No name yet- suggestions?

Author Notes: Takes place during Faith's imprisonment. Assume that Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs had never been imprisoned and still worked as a psychiatrist… what if he were sent to speak with Faith in prison?

"Lehane? The doctor's here for you- against the wall, hands flat at sides."

Faith did as the guard had asked her as he unlocked the door to her cell, cuffing her hands quickly as he kept an eye on her legs and feet, no doubt to be aware if she used them to catch him off balance. They should know by now that she wasn't going to do anything to hurt them- unless, of course, it was in self-defense. Same with the other prisoners. If they let her be, it was five by five…but if they pulled out a shaft on her, or tried to feel her up in the shower without her express permission, they'd get more than a little hell to pay for it. Faith might be trying for redemption here, but she was hardly a martyr.

Most of the guards seemed to get that by this point, but Larry was still a little leery of her. He touched her as little as possible whenever cuffing her or frisking her, and pulled his hands away as if he thought she were diseased or something. It had bothered her at first, but five months after her arrival Faith thought she understood. The guy had seen her lift and press the maximum weight the prison gym carried without straining or even breaking a sweat more times than he probably could believe or care to remember. He had seen the toughest three prison broads after they tried to corner her in the shower her second day here, and he had seen how studiously they avoided her now, too nervous and intimidated by her to look her in the eye. All in all Faith definitely could blame the guy for being leery, but really, if he kept his hands and his comments to himself, he ought to know he'd be fine. Like any prison could hold a Slayer that didn't want to be there…

As Larry cuffed her quickly, then began to lead her with a ginger hand clamped on her shoulder down the length of the prison hall, she felt the other women watching her, no doubt speculating her temporary release. Faith had no cell mate and liked it that way- none wanted to share with her, and apparently the prison powers-that-be didn't like the idea of her sharing a cell either when she had such power and strength. Five by five by her- she'd never had a roommate and didn't want to start now.

"Please don't give him any bullshit this time, Lehane," Larry muttered under his breath as they approached a room that had become rather familiar to Faith in the past few months of her imprisonment. " You speak with him and you help your own case here, or don't you understand that?"

"I always spoke to the other ones," Faith shrugged, her voice exaggerated in its innocence. "Can't help it if they didn't like what I had to say."

"You're not going to like what we have to say if you scare off another doctor," Larry replied, though his voice was too uneasy to be very intimidating, his hand on her shoulder tightening so that Faith tensed, ill at ease with this implied threat. "Further suspension of privileges may be somewhere in there…"

"Like I have so many in this joint… what, you gonna take away my toilet paper?" Faith said wryly, quirking an eyebrow, but Larry ignored her, jaw tensing.

Faith knew exactly why he was so frustrated, and again, couldn't blame the guy. Three shrinks sent to evaluate her in as many months, and all three had reached a point where they refused to try to work with her anymore- each quicker than the last. Larry was probably getting flack for it from his superiors, even though it had nothing to do with him and everything to do with Faith. If they had any sense at all they'd just quit trying. This Lecter guy wasn't gonna be any different from all the others.

She'd never been a good one for being examined, whether physically or mentally. For the physical part, Faith didn't want people prodding her and touching her unless she touched him first and made it clear they could touch her back. And mentally? Forget it. She didn't' want to know or understand her own thoughts, let alone let some stranger poke around in her trying to understand her. As if they ever could anyway.

The only person Faith had not minded seeing inside of her- the only person she had ever let help her mentally and emotionally- was Angel. But he knew her like these people never would or could, healed her more than damaged her- or rather helped her to start to change herself. And still she had resisted it, fought every step of the way, and it was still a struggle for her to accept his caring, to actually try to fight against her own self-destructive and aggressive nature. These shrink people, all they had done was read her files- and hell if those were detailed or accurate at all. They knew nothing about her, and Faith intended to keep it that way.

When Larry opened the interview room's door and Faith saw the man sitting there, waiting for her with an odd, faint little smile, she almost laughed out loud in incredulity. THIS was the shrink they'd sent her today?! Like this guy would really get anything out of her…

He had to be at least sixty years old, probably older, and he was balding, pinkish in coloring, and not at all a large or physically threatening man. His eyes were pale, his expression benign, and yet something about the intensity of his gaze was oddly disquieting. In spite of her smugness at his physical appearance, a part of Faith wanted to look away from his eyes…for he almost looked as if, unlike all the others, he did somehow know something about her.

But that was ridiculous, of course. The guy didn't know her- no one did, not even herself hardly. It was just his stupid eyes.

Larry released her, giving her a little push towards the chair across from Dr. Lecter, and Faith slouched down in it easily, conveying with her posture how very at ease and disinterested she was with this. He glowered down at her for a moment before speaking.

"Remember what I said to you, Lehane- that wasn't just to hear myself speak."

He looked up at Dr. Lecter then, adding, "Call if you need me, Dr. I'll be here to get her in an hour, otherwise."

"I assure you that neither of us will have need of you, Larry," Dr. Lecter replied, and his eyes focused once more on Faith. "Will we, Faith?"

His voice was calm, pleasant, but totally confident without sounding pompous or arrogant. Somehow Faith couldn't recall having heard in anyone speak in the exact same tone before, let alone a psychiatrist. Weird… but still, he was just a shrink.

"Nope," she replied easily, smirking as she turned her head to quirk an eyebrow at Larry. "Don't worry, I'll call ya if I get any needs for you though…"

Larry scowled at her, although she noticed he was flushing slightly too. What, just-turned-eighteen-year-old practically jailbait didn't do it for him? Right. Couldn't be straight then. Screw that, couldn't be HUMAN.

"You'll keep comments like that to yourself when you're with Dr. Lecter if you know what's good for you, Lehane," he barked, and Faith's eyebrows rose- must have hit a nerve for mouse guy to use that kind of tone with her. "Don't forget, this is a last chance here they're giving you, and if it was up to me you wouldn't get getting it at all."

As he exited, Faith was still smirking to herself, amused; Larry was way too easy to wind up. She let her eyes drift slowly over the doctor's form, wondering what it would take to unsettle him. But the thing was that he was looking back at her with that weird little smile, making no attempt to hide his scrutiny.

"So, another shrink, huh- Lecter?" she asked nonchalantly. "You guys just don't give up, huh?"

"I am a psychiatrist, yes," Dr. Lecter replied, his eyes locked on hers. "My name is Dr. Hannibal Lecter, you are correct. And you, I assume, are Faith. May I call you Faith? Given your age and status, it seems most appropriate."

"Yeah, well, don't know what else you'd call me," she shrugged, even as inwardly she was guffawing and outwardly she couldn't resist a grin.

Hannibal- the guy's name was Hannibal?! It rhymed with cannibal! Damn, he probably got teased as a kid…

"You a carnivore, Doc?" she asked, smirking, and Lecter met her eyes calmly, though his voice had an odd firmness that threw her slightly.

"If you are in your own offhand manner mocking my first name's quality of rhyming with the word cannibal, then yes, I will tell you that I do in fact eat meat of all varieties, and I do not possess any sense of shame for it. As for your addressal of me as "Doc," I will inform you, Faith, that this will end now. You will call me Dr. Lecter, or you will not address me at all."

Normally Faith would sneer at such a request from a shrink and continue on the way she'd been planning, but something about the way this guy looked and spoke stopped her… it had not been a request. And had he been implying what she thought he was when he said he ate ALL varieties of meat?

Surely not. He was bullshitting her.

"Whatever," she shrugged, blanking out her expression deliberately.

"I will take that as acquiescence on your behalf," Dr. Lecter responded smoothly, and Faith frowned, looking at him with more than a little suspicion now.

What did acquiescence even mean? She'd just gotten here, and already she didn't like this guy. It felt different with him somehow… somehow, unlike with the others, she didn't quite feel that she had total control…