“Your eyes will not settle, a hunger.
You'd be happier in your grave.
When we meet, share stories, you stretch me. I see,
I see a semi-circle of teeth.
The dark cylinders of half-smoked cigarettes.
For me, I'm your sorrow, Calling in your dreams.
For me, I'm your shadow, Howling in the streets…”
Will looked at him with restless eyes that usually couldn’t endure someone else’s gaze for longer then a few seconds. The way he pronounced this small word revealed everythig he felt about the suggestion Hannibal had just offered: confusion, fear, hesitation. What an enthralling mixture.
Hannibal knew what strings he should pull, what words to choose in order to push Will in the desirable direction. He glanced over the slightly bent back, tense shoulders, and nervous eyes of a wounded, cornered animal. Piece of cake.
“I believe a hypnosis could solve the troublesome symptoms you keep on telling me about. Hallucinations, nightmares, disorientation. I cannot guarantee anything, but there is a high probability that all of that will disappear with time.”
Will took a deep breath and exhaled heavily. Hannibal saw him clenching his teeth as his face suddenly became more tense. Apparently, he was preparing to say something he found difficult to say aloud.
“Isn’t hypnosis supposed to only work on sane people? ”
Oh, so that was the problem. Thinking of himself as an oddity seemed to be the source of his discomfort. As though he was somewhat defective, merely a mockery of a human. Hannibal couldn’t understand why Will didn’t see that he was much better than others, how he surpassed them with his sensitivity, how his empathy improved his perception and understanding of the world. He had never before seen someone so capable of invading the minds of others, unerringly seeing through all their motives and secrets. Such an ability was a sheer beauty itself, and provided enormous potential, as well as having the advantage of crushing dominance and being at least a few steps before everyone. Hannibal, even with his intellectual superiority over others and experience built by years working as a psychiatrist, couldn’t see through people with such a crystal certainty as Will could. It was fascinating, to see so much potential strength and destruction in this shivering, overwhelmed form; to see the chaos caused by this raw power reflected in that pair of sorrowful, amazingly blue eyes. Could there be anything more frightening, more beautiful?
“You are not insane, Will. Hypnotic induction is useless and can even be dangerous in cases of schizophrenia or other mental disorders that deform patients' perception of reality. I don’t see any complications for you, though. In my opinion it could bring you some relief, and do you good.”
So much good to penatrate and explore your unique mind, Will.
His statement definitely caught Will's interest. Hannibal observed with pleasure how his face slowly changed; a gleam of hope took place in his features. Merely a few lies skillfuly knitted by appropriate words, decorated with a gentle tone and warm smile, could turn his deep deception into acceptance or even nervous anticipation.
“If you say so,” Will replied, rubbing his tired eyes with his hands. “Maybe it would make sense to give it a try. I’d love to get rid of these nightmares… And pull myself back together. Sometimes… I open my eyes and I don’t even know where I am, or how I got there…”
With his every word his voice was becoming more broken, more distant. He didn’t look any longer in Hannibal’s direction; it seemed that he even forgot about his presence. His eyes were gazing at a massive bookcase, but he didn’t see it, nor did he see an exquisite office surrounding him; he was too submerged in his own dark thoughts. Thoughts that didn’t even belong to him, stranding him in a deadly maze of murder scenes; a macabre portfolio that he shared with a horde of all kinds of villains.
“I believe we can solve this problem, Will. Hypnosis should calm your mind, make it more integrated. Shall we start in our next session?”
Will slowly nodded. Hannibal’s voice was like a balm, meticulously gentling his nerves, bringing a little bit of relief to his aching, shattered heart. He somehow felt that this voice had already surpassed the boundaries of professional care and cold courtesy. He had never heard Hannibal speaking in such a manner to anyone else, which not only made him feel special, but also gave him a certainty that this time someone really did want to help him.