For the last year, Will Graham had been having reoccurring dreams of an exotic dark haired warrior with tattoos upon his cheeks and piercing deep brown eyes. His presence had started off as mere shapes, blurred images that lasted no more than a heartbeat behind his eyes before the nightmares took over. But as time passed the images became moving living visions that breathed and spoke in a deep accented voice.
He discovered that the dark warrior, Tristan, was often accompanied by a younger man with curled brown hair and blue eyes...a man who when Will looked closely was a reflection of his own appearance.
His name was Galahad.
For a long time he couldn't decide whether they were only the product of his subconscious or if they were something more, something that went beyond this life.
His answer came when Jack introduced him to Dr Hannibal Lecter and Will immediately recognised him as a slightly older, more refined version of the warrior scout that now visited his dreams on an almost nightly basis.
It was at that moment when Will realised that the dreams were memories of a previous life, that he and Hannibal were reincarnations of Tristan and Galahad.
After Hannibal came into his life, a floodgate opened on the visions, almost completely smothering the nightmares he had grown to loathe. The dreams were vivid, remaining with him long after he awoke. They started to reveal more of the relationship between the strong, deadly scout and the fiery, stubborn youth.
He learnt that the two of them had been selected as part of an elite band of Sarmatian knights when they were young and had been fighting for many years.
Galahad was the youngest of the remaining knights and nearly a decade younger than Tristan. He had always been known as the baby of the group which sometimes made him feel that he was not to be taken seriously.
Tristan had always been a mystery to his brothers in arms, never really revealing anything about himself or the life he had before he joined them.
Will also discovered parts of Tristan in Hannibal as his friendship with the older man developed. Both were quiet and calm, stoic in the face of risk and threat. The doctor and the scout also shared similar mannerisms and temperaments.
He also saw himself in Galahad. He and the young knight were no stranger to violence and danger, the young archer as much of a deadly and efficient warrior as Tristan. Both wanted to find peace, Galahad's being beyond his life as a warrior and Will's being within his own mind, and held a deep passion for what they believed in and fought for.
As time went on Will could also see aspects of Tristan and Galahad's relationship in his own with the doctor. He had been on the offensive during his first encounter with Hannibal, throwing small barbs as an instant defence mechanism against the doctor's gentle probing into his psyche. This had manifested itself in his dreams as when Tristan had stood calmly as Galahad thrown insults or jibes.
But as his friendship had developed with Hannibal, the relationship between the two knights in his dreams also changed, forming into an easy friendship and mutual respect.
Despite the presence of the scout and the archer in his dreams, Will found the nightmares started to come back and the visions of his past life started to seep into his waking hours instead. Certain landscapes, sounds and smells triggered them off and he was suddenly Galahad again.
Because of the dreams and visions, Will felt he could trust Hannibal more than he could anyone else, having known the man in a previous incarnation.
But there was something else, something that Will couldn't quite put his finger on. How he felt in Hannibal's presence, the quiver of his stomach when the other man touched him, no matter how fleeting.
Then Will started to dream again...
“Knights...brothers in arms...your courage has been tested beyond all limits, but I must ask you now for one further trial. We must leave on a final mission for Rome before our freedom can be granted...”
Tristan calmly watched as Galahad had poured the last of the wine on the floor before smashing the ceramic jug on the stone below him, the warrior scout slicing an apple with his knife before placing a piece into his mouth and chewing thoughtfully.
The younger man stormed off and the dark haired knight followed after him. Galahad was all fire and stubbornness. Tristan had always found that endearing about the curly haired youth...that whilst the older knights were stoic and restrained, he was pure passion in all that he did.
He found Galahad on the stone floor, slumped against the wall in a darkened corner near their rooms, his jaw clenched tight and his eyes fixed firmly ahead. Leaning against the wall next to him, Tristan resumed eating pieces of apples off his blade.
“I suppose you're here to tell me to stop being such a child...” The younger man said, his arms folded across the tops of his knees, his head lowered.
“I understand your anger...but our destinies will not change if we are meant to die tomorrow or in ten, twenty years...”
Galahad let out a humourless chuckle and slammed his hands against the floor, the flesh of his palms left stinging.
“Tristan...I'm tired...I'm tired of fighting, of death...All I want is to live out my days in peace with someone who loves me...”
He looked up at the other knight and watched as he licked some remaining juice from the apple off his thumb and returned the blade to its place on his belt, the older man's eyes never leaving his.
Over the past year something had shifted in their friendship. Galahad had no longer felt the need to poke fun or insult the scout, instead finding his thoughts often drifting to things like the blue tattoos upon Tristan's sharp cheek bones or how piercing brown eyes glanced at him from underneath a mop of equally dark hair shot through with braids, taking in everything that went on around him.
“And what makes you think that you need freedom to have someone who loves you?”
Holding out his hand, Tristan pulled Galahad to his feet, the youth leaning back against the wall. The dark haired man moved forward, pinning him to the stone, his body flush with the scout's own.
“Galahad...I'm offering you what you wish for. Is this not what you want?”
“Only if you feel the same...” Leaning forward, Galahad's breath traced against Tristan's lips, his hands on the broad chest pinning him to the wall.
"I would not make such an offer if I didn't...” Came the husky reply, the scout's long skilful fingers reaching up to caress the youth's angular jaw, the other hand reaching around the narrow waist. “Is this not what you want?” He repeated.
“It is...” At Galahad's words, lips sealed across his own, tinged with the sweetness from the apple the other man had eaten. He quickly reciprocated, pouring all the thoughts, hopes and wishes that the scout had drawn from him into the kiss.
Will had woken up, the lingering heat from Tristan's body against his own and the taste of the other man's kiss still playing on his senses.
The niggle he had felt at the back of his mind about how his body reacted around Hannibal suddenly seemed to make sense; his soul was trying to tell him that the older man had been his lover and should be again.
The dreams started to focus on the growing relationship between the two knights, leaving Will sweating and achingly hard the next morning.
One night, six months after he was first introduced to Hannibal, Will had another dream...
It had been a week since their final orders were given and the kiss that Tristan had given him against the wall. During that time it had become clear that Tristan wanted him body and soul as much as he did.
After a particularly nasty scrape with some Woads Galahad was reminded that although freedom was within their grasps and he had found the one person he wished to share his with...they could still die tomorrow...
Once the others had retired to their own tents, he had crept into Tristan's. The dark haired man had said nothing as he pulled him into an embrace. Skilled fingers had curled into his hair, pulling gently backwards to lift his head so Tristan could seal their mouths together.
The need for oxygen had forced the older man to break the kiss, a groan forming in his throat as the young archer moved forward to press kisses underneath the bearded jaw and down the scout's neck, raising his chin to allow access.
“I want you to claim me Tristan.”
“Gods...”Tristan said, his eyes rolling back in his head at the lips burning a trail down his throat.
“Please...make me yours...”
“I warn you now Galahad, if we do this you and I will be bound forever...no one will ever be allowed to lay a finger on you...” He ran a hand through the curly mop of hair as the youth looked up at him. “This is not a game or something to be done on a whim...”
“I want no other...” Galahad whispered against the exposed skin at the top of the scout's shirt. “I have always wanted you...”
Strong arms wrapped around him, sealing him in the other man's embrace as Tristan started to move the young archer backwards, laying him down on the blankets and thick furs that made the bed.
Galahad felt a flush paint his cheeks as Tristan started to slowly undress him, taking his time to acquaint himself with the flesh that was being revealed to him. There were very few pleasures Tristan took from life aside from battle, but as he looked down at the slim toned body underneath him, warm and alive...he finally knew what it was to crave his freedom.
Before he knew it, the dark haired man was on his back. Slender fingers slipped under his shirt, burning a trail that left the scout's flesh trembling under the touch.
A small groan escaped Tristan's lips as Galahad pushed the material up and warm lips replaced the fingertips, kissing and nipping at the scarred and tanned skin. Moving a hand away from the younger man's back, Tristan pulled the shirt up over his head, discarding it nearby.
Leaning back to straddle the other man's thighs, Galahad unlaced Tristan's breeches, leaning down to kiss the furred chest and firm stomach, earning another groan from the scout.
“I always knew you were a tease...”
Gently pulling at the youth's hair, he guided the other's mouth up to his own again, kissing him with all the unrestrained passion and desire he had been holding back. In a quick movement of his hips, Tristan rolled them over again so the young archer was underneath him. Pushing his breeches down his thighs and kicking them off, the older man pressed his body against that of the youth, causing the brunette to gasp and arch up against the hot and hard flesh.
“So beautiful...” Tristan said, watching the young archer's face as he rolled his hips, Galahad's teeth caught his bottom lip as his eyes fluttered shut. “Tell me what you want Galahad...” Blue eyes opened and a hand fisted his hair as the younger man arched against him again, grinding their erections together.
“I want you inside me...” Tristan's tongue darted out to swipe his bottom lip as he saw a blush stain Galahad's cheeks as the youth squirmed underneath him.
“Then you shall have me.” The scout pulled away, earning a small whine in protest. “Hush...” Reaching into a bag, he pulled out a vial of oil that he used to clean his blades “I mean only to make this easier for you...”
Galahad watched as he coated a hand and moved back between the archer's legs. Pushing the toned and slender thighs apart, Tristan pressed a finger against his entrance, eliciting a gasp as he slowly pushed the finger inside, his other hand holding Galahad's hips down as the younger man bit out a small cry at the intrusion.
“Gods...please...” Galahad's fingers gripped the thick furs underneath him as Tristan added another finger inside, scissoring them to open him up.
The scout looked down at the beautiful man underneath him, a light sheen of sweat on his skin as he writhed and moaned and wondered what he had done for the gods to reward him in this way. He looked up as a hand reached into his hair, twisting in the braids and pulling him into a kiss.
Withdrawing his fingers from Galahad's body, the dark haired man moved backwards to reach for the oil again. Pouring it onto his hands, Tristan coated his aching cock, biting back a hiss as the cool liquid touched his burning flesh.
Parting the archer's buttocks, he slowly guided himself into Galahad's body, the brunette urging him on despite the initial discomfort on his beautiful features.
Tristan let out a breath that he didn't realise he had been holding as he felt his hips press against Galahad's, the youth whimpering as he wrapped his arms around the scout's broad shoulders, the noises swallowed by Tristan's lips covering his own.
Moving his hips back, the dark haired warrior withdrew slightly before pushing forward again, feeling the archer's nails dig into his shoulders and his legs wrap around his hips.
Pulling his mouth away from Tristan's, Galahad looked up into the dark eyes above him, the next slow deep thrust pulling a gasp from him.
“Gods...you feel so good...” Calloused fingers ran through the dark curls that spread around the younger man's angular face like a halo before trailing along the bearded jaw.
A small smile pulled at the archer's lips, a finger trailing along one of the blue tattoos on the scout's sharp cheekbone, the piercing dark eyes watching him.
Tristan rolled his hips, slowly moving within Galahad at a leisurely pace, the thrusts slow and deep, each one causing the younger man to gasp and moan. He didn't want this to end, ever.
"Faster...please...” The young archer managed to gasp out, hooking his legs around the older man's hips. “Need this...need you...”
Wrapping an arm around Galahad's waist, Tristan braced the other by the brunette's head and began to move faster, his breath leaving him in short huffs with each thrust into the younger man.
Galahad clenched his jaw, trying his best to stifle his cries as Tristan plunged into him, his own aching cock rubbing against the scout's groin as he moved. Leaning forward, he buried his head into Tristan's shoulder, wailing into the tanned flesh as the scout's pace became almost frantic, grunts ripping from the other man's throat.
“Fuck...so...close...Gal...” The young archer was vaguely aware of the words being whispered in his ear, his own orgasm so close, causing his limbs to tighten around the scout. He felt Tristan's lips on his shoulder, mouthing the skin. Suddenly the older man tensed, biting down on the flesh of his shoulder as he shot into Galahad's body, blood hot and throbbing.
The pain of the bite and the heat of Tristan's orgasm sent Galahad over the edge, releasing between their joined bodies.
Galahad felt Tristan's tongue against the wound, soothing the sting before the warrior scout lifted his head, the normally stoic and calm exterior thoroughly ruffled. Galahad smiled, pushing the dark hair out of the older man's face, earning a chuckle.
Slowly easing himself out of the brunette, Tristan settled down next to him, both facing each other on the dark furs. Galahad felt himself being pulled close, strong arms wrapping around him and holding him tight and the slight scrape of the scout's beard as the older man pressed his lips to his sweaty temple
“What are you thinking?” He said, head resting against the strong furred chest of his lover.
“About us...what the future holds...” Tristan closed his eyes, focusing on the soft caresses on his skin, the smell of the boy's hair against his nose. “I have always lived my life in the here and now...but now...I have a reason to live...not just accept that what will be will be.”
Galahad raised his head and pressed a kiss to the tattoo on the scout's cheek, the older man's fingers brushing against his side.
“Galahad?” Leaning back, the younger man looked up into the handsome face. “I swear to you now...once this is over, I will give you the life you wish for.”
“I love you...” Galahad whispered, tilting his head back as the dark haired warrior leaned forward to kiss his throat.
“I love you too...in this life and the next...”
Will woke with a start, drenched in sweat and his heart racing. He could still feel the fur against his skin, the scent of the scout lingering in his nose like a wisp of smoke. Trembling, he rose from the bed, stripping his soiled t-shirt and boxers as he walked to the bathroom.
Turning on the shower, he stepped inside, hissing at the hot water against his clammy skin. Running a hand through his hair and down his face, Will sighed and bit his lip, his mind replaying the scene.
The worst part was that he had an appointment with Dr Lecter...Hannibal...and he honestly didn't think he could face the other man after the vision he had experienced...
Something had shifted...changed...
Will looked at Hannibal across the room and felt a thick heavy tension between them. It wasn't just him that had changed...
Hannibal seemed different too...
“I no longer know who I am...the visions I'm having are blurring with reality...I wake up from dreams with sensations more vivid than I can ever remember having...”
“These visions...what do you see?”
Will sighed, pushing his glasses further up his nose before clasping his hands together, lowering his head and not meeting the dark gaze of the doctor.
“I see...a previous life...I see myself in another time.”
“I'm a Sarmatian knight named Galahad...” Will said, missing the slight intake of breath from the older man. “I'm in an elite band who work under Artorius Castus...”
“And what do your visions and dreams entail?"
“Visions from my time as Galahad...the other knights...the enemies they encounter...”
“The other knights...do any make more appearances than others?”
“Just one...Tristan. He's a scout...” Chewing on his bottom lip, he glanced up at the other man.
“Does he look like anyone in this life?” Will nodded.
“...he looks like you.”
Hannibal stood up from his chair and drew tall, his hands behind his back as he faced the window. Will looked up again, eyes widening as his vision started to blur, the cultured doctor turning into the deadly warrior and back again, like shimmers of light.
The younger man gasped, blinking a couple of times. Hannibal reached down and pulled Will from his chair, his visage shifting slower and slower before it finally stayed on the doctor.
“You are not the only one who has experienced these visions...”
“You have too?” Hannibal nodded, Will's hand still in his own. “When did they start?”
“About the same time as yours, about a year and a half ago...they got stronger when we met.”
“Yes, I know...” Reaching out, Hannibal brushed his fingers against Will's cheek. “Do you feel a connection? Between us?” The younger man nodded, leaning into the touch.
“I do...There has always been something that has made me trust you...”
“And the knowledge that they consummated their relationship sexually?”
“I don't know...but being here, this close to you...it seems right.” Will replied, running a hand up Hannibal's arm, his fingers brushing against the hard bicep underneath the silk shirt and expensive jacket. “It seems...familiar...”
“I agree...” The older man said, slowly moving the arm not held onto by Will around the brunette's waist, pulling him in without startling him.
The visions had instilled something in him that he had never felt before...love, desire, protectiveness...all for Will...no one else.
Will let himself be drawn into the embrace, the feel and smell of the other man causing all the feelings that had been invoked by the dreams to come to the surface. A tear snaked down his cheek as Hannibal lifted his chin to face him.
“Why are you crying?”
“Because something happened...with them...after the vision of them together, I just got a sense that all the happiness and love was shattered by something.” Hannibal sighed, wiping the tear away. He had also felt that the two knights never achieved the peace they had hoped for...
“I felt it too Will, but remember...we cannot change what has already happened...” He said, smoothing the dark curls away from the younger man's face. “...only what is yet to come...”
Leaning forward, Hannibal sealed his mouth over Will's, sending a wave of memories, feelings, sensations over the two of them. The brunette clung to the older man, fingers clasping at the broad shoulders as the kiss went from gentle to all consuming as Hannibal parted Will's lips with his own, pushing his tongue inside.
The two pulled apart, content to stand in each other's arms and feel their combined heartbeats. Closing his eyes, Will pressed his face into the broad shoulder encased in the fine fabric and for a second...he thought he could feel braids brush against his cheek...
“It scares me to think that we don't know if we will live after tomorrow...”
“No matter what happens, I will find you...in this life or the next.”
“Swear it Tristan, swear that you will always find me.”
“I swear Galahad...wherever you are...I will always find you.”