Author: BethylAnarion PM
One shot - Clarice begins an all-too-common descent into insanity. Some language. Also, sorry, but Jodie Foster will always be Clarice to me.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - C. Starling & H. Lecter - Words: 2,316 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 6 - Published: 05-23-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8145517
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
He had watched her from a distance for a little over a year. At first, she seemed alright. More like she was unsure what was happening in her own life. She had returned home after Chesapeake and attempted to continue her life from where she had left off. It worked for a little while, but about six months after the incident, things were changing. She would come home and sit in her car with her head back as if she were unable to bring herself to leave the sanctity of it. He saw her crying there many times. The crying got worse and worse, until the next step. Now she would open the door with shaking hands, throw her things on the ground and cry, falling to the floor. Her chest would heave with each sob and she'd struggle to regain her composure. Finally she'd trudge up the stairs and crawl into bed, only half awake or half alive. He wasn't sure which.
It's not like she didn't know that there was something wrong with her, she did, but she would never seek out help. It just went against her nature. She wondered if it had something to do with her childhood, but shook it away, secretly knowing what the real problem was. She hated to admit that she was unhappy with the F.B.I., something he had predicted. She cursed herself every time a thought of him crossed her mind, insisting that there was no attachment between them, and that she DID NOT miss him.
He watched, with displeasure, the next phase take hold of her. It started with a drink. It wasn't long until she had seemed to revert back to her white trash lineage, drowning sorrow with alcohol. But he watched silently, never saying a word, never making a move, only watching, and waiting. Waiting for the perfect moment to return. He expected it would be awhile. His plans were about to be cancelled.
Clarice Starling opened the door to her house, and flicked it back towards it's frame with an unenthusiastic hand. She dropped her things onto the floor without even the strength to throw them and made her way slowly into the kitchen. She drank again, trying to overcome the hole in her chest, but it didn't work. Leaning against the counter, she sighed heavily, anger building up in her heart. Anger at herself, anger at the bottle in her hand, anger at her superiors, anger at him. Her life could have been perfectly fine, completely normal if she had never met him. No one would judge her for the affair that never happened, no one would make up rumors of a continuing affair. "Fuck you!" she yelled to the air, smashing her bottle on the counter. The glass shattered, some of it cutting her in the process.
That did it. She was crying now, sobbing rather. He watched in silence still, but wary of the sudden change in her. She was no longer stable, and with the addition of alcohol, she might do something foolish.
"Fuck all of you!" came the next outburst, this one more choked than the last. She looked around, feeling desperate. Perhaps it was the alcohol, perhaps just the insanity which had taken her mind as of late. She didn't know but didn't care. "Fuck me!" she screamed in a final outburst. She threw the bottle on the ground, causing it to explode in shards that flew into the air, and stooped to pick up one of the bigger shards. She stared at it as if hoping to find some answer there, but only discovered a broken image of herself. As her hand closed tighly over the piece of glass, blood began to spill. He made his move, making his way into the kitchen after her. She held the glass high as if making a sacrifice to a Greek god, and in one swift manner, brought it to her heart.
Her hands were stopped by some unknown force long before they reached her. She opened her eyes, struggling to make out the blurry shape before her. He said nothing, merely tried to take the glass from her hand. She cleared her eyes of the remaining tears well enough to see, and looked at the figure before her.
Hannibal's eyes showed nothing, looking as calm as ever save for a slight flash of something that she'd never seen. In drunken anger, she fought back, trying to free her arms. He pulled her arms apart, and held them that way, thrusting her against the counter.
"Let go of the glass now," he said, almost casually. Her insane mind refused her the right to speak, so she stared, confused, lost. He didn't ask again, just pried her hand opened and took it. She didn't fight this time, the lost feeling was overwhelming. "Let's clean you up." He spoke like he would speak to a child. He took both of her wrists in his hand and brought her towards the sink. She obeyed. Taking a rag from the drawer, he wet it, pulled her arms over the sink, and began to wash them gently.
Upon finishing with that, he brought her in the same child-like manner to a chair. He set a chair before her so that he could see her while they spoke. "Suicide seems very unlike you, Clarice."
She looked at the ground, drowned in a flood of shame and embarassment. Her face reddened as she searched for words to say, but found none.
She struggled for words.
"If you won't speak to me then I guess there's no reason for me to be here at all." He stood and began to walk away. Clarice grabbed his wrist, and he turned back.
"Stay," she said, barely above a whisper.
He took his seat again and held both of her hands inside his own. "I'm worried about you, Clarice."
"I'm sorry," she breathed, beginning to cry again. She buried her face in her hands.
"I know." He took her in his arms and held her against his chest, letting her cry. When she had calmed down, he let her sit up.
"I don't know what's come over me lately," she whispered.
"You've been watching me?" The accusation was blatant in her tone.
"For how long?" She tried to appear strong and met his gaze.
"A long time."
"What have you seen?"
"Everything... Why don't you go and lie down?"
"I'm not tired," she lied.
"Your mind is, and it needs to rest. I will clean up the glass and see to you afterwards."
Feeling too exhausted to argue, she trudged up the stairs and crawled into bed. Her mind wandered as her eyes drifted shut. They shot open after only a few seconds. Doctor Lecter was in her house. She jumped out of bed, grabbed her gun, and quietly made her way down the stairs.
She could hear him cleaning up the broken glass. Back pressed against the wall, she came around the corner, and pointed her gun at his back.
"Doctor Lecter," she began.
He sighed and turned slowly, open hands towards her. "There's no need for that, Clarice."
She swallowed. "Doctor Lecter, you need to leave my house."
"I won't hurt you."
"Don't make me pull this trigger."
"I can assure you, I won't. If you want me to leave, simply ask me to leave."
"Please leave my house, sir."
He raised his palms in a surrendering gesture, then made his way to the door. Doctor Lecter was gone. Clarice stood still, back pressed against the wall, gun pointed towards the door for a long time before finally lowering it.
A pang of sadness shot into her heart as she stared at the empty doorway. The wind blew the door open further, and the emptiness grew larger. A burst of emotions flooded her already weak mind. She ran through the door and stood on the porch. As far as she could tell, he was really gone. She ran farther out into the street and looked down the long sidewalks. A figure caught her eye.
She ran towards it. As she got closer, the man stopped, but did not turn. She came to stand a few feet behind him and realized that she didn't know what to say or what to do. She hadn't thought through any of it. She wasn't even positive she knew why she was chasing him. That was a lie. She knew deep down why she followed him.
It seemed like hours before she found the nerve to speak. "Don't go."
Doctor Lecter turned to face her. "Just a few moments ago you asked me to stay, then threatened me at gun-point to leave. And now it seems you've changed your mind again, Little Starling. A bit odd, don't you think?"
"I don't know what I want anymore, Doctor."
He was strangely silent, and only waited for her to say more.
She swallowed and searched for something, anything. "I just, I don't know anymore! I feel like no matter what I do, I can't fix this screwed up life I've gotten myself into! I'm living in a nightmare, and I can't wake up!" Her words poured out like a flood and she burst into tears again.
Doctor Lecter watched, feeling pain at the sight of her, and said nothing.
Her crying turned into sobbing, and her chest heaved with each breath. After a moment, she cried, "Please, just say something!"
"I don't want to influence you, Clarice," he replied, remaining calm.
"Please," she begged, falling to her knees, arms wrapped around her chest.
"Now, Clarice, you wouldn't want someone to see you that way, would you?"
She remained the way she was, sobbing, bent over on the sidewalk. Doctor Lecter stood still. A gust of wind blew passed them, and somewhere there was the sound of a door closing. The crisp winter air stung at her bare arms.
"Make up your mind, Clarice."
A car drove by and he could see that the passengers were staring.
It took a very long time before she finally regained herself enough to speak. "I want you, Doctor. But I'm afraid of what will happen."
"What do you mean, Clarice?"
"I'm afraid of loving you, sir."
Doctor Lecter looked away. "To quote Voltaire, 'he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.'."
Clarice sat quietly for a long time. Her crying had mostly ceased. "I work for the F.B.I., but I can't help loving you, as I imagine you can't help loving me... As you know, my job has always been very important to me... But I think you were right about me. I wanted the F.B.I. because I felt like it would make my father proud, and that was all I really cared about. I just... left out my own happiness - well, I guess I didn't. It's just that to make myself happy, I wanted to make him proud. It went together. But now I feel like maybe I was wrong... I think all he would've wanted is for me to be happy..." She stood and met his eyes. "Doctor, you make me happy, and I think that's more important than the F.B.I.."
Doctor Lecter sighed. "If you were to get caught aiding and abetting a fugitive, someone on the Ten Most Wanted list, you would not only be fired and shamefully disgraced to the public, you would also be sent to prison for quite a long time. Maybe you'd be lucky and get parole, but that's not certain. And what, do you think, would you do after you got out? You most certainly couldn't work for the government again. You'd have to start over completely... But, Clarice, I must admit, that you also make me happy."
She was quiet again for a moment. "So how are we going to keep this a secret?"
"Well, I never got caught watching you, Clarice, so I imagine it won't be much worse. As long as you don't tell, no one will know, and I'll try my best to remain hidden."
"Do you plan on staying long, then?"
"Only as long as you want... Why don't we go inside? The neighbors have been staring quite a bit."
Clarice's face reddened and she started to glance at the houses, but was suddenly lifted from the ground. Doctor Lecter began to walk back to her house. "You know, sir, I can walk."
"Yes, I know, but I thought it would be nice if you didn't have to... And I wanted to confuse your neighbors a bit more."
She smiled and rested her head against his chest, thankful for his warmth.
Within the time it took for him to reach her house, Clarice, mentally worn out, let her eyes begin to flutter and then shut entirely. Hannibal walked carefully up the stairs, and laid her gently in the bed, kissing her head before turning and walking away.
"Doctor Lecter?" she called dreamily.
"Yes, Clarice?" he asked, turning to face her.
"Where are you going?"
"I was going downstairs unless you'd rather I didn't."
"I'd rather you didn't."
He smiled. "And what, Clarice, would you like?"
"Come and lie down."
He obeyed, taking his place in the bed beside her. She curled into his arms and began to fall back asleep.
"Goodnight, little lamb," he whispered, closing his eyes.