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down on my knees, but not to pray--hit so hard across the skull, it buckled my legs

Chapter Text

Will figures it out at the worst possible time, of course.


He’s known Hannibal nearly half a year now, by this point, enough time to see a couple of repeats in the rotation of the man’s near-infinite suit collection, enough time to know that Hannibal’s real smile just touches his eyes, barely there, visible only if you know where to look.  And Will’s supposed to be a genius, isn’t he, he should have figured this out months ago, except he’s the sort of guy with just rotten, gypsy-curse luck because it wasn’t during a case.  It wasn’t in the middle of a dinner party, during one of the lavish meals Hannibal had so often—and so happily—prepared for him.  He didn’t slide a bite of meat between his teeth and pause with his canines half-sunk in already and realize oh and then oh, this used to be a person.


No.  Will isn’t that fortunate.  He doesn’t even have his gun on him—well he does, of course, he never really goes without it these days, not since kidnapping’s become so par for the course.  But it was clipped to his belt in full view like a good little agent’s gun should be, and his belt’s still threaded through the loops of his jeans which are—somewhere.


Somewhere on the other side of Doctor Lecter’s office, he thinks.


Because Will is pressed, belly-down, to the slick surface of Hannibal’s desk.  The desk is, like everything else Hannibal owns, beautifully handcrafted and spectacularly outside of Will’s price range.  The minutely-carved curlicues of the floral detail at the desk’s edge is biting into his hips all messy, leaving behind splotchy petal-marks that blend together to look more like teeth.  Will stares, blank, at the dirt under his nails and in the creases of his knuckles and he isn’t sure it’s real.  He’d been washing the dogs earlier that day, but surely he’d have washed before his appointment.  Surely he wasn’t that far gone, not yet, not enough to be forgetting personal hygiene already.  But then his hands slip, slick with still-warm blood and he’s soaked in it, crimson to the elbows.  He grunts as his pelvis rocks hard against the desk’s edge and he only knows the blood on his hand’s isn’t real because when he scrabbles for purchase at Hannibal’s neat piles of carefully-penned notes, the pages stay clean.


Hannibal’s grip on him doesn’t waver.  The grip is also—harder than Will would have thought, honestly.  Hannibal has always been gentle with him, mild, almost soft-spoken.  When he touched Will, he touched the way one would touch a frightened dog.   Except now his hands are digging blunt fingernails into bloody crescents across his hipbones and Will hasn’t thought about this much, granted, but he thought Hannibal’s hands would be softer.  Smoother.  Artist’s hands.  


But there’s thick pads of calluses rubbing at the soft places inside the cradle of his legs, rasping against the trail of coarse hair mapping the curve of Will’s belly.  Hannibal’s hands are surprisingly rough, his grip bruising, like he maybe doesn’t realize how hard he’s holding on.  Like he’s used to brute force, used to pushing and prying and bending.  Will’s joints creak in protest as the thigh heavy between his legs nudges them further apart, coaxes him back into hands deceptively strong, for a man who plays a harpsichord.


 They’d been talking about Will’s father, which isn’t actually a train of thought he’d like to follow anywhere, thanks, not with the solid weight of Hannibal’s broad body at his back, not with the doctor’s teeth buried in the thick muscle of Will’s trapezius.  Not with his cock hard and burning a thick line against Will’s tailbone.


“Will,” Hannibal breathes, soft and almost lilting in that odd half-accent of his.  He says Will’s name so carefully.  Like he’s got a mouth full of blood.


Hannibal sucks at the side of Will’s neck with a delicate scrape of teeth and Will forgets that Hannibal says anything at all.


They’d been talking about his father and Will had slipped himself, shamefully, sideways and backwards fifteen years to the syrupy husk of his own accent.  It’s unconscious, the way he slides over consonants and leans heavy on his vowels.  He garbles Hannibal’s first name, he’s sure, but he’d been saying…something.  Something important, probably, something about the work or a case or anything but the tragic interior of his own head, but he’d been thinking about his father’s hands.  Dock worker’s hands, callused and deeply tanned and weatherworn, strong as steel as they braced against Will’s bird-boned shoulders, against the baby curve of them, and pressed him down to bruised knees.


“My father fucked me,” Will says aloud, and it surprises even him.  It doesn’t sound remotely like Will Graham, PhD, with his careful pronunciation (because Will Graham, PhD knows what it’s like to be poor, but the experience is only noble if he carries none of it with him once his education had civilized him.)  This is Willy, little Will, with the sleepy drawl and the skinny wrists and honey-warm eyes, bruised like bites taken from a peach all down his thighs.  Willy, who knows what shade of Momma’s foundation makes the teachers stop asking questions, and has a dozen excuses on hand for the scuffed knees of all his jeans, the scuffed skin of the knees themselves.  His voice doesn’t waver.


Hannibal merely watches him.  Doesn’t say a word.


He leans forward, though, pushes past the invisible line Will had stamped into the carpet ten minutes into their first session.  The line’s imaginary, of course, always been in Will’s head, but it’s the first time Hannibal has crossed it nonetheless.  Their relationship has never been tactile.


Hannibal leans in, and suddenly he’s on his knees in front of Will’s chair, and he’s—he’s looking up at Will like he’s a Rembrandt.  Like he’s a masterpiece, like it’s an honest privilege to be where Hannibal is right now, ruining the lines of a perfectly good suit just to crouch before Will’s bedraggled self.  There’s a disarming heat in those shark eyes, and Will doesn’t think he’s ever noticed the color before—brown, so deep as to be nearly black.  An indecipherable colour, like a pool of blood.  How has he never looked Hannibal in the eyes before?


It doesn’t matter about ten seconds after, though, because Hannibal’s biting the confession from his mouth.  Swallows.  Grips the sides of Will’s jaw, presses into the hungry angle of bone like he never plans on letting go and kisses Will like it’s a foregone conclusion.


Will shudders.


“Tell me,” Hannibal whispers as he breaks away and draws back.  “Tell me,” he murmurs into Will’s five-day stubble. He licks the spot just behind Will’s ear where his jaw hinges and he lingers there, the flat of his tongue pressed to Will’s pulse.


“Tell you what?” Will asks, dazed.  His vision’s blurry even though he’s wearing his glasses—jumpy and strange, like he’s buzzing.  He blinks, slow, as teeth replace tongue and Hannibal bites a livid mark into Will’s neck well above the collar, sucks at it until the it throbs in time with the pulse in Will’s cock.


“Tell me,” Hannibal repeats, and his hands shove into the warmth of Will’s jacket, skimming under the layers of plaid to find a soft, worn t-shirt.  Hannibal is broader than he looks—the perfect tailoring of his suit somehow conceals the bulk of him, but as he shifts between Will’s thighs, Will has to part his legs quite a bit to accommodate.


Will huffs out a laugh, then, as Hannibal’s blunt fingertips find their way under the skin-warmed fabric of his shirt.  Will shivers as the shirt slides up, as rough fingers catch the thin skin of his ribcage.  “I knew it,” he says, as Hannibal shoves his shirt up and noses into the slope of his belly.  “I knew there had to be something wrong with you,” he says, and it doesn’t sound right, even as he says it—because there’s something wrong, okay.  “Is that what you’re into? Little boys?”


That isn’t it, though, isn’t it, isn’t it, and the clinical, assessing look on Hannibal’s face tells Will as much.  He draws back and fixes Will with a look that twists guilt into his stomach and he wants to, absurdly, apologize for the idea.  “Nothing so pedestrian,” Hannibal says, finally.  “My interest, dear Will, lies solely in you—not in children, as you’ve so crassly assessed.”  Will swallows.  “I merely wish,” Hannibal continues, and resumes his exploration of Will’s belly with tongue and teeth,  “To understand the ways in which you are so exquisitely broken.”


Will’s skin crawls at that, but his cock gives a sick, unwarranted little jump where it’s pressed against Hannibal’s breastbone.  Hannibal’s smile shows too many teeth.  “I was ten,” Will starts, and is rewarded by that open mouth hot against the tender place below his stomach.  “I was ten,” he repeats, and doesn’t know where to go from there.


“Your mother—she was deceased by this point?”  Hannibal rumbles the words right into his skin and Will can feel the words in the core of him, down to where they tingle star-bright in the tips of his fingers. 


He’s on fire.


“No,” Will groans, and Hannibal pauses.  They’ve never discussed his family.  Hannibal’s never asked.  “She was—gone, most of the time.  She—she drank.”  His hips jerks as he hitches up, so very slightly into where Hannibal is pressed against him.  “But she was alive.  She—she knew.”  His eyes squeeze shut then, and a moan rattles somewhere from deep inside his ribcage.


“Everyone knew,” he continues.  “Shit, Hannibal, we were trailer trash from Louisiana, you can’t—I mean, it can’t be a surprise.”


“It isn’t,” Hannibal admits as his hand slides up Will’s thigh to cup against him through his jeans.  Will whines, high and needy.  “You’ve been so forthcoming with your self-deprecation this far.  I never imagined you were hiding something.”


He sounds pleased.


Will bucks into the touch.  “I’m surprised you didn’t see it,” he pants, ragged.  “Is it the autism spectrum that confused you?  That gets a lot of people—it got Alana.  The manifestation of—ohfuck do that again,” he pleads, and Hannibal strokes along the hard line of his cock obligingly.  “The manifestation of sexual trauma looks so similar anyways,” Will continues.  “Aversion to eye contact, loud noises.”  He jerks his hips up again with a low hiss, as Hannibal bends to press his mouth to the aching curve of Will where he’s pressed against the zipper of his jeans.  “Unwillingness to be touched,” he finishes.  “I was ten,” he says, and doesn’t know how to continue past that, because no one has ever asked before.


He’s never told this story, not even to himself.  And he is—he admits, as Hannibal’s tongue drags down his cock, warm and sure and more contact than he’s had in months—an unreliable narrator, at best.


He recounts, though, in shuddering gasps as Hannibal strokes at him through his jeans, alternating between hand and tongue, what his father had done to him.  How his father, too young for any child, never mind one as challenging as Will, had crawled into a bottle the day Will’s poor sad, sweet mother had slit her wrists in the bathtub and never quite crawled out.


Momma spent her days in a chemical bliss after that, little pills dotted all down the medicine cabinet.  They kept her quiet.  Kept Will quiet, too, those nights Daddy wanted him smooth and easy and pliant.  No matter how much he screamed inside, his jaw was locked up tight and he didn’t make a sound and Daddy was so proud.


Will had been ten.


Will had been ten and he’d looked too much like the woman Daddy had loved, all soft eyes and softer hair.  He can still smell the acrid tang of bottom-shelf whiskey, the kind that came in a crinkly plastic bottle with the screw-off cap.  He can smell it in Hannibal’s sweat as it drips into the arch of his lower back, he can taste in the back of his throat as the man ruts at him—


—except this isn’t Dad and he isn’t ten, and Hannibal might be old enough to be his father but he isn’t, he isn’t.


Will reminds himself of that as Hannibal’s large hand closes over his throat.  “You’re here,” Hannibal says.  “Be here.”


And Will is.  He’s here as Hannibal—slowly, reverently, creepily, as though he’s unwrapping a gift he’s waited a long time for—strips him of his clothes.  They hang, for a bit, with Will barefoot in unzipped jeans and Hannibal still mostly-clothed, his shirt unbuttoned all the way down the front.  Will sinks to his knees automatically, without asking or being asked, as though this was the only logical next step.


And so Hannibal, who has never let his professionalism slip quite this badly that he can recall, reclines in the leather chair behind his desk while Will crouches beneath, hidden by the wooden backing.  He must look ridiculous, he thinks, full-grown man half-naked and crammed under a piece of furniture, but Hannibal’s legs give way easily when Will slides between them.  He hesitates, though, hands on Hannibal’s cock, palming him through—what else?—black silk.


“I haven’t,” he mumbles, and licks his lips.  Doesn’t look up.  Studies his dirty, bloody fingers closed over the silk, notes the way the ragged skin of a bitten nail catches threads.  “It’s been a while,” he says finally and then there’s absolutely nothing else to say, because he’s slipping Hannibal’s waistband down and curling his fingers around the base of Hannibal’s cock, around the bit he can’t quite fit in his mouth.


Hannibal grunts softly, sounds almost surprised.  Will’s fingers of his free hand clench in the fabric of Hannibal’s trousers as he struggles to breathe through his nose, to relax his jaw the way Daddy taught him, to be a good boy, you feel so good, you feel so—


He only realizes he’s crying when Hannibal’s thumb trails the swollen, tight skin under his right eyes and Will blinks up as Hannibal touches the tears to his tongue.  


“Do you know who I am, Will? Where you are?”  It’s not fair for Hannibal to sound so steady while Will’s choking on his dick, but the tone is gentle and that’s—that’s how he knows, anyways, that it isn’t Daddy because Daddy sounds like ten years of cigarettes and bourbon dragged over gravel .


“Yes,” Will gasps out and licks at Hannibal again, long and slow and lingering over the crown where the skin’s flushed and hot.  Hannibal can’t make him talk if his mouth’s occupied, after all.


“I will not—“ Hannibal’s breath catches as Will swallows him down again and one hand snakes up to tangle in Will’s curls.  The hand cards through his hair, fond, manicured nails raking his scalp in a way that makes the wretched thing in him preen, press himself into the touch, he’s done well, he’s been good.


“I will never force you to do anything you don’t wish to do, Will,” Hannibal continues, and his hand slides around to cradle the angle of Will’s jaw as he hollows his cheeks and tries to take Hannibal deeper just to stop him talking.  “Tell me you know that.”


It’s the closest Will’s going to get to an admission of anything here and, bizarrely, he kind of wants to laugh, kind of wants to cry.  Maybe both.  But he can’t do either with his mouth full of his psychiatrist’s cock, so.  He just tries to relax best he can, let his jaw go slack and loose and pliant.


“I am not your father,” Hannibal grinds out and that’s it, that’s too much—he’s coming so hard he sees black for a few beats, coming harder than he has in years, feels like, before he even really realizes he’s touched himself.


The sound he makes is embarrassing.  The way he shakes through it is worse.


Hannibal pulls out of his mouth at some point, but Will’s too busy trying to breathe to really catch when that happens.  When he comes back to himself, he’s belly-down again on the desk, this time with his jeans down around his knees and then the blunt press of Hannibal’s fingers, prying him open.


“I haven’t done this is a long time, either,” Will admits as the tip of a forefinger presses in.


“Forgive me,” Hannibal replies.  “I wasn’t expecting this.  I would have been adequately prepared, under better circumstances.”


It takes Will a second to process what he means, but then there’s the click of a bottle being opened, and a heady, earthy pine scent Will recognizes as Hannibal’s hand lotion.


But it’s better than some things he’s had before, better than olive oil in the kitchen and conditioner in the shower and Daddy’s massive paw clamped hard over his mouth so he can’t scream, and Will bets it’s organic, even, small-batch hand cream cold-pressed by a family-owned business of good, honest people eight generations old.  Except Will can’t, he can’t slip into thinking about them, can’t slip off into the even pattern of a metronome, can’t focus on anything but the incessant burn as Hannibal slides a finger inside to the second knuckle.


It doesn’t hurt.  This is less than Will’s done to himself, honestly, but the angle’s odd.  Unfamiliar.  Will  makes a low, vague kind of noise in his throat and cants his hips up and back, arching into Hannibal.


“Good,” Hannibal murmurs, and brushes a kiss along the jutting-out bones of Will’s lower he’s curling that finger deeper, deeper until it catches something that sparks and then—


Then, when Will cries out raggedly, Hannibal pushes in with just too much force, just enough to send Will crashing down on the desk top, his still-bloodied hands giving way beneath him.  He stays there, braced on chin and chest, fingers white-knuckled in the ruins of Hannibal’s case notes as the good doctor shoves into him.


It’s simultaneously far too much and not nearly enough, and Will bucks backwards almost savagely, with a choked “Please, please.”


When Hannibal is fully inside, seated with his hips flush to the swell of Will’s ass, he sighs—a delicate thing, contented, breathed hot into the back of Will’s neck.  Too sweet, too soft for the animal way his body crowds into Will’s, the way Will tenses and flexes and shivers around him.


Will wasn’t exaggerating.  It had been years.  Since undergrad, at least, with that sophomore roommate—what was his name? Jason? Josh?  Will thinks it’s Josh but he’s isn’t a hundred percent on that, and he can’t remember if Josh was blonde or not, probably couldn’t pick him out of a one-person lineup, but he remembers what the guy’s dick felt like, well enough.  They’d downed a bottle of Captain Morgan between them the first time, underaged and desperate to feel something beyond their terrible, fumbling teenage selves.  And they hadn’t known what to do, either of them, because Will’s experience with how to do it properly was questionable and Josh’s nonexistent, so Josh had just unceremoniously shoved into Will with a cursory bit of spit-slick fingering that did nothing for the tension of Will’s muscles.  Just shoved right in with that coke-can dick of his, and Will had tore and bled and come like a fucking freight train when Josh’d hooked a crushing elbow around his windpipe.


The sex wasn’t the weird thing, in the end—Josh hadn’t really given a shit.  They never talked about what it made them or where they stood and that’s as it should have been, probably, because it really wasn’t much more than an occasional thing.  Normal stuff.  College stuff.


No, what fucked it up was Will.  As usual.  Josh tried, really, he tried to not make it a thing the way he’d been balls-deep inside the guy he was supposed to share living quarters with for the next year.  He was trying to have that completely boring, average experience of messing around with a guy he, realistically, would never have to see after graduation.


Predictably, Will made it weird.


Will guided Josh’s hands around his wrists, his throat, wound Josh’s unwilling fingers in his own hair and pulled hard enough to prick tears at the corners of his eyes.  He bruised himself eagerly on Josh’s bones, drove himself frantically down and down and down onto Josh’s cock with barely any encouragement, whispering things like fuck me and bite me and on one occasion Will would rather not think about, please, Daddy, oh please.


Josh didn’t touch him for a month after that.


In the end, though, Will waited out the storm and stole a handle of Jack from the liquor store around the corner from their dorm and sucked Josh’s dick in their tiny galley kitchen and just like that, he was welcomed back into the other twin bed.


They didn’t push the beds together.  There was no need.  Will retreated back to his side of the dorm the moment Josh shuddered out an approximation of his name.  Sometimes—most times—he didn't even get off until he was back on his own bed, fist curled around his aching cock and three fingers pushed into slicked, soft wetness.  Jason watched him those nights, eyes hooded, predatory, as Will jerked himself off, smirked the wet point of his tongue into the corner of his mouth.


Will was fairly sure there had been pictures a few times, when he was too drunk to stay upright, never mind protest the shots.  


Hannibal, he is sure, would not appreciate the comparison.


“Fuck me,” he snarls, because he wants the same fucking thing from Hannibal he’d wanted from Josh—to be held down, pinned and taken, branded, claimed, pushed too hard to have to think, to pause, to overanalyze.  “Please, Hannibal, for God’s sake, just fuck me.”


Blessedly, Hannibal does.


This, this is how he solves it.  Facedown on Hannibal’s desk with his jeans scrunched down around his knees, being pounded into the hard surface by a man not quite old enough to be his father, Will Graham solves the worst serial killer case the FBI’s seen in a decade.  Maybe more.


It’s something in the way Hannibal holds him like he’s holding Will down, the way his hips snap into Will’s with no apparent regard for the choked, pained noises Will makes every time the desk edge bites into him.


This isn’t what it should be like, Will thinks wildly, because of course he’s thought about it.  Of course.  Will can count on one hand the number of people that have been kind to him, and he’s tried to fuck every one, so Hannibal’s no exception, but Will thought there would be more…composure, maybe.  The same graceful approach Hannibal had to everything else in his life.  Surely he hadn’t treated Alana like this—if he had, and she’d come back for round two, Will has deeply misjudged her.


Hannibal thrusts into him ruthlessly, just on the edge of manic, and, well.  It hurts.  Of course it hurts, Hannibal is thick and muscled and more than capable of maneuvering Will’s skinny frame anywhere he likes.


It’s not a bright pain like the way Hannibal’s teeth close on his skin, but it sizzles all along his nerves, electric, and he pushes into it when Hannibal’s hands take a firm hold of him and spread him further apart, shoves himself back like he’s desperate for this man—this creature, this killer that somehow knows all the secrets Will’s never been able to put into anything more than awkward metaphor—to crawl inside him and make a home there.


He already has, Will thinks abruptly as Hannibal drags a hand rough-fingered over his bare cock.  I know him, I’ve been him, he’s in me.


Hannibal’s hand abandons its post between his legs shortly after and curls into his hair instead, curls tight and pulls.


And just like that, hanging half off Hannibal’s desk with his neck arched into a tight, painful curve, Will realizes it can’t be anyone else.  Hannibal’s the only one that makes sense, the only one that ever did, how did they never see it, how—


It’s this, though, the way Hannibal snarls hotly into his ear, a wordless animal thing, as Will scrunches his eyes shut and chokes on the sob lodged in the back of his throat.  It’s this, thnat really makes him understand.


Because before this moment, before the unkind way Hannibal shoves his face into the unforgiving surface of the desk even as Will wriggles in protest, he never would have thought Hannibal capable of this kind of violence.


Hannibal had always struck him as being above this, maybe.  Always appeared so unruffled, so collected, so unbothered by the bloodied horrors in Will’s head.  So willing to be the cool, neutral response to Will’s fevered half-hallucinations.  And the whole time, Will had been sitting not six feet from the very monster whose mind he wallowed around in for a paycheck that wasn’t even close to worth it.


He remembers, distantly, describing the scene to Hannibal, the one left just for him, remembers the awkward poetry in the way he’d tried to explain it.  Hannibal had smiled, wide.  Encouraging, Will thought at the time.  Kind.  Waiting for him to continue.


Will wonders now if Hannibal got off on that.


“Will,” Hannibal growls into the thin skin of his carotid, the sharp angle of his nose pressing in too hard.  “Where have you gone, Will?”


He kisses the underside of Will’s throat in mocking contrast to the punishing way he drags Will back onto his cock by the hair, oblivious—or maybe uncaring—to the pathetic way it makes Will whimper.


He maybe didn’t expect someone so refined to be so…carnal?


Because he is.  He fucks like a beast, his larger body crushing into all the paralyzed angles of Will.  And Will’s been with men since Jason, okay, had his fair share of questionable bedmates, but Hannibal bites into his skin like he’s starving and being offered his very first meal in weeks.  Will can’t stop thinking about the pristine white of the inside of Hannibal’s fridge.


There will be no blood, he’s sure.  No one will ever know.  


This is how he’s going to die.


He knows it, animal certainty sure in his flushed skin, sure as the rough pull of Hannibal’s chest hair against his back.  He knows he is right for no reason he can really pinpoint, except that he always suspected there was something off abut Hannibal Lecter.


Because months ago, when Will had first begun to mumble out those staccato nightmares that have plagued him for years, long before he had any inclination they were real, Hannibal had smiled like a shark scenting blood in the water and all Will remembers is thinking my, how sharp your teeth are.


It’s a childish metaphor for a childish fear—he’s a criminal profiler, okay, he knows there’s worse things than the big bad wolf—but those teeth scrape heavy along the knobs of his vertebrae.  Hannibal bites the nape of his neck like he’s staking a claim and Will was right, he was right.


“Will,” Hannibal says.  “William.”


Doesn’t sound a thing like dear old dad, really, doesn’t sound like Willy, Willy, oh fuck, so good, that’s such a good boy, you feel so good, just like your momma, so Will jerks his head to the side best he can, snaps, “Wh—fuck, what?”


“Stay with me,” is the only response he gets and then the hand in his hair shifts, knuckles under the curve of his ear just behind his jaw where Will knows it’ll hurt like a sonuvabitch if Hannibal presses his fingers in.


“I’m with you,” Will grinds out, wants to ask how he could be anywhere else, but what comes out instead (maybe it’s the heat, the way he burns everywhere Hannibal’s bare skin touches him) is, “You’re him.”  Hannibal pauses then, hips bucked up flush against Will.


“What?”  And that’s strange, isn’t it—Hannibal sounds confused, bless him, sounds achingly, pathetically mortal, like any man who can’t understand why his dick isn’t the same distraction to the rest of the world that it is to him.  Hannibal’s breath is warm and sweet on Will’s neck, tickling the minute hairs there, and Will feels like he’s choking on the wet scent of pine needles.  He can feel them poking sharp, insistent, pricking into the tender skin of his bare back as he’s eased to the forest floor and—


“You’re the Ripper,” Will breathes and behind him, he hears an audible sound as Hannibal swallows.  Hannibal doesn’t say a word but his hand curls around Will—he’s hard again, when did that happen—and Will whines once more and fucks into the loose curl of Hannibal’s fingers.


It isn’t enough, it isn’t enough and he feels like he might fall apart, scatter to pieces if Hannibal lets go of the way he’s got Will pinned to the desk like a dead butterfly.  “You’re him, you’re him you’ve been him the whole time and you left her for me, didn’t you, the girl in the field and—“


That’s what does it.  And then he can’t speak anymore, can’t breathe properly, and of course that’s been a recurring theme tonight, except this time he can’t breathe because suddenly both of Hannibal’s hands are on his throat, crushing, pressing down down down until Will’s vision goes dull and grey around the edges and there are these lights under his eyelids, popping and flashbulb-bright, sparking  as Hannibal thrusts up into his tense, terrified body once more, this time with a bitten-off snarl as he shudders and comes.


This is it, Will thinks, quite clearly, as Hannibal’s grip closes impossible tighter and there’s a high-pitched buzzing in his ears.  He can barely hear what Hannibal’s hissing at him as his hips rock, arrhythmic, as he rides out the aftershocks, but it sounds like it’s in Lithuanian anyways, so Will thinks it probably doesn’t matter and anyways, this is it.


But Hannibal lets go.


Hannibal lets go and slides so, so carefully out of Will, but Will groans anyways because he was too filled and now he’s too empty and he can still hear the frantic beat of his blood in his ears.  The way Hannibal’s fingers curl, gentle, over Will’s shoulders as he lifts him up, slides one powerful arm under his chest, that’s familiar.  It’s the tentative way Hannibal has always touched Will before this, the barest amount of pressure possible, as though he is not sure the touch will be welcomed.  And Will had thought it was a germ thing, maybe, or just good sense born from years of treating people as shattered as Will and worse, but.


Will thinks he understands now, maybe, that Hannibal does not understand the range of touch between a surgeon’s delicate precision and a rutting deer.  And doesn’t that make sense, for a killer doctor?  Hannibal can mend and Hannibal can bruise, but Hannibal can do nothing in between because he exists—truly, honestly, actually exists—only in those extremes.  Hannibal the cannibal.  Hannibal the animal.  


What happened to you, Will does not ask, because he is so terrified the answer will be Absolutely nothing, my dear.


He’s certainly the most elegant monster Will’s met.


Hannibal does him the cursory favor of tugging his jeans back up which is welcome, even if the slick mess running down his thighs isn’t made any more comfortable by the rasp of denim.  He steers Will gently towards the couch—a couch meant for prospective clients, for guests, all the way across the room from his usual solemn chair.  Will collapses into it gratefully.


He can’t button his jeans, never mind managing the belt.  His hands are shaking far too much for that.


“Will, I—“ Hannibal begins, and Will’s eyes cant over to his for the barest second.


“Admit it,” Will says softly.  He didn’t mean to.  “Just.”  Will shifts himself a little more upright, winces at the jolt of pain that stings its way up his lower back.  He tries to tug the two halves of his plaid shirt closed, hunched in on himself  as though it offers any protection with most of the buttons missing.  “Please.  I’m so tired.  I don’t want to play.  Not with you.”


He knows.  He knows it in his gut and his cock and the aching empty parts inside him where Hannibal was and the marks around his pale neck, pulsing in even time with the tempo of his pulse.  It is then he notices that his heart is racing.


He’s angry.  He’s not—this isn’t fair, something young and terrified wails inside him.  Not fair, his only sanctuary, his old shelter, the only person in the world who has ever met Will’s eyes steadily as he unwinds the tangles of his awful insides and lays them out, flayed open in Technicolor, for the good doctor to pull apart and weave back together into something infinitely less terrible than Will himself.  He is the only person who has ever seen any nobility in Will’s suffering instead of just the unsteady way he shakes and rounds his shoulders and cannot make eye contact for the life of him.  


And, too, he has been inside Hannibal—well, the Ripper, okay, but it turns out it’s the same thing—in the most visceral way he knows.  He knows the bulk of the victims, the way Hannibal’s considerable shoulders must have strained, trying to haul the dead weight of the copycat corpse onto the points of the severed buck’s head.


Will had never been able to figure out if the Ripper had hunted the animal himself.  


But.  Hannibal would have.  Hannibal did.  Hunted her, too, and Will wondered if he ever fucked any of them beforehand, maybe before the murders Will’s been privy to, when Hannibal had been a fledgeling killer.  Wonders if Hannibal ever wanted to.  Because before today, his money would have been squarely on  Hannibal being distinctly above wanting.


Will, though.  Will wants to cry.  He wants to sleep.  He wants to drive the hour back to his small, lonely house and bundle himself to bed with his dogs all curled in around him and finish off the bottle of bourbon he’d started in on last night.  Wants to swallow the bottle of pale blue pills in his medicine cabinet, the ones that make everything cool and fuzzy and blessedly numb but give him a hell of a hangover and keep him too sluggish to work.  He wonders if he still has that stale joint, Ziplocked in the back of his junk drawers amid all the pens and paperclips he’s managed to absentmindedly smuggle home from the office over the years, wants that snik of the lighter catching and the choking burn of smoke in his lungs.


Will wants to suffocate. Wants to drown.  Wants to do anything that will just stop Hannibal looking at him like that.


“Don’t you dare lie to me,” he warns instead, venomous.


Hannibal does not smile.  “I took an oath, Will,” he reminds him, as though Will could possibly forget that he’s a doctor, when that’s the whole reason they’re here.  When Hannibal is supposed to be helping him and instead, he’s—


“Above all else, do no harm.”  Will’s mouth twists.  The words taste stale, like water left out overnight.  Metallic and warm.  Like a tooth's been knocked loose.


“If I were to hurt you, Will,” and Will wants to say you have, my God, you have, “I believe that I would be doing a great deal of people significant harm.”


Will huffs out a ghost of a laugh. “Are you going to keep fucking me?” He tilts his head, meets Hannibal’s even gaze.  “Is this part of our sessions now, Doctor?”


“Not unless you wish it to be,” Hannibal says mildly.  “Although I feel I should remind you—technically speaking, I am not actually your psychiatrist.”  As though that were the line that had been crossed here, as though that was the sin and this time, Will does laugh.


Well.  Tries to.  The noise that comes out isn’t right, and Will wishes fervently that he’d been able to see Hannibal’s face as he came.  He wants to see Hannibal shake apart and sweat and swear, wants to see that cool skin flushed red and tangible, hair in his face, jaw muscles tight as his teeth grind together.  Will wants that burned onto his retinas, tattooed on the insides of his eyelids because he’ll need it later.  He always does.  Needs to know if it happened, needs to play one more round of real-or-not-real because the ache inside him is a familiar enough demon that it isn’t exactly concrete proof.


“I would prefer the next time be in a different setting,” Hannibal says then, with a smile that crinkles his eyes into warm creases at the corners.  “Perhaps following dinner.  Or something less—“


“Traumatic?” Will suggests and he has no idea if he’s talking about the sex or the conversation.  His hands are trembling, though, and he shoves them under his thighs to stop it.  Stop Hannibal looking at them, anyways, although he doubts it went unnoticed.  He, for his part, doesn’t miss the way Hannibal talks about it as though he knows there will be a next time, as though Will’s crash into him was somehow inevitable.  Planned.  


Maybe it was.  


Maybe it still is.


Because Hannibal can’t be that much older than him, but when his hands fit neatly into the curves of Will’s shoulders and pull him, slowly easing him into Hannibal’s warm bulk,  as Will closes his eyes and breathes in Hannibal’s cologne and the faint musk of sweat, as Will shoves his nose into the hollow of Hannibal’s throat, he realizes he won’t say a fucking word because Will Graham learned to keep secrets at his Daddy’s knee, and, well.


It feels like coming home.