Disclaimer: I claim things all the time, but Alice would not be one of those things.

Author's Note: Quality Control weeps at the mere thought that muse might be drawn into another fandom, why doesn't she believe my assurances that I am just visiting Alice? Bookworm Gal, don't even try it, you know the consequences and QC recommends I start with the fellow currently winning the popularity poll. Tin Man readers might want to heed that warning, Alice only readers, never you mind, the Tin Man readers are just delusional is all. Eheheheheh.


Emotions, Oysters have a lot of 'em, Hatter knows this, that's why the Queen wants them so bad. In the last couple of days he's seen more feelings from Alice than all the teas yet culled from the thousands of kidnapped Oysters combined. Very few of these moods are ones the Queen would be interested in, some she'd ban outright, and still there are more where those came from and often they are expressed in triplicate, conflict, and complexity. He's seen the lost little Oyster scared, angry, sad, bewildered, frightened, surprised, happy, terrified, annoyed, furious, confused, puzzled, perplexed and mystified; she's been mildly hopeful, betrayed, defensive, in awe, thoughtful, blasé, wary, determined, stubborn, curious, solemn, disappointed, weirded out, hesitant, doubting, brave, obstinate, forlorn, vulnerable and a few other things he's still trying to name.

Alice-Not-Of-Legend's got enough emotions to keep Wonderland drunk on teas for centuries, so he doesn't understand why it is so hard to instil a few proper responses in the woman. A little healthy fear of the Queen would be good, or perhaps the understanding that being locked in your mind in a room with no floor over a gaping pit is not anybody's idea of 'under control'. And she really needs to ditch her faith in that bloody Jack, who is not only a manipulative lying bastard, but the Queen's son. He's also engaged to a Duchess, which makes him a two-timing manipulative lying bastard, so would Alice stop defending him already?

As he chases her across the lakeshore where he'd crashed their flying pink flamingo, the Wonderlander wonders what takes to inspire a little trust in a person.

Oh, and he really wishes someone had warned him that pure, unadulterated Oysters had the ability to evoke emotions in him just by walking into the room, unlike their extracts which stayed harmlessly on the shelf unless you chose to drink them. He almost feels like strangling her in frustration, except that he wouldn't harm a hair on her head and he'd beat the Jabberwocky out of anyone that tried, he wishes she'd stop being so defensive and contrary for just five minutes and listen to him, and he just can't figure out how to make her do that...

In Wonderland, anything this complex came with an instruction manual, Oysters just didn't play fair.