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Catching A Monster

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He had been in a state of non-being for awhile now. How long, he couldn't tell. Time was fluid in the state he was in, drifting in and out of a semi-conscioussness. He could feel himself waking up, both physically and mentally. He was slowly becoming aware of his body again, the weight of his limbs, the soreness of his head. His thoughts stopped floating around so much and started stringing themselves into coherency.

Will couldn't remember much. He could hear the hollow noises of people talking and walking past his room, and the rhythmic beeping of a machine to his left. Why was he in the hospital? Will tried to think back, but his thoughts were muddled and confused. He remembered going to his classroom. But didn't he go somewhere else after that? A dull ache began to build behind his eyes. He let the thoughts dissipate. He opened his eyes tentatively. The fluorescent light hurt, so gingerly turned his head to the side. Doctor Lecter was sitting by his side.

"Nice to have you back with us, Will." He offered Will a warm smile.

"What happened?" Will managed, his voice coming out croaky. He tried to lift himself into a sitting position but was overwhelmed with dizziness and a dull ache on the left side of his chest. Hannibal put his hand firmly on Will's chest and guided him back down.

"You must remain still. You have lost a fair amount of blood, and have not yet fully recuperated."

Will closed his eyes and waited for his head to stop spinning.

"What happened?" he repeated weakly.

"You were attacked by Sebastian Krettsi. You've sustained a few serious injuries."

Will tried to grasp at his whirling thoughts. "Krettsi attacked me? Is he in custody?"

Hannibal's eyes darkened. "He is dead."

Will swallowed dryly. "Did I....?"

Hannibal said nothing, but his stoic silence spoke for itself. Will closed his eyes. He tried to recall what had happened. But everything was blank.

"I...I can't remember." He stammered.

Hannibal leaned forward in his chair. "You went to Krettsi's house. He anticipated your arrival and met you at the door. He stabbed you in the chest, puncturing your lung, and in your thigh. You shot him. You managed to phone the police before you fainted from lack of blood."

Will tried to remember what Doctor Lecter was telling him, but no memories surfaced.

"I think I lost time."

"Or," Hannibal suggested, "You are simply blocking the experience. Both are plausible explanations."

Will licked his cracked lips. "Can I have a glass of water?"

Hannibal reached for the button beside Will's bed and rose him up into a sitting position. He filled a paper cup with water from the salmon colored water pitcher provided. Will took the cup gratefully and sipped at the tepid water.

"How long have I been out?"

"Two days." Hannibal said, sitting back in his chair.

"When can I go home?"

"Three days from now. You will not be able to do much moving, I'm afraid. You will also need to have a physical therapist when your leg fully heals. The gracilis muscle was severed."

Will snorted. "I think I can manage."

"Will," Hannibal said sternly. "If you expect to make a full recovery, you have to make sure you properly handle your injury, elst you walk with a limp the rest of your life."

"Physical therapy..." Will stammered, "will consist of a stranger watching me and giving me condolences about my injury and-" Will paused briefly, "touching me."

Hannibal sat and looked hard at Will. Will refused to meet his gaze. After a few moments of silence he spoke.

"Very well. But your condition must be monitored. This presents a problem, since you live alone."

"What do you suggest?" Will asked, bringing the cup to his lips.

"I suggest you stay at my house until you've fully recovered."

Will shook his head automatically. "My dogs-"

"Would be taken care of. Fed and let out twice a day."

Will still looked unconvinced. Hannibal continued.

"You would stay in my guest bedroom. Your meals will be provided. The only thing you will be responsible for is getting better."

He smiled. Will returned the smile fleetingly.

"I- I just don't know."

"Well I do know. I do not mean to seem commanding, but I must insist."

Will's eyes skittered to Hannibal's quickly before flitting away. He hesitated, but gave a small nod, showing his consent. Hannibal stood and buttoned his jacket.

"I will prepare the arrangements. In the meantime, you must rest."

Will nodded again and watched as Doctor Lecter left the room. He finished his water and set the cup to the side. Will sighed, wincing at the pain it caused in his chest. His hand went under the thin sheet and felt the bandages on his chest. He then trailed to his inner thigh, feeling the wound there. He tried again to remember, but to no avail. Will's eyes felt heavy. He closed them and waited fo sleep to take him.