Look for story information in part 1.
Hannibal Lecter sat huddled in an armchair in his temporary room at
the mansion, with a drawing pad, which the professor had generously
provided him with, on his lap.
He was making a sketch with a sharp lead pencil. The sketch he was
working on represented a woman; her face was Ororo Munroe's. With
just a few elegant motions he drew her large, soulful eyes, her full
mouth, and heart-shaped face.
Doctor Lecter thought, that even though the drawing became very
precise and lifelike, it could not catch the incredibly beautiful
woman's beauty as it was in real life.
Hannibal could relax. He knew that no one from the FBI would come
here for him. He was safe. For now. It was a relaxing thought, but he
was feeling bored. After so many years in narrow cells in prisons and
asylums, Hannibal did not like sitting in just one room, but he knew
the professor would not like if he was sneaking around at the mansion
Xavier didn't like to have him here in the first place.
What does he believe, really? thought doctor Lecter. That I will
murder his students in their beds?
But despite that he didn't like the decision, he felt bound to
respect his host's wishes. To keep busy, he spent his time drawing
and reading. There was no TV in the room.
Hannibal wondered if Jean had gotten time to talk to Xavier, and
ask him if doctor Lecter could stay and help her with the serum.
Suddenly he heard knockings on his door. Hannibal looked up from
his drawing, a bit surprised. It was soon eleven o'clock. Who could
want something at this time?
- Come on in, he called, and expected to see Jean, coming to tell
him that there was no chance in hell he could stay and make the
serum, but that he must get his ass away from here not a second later
than what had been decided.
But it was Ororo. She opened the door and came in, carrying a food
tray and a smile. The doctor was almost taken aback.
- Miss Munroe... he said when he had pulled himself together. What
a pleasant surprise...
Smiling, Storm came and sat down in the sofa, next to his armchair,
and placed the tray on the table before them.
- I thought you might be hungry, she said. I was to cook you
dinner, but I couldn't find you then. I hope you don't feel I am
forcing my way in...
- No, no, certainly not. It was very sweet of you. And yes, I am
actually very hungry, he added with a smile. Let's see what we have
- I cooked the dinner myself, Ororo said proudly. I hope you will
enjoy it. I wasn't really sure what you liked, so...
- It looks delicious, said doctor Lecter.
On the tray there was a plate with meat - probably lamb, the doctor
guessed - roasted potatoes with meat sauce, a bowl of salad, a bread
plate, and a bottle of red wine.
- Did you make all this for me? the doctor asked in surprise.
- It was nothing, Ororo replied casually. I thought you might be
hungry, and came up with the idea to surprise you. Nothing at all.
- You are an angel, Hannibal said, and really meant it.
Ororo Munroe was an angel, in every way. She looked like one, and
truly acted like one, too.
- Now eat, before it gets cold, Storm said, embarrassed, and turned
her gaze away. Then she saw a glimpse of the drawing pad the doctor
had on his lap.
- What have you drawn? she asked, interested. May I see?
Hannibal looked at the drawing, and sighed, but still he handed her
Storm gasped when she saw the sketch, which was representing her,
and regarded it in silence for a few seconds. The drawing was
excellent. It was like looking at oneself from a distance.
- This is amazing, she said, breathless and stunned. You really
have a talent! I have no words...
- I was bored, Hannibal explained. So I came to think of you,
and... well, I got the idea.
- You are a real artist.
- Keep it, Hannibal offered.
- No, I couldn't... Ororo began, but got interrupted by doctor
- Nonsense, he said determinedly. If you like it, you shall keep
it. I can make a new one whenever I feel like it. Keep it as a memory
- Thank you, Ororo whispered and placed the pad, as though it had
been a priceless treasure, on the table.
- Miss Munroe...
- Please, call me Ororo.
- Ororo... I should eat now, before it gets cold, doctor Lecter
said, and leaned toward the table, pulling the food tray to him.
Ororo sat quiet, anxiously waiting for his response. She usually
didn't cook dishes which contained meat, since she was a vegetarian,
so she had not much experience.
What if doctor Lecter didn't like it? What if he didn't even like
lamb? It was Erik who said that he probably liked it. But he had also
said he didn't know for sure.
Oh, God! If he said it was bad now, she would drop dead!
Doctor Lecter ate in silence for a while. He had to admit the food
wasn't perfect; the meat was a bit too dry, probably because she had
kept it in the oven for too long, and the potatoes weren't spicy
enough. But the salad was great, and even if doctor Lecter usually
was a gourmet, he was hungry, and the food was more than good enough.
Very well, Ororo might not be a master cook, but she had done this
from kindness, and that was all that counted.
The wine was probably not the most expensive kind, but it was good
enough to swallow down the food with.
Hannibal poured some wine into his glass and leaned back in the
armchair, sipping his drink.
- Was it good? Storm asked anxiously.
Hannibal smiled. - Yes, it was. I am used to more spices, but it
was good. Thank you very much.
- Eh... I am a vegetarian, so I usually don't cook dishes with
The doctor nodded. Okay. That explained it. But he thought that her
salad actually had been delicious.
- I see, he said. Do you think I could return the favour? Would you
let me take you out to dinner, Ororo?
- That would be wonderful, Storm replied instantly, without further
thinking, and immediately she got all warm inside. Then reality
caught up with her, and she remembered that doctor Lecter would not
stay for more than another day.
- But... you're leaving soon, aren't you? she added sadly.
Hannibal laughed. - I might not leave as soon as you think I will,
he said. It depends on professor Xavier's decision, whether I can
stay and help Jean to manufacture Rogue's new serum. If he permits
me, I might stay for another while.
- You know about Rogue's new serum? Storm exclaimed.
- Yes. Jean told me. I went through her research findings, and
helped her locating the error. She asked me to stay and assist her
with the production. We'll see if Xavier approves.
Storm could hardly believe her ears. - *You* found the error? In
such a short time?
Doctor Lecter nodded. - Yes. It was only something minor. Jean had
surely found it eventually. I just gave her a nudge in the right
- It's unbelievable! Jean has been working on it for half a year!
How did you do it?
- I have lots of experience of drugs, Hannibal replied calmly with
a smile. I am a MD, after all.
- Were you in the med-lab all evening?
- I came by with the food before, but you weren't here then.
- I left to explore the mansion, and suddenly I found myself down
there. I had never been able to imagine it would be so huge.
Ororo laughed. - No, you weren't supposed to.
- You never answered me about the dinner, Hannibal pointed out.
Will I get the honour to take you out?
- That would be lovely! Ororo replied and smiled so widely her
- I feel honoured, but talk to the professor first, so he won't
accuse me of abducting you, or anything. It might be best.
- I am a big girl, Storm said offended. I don't have to ask
permission for everything I do!
- He doesn't trust me, Hannibal stated.
- But *I* do, Ororo claimed. Are you really as dangerous as
everyone seems to think? she then asked.
The doctor laughed dryly. - Media likes making a monster out of me.
- I'm sorry if I...-
- No, it's alright. I will try to give you an objective answer.
Yes, I can be dangerous, but I am no monster, at least not as media
says. Don't believe everything you have read about me. I am actually
not *that* bad.
- I haven't read much about you at all, Ororo said. In fact I
didn't even recognize your name when you introduced yourself
yesterday. Charles told me who you were.
- Then what did he say?
- That you... are an escaped criminal. A mental patient.
- Anything else?
- Not much. He told me to be careful.
Doctor Lecter sighed. - I almost knew, he said. Are you sure you
still want to go out with me? I won't take offence if you decline.
- Of course I want to, said Storm resolutely. I think that you are
nice, and I am not afraid of you.
The doctor chuckled and put his half-full wineglass on the table.
- Not many people have said that to me after the verdict, if they
knew who I was.
- I'm just telling you the truth.
- I know that. I would notice if you were lying.
Storm suddenly felt embarrassed, and she flushed. Oh no! Can he
tell that I like him? Is it really that obvious?
- Enough about me, Hannibal said suddenly and leaned back again.
Can you tell me about yourself? How did you come here, for instance?
- That was a long time ago.
- Tell me, please.
- I was born here, in New York, Ororo began. But when I was six, I
moved with my parents to Kenya, my mother's home country. When I was
twelve, my powers manifested for the first time.
- What are your powers? Hannibal asked.
- I can control the weather, and from there comes my codename;
- What happened then?
- We lived in Kenya for another couple of years, and there I was
worshipped like a goddess by a primitive tribe.
Storm smiled at the memory.
- They believed that it was magic, not that it had anything to do
with genes. I gave them rain when they wanted rain, so they
worshipped me. The problem was that I couldn't always control my
powers. It's difficult for many mutants in the beginning. But anyway,
we moved back to the States a couple of years later. My parents died
in a plane crash, and after that Charles found me, and brought me
He taught me everything. Controlling my gift, he educated me,
taught me about values, everything... He became like my second
- I see. And now you're helping him by teaching the new students
the same things he taught you? asked Hannibal.
- Yes, basically.
- Charles Xavier is a decent and just man.
- And loving, Ororo added.
- He cares very much about his students.
- He will let you stay and make Rogue's serum, said Ororo. He will
do it for her. She has had a hard time lately, not being able to
touch anyone. And it has been hard for Logan too.
- Logan? asked the doctor, raising his brows.
- Yes, he is Marie's boyfriend. Haven't you met him? He's also
called Wolverine. Tall, dark, muscular...
- No... Hannibal said thoughtfully. I haven't seen him.
Ororo shrugged. - Maybe you haven't. He is often out.
- I'll rather see you, doctor Lecter said in a low, velvety voice,
that gave Ororo chills. She felt she was flushing again.
Am I really falling in love with him? Yes. That is one possibility.
- It's late, she murmured and started getting up. Maybe I should
leave you alone...
- It *is* late, but it doesn't bother me.
- I should go anyway. I have to be able to get up in the morning.
- Of course.
She got up and sat down on the elbow rest of doctor Lecter's chair.
Gently she placed her long-fingered, beautiful hand on his shoulder.
- Good night. I suppose I'll leave now.
- Good night, Ororo. Don't forget your portrait.
- I won't.
- And don't forget I will take you out to dinner.
Storm laughed like a little girl. - I will definitely not forget
- I am really looking forward to it.
She bent down to give him a (goodnight) kiss on his cheek - very
slowly, so he would able to recoil if he thought she was getting too
intrusive - but just as her lips brushed his smooth, fragrant cheek,
she felt his hand around her jaw, and doctor Lecter brought his lips
to hers, giving her a real kiss.
Storm got so stunned she found herself returning the kiss. She had
not expected it, but she didn't welcome it any less despite that.
She, who hadn't been kissed for years, returned Hannibal's kiss
without hesitation, and got so eager that she thought she had
He grabbed her shoulders and held her at arm's length after a
Storm got terrified and embarrassed. Had she passed the limit?
Maybe he wasn't interested in her like that at all, but only had in
mind to give her a platonic, friendly kiss?
Ororo confessed quietly to herself that that was not what she had
wanted. If he had pulled her close, and wanted to do more than just
kissing, she wouldn't have resisted. She had even welcomed it.
But he didn't. For a while he just sat still in the armchair,
looking at her as he held her by the shoulders.
- Good night, Ororo, he said seriously. I'll see you tomorrow.
- Yes, good night... See you...
She couldn't resist the impulse to place her hand on top of his. He
smiled and let go of her.
Storm got to her feet, started walking toward the door, and
remembered she had forgotten the portrait, and turned around to get
Her heart was pounding the whole time while she stayed in his room.
They said nothing more that night, but Ororo left, and doctor
Lecter stayed in the armchair. The place where her lips had touched
his burned for a long time after she had gone.
It was dark in the room and Rogue lay in her bed, when Logan
He didn't turn on the lights to wake her up. He could see well in
spite the lack of light. The young woman looked like a formless heap
under the quilt, and her long brown hair was spread over the pillow
like a fan.
Probably she was sleeping.
He thought of their conversation in the corridor earlier that day.
Rogue had claimed that they could not continue their relationship as
it was now. Really, Logan agreed with her. The situation was becoming
unbearable. But what was there to do about that?
He had promised Rogue that their love, and the hope of some day
being able to touch her again, were enough to keep their relationship
But was it really enough? Wasn't he lying to himself now?
Quietly he started to undress in the darkness. Rogue had not moved
since he came in. She had to be asleep. Otherwise she would have said
hello to him when he came.
Silently and gently, he approached her bed - *her* bed, he reminded
himself. Not *their* bed anymore - and looked at her in the darkness.
He had wanted to bend down and give her a goodnight kiss on her
cheek, but of course he couldn't do it.
He just stood there, by her bed, for a long time, not really
knowing what to do. At last he touched her spread hair carefully with
his fingertips. It was soft as silk.
Rogue did not respond. Logan went to his bed and crawled down into
it, to get some sleep.
When Rogue heard that Logan had gone to bed, she opened her eyes.
Tears gleamed in them, but she wasn't crying.