Clear Blue Eyes
AN: I would like to thank everyone who read and reviewed this story. I hope you enjoy this chapter just as much.
As soon as the door was closed on them, Alana turned to Hannibal. He looked slightly dishevelled. His usually neat hair was no longer perfectly in place and his tie was knocked askew.
"What happened in there?" She asked completely bewildered as she watched adjust his tie. "We could hear him scream from down the hall! How did you get him to talk?"
"It was only a matter of applying pressure in right place in order to get an emotional response." He replied simply. "In this case, it was anger."
"Dr. Lecter, what did you say to that boy?" Alana asked narrowing her eyes with suspicion.
"I simply asked a few questions to gain a desired effect."
"And may I ask what those questions were?"
"I'm afraid that I cannot answer that question. I have promised Will that anything discussed will stay between us." The doctor's face was unreadable as spoke. Alana wondered what he was thinking.
"Doctor, might I remind you that this is my patient. Agent Crawford…"
"Forgive me for interrupting but that there is one of the reasons why the child refused to talk to you."
"What on earth are you talking about?" Alana stared at him in bewilderment.
"From what I could gather from speaking to him briefly, Will Graham is very intelligent and perceptive. He knows you work for Agent Crawford. I believe he referred to him as the 'black man'. His father died recently it is possible that he may be distrustful of the people who kept him from him."
"That's impossible, Dr. Lecter. Besides he could be talking about any number of African American. How could he possibly know that Agent Crawford is my boss?"
"Perhaps he overheard a conversation but it is most likely that he simply deduced it."
"You can't possibly be serious! He's five years old there is no way he could have reasoned such a thing with so little information no matter how smart he may be!" Alana exclaimed.
"That would be a sound conclusion if the assumption that he is in fact five, is in fact correct." Hannibal reasoned without missing a beat. "His prolonged malnourishment has most likely stunted his growth. His is definitely older than he seems."
"You can't know that for sure!" She argued suddenly feeling a little unsure of herself. "The only way we could be sure is by asking is if we ask the child or…"
Alana suddenly remembered the file she had received from the doctor during their talk. She hadn't had the chance to look at it due to the commotion that Will had caused. She had stuffed it into her bag while following the medical staff to the room. The paediatrician had told her that it was the child's medical history that had been sent over from Louisiana.
Taking it out, she opened it finding a birth certificate at the top of the records. She looked at the birthdate and then back at Dr. Lecter.
"You're right. According to this, Will Graham is seven years old." Alana said while handing the document over to her colleague. Everything made sense now. She had been talking to her patient under the assumption that he was younger. She inwardly groaned at the rookie mistake. Any psychiatrist knew that the worst thing to do when dealing with children is treating them like they were younger. It was the quickest way to alienate them.
"It explains a few things but why would he have such a dislike for Agent Crawford?" She continued after the doctor returned the file. "He's trying to find his father's killer. If Will is clever enough to figure all this out, why isn't he cooperating?"
"You forget that we are dealing with a child. No matter how smart, you cannot expect him to act in a logical manner." Before she could answer, the door opened to reveal Dr. Wallace. He gave Dr. Lecter a look of reproach and turned his hard gaze to her own.
"I would ask you not to distress my patient. This is the second time this has happened. I will not allow a third such occurrence or I will demand another to take your place as his psychiatrist. No matter what the FBI says. Even though Dr. Lecter succeeded in getting him to talk, he needs rest and recovery."
"I apologize for the pain I cause him. It was not my intention." She heard Dr. Lecter answer.
"Let's continue this discussion in my office. There is a matter we need to settle, Dr. Bloom." Dr. Wallace said while gesturing for them to follow him.
Alana sighed softly as she walked to the office. She glanced at her colleague discreetly. His face was as expressionless as usual. She could not help but wonder what he had said to her patient to provoke such an extreme reaction. As curious as she was, it would be futile to ask again. Dr. Lecter was very firm and consistent in his behaviour. He had told her directly that he would not discuss it with her and that was how it would be.
She walked into the office for the second time that day but this time with Dr. Lecter. She noticed that the older man did not sit down until Dr. Wallace sat down behind his desk. He was always so infallibly polite. Alana turned her attention to the paediatrician as he picked up the phone.
"Would you send in Mrs. Oak?" He said before putting it down.
"Mrs. Oak?" She parroted in puzzlement.
"She is Will Graham's social worker."
Oh damn! She forgot about that. Alana hoped that this woman would not be too difficult. Soon enough a woman in her mid-forties entered the room. Her hair was greying, tied in a bun over her head and was dressed primly. She seemed like a stern person which would not go in her favour.
"You must be Dr. Bloom." She said as she extended her hand to Dr. Lecter who simply stared at her.
"I'm Dr. Alana Bloom." Alana piped up to avoid further awkwardness.
"Oh forgive me for the mistake. I thought you were a student of some sort. You're so young after all."
"That's quite alright. I'm sure that it's an honest mistake. This is Dr. Lecter a colleague of mine." Alana could not help but feel snubbed. She was used to this kind of treatment so she took it in stride but it still stung a little.
"Now that you've all been introduced, let's discuss the matter of where Will Graham will be staying."
"Isn't he staying going to stay at the hospital until he recovers?" Alana asked.
"He has sufficiently recovered to leave the hospital. He is in no immediate danger. All he needs is proper rest and nutrition. There is no need to keep him here." Dr. Wallace replied.
"We have a home ready for him already. His foster parents will be informed of his needs. If we can have his belongings, he could move there by tomorrow morning." The social worker intoned as she smoothed her skirt.
"His belongings are in evidence. They will be returned when the FBI deems it." Alana replied evenly despite her annoyance. "On the matter, Will Graham cannot stay in a foster home."
"And why not? The Felton family is fully capable of caring for an abused child." Mrs. Oak argued.
"He's not just any ordinary abused child. He's very intelligent and at the moment, he believes that the entire world is his enemy. I guaranty that he will be very difficult." She explained in earnest.
"They've dealt with difficult children before like any other foster parent."
"I would have to agree with Dr. Bloom." Dr. Lecter interjected. "Moreover, Will Graham is a potential witness to a crime. He cannot be placed just anywhere as he could in danger. Since his status as a witness is public knowledge, he will not be safe at a foster home."
Alana smiled at him in gratitude as she nodded in agreement. She noticed the way that Mrs. Oak was looking at Dr. Lecter. She did not know who she pitied more. Mrs. Oak for her infatuation with one of the coldest men she had ever known or her colleague who had yet another person vying for his attentions.
"You're right." She agreed with a smile. "But where would he stay then? The Felton's are the only family who can take him in at the moment."
Alana froze for a moment. Who could he stay with? She wondered. The hospital obviously could not spare the rooms. Jack would not like his witness to be anywhere but under his thumb.
"He can stay with me." Dr. Lecter suddenly said.
Alana's head turned to him so quickly that her neck hurt from the sudden movement. She was about to protest but after some reflection she realized that it would be perfect. Will could not stay with her because she was his psychiatrist but Dr. Lecter had no such obligations. Not only that, he had formed some sort of rapport with the boy. His house was large enough to accommodate him. Glancing at the social worker, she could see from her expression that the woman would not be a problem. Her admiration for the doctor seemed to have increased tenfold.
"You are a very kind man for volunteering for such an arduous task." She practically gushed. "I will of course have to see if your house is fit for a child to live in. Custody of William will have to be approved by a judge."
"That won't be necessary. The FBI will take care of the matter." Alana interrupted before she could go into further detail. She would have to call to Agent Crawford as soon as possible.
Jack scrutinized Dr. Lecter. Even in picture, this man was seemed quite imposing. But with a name like Hannibal Lecter, he would have to be. After Alana had called him about handing custody over to this man, he had pulled everything he could on him. Jack was very impressed by what he had read. A doctorate in medicine and psychiatry, brilliant in both fields. He had been doubtful when Alana had told him where his witness would be staying but with all he knew now, he had to agree with her decision. He would, of course, have to meet the man who was able to get through a traumatized kid when one of his most brilliant agents could not.
He broke out of his musing when his wife came into the living room. A sense of unease wormed its way into his heart as he looked up from the papers. For some time, things between them had been strained. He had no idea how to mend it and he tried to act as normal as possible since there was nothing he could possibly do to make it right.
"Bella. I didn't hear you come back." Jack said closing the file and putting it on the coffee table.
"You're early." She replied simply.
"I brought my files with me to work on at home." He answered. He hesitated for a moment before continuing carefully. "It occurred to me that we hadn't spent much time together lately."
He followed her to the kitchen and waited for her response. When he received none, irritation flared.
"Will you talk to me? How am I supposed fix this if you won't at least do that?"
"Now, you want to talk." She said softly as she turned to face him her eyes hard. "But there is nothing left to say."
"Bella…" He started not sure what to say. "I know that I wasn't there when… but I will try to make up for it however I can."
"That is not something you can just make go away with gifts and promises. You weren't there when I needed you most just like you always were and always will be."
"I had a case… If I had known, I would-"
"Don't! Don't you dare finish that sentence! What could that possibly change!? It over and done with! She's gone!" She yelled tears streaming down her face.
"Bella!" He called after her as she left the kitchen. "Bella, wait!"
He noticed that she had grabbed her purse and was heading for the closet. He quickly intercepted her not letting her pass as she tried to circumvent him.
"We have to talk about this." He says softly as he took hold of her arms. "You have to let me talk to you. You can't keep running away."
"Fine." Bella said her arms crossed over chest. "Talk."
"I can't make any excuses for not being there when you needed me… but you can't say that I haven't been trying to make up for it by coming home as early as humanly possible." He started weakly. He was horrible at these types of talks. He could tell that it was not getting through to her. "It was just as hard on me losing her and… I don't want to lose you as well."
He looked away as he uttered the last sentence. He cringed at his clumsiness. The feel of a gentle hand turning his face startled him.
"It's not all your fault… I know that I've been unfair these past few months. I guess I just needed someone to blame. I am just as much responsible for the miscarriage."
"Bella…" He started but was silenced by the touch of a slender finger to his lips.
"I had cramps the whole day but they didn't hurt too much so I overlooked them… and…"
He pulled her close as she broke down and for the first time since the event she did not push him away. Burying his face in her hair, he felt as though a great weight had been lifted off his shoulders.
The next morning, Hannibal came early to the hospital in hopes of seeing his Will. He had spent a great deal of time the previous day getting a room ready for the child, after the social worker left that is. The woman had unfortunately been reluctant to leave, taking her time and insisting on going over useless details. By the time she had left, he had felt like killing her but it would not do to kill his son's social worker no matter how bothersome she was. His son… He smiled softly at the thought. He would have wait before he could make it official but he would eventually adopt Will when the FBI was no longer breathing down their necks.
The nurse reluctantly let him after he confirmed that he was the boy's guardian. The sight that greeted him was the face of a sleeping angel. Closing the door softly behind him, he moved silently across the room and settled into the uncomfortable plastic chair. He had never seen the boy so relaxed. His breathing was deep confirming that he was still asleep. He was loath to wake him up but it was unfortunately necessary. Gently he ran his hand across the boy's small forehead brushing the long fringe from his face.
"Ma…" Will mumbled as he pressed into his touch.
"Wake up, little one." Hannibal said as he chucked softly. He stroked the soft clean hair. He made a note to take his Will to a hairdresser. His hair was far too long and the cut was so uneven. If his suspicions were correct, the child probably cut his own hair with a old pair of scissors as the ends were rough.
"Mmm…" Will's eyes opened slowly rewarding with a sight of sleep clouded blues. He blinked a few times before freezing. "You're back."
Hannibal let his hand fall away knowing that his touch was making his boy uncomfortable. It would take time but hopefully someday, he would be able to do so freely. He was a very patient man.
"Where's the lady?" Will asked searching the room suspiciously.
"Dr. Bloom did not come with me this time. She will, however be here in at least…" Looking at his watch, he continued. "10 minutes."
"Oh…" Will said while sighing in relief. "What do you want then?"
"It is not a matter of what I want but of what I can give you." Hannibal replied simply.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Will asked clearly annoyed.
"I wish to offer you a place in my home."
"A place in…" the child parroted incredulously. "Why the hell would want to do that!?"
"Why not? Do you believe that you do not deserve a home?" Hannibal queried.
"Stop doing that!" Yelled Will his face scrunched in anger. "Stop trying to get in my head! I'm not stupid I know what you're trying to do!"
"You are far from stupid, little one." Hannibal replied smoothly. "I only ask because it is worrisome when children believe that they aren't worthy of love."
"Right… Are you saying that you want to take me in so that you can love and take care of me? Not likely." Will scoffed the look he gave him screamed 'liar'.
"That is precisely what I am saying. Under my care you will want for nothing and no harm will ever come to you again. That is a promise." Hannibal looked the child straight in the eyes as they met his own. The disbelief in them made him wish he could bring back the boy's father just to have the pleasure of torturing him all over again.
"You can't promise that! Pa used to promise that he would stop, that he was sorry for hurting me but in the end it might as well have been a lie! Why would you be any different?"
"The difference is that I am not weak." Hannibal said simply. There was something about the way Will looked at him. An assessing look that was strange on the face of a child. He had seen such a look on many adults but never children. Hannibal took note of it as his instincts told him that there was more to this child than simple intelligence.
"If you hadn't volunteered your home, I would have gone to some foster parents, right?" Will suddenly asked.
"I doubt it. Another arrangement would have been made per Agent Crawford's design. I believe you refer to him as the 'black man'." The doctor replied observing Will's reaction to the news. The scowl that appeared on his little face was almost instantaneous. Amusement bubbled in his chest at the irony of Will's hatred of the man. Still it all went in his favour. If not for his intense dislike of anything to do with the agent, the event leading to gaining custody of the child would not have so simple. Furthermore, Will was not likely to protest his guardianship under these circumstances.
AN: For those who are wondering, I added that scene between Jack Crawford and his wife on a whim. Not sure how it would be received but when I was watching the show, I wondered about why they did not have any children and those thoughts led to this...
There could be thousands of reasons for a couple not to have kids but I decided on this one. It seemed to fit the best and once I started writing I couldn't really stop.
Also please R&R :)