A/N: In light of the past episode, a few fan theories have emerged stating that Abigail survived. I, myself, would LOVE for any of these to be true (though I'm not holding my breath), so I decided to take a stab at my favorite theory. The one I like best is this: Lecter ships Abby off to Lithuania to live with his uncle, Count Robert Lecter. After he manages to evade the police, he joins them and they have a happy, cannibalistic lifestyle. I'm adding Will Graham into the mix (and this is two years later/he's retired from the FBI), because he's awesome and needs to be added. The end.
I also included some Lithuanian words here, so I hope that won't be too jarring. It's not that bad though, I don't think. Here's a list and their meanings:
mažai žiedų: little blossom
All other nicknames: Variations of darling, sweetheart, dear, etc.
CH 1: Rebirth
Abigail tasted bile. Trembling horribly, she gazed at her captor like a wounded deer just before the final death blow. Hannibal was holding a knife toward her throat, but she couldn’t think – couldn’t function. She felt him take her wrist then, her teeth gritting as he twisted her palm upward and forced the blade into her grasp. She knew what he wanted her to do, but was far too paralyzed by fear to reject or accept his command.
When tears puddled around her eyes, Hannibal placed a hand on her cheek and shushed her. There was something oddly calming about his demeanor. She felt soothed…appeased. Finally lifting the blade, Abigail released a shuddery breath and asked, “If I do this, will you let me go?”
Hannibal’s smile was serpentine. “No, Abigail – I can never let you go.”
Somehow she seemed to have expected this. With a brittle nod, she placed the knife behind her ear and shivered at the feel of the chilled, sharp metal. She could hear dark laughter then, her breath coming out in short, shallow pants as she saw her father standing by the window. His eyes were glazed and blue, the front of his shirt still riddled with bullets and dried blood.
Abigail gave a dry sob. With her hands shaking, she barely even reacted when the knife nicked her pale flesh. “He’s here,” she whispered. “My dad’s here… He’s come to take me…”
Hannibal’s smile grew colder. “Nonsense, Abigail – you are very much alive.”
‘Alive,’ she thought. ‘Alive, alive, alive.’
With this mantra burning through her very veins, Abigail gave a sharp cry and jerked the blade upward in an arc of hot, crimson blood. The spray coated the walls and Hannibal’s face like a mottled curtain.
Staggering with the blade in hand, Abigail was vaguely aware that her ear was still dangling from the side of her face. It tapped against her cheek every time she turned her head. Mouth agape, she shuddered and swayed as Hannibal grasped her face. He patted her cheek and she blinked, the gore leaking from her wound leaving her increasingly light-headed.
“Hannibal,” she gasped out. “Hannibal, please…”
She needed to get out of there. She couldn’t breathe – oh God, she couldn’t breathe!
Using her words to distract him, Abigail grappled wildly behind her for something – anything – that could assist in her plight. Her fingers met an empty vase and she swung it aloft, bringing it down as hard as she could onto Hannibal’s neck. He staggered, stunned, and she ran for the door. She could hear him calling after her as she stumbled down the steps and headed for the woods.
Hannibal’s voice echoed behind her as she moved, her vision dancing as the trees pitched and shook before her, her gasping breath like knife points in her lungs. She lost one of her shoes and still she ran, feeling the weeds reach out for her.
Abigail realized she was near her neighbors, and that if she reached their front walk, Hannibal would never think to chase her into the house. He couldn’t reveal himself for the murderer he was. No, she would be safe… As the rectangular lit windows of the rancher style home danced into view, she began to sob with relief.
Hannibal stepped out in front of her then, stifling her scream as he lifted her up with a strength caused by stinging rage. His face had changed to a mask of fury, his typically cool eyes ablaze with something new and cruel. How had she never seen this side of him before?
“You disappoint me, Abigail,” he hissed. “I am not fond of betrayal.”
She felt his fingers wrap around her throat and she cried out, his hands seeming to drain the very life from her as she twitched and bucked in his arms. Feeling dizzy, she could only manage a feeble, “Stop…please stop…”
It seemed as if her nerves were on fire, her body heating as her heart sped to a crescendo. She tried to speak again, but could only roll her head back and mouth one word; one name, over and over. Will Graham…he’d saved her once. Surely he’d be there to save her again…?
But deep-down she knew he would not come, for he was far too busy wrestling with his own delusions. She figured he wouldn’t hear of her fate until he read about it in the paper, her sordid tale smeared further in Freddie Lounds’ trashy column.
Her eyes squinted somewhere beyond, to the horizon lined with purplish-orange. It occurred to her then that hers would be a late evening death.
But then, something changed.
Abigail felt her body being roughly careened forward. Her head collided against the trunk of an old oak with a sharp and resounding crack. Pinpoints of light danced beneath her lids as she struggled to stand, her world now spinning about her in a sickening blur of color.
Hannibal was stalking toward her, his head shaking as he towered over her trembling form. His eyes were cold again – so unbearably cold – and he tore the remaining strip of her ear flesh in one harsh, sharp jerk. Abigail cried out, then went slack in his arms.
-Two Years Later-
Abigail Hobbs sat in front of a baby grand piano, plinking out a few deliberate notes as she tried to still the frantic, furious pounding of her own heart. Hannibal had deemed it time for her to come out of hiding – to let Will Graham know he was still the rodent in their game of cat and mouse – but she was very much afraid. Despite her devotion to her new father, she knew she could never be exactly the way he desired. In the beginning, she had constantly questioned her loyalty. Will had been there for her quite a bit – he’d even saved her life on more than one occasion – so the thought of harming him hadn’t been a welcome one. Hannibal had eventually made the idea seem a bit more palatable.
In truth, Abigail didn’t know when Hannibal had managed to corrupt her, but she was still capable of telling right from wrong. The only difference was now she no longer cared – sometimes it felt good to be bad. It felt powerful. Will had been right when he’d described these feelings to her in the hospital, because she felt it every time she was on the delivering end of a blade. Had Will killed again since they last talked, she wondered? The thought made her slightly giddy.
Abigail could picture his blood coating her hands – or better yet, her blood coating his hands – and the two would drown in their own carnage before departing in the way they deserved. There was no ceremony for the wicked.
And yet…was Will actually wicked? His heart had been pure despite his empathy. After partaking in Hannibal’s customs, she’d revealed to him (thinking it would please him) that when the time came, she wanted to be the one to eat Will’s heart. Hannibal had promptly rebuked her, for being selfish was frowned upon.
But was she truly selfish? At just twenty-one years old, she knew she was more cultured and mature than most women her age. After Hannibal had staged her death and shipped her off to Lithuania to live with his uncle, Count Robert Lecter, he’d ensured that she was treated to all the finest performances and soirees in the world (Cotillion being at the top of the list). Though if a man ever became too forward during lessons, he would soon find himself on the Lecter’s lavish dinner table. It made Abigail smile a little – Hannibal truly was the perfect father.
“Are you ready, Abigail?”
“Almost!” she called over her shoulder. Peering into the mirror on the far wall, she stepped forward and applied a bit of rouge to her lips. There. She finally looked the part of the doe-eyed, innocent victim. If Will Graham still cared for her as much as he did two years ago, she wouldn’t have any trouble getting him to fall for her sob story. Or at least, that’s what she hoped…
Hearing Hannibal’s footsteps from behind, she turned and flashed an adoring smile as he came toward her. Rushing into his arms, she embraced him tightly as he kissed her forehead.
“Are you ready, mažai žiedų?”
Abigail nodded. “Yes, Papa.” She loved it when he spoke to her in his native tongue – it made her feel special and included.
Handing her a traveling suitcase, Hannibal brushed back her hair and said, “I shall leave on the 2:00 flight this afternoon – you will follow suit on the Red Eye. This should give me plenty of time to make the necessary arrangements.”
Abigail’s wide eyes were full of intrigue. “And Will…when do I go after him?”
“Patience, širdelė – these things take time. I can assure you, it will be evident when you must take action. I shall leave behind a clue at the impending crime scene.”
Beaming now, she grasped her surrogate’s hands and nodded. “I promise you, Papa, I’ll get him – I’ll get Will Graham.”
Hannibal’s smile was proud and indulgent. “I know you will – you have been quite the receptive subject.” Indicating the time, he asked, “Shall we retire to the study?”
Abigail nodded. Around noon each day, they would have tea and brandy with Hannibal’s uncle, whom she affectionately called Dėdė Lecter. Though in today’s case, she knew Hannibal only wanted to go over the plans one last time. He was a very meticulous and steadfast individual.
Taking his arm, she smiled and allowed him to lead her downstairs.
Jack Crawford was beside himself. After the discovery of a fresh body earlier that morning, DNA samples revealed that Abigail Hobbs had been at the scene of the crime. Aside from a few stray hairs, her skin had been found beneath the victim's nails.
"Maybe it was placed there as a diversion?" Zeller offered.
"Why?" Beverly fired back. "Using the DNA of a dead girl makes no sense… Unless the killer's trying to send a message? Maybe to…"
"Will Graham," Jack deadpanned. His eyes were cold and distant as he spoke these words. Will's relationship with the Bureau hadn't ended well, so the thought of possibly having to contact him wasn't a welcome one. Rubbing at his soul patch, he frowned and asked, "Is it possible that this is Dr. Lecter?"
"Anything's possible," Price dryly said. "He was last sighted in Paris, though his stint there didn't last very long. When the man wants to disappear, he's impossible to find."
"Ok, well why Will? Why now?"
"He was just released from the hospital," Beverly reminded him. "It's possible that Dr. Lecter doesn't want Will to recover…that he feels they still have some unfinished business to address."
Jack's expression was grim. "No matter what Will's feelings are toward us, we need to make contact and warn him of the situation. Agent Katz?"
"I want you to come with me – out of everyone in the Bureau, you're the only one he was ever willing to talk to."
Though she'd hardly call a few friendly exchanges "talk," Beverly was grateful for the opportunity to help out. She gave a small nod. "Should I still run the fibers analysis test?"
"No, let Price do it – you and I should head out within the hour. It'll take a while to get to Marathon."
Beverly took her gloves off with a 'snap,' then threw them into the bin by the door. "Will's not going to like this, you know… Are you absolutely sure he needs to be involved? Can't we just solve this one on our own?"
Jack frowned. "Dr. Lecter might be out there searching for him – if we can get to Will first, we might be able to save his life."
Beverly said nothing. Even though she agreed with what he said, it was no secret that Will wasn't in the soundest frame of mind. It was possible that he'd welcome the thought of death.
Instead, she turned around and said, "I'll be in the rec room getting my things together. When you're finished up, give me a buzz."
"Will do – thanks, Agent Katz."
She ducked out of the room and didn't answer.
When a series of knocks roused Will Graham from his slumber, he groaned and threw an arm over his eyes. He could feel the sun assaulting his vision like knife points, his head throbbing dully due to his alcohol consumption from the night before.
The knocking grew more persistent.
"Alright, alright," he growled. Irritably pulling himself off the couch, he switched up his boxers and scratched his chest. If it was another damn salesman, he'd have a few choice words in store for his visitor.
Bleary-eyed and sour, Will opened the door and blinked at his guests in stunned silence.
"Hi, Will," Beverly ventured.
The malice he'd felt earlier returned tenfold, his brow creasing as he debated on slamming the door in their faces. He had no desire to talk to the people who'd blamed him for Abigail Hobbs' death.
Jack seemed to sense this and put a foot over the threshold. "Will, we need to talk."
"So start talking."
Beverly watched this exchange with trepidation, her arms folding as her attention switched between the two men. Will looked awful – his eyes were worn and blood-shot, and his face was haggard and far more whiskered than usual. The bagginess of his clothing was also a key indicator of weight loss. When a man with nothing to lose was cornered, there was no telling what he would do.
Jack, however, didn't seem concerned by Will's unabashed hostility. Handing him a case file, he coolly urged, "Give it a look and see what you think."
Will viciously shoved it back. "In case you've forgotten, I'm retired. I'm not here to be your golden boy anymore."
Jack was immovable. Still holding out the crumpled case file, his eyes grew somber as he said, "I think you'll want to see this case."
"Trust me, Will, it's important," Beverly finally spoke up.
Will scoffed at that. She hadn't trusted him when he needed her most, so why the hell should he trust her? Nevertheless, his curiosity won out and he swiped the file before flipping it open. As his eyes scanned the pages, his brow suddenly knit in anger. "Is this supposed to be some kind of joke? Do you think this is funny?"
Jack held up a supplicating hand. "I know it seems unbelievable, but-"
"You're goddamn right, it's unbelievable – Abigail Hobbs is dead!"
Beverly flinched at his tone, detecting the underlying pain that still bled like a festering wound.
Jack's sympathy wasn't as evident. Tapping the case file, he said, "Maybe so, but we ran the tests several times this morning to be sure – the results are all conclusive. Either someone left Abigail's DNA to lure you out of retirement, or Abigail Hobbs is the killer."
"Bullshit!" Will spat.
"You of all people should know nothing is impossible."
Will swallowed sharply, his Adam's apple bobbing as his eyes grew wide. "Are you saying…?"
"Dr. Lecter might be responsible, yes."
"Then let him come," he hissed. "Let that goddamn bastard come and finish what he started!" With bitter menace, Will indicated the long, curved scar beneath his shirt with a trembling finger.
Beverly moved as though to comfort him, but Will took a fierce step back. "Get out of here," he urged. "Both of you… Just get the hell out!"
"NO! When I said I was done with the Bureau, I meant it – I'm not coming back!"
"Not even if Abigail Hobbs is alive? Not even if we can save her?"
Will faltered, his face screwing into such a pained look that Jack instantly regretted his words. Finally, Will lifted a finger and hissed, "Don't you play with my emotions like that… Do you hear me? Don't you dare feed me lies just for the sake of your goddamn public image!"
Beverly tried to take his arm, but he shook her off.
"Was I unclear when I told you both to leave?" Will's voice was choked and shaking. "Get out of here…go now before I report you for trespassing!"
Jack gave a crisp nod. "Very well…if you change your mind, you know where to find us."
"Don't worry, I won't."
Beverly gave Will a pained look, but she took Jack's arm and ushered him toward the car. She glanced back only once, but by that point Will had already slammed the door.
Abigail sat on her bed in a very seedy hotel, wondering why Hannibal had chosen a place of such filth when he normally opted for luxury.
‘In times of need, you can’t be caught,’ she irritably reminded herself. She needed to stop being such a baby.
Instead of worrying further, Abigail grabbed the filthy remote – while trying not to think of all the germs crawling on the buttons – and flipped on the small color TV. Hannibal had promised that her cue would be on the news, so she kept it on a local station and eagerly waited with unabashed anticipation.
Hours passed – or at least, what felt like hours, and Abigail began to grow increasingly agitated. Had Hannibal failed in his task? The idea seemed unheard of, considering the expertise and great care he always took, but the thought still couldn’t help but cross her mind.
Glancing at her cell phone, she gave a huff when she realized that that, too, was devoid of any information. It occurred to her then that Hannibal might have decided to seek revenge himself, and that notion irritated her more than anything. He rarely included her in his hunts overseas, so she’d be damned if he left her out in the cold when it came to Will Graham. He’d been her friend too, so it only seemed fair that they share in the effort.
Abigail huffed again. Rolling over onto her stomach, she was just about to give up when a ‘BREAKING NEWS’ bulletin flashed across the screen. “Finally!” she exclaimed. Nearly clapping amidst her glee, she shot up onto her haunches and leaned forward, intent on the screen. An anchor woman was giving her best ‘mournful tone’ as she spoke, her head shaking as the tagline ‘Is there a new Shrike?’ flashed across the bottom of the screen.
The Shrike… Of course Hannibal would choose to emulate that crime scene. It was the first case that Hannibal had tampered with, and it was also the first case that had led Will to her. It seemed only fitting. Even so, Abigail couldn’t help but feel a sense of nausea at seeing a crime scene so similar to her father’s. Hannibal probably knew it would upset her, if only just a little. Despite his affections, he was always looking to push her boundaries.
Frowning, Abigail knew the news would not show any pictures due to the graphic nature of the murder, but Hannibal had told her it would be in an alleyway. It was an odd choice – one she didn’t fully understand – but he’d told her it was best to keep everyone (especially Will) guessing. All of the other murders had been in open spaces.
Shrugging it off, Abigail rolled off the bed and prepared to change into her disguise. It was officially her time to shine.
Abigail Hobbs…it was a name that haunted Will on a daily basis, but one he'd never thought would be spoken again. The idea of her actually being alive had filled him with such hope – then with a bone-crushing guilt – and the emotions had been so strong that he'd been sick all morning.
Running a hand across his bile-encrusted lips, he sank down onto the couch and switched on the TV. He hated to admit it, but he wanted to find out about the murder…he wanted to know without a shadow of a doubt that Abigail wasn't responsible.
Images of the victim flashed across the screen – brown hair, blue eyes, and pale skin – followed shortly by the tagline: "Is the Shrike back?"
Feeling sick to his stomach, Will listened closely as the reporter explained the details to the best of her knowledge. The girl had been found mounted to a set of antlers – basically the same set-up as the Copy Cat – and above the body had been painted the words, "See? Do you see?"
Will dropped the remote in shock. He could envision Garrett Jacob Hobbs, smug even with death at his heels as he rasped, "See? See?" and expired softly, without difficulty.
Vaulting up from his seat, Will rushed back to his bedroom and began tearing through a set of drawers. He still had his badge and gun – he'd hidden them so they couldn't be confiscated – and as he searched with desperate swipes of his hands, he felt his heart lurch up into his throat. He knew he was being stupid…he knew it was a trick devised by Dr. Lecter, but in spite of all this, he was preparing to drive two hours to break into a crime scene for answers.
When his hands finally connected with cold metal, Will withdrew his badge and pistol and tucked them into the waistband of his boxers. Fetching some clean clothes from his closet, he got dressed and adjusted the gun accordingly. He now felt ready to face his fears.
Tightly gripping his steering wheel, Will continued to sit parked a block away from the crime scene. Though it was closed off with tape, he knew from experience that it wouldn't be hard to enter undetected. With the body gone and the evidence gathered, it was unnecessary to have anyone guarding it. Even so, he still felt apprehensive of what he was about to do.
Releasing a shaky breath, Will counted to ten, then got out of his car and started the trek to the site. The soles of his shoes slapped hollowly against the bone-white sidewalk, his heart thudding in his ears as he began to taste bile. Why was he so nervous? He knew he wouldn't find anything…
Removing a mini flashlight from his belt, Will ducked beneath the yellow tape and looked around. Aside from the blood spatters and the "See? Do you see?" message scrawled out across the building wall, there was no remaining trace of the crime.
Suddenly, something caught his eye. Leaning forward, he squinted when he shone his light over a dried patch of blood. Trapped inside the gore was a small, green fiber… Perhaps from a sweater?
Will felt his heart throb. When he'd known her, Abigail had worn sweaters nearly every day – he could still see her shy, smiling face as she'd absently fiddle with her sleeves.
Patting his pockets for something he could use to extract the evidence, Will gave a start when the loud, jarring 'clang' of a falling trashcan reached his ears. He immediately lifted his flashlight. "Who's there?"
He heard a soft gasp, then a hooded figure turned and began to run.
"Hey…hey!" Will furiously called. Now abandoning the sweater fiber, he clutched the flashlight tightly in his hand and went racing after the runaway. The light from the apparatus created several brisk, jerky movements across the alley walls as he moved, his breath like fire in his lungs as he struggled to keep up.
At long last, the fleeing figure was trapped. It paused, gawping up at the dead end before looking frantically around for a new escape route. There were none to be found.
"Alright, end of the line," Will called. He shone his flashlight on the figure, his free hand grasping his gun as he observed the perp. Though its back was facing him, the runaway wore a grey hooded sweatshirt, black sweat pants, and a rucksack on its back.
Holding his gun out in front of him, Will urged, "Turn around slowly… Go on, put your hands in the air."
The figure reluctantly complied. As it turned around, Will's breath caught when he was greeted by the dulcet, familiar blueness of eyes that had long since haunted him…
A/N: I want this to happen so badly… You have no idea how much. The last episode just broke my heart, so this is my way of coping. I'm not sure how long this fic will be, though I feel it has to be longer than "Folie a Deux" since in this instance, Abigail will be manipulating Will so that she can one day bring him to Hannibal. But, of course, things won't be as simple as that.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed! You can find the rest of this fanfic at the featured links below. I won't be posting the remainder of this story here.