Admit One Only
copyright 2002, by
The characters of Dr. Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling were
created by Thomas
Harris. They are used herein without permission, but in the spirit
of admiration and respect. No infringement of copyright is intended, and
no profit, of any kind, is made by the creator, maintainer or contributors to
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When Dr. Lecter had kidnapped Clarice Starling in the driveway of her home, it wasn't all together unexpected. After all, the sexual tension in the kitchen only a few months earlier was quite obvious to both parties. Morphine or no, Clarice Starling felt a degree of sexual attraction to Dr. Lecter. It was obvious that he had felt the same for her. He himself had admitted to "coming half way 'round the world" just to see her run. He had exhibited affection for her and decided to show her the only way he could at the time. He decided to cook a special meal for her by removing the thorn in her side to do it. It just so happened that the "thorn" could be used in a variety of ways. Sauteeing being the most convenient at the time.
Yes, Clarice Starling had shed a tear when their kiss was interrupted by the click of handcuffs. Remorse, regret, shame, guilty pleasure, noone can be certain. Dr. Lecter was certainly enjoying the moment. Clarice Starling, "incapable of being happy", could not. Or perhaps, would not.
Regardless of these now mundane facts, several months had gone by since the two had been together in the waterfront kitchen. It was a chilly evening when Ms. Starling had heard the sound of garbage cans being knocked over in her driveway by what she surmised to be racoons. When Dr. Lecter had shoved her into the back of the rented van, it was quite a moment for him. The apprehension of Clarice Starling was almost sublime in both its achievement and its simplicity.
Both of them were now seated in the basement of the boarded up home listed "Foreclosure" several miles away. The home was more than ready for auction. They faced each other, sitting in close proximity. Enough space between them for a comfortable distance, but closer than the usual "Doctor/Patient" would normally be seated.
Ms. Starling was not bound at all. No ropes, blindfolds or shackles. Nothing to keep her from leaving. Nothing was needed. Dr. Lecter's words would suffice.
"So Ms. Starling" Dr. Lecter began.
"Are you willing to make that admission to me yet?"
"And what admission would that be, Dr. Lecter?"
"What you've been needing to tell me all these years."
Ms. Starling blinked a few times before responding.
"That's very presumptious of you, Dr. Lecter."
"Yes, it is."
"I told you about the lambs, Dr. Lecter. If you think that there are more deep dark secrets in my past, then I'm afraid I'll have to dissapoint you."
"You could never dissapoint me, Clarice. You fascinate me. And I fascinate you, don't I? I fascinate you as much, if not more than you fascinate me. That's why you're not running away. That's why you remain very still, calm and poised. I fascinate you.
You think you don't love me. You could never admit that to yourself now or maybe ever. I spoke the word 'love' to you several months ago during our 'meal'. Do you remember that, Clarice? I know you do. I believe my words to you were "if you loved me." I didn't expect an admission of love or affection, Clarice. You answered me as I expected you would. Anything less than the answer you gave me would have been unacceptable and somewhat vulgar to me. You always know just what to say, don't you? That's more than training, Clarice. That's wisdom. Wisdom that no man can teach."
Dr. Lecter brought his face uncomfortably close to Ms. Starling. She tried not to flinch.
"Clarice, look at me. Do I frighten you?"
Ms. Starling was silent.
"Do I frighten you?"
"You disturb me."
Dr. Lecter smiled.
"And why is that, Clarice?"
"Because you're unpredictable."
"As you are."
Ms. Starling lowered her eyes.
"What are you getting at Dr. Lecter? Are you saying that you and I are cut from the same cloth? That somehow you and I are the same?"
"What do you think, Clarice?"
Ms. Starling fell silent.
"Answer me, Clarice."
Ms. Starling raised her eyes and peered directly into Dr. Lecter's.
"I think you and I are two completely different people."
"That's a lie and you know it, Clarice."
Dr. Lecter drew his face even closer to Ms. Starling's.
"It's not a lie."
"Yes it is, Clarice. We are very much alike."
"And how is that, Dr. Lecter?"
"We both go after what we want. We're unrelenting in our pursuits. We're educated and professsional. True, you're young enough to be my daughter, but I find that only adds to your charm. It is also true that we are from two very different backgrounds. I find that also adds to the lovely three dimensional atmosphere that our interractions have always had.
I refuse to sit here and hold you against your will, Clarice. You're free to go whenever you wish. I do not know when or if you will ever be able to admit your true feelings for me but I can guarantee you this. You will never forget this conversation that we've had, just as you have never forgotten any of our previous ones. It will haunt you just as much as your lambs did, or perhaps still do.
You will toss and turn at night thinking of me, Clarice. I, however, sleep soundly. Do you know why?"
Ms. Starling made no attempt to answer.
"Because I know what I want. And I have everything that I need.
Do I need you, Clarice? No. I don't need anyone. Do I want you? I want you to acknowledge the feelings that you have and to admit to yourself why you have them. Noone can make you do that, Clarice. No amount of therapy or being held in this cold, damp basement can or will make you decide what it is that you really want. Or need.
You're free to go now."
Dr. Lecter moved away from Ms. Starling as she slowly rose from her chair.
She made no attempt to move.
"Did you have something you wanted to say to me, Clarice?"
The alarm went off at precisely 6am. Time for Clarice Starling to begin her day.
She found that on this particular morning, she needed to add a bit more bourbon to her coffee than usual.
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