Chapter 1: Glimpses in the Dark.
It's what she always heard. No, that's not true. Silence was what she listened to, but in her head, she heard him.
You are so ambitious, aren't you...
And where had ambition gotten her? Success? No, Clarice Starling was a wash up, a has been, an ex FBI agent who peaked while still training in the academy. No, ambition hadn't gotten her anywhere, but alone and on her ass.
Not to say that Clarice hadn't done some remarkable things during the span of her career. She had. But was everything she did really worth it? Was saving Catherine and many like her and stopping Jame and thousands like him really worth the price she ended up paying? Was it worth losing her life, her security and very nearly, her sanity?
Yes. But knowing that she would do it all again did nothing to quell the loneliness she felt inside. No one could understand. How could they? The vast majority of the world knew nothing of Dr. Lecter's character, so how could they even begin to fathom, let alone understand the conflicting feelings she had for him? Even those who came into contact with him only looked upon him as an experiment or a homework hotline for tough FBI cases.
No one had the connection.
Clarice thought back, back to when her nightmare first began. Even she, a trainee had underestimated Hannibal, despite Jack's warning.
Remember the Red Dragon? Lecter turned Dolarhyde onto Will and his family. Will's face looks like a damn Picasso drew him, thanks to Lecter.
Clarice woke up in the middle of the night with her answer. Will.
Jack had a lot to answer for when his time came. Not as on a career sense, but involving ethics. Oh, sure, he could always justify his actions. He did what he thought he had to do. Most people would respect him for that, not condemn him. But along the way Jack had screwed with peoples' lives. When all was said and done, did he think the ends justified the means?
Hell yes. How would he have made it this far if he didn't? Plus, he argued, those people knew what they were getting into.
But he couldn't lie to himself. Would Will have taken the Tooth Fairy case if Jack hadn't pushed him to it?
Probably not. And Clarice? She had no clue what she was signing on for. Jack had exploited her, plain and simple. Nothing he did would ever change that. All he could do was hope she'd never find out. But deep down, he knew she would, it was just a matter of time.
Jack laid back in his bed that had remained empty since the death of his wife.
Yes, he had a lot to answer for. But not today.
Life had been quiet since Molly had gone. She said that she needed time to think and that he needed time to get his priorities straight.
And despite what she thought, Will did know what he needed. A psychiatrist. But there was no way in hell he was going to see one.
Why not, he joked, he knew a good one.
He was the reason that Will's priorities were out of order, the reason that Molly was gone. He was the reason Will could never have a normal life. Or at least that's what Will likes to believe. It was easier to believe that then admit that maybe even without Hannibal his life would be screwed.
Do you know the reason you caught me Will?
No I don't doctor. Enlighten me.
You caught me because we're just alike.
Will had been trying to forget that voice for some time now. Three guesses whose resonating voice was echoingin his head.
But for tonight, Will was done.
"Shut up Dr. Lecter", he muttered. "I'm different."
Chapter 2: Is There Something You Want To Tell Me?
Clarice had the answer, but no clue where to begin. She had never met Graham. The last place the FBI knew he was was Marathon Florida. But she was sure that he had moved on from there. Will tended to move around a lot, usually the day after the FBI located him.
But everyone knew that if anyone, Jack at least a way to get in touch with him.
Jack had been floored when Starling had flat out asked him where Will was. And in a way, he had known that this was coming. But it still frightened him.
"Please Jack, I know you're the only person he keeps in contact with-" at that, Jack snorted.
"I don't pretend to know where he is, he's made it clear that he doesn't want to be found."
Clarice's pretty face screwed up into a frown.
Jack sighed. "I'll do the best I can."
Clarice hugged him and said, "Thank you sir you don't know what this means to me."
But I do, Jack thought. "Just remember, Will has a lot of rage against the FBI and perhaps against me" for good reason. "Don't let him poison you against me and the people here who love you.
Clarice looked confused, but quickly dismissed the chief's strange warning.
Hannibal himself did not dream much. However, when he did dream it only involved one of three people. Tonight he dreamed of both Will and Clarice, a first. He laughed to himself. Those two would be the death of him. Together, the promising but stuck in denial Will and the smart and intoxicating Clarice were quite a pair. Even in his dreams he could smell them, Clarice like l'Air du Temps and Evyan and Will like childish aftershave. In his dream, Clarice was searching for someone, someone she needed desperately to see. And Will was being discovered by himself and others. Hannibal smiled in his sleep. The time was approaching to when he could see them both again.
Will spent most of his time inside. The climate in Maine differed sharply from that of Marathon's. But since being in Marathon, Will had also been in Iowa, Pennsylvania and Virginia. But he always kept this house in Maine for when he needed time alone. Now it seemed that all he was ever would have was time. Will's only reprieve from his tedious existence was sleep, and even that was tainted.
Do you dream much Will?
Clarice awoke cover in sweat to the sound of a phone ringing.
"Hello, this is Clarice Starling, how can I help you?" Clarice's voice shook.
Clarice's eyes blurred and she started to panic. It couldn't be!
"Clarice? Clarice! It's me, Jack!"
Oh, thank god, it's only Jack.
"Clarice! Are you okay?"
"I'm fine Jack." A blatant lie.
Jack knew something was wrong, but decided not to read into it. "I found him."
It took Clarice a moment to comprehend what he just said. Between the panic attack she nearly suffered and the fact that she could still hear those damn lambs screaming from her dream, she wasn't at her prime.
"You mean Will?"
Jack bit back the urge to be sarcastic. "Yes, he's staying in Treehawk, Maine. I'll send a car to pick you up tomorrow, I've already gotten your ticket."
Clarice felt a rush of love for Jack. "Thank you so much Jack. But where will I stay?" asked Clarice, noticing he hadn't mentioned hotel reservations.
"I'm sure you won't lack a place to rest your head" Jack replied rather shortly.
"Thank you again Jack, really."
"Be safe and Clarice?"
"I love you." Jack hung up the phone.
Jack wished that he could have been a little nicer. But he knew what was going to happen. And it probably served him right. He respected Clarice, admired her and most of all he loved her. He didn't have to send her, he had more qualified trainees. Hell, he had more qualified agents. But he chose her. And now she was going to find out why.