The sun began to set as Michael August Deveraux crossed the White Rose Plaza, intending to drink a little before going home. He'd left his Wonderland jacket at a Laundromat to get the blood out of the white. He remained donned in white gloves, black shoes, slacks, and tie, a button-up maroon shirt with sleeves rolled to the elbows, and matching grey suspenders. His reflection on the Jack of Spades liquor store showed his short brown hair to make him appear extraordinarily disheveled. He smoothed it out gruffly as he peered through. Sighing in mild irritation as someone screamed from the near-by alley, he buttoned the cuffs of his gloves, picked out a cheap beer, and strolled into the alley casually.
A tallish blonde woman, dressed almost too expensively for these parts of town, was backed against a brick wall. Her assailant was possibly seven feet tall, likely to be an athlete, and wearing a dark grin across his shaven square jaw. He caged her in with his body, an arm separating her from the street. The hand attached to that arm was clutching her much smaller arm, while its companion was reaching for her slowly, clenched in such a way as to suggest claws might be present. A rivulet of salivation dripped from the corner of his mouth excitedly.
The Mad Hatter interrupted, and with a polite cough he halted the excited stream of drool. The man turned and glared at him, as if he was interrupting a very expensive dinner. In a deep, powerful voice, he addressed the Hatter. "Leave now, and I'll spare you," he said, growling for emphasis. The Hatter smiled a white grin and chuckled. "I'll offer the same," he answered, "but who shall leave first? As I am clearly the gentleman here," he stepped back to open the alley's corridor, "ladies first." He kept his grin, a daring flash passing in his eyes. He became slightly aware that he might look a bit ridiculous without his jacket, but shrugged it off as the brute responded.
"You, kill me? Unlikely. You are no match for me, the King of the Grey Forest werewolves." He snarled and turned to face the Mad Hatter, his body transforming into a bipedal wolf beast. "Look at that," mocked the Hatter. "The doggy has thumbs. You do not intimidate me, Lucas," he said fiercely, his face taking on all seriousness as he took off his hat. The Hatter reached into the wide-brimmed black fedora and reached in until he was in to his elbow. Wind billowed around him as he gripped the hilt of a black katana that materialized within. White-blue light shrouded him, silhouetting the Hatter as he pulled the sword from the hat. With a commanding, nearly possessed voice, the Mad Hatter levitated a foot above the ground by his hat's magic and addressed the werewolf.
"Lucas Morscorn, King of the Grey Forest werewolf clan, is sentenced to immediate execution for three counts of murder, eight counts of magically aided robbery, twelve counts of armed robbery, and two counts of attempted treason. The fine of these crimes is his life and that of his accomplices." The Hatter dropped to the ground lightly, brandishing the blade defensively. "Any last words?"
Lucas Snarled. "Bite me," he said before leaping at him. The Hatter laughed gleefully, appreciating the irony as he side-stepped the hound. He spun as Lucas passed and hacked the sword two inches into his collar, breaking the bone and drawing first blood. Lucas grasped the wound in pain, but readied to charge again. He leapt again, but a beat slower, giving him the time to redirect as his adversary moved.
They fell to the ground, man under werebeast. Lucas hacked at the Hatter with his claws, angry as each blow was blocked, other than small cuts that breached his defense. In time, the Mad Hatter grew more and more tired, and weaker. Finally, Lucas gave up with cutting. He lifted the Hatter to be pinned against the wall by his throat, beginning to cut off oxygen. "You
live," Lucas grunted, crashing his fist into the Hatter's gut with each word. His vision began to swim. He needed to break free fast. He smiled weakly, blood dripping from the corner of his mouth. "At last," he said, coughing blood on Lucas's face as he glanced into the empty street. "Reinforcements."
Terrified, Lucas turned to look. Perfect, thought the Hatter, before slashing the katana clumsily into Lucas's exposed right side. The wolfman jumped back in surprised pain, dropping the Mad Hatter to clutch his wound. Lucas moved to make one final strike before remembering why he and Selene were there. He turned and ran away, holding his injuries as he disappeared into the street.
Michael held himself, refilling his lungs and retching blood. Glad I meant to visit Alice anyway, he told himself, beginning to stand himself up. After his knees steadied, he turned to the blond woman, asking if she was alright. Instead, he'd found that she vanished, a small black feather showing in the street light where she stood. Apathetically he assumed it had fallen off her black feather scarf and turned to leave the alley. He looked down at his shirt and groaned as he saw that it had been shredded in the fight, with some buttons missing as well. Blood had turned the red of the tatters darker. He torw off what remained and used its shreds to clean and bandage himself, and walked the rest of the way to the White Rabbit Club.