Meeting the Dads: Hannibal Lecter
Summary: "They thought this guy was scary? So not!"
A/N: In response to Challenge 3064: conception by conspiracy *non-stargate* by shelli.
A/N2: Thanks to my betas: zigpal and JediKnight. Double thanks to tanydwr for the wonderful fanart. You're the best!
A/N3: I've gotten some concerned reviews about the idea that Buffy would consider an abortion when her whole life is about saving others. Just to point out, it is only considering. Given the danger of being a pregnant Slayer would be a good enough reason for her to think about, not to mention worrying that she was carrying the child of the human equivalent of a monster. So while she will talk about it, that in no way indicates that she'll actually do it. Okay? Feel better now?
Warning: Non-fuzzy type feelings for Maggie, Riley and the Initiative…duh!!
Rating: FR15 for language and talk of sex, of course, she's pregnant after all.
Pairing: Basically a Buffy/Giles friendship. Anything else is up to you, the reviewers – within reason of course. Like if you suggest one for this piece I may have to hurl.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. 'Silence of the Lambs' characters and some dialogue copied and/or paraphrased belong to Thomas Harris and Orion Pictures. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane
Buffy and Giles were standing, yes standing, in the office of one Dr. Frederick Chilton waiting to meet the next candidate on their list. They were standing because the man was just too rude to offer them a seat.
Which was actually fine with them, since they wanted to get this over with and get out of this sleazeball's presence before one or both of them ripped his eyes out. All he'd been doing since they walked in was leer at Buffy. He even managed somehow to do it when he wasn't looking right at her. Only Buffy's Slayer strength kept Giles from letting his inner Ripper loose on the letch.
They remembered the warning they'd received from the FBI agent when they submitted their request to visit this particular prisoner:
'Be very careful with Hannibal Lecter. Dr. Chilton at the asylum will go over the physical procedures used with him. Do not deviate from them, for any reason. You tell him nothing personal. Believe me, you don't want Hannibal Lecter inside your head... Just get what you need, but never forget what he is. A pure psychopath...'
Dr. Chilton, Director of the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, spoke in a condescending tone, "It's so rare to capture one alive. From a research point of view, Dr. Lecter is our most prized asset..." Looking up from Lecter's file, he went on with what he probably assumed was a charming smile, "You know, we get a lot of visitors here, but I must say, I can't ever remember one so attractive..."
"Could we just get on with our visitation, please?" Buffy asked with as much patience as she could muster, but she was rapidly running out.
"Will you be in Baltimore overnight...? Because this can be quite a fun town, if you have the right guide," he continued to press.
Giles put a possessive arm around Buffy's waist, pulling her tightly to him. He hoped that she wouldn't be too upset with him for this show of machismo, but he was beginning to lose his tenuous control and was only seconds away from beating this pillock senseless. "I'm afraid our plans are decided for the duration of our stay in Baltimore, sir."
Chilton paused to study the couple, then proceeded sourly, "I see. Let's make this quick, then. I'm busy." He read from the file, "Lecter carved up nine people – that we're sure of – and cooked his favorite bits. We've tried to study him, of course – but he's much too sophisticated for the standard tests. And my, does he hate us! Thinks I'm his nemesis...Maybe you'll do better."
Buffy didn't like the way he said it but inquired anyway, "How do you mean, Dr. Chilton?"
"A pretty young woman to turn him on? I don't believe Lecter's seen many women in eight years. And oh, are you ever his 'taste' – so to speak," he explained, trying to unnerve the pretty blonde.
She just brushed off the implicit threat. "I'm not here to flirt with him, just get some answers."
Chilton hid his disappointment at her lack of fear. Starling had been much more entertaining. "Good. Then you should be able to remember the rules." He got up and led them to a darker, even grimmer area. Heavy grids lay over the lights. They heard distant slams and faint, hoarse shouts. They proceeded to their destination briskly.
"Do not reach through the bars, do not touch the bars. You pass him nothing but soft paper – no pens or pencils. No staples or paperclips in his paper. Use the sliding food carrier, no exceptions. Do not accept anything he attempts to hold out to you. Do you understand me?" he demanded as if speaking to a four year old.
Giles replied stoically, "We understand."
Chilton sneered inwardly, looking forward to upsetting these two people who dared to walk into his facility and demand an audience with his prisoner. "I'm going to show you why we insist on such precautions... On the afternoon of July 8, 1981, he complained of chest pains and was taken to the dispensary. His mouthpiece and restraints were removed for an EKG. When the nurse bent over him, he did this to her..."
He handed Buffy a small, dog-eared photo. Looking at it, she stopped in her tracks. This pleased Chilton and he went on, "The doctors managed to re-set her jaw, more or less, and save one of her eyes. His pulse never got over eighty-five, even when he ate her tongue. I keep him in here.
He turned and pushed a button. A steel door slowly opened, and Barney – a big, impassive orderly – awaited them in an anteroom. On its walls hung restraints, mouthpieces, Mace, tranquilizer guns.
Giles quickly blocked him. "Dr. Chilton, if Lecter feels you're his enemy – as you've said – then maybe we'll have more luck by ourselves. What do you think?"
"You might have suggested that in my office, and saved me the time," Chilton bit out, annoyed that he wouldn't get to witness this personally. Oh well, he'd just have to make due with watching it on the monitors.
Buffy offered a patently fake smile. "See, you didn't give us that choice, now did you?"
She held out the photo. After a moment's hesitation, he grabbed it, his jaw twitching in anger.
"When they're finished, bring them out," he commanded brusquely. He turned on his heel and left.
Barney smiled reassuringly. "Hi, I'm Barney. He told you to not get near the bars?"
"Buffy Summers. Rupert Giles. Yes, he did," she answered, shaking his hand.
He nodded his approval, "Okay. Past the others, it's the last cell. Stay to the middle. I put out two chairs for you." Sensing their tension, he indicated a nearby security monitor. "I'm watching. You'll do fine."
Giles reached in his pocket to pull out a slip of paper and handed it to him. "Actually, you won't be watching. This is an order to shut down the surveillance near Mr. Lecter's cell, including the sound. This interview is to remain private. Do you understand?"
"Dr. Chilton won't like that. He may even try to override it," Barney warned.
"Doesn't matter what he likes. These orders are signed by both the governor of this state as well as the President of the United States. If he wants to keep his job, he will comply!" Giles barked. Buffy put her hand on his arm and he apologized for his tone.
The orderly shrugged it off, "Sounds good to me. Just remember to be careful in there. He really is dangerous."
Giles and Buffy nodded gratefully. They looked at the long corridor and began walking down it. He watched them go, almost hoping that Chilton would try to supersede their orders. That man was as bad as some of the inmates they had in there. Not as bad as Lecter, but still…
The two of them made their way down the corridor with their footsteps echoing. High to the right were surveillance cameras. As they passed them, Giles muttered a spell softly to mute the sound and block the view of Lecter's cell. Just in case Chilton tried to watch in spite of the orders. On the left were cells. Some were padded with narrow observation slits, others were normal, barred – their shadowy occupants pacing, muttering…
Suddenly a dark figure in the next-to-last cell hurtled towards them, his face mashing grotesquely against his bars as he hissed, "I c-can sssmell your cunt!"
Buffy flinched momentarily, but then hissed back, "Great. You've got a head start if any vamp is crazy enough to turn you."
Hannibal Lecter's cell slowly came into view. Behind its barred front wall was a second barrier of stout nylon net. It contained sparse, bolted-down furniture, many soft-cover books and papers. On the walls hung extraordinarily detailed, skillful drawings – mostly European cityscapes – in charcoal or crayon.
Buffy stopped at a polite distance from his bars and cleared her throat, "Mr. Lecter? My name is Buffy Summers; this is my associate, Rupert Giles. May we talk with you?"
Dr. Hannibal Lecter was lounging on his bunk, in white pajamas, reading an Italian Vogue. He turned and studied her while ignoring the man for the moment. His face so long out of the sun, it seemed almost leached – except for the glittering eyes, and the wet red mouth. Huh, he even bore a resemblance to vampires.
He rose smoothly, crossing to stand before her – ever the gracious host. His voice was cultured, soft, "Good morning, Miss Summers, Mr. Giles."
They took their seats calmly, seemingly unconcerned of the menace this man exuded. Buffy spoke again, "We came here to talk to you about an experiment that concerns both you and me."
His eyes bored into hers, searching for her weakness. "And what experiment could that be?" he finally asked.
"A breeding experiment in California. With you as a possible donor and me as the incubator," she responded tersely.
"May I see your IDs?" he inquired politely.
They were surprised, but fished their ID cards out and held them up for his inspection. He smiled, soothingly. "Closer, please... Clo-ser..."
She complied each time, trying not to roll her eyes at his blatant attempt at manipulation.
Lecter's nostrils lifted as he gently – like an animal – tested the air. Then he offered that creepy smile again, "Sit. Please."
She sat back in the folding metal desk-chair. He waited politely until she was settled, then sat down himself and faced her happily. "Now then. What did Miggs say to you?" At her puzzled look, he elaborated, "'Multiple Miggs' in the next cell. He hissed at you. What did he say?"
She shot a glance at Giles, who was gripping the seat so tightly it started to bend. Then she stared impassively at Lecter as she answered, "He said, 'I can smell your cunt.'"
Lecter sighed sadly, "I see. I myself cannot. You use vanilla-scented skin cream, and sometimes you wear a light lavender-scented perfume, but not today. You brought your best bag, though, didn't you?"
Buffy, confused by his question, hesitated. "Yes," she drawled.
"It's much better than your shoes," he commented.
Giles tried to stifle a laugh but wasn't entirely successful. The master criminal was lucky that she wasn't supposed to get near him. If she could, he'd learn quickly not to mess with Buffy's fashion sense.
It didn't stop her from giving him a full glare though. "Hey, lay off the shoes, psycho guy!"
Giles shifting uncomfortably, looking for a way to ease the tension. "Did you do those drawings?"
"Yes. That's the Duomo, seen from the Belvedere. Do you know Florence?" he inquired of his 'guests'.
Despite herself, Buffy was impressed. "All that detail, just from memory...?"
"Memory, Miss Summers, is what I have instead of view," he said with a hint of longing.
Wanting to get this over with, she tried to get the conversation back on track. "About the experiment--"
Lecter interrupted her, "Do you know why the latest serial killer is called Buffalo Bill?"
"Haven't the slightest clue," she replied shortly.
He leaned forward conspiratorially, "The FBI says that he skins his victims, like his namesake. Why do you think he takes their skins, Miss Summers? Thrill me with your wisdom."
"Most serial killers keep some sort of trophies. It's probably just something like that. Or maybe he's making himself a coat. Who cares?" she answered with clear exasperation in her voice.
"I didn't," he shot back, baiting her.
Buffy snorted, "No. You ate yours."
There was a tense beat, then a smile from him, at her small boldness. "Okay, the experiment, what about it?"
"Just what I told you; they took the DNA from a donor, fertilized my eggs with it and stuck them back into me. I'm just visiting the guys on the list I got, trying to get a feel for each of them. I'm also asking for a small token from each of them as a reminder while I decide whether to continue the pregnancy or not."
Suddenly he ripped a sketch off the wall, shoved it in the tray and whipped the tray back at her, with a metallic clang that echoed in the corridor. His voice remained a pleasant purr, "You're sooo virtuous, aren't you...? You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well-scrubbed, hustling rube with a little, taste... Good nutrition has given you some length of bone, but you're not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you Miss Summers...? And oh, how quickly the boys found you! All those tedious, sticky fumblings, in the back seats of cars, while you could only dream of getting out. Getting anywhere, yes? Getting all the way out of your little backwater town."
All during his tirade, Buffy had Giles' hand in hers, holding it tightly. She knew if she let go that he'd storm the cell. When Lecter finished speaking, she couldn't contain herself any longer. Her shoulders were shaking and Lecter assumed it was with misery and shame. To his great surprise, she burst out laughing…at him! Nobody laughed at Dr. Hannibal Lecter!
"Oh my god, that is too funny! You know, except that part about mocking my shoes again. You're lucky I can't reach in there and break every bone in your body." She turned to Giles with a smirk. "Did you hear that garbage? And he's considered a genius? Cordelia is more insightful. And she has better insults as well."
Giles smiled back at her, glad the man's taunts hadn't upset her, even if they were incorrect. "Maybe it's an East Coast thing. They aren't as challenged around here. I bet Harmony could beat him in a battle of the mind."
Even though he didn't know these girls, he was certain that he was being insulted. That just wouldn't do. He pulled out a little story that had upset that Officer Starling so greatly when she had visited a few weeks ago. "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti," he said with a slurping sound, hoping to distress the small blonde. Or even her companion.
"And…?" she prompted. "You think that makes you scary? You don't even rate above a two on my scale of scary, buster! Sure, maybe when I was like 14 you could have frightened me with this crap, but since my 15th birthday, my life makes your little drama look like a child's cartoon. Don't even bother."
She stood up and stalked over to the cell, yanking the sketch out of the tray. Then she caught his gaze and her eyes bore into his, letting the Slayer take over momentarily. "By the way, if you ever think about trying to escape and coming after me – or even being in the same state as me – I will hunt you down and give you nightmares, got me?"
He stepped backwards, then returned to his cot, becoming as still and remote as a statue. This wasn't right. He was the monster everyone feared. Yet here was this little slip of a girl and he found himself frightened of her. Worse, he was happy there was a wall to protect him. No, no, this wouldn't do. This just wouldn't do.
"I know that you've pulled this shit on other visitors as well, Lecter. If I find out that you try to go after them either, my threat stands. See you later…when you sleep," she chuckled menacingly as they started back down the corridor.
When they got to the rental car, Giles pulled Buffy into a hug. Even though she'd played it tough in there, he knew she was rattled a little bit. It sure rattled him and he was mostly ignored.
She gave him a quick squeeze back, before pulling away and reaching for her cell phone. "Hey, Mulder? Tell the Gunmen thanks for the heads-up on the Director and Lecter. It made it easier to maintain my cool when they tried to throw me with their mind games. The letter from the governor and President came in handy as well."
"If you really want to thank them, you could always stop in for a visit, you know," her new friend suggested.
Since they met, he'd been trying to get her to meet his mystery sources. Apparently they were huge fans; they'd even created a doll of her – complete with a mini-stake.
"I told you, when I get the chance I will. I do have slightly more pressing matters to attend to right now, remember?" she told him.
"I know. But Scully and I miss you two as well. You probably know as well as we do how nice it is to talk to someone about the unusual and not have them look at you like they're fitting you for a nice, padded room," he replied, his voice clearly indicated that he really did miss them.
She sighed, "We'll try, 'k? You're right, it is nice to talk to someone about this stuff. By the way, any more news on that one guy?"
"Sorry, not yet. As soon as any of us get something, we'll let you know. Promise," he vowed.
Buffy sat back and thought. She rolled her eyes, knowing what she was about to say would most likely come back to bite her in the ass someday. "Would it buy me a little time with the guys if I were to send a signed picture of me and Giles?"
A/N: Four dads down…who knows how many more to go. Any favorites so far (smirk)? Kinda the lesser of the evils, except for Mulder that is. Sorry, Booth, your resemblance to Angel is too freaky.