Will is shivering even in his coat. He doesn’t remember airports being this cold. Who keeps the air conditioner cranked up in winter.
“No wonder travel prices are so high,” he mutters to himself.
For a second, he swears he can see the eddies of snow rising around him in a flurry, burying his feet and soaking through his shoes, his pants. He gasps, panicking. He can’t move.
A harried woman glares at him over the rim of her glasses, impatient. “I said, you’re going to need to remove your jacket, belt, and shoes.”
Will peels off his outerwear, unbuttoning his coat and tossing it in a waiting plastic bin. It’s followed by his jacket, which sticks damply to his shirt, then his belt. He toes off his shoes without bothering to unlace them, throwing them into the bin after the rest.
“Sir, your things need to be in a single layer or I can’t send them through.”
Will sighs. He grabs another grey plastic tray from the stack, spreading his clothes out.
“Do you need my glasses off too?”
He goes through the metal detector barefoot, wearing nothing but his socks. The cold seems to radiate through his feet, jarring him down to his bones. The machine beeps, and he’s waved back through, back to the exasperated TSA employee who deadpans, “Empty your pockets, sir.”
“Sorry,” Will mutters. He pulls his keys and his wallet out of his pockets and piles them into a new tray that’s slid his way.
His skin feels cold and clammy, and the bright fluorescent lights feel like an icepick jabbing into his eyes. His flannel is clinging unpleasantly to his back and arms. He passes back through the metal detector, which beeps again.
The woman sighs and stands up from her chair.
“Sir, please step to the side.”
“No, I’m running late. I have to catch my flight—”
“Step to the side, sir.”
Will grits his teeth, partially out of frustration but mostly to keep them from chattering. He does as he’s told. There’s no getting around it. Making a fuss is just going to make this take longer, maybe make him miss his plane. Not that he’d particularly mind missing his plane—he’s not in any particular hurry to get to yet another one of Jack’s crime scenes, to climb inside the mind of yet another killer.
“Wait here,” the woman says. Into her walkie talkie, she adds, “I need male personnel for a pat-down at gate two.”
Will is left to shiver in his socks. He reaches into his pocket, looking for the bottle of aspirin that permanently lives there these days, before remembering it went through with the rest of his things. He sees them on the far side of the x-ray machine, down at the end of the conveyor belt. He cranes his neck, hoping no one steals his wallet.
He waits for what seems like forever before a man finally materializes, a TSA employee wearing the same obnoxiously blue uniform as the first woman. His hair is parted to one side and slicked neatly back. His cheekbones are high and fine, and there’s something vaguely reptilian about his features.
Will shies away from him instinctively—as if some animal part of his brain that knows better than he does decides he’d like to be away from here now, please. Will doesn’t lend his own reaction any particular credence. Everybody hates the airport.
“I’ll be screening you today. I will run my gloved hands over the front and back of your body, using the back of my hands on any sensitive areas. Do you have any injuries or medical devices I should be aware of?” The man’s voice is measured and musical when he speaks, heavy with an accent that Will can’t quite place. Eastern European, if he had to guess with a gun to his head.
Will shakes his head. The man seems to be waiting for a verbal response, so Will opens his mouth and says, “No.”
“Good. Please hold your arms out to your sides, parallel to the floor.”
Will does as he’s told, holding still while the man runs gloved hands over his arms and chest. He kneels and slides his hands down the backs and front of Will’s legs, turning those hands around, as promised, when it’s time to skim them over Will’s ass and groin. He doesn’t linger inappropriately, standing up immediately to finish the pat-down with a quick rifle of his fingers through Will’s hair.
“Please wait here a moment,” the man says when he’s through.
Will nods, leaning back on his heels. He knows where the man’s going—to test his gloves for explosive residue, for evidence of bombmaking. He closes his eyes while he waits, wishing there was a wall he could lean against to get a little more comfortable.
He’s only been resting his eyes for what feels like a second before a light voice disturbs his reverie. He blinks his eyes open, feeling disoriented, as though he’d fallen asleep on his feet.
The same man is standing in front of him, frowning slightly. “Sir, I need you to come with me, please.”
Will blinks. “Why?”
These are clean clothes, and he hasn’t fired a firearm in weeks, not even at the practice range. There’s no reason that there should be gunpowder or anything else even remotely incendiary clinging to him—the only thing likely to be found on his clothes is an unfortunately thick coating of dog hair.
“I’m going to need to search you more thoroughly. In order to preserve your modesty, this search will be conducted in a private room.”
Will huffs. “Look, I don’t mind if you search me out here. I’m not shy, and I have a plane I need to catch.”
The man looks him over for a moment, a curious tilt of his head. There isn’t a smile on his face, more the vague impression of one. “Everyone has a plane they need to catch. Now, I’m afraid I must insist,” he says. “Please, right this way.”
There’s really nothing Will can do but follow.
He’s led down a short corridor into a small cube of a room, bare except for a gleaming metal table and a rolling cabinet. The fluorescent lighting is just as horrible as it is outside, but at least in here it’s quiet. The stark stillness of the room is disorienting after the booming bustle of the airport proper, and Will stands awkwardly in the center of the room, shifting from side to side.
The man jots something down on a clipboard, not even bothering to look up at Will.
“Look, my stuff is out there. I need my wallet and passport. If someone steals it—”
The man looks up, setting his clipboard down on the table with a decisive click. “You don’t need to worry. Your belongings have been set off to the side for you. They’ll be waiting when you return. Now if you wouldn’t mind disrobing, please.”
This is ridiculous. There’s literally no reason for this, but Will purses his lips before nodding once. The faster he gets this over with, the faster he can get the fuck out of here and get on his plane—back to the mundane, ordinary torments of his own everyday life. Those at least are comfortable.
He unbuttons his shirt before shrugging it off his shoulders, piling it on the table without bothering to fold it. He unzips his pants and peels them down, tossing them on top his shirt so he’s left standing in the room wearing nothing but his boxers.
“Your underwear too, please.”
“Seriously?” Will huffs, pulling off his boxers and adding them to the pile. He resists the urge to cup himself to hide his dick from the scrutiny of this stranger. “You want the socks off too?”
“That won’t be necessary,” the man says completely earnestly, either missing or pretending to miss Will’s sarcasm. “Now, I’ll repeat the same procedure I used outside.”
Will fixates on the burnished gold of his badge as the man snaps on a new pair of gloves—blue, like his uniform. The sound is loud and obscene in the tiny, windowless room. Will is a little ashamed of the way it makes him flinch.
Hannibal Lecter, the ID tag reads. Will studies it to avoid having to look anywhere else—at Hannibal’s gloved hands or, god forbid, his face.
Hannibal’s touch remains professional as he skims his hands over Will’s shoulders, gliding them down his arms, his chest. It’s infinitely more embarrassing, almost intimate without clothes on. Hannibal’s fingers brush against Will’s nipples and tickle the hair in his armpit on their way down his ribs. Hannibal runs the flat of his hand over the slight curve of Will’s belly, making him squirm. He kneels, his face only inches away from Will’s dick as he runs his hands up and down Will’s legs.
Will is mortified at the slight twitch his cock gives at that. He bites his lip, hoping Hannibal didn’t notice. If he does, he ignores it.
Hannibal runs the back of his hand over Will’s dick, half-hard and already starting to fill. He reaches further back and brushes his hand over Will’s balls.
“Sorry,” Will mutters, willing his erection to go down.
“Not a problem,” Hannibal assures him. “It’s a perfectly normal reaction.”
He stands and walks over to the cabinet in the corner of the room. He pulls out a tube of surgical grade lube, and Will’s heart leaps into his throat. The sound of the cap clicking open is so loud in the quiet room.
“Now I’m going to insert a finger into your rectum to check for concealed items.”
Will can’t help the hitch in his breath. “What? Is that really necessary?”
“Standard procedure,” Hannibal says. “Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grip the table.” He presses a hand to the middle of Will’s back, encouraging him to bend forward.
It takes Will a second to realize what’s happening, to realize he should resist, and by then Hannibal’s already got him bent over the table.
“Am I being accused of something?” he demands, trying to stand back up.
Hannibal stills him with the hand still resting on his back, holding him down politely, if such a thing is possible. The casual control of the gesture goes straight to his dick, and he squirms, half-heartedly trying to get away until he feels a cold, lubricated finger at his entrance. That makes him go stock still.
“I don’t— You can’t—” He swallows, grasping for words.
Hannibal ignores him. “This may feel strange. Relax and try to bear down.”
There’s a steady, insistent press against his hole. He neither relaxes nor bears down, but Hannibal’s finger pushes past his body’s resistance anyway. Will grunts as the finger slides all the way into this ass.
“I’m just going to feel around. Nothing to worry about,” Hannibal says.
He moves his finger around, exploring the cavity of Will’s ass slowly, turning his hand first one way and then the other. Will gasps at the sudden jolt of shocky pleasure as Hannibal’s finger brushes past his prostate.
“Hm,” Hannibal says.
He does it again, then again.
“What are you doing?” Will asks.
It’s a meaningless question, a rhetorical question. Hannibal doesn’t answer, and Will doesn’t really want him to. He knows what Hannibal’s doing—they both do, especially now that Hannibal has found a rhythm that makes him twitch and shake, massaging against his prostate in firm strokes that aren’t professional at all.
Hannibal presses another two fingers into him, stuffing Will full all at once. His breath catches in his throat. He’s pinned between the examining table and the brutal thrust of those probing fingers. The cold of the stainless steel table cuts across his hips like a knife. The terror of it grips him hard and makes his hips stutter forward, fucking into the air. This is simultaneously the worst and hottest thing that’s ever happened to him in his life.
His toes curl against the carpet, and he sags forward until his head is nearly touching the table. He can’t stop the moans that spill out of his mouth now. He feels absolutely filthy, especially when he spreads his legs wide, moving them apart to give Hannibal more room to step between them. To crowd him against the unforgiving metal. Oh god, he’s helping some stranger assault him in a back room at the airport.
The realization makes him feel hot in his skin, makes him groan louder and thrust back onto the fingers that are spearing him open.
“Oh fuck,” he whimpers.
He comes untouched, spilling semen over the nondescript grey of the industrial carpet, falling apart to the squeak of clinical gloves. Hannibal doesn’t miss a beat. He simply pulls his fingers free with a vulgar squelch, and Will winces at the sudden emptiness.
He’s breathing hard. The whole room reeks of sweat and sex.
“That will be all,” Hannibal says, already removing his gloves and tossing them in the trash. “Thank you for your cooperation.”
Not a hair on Hannibal’s head is out of place. He looks and acts so utterly normal that Will would think he’d hallucinated the whole thing, but the dull, throbbing ache in his ass tells him it was definitely real. Looking at Hannibal is like watching a feral creature stare out from behind a placid mask—Will wonders how he didn’t see it sooner. He has the fleeting impression of treading water while a shark swims by, and he shudders.
Hannibal turns to go, presumably leaving Will to collect himself, face flushed, body sweaty. Will picks up his pants from the floor, feeling strangely like he’s about to do a walk of shame.
Hannibal pauses with his hand on the doorknob. He turns around to face Will with an odd expression on his face.
“This may sound strange, but I highly recommend you see a doctor when you arrive at your destination. I have an unusually keen sense of smell, and I smell a certain illness on you—a curious type of fevered sweetness.”
Will snorts, mostly to salvage the last remaining vestiges of his dignity and avoid showing how badly unsettled he is. “What are you, some type of bloodhound?”
Hannibal fixes him with a slow, curling smile that chills Will down to his bones. “Something like that.”