collects_strays: (Default)
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collects_strays: (he goes home)
At the edge of the forest, two dogs have been enjoying the summer afternoon. They lounge in the sunlight, just beyond the shade from the trees; they jump up when they spot birds passing among the branches above them. The larger of that two, with white fur and pointed ears, occasionally ventures farther out toward the lake, sniffing at the ground and pawing carefully at the damp soil that slopes toward the water.

The other, with a light, orange-brown coat, watches its fellow, but stays head the trees, seeming less willing to leave the forest.
collects_strays: (more glasses)
Graham had meant to enter his kitchen, but the bar is just as well. The rooms of his house were still mostly bare – Alana had left a couple boxes near the front door, along with his dogs, but they only held clothing. He expected his cupboards would still be empty, as well. After the cabin, the sheet glass and empty wells and the man in the tree, after talking to Alana, he's more and more ready to have his first drink since his arrest.

At least now he won't have to drive through the snow to find it.

Instead, he picks up a glass of whiskey at the bar, and takes a seat in an empty booth, away from the main room. Winston, reluctant to leave his side since his return, settles down on the floor next to his bench. Graham pulls his glasses out of his coat, and puts them on, keeping his eyes down, attention focused on the corner of the table. But occasionally, he allows himself to glance down, and check on the dog.
collects_strays: (like a railroad spike)
Now, he's starting to delay.

It might be the dissipating effects of the norepinephrine release, his body becoming aware that the threat has passed, his heartbeat slowing, each act he follows grinding through his mind. The splash of water against the basin seems louder, lamplight reflections and shadows in the hallway blotting his vision again.

He hasn't slept, and it's beginning to slow him down. But Graham knows this isn't the only reason he's dragging his feet.

The coppery scent is gone, the sink's basin is pristine. It's still nearly a minute before he makes himself reach out, and turn the tap off.
collects_strays: (divine intervention)
He wasn't in the river.

Graham had been lying on his cot. Or had been asleep. Either way, rather than needing to retreat to the river, the door of his cell had unlatched. It's something that had happened before, and whatever state he was in, it hadn't concerned him. What he should do was simple, straightforward. He rose from the cot, stepped forward, and gently pushed the door open. The hall beyond his cell had been unrecognizable the moment he stepped out – he couldn't make out the ceiling, only scattered strips of light among dark branches; high dark trees climbed up along the walls; concrete petered out into small stones scattered among leaves and soil. Something glinting among the bars, and trees, before him.

On the other side, he's sitting on a rock near the Lake. Not making the same side trek through his mind has meant he's still dressed in the blue, numbered uniform. Graham isn't planning on entering the Bar.
collects_strays: (how could I resist)
The privacy room has the same submerged feeling that permeates the rest of the hospital. There is more light – the large window is frosted glass, and sliced lengthwise by vertical blinds, but it's the closest thing to direct sunlight he's seen while in here. With the long gray patterns along the walls, like thin streams have dripped down the stone, it was like being just below surface of the water, looking up to the light that glints and splits itself into pieces with the current.

In this room, Graham is seated at a table. His hands are folded over it, his wrists in handcuffs connected by a long chain, which runs through a steel loop that's been bolted to the table's surface. If he moves one hand, the chain will click and tug at the other. It's worse than the cage, which at least affords him some illusion of separation. Restrained to the table, Graham can't move away, even if he wants to.

The wall and door facing into the main hall are transparent. Despite this, he doesn't watch it as he waits for his visitor. He looks to the rippled pattern along the wall across from him, even when he notices dark figures moving in the corner of his eye, and hears the buzzer as the door is unlocked.
collects_strays: (birdcage)
Graham had heard the attending call it "lucky." Through and through, one of the cleanest shots she'd ever seen. Nothing inside shattered or torn. Minimal care required, for a gunshot wound. Jack Crawford knew what he was doing.

The encephalitis was less "lucky," but just as treatable. At first, everything was so quiet, so still, Graham thought something was wrong with him again.

Then he realized he had forgotten what it was like to think clearly.

It didn't seem like very much time had passed before Jack came into the room, to tell him he had been deemed healthy enough for transfer. He entered the room with his hands his pockets. He didn't take off his hat, or his long coat. He didn't want to stay. Graham knew why, but it didn't stop him from saying exactly what he knew Jack didn't want to hear –

"We're following up on your allegations against Dr. Lecter, Will," Jack cuts across him, in a stern tone, managing to make Graham feel like a child who has spoken out of turn, but not to make him feel bad for it. "Now do yourself a favor and start thinking less about Hannibal Lecter, and more about yourself."

Transfer happened the next day. Unimpressed with his stealing the last ambulance he was in, the personnel from BSHCI take no chances this time.

At the new "hospital," there was a very different routine. Meals were passed through the food tray at 7:00 AM, 12:30 PM, and 6:30 PM; the tray and plastic cutlery were picked up no more than fifteen minutes later. He had recognized the jumpsuit – an off-putting, pale shade of dark blue – from interviewing Abel Gideon a few months ago. It's stamped with B1327-1. Unlike Gideon's cell, his own is painted bricks, a wall of bars separating it from the hall, a light above his cot that dims for eight hours, but never goes out entirely. Leaving the cell is another careful ordeal, but it hasn't happened very often yet. Graham was told his treatment with Dr. Chilton would begin on Monday.

He doesn't know what day it is. But then, he'll find out soon.

It's still not Monday, and he's sitting on the cot, leaning forward, hands folded between his knees. Or he's not, really – until the now familiar sound of the buzzer at the end of the hall cuts through his mind and pulls him back into the cell. The buzzer goes off when any door on the floor is unlocked. Graham can tell, as the heavy bolt slides back into place and slow footsteps follow, that it's the main door, and someone has entered the hall. Only one someone, not another inmate returning, likely not one leaving; not the food cart.

Graham can also hear that the footsteps have stopped outside his cell, but he doesn't move, and doesn't look up.
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