Time Lords have caught the white rabbit of time.
The soft white bunny of all nightmares.
The Tardis landed with its peculiar wheezing sound and the Doctor snapped his fingers, fixing his bowtie with a smug grin right after.
It was a warm evening and as the door opened he stepped outside with a skip. The sky above was clean, a dark blue and the stars shone bright. He thought about Vincent and Amy and Rory and he smiled. He was alone again.
It was a garden, where he stood. A big garden, filled with roses and lilies and ivy that crawled up the walls and fences. Almost every inch of land was covered in green; some of it was shaped into squares and triangles, some just scattered around as if someone had given up at a certain point.
Far away, behind him, there was a house and all the lights were off.
He checked his watch but it was always late, working at its own pace. The Doctor smiled. The silence was comforting.
He sensed a shadow by the corner of his eye and right after a girl was running, passing him without noticing. Running was his business so he followed suit. They ran for a long time and she stopped abruptly, her feet scrapping the earth. Without being able to anticipate her sudden halt, the Doctor bounced forward and fell to the ground, taking the girl with him. She screamed, trying to get him off of her.
“I am sorry, I am so sorry. I didn’t realise you were going to stop!” he apologised, a bit alarmed at her reaction.
He got up hurriedly and extended a hand, that she took , reluctantly.
“I am The Doctor, by the way.”
He fixed his bowtie again and she looked at him. To his surprise, she didn’t seem scared anymore. She smiled.
“I am Alice.” She answered, taking his hand on hers.
“Alice! What a wonderful name! And what were you running away from, if I can be so bold to ask?”
She eyed him curiously now, but she still seemed mesmerized.
“You are funny.” She said. But it was a compliment. “I wasn’t running from anything. I was running towards something. I was chasing!”
“Ah, running towards something. Now that is something new. And quite fun I can imagine!”
“Did you see it?”
She looked around, and the Doctor could observe her well for the first time. She was wearing a long blue dress with lace and fingerless gloves. Her hair was a long mess of blond curls and she had dirt all over her face. Her face was pale and friendly.
“I didn’t see anything. What are you looking for, exactly?”
“It’s the rabbit with a clock!”
The Doctor looked at both of his sides. He had seen strange things in all his life, but never a rabbit with a clock. Alice stopped for a second and stared at him.
“I am not lying.” She paused. “Do you think I am crazy?”
The Doctor smiled.
“Yes.” he answered. “But I’ll tell you a secret. The best people in the world are.”
Alice laughed now and instinctively she paced towards him, touching his bowtie.
“I like it.” She said, simply.
“Yeah. Bow ties are cool!”
Alice had never seen such a happy adult. Then, over his shoulder, she saw it again.
“There!” she shouted, pointing with a finger.
The Doctor turned around and he saw it too. A white, fat, big rabbit, looking very concerned, stopped in the middle of the garden consulting his own pocket watch. Then, as a panicked expression crossed his face, he started to run again and finally, as if the earth had consumed it, it disappeared into the ground.
Alice grabbed the Doctor’s hand and pulled him with her, running again. She stopped at the exact same place where the rabbit had disappeared and she searched. She kneeled down.
“There’s got to be an entrance hereeeeeeee!”
The word was long and shouted, as she fell into a hole on the ground concealed by some bushes. The Doctor tried to grab her but as he motioned towards her it was already too late. He shouted into the hole and the sound of his voice echoed in the distance.
“Well, time to go for a little… adventure!”
And without hesitation he threw himself down the hole, following Alice into Wonderland.