If you can’t distinguish fiction from reality or you think other people can’t then I’m sorry but this isn’t our problem. If you choose to be bitter about something other people don’t have a problem with, then go away. Turn off the internet.
Another instalment of AFO in honour of Ladies of Hannibal week… in which Hannibal has amnesia (but still adores mongooses… mongeese?
Anyway…), Will worries a little too much and Alana has a realisation.
Hannibal Lecter has an eidetic memory, of such power it requires a stringently-mapped mental space – a palace – to wrangle it.
Hannibal Lecter speaks numerous languages, all of them fluently. He may be incapable of poor grammar.
Lecter possesses thousands of books, housed in the office of his
psychiatric practice and throughout his home. He knows precisely where
to find any book required from these, on demand.
Hannibal Lecter does not currently know his own name. Or where he lives.
Or that he’s a cannibalistic serial killer, but fewer than five other
people on the planet know that and only one of them is currently on the
same continent, so it’s not likely anyone’s going to ask.
cannot remember the identity of the woman sitting next to his bed,
though Alana has told him, several times, her name and that they are
friends and colleagues. She has not yet told him that they’re dating, as
the relationship is only new and she doesn’t want to overload him with
information. He’s probably guessed at it already as Hannibal, even with
what is hopefully temporary amnesia, is nothing if not intelligent and
she has been by his side for hours now, clasping his hand whenever there
aren’t other doctors in the way.
She suspects even if she told
him right now, he wouldn’t take it in, given the effects of the
painkillers he’s on to counteract the injuries – extensive but not life-threatening
– he had sustained in the car crash. Currently he is too engaged in
humming softly and gazing, apparently enraptured, at something on the
“I can see the stars,” Hannibal says, with a kind of hazy childlike glee.
“Through the ceiling, Hannibal?” Alana asks, amused.
“Mmm. They go twinkle, twinkle. All the pretty lights. I could reach out and crush them all and bake them into cakes.”
“That’s nice, sweetie.” Even high, with no memories, it’s still all food and poetry.
pats his hand indulgently and looks up as the doors swing open,
expecting a doctor with another round of tests. Instead, she sees Will
Graham burst in, wincing as he notes the bruises and wounds littering
Hannibal’s body and looking inexplicably out of breath and panicked. He
continues to stare at Hannibal with a look pitched somewhere between
pain and relief, then unsubtly attempts to rein it back in to friendly
concern when he notices Alana.
“Jesus,” he blurts out and waves a
hand towards Hannibal, trying to breathe evenly, “he looks rough. Is he
gonna be ok?” He takes a step towards the bed, watching Hannibal watch
the ceiling and fails miserably to look casual. “Sorry, I just… Jack
only just told me about the crash and I…”
“Ran all the way here, by the looks of you,” Alana supplies, confused but amused by his reaction.
“Well, drove, most of the way,” Will gives her a sheepish grin. “But, yeah, those stairs out there are steep. And numerous.”
“They have elevators.”
I… I think maybe I hit my head too. Is it true, about the memory loss?”
He doesn’t even try to mask the look of concern now.
“Just temporary, most likely.”
“His memory palace just needs putting back together.”
you say memory palace?” Hannibal’s attention has finally come down from
the ceiling, settling instead on Will, at whom Hannibal is gazing as if
he were the brightest star in his imaginary sky.
“Sure did, Doctor,” Will steps around to stand at Hannibal’s bedside. “Recognise the phrase?”
“No,” Hannibal replies with a grin, “but it sounds wonderful.”
He cups Will’s face with his hand and strokes a thumb down his cheek.
Will looks discomfited but does nothing to dislodge him, though his eyes
dart to Alana in embarrassment.
“I was worried you were dead,” Will mutters.
Hannibal looks delighted. “How kind of you to worry. You’re beautiful. Are you taken?”
Will blushes and now does pull away from Hannibal’s touch. “N-no. Not really.”
Not really? That’s interesting.
Will looks over at her and asks, “Just how high is he?”
points to the ceiling and says, “I think he cleared the atmosphere a
little while ago.” They smile, with shared fondness for the man between
them and for a moment it is like nothing has changed. Then Alana
remembers that Will is not supposed to have any fondness left for
Hannibal. “Why are you here?” she asks, eyes narrowing. “Hoping the
truck did what your little admirer couldn’t?”
Will looks guilty
for the briefest of moments, then simply looks sad. “I found myself
compelled,” he mutters, as if it hurts to admit, “to check he wasn’t
gone. Even when I want him gone, I still don’t feel right until I know
Will loves him. It hits Alana with the pure
simplicity of truth. Will may hate Hannibal, may believe him capable of
evil deeds, but he could not survive separation from him. He’s totally,
utterly, irrevocably, mad-dash-to-your-partner’s-hospital-bedside in
love with Hannibal Lecter.
And judging by Hannibal’s instinctive reaction to Will, the feeling is not one-sided.
that’s really awkward, because Alana’s dating him. And while she’s fond
of Hannibal, and an enthusiastic fan of sex with Hannibal, she is not
and never has been, in love with Hannibal. Which means she needs to
gracefully extricate herself from this room and let the two men – emotionally repressed idiots – sort out whatever strange courtship they’ve wandered into. Not before she has a quick chat with Will about boundaries and the ill-advised nature of trying to kill your prospective partner, though.
look,” she tells Will, wanting this over quickly, “he’s due for another
dose in ten minutes and that should knock him out for a while. Go get
us some coffees while I wait until he’s sleeping and bring them back
here. I think we need to talk about some things.”
Will shoots her a
vaguely hunted look but sighs with relief when he sees her small smile.
“Back soon,” he tells the room in general and gives Hannibal what he
probably thinks is a perfunctory glance but might as well come with a
giant neon sign reading Will Graham hearts Hannibal Lecter and is very glad that he’s still alive.
“Alana,” Hannibal says when Will is gone, “I think I may remember something about that man.”
Alana is exhausted but this might be progress. Hannibal is still her
friend, even if he won’t be her partner for much longer.
“Is his name William?”
“It is, that’s great Hannibal. Your memory’s coming back.” Of course he remembers Will before anything else.
“I remember, we were in an office. Lots of books. I remember kissing him. I think I love him, is he my boyfriend?”
Oh god. This would be sweet in any other situation. “Yeah, Hannibal,” she sighs, resigned, “I think he is.”