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Vita Nouva

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 “When people would ask,

 ‘For whom has Love so undone you?’

I, smiling, would look at them and say nothing.”

- Dante Alighieri

»»————————————««

“Yep, looks like our killer took the heart, lungs, and both eyes,” Beverly Katz explains, taking her hands out of the newest victim’s gaping chest cavity. She removes her gore-soaked gloves and pushes the goggles off her face and onto the top of her head. Zeller and Price move in after her to finish examining the rest of the organs—the ones left, that is.

“The eyes?” Jack Crawford inquires with an air of disbelief, looking around at his team for answers like he always does. “I thought the Ripper was eating the trophies. What does a cannibal want with two eyeballs?” 

“Maybe he is eating them, too?” Price suggests unhelpfully but with good intentions, raising his head up a fraction from the examination table.

“Yeah, who are we to yuck the Ripper’s yum?” Zeller adds, waiting for laughs and getting none. Jack sends him a dirty look and he immediately backs down, raising his hands and shrugging innocently. Beverly just rolls her eyes and turns back to the actual adults in the room. The brainstorm comes to an expected halt.

“He’s not eating the eyes,” Will finally says, breaking the grim silence with even grimmer news. He and Hannibal are standing in the corner with their backs against the wall, the former observing the pale blueish body while the doctor observes Will.

Jack turns around to face the two men, confused and visibly frustrated. “You told me he’s eating his victims. So why would he want the eyes if not for that?”

The rest of the team knows better than to disturb Jack and Will when they are theorizing (or, more accurately, when Will is theorizing and Jack is yelling), so they just sit back and watch the scene unfold, hoping things don’t get too ugly. At least Doctor Lecter is there to do damage control with Will after the meeting, if needed.

“He is eating the lungs and heart, but the eyes are exactly what you said: a trophy,” Will retorts in a sharp, defensive tone. Though it doesn’t sound like he is defending himself, it seems, but the Ripper.

“Why the sudden change in M.O.?” Jack pushes, further sending Will into the mind of their unnamed killer, not thinking about the consequences. Hannibal, like the good doctor he is, can’t help but think about the recklessness of the situation. He is worried for Will in moments like these, and resents Jack’s insistent rudeness. Yes, he is the one responsible for putting the victim on the table, but Jack’s rude behaviour is entirely his own design. 

“The Ripper thinks his victims are no better than pigs, we know that much, but the eyes symbolize something else for him,” the profiler explains solemnly, “something sacred.” 

Jack lets out a pronounced and obnoxious huff, recollecting his scattered thoughts before continuing: “So what does this mean?”

Will cocks his head to the side, looking into the empty eye sockets of the corpse, dreamily and almost affectionately, as if they might return his gaze. “It means the Ripper is showing us his face.”

The room stays deadly silent as everyone hesitantly watches Will look at the victim. Once Jack’s body language seems to insinuate satisfaction, Hannibal gently places his hand on Will’s shoulder, coaxing him back from the precipice of no return. 

And for once, much to everyone’s collective surprise, Will seems to come back to the present with ease. He even looks around the room, engaged, indicating to all present that Ripper has left his mind for the time being. Jack actually looks genuinely impressed with him.

“This is a good thing, everyone,” Jack announces authoritatively, quickly moving the attention away from Will Graham. “Now we know that the Ripper does have a heart of his own, and more importantly, a weakness. Once we know what that weakness is, we are closer to finding our man.”

Everyone nods, including Will, accepting the tentative conclusion. Jack proceeds to bark out orders to Katz, Price, and Zeller, before turning to look at Will, who is actually looking back at him for a change, rather than down at his own feet. “Good work, Will,” Jack tells him sincerely, trying not to sound thrown off by the sudden change in character. “You may return to your classroom and I will give you any updates if I have them.”

Will, still maintaining eye contact, agrees. “Yes sir,” he utters politely, before walking out of the room and back to the lecture hall. Hannibal starts to go with him, but is quickly called back.

“Doctor, I would like a word with you,” Jack asks, “if you have the time.”

“Of course, Jack,” Hannibal replies courteously. “I always have time for friends. What can I help you with?”

Meanwhile, all three medical examiners pretend to be keeping busy looking at parts of the corpse they had already taken notes on, and Zeller even pretending to write on his paperless clipboard with a pen that still has the cap on. Whatever is about to go down, they are not about to waste their front-row seats. It takes a special individual to bring out the human side of Jack Crawford.

“I just want to tell you what a positive change I see in Will lately,” Jack recounts to Hannibal, using a fond tone of voice that sounds foreign to his employees. “He seems focused, even making eye contact with the rest of the team more than he used to. An incredible breakthrough considering he falls on the spectrum. You’re doing a great job with him, doctor.” 

Hannibal lifts his chin proudly, happy to hear such praise on both his and Will’s behalf. “Jack, please, the success is Will’s alone,” Hannibal replies, ever the diplomat. “We have been doing exercises to assist in his nonverbal communication abilities, and the results have been quite beneficial.”

Jack looks at Hannibal, evidently happy with the results as well. He slaps a hand down on the doctor’s back amicably. “Yes, they have. Whatever you are doing, keep it up,” Jack says lightly, giving a chuckle.

“Oh,” Hannibal smiles at Jack in return, “I certainly plan on it.”

The two men proceed to walk out of the morgue. The remaining few quickly drop the act of productivity. 

“They are so fucking,” Zeller decides aloud, nodding his head up and down as if he is absolutely certain on the matter. Beverly gives him a look of disdain and Price jumps in: “Who? Crawford and Doctor Lecter?” 

Zeller’s face turns visibly sour at the image of their boss fucking the FBI informant, mentally cursing Jimmy for even bringing it into his head. “God no, of course not. I am talking about Hannibal and Will. It’s obvious they’re boning.”

Price shrugs his shoulders nonchalantly. “Jack and Hannibal are two attractive men, why shouldn’t they fuck?”

“Shut up, Jimmy!” Zeller snaps at him, the thought entering his head once more. “They are both old, and plus Jack is straight and married.”

Beverly suddenly looks tired, growing weary of listening to them banter all the time. “Both of you can shut up.”

Price lets out a laugh and the other man throws his hands up. “Look,” Zeller starts again, “ever since Will Graham started ‘therapy’ he has stopped being such a fucking creep. It’s obvious Hannibal is screwing his brains out.”

Beverly hates to admit it, but Zeller is actually onto something about the pair. Their relationship doesn’t seem to adhere to the typical doctor-patient dynamic. Price also knows it, and can't help but wonder to himself whether Hannibal is getting paid by Jack to be Will’s so-called ‘psychiatrist.’ Maybe he did go down the wrong career path, after all.

“I mean, the way they look at each other is really…” Price trails off, looking for the right word to describe it, “intense.”

“See?” Zeller exclaims dickishly, poking Beverly in the back before she smacks his hand away. “Bev’s just mad because I am a better detective than she is.” 

“If you’re such a good detective then who is the Chesapeake Ripper?” Price teases, and Beverly attempts to conceal a snigger.

“You tell me, Jimmy!” Zeller snaps back at him, evidently set on proving his theory. “The point is, Will and Hannibal are probably fucking right as we speak.”

“Hannibal just left the room thirty seconds ago, and plus Will’s classroom is at the other side of the build—” Jimmy is promptly cut off by a nasty look from Brian, which shuts him up instantly.

“You guys are the worst,” Beverly complains with a firm tone of finality, thinking about how her younger brothers are more tolerable than these two. “And even if they are having sex, Hannibal doesn’t seem like the public-indecency type.”

»»————————————««

The lecture hall, completely void of students, is filled instead with the sound of loud, desperate moans falling from Will’s kiss-swollen lips. The noise reverberates off the walls and echoes throughout the room. Neither man thinks about whether they could be heard from outside of the locked door, though they probably should. 

“Oh fuck! Harder.”

Hannibal currently has the FBI profiler crudely bent over his own teaching desk at the front of the empty room, pants around his ankles as he begs to be fucked hard and fast. To which, of course, Hannibal gladly obliges.

Will grasps at the sides of the desk as his psychiatrist thrusts into him at a punishing pace, hitting his prostate over and over again until he is seeing stars.

(It should be noted that every time they fuck Will believes their sex could never get any better, to which he is consistently proven wrong. This is certainly one of those times.)

On a particularly hard thrust, Will allows his forehead to fall against his students’ papers, lying strewn across the top of his desk, temporarily forgotten. “Yes,” Will mumbles, almost to himself. “You feel so fucking good, Hannibal.”

In their last few weeks spent together in a haze of debauchery and pleasure, Hannibal has discovered that Will has quite the smutty mouth on him. “Filthy boy,” he responds in a low but amused voice, followed by a hard smack to Will’s ass. He has also discovered that Will—to put it in colloquial terms—likes it rough, meaning that the younger man has been walking around with prominent bites and bruises that never quite seem to heal properly; and when they do, they are quickly replaced with fresh ones. 

“Again, hit me again,” Will begs further, practically babbling. Hannibal can’t help let out a chuckle at his expense, which causes a blush to break out across Will’s already flushed cheeks.

“No,” he responds curtly, grabbing Will by the hair and pulling him up to an almost-standing position, never letting the pace of his thrusts falter.

The sudden shift forces Will to cry out and throw his head back against the doctor’s clothed shoulder. Next thing Will knows, Hannibal's hands have left his hips and the top buttons of his shirt are falling to the floor, leaving his upper body is on display. Once his skin is laid bare, Hannibal presses kisses into whatever flesh he can find before sinking his teeth behind his neck. Will lets out a sharp hiss, relishing in the bittersweet feeling of pain and pleasure that so often intoxicates him beyond reason.

Hannibal licks away the blood where it begins to flow from the bite, keeping it at bay before he can properly see to it afterwards. He runs his hand over the freshly made teethmarks, collects the bright red liquid pooling there, and brings his bloody fingers to Will’s lips, to which he opens his mouth and sucks on them eagerly.

Mouth full, Will turns his head around slightly to meet Hannibal’s eyes, which are looking directly back at him. God, how he loves them. His mere gaze has come to symbolize everything Will wants to be and more, as though the entire universe is swimming in those earth-coloured irises. And so Will loves looking into his eyes whenever he possibly can: when Hannibal is sucking his cock or he is sucking his, when they fuck like depraved animals just as they are in this moment, or even when they make love slowly over the course of an evening, falling into bed and refusing to rise until sunlight seeps through the blinds. But perhaps most of all, Will loves looking at Hannibal when they are standing separately in a room full of people, and suddenly their eyes meet like old lovers, and Will is instantly saved from slipping into himself like he used to.

Instead, one look at Hannibal and Will is slipping into the older man, and his heart feels fuller and fuller with every passing moment. Will knows deep down that this is what love feels like—true, deep, maddening affection—but he refuses to let his mind wander down such harrowing halls. They have yet to discuss what their newfound intimacy means for their relationship, and Will isn’t about to ruin it by asking.

Before he can continue to spiral down into those thoughts, Hannibal pulls his fingers out of Will’s mouth and uses them to turn his head, catching him in a passionate kiss (sometimes Will is almost certain that the doctor can actually read his mind). Leftover on Will's lips is the metallic taste of blood, and Hannibal hums with content. As they meet in a slow embrace, Hannibal slows down his thrusts into Will, pulling out and pushing back in without any real determination.

They stay like that for a while, moving leisurely and with ease. It’s amazing how quickly the two men can evolve together—fervent and crazy one moment, slow and languid the next. Will and Hannibal are two powerhouses, but together they are a force to be reckoned with; and their love making is a testament to this. Outside the lecture hall there is nothing but empty space, and the entire world is concentrated within the four walls. If someone walks in and threatens their coupling with exposure of the truth about their relationship, Hannibal will take care of it. He will burn the earth to the ground, leave a bloody trail of bodies wherever he goes, before Will is ripped away from him. Originally, Hannibal planned to seize Will’s mind as his own, but now the man has handed over his body and heart, too. He never once put up a fight. Is that not what love is?

As Hannibal’s mind wanders momentarily away, his thoughts are interrupted by Will breaking their kiss and saying: “Turn me around.”

For once Hannibal is caught off guard, still dazed from their kiss mixed with his indulgent thoughts. Will smiles and repeats himself. “Turn me around while you fuck me. I want to see you.”

And so Hannibal does just that. Without hurting him, the older man slips out of Will for the time being. He lowers himself down Will’s semi-naked form, placing his mouth against unclothed areas on his journey to his knees. When bent down, Hannibal undoes the laces on Will’s shoes, gently helping him remove them from his feet. Will then steps out of his pants and underwear that have pooled around his ankles until now, giving him more freedom to rotate his body and spread himself wider.

Expecting Hannibal to rise from his place on the floor and fulfill Will's request of him, he begins to turn around, but he is promptly stopped. His hips are held in place by two large hands, gripping him so tight that he is probably leaving fingerprint marks underneath. Will turns his head to try and see Hannibal—the sight of the doctor on his knees brings him endless gratification, for only he has the ability to cause such a man to fall on his face in worship.

“Huh? What are you—” Will’s sentence is cut short when Hannibal looks him in the eye, flashes a wicked grin, and presses his tongue against his hole.

Hannibal,” the younger man cries out in shock, instantly falling forward onto the desk once more, his elbows breaking his collapse. Pants, underwear, and shoes discarded, Hannibal can spread Will open, further revealing more skin for him to lick and suck and thoroughly explore.

In hindsight, the two men haven’t engaged in this kind of oral stimulation too much, mostly because the mere suggestion of such an act caused Will to become bashful. Only recently, and with enough convincing, has he allowed Hannibal to properly eat him out, and ever since the first time Will can’t seem to get enough of it. Neither can Hannibal, apparently, because he licks him open like he is a decadent meal, humming happily as he causes Will to practically scream and writhe in desperation.

Will throws his hand back behind him to keep Hannibal’s head in place, running his fingers through his hair to encourage him further. Just when Will thinks his pleasure has reached its peak, Hannibal moves one of his hands from Will’s ass to his cock, which is red and leaking onto the desk. Between the tongue expertly licking him open and Hannibal’s hand moving quickly up and down his cock, Will is overcome with feeling that he is purely a sensual being, and that his body was made for the sole reason of feeling pleasure as great at this.

He can feel himself coming close to the edge, but he doesn’t want to finish without Hannibal. He needs to see the other man as he finishes. If he doesn’t, it feels wrong.

Will reluctantly takes a fist of Hannibal’s hair and pulls him away from his body. Daring to look behind him, Will turns around to see the older man sitting back on his heels, wiping his mouth with a cocky grin on his face. He could easily cum from just that sight alone.

“You taste absolutely divine, Will,” Hannibal says in a raspy voice, licking his lips one last time for emphasis.

“Get up here,” Will demands simply, his happiness seeping into his tone. Hannibal quickly moves to his feet, turns his partner around, and catches him in another kiss. Their bodies press together like two halves creating a whole.

Breaking apart and leaning back, Will feels compelled to bring one of his hands to touch Hannibal’s face. He traces his cheekbones with his fingers and brushes the stray hairs away from his eyes so he can look at him fully. “I need to see you when you cum,” Will whispers to him like it’s a secret, somehow making the statement sound like it's not the most obscene thing Hannibal has ever heard. “Now fuck me silly, doctor.”

With a quick smile Hannibal proceeds to lift Will up and sit him on the edge of the desk, and the younger man can’t help but let out a giggle as he does. Amply seated, Will wraps his arms around Hannibal’s neck as he is filled once more with Hannibal’s large cock, penetrating him so deep that it feels like the other man is touching every inch of his body, inside and out. They never lose eye contact, even when an lewd sigh escapes from Will’s mouth.

Hannibal patiently allows for one more gentle moment before shoving Will back against the desk and fucking him even harder than he was earlier.

Oh god,” Will cries out, arching his back so only his head and shoulders are making contact with the hard wood beneath him. Hannibal takes Will’s legs and folds them so they are nearly touching Will’s upper body, the angle allowing him to fuck Will deeper.

Will whines desperately, running his hands up Hannibal’s arms, grasping onto any loose fabric he can find. “You always fuck me so good,” Will says in a tone that would easily put pornstars to shame. “Do I feel good, Doctor Lecter?”

Hannibal is a man who prides himself on his composure, but hearing such filth coming from his perfect boy chips away at his self-control with unrelenting accuracy. His person suit is slipping, and Will is removing it one layer at a time.

Hannibal lets out a resounding moan, but unlike other times he has been intimate with people other than Will, it is genuine and unapologetically hedonistic. He proceeds to grab Will and pull him into a kiss that is more teeth than lips. Will allows his back to be lifted off the desk slightly to accommodate Hannibal as he practically devours him. Hannibal breaks the kiss as quickly as it began, moving back so he can look at Will through hooded lids. “Beautiful,” he murmurs absentmindedly, not unlike how he makes comments to himself as he admires a fine work of art. At his words, Will becomes embarrassed, but nonetheless looks up at the man with stars in his eyes, and Hannibal can only do the same. 

“Touch my cock,” Will breathes out suddenly.

Hannibal leers down at him. “No.”

Will emits a whine of protest, then spitefully brings his own hand down to give himself the much needed friction he has been waiting for. Unsurprisingly, Hannibal slaps his hand away.

“Use that filthy mouth of yours and beg me,” Hannibal requests in a vulgar tone, bringing his cock out of Will’s ass and rubbing it against his hole, teasing him.

A sardonic grin crosses Will’s face but he gives in anyway. “Oh please, Hannibal! Fuck me hard and make me cum. Pretty please, I need it so bad.” His tone is dripping with sarcasm, but his words are undeniably true.

“Dirty slut,” Hannibal spits out, but Will knows it is high praise. Hannibal, holding up his end of the deal, slides his cock back into Will forcefully, then proceeds to wrap his hand around his cock, causing more precum to leak from the tip.

“All for you,” Will murmurs back breathlessly while pulling Hannibal closer to him. He can feel his pleasure mounting, and a small part of him feels disappointed, wishing he could stay like this—tangled up in Hannibal's body and soul—forever. “I’m so close,” he warns.

Hannibal knows he is looking for permission, and he is proud of his boy for knowing better than to come without warning. Feeling close to the edge himself, he mercifully grants Will what he begs for so prettily. “Do it.”

Like every orgasm they have shared since that first day in Hannibal’s office, Will leans back so he is making eye contact with his partner as their fucking comes to a close; neither man wants to miss a moment of the other’s pleasure, especially when it meets its peak. Tender gazes locked together with pupils blown wide, Will lets out one last perverse moan before he starts spilling over Hannibal’s fist. Only moments later, Hannibal follows suit, releasing into Will after one final thrust.

Once the aftershocks have worn off for both of them, they are left clinging to each other as their chests rise and fall in search for air. Before Hannibal can break their eye contact and pull out, Will’s mouth opens without his permission, blurting out the worst question his brain could possibly conjure up. 

“What are we?”

He would have slapped a hand over his mouth if he thought he could let go of Hannibal and keep his balance. Utterly panicked and visibly remorseful, he instead settles on just closing his eyes and removing himself mentally from the situation.

Much to the younger man's dismay, Hannibal gives no response and Will knows he fucked up. He fucked up bad. He is so embarrassed that he barely notices Hannibal pulling out of his body, cleaning him off, and helping him back into his clothing.

Hannibal is slowly doing up the buttons left on Will’s shirt when he finally says something. “Open your eyes, Will.”

Will keeps them shut tight, the words heart-wrenchingly reminding him of when this whole blissful period in their lives began. Now it's all over; if only he could go turn back time and do it all over again. “Nah, I’m good like this,” he settles on saying. 

Hannibal chuckles before swooping down to kiss him. The feeling of their lips meeting immediately releases the tension from Will’s face, and all of his muscles melt until he becomes pliable in Hannibal’s arms. Maybe if I just kiss him for a couple hours he will forget I ever said anything, Will thinks to himself stupidly.

But alas, Hannibal gently pulls back and Will’s eyes open reluctantly. He knows, he has always known, that he can’t escape the rejection that is inevitably coming his way. Will thinks he is strong enough to take it. Thinks.

From the perspective of the other man, Will’s face is worth a thousand words. Hannibal’s heart aches at the sorrowful look he is being given, as though Will prepared himself for heartbreak in the mirror. Their eyes have met hundreds of times, in a hundred different contexts, but now he understands what he is seeing: Will thinks this might be the last time they ever see each other, let alone look at each other. Hannibal reaches out and cradles the side of Will’s face in his warm palm; it’s the gesture that started it all. Like always, he nuzzles into it. Hannibal gives Will a smile, and Will gives a weak grin in return.

Hannibal takes a deep breath before he opens his mouth. “I have given very few people on this earth permission to break my heart, Will,” he begins, gently rubbing Will's bottom lip with the pad of his thumb, “and it appears that you have so generously given me that same privilege.”

Will wants to shut his eyes but he just can’t. Similar to the way you can’t turn away from watching a car crash.

“I give you permission to break my heart, Will Graham,” Hannibal whispers to him, his face as bright as the sun. “I apologize if I led you to believe that this was merely physical, because I can promise you it is so much more.”

Will huffs out an audible sigh of relief and throws himself against Hannibal, tucking his face in the crook of his neck. Hannibal feels his heart throbbing as he holds Will against him. Softly, words muffled by the hug, Will mumbles: “And I give you permission to break my heart, you dirty old man.”

Hannibal is both taken aback and endlessly entertained, but before he can do something like bend Will over the desk and spank him for his teasing words, Will breaks the hug and starts kissing Hannibal’s face over and over again until they are both breaking out into childlike fits of laughter.

“Take me home before the janitor tells Jack Crawford that they overheard one of his profilers getting fucked by his psychiatrist in the lecture hall,” Will whispers faintly against Hannibal's ear. His words suggest that he feels worried about what just occurred between them, but his ensuing giggles tell Hannibal otherwise.

They embrace numerous times before they finally open the doors to the classroom, returning to the real world from the world that exists of only the two of them. They look to see if the coast is clear, and then quickly make their escape down the hall and towards the parking lot. Between the strong and distinct smell of sex radiating off their bodies, the top three buttons ripped from Will’s shirt, and the happy expressions written all over their faces, they aren’t fooling anyone. But neither of them could care any less. For the next few hours at least, they will be lost from the world. No FBI, no Jack Crawford or anyone else, only them.  

»»————————————««

Once they hear the doors to the elevator close shut, Zeller, Price, and Beverly tumble out of the janitor’s closet next to the lecture hall, bringing a mop or two down with them. Jimmy falls flat on his face and Beverly is trying to pick up the mops and shove them back into the closet. Brian, on the other hand, is looking down the hallway in sheer disbelief.

“No. Fucking. Way.” Brian exclaims obnoxiously, turning around to face the others who are not nearly as excited, but certainly still shocked. For once in her life, Beverly actually agrees with Zeller’s sentiment.

“That was super hot,” Jimmy admits, picking himself up off the hallway floor and brushing imaginary dust off his clothes. “And incredibly romantic,” he adds as an afterthought.

Beverly snaps out of her momentary trance and immediately starts taking control of the situation. “If either one of you says anything about this to anyone, I am putting Ripper evidence in your houses and sending Crawford over for a visit. Understood?”

The two men sheepishly agree, then proceed to make their way back to the laboratory while gossiping to themselves quietly. Beverly takes one final look at the lecture hall, hands placed on either side of her hips as she tries to process everything that just happened.

Suddenly, before she can make her exit, the elevator dings and Will Graham steps out. They both look surprised to see each other, and Beverly immediately feels guilty for agreeing to spy on him and Doctor Lecter. (It’s not like she actually believed they would be fucking!)

“Will! Hey! What’s up?” Beverly blurts out, sounding way too happy to see him. She cringes at herself on the inside.

“Hey Bev,” Will replies in his usual hushed voice, a polite grin accompanied by a faint blush are plastered across his face and Beverly knows exactly why. “Just forgot my briefcase in the classroom, then I’m heading out.”

Beverly nods and steps out of the way so he can enter the lecture hall, but not before she thinks of a way to hopefully acquit herself.

“Hey, can I ask you quick question?”

Will looks over his shoulder and turns around to face her. “Yeah, go ahead.”

“I was just wondering,” Beverly starts, not sure if she is entirely faking her curiosity, “what’s making you so happy these days?”

Will looks at Beverly and gives her the biggest smile she has ever seen from him. And in that moment, it was enough.