They had both assumed that the worst was over as time went on, even though neither one knew exactly what was going with Hannibal.
It was clear that he was neither a vampire nor a werewolf, and that the initial wounds caused by Tobias eventually healed and went away - however Hannibal was not improving in terms of health.
He had shown up to a few therapy sessions after the full moon had past, but tiredness and lethargy kicked in tenfold as a week passed. There was, also, an endless hunger that he couldn’t seem to solve even after eating.
“When was the last time you had human flesh?” Will asked, more inviting himself over now, sitting down at Hannibal’s table without Hannibal ever needing to request it.
“I hadn’t had the chance to kill anyone since you came over in June, you ate the rest of what I had,” Hannibal replies with strained breath.
Will blinks in surprise, he had assumed that the Ripper would kill more - sure the amount of bodies the FBI had were few and far in between but Will always felt as though those were merely the bodies he wanted the FBI to find. “Really?”
“I have other hobbies and a full-time job,” he replies.
There was a brief moment of silence as Will contemplated approaching the topic, he was, after-all, still an FBI agent. He still caught killers for a living, he still had morals and suggesting such a thing created more turmoil inside than he felt while having an unwanted werewolf inside of him. Killing a vampire in self-defense and the defense of another was far different than suggesting….this: “I think you need to kill someone.”
Hannibal looks up, his brows tense as he peers into Will’s eyes, wondering what is going on in his partner’s head that he would suggest such a thing. Sure, Hannibal had no qualms about killing, but he knew Will still did and that it would take far longer to get him to willingly kill a human. “I could barely cook today, I don’t think I’d have the energy to stay up and track someone, much kill them.”
“What if-” Will stops, sighing, “I think you need human flesh, whatever is going on I think the lack of it isn’t helping.” Hannibal says nothing, allowing Will continue the train of thought he had wandered onto: “vampires need human blood. My werewolf far prefers human meat over other animals. I think whatever it is that’s going on, you probably need human flesh.”
“You’ve been thinking about this for a while now,” Hannibal says.
Will then takes out a file from his briefcase that he had brought with him after work - going directly to Hannibal’s home rather than his own. Hannibal opens up the file and reads it as Will continues: “this guy killed 4 girls, the evidence is substantial and yet the course threw out the entire case over a clerical error.”
“Is there anything tying you to this man?”
Will shakes his head, “I never worked on the case, I heard Bev and Price talk about it in passing. It...it caught my interest.”
“Your interest to kill this man?” Hannibal asked, skeptical that Will would be so forthcoming in plans to murder a human being.
But Will shakes his head again, “my interest in bringing him here, so you can kill him.”
Hannibal closes the file and slides it back over to Will, “being able to read evidence and know how to get away with kidnapping and murder in theory is far different from being able to do it.
There’s less dangerous ways to test this theory out Will, I do not want you to make any mistakes capturing this man and leading the FBI to our doorstep.”
“You don’t think I can do it?” Will asks, his brows tense, staring at the file. He thought that Hannibal would be happy that Will was offering such a thing and yet he was telling him no? Will looks up then, “I don’t understand. You think you’re very clever, but I know you’ve been wanting and manipulating me to kill since you met my wolf.”
“I have not been manipulating you. I have thought about it but you are far too intelligent for me to attempt such a thing.”
“Then why don’t you think-”
“You have many ways of gaining human flesh, Will, if you want to test this theory there is enough in the FBI morgue.”
“Those are days old-”
Hannibal stands then, “we’ll figure it out. Do not bring that man here, Will.”
He leaves Will alone in the dining room - not even bothering to clean up first before ascending up the stairs to his bedroom. Will shoves the file back into his briefcase and leaves the dirty plates there on Hannibal’s dining table. The stubborn fucker can wake up to flies on the bits of leftover chicken bones.
He hadn’t told Hannibal then, but the idea wasn’t new. Will had been watching his target for days now in his spare time, getting a good time frame of the man’s schedule and when best to make a move.
His target lived close by to Hannibal, but not too close that it would immediately put Hannibal on a suspect list - and his target certainly didn’t live in the lavish neighborhoods of Baltimore. If the man were to go missing, many people - including the FBI and police officers who had plenty of potential suspects as to who would want to hurt him - would be brought up first.
And it was easier for Will to refuse to give his target a name, that was all he was. A target, a future victim, dinner for Hannibal in the hopes that his theory is correct and that whatever Hannibal is, some type of human-meat consumption would help solve his ailment.
So Will watched, and decided to make a move only a few days later after the dinner at Hannibal’s home.
Will allows his wolf to take over for this, balancing between allowing enough of his human mind through that any evidence from Will breaking in wouldn’t trace back to him but also letting enough of the wolf’s mind through so it was easier to moralize it.
His wolf was the one who really wanted this, after-all.
Or at least that was what Will told himself over and over again all of the nights that he made sure that his target would be alone and easier to nab.
Hannibal didn’t believe he could do this, didn’t believe that he had enough experience reading evidence from crime scenes to glean how to do this himself.
But Hannibal was wrong in his assumptions, and he was definitely wrong in how far Will could manipulate Hannibal back.
It was almost 2 in the morning when his cellphone blared off, shocking Hannibal awake in jolt. He hadn’t had the energy as of late, and immediately his body recoiled from the surprise and sudden movement.
He groans as he leans over and grabs the cellphone, not even bothering to read the name of who was calling as he placed it on his ear and laid back onto his pillow, “hello?”
“Hannibal, it’s me. I fucked up,” Will says in a frenzied panic on the other end.
He jolts back up again, “Will?” Hannibal asks, grabbing some more suitable clothes and throwing them on as he starts towards the hallway, “what happened?”
“You told me not to go after him...but I did. I’m in his house I don’t know what to do.”
Will hangs up after telling him the address, and Hannibal hurries his pace as best he could with his tired joints and muscles.
Hannibal climbs into his car, careful to park away from the man's house as far as possible, but still near enough that he could walk without completely loosing his breath. Will had done something completely stupid, attacking the man in his own home - he comes up to the front door of the house and almost knocks before it's swung wide open.
Will stares at Hannibal, "you wore that?" He asks, assessing his clothes.
It was then that Hannibal realized what was going on as he took in Will's own appearance: covered head to toe in easily disposable clothing, his hands covered in gloves.
"Doesn't matter, I have extras..." Will continues, moving to the side of a barren and empty room and starts digging through a small little trunk.
Hannibal blinks, still exhausted from waking up in the middle of the night, still hungry and tired from whatever ailment both the vampire blood and werewolf scratch left him with. "You planned this?"
Will nods, "we grabbed him from his house and dragged him to this abandoned house."
"We...You and your wolf?"
"I told him no killing, just grab him," Will explains, shoving gloves into Hannibal's hands, "the killing part is for you to do."
"You told me that you were in trouble."
"I will be, if you don't hurry up. We're on uncharted territory, Hannibal, whatever the hell is happening to you right now a regular doctor can't cure. So we either try this or something worse happens."
Once Hannibal is dressed proficiently enough for killing, Will pulls him into the basement of the abandoned house. It reminds Hannibal much of the time that he killed a man and left his remains for Will to eat in his basement. Except this time the man is alive and wide-eyed, gagged and begging for his life. The door closes behind him, Will leaving Hannibal to do whatever he needs to do.
And something within Hannibal awakens at the sight of the man sitting there, his chest heaving from fear, the mumbled cries from his gagged mouth. His hands grow into claws then, turning black and he drops the knife that Will had given him only moments before, and let's himself eat for the first time in weeks.
Several minutes pass until Will opens up the basement door once more, carefully treading down the steps.
There's blood everywhere, splattered well past the prepped plastic lining that Will had set up for Hannibal. It was, in no other terms, a bloody fucking mess.
And in the center of it all was a tall black beast with antlers towering on its crown.