Abigail sits in a large, porcelain, claw foot tub, with silent tears streaming down her face. The warm water is enveloping her, but doing nothing to soothe her.
He's going to kill me, she thinks, her heart thudding. He's going to torture me first, and then he is going to kill me.
Hopelessness swells inside her, a darkness that starts at her core and spreads until she is completely consumed.
There is no way out.
She swallows, her throat suddenly dry.
There is one way… a way out on my own terms.
Abigail's tears slow and a small, but smug, smirk tugs at her lips. She spreads her arms out and curls her fingers around the edge of the tub.
She submerges herself completely into the tub and takes a deep breath, choking as the water fills her lungs. It hurts more than she thought it would, but Abigail fights to keep herself under, inhaling yet again.
Blackness blurs the edge of her vision and she slips towards unconsciousness, her most recent memories playing before her eyes.
"I'm sorry I couldn't protect you in this life," Hannibal said sadly, caressing her cheek with his thumb.
Abigail's breath came in short jagged gasps as he pulled her into a hug. Despite her fear of him, Abigail had clung on, desperately hoping Hannibal's solid form would tether her to this world.
She felt a sharp prick in her side, and the next thing she knew, she was waking up in her parent's basement, tied to a chair with a gag in her mouth.
Her eyes darted around the small space; panic seized her as she saw Hannibal standing beneath a single dangling ligtbulb.
He had a regretful expression on his face as he studied her.
"I had hoped you would not wake," he said, approaching her and kneeling by her side. "I do not have any more tranquilizer with me."
Abigail's eyes widened as she looked down and watched him pull a needle from her arm. The needle connected to a long tube, which ran to a bag of blood… her blood.
Hannibal sat the bag down on the ground next to two more bags of blood.
"I'm afraid this is going to hurt," he sighed, then reached into a small black satchel on the floor and withdrew a scalpel.
Abigail shook her head frantically, the movement made her dizzy and she wondered if it was from the lack of blood.
"You've given me no choice," Hannibal said, grabbing hold of her head and forcing her to turn away from him.
She tried to watch him out of her peripheral vision, her blue eyes almost bugging out to see what he was doing. Abigail caught a silver flash of the scalpel coming down and cried out, but the gag muffled the sound.
White-hot pain scorched the left side of her head and she felt the steady stream of blood as it ran down her face.
Hannibal released her head and stepped in front of her.
"Such a pity," he said sadly, "you have adorable ears."
Then he held her left ear up in front of her so she could see, and Abigail fainted.
The next time she woke she was in the trunk of a car, her hands tied in front of her.
She's not sure how long she had been there, or how long they traveled after she woke, but eventually the car came to a stop. Abigail heard a door slam and then footsteps come around the back of the car. As the trunk unlatched she prepared for action.
When the trunk lid opened and revealed Hannibal standing over her, Abigail kicked her legs out trying to push him away.
Her efforts were ineffectual and he had easily pushed past her flying legs and grabbed hold of her.
"Can you walk?" he asked as he pulled her from the trunk.
As soon as she was on her feet, Abigail pushed into Hannibal knocking him back, and tried to make a run for it. She recognized his house and was thankful to know where she was and which direction would be best to run in. Unfortunately, another wave of dizziness had hit her and she tripped, landing hard on the rough pavement.
"You're not going anywhere, Abigail. I have far too many plans for you."
Hannibal was towering over her in seconds, and sighed as he scooped her up in his arms and carried her to the house. He took her to the second story level and set her down in the corner of a large, ornately decorated bathroom. The centerpiece of which was a large claw foot tub.
He started the bath water and then crouched before Abigail and unbound her hands and removed her gag.
"You need to get cleaned up," he instructed. "Can you do it yourself, or do you require assistance?"
Abigail shivered uncomfortably.
"I can do it."
"Excellent. I will be just down the hall," he said, a warning in his tone. "There is no way out of here, Abigail, and it would be foolish to try to find one."
She looked up, meeting his dark eyes, and knew that he was referring to more than just the bathroom.
Hannibal was next door in the adjoining bedroom when he heard the water sloshing noisily in the bathroom.
At first he doesn't think anything of it, but as the thrashing continues he decides he better inspect. He throws open the door only to see Abigail, now perfectly still, submerged in the bathtub.
He's across the room in two strides and drops to his knees to pull her from the tub. He lays her on the floor and bends to listen for the sound of breathing.
There isn't any.
"I don't think so, Abigail."
He starts the chest compressions of CPR, his hands slipping on her slick skin.
Abigail starts sputtering and spitting up water. She takes a big gasping breath and her eyes flutter open.
When she sees him there next to her, Abigail gives a strangled cry and tries to back away, but doesn't have the strength.
Hannibal looks her over with interest.
My frightened little doe.
His eyes rake over her naked form, taking note of the way her skin flushes under his gaze into the most perfect shade of rose. Abigail tries to cover herself with her hands, and Hannibal, gentleman that he is, stands to pass her one of his bathrobes.
She struggles to pull it on and when she does is swimming in it.
"You've caused your ear to start bleeding again," he tuts.
"What ear?" she mumbles, so quiet he barely hears.
Hannibal smirks, enjoying the resurfacing of her normal cheek.
"Come with me," he commands, holding a hand out to her. When she doesn't take it he adds, "if you are still too weak to walk, I can carry you."
This time she does take the proffered hand, and though she is a bit unstable as she rises, she doesn't fall. Abigail is a bit wobbly as he leads her through the door to the adjoining bedroom, and Hannibal wraps his arm around her waist, grasping her firmly by the hip.
His grip feels too familiar on her waist, but Abigail says nothing, letting him lead her to a bed on the far side of the room.
After she is settled safely onto the edge of the bed, Hannibal turns back towards the bathroom, unbuttoning his now drenched vest and dress shirt.
Abigail looks around and finds herself a little surprised by the décor. The room is designed in shades of blue, but there are several things that seem out of place for the doctor's bedroom. For instance the cherry wood vanity and stool across from the bed, make-up and perfume sitting on top of it seems peculiar, and the fresh lilies on the bedside table. The strangest item in the room, however, is the small, delicate, doll relaxing atop a pillow on the bed.
A doll that looks exactly like Abigail.
"I hope you find the room to your liking," Hannibal says, perching on the bed next to her. "I've been working on it for a while."
Hannibal is now shirtless, drying himself with a large fluffy towel.
"Y—you've been expecting me?" she asks.
"Not in precisely this manner, but I had been planning to offer you a place to stay after the hospital released you."
Abigail bites her lip and thinks about how wonderful it would have been to be brought to this room as a guest instead of a captive. It is quite a lovely space, much nicer than what she'd had with her parents. And to think she could have been sharing this house with her protector and friend… instead of this mad man, the Chesapeake Ripper.
Just because you didn't know the truth before doesn't mean you would have been safe, she reminds herself.
"Let me tend to your ear," Hannibal says, reaching for supplies he had set out on the bedside table.
Abigail pulls her hair to the side, exposing her injury and he sets to work, first cleaning and then bandaging the wound.
"Am I your prisoner?" she asks after he has finished.
Hannibal cocks his head to the side.
"Of course not."
"Then I can leave?"
"Abigail," he sighs, "it is not safe for you to be out there… for either of us."
"So, I am a prisoner," she says, crossing her arms.
Hannibal places his hand on her knee.
"You are so much more."
Abigail scoots away from his touch, refusing to look at him, and therefore missing the angry glint in his eye. Hannibal reaches out and grabs her chin, forcing her to look at him.
"What do you want from me?" she begs.
"I only wish to protect you. To do that, I must reinvent you."
"Are you going to hurt me again?"
She hates the fear that leaks into her voice, but she can't find the will to be strong.
"Only if I must," Hannibal replies.
Author's Note: I've been flying through all the Hannigail fics on this site and couldn't resist giving a try at my own multi-chaptered Hannibal x Abigail story. Please review and let me know what you think!