AN: Hello there everyone! I just watched Alice for the first time the other night and I'm totally in love! So here is my bit of fanficcy tribute to this awesome miniseries! Decided to take things from the hatters point of please, read and review! It helps me write!

Also! For a bit of Hatter eyecandy, do please stop by my Deviantart page! My username is hakari-chan. so just do hakari-chan dot deviantart dot com to check out my hatter fanart!

Chapter One:

The Alice

The heady scent of oolong tea filled the air as Hatter leaned into the soft cushions of his high backed, white chair, warmth emanating from the glass teacup cradled in his hands, the saucer abandoned on the desk beside him. The strong, dark smell overrode the thick and sickening scent of greed and desire that seemed to permeate the air in the shop outside the door of his little office. As he sipped the dark amber liquid, the man could feel his headache subside ever so slightly. Tea-heads, his pathetic little customers, always gave him such headaches with all their clamoring for their next fix, eager to ride that wave of powerful human emotion, to drown themselves in it...

Hatter's eyes drifted to the shelves behind his desk, glancing at the select few bottles of Tea he kept there, some of the more expensive products that he didn't trust to have out of his sight. Disgusting as he felt his buyers were, money was money, and Hatter had always been raised to keep a close eye on his merchandise. He didn't use very often, not anymore. A casual dash of self-confidence here, a little cleverness there, and the occasional drop of lust for...well, special occasions. It had been awhile since he had used any of them though. Even just looking at them there, perched so smugly on the shelf, just watching him, waiting for him to break down like he used to, like his buyers did every day, like everyone did these rankled him.

He was considering taking the bottles down and sticking them in one of his desk drawers so they would stop pestering him when a knock drew him from his reverie.

"Enter." he called without turning in his chair. He didn't need to, he recognized the knock.

"Excuse me, Sir, but a mister...Rat is here to see you." Said the guard that had just stepped into his office, distaste evident in his voice. Hatter had a few guards that he kept on staff just in case things got out of hand with his customers, something that was obnoxiously regular in occurrence.

Hatter groaned inwardly at the news. He hated Rat. The man reeked. He'd probably never had a bath in his life and simply being within twenty feet of the man could put one off their lunch. He sighed resignedly, before waving a casual hand at his guard, still not turning as he spoke "Go ahead and send him in."

"Yes sir."

"And go ahead and pull out some of those air freshener...things... we got." Hatter added.

"Yes sir." he could practically hear the amusement in the guard's voice.

The door closed with a quiet snap and Hatter leaned forward in his chair, placing his tea cup back on its saucer on his desk, lamenting that it would probably be cold by the time he was done with the sewer dweller. Oh well, there was nothing for it. The man was obnoxious, a moron, and stank to high heaven, but every once in awhile, he did bring something of interest to Hatter's attention. It was the only reason he occasionally tolerated the man's presence there in his office. There was always that small chance that it would pay off.

A moment later, there was a knock, and the door opened before he could answer. The smells from the shop mixed with the unsavory odor of Rat himself made Hatter gag silently, and he remained with his back to the door and his unwanted guest to hide the face he made as his senses were overwhelmed.

"Well?" he managed to say, finally. If his voice croaked a little, Rat didn't seem to notice, instead he began to speak, and quite eagerly at that.

"Mr. Hatter sir! I found something I did! An Oyster!"

Hatter rolled his eyes, already annoyed. It was going to be one of those kinds of visits, was it?

"Mr. Rat," Hatter managed a cool, bordering on cold voice "how many times do I have to tell you that I am not interested in any of the dead bodies, oyster or not, that you fish out of that pathetic, sewage infested excuse for a canal?"

"Not a corpse, sir! Alive she is! Say she's lookin for someone." Rat all but chirped merrily, obviously very sure of his reward today for this particular find.

Pausing, Hatter looked briefly back over his shoulder to take in the mans face. No, he wasn't lying. "Alive, you say?" he murmured, turning away again, calculating. Was it worth it, taking in an oyster? Bringing her down to Dodo? He supposed he could always fit her in with his next shipment of supplies to the resistance...

"And not just any oyster!"

"What?" Hatter asked, mildly annoyed at being interrupted in his thinking.

"Not just any oyster, I says! Is Alice. The Alice."

Hatter went very still for a moment, having to bite down on his tongue to keep himself from parroting the mans words back at him again. Terrible habit that.

"And how," he began as he scrambled mentally to pull himself back together "would you know that?"

"Told me herself." Rat said with a nod.

"Oh really." He asked, disbelievingly, picking up his tea and sipping it, grimacing slightly as the cold beverage slid unpleasantly over his tongue and down his throat. "She specifically said she was the Alice. The Alice of Legend?"

"Well...not in so many words, no..." Rat answered, suddenly sounding unsure of himself, much to Hatter's relief. The last thing he needed was the world as he knew it to come tumbling down around his ears, and just when he had gotten comfortable too. No, there was no way it could be the same Alice, Oysters didn't live that long, after all. Still...perhaps he could see her anyways, she could be of use to the resistance, or he could play dirty and sell her back to the Suits for a hefty reward.

That thought left a bitter taste in his mouth that was worse than cold black tea. No, he wouldn't do that. Dirty double player that he was, with sticky fingers in more than one pie, not even he would do that. The resistance it was then. He was silent a long moment before speaking again. "Go ahead and show her in, then. I doubt she's this Alice everyone always makes such a big deal of in the old stories, but she could still be useful..."

Rat made an incomprehensible sound of happiness that his offer had been, more or less, accepted, and dashed back out the door to find his little prize.

'Still...' Hatter wondered, 'where did he come up with all this Alice nonsense?' Rat wasn't exactly a creative guy, and absolute rubbish at lying. Well, rubbish at lying to Hatter, who was something of an accomplished liar himself.

Hatter was still musing over this when the door opened again, and he felt her enter the room. It had been a long time since he'd been in the presence of a real, live oyster. He'd forgotten how very...alive they felt. He could practically feel the emotions rolling off of her person. Curiosity, self-assurance, determination, and just a dash of fear, and a sense of being very lost.

"Cup of tea?" he asked, before the oyster could speak, before he'd even turned to look at her. The words just seemed to tumble over his lips before he even realized what it was he had said.

"No thank you. Who are you?" she asked, and something in Hatter's gut rolled. He could feel her surprise and a flash of confusion at his question, before determination swelled to the forefront once more.

He couldn't take the suspense anymore, and he rotated his chair around so that he could look at her. His eyes flashed instinctively to her face, and then away again.

"A friend." He said, before his eyes returned to her face once more "I hope." Again, the words came unbidden to his tongue and leaped like a kamikaze over his lips and into the conversation. "I run the Tea shop."

AN: Well guys, hope you all enjoyed! Please leave some feedback, as it helps keep me writing! If I don't get any reviews then I'll just assume no one wants to read, and that would be sad! So review, review like the wind!!!

Also! For a bit of Hatter eyecandy, do please stop by my Deviantart page! My username is hakari-chan. so just do hakari-chan dot deviantart dot com to check out my hatter fanart!