Previously on Alice and Hatter:
Alice holds it up in victory and everyone yells in joy.
Then Hatter looks up, and yells, “Chess, Absolem, It’s done!” Everyone turns and looks at him in surprise.
Then in front of them appears a blue butterfly on the shoulder of a woman all in white but her nails and lips who holds herself regally. Next to them appears a beautiful brown eyed blonde woman in silver armor, holding a sword. Standing behind her protectively a man with orange hair, white face and a top hat with a grey and turquoise stripe cat between the two of them.
Everyone is in shock recognizing the Alice of Legend; her mate, Tarrant Hightopp and the White Queen along with the Keeper of the Oraculum and The Cheshire Cat. Then they all have an even larger shock when Tarrant tells Hatter proudly in a strong brogue, “Excellent job, Son.”
“Son?” The ex-queen of Hearts screams. She turns around sharply to the White Queen and accuses her, venom dripping from her voice, “You made a promise to not interfere with this Kingdom or the Kingdom of Knights.”
Mirana calmly looks at Constance and advises her, “The promise was that I, Alice Kingsleigh-Hightopp Hatter, and Tarrant Hightopp Hatter would not take revenge or enter either of the kingdoms for the unprovoked attack and destruction of Alice’s Kingdom, the Kingdom of Knights, and in return you will not attack the White Kingdom.”
At that statement, most of the people of Wonderland gasp and start to murmur to each other.
Mirana continues to speak regally to the woman in front of her. “Prince David was never part of that promise, nor did we plan for him to ever come here. In fact, we did much to prevent him from coming, and when that didn’t work, we put many additional restrictions on him.”
Those simple statements turn the court into a mess. Jack is completely floored. Hatter is a Prince of Wonderland and not just any prince, but the son of Alice of Legend, Queen Alice of the Kingdom of Knights? And even more importantly, he is the son of the Champions of Wonderland?
Santi, the Ten of Clubs, sees the ex-Queen of Hearts step back, and he signals his Clubs to grab her. He doesn’t need her escaping and making this entire revolution be worthless. Santi thinks about what he is hearing, and realizes he needs to step up and make his input heard. He really is the Duke of Clubs, however the now ex-Queen of Hearts had taken everyone’s titles away unless it suited her to let them keep them, like the Duchess of Diamond.
Hatter has turned away from his parents to Alice blanching at his formal name being used. He sees Alice staring at him in shock with the Ring of Wonderland, his Mother’s ring, in her hands still. He realizes he needs to talk to her quickly.
He pulls her into his arms as he softly talks to her, “Alice, luv, you remember those secrets? This is one of them. I am the son of the rightful Queen of the Kingdom of the Knights. If anyone would have known that I was the Prince of the Kingdom of the Knights, well, you saw the reaction of the Queen of Hearts. She would have marched in and murdered her way to Marmoreal as fast as she could.”
He is starting to get desperate at Alice’s lack of response. “Alice?” He holds on to her, starting to panic when she is saying nothing, ‘I cannot lose Alice to my secrets, not now!’ This is why he had told her what he could in case this happened and he could be free of his secrets. He pleads with her, “Alice!”
Alice expected those secrets that he was referring to, to revolve around the Resistance, not that Hatter is a prince. ‘A Prince!! Why would he want her?’ But then, she hears him pleading with her; the man that had sacrificed so much for her is pleading. ‘The man that loves you, Alice!’ She blinks, looks at Hatter and asks the first thing that came to mind, “David?”
Hatter looks at her, and laughs in relief as he answers her, “Yes, David is my first name.” He grabs her and hugs her gently to him, remembering his ribs. He then asks her softly in her ear, “You ok, luv?”
Relaxing in his arms, Alice whispers back, “Yes, but we need to talk, Hatter.”
Holding her close, Hatter sighs knowing that now is not the time. Nodding in agreement to her, he releases her, but not wanting to let go of her yet, he takes her hand in his. His brown eyes stare into hers as he asks her, “Are you ready to meet my parents?”
Alice is shocked that he is wanting to introduce her to his parents already, but he sounds so eager for them to meet. To give her a second to try to process everything, she looks around at the madness around them as people are shouting and finger pointing at each other. Her father is in the middle of a group of people that includes Jack, Duchess, Ten of Clubs, and… ‘is that the King of Hearts?’ She just stares in shock that so many have survived the fall of the Casino.
Hatter follows her stare and is unsurprised to see all of them arguing, this revelation is a huge shock to everyone in the Red Kingdom. No one in Wonderland had known about the Promises or that the Kingdom of the Knights was actually ruled by his mother, in fact it was something only the Royals knew about. She had been on her way to the Kingdom when the Queen of Hearts had found out and attacked. The story of what happened when the Queen decided to attack was known to everyone, just not the “why”. He was not sure they were ready for that. He remembers how shocked he had been when he had learned the truth!
Hatter shakes his head. He honestly doesn’t care what they argue about or do as long as his Alice is safe. He really wants to have her meet his parents; he thinks his mother can help her out, since she had been in a similar situation, but he waits for his Alice to agree. He doesn’t want to force her to do anything, since he could still feel Wonderland investing both of them with power; he is unsure what Wonderland is wanting with both of them.
Alice turns back to Hatter and is about to say something when she looks over his shoulder and feels an urge to curtsey, something she had never felt with the prior Queen of Hearts.
Hatter turns at the look at her face preparing to defend her, Alice should not uncomfortable with anyone and the only ones that come to mind that could put the look on her face is either Jack or someone else in the Red Queen’s court. But, he relaxes when he sees that it is his parents and Mirana walking towards them.
Mirana looks at the two new Champions of Wonderland and quite possibly the new reigning Monarchs of the Kingdom of Knights. Neither Alice nor Tarrant had wanted to be the rulers of the Kingdom of Knights, but they both respected the responsibility they had to Wonderland. Wonderland was letting everyone that understood her know who she wanted now. Thankfully both Wonderland and Mirana believe in choices; the difference between the two of them is that Wonderland will do what it can to force the choice in its direction.
Alice is a little worried to have all these people descend upon them and is glad Hatter is beside her. Some part of her brain made some observations. Hatter had always known she was not the Alice of Legend, now she understood why since his mother was the Alice of Legend. And, contrary to what the Queen of Hearts had told her in the throne room the first time they had met, this woman coming to her is the most powerful female in literature… and the mother of the man she loves. She tightens her grip on Hatter’s hand and he looks down at her and smiles.
The three of them walk up and before anything can be said, Alice Kingsliegh continues forward and throws her arms around her son, causing him to release Alice to hold his mum. Tarrant doesn’t hesitate either and moves forward to hold both of them in his arms, looking complete and very happy, his eyes turning a blueish green; he has his family back. He happens to glance over at his own Alice and smiles. It is then that Alice loses any fear of the strange man. Anyone that loves her Hatter that much must be ok.
Mirana clears her throat. “Alice, they may need a few moments,” Mirana begins, glancing at the newly reunited family. “I’m guessing you might be a little confused about what is going on. I may be able to clear some of it up.” At this Alice smiles at her. During all of this, Hatter keeps an eye out for his Alice but hearing what Mirana said to her, he speaks up. “Mirana, I need to be there. It’s a matter of a promise I made to Alice.” Alice grins at him remembering other activities that had also happened.
Alice of Legend sighs and looks at her mate; Tarrant is overjoyed at seeing his son. But Alice K. knows there is a lot of information that needs to be passed in a very short time. Not the least is acknowledging Wonderland. However, she will allow her son his choices and she will do what she can for this new Alice. She is happy with the way most of her life has turned out, but the cost of that life has been very high. She hugs her son hard before she releases him. What neither she nor anyone else expects is him to turn white from the action.
Alice has been watching him and notices the change immediately. “Hatter!” She runs over before anyone else can react and barely catches him as he passes out. Tarrant is there a second later helping lower his son to the ground, his eyes a yellow color of worry. He looks at Alice and asks softly, not wanting to scare her, but wanting, ‘no, needing!’ to know what is wrong with his son, “What’s wrong with him?”
Alice is frantic and telling herself she was stupid for believing him in the casino when he told her his injuries were just a few cuts and bruises. She had seen the beating he had received before the ride to the casino in the scarab. When she saw him again, he was so much worse. She manages to get his jacket off and is in the process of removing his shirt so she can see what injuries he has when she answers Tarrant absently, “He was beaten and then tortured by the Doctors.” ‘Why could she not get this off of him?’
Alice Kingsliegh gasps hearing what had happened to David and then turns to her mate. While Tarrant’s eyes have turned a red color and his face markings are appearing, she can tell that he is working hard to not completely lose it. One of his major triggers is pain to him and his. She can understand his feelings since she has fought to protect Wonderland because she did not want him to be in any more pain from the people or the land itself. His connection to Wonderland being strong enough that if the land was hurting, so was he. However, because of the same Bond, he can also feel her mother’s wrath and pain for someone daring to hurt her son! Feeling both her pain and hearing what has happened to their son is making it harder for him to control the Madness. He looks at the woman holding their son, and back at her. Alice K realizes she needs to control both of their feelings for her son and his love.
None of the couples’ pain goes unnoticed or felt for, though. Mirana turns and tells Chess, “Quick, go back to Marmoreal and get the healing potions!” She looks around and, seeing all the injured, expands on her orders as she tells him, “Bring back as many as you can and tell Thackery to make as many as he can. It looks like it will be needed.” Chess looks around. Seeing all the people hurt, he nods and evaporates without a comment.
Robert turns at his daughter’s voice and sees what happened. He leaves the Hearts to go over and see what he can do for the man that saved his daughter and who it looks like is in love with her, and she with him. He realizes what Alice is trying to do and goes to help her remove what they can to see the wounds clearer. Before they start, Jack joins them and says, “I have a scarab on its way here to take him back to the City. There we can have the doctors look him over.” No matter what else had happened or will happen, Jack acknowledges that he has a debt to repay to both Alice and Hatter.
Before anyone can react to the Knave’s offer, Chess has reappeared with a satchel. Mirana takes one purple and one light blue potion out of the bag full of many different colors of potions. She then turns to Tarrant and Robert and briskly orders them, “Help Alice remove the shirt and get him to a sitting position.”
Tarrant is still looking murderous but nods and works with the man he knows as Carpenter. Alice is told to sit behind Hatter and help support him. When the shirt is removed there are gasps at the burn marks and contusions that are all over Hatter.
Mirana tightens her lips and grabs another purple potion. “Alice, my friend, help me pour these on all the wounds.” She then looks at the woman who is holding Hatter and hands her the potion that is light blue in color, “Try to get him to swallow as much of this as you can.”
Alice nods and her father turns to help her. Everyone is working silently and can hear the gasps and murmurs from everyone surrounding them. Farther away are soft cries of pain and fear from the rest of the refugees from the fallen Casino.
Alice is shocked as she looks down where the two ladies are working and sees the wounds heal as the purple liquid is poured on them. She and her father are having a harder time getting Hatter to swallow, however they are getting it down his throat without choking him. Alice is so amazed that he had been able to do everything he had done up till now with all the damage he had taken. She has always known he is a remarkable man, but this… ‘Keep strong Alice! He needs you right now!’ Everyone here obviously loves Hatter and is working to save him. As they finish their assigned tasks, she watches his father and the woman that is Hatter’s mother.
Once Alice K. has finished her part, she hands the empty bottle to Mirana and goes to her mate. He is still so very angry and she needs to calm him down for now. Whomever did that to their son will pay. Tarrant takes her in his arms and keeps a wary eye out for anyone that is close to his friends and family. He especially keeps an eye on the Hearts. That family is one to always keep an eye out on. His gaze comes back to the other Alice and he observes how much she cares for his son. He suspects, knowing Wonderland as well as he does, that the bonding between the two has already begun. He has heard from Chess that his son has inherited the Madness from him, but to a lesser degree, and that it comes out when this woman is threatened. He can understand that all too well.
All of a sudden Hatter coughs and opens his eyes, groaning out, “Oh gods, what is that taste?” His next thought is for Alice. ‘Where is she?’ Hatter can feel Alice, but not see her. Before he can get anxious, he looks up and is greeted with her beautiful blue eyes. There is such worry in them that he sits up, turns around and pulls her in his arms in one smooth motion. “Luv, what’s wrong?”
Alice is shocked at how fast he moves. He must have been hurting from all of their escapades and she never knew it all this time. She closes her eyes in relief; he had scared her badly and now holds on to him as if her sanity relies on it, trembling slightly.
Hatter is getting more worried and when he looks around, he realizes his shirt is off, his mother is upset, his fa looks murderous, and Mirana looks exhausted. “What happened?”
Absolem speaks up and tells him, “Stupid child, you were too busy caring about your Alice, you let your wounds get the better of you. If it hadn’t been for your Alice’s and Mirana’s quick actions and thinking, you may have died.”
Hatter holds Alice tighter, realizing that not only had he almost caused her to lose him, he had deeply worried her. Not to mention his mum and fa. He looks up from the trembling woman in his arms and takes in his parent’s and friends’ worried and shocked faces. “I’m so sorry. I was planning to ask Mirana in private for some of her potions. I didn’t want to worry you.” He couldn’t believe he had been so stupid. Then the color of his fa’s eyes sinks in, he sees his mum upset, and asks, “Why are you so upset?”
Tarrant growls out, his brogue so heavy he is barely understood. “Wha bloody slurvish guddler’s scut dar’d to hurt ye?” His tone makes it very clear he is going to get an answer, one way or the other, as he holds his mate close to him in a loving, but protective manner. It is also very clear that he wants to protect his son but realizes that he can’t. His very nature demands retribution for the pain caused to his. The conflict is a great one, but this man embraces it and makes it work for him.
Alice watches the man in front of her and suddenly understands Hatter better. His protectiveness, love, everything comes from this man in front of her. This is not to say his mother didn’t have a hand in making Hatter what he is today. But, she can understand her love so much more and can see why Tarrant went Mad when his mate left him. She doesn’t know the why’s or how’s of Alice Kingsleigh leaving Tarrant, she just knows from Chess that she had left him at one point. However, Alice knows that even if she could, she never would leave Hatter, she loves him too much to do that to him.
Hatter is not scared of his fa, but he is worried about Alice. But, knowing what his fa needs is an answer, he softly replies as he watches his face. “Mad March an’ the Doctors, Fa. I took care of Mad March myself an’ unless someone released the Doctors, they are dead also.” His childhood brogue coming to the fore, calming both he and his fa with the familiarity of their memories of his childhood. He is relieved to see his fa and mum relax. He can also feel his Alice calming in his arms.
Mirana stands and looks around. She sees Winston standing to the side and calls him over. “Winston, I have enough potions to help out. We need to get this crowd sorted out and settled.”
Winston nods and looking at his son, tells him, “Jack, you are in charge now. I will be here to help, but you need to start taking command. Now saying that, I advise you to listen to your great aunt and follow her instructions.”
Jack stands there shocked. ‘The White Queen is his great aunt?’ He nods his head absently as he turns to her. “Milady, what are your recommendations?”
Mirana watches all of this and nods. “Do you have accommodations in the City for these poor souls?”
Jack thinks and then agrees with Mirana. “Then I suggest you start transporting them to the City.”
Jack turns and Duchess stops him saying softly, “I will take care of it, Jack.” She then turns and motioning to some Diamonds, has them help her get everyone organized.
Jack watches her walk away amazed that this woman cares for him still and has stuck by him. He shakes his head and turning back to his great aunt. “Will you be joining us, milady?”
Mirana glances back at the Hatters and softly answers, “I think that we will need some time to discuss some items of great importance. Will you excuse us?”
Before Jack can protest, or even ask how they plan to get anywhere, Mirana walks up to Alice and the Hatters and says something to them. They all look up at her and then to the people around them and nod.
Then the Cheshire Cat and the Keeper of the Oraculum move towards them and everyone disappears.
Jack shakes his head and wonders if this is the new Wonderland. More importantly, how long will it take for him to be comfortable in it. He turns to see what he can do for his people. Before he gets far, he jumps as the Cheshire Cat reappears in front of his face.
“My dear boy, the potions are to help those who need it. The purple as you saw is for physical wounds and the light blue are for internal. Don’t use any of the others in the satchel without guidance. If you have urgent need, call for me and I will come.” With those instructions, he fades away.
Jack shakes his head in disbelief and walks off taking the satchel with him.