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It is a courtesy, rather than a necessity, when Hannibal turns the lights on through the house. His robe gathered about him, he pads in his slippers through the hall outside his room - a light here - down the stairs and through the sitting room - another, just beside the table. Curious that the knock had come from the back door, rather than the front, but Hannibal turns on the kitchen light last before he sees the thin figure through the glass.

Hannibal wonders - more than the choice of door, more than the inconveniently late time of night - what has sent Will into the night without his coat. Only in this does Hannibal feel displeasure as he unlocks the door to allow in the investigator.

“Hello, Will,” Hannibal murmurs, his smile gentle, genuine. “You are rather early for our appointment.”

For a moment, it looks as though Will is unsure if he is standing in evening or painfully early morning; his brows furrow, eyes narrow, before he takes the joke as it is, allows a smile, though thin, to grace his lips.

He steps inside with a brief nod, a quick analysis of his surroundings before he lets out a breath, long, once deeply held.

"I didn't take into account the emptiness of the roads so early in the morning,” Will explains, gesturing unnecessarily before simply setting his hands on his hips again, more a protective gesture than a dominating one. Hannibal watches Will’s eyes narrow and relax, his bottom lip drawn into his mouth and released, over and over, until he finally speaks. "I'm - I know this is unorthodox, but you tend to keep your voice of reason when mine fails to appear."

Hannibal smiles, with eyes and just the barest movement of his mouth. “We shall see if that remains true at this time of night,” he responds, and before Will can apologize - Hannibal knows he will, from the quick breath he takes - Hannibal adds, “Something to eat?”

Will settles into the stool alongside the counter, watching as Hannibal takes to the refrigerator without giving the young man opportunity to decline, as he would have, even though he hadn’t eaten. He couldn’t make himself, tight displeasure in his stomach and a cold sweat clammy across his skin. That was, of course, before the walls started to echo with the sounds of scratching, of yelping, before Will tore his fingers raw breaking down the old plaster.

“I hope you’ll forgive me that I’ve not something more prepared.”

“Nothing to forgive,” Will breathes, a little smile catching despite himself. “Just - just coffee would be fine.”

Hand against the refrigerator door, Hannibal regards Will and tilts his head in a subtle nod, but he does not yet cease his movements to assemble a small snack for the younger man. “Something simple,” agrees Hannibal. Sourdough bread from his personally cultivated starter, brushed in garlic-infused olive oil. Fresh tomato slices and arugula picked from the mesclun greens in the dining room. Smoked mozzarella, whole basil leaves, and a drizzle of balsamic. “Where do you think your voice of reason has gone?” he asks, already eased into the flow of movement through the kitchen, though his attention - his eyes - return always to Will.

Will’s eyes seek up and do not meet Hannibal’s. He wonders if, at this moment, he fears seeing too much in them or not enough. Will makes a motion, a gesture as though to shrug, but aborts it midway, flexing his fingers where they’re clasped between his knees absently.

“I heard an animal in my chimney. Trapped, scratching and struggling,” he admits, lips quirking just a little as Hannibal sets the ‘simple’ meal in front of him. Will thinks that he hasn’t had something this elaborate since the last time Hannibal had him at his home for a meal. Breakfast, he thinks, when he had last burst in. “I took a hammer to the wall. Found nothing there.”

His tone lowers, a displeasure with himself at allowing his mind to lead him so far astray. His dogs had not responded to the sound, they had responded only to Will tearing at the walls, murmuring under his breath that he would free the thing if it killed him. They had responded to his distress and disquiet. Perhaps his voice of reason didn’t speak, and didn’t need to.

“I got into the car and drove to you,” Will finishes, regarding his meal again, almost unwilling to take such a structure apart, though his stomach aches for the food, knowing it will be more delicious than what he allows into his body usually; coffee and the occasional piece of bread, when he bothers to open the pantry.

“Perhaps you scared it away,” encourages Hannibal, setting to make the requested coffee next, and allowing his eyes only to pass over Will occasionally despite how entirely he wants to absorb himself in the man, to ask about the sounds he heard, determine for himself whether they were truth or part of his own evolution. “But I’m certain that you know more about wild animals than I do.”

Will ducks his head to mask the tired smile this earns from him, but Hannibal can’t help but to respond with his own. “Maybe,” agrees Will. “But you know much more about people.”

“I’m certain that’s untrue, and flattered all the same. Was it a person trapped in your chimney?”

Another smile, just a flicker of it, and Hannibal only reluctantly turns his attention back towards the coffee. “No,” Will tells him. “Alana came to help.”

“Did she,” responds Hannibal. It is unusual, so late at night, and Hannibal considers whether or not this, too, is part of Will’s burgeoning fever-dreams. The sounds of scratching in the walls and visits from women in the middle of the night - certainly the things of witchcraft and legend, spoken by those addled by their own diseases or those caused by the world around them. “It sounds as if it was a success, then, to free it from its own devices.”

“Success is relative, I suppose,” Will agrees, finally taking up the offered meal and taking a grateful bite. He takes his time chewing, enjoying the mix of flavors, some that he had not thought would work together at all. “The sounds went away. The doubts arose in their stead.”

Will swallows, licks his lips, watches as Hannibal sets coffee down before him, as he returns to make one for himself. “I kissed her,” Will adds, almost as an afterthought, refusing to raise his eyes here, just waiting for a response. For a moment, he gets nothing but the sound of a gentle swallow.


“I have wanted to for a long time,” Will adds, a humorless laugh escaping him as he takes up his cup. “She is very kissable.” The coffee is blissfully bitter, dark and rich, warming Will as well as filling him. A bravery or a stupidity, he wonders if perhaps he said it out loud to make it more real. To remember the warm press of their lips as he had pulled Alana closer and finally kissed her.

Something tangible, something admitted, a witness verbally if not visually to be able to tell Will that yes, he had done that, he had not imagined it.

“She is a wonderful woman,” murmurs Hannibal against his own mug, tasting the coffee just enough to catch the aroma of it, not so much as to burn himself. He watches as Will’s agreement warms his cheeks, watches as he plucks at the crust of the bread to peel it away. Hannibal only just resists a faint moue that threatens to appear. Whether the pluck of displeasure is for the new dynamic that’s being presented or the way the particularly flavorful crust is being discarded doesn’t really matter enough for Hannibal to clarify to himself.

Both can be disposed of readily.

“Do you know if Dr. Bloom has felt the same way?”

Will hums, a non-answer, and licks his lips before taking another drink of his coffee, food now forgotten. Hannibal knows enough of Will that the man will pick at it until it’s gone, he will not waste it. But he will take his time to consume it. A moment more of silence between them, Hannibal grounding himself to ask something more open-ended, before Will speaks instead.

“I had wanted to seek comfort. With her. In her.” He frowns, takes another bite and chews quietly. “And there was something there. Something about the human touch, the closeness of her being there.”

A hesitation, one that Hannibal counts three beats for before asking, as expected of him, “But?”

“But it was not the comfort I had hoped to find,” Will finishes. “Even before she stepped from it herself, there was -” he draws a hand over his face, beneath his glasses to rub his eyes, “- a lack.”

“Unfortunate,” responds Hannibal, hoping it sounds as genuine as he isn’t in actuality. In equal measure Will’s lack could be a symptom of the disease as much as symptom of a missing connection, both simply different means by which the brain did not respond as predicted.

As hoped.

“What did you hope to find?” asks Hannibal, finally settling onto the stool beside Will with a careful sweep to tuck his robe beneath himself.

Will knew the question was coming but still huffs a laugh, shakes his head as if he hasn’t been asking himself that question since Wolf Trap and in truth, long before all of the night’s events. “Connection,” he ventures. “Something more than just human contact. Something more than pity.” He takes a long sip of his coffee, and pushes a stray piece of arugula up against the crusts. “It’s asking a lot, isn’t it?”

“Not at all.”

Eyes turning towards the ceiling, Will sighs upward before tilting his head towards Hannibal beside him. Not meeting his eyes, not even looking to his face, but just allowing his shape to linger in the peripheral of Will’s vision. “A distraction, at least. For a little while.”

“That seems less like you, and so more to ask,” considers Hannibal. “More to push yourself towards than the other wants you’ve expressed.”

Even the bare shape of him is too much, then, and Will averts his eyes back to his coffee. He can feel his cheeks darkening, heating, even as he snorts a derisive laugh. “Seems natural enough to me. Not like I make a habit of it.”

“With women,” Hannibal clarifies, half a question voiced as fact.

Beside him, Will stops moving entirely, holds his breath, stays still, before taking up his cup slowly, drawing the base of it across the counter before he takes it up to drink from.

“With anyone,” Will replies, almost terse, but for the slight curl in his voice, not regret perhaps but something akin to it. He takes enough coffee to fill his mouth and holds it there until the burn becomes too much and he swallows, body angled away from Hannibal now in a way the doctor suddenly feels the need to adjust, but refrains.

“Human beings are social creatures, Will, they seek comfort with others, and from them.”

Will’s jaw works, a carefully controlled displeasure in all but his expression, that speaks of a dire longing. A brief flick of his tongue against his bottom lip and Will ducks his head.

“I had felt nothing, with Alana,” he says softly, voice thick with self-directed anger. “I had thought, imagined, hoped at some points, and felt nothing.”

“Is that why you let her leave?” Hannibal asks, and Will nods without saying more. The doctor makes a considering noise, fingers splayed against his own mug, nearly untouched. “But you said that, for some time now, you have been considering this. Anticipating it, one might say.”

Will doesn’t disagree, but watching Hannibal’s fingers against the glass, silent. There is a careful game to be played in this, to not reveal his knowledge of Will’s condition, nor to allow him motivation enough to seek additional help. He must stay close, if Hannibal is to watch the fires catch.

“Perhaps it is simply a matter of, in the future, managing one’s expectations. Simpler still, exhaustion, stress, insomnia - all take their toll on the sex drive and can whittle it down to nothing.”

“It’s more than -” Will bites the words off and lets out a frustrated breath, reaching to set his glasses to the counter as he rubs his eyes again. “It is less about the carnal and far more to do with trust, with understanding.” He swallows, licks his lips and swallows. “I hated seeing the pity in her face. Pity I cannot -”

Hannibal considers the man beside him, the tension trembling through him, exhaustion and the bare flicker of fever against the smell of dogs and cool water and aftershave. He gives Will the moment he needs, to come to his own conclusion, to make his own decision, or admit to himself that he has already made it.

“You’ve never offered pity,” Will says at length, finally turns to Hannibal again.

“I do not enjoy offering that which I know will not be accepted.”

Only when Will fully turns his body towards Hannibal does the older man do the same. A mirroring gesture, following Will’s lead rather than pushing ahead with his own. It isn’t necessary to do more now than allow Will time to find his footing, for the path is obvious from here, its end inevitable now. One route of many they might take together, and preferable to most.

Hannibal allows a soft smile, ducking his head just enough that his hair slips into his eyes. “And I do not offer that which is not genuinely intended,” he finally says. “I do not offer you pity, Will, because I do not think you are a thing to be pitied. I offer you my respect, my -” Hannibal pauses, tasting the word against his teeth, drawing his lips against them, “ - admiration, because you deserve no less.”

Will makes a sound like a breathy laugh but there is no humor to draw up his eyes to make it genuine. The man takes praise as he takes chiding, the same small smile, the same tightness of his shoulders. But then, it dissipates, like a breath released, and Will rolls his shoulders.

“You offer your time and your home at ungodly hours and I learn to take it as intended.” Will draws his bottom lip between his teeth and releases it with a swallow. “Conditioned to.” There is a nervousness now, not tension, and an anger that is entirely directed inwards. “What more would you offer, that is intended, Hannibal?”

“What more would you ask?”

Will’s jaw tenses, muscles shift beneath the skin, before he takes a breath and parts his lips with his tongue, leaving them open as he rubs against the sharp canine tooth with the tip of it. A breath, another, and at last, a meeting of eyes, blue to brown, as Will’s twitch just barely against the bottom lids but he refuses to allow a blink.

“Comfort,” he whispers.

He would not force Will onto this path, no matter how many times the opportunity for coercion had presented itself. Better to let the man find his own way to it, as he has now, and for Hannibal to simply follow. He hums, an agreeable sound, and watches Will even as Will avoids his eyes, focuses his attention on any part of the older man but there - his mouth, curved into a soft smile, his neck, when Hannibal tilts his head in thought.

“Food and drink,” responds Hannibal softly. “A warm bed.” A pause, as Hannibal touches his tongue against his lips and adds, “Something about the human touch.”

To guide, now, not direct - to welcome, not to force.

Hannibal lifts a hand and brushes the backs of his fingers against Will’s cheek, holds them there even as a shiver snaps through Will’s skin and brings his shoulders tight.

“I do not offer that which is not genuinely intended,” Hannibal murmurs, and with that gentle touch alone brings Will near enough to let their lips brush together.

Will breathes in, a quick shudder of a thing, and sits closer, allows this kiss to replace the other in his mind, the softer one from an hour ago - was it only an hour? - allows it to seep through him like rain against skin. What that kiss had felt like is nothing like this, where Will feels heat through his entire body, through his blood and through his breath. He pulls back enough to take a breath and when he kisses Hannibal again he presses closer, one hand on the counter, the other against the man’s sleeve, clinging to the heavy fabric of his dressing gown.

There is something entirely reassuring about human touch.

And this is more, so much more, than the tentative brush of fingers against his shirt from earlier, much more than the delicate skin beneath his lips, the warm hair he had breathed against, and begged her to stay when he wanted her to leave.

“Warm bed,” Will repeats, soft, setting his jaw again before opening his eyes, seeking an answer.

Finally, their eyes meet, if only for an instant - dark as blood and bright as the sea - and Hannibal rests their foreheads together for a moment before seeking another kiss, his answer given without words.

His attention passes over the untended mugs, the crusts of bread left uneaten on the plate, but he can hardly comment on it now with Will still clutching so tightly to his robe. Carefully, Hannibal frees Will’s fingers from their grasp, spreads his between them to interlace, and stands. The lights are switched off as he goes, a confirmation for them both that Will is staying, tonight, that there is no need for him to see his way out again.

Hannibal is careful not to let Will’s fingers slip from his own as they enter the bedroom, blues and creams rendered in dimmer contrast from the sole light beside the bed. Not until Will wishes it, not until they need to part that simple touch that even for its innocence snaps every nerve to alertness in Hannibal’s body.

“With women,” asks Hannibal again, raising his other hand to tuck a curl of Will’s hair behind his ear.

A breath, a brisk nod as Will allows himself to be touched, lets his own hands come up to touch, to draw over the sharp cheekbones, over the smooth hair, down to the folds of the robe. And then his hands turn quicker, up under the fabric against skin, finding hair beneath his fingers that sends his throat swallowing thickly, eyes widening but no reaction in his body at all to back away.

This is a comfort he is seeking, this is a comfort he needs. No pity, no favors, just things intended to be accepted on an early morning when neither could sleep - one by the fault of the other, though he claims otherwise.

“Just women,” Will answers at last, shivering again as Hannibal touches his face, down his neck, up to his hair. “Just women and the same dissatisfaction.” Will stops, bends into the hand against him and ducks it right after to press lips to Hannibal’s skin, just to taste it, to feel the difference. “The definition of repeating the same thing and expecting different results?” Will asks, humorless, finds Hannibal smiling anyway.



Hannibal steps nearer, just a matter of inches but enough that the lengths of their bodies meet. The body beneath Will’s hands now, beneath his mouth, is not the soft curves with which Will has been familiar in the past, but hard angles and narrow lines, strength made tangible. It is Hannibal who moves first to remove his clothing, sliding his robe from his shoulders to set aside across a dresser, willing to bare himself so that Will can absorb, look, touch without worry for working the buttons free of Hannibal’s pajamas.

“You are not insane,” Hannibal assures Will. “Only in need of something new, to shake you from your patterns.”

He swallows hard, throat clicking, as Will spreads shaking hands across Hannibal’s chest. Though the question of propriety is far removed from Hannibal’s care, he is aware that his experiences are not the same as Will’s own - his lack of preference for what constitutes the physical make-up of a partner in contrast to his enjoyment of the individual. His shirt falls open and he closes his eyes as Will’s mouth presses open against his skin, seeking that which was not found earlier in the night, and Hannibal works a hand through Will’s hair, catching his curls and tugging them softly, to send a shiver down the investigator’s spine.

“Shall I lay beneath you, then, and let you find your comfort in me?” asks Hannibal, gently as he can.

Will freezes, lips parted as he takes another breath before he shakes his head. “No.”

The idea of Hannibal beneath him, legs spread for Will to -

He swallows, shakes his head again, steps closer to keep touching Hannibal before him, bringing his hands to his own shirt to unbutton it, to work it free of his shoulders. “I want to lose myself. I trust you to find me and bring me back.” Blue eyes up to Hannibal again, shivering, jaw tense as Hannibal slides palms over his sides, around to his shoulders, and Will steps closer still.

He wants to bury himself against the hair on Hannibal’s chest, masculine and entirely different to what he is used to pressing his face against in bed. This feels unfamiliar, it’s jarring, it’s comforting and perfect and Will slides his hands down to hold against the waistband of Hannibal’s pants, waiting for permission, spoken, unspoken, to slide his hands down and the fabric with them.

This, he knows, this he sees on himself daily, knows the weight and shape, the sensation that can be brought to it, pulled from the skin and nerves there. Will exhales heavily and bites his lip when Hannibal brings his own hands to work Will’s pants open, pull them down as well.

As they stand, bare, hands curled to feel the other’s cock hardening thick against their fingers, Hannibal smooths Will’s hair back from his face again and watches him in wonder. He does not restrain the sigh, soft and strange, that Will’s touch earns from him. Will is an extraordinary man, brilliant in ways that Hannibal has only begun to comprehend, but for all of Hannibal’s self-assurance that this is where they would invariably find themselves, it still feels like a surprise for it to be so.

It would be foolhardy to assume that the dynamics established between them have vanished entirely - as doctor and patient, as friends - but Hannibal does what he can to set them aside and the thoughts that have accompanied that since their first meeting. Endless envisioning of turning Will against the door of his office, fingers in his hair to arch his neck - himself spread across the floor of his office, clothes tangled around rutting half-bare bodies.

He turns his wrist and presses his palm against the length of Will’s cock, lets it drop heavy before grasping it again in long fingers to squeeze from base to tip, the head swelling as his fingertips play across it. Will knows where to touch, and does with a beautiful uncertainty, handling another instead of himself, and watching Hannibal, always, for his reactions, his agile mind alight with the information he processes with pause from Hannibal’s soft moans and quickening breath.

“Come,” Hannibal finally tells him, and with a movement towards the bed, kisses Will with the first hint of his hunger now, parting the younger man’s lips with his tongue to bring them twisting roughly together.

It becomes hands and seeking fingers, nails over skin and arching up to rub against Hannibal above him. Will feels strange, someone so much heavier, stronger - and Hannibal is strong - pressing him down against the bed, but not uncomfortable. He squirms enough to set his knees on either side of Hannibal’s hips, lets his hands keep exploring this new body before him.

He has thought, a few times, several in mornings just like this one, with his hand around his cock through the fabric of his boxers, of how Hannibal would look when he was unwrapped from the suits he wears, layer by layer, tie then jacket and vest, shirt and belt and pants until Will could have him bare. By the desk, against the ladder, tipping books to the floor.

How he stretches beneath him, fantasies and realities flickering like a badly tuned television, kisses hard and demanding, now, no longer exploring, no longer seeking a comfort but pushing for one. It feels good. It feels real and alive and visceral and Will doesn’t see anything behind his eyes but the blooming of colors as Hannibal sucks against his skin, as they rub harder against each other both seeking one thing, both wanting it.

“Relax,” Hannibal tells him, lips parting from skin only to allow air to fill his burning lungs. “Breathe.” Another kiss, rumbling low against the younger man’s mouth, snaring his bottom lip between his teeth to suck against it. “Trust me and let yourself go.”

He will drive the worry out of Will, the fear and apprehension, overwhelm his sensitive perception and make him think of nothing, make him only to feel. The scent of fever is only burned away by something far more fulminant now - a primal need to be fucked and to forget everything else but that. There is nothing in their sight but the other, nothing to be heard but harsh breathes through their noses as the sounds of their kissing smother out anything else.

“Spread your legs,” murmurs Hannibal, reaching beside the bed with slick, drizzled over his fingertips, rubbed there to warm it. “Let me see you.”

“Do you need to see me?” Will asks, breath harsh in his throat, though he obeys regardless, knees drawn higher and thighs spreading as Hannibal pushes up on one arm to see Will properly. A narrowing of his eyes, then, a deep-seeded humiliation not of his body but of being seen at all, by anyone, anticipating distaste or confusion, unhappiness or - at worst - pity. He sees nothing, just Hannibal’s eyes dark, hooded, just his body poised on top of his own.

Will releases a breath and grinds his teeth together, forcing himself to see Hannibal too, over the toned stomach and strong thighs, down lower and back up. And here, against him, above him.

Too brusque, Hannibal tells himself, too forward to frame in words what they’re doing rather than to simply do. A misstep and he feels Will’s tension like static in the air, sharp on his tongue, an irritating sensation that Hannibal tries to ease away with lips and teeth and tongue against Will’s throat.

I have wanted to for a very long time.

“I do not need to,” he acquiesces.

Hannibal makes no more of it then that. The additional pressure of emotion shown or shared will surely drive the younger man away, when he has so clearly stated with voice and body that he is here only to exhaust himself. Whatever he needs, he will have, no more and no less, until he asks for more of his own accord.

Until he learns seek Hannibal out, when he is in need.

True to his word, Hannibal does not look down but merely finds beneath his fingers the thatch of hair between Will’s legs, further down, to spread him gently and press against his opening. One stroke, another, no more than that before he presses a slick finger just to breach him, faster than Hannibal would prefer, but enough to jerk a hitched breath from Will, and widen his eyes again, gritted teeth parting as his lips fall slack.

Will shivers, the breach unfamiliar, unusual but far from unpleasant, and he twists his body to accommodate, pressing further, arching his back, bending. He keeps his eyes just past Hannibal, not wanting to suddenly allow closer inspection to himself by looking, himself. But it gets more difficult, with how Will can see the man’s lips part in their own pleasure, how he feels the tension come and go in Hannibal’s thighs where they press to his own.

A second finger and Will groans, brings a hand to his face and pants behind his fingers. The stretch is welcome, sought, and he squeezes his muscles tighter around Hannibal’s hand, before relaxing again, breathing quick through his nose, and out again.

He cannot help but think that Hannibal has done this before, has bared himself to another man, has let that man touch him, and touched him in turn. Will wonders if the coil in his belly is jealousy or envy, the slight difference between the two pulling a furrow between his brows - why does it even matter? He wants to forget, to black out and rest, to quiet his mind and gain a contact that has been missing for so long for him. It doesn’t matter.

“Come on,” he sighs, biting his lip and releasing it with a moan.

Hannibal lifts his eyes just enough to see the way Will’s lip slides free from his teeth, white to red, parted beautiful and lax. Will’s mouth in movement speaks more than it does in words, always a tell of his anxiety, his concern, his pensive regard or his - rarest of all - delight. To see it unfurl now like rose petals in spring is a new pleasure to enjoy, and Hannibal commits the softness of its curves and flash of teeth behind to memory.

He wants to press his hand against it, feel Will’s lips move out of shape in reluctance and eagerness balanced on a precipice of uncertainty. Past his lips, against his tongue, feeding gentle fingers and unusual foods and his own hardened length and see Will respond to each in turn.

He wants.

But Hannibal always wants, and now is when he is not to lead but to follow, and to Will’s request he murmurs against his throat, “Of course.” The same tone he used when Will asked for coffee and it catches the younger man’s attention, seeking irony in Hannibal’s response and finding only acquiescence.

Eyes demured from where Will lays spread for him, Hannibal sits back enough to slick his cock, a few brisk strokes and no more than that before he lines himself up. But even in Will’s self-destructive beauty, fever-sweet with disease and desire, Hannibal cannot be cruel to him. If he were to allow it in himself, he imagines, he would hold the younger man splayed beneath him, thighs and torso and ribs and lungs, and feel Will’s heart beat hot beneath his fingers. Brutality and the victory that Hannibal would take from it with his teeth and bare hands have no place here, yet, not when Will has come to him in need.

In trust.

Will starts to draw a breath, another demand perched on his tongue, and Hannibal rocks slowly forward to silence him, groaning low when he feels the investigator’s body part around his own.

Will tenses, teeth gritted before he parts them, a groan, something softer following on as Hannibal rocks against him again, more, pushing deeper and deeper each time, until Will’s hands are above his head, clenching at the sheets as his toes curl. It is a much more significant stretch than fingers had been, and Will feels both breathless and entirely taken over by it, throbbing, numbing, painful and perfect, exactly what he needs, to forget, to exhaust himself, to sleep.

“Oh fuck." A sigh, a heavy exhale, as Will’s eyes flicker close and open up again, seeking Hannibal, now, not avoiding him. For a moment, neither speak, before Will allows, without words, without gestures, just a brief flick of his eyes down and back again, just a deliberate relaxation of each muscle in his body that he can systematically control. Just one moment and Hannibal is kissing him again, another brutal claiming, another want that he can have, for these few hours, for the time it takes Will to understand that when he comes here, or to the office, or anywhere else, he comes for this.

Will feeds his sounds to Hannibal, hiding them from his own ears, allowing the other to feel them intimately against himself. Lips part to pant breaths and meet again, quick and sloppy, as Hannibal pushes and Will takes, heels dug into the mattress, legs spread. It is exactly what Will had come for, had thought of: a fucking. No emotion, no regret, no pity. Just something he needs, something he craves.

He is beautiful, but Hannibal does not tell him so. To say it would be to acknowledge that even without allowing his eyes to drift the length of Will's body, Hannibal is watching him with every sense available, to form in his memory this new facet of Will and keep it there.

Instead he turns Will's head aside, fingers splayed across the younger man's jaw, forcing his eyes away to feel rather than to see, in kind. Hannibal sucks hard enough to mark in pale red circles Will's bared neck, and laying heavy across him reaches back to hold Will by the thigh and force his leg higher, wider, if he cannot look then he will feel every stretch and pull of Will's body around him. He parts for Hannibal now not through his anterior median line but Hannibal drives hard into him as though he could divide him by those means alone, enough that Will’s fingers scrabble against the headboard to stop from hitting into it. Spread and splayed and presented as if he were a self-selected offering for Hannibal’s taking.

Taking is something that Hannibal has always done very well.

The bed rocks beneath them. Forceful thrusts push Will's moans from him, break them cracking and hitching unsteady as his skin grows hot. Hannibal's fingers curl against Will's bare chest, smooth and strong, his lips curl against Will's own when the younger man turns back to him. Fingers push lower, to hold Will's cock and rub his thumb along the thick vein that dances up its length, higher in a long stroke to slip back the soft skin and press his finger against the slick tip.

He shudders, a wild pleasure, when despite his stubbornness Will loops his arms around Hannibal's neck. Moreso when Will only just stops himself from saying Hannibal's name, bitten off behind his teeth. To see Will in control is an admirable thing, but to see him out of control is a wonder, and Hannibal cannot resist a fond smile as he leans near enough to whisper, "For me, Will."

The sound Will makes when he obeys is one Hannibal will store, remember, revisit often. A high and weak sound of pleasure, impossible to hold back, to lie away - Will is entirely overcome, and in that moment he loves it, smiles wide to mirror Hannibal’s expression, closes his eyes in deep abandon and lets the pleasure ride over him, consume him, as he had wanted.

Will’s entire body is shaking, his eyes skin slick with sweat, eyes still closed and lashes dark against flushed cheeks, lips unfurled and bitten-red, licked-wet. He looks debauched, hair a mess and breathing uneven, and the haze of ecstasy that hangs over him is almost tangible, almost enough to taste. He draws weakened hands up to Hannibal’s hair and bites against his bottom lip before kissing it, as the man ruts faster into Will, harder, and with another gentle groan from Will to fill his ears, allows himself to succumb to his orgasm as well.

For long moments, Will just rests on the bed, allowing his legs to stretch out in front of him, toes pointing then relaxing as his entire body falls quickly to rest. He can barely hold his eyes open, seeking for Hannibal and finding warm skin, the hair against his chest, heart pounding beneath it. It seems enough, proof of life, of being, of this, and Will turns to his side, head burrowing into the pillows, and sighs Hannibal’s name before letting his eyes close and his breathing even almost immediately.

Hannibal does not sleep so readily. He keeps an arm across him, resting heavy against the smaller man, and fingertips absently stroking the wild curls of hair until Will’s lips part on a quiet sound, and Hannibal stills his hand. The light remains on beside them, dim though it is, and Hannibal lets it burn for wariness of waking Will with movement that would send him fleeing, until - after an hour, more perhaps - Hannibal is assured that Will is his, for tonight at least, and sleeps wrapped tightly against him.

As he is the last to sleep, he is the first still to wake in the morning. Disentangling himself carefully, Hannibal spends a moment more in wide-eyed observation of Will - coiled tightly, sweat holding his curls against his flushed face - who lays sleeping, mildly feverish, beside. He is lovely, the rosy hues that spread across the bridge of his nose and over his cheeks, paint down across his parted lips, and the morning light shines gold across him. Though Hannibal has little taste for pointlessly ornate Rococo frippery, he cannot help but think of Boucher’s setting sun, nor can he help but lean over to brush his lips across Will Graham’s scarlet cheeks to taste the fever blooming wild.

By the time Will awakes, it is to the scent of coffee and spices, the sound of soft music playing from below. Across an armchair, not near enough to Will to be an insistence so much as an offering, is laid a change of clothes, comfortable trousers and a sweater, and beside him - somehow, around him - Hannibal’s bed has been neatly made but for where Will lies.

Will curses, brings a hand to rub his eyes clean of sleep and winces when he sits up. The room is tidy, quiet, and slowly the memories filter back to Will of when it wasn’t, when their clothes were littering the floor, their sighs and gasps and whimpers filling the room instead. Another curse, another, and Will presses his hands to his eyes until he sees stars, before climbing out of bed and stumbling to the bathroom.

He takes his time cleaning up, a warm shower, a stocktake of new pains and pulls and marks - and there are many. Will takes his time drawing fingers over the bruises, pressing them to pale the skin before allowing them to bloom again. There is a strangely meditative pattern to it, pressing and releasing, cataloging when he got which and how it felt at the time. He shakes his head and steps out of the shower, grasping an impossibly soft towel to work himself dry.

The clothes he considers for a long time before he accepts the offering and dons them. His phone claims it is almost 9 AM and Will spends a good while trying to remember if he has classes that day - in the late afternoon, just one - before making his way downstairs on quiet feet that click just barely when they hit the polished wood of the corridor, the tile in the kitchen.

Hannibal is preparing breakfast, and the thought that he is doing so for them both makes Will’s throat tighten in a way that narrows his eyes in displeasure. A fuck, it was just a fuck. More satisfying than others he’s had but one regardless. Not worthy of breakfast, surely, or a change of clothes.

“Morning,” Will murmurs, setting one hand against the cool marble counter and tapping his fingers against it before sliding his hand away to cross over his middle.

“Good morning, Will.”

An easy enough tone, as Hannibal - in fact - entirely content it seems to continue his breakfast preparations despite the sour tone and tension he can feel radiating from the investigator behind him. A shift of movement, enough to remove the pour-over filter from atop a large mug, and set it in front of Will with hardly more than a glance across Will’s face before returning to his work. An inward thrill for Hannibal to see that Will felt comfortable enough to use his shower, however grudgingly - and he’s certain it was that - and to dress in the offered change of clothing.

“If you are needed elsewhere,” Hannibal adds, “I am happy to pack something for you to take with you.” He keeps his back towards Will, as much to hide his own slight smile when Will inevitably huffs a sigh.

“I don’t need you to make anything, I -”

“Of course,” agrees Hannibal. “You’ll forgive me for being old-fashioned, I hope, but I do not let those who have shared my bed leave hungry the next morning.”

A long silence from the other before Hannibal hears the drawing of a stool for Will to sit heavily down in.

“Quaint.” Comes the terse reply, though he does take the coffee, and he does drink it - grudgingly. A moment more as Hannibal adjusts the heat on the stove, checks everything is in order, and turns to find Will gazing out through the large glass doors he had come in through not hours before.

“How many have shared it?” Will asks at length, tone even, hands cradling the hot mug between them and against his knees.

“Only those who I have truly desired to,” Hannibal answers. “I do not count numbers but quality of experience, and in that respect I have been very lucky.” It is a pointed remark, complimentary in a roundabout way, but Hannibal is unsurprised to see little reaction to it but a tensing of shoulders and another sip of coffee.

“Men?” Will asks after a while.

“And women,” responds Hannibal with a bare movement, akin to a shrug. “Though the body is a remarkable machine, innately beautiful in all its forms, its particular physical trappings matter a great deal less than what is contained within it.”

A pause, turning back to pour himself coffee and allow a moment of being consummately pleased with himself, before he eases his expression back to a patient pleasantry, and looks towards Will. “I hope you found what you were seeking.”

The words are taken in, processed, and Will says nothing for a long time. He finds, to his own surprise, that he is not surprised. Hannibal is a man who is fascinated by people, all kinds of people, and that fascination was bound to manifest in more ways than mere conversation, with at least some of them. He takes another sip of coffee, lets the taste linger on his tongue before swallowing and setting the cup to the counter again.

He wants to ask if he was a number, a tally in some strange chart Hannibal undoubtedly has in his mind. He wants to ask if he had expected this, coerced him somehow, convinced and made, but he knows that he had come on his own, and that he had asked on his own. That accusation would fall flat to both their ears.

“I slept,” he admits, finally, “without nightmares or waking, for the first time in months.”

It is an answer, but not the answer he knows Hannibal wants. He taps his fingers absently against the counter and then turns so he can see Hannibal in his peripheral vision. He doesn’t thank him.

“Did you?” He asks instead, turning to look at the man properly. “Find what you were seeking, in me?”

Hannibal frames his hands around the mug and leans, forearms settled against the counter. A little nearer to Will than before, just a matter of inches closer, but enough that Hannibal is pleased by it, breathing in the freshly-scrubbed scent of him as readily as he does the single-origin coffee steaming beneath his nose.

“Yes,” he answers, “entirely.”

Will snorts, brow arching. “What were you seeking in me, doctor?”

“Only you, unbound by responsibility or propriety.” Hannibal presses his tongue between his lips, and considers his actions, the paths that split from this and their potential consequences. “Though I am never wont to repeat an experience, when there are so many new ones to be had, I would greatly enjoy spending time with that part of you again.”

Another snort, but this without conviction. Will settles his fingers against the mug in slow caresses, aimless tapping and sliding, over and over before he settles his hands between his knees instead, then on them, then one up to draw through his hair as the other rests on the counter.

A fuck. It was just a fuck.

Deep and hot and the most divine pleasure Will has felt sexually in years. He closes his eyes, allows himself to dip just briefly into memory before he surfaces, sits back and tilts his head.

“You already enjoy a great number of things, Hannibal,” he tells him, tone even, before he slips from the stool to the floor. “I will not be another.”

A quiet, there, with Hannibal ducking his head in understanding and evident displeasure, though he hides it well with averted eyes and a neutral look. Will feels his own heart beat too quickly at the sudden rejection of something he clearly wants again, just as much. But this cannot happen, not like this and not with him, and Will rests against the counter a moment before swallowing, drawing his brows together in thought.

He wants this. The company, the conversations, the fucking. He wants it again. He levers himself up to standing again, fiddles with the sleeve of the sweater he wears, just a little too big.

“I’ll make sure to return these to you at a more appropriate hour,” he says, swallowing, “next time.”

With a soft sigh through his nose, Hannibal straightens, pulls away, turns to assemble the still-steaming eggs and sausage - simple - into a container for Will to take with him. “There is no hurry,” Hannibal responds, as his voice mirrors his body and retreats, a gracious host and little more and he wonders if, perhaps, that is all he has been or will be. “You are welcome to leave them at the office if it’s easier for you, or bring them by at our next session.”

Will fidgets, regards the container being filled despite his protests for taking it. He knows what this is, what this does, and it irks him as much as it comforts him. A shake of his head and Will lets out a long breath.

“I would rather -” He hates this, he hates it. He doesn’t need it. “- find myself bared to you again somewhere no one can walk in,” he manages to grit out, eyes up to the ceiling, sliding to Hannibal only when he feels the other watching him. Will’s jaw sets, he keeps his eyes to Hannibal’s, even as his chin remains raised.

Not defensive. Just a little vulnerable.

“So I will return them to you here.”

Hannibal is the first to smile, and he replies simply, “Of course.”