Cristina:How long have you been sleeping with Julian?
Emma:What? I don't even get..Why would...I...I've never had sex with anyone anywhere. It's none of your...You have the nerve, the audacity...And how...How do I know, frankly, that you're not sleeping with him? Maybe you are. Maybe you're trying to throw me off.
Prompt: Bedelia and Hannibal making a movie night.
She’s not sure why on this particular evening Hannibal has requested her presence in the living room late in the evening, save for his brief explanation that he wanted to watch a movie with her. Confused is very nearly an understatement for what she is, as she has never known Hannibal to enjoy movies; somehow, she figured he would find them banal.
“What are we screening this evening?” she asks, taking a seat on the sofa beside him, careful to keep a comfortable distance.
“Sunset Boulevard” he says, turning the player on, the room entirely dark save for the flickering of the television.
“I never would have thought that you–”
“Gloria Swanson is a masterpiece. She was very intelligent, educated, and her screen presence is unparalleled. The character of Norma Desmond always fascinated me.”
“Why?” Bedelia asks softly.
He pauses, eyes never leaving the screen. “Because she’s trapped herself in such a self-damning isolation. It’s one she has every power to escape from but chooses not to.”
Bedelia mulls this over for a moment before responding, eyes trained on him, yet to cast even a glance toward the screen. “Her hell is due entirely to her inability to accept that Joe Gillis does not love her.”
Hannibal purses his lips in thought and turns to look at her. “But does he not, really?”
“He left her.”
“Only at the end, only when there was no more hope. Only when he could no longer fool himself into believing that he was different from her. He left because he couldn’t bear to face himself. Truth is inevitable, and sometimes very painful.”
Bedelia stares coolly at him for a few moments.
Hannibal continues to regard her silently before returning his eyes to the screen. “What difference is it to you–you stayed.”
“I’m not like you, Hannibal.”
“No, if you were, you would have left already. But you are not so different Dr. Du Maurier. The question is, when you see yourself fully, will you run from me like Joe ran from Norma, and pretend for the rest of your life that you didn’t love me, not ever, not even for one moment?”
He pauses as she rises from the couch in anger.
“If you do, you’ll go where all the dreamers and the liars go who are like him, Bedelia.”
She whirls around to face him. “And where is that, Hannibal?”
“To hell. Not that mythical place, that place of horn and fire, but to that place deep inside where everything stays dark so you never have to see you. That’s where you’ll go, next to him.”
She sets her jaw for a moment and squeezes her fist. “And you will go to that place where the deluded and the faded go, the people like Norma who can’t accept that their fantasy is not reality, that the love they cling to is what is breaking them.”
“And where is that Dr. Du Maurier?”
“Straight to Will Graham.”
She pauses and smirks at him, feeling the balance of power shift in her favor.
“Norma didn’t go to Will Graham” Hannibal says, agitation creeping into his voice.
“No, she went insane. Is there a difference?”
She turns and glides out of the room. Hannibal sits motionless on the sofa, as Gloria Swanson’s impeccable face comes into view as she speaks