I don't own Alice in Wonderland or any of its characters. Based on the 2010 Tim Burton film.
Rated T just to be safe.
This story is dedicated to the author jjhatter, who write wonderful stories. Check them out! jjhatter, I hope you enjoy my first Chess/Mally effort!
You all should really check out jjhatter's latest story - Thriller Night. I love every word and I'm sure you will, too!
Mally is unhappy at Mirana's latest ball and so she decides to take in some fresh air, alone. But she's not as alone as she expected to be...
What Are Ye Doin' 'ere?
There he was, as handsome as usual. No, not really. He was more handsome than usual. Tarrant wore a burgundy suit with a black vest and white shirt. He had even polished a pair of black boots that he hadn't worn in years. And he was so graceful out on the dance floor. He was ever so elegant in his dancing, his twirling, and his occasional dipping and always, yes, always, smiling so charmingly at she who was in his arms as often as he could claim her. And Alice was always ready to be claimed by Tarrant.
Mally sighed irritably. Tarrant and Alice were in love. And she was annoyed by this. Not as annoyed as she once was, when the chit had stolen her friend's heart and left him to do her bloody "Unfinished Business" Above. But she had returned, as promised, and she and Tarrant were happy now. Very happy.
Mally was pleased for Tarrant, and even now she was, albeit still a bit grudgingly, pleased for Alice. The two of them were suited for each other. She had known that she and Tarrant could never be. Not since he had met Alice as a child, anyway. Something inside Mally told her that even then, the girl would grow to become a lovely young woman and that somehow, she was meant for Tarrant and he for her.
But still...she had hoped. She had hoped Tarrant would see in her, his friend of so many years, something more. But he hadn't. He was too...sensual and physical a man. And too human in his wants and desires. And he was meant for Alice and she for him. Yes, she had accepted that now.
Well, she reminded herself, as long as he was happy then she was, too. In fact, she thought, smoothing down her pretty yellow satin dress with the snow-white lace that Tarrant had made for her, she was happy. Or at least content. Of course Tarrant had also made her yellow slippers to match the dress, and a tiny hat with stunning white ribbons that cascaded from one side down to her shoulder.
She also wore the white lace gloves he made for her, even though she was uneasy wearing them. What if she needed to draw her sword quickly? Would her grip be able to hold firm to its pommel?
Mally shook her head and blinked. Her mind tended to wander these days. Especially more and more from Tarrant to other possible...suitors. Not that she needed one; no sir! But she had noticed lately that more than one set of eyes would follow her movements and gaze at her as if she were the loveliest thing in all of Underland. At first the idea was repugnant, but lately it was somehow less annoying.
Standley, the handsome brown rat that was the head of her guard division, was always eying her with more than casual interest. And so was Fedelis, a brown and white mouse who was her comrade in arms for the Queen. Both had asked to dance with her tonight and she had graced them both.
But could either be of serious interest to her? Mally left the ballroom and headed outside to find some solitude by the fountain farthest from the entrance to the Castle. She needed to be alone. She needed to think.
Was it time for her to consider a beau? She never really had. In all her life she had only ever been attracted to Tarrant. Well, that was a slight untruth. She had been attracted to McTwisp once. They had so little in common that it was laughable. But they had enjoyed, and did, to this day, a friendship that brought great pleasure to them both. McTwisp was fearful where Mally was brave. And he was tender and soft where she was tough and sometimes a bit overbearing. They complimented each other very well.
But Standley and Fedelis...both were strong and handsome. Both were brave and loyal. And both were attracted to her. But was she attracted to them? Either of them?
Mally pondered this for a few moments, dipping just one finger of a daintily gloved hand in the fountain. The moon-lit black and grey water rippled and she jumped in surprise and irritation when she saw the floating head of the Cheshire Cat appear in the waning ripples.
"What are ye doin' 'ere?" she demanded, covering her heart with one paw. She hated when he did that! That blasted Chess was always taking delight in startling everyone with his sudden appearances and annoying them with his equally sudden disappearances.
"Why, Mally, I'm always invited to the Queen's balls!"
"No, ye aren't! Ye just come when ye feel like it!" she snapped.
"Oh, come, come!" he purred soothingly and with surprisingly mild sarcasm. He materialized fully and snaked his body sensually around Mally's and grinned into her round and quite irritated looking eyes. "I do love to...mingle...and especially with some of my favourites."
Mally huffed and crossed her arms over her chest. "Favourites, huh? So now I'm one of your favourites? Since when?"
Chess slowed his twining and hovered upside down before Mally's annoyed face.
"Since always, love," he purred.
Love? Mally shivered. That purr sounded...different. It sounded almost...seductive. A shiver ran down her spine and all the way to the tip of her tail. Strangely, it didn't feel unwelcome. Chess was oddly and inexplicably charming tonight.
Chess smiled. "Love? Are you cold? May I warm you?" He suddenly drifted to the ground and wrapped his lush and furry tale about her body.
"I am not cold!" Mally replied indignantly, even though she was, a little.
But Chess seemed to know that and didn't move his tail.
"Well, I can feel you shivering. Why didn't you wear the shawl Tarrant made for you?"
"Shawl?" Then she remembered. Tarrant had made her a shawl! Blast it! She had forgotten all about it.
"Not that it would matter, love," Chess went on smoothly, "something tells me I would want to warm you, regardless."
Mally sighed. "All right, Chess. What do you want?" Surely he was toying with her and she wasn't in the mood.
Chess's eyes softened a little. "What do I want? Right now I want what you want, Mally, love. I'd like to dance. Wouldn't you?"
Mally listlessly turned her gaze back to the water and at the reflection of the moon, her uncertain face and Chess's lovely black and purple striped one. But his eyes ensnared her attention the most. His eyes were his best feature, of course, but somehow, tonight, they were even more mysterious and...beautiful.
"I don't know," she pouted, hating the way she sounded. She sounded like a petulant child. "I've already danced, Chess. And I'll have you know that I danced with two soldiers, and both of them fancy me!" She couldn't help but stomp her slippered foot in punctuation.
"Do they now?" Chess licked a paw casually and then grinned at Mally. "Well, my question to you then is, do you fancy them?"
Mally was startled. Chess didn't usually pry into her personal business. Tarrant's, yes. Alice's, yes. Even Mirana's. But not hers! Tonight was full of surprises, it seemed. Underland's resident Cheshire Cat with the special evaporating skills and the clever mind was interested in her business!
She sighed. "I don't know. Maybe. They are handsome and brave and strong. I like that about 'em, at least."
"Of course you do, but do they have that sort of "Muchness" that you need? That mystery, that unpredictability? Do they possess the sense of adventure that you crave, or are they all duty and no imagination? Do they have even half the Muchness you have, pretty little Mally?"
Mally pondered. These were questions that she hadn't yet reflected on. But, truth be told, she highly doubted it. Both Standley and Fedelis were all duty and she knew it. She had thought that she herself was all duty.
However, something in Chess's words rang true. She did want more. She needed more. She craved everything Chess said. Her two current admirers were strong and handsome, but neither had much personality. Neither had Muchness. Neither had a sense of adventure and not even the slightest ghostly hint of mystery.
She turned and peered into Chess's face, which still wore an affectionately sincere expression. She had seen Chess sincere and even affectionate before; but those were rare events, indeed. Yes, he was sincere. She knew it from the tips of her ears down to her delicate toes.
"Ye say ye wanna dance? Well, if ye wanna dance with me ye gotta...uh..."
"Oh, yes, of course, love!" Chess slowly and, with dramatic flair including wisping and swirling colours, morphed into a purple and black mouse complete with a deep golden suit and top hat that matched Mally's dress perfectly.
Mally gasped and her eyes grew wide. Chess was normally beautiful to look at, but as a mouse he was...stunning! Was he serious? Did he really want to dance with her? The less than lady-like dormouse with a gorgeous dress with a leather scabbard and a pin sword?
His grin and extended arm told her that he did.
A shiver of delightful anticipation ran through her entire body and a strange tingling fluttered around her heart. She knew that her next few dances with her new partner would be very special, indeed.
I hope you all enjoyed this snapshot of Mally and Chess. Could they be more than friends? Let me know! All comments are welcome.