Will was startled awake.
He looked around as panic began to settle in, his breathing became ragged as his movements became more erratic and scared, his eyes snapped to focus on the ropes around his wrists, and the panic increased tenfold.
He was back up on the wooden cross.
Mason walked up to him and gently caressed Will’s face, chuckling to himself as Will squirmed and jerked his body, trying to escape from him again.
Will watched anxiously as the door to the room shut and water started to leak in through the bars in the windows, he tried to steady his frantic breathing as the freezing water touched his feet and crawled its way up his body, clawing at his legs and chest, seeping into his open cuts.
He held his breath as the cold reached past his head and he struggled against the rope holding him to the cross, his brain screaming at him to get free and breathe.
Will could tell he was starting to drown.
His lungs were on fire, and in the murky depths a large stag approached him, his brain couldn’t take it anymore, and the frozen water entered down his throat and filled his lungs, his mind all of a sudden didn’t sound so loud, and the burning in his chest had subsided.
The stag pressed its head against Will as the rope didn’t feel all that tight, and he stepped down, wrapping an arm around the body of the stag. It felt natural, and the stag led him out of the murky basement, rubbing its head against his arm, he felt comforted as he walked through the woods.
Hannibal watched as Will stared blankly out the window, he could tell that Will was the middle of a dissociative episode, that or an absence seizure.
There was a quiet gasp and Will shakily turned around, Hannibal handed him a cup of tea and watched as Will sipped away, not performing his usual ritual of sniffing and dipping his tongue in first to see if he enjoyed the taste.
“What do you mean?”
“In my head I was back in the basement, but water started flooding into the room... I thought I was gonna die”
Hannibal raised an eyebrow, “And what stopped you?”
“This big black stag... it had a plumage of feathers on its chest and when it approached me I could breathe again, and the rope came loose”
“What else happened?”
“I walked beside it into the woods, you could see the galaxy in the sky, I felt... connected to it somehow, the stag... and then I woke up”
Hannibal hummed inquisitively and kissed Will’s cheek, they both knew that the increasing times of Will dissociating was from the torture, but neither of them wanted to bring it up first, wanting to just be happy that Will was home.
But deep down Hannibal knew that the only way for things to truly be back, was if he helped Will address his trauma.
Will looked at Mason through the glass and shook his head, his chest burned at the thought at having to enter a room with Verger.
“It’ll be fine Will, all you have to do is question him a bit, create a profile, and dip out.”
“Are you forgetting the bit where he tortured me?”
“Hannibal will be watching to make sure you won’t break.”
He sighed and rolled his shoulders to loosen up before stepping towards the door, Jack opened it for him and Will felt his muscles lock up again almost immediately as he stared Verger down.
“Ah, and here must be the frightened little lamb... here to stand up against the big bad wolf after being scarred up and damaged, Hm? And where’s your big scary boyfriend that’s supposed to protect you?”
“Please, you’re not here to mock Hannibal, you’re here because you want to brag about what you did to me.”
Hannibal and Jack noted the signal and started to record, watching as Will pretended to be nervous and trembling in fear as Mason leaned over the table and ran his finger across one of the multiple scars that he had left.
He admired his work before looking up at Will, who darted his eyes to the floor.
“Do you want me to brag?”
“I know you will even if I say no”
“You learn fast,” Mason smirked, “that cop did most of the work incapacitating you, saved me the trouble. I didn’t think you’d hold up for so long, even after I slashed you up, or even after I made you eat the parts you bit off of me... most people can’t handle it... psychologically, at least.”
Will’s face scrunched at the mention of him being forced to eat part of Mason, the FBI had made him have a tube put down his throat and into his stomach to pull what was left of it back out his digestive system as evidence.
“Guess I’m just stronger than I look.”
“Your reaction when I told you what I’d do to your precious little puppies was almost as good as the one you had when I carved that heart into your chest.”
Hannibal noticed Verger slowly getting up from his seat as Will stared blankly at him as his eyes glazed over. Nervousness started to sink in as Mason stalked around the room as Will stayed seated in his perceived state of dissociation, he turned to Jack.
“Get Will out of there, he’s losing it.” He urged, watching Mason approach Will from behind.
Then the lights went out.
The sounds of fighting had erupted from inside the interrogation room, and neither of the men could figure out who was winning from the noise.
Mason had taken Will by surprise from his dissociation, grabbing a fistful of his dark brown hair and dragging him backwards off the chair.
Will had snapped out of it and fought back with barbarous ferocity as he forced himself to stand upright, grappling at whatever was in reach and digging his nails into Mason’s exposed face.
He could feel warm liquid start to run down his hands as he clawed, unsure if it were blood or not that he was drawing with his unrelenting assault.
He didn’t care though, the only thing racing in his mind right now was to get free.
Verger wrenched Will’s hands from his face and put him into a chokehold, which prompted Will to ram himself backwards into the one way window, cracking the glass as he launched Mason against the walls with his body weight.
Hannibal took the opportunity to slide a card through the door and forcing it open, allowing officers to flood in and pull Will and Mason apart from one another before Will had the opening to smash Vergers skull open against the metal table.
He was silently impressed with Will’s ability to hold his own against Verger, and even more so with the fact that he was able to enact vicious brutality with limited objects in the room in the pitch black.
Will reminded Hannibal of a mongoose, he appeared soft and fluffy and approachable but once he was in the presence of a snake, the demeanour fell and what was left was a violent but cunning creature that could snap the necks of things far more deadly than himself.
And by pushing just the right buttons, Hannibal could have his mongoose hunt down and ethically dispose of all the snakes in his garden, all without spilling a drop of blood.
On his own behalf, at least.