“Have you ever been in love, Kit?” Dormouse’s small voice rang through the darkness unlocking memories that Kit would have rather stayed buried. Tears that had long since fallen down her cheeks began to sting behind her eyelids forcing her to push the emotion down before she could even identify it. The question itself was innocent but even the innocent ones hurt when you have lost everything. The memory that the little mouse of a girl had asked lingered between them like a taunting whisper that dared to break all the strength she had built up over the years.
“Yes I was once,” Kit replied as she looked towards the fire a small smile pulling at her lips as her mind wandered about the dark-haired man that had been her everything since they were young.
“What is it like?” Mouse asked as the millions of questions swirled around in her dark eyes. They hadn’t really spoken about Kit’s past mostly because Kit had never been ready to walk down that road that would never end in a happily ever after. No, they both know how their past stories would end; death and destruction of everything they had ever known. Still, the young girl held out hope for them both that there were better days ahead of them.
“Well it isn’t all kissing and romance,” the woman spoke her voice low and serious as she watched the flames dance within their campfire. “Actually it is a lot like this campfire,”
Mouse looked up at her obviously more confused than she had been before the question had been spoken. The very expression on her face made Kit laugh softly shaking her head causing her pink and purple curls to pounce along her shoulders.
“Let me explain, dear one.” Kit moved so that she could rotate her torso to face the youngling and take her hands in her own. She wasn’t sure how she was going to explain this but she had to try. Love was such a complicated thing and as much as Kit didn’t want to smash all the little girl’s dreams she also didn’t want her to have the wrong idea for someone to crush her.
“The flame is beautiful and provides us the heat we need to not freeze to death but left unmanned and cared for can destroy everything in its wake.” Kit explained hoping she had done a well enough job that the subject could be changed. The idea of love even left in Wonderland was a token of hope she couldn’t afford to have at the moment. They were still very much in danger and it was all Kit could keep them both alive.
“What happened to your fire?” There it was the question that Kit had really hoped Mouse would have left unspoken. Her heart beat painfully against her ribs as if begging someone to rip it out so it wouldn’t have to feel anything.
Taking a deep breath, Kit turned away from her for a moment her teeth capturing her bottom lip slightly to keep it from shuttering. Even after the two years even thinking of him brought pain to her that she never wanted anyone else to feel. It was one thing to lose someone but to lose them to the point you knew they were no longer a part of the same world…it was unspeakable and unexplainable.
“It was put out by some very bad men.” Kit replied softly unable to look over at her as her blue eyes watched the fire dancing before her. As if a damn busted slightly in her mind memories flooded her threatening to break her once more but she couldn’t until she was alone. Mouse couldn’t see her break not now when everything around them wanted to drive them to extinction.It’s ok Kitten…
The sound of his voice caught her off guard forcing her to her feet as a tear escaped the corner of her eye.
“Time for bed, tiny mouse,” Kit said suddenly clearing her throat and placing a smile on her lips. She wasn’t sure how long she could keep her strength but she knew if this conversation went much longer she wouldn’t be able to hold the grief back.
“Awe but Kit but I’m not tired,” She groaned before a yawn overtook her betraying her instantly.
Shaking her head, Kit tilted her head towards the tent behind them before picking the small girl up in her arms and rocking her. The Dormouse was the only thing left in Wonderland for Kit to fight for and she’d be damned if anyone took her like they did everything else.
As she placed Mouse down in her sleeping bag she found big brown eyes looking up at her so intensely she almost flinched. “tell me Kit, how do you go on after you lose everything?” the question was soft and Kit almost hadn’t heard her.
“you take a breath. then another. that’s it. Then eventually you find something or someone to live for” She replied tapping her little nose before moving back to the entrance of the tint. “Sleep well my little dormouse.”