The Siren's bar was busy as was usual on a Friday night, drinks pouring and music heavy as dancers swayed together. It was a bit higher class then most clubs made for bumping and grinding, classier, more expensive as well if the drink menu was anything to go by.
He was friends with the two owners, though of course 'friend' was a much more loose term in the criminal underworld of Gotham city. It more came down to the fact that Barbara liked him, unless she needed to hunt him down like a rabid beast for something, then all bets were off. He couldn't blame her per say, he'd probably do the same if needs be.
There was no hypnosis show tonight, and he was pretty sure not many would trust him anyway now that he had a reputation and rogue name as the Mad Hatter. His unique lavender eyes cast around the groups of people as he swayed into the club and toward the bar, dressed to the nines this evening in a crimson suit, top hat set on his brown curls.
Alice sat at the bar, nerves alive and jittery. She had never been in a place like this, before meeting Barbara, it was overwhelming. Luckily, she still had a large enough stockpile of her medicine to keep her as calm as she needed to be. She swung her feet to the tune of the music, golden heels glittering, a gift from Barbara, who, for some strange reason, took a liking to her. Her dress shimmered with gold sequins, tickling her knees.
It was shorter than she was used to wearing, but then again, she was wearing barbara's clothes. Barbara had made a scene about her trying to wear a soft and cute dress to her club, saying that it was childish. As she brushed her pale blonde hair out of her face, Alice raised a drink to her lips, something sickly sweet, and looked around the bar, stomach suddenly clenching as she locked eyes with a well dressed man. Blue eyes to lilac, across the bar. Who is he? She wondered.
Up to the bar he stepped on pointed boots and gently tipped his hat when he caught a glimpse of Barbara through the crowd. She winked at him then moved off with her girlfriend to check the floor. Jervis ordered himself a glass of fine bourbon, the bartender familiar with him and how he liked it. The glass was set on the bar top and he sipped at the dark liquor, with lavender eyes casting about.
The moment they settled on blue, they seemed to shine in an almost unearthly way. Blonde, blue eyed, fair skin... His breath almost left him completely, mind dancing with memories of his darling sister Alice, then the waitress who couldn't replace her...the one that was so close but still wrong. How many Alice's had he gone through since then? Ah...three more after the waitress he believed... They were almost there... But something was always wrong. As if pulled on a string, the tall man swayed through the crowd, and it seemed to move for him, instead of the other way around.
"Hello my dear.. how do you do?" He spoke in a lilt song like way and took the woman's hand into his own, pressing a kiss to it.
Alice turned crimson, feeling almost as if in a daze. "Hello, my goodness! I am..um.." Alice stuttered off, voice sweet and unsure, and maybe a touch too quiet, at a loss for words.
The sudden contact made her breath catch, hand like a live wire where he kissed it. "I'm Alice, who do I have the pleasure of speaking to?" Alice said, after a moment of what felt like time standing still. 'Those eyes...' She thought.
Ears and whiskers, could that be her real name? How fortuitous, it seemed almost as fate.
"Alice? My my my what a lovely name. May I be so bold as to ask to join you?" He nodded toward the stool beside her and only sat when she offered her ascent to him.
"A lovely name for a lovely young woman. I am Jervis Tetch, though here in Gotham I am much more easily known under the moniker of The Mad Hatter." With that he sipped his bourbon, unique gaze assessing for a reaction.
Hatter? Hatter?! No, no he couldn't be... Alice's mind raced, a flicker of black, very faint, but very real, escaping into her sclera for just a moment. Her breath caught. How fortuitous!
Unless he was a liar... Just like that man... That man who had claimed to be the Hatter and then had tried to do things...awful things. But Alice lost control. She knew they were only supposed to be stories, but she hoped, god she hoped, and he made a mockery of her. She hurt him far worse than...no, no... It was not wise to think about right now.
Her attention focused back on the man, his curls catching the light in an almost magical way.
"Hello, Mr. Tetch! It's absolutely lovely to meet you. I'm fairly new to Gotham. If I may ask, why do they call you the Mad Hatter?" She asked, trying to discreetly take a pill from her compact and wash it down with her bright pink drink.
"My dear, you seem troubled, I do hope I haven't caused it to double. For I had seen you, and could not resist, coming to speak was the only thing to do." He did smile again after a moment however, a quirk of full lips between beard and mustache.
"Such a pleasure to make your acquaintance, and if I may welcome you to Gotham, the city does grow on one, much like a poisonous mold... Though despite such it's still very much home." He sipped once more on the bourbon and leaned against the bar, looking her over with a glitter in his gaze.
"It is the name the papers gave to me, due to my Wonderland affinity... Though I may say they quite hit the nail on the head, or more precisely placed the hat atop the head so to speak."
"Such dizzying rhymes, I adore it. And ah, not troubled at all! How could I be, in the company of one such as yourself? I'm a fan of wonderland, as well. " alice said, smiling sweetly and leaning just a bit closer without thinking. 'Ah, what a pretty Hatter' she thought, her heart fluttering when he smiled.
She wondered to herself if Barbara would shoo her out of the bar again, saying it's no place to sleep, to go back to her hotel. Alice put her compact back in her purse, fumbling as her hotel key fell out.
"So, Mr.Tetch, what brings you here, of all places? " She asked, bending to pick her card up, nearly toppling off the tall stool.
He smiled charmingly in return and tipped his hat to her. "I admire a lady with taste."
The brunette wondered if Barbara would scold him if he took this young woman with him, or gave her his information. She knew how he was with blond's because he'd flirted with her at one point.
"Oh my dear, how ever much have you had to drink, you seem rather shaky and quaky."
His hands immediately went about her slender waist as she nearly toppled from the stool. Like a gentleman he moved to pick up the card key for her, a hand pressing against Alice's lower back.
Alice's heart nearly jumped out of her chest when Jervis caught her and kept her from falling. Her eyes flickered with black for the second time that evening, hyper aware of his hand against her back.
"I'm afraid this drink is stronger than it looks. You're free to try it but it doesn't seem to suit your tastes." She said, a hitch in her breath as she gestured toward his drink. "Thank you very much for the rescue."
She reached out to grab the keycard, very aware of her fingers brushing against his. Losing composure slightly, sparks shot off a tiny bit from her hand where they met. It could almost be a trick of the light, to anyone else but someone as perceptive as Jervis.
"I quite believe it, mixed drinks can be rather deceiving I'm afraid."
Was he a man that would take advantage of tipsiness? Most decidedly.... But he wouldn't, not now. This situation was far too lucky to screw up. Alice, blue eyes, blond hair, a love of Wonderland.... He really would like to delve into this more.
"I'm often a bourbon man myself though I appreciate a mixed drink on the occasion.... You are quite welcome." His hand moved from her back, testing if she would visibly miss the touch.
As the young woman took back her keycard his bright eyes flicked down to catch a literal spark between them and it amused him.
"Would you be so kind as to get this young woman a glass of tea?" He waved to the bartender.
Alice, unconsciously, leaned in closer. Her perfume smelled like lavender and her blonde hair fell across her face just a bit "Earl grey, please." She said, looking at Jervis.
"So, Mr. Tetch, you never answered me. What brings you here, to this bar? " she said, blue eyes flashing beneath long, dark lashes as she looked up at him.
A small smirk graced her features, and she made a move to stretch a bit in her stool. Clumsy and tipsy, that might not be the best idea.
Jervis was given a whiff, the scent wafting up as his hand moved without thought to press her hair back behind her ears.
"You heard her." He nodded to the bartender and the man started move about wondering if they had the right tea.
"I pop in on the occasion, for drink, for social ventures and I'm certain if I asked, then dear Mrs. Kean would not hesitate to alight the stage for my ever so famous hypnosis act." He regarded her with a smile again.
"Hypnosis act? My goodness. Is it an act? Or something else?" Alice asked, taking a sip of her drink and suddenly feeling quite a bit tipsier than she had before.
Ah! Her medicine. Too much at once. Oh she forgot about mixing them! Silly, stupid Alice, she thought. Her hands fisted into the skirt of her dress, worrying it subconsciously.
At the sudden touch she turned and looked at him. Very deliberately grabbing his large hand and turning it over in her small ones.
"Do you have a buzzer or something hidden somewhere? You seem to zap me with every touch!" She said, words spilling out before she can make them polite.
"Aren't you the clever one.... No I suppose an act would not be the proper word...for something most decidingly real." He glanced to the bartender to see how he was doing with that tea, the poor girl looked quite dizzy indeed.
His hand was taken and he chuckled at her question. "You yourself seem to cause such a spark, it's not part of my repertoire. Or perhaps one might say it is in our chemistry, a touch so heavenly." His fingers wrapped around one of the hands holding his, and his lavender gaze locked with her blue. The cup of tea was set between them at the bar, but unnoticed.
Alice visibly shivered, swaying a bit in her seat, the golden sequins reflecting and casting shimmering rays about her person. When he closed his grip around her hand, she met his eyes, harmless, tingling sparks zipping between them where they touched.
"Would you be so kind as to help me back to my hotel? I'm very dizzy and I'm not sure if I can make the trip on my own." Alice murmured, transfixed.
She normally wouldn't ask a stranger to help her home, but nearly everyone in gotham was a stranger, and this man drew her in, intoxicatingly so. Besides, she could always, always defend herself. She was a weapon.
His eyes cast away after a moment to the bar and he gently pushed the cup of tea over.
"I would be most honored to accompany you. Though I do suggest perhaps a tid bit of tea to get your feet back under you." He could carry her if she was too wobbly but he'd be patient first.
The hypnotists hand didn't leave her own, his thumb caressing over her smaller hand in a light comforting circle. The sparks definitely made him wonder at this young woman but he said nothing in regards to it, now was not the time to ask such things, he'd query later.
Alice nodded, taking her other hand and bringing the tea to her lips. Her grimace betrayed distaste. She set the cup down, gently as she could, and tried to get the attention of the bartender
"May I please have some sugar?" She asked.
She was hyper aware of Jervis's hand encircling her own and made no move to pull away. While she waited for the bartender, she turned to Jervis and said "Mr. Tetch, I do hope I'm not bothering you. We've only just met and I've already asked you a favor. Tell me, please, what is your favorite kind of tea? I'll have to buy you a cup, should we ever have the pleasure of meeting in circumstances where I'm not embarrassingly tipsy"
The bartender moved from some other customers and grabbed a few sugar packets, sliding them across the bar to her. Jervis' touch was calming and comforting, he had a talent for putting others at ease with small tricks often employed in his hypnosis.
"I suppose that would depend on the day, a single favorite tea, is difficult to pinpoint for me, however I must say one I thoroughly enjoy is black raspberry...." He chuckled softly. "I do so hope we meet again Alice my dear."
"Well, why don't we try to ensure it? When we get to my hotel I can give you the telephone extension for my room. I don't have a phone yet, unfortunately." Alice said as she stirred all the sugar packets into her tea, letting out a satisfied little moan as she took a sip from the perfectly sweetened cup.
Her eyes flashed black for a split second as they rolled up into her head, savoring the tea.
"I need to go say goodbye to Barbara, just a moment" alice said as she hopped off the stool and went toward where she last saw Barbara.