sharp_as_knives: (At home)
[personal profile] sharp_as_knives
Hannibal was aware they were going to have to speak about this weekend, but he'd learned to let Jono come to these things in his own time. So, for now he was sipping coffee and reading a book in the study.

And Jono had kind of been haunting the place since Abigail had left on Sunday, stalking about and doing his business with only the occasional word edgewise, and only really when it was necessary. Otherwise he'd been occupying himself with other concerns. Raven was back on the island, and he had set her up with a job. Nanika was... broken, apparently. He had to sit with her and make certain she wasn't doing Alluka any active harm by being in a state somewhere just shy of catatonia. But every now and again, his thoughts circled back to how Abigail had clearly forgiven Hannibal for what he had done to her, even though Jonothon had his doubts about the place she was in, mentally, herself. Even dead. Hannibal...

Well, Hannibal had a way of getting under people's skin.

Still, he couldn't just skulk around fuming about it forever, either, and eventually he did appear in the doorway to the study, arms crossed over his chest and one eyebrow raised in question, just waiting.

Hannibal finished a sentence, looked up, and set the book aside. He moved from his chair to the sofa and held out an arm.

Jono lingered in the doorway for a moment more, and then nodded just the once before making his way into the room, taking a seat on the sofa beside Hannibal and... wishing he could sigh. He seemed to always miss the ability to just take a steadying, possibly somewhat exasperated breath the most in moments like these.

//So,// he said, once he had settled in. //An explanation.//

"How much do you want to know?" Hannibal asked. He settled his arm around Jono.

//As much as you're willing to share,// Jono decided, after a pause. //I... I need to understand this one, Hannibal.//

Hannibal thought for a moment. "I don't know that you will. I don't fully understand it myself, save for intellectually." He ran his fingers through Jono's hair, still thinking. "Why don't you look at that evening instead? I can bring you to the room it lives in. That would probably be the most complete way to show you."

Jono balked, for a moment, at the idea of experiencing that moment first-hand through Hannibal. But what he was offering made a horrifying sort of sense. Jonothon wanted to understand, after all, and there was no better way to understand a person's motives than by being that person, by living in their head while they acted out.

//Then yes,// he said, and stepped into Hannibal's mind without giving himself another second to talk himself out of it. There in their minds' eyes, he frowned in thought. "Let's do it that way."

Hannibal nodded and took Jono's hand. "This way, then. I keep it in a...special place." For memories he needed indelible, but had no desire to visit more than necessary.

The Lecter manor.

"More special than most," Jono mused as he looked up at the building as they approached it, towering above them and sprawling out in all directions. "Now I'll admit you have me curious what sort of memories you usually keep here."

Memories of murdering daughter figures, for a start. His fiery-blue jaw clenched just slightly at that thought, for multiple reasons, but he refrained from saying it aloud at least until he could see what had happened for himself.

"Old memories, mostly," Hannibal answered. "Important memories, not pretty ones."

He led the way through the gate and across the grounds to the family cemetery. The headstones here had no names on them, only dates. It didn't take long to find the one he wanted. "Here."

Jonothon stepped up to the headstone in question, frowning down at it with a quiet sort of reverent fury rippling over him in flaming waves of blue and orange. He nodded, once, down toward the stone.

"This is the whole thing?"

"Yes," Hannibal answered. Everything of that evening - Will's betrayal and rejection, Alana's refusal to let him go and his asking Abigail to see she didn't interfere, his utter rage and heartbreak at how close they had been to a family. And his subsequent need to reject that utterly, to destroy it as much as Will had, and to destroy Will in the process.

It had never been about Abigail; that had probably hurt her as much as the knife. But she'd stood there for him anyway.

Jonothon nodded once, crouching down and brushing his fingers carefully over the surface of the headstone. It was cold to the touch, in spite of the fire that was raging over him, and with a deep breath, he welcomed that cold. Let it wash over him and invade his mind, let it push aside himself so that he could live through those moments as Hannibal had.

When he stood again, when he stepped away from that headstone, when he looked up again, for the briefest flicker of a moment, he was regarding his husband with Hannibal's own eyes.

"If," he said, in a voice so calm and cold it was difficult to find a shred of Jonothon anywhere within it, "you ever cause harm to a child in order to hurt me or anybody else again, I will destroy you. I will tear your mind apart until there's only enough left to know why, and then I'll leave that fragment of you alive to suffer."

He blinked again, and Jonothon's own hazel eyes stared back at Hannibal with a firm, quiet fury. He understood Hannibal's actions. He comprehended his motives. But even if Abigail had forgiven Hannibal for her death, Jonothon wasn't going to let this slide so easily.

Hannibal just looked back at him and nodded calmly. "I understand." He cocked his head. "Do you?"

"You... weren't..." Jono closed his eyes again, and a little bit more of himself crept back into his voice as he shoved his own cold, vicious side deep down. "... to say you weren't thinking wouldn't quite be accurate. You'd gone feral. You were striking out in pain."

But he'd struck out at a child, instead of the person who had hurt him. Abigail had been a casualty of a most vicious heartbreak.

"I was quite aware of what I was doing," Hannibal said. "It simply seemed necessary." His hatred of Will and his need to hurt as he'd been hurt had outweighed any caring he felt for Abigail at the time.

He couldn't even say he was precisely sorry, though he regretted losing Abigail.

"I felt that," Jono replied, sighing. "I felt how you needed to do it, to hurt him the way he'd hurt you." He closed his eyes again, and the fire died out completely, leaving just Jonothon, frowning down at the gravestone. "How do you feel about it now, Hannibal? Do you still feel it was necessary?"

It wouldn't change anything. It wouldn't bring Abigail back from the dead. But Jono needed to know, all the same.

"Now?" Hannibal asked. "Of course not. At the time, absolutely."

Jonothon... sighed again. Sighed, and looked at Hannibal with eyes that had gone pale white.

"Sometimes," he noted, quietly, "coming to understand you makes me very tired."

Once again, that cold bloody killer in his head was pointing out that he could spare the life of any future Abigails, so, so easily. He lifted his hands and scrubbed at his face. Fire spilled out between his fingers once again, though this time it was a white-blue, vibrant but guttering all at the same time. And then, shaking his head, he reached for Hannibal's hand.

"I'm angry with you," he informed Hannibal. Just in case somehow he hadn't made that clear over the past few days. "And it will not happen again. You took something precious away from that girl. You hurt Will and you deprived yourself of a daughter, but you robbed her of her future. And... she forgave you for it."

Jono could only imagine what kind of tap-dancing Hannibal did inside her head before killing her, for that to happen.

"But this one... I won't be able to let go of it. Possibly ever. I hope you understand that."

"I know." Hannibal took his hand regardless. "And I understand. Given the nature of my thoughts at the time, I can't promise I wouldn't do it again. But I can promise that the only circumstances under which I ever would, would mean that I wouldn't care what you would do to me for it; there could be no greater suffering. And I don't think it at all likely."

He smiled and reached his free hand to cup Jono's face. "You know what the difference is, don't you? Between then and now."

Jono leaned his face into Hannibal's hand in spite of himself.

"If the answer isn't me I'm going to be even more cross."

'Cross' was a very cutesy word for the way he simultaneously wanted to kiss Hannibal and brain him with Abigail's headstone.

In answer, Hannibal leaned in to kiss him. He was hardly going to help Jono brain him, but this much he could do. "Fortunately, it is."


[The parts in Hannibal's head is NFB, obviously, but that they had a Serious Discussion is open.]

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