Chrollo made sure to let his concern morph into reluctant reassurance. “Thank you, Doctor. You flatter me. I...” He looked down at the floor. “I lead a group of criminals. I hardly think that I can be called an influencer. I am not like you.” He looked up at his jailor with admiration in his eyes. “You inspire me to better myself, so.” He took a deep breath. “If you say that Will is safe, then I will believe you. But you still haven’t told me what happened to Abel. I would like to know what my Therapist is capable of. If he is violent, then I should consider distancing myself from him. If you are as skilled as I think you are, then you may well be a better fit for me, after all.”
What did he do? What did he make Will feel? Did he know he was in the next cell? Did he kill the man to get back at you both? If he did, then that’s impressive work. I’ll have to ask him about it in our next session.
Jumping at the opportunity to steal one of Dr. Lecter’s most prized patients from under his nose, Frederick gave Chrollo a reassuring smile and leaned forward in his chair. He thought back to what had happened and managed to suppress his instinctual shudder. He knew he couldn’t show weakness to a man like Mr. Lucilfer.
"Well, when we got there, Dr. Gideon had my nurse in a chokehold and Hannibal tried to talk him into letting her go. For a few hopeful moments, I was beginning to think that the situation was calming down. That was until, Abel's mood suddenly flipped and he produced his hidden weapon. He'd stolen a scalpel and started threatening to cut the woman's throat." Dr. Chilton sighed and closed his eyes for a moment. "Don't worry, we're going to be reviewing the guidelines for dealing with violent patients. We pride ourselves on our safety record, today was an unfortunate blemish on our otherwise spotless record, I assure you. We can only move forwards, that's what I've always believed, and that is what I intend to do.”
Smiling at Chrollo, he tried to settle himself in his chair and fiddled with his cane. “There was a sudden change in the atmosphere, like the air had grown heavy?"
He killed a man with my fountain pen. It was a gift from a patient who wanted to thank me for helping them get onto their feet. How do you kill somebody with a pen? Frederick paused and glanced around the cell, his eyes lingering on the drawing of the graves that Chrollo had placed above his bed.
"It was such a surreal experience," he continued. "Almost like time had slowed down? Dr. Lecter simply reached over and took the pen from my pocket. He looked at it for a moment, and then,” he paused and mimed the action. “He just threw it at Abel. I think I blinked, because one moment he was standing holding the nurse, and the next they were both on the floor. She was screaming and he was clutching at his neck. Blood was spraying everywhere. I've seen people die before - it's an unavoidable part of the job - but I've never seen somebody killed with a pen. I would worry that the stress caused me to hallucinate, but my pen was in the cell and,” he gulped. “It was covered in his blood. Don’t worry, one of the reasons it’ll take a little time to move you is that we are going to get the place deep cleaned. I assure you, it will be spotless by the time you move in there."
“Impressive,” Chrollo said and covered his mouth as if he hadn’t meant to speak out loud. “I do apologise. I...old habits die hard. But, in my experience, anything can become a weapon if utilised in the right way. The neck is a very soft and vulnerable area, if enough force is applied to a pen, then it could easily cut through it. Don’t worry, Doctor, you aren’t going mad.”
He sat back in his seat and deliberately relaxed his posture, trying not to think of Uvo’s requiem celebrations and the way the guard's skulls had sounded as his ballpoint had sliced into them.
“I am happy to wait until the cell is free.” He smirked a little and added a tone of levity to his voice. “I have no other pressing appointments. I trust you, Dr. Chilton. I know you will not let me down, and now I know to be wary of Hannibal, so I am in your debt for that as well. The favours I owe you do keep piling up, don’t they?”
Frederick smiled wider before he said, "I'm sure we can even the scale, and I would feel remiss if I did not fulfil my duty to you as the one overseeing your care. Dr. Lecter maybe your Therapist on paper, but that doesn't mean I don't willingly accept responsibility for your well being. How about we agree that you don't forget about your good friend Frederick when you eventually get released?"
You're reputation does precede you, even if I don't believe in some of the more mythical parts. But Hannibal knows too much about my practices; I need to take precautions to protect myself if he ever decides to become hostile; there’s no way I’m going to end up like Will. Perhaps we could ‘co-write’ a book on empathy disorders together, Mr. Lucilfer? You'd make a wonderful case study.
“I could never forget about you,” Chrollo said softly, using the same tone that always seemed to get Hisoka’s attention. “You’ve potentially saved my life and may well change it for the better.” He nodded languidly. “You have my sincerest gratitude and my Spider will be at your disposal, should you ever have need of it.”
If I can get my hands on Will and he does have Nen, then you will have indeed served the Spider, Doctor. I only hope that the man’s cooperative. I really don’t want to have to force him to give his ability to me, but you aren’t going to be able to tell me how it works, at least, not knowingly.
“You said that Will and Hannibal knew each other before he accused him of being the Ripper?” he asked. “Did they work together? How did he react to seeing Hannibal kill someone? Sorry to pry, it’s just...I’d rather be prepared for my move. I don’t want to upset Will...not after what happened to Abel.”
"They were colleagues before they became romantically involved," Dr. Chilton replied twiddling with his cane as he decided how much to tell his new potential ally. "Originally Hannibal was brought in to make sure that Will wouldn't become too unstable; it turned into quite a mess when they got together. There are some in the psychiatric community who believe Will to be the actual Yorknew Ripper, and that his accusation of Dr. Lecter was entirely a projection of his own guilt; that he had a psychotic break because of his empathy disorder. But personally, I think the man has taken one too many trips into the mind of a killer, and it changed him. I could believe that he is the so-called 'Copycat Killer’, but not the Ripper himself. My advice would be to avoid those topics with him. When I tried to check on Will, he was curled up on his bed. He...” Chilton thought back to the way the man had shakily held up his middle finger when he’d asked him how he was. “Declined to talk to me. I suspect he's angry that I allowed Hannibal to be in such close proximity to him."
“He’s that sensitive?” Chrollo asked, trying to hide how eager he really was for the information. “What kind of empathy disorder does Will have? I would very much value your expert opinion. Maybe I could help you with your attempts to cure him? I may not feel much, but I am a good judge of character and I will happily share my observations with you, if it could potentially help to solve murders.”
Romantically involved? How old is the man? What did you see in the Doctor I wonder? So far he’s been rather bland...there must be something under that impassive skin he’s wearing that he hasn’t let me see yet. Were you drawn to his violence? I’ve seen his anger...what does an empath want with a man like that?