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What if, instead of hiding her away, Hannibal took Abigail under his wing and cultivated the darkness he found there? In return, Hannibal is treated to a little manipulation of his own that forever changes his life.
"Silence radiated in the space, and when Will did speak, his voice was quiet and low, devoid of the anger Hannibal anticipated. “Abigail?” Will questioned, pushing himself away from the table to get up and walk in her direction. His steps were measured, slow in a way that spoke of not wanting to spook the thing in front of him in fear of it running away or disappearing completely. Within a couple steps of each other, Will reached out, noticeably skeptical.
Abigail, in her new take no nonsense way, filled the space between them without hesitation. Her thin arms wrapped around Will’s shoulders and pulled him into a fierce hug. Though it wasn’t loud, Hannibal heard Will’s grunt of relief. Coupled with the now all too recognizable mischievous look on Abigail’s face, Hannibal understood something very quickly – he and Will both played so easily into her hand. The moment they were caught in was of Abigail’s making and for the first time in his life, Hannibal was happily outsmarted – fallout be damned."
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Callin’ Anybody, Can You Hear Me?
Daring to take an Introduction to Visual Arts class, a completely blind Will Graham ventures into The Walters Art Museum for an assignment. While taking the narrated tour, Will isn't prepared for the heavily accented voice flowing through his speakers, flawlessly describing the art that brought each piece to life. Though it was hard to believe, love at first listen sat at the back of his mind.
Two years later, Will visits the museum every other Friday, fixated on both the voice and the beauty and knowledge his favorite museum had to offer. With the right connections and a true talent, Will scores a gig playing for the museum's latest exhibit reveal. When a recognizable voice makes the opening presentation, Will is overwhelmed with feelings and dreamed up possibilities. What happens when the voice becomes a real person, who finds Will just as interesting?
Or - the one where Will falls in love with Hannibal's voice before ever meeting him.
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It’s that time again, my friends - I’m taking fic recs! Drop your ideas and plotbunnies in the inbox and let’s make some magic. 
Check out some of my stuff on AO3 to get a taste of my writing style, if you’re interested! 
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As unexpected as the uniqueness and flat out irregularity of the doctor’s wardrobe, long arms wrapping around him was the last thing that Will thought would come from his comment. Yet a warm chest and the rhythmic brush of nimble fingers up and down the nobs of his spine affirmed Will’s suspicion that Hannibal Lecter really did pull him into a hug. Will’s arms stayed at his side for a second upon realization before he was quick to raise them and reciprocate.
It didn’t take much for Will to melt into the embrace once he gave in; the sheer stress of the day and the admittedly lovely quality of Hannibal’s hard chest made a killer combination. Their height difference allowed him to rest his face into Hannibal’s neck. His cold nose pressed into unreasonably warm skin and one of Hannibal’s strong hands found the back of his head, encouraging the move.
They stood there, tangled up like vines, for what felt like both milliseconds and years all at once. Hannibal muttered ‘it’ll be okay’ over and over again, his restless thumb making an unknown pattern through the same length of curls with each mumbled phrase.
OR - The 5(+1) in which there's 5 times Hannibal surprises Will & one time Will shocked them all.
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thisissirius · 2 months ago
would you ever write for something you actively didn't ship if given the right prompt (don't worry, i'm not talking about anything specific)?
yes!
like you, i think the challenge would be interesting. i also love writing things for people, and a lot of my friends don’t ship the same things as me, so it works.
inspiration strikes at the weirdest times.
would you ever write....
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Hannibal Lecter is a horror writer that has spent his entire career almost completely anonymous. That all changes when the first installment of his Chesapeake Ripper series does so well the hype is insanely real. His publishers push so hard for a photo on the book cover that Hannibal has to give in. Alana, in her manager glory, finds the best portrait photographer in the business - Will Graham. Check out what happens when sparks fly and beautiful photos spark an astronomical level of interest.
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What would happen if Will and Hannibal met years before the canon beginning of the show? In this time shifting exploration, we find out what happens when Will literally runs into Hannibal on a hunt in New Orleans & how that changes and effects their canon adventure.
"Pulling in a deep breath, Will turned around the corner of the remaining building between himself and the water. With his skin prickling, he stopped dead in his tracks. Will wasn’t sure what stopped him first, the beauty of the man stuffing someone in the back of a car, or the full-body plastic suit that adorned his body. It was probably the man being stuffed into the trunk of a car, though – that was hard to miss."
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For my anonymous friend!
What if Will leaves after leaving prison in S2 as he believes everyone keeps trying to change him to fit their image so he decides to say “f*ck them I’m going on my own self journey where I will find people to appreciate me” and suddenly takes the dogs and just vanish. While Hannibal is like panicking cause he didn’t plan for this and he misses Will so he goes on a goose chase after Will to show him that he does love Will
Can feature a Jelaous Hannibal as maybe Will made some new friends and he is close to them and Hannibal is like nay that’s my Will
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There was a moment of room encompassing silence, Will and Franklyn eyeing each other until the shorter man could no longer keep up. Franklyn lifted his hand to his throat, a couple of fingers slipping under his tie to loosen it. Unease was palpable in the air – Will looked at him unblinkingly, the stare unbroken and menacing in its intensity. There was a message being sent, one that, after a battle of wills, finally seemed to be driven home.
With a couple of stuttered attempts at saying something else, Franklyn blinked the try away and stumbled from the room. He didn’t look back over his shoulder and when the door shut with a click, the warm feeling of victory shrouded the room. Hannibal, both pleased and excited by the interaction, turned Will to him, his hands moving until they were chest to chest, their lips meeting easily. “I love you,” Hannibal whispered happily, shutting his eyes against the affection.
“I can’t kill him, though, can I?” Will asked without waiting a beat, grinning from ear to ear. The best part of the question, probably for the both of them, was the true want of it. If given the opportunity, Will would strike the shorter man down, proclaiming his dominance in the basest of ways.
(Part I, II, III)
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After the fall, Will and Hannibal settle into a cozy life in Argentina, where they have a yearly Valentine's Day tradition. They start the day with a kill, then later eat the heart of their latest victim. The third year promises to be the best, but Hannibal is distracted by the roll of Will's hips and a little blood splatter. Porny things ensue.
Or - the one where Hannibal can't stop watching and loses control because of it.
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Content to spend his days on the surgery floor, Hannibal is tasked to present emergency room policy to a Cognitive Science class. He's somewhat reticent, but a single whiff of air changes everything. The professor, Will Graham, is an enigma. A dark bruise covers his right eye and the ripe burnt-sugary sweetness is tainted by a tang of suppressants. How much can finding his true mate really change Hannibal? And when it comes to darkness, where does acceptance lie?
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Friends, I need your help! I have so many Starker Valentine’s Day ideas, I’m having a hard time narrowing stuff down. Help me by dropping your plot bunnies &/or deepest fic desires in my inbox, I’m here for them all. 
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What if, after Hannibal suggests feeding the dogs and leaving a note, Will agrees to leave with him. They make a swift getaway before Jack knows of their absence, but surprises await them in their final destination. How far will they go to make things work between them?
“How long have you wanted this?” Will questioned after a high-quality brown leather bag was thrust into his chest. He took it easily, pulling the long strap across his body. “Fake documents take time, and those clothes – they were perfectly tailored with me in mind.”
“Since the beginning, Will. Every inch, step, and jump in our time together was with this in mind.” The words were odd in his mouth, the first time they were verbalized making them sound weird to his ear. In the confines of his head, planning started the second Jack Crawford rudely barged into his office demanding a consultation. Though things shifted and changed throughout their interaction, Hannibal craved this ending – craved the time when Will stepped outside of his chains and stood proudly in the light.
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“I never truly believed how ruthless you could be until right now. You blinked and the sassy man I know completely disappeared. I find myself – affected by the shift,” Hannibal admitted, his obvious erection an odd juxtaposition to the plastic murder suits they were still wearing. Tucking his lip between his teeth, Will stopped himself from laughing – in the seriousness of the situation, a chuckle would be severely ill-timed.
“This is me, Hannibal,” Will admitted, a dangerous smile on his face. “The monster, the man, the manipulation, the shift – it’s all me.”
(Part 3 of Beautiful Monsters (part 1 & 2))
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One + One is Two
Pairing: Peter Parker/Tony Stark Rating: Explicit (E) Notes: Please listen to Sam Cooke’s (What A) Wonderful World while you read this, or at least during the last scene. It was the brain child of this story & will make your heart happy, I promise! Word Count: 7K Warnings: There’s a tiny bit of smut in here, but it’s me writing, so when is that not the case? Summary: 
Dissatisfied with his life as a book publisher in Seattle, Peter heads across the country to take a teaching job in High Rock, North Carolina. The town is beautiful and the new job is everything he could want - yet, true contentment comes when a saucy drama teacher sits down next to him at a staff meeting.
Much cuteness ensues.
Or, the one where Tony serenades Peter & we all go awe.
Read on AO3 here.
For the first time since his own high school days, Peter felt nervous.
Moving to the small little town of High Rock was one of the best decisions of his life – Peter knew that without having to exist in the masses of it for very long. While Seattle was gorgeous, and home to many, many book publishing agencies, it didn’t feel like home. And after almost ten years in the business, editing and selecting the next newest best seller just didn’t do it for him, anymore.
Instead, Peter found himself drawn to both a new career and a brand-new place.
When Peter first started college, he initially wanted to be a teacher; the education department at Columbia ranked amongst some of the best in the nation. After a bit of writing success, however, Peter changed his tune and started down the publishing career track, instead. He let himself get lost in the mess of creative writing and editing, his love for the art quickly taking on another shape. And for a time, it worked – honing in on different skills brought about a different love for the subject as a whole.
Things started to change when Peter took a step back and really looked at where he was. Though successful in his career, Peter spent most of his time making everyone else’s writing better, and no time on his own. The apartment he lived in since graduating college was gorgeous, yet it never screamed home the way he wanted it to. The social scene and foodie experience were great but lacking the sense of fulfillment that little pleasures like that should bring.
The perfect opportunity to change things up came in the form of a call from a friend he hadn’t seen since leaving Nag’s Head so many years ago. Ned, now the principal of a high school in High Rock, needed an English teacher – and was willing to look past the immediate lack of credentials. It didn’t take but a beat of silence for Peter to say yes – the decision made before he could think about it.
How natural it felt – that said something.
In the time between uprooting his life in Seattle to moving back to North Carolina, Peter took care of the certifications he needed and brushed up on teaching theory. His head was so stuck in the literary world that every step away, back towards his original passions, made his heart pound with excitement; a feeling so foreign, Peter almost didn’t recognize it.
Life in Seattle was great but being in High Rock was amazing – for the price of his apartment’s rent, Peter found a three-bedroom house with three times the space. The town resided around a lake, and to really drive that delicacy home, the weather was good enough to visit whenever the fancy struck. The everyday flow of life was different – a change of pace that Peter appreciated from the very second he walked into it.
Now, finally on the cusp of what could be considered to be his “dream job”, Peter felt nervous. Not the bad kind of nervous, where his stomach felt like it could drop out his ass at any minute. It was the kind, instead, that made his palms sweat with sweet apprehension – like the start of something totally new.
The reality of his fresh start didn’t truly set in until he pulled up to High Rock High School and parked in his employee parking spot a week before the start of school. The rest of the parking lot was relatively empty at the moment, but soon, all of the spaces would be occupied – taken up by young minds that Peter now had the opportunity to shape. It felt so real as he walked through the front doors and anxiously navigated himself to his perfectly decorated classroom. He pulled in a long breath and let the potential of what could be settle over him.
He took his time reacquainting himself with the room he put together a few weeks ago when the teachers were allowed access during summer break. After a lot of thought, Peter meticulously used his calligraphy skills to make hangable quotes from the books he couldn’t wait to cover throughout the year. His desk, though smaller than what he was used to, stood proudly in the corner he made for himself – the bookshelves he brought from Seattle set up along the walls were already stuffed to the gills with books and resources.
For the first time in what felt like ten years, Peter felt a sense of home that settled him – his chest finally loosening after such a long time.
That settled feeling followed him all the way into the cafeteria, where the first ever staff meeting of his career was set to take place. In the book world, meetings with clients and supervisors were always stuffy, filled with sucking up and holding back little truths that would change the interaction if known. Transparency wasn’t anywhere close to the name of the game.
Not knowing what to expect from these, Peter felt the apprehension start to creep back in.
Might be a good thing, Peter thought – nerves kept him on his toes and in this new start, he wanted to put his best foot forward. Never having taught before, Peter wasn’t sure what that actually looked, but the best intentions were there.
Taking a seat at the big circle of tables already decked out in coffee fixings and donuts, Peter let his eyes roam around. Despite being more than ten years removed from high school, the lunchroom looked exactly like he pictured the one he spent so much time in during his school days. The old smell of large pan pizza and disinfectant even seemed the same. The familiarity of it, despite the newness of the space, brought that feeling of comfort rushing back.
Suddenly, the smell of woody outdoors and musk and man filled his nostrils. Turning his head in the direction of the smell, Peter was surprised to see the seat next to him now occupied. The man (though Adonis would be more fitting) sat up straight with a warm and welcoming smile on his face.
It took Peter a second to register the fact that social protocol usually demanded something from him at this moment in time. His attempt to pull in a deep, calming breath was thwarted when the exhale brought in that delectable scent. Feeling his cheeks pinken, Peter ducked his head, the lack of eye contact just enough to get his shit back under control.
“Uh – hi! I’m Peter. Peter Parker,” Peter finally said in greeting, his hand moving into the space between them. If things weren’t awkward enough, Peter’s nerves were back through the roof – though this time, they brought a sort of warmth that could easily be intoxicating.
A warm hand slipped into his own, the man’s grip tight without being too overbearing; eerily right in the sense that their joint contact didn’t feel forced at all. “Hey there, Peter Parker. I’m Tony Stark – resident drama teacher.” He pulled his hand away from Peter’s to gesture at himself.
Not completely out of his mind with surprise any longer, Peter took the rest of Tony, resident drama teacher, in. His goatee, while not entirely thick, was styled within an inch of its life – the edges were sharp, and the corners came together in a severe angle at the start of his jaw. A waistcoat sat over a dark salmon colored shirt that was delightfully finished with a black striped bow tie. Peter wasn’t sure what shouted drama teacher about the ensemble, but he nodded anyway – he enjoyed the open invitation to take more of Tony in without the whole thing feeling a bit creepy.
“Dramatic,” Peter finally added, the free-range movement of his eyes probably too much without at least a little continuation of the conversation. “It’s English for me – I’ll have the junior and senior AP kids.”
Tony’s nose scrunched up adorably, his face suggestive in its emotional expression – dramatic, after all. He shifted a little closer, the space between their seats not much now that they sat shoulder to shoulder. If he really tried, Peter could feel the warmth of Tony’s arm drift just barely under the surface of his skin.
Briefly, he wondered what the warmth would be like if that skin was bare.
Then, Tony’s melodic voice pulled him from his inappropriate thoughts. He bumped their shoulders, a smile on his face. “If you’ve got the juniors, that means we’ll get to work together pretty closely. We do a stage rendition of Hamlet to take the Shakespeare out of good ole Willie’s work. It seems to help with the comprehension.”
Face lighting up, Peter felt his heart thump a little harder – his love of Shakespeare was what brought about the English passion to begin with. The fact that he already had reason to spend time with the enigma of a man next him barely even registered. “I love that. His plays are meant for the stage, after all.”
“They are – and totally accessible to modernization. If you’re on board, we can put together something fun and educational.” Tony’s lips were pulled into a smirk, Peter’s lack of verbal and emotional filter giving away so much more than he truly wanted.
Blushing, Peter brought his hands together, lacing his fingers for the tactile distraction of the movement. It took him a second to hold back the blurt, his brain working overtime to process the words Tony said and respond accordingly. Just because he was now in a high school, didn’t mean he needed to act like one of its inhabitants.
“As long as you don’t expect me to be in it, I think it’ll be great.”
Tony laughed at that, the already adorable nose scrunch making its way back onto his gorgeous face. He ducked his shoulder into Peter’s again, that same smirk on his face. “What you don’t like to make a fool of yourself?” Tony asked as he pushed back from the table to get up.
“Speaking of,” Tony trailed off, the man now completely out of his seat and making his way to the front of the cafeteria that was now quite occupied with his fellow teachers and administrators alike.
With wide eyes, Peter watched as Tony stood in the middle of three other middle-aged teachers, their shirts and bowties noticeably coordinated now that he was paying attention. As if waiting for Tony’s arrival, the room went silent. With a few well-timed snaps, a cluster of voices started in what could only be described as a jazzy barbershop quartet version of the school’s fight song.
Peter watched in awe, his eyes glued to Tony – the moves he brought to the table were fancy and smooth, completely in sync with the subpar performers around him. They didn’t matter, that was easy to see. Tony drew everyone’s attention, his big personality and undeniable talent noticed by just about everyone in the room. Despite these people probably having seen this little song and dance before, they still watched with rapt attention.
Unable to stop himself, Peter clapped when the cacophony of voices came to an end. He got up from his chair with little finesse, his body way ahead of the heavy thing that existed between his shoulders. The rest of the room looked at him oddly for a second, then added to the applause.
In terms of first impressions, Peter was totally winning.
Thankfully, the rest of the meeting went without a hitch. Peter got a couple of minutes to introduce himself and talk a little bit about his previous experience. He knew he brought an interesting perspective to the table, both as a teacher and someone interested in making the student’s lives as easy and enriched as possible. When it came time to sign up for volunteer chaperone opportunities, Peter cleverly put himself in a couple he thought might attract Tony’s attention, too.
Because, for some reason, Peter’s brain decided that Tony Stark needed to be in his life in some way. Though he forced himself to not name the way he wanted it to be, Peter understood all too well what a crush felt like. There was a lot of time between his last flame and the surge of that old familiar feeling rushing within him – and despite barely knowing him, Peter knew potential when he saw it.
Of course, his next chance to see Tony outside of the classroom setting didn’t come until several weeks into school. Decked out in his new High Rock gear, Peter tried not to look out of place at the gates of the football stadium where he signed himself up to take tickets for the first half of the game. Some of the students that recognized him waved and tried to make small talk – an art that Peter hadn’t fine-tuned in quite some time. Everyone else cast him a sidelong glance and went about their way.
An internal groan radiated through him – it felt silly to be so frustrated about these young kids not liking him, and yet… most of his thoughts revolved around bridging the gap he knew existed. Not for the first time, Peter figured the skill was one he would’ve learned in the education program he so carelessly threw away. Book dealers and authors were a stuffy sort – the extent of wanted conversation existed within the bounds of how good (or sometimes, how shitty) their latest piece was. And profits – always profits.
“If you just relax, they’ll be way more receptive.”
Turning to find the source of the words, Peter didn’t even try to stop the smile on his face from blooming when he realized who it was. A sudden gratefulness settled over him – in his many attempts to dress for the evening, Peter put on his newest (and nicest) jeans. They were both comfortable and fit him like a glove. The secret of his crush wasn’t much of a secret – why try to hide anything else (especially his nicest assets)?
“Easy for you to say, Mr. Stark – you ooze cool from your pores,” Peter remarked, his eyebrows waggling cheesily. “In all seriousness, I’m trying. The shift in mindset has been a challenge. Kids want realness and that sort of thing would’ve landed me on my ass not too long ago.”
The low sound of Tony’s laugh rang in Peter’s ears, the octave of it so rich in its depths that a shudder ran down his spine. He wondered, not for the first time, how the musicality translated to other more melodic things.
“None of that Mr. Stark shit from you, Peter Parker – it’s bad enough the kids call me that. I’m just a regular, single gent outside of the classroom.” As he spoke, Tony narrowed the space down between them, their shoulders once again within brushing distance. “Why don’t you try not trying? I’ve taken a peek in your classroom during a lecture or two – you know your shit and have passion for it. Let a little more of that seep into the everyday stuff and you’ll have them eating out of the palm of your hand.”
“Is that what you do? Let all of the bubbliness pour out until they can do nothing but admire the hell out of you?”
Peter pulled his bottom lip between his teeth to stop the sound that threatened to fall from his lips when Tony laughed again – it shouldn’t be legal, being that goddamn adorable all the time.
“That’s exactly what I do. I enjoy every second of my job and let people see that. Being genuine goes a long way, Pete.”
Sucking in a breath, Peter felt those words hit him square in the gut. Were there truer words in existence?
“In an attempt to be genuine, would you possibly be interested in a drink later?” Feeling his eyes bulge at the words that effortlessly came out of his mouth, Peter tried to backtrack. “I mean – I – “
Tony cut off the splutter with a hand on Peter’s shoulder, his touch that same warmth he remembered. “I’d love to. I wasn’t sure you were going to finally pull the trigger – I planned to ask you out myself if you didn’t soon.”
Peter’s cheeks flushed, the heat of them burning so hot he had to be as red as a tomato. Between the flame and the stretch of his lips, Peter wasn’t sure he’d see the end of the night with all of his face intact – smiling his way to an early death.
After that, the rest of the game flew by in a whirlwind of easy conversation, student monitoring, and one too many hot dogs. At one point, Peter bought them both another just to see Tony open his mouth – the literal thirst he felt towards the drama teacher something Peter wasn’t sure existed before meeting Tony Stark. There was just something about his lips…
By the time the last two minutes of the fourth quarter were ticking down, Peter was more than ready to get the hell out of dodge. The thought of having his students witness his awkward mating dance made his skin crawl. He loved being back in the high school atmosphere – that time of adolescence was an exciting one. At the same time, the wagging gums of the gossip mongers were hard to get used to. There were things he knew about some of the kids that passed through his door that no other human should know, let alone the simple, unsuspecting English teacher.
When the game clock finally dwindled down, Tony bumped into his shoulder. Realizing that was Tony’s way of drawing his attention, Peter looked over at him. Tony stood casually against the fence, both hands in the deep pockets of his jacket.
“Let’s get the hell out of here before there’s a huge sea of teens heading right for us. If they spot us, it’ll be ages before we’re in the clear,” Tony remarked, his right hand slipping out of the pocket to grip onto Peter’s elbow, instead.
It didn’t take anything more than that to kick Peter into gear. He allowed himself to relax into the touch and walked with sure steps towards the exit. Now that his duties were done for the evening, Peter felt a different sort of contentment wash over him – the rest of the night was for himself, and if things went really well, a slice of Tony Stark, too.
“There’s a nice wine bar about twenty minutes outside of High Rock’s city limits that’s got a great chardonnay – want to follow me?” Tony asked as they approached the parking lot, his hands already tossing his keys around the ring over and over.
The man’s inability to stay put was easily one of the things that Peter felt immediately attracted to. There was a reason for it, and he couldn’t wait to find out.
“Yes, please. For such a small town, it’s surprisingly difficult to navigate.”
“They do that on purpose. Small towns, I mean. It discourages the infiltration of outsiders.” Tony shot him a look, the mirth in his eyes hard to decipher. If it weren’t for the telling smirk on his lips, Peter never would’ve gotten the joke.
“You’re kind of an asshole, you know that?” Peter asked, affection lacing his voice. “And a transplant too, isn’t that right?”
“The nicest asshole you’ll ever know.” He looked up; surprise evident on his face. “Very clever, Peter Parker – doing your homework. I grew up on the upper east side in New York and went through Tisch’s theater program. Thought I’d be a star.”
Peter chuckled at that – the entirety of the school idolized Tony. It wasn’t the biggest stage to be the center of attention of, but stardom wasn’t something that Tony lacked. “You are. I’ve looked in your door while you were teaching, too, y’know. Every person in your class watches you with this look of awe in their eyes. That’s star power, my friend.”
“Do I smell a bias?” Tony joked back quickly, the words covering up the flash of unnamed emotion the man refused to let settle across his features. “If my campy spiel is enough to rope you in, I can’t be too upset.”
Not giving a shit about revealing too much of himself the same way Tony did, Peter let the beaming smile play along the seam of his lips. His cheeks were pinching with overuse, burning and a little tingly. It felt great – enjoying life and someone else in it so much.
“Bias or not, it’s the truth.”
Tony threw his hands up in concession, the earnest way Peter spoke obviously too much for him. His cheeks were a little red, and the tiniest bit of blush on cheeks was unmistakable. It was unfair really; how attractive someone could make just about any emotion seem. Shy and demure, or rambunctious and fiery – Tony owned them all. Peter had to work very hard to stop from admitting that outright. Instead, he ducked his head and let out an overwhelmed breath.
Getting to the winery felt a little like floating on air – Spotify hit all the right jams and before Peter knew it, they were parking in front of a rustic looking building. There was outdoor seating with people milling about, the soft orange of the light such a good marketing technique; one look and Peter immediately felt at home.
To order, they had to walk into the storefront that opened into a small bar area. The chalkboard leaned up against the wall held the menu with a vast expanse of wines that would be overwhelming if he wasn’t going to parrot Tony’s order. A few people milled about waiting for their drinks, and in the mellow atmosphere, soft music played to top it all off.
Peter took a moment to soak it in – an aura of atmosphere that was everything he didn’t know he wanted settled in, the beautiful man next to him really driving it home.
They waited for a few minutes to order, the two of them chatting back and forth about the game and their excitement for the weekend. Tony leaned into Peter while he talked, a whiff of delectable cologne wafted into Peter’s nostrils with every press of his body. The whole thing was intoxicating, the head-spin almost like he was already drunk – high on the rightness of all the things.
With a glass of wine each, Tony led them back out towards the scattered seating outside. They took a seat in a couple of chairs that sat at the edge of the little fireplace in the middle of the setup. Though the night wasn’t too cold, the warmth was welcome – the flicker of flames casting Tony’s skin in a golden hue not hurting, either.
“So, tell me a bit more about you, Pete – what brought you to High Rock?” Tony asked after a couple of long sips of wine, the silence and overall mood hovering between them so much more than enough.
Peter stuck his nose in his wine and took a deep breath, thinking for a moment about how to express himself. “A lot of things,” he said softly, his eyes roving across the flames of the fire in front of them before meeting Tony’s gaze. “I think I got caught up in the excitement of being young and veered off the path I truly wanted. I was happy enough for a long time that it didn’t really matter, either. And then one day, I blinked and dissatisfaction with just about everything in my life was there, plain as day in front of me. When Ned offered me this job out of the blue, it just felt right.”
Tony watched him while he spoke, his eyes trained first on lips around words, then on the expressions flitting across Peter’s face. It felt a little unnerving, being so seen by someone, but Tony simply smiled at him, a small smile on his face. “Wanderlust. I know what that’s like. All I wanted to do was be on Broadway – then all of the sudden, working sixteen hours a day just to be broke in the chorus wasn’t all that fun, anymore. I spread open a map of North Carolina, closed my eyes, and picked a place at random. I love High Rock – it was the best decision of my life.”
“I like it here, too. And I like teaching. I like being able to sift through the books I loved so much growing up, watching the kids learn how to love them, too. It’s… it’s really nice.”
The conversation went on like that for a while. Tony told him horror stories of his first couple years or teaching, and some of the better times in his stage experience. In return, Peter described some of the worst plotlines ever put in front of him, and the story behind the long scar that took up residence on the back of his right hand.
While he regaled Tony of his epic adventure with a printing press, the older man reached over, his fingertip running along the length of the sensitive skin. Peter came to an abrupt stop, his brain emptying of everything other than the sensory experience of warm skin and gentle exploration.
There was a second where Peter thought he might not ever catch his breath again – the adrenaline pumping through him from such a small thing shouldn’t have been so exciting. The idea that someone, anyone, could make him feel like that, so caught up and overwhelming, it should’ve been scary. Instead, it felt exhilarating. Like he didn’t have the patience to see what happened next, he just wanted.
“Since being genuine is the name of the game, I’m going to admit that I wouldn’t be opposed to getting out of here and continuing this at my place… or yours,” Peter admitted, his previous train of thought completely out the window. Whatever they were talking about before didn’t matter – not when the firelight made Tony’s eyes look like molten amber in the dark of the night.
Tony’s gentle laugh pulled a chuckle out of Peter, the air suddenly filled with a tranquil sort of tension that would only get better the longer they nursed it. Peter felt that in his very bones.
Without saying anything, Tony tucked his wine glass back and tipped the rest of the wine into his mouth, his lips shining with the excess when he pulled away. Peter felt his tongue dip out, the tip running along his bottom lip the same way he wanted to do to Tony. The wine was magnificent and had the capacity to only get better off of Tony’s kissable skin. It took every ounce of power within him to stop Peter from closing the distance.
Have some self-control, Peter Parker.
“I’ve got some wine that will piggy-back nicely off of what we just drank,” Tony said as he stood, his movement beautiful relaxed. The offer was nice, but they both knew another glass of wine wasn’t what the rest of the night would entail.
Getting up himself, Peter shot Tony a saucy grin, the soreness in his cheeks reminding him just how good their time spent together was and certainly seemed like it was going to be.
“Lead the way.”
Surprisingly, Peter’s impatience was easily overridden by Tony the second they were through his front door. Peter didn’t get any time to take in the place, his entire being instead focused on the warm chest and plump lips pressing against his own. Trim hips were in the palms of his hand, and nothing else mattered.
Peter didn’t really know Tony all that well, but what he did know was that Tony did everything with his entire being. Dancing, teaching, even having a simple conversation, Tony focused on the task; and kissing wasn’t any different. His long fingers took up residence in the length of hair at the back of Peter’s neck. His lips, both soft and slightly chapped, pressed confidently against Peter’s with gusto – he took and gave, his head turning to deepen the kiss when tongues slid together in a sensuous dance.
They took their time shifting from surface to surface during the journey from the front door to Tony’s bedroom. The impatience of a quick fumble dulled considerably when a few things registered – Tony’s touch was magical, their bodies fit together seamlessly, and when combined it all felt like something Peter never felt before (and didn’t want to ever not feel again). Something in the way things played out so easily between them said this wouldn’t be the only time like this, tangled up and caught.
By the time Peter pushed Tony back against the bed, boxer briefs were the only thing separating bare skin. Settling between spread legs that were lithe and clenching with muscle, Peter filled all of Tony’s empty spaces with his body – their chests pressed together and when Tony wrapped his legs around Peter’s hips, there was no telling where one ended and the other began.
Peter kissed a path down Tony’s jaw and neck, across the span of a surprisingly hairy chest, and further along the length of his toned stomach – the slightest swell of a belly right along the edge of the soft waistband a lovely contradiction. Tony painted a gorgeous picture and the smallest “imperfection” played in contrast so deliciously.
Hooking his fingers under the waistband of Tony’s underwear, Peter glanced up to catch the lust filled, hazel glance. Tony answered the look with a nod of his head, his mouth opening in a silent moan when Peter finally removed the last barrier. He made quick work of his own drawers in an attempt to finally knew what Tony truly felt like.
The first brush of Tony’s warm skin against his own brought Peter’s hips forward, a soft gasp falling from his lips when cock brushed against cock. The level of excitement spoke for itself when the slide was easy, both heads already leaky with pre-come. Peter ducked his head in Tony’s neck to avoid embarrassing himself – it felt too good and the edge felt so close already.
“What do you want?” Peter asked, his lips pressing against the moist skin of Tony’s neck as their hips rolled together. He used his free hand to hike the muscular thigh higher around his hip, the move making the angle even better than before. “You feel so good, Tony. Tell me what you want – I’ll give you anything.”
His words brought a groan from deep within Tony’s chest – Peter felt it before it sounded in the space between them. He felt Tony reach up to grip his bicep, the man’s fingers digging in tight.
“God, you’re better at this than I imagined. Your words feel like liquid fire against my skin. I want you, Pete – anything and everything.” Tony finished his words with a kiss against the side of Peter’s head, his lips just barely brushing the shell of Peter’s ear. “We have time for that, though. Tonight – I think you should fuck me.”  
Peter pulled back then, his hips stalling for a second. Their eyes locked and for a second, his heart felt like it was stuttering through its cycle, systole and diastole suddenly out of sync – was there anything sexier? Drawing his lower lip to stop any rogue words from falling out before the time was right, Peter nodded, his cock throbbing at the very idea.
With a quick kiss on the lips and a fumble with the bedside table, Tony shifted onto his stomach, arranging himself in a glorious position. His legs were spread and every time he leaned forward on his forearms, Peter watched Tony’s hole fluttering, the muscle clenching and unclenching with every move.
Unable to decide whether he wanted to dive in face first or just get prep over and done with, Tony made the decision for him – the lube hit Peter square in the chest when Tony tossed it at him.
“Please, Pete.”
The words were directive enough. Peter flipped open the cap and poured a good amount into the palm of his hand. He let the slick warm up before letting a little drip down Tony’s ass cheeks, the lube sliding across his twitching hole enticingly. Using his thumb to spread it around, Peter forced himself to take a deep breath before pressing the tip of his point finger in. He was met with no resistance, so he slipped forward until the webbing of his finger stopped him.
That same rhythm went on as Peter entered a second, and then finally a third finger in, each new digit loosening Tony considerably with every push and pull, in and out. His skin was covered with sweat and every moan Tony made let Peter think he could cum without ever having touched himself. Things were intimate, each touch like making memory. If they went on like this forever, Peter could die happy.
“Okay, okay – I need you to fuck me. I could cum just from your fingers and I planned on pulling you over with me.” Tony panted out, the words a little muffled by Tony’s forearms, where the man was leaning heavily.
Understanding the sentiment, Peter slipped his fingers out carefully. He immediately wrapped them around his own cock, spreading the excess lube around. While he tried to piece himself together enough not to come upon first touch, Tony fumbled in the bedside drawer again, a condom hitting his knee a second later. His skin flushed and with shaky movements, Peter picked up the foil packet, ripped the edge with his teeth, and quickly got the damn thing down his length.
With a little more lube, Peter was finally pressed against Tony’s entrance, the muscle giving way without much of a push. He made himself slide into Tony’s tightness with one steady stroke – if he pulled back at all, the whole thing would be over. When he was finally seated fully, Peter came to an abrupt halt. Breaths were hard to come by, his entire being on fire. The few seconds Tony needed to adjust gave Peter a second to lean his forehead against Tony’s back and simply breath.
Tony clenched his hole around Peter in invitation, the pulse of the muscle there immediately dragging Peter’s hips forward. A loud groan echoed around the room, neither knowing (or caring) who the noise belonged to. It felt too good, and as Peter set up a steady rhythm, both men got lost amongst the haze.
Peter’s body took over, the neurons in his brain operating on fight or flight. Long fingers dug into Tony’s hips; his grip tight. There’d be bruises there later, Peter using the touch to pull Tony back against him. Thrust after thrust, the tip of his cock brushed more frequently against a sensitive prostate, and once Peter knew where that pleasure center was, he didn’t let up.
As the end drew near, Peter changed his approach. Plastering himself over Tony’s back, his hips slowed down a little, and with a better grip, Peter thrust in deeply, his arms around the trim chest pulling Tony back hard. Now, every thrust hit Tony’s prostate dead on – the sounds coming out of the man’s mouth magnifying the feeling for them both. The helpless groan of pleasure-pain was delicious – Tony clenched with each dead-on hit, the grip so fucking tight around him.
A soft groan of Peter’s name was the only warning he got before Tony was cumming; the flutter and tightness pulling Peter right along with him. Peter shouted his surprise and pulled Tony as tightly against him as he possibly could. The world felt like it was melting around him – that little death fucking earth shattering.
When he finally came to, Peter felt Tony’s hands petting over him, his touch providing a tactile support that helped to ground him and prolong the sensitive pleasure. He loosened his grip up a little but didn’t let go until the need to dispose of the condom became too necessary to postpone. A pathetic little groan slipped from his lips when he pulled out, Peter’s body already missing the connection.
They cleaned up before the stickiness of their skin made the next morning more crusty than necessary, then fell back into bed – the two of them avoiding the wet spot instead of changing the sheets like any normal people would. Peter felt his limbs start to give up on him, the soft mattress and warm man promising a sweet sort of sleep that couldn’t be resisted.
Settling in with Tony wrapped up behind him, Peter let himself fall asleep – the future bright in front of him.
----
Things developed between them so easily after that. Being with Tony felt like getting to hang out with his best friend every day, and without any hesitation from the man, they spent practically all their time together. The fact that it felt like nothing but the best things changed in his life said a lot – he introduced a whole ass person into his space and time without any problems. Most people took years to find the sort of comfort that existed between him and Tony.
Because of all the time they spent together, it didn’t take long for the secret to get out. When Mr. Parker started to spend all of his lunch hours in Mr. Stark’s office, the rumors started. By the time Peter finally just pulled Tony into a kiss before they split up in the morning to shut everyone up, the ideas the students came up with were hilarious. Many people speculated that they’d been married for years, their sense of ease together too perfect to be as new as it truly was.
When Peter got to High Rock, he wasn’t looking for love. The idea of a change included a new job and a new place to explore, not a person who he suddenly couldn’t live without. Though he didn’t set out for it, love found him all the same.
Around Valentine’s Day, Peter felt the itch to finally tell Tony what they both already knew. Despite spending almost every available second together, the words were never said, even though the feeling was so transcendent it was stupidly hard to miss. They had the sort of connection that didn’t need a name – and once the genie was out of the bottle, Peter wasn’t sure he’d be able to stop saying the words he felt so wholeheartedly.
On one hand, he wanted the whole thing to be special. A night where they wine and dined, talked into the early hours of the morning, and then, when they were sated and close to passing out from marathon love making, he’d press the words into Tony’s skin. It fell into the dramatic category that Peter knew Tony would absolutely appreciate. Yet, the feeling existed between them from the very get go – did putting a name to that feeling really matter all that much?
The answer came a couple of weeks later. They were in the heart of AP test preparation, so he had after hour study sessions on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. After taking Tony’s advice and relaxing a little, students actively paid more attention to his class and the seats were almost always full during his get-togethers.
They made great work on some of the imagery that encompassed the Scarlet Letter, and Peter left his classroom more than satisfied. The thought of simply walking down the hall to see his favorite person didn’t hurt his mood, either. Tony sometimes spent the couple of hours after school in his classroom waiting, and today was one of those days.
For the first time since the end of the holiday school musical, Peter heard music playing in Tony’s classroom. They were in the depths of play season, so Tony’s mind was usually elsewhere. Yet, the closer he got to the door, the louder the music became. The smooth sounds of one of his favorite Sam Cooke songs picked up the pace of his steps – the dopamine of good music and Tony spurring him on.
What he found when he walked in the door was so much better.
Down to his white shirt and black waistcoat, Tony was counting out steps as he sang along with the music. Instead of Sam Cooke’s voice, Tony sang the cheesy lyrics with amazing clarity. The last time they listened to this song, Peter was dumbfounded by the deepness of his voice – and now was no exception.
He must’ve been in the zone, because Tony didn’t acknowledge him at first. The music played and a well-practiced dance followed. Peter watched with rapt attention, the whole thing the best thing he’d ever seen. By the time Tony noticed him, Peter was closing the space between them, his voice echoing the last round of the chorus.
A look of surprise passed across Tony’s face, his years of experience not letting it show anywhere else. He smiled at Peter, dancing into his arms until they were chest to chest – finishing the song looking into each other’s eyes.
Delightful red flush covered Tony’s cheeks when the music stopped, his eyes still wide with surprise and delight. “You weren’t supposed to see this yet,” Tony admitted, a sheepish look on his face.
“I’m glad I did. I love watching you like this. In your element.” Peter gripped Tony’s face in his hands then, fingers digging into the long hair at his temples. Even if he wanted to, Tony couldn’t break the eye contact between them. “And gosh – I love you. So much, I almost can’t stand it.”
Tony’s eyes roamed over his face for a second, the honey-hazel glance obviously taking in the genuineness in his words. When he found his answer, he leaned forward, taking Peter’s lips in a passionate kiss. He didn’t linger, however – their eyes locking again just seconds later.
“I love you too, Pete. It’s so easy and being with you – it finally feels like I’m right where I should be.”
Grinning, Peter brushed their noses together, his lips ghosting over Tony’s lightly.
“We both are.”
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I’m taking fic prompts, fellow fannibals! 
I’m sort of stuck on Hannigram right now and fear if I don’t keep writing, I’ll never be able to write anything else. Drop your plot bunnies here - let’s make fic greatness!
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After meeting the mysterious darkness that is Will Graham, Hannibal finds himself snared by the presence he brings into his life. When a question sparks up the need to truly be seen, Hannibal sets out to do just that. Earth-rocking realizations ensue.
Part 2 of Beautiful Monsters (find part 1 here)
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Instead of diving head first into the avoidance pool, Will allows his empathy to grow - taking him further from the constructs of society. He uses the slip into other killer's heads to perfect his craft.
As a cover, Will goes through the process of becoming a chef and takes to the profession like it was meant to be.
When a chance encounter throws them into each other's path, can Hannibal really avoid the call of good food and "special" proteins?
(The answer is no - no, he can't)
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Persephone Will Have Her Fill 
Pairing: Will Graham/Hannibal Lecter Rating: Explicit (E) Notes: Here’s part two of my little hannigram verse. You should absolutely read the first part before you take a peak at this one. Word Count: 9.4K Warnings: There be some cannibalism and talk about killing. Oh, also - Will suffers from encephalitis, so there’s that, too!  Summary: 
After meeting the mysterious darkness that is Will Graham, Hannibal finds himself snared by the presence he brings into his life. When a question sparks up the need to truly be seen, Hannibal sets out to do just that. Earth-rocking realizations ensue.
Read on AO3 here.
“Have I ever seen any of your work?”
Looking up from the cutting board in front of him, the chef’s knife in his hand stalled through the rough chop he was treating the cilantro to. Hannibal took a second to draw in breath, then tilted his head – a contemplative look on his face.
“I’m surprised you haven’t pieced it all together already,” Hannibal replied smoothly, his body shifting to turn in Will’s direction. For a second, Hannibal let himself soak the other man in. His hands were covered in blood from the preparation of the organ on the butcher block in the middle of Hannibal’s kitchen. The man’s latest acquisition, a heart that would make great steaks for their dinner that evening, and then a lovely addition to a stew that blew Hannibal’s mind the last time Will shared it with him.
There were so many hidden components to Will Graham that Hannibal still didn’t completely grasp, but this one, the element that brought freedom and dropped the masks – Will flourished in it. The pinch of his shoulders eased and the fluid motion of hand to knife created art; a sort of relaxed talent that Hannibal only ever knew of himself before the whirlwind of Will swept into his life.
And, while they didn’t indulge the other in shared secrets of recipes and know-how in the kitchen, they each brought their own pieces to the game and let the innate connection between them bring about the result. The last few months of collaboration were some of Hannibal’s greatest culinary triumphs.
A coy smile directed Hannibal’s way brought him from his thoughts – the killer gleam in Will’s eyes reminding him of the existence of the wild animal the other man only barely kept at bay. He watched Will drop his knife, hands still covered in blood and viscera, and make his way directly into Hannibal’s space. There was a beat of shared breath, and then Will was suddenly behind him – his arm wrapping around Hannibal’s upper arms, pulling him until they were flush together, back to chest.
A blood stain in the shape of Will’s hand on the bicep of Hannibal’s shirt contrasted the stark white of the color – Will’s mark on him tangible in that moment in more ways than one.
The slightest height difference between them made it easy for Will to hook his chin over Hannibal’s shoulder, his lips already pressed delicately against the sensitive shell of his ear.
“I’ve thought about your design since the second I met you,” Will muttered, the words kissed into the soft skin just below Hannibal’s ear. “You’ve been killing most of your life – probably started young, caught the bug and had the talent to back it up. You’re knowledgeable in anatomy, so your dissections are precise. You only take what you need and use the rest to send your message.”
Each word felt like a direct hit to the walls in Hannibal’s mind. The palace that existed there, while generally untouched by outsiders, called out to Will. From the day they met, Hannibal felt himself making expansions, rooms being added on in an attempt to fit Will Graham’s infiltration.
“What I can’t decide on, though,” Will continued, the hand not gripping Hannibal already drifting down svelte sides until it settled on the middle of a trim stomach, “is whether you make a grandiose display, or not. You already play with your food, but do you reconstruct it, too?” There was another shift, Will practically plastering himself to every part of Hannibal he could reach.
Hannibal, unable to resist the temptation of the delectable heat behind him, pressed back, his right hand reaching up to grab onto Will’s forearm. In this position, he could feel warm breaths against his neck and the gentle rise and fall of Will’s chest. Despite the topic of conversation, the rate of Will’s heart didn’t pick up – the lack of acceleration more thrilling than a flare of excitement would’ve been. Finding someone so similar to himself was disarming, and yet, Hannibal didn’t know what he might do without it now that he understood the taste. His palette was redefined, covered and shaped by his darkness and its interaction with Will’s.
“And now? After getting to know me – what do you see?” Hannibal questioned, his back pressing more firmly against Will’s chest. The thickness of Will’s erection was there against his back, heat and want adding to the odd intensity they found themselves in.
A nip to the neck tore a sigh from Hannibal’s throat, the answer to Will’s interest now smashed up against the zipper of his pants – the well-tailored suit slacks for once a nuisance, hindering his pleasure. Not usually so submissive, Hannibal fought against the urge to turn around and pin Will to the counter – these moments where Will shed the façade were few and far between. These interactions acted as gates opening to the empathetic mystery.
Will’s hand on his cheek had Hannibal turning his head, their lips joining in a warm kiss. He could feel the patches of Will’s hand that were still wet with blood – the liquid smearing wherever work-rough hands touched. The scent of copper and sweat were prominent in the space between them; an aphrodisiac if Hannibal ever knew one.
Tongues tangled in a desperate attempt to draw something from each other. When Will kissed, or touched, or even looked – the air went a little thin and every part of Hannibal was on display.  Empathy or not, Will’s ability to look past the heavy walls and see within was unmatched and equal parts confusing and tranquil in its own right.
Parting for air became necessary – in their tussle to be as close as possible, Will pressed him hard against the counter. There was no space between their chests, no room to draw in a breath, even if he wanted to. Hannibal used his extra weight to lean forward, effectively cutting their kiss off. His chest heaved, and with every pulsing beat, Hannibal felt his cock throb – the timing of it eerily close to the pace of Will’s huffed out breaths.
Sure hands were quick to grab onto him again, Will used his leverage to turn Hannibal around – the two men practically nose to nose. The easy way Will stripped him down to this person that just did what was prompted, it was disarming and intoxicating all at once.
Those same hands were cupping his face then, Will’s thumb lightly running across Hannibal’s bottom lip. Will took his time looking Hannibal over, the tender brush of the man’s empathy caressing his skin. “I think you’re an artist, Hannibal. Sometimes you like the audience,” Will peppered kisses around the skin of his mouth as he spoke, “and sometimes, you keep your brutality all to yourself. I’m willing to bet that several names in the media over the last few years apply to you.”
“Such a clever boy you are, Will,” Hannibal said in reply, both hands wrapping around Will’s hips. “My most recent hunts have been underground, but one day – very soon, you’ll truly see me.” There was a soft breath shared, and then their lips were upon each other again.
It didn’t take but a few steps to get down the hall and into the study – the idea of walking up the stairs completely out of the question. In their time together, Hannibal was quick to understand that the physical urge to own and connect would come whenever and wherever it wanted. Will carried chaos with him and used it to his advantage – his impulsive, yet completely strategic actions were off putting and wild – absolutely delicious in its juxtaposition. Each of the rooms in his house now stored lube in at least one of its drawers.
There was only so much expensive olive oil Hannibal could let go to the cause.
Hands fumbled to rid bodies of clothing while trying to keep the tension of lip on lip. Hannibal made quick work of Will’s blue and green flannel; his fingers nimble on the buttons. A gasp left Will’s lips when fingers made their first touch on bare skin – an entire army of gooseflesh overtaking the sensitive flesh.
By the time they made it into the study, Will’s pants were hanging open, the belt flapping wildly with every movement. Hannibal, on the other hand, still wore his waistcoat and shirt, both of which were unbuttoned, yet hanging off his shoulders. His cock pressed ruthlessly against the seam of his dress pants, and every part of him ached to have Will in any way on offer.
Huffing out an exasperate breath, Will stepped back from their embrace. He made quick work of the clothes that still clung to him, his cock slapping his belly obscenely as the last layer fell to the ground. His eyes were ablaze, the usual blue of them completely overtaken by the lusty black that made Hannibal think of paranormal beings – beautiful little monsters with dark eyes and so many tricks under their sleeves.
“Have I told you how much I dislike all the layers you wear? While sexy, the suit takes so damn long to get off,” Will grumbled, his tongue dragging over his bottom lip. “I’m not patient enough right now, either.”
As he spoke, Will climbed onto the couch, his forearms settling against the armrest – the rest of his body a delicious temptation. Knowing how good he looked, Will glanced over his shoulder, a devilish glint in his eyes. He didn’t need to say anything, either – he simply maintained eye contact and reached behind himself, deft, coppery red fingers prying his ass cheeks apart; the cherry pink of his hole on provocative display.
“Take it off, Hannibal – or don’t. Just get over here and fuck me.”
Unable to think any further than that request, Hannibal shrugged off his waistcoat and practically dove onto the couch behind Will. He let his eyes roam over every inch of Will he could before impatient hips pressed back against him. The string between divine and desperate constantly hung in the balance – Hannibal frequently forgot the things he learned over the years; control and patience no longer existing.
Ducking between the delectable spread that was Will in that moment, Hannibal allowed himself to take in a long breath. The earthy musk sat in the back of his nose – his senses overcome with how manly and right the scent registered to be. It was a catalyst, the final notes of reign over himself falling as he tucked in and let the entire expanse of his tongue press against Will’s most intimate spot.
Like a man starving, Hannibal set about claiming his prize. He started with small licks around the rim, Will’s muscles already starting to relax under such simple ministrations. The first taste drove him mad with hunger, his tongue flattening after the first few teasing brushes to press more insistently against the still tight pucker. Pushing Will’s hands away, Hannibal took over the job of spreading supple cheeks, his longer fingers pushed into the flesh. Wanting more width, Hannibal shifted, practically yanking the globes even further apart.
The pleasure-pain of it tore a growl from Will’s lips, the man pressing his hips back against Hannibal’s face roughly in retaliation. Though he could see the redness start to overtake skin, Hannibal continued on – he felt familiar enough with Will’s interests to know that his counterpart appreciated the heat of pain just as much as delicate pleasure.
An abundance of spit both on Will’s skin and around Hannibal’s mouth and chin made the whole process easier – the point of his tongue and the tip of a rogue finger were easily admitted access. Little by little, Will loosened around him. Hannibal’s ministrations, like the rest of him, were precise – dealt with the intention of taking Will to pieces. Yet, Hannibal felt like he was the one falling apart; every rough touch and drawn out moan felt like a hit straight to the soul.
No one – not even Mischa, laid Hannibal so bare to the world. Especially with something as simple as a well-placed look or cleverly worded demand.
Only Will.
Groaning at the thought, Hannibal pulled back, a hand coming up to wipe away some of the moisture from his face. His chest was heaving, the cardiovascular system within him used to heavy lifting, not marathon tongue fucking.
The small gap in movement and Hannibal’s preoccupation was just enough for Will to once again take control of the situation. Where he was splayed against the side of the couch just moments before, Will was now facing Hannibal, his eyes alight.
Strong hands pushed against Hannibal’s shoulders until his own back was resting against the opposite arm rest, his long legs stretched across the entire length of the couch. Will settled into his lap nicely – strong thighs bracketed Hannibal’s, each clench and pulse of muscle bringing them closer, magnifying the feeling of touch and stimulus. Hannibal didn’t even have his pants off, yet, he felt just inches from the delirious cusp of that little death.
Hannibal watched with a contained awe as Will reached for the end table drawer – his brain was so strung out, he completely forgot that lube existed there. The soft slam of it being closed snapped him out of his haze. Hannibal tried to make quick work of getting his pants open – though, was quickly thwarted by Will, who merely let him get the zipper down before he was reaching in and grabbing Hannibal’s cock without any sort of finesse.
Will impatiently opened the lube and poured a decent amount directly onto Hannibal’s length – his teeth gritting against the cold of it. Fingers followed the flow. Will’s hand wrapping around the girth of him brought sharp canines down into a kiss swollen lip – Hannibal never had to fight so hard with the quick to cum trigger reflex that attempted to fail him right that instant. Fingers were tight around him for too short a time; instead, they trailed from his swollen flesh and found their way to Will’s hole, the man fingering himself open just enough to spread the slick.
Before Hannibal took his next breath, or had a second to find some control, Will lowered himself onto Hannibal’s rigid cock – their joint pants of exertion sounding around the room, overtaking the entire space. In an attempt to stop himself from finishing right that very second, Hannibal gripped Will’s hips tightly – his fingernails digging into the skin there, each one drawing up little welts of blood; Hannibal’s mark visible now, too.
“Fuck, Will – don’t move. Please,” Hannibal mumbled, his forehead resting against Will’s breastbone, his chest heaving with short, abortive breaths.
The slightest roll of hips was Hannibal’s answer – Will adjusting their position to better fit his own comfort.
While more movement did not follow, the filthiest words did, instead. With his hands gripping either side of Hannibal’s neck, Will used his leverage to tilt Hannibal’s head up until they were looking eye to eye.
“You look good like this – completely undone. Your clothes are less than immaculate, there’s wrinkles and sweat stains. Your pants are barely open and, in this moment, there’s nothing that could get you to care any less about it. I wonder what you would say if you saw yourself – splayed open like the pigs we hunt, looking at me like I’m both judge and executioner. Do you think you would like what you saw?”
Biting down hard on his lip, Hannibal fought each second to keep their eye contact – the words were delicious, and so eerily on point. Nodding his head seemed to be the best course of action – words were failing him, his brain short circuiting one neuron at a time.
How did Will get to the very core of him? With all things considered, Hannibal constructed walls that no one else came close to touching, let alone blowing apart the way Will seemed to. It felt like losing himself in a way – giving up those pieces to be cared for by this beautiful monster of a man.
Sensing Hannibal’s dilemma, Will started to move his hips in earnest. His rhythm a perfect distraction. There was a subtle roll down Hannibal’s length, then a powerful drive up until only the tip occupied space. Up and down, over and over – Will drove him closer to a new kind of insanity. This one would take everything from him; mind, body, soul – even the heart that didn’t seem to exist until the murderous temptation that Will embodied walked so easily into his life.
For a few exquisite minutes, Hannibal clenched Will’s hips tightly in his hands while the man worked him over. At one point, Hannibal wondered if Will got off more on the power, than the actual physical closeness – but, a particular hard drive into the man’s prostate made the answer obvious. Power over Hannibal drew him to madness. The power of Hannibal’s body and the pleasure he could achieve from it – that gave him strength.
“Don’t hold back anymore, Hannibal. I want you to own me,” Will whispered against raw lips.
With the permission to do so, Hannibal surged up – their barely there kisses turning into something brutal as his grip tightened on Will’s hips, his own finally breaking free of the self-induced confines to pound ruthless up and into the tightest heat ever experienced.
He felt wild and completely undone – his being only used to this adrenaline pumping feeling after the satisfaction of a hunt well done. It was crazy to be so unleashed, and yet, Hannibal let himself go, anyway; what Will wanted, he got.
When finality became something he could no longer hold back, Hannibal leaned forward and dug his teeth into Will’s shoulder – his teeth marks from previous encounters still there, getting deeper and more defined by the bite. He clenched his jaw down and with the skin still between his teeth, came harder than ever before (which was saying something, because sex with Will was always an adventure). The rhythmic pulse and flutter around his length signaled Will’s jump over the cliff edge with him.
Sticky cum in the space between their chests seemed pedestrian after such a connection. Physical representation of their joining didn’t matter – the mental connection overwhelmed it all.
The come down a few minutes later consisted of blood in his mouth, long drawn in breaths, and the feeling of Will’s palms on his cheeks. It felt like too much effort to fight anything from that point on, so he leaned back, his eyes catching Will’s. Their shared look made his stomach clench – the overwhelming feeling of being taken apart more alive in that moment than their entire coupling.
“Will – “ Hannibal tried to say, his voice so thick and scratchy from pulled out moans, new feelings, and heavy sighs.
Will’s thumbs brushed chiseled cheekbones, the flat of his fingers settling on the edge of Hannibal’s square jaw. “Shh,” he said in reply, their lips joining for a surprisingly soft kiss. “I know – me too.”
----
After that night, something shifted. For so long, Hannibal conducted himself as a solitary creature – life was simpler when his plans consisted of his own wants and desires. Even after meeting Will initially, Hannibal figured things would stay separate – work, play, and the occasional murder taking up their own sphere in his life. The sudden realization that neither he, nor Will, wanted any sort of separation, was monumental. In almost fifty years, Hannibal never saw something like this coming.
With the addition of Will in mind, Hannibal went about planning his next tableau. The Ripper hadn’t made an appearance in a while and his sounders were due. Will understood what it meant to take someone’s life – their shared desire to see the light in someone’s eyes fade was apparent. And yet, Will chose to elevate his prey by making them into meals that anyone would drool over.
In his own experience, Hannibal appreciated the consumption of his victims because of the control it gave him – they weren’t worthy of anything in life and as their flesh passed his lips, their sole source of meaning was to feed him, to nourish him – to provide the needed macro and micro nutrients that were essential to life.
Even still, The Ripper’s message took things a step further. The elevation of murder into widespread art truly spoke of Hannibal’s innermost feelings. Most people were beneath him and their only redeemable quality was their ability to be changed into priceless beauty. In his attempt to boost the lowest of low, Hannibal found himself – power of the hammer and all.
If anyone were to truly understand him and the tangible personification of his darkest and most intimate thoughts, Will Graham continuously proved he could be that person. With eyes that already saw so much, Will simply needed a nudge to truly see Hannibal – in every way.
Though completely terrifying, the thought brought about a new sort of excitement, too. To truly be seen and understood – Hannibal never even fathomed the occurrence. Living outside the confines of society came at a price, and no matter how many people graced his dinner table or laughed at his well-timed jokes, a divide between him and them existed. People turned a blind eye to what they didn’t want to see – it was easier to ignore the things in front of them than genuinely accept inferiority.
Will, though – he gripped the chains of normalcy and broke them between his fingers. Still trying to piece together the extent of his empathy, Hannibal didn’t quite know the complete depth of Will’s ability to truly see. In the same breath, Hannibal swore that he could feel the intensity of the unique gift in everything Will did. While Hannibal wore a finely tailored person suit, Will used his ability to become the things people revered and those they feared whole heartedly – so simply, with just the roll of his shoulders and a long, deep breath.
The Ripper deserved the right audience and finally, after so much time of not knowing how much he truly wanted the echoing applause, Hannibal found someone worthy of it.
Planning such a grandiose thing took time. For weeks, Hannibal went about everything as usual. On the nights that Will cooked late, Hannibal made the trip out to Wolf Trapp – his Bentley eating up the miles with relative ease. Winston, who took a liking to Hannibal immediately (he was sure the freshly made sausage had a lot to do with that), expected play time and pets before Hannibal could even think about joining Will in the kitchen.
The weekends, however, those belonged to Hannibal. Unless otherwise occupied with a last-minute client, Will spent both days in the glorious confines of Hannibal’s fancy brick and mortar. Most of that time, admittedly, was spent in the kitchen – Will’s passion for food (and not just that of the human variety) kept things interesting. There was always a new knife technique to try or a rare ingredient to add to the mundane. When they weren’t cooking away, or eating their weight in their creations, both men simply existed together.
Will let Hannibal sketch him in whatever way requested, and in return, Hannibal brushed his fingers through Will’s hair as he perused cookbooks and academic articles. A give and take existed that shouldn’t – not between two very peculiar men who took to murdering others as a hobby. And yet, Will kissed him goodbye when Hannibal mentioned something about hunting on his way out the door. Picture perfect domestic bliss.
One particular weekend a few months after falling into such a routine, Hannibal convinced Will to join him at the opera. After weeks of preparation and recognizance, he finally felt ready to reveal his most coveted persona to the man that quickly became the most important part of Hannibal’s existence. Why not make a night of it?
As usual, they made dinner together – Will’s latest victim’s kidney made for a delicious steak and kidney pie. The crust was buttery and flaky, rolled thin to perfection. When it came out of the oven, Will preened at the proud look on Hannibal’s face.
“Looks amazing, Chef,” Hannibal complimented, his fingers already twitching to scoop a fork into the molten confines of golden pastry.
Will continued to beam as the table was set and Hannibal, in all of his unselfish glory, handed over the serving spoon. Despite being the one to take the lead on most of their meals, Will gave the dishing out honor to Hannibal – even at his own table. There was a power dynamic that existed, and each man understood their role.
Will sent him a genuinely intrigued look, his eyebrow lifting. Instead of questioning, however, he simply gripped the utensil and went about portioning out their meal.
They made small talk throughout the devouring of their joint efforts – Hannibal spoke of his latest client’s swiftly developing obsession with him and watched delightedly as Will grew more menacing by the second. Franklyn never stood a chance, but the opportunity to push at Will’s boundaries wasn’t something he wanted to pass up. Jealousy, though such a base emotion, could lead a person astray very quickly. For the first time, Hannibal wanted the tenacity and rage that came with the juggling act. Someone he craved wanted him just as much and would fight tooth and nail to keep it that way.
And though not entirely thrilled to be amongst the masses in a “penguin suit”, Will cleaned up nicely – the tailored tuxedo was midnight black, enhanced with a single, dark pinstripe down the side of each pant leg. He finished the look with a stark white shirt and black bow tie – elegant and simple, yet dangerous at the same time.
Finishing up his own look, Hannibal retreated from his walk-in to find Will casually seated on the edge of the bed. Merely lounging there, he looked absolutely exquisite.
His eyes were closed and for a moment, Hannibal wondered if he were asleep sitting up. He cleared his throat in an attempt to rouse Will, his long legs carrying him until there was only a couple of inches separating them.
Blue eyes blinked open slowly, a faraway look overtaking Will’s face before finally registered Hannibal’s presence.
“Are you feeling alright?” Hannibal asked, concern heavy in his voice. He reached to press a hand to Will’s forehead and found the skin there warm, the slightest bit of moisture sitting just barely on the surface. All tell-tale signs of an oncoming fever.
Reaching up to grab Hannibal’s hand and lacing their fingers together tightly, Will attempted a smile – the man’s mask not as secure as usual.
“I’m fine – just a bit of a headache. I haven’t been sleeping very well the last few nights, so it’s probably just some fatigue.” While he spoke, Will got up from the bed, his persona shifting with a soft roll of his shoulders. Now cognizant, the process came easily. His eyes were already a little clearer and any sort of weakness that existed in seconds before, was completely gone. Will Graham, the unsuspecting chef, Hannibal’s partner, stood in front of him once more.
“Are you finally ready?” Will asked, an eyebrow quirking.
Shaking the worry off, Hannibal grinned at the cheeky question. In their time together, certain habits made themselves known. Will drooled when in deep sleep and didn’t always pick up his wet towels. And while completely put together outside of the walls of his room, Hannibal was fussy and took a lot of time to get ready – the construction of his person suit more time consuming and labor intensive than Will’s would ever be.
“Snarky thing,” Hannibal immediately remarked. He pressed forward to press a chaste kiss to Will’s forehead. “Let’s go, darling. I have something for you after the show and am suddenly impatient to gift it.”
Will’s simple nod brought a brief surge of panic to his chest, but he quickly brushed it off. Though not the reaction he thought he’d get, the line of sweat still painting Will’s brow reminded him of the blurriness he encountered just moments before.
Leaning in again, Hannibal tucked his nose into Will’s neck and took a deep breath. Apart from the normal smells of bergamot, vanilla, and the slightest bit of wet dog, Hannibal scented something warm and sweet – the rising fever in the other’s skin taking on the body of over-ripened fruit.
He was met with the same intrigued look from their time at the dinner table when he pulled back. In an instant, Hannibal suddenly realized that was Will’s way of expressing his curiousness. Will usually pieced together the situation before it happened and reacted accordingly. Most people broadcasted their thoughts and feelings unconsciously, and Will’s intelligence made it easy to fill in the blanks. Hannibal, however, kept things locked tight – meticulous thought and effort went into making sure people received the exact message he wanted them to.
Though completely disarming himself, Will found a peculiar sort of mystery in Hannibal – the appeal of the unknown one of the things Hannibal could easily tell attracted Will to him so holistically. Like the true predator he was, Will enjoyed the chase. One that they both knew would probably never dull with the lifestyle they both kept.
The realization made his heart drum rapidly; love never took on a definition before, but in that moment, Hannibal finally understood. How interesting the realization came barreling towards him so out of the blue, yet so naturally. Like companionship – love didn’t ever seem like an option.
A soft touch on his cheek brought Hannibal back to the room – he blinked quickly, smiling to cover up the absentmindedness. The same curious look was on Will’s face, eyes never leaving Hannibal’s.
“Are you okay?” Will asked, his other hand pressing against Hannibal’s chest. “We might be late if we don’t go soon.”
That was all Hannibal needed to get back into gear – they made quick work of getting into jackets and climbing into the car. Hannibal held the door open for Will and before he could sit down, pressed a kiss to his lips.
“You don’t have to butter me up – I’m already in the tux.” The words came out of his mouth, yet Will couldn’t hide the blush on his cheeks or the duck of his head.
The drive over was uneventful – there wasn’t any talking, but the soft tones of Mozart kept the atmosphere calm and serene. Will’s hand landed on Hannibal’s thigh halfway to the venue – Hannibal dragged his bottom lip between his teeth to stop the megawatt smile from overtaking his face. Instead, he wrapped Will’s hand up with his own, their fingers tangling effortlessly.
Out of all the reasons why Hannibal donated to the arts, the preferred parking had to be one of the best among them. He pulled into his designated space a while later and shot will a playful wink.
Will snorted, his head shaking – “pretentious prick.”
They arrived just in time to schmooze for a few minutes before having to take their seats – a fact that Hannibal was over the moon about. Through months of dating, he never got the opportunity to show Will off. Aside from the fact that the man shone with impressive energy, Hannibal selfishly wanted everyone to see who he managed to attract; a very special man came into his life and despite it all, chose to stand proudly by his side.
With a soft kiss to Will’s cheek, Hannibal gestured to the bar. “I’m going to grab us a drink. I’d like to introduce you to a few people, if you’re not opposed.”
“I don’t mind – you’ve been dying to show me off for ages. I’m surprised you were able to wait this long,” Will retorted, a look of absolute knowing on his face. He casually slipped his hands into his pockets, the needed mask for the occasion slipping into place. “You know where to find me.”
Turning, Hannibal glided easily to the bar, ordering the same vintage chardonnay he always did and a whiskey neat for Will. The bartender recognized him immediately, the gold membership card that sat in his breast pocket unneeded.
“I’ll put it on your tab, Doctor Lecter.”
“Thank you, Tyler. It’s a pleasure, as always.” He saluted the younger man with the drinks in his hand and set off to find Will.
Without even having to try, Will drew people to him. The ever-curious Mrs. Ellen Komeda stood proudly in front of his beau, her eyes cataloguing him sharply. In a lot of ways, the two of them were very similar. Where Ellen lacked the empathy, she made up for it in pure grit and tenacity. She could read a room because she knew just about everyone and everything in it. Someone like Will, a gorgeous outsider, more than likely called to her from the moment she saw him.
“Where have you been hiding this one, Hannibal? He’s an absolute delight,” Ellen remarked the second he was within conversing distance. She eyed him up, then nodded approvingly.
Handing Will his drink, Hannibal let his now free hand wrap around Will’s waist. A moment existed where he thought Will might tense up, but he simply leaned in closer – the doting boyfriend act both natural and highly manipulative. What a delightful boy.
“We’re both busy men. Will here is the mastermind behind that delectable pate from my last dinner party.” The pride he felt carried over in his voice – people knew how Hannibal felt about food; the compliment held a lot of weight.
From the surprise on Ellen’s face, she too understood the sentiment.
“That’s high praise indeed. When I didn’t see you still wrapped in your apron when I arrived, I should have figured something was up.” She turned to Will then, her smile challenging. “Tell me Will, how did you charm the good doctor so?”
Seemingly unable to stop himself, Will chuckled, then pressed himself closer to Hannibal. “I bumped into him in a gourmet cheese shop. My refined palette was the major selling point.”
Before anyone else could say anything, a gentleman making his way into their little group stopped the conversation in its tracks. Hannibal watched Will’s eyes flash, the other man’s arm tightening around him. It was a minute reaction but telling all the same. He pulled at the seams of his person suit, the edges tightening up imperceptibly.
Luckily, Ellen saved them all, her social graces without fail. “Mr. Bowerman, it’s been some time since I last saw you at the opera.” Her mouth quirked as she spoke, like the words were bent nails in her mouth.
“Yes, well – since my wife’s passing, getting out to these fancy shindigs isn’t nearly as fun.” He took a long sip of his drink, his eyes shifting to Hannibal, only to linger on Will a second later.
“Walter Bowerman,” the man announced. The words were spoken into the open nothingness of the air, but his eyes – they were glued to Will.
A rush of murderous rage ran down Hannibal’s spine, his nostrils flaring.
Will didn’t miss a beat though, the brilliant boy he was. Tossing back his drink, Will waved the empty glass at the newcomer, a neutral look on his face. “Walter.” The single word was dismissive, only to be aided with a subtle turn of his body. He flashed a smile at Mrs. Komeda next, his expression softening slightly. “Ellen, it was glorious to meet you. Have Hannibal pass on my information – I’d love to cook for you some time.”
Understanding without any further prompting, Hannibal bid them both an absent goodbye and let himself be led by Will. He watched blue eyes track down a waiter, where he deposited his glass before continuing towards the theater door.
There wasn’t a sound made until they were alone in Hannibal’s booth – Will’s face was sweaty again, eyes slightly hazy. “Is it common knowledge that Walter Bowerman killed his wife?” Will asked lightly, breaking the silence. He swiped at his brow, looking a little off kilter.
Thrown off by the bluntness of Will’s words, Hannibal tuned out everything but the question. A sliver of pride sat in his chest at the other’s deductive abilities – Hannibal instantly knew there was something off but wasn’t able to pinpoint exactly what. Will’s mind – it was a beautiful thing.
“Tonight happened to be the first time I’ve made his acquaintance – Ellen seemed put off, but I think the interruption to our conversation played a big part in that. You are very charming,” Hannibal admitted easily. Even he had been impressed.
“He got pleasure from mentioning his wife’s death. There was that murderous glint in his eye that just felt – wrong.” He moved to continue, but the stage lights flickered, and the heavy curtain started to pull back.
For a while, previous interactions fled from Hannibal’s mind – the mind-numbing drift a welcome gift after the stress of the evening. He let Will take his hand before the aria started, the touch the only anchor he wanted to the present. After a beat, the soprano opened her mouth and started to sing. Merely relaxing back, Hannibal let the music wash over him.
About halfway through the first act, a tightening grip on his hand brought Hannibal out of his mind space, a confused look on his face for a split second before it was quickly replaced by worry. Will’s face was covered in sweat and his chest seemed to be heaving, despite the dwindling awareness. He looked at Hannibal helplessly, mouth opening around unspoken pleas.
Finally, Will managed to grab ahold of himself for a second – his words a little slurred when he babbled out – “I think there’s something wrong.”
Acting quickly, Hannibal jumped out of his seat, suddenly glad for the privacy of his usual booth. Getting up wouldn’t disturb anyone, so there was room to get Will out however he needed. The man was cognizant enough to help Hannibal pull him out of the chair, but that only went as far as the hallway outside of their seats before Will went limp. The seizure that followed so nicely allowed Hannibal to get Will to the bathroom, the convulsions starting the second he got them pressed against the solid surface of the door.
His hands cupped Will’s cheeks, the grip of them strong to keep the back of his head from smacking against anything. Will’s eyes were open, but the pupils were completely blown – there was no focus or constriction whatsoever. Holding Will as tightly as possible, Hannibal rode out the storm.
When the shaking stopped, Hannibal counted out five minutes before Will came back around – his once slack body clenched all at once, fear and confusion flowing through him. “H-Hannibal?” Will chocked out, the syllables running together.
Bringing his face up to do a quick check of blue eyes, Hannibal let out a breath. There was finally some response in the dark pupils. He ran his thumbs softly over the apple of Will’s cheeks, maroon eyes roaming everywhere at once. “Are you with me, Will? You just had a seizure and you’re burning up. Can you hear me?”
“Hannibal?” Will questioned again, his chest heaving once more.
Unable to stop himself, Hannibal leaned forward and pressed a quick kiss to Will’s cheek – the contact just as much for him as it was for the confused man in his arms; an earthshattering need for comfort overwhelming. They needed to get out of there while Will was still upright and conscious. The increased heart rate and continued confusion meant there wasn’t much time left to do that.
Instead of forcing Will to respond anymore, Hannibal got them into a position where he could take most of Will’s weight – thankfully, Will was with it enough to walk with the help. The lobby was empty – an absence of sound appropriate to the situation at hand.
Being in the heart of downtown made getting to a hospital quick and easy. Every couple of minutes, Hannibal reached across the middle console to check on Will, his heart slamming into his chest in the scant seconds between touching and feeling the rise and fall of his chest. Though the seizures didn’t return, Will’s consciousness diminished with each passing second.
The Bentley skidded to a stop outside the emergency room doors, Hannibal hopping out in a fit of adrenaline – he threw open Will’s door to pick him up bridal style. There was a second where their eyes met, a brief connection before Will slumped into him, his fight with whatever was burning him up coming to a swift end.
----
It took two days for Will to completely regain consciousness.
Throughout those two days, Hannibal worried incessantly, sat by Will’s bedside, and didn’t think once about the tableau he set up that was probably discovered by the authorities, already.
Being so thorough in his work, Hannibal didn’t use a sing brain byte to dwell on it – there wasn’t any evidence. There never was.
After carrying Will into the ER in the most dramatic fashion as possible, the hustle and bustle of brain scans and medication deployment took up all the space in Hannibal’s mind. In the bouts of time that Will got swept away, Hannibal went home to shower and change; once, he made the trip out to Wolf Trapp to get Winston and clear out the remainder of Will’s fridge. No matter what happened, a hospital stay was in Will’s future. The least Hannibal could do was take care of his dog and make the already harvested meat into delicacies to be eaten when Will felt better.
Despite trying to keep busy with arrangements and appointment reschedules, the minutes between Will’s decent into unconsciousness and his waking were long and torturous. The encephalitis diagnosis made a lot of sense after thinking about Will’s behavior over the last few weeks. The increase of headaches and nightmares, a dwindling appetite, and large periods of losing track of time were all there pointing in brain swelling’s direction.
It was pure luck that Will’s body had such a severe reaction to the neurological change. If things were different, he might’ve dived very slowly into madness; both visual and auditory hallucinations were common symptoms of Will’s particular brand of encephalitis. The spike of fever came at just the right time – the majority of his treatment would be minimally invasive and able to be given outside of the hospital.
The most confusing part of the whole situation was Hannibal’s feelings towards it all. Of course, Will couldn’t help the fact that he thwarted plans that were many months in the making. Yet, the anger he figured would sit under his skin, waiting to erupt, didn’t exist. Instead, Hannibal felt the claws of worry drag along his back.
Every second that Will didn’t wake up, Hannibal dipped a little further into unease. Going fifty years without the look in Will’s eyes was one thing, but now that he knew – now that the feeling crept under his walls, there was no going back. How did he exist without the rambunctiousness and intelligence that accompanied the experience that was Will Graham?
His earlier thoughts about love came back to him with a not so delicate slam to the chest. The world felt like it was ending without the shine of Will’s personality surrounding him because of the love he felt for the man. And what a thought – being in love with a soul so similar to his own. The match they made was perfect and for many reasons, shouldn’t exist whatsoever. Yet, Hannibal could barely remember what life felt like without Will in it.
He didn’t want to, either.
When Will eventually completely came to, Hannibal had his forehead pressed against their joined hands – his eyes closed in a desperate attempt to escape to the happier rooms in his mind palace. It was getting more difficult to filter everything out, so the halls were more cluttered than usual. The immense distraction almost made him miss the gentle squeeze to his hand – Will’s fingers tightened around his own for the first time in more than fifty hours.
Sitting up, Hannibal didn’t have a chance to stop the affectionate smile from slipping across his lips. His chest felt a little lighter – Will’s eyes were the same shade of deep blue and shining just as brightly as he remembered. The glassy nature of them was to be expected, the physiological expression of symptoms a reassurance that the body was actively fighting. After what seemed like years of waiting and worrying, Hannibal found comfort in all of Will’s disarray, bed head and sleepy smiles included.
“Hannibal?” Will questioned softly, his voice hoarse and scratchy from being unused. Upon hearing it, Hannibal reached to press the nurse’s button to get Will some water – they would want to know he was awake, anyway.
“Will – I’m so glad to see you,” Hannibal admitted easily, his body ditching the chair to sit on the edge of Will’s bed. He craved the length of Will pressed against him, any sort of familiar weight, really. Just the sign that the man was alive and with him was more than enough.
Reaching up to brush a curl from Will’s forehead, Hannibal spoke up again. “It’s been a couple of days since you last opened your eyes. How are you feeling?”
“Exhausted,” Will mumbled immediately, his brows pinching together with every move as he adjusted. “You said two days? Did this happen at the opera? Hannibal, I’m – “
“Don’t even begin to apologize, Will. Your brain was on fire – the last thing I’m worried about is a subpar rendition of Don Giovanni.” There was a beat, then a subtle move forward to press lips to Will’s still clammy skin. “I’m relieved you’re going to be okay, Will. Everything else is moot.”
There wasn’t much talking after that – the exhaustion Will complained about took him under shortly after coming around. The nurses were able to document his stats and get a doctor in to see him before fatigue won out and Will became lost to sleep once again.
To occupy himself, Hannibal let his emotions run wild across the pages of his sketchpad. Despite being exhausted himself, sleep did not come. Memories and things yet to come crept through the halls of his mind – his hand manifesting them on the smooth paper at record breaking speed. With all of his energy drained, Will made the perfect model. Hannibal found himself able to get the man’s lips right for the first time he laid pencil to paper. Drawing his partner in a much happier state of being made coping a little easier – the smile he could replicate brought a warmth that Hannibal couldn’t admit he wanted with him at all times. Though, he so desperately did.
A hand on the top of his sketchbook brought him out of his artistic stupor. Hannibal moved quickly, sliding his fingers between Will’s before the hand could retreat, or suddenly disappear like he feared. The skin there was warm, but not scalding like the days previous. When their eyes met, the blue depth of Will’s seemed much clearer – like the rest was actually doing him some good.
“She looks like you,” Will said, turning his attention back to the sketch pad he reached for initially. “Who is she?”
The feeling of being exposed washed over him for a second, Hannibal pulling in a deep breath in a desperate attempt to calm himself down. A Thursday in the middle of the night wasn’t how he figured his past would come to light – dark news needed an ideal setting. And yet, what better way to break down the last wall between them?
“This is Mischa, my sister. Even after all these years, I’ve never been able to do her true justice,” Hannibal replied, his voice just steps away from melancholic. “She was this beautiful spirit – free and intense. Kind of like you, actually.” A soft smile overtook his features, the truth of that statement ringing in his ears.
No wonder.
Will’s hand tightened slightly, the fatigue keeping him weak in his touch. “Mischa – I like that. She’s beautiful. You both have that little curl in your nose.”
A laugh escaping Hannibal’s chest broke whatever tension remained – the depths of his chest finally clear. The days of worry and not-sleeping were catching up to him, and like it was so natural to do, Will cleaned the chaos up, his words sweeping out the cobwebs Hannibal let develop. Sucking in another long breath, Hannibal let that last bit of himself in hiding step out into the light.
There was another clear shift in the air between them then, the softness in Will’s eyes something that didn’t exist before that very moment. While so wrapped up in his own masks and Will’s ability to see through them, Will was sneakily putting himself up for display, too. Breaking down walls brought about a gentleness that didn’t befit ruthless murders, and yet – Will caressed Hannibal’s hand softly, the touch for comfort’s sake alone.
Without being prompted or asked, Will moved until a spot that maybe half of Hannibal could fit into appeared. Taking the offer for what it was, Hannibal dropped his sketch pad on the table, the pencil sitting lovingly over the cupid bow of Mischa’s lip. He climbed in, the two of them rearranging limbs until Hannibal’s arms were wrapped tightly around Will. It took a second to settle – then, sleep came quickly and kept them under for the rest of the night.
Will spent another two days in the hospital before Hannibal could convince the staff of his capabilities as a doctor. They were willing to release him after all of the intravenous drug administration was finished – the rest of Will’s recovery would be based around rest and recuperation, anyway.
There wasn’t any discussion about where Will would end up – the man simply climbed into Hannibal’s car, curled up in the passenger seat with his head in Hannibal’s lap, and slept on the trip back to Baltimore from the hospital. Hannibal made a quick trip home while Will sat in the MRI machine for the last time during his stay – both Winston and the kitchen were ready for Will’s arrival.
It took Will most of his energy to get from the car to the door, but when Winston came jogging around the corner, a burst of joy sent him two steps forward until he could easily wrap the dog warmly in his arms. The whispered “I missed you” into the dog’s fur more than making up for the hair on all the surfaces of the house.
When the reunion was over, Hannibal helped Will walk upstairs, the man already dead on his feet from just a couple of short encounters. That previously unnamed warmth took up space in Hannibal’s chest again – the overwhelming feeling of being so deliriously dedicated to another human being exhausting in its own right.
“I thought maybe you’d like to take a bath,” Hannibal said, his legs already carrying him towards the bathroom to start the water.
“Will you hold me, instead? I know I probably stink like hospital and it’s killing that nose of yours, but all I really want to do is be in your arms.”
Looking over his shoulder, Hannibal stopped in his tracks. There were no masks on Will’s face, in the moment, so raw and open. The man who stood before him was stripped bare and asking for something – when he usually did nothing of the sort. The warmth bubbled a little bit more, the intensity of it growing with every passing exchange. He didn’t need to think about what to do next – instead, he kicked off his shoes and went about turning the bed down.
Hannibal climbed in, reclining back against the nest of pillows. Though he figured he wouldn’t sleep, Hannibal was more than willing to simply sit and catalogue Will a little more. The replica in his mind palace wasn’t quite what he wanted, and the perusal of finer features was exactly what he needed to make the perfect rendering.
For a while, that’s how things went – Hannibal kept Will against his chest until the call of food preparation took precedence. It usually took all of Will’s energy to get downstairs to the table, so the first few meals were taken in bed.
Little by little, Will spent more time awake than asleep, the clarity of his thoughts returning as the days past. Surprisingly, the only thing that didn’t return was the mask Will wore. Maybe it was the lack of energy, or maybe – after all was said and done, there was no need for them anymore. Seeing and being seen – it did something to a person. Especially ones like Will and Hannibal.
Then, a Saturday morning two weeks after his diagnosis, Hannibal woke to the feeling of Will’s hands running down his chest and arms, nimble fingers pressing into skin, fingertips tracing and memorizing with every touch. Hannibal kept himself still, letting Will have whatever he wanted before the realization of having an audience occurred.
The rise and fall of Will’s chest sped up a little, his body heat rising for a much better reason than the earlier fever that ravaged him. Without meaning to, Hannibal shifted back into it – giving himself away in an instant.
“I know you’re awake,” Will mumbled against his spot on Hannibal’s neck, hips pressing forward ever so lightly.
Rolling over, Hannibal used the quick movement to pull Will under him, their bodies lining up from head to toe. Will’s legs opened just enough to allow Hannibal access to gap, the length of them wrapping around Hannibal’s hips in the next instant. There was a clench of muscle, then no space between them at all.
“I see you’re awake, too,” Hannibal whispered, his hips pressing down – erections grinding together with the barest of touches. “Are you feeling better?”
Hips pressing up for a longer drag of cock on cock was his only answer. Unable to ignore the call, Hannibal moved against him, the friction building there absolutely exquisite. They shifted and moved until their lips met and the oxygen in the room steadfastly escaped. Every pull of breath in was more of Will – more of his scent, more of his presence – more.
Though neither made any move to takes thing further along, Hannibal could feel the intimacy building up between them. It wasn’t so much about the heat of the physical, this particular moment more than just a sexual connection. Where Hannibal pulled, Will pushed – their hearts beating in tandem.
A crescendo didn’t carry them away – instead, a sort of peace overtook the room. The feeling so foreign that they looked and touched just to make sure the other existed – that after everything, the other was there and the affection that zinged between them wasn’t one sided. Two psychopaths falling in love was never on the top of anyone’s love story list, yet – it happened without either of them knowing.
When Hannibal pulled back this time, the words on the tip of his tongue, he let them fall effortlessly from his lips.
Brushing his nose against Will’s, Hannibal stayed close, the words “I love you” leaving his chest and sitting in the air. It felt odd and for half a second, he thought Will might not feel that way about him after all. The two, three, four beats of his heart before any sort of response were agonizing, both too short and much too long.
Those warms hands were there, though, Will’s palms cupping his cheeks and fingers digging into the longer hair around his temples. Their eyes met, maroon holding blue – and the worry melted away. No mask, after seeing past it, could hide the devotion existing in the ceaseless pools of gorgeous blue.
“I love you too, Hannibal.”
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Instead of diving head first into the avoidance pool, Will allows his empathy to grow - taking him further from the constructs of society. He uses the slip into other killer's heads to perfect his craft.
As a cover, Will goes through the process of becoming a chef and takes to the profession like it was meant to be.
When a chance encounter throws them into each other's path, can Hannibal really avoid the call of good food and "special" proteins?
(The answer is no - no, he can't)
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