They make sure Hannibal’s hands are shackled to the metal table before the orderlies take away his muzzle. A sharp smile appears when it drops away and he rolls his shoulders, putting on a somewhat dolorous front. Jack knows when the man is truly uncomfortable, and it’s not this.
Age has barely touched him. He dares admit he looks younger than he did the last time he was institutionalized. Jack bristles with resentment and watches him settle.
“Out,” he commands. The man and women in hospital garb scurry off, gladly, exiting through the large decorated brown doors just beyond Lecter’s cage. Jack turns, checking to make sure a recording is in process so he can listen back to the tape and pick it apart later.
“You hired a whole new set of worker bees,” Hannibal notes. “Did the others run from the hive when I escaped, or did you fear I would be too familiar with the previous attendants?”
“I don’t have to tell you anything,” Jack all but spits out, “but you, you have to tell me everything.”
“Pull up a chair,” Hannibal gestures, the shackles clicking together metallically. “I’ll be as honest as you’ll allow.”
The man acts like he owns the place, after all this time.
Plain old hubris.
“As I’ll allow?”
Hannibal smirks. “There may be parts you do not wish to hear.”
Posture straight as a sword, Will sits in an interrogation room he’d once occupied a lifetime ago. His eyes are darker, or perhaps it’s the dim lighting. Jack sits too, eyeing the wrists that are strapped closer to the desk than Hannibal’s had been and meets his eyes. He’s surprised to find Will doesn’t turn away, meets his gaze with a smile.
“It is a good thing you found me when you did, Jack,” he speaks coolly.
When Jack looks at him head on the only word that comes to mind is ‘void’ – void of what, or is Will the void itself – He can’t put his finger on it.
Jack grits his teeth and silently opens the crime report. Pictures are within the file, the first documents from the photographers, and then there are typed up reports detailing what they discovered in the Argentinian cottage.
“At the moment, there are no charges out against you. But, you haven’t given a full statement yet. If there is anything, and I repeat, anything that doesn’t line up with what Lecter recounts, then I’m going to bury your ass so deep in this system that you’ll never find your way out, do you understand me?”
Will watches him, expression blank.
“Yes,” he responds, boldly. Jack has never heard him voice anything in such a definitive tone. A flicker of gratification crosses the former FBI agent’s face.
Five years spent with Hannibal the Cannibal.
It shows, in every muscle, every flinch, every sigh.
Jack looks down at the photographs. There are quite a view obscured with yellow police tape, and a picture of the one bedroom, the only one they’d find in the entire house. The house isn’t big. There is a study, and a living room. The basement was the storage locker for the meat Hannibal acquired.
He knows Will isn’t innocent.
Will might have been the better detective between them, but Jack isn’t a fool. He’ll get him on something, he just has to find the frailty in his forts and exploit it.
“Let’s get started.”
“You’re admitting you kidnapped Will Graham, and held him captive against his will?” Jack reiterates, disbelieving. “I’m sorry, Doctor, but that doesn’t exactly fit your profile.”
“You know I am obsessed with Will Graham. Doctor Du Maurier can testify to that.”
“What’s left of her,” Jack bites out. “She lost her leg in a hiking accident. Know anything about that?”
Hannibal puts on a false front of concern. “No, I haven’t heard. How devastating. A beautiful woman should never lose a leg unjustly.”
Pressing down the urge to leap across the desk and enclose the man’s neck with tight fingers, Jack takes a deep, steadying breath, and counts to ten before continuing.
“Let me get this straight. Will Graham attempted to murder you after you both killed Dolarhyde, and when he failed, you brought him with you to Argentina to live with you.”
Jack huffs. “And what made you think he wouldn’t try to kill you again?”
“I suspected he would,” Hannibal assures with mirth. “He did.”
“You got any proof of this?”
“A fairly new scar given to me a year ago, on my left thigh. Your medics should be able to confirm it is not from five years ago. There should be new pictures in my updated profile.”
Jack’s jaw clenches. He made the choice of leaving Hannibal’s file in his office, but he knows he isn’t lying. If he stripped him of his jumpsuit now, he’d find the scar. Fresh and shining new.
“And if I asked Will Graham how many times he tried to kill you and escape, he’d give me the same amount you’re about to give, wouldn’t he?”
“In the past five years, he attempted an escape twice in total, and attempted to kill me on five separate occasions.” Hannibal smirks. “Once a year, like an anniversary.”
Nostrils flaring, Jack leans closer to him and rasps, harsh and determined;
“Are you sure about that?”
“I attempted an escape twice, and tried to kill him five times,” Will replies simply, as if he were reading off a cue card.
Jack slams a fist down on the table.
“Those numbers are oddly specific, Will. You sure you’ll be able to stick to that story?”
Will cocks his head, and doesn’t respond.
Jack scoots his chair closer to the desk, lungs constricting with the pressure of the desk against his sternum. He flips through the papers of Will’s file with newfound focus. He looks on the evidence page. There are still forensics teams in Argentina scouring the premises, but for now, he can work with what he’s been given.
“You didn’t attempt an escape any of the times he left the house? And we do know he left the house. There are remains from citizens all around the country stuffed in your fridge.”
“His fridge. And no, he’d keep me contained.”
Will says this with one side of his lips turned up, like he’d just heard an inside joke. The scar on his cheek deforms.
“Handcuffs. He locked ‘em up around the headboard. I’m sure your teams will find the scratch marks in the mahogany,” he adds the last bit quietly, chest puffing out in an almost-laugh.
Jack glares. “That doesn’t explain why the inner part of the cuffs were soft, fabric material.”
Stuff you'd find in a sex shop.
“He is a gentleman, Jack,” Will reminds. “Even when he’s keeping someone captive against their will. He’s not the type of sadist that gets off on outright torture. Sometimes he had to lock me up for…hours.”
“Every single time he left the house?”
“Sounds like torture to me,” Jack suggests. “You don’t seem pretty broken up about the fact you were kidnapped. It seems to amuse you, if we’re being honest here, Will. You say you didn’t leave the house, but you’re tan. Can you explain to me how?”
His skin is bronzed; it was the biggest difference when they were brought in.
“The bedroom had big windows.”
“And Lecter let you, what, sunbathe?”
“Something like that.”
“Withholding information about an escaped convict could be considered a felony, Will. You better start explaining things, in detail, before the evidence speaks for you, or we’re going to have a big problem.”
“You seem inclined to blame the victim, Jack,” Will observes, speaking in a condescending tone. “Not that it surprises me.”
“You couldn’t act less like a victim if you tried,” Jack remarks.
Will taps his fingertips against the clear, stainless steel desk, and hums. He stops tapping and meets Jack’s eyes again, unblinking.
“Do you expect all victims to act traumatized, or is that just you?”
“Have you ever heard of the term ‘learned helplessness,’ Jack?”
“I don’t think so, no.”
“Very basic psychology. It is when a subject exhibits a behavior after enduring aversive stimuli out of the subject’s control. They give up, or give in. After a time, they are incapable of fighting back. I believe Will experienced something similar after I brought him to Argentina.”
“He knew he couldn’t escape, so he went along with whatever it was you told him to do,” Jack surmises and Hannibal nods. “Did you threaten him with violence?”
“No, never.” Hannibal’s nose turns up proudly. “I believe he got bored wallowing in his own helplessness, and decided to make the most of it. Wouldn’t you?”
“I don’t suppose that could be chargeable as aiding and abetting.”
Jack knows where this is going; he won’t be able to testify that Will’s actions were anything other than psychologically sound. If only the Chesapeake Ripper had been anything other than a certified psychiatrist before orchestrating this entire fiasco.
“Not unless he was participating in the murders, and I can assure you…”
Hannibal grins, sharp teeth and lips stretched so wide it mimics a mask.
“He was not.”
“You ate the meat?”
“He forced me,” Will replies blandly.
“But not with violence.”
Will waves a hand as much as he can lift one. “The implication was always there. You remember the time he buzzsawed my head, don’t you Jack? Wouldn’t you eat the meat too if you knew he had one of those in his basement?”
“I’d fight it,” Jack declares. “The whole way through.”
“No, you wouldn’t.”
Jack sucks in air and refuses to argue. There are more pressing matters. He glances over the printed transcripts from Hannibal’s interrogation and says, “Hannibal claims he never threatened you with violence.”
“Intimidation doesn’t always need a showcase,” Will offers. “Hell, I would have starved. From bone broth to clay-roasted leg, there wasn’t a goddamn thing that didn’t have human parts in it.”
Bile rises in Jack’s throat, a bit from the nonchalance, and a bit from the image that just formed in his mind, of the two of them cornering Dr. Du Maurier at a dining table, feeding her the leg they’d taken as penance for whatever figurative wrong she’d committed against them.
“And you’re sticking to the story you didn’t help Hannibal with any of the killings?”
“It isn’t a story. He locked me up when he left the house, remember?”
“And if we ask around to the neighbors and discover you were out and about?”
Jack sighs roughly, sliding the file aside so he can stand and lean on his palms.
“You seem pretty confident about that,” he bellows. “But, if there is so much as a fingerprint that leads back to you in the entirety of Argentina outside of that cottage, I will know about it!”
“Forensics has really upped their game if they’ve enabled nationwide fingerprint searches.”
Jack holds back from punching Will square in the jaw, though he’d really like to see the look on Lecter’s face if he told him he’d knocked around what he considers to be his property.
He holds Will’s gaze firmly, resolutely.
“No matter what you did, what you covered up, who he paid off, where you buried it, there will be evidence. I will find it, even if that means spending forty eight straight hours in this room with you, and ripping the truth from your throat.”
Will’s polite expression fades like a veil being lifted, and his nails scratch against the steel surface of the table. He doesn’t avert his eyes when he responds in a sudden, dangerous tone.
“Does it humiliate you, Jack?” he asks. “To give up so easily on the tool you spent so many years whittling to your own advantage. Does it injure you to admit you were wrong?”
About me is left unsaid.
The guilt is back for a fleeting instance.
“Will, I tried my best. It wasn’t my responsibility to keep you from slipping.”
“No, you just recruited the one man who made it easier.”
“So, you went on a killing spree all around South America, with the malcontent company of Will Graham, and decided going to the theater at one of the biggest opera houses in the world would be a good idea, why?”
“I am insane, Jack,” Hannibal replies playfully. “Surely you’ve read Chilton’s book.”
“The one you debunked?”
“The very same.”
Jack runs a hand over his head, and checks his watch. It’s been several hours, and they’ve barely scraped the surface of honesty. No details on their escape, no details about their crimes other than the evidence the forensic teams found in the fridge. As it stands, Will is going to be released.
“You blindfolded him, the whole trip.”
“Are we talking about the beginning again?”
“Yes, Hannibal. Are you having trouble keeping up?” Jack retorts.
“Not at all. Yes, he wore a blindfold. He had no clue where he was going. All he knew was that he was in Argentina, under my care.”
“He wasn’t scared?”
“He knew by then I had no intention of killing him. Perhaps he thought I was preparing to eat him one day, but he was aware he wasn’t in any immediate danger.”
“I still can’t understand why you would do something so inherently rude to a man you respect. It doesn’t add up, Doctor, none of this does.”
“Love makes us do things we never expect. You know that by now, don’t you Jack?”
Jack sees red, but he holds his ground. With another antsy check of his wristwatch, he delves further into the subject of the escape.
“When exactly did you remove the blindfold?”
“When I was in the living room, facing the fireplace. It was the first sight I saw.”
It’s the exact same answer Lecter gave.
Jack’s hands clench into fists.
“He told you right then you were in Argentina?”
“No, on the boat he told me that was where we were going.”
Another perfect detail recited. They’d obviously rehearsed this. But, as long as the stories remain identical on both sides, he has nothing to work with.
There is a knock on the two-way glass.
Jack folds the file closed and tucks it under his arm before exiting the room. Will remains stiffly seated, staring at the wall parallel with a glassy look. He’s going inside himself.
“Some new evidence was shipped over,” Zeller explains. “Nothing special except this.” He holds up a small flash drive. There is a letter written in silver sharpie: S .
“What’s on it?” Jack asks.
“We haven’t looked yet. We thought you might want to first.”
Jack sighs and closes his hand around the small device.
Zeller appears solemn. After all these years, the loss of Beverly continues shining bright in his eyes as if it were yesterday. If that light were to fade, Jack would find the man gone from this job, he guarantees it.
“Grab Price. Set up the laptop in my office. I’ll be there in ten.”
“Yessir,” Zeller manages before disappearing from the slim corridor.
Jack has the options of returning to Will, showing him he possesses the flash drive, or leave and follow Zeller to his own office where he can watch it firsthand. If the drive has anything that indicts Will, he wants to see the look on his face before he plays it. He wants to see the arrogance crumble. There is a ringing in the back of his mind that reminds him Hannibal would have never been so sloppy as to leave real evidence at the house for Jack to find, in plain view, but he ignores it.
He re-enters the room, and sits down at the desk.
Will returns from wherever it was he wandered off to in his mind and waits.
Jack opens his fist and places the flash drive down on the metal surface, far enough from Will that the man can’t reach it if he tries, but close enough for him to read the letter.
For the first time during the interrogation, Will locks up with tension, and his eyes quiver with momentary shock, before he releases a trembling huff of air.
“No,” he murmurs. “No, he wouldn’t have left that.”
“Oh, but he did,” Jack replies, delighted to finally have the upperhand.
“Bastard,” Will grumbles, vibrating with nerves. “He wanted you to find it.”
“Are you going to beg me not to go through it?”
“I know you’ll do it anyway, what’s the point of embarrassing myself for your amusement?” Will asks scathingly, biting his bottom lip. For the first time in hours, he doesn’t come across robotic.
“Whatever I find on this flash drive, Will, you realize I won’t be able to turn a blind eye.”
A near-hysterical laugh falls from Will’s lips before he replies swiftly, “You’ll want to.”
Jack narrows his eyes, but doesn’t ask for Will to expand upon the comment. He has all he needs in his grasp. Whatever is hidden inside the USB that has Will shaking like a leaf, he will find it.
He doesn’t have to look far. There is one video file on the drive.
“Fuck, Hannibal, harder, please!” Will groans, scratching at the skin of Hannibal’s back as the man fucks into him, pounding between his thighs. “Just like that.”
The bed frame rattles against the wall with the rhythm of their lovemaking.
Jack stares, mouth agape. Zeller stares, eyes wide. Price is covering his face with his hands, watching between the slits of his fingers.
“It’s so good, Hannibal, don’t stop, please!”
Hannibal doesn’t stop. To everyone’s horror.
The three men are frozen over the computer, continuing to watch out of pure shock alone, and by the end, Hannibal pulls out of Will and starts to kiss all the way down between his legs, and under his balls, and suddenly Jack’s fight or flight kicks in and he slams his laptop shut.
The lewd noises are cut off, and Zeller and Price both sigh in relief.
Jack’s rage is so dire, it feels like a physical thing.
“How many times have you had sex with Hannibal Lecter?!” he roars.
“That’s not something you can count,” Will mutters, incapable of meeting his eyes for the first time. He’s red-faced, either embarrassed or lost in memories.
“You told me you were being held against your will! You told me you tried to kill him!”
“That was all true.”
“So, this is rape!”
Will flinches, as if he’d been slapped. “No, I consented. Each time. Hannibal’s not a rapist. He wouldn’t have me unless I wanted it.”
Jack is either going to hurl or flip the table upside down.
“So, if I brought Molly in and let you explain to her how this,” he waves the flash drive around between two fingers, “was a part of your big plan to escape Hannibal Lecter, could you do it?”
Will ducks his head, looking up at him from beneath wily curls.
“Leave Molly out of this, Jack.”
Jack has struck a nerve. He charges forward while the iron’s hot.
“Why? It’s not as if you wanted to leave her, or did you? Were you not prepared to come running back into the loving arms of your wife when you managed to get back? Or did you forget about her because the thrill of being Hannibal’s accomplice was too seductive to decline?”
“I swear to all hell, if you involve Molly in this, I will never open my mouth to her or you about this entire ordeal. Do you understand me, Jack?”
Though not always a man of his word, Jack can’t deny Will would hold true on this one.
He wasn’t planning on bringing in Molly, anyway. She’d remarried and changed her name. Her phone number had changed too, and though he could easily find her given enough motivation, he decided a long time ago not to bother. She deserves some form of peace.
“In that case, would you admit you agreed to intimacy with Hannibal because of the implied intimidation you mentioned prior?”
“I won’t testify that he’s a rapist,” Will responds quietly.
“No one is asking you to testify. Though, if you did, I’m sure Frederick Chilton would have a whole new book planned and published within a week.”
“You want me to say he took advantage of me as my captor? Would that give you personal satisfaction, Jack? To know that I didn’t want it in my heart of hearts? Or is this just some convoluted stalling strategy before you subpoena a testimony out of me?”
“Even if you testified that whatever occurred between you and Doctor Lecter was completely consensual, his lawyers would find some psychological excuse for it, and you would get off scot free,” Jack explains. “This isn't me stalling, this is me calling you out on a lie.”
“You can hate and love all at once. There’s no lie here, just facades.”
“Why the hell did you leave that flash drive for us to find?”
Hannibal grins, like the cat that ate the canary and he folds his hands together.
“Must have slipped through my fingers.”
“That’s bullshit,” Jack grouses. “You’re a sick fuck. You wanted me to see that Will is on your side without giving me anything to charge him on.”
“I don’t know what you mean,” Hannibal replies easily.
“I’ll hold that sonofabitch on something. You really think the D.A. will easily let Mr. Graham stroll free? After what he’s let you get away with in the past — ”
“Surely you wouldn’t tell them about the phone call you turned a blind eye to, would you, Jack? After all these years of hiding your secrets in the dark, is it worth your job, maybe even your freedom?"
In all fairness, Jack doesn’t give a damn about his job anymore.
The department would take Jack’s disobedience and respond by letting Will go. They would deem his role in this investigation deficient, and hire new investigators. The D.A. wouldn’t hold Will Graham without reason, and it would be blood on Jack’s hands.
“Growing weary?” Hannibal asks. “I’ll save you any more trouble and promise you that you will find nothing in that house. It has been wiped clean.”
Jack’s brow furrows. “Besides the meat.”
“If you think you can hide all the properties you own, you’re wrong.”
“I hid them quite well for the three years I was locked away here,” Hannibal recalls, looking around the room with a pleased veneer. “I won’t lose sleep over your empty threats, though I may lose sleep on these spine-killing cots.”
“Apologies if I can’t summon the waterworks.”
“Have you remarried, Jack?”
Jack freezes. “Excuse me?”
“It’s been quite a while. Your beard is gone, usually a sign of change. I can smell something floral, and I rather doubt you would purchase a cologne with…roses is it?”
There’s that fear again. Jack thought it had gone, but he’s occasionally awash with echoes of impotence between these two monsters who tear at him like wolves in a game of tug-o-war with a slab of meat.
Jack doesn’t answer, and Hannibal smiles.
“What’s her name? Tell me, does she remind you of Bella?”
“Do you and Hannibal Lecter share a thing in common besides killing?”
“Swordfish is our favorite dish. Monty Python makes us laugh. We both enjoy kissing more than the sex.” Will smiles with teeth, content with Jack’s discomfort. “Do you want me to go on? And for the last time, I haven’t killed anyone since I killed the Red Dragon in self defense.”
“With Hannibal Lecter.”
“Yes, with Lecter.”
“And explain to me again, how you both went over the cliff.”
Will nearly rolls his eyes. “He was weak from jumping on Dolarhyde and ripping his throat out. He was still nursing a pretty nasty bullet wound. I cornered him when I was sure the Dragon was down for good, and he put up very little effort to stop me. I tackled him over the side and he pulled me down with him. Even the Devil has his feeble moments. ”
“Not Hannibal.” Jack shakes his head, unable to imagine the event. Hannibal is more creature than man. He’s fought him twice; he knows this firsthand.
“What did you expect? That I embraced him on the edge of the cliff, overcome with the beauty of the monstrosity we’d created together? That I dragged us off the bluff because killing with Hannibal was something I could never again recreate without losing myself entirely?” Will lets out a dry chuckle and adds, “That he let me?”
Will is being sarcastic, but with all of Jack’s cynicism towards the pair, he has to admit this fate seems far more probable than the two battling each other to the death with their last breaths.
Graham does roll his eyes then.
“Jack, you’re having delusions of grandeur. I want to go home. I want to walk on American soil again. I don’t care if you trust me, and I sure as hell don’t want to see you again. Stop acting as if locking me up is anything other than a ploy to bury your guilt. As long as I’m alive, that won’t happen, and even when I’m dead, I'll probably haunt your ass until you rot. That's how guilt works. You won’t get anymore out of me, Jack. Either get me a lawyer or get the hell out.”
Jack’s first urge is to shout, and tell Will he has no right to speak to him that way. His second urge is to believe him, because he still has a shred of foolish hope within him that Will can walk away from this all an innocent man, and live a life, shattered as it may be, away from this madness.
Senses begin to return, common sense for one.
Images of that video file Hannibal made positively sure he saw flashing through his mind, reminding him this isn’t a cut and dry situation.
“Alright, Will,” he responds smoothly, fixing him with a dark, menacing promise in his eyes. Will stares back blankly, unaffected, and watches him leave the interrogation chamber.
“Do you hear the ticking of the crocodile, Jack? Time is running short.”
Jack could lie and convince Hannibal the D.A. is willing to hold Will Graham longer than forty-eight hours. Hannibal has always managed to see straight through a lie, however.
“Will is refusing to talk unless I bring in a lawyer,” Jack replies hotly. “Don’t suppose you have one all set up for him?”
“As a matter of fact, I just made the call before you returned.”
Jack taps his foot to ease the stress of his achingly tired muscles. He can’t remember the last time he slept. “Of course you did,” he murmurs, and sucks in a sharp breath before pulling out the file he has on the Argentina crime scene.
Hannibal’s eyes flicker down to look at it, but Jack doesn’t open it.
“You’ll be charged with the murder of the men and women found in your fridge. Will might not end up getting charged, but don’t expect everything to be as cozy as it once was for you.”
“Though I’m not as familiar with the law as I once was, I do not believe I will be charged for the murders which you speak of,” Hannibal replies and Jack blinks a few times.
“The meat you found is from victims whose murders I have already been charged with. I kept the meat at a consistent temperature of zero degrees fahrenheit for years before thawing parts in the fridge. Double Jeopardy as I understand it ensures I cannot be charged for the same crime twice. I thought by now you would have gotten word back from forensics about how old the meat was.”
Jack’s gone cold, understanding that the meat they found had not been the meat Will or Hannibal had been ingesting. It was just window dressing, a fun little distraction for Lecter while forensics turned the crime scene upside down. He’d been prepared to be caught, more than prepared, he’d been playful in the act of erasing evidence, planting it, hiding their history from Jack’s in the invisible cracks in the walls. God knows who he killed in Argentina, or if he killed there or another country. Perhaps they’d been staying in South America for only a few weeks when they’d discovered them. Maybe that’s why the neighbors hadn’t given up any useful information when inquired about the ‘mysterious men down the street.’
These two have played Jack for a fool.
“You look flushed, Jack. Are you well?”
“You won’t get away with this. Whatever you and Will Graham are planning stops now, do you hear me? You’re never getting out,” Jack declares, standing for emphasis.
Hannibal looks around the cell and answers, “Well, it looks to me like I’m not getting away with anything, considering my whereabouts. You’ve succeeded.”
Jack Crawford isn’t so foolish.
“May I ask for a favor?” Hannibal asks, so ridiculously polite that it makes Jack’s head throb with the stress. The fact that he assumes he’ll consider granting him a favor of all things.
“And what would that favor be, Doctor?”
Hannibal grins knowingly.
Will is escorted, without shackles, as a free man, to Hannibal Lecter’s cell block. He doesn’t look as enamored by the idea as Jack had expected, but there does seem to be anticipation behind those unreadable eyes.
The only reason Jack had agreed to this final meeting was to record any possible hints that may lead to evidence which can be used against Will in the court of law. It’s just a matter of Will slipping up once, and this is the peak opportunity for such a mistake.
Jack pushes the large doors open, and Hannibal is standing, waiting as close as he can be to the glass wall. Jack feels almost immediately as if he is intruding on intimacy he can’t fathom, but he glares daggers in his direction before he allows Will to pass.
When Will’s eyes fall upon Hannibal, they soften.
The last times Will walked up to him in this cell, they hardened. Turned cold, lost that jittery glow. He knew how to disconnect himself, and even then, he hadn’t armored a strong enough shield.
Jack would remind Will they are recording, but he doesn’t want to aid him in anyway when it comes to hiding the truth. He leaves them, prepared to listen to their conversation at a later date. And he’s not sure he can stomach being in the same room with them as they speak.
Will approaches the glass gradually, a smile stretching across his face.
“ Kur šunys?” Will whispers when he’s close, placing a hand on the glass.
Where are the dogs?
Hannibal’s eyes rove over him, like a man parched.
“Namuose su žaliomis durimis,” he whispers, even quieter.
In the house with the green door.
Will knows the place; they’ll be there soon enough. Everything had gone smoothly, just as they planned. There will be a short waiting period, and then the mongoose will strike.
The older man’s voice is softer than snowfall.
“Ti amo.” Hannibal drags his hand down the barrier between them and Will mirrors the motion, smile gentling at the switch in language. Hannibal likes whispering the sentiment in Italian.
“Presto,” Will tells him, loud enough for the recording to pick it up.
He doesn’t care if Jack knows the whole capture was a ploy. There won’t be a thing he can do to stop what’s coming. Man cannot simply hide from an earthquake.
He promises Hannibal leagues more with his eyes before turning on his heel and dragging his feet out of the room. He passes Jack’s haughty, rabid energy in the hall without looking back and allows himself a sly grin as he is escorted out of the building. It grows teeth, and when the sun hits his skin, he feels like a night creature, prepared to burst into flame.