Many apologies on my behalf! I know I have not written in QUITE a while, but here we are and there we go. Please do enjoy, for I find that often times it's best to be writing when you really should be doing something else. Say, sleeping? But when the creative juices flow, they flow.

Inspirational Song: "Little Talks" - Of Monsters and Men

. . . . .

"Don't think I won't get you, Hatter!"

That was the voice that, even when it was simply clearing its throat, would make Tarrant Hightopp giggle with glee like the madman he truly was.

But she liked that. Supposedly.

"Just because I'm in this dress doesn't mean I'm being held back! Just you wait!"

Well, nothing held her back, that was certain.

The Mad Hatter ran through the colorful mushroom forest with his signature gap-toothed grin strung across his face. He saw colors, only vivid colors, flying across his vision as he sprinted away in a glorious game of tag with Alice and the Tweedles. He had no clue where the pair could've gone, but then again, his mind hadn't been to set on the two.

He quickly glanced down to note a root sprouting up and pounced above it, catching the speckled vine overhead to swing forward. He landed heavily on a soft patch of moss and paused for a moment there to chortle.

This, of course, proved to be a mistake.

"Got you!" Hatter fell with a thud and a new, sudden weight on his back. He grunted and reopened his eyes to see tendrils of blonde curls swinging into his line of vision. He slowly smiled, as his eyes turned a mischievous hue of yellow-green.

He quickly rolled over, tightening his arms around Alice to take her with him. Now, he had hold over her. He finally looked down at her beautiful, glowing face. Her hazel eyes narrowed at him in mock frustration, her lips pursed in playful contempt, and her cheeks blushing red from her chase.

As he continued to look down upon her, Alice's gaze slowly grew softer. She looked away for a moment, nervously, before finding his eyes again. She involuntarily bit her lower lip. Hatter watched her teeth graze that lip.

Suddenly, Hatter realized his position. His eyes brightened. They'd never been so close before.

Feeling a spark of daringness light within him, lit by the beast of risk, he slowly leaned forward and took his one hand out from beneath her to caress her face. He then slowly tucked a lock of hair behind her ear-

And stopped immediately.

"Alice!" he said harshly, breaking any spell that may have been cast between the two.

Alice shook her head in order to clear it. "What? What's wrong?" She sat up, the hair falling back into her face.

Hatter tucked it behind her ear again, none too gently. "You're bleeding," he said thickly. "From your head." Hatter got up from on top of her and kneeled beside her, removing several clips from his coat and pinning her hair back. He angled his head to get a better view. "From right here," he said, poking at the tender spot on her head.

"Oh." Alice reached up to touch the spot and removed her hand, which was now coated with a minute amount of blood. "That's curious. I didn't really feel it. I wonder..."

Hatter's eyes searched hers, alarmed at how calm she seemed. "Alice!" She flinched back at the sudden volume to his voice. Hatter continued. "Yae must be more careful! Do yae not see how dangerous this could'a been? Yae seriously hurt yourself, it could'a been worse-" At this point, Alice was already trying to subdue the poor Hatter, but he went on, flailing his arms around. "-Yae are an important lass, yae know that. Yae cannot just go on and hurt yaeself-"


At this point, the pair was standing, with Hatter panting heavily and Alice with what she hoped was a calming look on her face. Hatter took one look at her eyes and realized that for a moment he had lost himself again. His shoulders slumped. "I'm terribly sorry, Alice. I hadn't meant to lose hold."

She took a step forward, smiling. "It's fine, Hatter. I understand."

"Then you're the only one, Alice!" A new, nasally voice called. Alice's brow furrowed as she turned around. There, proud and tall, were three large flowers. Daisies, precisely. All had their noses turned up at the sight of the still-trembling Hatter.

"Really, the sort of that, hanging around the White Castle!" one flower scoffed.

"That tells you a lot about the company the White Queen tends to keep," another added.

"Which," the third began, "tells much about the Queen herself!"

The three flowers went on about this manner for a bit, nodding to themselves so much Alice wouldn't have been surprised if they uprooted themselves by their own ferocity.

Alice knew better than to quarrel with the flowers. She grabbed Hatter's arm roughly and trudged away from the wretched plants. "Weeds!" she called over her shoulder.

She could still hear their appalled exclamations even from a distance far away.

"Are you quite alright?" she asked Hatter.

He nodded back. "And you? Your head?"

"Just as fine as yours," she said with a smile.

He frowned. "Oh, well, that just won't do. We'll have to hurry back to the castle to get you fixed up, won't we?"

She laughed, and the sound filled Hatter's insides like the first gulp of air after being underwater for too long.

"Well, in that case..." she drawled. "Guess what?"

Hatter raised one, furry brow. "Yes?"

She leaned in close, her breath tickling Hatter's skin. Slowly, Alice whispered, "You're it."

He did not quite understand until Alice pulled free from his arm and sprinted away, laughing. Comprehension dawning his expression, the Hatter's gap-toothed smile slowly crept back up again. "Oh, you might as well not even try, Champion!"

He was gone after her in a flash.

. . . . .

Rachel: A sweet 'lil one-shot for all those who simply love the fluff and are fine with fluff.

Insanity: ACTION. I want action!

Rachel: Then we'll have to get back to finishing our main story, won't we?

Insanity: Indeed... ;)