heartbroken, you’re at your most creative - you have to channel all your
energies into something else to not think about it. Contentment is a
creativity killer, but don’t worry - I’m very capable of making myself
Mother Nature is a serial killer. No one’s better. Or more creative. Like all serial killers, she can’t help the urge to want to get caught. What good are all those brilliant crimes if no one takes the credit? So she leaves crumbs. Now the hard part, why you spend a decade in school, is seeing the crumbs. But the clue’s there. Sometimes the thing you thought was the most brutal aspect of the virus, turns out to be the chink in its armor. And she loves disguising her weaknesses as strengths. She’s a bitch.
when you’re heartbroken, you’re at your most creative - you have to channel all your energies into something else to not think about it. contentment is a creativity killer, but don’t worry - i’m very capable of making myself discontented.
Alana wasn’t naturally a suspicious person but she had to admit,
after a good two minutes of staring at Hannibal’s Bentley in puzzlement,
there seemed no good explanation for its owner being in Wolf Trap. Even
given Hannibal’s attempts to re-establish his friendship with Will, he
certainly had no reason for a visit since Will was on a case with Jack
Crawford, stuck overnight at a particularly trying crime scene.
From off in the distance she heard barking and turned, hoping the
dogs hadn’t escaped and run off. Then she watched, feeling slightly
dazed, as Hannibal emerged from the woods, preceded by all seven of
Will’s dogs. Other than a stray twig in his hair, he looked as
impeccable as ever and Alana’s breath caught a little at the sight of
the stupidly attractive man engaged in something so domestic. Reminding
herself that it would be entirely inappropriate to make out with
Hannibal outside Will’s house, she exited the car and waved to her
If Alana had been puzzled by Hannibal’s presence at Will’s home,
Hannibal looked downright shocked to see Alana there. She grinned at his
confusion and waved a hand towards the dogs milling around her feet. “I
guess you heard about the delay over in Washington too, then?”
Hannibal seemed to take a moment to process this, then said, “Delay… Indeed, yes, I did. How did you find out?”
“Oh, Jack called to reschedule a meeting we had planned for tomorrow
and mentioned Will was with him. Things between Will and me are a bit
strained but I thought I might be the only one who would think to check
on his dogs overnight. I guess I needn’t have worried. Never took you
for the dog-sitting type,” she added, teasing gently, lifting up on her
toes for a kiss and pulling the twig from his hair.
Hannibal reciprocated, though only barely, pulling back to say, “I
thought perhaps Will would not feel comfortable asking for your help. As
you say, your friendship is not so strong as it once was. As I had some
spare time, I thought I would alleviate his need and your concern.”
“No patients this evening?”
“A fortuitously clear schedule. I had intended some paperwork but
decided meeting the needs of my friends was more important. And now I
find myself with unexpected but delightful company. Simply allow me to
deposit the dogs safely indoors and then I would very much like to take
you for dinner.”
“That sounds wonderful. I’ll help you get them in.”
“No, no, not at all.” Hannibal rushed to put her off. “I would not want your outfit covered in dog hair.”
“Hannibal,” Alana rolled her eyes, “you’re the one who worries about such things. I live with a dog, remember?”
“Yes… but… I really think…”
“Ssh. I’m better with them anyway. Let me just get the door.” She
jogged up the steps, Hannibal still protesting, and threw the door open,
to be greeted with the smell of cooking. From the mouthwatering smell,
she doubted it was something Will had left to keep warm. Not that Will
would do that anyway.
She turned, confusion and amusement mingling in her smile. “Hannibal, have you been cooking for Will?”
She had never seen Hannibal – Dr Hannibal Lecter, her vaunted mentor – look sheepish before.
“Will is still not in the habit of feeding himself properly. I wished for him to come home to a decent meal.”
As the dogs finally noticed their home was open and surged past
Alana, she walked with them into the house and across to the kitchen.
Taking a dishcloth, she lifted the lid of the simmering pot and
concluded, “Boeuf bourguignon. This takes hours to prepare, Hannibal.
Just how long have you been here?”
“A few hours, only. I…”
“Jack only called me a couple of hours ago, Hannibal. How did you
know Will wouldn’t be coming home in enough time to do this?” Alana was
beginning to feel her stomach twist. Hannibal could seemingly only gape
at her in response. “And Will would never have the ingredients for this
ready to go. You…” She spotted the brown bags on the counter, neatly
folded and stacked. “You went grocery shopping for him?”
Something clicked and Alana looked over to Will’s small dining
(cum-boat-engine-repair) table. It was set with a fine linen tablecloth
and two candles. In candlesticks she recognised from Hannibal’s house.
“You walked his dogs, stocked his fridge, cooked him dinner and you
did… that,” Alana said, gesticulating at the table. “This isn’t just
what a friend does, is it? Hannibal,” she looked up at him with furious
incredulity, “are you Will Graham’s boyfriend?”
She stared at Hannibal as his mouth worked, then they both jumped as a
new voice interjected, “Actually, I’d like an answer to that too.” Will
tilted his head, leaning against his front doorframe. “Just exactly
which one of us is your bit on the side? Hello, Alana,” he added, “I’m
truly sorry about this.”
Hannibal was first to recover. “Hello, Will. I thought you were not expected home until later.”
“It seems pretty clear I wasn’t. I convinced Jack I wouldn’t be of
any further use and got straight out of there. You didn’t get my text,
“Text?” Hannibal asked weakly, fishing out his phone. “Ah. No. Your dogs are rather distracting.”
Will’s expression softened as he said, “Did you walk my dogs for me?”
“I did. It is, I believe, what boyfriends do.”
That answers that, then.
“You don’t even have the decency to break up with me first?” Alana
growled into the suddenly-charged silence, seemingly reminding both men
of her existence. She looked from Hannibal across to Will, who had
stepped forward into the room. “Did your oh-so-special empathy not
extend to how much this would hurt me?”
Will winced and looked at the floor. “Yes,” he muttered, “just not enough to stop.”
“Alana,” Hannibal’s voice cut through the air, calm but carrying a
note of warning, “it is I who has committed the sin here. Will is not
blameless but I am the cheat. You would do better to take out your wrath
Alana pinned him with an icy expression. “Oh, I will. Wonder how long
your medical licence will stand when I report that you’ve been fucking
“Alana, that’s not…” Will began but she quickly cut him off.
“Shut up. Don’t speak. We’re done.” She turned to go, knowing if she
stayed she would inflict violence on one or both men. In doing so,
however, her gaze alighted on Will’s bed and she froze.
“Are those… rose petals?” There was a delicate spray of red covering the sheets.
Behind her, Hannibal cleared his throat and explained, “Tonight was to be… special. We have not yet…”
“Oh god,” Alana groaned. She sped past the two men, trying and
failing not to notice the utterly besotted look they were sharing.
Reaching the door, she turned to make some cutting remark but it died on
her lips as she saw Will claim Hannibal’s mouth with a kiss. Instead,
spotting a rubber bone on the floor, she picked it up and threw it at
Hannibal’s head, enjoying the squeak as it hit home and hoping it was
covered in dog drool.
“You know,” she told Will, hating how bitter she sounded, “relationships that start as adultery never last.”
Will had the grace to look shamefaced at that but Hannibal cupped his
face in his hand and, ignoring Alana, told him, “This one certainly
Alana just stared and then left them to it, praying for a lightning
strike, double spontaneous combustion or a very localised outburst of
Or one of those creative serial killers they’re both so fascinated with.