AN-Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 is more famously known as "Ode to Joy" which is actually a poem written by Friedrich Schiller. 'O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!
Sondern laßt uns angenehmere anstimmen,
und freudenvollere.' 'Oh friends, not these tones!
Rather, let us raise our voices in more pleasing
And more joyful sounds!' The lullaby is a real though I am not sure about the translations of it. 'Liuliai dukrelį' is the name of it. It's actually sounds quite sad and I felt it was fitting in reference to Hannibal's sister.
Hannibal looked for his most unusual of associates, Will Graham, who usually lingered overhead with heavy medical tome in hand, choosing to lean up against the balcony though it irk the doctor for him to do so. If the mood struck him right, the empath would sometimes look over the spines of Hannibal's library for most of his legitimate allotted hour. Since Will wasn't officially his patient to treat and Hannibal rarely felt the need to force their conversations, he let Will wander where he liked during their time together, gauging his mood by where he went.
Their sessions were becoming more and more frequent of late, not that Hannibal was complaining or minding his odd company. When Will was truly left to his own devices and not being poked or prodded into forced socializing, he was a stimulating conversationalist especially when it came to the topic of the arts. Hannibal had been pleasantly surprised and delighted at the discovery, the two of them often going well over their session discussing their preferences or more accurately, arguing friendly about them.
(In Hannibal's opinion, the undisputed true master of the Renaissance was and always will be Leonardo da Vinci for his dedication to perfecting pictorial art and his meticulous nature for recording the world around him as it was, despite political and religious pressures to do so otherwise. In counterpoint, Will doggedly argued that it was Michelangelo who represented the era best, stating that the younger contemporary brought an undiluted passion and emotional beauty to whatever he created.
Neither would conceded his viewpoint of course, and after several sessions, a few dinners, and even an all-nighter that left both combatants blurry eyed and sore throated from regular intervals of yelling, it was decided that they would simply agree to disagree on that particular matter.)
With his empathic ability and overactive imagination, Will brought new life, light, and perspective to literature, pieces of visual art, and even music, especially music without even really trying. Being what he was, Will was able to take on the creator's and even the subject matter's point of view, finding deeper meaning than most by living it out in his head.
Though Hannibal had always suspected this due to the fact Will was extremely careful of what he read or listened to, his suspicions were confirmed one session purely by chance. The doctor had just put on 'Ode to Joy' when he remembered that he had not checked on the post, stepping out of his office to do so before he was joined by Will. Upon his return and entertaining thoughts about eating the habitually late postman, Hannibal realized he had been delayed for longer than he would have liked when he found Will already standing in his office.
At first he thought something was wrong, Will had stopped dead center in the room with his head tipped back, his arms hanging lax at his side. Hannibal watched as Will began to sway gently to the haunting classical music, caught up in the mild rise and fall of the opening strings. By the time the brass section involved themselves, Will was grinning up at the ceiling, his soft curls bobbing in time to the notes. His hands raised up slowly as if conducting his own orchestra, his fingers spreading wide to trail through the air, trying to catch the fleeting melody and feel the intangible out with the inborn swirls and ridges of his prints.
Hannibal had never seen the usually tense man look so free and relaxed, Will losing himself to the embrace of the symphony as it gained momentum, the empath winding down as the notes rose up to meet him. Just as Hannibal was about to let Will know that he was present as not to embarrass or startle him, the quiet man managed to shock the doctor back into silence.
Tipping his head back, Will's mouth fell open to release a stunningly clear tenor, the richness of it harmonized perfectly with the Ode's baritone, making Will become a creature of light and air and sound, transitioned by the power of the music. Acting like amber, the setting sun streamed through the window, the gold red beams of dying light glazing the singer, making his normally messy curls a soft shining halo. In that moment, that perfect space in time, Will was set apart from all else, all of mundane reality in one glorious instant of sound, spirit, and splendor.
Spellbound, Hannibal could only watch, enchanted by the impromptu wonder happening before him as Will flawlessly pronounced the sung German, the normally blocky words flowing like honeyed wine from off of Will's tongue, becoming ambrosia for the ears. Shedding his walking wounded persona, Will looked unearthly and surreal, singing out the true hidden brilliance of his soul to the coming twilight and the lengthening shadows.
If Hannibal were religious, he would have thought it was like being confronted with corporeal divinity in a way, the kind of which saints and the devout alike earned for, prayed a wasted lifetime to experience firsthand. The temptation to touch was great, almost maddening so to a point, especially when the spectacle was happening within the realm of his kingdom, flooding it with sensations that were usually fleeting at best, at least to him. Foreign prickling behind his eyes told Hannibal that rare tears were threatening to overwhelm their edges, the extent of his awe being registered and expressed at the most base levels of his savage essence.
The soft dry sound of skin brushing over skin and the near silken rustle of expensive wool as it shifted could have been a gunshot or a thunderclap for all the effect it had on Will, Hannibal reaching up to clear his vision. For his efforts, he got to clearly watch in horror as Will closed in upon himself, his mental forts rising up to slam into place with an almost tangible sound. Will's ears and neck turned crimson from the force of his humiliation, the heat from his shame coming off in waves as his blue eyes darkened to a more slate gray, darting wildly about like a hunted animal.
"S-sorry." Will stammered out, already rushing past Hannibal, his need for escape crushing out his normal slightly given courtesy. Staying still in place, Hannibal let him go. As the intruder, any effort on his part right now would be futile or even detrimental to their relationship. They both needed some time to collect themselves. Will would have to have some space to recover for his needless mortification while Hannibal worked through his mourning and anger at self over losing such close perfection.
In that resounding still instant, any plans about killing Will he had been toying with were salted, burned, and buried in Hannibal's mind as he moved to sit down heavily behind his desk, straightening his pencils and scalpels more out of habit than need. He had always found Will's mind intriguing and beautiful, but his newly discovered talent was breathtaking, truly remarkable in its grandeur. The thought of never hearing Will sing again would be a crime….no, more accurately as close to a sin as Hannibal could define it. Such concept of theology had rotted on the vine for him side by side with the demise of his beloved sister and the taste of her flesh on his tongue.
Schooling himself not to be too hasty or greedy, Hannibal resolved to be patient. He could be that, had a lifetime of training in it.
Will did not return to Hannibal for his regular sessions much less their irregular ones for over two weeks, though he did have Jack call in to decline, cancel, and make his excuses for him. Though disappointed by the man's absence, Hannibal appreciated his tact. Will obviously did not wish to offend him by being rude.
Hannibal was not pleased(the post man ended up suffering for it after all and was served in a lovely port wine reduction sauce with some gorgonzola butter for his customary tardiness) but remained tolerant of his wayward wanderer who was more desperate than lost. It paid off in the end, Hannibal leaving a message through a very annoyed Jack, stating that Will's session times would remain available to him whenever he felt like resuming their conversations.
So Hannibal was quite pleased (and more relieved than he would have cared to admit even to himself) to find a very nervous Will sitting out in his waiting room one evening, almost a month later after the incident.
"Good evening, Will. It has been a while. Please come in.", Hannibal welcomed, keeping his voice low and gentle as he held the door open. It was the kind of voice that people liked to use to coax wounded animals out of hiding and on people who should never be allowed scissors for extended periods of time. Despite his best efforts, Will still twitched as if struck, his jittery balance shifting from foot to foot like he was physically straddling the edges of his delicate sanity.
Just as Hannibal assumed he was about to run off again, Will barreled past the doctor into his office, claiming his usual seat by throwing himself into it. Hannibal winced for his polished floors but refrained from saying anything. Will was the walking wounded and anything negatively spoken at this point in time, even constructive criticism about respecting other people's flooring, would be taken deeply personal.
Quietly closing the door, Hannibal moved to sit across from Will, keeping his movements slow and easy to track. Schooling his face to appear blank yet soft, Hannibal settled in to his normal psychiatrist pose with legs crossed and hands folded loose but neatly in his lap, the silence between them obvious but not unsettling. Once again, the doctor found that his patience paid off.
"I'm sorry." Will murmured, flushing from his soft words as he intruded upon the quiet, looking ridiculously guilty about it.
"There is nothing for you to be sorry about." Hannibal said calmly, his tone bordering on indifferent. He knew he would have to be careful. Will would be a minefield of insecurities that he would have to navigate. If he took too much time though, Will might just self detonate from all the pressure he put himself or couldn't let go. With that a definite possibility, Hannibal considered that it might pay off to play this encounter fast and quick this once. Fortune favored the bold after all. He was proof enough of that. "You have a lovely voice."
Will stared back at him, wide eyed and anxious as he studied Hannibal's face looking for the veiled lies lurking under the surface of his pale skin and behind his eyes, all the while still managing not to meet his gaze directly at any point in time. Hannibal thought it was an impressive skill, wagering easy money that the overly sensitive man had spent a lifetime refining it. They sat there listening to each other's breathing as Will worked though his mental baggage while deciphering the hidden meaning of Hannibal's pronounced cheekbones and cleanly shaven jaw line. Will's inhales and exhales was fast, near panicky in helter skelter nature, while Hannibal's breathes were slow and even, almost like he were near sleep.
Will's rapid breathing evened out eventually, though stress still clung to his tense frame like wisps of tenacious mist all about him. "You don't have to lie to me to make me feel better." Will snapped, still obviously expecting some sort of backlash. It was all too clear that he had experienced some sort of harsh judgment in the past that had Hannibal wondering who in Will's history had made him so defensive and uneasy about his gift. He briefly entertained the idea of finding out so that he could hunt down these ignorant pigs pretending to be people and putting them in a pie, since they felt like humbling Will so.
As it was, if anyone else had said that to him, Hannibal would have thought they were digging for compliments. Will's terror was too genuine for that though. "Why would you think I am lying to you about this? Am I so untrustworthy in your eyes?" Hannibal gently chided because some aspects of rudeness had to be addressed. All things considered, he was being extremely tolerant about it.
"Yes…No….I….I'm sorry." Will fumbled his words in haste to answer and reassure, looking down and away like a beaten dog that couldn't recognize a kind hand when presented with one.
"As I said before, you need not apologize.", Hannibal soothed. He needed to make Will feel safe with him, create a fort for him to hide in, one where he would be close to Hannibal within its confines.
"I keep making a fool of myself while in your company.", Will told Hannibal's shoes, a minor improvement from the floor but still a victory of sorts none the less.
"So what if you are? You are my friend, Will. You may do so whenever you choose to in my presence. It will be my secret to gladly keep." Hannibal said, careful to put a smile in his voice since Will still refused to look up at him. Will must have heard it, the empath shifting in his seat as he reacquainted himself with the view of Hannibal's knees and vest. "I am honored if you feel comfortable enough to be yourself around me."
The fort Hannibal had created for Will with his careful words and reassurances was beginning to build up all around them, comforting the empath while silently entrapping him. "I…I sometimes get carried away when I listen to music.", Will admitted hesitantly, feeling like he should be giving something back, concerned with guilt for not doing so quicker.
"So I have noticed. I assume not everyone appreciates your enthusiasm though, not like I do.", Hannibal mused, careful to disassociate himself from Will's tormentors. There was a sense of accomplishment as he finished the mental groundwork, cornering Will in with him.
Will snorted humorlessly, the slight noise ugly and dismissive, though not directed at Hannibal. It was too filled with self loathing to be mistaken for insult. "It was worse when I was younger. I would get lost in symphonies or any long piece of music, anything really given half a chance. Sometimes people thought I was having epileptic fits or seizures, I would become so unresponsive to outward stimuli. As you can imagine, that went over well socially with my peers in school.", he muttered bitterly, starting to curl in on himself again, his back curving as his knees drew up to meet his torso, getting as close to fetal position as he could while still sitting in a chair. It had all the signals that the past abuse was not just verbal in content.
"With all the gravity of a leaden balloon, I am sure.", Hannibal sighed for some many different reasons. Childhood trauma, especially of the physical variety, had deep roots and was tenacious to heal over in its scarring. Hannibal foresaw a lot of work in his future smoothing over these marks if he ever wanted to hear Will sing again, and even then, nothing was assured.
Growing impatient, Hannibal knew would have to play on Will's innate gifts, using his own self against him. At least this time, his intentions were good…relatively so in the grand scheme of things. Dire measures needed to be taken on his part as well, something precious sacrificed to receive something of equal or greater back. Will needed to have something to feed off of. Like any precious stone, he needed a light source to reflect back his brilliance. Diamonds in the dark didn't shine on their own, but a single lit candle would make them burn with their own fire.
Sighing, Hannibal breathed out the next words, though it had been possibly decades since he had last spoken his native tongue, the Lithuanian coming out low and gravelly from disuse, "Je, liuliai dukreli, liuliai aušreli. Užmik, mano saulala, užmik mano vyšnela."
Unfortunately, singing was not his forte, his wealth of talents lying elsewhere as Hannibal cringed inwardly at his near monotone attempt at it. They had the effect he wanted, all his endeavors paid off in one wide eyed look from Will, the empath instantly connecting with the underlying quality that the words were tonelessly resonated in, even if he couldn't understand the words themselves or the deeper meaning behind them.
"I didn't know you sang." Will said with sounded like great care, as if he feared of intruding on something precious. The man's caution and sensitivity made Hannibal want him all the more. He never knew being understood would be so alluring, so enticing in its acceptance. Will was so receptive, Hannibal barely had to give anything of himself. Would the empath drown or be burned out from within if Hannibal dared to share every aspect of himself with him? Hannibal dismissed the idea of it, reasoning that it was a risk for another day.
"I do not sing. As you have heard for yourself, I do not process a talent for it. I prefer to discover and appreciate people who do though." Hannibal smiled, the expression slight but feeling strangely real for once. "People like yourself."
Will shifted uncomfortably in his seat, but did not look like he was about to spring away from him anymore or rabbit from his presence. "What was that? What were you singing about?" he ventured instead, pausing between each question like he was allowing Hannibal an out if he didn't feel like answering him.
"It is a cradle song sung to a daughter." Hannibal admitted, wondering if Will or even himself were going to be brave enough to continue this line of conversation. He hadn't shared this much of self with anyone else in what left like a lifetime. Strange how Will felt safe enough to him for Hannibal to do so now. In all fairness though, Will had already bared his soul unknowingly to him in song. The very least Hannibal could do was to return the gesture, even if it was in a controlled manner. It was only polite. "In English, it translates roughly to 'Bye-bye my dear girl, bye-bye my dear dawn. Sleep my dear sun, sleep my dear cherry- tree."
"A daughter…or a sister." Will was staring up at the ceiling as if searching for an answer there from the unseen heavens. Perhaps he was for all Hannibal knew. "A sister. Your sister."
"Yes." Hannibal answered simply, dropping his own gaze as his fingers rustled against the chair's armrest.
"You have a sister." Will sounded surprised, like he never considered the thought of Hannibal actually being born and raised like any other person, and not created into existence having immaculate three piece suits and excellent manner.
If they had been speaking of any other subject matter, Hannibal might of smiled and made light of Will's flattering yet ridiculous misconception of him. "No." he intoned instead, his words coming out flat and too neutral to be anything other than barely contained kinetic. "Not anymore."
"I'm sorry. We don't talk about it." Will said. "I didn't mean to pry. It's just…"
"Other people's mysteries come to you naturally, I know." Hannibal finished for him. "You need not apologize. I would not have brought it up if I didn't think it was relevant."
"How is it relevant?" Will asked perplexed, not that Hannibal could really blame him. It had been a jump in subject matter.
"You felt shamed for opening up to me. More so, since it was unintentional on both our parts." Hannibal said "I am simply expressing to you that such feeling are unnecessary in my presence by give something of myself back."
"Something precious." Will worked out. "Something that would hurt you to talk about it with me. Something that not a lot of other people, if anyone, know about you."
"Yes." Hannibal closed his eyes, going inwardly for a moment to collect himself. He managed to keep his lids closed for Will's benefit and his own in the next moment, feeling vaguely proud about his constraint before giving himself over entirely to the experience.
"O Freunde, nicht diese Töne. Sondern laßt uns angenehmere anstimmen, und freudenvollere."
Even acapella, Will's voice was rich, having an aching darkness to it that was made all the sweeter by the hope that refused to leave its shimmering tones. The tenor filling the cavernous room from edge to edge with velvet notes, crystallizing the world all around it and making it shine brighter than before by simply resonating it. Hannibal relaxed back into his seat, becoming boneless as he was swept up into the impromptu solo from the melodic man of melancholy as Will sang an ode of god, of food, of wine.