The liquid in the tumbler in his hand glitters, the air from his lungs transforming into a frozen cloud right before his lips.
He probably shouldn’t sit outside on the veranda tonight. It’s already quite cold. But it’s fun to watch the dogs run around on the ground, see the black and silver sparkles flung into the air by their paws, the way the steam off their bodies seems to generate tiny clouds everywhere. Only Winston sits close to Will and leans into his scratching hand, his black nose nudging Will’s hand whenever he stops, making Will’s lips twitch in an indulgent smile, every time.
Winston is one of the better things that’s happened to me recently…
Will takes another sip, the glass reflecting the light, shattering it into fractures. He stares at the white glimmer, pursing his lips. How would it be to see everything in color?
He exhales, shaking the thought off with a small shrug, extending his legs with a sigh. Another nudge and he chuckles, leaning down to press a quick kiss to Winston’s forehead, scratching right behind the right ear, where he likes it best. Dogs only see a few colors as well, and they’re not complaining. Will frowns, swallowing down the lump in his throat and the irritation at himself.
Black and white are much easier to use to distinguish crime scenes after all, too. Higher contrast. And law enforcement have their colorimeters for everything else. No use whining after something he will never have anyways. Soulmates.
Will scoffs, draining the last of his whiskey. The bottle had been one of the ones he got as a farewell-gift from his colleagues at the force, his supervisor very helpfully informing him the bottle had been “one of the rare blue labels”.
Silence had fallen after this announcement, his colleagues embarrassed and annoyed at asshole Mick Tanner for putting Will on the spot once more. As if his empathy disorder and healing stab wound weren’t enough, the jab was aimed at him for being one of the few people still “monochromatically disabled”. Like it’s a fucking disease. Juliette, the secretary had come up as he left, smiling at him sadly, whispering. “Why don’t you just enter a few centers, Will? I’m sure you’d be able to find your soulmate then? It only took 4 visits for me?” He had smiled, a brittle, empty smile and turned around and left, his mind filled with static.
Centers… Huge convention centers where you would line up and start shaking hands all day, trying to force-find your soulmate. Rather distasteful. And disgusting. Will shudders now, his rejection innate. All that touching. He clicks his tongue. It’s just as hard as actually keeping eye-contact all the time. Winston nudges his hand again, shifting his thoughts back to the present. He should really get to bed.
There’s a meeting Jack wants him to attend just before his lecture after all.
It’s a good thing the world is black and white because Will’s thoughts are definitely in stark contrast as well, with sluggish black oozing resentment dominating the tapestry of his mind.
And white puffs of interest he cannot suppress; the psychiatrist Jack has paired him with for the case is definitely not the usual run-of-the-mill variety.
Will grimaces, unable to put his finger on it. There is something about the careful way everything about his appearance fit. Something about how the verbal sparring was so viciously kind and on point.
He should not have left Jack alone with this… Hannibal Lecter.
Will groans, rubbing his face, righting his glasses as he stomps into his lecture hall.
I just know I’ll regret this.
It’s all wrong. The white glare of the sun on the body, the black of the ravens, fluttering around.
He just throws it all out, annoyed, unsettled. The killer left him a gift, it has already become a game. He turns, one of the officers commenting on the victim’s “creamy complexion, even in death”. Will grits his teeth, leaving black footprints in the striped grass.
It’s a good thing the breakfast is so good. And the coffee is a revelation. Will tries to swallow the feeling of being overrun with another bite of protein scramble, his mouth watering. Hannibal is more than a hobby cook. Will takes another sip. He watches the instinctual slight dilation of the pupils in the man across from him, possibilities unfolding, easily. He swallows them down with the coffee, his tone gruff. “Just keep it professional.”
The man, Hannibal, pauses, his tone gentle but firm. “Or we could socialize like adults, god forbid we become friendly.” Friendly, huh. Will’s answer is harsh. “I don’t find you that interesting.” There is an almost smile in the black shadows of Hannibal’s mouth and Will wants to wipe it off, immediately, frowning at the answer. “You will.”
It’s such a weird thing to respond with, it gives Will pause. He locks eyes with Hannibal, watching closely. No flitting away, dilated pupils openly displayed, the striped and freckled iris a firm stare. Maybe I will. Time to test him a bit.
He allows Hannibal to change tactics, to engage him more closely. It is easier than it should be, bordering on banter. When Hannibal leaves Will holds the door for him, carefully apart. Hannibal’s freckled eyes lock with his once more before he turns away, and Will’s gaze falls onto his colorimeter. No fucking way. He turns away to get dressed, suppressing the desire to know what hexadecimal color codes Hannibal’s eyes might possibly have.
Hannibal is a much easier travel companion than Will anticipated, quiet and sharp, his gentle wit hard to combat with deliberate grumpiness. Will isn’t quite unaware of his own appeal, monochromatic or not, but seeing too much with his brain and not enough color with his eyes had proven a fatal combination in the past.
Every encounter with another human brought hope for more, but what came after was vast disappointment at a non-match and irritation at his deductions following right after. The hopeful gaze after the brush of hands, the grunted, quietly resentful sigh after a kiss, instantly killing the mood. Sex is something only soulmates can reeeeeaaaaally appreciate, apparently. Will shoots a look at the man next to him and the not quite veiled interest. Is he able to see color?
It’s not a question one asks, and the need to carry a colorimeter is not something ever mentioned between colleagues.
Will wonders if Hannibal would mind the question. He doesn’t seem to take offense at his “What are you smiling at?” after all…. He turns away and pushes the door open, carefully trying not to step into one of the puddles of mud everywhere on this construction site, refocusing on the white box serving as an office.
His own woeful private life will have to wait. There are girls dying and he has work to do.
Everything is black, the sticky black on his hands from the woman’s throat emanating a deafening, cloying smell, the copper heavy on his tongue.
He’s not quite sure what he’s yelling, only aware that his mind has switched to auto pilot. The gun feels cold and heavy in his hands, the commotion from below a detail, reaching him as if from far away over the roaring in his ears.
He stumbles down the stairs, everything in stark contrast, the floor below like a black maw, daring him to enter. A girl screams and he locks his jaw, the white of her eyes almost burning around her wide, black pupils, her black hair flowing as if in slow motion. The white glint of the knife as it slices her white skin, the black blood arching.
Bullets rip free, instinctual, hitting their mark.
He drops the gun, tumbling to his knees, watching the girl get impossibly whiter, the black blood oozing now, her black gaze wide. He presses his hands to the wound, his mind a panicked static, trying to forget the killer’s stare. Her black blood mixes with her mother’s and he doesn’t dare to think about this, not now, not now when she still breathes, how can he stem the bleeding, how should he apply pressure, the basic knowledge of first responder not enough, he cannot lose her, she is frightened, the edges of vision are drawing in, the blackness is beckoning, how should he reach for his phone like this, how can he, how…
And then a shadow falls over him and firm hands pluck his right hand off first, gently pulling away his left, sealing the wound in her throat with experienced pressure. Will’s vision wavers and a tingling sensation blooms into sharp pain for a moment, the world shifting in and out of focus.
He presses his left hand to the floor, unable to look away, the black oozing over Hannibal’s left wrist writhing and sliding like a snake, glittering in the light.
The thought comes with the deceptive sluggishness and brutal impact of a Tsunami, impossible to withstand. It looks different. Will’s chest constricts, his mind unable to keep up. It’s… what is it?
Breath comes hard and Will pants, his mind on a second rail somehow, understanding and not, trying to interpret all the sudden influx of new data.
Is this… what they call red?
Oh my god.
The blood is so different now.
It’s… it’s beautiful.
He finally looks up, the other shoe dropping with the weight of the world, crushing reality and taking his whole life with it, everything he thought would be.
His heart skips a beat, stumbling over the sheer implications. Will swallows, trying to focus on something smaller, something easier to handle.
His eyes have a reddish color, too?
He drops his gaze again, refocusing on the red spreading everywhere just beneath Hannibal’s fingers. I need to call an ambulance.
He tears himself away, fumbling for his phone, his voice breaking as he makes the call. The girl is shivering and wheezing on the floor, and so he leaves, searching for a blanket, his steps stumbling.
Red droplets of blood on the floor, a red flower on a window sill. The blanket he finds has red patterns, the car he can see through the window outside is red.
Will inhales a shaky breath, his hands gripping the cloth tightly, frowning. No other colors yet.
He swallows and returns, placing the blanket over the girl, absently noting the movement as Hannibal lifts his head to look at him. Will blinks slowly, feeling nauseated, raising his gaze in an almost fatalistic and yet relieved motion, allowing himself to see, the sound of sirens seeming far away.
Hannibal’s expression is a bit wary, dumbfounded even, driving home the fact that his world was just turned upside down as well. Will swallows, a brittle smile twitching on his mouth.
A psychiatrist and a profiler. Now if that isn’t the recipe for disaster.
His hands are shaking. He looks at them and then follows them up as if in trance, feeling out of body. He hesitates, hovering just before Hannibal’s skin for a long moment, their eyes locked, emotions too powerful to voice swirling and melding, making everything stand still.
And then Hannibal leans forward a bit, placing his face into Will’s cradling hands and Will gasps, the tingling sensation back, another sharp pain, a gasp from Hannibal and suddenly the kitchen explodes in a warm glow that Will’s brain helpfully informs him is supposedly called ‘yellow’, the sun streaming in illuminating everything, the white details and floor speckled with colorful spots. Hannibal’s expression softens, his skin a color Will cannot quite name, his whisper a shiver down Will’s back. “I think the color of your shirt is called beige?”
Tires screech to a halt outside and Will rears back as if whipped, dropping his hands. The bloody imprints on Hannibal’s skin are stark contrasts and literal marks of ownership - for all to see. He stumbles out of the kitchen, dimly recognizing the warm yellow-beige colors of the house, the spots of red in between, coming to a halt outside in the midst of all commotion, trying to breathe, just breathe, slowly turning around to face the house, the car he leans against blessedly still black.
Or is black its actual color?
Guess I don’t have to wonder anymore.
People rush by and Will wants to leave. Everything, everybody is too loud, little flashes of color blooming into a roaring headache. He withdraws within himself, unable to manage, dimly aware that Hannibal is watching him as he passes him by. Will wants to look up, look at him but he can’t, everything sticky with red; he has to work hard to just breathe.
The slam of the ambulance doors rouses him a bit and he blinks, trying to make sense of the desperation locking suddenly in his gut, the feeling of loss. He looks up at the ambulance, his stomach in knots, realization dawning.
Hannibal is in there, isn’t he.
Debriefing takes forever.
Jack is understanding and concerned, the fingers on Will’s shoulder squeezing tightly before he turns to coordinate the rest of the operation.
An intern gets the exchange clothes in the gym bag from Will’s trunk; the clothes he wears are evidence. He showers at the precinct law enforcement withdrew to after securing the crime scene and then changes slowly, carefully putting the soiled clothes into the provided plastic bags, stroking the hem of his beige shirt as he packs it away. He wonders what his pants will look like, what actual color they will turn out to be. He’s never checked with the colorimeter, the information had not been important. Before. He pulls the new shirt out of his gym bag and quirks a smile, wondering how this really looks as well.
Or his jacket.
Or the wall.
He swallows, shaking his head, his fingers fumbling as he suddenly rushes to put the clean clothes on, running his hands through his still wet hair. He presses the plastic bags into the hands of one of the crime scene investigators, Zeller?, and rushes out, calling for a cab as he leaves the building. Where could Hannibal be now?
Where I left him.
There is not a doubt in his mind.
He tries not to rush.
The muscles in his jaw hurt from clenching them so hard.
He absentmindedly notes that there are not that many colors he can see yet in the hospital, but the floor, skin tones and wooden elements are very distinct already.
His heart pounds when he enters the hospital room, thank god, the sweater Hannibal wears a “beige”, too. Relief takes all his energy and he sinks into the chair, unable to do anything else, utterly grateful to find Hannibal sleeping.
Though she will not wake for a long while apparently.
His hair is streaked with shaded white? What will it turn out when we see all the colors?
And he washed off my… His mind shies away from ‘mark’. … prints.
Will looks at him for a long moment, feeling calm and yet vaguely lost, disappointed and relieved at the clean skin. He remembers how the skin felt under his hands, the light stubble. The warmth. He’s not phobic, he doesn’t see himself as prejudiced and he is aware that soulmates are not necessarily bound by gender in any way.
He never would have guessed.
What now, Will Graham?
It’s a statement, not a question and Will opens his eyes to find Hannibal looking at him, a pleased expression on his face. Will licks his lips, watching as Hannibal’s gaze falls to his lips for a moment, feeling a flutter of nerves in his stomach at the sight. Well, at least that won’t be any problem… “Where else would I go?”
Hannibal smiles, the red of his lips revealing white, sharp teeth for a moment. He weighs his head, considering, shrugging just lightly. “Everywhere, I’d wager. I estimated an at least 50% chance you would run.”
Will raises his chin a bit, his tone frosty. “Do you take me for a coward?”
Hannibal chuckles. “Far from it.” He pauses, his eyes sparkling, and Will is fascinated by them, their reddish glow made intense by the sun filtering through the blinds. “But there have been people disappointed by their match before, and we all know it cannot be undone.”
Yes, and the fact that those rejecting their match commit suicide out of fatal desperation after a while is also known.
He clears his throat. “I’m not … disappointed.” A smile tugs at his lips and he tries for honesty, shrugging. “I just… “ he swallows, “I never thought I would find my soulmate, my match.” He snorts. “I wasn’t even looking.” He shakes his head, raising his eyebrow, falling into lecturing mode for a second. “Searching for that one genetic match, ‘whose hormonal structure would cause the body to produce an answering hormone which would in turn cause the Neuron coniferum in the subjects eyes to mutate’ always seemed so…” He shrugs again. “Futile. A waste of time. I couldn’t…” He looks up, watches the red in Hannibal’s eyes swirl with emotion. Will feels a curious desire to drown in them. “I couldn’t imagine.” Couldn’t imagine how life-changing this would be. How… addictive.
Hannibal inhales and smiles, sitting up a bit, clicking his tongue. He hesitates and tilts his head, his voice soft. “Your eyes have yellow spots in them and I find myself fixated with them.” He hesitates, continuing, his voice intense with longing. “I would love to see the rest of the color of your eyes too, Will.”
Will starts, blinking rapidly. He didn’t even think about that. He wipes his suddenly wet palms on his pants and stands, clearing his throat. “Erm, sure, we can try, but it… “ Might not be the next color, he wants to add, but the words dry out in his mouth as he watches Hannibal get up and step closer. Touching never featured heavily in his life and now he is here, he who society defines as his match, his mate, his…
He raises his hand, offering it, but Hannibal sidesteps it, backing Will against the window and his body heat is stifling and oh, so that’s how he wants to touch me and how can his lips be so warm and soft and a tingling and a sharp pain in his eyes again and oh my god and his hair feels so soft and god he tastes so good. He opens his mouth wider and then suddenly Hannibal withdraws again with a soft lick to Will’s upper lip and Will moans, reopening eyes - he doesn’t even recall closing them - blinking rapidly, his glasses a bit fogged.
Hannibal reaches up, slowly pulling them off, and Will’s breath catches; he feels utterly vulnerable suddenly, his hands gripping the window sill tightly. Hannibal’s eyes flit back and forth, a word Will cannot understand on his breath, Hannibal’s pupils dilating even further. His hands reach up, gliding up Will’s lapels, his words almost inaudible. “Cerulean sky, mixed with the Caribbean sea and sun, murky lurking depths and no limbal rings.” He inhales a shaky breath and it makes Will’s knees weak, his finger tips tingling.
Hannibal reaches up, drawing his finger along Will’s jawline, over the hair, not quite touching skin. “This is all I ever wanted.”
He steps back and Will feels the loss keenly, unable to keep the disappointment from his expression. Hannibal chuckles and steps back in, his voice soft. “I would love nothing better than to ravish you right here and now, Special Agent William Graham, but I would think we should maybe… make the colors explode in a more private setting, don’t you agree? After all…” He draws a finger along Will’s lapel again, careful not to touch skin. “It does come with a distinct kind of euphoria, neatly tying in with arousal, does it not.”
He steps back again and Will cannot help but snort, rushing relief that he is not the only one affected like this making him lightheaded. His eyes glance around the room and he inhales sharply when he sees her the blue of her gown, Abigail is her name, isn’t it? Hospital gowns are always blue, the dark blue of his own clothes. He blinks, wondering, and steps up to the little mirror above the sink in the corner as if in trance, keeping his eyes on his own mouth until he is close. The moment he perceives his own eyes in color a punch to the gut. Breath rushes out, and he has to hold himself up on the sink, swallowing harshly.
Hannibal comes up behind him, humming, a small smile on his lips. “I think there are still colors missing in your beautiful eyes, Will. Green maybe. And probably something bordering on purple…” He pauses, weighing his head. “Our charge,” he shoots a look at the bed, “Abigail is her name I believe, will be kept in an induced coma for a while longer, and then they will slowly reawaken her.” Hannibal licks his lips and Will follows his tongue’s path, remembering the shape of those lips on his own. “Would you like to come to my house for dinner?”
Yes. It’s what he wants to say but he pauses and checks his watch, his guilty conscience informing him that the dog sitter is only available for three more hours, and the pack has really got to go out for a run, herded as it has been inside of the house for days now. A longing to see his dogs in color creeps up, warring heavily with the desire to find even more colors. And experience physical pleasure while doing so. Because even if Hannibal might wine and dine him, Will is very sure the evening would end with them in bed.
Or on the couch.
Or on the table, if our previous reaction to each other is anything to go by.
He clears his throat, his expression turning slightly sheepish. “I would love to.” He catches the vague disappointment on Hannibal’s face and raises his hands in an attempt to appease. “No, Hannibal, I swear,“ he laughs softly, snorting, “I honestly would love to…” he smiles a full smile, watching in breathless fascination as Hannibal’s face takes on an almost besotted expression, “I would love come home with you and… explore this thing between us further.” He raises his eyebrows, refusing to reach down and readjust himself. “I just have to go back to Wolf Trap and let my dogs out, make them food, go on a run with them. I’ve been away for a few days after all.”
Hannibal nods, his expression decided. “Very well. May I accompany you?”
Will pulls a face, remembering the bed he put up in the living room for convenience, the empty refrigerator, the empty rooms upstairs, the liquor on the window shelf. Well, better if he knows what he’s getting into, isn’t it?
He shrugs lightly, mind racing with possibilities. “We would need to order food though. I literally only have stuff for my dogs.”
Hannibal tilts his head. “If I’m not mistaken, there are several organic supermarkets on the way. Would you be amenable to stopping there? It would be a delight to cook for you.”
Will nods and shakes his head at the same time, making his curls fly a bit. “Well, you might regret this with my cooking equipment, but I would be a fool to decline after the breakfast you served the other day.” He halts, narrowing his eyes. “Wait, that was this morning, wasn’t it?”
Hannibal chuckles, placing a hand onto Will’s left elbow while reaching for his jacket with the other. “I think we might need to enter a good night’s sleep into our plans, do you not agree?”
Will looks over at the sleeping girl, then down at the hand, just holding there, very lightly, the man hovering next to him, his red - maroon, that’s what they call maroon, isn’t it? - eyes burning into Will’s. Waiting. Posture open, sure of himself. Genial.
Will opens his mouth, his mouth running away from him. “You will have to let me see you.”
Surprise, there and gone again, the façade snapping back into place but just a little bit less perfect, a smug and proud little smile there on Hannibal’s lips, his voice a whisper. “No one can be fully aware of another human being unless we love them.”
Will narrows his eyes, steel entering his voice, his smile cutting. “I’ll take that as a challenge.”
He turns and leads the way, his heart thundering, Hannibal’s hand dropping from his elbow, Hannibal’s eyes burning into his back. Will closes his hand around his keys until it hurts, aware that he just passed the test.
Will watches a bit incredulously as Hannibal unpacks the groceries, his kitchen’s surfaces covered in bags and fresh vegetables and fruit, the whole display worth several months of what he usually spends on food.
He also notes the … supplies put on the little table, matter of factly and without a fuss; condoms, lube, some edible massage oil which probably cost a fortune, and Will refuses to be intimidated, refuses to be flustered, the matter-of-fact approach of safety and fun actually very much appreciated. Hannibal notices his look and shrugs a bit peevishly, unpacking the dairy products. “Just in case. I would rather we have access to what we might need rather than be frustrated later on.” He shoots a look at Will. “It is not a must, Will. It’s just that …“ he grins, a lascivious little smile that makes the butterflies in Will’s stomach riot, “we are adults after all. We can have fun when we want to.” He picks up a strawberry, washes it and then holds it up to Will’s lips, his voice low, making a statement. “Don’t we.”
Will huffs a laugh, biting dutifully into the red fruit, wondering at how the beautiful color in his yellow tainted kitchen makes it seem to taste even better. He looks up at Hannibal, deliberately locking their eyes as he licks some juice off his lips, watching the red in Hannibal’s eyes get rapidly swallowed by his dilating pupils, bringing black.
The words are hard to say but Will forces himself to voice them, blinking rapidly. “I… I’m glad we seem to be… “ he clears his throat, “compatible.” He hesitates, eyeing the condoms. “I’m clean, checked regularly.”
Hannibal’s eyes are almost black, his voice carrying a breathless quality. “Oh, dear Will, you have no idea how compatible we are.” He smiles and there is something razor-like to it that sends a shiver down Will’s spine, makes him taste copper for just an instant. “And I’m clean as well, I have brought the paperwork, I am glad we can forego this barrier between us.”
Will clears his throat and drops his gaze, looking at Hannibal’s manicured hands, a stark contrast to his own rough-skinned ones, watches those hands wash the vegetables and fruits now, the silence between them companionable but electric. Charged, like air before a lighting strike. He inhales, watching his dogs run around outside through the window.
Will turns and pulls the ingredients for the dogs out, mixing them while next to him order is brought to chaos, packaging disappearing, chopping sounds echoing his own. He puts the bowl onto the counter when he’s done, washing his hands, his tone just a bit tentative. “I’ll go get changed and take the pack on a quick run. Their food will keep and … we might not have the time later on. Do you need anything else?”
Hannibal looks up from cutting the onions, smiling at him. Will cannot help but smile back, easily recognizing the early signs of infatuation, unwilling - and if he is honest utterly unable - to resist, the prospects of a possible future way too tempting. “No, Will, thank you. Please be back in 40 minutes.”
Will nods, clearing his throat, hesitating and then reaching and brushing his hand to Hannibal’s waistcoat low on his back as he passes, trying to push the niggling feeling of too good, too soon far, far away.
He’s still in the shower when Hannibal knocks on the door, his voice just loud enough to carry over the sound of water. “Will, dinner will be ready in five minutes. Please do come down.”
Yes, mom. Will grins under the spray, reaching to turn it off. He feels relaxed, almost weightless, the prospect of lectures or even the debriefing meeting with Jack tomorrow are nothing that can taint his good mood. There is a tingling at the base of his spine that just doesn’t want to go away, as if his body is gearing up, getting ready. He briefly contemplates taking the edge off but decides against it, rather liking the simmering arousal and anticipation.
He decides to put a dress shirt on, choosing the blue one with a smile. His hand glides over the others, a red shirt catching his eye but several others are still colorless and his mouth is suddenly dry, his heart beating hard in anticipation. He looks outside at the mostly black and white world, the blue sky above, yellow rays of sun gleaming.
Running with the dogs had been beautiful and strange and almost mythical in a still black and white forest, dipped with red berries, and he would have loved to linger, only his desire to go back on time, to him, had been stronger.
Will pulls on some black briefs and black jeans, foregoing socks, combing his curls with his hands. He pads down, halting in the door to the kitchen when he sees the set table, an artful arrangement of fruit and vegetable and shish kebab skewers smelling divine. A shift in the air behind him and hands on his waist, breath on his neck, and Will erupts in goosebumps, gasping quietly as Hannibal inhales deeply, his hands pushing down just slightly. Will blinks, his voice breathless. “Did you… did you just smell me?”
Hannibal chuckles, his voice low. “Difficult to avoid. I really must introduce you to a finer aftershave. That smells like something with a ship on the bottle.”
Will looks back over his right shoulder, his voice even but fragile. “I keep getting it for Christmas.” Hannibal tightens his grip and gently turns him and Will allows it, his eyes searching Hannibal’s, forcing himself to continue. “It’s the most my father and I communicate these days.” He swallows, his voice raw. “We are a bit estranged after all that happened in my childhood.”
Hannibal hums, his thumb softly stroking and Will’s gaze drops down to Hannibal’s lips, wanting, and this time he moves in, his hands coming up and settling on Hannibal’s shoulders. Hannibal’s breath is fast and short, matching Will’s, and if he weren’t so aroused he would congratulate himself for the effect he seems to have but he hungers now, closing the gap with a moan, his eyes scrunched shut. The pain hits immediately but Will doesn’t care, opening his mouth wider to receive Hannibal deeper, chasing the elusive taste of them, moaning when Hannibal’s hands drop from his waist to his ass, squeezing lightly, pulling Will in. Will gasps when they align, the answering hardness an unanticipated turn-on, and then Hannibal moves forward, pushing Will against the wall, his groan traveling through them both, making Will mewl when his hips start pushing in time with his tongue. Oh god.
And then Hannibal pushes him back by the hips, eyes wild and hooded, breathing heavily, his bangs falling into his eyes, his stare intense. His voice is gravelly, raw. “The color of the forest mixing with the sky in your eyes. A wonderland of delights bundled up in physical form, ripe to be sung about in myths.” He swallows, his smile broken somehow, wounded almost. “Let us eat, Will.”
Will blinks, still short of breath and light-headed, feeling tears gather when he looks at the table, the rich greens complimenting the red and yellows beautifully, the blueberries on the vanilla cream more beautiful than his wildest dreams. Green explodes everywhere, in his kitchen and outside, the world an unknown and foreign place, deeply familiar and strangely comfortable.
Will is rather proud of himself when he manages to answer, his voice only shaking the tiniest bit. “Sure.”
“Did Garrett Jacob Hobbs talk to you?”
The question comes seemingly out of nowhere and Will freezes in front of the liquor bottles, in the process of pouring two fingers of Scotch for each of them after a truly excellent meal, his mind suddenly a static, heart-rate kicking up into high gear.
His hand shakes as he puts the bottle away again, all the sated relaxation gone in an instant, resentment at the mood being destroyed coloring his response. “I really don’t want to talk about it.”
He takes the glasses and turns to Hannibal who sits on the bed, his eyes glittering, voice a purr. “How did it make you feel?”
What the fuck.
Will turns again, suddenly angry, almost slamming the tumblers down onto the table. Whiskey sloshes out but he doesn’t care, his hands shaking with the guilt he managed to suppress until now, the feeling of the kill returning with full force. The resentment directed at other doctors from his childhood rearing its ugly head. He gasps, holding himself up with an effort, silently cursing under his breath, his eyes unfocused on the darkening outside.
He presses his lips together, shaking his head once. “You’re not my psychiatrist.”
A rustle of cloth as Hannibal gets up, his steps impossibly quiet, carefully stepping between the dog beds, now filled with snoring occupants. A click of Hannibal’s tongue but Will refuses to turn, his body stubbornly locked into place. “No, Will, I am not. But then I am many things, and curious… “ Hannibal leans close, pressing a kiss onto the cloth between Will’s shoulder blades, “is just one of them.” Hannibal hums and softly encircles Will, and it takes forever but eventually Will relaxes into the embrace, letting his head hang, his voice low. “It was the ugliest thing in the world.”
Hannibal squeezes softly, once, his fingers pressing into Will’s side for a moment. “Do not lie to me, Will.”
Will pulls a face, his voice a whisper. “Will you return the courtesy?”
There is a beat of nothing and then Hannibal’s voice reaches him, the tone changed, a breathless element in it that kicks every sense of alert in Will into high gear. “If that is what you wish.”
Will turns in his arms, searching his eyes and Hannibal continues, his eyes sparkling, flaming and yet ice cold, sending chills through Will’s bones. “Be careful what you wish for, Will.”
Will weighs his head, rerunning all the info he has in his head, all the conversations they’ve had. The food. The money. The reputation. The job. The … clothes. He doesn’t even need to see the house. Will reaches up, slowly untying the tie Hannibal had donned while he had showered upstairs. “You want to be seen. Experience everything this world has to offer.”
Will smiles, pulling out the end. “You yearn for it, hunger for it, even more than for the colors. It is why…” He looks up, frowning, speaking without seeing, a pendulum of light rearranging his thoughts. “It is why you are well versed in the physical pleasures while most people only search for their soulmate. It had not been a priority, or, at least, it was a lesser one.”
He pulls the tie out, letting it drop onto the table. “You called me William, you know about me, probably through the psychiatric circles. A rare breed indeed, an Empath, and unbound. You came to me that morning in the Motel already determined to woo me, to make me yours, soulmate or not.” He stops, breathing heavily, blinking rapidly. He drops his hands to Hannibal’s shirt, undoing the first button. “You are a well known psychiatrist, your reputation precedes you. You could have anyone you chose, unbound at least. A lot of your students must have had a crush on you.” He pops another button open, Hannibal watching him, standing stock still. “You probably had affairs with them, too.” He looks to the side at the dreaming Buster, smiling at the red tongue hanging out a bit.
“You have achieved a lot and on your own merits, you don’t hesitate to show them off or show off what you like.” Another button opens under Will’s fingers, the last one glinting in the lamp’s light. Will tilts his head, looks at the intricate pattern on the cloth. “You get bored.” He narrows his eyes. “Or, not bored exactly but … “ Will licks his lips, trying to put it into words. “You feel superior to people. Monochromatic disability or not.” He thinks back to the kitchen this afternoon, the way Hannibal took certain liberties. “You were a surgeon, so you know how to handle knives. You know well how to manipulate people. You were not shocked when the mother of that girl died.”
He inhales, opening the final button. “They say that the first thing you see in color has a special meaning.” Will reaches for the parts of Hannibal’s dress shirt and slowly pulls it out of his trousers, feeling out of body. “The first thing I saw in color was the blood on your hands.”
He licks his lips, slowly pulling the shirt all the way free, Hannibal’s hands hanging loosely at the sides, though Will has the distinct feeling that relaxed is not even close to what Hannibal is feeling right now, quite the opposite. “You dress for the occasion, colors and clothes carefully selected. Despite your wide range of acquaintances, you do not have anybody to go home to, which is on purpose I think.” He pauses, dropping his hands to the belt buckle. “You want to know how I felt killing someone.” He pulls the belt open, breath short, hand hovering on the hard heat beneath the cloth. His voice is a whisper and the hair in his neck is standing up, his mouth dry. “And you knew I was lying when I told you.”
Will stops, almost hyperventilating, waiting, Hannibal exhaling in a rush, his words almost inaudible. “Clever boy.” He leans forward a bit, his mouth very close to Will’s ear, breath tickling. “And what, Special Agent William Graham, does all of this mean?”
Will licks his lips, pulling down the zipper slowly, locking his gaze with Hannibal when he reaches for the button, the answer quite clear, black and white. “It means I will have to decide.” He swallows, watching as Hannibal watches him in rapt fascination. “Either my world will explode in technicolor and physical delights, shared by someone with the capacity to understand and the…” he swallows, “hunger to do so, or…” Will pauses again, feeling Hannibal’s hand twitch, involuntarily, “or you will…. kill me.”
He exhales in a rush, his hands opening the button and stroking the cloth of Hannibal’s underwear. “Or at least you would try.”
Hannibal smiles at that, a sharp, shark like smile that shows his fangs, humor reentering his dark eyes, his voice a dark purr of breathless delight. “I cannot help but notice that you are not running, Will. Again, I might add.”
Will exhales, raising his eyebrows, tone self-deprecating. “Probably against my better judgment.”
Hannibal smirks. “You can always say it was predestined.”
Will snorts, feeling slightly sick, his mind and stomach in knots. “Deemed right by divination?”
Hannibal hums, his almost black eyes glittering. “Deemed right by me.”
With that he bends down and kisses Will before Will can think too much about that comment, a brutal, bruising kiss that distracts Will from the pain in his eyes completely, sharp and rough and everything Will needs, teeth clashing, their hands grabbling for purchase. Hannibal fists Will’s hair and pulls Will backwards to the bed, both falling down onto it in a tumble of limbs, writhing against each other. Hannibal growls, sucking on Will’s tongue, and it goes directly to Will’s cock, his arousal not at all daunted by his deductions.
On the contrary.
And isn’t that interesting.
It is a thrilling element to the way they writhe together, the way Hannibal’s muscles feel under his clothes. To the way Will can feel his teeth nipping and scratching, downwards, his hands making sure never to leave Will’s skin. Hannibal pushes Will’s shirt up and mouths at his stomach, dipping his tongue into Will’s navel, again and again until it is an almost out of body sensation, surreal and floating and Will feels as if he will open up and swallow Hannibal up at any point, feeling strangely loose and terribly aroused, straining against the confinement of his jeans. Hannibal noses up, pushing his nose into the skin and muscle just above Will’s heart and then bites the spot, harshly, his teeth holding, almost breaking skin.
The thought comes unbidden and Will shoves it away, rearing up, pulling Hannibal up with him, diving in for another kiss, being the one to push this time, and Hannibal softens under his hands, the kiss gentling, though it is no less intense and Will’s hands shake, brushing Hannibal’s shirt off.
Hannibal frees his arms and then cradles Will’s face, separating them, the air between them heavy, broken by breathless moans. He swallows, his thumbs brushing the soft skin under Will’s eyes gently, so gently, his eyes wearing the sheen of tears. “There is purple in your eyes as well. Just a bit, but if I saw you everyday forever, I would remember this time, Will.” He smiles and a single tear drops and Will looks in wonder, bending forward to kiss the tear away, bending down to press a gentle kiss to Hannibal’s mouth, soft and full of feeling.
He inhales deeply when they break, his hands coming up to thread through Hannibal’s hair, nosing along the jaw line of Hannibal’s face, slowly. Hannibal inhales a shaky breath and then pulls him closer, his hands making quick work of Will’s shirt buttons, sighing when it falls open. He smirks and traces a vein from Will’s throat down to his collarbone, his voice an awed whisper. “They’re purple, translucent under your skin. I often wondered what their hue would look like to me; every time my scalpel would reveal them.”
His eyes are sparkling and Will has ask, too open, too indulging, too seeing to not go there. “When was the last time you revealed them?”
Hannibal hesitates, his nails scratching suddenly, turning the skin above the vein red, the burning sensation mingling enticingly with the heat in Will’s gut. He swallows and Will can almost feel him evading, withdrawing, countering with humor. “Yours? I believe never is the correct answer.”
Will hisses and bites at Hannibal’s lips, diving in and drawing blood, the color strikingly bright, shockingly intense. “Don’t lie to me, Hannibal. That’s what we agreed on, remember?”
Hannibal freezes for a second and then comes to life, and Will can feel his aura changing, their forming bond tingling, something dark and demanding creeping into the edges of Will’s vision, just out of sight. His voice is a purr. “I remember.” He rips the shirt off of Will and pushes him down, taking Will’s breath with the force of it, Will’s hands locked tightly in his grip, biting at Will’s nipples until Will starts moving his hips, mindlessly, only gentling when Will is close, so close.
Hannibal moves up again and bites at Will’s throat and Will gives him what he instinctually knows he wants, a low, groaning scream, arching into the pleasure-pain, mewling when Hannibal starts to suck at the spot, obviously relishing the vibrations. Hannibal lets go after a moment, a wild look in his eyes, snarling the words. “Purple now in your skin.” He licks at the spot and Will moans, leaking now, his mind a fuzz and conversely crystal clear, wanting. He wrestles his wrist free, reaching blindly for the supplies while raising his head for a kiss and Hannibal obliges with a groan, his hands resuming their roaming, pushing into Will’s underwear. “Have you ever?”
Will bites his lips, waving the tube of lube a bit, his voice breathless as he feels Hannibal’s fingers lightly part his cheeks through the cloth. “Profiler, remember?” Hannibal growls and takes his mouth, mimicking the action to come with his tongue, making Will moan deeply, appreciatively.
He starts biting along Will’s lips, little nips, words broken in between. “I will fragment your mind and body into all the colors of lust.”
The jab of arousal is almost brutal.
Will inhales a shaky breath, shaking his head with a laugh, ending in a sigh. “If you’re going to get delusions of importance here, you better make it extra good, Hannibal.” He licks his lips, resolving to keep the fact that he never had full intercourse to himself, only playing around and mostly with himself at that, so, not really, semantically…. Hannibal does a nice job of destroying this particular train of thought by pulling his underwear off, his gaze transfixed as he stares, unabashedly, drinking Will’s naked form in. “You are beyond beautiful.”
Will blushes and hates himself for it, though he cannot help but see the darkness swirling in Hannibal’s eyes softening, the beast Will knows is there, gentled by affection and desire. He bites his lips and then stretches, his back arching, slowly undulating, parting his legs. The darkness in Hannibal’s eyes gets impossibly deeper, the red almost completely gone, the world around them dropping away, and then Hannibal groans and bends down, swallowing Will down, unmercifully, the suction immediate, teeth hidden just so, tongue swirling.
Light explodes behind Will’s eyes and he scrambles for purchase, hands coming to rest in Hannibal’s hair by instinct, the heat gathering low in his guts. He scrunches his face, the feeling too intense, too much, and then Hannibal presses his fingers to Will’s mouth and Will groans, his cock jumping in Hannibal’s mouth, well aware of what’s about to come.
He opens his mouth and Hannibal pushes two fingers in with a sigh, the vibrations making Will’s legs tremble, almost there, almost there, his body gathering, ready to fall. He sucks on those fingers in earnest now, knowing he’s copying Hannibal’s motions, knows it has almost the same effect on Hannibal. And then Hannibal withdraws the fingers, looking up, still swallowing deep, and Will opens his mouth in a silent scream, the pleasure cresting just as one finger breaches him, unerringly finding that spot, prolonging the brilliant agony until there is no breath, no words, just the constrictions of Hannibal’s throat. Will tries to come down when his body finally falls back to the bed, but Hannibal is merciless, keeping him in his mouth, suckling, the oversensitivity almost painful, keeping the focus away even as another finger enters him, stroking, too dry, too slow, too good.
Hannibal hums and Will almost sobs, his thighs shaking, unable to unclench his fingers from the sheets. The fingers inside of him continue their torture and eventually Will’s body responds, his cock filling, slowly, his sighs shifting into moans once more. Hannibal releases him and licks once over the head, grinning wolfishly, reaching down with his free hand to drop his own underwear. Will swallows and bends sideways a bit to look, muttering a ‘fuck’ under his breath, eliciting a laugh from them both. Hannibal bites at his hip and reaches for the lube, slicking himself up thoroughly, his words almost pensive. “Normally, it would be better on your stomach… but I wish to see you.”
Will swallows and nods, trying to stay relaxed, not to tense up in anticipation.
He wants you to feel it. For days.
He exhales a shaky breath, blinking rapidly.
And god knows, so do I.
He pulls Hannibal up for a hungry kiss, the taste of himself on Hannibal’s tongue an iridescent turn-on. Hannibal settles between his legs and pushes them up onto his shoulders. He hesitates and Will can feel his breath puffing at his face and so he reaches up, cradling Hannibal’s face again, feeling out of body, floating, open and… ready. He blinks, his smile instinctual and true, a soft smile that softens the edges of the man above him. “I’m ready, Hannibal.” He grins, his tone lewdly playful. “Make me see technicolor, darling.”
Hannibal blinks at him, vulnerability bleeding somewhere through the cracks of his demeanor, his person suit, and Will’s smile turns gently wistful, holding Hannibal’s face as Hannibal aligns, slowly, his eyes locked to Will’s as he pushes, and there is no air, the sensation almost unbearable in intensity, forcing a low scream from Will, ending in an almost sob as Hannibal settles, heavily breathing. Will feels filled to bursting, his body fighting to adapt, shaking with the effort. Hannibal closes his eyes and starts to move - precise, carefully timed rolls of his hips that turn the pain into agonizing pleasure within seconds and have Will writhing, his eyes closing halfway, the world dropping away.
Hannibal drops his hold on Will’s legs, letting them fall to his hips and reaches up to cradle Will’s face instead. They’re so close now Will imagines he can feel Hannibal’s heart, trying to jump out to meet with his own.
Hannibal’s sweaty bangs fall into his eyes, his skin glinting orange in the light of the setting sun. Will can see him fighting to maintain control, and we can’t have that, can we, he tightens his body, pulling Hannibal in on a push, sharpening it deliciously.
It’s all it takes.
Shadows roar to life, Will’s vision melding with reality as he is taken over the edge, the black stare of Hannibal’s pupils, ringed with red the last thing he sees before reality whitens out, a moment of suspended bliss, his hands holding on to the human form that gentles the beast.
Somewhere, within him, heat throbs.
It’s an addictive feeling.
God, I want this.
“Huh, there’s still colors missing.”
The words leave Will’s mouth without apparent intervention from his brain, lazily observing the black and white spots in his room, lying loose-limbed on his back still, Hannibal pressing small kisses to the bruise he made on Will’s throat. His voice is slightly muffled. “That is because I cannot seem to take my hands off you it seems - request for technicolor or not.”
Will cackles, happiness streaming through him, reaching up to thread his hands through Hannibal’s hair, playing with the silver-blond-something strands, inhaling deeply. I love his smell. Night has fallen at some point in their after-glow and the room is dark, shadows deep in the corners. Shadows conceal and reveal. He licks his lips, feeling Hannibal lick at his Adam’s apple now. “You killed the girl on the stag’s head.”
Hannibal stills for a split second and then pushes off, separating them fully, sitting unabashedly cross-legged on Will’s bed next to him, his eyes glittering in the dark. “What makes you say that, Will?”
Will sighs and then snorts, wryly noting the missing denial. “You were so very interested in knowing what I thought was wrong about the crime scene.” He shakes his head on the pillow, his eyes faraway. “You wanted to know how I think, not what was actually wrong, even though your consultant status would have allowed the details to be discussed.”
He turns, propping himself up on his side, watching the man next to him. “Along with everything else, it came together quite clear.”
Hannibal harrumphs, his tone dry. “Apparently, I need to be more careful.”
Will smirks viciously, his teeth flashing. “Well, you made sure I would only concentrate on you…”
Hannibal’s voice carries a weird undertone and Will frowns, trying to decipher it. “Not on the supposed divination?”
Will hesitates, letting the pendulum swing once more, following the breadcrumbs. “Our meeting is no coincidence. You know about me, you knew Alana Bloom would think of you as my support. You…“ Something clicks into place. “You were not surprised to hear about me being estranged from my dad, did not even ask. After Alana called you accessed the genetic samples they took from me as a child after all the tests of my empathic abilities.” He blinks, sitting up slowly, his mind a static. “You checked the match.”
Something like panic settles in his gut, his hands shaking. “You decided that I was worthy enough, worthy to be bonded.” He is breathing heavily now, goosebumps everywhere, feeling deeply unsettled.
Hannibal comes to life next to him, reaching out, and Will shies away, standing up, hugging himself in between his dogs, naked and messy, feeling suddenly alone, utterly unsettled, unable to look at Hannibal.
Hannibal gets up as well, hovering behind Will, his voice almost inaudible. “The bond will be fully realized when we both see the full spectrum.” He hesitates, steel coloring his voice. “Meaning you will have to choose now, Will. There’s not many colors left, only hues.” There is a pause and Will can feel him step near, triggering his fight or flight reflex, and Will suppresses it viciously, trying to stay calm. Hannibal sighs, warmth entering his voice again. “Yes. All you have said is true.”
He steps around Will, locking eyes with him, his voice a whisper. “And yes, you are indeed worthy.” A sharp smile, there and gone again. “What a cunning boy you are.”
Will exhales shakingly. “What meat were the shish kebab?”
Hannibal’s lips twitch and his eyes sparkle, severe satisfaction open on his face. “Chicken. Her lungs were pre-smoked, they wouldn’t have fit well with the spices.”
Will squats down, pressing the heel of his right hand to his temple, feeling physically ill, shaking. His dogs twitch in sleep, and Will is relieved when they continue to sleep, unable to deal with them just now. Hannibal hesitates next to him, and a part of Will recognizes the good-will behind this gesture, the space he’s given. Bonds cannot be broken. He’s still giving me a chance to run with the colors I already see.
He swallows, forcing the words out. “I’m a profiler, an agent…”
Hannibal exhales, lowering himself to a squat next to Will, his eyes glittering in the dark. “Yes. You are. And yet you are so much more.” He pauses, his voice a whisper. “You hide yourself from the world out here, from yourself even, surrounded by your canine friends because you know you are different. Don’t you crave change, Will?”
Yes. I crave change. I crave… this.
The desire to just give in is stuck in Will’s throat, straining against the restrictions in Will’s chest, the lure of utter freedom easily recognized. Decisions are made of kneaded feelings.
He inhales deeply, his voice gruff. “The terror of choice you give me.”
Hannibal’s teeth flash. “Exercising free will can be a daunting task.” He reaches out, playing with a curl of Will’s hair, careful not to touch Will’s skin. “I would have you freely, as my equal, fully experiencing all this world has to offer. Or not at all.”
If I leave now, I would regret it, always.
I am riddled with regrets.
I do not wish to regret this.
Will scrunches his eyes closed, the next words instinctual, sealing his fate as he says them. “What about the girl?”
Hannibal tilts his head. “Abigail? What about her?”
Will shakes his head. “I killed her father, she doesn’t have anyone anymore.”
There is a pause and Hannibal’s voice takes on another cadence, amusement and elation glittering through the air. “We can be her fathers now. I would love to show the two of you Florence.” He clicks his tongue, his voice low again, reverberating through Will. “We could leave now. Leave a note for Alana to feed your dogs, get the girl. Almost polite.”
Will shakes his head, frowning. “No. I will not start a new life being hunted by the police.” He pushes himself up, slowly, Hannibal following his movement. “Which means…” Will hesitates, turning to face Hannibal, feeling exhausted and elated, excitement and fatalism thrumming through him, “We will find a way to tie our lives up here now, release Miriam Lass from wherever you are keeping her.”
Surprise filters through Hannibal’s expression, there and gone again, replaced by awe. “Ah, you will be a handful, mylimasis.” He blinks, nodding slowly. “Very well, I accept your terms.”
Will chuckles, strength returning, his spine straightening, mulling silently over the foreign word, clearly recognizing it as an endearment. “Oh, these aren’t my terms.” He steps up to Hannibal, raising his chin. “These are facts.” He grins. “We’ll discuss my terms later.”
Hannibal chuckles at him, a breathless, delighted chuckle, his eyes sparkling. Will licks his lips, his voice a purr. “Oh honey, you’re laughing now.” He leans in, pressing a kiss to Hannibal’s lips, the now familiar pain in his eyes not dissuading him from the resurgence of arousal that shoots through his body, his hands finding purchase easily. He breaks after a moment, looking up, his tone teasing. “I’m glad I still got to see the brown in your hair, the silver is taking over.”
Hannibal narrows his eyes, his fingers squeezing. “Did you just call me old?”
Will smiles, flashing his teeth. “Prove to me you’re not?”
A growl is the only warning he gets, the world tilting as Hannibal physically drags him to the bed, throwing him on it, and the next time their skin touches, turquoise roars to life.
But Will only notices that much, much later.
“I just realized I am supposed to give a lecture about you. Tomorrow morning. And I have a hickey the size of Texas on my throat.”
Hannibal smiles, pressing a kiss to the small of Will’s back. “You better get that lecture correct then. I hear I’m a sociopath.” He licks at Will’s tailbone, just above the soft skin, making him mewl and reach back to slightly slap Hannibal’s shoulder.
“Well, I know you’re a fucking sadist.”
A bite and a lick, combined with a muttered “Language, Will”, and Hannibal moves up, pressing kisses and nips to the indentations in Will’s spine, making him sigh. “I guess I can call Alana and ask her to stand in for me.”
Hannibal hums, sinking to the side, pulling Will into a spooning position, softly ghosting his fingers up and down Will’s arm. “That would be lovely, mylimasis.”
Will leans back, turning his head for Hannibal to press a kiss to his cheek. “I can feel it, you know. The difference.”
Hannibal smiles against his skin. “What does it feel like?”
Will inhales, reaching to link his fingers with Hannibal’s on his stomach. “It’s a… quiet sense of power.” Like being home. He turns back a bit more, locking eyes with a bit of an effort. “How does it feel for you, now that the bond has clicked into place?”
Hannibal’s eyes flit back and forth and then focus on the window, his gaze faraway. For long minutes there is nothing and then the answer comes, hurting brilliantly. “Like coming home.”
Will smiles, turning front again, feeling Hannibal press a kiss to his neck, sunlight splintered into rainbow colors pouring over them.