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as it fell you rose to claim it

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Hannibal Lecter has a problem.

It's not the sociopathy, the murder, or his inclinations to cannibalism. It's not his tendency to feel the urge to stab his friends or colleagues, or his rhapsodizing about the beauty of death, or even his rampant consumerism.

The problem is his heart. There's something fragmented inside Hannibal Lecter, the veins and the arteries frayed into pieces. He is traumatized, pained.

When Will Graham is in prison, Hannibal thinks about being alone. After his parents died. After his sister died. After he parted ways with Lady Murasaki. He is alone, and he wraps himself in a silk linen while listening to classical music, chewing on a finely roasted flesh kebab.

He is broken. A war orphan. He keeps up the facade, surrounds himself in paintings and recipes, and wonders about the importance of making connections.

"I want William to awaken," he tells Abigail. He gently adjusts the chains on her legs--it's temporary, he'll take it off when she learns not to attempt to escape. He offers her a plate of sushi, a mix of fresh salmon and a man who had the impertinence to pass by him wearing a fishing jacket that reminded him of Will. "One hopes, now that he sees, that he will become."

Abigail takes the sushi. She says, quietly, "I miss him."

"As do I," Hannibal agrees.

He touches the side of her hair, softly. In many ways, she is still the creature of her father, with that longing for fresh air, with her acceptance of the food he gives her.

She leans into his hand, possibly desiring touch because of the length of her stay in the basement. Hannibal smiles at her and tells her stories about Persephone and Helen of Troy.

--

He's disappointed when he has to cut her throat. He's more disappointed in Will, of course, who had stayed by his side, who had evolved, but it was wasted, it was meaningless.

Will Graham writhes on the floor next to Abigail, and Hannibal thinks of the possibilities that they have lost.

He goes out into the rain, and wants to set fire to it, to burn away the cold and the broken. This is what a fragile thing feels like, the brittle edges and the cracks.

--

While the headlines blare HANNIBAL THE CANNIBAL and Will Graham lies in a hospital bed, Hannibal gives the hotel room around him a desultory glance. The view of the Eiffel Tower. The pastries from a nearby bakery. The piles of academic articles that he wants to peruse about art in Florence.

William, he thinks. William.

He often seen owners with their dogs and he can't stop remembering. There was a small puppy today.

He takes a sip of wine. Feels the walls of the hotel room pressing in the closed space. The secret is this: while the world screams for justice, Hannibal closes his eyes and cries.

He is, like always, a refugee from a war, both external and internal. Nobody understands. :(