"You're still here, Abigail?" Hannibal's voice was quiet as he closed the large psychiatric manual he had been briefly reading over.
Abigail sat on the second tier, legs crossed and arms folded on the railing. She stared down at him with tired eyes, a brightly colored scarf tied around her neck to hide the thick scar.
"You can't keep sneaking into my office," Hannibal continued. "It's becoming rude." He turned in his seat to turn his complete attention to her.
"I was discharged today," she replied softly. "I didn't know where else…" She blinked rapidly, arms tightening as she seemed to shrink within herself.
There was a moment of silence before the doctor asked, "Have you eaten?" When she replied the negative, he rose to his feet and said, "Then I invite you over for dinner. Come, if you're ready we'll leave now."
"Wait," Abigail said quickly. "Can we invite Will?"
Hannibal shifted to his desk, adjusting his papers slightly. "It would be inconvenient to invite Mr. Graham. Too short notice, you understand."
"Please?" She looked at him expectantly like a child to their father.
The corner of Hannibal's mouth curled up in an almost imperceptible smile. "Very well."
Will stood in the doorway to Hannibal's house, his hands clenched at his side and his gaze fixed on the knot of the doctor's tie. "Are you sure this is a good idea?" he asked. "Having me here seems a bit…too much."
"On the contrary, it would be beneficial for both you and Abigail to interact with one another. Besides, she specifically asked for this." Hannibal stepped aside. "You are already here; you might as well come in."
Abigail stood by the table, hands clasped in front of her. Will kept his eyes on a point above her shoulder.
"H-how are you feeling?" he asked.
"Better," she answered. "They discharged me today."
"Yes," Hannibal added as he came to stand behind the profiler, less than a foot of space between them. "Abigail, if you could help me with the plates."
The young woman glanced between them. "Do you mind if I use the bathroom first?"
"I can help," Will said quickly.
Hannibal and Will set the table quietly, and the doctor reaching over to set down the saucer of Cumberland sauce, his hand brushing Will's. The profiler nearly dropped the plate in his hand and a blush rose to his cheeks.
"Excuse me, Will." The doctor's voice was low and he was so close that if either of them shifted the slightest bit they could touch again.
Will was just about to talk a step away when he felt a weight fall against his side and push him right into Hannibal's arms.
"I'm so sorry." Will heard Abigail say. Glasses askew and face red, Will was still pressed against Hannibal, breathing in the doctor's clean scent. He could feel the muscles of Hannibal's arm move as he put Will to rights.
"You are both alright?" The older man asked. When they nodded, he fixed his eyes on Abigail for a second and left for the kitchen with her following close behind.
"You mustn't do things like that."
She looked up at him innocently. "It was an accident." But he gave her a look that warned her not to lie and she sighed. "I was only trying to help, to say thanks." She looked down, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear nervously. "You both have been there after…after what happened. And I see the way you both look at each other."
Hannibal inhaled slowly. "Even still, it's impolite. Don't do it again." Abigail bowed her head dejected but when he gently kissed the top of her head, the corners of her mouth turned up in a small smile. He said softly, "The effort is appreciated."