***Part Six***
Word Count: 1,276

She couldn't believe her luck. Weeks she'd been at Quantico, hoping to catch a minute of Director Crawford's time. She wasn't going to be a pest, but she had to let him know she was here. Interested in his unit.

Today, though, she'd gotten way more than a minute of his time. He remembered her!

She'd barely had time to tell her friend Ardelia what it was Jack called her to his office for. She'd laid out clothes for the morning, her best ones. They weren't great, had seen better days but it was all she had on short notice.

Will brought her dinner despite short notice. She didn't usually see him during the week. She didn't want anything to get in her way, and he respected that despite not agreeing with her choices.

So she absolutely did not expect his almost violent reaction to her news about her assignment.

"I'm sorry. You what?"

"Okay, forbid is too strong of a word. I'm sorry for the phrasing."


"Jack has no right to ask you to do this, Clarice. He knows better. That's why he's sending a trainee to do it. You're expendable."

"Wow. Talk about a vote of confidence. He may have chosen me because he thinks I show promise."

"Of course you do and he sees that, Clarice. That's not what I meant."

"Then what?"

He stood then from the couch in the community area, grabbed her arm, and dragged her toward her room. Whether he realized they were already alone didn't seem to matter just then. He slammed the door shut. For a moment as he practically threw her to the bed she was terrified. The look in his eyes was primal, out of control. Even going through an entire bottle of whiskey in a night she'd never seen him look like this.

"Will," she said, voice shaky as he started taking his shirt out from his jeans.

"Do you have any idea what Jack is setting you up for?"

"It's an interview."

"Nothing is as simple as it seems with Dr. Lecter, Clarice."

"You know him?"

He let his button-up shirt fall to the floor and reached for the undershirt.

"Some might say intimately," he said, drawing the undershirt up and off.


He smiled a little, but it didn't reach his eyes at all.

"Not in the way you're thinking."

He took her hand and brought it to his side. It took her a second to even realize he was naked from the waist up for the first time.

"Look, Clarice. Look good and close. This is what the man Jack's sending you to see did to me."

She ran her fingertips along the jagged and rather lengthy scar there.

"That was you?" she asked.

"I'm surprised you hadn't figured it out before now."

"Well, I hadn't read as far as his capture before you got here."

She leaned in and followed the path of the scar with her lips.

"I'm sorry."

"I don't want your pity, Clarice."

"Is that what this has been about? You thought I'd what? Be grossed out?"

"It crossed my mind, yeah."

"Never. I could never."

"This is why I'm so strenuously opposed to you taking this job."

"He's behind bars, Will. He can't hurt me."

"Physically, Clarice.'

"Director Crawford ran down the rules with me. I'll be fine."

"Jack has never truly had the pleasure of having Hannibal Lecter in his head. He can be just as deadly."


"Have you met Mason Verger?"

"I've read about him, one of Lecter's victims. He survived."

"If that's what you want to call his current existence. Lecter didn't have to lay a hand on him to get him to do his dirty work."

"I know. Verger wasn't trained."

"And you think I'm not trained?"

"I know you are, Will, that's not what I was implying. This is a good thing. Director Crawford," even in the privacy of her bedroom with her boyfriend who was on a first name basis with him, she couldn't think of him as Jack, "knows me. Can't you be happy for me?"

"Jack throwing you to the wolves without a safety net under you? You want me to be happy about that? Knowing what that psychopath did to me?"

"I'm glad you showed me, so I guess for that I can thank him. There's nothing wrong with you."

He scoffed.

"You aren't the only one with scars, Will."

"You have none, Clarice. I've looked very carefully."

She smiled a little at that, she knew he spoke the truth.

"I'm just saying."

"Yeah, well, I'm one of the few Freddy Lounds published pictures of my deformities for the world to see."

"There is that, but I didn't know."

"I know."

"Not everyone else does either."


"Is this all?"

"What do you mean all? This isn't bad enough?"

"Are there others?"


"Are you sure?"

"Positive. You don't believe me?"

"I didn't say I didn't. I wouldn't mind seeing for myself."

"Clarice," he said as she worked the zipper of his jeans.


"This doesn't change how against this assignment I am. I still think it is a horrible idea."

"I know, and I understand. I do. This is what I want to do, though. I can't let your past effect my decision making."

"I know. I just want it clear."

"Loud and clear."

He must have believed her because he didn't say anything else for a long, long time. Nothing decipherable anyway. She learned quickly that he didn't like her to focus any more attention on the scarred area over the others. Not that there wasn't plenty of unscarred area to cover.

She should have told him to leave. She had lots of material to cover before tomorrow's appointment. When he started reciprocating and mirroring her touching and kissing she couldn’t imagine a reason to be doing anything else but this just then.

She'd been right in being satisfied before tonight, but this was so much better. Especially discovering he seemed to enjoy pleasing her as much as her doing things to him. It was better. More. Fulfilling.

His hands kept busy, bringing her closer to the point he was at. He whispered things into her ear. She didn't catch all of them.

He was as good and thorough tonight as every other night. Only this time she didn't feel strange that she was the only one to orgasm. He was on top of her when he finished. She'd panicked for a moment that she'd have to stop him. She wasn't sure they should be having sex yet. There was still too much between them that was uncertain and sex wasn't casual to her. He hadn't even tried, instead finishing on her stomach. Wet and a little sloppy, but at least she wouldn't have to worry about being pregnant.

He moved as if to slide off of her, but she wasn't ready for the intimate contact to end yet.

"Not yet," she murmured.

He complied.

Later, beside her he sighed heavily.

"Just promise me, nothing personal, Clarice."

"Crawford," the closest at informality she'd come, "already told me that."

"I'm driving home the point."

"Understood." She yawned and stretched. "You distracted me from finishing my research."

"Where'd you leave off?"

She told him and he proceeded to fill in the story of Doctor Hannibal Lecter's rise, descent, capture, and fall far better than any generic black and white dossier ever could.

She wasn't sure how much she'd remember in the morning, and wondered more than once as he relayed the story if it wasn't a little macabre being naked together while talking about it.

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