The pitter-patter of the rain could be heard against the windows, drowned out by intermissions of the sharp crash of thunder. Leaning over his desk, Dr. Hannibal Lecter could be found meticulously working on a sketch by the dim light of his table lamp. He found the ambiance of the room most soothing as his mind was drawn away by the pattern of the rain, lulling him into a relaxed state. Still he could not help but turn over recent events, scrutinizing them for their sublime details. The man had an inclination for interpreting chance events as pieces of a greater whole, making the possibility of fate too tempting to ignore. It would be wrong to say that disruptive events would usher themselves into his life at the moment when he needed them most, but rather when he no longer needed, had almost forgotten, but still wanted them. That was when opportunity would strike and he took pleasure in contemplating this pattern, a part of him aware that events held only the meaning which he chose to attach to them. By his own mind, he could create a semblance of destiny in his life and thus cast himself in a role of importance, whether hero or villain it mattered not. That was the beauty of amorality.
Dr. Lecter was very much aware of a certain magnetism that drew him to Will Graham and the possibilities he offered. He could see that the man's strings could be pulled without his notice and Hannibal could appreciate the irony of it, that a man so gifted with empathy and insight into the thought-process of others would look past him. could become his shadow and follow in his footsteps, appeasing his curiosity and fueling the fire of the other's delirium. Yet at any time Pandora's box may be opened and he wished that time to be one of his choosing, he would prepare for it, he would instigate it. At least on a subconscious level, this stimulated both irritability and admiration in Hannibal. It had been long since he had met someone who could pique his interests so, it delighted him to imagine himself reflected in another, even for a brief instant. To have someone see through him and the intricate facades that he had weaved with utmost care. It made him see a certain feeble aspect of fear that motivated him to seek isolation, a sensible fear, but a fear nonetheless.
Hannibal looked down at his detailed sketch of a face. It stared back at him with frightened child-like eyes yet at the same time appeared somber and masculine. He had hoped to capture the form of anxiety that he had seen so often in Will, there was something quaint about it, something endearing. Dr. Lecter had led himself to believe that he was not attracted to weakness but at the same time it lured him to see a wound laid open, a psychological flaw, a form of vulnerability that was dangerous but not crippling in a man of talent. In an ordinary human it could only ever appear pitiful. He closed the sketchbook, not wishing to look upon the face as his mind turned to Froideveaux. He was soon to arrive for his session, punctually at half past six.
Hearing the kettle, Dr. Lecter rose from his desk and went to the kitchen to pour himself a cup of mint tea with honey. He stood by the window and looked down at the cars passing by below, the few people in soaked jackets trying to find shelter from the rain. Although he felt a certain comfort in his splendid isolation he was still ill at ease. There was a particular tension inside of him as he reflected over recent therapy sessions with Franklin Froideveaux. What a degraded, squirming creature in the semblance of a man. Every time he arrived it were as though he carried the weight of the world upon his shoulders, finding it consistently unbearable. Hannibal could feel the other's desperate need for him. He could feel that Franklin was prone to developing obsessions that were not easily starved, the fellow was rather relentless in his pursuit of hope. Dr. Lecter knew that his patient held him in high regard to say the least, perhaps in awe, though he had done very little for the man to be deserving of such admiration. Reading over the reports from his past psychiatrists there were signs that he was not the first object of such affection. Due to his neuroticism, Hannibal could see that it was difficult for Froideveaux to form healthy relationships and maintain a friendship. Rejection after rejection could not subdue that very human sense of loneliness. Franklin set his sights to those in a position of power so it seemed, those like himself Hannibal mused, who sought to present before him an invulnerable facade. Still the man could reap some form of emotional solace from their strained, contrived, and practiced offerings of comfort and guidance. Dr. Lecter told his patient very little about himself that Franklin did not already know, at least on a subconscious level. His life had presented his flaws to him rather blatantly: the depression, the anxiety, the endless feelings of worthlessness. Navigating through social scenarios was difficult for him.
Hannibal could sympathize with the man, although he was better at predicting the behavioural norms expected of him he could understand the emptiness one felt when constantly suppressing their nature. It would be difficult to say what element of himself it was that he hid short of saying that it was a vulnerability. No one had ever seen inside of him, in such a way he hoped be immune to pain and manipulation. Of course any facade is not without its cracks but through the years of practice and cultivation he felt that he had arrived at a product with which he was satisfied. Only his own psychiatrist and confidant was party to this knowledge, as he desired. Dr. Lecter felt that it was important to have at least one individual with whom he may exchange his innermost thoughts, however indirectly. Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier was a skilled enough psychoanalyst to read deeper into his words than most, he could tell that she took a professional interest in him as a subject of study, although he was the one who had reached out to her. Still the coldness of her manner was a warning of caution to him. A reminder. With a touch of humor he imagined that much like prostitutes of the body, there was a place for prostitutes of the mind in a society woven of such social intricacies. It took a certain skill to navigate through one's own emotions and those of others, enough to trust the scrutiny of one's weaknesses. Psychiatrists, as other such professionals, could create an illusion that their professional selves were separate from their emotional selves, from the judgement and biased scrutiny that all humans are prone to. Many patients craved this illusion, it was understandable, to be in an artificial environment of emotional safety. A connection of the mind, whether real or not, for a fee. Still, it felt grim to him, to have given and received such a service. A guilty pleasure, an indulgence.
Dr. Lecter's thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the ringing of a doorbell. His lips twitched in a subtle sign of annoyance as he set down his cup and made his way to the door. Already he could imagine the satirical nervous grin of the man behind it, his stomach churned.