Author: Amee, ziirax
Word count: Chapter 1 - 1,074
Summary/authors notes: When cold Alice moves from England to Los Angeles she finds herself unable to avoid eager Joe who is dying to help her settle. Helpless, with a broken collarbone, Alice lets him in thinking he can protect her from the inevitable drama that awaits.
“You’re just a walking cliché, aren’t you?”
Alice Chapman peered over the top of her creased novel at an olive skinned, long haired boy. He was standing at the end of the bed, clipboard in hand; his eyes were focused on her quickly changing expression. She was perched at the other end, her legs crossed over the pillow, back as straight as her shoulder length blonde locks.
“Well, I happen to be a fan of the cliché. It just depends on which one you’re referring to,” she was surveying his appearance, he knew it. His clothes fit tightly, jeans he probably found in a girls’ clothing store, a t-shirt with some band name that she didn’t recognise and typical DC shoes on his feet.
“Alice,” he tapped the clipboard. She had no idea where he got it from. “The blue dress, white hair band, golden hair, pretty face.” He sported a crooked half smile-half smirk, as though he expected her to fall for his inadequate compliment. She turned her head to the left and addressed the patient in the bed next to her who was silently laughing at the scenario, his curls bouncing down to cover his joyful eyes.
“I assume he belongs to you?” After receiving a nod she continued with her quest to take the cocky boy down a peg. “That’s where you’re wrong. In the original Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland the illustrations were all black and white and no particular colour. However, in The Nursery Alice, published twenty five years later, Tenniel made her dress yellow and her hair band black. Disney was the one who changed the dress to blue and the hair band to white. If you want to compare me to an animated film character, fine, but I would prefer the literary role because she has a lot more depth.”
The boy sat himself opposite her on the A&E bed, crossing his legs and mirroring her stance. “The band was black in the film as well.” She scowled. “Pedantic, quite like the character herself, actually. You read a lot, intellectual. You hate being corrected, proud. So, what’s your story, Lacie?”
Alice’s scowl disappeared but her eyebrows instantly furrowed. Not only had this newcomer read her like another addition to her library, he still wanted to know more despite the abrasiveness. “Lacie was the middle sister in the Dormouse’s story, a mere reference to the real Alice,” his eyes were expectant, waiting for the question to be answered. “I broke my collarbone jumping over a hedge.”
He laughed, rocking back and forth enthusiastically, “Maybe not as intellectual as I originally assumed. So what part of England are you from?”
Alice groaned, the British accent had slipped through the cracks of her pathetic attempt at covering her roots. “Canterbury,” she huffed. “I’ve lived in the US for a week and I’m already breaking things.”
“Don’t worry about it,” he grinned. “I’m a regular here, having broken almost every bone in my body. Nick, on the other hand, is a first timer.”
“Yeah, you were telling me about that weren’t you Nick? The budding acrobat that you are,” though she was talking to the younger boy she didn’t take her eyes off the one on her bed.
“Budding?” Nick’s brother scoffed. “This guy’s a professional. Everyone makes mistakes, however, and Nick’s, though few and far between tend to be major ones.”
“Whereas, Joe, on the other hand makes majors ones almost every day.”
Alice giggled at that, Joe didn’t find it funny. After a few moments of silence, the long haired boy leant forward to lift up the book in the girl’s hand but found his arm slapped out of the way. He looked up, annoyed but his eyebrows lifted with a smile.
“Ah, the beautiful Marianne. To what do I owe this pleasure?” Standing in between the two beds of interest, blocking Nick from view, was a sixty-something, plump, wrinkled nurse with badly dyed bronze hair. It was clear that she saw a lot of Joe, it was also clear that she didn’t particularly want to.
“Hello Joseph. I need to give Alice here a sling, and then she can leave,” she replied sharply.
“Oh, right. I suppose I shouldn’t get in your way.” He hopped off the bed and stood at the end again, watching intently as the nurse pushed the girl’s hair to the side and tied the fabric around her neck. Alice blanched as she rose, in noticeable pain, but quickly arranged herself and any trace of weakness was lost behind a new façade. Joe was intrigued. Marianne ushered her towards the door.
“Goodbye Lacie,” he was tempted to follow her ‘just because’.
“Bye Tweedledee,” she glanced at Nick. Her eyes returned to the exit. “Tweedledum.”
The elder of the two brothers observed her as she left. He let himself fall onto the previously occupied bed and his face came into contact with the book she’d been reading. She left it behind. He picked it up, reading the cover. “The Midwich Cuckoos,” he spoke aloud. “Impressive.”
“Come on Joe. As if she’d give you the time of day, let alone a chance,” Nick rolled his eyes.
“Do you think she lives near us? Goes to our school?” Joe was hopeful. “Maybe I can accidentally bump into her. I just need to talk to her again.”
“Why would you need to ‘bump into her’?” Nick laughed.
“It’ll be hard to find her. I might never even see her again.” He grimaced.
“Dude, I have her number,” Nick held out his iPhone to his brother who snatched it, greedily.
“How did you score that?” Joe was in complete awe.
“We were talking before you came, remember? She said she didn’t know anyone yet and she’s not starting school for a couple more weeks. I feel sorry for her; she’ll walk in wearing a sling, not knowing anybody.”
“What are you talking about, Nicholas? She’ll know us,” Joe shot Nick a sly grin and started to piece together in his mind a strategy to break down the hard shell surrounding the new girl.
AN: Join to read the rest :D Okay, so it's not very long, (that's what she said). It's just the first chapter though and I didn't want to make it any longer or stretch it out. The first person to get the title reference is my hero. Scrap that, you're all my heroes (: