***Part Four***
Word Count: 757

He should never have gotten involved with her. It was too soon, and he didn't need his keen insight to know he was probably hurting her.

He tried, really hard. He enjoyed spending time with her. He loved going to sleep with her when she spent the night with him.

He'd avoided getting physical with her since New Year's Eve. While he enjoyed pleasing her and could easily do it every night, he knew she didn't understand.

How could she?

Why should she?

He didn't truly get it either.

Realistically, he knew her seeing Hannibal Lecter's handiwork wouldn't change anything. Deep down, not in the pit of his stomach exactly but somewhere more primal and basic, his soul he supposed. There he knew that it would change everything. He'd always wonder if she stayed out of pity.

He'd seen just about every inch of her more than once. She was perfect from head to toe. No flaws, no scars. Just one hundred percent softness. The night she wore that nightie he thought he was going to have a heart attack.

She probably thought he was the biggest fool out there to turn down her blatant offer. Or gay. He repeatedly contemplated his sanity.

She probably threw the thing away, too, after his apparent rejection of her.

Part of him, too, was afraid the truth of exactly who he was would scare her. There would be no question who he was once she saw them. Then she'd want to know. And not just about his run-ins with Lecter either. There were more cases that had achieved media awareness status. She'd want to talk about them, not realizing he didn't. He should have stayed away the night they met and she told him what she wanted to do.

Curiosity, though, is a powerful thing. He wanted to know what would inspire someone so young and smart who could do anything to want to surround herself with criminals.

And now?

He was still curious, but there was more to it now. Somewhere along the line he'd grown to care for her pretty intensely. This intelligent and attractive woman had accepted his drink. He knew now that wasn't usual for her.

What was more, she didn't press him about his nightmares. When he woke screaming and a sweaty, mumbling mess she gave him a shot of whiskey. She got a cloth from the bathroom and wiped his forehead and neck until the whiskey kicked in and he fell asleep again.

He relied on the whiskey far too much. He knew it, was pretty sure she did, too. She never said a word though. Even the nights she had to drive home because he'd had one too many with dinner. She seemed to understand he rested better when he was so sauced passing out was inevitable.

It was those nights, the ones she ended up driving home that he was most tempted to let her see the freak show she'd gotten herself mixed up with. He was usually too drunk for sex, the actual act, those nights. It was the reason he held back, if he was going to embarrass and expose himself, he may as well get laid. Assuming she still wanted to after seeing all of him. She didn't strike him as being that superficial, but one never knew.

It boiled down to him being too scared to find out. He believed she was happy, and it was nice to have something good in his life after so much death and destruction. He deserved it as everyone did.

The sad part?

There was a piece of him that would love to talk to Dr. Lecter about this. For a while there, before Will had caught him he had not just respected but liked the man. Enjoyed their insightful conversations. Surely the psychiatrist would have words of wisdom for Will on how to put the past and the scars behind him.

He wasn't sure what that meant, a desire to talk to the man who'd mutilated him and sent his existence into the nearest bottle of whiskey.

He finished his drink, there was even a little left in the bottle tonight. That didn't happen very often. He walked the short distance from kitchen to bathroom and finally to bedroom. He slid into bed next to Clarice, wondering when they'd gotten to the point of having particular sides of his bed.

He'd think on that tomorrow maybe. For tonight, he'd enjoyed having someone on the other side of it at all.

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