Hatter and Goodbyes

Story:  Alice Syfy

Song:  This Ain’t a Love Song by Scouting for Girls

Written by: Kittyinaz

Summary:  After Alice left Hatter in the Looking Glass room what happened.

Author Notes: I have wanted to write something to this song for awhile.  But my stories never seem to lean towards this song.  So I figure I would do this one.

Hatter watched as the technician pushed Alice through the Looking Glass.  His feelings were all over the place.  What did she mean when she said ‘and lots of other things?’

He had seen her hugging Jack earlier and then her accepting the Stone of Wonderland.  Sure she had put it in the receptacle that powers the Looking Glass, but didn’t she and the other Oysters need to go home?  He was sure that she was just finishing up business there in her world so that she could come back to be Jack’s Queen.

Hatter stood there in the same spot until the room emptied.  He never noticed the pitying looks that were thrown his way from different people in the room as they watched then left. He never noticed anything until it was too dark in the room to see anything.  He had stood there all day remembering everything that Alice and he had gone through.

Hatter finally moved to leave.  He had nowhere to really go, but his feet led him to his Tea Shoppe.  He had visited it briefly to clean up, not wanting Alice to see how bad he had been hurt by the Doctors.  He hadn’t had much time to even do that, not wanting to be late and miss Alice, so he had cleaned up but not changed his clothing.  Then he had run to the Looking Glass room to try to convince Alice to stay with him or for him to go with her back to her world.  There was nothing here left for him anymore.  Everything in him didn’t want this world unless she was in it.  If she didn’t want to be here, not that he blamed her, Hatter would go with her back to her world.

But when he ran through the doors and saw her hugging Jack, he remembered the confrontation in the Kingdom of Knights and how right Jack had been.  Jack was able to offer Alice everything she deserved.  She deserved to be the queen that she was.  What did Hatter have to really offer her? He was owner of a Tea Shoppe that was now out of business.

Hatter walked in the Tea Shoppe and headed back to his office.  He sat down in his chair and thought about Alice for the rest of the night.  He was a bloody big mess inside.

Dormie walked in the next morning and found Hatter sitting in his chair.  He looked Hatter over, noticing he looked like shit.  Dormie turned and went to their secret stash of healing teas, grabbing one, he brought it to Hatter.

Hatter was startled when he heard Dormie say his name.  He looked up at his friend and waited to hear what he has to say.

Shocked by what he saw in Hatter’s face, Dormie tried again, “Boss, you need to drink this.  It will help with your injuries.”

Hatter just stared at Dormie.  When Dormie offered the tea again, Hatter took it and drank.  He handed it back to Dormie and turned in the chair to face away; he didn’t really want to deal with anyone right now.

Dormie was taken aback.  The healing teas did their job, but it always felt like whatever had done the damage was reversing itself.  Hatter had never shown much when it was working in the past, but for him to dismiss it completely was way out of character, even for him.  Dormie decided to work on the Tea Shoppe and leave his Boss alone, for now.

Hatter never heard or saw anything but his memories for the rest of the day. Friends of his and Dormie had come by to help with the rebuilding of the Tea Shoppe.  Dormie made excuses for him all day.  Jack had sent some suits to help and take stock of what had been damaged.  The same question was asked all day, “How was Hatter handling it?”

Rumors had flown around Wonderland about its newest heroes.  Hatter and Alice.  A lot of Wonderland was upset that the two were not together and was not sure who to blame.  The popular guilty party was Jack.  But to be honest, the King of Wonderland was not thought well of at this time, with his demands that all the Tea be turned into the Hospital of Dreams.  He had explained it was to make sure that all Tea Heads will be sent through detox safely.  But who wanted to give up their feelings?

So as the rumors flew through the city, with eye witnesses being made much of, there was no question that Hatter had lost the girl.  People who had never known Hatter personally showed up to help out, and to satisfy their curiosity.

That night Dormie made his way to the office.  What he saw shocked him and frightened him a little bit.  Hatter had not moved.  Not an inch.  This was not good.  Hatter was hyper and never could sit in one place for very long.

Dormie walked over and stared at Hatter.  Realizing his Boss had it bad, he decided to get help.  He left without saying anything to Hatter and went to the palace.  When he entered, he asked to see Jack.  When asked who he was and what his business was, he answered just, “Hatter.”

He was moved quickly to where Jack was, in an office done in reds and whites.

Jack looked exhausted as he tried to deal with not only the mess his mother had left him but also with grief from his father passing away.  His father had not been there much for him as he got older, but he still remembered the his father’s kind words.  The last thing his father had done was tell him to always trust the caterpillars.  He had done so when Caterpillar had found him and recruited him into the Resistance.

Hearing the door open he looked up and was surprised to see Dormie.  The mousy Wonderlander was well known through the Resistance as the man who could pass messages; Jack had used him many times.  So to say he was surprised to see him was an understatement, he was in fact very worried.

Jack asked Dormie, “How may I help you?”

Dormie looked at the King of Wonderland and repeated the same word. “Hatter.”

Jack’e eyebrow lifted in surprise.  “How do you know Hatter?”

Sighing, Dormie replied, “I work for him.”

Jack was even more surprised.  He, just like the rest of the Resistance never asked about anyone’s true lives.  It was one way to protect them all.  But to find out that Dormie worked for Hatter, well to say it was a shock was like saying the White Rabbits weren’t frightened by everything.

But then Jack felt remorse.  He remembered the scene in the Kingdom of Knights when he insulted the Tea Shoppe owner trying to win Alice’s affections.  He had been jealous over his toy and desperate to fulfill his task.  He had come to care for Alice.  A lot.  But the kiss that he had interrupted and then how Hatter had stuck by her?  That made him jealous.  So he had done everything in his power to convince Alice to come with him.  Now with how he felt about Duchess, he felt remorse.  Jack had never cared for Alice the same way.  But with all she had done, all he had done to her, Duchess and he felt as though she deserved the right to become the Queen of Wonderland, all of it as soon as he could hand it to her.  So he offered.  And never was so happy when she turned him down.

But he had seen Hatter’s face when Alice was pushed through the Looking Glass and had been waiting for Hatter to come to him for permission to use the Glass, in fact.  He had worked in the meantime to establish an identity for Hatter in Alice’s world.  Jack just wanted these two to have their happy ending.  But somehow it had gotten off the track and it saddened him.

Jack asked softly, “Why are you here Dormie, instead of Hatter?”

Dormie looked at his King and told him, “Hatter has not moved at all since last night.  I gave him a healing tea to heal all his injuries and he didn’t even flinch.  I know he was tortured by the Doctors.  He has not moved at all since then.”

Jack was surprised.  Then he realized that Hatter of all the residents of Wonderland would know how to feel.  There were select few in Wonderland who remained able to feel as much as an Oyster.  And Hatter, with his legacy, would, of course, be one of those few.

Jack told Dormie, “I think you will need to find the White Knight.  If Hatter saw me, he would move, but I think he is thinking Alice choose me over him, while in reality, she choose him.  But, like a fool, he didn’t tell her how he felt for her.  When he is ready, let him come to me and I will get him to the Looking Glass.  I also have everything set up for him to live in Alice’s world.”

Dormie stared at Jack, “Thank you.  Where is the White Knight?”

Hatter was brought to awareness by a voice he had not expected to hear:  Charlie.  He focused and saw the White Knight in front of him.

Charlie stared at Hatter and asked him, “Why are you here Harbinger?  Why are you not with Alice of Legend?”

Hatter just stared up at the Guardian of the Curtsy.  He finally relented to speak when Charlie did not move. “Alice left.  She went back to her world.  It is safer for her there of course.  I don’t know if she was coming back, but if she is, it will be as Jack’s Queen.”

Charlie nodded and told Hatter, “Alice turned down Jack, Harbinger.”

Hatter stared up at Charlie in shock.  “She did what?”

Charlie looked down at Hatter and told him, “When Jack asked Alice to be his Queen, she told him no, that she wanted something different.  It has been obvious to everyone that she wants you.  But here you sit.”

Hatter sat there just staring at Charlie.  “If she wanted me, why didn’t she-” He could not finish that sentence, it hurt too much.

Charlie looked at Hatter and his face softened. “Harbinger, Just Alice cares for you.  But she is still nervous.  Matters of the heart make everyone nervous, she is no different.  But I was there, I saw and heard her tell you she wanted to do so much more with you than pizza.”

Hatter slumped in his seat.  “I lost her didn’t I, since I didn’t follow her.  Charlie, how did I mess everything up?  All I wanted is to have a happy ever after with her.  Heck, I really just wanted to have a hug.”

A new voice came in and told Hatter, “You haven’t mess anything up.  The Looking Glass can also travel in time.”

Hatter and Charlie looked up quickly to see Jack leaning against the pillar.  Hatter stood quickly.

Jack told him, “Hatter, I am sorry for insulting you. So sorry.  I have some idea how you feel; I feel the same way about Duchess.  So I am here to help.”

Hatter asked bluntly, “If you love Duchess, then why ask Alice to be your Queen?” He needed to know.

Jack sighed and told him, “Duchess and I thought she deserved to be Queen of Wonderland.  All of Wonderland.  I was going to step down, as soon as possible.  It is the least I could do for all she had done for us.”

Hatter just stared at Jack.  “Would you of married her?”  His verbal filter was not working.  And truthfully, he didn’t care.

Jack looked at him and told him truthfully, “You know I wouldn’t have.  It would have been binding to both of us and neither of us wants each other.  That would have been unnecessarily cruel.”

Hatter relaxed, knowing now that the man in front of him didn’t want Alice.  Marriage here was permanent but Alice wouldn’t have known that.  Jack could have had her, with her not knowing until it was too late.  But Jack had stated that he would not have done that.

Jack continued, “I have set up an identity for you in her world, Hatter.  You are both more than welcome to live in Wonderland, or even visit.  I will have the Looking Glass tuned to you both and if either of you wants to come back, you can.”

Hatter and Charlie stared at the King.  He was telling Hatter that they had the ability to use the Looking Glass no matter what.  Once that was programmed in, it could never be removed. And if there were hostile people in the Looking Glass chamber, it would drop them elsewhere.  So, there would be no way to stop either Alice or Hatter from coming back to Wonderland.

Hatter finally moved and stopped in front of the King.  He held out his hand to Jack. “Thank you.”

Jack nodded and then told Hatter, “You and Alice are to be revered in the Kingdom.  If you come back, there will be a place in court to help restore Wonderland. Choose where you want, when you want.”

Hatter could see the sincererity in Jack’s eyes and nodded.  He then asked, “How soon can I leave?”

Jack smiled, “Now.  I would be happy to escort you there.”

Hatter grinned. “Just give me a minute?  I think I need to change.”

At Jack’s answering grin, Hatter ran to his private room above the Tea Shoppe.  He changed and grabbed clothes that he thought could pass him for any scrutiny in Alice’s World.  When he was done, he grabbed a black hat and went back down.

Dormie had joined them and Hatter told him, “Thanks.  If I don’t return, this is yours.  I would give it to you, but I will need a way to keep Alice in the fashion she deserves.”

Jack cleared his throat and told Hatter, “You two will never need to worry about it, either here or in the other world.  It’s just a little token of Wonderland’s thanks.  This was voted on unanimously by the court, after a demand from the city.”

Hatter swallowed, “Thanks, but methinks Alice will have something to say about that!”

Jack grinned back, “Tell her she will have to try to convince me otherwise in person.”

The two laughed, acknowledging that they were on the way to be friends, and possibly could have been all this time. There was something in both that balanced the other out.  Jack hope that Alice and Hatter would come back; he would need advisors such as they as Wonderland was restored.  His Kingdom needed a lot of work, much less the Kingdom of the Knights, which he also wanted to restore.  A kernel of an idea came to him and he smiled.

The group made their way to the Looking Glass and waited as it powered up.  Charlie told Hatter, “I look forward for you to return with Alice of Legend.  Be well, Hatter.”

Hatter shook his hand, acknowledging Charlie’s use of his name.  He then turned to Jack.

Jack handed him a packet and told him, “Here is everything you will need in the other World.  Your name is listed as David Kingsliegh. I too wish you all the best and hope to see you both back here soon.”

Hatter smiled and then walked to the Looking Glass.  He looked back at his friends and waived as he stepped through.

Author’s Ending Notes: And I will leave it there.  We know what happens.  As for the rest?  We will see.  I have plenty of stories to work on now!  Let me know what you think and please submit stories!!! 

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