, or was...the Bloodstained Black Rabbit. Apparently, he possesses such immense power that everyone wants to get their hands on him!"
"Oh, that's all a myth!" Alice scoffed before stepping in the garden. She froze upon hearing a melody enter her ears. It was so familiar, and yet it was so haunting...it felt like it was coming from somewhere near her. "What is this song?"
Alyss tensed. Apparently, she had sensed it as well. "What are you talking about, sister?"
"Don't you hear that song?" She said. Alyss nodded. Suddenly, the ground caved in and they found themselves falling into the dirt. They heard Lily cry out and Bandersnatch barking and howling.
"Are you all right, Alyss?" Alice asked. She rubbed some dirt off of her forehead and sat up. She noticed her sister was covered in dirt as well, and rubbed her off. Cheshire was by their side as well. She noticed that they seemed to be underground. There was a grave in front of them. Alice noticed a shiny object hanging off of it.
It seemed to be some sort of pocket watch, but it was rusting from age. Already, the gold paint had started to fade and be replaced by silver. It seemed quite familiar to Alice. As she reached out and held it, suddenly a strange sensation came over her. Almost like...she KNEW this watch from somewhere.
But where? She wound it up and was so absorbed in it that she didn't even notice Alyss watching her curiously. Her eyes widened upon hearing the same melody that had lured her here. It was extremely beautiful, but sad, all the same...she felt as though she was being drawn into another dimension...she heard the ticking of the clock increase...
Suddenly, it stopped. She opened her eyes again and found she was in a dark room. She couldn't see anything in front of her. Suddenly, the lights flickered on and she found she was in a cobweb-covered room. Everything in it was all old and faded, even the light itself was covered in centuries of webs and spiders crawled down from the ceiling. Alice jumped back in alarm, as she hated spiders.
Noise came from behind her. She whirled around to see a toy walking towards her...wait, WALKING? It was a toy monkey of some sort, and it banged its cymbals loudly, as if announcing something gravely important.
"...Hey, who are you, girl?" Its eyes widened briefly and then it let out a piercing cry of delight. "SHE'S FINALLY BACK!"
She heard applause come out of nowhere, and whirled around to see that toys of every shape and size were all grinning at her and smiling. It sort of creeped her out.
"She's finally back! We've missed her for so long, so long! We're getting so rusty!" A clown toy complained before coming towards her foot.
Alice shrieked and stepped backwards.
A white rabbit doll floated near her. "What's wrong, girl? He will be so happy when he meets you again!"
"Who...what are you talking about?" She asked.
Suddenly, a voice rang out. "Hey, all of you...shut up this instant. You've scared the hell out of her, now be quiet."
Instantly, a sudden hush fell over the room. Alice could only hear the sound of her heart pounding in her chest.
She turned to see a boy standing in the doorway. A boy with spiky black hair stood there, wearing a strange outfit. She couldn't see his face. Suddenly, he charged at her.
"You're finally back! I missed you so much!" He actually went through her body.
"What are you-" She said, but he interrupted her.
"It's been forever since I saw you! No one likes me because of what I AM. But you never minded playing with me, you know."
"Who are you?" Alice demanded.
The smile fell off of the black-haired boy's face. "You don't remember? You visited me constantly...Alice."
"I...did?" Alice questioned, wondering whether this was a dream or not.
"Yes. As long as you stay by my side, I don't care if I can never leave this hell hole."
"What the hell are you?" Alice demanded, but that turned out to be the wrong thing to say.
The boy paused as he thought over the words. "I...am..." He suddenly stepped on the clown toy, breaking it, and it exploded suddenly, and the room was engulfed in explosions. The room was now full of flames. Alice tried to run, but she found herself being pinned down by the same boy.
His clothes had changed to a red and white overcoat. He stared into her eyes, and she saw only a bloody red eye. "...So you hate me, huh? You know I will never forgive you...ALICE. You ruined everything, and for that...I will kill you!" He caressed her face.
"Are you scared? Fine. I will make you feel pain beyond your wildest dreams. Prepare to die!" He pointed a scythe at her and raised it above his head, laughing hysterically.
Alice found herself back in reality. She was still holding the pocket watch. Alyss was watching her with worried eyes. "Are you all right, sister?"
"I'm...fine." Alice lied. Did I dream that? Even when it still feels like I was stabbed...
She didn't notice the stab marks on her neck.
Lottie finally found them. "Alice, let's go get ready. Alyss and that stupid cat of yours can come, too..."
Lily frowned. Should she really go to the ceremony? Of course...Alice was her friend.
"Hey, I like how cute your cloak is, Miss Riding Hood. Can I see it?" A female voice said.
Lily turned around, only to be knocked unconscious.
"Great job, Dinah. Be sure you get the Baskerville girl, all right? We can't have that witch's offspring running around!"
Ada grinned. So much to do...
Alice frowned as she played the melody again.
Somewhere in the depths of darkness lurked a teenage boy with black hair. He wore a red and white overcoat. His red eyes opened in curiosity as he listened to it.
"I know that melody...where have I heard it before?"