It started out as an accident. He hadn't meant to open his mouth and say it, things had just sort of…happened. Self-restraint had never been one of his strong points, he was a knave, social etiquette meant very little to the man. Although admittedly had he thought before speaking, it would've been a highly less traumatic experience for all involved. Seated at the familiar table (which with a little OCD cleaning had been restored to it's former glory) Stayne shuffled uncomfortably on the spot.
The Hatter and the Knave had been talking about a certain blonde, enjoying a civilised return to society on the recently pardoned man's part. Well, it started out that way. The conversation had casually taken a turn for the worse when the assassin had mentioned, matter-of-factly, the things he would've liked to do to said blonde girl. Naturally the Hatter was unimpressed, and promptly proceeded to choke on his own tea at the mere thought of such an action. He'd make a point of telling Alice to carry a cane in future, just so she could beat the braggart off with a stick should the need arise.
Letting loose a hollow laugh, the neon haired individual took another long sip of tea, gaze never leaving the untrustworthy gentleman opposite. He didn't care if the White Queen did pardon him, the Hatter certainly wouldn't be trusting him anytime soon. He might steal Alice's muchness again, and then where would they all be? That thought didn't bear thinking about, as it was too horrific and terrifying an outcome for the poor chap to take in.
"I didn't mean it quite like that…"Began the knave, fingers tracing lightly over the scars on his face, as was often the behaviour when he was backtracking on his big mouth.
"Aye, I bet ye dinnae, ye slack-jawed, lily-livered parasite!" Barked the Hatter, rich Glaswegian tones puncturing the air, before he coughed, head shaking with his own hint of remorse. "Sorry about that." He muttered, though with little conviction. He was just holding a protective grudge now, Alice was his friend, and she needed to be respected in such a way that she didn't have to fear being jumped the minute she set foot in Underland.
"You have to at least admit she's pretty." Started the knave again, taking a sip of his own beverage (which tasted distinctly like it was laced with produce from the green fairy). "She made Underland do much brighter!" He concluded loudly, before proceeding to hiccup out his own small burst of intoxicated laughter.
"Hmmm" The Hat maker refused to dignify that with an answer. Alice was Alice. She was nice to look at, and kind, and friendly, and with an excellent taste in headwear, but he wouldn't admit that she was beautiful. Namely because if he did that, it reminded him of precisely how stupid letting her go was! He wasn't sure if he loved her or not, he didn't think so, but he did care, and miss her. That was partly why he wasn't allowing his mind to sink to the level of depravity the Knave was offering.
It was giving him some food for thought though, and that alone was a dangerous thing.