II. Hannibal I
The phone call was a courtesy call.
Hannibal did not like to think that he would betray Will Graham—a man who had stolen the little left of his heart with just a glance—but with everything that was rational, he knew that he had to save Garrett Jacob Hobbs.
No one had been there to save him all these years.
His uncle was next to useless, blind as he was to what occurred under his own roof. Lady Murasaki was calm but believed that contemplation and meditation was the answer to any sibling rivalry that she believed he and Mischa possessed. And Mischa … her husband could only keep her attention for so long, though he had been fortunate in that the man seemed to be omniscient, although sadly not prone to fits of possessiveness or jealousy in the usual fashion.
No one had been there to save him, but he could perhaps save Garrett Jacob Hobbs and offer him a half-life, if he really desired to live at all.
Will told him to wait in the car, and he did, worrying his leather gloves between his fingers.
The shots seemed to put him in a haze, as shot after shot came, and Hannibal felt as if he were dreaming. A desire to see Will unharmed is perhaps what drove him into the house, passing over the lifeless body of Mrs. Hobbs—an undoubtedly weak woman who would not see the situation in front of her, and if she did, would blame the man who was at the mercy of his abuser.
He could hear rough breathing and when he entered the kitchen, he took in the carnage around him.
Garrett Jacob Hobbs had been shot—eight, nine times. He was pressed into a corner where he had fallen, his eyes on his daughter, whose throat was partially slit. She was now covered in blood, gasping for life, grasping at his Will, her auburn hair and blue eyes just like Mischa’s so much that it physically hurt.
In that moment, when their eyes connected, Hannibal snapped.
As a surgeon, he had sworn the Hippocratic Oath, the earliest version reading: Primum non nocere. Still, in Abigail Hobbs he saw his sister and revulsion overtook him. He leaned down and dragged Will away physically, his hands stained in a girl’s blood, his hands shaking and his breath coming quickly in an obvious panic.
Hannibal held him tightly and pressed Will’s face into his shoulder so he would not see the blood, could not see what had happened, could not see that Abigail Hobbs was unfortunately still alive.
It took only a moment for Will’s terrified brain to latch onto the comfort Hannibal gave him, his arms coming around Hannibal and his bloodied hands clawing at the shoulders of Hannibal’s coat in sheer desperation.
“Shh,” Hannibal soothed. “I have you. You are safe with me, my dear boy. Nothing can harm you so long as I have you.”
Will only clutched tighter, but his shaking began to still as Hannibal continued to whisper sweet nothings into his ear.
The grasping eyes of Abigail met Hannibal’s own, but other than that Hannibal did not acknowledge her. He watched as she bled out, holding Will to him and rocking him slightly back and forth as he would Klara after she’d had a nightmare. Abigail Hobbs’s eyes darkened and became more and more unseeing, and Hannibal allowed himself the smallest of smiles, only letting it drop from his lips when back up arrived not ten minutes later.
His mind organized the next few hours. Uncle Jack would interview his Will, but he wouldn’t be far away, there to piece in the story to play it out like Abigail was (hopefully) dead when he dragged Will away from her corpse. Then they would go back to the hotel, Hannibal coaxing Will to wash Abigail’s blood off his skin in the sink or in the shower. A quick change, a call to the airport, and they would be going back to Baltimore that night—with the smile of a sweet child there to greet them, an offering to Will, an apology.
Hannibal would build a perfect family that he swore no one—not Abigail Hobbs, not Agent Jack Crawford, and certainly not Mischa—could tear apart.
He would murder to see it so… but then again, he already had.