Some days Will feels no urge to leave his bed, alarms are snoozed again and again, phone keeps ringing and royally ignored and the only thing that finally pulls him out of his slumber is a full bladder and begging dogs. Winston has to be let out by 7:30 because that's his routine and Will could ignore everything in the world but not his dogs. "Hey buddy", he musses his fur while sniffing the creature deeply thanking some unknown powers for having the dogs in his life. He puts his hand in the wooden cabinet without looking and pulls out whatever come out. It looked like the same thing he has been wearing since last few days, but he cared so less about how he looked that it hardly matters. He checked his phone.
One missed call.. Jack 7:00 AM ( of course, it has to be Jack, Will frowns)
messages ....Oh no he has to check so much text, but at least thank God he doesn't have to call.
JACK - 7:55 AM - MEET BY 10, NEW CASE NEED YOUR ATTENTION RIGHT-AWAY
BEVERLY - 8:02 AM - WHERE ARE YOU, JACK IS LOOKING FOR YOU
BEVERLY - 8:10 AM - JACK IS LOSING HIS S#*T NOW, WILL BETTER BE HERE
fuck ... fuck fuck another case.
Jack heads the behavioral unit that deals with the most dangerous cases. He is equipped with several specialists and units capable of tackling and caging the new found beasts. Will had been a student and then a teacher in this discipline for years, only recently Jack dug him out to put his unique psychic abilities to use, he has always been the 'interesting profile' for psychiatrists to pour into his files.
MOLLY - 8:15 AM - HEY SWEET MAN, ARE WE MEETING TODAY
MOLLY - 8:33 AM - LAZYBUM, SWEETPUP XOXOXO CHECK THE GUEST-LIST I SENT FOR ENGAGEMENT PARTY, AND WHEN ARE WE MEETING TODAY.
Engage..what ? Yes they are... he is... getting engaged... he swallowed... to Molly. The girl Alana set him up with... poor Will Graham ... after she rejected him. Alana, when he first joined Jack's team he had a crush on her for like one week and in a confused frenzy asked her out and she politely turned him down. He forgot all about it but Alana must have felt so much sympathy for poor, lonely, harmless Will Graham... Will Graham always in plaids, Will Graham who gets the most banal haircut that does not flatter his curls... who has never bought a new shirt in last five years because he felt no point in doing so and when he told that as a matter of fact, it set everyone in the after-work party rolling... specially Alana. No matter what an asshole Jack is always pushing him around, he laughed too, but his wife shut everyone up... "let him be, guys.. Will if you want you can have my study room to relax you look tense..." those memories a blur now. It's WORK WORK WORK always new cases coming up. Will often does not find the point, what if they are different from us, what are we from their perspective...
ALANA - 8:45 AM - REMINDER PARTY AT 847A LEVINE ROAD, GREENWOOD... COME WITH MOLLY. P.S - DON'T BRING WINE, JUST COME UP.
Will had seriously forgotten all about it.
Alana's new boyfriend is the talk of the town now, Will smirks... good for Alana...
847A LEVINE ROAD, GREENWOOD the poshest nook in this place... Will raised his eyebrows. He doesn't even have anything to wear to a place like that.
WILL HATES PARTIES.
He noticed how Alana asked him to not bring wine. She has no faith in his poor taste, specially now in the light that her boyfriend is probably the czar or the count... king of never-land huh... yeah fuck it he is bringing whatever wine he wants.
And yes he has no intention of meeting Mr. Talk of the town. He knows everyone in town will be pouring in
And then brining Molly. All known faces, Chilton from the other department would ask how they met, and Alana's friend Margot will grill him on how far along they are in the relationship, the irritating, snobbish and renowned Dr. Du Maurier who only talks in metaphors and you never no if it's a gibe or a praise or a general statement blah blah and the same faces from work.. Jack oh no he would be there too. Jack discusses work whenever and wherever he goes. He won't be surprised if he brings along a file. This guy Alana is dating now what is his name.. but he is a psychiatrist too.. work again.
Will rubs his face carelessly.
Ah, he would have loved to go for fishing, or just walked by the stream.
The day was as busy as he imagined.
New case, he followed the team, shared his visions and flashes and opinion on the case – Cassie Boyle… the murder that surprised him, it looked so gift wrapped, as if someone prying to get his attention. He felt scared. He feels scared at his visions, and yet loved his visions, feeling more scared at the love for such visions… He just translates his visions to dry academic words as if they are from his experience and case studies and clinical studies and tries to minimize the bloody gores and dark dungeons he sees and can he dare say, he enjoys secretly? But today, it was too much… He instantly felt a presence, of the killer, like a companion and a shadow... of himself.
Am I normal?
He reached in time. Molly was very excited, decked up in her best. Will was wearing something he would wear for any invitation. He didn't care. He carried a bottle of wine anyway. His poor taste in wines. Yeah fuck it.
It was a house fit for a count, yes, he looked up.
Alana at the gate supervised him almost to his annoyance..."Thank God you brought Molly I hardly get to see you both."
Yes you should feel accomplished that your little 'set-up' worked... "worked" ha ha is his relationship working?
Alana is still watching him like a supervisor "You brought the wine anyway... " she made a face.. "give it to Hannibal, he is at the bar entertaining guests."
"Hanni… ?" Will isn't too accustomed to this first name, a rare one here.
"Hannibal Lecter, just call him Dr. Lecter, he prefers that way." Alana is trying to be what, his social life guide?
Will went to the bar, Molly by his side. A man standing facing away from him -well built on the leaner side, slightly taller than him, his hair ash blonde neatly combed and wearing probably the most expensive and well-tailored suit Will has even seen on anyone he knows.
"Hello Dr. Lecter."
He turns around. Cheekbones sharp enough to cut, lidded eyes, notable lips, charming smile, and smelling of what must be some obnoxiously expensive cologne. Will was startled, he had never paid attention to how a man looked or worse.. smelled.. or even how a woman looked. This man looks something, like Hollywood, even if it has been years Will watched a movie with popcorns, even Molly could not persuade him for a classic movie-and-dinner night. Anyway so this man looked like he stepped out from some European movie set of early 1900s.
He knows, how! Alana must have told his sorry story. Will felt like melting into the carpet he felt extremely conscious.
"And this is my girlfriend Molly." he faintly added. There was no need to add the word "girlfriend", she held his arm conspicuously enough.
"Fiancé..." She declared with a mock annoyance in her tone and smiled... "we are getting engaged next month."
"Thanks..." Will wants to run.
"I would like to know more of you Will, heard a lot of you from Alana and Jack"
Of course it has to be Alana, and Jack?
"Will Graham the hunter of monsters..." Hannibal smiles.
There was some kind of beauty in the smile Will couldn't put a finger on. Well set teeth and sharp canines, he noticed. What is wrong with him why is he looking at this man and how he smiles or speaks or how his eyes move... Will felt sweat pooling in the recesses of his skin, heat and salt as he could not help but admire the beauty of a man.
“So any interesting monsters?” He asks.
“Every monster is interesting in their own way”
Strangely enough, Hannibal looked displeased. He broke eye contact and the smile vanished.
“Ever loved a beast?” He asked absent mindedly…
What is that supposed to mean? Will smiled and excused himself.
People talked, talked and talked. Small and large groups all around the sprawling villa, around the pool and inside the vast living area. Molly is loving it he can see, enjoying the amazing food, the best spread even seen, Alana is going around to everyone to assure everyone is well entertained and taken care of, Hannibal is mostly near the bar but often entertaining guests and catching up with Alana... just like two wonderful hosts. Will thought. Jack is talking to Dr. Du Maurier and Chilton. Molly has already befriended Margot and some other very polished looking women. Will slowly retreated to a secluded chair at the end of the pool, a glass of wine in hand... just what he does in every party. Sitting by the water. Beverly checked with him once if he needs anything and he nods. “There you are, was looking for you.”
Hannibal. Again. Will thought the last conversation they were having on monsters had either bored him or disinterested him.
“We were talking about monsters and beasts.” Hannibal continued.
“Ever have any problems Will?”
“No” Will replied curtly.
"Not very fond of parties?" voice as smooth and sharp as harpsichord. Seemed to have noticed Will’s lack of interest.
Crowding in his personal space and no care about privacy. But he has to be as polite as possible to the host.
"Parties are distracting and chaotic, can't have a train of thought properly... too much interaction, but not enough interaction, it's hard to focus when you are thinking do those people really know me or you really know them, losing in small talks... Is that an exaggeration or is he bragging or is she being too polite. So I try to avoid parties whenever possible..."
He finally looks up meeting the eyes of his charming host - "I am this by nature and not being rude if that is what you are asking."
"Do you have trouble with social interaction?" Hannibal keeps asking.
"My thoughts and interests are often just my own better kept to myself" he purses his lips at the attack on privacy.
"So are mine." Hannibal's voice is soft now as honey.
"I build forts.".
"Building walls to see if anyone is clever enough to cross them?"
Will is finally shocked, and impressed and amused. But he shows none of that, frowns deeply.
Hannibal isn’t deflected from making his observations.
"I imagine what you see and learn touches everything else in your mind. Your values and decency are present yet shocked at your associations, appalled at your dreams. No forts for things you love."
Will's glass falls to the floor and broke. He is panting now... "Whose profile are you analyzing doctor?"
Hannibal bends down and simply picks the glass shards, puts them on a table nearby.
"Yours." Butter smooth voice, calm, collected.
Trembling, Will stands up.
"I--i-i .... sh-should go, Molly is ..."
"Molly is inside" Hannibal takes a step towards him. His eyes piercing him like a knife, the cologne is numbing his senses. "If you wish to leave, I am letting Alana know, I insist you carry some desserts for home."
Hannibal moved away to what felt like a safer distance. "I would like to meet you again Will."
Will felt a mix of relief as well as loss and inexplicable feelings that hit him like flood. He has been lonely and disturbed and misunderstood for a very very long time now.
“N-n-no” He said, Hannibal who had started to go back to the house stopped in his tracks.
Will deliberated, he imagined a drive back home would be - he would not speak a single word, would not invite Molly inside which she would accept sportingly and the he would return her attempt at a sensual kiss with a chaste brush of lips. Molly would be displeased but quiet. The he would return Molly’s hopeful "Are we meeting tomorrow?" with "I am not sure Molly“… and then Molly’s “Do we need to discuss anything Will? you are not fooling anybody Will, if there is a problem then we can… hey sweet man...” and how he would answer “It’s Work Molly, I need a little time and space…”
Why does he imagine the inevitable, what is so wrong with him that he cannot fall in love like normal people do, what does falling in love mean…why is he going ahead for the engagement…?
She has no fault, other than the fact that she is normal nice girl anyone would be happy with while he Will Graham does not know what he wants.
He has kept Hannibal waiting, he looked at him meeting his eyes.
“Wait Doctor Lecter, I can discuss some more.”
Will felt the weight of Hannibal’s breath on him, warmth of his skin and every other hints of his presence.
“I’m sorry, Will. Observing is what we do. I can’t shut mine off any more than you can shut yours off.” He simply said.
“I must confess I am shocked at your observations.”
“Shock and truth are often allied.”
Hannibal smiled, warmth radiating from his skin.
“I would apologize for my analytical ambush but I know I will soon be apologizing again and you’ll tire of that eventually so I have to consider using apologies sparingly.”
“Jack tells me you have a knack for accurate observations and revelations.”
“That is a superstition.”
“What do you see in me Will?”
“I don’t.. I do.. but I…”
“Do you often feel like not being yourself? like losing your senses…? Like destroying and taking the anger of your own lack of understanding yourself on everything else…?”
“Doctor…” Will sounds like begging now.
“The flashes you see may be a mirror of your soul.”
“Am I being your patient now doctor?”
“I can be your paddle Will.”
Will was feeling calmer now, Hannibal’s voice soothing and nourishing his senses.
"This party was to meet you Will, I don't care about all these people... these pedestrians, wedding crashers and pencil lickers, I know who you are exactly."
He took one step forward.
Will took one step back.
Will hits a wall. Literally. There is no space left to take any further step. His breathing is fast. He looks sideways the guests are inside the house and he had deliberately chosen a place most secluded.
Hannibal still takes a step forward.
"I have to l-l-leave... " Will is shaking
"You and your lady have something planned tonight?”
“N-n-no, we just, I just... w-we... I ...no we... me and Molly never...”
“You and Molly never... what Will?”
Why is is supplying these unnecessary and embarrassing details about his private intimate life? Only to be reminded that there has never been anything intimate with anyone in his life, no he did have sex very few times in his university life thanks to curiosity. He and Molly had never gone past what is called hanky panky, is it unusual? But the thing is, he never let himself open up to anyone. EVER. Never intimate in the truest sense.
Dead silence followed.
He finally looked up.
A strange smile has lit up the doctor’s face. For reasons he could not fathom he stared at him for what felt like ages, his eyes roving all over his face and dare say... his body... licking him with his stare. The doctor’s smile finally broke into a laugh and an extreme fond look.
He is taking him for some impotent bloke, what makes him look so fond?
“Good.” Hannibal says, smiling broadly now.
Good… what? God! What is this discussion about anyway, how does Will’s idiotic slip up about not having a sex life pleasing him so much?
Uneasy knots were forming in his abdomen.
“I was not asking about your sexual relationship with Molly. I was just asking about your general plans, for tonight.” He tries to be serious.
“ooh yeah.. nn-n-o.. “
“Are you not sexually attracted to her ? Were you … to Alana”
Ahhh that is the point right, the doctor is analyzing his girlfriend’s “ex-flame” so as to say… although all that happened was a chaste kiss and few minutes of talking that included a quick proposal and a quick refusal. And strange enough the refusal was relief for Will.
“Lazy Psychiatry doctor.” Will huffs now. “But since you are asking … I was not sexually attracted to Alana.”
Hannibal’s smile lingers.
“What have you done if there were no party today?” Hannibal continues his scrutiny.
“I would have gone fishing, walked by the stream, may be waded in the calm waters.”
“We can do that Will.”
Will Will Will Will… why does he keep adding the word to every sentence, how much does he know about him? What does he want to know? He doesn’t want him. At the same time Will felt he didn’t want to let go of him. It surprised him. He felt like a friend.
Hannibal rose to his feet then he held out a hand to Will, “Let’s go then, to your stream.”
Will could not believe himself when he brought his own hand out to hold the doctor’s extended inviting hand “But your... your... p-p-arty?”
Hannibal just gave an inscrutable nod.
“Alana is there.”
“What are we ...we going to the... stream...? it’s far... near my home” he swallowed...”50 miles drive.”
This must be a fever dream.
Hannibal is still holding his hand. His hand cold and clammy with sweat against Hannibal’s warm perfect pressure.
The touch is reassuring, redeeming and oh... is it… Will feels the knots in the abdomen tighten... why?
They slipped through the backdoor, like two teenagers. It felt like hooking up. Thick as thieves but more sinister. He felt he was running away, from what? the party ? the people ? the small talk ? from his fiancé ? from Alana and sympathy ? From Jack and work?
Or is he running away with Hannibal? With the man he met hours ago… foreign and alien and beautiful (or should he say handsome?) Should he admire a male acquaintance like this? Their worlds are different.
Fuck, what is wrong with you Will fucking Graham?
The North Fork creek was his favorite place to be. He hopped easily, from one rock to another to stand towards the middle. He looked back to find Hannibal struggling. His expensive suit, Jesus why is he wearing the suit to the creek? He should have given him a heads up, it’s Will’s fault.
But Hannibal managed to come over anyway. He sat on the same big piece of boulder Will sat on.
“You come here often?”
“Often, yes. If I have to leave this place and go one day I would like to keep the memory of this stream”
“Memory palace… always build a memory palace Will, so that you carry everything with you and not depend on stimulus and environment, ever.”
“Hmmm... “Will smiled. “I fish...” he added.
“I did not kiss her for l-l-love.. I don’t know why I kissed her…” Will again shocked himself by what and why he said it.
“You are losing you balance Will, is it for quite some time?”
“Yes!” Will squirmed in surprise. “I kissed Alana for a clutch of balance.”
“And why are you compelled to tell me this of all people? at his place and time?”
Will looked at his eyes. Soft gaze but still piercing. After a very long time, or may be the first time in his life, Will felt company.
The the unthinkable happened.
Hannibal dipped his head to .. to … smell him.
“Did you just smell me?”
“I smell dog and mud and an atrocious aftershave, along with a perfume your fiancé uses… and I smell your distinctiveness.”
Run! Go ! Why are you still staying, a voice whispered… but Will couldn’t Will felt intimate.
It was like being under a spell, charmed, mesmerized under that gaze.
What was worse was Will got a whiff of Hannibal. The expensive cologne but a lot more -something raw, and revealing and desperate and affectionate and monstrous and alive.
“What happened today Will, the Cassie Boyle case?”
Alana must have told him, Will thought. His thoughts are now getting absolutely muddled.
“It was … it was... profound.”
“tell me more.”
“Her body was literally gift wrapped.. for..for .m-m-mee..” he paused. Is he saying too much… But for once in his life he wanted to say, spill, it’s tiring being so wound up and pent up. “There was a beauty in how it was done, a devastating beauty, and I think I knew I just felt so c-cl-close to the killer...”
“He did not kill f-f-for just killing. He honored him in a way with beauty and it was both creative and destructive. But it was more than that, it was more than her. He wanted to be... be seen. He was l-l-onely.”
“Will…” Hannibal has tears in his eyes now.
“Call me Hannibal.”
“You are the intelligent psychopath Jack is looking for.”
“You killed Cassie Boyle for me to see you.”
“You wanted that to be a gift.”
“You arranged this party to meet me.”
“Yes.” Hannibal now rested his head on his shoulders. Tears wetting Will’s shirt.
“You are lonely. As lonely as I am.”
“We are just alike” Hannibal sighed.
“We deserve a life Will, a life where we don’t have to hide. Don’t you crave change?”
Hannibal’s voice quivering, his eyes wet and reddish, skin blushing, ash blonde hair now all mussed and falling on the face, suit wrinkled with his effort to come halfway down the stream though rocks and mud.
Will never felt such compassion for anyone or anything, beyond his dogs but now he also felt a lot more additional feelings, things he knew he never had. The knots in his abdomen has become hot and liquid now, pushing him to action. But what?
Hannibal took his face in his palms.
Will Graham, FBI profiler, geeky teacher, engaged is lost. He dipped his face so that their foreheads touch, something electric passing between the skins. Several minutes passed.
“We have to go back.” Will said feebly.
Hannibal simply nodded in negation and pressed their mouth in a kiss. Will realized he had never been this thirsty. He opened his mouth and sucked and drank and breathed, Hannibal reciprocated immediately and it soon became artless and frenzied. Hannibal’s hand reaching everywhere, towards his back and front, his shirts, pinching and caressing. Will could not believe what happened after that can only be described as making love under the stars and in the middle of a stream. Hannibal was taking labored breath as they lay on rocks and mud, Hannibal zipping him up with utmost care. Will was trembling under his skillful fingers and tongue and lips, giving back only as much as he could, overwhelmed with his first sexually satisfying experience? emotionally satisfying experience ?
Will did not look away from Hannibal for a single second during their drive back to the party, or what could be left of the party. Hannibal occasionally meeting his gaze and often nipping and kissing him hungrily, Will was scared there would be an accident but Hannibal was too deft.
Hannibal parked his car, then went to the other door to open it for Will while kissing and caressing him like some madness has come over him. Their lips wet and red with the exercise.
They knew what to say.
The party was over, the house empty. Except for 3 people. Alana who stood with arms crossed. Displeasure written all over her body language. Molly her hands folded and forehead resting on her palms, barely holding to her glass of wine. And Jack pacing up and down.
“Holly Hell! What happened?”
Alana freaked out.
“What happened Will!” Jack demanded.
Molly came to him looking up and down, this must be some scene. Both of them covered in mud and dirt. Hair and clothes in disarray, Hannibal not wearing his coat or bow or waistcoat, three buttons unbuttoned. Will lost his glasses in the stream. Lips red and swollen.
“Did you have an accident?” Jack asked “We were so very worried, we were calling 911.”
Hannibal simply went over to the bar and poured himself a glass of whiskey.
“We were making love.” Hannibal said in the most matter of fact-ly way as possible.
Will did not know if he should tone that down or add anything else and finally just remained quiet. It didn't sound nasty to him, nor scandalous, it sounded just simple and natural
"You were m-m-aking what ?" Molly looked at Will in disbelief.
"It's what he said" Will sounded tired.
"This is ... All .. absurd.. I don't think I should stay in family matters.." Jack was looking extremely uncomfortable, fidgety and trying not to make any eye contact with anyone.
“Oh so this was all about this.” Alana screamed. “Your new boy toy... is this it Hannibal?”
“He is not a boy. No need to be disrespectful Alana, go home. Everyone can go home the show is over.”
“Was this party for this..this.. OMG Hannibal.” Alana can’t stop.
“Yes,” Hannibal replied.
"What we were having then.. Hannibal" Alana's disbelief lingering like sin.
"It's over, we never promised each other anything." Hannibal sipped some whiskey "I just made some promises to Will."
Molly stood up then walked up to Hannibal and threw the wine at Hannibal’s face. “Bastard!” she spat out.
Hannibal wiped his face. “It’s late Molly, go home, Will is mine. You were maddeningly polite for him; I am sorry Molly you lost”
“Alana stepped up and slapped Will. “This is your.. your… it’s because I refused… because..” then he turned to Hannibal “or..is it you.. I was so blind.”
“A-l-a-n-a be blind, don’t be brave, if you lay one finger on Will, I will ensure the hand doesn’t stay attached to you. And it had nothing to do with you... but thank you for introducing us” Hannibal chewed his words out in a growl like an animal.
“I want to meet you in office… after this drama ... whatever it is is done.” Jack throws a look at Will and leaves.
“We are in love with one another Jack.” Hannibal said raising a toast.
“Since last few hours.” Will replied.
“Technically a little more, we were exchanging little gifts. Anyway have a good night ladies and gentlemen, the show is really over... or maybe it just began.”