Krissy stayed rooted in place as Jack approached them, his brow furrowed, a look of disbelief on his features. Hannibal had the sense to pull his hand away from her hip, but he stayed close by her side, feeling the anxiety coming off Krissy in waves. She opened her mouth to speak as he came to a halt in front of them, but quickly clamped her mouth shut a moment later, not sure how she could deny what Jack had seen with his own two eyes. Her eyes flitted up to Hannibal's, finding amusement behind his hazel irises, wondering if he had known that Jack had been watching them. She certainly wouldn't put it past him.
"I'm not interrupting, am I?" Jack all but spat out his question, his lips turned up in a snarl.
"Of course not. You know you are always welcome in my home, Jack" Hannibal replied.
"And so is my daughter by the looks of it" Jack snapped, only growing angrier when he noticed the way Hannibal's lips twitched into a barely visible smirk.
"She is the guest of honour tonight. After all, she did save my life" Hannibal stated.
"How grateful we all are for that" Jack muttered, glaring at his old friend.
"Dad, it's me you're angry at. Don't take it out on Hannibal" Krissy insisted, as he finally turned his attention to her.
"He's not the one taking advantage of a traumatised girl-" Jack began, when she quickly cut him off.
"I'm not a kid anymore. I can make my own decisions. Even if you don't like them" Krissy argued, watching Jack's jaw clench.
"So, it's true then? You two are...together?" Jack grimaced, feeling bile rise up in his throat at the mere thought of it.
"Relationships develop and change every day, Jack. We did not plan this affair-" Hannibal explained, but was cut off by Jack, who held his hand up, managing to silence the other man.
"I was talking to my daughter" Jack retorted, his rudeness setting Hannibal's teeth on edge.
"Hannibal's helping me. That's what I need right now" Krissy told him.
"He's manipulating you, Krissy!" Jack insisted, his voice rising in anger.
"No more than anyone else has" Krissy muttered.
"I think it would be best if you left, Jack" Hannibal advised, making the older man scoff.
"I'm not going anywhere without my daughter" Jack told him.
"I really must insist" Hannibal exclaimed, in a cold tone, ushering towards the door.
"And if I refuse? What will you do then, Hannibal? Why don't you show your true colours?" Jack snapped, suddenly shoving Hannibal roughly in the chest, as he stumbled back a pace.
"Dad, stop it!" Krissy gaped, pushing herself in between the two men after she saw the look on Hannibal's face.
She knew if it was anyone else but her father who acted that way, they would soon end up on his dinner table. Hannibal's lips were drawn together tensely, his nose wrinkled for a second, as she watched him push down his urges. It was such a slight expression that no one else could have noticed.
"You need to come home, Krissy" Jack insisted, reaching out to grab her wrist.
She could see out of her peripheral vision that Hannibal had taken a step forward, his shoulders rigid when she held out her hand to stop him. She wasn't sure when they had learnt to communicate with each other without their words.
"It's not my home anymore" Krissy retorted, pulling her wrist from his grip, edging closer to Hannibal.
Maybe it never was, she realised, with a frown. Jack shook his head, tears welling in his eyes, as he ran a hand over his face. He was quick to turn on his heel, storming out of the room, as Krissy pushed down the urge to run after him. She didn't want to hurt him, but people always seemed to when they were around her.
"He will come to understand" Hannibal murmured, placing his hand on Krissy's shoulder.
"And if he doesn't?" Krissy sighed.
Before Hannibal had a chance to reply, numerous phones around the room began to bleep, soon followed by hushed whispers, as all eyes landed on Krissy and Hannibal. She frowned when she heard her own mobile bleep, bringing it out of her pocket to find a new notification. From TattleCrime. Krissy's eyes narrowed as she opened the page, her blood running cold when she saw the headline and found that Freddie Lounds had not been bluffing.
The Chesapeake Ripper's latest victim...or murderous partner in crime?
She flicked down the page, quickly finding almost a dozen photos of her injuries, with detailed captions to the left and right. Freddie of course had a lot to say about the bites on her neck.
Marks from her twisted lover?
"I wouldn't mind making some marks on Freddie Lounds myself" Krissy snarled, as amusement grew in Hannibal's eyes.
"And, so you will. I believe it is time for our guests to leave" Hannibal suggested, earning a quick nod from her.
A moment later, he felt someone's gaze all but burning holes in his back, and twisted around to find Frederick Chilton a few metres away, clutching his cane in one hand, and his phone in the other. The two men continued staring silently at each other for a few more seconds before Hannibal sent a wink toward the other man, so subtle anyone else would have missed it. He enjoyed how the man's skin crawled so evidentially after, deciding he had quite enjoyed his evening.
Krissy watched as the last of the guests finally left, feeling like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders. She knew what they were all thinking. That she had become some sick pawn in the Chesapeake Ripper's game...and maybe they were right. She didn't know what the truth was anymore. She was sitting at Hannibal's grand piano when the man in question pulled a seat up beside her, half-turned to face her directly.
"Have you ever played?" Hannibal inquired, as she shook her head.
"My brother did for a while. He wasn't very good, it's not like we could afford piano lessons" Krissy muttered, with a far-off look.
"Perhaps I could teach you?" Hannibal offered.
"You're capable of much, Hannibal, but I think that's above even you" Krissy teased, a smile tugging at her lips.
"Or you simply underestimate yourself" Hannibal replied, reaching out to take one of her hands in his.
He placed his palm over the back of her hand, his fingers stretching over her own to place them on the piano keys. It was a strangely intimate gesture, something which had a light blush growing on Krissy's cheeks, as he moved their hands in tandem. It took her a few seconds to realise, he was playing chopsticks, causing an amused sound to leave her lips. Once the short piece was done, he still didn't move his hand away from hers, instead linking their fingers further, as her eyes flickered to his.
"You're a good teacher" Krissy suggested.
"A teacher is only as good as their student" Hannibal stated, a smile on his face, one that managed to reach his eyes.
Krissy was taken aback by the rare look of human emotion, her hand reaching out to softly cup his cheek, causing him to freeze. She could see he was having to fight against his natural instincts to place his human veil up, a vulnerable look in his eyes as he tilted his head to press a kiss to her hand, causing her stomach to flutter.
"Did you mean what you said tonight to Alana?" Krissy questioned, as Hannibal raised an eyebrow.
"That you have my full attention?" He murmured, his lips still brushing against her palm.
"That your...relations are over?" Krissy pushed, as a small smirk grew on the older man's lips.
"Would that be pleasing to you?" Hannibal asked, with an irritatingly smug expression.
"Maybe I want you all to myself too" She exclaimed, watching as Hannibal's eyes flickered down to her lips.
He was the one to lean forward this time, capturing her lips, as his hand came up to cup her jaw. She eagerly returned the kisses, her hands moving to grip his hair, and pulling herself closer to him. Hannibal's thumb came to rest on her bottom lip, causing her to part her lips as he deepened the kiss, tasting the tang of champagne on her tongue. His other hand was trailing down her side until it reached the hem of her dress, dipping underneath to grip her thigh, as her heart started to race. All of a sudden, he was hoisting her up, setting her down on the piano keys, causing a sharp melody to leave the instrument. He was on her in an instant, slotting his body between her legs as his kisses became more feverish. Krissy wasted no time in unbuttoning his shirt, ripping the last few buttons away before he tugged the shirt off completely. A moan left her lips when he started kissing his way down her neck, teeth nicking against the skin that had only just healed from the last bruise he left. He continued his trail of kisses downwards, coming to a momentary halt when he reached the strap of her dress. Krissy's eyes widened as he instantly ripped the fabric, tugging the dress further down her shoulders. His arm was quickly wrapping around her back, pulling her off the piano for a second, as he dragged the dress all the way down, leaving her in just her strapless bra and panties. Her heart beat fast against her rib cage as she saw the lust growing in his eyes as he continued his descent, kissing his way down her abdomen as his hand came up to cup her breast.
"Don't stop" She gasped, breathlessly as his teeth nicked the skin just above her hips.
His other hand quickly pressed down on her stomach, pushing her further against the piano, when his lips reached the hem of her panties. As Krissy's shoulder connected with the edge of the piano, she couldn't stop the hiss that left her lips, the pain from her almost healed bullet wound ripping down her arm. Hannibal's eyes were instantly darting up to hers, pulling away a little, his brow furrowed.
"It's fine. I'm fine" She insisted.
Before she could stop him, Hannibal had placed his hand against her shoulder, giving a small squeeze, noting the way her face contorted in pain, and she grit her teeth. He gave her a look that only she could decipher. He wasn't pleased with her.
"It's not a big deal," She told him, but he clearly wasn't convinced.
"I don't appreciate being lied to, Krissy" Hannibal pointed out, straightening up and walking out of the room.
Krissy stretched her shoulder, clutching as pain continued shooting down her arm, starting to come back to reality. She supposed she had the wound to thank for stopping her from making a huge mistake. She reached down to pick up her discarded dress, an amused smile on her lips as she the rip in the fabric.
"Here" Hannibal murmured, arriving back in the room with a pill in his hand and a glass of water.
He could see her apprehension as she picked up the pill, taking a closer look at it to see it was codeine. With obvious relief, she placed the pill in her mouth and took a small sip of the offered drink.
"I expect you to tell me if you are in pain in the future" Hannibal exclaimed, as she quirked an eyebrow.
"What's wrong, Hannibal? You don't like me being in pain if you're not the one who caused it?" Krissy goaded, as they both knew that there was truth in her words.
"Come. You should rest" Hannibal said, completely dismissing her words.
Right on cue, she heard her phone beep, taking it out of the dress's pocket, almost expecting to find another article from Freddie Lounds. Instead, she found she had seven missed phone calls and ten texts from her father, and let out a long sigh. Why couldn't he understand she was just trying to protect him?
"If I knew running off with an older man would get me this much attention from him, I would have done it years ago" She scoffed, as they started to walk towards Hannibal's bedroom.
"He does seem rather persistent" Hannibal agreed.
"Meaning?" Krissy asked, knowing there was more he wanted to say.
"Jack has always appeared career driven. I can imagine that left you forgotten at times" Hannibal stated.
"Not anymore" She huffed, as they reached the stairs.
"Why do you think that is?" Hannibal questioned, watching her forehead wrinkle.
"He's worried about me" She replied, as Hannibal nodded slowly.
"Or perhaps he realises he could use your current situation to his advantage. To catch the Chesapeake Ripper" Hannibal explained, walking close to her side up the stairs.
"What, like bait?" She retorted, in disbelief.
"...Have you ever considered that he may have adopted you, in a ploy to bring your brother out of the shadows?" Hannibal asked, watching her go still.
"I think you're projecting again, Hannibal. Isn't that the whole reason you took Abigail in? To form a closer bond to Will?" Krissy pushed, as a small smile grew on his lips.
"Protinga mergina" He smirked, not missing the way her brow was still furrowed, clearly still thinking about his suggestion.
Krissy jolted awake the next morning, her eyes shooting open, her heart beating hard against her ribcage. It took her a few moments to realise whose bed she was in, but when she felt a strong arm tugging her close, it all came flooding back. She turned to Hannibal, who was staring down at her, watching as she tried to calm herself.
"A nightmare?" He asked, as she slowly nodded, running a hand through her messy hair.
The dream was already fading, but she could remember the vague details. Jack handing her over to her brother, all in a ploy to catch him. The thought had panic coursing through her veins again. It was just her paranoia, she was sure of it. Jack had taken her in because she had no one else. Because he needed someone to care for. That was all.
"I don't usually have nightmares in your bed..." She trailed off, watching as a small smile grew on his lips.
She reached down to touch his arm, still wrapped across her middle when she felt how cold his skin was. His hair was still mostly pristine, but his features were tired. He hadn't been sleeping beside her.
"Where have you been?" She frowned.
"I reunited with Doctor Gideon. It was a rather prosperous meeting" Hannibal admitted.
"...Is he dead?" She inquired, as he tilted his head.
"Would it upset you if he was? If I killed him?" Hannibal asked as she mulled it over.
"No" She answered, truthfully.
The idea that Abel Gideon was dead made her feel...nothing. The idea that Hannibal had been killing and returned to their bed in the morning had her feeling a similar way, she realised.
"He will live for a short time. I believe he still has more to give" Hannibal exclaimed.
"More?" She pushed.
"Your father will most likely be arriving at my door soon. Evidence at the latest crime scene will soon exonerate Will" Hannibal explained, causing her eyes to widen.
"You're sure?" She questioned excitedly, as he nodded.
"Then we may leave this place together" Hannibal told her, leaning forward to press a soft kiss to her shoulder.
"And you'll let Beverley go?" Krissy insisted.
"If it pleases you" Hannibal replied, as she pushed herself up to kiss him, giving him his answer.
A second later, the doorbell was ringing, as Hannibal let out a similar sound to a groan. They both knew who would be at the door. Hannibal stayed where he was, their foreheads pressed together when the doorbell rang again and he reluctantly pushed himself up from the bed.
"Am I going to be your alibi?" Krissy realised, as he picked up a red sweater.
"You did spend the night in my bed" Hannibal pointed out, pulling the sweater over his shoulders.
"I'm not exactly the most reliable alibi. Alana would have been a better bet" Krissy mumbled, as Hannibal gave her a look.
"It is not Alana I wish to share myself with, Krissy. That has always been you" Hannibal replied, before turning on his heel to leave the room, not missing her look of surprise.
Sometimes the things that Hannibal said almost made it sound like...
Shaking her head quickly, she grabbed his discarded shirt from the night before, as his comforting scent enveloped her. She cautiously tiptoed down the stairs, straining to hear Hannibal's conversation with her father, expecting some harsh words to be said from both men.
"Abel Gideon fell down a stairwell last night. He was hospitalized. The security guard standing watch has been killed in what appears to be another Chesapeake Ripper murder. Gideon is nowhere to be found" Jack announced, as Krissy hid behind a nearby wall, trying to take in his words.
"He escaped?" Hannibal inquired, in an innocent tone.
"We know he didn't leave the hospital on his own. His back was broken. He was taken by someone... Someone who knew him. Where were you last night?" Jack questioned, as Hannibal pursed his lips.
"I was here" Hannibal exclaimed.
"All night?" Jack pushed.
"Yes," Hannibal snapped, as a normal person would become angry at what Jack was suggesting.
"Anyone other than yourself that can verify that?" Jack queried, as Krissy decided to make her presence known.
"I can" She exclaimed, as Jack whipped around to face his daughter, the disappointment evident on his face.
"Anyone who you haven't so clearly been using?" Jack muttered, noting his daughter's state of undress, his hands balling into fists.
"Well, he's a bit more fucking supportive than you've been" Krissy blurted out, her nightmare coming to the forefront of her mind.
"What does that mean?" Jack asked, stiffly.
"Finding out who the Chesapeake Ripper is...that's more important to you than I am" Krissy announced, making Jack flinch.
"That is not true" Jack frowned.
"Isn't it? The job's your priority. Always has been" Krissy murmured, as Jack shook his head.
"You're wrong" Jack said, firmly.
"So, you didn't adopt me in the hopes of catching my brother?" Krissy questioned, watching her father's mouth go slack.
"...It wasn't like that" Jack replied, causing her frown to deepen, having expected him to straight out deny it.
"What the fuck does that mean?" Krissy snapped.
"My superiors were desperate. Everyone was...but once I took you in, it all changed. I saw you as my daughter-" Jack began, as Krissy cut him off.
"You...you were just fucking using me from that start" Krissy realised, as Jack shook his head, a desperate look in his eyes.
"I loved you. From day one" Jack insisted.
"Bullshit! It was all about my brother! It always is!" Krissy cried, as Jack took a step forward to comfort her.
"Please, Krissy..." Jack all but begged, reaching out to touch her shoulder.
"Get out. Just fucking go!" Krissy yelled, shoving him away from her, roughly.
"You should do as she says, Jack" Hannibal warned, coming to stand by Krissy's side, who was now visibly shaking.
"You're my daughter, Krissy. I won't give up on you" Jack told her, before reluctantly walking back to the front door, missing how her face crumbled.
Hannibal closed the door behind him with a loud bang, as Krissy dropped her face into her hands, trying to control her ragged breathing. How did her family still manage to destroy anything good in her life after all that time? She flinched when she felt hands touching her shoulders a moment later, looking up to see Hannibal looming over her, his eyebrows knitted together in a sad expression.
"I'm sorry-" Hannibal started, as she shrugged his hands off her.
"Sorry? You're loving this. You don't want me to have anyone...and you're getting what you fucking wanted without having to raise a finger" She muttered, as he tilted his head.
"Perhaps" Hannibal admitted, knowing better than to lie.
"I don't care about your brother, Krissy. Or Jack. Or anyone else. Just you" Hannibal insisted, wrapping his arms around her.
She tried to fight against him for a few seconds, hitting out against his arms, before she finally relented and all but fell against him, letting out a soft cry. He held her tighter as she gripped onto his shirt and let herself begin to cry.
Krissy donned her surgical gloves with ease, the muscle memory coming easily to her. Placing a tourniquet on her patient's arm, she dared to catch his eye, unsurprised to see him staring at her intently. She had been unsure when Hannibal had first asked her to see to Doctor Abel Gideon, remembering how the last time she saw him, he had almost killed her, but now she found...she felt no fear. None at all.
"A nurse, through and through" Abel suggested, as she started cleaning his arm.
"Hold still" She mumbled, grabbing a nearby cannula.
She pierced his skin with ease, the needle slotting into his vein as she spotted flashback immediately, and started to flush the cannula. A few drops of blood dripped onto his skin as she secured the device, wiping it away with an alcohol wipe. Considering it was the first cannula she had inserted in years; she was rather pleased.
"Such gentle hands you have, Miss Crawford. I barely felt a thing" Abel grinned, as she ripped his tourniquet off, noting the way he hissed as it pulled on his skin.
"Shame" She retorted.
"Come now, are you still upset after our last encounter?" Abel continued.
"To be upset by you...I'd actually have to care" Krissy told him, as she connected the cannula to the next IV drip.
"You've changed" Abel suggested.
"So, have you" She pointed out, as his eyes flickered under the table.
"In more ways than one" Abel stated, pulling the tablecloth back to reveal he was now missing a leg, watching as Krissy's eyes widened a fraction.
"The good doctor is putting my legs to use after I broke my back" Abel explained, as Krissy bit down the bile growing in the back of her throat.
"You're a killer, Gideon. I don't feel any sympathy for you" Krissy muttered.
"Ah, is this about that silly little nurse I killed? She had the sweetest screams as I gouged her eyes out" Abel told her, making her grimace.
"I wonder what screams Doctor Lecter will produce from you" Abel grinned.
"How is our guest?" Hannibal's voice echoed, as he came into the room with a plateful of food.
"Chatty" She exclaimed.
"That can be easily remedied" Hannibal pointed out, picking up a carving knife.
"You have nothing to worry about. I plan on being a most complacent dinner companion. After all, what else do I have to offer now?" Abel insisted, as Krissy watched with distaste as Hannibal began to cut into the meat in front of them.
"Your legs were no good to you anymore. You have a T-4 fracture of the vertebra. This is a far more practical use for those limbs" Hannibal pointed out, as Abel raised an eyebrow at Krissy, noting he had made a similar statement only minutes before.
"...Hard to have anything, isn't it, Doctor Lecter? Rare to get it, hard to keep it..." Abel trailed off, eyes darting between Hannibal and Krissy, his insinuation clear.
"A damn slippery life" He finished, noting the tension in Hannibal's shoulders, pleased to have been able to cause a reaction.
"Do you wish to stay for dinner?" Hannibal asked, turning his attention to Krissy.
"No. I'm tired" She shook her head, cleaning up her supplies.
"Will I receive the same offer?" Abel asked, as Krissy stood up from the dinner table.
"No" Hannibal replied, simply, a hint of smugness in his tone.
Krissy was surprised when she was called to the BAU the next morning, but not by her father, but Zeller instead. Worried that they might have some news on Will, she quickly made her way there, only to be accosted by Jack, as everything came together.
"Are you stealing people's phones now?" Krissy rolled her eyes, realising he must have set it all up.
"We need to talk" Jack told her.
"I thought we did yesterday" Krissy scoffed.
"We've found Miriam Lass" Jack informed her, gesturing for her to follow him into his office, surprising her.
"You found her body?" Krissy frowned, not understanding why Hannibal hadn't spoken to her about it.
"...She's alive, Krissy" He announced, watching as she came to a halt, in the doorway of his office.
She stayed frozen to the spot, her jaw dropped open as she tried to understand what he had just said. Miriam was alive? How was that possible? She slowly walked over to the chair opposite Jack's desk, running a hand down her face, when she spotted Jack's expression. Relief.
"You really didn't know" He sighed, a smile growing on his lips.
"Of course, I didn't" She snapped.
"How did you find her?" Krissy questioned, a few moments later.
"The latest crime scene led us in the direction. I think the Ripper planned this" Jack explained, as her forehead wrinkled.
"But...we found her arm..." Krissy trailed off.
"He...removed it. Surgically. Kept her alive all these years, moving from place to place" Jack went on, as she bit her lip.
"What does Miriam remember?" Krissy asked, panic growing in her voice.
"Very little. She states she was drugged most of the time. That she never saw his face...just like you" Jack pointed out, tensely.
Not just like me, Krissy thought to herself. She knew exactly who the Ripper was. But what if Miriam did too? What if Krissy was just the newer version of her? How many people had Hannibal kidnapped over the years? The questions continued to mount in her mind, as she realised, she had been quiet for too long.
"Is she hurt?" Krissy spoke up, her question seeming to please her father.
"She was dirty, malnourished, but in relatively good health. With less scars and bruises than you were found with" Jack muttered, making her scoff.
"Except I've still got both my fucking arms" Krissy retorted, guilt clawing away at her.
Her father had told her a lot about Miriam over the years, and she could tell he had wanted Krissy to be more like her. She was a good person. And Hannibal had destroyed her life. That hurt more than whatever he had done, or was planning to do to Abel Gideon. She supposed her morals were pretty fucked up by now.
"She wants to see you" Jack informed her, leaving Krissy taken aback.
"Why?" She frowned.
"You're the only other Chesapeake Ripper victim alive...I think she wants to feel less alone" Jack explained, as Krissy felt another flash of guilt.
"...I'll do it" She replied, after a few seconds.
This wasn't going to end well.
Author's Notes: I hope you all enjoyed this chapter! Krissy is falling further into Hannibal's arms, but is this going to be a turning point? Lots of good scenes with Miriam and Will coming up in the next chapter! Please leave a review:)
BrittStar1199: She really is, isn't she? Krissy and Hannibal have become so connected now it's going to be difficult for anyone to pull them apart. Thanks for reviewing:)
bones are temporary: Aw, thank you so much! I'm really glad you like the characterisation as some of the characters like Hannibal and Will are very difficult to write at times. I hope you like the new chapter:)
acetwolf94: Thanks for the review!
Kathy Perez: Thank you:) I hope you like the update!