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Three Teacups Full of Fairy Dust

Worlds of Wonder

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a part of Three Teacups Full of Fairy Dust, by WendyDarling.

Many places of magic and mystery.

WendyDarling holds sovereignty over Worlds of Wonder, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

662 readers have been here.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/neverland http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/wonderland_%28fictional_country%29

Setting

All the places we will go!
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Worlds of Wonder

Many places of magic and mystery.

Minimap

Worlds of Wonder is a part of Three Teacups Full of Fairy Dust.

2 Places in Worlds of Wonder:

5 Characters Here

Peter Pan [53] "Growin' up is a terrible hin' "
Alice Kingsley [49] "I'm mad. You're mad. Maybe we're all mad!"
Wendy Moira Angela Darling [39] "Magic does not preclude the dishes getting done."
Hatter [12] "Twinkle..."
Hatter WIP [1] "Twinkle...."

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Character Portrait: Peter Pan Character Portrait: Wendy Moira Angela Darling Character Portrait: Alice Kingsley
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"...I 'hink I like my tree hoose bet'er, but mebbe some walls an' pillars woods be good. Shoods I get th' Lost Boys some armor like these lot? I likes their helmet."

Wendy chuckled, and spoke softly back, "I think armor would be a good idea on war-days, but I don't know if they'd wear it. They have a great desire to be comfortable and they're usually tumbling one place or another, which doesn't work for most armor. Maybe some light armor? Some chain mail, in black? Maybe with your crest on it," she said, laughing. "What would your crest be? A crown and a sword, I think, maybe with some greenery. Remind me when we get to Neverland and I'll embroider you a royal crest, I feel like you need one." It certainly wouldn't help his self-importance issues, but he was the King of Neverland, so he needed to be able to make a good show of it. Besides, he was her friend, and she knew it would give him a thrill to have his very own crest, to go with his crown, scepter, and robes.

The White Queen came in and Wendy curtsied rather awkwardly, having little experience but wanting to err on the side of being respectful. A celebration sounded good, they certainly couldn't leave before that. The Queen was... interesting. In some respects she reminded Wendy of Alice, especially in that the Queen came off as very light-hearted and a bit scattered, but there was something underneath the surface. Something a bit darker that belied her demeanor, something with the edge of steel. Or whatever the Wonderland equivalent was. No matter what her personality seemed like, she was dressed very elegantly with a delicate looking silver crown. It gave Wendy the jewelry-envies, a little, although wearing a crown had always seemed like a bother on regular days. They were good for impressing others, though, and all in all the White Queen made a visual impact. She wondered what it was like under her rule.

"Well, how many I help the friends of my Champion?" The Queen asked them, in the kitchen. Wendy spoke for them, even though the Queen was looking at Peter. Better to get things out simply, and as much as she loved Peter's accent, in words that the Queen would quickly understand.

"Your majesty, we'd like to go to Neverland. Alice might think it was her mistake, but I'm not so sure if we had the spell quite right. I could have made a mistake, myself. So...if you could, your majesty, could you help us get to Neverland? If that's all right, of course. And it doesn't... offend." Well, that was awkward. Real royalty was more intimidating than Wendy thought, and it didn't help that she had always felt the need to be respectful to genuine authority figures. She was very grateful that Neverland didn't have any of those. She'd rather be the authority figure, she thought, to her own private amusement. Much rather. Less guesswork that way, and she'd never leaned towards formality unless it was in play.

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Character Portrait: Peter Pan Character Portrait: Wendy Moira Angela Darling Character Portrait: Alice Kingsley
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#, as written by Ivisbo
Of course, Peter being Peter, he made no move to formally bow or 'curtesy' to the Queen when she came in. He dad stare at her though, stared at her like the little boy he though he was. Peter had always had a young look to him, but when that Queen came in he might have well have lost 10 years.

She was beautiful. As much as Peter hated white, the Queens whole appearance screamed something magically and different in a way that her palace screamed something off and strange. Her long perfectly straight white hair looked like the waterfall the mermaids used to bathe near and her hair reminded him of them as well. Her skin, though he thought she needed a warm cup of soup, looked like the paper that Wendy wrote her books in- it appeared just as soft and silky as well, though Peter made no move to touch. Peter had only thought of Neverland as 'beautiful' before he saw the Queen, but now he under stood why Alice was so keen on getting to her. She looked like the Queen of the Fairies at the same time as the wife of the Indian tribe- strong and delicate all at the same time.

Peter followed the group, though he stayed quiet and simply dogged after the Queen- barely paying Alice and Wendy any mind. Though he did remain securely behind them (he though he might make a fool of himself if he opened his mouth now). The Hare was a little of a surprise to him, but he had dealt with stranger and simply side stepped the bowl as it came soaring past Alice to him. The kitchen was a mess- but the smell coming from the put the rabbit was currently muttering over smelled of something amazing so he payed it little mind. Peter knew nothing of cooking and honestly the Queen was far more interesting then a crazy rabbit and his carrot.

"Well, how many I help the friends of my Champion?" Peters eyes locked with her ethereal ones and he blinked, not even sure he understood what she said. He opened his mouth to reply, blinked again, coughed, then opened his mouth to reply again-

But Wendy beat him too it, "Your majesty, we'd like to go to Neverland. Alice might think it was her mistake, but I'm not so sure if we had the spell quite right. I could have made a mistake, myself. So...if you could, your majesty, could you help us get to Neverland? If that's all right, of course. And it doesn't... offend"

Peter pierced his lips, truly sure he could have said that himself, but deeply he was glad Wendy had. He would have ended up muttering or jumbling up the words like he usually did and would have this beautiful lady staring at him like he was an idiot (and he surely was not!). So, instead, Peter pushed his hair back from his face (in a way that he thought was very attractive), rolled his shoulders back, stuffed his hands in his pocket, and nodded at the Queen.

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Alice turned to Peter at the same time the Queen did, and the sight sort of made her want to giggle. He was floundering, and Alice found it hilarious. She understood why he might be overwhelmed- any male with properly functioning hormones would be. The queen was pretty, after all. And, also, a bloody queen! But not The bloody queen- the bloody queen was exiled, Alice. Bloody big-head is gone to the outlying areas of Wonderland, won't ever return, Alice's mind reminded herself, and she rolled her eyes at it. Well of course, but it's a term, she thought in her snobbiest voice back at her mind before returning to Wendy and Peter and the world of right-and-properly-sized-real-things.

Peter was doing no better with the Queen's question, and for a prince he did not have many manners when it came to how to act around royalty- or girls, for that matter. Alice supposed she couldn't blame him- Neverland didn't have any girls, according to Wendy. Real girls, at least. The mermaids counted as 'girls' but Wendy assured her they were too mean to be considered real women of any rank or making.

"Your majesty, we'd like to go to Neverland. Alice might think it was her mistake, but I'm not so sure if we had the spell quite right. I could have made a mistake, myself. So...if you could, your majesty, could you help us get to Neverland? If that's all right, of course. And it doesn't... offend" Wendy interrupted Alice's thinking of what qualified a real woman (Aside from being born a girl, of course. So far the 'right and real' woman was as follows- classy, elegant, versed in manners, could operate in any situation, was always decent even in sleep, never swore, and never outwardly showed large amounts of emotion. And frankly, Alice found no use in abiding by those rules, and didn't, so she proposed she couldn't be a real and right girl, but that even though she couldn't be both right and real she could at least be real and that being born a girl and not half-fish would have to cover that part) Alice was thankful Wendy had taken over for Peter-the-fish-out-of-water, but she was slightly confused as to why the Queen would be any sort of offended. To Alice's memory, all the offence-taking genes ended up with the red queen.

"Of course I will do my best..." the Queen's next words were cut off by a bowl of hot soup flying over their heads and clanging to the ground. March yelled something to the effect of 'soups on' before Alice figured it would be okay to lean up again.

"Dinner's ready. Why he can't use a bell is beyond me, even. Now, I'm sure you all are famished and, if it wouldn't be a bother, you should stay for dinner. I'll look into my library later to see if I can't find something to help you- though it might take a bit. No one but The Rabbit travels between worlds and that's his family secret. I've never attempted," the queen said as she leaned over to pick up the glass bowl that had- miraculously- not shattered.

"Thank you kindly, miss. As long as my error can be righted, I'm sure a little food couldn't hurt," Alice said before waving at Peter and Wendy to follow her as she walked over to the kitchen and grabbed a bowl and a plate. Food worked differently in Wonderland- always did. The place kind of ran on a 'fend for yourself' basis after all, even if it was diluted in the safety of the Palace. Plates were limited (March broke most of them, so only so many survived) and Alice had learned that if you didn't get a bowl you would get a teacup and eating soup or- heaven forbid- pasta from a teacup was an odd experience, especially if you got a cracked cup. She grabbed a bowl for the Queen as well before passing it to the white-haired woman in question, who smiled at her before reminding her that she fended for herself quite well without her champion to protect her from the dangers of plate-grabbing. Alice nodded as she walked back to Wendy and Peter with her bowl clutched to her. Even if they didn't eat just yet, securing tableware was very important and she was not eating soup from a cup, again. Champions got no special treatment around the dinner table in Wonderland.

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Character Portrait: Peter Pan Character Portrait: Wendy Moira Angela Darling Character Portrait: Alice Kingsley
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Wendy followed Alice's example and grabbed a bowl, as well. This place just got stranger and stranger. The mix of formal and informal was hurting her head, compounding the ache behind her eyes looking around at Wonderland had given her. Shaking it off a little, she resigned herself to Wonderland being nothing like she expected at any turn. Annoying of it, but better to adapt than struggle against a clearly strong tide. Maybe Wonderland had a logic of its own that she could figure out, so to be better prepared for the twists and turns of this strange land? Hmmm. It was worth working on. Perhaps Alice or the Queen would have some insights in that direction, as Wendy hated being off balance with a fiery passion. Control issues? What control issues?

A rabbit--or rather, the March Hare--served them something that looked like a mix between a stew and a goulash, with a rather interesting smelling sauce. Broth? It was hard to tell. Regardless, she didn't object when March gave her a huge ladle-full. Her bowl was cracked, but held under the weight of the thick... dinner. Thing. Together they followed the Queen into another room, what looked like a formal dining room. The decor held true from the other rooms. Pale walls, marble floors, some silver decor, and mostly colorless. Squinting one eye after she sat down, the Queen became almost invisible to Wendy were it not for her bold choice in lipstick. Dipping her spoon into the ... soup, Wendy took a small taste. Her eyes widened. It was actually pretty good. She would describe it later in her journal as a rather earthy sort of soup with a fresh aftertaste. It was like a tree and leaves, without actually being a plant, which was a horrible way to describe it but she couldn't think of any other way. Her next spoonful was much larger.

They were all grouped on one side of the table, with the Queen at the head, so it was easy to make conversation. Deciding to start off with the pleasantries, Wendy made the safest opening remark she could think of. "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?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter Pan Character Portrait: Wendy Moira Angela Darling Character Portrait: Alice Kingsley
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#, as written by Ivisbo
Peter followed along with the girls and grabbed his food, piling the delicious smelling meal in the small bowl- spilling a bit in the process. One thing Peter had never taken to was table manners, but that didn't seem to be a problem here in Wonderland (if the Hare was anything to go by). Peter paused before he turned to walk away and grinned at the crazed rabbit still staring at his concoction brewing in the oversized pot.

"T'anks fer the meal", Peter called out to him, at which time the Hares massive pupils flicked to Peters and he lifted one side of his face in an obscure and terrifying version of a smile. Peter shifted away then, not of fright but more of discomfort as the Rabbit continued to stare at him.

Peter followed behind Wendy to the table and sat down across from Alice, paying extra special attention to his meal as he tried to avoid contact with the Queen. Peter would have expected himself to be loud and boisterous and excited in this sort of occasion- but with the ethereal white woman sitting at the head of table, Peter deemed remaining quiet a better option.

"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?", Of course, Wendy was the one that always kept the polite pleasantries in place. Sometimes Peter wondered how she kept up her strange facade of politeness when he knew how much of a Lost Boy she truly was. As he took a spoon full, he glanced over at Wendy, eyeing her profile as she awaited the Queens reply. Strange as it seemed, Peter was not angry that Wendy was not herself around everyone that she met. Normally, he would call someone out that was hiding their true identity, but with Wendy....Peter enjoyed the fact that he was the only one that got to see how she truly was. Or maybe that was just how she was in Neverland, maybe Peter didn't really know her...

He frowned, the train of thought instantly making him feel a swell of anxiety. Peter never remembered thinking like this before he was sent away from Neverland and forced to grow up. It must be a symptom of age, some horribly outcome of time washing away his lighthearted happiness. Quickly Peter turned his attention back to his stew, practically stabbing the bowl with his spoon as he readied another bite.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter Pan Character Portrait: Wendy Moira Angela Darling Character Portrait: Alice Kingsley 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: Peter Pan Character Portrait: Wendy Moira Angela Darling Character Portrait: Alice Kingsley 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.

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Character Portrait: Peter Pan Character Portrait: Wendy Moira Angela Darling Character Portrait: Alice Kingsley 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?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter Pan Character Portrait: Wendy Moira Angela Darling Character Portrait: Alice Kingsley Character Portrait: Hatter
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#, as written by Ivisbo
"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"


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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: Peter Pan Character Portrait: Wendy Moira Angela Darling Character Portrait: Alice Kingsley 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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Character Portrait: Peter Pan Character Portrait: Wendy Moira Angela Darling Character Portrait: Alice Kingsley
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"Wendy the Flatmate." Wendy repeated to herself, and chuckled. Oh, to have fallen so far to hear such a thing from the Hatter, an odd wonder of Wonderland if there ever was one. Really, she had to get Peter to give her an official title back in Wonderland, just to keep up with her friends! Peter the King, Alice the Champion, not to mention all of Alice's Wonderland friends with their own stories and accomplishments. To be fair, however, in Neverland she had been the Storyteller, briefly a Pirate, always a Mother, but they didn't carry the same ring. But... Storyteller was something she'd carry always, something she couldn't give up, no matter how inconsequential it seemed against other, grander things.

Peter's hand brushed hers under the table. Reflexively, she grabbed it in hers, holding it tight and lacing her fingers through his. She turned her head to smile at him. "They seem like they know what they're doing, Peter," Wendy remarked, and turned again to watch Alice smile at them and leave the room with Hatter. Hopefully, if Alice needed backup, she would come and get her, but.. something made her doubt that. This was Alice's place. Alice's story, Alice's strength. Alice could do it on her own, but still, Wendy worried. Ah yes, the fourth title she'd been missing. Wendy the Worrier. Had a nice alliterative ring to it.

"So, Peter," she asked, taking a bite of her soup with her other hand and turning to him, still holding his hand fast in hers for as long as hed allow it. "Alice has to do her thing, and I'm sure the Queen might need some time to do her own research, so how about we go exploring? If it pleases Your Majesty, that is," she said, belatedly remembering the courtesies and nodding her head politely to the Queen before turning back to meet Peter's eyes.

"We might not be here for long, and I for one am very curious about Wonderland, especially considering all the stories I've heard of it. I can't quite seem to make out how it works, and that makes me want to poke around a bit. Besides, the Lost Boys could always use new stories. Heaven knows they'll probably be bored stiff by my adventures in England. Although, I have to admit," she said with a slightly embarrassed laugh, "I am a bit rusty when it comes to adventuring. Too long playing Grown Up, so you'll have to reteach me again, I'm afraid. Grown Up adventures just aren't the same."

As she said those words, it struck her like a mermaid's tail to the face--yes, that had happened, no, she didn't want to talk about it, and yes of COURSE Peter had been involved--that that's what she'd been doing in Brighton. Playing at being a "Grown Up." Of course she'd grown up physically and mentally, of course she felt differently and had matured past who she'd been in Neverland as a child, but. But. There was always a caveat, and this one was significant in her mind. She'd gotten a job, a flat, a flatmate, Grown Up friends, everything you were supposed to do when you grew up. And much of that felt natural to her, but the underlying motive had never been a natural one, and she'd never really anticipated her future. How could she? In a game of Let's Pretend, she'd even fooled herself so well that she believed she wasn't playing the game anymore. Of course she'd seen herself happy and settled down, but she could never take the middle steps or even see them, as much as she longed for that picture perfect future. Such a conundrum she had, then, and perhaps Wonderland was a good a place as any to think it out. If Neverland was what she wanted, which she knew in the deepest part of herself that it was, what did she want from 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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Character Portrait: Peter Pan Character Portrait: Wendy Moira Angela Darling
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Ah, and there was the reason he would always choose his Wendy. It was as if she could read his mind through a simple touch. As soon as the world 'exploring' left Wendy's mouth, a brilliant smile spread across his face. It was one of those impish smiles that would send shivers down Hooks back, would cause a cheer of excitement from the Lost Boys, and never failed to tint Wendys cheeks a cheery blossom pink.

Peter wasted no time standing. He had not released Wendys hand yet, so the action jerked her arm up a bit (though really, Peter was far to excited to notice). Still holding her hand, the King produced a flamboyant bow for the White Queen to his left. He looked up at her from his bowed position with a grin, "If yoo'll excuse us, m'lady, but I woods have tae agree wi' Wendy. A quick tour aroond yer land wouldnae hurt, am I correct?"

The Queen let out a twittering laugh, the sound of song birds seeming to leak from her dark mouth, "Of course not Peter, but do be careful. I am sure you know how to defend yourself accordingly" She gave him a knowing smile just as he twisted and pulled Wendy with him towards the open balcony beyond the dining table.

"Wendy come 'en!" He called back to her, tugging her outside with him to look over the pure white landscape and the forests that stretched beyond it. Peter released her hand as he came closer to the railing, gripping the banister with both hands as he leaned forward and let the wind catch in his hair.

Peter inhaled deeply, closing his eyes as he drifted forward for a moment to let his full wait rest agains the rail. His feet lifted off the ground for a second, long enough for him to imagine himself flying...

Suddenly Peter spun around to face the girl behind him, his eyes full of pride and joy and happiness and amazement and all the things that had once made Peter 'Peter Pan'. That imp smile spread across his face, crinkling his eyes upwards as he beamed at her, "I'm gonna fly!" He practically yelled at her, then turned around just as fast and began to climb the railing to stand a top it.

He never tried when he lived on Earth. He spent the entire time trying to survive and make it through all the pain and turmoil the real world caused him, flying was last on his list of things. He dreamed of it at night, but that was as close as he ever came to soaring above the clouds. And Earth had never been beautiful to him, he had never dreamed of seeing the concrete and steel from the sky. As much as he loathed the idea of being stuck in Wonderland like he had been Earth, he had to admit that it was far better to be here then there. He could at least imagine happiness- and there was so much to explore!

Peter looked down at the ground far below him, a second of doubt creeping into his mind. It had been over a year since he had flown. Not only that, but he had actually never flown outside of Neverland. It had always been his shadow on Earth, never his actual body...

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Character Portrait: Alice Kingsley Character Portrait: Hatter
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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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Wendy held on to Peter's hand as he dragged her out of the room, doing a hurried half curtsey to the Queen as she went. She watched in amused awe as he fearlessly scaled the railing and stood atop it. "Peter!" She said laughing. "Just wait a minute!" but her words were swallowed by the wild wind.

Wendy took off her pack, she'd grabbed it in their rush out, and reached in for the small pouch. Putting the pack down again, she held the small pouch in two hands, taking a deep breath. This was it. This was the new world, her new life. There was no reason to wait any longer. She slowly loosened the drawstrings, just enough for two fingers to go in and get a pinch of the precious golden dust. As she did so, she settled her mind and closed her eyes, finding her happy thought. Her happiest one. The place in her mind where everything was bright again. The pinch of dust flew against her face, and she took a deep breath. After a moment, she opened them. She was flying again!

The feeling was indescribable. Like the purest, most perfect childhood dream. Grinning widely, Wendy floated up to Peter.

"Boy! What are you doing!" She called as she floated over the railing and the ground below. She did a slow flip, then gaining confidence, a couple more. Reaching into the pouch at her side and giggling at the look at Peter's face, she threw some at him. She wasn't sure if Neverland's rules would apply here. Better not to chance it! "Come on, then! Let's go! Wonderland awaits!" She held out her hand to Peter and waited.

Enough of the past. This was the future, and it was bright with pixie dust.

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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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Character Portrait: Peter Pan Character Portrait: Wendy Moira Angela Darling
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ImagePeter caught the pack of pixie dust as Wendy threw it to him and didn't waste anytime in opening the drawstrings. He had not seen this substance in so long, the mere sight of the shimmery powder almost brought tears of happiness to his eyes. Tinkerbell, his best friend and pixie and the only being in the world that ever got him before he met Wendy. His heart panted at the thought of her, how upset she must be, whether he had moved on or stuck with the Lost Boys. Whether she was still alive now that Captain Hook had no one to keep him in line.

At that thought, his swell of excitement coursed back through him and without a thought- he let go. The small bag of pixie dust thunked to the floor of the balcony just as Peter's body rushed by the railing. He fell straight towards the ground floors below, his blonde hair flying back behind as he let his body fall into a free fall position. Quickly Peter summersaulted in the air so he was facing up, a grin plastered across his face as he made eye contact with a shrinking Wendy getting farther and farther away.

And just before he hit the ground, Peter winked at his girl far above, rolled his chest towards the ground, a flew forward like he had been doing it all along. He snaked through the garden, letting his body move like water around the white plants and bushes that he past. Just as he reached the entrance to the castle grounds, he arched himself up in a half circle to round back to Wendy.

"Bet ye thooght Ah couldnae make it, huh?" He called out to her cheekily as he floated closer, his balance as perfect as ever,"Peter Pan ne'er hits th' ground remember that!" A loud rooster call flew from him, deeper then he remembered being able to do but just as loud and excitement filled. Cheeks red with excitement, Peter flew around Wendy in a circle and then continued on towards the deepest of Wonderlands forests, "Come on Wendy, keep up!" He called back to her, "Lets go see if this place is anythin' like Alice's stories or if she was makin' it all up!"

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Alice's darting eyes watched Hatter's face go from one of joy to one of hate in a matter of moments, all while she was talking. She didn't know what she had done wrong. She missed him, she missed wonderland. But he had to understand! She had made a promise, and she always followed through on those. Peter missed his never-land as much as she had missed Wonderland, of that she was very sure. She didn't want his joy to be forgotten because she had an infatuation with a whimsical world and the people there- especially not simply because of her selfish want to be in wonderland and with a loony milliner! But maybe she had gone about it the wrong way- she just needed to make him understand, after all. He could come with her, if he was so inclined, but she hadn't thought it would be a need. Maybe he had changed more than his outfit while she was away.

"My turn," a darker voice than she remembered Hatter having mumbled, and all at once how much of a position Alice had gotten herself into came into stunning focus. Hatter blocked her escape in a few steps, cornering her against the cool wall. Alice's eyes lit with defiance and she stubbornly refused to back down from his gaze, instead meeting him eye-to-eye (though he was taller than her and she had to crane her neck).

""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?" Hatter said, and she felt like a child again under his stare. She was being scolded! She huffed and blinked her eyes, not understanding his anger. She'd seen his anger before, of course, but never, Never, directed at her. Wonderland was a happy place, and suddenly she didn't feel happy at all. In fact, she was seeing quite red!

"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" Alice couldn't help the smile that pulled at her lips at this- he had been searching for her? She had assumed he would be quite busy with all the commotion she had left the second time. Hatter seemed to be making up his mind, and Alice let him. Alice was a wordy girl by nature, but she would let him have his spat. She was confident he would see things her way, if she just explained more clearly. However, she couldn't help but feel a bit off-put by this 'new' hatter. He certainly was more temperamental.

"No, Alice's eyes snapped back to Hatter's own at once. In all her years she had never heard anyone say that with that much vigor. He sounded definite. She let out a breathy squeak that she would never admit was fear (though the lump rising in her throat would beg to differ). As he continued: "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".

Alice tried to back away, but the Hatter grabbed her wrists and pulled her forward. She hardly had time to let out a small sound of discontent before he had her trapped against the wall, with one had over her mouth. She'd never felt this endangered in her life, not even when she was fighting for her life with a sword in her hand. She struggled and tried to kick, but she couldn't find purchase and instead took to trying to shake him away. She tried to bite at him or claw or anything to combat the rising feeling of dread in her chest. He was much stronger than she remembered, though, and eventually all she could do was just go limp against him and look at him. She tried her best to keep eye contact as he explained something about moving through Wonderland faster than any other creature, her eyes sad and still rimmed with residual anger.

"...Your friends will not be following us, so don't struggle" Hatter said darkly. Like hell! Alice began her fight once again, doing her best to find a way to hurt him without really causing damage. Alice was sure this was not Hatter- not her Hatter at least, not Ramsey. This, whomever this might be, was a monster with the body of her Hatter.

Alice saw the not-Hatter flick his head to the side, sending his hat falling to the ground. And then he let go of her mouth. She barely had time to form a cognitive thought before she was screaming, not really for any one or anything, just out of fear and frustration. She was horribly, horribly scared, if anything. Hatter clamped his hand back over her mouth before her voice could really rise into any loud sound, however, and any hope of getting out of this without leaving the palace faded with it. Whatever the non-hatter had thrown into the hat was glowing bright purple, and although a part of her was quite interested, most of her was feeling like a small child alone at night.

"Take us Home" the not-hatter said, and Alice felt with all her body the need to correct him. They were not an 'us', nor did they share a home. That was a prospect Alice would have fought for with the Real, Correct Hatter, perhaps, but not with this twisted form. Alice was dragged through the purple haze quickly, and it was the most strange feeling for quite some time before the smoke cleared. Alice was dizzy for a second, but became even more so when she regained her sight.

Hatter's hat-shop. Everything was different, but much of it was just as she remembered, and she shook her head minutely at the thought. She realized that this probably wasn't going to be as much of a happy reunion as the blonde wanted- this reunion would be just as happy as this was truly a hat shop. As Alice looked around, knowing they were probably a ways away from any savior, she closed her eyes and looked down. Everything was wrong, even for Wonderland. Hat shops were not hat shops- they were prisons. Hatters were not hatters- they were kidnappers. And Alice, for one, was not okay with it. She squared her jaw and began to look around- for anything that might help her. Oh, what she would give for Wendy now! Wendy knew how to talk her way out of anything. Alice was all action and perhaps a kind word here and there. Alice, in her own eyes, was a child with a sword, stuck in her wonderland even when it wasn't there. She had been childish to think Wonderland would wait on her, wouldn't change while she was gone, and she needed to grow up now. Hatter was no longer a looney companion. This Non-Hatter was dangerous, and Alice wanted her Hatter back, now.

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Watching Peter take to the skies as he flew past her was a piece of home, rightness sliding back into place. Wendy's grin was hurting her face, but it didn't matter. This was who he was. Peter. The Boy from Neverland, who'd found his magic again. She leapt into the skies after him, fearless once again, filled with the childish trust she'd once had that wherever Peter led, there she'd want to be. Whether or not it got her into trouble, as it often did.

Away they flew, across strange, dark forests and wide colored landscapes, laughing. Thankfully she wasn't wearing a nightgown this time so there was no reason not to follow Peter in all of his tricks and flips, or even making up some of her own. Or was she remembering them? It was hard to tell. Her adult body wasn't as limber as her childish one had, but she made up for it in verve and the spurring sense of lost time.

Time out of Neverland wasn't wasted, but that time was done. Peter flew ahead of her, his hair going every which way in the wind as she was sure hers was. It wasn't quite the same without the smell of the ocean far below, but the wonders of Alice's own land of adventure were many. Birds flew past, and as they dipped close to the trees, a rocking-horse fly buzzed in her face and she scrunched her nose and shooed it away.

Bright flowers carpeted the forest floor, too bright to be real except in Wonderland. As they flew past them, Wendy heard them complaining about the wind, as well as the indignity of humans taking flight. Judgmental little things, weren't they? "Talking flowers, Peter!" Wendy pointed out. "And they don't seem to like us!" She added, laughing.

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Alice scrambled away from the Hatter, pulling her arm from his grasp. She didn't try to run away, though, not towards the door. She understood that she probably wouldn't make it far, nor did she really want to have to hurt him in any way- and trying to run and getting into a fight because of it would only serve to do just that. So, Alice straightened a lock of hair on her head and grabbed onto a nearby hat-stand, holding herself up by sheer will. Her head was spinning, and she felt horribly sick. A part of her said that was because of the trip, but she knew. She felt sick because she knew she had caused this.

I did this to him,

The thought wasn't comforting in the least. Alice didn't want to take blame for making... the non-hatter come about. Alice looked down at the floor, at her scuffed-up tennis shoes, and sighed. She didn't even know where to begin sorting herself out at this point- in the past day she had messed up so much. She mucked up getting Peter to Neverland, she hadn't handled talking with the Hatter well, and she found out she had messed up him so completely he decided to kidnap her! Alice wanted to scream, but propriety and being in the company of a madman made her bite her lip and hold herself back.

Alice composed herself as she leaned against the hat rack unsteadily. She didn't even know where to start- apologize? He had so much more to apologize for than her! Even in a mad state he should have known it wasn't okay to kidnap a woman! Yell? Alice knew she would get nowhere getting into a row with him.

"How can I be this much of a screw up," Alice groaned under her breath. All of this was weighing her down, and she slid down the hat rack and onto the floor, her feet splayed out at an awkward angle. She pressed her hands to her temples and let herself be engulfed in darkness. It wasn't supposed to happen like this! Alice was supposed to take Peter home, and come to Wonderland and never have to worry about anything ever again!

Where was her happily ever after? Hadn't she done enough to deserve it?

Alice left Hatter, left Wonderland, after the last time because she had things that had to be done, places to go to and people to meet. She had slain even though the fact the thought made her gag. She'd almost never done anything for herself! Alice clutched at her hair as the first tear fell.

Champions don't cry, a voice oddly like Chess's popped into her head.

I am no champion, she thought back.

"It wasn't supposed to be like this, Hatter," Alice looked up and wiped away her tears, smiling a false grin at her false friend.

"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," Alice said, never moving from her spot on the floor.

"But you had to be selfish enough to try to keep me here! I'm not the Dormouse, I'm not the March Hare, Hatter. My hair doesn't want cutting like the rest of you, my hair grows and needs cutting. I'm not a talking flower, I'm not a queen. I'm not a hatter's companion alone,. I'm so much more than that... I was supposed to be so much more! I just wanted to help them... and then I could be happy. I thought if I did this, if I was selfless just once more in my life, I would have done enough to deserve happiness," Alice said, never meeting his eyes.

"But I see now I've not done nearly enough to deserve joy. I broke you, and I probably broke so many others as well. I couldn't save you from yourself.... I was the crazy girl for so many years, dreaming, wishing nothing more than to get back..... and it's nothing like I dreamed, Hatter. It's nothing at all like I dreamed... I just want my wonderland back- even if it has to be pretend. I want to take Peter back to Neverland and I want to go home, to my nice hatter-inspired bed that's never hurt me, to my mushroom lamps and my march-hare desk... I like my false wonderland better than the real thing," Alice trailed off, chuckling under her breath.

"I'd rather the kids on the street yell at me for being crazy than be here. You hear that, Hatter!? I'd rather a repeat performance of what happened before I met Wendy... right after I got back, than be here! And that was horrible! I couldn't save myself from myself either. I'd rather be back at my craziest than in the company of the man I thought was crazy enough to enjoy my company," Alice, at this point, was openly crying, silent tears streaming down her face.

"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,"

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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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Peter laughed at Wendy as she caught up, glancing down at the field of flowers below that were glaring up at her, "Just loch th' mermaids, ye really dornt have a way wit' girls." He grinned at her, then tugged at her hair a bit, "But don't worry, Ah t'ink yer prettier then all th' flowers an' th' mermaids."

He released her and flew ahead, coming to a rolling somersault landing in front of a bog like creek that gurgled with purple, coconut smelling slime. Peter hopped onto a log that balanced itself between the land and the foul water, leaning forward to get a better look at the thick sludge.

"Thes looks loch somethin' Alice woods cook" He called back to Wendy, sticking a finger into the ooze and withdrawing purple goo the consistency of snot, "or maybe a wee worse. Ye t'ink all th' ponds in Wonderland looks like this?"

Peter looked up at Wendy and grinned boyishly, sticking his hand back into the purple snot and withdrawing a gob of it. He stood, handing it out to her, "Want a taste?" He reached back to throw it at her and-



Somewhere in the woods not to far away, a being awoke that should not have been awake for a few more months. While Wonderland does not have seasons like the normal world, animals still like to rest months at a time before roaming the world preying on the smaller beasts...and this such animal was on that slept for almost a year before it awoke for its 'summer'.

Its large, bear like nose inhaled, sucking in the dirt and leaves around it as the air streamed in through its nostrils. It could smell everything- the rocking horse flies three miles away, the flowers only a mile outside its den, the parrot-cats, and the hunting deer-bears, and everything within its domain. What awoke the great beast was not the smell of its usual territory dwellers, but the smell of two humans lurking near its watering hole. She had not smelled humans since the Champion long ago- but these two were not her.

A yellow eyes appeared in the darkness of the cave hole, the other eye turned glossy blue after being lost long ago. The massive body of the creature made the rocks shake as it stood and took its first step out of the cave, its menacing set of teeth leaking saliva as its mouth opened to taste the air.

And then a menacing roar ripped through the forests of Wonderland as the bandersnatch through its massive body forward to hunt down the humans that had invaded her territory.

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-Peter froze just before he tossed the glob, his eyes going wide as the roar echoed through the trees. Birds of various sizes and colors flew into the air all around them, and animals appeared from no where to race out of the clearing. Peter looked up at Wendy, eyes eyes wide and eyebrows raised, "Ya t'ink we shoolds worry?"

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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.

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"Just loch th' mermaids, ye really dornt have a way wit' girls. But don't worry, Ah t'ink yer prettier then all th' flowers an' th' mermaids."

Compliments were nothing new from Peter, although in the old days it was how she could tell he wanted something. Perhaps that had changed with time? It was still nice to hear, however, especially since her history with boys and flattery was fairly sparse. Peter himself had usually flattered her skills, or her gender, not her looks. Wendy had often felt confident that he never noticed what a girl looked like at all, no matter her species. She laughed inwardly as she put it down to Peter's long awaited completion of puberty, and tucked it away in her memory where she put all of the things that mattered to her.

Wendy wrinkled her nose at him, thinking of Neverland's mermaids, her face a study in mockery. "Girls I have no problem with. I lived with Alice, and we got along just fine, and she isn't the only friend I have who happens to be a girl. Mermaids, however, aren't girls at all, and you know that, Peter. They're just... horrid!"

She looked where he did at the purple goo and her expression turned sour.

"Thes looks loch somethin' Alice woods cook, or maybe a wee worse. Ye t'ink all th' ponds in Wonderland looks like this?"

"I doubt it," she responded, no desire to give it a poke. "Why would anyone want to drink that? It looks horrible! And Alice's cooking isn't that bad." All right, Alice wasn't the best cook in the world, but she couldn't just let Peter slight her like that... even if it held a grain of truth--but only when Alice attempted certain dishes! Or got distracted by something in the middle of cooking... or decided that a certain recipe needed a particular "Wonderland" flair that struck everyone who hadn't visited the place as completely odd.

She ducked when his hand went up to throw some goo at at her, typical Peter! but they were interrupted by a loud sound. Something dark and angry, that echoed through the trees and made the goo vibrate beneath them.

"Ya t'ink we shoolds worry?"

Wendy floated up a bit higher. "Perhaps. Alice told me of many things that live in these woods, and some of them are quite dangerous. We'd better stay far off the ground... and find Alice. Quickly. She'll know how to deal with it, and if she doesn't, her Hatter will. They're both enterprising individuals, and as much as I know you'd love to throw yourself into battle, my dear Peter, forewarned is forearmed."