-1Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. I apologize for making all of you wait so long for the last chapter. I had a hard time trying to decide how to end this piece. Thanks to all of you who reviewed and stuck with the story throughout the process.


Clarice was evidently no longer in the hospital. Hannibal was not exactly the kind of person that could get away with going to the local police station and filling out a missing person's report. Well, in all honesty he probably could, Hannibal admitted to himself wryly. But that was besides the point.

The point was that Hannibal highly doubted that the police would have any idea where Clarice was-But Jack Crawford might.


Jack was sleeping deeply in his bedroom when he heard something move. Pretending he was still sleeping, Jack silently reached his hand under his pillow to retrieve the gun he had placed there. If Lecter was indeed coming, as Clarice had assumed he would, Jack would be ready.

"Don't bother," Hannibal ordered.

Jack jerked when he heard the familiar voice and felt a biting sensation on his neck.

"Now, look what you've done," Hannibal chastised. "I was going to at least try not to hurt you and now you gone and cut yourself."

"Yes, on your harpy, which you just happened to place at the base of my throat!" Jack spat sarcastically as he watched the glinting knife nervously.

"No need to be disrespectful, you know how much I don't appreciate that. Especially when I am only here for information on Clarice's whereabouts."

"She knew you'd never take the hint and leave her alone," Jack replied snidely.

"Explain," Hannibal ordered, the tip of his harpy pressing incrementally harder upon Jack's jugular.

"She's left, Lecter. She even gave me a letter to give to you to tell you herself. It's on the desk," Jack answered.

"Give me the gun you've so obviously hidden underneath your pillow," Hannibal ordered.

Jack, not being an entirely stupid man, promptly complied.

Hannibal stood and walked over to the letters. He quickly disregarded the first as a fraud. It sounded nothing like Clarice. The second only confirmed his fears, Clarice was being held hostage.

Hannibal was tucking the papers into a jacket pocket when Jack began speaking once again.

"I know you are a smart man, logical, a genius probably. That was one of the reasons why I needed to catch you so badly. Someone like you shouldn't be a murderer. You go against everything moral and right. The things you do, should be incapable of someone with reason. People try to classify you as a monster because they are too afraid to believe that a man could be so cruel. But you are a man, a human being-."

"Your point would be appreciated sometime before the sunrises, Mr. Crawford."

"Let it go, Lecter. Your anger and hatred for mankind. Let Clarice go, turn yourself in-"

"You are a fool," Hannibal stated, shaking his head and laughing softly.

"You laugh!" Jack asked. "How could you, after everything! Don't you feel guilty for any of the atrocities you have committed?"

"Guilty?" Hannibal asked, as if it were a truly novel idea. "Why, no, I don't feel guilty. After all, the guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but the one who causes the darkness*. Goodnight ."


Hannibal drove his stolen truck through the directions that Will had so kindly provided. While driving, Hannibal wondered about Will's intentions. Over the years, Hannibal had stopped trying to dissect the reasons that people came after him. Their reasons were always terribly pathetic and trite. They were angry and sought revenge. Hannibal had just assumed that Will was running on the same logic. But something didn't feel right. And for all of Hannibal's intelligence, he always listened to his gut feelings.

Will was one of the few detectives to ever catch him, and in a way, Hannibal had almost admired Will at one time. But the Will that Hannibal knew now was wretched. His schemes and ideas were poor, at best. Hannibal had come to expect more, much more from the ex-FBI agent. But was that perhaps the point? What if Will did not really want to catch him? What could he possibly be after, Hannibal wondered.


Once he arrived at his destination, Hannibal looked over the property curiously. He had half-expected a rundown warehouse on the outside of town, complete with the requisite amount of seedy character and smell of cat piss. But instead he found himself at a Lake house? Well never let it be said that Hannibal didn't appreciate surprises. Hannibal walked up to the porch, the door was slightly open already. As Hannibal walked inside he heard the sound of the TV before it was shut off quickly.

"You got my letter, took you long enough," Will noted as he stood before Hannibal.

Hannibal looked at Will, then around the tastefully decorated entryway.

"Nice place here, who lent it to you? It is clearly not yours."

Will shrugged. "A guy at the FBI who has a problem with Clarice. After I get rid of you, I'm supposed to finish her off too."

Hannibal nodded. "No gun?"

Will shook his head. "No, no gun. You aren't going anywhere. I have something you want. And now that I've got you, I'm going to kill you as I like. Face to face," Will added as he brought a large butcher knife out from behind his back.

"If that's the way you want it, Will," Hannibal answered as he brought out his harpy…and promptly threw it to Will's feet.

"What are you doing?!" Will shouted.

"You know, I realized something, Will-"

"I don't want hear anything you have to say. Just fight me!" Will ordered as he kicked Lecter's weapon back.

Hannibal ignored the knife.

"I was wondering why you came after me?"
"Because I want to kill you," Will answered angrily.

"Oh, I'm sure you told yourself that, and even believed it-"

'It's true!"

"Then why am I not being stabbed to death right now, hmm? You are not entirely dense all of the time Will. In fact you have startling insight…sometimes. Now really, use that brain of yours. If I were fully prepared to have this so called knife fight with you, who do you think would win."

"I'm going to gut you!"

"Yes, you say so, with that big clumsy kitchen knife not fit to slice fish. You've always known I would win in a fight between us, at least a fight set up this way. A fight in which I can use my weapon of choice. I have no doubt you could have caught me, Will, but not his way."

"You're wrong I have caught you and you're going to die-"

"Before I do, I have a question. Why do you continue to threaten Clarice? Back there in the clearing, did you just shoot Clarice just because Ardelia had nudged you, or was she your target in the first place?"

"I don't know what you're talking about-"

"At first I thought it was simple hate driving you. If the only reason you have been so obsessed is hatred, then you are doing a horrible job with attaining your revenge. But then I realized, I wasn't your target at all. All this time you have been trying to hurt Clarice, not to get to me, but to get me to be angry enough with you to rip out your heart like you deserve."

Will stepped back with the butcher knife still pointed towards Lecter.

"I hate you!" Will shouted.

"Oh, I am sure you do, but not as much as you hate yourself. You're sad Will, you really are. You didn't have the courage to kill me when it mattered, didn't have the courage to protect your family, and now you don't even have the courage to end your own pathetic life."

In two quick steps, Hannibal wrested the butcher knife from Will. Will stood stock still, his feet rooted to the ground.

Hannibal took the tip of the butcher knife and let it lay threateningly against the hollow of Will's throat.

"I've always told you the truth Will, now all you have to do is admit it to yourself. Do you want to die, Will Graham?"

Will took a short shuddering breath, "Yes," he whispered as a single tear traced its way down to his chin.

"In that case, I hope you live forever," Hannibal replied as he deftly flipped the knife and connected the thick wooden handle with the back of Will's head.

Will fell limply to the floor unconscious.

Hannibal dropped the knife unceremoniously to ground and went to pick up his beloved harpy. Walking through several rooms, Hannibal came to find Clarice tied to a wheelchair.

His harpy made quick work of the ropes binding her.

"Thanks," Clarice said.

"I'm glad to see you are alright," Hannibal answered as he wheeled the chair out front. As the passed the foyer Clarice saw Will laying unconscious.

"He is still alive?" she asked.

"Yes, it is a worse punishment for him than death could ever be."

"Will he be any problem for us in the future?"

"Oh, we will be long gone before he wakes up."

"To where?"
"Wherever you wish," Hannibal answered. "However, I must insist that before we go, a trip to the local post office is in order."


"It seems that Crawford and Ardelia have the mistaken and completely ridiculous notion that you want to leave me."

Clarice laughed. "Sorry about the letter-"

"No need to apologize, Clarice. I was able to see it was counterfeit."

"I'm glad. Now that we are together, you are stuck with me," Clarice replied as Lecter helped her into their truck.

"I wouldn't have it any other way," Hannibal replied.


Well I hope you enjoyed the last chapter, any comments are welcome!