Red Dragon. Will Graham Gets a Christmas present.
Note: I do not own the Hannibal Lecter tetralogy or any of the characters. Could technically be either movie-verse or book-verse, but I think that Lecter and Will's relationship is more interesting in the movie.
"Don't open them."
Will looked up from the mauve envelope to see Molly glaring down at him as if she could intimidate him into agreeing with her. He gave a small chuckle, knowing that all he had to do was to stand up to ruin the effect. This appeared to be the wrong thing to do, as Molly's expression went from angry to broken.
"I need to." He whispered, his own expression just as pleading. Begging her to understand. "It could be something important."
"Like what?" She cried, tossing her hands up in the air, and Will found himself relieved that the in-laws had wanted their grandson down for Christmas. "A-a confession? An apology?" Will dropped his gaze and Molly made a sound that was halfway between a laugh and a sob. "What could he give you that's so very important?"
"Molly, he's…he's kept things back in the past. Maybe he has some ideas about-" He broke off. They both knew that wasn't why he wanted…needed to open the envelope and its accompanying package.
"He's not your friend anymore, Will." She whispered. "He never was. He never cared about you. Everything was a lie." Will knew she was right. But that didn't stop him from shaking his head. When he didn't say anything she reached forward and grabbed his face, tilting it up. "Will, we're your family! We do care about you!" She pressed a kiss to his forehead. "Don't do this. Throw it away. Don't open it."
With a sigh, Will leaned forward and pressed a kiss on her lips. He felt Molly relax and he pulled back. "I'm sorry, Molly."
She made a wounded gasp and took a step back, staring at him in disbelief. Keeping her gaze, he reached for the letter opener next to him and slowly broke the seal. She hissed. "I don't…I'm going to Oregon."
His eyes followed her as she stormed upstairs, then, shaking his head, Will slid the paper out of its case. In the background, he could hear Molly getting her bags together. Will knew he should go up after her. It wasn't right that he craved his killer's words more than his own wife. But that knowledge didn't stop him from starting the letter.
My Dearest Will,
I hope this letter reaches you in excellent health. By now you should be out of the hospital and curled up on the couch, getting ready for Christmas with your wife and son. If they are still there, that is. I, for my part, doubt it. Tell me Will, if they left you, was it your face that chased them away or was it the thought that I could touch you, touch them, even from my cell? But that is beside the point.
If I timed this right (which I believe I did) the letter should arrive with a package. Now, I know you, being the well-mannered boy you are, will want to read this first, but please, take a trip back to childhood and open your present first. I had them gift wrap it just for you.
Will broke off from his reading; the instinct to obey his old mentor still too ingrained to be overridden by his desire to read more. Reaching for the small oblong package on his desk, he sliced through the brown packaging material to see the metallic wrapping paper underneath. This time he hesitated. It would be exactly like Lecter to send a nasty surprise. He should listen to Molly. He should go upstairs, apologize, beg for forgiveness, and burn the package.
His curiosity won out. Slicing through the wrapping paper with the letter opener and cardboard beneath at once, he ripped the rest open. 'Like a child at Christmas.' He thought sardonically. He tipped the box upside down and felt something small tumble into his lap. Will shook it, just in case there was anything else and then tossed the box aside.
When he looked down, he scoffed. Picking up the stiletto, he took it out of its bubble wrap. It wasn't the same one; that was locked away somewhere. But it was the same make, probably the same model as… he shook his head, tossed it aside, and picked up the letter again.
If you did as I said, you should be seeing a stiletto by now. Pick it up. Hold it. Feel its weight and coolness in your hand.
Before he could stop himself, he was following the directions.
It feels good, doesn't it? Makes you feel like you're the one in charge for once? It's different than being on the other side of it. This isn't meant as a threat. Rather it's a tool. I want you to use it as you see fit. If your life has fallen apart as much as the Tattler suggests, than perhaps you'll use it to slit your throat. If I guessed rightly and the lovely Molly has left you, perhaps you'll use it to get revenge. Or decide to take on the next Mr. Lounds yourself. I think I'd like that, Will. We could be neighbors. Just a few suggestions. I know that whatever you end up doing, it will be put to good use. I look forward to finding out. Perhaps you'll write back this year. Or maybe a visit.
Anyway, I hope that both your Christmas and New Year's will be much better than that one so long ago and that this stiletto will benefit you much more than the last one.
Hannibal Lecter, M.D.
For a few seconds afterwards, Will sat there, running his fingers through his hair. In the background, Molly was still packing. Jiggling his right leg up and down, he stared at the letter. And finally, he tossed it aside. 'To Hell with it'. He thought. And, still holding the stiletto, he tramped up the stairs.