Five years later Will Graham walked along the sandy beaches of an island off the coast of Florida, the bright sun beating down on him as he went to go get a snow cone for his son Willy who was waiting patiently with Molly down on the boardwalk. He had been married now for about two years and had moved down to Florida with Molly, retiring finally from the FBI and repairing boat motors like he had always wanted to.
Molly was his savior, the one woman that pulled him out of the darkness and wrapped herself around him in light. And Willy was just another beacon for Will to grab on, his son being his life and blood that fueled Will to create a better life for them.
But still, in the long nights where Will couldn't find himself falling to sleep, he thought about Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter. The FBI was convinced Lecter had murdered Clarice and raided her home, and they knew that they would never find the body or Lecter for that matter.
Will paid the clerk at the snow cone stand for the shaved ice Willy loved so much during the summer time and causally looked on to the beach where only a single couple sat on a blanket staring off into the sea while a teenage girl and a younger one about Willy's age played in the blue waves that came up along the shoreline.
It was then Will felt the snow cone drop from his hand as the woman sitting down on the blanket turned her head towards him, those blue eyes unmistakable to Will even after five years.
It was Clarice.
And the man that sat beside her, although a faint scruff lined his face while his hair was sea swept and longer, was Hannibal Lecter.
Lecter didn't turn to see Will though, but Clarice recognized him plain as day as her eyes grew wide at his presence.
Will realized then, that Clarice had not died at the hands of Dr. Lecter, but had run away with him instead. It was only the look in Clarice's eyes that saved Will from coming towards the couple and dragging her away with him just then.
Those eyes that housed Clarice's soul, the bluest of blue you could ever imagine, did not scream out in fear, begging "Help! Save me!" but rather simply pleaded to Will "Don't come over...don't ruin this."
Will understood everything all at once and simply nodded to Clarice who smiled at him with thanks.
He paid for another snow cone and drifted back to his own family as every now and again he saw Clarice walking away with her own, their lives dividing apart, but never separating.
"What are you looking at?" Hannibal said lovingly into Clarice's ear.
Clarice smiled as she saw Will Graham walk away, the fear beating into her heart slowing as he walked towards a beautiful dark haired woman and a small boy.
"Nothing" Clarice said as she said her goodbyes to Will and faced her husband.
"You know I don't like it when your attention is on anything but myself" Hannibal said with a cheeky grin.
"Well maybe you aren't that interesting" Clarice said giving him a kiss as Hannibal wrapped his warm arm around Clarice's body.
"You guys are gross!" Abigail shouted from the shoreline.
"Then stop looking!" Clarice yelled back with a laugh as Hannibal moved away from her, his intense eyes promising more as soon as they returned home to their ocean side house.
Clarice watched Abigail, who was now her oldest daughter "Emily" (to the locals) play with her daughter who was starting to grow out the lovely golden locks her father must have had when he was younger.
"Mischa!" Clarice called out "It's almost time for lunch!"
The four year old squealed in delight and quickly grabbed a sea shell as her small feet raced along the sand with Abigail quickly trailing behind her.
For a moment, Clarice felt sad she could not tell her friend Will the reason she had left with Hannibal, but she knew that her eyes had shown him all he needed to see. Hannibal had not harmed another person since they had started this life together, and now Clarice had the one thing she and Hannibal never knew they needed.
Hannibal grabbed his daughter as she raced into his arms, her laughter like bells ringing against the wind. She looked so much like his young sister, but she gained all the beautiful qualities of her mother.
"Daddy look" she said holding up a sand dollar "I got you a sea shell."
"How beautiful" Hannibal said taking the small object that was no doubt precious to her "A very good find."
Clarice smiled and kissed Hannibal before collecting her giggling toddler in her arms as Abigail joined them with a happy smile. Clarice knew their family was not perfect, with Hannibal being the monster he was and Abigail and herself with their own horrible past. But they had made a life together, and that was all that mattered. The lambs had finally silenced.
Clarice looked back though as they walked along the shoreline, her eyes watching Will as Will watched her. Slowly, he raised his hand to her in their last goodbye as he held his own son in his arms.
Clarice turned to Hannibal who stared down at her, the monster tamed with love even in the darkness...and smiled.
Thank you all for reading and giving such lovely reviews on each chapter! Of course none of these characters belong to me, but it was fun writing it in the end! If you would like the soundtrack that inspired this fanfic please PM me and I'll send you the list!Thank you again for reading!