Alice's Fight For Hatter
Jack led Alice to the room where the medical examiners had carried Hatter. As she walked in, she saw that they were getting ready to remove the arrow from his shoulder. Hatter had yet to regain consciousness, but Alice knew that would very soon, especially once they began to pull on the arrow.
She walked over to him as the men finished removing his shirt and cringed as she saw how bad the wound really was. The arrow had torn through the skin and muscle in Hatter's shoulder and it looked as though it were infected, even under the blood that would flow more freely once the pressure from the arrow was taken away.
Alice walked around to the other side of the table where he lay and took a hold of his right hand. As she did so, Hatter began to stir. Once he had become fully awake, he looked around and struggled under the pressure the examiners had placed on him in order to keep him still. Alice used her free hand and placed it on the left side of his face in order to get him to focus on her.
"It's going to ok, Hatter," Alice spoke softly while looking into his eyes. "You're going to be ok. These men are only trying to help you. They need to remove the arrow from your shoulder. If they don't, it will only get worse."
"Are you all right?" he asked. "Where are we?"
Alice looked over at Jack, who stood behind her and answered, "We're back in Wonderland. Don't you remember? You insisted that we come here to warn Jack about Dodo."
Hatter looked away from her and suddenly arched his back in pain as the examiners reached down to the wound and took ahold of the arrow. Alice tightened her grip on his hand as they pulled the arrow back out from the way the arrow had entered. It was deep, but to push it through to the back side of his shoulder would have caused more damage.
The men immediately applied pressure as his blood began to flow heavily, soaking through the first few bandages that were applied. Despite the pain, Hatter remained conscious as he focused on Alice's worried and tear-streaked face.
After a few minutes of firm pressure on his shoulder, the medics finally had stopped the blood flow. As they removed the bandages and wiped away the blood around the wound, it was then that everyone noticed a strange discoloration surrounding it. The two medics looked at each other and then over at Jack.
Alice noticed this as she turned to Jack and asked, "Jack, what is going on? Have you seen this kind of discoloration before? Do you know what this is?"
Jack leaned over and took a closer look as he answered, "Yes, I have seen this before."
"And so have I," Hatter jumped in. "Although, I already knew. I can feel it. It's just like Dodo to do something like this."
"Something like what?" Alice asked again. "Please tell me what is going on?"
"This discoloration is only caused by a poison that was created by the scientists who worked for my mother," Jack responded. "When I became King, I ordered all scientists to destroy all emotion teas and all poisons or toxins, which she used against the people to rule here. Whoever helped Dodo through the mirror must have helped him to get ahold of the poison too. He obviously tipped the arrow with the poison."
Alice looked down at Hatter as she asked, "Is there an antidote?"
Jack put his head down and replied, "Mother never ordered them to make on. I don't believe she felt it was necessary."
Alice glared at Jack and said, "I'd say it is necessary now. Please, tell me your scientists can create an antidote? I don't know how long the poison takes to spread, but Hatter's strong. He'll be ok long enough for them to do their job. Please, Jack! I can't lose him. He's the only person whom I've allowed in because he loves me. Truly loves me. I won't lose him now."
"If we can find Dodo and a sample of the poison he used, our scientists can create an antidote," Jack answered. "But it's going to take time. I just hope Hatter is as strong as you say he is. I've got men searching all over Wonderland for Dodo as we speak and I have asked Charlie to come by to help us here. He should be arriving any time now."
"I came as soon as I heard that Just Plain Alice and her harbinger have returned," Charlie spoke up as he entered the room, still wearing his old worn down armor.
Hatter tied to sit up from the table, as he spoke with some difficulty saying, "Charlie, it's good to see you again. I honestly never thought I would. Have you gotten older?"
Alice helped him to sit up and then hugged Charlie as he walked over to them and responded, "It has been five years since the two of you left our world, Harbinger. Of course I have gotten older. You do not look so good yourself, you know."
"I'll be fine in no time," Hatter replied.
"Just Plain Alice," Charlie said as he turned to her. "I have seen in the stars that once again you and your lover would come back into my life very soon. And I would be honored to serve the two of you in any way I can."
Alice gave him a hug and responded, "It is so good to see you again. We've missed you, although this is not how I was hoping we'd meet again."
Charlie looked down at Hatter and replied, "Do not worry, Alice. Nothing can tear the two of you apart. Your destinies have been intertwined for a reason and it is not his time to leave this world, or yours."
"Thank you, Charlie." Hatter said sincerely. "And Jack. I mean it. Just promise me that you will protect Alice in case I can't, please!"
"You have my word, as a knight," Charlie answered with a bow.
Jack nodded his head and added, "And mine as well."
Jack turned, placed his hand on Charlie's shoulder, and led him out of the room after ordering the medics out of the room as well. Alice remained alone with Hatter, who looked up at Alice with sadness in his eyes. Alice stepped up close to him and pulled back the bandages to look at the wound again. The discoloration was spreading slowly, but she could tell it was getting worse.
Hatter put his hand over hers as she worked to put the bandages back in place and leaned up to kiss her softly on the lips. Alice kissed him back, but quickly pulled away and lowered her head as tears began to poor down her face.
Hatter said, "Don't worry, Alice. The poison is not contagious."
Alice glared at him and replied, "Don't make jokes about this, Hatter. I meant what I said. I will not lose you and I will do whatever it takes to save you. You sacrificed everything for me. It's my turn. I'm going with Charlie, Jack, and anyone else who is going to catch Dodo."
"I know you are," Hatter responded. "And I'm going with you. I may not be me normal self, but I still have use of me right fist. I can still pack one heck of a punch. I won't leave you in anyone's hands until I am no longer able to keep you safe on me own. I'll be fine come morning."
"I won't be able to talk you out of this, will I?" she asked.
Hatter shook his head and leaned up to kiss her again. This time, she didn't pull away. They spent the rest of the evening together alone, while Jack, Charlie, and Duchess got together, along with the King's advisors and leaders of the hearts to plan the strategy to find Dodo and whoever is working with him.
Dodo walked down the corridor of an old, abandoned bunker that was hidden deep in one of the forests in Wonderland. He walked into a room that had been transformed into a science lab and over to a chair in the middle of the room. He sat down just as the two Wonderlanders who helped him to go into the oyster's world walked in from another entrance to the lab.
"Well Dee and Dum," Dodo began while the fat men chuckled. "Thanks to your genius plan, I was able to successfully take care of Hatter and in so doing, the Alice of legend will have to live the rest of her life knowing that her actions caused the one person whom she cares for most to suffer and die. It will tear her apart."