Reginald Theophilus the Third, also known as the Mad Hatter, was having tea in the lovely morning light that shone through the fine spring mist to his patio. It was a new flavour of tea he was trying this morning, and he wasn't sure that he liked it, though at the same time he couldn't say that he entirely disliked it either. Ears, who was known more famously as the March Hare, had given it to him yesterday afternoon and insisted at the time that he try it without company the first time he drank it. Probably because he had also tried it, and likewise was unsure what to think of the taste.
Looking up from his cup, he caught sight of one blonde for whom he could not help but hold deeply ambivalent feelings towards. Alice Liddell. Still, when she paused a moment to smilingly take in the scent of one of the roses on the well groomed bush by his fence, he could not help but call a greeting to her.
"Good morning Miss Liddell," he said, though he did not move from his seat on his patio, nor did he put his cup down.
"Good morning Mr Theophilus," she returned politely. "I see you are enjoying some tea already today."
"Do let yourself in through the gate, Miss Liddell. It is unseemly to hold a conversation across the whole garden. Unless, of course, you are in a hurry this morning?" Reg enquired, motioning to his white picket gate just two steps to the left of where she was standing.
"Thank you, and not particularly. I simply felt like going for a walk this morning," Alice answered, smiling as she walked down his garden path and stopping in front of his patio. She knew better with this man to invite herself to do anything so familiar as sit down without his permission first.
"Very healthful of you," Reg observed. "Do sit down, won't you Miss Liddell? Ears brought me a new tea yesterday, and I don't really know what to make of it. Perhaps you can give a definitive opinion on its flavour," he suggested, putting down his own (first) cup to pick up the pot of tea and one of the ten other clean cups he had at his side.
"Thank you," Alice said, genuinely grateful that she would be able to actually drink some of Reginald's tea. Usually cups were snatched away from her before she was able to get so much as a sip. This must be one of his better days.
They sat together in silence for a short while, simply drinking their tea and watching Wonderland wake up slowly in the misty spring morning.
"Jasmine," Alice said, startling the man she had been sharing the silence with.
"What?" he asked, raising an eyebrow at the young woman. "I don't have any of that flower in my garden."
"No, the tea. It is jasmine," Alice explained.
Reginald sipped again, a thoughtful expression on his face. "Well fancy that," he said. "I do believe you are right Miss Liddell."