Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I own none of the rights to Hannibal.

Title: Coveting Clarice

Summary: Hannibal mulls over his strange relationship with Clarice.

Setting: Normal Hannibal world. Kind of.

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As she kept coming to my cell, I realized something unfortunate had taken place.

I had begun to covet her.

I had thought I was above such trivial nonsense – or, more accurately, I thought I was fully prepared for pretty little agent Starling.

I was wrong.

It had been so long since I'd seen a woman, you know – eight excruciatingly long years, with no one but petty criminals to keep me company.

No mind worth possessing, you see.

But then came Clarice Starling, F.B.I. – I came to look forward to her visits. I wanted to know more about her, and under the odd circumstances, I looked forward to our little game of "quid pro quo". I wanted to know more about this girl, so ambitious, yet so interesting and not at all as crude as I had expected.

As little taste as she had, I hoped to help her out in a few areas - that being one of them.

I know she found me interesting, no matter how hard she tried to hide it – I could smell her curiosity, and I know she always told me the truth. I could smell that too.

I could smell how frightened of me she was the first time we met, but as our "sessions" went on, the scent decreased, until all I could smell was her skin cream.

Once, she even wore her L'Air de Temps. I found that amusing, under the circumstances. It's not an inexpensive perfume; I wondered why she would waste such a scent on me when it was clear she needed a new pair of shoes.

Then I found out.

She liked me.

I don't know how she thought of me; perhaps as a pet, perhaps as a human – no one can really tell, although I'd love to. But the only reason I even realized was because I liked her too.

We were similar, she and I, and she'd seen it before me.

That struck a nerve.

I liked messing with her mind – I knew that, yet there was something underneath all that, something that I could see only when I decided to take down my façade.

It occurred when she was being thrown out of the penitentiary by Dr. Chilton and Officers Pembry and Boyle. I unconsciously stroked her finger.

And that was the night I escaped – to find her and thank her for giving me something to look forward to in the days to come.

Or something like that.

All I know is that I have some connection to this girl, this little Starling.

I'm not ready to give up my hold on her yet.

And this time, she can't fly away.