Someone That You Are With

Song I listened to for this chapter: Someone That You’re With by Nickelback

Hatter was walking out the door and ran into the new neighbor moving in across the hallway. ‘Wow! Is she good looking!’ He was going to introduce himself but she was juggling a couple of boxes, so he immediately jumps to help her.

“Thanks. My brother and mom are late coming to help me and I think I grabbed too much on this trip.” She thanks him grinning ruefully. She was 5’5″, long brown hair, sparkling blue eyes, fair porcelain skin. She was slim, but not all bones. She had all the curves a woman should have, but she looked as though she worked out normally. She was wearing jeans and a short sleeve blue t-shirt with flip flops. He loves a woman who was confident enough in themselves to dress casually.

Hatter grins at her and tells her, “No problem. You need help, luv?” He hopes she will agree. He has nothing he would rather be doing than help this woman and hopefully get to know her better.

He walks into her apartment and sets down the boxes in the stack that she must have already brought in. He turns and introduces himself. “My name is Hatter. Well, it’s actually David, but me mates call me Hatter.”

“Hi! My name is Alice. And my friends call me Alice. Where are you from, David?” Alice grins at him, tilting her head showing her amusement.

Hatter laughs and tells her, “You can call me Hatter, Alice. I am from England, Yorkshire actually.” She is delighting him with her teasing.

“Well Hatter, it has been really nice to meet you.” Before she can say anything else, Hatter hears some arguing down the hall.

“No, she is in 208, Mom. And I saw the moving truck outside. She must be already in the apartment!” A broad shouldered blonde, blue eyed man, dressed in a tight green GAP t-shirt and stonewashed jeans walks in with an older blonde, blue eyed woman, in a white blouse and khakis. The family resemblance was unmistakable in the eyes of all three.

Hatter watches as the man hugs Alice in a bear hug. She laughs and tells him, “Charlie, you need to let me down!”

Charlie sets her down and then notices Hatter standing there. He extends his hand and says, “Good morning! My name is Charlie, the big brother to Alice, here.”

Hatter shakes his hand and tells him, “My name is Hatter. I live across the hall. Saw your sister trying to juggle boxes and lent a hand.” He grins at him.

Charlie throws his head back and laughs. “She always tries to handle more than she can.”

Hatter notices Alice’s grimace on her face at her brother’s words. He could just imagine how she feels. His brothers are a pain in the butt most of the time, but never have any of them said anything like that to each other, even in the teasing manner that Charlie says it to his sister.

Alice turns to David, “It was nice meeting you, Hatter. We will probably see a lot of each other, being neighbors and such. Thanks for the help, but now that my family has finally showed up, we can get this sorted.”

David smiles at her again and tells her, “No problem. Please don’t hesitate in letting me know if you need some help or anything else.” He hopes she will take him up on his offer.

Alice smiles back at him and tells him, “I will! Have a great day!”

Hatter grins and tips his hat to everyone and leaves. He starts whistling as he walks down the hall. He needs to talk with some people today and get some other things done. But for the rest of the day, as he works, Alice was constantly on his mind.

That night when he returns, he sees the moving truck is gone. He grins and goes up to his apartment; maybe he will see if Alice needs anything?

That was earlier, now he was standing here looking out the peep hole. He had heard someone knocking and his curiosity got the better of him. He was spying on his pretty neighbor. What Hatter sees upset him, to say the least. There is a tall blonde man in a suit standing outside her door with a bouquet of flowers.

Then Alice, pretty Alice, opens the door and is grinning at the man. He watched as she is surprised by the bouquet. Alice moves inside the apartment for a couple of seconds then returns with her purse and they leave.

Hatter leans his head against the door. He didn’t know who the bloke is, but he sure does hate him right now, going out with the person he wants to be taking out.

The guy looks familiar to him and he frowns trying to think who he was. Unable to think of who the bloke is, Hatter moves away from the door, going back to his desk and works. Later that night it dawns on him that the guy is from apartment 408. Bloody hell he moves fast!

Hatter’s phone rings and he looks at it briefly before he grins and answers it. “Hiya Carlotta! What you be needing tonight?” He listens to his brother’s girlfriend talk and finally says, “Alright! I be getting ready and I meet you both there?” After listening to her instructions, he rolls his eyes and agrees as he hangs up.

He meets up with his brother Santo and Carlotta at the bar around the corner. The three of them are close, in fact Hatter dated Carlotta when he had first arrived back in the States and they had separated as friends. He had introduced her to his brother and the rest is bob’s your uncle.

Tonight Carlotta and Santo see that their brother is distracted, and finally, after receiving an “uh huh” for the fifth time, Carlotta demands, “So who is on your mind Hatter?”

Hatter jerks and looks quickly at the two of them staring at him. “No one. Why you ask?”

Carlotta laughs and tells him, “You have not been listening to the two of us all evening. The last time I ever saw you this distracted, was when we dated. So who is on your mind?”

Hatter sighs and tells them, “A new lady moved in across from me. I met her this morning and she’s friendly. And very pretty. Her name be Alice and I just cannot seem to get her out of me mind. I was thinking of seeing if she needed anything and some bloke from the floor above managed to get to her first.”

Santo and Carlotta look at each other and grin. Santo tells his little brother, “Well, well, well. My little brother has finally found someone that interests him! So what are you going to do about it?”

Hatter groans and tells them, “I have no bloody idea. I do know I want to get to know her better.” His head falls on his hands.

Carlotta moves to him and rubs his back. “Hatter, try to get to know her better. Try talking to her. Use that charm of yours. Don’t just give up.” She looks concerned and glances over to Santo.

Santo nods and tells Hatter, “C’mon bro, tell me about her.” The rest of the evening is spent with Hatter telling them what little he knew and them talking about what he can do.

The next day he was taking out the trash and sees her coming out of her apartment with a load of boxes crushed. Without even thinking about it, he jumps to grab them from her.

“Here Alice, let me help you.” He grabs most of the boxes and would have grabbed the rest but she smiles and nods her head negatively at him.

“Thanks, Hatter. I see chivalry is not yet dead in England.” Alice teases him, as she notices his face fall. This causes Hatter to cheer back up.

They continue to talk as they walk to the dumpster. Once they deposit the trash in there and the boxes in the correct container, they turn to walk back.

Hatter was happy, Alice has a great sense of humor and they were really talking. He was getting ready to ask her if she wanted to catch a movie when the bloody bloke from the floor up above comes down the stairs as they were walking up.

“Alice! I was hoping to meet with you, want to go see a movie tonight?” The bloke from above was cheerful and has taken her hand as he speaks to her.

Alice blushes and glances at Hatter. She then straightens up and answers, “Jack, I would love to. What time would you like to come to pick me up?”

Hatter couldn’t listen to them anymore. He grins at Alice and motions with his head that he is going to head to his apartment. Once he gets back inside, he hits the door as he slides down it. Who in bloody hell is this blooming Jack? He shakes his head and moves away from the door. He spends the rest of the day straightening his apartment. Later he leaves to deposit some more recyclables in the bins and he hears her music on and her singing along to it. He smiles, entranced by her and her antics. Hatter swears to himself he will do better and will win her.

The next day he doesn’t have a chance to do anything since he was obligated to the family dinner. He drives to his foster parent’s house in his Jaguar. He uses the drive to think of what he could do to win Alice and starts making a plan. Before long he pulls into his parent’s home and gets out looking at all the cars. He is puzzled why there are so many people here.

When he comes in, his nieces and nephews attack his legs telling him, “Uncle Hatter! Come on! Everyone is waiting on you!”

He leans down and picks up his niece that has just started talking. “Hello there, luv! Now tell Uncle Hatter, why is everyone waiting on me?” He makes big eyes at her and pouts.

The adorable 2 year old, Annie with dark hair and bright violet eyes laughs at him. “Unkewl Ha, I naw allowew!”

Hatter blows a raspberry at her as he moves through the house with all the other children laughing at him. He loves kids and especially the ones that are related to him. He was laughing at them and their antics as they all try to tell him about their past week and talking over each other to do this. As he walks into the kitchen, his niece squirms to be let down and he puts her down gently. He then moves to kiss his mum on the cheek.

His mum was beautiful, with all the foster children she had adopted, you would think she would have been run ragged, but she had managed to control them and her husband over the years. She is a slight woman with dark brown hair and brown eyes that matches the young man standing in front of her.

She turns to her son and exclaims, “David! I missed you!” She kisses his cheek and grins at him.

This son was a true son to her and her husband, James. This was her sister’s child, but her sister had died on the table. No one knew who the father was at the time, so Angie and James adopted him. They lived in England for 10 years before moving to the States. Once here, they adopted 3 other boys and 2 girls. James was wealthy from his inheritance and his practice as a physiologist. Angie stayed home to raise the kids. But David was their first and neither of them ever thought of him as their nephew, but as their son.

Hatter grins down at his mum and asks, “So why are all the munchkins riled up?” He moves to taste the sauce she is stirring and she hits his hand.

“David! None of that! Santos and Carlotta are here and they may have mentioned a girl?” She grins at him as he moans.

“Mum! She is me neighbor and yes I like her. But I cannot seem to be able to get a date or anything other than some casual chit chat as I help her take out the trash.” Hatter grouches at her. He had hoped to keep this quiet for now.

“David, now you know your mum and I have been waiting for you to bring a girl home to the family.” James was laughing at his longest adopted son as Hatter rubs his hand across the back of his neck. James was tall, dark and handsome. Literally. He was 6’4″, had dark mahogany hair with grey eyes. Even now the woman in his practice nicknamed him Dr. McSteamy. Angie had laughed herself to tears when she heard and had gotten herself a t-shirt that said I am with Dr McSteamy to wear at the company picnic.

Hatter shakes his head and tells them both, “I am trying, but some bloke named Jack has been asking her out before I get the chance.” He watches his dad walk up to his mum and pulls her close to him. This is what he has been wanting. He didn’t do much casual dating because he wants the connection he sees in front of him.

The rest of the family chooses that moment to pour into the kitchen from wherever they were before he came in. Santo and Carlotta grin as they see Hatter getting the attention of the family. They know he was never going to say anything and so they told everyone. They didn’t do it to be mean, they just wanted the family to know and help support their younger brother. Hatter may have been the first adopted, but he is the baby of the family. And everyone loves Hatter and wants to see him happy.

Hatter moans and tells Santo, “You couldn’t belt your mouth could you?” Everyone laughs at him and he grins at them.

Jennifer, one of his sisters, tells him, “Hatter, we just want to see you happy. And from what these two have told us, you are sunk hook, line and sinker. So we all came down to try to help you out.” She grins at him as her two children look up at her and her husband, Jake.

Brent chuckles at the look at Hatter’s face. “Well to be truthful, the girls told us men to leave you alone. Actually they said if we can’t tell you something that was not testosterone heavy, to keep our mouths belted up.” The rest of the family laughs at Brent’s poor attempt to mirror Hatter’s accent.

Hatter grins at his family. “I be more than happy to take advice from the better halves of this family. I remember your advice given to me once in high school. I don’t think I have ever lived it down yet!” He grins at his brothers, both the adopted and married ones. He loves his family.

The rest of the evening is spent talking about Alice and what he can do to get her attention. His mum said he is doing a great job, with helping her as much as he has. The family agrees with her and helps form up some more plans. The planning took the entire evening and was lively. No meeting of the family is not without its jokes and this evening is no different. But all the joking is never mean. Most of it was when anyone notices Hatter getting a little preoccupied.

As the evening winds down, everyone is in the sitting room. Hatter had left to grab a drink and was now leaning against the door jam watching his family. His ever present hat is perched up on his hair. He felt a pair of arms wrap around his waist and he looks back at his sister, Layla. She grins at him and tells him, “We love you, Hatter. You do know that?”

Hatter nods at his sister. Layla resembles their mum a lot for one not blood related to the family. She is small, petite and has light hazel eyes with her black hair. She is also the closest to Hatter, which is saying a lot in this family.

“Layla, this sounds all great, but I really like Alice. I have no idea how I am going to get her attention.” He puts an arm around her as they look out on their family.

“Hatter, it won’t be easy, but you helped Aaron and I get together. In fact, you have played a pretty significant role in getting most of us together. We just want to help now.” Layla looks up at Hatter. He smiles down at her and goes back to watching the family. She can see the want in his eyes and her heart goes out to him. Hatter is very kind and she has told the truth, he has helped every one of his brothers and sisters find their true love. Now it was their turn to help him.

Soon after that, the family breaks up and they all leave. Angie and James wave goodbye as they watched all their children leave in the mayhem. They are always shocked no one is left behind or in the wrong cars with they all leave in such a chaotic mess. But they grin down at each other as they see the last car leave.

“So you think the plans are going to work?” Angie looks up at her husband as they move to go inside.

James grins down at her and answers, “I have no idea. But I do know something will happen with all of them working towards it. Who knows, maybe I will get to meet my missing daughter?”

They grin at each other and close the door to the house.

The plans were easy. And Hatter starts on them the following morning. He walks across the hall and knocks on Alice’s door. He could hear her music on in the apartment and grins again.

Her door opens and Alice grins as she sees him. “Hatter! Good morning. What can I do for you today?”

Hatter grins at her and sheepishly asks, “My niece is here and I don’t have any syrup for her waffles. Do you have any that I can borrow?”

Alice’s eyes widen and then she answers him quickly. “Yep. Hold on one sec.” She leaves the door open and yells over her shoulder, “I just bought some last Friday.”

Hatter admires her body as he watches her bending over in the cabinet. Hey, male here! I would have to give up my man card if I didn’t admire! She turns around and he grins at her. She smiles back and comes back to the door. She hands him the syrup bottle.

“Alice, why don’t you come over and have some breakfast with my niece and I.” When she starts to protest, he interrupts her and says, “Nonsense. You are supplying the most important part of the meal according to my niece. Please join us, Alice.” Just then his door opens and Annie peaks out at her.

Alice’s heart melts at the adorable 2 year old and agrees. Hatter smiles and moves out of the way.

Alice grabs her keys and joins him. They move across the hall and Alice drops down to Annie’s level. She tells her, “Hi, I am Alice. What is your name?”

Annie smiles shyly at her and answers, “Annie. This is Unkewl Ha.”

Alice laughs and arches an eyebrow at Hatter. “Uncle Ha?”

Hatter grins at her and tells her, “She is the only one allowed to call me that. Well… her and my other nephews and nieces until they can say my name right.” He smiles at the memory.

Alice watches him thoughtfully. They move into his apartment and she can see breakfast was on the table.

Hatter had made bacon and waffles. He moved to the kitchen and came back with an extra glass, plate and utensils. He motions for her to take a seat. When Alice sits down, he sets her place and then helps his niece get her breakfast as Alice watches. Hatter doesn’t even think of it, he makes sure Annie is taken care of, before he moves to take his place.

Alice joins in the conversation, but she is watching him and his interactions with his niece. It was obvious that Annie adored her Unkewl Ha. And Hatter adores her right back. It makes her smile to watch the two. And they don’t ignore her at all. But…the two of them? Adorable is what came to mind.

After breakfast, Alice tries to help with the clean up, but Hatter refuses, telling her she is a guest. Then he turns to Annie and asks her, “Annie, what is the rule about guests?”

Annie looks at her and tells Alice, “Guess relas an haw fun.”

Hatter grins and asks her, “And since you are the hostess, what is your job?”

Annie grins and tells Alice, “I ener… ener… I play wiff you!”

Alice’s heart melts and she tells Annie, “I will be more than happy to play with you!” She looks up at Hatter and she grins.

Hatter smiles back at her. They move into the living room and he cleans up the kitchen. When he finishes, he walks back into the living room. What he sees has him smiling and leaning against the entryway. Alice is on the floor playing with Annie, Candy Land. His heart turns over some more and he knows he is falling for her more.

Alice looks up at Hatter and smiles. Hatter smiles back and then moves to drop besides them. The three of them spend the afternoon playing games. Hatter and Alice trade some looks as they play with Annie.

At 3 o’clock Alice sighs and tells Hatter, “I have to go and finish cleaning my apartment. And unfortunately, I have a dinner I am obliged to go out on.”

Hatter’s smile drops slightly, but before anything can be said, he tells her, “Thanks for the syrup and the company today. Let me walk you across the hall.” He leans down and whispers something to Annie.

Annie jumps up and tells Alice, “Nice to mee ya Awice.” She hugs her and then goes back to playing.

Alice looks down at her and smiles. She then looks up and Hatter holds out his hand to help her stand up. She puts her hand in his and he pulls her up. They stand there close for a couple of seconds, staring at each other. Then Hatter puts her hand in the crook of his arm and pats it. They move slowly out of the room.

Hatter walks her across the hall and deposits her at her door. They both smile at each other. Hatter moves, cups her head softly and tells her, “Thank you very much Alice for spending the day with me niece and I. Now, if you would please move inside and lock your doors, luv, I wish to make sure you are safe before I go back.”

Alice just nods at him and does as he asks. He grins to himself and once he hears the locks engage, he moves back across the hall. Mission accomplished for today.

Jack had taken her out for dinner that night, but Alice had not been as happy to see him when Hatter peeked across the hall. She looks distracted. Hatter smiles to himself.

He hears them when they got back and goes to check on Alice. She is still distracted and keeps glancing at his door. When Jack goes to give her a goodnight kiss, she dodges it and enters her apartment instead. Hatter grins to himself and went to bed.

Today was the next step. He has left a bouquet of wild flowers outside her door this morning. Now he is just waiting for her to open the door.

Alice opens the door, sees them and then she smiles. She leans down, read the card and her smile got bigger as she looks across the hall to his door. She picks them up, goes back into her apartment. She comes back with just one daisy in her hand and a huge smile on her face as she goes to work.

Hatter smiles to himself and says softly, “You didn’t need to take one with you, Alice. There will be plenty for you all day long.” He then goes to his office and works for the rest of the day.

Later that day, Hatter goes to his balcony to enjoy the evening and for a break. He had completed a long web conference earlier and needs the breath of fresh air. He leans on the railing and then his whole demeanor changes from the weary man to a happy one. He was watching Alice return home.

She was smiling, but when she looks up and sees him, her smile grew bigger.

Hatter smiles back at her.

She calls up to him, “Wonderful day isn’t it, Hatter?”

Hatter starts grinning and calls back, “And it just got better, Alice.”

She nods and heads into the stairwell.

This starts a pattern with the two of them. Hatter leaves her presents in the morning, sends her flowers at work. He also makes sure she always has fresh flowers in her apartment.

At first it was Hatter who would borrow odd items from her, but soon it became both of them who would journey across the hall to “borrow” items from each other. In reality they were spending a lot of the time talking to each other about everything and nothing.

Hatter’s family kept showing up and she slowly met them all. Alice and Layla got along famously and Layla was the one who invited her to the Friday get together. These were for the support of Hatter from his family, since he was not dating and they didn’t want him stuck in his apartment. That had started when Bryan had come over and seen Hatter pacing by the phone; Alice had gone out. But that night, there had been no discussions except about family and having a great time by everyone. Alice became a steady fixture at their meeting place after that, always by Hatter’s side.

Three weeks later, Jack is disgruntled when Alice tells him loudly that she would no longer see him. She did this one day coming home from work when her subtle hints to him had been ignored.

Jack waylays her as she was heading to towards the stairwell, interrupting her and Hatter’s daily greeting. “Alice, sweetling, you have not returned my calls. How about we go out tonight and talk while you get your phone checked out.”

Hatter’s fist clenches at Jacks’ condescending tone. But before he could do anything, Alice remarks back loudly, “Jack. I told you I was not interested anymore. There is nothing wrong with my phone, I have not returned your calls intentionally. Now, please get out of my way, you are interrupting my relaxation time.” She then glances up at Hatter and smiles.

Jack sputters and then looks up to see what she is smiling at. Seeing Hatter, he glares at him and then stomps away. Alice and Hatter stare after him, shocked at his childish reaction and then glance at each other. They crack up laughing.

Hatter then calls down to her, “Alice, since Jack has interrupted your relaxation time, would you like to join me for some wine?”

Alice smiles and tells Hatter, “I will be more than happy to.” And that adds another piece to their pattern. That is Monday.

Friday morning, Hatter walks over to Alice’s door and knocks. She answers the door happy and he hands her a bouquet of baby roses. She looks from them to him, surprised.

“Alice, I figured I would surprise you today and just hand your flowers to you. They were too pretty to leave and I also wanted to see you this morning.” Hatter smiles at her. He is happy to see her smile get bigger as she accepts the flowers.

She then leans close and kisses him on the cheek, “Thank you Hatter. They are beautiful.”

Hatter’s smile gets even larger and he tells her, “No more beautiful than the person holding them. Have a great day, Alice.” He turns and walks down the hall to the stairs, leaving a surprised and very happy Alice behind him.

Over the course of the day, Alice had a large bouquet of roses delivered to her as well as other little things. Her smile never faded all day long.

When she came home, Layla was sitting on the curb waiting on her. “Alice!”

Alice looks at her and then glances at Hatter’s balcony, trying to see if he was there.

Layla grins and tells her, “He isn’t there. But I am here to help you get ready.”

Alice looks disappointed for a second. She is beginning to treasure their afternoons together. She enjoys getting to know Hatter as well as she has.

Layla’s grin gets bigger and she tugs on Alice’s arm. “Don’t worry, you will see him soon enough. Now tell me about your day.”

Hatter smiles to himself as he listens to his sister’s chatter as they walk up the stairs. It had been hard not to greet Alice as he normally does, but he admits his sis was right. When he hears them go inside, he heads into his own apartment to get ready for tonight. Tonight is the night he tells her.

The group was gathered at their normal place. Layla drags Alice through the crowd, noticing Alice was looking for Hatter. She is so happy that her brother has found his love. And seeing the faces of her family as they watch Alice, they are just as happy.

They were here to be support for Hatter, knowing how nervous he was. He hid it well and in fact he had added to their plans so well that everyone could tell how much thought he had put not only into this, but they remembered his help with all of their relationships.

Hatter was watching them and was happy. If everything went as well as he hopes, he will have Alice as his someone. He takes a deep breath and moves over to them. He walks up behind Alice and softly tells her, “You’re even more beautiful tonight, Alice.”

Alice turns in her chair and smiles at him. She then throws her arms around him, telling him, “I missed you today. Your evil sister kidnapped me.”

Hatter’s smile grew even bigger and he tells her as he holds her close, “I’m sorry, luv. Will you ever forgive me?”

Alice sighs and tells him, “Only if you make it up to me, Hatter.”

Hatter grins and asks her, “Will you join me for a dance?” She draws back and looks into his eyes. She knew he danced very well, but hardly did it. Carlotta told her it was because he likes to dance with either family members or with someone he likes. She saw his sincerity in his eyes and agrees.

The two of them dance for a couple of sets. Then a slow song came on and Hatter asks her with his eyes if she will stay with him. She nods and he pulls her into his arms. They gently sway with the music.

Hatter tells himself, this is it. Ask her. He is very nervous and finally asks softly, “Alice?”

Alice answers him, “Yes?”

Hatter swallows and starts, “Alice, I don’t know if you have noticed, but I really like you. Actually I believe by now it is more than just like, but…damn.” He takes another breath and tries to start again, “Alice, I have watched you go out with Jack. I have paced by the door and phone waiting for you to come home, hating that you may be out with him, getting ready to kiss him. I have liked you from the minute I ran into you across the hall. But every time I tried to ask you out, Jack beat me to it. I wanted so much to be the one you were out with. But now, now I would like to ask you if you would like to be that someone with me?”

He was staring into her blue eyes as he finishes. Alice smiles at him and tells him, “I have been waiting for you all this time. I will love to be that someone you are with and for you also to be with me.”

Hatter grins at her and then he kisses her right there. Alice melts into his arms as their lips move against each others. They kiss until someone tells them, “Get a room you two!”

They broke apart to see Layla and her husband Aaron grinning at the two of them. Hatter and Alice grin to each other and Hatter pulls her closer to him. He murmurs to Alice, “Thank you.”

Alice smiles back at him and tells him, “Thank you, Hatter.”

The two of them start to date. They meet in each other’s apartments for movies, never abandoning their prior habits, just adding more.

Charlie stops by one day to chat with Hatter, telling him as the man of the family, he has to tell him to be careful with his sister. Then Charlie grins and tells him, “Now that is out of the way, I am glad you are the one she likes. Finally a sane one!”

After that Charlie starts to join in on the Friday meetings, being welcomed into their group. He and Alice love Hatter’s family and were both generally awed to meet all of the clan. The following weekend they are both invited to join in the family dinners. They both love all the children and have been to every dinner since then.

Alice’s mom soon joins the dinners. She gets along with Angie and James very well and just like Alice and Charlie, adores the munchkins.

This continues for a year, until it was time for Hatter and Alice to renew their leases on their apartments. They both thought it was silly to continue to pay for two apartments when they were over in Hatter’s most of the time. But then Hatter tells Alice, “My house is almost finished. Would you like to see it and see if you still want to move in with me?”

Alice stares at him flabbergasted. She quickly nods, remembering him mentioning that he was building a house. She never put two and two together to realize it was his own house he was building.

They go the following evening to look over it and Alice is impressed.

They walk through the house and Hatter gently moves her to the backyard. She takes a deep breath when she sees a table for two in the middle of the gazebo. The gazebo is covered in fairy lights and is breathtaking. Hatter escorts her to the table.

They enjoy dinner, talking about the house. Once they are done, Hatter moves to her side and then drops down to one knee. “Alice, I have loved you since I first saw you. My feelings for you have never diminished; only grown in the past year. I don’t want to live my life unless you are beside me every step of the way. I remember all you have told me about what your dream house and tried to put every one of them in this house. This house, which I hope to live with you in as your husband, if you want me; Alice, will you marry me?”

Alice gasps and then tells him, “Of course! I love you, Hatter!” She jumps into his arms and he catches her, kissing her. He holds her hand out and gently slides the ring on. She doesn’t even glance at it, just holds him close.

The year they spend planning the wedding speeds by. Everyone tries to help and Alice gets all of her and Hatter’s family involved in the wedding. She manages to actually have one of those rare weddings, a stress free one. Everything and everyone gets along and there are no snags.

Both Hatter and Alice are thrilled with their families and soon, it is their wedding day.

Alice is standing at a mirror, shocked at how beautiful she looks as both of her mothers look on with pride. Her brother comes in and tells her, “Alice, you are beyond words. Hatter is one lucky dude. Of course, so am I, getting to walk you down the aisle!” Both James and Charlie are walking Alice down the aisle today.

Alice smiles at them and asks, “Hatter?”

Charlie smiles, “He is waiting for you, calmer than most grooms actually. He told me that he was just eager to start your lives together. You lucked out with that one sis.”

Alice nods, knowing how lucky she is.

The wedding starts an hour later and is perfect. Both Hatter and Alice only had eyes for one another during the ceremony. Their love for each other was so very present, that the ceremony was just an affirmation of their love.

During the reception, a lot of teasing took place about “The Plan” and how blind Hatter had been to Alice. Both Alice and Hatter took it well, eventually turning the tables when a video was shown on how Hatter had helped every one of his siblings get their spouse. The ribbing will not end, but the two of them show that they have no problems getting back at the rest of them.

That night, they dance slowly and Hatter asks Alice, “Are you happy, luv?”

Alice looks at him and replies softly, “Yes Hatter. Thank you for running into me in the hallway.”

Hatter smiles down at his wife and tells her, “You’re so very welcome. Thank you for being that someone with me.” They kiss…

Fairfarren all! Wendy

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