|The Difference Between Hearing and Listening
Author: fireweed15 PM
He'd heard the rain before, but he'd never really listened.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance - Hannibal & Face - Words: 799 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 1 - Published: 07-06-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7153134
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It was nice place Face had "borrowed" from the vacationing owner. Two of the highlights, he cited as the team settled in after a well-fought but ultimately successful mission, were a wraparound porch and the veranda out back—surprisingly comfortable lawn furniture, a grill, the works. Why this mattered was well beyond anyone's guess, until Face excused himself to sit out on said porch.
That made sense. What didn't make sense was when Face stayed out there when it started to rain. It almost looked like he'd fallen asleep in his lounge chair—his legs stretched out in front of him, eyes closed and hands folded on his stomach—which was how Hannibal found him a good half hour after the rain had started to fall.
Hannibal was just reaching out to shake Face's shoulder when the younger man opened his eyes and lifted his head slightly. "Hi, Hannibal," he greeted, though not looking at him.
"How'd you know it was me?" Hannibal asked.
A smile touched Face's features, except for his eyes. "Smelled your cigar," he explained as he turned to look at Hannibal—or rather, face him. It had been, what… six months since Face had been able to look at and see anyone?
Face sat back in the chair, redirecting his unseeing gaze to the flagstone patio and well-kept lawn in front of them, a second, smaller smile tugging the corner of his mouth. "Hannibal, have you ever listened to the rain?" he asked after a few moments of quiet.
The words pulled Hannibal out of his thoughts. "Hmm?"
"Really listened to it," Face went on, unaware that his superior had only been half listening. "The way it sounds when it hits the ground and the puddles, all of that. Y'ever listen to that?"
"The way you describe it, not really," Hannibal replied truthfully.
"You should try it," Face suggested. He indicated the empty chair next to him. "Come sit down."
Hannibal complied and sat down in the chair, leaning back and trying to get comfortable. Face offered him a smile and turned back to the lawn, closing his eyes to listen once more. Hannibal mirrored this, leaning his head back against the chair and closing his eyes. He could hear the rain, yes, but didn't see what Face was walking about.
"Are you listening?" Face asked after a few moments.
Hannibal opened his eyes and looked over at the younger man. "Yeah," he replied.
"You are not," Face replied, his annoyance very obvious. How he knew or what he was calling "listening" was anyone's guess, as Hannibal sure as hell didn't know.
"Here." Face sat ran, swinging his legs over the edge of the chair. He reached over, exploring the space in front of him with his hand until he found the armrest of his superior's chair. Using that as a guide and probing the concrete between the chairs for obstacles, he went to sit on the edge of the other lawn chair. He laid one hand on Hannibal's arm, and used that to guide his touch up over his shoulders, neck and face. When the opposite hand's fingers did the same and brushed against his cigar, Face fixed him with a look of disapproval until Hannibal laid aside the offending item.
That being done, Face let his hands drift upward until the heels of his hands covered Hannibal's eyes. "Can you see anything?" he asked.
"Not anymore," the other man deadpanned.
"Good," Face announced. "Now close your eyes." He waited until he felt Hannibal's eyes shut. "Try it now—listen to the way the rain hits the roof and the pavement."
Hannibal followed Face's instruction, and listened. At first, the only real difference was that the sound was a little louder, which he could hand wave away as the product of one sense being cut off. Still, he shut up, turned off his conscious thought process, and tried it again.
Now, he could hear the individual raindrops hitting the roof overhead and the concrete of the porch in front of them. "I hear it," he said after a few moments, unable to keep the note of awe out of his voice. That was what Face was listening to this whole time?
Face smiled widely at this. "Amazing, isn't it?" he asked, pulling his hands away. "There's a real difference when you really listen."
Hannibal smiled in return, and briefly patted Face's hand as if to convey the expression to him. They remained there for several more minutes, until the rain subsided. This was something Hannibal could certainly get used to, he decided, especially if Face was willing to let him share the experience.