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What's Wrong, Alice?

(Victor's possession by the King of Hearts, The King's trip to the Nexus, Alice learning about this horribleness from Captain John Hart. Takes place the day after the King's Nexus visit.)

Alice sits miserably in her room, holding her PINpoint in her hands and trying not to cry. She can hardly believe she has to do this. But after what she heard from Cheshire, and confirmed via the Caterpillar. . . .

She had no idea it could hurt so much. She hasn't even done it yet, and already her heart feels painfully tight inside her chest. She hadn't realized -- when had he become so important to her? When had the thought of life without him become so -- so terrible? She had been prepared to life her life as a spinster before, hadn't she?

Oh God, she can still remember that ghost of the future, her in a wedding dress and him. . . .

She doesn't want to do this. Or, if she has to, she wants to do it as a message over the PINpoint. But she knows that wouldn't be fair to him. If she's going to do this, she's going to do it in person. "I am a fighter," she tells herself. "I slayed the Jabberwock. I destroyed the Queen of Hearts. I saved Wonderland. I can do this."

But as she stands up and prepares to PINpoint out, she thinks that this is going to be harder than any of that.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 11th, 2011 12:19 am (UTC)
Victor and company are back in their apartments in their pocket reality, having said goodbye and thanks again to April for helping Victor. Doc and Dee are giving him some time to recover and make sure he's truly himself before they contact the other two members of their little posse. Victor's currently sitting on his bed, going over what he's going to say to Alice in his mind. The mental blocks are still up, though he can hear the King grumbling. Don't see why I shouldn't at least get to see her. . . .

She's my girlfriend, Victor says firmly. Then, reluctantly, he adds, But if she truly wants to see you. . .we'll figure out something. After all, the King might genuinely be a friend of hers.
Feb. 11th, 2011 12:21 am (UTC)
Alice PINpoints into Victor's apartment. If she were thinking a bit more clearly, she would have sent notice on so she was sure she wasn't interrupting him in the shower or anything, but as it is, she just appears in front of him. Just seeing him up close makes everything worse. She loves him, and she hurt him. . . .
Feb. 11th, 2011 12:22 am (UTC)
Victor jumps as Alice appears out of nowhere! "Oh! What -- Alice!"

He gets up, reaching out to her with a smile. "I was just about to contact you." The smile falters. "S-something's happened. I -- maybe we should wait for Marty -- no, I should tell you s-straight out--"
Feb. 11th, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)
"Hello, Victor." She wishes her voice wouldn't tremble so.

She steps away from his outstretched hand. She wants nothing more than to step into his arms, pull him close and never let him go, but she knows she's lost that right. "I know already," she says softly. "John posted to the Nexus looking for help for you."
Feb. 11th, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
Victor's about to ask what's wrong, but then she basically tells him. "Oh, you know," he says. "I-I'm all right now, April helped bring -- him under control, we just need to explain the situation to Marty and -- and c-come up with a plan to fix things! You know how to f-fight enemies in one's head, don't you? How did you kill the Queen?"

What happened to my Queen? the King asks from his hidey-hole, sounding quite distressed. I admit she wasn't always the easiest to get along with, but to do the things Alice says she did. . . .
Feb. 11th, 2011 12:33 am (UTC)
"Are you?" Alice asks miserably. She shakes her head. "It -- it was d-different with me, she was o-outside. . . ." She stiffens her spine. She does owe him her advice. It's the absolute least she can do. "Don't ever let him tell you that you're the bad one. Don't ever let him get the best of you." She thinks for a moment. "I was going through Wonderland through mental portals at the time -- perhaps if you tried dreaming an arena to fight him in? And weapons to defeat him?"
Feb. 11th, 2011 12:36 am (UTC)
"Much better," Victor assures her. "I can s-still hear him, but -- he's not loose." He considers her suggestions with a nod. "April said m-much the same about letting him insult me. . . ." He frowns. "I h-hate to say it, but -- do you think g-going back to Wonderland might help? It c-could get him out of my head, at least."

I am all for that plan, the King says. Though I'm amazed you thought of it. Victor ignores him.
Feb. 11th, 2011 12:37 am (UTC)
Still being able to hear him doesn't sound like "much better" to her. She shakes her head wildly at his suggestion. "No. No, you have to stay out of Wonderland," she says, feeling a wave of fright fill her. "You have to stay away from Wonderland--" she swallows the lump in her throat and forces herself onward "--and away from me."
Feb. 11th, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
The bottom drops out of Victor's stomach. What -- what is she saying? She can't -- she can't possibly be -- "Alice?" he says, voice rising up with sudden pain and fright.
Feb. 11th, 2011 12:42 am (UTC)
Alice steps back again, feeling her eyes threatening to fill up with tears. She has to go on, she knows this, but the look on his face. . . . It's like she's taken her own Vorpal Blade straight to the heart. "It's better this way," she says. "You have to believe me that -- we can't see each other anymore."
Feb. 11th, 2011 12:45 am (UTC)
No. Oh God no. Not this on top of everything else. "Alice," he says, his voice choked, hands desperately reaching out to her. "Alice, I'm sorry, I didn't m-mean for this to happen. We can f-fix it, we can b-beat him, with you -- with -- don't leave me, please don't leave me!"

Well, well, look at this, the King says smugly. I told you she didn't really love you.
Feb. 11th, 2011 12:49 am (UTC)
"There's no 'we,'" Alice says, and now the tears are spilling down her face. "There can never be a 'we' again. It's not your fault, it's mine. Caterpillar told me -- the Queen was linked to me, so the King is linked to whoever I'm in love with. . . ." Oh God, she may have doomed him from the day they met on the riverbank. It was after that the King appeared as pale white with black hair. That thought's like a red-hot poker to her insides. "I fell in l-love with you. I brought you to Wonderland. I opened the door for him."
Feb. 11th, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
Victor can practically feel the guilt radiating off her. "It's not your fault!" he says, trying to touch her arm. "How could you have known? You thought he was dead, and I. . . ."

Seems she wanted me back after all. I guess she did pick an appropriate body.

Shut up! "Alice, I need you," he begs. "I can't do this alone."
Feb. 11th, 2011 12:55 am (UTC)
"It is my fault!" Alice yells, trying to pull up some rage to make this easier. It doesn't work. "I should have known! I should have known something horrible and cruel would happen to the one I love! That's just how it works with me!"

She backs up, refusing to let him touch her. If he touches her, she's certain she'll lose whatever nerve she has left. "You won't be alone," she says. "You'll have Doc and Marty and Dee and everyone else to help you. April can probably figure out a way to kill that -- that parasite I inflicted on you. But I'm around. . . ." She sniffles. "I can't bear to hurt you."
Feb. 11th, 2011 01:00 am (UTC)
What does she think she's doing right now to him? "They're not you," he whispers, and now he's crying too. "No one's you, Alice. Don't you remember -- we're supposed to--" She saw them get married. She saw them happy. How can she leave him now? "Don't do this. I beg of you, don't do this. We can m-make this work."

The King, for his part, has been stunned into temporary silence by her calling him a "parasite." How could -- she really doesn't want him around?
Feb. 11th, 2011 01:04 am (UTC)
"No," Alice says, shaking her head. "I can't -- I need you to be safe. And Wonderland and I aren't safe." She swallows, trying to stop the flow of tears. "Kill the King. Dream his death, have April help you, have the Nexus help you -- I know you'll find a way. You are too good to be the vessel for him. Kill him, and send him b-back to his precious Queen." The tears start afresh. "And then forget you ever knew me. Find -- find some normal girl and be happy."

Before he can reply, she PINpoints back out, back to her room. Where she promptly collapses on her bed, sobbing.
Feb. 11th, 2011 01:08 am (UTC)
"No! NO, ALICE!" he screams, reaching out to the point where she was.

But she's gone. And Victor knows she's not coming back.

Well -- looks like she left you, the King says, though he sounds thoroughly rattled. He can't believe -- Alice wants him dead. Alice actually prefers Victor. He's adrift, with only one thing to hang onto. You didn't deserve her anyway.

Victor doesn't reply. He's too busy kneeling on the floor, crying his eyes out.
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