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Hatter

"Twinkle..."

0 · 384 views · located in Worlds of Wonder

a character in “Three Teacups Full of Fairy Dust”, as played by Ivisbo

Description

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"The day is not complete without at least seven batches of tea. And a hat, always a hat."






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Name: Hatter

Nickname: "Well, since my name is my nickname and my nickname is my name, I am not so sure that this is actually my true name...most call me Hatter so it only makes sense to introduce myself as such. If you would like to know, my true-true name is Ramsey Hightop Maddington, pleasure to meet you"

Age: 23

Hair: Dark brown

Eyes: Light blue

Likes:
Tea
Hats
Words that start with T
Stories
Alice, and all her Alice-ness
Days were it is not to hot and not too cold

Dislikes:
Dreadful Weather
Lies
The last cup of tea
Those you interrupt tea-time
Being told what to do
Losing his mind (has that already happened?)



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Fears:[color=##380B61]"I must say.....its a dreadful thing to see the bottom of the kettle. But my biggest fear does not have to do with tea, its the loss of the creatures that sit around me at tea time. Alice, March, Dormouse....a fear the day that I loose one of them"[/color]
Hatter of course, has already lost one of them. Alice, his favorite by far. Its a truly sad day when Hatters biggest fears are realized and he can no longer enjoy a cup of tea without thinking of his lost friend.

Hobbies: "The Maddington's have always been formidable hat-makers. I enjoy crafting the head ware for any shaped creature- whether it a pig, mouse, human, or horse."
Once employed by the Red Queen herself, Hatter now works for the White Queen as the Royal Hat and Tea Maker, a title created just for him and his special talents.

Powers: "Ah, well, no powers specifically, but I am working on this new hat making technique which employs the powers of Wonderland- whatever they maybe- in the thread of the hat. With this, I can harness..."
Still a work in process, Hatter has been searching for a way to get Alice back. To do this, he wants to turn his hats- which are normally just beautifully decorated head pieces- into working portals. When a person wears said hat, they can use the magical properties of Wonderland (the same used in the White Rabbits watch so that he can travel between the realms) to jump between Earth and Wonderland. He still has not perfected it, but he has been tirelessly working on it since Alice vanished all those years ago.
"...and if I succeed, I'll have created the best way to travel! Anyone can go by horse or rail, but the absolute best way to travel is by hat!"

Strengths: "Incomparable tea making and madness. And- as I was once told- I have sadly gone mad. But- as I was also once told- only the best of people are"
Strength of character has to be Hatters best quality (and his tea). He is pure and true, though a bit mad, he will stand for what is right (and he has a great sense for what is right) and will fight till the bitter end for it. Hatter is strength though most do not see through his crazy clothing and wild antics. As Alice once told him, he truly is one of the best.

Flaws:"The sad thing with madness is that madness is madness. While it is good, its also bad"
Hatter is strange, very much so. He is a true Wonderlandian, born and raised, and like all of them he is a bit off. His crazy nature comes out more when he gets heated and emotional; he's not dangerous, but he could easily be conceived as so. No one in Wonderland truly finds the Hatter scary, but in Earth they might think of him as a deranged lunatic that needs to be locked up.




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Personality: "No one can truly describe ones personality in things like words...Dormouse did come pretty close to explaining mine in tea leaves once."
Explaining Hatters personality is like trying to explain the weather to someone who has never seen rain before. He is everything and anything, but also something at all times. On plain days, Hatter is a happy sort of fellow. But then, as he would say, there is no such thing as a plain day....so Hatter is never actually happy. He's eccentric, but that is also the secret to his genius and unpredictable. Hatter can come up with the most marvelous of ideas in a split second of thought but then the very next second he will forget it or come up with something extremely un-smart to say. The one thing Hatter has at all times is courage though. He has courage to be the crazy, lunatic person he is. He has courage to wear the kind of clothes he wears and to make the kind of hats he makes. He had courage to stand up for his friends, to go to the ends of the earth for those he cares about, and he had courage to care un-endingly.
Back in the Second Age of Alice and the fall of the Red Queen, Hatter dealt with an extreme case of split personality disorder that left him in shambles after she left. With the help of his friends, he has pieced himself back together into the strange sort of person he is now. Compared to the last Hatter, this one is much more...unraveled. He can still speak eloquently and act like a posh gentleman, but the mask that he was once able to put on no longer exists. His emotions- which very every two seconds- are right there for everyone to see. Like a mood ring, Hatter is an open book. While he has always seemed like a crazed lunatic, before Hatter was able to mask it with jovial jokes and lighthearted poems. Almost as if he has forgotten that side of himself, Hatter no longer makes the same jokes or acts in the carefree manner he once did. This Hatter is far darker then the last, probably do to the disappearance of his very best friend.

History: "My history is terribly long, would you like a cup of tea first?"
In the First Age of Alice, Hatter was a crazy hat maker that did not care for much more then hats, tea, and his parties. He met Alice when she was on her way to find the White Rabbit and if he had to be honest- she was an amusement to him. He enjoyed dancing her around and driving her made with his trivial games and unanswerable riddles. That was back when March and him were inseparable and Dormouse did little more then sleep. Of course, she did leave a small mark on his heart....he enjoyed her manners and well spoken attitude. She also enjoyed tea, so he liked her very much after that. Hatter showed up for her court hearing because frankly, he did not see the just right in cutting her head off. So he spoke for her, though in the end it didn't do too much to help.

Alice disappeared after that and Wonderland continued on without her. Of course, she had mad her mark though. The Queen of Hearts in all her tyranny went on a mad search for the blonde her, hunting her down to the ends of the land. She never found her though and convinced herself that the people of Wonderland were plotting against her. Her madness grew and spread, instilling fear into the hearts of the Wonderland creatures until the land grew darker and ominous. Her subjects ran or hid from her, or they joined her court in hopes of remaining on her good side. The White Queen barred herself off from her sister in hopes of saving herself and her own people, which left the subjects of the forests and fields and mushrooms to live in the Red Queens hate. Hundreds lost their head, hundreds more were thrown in the dungeons, and Hatter grew darker and darker.

When the Second Age of Alice came, Hatter had changed drastically. He was a fighter now, a warrior that protected the people of Wonderland when he could. He housed runaways, attacked bands of the Red Queens cards, and plotted against the royal government in hopes of overthrowing her and allowing the White Queen to step up. Of course, none of this could transpire until the Champion appeared. The whole of Wonderland was ready for change, but none of that could happen...so they waited. Soon, Alice came and proved herself who she was- The Real Alice. The rebels awoke, Hatter awoke, and the White Queens armies marched. With Alice there, Hatter could feel himself lightening from the strange dark and harsh being he had become. He fought for her, he grew to love her dearly as he had any of his friends that he spent all his life with....

And then she was gone.

She beat the Red Queen and the Jabberwocky, saved the whole of Wonderland and proved herself the true Champion. She stole Hatters devotion and allowed him to believe in himself once more, then she left.

The After Alice age fell upon them, an age of lightness and beauty provided by the White Queen. Her radiance and love stretched over Wonderland and allowed every creature that had ever run and hid to come forth and rejoin the world once more. Things that had never been seen before; armadillo cats, racing salt slugs, a whole armada of giant rhino birds....Wonderland was filled to the brim with creatures. The trees glowed, the plants sang their songs once again, and that tea was once again perfectly brewed.

But Hatter's personality, the one that had been lifted by Alice and turned to the light, split and crackled and decayed into darkness. His bright colors he normally wore were now dipped in black ink, his hats were no longer flamboyant but simple fashionable fedoras. His shoes were always laces, his socks always matched....even his makeup was gone, laziness had overtaken him and lead him to only wearing light eyeliner. Without Alice, Hatter became....normal. He had lost his Hatterness and all of Wonderland knew it.

So begins...

Hatter's Story

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Character Portrait: Hatter
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#, as written by Ivisbo
Hatter had grown used to things like his tea running cold when he fell far to much inside his own mind. His brain was a dangerous thing, deep, dark, and full of all sorts of creatures that ensured him and forced him to stay.

Like just now for instance, he had been researching a new sort of leather for a hat he was making, when he suddenly had a thought about bats. You see, bats themselves appear to be made of leather, but then why are there wings not used for it? Cow hide does not seem leathery at all, but some poor man had once thought it so and thus it became. So if Hatter went about trapping bats, could he then turn bat wings into leather? But then, bats are not the sort of things people like to wear....would people where people leather?

Thus, his mind tumbled and turned with all sorts of new leathers he could make and what was ethical and what wasn't. Normally, Hatter would not spend so much time on one subject, but his table was empty today so he was forced to actually read his books and sip his tea like a good gentleman.

Dormouse had left on an errand for the Queen and would not be back till later that evening, and March was god knows where. Hatter refused to be his keeper, though half the time the old hare needed one. Hatter was not used to having an empty table, and they empty platters and cups caused him to let loose a dreary sort of sigh.

Once, his table had always been full. Once, there had been a little girl with blonde hair and a curious sort of mind. That little girl had been so wonderful and interested in everything and lovely. Hatter missed that little girl terribly, though not as much as he missed the Champion. Wonderlands Champion was by far the one thing Hatter missed the most, the one thing that tore out his chest when ever he thought of her. He stared across the table, to the seat that no one sat in anymore.

The table had been full the last time he saw her. It had been full of crumpets and tea and soups and cheese and bread and cookies and candies and chocolate. You see, the Red War was over, and Wonderland was now a land governed by the White Queen. Creatures were free to escape their holes and be out in the world without fear of having their heads chopped off. So Hatter, March, Dormouse, and the Champion were once again allowed to celebrate unbirthdays. This day in particular had been all of their unbirthdays- can you imagine that!- so they had made a table full of everything you could ever want.

Hatter blinked and for a moment he could see her across from him, laughing at March as he flung food across the table. Hatter could hear the echo of her laugh, the way her golden hair shone in the hazy Wonderland sun. He smiled for a moment, blinked, and she was gone.

In her place across the table sat Cheshire, hovering above the seat that no one sat in and staring at Hatter.

"Can I help you?", Hatter grumbled out, his face falling back into the scowl it normally sat in while he turned back to his books. Cheshire continued to float and stare, his constant grin a nagging after thought that Hatter wished to whip from the area.

"Ah Ramsey, what are we ever going to do with you?", Cheshire now floated over Hatters shoulder, staring down at the large duty books he was pretending to read. Hatter ignored the cat, running his finger under the lines of the sentences so he could focus, "You were so good once, then you weren't so good, then you came back once. Thats twice we've lost you, twice you've become a grime sort of man that no one wants to be around-"

"Get out of here cat!", Hatter stood and swiped his hand where Cheshire floated, only to find he had evaporated once more and reappeared in front of him.

"That was not nice. And here I am, simply trying to tell you the rumor of the day"

Hatter rolled his eyes, once more depositing himself into his chair and gazing across the table at the one no one sits in, "And what are they Ches, spit 'em out. I have things to be finished and work to do"

"Ah, ah Hatter, manners. The rumors today deserve some respect"

Hatter sighed and nodded, turning to look back at the floating cat, "Yes, sorry. Please Ches, what are the rumors of today"

Cheshire's grin grew, spreading from side to side and threatening to crack his face in half. His pupils narrowed and he floated closer to Hatter, so close that he was staring almost inches away from the man.

"Alice is back".

And thus began the Third Age of Alice.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wendy Moira Angela Darling Character Portrait: Alice Kingsley Character Portrait: Peter Pan Character Portrait: Hatter
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Time seemed to aid in their journey, cutting down the hour Alice had expected the trip to take to thirty minutes. Alice didn’t know if this was a blessing or a curse, though. Yes, she couldn’t wait to see the hatter, the hare, and all of her friends. Yes, she knew she would be accepted with open arms by almost everyone (she had her doubts about the Hatter though- in her mind he had every right to be mad at her, even after she explained why she had to go the last time. He had looked so hurt by her words, after all). But, she needed time. She never even considered the possibility of seeing all of her friends again, not after all this time. She had given up, really, on it. Her first year back she had searched the area around the rabbit hole and beyond, hoping for it to simply one day open up again. But it never did, and after that she had abandoned all of her hope and put her mind on autopilot until she met Wendy, and even then she only opened her mind up a little, just to let Wendy in. Now, her mind was opening up to the hope she hadn’t let herself feel before. Without her consent, The Champion she had proven herself to be in Wonderland was arising from the box she had left it in, where it could only affect her choices and couldn’t force her to spend all of her hours searching for her lost home.

The Hatter was another story entirely, and one she really need time to work out but, judging by the way the white walls of the palace were towering above them, she wouldn’t get nearly enough. She didn’t know what to say to him—she didn’t even know what he looked like anymore. He had changed between her first trips, something she had hardly paid mind to then, but now it would be something she couldn’t ignore, and she knew it. The Hatter with unruly red hair, skin covered in white makeup almost everywhere, and crazy color-changing definitely mad eyes was The Hatter in her mind, at least now. The first time she had hardly noticed what he looked like, because she was child with many things to see and she needed to travel and see and feel. The second time her adventure as the Champion, and the fact that she had to save the poor hatter on at least one occasion, had made his looks imprint into her mind. This time she knew he would probably be changed again, if only for the fact that her visits seemed to be marked by his ever changing face, and she didn’t know if she would be prepared. And there was the other issue of what she would say. Each time she thought about it ended horribly, with only two outcomes- he would say he hated her and didn’t want her around, or he would do the exact opposite and not blame her for leaving at all. Somehow she needed at least a little blame, to feel like she had done something wrong because for the longest time that was exactly how she felt- like she had wronged Wonderland.

The leaves on the trees slowly quickly turned to a porcelain white as they approached the Castle, like they were covered in a perfect coat of snow even though the temperature got no colder. In fact, it was fairly temperate, and Alice was glad for that. The blonde had been expecting Neverland after all, a place of ‘eternal summer’, if Wendy’s stories were to be believed (and Alice believed in them whole-heartedly). Because of that, Alice had only worn a simple white spaghetti-strap shirt, a short-sleeve denim jacket, and some short jean-shorts. Nothing that would stand up to any sort of wintery weather, at least. Though, maybe Wonderland never even had winters. Alice had never seen it, at least, but she assumed it had to. Now isn’t the time to be assuming anything Alice, it’s not good for concentration, a voice piped up in her head, and she looked up as if to identify it, even though it was in her head. She was glad she did, as the doors to the palace were suddenly right in front of her and she was very, very unprepared.


“Well, here is the palace, guys,” Alice muttered as she turned around with a smile. Peter had been glaring at her the entire trip (she knew because of the tale-tell prickling at the back of her neck), but Alice was determined to make him like her again, regardless of her words. Thankfully, Wendy had done something—at least, Alice assumed Wendy had because there was no one else about and Peter had a new dagger and seemed at least a few times happier than he did before). Hopefully, the White Queen could fix everything and Peter would be safe in his Neverland soon enough.
The door to the Palace was unlocked, something that didn’t surprise Alice. The White Queen wasn’t above hosting all manner of strangers within her walls, anyone that needed her help. Though, the woman in question wasn’t to be found within the area the door opened into. Thankfully, there was a palace guard, one with the white knight chess piece for a head.


“May I ask you to tell the Queen that The Alice, The Champion of Wonderland, has returned? Even if she is busy, I am in dire need of her help,” Alice said quickly, only slightly gloating with the whole ‘Champion of Wonderland’ part. Still, there was still a bit of gloating in her words, even some joking. Alice felt the title of Champion was unnecessary, really, because it wasn’t like there was another, wrong Alice that visited Wonderland. There was just her, Absolutely Alice, the one and only Alice of Wonderland. The White Knight nodded his head and walked off in the direction of either the kitchen or the gardens (Alice couldn’t be sure, as they were both in that general direction).


“Well, only a bit longer now. If we have any luck the White Queen will be able to send you two to Neverland within a day or two, or maybe even less,” Alice was careful not to say ‘send us to Neverland’ because the white walls of the palace and the bright fanciful colors of her home were beginning to entrap her again, and this time felt more final than the other times, and she knew this time there was very little chance of her leaving again.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wendy Moira Angela Darling Character Portrait: Alice Kingsley Character Portrait: Peter Pan Character Portrait: Hatter
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#, as written by Ivisbo
Hatter stood at the foot of the stares, staring up at the awaiting doors of the White Queens castle. He stood out awkwardly amongst all the white- Hatter had taken to wearing all black ever since the end of the Red War. His long wool jacket brushed against the back of his black leather trousers that were tucked into his black boots. He had deliberated his shirt for almost fifteen minutes before finally settling with a black and white pinstriped waistcoat over the top of a black dress shirt (his other option consisted of almost the exact same color scheme, though the waist coat was plaid instead of striped). The only moment of color on his dark ensemble was the brilliantly colored flowered scarf that he hadn't worn since the last time he saw Alice all those years ago (he remembered her complimenting it once, so he dug it out from the bottom of his trunk once more). It was tucked into his buttoned up jacket, wound around his neck in a loose fashion (compared to the bow he once wore it in). And of course, on his head sat a hat- though this one was far more 'reasonable' then his previous headgear. It was a simple black wide brim wool fedora with a dark grey band with his customary 'In This Style- 10/6' tag slipped into the left side of the band.

He didn't move for a long while, standing their awkwardly with his black leather gloved hands shoved in his jacket and his breath ghosting up into the air around him. He wasn't sure how long he actually stood there, daydreaming of things of sorts that should not be daydreamed about, but when he looked back down one of the Queens guards was moving his mouth and frowning at him.

Ah, he was speaking, of course....

"Come again?" Hatter asked, lifting a brow as he tilted his head at the strange fellow.

"Mr. Hatter sir, are you here to see the Queen?"

Hatter pursed his lips and lifted his gaze once more to the high building before him. Here to see the Queen..., well no, he wasn't, but Hatter did not really want to say Her name quiet yet. He was willing to bet she was already here and with the Queen upstairs, so when Hatter looked back down at the very confused guard, he nodded.

"Well, yes, yes I am. How could you have ever guessed?" He let out a chortle at himself as he passed the guard and headed up the stairs. The knight hurried after him, but with Hatters long legs he was faster by far, "And no, I can let myself in. You all know I wont set fire to the building-er.....well except for that one time, but all has been forgiven" Hatter reached forward to open up the massive door, sending one last glance back at the guard, "And really, what sort of guard are you, letting such a strange man into the castle unaccompanied?"

Hatter slipped inside the castle, letting the door close with an audible back to wash out the yelling of the guard outside. Though Hatter was familiar with the building, he had not paid the Queen a visit for quiet some time. Holed up in his garden, some said, but Hatter had decided to ignore their prattling rubbish remarks.

He strode across the open reception room and headed straight for the staircase. He followed the loud accented yells of his best friend to the kitchen/dining room, though he stopped just before entering and leaned against the wall next to the door. He could hear the Queen, he could hear another accented voice like the Hares, another girls voice....and Hers. Hatter took his hat off and ran his hands through his hair, settled it down before placing the hat back on his head neatly. He ran his hands over his jacket, shifted the scarf a bit- fussed with his clothes when he knew he did not need to.

Then he just strode into the room, not saying anything at all to the gathered group at the table. He gave a small head bow to the Queen and went straight to March's brew, serving himself a bowl before making his way around the table and sat down at the far side at the head across from the Queen. Hatter said nothing as he sat and busied himself with unbuttoning his jacket and pulling off his gloves before spooning himself a mouthful of steaming stew. Once tasted, he did look up at the gathered group (though he made sure to avoid eye contact with a certain blonde girl) and gave them a wide toothy grin, "Ah, well, this is wonderful isn't it?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wendy Moira Angela Darling Character Portrait: Alice Kingsley Character Portrait: Peter Pan Character Portrait: Hatter
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Once everyone was situated around the table with bowls of soup in front of them, Alice took to spooning as much of the delicacy into her mouth as she could without choking and while still remaining proper. She could remember this taste, and every bite tasted a little more real, a little more homey. It was comforting, and it gave her an excuse to not talk, which Alice needed. Emotions were bubbling through her veins and swirling through her head and she was, for the first time in what seemed like forever, she was overwhelmed.

"The soup is delicious, Your Majesty. I've never had anything like it in any world I've ever been! What's it made of?" Wendy's words snapped her back to reality and Alice racked her brain for a moment.

"Oh! I know, I know!" she said after a moment. Alice looked to the Queen, who nodded at her to continue and Alice looked to Wendy, feeling quite smug that she knew more about this place than her flatmate, and not for the first time that day.

"Slithy tove soup with borogrove feather. Borogrove feathers are surprisingly edible and taste like the trees the pompous birds live in. They dissolve and make everything thicker and more forest-y. I had it my first time here, when I was a kid. Well, I say I had it, but actually I was trying to care for that horrid pig-child and that's what the lady was cooking. Liked pepper too much, that horrid woman," Alice crinkled her nose at the thought and spooned more soup into her mouth quickly to rid the taste the memory still left in her mouth. She almost had to consciously stop herself from sneezing.

"Very true, Alice. The duchess's cook does have a horrid affinity for pepper and the whole lot is loud. I cannot speak ill of someone, but they are a family I sometimes wish lived farther away," The queen said, and Alice rolled her eyes. The queen was, well, the queen of gossipers everywhere and Alice found it delightful.

Just then the door to the kitchen opened and Alice turned her head to look at the latecomer of the evening. At first she couldn't quite place him, but then he turned slightly to give a slight bow to the queen and the card sticking from his hat gave him away. Hat... fedora, not tophat? How odd, for someone like the Hatter. Hatter! her mind screamed at her and Alice had to dig her heels into the legs of the chair and wrap them around the porcelain facet to prevent herself from jumping up. No, I will remain calm, and I will have a civilized dinner with the Queen and then I will do my duty and take Peter home, she told herself as she turned back to the table and looked at Peter to help steel her resolve. Right. Duty. Peter. Neverland, she repeated her knew mantra in her head so that she didn't abandon the mission. She could come back, right? No big deal. After Peter and Wendy were safe in Neverland.

The sound of a chair sliding over the floor almost had Alice's resolve crumbling, but she kept it up. Peter. Neverland. Peter. Neverland, she said to herself once more before looking up at the Hatter politely. He wasn't looking at her, and for that she was thankful. Her propriety was slipping and she was gawking, and she knew it. He did look different, very different, but he was also the same. She remembered him being more colorful, though, and the thought that he had lost his colorfulness had her frowning for a moment. He was wearing a scarf she remembered liking at one point in her adventures, but that was all that remained of Hatter. He was like a coloring book that hadn't been filled in yet. That's it! He's just on a new chapter. No one's come along to color him in yet, she thought, but she dismissed the notion almost immediately. He'd never needed coloring in before.

"Ah, well, this is wonderful isn't it?" Hatter said after a moment of terse silence and Alice looked at him funnily. She'd never known him to be so... civil. He threw mad tea parties, and he certainly wasn't acting the part of a mad host.

"It is, Hatter. It's been a while... you look different," Alice said, deciding to go about talking to him as politely as possible. He might not even want to be her friend anymore, after what she said to him. She didn't want to go about it as if they were something they weren't, and Alice was too confused to know what that was at the moment. So, she simply acted as civil as possible.

"Uh... Hatter. This is Peter, and that's Wendy-- Wendy's my flatmate, and Peter's the homeless boy I ran into. He's got really good stories," Alice said with a breathy giggle, thinking that that was how she was going to introduce them in the future, to everyone. Hatter was still avoiding looking at her, and Alice's brows crinkled in frustration. She would need to speak to him, and she knew it. Clear the air between them, get an opportunity to say sorry. Color him back in? a jovial voice said within her head and she smiled, the corners of her lips crinkling in mirth. Eventually, Alice thought back, and that seemed enough. After.. after I help Peter, of course.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wendy Moira Angela Darling Character Portrait: Alice Kingsley Character Portrait: Peter Pan Character Portrait: Hatter
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"Interesting ingredients. Very different." She kept silent on her own need for pepper, although only with certain foods and in moderation.

She turned her head as another sat at the table.

"Uh... Hatter. This is Peter, and that's Wendy-- Wendy's my flatmate, and Peter's the homeless boy I ran into. He's got really good stories."

"Pleasure to meet you, Hatter." Wendy said politely, taking a long look at the man who had sat down at the table with little ceremony. He must be a regular visitor, or perhaps this was just another piece of the Wonderland puzzle?

His face was fascinating, but in a way that a feral tiger in a cage was fascinating, madness restrained and muted. Nothing like Alice had described in any of her stories. Where was the color, the flamboyance, the ... something? The word was right at the tip of her tongue, but she couldn't get it out. In an odd way, he reminded her of Peter before he'd had the hope of getting back to Neverland. Something was wrong with the Hatter, or the time between when Alice had left and now had changed him more than one would have expected. It was unrealistic, she supposed, to expect that Wonderland would remain completely unchanged without her flatmate's presence, but ... with a clench in her stomach that interrupted her enjoyment of the soup, wasn't she doing the same thing?

Would Neverland be the same? Could it? Not that Wendy thought that her absence would have changed it, as to Neverland she was nothing more than another one of its strays and lost souls. But without Peter, what was Neverland? Would it keep itself unchanged, waiting for its King to return? What had it been, then, before Peter? Questions that wouldn't be answered before they were confronted with Neverland, but something to be prepared for. Eating a few more bites of her soup as she willed her stomach to relax, she found herself thinking more fondly of Neverland than she ever had, while sober and steady in her mind. In Neverland, she could do as she liked, of course with Peter's say so, but when she went back that balance would shift--for the better she hoped. Peter and her as equals, with the Lost Boys, going on adventures, and while she had no intention of stopping her care of them, she could be just Wendy there. Not the bookstore Wendy, not the daughter Wendy or polite adult Wendy or pretends-everything's-ok Wendy. Just Wendy. What was Just Wendy like, any more?

Wendy's eyes kept going back to the Hatter, glancing at him under lowered lashes. So this was Alice's Hatter. Such a puzzle, wrapped in an enigma and a crazy bow on top. She hoped she'd get the chance to talk to him and, if she were lucky, have an adventure or two with him in Wonderland. His stories would be fascinating, and he would be an excellent character for her own stories for the Boys. She would have to watch him, though, to make sure he didn't hurt her friend again. Perhaps a warning, but what could one warn a madman with? Burning his hats?

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Character Portrait: Wendy Moira Angela Darling Character Portrait: Alice Kingsley Character Portrait: Peter Pan Character Portrait: Hatter
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"It is, Hatter. It's been a while... you look different," At once Hatter glanced up from his meal and looking directly at Alice. Choosing to try and ignore her when he was silent was difficult, but finally hearing her voice made the whole endeavor null. He stared at her- the way a dying man would stare at an oasis.

Alice was different. Not that he was surprised, he had changed as well over the time they had been apart. He was not surprised that she pointed it out immediately... he knew she would notice his lack of luster and flamboyant color. Sadly, Hatter did not have much defense for his drastic change. He could really only owe it to this girl, though that was not fair at all. He was far to beautiful and adult for him to be throwing all his problems on now. The strange fact was, the whole time Hater had known Alice, their ages had never matched up. First she was a child and he and old-loon. Then she grew more, into a beautiful and adventurous young adult. His age had changed in the time between the first and second meeting, though it had gone the wrong way (as things normally do in Wonderland). Instead of aging, Hatter had un-aged, though not by much. Now it seems they are both in the time time frame, either by coincidence of some beautiful fate of Age.

"Uh... Hatter. This is Peter, and that's Wendy-- Wendy's my flatmate, and Peter's the homeless boy I ran into. He's got really good stories," Alice giggled at her introductions, allowing Hatter a moment to pull himself away from her trance. He looked at her two friends, one of them male and the other female. Both seemed alien like, the way people do when they first visit Wonderland. They are missing the ingredient that would allow them to fit in with this world, to blend into the crazy colors and insanity. Though...
Hatter glanced back at Alice, remembering all at once how quickly Alice blended in with this world. It was as if she always belonged to Wonderland. Her visits were always more of a homecoming then anything, especially to the people of Wonderland. He was sure that countless residents of this world would want some time with Alice before this visit was up...

"Pleasure to meet you, Hatter." Hatters head once more twisted in the direction of the guests, a large inviting smile immediately stretching across his handsome face.

"Its wonderful to finally meet some of Alice's people!" He called out to them, his voice a few volumes too high, "I am Hatter, as you know, or Ramsey Hightop Maddington, though few address me as such. I am guessing that you-" Hatter pointed to the girl,"Are Wendy The Flatmate and you-" Hatter pointed to the boy, "are Peter the Homeless". The lad made a snarling like expression at his 'title' but otherwise remainder quiet. Hatter smiled and looked between them, then back at Alice, then back at them, "So, do what do we owe this wonderful reunion? You aren't by chance...staying? Wonderland has room for all three of you, though I understand if you E-Arth is of more comfort to you...three"


________________________________________________________


Yes, Peter remained silent. Not only was he doing a remarkable job at holding his tongue, but he also was doing a remarkable job of using his utensils in the proper manner. It had nothing to do with the beautiful woman sitting to his left, or the fact that he was dead tired and wanted to fly away for a nap somewhere. This Hatter individual was interesting, but for now Peter was done with the whole affair of Wonderland.

Peter tried not to yawn, resulting in himself holding back a strange grimace that he hid by looking down at his food. Dinner time with the Lost Boys was usually a battle of fun banter and flying rolls, not this dull setting of pure white and gorgeous individuals. Peter shoved a mouthful of food in his mouth, then glanced sideways at Wendy.

In his younger days, if a moment of boredom were to happen like this, Peter would have grabbed Wendys hand and kidnapped her into the sky. Peter stretched his hand languidly, glancing down at Wendys in a beautiful moment of whimsical imagination. He could grab her had, tug her out over the White Queens lawns, probably eliciting a gasp of surprise from the QUeen herself at his sheer amazingness. Then they would fly up over the weird forests of Wonderland and straight into the sky, where Peter would once again tear across the stars, all the way past the first and on to the second until morning. Neverland would be different, just as Wonderland seemed to be for Alice, but as soon as he arrived (and found his shadow of course), everything would go back to the way it was truly meant to be.

Peter continued daydreaming, slipping his hand under to the table to grab at Wendys as if he were to try and actually pull of his stunt.

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Character Portrait: Wendy Moira Angela Darling Character Portrait: Alice Kingsley Character Portrait: Peter Pan Character Portrait: Hatter
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Alice had tried very, very hard to not meet Hatter's gaze, but that had proven difficult. Try as she might, though, the broth she had been lazily pecking at couldn't be that interesting. Hatter looked at her like she had the answer to everything that anyone, anywhere, had ever asked. Alice's blood- all the blood in her body, it seemed, redirected to her cheeks and she looked down again, enough to let a small portion of her hair fall forward and slightly cover her eyes, though she was careful to not let her blonde tresses fall into the soup. She expected Peter or Wendy to start adamantly talking to Hatter- Wendy was always telling her what an inspiration Wonderland sounded like. So, she had introduced them in an effort to get them talking. Peter didn't seem to want to and Wendy only said that it was a pleasure to meet Hatter.

"Its wonderful to finally meet some of Alice's people!" Hatter said towards Alice's friends. Alice herself simply smiled and nodded- she hadn't ever brought anyone with her, after all.

"I am Hatter, as you know, or Ramsey Hightop Maddington, though few address me as such," Hatter added, and Alice thought back. She actually hadn't heard anyone refer to the Hatter as Ramsey aside from the Queen and Alice herself, once or twice- only when she needed to say something and couldn't bring herself to call him Hatter, "I am guessing that you are Wendy The Flatmate and you are Peter the Homeless," the Hatter said and Alice felt her cheek's flushing once again. She quickly forgot her idea to introduce them like that anytime again. She'd forgotten how titles so easily became names in this world. Hatter was a perfect example of that, after all. Even with Alice people tended to refer to her as "The Champion" unless she told them otherwise. Hopefully Hatter would take from Peter's enraged expression and call him just Peter from now on.

"So, do what do we owe this wonderful reunion? You aren't by chance...staying? Wonderland has room for all three of you, though I understand if you E-Arth is of more comfort to you...three" Alice's blood ran cold. She knew she shouldn't have expected Hatter to refrain from asking that question- it had been a fool's hope to expected him to wait until she could speak to him alone. Alice took a steadying breath and steeled herself- though she was still at a loss. She didn't know if it would be best to let this conversation continue in front of an audience.

She didn't want to say she had to leave- but she knew she had to. It was her overbearing determination and the fact that she had promised Peter that she would get him to Neverland. That was a promise she did not intend to break anytime soon. So, she had to go with them to make sure they safely made that trip. Her only saving grace was that she was coming back, if she could. She couldn't risk more years in an apartment with only her room to remind her of this wonderful place. She didn't need anything up there- they wouldn't miss her. Her family was used to extended lapses between her letters and phone calls, and her work wasn't anything to worry about. She'd taken care of everything before she left. Besides, if she could get here, to Neverland, and then back to Wonderland- she could probably visit Earth without difficulty.

"Hatter," Alice began shakily, fiddling with her fingers and avoiding looking at him. No, this would be best without an audience, "Can we speak privately?" Alice pushed away from the table and bowed to the Queen, who looked at her and nodded back. She smiled at Wendy and Peter individually and let out a small sigh before she walked over to the door and closed her eyes tightly. She wanted to stay- she wanted to stay so very badly. There was physical pain that originated around her heart when she thought about leaving.

Still, she'd made a promise and she couldn't break that promise. She couldn't just send her best friend and someone she had come to think of as a friend in a very short amount of time somewhere without making sure the destination was Neverland. She wouldn't do that- she knew that if she did, she would always wonder if something had gone wrong. Alice lead the way to a small alcove near the kitchens and waited for Hatter there. She couldn't figure out what she wanted to say, though. No matter how many times she thought it over, it never turned out right.

'Look I know I just got here and trust me I would love to stay and never ever leave again but I made a promise to a guy I met less than a month ago and he happens to also be from a mystical place and I promised to get there and please no hard feelings- I promise to come back if I can,' seemed a little too definite, and 'I'll come back,' seemed like too much of a false promise, even if it was true. Alice banged her head against the wall she was leaning against and sighed again, letting her chest deflate slowly. She did not want to have this conversation. Actually, if she could've helped it she would have held off on meeting hatter at all until she had safely gotten back, with Wendy and Peter safely in Neverland.

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Hatter turned to the guests of the palace and offered them each a polite smile, "If you excuse us then- Peter, Wendy" He stood briskly, holding the top of his hat and tipping it low for the Queen, "we will only be a moment Queen"

Of course, the White Queen made no move to stop him as he turned and strode after Alice out the door. Hatter purposefully took his time, taking long languid strides as he frowned and stared down at the ground. Yes, he had expected as much from Alice- the girl loved to ask questions and he had not expected that to change. But what answers could he give her without giving himself away? Could he really tell her that he had spent the entire time they were apart searching for a way back to her? That he had ruined friendships, pulled himself away, hidden inside his hat-shop-turned-laboritory? Hatter was not the same crazed multi colored loon that she had once befriended....some how with her loss he had become a desolate sort of man that only focused on one thing. His complete absolute focus on creating a way to travel to Alice's world had turned him bad- like an apple left in the same place for too long, Hatters mind had lost the vibrance and freshness he once had....the same vibrance that Alice had once loved about him.
And that was what scared him the most.
He had realized only recently how much his obsession had changed him. Though Hatter had changed between their first and second meeting, he had not changed by much. He was still the same sort of endearing lunatic that people could love. But now so little of that previous self remained that Hatter was worried Alice would no longer find him....Wonderful.

Hatter rounded the corner just as Alice leaned agains the wall and let out a defeated sigh. He frowned, took a step in front of her, and turned to face the small blonde. Her height had not changed since he last saw her, though she wore her hair differently. As she looked up at him, her eyes held hid for a moment....the same entrancing blue that he remembered. Throughout her visits, Hatter always remembered her eyes the most. As a child they held all the wonder in the world, sucked every last drop that they could out of the amazement she found in Wonderland. It seemed that had permanently stained them, like tea spilled over white linen. Just like her first visit, Alice seemed to hold true wonder of a Wonderlandian inside herself, even though she had only been here thrice.

A soft smile lit up Hatters face as he gazed down at her, one of those smiles that holds so many unspoken words. He opened his mouth slightly to say something, then frowned and closed it once more.

"Alice, I...." He begun, then stopped again. Hatter had always been good with words, brilliant in fact, but whenever this girl was involved he seemed to grow two tongues. Better to swallow his words then say something stupid, so he just stared at her looking like a lost child instead.

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Alice watched as the Hatter came closer to her, and she fought with herself for control of her face. She wanted to smile, but her body wouldn't let her. Traitorous thing, she thought, but her body didn't listen to her insult at it either. It just didn't like to listen- even though it had the ears!

The Hatter was standing in front of her now, and she had to crane her neck to see his face. She almost regretted the decision to do that- he was looking at her, again, and no matter how much muchness she had, no matter how many promises she made, Alice couldn't help but want to stay. She could see it, she could almost taste it she wanted to stay so very dearly. She could see herself as the Champion once again, the personal guard of the white queen herself. She could see her waking up and wanting to force her hair into small ringlets even though her hair wanted desperately to stay straight like a board. If she tried, she could see Wonderland with all it's wonder and excitement welcoming her home again, but none welcoming her as happily has the Hatter. She could even see herself waking up every day and having to prepare tea because the Hatter had to be making hats.

Alice was no domestic being by any means, of course, but the idea of it all seemed fanciful and Wonderland wasn't a place where anyone could be domestic. Alice could wonder the courtyards and befriend the flowers, despite how many insults they threw at her, or try on eight different hats (at once) because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Wonderland couldn't make a domestic out of a housewife.

The Hatter gave Alice a soft-spoken smile that Alice found heated her cheeks to unbearable levels. The blonde looked down so she could fiddle with her fingernails, but that only succeeded in getting her off track, for she suddenly wondered if there was any creature in Wonderland that had fiddles for fingernails and if they played them. She almost laughed at the thought, but she held back as best she could.

"Alice, I..." The Hatter began, and Alice looked at him expectantly. Maybe he would say something first? But then he trailed off and Alice looked back at her feet. She needed to get this over with and she knew it. A large breath filled her lungs and she exhaled just as quickly.

"Hatter..." Alice tried, but that didn't work. She got stuck as soon as the word left her lips.

"Ramsey... I missed you so much," Alice wrapped her arms around the Hatter's middle, suddenly being thankful he was a head or two taller than her. It allowed her to press herself against his chest and not have to look at him.

"Hatter? Let's play a game, okay?" Alice tried, letting go of him and stepping back when her eyes glossed over with tears.

"Okay, I'll start. Words that start with... 'P'" Alice said, thinking about a mile a minute to keep herself in check. "Okay. Promises. You know I keep my promises, right? I promised you I would come back, eventually, and I always meant to. I made a promise to Peter too- I promised to get him home," Alice said as she clenched her hands into fists.

"Other words, then. Words that start with... with W," Alice said, trying to make her mind go faster than it possibly could. Then again, Alice was always good at the impossible.

"Wonderland. You have to understand that I love it here, Hatter. I love the way I can do things like with the queen without having to worry about getting shot for giving her a hug, and I love that you're here, Hatter, and I love that there are creatures here that would never exist up there in the normal world. I love that.. I love everything about Wonderland is what I'm trying to say, of course, though it is hard for me to say that in only a few words," Alice continued, though she vaguely wondered if her words sounded like an apology. She didn't want that- she wasn't sorry she had to leave. She was sad, heartbroken even, but she had made a promise and so she couldn't bring herself to be sorry for the actions she would take in the near future.

"Words that start with L, then. I truly enjoy the letter L, maybe better than most in the alphabet. Lots of words with meaning start with L. Like, Love, Life.... Leaving," Alice had to fight to not cough and cover the last word. She admonished herself for even thinking to cover it up and took another deep breath, effectively stopping the shaking that had begun in her legs.

"Right. Love. Like I said, I love everything about Wonderland. I love its colors, it's animals, it's... people," Alice said the last part slower than the rest, "But... Leaving. That's another word that starts with L. And I promised, Ramsey, I made a promise.... and I can't take that back, no matter how much I want too," Alice fought her tears back again. She was Champion of Wonderland, after all, and a Champion didn't cry. Especially not over something like having to go on a mission. Alice knew that even if she came back she would have a lot of those. A lot of farewells.... after so many hellos.

"You know, I never wanted to have to do that again... say goodbye. I... I'm so stubborn, Hatter... I wouldn't. I refused to ever say goodbye, after I said it to you, the last time. I thought when I got back goodbye wouldn't hurt anymore, because I would be where I wanted to be, with you and everyone, and saying goodbye would be easy... to say goodbye to the normal world, to my parents the chess-that-isn't-chess. But I really don't want to say goodbye to you again, so... don't think of it like that. Because it isn't goodbye. I'll be back, after Wendy and Peter are safe. And then... and then I can stay here," Alice finished, the whole time feeling like her heart was trying to win a race with her mouth. Alice couldn't really look at Hatter any more, so she looked down again. When she began to talk again, her voice was croaking and cracking with unshed tears. "I don't want to go, Ramsey, I really don't. I was okay with taking Peter and Wendy to Neverland and figuring my way back here by myself, but now that I'm here..... I don't want to leave. I don't want to take the chance of not finding my way back again,"

"Hatter.... I tried to come back every day. I found the one person in all of Brighton that had a similar story to me so I wouldn't feel bad. I decorated my room to look like Wonderland so I wouldn't have to wake up every day back in sunny, boring Brighton. You have to understand I tried, Hatter. And it took me years, but this time I'll know what to do. So, when I leave, I'll be back soon," Alice couldn't bring herself to say anything else, so she simply let her thoughts roam to fiddle-bugs with fingernails that worked like fiddles and bread-and-butterflies, which she had noticed on the way in that the younger ones were becoming ever more toasted in the sun and would surely be adults soon.

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"Hatter...Ramsey... I missed you so much," Hatter was shocked still as she wrapped her arms around him and placed her smaller body flush against his. He stared with wide eyes at the blank wall in front of him, his arms awkwardly hovering around her in need of a spot. Then she sighed, a soft noise of contentment that made him realize how happy he was to have her, let alone have her in his arms. He wrapped his lank form around her small one, almost bending over in an attempt to bury his nose in her soft blonde hair. Daffodils and cream, just as he remembered from all those years ago...his mind wandered, imagining hold the her form in a different position, flush against-

"Hatter? Let's play a game, okay?" Alice's soft voice cut through his darkening mind and his face grew red as she pulled away. In order to hide it, he furrowed his brows at her and pressed his mouth into a thin line.

Games. Hater knew that Alice thought this was the way to reach him and maybe at some point it had been, but he had long grew to hate games. He had no time for trivial acts in which the completion of them gave him no real power or happiness, simply a thing to pass time. If anything did need to pass, it was time. All these years, Hater wished time could stand still in order for him to figure out a way for her to come to him- no, he had no use for games anymore. Of course, he would not cut her off though. Hater had no wish for this beautiful girl to know how far her friend had changed in order to be with her again.

As she spoke, Haters eyes narrowed and darkened. His shoulder began to grow rigid and stiff, he took a step away from her and looked at her through eyes filled with irritation and malice. As she came to a close in her rant, Hater's teeth were practically grinding together.

"My turn" He mumbled out as he took two long steps towards her, backing her into the wall and blocking her escapes with a hand next to her head. Hater leaned in close, his dark, cold eyes burning into her bright, vibrant blues, "P for promises and L for leaving? You do comprehend how much of an oxymoron that is, correct? You are promising never to leave at the same time as explaining you are leaving. Its not that I don't trust you know where you belong, but do you really think if you leave you will receive another miracle like this? Alice-" Hater shifted his body, inhaling deeply as if scolding a bought child, "I have spent this entire time searching for a way to bring you here, to travel to your world and bring you back. You under stand how time works between your world and mine better then I, that Wonderlands time passes decades before yours passes a year. I have been searching for a way to bring you home ever since you took the vile and left"

Haters eyes fell shut for a moment, his brows furrowing in concentration and anger. No, Alice could not leave again. It was only by miracle that she came here- he was no where close to finishing the model he had been working on all this time that would allow a person to travel between worlds. If she left now, he would continue to spend his days searching for a way to bring her back. And watching her leave again would surely be the end of him in his current state. No, promises be damned, Hater would not allow Alice to leave. She would hate him for this, but some day she would understand.

Hater was not the same without her around.

"No" He growled out, finally opening his eyes and fixating them on her, "I have changed much since he have left and with that came a certain power. You will not be leaving Wonderland. Not now, not ever" Hater grabbed her wrists with both his hands, gripping them tightly before pulling them both together in one of his hands. He placed his free hand roughly over her mouth and pushed her against the wall, trapping her with his body, "I can not travel between worlds yet, but I can travel farther and faster then anyone in Wonderland. Your friends will not be following us, so don't struggle"

With a flick of his head, Haters hat flew to the ground and landed with a resounding thud. He tapped his polished leather shoes against the bottom of the hat before releasing Alice's mouth for a moment to reach into his pocket and throw in a polished clear stone. He placed his hand back on her mouth just as the stone began to glow purple and then melt within the bottom of the hat, releasing a swell of purple smoke onto the white marble floors. Hater sent a worried glance towards the Queens dining area just as he pulled Alice against his side.

"Take us Home" He mumbled at the hat as he watched the smoke billow out and darken until it had taken on a massive looming circular shape that spilled upwards and outwards. Gingerly he stepped into the cloud, dragging Alice with him, and then leaned down to grab the hat just as the smoke came rushing back within the portal.

When he opened his eyes again, they were in his hat shop, the remnants of the purple cloud dissipating into the air.

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Hatters shop had not been open since the day after the war when Alice had left. He had sat wallowing for a week, spiking his tea with a special brew from March's personal collection before he boarded up the windows and pulled his red velvet drapes shut. The door, which he left un boarded so that he could have access to his shop turned hermit hole, now was so warped by weathering and miscare that it was jammed, covered in cobwebs and soot.

The hat shop walls had not changed over the years. Hats still hung from pegs from floor to ceiling, fabrics, decorations, and fake flowers displayed on racks. But now, after years of being left un touched, spotted spider-cows and million legged lady bugs called the crevices home. Cob webs and a blanket of dust covered the entire shop except for the corner that Alice and Hatter had landed in.

His working desk had remained in the same location, though it was no longer covered in bright fabric and sewing needles. Concoctions of various colors, floating animal parts, mechanical contraptions, and various tools of the hat trade lay strewn about, filling up the large mahogany desk till it was a wonder it was even standing.

They landed on an old circular rub a few feet from his desk and Hatter released Alice just as she wretched herself away from him. Hatter picked up his hat from the floor below them and took a step towards his desk, keeping his back to her so that he did not have to see her face- a face he knew was filled with hatred and anger.

"It wasn't supposed to be like this, Hatter," He heard her whisper to him, and he lowered his head to start at the grim filled floor boards, "Why couldn't you just let good enough be... I just wanted to help them! And then... th-then I could have come back.... I could have been happy,"

Hatter turned his vision upwards, his concentration caught by a single bat-fly flapping its tiny, see through wings frantically as it tried to reach the single light bulb that hung above Hatters desk. The bat-fly was old, probably nearing a day in age, and already he could see the signs of death about the little creature. But it continued to try and reach the light, even though its tiny wings were giving up on it.

"Who's word do I have that you would come back?" He spoke, turning around to face her has he placed the hate on his head, tipping it low to cast a shadow over his saddened eyes, "Yours? I no longer trust you, nor anyone. I've learned that if you want something done, you must do it yourself. Which is what I am doing-", Hatter gestured around himself, "-this is all for you. To keep you safe and bring you home"

He knew she would be angry, just as he knew that her tears would sadden him and her words would pierce him. As she ranted, Hatter stared with clouded eyes, pulling within himself so that he words would not pierce him like she wanted. And old hater would have cried, released her and begged for her forgiveness. But it was the old hater that had lost her twice- the new hater would never loose her again. Hatter had played the hero her entire life; he had protected her, released her, made her remember, gone along with her games, sacrificed himself, and loved her- but he also was forced to loose her every time her story was over.

As much as he hated to admit it, playing the villain got him what he wanted.

"I'm sorry I did this to you," she spat out under her breath, "But I want to know you're sorry you did this to me,"

Hatter shook his head and tilted the hat back so she could see his face. He smiled at her, a grim sort of smile that only meant something bad, "I will not apologize, not now or not ever. I know you know I am not a lying man, and I was taught that to say sorry meant you would never do it again. As much as you say that you belong in the other place, I know that you are lying to yourself. You were a creature of Wonderland the first time you visited us". Hater paused and turned his back to her, stepping closer to the hanging light and the frantic bat-fly. He blew, giving the membrane wings the gust of air they needed to reach their destination. He watched the little bug hit the burning hot bulb and zap its life away, falling lifeless to the desk wooden desk, "The windows are boarded up and the door was warped itself shut. There is the chimney, but I doubt you have learned to fly since we last met. The only escape is here-" Hater tapped his hat, casting a glance over his shoulder at her, "and I will only teach you to use it if you promise to never leave Wonderland"

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Alice sniffed, drying her tears as best she could. The floor was dirty and dusty, and some of it had settled on her shorts while she had been seated. Hatter didn't seem to want to look at her. Good, she thought with a huff. She didn't want to be seen like this and he should be ashamed anyway. The entire time she was talking he seemed set on simply ignoring her completely, vouching to rather stare at a peculiar little bat-fly in the corner. Eventually, though, he spoke, though what he said was not anything like what she wanted him to say.

"Who's word do I have that you would come back? Yours? I no longer trust you, nor anyone. I've learned that if you want something done, you must do it yourself. Which is what I am doing-this is all for you. To keep you safe and bring you home" Alice listened to him quietly, keeping herself from whimpering. She didn't know what had happened to him. She was not safe, she most certainly didn't feel at home. She felt hurt that he didn't trust her- moments before everything had happened and he had kidnapped her Alice would have bet her life on his word. By this point he was looking at her though, and she was startled to see that he didn't seem to harbor any emotions at all. As she spoke, he didn't do or say anything to show that he cared at all.

"I will not apologize, not now or not ever. I know you know I am not a lying man, and I was taught that to say sorry meant you would never do it again. As much as you say that you belong in the other place, I know that you are lying to yourself. You were a creature of Wonderland the first time you visited us" Alice stood up then, anger filling her veins. She'd heard enough. She tolerated a lot of things, but she would not allow someone to tell her who she was. He turned around, and she was glad because she wanted to step up and hit him, and that would get her nowhere fast. That is, until he blew the bat-fly into the light. She didn't know why that action made her so mad- maybe because the Hatter she loved, the Hatter she knew was still in there somewhere, would never disregard any life like that, even one on its final day.

"The windows are boarded up and the door was warped itself shut. There is the chimney, but I doubt you have learned to fly since we last met. The only escape is here-" Hatter tapped his hat, and Alice didn't need to check around to know he was right. Then again, even if the door was wide open she wasn't stupid enough to try it. He would find her with that infernal device on his head and it would be worse in the end, she could guess that much. "and I will only teach you to use it if you promise to never leave Wonderland" Hatter finished, and Alice rolled her eyes.

"Hatter, first of all you will not tell me who I am or where I belong. You can hit me, kidnap me, or make me feel absolutely useless if you want, but hell will freeze over before I will be told what to do," Alice felt her muchness flare as she sucked in a breath, bracing herself.

"Secondly, I guessed you weren't going to let me go, and you know I'm not going to agree to that. I may love wonderland, but keeping me here on your terms? We have a word for that- it's called a prison, Hatter, and I haven't committed a crime," she huffed, placing her hands squarely on her hips. The nails on one hand dug half-moons into the skin at her side as she took another deep breath and pinched the bridge of her nose to get her emotions in check. If he was going to be emotionless and uninvolved, she would be too.

"Hatter?" Alice questioned softly as she walked around to face him, stepping towards him until she had to crane her neck to look him in the eye. She grabbed his hand and held it in her's so that he couldn't try to move away.

"Ramsey, do you have settings for tea?" she asked, though really she just wanted something to do besides yell at him. It was tiring, having to fight with a person she thought was her friend. She could match wits with mean people and people she didn't like, but fighting with someone she liked wasn't something she knew how to do and she didn't want to do it.

"I like the scarf, by the way. You wore it... before... before I left," she reached a hand up and untucked the scarf from its place inside of his jacket. It was flowery and colorful, and completely out of place in the rest of his outfit. It made her smile. She wondered if he wore it often, but she doubted it. "But the way I remember it..." she trailed off, unwrapping one of the sides from around his neck so she held both in her hands. She carefully tied it into a bow, smiling. He looked a little bit more like the Hatter she remembered now, the Hatter she liked. She stiffened slightly and removed her hands from the scarf once it was back in a bow.

"I really miss you Hatter," she breathed and looked down. She placed her hands inside the pockets of her shorts. "I really do," After a moment of silence she sighed and looked up again, forcing a smile onto her face.

"So tea, then? The last thing I drank was that awful potion, and I'm famished... well I had soup, but it was a thick soup and I'm not counting it," she said, backing away from him a few steps.