"I didn't know you wore glasses, Will." Hannibal notes, his gaze fixed on the spectacles perched upon the guard's nose. Will readjusts his glasses, pushing them higher onto his face. He loves his glasses, loves the security they bring him when he talks to others. However, he always wore contacts when working as an officer and now as a guard. Glasses were just too fragile, and if he got into a fight they could have gotten into his eyes, blinding him or leaving him to fight an assailant with blurry vision. Now, with Hannibal's protection he felt it was safe enough to go around wearing them. Plus, he is still suffering from a ruptured blood vessel, and working nights with contacts proved to be a bad idea.
The first night had started off well. After it was established Will was going to accept Hannibal's protection the two fell into easy conversation. It helped pass the first few hours. However, as the night wore on Will became drowsier and drowsier. He accidentally rubbed his bad eye, hissing as the contact rubbed against his raw nerves.
"What's wrong?" Hannibal had asked. Will waved him off, saying it was nothing. He briefly turned away to blink rapidly, trying to soothe the eye without doing any further damage. If Hannibal had noticed his eye was more glassy than before he didn't mention it.
Now Hannibal looks at his face in interest, motioning Will to come closer. He does, but not too close. They may have an agreement now, but Will still doesn't feel comfortable getting too close. Hannibal continued to look before he chuckled.
"What?" Will asks, immediately readjusting his glasses. Hannibal waves his hand.
"Nothing, it's just that now you are going to have a harder time with inmates calling you Pup if you wear those."
Will's face stubbornly lights up and he continues to play with his glasses. "You know you could maybe get word out so they can stop doing that."
"Oh no," Hannibal grins. "Why would I do that? It is such a fitting name, William. If they must call you something other than your title, then I would rather it be Pup than something else."
Hannibal continues to smile while Will's face refuses to cool down.
It is only midnight, Will thinks, I can last.
He stands near the door, his head starting to feel heavy. A nine hour shift is too much, even if he is allowed a break. Every three hours he is permitted to leave the red zone for fifteen minutes to go to the restroom, and to get a snack and water. He had just come back from his break and did a quick round. Hannibal was waiting for him, but they didn't talk for long. With the lights out most of the other inmates were sleeping, and while talking with Hannibal distracted him from his drowsy state, he didn't want to disturb the others. So after a quick hello he went back to his post, but was soon regretting it.
Holding back a yawn, Will sways before putting his full weight against the wall. Maybe if he just closes his eyes for a moment. With the inmates sleeping and there being no chances of Lecter escaping from his cell, Will allows himself to shut his eyes.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
"Officer Graham?" a voice calls out.
Will groans, but doesn't react. The tapping continues, louder this time.
"Officer Graham, are you alright?" the voice asks.
Another voice pipes up, "He's just sleeping, doc, but he won't wake up."
Will suddenly becomes aware of his surroundings and jolts upward. He is no longer standing, instead he is slumped against the floor. Will doesn't even remember falling asleep, let alone sitting on the floor. Will tries to get a handle of his situation before a horrid thought comes over him.
Oh no. Did I sleep walk?
Will jumps to his feet, groaning again as his vision momentarily blackens.
"Are you alright, Officer Graham?" one of the inmates asks, one Will remembers always ignoring him. Will nods, trying to regain his sight.
"Well, you better get down to the Doctor's cell. He's been calling."
Will nods, but doesn't move. Quietly, so Hannibal doesn't hear even though he's cells down, Will asks, "Did I do anything in my sleep?"
Will cannot make out the inmate in the darkness, but the man laughs.
"Best you ask the Doctor, Officer Graham."
That is a yes if he had ever heard one. Rubbing his face and trying not to fret, Will walks to Lecter's cell.
The man is standing next to the glass when he arrives, but Will cannot see him clearly. Instead he sees his own reflection, and just about groans again. His hair is a mess, and there are red lines against his face from where it was pressed against his arm. His clothes, thank God, are still intact and not rumpled. Despite the angle he must have been sleeping at, his shoulder didn't hurt one bit, which also meant he didn't try to scratch it in his sleep. Will runs his hand through his hair, and Hannibal chuckles.
"I never would have thought you were prone to sleep walking, William." He says, and Will catches a glint of his maroon eyes.
"I-yes, I do sleep walk, but I haven't done it in a long time." he states, still trying to fix his hair. While it is not a lie, he still feels uncomfortable at the intensity Hannibal is watching him.
"Do you know why?" Hannibal asks.
Will shrugs. "I used to sleep walk a lot as a kid. Gave my parents a fright more than I'd like to admit." he snorts, looking down at the floor. "Now? Now I think it's because of stress."
"Why are you stressed, Will?" Hannibal asks, and Will can hear the hint of curiosity and small traces of worry. "Has someone been bothering you?"
Will nearly rolls his eyes. "I work in a prison, Hannibal, of course I'm stressed."
He can barely make out the frown marring the doctor's features, and he add, "But I'm sure it'll lift in a few days. The only stress factor in my life now is Chilton."
Hannibal didn't respond. Will makes one last attempt at fixing his hair before giving a small wave.
"If there is nothing else, I'll be returning to my-"
"Are you still tired?" Hannibal interrupts, and Will pauses.
"Um, yes, but I can stay awake for-"
"If you are tired you should take a nap," Hannibal interjects one more time. "However, I would be pleased if you did so here where I can keep an eye on you."
Will opened his mouth to object, but a yawn escapes instead, and he can just make out the outlines of a smile in the darkness.
"Thank-you, Hannibal, but I'll be fine for the rest of the night."
Besides, he thinks, I wouldn't be able to sleep with you watching anyway.
"Very well," Hannibal relents. "But if I see you sleep walking again, I'll have to insist on you staying here."
Will laughs nervously, before returning to his post.
He manages to stay awake the entire night.
"Do you own any pets, Will?" Hannibal asks as Will walks by.
"You've asked me that before." Will replies.
"I never received an answer." Hannibal counters.
Will falls silent, remembering he was giving the cannibal the silent treatment when he asked the first time. He nearly apologizes, remembering he did nothing wrong.
"I don't," Will admits after a time, eyes wandering down the hall. "With my job and my current home it wouldn't work out for me to have an animal in my life, whether it be a cat or fish."
"But if you were to own a pet," Hannibal pushes. "What would you pick?"
"A dog," Will answers immediately. "I would get a dog. Maybe a couple dogs." Will smiles wistfully. "I would get some land in the country where they could roam, maybe somewhere by the ocean. Probably down south."
Will is brought out of his thoughts from Hannibal's light laughter, and he turns to see the man is watching him with an amused expression.
"Nothing, nothing." Hannibal assures, but the smile is still on his face. Will glares, but it just makes the maroon-eyed man smile more. "It's just there will be no escaping from your nickname now, Pup." Hannibal adds for good measure, and Will can't resist rubbing his face in frustration. When he finds out who gave him that name he swears...
"Yeah, well they all better enjoy it while they can, because I'm leaving as soon as my shoulder is better and when my superiors say I can leave."
Hannibal's face twitches, and Will's been around the man to know he's displeased. "I can't convince you to stay here?" the cannibal asks. "The prison guard must pay more than a measly cop's salary."
Will tries to push away the strange feeling in his stomach at Lecter's words, wondering at the underlying meaning behind them. Instead, he answers with: "No, you can't. I think I'm done with working with criminals. They only seem to bring me trouble." Will begins to rub his shoulder as he talks. While the wound isn't acting up, it still is a reminder of his failure to pay attention to his surroundings. Hannibal shoots him a disapproving look, and Will drops his hand immediately.
"Why did you become a cop in the first place?"
"...I wanted to help people," Will answers honestly, daring to look Hannibal straight in the eyes. It lasts longer than usual with his glasses acting as a barrier, but he still averts his gaze after a few blinks. "But all I seem to do is mess things up."
Hannibal frowns and shakes his head. "You must be good at your job if your superiors are unwilling to let you go," he argues, calmly pacing his cell. Will gives a shrug, not wanting to argue. It's only seven-thirty, and the lights are going to be turned off in another half hour. He slept well before he came to the prison, but Will can feel a mist of drowsiness beginning to fall over him. He stifles a yawn, and Hannibal's keen eyes catches it.
"Did you not sleep well, Will?"
Will shakes his head. "No, I slept fine. I don't know what it is, but every time I come here I feel... sleepy." Will's voice cracks as he tries to hold back another yawn. Hannibal gives him a fond look before pointing at the wall behind the officer.
"Please, rest. I'll wake you if you begin to sleepwalk."
Will's tempted, he really is, but he shakes his head.
"Maybe some other time," he declines, and begins to walk back to his post. "You should to get to bed early. It isn't healthy to stay up so late."
Ever since Will started the night shift, Hannibal stayed awake up until Will left for home, bidding the officer a good night with pleasant dreams. Will tried to get the other to sleep, not wanting to make the other stay up on his behalf, but Hannibal was amused by his intentions.
"I'll be fine, William." Hannibal responds with a playful smile. "However, I grow more and more concerned for your health with these new arrangements. Tell me, are you scheduled for a day off any time soon?"
"Well, I used to have Sundays off, but now with the new shift I don't know. Chilton didn't have it written down." Will's brows furrow. "Why?"
"Have you ever tried dabbing your pillow with lavender oil?" Hannibal ignores Will's question, asking his own instead. Will merely blinks at Hannibal, prompting the other man to continue. "Lavender has qualities in it that helps soothe and calm. When dealing with patients with high anxiety, I would spray lavender in the room before their appointment, so when they arrived they would be relaxed for our sessions." Hannibal moves to sit at his desk, an indicator Will quickly learned the second night meant he was done with the conversation. "You should try it the next time you go to sleep."
"Right," Will yawns. "I'll try and remember to grab some lavender extract next time I'm at the store."
As Will walks back to his post, he can hear Hannibal's voice softly carrying toward him. "And remember to ask Chilton when you get your next day off. I worry about your health, dear Will."
Will arrives at the prison earlier than he anticipated and decides to see if Jack is free. However, he cannot find the older guard, and the others do not know where he is either. Puzzled, Will tries to put it aside as he leaves the locker rooms, but a voice calls to him. Turning, Will watches as Chilton draws near him, and he tries to keep from frowning.
"Officer Graham. Just the person I was hoping to catch. Do you have a minute?"
"A few." Will confirms, but he wishes he had lied to avoid talking to the Warden. Chilton smiles and motions for Will to follow him to his office. Will hopes the man isn't going to give him more shifts; he already had enough on his plate. The red zone wasn't difficult since he decided to be "friends" with Dr. Lecter, but they were long and tiring. If only they could be cut, or perhaps let him have a half hour break to take a nap. Will doubted he would be in much luck as the Warden sat at his desk, Will sitting across from him.
"How's the shoulder, Will?" Chilton asks.
Will nearly narrows his eyes at the use of his first name. He doesn't like Chilton using it as if they are friends. Only Dr. Lecter is allowed that privilege. Will nearly slaps himself as that thought runs though his mind. Hannibal – Dr. Lecter – is only a means to pass the time and gain a sense of protection for the duration of his stay as a guard. He will never see the man again once he gets the okay to leave.
But that didn't stop his heart to speed up every time the criminal uses his first name, drawing him into conversation or to gain his attention. Will wonders briefly what Hannibal would do if the pane of glass didn't separate them. Would he try to eat him? Bite his face off as he did with the nurse? Or perhaps his bites would render his neck raw, further marking him as property of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the true ruler of the prison.
Will runs his hands over his face, quickly stalling the thought process and giving Chilton his full attention. "Fine. It's fine. Is there something I can help you with, Warden?"
"There is," The Warden begins with a sigh. "Jack Crawford is on leave for a few days. Apparently his wife isn't doing well."
Will's heart pangs in sympathy, but quickly notes the indifferent, near callous way Chilton delivers the information. He bites any words that might slip through in order to hear the rest of the Warden's sentence. "I'm changing your shift again-" Will makes a face, which Chilton ignores. "And you will be back to working both the low levels and the red zone."
"I can't work that many hours, Warden. I nearly fell asleep a few day-"
"I believe you did fall asleep," Chilton corrects, and Will's face pales. "Have it all on camera. I never would have taken you for a sleep walker, Graham."
Will stubbornly stares down at his lap, face pulled into a scowl. Chilton continues. "Since you are doing well, and since it seems the prisoners are scared of you now," Will's head snaps up at that, but he is ignored. "There should be no problem with you working a double shift."
Will opened his mouth to object, but closes it with a snap when at Chilton's look. The two stare at one another before Will relents and looks back down.
"When do I start?"
"On Wednesday," Chilton stands and grabs a file. "I'm letting you have the next two days off until then to catch up on sleep. I don't want another incident like a few days ago."
"I thought we were understaffed?" Will manages to ask, and Chilton waves him off.
"Since things have died down most of the guards have come back. Don't worry about it." Chilton glances up at the clock, before returning to the file in his hand. "Your shift is about to start. Don't want to keep Dr. Lecter waiting."
Will glares at the Warden before standing.
"Have a good night, Officer Graham." Chilton calls after him.
"Good night, Warden."
Hannibal's face is blank when Will tells him of his schedule change, but Will knows better. The older man's eyes seem to flash against the harsh lighting, momentarily giving them a murderous glint. Will is thankful―not for the first time―whatever Hannibal is thinking about is not directed at him. He waits until the doctor has his thoughts gathered, knowing he has something to say on the matter. After a moment, Hannibal sighs and shakes his head.
"It can't be helped, it seems." He laments, turning away. Will thinks for a moment Hannibal is going to sit at his desk, but instead the man sits at the edge of his bed.
This is new, Will thinks as the cannibal steeples his fingers and places them under his chin. His expression still blank, Hannibal asks, "Did you by any chance remember to ask Chilton when you get a day off? Did you also take my advice about the lavender?"
"Yes, but I think I over did it," Will's nose wrinkles at the memory when he first dabbled the extract on his pillow. At first he didn't smell anything, but then the smell hit him all at once, making it nearly impossible to get any sleep. After a few minutes though his nose adjusted and he was able to nod off almost immediately. "Next time I'll use a lesser dosage."
Hannibal's blank mask breaks into a smile, the corners of his eyes crinkling in delight.
"I should have warned you, but I'm glad you slept well. Now, about Chilton?"
Will blinks. "Oh. Yes. He said I get the next two days off; I come back on Wednesday." Will pauses. Something seems... Strange. It comes to Will's attention Hannibal has been almost adamant about knowing when Will gets a day off. It's very suspicious. Narrowing his eyes, Will tilts his head and examines Hannibal. The man, while it didn't show, is anxious, calculating.
He meets Hannibal's gaze and does not look away. It seems to startle the other man, his mask slipping back on. "What is it, Will?"
Will ignores the way his body reacts to being called by his first name and swallows. "Nothing. Nothing at all. Why do you want to know when I have a day off?"
"I told you, Will. I'm concerned for your health. Even though you say you feel well, I can tell standing for hours is not doing you any favors. If I recall, you injured your leg during your brush with Emerson."
"It was just bruised," Will argues, folding his arms over his chest. "Your concern for my health is almost to an extreme."
Hannibal looks offended and quickly stands, nearly making Will jump. Hannibal walks as close to the glass as he can, and Will wonders if he might place his hands on it, but the doctor keeps them at his side.
"Need I remind you, William, that you are under my protection. I take care of what's mine, whether they like it or not." Hannibal narrows his eyes, but there isn't any malice behind the look. "If I had my way, Will, I would take hold of you, drag you to bed, and tie you there until I deemed you well enough to leave." Lecter's voice is a dangerous growl, and Will's body reacts accordingly. He swallows and tries to drop his gaze, but Hannibal's sharp disapproval makes him look back up. "Once I have you secured to the bed, I can check over your injuries. Starting with your shoulder." Hannibal points, and Will restrains himself from bringing a hand up to grasp the shoulder, shielding it from Lecter's scrutiny. "You say its fine, that its improving, but I catch you rubbing and scratching it. After I ensure your shoulder is truly fine, I'll give you a body examination. I have a feeling you aren't telling me the truth about the injuries you received at the hands of Emerson. And after that,"
Hannibal takes in Will's flushed appearance, and Will tries once again to look away. When he finds he cannot under his own violation, and Hannibal smiles knowingly he knows he's done in.
"After that I'll hold you. Not tightly, of course, since you'll be tied to the bed. I'll hold you close and keep an eye on you. You might not be able to fall asleep right away, therefore I'll help soothe you and you'll have no choice in the matter. In this arrangement you won't be able to sleep walk, which will benefit both of us. I'll admit, you gave me a scare a couple days ago."
If Will didn't feel flustered he would have felt guilty for making Hannibal worry. He shuffles uncomfortably, wishing desperately to be able to look away. Hannibal continues to smile before turning away, breaking the spell. Will immediately looks down and brings his hand to his face and neck. The skin is hot. He clears his throat, trying to connect his brain with this mouth.
"Well. Th-thanks for the concern," Will manages to get out, watching as Hannibal's smile grows. "I'll make sure to get plenty of sleep. Shouldn't be a problem." Will starts to head back to his post, wishing he had this conversation closer to the end of his shift instead at the start. Now it will be awkward each time he comes to check on the inmates.
"See to it that you do," Hannibal cautions, sitting back down on his bed and pulling out a book. It was recently granted to him, but he refused to say what it was. Every time Will tries to catch a glimpse of the title Hannibal would put it away. "I expect the bags under your eyes to be lifted."
"I don't have bags." Will argues, but Hannibal is already reading and turning out his outburst. Will huffs and storms away. As he stands at his post, he catches the eye of the inmate in the first cell smiling at him.
The inmate shakes his head. "Nuthin'," he says, but soon chuckles. "Better be careful if he ever gets out, Pup. He'll never let you go."
Will's face flames up and he fixes his gaze down the hall.
As three o' clock draws near, Hannibal's earlier anxious behavior returns. He constantly asks Will questions and offers him suggestions for what he should do during his days off. They range from fishing (Hannibal remembered Will mentioning he enjoyed fishing when he got the time) to reading a good book. However, he was adamant that Will got plenty of sleep. He worried so dearly about his health.
Will tries to put it past him, but he can't shake the strange feeling. It is similar to when he faced against Emerson and talked with Verger. Something is off, but Lecter is so cool about it. As anxious as he seems, he is collected and smooth. Whenever the anxious behavior pops up or is exposed, Hannibal jumps subjects or asks Will a question, effectively distracting the officer from becoming curious.
Fifteen minutes before his shift ends, Will asks, "are you sure you're okay?" Will looks him over and frowns. "Have you been getting enough sleep?"
Hannibal laughs and ducks his head slightly. The action throws Will off. It was unexpected; it made Hannibal seem more... Human.
"I'll admit since you've been here I have gotten less than I usually get, but I assure you I am not suffering. Talking with you is better than sleeping."
"I doubt that" Will mutters, earning a playful scowl from Hannibal.
"I'm not lying." Hannibal says.
"Yeah, yeah." Will mutters, looking at his watch. He has four minutes left.
Will looks up and is captured in Hannibal's gaze.
"Take care of yourself. I will be disappointed if you come back on Wednesday exhausted."
"I work a double shift, Hannibal. I'm going to be exhausted anyway." Will reminds him.
"Promise me, William."
Will sighs and rolls his eyes. "Fine. But," he points an accusing finger at the other man. "If I have to rest so do you."
Hannibal blinks before laughing. "My dear Will. As flattered as I am at your concern, all I do in my "home" is rest. I fear I'm not up to my usual standards and strength, for they refuse to let me work out, you know. Just the occasional walk in the court yard."
Will knew part of that is a lie, for he has caught Lecter doing pushups and curls in his cell, but he knows the man is referring to the weights that are kept under heavy watch. Not that he needed them. He managed to retain his his lean figure, and Will didn't doubt the man could still do some serious damage given the chance.
"Have a good night, Dr. Lecter." Will bids him.
"Will, we've talked about this," Hannibal gently scolds. "Please call me by my first name."
"Fine. Have a good night, Hannibal."
Hannibal smiles and nods his head. "Have a good night, Will. Pleasant dreams."
The door opens, permitting the new guard to enter and allowing Will to leave.
"Hey, Officer Graham," the guard greets, but his tone suggests he's only doing it to be civil. That, and Hannibal is most likely listening. "Anything eventful happen tonight?"
Will's reminded of Hannibal's strange behavior, and opens his mouth to make a comment on it, but he pauses. For some reasons, while it was noticeable and different, there wasn't any reason to report it. Hannibal was his usual self, and he did mention he hadn't been sleeping regularly. He could have told Will it was nothing so he didn't worry.
At the last minute, Will responds with "nope, nothing to worry about."
As he leaves, his stomach churns and he can't help but wonder if he did the right thing.
As soon as Will gets home he crashes on his bed and doesn't get up until noon. After that, he simply stays in bed, listening to music and looking through boating magazines he occasionally picks up at the store. It feels strange, not having to go to work today or tomorrow, and Will knows this break will throw him off. It'll be harder to drag himself to work on Wednesday, but for now he relishes in the sun, taking Hannibal's advice and falling back to sleep only after a couple of hours. When he finally gets up, he makes some food and turns on the tv, catching an episode of some cop series. There's too many for him to keep track of.
The time is creeping toward six o' clock when his phone rings. Will chooses to ignore it. It's probably just a telemarketer or electronic message telling him how he could win money. The phone stops, but soon starts up again. Will finally looks up from where he's making dinner, frowning. Who would be calling him? It can't be work; he had the day off. Then again, Chilton is a fickle man and constantly changing his mind on matters. Hoping it isn't the prison, Will reluctantly picks up.
"Officer Graham?" Will nearly groans. It's Chilton.
"Can I help you, Warden?" Will tries to stay pleasant, turning down the burner so his meal won't be ruined.
"I know I said you could get the day off today and tomorrow, but some things have come up."
"Some things." Will repeats, a slight growl to his voice.
"Yes. Today a small fight broke out in the cafeteria, and a few of the guards were injured, Mr. Matthews included."
Will jerks. "Is Barney okay?"
"He's fine, but his stitches were reopened and he was sent to the hospital. He won't be able to return until Wednesday. Everything is under control now, but I need you to come in as soon as possible to take up some of the shifts."
"This cannot be adjusted, Officer Graham." Chilton interrupts. "I need you to be here. Even with your injury, you are the most qualified guard. Plus, no one would dare cause a fuss with you there."
Will is silent. The Warden has a point. With Hannibal's protection none of the other inmates wouldn't chance hurting him. With a regretful sigh, Will agrees.
"I'll be there as soon as I can."
Hanging up and putting his unfinished meal in the fridge, Will goes to get his uniform. As he steps out the door, Will forgets to grab his pain medication.
As soon as he arrives, Will knows something is wrong. The other guards are on alert and anxious. He catches Lounds' eye and the other man motions him over.
"What's going on?" Will asks, but Lounds and a few who were listening just shake their heads.
"We don't know. The cafeteria was put under lockdown a few hours ago, but nothing's changed. They took some of the guards to the hospital, but we haven't heard anything since."
"The Warden hasn't told us anything." One of the younger guards says, and Will can see he's clearly shaking. "There's been word of a break out, but otherwise..."
"Any ideas of who's broken out?" Will inquires, but every one shakes their heads.
Will stands with the guards before seeking out the Warden. Chilton is talking with a few older guards, barking out orders.
"So you call this under control? I'd hate to see when Hell breaks loose." Will mutters, and Chilton sighs.
"It is," He says sternly, but Will can tell the man is worried.
"There's talk of a break out," Will pushes. "Who started the fight?"
Chilton's face screws into a sneer, but he refuses to say.
"Are there still inmates in the cafeteria?" Will asks instead.
"...Yes, there are." the Warden finally relents. "One of the gangs decided today was the perfect day to start a war. We've locked them in the cafeteria for now. They haven't tried to get out, yet, but tensions are rising. I need someone to go in there and try and defuse the situation."
Will gives Chilton an incredulous look. "You better not be implying what I think you are, Warden." Chilton is silent, and Will begins to laugh. "Are you serious? I'm injured, Chilton. I can't use my right arm. What's stopping these inmates from killing me? Dr. Lecter?" Will scoffs, hysteria bubbling up. "The man is locked away three floors up. By the time he can do anything I'll be cooling in the morgue."
"You are all I have to keep this from exploding." Chilton finally says, but Will shakes his head.
"This is beyond me, Warden. You need to call someone higher to handle the situation, not some broken guard who happened to catch the eye of the most powerful criminal in this abominable place."
Chilton opens his mouth to argue, but there is a sudden shout.
"One of them's escaped," one of the guards shouts, and boots thunder down the hall. Will rushes to the scene, but instead is greeted by a group of guards trying to break down a door. The door has no markings or indications that it is important, but the guards are freaking out in their attempts to open it.
"What's in that room?" Will asks, fear starting to trickle into his being.
"The control panel for the entire God damn prison," one of the guards grunts as he tries to open the door. Will whirls on Chilton, who had followed him.
"You keep a control panel for the prison here?"
"It's not so much as a control panel," another guard pipes up. "It's where the two breakers are located. If one is out, then it's no problem. But if they are both out..."
"Each level is closed off with electronic doors. If the breakers go out then they will be open." Lounds finishes.
"But the cells themselves are locked manually," Will argues. "They need a key to unlock them." He casts a worried look around him, "Right?"
"Right, but the master key is missing."
Will pales. "Which means..."
"The inmates might be loose in their sections." Chilton moves away from the group, flipping open his cellphone. At that moment, the lights go out.
The guards stop, and everyone falls silent. In the distance, Will can hear hundreds of doors sliding open.
"We need to get out of here." one of the guards shout. "We'll all be dead within minutes."
The panic which had been bubbling spills over the instant the guard spoke. Anyone who is in the area scrabbles, scattering in different directions. Most, however, manage to run in the direction of the entrance. In the commotion Will is bumped from behind and loses his balance, causing him to fall on his injured shoulder.
"Graham!" one of the guards grabs his good arm, trying to haul him to his feet, but Lounds stops him.
"Leave him behind! We don't have time."
"I said leave him. He's their bitch, remember?"
Will tries to stand, but his vision blurs do to the pain, and he is left alone to struggle on the floor. He doesn't know how much time has passed, but other pairs of feet run past him. Even in the dark Will can see they are inmates. They disappear around the corridor as well, but they reappear after a short while.
"Damn, they managed to lock the doors." One of the inmates complains, his hand going to a walkie-talkie on his hip. "Any luck with the other doors?"
Will can't hear the reply, but the inmate's reaction tells him it is a negative one. The inmate groans, but stops once he sets his sight on Will.
"Well, well. Looks like we caught ourselves a guard," He says, and he grabs Will by his free arm and yanks him up. Another pair of hands grab him, jostling his injured shoulder, and Will cries out.
"Wait, hold up," says the other inmate, and Will can feel him running his hand over his right arm, coming in contact with the sling. He gasps. "Oh shit, oh shit! It's Officer Graham!"
"What?" the other inmate pauses in dragging Will and another hand is placed on his sling. Will whimpers in pain. "Oh shit."
"What's he doing here? He's not supposed to be here"
"Shut up I know." The other inmate growls. They stand in the dark, the inmates muttering to one another. Will tries to keep up, but his shoulder throbs rhythmically with his heartbeat. He groans again, feeling a headache fall upon him.
"We stick to the plan," the first inmate says, and this time when he pulls Will it is with caution. The other inmate wraps an arm around Will's waist to avoid touching his right arm.
"But we can't get out." The other inmate protests.
"We stick to the plan." repeats the first inmate. "And take Pup to the cafeteria."
The lights were out in the cafeteria too, but some of the inmates had gotten a hold of flashlights. When the three entered, the lights were positioned on them. A few laugh and cheer as they see the inmates bring their prisoner, but soon stop when they catch sight of the guard's face. Will hears hushed whispers spread through the cafeteria, but his name is the only thing he can hear. He is placed in a chair, but no one ties him up. They all back away, looking to one another. Will brings his hand to his face, brushing his hair away from his forehead. The cooling system must have also been attached to the breakers, for Will's sweating. The inmates are also sweating, it seems.
"Could I get some water?" Will asks in a hushed tone, half hoping no one heard him. In minutes the inmate with a tattoo on his face is holding out a plastic cup, and Will thanks him.
"What are wes gonna do?" the tattooed inmate ask, and another shakes his head.
"I don't know."
Suddenly, the cafeteria doors slam open and all the flashlights are trained on the newcomer. He's an inmate Will's never seen before.
"What's going on here?" The inmate asks, and his dark gaze is trained on Will.
"There must be another breaker that controls the outside doors," an inmate says. "Otherwise there was an emergency code set to lock all the doors if both of the breakers break after a little while."
"Anyone know if anyone got out?" someone asks.
"Yeah, some of the guys up on the first and second floor got out, but the doors locked a few minutes after.
"Well, somebody better go look into it." The new inmate snaps, and a couple inmates flee from the cafeteria. The man walks closer to Will, and Will does his best not to flinch. "Why does this guard have a cup?" Before Will can open his mouth, the cup of water is slapped from his hands. The man then grabs Will and throws him out of his chair. In the fall, Will's glasses fly off into the darkness.
"Budge, don't." An inmate shouts, fear evident in his voice. "That's Pup."
"Who?" Budge, Tobias Budge Will puts together, asks. Will tries to curl away, but Budge grips him firmly by the hair.
"Pup," the inmate motions to Will. "Officer Graham. he's protected."
"Oh yeah? By who?"
"Dr. Lecter," is the frightened reply.
"That bag of bones is still alive?" Budge asks with a cruel laugh. "I thought they sent him to the chair weeks ago."
"Stuff's happened since yous been in solitary." The tattooed inmate says, but Budge scoffs. "You weren't here the last time something happened to his favorite. Let Pup go."
Budge does the opposite, digging his fingers deeper into Will's scalp. "I don't care whose pet this is. He should be with the others."
"Others?" Will whispers, earning him a hard punch.
"Quiet! My group caught a bunch of them trying to escape down the fire escape. It appears they were trapped in here like us. The Tooth Fairy is keeping an eye on them. What do you say, boys." Will watches Budge takes something out of his pocket, but he cannot see clearly. "Maybe we should send them a souvenir."
Something sharp is thrust against his neck, pain blossoming as blood runs down onto the floor.
The other inmates begin to freak, shouting for Budge to stop, but he ignores them. Will waits for the blade to sink deeper into his neck, but someone is rushing up beside them, knocking Budge away. Will is left dazed in the dark as the inmate with the tattoo and Budge fight, trying to calm his breathing. He hurries to put a hand to the wound, probing to see how deep the damage is. The gash doesn't feel deep, but he has to stop the bleeding. He sits up to bring the wound above his heart. He manages to stand, only to be manhandled back to the floor. Budge is back over him, but his knife is missing. Gritting his teeth Will tries to fight back, but Budge slams his fist into his shoulder, and Will screams.
Suddenly, Budge is gone, and Will is pulled to his feet. The pain is so severe Will's knees buckle under his weight, but the body holding him is strong and firm. Will can feel the muscles working under the blue garb as he is picked up in a bridal carry. He whimpers, but falls silent as he is carried away. Without thinking, he buries his face into the man's shoulder, trying to ignore the pain running through his body. Budge yells something, but Will cannot hear it over the commotion of the other inmates. He catches someone say "Just let him take him", but after that everything is garbled, loud noise until the cafeteria doors close behind them. Now, Will can only hear his loud, erratic breathing, and when he tries to stop it a sob comes out instead.
"Shh, William, shh." the man soothes, and Will nearly jumps out of his arms when he hears his voice. He wouldn't have been able to misplace it in the world.
"H-hannibal." Will whimpers, squirming in his hold. Hannibal gently squeezes Will, making him gasp in discomfort and stop his ministrations. "Put me down."
"No." Hannibal says, continuing on his way. Will tries to see where they are, but with the lights out, his glasses gone, and the pain he cannot concentrate. He gives one last attempt to move out of Hannibal's hold, but the older man gently scolds him. "None of that, dear Will. We're almost there."
Hannibal turns a corner and enters a room, and Will's nose is flooded with antiseptic and other medical smells. Shortly after entering, Will finds himself placed on a bed, but Hannibal doesn't let him go.
"Don't move." Hannibal orders, but Will's body hurts too much to even think about trying to get up. And the bed felt so good.
"Where am I?" he slurs. Hannibal doesn't answer, continuing to tinker with something in the darkness. Will hears a click and a small light is produced, illuminating Hannibal's features. The man's eyes practically glow red as he positions the light on a small desk next to the bed, and Will finally takes in the room.
He's been here before, just after he fainted after his fight with Emerson. The room is connected to the medical bay, separated by a curtain. He doesn't particularity like the room; he never really liked hospitals of any kind. However, Will doesn't have a choice whether he likes it or not. Even if he tries, he wouldn't be able to stand without feeling dizzy or any pain. The weight of the situation suddenly falls onto him, and he begins to laugh.
Hannibal is by his side in an instant, the shadows from the flashlight and the lack of glasses making his features sinister.
"Will?" Hannibal put his hand on his face, migrating it up to his forehead. "You're burning up."
Hannibal turns away to grab something out of the medicine closet, and Will continues to chuckle.
"Why am I not surprised." he mutters.
Will chuckles. "I'm not even supposed to be here. I should be home, eating supper and watching crappy television. Hell, I shouldn't even be in this goddamned prison at all. I should have begged my superiors to let me quit. That's all I wanted was to be able to quit and move away, but no. I don't have a fucking back bone and let them coerce me into taking this job." Will's laughter grows, his bruised ribs starting to hurt, but he ignores them. Hannibal remains silent.
"And you know what the best thing is? No one likes me. Here or out in the real world. I don't have friends, Hannibal. I'm too different to them. Here, the only ones who seem to like me are the inmates who I'm trying to keep in this hell hole. And what do I get for it? Hatred from my own co-workers. Sure, some like me, but the rest hate me for just being good at what I do. It's not my fault none of them are trained, not my fault I know what I'm doing. I try to be nice and what do they do? They leave me behind to fend for myself."
Will stops laughing. "They left me. They left me alone." His dark humor dissipates as tears begin to well up in his eyes. "They left me behind. Said I'm the inmates' 'bitch' and left. They didn't know – don't know they might kill me. Your protection be damned, Budge almost killed me. What good is your protection if I can be snuffed out in an instant!" Will's breathing comes out faster and faster, and tears stream down his face. He doesn't notice Hannibal moving on top of him, cradling his face and putting his forehead against his own. He doesn't hear the criminal try to soothe him, stroking his face and hair. Will continues on, eyes closed and hysterical. "They don't know what could happen to me. They don't care. No one cares."
His head is given a firm squeeze, making his snap his eyes open making watery blue meet near crimson maroon.
"William." Hannibal says sternly, and Will's attention is his, he looses his grip. "I need you to calm down, or else you are going to hyperventilate. Can you do that for me, dear Will?"
Will tries, he really does, but his mind wanders instantly back to his failure and guilt rides over him. "They were right to abandon me. It's my fault." Tears stream again, pouring over Hannibal's fingers. "My fault, my fault, my fault, my-"
Hannibal silences him with a kiss. Will is in too much of an emotional state to fully apprehend the action, but it snaps him out of his self-deprecation. The kiss is short, but enough. Hannibal draws back, looks Will over before sitting up. He keeps one hand on Will's warm face while he reaches over to grab the bottles he took from the medicine closet. Will watches as the doctor uncaps and takes out two pills from one and just one pill from the other. Gently, he helps Will sit up as he offers him the pills. Will shakes his head, turning away as Hannibal tries to nudge them into his mouth.
"Will," Hannibal gently chides, and Will can feel his face heat up. "It's for your own good."
"What are they?" Will asks, still keeping his head averted.
"Two are for the pain, and the other a mild sedative."
"I don't want to sleep." Will whimpers, shaking his head. "I don't know if I'll wake up."
Hannibal tsks, but sets all the pills down on the desk. He brings both hands up to cup Will's face once more, making him look him in the eyes.
"I promise, Will, you will wake up again. You're safe with me."
"But, you... you..."
"I know you still fear me, and that is good considering what I am," Hannibal smiles and brings his face closer. "But I won't hurt you. Do you trust me, Will?"
The small voice in Will's head says 'no, don't', but he brokenly whispers, "Yes."
Hannibal doesn't say anything as he picks the pills back up, and Will dutifully accepts them. After drinking water, Will is placed back down, but Hannibal doesn't leave his spot on top of Will. Will doesn't mind. He finds the added weight on his legs soothing in a way; a helpful distraction from what his mind wants to do. His eyes slip close again, but soon open as Hannibal's hands wander away from his face to the buttons on his uniform. Will raises a weak hand to stop him.
"What're you doing?" he slurs, trying to sit up, but Hannibal pushes him down.
"I need to see if Budge did any more damage other than your neck."
Will shook his head, trying to pull Hannibal away, but the sedative in his system made every action heavy. Hannibal gently took the limb and set it back on the bed, bringing a knee up to trap it against Will's side. Will doesn't protest. Hannibal's hands return to unbuttoning the uniform.
Once that is done, Hannibal gently takes Will's sling off. When Will doesn't make a noise of protest, Hannibal just as gently positions the other arm to rest on the bed. He then untucks the shirt as well as the under shirt, pulling the uniform top open. As he bends toward the desk once more, and Will doesn't murmur when Hannibal slices the under shirt open with surgical scissors.
Nimble fingers move over Will's torso, pressing here and there to see if there are any tender places. Will groans in discomfort when Hannibal presses too hard on his ribs, aching once more from being slammed to the floor and his laughing fit. Hannibal relents, rubbing over fading bruises from his fight with Emerson before his hands wander up to his shoulder.
Will cries out as Hannibal tries to remove the bandage, his free hand trying to stop him, but it only made it worse. Hannibal quickly grabs his right hand and pins it under his knee.
"Will. William." Hannibal grasps Will's head as he shakes his head, too tired to try and thrash.
"No..." Will whines, and Hannibal hushes him.
"I need to make sure the stitches didn't reopen." Hannibal explains, but Will continues to shake his head.
"No, no, no." He sobs, the pain coming back. The pills Hannibal gave him worked wonders on the rest of his aching body, but his shoulder continues to throb. "Leave it alone. Please leave it alone."
"Shh, it's okay. I won't touch it for now." Hannibal appeases, stroking Will's hair. After Will calms down, he begins to bandage Will's neck and face, laying kisses after he's done.
"You never said," Hannibal starts, putting gauze and scissors back on the dresser. "Who it was you left you behind."
"Does it matter?" Will whispers, sleep crawling around the edges of his conscious. He swallows as he remembers Freddy's abandonment. While they weren't friends, and maybe Will did have a thing against him, he would never have left him behind if their roles were reversed. And the other guard who did try to help him just dropped him as soon as Freddy told him to... It hurt more than Will is willing to admit. He bites his lip to keep from sobbing, not wanting to make a fool out of himself than he already had. The tears fall despite his wishes, and Hannibal kisses them away.
"It does," Hannibal answers, stroking Will's face and ears to help calm him. Will leans into the hands, remaining silent. "But I think I can guess who."
The room falls silent, the only noise coming from Will's steadying breathing. Under Hannibal's ministrations, Will falls into a light slumber.
Voices echo throughout the room, hushed in an attempt to keep the slumbering guard asleep, but it is in vain. Will starts awake, the room completely dark and unfamiliar. He stumbles for his glasses on the stand, but instead of his stand his hand strikes a wall. Startled, Will gathers his thoughts as he remembers he is not in his own bed and not in his home. He's in the prison, held captive until a SWAT team can get him and the other guards out. However, he has no idea when that will be, or if any of the other guards are safe.
Slowly, he sits up, mindful of his shoulder and the dizziness that overcomes him. Will stays still, waiting for the spell to pass as he gingerly sets his feet on the floor. The unexpected chill running through his soles informs him his boots are missing, and the shift of open fabric finds his undershirt to be in tatters. Will rips the rest of it away, keeping his outer shirt on. He didn't want to be found completely shirtless if anyone comes to rescue him. He puts a hand on his shoulder, finding surgical gauze instead of a regular bandage. He frowns, not sure if he likes the idea of Hannibal doing things to him while he slept, whether they are for his benefit or not. He dares to stand, finding it easier than he originally thought, and seeks out the voices.
He quietly brushes the curtain aside, peeking around to find a lone emergency light working over head. He doesn't question it long enough, distracted by the people talking. He cannot see very far without his glasses, but he can barely make out Hannibal standing in the doorway of the medical bay, blocking it off from whoever is on the other side. Seeing he he hasn't been seen yet, Will makes his way closer.
"How many guards?" Hannibal asks.
"Including Pup?" the other inmate replies. "Eleven. Among them is Freddy Lounds."
"Really?" Will hears the darkness creeping into Hannibal's voice and shivers. "Has he said anything?"
"No, doc, he hasn't." says the inmate. "How's Pup holding up?"
"He's fine. Where's Budge now?"
"We threw him in a cell for now, waiting for you to drop by for a visit." the inmate laughs. Will cannot see, but he can tell Hannibal is smiling. Moving closer, Will stubs his toe on a rolling table. He curses, and he can see the blurry Hannibal turn on him.
"Will, you should be resting." Hannibal draws closer, becoming clearer and clearer. He bends to inspect Will's foot, but Will backs away.
"What are you up to, Hannibal." He asks, and he can make out a frown on the doctor's face.
"Nothing you should concern yourself with, dear Will." Hannibal stands and turns back to the inmate who remains in the hallway.
"I will deal with Budge later, but for now," he pauses. "Who is watching the guards?"
"The Tooth Fairy, doc."
"Dolarhyde." Hannibal smiles. "Perfect. Tell him he can do whatever he wants with Lounds."
Will freezes, realizing the implications behind the statement and remembers what exactly put Dolarhyde behind bars.
"No, what are you doing?" Will asks, frantic. "Don't hurt them, please." Hannibal looks at him, his blurry face not giving anything away.
"He's broken one too many rules, I'm afraid."
"What rules? The prison's rules or yours?" Will snaps, moving around Hannibal to talk with the inmate. He is stopped as a hand grasps gently around his arm.
"Doc?" the inmate asks uncertainly.
"Do as you're told. Tell Dolarhyde he can have Lounds." At those words, Will struggles.
"No, stop! Freddy could die." he pleads.
"He will eventually. Dolarhyde is not one to do it quickly." He chuckles darkly, and Will's has enough. Turning his head, he bites into Hannibal's hand. Hannibal lets out a surprised gasp and releases Will. The guard uses this to his advantage to run to the inmate.
"Please, don't do this." But the inmate is already leaving, ignoring his pleads. "No!" Will shouts, running after the inmate before he is captured by Hannibal.
"William, calm down."
"No! You can't do this. This is murder!"
"You need to rest, Will." Hannibal soothes, dragging the struggling guard back into the medical room. He releases him long enough to lock the door before pulling him back to bed. Will fights as much as he is able, shouting all the way. As forceful as he is, Hannibal is gentle and mindful of Will's injuries as he pins him back on the bed.
"Lounds deserves what's coming to him. It's a shame I couldn't kill him with my own hands."
"No one deserves to die!" Will bites back, squirming to escape, but Hannibal's hold is firm. The cannibal once again straddles his legs, using his body weight to keep Will down. Will continues to fight, scratching and biting, but this only earns him the loss of his hands as Hannibal pins them beneath his knees. The little strength Will gained during his sleep is sapped from him, his motions slowing each time he moves. Fury fades into sorrow and his screams turn into sobs. Will attempts to curl in on himself, and Hannibal lets him, moving away once he sees the fight leave him.
Will hides his face in his hands, drawing his knees up. It's all his fault. All his stupid fault. He shouldn't have agreed to take this job; shouldn't have allowed himself to be forced into it. He should have listened to Barney and stayed away from Hannibal Lecter. He should have been more cautious, more observant. His stupidity is what led him to where he is now, and now it is going to cost a man his life.
He flinches as Hannibal slides in behind him on the bed, curling tighter into a ball. Hannibal disregards his actions, gently unfurling him. Will tries to curl in again, but Hannibal's legs effectively tangle with his, and arms wrap securely around his torso. Hannibal buries his face in the crook of his neck, taking a deep breath that makes Will shiver. Hannibal strokes Will's exposed chest and stomach, much like Will used to do with his first dog when she was scared of storms. It's comforting, but it doesn't distract Will from the fact Lounds is probably being tortured as they lie there. He makes another effort to get up, but he only ends up pulled closer.
"Stop it." Will whimpers, but Hannibal shushes him. His hand trails lower and lower, resting at the edge of his pants.
"Lounds deserves what's coming to him, Will. Please understand you have no choice in the matter." The hand moves over the top of his pants and continue moving further down. Will gasps. "You may think otherwise, but this isn't your fault. None of this is your fault."
"I-I should have reported your actions yesterday." Tears start to fall again, which are quickly kissed away. "I knew something was wrong, something was different."
"But whether you reported it or not it would have happened. I only wanted you out of danger. That's why I asked when you were on leave." The hand squeezes, and Will's breath hitches. "Had I been sent to solitary or watched closer it wouldn't have mattered. This plan would have happened sooner or later. A pity it didn't turn out the way we wanted it." A rub and a groan follows. "Then again, this only sped up my plans with you."
"M-me?" Will struggles to keep his breathing under control, but he fails. Hannibal nods in his neck, mouthing the skin he finds.
"After the break out, I would lay low for a few months. Preferably out of state. However, I would return for you, to keep an eye on you. I would sneak into your home on occasion to make sure you got plenty of sleep, perhaps by physically holding you down or have you conditioned to be sleepy after smelling lavender. Or, I can make you food. You don't eat nearly enough, which worries me. I'm an excellent cook, I'll have you know." Will groans, but he isn't sure if it is because of Hannibal's meaning or his hand. "Now that I know you are prone to sleep walking, I would be your hound guiding the lost sheep back home, and you wouldn't be any wiser and out of danger."
The hand pulls away to unbutton Will's pants, but doesn't do anything after that. Will knows he should fight, or at least put up the pretense of being unwilling, but they both know it wouldn't be true. Will's body picks up at the promise of what's to come, but his mind still wanders to what's happening to Lounds. How can he enjoy this when a man is dying? Hannibal shifts, and Will gasps again. He remembers all the conversations they had, the subtle flirting and looks. It was never meant to go this far; Will was never going to see Hannibal again. But now, now he didn't know. With all the tension between them and what's happened, Will can't help but want to fall into the abyss.
Will shakes as Hannibal brings his lips to his ear, placing a kiss to the lobe. "I'll keep you safe, Will, whether you approve of my methods or not. You are mine."
The hand moves, and Will falls.