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Chapter Text

Two days ago.

The alarm clock showed 6:56 am, but the sun shined vigorously through the gaps between the shutters. Its warm golden rays accentuated a golden-white ambience of the room, decorated in soft pastels. Hannibal’s hair illuminated in warm light, scattered in all directions over the pillow, crawling disobediently into his eyes, fit into the colour pattern. Streaks of ash, silver and white between muted blond outlined the tanned skin of his face. For the past years, they had quite the power to soften his strict elegant features, yet more so when he is asleep.

Perched on his side of the bed and already fully clothed, Will observed the peaceful image, saving it into the archives of his mind. He should be gone by now, but instead of pushing himself to leave, he lingered, gazing at Hannibal some more. Not with the usual, almost boyish infatuation, but with a yearning of such magnitude, it took all his control to not reach and brush the soft mop out of his eyes; not to touch his skin and face, or simply wake him up from an absurd need to clutch at him in a suffocating hug. He wanted to reassure himself of Hannibal’s physical presence in his life.

“You know, Will,” Hannibal’s eyes slit open, bleary, and velvety soft. They unblinkingly settled on him, as if Hannibal had felt his gaze all along while submerged in a dream. “In my home country, people believe that staring upon a person intensely and grimly, as you are, your eyes might cast a sick spell upon me.”

Will's weighty train of thoughts ebbed away for a few precious seconds, and he answered with a roguish smile. “In this regard, I think your immunity is robust.”

“Developed by your side, you mean?”

He didn’t rise to the bait. “No. “Every time I leave your side, I feel like I might be seeing you for the last time... like I’ll come back to an empty house. Only now,” he added with a sore smirk, “I have a reason.”

Hannibal covered Will’s hand with his own. With soft strokes over Will’s cramped fingers, he eased his senseless grip in the bedsheet. 

“Will, don’t go there yourself.”

“You don’t need to tell me, I’m not completely out of my senses. I’ll just see that the delivery arrived on time.”  

However, Will is fully aware of the cumbersome state of his mind. After five years of this relative happiness, the dread would not leave him, unless he addresses the circumstances that brought it up.  He wouldn’t know true peace until this was done.

He extricated his hand from under Hannibal’s hold with renewed resolve and stood. 

“No kiss?” Hannibal jested, lightening his mood.

Will smiled, soft. “I might give you one when I return.” He replied.