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We're All Mad Here [Hatter]

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We're All Mad Here [Hatter]

Post by Alice on Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:30 pm

It had been three days since Alice had returned to Wonderland. Three days since she'd learned of its unfortunate demise. Three days since she'd been wandering around the barren plains.

Presently she'd been picked up by guards and dropped in the nearby town. Not that Alice cared - she was too distraught at having lost both the town that she'd loved so much, and the people in it that she cared so much about. Like the Hatter. I wonder what's happened to my dear Hatter... I really should have stayed there when I'd had the chance...

You had things to do back at home.

Be quiet, mind, you're not helping...!


This internal bickering ceased when the girl's stomach gave a very unlady-like growl. She was starving. Various rivers and streams had provided her with a thirst-quencher but food out there in the plains had been non-existent.

The guards, after having heard her ramblings of Wonderland and having politely but firmly attempting to explain that four years had passed since Wonderland's demise, had let Alice go, with a helpful recommendation of cheap lodgings and food.

So now the girl was wandering the streets of the city. It's a rather beautiful place, this town.

Wonderland was better.

Yes, but that's not there any more. You'll have to learn to like this place - there's no way you can get back. No Jabberwocky blood left.

How I wish all this could all be a dream. That I wasn't stuck in this unknown town, homeless, friendless and starving...

Deal with it, missy. No use sulking and crying.


She watched her shoes making footprints in the snow, trying to block out all thoughts. She bumped into someone, mumbled an apology. Something made her look up and her face changed, as if she'd seen a ghost. "H-Hatter?"
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Re: We're All Mad Here [Hatter]

Post by The Hatter on Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:48 pm

Calm, keep calm, Hatter...

He looked up from the sink, into the stained mirror. Wiping the water from his face, he cleaned away the mess from his episode. The make-up washed away in murky water, his wig lay - used and abandoned - on the chair by the door. His hats inhabited the top of the cupboard.

You're OK. Don't fret. Everything is ok. You're safe.
He threw the newly-painted towel into a basket, and headed back into the bedroom.
Collapsing onto the bare mattress, he sighed an exhausted gust of air, letting the dark take him.

It had been weeks since he'd calmed again, relaxed. Working the Tea Party was a stress at the best of times. Escape via his mask and rambling madman of an alter-ego was all his mind could do.

Regaining consciousness a day later to the sound of smashing crockery, he bolted upright. Pulling on a shirt and jacket, and donning his more modest top-hat, he sprinted down the stairs whilst he did up his trousers.

Hopping through the door, pulling on his boots, he ducked underneath a flying teacup - hurled with a keen accuracy from the March Hare.

The hatter looked at the rather shrunken pile of dishes.
"That time already, Hare?"

His only response was a spoon, which flinged soap bubbles across the room, and a screamed "AYE!!!"

With a sweep of the hatter's arms, the broken crockery littering the floor swept up into a whirlwind, and deposited itself down a chute, marked roughly in red as 'YE MESSY BASTARDS'.
The Hare's been busy...

Sprinting across the room, along the tabletop, the Hatter launched hiimself out of an open window.
A plate whizzed overhead as he crouched on the ground, knocking his hat off.

Collecting himself, he stood and turned, flicked his hat to the top of his head (where it belongs, mind you!), and started towards his tea and biscuit supplier, a couple of lanes away.

Walking along the snow-littered streets, he bumped into someone small.
Whirling around to deliver a barrage of indignant responses to the knock, he instead swept the girl before him into his arms.

"You!!! You're back!!!!" he positively shouted, glee on his face. his hat lay on the ground beside the couple, as he swung the familiar girl around.
"It's been horrible since you left! Where have you been?! I've missed you so dearly, Alice!!!"

He placed the girl on the ground again, coughing nervously, and picked up his hat.

Never has a gentleman looked quite so abashed.

"Sorry, it's been truly horrible. I'm just so glad to see you..."
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Re: We're All Mad Here [Hatter]

Post by Alice on Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:25 pm

She grinned from ear to ear, giving a squeal as he picked her up and spun her. "Hatter! It is so incredible to see you!" she giggled into his ear, holding tight as if he was just going to disappear into thin air.

As he placed her down, she became aware that she was probably looking like Cheshire, what with her grin. But she didn't care. It was Hatter! Her wonderful Hatter! The one she'd feared she'd never get to see again. "Oh Hatter," she said softly, reaching out to touch his cheek. It really was most incredible to see him...

Moving away to the side of the street so they weren't blocking it as much, she looked at him seriously. "What happened? I come back and everything's just gone. And everyone keeps telling me that four years have passed. But it couldn't of been. I clearly know that I was only away for one..."

She took a breath to calm herself. It was all just too confusing. The destruction of Wonderland, the time difference.

Not that it matters that much right now. You've found Hatter again. The most important person in Wonderland, really...

"What's been happening? You look like you haven't slept properly in days, poor dear..."
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Re: We're All Mad Here [Hatter]

Post by The Hatter on Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:59 am

"Ah, yes.. I've been under a bit of stress recently. And, well, the Other Hatter came out to play for a bit."

Hatter grimaced, I hate how I feel so different to my wonderful Alice... he thought to himself, before biting his cheek. Hush, Hatter, keep it under control.

He put an arm around her shoulders and steered her back towards the tea shop. As they walked, he began to relate the story to her, the horrible story of Wonderland at War.

"After you left, we were OK, for a time. Great, in fact. But, then, they started arriving. The Dark-Ones, they're called here. But they came, and they ravaged the land, rumor has it that they're fleeing from an even greater evil. But, either way, first the fringes of Wonderland began to whither with their presence - they exude an evil force that kills all life, apart from themselves and each-other.

"The White Queen sent her armies, even I fought against them. But if you managed to clear an area, they would be back within the day - meaner, angrier. The ground whithers at their touch, the citizens of Wonderland kept fighting.

"Eventually, we were pushed so hard that the King of Armonia, whom you will have the great pleasure to find out more about later, sent his armies, thousands strong, to garrison the slowly retreating border.

"For a time, it worked. The fortresses that we created for them, manned by his troops, were strong.
But even they became over-run with time, the fortresses themselves dying with the constant attacks by the dark-ones' with their poison.

"Our people fled. We couldn't hold them back once the fortresses crumbled. And so, slowly, Wonderland died. Now, it's known as the barren wastes, and roaming bands of Dark-Ones inhabit the desert. The old castle has become tainted with evil, and is now home to the leader of those Dark-Ones. The Dark Citadel, the King's Men call it.

"The only thing that's holding them out of our little corner of Ziemia is the passage between the barrens and this land. With the time we gave him (he said, bitter, with a dark shadow over his face), he created mighty stone castles, a wall that reaches up and up so that one can barely see the very top.

"And so, the citizens of Wonderland are now citizens of Armonia, or inhabit the deep forests that surround her. I've heard the White Rabbit is serving under the King himself!

"And I own a tea-party, where people can come to enjoy insane company, magic, and tea. Although the scones can get a tad solid if the Hare hasn't baked a new batch recently."


With the happy upturn, they rounded the last corner and came to a stop. Above them, hung a sign displaying a hat drinking a cup of tea, beautifully detailed with the lettering 'The Mad Hatter's Tea Party'.
The windows had recently been cleaned, and the double doors were opened out to the public. The smells of herbs, spices, and baking were wonderous indeed.
The more jarring sound of flying crockery (or, rather, the crockery coming to a complete and sudden stop at the end of it's journey..) joined in the sensual fray.


The Hatter turned to Alice, his face alight with joy,
"Welcome home?"
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Re: We're All Mad Here [Hatter]

Post by Alice on Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:26 am

Alice frowned slightly upon hearing that. "Are you ok?" she asked seriously, looking into his currently-brown eyes. She waited for a moment before enveloping him in a hug. "I've missed you so much," she murmured, burying her face in his shoulder and holding him tight. She knew that he wasn't going anywhere, knew that he wasn't going to disappear. But Alice wasn't taking any chances. Not after everything.

As she broke away from him, she gave him a tender smile before falling into step with him, face falling at the events that Hatter was re-telling to her. "It's all like a horrible dream. But it's not, is it?" She sighed, linking arms with him as they walked. "I am so glad that you're ok." I don't know what I'd do if I lost you... "I'm glad everyone from Wonderland is ok..."

Approaching the tea shop, her eyes lit up. "Oh Hatter, it's beautiful. Definitely the most perfect place for you." At his next words, her Cheshire grin took up its spot. Definitely. It certainly was welcome home. "Yes, welcome home," she agreed softly, pure joy dancing in her brown eyes. Shyness flitted through them as she reached out to take his hand. "Shall we?"

Entering, she looked around the place. It was almost the same as their tea party back at Wonderland. She closed her eyes, the smile never leaving her lips, feeling as if she'd suddenly been transported back there. "You're incredibly late you know. Naughty..." she remembered Hatter scolding her lovingly. She was always late it seemed. Late for absolutely everything.

"It's wonderful," she said as she opened her eyes again and looked back at him. "Just like I remember. Well, almost as I remember..." She sniffed the air. "Is the Hare baking again?" she asked with a giggle.

The sound of cutlery being flung across the room confirmed her theory and she giggled again. It felt wonderful to laugh again... "So then, what's the treat of the day courtesy of our lovely chef? Cupcakes? Scones? Spoons?"
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Re: We're All Mad Here [Hatter]

Post by The Hatter on Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:41 pm

"Of course I'm OK!" he said, wrapping his arms around her and kissing the top of the girl's head. As he began to run out of breath, he gasped, "You don't have to squeeze me tightly, I'm not disappearing anywhere any time soon!"


He grumbled to himself,
"Not everyone is ok. But, whoever made it out is alright now. We make our lives, same as everyone else.
"And it is a horrible nightmare. But it is no dream..."



--


Taking Alice's hand whispering "He's taken a new fancy to it...", he walked into the door, declaring loudly to all who could hear, "I'm back. I don't have tea and biscuits, but I do have a guest!"

The March Hare spun around, eyes wild. He was dressed in a small pink apron, and covered in flour.
"Is tha' the REAL Alice?! Again?!"
He threw hot scones in their direction, before running over.
"SCOOON!!!"

"And welcome, Alice, to our Tea Party!" the Hatter finished quietly, catching the scones in his left had, butter side facing out from his palm.
Handing one to Alice, he chomped on his own, taking a quarter in a bite.

The Hatter walked around the table, and took his throne at the head of the table. Placing his feet wearily onto the table-top, he took a mug of fresh tea, and sighed a deep breath of content.
"Find a spot, my dear Alice. And please, do help yourself!"

A smile spread across his face.
Ahhh, familiar times and faces, memories of happy days...

He blatantly ignored his general's colours, Wonderland flag, and blood-stained scimitars, which were displayed above him.
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Re: We're All Mad Here [Hatter]

Post by Alice on Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:44 pm

Alice let go of him, looking a tad sheepish. "I'm sorry. I just...I'm really glad to see you," she mumbled sheepishly, looking down at her snow-covered shoes. "And because after everything you've been through, you really deserve a hug."

~

Ducking just in time to miss being welcomed with a scone to the face, Alice giggled. Same old Hare... "Thank you," she said with a nod to Hatter, before seating herself to his right. Pulling a jar of raspberry jam towards her, she placed a dollop onto her scone and bit into it. Ohgeez... "Hare, these are amazing!" she called out to him, eyes lit up as she savoured the baked sweetness that was her first meal in days.

With a manic giggle, the March Hare threw two more scones at her. "You're all late for tea!" he cackled before plonking himself down several seats away from Hatter and busying himself with his own tea.

Smiling, the girl placed the treats on a saucer next to her, before turning her attention back to Hatter. "So, apart from opening up this tea shop and once again having a never-ending tea party, what have you been up to, Hatter?" she asked, taking another (rather unladylike) chomp of her scone and taking a long drink from her tea. Mother and Margaret would be appalled at my manners. Her mind smirked at the idea. Brilliant.

Her eye was caught by the battle regalia and her smile wavered at she stared at it for a moment, before catching herself and looking back at her dear friend. "In between ducking crockery and scones, and trying to figure out exactly why a raven is like a writing desk..." she added, mischief dancing in her brown eyes over the last comment.
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Re: We're All Mad Here [Hatter]

Post by The Hatter on Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:46 am

"Well, it was good fun setting up my tea party, naturally. Have you noticed the decor?"
The hatter motioned to the ceiling and upper walls, where colourful vines and flowers grew plentiful and bright,
"And I have one of the largest collections of Wonderland flora and fauna left in the world! Which, I can assure you, was fun carrying home. The number of little bites I had was rather impressive for the little blighters."
He glared into the shadows, where the two-toothed Jingleglompers were probably munching on some small, furry creature that they had caught in the night.
"And running this place is fun in itself. Luckily, a couple of old friends are able to keep up the tea-cup and saucer supply in their free time - the magicians of this world are simply astounding!"

He paused, thinking back,
"But not much really happens for me other than this place. Well, until your sudden and rather unexpected arrival!" He grinned a toothy grin, eyes lighting up again.

"But that's rather enough about me. What have you been doing while you've been away these past four years?"
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Re: We're All Mad Here [Hatter]

Post by Alice on Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:09 am

Embarrassingly enough, Alice hadn't really noticed the décor until Hatter pointed it out her. Her mind noticed it, but hadn't exactly paid attention to it. There had been much more important things to focus on, like Hatter and food. But now the girl properly looked around, taking in the whole store. "It's absolutely beautiful, Hatter," she told him, eyes lighting up. "It's like a botanical garden in here!" she added with a giggle, thinking about the gardens back home that she used to visit with Margaret.This is a much more amazing garden though.

"And look on the bright side - at least you have a form of pest control! Rodents and such need never bother you again!" Alice laughed.

She took another bite out of her scone, followed by a sip of tea. "One year. Not four," she corrected him automatically. She'd been doing that a lot this past day - correcting people on the length of time that she'd been away. "I don't know how four years could have passed, but I clearly know that I was only away for one. But as confusing as that is, it's not really important right now."

A final chomp of the scone, and she sat back in her chair. "After I let Wonderland, my father's close friend took me on as an apprentice and we sailed to China, establishing oceanic trading routes. I loved it. But I missed Wonderland more and more with every passing day, so the day we arrived back to England, I realised I couldn't stand to be away for much longer and came back. Except nothing was there and I ended up wandering the plains for days until the guards picked me up and brought me here. And then the rest you know, because I ran into you," she finished brightly. "And it's really wonderful to know that things are going great with you."

She paused for a moment, finished her tea. "Hatter..." Alice started, suddenly rather shy. "Well, now that I have no way of getting home and rather don't want to go back anyway, could I stay with you for a while?"
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Re: We're All Mad Here [Hatter]

Post by The Hatter on Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:23 am

Yeah, things are going truly splendid.. he thought dryly to himself.
"I suppose this isn't too bad, really, is it? I mean, it's MY place, and it's important to me that I have Wonderland here. Know your roots, know your people, and all that. But it is truly the only home I really have left." He grinned half-heartedly at the woman beside him.

Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes and drank more tea. Calm, Hatter. Everything is OK. Alice is here now, you're both safe. Sighing inwardly, he relaxed a little. The bubbling rage and upset was settling down. There there, Hatter..

He brightened up.
"What is China, anyway? Is it an ocean..?" he asked, ignorant of Alice's world. "I do wish I knew more about where you came from. Compared to me, you know everything about the other's world! It's a rather unfair situation - when you show up, everything here keeps us ever-so-distracted, it seems!"

He smiled at the girl, topping up their tea with one hand while stirring his own with the other. It came like instinct, a sugar for each, stirring gently, not breaking eye contact.

"Interesting how you seem to know everything about myself and my world, and I know practically nothing about yours. Well, other than how you have your tea and scones, at any rate!" he laughed, eyes shining into Alice's.
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Re: We're All Mad Here [Hatter]

Post by Alice on Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:22 pm

Getting up, Alice pulled Hatter close, and cuddled him for a long moment. "Hey now, it's ok," she murmured softly into his ear, stroking his back slowly. "What's done is done, but you've got to hang onto the happy memories. And like you said - at least you have a small part of Wonderland here. And we're here too, all of us. Remember the good times, dear one. Not the bad."

Letting him go, she stroked his cheek before sitting back down. "China is a country. So very different to where I lived. The people, the food, the scenery - it was all so exotic. I loved it, but I missed home. I missed here even more," she added softly, taking a nibble of another scone. "Missed you..."

Shyness suddenly enveloped her and she meekly stared at the goody she was eating. I must sound so cliched and overly-attached to him...

She waved a dismissive hand at his next words. "My world isn't that interesting, really. Well, not compared to this place. I mean, back there we don't have magic or craziness. Back there it's all prim and proper," the girl began, bitterness creeping into her tone. "Back there if you start talking about magic or about having met a talking disappearing cat, they'd lock you up in the hospital. It's not that great a place actually... It had its good points sure, but generally..." she trailed off and busied herself with her scone.
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