The tongues were in the oven, the sauce simmering on the stovetop. A reduction of blackberries and the vitreous fluid from inside the eyeballs he’d found in the fridge.
Mr. Holmes was fascinating, in his own way. Coarse and rude, but Hannibal was willing to overlook that for the time being; it was unusual to be more interested in the workings of someone’s mind than the brain it was housed in, especially when they were so abrasive.
But then he’d found the body parts, all neatly catalogued and organised inside the fridge. He was surprised Mr. Holmes’ room-mate, and a doctor on top of that, allowed it, but they did have a rather unconventional relationship.
He was humming quietly, Donizetti’s “Il Campanello”, when he heard the door opening.
“Welcome home, Mr. Holmes.” He smirked slightly at the silly rhyme. Holmes quirked an eyebrow, acknowledging that they were both above the low-brow humour.
“Dr. Lecter, what a surprise. Why are you here?”
“I took the liberty of preparing a supper for you and Dr. Watson. Does he indulge as well, or just turn a blind eye when you do it?”
For a moment, Sherlock looked off his footing. Hannibal fixed the image in his mind, suspecting it was a rare thing indeed.
“Indulge? In eating?”
“Eating the… finer things.” Hannibal waved one hand over the pot. “I found the tongues and the eyeballs in the refrigerator. It’s rare when one finds people with a common interest.”
The expression Holmes gave him was one Hannibal had never seen. It was an impossible combination of mild revulsion, fascination, and exultation.
“Aha. I thought so.” The detective nearly shouted.
“Your interest in a more esoteric diet. From the way you held your knife at the restaurant last night.”
Hannibal looked down at his hands.
“Ah, yes, of course. Well, I do hope this doesn’t make things awkward. It would be a shame to… waste that brain of yours.”
He grinned at this, and for a moment Hannibal was reminded of some predatory cat. Those strange, pale eyes glinted in the dim light.
“And give up the experience of a lifetime?” He leaned over the counter, and dipped his finger into the saucepan. Hannibal had to restrain himself from rapping Holmes’ knuckles with a spoon. “I think not.”