Frustration

The more and more annoyed Alice seemed to get, the harder it was for Hatter to stop himself from laughing. It had been a few days since Alice's mother – Carol, wasn't it? – had been fed half a dozen little white lies, and they were alone in the house after Carol had vacated it after answering the door and claiming to need something from the store down the road. She could tell that he was something different to her daughter, and the fact that they were still as thick as thieves by the third day bode well for the pair's continued future. She didn't want to step on toes; especially since this was the happiest she had seen Alice in what felt like far too long. Even the glow caused by that Jack Chase hadn't matched this.

They'd sat on the couch, talking about everything and nothing. Hatter had taken up Jack's place, having been surreptitiously slipped the key without his knowing some time after Alice was pushed through the Looking Glass, and before Hatter had been of the mind to dive after her. Alice had told him where it was, having visited once or twice before a date, and even if he was loath to have anything to do with Heart, he didn't really cherish the idea of living on the streets, and he couldn't deny, the guy had a pretty swish place. Plus, it didn't seem like he had spent much time living there any way. He was getting used to the place quite quickly, though it bemused him the idea of a city on the ground, as opposed to far above it like he was used to.

It was early in the conversation that Hatter noticed that there was something annoying her. He was good at reading emotions – it was kinda a part of the job description, after all. Being good at reading emotions meant being able to sell people what they wanted, even if they didn't know it. Not that he was out to make a sale now, but right from the beginning, he knew there was something really annoying her, and by the way her eyes kept flicking up to his hair, it wasn't all that difficult to find the source, if not necessarily the reason.

Shame he wasn't one for tact.

"- there's so many cars whizzing about everywhere, and why d'you keep staring at my hair?"

It took a moment for her to realise that he'd stopped mid-tirade about the things that were different here to call her up on her fixation, and to drag her eyes away from the thing in question.

"What?" Surprise, he was delighted to find, made her voice raise an octave or two, though he fought to keep a straight face.

"My hair. You've been staring at it for a while now, it's getting a bit unnerving," he made a show of checking it, "I haven't suddenly gone bald have I?" he tugged on the end of the hair over his brow, looking up at it "Nope, still there."

Not one to blush and simper under scrutiny, Alice set her shoulders, centring her focus on his hair without the restraint to only glance before he brought it up.

"It just… doesn't look right."

Hatter raised an eyebrow. "Are you insulting my hair?"

"No… it just looks all…" She couldn't find the word, and instead decided actions were better than words, and threw her hands into it. If Hatter was surprised at her, he barely showed it, and in truth it felt rather nice having her close to him, and the feeling of her fingers running through his hair was undeniably one he would have to make her repeat in more romantic circumstances. She ruffled it up as best as she could, and got more and more frustrated each time it fell back into place as it had been before. "Normal, it looks normal" she finally said, after many attempts, "It's all flat and boring and normal. It's just not right."

"Normal's… not right?" He was certain that was a bit of a paradox.

"Normal is something that us… Oysters do. On you it's just weird."

"Again with the contradictions!"

"You know what I mean, stop being difficult."

Entirely sure if that last was directed at him or is hair, as she gave up and glared at the offending locks as if they were doing it on purpose. He could almost feel his scalp receding under the intensity of her stare, and decided to intervene before it ran away all together.

"It's not my fault your world's all heavy."

"…What?"

"Your world! It's all heavy and logical and… normal, as you say. It's got no lift to it, so I am sorry if my hair can't stand up for itself."

"You're still making no sense"

"What do you think kept my hair up? Wishful thinking?"

"…That was natural?"

"As the sky is blue! 'Course, my cheery personality helped it along, but Wonderland played it's part too."

"…No gel? Or hairspray?"

It was Hatter's turn to look at her with puzzlement.

At last Alice knew what she could do, and she jumped to her feet. "Stay right there!" she called over her shoulder as she disappeared into the bathroom. When she came back, she had a tub of some strange coloured jelly stuff in one hand; a spray can of some unknown substance in the other, and a wicked grin on her face.

Hatter would forever deny the fact that he made any sound at that sight. Particularly a high pitched, croaked "Meep."