Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Family (also features character death)
Characters: Hatter/Alice from Alice (2009)
Word Count: ~1,100
Summary: "Though that was over 150 years ago," Hatter remarked skeptically as he turned to give this 'Alice' a once over, "Oyster's don't even live that long."
Notes: The start of my LJ posting of my fics, this short is honestly one of my favorite pieces I've ever written so I thought it would make a good starting point. Should still be enjoyable even if you don't know much about the movie.
Seventy-five wonderful, exciting, passionate years…and what he wouldn't give for just one more.
Even in her old age she still had that fire, that spirit, that had drawn him to her when she'd first come traipsing about Wonderland. He could still see her in his mind's eye as she was then, standing before him in his old office, soaked from head to toe as her already fitted blue dress clung to her like a second skin.
"This place…Where am I?"
Thinking about that look of disbelief she'd shot at him then still caused him to smile, though it was tinged bittersweet nowadays. He'd been told that any of his memories of her were likely to feel sorrowful right now, while everything was still so fresh, but that they would get better with time. Course he wasn't exactly on the best of terms with Time at the moment since the stubborn git hadn't been able to spare more for her. It was a cruel reminder of this fact whenever the well wishers tried to comfort him as well, and it was taking more and more effort not to snap at the next one that did.
"Course that was over 150 years ago, Oysters don't even live that long so it can't be the same girl."
That was the rub of it then wasn't it? To fall for the Oyster who'd fallen in his lap and damn the consequences. They were so blissfully in love, so quickly, that he hadn't had a moment to think about the differences between the people of her world and his until over twenty years had passed and the physical differences began showing. She'd started to gain lines around her eyes from all the laughing and smiling they'd filled their lives with almost over night it seemed to him. Whereas he still appeared the perfect image of a man in his prime, and not a day over thirty according to the easily swindled Carney who ran the age guessing game. They'd ignored it all of course and laughed it away as good genetics on his part, but the seed had been planted in his mind…and he began to worry.
"What'll happen to me…if I get stuck here?"
"Then I'll take care of you…"
When their grandchildren came around and she was well into her sixties, people began to look down on his precious Oyster when they went places together. Her hair was just as stubborn as the rest of her, holding onto some hints of color amongst the streaks of gray, and while she was as nimble and energetic as she always had been, he still had the appearance of a fresh faced kid dating a woman old enough to be his mum. After one particularly embarrassing encounter where a snobby woman had loudly remarked how disgusting it was for the two of them to be together while they'd been out celebrating their fiftieth anniversary; she'd actually broken down and cried back at their house how it'd been starting to bother her.
He'd never wanted to go back and punch a woman in the face so badly in his life before then.
"Who are you?"
"A friend…I hope."
In an attempt to lighten societies burden on their relationship, he began dying his hair to match hers. She'd been angry at him for doing so, and claimed he looked ridiculous with gray hair. Then about two weeks later, this teenaged couple had come up to them during a walk in the park and said they hoped to still be so in love at their age, and she'd stopped complaining. Mostly. It wasn't a perfect solution, but he'd begun to develop those laugh lines he so loved on her face just around his eyes, so there was that at least.
Not too long after their first great-grandchild had been born, she began to slow down. No amount of cosmetic trickery could fool others into thinking that they were similarly aged anymore and at her insistence, he stopped with it all together. It wasn't until her final days that he'd begun to develop his own natural gray hairs.
She'd just fingered one with a smile and softly called him a slacker.
He jerked out of his thoughts and wiped the tears that had collected on the corners of his eyes before looking up at his eldest. The sun was far lower on the horizon than he remembered it being when he'd first squatted down, and the burning in his knees and calves only served to reinforce the notion that he'd been sitting and staring for quite some time now.
Both of their children seemed to have inherited his genetics as even with the oldest nearing sixty seven, neither of them looked much older than thirty. It was a heavy weight on his heart to know that they were both likely to suffer the same fate as himself.
"Do you need some more time with Mum?" his son posed carefully and he shook his head before slowly bringing himself upright. His knees protested the action, but his son was kind enough not to speak on it and just offer him a hand up.
"Nah, best if we push off I imagine," he stated with a false lightheartedness that had become a second skin to him over these past two weeks, "No need to hold everything up on my account yeah?" Clearly his son didn't believe him, but knew better than to press the issue at the moment and nodded before starting down the hill towards their parked cars.
David Hatter watched his son go before giving one more look at the stone that marked his wife's resting place.
"You have no idea how much I missed you…"
He placed a hand on the marker, caressing it such a manner as if she could feel his touch through the chilly marble. Even though he knew she couldn't. "You always were one to rush on ahead of me love. Try not to get so far that I can't come find you again though yeah?" Smiling down wistfully at the engraving there, Hatter turned to walk down the hill and meet his family before his emotions could take over him once more. She'd probably hit him when they did meet up in the next great adventure anyway for what he'd put on the marker.
Or kiss him. One of the two...probably both.
Alice Christine Hatter
A passionately stubborn woman
And a Legend by her own right