He was late, very late, for a very important date.
Adjusting his hat so that it prevented the rain from entering his eyes, Jervis quickened his pace.
Everything was as immaculate as he had left it. Alice was still seated, back towards the doorway; her bright blonde hair and brilliant blue dress a stark contrast to the rather dreary and ramshackle surroundings of the abandoned house's living room. The tea set upon the white tablecloth that draped the dining table lay undisturbed, and yet things were different. Seated across from her was the White Rabbit, apparently here for a surprise visit, which was odd and unprecedented. How the Rabbit knew where the tea party celebration was being hosted, Jervis did not know. The Rabbit's head silently tracked Jervis as he moved towards his usual seat at the head of the table, quickly skirting around a basket of painted eggs that somebody had left haphazardly on the floor. He removed his hat, settled into his seat, poured himself some tea and looked up.
Two pairs of unblinking eyes stared back at him.
The Rabbit's blank expression had not changed, as if it was molded and therefore incapable of being changed. Alice wore a smile etched as if in stone, that reached from cheek to cheek and revealed all of her perfect white teeth. This was the first time Jervis had seen her smile, and it was the first sign that something was wrong. Jervis focused all of his attention onto her, more so than usual.
From the corner of Jervis's vision, the Rabbit removed its head, and its innards spoke:
"There must have been something wrong with the tea."
Alice's face was unnaturally distorted; her skin stretched back, eyes wide open and sunken into the sockets as if she was suffering from dehydration. Which was clearly preposterous, Alice was always well supplied with tea. Upon inspection, when combined with the overzealous grin, Alice's expression was much less one of joy, and more of a grimace of pain.
"Oh no, no, no, no! Not again! Alice! My dear Alice!" Jervis whimpered, unable to stop staring at Alice's death mask despite the tears that collected at the corners of his eyes.
The headless Rabbit stood and bowed, and Jervis's peripheral vision caught a flash of green hair.
"I don't understand why you get so emotional after every Alice's death, you always find another one," mused the Rabbit as he walked over to stand behind Jervis.
"You know, I have always had a soft spot for you. A man and his madness, the fixation upon one other being in existence, an appreciation for blondes. Really, I can relate.
I could tell you that you are the first because this is an act of mercy, of one monster helping another escape the incoming carnage..."
The Mad Hatter, lost in his grief, did not expect the first blow, nor the subsequent blows that led to the crushing of his skull.
"But if I am being honest, it's because you are simply nowhere near mad enough to comprehend what is about to happen next."
The Joker nonchalantly wiped the Mad Hatter's brains off his crowbar with the tablecloth, and left the room.