AN-Symphony #40 in G Minor, K 550 - 1. Molto Allegro is by Mozart cause I like how moody this symphony is. It sounds like an argument to me. I don't own it or anything else in this.Not Beta Read
The food tasted like ash, the wine had no flavor and as Hannibal was finding out, even the opera held no place of respite for him. The ringing laments of the soprano's stirring aria left Hannibal feeling empty instead of moved. As he went through the motions of being sociable and seen at the after party, Hannibal knew he was being melodramatic but fortune had deprived him of his favorite toy's company for far too long.
In all his limited wisdom, Jack had shipped Will Graham across the country to look into a string of murders there, loaning out his empath to the FBI's West Coast offices. That had been almost over a month ago, the bucket of crazy moving across states from Oregon to northern California with Will hot on the killer's trail with his design in mind.
To make matters worse, it was almost hateful how mentally stable Will was being while out of reach from his meticulous meddling. Yes, the usually codependent profiler had called him from time to time but they were stilted communications, awkward little exchanges that left Hannibal wanting more. Lately though, there had been a lull between calls as well. It had been over nine days since the last one. It left a bitter taste in Hannibal's mouth and mind. He didn't even feel like cooking, only eating what he needed to when he needed to and that was beginning to wear on him.
Which was why, he told himself, he was taking the long drive from Baltimore, Maryland to Wolf Trap, Virginia. It was for his own personal benefit and advantage. He needed to reconnect with Will on some level, to better understand him was all, in learning on how to control him and to manipulate him. There was no other reason for it. Or so Hannibal kept telling himself as he pulled into Will's winding driveway.
The land that surrounded Will's little house was a mixture of flat fields and scattered woods with a lake fed by stream well within walking distance. At night the land looked like a sea, it was so covered in mist, deep white and soupy in texture. It surrounded Will's home, lapping at its white washed exterior and made the light coming though the windows look hazy, ethereal even if Hannibal was so inclined to think in that regard. The way that the soft fog rolled around the house like strange weightless currents made the structure look like it was moving, bobbing up and down in gentle motions. It was soothing in a way that Hannibal could not explain as he wandered away from his car to circle the property, looking back from time to time at the house pretending to be a boat, a temporary lighthouse edged of this space of infinity.
"Hello Doctor Lecter." drifted out from the dark somewhere behind him. The words could have come from a ghost they were spoken so softly. Hannibal willed his iron control over his body, ordering it not to react. Every finely tuned nerve was standing on end, wanting, needing to kill whoever had dared to sneak up behind him. The predator demanded it, the elimination of the threat, but in the end, it was the man who won out, soothing the murderous urge back with logic and reason. There was really only one person it could be after all.
"Hello Will." Hannibal said, resisting the urge to turn around and instead kept his eyes trained on the house floating on fake waters. He wasn't used to other people sneaking up on him, much less one of his prey. Hannibal was not one to reveal how disconcerted he was though.
"What are you doing here?" Will asked, moving into the edges of his peripheral vision and staying just there at its limits, maddeningly so. There was Will, looking much the same as always, a little worn and frayed around the edges but actually dressed for the chill for once in an ugly woolen cap and down vest. One of his dogs sat beside him, the mutt moving silently without the noise of his tags to give them both away. Hannibal mentally cursed Will's belief in keeping his canines un-collared. The profiler considered it cruel.
"I came to check on your dogs." Hannibal murmured, the lie not sounding nearly convincing enough as it should.
"I hired a local girl for that. I didn't know how long I was going to be gone this time." Will pointed out unnecessarily. They both knew that Hannibal was lying. "So you drove out all this way for nothing."
"When did you get back?" Hannibal asked, ignoring Will's comment. It irked him that Will was here, even if it was his own house. He was supposed to be kept informed about these things.
"This afternoon." Will told him, shifting his weight from one foot to the other and back again. Will always seemed to be in the kinetic, moving, fidgeting. "You still haven't answered my question though. Why are you here?"
"It really does look like a little ship like that out on the mist." Hannibal said, ignoring the question. He hoped to turn the direction of the conversation back onto Will, conveniently away from him.
"It's rude to not answer a question, even more so not to acknowledge it." Will pointed out much to Hannibal's ire. Of course the empath would choose now to pick up on certain aspects of their relationship.
"I have to admit I am at a loss of how to answer it." Hannibal admitted, deciding that some truth was in order. "I do not have a good reason for being here other than I wanted to see your house. It is how you described it. How was your trip?" There, a satisfactory answer. It was said and done without him revealing too much of himself.
"Productive." Will answered simply, too much so for Hannibal's liking. "I was feeling jetlagged though so I decided to go for a walk. What's your excuse? All dressed up and no place to go other than here?"
Hannibal was well aware how strange this must look to Will. He was still dressed for the opera in his tailored tux and fine coat, black bow tie still immaculately in place. "I was attending a performance but the experience left me feeling particularly void. It did not keep my attention…" Hannibal admitted, seeing no harm in it. It would give something for Will to relate to and in doing so would give Hannibal another advantage over the empath. "Nothing has lately. It has been most…..disconcerting."
"Are you lonely?"
That made Hannibal turn to look at Will straight on to find the man regarding him with an intent look. "I am often alone, Will. I do not mind solitude unlike other people. In fact, I prefer it." Hannibal said a touch stiffly though the question had not been made in any other tone except curiosity.
"I didn't ask that. I asked if you were lonely." Will cut him down to his center without even really trying to. Even worse, the man was so utterly calm about it. Enough so that Hannibal could only stare on at him, not knowing whether to be wary or impressed. There was a change to Will, something about him calmer, deceptively so like the smoothness of a lake after a lighting storm with the charge of ozone and electricity lingering over water.
Which is perhaps why Hannibal answered so honestly to that placid state of being. "Perhaps. A bit."
Will stared back at him for a long moment, his face utterly and strangely blank. "Would you like to come in? Warm up a bit?" Will offered, gesturing toward the house. Hannibal nodded and Will led the way back, the dog following both men closely behind.
Inside, Will's house smelled like engine oil, dust, animal dander, stale sweat, and old coffee with some undertones of books and fish, but not unpleasantly so. Hannibal considered leaving his coat on, seeing how every surface was covered in dog hair but none of his clothing was going to be spared the treatment so he reasoned he might as well be comfortable. By the time Hannibal had slipped his outer shell off and found a relatively clean space on Will's desk to lay the garment, Will returned with an open bottle of wine in one hand and a pair of wine glasses in the other.
To Hannibal's delight and surprise, it was a vintage that he recognized and had enjoyed before on occasion. Even more so, it was expensive and obviously not something Will would choose to drink on his own, the profiler more of a two fingers of whisky kind of man. No, this wine was obviously purchased with Hannibal in mind. He was so pleased by the thought, Hannibal refrained from commenting when Will just poured the wine into the glasses instead of letting it breath or tasting it first. It was probably all for the best anyway. Hannibal truly doubted that Will had a proper decanter.
"This is good. An excellent vintage." Hannibal said magnanimously, breathing in the wine. The Nero d'Avola was a pleasure on his olfactory senses with its mingled scents of black fruit, pepper, and spicy cloves. Hannibal already knew from experience that it would be velvety and rich on his tongue and would coat his mouth in supple tannins. It was a sensual wine and if it had been anyone else, Hannibal would have assumed that this was a seduction or at least the beginning of one.
"Thank you." Will smiled into his own glass, taking a perfunctory sip that Hannibal knew was wasted on him. He obviously was too busy studying the doctor to care about taste and texture, the focus upon Hannibal making him feel uncomfortable.
"What are you thinking about, Will?" Hannibal asked, swirling the wine enough to make it dance like liquid rubies and thickly coat the sides of the glass in clinging red. Will's stare wasn't the lingering look of a besotted man or the white ringed stare of frightened prey. It was almost akin to his own gaze actually, clinical in nature, like Will had noticed something merely curious about Hannibal and was trying to decide whether or not to poke at it.
"You." Will answered simply. intimate but in such a way this still didn't feel like a seduction despite the setting of wine, low light, and softly spoken words.
"Oh? Anything in particular?" Hannibal asked. He had a knife and there were plenty of other things within reach that could be used as a weapon, the wine glass in hand included.
"How long are we going to play this game?" Will asked, so utterly calm, his eyes half lidded making him look near sleep. It might have deceived other people into a state of relaxation but Hannibal recognized it as the calm before the storm, those blue eye only for him, on him. Through their veil of thick lashes, those eyes were glittering with intent and knowledge, darkly so.
"Which one?" Hannibal smiled, unwilling to give up his entire hand just yet. He didn't want to get ahead of himself.
Will sighed, the noise a put out sound like Hannibal was boring him. "I got a second opinion while I was out in California." Will told him, explaining everything. It was why he was so steady. The beautiful fever that had been eating away at his brain was gone forever now. A part of Hannibal mourned its passing and the malleability it brought to his experiment. Will continued though in the gap of Hannibal's answering silence.
The profiler set down his wine glass. "Did you really think I wouldn't have noticed the flies?" Will said. Hannibal was fast but Will was faster, his gun already up and out, pointed at Hannibal's head before the doctor could even move toward him. "Sloppy, Doctor Lecter. I expect better out of you. Have seen better from you, at least from a side of you."
"Do you really have it in you, Will?" Hannibal nodded at the weapon, assessing his options as he stared down the barrel of gun. He was at a disadvantage but it was nothing he couldn't talk his way out of. His hooks of conditioning were secured deep in Will's mind. All he had to do was find the right one to pull the profiler to him. To end his life or change his mind to Hannibal's way of thinking was still up in the air though.
"I know what I am. What I can do. You were going to frame me for the murders you committed as the copycat. I have no issues shooting you." Will growled, his dogs echoing their alpha from their spots all around them, reminding Hannibal of their presence and their loyalty to their pack leader. Will was not the only danger he had to contend with. "I thought we were friends."
"We are friends. I did it all for you." Hannibal decided he would try a stab at honesty to see how it worked on Will.
"I think you need to look up the definition of that word or else mine has become a bit hazy on the meaning. You were going to make everyone believe that I was the Copycat Killer. You were going to let them think that I was you." Will snapped, his temper waking up to bring force to his words.
"And you're my friend, how? I'm going to assume that you knew about the encephalitis as well." Will fumed, managing to look hurt and insulted all at once.
"That would be safe to do." Hannibal agreed, considering the contents of his glass before swallowing them down. He might as well appreciate the wine while he could.
"Why?" Will looked so betrayed. If he survived this encounter, Hannibal made a mental note to remember to sketch the empath's expression to appreciate later on at his leisure.
"You already know the answer, Will. Use your gifts." Hannibal chided, his tone gentle enough to hurt. To Hannibal's delight, Will visibly winced from it as he turned inwardly for some insight.
"You were…curious. You smug bastard, you were bored and wanted to see what I would do!" Will was yelling now, the sound of it bouncing off of too close walls and made the dogs plaintively whine and yip. "Set your pet on fire and see where he runs off to…."
Will was trailing his words by the end of the rant, sounding more tired than upset now. It was like watching a candle go out all on its own, the wick curling in on itself to smolder.
"You're not angry." Hannibal realized with a note of surprise.
"No, Doctor Lecter. I'm not." Will said, his tone dull and dead. "I'm grieving."
"Why? No one of importance has died….." Hannibal pointed out, most of the pawns still on the board. "…yet."
"I'm grieving for all the 'could have beens' and the 'what ifs'. All those dead futures. I'm grieving for myself because I will never trust again, not really. You and Jack have seen to that quite thoroughly. By different means and measures of course, but in equal parts. The pair of you have done everything in your power to destroy me when all I wanted was to be left alone." Will said. Hannibal thought the empath wore despair beautifully, the bleak nature of his emotions smoothing out all those lines of stress that usually plagued his handsome features. Sadness made Will look so utterly blank and clean, like a fresh palette just waiting for an artist to come along and claim him. Hannibal wanted to be that someone, to sign his name on the canvas of Will's flesh, carve his initials into his bones, and mark his soul with his own special brand of madness.
"I've never lied to you about anything that really mattered." Hannibal pointed out, twisting the knives where he could.
"A half truth is still a lie and omitting it is just as deceitful . Please don't insult my intelligence further by continuing to do either. I am in on it now, the joke you have made of me." Will glared, fresh righteous anger giving his pale skin color again.
"You were never a joke to me, Will. Entertaining yes, but never a subject of ridicule." Hannibal said, setting his empty wine glass on Will's desk. He noticed the gun following his movement and approved of Will's focus. He was beginning to wary that the empath would let his emotions get the better of him and that would have been boring.
"This ought to be good. So tell me doctor, what was I then to you? How do you see me? Pathetic? Broken? A mild distraction from the monotony of your other patients?" Will snapped at him bitterly, looking close to pulling the trigger in his growing rage.
"Beautiful. You have always been beautiful to me." Hannibal answered in the face of it, unwavering and unflinching by it.
"Please don't lie to me. You don't have to anymore." Will snarled, though the admittance gave him reason to pause and consider Hannibal anew.
"I'm not." Hannibal pressed his advantage, slight as it was. Will's delay meant something, the cogs of his mind obviously turning. But in what direction?
"You have a funny way of showing your appreciation. Why did you come here tonight, Doctor Lecter?" Will gritted out, looking strained. Exhaustion and tension were making the lines of his body shake ever so slightly. Hannibal wondered how much more stress Will's body could take before it started to shut down on him. The encephalitis may be gone but Hannibal was willing to bet that the insomnia and night terrors had stuck around to take their toll.
"I already told you that I do not know." Hannibal shook his head.
"Now you are lying to yourself. Tsk, tsk, doctor. That's not healthy." Will said, giving the doctor a morose yet meaningful look.
"I noticed your absence in my life, the lack of conversations between us, our shared time together." Hannibal admitted though it felt like he was cutting out a part of himself by doing so. It was strange feeling to experience. He couldn't equate it to anything.
"Sounds like you are in love." Will snorted, whether in disbelief or amusement was either man's guess.
"You can not trust, just express a facsimile. I can not love in the same manner." Hannibal expanded on the matter, the word 'love' too messy and deceptively simply a word for his personal tastes, almost trite in its construction.
"What a fine pair we make then, locked together in hate." Will sighed, his shoulders sagging while his aim remained true.
"You don't hate me." Hannibal corrected to receive an arched brow back in answer for his presumption. "You don't. I have seen such things, have known hatred. Though you may choose not to believe me, I do not hate you either."
"The evidence says otherwise." Will's brow furrowed in confusion, nodding toward his desk where his flies had been. Hannibal wondered what the profiler had done with them. Their formation of bone, feather, tissues, and hair had been beautiful.
"I was only trying to make you face your fears before you let them consume you. I wanted you to master your true nature, the one you spend all your time loathing and all your energy suppressing." Hannibal said.
"I don't want to become you." Will growled low like one of his dogs.
"Then don't. Become yourself." Hannibal told him.
"That's deep. You should write a book about that. I can see it now. 'Free Your Inner Killer- Achieve Mental Health Through Meditation and Murder'. Sounds like a best seller. You could call Freddie Lounds to help you write it." Will mocked.
"Fear makes you rude, Will." Hannibal's eyes narrowed.
"And we all know what you do with the rude, don't we, Doctor Lecter?" Will smiled, the expression broken with truth and pain mixed in equal parts. "How many people have I eaten? How many have you fed me?"
"A few." Hannibal answered but not really. "I am selective. Most do not make the cut."
"I have a gun. Pointed at your head. Please refrain from making the cannibal puns. I'm well aware of how clever you are." Will all but rolled his eyes.
"Will you shoot me?" Hannibal mused, confidently stepping toward Will. The profiler's answer was brief and too abrupt for the small confines of his house, almost deafening. The dogs barked and howled until their master shushed them with a command.
"I'm impressed. Most people scream when they've been shot." Will sounded amused as he looked on at Hannibal who had fallen back on his ass, the doctor applying pressure to his lower right calf as blood dripped out between his fingers from the rupture.
"It is only a flesh wound. You have made your point and ruined these pants." Hannibal said quietly as he assessed the damage to his self and suit in a calm organized manner.
"Don't push me, Doctor Lecter. I told you that we are done playing games. I am not your pawn anymore." Will seethed through clenched teeth, more mad at himself than at Hannibal. He hadn't wanted to do that.
"Just Jack's then." Hannibal smirked, knowing where to wound with his words when his knife wasn't available to him.
"Don't psychoanalyze me. You're still here and breathing, so the answer to that is obviously 'no'." Will sighed, his manner growing weary.
"So the pawn has made himself a king?" Hannibal asked to receive a sour look from Will.
"I hate chess and metaphors for that matter, but if we follow the line of yours, I've taken both of us off the board for now." Will murmured thoughtfully.
"You have won. That is well within your power to do so." Hannibal conceded, dropping his head in a mock bow.
"I've won? Funny, I thought victory would taste sweeter than this. It's bittersweet like poisoned honey rotting out my mouth. What exactly have I won? Betrayal? Insanity? Abandonment? Yes, I should savor this triumph of mine." Will spat out the words like they were indeed toxic.
"Abandonment has to have expectations. What were yours?" Hannibal asked curiously, remembering past conversations upon the matter.
"Not expectations per say. Hopes, perhaps? A childish wish, I realize now belated." Will shook his head.
"We have time. I am in no danger of bleeding out." Hannibal said, crossing his wounded leg over the other to slightly elevate it.
"I'm sorry I ruined your pants. How's the leg?" Will asked because that was who he was. He knew that Hannibal would be annoyed about it, could empathize.
"Sore but manageable." was Hannibal's subtle way of saying 'I could still easily kill you given half a chance.'.
"Did getting stabbed hurt more?" Will wondered. That leg had gotten a lot of damage lately.
"Yes and no." Hannibal shrugged.
"Who is doing either."
"You really do like me." Will said in surprise.
"I never said I did not." Hannibal smiled up at Will who noticed that the doctor never smiled wide. Hannibal's smiles were tight lipped expressions, the doctor always in control of their extent. Will suddenly had the wild urge to see the man grin and show off his teeth.
"Actions speak louder than words." Will pointed out, getting back to the unfinished business at hand.
"But are more easily misinterpreted." Hannibal sparred back.
"Touché. I can see how being framed for a series of murders can be taken the wrong way. My fault entirely. You meant the good kind of murder." Will put his hand over his heart in feigned morose. "My deepest apologies for the misunderstanding."
"I would not have bothered for anyone else except for you." Hannibal sighed, wishing that Will would let himself see the bigger picture. This exchange between them was becoming a tired, stagnant thing.
"Why am I so special?" Will asked to receive an unimpressed look from Hannibal, one that told him to figure it out already. It was a risk on his part but one Will took, a thought occurring to him. Keeping his gun trained on Hannibal, Will closed his eyes and let the pendulum swing as he looked back and even further still beyond that.
Will opened his eyes to find Hannibal still on the floor, studying him intently. "Oh my god. This is how you show your love. You've been…..courting me?"
"Obviously." Hannibal nodded.
"It can't work." Will noticed his wording, quick to correct it. "I mean it won't work out between us. I don't trust you, at least not anymore. How do I know you won't kill me as soon as I put away the gun?"
"I won't. I did not when given the chance before." Hannibal pointed out.
"Just as simple as that?" Will laughed, the noise of it strained and stressed through and through. " So easy, peasy, lemon squeezey?"
"Yes, you have my word." Hannibal promised and was surprised to find that he actually meant it.
"The word of a sadistic cannibal serial killer." Will laughed out a choked out sound of disbelief.
"It doesn't mean I'm not honest." Hannibal said.
"As honest as anyone."
"Not really." Will said sadly. "You want more than anything to be free and I know too much now."
"You want to be free as well. I could help you with that." Hannibal offered.
Will laughed until it became a ruined bitter noise. "Yeah, permanently."
Hannibal woke up feeling stiff having spent the majority of his unconsciousness sitting upright in the chair he was cellophaned to. Will had made him handcuff himself to one of his kitchen chairs. The doctor had done so willingly without complaint, knowing that he could pick the locks later on. Will had known that as well though, one upping Hannibal with rolls of cellophane and duct tape, cocooning the psychopath in layers of silver and crystal clear plastic before pistol whipping him.
"Hello Doctor Lecter." Will was sitting across from him, sipping a cup of coffee. He looked freshly showered and ready for bed in his outfit of boxer briefs and white tshirt despite it being mid morning.
"Hello Will" Hannibal nodded in greeting, shifting to test his bonds. His head ached from where Will had struck him with the butt of the gun but it didn't feel like the skin had been broken, only bruised. He had to admit that Will had been quite thorough. Not that he could blame him. Hannibal would have lost respect for the profiler if the man didn't show some common sense. "Do you plan on keeping me here forever?"
"No. Just leveling the playing field. Would you like something to eat?" Will smiled, the expression worn odd on his face. Instead of strained or faked, it looked soft and natural, the profiler relaxed for once. It took a second, which Hannibal forgave himself for due to head injury and blood loss, but he soon realized that they were not alone. Jack stared at Hannibal from across the table, a look of surprise and anger captured on his face. Hannibal thought it was a good look for the arrogant man.
"I was looking forward to that." Hannibal said, though he had to admit he liked the touch of Will serving Jack's head on a silver platter.
"I saved you the trouble." Will shrugged, glancing over at his handiwork.
"Reckless. Displaying your kill here." Hannibal pointed out as he studied the cuts on Jack's neck which were surprisingly neat. He wished he had been there to see it the decapitation and the look on Will's face while he worked.
"No. Not really. I think about killing people for a living. They'll never be able to find him by the time I'm done." Will pointed out calmly. "Even if they suspect, which they won't, they can't convict without a body or hard proof."
"You have thought this through then." Hannibal tried to remain calm as an excitement he hadn't felt for anything in a long time grow within in him, threatening to bubble up and over the edges of his person suit.
"I've decided that I don't want to be friends. I don't think that will work for us." Will said slowly. He approached Hannibal with an open blade in hand. All the doctor could do was shiver though fear was a foreign concept. Desire and anticipation was what gnawed at his control, made him breath heavy and lick his lips. The metal only parted the layers of plastic that confined Hannibal though, his silvery cage falling away. He was still handcuffed but he knew those would be off soon enough by Will's own hands.
"I'm going to kiss you now." Will told him, easing himself into Hannibal's lap, being mindful of the doctor's injured leg as Will's hands reached up to cup Hannibal's face, holding it still.
"I would be upset if you did not." Hannibal mouthed into the lips that barely grazed his own, sounding like the dry rustle of silk in their passing. Will leaned in fearlessly to take what he wanted from Hannibal's flesh, their lips pressing together sharply enough to cut and bruise from the greed and need of it. The flavor of their joining was sharp and metallic as new pennies, lushly wet with mingled blood.
As they parted gasping for some much needed air, Hannibal knew that he would never be alone again.