A slight gasp escaped her lips. Here he was, just as handsome as he had been a month prior, when she had foolishly almost killed him and destroyed all of Underland. She still felt terrible for all the pain she’d caused him and was truly surprised at how gently he had treated her after all was said and done. Her father’s pocket watch may have played a role in that, but she had always hoped he had other reasons for his gentleness.
And now, here he was, right in front of her was the one man who had occupied her dreams most every night for the past month. His expression was curious. His vivid eyes betrayed his true emotions, despite the somewhat expressionless mask he usually wore. A feeling of sadness and regret suffused his gaze, which caused Alice’s heart to clench painfully. One hand flew to the painful fluttering in her chest, while the other reached for Time himself. She cupped his cheek softly, meeting his sorrowful gaze with her hopeful one.
“T-Time… I-I thought I’d never see you again” she stuttered. Her voice was very quiet for fear of it breaking at first. “I have hoped for this day, honestly, since we last parted.” A fierce blush covered her cheeks at her admission. She looked away now, thoroughly embarrassed at herself. She had no idea why he had suddenly brought her to his castle and here she was pouring out her heart to him. A gloved hand came to rest on hers then, surprising her once again. Their eyes locked once more as she waited for him to speak.
“My dearest Alice,” he began, “I fear I was much too harsh with you at our last meeting, and for that, I must apologize, and in addition, redact a certain condition.” She blinked back a somewhat puzzled expression and allowed him to continue. “You have not left my thoughts since that time, and the loneliness and regret makes each tick and tock seem hollow.” He took a knee then, eliciting a gasp from Alice, and took her hand in both of his gloved ones before lightly kissing the back of it. “It is my sincere hope that you can forgive my previous harshness and that you will visit me very often here.” Her surprised expression betrayed her entirely. She fixed him with a gentle, loving gaze and hurriedly gathered him up from his kneeling position.
“What do you say my dear?” His intense eyes searched hers beseechingly. A mischievous grin split her pretty face just then.
“I’m afraid there’s just no way I can possibly –“His gaze turned harder with each word she uttered, until he completely cut her off. He had, of course misunderstood her entirely. He cut her off abruptly and turned away from her almost violently.
“Of course you couldn’t. I’m not sure what I was expecting from this kindergartener” he snapped bitterly. Alice’s brows furrowed angrily at his hastiness as much as the annoying old nickname. She grabbed his arm and forcefully spun him back to face her, much to his surprise.
“If you would let me finish, you foolish man; I am afraid that there’s just no way I can possibly refuse such a sincere request coming from you, my love” she finished triumphantly, putting more emphasis on the latter part of her answer.
His expression of hurt and betrayal melted into a surprised stare at this wonderful woman in front of him. This is why he cared for her so: who else would be as unabashedly unafraid to talk sense into Time himself?
She smirked as she watched the realization of what she’d just said sink in for the occasionally dense timekeeper. He suddenly pulled her into a crushing embrace, rendering her speechless save for a small squeak, and causing another heated blush to dust her cheeks. She hugged him back then, bringing her arms to encircle his waist and fisting her hands into the shirt he wore beneath his voluminous cape. His gloved hand cradled her head against his chest as his other arm snaked around her waist, bringing her ever closer to him if that was possible. A strangled moan escaped her lips as he embraced her, like he had before in only her dreams. Pulling away from one another slightly, they locked eyes. Her stormy blue eyes clouded with pleasure as they met his vivid gaze, which flicked down to her full lips. Gently, slowly, almost reverently, he brought her closer before softly capturing her soft lips with his own. She inclined her head a bit more to give him better access while bringing her other hand up to tangle in his loose top knot.
They stayed like that for as long as Time could give of himself before a slight clearing of a throat brought them out of their haze. Wilkins stood in the opposite archway clearing his throat awkwardly. Time and Alice reluctantly separated, but continued to hold hands as they walked down the corridor to deal with whatever new problem Wilkins had encountered. Wilkins walked ahead of them, rambling on about something to do with the Seconds. Alice and Time trailed behind, occasionally stealing kisses and smiling to themselves.