Be it the early sunrise light slanting through the windows, or some other thing altogether, Will is awake at 4:30 a.m.
And he is watching Hannibal sleep.
The summer sunrise is pink and gold, pouring like molten metal through the needles of the cedar trees around the house, and is falling across the bed like the petals of faded blooms.
Will shifts closer, trying to move as little as possible. It’s quite rare that he wakes up before the older man, and never has Hannibal stayed asleep once Will was awake.
Will inhales deeply through his nose and presses forward, smelling the shared scent of them. Clean warm skin, fresh sheets, wood smoke, orange peels and bergamot. The sweetness of their mixed sweat, and the briefest suggestion of sex from last night.
With the most careful of nudges, Will presses his forehead to Hannibal’s. Their skin is warm where it touches, hot even, and so beautifully familiar. Their breath mingles in a soft tumble between their faces, damp and close.
In sleep, Hannibal’s face is softer. There is no careful set to it, or constructed mask for the monster to hide behind, although there rarely is at all these days, even when he is awake. His eyes are gently closed, the creases from decades of smiling that lay across his cheeks and onto the bridge of his nose, slack and relaxed. Will looks at each tiny vein on his eyelids, smiling to behold them.
He admires the fine architecture of his brow bone and how it blends into his nose, straight and aristocratic, delicately pointed. That nose that could smell fresh blood from an impossible distance, and discern the most complicated of spices and herbs in any combination.
Will lifts one hand and gently touches the fringe, now so silver and slate as opposed to the dark blonde of the past. Will brushes it aside, only for it to fall back across his forehead in a gentle arch.
Will lifts his fingers and carefully draws them down, ensuring he doesn’t bump Hannibal or jostle the blankets enrobing them.
He admires his lips, full and wide. Those lips…Will’s breathing hitches as they flex ever so slightly in sleep. They are the colour of fresh blood cast across glass, of the flesh of a ripe plum. The cupid’s bow is wide and delicious, begging to be nibbled, licked and kissed until it flexes and yields.
Will knows what pleasures that mouth can wrought. What destruction, what poisonous cloth it can weave. He shivers knowing how it feels on his skin, how it tastes, how it hides that tongue, sometimes soft, sometimes barbed or forked with the wickedest of intent.
Will gently touches the lower lip with one finger, feeling the unbearably soft skin.
In his sleep, Hannibal sighs, and the hot breath rustles his bangs ever so slightly, making Will smile wide.
Will’s gaze is drawn to the little scar across the top of one cheekbone. He isn’t sure where it’s from. From Jack? From his childhood? It doesn’t matter.
Will sees more of them; across his lip, across the bridge of his nose, in his hairline, under his chin, even on the soft skin of his throat.
He doesn’t know where they’re all from. Someday, he might, but he’s alright not knowing for now.
Will drifts back to the gently closed eyes, and the dark lashes casting tiny shadows.
Slowly and carefully, he leans in and presses the smallest of kisses to one of them.
With a deep breath, Hannibal awakens just slightly. Will watches, smiling, as the eyes flicker open, revealing the dark amber and port wine irises, the striations therein flexing as his pupils adjust to the light.
Hannibal focuses on Will and inhales deeply, humming in sleepy acknowledgement. His arms snake around Will, pulling him into his body. Will is turned by strong arms caressing him, legs winding into his as he is pulled back into Hannibal’s warm, furry, delightfully naked torso.
Will feels that gorgeous face bury into his hair and neck, inhaling deeply. Hannibal curls himself around him, arms tightly cinched around Will’s torso.
“If you’re quite finished.” Hannibal grumbles into him, and sighs again.
Will lets his eyes slide closed, grinning as he does so.
Wrapped in the arms of the monster he loves more than comprehension or sensibility should allow, Will is unbearably happy.