Hatter was quite the expert when it came to Tea. And tea, too, but he wasn't talking about herbal tea leaves when he referred to Tea. No, no this deserved a Capital T. Though not without the ea, because even if it still had the same sound, it definitely deserved the full spelling of Tea. He was specific about that to a... well… to a T.
No, Tea was quite different. It was what he called the bottled emotions that all the little Oysters captured in the Hearts Casino eeked out, day after day. Almost every Wonderlander craved to feel for themselves the wonderful array of emotions that these queer little people felt without even thinking about it. He could tell with a sniff which was the finest of Lust, the best Delight, and he could tell a fake a mile off. Knowing what emotions were the very best, freshest and most luxurious was his job, and he was perhaps the best in the whole of Wonderland.
Feeling emotion… that was quite a different kettle of onions. He never took any of his own stuff, because what sensible drug dealer would? It was just common sense not to deplete your own resources. Then again, Hatter and Common Sense were never really on the best of terms. Hatter was always fond of defenestrating poor 'Sense, and Sense wasn't all that fond of being thrown out of windows –who was, seriously? – so they never quite saw eye to eye. But upon this, they'd reached somewhat of an understanding, and so he wasn't any more emotionally aware than any of his clients.
Well, maybe a bit more, but that was just who Hatter was. He was naturally charismatic, plus when surrounded by human emotion 24/7, it hadn't failed to rub off on him.
But when he turned around to find that one special Oyster girl in front of him… well, he had a feeling that just about every drop of emotion was pouring into the friendship section of his being, which until then had remained a rather cobwebbed box compared to its not-much-better-off neighbours of what effectively classed people as Back-Scratchees and Back-Scratchers.
Two days later, it had just about all slipped into the love section.
Another day and he was starting to believe the tale he'd heard of Oysters being an aphrodisiac.