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Fic: The Game Queen, Prologue
BlackHawk
winterda wrote in winterdfic
Title: The Game Queen
Rated: PG-13
Summary: Over a year has passed since the Queen of Hearts had been defeated, but Wonderland is still not a safe place. An all out war is now raging between three different sides and there are many who are getting caught in the cross fire.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Lewis Carol owns the original. Syfy and others own the new Alice. I’m just messing with them for my own amusement.
Spoilers: all of the mini-series Alice.
AN: Just an idea that I had. Hope someone enjoys. And, yes, this will Hatter/Alice, in case someone was wondering.

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Prologue

Yesterday

Darkness had begun settled over the streets of the city as his father hurried along one of the higher sidewalks holding tightly onto his hand. It was midwinter and snow swirled around them in wisps of smoke and ice. His father held onto his hat with his free hand as a particular strong gust cut through them. The boy shivered, but his father didn’t seem to notice.

The child’s lungs burned as he gasped for breath. Like most boys, he did his fair share of running, but never for this long and definitely not when it was this cold.

He didn’t know where they were going, but he knew it must be important. It was getting close to curfew. No one wanted to be caught after curfew. If his father thought that they had to be out now, then it had to be something big.

His father pulled him around a sharp turn, but his shorter legs couldn’t take it as quickly. His foot slipped from beneath him and sent him sliding towards the edge. Drawing in a sharp breath, his eyes widened as he thought about all the rocks he’d had dropped over the edge and watched fall until out of sight. Then his father’s strong grip tightened on his hand again and pulled him back next to him.

“Careful now,” he said before setting off again.

The sudden jolt sent the boy stumbling forward, but he quickly caught himself. His father pulled at him slightly impatiently as the child righted himself. “Come on, David.”

Coughing out some of the cold air, David began to run again. To block out the pain and cold, he imagined himself a rabbit that was scurrying a field. Just like the one from his mum’s old stories.

When he was a young boy, much younger than he was then, his mother told him stories about their Wonderland. He’d fall asleep to her voice as she recited old riddles and melodious poems that she seemed to sing more than say. She tell him stories about the Jabberwocky and the Knights that used to roam the lands protecting damsels. She had so many stories, his mum. It seemed like there was a new one every night.

David had a favorite, though, which happened to be the same as hers and every other child who called Wonderland home. The story of the little oyster girl named Alice who came to his world and brought down the House of Hearts that had become corrupted and evil and fully mad by then. He had loved that story and could listen to his mum tell every night.

It’d been over a year since he last heard the tale of Alice. His father had no time for stories, and Miss. Dorma was not inclined to tell them to naughty boys who could not sit still. The old hag was usually asleep hours before he was anyway, so he suppose it didn’t matter much.

David had thought his father would pawn him off on her that afternoon, since he had to go out again so close to curfew, but Miss. Dorma had disappeared. He didn’t know where she went, but he didn’t really care either. He didn’t want to stay with her. Her house was always too hot and smelled like she always left something on the stove. And she had a cat.

David hated cats.

His father had been concerned though. He’d grabbed David by his hand and hurried out of their building the moment he’d seen her door slightly opened.

They had been running since.

The suspended lights that hung over the suspended sidewalks had just winked on when his father pulled David up onto a teashop’s porch. Giggling grownup were stumbling off the porch as the business closed shop for the night. None noticed the pair on the porch since all were enjoying the effects of the tea on their senses.

David stepped back as a particularly large man came rolling out. Laughing about how he felt like he was soaring, he extended his arms and proceeded to ‘fly’ out into the snowy night making ‘zoom’ sounds.

Grownups, it turned out, were very odd.

Pulling at his trench coat, David’s father knocked some snow from his clothes before he knelt down in front of his son. At seven-and-half, David wasn’t very tall, but still had to look down when his father did that. He could see the pieces snow that had stuck stubbornly to the brim of his father’s tanned hat.

Holding David by the shoulders, his father began move his hands up and down the boy’s arms to try and warm him a bit.

“Listen, I’ve got to go in talk to some people for a bit,” he said as wisps of smoke escaped from between his lips. “Now when go inside, don’t touch anything. And if you’ve got something to say, remember -.”

“Keep it under your hat,” David finished.

His father grinned and tipped up the brim of his hat with a flick of his fingers.

The other adults had cleared out mostly by then, so his father took him by the hand again and lead him to the entrance door. He swiftly rapped it three times with the back of his hand.

“We’re closed,” a muffled voice said from inside.

“Open up, Bill,” his father answered.

The wind howled past them, but David could still hear several locks being twisted and turned in succession from the top of the door to the bottom. David counted fifteen of them and each sounded like a different type from cheap and flimsy to secure and strong. Impatiently, his father bounced on his feet as he waited and looked around the door as if he expected to find something interesting to pop out in front of him. When nothing did, he glanced back down at his son and grinned reassuringly. Somehow, it didn’t make him feel much better.

The last of the locks finally gave way and the door cracked opened to a sliver. A pair of small beady eyes peaked out between it and regarded his father suspiciously. A small chain hung across from the door to the frame and shook slightly in front of the bridge of the man’s nose.

“Ain’t no meeting tonight,” he said gruffly. “So toddle off before curfew catches you.”

“Right, well, sort of a problem with that,” David’s father said. “And I reckon that you don’t want nothing to do with that either. So why don’t you be a nice man and let me to talk to someone who does.”

Bill held the door opened like that for a moment and stared at David’s father like he wanted nothing more than to slam back in his face. However, Bill finally grumbled something, shut the door just enough to undo the latch, and then let them in.

The sudden warmth of the teashop stung pleasantly against David’s cheek as he stepped in after his father, who was once again trying to shake out his wet trench without taking it off.

David had never been inside a teashop before and looked about the place with curious eyes. Seemed very business-like to him, with long rows of desks stretching down the center of the shop. At the very back was a raised desk with a ticker that flashed nothing but a red dot since the day was done.

There were also several cases with shelves full of bottles with various amounts of brightly colored liquids inside. He took a curious step towards the shelves but was stopped by a large body placing itself in front him.

“Hold up now,” Bill said as he sneered down at David. “What’s that?”

“My son,” David’s father said.

“You mad, Hatter?” Bill asked. “Teashop ain’t no place for a kid.”

A throat cleared itself to draw the attention of the men. It was a girlish, soft sound, sort of like the tiny cough his mum would make to get his father’s attention when he would start rambling on about whatever had grabbed his attention that day. A tall blond woman stood primly in a doorway that lead to the back. She was older and had that short hair cut that David had seen lots of older women have. Her face was almost as sharp as her eyes, which regarded him keenly. David shifted under the gaze and suddenly had the feeling that he had been caught doing something naughty, though he was pretty sure he hadn’t. Not yet, anyway.

She had rested her hands on the shoulders of the two young girls that stood in front of her. Both had matching bored looks on their faces, but that was about where the similarities ended.

One was slightly older than David, maybe ten but probably closer to nine. The cool grays and whites of her proper dress made her olive skin seem darker, but the girl’s exotic features really weren’t what held David’s attention. It was the bundle of white hair that braided on her head. David had never seen a girl with snow-colored hair before.

The girl next to her was younger and stood out less than her sister, but only just. Her black almond eyes were as dark as her hair, which actually made her olive skin appear lighter. It was countered, however, but the bright, blood-red jacket she wore, which seemed to call all attention to it. David had seen few women who wore slacks, and even less young girls who did. It was odd and off-putting, but strangely right for the girl.

David’s father glanced at the girls and then back to Bill, who was still frowning.

“You were saying?” his dad said.

The older woman cut Bill off before her could reply. “What are you doing here, Hatter?”

The smugness that had been on his father’s lips slipped off as he answered. “They picked up Dorma today. I’m not sure when, though. I can promise she won’t-.”

“Oi! No,” Bill snapped, cutting off David’s father. “We’ll have none of that, thank you. If you wanting to talk business, that’s fine, but do in the back ‘cause I don’t want to be hearing none of it.”

David’s father glared at Bill. David himself didn’t know exactly what the man was talking about with ‘business’, but he didn’t like the sound of it. The woman frowned, but eventually nodded in agreement.

“Very well, then,” she said.

Leaning forward, she whispered something in the girls’ ears. They glanced back at the woman and then at one another before heading off to stand to the side. They obviously were not going to go back into the back room.

“Oh, no,” Bill said again. “I ain’t no soddin’ babysitter.”

“No, Mr. Lizard, you most certainly are not,” the woman snapped. “But since your ‘plausible deniability’ is so precious to you, then perhaps you should leave. And since you are leaving anyway, the least you could do is walk the girls home, since the rest of are quiet preoccupied.”

Bill pressed his lips as he continued to glare. He seemed to be pretty good at it, if you asked David.

“Fine,” he spat. “Get your things. We’ll need to hurry to beat curfew.”

The girls moved silently and swiftly as they pulled on warmer coats to go out into the cold. Neither said anything, which disturbed David slightly. He didn’t know any kids who were ever that quiet or posed. It was a bit like watching two adults preparing to leave, only they were shorter.

“And for God’s sake, pull that hood up,” Bill snapped at the white-headed girl. “You’ll attract every Suit in town if you don’t.”

The girl cut her eyes to him before pulling the fur-lined hood up around her face. The white cloak generally would still stand out, but it probably did wonders to blend in when there was a snow storm going on.

Bill continued to grumble as he lead the girls out of his shop and into the storm. A cold wind slipped in through the momentarily opened door, chilling David again, before the entrance snapped closed again with the locks locking themselves in place. Once they were gone, David’s father turned back to the woman.

“That was them. Wasn’t it, Eaglet?”

The woman said nothing, which was enough for his father.

“Awful young,” his father said.

“We all were once,” she answered. “Now come. If they have Dorma, they might be here soon. We can’t offer to waste time.”

“Right,” his father agreed. He glanced back at David, whom everyone seemed to have forgotten about. “I’ll only be a little while. Stay here and don’t touch anything.”

David frowned at his father but nodded. Then, as soon as he had disappeared into the back, he ran to one of the tea shelves and picked up the first bottle he could reach. It was a pretty green one that wasn’t labeled yet. A smile grew on David’s face. He wondered what it was.

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Bill hadn’t gotten ten minutes away from his shop when one of the girls -- he forgets which one -- started complaining she’d left something in his shop. Usually, Bill would have told the girl to forget, before telling her off, but even he knew better than that. He’d might of pretended like he didn’t know what was going on in his shop or who passed through there, but even he couldn’t ignore the girl with white hair or her sister with black eyes. No, he knew who they were and the sooner he was rid of them, the better off he’d be. That ain’t to say, though, that he wasn’t going to keep them happy while under his care. People might say he had the brain of a pea, but even he wasn’t that dumb.

Turning around, he hurriedly lead them back to the shop. They’d never make curfew now, but patrol didn’t usually show up in this area until half an hour after anyway. If he was lucky, he could go in, grab whatever it was they had left, drop them off, and be back before he saw his first sky beetle.

Course, he was never that lucky.

He was a block away when the smell of smoke blew in on the wind and snow. The acrid smell bit at him and caused him to stop in his track. It was close and new and possibly still burning. And there was only one place he knew it could be coming from.

“Stay here,” he ordered the girls before taking off down the sidewalk.

The smell became more powerful the closer he came to his shop, but there was no obvious signs fire besides it. No unearthly glow. No popping sounds of things burning. Just a smell.

The front of the shop came into view and offered no clues either. It looked just as he had left it. Well, except for the door been blown off its hinges. And the bit of smoke escaping up into the snowy air. Other than, picture of health, it was.

“Damn,” he muttered under his breath.

He knew better than to let those resistant loonies into his business, but did he listen to himself? Corse not. Because he was an idiot. Now it seemed like his idiocy was catching up to him.

Smart thing to do would be turn tail and run, but there was something off about all this. If the Suits had found them, why weren’t they crawling all over the place now? They’d never be finished this fast. So what was going on?

Against his better judgment, Bill cautiously crossed the bridge. When no Suits jumped him, be pulled up what courage he had and went inside.

Looked like a war zone inside, it did: broken desk and shelves and expensive beakers of emotions. Parts of the wall looked liked they been flashed by something hot and were now soot coated. The fire had burned hot and quick, that was for sure.

“Eaglet! Hatter! You here?” Bill called.

If they were, they’d have to hurry. Wouldn’t be long before the Suits noticed the shop and come investigating. When they did, they all wanted to be on the other side of Wonderland by then.

Bill jogged over to the backroom door and frowned at the darkness he could see inside. For the life of him, he couldn’t understand why’d they do that. He started to reach for the switch when he noticed something sticking out of the darkness. His hand froze midair as he spied the tip of the brim of Hatter’s favorite hat. Man wouldn’t have gone anywhere without. Reaching down, he picked up the hat. Something heavy held it down, so Bill quickly snatched it up before he lost his nerve.

Suddenly, Bill found himself not really wanting to turn on the lights after all.

Stepping back, he scratched at the back of his head. What the hell happened here?

A small sound from the shelves startled Bill. Once again, his first instinct was to turn and run, but some reason he found himself heading towards it. He was halfway cross the shop before he even realized what he was doing and for God only knew why he kept on walking.

“Someone there?” he called.

There was a surprised, tiny gasp before the sound of shuffling came from the other side of an upturned desk. Cautiously, Bill moved to where he could see over it.

Hatter’s boy sat there. He’d pulled his knees up close to his chest and was trying to make himself as small as possible. A bit of soot was smeared on the boys face and his hair had been slightly singed, but Bill thought he looked alright. That was until the boy moved and Bill got a look at his right hand. Whole damn was curled up tight and white as marble. Boy wasn’t touching it, either, but instead clutching at his wrist.

Bloody hell.

“Hey now,” Bill said.

“What happened here?”

Bill turned to see the two girls he had left on the side walk standing in the middle of his shop again. Neither seemed to concerned about the destruction around them. In fact, they seemed rather indifferent towards it.

“Not sure,” Bill said turning back to the boy. “Can you tell us -?”

Bill paused when he realized that he had no idea what the boy’s name was.

“Um…Hatter.”

The boy lifted his head looked blankly at Bill as if he had never seen him before. Bill didn’t know about children, but he knew that wasn’t right. The boy’s eyes to the hat that Bill was holding.

“Is my dad ready yet?” he asked.

Bill blinked. This wasn’t good.

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AN: Yes, I know this is a little odd, but I promise it has to do with the story and what happens later on. So, what do you guys think? Should I keep going?
Tags:

  • 1
Intriguing...

Definitely got my attention! You seem to have the beginnings of a very interesting story.

Do go on with it...I need more reasons not to study for finals XD

Please keep going. This is really interesting and I'd love to see what you are going to do next.

marble? awesome! this was great for taking a break from finals! i'd really like to see where this is going :)

I like the story you have set up here. I would love to see more.

This is excellent! I have to find out what happens next!

  • 1
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