Hannibal had never considered himself a jealous man. He was possessive on what he thought belonged to him and no one were foolish enough to touch what was his. Possessiveness has nothing to do with jealousy, possessiveness is the demonstration of power that one have over another. Jealousy, unlike what many may think, is the irrational fear of losing what is yours. To Hannibal, this would be a quite new feeling, since Hannibal was never one to be afraid to lose anything.
This is the story of how Hannibal came to know what jealousy is.
It all started on a Wednesday afternoon at a crime scene. The Bureau was calling this killer as 'Carpenter', simply because he dismembered his victims and reshaped them as pieces of furniture. They had already found two bodies in the last few months, this would be the third. So far, the Carpenter had shown the world the 'coffee table', the 'sideboard' and now they were contemplating the 'chair'. All the bodies had been found on different parts of the country, and coincidentally this one was inBaltimore, then it was easy to gather all the team members to process the crime scene: The Lab Team, Jack Crawford, Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham.
Hannibal, as usual, was exercising his role as Will's psychiatrist-friend-supposed paddle, ready to intervene if this bacame too much for poor Will. Although his intention was exactly that - be there for him if he needed - Hannibal could not deny that he was impressed with this killer. As Hannibal himself, he was turning people into art, he was turning these poor people into something beautiful, because there was no other word to describe the 'chair' but beautiful. He had to admit, this one had talent.
The body had been found in a warehouse by a guard, as well as before and while Will was near the body, reliving the murder from the Carpenter point of view, all his companions were near the door,waiting. While Will was too busy diving into the current killer's head, Hannibal was left waiting beside Jack until his help was needed, though he doubted it would be. The lab team also was waiting Will to finish doing his magic so they could start processing the crime scene and the body. All of them were a few foot away from Will, giving to him the necessary privacy, what ,at the same time, allowed them to gossip without being heard by the empath.
"Anyone knows if Will is seeing someone?" Brian Zeller said suddenly, drawing the attention of his friends and Hannibal.
Hannibal didn't meant to overheard the conversation, but when Will's name was mentioned, his curiosity got the best of him. He had been careful enough to pick his cell phone from the pocket of his jacket to pretend he was not snooping the conversation. Although he was.
"No, why?" Beverly Katz asked interested.
"Come on, haven't you noticed the way he was smiling yesterday? When have you seen Will 'grumpy' Graham smiling?" Brian pointed out.
Hannibal held his breath. How come this pig dared to talk about his Will in such disrespectful way?
"It's true, I noticed that." Jimmy said as if he had come across a scientific discovery.
"One night of 'action' do wonders to anyone's mood, if you know what i mean." Brian remarked.
"Shut up. The poor thing can't look happy and you start making assumptions of his sex life. You're worse than my aunts!" Beverly scolded and gave the matter closed.
'Beverly, always the voice of reason' Hannibal thought with a small smile. He pretended to read something in his cell phone for a little bit longer and put it back in his pocket. He looked at Will.
The young man had dark curly hair, his eyes were as blue as deep blue sea, his pale skin should be soft to the touch and Hannibal mused that like those saints in paintings, this beauty would belong to no one.
During their conversations in Hannibal's office, Will had made it clear more than once that he was not one made for relationships. Two things could happen eventually:
a) He would eventually get the person uncomfortable with his instability and his inability to reciprocate affection and this touching thing.
b) He would end up getting hurt because he always knew when someone was lying to him.
He would always have a wall around him, preventing anyone to reach for him and he was ok with it. He had acepted it long ago, like a priest, to abstain of these mundane needs. Hannibal had entertained the idea of being the one to break the shell in which Will was hiding and reveal the beautiful creature he was, but after the fifth time that Will flinched when Hannibal tried to touch his arm, he was starting to convince himself that it would be something hard to achieve.
However, he had found comfort in knowing that perhaps no one else would. It was then that Hannibal began to picture Will as an angel, a sexless being, above all this dirty people, something precious, rare and unique. An untouched treasure. Hannibal had succeeded in achieving his place as Will's friend, perhaps his best friend, and he was pleased with that title, it was a privilege.
Maybe that's why Hannibal had found this talk such a nonsense. Will did smile when he was with Hannibal, he smiled during their conversations, sometimes sarcastically, but he felt sufficiently at ease in Hannibal's company to smile and Hannibal was glad, knowing that Will smiles were reserved for him, and only for him. If Will was smiling yesterday, must have been because of his dogs or because he might have been able to sleep more than three hours at night, and it had nothing to do with a possible lover.
A lover? That was impossible.
Hannibal was snapped from his reverie when Will moved closer, rubbing a trembling hand on his sweaty forehead. He was breathing hard and it was clear Will was still struggling to get out of that killer's mind.
"So?" Jack said expectantly. Will sighed.
"I don't know, something's wrong." Will seemed troubled. "I tryed, but i couldn't reach him. I looked, but i couldn't see."
"It only happens when it's the Ripper's. Do you think they're the same person?" Jack said and Hannibal could see the hope in his eyes.
"No, The Carpenter is skilled, but the cuts are messy, like a butcher. He has no medical training like the Ripper."
"I don't know." Will replyed harshly and looked away from Jack.
Hannibal was silent listening to Will's deep breaths.
"Will, look, I don't have time for this kind of..."
"Jack, come here for a second." Jimmy called their boss, saving Will from a public scolding. Just in time.
Jack glared at Will for a moment and headed to where Jimmy was, leaving the empath and the doctor alone.
"Jack doesn't take failure very well." Will said wincing.
"Don't push yourself so hard, Will." Hannibal said with a warm smile. "You can't control your gift. If you could, you wouldn't need me." and that was true.
"It's quite a irony that my 'gift', as you say, doesn't work when it's supposed to."
In that moment, Will's cell phone rang inside his pocket.
"Excuse me." Will said to Hannibal before taking the phone from the pocket of his jacket and walked away from the group. Beverly, Brian and Jimmy began to work on the body and Jack walked away to call Bella. Hannibal could not resist, just like he had done before, he tried to hear what Will as saying to the person on the other side of the line.
It would be better if he hadn't done so.
"Hello? Hi Wayne!"
Wayne? Who was Wayne? Then something that Hannibal was not expecting just happened: Will smiled, and it was not a fake smile.
"No, it won't be long, in fact I've just finished here ..." he continued. "I don't ..." He laughed "No way, we ate it last night at dinner, tonight I'm going to choose. I love you Wayne, Bye." Will said before hanging up the phone.
Hannibal made use of all his self-control to maintain a calm facade when in fact he was screaming inside. Who the hell was this Wayne??
"Doctor Lecter?" Will said approaching Hannibal who grinned bitterly, even though Will had not noticed that. "Can you tell Jack that I needed to go? Please?"
"Of course." Said Hannibal and Will did not realize his jaw clenching.
"Thank you, Doctor. See you later. "
Will still had that smile on his face when he walked away toward his car, and it was not a sarcastic smile like he used to see when Will felt uncomfortable or embarrassed, this was an open bright smile. Hannibal clenched his fists as he watched Will's car rit the road until it was no longer visible.
'I love you, Wayne.' Hannibal kept hearing Will's voice saying, repeating it like a scratched record inside his head, his throat was dry and something that should be in the place of his heart - if he once had one - felt broken, because these words were not spoken to him, but to a stranger.
Hannibal didn't know then that the pain he was feeling was the first stab of jealousy.