He felt the heat of the flame as he poured Cognac into the pan. He breathed in the aroma of the French brandy, delicately flavoring the pieces of Julia Mercer. He smirked ever so slightly at the remembrance of him choking the breath out of her; that plump golden hair girl with the mouth of a sailor. Hannibal quickly and efficiently shook the pan to evenly spread the flavors of the sweetened brandy. Alana would be coming soon to share dinner with him.

"Hannibal you never fail me," Alana declared playfully as she sipped the glass of Hannibal's self-brewed beer. She loved beer. It reminded her of her father, the father who took her to baseball games and taught her to beat the boys away with a lash of her tongue.
Hannibal smiled at her compliment and watched her eyes fill with delight at the taste forming in her mouth. He enjoyed making beers for Alana. In each new batch, he made sure to try various combinations of ingredients to bring out only the best of flavors. But most of all, in each batch, he poured into the drink his fondness and respect for her; Alana with her Welsh ocean blue eyes and firm, but delicate Amaranth colored lips. She had all the grace and beauty of a mother doe, but the fire and passion of a lioness. This was what Hannibal found so likable about her. She could speak her mind without being insulting or rude. Her tongue had fire smoothed over by class. He could see how men would ravish over Alana. In Georgetown University, students would whisper rumors about him and Alana participating in certain, unspeakable "affairs". Hannibal in his own sense loved Alana, but there was no room in his heart for romantic love. There could be no room for it in a place where insanity relished and thrived.

Insanity that's what they would call it, what Alana would call it if she knew him, the real Hannibal Lector. That's what Will Graham would call it or at least part of Will. The other part of him would see it as something elegant and cleansing. But that's not the side he's willing to see through. It's that side of him he tries to stuff down into the depths of his unconscious. The side that spills out and washes over him in his dreams, constantly reminding him of its dark and grueling nature; the side of him that acts like a double-edged sword. It was this very nature of Will that intrigued Hannibal so. There was no one on this Earth who could truly see him, see what he was. And here comes this school-boy of a man with scraggly black hair, cerulean blue eyes and a mouth always set in an awkward and uncomfortable position explaining to the notorious Jack Crawford, explaining to the world who exactly Hannibal Lector is. Of course they don't know that it's him. They know him as the Chesapeake Ripper, but that didn't matter to Hannibal in the least. What mattered was that he was being seen, he was being understood.