We stopped an hour later for an early lunch break. As we were eating, I heard the sound of water rushing. I got up and looked around, and after a minute, I found a river. The water looked cool and refreshing, and I felt the overwhelming urge to jump in. The sun was up, and it was a nice warm day, so I knew my clothes would dry fast.
I got in and went under. I opened my eyes, and a pleasant surprise, it didn't hurt. I turned around, looking at all that I could see. A big black fish with pink dots on it was coming my way, and when it close enough, I saw that it had four eyes, two on each side of it's head. It looked at me with its eyes, blinking out of synch. I reached out to touch it, and it actually moved closer to my hand, like it wanted to be touched. I guess maybe fish didn't get as much affection as they might want.
It's skin was smooth and scaly, and when I scratched one specific spot, the fish started jiggling around, like it was ticklish. I laughed underwater, which was a bad idea, so a moment later, I was above water again, hacking up a lung. The fish was swimming in circles around me, rubbing up against my side, wanting to be pet more. I did so, aiming for it's ticklish spot, and it started jiggling around again, making me laugh more.
"Be careful." Jason suddenly called from shore. "They get attached quickly."
I looked down at the fish, and shrugged. "I'll call him Joe."
"Joe?" Jason asked. "Why Joe?"
"Don't feel like thinking of other names."
Jason laughed and got into the water. To my surprise, the second he touched it, the water started to change color. I watched in astonishment as the water went from opaque to red, then from red to blue.
"What are you doing?" I asked, amazed, looking at Joe to make sure that the color hadn't harmed him or anything. Jason smiled and shrugged.
"Just a little magic."
"Like it's oh so natural."
"Well, magic is natural here. But me, I'm special. Nobody is better at magic then me."
"Or as conceited."
He splashed water at me, and so I splashed him back. In seconds he was drenched too, due to the fact that Joe was on my side, and was using his tail fin to motor the water at Jason. We were laughing, when I saw something move up in the trees. I looked up just in time for a yellow flash to go past me. I saw hands reach out to grab something, but since it had moved past me, I realized it must be going for Joe.
I whacked the thing as hard as I could, and it went flying backwards onto shore. "Ouchie!" it shouted, and then I realized it was a boy. He had green hair that went down to his shoulders, and piercing green eyes. He was dressed in stripped yellow and white top, and his pants were bright green. He wasn't wearing any shoes, but like Jason, he had animal features. On his head were a pair of purple cat ears, and he had a matching tail.
"Did you just try to kill Joe?" I asked him, feeling a little pissed. How dare he try to kill my new friend.
He laughed and jumped onto his feet. "A kitty has to eat, doesn't he?" he asked, and then he took a huge leap into the air. I thought he'd splash into the water, but he touched down on air like there was ground there.
"Hey Jason." he called down, laying down flat on his belly, his tail swishing casually from side to side.
"Hey William." Jason said back.
"Heard what you said earlier. About being the best magician."
"Oh yeah?" Jason said, grinning. "So what?"
"We both know that I'm the best in the land, honey bunny." The cat, whose name was apparently William, said. Staring at him, I realized who he was supposed to be.
"In your dreams, maybe." Jason called back up, and the cat grinned back at him.
"Oh yeah? How about you come up here, and we have a serious discussion about it."
Jason scowled, and so I guess the cat probably was the better magician.
"Hey, you're the Cheshire Cat, aren't you?" I called up to him, and his ear twitched in interest.
"Why yes I am." he said. "Has Jason been talking about me?"
"No." Jason said. "Tommy can see into the future."
William's eyes widened, and he whistled admiringly. "A seer, huh? Never met one of those before." He got to his feet and started walking down to us, as if there were stairs. When he reached us, he smiled and held out his hand.
"Let me introduce myself. I'm William, the Cheshire Cat."
I shook his hand, and was about to introduce myself, but then I remembered, and I zipped my lips shut. When I didn't say my name, William smiled a evil little smirk, and said. "It's bad manners not to introduce yourself back."
I looked at Jason for help, but he just laughed and looked away, leaving me to my fate. I started to pull my hand away from William, because I knew I was stronger then him, and a second later, he pulled me over to me, leaned down, and kissed me.
"Damnit!" I said once he'd let go. William laughed, and then he said to me. "I'm sorry. I just don't get to have much fun with outsiders, usually."
"Yeah yeah." I said. He was lucky I was gay, or this whole experience would be pissing me off. Besides, despite his hyper, slightly annoying personality, he didn't seem like a bad guy or anything, and I needed as many friends in this world as I could get. "How'd you know I was an outsider?" I asked.
"Because if you were from Wonderland, you wouldn't care about the kissing greeting."
"Ah." I said. Then I asked. "Don't you want to get in the water with us? The water's great."
He shook his head. "I was just in the water a few minutes ago, actually, and my hair has only just dried."
Which is why I shoved him off his air. Caught off guard, he fell in with a splash, coming up a second later.
"Why would you do that?" he asked, but he was laughing. He pushed me over, and when I came back up, he was already back in the air, trying to shake himself dry.
"Where you guys off too?" he asked as we climbed out of the water.
Jason instantly grew serious, as apparently he would do every time he thought about the queen, so I answered for him this time.
"We're going to the queen's." I said, and William frowned.
"Why would you do that?" he asked, sounding concerned. "Is everything okay?"
I shrugged. "I don't know. He took my from my world, because I can see the future, to help him. But he hasn't told me why yet."
William looked at Jason, looking at him seriously, eyes searching him. Suddenly he gasped, and he said, "Jason! Is it Ja-"
He stopped when Jason glared up at him, eyes blazing with anger. I just stood there, confused, looking between them. What was William about to say? Were we going to meet somebody?
"Let's go Tommy." Jason said, grabbing me by the arm and starting to pull me after him. I looked back up at William, who was following us up in the air, but he certainly wasn't as happy as he was a few seconds ago, arms crossed over his chest, looking ahead sadly. He didn't call after Jason to try and stop him, just followed behind silently.
I heard a strange noise, it sounded like a whistle. I turned to look back at the lake, and it upset me when I saw that Joe was the one making the noise, it was coming from his whole body or something. The whistle noise was twittering, and I could tell it was a sad sound.
"Joe!" I called back. "Don't worry! I'll come see you later! If the evil kitty tries to kill you again, you just tell me, okay?" I said, and above us, William laughed. The sad whistle noise stopped, and I watched as Joe stared in our direction for a few seconds, then turned and slowly swam away.
"Damn fish is making me feel like a baby killer." I said, and Jason smiled at me sympathetically.
"I told you they get attached fast."
"Didn't think you meant that fast."
He nodded. "Yup. That fast."
"Hey!" William called from above us, and we looked up.
"We should go see Jayden!" he shouted down to us.
Jason cocked an eyebrow. "Who said anything about a ''we?" What makes you think you're coming with us?"
"Because. I want to help. And we both know you need all the help you could get."
Jason rolled his eyes.
"And besides." William said, and I saw that he was slowly vanishing from the air, and reappearing next to me at the same time. "I like Tommy." he finished, wrapping an arm around my waist. I let him, because like Jason, I felt like we should have already met, and that by not meeting him, I was missing something.
"Better be careful, or I'll tell Jayden you're cheating on him." Jason said, and I looked at William. Did this mean he was gay too? Well I mean, he certainly wasn't straight though.
William smiled, but it was sadder then his previous ones. "Hmm. I don't think he'd care."
"Does he cheat on you?" I asked, and William looked at me, and shook his head.
"No. He's not that kind of guy. He's just...oblivious. He has no idea how I feel about him."
I put my arm around his waist too, and the three of us walked into the forest, William entertaining us with stories about his magical lessons, and how he knocked down at least three villages on accident learning how to do a certain spell.
Love you William. And you know what? I love Joe too. And if you're wondering why I really named the fish Joe, here it is.
Like Tommy, I didn't want to spend too much time thinking of a name, so I thought, "I'll just call the fish Joe." But then I was like, "Really? Can't think of anything better?" So I turned to the TV, and said, "The first name that appears in the opening credits of Criminal Minds, that will be his name." And who was first? Rossi. Whose real name is Joe. So I was like, "Well damn, he's destined to be named Joe!"
So Joe he is.
Please stay tuned for the next chapter. Love you all!