They had done it...They had reached the end.
They had finished the story.
It was time for the end.
But, nothing had happened.
"Alfred?" Alice glanced at the male, who was observing the clear scene around them, all the Wonderland characters had dissapeared from the trial room, and now they were in an empty room, with nobody but themselves.
He'd turn at her and raise an eyebrow, before looking at his hands, his white gloves a bit crumpled at the edges from his frantic movements from earlier as he turned them under and over analyzing them.
"Why haven't I-" He'd pause, before looking around, hesitating. "Why haven't you-"
He'd go quiet, he nodded before glancing around, his rabbit ears prominent on his ruffled hair.
The room fell to an awkward silence.
"Shouldn't we be back in the bunker? Shouldn't we be out of Wonderland?" He'd start questioning, reaching a hand through his hair. His forehead tinted with sweat, which glistened in the slight light that peaked through the windows of the trial room.
"Shouldn't I be- Shouldn't I be dead?" He'd look at her.
Alice would hesitate, Alfred should be dead. But, he wasn't. She should've dissapeared. But she hadn't. They should've left Wonderland. But here they were, trapped in the pages.
The pages couldn't hold them anymore.
"Don't say such things Alfred..." She'd solemnly look down. "You won't die- in fact...You look much better." She'd look at the male in surprise.
The once ghostly pale skin turned flush and full of life, his cheeks tint with a dust of rose upon them, his eyes looked more life-full than lifeless. He looked like the Alfred she knew when they were children playing in the garden, the Alfred that climbed trees and made bird noises until the sun rise at the afternoon, and would talk to her and listen to her tell him story.
It was her Alfred, he had come back to her.
Alfred would frantically look at himself, walking up to a nearby window and staring at it, glancing at his own reflection, he touched his own chest. He didn't feel that tight, restrictive reminder from his lungs that he was dying. He felt alive, he felt healthy. He'd touch his face, laughing slightly.
He was alive. He was here!
"Alice! Alice I'm better!" He'd repeat in disbelief, frantically looking at himself as he touched his heart and felt it beat with life again.
Thump, Thump, Thump.
His heart beated and wouldn't stop beating.
"I told you I'd make you better! I read you the story, it worked! It worked Alfred!" She'd beam as she grabbed the male's hand, brushing her fingers across his knuckles.
He'd look down and chuckle.
"Who knew Wonderland could be so magical after all." He'd smile. They'd stay stood like that for a good five minutes, just looking into eachother's eyes and swinging the intertwined hands which never left eachother's grip, in a fear that if either one let go that they'd dissapear.
She'd nod, before looking around. "Speaking of which..." She'd pause. "Why hasn't Wonderland dissapeared or vanished? I thought we'd be back at the bunker.."
Alfred would shrug. "This is quite peculiar.." He'd look around. "Time doesn't seem to be ticking like it used to."
They'd both find themselves stood in the trial room, looking around and observing what was once a wild, colorful land. Be so tame and calm.
"Are we stuck?" Alfred would start to get impatient waiting, he'd start walking around and turning up chairs and looking at the door, the wooden frame with twisted branches composed around the border. He'd push open the door, a woven path of pebbles and mushrooms surrounding it, the red roses and red archways clear as day. "Huh.."
Alice would peer outside, the Queen of Heart's Garden clear as day in front of them.
"We're not stuck in the trial room. Maybe if we step outside the story will end?" Alfred would suggest as he took a step forward, his shoe about to touch the ground before Alice grabbed his arm.
"Alfred no-" She'd frown. "I don't want this story to end."
Alfred would look at her, he'd see the desperation in her eyes, that youthful gaze that reminded him so much of their younger selves. There was once a time they were playing hide and seek and Alfred had hidden behind a bush, a rose bush to be precise. Alice looked and looked around every nook and cranny, but she couldn't find the male. She eventually broke into tears and the boy jumped instantly out of his hiding spot and hugged her. She looked up at him in a way he'd never forget.
She didn't want to lose him. Not again.
He'd retreat back, moving a foot back into the trial room. "Okay...I won't."
Alice would smile, hugging him. "Good, because I don't want to lose you. Not ever." She'd lean into his neck, the male placing a protective hand over her hair, smoothing out the frizz from the adrenaline rush they were once in.
"Same to you Mary-Anne." He'd laugh slightly, she'd look up at him, leaning against his chest. Which felt a lot broader than it once was. "I don't- I won't let you go ever. I will never leave you Alice." He'd place a hand on her cheek, brushing his thumb against her soft skin.
She'd look up at him. "I love you Alfred."
The male would look at her in slight disbelief, and somewhat content. "I love you too." He'd place a soft kiss on her forehead.
They'd stay there in a soft, sincere hug. Both of them content with the state they were currently in, Alfred's rabbit ears resting calmfuly on his hair. Alice's dress finally coming to a still instead of frantically turning and twisting when she'd move when she got too excited or too rushed in her movements.
It was peaceful, which heavily contrasted with the situation they were just in. But, that was over now. They had defeated the Queen of Hearts, she couldn't hurt them anymore.
They'd shrunk enough.
They would eventually detach from one another.
"So what now?" Alfred would ask as he sat on a chair, one leg crossed over the other. "We can't stay here forever."
Alice would glance around. "I know, It's just I don't want to risk it- What if we step out there and that's it...You disappear and I disappear, what if only here you're healthy!?" Her eyes would brink at eyes.
Alfred would look at her. "We're not going to disappear, we're going to stay together. Even if our story ends, I won't disappear.." He knew that was a lie, he couldn't be sure about it.
"I promise you."
He'd grab her hand. "It's going to be okay..." He'd smile at her. "Just breathe okay?"
Alice would nod, inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly. "Okay..." She'd follow him.
Alfred would walk over to the door, Alice hesitatingly pulling him back. He'd look at her, "It's okay." He'd smile as he slowly placed his foot down on the grass. Then slowly the other, both feet planted on the ground, he'd turn to look at Alice who was still stood in the trial room.
"C'mon Al." He'd offer his other hand. "Trust me."
Alice would nod before following him, trusting him.
I followed you, now follow me.
His words rung inside her head.
She'd place one foot down, and then the other. Shutting her eyes tight. In case either one of them disappeared in a poof of smoke.
She'd hear slight laughter.
"We're both still here, open your eyes and trust me."
Alice would slowly open her eyes, blinking slowly. And there he was, Alfred still stood tall and hadn't vanished, he was still here. Their story hadn't ended!
We can linger on this page.
We can linger on this page forever.
"So...What to do on this golden afternoon my dear rabbit?" Alice asked, playing in her character. Alfred would start walking as she slowly followed behind his trail.
"I'm not quite sure...We have all the time in the world." He'd smile. "Which is something I didn't expect to say."
Alice would nod.
"Do you think we are truly stuck in Wonderland?" Alfred would ask.
"And what if we were? We could stay here together- none of the war and no more rations! No more sickness!" Alice would express her deeply rooted feelings.
"I wouldn't mind that at all." He'd point to his ears. "Plus, I can hear ten times better now."
They'd walk down the pebbled path, slowly walking through the forest. The trees were colorful and had twisted twigs that would slowly make chimes in the gentle breeze that rustled the leaves. Random animals would pass through, and large flowers would cover any gap the scenery had. The further they walked, the grass that surrounded the path got taller and taller and eventually transformed into a hedge, it was clear they had reached the large hedge wall of the Heart Castle, the gate was beaming with red metal and a heart engraving in the center. Alfred would push the gate open and Alice would lead them both through it. Leaving the dreaded trial scene behind them.
"This is the most odd experience of my life. Not that I'm upset over it." Alice would walk out of the gates. "We could go to anywhere in Wonderland! We could create something new here." She spun on the spot, taking in the scenery around her.
"We could go watch the Lobster Dance again!" Alfred would clap his hands. Oh, how he enjoyed the lobster dance. "We'd just have to wait a while." He'd pull his pocket watch out and listen to it's gentle ticks. "A long while." He'd whine. "Oh Alice! We must find a way to kill time since we've made too much of it, like a fountain without a plug, we're overfilling with time!" He'd speak in a typical phrasing to the book they read over and over until their hearts could sing it.
Alice would chuckle. "We can do everything, time will never hold us my rabbit." She'd tap his shoulder before she began running up ahead onto a field of long grass over what appeared to be a hill.
"Catch me if you can!" She'd tease as she ran.
Alfred would glance at her before his eyes widened and he grinned, chasing after her. "You know I can!" He'd laugh.
Alice would keep running, her dress flowing in the wind before she tripped and began rolling down the hill, laughing as she tumbled. Grass staining her blue dress, but she didn't care. Alfred would copy her rolling down the hill. He'd sit up as she dusted herself off.
"I told you I could catch up with you!" Alfred said teasingly. "Nobody can out run the White rabbit!"
Alice would nod. "Guess you were right!" She'd laugh.
There laughter would be interrupted by a scream, and the sound of running.
"What was that?" Alfred would tilt his head.
Alice would look towards the direction of the scream. "Let's go find out." She'd start walking towards it, into the forest.
They'd both trek into the forest, the trees were cotton candy pink with blue hues to them, the bushes were full of plush leaves and unusual butterflies. Butterflies that changed color every so often.
"I do hope whoever screamed was alright." Alice said as she kept walking.
The scream was heard again, it was a male's scream.
"Hello!?" Alfred would yell.
Suddenly a male would stumble into them both, running directly into Alfred's chest, a dark brunette with tanned skin. The male would look up and then glance at them both, all of them recognizing eachother all at once.
"Dodgy!?" They'd both say.
"Where are we?! What's going on?!" Dodgy would start spouting the male would look at them both. "Why have you got rabbit ears! Why am I wearing this?!" He'd gesture to his clothing.
The male was wearing a typical white dress shirt with frill on it, but he had a knee length flowing skirt, it was a gentle pink and had slight patterns on it, he had his knees high socks and shoes but it was somewhat fitting for the male.
Alfred was about to speak up before being interrupted by his rant.
"And why was I being followed by a woman calling me her pig!? Who creepily looked somewhat like me!" Dodgy would be panicking. Alice and Alfred would look at each other.
"Okay, breathe buddy breathe." Alfred would hush the male's heavy breathing, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder. "You're in Wonderland, and we portray the characters. Alice had you put as the Duchess, but I guess you're not her." He'd look at him.
"Oh your stupid book?" Dodgy would slam his foot on the ground. "Your stupid book has us trapped here?!" He'd huff.
"Yes, but Dodgy it's much better than the underground! We have fun here!" Alice would smile as she looked at him. "I just have to rewrite you into the story!" She'd add.
"What if I don't want to be apart of it?" Dodgy would whine. "It's weird, and I'm so confused!" He'd glance down. "I do however..." He'd grasp the skirt, swishing it slightly. "Somewhat enjoy the curiosity of the curious land?" He'd twirl in it. "Sorry, I've just never had a skirt like this before...Well I've never worn a skirt ever."
Alfred would smile. "It's fine!"
Alice would look at them both. "Now what to do?"
Dodgy would sigh. "I'm not sure, are we supposed to find how to get out?" He'd question, both of them shaking their heads at him. "Okay...I guess lead the way?" He'd adjust his outfit, pulling the skirt up so he could actually walk.
Alice and Alfred would begin to walk, Dodgy following behind them.
"Quick question...Alfred how aren't you dying?" Dodgy would ask. "To be blunt."
Alfred would swallow a lump in his throat. "Wonderland allows us freedom to be what we want to be."
Dodgy would look at him and nod. "Well...I'm glad you're not dying."
Alice smiled at them both before turning to look at Dodgy. "Do you remember how you got here?"
Dodgy would think, a hand scratching the back of his head as he looked up. "Oh...Oh dear..." He'd pause in realization, stopping in his tracks.
Alice's smile would falter. "W-what is it?" She'd look at the male.
"I know how I got here...." He'd place a hand to his chest.
Alfred would raise an eyebrow. "How?"
"I-I....I...I wanted to help you two- I thought maybe if I snuck Alice rations she would get better and she'd be able to help you and you'd finish the story-" He'd start breathing heavily.
"And?" Alfred would listen.
"I-I you both caught the disease- and I thought maybe I could help- But you coughed blood on me, and I-I- I got it too and I started to cough..." He'd hitch his breathe and starting panicking. "And then I-" He'd hissed in a sharp breathe. "Then I- Started to cough blood- Then Clarissa left me- and Tabitha said I-" He'd start sniffling.
"Oh...Oh..." Alice's frown would deepen.
"And-And I wanted to be strong- B-because I wanted to survive-..." Dodgy would hiss.
And to think Alice thought this boy was the duchess.
"B-but I didn't!" He'd start sobbing onto Alfred, who had hugged the male with open arms, soaking the white blazer he adorned.
Alfred would look at Alice, then back at the crying male.