Author's Notes: So given that my idea of weaving in Dr. Hannibal Lecter was met with trepidation, I was tempted to let this idea go but my muse was latched onto it.
So for those readers who are curious about the idea of Lecter being Kelly Gibbs' psychiatrist, I decided to post this as a separate story so that if you want to read this part of my story 'My Worst Enemy—Rewrite' you can. But if you just want to stick with the main story, that's cool, too.
However, that being said, there will likely be some aspects from the side story that will pop up in the main story. In that case, I will make sure that I put a note in that chapter saying so.
Now, for those of you who think that this is just going to be a mega crossover with the 'Hannibal' tv show… not so much. This is more of a character writing exercise for me. What do I mean by that? Well, I wanted to have Kelly Gibbs talking with a shrink about her condition, Harry's cancer, and everything else. Someone who would eventually learn of the wizarding world and who would correspond with Kelly while she was at Hogwarts.
The problem with writing a generic psychologist character is that I'd be writing the standard kind of psych sessions between Kelly and her shrink. And I think Kelly needs someone who is highly skilled at getting into her head and finding out her secrets.
At the same time, the idea of Kelly trying to figure out Lecter was also very appealing since she's not actually an NCIS agent but she was raised by one. And come on—who hasn't wanted to see Hannibal Lecter try and beat the lie detector that is the infamous Gibbs Gut?
Chapter 1 First Impressions
It was one of Kelly's physical therapists who had recommended seeing a psychiatrist about her disability. And while at first Kelly had been resistant to the idea, she knew that keeping everything bottled up wasn't a good thing. Besides, there were things she couldn't talk about with her family or friends so maybe talking with a professional would help give her some insight.
And so, on a blustery summer day, Kelly found herself outside the office of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, waiting for her appointment. At noon precisely, the door to the office opened and an elegant looking man appeared. "Dr. Lecter?" Kelly asked, holding out a hand to shake.
Lecter shook the young woman's hand and gave her a polite smile. "You must be Kelly Gibbs." Stepping aside and opening the door fully, he gestured for his newest patient to enter. "Please. Come in."
Wheeling inside, Kelly looked around the office. As the daughter of a federal investigator she'd not only developed a fairly keen eye for detail but also the habit of taking careful note of her surroundings and she could already tell that Dr. Lecter was very wealthy, though not necessarily from family money. "Nice office," she said, aloud, going over to a table where a stack of pencil drawings were scattered about.
"Thank you," Lecter replied with a note of genuine appreciation in his voice. Most of his patients took no notice of their surroundings or merely made a mention out of a poor attempt at covering trepidation at seeing a psychiatrist. Seeing that the young woman was examining the drawings with an approving eye, he asked, "Do you draw?"
"I used to help my dad build boats in the basement of our house," Kelly replied, maneuvering around so she was facing the psychiatrist who was now sitting, watching her intently. Looking away from the man's gaze, she looked down at her legs and fought back a choke in her voice as she added, "One of my earliest memories was falling asleep in the sawdust on the floor when I was 4 years old, listening to the sound of my dad sanding the wood."
Lecter, never one to miss anything when dealing with patients, mentally noted Kelly glancing down at her lower body and the way she tried to keep the emotion out of her voice when she spoke. "How long have you been paralyzed?" he asked, curiously. While he knew Kelly was currently in physical therapy—she'd mentioned it during the phone call arranging the first session—she had not elaborated on the specifics of her condition, merely mentioning that she had recently lost the use of her legs.
Kelly shook her head in correction. "Not paralyzed… exactly, anyway." Shifting in the wheelchair, she explained, "I have a leg muscle disorder—Tibialis Posterior Atrophy, stage four. I was diagnosed when I was about 12 and now I can't move my legs at all."
"Quite a rare condition," Lecter commented, sympathetically. "And especially tragic given the disorder's progressive nature. You seem to be a very athletic young woman. It can't have been easy for you to lose your mobility."
Letting out a derisive laugh, Kelly sighed, regretfully. "I never got the chance to be athletic except for a year playing soccer when I was 10. I started having trouble with my ankles soon after that and I was in leg braces directly after my diagnosis." Not sure what else to say, she was silent for a moment, her eyes still looking about the room as though searching for a distraction. "Look, I've had… I don't know, almost half my life to deal with this disorder, and… I don't really know what I'm doing here, to be perfectly honest. "
Never one to be put off by patients and their occasional outbursts—subdued or otherwise—Lecter gave Kelly a moment to collect herself before asking, "Tell me about your family. How are they dealing with this?"
It was a while before Kelly was able to calm down enough to talk things through. "My father is a federal agent who deals with death and torn apart lives on a regular basis. My… Well, technically Harry's my cousin but he's more like my brother, really. He's a student at a boarding school in Scotland and since the age of 11 he lives in almost constant fear of his cancer relapsing. My mother died in a car accident that almost killed me and Harry as well when we were kids. Given all that, I think my family has enough to worry about without throwing my personal issues into the mix, don't you think?" A moment or two of silence went by where hazel eyes met blue and it was almost as if doctor and patient were trying to read the mind of the other. "I'm dealing with this, Dr. Lecter" Kelly concluded, firmly, stubbornness in her gaze. "But my physical therapists seem to think otherwise. So that's why I'm here."
"I don't believe you are actually dealing with your condition," Lecter replied, simply. He was already starting to like this young woman immensely. She reminded him of himself, particularly with the way she seemed to compartmentalize her problems. "You've dealt with your cousin living with you as well as his cancer and recovery. You've dealt with your mother's death and the emotional upheaval. But you are focusing on the problems of others, not your own."
Even though it was something she'd heard before—and rather frequently these days—Kelly leaned back in thought. She knew what Dr. Lecter was saying but it wasn't that simple. "And what is my problem?" She asked, not bothering to hide the slight snap in her voice. "That I care about my family too much? That I'm too dependent on them?"
Admittedly, it was rare that Hannibal Lecter came across a truly selfless individual these days. Most people, no matter how altruistic they seemed, always had some sort of goal or agenda. But Kelly Gibbs was not such a person. Rather, she appeared to be one of the few people who would always put the good of others before herself. "I believe your problem is partly that you put others before yourself too often. You never take the time to focus on your own physical and emotional well-being." Giving the young woman a genuine smile, he added, "And that is a good place to start. So… tell me about yourself…"