It starts, as most things related to Hannibal do, with food.
Hannibal always brings his own lunch to the office, and as his meetings with Will become more and more frequent, he brings lunch for Will as well. At first with the excuse that it would be rude not to, then to try a new recipe, and finally just because he feels like it.
“Do you bring all your clients food?” Will asks, stabbing at his poached salmon with unnecessary aggression.
“No,” Hannibal answers, and it’s left at that.
Lunch eventually moves into dinner, after Hannibal states that he’s been the epitome of rudeness, having invited Jack Crawford over for dinner and not Will. Will accepts, after some coaxing, and finds himself seated across from Hannibal at the doctor’s elaborately set table that evening.
Halfway through the meal and two glasses of wine bolder, Will sets his fork down.
“Are you courting me?”
Hannibal pauses, fork half way to his mouth. “I beg your pardon?”
“You’re like – “ He struggles to find the right metaphor, scratching at the perpetual stubble on his jaw. “You’re like a cat. Bringing mice and birds to his pet human.”
“You think I’m a cat.”
“I think you think I’m your pet human.”
Hannibal laughs, warm and genuine, and doesn’t deny it.