Title- An Unbirthday and Talk of Other Things
Summary- It's been months since Hatter had appeared in her living room and kissed her. Now the happy couple have an apartment of their own but something is troubling Alice and it all comes to a head on Hatter's unbirthday.
Disclaimer- I own nothing
Alice sighed happily as she stretched out on the couch, it had been a tiring session at the studio where she taught her karate classes. The young woman wanted nothing more than to go to sleep in her boyfriend's strong arms. She looked around and was dissapointed when she didn't see Hatter anywhere. Alice did, however, hear a lot of rummaging around coming from the area of the kitchen.
"Hatter!" she called, not wanting to get up.
"I'll be a mo, love," He called back and the rummaging noises seemed to get louder which caused Alice's curiousity to grow. It had been almost two months since Hatter appeared at her home and had kissed her. Alice smiled and rolled her eyes as she remembered Hatter spinning around to face her mother and quickly explaining that he had known Alice for quite some time and that after seeing her hurt he just had to make his feelings known.
It took all she had to keep from laughing as Hatter expertly babbled out a believable lie. She would have been mad but Alice knew that Hatter's lie would save her a lot of explaining on why she had kissed a seeming stranger for no good reason. Her mother bought the story and Alice and Hatter had been together ever since, even going so far as to get their own place. The apartment was small and not as nice as her mother's but it suited them fine and Alice was content...mostly.
Now that she was out of Wonderland, reunited with Hatter, and had her own place Alice had time to mull over the things that had puzzled her in Wonderland. The one thing she thought about often was the subject of time. She was well aware that her world and Wonderland ran at different speeds. Two and a half weeks in Wonderland turned out to be an hour in her world. Hatter had mentioned that it had been 150 years since the last Alice had come through the Looking Glass.
Looking over at the coffee table she saw her battered copy of 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' sitting on top of a stack of magazines. Sitting up she grabbed the book and flipped through it's pages. She stopped as she came across the chapter concerning the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. All the familiar names were there; Hatter, Dormy, Alice and the Mad March Hare.
All the questions she had wanted to ask swirled in her head in a chaotic worried storm. She had to know and there was only one person she could ask. Setting the book down she stood with determination and made her way into the kitchen.
The kitchen was a festive wreak, tea cups and kettles were all over the place and there was even a small cake sitting precariously on the top of the fridge. "Hatter what are you doing?"
The man had a look of great frustration as he stuck his head in the freezer and looked around before glaring at the contents and closing the door. He spun on his heel and faced her with a sheepish smile. "Cutlery?" he asked and she shook her head before walking over to the drawer next to the sink and opened it to reveal what he had been looking for.
"Oh," he said before picking the various forks, knives, and spoons he needed before turning back to his organized mess.
Alice shook her head "So what are you doing?" she asked as she watched him grab the cake from the top of the fridge and set it down on an open space on the counter.
"Celebrating, wha's it look like?" he asked with a grin.
Hatter chuckled "Well, today is my unbirthday," he explained and Alice felt her heart sink to the pit of her stomach. It couldn't be, it wasn't possible.
"Un...unbirthday?" she asked warily and he nodded enthusiastically.
"Is that like a Wonderland thing, does everybody celebrate their unbirthday?" she asked hopefully.
Hatter shook his head "Nah, nobody else seems ta see the point, but I figure, why should only the day you were born be the one celebrated, why not every day."
"I see," Alice said softly.
"And if I remember correctly, today is your unbirthday too, so I made sure to get a cake big enough for the both of us," he said, seemingly pleased with his thoughtfulness.
Alice bit her lip before turning and walking out of the kitchen. Hatter watched her go in worried confusion, he didn't think he had done anything wrong. The unbirthday party was supposed to be a surprise that Alice would be pleased with. He hadn't had time for them with the overthrow of the Queen of Hearts and coming to Alice's world and getting settled in.
Looking around quickly he grabbed two cups of tea and made his way after his lover. Hatter found her sitting on the couch, staring at the copy of 'Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland'. Hatter had tried to get her to put the book away but she refused, it was the only thing of her father's that she kept out.
Sitting down next to her, he offered her the cup of tea and a smile. She took the cup but didn't return the smile and Hatter's worry grew.
"Wha's wrong?" he asked softly.
She was silent and Hatter wondered if she had heard him, Alice never took her eyes off the book, she seemed entranced by it.
"How old are you?" she asked finally.
"What?" he asked.
"When we first met, you told Ratty that 150 years ago a girl named Alice came to Wonderland but I couldn't be the same one because Oysters don't live that long...and in the book...in the book... are you the Mad Hatter," Alice said her voice wavering as she said the name.
Hatter stared down at his cup of tea and his thought drifted back to a lost little girl with blonde hair and the name of Alice. "I know how you feel about me lying to you..." he started and he heard Alice's sharp intake of breath.
"Yes, I'm the Mad Hatter," Hatter finished before gulping down all his tea and setting the cup on the table. He cupped her chin with his hand and gently forced her to look at him. "How old are you?" she asked, quickly adding "Not including unbirthday's"
Hatter chuckled at her inclusion "In Wonderland years I'm 217 years old, not including unbirthday's," he said and she nodded.
"We'll have to get a calculator and figure that out in this world's time," Alice said with a slight smile.
"Might take a bit more than a calculator love, maybe one a them rocket scientists you was tellin me about, they sound like a buncha smart lads," Hatter said, trying to cheer her up.
"So how many years is it going to take you to start looking like Charlie?" Alice teased, her mood lightened slightly.
"Hey, trust me, I'm never gonna look like Charlie," Hatter said with a smile.
She nodded before a sickening thought came to her. Alice had always been the one being left by men...but with Hatter, she would be the one to leave him. He was 217 years old and still looked like he was in his 20's. Alice forced the mental picture of him standing over her grave out of her head. She couldn't think about things like that, not now when they had just gotten started.
"Tell me about March Hare," Alice said and she instantly knew it was a mistake. Hatter's whole body tensed and he looked down at the floor, his sledgehammer right fist curled up so tight his knuckles turned white.
"I'm sorry, forget I said anything," she said feeling horrible at bringing up Mad March. She remebered from the story that Mad Hatter and March Hare were friends and when she got back from Wonderland one of the things that she pondered over the most was what had happened to the Hare that made him work for the Queen.
"No, it's fine, I want you to know actually, but the subject is rather hard to slip into casual conversation," Hatter confessed.
Alice gasped as Hatter took the cup of tea from her hands and set it next to his before encircling his arms around her waist and pulling her back to lay against him. He pressed his lips against her ear "About 30 years ago Wonderland time, Hare was captured by the suits, he was taken to the casino and I thought for sure the Queen would have his head for whatever made up crime he had commited. Well she did have his head, but she replaced it with that mechanical one that you're familiar with. Hare was always crazy but harmless, all he wanted to do was drink tea and talk nonsense like we did in that little book on the table. But she turned him into a psychopath, and as far as I'm concerned my best friend died as soon as the executioner's axe fell," Hatter finished his story and Alice swallowed the lump in her throat.
"That's why you said you didn't know who he was when we first saw him," Alice whispered and she felt Hatter nod.
"I'm so sorry Hatter," she said as she grabbed his hand and interlocked her fingers with his.
"Me too," he whispered. "He would have liked you ya know."
"I know I would have liked him too," Alice replied as she turned her head and captured his lips in a soft comforting kiss. They pulled apart and Hatter put on one of his brilliant smiles "No more sad stories for today, it's our unbirthday after all."
Alice returned the smile and nodded "Happy unbirthday Hatter, I love you."
"And a happy unbirthday to you, I love you too," Hatter said as he captured her lips in another kiss.
Alice still had a lot of questions and worries running through her mind but she wouldn't dwell on them for the moment, besides, she remembered another thing Hatter had told her in Wonderland. He said he would take care of her, and she believed him whole heartedly.