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20 June 2013 @ 01:41 am
FIC: Surface Tension  
Title: Surface Tension
Author: joonscribble
Fandom: The Dresden Files (TV Series) & Hannibal (TV Series)
Rating: PG
Spoilers: A little of Harry's back story.
Disclaimer: I don't own anyone.
Summary: A case from Morgan sends Harry undercover for a day.
Author's Note: This story came about thanks to a prompt left for me by quickyfant at this meme. The ficlet got too long to fit in the comments so I had to post it as an entry. In a way, this is barely a crossover and there maybe several more questions raised by it than answered. But I had to stop it before it grew beyond what I could write at this moment. My apologies for the lack of Will Graham! Hannibal Lecter was difficult enough.


“Mr. Dresden?”

Harry got to his feet, fighting off the feeling that he was being called into the principal’s office. “Hi, yeah, that’s me.” He told himself to loosen the white-knuckle grip he had on his knapsack.

“Please come in.”

The office was in the same style as the foyer and hallway Harry had gone through to reach the waiting room: ornate and extremely expensive. Everywhere Harry’s eyes fell on some object or furniture piece that Harry guessed probably cost more than…he couldn’t even come up with a suitable comparison from his own life. It reminded him, almost overwhelmingly so, of Uncle Justin’s house.

The therapist, Dr. Lecter, settled onto a chair that probably went for the same price as a small condo. Harry gave a momentary wary look at its duplicate placed exactly opposite it before sitting down. How the hell did anyone find this a comfortable place to share all their deepest darkest secrets?

“Uhm…” Harry cleared his throat, letting the knapsack on his shoulder hit the floor with a soft thud, giving Bob the signal to go on walkabout. “Thanks for penciling me in on such short notice.”

“Not at all.” Lecter smiled. It was politely friendly. Genial. Inviting. “Is there a particular reason why you decided see a psychiatrist now? You mentioned in your phone call you had never been to one before.”

Harry glanced down at his hands. The small pebble he had tucked there no longer glowed yellow as when he had walked in. Bob was out of his skull. He had to fill up at enough time to give the ghost a chance to explore as much as he could of the house. “Try to run as parallel to the truth as possible, Harry. You’re shockingly not as good a liar as your profession requires you to be,” Bob had advised him. Harry had a suspicion this was also Bob thinking it was maybe not the worst idea in the world for Harry to see someone.

Harry quickly flitted through his Mental Index Card Holder of Life Issues to see if he could find one safe enough to offer. Nothing seemed really workable. Dead Parents was too personal for right now. Killing Evil Uncle would probably get him either arrested or straitjacketed. And he really couldn’t think of a way to explain Magical Wardens Breathing Down My Neck Every Day.

“Well,” Harry began. “Lately, I’ve felt like I’ve been letting things sit for too long. I’m not a kid anymore and there are things that have just been piling up. So…you know, new year, new resolutions, try to make a new me…” He trailed off. That sounded garden-variety neurotic enough to his ears.

“Tell me what’s wrong with the current you.”

“Nothing wrong, exactly,” Harry answered, perhaps a bit too quickly. “I like my job. I like my friends. I like my life mostly but things feel…parts of it feel…unfulfilled.”

“The lament for many of us.”

“Yeah. Exactly. Right.”

Harry wondered if he could somehow look at his watch without looking rude. There didn’t seem to be any clocks in this office. The guy had statues and a freaking harpsichord in here but not a clock.

“I’m curious, Mr. Dresden, why you chose to come to me for services.” Lecter’s features were still settled into an expression of open curiosity. But his gaze had taken on look that made the hairs on the back of Harry’s head stand up.

“What do you mean?”

“You clearly are uncomfortable.”

“Well, I’ve never been to a shri-uh, therapist and-“

“Not just that. My office, my house, makes you uneasy. It reminds you of someplace or someone you find hateful.”

Okay. Okay, that was creepy. Harry looked at his hands again. Nope, pebble was still dull. Dammit, how much longer was this going to take?

“Parallel to the truth as possible, Harry…”

“My uncle had a place like this,” he admitted, gingerly. “He wasn’t a good guy.”

“And yet, here you are.”

“Like I said, I don’t want to keep letting these things sit. I need to sweep out the crap he left behind and get on with my life.”

“Sweeping out garbage others have left for us is simple enough with time,” Lecter replied. “Sweeping out the garbage one has created is much more difficult.”

The image of Justin writhing as he choked and slowly died on the floor came to Harry’s mind.

“Yeah,” he answered and found that he believed it. The pebble in his hands remained dim.

**

“Please tell me I didn’t get my head shrunk for NOTHING.”

Bob glared at him in a way that somehow managed to be an eyeroll without his eyes ever leaving his face. “It would be a tragedy to reduce something so desperately minute to begin with.”

“Ha, ha. Yeah, that’s funny because you’re saying I have a small brain.”

The ghost sighed. “Morgan was only half correct. The spirit of Lydia Daniels is not still haunting that house. From my peering into the walls, it seems Dr. Lecter renovated the inside while keeping the exterior architecture. The changes indoors may have prompted her to move on.”

“Great. Morgan’s gonna be thrilled with that news,” Harry groaned. This would no doubt mean he’d have to move down the list and go to the next ghost. “Wait, half correct?”

Bob smirked. “It does me proud to know you are capable of retaining information. The house itself is being haunted. By a few ghosts, incidentally.”

“Really?” A haunted shrink’s office. There probably was a joke in there somewhere. “How many?”

“I could make out three perhaps? They were faint. Try as I might, I couldn’t tap into their wavelength to communicate.” A small frown formed on Bob’s pale face. “It was curious. They clearly had not died in the house itself but that was all I could tell. It wasn’t even clear to me how they had met their ends.”

“Did they look angry? Dangerous?”

Bob shook his head. “No. Rather inert, actually.”

Huh. Harry wondered if they were former patients of Dr. Lecter’s, still hanging around with some sort of unfinished business. If they had died violently or if Lecter was somehow involved in their deaths, he doubted they’d be so docile.

“I guess if that’s the case we’ll just leave them there,” Harry said.

“Not eager to return to the couch?” queried Bob.

It was a joke but Harry could see the more serious, unasked question in Bob’s eyes. “Therapy’s not going to help me, Bob,” answered Harry. “Besides, even if it did, I wouldn’t go back to him.”

“Didn’t gel with him?”

“First of all, never use the word ‘gel’ in that context again. It’s weird coming out of your mouth,” Harry advised. “And second of all, no. The guy’s doesn’t get me.”

That was a bit of a lie. A somewhat huge one. But seeing as Bob didn’t object, Harry mercifully took it as a sign that the ghost hadn’t listened in for the full hour he had sat in the office.

THE END

 
 
 
formerly lifeinsomniac: WillRavenstagjoonscribble on June 20th, 2013 07:07 am (UTC)
adding Hannibal to the mix added a nice flavor, if I dare to use a food pun here.

Food puns, when Hannibal is involved, is always encouraged!

I also love there being signals between Bob and Harry for what Bob's supposed to do when he's in the skull! It makes sense, but I honestly hadn't thought of that before.

Thanks! Yeah, it dawned on me as I wrote this that there had to be a way for Harry to know when Bob was gone from his skull and back again.

Yet the reader is left uneasy, because Harry was uneasy! Even though Harry seems to think it's the layout of the office that's throwing him off, I suspect there's some unconscious dislike of the place in him that goes a bit deeper.

Oh good! I'm glad the uneasiness bit came across. And that Harry does pick up on SOMETHING but is largely attributing the weird vibes to Hannibal and his place just reminding him too much of Justin. Plus, who immediately jumps to "He's clearly a serial killer who eats his victims!"

And wow, I have so missed your Bob. He's so clever and affectionate, while also being so acerbic and wry.

This is a big relief. Because much like the way I felt when I tried to write Bob the very first time, I wasn't too sure if he came across correctly.

I could feel his glee at trying a new word in order to get a reaction from Harry.

Bob likes to keep up with the times. :)

Thank you for the review! One of unfortunate byproducts of not writing fics is not getting your wonderfully long, thoughtful reviews.
Dusty: SPN. Dean hugs Casdustlines on June 20th, 2013 07:25 am (UTC)
Food puns, when Hannibal is involved, is always encouraged!

Y'know, I find that I often use them without even thinking about it when discussing Hannibal! This means either (a:) I, in general, use food-related puns far more often than I thought I did, or (b:) I am subconsciously expressing the fandom's overall comedic response to Hannibal when I discuss any aspect of Hannibal at all. I am undecided on which is responsible. It would be funny if I just have a food fixation I was unaware of, and Hannibal taught me this valuable life lesson about the way I speak. XD

...there had to be a way for Harry to know when Bob was gone from his skull and back again.

Yes, I liked the pebble! Very logical.

And that Harry does pick up on SOMETHING but is largely attributing the weird vibes to Hannibal and his place just reminding him too much of Justin.

It's interesting how this can be looked at through the filter of what Hannibal himself said to Harry about the garbage one creates with one's own mind being more difficult to sweep away than the garbage others have left behind for one to deal with. Harry's own Justin-related "garbage" is obscuring his ability to view the "garbage" in Hannibal's office clearly, because Harry's own "garbage" is, for Harry at least, more difficult to sweep away than Hannibal's would be, and as such is distorting Harry's perception of his surroundings like grease on a lens would. And that awareness of Harry's mental "garbage" being a potential problem is also seen through Bob thinking Harry could benefit from talking to someone, in order to clear up Harry's head a bit to avoid this sort of thing happening. Holy cow, you have created wonderfully symmetrical plot parallels in three distinct, completely different characters, and I bet you didn't even know you'd done it.

This is a big relief. Because much like the way I felt when I tried to write Bob the very first time, I wasn't too sure if he came across correctly.

Like with your Crowley and Aziraphale voices, expecting good things from your Bob voice is pretty much my default setting when you write him.

Bob likes to keep up with the times. :)

Yes! He tries to anyway. It's great because, yes, that is something people will say, but not as often as Bob seems to think they say it. Bob's perception of what "modern day" people do is perhaps too influenced by magazines and books, in which people say trendy, hip things that "real life" people use perhaps a bit less frequently. ^_^'

Oh yeah, and it's adorable and very telling about Harry and Bob's friendship that Harry allows Bob a little pride in his somewhat questionable attempt to use modern-day language, while still teasing him about it in a way that's not directly insulting in any way. Harry likes Bob for Bob. He doesn't really care how he speaks, and he wants Bob to be happy.

Awwww. *dissolves in warm fuzzies*

Edited at 2013-06-20 07:29 am (UTC)
formerly lifeinsomniac: DresdenGuardianjoonscribble on June 20th, 2013 07:34 am (UTC)
It would be funny if I just have a food fixation I was unaware of, and Hannibal taught me this valuable life lesson about the way I speak. XD

I too like this explanation the best. It's nice to think that a show about a psychopathic cannibal can also teach good life lessons.

and I bet you didn't even know you'd done it.

With the risk of outing myself as a careless writer, nope, not at all. Can I still claim credit?

He doesn't really care how he speaks, and he wants Bob to be happy.

This is kind of the crux of what makes Harry the perfect owner of Bob's skull. He wants Bob to be happy. No other owner ever wanted Bob to be happy. I'm sure he had owners who weren't cruel. But I get the feeling that Harry is the first owner who genuinely wants Bob to be his own person and not an extremely convenient magical Help Desk.
Dusty: SPN. DeanCas. Love finds you.dustlines on June 20th, 2013 07:59 am (UTC)
I too like this explanation the best. It's nice to think that a show about a psychopathic cannibal can also teach good life lessons.

I KNOW!!! I'll have to ask my friends if they become inexplicably hungry around me and they don't know why. Actually, wait, maybe I don't want their answers to this. DEFINITELY NOT WHEN I'M LOOKING FOR HANNIBAL CONNECTIONS.

With the risk of outing myself as a careless writer, nope, not at all. Can I still claim credit?

I'm not even sure if you're saying here that you meant to do it, or that you didn't mean to do it, so sure! Free pass. Come forth and claim your writerly credit!!

I get the feeling that Harry is the first owner who genuinely wants Bob to be his own person and not an extremely convenient magical Help Desk.

I always loved how awanderingbard often has Bob written as a character Harry makes sure will be passed down through Harry's own family, who Harry makes equally sure know Bob is a person and will treat him accordingly.

The idea of anything else is too sad to bare. You know what upsets me sometimes? I still feel HUGE cravings to read this explored in fic. I sometimes want to make an original story with them as thinly veiled characters so I can potentially one day find other people writing fanfic about Bob and Harry, only with different names, and I'll KNOW.

But that's putting an awful lot of my faith in a lot of things, managing not to violate any copyrights being one of them. *sighs*

Edited at 2013-06-20 08:00 am (UTC)
The Writer They Call Tay: DH: Random Happenstanceawanderingbard on June 20th, 2013 01:30 pm (UTC)
Pingbot alerted me to you talking about me, so I have butt in to bask in the glow of praise, and thank you for it!

Also, Scrib I'm delighted to see another story from you! I'm sorry I can't read it. I think I mentioned to GC, but not to you that I've had to stop Hannibaling. It got too dark for me and made me very anxious. At least now we've converted GC for you to squee with!

But yay for writing!
Dusty: SPN. Dean hugs Casdustlines on June 20th, 2013 02:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, awesome! I wasn't sure if the system worked when people were just being discussed in comments. I'm glad I tried it.

And actually, I truly believe you could read this particular fic without incident, and I would NOT say that to you if I thought this wasn't true. Joonscribble is marvelous at character voices, of course, but she has focused on Hannibal in his kindly role as a normal psychiatrist, and he doesn't do anything terrible at all. In fact, he is helpful and gives Harry decent advice. Ghosts are mentioned, but only vaguely, and they are not even shown. It's predominantly just a very good Harry and Bob piece. In fact, it's pretty fun! Bob tries his hand at modern-day language. XD
Dusty: ST-TOS. Kirk. Beauty of the Beholderdustlines on June 20th, 2013 02:14 pm (UTC)
Of course, if it's all mentions of Hannibal that you want to avoid, then by all means, disregard everything I've just said! I will not be offended in the slightest. :)
The Writer They Call Tay: CP: Brillant!awanderingbard on June 20th, 2013 02:28 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's sort of that the moment until I separate a bit from it. That's weird, usually I have to explain that to people and you're one step ahead of me. *huggles*
Dusty: SPN. Cas hugs Deandustlines on June 20th, 2013 02:37 pm (UTC)
*huggles back* Hey, no worries, I've got your back, m'dear! ^_^
formerly lifeinsomniac: Ducks!joonscribble on June 21st, 2013 12:43 am (UTC)
Yay, thanks for the support! And yeah, I totally get why you have to stop Hannibaling. Everything on that show's gone in the exact opposite direction of fuzzy and sunshine. OPPOSITE.
The Writer They Call Tay: CP: Noir Arthurawanderingbard on June 21st, 2013 12:50 am (UTC)
Pretty much. But I will always support your literary endeavours! Even if I have to do it from afar.

"Go, Scrib! That story is probably really great! Whooo!" *pom-poms* *cartwheels*