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Exposing the Truth

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Will winced in pain, huddling over. He wanted to go home to his house and his warm bed and wrap himself around a hot water bottle until the pain subsided. He imagined he could feel his ovaries withering inside him as they tried to ovulate. The suppressants stopped his heat, stopped his omega scent, but nothing could stop the pain of his ghost heats.

Everything below his waist ached, even his thighs felt sore, but the slightest thing could set him off. He was too easily aroused, the ache changing into painful need, but he knew he had to keep it hidden. Omegas were incredibly rare and he couldn’t stand the thought of anyone finding out what he was. He was already labelled as fragile, as delicate. A failed policeman, a failed FBI agent, a weirdo with one skill that made him useful enough to keep around. He was lucky that Jack Crawford saw a use for him at all.

Omegas were so rare, so highly prized, that, if Will chose, he could quit his job, bond to some rich alpha and spend the rest of his life in luxury. Will had never wanted that. He’d never meet an alpha who wasn’t a brute in one way or another. From an early age he’d had to hide his true self away, never telling anyone how easily he could read them. How he could just look at a person and know what their intentions were. By the time he’d presented as an omega he was so used to keeping silent that it had been only natural that he hide that too.

Will put a hand to his belly to ease the ache and pulled another file towards him. Jeremy Olmstead, the latest Ripper victim, had been admitted to hospital five years previously. A hunting accident had driven an arrow through his thigh. The doctor that had treated him had been interviewed and cleared, but he wouldn’t have been the only doctor that Olmstead would have seen. Will dug further through the report looking for more names.

His heat was getting worse. His hole was dry and painfully tight, his stomach convulsing. The slightest thing made him aroused and nauseous.

A few agents walked past his desk, talking loudly and carrying coffee. Will looked away quickly. The stink of coffee filled the air and he wanted to tell them to hurry up, to get away from him as quickly as possible. Glancing up he saw that one of the agents was an alpha. His body language too confident, too sure of himself. Will flinched away, looking down at the admissions log he’d got from the hospital. It was a list of doctors who had been working in the ER when Olmstead had been admitted to hospital.

Will scanned it quickly, not really concentrating on it, as he strained his ears. He wanted the alpha agent as far away from him as possible. Suppressants had been mandatory for all government employees since the 1950s. By the Seventies they had become so common that everyone used them and scented as betas. It would be considered incredibly rude for an alpha to go out in public without suppressants. Secondary genders created inequality and had no place in modern society. Suppressants meant that alphas weren't at the mercy of their hormones; no need to mark their possessions with their scent, or fight with their alpha colleagues over the right to scent the workplace. As an omega, Will's scent would be considered inoffensive, but he had no wish to declare his gender to the world.

No-one was supposed to be able to spot the alphas, hidden among the betas. Will could tell though. He could see it in the way they stood, in their arrogance, in the way they tried to dominate everyone around them, even despite their missing scent. He hated them for it. Just as he hated that he had to keep his own gender a secret. He’d never even met another omega. He knew that there were some in Baltimore, but omegas were considered too fragile to do anything other than marry into money and breed hordes of children for their alpha. A bonded omega’s place was in the home and that was not the life that Will wanted for himself.

Will rubbed his painful abdomen again. The power and prestige of working for the FBI meant that many alphas were drawn to becoming agents. Will licked his lips, trying to put the thought from his mind. Even though this was only a ghost heat, dry and medicated, he still felt an echo of what his true heat would be like. How quickly this pain would turn to overwhelming need. How he would beg for an alpha cock to knot him.

Will adjusted his glasses and tried to focus on the names on the list. He couldn’t let himself become distracted from his work. He could never explain to Jack Crawford that he wasn’t getting anything done because he was an omega. The shame of being as weak as his gender were so often stereotyped as being was too great.

Hannibal Lecter was the first name on his list and the man was easy to research. He had quit working at the hospital and become a psychiatrist. He had a practice in Baltimore. Will checked his watch. It was a two hour drive, but Will wanted to get away from his desk. He wanted to get away from the stench of coffee and the posturing of scentless alphas.

He stood up, pulling on his jacket.

“Will, there you are. How are you finding things?”

Will startled, his stomach aching as he turned too sharply. Jack Crawford was walking towards him, trailing agents and trainee agents that he’d pulled in to help on the Ripper case.

“Fine, uh. Fine,” Will said, straightening his jacket. He blushed, knowing that it must look like he was leaving early. He didn’t want to say that he was going to interview someone because he didn’t want Crawford suggesting that he take someone with him. He wanted to go alone.

“Good,” Crawford nodded slowly. Will glanced up at him quickly. He’d been convinced that Jack Crawford would be an alpha, but after meeting the man in person, Will knew he was a beta; albeit one who copied a lot of alpha mannerisms. Crawford knew how to play the system, he knew how to look confident and powerful, but his reactions were always just a little slow, just a little fake. It shouldn’t matter that Crawford was a beta, but Will knew that many saw it as an advantage to be thought of as an alpha, even though it would be sexist to admit such a thing out loud. Will was glad that Crawford was a beta. “I know you wanted to start teaching this semester.”

Will shrugged awkwardly. He had wanted to teach, but there was something alluring about the Ripper kills that made him want to be part of the team that hunted the Ripper. He wanted to thank Crawford for bringing him onto this case. He looked up, opening his mouth to speak. A beta woman was standing just behind Crawford, she smirked at him. Her eyes sparkling with sadistic satisfaction at Will’s awkwardness.

“Yeah,” Will said, turning to look at Crawford’s nose as his hands fiddled with his jacket button. The beta woman scoffed quietly in Crawford’s ear but he didn’t seem to hear her. He nodded at Will and carried on walking. Will watched the group walk away and caught the last parting glare of the beta woman. He tried to retaliate by smirking back at her, but he knew it just looked like a pained grimace instead.

He tried not to hunch over too much as he made his way to his car. Two young women were standing near his car, giggling loudly as he approached. He kept his eyes down. He didn’t want to know if they were laughing at him or not.

The drive to Baltimore was peaceful, and it was almost a shame to arrive and leave the comforting warmth of the his car.

Doctor Lecter didn’t have a receptionist, so Will let himself in, slouching in the waiting room as he waited for the psychiatrist to see him. If he were that smirking beta trainee agent, he would sit up straight in his chair, he’d knock on Lecter’s door and demand immediate entry. Instead, he folded his jacket over his arm and rested it protectively over his belly.

Will didn’t have to wait long before Lecter opened his door.

His heart sank as soon as he saw Dr Lecter. The man was so obviously an alpha that anyone would have been able to tell. He wasn’t much taller than Will but the poise with which he held himself seemed to radiate strength.

“Dr Lecter? I, uh, I wondered if I could talk to you. I’m Special Agent Will Graham from the FBI. I was wondering if you could help me with a case we’re working on,” Will said, standing slowly. His eyes flicked up to Lecter’s face. The man’s eyes were reassuringly blank. Will saw nothing, Lecter projected no emotion at all. He swallowed heavily, letting his gaze meet Lecter’s for a few seconds before the doctor smiled and Will looked away.

“But, of course. Please,” Lecter stood back, holding the door open for Will, “Do come in.”

The doctor’s accent surprised Will, making him fidget with his jacket as he looked around the large room. Expensive pieces of art vied for attention between heavily laden bookshelves. Dr Lecter was a rich alpha who liked the finer things in life. He was unashamedly ostentatious; he liked to show off his good taste and intellectualism. He was a man with surgical experience.

Will’s stomach clenched again. His hole squeezing painfully as if his body actually could sense that Lecter was an alpha. He tried to keep the grimace of pain off his face but Lecter was watching him closely, his head cocked as he stood, examining Will with curiosity.

“I wanted to ask you about a man you might have treated when you were working as a physician.”

“I haven’t practiced medicine in some time,” Dr Lecter said with a sigh in his voice. The alpha’s large hand slipped into his pocket, ruining the line of his suit. Will watched as the cloth around his crotch wrinkled. “But, fortunately for you, I have a good memory. Please,” Lecter gestured towards a chair and Will sat, perching on the edge of his seat. There was something unnerving about Lecter but he dismissed it as just the effects of his ghost heat.

“Jeremy Olmstead,” Will blurted out as Lecter undid the button of his jacket and gracefully sat behind his desk. He was the obvious master of all that he surveyed.

Lecter paused, his face pulling slightly in embarrassment. For a man who had just previously been so able to mask his emotions the blatant embarrassment felt contradictory and false to Will.

“Perhaps not so good a memory after all. I don’t recall a patient with that name, but it sounds familiar.” Lecter leaned forward, his hands clasping on the desk; self-deprecating in a way that Will wasn’t used to alphas being.

“He was the latest victim of the Chesapeake Ripper,” Will said. He wanted to get out of here. The atmosphere in Lecter’s office was too cloyingly alpha. He shifted uncomfortably as he remembered how much he’d always hated talking to strangers. He did his best work when he could see a crime scene, not when he had to interview witnesses.

“That's why he sounds familiar, it was all over the news.”

“He was in a hunting accident, five years ago. He fell out of a tree-blind, stuck an arrow through his thigh. You were working in the ER when he came in.”

“I was?” Lecter’s eyebrows rose in surprise, his face open and easy to read. Will blinked in confusion.

“I got your name from the admission log,”

“Let me think. You’ll have to forgive me,” Lecter looked away and Will was struck by how much of a performance all this seemed, how gracefully Lecter seemed to convey the appropriate reactions. “I saw so many people in the ER - but not so many hunters.”

Will looked around, eyeing the door. He could continue this discussion another time, on a day when he was in less pain.

“I do vaguely recall a gentleman with an arrow wound. It was an unusual accident. I seem to remember he was brought in by a fellow hunter, but little else.”

Will nodded, standing slowly as his ovaries and anus both twitched so hard that he barely stopped himself from stumbling.

“I did keep detailed journals during those days. If you like I can get them for you. Maybe you’ll find something helpful.”

“That,” Will took a deep breath. If he could take away Lecter’s journals then he could spend all of the next day reading them at Wolf Trap. He could stay at home until the worst of his ghost heat had passed. He just had to stay a few more minutes in this alpha's den. “That’d be great.”

“If you’ll wait, I’ll be right back,” Lecter stood smoothly and made his way over to the ladder that led to the balcony that circled his office. His shoes clacked against each rung of the ladder and Will felt himself breathing easier now that he wasn’t being watched. He looked around again, wandering to a side table where a few pieces of paper had been left in a messy pile. Will bent slightly, clutching the table for support, as the pain in his abdomen worsened. He couldn’t be seen to be in pain. It galled at him to be weak like this, and he refused to let anyone know the reason why. Surely, if a physician saw him like this then they would suspect that he was an omega. His hand slipped, disturbing the papers and he gasped in surprise. It had been ages since a ghost heat had been this bad.

His eyes stared at the paper on Dr Lecter’s table, but he was in too much pain to understand what he was seeing. He screwed his eyes shut, hoping that the doctor would be away for a few more minutes, long enough for him to compose himself.

Something pressed against his back, hot and solid but Will had no time to react because arms were wrapping around him. Dr Lecter’s hand pressed to his throat as his cheek rubbed against Will’s hair, lowering his face into the curve of Will’s neck. The grip on his neck was too tight, Lecter was choking him, almost lifting him off the ground with just that one hand, but Will couldn’t make a sound of complaint. His body reacted on its own. The doctor’s suppressants may have nullified Lecter’s natural scent, but Will still knew that this man, this strong man pressing against him, was an alpha. Will’s back arched, his ass pressing backwards against Lecter’s crotch.

Lecter wasn’t hard.

Will mewled confusion. There was an alpha pressing against him, offering to help him through his heat, but he wasn't hard. Will rubbed against Lecter, his ass undulating, trying to get a reaction from him. Suppressants stopped him from producing slick but they couldn’t stop the overwhelming feeling of emptiness as he felt a soft alpha cock against his backside. The pain that he’d been in before sublimated into desire; he welcomed the pain, he yearned for his alpha to give him more. The rush of sudden desire rendered him thoughtless and eager for Lecter's touch.

He pushed his throat further into Lecter’s hand. Lack of air was making the edges of his vision blacken. Lecter pulled his hand away, rubbing gently at his neck. He kissed the side of Will’s head and it felt like a benediction.

“I apologise. Please, forgive me,” Lecter bent forward, pushing Will further over the table and sending papers flying. “I have never met an omega before. I didn't realize it would be quite so overwhelming.”

Will panted. His throat hurt. Lecter’s fingertips were still caressing his neck, stroking idle patterns into it that made Will shiver. A hardness pushed against his ass and Will stilled as he finally felt a hard alpha cock against him. It was bigger than he’d been expecting. The initial rush of adrenaline began to fade and Will realized what he’d done. After a lifetime of hiding his biology, of insisting that he was more than just an omega, he’d let himself become overwhelmed by the first alpha that recognised him for what he was. He didn’t want to bond with anyone, let alone some stranger. Bonding would be the end of his life as he knew it. He should be terrified, but he felt paralysed with need.

“How,” Will coughed, his voice sounding gravelly from what Lecter had done to his throat. It was a biological impulse for the alpha to want to mark an omega, but Will knew he should resent Lecter for what he had done, for not having more control over himself. "How could you tell?”

“Your ghost heat. You looked like you were in pain the entire time we spoke.”

Will nodded, leaning back against the alpha, feeling the heat of his broad chest. It felt good and Will let himself be held for a second longer, indulging himself before he turned out of Lecter’s embrace. He’d dropped his jacket when Lecter had grabbed him and it lay, crumpled, on the floor between them. Will didn’t pick it up, he did not want to kneel down before an alpha.

“You took your shoes off,” Will said in surprise, as he saw Lecter’s sock covered feet.

“I,” Lecter gave another embarrassed smile. “I only worked out that you were an omega when I was above. I didn’t want to startle you as I descended. It wasn’t terribly rational of me.”

Will looked up, taking in Lecter’s cheek bones and the crinkles around his eyes. The last person who’d known he was an omega was his father, and even then they had never discussed it as openly as Lecter was. It felt intimate and Will had the urge to run away as fast as he could, before Lecter changed his mind and grabbed him again.

“Have you always been on suppressants?

Lecter cocked his head, watching Will with almost reptilian fascination. He was the sort of man who always knew just how to behave, who planned out his every action, knowing exactly how the world perceived him. But Will had startled him, made him less sure of himself. Lecter wasn’t quite sure what to do with Will.

“Yeah.”

Will’s eyes, always so wary of looking into the eyes of those around him, seemed unable to look away from Lecter’s crotch. The alpha’s erection strained against his pants so that Will could see the exact outline of his cock.

“And you decided to work for the FBI,” Lecter’s tone was flat and unemotional but his words belied his curiosity. Will pursed his lips. He imagined he could even see the swell of a knot at the base of the doctor’s cock. He tried to look away, but he’d never been this close to an aroused alpha before.

“I didn’t want to spend my life on my back just because of an accident of birth!” Will snarled, finally finding the strength to look away from that tantalising crotch. He should be angry at the alpha for taking advantage, for using his superior strength against him, for knowing his deepest held secret.

“Not all accidents are mistakes, Special Agent Graham. Do the FBI know you're an omega?”

Lecter's tone was still calm, as if he were asking an idle question. To Will the question could only be taken as a threat. Would the doctor threaten to expose Will’s secondary gender to his employers? What did he want in return for keeping Will’s secret?

"It's against the law to discriminate against secondary gender!”

“Indeed it is,” Lecters acknowledged with a tilt of his head. "Although it is more common to hear of betas, or even alphas, facing prejudice."

Lecter bent down, retrieving Will’s jacket from the floor with athletic grace. He didn't hand it back to Will though, instead he folded it over the back of a chair and settled down next to it. Will watched him appraisingly, trying to put from his mind the way that his stomach was twisting awkwardly. He wasn’t sure if it was pain or arousal, but he knew he wanted to get away from Hannibal Lecter.

Lecter himself didn't seem to still be overwhelmed by having an omega in his office and he certainly seemed content to just study the omega in front of him. Will had always imagined that if any alpha did ever happen to find out his secret, then that alpha would react strongly. That they would bend him over the nearest piece of furniture to fuck him as hard as they could before they bit into his bonding gland. Lecter’s initial reaction to realizing that Will was an omega was what he had always expected. But then Lecter had stopped and Will, as relieved as he was, didn’t understand why.

Lecter was a proud man. Collecting an omega mate would be a triumph for him. So why had he let Will go?

"Have you been to see your doctor about the severity of your ghost heats? They should not be causing you this much pain. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different suppressant, or perhaps even coming off suppressants entirely for the duration of your heat. At the very least they should be able to offer you a painkiller."

"I don't..." Will walked around the office, putting one of the large chairs in between him and Lecter, "I don't have a doctor."

"Special Agent Graham," Lecter said in a chiding tone, as if he were telling off a recalcitrant child. "Whatever social impediment you feel revealing yourself as an omega would be it is not worth the risk to you health. How are you getting a prescription for suppressants?"

Will shrugged. The door was so close that he could almost touch it. Lecter, with his alpha speed and strength, would probably catch up with him before he got through the waiting room. Even if he did get away, Lecter knew his name and that he was hiding his secondary gender. He could imagine, in vivid detail, what Jack Crawford’s reaction would be if Lecter phoned him up to ask about the omega who was working on the Ripper case. Will would be out of the FBI without a second thought. He’d be fired for his own protection. Omegas were too delicate to have to deal with nasty things like murderers and corpses.

"I go to free clinics, different doctors each time. I can pretend to be an alpha."

"I'm sure," Lecter's voice had just the slightest hint of polite disbelief. "And you always ask for Novaceptan."

Will nodded miserably. It was the only suppressant that worked for both alphas and omegas. Other brands were solely for alphas and would not have had any affect on him.

Lecter’s loud sigh resonated around the large room, advertising his displeasure.

“I find myself at a loss. As a doctor it is my duty to help you in any way I can, but I fear my earlier loss of control will mean that you won’t be able to trust me. I presume that I am the only one that knows you are an omega?”

Will didn’t move a muscle but it seemed like enough of an answer for Lecter.

“I promise you, Agent Graham, that I mean you no harm. I have no interest in revealing your secret to the world.”

Lecter’s eyes caught the light, making them glint red. It should have looked monstrous and inhuman but Will rather liked it. If Lecter were normal then he would have bitten into his neck, they would be bonded by now and Will’s life would be ruined.

“Then,” Will said, clearing his throat, “If you could let me have any journals you have that mention Jeremy Olmstead, I can be on my way.”

Lecter grimaced.

“I’m afraid I can’t. English is not my first language and the journals are all written in my mother tongue. I would be more than happy to translate them for you.”

Lecter would have known the journals would be useless to Will back when he’d first offered them to Will. He frowned, unsettled slightly. Lecter’s cock was still hard. The way that Lecter was sitting, with his legs slightly splayed, seemed to have made it more prominent and Will watched it distractedly.

“I should go,” Will shifted his weight from foot to foot, stopping himself when he realized what he was doing. “I can come back and get your translations another time. Or you could just give me the journals and I’ll get an FBI translator to read them for me.”

Lecter face didn’t react, but something dangerous flashed behind his eyes. Despite all his civility there was a darkness to Lecter, something animalistic and primal that was at odds with the face he showed the world.

There was a knock on the door of Lecter’s office. For a second Will thought he was going to ignore it, but then the alpha stood, doing up the button of his tailored jacket. His erection was hidden and he looked completely respectable. No-one would have guessed what the two of them had been doing only minutes earlier.

Will turned away, not wanting to be seen by whoever was on the other side of the door.

“Doctor Hannibal Lecter?” Will turned as he recognised the voice, “I’m...Oh. Graham. You’re here. I thought you’d gone home.”

The beta woman who spent so much time sucking up to Crawford was standing in Dr Lecter’s waiting room. Her usual confident swagger dissolving as her shoulders sagged. She must have gone through his desk to find out what leads Will had been working on when he left Quantico that afternoon. She had driven to Baltimore to see Lecter so that she could prove to Crawford that she was better than Will, more useful.

“I’m Agent Miriam Lass.”

“Trainee Agent,” Will corrected spitefully. She shot him a look, but blushed even as she squared her shoulders. She was too brazen to admit that she had been trying to steal Will’s lead, to ever admit that she was at fault. Will envied her.

“Do come in, Trainee Agent Lass. Although I believe I’ve already answered all of Agent Graham’s questions.”

“Yes,” Will spoke up quickly before Lass could say anything else. He didn’t want anyone from the FBI talking to the man who knew he was an omega. “You’ve been very helpful, I don’t think we need to bother you any longer. I’ll give you my card and you can let me know when you finish that translation?”

Lecter inclined his head, although Will knew that alpha would have preferred if he stayed. Will picked up his jacket, searching through the pockets to find a card before Lass could jump in and offer hers instead.

“Here,” Will held out his card so that Lecter had to walk over to him. He hadn’t thought that Lecter was that much taller than him, but looking up now he felt almost overwhelmed. Lecter stood up so straight, his proud bearing so pronounced, that Will felt bidden to bend his neck. He didn’t see as Lecter reached for his card, but he felt Lecter’s large fingers gently stroke his own in a way that might, possibly, have been accidental. “Uh, how long do you think it’ll take you?”

He was vaguely aware of Lass, shifting uneasily in the doorway and eager to interrupt in any way she could.

“I’m not sure. Don’t worry, I will be in touch very soon.”

Will nodded, tripping over his feet as he turned away. Lecter’s large hand caught his elbow, steadying him so that he didn’t fall. Lass was still staring at the two of them and Will pulled his arm away from Lecter as quickly as he could.

“Great, good,” Will pushed passed Lass, not turning to say goodbye to Dr Lecter.

“Thank you for your time, Dr Lecter,” he heard Miriam Lass intone with all the efficiency of a trainee, so earnest in the belief that everything should be done correctly, even when she personally had no reason to thank Dr Lecter at all.

Will let the front door swing shut behind him and was halfway to his car before Lass caught up with him.

“You could be politer,” she began with a frown.

“Do you think it was polite to go through my desk?”

She stopped, her wide eyes looking at him pleadingly. She knew she’d overstepped her boundaries and this was her attempt to make amends. To make sure Will didn’t say anything negative about her to Crawford. Will looked away, not interested in her excuses. She was a pushy beta in a field run by alphas, even if no-one wanted to acknowledge the truth of that. He understood her, but he had no wish to listen to her.

“I had the same idea about talking to any other doctors that might have treated Olmstead. I did,” she paused and Will glanced at her pleading, puppydog eyes. “Really. And then I saw that you had the hospital admissions log on your desk. I wasn’t going to tell Crawford that it was my idea, just that I’d already interviewed some of the doctors. It’s such a long shot, Graham, I just wanted to get started on it.”

Not the entire truth, Will sighed to himself, but not terribly far from it.

“Don’t go through my things again. What if I had something personal there?” Will unlocked his car, getting in before Lass could say anything else.

She was so eager to prove her worth to Crawford, and Will knew he was exactly the same. He’d spent his entire life trying to show that omegas could be more than ornaments, that they could be useful. Even though, due to his suppressants, his efforts would go unnoticed by the world. No one would ever know what he, as an omega, had achieved.

All the years, the struggling against his biology, the stigma, the physical weakness, and it seemed as pointless to him now as Lass’ petty office politics. Someone else knew his secret, the one thing he'd always dreaded had happened, but he hadn't been forcibly bonded. Now all the secrecy, the loneliness, seemed pointless and his entire worldview lay shattered. Will drove home to his empty house. He hated the emptiness of it, he’d want to get at least one dog but he hadn’t dared. Omegas were said to love dogs, to surround themselves with as many dogs as possible due to their omegan pack instincts. An omega’s loyal dogs protected their children when their mate was away. Will yearned to take in the strays that he found, but it would too damning, too incriminating, if he did.

In his current mood, that seemed ridiculous. Plenty of betas had dogs. It was just another thing that he’d denied himself.

Will turned into his driveway and glared up at his empty house. How many other things had he sacrificed out of fear? What other pleasures had been denied to him because he’d thought it was impossible to live the life he wanted and openly be an omega?

His abdomen twinged as he got out of the car, reminding him of the ultimate sacrifice that he was making. Beta men didn’t have children; the only men who could get pregnant were omegas. He’d long ago given up on the idea of a family, but now he could see what he was missing out on so clearly that it hurt. He closed his eyes and let himself imagine. He could picture dogs barking excitedly, children running towards him, yelling out in happiness at their Daddy’s return. He’d bend down and hug them tight. Behind them was the blurry figure of an alpha; a mate who would always cherish him.

Will opened his eyes as the cold, evening wind hit his face. His house looked dark and gloomy, the unlit windows taunting him with their lifelessness. He trudged towards it. He’d always been so certain about what he would do with his life, so sure that if he were ever exposed as an omega that his life would fall to bits.

Hannibal Lecter had discovered his secret, had held Will’s fate in his hands, and yet had not crushed him as any other alpha would have done.

Will poured himself a large whiskey without bothering to turn a light on. Sipping it slowly as he made his way in the dark and sat back on his lonely couch. His back felt cold and he remembered the hot press of Lecter against his back, the hardness of his cock as it rubbed against Will’s ass.

He finished the last of his whiskey with a gulp and stripped off his clothes, getting ready for bed.

Hidden away in a drawer of his nightstand was something he’d bought back in New Orleans. He’d never even taken it out of the box, but he felt the urge to now. Still without turning the light on, he opened up the package and took out the dildo. There was no knot flaring the base of it, but Will shivered in anticipation. Something about today had fundamentally changed him. He could admit his desires, if only to himself. There was lube in the drawer as well and he covered the dildo and his fingers in it before lying down on the bed and spreading his legs.

He gave his cock a quick pump; he’d been hard since he’d started thinking about the dildo. He lifted his balls to feel for his hole. The angle was awkward but it didn’t matter. He gasped, his ghost heat making him so much more sensitive than normal. He pushed the tip of one finger inside him, swiveling his hips so that he could get a better reach. The finger slowly pushed inside, so sensitive that he cried out. The loudness of his own voice breaking the silent evening made him pause, but he was too eager to stop for long. He didn’t want to stretch himself, he wanted to feel the burn of the dildo. There was a slurping noise as he pulled his finger out of himself, as if, now that he’d finally decided that he would pleasure himself this way, his ass was greedy for anything.

The dildo was cold as he pushed it against his rim and his body resisted the intrusion. But he didn’t think about stopping, or stretching himself more first. He pushed up, getting the dildo about an inch inside him and screaming out loud. His ass stung but it didn’t matter because, finally, he wasn’t empty anymore. He tried to push it in a little further, panting as he did but he was too tense.

Will stopped, trying to calm down but his heart was racing and he couldn’t draw a normal breath. He tried to think of something exciting. He’d watched beta porn in the past, but he’d never found it arousing. He’d spent so long trying to persuade himself that he was asexual because there was no-one that he could ever trust enough to have sex with. Sex was too intimate, he saw too much of people’s minds. Worrying about whether they would think he was an omega on top of that was something he’d never wanted.

Will thought of all the alphas he’d ever met, trying to think of any that he’d ever found attractive. The feeling of Lecter against his back. The way that he could see the outline of his cock through his pants. Will pushed the dildo in another inch. Lecter’s thick cock looked like it would be double the size of the dildo. It would be almost impossible to take. Will shoved the dildo in another inch, trying to imagine what it would be like to be impaled on that monstrous thing.

He moaned as he finally got the dildo inside himself and slowly began to pull it out. His ass seemed to be gripping onto it, unwilling to let it go as it slid out of him and he began to fuck it back into his body.

His cell phone rang; the noise was loud and obnoxious. Will grunted, determined not to answer it. He was busy. Except it could be Crawford, or one of the other agents, letting him know that another body had been found.

He let go of the dildo and grabbed his phone from where he’d left it on his nightstand. He didn’t recognize the number, but there were plenty of agents whose number he didn’t have saved.

“Will Graham,” he answered curtly, trying to keep his voice steady. The dildo shifted inside him as his body slowly pushed it out.

“Special Agent Graham, it’s Hannibal Lecter. I’m phoning about the translation of my journal.”

“Oh!” Will gasped as the dildo fell from his ass, rubbing the sensitive skin of his rim as he listened to the smooth tones of the alpha he’d been fantasising about.

“Is this an inconvenient time?”

“No! Not at all, Dr Lecter!”

“Hmm, please, call me Hannibal,” Lecter’s low voice was a purr in his ear.

“Hannibal,” Will echoed. His ass felt damp with lube and stretched open, ready to be used.

“I didn’t find much about Mr Olmstead, I’m afraid.”

Will had the urge to put the dildo back inside himself. To fuck himself as he listened to the deep, calming tones of an alpha. He resisted.

“That’s fine. Whatever you’ve got is useful.”

“Perhaps you could come and collect the translation from my office tomorrow evening.”

“Yeah,” Will half sat up, resting his weight on his elbows. He almost felt disappointed. He’d expected the alpha to push for Will to visit his home, for some kind of attempt at seduction from Hannibal. “Yeah, that would be great.”

“I'd like to discuss your suppressants as well. I may have an idea that would make your heats more bearable.”

Will’s eyes widened. He could imagine exactly how an alpha could help an omega through a heat. He reached for his dildo again, feeling the girth of it in his palm.

“Yes, there’s a new drug on the market that nullifies the effects of an omega's heat entirely. I’d like to examine you before I give you a prescription.”

“That,” Will swallowed, trying to keep the disappointment from his voice. He barely knew the man, he shouldn’t be disappointed that he wasn’t being treated as some sort of sex kitten. That Hannibal was being respectful and actually giving him professional help. “That would be great. I’ll see you tomorrow evening, at the same time?”

“Wonderful. I shall look forward to it, Special Agent Graham.”

Hannibal hung up and Will sank back into the bed. The dildo was still in his hand but he wasn’t in the mood anymore. He threw it off the bed. It banged into the wall, and fell onto the floor. Will couldn’t see where it landed in the dark and he didn’t care. He hadn’t meant to throw it that hard but he was too annoyed to care.


His ghost heat was nearly over, which was a relief and a small comfort. Lass had somehow made Crawford believe that going through the hospital admission log had been a joint idea between Will and her.

Will couldn’t find the energy to care. When Lass volunteered to trace the other physicians who had been working in the ER when Olmstead was admitted he let her get on with it. He crossed Hannibal’s name off the admission log and spent the morning rereading the crime scene reports of every Ripper case. He couldn’t stop his right leg from bouncing up and down, making his desk shake slightly. He’d read all the reports before and he didn’t see anything new. There were too many people around his desk. Careless alphas walked past too often, their voices raised as they tried to dominate every conversation they took part in. Will lowered his head, his face only inches from the papers he was reading.

Time crept by slowly but he couldn’t see anything new in the case notes. An alpha knocked into his desk, spilling Will’s coffee. The woman walked on without bothering to apologize. Will was too busy trying to clear up the mess to yell at her.

Finally, after a day that felt completely wasted, he went to see Hannibal. The drive passed as slowly as the rest of his day and Will found himself speeding without intending to. He was excited to see this alpha. This was human contact that he was actually interested in. It was only when Dr Lecter opened his office door to show Will in that he remembered why he always shied away from social interaction. The smile slipped from his face and his excitement died. Dr Lecter was no different than anyone else, Will fidgeted awkwardly, looking at Lecter’s chin rather than his eyes.

“Agent Graham, thank you for coming.”

“Will,” he mumbled as Hannibal shut the door behind him. Will looked around slowly. The office looked exactly as it had yesterday. Something nagged at the back of Will’s mind, some stray idea was fighting its way to the front of his brain. The ostentation of the office, the careful presentation. Hannibal himself; the well-educated, European surgeon.

Hannibal smiled at him, showing slightly crooked teeth. If they had bonded yesterday then Will would have an imprint of those teeth permanently scarred into his neck. He gestured towards one of the chairs and Will sat down hurriedly, twisting in his seat to keep his eyes on Hannibal.

“As I told you over the phone, I’m afraid I found very little in my journals about Mr Olmstead,” Hannibal said, going over to the desk and picking up a single piece of paper. He held it loosely but made no move to hand it over. “I’m not really sure what use this could be to the FBI.”

Will was used to dealing with curious witnesses, people who wanted to exchange their knowledge for salacious information about the cases he was working on. He knew how to dismiss them, but this was Hannibal. The man who knew what he was and yet had only shown him kindness. An alpha who been more intimate with him than anyone else in the world.

“He was the latest victim of the Chesapeake Ripper,” Will began cautiously, aware that giving out any more information than that was risking his position on Crawford’s team but continuing anyway. “The Ripper arranged his body with the same wounds as the Mediaeval drawing of the Wound Man.” Will looked up, meeting Hannibal’s eyes. They flashed with some spark of emotion that Will didn’t catch and then went blank. “I thought it might be worth looking into any alphas who came into contact with Olmstead just after he received his arrow wound. It's too reminiscent of how his corpse was found, there's a connection between that injury and how his corpse was found."

Hannibal put the paper back on to his desk and clasped his hands in front of him. Will shivered slightly at being the sole focus of his attention. It made him nervous, although he couldn’t help but feel flattered. Hannibal was interested in his words, his ideas, rather than his omega body.

“I thought you were looking at physicians that treated him. Why restrict that list to just alphas?”

Will hesitated, licking his lips. He hadn’t meant to give away that much information, either about himself or the case.

“The Ripper’s an alpha,” he said it so boldly but when he’d said it to Crawford the previous week his voice had cracked. The information was practically useless anyway. Suppressants were so common that most people didn’t even know who was an alpha and who wasn’t. It was politer to assume that everyone was a beta. It was only Will, whose world was made of things he had no wish to see, who could pick out the secondary genders of those around him without needing to scent them.

“Really? Are you so certain that he’s an alpha? That seems like something that would take a lot to prove,” Hannibal’s tone was inviting, encouraging him to continue.

Will blinked, reflexively repositioning his glasses so they sat a little higher up his nose.

"It's..." He stopped. Hannibal was someone helping the FBI with their investigation, an alpha who knew that Will was an omega; those were both so important that Will had almost forgotten that the man was also a psychiatrist. He'd had to deal with too many psychiatrists in his life, he didn't want to invite another one into his head. "It's just obvious to me. I see things more clearly..."

Will huffed. It was a bad explanation and he knew that saying something that provocative to a psychiatrist was like waving a red flag in front of a bull. He wondered if he'd done it on purpose because Hannibal's attention was still glued to him as if he were the most fascinating thing in the entire world. Will sat up a little straighter.

"I see," Hannibal said slowly. "You have a very interesting job, Will. I can understand why you chose this lifestyle."

Will nodded, flinching slightly. He couldn't understand why he'd chosen this lifestyle anymore. He couldn't face another evening like last night; driving home to his empty, barren house and simply waiting for the next day to begin. A day he would spend hiding himself away from the alphas and betas that surrounded him. Occasionally peering into the minds of killers and briefly finding company there.

Hannibal came over, handing him the paper without bending over. Will tried to avoid looking at his crotch but it was right in front of his face. The lines of his pants were straight, with nothing bulging out. Will bit his lip and looked at the paper that he was being handed. There were only a few lines written in an elegant copperplate. Will scanned them quickly before folding the paper and shoving it into his jacket pocket.

"Thank you, Hannibal," it was an almost physical effort to say the man's first name.

The alpha smiled down, his heavy lips twisting in a way that made Will think the smile was fake. He looked up to Hannibal's gleaming eyes and saw his pleasure. The alpha was truly pleased with himself.

"What I said about the Ripper case," Will began haltingly, "I shouldn't have told you anything. Would you, could you not tell anyone, please?

“I think we proved yesterday that what occurs in this room is purely for our own benefit.”

Will nodded, his body relaxing. Of course he could trust Hannibal. He leaned back in his chair, watching Hannibal's face as he undid the button of his jacket and sat down in the chair opposite Will. The alpha took his time, adjusting his clothes and making himself comfortable. There was something very satisfying about the performance and Will could not look away.

“Now, perhaps we should discuss your change in medication. I can write you a prescription this afternoon and we should arrange an appointment for a week’s time. That way we’ll able to talk about how well they’re working. Would that be acceptable?”

Will nodded again. He hadn't been sure what Hannibal had meant when he said that he would examine Will, but he'd hoped to feel those powerful hands pushing against his skin once again. Will swallowed his disappointment. Hannibals willingness to prescribe suppressants for Will was much appreciated, but it was hardly ethical. What else would Hannibal do if he didn’t think that rules applied to him?

“This is for you, Will.”

Will looked up sharply, the handsome doctor smiled at him, holding out a prescription like Will held out treats for stray dogs. As temptations to calm them down so he could pet them. Hannibal might have stopped himself from forcing Will into a bond yesterday, but that didn’t mean that Hannibal didn’t want him. Will could see his hunger, dark and all-consuming, not just because Will was an omega but because he was fascinating to Hannibal.

Will had always assumed that he’d rebel against anyone that wanted him that much, but he reached out and took the prescription. Hannibal's eyes tracked his every movement. Will tried to hold himself a little better, the alpha's attention made him feel powerful rather than uncomfortable.

“It is such a shame that we live in a world where you need to take suppressants. Where others can’t simply appreciate you without wanting to take.”

“I suppose,” Will said, acutely aware that it was beginning to get dark and yet Hannibal had not turned any lights on. Shadows had begun to streak across the room. “I suppose that the same could be said of alphas.”

Hannibal inclined his head in agreement although not a muscle moved on his face. It was a perfect mask and Will wanted to rip it from him.

“May I offer you a glass of wine? It has been a long day and I have been looking forward to relaxing with good company.”

Will spluttered, feeling like an awkward teenager rather than the adult he was. He wasn’t sure he’d ever been considered good company.

“I should be getting home,” Will said, his eyes on Hannibal’s shoes. The doctor was silent and Will’s eyes drifted up to his crotch again.

“To look after your dogs?” Hannibal asked. It was a natural assumption that any omega kept dogs.

“I don’t… I wanted to have at least one, but I always thought that it would be too suspicious.”

“Omegas are hardly the only gender that own dogs, Will,” Hannibal said reprovingly.

“I know,” Will looked up, finally meeting Hannibal’s eyes, “I guess, recently, I’ve been thinking about what else I’ve given up to work at the FBI.” Will blushed, looking away in embarrassment at his own candor but Hannibal just smiled. Will stood up quickly, standing still as he waited for Hannibal to show him to the door.

“It would be a shame to waste such an interesting mind, Will,” Hannibal said in low voice as he rose slowly. Will watched the top of Hannibal’s head as he stood, the neatly groomed hair of a perfectionist who was always aware of the impression he was making on those around him. Will’s eyes stayed on his hair even when Hannibal was standing upright. What would that hair look like if Will ran his hand through it, mussing it up? How would Hannibal react if Will reached over and ran his fingers through that groomed hair right now?

“I will call you to arrange our next meeting,” Hannibal said opening the door for him. “You’ll find that Diocyn has to be taken more frequently than Noveceptan but I don’t see any reason why that would be a problem.”

Will nodded vaguely as he walked past Hannibal, only remembering to thank him as he stepped outside.

“Thanks, for this and the translation.”

Hannibal smiled at him, it was a thing of darkness but Will felt something like desire coil in his belly. Hannibal was a man who, despite the veneer he had layered over himself, didn’t care what the humans around him thought was right. He hadn’t treated the omega that he’d found in the same way as any other alpha would have done; he hadn’t fucked him, raped him, instead he was protecting him from the world. Cherishing him in a way that wasn’t entirely legal, but Will didn’t care about that. Society’s morals had always worked against him, why should he care about morality now?

His phone rang, breaking his train of thought.

“Graham, it’s Lass. They’ve found another Ripper body,” Lass began tersely. In the background he could hear Crawford barking orders. Will listened with half an ear, his eyes still on Hannibal. The alpha's head was cocked, almost as if he were listening in to Will's phone call, even though he was standing too far away to be able to actually hear anything.


Lass was waiting for him at the start of the trail, as if Will wouldn't have been able to follow the parade of FBI agents that were working their way through the woods to the spot where two joggers had found a corpse.

"It was called in an hour ago. Deceased is a male beta. Head trauma and genital mutilation. Crawford's sure it's the Ripper."

Will didn't respond, instead slipping his hand into his pocket to finger the folded prescription that Hannibal had given him. He wondered what it would be like to be bonded to an alpha, to perpetually carry a trace of their scent wherever he went for the rest of his life.

"Can you...I need space to concentrate," Will said, making brief eye contact with Crawford.

"We're all concentrating,Graham," Lass huffed. He didn't need to look at her to feel her desperation, her need to succeed, to prove herself to Jack Crawford.

"One minute," Crawford said resignedly as he stepped back. It wasn't far enough, Will didn't have enough room. He could still feel the heavy gazes of the agents and the trainees. He tried to push the feeling away and concentrate on the corpse.

This is your fault, this is what you deserve. I push you down. This is where you meet him, your alpha lover. This is where I'll kill you so that he can find your body. I smash your head against the ground. This is where that alpha fucked you before you came home to me, not even bothering to make sure all the leaves and dirt were out of your hair. I get out my knife, slicing your clothes. I want you to be found naked so the world can see you for the whore you are.

You took an alpha lover. That makes you an omega, weak and pathetic, hardly a man at all. I slice into your penis, cutting it in half. Now it's the length of a little omega's cock. You scream weakly, the blow to the head and the fast flowing blood rendering you unconscious in seconds. You will never wake up. I'll find your alpha next. I'll kill him for touching my mate.

I take your severed penis with me. It's a reminder to me of the love we used to have.

"It's not the Ripper," Will said, opening his eyes. Lass glared at him, her hostility slowly melting as she began to see him as a useful tool rather than potential rival. Will wanted to vomit. There was bile in the back of his mouth.

"Are you sure?" Crawford barked out, his low alpha-like growl made Lass jump to attention.

"He was killed by his mate, a beta. He was cheating on her with an alpha. She castrated him to, to make him more like an omega."

The words come out of Will's mouth although he can hardly bear to say them.

"An omega?" Lass said in surprise. Will backed away, he didn't need to hear her thoughts about omega scarcity. The trunk of a tree struck his back and he stopped, shivering slightly in the cool morning breeze.

"It's to punish his alpha lover, this is his fault for taking a beta lover. He should have known to stick to his own kind."

Lass scoffed. It was an outdated and unreasonable idea. There were so few omegas that if society still believed alphas and betas couldn't mate then almost every single alpha in the world would be mateless. Alphas might not be able to bond with betas or procreate, but it had been at least a hundred years since alpha-beta relationships had been considered risqué.

Will opened his mouth to explain that wasn't how he felt. He didn't care about alpha-beta couples, it was the killer, mad with jealousy, that felt like that. The words stalled in his mouth. The echo of the murderer's feelings were still in his mind. He thought of Hannibal with a beta. Of that massive alpha cock being pushed into an unaccommodating beta asshole.

“The killer will go after the alpha next.”

Crawford sighed, nodding his head dismissively. This wasn’t a Ripper kill and Crawford’s attention had already waned. He didn’t truly care about catching this killer, or preventing the death of the alpha boyfriend. Will slunk away, slipping unnoticed around the forensic team. He could taste Crawford’s disappointment and he hated it. He wanted more than second-hand emotions.


He was driving home when he realized. The clues didn't fall logically into place; instead, the idea slipped into his mind fully formed and incontrovertible. Hannibal was the Ripper. Will braked, pulling over to the side of the narrow country road. The knowledge sat in his head, heavy and devastating. He could ruin Hannibal with what he knew. Just as Hannibal had had the chance to ruin him. Hannibal could still ruin him and probably would if Will told Crawford.

If.

It was such a small word, but it's mere presence in his thoughts could change his entire life. Will gripped the steering wheel, holding it tightly as he tried to remember why the Ripper had to be stopped.

The urge to report Hannibal was solely to win Crawford's approval. Would Crawford approve of Will if he knew what he was, if he knew he was an omega? Would catching the Ripper allow him to be open about his gender? Will doubted it. He'd be applauded for a job well done and then politely asked to leave.

There was something else though. He'd never dreamed of wanting an alpha before he met Hannibal, and now he was dreading arriving home to an empty, childless house. He wanted the family he'd never had. He wanted an alpha who would never leave him, who would never abandon him like his mother had when she'd left him and his dad.

The Ripper was a creature of darkness and hunger. To let himself fall into Hannibal's clutches would be to tie himself to the Devil himself. Hannibal would possess him, never letting him go. He would kill for Will, for their children.

He remembered, in vivid detail, every Ripper crime scene he'd visited, every bloody, mutilated corpse. The horrific photos and their accompanying reports that he'd spent so many hours studying.

Will got out of the car. The sun was setting, tinging the evening sky pink.

He remembered, back when he'd first become a cop, how he'd slipped into the mindsets of the cops around him; mimicking their ideals as easily as he mimicked peoples emotions. Those ideals were slipping away from him now. What he wanted from his alpha were things that no normal, moral, person could give him. Hannibal's love would be terrible but it would never waver. He would treasure Will, he would keep him close with single-minded passion, but unlike every other alpha Will knew, Hannibal wouldn't crush him completely. Hannibal had released Will, when any other alpha would have raped him and, for that alone, Will trusted him in a way that he had never trusted anyone else before.

Will smiled, his mind made up. Returning to Wolf Trap didn't seem so awful now that he knew exactly what he wanted. So far he had captured Hannibal's attention by offering the narcissist the FBI's insights into the Ripper, like an artist hungry for praise. But Will wanted so much more than that, he wanted Hannibal's bite. He paused as he shut the car door.

What use did a surgeon have for trophies of human organs? Knowing the man that Hannibal was it seemed more likely that the organs were taken so that he could take a second victory over his victims. That he vanquished his victims completely, consuming them as the pigs they were. Hannibal was eating the trophies that he ripped from his victims.

Will let out a deep breath, but his body wasn't revolting against the idea. He didn't feel sickened. Hannibal would be an alpha who truly hunted for the food he provided his mate and Will would be the focus of that deep and mighty passion. With a smile, Will started his car and drove away.

He didn't forget the Ripper's kills. The twisted organs and the stench of blood. But now he could truly appreciate them as the works of art that they were and as he drove away his heart was lighter than it had been in years. Hannibal, once Will convinced him that they should bond, would want him to come off his suppressants. He would want to show off his bondmate. The idea of openly scenting as an omega had always terrified Will. But, with the Ripper as his alpha, Will knew he would be invincible.

He used his dildo again that evening. It pushed into him more easily this time as he squeezed his eyes shut and imagined it was Hannibal fucking him. It occurred to him, as he skewered himself on the knotless plastic that he would have been able to see Hannibal was the Ripper much sooner if he hadn't been overwhelmed by lust every time he saw him. His hole spasmed around the dildo and he imagined Hannibal's hands on his hips, holding him close as he bred him. Hannibal's hands would caress his swollen, pregnant stomach as he whispered in his ear; as he offered to lay waste to the world for Will, in exchange for Will's love.