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29 August 2011 @ 01:08 am
urbis marmorea: desiderium cordis  
Author: silent_remains
Fandom:  Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Rating:  PG--for extreme angst and hurt/comfort
Warnings: MAlice 
Notes: None to think of--but malice, malice, malice.
Summary: Alice leaves Underland after slaying the Jabberwock, and Mirana is devastated.  Then Alice can't seem to remember where she has been.
No… no… no…!

Mirana watched helplessly as Alice began to vanish.  No!  Her beloved was leaving; there could be no mistaking the vision before her.  The pain was intense, liken to the death of a loved one.  One so dear that the heart remains broken, never to mend.  It penetrated to the core of her being and spread like a poison, deadening all the within that was pure and white and alive.  The White Queen shuddered from the impact of the sorrow, and felt it slowly creep up to entangle itself all around her—in and through and about.

Stunned into silence, the White Queen continued to stare at the spot where her dear Alice had once stood.  “Alice…” A whisper.

Tarrant stared at the spot, as well, before finally lifting is eyes.  They fell onto the Queen, and then he knew, beyond doubt, that Alice was more than Underland’s Champion.  “My Queen?”

Mirana’s head snapped up, and her eyes bore into the Hatter’s, looking for an explanation, any elucidation that would help her make sense of it all.  “You asked her to stay… for you?”

Tarrant trembled slightly, not knowing if the words were an accusation.  “Yes, My Queen.  She looked so confused, and I thought…” His speech faltered when he looked into Mirana’s eyes.  They were so full of pain, and hurt.

The White Queen looked away, her features softening.  She could not blame the Hatter for loving Alice, because loving Alice was so right, so sweet.  “Tarrant, will you see to things for awhile, I need…to be alone.”
The hatter nodded, and quickly gave orders to McTwisp concerning the scattered armies.  They began to line up in their previous formations, and then turned for the long march back to Marmoreal.  The Tweedles attended to the Bandersnatch while Chessur gathered the Red Knights in back of the main formation of White Knights.
Mirana walked slowly to her horse, but refused assistance to mount the beast.  She just stared at it, dumbfounded, bewildered—momentarily frozen in time, as if death touched her.  She looked up to see Tarrant turn away from her.  

He took his place at the front of the procession and gave the signal to march.
The Queen watched as the victors left the field, not noticing how the grass was starting to grow again, or the flowers, long dead, restoring to the world in all their beauty.  The gray clouds dissipated slowly into small wisps, only to vanish completely.  Underland was healing, but not for her.  A coldness settled into her when the sun finally shone, its brilliance muted by her grief.  Alice…
Alice…
The White Queen was dimly aware that the screams were coming from her own mouth—wailing and lamentations—for the one that had rescued her heart from herself, the one that had brought light and helped her to dispel her inner darkness. A Champion—no, her Champion. She vaguely remembered to breathe, her shrieking robbing her of much needed air.  Alice…
Mirana stopped screaming and let her head fall onto the beast in front of her.  Her army was vanishing into the horizon, and soon she would be alone—completely alone.  “Why…why did you leave me?”
A question sent out to the lands beyond, but no voice was there to answer.  There was no recompense for her shattered heart; her debt was sealed, paid with by her own tears—and painfully clear that there would be no one to help wipe them away. Her fate forged by anguish and bitterness; her victory hollow and mocking.  If Iracebeth could see her now, she surely would have claimed victory. Alice…
The White Queen took her horse by the reins, and slowly followed those before her.
~***~
Alice Kingsleigh fought with herself—her inner voice pulling her into two different directions.  She had welcomed Ascot’s invitation to see the world, and was looking forward to it with pure delight.  But, a nagging feeling pulled her.  Something was wrong.  An inner voice was demanding that something be remembered, a thing that happened before turning down Hamish’s offer of marriage.  But whatever had happened before was fading away, despite her best efforts to remember.
Alice sighed as the carriage pulled up to the estate.  “Are you okay, mother?”
Helen Kingsleigh looked at her daughter for a few moments before speaking.  “You embarrassed me today, Alice.”
The young woman flinched.  “I’m sorry.”
“What happened to you today?”
“I…don’t know.  All I know is that I cannot marry Hamish.”

“Your father…”
“My father would have wanted me to follow my own path!” Alice snapped.
Helen continued to stare at her daughter.  “What happened today, Alice?”
Alice took hold of the doorknob and stepped out of the carriage.  “I’m tired, I’m going to bed.  Goodnight.”

Alice stared out of her window at the approaching night.  She could hear muffled voices, coming from somewhere else in the house and knew that despite her weariness, sleep would be difficult this night.  Her hand rested on the window.  “What is it, Alice?  What can’t I remember?”  A dragonfly flew past her window.
The rocking horse flies flew past her nose…
The young woman jumped, startled by a sudden feeling of recognition.  “Alice, remember…” She waited for something, anything to dispel the feeling that something was teetering of the fringes of her memory.  But nothing came to her.
Alice sighed again and rested her forehead on the window, closing her eyes, letting the weariness of the day catch up to her.
White… everything is white…everything, but her mouth…
Alice groaned as her eyes snapped open, the vision receding as quickly as it arose.  She placed her other hand on the window and felt a single tear slowly fall down her pink cheek.

“Where’s Lowell?”
Margaret looked up from her knitting.  “Not here, mother.  I think he’s at a Bag o’Nails, or something of similar low rank.”
Helen smiled at her eldest, and took the seat opposite her at the fireplace.  She picked up her own sewing.  “I worried about Alice.”
“She was in such a queer mood, wasn’t she?  Could she be ill?”
“I don’t know.  She refuses to talk about what’s troubling her.”
Margaret sipped some tea.  “Sometimes I think we are what’s troubling her.”
“Oh, I don’t quite follow.”
“I didn’t really notice, but I suspected,” Margaret began.  “Mother, Alice is terribly unhappy.”
“I don’t understand.  She wants for nothing, has every advantage that a young woman would want.”  Helen put down her knitting.
“But that’s it, mother, I don’t think that Alice wants what most young women want.” Margaret frowned.  “At least, not what we a taught to want.”
“Perhaps I’ve been too lenient with her fancies.  Perhaps I ought to insist she marry Hamish.”  The elder Kingsleigh sighed, resigning herself to worry.
Margaret stood.  “Here, let me take that to the kitchen.”  She picked up her mother’s empty teacup and walked slowly away.  She was just as troubled as her mother, but for completely different reasons.  She had always known that her sister was different, not made of the same stuff that most other young ladies were made of—her wants were different, and so were her needs.  She scorned convention, and all the trappings of a proper young lady. And, Margaret knew, deep in her heart, that one day Alice would leave to find her destiny, never to return.
I’d hoped to have a Champion by now.  
The look pained, boring into her, pleading…
Alice shot up in bed and clutched her heart, sweat pouring off her, breathing labored.  “Champion…” What was…was she?  Was she a champion?  A champion of what?
The young woman tossed the blankets aside and swung her legs over the side of the bed.  She used her sleeve to wipe perspiration from her brow.  “What’s the matter with me?”
She was trembling, as a memory struggled to rise to the surface.  Alice closed her eyes and tried to get her breathing under control.  She felt the tug.  There were other times, she realized, when she needed to get her breathing under control, because looking at her…
Alice’s eyes snapped open.  “Looking at her?”  She shook her head.  “Looking at her.”  A twinge, a slight tingling at the thought.  “Looking at… her.”
The young woman closed her eyes again.  This time there was no doubt she was experiencing a memory.  The whitest complexion, blonde hair so light that it shone white, dark brown eyes that seemed to reach into her soul, and deep red lips that needed to be kissed.
Then it hit her, slamming into her with the force of thunder.  “Mirana!  I left you!  Oh, my god, what was I thinking!”
Alice remembered everything—Underland, the Hatter, Salazen Grum, Marmoreal—and Mirana, the White Queen, her beloved.  With the memories came feelings, most profound, and with the feelings came an image.  One so sweet that it burned at her eyes, and tore a sob from her throat.  Mirana—her White Queen—with her in bed, straining at each other in glorious passion.
Alice collapsed onto her knees and quickly covered her mouth with a hand, concealing her sobs from the rest of the house, no doubt asleep by now.  She needed to act, and quickly, before her resolve faltered.  Wiping her eyes, she got up and went to her closet, selecting what she would need for her journey back.
The house was mostly dark, except for a few candles here and there to light the way.  Alice was dressed in black trousers that had belonged to her father, a plain gray waistcoat that covered a simple white shirt, and carried a large overcoat.  She found her way to the pantry door and resolved to exit the house from there.
“I’ve been expecting you.”  A delicate hand struck a flint and then lit a single candle.
The young woman reeled, and found herself face to face with her sister.  “Margaret, I…”
Her older sister smiled, and then walked up to her and placed a finger on her lips.  “No need for explanations, Alice.  I will miss you, however.”
Alice could only stare, mouth agape.  “How…”
“You are not the only brilliant one in this family, Alice.  But, perhaps, you are the one with the most courage.”
The young blonde nodded, and quite suddenly, grabbed her sister and held her tightly.  “I’m sorry to leave, but I must.”
Margaret felt a single tear fall.  “I know.  Don’t worry; I will make it all right with mother, Alice.  You must do what you are meant to do.  And, who knows, some day we may meet again.”
Alice considered this, and nodded again.  “Perhaps.  I love you, Margaret.”
“I love you, too, little sister.”  Margaret smiled at her younger sister before turning around and heading to bed.
Alice watched as her sister disappeared from view.  Then she took a moment to let her eyes wander over the kitchen, and tried to memorize every line, every little bit of a place that she once loved.  The young woman took a final look once she was outside, and smiled to herself as she did so.  She believed in impossible things, and felt that if she did ever return to this place, there was someone she would like to bring along with her.
~***~
The White Queen silently wandered the hall to her own chambers, glad that the Hatter had seen to matters of state and let her alone to grieve.  She was desolate inside, all manner of feeling gone, and a minor copy of herself.  Somewhere, she was vaguely aware that Tarrant was hurting almost as much as she, but she could offer him no sympathies, as her heart had none to give.  All frivolity was gone, her arms no longer held up, but sagging to her dress, too heavy to bear the heavy load she was carrying.
Mirana reached her door and dragged it open, only to collapse onto it once it closed.  The tears that she had been holding in were finally released, and she wept bitter tears.  It was then that she realized she was not alone.  Someone stood in the middle of the room, and was reaching out to her with an opened hand.  
The White Queen wiped at her tears.  “I’m sorry, but I wish to be alone so off with you.  You have no right being in my chamber!”
“Do you really want me to leave, Mirana?”
The monarch’s head snapped up at that voice, and her breathing stopped.  “A… Alice?”
Underland’s Champion strode up to her White Queen until they were merely inches apart.  “Yes.”
Mirana collapsed into her Champion’s arms.  “How… how are you here?  I watched you go!  You left me.”  She wept.
Alice could no longer keep her feelings in check, and she cried along with her beloved.  “I’m sorry… I’m sorry… I don’t know why I did it!  I acted the fool, and I don’t know why!  But I love you, my Queen.  I’m never going to leave you again.  I promise!”
And Alice Kingsleigh was home; safe in the arms of the one she would love forever.  There would be time, later, to sort through the pain and heartache and come to reconciliations, but that time was not now.  There was a gentle soul in her arms that needed her touch, and she vowed never to let go.  This was where her life would be, no matter how many days were left to her, or to what sorrows the future might bring.  Mirana was her beloved, her lover, the other half of her soul.  Never again would they be parted.
Alice guided the fragile soul over to the bed and let go.  “I’m just going to…”
Mirana grabbed her and didn’t let go.  “No, please, don’t leave.”
The Champion smiled and gently touched her White Queen.  “I was going to say I’m just taking off my coat.”  She did, and threw it on the floor.  “Come, my Queen, I think we both need to sleep.  I promise you we’ll talk later.”
The White Queen allowed herself to be settled onto the bed, and reveled at the feel of Alice wrapping her arms around her.  “Forever, my Champion.”
Alice felt her eyes closing.  “Forever.”

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