Look for story information in part 1.
Hannibal Lecter and Jean came to the med-lab already 8:00 A.M. in the
morning. Jean had told him that professor Xavier had given his
permission to let him assist her with the production.
As far as she could see, it neither pleased nor concerned him.
Doctor Lecter had been very matter-of-factly.
They had decided to first go through the old results once more,
before starting the biocatalysis. Doing it might take a while, but it
had to be done thoroughly. Once small error could ruin the whole
Doctor Lecter and Jean were putting on their lab coats. She had
lent him one of hers. It was way too large for him - he was at least
4 feet shorter, after all - but he fixed that by turning in the
sleeves, and actually managed to look quite presentable.
Doctor Lecter looked presentable whatever he was wearing, Jean
thought. He was the type that didn't need to make any efforts. To
him, it was natural.
They sat at a table, and went through Jean's earlier results in
The doctor looked serious and focused, truly trying to focus on the
work, but thoughts of Ororo Munroe, and what happened last night,
kept on revolving.
- Jean? he suddenly said.
- Hmm... she murmured in reply, but without looking up from the
- Does Marie know that we're doing this?
- No, definitely not. Why?
- Should we not tell her? This concerns her more than anyone.
- Not yet, said Jean. Let's wait. When we're somewhat sure it will
work, we'll tell her.
- Who knows about this presently?
- Jean thought. - Eh... you, me, Charles... I told Scott, my
boyfriend, and it's possible that Charles has told Erik. No one else,
- I haven't told her.
- I did. Last night.
Jean's eyes widened. - You saw Ororo?
- I did.
Doctor Lecter was good at keeping a straight face, but Jean
couldn't help noticing a small quiver in his voice when he spoke of
- I know she likes you, she said quietly, and waited for the
doctor's reaction. There was barely any reaction at all.
- I know. I like her as well. She is a sweet and kind girl.
- No, you know what I mean! She likes you, *that* way!
Now Hannibal put his papers away and looked Jean in the eyes. He
almost smiled. Of course he knew. He just wasn't really sure what to
make of it.
- Yes, he said slowly. I have noticed. So?
Jean rested her elbows on the table and her chin in her hands.
- Hannibal, she said. Ororo is 27. She is fond of you. Everyone
who's seen her has noticed.
- What is your point?
- Ororo is my best friend. I cannot control her emotions, but don't
encourage her, for God's sake! You're leaving quite soon. There can
never become anything between you two. Not ever. Make sure she
Hannibal sighed. - Jean, I know. But that is between her and me. I
realize you care, and that she is your friend, but you shall not tell
her what she can, and cannot do. She is mature enough to make
decisions on her own.
- Don't hurt her, Jean warned. Whatever you do, doctor Lecter -
don't hurt her. It might be best if it won't go any further.
- Is that a threat? Hannibal asked amusedly.
- No, not at all. A warning, with the best of intentions. All I say
is that Ororo can become quite nasty if someone hurts her feelings.
The warning was meant for you.
- Thank you for your concern, miss Grey, but it will be fine,
Hannibal replied dryly. I promise not to hurt Ororo.
- Good. Can we drop the subject now? We have a lot of work to do.
And we have to work as a team. It won't work if we hate each other.
- Sure, I see, chuckled doctor Lecter. I don't hate you, Jean. But
I'd appreciate if you used lower heels, so I didn't have to turn my
head 90 degrees every time I look into your eyes. And, he added, I
will take Ororo out to dinner this evening. I thought I might be
honest and let you know, although you probably will be against it.
Now he became silent. He wasn't even looking at Jean, but he still
knew she was looking at him with an angry, disliking expression.