This is probably my favorite scene in all movies because it simply doesn’t exist in the books, and it shows just how much Hannibal is obsessed with Clarice. On the books, you’ll have other scenes to express his love for her, however, the movie changed a lot of things.
I love this particular scene because she’s so vulnerable and he breaks in and he breaks into her house and he, not even for a second, represents a threat to her life, only for his own.
And, of course, the tender way he brushes the hair out of her cheek.
He could have done a lot of things, but he chooses to play with her, allow her to choose how she wants to do this. He could have kidnapped her there and disappeared into thin air like he always does, but he chose to cook her enemies for her and have her decide what would become of them.
Hannibal Lecter: You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well scrubbed, hustling rube with a little taste. Good nutrition’s given you some length of bone, but you’re not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you, Agent Starling? And that accent you’ve tried so desperately to shed: pure West Virginia. What is your father, dear? Is he a coal miner? Does he stink of the lamp? You know how quickly the boys found you… all those tedious sticky fumblings in the back seats of cars… while you could only dream of getting out… getting anywhere… getting all the way to the FBI.
Clarice Starling: You see a lot, Doctor. But are you strong enough to point that high-powered perception at yourself? What about it? Why don’t you - why don’t you look at yourself and write down what you see? Or maybe you’re afraid to.
The pair looked familiar and the tingle on his head as he tried to place the two was getting especially annoying.
“Mulder, you’re staring” the voice at his side warns and he lets out a sigh before turning to face the woman at his side. He grabs her hand on his.
“I don’t know where I know them from, Scully,” he tells her.
“Who?” she questions.
“The blonde and the older man” he uses his chin to indicate the pair, but her eyes stay focused on him.
“Yeah, they look familiar” she agrees. “But quit staring before they notice it”
He shrugs, leaning back on his chair to be closer to her. “Wanna dance?”
“Mulder, we don’t dance”
“We can try”
“No, we can’t”
“… Wanna go back to our room?”
“I want to have dinner first, Mulder”
He gives her a half smile. “We can have dinner sent to our room”
“Fifteen minutes. If nothing happens in fifteen minutes, we go back to our room”
He faced forward again but remained next to her.
They watched as some couples danced to the melody on the cruise ballroom. One of the couples dancing was the blonde and the older man.
The platinum blonde had a mark on her cheek and the man had a scar on his left hand. They danced gracefully, they almost seemed to be floating.
The woman’s blue eyes were focused on the man’s maroon ones for a long while before they moved closer together and they got cheek to cheek.
“Is he watching?” the woman asked calmly.
“Not anymore” the man replied. “Mr. Mulder seems to be more interested in his companion, I don’t think he recognized you, my dear”
“Good… They used to be called Mr. and Mrs. Spooky”
“Not exactly a creative nickname”
“I heard they were nice, had a brief exchange with Scully once and heard a lot about Mulder”
“Should we make our way back to our room, my dear?”
“I don’t think so, Doctor. They are not agents anymore and they have lost a lot already, besides they don’t know who we are”
“I’m glad, there is still a lot of places for us to visit before this trip is over”
She smiled and buried her face gently on the curve of his neck, taking a moment to enjoy his scent.
The commotion began at the end of the room, the man came stumbling on his legs, clearly drunk. “Fucking faggot!”
The man’s voice was loud enough to draw attention to himself.
“He has a broken bottle on his hand,” Clarice said as she studied the man.
At the corner of his eye, Dr. Lecter saw Mulder and Scully stand, their attention also focused on the drunk man.
Security guards were approaching him carefully, almost nervously. It wasn’t usual to have a problem with people on such cruise trips.
“You’re gonna die in hell, you fucking faggot!” the drunk man waved the bottle towards a young gentleman who was sharing a table with some other young adults. The young gentleman got very embarrassed and quite nervous.
Clarice growled low, gaining her husband’s attention. “You can’t be serious”
The sight of Mulder approaching the man distracted the pair from the man for a moment. They saw as the former agent said something to the drunk man in a soothing tone, Scully was near her companion and seemed ready to intervene if necessary.
“What? You’re a faggot too?” the drunk man exclaimed turning to Mulder. “A shame, really, ‘cause your girlfriend definitely got the tits”
“Shit” Clarice muttered as she saw Mulder tense. “This is not good, not at all”
Hannibal and his wife exchanged glances before walking towards the center of the commotion and got close in time to hear Scully’s calm but dangerous tone:
“… Now if you would please leave this young man alone”
“Also, drop the bottle, sir” Clarice intervened, drawing attention from Mulder and Scully.
“I ain’t doing shi–” Scully had the man on the floor before he could finish, she kicked the bottle away and Dr. Lecter took it carefully using the scarf from his tuxedo.
“Hate speech is quite rude, sir. I’d advise you to leave this young man alone, for his sexual orientation is none of your business” Hannibal said.
The guards saw their chance and managed to get a hold of the drunk with the help of Scully.
The man was dragged away from the room cursing loudly.
“Are you okay?” Mulder asked the young man, who nodded while covering his mouth, his eyes watery. His friends moved to comfort him.
Satisfied, Mulder turned to Scully and the couple. “So much for a boring night”
“So much for getting rid of basic human rights violations” Clarice whispered back.
“I think that’s enough for tonight,” Scully said, turning to her companion. “Let’s get back to our room”
Fox nodded and exchange a brief glance with the couple before walking away.
“He has no idea, does he?” Clarice asked.
“I’m afraid not” Hannibal replied before facing her. “Another dance, my dear?”
“Yeah, one more and we can go”
He nodded and guided her by the hand back to the dance floor.
Note: Can’t say I’m proud of this one, but it fulfills the prompt so I’m kinda okay with it.