Title: What the heart needs

Pairing: Alice/Hatter

Disclaimer: not mine.

A/N: this is something that has been going around my mind for a while. I had a dream about this scene a couple of days ago and I had to write it down. This could be classified as a "what if?" fic. What if Hatter leaves when he sees Alice and Jack hugging? What if she follows him? What if Jack is the one convincing Hatter to go after Alice? so here it is! this is my take on that.

I hope you like it!

also this is my very first Alice/Hatter fic, please be gentle!

Fran


Just by the door, he stands there, his legs frozen with a deep sense of disappointment or perhaps sadness; he just can't quite put his finger on it. He couldn't quite put his finger on it, either way his brain could not process anything.

He watched on as they both hugged each other, with her arm wrapping securely around his neck and his lips slowly moving closer to her ear, to whisper something that he is unable to hear.

"Sweet lover's words," he thinks.

Of course she loves him, it could not possibly be other way, it seemed that she belonged to him;. He wondered how he could let himself think like there could be something more than friendship between them, when it was clear there was never going to be anything more. She belonged with Jack, and he was just simply an intruder in their lives.

That was the one moment that he had decided to walk way and ignore the sinking feeling of melancholy that hit his chest as he watched her for the last time. He meant to say goodbye, and probably ask her for that hug but everything inside him was telling him to just go. He was too sad, too broken to say anything never mind comforting words that she would love to hear, so he completely ignored what his heart was telling him and following the orders that his mind was screaming; just to walk away.

He would have never of guessed that she was going to follow him.

"Hatter!" She called to him and as he slowly turned around, he looked at her slowly approaching him with soft slow steps, "Where are you going?"

"To the tea shop, to make sure everything is in the right place," he lies, all he wanted to do was to avoid her, ignore her to make everything easier.

"You were going without saying goodbye?" She asks with her bright blue eyes full of sorrow.

"I thought that it would be better for you if I just, you know, left?" he said, sounding much harsher than he had planned "besides you were speaking to Jack. I didn't want to impose."

"You wouldn't," she responds, looking down at her hands nervously as if she had something to confess "he was just...he asked me to be his Queen"

"Oh…that's lovely" it's all he can truly say, while his soul was screaming and cursing.

"I said no," she says.

"You shouldn't have" his words surprises her, "Jack can give you everything that you deserve, Alice. He can give you all you need, all the love that belongs to you."

"I thought you..." She whispers, eyes filling up with water.

"Me?" he laughed, "I have nothing to offer. I lost everything I had, there's just me and the half destroyed tea shop that caused enough damage for people to hate it!"

"I thought that you wanted me to stay" she whispers.

He does, he wanted her to stay with him forever, live a life together like those stories about oysters he always heard and sometimes dreamed of, but he knew that it would never happen. He knew that she had a different life to his, after all she had a family to go home to, and he couldn't be so selfish as to make her stay just because he needed her.

"Hell no!" He speaks and he watches her frown again "You should go home, to your mother, to your family. Wonderland is damaged and destroyed, this isn't the place it used to be and you ought to have better. This is not a home to you Alice; you don't belong to a world like this. You need happiness and joy and I don't think you'll be able to find them here" He couldn't even look at her after saying all of that."not with me," he thought, "never with me."

"So this is it?" Her eyes water and the pang of sadness he had been trying to avoid hits him full force.

"Yeah. I think it is."

He thinks she will walk away now, turn around towards the door and go back to her world. Instead she takes the few remaining steps that keeps them apart and wraps her arms around his neck, pulling him into a tight hug. He had been praying for this, ever since the Queen had been defeated, and with all the commotion they didn't have the time to actually do it. Now it was happening and instead of feeling happy and cheerful he felt sad and broken.

She pulls away slowly and he can't help but miss the warmth of her body against his.

"I better go" she speaks, taking a few steps away from him as she does so.

"Yeah."

"Goodbye Hatter"

"Goodbye Alice"

She walks away without looking back, which is better for the both of them, in a way; it makes things easier and less painful. Still he could swear that his heart stopped beating the minute she disappeared behind the large castle doors. He wasn't the man who cries but this time he felt he was going to without a moment's hesitation.


He lost track of time, he wasn't sure how long it had been since Alice walked through the looking glass; or when he actually arrived at his half destroyed Tea Shop. All the knows, and it's completely positive about it, is that he feels lonelier than he ever felt in a very long time. Even though they had barely known each other he had become accustomed to having Alice around and now that she was gone he felt he had no reasons to smile.

As empty as he feels the only thing that he can do is to keep himself busy by doing tedious chores such as, cleaning and rearranging his office and throwing everything that doesn't belong there away. He had been so occupied that he didn't notice someone watching him.

"Hatter?" the man speaks. He lifts his head enough to send a confuse look at Jack, who approaches him slowly.

"What are you doing here?" Hatter asks not even trying to cover his bitterness towards the man before him.

"I came here to talk" Jack responds.

"Well as you can see I'm busy cleaning my business."

Jack remained silent for what seemed to be forever, making Hatter increasingly uncomfortable. He was watching his every move like a hawk, like a vigilante and Hatter never thought his anger towards that man could possibly grow more than it already had.

"What do you...?"

"You should go after her" Jack interrupts him. Hatter is so surprised by his words he remains frozen on his spot.

"What?"

"She loves you" he states matter of factly. "This explains why she said no when I asked her to be my Queen. I didn't see it, I didn't understand it, but after seeing her almost burst into tears before going back to her world I knew. She didn't love me anymore, she wasn't crying because she wasn't going to see me no more. She was crying because of you"

"Why are you telling me all this?" He was confused. The last thing he thought was hearing jack about Alice feelings for him, especially since he loved her.

"Because I want what is best for Alice, even though it kills me to tell you this I know you are the only one who can make her happy"

"I...I can't give her what she needs." The Hatter whispers looking around the only remaining thing in his life; his Tea Shop. Surely he could not bring Alice back and force her to live in his poor life style. She deserves better and he knew he wasn't that.

"All she needs is love, Hatter. Something she would have never found in me," Jack confesses, "don't give up on her, not when you feel the same"

He wasn't the type of man who would take advices from the man that he had once considered his enemy but this time he was going to make an exception. He knew Alice better than Jack did and perhaps, because of this, he was right. Maybe Alice did love him, he needed to know and he wasn't going to find out while standing on his Tea Shop.

It was as if Jack was reading his mind for before he could say something he handed him a set of keys and a piece of paper.

"These are the keys to my apartment," Jack explained, "the address is written there as well as Alice's. If you leave now you might arrive a few hours after her"

Hatter moved away quickly, desperate to get to the looking glass on time, but then he stopped before he could reach the door, for some reason, unable to just walk away without saying a proper 'thank you' to the man in front of him.

"Thank you," he whispered, "for all of this"

"No problem. Its more than enough for me knowing you will make her happy."


Alice stares at him in disbelief, her hand still holding his, a smile spread on her beautiful face. She wasn't sure if she was still dreaming, or if her subconscious was playing tricks on her due to stress, or if Hatter was in fact standing before her, then the light kiss he drops on her lips prove to her everything was more than real.

"How?" She asks after a moment, still too shocked to say something else.

"I followed you," he speaks, giving her hand a light squeeze. 'A rather obvious statement' he thought

"But I thought you didn't want to come to my world?"

"No, I said I didn't want you to stay in Wonderland and I still think it's not safe to be there so...here I am."

"I just...I just can't believe you're actually here or even that you left your world to follow me, you left everything behind!" she says as her hand reaches out to touch his cheek. He leans in, enjoying the warm of her hand on his skin.

"I would do it a hundred times," he whispers, leaning in to kiss her once more. She responds eagerly, they forget about the world, about Wonderland, about the pain they went through. There was no one else but them...

That until he felt a soft poke on his shoulder. Breaking apart slowly Hatter notices Alice's mother staring at them in shock.

"Can someone please explain what's going on here?"

Yes. That tiny little detail.

"Mom, you better sit down. This will take a while"

And they have whole the time in the world for he wasn't going anywhere. He was, after all, where he belonged. With his Alice

THE END

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