When she bitterly wined that he had given away the answer, Jervis settled in, thin frame against her own slender, yet supple one, his own thin arms draped over her shoulders, ”—Ohhh, I know… I did dear Alice… my grandest of apologies, but oh how I worry…” he wailed softly, madness filtering with every slip of each word, his voice somewhat high pitched, mad, with a delicate English accent lingering. With a slight tsk, thin lips turned up in the corners, he casually recited, ”—Who in the World am I? Ah that’s the great puzzle…” he chimed thoughtfully, while tipping his red haired head some to the side. Every word spoken bordered between a riddle, a song, sometimes everything to do with Wonderland, and sometimes not. All around them, life passed on the streets, cars, people, but so lost in his beloved Alice, that he thought nothing about them. The kiss was shocking almost, but gratefully accepted without question, and he’d smile appreciatively, thankfully, as if a small part of the sickness, the perversion was quenched for the time. So lost in the small moment, he had nearly missed her words, only being brought back into existence when he felt the tug on his sleeve, static fuzz, and then ’Blackgate’ instantly his brows lifted from beneath the brim of his well-loved top hat, as he slipped his own bony hand into hers, ”--My dear, there we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere else you must run twice as fast as that.” he chimed, reciting a line from one of his favorite books matter of factly, as if it had anything to do with the prison, ”—Alice? Don’t mark me as a stick in the mud just yet, but what are we to find at Blackgate?” he questioned, never having much thought on the place…
Rarely did Jervis need to ever teach his darling Alice a lesson, she was a smart girl… once she had run away, and not out of fun and games… not like that, she had left… that was an issue, one that the Hatter was not typically fond of, while he didn’t expect obedience, he did believe in good manners. This momentary reverie would have shifted slightly, when she once again easily drew his attentions to her, when she declared the prize it was she wanted, he clicked his tongue thoughtfully… ”—That can be arranged dear girl, but where is the question?” he cooed. Oh if he could…he would take her to Wonderland, but the way had been lost to him long ago, and the only way down the rabbit hole was through psychotropic drugs… and he wasn’t about to force her into that. Perhaps he could simply make his own Wonderland!? Drawing his attention away with humor, he paused…listening, ’Porpoise…’ until it came, ’ For we can't go anywhere without a porpoise, right? Mr. Hatter? instantly he smiled, vicious grin filing in on that pale almost emaciated face of his, Oh how splendid she was… not at all like his former… it was the truth, he had kidnapped his former secretary Alice Pleasance, what a troublesome girl she was… leaving his heart shattered in two. But came another, not Alice two… simply THE Alice, the first had been full of trickery, falsified to lure him into a trap, this…this delicate Goddess before him was she, HIS Alice… he had lain claim to her and dared any man to try and take her. When she declared more Riddles, he wet his thin lips and continued, whirling her about once more, before lowering her back onto her feet, but keeping her close, his thin hand pressed against the small of her back. ”—Let’s see… how about this one…” he started, feeling the gentle weight of the mind control cards at his side, reassuring… dominant control, ”—What can you catch, but not throw?” he uttered, the answer turning over into his head, only making him fret for a moment… ”—Speaking of which, are you warm enough?” he cooed, Gotham’s weather was always a fright, and standing out on the cold wet streets made no promise for salvation.
Alice and Hatters relationship was indeed a strange one, unhealthy, impure…but Jervis didn’t mind, his love for her was volatile, dangerous, and if provoked he was assured it would happen. He wouldn’t kill her, that would be such a lovely waste, but he would keep her imprisoned… lock her away, force himself onto her…his violent love, one day he and Alice would be an item, nothing would come between what they shared, even if he had to keep the memory intact forever by force… those glittering cards, she would be his doll, if he needed too… and she would obediently listen to every command he declared if need be, Alice was his, and he would kill anyone who said otherwise. So strange he could take a turn from vicious madman, to whimsical Haberdasher in all but a second, she pushed his buttons, some good…some not, but she knew how to play the game well, knew how to lead him on…to get whatever she wanted, and happily he’d always indulge her.
When she drew close to him, he couldn’t help but shut his eyes, drawing in the sweet smell of her golden hair, his thin hands grasping her own as the spun about once more dizzily, ’A nose’ she had said, and he would smile, thin lips pulling across over yellowing teeth… perhaps far too much tea. ”—Indeed you are right…” he boast, going so far as too scoop her up in his arms, holding her close to him… protectively… possessively. ”—Certainly my Alice gets a prize! What ever could she possibly want? Ask and I shall grant it…” he would do anything for her…for only her, the rest of the world sickened him…all those others, good for nothing more than a good knife ********… the thought made him smile more, eyes glittering with mirth over a great many things, some good, some bad, all welcomed in his warped mind…
Oh how many had there been to fill the hole Alice had once left, when that horrible winged menace had taken her away? He had lost count, endless faces the dresses, the bows…the hair…he had made them all the same, but it was that face he could never get right. The others…there had been something off about them, he had tried to erase them…most of the time the police would find those others in a ditch, outside Gotham dead…he had been put away for that multiple times, placed in a jacket…in a padded room where he couldn’t harm those others. He had broken free…no Asylum could ever hold him…he would see to that, pretty circuit board cards…mind control, how beloved. Pulled from his reverie when she laced her fingers into his own, slipping his gloved hand against her cheek…he purred with delight, hardly able to stop what he was feeling, sweet nostalgia…she was here, Alice…finally here! Through the fire he had walked, and even if this was a dream, or a very convincing lie…he didn’t seem to care…basking in the moment for as long as he was able. ”—Fine…I’m better, Fine…” he repeated, ”—Much better now that I am free, and you are here…” he gushed, gripping his freed hand into a fist. ’Do you have any more Riddles?’ the question had almost come so sudden, he’d nearly missed it entirely. Sitting upright more, he re-adjusted his coat, and wet his thin lips, speaking after a moment, ”—Well I am certain I can pull something figuratively out of my Hat, I’m no Riddler… but I’m an excellent Haberdasher!” he proclaimed, ”—Let’s see…” glancing upwards, towards the ceiling as if a riddle would magically fall from the sky into his Brain, he finally managed to think one up… ”—I can run but not walk. Wherever I go, thought follows close behind. What am I?” he would pose to her. While their minds were working, while he’d speak, and she’d think…the maliciously jovial Hatter would collect her hand once more into his own, and spin her about, leading her into a dance, "Will you walk a little faster?" said a whiting to a snail, "There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance! They are waiting on the shingle – will you come and join the dance? Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?” always strange, always childish…a simpler side to the otherwise dark and dastardly Mad Hatter, Jervis Tetch.
Jervis' face instantly lit up, such a strange emotion washing over his otherwise stony demeanor, "--Oh ho Alice! Yes, yes very good...Ah-heh, I would surmise the same answer to that silly riddle!" he cooed, little fingers tingling, itching to reach out and touch the vision before him, instantly his mouth felt like cotton, dry...like a man who'd not had a drink in ages, she was here...his Alice! The one he had been dreaming about, the one he had begged the Bat for. Approaching, perhaps uncomfortably close, he couldn't help it...and instantly his thin bony fingers weaved their way into her lovely blonde hair, "--H-how have you been Alice?" he stuttered nervously, as he always seemed to do.
Empty would have been assured to lead the girl along through the fire, while the hungry flames began to slowly consume those that were too doped up to move, those that weren’t quite ******** enough to wilt beneath the fire, would be met with the Bogeyman’s cold intents, waves of blood splashing over him and the walls, splashing ruby flecks over his pale white skin, so fair it almost seemed like sleek grey marble in appearance. By competition he assumed the fair mad woman, or by the man that did his best to fend her off. ”—You people are a sickness, one that spreads like a cancer across this wounded city, therefore it is my justice that will be done,” he uttered, ”—My greatest gift to you, death…” a black light had melted into his pale white eyes, the sheen shimmering like black glass, sparkling and cruel like a Shark on the prowl smelling blood. A movement shifted through him, one that like a wild hunger, like black smoke curled from every fiber of his being, and when the smoke touched them each, a fire started from within each victim, black streams filled their veins in place of blood, and within moments, their flesh began to bubble and burn away, as if internally combusting, such a strange unexplained phenomena, and it was now…being revealed, it had been the vicious bogeyman all along. Sudden thuds hit the floor, as four of his victims collapsed, THUNK, THUNK, THUNK, THUNK… Almost all simultaneously, coiled up, like the frozen and hunched forms in ancient Vesuvius. The world was ablaze, a vision of red, orange, and yellow all around… he would have remained to watch unseen, and untouched, but suddenly recalled he was not alone. Moving swiftly like a skittering shadow along the wall, he found Cherry, and instantly caught her hand in his own, yanking her close as they flit out in another fall of black energy, just as the flaming house caved in after them. When they reappeared, they would be standing outside the home, together watching as it burned before them, a strange malicious smile set on his face, blue lips tuned upright, once black eyes back to their corpse white.
Sins of the flesh had never been something he enjoyed, always busy with his Taxidermy, his experiments, and his life work, such things he had hoped were beyond him, though they seemed to bother him, clouded his better judgement like some sick vision of the past. This woman was different, and shew drew something primal out of, animalistic almost…he would curse her for it, but still even while he had the abilities, he still fawned over her like some lovesick school boy, he…a Boogeyman! The bogeyman, the one so many swore they saw standing across the room, the one that lurked within closets, pouring fear into the hearts and minds of so many around him, and here Cherry could make him shake and quiver. Drawing in a mildly displeased breath of air, the gaunt pale figure straightened, lifting his dark haired head, movements fluid in one straight line as if his feet were floating, his appendages gone unmoving. Whether Black Cherry stayed, or went for a time…it would allow for the being to at least get his head in line, back in the game where it ought to be, but still that desire to impress surfaced, and like the Jock trying to catch the winning throw of the game, or the a*****e compensating with a fast sports car, he went on to set the house ablaze. Her mention of going in, had him release a small throaty growl, a rumble of a thing that was silenced once more when her lips met his own. ”—Well where for me would be the fun in burning you alive as well?” and so he would wait, tossing the Molotov cocktail carelessly to the side, where it slowly began to set the dry wood ablaze, both of them entering with the tank of gasoline now being carried by the shadowy deviant. While the house started to smoke and burn, Empty made his way inside, following closely behind the pink haired damsel, ”—Oh come now, you don’t expect me to sit back and allow you to have all the fun?” he hissed, a mischievous smile visible on his face, as he dashed in, eagerly exacting his desires against the crackhouse residents within.