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Hannibal the Cannibal {Dr Hannibal Lecter} ([personal profile] itrhymes) wrote in [community profile] herbgarden 2016-07-05 10:45 pm (UTC)

When Hannibal had raised his hand to Tate, he'd of course seen the shiver of reaction. His eyes had scrunched as they had with tears, but that was fear motivating him in that instant. His wide-eyed shock afterwards had made Hannibal very glad he'd chosen to touch him, however. This was clearly not just memorable, but overriding some previous memory. Interacting with Tate's past is likely going to be the key to connecting with him in any meaningful way.

Ben, as it turns out, is taking this pleasantly well. Scathing explanations and heartlessly-given criticisms all fade back into their Hallway in Hannibal's mind, no longer needed at the moment. For later, perhaps.

The way Hannibal's eyes and mouth relax is genuine. Ben's hidden surprise at their contact only solidifies Hannibal's satisfaction in reaching out to Tate. If it unbalances Doctor Harmon's constructed, iron certainty of where the three of them stand, then it's to Hannibal's advantage.

As Ben finishes speaking, Hannibal looks back at Tate. If he's continued crying, there's not many new tears; Hannibal gives him a small, distinct nod, and releases their contact very slowly. He takes his hand back and removes his pocket square as he turns back, fully, to Ben.

The pocket square dries his hand as he approaches Ben, slow enough and with little enough intent that it's clearly not read as a threat. "I couldn't agree more fully." Ben eyes him without speaking. He crosses his arms, albeit without any visible paranoia, and Hannibal takes that as his cue to stop closing the gap between them. If he reached, he might be able to touch Ben's shoulder. "And I realize that I cannot force Tate to trust me enough to reveal all of himself to me. There will be some degree to which I will not be in control. But that's the nature of our job.

"The patient's attachment and trust guides us. All of the information-gathering tortures of the world cannot compare to what someone will confess to a loved one to avoid losing them."

Ben blinks and looks slightly concerned. Hannibal has the abrupt suspicion he's hit a serendipitous, personal nerve. Ben watches Tate over Hannibal's shoulder for a moment and then looks to the floor, shaking his head and chuckling. "Couple years ago, I wouldn't have agreed. But my secrets kept getting spilled out anyway. And look where it landed me." Ben's eyes are dry and full of nameless sorrow when he stares at Hannibal. "I dunno. If I was Tate, I think I'd have learned that hanging onto your secrets can be the only thing keeping some relationships together." He rolls his eyes skyward, self-deprecating chuckle huffing out. "Even if it just destroys both of you in the end."

Hannibal's smile is patient. "I'm afraid I can't recall if you wanted him to be honest with me or not. Have you not been practicing your therapy technique these past few years?" Hannibal answers Ben's chuckle with a deeper smile of his own.

Ben closes his eyes and sighs, deeply. Hannibal marvels at it and wonders if all of the ghosts breathe from habit.

"Honestly? I'm wishing the best for you, Doctor Lecter. I just don't know if it's a reasonable wish." Ben looks sincere to the point of pain, although he visibly shakes it off a moment later.

Hannibal reaches out a hand. Ben's eyebrows raise, but then he shakes his hand with enough pressure that Hannibal could tell it was the correct gesture even without looking at his face. "I appreciate your advocacy. I'm not so blind as to think this stemmed entirely from a bitterness over Tate. Your concern for my well-being has not gone unnoticed."

Ben looks almost touched, if also amused at the seriousness here. One shoulder shrugs as he lets go of Hannibal's hand. "I don't like seeing people make my own mistakes." Hannibal catches the way Ben seeks eye contact with Tate as he says it. What is the connection there? Troubled youth, Doctor Harmon? "I'm also pretty sure we're done here." Ben's eyes take a moment to come back to Hannibal's. "Doctor Lecter, it's been...interesting, talking with you again." It's said without sarcasm.

"For myself, as well. The conversation after your last phone call left something to be desired." Ben has the grace to wince, although he looks far from apologetic. "I must admit this was far more pleasant."

Hannibal doesn't really chuckle with sound, but he answers Ben's with the sort of downward smile-with-teeth that generally accompanies them. Everyone has their pleasant facades back on, now. Hannibal cannot wait until Ben is gone and he can deal with the fact that their third member isn't capable of that party trick.

"I'll just show myself out." Ben gestures behind himself, but soon enough he's turned around.

Hannibal nods. It's possible he says something benignly pleasant about seeing him again sometime if he finds himself in the area. Either way, as soon as Ben leaves the living room, his footsteps fade before he'd ever have reached the front door.

Hannibal doesn't sigh with relief. His posture doesn't sag. But his demeanor changes, stone by stone, once he's certain their company is gone.

He turns back towards Tate, face calm. The icy anger that had lingered in his eyes before has gone. "You've had an exciting afternoon."

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