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Catching a Catfish

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It was yet another day that ends in a "y" where Jack Crawford had pulled Will in to a crime scene and asked Will to magic out an explanation for the killer's motivation. For all of his requests for Will's opinions and views on the killers, however, Jack always had something to say to challenge his views. Annoyed that Jack once more refused to take Will's word about the scene that they had been called to, he pulled out his phone and started to text his boyfriend. 

Will: Jack is being an ass.

Hannibal: Well donkeys are called Jackasses for a reason.

Will couldn't smother the laugh that the text inspired. 

Will: Stop it, I shouldn't be laughing at a crime scene.

"Are we boring you, Will?" Jack seethed, storming over to him.

"Ah, no." He hurried to put his phone away, cursing over the fact that he had been caught. 

"Then what or who is so important for you to be texting at a crime scene?" Jack demanded to know, stopping far too close to Will for his comfort. 

"My boyfriend," Will admitted with a sigh. Sure, that would likely make Jack even more furious but he couldn't think of a reasonable lie. 

"Boyfriend?" Several people around them repeated incredulously. Will frowned at how surprised they sounded. 

"Yes, boyfriend." 

"Keep your personal life out of work." Jack sighed and deflated a little. "No more texting while at a crime scene." 

"Of course." Will nodded, relieved that the matter was being dropped. 

"Get back to work!" Jack shouted as he walked away.

Unfortunately, Will was not left alone. Beverly Katz approached him. "So, a boyfriend?" She wiggled her eyebrows at him. "Tell me more." 

Normally Will would balk at the idea of sharing such personal information with colleagues but if there was one topic that he liked to talk about, it was his boyfriend. 

"He's from Lithuania and is currently studying to be a doctor in Italy." Will smiled softly. "We met online."

"Oh?" Will looked over at her when Beverly's tone changed from playful to worried. "Have you met in person?"

"Not yet." Will frowned. "He's really busy. But we hope to meet once he passes his medical exams." 

"What did you say his name was?"

"I didn't." Will shrugged. "But it's Hannibal." 

"Okay Will." Katz turned to look him in the eye. "I hate to say it but I think you're being catfished."

Will didn't know how to reply to that. Even though the name sounded an awful lot like someone was catfishing him — who named their child after the Carthaginian general Hannibal, who wrote military history with the Battle of Cannae and crossed the Alps with war elephants anyway? His Hannibal was in Italy, at least that part he had in common with the war general — but Will was sure he was real. 

The name for one, then his authentic replies and the way they met, for another. They hadn't met online on a dating platform, but had met in an online forum Will had frequently visited a while ago, searching for recipes. They had started talking, first through DMs, then emails, and finally a few months ago they shared their phone numbers. The subjects of these DMs, emails, and texts changed from food discussions to personal stuff and all the while Will fell in love with Hannibal.

Then there was the fact that they had skyped. He had seen Hannibal. His ridiculously sharp cheekbones and neatly gelled blond hair. If it wasn't for his expressive maroon eyes, Hannibal could come across as robotic. Not that Will liked looking people in the eye, but it was easier when it was on a screen. Plus, Hannibal was stunning even through the screen; it was hard to look away from that magnetic eyes at times.

"I'm not being catfished,” he finally settled on replying.

"Are you sure?" Bev asked. He could tell that she wasn't comfortable asking. "I mean, I'm not doubting you or anything but..." She paused and bit her lip. "He hasn't asked you for money or anything, has he?"

"No, if anything I would be the one asking him." Will couldn't help but smirk a little. "The man is stupidly wealthy and likes to dress like it." He had a quick look round for Jack and when he was sure that Jack was busy, Will pulled out his phone and pulled up one of his favorite pictures of his boyfriend. "Here." 

Hannibal was dressed in a ridiculous plaid suit, the same colors as Will's favorite shirt. He was standing by a museum and had taken it himself as it only showed him from the shoulders up. His expressive eyes were smiling.

"Nice," Beverly commented, but he could still tell that she wasn't convinced. 

"Oi! Back to work you two!" Jack barked. 

"Oops." They smiled sheepishly at each other before concentrating back on the job.

 

The next time Will talked about Hannibal, it was with Alana Bloom.

The two of them had been talking about their respective partners during their monthly chats over coffee. Usually, Will hated talking about himself, preferring to listen to Alana instead. This time around, however, his interest was piqued when Alana started talking about her wealthy girlfriend.

"She got me this bracelet recently," Alana gushed, showing Will the silver bracelet around her dainty wrist. "Isn't it beautiful? I looked it up earlier and apparently, it cost 5000 dollars! I didn't even know bracelets could be that expensive."

Will smiled at Alana's apparent pleasure. He was happy that she'd found someone to make her happy, and he didn’t doubt that Margot would end up proposing one of these days if the woman had already gotten Alana a bracelet that would cost him a kidney after only three months of dating.

"That looks amazing, Alana," he said. "It looks like she got it custom-made for you."

Alana peered at him, her gaze sharpening. "Oh? What makes you say that?"

Will blushed. "Oh, uh. I sort of recognized the make and the style." 

Alana raised her eyebrow. "Wow, I didn't know you were so well-versed in jewelry."

"Uh..." Will swallowed down a few gulps of his coffee, wondering if there was a way to evade this. He decided to tell her the truth after a moment of contemplation. "My boyfriend gave me a gift from the same designer. I saw your design in the catalog when he told me to choose."

Alana blinked at him for several seconds, looking stunned. Ignoring the whole jewelry angle, she instead asked him, "You have a boyfriend? You never told me that! Wow, who is it?"

Will smiled. He was always happy to talk about Hannibal to someone who's genuinely interested. "Uh, it's someone I met online—" 

Alana frowned. "Online?"

"...Yeah." Will huffed. Why did everyone automatically give him the stink-eye whenever he mentioned he'd met Hannibal online?

Will could feel Alana itching to say more on the topic, and she would have if it weren't for a call from Jack, calling him for a case.  For the first time since he started consulting, he was thankful for the interruption because he was getting tired from being interrogated about Hannibal. 

 

The third time it happened was not intentional on his part. At least, not completely. He was sitting around the table with Alana, Beverly, Jimmy, and Brian eating lunch. As always, Jimmy was annoying Brian by telling the man about his husband's uncut dick. Beverly crowed with laughter at Brian's embarrassed sputtering. 

It's all fun and games until Will opened his mouth and said, "Oh, Hannibal is uncut as well." 

Silence fell across the table. Will frowned at the reaction. 

"Hannibal? As in the dude you met online?" Beverly asked. "That Hannibal?" 

"As opposed to the historical figure? Yes, I mean my boyfriend." Will scowled. 

"You met your boyfriend online?" Jimmy asked leaning in. "Have you met in person yet?"

"No, but—"

"I keep telling you, Will." Beverly sighed wearily. "He doesn't sound real. I honestly think that you're being catfished." 

"I am not being catfished." Will felt furious. How dare they continue to doubt his boyfriend! "And for the record, he finished his medical exams last weekend and will be coming to stay on Saturday for a week." He stood up, picking up his lunch tray with him, feeling as if he was back in high school. "You can meet him then and eat your words." 

As Will walked off he heard Alana hiss at Beverly, "I told you not to argue with him about it. He'll only believe us when he has proof." 

Will's lip curled in a snarl. Oh, there will be proof alright this weekend. Proof that his wonderful, loving and ridiculously hot boyfriend existed. He couldn't wait to rub it in their faces that they were wrong.

 

Will, for all his fussing, was not mentally prepared to meet his boyfriend for the first time when he pulled his beat-up Volvo into Dulles International that Saturday morning. He prided himself on his keen insight, and was 99.9% sure he was not being catfished...but everyone's doubt was beginning to worm its way into his thoughts.

He parked his car in the overpriced parking lot, grabbed his jacket (the houndstooth one Hannibal bought for him), and stepped into the cool morning air. He caught a glimpse of his reflection in the car door window and attempted to smooth his wild hair. It didn’t work, but that was no surprise since it didn’t work when he had tried to tame it for fifteen minutes in the bathroom this morning. Oh well.

He locked his car and made his way to the baggage claim area for Flight 2697, and waited for the passengers to offload. 

After the first few weary travelers trickled in to wait around the luggage carousel, he stood, wiping his sweaty palms on his dark-wash jeans. More and more passengers arrived and began to grab their suitcases and duffle bags from the conveyor belt. Will scanned the crowd and saw no sign of an impeccably dressed, blond doctor. Maybe Beverly was right.

"Will," a timbre sounded behind him, and he jumped.

Will spun around to see Hannibal Lecter, more striking and perfect than any of his pictures or video calls could have intimated. He was real. And he was grabbing Will's waist.

"Hannibal—" Will's mind had a lot to say, but his body was louder. He grabbed his real, actual, hot-as-fuck boyfriend by the lapels of his ostentatious emerald green suit and pulled him into a passionate, long-anticipated kiss.

"Hello, darling," Hannibal murmured breathlessly against Will's lips. 

"Hi." Will beamed at him. He had never felt happier than he was at this moment. To feel his boyfriend in his arms, to have said boyfriend's arms around him… His rather strong, firm arms. He sighed happily and snuggled into the hug. Despite the long plane journey, Hannibal smelt wonderful.

"As much as I am enjoying having you in my arms, love." Hannibal's voice rumbled in his chest. "I would very much like it if we could go back to your place."

"God, yes." Will flushed at how eager he sounded but the soft teasing look on Hannibal's face took the sting out of the embarrassment. 

"Perhaps you would permit me to have a shower before we get further acquainted?"

"Of course!" Will stepped back, feeling bad. "You must be feeling tired from the flight as well." 

"A little," Hannibal admitted. 

"Then let's go." 

Daringly, Will took up one of Hannibal's hands and pulled him from the airport towards his car. All thoughts about being catfished or his friends thinking that he had been catfished were the furthest things from his mind. He had his gorgeous boyfriend with him, nothing else mattered.

 

They arrived at his house just after eleven, tires crunching on the gravel driveway. He was glad to have had the foresight to have his dog sitter take all seven of his mutts off his hands for the day. What he had planned to do in his shared time with Hannibal did not require fourteen additional eyes.

"Are you sure about that shower? I mean—" Will was incredibly impatient.

Hannibal chuckled. "I'm afraid I must insist." Will rather admired and hated his strict sense of self-discipline.

"Right— Yeah… sorry. I'm just—" he exhaled a shaky breath. "I'm really excited you're here."

Will insisted on unloading Hannibal’s designer luggage from the trunk, and they both made their way into his humble house. He directed Hannibal to the upstairs shower and alternated between sitting nervously on the couch downstairs and pacing the worn living room floor while the man bathed. 

After hearing the squeak of the water turning off, he decided he couldn't wait any longer. He leaped up the stairs two at a time and knocked politely on the bathroom door. He was out of breath from his rapid climb upstairs, and, when the door opened and released a cloud of steam into the hallway, he was equally out of breath from the sight of his boyfriend in nothing but a towel.

"Come in—" Hannibal began.

Will nearly tripped over himself before he was able to pin the dripping man against the wall, bodies flush together. A flash sparked in Hannibal's maroon eyes as he ran his fingers into the back of Will's curls and pulled him into a breathless embrace. Lips and tongues and hips and hands met as they devoured each other. 

Shaking hands unbuttoned Will's shirt and cast it to the floor. The towel was ripped from Hannibal's waist. 

He didn't even have a chance to enjoy the sight before him when the doorbell rang.

"Jesus, FUCK!" Will pulled back and yelled into the hallway. Hannibal laughed into his chest. His phone buzzed in his pocket at the same time.

Disgruntled at the interruption, Will left the bathroom with an apology and descended the stairs, frowning when the doorbell rang again. He ignored his buzzing phone and opened the door, ready to hurl some choice expletives at the unwelcome visitor— 

—only to blink rapidly in surprise when he saw that the visitor was Jack Crawford.

"Will?" Jack’s eyebrows raised at the sight of Will, his phone held against his ear while his eyes fastened themselves on Will's chest.

Will realized belatedly that his torso was bare, his shirt lying somewhere on the bathroom floor where Hannibal had thrown it aside earlier. He sighed. "What do you want, Jack?" 

Jack frowned at the tone and pressed the "end call" button on his phone. Will's phone stopped buzzing. Evidently, Jack had been so impatient that he had to ring Will's doorbell and call Will on his phone subsequently when Will didn't magically appear in front of him.

"Why are you shirtless?"

"Why are you here?"

"I need you to come with me—"

Will groaned. "Jack! I took the whole week off, remember?"

Jack's frown grew heavier. "I thought you took it to spend some time alone. Besides, this is an emergency."

My blue balls are going to be an emergency, Will wanted to say. Instead, he glared at Jack. "I cleared my schedule this week so that I can finally meet Hannibal. I'm sorry but I can't help you this time around. If you need me, maybe you can call me, uh, tomorrow?" When I have hopefully gotten laid.

Not waiting for an answer, Will gave Jack an insincere smile and closed the door, latching all the locks for good measure. He sighed in relief when he heard Jack driving away.

He returned upstairs and smiled when he saw Hannibal waiting for him on his bed.

"Now, where were we?" Hannibal purred.

 

When Jack strode into the BAU laboratory, no one expected him to say: "Will's delusion is getting bad. He's insisting that his boyfriend is with him right now and that's why he can't join us today. When I looked in on him, there was no other car in the driveway except for Will's, and the house was empty. Even his dogs were gone."

Beverly exchanged glances with Jimmy and Brian.

"Have we thought about something being wrong with him?" Beverly suggested tentatively. "I mean in the medical sense." 

"He has complained of headaches..." Jimmy piped up. 

"And he hasn't been sleeping." Jack nodded, rubbing his chin. "You might be onto something." He sighed and crossed his arms. "Now we just need to get him to get himself checked out." 

"What if, and I know this sounds awful." Brian bit his lip nervously before continuing. "What if he got a head injury? Then he would have to be checked, right? We could make the doctors give him an MRI scan..."

"You want to give him a head injury?" Jack repeated slowly. "That's called assault." 

"But it's for the greater good!" Brian said defensively. "What if he has a brain tumor or something? Surely a little bump on the head is nothing in comparison?"

"And if we're careful about it we might not even give him a concussion. Head injuries bleed more, so it will look worse than it is," Beverly added. "If we talk to Alana maybe she could persuade the doctor in charge to give him the MRI?"

"Shit." Jack hated that Brian was right. "Fine, but do it in a way that it does not get linked with us."

The three of them saluted Jack. "Yes, boss."

 

Will came into the lab a few days after Jack's pronouncement, all eyes on him as he greeted Beverly, Jimmy, and Brian. He looked innocently happy at being deceived by an expert catfisher that it was hard not to feel bad for him.

"You look happy," Beverly said mildly, disguising her concern. Brian gave her a discrete thumbs-up while Jimmy rolled his eyes.

Will smiled, which was such a rare occurrence that everyone in the room just stared at him in shock. "Hmm? Oh yeah, I had a great time for the past few days."

"Oh?"

"Yeah, my boyfriend came to visit." Will grinned.

"Please stop grinning, you're scaring me," Brian said.

Beverly glared at Brian before turning back to Will. "That's great! Uh, why is he suddenly here?"

"Oh, he finished his exams and there’s a conference in town so he thought he’d come down here," Will replied off-handedly. "I'm going to show him around after the conference ends. He wanted to see all the sights and go to some fancy opera."

Oh no, Will is going to end up paying a fortune for these "dates”, Beverly thought. Poor guy. Brian and Jimmy caught her eyes, and their gaze confirmed what she was thinking: They needed to go into "Operation Get Will An MRI And A Clue" pronto.

 

The next few days were probably the weirdest ones Beverly has had, and she'd had a lot of weird ones ever since she'd worked in the BAU. 

She joined forces with Brian and Jimmy to engineer ways that would give Will a mild head injury, which was definitely not ethical in the least no matter what Brian had said about it being for the greater good. Still, there was nothing to it since they didn't know how else to convince Will that he was probably sick and hallucinating a boyfriend who was way too perfect to be real.

On Day 1, Jimmy pretended not to see Will when he opened one of the lockers at the morgue, and Will barely avoided hitting his head on it. Will glared at Jimmy and said, "Watch it," and Jimmy merely replied with an "Oops, sorry" before they continued with IDing the body.

After that, Brian tried to trip Will while they were walking back to the lab. Will had stumbled but regained his balance in time, turning to glare at Brian.

Brian chuckled weakly and said, "Sorry, I'm so clumsy."

When that failed, Beverly decided they needed to try again the next day.

Will frowned as he cuddled up with his boyfriend in bed. 

"What's wrong, love?" Hannibal asked as he stroked his hair soothingly. "You've been frowning so much this week."

"You know how I mentioned the people that I work with?"

"Ah, yes." He nodded. "The ones that think I am catfishing you." His lip twitched at the word. 

"They've been really weird this week," Will complained. "Like they're suddenly really clumsy and they've been watching me a lot."

"I'm sure it's nothing," Hannibal consoled him. "Try not to think about it."

"Alright." He sighed before looking up at his boyfriend coyly. "I wouldn't mind if you tried to keep my mind off it." He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively, making Hannibal laugh. 

"Well, I would be a terrible boyfriend if I didn't try to help." The hand that wasn't in Will's hair crept across his chest. "Don't worry my dear, you shall not think of anything but myself." 

And so Will happily allowed his gorgeous boyfriend to thoroughly distract him.

 

On Day 2 of their operation, Beverly managed to invite herself to accompany Will on his grocery shopping.

Will frowned. "Uh, sure, I was just thinking of going to Walmart during lunch. Why do you want to follow me?"

"What, can't a friend join another friend for a friendly grocery shopping?"

"...Not that I mind, but now I'm rethinking that decision."

"I need to find something at Walmart, too." Beverly turned to Brian and Jimmy. "Hey guys, you should come with us. To, uh, help me with my grocery bags." When they continued to look confused, she gestured to Will discreetly, rolling her eyes when they finally understood her hints.

"Oh, uh yeah, sure, I needed to buy some TPs anyway," Jimmy said, grinning widely.

Will stared at them like they'd lost their minds.

It's a pity that he doesn't know he's losing his mind instead, Beverly thought, saddened at the state of her friend.

Try as they might, however, Day 2 turned out to be a bust when Will managed to evade the trolley Brian was driving his way, avoid slipping on the recently-mopped section at the baking supply aisle (where Jimmy had removed the wet floor sign), and avoid Beverly almost hitting him with the door of her car while he was loading his groceries into his car.

The three of them sighed at their reconnaissance meeting when Will had left, lamenting another day of failure.

"Can't we just hit him with a bat or something?" Brian complained.

Beverly rolled her eyes. "That's definitely assault."

"Did you see what he bought at Walmart though? Why did he buy so many ingredients?" Jimmy quipped.

"Probably thinks he's cooking for his boyfriend who's not there," Brian scoffed.

"Yeah, funny how he hasn't even brought the guy here to show us that he's real," Jimmy agreed. "Since he was so insistent on it."

"Guys, focus!" Beverly said, clapping her hands twice to catch their attention. "We need to do something soon or Jack will complain his best profiler is losing his mind."

"He'd be right," Brian muttered under his breath.

Beverly frowned. "Not the time for jokes, Zee. It's time to step up our game."

 

"I'm pretty sure that my co-workers are trying to kill me," Will announced as he entered the house.

"Oh?" Hannibal took the grocery bags from him. "What makes you think that?"

"Beverly tried to hit me with her car."

"Are you alright?" Hannibal immediately put the bags on the floor to check on him. It warmed Will's heart to have someone care so much about him. 

"Yeah, I'm okay." He promised and kissed his boyfriend. "I am hungry though." He wanted to move away from his near-death experience. 

"Well, we can't have that, can we?" Hannibal smiled fondly and pressed another kiss to Will's lips before picking up the bags that he had dumped on the floor. "I'll get the pasta started."

"Thank you." Thank you for everything, Will thought earnestly as he watched Hannibal make himself at home in his kitchen. 

Hannibal just smiled over his shoulder at him. There was nowhere else Will would rather be.

 

Day 3 of their operation didn't start on a great note.

Beverly tried to sacrifice herself by faking a run-in with Will where she would "accidentally" bump into him. She was ready to be concussed herself if that was what it would take to help him. Unfortunately, her maneuver ended up with Will spilling coffee on them instead.

At the lab, Jimmy and Brian pretended to play with a tennis ball Jimmy had brought for the express purpose of lobbing it at Will's head when he least expected it. Somehow, Will managed to avoid being hit, ducking out of the way at the last second when his files fell to the floor. When he straightened up, he was confused at why Brian and Jimmy looked so disappointed.

Later on the same day, Jack grew impatient and dragged Will to the latest crime scene they'd discovered.

Beverly took this as a sign that things were going in their favor. It was much easier to stage an accident at a crime scene, especially when it was in the middle of the woods.

Once she, Brian, and Jimmy were done bagging their evidence, they gave each other covert glances. Jack was elsewhere talking to the rest of the local officers, and the rest of the forensics team weren't paying any attention as the three of them closed in on Will.

Will was still crouching over an area where a body was recovered, too intent in his study to notice them coming up behind him.

Jimmy and Brian stood in a loose circle to cover for her when Beverly gave Will a gentle shove. Normally, Will wouldn't suffer damage from this sort of nudging. But now with him so distracted and so close to a shallow pit, Will gave a yelp when he fell face-first into the ground.

Beverly had to live with the guilt of knowing she'd sent her friend to the ER when Will was strapped onto a stretcher later. She would grovel later, but she hoped they'd finally figure out what's wrong with Will.

Will was almost delirious on the stretcher, saying "Someone please call Hannibal," when they loaded him into the ambulance.

 

Hannibal stormed into the hospital. His beloved had received an injury while at a crime scene. He had only been called because the adorable man had kept asking for him and had even gone as far as shoving his phone into his nurse's hands to get her to call him. 

"I'm here for Will Graham." Hannibal smiled politely at the receptionist. "I'm his boyfriend, Hannibal."

"Oh, yes." The woman smiled charmingly. "He's been asking for you. Room 203." 

"Thank you." 

He hurried to the room as fast as he could without running. He paused at the door and took a deep breath, straightening out his suit. His Will needed him so he had to be calm. He could kill and or sue the man's co-workers later. He knocked on the door before entering.

The door opened. Hannibal was suddenly face-to-face with a dark-haired woman in a leather jacket.

"...You've got to be shitting me." 

This was quite a rude greeting. "Pardon?"

"You're real?" 

"Bev—" Will called weakly in the background.

"Ah. You must be Miss Katz." He extended a hand. "Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Pleasure to meet you." It wasn't.

Beverly grasped Hannibal's very real hand and gave it a firm shake. 

"I do apologize for barging in, but I am quite concerned for Will. May I?" He made to step into the room. Beverly moved aside, incredulous, and welcomed him in. 

He pulled a chair next to the bed and sat down, both hands clasping at Will's.

"Darling, are you alright?" he murmured, bringing Will's hand to his lips. The heart rate monitor sounded steadily in the background, and Hannibal's eyes danced across the various monitors, ensuring Will's vitals were normal. He had an elevated temperature, but everything else was within acceptable limits.

"I'm alive," Will mumbled. "Just glad you're here." 

Hannibal placed a kiss on Will's forehead and turned to glare at the three guests in the room: the woman, Beverly Katz, and two other men, whom he assumed were Misters Price and Zeller. They were all staring at Will and Hannibal, slack-jawed and wide-eyed.

"Would anyone care to tell me what happened?" He raised a menacing eyebrow.

"He fell in a ditch during a walkthrough at a crime scene." Beverly managed to say with a straight face while internally she was screaming. Oh god, the boyfriend was real, the boyfriend was REAL.

"In the same way that you almost hit him with your car?" Hannibal asked, his tone deceptively pleasant. 

Shit. Beverly paled. "I, er."

"If I find out that any of you had anything to do with why or how my Will ended up in this hospital..." He trailed off menacingly. 

"Hanni?" Will grumbled adorably. "Are you threatening my coworkers?" He squinted at his boyfriend with sleepy eyes.

"Only to sue them, yes, darling," Hannibal cooed and took a seat at his bedside. He smoothed a hand over his forehead and frowned at how warm it was. He checked the machines again and noticed that he was on antibiotics so it was probably due to a slight infection. He smothered his worry for now. He would read the doctor's notes once Will's co-workers had left. 

"Don't." Will protested weakly. 

"Hush, darling." Hannibal soothed him. "Let me take care of everything for you." 

"Love you." Will sighed and leaned into Hannibal's hand as it moved to cup his face. He placed a sweet kiss on the palm. 

"As I love you." Hannibal pressed a kiss to his forehead before glaring at the others in the room. "What are you still doing here?"

The two men immediately stood at attention at Hannibal's authoritative tone, looking panicked when he turned to them. Good. At least they had enough sense to know there was a predator in the room.

"Uh, we were just leaving," the older man said, his grin almost maniacal. "Right, Bev?"

Hannibal had heard enough of the forensic team's attempts to harm his Will to place the man as Jimmy Price. The sullen, scruffier younger man must be Brian Zeller then.

Beverly was still looking at Hannibal as if he were a mirage. Which, according to the entire BAU team, he apparently was. Which boded well for Hannibal in the long run. He had been planning to buy a house in Baltimore once he finished his study so that he can be closer to his beloved Will. Knowing just how incompetent the FBI was at their job was enough to allay his concern that his "midnight activities" would be discovered, at least.

Beverly cleared her throat. "Uh, I— we just wanted to apologize for thinking you, uh, weren't real." She winced. "Also sorry about Will ending up in the hospital—"

"Why are you apologizing for that?" Hannibal narrowed his eyes. "Did you have a hand in it?"

Beverly choked on a forced laugh. "Of course not. I'm just saying we should've kept an eye on him—"

"Is it true you're super rich?" Zeller cut in shamelessly.

Hannibal smirked and looked down at his expensive ensemble. He looked back to Zeller with raised eyebrows. "What do you think?"

"Zee," Beverly hissed.

"You look super rich," Price confirmed. "Also, I have to agree with Will, you are hot."

Though Will was groggy from sleep, he grinned. "Damn right, he is. Plus, he's great in bed."

Hannibal watched Will fondly. He would have to pamper Will once the younger man was out of the hospital.

"So you're only here for a week?" Zeller asked, still looking unconvinced. 

"As a matter of fact, I am planning to move here soon," Hannibal said, still smiling at Will. "I was hoping Will would move in with me when everything is settled. Will you move in with me, darling?"

"Yes, of course, yes!" Will agreed eagerly and tried to sit up. 

"I adore your enthusiasm, but please lie down." Hannibal gently pushed him back down. 

"When can I leave?" He pouted. Darling boy , Hannibal thought fondly. 

"The uh, doctors wanted to do an MRI just to check that everything is okay." Beverly nervously interjected. 

"Are you still here?"  Hannibal asked without looking away from his love.

"We're leaving!" Jimmy quickly agreed and pulled the other two from the hospital room. 

"I shall read your hospital notes and find out what is happening, darling." He kissed Will chastely. He laughed gently against the younger man's mouth when Will tried to deepen the kiss. "You need to rest, my love."

"I'm so happy right now." Will smiled sleepily. The pain meds that they had given him were finally kicking in. Although Hannibal wasn't sure why they had doped him up. He had a head injury, not a bullet wound. 

"As am I, darling."

 

If someone had told Will that he would end up getting married to someone whom he'd met and only interacted with online for several months, he would have asked them what they were smoking.

Will had never entertained the thought of a serious relationship before Hannibal, and he'd doubted at the time that Hannibal would want someone like him.

After all, on paper Hannibal was out of Will's league: He's smart, sophisticated, cultured, wealthy, and devastatingly handsome with the kind of razor-sharp cheekbones other men would die for.

And Will was... well. His seven dogs, irritable demeanor, and less-than-impressive credentials as a twitchy FBI profiler probably speak for themselves.

And yet, here he was in their new house in Baltimore standing side-by-side with his fiancée as they prepared to give a speech in celebration of their engagement. Most of the faces staring back at him were strangers to him, but for once he didn't shy away from their scrutiny. No, tonight, he was beaming and happy to hang on Hannibal's arm, the older man looking similarly enamored to be hanging onto Will's.

Aside from the strangers, Will saw his colleagues from the FBI seated in the middle of the long table. Will had insisted on inviting them to the celebratory dinner. He'd told Hannibal that it was because he held no grudges over the whole "Will is being catfished" thing Jack, Beverly, Jimmy, Brian, and Alana had harbored for some nonsensical reason.

In truth, he just wanted to give them a smug smile and rub in their faces over the fact that Hannibal Lecter was as real as they came, and that Hannibal was the one who proposed to him.

"Darling," Hannibal said, eyes filled with amusement as he looked at Will. "You look ravishing tonight, but your thoughts are very loud. Are you alright?"

Will beamed. "I'm just very happy."

Hannibal's eyes darkened. He leaned in closer, making sure everyone at the table saw him whispering to Will, "As am I. I can't wait to take you apart tonight."

Will flushed and his eyes darted towards their audience before he decided that he didn't care that they were all looking at them. Hannibal was his. 

"I can't wait." He whispered back before giving his hot fiancée a filthy kiss.