The White Queen hastily reached into her pocket and pulled out a bottle from it. It was a small bottle, rather skinny, containing a light, purple liquid. She handed it to Alice, giving her a sad smile.
"Take it. You deserve it. You've EARNED it. You've saved us all."
Alice stared longingly at the bottle, knowing it would grant her the one wish that she desired the most if she was to drink the purple liquid bubbling inside of it. She took the bottle, held it up closely to her beautiful face, blinking at the sight. "If..." she said quietly. "If I drink this, will... Will it take me home...?" The White Queen nodded slowly. "If that is what you wish," she said, rather uncomfortably.
Alice stared at it some more, then, sighing, slowly twisted off the black lid that was keeping the liquid from spilling out, and tossed it aside. She heard gasps of surprise, shock, and even disappointment.
She slowly turned around, only to see each and every one of her friends staring longingly at her. "Please don't go," they were begging her. "You don't have to--"
"You could stay, you know."
The familiar voice made Alice whip her head around in surprise, just in time to see her most important and favorite friend of all that had helped her the most on her journey. His tangled, red-orange hair blew in the wind. His eyes were a bright, rich, glowing green color that resembled two emerald orbs.
The face of the man standing before her looked depressed. It Iooked as though Christmas had just been cancelled. In his hand, he held a staff, with a meduim-sized orb attached to the top of it. His suit was tattered, and some of the buttons were ripped off, dangling, literally hanging by a thread. One-half of his orange bow-tie was also torn off. The other half of it was full of holes. And last, but not least, his hat was also tattered and torn, but he was wearing it nevertheless.
"You don't have to go," he went on in a little bit of a desperate voice. "Please, Alice. I've done so much for you, and that's not selfish. You know it's true. Remember, back when you were young? You wouldn't have found your way out of that dark, tunnel-like hole if it wasn't for me. I helped you out, remember? I've waited thirteen whole years for this... You can't just leave Wonderland... Not yet... Not like this..."
Alice sighed again, her eyes filling with tears. "I understand, Hatter," she said softly. "You're right: You HAVE done a lot for me, but..." She looked down. "... But things have changed in this world-- MY world. There's things I have to do, questions I have to answer. I'd love to stay, but you have to understand... I can't."
They could hear nothing but the blowing wind until the Mad Hatter responded.
"... You won't remember me," he said finally. He couldn't seem to take his eyes off of hers. She looked back up at him again, her tears more visible. "I will, too!" She sputtered through them, now sobbing softly. "You KNOW I will... I'll be back before you know it..." She walked toward him.
They both stared at each other for a long time before the most extraordinary thing happened. They had both leaned in to each other's warm lips at the same time, wrapping their arms around each other, falling into their own embrace.
The kiss lasted seven full seconds before they both pulled away from each other's lips, both of them staring longingly into each other's eyes.
Alice gulped, wiping away the tears.
"Have you guessed the riddle, yet?" the Mad Hatter asked suddenly. Alice blinked in confusion. "What riddle?" she asked him. "The one about the raven and the writing desk," he answered. "Oh," said Alice. She smiled sadly at him. "No, I give it up," she said. "What's the answer?" The Mad Hatter smiled right back at her. "I haven't the slightest idea," he said, rather a little loudly. "Nor do I," laughed the March Hare, agreeing.
Alice sighed wearily, but still smiled. "I'd think that you'd do something better with your time," she said jokingly, "than wasting it by asking riddles that have no answers."
She was just joking, playing along with him, and he knew that. EVERYONE knew that. Alice gave a sad wave. "Bye, everyone," she said. "I'll come back whenever I can."
then, taking a deep breath before doing so, she tipped the skinny, clear bottle's inside purple liquid into her mouth, taking a moment to taste it, then she drank it down in one single gulp. She could tell that it would take a while for it to work.
The Mad Hatter suddenly motioned for her to come close to him, so she did just that. She was expecting him to kiss her again, but, surprisingly enough, he didn't. He just leaned in, close to her ear, then whispered into it: "The answer to the riddle is that because it can produce a few notes, though they are very flat, and it is NEVAR put with the wrong end in front!"
Alice thought about that for a moment, then she suddenly got the riddle: "Ravens didn't have much variety in their songs, and people used desks to write (paper) notes as well. "All very flat"-- Well, what could be flatter than a piece of paper? And ravens' songs were apparently rather flat-sounding. "And are almost NEVAR turned the wrong way front"-- A desk was useless if it was faced the wrong way, because you couldn't sit there. "Raven" spelled backwards was "Nevar", and thus, "Raven" was almost "Never" turned the wrong way front.
Alice laughed at his riddle, which seemed more like a joke to her, before everything turned black. The Mad Hatter, the March Hare, Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, the White Queen-- They all faded away.
But before Alice "woke up" from her so-called "dream", she saw the Mad Hatter's face last, and he was still smiling at her. And then--for just a mere instant--she could've sworn she saw a sunbeam flash of pure gold in his eyes.