hauntedhome: (☙ 13)
ʟʏᴅɪᴀ ᴅᴇᴇᴛᴢ ([personal profile] hauntedhome) wrote in [community profile] herbgarden2016-01-04 05:42 pm
Entry tags:

Open Post: Lydia Deetz

Leave a prompt (text message, image, scene starter, anything) in a comment below
Feel free to elaborate or plot via PM

AU is ✓
Multiple threads is ✓
Tags and prose are ✓
Strangers are ✓
Permissions for your consideration
itrhymes: (i'm waiting)

[personal profile] itrhymes 2016-01-28 09:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Life, like cooking, is the sort of thing that needs a strong base of practice and consistency, but which is made truly interesting by the occasional spices. Hannibal's life is a long roster of reliable routines: his psychiatry practice and the accounting and business laws that come along with it. His large house, and the occasional, scheduled hiring of help to maintain the yard, the harpsichord. Keeping his license to practice updated. Getting fresh produce weekly at a trusted farmer's market and fresh meat from butchers. Morning jogs, evening swims, and the sort of public gym displays that are seen as dedicated but not shocking from a man his age. All to keep the well-prepared machine that is his public life going as planned.

And then there's the spice. A particularly unpleasant accountant's heart in his freezer. Seeing Die Meistersinger at the Baltimore Lyric Opera House. A snide receptionist in his basement. Discovering the strange child Lydia in the woods after disposing of an old patient just yards away. All of the little surprises that make the day-to-day routines worth it.

Of course, there's always the spices that aren't as palatable. Jennifer Appelbaum, Hannibal's normal secretary, is currently on a vacation - so long as to seem more like a sabbatical. Hannibal invited her to take the unusual vacation, however, citing the oddity of American culture surrounding employee vacation time. She's off in Munich visiting relatives. In her place is a woman with impeccable dress sense, an amazing affinity for numbers, and somewhat less of an ability for keeping a cool head. Hannibal has personally startled her no less than ten times since she began working two weeks ago. The first two were accidental. The last few handfuls have been to break up the monotony of the office.

Hannibal is currently reading the news in his office when the phone rings. Mrs. Amy Blanch's voice comes through the speaker.

Someone to see him. Not a patient. No appointment. They're lucky he's not currently seeing anyone - did they know? Or coincidence? This would be the second time he's had a past patient stop by unannounced, if that is it, so the possibility is there, but he doesn't immediately jump to conclusions. Hannibal is curious, and open in that curiosity. Spice. He asks Blanch to send the guest down the hallway, to the inner waiting area.

And then he waits.
itrhymes: (pic#7884356)

[personal profile] itrhymes 2016-01-29 11:19 pm (UTC)(link)
A prelude in B minor is what echoes through the office door. Hannibal sometimes has a radio playing between patients, or for certain ones whom it helps (or hinders) - today he had started by looking for new harpsichord pieces to learn, but it's evolved by now in a way common to people who listen to music: he's defaulting to familiar songs. Hannibal has never had an enormous respect for Pachelbel - not that one, the other one, his son - but his work can be intriguing and satisfying in its own way. Hannibal has had the eldest son of a wealthy man as a patient before, and he's met many more as colleagues. In the frenzied, polished hammering of this song, Hannibal hears that demand for attention, and it amuses him.

He turns it off when he hears a knock at the door, more as a signifier of someone has heard you than a courtesy for when he speaks to whoever it is.

When he opens the door, he has to adjust his initial eyeline. You'll have to forgive him, he was expecting someone quite a bit...taller.

He looks downward, and his eyebrows pull up. "Lydia," he says, and his voice is the only thing that doesn't seem surprised. "So eager to show me the photos?"
itrhymes: (pic#7884750)

[personal profile] itrhymes 2016-01-31 05:04 pm (UTC)(link)
Lydia is not who he was expecting. In a quick mental list of people who may show up unannounced, she wasn't even on the list.

His entire face drags into stillness at her question. It's a painful mix of amusement and disdain, and his stern eyebrows are doing their best to contradict the fact that his eyes are laughing. "Luckily, Lydia," he begins. "I think the next crazy patient won't be in until three."

He finally steps back into the room, the door hinging wider to follow him. "If your excitement about the photos has dwindled, I'm curious why you went to the trouble of finding my office." Since. You know. He never told you where he worked, Lydia.
itrhymes: (pic#7884750)

[personal profile] itrhymes 2016-02-02 02:01 am (UTC)(link)
His name is certainly highly ranked in most internet search engines, a fact that has allowed plenty of visitors (and junk mail) to find his office. He knows that even just a passing curiosity could have given Lydia his address - the idea may even have surfaced after she saw the Google Map view of his building. He isn't suspicious of the intentions of a fourteen year-old. He looks, momentarily, suspicious of her shoes as she tracks into his office, but his face clears when it becomes apparent she didn't walk through too much woods in her boots before arriving.

Choice can be paralyzing, can't it? Hannibal is used to people aimlessly wandering from seating area to seating possibility. It's only a certain breed of person who just drops into the first one they see. "I appreciate your thoughtfulness." He's considering extending his polite smile a little further, letting it grow jesting, and asking her what else she's managed to find out about him, if his address posed no issues. But then Lydia keeps talking.

She's already sidled around the concept that adults in her life don't meet her expectations. Hannibal looks her in the eye at the suggestion that he'd lost interest. His face is a mask of sincerity. Wiped clean of positive or negative intentions, it signals only truth. "Of course I'm interested in what you directed your camera to see." It only morphs into something more scripted when he elaborates, flattery and drama being wrung from the very air. "I may have come across you in the midst of taking a photo, but to be behind the lens would be another experience entirely."

But she's implied something. Hannibal lets the door shut, pads back across the room to loom by his desk. He doesn't offer direction by choosing where they will sit, by stands sentry by the polished surface. "But if it wasn't just for the photos, what brought you to my office?"
Edited 2016-02-02 02:01 (UTC)
itrhymes: (oven mitts)

[personal profile] itrhymes 2016-02-03 05:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Where else was he supposed to keep all the books he'd had to buy for university, Lydia? Do you have any idea just how many course textbooks are required for someone with not one, but two doctorates and a collective four years of residency? (Nevermind the tens of books that he's added to the collection to look important. Let's not focus on that.)

If Lydia were older, he'd offer some of the drinks he keeps in his cabinet. As it is, he has a coffee machine in a different room that branches off and serves as a kitchenette, for when he spends the full day at his office. Perhaps not coffee for someone so young. Tea, however...

Has he stumped her? He watches her without alarm or judgment, looking for the source of her confusion. Is it the simple fact that he's insisting on asking at all?

It's another reminder of the oddity of this situation. He's had a few younger patients, but generally his interaction with youth is restricted to grocery clerks and gas station attendants, and all of those are older teens. This strange girl offers him little except something to watch and learn about, and yet he finds that...that's enough, for the moment. If he enjoys the sensation of being admired - or so he tells himself that's where some of her motivations lie - well. That doesn't hurt.

But then Lydia says friends, and he can't help his surprise. Something like condescending pity sparks in him, a dismissal without a grounding argument behind it, but there's intrigue and softer feelings just underneath. How lonely is she for peers? He has the sudden instinct that he isn't the first adult she's ended up wanting to spend time with. Her parents had been strange, but not unkind...she must be a picky child, or there's more going on than meets the eye. "Well. If my office is where you would like to conduct 'hanging out', as you say, I might recommend that next time, you call ahead to be sure I'm not seeing a patient." Which is a well-wrapped version of saying 'I'm glad you came, feel free to visit again'. He certainly looks pleased with it.
itrhymes: (oven mitts)

[personal profile] itrhymes 2016-02-04 10:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Of course it didn't occur to her to call. How many times has an American 14 year-old set up their dental or doctor appointments? She probably calls peers when setting up dates to meet, but calling adults isn't in her agenda as something possible or expected. That, at least, is an answer that finally sates him.

But ah, the photos. Hannibal watches her, curious about the book she's stored them in. He watches the cloth cover as she re-situates the book in her hands, while sliding the offered photos off his desk.

The gloss is even higher than the mahogany they were resting on a moment ago, but it does little to raise the brightness of the images themselves. Somber and immediate, they convey their information in the strangely-concise way of black and white film - only shadows, only patches of light. It's also the easiest way to immediately evoke artistry in photos, and is easily - and frequently - abused, especially by youth.

But Hannibal finds that there's not too much scoffing to be had at them. Oh, they're a little contrived, and certainly dramatic, but he's always had a soft spot for both. He looks through them, seriously, as if planning on giving a critique for a newspaper. Halfway through, he glances over at her for just a moment, long enough to establish that he wants her attention. When he speaks, he's studying the photos again. "No hues to get in the way of the message, or to explain it further. It's a limitation that can frustrate or enhance, depending on the subject and message." He examines the back of one of the photos - it's not often he has actual film photographs in his hands. So much of his life is conducted digitally for photos, despite the amount of real, physical paintings and sculptures he surrounds himself with. This is, actually, a fairly new area for him - and perhaps contrastingly, one he only knows through nostalgia. He hasn't held a film camera since his own teenage years.

"I would say you've done a lovely job."
itrhymes: (pic#7884762)

[personal profile] itrhymes 2016-02-05 04:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Lydia has the tone of someone fishing. Hannibal looks over to her, curious, and relents his grip on her photo. An anomaly in the film, he would have noticed--

--but he hadn't noticed what she thinks to point out. He bends in closer, obediently searching. He makes a pleased hmm sound of agreement, studying the silhouette before straightening back up. "Do you take it as an omen of some kind, or just an amusing accident?"
itrhymes: (pic#7884358)

[personal profile] itrhymes 2016-02-07 11:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Had his word choice been a little ominous? Hannibal has been accused of worse things that can ruin the mood. He smiles, indulgent, and looks down to the rich carpeting for a moment. "I believe that the interpretation of the signs are even more important than the signs themselves." He watches the photos be slipped away without protest, some of the favored ones already committed to memory - and then she leaves a single one free. He isn't going to forget the little slip of his sleeve in her last photo, the staged floating hand capturing surprises despite Lydia's calculated attempt at controlling the scene. It's an amusing anomaly, one that demands symbolism be assigned to it.

"God may do as He pleases, but without an audience capable of understanding it, what use is His art?" Hannibal speaks of God with a soft voice, not the stern proclamation of a preacher - but absolutely all of the self-confidence. "Art is a good lens to see life through. All of it is in the eye of the beholder."

Hmm. He looks content after speaking, like sharing this actually brings him a lot of personal joy. After a beat, he turns to look over his left shoulder, and then back to Lydia. "Would you like some tea?"
Edited 2016-02-07 23:30 (UTC)
itrhymes: (pic#7884750)

[personal profile] itrhymes 2016-02-08 02:42 am (UTC)(link)
Hannibal is happy to hear her continue the game. She presses forward, even using his own metaphors, the return coming across as polite. Almost flattering, all on its own. Hannibal lingers for a moment, considering, not yet heading towards his kitchen. His eyes watch Lydia's fingers on his desk, and his own instinctively flatten against his jacket.

"More like a child painting by numbers, perhaps." Hannibal's voice is calm, unargumentative, but his words suggest a certain disdain for the concept of fate. "God is not the painter, but the creator of the canvas. It's His creations that take up the brush." His office is huge, in part, because of what it does to voices. Everything carries fully - it doesn't echo back with all the furniture dulling the atmosphere, it doesn't feel like a cramped space with too much stifling it, or too open and vacant. "Knowing that, how could you refuse the invitation to paint your own inspirations?"

The freedom given to him by knowing that there is no God is limitless. Knowing that he will die someday and cease everything is a drive to live in the moment. No, Hannibal is certain and unforgiving in his dismissal of the concept of fate, but at least he makes a heartfelt argument for the lack of direction being positive.

"You may follow me, if you wish." But he also promised tea, and now he begins backing off to another door at the opposite end of the office, diagonal from the entrance.
itrhymes: (pic#8139026)

[personal profile] itrhymes 2016-02-14 03:11 am (UTC)(link)
The only real issue with the kitchen, as it stands, is the tiny window it's been granted. To keep the room secretive and private with respect to the outdoors, there's just a little one along the top wall - more reminiscent of an unfinished basement than a kitchen. The modern light fixtures, however, more than make up for the lack of sun.

Hannibal pauses, fingers on the kettle's arched handle. His eyebrows lift and his lips press together so as not to make a sound of disbelief. He looks, in a word, amused. "No," he says simply. But, not to lose his endless chatter: "Simply raised in a Lithuanian Catholic household. I've been inside countless churches." Which is true, although most of the ones he's been in, he was inside without family members. With their grand ceilings and their forbidding doors, their talk of values while hiding depravity, Hannibal adores looking at churches. He has a folder, at home, of photos of church collapses, the ancient bricks or cheap wooden paneling splintered and ruined.

"Do your parents bring you to church?" The heater is flicked on, the kettle filled.
itrhymes: (pic#8139026)

[personal profile] itrhymes 2016-02-16 04:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Does Lydia have any idea how many people haven't recognized his accent. Does she. If she'd guessed on her own, she'd have risked having to pick him up off the floor. Hannibal can count on his fingers how many people haven't looked confused at the name 'Lithuania' since he moved to America. They're not exactly a dominant global power.

"Oh, the services are terribly boring, on the whole." With the exception of America's more southern churches, with all the screaming and tongues and falling to and fro across the aisles, calling for Jesus. "I find them to be beautiful to look at, however. The older ones in New England sometimes have the flare you find over in Europe." You can practically feel the Rich Affluence coming off of Hannibal in waves.

The kettle ticks as the metal heats.
itrhymes: (pic#7610233)

[personal profile] itrhymes 2016-06-10 01:32 am (UTC)(link)
Hannibal's mouth purses with a smile, teeth just barely hidden. The kettle is the soft, throaty sound that precedes the shrill whistle. Hannibal rescues all of their ears - and the green tea's delicate water temperature - by taking it off early.

"As I said, my family was. In name, at least." He watches Lydia over the steaming water, as he spoons out tea into the strainer for steeping. "I enjoy the pageantry associated with religion. But I do not partake in it as someone looking for protection or guidance, no.

"You said you find church boring. Can I assume you feel the same way about God, or do you feel that you are religious without the need for a church?"
itrhymes: (pic#8139026)

[personal profile] itrhymes 2016-06-10 11:59 am (UTC)(link)
"People certainly have developed their own hatreds, and then hidden behind a number of books over the centuries, to justify their violence." Hannibal collects two teacups from a narrow cabinet. Matte, dark grey, with delicate darker grey patterns. Hard to notice the difference except as the gloss catches the light.

He catches on a quick thread of thought, strung through what Lydia has just said. As he measures out tea into their cups, his eyes flicker to hers above the steam. "You think people should be their own Gods? Create their own personal religion?" He replaces the kettle on an unused burner.

He reaches across the space between them, her cup offered in his hand. "Or perhaps that we should do away with the concept altogether?"