I held the tray in my right hand steady, using my left to gently knock on the door. The Hatter always liked having tea while he worked, and it was my role to keep the boss happy. "Sir, I've brought your afternoon tea," I announced, waiting to be invited in to deliver it so I could leave and carry on with my other duties.
"Ah, yes, do come in." He sounded to be in a much more pleasant than usual, though I was still a bit nervous as always. I carried the refreshments into the room and nodded to his company, who I quickly spotted. Something about the small young lady was different—she did have eyes, but she didn't appear to be One-with-Duties.
I wasn't expecting her response to be quite so… inane. The girl had quickly rushed up to me as though she'd never met another human being before, staring at me in apparent awe. "You don't have buggering eyes! That's just freakin' epic!" she stated loudly, much to my displeasure. I would have very much preferred to drop the tea off and leave rather than draw the attention of the boss's new girlfriend.
"Erm… Thank you, miss." I wasn't sure what to say in that situation—I imagined she had to be an Outsider to be so oblivious, but that knowledge made coming up with a reply no less awkward—and quickly dipped my head, placing the tray on the coffee table and hurrying out of there.
I believe I heard the girl mutter something along the lines of, "What's his problem?" as I made my mad dash to return to work. I wasn't sure at all what had come over me; something about being noticed like that just made me uncomfortable.
The last Outsider, Alice, had made a point of trying to remember all of our faces (she was kind enough not to make a big deal of it, as well) though I myself had so little contact with her I knew she didn't recognize me. I didn't even have any defining features like most of the servants did.
Life working under One-with-Duties was so different than life in the 'real' world. While none of us had names (only nobles had names, because they were the ones chosen for roles and it was much easier to simply give names to those who might need them some day) we still had jobs, families, and homes. Now if I had any identity at all it was 'one of those servants who always brings tea'.
I went about my day as usual after that. When the cycle shifted to the afternoon, I had to go out shopping for the kitchen. When the cycle shifted to night time, I cleaned. It was a simple routine, the only difference being the time of day it was when I came to it. However, as I walked to my room in the mansion—despite that I wasn't able to fight when it came down to it, all of the servants still had decent living quarters within the manor, and I somehow ended up with one in the main building—I was stopped by Blood Dupre himself.
"You, I have a special assignment for you," he said, raising an eyebrow. The short raven-haired Outsider was standing next to him, looking as perplexed as I was. "I'm afraid I have some work to be doing, and I need someone to keep an eye on her so she doesn't end up lost."
"…You talk about me like I'm some kind of dog or something. Meh, whatever, I get to hang out with a faceless Mexican." I wasn't sure if I should have been thankful I'd been there at the time or mortified that I would have to watch the odd girl. "So, what's your name?" she asked as soon as the boss had returned to his room.
"Name? I don't have one."
"Pfft. Well, I-Don't-Have-One, why not?"
I wasn't quite sure how to explain it to an Outsider—Alice definitely hadn't understood that concept of Wonderland, and I doubted this one would either. "Err…"
"Can I call you… Aido?" she blurted out suddenly, as though I was taking too long to think. Was she honestly going to give me a nickname? I was flattered at first, but I decided it was probably just so she had something to refer to me by. All the same, I couldn't help wondering if she would remember me after we parted again shortly.
"A pleasure to meet you, Miss Toki. You aren't from Wonderland, correct?"
"Nope. New York, actually."
I was about as familiar with the names of her world as she was the customs of mine, but I nodded along to be polite. "Would you care for some tea?" I offered absentmindedly, not used to entertaining guests alone.
"Bugger no. I hate tea." She could be quite rude, that was for sure. "You think you could show me around, though? I know less than a dust particle on your awesome tiny hat about this place."
I couldn't think of a reason not to, so I did as Toki requested and gave her a brief tour of the grounds. By the time we returned Blood was searching for the Outsider to show her to her new room and I was dismissed.
"Toki, hm?" I muttered to myself, wondering if maybe it was just to hear my own voice. When I thought about it, I did sound a little different from the others. 'Aido… I hope she remembers that as well as I do…"