Disclaimer: The original characters used in this Fan fiction belong to the author Thomas Harris. This is just my interpretation of what happened to make Dr. Lecter attack the nurse, as she unstrapped his face mask for an EKG.
This story was done in First Person narrative.
I'm not much of a story teller: In fact, I'm not much more than your common, garden variety psychologist. Yet mine is a tale that definitely needs some telling, because I am one of the few Doctors that tended Dr. Lecter while he was at the Baltimore State Forensic Hospital.
The one that was fired the day before he went into the infirmary, complaining of chest pains.
But first; some back story, like all good stories have.
It was the day previous, the 7th of July in the year 1981. I was doing my routine checkups of the patients; like per normal. I was a resident of this hospital for nearly five years, so I knew all the patients by name at this point. But there was one patient that I always remembered to treat as one of my fellows (and he was, by every right and privilege!): Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
"Whatever you say, Miggs" I said with a blithe smile as I left Miggs in his cell. I was one of the few people that were able to go in and out of cells in the criminal ward, but it wasn't just because of my good looks (brunette, slim and trim; with startlingly bright brown eyes); it was also because I related to them, just like a good psychologist would: I listened and only spoke when I wanted a question answered, or if I had a small piece of insight.
"Are you sure you want to try this again, Dr. Borgia?" Barney asked nervously: My last five encounters with Dr. Lecter had not yet given fruit, but I was determined to get in that diseased, brilliant head of his somehow.
"He hasn't threatened to eat me yet, Barney" I said in a low whisper as I started to approach the Plexiglas of the Cannibal's cell, still not in ear shot of the Doctor inside.
"He hasn't said anything" Hissed Barney in reply. "Don't you think that is more dangerous then—"But he broke off when he saw the sleek head of Dr. Lecter look up from his book. "Good afternoon, Dr. Lecter; how are you today?" Barney said, switching to his jovial tones quickly. But unlike normal, as I know he was wont to do when I wasn't around, Dr. Lecter didn't greet Barney in reply but this was normal…when I was in the room, anyway.
The slim form of the Doctor stood up from his cot and turned to face me. I smiled at him and offered him a gentle nod of the head; as was normal for me, and (as normal for him) I got a curt nod in reply but no words: Not yet, anyway. "Thank you, Barney: Why don't you leave us for a bit?" It was regulation for the resident Doctor to have an orderly during the visitations, but I thought I'd break regulation for once. This change in routine brought a promising quirk of the lips to the Doctor's mouth, which I saw barely from the corner of my eye.
"Are you sure, Dr. Borgia? I mean," But with one swift look from Dr. Lecter, Barney silenced himself and left us alone…for the first time in my five years of having been resident under Dr. Chilton. We merely stared at each other for a moment; his maroon eyes practically drilling into my skull, and (like always) I spoke:
"I thought I'd do something…different today" I said slowly, measuring my words very carefully. "But," I said with a small smile. "Only if you are willing to listen for a while" I finished as I moved to the chair that Barney left set out for me; as he always did for my visits to the cells I couldn't go into, like Dr. Lecter's. My change in pace seemed to be doing the trick, because I watched as the Doctor seemed to loosen up in his stance. I stood next to the chair, my hand placed on the back of it as I watched him and waited. It seemed like I was waiting forever and a day…but then, he spoke:
"And what will I be listening to, Dr. Borgia?" He inquired politely, his hands coming out from behind his back to fold in front of him as he canted his head to the side. This made me smile: It was the biggest response I had ever gotten out of him. I playfully shrugged my shoulders and grinned at him as I put my purse down in the chair, so I could look through it.
"It'll have to be our secret," I said as I pulled a small tape player out of my purse. This piqued his curiosity obviously as he moved closer to the Plexiglas, his eyes only slightly widened in interest. "Since this is so against the rules that I could lose my job." I continued to speak as I pulled a tape cassette out next.
"Only if I told" Reasoned the Doctor with a small smirk as he eyed me, his maroon eyes shining in slight humor.
"Exactly" I responded with a grin as I held the tape player in one hand and inserted the tape with the other. "But I don't want to be overheard, so I'll have to get close." Slowly, with the tape player in both my hands like a little table; I approached the glass to stand in front of him. "My gift; to you, Doctor" I said in a whisper as I pushed play on the tape recorder and pushed the little speaker against the glass, so it could echo in his room.
The Goldberg variations began to play through the little player and into his cell, the delicate tinkling of the piano keys barely heard through the glass but he seemed to be hearing it perfectly. I watched as his normally stoic glance was transported completely into the song; glazing over in a look of almost catatonic pleasure at something as simple as music. I watched him as he listened, his hands moving in time like he was playing an invisible piano. He seemed to be completely lost in his little personal concert, so I took the moment to write down some notes about how he reacted to it. His finger placement on the invisible keyboard was flawless! To be that good; one had to have had piano lessons at a very young age, and that was something no one had ever asked him about: What did he like to do.
When the song ended, there was a long silence and I let it continue to grow. He seemed to have been worked up quite a bit by that little snippet of music, his back to the cell door. Was he weeping? I didn't ask, since that seemed terribly rude to me but it did seem at that moment that he was weeping for the beauty of the music; whose musical score was still bleeding on the air. He finally turned to face me and was smiling: But like all the smiles that the monster produced; this one did not reach his eyes.
"That was lovely; the first real piece of music I have heard in almost six years." He remarked as he looked at me. "Thank you very much for that."
I smiled back at him. "You're very welcome, Dr. Lecter: Do you know Mozart?" I inquired, my head tilting to the side as I watched him.
"Yes, and I enjoy him quite a bit" The reply came slow, but it did come: He hadn't spoken in quite some time, so his voice held that raspy (almost coppery) note from disuse. "What about Bach? Do you like Bach?"
"Bach is also good: So is Chopin and Beethoven" I returned, keeping the conversation light and small: A real conversation, with no outward giveaways to show that I was trying to analyze him; but I was, and oh was I. His eagerness to engage in conversation about the grand masters showed a sense of class, coupled with his obvious master-work of the air piano; this man was either from a rich family or a noble family, but it was hard to say which: No one knew much about the Monster's childhood, not even from old records that the government had on him. All that was known of his childhood was that he was an orphan from WWII; immigrated from Paris to Canada when he was a young man of about 17 or 18 years old.
But before we could get any further, a rude voice interrupted the Doctor…in the middle of a sentence.
"Nothing is lovelier than Chopin's A Brand—"
"It's time for his meds" I jumped at the sound of the voice, turning quickly to look at the offending nurse. She was a new one; a lot of the nurses running around at the time were. I glared at her, making hushing motions at her with my hands but when I turned to look back at the Doctor; he had all gone stonily quiet again, his back to the cell door. I snarled as I turned to face the nurse, not noticing that the tape player had fallen into the food tray (upon which it was perched precariously).
"Are you really that dumb? He doesn't take those things!" I hissed to her in rage as I made to hurry her away, but that was when that dumb nurse got a stroke of either brilliance; or complete idiocy. She had spotted the tape player, and was now holding it aloft: Apparently, she had managed to snatch it up before I rushed her away.
"We'll see how Dr. Chilton likes this, won't we? Tell me how to do my job, will you?" She sneered. I tried to grab her, to attempt to stop her; but she was far too quick for me.
I bit my bottom lip as I watched her slip out of my grip, and into the orderly station. Barney was arguing with her fiercely, but she won out eventually, her smirking face disappearing around the corner. It was then that I realized that a voice was calling to me from behind:
"Doctor Borgia! Doctor Melanie Borgia!"
It was Dr. Lecter; he was calling me back to his cell. I did not hesitate in my speedy return to his side, my white lab coat fluttering behind me. His eyes were alive; like the molten lava of the Inferno itself. "She was insufferably rude just then, wasn't she?" He seemed to be eager to come close to me now, his lean form almost pressed against the glass as I leaned my face close to his ear.
"Unimaginably so" I returned as I looked him full in the face. I was just a little taller than him, so I had to look down a little but I didn't look down at him…if you know what I'm getting at; I didn't think less of him. His nostrils flared delicately as he breathed in my scent through the scant holes in the Plexiglas and he sighed, his eyes fluttering a bit.
"Dr. Borgia," He said smoothly as his eyes opened again and looked me in the eyes. "You smell absolutely delightful; jasmine, orange blossom, bergamot, and…" He paused here and took another deep inhale as he turned his head toward mine. I froze up against the glass, thankful of its presence: If it wasn't there, he could have thrown my throat out…with his bare teeth. "Sandalwood" He finished after a long silence as he backed away from me. "Flawless bouquet" He commented once more, before simply fading into silence.
The next day was when I got fired; just after that…well, debacle in the Hospital Wing.
I had gotten a call from Barney, consisting of him telling me that Lecter was complaining of chest pains and then asking if he should bring him down to the infirmary. I thought for a moment, leaning back in my chair as I twiddled my pencil through my fingers. I had already been verbally reamed by Dr. Chilton for having broken procedure, so I didn't want to get even more on his bad side by catering to Lecter's whims. But eventually, after gentle prodding from Barney on the other end of the phone; I relented, and told him to bring him in.
I watched as the Doctor was wheeled in, as per normal safety routines. He was watching me very carefully, through hellish red eyes that seemed to pierce into my very soul. Catching my breath, I tore my eyes from his gaze and began the minor checkup of his person; before we had to take him out of the cart and take the face mask off: Normal things like checking his pulse, blood pressure, temperature, and so on.
His chest rose and fell as his eyes continued to follow my movements, his head barely moving as I moved. He said something to me in a low voice after some silence; nearing the end of his checkup, but I didn't hear what exactly he said because the offensive young nurse from yesterday came into the infirmary…with Dr. Chilton in tow. I placed a hand on Dr. Lecter's wrist, murmuring in his ear as I started to stand: "I will find you later and we'll talk" before I turned to face the two of them.
"Here she is, Dr. Chilton" Said the Nurse, sounding very proud of herself. She was young then, barely out of nursing school; cute and blonde but dumb as shit.
"Thank you, Mindy" Said Dr. Chilton as he smiled in his oily manner at me. I forced a smile back, and made to ask what I could help him with; but he was already addressing the issue.
"I am sure you know why I'm here" He stated, as if it were obvious.
"You've made a decision?" I inquired politely, sounding oblivious as I smiled blithely at him. I could feel the Doctor's eyes still on the back of my head as I turned my back to him; to keep Dr. Chilton away from him. Dr. Chilton smirked and nodded.
"Yes," He replied as he tip-toed a little to look over my head at Dr. Lecter. "About your indiscretion yesterday," He said pointedly as I rolled my eyes in exasperation. "I have decided that I can't run the risk of you fraternizing with the patients and you must now be terminated." I stiffened up visibly as I looked from Dr. Chilton to the smug Mindy, before turning to face Dr. Lecter and I moved toward him; to finish the checkup, but the annoying voice of Dr. Chilton spoke over me:
"Mindy can finish up here; get out of my Hospital" He said imperiously as he swept from the room. I stared after the departing figure of Dr. Chilton, before turning to face the Monster in the handcart behind me. There was a moment of silence between us as we looked in each other's eyes, and for a moment; I thought I saw a flicker of life in his cold, dead eyes that looked like…sympathy? No; not possible, I assured myself as I slowly smiled at him.
"Well," I said with a little shrug "It was fun while it lasted, right?" I said in a light-hearted manner. Dr. Lecter had a strange look on his face, as if he had felt embarrassed by having been made to watch me get fired for…what? Being kind to him? But that look didn't last long either as he went stonily quiet. I offered him a genial goodbye, including a friendly touch of the hand to his wrist; and while I didn't get a reply back, I wasn't worried about it. I turned and left, making my way to my office across the hall from the infirmary. I busied myself with the task of putting away my personal objects away, so I wasn't really paying attention to what was going on around me until I heard a crash and a scream from the infirmary. Frantic, I turned and hurried out the door into the Hospital Wing…stumbling upon a most grisly sight.
The Doctor was atop Mindy, his jaw working and twisting as he tore at her face like a dog; shaking madly as he snarled deep in his throat. Barney and Mordecai were already trying to get him off, while I could do nothing but stare and watch the horrendous sight before me. I had never seen someone snap so badly before, but I had not been a resident long; only five years, if you didn't count the years of medical school. But by the time I was ready to help, Barney had it under control as the bloody and seething figure of Dr. Lecter was dragged out and heavily sedated in one fell swoop.
As I write these memoirs and think back on the events of that day; I wonder…
Would all that have happened if Mindy had not interrupted him?