Oct. 6th, 2009

save_us_alice: (through the looking glass)
The first thing she was aware of was that it didn't smell particularly good in here.

Alice opened her eyes to find herself in a little, grayish cell, sunlight streaming through barred windows. For a moment, she thought she'd somehow ended up in one of Hatter's padded rooms and was due for the operating table. A look around, though, showed that this place lacked the inherent strangeness of the Hatter's asylum. For one thing, the bed was on the floor. She turned on her back and sat up, rubbing her head. Now where was she?

Then she noticed the softness against her arm. Looking down, she saw her old rabbit doll tucked into the crook of her elbow. She picked it up and looked at it. It stared back at her with its one button eye. "Not going to speak to me again?" she said mildly, giving it a gentle shake.

The doll was silent. Alice regarded it a moment more, then hugged it to her chest. Looking around, dim memory dawned of staring at the ceiling for -- for God knows how long. Right, she was back in Rutledge. She must have been returned after defeating the Queen. Alice shivered a little as she recalled the many-tentacled monster. That had been the absolute toughest fight of her life. For a moment there, she'd been afraid she wasn't going to win.

But she'd prevailed. She'd been on the verge of passing out when the creature had finally died, but she recalled seeing the golden glow surrounding her body spread over the land, and the grass growing again. And she felt -- oddly sure of herself. Still saddened by the passing of her parents, but the guilt, the pain was gone. What had happened was tragic, but it was also an accident. There was no need for her to punish herself. She nodded and looked back at her bunny. "Well then -- Dr. Wilson should be pleased," she told it, patting its worn ears. "And the head nurses. Though I hope I don't have to see those twin orderlies again." She scowled. "Vile bastards."

The anger couldn't take root, however -- her joy over finally reclaiming herself was far too powerful. She laughed happily, hugging her bunny tightly. Back amongst the living again! And as soon as she proved herself competent to the doctors, she'd be free. Free to be herself again. Granted, she'd have to figure out where to live and what to do with herself, but at least she'd have the choice. And Wonderland would always be there, of course. She was looking forward to properly rebuilding it in her mind. "It's going to be a great adventure, Bunny," she said softly, smiling at the slotted sunlight.

Thinking of Wonderland, however, made her remember another place she'd been visiting -- the Nexus. She frowned a little -- she'd only ever gotten to that place through one of Wonderland's portals. Would she still be able to now, with Wonderland in a state of unrest, needing to be rebuilt? Or what if she wanted to visit from this world? Had she perhaps dreamed it all? No, even she couldn't dream up a place as rich and varied and strange as that. But what was she going to do about visiting? She had friends there! Sighing, she flopped back against the pillow --

And felt a lump.

Puzzled, Alice sat back up and pulled the thin pillow back. Nestled into the far corner was -- a very familiar piece of technology. Slowly, Alice reached out and picked up the PINpoint she'd secured on her very first visit to the Nexus. She played with it a moment -- it seemed to still be in perfect working order. Another smile spread across her face. "Well then," she said. "I guess someone does want me to go back."

The sound of someone coming to her door caught her attention. Alice quickly hid the PINpoint back under her pillow -- it wouldn't do for it to be confiscated by the staff. Something like that would raise far too many awkward questions. She could retrieve it later. She sat herself on the side of the bed and prepared to greet the newcomer with a cheery, "Good morning."

She just hoped whoever it was didn't faint.

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Alice Liddell Brown

February 2014

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