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With Teeth or Talons

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Randall Tier was alive. It didn't feel like it, but he was. Jack Crawford had showed up at Will Graham's house -- and nearly had to shoot Graham to get him to stop before Randall was dead. He didn't remember any of that, just Graham's fist in his face and then black.

He woke up in that same black, covered modestly with a scratchy, thin blanket on a stiff plastic mattress. The obvious disinfectant and faint urine smell made him quickly realize it was a hospital. All the words smelled the same, whether it was the ICU or the psyche ward. He'd visited the psyche ward frequently in his childhood, and other wards, too. The ER a few times after suicide attempts. And the ICU once after needing his stomach pumped. But that was all before Doctor Lecter. His parents had brought him to to be treated, and Doctor Lecter had saved his life. Changed his life. And then Randall remembered.

He sank back into that same blackness, willing himself back to sleep -- not wanting to relive the betrayal.

His days had turned into an endless rotation of nurses pain injections, and a bland, starchy, vanilla flavored sludge he had to drink through a straw. Every once in a while, he caught sight of the armed guard outside his room. A few of the nurses were nice to him, and one even made him smile. That was the moment he realized just how broken his jaw was. He was questioned by Jack Crawford, again. Luckily, he only had to nod or shake his head. And for some reason, when Crawford asked him about Hannibal Lecter -- he lied. He didn't want Doctor Lecter in trouble with the law. Not yet, anyway. Not until he got some kind of answer.

He started to heal over the course of a few weeks, and Randall knew he would be transferred out of the hospital soon. He was terrified about what might await him on the other side of this situation. Randall was a killer, it was true, but he wasn't cut out for prison. A plan was put in place. He would be transferred to jail, pending a trial. A lawyer came to visit him, and even though Randall could now speak in a whisper, he didn't say anything. Only nodded, and shook his head. His parents never came to visit him. They were always looking for a reason to finally cut him loose, disown him, and pretend they never had a weird son with some kind of gross teeth fetish. Everyone always assumed it was sexual. He just liked them. And now, the one person he thought he could trust with the truth of who he was had betrayed him. He sent him straight into a killer's den and locked the door behind. Randall had killed innocent men and women, not a blood thirsty, combat trained psycho in his own home. He was sure Doctor Lecter was playing some kind of game with Graham, but had no idea what it was. But after weeks of thinking about it, he was sure of his place in the game. In the trash, where everyone else put him.

It was the night before he was due to be transferred. Randall had stayed awake even after being given one of the more heavier of his pain medications, he didn't drink any of his dinner and his stomach twisted in nervous knots. He thought about how he could escape, kill himself...anything to get away from this terrible mistake he'd made. It made him scared. It made him want to sink his teeth into something.

Eventually, Randall fell into a fit full, nightmare filled sleep. It was one of those nightmares where he woke up, again and again...only to find himself stuck in the same hell. He awoke in the black again, but this time the pain in his healing bones and faint green glow from the monitors let him know it was real. As his eyes adjusted, a movement near the door caught his attention and he turned his head.

"Oh good, you're awake," an unfamiliar voice called out from the one sliver of room where the moonlight from the window didn't fall and Randall couldn't see into even after his eyes had gotten use to the lack of light. He didn't answer.

Slowly, a wheel chair creaked toward the bed. But the man sitting it, used his feet lazily to drag it across the floor, obviously not needing it. He was dressed in the same scrubs that the nursing staff wore, but the face on his ID card didn't match. A gun, with a silencer attached sat in his lap, and when he came up close to the bed, Randall noticed the blood spray on his face.

"It seemed like you could use a friend," the stranger said, smile off kilter and dark, hazel eyes shining. "I'm Matthew."