Look for story information in part 1.
Doctor Lecter had decided to explore the Xavier-institute. He didn't
know what professor Xavier felt about him sneaking around amongst his
students (probably he wouldn't be very fond of the idea). But no one
had forbidden Hannibal to move freely, and after many years in a
small, subterranean prison cell, the freedom to move was something
very important to the doctor.
He had not seen so many kids; besides Rogue he only saw a couple of
others, and they ignored him as effectively as the professor had told
them to do in the auditorium in the morning.
Hannibal wasn't aware of this, of course, but he suspected that
they had been given some kind of warning, since they practically
fought not to notice him.
Exploring the institute was doctor Lecter's goal, but when he took
the elevator down to the lower level, he had never been able to
imagine what he would find.
He realized immediately that the Xavier-institute only was a school
on the outside. Whatever was conducted down here, it was not a part
of the school, anyway. It rather seemed like a high-technological
Hannibal was stunned, but since he had seen so many strange things
in his life, the immediate surprise faded off in a few seconds.
Curiosity took over instead and he thought it would not hurt if he
looked around a little.
Almost all doors were automatic, and the door-halves formed the
shape of an "X". Most doors did not open for Hannibal Lecter - they
required an identification of some kind before they opened, and he
was not authorized access.
But one door was different. It actually opened when he walked
toward it, and the door-halves slid apart, granting him access to the
Without knowing it yet, Hannibal had arrived at the Xavier-
institute's med-lab. He did not know the true purpose of the lab, but
as soon as he came in, he knew he had come to a laboratory.
He recognized many of the instruments in there, since he had often
worked in a laboratory himself when he was younger.
What surprised him was that there actually was someone in there. It
appeared to be a woman - the person's long, auburn hair revealed
that - sitting at a table, slumped, with her head buried in her arms.
A photomicroscope stood on the table in front of her.
Oops, Hannibal thought. A person. Perhaps she might tell me where I
He started advancing toward the woman.
Jean snapped awake when she suddenly felt a gentle hand being placed
on her shoulder. Her eyes fluttered open and she sat up with a twitch
to see who had woken her up.
When she realized she was still in the med-lab, she started
- Oh, God... she sighed. What time is it...?
Then she remembered someone actually was there, who had awakened
her, and she turned around to see who it was.
- The time is five past four, P.M., a calm, melodic, unfamiliar
voice responded. You look tired, dear. Perhaps you should consider
going up to have some rest? the voice suggested.
Jean looked at doctor Lecter. She had not met him before, but she
had heard briefly about his arrival yesterday. But all Jean knew was
that a "guest" had arrived to stay for a couple of days. Not who
the "guest" really was.
- Oh Jesus... you scared me... she muttered.
- I am sorry. But I figured you might help me by telling me where I
am, because I happen to be lost, the doctor replied.
- You... came here yesterday, didn't you? Jean asked when she had
cleared up a bit. With Magneto?
- Yes, that is right. With Erik.
- You... I do not believe you're supposed to be down here. How did
you get here? she asked carefully.
- I only took the elevator down, said Hannibal with a shrug. What
is this place? Are you conducting secret, medical experiments down
here? Like a subterranean "Island of Doctor Moreau"?
He said it as a joke, but Jean was either too tired or too shocked
to understand the joke.
- No, she replied shortly. We are not conducting medical
experiments here. This is just the Xavier-institute's medical
Hannibal smiled. - No offence. Then it was just as I thought. Tell
me, do you work here? For professor Xavier?
- Yes and no. I was one of Charles' first students, and now I
primary work here to teach the younger students. I am not an
employee, but I live here, Jean explained. My name is Jean Grey. And
- Me? Don't you know who I am?
Jean frowned confusedly. - What? No. I've never seen you before.
How would I know? she said.
- Have you not spoken with the professor?
- I have been down here since yesterday. I haven't had any time to
speak with him. Scott just came down here yesterday to tell me that
Erik had arrived, and that he had someone with him. He didn't tell me
your name. Are you one of Erik's friends?
- Not really, doctor Lecter replied. I met him yesterday. The
circumstances were not the nicest. But I do like Erik. He was civil
to me. I hurt him, and still he wanted to help me.
Jean's eyes widened in surprise. - You hurt him? What? Why? What
happened? How did you meet?
- That is a long story, said Hannibal, smiling. We can have that
- You didn't tell me who you are, Jean reminded him.
- If I tell you, you might believe something terrible about me.
- Come on, try me. If the professor let you stay, you can't be that
bad. I trust him. He doesn't let just anyone in.
- He doesn't like having me here, in spite that I gave him my word
not to harm anybody. I am surprised he let me stay in the first
place. He gave me three days.
- Why? Are you a criminal? Jean asked hesitantly.
- Have you escaped?
- What were you convicted of? Murder?
Jean did nothing drastic, but her attitude instantly became
watchful and suspicious. But if Charles had allowed this man to stay,
it must mean that he trusted him, at least to a certain extent.
- What is your name? she asked. If you won't tell me, I can find it
out by reading your thoughts. I am a telepath.
- Was that a threat, miss Grey? asked Hannibal amusedly.
- No... a mere fact. I want to know who you are. So tell me now.
- My name is Hannibal Lecter. Probably you have heard about me.
Most people have.
Jean's face went dark and her mouth became a straight line.
- Yes, she said in a hollow voice. I have heard about you.
- Are you afraid of me? doctor Lecter asked.
- Should I be?
- I don't know. Should you be?
- If you promised professor Xavier, he would have known if you
lied, Jean said. He must have scanned you.
Hannibal shrugged his shoulders. - I know nothing about that. But I
assure you that you have no need to be frightened. I get violent only
when I need to.
- Doctor Lecter, Jean said slowly, I know you're not supposed to be
down here. Can you please go back up? I have to work.
- Work? the doctor said. I would not advise you to work right now.
You don't look very well. You should come up and rest.
- Thank you for your concern, but I'm fine. I have to... uh...
continue my research...
- What are you researching? Hannibal asked, interested. It seems to
be something important, if you don't have time to rest.
- It *is* important. I am trying to find a cure for Rogue's
mutation. Rogue is---
Doctor Lecter silenced her by holding his hand up. - I know who
Rogue is, and what her problem is. I met her this morning. A very
sweet girl. I feel sorry for her.
Jean sighed, and massaged her weary temples with her fingertips.
This peculiar man distracted her, and she could not start thinking
properly - or working - before he left.
- Yes, she is, she answered him. That is why I work so hard on her
cure. I can see how that curse poisons her life. I care a lot about
Rogue, and I wish her to be happy. This is her only chance ever to
- What is your education, Jean? Have you produced drugs before?
- I am an M.D, Jean replied. I have studied biochemistry, and yes,
I have manufactured a similar drug before. Why?
- For how long have you been working on this? Hannibal asked.
- Five months, soon.
- Any progress?
- Not lately. Something is wrong, but I just don't seem able to
figure out what it is.
- What is the problem?
- The drug makes her sick. She can't take it.
Doctor Lecter was quiet for a while. Then he surprised Jean a lot
by suddenly saying,
- I am also an M.D, and I have a long experience of this types of
problems. Perhaps I might be of assistance? Could I see your research
Jean only stared. She couldn't find any words.
- You have taken down notes about your progresses, haven't you? he
- Yes, but...
- Could I see them? Please? I might be able to see what you have
- Doctor Lecter, I...
- For Marie's sake. I am only going to look.
Jean still had trouble realizing what he was asking for. Why was
this man, a feared serial killer and psychopath, so anxious to help
her? And to help Rogue?
Could this be the Hannibal Lecter, who everyone described as a cold
and calculating monster?
- Yes, I'll get them at once, Jean said at last. Wait here. I'll be
back in a minute.
She returned with a large pile of papers, both computer prints and
handwritten notes. She placed the whole heap on the table before him.
- That is all, she said. Five months of work. It might take some
time to go through it all.
- Thank you very much, Jean, said doctor Lecter. I will glance
through your research findings. It might take a while, as you said.
You might want to rest during the time? I will let you know if I find
- Thanks, but I think I'll remain here.
She still didn't feel safe enough to leave him alone in the med-
- Take your time. I'll be over here.
Jean walked over to her desk, which stood in the other end of the
room. She sat down and poured some coffee for herself from a thermos
she had brought down with her. It was still lukewarm.
- Would you like some? she asked the doctor, showing him the
- No, thank you, the doctor smiled. I'm okay. Now, let's see...
Doctor Lecter placed the pile of notes on his lap and started
studying Jean's research findings with great accuracy and patience.
For long he sat there, quiet and lost in thought, with his thumb
under his chin and index finger against his nose. Sometimes he nodded
to himself, and sometimes he shook his head.
Several hours later, when he had somewhat glanced through the pile
of notes, he spoke again.
- Jean, he said imploringly. I believe I know what the problem is.