The prison was grey. Grey walls, grey floors, grey bars. Grey. Grey. Grey. The white uniforms were startling and the orange jumpsuits completely out of place. Will supposed it would make identification easier, as the grey pallor to the alphas' skin would have caused them to fade into the background otherwise.
Will had never liked visiting prisons, though it was better than visiting Chilton. At least when he visited an alpha jail, he didn't feel as though everyone else expected him to wind up there in the end. At least he didn't half wonder the same thing.
Louise Hobbs was sitting in the cubicle closest to the far side wall. Seeing her now, he remembered seeing photos of her in the news, though the alpha before him was worn and tired. Her hair had clearly suffered from her incarceration, as the previously well cared for locks appeared oily and the natural appearance of her blonde hair was betrayed by the regrowth at the roots.
Will could feel her eyes on him from the moment he came into her line of sight, trying to determine if he was the one who was there to speak to her. It made him wonder, briefly, what she had imagined him to be like, or if she had tried to imagine him at all. Her blue eyes became shuttered as he approached and Will forced himself to remember who he was doing this for. Sitting down across from Louise, they looked at each other for a moment, before they both reached to pick up the phone beside them.
'Hello, I am Will Graham,' he said, feeling rather awkward. 'Abigail said you wanted to speak to me.'
'I.D. please?' Louise said and Will blinked, surprised by the question, but switched the phone to his left hand, so that he could reach into his pocket for his identification. Pulling it out, he pressed it against the glass divide and Louise leaned over to examine it closely, though Will doubted that she would have been able to tell if it was a forgery. 'I apologise, Mister Graham, I had to be sure. You wouldn't have been the first journalist to use tricks to get an interview and I expect there will be more.'
'Have you asked for stricter screening of visitors?' Will said, frowning as he put his I.D. away.
'I have, but the guards have greasy fingers,' Louise said. 'In any case, that isn't why you are here and I don't want to take up any more of your time than necessary. Tell me about yourself.'
'What do you want to know?' Will said, not really sure where to start.
'I don't really like that answer, Mister Graham. It makes me wonder if you are planning on not telling me everything I need to know to make sure my baby is safe,' Louise said and Will felt his eyebrows jerk up in response to her tone.
'Okay, fine. My name is William Graham. I am a thirty-nine-year-old omega. No, I don't have children, though I have recently entered a relationship with an alpha and we have been together for just over three weeks,' Will said, deciding to examine Louise's left ear. 'I currently have seven dogs and their names are Buster, Toffee, Willow, Cherry, Maggie, Joe and Winston. They are all former strays. Winston is the most recent. I spend a lot of time with each of them, and so all of them are well-trained have shown no inclinations towards violence...'
'Abigail said you work for the FBI?' Louise said, interrupting.
'Yes, though for the most part I only teach behavioural science. Recently, however, I have had my duties extended to profiling serial killers on an on-call basis,' Will said. 'Due to the...unique arrangement of my work, I am required to remain in contact with a psychiatrist, to ensure my continued well-being. Before I became a teacher, I worked in homicide, until injury, amongst other things, required me to resign.'
'Have you ever killed someone, Mister Graham?' Louise said and Will swallowed.
'I have never shot anyone, no,' Will said, feeling the echo of Abigail's question only weeks before.
Louise's eyes narrowed and Will wondered if she was going to ask him to specify, however she said, 'tell me about your alpha.'
Releasing a slow breath, Will said, 'his name is Doctor Hannibal Lecter. He is a psychiatrist who operates his own practice in Baltimore.' Louise nodded, closing her eyes for a moment in thought.
'Yes, I have read some of his work. He seems to enjoy writing about evolutionary psychology and how it is affected by social norms. I can't say that I completely agree with him, but he does raise some interesting questions that need to be examined, if only to dispute them,' Louise said.
'I was wondering where Abigail's interest in psychology came from,' Will said, surprised. 'Did you attend college, university?'
'No, I was a secretary for a psychologist for a number of years and I often had to edit their papers. After that, I found myself doing my own research in my free time,' Louise said. 'So now that I have explained how I know about Doctor Lecter, give me your assessment of him personally.'
'Well, he's smart, confident...occasionally arrogant, he believes in courtesy and dislikes it when a person demonstrates a lack of self-control…Which does make me wonder how he manages to tolerate me, let alone date me,' Will said with a dry laugh. 'He is an excellent chef, speaks multiple languages and has a great love for the fine arts; which probably means I will get an offer to go to the opera at some point.'
'How is his relationship with Abigail, I presume they've met?' Louise said and Will paused, wondering what to say to that. Though Hannibal seemed fine with Abigail, she had revealed a level of distrust with Hannibal, which Will wasn't sure how to deal with.
'He respects my relationship with Abigail and seems to enjoy spending time with her,' Will said, as truthfully as he could manage. 'I think he might be keeping a bit of distance for the moment, though, so that I can spend more time with her.'
'Abigail told me that you have be allowing her to call Marissa,' Louise said, when she realised that was all Will was going to say on the topic.
'I felt it would be good for her to have a friend to rely on that she knew from before, to help ease the transition,' Will said, hoping he didn't sabotage himself with Louise by enabling Abigail to keep her friend.
'Have you spoken to Marissa?' Louise said, pushing a few strands of hair back behind her ear.
'I have, but not for very long. She is usually impatient to talk to Abigail, though I have heard a lot of stories about the two of them and what they have gotten up to,' Will said, suppressing a small smile of the memory of Abigail's enthusiastic story telling.
'And what, exactly, is your thoughts on their...friendship?' Louise said. Will blinked, feeling as though he missed something.
'Are you talking about Abigail's romantic feelings for Marissa?' Will said cautiously. Louise nodded, causing Will to frown. 'If you are asking if I have a problem with an alpha being with a beta, then you should probably know that I have dated a few of betas and even a couple of omegas. Though they, clearly, failed, it wasn't due to our gender.'
'What was it then?' Louise said.
'Have you heard of mirror neurons?' Will said, but wasn't surprised when Louise shook her head. 'Well, apparently we have them as kids to help us socialise and they are supposed to go away as we get older, but mine didn't. At a broad level, that means that I can understand other people a lot better than most, but at a personal level, I am more susceptible to picking up the little mannerisms of people around me, especially if I spend a lot of time with them. After a while, though, apparently it can make people a little uncomfortable.'
'How does that affect the strength of your...bonds?' Louise said and Will frowned, understanding what she was getting at.
'I may find myself slightly more attached, in a sense,' Will said quietly.
'And what sense is that?' Louise said and Will heaved out a breath.
'Not one that can really be explained easily,' Will said, wondering why he was telling Louise even half the things he had, when he would barely talk to Hannibal. 'A feedback loop, maybe?'
'I see,' Louise said. Will let the lie pass.
'Can I ask you something?' Will said, his question already hesitating on his lips.
'You want to ask about Garrett,' Louise said, her free arm crossing her chest, as if to brace herself. 'I've admitted why I killed him, what else is there you need to know?'
'Why did you choose to kill him? You could have contacted the police. You knew where the evidence was,' Will said, wanting to know why she had given up her freedom.
'Then what? People don't want to think about omegas as killers. They want alpha's. Alpha's make sense. We are the larger percentage,' Louise said, closing her eyes. 'Even if they did believe me, what if they showed up while Abigail was home? For all I know, he could have panicked and killed her or someone else.' That wasn't the whole reason, Will could just tell, but he allowed her the same grace as she had granted him and didn't ask further.
'You wanted to protect her, I get that,' Will said.
'How did you meet my daughter?' Louise said, taking control of herself again.
'Didn't Abigail tell you?' Will said.
'She told me why she was there,' Louise said, 'but she couldn't say why you were.'
'Jack Crawford, the, uh, head of Behavioural Sciences heard some rumours about what I can do and requested an interview to see if I would be suitable to help him with the case,' Will said, his left hand coming up to press against his right forearm, as though to support it. 'Abigail was in the waiting room. I probably wouldn't have spoken to her if she hadn't said anything. I mean, I suspected who she was, but I tend to keep to myself a lot.'
'Tell me about your friends...'
Will was only too relieved when he was finally buckling his seatbelt in preparation to return home. The conversation, though it felt a bit more like an interrogation, went longer than Will would have thought it would. He could understand the reason for that, but it was hard for him to convince someone that he was safe for their daughter to be around, when he wondered the same thing.
Hannibal would probably be wondering how he went. Abigail too. He knew he should probably call one or both of them, but he didn't really want to be talking to anyone right then. So instead, he just sat in his car and waited for his head to quiet, before starting up the car and heading home. He would talk to Abigail tomorrow.