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Therapy

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Sherlock peers around the room, obviously taking everything in. Then he glances at Hannibal. “Hm." 

Hannibal raises a brow just enough to express interest. “You have something to say, Mr. Holmes." 

"Hm. Yes and no." Sherlock sounds more flippant than he feels. He’s baiting him and they both know it. 

Hannibal represses a sigh. “Do tell. That is the purpose of therapy, after all." 

Sherlock steeples his fingers in front of his face and studies Hannibal, then narrows his eyes over his fingers and says, “I know. And you can tell I know. It’s why I’m here. It’s why you’re here. We’re both of us bored. Bored, bored, bored. And yet…" 

Hannibal leans forward in his chair and places an elbow on each knee, hands in loose fists in front of him. “And yet, Mr. Holmes?" 

"And yet, you have found your pet, and I mine. You have found a man who answers your requirements in all particulars but one, and you seek to shape him into a true companion, but you are thwarted. The hem of your trouser leg shows wear that isn’t commensurate with the wear on your shoe, indicating that you pace after removing your shoes but before removing your trousers. Indecision, then. You give this great thought. More than you give any other subject in your life.

"You are paralyzed with indecision, and no amount of manipulation is ever quite the stroke of genius you planned. it gets complicated on you, and while you know your genius can solve it all in the end, there is always that pesky element of the human. You think at times to remove it, but then… Well, where would you be, Dr. Lecter? Bored. Again." 

Hannibal sizes Sherlock up like he isn’t certain whether he’s rude or not, then decides not because the culturedness of the other man is like armor. He’s permitted things others are not because he’s so sophisticated, and it would be a shame to remove him from the roster of the living. Hannibal knows Sherlock knows this, and it’s disconcerting. He considers a response but knows he’s already been silent too long.

Finally, he smiles his cold, feline smile. 

Sherlock smiles back. 

Hannibal says, “Have you considered providing psychotherapy? You may have a gift for it." 

Sherlock taps a fingertip against his pursed lips and shakes his head once, hard. “No. Boring. Well. I’ll be off then." 

Hannibal rises politely, shakes his hand, and shows him the door. In the doorway, he pauses Sherlock with a hand to the small of his back, too familiar, slightly seductive. 

Sherlock gives him a searching look. 

Hannibal says, “Good luck with your pet, Mr. Holmes." 

Sherlock smiles a bit. “And you, Dr. Lecter. Do stay out of London."