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patroclus in furs

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“You’re firing me.” 

Kade Purnell sits behind her lavish desk and lowers her spectacles to the center of her nose. The look she casts Will is nothing short of leering. 

“I’m going out on a limb for you. The opportunity you’re being offered will increase your salary so astronomically you’ll be able to quit your part-time job. You won’t be working for me anymore, no, but in this business you have to take what you can get, Will.” 

“I’m not doing gay porn,” he grits out. “You told me I’d never have to.” 

“Not with me,” Kade agrees, sighing. “Listen, Will. You’re a handsome young man, women love that for sure, but you don’t have the face for the kind of shoots I manage. Your numbers are low, and they’re getting lower. You’d do better shaving your face and taking this offer. Either you sign a contract with Lounds, or you quit the industry entirely. I need fresh faces, ones that aren’t and I’m sorry for saying so that of a twink.”

Will flinches, bodily. 

The amount of times he’s been mocked for his femininity in college, let alone his whole life. By his father, his grandmother, his uncles. He’s been cornered in bars by burly, predatory men. He’s used to being called a faggot, and a girl, and a pretty boy.

Somehow, being called a twink makes him want to crawl into the nearest hole and decompose. Slowly, without a shred of light from the ever rising and falling sun. 

“So, if I don’t agree to sign on, I’m probably never going to make it.” 

His part-time job is for food, clothes. The shoots he acts in are his rent. 

“Not if your goal is to keep doing straight porn,” Kade tells him bluntly. “I’m sorry, Will, but that’s just how this industry works. You’d be surprised how many straight men are in the gay porn business.”

“Why do they want me?”

“Your face, though your sexuality is probably a part of it. I’m sure you can imagine the views they get on videos where experienced stars break in the heterosexual boy next door.” 

“Yeah,” Will mutters drily. “I can imagine.” 

“Do yourself a favor, Will. You need the cash. It’s not as if you haven’t been filming porn for years already, you’ll do fine. It’ll take some getting used to, sure, but that’s the case with most things.” Kade Purnell hands him the contact he’d signed with her five years ago and a business card. “Call the number, and Lounds will set up a contract signing. I’ve already given her my signature.” 

Sold me off like cattle, he thinks. 

Will snatches the papers, and storms out of his ex-boss’ office. 

 


 

Will’s apartment is quaint. Small, but not stuffy. 

His bedroom, kitchen, and living room are all in the same square space. Sectioned off by the front door is his bathroom, particularly spacious for such tiny accommodations. It doesn’t matter to him; he’s able to pay for it on his meager salary. 

Buster, his dog, greets him with a wagging tail and hot tongue. Will tosses him some jerky he bought from a vendor not ten minutes prior and the little beast distracts himself on his dog bed by the television. 

He pours himself a drink and stares at the papers he tossed aimlessly on the coffee table. After a while, it feels as if they’ll come to life and speak to him. Whisper bad advice. 

The thought that he might be able to quit his part-time job at the boatyard is attractive, to say the least. More free time will be granted to him, surely, but he’s not entirely sure if his dignity is worth it. A part of himself screams that he already lost his dignity long ago when he first decided that he had a handsome enough face to make some money selling it, and his body. 

He’s in too deep now to back out. 

The closest he’s ever been to gay sex was three years ago when he did a video involving a threesome. Funnily enough, he never touched the other man involved. A woman he can’t remember the name of had been between them, and Will played the lover that the similarly nameless man wanted his wife to fuck. Some cuckhold fantasy, no homosexual strings attached. 

Will sucks his teeth and takes a big sip of his bourbon. 

His father is dead. His mother left before he knew her. He has no family left that could find out and berate him for betraying his God-fearing upbringing. The more he thinks on the matter, the more he begins to feel foolish. It’s not as if he’s been attracted to most of the women he’s slept with in his line of work. Why would it be different with men?

He finishes his drink and pours another, hand less shaky than before. He looks out the smudged window of his apartment, down at the bustling city goers of Baltimore. He wonders sometimes if he’s acted in too much porn to get a real job. Job interviews never seem to go as planned. People ask if he’d rather be an actor, with a face like that, or they are warded off by his prickly personality. 

He knows next to nothing about gay porn. He’s been living in a porn bubble, gliding by doing all  sensual and vanilla videos he can close his eyes in and dissociate from. Kade Purnell has never demanded more from him and maybe it’s her fault the views are so low. It doesn’t matter now. He’ll never work for her again, and if he works for Lounds, he’ll make more money than he ever dreamed he’d make in this industry. In for a penny, in for a pound. 

“To hell with it,” Will grumbles, and dig his phone out of his pocket. He plucks Freddie Lounds’ business card from the coffee table and dials her number. 

A young woman picks up on the second ring. 

The woman is a secretary, which is already more than Purnell owns. 

When he tells the woman his name and intentions, she immediately patches him through to Lounds herself. The voice that answers is high-pitched and grating. 

“Good evening, Mr. Ram.” Will Ram is his stage name. It humored him when he first began filming porn, but over the years, the more he hears it, the less funny he finds it. “I’ve been expecting your call.” 

Will has returned to the window, staring out at the mild streetlife to distract himself from his doubts. He runs a hand over his face and says, “Yeah, uh, I was told your company wanted to sign me.” 

“You heard correctly. My associates and I have become familiar with your work and believe you have significant potential. My anticipation for a new hireling hasn’t been this drastic in quite a long time, I assure you.” Freddie speaks with prissy intonations that signal to the listener she knows something they don’t, and that she knows best. “We could make you a star within the week.” 

“I have no interest in stardom,” Will retorts. “I was told I’d be paid more than my last gig.” 

“Yes, certainly. We can talk shop when we meet for a contract signing.” 

Will sighs, savoring his last chance to escape. He sets his empty glass down on the window sill and says, “When and where?” 

 


 

They meet in an outmoded diner, just a few blocks from his complex. 

When he enters, he immediately spots the party he is meant to meet with. They stand out against the commoner crowd. Both dressed like pimps, a woman with bright red hair and a leopard velvet print coat, sitting with perfect posture beside a stout black man wearing sunglasses indoors. At first, he nearly laughs out loud wondering if she brought a bodyguard, but then considers that is most likely not the case.

Discreetly, he shuffles over in his plaid shirt and vest, and plops down in the booth parallel to them. “You come across very…elemental when you’re wearing clothes,” Freddie announces, and Will lets out an exaggerated sigh when he realizes privacy is a lost cause. 

“Give me the details and don’t beat around the bush,” says Will, fidgeting with the plastic menu in front of him. “I don’t appreciate being swindled.”

“Straight to business, I like that,” she croons, and Will makes eye contact (or from what he can tell due to the sunglasses) with the man next to her who hasn’t acknowledged him or moved a muscle since he sat. “Here we are.” 

She pulls a binder out of her abnormally large purse and removes a packet of papers to slide across the table. Rudely, Will grabs them and starts scanning. 

Freddie makes a sudden noise. “Oh, apologies, I forgot to introduce Jack.” Will’s lip twitches when he’s interrupted, but looks up to nod at the man Jack. “He’s the leading director of the company. It won’t be often that anyone else films. He takes his job very seriously.” 

Jack nods back. Will swallows. 

Up until now, he hadn’t realized that he’s been working primarily with women. The directors Kade Purnell hired had all been female. He hadn’t bothered to ask why, or care. 

The contract is seemingly loophole-free. It is alarming to him, as he had almost expected to be gypped or at least disagree with the stipulations. It is a two year contract, short enough for Will to easily wait it out if he finds himself miserable, but long enough for steady pay. 

“Your signature will go under Kade’s.” Freddie points with a red-painted fingernail at the bottom of the page. “Right here.” 

“Hold on,” Will says, setting down the pen she handed him mid-way through reading. “I still have a few questions, if I’m going to agree to this.” 

“The salary is agreeable?” she questions, eyes wide with guile. 

Bemused, he chuckles, “Yeah, it’s not that.” The salary is more than agreeable. “My problem is that I have no experience with male on male porn, and I’ve never had the desire to.”

“The target audience is primarily homosexual men, yes. The films we make don’t stray, in that regard.”

“But, it doesn’t matter that I’m straight. That I haven’t, you know.”  

Jack moves, turning to face Freddie and he can only assume without the glasses they’d be exchanging rankled expressions. Freddie turns back to him with a falsified smile.

“Your inexperience is a benefit, not something to be overlooked.”

Will’s heart pounds in his chest. The anxiety he feels threatens to take over him, but he nods instead, fighting tirelessly to keep it at bay. He needs the money; that’s what he tells himself. 

Before he can sign, a waitress in a yellow checkered dress sashays across the room with a tray balanced in one hand. There are two coffees, one for Jack, and one for Freddie. 

Will notes with an irritated twitch of the brow they didn’t bother ordering him anything. It could be that they didn’t want to presume, but he sees it more as a power play. 

Two years.

Having sex with men, doing god knows what gay porn normalizes. He should have watched some the night before, just for preparation, but he couldn’t even bring himself to do that much. 

Freddie pushes the papers closer to him with ugly impatience, and he clicks the pen, and signs. Jack reaches out a hand to him and he reluctantly shakes it. 

“Oh, sweetie,” Freddie drawls, putting the papers back in her binder. “You’re going to be the face of Lounds Lusty Lads in no time.” 

 


 

Will was immediately scheduled for a photoshoot when Freddie still had him clutched in her talons at the diner. He meets the crew at a newly built warehouse lakeside of Pikesville. 

He arrives showered, in the same clothes he wore to the diner. 

At least he washed them, beforehand. 

Freddie is not present, but Jack is. Jack appears more lively than he had been at the diner, greeting him with a smile and warm eyes. It occurs to Will he might have wanted to keep a low profile in public, so without question, he allows the larger man to lead him through the building and to a set that stands out stark against the cargo-storage-feel the surroundings harbor.

“Okay, clothes off,” Jack orders so nonchalantly Will does it without hesitance. It’s only when he’s bare, in front of a crew of four or five, that he feels uncomfortable. 

All he has to do is stand in front of an expensive camera and pose for a bit. He thanks any gods that are listening that Jack is respectable and indifferent. He doesn’t whistle or make any suggestive comments. Everything for him appears to be work related, and nothing more. 

The rest of the crew, however, eyes him up. 

Awkwardly, he tries to get away with a pose where his cock is jutting out and he has an arm folded behind his head in mid air. It looks odd, he imagines, but Jack takes a shot anyway. 

He is used to photoshoots. Kade made him do a new one every year, but she took them herself, in a much smaller office space than this warehouse. 

“Where the hell is Katz?” Jack bellows, startling him. “We have to reshoot everything.” 

“Did I do something wrong?” Will asks, regretting how juvenile he sounds. 

“Nothing, kid. You didn’t tell me you had a scar, though.” Will blanches when he hears the man call him a kid. Jack is middle aged and Will has to be no more than ten years younger than him. He’s so shocked at the label, he almost forgets to explain himself. 

“Ehm, I used to be in training, for the FBI. It was an accident.” 

Jack perks up at this, though his attention is still spread around the room, waiting for whoever he called over to show their face. “Pornography is a far cry from the force, but believe it or not, I wanted to be in a similar profession.” 

“No shit,” Will mutters, uncaring. 

A woman with long black hair rushes over, panting. “Sorry, forgot my makeup kit in the car,” she tells Jack, and turns to Will. “Hey, new guy.” 

Will feels foolish chatting in front of her with his whole body bared, but it is a humiliation he’s dealt with before and has no problem dealing with now. It’s not as if he’s bothering to make eye contact with any of the people he meets. 

“Hey,” he answers.

“He needs concealer on his right shoulder,” Jack tells her, waving a hand. “Bullet wound. Can you handle that?”

She rolls her eyes and unashamedly sidles up to Will, beginning to expertly hide the scar. “I’m Beverly,” she says softly. “You can call me Bev. I’m probably gonna be doing your makeup for all the shoots. Unless they fire my ass.”

This makes Will chuckle lightly. He murmurs, “Glad to be in good hands.”

“Okay, Katz, that’s enough,” Jack calls out, and moves behind the camera again. 

He takes a few more photos, Will turning every which way. He shows off his ass, his cock, his smooth torso. Nothing viewers haven’t seen before. He imagines they’ll be covering him in foundation, glitter, shadow, and a shit ton more, every shoot he attends after this. This is merely an introduction; the new face of Lounds’ website. 

He receives a very small paycheck for the day, which is more than Purnell would pay him for a photoshoot, and is sent home with a script for his first film.

The shoot is scheduled for a few days from now, on Friday. 

Will takes a cab home and tries not to stare at the pages of the script poking out of his travel bag. That night, he’ll memorize them indifferently, and try not to think about having sex with a man. 

 


 

Will isn’t quite sure if he’s fortunate or unfortunate; he won’t be having sex with a man today. They’ll be shooting a spanking scene where he’s playing the step-brother to an older, less ‘twinky’ man. The actor’s name is Brian Zeller, and his stage name is Pounding Pete. 

“No offense, but I’m kinda relieved there’s gonna be a lack of pounding today,” Will jokes blandly when he first meets him. The man returns the gesture with a short-tempered look before curtly walking away to talk with Jack, who is preparing the camera by the bed. 

He is left alone by an empty couch, in a boyish t-shirt and shorts. 

The crew is squeezed into a hotel suite, far more luxurious than he is used to. Kade Purnell used the same bedroom set in almost every video. He feels out of his element, but also weirdly pampered. 

“Hey Will!” Bev waves from the brightly lit bathroom. “Get in here, I gotta do your makeup.” 

He follows her in, and she shuts the door for privacy and zips open the zebra print make-up bag she has placed in the hollow of the sink. He isn’t used to makeup artists either, but finds ease in the way she covers his blemishes, his scar. She uses dark brown mascara on his eyelashes which he assumed would burn, but finds it to be extremely comfortable. Wet, rather than irritating. 

“You nervous?” she asks kindly. 

“I’ve been doing porn for a while now,” he says simply.

“Hmm, word is this is your first time doing gay porn. I didn’t believe it. You’ve got to have done twink work in the past.” The statement somehow doesn’t come across as insulting. 

“Nope.” Will blinks as she spreads shaving cream on his face. Oh, of course. She gets to work shaving every bristle of hair from his cheeks and jaw with an incredulous look. 

“You’re going to get a lot of offers.” 

“Inside or outside the company?”

“In general. Everyone’s gonna want to work with you. You know you could probably pass for late twenties right?” Bev wipes the remaining shaving cream off with a towel. He doesn’t inform her that he’s well on his way to being forty. Just a few more years now. 

“Not sure that’s a comfort,” he says instead. The last thing he wants is a group of men, bears, whatever Lounds and her viewership calls them, lining up to stick their cocks inside him. Panic starts to build in his chest, and he reminds himself over and over in his head, he’s only getting hit today. Not fucked, not sucked off, merely spanked. It is little comfort. 

“Your hair is great!” Bev plays with it for a bit. “Falls nice, whatever you do to it.” 

“Thanks,” he grumbles, panic turning into nausea. He’s never felt this much trepidation about a shoot; his first time filming porn hadn’t even felt like this. 

Suddenly, his face is squished between Beverly’s palms and she’s speaking firmly, but with kindness, “Listen, I’ve been working in this crew for a while. All the straight men I’ve met are still straight, and some of them do this everyday. Gosh, I’ve gone on a date with a couple. You’ll be fine, and any one of them can tell you this is something you can get over and deal with.” 

Now that is more of a comfort. 

“I don’t know what to say,” he murmurs, feeling very lacking as a respectable fellow human being. She merely beams, as if to tell him he doesn’t need to know what to say. 

“Get out there and make some noise,” she encourages, swatting his hip. He smiles back at her, and reenters the suite to a bustling crew and the director’s commandeering gaze. 

“Over here,” Jack beckons. “Tell me you shaved.”

Will knows he means his ass, his legs. Everything other than the beard Beverly did just now. “That’s what the script said,” Will replies, protruding a leg to show him. The shorts he’s wearing ride up on his thigh. He is used to shaving his body too. Purnell used to claim it was better for his image. 

Now he wonders if she was trying to use him as bait for companies like this. 

Jack blocks he and Zeller the way he wants them, and readjusts the camera. Will’s heart pounds as he waits by the hotel room’s window. “Okay Will, if you want to stop, just say cut.” 

Easy enough. 

Zeller looks bored where he’s propped up against the bedside counter. He’s shirtless, wearing baggy jeans to make him look like a legitimate older step-brother. Will looks at the hands that will be spanking him and he can’t imagine liking it. 

He’s spanked women, in and out of porn. He’s never been the one on the other end of it. 

“Okay, lights, camera, action!” Jack calls out, wagging a finger for them to start. 

Will closes his eyes and settles into his role as a younger man, insolent and horny. He’s good at the acting part, anyway. He can pretend to be just about anyone. He feels Zeller walk up close to him with a bitter veneer, and he starts his lines. 

“I can’t believe mother allowed you to come on this vacation,” he spits harsh enough Will can feel the hairs on his neck stand on end. He turns innocently, beguiling. 

“Big brothers are supposed to want to hang out with their little brothers.”

“Good thing you’re not my real brother.” Zeller closes in and fingers the belt loops on Will’s shorts. Will is beginning to fear he won’t get hard. It’s too much to focus on pretending to like it. “Mom likes to reward you, but do you know what step brothers like to do?” 

“I don’t know,” Will murmurs, turning completely to find Zeller an inch in front of him. He sways forward, feigning attraction. “Won’t you teach me, big brother?”

The following minute Will thinks will be the worst of what he’s expected to do. Zeller slobbers all over his neck, bites at his skin, and tears the frail fabric of his shirt apart. It was designed for such treatment. Will closes his eyes, removes the crew from his peripheral, and fakes a moan. 

He’s fondled a bit more, and he forces himself to go lax in the other man’s hands. So far, it’s working, and while he’s not aroused, he feels safe. 

Zeller licks over the seam of his lips and growls, “Whore.”

That wasn’t in the script, and Will’s eyes blink open in surprise. It seems to be the reaction both Jack and Zeller want, and it distracts Will from the scene as he’s gripped by the hips and tossed onto the bed. It bounces and creaks and Will blinks fast as his co-star stalks closer. 

Nervous and on the verge of shaking out of his skin, Will hides behind his character again and asks, “What are you doing? You hurt me.” 

“I’m gonna hurt you more, real good. You’re gonna beg me to stop.” 

Will is a good people-reader. Zeller is currently getting into it, where he hadn’t been before. He can see that in the way he carries himself, unlike the robotic way he was moving just thirty seconds ago. He wants to spank Will and make it hurt. 

Will guesses they don’t call him Pounding Pete for nothing. 

Jack moves steadily around the bed with the camera in hand to get a better shot of Will’s upper body. Will doesn’t need to fake his apprehension about his fate, or the yelp when Zeller grabs him by the hips and flips him over.

Without waiting, Zeller spanks him hard over his shorts.

Will gasps, and nearly smiles when it doesn’t feel much like anything. He fakes a flinch when Zeller increases the slaps. The sound reverberates through the room. Hell, if this is gay porn, he can certainly manage this. All he has to do is lie here, and he’ll be paid

He slacks off paying attention since he no longer has any lines in his script, and barely notices when his shorts are yanked down just below his cheeks, plumping them up for the camera. When Zeller’s hand soars down against his skin, it burns this time, and he groans from the shock.

Oh no. 

“I was starting to think you were getting off on this, lil bro,” Zeller sneers, and spanks him hard again. Even after two direct hits, Will feels his eyes welling with tears that feel like fire. “This is a punishment, remember?” 

He can’t respond. 

Apparently he’s making enough noise to make up for it because Jack doesn’t stop rolling, and Zeller’s hands don’t stop flying. He takes it; he hates it, but he takes it. 

Will loses count of how many times he’s spanked. 

The pain begins to numb, and he lies there with a face covered in tears, unable to withdraw the helpless reactions flying from his throat. The bedsheets are nearly in tatters with how tight he’s tugging and gripping at them. “Tell me you’re a bad boy, and I’ll consider stopping,” the voice behind him says, but Will is floating and almost doesn’t register the words.

“I I’m a b bad boy,” he whispers, forgetting himself.  

“Cut!” Zeller shouts. “What is wrong with you, are you crying?” 

The crew bustles around and Will blinks back to life with a few heaving breaths. “You can’t whisper, Will,” Jack tells him, kneeling beside him. “You have to pretend you want it.” 

“Sorry, I remember. I’m just…s’lot.” 

“It’s alright, Will,” Jack says. “We’ll try again.”

He hasn’t turned to face anyone, but he can hear Zeller’s disapproving huff behind him. None of Will’s female co-workers had been this rude in his previous job. 

Jack calls Beverly over who, with careful and concerned hands, wipes the tears from his eyes. She reapplies the streak-proof mascara, and pats his shoulder. Jack returns to his place behind the camera, and the scene continues in a blur. 

When Zeller’s palm hits his sore ass again, he cries out abruptly, forcing himself to choke it off into a moan. “I’m a bad boy,” he slurs, loud and clear. Zeller scratches his nails down what Will assumes to be red marks on his bottom because it burns horribly, and spanks him one last time. 

Will flinches pathetically, and doesn’t have to fake the whimper. 

“Next trip, you’re uninvited.” 

“Cut!” Jack calls. “That’s a wrap.” 

“Is it?” Will murmurs, slumped against the sheets as he pants. He isn’t hard; he doesn’t think he could ever get hard with someone abusing him that carelessly. At least it doesn’t seem to matter. Jack doesn’t appear to want a reshoot, and Zeller is already shoving a shirt over his head, looking bored again. Will can see the outline of his erection through his pants though, slowly waning. 

Freak, he can’t help but to think sourly. 

Will turns over on his back and shakily pulls up his shorts, tucking himself back inside. He stares at the ceiling as the crew packs up. Beverly comes over with her make-bag strapped around her chest and says, “Gotta go, champ. You were real good.” 

Nobody asks if he’s fine. Which he supposes, is fine. 

He doesn’t have to be fine. He just has to act like he is. 

Zeller leaves without a parting word, and Will collects his check and limps all the way down to the sidewalk just beyond the lobby. He takes a cab home and replays the scene over and over in his head. He thought he cried all of his tears today, but apparently he has more to shed. 

The cab driver doesn’t ask if he’s fine either. 

Inside his apartment, he curls up on his bed and finds he can’t sleep. His check is uncashed on his coffee table, and Buster is asleep under one of his arms, snoring. Usually the noise lulls him, but his ass hurts, and he’s too busy swimming around in self-contempt. 

He plays around on his phone, checking empty notification inboxes. He scrolls through his contacts after some time and hovers over the numbers of his ex-girlfriends. Molly, who he knew before he started porn and hasn’t talked to since, and Alana who he met through porn. 

Will stares at Alana’s name and hangs on a thread. 

If he calls her, he’ll have to explain why. She won’t let him get away without talking to her. He doesn’t think he has the confidence to do it, even if he needs a familiar voice in his ear, and even if he needs a boost to his masculinity which finds itself festering in the bottom of a proverbial barrel. 

He doesn’t call her. 

An hour later, just when he thinks he can forget the throbbing in his rear for long enough to sleep, he receives a text notification. He grumbles and picks up his phone. It is from Freddie Lounds. 

Great work, Will! You’ve already been booked for another shoot. You will need to come in for what we like to call rehearsal (anal training) on Monday. Attached is a date, time, and location you can put in your calendar. Have a wonderful weekend!

Will trembles, not with fear, but with anger. 

He’s never regretted anything more in life than signing that contract. 

 

Chapter Text

 

It takes the whole weekend for Will’s ass to heal. 

He spends countless hours in front of the full-length mirror in the bathroom observing the pink marks, watching them fade as the days drone by. It hurts to shower, until Monday arrives. 

The soreness that lingers, he convinces himself, is in his mind. It’s an excuse he craves desperately to use so he can reschedule this ‘rehearsal’ Lounds is sending him off to. He’s never had a rehearsal for a porn shoot, and neither does he believe they genuinely exist. 

Regardless, when 4 pm rolls around, he finds himself getting dressed. He used an enema, something he’s comfortable doing. They require it even in hetero-centric porn. Genitalia and further sensitive areas have to be clean and flushed out. Most companies don’t tolerate mess. 

He deliberates at 4:30 knowing if he leaves now, he’ll still be a few minutes late. He waits longer, until his heart batters against his rib cage so profoundly he can’t help but to drag his feet to his apartment door. Buster whines when he grabs his coat, and Will shakes his head. 

“Sorry, pal. Daddy’s gotta go get reamed.” 

Will makes himself laugh, but Buster merely barks in his confusion. It’s better off that he can’t understand words other than ‘park’ and ‘treat.’ 

He kneels down to kiss buster on his wet nose, and scratches his head thoroughly before retrieving his travel bag and keys. After locking up, he hurries out of his complex to grab a cab. He’ll be a half an hour late at this rate, but he can blame it on the non-existent traffic. 

 


 

The location Freddie attached in her text message directs his cab to a motel. The building is in no way, shape, or form similar to the hotel where he filmed his last video. It makes sense. He won’t be shooting today, but rather ‘training’ as Freddie called it, for the shoot tomorrow. 

“Thanks,” Will grumbles and pays his cab fare. 

He approaches the rickety building and double checks the attachment in his messages again to be positive about the room number. 15. First Floor, apparently. Will goes, bypassing one room with an openly drawn curtain which displays the renter inside, smoking a cigarette. When he makes eye contact with Will, Will has the distinct impression the man knows exactly why Will is here. 

He almost shudders, and prays mind readers don’t exist.

Scanning the parking lot, he only sees a few cars. They are all below average, except for a deep brown Bentley, almost shining red in the sunlight. Will wonders if it’s Jacks. 

When he reaches the door, he knocks softly twice. 

It takes no more than five seconds for the door to swing open. 

Before Will stands a startlingly attractive man with near-silver hair and a smooth, chiseled face. Will eyes him head to toe instinctively, taking in the tailored suit and trousers, along with the light pin-striped button up and blood red pocket square. He eyes Will back, and a coy smile spreads across his cheeks. 

Will tears his gaze away from him to glance over his shoulder. 

“Where’s Crawford?” he asks, jitters rushing up his spine.

“In the room above us. He felt you would be more comfortable with fewer people in the room,” the man responds, accent thick and voice rich. Will is having trouble buying his involvement in porn. “The adventure will be yours and mine today.”

Will wants to ask about his paycheck, but he supposes Jack is here for that reason. Above them, where he might hear everything that goes on. 

“Won’t you come in?” The man stands aside, pulling the door further open, and gestures into the ratty motel room. With what he’s wearing, the gesture feels disjointed, as if he should be showing Will into a mansion instead. 

Ducking in, Will tosses his satchel on the sole armchair in the corner. 

The older man blinks at the discarded luggage, and turns the other way, allowing Will the space to familiarize himself with the room. 

There is one bed, with green checkered sheets. Hideous, to match the bland beige walls. Glancing amok, he notices latex gloves on the dresser, along with a leather suitcase, and a tall bottle of lube. His breath hitches, and he’s distinctly as uncomfortable as he was during the Zeller shoot. 

“You’re late,” the man calls from the bathroom. Will can hear the sound of running water. He emerges in the doorway, towel drying his hands. “Thirty minutes late.” 

“Traffic,” Will lies.

“Hmm.” Will is prepared to defend himself, but the topic takes a nosedive. In an expectant tone, the other man greets, “I’m Hannibal.” 

Will stands at the foot of the bed, hands in pockets, waiting for Hannibal to continue, but the older man watches him intently instead, as if waiting for a response. 

“Is that name supposed to mean something to me?” 

Hannibal tuts.

“I’m astounded you haven’t heard of me. Even the ones who claim to watch very little homosexual pornography know my name,” he states. While his tone doesn’t quite reach snobbish levels, Will can’t help but to roll his eyes.

“Yeah, well, I didn’t even want to be in gay porn. I’m not about to start watching it.” 

“I’d highly recommend doing so. It will ease you into this subsect of the industry, teach you what to expect, and what you wish to avoid,” Hannibal tells him. 

The advice is sound, annoyingly so. 

“You don’t mind working with an amateur?” Will asks, forcing humor into the question. Hannibal doesn’t return this sentiment with superiority like he expects, continuing to speak clinically. 

“They hire me to work with beginners often. I’m told I give off a humble pretense.” 

“Could’ve fooled me.” 

Will’s attempt at instigation fails. Hannibal smiles at him like he just endowed him with the highest of compliments. “Sit, Will, if you please.” 

Will sits, still fully clothed, at the edge of the bed.

Hannibal removes his jacket to reveal bulky muscled arms. He folds his sleeves up to his elbow, and unclips his watch to lay on the dresser. He turns back to Will, and his smile has faded.

“Did you clean yourself thoroughly?”

The question makes embarrassment bloom hot in Will’s cheeks, despite expecting one like it. He nods and responds softly, “Yeah, I’m not that much of an amateur.” 

Hannibal’s lips quirk, nostrils flaring, and he seems to accept the answer. 

“Clothes off, please.” When Will hesitates, he sighs. “This will be over with quickly, the faster you comply.”

Will licks his chapped lips and begins removing each article of clothing. It isn’t anything he hasn’t done before, but the intimacy of his present company is. This feels more like sex than any porn he’s ever filmed. “I’ve never gone to a rehearsal, or anything. I didn’t know it was a thing that was done.” Will slides his boxers off with a curt chuckle. “Don’t know why I need one.”

He drops his clothes in a pile on the floor.

“They merely call it that for show,” Hannibal explains. He brings the suitcase to the rug and opens it there, revealing a lineup of anal trainers strapped into the case. There are three of them, all black buttplug shaped toys, each larger in size. Will’s throat goes dry. 

Hannibal continues, “This session is merely necessary to stretch you and prepare you for the stretch you will receive tomorrow. I doubt they will send you to another rehearsal. They leave these matters up to the actors themselves, sooner or later.” 

“And they hired you because you’re good with people like me?”

Hannibal meets his eyes and to Will’s shock, he can’t look away.

“Very good,” comes the sultry reply. Not so humble, then. 

Languidly, Hannibal moves to retrieve the lube, but leaves the latex gloves on the dresser. Will finds it strange, but doesn’t comment. He doesn’t want anything in his ass; the fewer things, the better. 

With the husky man kneeling between his legs, in front of his naked body, Will feels abnormally exposed, and it doesn’t help when Hannibal’s calloused and veiny hands touch his supple thighs, encouraging him to turn over. Will does, and takes the opportunity to bury his face in his arms once he’s settled. The backs of his feet dangle flat against the rug. 

“That’s it,” Hannibal murmurs, palming his ass. “You are lovely, Will.”

Will holds back a snarl and mutters, “Just keep it professional.”

“As you wish.” The velvety voice instantly goes stern, bordering cold. Will tries not to tense when he feels him tug his cheeks apart and expose his hole. “I was told you’ve never been fucked. Is this true?”

Hearing Hannibal swear is strange, as if the curse doesn’t belong on his tongue.  

“Yep. Haven’t had much in the way of anything up there, if we’re being honest.” 

He hears a hum, and then the thumbs are rubbing the underside of his cheeks. He can’t tell him to stop, even if he has the urge to. He’s here to be ‘trained’ for tomorrow which he’s positive will be a million times worse than whatever this other man is about to dole out. 

“Do I have your consent to loosen you before I begin with the anal trainers?” Hannibal asks politely, as if asking what his goddamn favorite color is. “Nothing that wouldn’t be done before a shoot or during. It will mentally prepare you for what’s to come tomorrow.”

“Yeah, sure, whatever,” he says into the skin of his arm. He jumps when Hannibal’s hands clasp him on either side of his torso and bends closer to him, so his face is inches away from his own.

“I would prefer clearer consent on your part.”

“Yes,” Will grits out, staring hard at the pillow ahead of him. He can feel Hannibal’s eyes on his cheek, but he refuses to turn. “You have my consent.”

“Not fond of eye contact, are you?” Hannibal descends back to the floor, and he’s pulling him apart again, tugging a dry thumb around the rim of his hole. It twitches against the pressure, but Will would still rather his hole not be rubbed at all. 

“Eyes are distracting,” Will responds, refusing to elaborate. He has more to say on the matter, but nothing he needs to tell to another porn star. Hannibal won’t appreciate his personal insights, and Will wouldn’t appreciate not being appreciated. 

“I imagine what you see and learn touches everything else in your mind.” Hannibal trails a forefinger down his crack, and Will is about to bark at him to get on with it, but Hannibal’s next claim stalls him. “The associations of pleasure you consume appall at your compelled behaviours. Nowhere in your mind to hide from your unfulfilled dreams of sexual grandeur.” 

Will seethes and struggles to respond. 

Hannibal doesn’t know him. He has no right

There is a tongue against his perineum. Will’s breath hitches and he curls both hands in the sheets as Hannibal starts to lick him, side to side, up and down. He prods his twitching hole with the tip of his tongue until half of it slides in. Unashamed, he licks him from the inside, and Will moans. 

A shiver rushes up his spine, and he wants this to stop.

He didn’t mean to moan. It was startled out of him, that’s all. 

He doesn’t mean to push back against the ministrations either, but he does, shoveling his face deeper into the crook of his arm. Another moan stumbles out of him when Hannibal locks his mouth around his opening entirely, and starts to fully eat him out. 

“You may enjoy this, Will,” Hannibal tells him, teasingly. His breath is hot against his saliva-slick backside. “Nobody is here to tell you you’re not allowed. It is just you and me.” 

“You, me, and the thin walls,” Will forces out, laughing a bit hysterically as he does.

Saliva spills down his crack, trickling over his balls, and that’s when Will realizes he’s half hard. Fuck, he needs that like a hole in the head.

Hannibal makes him writhe as he expertly screws him open with his tongue. Will can’t take it. The edge it drives him close to is nothing short of mind-numbing bliss, and he’s not here for that. 

“You can move on,” he murmurs quietly, even as he’s rocking back into the tongue flicking against his rim. He can feel himself throbbing between his legs. “Please.” 

“If you say so,” Hannibal replies, having the audacity to sound put out as he draws back and uncaps the lubricant. Without warning, he works a slicked finger effortlessly into Will’s loosened hole and bends and pulls it with every movement, efficiently stretching him. 

Will closes his eyes, and imagines himself anywhere else. 

It doesn't work.

“Tell me, Will,” Hannibal says, sliding his forefinger in and out of his body. He switches it up with his drier middle finger and Will grunts when it drags rougher against his walls. “When you filmed with women, did you work just as hard to fight your pleasure?” 

“No, of course not. I’m not gay.” 

“Hmm.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Will barks out, his speech lacking any of the zeal he would have had a hold on ten minutes ago. He doesn’t remember spreading his legs so wide. 

“I've said nothing, Will.” Hannibal works two fingers in, but doesn’t stretch him with those for long. Will can hear the scrape of velcro and the lube uncapping again. Stiffening, he waits, and grunts loudly when he feels hard plastic slide along his crease. 

His hole twitches with every pass, and finally, his body yields and allows the toy inside. It is bigger than two fingers, and difficult to accommodate, but Hannibal doesn’t appear to be in a rush, moving it fractionally back and forth, letting it go only to watch it settle, and repeating the process. Will’s cock twitches with every brush of his prostate, and he bites his tongue to keep from moaning desperately. At this point, he’d be happy if Hannibal left him with the toys so he could fuck himself on them alone. He has a suspicion Hannibal is enjoying this far too much. 

“There we go, dear boy,” and what the hell, Will’s cock just twitched at being called boy. He shoves his face into the sheets and tugs at his own hair. “Didn’t take you long at all to open up.” 

“Stop talking,” Will begs, mostly muffled by the comforter. 

Unsurprisingly, Hannibal doesn’t obey. “Would you like me to bring you to orgasm? Oftentimes, men become looser here,” he gyrates the thickest portion of the bulb against his rim, “after experiencing one.” 

“No, don’t ” Will chokes on a groan, hips twitching back when Hannibal tugs the plug from his body until it is just the tip inside him. “Just don’t.” 

“I hope you will act accordingly during the shoot tomorrow. You are supposed to act as if you want my penis inside of you, after all.” 

“What?” Will blurts out, swerving back to look at Hannibal. For a moment, he pauses and observes Hannibal’s red swollen lips, and the blush in his cheeks. The sight makes it hard to breathe. His voice lowers, and he stammers, “You’re the one fucking me tomorrow?” 

Hannibal’s smile is jagged. “Who did you expect?” 

“I I don’t know.” Will turns back around and breathes unsteadily when the plug is removed from his pliant hole. “My last coworker was rough with me.” 

“How so?” comes Hannibal’s immediate response. Almost over eager to know the details, but Will is too lost in his head to notice. 

“It was a spanking video. I wasn’t prepared for how terrible it would feel, I dunno, maybe I’m not cut out for that kind of stuff.”

He barely notices the thumb tracing his hole in soothing circles.

“There are ways to accomplish such an act and ensure your partner’s wellbeing and enjoyment,” Hannibal informs, disapproving. “I am sorry you dealt with such an experience.” 

“It wasn’t great for my first gay porn,” Will admits, and disbelievingly finds himself achieving closure with the experience, after arduous days of doubt and self-incrimination. He relaxes, and doesn’t resist the next plug that breaches him, much larger than the last. 

“Whoa, that’s big.”

Hannibal clicks his tongue. “I’m bigger.”

“Who the hell told you you’re humble?” Will asks, smiling a little. 

Hannibal doesn’t reply, but he can picture the man’s sly returning smile.

Will winces as the plug glides against his insides. It is pulled almost all the way out, more lube is squirted onto it, and is pushed in again, stretching his hole wider than it's ever been stretched. He focuses on his breathing, and when Hannibal forces it to enter him from a new angle, it grinds against his prostate so perfectly he can’t help cursing loudly. Pushing his erection into the sheets feels good for momentary reprieve, nothing more. 

“Does that feel good?” Hannibal asks, and Will nods.

If this is how it feels to be fucked, he’s sure he can handle it. Warming up to it made it easy, and his body accepted the intrusion with an ease that would have shocked him earlier. He moans in his throat and rocks back into the deep, hard, plunges of pleasure. His sweaty hands are grappling for a hold on the sheets, but he’s lost his traction. He feels liquid as the plug is pulled out and thrust back in over and over in a perfect heated rhythm. 

Hannibal has fallen quiet, but Will is too close to care. 

He forgets his trepidation, his resistance, and lets himself feel. 

He’s not sure if he can come like this, but the pleasure is building, to the point where he’s seconds from asking Hannibal for a hand, but the plug is tugged out of his body, and his hips fall to the sheets, toes scrabbling against the floor as Hannibal’s bodily support disappears altogether. 

Oh. There is a third trainer. 

He spread his legs wider, but the telltale noise of the lube bottle fails to arise. He turns to find Hannibal gone, having wandered off to the bathroom to wash the plugs in the sink. He abandoned him panting and wanton on the sheets like a housepet in heat. 

Will’s upper lip curls into a snarl, faculties beginning to return to him gradually. He refuses to ask Hannibal to get him off. He refuses to get himself off. If he doesn’t get off, he thinks he might die. Each option is equally horrible. 

By the time Hannibal returns, Will has sat up and turned to face the dresser. He’s holding a pillow in his lap to cover his erection, a futile attempt at modesty. 

Hannibal sees it and a tiny smirk forms on his face.

Will huffs, but doesn’t remove the pillow.

Unable to contain himself, he asks, “Why didn’t you use the third one?”

“That,” Hannibal nods at the intimidatingly large plug as he’s strapping the other two back into the case, “is not for our purposes tomorrow.”

“What’s it for?”

Hannibal meets his eyes, as if gauging him for something.

The smirk forms into a cruel one, and his response arrives in a low timbre. 

“Punishment.”

Will is only just coming down from the heart-pounding stimulation, and hearing that word spoken like that worsens his condition. Arousal pools in his groin, and he shifts to cross his legs under the soft weight of the pillow. Hannibal eyes it, and he considers asking him for a hand again. 

He doesn’t, and Hannibal unzips a pouch in his suitcase.

“After you bathe yourself tomorrow, I want you to wear this for at least thirty minutes prior to the shoot.” He hands Will a plug, centimeters smaller than the first trainer. “Trust me, you’ll benefit from its use. I want to minimize your discomfort as much as possible.” 

The feeling that he’s been too hard on this stranger he just met begins to creep into Will’s subconscious, and he almost feels guilty enough to apologize for his attitude, but he doesn’t. It would be disingenuous, and Hannibal doesn’t deserve to take more of his bullshit.

“Thank you,” Will tells him, holding the plug in his fist. “I mean it.” 

“You seem like a man who certainly means what he says,” Hannibal responds with a smile, gentler now. “Honesty is rare to uncover in this industry, believe it or not.” 

“Yes, well, it’s my sole attribute. I say what I think, and I mean what I say. Could you, uh, hand me my clothes?” He gestures at the floor and Hannibal picks them up, helping him into his socks without asking. Will doesn’t know why he took them off in the first place. 

His erection has started to soften, and he’s thankful for it as his mind clears. “Which room is Jack in?” he asks, forcing himself to separate from the act of what they just did together. 

“Forty five.” Hannibal stands and moves to the bathroom to wash his hands again. It’s almost endearing, watching him clean compulsively. It is unexpected, considering their professions. 

“I suppose I’ll see you tomorrow,” Will mutters, grabbing his satchel. His gaze catches on the suitcase in his peripheral, and he feels himself blush. 

“Yes, and Will?”

Will has the door to the motel room open. “Yeah?” 

“Don’t be late this time. I cannot abide rudeness.” 

Will’s lips part, locked in a speechless state. Hannibal continues packing up without acknowledging him further, so he forces his hand to shut the door behind him, and shuffles toward the cylindrical staircase leading to the second floor of the motel.

He won’t spiral.

He can’t spiral. 

Will didn’t enjoy that. Perhaps his body enjoyed that, but it means nothing. It also means nothing that he was most intrigued by Hannibal’s stone cold dominance over his doting care. He marks it down to his lack of exposure to pornography and homosexual power dynamics, because it is entirely too difficult to comprehend being interested in the subject matter, let alone submit to it. 

He raps three times on Jack’s door. 

Jack answers, and Will’s eyes immediately fall to the open laptop he sees on the desk inside. It is open to an editing program; it’s comforting to know he’s been working rather than potentially listening to Will’s volcanic eruption of noises from below. 

“You were late,” Jack grouses. “Try being late to a shoot and they’ll dock your pay.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m sorry.” He doesn’t attempt to lie about the traffic again. That apparently didn’t work on Hannibal. “Listen, next time you guys send me to some rehearsal can you at least tell me the guy that’s fucking me is that guy that’s fucking me in my next film?” 

“You’ll have to take that up with Lounds,” Jack responds, gesturing for him to come inside. Will steps in and shuts the door behind him while Jack scrounges around his messy bundle of belongings for Will’s paycheck. 

“Guy’s kind of a hotshot,” Will says curiously, in an attempt to wring some information out of Jack. Surely Jack is aware of Hannibal’s reputation. 

“He’s been in porn for decades,” Jack explains, snatching Will’s check from the second drawer of his dresser. Will doesn’t want to know how it ended up there. “Between you and me, he’s also got the biggest dick in the company. Most people beg for shoots with him, count yourself lucky.”

“Oh.” Will draws his lips together in a tight line.

He holds back a comment about how he’s not exactly lucky if he’s not into cock in the first place, but he remembers how the second anal trainer felt inside him and his ass throbs pleasantly. 

“Here, before you go,” Jack holds up a hand and paws at his desk for an index card. “The location and time for the shoot tomorrow. Lounds told me to write it down for you.”

“Thanks,” Will murmurs, still thinking about Hannibal’s possible dick size. He feels short of breath when he wonders, oh god what if he’s over ten inches?

“You okay, kid?” Jack crosses his arms. “You’re pale as a ghost.”

“Um, I’m fine. Didn’t eat this morning. Thanks again,” Will speaks in a rush and retreats from the motel room, heaving in a breath of fresh air. He works to keep his mind blank on his way back down the clanging metal steps of the building, but stops in his tracks when he sees the Bentley. 

Hannibal is propped against it, legs crossed at the ankle, with one arm resting against the hood. He beams when Will steps into view, and waves. 

Shackles raised, Will wanders closer until they’re within speaking range. 

“I considered you may need a ride home.” 

Will exhales and remarks, “I take the cab.” 

“I’m offering you a cab without the cab fare,” Hannibal replies simply, immovable in his position. Will doesn’t have the energy to argue, and the pizza he could buy tonight with the saved money makes his mouth water, so he gives a quick nod and circles the car to the passenger's side. 

Stepping inside, he breathes in the deep cinnamon scent from the freshener hanging on the centered mirror above the console. Hannibal follows directly after, sliding into his leather seat. The whole car is made of it, black leather that still smells brand new and sticks to sweaty bare skin. There isn’t a speck of dust, or any sign of litter all throughout the car. It is expensive, suspiciously so. 

Will doesn’t say anything as Hannibal revs up the car and turns out of the motel parking lot. Half way down the street, he realizes he’s going to have to tell Hannibal where he lives.

It doesn’t seem too dire a problem. 

He gives him the address, and Hannibal merges into the next left lane smoothly. Will can barely hear the car's engine, and the air conditioning is so wholly relaxing he nearly dozes off. 

Hannibal doesn’t appear intent on silence. 

“It is strange to me, Will. Someone who claims to know himself so well, and honest with his internalizations, would sign a contract for a company intent on making him do the opposite of what he wants. Or is this what you want?” 

“I never planned or wanted to be in gay porn, no.”

“You strike me as someone who could have easily taken to another profession.” 

“No offense, but so do you. You’re telling me you need the cash?” Will gestures to his luxurious car doused in customizations. “Sheesh.” 

“I am well aware I could do whatever I wish, or nothing at all, considering my wealth,” Hannibal replies, ostentatiously. “There are aspects to this career I find dramatic appeal in.” 

“Sex is sex,” Will shrugs. 

“Sex can be much more than you understand, I fear.”

Will wants to refute that, but he’s too tired. And, he has a hunch Hannibal may be right. He’s experienced with sex, sure, but not with all facets of it. He hasn’t wanted to be, and hasn’t even considered wanting to be. Everything is new to him. 

“I was training to be FBI, for a while,” Will admits. “Got an injury. Thought about teaching criminal psychology for a while, but it didn’t take.” 

“Why not?”

“The violence is all-consuming.” 

“There is violence in sex.”

“Not all the time,” Will tells him softly. “You just proved that.”

Hannibal has no response to that which Will thinks is cause for celebration. It feels good to one-up this man. There is an itch in the back of his mind to goad and taunt, and he wonders if Hannibal feels the same. Their personalities clash in a way Will has never experienced. 

There is silence for a time. Will begins to recognize the street names.

“Jack told me you’ve been in this business for a long time,” he mentions, looking everywhere but Hannibal’s lap where he might easily be able to estimate the man’s dick size. “Porn veteran?” 

Hannibal’s lips twitch up. “Something like that.”

“How long?”

“Since I was nineteen. My career started in Italy.”

Will’s brows shoot up. He knew the man was foreign, but he hadn’t expected him to claim he started acting in porn in Italy. Envy strikes him at his core. It almost seems classy, when he speaks of it. Will has never felt classy in this profession; he wonders about the process of filming porn in another country, in another time. Questions dance in the back of his mind, but he can’t muster up the potency to legitimize them. 

Hannibal seems to have closed himself off anyway. 

Soon, he pulls up to the sidewalk outside Will’s apartment complex, and Will searches for judgement in the older man’s eyes. At the run-down building, at his less than ideal accommodations, but Hannibal scarcely spares the building a glance, staring at him instead. 

“Thanks for the ride, and uh, everything else. I’ll return the plug tomorrow.” 

“Keep it.” If he were anyone else, Will would assume he’d just been insulted, but he knows Hannibal doesn’t mean it like that. He merely wants Will to keep a tool that will come in handy in the future, as well as tomorrow.

Will opens the car door and steps out. Hannibal hands him his satchel and Will turns to him one last time to say, “I won’t be late tomorrow.” 

“If you are, know I’ll hold you responsible for it,” Hannibal murmurs, skirting flirtatious. Will sucks in air, and turns to look behind him to make sure no one’s watching. 

“I meant what I said when I told you to keep it professional.”

“God forbid we become friendly.” 

Will scoffs, but his feet are unwaveringly planted to the pavement. 

“I don’t find you that interesting.” 

Hannibal’s eyes darken. “You will.”

 


 

It isn’t a conscious decision when he searches Hannibal’s name into the Lounds Lusty Lads search engine. He is only on the website to check the views on his most recent video. They aren’t phenomenal, but as far as he can tell, Brian Zeller’s personal numbers averagely aren’t either. 

He didn’t catch Hannibal’s last name, or stage name at least.

He’d like to know it; he’s sure Hannibal knows his full title. 

There is a surprising low number of videos that pop up. Apparently, Hannibal is a large enough star that he works in projects specific to his conditions and only when he wants to. The videos that are published are lengthy, for this site anyway, and Will is painfully curious. 

There is no surname accompanying the name ‘Hannibal’ and Will assumes the name itself is a stage name. A one-name moniker like Cher or Madonna. The thought makes him snicker. 

The thumbnails embolden him to look around to the corners of his apartment, as if someone could be watching him. Buster is snoring quietly by the TV, snuggled in his dog bed. 

Without thinking, he clicks the first video on the results page. 

HANNIBAL, Silver Fox, fucks twink to TEARS!

Right off the bat, Will senses the difference between this video and most porn he's watched. The dialogue isn't exported from an average porno script. In fact, Will would wager it's all improv. To the video's benefit, because he finds himself intrigued with what Hannibal has to say. It starts with Hannibal pouring himself and a nameless blonde 'twink' champagne. They chat idly about why they are in a hotel room together, and if the blonde's acting wasn't so atrocious, Will might actually buy the scene's legitimacy. 

He skips through, unsure if he can reconcile watching the whole video, and when the video player loads the spot he just jumped to, he nearly flings his laptop across the room. 

Hannibal's cock is huge.

If he's not ten inches, he's at least eleven. 

He gets sympathy pangs for the young man on his knees slurping at his cock as if it could melt like a popsicle. For Hannibal's part, he's shockingly quiet. It might be that the game is for his partners to do their best to draw sounds out of him. His stoic nature might be his personal quirk as a star. Will can't tear his eyes away as Hannibal's long shaft slides between the boy's lips. He wonders if he'll have to do that tomorrow, or will he only be fucked?

Oh hell, that length is going inside him.

Will is spiraling again. 

It shouldn't happen, but it does. Will feels his dick twitch in interest, filling out only just. He exits the page and the sucking, moaning sounds vanish. He closes his laptop and lies on his back thinking about boat motors for long enough his almost-erection fades. He covers his face with his hands, and counts to ten. Very, very slowly. 

 

Chapter Text

 

Beverly plumps Will’s face with foundation. 

He’s freshly shaven, but the lighting for this film requires specific layers of cosmetics. She uses her mud brown mascara on his eyelashes again, and provides details to his face; concealer, contour, natural coral colored blush. He feels like a doll, and bitterly he reminds himself that he’s precisely what he’s meant to be seen as. A hairless, timeless, twink. 

“You look more nervous than the last time,” she says crudely, tousling his hair.

“It’s different when you know the guy,” he mutters.

“Did he train you yesterday?”

Will pauses, and then nods slowly. 

“Was he good to you?” Bev asks, in a manner that seems like she already knows the answer. He nods again, blushing deeper than the cosmetics painting his cheeks. 

Jack bangs his fist on the door of the ensuite bathroom. 

“You have five minutes!” he shouts, non-negotiable. 

Will lets out a shaky sigh, fiddling with his hands. 

Yesterday feels so far away, and every moment he finds the memories of it slipping away, his hips will shift, and he’s reminded of the black plug (with a sparkling obsidian jewel at its base) spreading him wide open. It is the plug Hannibal lent –or rather, gifted him. 

It rests easily inside his ass. It isn’t shaped to arouse him, but he’s been aware of it ever since he slicked it up and slipped it inside his body after his shower. It’s been an hour since then and he was given a shred of satisfaction not running into Hannibal when he first arrived in the hotel suite. He can’t handle him knowing he’s wearing it just like he asked. Not yet. 

For now, he waits in the bathroom in a maroon robe while Beverly does her finishing touches on his features. She uses a thick fluffer that powders his face and chest to avoid glare. 

“There we go, you ready?”

“No, not really.” Will looks at himself in the mirror and wonders how he’ll change after being fucked by a man. “Why wasn’t I given a script?”

“You seriously don’t know anything about him do you?” She crosses her arms, disbelieving. “Wow.”

“I’m sick of everyone assuming I do.”

Bev raises a placating hand, covered in streaks of mascara and flecks of blush. “Not trying to make you what you’re not, but even suburban moms who’ve never heard of PornHub probably know this guy. And, Hannibal doesn’t do scripts.” 

“Why?” Will asks, staring into the middle distance. 

He couldn’t read him yesterday, and he’s doubtful he can read him today. 

“Something to do with ‘earnest reactions’ and ‘sensuality.’ I’ve heard him argue with Jack a number of times about it, but he’s a bit too philosophical for me to understand. His methodology works though, the numbers on his videos are wild. You're going to be famous minutes after they upload.” 

“I don’t want that.” 

“Trust me, it’ll feel good when people are jealous of what you’ve had.” 

Time is running out. Will can hear the crew rushing around and readjusting the lights one final time. Hannibal’s voice is amongst them, mumbling very low and unintelligible. “Anything else I should know?” 

“Yeah, one thing I guess.” Bev smirks. “He never works with the same person twice. Enjoy him while you have him.”

 


 

Will is unsettled by Bev’s final words.

They fade from his thoughts into the quiet shadows of his mind when he steps out of the bathroom and comes face to face with Hannibal, who is leaning against the wall-length window. It overlooks the nightlife of the city, amongst the evergreen trees and foliage that decorates the surrounding property of the resort. The gorgeous view won’t be caught on camera; the audience will only manage to distinguish the darkness of night, but they’ll be focused on the bed anyway. It won’t matter to them where Will is being fucked for the first time, only that he is. 

“You look dashing,” Hannibal tells him with a genial smile. 

“Thanks, you’re, uh, good ” Will averts his gaze, “ looking too, I mean.”  

Will assumed yesterday the company of two to be more nerve-wracking than the alternative, the company of a crew. And yet, he yearns for the sea of worker bees filling the room to obscure into a fine, transparent, mist. To leave him alone in his thoughts and worries so he can avoid making a true and utter fool of himself. 

“Okay, Hannibal,” Jack barks out, patience wearing thin. “Are you finally going to pitch the scene to me, or would you rather I just wing it and waste all our time?”

Hannibal eyes flick over to Jack and his smile remains, but Will can see the cracks in the seams. What was genial is now forged. No one else would notice if they weren’t looking for it. 

“What do you think of this, Will,” Hannibal inquires, turning to face him again. “You play a newlywed groom who expected to find his bride in their honeymoon hotel room, but instead finds a stranger who offers much more than a woman his woman could ever.” 

It is elaborate, for what is meant to be a ten to fifteen minute film. Will hasn’t been forced to improv this drastically since he attended the thespian club in high school. He imagines Hannibal will want to keep up a solid dialogue between them for at least a few minutes, and his heart strains with anxiety at the concept. 

Under his breath, Will says, “I’m not that good of an actor.”

“Nonsense, I’ve watched your work for Kade Purnell,” Hannibal admits easily, and Will goes hot with the admission. He understands men have watched the porn he’s in, but Hannibal? “I am quite sure you’ll work fantastically under pressure, won’t he Jack?” 

“Yeah, yeah, it’s all passable. Just tell me when you’re ready,” Jack responds gruffly, readjusting the pegs of the camera stand, the lens pointing at Hannibal. 

“You watched the porn I was in?” Will mutters, feeling rattled.

“I watch the pornography of all my coworkers.” Hannibal curls one strand of Will’s hair behind his ear with concentration in his brow, then he smiles. “Even the impolite.” 

Will must be red as a beet. 

Swishing inside him is a nauseating cocktail of humiliation, embarrassment, jaded arousal, and an impending sense of pitfall. It doesn’t help that there are several people in the room watching him fluster and brim with frustration. 

Bev waits in the adjoining bedroom; at least some mercy exists. 

“I don’t know how to start,” Will manages. 

“Here,” Hannibal leads him back to the bathroom. “Appear as though you’ve just come in from a shower. Act like you’ve never seen me before, and I will lead you from there.” 

Will won’t know what to say, will he?

“Alright.” 

“Just remember your role and try not to break character,” Hannibal adds, seemingly stepping into Jack’s role. “And if you do, we can do the take again. Don’t fret.” 

Will is left alone in the bathroom with the door shut, and for a shimmering period, he is relieved. Then, he starts to feel lost. He can hear Jack call “Action!” so he wastes no time closing his eyes. Sighing, he settles into the role he’s been granted, digging himself as deep as he can. 

He opens the door, and senses the camera pan to face him. 

Hannibal is standing by the window holding a champagne glass. Beneath him, lies a bucket of ice and the bottle he’d poured it from. A honeymoon for two is what it was meant for, but his figurative wife is nowhere to be seen. Will hadn’t acknowledged his attire earlier, but it is appealing to the objective eye. He is dressed in a half undone tuxedo, a white-button up shirt with only a few buttons unclipped, and tight black slacks. His silver-blonde hair has fallen over his eyes which are currently trained on the city below. 

“How did you get in here?” Will asks, coming off too timid for a porno. Nobody calls for a cut, and Hannibal turns to him with pinning eyes, and a new pretense altogether. 

“You were so careless as to leave the door open,” he replies smoothly. The voice is new. It’s threatening, and yet– “One has to wonder if it was meant as an invitation.” 

“Perverts think that,” Will retorts, taking a few steps into the room. The rug is soft on his bare feet. Hannibal eyes him head to toe, similar to how they first met, but this time with the intention to devour. Will’s heart clamors against his ribcage from adrenaline. 

“Would you prefer a pervert over a robber? A voyeur over a trespasser?” 

“I would prefer my wife.” 

Hannibal approaches him moderately. He circles him like a shark, and Will almost makes eye contact with the camera Jack is holding as it follows around and around. 

“And if your newlywed isn’t willing to offer you what I can?” 

Will’s breath hitches when Hannibal’s breath wafts against the back of his neck. His voice lowers into a deep, raspy tone when Will doesn’t respond, “If I told you your bride could not satisfy you in the ways I can satisfy you?” 

Will feels large hands on his hips and he vividly remembers the way Hannibal pulled his cheeks apart and buried his face in between them, licking and forcing his submission. Will closes his eyes and attempts to wash the memory away, but those hands are traveling up the silk of his robe, tickling. They find his nipples and squeeze; he doesn’t have to fake the quiet moan. 

“You’re a stranger,” Will debates, flailing with the task of response. He just wants to shut up and let Hannibal do whatever it is he’s planning to do to him. 

It’d be easier to shut it all off and give in.

“I don’t have to be,” Hannibal says hot in his ear. Loud enough for recording, which makes his voice echo through Will’s whole body like a shudder. 

“I’ve never… ” Will ups the ante with his perceived purity. “I’ve never slept with a man.”

Hannibal hums. “Would you like to?”

Will bites his tongue to prevent the instinctive rejection from slipping free. “My wife will be back soon. I don’t know how I could explain

Suddenly, Hannibal grabs him by the hips and tugs him backward so his ass is pressed snug to his overt erection. It feels massive, prodding hard into his backside. “Oh god,” Will breathes, the shuttering gasp shocked out of him. 

The camera is close by, but Will starts to forget its presence.

Hannibal’s mouth finally connects with his skin, head curling around Will’s shoulder to bite close to his jugular, very light and respectable. Will can’t help but to twitch, and plays it up for the film, tossing his head back and straining his neck for his co-star. 

“I’m sure we’ll finish each other off with time to spare,” Hannibal tells him, hands coiling around his middle, one curving down to his flaccid cock. It isn’t erect yet, but Will has been aroused for some time now, and he knows the second he’s touched, he’ll be lost. 

“You’ll have to teach me,” Will murmurs.

“So eager to please. You’ll surely make a loyal groom.” 

Will doesn’t have the time to react; he’s whipped around and crushed into a bruising kiss. Will groans, more from the collision than anything else, but Hannibal softens the kiss the moment their lips touch, cupping Will’s cheeks with both hands. Will decides he needs to dive head first into this if he wants to keep getting properly paid, so with trembling hands, he reaches for Hannibal’s belt. 

Hannibal snarls against his mouth, and Will whimpers when their tongues tangle, obscenely for the camera. It’s lewd. The porn he filmed with women was never this brazen. Perhaps female viewership doesn’t mediate much desire for excessive depravity. Women are delicate, with their mouths, with their hands. Hannibal is anything but, despite his inherent sensuality. Will feels like someone other than himself, and he grows impatient with the buckle, shoving one hand in the back of Hannibal’s pants to grope at the rise of his ass. Hannibal doesn’t gasp or moan, but his eyes shoot open and Will can tell he’s suppressing a wide grin at Will’s grit. 

Hannibal’s hands trail down to Will’s ass and he cups him lightly, dragging him closer until their groins fit together. Will hisses as his cock fills out against the other man’s hardened heat. 

“Take your hands out of my pants,” Hannibal commands, and Will does so with a swallow. For a moment, he’s self conscious, until he remembers they aren’t having a real conversation. “What makes you think you’re prepared to take a man if you’ve never been taken by a man yourself?”

Will clams up. 

He isn’t used to being ordered around in the bedroom. He isn’t used to being admonished. He never thought he would feel a chilling thrill towards either. 

Hannibal improvs swiftly and flawlessly. 

With one hand, he presses down on Will’s shoulder until he’s sitting on the foot of the bed. By now, Will has entirely forgotten the film crew, his eyes locked on Hannibal’s and those eyes alone. With the other hand, Hannibal bends to cup Will’s swelling erection. 

Will flutters his lashes, resisting the urge to close his eyes.

He’d feel silly if Hannibal’s gaze were not so incensed.

Hannibal squeezes his cock once more, groping along the jutting outline of it for the sake of the shot, and begins to unbutton his own shirt, the rest of it, until it hangs loose on his shoulders. It slips to the rug light as a feather. Will’s eyes follow the fabric with a quickening heart rate, and he gulps when the trousers follow. Hannibal’s underwear is maroon silk, compressed, and leaves nothing to the imagination. 

It matches Will’s robe. 

“You’re going to put that in me?” Will asks, biting his lip. It comes across coy, but his heart is pounding in his chest nonetheless, staring at the bulge that seems bigger than in the videos 

“Yes,” Hannibal tells him simply, with a hard shove to the center of Will’s chest with a foot. Abruptly, Will is eye to eye with the ceiling and he feels Hannibal’s foot slide down the parted seam of his robe to press his heel into the barely concealed erection between his legs. Will groans, grabbing handfuls of the comforter and twisting them. “Will you beg for it?” 

“No,” Will responds, without thinking. 

Jack’s going to cut it; he knows he is. 

There is silence, and Will dares turn his gaze back to Hannibal, whose hands are on either side of his knees, bending closer. “No?” he demands. 

Will doesn’t understand why he’s going along with this. He screwed up the take. They should try it again, not improvise with his mistake. Despite himself, he says what comes to mind next. 

“I don’t want it.” Will licks his lips. “Make me want it.” 

Hannibal snarls, one quick twitch of his upper lip, and he’s tearing Will’s robe open. It falls fluidly around his naked body, and Will is overcome with clarity. 

“Wait, wait, Hannibal ” It’s too late, Hannibal is bending his legs up. “Cut!”

Jack and the crew begin to blur into the frame of his peripheral again. Jack echoes, “Cut!” and Will can hear the snap-to of the worker bees buzzing and flitting around, readjusting lights, and wiping down the camera lens. He sighs, alleviated.

In a beat, Hannibal’s mask of dominance slips away and he asks, “Do you need to stop, Will?”

Will shakes his head, leaning up on his elbows a bit. “I, uh, forgot to take it out before we started shooting.” Reaching between his legs, he sheepishly removes the small plug and Hannibal’s eyes lock onto it with hunger that doesn’t entirely appear for show. 

Jack doesn’t subdue his harsh sigh. “Someone take that damn thing from Mr. Ram so we can get this thing rolling. Come on, move it.” 

A man Will believes goes by the name Jimmy Price snatches the plug from his hands before he has any say in the matter. Hannibal looks more bereft than he, but he can’t help but wonder where Price lugged it off to. The thumb at his hole startles him back to full awareness.

“It worked wonders on you,” Hannibal murmurs. “I’ll have to consider buying you something bigger.” 

A thousand thoughts run through Will’s head, but namely, Beverly’s warning plays on a loop in his head. Hannibal does not work with the same person twice. In what world would he gift Will with another buttplug? 

“Jack, if you’d hand me the lubricant, I’d like to stretch him further before we resume the scene,” Hannibal holds out his hand as if expecting to be waited on. Will smiles a bit at his presumptuous nature. Jack casts an arch look, but does as Hannibal requests. 

There are two fingers in Will’s hole in the next minute, and Will gasps and falls back against the sheets. “Don’t worry,” Hannibal encourages quietly. “They’re not watching.” 

Will shakes his head. “Doesn’t matter.”

“You’ve adapted quickly.” Hannibal works impersonally, nudging a third finger into Will’s tight hole. It stretches him wider than the plug and he closes his eyes. 

“Your training helped, I think.” 

“Did it.” Hannibal isn’t bashful, but it’s close. “You underestimate your sensitivity to male attention. You’re quite responsive, more so when you put up a fight. I take pleasure in your resistance.” 

Confounded, Will focuses on relaxing his rim. Hannibal’s erection hasn’t wavered, and neither has his own, but that’s not exactly his fault considering Hannibal is tapping and stroking his prostate as if it were the keys on a harpsichord. Involuntarily, he arches his back and with the motion follows a series of gasps, sounding as if he’s choking on air. 

“You are instrumental,” Hannibal whispers, as if having read Will’s mind. 

“You’re a -ah nuisance!” 

One of Will’s hands darts out and grabs hold of Hannibal’s bicep as the arm thrusts between his legs. “Jesus, that’s enough. I’ll be fine.” 

Hannibal purses his lips but removes his fingers. Will’s hole throbs at the loss, feeling far too empty. “You will feel the urge to cut the scene when I am inside you. Feel free to.” 

Will can’t deny that Hannibal’s cock will most likely overwhelm him. He saw it for himself; he’s not sure if anyone human could ever adjust to something that size. 

Daintily, Hannibal covers Will with his robe, and Jack whistles to Bev who comes stumbling into the room with a powder blender in hand. She fluffs Will’s face a bit, until he’s a sufficient contrast of sweaty and dry, and attempts to do the same to Hannibal whose glare shuts her down in an instant. 

She retreats back into the adjoining room in a quick shuffle.

“Don’t do makeup?” Will asks. 

“Unlike you, I don’t prefer to resist myself.”

“Touchy,” Will murmurs, half joking, half on edge. 

“Okay, wrap it up,” Jack orders with a snap of the fingers. “Will, start again from your last line. ‘Make me want it.’”

Jack counts to three on his fingers and shouts, "Action!"

Hearing his own dialogue read back to him in an indifferent manner makes Will feel a twinge of irritation low in his gut, but he closes his eyes to recapture his mood and character, and opens them again to reveal a more beguiled, seduced persona. 

“Make me want it,” Will urges breathlessly. 

Hannibal is searing, their heated exchange of eye contact, his hands on Will’s skin when he parts his robe wildly and finds every erogenous inch of him. Will writhes a bit as Hannibal pinches and plays with him. He’s sure it looks good for the camera; it definitely feels good. 

Despite himself, he can’t deny Hannibal knows what he’s doing. 

“Could your wife make you squirm as such?” Hannibal rasps, bent over Will like a vivid nightmare. Surprisingly, Will doesn’t wish to push him away. He does want to stop talking about this figurative wife however. 

“Will it please you?” Will challenges. “If I admit it?” 

“No, dear boy, I know I am unmatched.” Will lifts his thighs into the palms skating down his hips, the ones folding his legs open, putting his hole on display. He can feel the camera’s radiant bright red eye, staring directly into him. “It will please me when you admit to yourself, your innermost desires.” 

“My desire being you?” 

“To start,” Hannibal murmurs, staring up at him where he’s crouching between his legs. Will blinks back, wondering why he’s speaking so softly. The microphone likely didn’t pick up that last remark. His train of thought flings itself off the rails when Hannibal noses under his balls and slips his tongue into his pliant hole.

“Oh fuck,” Will gasps, close to pleading. He tries to talk, he really does, but he’s busy arching his back and getting distracted by the way Hannibal is dining on his hole. With a shred of shame, Will realizes he’s never displayed this much vigor eating out a woman, for show or for personal pleasure. 

It is more. More than Hannibal gave him yesterday, more than he’s ever had.

“You my –uh– wife!” Truly, Will thinks he should be given an award for speaking at all. He can feel it when Hannibal’s jaw hinges open and mouths his crease completely, and it weakens his tongue, his limbs, everything. Hell, it’s making him crazy. 

“She will not come until you do.” 

Funny, Will wants to say, but knows that’s stretching his improv a little thin. This isn’t actual sex they’re having. They are here to film porn. For an audience, not for themselves. 

He reaches down to fist his untouched erection and whimpers when Hannibal surges up from beneath his legs and pins his arms down on the sheets, on either side of his head. Incredulously, Will stares up at him and narrows his eyes to slits. 

He can play the game. 

“I want your cock,” Will confesses, breathy and docile. “Put your cock in me.” He leans up and brushes their lips together in a mock-kiss, Hannibal sticky with saliva. He enunciates every syllable when he adds, “I’ll beg you for it.” 

Hannibal is a good actor. The surprise on his face seems almost genuine, and Will can feel the heat of Hannibal’s erection permeating through his silk undergarments. He grinds his thigh into it teasingly, and holds back the smile when the older man’s breath hitches. 

“So easily persuaded,” he says coolly, taking Will’s hands in his own and pressing them down against his clothed cock. Will nearly jumps out of his skin, but saves the reaction at the last minute, grasping his length through his undergarments instead and feeling around it like a true dick-virgin. Hannibal’s chest heaving is the only indication of his pleasure, but he’s still looking Will in the eye, and his voice comes out harsher when he adds, “Will you get me wet?” 

Will’s eyes widen, remembering the video of the blonde boy sucking Hannibal’s cock. 

Hannibal smirks, “Otherwise, I'd break you.” 

It’s alright. He’s prepared himself mentally for this, he can do it. 

Will is then handed a bottle of lubricant, and disappointment fills him before he can register it. Will shakes off the feeling and pushes Hannibal over to straddle his thighs. The robe he’d been wearing has long since been tossed somewhere on the floor, and he’s entirely nude. It doesn’t feel as intimidating as it did yesterday, knowing Hannibal finds him attractive and desirable. 

They don’t break eye contact until Will coats a hand in lube and reaches down to reveal Hannibal’s cock, tugging the hem of his briefs down so they hook under his balls. The cock is red at the tip where the foreskin is drawn back, and with a thrill, Will acknowledges it is a much darker shade than he’d seen it in the video. He grips it firmly, like he handles his own cock, and pumps him, gradually increasing the pace with each slick pass.

“Is that good?” Will asks, innocence alloyed. 

“Not as good as your body will feel, clasping me tight,” Hannibal rumbles back, stroking up Will’s shivering ribcage with dexterous fingers. The man really should have been a musician. 

“Will it hurt very much?” There’s a legitimate question in those cloying tones somewhere; he wants Hannibal to give an honest answer. 

“It will hurt. Not for very long.” 

Will swallows the bile he tastes on the back of his tongue and looks down at the angry curve of Hannibal’s erection, shaped as if it were made to fuck someone to death. The concept makes him dizzy, and he works his fist faster over the shaft after haphazardly squirting more lube onto it. 

“Will you still beg me for it?’ 

It’s a challenge. They seem to be good at that. 

Will cocks a brow, growing audacious. 

“Will you still make me want it?” 

Hannibal grabs him by his waist and flips him so he lands hard on his back, bouncing a little while one of his legs is bent up and over Hannibal’s shoulder. Will can hear the camera crew move frantically to catch their money shot. Will’s hands fly up to Hannibal’s shoulders when he feels the man’s erection slide up against the damp crease of his ass. 

Before pushing inside, Hannibal grips himself tight until his cockhead is the only thing peeking through his fist, and he rubs it against Will’s hole, making the younger man shake apart. 

He was playing the part before. He didn’t realize how badly he actually wanted it. How madly he’s been thinking about this since yesterday. The curtain falls open before his eyes, and he can see. 

Hannibal’s face dips into the crook of his neck, and he speaks into his ear, a nearly inaudible whisper, “Breathe. This can end at any time.” 

Will relaxes, the last of his doubts slinking down the drain. 

“Please,” Will moans, loudly. “Give it to me, please.” 

Hannibal growls gently, lining himself up. Their breaths both hitch when the head catches on the swelling rim, and with one push, Hannibal bottoms out. 

Will cries out like he’s been stabbed, and Hannibal waits no more than two seconds before pulling out and thrusting back in, every single inch of girth dragging through him and curving up into his passage like it belongs deeper. He whines, no longer aware of himself for the camera, for Hannibal, or anyone other than himself. It hurts like hell, yes, but it also feels unforgivably good.

He has nowhere to retreat while Hannibal pounds him, so he tangles his hands in Hannibal’s hair as his insides are slammed and molded to fit his length. If his mouth could stop hanging open, he’d be spewing broken encouragements and expletives. 

Will is fucked for a good couple minutes, and just as the burn of the stretch is starting to fade, and Hannibal is angling himself just enough to press directly against his prostate, Jack calls, “Cut!”

The string of moans falling from Will’s lips tapers off into a confused noise when Hannibal immediately stops thrusting. Will flops boneless against the mattress. 

Hannibal pulls out, turning to Jack and apparently speaking with him, but Will thinks his hearing might be shot. He entertains the possibility Hannibal fucked deep enough to reach his brain. His rim throbs around air, and the sheets on Will’s back feel like fire. Looking down, he’s shocked to find a pool of liquid on his belly, stringing from the slit of his cock, now almost purple. 

“Come now, Will,” Hannibal says, easily. He’s sitting up in the center of the bed and patting his lap. Will stares at him, a breath away from hyperventilating. Hannibal gives him a dry look and tells him, “We’re switching positions.” 

Right. They’re filming a porno. 

Will is fighting between whether to cry or laugh, but suppresses the need to do both and crawls over the sheets until he’s close enough for Hannibal to manhandle him, pressing him back to chest. “There we are, do you need more time to adjust?”

Hannibal asks this as he’s slipping his long, hard, cock back inside him.

Will shifts around it and nearly sobs when he feels how much more pressure is on his prostate from this angle. In this position, it’s difficult to avoid looking at the crew.

He forces himself to shake his head.

Hannibal’s hands settle on his hips, and he murmurs, “I need you to lean up just a fraction, so we’re not just grinding on each other, yes that’s it.” Will does as he’s told, supporting most of his weight on Hannibal’s upper body and shoulders. The cock slides into him, in and out, to test the new angle. “Is this feasible, Jack?” 

“Perfect, thanks guys. You ready?”

Will’s nerves are only just settling, but Hannibal says, “Yes, I believe so.” Jack is counting, and the numbers fade into the back of Will’s mind as he desperately attempts to prepare himself. 

It doesn’t work. 

When the scene starts up, Hannibal’s cock pummels him to incoherency. “Fuck,” he moans, in the very least able to use his mouth again. “Fuck, god, fuck.” 

The sound of his own dick slapping wet against his belly is vulgar.

His body melts back against Hannibal’s, and he doesn’t realize how blindingly close to orgasm he is until Hannibal wraps a strong hand around his cock and pumps him. “N-n, no, no,” Will utters, barely a whisper. The orgasm he feels coiling within has the potential to black him out. 

“Could your wife fuck you like his?” Hannibal asks in his ears, the deep rumble to his voice seemingly a growl rising in his chest. “Answer me, boy.” 

“No!” he cries out as Hannibal changes up the rhythm from quick and shallow to harder, slower, deeper. He throws an arm back to grab ahold of his nape, his hair, anything. “Never, fucking hell, never.” 

Hannibal’s mouth and teeth are nibbling at his neck and he’s gone. He comes hard, semen splashing over Hannibal’s hand as he jerks him, Will’s entire body thrashing in his loose grip as his moans crescendo into a scream. Hannibal follows close behind, but he’s floating in limbo and doesn’t notice, wracked with aftershocks and oversensitivity. He slowly comes back to awareness only when Hannibal slips out of his body with a grunt.

Jack is talking, the crew is talking, Hannibal is talking. Will is lying on his back, his stomach covered in jizz, his eyes glazed and sight blurry, and there is not a single thought in his mind other than the fact the hardest he’s ever come in life has been with a dick in his ass. 

“You guys, uh, finished pretty quickly, I think we should probably get a few more minutes of the anal whenever you two can get it up again,” Jack’s voice floats over, startling Will to full attention.

“It will take me no more than an hour, and I’m sure it will take Will less,” Hannibal responds nonchalantly, as if he hadn’t just shot his load inside of him.

Will startles when Hannibal tugs him upward into a sitting position and scratches his nails over his scalp. “We’re both in need of a shower, come along.” 

Will is led to the ensuite bathroom and stands trembling as Hannibal starts the shower, hand under the jet to wait for the warmth to kick in. He coaxes Will inside with a hand at his lower back, and Will nearly begins to cry, the urge stronger than before.

“I hope I managed to make your first time with a man comfortable.” Hannibal sorts through the complimentary hotel conditioners. When he turns, Will notices he has a small tattoo of a bee on his right shoulder blade. It is classy, rather than tacky. “Or as comfortable as it can be in this business.” 

Will turns away, nausea making him sway. 

“You are something else, Will,” Hannibal muses as he begins to shampoo Will’s hair without asking. Will is busy balancing his weight on the tile wall of the shower with two hands. “You act with such abandon, giving yourself entirely over to pleasure rather than facsimile.” 

Will’s eyes open and he feels the sting of shampoo residue trickle into the crevices of his face. He turns to face Hannibal, and wonders if he could get away with giving the man a black eye with little repercussion.

“You think I wanted to have sex with you?” Will spits out. “Are you tone deaf?”

Hannibal’s lips twitch into a purse. “I overestimated how quickly you’d come to terms with your inner desires. Did you not enjoy yourself?”

“What about my asking you to keep this ‘professional’ did you not understand?” Will barks, shoving past him and out of the shower now that he’s found his footing. He’s dripping, and he doubts the come has been entirely washed off and out of him, but he’s pawing at the spare robe hanging on the door. Hannibal touches his shoulders, and he swerves violently, “Don’t touch me!”

He softens when he sees Hannibal’s harrowed expression. “Just…don’t. Listen, I don’t know what you want from me, but you’re looking in the wrong corner. Tell Jack I’m not filming anymore today. He can upload whatever the hell he wants.” 

Without waiting for a response, he bursts out of the bathroom and grabs his belongings, storming out of the resort as fast as he can. He doesn’t look back. If he gets reprimanded later, so be it. He has half a mind to quit.

To hell with the contract.

On the streets of Baltimore, his hair dries straggled, with shampoo crusting over in his curls. He walks home, in a robe and pants he’d shucked on in the hotel elevator. It takes an hour to get home, and regret begins to seep into his mind, touching every thought with frigid tendrils. When he arrives at his apartment, Buster greets him happily, unbeknownst to his owner’s internal crisis. He considers drinking, but it would only convert the regret into a much worse feeling. 

Attempting to forget the turn of events the day took, he watches reality TV for a while, but the phony acting and situational drama forces him to come to terms with his own denial. 

Will enjoyed it. 

He enjoyed it, and Hannibal knew he enjoyed it. 

It’s porn. He made a fool of himself in a business he’s been working in for years. No doubt Jack and any fellow long-term crew members have seen a straight man come apart at the seams, but he never thought he would be weak enough to crack under pressure. And, Hannibal, he’d been an absolute asshole towards. The man is peculiar, yes. The man doesn’t take a hint, yes. 

That doesn’t mean that Will can’t owe him an apology. 

Whipping out his phone, Will texts Jack asking him for Hannibal’s number alongside a short, (albeit detached) apologetic note about ditching the set. Jack sends him the number in the next two minutes, and tells him it’s alright and that he expects it for every straight actor’s first time.

Will lets out an irritated huff which Buster echoes where he rests curled up on his lap. He adds Hannibal as a contact to his phone and opens the text page. 

He pauses, then types;

Hey. It’s Will. I’m sorry for freaking out today. You didn’t deserve to be in the line of fire when I had my outburst. Is there any way I can make it up to you? 

Will holds his phone in two hands and watches the commercials on his TV like they’re interesting. Buster whines, as if sensing his restlessness, but Will just pets him and waits. 

Twenty minutes later, his phone buzzes.

Good evening, Will. All is forgiven. That is, if you are willing to join me for dinner this weekend. If so, I will attach the details. I hope you are feeling more stable.

Will blinks at his phone, closes the messenger app, and then reopens it to reread the text. He takes a deep breath, and takes the time to formulate an appropriate response. 

I can do that. Just don’t expect anything from me.

It takes another fifteen minutes for Hannibal to respond. Will is beginning to believe the man gets a rush from holding out. 

In this industry, it would be unwise to presume anything.  

 

Chapter Text

 

“Why here?” Will asks in the overcrowded mall food court. 

Freddie looks up at him from under her pointy sunglasses. Her lips stretch into a grinch smile and she taps her nails along her triple chocolate mocha. 

“A large assembly of people over a small one offers a lot more privacy, believe it or not. Are you worried someone will overhear us?” 

The rising voices and hustle bustle of shoppers rebukes this possibility. 

“Just never talked shop next to a Burger King and a KFC at the same time, that’s all,” he drones, expressing himself with a contrived smile. 

“I figured this meeting would benefit from a one-on-one approach,” she explains. Freddie’s bag clicks open and she hands him a docket of stapled papers. “These are your new scripts. You’re doing two shoots on Thursday. One right after the other. I’ve taken the liberty of printing the time and locations on the back page.”

Will flips through the pages idly. It takes a beat to dawn on him. “Wait, two in one day?” 

“You’re famous,” Freddie tells him, lips still stretched abnormally wide. Her teeth are extremely white and perfectly symmetrical. “That film you did with Hannibal nearly broke my site, haven’t you been checking the stats?”

“Got preoccupied,” Will mutters. It’s a lie. Since the shoot, he’s been curled up on his couch, holed away in his apartment ordering food directly to his door and refusing to draw the curtain for even one sliver of light. Buster suffered the worst of it, whining endlessly for a walk, but Will couldn’t bring himself to stand and be reminded of the pleasant ache in his backside from when he took a cock, Hannibal’s cock, Hannibal who he’s having dinner with over the weekend. 

The ache vanished quickly, and when Freddie contacted him for lunch to discuss his job, he’d half expected her to tear up his contract in front of his very eyes. Running away had been insolent and he couldn’t imagine Jack had much to work with. The last thing he considered doing was search her website to catch even the thumbnail of he and Hannibal tangled together. 

“Well, my little munchkin, expect the dam to break soon. I’ve been getting dozens of emails already. Everyone wants to work with you.” 

Will glances down at the documents, and flips to the last page. His salary is printed at the bottom, and he nearly drops the papers. 

“Oh.” 

“I told you working for this company was going to be something you wouldn’t regret.” If she didn’t sound so smug, he might find himself agreeing. “I’ve signed you on with the highest paying jobs of course, but if there are stars you want to work with just shoot me a text, and I’m positive we can make it happen!” 

“That’s alright. I don’t have a preference for, uh,” he chuckles scornfully, and reads over the names of the men he’ll be co starring with, “you haven’t booked me with Hannibal again?” 

Freddie sips her mocha and shakes her head. “I can try to contact him, but he so rarely comes in for work. Never works with the same man twice.”

“No, it's fine! Don’t contact him.” Will almost knocks over his own lemonade with a bodily jerk. “I was just wondering, ehm, since the numbers were high with the two of us. It seemed like you might, uh, business wise

She stops him, placing a cold palm over the back of his hand, before he starts to ramble. “You’re not alone, Will. Everyone asks to work with Hannibal again. I’d book him daily if I could, god knows the kind of revenue I’d get, but the man is an enigma.” 

Ruffled like an aggressive dog, Will bites his tongue to avoid quarreling. He’s equally pissed about Ms. Lounds’ assumptions and at himself for feeling the surefire twinge of disappointment when he saw Hannibal’s name absent from the shooting schedule. 

“You sure you don’t want me to shoot him an email? Just in case?” 

Will shakes his head, gentling. 

“No, I’d much rather you didn’t.”

“In that case, Will, unless you have any questions, I should be heading back to my office. I highly recommend checking out the numbers on that recent video. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Standing, she picks up her mocha and purse, and pushes her glasses up the bridge of her nose. She taps the document. “Keep it up and you can be making this kind of money weekly.” 

That is appealing. 

Will nods, uttering a short-tempered farewell, before scrutinizing the scripts in private. One is a fingering video, which he’ll more than be able to manage after his last shoot, and another leads to him getting fucked on some couch, doggy style. That may be more challenging, but he’s already been broken in. The money he’ll be making outweighs the cost of losing his last remaining shreds of dignity. 

 


 

At home, Will cooks himself a greasy burger and plops down on the couch with Buster to play a light game of tug-o-war. He holds his food in one hand and allows his other arm to be tugged nearly out of its socket as Buster growls and ruffs on the rug with exertion. 

Whenever his mind is blank, it inevitably strays to the film with Hannibal, so he turns on the television and flips through the channels until he finds something with animals. Mongooses, it would seem. They don’t amuse for long, and he finds himself burying his head in his hands. 

He opens his phone, and scrolls through his contact list. 

Alana’s name catches his eye again, and instead of turning off his phone like he normally does, he clicks her name and calls her. It rings five times before she picks up.

“Will, is that you?” she asks in joyous disbelief.

He grins. “Yeah, hey Alana. I know it’s been forever

“Try a year.”

“Sorry,” he murmurs, and means it. Mostly. “You know if I had enough money I’d have bought myself a house in the middle of nowhere by now. Probably would have gotten rid of my phone by then too.” 

“You’d have ten dogs too,” Alana teases and he laughs. 

There is stilted silence for a few nervous seconds, and Will concludes he should have rehearsed what he was going to say before calling. He could ask her on a date. It will help him stop feeling worthless and frankly, emasculated. Sex with a woman would help him get over the recent turbulence of his sexuality and orientation potentially eroding. He needs something familiar. 

“So, hey, what’s new? Maybe

“Oh! Gosh, it’s been so long, you probably don’t even know about Margot.”

“Who?”

“My girlfriend!” Alana announces and Will sighs, shaping it into a congratulatory noise. 

“Alana, that’s great. I hope it’s going really well between you.” 

“It is. Will, I don’t think I’ve ever been happier.” It wasn’t as if they truly dated. It was more of a friends with benefits situation, but hearing this still makes Will feel like garbage. “We understand each other so well, and when I speak to her, I feel like she’s always known me. Like she sees me.” 

“We all want to be seen,” Will responds, quietly. 

Alana goes into a tangent about how the two of them met. Margot had been in the process of hiring a male escort from one of Kade Purnell's sister companies, and Alana was lucky enough to rendezvous with her in the midst of the purchase. Margot hadn’t been able to find an escort willing to impregnate her, even with her promises of their unneeded involvement. Apparently, she’s giving a break towards trying for a baby at the moment, but is still on the lookout for opportunities.

“Not willing to step up to the task of sperm donor, Will?” she asks with a bright laugh that makes Will laugh despite himself. 

“I know better than to breed.” 

“You’re a gorgeous man. It’s not fair to keep those genetics all to yourself.”

He needn’t tell her about his family’s history with mental illness, nor his impending middle aged hair loss. He knows the majority of people would rather not listen to another’s self-deprivation. Kids are conceptually something he discouraged himself from entertaining a long time ago. Humoring himself, he thinks at least his chances of getting anyone pregnant in the gay porn industry are low. 

“I can’t believe you two are even thinking about children. Time moves so mercilessly,” he says. Alana fails to pick up on the somber tones in his voice. 

“It’s unbelievable. When you meet the one, you really do. And hey, you’ve been letting me blab for way too long. You've been dating around lately?” 

“I’m still settling into my shift in career paths,” he grumbles with a slight grimace. If he’s as famous as Freddie is claiming he is, no doubt rumors have wound their way back to Kade Purnell’s productions. 

Alana hums. “Even before this, you were kind of sticking to your lonesome.” 

“Dating requires a specific level of effort I’m not usually in the mindset of contributing,” Will explains, deliberately. “And it’s hard to date when nobody knows what the hell you’re talking about."

“You try to isolate people, Will. Even if it’s subconscious. You don’t allow them to come to you, you build forts before they even have a chance to get a good look at what’s on the other side.” 

“Maybe I’m looking for someone who can figure out a way to climb those forts.” Even as he says it, he considers maybe it’s rather that he’s looking for someone to swing forth a wrecking ball into his forts altogether. Or at least, someone who wants to. 

“Have you ever considered that it may be impossible?” 

Will hisses. “You don’t need to remind me I’m destined to be alone, Alana.”

“Will,” she warns. “You know what I mean. We can’t be picky in love and war. We don’t always choose our battles, and the loves of our lives aren’t always waiting for us around the corner. Some of the heavy lifting has to be your own.” 

“Even if I’m not sure what I want?” Will doesn’t entirely know what he means by this, but he knows he means it nonetheless. 

“Even then.” 

He closes his eyes and bites back the raw sensation in his chest which could easily inspire him to punch a hole in the wall. He doesn’t have that kind of insurance. 

“Thanks, Alana. Tell Margot I’d love to meet her someday. I’ve got a workday tomorrow, so I’m gonna head in. G’night.” He hangs up the phone before Alana has the opportunity for farewell.

Will tosses his phone aside and feels worse than he did before he called. 

Across the room, Buster has fallen asleep under his desk. His laptop tempts him. It sits there, closed, enticing Will to be opened. Will’s fingers twitch on the couch cushions and he steels himself before preparing for bed, brushing his teeth, his hair. The laptop remains where it is, and he eyes it when he crawls into bed. Reaching for the light, he pauses, and curses under his breath when he can’t help himself. Fortunately, Buster doesn’t stir when he snatches the device and retreats to his bed with it, opening it up and typing in Lounds Lusty Lads speedily. 

He shoves his earbuds hanging loosely from the jack into his ears. 

Will freezes when he sees the video. 

It is top recommended on the home page. 

The thumbnail is of Hannibal’s mouth at his ear, Will clothed in his sheer robe, craning his neck back, looking fluctuatingly wanton. 

It hurts to swallow when Will remembers the way his broad hands caressed and played him. He closes his eyes, and he can almost hear that accent rumbling thickly in his ear. Hannibal’s cock pressing into him

Arousal shoots through his nerves and Will palms his dick as it fills out, hardening gradually. He’s in too deep, and knows exactly why he chose to grab his laptop, so he shamelessly clicks the video and skips to the middle.

The noises, oh god, the noises. 

Will bites his lips and sneaks a hand into his pajama bottoms, grasping his cock in a loose fist. He whines on the first stroke, and knows he’ll wake the neighbors if he dares to look at the moving images in front of him. Hannibal’s voice reverberates in his earbuds, and for a moment, it’s almost as if he’s here. Will’s hand stills, and his hips gyrate a little with its absent rhythm. 

He can hear himself cursing, the slapping of thighs increasing. 

Gripping himself fully, he jerks himself fast and pants as his orgasm builds steadily. Faster and faster, to the point where he feels he’ll boil over in under thirty seconds. Then, he opens his eyes and sees himself. 

He’s on Hannibal’s lap, sweating and writhing like a bitch in heat, screaming and cursing at the top of his lungs. As Hannibal watches him candidly, he grins like a fiend when he’s able to make Will shout for more. Will doesn’t even remember shouting for more. 

Will rips his hands from his pants in a landslide of shame, and slams his laptop shut. It closes with a sickening crack that sounds expensive. 

Shoving a fist to his mouth, he bites his knuckles and gruffly curses into his skin. He’s still hard. And those images are still playing on a loop in the back of his mind. It would be so easy to daydream about that cock inside of him, and coax himself into a paralyzing orgasm, but it feels like one step too far. 

Will takes a cold shower, shivering feverishly with his forehead pressed against the tile wall as the cool water skates down his back. His blood stops simmering, and his cock deflates. 

He feels wholly unsatisfied. 

 


 

On Thursday he arrives on set, resigned to his fate. 

The two actors he’s to be working with are named Matthew Brown, a scrawnier young man, and Abel Gideon, a rather burly one. He gives off the impression of a ‘bear’ as Will has seen them described. It is intimidating, yes, but he’s going to get paid, and he knows what to expect. 

The crew is in less of a rush today, having rented out a quaint studio for the entirety of the afternoon and evening. They are going to be shooting in a living room set, rather than a hotel room, but Will never cares about the technicalities. 

It is the first time since seeing Hannibal he’s thought about the butt plug Jimmy Price took from him. He stormed out of the hotel too quick to ask for it, and wonders if he could get it back. It was a gift after all, and meant to help guide him smoothly through his profession. 

In the midst of makeup, he even feels bereft at its loss. 

“You look worse than you did last time,” Bev notes, finishing him up in front of a portable vanity the crew had lugged inside for her. 

“Are you trying to murder my confidence?” he mutters without zeal. She won’t have any effect on his insecurity whatsoever, but sarcasm is his fifth limb.

“Am I allowed to worry about you?” She shoots back. “Listen, it’s just a little strange to me, I thought you would have gotten used to the whole thing by now.”

“You thought wrong.” 

Bev frowns, but keeps quiet. Under normal circumstances, he’d feel the urge to apologize for being curt, but he can’t find it within himself to care. 

When he stands to head over to the set, she grabs him by his elbow and meets his eyes. “At least promise me you aren’t going to turn to cocaine, or something like that.” 

A smile tugs on Will’s lips, and he extricates himself from her firm grasp. “You don’t need to worry about that,” he promises. She smiles back, and the gesture itself quietly wishes him luck. 

He doesn’t need luck; he needs therapy. 

Jack manhandles him into the position he wants Will to be in before they begin shooting, and Will goes without question. He’s spread like a whore on a couch and finds himself surrounded with minimalist decorations and furniture. 

Matthew Brown is starting him off, playing a young man renting one of the bedrooms in Will’s house. Will didn’t read the script too closely; he mostly dissociated himself from the plotlines as he memorized his own lines sufficiently enough to film passably. With a swirl of disdain in his gut, he finds he already misses Hannibal’s method of filmmaking.

There is less pressure, when you go about sex naturally. 

The scene starts with Will splayed out on the couch, knees spread wide and inviting. He sinks into his role and finds the commotion of his thoughts and feelings the past few days fades into the distance, that he can use this persona itself as a fort. 

“It really isn’t fair,” Matthew croons, biting at his nails unattractively. “I rented this place to relax, and instead you’re getting me all keyed up, hanging around the house like a slut.”

Will nearly rolls his eyes at the banal dialogue. 

“It’s my house,” Will murmurs, bending one of his legs back to expose himself further. He’s in tight shorts again; the costume department seems to have a predilection for showing off his ass in these. “I can hang however I want.” 

“That’s dangerous.” Matthew saunters closer, and Will fully takes in his features, ones he’d ignored before Jack started filming. He’s incredibly skinny; he can see it more with the man’s shirt off, and his cock is either not hard or small, he can’t tell which. “You ever considered you might be asking for punishment?” 

Punishment. 

Will’s heart rate quickens. Hannibal’s voice shapes itself around that word in his mind, and he fights to keep himself in this scene, and not stray somewhere else entirely. 

“What would you be punishing me for?” he asks, blinking fast. 

“Turn around.” When Will disobeys, Matthew surges forward and flips him over on the couch himself. Will yelps for the camera, and can’t help but feel a rush at how fake the noise sounded. It should sound fake. Matthew Brown hasn’t earned his real pleasure. 

Matthew is talking, but Will isn’t listening. Will’s script is over. He might give away a few customary expletives later, but not right now. Now, Will can turn his brain off. 

He gets spanked a few times over his shorts, an act he is wholly familiar with and then his pants get torn down to his knees, exposing his entire backside. Will braces himself to be slapped, but Matthew licks a broad stripe up his crease and slobbers all over his opening. 

It feels good, of course, but Matthew is almost amateurish in the way he goes about it. Will winces when he feels the man’s sharp teeth prick against his rim, but he moans to mask the uncomfortable grunt that would have risen out of his throat in response. He isn’t down there for long, luckily, but starts to finger him open instead. The point of the film. 

Will arches his back appealingly, used to the feeling enough that he let loose a few practiced moans and gasps. It feels slick and pleasing enough to get half hard, but he couldn’t possibly come from this. Matthew Brown doesn’t seem to be searching for his prostate or even caring to give him pleasure, but instead intending to ram his fingers into him as if to fish a ring out of the drain in a kitchen sink. It starts to hurt a little when a third dry finger joins the lubed up two. 

“Fuck,” he grunts out, rocking forward to escape the feeling. 

“That’s right whore, how’s it feel?” 

It’s awful, Will wants to say, just to humor himself, but he can’t. He groans wantonly, and pushes back for the camera, so their website’s viewership can continue to think he’s just another common whore.

Closing his eyes, he pictures how Hannibal fingered him delicately, fingertips finding every nerve within his body that made him arch and quake with genuine want. How could one man be so perfect at sex? Will’s train of thought derails as he imagines Hannibal fingering him hard, just like Matthew, but doing it in a way that makes him feel so goddamn good, and wanted. 

A real moan erupts from his throat, and he can feel Matthew’s fingers pause inside, as if he could tell the falsity of Will’s performance just ended. Regrettably, he takes this as a clue to get rougher, scissor sharply and thrust rapidly. Will winces with each stabbing movement, muttering, “Oh, fuck, Jesus,” in a mantra, the words reordering themselves over and over.

Suddenly, the sensations stop, and Matthew’s fingers pull out. 

Will heaves, holding onto the couch cushions for dear life. He doesn’t dare look back, and is glad he didn’t when he feels a warm spray against his ass cheeks, Matthew jerking himself wildly over his throbbing hole. Will moans, but would much rather have grunted in displeasure. 

Matthew gives him one final slap on the hip that makes him jump and Jack shouts, “Cut!” 

“You were supposed to come,” Matthew complains, pulling up the boxers he’d been wearing, and tucks his sticky cock back inside. Will casts him an arch look. 

“Does it look like Jack cares?” 

“Was I too rough with you, baby blue?” Matthew clasps him by the chin with two fingers and Will snarls, tearing his head away from him. 

“If you’ve ever made a man come from that, they have my full sympathies,” he spits. Matthew’s lips part, and the look in his eyes tells Will he isn’t going to get away with his baleful tone lightly, but Jack sighs hard and strolls in between the two. 

“Okay, ladies, wrap it up. Brown, get lost. Price has your paycheck by the front. Ram, you need a break or can you start the next shoot?” 

Will glares after Matthew on his way towards the exit, then turns to Jack. “I’d rather get it over with.” 

Jack blows out air, at the end of his rope, muttering, “This business used to have tact,” amongst other, more personal gripes which Will zones out. He only perks up when he sees Bev running toward him with two makeup bags strapped around her shoulders. He awkwardly puts his clothes back on before she can get within reach, blushing a bit when she smirks at his modesty.

“Hey,” he says.

“Hey, I’ll be quick,” she responds, grinning. She fluffs him with foundation powder, and reapplies his usual mascara, patting him on the cheek by the end. “Next guy might seem scary, but he’s a softie. You’ll be fine.”

Will’s eyes shudder and he forces a mollifying smile. 

Abel Gideon introduces himself, unlike Matthew Brown. Will shakes his hand, and feels fractionally more comfortable with him despite his strange tangents. He’s one of those stars that likes to explain his home and sex life in detail, especially to those he just met. Will doesn’t mind, but it’s not as if he has his own stories to share. He’d much rather get this over with than bond. 

The film is to start with Will on his lap, so he allows Abel to guide him into a straddling position. It’s cozy; he’s big and soft at the edges, and Will is already aware he has a bit of a thing for being handled by bigger men, even if it’s tough to admit it. 

“Did that brat loosen you up before?” Abel drawls, groping at Will’s ass, fingers curling under the hem to find him lubricated and swollen open. 

Will nods with a shaky sigh. 

“I’ll give you more before I enter you,” Abel tells him with slow, even tones. “Don’t want to break you, after all.”

As if he could. As if anyone could contain the potential to break him after Hannibal. He doesn’t respond. It’s easier to give into the ego of these stars, rather than fight against them. Jack calls, “Three, two, one, action!” and they have no more time to chat idly. 

Anxiety hits Will like a brick when he forgets his lines. 

Thankfully, Abel has the first, and hearing it returns Will’s mind to the script. 

“You’re daddy’s little boy aren’t you?” 

Will swallows, already humiliated, but he tells himself he’s done worse. “Yes, daddy.”

“What does daddy do to little boys who disobey him?” 

“H He…teaches them a lesson,” comes Will’s breathless response. He wriggles restlessly in the man’s lap and feels his hard cock stir. The triumphant feeling of getting another man hard courses through him, but he doesn’t analyze the feeling closely. 

“Does my little boy need a lesson?” Abel muses, and when he says ‘boy’ it does not stir anything close to arousal within Will. He’s curious as to why that is. Hannibal had ripped pleasure out of him as if tearing it from its hidden seams, with words alone. Abel just isn’t getting him there. 

“Mhm.” Will bounces a bit in his lap, biting his lip. “Teach me right from wrong, daddy.” 

It isn’t hard to tell Abel Gideon is very much turned on by Will. It’s better for the shoot; it’s not as if Will is upset by it, but he has to wonder what is so enticing about him that encouraged all these porn stars to want to work with him. He’s not sure he’ll ever understand. Will gasps playfully as he’s flipped over on his stomach, groped and pinched, and divested of his clothing. 

“Daddy, please, more.” It isn’t in the script, but Will might be having fun. He’s hard, but isn’t so much aroused as he is enjoying playing the part. Porn acting always has its perks regardless of situational circumstances.

Abel makes true on his promise of fingering him open for a while longer, soothing the abrasive bruising Matthew had left echoing inside his body. Will hums and rocks into the touch, eyes closed and mouth parted. He tries not to imagine more dexterous fingers, attached to a nameless silver-haired figure. He moans louder when he can’t help it. 

“Do you want daddy’s cock?” Abel’s distinctive voice startles Will from his thoughts as he rubs his hard cock against his crease. Will nods frantically. 

“Yes, daddy, let me be your good little boy.” Maybe he’s pushing the innocent act, but Abel grunts and slides home without any hesitation, and Will digs his nails into the dents of the cushion beneath him, gasping with each inch. 

Then, it stops. 

Six or so inches have filled Will, and it’s decent, but it’s not great. Will gets fucked for a few minutes, and the pleasure he feels curls low in his belly, but doesn’t expand. It’s not enough, it’s not nearly enough. 

Will groans, hoping it comes off as desperate rather than disappointed. Hysterically, he feels as if he goes through the five stages of grief while Abel takes him, the second man to ever stick his cock inside of his body. He inevitably settles on anger. Anger at Hannibal for ruining him for any other cock he could possibly fuck in this business, anger at himself for being disappointed by the length and girth of the cock fucking him, and anger at this entire situation for not being enough. 

“That’s right, baby boy,” Abel says, syllables elongated and divisive. “Is this a good enough lesson for you?” 

A hand curls in Will’s hair and his face is pushed into the cushion. He moans in response, unable to make a noise more coherent than that. If he suffocates here, at least this letdown will be over. 

Jack doesn’t cut to make them change positions. Perhaps the whole shoot was meant to be in doggy style, but Will begins to get bored, and his half hard erection nearly deflates to a pathetically limp thing. He’s fortunate then that Abel reaches down to pull him off, fast and quick in contrast to the slow and hard pace he’s giving him in his ass. 

Will lifts his head up and gulps in air, moaning with the new sensation. He can come like this, as long as Abel keeps touching his cock. 

Abel hums, picking up the pace. “Mmm, you’ve never wanted a cock other than mine, isn’t that right, little lamb?”

No.

Abel squeezes the tip of Will’s cock with expert fingers.

Will grunts and spills over Abel’s fist, clenching hard around his erection in intervals. Abel gasps and releases into him, unable to resist the tight suction. One might see Will coming undone as a response to the dirty talk, but he’d been excited to get off and end this, more than anything else. 

Some incalculable time later, Jack calls cut.

After Abel glides out of him with an obscene popping sound, Will crawls a few inches away and lies down to breathe. Everything around him seems fuzzy, but he’s not nearly as wrecked as he had been when Hannibal dominated him. God, that man truly did ruin him. 

Having sex with Hannibal, filming with Hannibal, had turned him on. 

It’s impossible not to admit it now. 

Abel Gideon offers him a hand with the cleanup, but Will waves the offer away with a polite smile. The man had been kind at least, even if he seems a bit creepy. 

Beverly had to leave, so Will is unable to say goodbye to her. Jack personally gives him his paycheck, and his departure from the studio rushes by in a blur. He’d rather not be fully mentally present for any of it, either way, and is happy to shut his mind off in the cab he rides home. 

At least everyone was right. It is better than the first video he ever filmed. He feels significantly less shame, and he’s sore, but in ways that feel more familiar. 

He can sit in his bath, quite tipsy after more than a few beers, and be at peace with his profession, rather than fear any upcoming shoots, however

There is the issue of Hannibal.

Hannibal who makes him question if he’s truly as straight as he thinks he is. Hannibal whose cock stole his pleasure, and continues to steal it. Hannibal who he isn’t going to see until the weekend. His own cock stirs and he nearly whimpers with unhinged frustration. 

Taking his phone from where it rests on the toilet lid, he risks dropping it in the bath by opening his contacts. He flits through until he finds Hannibal, under Alana’s name. Impulsively, he deletes Alana’s number altogether, and then opens his messages with Hannibal. 

Hey.

There is no response, for long enough that the bath water begins to cool. Will begins to question why he’s messaging him in the first place. 

Hello, Will.

Words catch in Will’s throat despite not needing to verbally express himself. 

Would it be selfish of me to ask if we can have dinner tomorrow instead?

Immediately, Hannibal is typing. 

Not to me. Shall I reschedule our dinner for tomorrow?

Yes.

Is that all?

Will sinks lower in the tub and holds his phone close. He feels as if he has so much to tell him, but also nothing at all. Perhaps they can talk about what plagues Will’s subconscious tomorrow, but he does want to know one thing currently.

Is it true you don’t work with the same man twice?

The silence stretches onward, and Will forces himself to get out of the bath and towel dry. He’s in his pajamas by the time he receives an answer. 

I have never desired to. Change is inevitable. 

Will’s heart pounds in his chest, and he sits on the foot of his bed. Buster crowds at his feet with a low whine, but Will is absorbed in his phone. 

Have you ever had dinner with a coworker? 

No.

Will’s breath hitches, then he types;

I hope I don’t disappoint. 

In many ways, you have already exceeded my expectations. 

Will fondles his phone for a minute, blissful satisfaction absorbing every cell in his body, and he types a short ‘goodnight’ before he can say anything else foolish. At some point, he may regret the blunt texts, but the attention he received is unlike anything else he’s known. He holds the phone close to his chest when he lays down to sleep, but it does not buzz with a response. 

Until the early morning, when Will is already fast asleep. 

 

Chapter Text

 

When Will steps outside, the sight of the familiar auburn Bentley turns his head.

It sits conspicuously in front of his apartment building, evidently enough that Hannibal apparently didn’t feel the need to text him to tell him he’d be picking him up, or notify him not to take a cab. Amused, Will clicks his tongue and strolls over to the car. The window is rolled down, and inside, Hannibal sits swaying his head to a classical aria. 

“Good evening, Hannibal,” he murmurs, with a smile. 

Hannibal opens his eyes, turns, and grins when they lock eyes.

“Good evening, Will. I hope you don’t mind, I took the liberty of assuming you might appreciate a ride.” Leaning over, he pushes the door open with a click. Will crouches inside and settles into his seat, tugging the tight black seatbelt over his chest. 

“I do appreciate it, thank you.” 

Hannibal hums and lowers the volume to his music, acceptably enough to speak without distraction. Without accosting Will with questions or salutations, he pulls out of his parallel parking space and swerves smoothly down the road. The GPS between their seats speaks in a female tone. Apparently the restaurant he wishes to take Will is far from here. 

After Hannibal appears undistracted by the road, Will says, “You didn’t answer my texts this morning.” 

Hannibal turns only a smidge, eyeing him head to toe in a quick swipe of the eyes. “I was curious to see how you would interpret my request.”

Will had woken up this morning to the text;

The dress code is dark and dangerous. I’ll see you at 7 sharp.

He’d texted Hannibal frantically several times, at first politely to ask if ‘dark and dangerous’ means business-casual dangerous or rock-n-roll-concert dangerous. When 5 pm rolled around, Will found himself sending another, more pleading text. When it too went unanswered, he’d been mildly aroused as well as provoked. 

He opted to wear a classy black button up shirt with the skin tight leather pants he bought for a shoot three years prior, when he’d been working for Purnell. They hug his body even tighter than they used to, and Hannibal’s unceasing glances toward his crotch have not gone unnoticed. 

“I went for the safest option.” Will glances up and down Hannibal’s suit while the man isn’t looking, and finds perhaps he’s a bit underdressed. Hannibal is dressed to the nines. It is a three-piece maroon suit, black pinstripes only lining the suit jacket. His glistening maroon Oxfords are embarrassingly more deluxe than Will’s brown-rimmed Derby’s. “Will it suffice?” 

“Oh, it’ll suffice,” Hannibal responds, with a raspy laugh. “I would not call it safe, however.” 

“You told me dangerous.”

“That I did.” 

Silence stretches between them like sour taffy, and Will clears his throat, struggling not to move his legs and make an embarrassing leather-on-leather sound atop the seat of the car. He’s regretting his choices in fashion when Hannibal takes a deep, contemplative breath. 

“I have much to ask you, Will. I truly was not sure you would agree to this dinner. I was surprised when you did, and even more surprised when you asked to meet sooner.” 

Will doesn’t know how to respond. Hannibal continues speaking. 

“While I wish to wait until we arrive at our destination, I do wish to know beforehand if there are topics I should not stray towards. Or, if there is something specific you would rather we not discuss. I am quite unreserved when I am curious.”

“What kind of things are you curious about?” 

Hannibal smirks, but keeps his eyes on the road. “You interest me, Will. I would like to know many things. Personal and impersonal.”

“How do I interest you?” Will asks, impatiently. 

The smirk widens. “Getting ahead of ourselves, are we?” 

He wants to wait. Fine, Will can wait. 

“I’m not ” Will sighs, restarting. “I didn’t agree to this dinner because I’m interested in a hookup. You should know that, before you ask me any ‘personal’ questions.” 

“You have reiterated your disinterest in men,” Hannibal responds, humor evident in his voice. “I will respect that. I was not intending to seduce you tonight, Will. However, many of my questions are of a sexual nature. I hope you will not be intimidated by them.”

“It’s my profession. I can handle it.”

“That remains to be seen.” 

Will bristles. Hannibal gloats silently. The car grows hot with clashing egos, and Will finds he has never experienced another in the way he experiences Hannibal. He is utterly fomented by him. 

“If you knew I wouldn’t agree to sex, why have dinner with me?” Will asks bluntly, sudden enough to make Hannibal turn from the road and cast him a quizzical look.

“There is more to connection than sex. There is more to sex than sex,” he answers cryptically after a long pause. “Not everything is about it, especially for men like us.”

The words take awhile to catalog properly, but Will believes he understands or will understand given the time and knowledge. Hannibal takes an exit off the freeway, Will barely having noticed them entering one until now, and saddles up for a longer journey than he anticipated. 

“Where the hell are we going?” he jokes, a tad anxious.

Hannibal doesn’t reply. 

The restaurant is directly off the exit; Will spoke too soon. They pull into the parking lot of a remote and large, old-fashioned saloon textured building. It is made of dark wood, and even the lanterns scattered all around the outer walls are swallowed up by the shadows it harbors. There are few cars, which means even fewer customers if Will is counting the vehicles belonging to the service. 

When Hannibal exits the car to retrieve a bag containing his wallet from the trunk, Will takes a moment to breathe alone in the car. The air feels lacking, and his heart is pounding faster and faster with each breath. 

What is happening to me?

Hannibal opens the car door for him, and Will feels like an idiot. “Sorry, I was just taking a minute. Don’t, uh, pull out a chair for me at the table or anything.” 

It sounds rude when he says it, but Hannibal smiles and shakes his head.

“Are you so incapable of accepting chivalry?”

“I’m used to being the chivalrous one,” he mutters, realizing that’s not quite true. He doesn’t hold doors open for anyone, and he’s never pulled out a chair for a woman on a date. 

“If you are inclined to pull out my chair, I certainly won’t make a fuss,” Hannibal responds, bordering on flirtatious. Dumbstruck, Will chuckles and averts his eyes. 

“Come along, we’ll be late if we dally.” 

Will follows Hannibal to the entrance of the building, and is discomfited by the quiescence of their surroundings. He has a hunch it won’t be any different inside. He doesn’t say anything about Hannibal’s arm ghosting his lower back, and allows himself to be led inside to the front desk. The woman there is wearing a long, Victorian, black gown. Her hair is pulled up in a messy bun, and she seems to be playing a part, though not a campy one. 

She and Hannibal exchange a few words in a language Will doesn’t understand and he truly starts to question what the hell this place is when she begins leading them down the hall, to a private room only separated by other rooms with a curtain. She pulls it back to reveal the circular booth they’ll be dining in. No fighting over who pulls out the chairs then.

Hannibal bows his head to the woman who bows back and abandons them on her return to her post. Will stands awkwardly, unsure of himself in this more than unusual dining experience, and doesn’t hesitate to let Hannibal guide the both of them, drawing the curtain and coaxing Will over to the booth. 

They both slide in on opposite ends and sit a comfortable distance apart. The menus are already placed atop the circular wooden table, and these are black too. Will now considers Hannibal is the one who dressed up like a sore thumb rather than he. 

“I have no clue what any of these are,” Will mutters after a couple minutes of staring at each option on the menu. The descriptions come in English to his surprise, but the ingredients in each meal sound superfluous and embellished. 

“Shall I order for you?” 

Will blinks. “I mean, I’m not picky, really.” 

“Is there any food you avoid under any circumstances?” Hannibal’s menu is closed. He’s giving Will his undivided attention. 

“I like seafood,” Will tells him. “I like meat too. I avoid salads.” 

Hannibal’s cheeks rise. “I knew there was more than one reason you interested me.” 

Will turns to glare at the menu items he can’t read. He lets out a belated huff.

“What, are you anti-vegetarian?” 

“No, I merely have a proclivity for meat products.” 

“You’re built like you do,” Will eyes him closer, noting the angular features and stout upper chest. The roundness of his stomach that projects a well-fed body rather than an overfed one. “Actually, you’re built like a Scandinavian.” 

Hannibal laughs. “So I’ve been told. Lithuanian, I’m afraid.” 

Will raises a brow. “Don’t think I’ve ever met someone from Lithuania.”

“I have not been there since childhood,” Hannibal tells him, glancing briefly at the menu before suggesting, “How about the Spanakopita with lamb?”

The subject change is abrupt. Will nods, but ponders asking Hannibal more about his home country. Something tells him the idea is unwise, so he rests against the heavenly cushions lining the booth and waits for Hannibal to choose his own meal. 

The waiter comes around, another woman in a tight Victorian dress that seems not to fit with the meld of Greek and Spanish dishes on the menu. She has blonde hair, and speaks in English. 

Hannibal orders for them both. The Spanakopita for Will, and Youvetsi for himself. “A type of beef stew,” Hannibal explains to him once the waiter departs. Almost directly after this, a man strolls in wearing a classical waiters outfit, and rolls a cart racked with wine antecedent to their booth. So much for privacy, Will thinks bitterly. 

He can only imagine what the staff is assuming about his relationship to this older man. It’s not as if he can claim to be a son, he’s much too old for that. And, he and Hannibal in no way shape or form resemble each other, so family is out. That leaves colleagues, and this restaurant does not appear to be the place you bring a friend or acquaintance, let alone a colleague. 

They most likely believe they’re lovers.

Will purses his lips. 

Hannibal mulls over the wine selection for far too long. Will ends up resting his elbows on the tabletop, letting out a deep sigh every time Hannibal asks for the man to turn the cart around once more. Once more turns into thrice more, and finally Hannibal settles on a white selection.

It smells like sugary grapes when they pop it open, and Will is happy for the distraction from his lapse of boredom when he sips at it. It’s tangy, and he can’t help but to swallow down half the glass before the man with the wine cart is even out of their room. 

Hannibal watches him, smiling, and Will sets the glass down with a hiss.

“What?”

“I am elated you find the wine acceptable.”

“Alcohol is alcohol,” he deflects, then reevaluates. “Um, it’s good, thank you.” 

“My pleasure.” Hannibal gives him a knowing look that makes Will feel like he’s being stared at from the inside out. It is remarkably a riveting feeling, so he doesn’t discourage the staring. 

“You told me you were surprised I wanted to come to dinner,” Will says, taking another sip of wine. “I have questions for you too. I…didn’t think I would be so curious.”

“Do I interest you too?” Hannibal asks, voice lowered. 

Will meets his eyes, and he distinctly remembers looking into them when he stroked his cock. It feels dissonant, to sit here and act as if they haven't done those things. He’s gone to dinners with costars, dates even, and none of them felt like this. He could look them in the eye and not think for a single moment about sliding deep inside them, making them feel good only the night before. It could be impersonal, but sitting here with this man who’s been plaguing him for days feels anything but impersonal. 

“Yes,” Will answers honestly. “I am unused to that.”

“People don’t interest you often.”

“People don’t interest me, period. I’ve done the dating scene. It didn’t work. I’ve had friends, and they expected too much of me. They always expect too much. I’m not good with the give and take, I’ve never been able to balance it properly. I, ehm, ward people off.” 

“You are abrasive by nature, yes,” Hannibal states. “However, I believe you feed the antagonistic parts of yourself with your perceived notions of other’s natures.” 

Will processes this, and inclines his head. 

“I ward people off, because I know I won’t clique with their qualities.” 

“Their dispositions, I’d wager. Tell me, Will, what were the reasons for your previous breakups?” When Will hesitates, Hannibal smirks over the rim of his wine glass. “If I may be so bold, of course.” 

Will told him he’d be able to handle their conversation, so he will.

“I’ve only had two long-term girlfriends, one of which was more friends-with-benefits depending on what she was interested in labeling it throughout the week. I ended it because I was unsatisfied.” He can’t mask the venom in his tone. Alana had seen him as unstable at worst, and convenient at best. “Molly, uh, she loved me I think. She wanted kids, though. The whole nine yards.” 

“Were you not ready?” 

Will lets out a hoarse laugh. “I’ll never be ready for that. Not really husband material, and definitely not father material, though I’ve often wondered about being a father.” 

“What materials would you say you’re lacking?”

Will shoots him a curious look and says, “This sounds a lot like therapy.”

Hannibal’s smile is placid. “Therapy suits you.” 

“I’m more comfortable the less therapeutic we are,” Will warns gently. “We’re supposed to be having a conversation, aren’t we? Tell me about yourself. Why’d you get into po ” Will jerks his head towards the curtain separating them from the other rooms. Voices carry. “Why did you decide on our profession?” 

“At first, it was a way to quell my violent and exhibitionist tendencies,” Hannibal states simply, and Will tuts at the admission. He splutters, attempting to respond while he continues, “Given the proper consent, I could satisfy my inner beast.”

“You’re a sadist,” Will concludes.

“Many in this industry are sadists,” Hannibal murmurs. “You merely need to know the right spots to look, and you’ll find them.” 

“I’m ” Will is intrigued beyond his ability to express. “I’m not looking.” 

“Aren’t you?” Hannibal has mercy on him, changing the subject yet again. “Back to you, Will. I have found myself wondering why you signed a two year contract with Ms. Lounds, given your aversion to homosexual pornography, and homosexuality.”

“Hold on, how do you know how many years

“Ms. Lounds is quite talkative if I make her promises she so desperately needs.” 

Will’s lips twitch with mounting irritation, wondering how many details Hannibal knows about him and his career. “I don’t have an aversion to homosexuality, Hannibal. It’s just not what I am.” 

“Why then would you not apply for another job, somewhere else? One entirely separate from the porn industry. Fear of exposure?” he questions, leaning back into the cushions to level with Will.

“Something like that.”

“Surely the risk would have been worth avoiding two years of sexual relations with men,” Hannibal contends. “Are you so unwilling to accept there may have been an unconscious desire on your part to push yourself out of your comfort zone?” 

“Does your sadism extend to manipulation?” Will tosses back. “Do you like to play mind games with people, Hannibal? Does it get you off?”

Breath and pause hangs in the air for no more than two seconds before the curtain is pulled back and their meals are rolled in by their pretty, blonde waitress. Will takes his plate briskly, and Hannibal takes his as polite as ever. The waitress looks between them, and Will can tell she overheard at least some part of their conversation. He’d turn red if he wasn’t already seeing red. 

She leaves them with two large ice waters and departs after Hannibal informs her they require nothing more. For a few minutes, the two of them eat, and Will lets out a surprised huff when his spinach pie and lamb is genuinely delicious. It melts on his tongue in a moment flat, and the aftertaste is earthy and savory, all at once. Hannibal delights in the appreciative noise he makes after his first bite, and waits for Will to wash it down with water before he speaks.

“I am not getting off, Will, nor am I attempting to manipulate you. You interest me because I so clearly witnessed your enjoyment during what transpired between us.”

Will sucks his teeth. “I did enjoy it.”

Hannibal hums and Will shakes his head.

“That doesn’t mean I’m gay, Hannibal. I haven’t enjoyed it with the others I’ve been filming with, you’re the only–” he shuts up, realizing what he was going to say. “It was circumstantial. There were aspects of having sex with you…that drew something out of me. I’m still trying to understand what that something is.” 

Hannibal’s eyes are sparkling, even in the dim light. Will sniffs and turns to his meal, cutting out a large bite for himself. Hannibal sips at his stew, and then his wine before replying. 

“There may be an undercurrent of submissive inclination you have up until now been wholly unaware of. Your relationships with women were unlikely to uncover such vices, unless they were unconventional, which forgive me for saying, I highly doubt.” 

Will scoffs. “You think I have a thing for being dominated?”

“Potentially.” Hannibal smirks. “Tell me, Will, how do you feel about BDSM?” 

Will stalls, replaying it in his head to make sure he heard that right. “BDSM? As in…chains and whips and uh, other things?”

“BDSM as in bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism,” Hannibal elucidates with an immaculate smile. 

“I don’t see what my being in gay porn has to do with BDSM, and I ” Will pokes at his pie, at a loss for words. “I don’t really think about it.” 

“Lack of wanting to?”

Will decides to bite the bullet and be honest. 

“Lack of exposure.” 

Hannibal acquiesces as casually as one can in the midst of talk such as this. He allows Will the time to process the rather dramatic segway before speaking in low, even tones, “I told you there is violence in sex. In many ways, sex is violence. It is a savage pleasure and we are born to it. The layers of this nature yearn to be uncovered and are often clandestine to the unseeing eye.” 

“You think I can see?”

“I think you are willing,” Hannibal murmurs, watching him with eyes that match the color of his Bentley, shifting into red under certain lights. They’re red now. 

Will’s grip on his utensils tightens. He is attempting to gauge Hannibal for what the older man wants, but perhaps he is merely sharing a dinner with someone he considers to be like-minded. Someone who may potentially understand the darker vices of sex and passion, and believes them to be steps towards a becoming. He can’t help but think Hannibal wants to witness him become. 

The videos on Lounds Lusty Lads are not BDSM-centric. There has been spanking, yes, and the occasional riding crop. Will knows there is a subsection for ‘pet play’ fetishists, but nothing more extreme than that. Hannibal’s videos are certainly lacking the aspects one would categorize a BDSM film to include. This situation is complex.

“You Have you acted in BDSM pornography or, at least, hardcore stuff?” Will asks, feeling a little sheepish. His exposure is truly limited. 

Hannibal’s smile is thankfully not cruel. “In Italy, they were the only films I would agree to. I became…renowned, to say the least. Some of that reputation has followed me into my new life.” 

Will feels as if he’ll swallow his own tongue. “Renowned?”

“I was a well known dominant, most knew me by my stage name. I had many clients, and often they would allow me to film and publish my work. If they didn’t, I wore them down, and eventually even the most ornery individuals would submit, and beg me to release their films.” 

“Oh,” Will whispers, speechless. 

“Does it intrigue you?” comes Hannibal’s sultry murmur. 

“I…” Will feels locked in Hannibal’s gaze. “As much as the next person.” 

“You’re not just anyone, though,” Hannibal says. “Are you, Will?” 

Eventually, Will turns to face his plate, food half gone. He digs in even though his stomach protests any further ingestion. Stuffing his face, he feels aimless and carnal all at once. Hannibal doesn't prod him again, but he most likely expects Will to succumb to questioning. It’s impossible not to have questions after all, and Will does. 

He turns to Hannibal while he’s gingerly chewing on a beef sausage from his stew, and he asks, “Your videos for Lounds. None of them are like what you are describing. Did you stop?” 

“That kind of sex is something I will never truly stop, but I gradually became bored. Those who chose to submit to me would do so often out of self-contempt. And very often, their submission grew out of their shame and not their desire to submit. I enjoy testing the waters with newcomers. Like I said, there is violence in sex, even the kind Lounds produces. There is something viscerally satisfying in watching a man’s internal axioms crumble.” 

“You enjoyed watching me fall apart,” Will mutters, prickly. “And was it a lie when you told me you’ve never had dinner with a coworker?” 

“That wasn’t a lie.”

“Forgive me if I have trouble grasping why that is.”

“The work I do for Lounds is filled with amateurs, at large younger men who I do not wish to engage with further than cordiality. The BDSM I was involved with in Italy was often non-sexual. Some desired release, yes, but more desired to be beaten down to their core elements. It was not a viable ‘dating scene’ as you say,” Hannibal responds with a sip of his wine. He pours himself more from the bottle. 

Will does the same even though his glass is half full. 

“So, you’re admitting this is a date.”

“This is technically a date whether it’s sexual or not.” 

“I didn’t say I was looking for any romantic overtures either,” Will grumbles, but to his own ear he sounds more put-out than offended. 

“Neither am I.”

There’s no reason the statement should disappoint him, especially after what he just claimed, but it does. It also confuses him further, until it clicks. 

“You You said you never wanted to work with the same man twice. You told me that may change. Has it changed for you now?”

Hannibal sets his spoon down. “If I told you, yes?”

“I would have to think about it.”

“You needn’t make a decision tonight. Take as long as you need,” he tells him. Will nods, grateful for being allowed the space to decide. 

And why wouldn’t he say yes? Hannibal has been generous and open with him. He has made him feel good, more so than anyone else, and Will would be noticed for being the one man Hannibal works with twice. The kind of power that he holds makes him feel drunk, and while he is somewhat decided already, he’s not certain more ordinary porn shoots like their last is what he wants. 

“What was your stage name in Italy?” 

“Il Mostro,” Hannibal tells him without skipping a beat. “Or Il Mostro di Firenze, the Monster of Florence. I earned it for my merciless brutality.”

“Try sociopathic,” Will remarks before thinking. Hannibal’s smile just widens. 

They pick at their meals until the bill comes. Will flounders, attempting to grasp onto a topic, or something to say other than what he wants to say. 

He can’t help but goad;

“I know nothing about that lifestyle.”

“I believe you would shock yourself,” Hannibal leans over and pours the rest of the wine in the bottle into Will’s glass. It nearly fills to the brim, and Will is already tipsy, “with what you are willing to succumb to.” 

“I’m not sure about that.”

Hannibal hums. Will frowns, and asks;

“Have you not acted in porn like that since Italy?” 

“No. Nothing to that extent.”

“But, you’ve wanted to.”

“Yes.” 

You haven’t met someone as suitable as I am, Will doesn’t say, but he knows Hannibal can see in his eyes that he knows. They maintain eye contact long enough for Will to forget himself. 

He ducks his head, mildly embarrassed.

It was days ago he was telling him eye contact was off the table. Hell, they looked each other in the eyes during the porn shoot as well. Will’s not sure he’s ever felt as comfortable with another man, let alone another human being, enough to do so. And, this frequently.

 


 

In the vestibule of the restaurant, Hannibal retrieves his suit jacket he’d left with the attendant by the coat closet and shucks it on, clipping it deftly before leading Will back outside with his arm held at his back. It feels less uncalled for than before. 

“I have purchased a gift for you, since your prior one was stolen from your very hands,” Hannibal tells him on the chilly path back to the car. Will wouldn’t call it stolen. It was misplaced by his own negligence. Either way, his interest is piqued. 

In the car, Hannibal hands Will a lengthy black box. He has to wonder if Hannibal wrapped up one of the trainers for him. It would be the next best thing to help him get through the upcoming shoots he’s scheduled for. When he moves to unlatch the box, Hannibal places a hand on his.

“When you’re home,” Hannibal insists. 

“Don’t get shy on me now,” Will teases, but sets the box on his lap. 

“I simply enjoy surprises.” 

Will hums, and settles into the comfy seat. He feels Hannibal’s eyes on him, but it doesn’t bother him. Not anymore. Despite his reservations, there is something attractive about being wanted this much, in any way, shape, or form. 

“I don’t even know your last name,” he murmurs quietly when they’re on the road.

Hannibal plainly says, “Neither do I know yours.”

 


 

Hannibal drops Will off at the sidewalk of his complex, and Will collects his new gift and belongings, hopping out of the car and into the stale city air.

He turns, and is surprised to find Hannibal looking reticent. 

“I owe you lunch,” Will tells him with a crooked smile.

“You do not owe me or anyone else a moment’s worth of your precious time, dear Will,” Hannibal says so sincerely, Will sways backward. “That being said, I do hope to hear from you soon.” 

“You will,” Will promises. Even if it’s just a text. 

Hannibal smiles and shuts the car door from the inside. Will instantly feels lost and calls out, “Drive safe!” as Hannibal drives off. He’s almost positive he didn’t hear him, and feels ridiculous standing in the cold, clutching a black box he doesn’t even know the contents of. 

Inside, he greets Buster with pets and kisses and pours him some food in his dog bowl, and cleans out his water bowl, replacing it with fresh ice water. Buster drank ice water once and is picky about drinking it now; he will rarely drink water without ice. With his menace of a dog distracted, Will doesn’t bother changing out of his uncomfortable clothes before he sits with the gift and handles it delicately. He’s too curious to wait; he unlatches it and reveals what’s inside.

The sight sends a bolt of electricity straight to his groin.

At first, he thinks it is a slim black dildo. It is long, the length from Will’s wrist to his elbow. It isn’t shaped like a cock, but it is certainly phallic; the rod has three ridges from it’s base, each swelling the toy in segments, the bulb at the tip being the biggest. It’s base is what catches Will’s eye. The soft plastic is cut off by a hard plastic grip–with a power button.

When Will removes it from it’s velvet constraints, he gulps at the substantial weight of it in his hand. There is a packet of batteries hidden underneath where the vibrator was stored and Will picks it up to see a small note taped to the bag;

Spares.

– H

Will blanches. Hannibal expects him to use it often enough to need spares. It is a hard pill to swallow, but once he does, he decides he’s entirely too horny after their anticipatory dinner talk to refuse the offering. It isn’t as if this is much of a step up from gifting someone with a butt plug.

Will struggles out of his leather pants and tosses them toward the window, thankfully closed to shield against the cool nightly winds. 

He doesn’t bother with his shirt, settling back into the sheets and pillow of his bed with the toy in hand. He touches every part of it, the ridges, the swollen tip of the bulb no doubt meant to strike his prostate. 

He licks his lips and fishes out the lube he keeps in his bedside drawer. It isn’t used often, but it’s not expired. He squirts some on the toy, in hindsight wondering if he should have washed it first, as he’s coating the entire length save for the base. He’s never been a champ at making the best decisions, and he’s entirely impatient so he doesn’t reconsider, reaching between his legs with his other hand to finger himself open. He closes his eyes when he breaches his hole, and works to relax his muscles. It isn’t difficult when no one is watching. 

When he lines the thick bulb of the toy up with his ready hole, he’s struck with the reality he’s never played with his ass or fucked himself with a toy here. He’s only ever been played with here for shoots, and is mildly shocked he’d been so prepared to shove this toy inside of him. 

The hesitation lasts five seconds, and then his rim is stretching around the minimal girth. He sighs when it slips all the way inside. It treats him with a too-full feeling for a few moments until he adjusts and his body settles around the new shape. Each time he shifts, he can feel it roll against his prostate, and it makes him shudder and breathe unsteadily. 

He doesn’t turn it on quite yet; he moves it back and forth, mesmerized by the way it makes his cock twitch and pool liquid with each pass. 

Will imagines Hannibal shopping for a toy that would suit Will specifically. He wonders if he imagined Will in this scenario, panting and wanting. He wonders if Hannibal has ever played with himself like this. He must have. Will bites his lip at the image. 

His fingers dance down to the base and he forces himself to look at where the toy is spearing him open so he can find the red button. There is only one; he clicks it without thinking. 

The vibration isn’t strong, but it’s enough to make his body bend up with a wave of pleasure. “Shit,” he breathes, rocking into the buzzing sensation. It is nearly silent.

Will writhes around for some time, allowing the toy to jiggle back and forth, against his prostate, inches in and out of him. The pleasure coils around every nerve, but it isn’t enough. He whines and lifts his hips up, as if the toy could sink deeper on its own. As if someone could push and pull it for him. Naturally, his mind strays to fantasy. 

At first, it comes to him as a curiosity. What Il Mostro looked and sounded like. What punishments he would employ on his clients. What his clients called him. Then, he begins to imagine it in vivid detail, the method of strapping in his victims– participants –to the point of discomfort. All of them not knowing what he would force out of them and how he would encourage them to submit.

Will jerks with arousal, whines when the vibrator shifts inside him. 

He reaches back to squeeze the plush fabric of his pillows, quenching the thwarting pleasure in his belly, needing more still. 

Then, he imagines what Hannibal’s favorite punishment might have been and his curiosity boils over. With a wince, he rocks onto his side to paw for his laptop on the bedside table. He doesn’t bother turning the vibrator off as he frantically types into Google; Il Mostro. BDSM. 

There are a few unrelated pages that pop up in the search engine, and he hisses with defeat. He scrolls a bit further, and finds a couple rudimentary porn sites with ‘REAL Il Mostro’ video recommendations. He’s not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, so he clicks on the first link he finds and is brought to a page covered in ads he can easily click away. Potential viruses be damned. The video is a five minute rip from whichever website it was originally posted on. Not the full video, and nowhere to navigate to the legitimate platform of Il Mostro, but it’s enough to satiate.

Will doesn’t skip through to the middle. He watches from the beginning. 

A masked man lies on a medical-style table that faces the camera. It is well shot, for how ancient the film is. Hannibal comes into frame, looking decades younger, but retaining the same height and build. He’s as beautiful young as he is old, and he’s holding a flogger of sorts, with dozens of black strips of rubber fabric protruding from its grip. 

Will watches, anticipation setting aflame in his belly. The vibrator jostles inside his ass and his breath hitches in time with the sensations it coaxes out of him. 

Hannibal speaks, and even with the ghastly audio quality, Will can recognize that tone and accent anywhere. He speaks in Italian, but the ripped video contains subtitles which also must have been ripped from the website. Will doesn’t need to understand what he’s saying to register the cold indifference in his voice, the nonchalance of his demeanor. It is a bone-wracking turn on. 

Will gasps when Hannibal flogs the bound man’s legs. It mustn’t hurt at all, but the man will be awaiting the whip on his more sensitive areas. Each moment is meant for sadistic indulgence. 

Becoming slowly overwhelmed, Will reaches down between his thighs to shut off the vibrator, clicking the sole button. What he thought would turn the thing off ups the strength of the vibration and he moans, feeling his body light up with unexpected pleasure. He grits his teeth, shakily attempting to click it off again, because surely the third time will–

The highest setting makes his whole body tremble and he throws his arms back to grab ahold of the headboard, incapable of doing anything more than hold on. “Fuck, fuck, fuck,” he gasps, on the verge of weeping as the toy oscillates back and forth, making him feel like an exposed nerve. 

He groans, feeling his orgasm hurtling toward him without mercy. He risks cracking an eye open at the screen of his laptop and whimpers when he sees Hannibal flogging the man’s exposed cock, brutally and without remorse. The shouting of the faceless, nameless victim encourages Will’s own unbridled noises, and he comes so hard he clamps down on the toy hard enough to push it out of his body. Untouched, his cock spurts along his belly and thighs. With the loss of the vibration, he sinks into the sheets, body pulsating with ghost sensations. 

After floating in his head for a significant amount of time, he gropes for the toy, and startles when it jiggles violently in his hand. He can hardly believe it was inside of him. He clicks the button, and impossibly it vibrates harder, his vision of the thing blurry due to it. 

Common sense finally sinks in and he holds the button down until it shuts off altogether. Trembling, he places it back in its case to clean later, lacking the muscle and headspace.

Sluggish, he closes his laptop, cutting off the whipping noises. He doesn’t slam it shut like last time, and feels little of the shame he felt before. The video was what he needed, but it was a low quality clipping, not the full picture. Not the truth. Will sits for a moment, closing his eyes to focus on the pleasant buzzing sting in his backside, and then opens them again with surefire determination.

Will searches for his phone, finding it in the pocket of his leather pants.

Without hesitation, he calls Hannibal. 

He is still panting when Hannibal picks up, and is certain Hannibal knows what he’d just been doing before he called. The older man’s greeting is priggish. 

“Long time no see, Will.”

Will is silent, letting the pause expand between them, like a shadow in the light, merged images of the two of them, waiting for the other to blur further inside the shape.

Will says, roughly, “I want to meet Il Mostro.” 

“Do you want the world to bear witness?” Hannibal asks in an instant, tone low and wonderous. 

Will licks his chapped lips. They twitch upward.

“Yes.” 

 

Chapter Text

 

Will is riding cock with the gait of a spirited horse.

This is his seventh this week. Will rarely turns down opportunities for money, so he hasn't bothered declining Lounds’ contact for bulk scheduling. It’s been getting easier, taking it and detaching himself from the enervating realism of the act. 

It’s also become easier since using Hannibal’s gift any morning before a shoot to loosen himself up and deescalate his nerves. His body is still warm with the ghost of heavenly vibration as he rocks diligently back and forth on this hairy man’s cock. He didn’t learn his name before Jack started filming, and he doesn’t care to. The hair on the man’s chest reminds him of Hannibal’s, which reminds him of the leather jacket Il Mostro wore in the flogging video, covering his body hair. Like a tease. The veneration Will holds for Hannibal’s craft is outstanding, and with a rush of need, he grinds on this stranger's cock imagining himself in the role of Il Mostro's submissive, knowing he’s long gone. 

“Oh fuck,” he wails, tossing his head back. “Fuck me!” 

The words are inconsequential. He doesn’t mean them. 

The man beneath him grunts and pistons into him like a machine, and despite the man’s rather unimpressive seven inch cock, the new angle does feel inherently better. Will’s head falls forward and he heaves in sharp, exaggerated breaths as his pleasure begins to build.

“Like taking my cock, baby?” The man’s voice is nasally and unappealing. Will whines fiercely, wishing for just a few inches more deep inside him. He wants to be forced to take it. 

He fucks Will for another three minutes, during which time Will is compelled to take matters into his own hands by putting a stop to the wet slap of his cock and jerking himself to a quick and bittersweet release. His body clenches with a groan and spurts, but the pressure inside him isn’t enough to make his orgasm stick to his nerves like honey, seep in and coat him with endless warmth. 

Will startles at the dying cat noise the man makes when he comes inside of Will. Usually, Will likes the feeling of liquid heat spreading through his inner passage and making the phallic slide slicker, but after that he feels a bit revolted. 

He waits eagerly for Jack to call cut before dropping his persona. Tossing a leg over the man to make for the washroom, he can hear crew members calling his name, but they should know by now he wants nothing to do with them after these scenes. He needs to be alone. 

The motel room they’re filming in has a broken showerhead which batters his skin harshly. He spins in a slow circle to assure every inch of sweat and come that isn’t his rinses down the drain. He opens his eyes whilst facing away from the waterjet and remembers how Hannibal washed his hair after their shoot. How gentle his hands had been, how tender his voice was. 

“Get out of my head you bastard,” Will mutters, edging toward fond over troubled.

Hannibal has been inside his head for a while now, notably since their dinner. It’s almost been two weeks. After Will’s request to meet Il Mostro, Hannibal had told him to wait, that he would contact him once he had his affairs in order. 

Cryptic, as always. 

Will knew he wouldn’t receive an answer if he asked for details. 

When he’s finished toweling off, he wraps the towel around his waist and sits on the closed toilet lid, waiting for most of the crew to head out before he shows his face. The fewer bystanders wishing to congratulate him for his ‘good work’ the better. He opens his phone to Hannibal’s last cryptic message and taps against the keyboard mindlessly. 

There are things he knows he could say, if he were drunk. 

Maybe he’ll wait. 

He closes his phone and packs up to head home.

 


 

Three glasses of hard whiskey gets him where he needs to be. 

He curls up in a thick quilt on his bed next to a snoring Buster and reopens his messenger app. Hannibal’s name looms ominously, and in his drunken state, he pouts when he realizes Hannibal has only ever messaged him first once. Will types; 

You broke me.

An ambulance siren blasts through the quiet hustle of the city, beyond Will’s half-open window. He listens to it for a few minutes, until the noise starts to fade. 

How so?

Will grins, biting his lip.

Can’t do my job right. Jack says I look bored every time I take a cock.

Tirelessly, Will guarantees his spelling is all in check. He doesn’t want Hannibal catching on that he’s drunk, even though he’s not sure he has a reason to hide the fact.

What does that have to do with me?

Will hisses and grumbles his response out loud as he types;

You’re gourmet. They offer pigswill.

Hannibal delays long enough Will imagines he’s allowing his amusement to fester. Then, Will’s phone buzzes. He was too drunk to notice the screen having gone black.

I believe I understand. You’ve ruined me as well.

Will’s heart beats wildly. Swallowing his nerves, he sends a delayed response.

How?

A beat. Two. 

By taking it so well.

Will’s stomach flips, and he feels as if he’ll hurl, adrenaline and excitement and arousal all melding together in a sensation resembling anxiety. It feels good. He wants more of it. But, his better judgement is beginning to bleed through the bubbly façade of intoxication. He drags his thumbs across the keyboard reluctantly. 

We should stop.

As you were. 

Balked, Will shuts his phone off and curls up tighter in his blanket, huffing and puffing like a child. This is why he prefers wine over whiskey. Whiskey makes him rowdy; he just never knows which wine to purchase. 

He’s surprised when his phone buzzes again. 

Picking it up, he blinks fast when he sees Hannibal sent a new message and an attachment. He opens it to read;

Your timing is impeccable. I was planning on sending this to you tomorrow morning, but I suppose you may appreciate more time to prepare. Freddie Lounds has devised a new contract, fit for the two of us, and has set up a signing for us to attend. She was delighted when I pitched our design. Below is the date and time. I will pick you up. 

Will falters, way too drunk to register this. 

Our design.

A strange way to put Will’s indirect request to be in an Il Mostro stylized film. The words slowly sink in, and he feels his first inch of regret since sending Hannibal that incriminating text. This is happening, without room for debate, this is going to happen. Hannibal has plans for him. Will has already signed himself over in a way, even before contractual obligation. 

Enough time passes, he receives another text from Hannibal.

How are you feeling?

It is disguised as deferential, but Will knows Hannibal is asking how he feels about a new contract, about legitimizing his submission to him, at least for a time. He doesn’t notice his hands shaking until he types his response.

Panicked.

Will nearly drops his phone at Hannibal’s reply.

How palatable. 

Will desperately wants to call him, if only to understand verbally what he means by ‘palatable,’ but he can’t bring himself to. Also, he’s sure if he opened his mouth to speak, his words would string out in one long, incomprehensive, slur. 

You want me to be afraid.

Fear is temporary. Fear comes from the unknown and the unknown will soon be familiar to you. I cannot resist savoring the temporary. 

Will jumps when Buster snorts loudly and rearranges himself on the sheets. He turns back to his phone and attempts to reconcile how he feels about the statement. Yet another way Hannibal has revealed his singular interest in him and his sensibilities. He types, lazily;

Will you be able to taste my fear?

It depends on which parts of your body I have access to. Disregarding restriction, yes. 

What does fear taste like? 

Acidic. 

The response is so automatic, Will’s adrenaline spikes. Hannibal is typing still, the three gyrating dots at the bottom of the screen fluctuating rhythmically. 

You will taste of bay leaves, I imagine. Perhaps Applewood. 

Presumptuous. 

Of your taste? Or of your fear? 

Will is becoming tired, eyelids sinking like heavy weights. It doesn’t help that he’s picturing Hannibal speaking out loud, each and every tormenting word he sends. Will texts him one final message before silencing his phone and shutting out the lights;

I’ll let you decide. Goodnight, Hannibal.

 


 

Two days later, after a bout of radio silence, Will is getting dressed for his meeting with Freddie Lounds and Hannibal, shrugging on his sole ironed shirt. A plaid brown button up to match his brown trousers. It is pure chance they happen to be the same shade. 

Will prepares himself a caffeinated tea for the road, and when he’s in the middle of taking his kettle off the burner, he hears a knock at the door. He’s not convinced it’s anyone other than his landlord, so he opens the door and flushes when he sees Hannibal standing there. 

He looks pleased with himself, wrapped in a dark morning coat, and hair askew from the afternoon wind. “Hello, Will.” 

Will huffs. “How did you

“Standing by the entrance to your apartment building to get some fresh air, your landlord ran into me by happenstance. I merely asked which room number was yours.”

“So much for tenant confidentiality,” Will grumbles, stepping aside as a silent invitation for Hannibal to come inside. Hannibal takes the offering gladly, as if he’s being welcomed onto the grounds of royalty. 

“Do not hold it against her,” Hannibal implores. “I am quite convincing when I so desire to be.” 

“As I’ve learned.” Will scuttles off to the kitchen and calls out, “I’ll just be a minute. Do you want some tea? I’ve only got paper cups, but they come with lids.”

“No, thank you.” 

Out of the corner of his eye, Will can see Buster trot up to Hannibal and sniff his shoes, his little fat body circling him and ruffing softly. “He doesn’t bite,” Will says with a short laugh when he catches Hannibal’s statuesque pose. 

“What is the creature’s name?”

“Buster.” 

Hannibal hums. “After?”

“Keaton.” Will snags his coat from its hanger in the closet and shucks it on. He winds his way back over to Hannibal with his steaming tea in hand, lidded and prepped for the road. He glances down at his small dog and smirks. “He was more of a stone face when he was a puppy.”

Hannibal’s nostrils flare and he turns. 

“I must introduce you to a finer brand of English Breakfast tea,” he murmurs, nose twitching into a scrunch before it settles. Will smirks wider.

“I just grab what they have on the shelves at the supermarket.”

“Have you tried Darjeeling or Assam?” 

“We should get going before you completely start talking in a language I don’t understand,” Will warns him with a nudge of the elbow. Buster clicks his nails against the floor with a restless whine. He wants to play with their new guest, as he always does when there are guests. It is a rare enough occurrence to whine about it, Will supposes.

“Suggestion can wait,” Hannibal acquiesces. “Are you ready?”

It was easier when he was drunk. He still wants to ask if Hannibal can taste his fear now, and tell him for himself if he's ready or not. He chokes on the sentiment before it even settles on the back of his tongue. 

“As I’ll ever be,” he responds with a sigh.

 


 

They convene in a proper conference hall. 

Jack Crawford is present. Freddie explains since he will be assisting with the cinematography, even on a minimal scale, his presence is required for the signing. 

Will is awash in a blanketing sense of calm. The more severe the professionalism, the less frantic his inner voice screams for his reconsideration. He knows he wants this, over everything else he’s been recently scheduled to do, and is more than willing to go over the technicalities with a fine tooth comb. Hannibal sits by his side, across from Freddie and Jack. The table spans the length of the room, and is comically large for four people to sit and discuss terms and conditions. 

Freddie can hardly contain her excitement. 

“Well, I was never expecting Hannibal to come to me, interested in doing a series of films, let alone for my site, but here we are.” She hands out three dockets, one for Will, one for Hannibal, and one for the two of them together. Will should be surprised that Hannibal had pitched a ‘series’ but he’s not. He’d left the affairs of their arrangement in his hands. He imagines Hannibal considered that privilege a part of the game. 

“Normally, Will, with a star of your popularity, I’d frown upon demanding exclusivity when it comes to film shoots, however,” she exchanges a smarmy glance with Jack, “Hannibal so rarely offers this much of his time. I find I have no qualms placing you in his hands.”

“He’s way more popular than me, I get it,” Will mutters, to avoid listening to Freddie wax poetic about Hannibal’s abilities. He can already feel the smug self-satisfaction brimming off of Hannibal in waves. “So, if I sign this, I won’t be obligated to film with anyone other than him?” 

“For as long as the production takes, you will be required not to,” Freddie clarifies. “I doubt the five videos you’ll be signing onto do will conclude at the end of your preexisting two year contract, at which time we can consider a settlement, if Hannibal is willing to continue filming with you.” 

Exclusivity. He will be Hannibal’s and his alone. No more Matthew Browns or Brian Zellers. He’ll be free, in a sense, from his quandary. 

Thrown into the talons of a vulture. 

“That shall not be a problem. I requested a less intimidating commitment, for your immediate ease, Will,” Hannibal tells him, brushing two of his fingers over the line on the front of Will’s contract that does in fact spell out his obligation to film only five videos with him. 

He can start with five. 

The fear taut in his belly begins to loosen. 

He can’t help but think he sees Hannibal’s nostrils flare in the corner of his eye. Freddie is rambling before he can inconspicuously eye him. 

“They won’t be in effect until you both sign your own papers, but I signed my own contract designating my awareness of Hannibal’s stipulations and terms, alongside our negotiated sum for your salary. You’ll be making even more than before, Will.”

Weird. Will hadn’t even considered the money.

He nods, satisfied. 

“I have signed on as a supervisor as well as a director,” Jack speaks for the first time this afternoon. Hannibal turns to him with a smile, but Will can see the cracks of displeasure in his features. Something is bothering him. “So, if contractual obligations aren’t being met, or are surmounted, I will be duty-bound to put a stop to the arrangement.” 

Will winces. That bothers him too. 

Something so intimately personal feels as if it should belong to the two of them alone, but Will understands they are employed by a company, with regulations and strict precedents. 

“Hannibal has requested we give the two of you alone time to skim over the contracts he drew up. Everything appears as standardized as this sort of thing can get, but if you come to a disagreement just let me know, and we can draw up another one together,” Freddie chirps, clasping her gloved hands together with a bright, hungry grin. 

If only dollar bills could materialize in her eyes. 

Will nods, sinking with relief when Jack and Freddie stand to leave the hall, their own binders and contracts in hand. “We’ll be directly outside,” Jack states gruffy. 

“Thank you, both,” Hannibal says politely. 

“Christ,” Will mumbles when they’re gone. He runs two hands over his face, inadvertently wiping away the beads of sweat on his brow. 

“Ms. Lounds is rather intrusive. I did not wish for her to interrupt our discussion.” Hannibal pushes his own contract aside and slides Will’s in between them. When Will arches a brow, Hannibal merely states, “I signed my own at an earlier date. It is a near replica of yours, of course with the perspective aim of the dominant. Now, let’s see

He licks his thumb and begins flipping through the pages of Will’s contract. Will can’t help but to ogle his unwavering concentration, and finds himself irrevocably keen. He shakes the feeling off and glances down at the page he turned to. 

“We needn’t delve into the finer details of scheduling and location,” Hannibal claims, giving a moment’s pause for Will to refute this. He doesn’t, so Hannibal flips further. A grin full of sharp teeth flashes across his face, “Here we are.” 

Will’s eyes flit over random words. Submissive. Toys. Protocol. 

His ego shrinks. He feels very small. 

There are dozens of paragraphs. Words Hannibal drew up himself, or has recycled from past BDSM-related contracts. Hannibal gives him the space and time to read each requirement thoroughly. 

The Dominant shall have the following responsibilities during the allotted filming period:

To provide a safe environment for play and punishment 

To provide the Submissive with training to adequately serve the Dominant’s demands

To ensure the Submissive keeps up with his goals

To explain any punishment administered

Will’s breath hitches hotly in his throat. He can feel Hannibal’s eyes on him. 

The Submissive shall have the following responsibilities during the allotted filming period:

To obey each command given by the Dominant

To utilize safe words/procedures if his physical/mental health is threatened

To refer to the Dominant solely by his chosen title

Will laughs, blinking deliriously as he rereads the stipulations over and over. 

“Please read the elements of control you’ll be relinquishing,” Hannibal implores, casually. He points a few paragraphs down. Will nearly chokes. 

The Dominant shall have control over the following aspects of the Submissive’s existence during the allotted filming period and shall have the right to make decisions in regards to such matters provided such decisions remain in the best interests of the Submissive and do not breach any part of this contract:

Genitals

Sexual Pleasure and Release

Clothing and Dress

Position

Speech

“Is everything acceptable thus far?” Hannibal questions, hand placed strategically on Will’s upper back so he can stroke a thumb over his sensitive nape. 

Will closes his eyes and murmurs softly, “How about we skip the rest, I, uh I’m fine with just signing, it’s a lot to read it all on paper.” 

Hannibal frowns. “We may go over safe words and protocols the day of, however I must insist you read over the apparatus inventory, to prevent your disagreeability now rather than later.”

“Okay.” Will fights to breathe steadily. “Okay, where?” 

Hannibal flips the page, and Will curses under his breath.

Activities and equipment not limited by the Submissive or Dominant, to be used on the Submissive by command or control of the Dominant listed as follows:

Anal Plugs

Anal Trainers

Belts

Canes

Chains

Clamps (Several Variants)

Cock Cages

Cock Rings

Collars

Cuffs

Electrostimulatory Devices (Violet Wand Variants)

Floggers

Gags (Several Variants)

Harnesses

Humblers

Paddles

Penis Pumps

Riding Crops

Rope

Sex Machine

Sounds (Urethral)

Speculums 

Vacuum Bed 

Vampire Gloves

Vibrators

Wartenberg Wheels

Whips

“The list is lacking some of the more basic tools used in common BDSM practice,” Hannibal tells him, smiling a little at Will’s skeptical glare. “I composed a list I believed you would personally find agreeable. If there are questions or reservations you have, please declare them now. Freddie can draw up an almost-identical contract as fast as she can run her mouth.” 

Will bites his lip, and doesn’t look up from the sheet. 

The waves of calm he’d been relishing at the start of this meeting have gone by the wayside. He is now treading thick tar, pondering when his legs will finally give out. 

The thing is, he was aware the contract would look very much like this. He was aware beforehand of its potential contents, and is not shocked in the slightest, but he is also aware his name is going to be signed on the signature line by the end of this meeting, reservations or not. When he makes a commitment, he goes through with it. It’s the seeing that irks him. 

Knowing directly what may happen to him. 

Not knowing what half of this equipment is, but wanting to leave himself up to Hannibal’s better judgement, either way. Has he ever relinquished this much control? He can’t remember.

“I at least want to know what the hell vampire gloves are,” Will teases, attempting to lighten his own, darkening thoughts. “Sounds a bit too Halloween for me.”

“I assure you, they are not related to Halloween.” Hannibal doesn’t explain them, but he pops out his phone and speedily types into a search engine. He then shows Will a picture of hefty looking gloves with metal pins covering the inner palms and fingertips. They look sharp. 

“Will it draw blood?” 

“If I use them hard enough. I wrote in the contract that I will not intentionally draw blood from you, if I can avoid it. However, it happens, even under the gentlest known tools. Is that acceptable, or would you rather

“No, trust me, it’s acceptable,” comes Will’s hushed reply. 

“Excellent. Are you certain you find the other items acceptable?”

“Yeah, Hannibal. Listen, it doesn’t matter to me what you want to use.”

“It matters to me what you want,” Hannibal tells him, leaving no room for argument. This forces a real smile out of Will, and makes him feel fuzzy at his temples.

“Then trust me when I say, I am fine with everything here, and I will be fine with everything here. You said something about a safe word, right? If I need to stop, I’ll be able to.” 

“At any time,” Hannibal promises, placing his hand over Will’s. The gesture is so tender, Will aches to return it, but he doesn’t, extracting his focus to the contract. 

Will double checks the scheduling page to run over the baseline codes about familial conflicts, diseases of the mental or physical variety that must be disclosed before signing, and the stipulation that both the Submissive and Dominant must be informed at least a week prior to shooting if there need be rescheduling. Will sighs, skimming impatiently, and flips the pages past the safe word protocol which Hannibal assured him would be spoken of later, and lands on the signature page. Above the dotted line, a paragraph headlined Termination & Re-Entry lies. 

Will reads carefully; 

At any point during the contractual period, if the Dominant or Submissive wishes to terminate the aforementioned arrangement, either may do so at any time given permission of the employer. If the Dominant or Submissive wishes for re-entry into the aforementioned arrangement before the end of the contractual period, they both may also at any time given the aforementioned permissions. 

Having a definitive 'out' should comfort Will, but the paragraph overhangs the signature line ominously, as if foreshadowing a terrible fall. He turns to Hannibal and says, “Before I sign, I want to talk to you.” 

“I was hoping you wouldn’t sign without discussion,” Hannibal murmurs, watching him admiringly. “I’m well aware the judicial aspects of this arrangement are the most unattractive.”

“The unsexy part of BDSM,” Will jokes. 

Hannibal laughs, “Precisely.”

“These are all just words,” Will starts, flexing his fingers over Freddie’s distracting leopard print pen. “Not just words, but printed words. Decrees and legality. I can sign it like any other guy, and I will, but I need to hear from your mouth, not these papers, that you’ll stop if I want you to.”

“Of course I’ll stop. Given the proper safety pro

“That’s ” Will turns to face him and takes Hannibal’s hand, squeezing it for emphasis. Hannibal’s eyes are round and curious like a prairie dog’s. It’s almost sweet. Softer, he says, “That’s not what I mean. I’m saying, before or after a shoot, if I decide I want out, you’ll let me get out. No contractual loopholes, no Freddie Lounds, no manipulation, just let me go.”

Hannibal appears bereaved of his upper hand, but this was the point of Will’s confrontation. After observing his rather sociopathic behavior (something that should have warded him off in the first place, not drawn him closer) it occurred to him he needed a strategy. It –being, BDSM, exclusive sex with Hannibal– may very well be something he cannot handle, and they both know that. Will needs to be distinctly sure Hannibal will honor his final choice. 

“Above all else, I do not wish for you to tolerate what I delight in,” Hannibal responds, fingers curling around Will’s and stroking the skin of his knuckles. “However, if that is the case, I will respect your wishes, and promptly terminate the entire arrangement myself.”

Will sighs, alleviated. 

“There is something else,” he says lightly, sobering. Hannibal looks in dire need of reassurance, and Will is in dire need to get this off his chest. “I used to hear thoughts inside my skull with the same tone, timbre, accent, as if the words were coming from my own mouth.” He meets Hannibal’s eyes, candid and inviting as possible. “My inner voice is beginning to sound like you.”

Hannibal’s eyes glisten with regard. Will is curious if Hannibal has had a similar experience. Despite himself, despite his outward declarations, Hannibal lines the crevices of his minds where unread fantasies used to sit. The crackle of his voice and illuminating touch echoes in and around him like a benediction. He wants this, more than he’s wanted anything in his life, and he wants Hannibal to understand at least that much. 

“I can’t get you out of my head,” Will whispers.

Hannibal’s eyes finally break from their lock, and his gaze scrapes over Will’s face, up and down his body, as if looking for the zipper where a shadow hides itself within Will’s skin. Like he can’t believe he’s real. Will thinks of Hannibal like that too, so he doesn’t think it’s too far off base to assume he’s on Hannibal’s mind to the same extent. 

To his surprise, Hannibal asks, “Why tell me this?”

Will parts his lips with his tongue, and manages, “To let you know how unlikely it is I’ll be able to stop.” 

A slow, devious smile spreads across Hannibal’s face, and his eyes flick down to the docket, as if manifesting Will’s signature there. He needn’t fantasize. Will grips the pen and signs his name without a second thought, folding the packet closed after he’s finished. Hannibal sharply sucks in air when the pen is dropped to the table. 

Will’s head is remarkably empty. 

“I feel like I just made a deal with the devil,” he admits. 

Hannibal gathers their dockets together and straightens them in a pile. “God is the merciless one of the two. Last week in France, a church collapsed in on a bride and groom in the midst of their vows. They waited ten years before deciding upon marriage. God sent his wedding gift early.” 

“Did God feel good about that?” 

“He felt powerful.”

Will tuts. “Will you feel powerful, when I leave myself in your hands?”

“Will you?” Hannibal counters. Will finds that he already feels powerful, and perhaps that’s the seed of this scenario. Power. Everyone craves it; maybe he and Hannibal are no different from the world in that respect. 

The question hangs in the air as Hannibal gathers their dual contract close. “As we aren’t self employed, we must sign that we understand company policy. I’ve signed it for myself already, and will inform you the only change of policy from your previous contract is a requirement of aftercare.” Hannibal smiles broadly. “I would have given you aftercare either way.” 

“Oh,” Will mutters, clicking the pen. 

Hannibal smooths out the signature page for him, and he signs without so much as glancing at its contents. He trusts Hannibal, as hazardous as it may seem.

“I have decided I would like to implement a service of my own design, if you’re willing. Pre-care, I call it. I’d like for you to arrive to set early so I can bathe you myself, and prepare you for the shoots before the camera crew arrives.” He pointedly doesn’t call Jack by name which makes Will smile a tad indulgently. 

“You like control in all things. Principally things you don't commonly control.” 

“I won’t deny it,” Hannibal concedes. “It is very hard to keep my intentions from you. You have found your way behind the veil I cradle like a second skin.” 

Will smirks, confidently. 

His mood slumps when he remembers where they are.

“I don’t want to call them back in,” he says, honestly. Freddie makes his skin crawl. Jack makes him feel like he’s a candle burning at both ends, and doesn’t have to be. 

“We’ll be swift. Allow me to do the talking,” Hannibal suggests, hand on his nape again. Will nods gratefully. 

They call the cavalry in, and Hannibal truly does his best when he uses passive aggression to his advantage. Most times, those around him don’t even realize they’re being jilted and beset. Freddie weasels in the implication that she wants to know the gritty details of their discussion, but Hannibal gives her a only a curt summary without any of the meat on the bone. Jack wants to know if they decided personally on any changes outside of the contractual agreement, and both of them lie easily and without shame. Will is surprised how comfortably lying comes. 

Will is pocketing his phone and shrugging on his jacket when Freddie makes a raspy clicking sound with her tongue, waving at him to stay seated. “You’re not getting away just yet, ducks.” 

“Ducks?” Will grouses. Everyone ignores him. 

“We are not legally allowed to use the name Il Mostro,” Freddie explains, turning sharply to Hannibal. “You failed to mention your previous employer trademarked it.”

“I was attentive to my work, not patents,” he responds, impatience tinting his words. 

Freddie sighs, exchanging another glance with Jack. “Either way, we need one or both of you to figure out a pseudonym, one that’ll make the video titles pop!”

“Fine, easy enough,” Will agrees.

“I assume we’ll be running this name by you before we decide?” Hannibal questions, arms crossed. 

“You’ll run it by Jack,” Freddie clears up. “His judgement is more than sound, and besides, with the swarm of viewers you two will be pulling in, I’ll be up to my nose in paperwork.” 

She gathers the contracts they’ve signed in her binder, and slides it into her travel bag as if she just won a jackpot. She clearly doesn’t register either Will or Hannibal’s unamused expressions. Under the table, Hannibal curls his hand around Will’s. Reassurance or comfort. Will doesn’t mind which one, his fingers twitch into the touch, welcoming it. 

 


 

Later that night, Will can hardly stand to look at his bottle of leftover whiskey. He felt sick after getting drunk last time, and he knows it’ll be at least a week until he can get in the mood to do so again. It’s just that there’s nothing else to do, and the bottle is staring him down from where it’s strategically placed (his own doing) on the kitchen counter. 

Buster licks at his socks, and Will grumbles, nudging him back with his toes.

Since Hannibal dropped him off, he’s been thinking of names. Nothing comes to mind, it’s not as if he has much experience in the realm of dominatrix titles. 

There are unorthodox ways of going about this process.

Whipping out his phone, Will types to Hannibal.

What are some places you find beautiful?

There is a contemplative period before Hannibal responds. 

Teatro La Fenice, the Chesapeake Bay at night. Why? 

I’ll get back to you. 

The Chesapeake Bay is right by them, and since he’ll be working with Will, not in Italy, it would make sense to come up with a title closer to home. He thinks hard, and then lights up. 

He types, frenzied;

I have a name. 

Oh?

What do you think about The Chesapeake Rigger?

 

Chapter Text

 

Will is sound asleep at 8 am when he’s woken up by two hefty knocks on his front door. As he rouses drowsily, he sighs when he sees Buster perk up and dart for the door, barking all the while. He’s not in the mood for another neighborly complaint about his dog’s rambunction. 

He snatches the first robe he can find, a faded beige one that has holes in the sleeves, and shrugs it on half way before he opens the door to reveal a smiley, overly awake, Hannibal. 

“What are you doing here?” he manages, sounding more sleep deprived than he is. 

“I come bearing gifts,” Hannibal says brightly, holding up two fancy looking gift bags in one hand. In the other, he raises up a fabric cooler by its handle. “And breakfast.”

Will can’t argue with breakfast. He lets him in, not feeling particularly guilty about Buster running loops through Hannibal’s legs. “Let me feed him real quick, uh, sorry my place is a mess. Sit anywhere you want.” 

“Thank you, Will.” Hannibal ignores Buster and sits at the dining table which is covered in taxes Will has yet to file. He grimaces as he watches Hannibal tactfully move enough of the clutter away to arrange a breakfast for two. Buster waits by his feet, tail wagging wildly, until he hears Will opening a can of wet dog food. Then, he’s barreling toward the kitchen nook with an almost-grin plastered on his muzzle. 

“Here you, big guy,” Will mutters, scratching behind Buster’s ears as the dog vacuums up his freshly plated food. He leaves Buster to busy himself and finds Hannibal waiting patiently at his table, legs crossed, and eyes watchful.

Belatedly, Will realizes one half of his robe is still hanging off his body, so he awkwardly shucks it the rest of the way on and sits down adjacent to Hannibal with a murmured, “Hey.” 

“You must allow me to cook for Buster sometime. I’ve always been interested in how the canine culinary arts differ from the human.” Hannibal removes two ceramic containers, lidded and heavy, and sets them out, alongside two empty cups and a thermos of ‘homemade coffee.’ He explains each aspect of the meal and drink in detail. Egg scramble with specialized meats and vegetables, and coffee with a type of salted sugar uncommon to North America he imports. 

The extravagance makes Will feel a bit put upon. 

And yet, the food is so damn delicious. 

“I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, cause this is probably the best thing I’ve ever eaten, but your showing up is a bit…random.” Will chastises himself instantly, knowing he sounds rude. 

As always, Hannibal seems to overlook his rudeness.  

“Not random. I told you I brought gifts,” Hannibal reminds, nodding down to Will’s half-empty bowl. “After you finish your breakfast of course.” 

“Thank you again,” Will murmurs, over a spicy mouthful of egg. 

“This is no hardship,” Hannibal tells him. “But, you’re welcome.” 

Will finishes his breakfast before Hannibal, and apparently Hannibal isn’t even planning to even tease at the contents of the presents before he’s done, so he twiddles around with his fork for the interim, watching Hannibal delicately gather morsels on his utensils, and ingest, savoring each and every bite. It is seemingly an art to him.

“I feel a bit weird with you buying me gifts,” Will admits. 

“I assure you each of my gifts will benefit either one or both of us. Did you not enjoy my last offering?” he asks plainly, blinking up at Will with faux innocence. 

Will cracks a dry smile. “You know I did. You’re changing the subject.” 

“Does your incapability of accepting chivalry extend to gift giving?”

“No, that’s not ” Will sets his fork down with a clink. “I can accept gifts, Hannibal. I have a problem when someone becomes overgenerous with me. One often expects something in return.” 

“I do not expect anything of you that you have not already given me,” Hannibal responds, sincere. “And unlike you, I am not a pleasant gift receiver.” 

This stumps Will who notes, “You’re not demure. I don’t think you could be even if you tried.”

“Correct.” Hannibal’s smile is sly. “I’m picky.” 

Will snorts, swirling the remainder of his coffee around in his cup. “How many gifts have you thrown in the trash?” 

“Too many. In all fairness, I encourage my friends and peers not to buy me gifts. I am careful about how I decorate my home, and my aesthetics are impenetrable to everyone but myself.” 

“You’re an asshole,” Will concludes. 

“If you must.”

“I’m pretty sure you’ve figured out how much of an asshole I can be, so I can’t judge.” Will cracks his back, then his knuckles, enjoying the crease in Hannibal’s brow as he does so. “Speaking of which, I’m tired of waiting. What’s in the bags?” 

Hannibal purses his lips, but gingerly organizes the used utensils and containers into the cooler, zipping it closed, before hauling up the two, shimmering bags with tissue paper sticking out at the ends, as if they were meant for a party and not Will’s hellhole of an apartment. 

Hannibal hands Will the largest one first. “This is the more immediate gift. Merely clothes I want you to wear on several of the days we film. I eyed your measurements, so if they don’t fit I would like to bring you to a tailor and get that sorted out posthaste.” 

There’s heat in Will’s cheeks from the explanation alone, and sifting through the bag to find leather shorts with buttoned flaps at the rear and groin doesn’t help matters. There is a conglomerate of belts, looking as if it is meant to go around the waist. 

He wants me trussed like a pig.

“You won’t be wearing these on the day of our first shoot, I can see the apprehension you’re carrying. It needn’t be intimidating to you, Will. It goes around the chest, see the sleeves here?” Hannibal’s fingers brush his as he shows him, and Will flinches, the touch almost hot with his nerves as wired as they are. Hannibal doesn’t notice, or at least doesn't say anything. “You can attach clamps and chains on the metal rungs. We’ll ease you into it.” He places the article back in the bag, setting the entire gift aside, and hands Will the smaller one. 

Without the offering of explanation this time, Will reaches in tentatively, and pauses when he feels metal. Grating and cold. He pulls out an oddly shaped device he’s never seen, but could gander its use.

“A cock cage,” Hannibal tells him. “There are two different sizes inside. I would like you to try them on for me and let me know which fits, so I can customize a personalized one for you.” 

Will unsticks his tongue from the roof of his mouth. In a whisper, says, “Now?”

Hannibal studies him, either humored or bewildered. 

“Of course not.”

It isn’t irrational to assume, Will thinks, knowing Hannibal even as little as he does. 

He doesn’t bother locating the other cock cage in the mess of tissue paper, setting the bag aside swiftly, pondering in his head how the hell he is going to go about trying those on for size. He’s never worn one, and they look incredibly small. He supposes that’s the point. To fit your flaccid penis inside one so it has no room to grow. He would shudder if not for Hannibal’s piercing gaze. 

“How dearly I enjoy the cogs of your mind spinning away,” Hannibal murmurs, mesmerized. 

Will hisses after a final sip of his coffee, and says, “I think you like it more when they grind to a halt.” 

Hannibal looks thoughtful. “The duality of man often exposes itself to that which we covet.” He stands, hooking the cooler’s strap around his shoulder. Will hadn’t noticed Hannibal kept his morning coat on, apparently never meaning to stay. He follows him to the door to see him out, uncertain if he should thank him for the gifts that are more work-related than anything else. 

“Should I watch any videos to prepare myself for Friday?” Friday will be their first shoot. He has until the end of the week to get ready and he’s been feeling as austere as he did signing the contract. 

At the threshold, Hannibal faces him and says, “I would loathe for you to find something so amateurish it frightens you off.”

“Surely there’s BDSM 101 videos online,” Will scratches at his neck, averting his gaze. “Something or other. I just…I don’t want to go into this blind.” 

I want to impress you The thought floats around the back of Will’s mind. He ignores it diligently, as he has no reason to want to impress. 

Glancing back at the gifts crushing his taxes he thinks, at least I can dress to impress. 

“You’ll be far from blind. If you must, be smart in your search, and don’t assume that any assertive personalities you find come close to how I will handle you,” Hannibal warns him. Will fists his sweaty palms where they’re hidden under crossed arms, and nods. 

“If you could try the cages and clothes on by the end of next week, that would be splendid.” Hannibal departs with a wink, and a soft, “Have a good evening, Will.” 

Will promptly closes the door and locks it, pressing his back hard against the sturdy wooden frame. Buster trots over, nosing his ankle, and he takes a moment to even out his breathing before leaning down to pet him. 

He won’t try the cages on today. It’s too much to handle in preparation for Friday.

 


 

The porn Will finds online leaves much to be desired. 

The camera quality is either poor, or the scenes are too extreme.

Will also has trouble finding BDSM porn between two men. Oftentimes, men are being dominated by females, begging for their balls to be crushed with the backs of heels, or to be slapped and ordered to call them mommy. Will grimaces his way through some of them, if only to familiarize himself with the equipment, but begins to feel as if the culture may not be for him. 

Then, he remembers Hannibal’s warning, and repeatedly reminds himself he’s yet to be under Hannibal’s care. He won’t be anything like these men and women, who seem more into playacting than genuine sadomasochism. Will liked watching Il Mostro at work; he doesn’t see why it should be different for The Chesapeake Rigger.

Hannibal apparently ran the name by Jack who was delighted with it, and Will can’t help but feel a sliver of self-satisfaction every time he thinks about the title he created.

It sounds mean, and classy. 

After his tenth or so video, and his dick increasingly flaccid, Will decides to shut his laptop and head in for the night. Friday will be upon him soon and he’ll have plenty of time to think about the fate of his body and career at the hands of the Rigger when it comes. 

 


 

On Friday, Hannibal picks him up early.

“Have you eaten this morning, Will?” he asks whilst driving just over the speed limit. Will turns, examining his exuberance skeptically. 

“No, I rarely do more than drink coffee and head out.”

Hannibal makes a disapproving sound and turns down a road with a crest of rich, finely structured houses. Will knew he had money, but it strikes him fully each and every day how Hannibal could never think about porn for the rest of his days and most likely be set for life.

“We’re going to your house?” he assumes.

“Yes. I have quite a bit of space in my basement.”

“Scary,” Will says, lightly. 

Hannibal smiles and doesn’t respond. 

They are silent for nearly the rest of the drive. Will inhales when they pull into a large, two story brick house. It is the color of sandstone, with a dark roof and shutters. Extremely Hannibal, in all senses. Will says, “I don’t think it’s truly going to hit me what I’m in for until you’ve got me strapped down, are am I going to be strapped down?” 

“You make your own fate, Will,” Hannibal teases. “It wasn’t me who came up with the title of the Chesapeake ‘Rigger.’” 

“Damn,” Will laughs, fractionally nervous. 

How tight is Hannibal going to tie him? Will it hurt? Will being helpless make him regret every decision he’s made leading up to this point? That remains to be seen.

Hannibal has exited the car and is opening Will’s side for him, helping him out with a gentle hand on his elbow. Will is too lost in expectation to question the intimate touches. He’s led around to the back of the house, through an ivy infested passage. It is a small yard, but there are two large doors sunk in the dirt, easily unlatched by Hannibal who opens the heavy planks to reveal stone steps which descend into a dark hall.

“Entering the dragon’s lair,” Will murmurs, glancing once at Hannibal’s unnervingly blank expression before declining the steps. He’s followed closely and is thankful for the switch of lights when the stairwell comes to a stop.

Hannibal unlocks two large doors and reveals the hidden depths of the basement. It is a large room, but no wider than the thin exterior of the outer property had looked, cascaded in red soundproof panels. The deep color makes the space cozier than Will would have expected a basement (sex dungeon, potentially) to feel like. There are several antique cabinets lined up symmetrically posterior to a leather padded medical table, body-length. 

Will’s throat goes dry when he catches sight of the straps where his ankles and wrists will be held. There is a larger strap at the neck and waist that detach from the seat, optimal for full bodied restriction. It makes his head spin. 

“This is…” Will eyes the entirety of the room, from the hardwood floorboards to the chains and straps on the ceiling, in need of a ladder to retrieve them. Does Hannibal intend to suspend him? He observes the sizable painting between and above the cabinets; Achilles Lamenting the Death of Patroclus. “Elegance is more important than suffering?” 

“As long as you understand both are severely important to me,” Hannibal answers, hands curling over Will’s coat collar from behind. “Allow me.” 

Will allows him, attentive to Hannibal hanging his coat and belongings on the coat hanger by the vast entrance. He shuts the two maroon doors, alienating them from the world, and leads Will to the bathroom, a much smaller singular door in the corner of the basement. “If you would remove your clothes, I’ll be right with you.” 

Will’s heart pounds. “Okay.” The door shuts behind him and he’s left alone with his thoughts and trepidations. He has no trouble removing his clothes, but stands aimless in front of a rectangular soaking tub, big enough for two grown men at the very least. The walls here are polished limestone, matching the deep grey of the tub. He shouldn’t feel so exposed with what they’re about to do. While he considers grabbing a towel to wrap around his waist, Hannibal returns with the sleeves of his white button-up folded to his bicep. 

“You can start the water,” Hannibal says with a crooked smile, as if he expected Will to do so already. As if he expects Will to feel at home. Will doesn’t say anything, but starts the water, pointedly not making eye contact with Hannibal as he idles naked in his basement washroom. 

Hannibal prepared two towels, for both of them, though Hannibal appears to have little intention of actually getting in. Without being asked, Will slips into the tub and sighs at the immediate warmth despite the water barely reaching half-way up his thighs.

Hannibal adjusts the knobs to make the water a smidge hotter, and pulls up a stool. “I will take over from here, if you are amenable.” 

“Do I have a say?” Will murmurs, just to toe at the boundaries.

“As of now, you do. Our session hasn’t begun.”

“Mmm.” Will stretches, and says, “Do you worst, Hannibal.”

“You have not witnessed even a shade of my worst, Will, and you won’t find it here.” Will feels a sponge against his chest and his eyes flutter open. Hannibal scooted closer, and applied a sweet smelling soap to the sponge before rubbing it into his flesh, softening him up. Will finds being touched like this, cared for, isn’t so bad. 

“I still don’t know your last name,” Will remarks. “I didn’t take the chance to look at your signature. Too many things on my mind that day.”

Hannibal coaxes him to lift his arm so he can soap up his armpit, and the underside of his forearm. The soap tickles as it streams down Will’s pale skin. Hannibal smiles complacently and replies, “Lecter.” 

Will blinks. It sounds nice rolling off the tongue. 

“Graham,” he offers. “Not Ram.”

“I know.” Hannibal is incredibly tender with his ministrations, cleaning Will objectively, but carefully. He crosses the tub, leaving the stool, and kneels down to get better reach. Will floats, the water now reaching his torso and subsuming him in blurring warmth. 

“You are beautiful,” Hannibal says in a whisper. “I’ve thought so ever since the pictures from your photoshoot were released.”

That’s new. Brow creasing with curiosity, Will asks, “Is that why you offered to handle my training, that first time?” 

Hannibal looks caught. “It wasn’t a deterrent.”

“Unethical, Mr. Lecter.” Will smirks, that powerful high he’s felt with him before returning in full. He shockingly doesn’t flinch when Hannibal moves the sponge between his thighs to clean his sensitive areas. He pushes up into the touch so the man has better access. 

“I believe we should discuss what you’re to call me during our session.” Hannibal’s eyes are trained below the water, where his hand is moving. “I’m sure you’ve come across some interesting titles in your search.”

“Do I really have to call you Master?” 

“No,” Hannibal chuckles. “Too artificial.”

“Hammy,” Will agrees in a small, relieved tone. 

“While these sessions are meant to test your limits, and burst you from the familiar cocoon of your comfort zone, I won’t pretend as if I don’t expect honesty from you, and if you truly do not wish to call me by this title, I am positive we can work our way around it.” 

Will scoffs. “You can spit it out.” 

For a brief pause, Hannibal hesitates. His hand stills on Will’s lower back, and he says slowly, “I would like you to call me Doctor, or Doctor Lecter.” 

“Doctor Lecter.” Will tests the weight of the name on his tongue, finding he enjoys the sensuality of the syllables. “Doctor…Lecter. I like that.”

Hannibal averts his eyes, cheeks pink. It could be from the steam, but Will intuits there might be more to it than that. “I’m glad you do.”

“It’s better than calling you Daddy, or Captain? I really don’t know how these people take themselves seriously. My abnegation of dignity only extends so far.” 

Hannibal hums, drawing one of his legs from the bath to hook over the edge, and he begins massaging him from the toes of his foot, to the heel, and up his calf before Will can conjure even a sound of protest.

“You don’t have to do that,” he says, hoarsely. 

“I’d like to.” Hannibal digs a thumb into the arch of his foot and he gasps with bliss. Nobody has ever done this for him, let alone in a bath. “You’ll thank me for it after you’ve spent more than an hour in the chair.” 

“The chair,” Will echoes dramatically. “Ominous.”

He doesn’t tug his leg away or stop Hannibal when he maneuvers around the tub to take care of the other one. His limbs feel like jelly and he’s all but drunk on luxury. 

When the water scopes his shoulders, Hannibal turns the valves off, and murmurs a quick, “Stay put. I’ll be gone for just a short while.” He dries his hands on his own towel and departs. 

Turning off his brain, Will submerges himself in the tub. He could drown here and be at peace with that. Maybe Hannibal would find it beautiful he shakes off the strange thought when he rises out of the water, and shakes off the wet curls sticking to his forehead too.

He waits maybe ten minutes, or fifteen, before Hannibal returns carrying a tray with a plate of food. Bulky food. Will’s stomach growls before he can challenge the nicety. 

Hannibal sets up the tray beside him, gathering a bit of quiche atop a thin cut of toast, and holds it out over the tub. Will stares at it, and then meets his eyes. Hannibal is entirely serious about this. “Come now, you don’t want to bathe in it do you?” 

Will closes his mouth over the forkful, and can’t help the tiny whimper at the kick of the taste. After chewing and swallowing he mutters, “You could have become a chef.” 

“I would have despised the monotony.” Hannibal gathers another bite, then thankfully hands him the glass of juice rather than balance it for him to sip. Will washes the morsel down with another appreciative noise. He’d gander the juice to be freshly squeezed.

“Can’t help but feel like you’re fattening me up.”

“You’re Hansel and I’m the witch?” 

“Weirdest damn witch I’ve ever seen,” Will jokes, grinning at Hannibal’s subtle pout. “I don’t think you’re going to eat me, but you have to admit there are contingencies.”

The look Hannibal shoots him is comically saccharine. 

“You called me palatable,” Will recalls.

Something dangerous cracks through Hannibal’s expression, and his voice is rough when he says, “I called your fear palatable.”

“Remind me again how you can taste fear,” Will challenges, knowing full well Hannibal hadn’t specified where and how he could. 

Hannibal is done bathing him, the sponge left floating in the water, but he touches Will anyway, at his pulse point with a probing finger. He’s close enough to close the gap, so he leans in. Will’s heart slams against his ribcage, with every inch. He’s too shocked to pull back or protest, unsure if he’d even want to given the chance, and then locks up when Hannibal swipes his tongue over his pulse. Quick and wet.

He’s back upon the stool before Will even has the chance to appreciate the sensation. Hannibal licks his lips and smirks. “Fear isn’t what I taste.” 

“Wh ” Will’s voice comes out strangled. “What do you taste?” 

Hannibal cuts a larger piece of his breakfast, holds it close, and waits patiently for Will to take the bite. He does reluctantly, awaiting response, but all Hannibal says after he swallows is, “I don’t believe that’s something you’d like to hear.”

It is, Will wants to protest, but he’s not sure where their conversation would be headed if he did. He remains quiet, and is fed the rest of his meal before Hannibal pulls the blocker from the drain.

“Don’t get dressed. Meet me by the chair when you’re dry.” 

Hannibal exits the bathroom, leaving him floundering again. 

He waits until the water is half gone, and cool to the touch, before rising out of the tub and towel drying. He rubs the towel through his hair, his curls drying frayed. It’s hard to look in the mirror and consider himself beautiful, but he supposes it would be harder if Hannibal hadn’t built him up for half an hour before this. He sets the towel down, and saunters off to his fate.

He finds Hannibal standing by the chair, wearing only leather. Leather pants with a golden-buttoned crotch, a flap easily detachable that shows off the bulk of his cock. A black leather jacket to match, zipped up to his neck, and buttoned there too. Chastity based illusions. Will feels faint. 

“I would like you to lie down lengthwise on the chair,” Hannibal orders, commandeering even before they officially start. He helps Will onto the platform and onto the seat. “There you are. Can you maneuver yourself into the most comfortable position?” 

He’s mostly horizontal, tilted up just enough so he isn’t straining his neck. He shimmies until his ass is comfortably pressed to the padded seat, and his hands hang loosely above him against the raised arm rests. Hannibal wastes no time strapping his ankles to the chair, tight enough that he can’t move them more than a few inches, but loose enough that the restraints aren’t cutting off blood flow. He observes when he’s tied in place that his legs are spread obscenely and jumps when his thighs are abruptly strapped to the leg rests as well; those extra ones hadn’t caught his eye when he studied the chair. 

His lower body is completely immobile now. 

“Comfortable?” Hannibal asks, even as he pulls at the strap around his right thigh hard enough to make Will gasp. 

“Yeah,” he breathes, flexing his toes in apprehension. 

There is a loud knock on the basement doors. Hannibal turns abruptly, expression unreadable. Will stiffens until he remembers Jack, the cameras, the production.

He was half expecting Hannibal to start whipping him without an audience. Will can’t quite say he’d be in any position to stop him. The question is, would he want to?

Hannibal opens the doors for Jack and locks them behind him. Jack glances around only to observe his workspace, and waves to Will who smiles awkwardly, feeling like a lab rat. 

They talk in whispers for a short enough time Will can’t find an opportunity to ask them to speak the hell up, and then Hannibal is by his side again, sliding a hand over his quivering stomach. “May I strap you in completely?” 

“That’s the point, isn’t it?” Will asks in lieu of telling him to get on with it. 

Hannibal silently goes about his task, slightly more daunting now that Jack is hovering around the room, centering the camera directly in front of Will’s exposed body. 

When Hannibal’s finished, he can’t move any part of his body other than his waist. Even his neck has a leather strap wrapped around it, and if he presses into it hard enough, he can give himself the illusion of choking. It feels good, to be out of control, at least for now. 

Nobody has any expectations of him other than his obedience. 

Jack rolls over a large object, obscured with a sheet, between Will’s legs. “This what you wanted?” he asks Hannibal who nods, eyes sparkling down at the apparatus. 

“Thank you, Jack. I can take it from here.”

“Just let me know when you’re ready to roll,” Jack responds, retreating behind the camera to adjust it minutely, for the last time. 

Will’s heart rate fluctuates, and he can feel himself sweating, feeling hotter than he did in the bath, and wholly raw. Hannibal removes the sheet to reveal a large machine, with a long adjustable rod and a girthy dildo strapped to it. “Oh,” Will murmurs, timidly. It isn’t close to him. He imagines Hannibal will open him up before he attempts putting that thing inside him, but then again, maybe he won’t. Fear is conclusively present now. 

He startles when Hannibal fondles his cock, the restraints preventing him from moving. He bites back a whine as Hannibal strokes him lightly, a few gentle caresses, before divulging a silicone cock ring. It was cradled in his fist this whole time; Will wants to cry.

“Is that going on me right now?”

“You’ll thank me,” Hannibal says in a low voice. “While the goal of today is multiple orgasms, we’ll want to delay each one as much as possible, to prevent you from tiring out.”

Multiple?!

“I think you’re overestimating my refractory period,” Will grumbles, grimacing as Hannibal reaches for the bottle of lube stashed beneath the chair and noisily pumps some onto the ring. He also coats his cock with the slick, the gel cold enough to make his nipples harden and incite a shiver, and then begins working his balls through the small hole.

“Whoa –oh kay.” 

“There are no refractory periods in this room when I am in control. You will climax when I demand it of you, whether you feel able or not,” comes Hannibal’s mechanical response, and Will’s cock jerks in his hand. Hannibal pauses, and his lips twitch up. 

It’s the first time he’s seen Hannibal smile since Jack entered. 

“Fuck,” Will utters, writhing into the touch as Hannibal pinches his entire shaft through the ring with expert hands. The toy settles at the base of his dick, and Will can feel it squeezing him there, the silicone warming against heated skin.

“Snug?” Hannibal asks, grazing his fingertips over Will’s ribs.

“Oh yeah.”

He earns a hum and then, “I would like to run over safety procedures.” Will nods, staring at the way Hannibal’s biceps move under the leather jacket. The zipper is the only thing between him and the sight of Hannibal’s magnificently colored chest. “They are standard. You are aware of the stoplight system?”

“I am.” 

“Then that is what we will use. If I ask you ‘Light?’ I expect you to tell me truthfully if you are unable to handle the proceedings. Red for no. Yellow for less. Green for ‘keep going.’”

Will nods, shifting in his binds. He’s too aware of the cock ring gripping him like a vice, and he grows distracted with the heavy beat of his heart in his chest. The room is so quiet.

“If I gag you, which I will if you disobey an order, I will hand you this.” Hannibal pulls out a tiny remote from his back pocket. It contains two buttons. “The top button will cause the overhead lights to flash like a strobe. Click it if you need me to stop. Theatrical, I know, but it will gain my attention.” 

He allows Will to feel the feather-light weight of it in his hand before slipping it back into his pocket. Something in his demeanor changes, cold and isolating. He says in a commanding tone, “From this point forward you will refer to me as Doctor or Doctor Lecter exclusively, do you understand?” 

Will nods, but Hannibal cinches his jaw with two fingers.

“You will verbalize your response when I ask you a question, Will.”

“Yes, H Doctor Lecter.”

Hannibal’s resulting smirk is cruel. He releases Will’s jaw and Will clenches it to loosen the lingering soreness. Hannibal calls, “Jack, we’re ready for you.”

“I know you said you didn’t want a makeup crew involved, but I really think you should do something about the kid’s scar,” Jack points at his own shoulder to specify. Will has been so used to the scar being hidden, he isn’t bothered, but earns a thrill when he sees the unexpected menace on Hannibal’s face. He also doesn’t expect him to ‘defend his honor.’

“I have no intention of covering up Will’s singularities,” Hannibal remarks.

“Sure, fine,” Jack says with a lilt that tells Will he thinks he’s wiser than everyone in the room. “Just warning you it’ll be easily picked up on camera.” 

“I dearly hope so,” Hannibal responds sincerely, turning back to Will with a glimpse of tenderness that makes Will’s lips part before he returns to his terse guise. “Just a moment, Jack. Then we may begin.” 

Jack adjusts a knob on the camera, potentially zooming in, and lifts a thumbs up. Hannibal angles close to Will’s ear, breath against his skin. 

“The one thing I want you to remember,” Hannibal murmurs, low timbre and dark eyes as he strokes a finger down Will’s pulse where he licked him before, “is that what I give you today, will be what I consider mercy.” 

Will yields, going boneless against the chair.

The fear is curling into arousal, a perplexing meld. 

“You may call action, Jack,” Hannibal says slickly, blinkless eyes staring straight into Will’s own, as if nothing in the world could touch either of them except each other. 

Jack counts down from three and then hollers, “Action!”

 


 

Overwhelmed by the scene starting, Will misses the first several phrases spoken to him, and is thrust back in time to school when he wouldn’t listen to any of the authoritative voices demanding his attention. He’s thankful when he realizes Hannibal isn’t expecting a response. He doesn’t want to be gagged in the first five minutes. That would be humiliating. 

Hannibal’s hands run all over him as if inspecting a pound of meat. Will swallows when Hannibal kneels between his legs, eye level with his hole. He turns to look at the wall, but Hannibal snaps his fingers. “You will watch. If I see you close your eyes, you will be punished.”

Will nods, gasping loud when Hannibal pinches his inner thigh.

“Yes, Doctor Lecter.”

“Good. Do you deserve to be opened up?”

“Yes,” he breathes, cock already half hard. He’s breathing heavily, anticipating those long fingers inside of him again. It’s been too long. God, he’s been craving this hasn’t he. 

Seductively, Hannibal taps along his inner thighs, seeming to pause every time Will tenses which inspires Will to relax and earn more of the sensation. It is a devious method to get him to open up, but one that works. The lube bottle is uncapped, and he can hear the telltale noise of the substance being squirted onto a palm. He wishes he could strain his head further to look, but the strap around his neck prevents it. 

Even as Hannibal slides one finger into him, he asks;

“Tell me why you deserve this.”

“Why?” Will flounders, writhing as much as he can govern. Hannibal isn’t striving at all to find his prostate, and the gel is cold, almost tickling. 

Apparently, his tone was too flippant. 

Hannibal flicks one of his balls hard which causes him to cry out, and his balls to tighten and draw up. The cock ring prevents much more. Hell, he’s caught. 

“B Because I’ve been good.” 

“Hmm, we haven’t been at this for long at all,” Hannibal reminds. “Certainly not long enough to claim that you’ve been ‘good’ enough for a reward.”

Will wants to ask what will happen if he doesn’t come up with a good reason. He wants to know what Hannibal wants to hear, but Hannibal encourages a lack of scripture. He desires half truths and ruefully crafted obfuscations of reality. If he needs a reason, Will can create one.

Hannibal adds a second finger and he tenses again which makes Hannibal slow his pace, scissor him agonizingly languid. Will catches himself just as his eyes are slipping closed. Hannibal glances up at him to make sure he’s obeying as if he can sense it, gaze brutal. 

“I deserve this because I want to feel good,” Will murmurs. 

His thigh is slapped. It doesn’t sting nearly as bad as his balls.  

“Speak up.”

“I want to feel good, Doctor,” Will repeats, louder. He doesn’t break eye contact, searching for any platitude of amusement in Hannibal’s eyes. He doesn’t find it.

“Are you so selfish?” Hannibal demands, callously. “Admit to me that you are.” 

“I’m selfish,” Will admits. One calculated graze of his prostate forces him to repeat himself despite not being asked. “Ah , god, I’m selfish, I’m very selfish.” 

“What do you think selfish boys deserve, Will?” The use of his name is somehow more enticing than it’s ever been. Will’s muscles tense and cramp, the massage from earlier making it bearable. 

Will shudders and moans when Hannibal adds a third finger, clamping his mouth shut when he sees a glint of mischief in the other man’s eyes. The fingers slide out all together and he lets out a devoid whimper. 

“Please ” he can’t help but say, “H Doctor Lecter, please.” 

Another flick to his balls, and he yelps, feeling the pain-pleasure ripple through his thighs. He trembles with anticipation of the next assault, attempting to ready himself for it. It may be impossible in his binds, as is his ability to close his eyes against Hannibal’s intense scrutiny. 

“Do selfish boys deserve to be fucked?” Hannibal asks coolly, leaning forward and licking over the sensitive scrotum he hit. “Do they deserve my mercy?”

“A-ah! Yes,” Will stammers, cock twitching with each wet drag. “They do, Doctor.” 

“My cock?”

The word is foreign on Hannibal’s tongue. Will gasps when he hears it anyway, wanting in some way to hear it again, and again, and again. 

“Yes,” he tries, knowing he’s wrong. 

“Your logic is flawed.” Hannibal wraps his hand around the cock ring, which feels tighter the harder Will becomes, a reality that’s skyrocketing fast. “I don’t believe selfish boys deserve to be fucked, let alone by my cock. However, I am merciful.” 

Without another word, Hannibal returns to fingering him. Will’s never been so loose so fast, and isn’t sure if he can chalk it up to his comfortability in this scenario or the physical position he’s been strapped in. He disobeys Hannibal briefly when his eyes roll up to the bright ceiling in response to a wave of pleasure rushing through him. The overhead lights stare back at him, chastising. He returns his gaze to the sight between his legs. One of Hannibal’s hands is fisted around the base of the cock, glistening with the beads of pre-cum drooling down the shaft, and one hand moves lewdly inside of him, a fourth finger prodding him apart with fleeting pain. 

Up until now, Will’s been mostly in control of his own noises, not yet entirely lost to the sea of submission, but when Hannibal’s fingers retreat only to pull up the large cock-machine, Will whines in the back of his throat and can only hope he doesn’t sound too much like a bitch in heat. His hole throbs, his skin is overheated, and he’s going out of his mind. 

“You can have this cock, since you don’t deserve mine,” Hannibal announces plainly, standing up and wiping his hands indecently on his leather pants. Will’s not sure he’s ever seen him disregard cleanliness. 

Without preamble, Hannibal aligns the rod with Will’s hole, making him lurch away as far as he can manage in his restraints. It looks larger, the closer it is dragged and gasps when he feels the girthy head penetrate him. It stays there, the machine threatening in it’s stillness. 

Hannibal moves around the machine, stroking over the gears on the side. “Unlike a being made of flesh and blood, this device won’t listen or heed your cries for clemency. It will take you as hard, as fast, as slow, or as shallow as it pleases. And it won’t stop until I call for it to stop.” 

“You consider this mercy?” Will can’t help his flash of defiance. The dildo resting only an inch or two inside him is huge. He’s thoroughly stretched, but he has no concept of what to expect. His fear is palpable enough he’s certain Hannibal can smell it. 

Maybe he can, because Hannibal doesn’t punish him for the remark. 

He turns the machine on. 

It’s louder than Will expects it to be. Similar to the sound of a distant train. It moves at a snail’s pace, dry inside of him until the lube dripping from his hole eases the way. At first he isn’t so much aroused as he is wincing, and flinching backward, but then without Hannibal even touching the device, it begins to sink deeper into his hole, and pump faster. 

“Oh my god,” Will whispers, legs straining against their binds in an urge to close his thighs together. He can’t escape the sensations or even move to encourage them, and it just keeps increasing. He loses track of where Hannibal is, catching sight of the looming camera and the pummeling machine only. The noises ramp up, and suddenly he’s being fucked so hard he can’t help the string of obscene moans falling from his mouth. He couldn’t shut his mouth if he tried. 

Suddenly hands are on his torso, and he realizes Hannibal has moved behind the chair, breath wafting against his curls. “Tell me how it feels, dear boy.”

Too tender. Too personal. Too much. 

Will defies him, as Hannibal most likely knew he would before they even signed the contracts. He shakes his head, biting his lip hard enough to draw blood as the machine pumps into him, harder and faster. Hannibal plucks his nipples, flicking and playing with them in intervals. He groans loudly, pleading for the oversensitivity to stop. 

“Tell me,” he demands, scratching hard down his sternum. 

“It, ahh, f-feels I need to come.” 

It’s suddenly painfully obvious how badly he needs to. One glance proves as much, his purple cock straining rigidly, curled toward his belly button. It’s wet with dried lube and pre-ejaculate. He feels trapped, the ring keeping him from his orgasm as long as possible. 

“Surely you don’t need to, but tell me Will,” Hannibal says in his ear, loud enough for the camera to hear over the machine. “Do selfish boys deserve to come?” 

The machine has slowed down enough for Will to think. After meeting Hannibal’s smug gaze, he cleverly decides on, “Fuck you.” 

Hannibal’s eyes darken, mirth fading. 

Will instantly regrets his choice of words when Hannibal strolls over to the machine, and fiddles with the buttons out of his line of sight. The machine ramps up, to what Will can only assume is its highest setting, as the dildo between his legs blurs and fucks him rapidly, unrelenting. 

Will shouts, fingers flexing, searching blindly for something to hold onto. “Fuck, please,” he begs, unsure what he’s begging for. The pounding to his prostate hurts, and the penetration is almost abrasive. Spending his immediate focus on the quick squelch of the ruthless thrusting, he doesn’t notice Hannibal opening one of the cabinets and retrieving a vibrator with a chord and a sheath. He approaches Will’s side as Will is trying valiantly not to shake out of his skin. 

He can feel his orgasm cresting fast, and hopes that Hannibal will just get on with whatever he’s planning before he does, but with another few robotic lunges inside of him, he comes so hard he nearly breaks his arms bending upward. He screams as the cock ring prevents his release, nothing but one white spurt drizzling from the slit, like a tear. He can feel genuine tears in his eyes as the machine continues to fuck him at the same pace, taking advantage of his raw hole. 

Will hears a buzzing noise that funnels his focus directly to the cockhead-sized sheath blurring atop the apex of the vibrator. His voice is ruined from aftershocks, but he desperately manages, “No, Hannibal

He’s slapped across the face roughly, and the sting shocks him into silence while Hannibal aligns the head of his dick with the sheath, slipping the tight rubber around it. Will wails, the vibration sending jolting shocks through his body. Christ, he can barely breathe. 

He heaves between words. 

“Doctor Lecter, please, stop, I can’t!” 

Tears coat his cheek now as he feels another orgasm swirling inside, about to be ripped from its seams carelessly. “I’ll be good, I won’t be selfish, anything, anything, just, ah, ah , fuck.” 

If he were coherent, he might care what Jack Crawford is thinking about this display, or Hannibal for that matter. He thought these sessions would be easy acting, but is mortified to find he means every word. He’d be capable of anything just to convince Hannibal he deserves mercy. 

That he’s a ‘good boy.’ 

A strangled noise tears out of his throat as he comes again, violently, the ring clasping tight beneath his balls preventing another release. He can feel the build up inside him and it burns brightly, almost more intense than the ache of the machine fucking into him, or the vibration on the sensitive, pink head of his cock. Hannibal removes the vibrator from him then, resolute in his detachment, and Will breathes what feels like his first breath in decades.

“Doctor Lecter,” he whimpers, aware he sounds pathetic. “Doctor

“You know you were right, Will,” Hannibal tells him, a society-page smile spreading along his cheeks as he reaches for the cock ring. Will bites his tongue to keep from screeching as Hannibal, by a narrow margin, removes the cock ring from him without injury. The perks of silicone. Will goes cold at the next statement. “Selfish boys do deserve to come.” 

Will shakes his head frantically, but Hannibal is already clicking the vibrator on again. “I’d say you can handle one more, can’t you, my boy?” 

Will’s jaw trembles, and more tears are gathering in his eyes. 

His cock is still hard from the constant stimulation to his prostate, the slippery dildo drawing out aftershock after aftershock. He can’t handle it. He isn’t capable. But, isn’t that a lie?

Just then, Hannibal trails the vibrator down Will’s stomach, teasing his naval, and leans close to his ear so only Will can hear his voice. “Light?” 

Will blink away the glossiness of his sight and turns just a bit, knowing he looks like a monstrous disaster, and aware that he is more than cracking under pressure. He sniffles and musters, “Yellow, b-but, more green than red.” He can sense Hannibal’s internal smile. He doesn’t need to see it to know it’s there. 

Hannibal’s posture straightens and he bends down to lick up the mess of translucent liquid on Will’s cock. “Delicious,” he rasps, in a near growl and with a knowing glance, says, “You taste of applewood.” After all, is the coda that hangs silent in the air. 

Will softens and shuts his eyes when Hannibal squeezes the tip of his cock back into the vibrating sheath. He’s numb enough at this point it’s almost not as intense as before, but slowly, pleasure begins to build in his gut in tight, unwanted twists. His third orgasm is going to wreck him. 

“You will climax on command, when I tell you to, do you understand?” 

Will’s lashes flutter wetly apart. 

“I-I can’t, Doctor, I

“You can, and you will.”

Will glares at him with gritted teeth, refortifying the last few barriers in his mind that cater his resistance. Hannibal slides the sheath up and down the shaft of his dick, until the tip pops through completely. Will grunts and arches into the touch despite the tormenting pangs. 

Somehow, it feels as if the dildo in his ass changes angle, and he moans, feeling heat rise in his chest, to his face, as if being engulfed in flame. “Oh, oh.” 

“I control your pleasure,” Hannibal states. “You have no say in the matter.” 

Will groans, baring his teeth. 

“Tell me.”

The onslaught catapults nukes into his forts. He gasps for air. 

“I have no say in the matter, you, you,” he forces the words out, despising his weakness every second it lasts, “you control my pleasure, Doctor Lecter.” 

The humiliation itself merely adds to his burgeoning arousal.

“Good boy,” Hannibal purrs, and the praise takes him to the precipice. He’s about to warn Hannibal, tell him he can’t hold it, but Hannibal says, “You may come.” 

Will’s hands curl into fists and his toes cramp with how hard they bend. He orgasms for the third time that hour, a long white stream spurting from the head of his cock, splashing along his stomach and thighs. He doesn’t register Hannibal turning off the cock-machine while he’s succumbing to waves of inescapable pleasure. They rock him to his core. 

The vibrator is gone, discarded to a towel on the floor Will can’t fully see. He moans softly as he comes down, twitching and rolling his hips into phantom sensations. He is boneless when one of Hannibal’s hands cups his cheek and turns his head. 

The adoration in Hannibal’s eyes is more intense than the aforementioned sensations. Will’s eyes widen a little when he realizes; Hannibal may have feelings for him. 

“You were splendid, darling,” he croons. Is darling for the camera? 

Will has to consider that he’s too fucked out to be thinking properly. He can’t respond verbally quite yet, and merely flutters his eyelashes to reassure comradery. 

“That’s a wrap!” Jack calls out, voice lighter than it normally sounds on set. Will slumps into the seat as Hannibal begins unlatching his arms. The ache in his biceps is nothing close to the ache in his ass, or his thighs. His body sings pleasantly with its assailment. 

Hannibal wipes him down with a wet wipe after his restraints are off. Will is but melted butter, so he lets him, noticing belatedly how hard Hannibal looks in his leather pants. 

Hannibal pays himself and his erection no mind as he murmurs, “I’ll see Jack out, and then we’ll be free to go upstairs so I can take care of you properly.” 

Somehow, Will’s limp cock throbs at the implication.

Then, he remembers the promise of after care. 

Will is forced to accept that he’s royally screwed. 

 

Chapter Text

 

“I don’t think I can move,” Will had joked after Jack left, cameras and lighting equipment in tow. This is what inspired Hannibal to do what he’s doing now. 

Will’s arms are looped around his neck as he’s bridal carried up the stairs of the basement that lead into his house. There is a softer energy to the home as they ascend into it, carpeted floors that smell freshly vacuumed, and incense that fills the halls, smelling of thyme. 

He knows if Hannibal had tried carrying him, even just two hours ago, he would have solidly refused. As it stands, he’s naked, and worn out, and very much enjoying the feeling of leather chafing his buzzing, oversensitive skin, so he allows it. He also has the strangest urge to bury his face in Hannibal’s neck. It’s so close to where he’s laid his head on his shoulder, just a few inches more. He smells so good here. A thousand things Will can’t name.

He holds on tighter.

“Your house is nice,” he mumbles, because it is, and it is the only sentiment he can manage. He feels Hannibal’s chest rumble in a silent laugh. 

“I’m delighted you think so.” 

Impossibly, the older man hauls him up a steeper flight of steps to the second floor, and cradles Will close as they navigate through the darkened halls. He doesn’t stop to turn a light on, heading straight for his destination. 

When he puts Will down, it is inside a bedroom shrouded in shadow. Dark navy wallpaper surrounds them, making Will feel like the walls are closing in. Golden curtains glitter where they’re drawn, blocking the afternoon sun. Will imagines sleeping in here is quite cozy. 

In his fragmented state, he almost collapses on the bed that contains a high mattress and silky pillows which look heavenly. He stumbles forward when Hannibal catches him by the wrist and leads him into the adjoining bathroom, a severely large space covered in silver-lined white tile. He eyes the rainfall shower beyond the cusp of  two, thin, sliding glass doors. Hannibal opens them, and turns the water on. It’s just as beautiful as he pictured. 

It pitter-patters against the floor with little to no sound. 

“Rain is often cold,” Will notes, crossing his arms when he senses an impending shiver. His skin is sticky with sweat and semen, and he thinks he might have drooled a little. There are flakes edging his lips he’s slowly becoming aware of, and hastily wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. 

“Not this rain,” Hannibal promises. As he says it, the bathroom begins to heat up. Steam permeates into the air while Hannibal undresses. 

“Think of it like a tropical rainforest,” he adds with a charming grin. 

Will’s indecision has fallen by the wayside. 

He watches, every zipper and button, studying Hannibal’s agile movements. An apex predator in sheep’s clothing. Will wants to touch the muscle he sees and feel its underlying power. It would be quite a thing to disregard leather cuffs and restraints and be forced into submission by Hannibal Lecter’s body weight and brawn alone.

He shocks himself at the thought process, and turns away.

Hannibal turns the heat down on the shower, enough that it isn’t scalding but still perfectly hot, and says, “I hope you will not reject my endeavor to care for you this time.” 

“It’s contractual this time,” Will counters, stepping under the rainfall when Hannibal beckons. It’s sickeningly warm. He can’t help but close his eyes. 

There is a box being opened, and then a bar of soap removed from its package. Hannibal has every intention of rubbing it over each centimeter of skin, gradual and rough to insure a clean slate. He starts without asking, and Will leans into the touch pliantly. 

“Am I wrong in assuming you enjoy this?”

“Who wouldn’t enjoy this?” Will murmurs. He has trouble believing anyone would dislike being cared for. It isn’t that he didn’t want Hannibal touching him the first time, but that he felt it was wrong to indulge if it wasn’t for a purpose. Surely, Hannibal doesn’t want to wait on him like some servant. Then again, maybe he does. 

Will opens his eyes, water droplets cascading across his lashes as Hannibal strokes the soap into his skin with dexterous fingers. He’s starting to feel more awake.

He turns and catches Hannibal’s eye, the uneasiness there, and frowns.

“You’re nervous.”

“You are a remarkable people reader, Will.” Hannibal turns Will to face him and then rubs a thumb over the side of his lips, washing away the crust he’d missed before. Will ducks his head, but Hannibal pushes his chin up with a forefinger. “I’ve never known anyone to fit in my shoes.”

“They don’t keep your shoe size in stock.”

“No, they rarely do.”

Will sighs, blinking water from his eyes. “You’re changing the subject.”

“So I am,” Hannibal replies smoothly. “Remind me again what you’d prefer to discuss.”

“Tell me why you’re scared,” Will implores. “I’m the one who just got dominated to tears, if anything I should be apprehensive.”

Hannibal is obviously peeved to be called ‘scared.’

He plainly asks, “Are you?”

Will swallows, looking up at him from behind soaked curls. “No,” he says softly. “No, you this doesn’t scare me anymore.”

Hannibal’s jaw shifts, and Will risks placing fingertips over Hannibal’s ribs, sighing at the hard muscle there. He flexes his fingers, touching him tenderly enough he wonders if he might not feel it, but Hannibal does, staring down at Will’s hand, and flattening one of his own over it. 

The pattering of water on tile and skin nearly drowns Hannibal out.

“You do not harbor regrets?” 

Will’s lips twitch. “I would have to antipathize the session if I held regrets, and I won’t. I –I liked it, Hannibal. It was intense, but I’ve never felt so…”

“Powerful?” 

Will nods, eyes focusing on the middle distance as he recollects the afternoon. “I felt pain, and resistance, and I felt inhibited, but it was as if you helped me find a way to bury those feelings. Not just in sex, more than that. I feel open, turned inside out. I feel as if I’ll never have another worry in the world. You’ve, uh,” Will laughs, returning to himself. “You’ve probably heard this sort of talk before, from other clients.”

Hannibal has retrieved shampoo and is now working the minty scented gel into Will’s hair with a smile. His anxiety has diminished since Will’s confession. “Oftentimes, clients are prone to post-coital depression. BDSM is but a momentary distraction from the pretenses they meticulously attend to within their social circles, from their ‘person suits’ perhaps, nothing more. It is how it often becomes an addiction, and a fatal one at that.”

“I can see how it could be addictive,” Will admits. “I’m already curious what you’re planning for the next film.” 

“All in due time,” Hannibal declares, and Will tries not to be disappointed. Despite having come three times, he’s energetic and anticipatory. He wants to know what Hannibal has in store. Hell, he wants to test devices out himself, and help the man decide, but would he seem overeager? 

Will’s eyes slip closed when he digs his fingers hard into his scalp. “Feels good,” he murmurs. “Thank you. Did…did you want to get off earlier?”

“I have remarkable self restraint.”

Will chuckles, fingers absentmindedly trailing down Hannibal’s hip. The intimacy should be startling, but feels natural after what they just did together. 

“Changing the subject again,” he muses.

“There will be sessions where I give myself over to that pleasure,” Hannibal tells him simply, helping wash the shampoo from his curls. “But, my priority will always be you.”

“Is that a BDSM stipulation or a you-stipulation?” 

Hannibal smirks. “We are practicing sadomasochism, Will. I do not gain as much pleasure from my own pain or fulfillment as much as I do from your suffering.” 

“Right. Just never, ehm, had anyone focus on me that much.”

“I assure you, you were glorious.”

“You talk about everything with early renaissance grandeur.” Will considers offering to wash Hannibal’s hair, since they’re so close and he’s already uncapping the conditioner, but he blinks the fleeting images away when those sinful hands are upon him again, making his scalp thrum with gratification. “It’s hard to believe you have cabinets filled with sex toys in your basement.”

There is a gentle laugh and a thumb swiping over Will’s temple fondly. “The dichotomy is noteworthy,” he offers. “One that you don’t seem to mind.”

“I like puzzles with oddly shaped pieces. Less monotony,” Will says with a wave of the hand, purposefully using one of Hannibal’s words from before. 

There is silence as Hannibal checks his wrists and ankles for any marks or bruising. There appear to be none, but he rubs at his wrists either way, as if blandishing the muscles to unwind. Will experiences a second of clarity where he acknowledges them standing under a rainfall shower head, naked together, rubbing at each other’s skin for no apparent reason, and it’s funny enough to make him laugh out loud. He shoves a fist into his mouth. 

“Ticklish?” 

“What? No, just, as much porn as I film you’d think I’d get used to standing around naked with other people. I don’t know why this feels new."

"You've discovered something new about yourself," Hannibal informs. "That pain does not necessitate undesirable outcomes. That power can be born of your powerlessness." 

"That I like being fucked in the ass." 

Hannibal's expression is almost shy. Will cocks a brow at him when he moves behind Will to help wash the conditioner the rest of the way out of his hair. It feels gentle, rushing down his back, and he shudders when Hannibal strokes two fingers along the ridges of his spine. 

“I would like you to dry off and lie horizontally on my bed.”

“Your bed?” Will’s voice is tinged with uncertainty. “You don’t want me to get dressed?”

“Not yet,” Hannibal answers with a smile. “I promise nothing untoward.”

“Right, okay,” Will’s words rush out unsteadily. He turns toward the glass doors, partly ajar, and pulls at them, emerging from the steamed up shower room to snatch up the nearest towel. He dries off quickly and hangs the towel on one of the empty racks, aware of Hannibal’s eyes on him all the while, even whilst he withdraws to the bedroom. 

The sheets are just as comfortable as he imagined. He lies on his back, weary of pressing his cock, as clean as it is now, into another man’s sheets. There is no possible way he should be aroused, but the scent of the bedsheets encapsulates him, and he feels warmth pool in his groin. 

“Jesus fucking Christ,” Will complains, pressing the heels of his palms into his eyes until he sees stars. The water shuts off and he opts finally to bite the bullet and lie on his stomach. He can avoid Hannibal snarking any comment about an incoming erection he might not be able to prevent. He tells himself he’s conditioned to be aroused. Hannibal has been a magnificent sexual partner. His body is just confused; it smells his musk and assumes it is about to be treated well.

Hysterically, he remembers working with the same women when he was working for Purnell. He doesn’t remember their scent ever getting him hard or expecting. 

He buries his face into one of the pillows and the scent is stronger, making his throat tight. 

Hannibal emerges with a trail of steam, wearing housepants and no shirt. He has a bottle in hand and explains, “Massage oil. You may object, but I must insist. The chair can be ruthless to one’s back muscles, let alone arms and legs.”

“Uh, sure. Thank you.” 

Will grimaces at his own response. Should he be saying thank you for something that is contractual? It had felt simple in the shower, to touch Hannibal and admit taboo inner truths to himself. Now that the session is passing him by, nearly out of reach, he’s beginning to overthink. 

Hannibal straddles his thighs, and Will’s eyes bulge as the bigger man gets comfortable, uncapping the massage oil and rubbing some into his hands aptly. The scent of rose mingles with the spicy, woodsy scent of the pillow Will’s cheek is squished into. 

“I’ve never had anyone do this to me,” Will admits and he feels Hannibal freeze.

There are two damp hands on his hips and Hannibal is leaning close to murmur, “Is physical intimacy as distracting to you as eye contact?”

“No,” Will answers, sighing when Hannibal’s fingers dig deep into the tender muscle sheltering his hip bones. “Not a lot of people want to touch me like this, though.”

When Hannibal is silent, Will adds, “God, that makes me sound like a eunuch, that’s not what I mean, it’s just that I’ve never had an intimate enough relationship to include something this personal.” 

“Physical intimacy, platonic or otherwise, is very important to me to maintain a healthy body and mind,” Hannibal states. “Sex does not always include the finer needs.”

“Do people touch you often?” Will asks softly, looking over his shoulder as Hannibal digs his thumbs pleasantly between his shoulder blades. 

Hannibal shakes his head. “I neglect to allow it.” 

Will wants to offer. It seems only right. You do me, I do you. Would it be weird if he offered to give Hannibal the same treatment? Yes, probably. It isn’t in the contract. Yet, it doesn’t eliminate his desire to ask.

“I’m sure there’d be dozens of men and women lining up at your door if you published an advert in the papers. European Bachelor Looking For Love, I’m sure that’d sell.” 

“I don’t yearn for crowds,” Hannibal says lightly. His hands slide down Will’s back and he curls them into his ribs, rubbing nimbly enough to make Will moan for more.

“Sorry,” comes Will’s fast whisper. “That’s nice.”

“More?” Hannibal digs in a little harder, testing. Will nods, arching back against the touch. He does as he’s told, massaging deeply and drawing more softened noises out of Will. 

When Hannibal moves to massage his arms, Will is half paralyzed on the sheets. It’s overwhelmingly fantastic, and the act loosens his tongue.

“I still owe you lunch.”

“Anytime, dear boy.” He feels a hand in his hair, stroking once. “I will make time for you, any day that you decide.” 

Will doesn’t know how to reply to something that generous. On instinct, he curls his fingers back toward the hand that is massaging his wrist, and Hannibal’s hand pauses, brushing over the back of his palm. Their fingers slip together for a moment, intentionally, and Will feels electricity like no other. Haltingly, he dares turn his head, stunned to find Hannibal staring reverently at their loosely interlaced hands. When their eyes meet, Will swerves to pin his gaze on the pillows with a soaring blush. 

He moves his arms under his head to rest his chin on. 

Hannibal is still for a discomforting period of time, but soon begins digging knuckles into the backs of Will’s thighs, making him sigh with each push. It isn’t as hard as before; he almost appears to be rushing through this. Will can’t help but feel dispossessed. 

Quietly, he asks, “When will I see you again?”

It feels as if this time will pass soon, and neither of them has spoken of what is on their minds. Both can feel the cavernous subject they’re avoiding, or at least Will hopes Hannibal can feel it. He doesn’t want to be alone in this misery.

What he knows for certain, is he doesn’t want to leave. 

Hannibal makes him feel understood, even when he doesn’t understand himself. 

Hannibal seems to think Will is asking after when the date of their next session is, and he replies indifferently, “Next month. On the dot, I believe.”

A month.

It feels like a prison sentence. 

“Oh.” 

“Have you tried the cages, or the clothes yet?” Hannibal digs into his lower back with aggravating pressure before whispering smugly, “No pressure, of course.” 

Will shifts, which slides his cock over the silky smooth sheets. He muffles a grunt into one of Hannibal’s pillows and shakes his head. “No, I’m sorry.”

“You have time.” 

“I’m a bit nervous. I’m known to be clumsy.”

“I could help you, if you let me,” Hannibal offers, and the palms of his hands are so gentle and warm on his back, smoothing over any uncoated flesh with sweet smelling oil. Will sighs, wanting it so desperately, but knowing he’s taken too much. 

“I’ll handle it,” he grits out. 

Hannibal rolls a pocket of flesh at Will’s nape between two fingers before throwing a leg over his waist and telling him, “Wait here. I’ll be back in a jiffy.” 

Will rolls onto his back when he’s gone and nearly dozes off. His lips quirk into a smile when he imagines what Hannibal would do. Would he tuck him in? Would he join him? He imagines Hannibal is just as exhausted as he is despite not spending as much energy. 

“I want to see you before next month,” Will tries speaking the sentence out loud, but the words sound strange in the lonesome air. “Hannibal, I want

He zips his mouth shut, rolling his eyes. 

What could he possibly want? 

A friend? In this business? With a man he’s going to be sleeping with for the foreseeable future. Not just that, but a man who will dominate him regularly? A friendship can’t possibly bloom naturally when sadomasochism is involved. It will be jagged, and frayed at the edges, but Will recalls telling Hannibal how much he prefers oddly shaped puzzles. 

When Hannibal returns, he’s cradling Will’s clothes to his chest. “Untarnished,” he swears, handing each article to Will individually as he dresses. Will quickly shucks each one on until he’s finished and looking rather frazzled. When he stands, Hannibal adjusts his collar and belt. 

“You don’t have to do that,” Will forces out, wanting fiercely instead for Hannibal to keep touching him as long as he pleases. 

“You don’t have to continue denying yourself this,” Hannibal murmurs, and Will isn’t sure if he means being taken care of, being taken care of by Hannibal specifically, or a deeper connection he’s been not so suavely denying from the beginning. Will ducks his head, but Hannibal cups his cheek when he’s finished, and tells him, “You’re alone, because you are unique, not because you are broken.” 

Faintly Will whispers, “Were you nervous earlier because you thought I wouldn’t want to come back?” 

He is right on the money. 

Hannibal’s eyelids droop a bit, caught out. 

Will exhales, and his eyes flicker down to Hannibal’s plush, pink lips. For the first time in his life, he has the urge to kiss a man.

His eyes widen with alarm, and says in a hush, “I-I’ll see you next month, then.” 

Disenchantment seems to take Hannibal over. He drops his hand, and gestures for the bedroom door, leading Will down the hall and out the front door. If Will were feeling more stable, he’d take a better look at the innards of Hannibal’s living space, but before he can blink, he’s on his porch and nodding an uncordial goodbye. Hannibal’s placid smile is back, but the corners of his eyes don’t wrinkle with that already familiar amusement Will has grown fond of. 

Will is in the middle of the cab drive home when his surprise gradually inflames, and he realizes Hannibal didn’t offer to drive him home. It’s not that he expects it, well, maybe he does, but Hannibal has been like a benevolent God to him all this time. Driving him when he needs to be driven, caring for him when he needs it. These are all things Will continues to deny. 

When he returns home, he plops down on his bed and is covered in slobbery kisses from Buster who growls when he tastes the floral massage oil at his nape. It causes him to dart away and scrape his muzzle over the nearest rug, attempting to rid himself of what he considers an acrid scent. 

It makes sense. He thinks his own vomit smells divine. 

Roses could never compete for his dog. 

Will considers himself, and he considers Hannibal. He considers their whole arrangement, and their futures. His own future mostly, as he knows he should scarcely think for Hannibal, especially if he isn’t in the same room, but he comes to a conclusion. 

Will might be attracted to him. In fact, infatuated with him. 

The actuality casts a vivid cloud of confusion over him. On one hand, he finds Hannibal’s company addictive. Intriguing and intelligent. The attention he garners from Will and gives to him in turn makes him dizzy at the best of times. There is a specific kind of untouchability to Hannibal as well that draws him even more. And yet, he can’t quite reconcile the fact he may genuinely be interested in another man. Then, there is the matter of his body, which has no trouble turning itself on whenever it picks up Hannibal’s scent or catches sight of his toned muscles. Those hands of his could touch him in nerveless places and still pull pleasure from him by the threads. His body’s intentions do not intersect with his mind’s eye. 

Will forces himself to consider this may be a symptom of their sadomasochist enactment. Less severe Stockholm Syndrome? Would Will really create an illusionary attraction to a man who hurts him just because it protracts a pleasure he’d never known he desired? Could he be so touch starved and emotionally wanton? 

Yes. It seems likely. 

He doesn’t know why the potential truth upsets him. He knew he’d be conflicted going into the gay porn industry, to say the least, but never to this extent. And when he signed his contract with Hannibal, he assumed his internal conflicts would be based on performance anxiety and his unfamiliarity with sex equipment. Not…this.

This budding sentiment in his chest. One that stings like a balm.  

The immediate question is, can he wait until their next session? 

If he waits, will the sentiment diminish?

Is that what he wants?

Buster, as if having forgotten the oil incident, comes blundering over with a wagging tail and panting tongue. He licks Will’s face again, but appears at peace with his owner’s undesirable scent and settles by his shoulder. Will pets him, contemplative. 

He bites his own cheek when has to remind himself he’s jumping to a boatload of conclusions. Hannibal may not care for him like that, and if he does, would he take on the baggage of Will’s irresolution? 

After ordering a pizza (the perfect food to drown out orientation and sexuality panic), Will decides he’ll allow himself a few days to calm down, and then decide if he should talk to Hannibal. 

The cock cages and leather uniform lie in wait atop his taxes, looming in limbo while Will vigorously ignores them, and keeps to himself. 

 


 

Time from Hannibal exacerbates his infatuation. 

The next week, Will is dropped off by a cab in Hannibal’s neighborhood, and he paces around the block with the intention of knocking on his door every time he passes the anterior. The third time around, he continues walking only to restart the loop. 

It’s lunchtime, around 1 o'clock in the afternoon. Will had made sure of that. He has intentions of taking Hannibal out to lunch, it’s just a matter of gaining the courage to knock on the door. 

The fourth time he turns the corner on the block, he’s set in his decision, and is about to head towards the man’s front door, but startles when he sees it open. He hides behind his neighbor’s hedge, covertly watching from the brush as a gorgeous blond woman emerges. 

She’s dressed brilliantly, in an elegant gown with matching heels, her wavy hair flowing over one shoulder. The look on her face isn’t dissimilar to the grand expression Hannibal carries daily. He watches Hannibal lean against the door, a half-empty glass of pink wine in hand. He appears tranquil, relaxed with himself as he says his farewells to his guest. Something envious twists in Will’s gut when the blonde woman exchanges an almost sultry glance with him, tilting forward to receive a kiss on the cheek. He exhales sharply, and turns the other way before she can descend from the porch steps and run into him.  

He wanders out of the neighborhood on foot, feeling misplaced and sick to his stomach. It is typical of him, he thinks, to create a false narrative in his head. 

Hannibal is prestigious. Will might be a passing fancy, at most. 

He is merely an excuse for Hannibal to play around the way he used to in Italy. Revive his youth, through someone willing and desperate for change. 

Will finds as much as he wishes to despise Hannibal in this moment, or the mysterious blonde woman, he cannot bring himself to despise anyone other than himself. Wholly and intensely, to the point where he coerces himself to walk the rest of the way home. 

When he arrives an hour later, his feet feel detachable. 

He stalks into his apartment in a gust of rage, his somber resignation having festered into something more volatile on his trip. Buster seems to sense something is amiss, because he keeps hidden under Will’s desk, watching with bug-eyed innocence. 

“You weak-willed sonofabitch,” Will shouts, kicking one of his bed posts hard enough for it to creak. He’s referencing himself of course. Before, he told himself BDSM wasn’t going to change him, and that he could be stronger than the influence of sex and intimacy. 

He’s alight with the need to prove to himself that he isn’t so asinine. 

Hannibal isn’t the problem. It’s him. He needs something to remind himself that this type of sex is new, and particular, and very easily repeated with someone other than the one man he’s done it with. Other than the man he’s grown attached to simply because of the novelty of it. 

Will sits at his dining table and fingers around his pocket for his phone. He scrolls through the numbers in his contacts and settles on Molly. He calls her without hesitation. 

She picks up on the third ring. 

“Will is that you?” Her voice is somber. Her love for him was so tangible it had scared Will off. Something pure enough that he couldn’t foster it in return seemed a good enough reason to leave. 

“Molly, hey,” he says softly, while feeling anything but soft. “I have a big favor to ask of you.” 

“Of course, what is it?” 

“Are you still in contact with those prostitutes you were friends with a couple years back?” 

“Yeah, actually. A couple of them are working with Purnell now. What…what is it you need, Will?” Hell, he wishes he didn’t have to ask this of her, but he has no frame of reference for how else he could find what he’s looking for. What he needs, just to prove something to himself. 

To prove that his attraction to Hannibal is circumstantial. 

“I need one of them to be my dominatrix for a night.” 

 

Chapter Text

 

The video is a hit. It gains triple the views and likes from his previous film with Hannibal, or at least that’s what Freddie Lounds tells Will. He is refusing to check the website.

He is vehemently ignoring his computer.

It turns out, Molly’s acquaintances are booked for the rest of the month, meaning he won’t be able to meet with any of them until the day after his next session with Hannibal. 

The universe has a unique humor all its own that Will has come to know well throughout his life. Perhaps the universe is taunting him with time, time enough to reconsider. It’s a shame then, when he spends the next month set in his stubborn ways. He will go to Hannibal, do his job, because it is his job nothing more, and then he will come home and live a life of his own making. 

Whatever Hannibal wants him to do, he will do it. 

And he won’t feel strongly or weakly about any of it. 

That’s what he tells himself.

He texted Hannibal one time over the entirety of the month, a week in, to inform him that the larger cock cage was the sufficient size, and that he needn’t hire a tailor for the leather straps. They fit perfectly snug over his chest save for a few adjustments with the belt loops. 

Hannibal had sent one message back.

Thank you for your prompt response. It is unlikely the cage I plan to have made for you will be done until after our next session, but you’ll be the first to know when it’s finished. I hope you are well, Will. I miss your company. 

Will spent days agonizing over what to say in return until he decided to leave the message unanswered. The text itself doesn’t require a response, and while he misses Hannibal’s company too, he feels inviolable the less he submits to a personal relationship. 

So, Hannibal doesn’t speak a word for the rest of the month.

And neither does he. 

When the day of their second shoot arrives, Will wakes up early to text Hannibal;

I am busy until 2. If it’s all the same to you, I’d rather we skip the pre-care. And you don’t have to pick me up this time. I’ll be there.

Anxiety fills him from his toes to his gullet when the day passes him by and Hannibal doesn’t respond. As he dresses for the drive over, he calculates every movement so as to not upset his stomach. If Hannibal decides to pick him up anyway and he’s not prepared to see him, he might genuinely throw up in his fancy Bentley, and then their relationship really would be strained. 

Luckily, Hannibal messages ten minutes before he’s about to leave.

Decide on your punishment.

Will nearly drops his phone.

Excuse me?

Hannibal waits until the last second Will is capable of staying inside his apartment without being late. His response makes Will grind his teeth. 

You offered me control in all things. Now you are withdrawing the offer. It is obvious a punishment is due. Choose your implement wisely. I will see you soon.

Will’s arms are crossed the entire cab ride over. He doesn’t know where Hannibal gets off acting like he made a legitimate promise to him that he’d always accept pre-care. Of course it was implied, but they didn’t sign for it to be a requirement. To decide that Will needs to pick his own punishment as well instead of him; it’s unwarranted. 

He doesn’t recognize that his irritation drowns out his apprehension over seeing Hannibal again until he’s face to face with him at the entrance of his basement. Hannibal is waiting in his full leather get-up, leaning against the arch of the open doors. Will glimpses the cardinal colors of the room and the meticulous lighting. Despite himself, blood rushes to his cock.

“Good afternoon, Will,” Hannibal says with a sly smile. 

Some part of Will assumed Hannibal would be angry with him, enraged even. Apparently that isn’t the case because when he steps all the way into the basement, Hannibal’s eyes scour his entire body, as if he were a mirage in a vast desert.

Jack is present, and waves when Will strolls close.

“Hey, sorry I was almost late.”

“Wouldn’t have wanted to add another punishment to the docket today,” Hannibal announces brightly, as if their little game isn’t more personal than Jack should be led to believe. 

Jack doesn’t seem phased. He adjusts his camera, and shoots Will an unreadable look, but if Will had to guess, it reads, Europeans, am I right?

“You’ve cut your hair,” Hannibal muses, sidling up to him. He curls a finger around one of the few large curls left on his head. The hairdresser cropped it too close, and now his ears stick out like an elephant’s. He’s not sure why Hannibal is even pretending to like it. 

“It was getting in my eyes,” Will grumbles, shrugging him off. “Don’t worry, I’m growing it back.”

Hannibal’s lips purse as if to defend the cut, but Jack is clearing his throat.

“Come on guys, we’re keeping a tight schedule here.”

“You are,” Hannibal corrects, sticking close to Will’s side. In just a month, Will had forgotten how Hannibal normalizes proximity. How he makes those around him crave and accept it with the quick snapping reaction of a boomerang. 

Butterflies flutter in Will’s stomach. For what’s to come today, tomorrow, for the rest of his career. It’s too much to handle emotionally; he needs to be dominated today, he decides. Deserves his thoughts to be scattered like swarming flies. 

“Do you want me in a different position on the chair?” Will asks, shucking his jacket and allowing Hannibal to gather it over his arm and take it to the coat hanger. 

“Not the chair,” Hannibal says swiftly, gesturing to the floor. Will blinks down at the new soft rug, at least twice his size, and atop of it, a flat latex bed.

“What…is that?”  

“A vacuum bed.” Hannibal explains its function in exhaustive detail. Its sensory deprivation abilities, and the restrictive weight it will provide. How he may or may not inflict pain and pleasure from the outside once Will is zipped up tight inside. Like a sleeping bag. Hannibal looks –to Will’s chagrin, as he himself has been festering with building animus– excited. “It is a flourishing fetish in various corners of the BDSM scene.” 

“We’re doing this because it’s popular?” Will deadpans.

The crease in Hannibal’s features is worth it. 

“I had a hunch you might enjoy this,” Hannibal proposes.

“Tell me why you’ll enjoy it,” Will demands, overlooking Jack’s impatient jimmy leg, bouncing up and down where he’s sat waiting for the two men to get on with the session. 

Will needs to know. Hannibal wouldn’t pick a device without a reason.

“I’d like to see you stripped of everything you find familiar. Touch, sound, sight, and more than that. I want to see the shape of you, struggling to free itself, like a moth in its chrysalis, writhing and birthing itself from its enticing torment. I should like to hear you beg for release in every sense of the word, would you care for me to go on?” Hannibal asks, hands folded behind his back. 

Lips parting, Will stares at him, feelings and wants crashing back into the forefront of his mind like thousands of tornados swallowing fort after fort in their wake. Oh, he aches for all of it. He wants to see and feel Hannibal’s vision unfold. If Jack weren’t here reinforcing his rectitude, he might fall to his knees and confess exactly that.

Instead, he allows a smile to curl his lips.

Hannibal mirrors the expression, holding out a hand. 

“The rest of your attire, dear boy.” 

Without reluctance, Will strips. Hannibal takes each article and folds it to leave in a pile on the armchair by the bathroom door. Jack hasn’t said a word, but Will can feel judgement rolling off of him in trenchant waves. Will disregards it as well as a month’s worth of tension. 

He’s been placed in a mood, and he’d be loath to drag himself out of it. Even if reserving his anticipation might work towards his mental betterment. 

“We won’t begin filming until you’re in the bed,” Hannibal explains, drawing Will down to his knees in front of the thin rectangular stretch of latex. “You may tell me now what punishment you’ve chosen. Something like vampire gloves would pierce the material, I’m sure you know what to avoid.” 

Will swallows, and says, “Do you have a paddle?”

Hannibal smirks. “Several.”

“That, then. I want that.” 

“Clever choice, would you like to pick a specific one?”

“No, uh, I’ll leave that up to you,” Will murmurs.

Hannibal’s eyes graze over him, and Will’s cock throbs as he settles on it. “I would like to leave something inside of you, for the interim of your encapsulation.” When he touches Will’s shoulders and they are skin to skin, Will almost gasps at the lightning shock to his system. He wants to bury himself in Hannibal’s body, nestle into his ribs and never escape. He has no idea how he suppressed these thoughts for an entire month. They consume him. 

Hannibal turns him around and Will’s eye contact with the cerulean rug eases his desperation. He bends closer to the floor when he feels a palm press on his back. “Relax for me, Will. It will take only a moment.”

He’s telling the truth. 

He fingers him hurriedly, but sufficiently. Making him loose enough for a small, curved, egg-shaped vibrator to be pushed inside of him. A quiet moan erupts from his throat when Hannibal tucks it against his prostate, keeping it pressed there snugly as his fingers retreat. 

The device is attached to a cord which will insure they can take it out once they are finished. The buzz is extremely low, merely making Will restless. He won’t be able to come from it.

His cock is almost fully hard now, and Hannibal’s eyes fall upon it again when he turns him back over. He licks those plush lips of his while staring, and Will wonders if he’d been so brazen before. Certainly Will would have noticed. Is he so brazen with his lady suitor? 

“Do you have any questions before starting?” Hannibal asks, rubbing one of his thighs. It is a soothing gesture, but the vibration inside of him makes him rock up into the touch instinctively. He pulls back to avoid any further reactions. 

“I, well, how am I going to breathe in this thing?”

Hannibal gentles, and shows him the small hole towards the top of the bed, several inches beneath the border. “Your mouth will be the only part of you open to the world. If you disobey me, I cannot gag you, but I may punish you in ways you will never wish to repeat.”

The frosty warning startles Will. He averts his gaze and glances once more at Jack who is cocking a brow at the two of them, and then moves towards the bag. Hannibal helps him inside, ordering him mildly to lay flat on his back with his arms at his sides, and his legs parted minutely. 

When he’s zipped up, and his mouth aligned with the breathing hole he asks, “Is this it?”

It is a dumb question. He knows the second he asks it that this isn’t it at all. It’s just hard to picture feeling stranger than he already does, trapped under loose latex material, desperate to turn around and rut his cock into the bed so he can get off. The vibrator is painstakingly gentle and it’s only working to turn him on more. 

“No dear thing, we’re starting the film before we turn it on,” Hannibal answers fondly, and Will wants to snap his jaws at him like a wild animal.

‘Dear thing’ isn’t helping him separate himself from his feelings.

“Alright Jack, I’m going to retrieve a paddle and then we can start,” Hannibal says, and Will is abruptly aware of his own blindness. He can’t see. He can only hear the steps Hannibal makes toward the cabinets, fiddling with equipment, and then a heavy wooden weight dropping by his head, lying in wait for its use. 

“Should’ve picked a flogger,” Will mutters. 

“You would have felt it less in this,” Hannibal runs a hand over his hip through the latex as if in sympathy. The fingers dip into the crevice of his pelvis, so close to his cock. Will holds back a whine. 

He’s not ready to break quite yet, even though his erection is tenting the thin latex blanketing him. 

“I’m ready if you are,” Will murmurs, wanting to get this over with. 

Hannibal hums, his hand traveling over Will’s stomach. “I as well.” 

There is a metallic noise of adjustment followed by Jack’s bellowing voice, too close for comfort. “Three, two, one…” Will stiffens, and trepidation causes him to miss the word ‘action.’ The smack of a flat paddleboard against the skin of Hannibal’s palm reverberates in his ears, and he’s positive the jump of his body comes out clearly on camera. It didn’t need to be faked. 

“My dear Will, I do believe our viewership is deserving of some explanation as to why you find yourself in this predicament today,” Hannibal says, syllables elongated and crooning. 

He’s trying to incite Will into disobedience. 

As much as he’d like to bare his teeth, he keeps his lips sealed.

The paddle board indelicately drags down his sternum, over the latex, crinkling the material. Will squirms when he reaches his naval with the object, and adjusts the position of his cock with the blunt end. “Wouldn’t want you to be in an uncomfortable position when we start.”

“I think you prefer putting me in uncomfortable positions, Doctor Lecter,” Will alleges. 

An amused huff escapes Hannibal’s lips, and then the paddle is set down on the floor again. Will’s thighs are squeezed which brings dire attention to the thrum of the vibrator in his ass, so he turns his head while he’s still able and sucks his bottom lip between his teeth. 

He’s pinched and gasps. 

“What makes you think that, Will?”

The pinching continues. It’s almost petulant, but Will is certain Hannibal looks aristocratic doing it on camera. He always finds a way to make sex into something immaculate.

“You’d punish me for refusing your care,” Will explains boldly. He doesn’t care if their dispute is laid out for the world to see. He doesn’t particularly care if Hannibal does either. “There’s more sadist than samaritan knocking around in that head of yours, am I wrong Doctor?” 

There is silence, and Will assumes he’s gone too far.

Then, he feels a thumb swipe over his exposed lips.

He suppresses the urge to dip his tongue out and taste the salt of his skin. 

“It would do us good to work on your manners,” Hannibal responds smoothly, an edge to his voice. “It seems you’re plagued with an inherent lack of gratitude.” 

Will has quite a few choice words on the tip of his tongue, but he keeps quiet. There is no need for this session to turn into something unduly personal. As ravenous as he feels for a fight. 

“Do you agree?” he continues.

Will sucks in a breath, and exhales quickly when one of his nipples is pinched. “Yes,” he answers slowly. “Yes, Doctor Lecter, I agree.” 

“See how easy it is to be obedient, Will?”

He pinches his other nipple and the sensation plummets to his cock, causing him to lift up against the latex. Gathering his nerves, he grinds out, “Yes.”  

“Let’s turn this on, shall we?”

Will nearly whimpers. It’s not that the bed is incredibly comfortable right now, but he’s been reveling in the scant amount of time free from restraint. Being bound places him in a mindset close to unbridled submissiveness. It makes him want to give Hannibal anything he wants, and he’s worried what a loosened tongue from said scenario may reveal. Though, he doesn’t protest as Hannibal works his way around the vacbed where a long tube has been inserted, connected to the machine that will make the bed airtight around him. He holds his breath, and waits. 

It isn’t noticeable at first. He feels the latex tightening around his body, but for the first few moments, there is only bliss. Like his body is being wrapped cozily in a thin blanket, still able to move, but comfortably snug. Then the machine kicks on fully, and every millimeter of air is sucked away, his body feeling weighted to the floor with how basely he’s being suctioned. 

He attempts to move his arms and legs, which he shockingly can, but each inch he moves feels as if he’s pulling ten cinder blocks with him. His heart pounds as his brain anticipates his breathing pathway to be cut off, but of course the hole in the bed leaves his mouth free. 

When he feels Hannibal’s fingers on his thigh again, the muscles in his hips twitch. He tries to buck up hard enough to remove the man’s touch, but he can hardly budge. 

If anything, his cock feels ravished, crushed against light, sucking pleasure. 

It doesn’t help when Hannibal strokes lightly over his erection, up and down, until Will feels jittery and overcome with need. He wants to sway up into the touch and press down on the vibrator against his prostate, but neither gesture is happening anytime soon. 

He whimpers, barely able to hear himself over the sound of the vacuum. 

Hannibal must move close to his ear, because he hears his voice closely, raised and unforgiving. 

“How many times should disobedient boys be struck with a paddle?” 

Will’s mind races. 

He isn’t sure how much it will hurt, nor how much is deemed the average for scenarios like this. He doesn’t want to come off as cowardly, but he also doesn’t want to assume fifty is a normal estimate. “Twenty five?” he guesses plainly. 

He hears a raspy bark of laughter, far away, and then a hand slides over his stomach. It feels harrowing, being disallowed to even shift from or against the touch. 

“Since you sound so sure, I’ll be merciful and knock five off that count. Is that acceptable?” Hannibal questions, pinching his nipples again. This time, it feels so much more. 

Will gasps and tries to nod, but fails.

“Yes, Doctor.” The paddle doesn’t immediately soar down onto him, and Will wishes he could see because the inaction is making him feel alone. The stark, irrational, fear that both Hannibal and Jack could leave the room, abandoning him here, rushes through him. He’s truly helpless, locked in stasis. He writhes, only able to briefly arch against the latex, and is promptly sucked back down flat with inhuman force. 

He’s left with himself and his senses, but not all his senses are currently functional. If true isolation existed, he surmises it would be this.

Will doesn’t want to be alone. 

He grunts, and then moans uncontrollably when the vibration inside him suddenly ramps up tenfold. It must be connected to a remote of some sort, and Hannibal being a menace is mostly likely watching him struggle like a hatchling inside this latex cage as the pleasure intensifies enough to drown him. 

There is nowhere to go. He just has to take it. 

It’s maddening, when Hannibal palms his cock again instead of hitting him. He grits his teeth through a low groan, needing to be stroked faster to match the intensity of the vibrator, but his touch ghosts over his shaft, just outlining the shape under the latex with his fingertips.

Will trembles, gasping in huge gulps of air when a fresh wave of pleasure cuts through him like a knife. Grinding up against the slick restrictive material and Hannibal’s too-gentle hand as roughly as he can is making him close. He envisions himself banging on the inner frame of his chrysalis with his fists, as it soothes his immobility to imagine a fiercer struggler, but imagining himself thrash and tear at the swathe turns him on to the point of no return. If Hannibal squeeze’s his shaft a little tighter, he’ll

A loud clapping sound breaks through the droning hum of the vacuum, and with it comes a belated sting, the sensation rippling through his hips and groin, making his cock throb. Hannibal’s touch is suddenly gone and the paddle comes down again, harder.

His thighs itch and tingle from the impact.

Will’s noises are strangled, and he pushes up against the bed with his hands, the effort fruitless as he’s kept horizontal and frozen in place. 

Hannibal is relentless. Two spanks to his thighs become seven, then ten. Soon, he’s at fifteen and if Will didn’t know any better, he’d reckon the skin of his legs to be bloodied. 

“Does it hurt?” Hannibal asks, that velvet voice so far off it might as well be located in a different country. 

Will’s jaw is shaking, and his lips are parted, but no sound comes from them.

He’s hit again, and he wheezes in air. 

“Answer me, or I’ll double your punishment.”

“Yes, it hurts,” he manages in a high pitch.

“Explain to me, Will, what you could have had instead of this punishment today.” He hits him once more in the same place he’s been continuously hitting him. Will jolts. 

“I-I could have let you take care of me. But, but ” He groans, cock pulsing with the next hit. The collision had been on his inner thigh, so close to his groin. What would it feel like if Hannibal decides to hit him there? Chilling arousal catapults through him, connected with the sensation of his prostate being assaulted by the vibrator, and he’s brought to the edge of a very steep cliff. “I was being selfish,” he admits frantically, sounding like he’s begging for his life. “I was stubborn, I was s-stupid. I deserve this, Doctor Lecter. Please, please.” 

There is a thumb and forefinger pinching the head of his cock, and the paddle soars down on his opposite thigh. When the sound of the slap rebounds, he comes, shaking violently against his confines. He bows up against the latex and lets out a long moan intercut with gasps for air. He feels short of breath despite breath being all he has. His release spreads and seeps over him under the tight tarp, the suction of the bed not lending itself to an easy cleanup. 

He’s on the verge of begging Hannibal to shut the vibrator off when the vibration returns to a low, manageable buzz. He sighs and tenses when Hannibal smooths his hand over his wet stomach, groping around for the result underneath. “You’ve made quite a mess, Will. Is that any way to treat the man who is giving you what you deserve?”

Will’s brain is fuzzy from his orgasm. It doesn’t stop the humiliation from creeping into his gut. He makes a soft interrogative noise, and Hannibal clicks his tongue. 

“You have one more blow left. Since you couldn’t contain yourself, it appears obvious to me where you should be struck,” he tells him, fingers trailing down over his deflating erection.

The strength of the paddle rings clearly in Will’s mind and he makes a quick noise of protest when Hannibal’s hand leaves his body. The territory they’re dipping into is a deep shade of yellow, encroaching on a possible red light outcry, but all he needs to handle is one hit, and then it’s over.

His curiosity trumps his fear.

He doesn’t utter a sound, and after a few moments of mental preparation, the paddle swoops down, hitting him hard on his spent cock. It is not nearly as hard as the spanking Hannibal doled out on his thighs, but Will shouts and curses jaggedly, jerking the whole bed frame.

Despite the agony, he feels ecstatic when it’s over.

The pleasure of successfully enduring his punishment is sacrosanct. 

The paddle is set down on the hardwood floor just beyond the rug with a clunk, and Hannibal’s thumb is at his lips again. They’re glossier with drool, a habit Will is steadfastly promising himself to quit. “And what have we learned, my dear boy?” 

“That…I shouldn’t disobey you.”

He’s almost convinced he means it. 

Hannibal hums and must signal something to Jack, because the man’s voice slides into their space like an intrusion with a loud, “Cut!”

It takes until the vacuum bed is shut off and air returning to the nooks and crannies in and around him that he can hear the camera stand being disassembled, and the border of the bed unzipping. Suddenly, he’s cascaded with bright light and more oxygen than he ever remembers having. 

When he sits up, his ass aches, his back hurts, and his whole upper body is covered in cum. Short curls stick to his forehead, and he feels relieved when Hannibal swipes them out of the way. The sight of the other man’s face, proud and genial, is roundly satisfying. 

After so long in isolation, the urge to fall into him is stronger than ever.

He sways forward, catching himself at the last second.

“Turn around for me,” Hannibal coaxes. Will does so without hesitation. Hannibal’s fingers find his hole and his hackles raise as he carefully nudges the vibrator out of him. Will lets out a deep sigh once the gentle vibration is gone, and his limbs start to feel less boneless.

“Can you stand?”

Will’s easy mood plummets when he remembers the aftercare.

He’s allowed himself to weaken.

“Listen, Hannibal, today ” Hannibal’s eyes are miniature globes all their own. Will wants to swim in them, and the ardent eye contact distracts from the point he was trying to make. He lies, “I don’t think I need the extra care, nothing’s hurting.”

Jack interrupts before Hannibal can respond.

“I’m supposed to make sure you’re getting the obligated treatment after these shoots,” he reminds them both. “Sorry, Will, you signed the contract. It’s required.”

It is a sentiment Will expects Hannibal to agree with, and is surprised by the dark glare directed toward Jack who continues to obliviously pack up his equipment. 

“We got great footage today guys. Lounds will be thrilled,” he adds, heading towards the basement doors. Hannibal follows at his heels, with a lock and key in hand. Will watches them where he’s slumped against the sagging bed frame. He feels as worn as an old penny. 

“I’ll tend to his needs,” Hannibal promises evenly.

“I’m going to hang around in my car outside for a little while, just to make sure I don’t see Mr. Ram here sneaking out the exits,” Jack says with humor, as if it is genuinely entertaining to him to insist Will be given a service unwillingly. 

Hannibal locks the door behind Jack and turns to Will with a frown.

Will expects admonishment. Hell, he’d deserve it.

“I’m afraid I’ve misstepped,” Hannibal murmurs instead, and Will blinks up at him, curiously. 

“You’ve done nothing,” he conveys plainly.

“You’re closed off to me today.” Hannibal removes his leather jacket, revealing a thin white shirt underneath, sheer from sweat. “Your forts have been barricaded.”

Will swallows, and yearns to tell him the truth. 

But, what could possibly come out of his mouth?

I’m confused how I feel for you and I’m almost positive you don’t feel the same for me since you have friends in high places and I’m practically sea level in comparison. But, don’t worry this might all be one big sadomasochistic misunderstanding. I’m getting dommed by a beautiful female prostitute tomorrow, so I’ll get back to you. 

All Will admits is, “I’ve just been feeling off, lately. That’s all.”

“Since last month?” Hannibal asks bluntly, reaching out a hand for Will to take. He does reluctantly, swaying when he’s balanced on two feet. His body hunches up in defensive mode when Hannibal cups his shoulders, and the man sighs and says, “Will, despite what Jack said, I am not one to force unwanted attention on another. It wouldn’t be beneficial aftercare in that case, but I would like to make you tea before you go. If just to assuage Jack’s commitment.” 

Will exhales, “Yeah, I can do that.”

“Clean yourself up,” Hannibal suggests, nudging him toward the bathroom. “Meet me upstairs when you’re finished. Take your time.” 

Will holds back the sincere ‘thank you’ on the tip of his tongue. The truth is, Hannibal wouldn’t be forcing unwanted attention. When he strolls into the washroom, he feels himself lacking it. He gets halfway through a shower with complimentary shampoos and soaps before he is bracing his arms against the wall and heaving in measured breaths. If he doesn’t focus on his breathing, he’ll hyperventilate. The requirement of aftercare starts to make a lot more sense after being deprived. He needs someone to lean on, someone to reassure him his debasement is unobjectionable. He wants tenderness to contrast the aches; he wants Hannibal’s tenderness.

He emerges from the shower feeling grimier than ever.

At the very least, he’s physically clean. 

Hannibal left his clothes on the coat hanger by the door. Will shucks them on slowly, and finds himself stalling. He reasons that the sooner he goes upstairs, the sooner he can go home, so he ascends the steps into the house without preamble, nose wrinkling at the incoming scent of cinnamon. 

He avoids the stairwell to the second floor and allows his nose to lead him through the halls and into an expansive living room. The clanging of pans and dishes rises in volume, and he winds his way through the firelit sitting room to enter Hannibal’s kitchen.

It puts Will’s kitchen nook to shame.

There are several feet of granite countertop, lined with barstools in the center of the space. Hannibal is by the steel stove, to match the steel refrigerator adjoining it. He seems to be making omelets of some sort, and they look utterly delicious. Nothing like the scraps Will occasionally cooks for himself. Hannibal turns to him with a bright smile, looking completely in his element. 

“I’ve left the tea on the island for you, Will.” Will’s eyes travel down to the porcelain mug with Japanese lettering on the side. Picking it up and lifting it to his nose, he sighs when he smells Christmas and fire smoke all at once. 

It tastes even better.

“Thank you,” he murmurs. “Did…you make this from scratch?” 

“Yes,” Hannibal replies proudly, distributing the omelets on two separate plates. “I’m flattered you noticed.” 

“It tastes otherworldly.” Will sits down at the barstool, the ache in his backside diminishing very quickly as the warmth of the tea permeates through him. “You act otherworldly.” 

“You might try blaming it on my being European,” Hannibal says, surprising Will by sitting down beside him. He delicately places one of the plates down in front of Will, smirking. “You needn’t eat this if you’re not hungry, but

Will’s stomach chooses that instance to growl, and he grumbles out a curse and digs into the dish as Hannibal chuckles and watches him. 

“You are a delight to feed, you’ll have to forgive me.” 

“Is it because I act like a starved street urchin?”

“I have a fondness for feeding those who refuse themselves nourishment, however I admit that I rather enjoy your unbridled appreciation of the meals I serve you. Nothing goes to waste, and every morsel is fathomed for its worth.” 

Shooting him an arch look, Will mutters, “You got all that from the way I eat?” 

“You are quite particular,” Hannibal offers, eating his own meal with a meticulous approach. Will wonders how Hannibal would eat a meal he made himself. He wants to cook for him. He wants to consume many more meals with him even if they keep silent the whole time. 

Will works a tough clump of meat down his throat, the tightness returning there. Hannibal looking at him like he’s won the lottery, like he always does, is causing him to retreat inside himself. 

Hannibal acknowledges the shift boldly, “You enjoyed the session last month, and I can tell there were parts of the session this afternoon that you relished, however you’re denying yourself again, reverting to your earliest sensibilities. What is it that frightens you?”

“Frightens?” Will echoes. Is he frightened?

“Tell me then, what keeps you awake? When you long to lose yourself to your dreams, and instead find yourself plagued by woe and wear.”

Will laughs. Out loud and boisterous. Hannibal watches him curiously, a tinge of irritation in the crease of his brow, but Will doesn’t stop until he can manage a chortled, “It’s much simpler than you’re making it seem, Hannibal.”

“If it’s so simple, why do you bury it?”

Will sobers quickly, and turns to face him. Those eyes made of liquid caramel bore into him, and he’s paralyzed, lost in them as he was lost the first time he ever met his eyes. 

He wants to tell him; Because it’s you, you haunt me.

Instead he says, “Ever consider it has nothing to do with you? With this?”

Us.

Hannibal’s lips purse, but his tone comes across unoffended. “Does it?”

Will doesn’t answer. He humors himself when the irritation in Hannibal’s face contorts and almost breaks through the polite veneer he’s decided to display.

They eat for a time, Will sipping idly at his tea when he’s finished with his omelets, and Hannibal cutting himself miniscule portions of his own. Briefly, Will wonders if he’s purposely delaying his departure, but it soon becomes apparent this is how he always eats. 

It’s not as if Will is hurrying with his tea either. 

When Hannibal is close to finishing, Will can’t help but ask softly, “Have you ever been so conflicted about something, that it upended your life?”

Hannibal sips his own tea and turns. “Expressly vague,” he notes. “There are few who have not faced drastic internal conflict in their lifetimes.”

“I’m asking about you,” Will corrects. “You don’t seem like the type. You seem to have everything in order, at all times. You seem to know what you want.” 

Considering this, Hannibal’s head ticks to the right. “I have found myself in such a position once in my life. It could have destroyed my future, had I chosen differently.”

“When?”

“A long time ago.” Reminiscence glosses over Hannibal’s face. “I was a boy.”

“And since?” Will prods.

Hannibal meets his eyes again, and there is something in them that makes Will want to reach out and hold. Cradle, as if the thing were fragile yet severe. 

“Against my better judgement,” Hannibal murmurs, sight flickering along the lines of Will’s face, mapping. “Conflict has recently presented itself to me, yet I continue to fan the flames.” 

“Do you fear being burned?” Will whispers. 

Lethargic, Hannibal shakes his head. “I fear the fire will become me.” 

Will’s lips part as he tries to piece together the underlying warning. They have both gradually come to realize that it’s simpler to talk in the liminal spaces, as their internalizations often take on the surreal and unconscionable. This method doesn’t lend itself to a clear line of communication. Some part of Will wants to admit to everything, to every conflicting thought rattling the bars of his mind, but the hesitation remains. How will he feel if everything changes overnight, and Hannibal finds himself already engulfed in flame? 

Will decides he won’t allow indecision to burn the one person he finds interesting.

“Sometimes it’s easier to watch the fire burn out,” Will says, his voice dropping low as he drains the remainder of tea in his mug. 

Hannibal’s fingers twitch at the rim of his plate, but his face and eyes don’t reveal anything other than indifference. It is calculated, Will knows, but expected. 

 


 

The next day, Will is pacing.

From the front door of his apartment to the window by his desk, he might as well be denting the floorboards with how many steps he’s repeated, over and over. Buster has taken to pacing alongside him, shadowing his footsteps and nearly tripping Will in the process. 

It doesn’t stop Will from moving.

Molly’s friend will be here soon. Molly’s friend is going to play the part of a dominatrix. Molly’s friend is going to prove to him that he is the same as he ever was.

The knock at his door startles him. 

He smooths down his plain blue button up, and sniffs his sleeve to make sure he remembered to put on cologne. He did, smelling of superficial ocean waves and sandalwood. He can’t help but think about how Hannibal would smile proudly and praise him for his choice. 

When he opens the door, he expects to see leather, straps, and equipment. He expects a tall woman in stilettos who would make the men in the building lobby turn their heads in judgement and titillation. 

Instead, he finds a short woman who he considers cute over sexy. She’s wearing a pink hoodie, zipped up to her neck, and jeans. Her wide grin stretches across her cheeks, and she waves awkwardly, similar to how Molly used to greet acquaintances. 

“You’re Will, right?” she asks, glancing over his shoulder. Mostly, he cleaned his apartment for this, but there are still taxes on every flat surface. Buster’s dog toys have also made it out of their bin no doubt. He steps aside, returning the wonky smile with his own. 

“Yeah,” he laughs, unsure how to proceed. “You’ll have to excuse my social ineptitude, I’ve, ehm, never done this.” 

“Hey, that’s why Molly sent me. I’m always working with newbies.” She winks, swaying her hips as she settles a big purse down by the foot of his bed. “I’m Audrey, by the way.” 

“Pretty name,” he murmurs, glancing out into the hall of his complex, closing his door when he finds zero onlookers. He doesn’t know why this feels wrong over the porn he films and publishes with Hannibal. 

“Yours isn’t so bad either,” she states, turning to face him. They stare at each other for a moment, and Will almost offers her a drink before remembering she most likely doesn’t drink on the job. He slips his hands into his pockets and looks down at her purse.

“I’d like to get right into it, if that’s okay with you,” Audrey tells him, her grin beguiling. Despite his apprehension, Will can feel himself getting hard already. It’s been a while since he slept with a woman. 

“I’d prefer that,” he agrees.

She unzips her jacket slowly, revealing elaborate lingerie. Red and white, barely concealing the swell of her tits. Will’s gaze tracks her movements, and when she slips the hoodie off her shoulders, he notes the strength in her arms. 

“You have any safewords?” 

Will’s eyes flutter. “I use the stoplight system.”

“Works for me.” She takes a few steps closer, and he swallows when he realizes she has the same color eyes as Hannibal. A luscious brown, almost auburn. His knees feel weak and he exhales sharply when she presses a delicate palm to the bulge in his pants. 

“You’re new to prostitution, but are you new to S & M?” 

“Not entirely,” he grits out as she continues to rhythmically squeeze him. She’s gorgeous, especially in the outfit she’s adorned. The straps of her lingerie disappear beneath her jeans and he desperately wants to peel them off and bury his face between her legs. It has been too long. He lifts his hands up to touch her hips, but she cinches his jaw between her free hand. 

“On the bed, slave,” she hisses, playful enough to make it work.

He opens his mouth, but no sound comes out.

“Say ‘yes Mistress.’”

“Uh, yes Mistress,” he blunders. He feels like an amateur under her scrutiny, and her touch. He coughs when she grabs his throat.

“Once more with feeling,” she challenges, backing him up to the bed.

“Yes Mistress,” he grunts when she shoves him down. It’s humiliating, and he can’t help but feel as if it’s too humiliating. There isn’t an edge to this or her that he connects with like when he’s

He sighs, closing his eyes.

When he’s with Hannibal.

When he opens his eyes, she’s grinning down at him, teeth worrying her bottom lip. “We’re going to have a lot of fun, puppy.” 

 


 

It lasts an hour. 

One of the longest hours Will has ever undergone.

There were shining moments, naturally. Audrey is easy on the eyes, and soft to the touch. Her skin felt like cream when she finally, finally, after forty five minutes of punishment and withholding, let him part her supple thighs and bring her pleasure with his tongue and lips. 

It was nice. She tasted good. 

It felt like a hookup. Like every time Will had gotten lonely years back and decided to tear up the town in search of a one night stand. The only difference being he has a wad of cash waiting for her on the dining table. 

The domination facet had taken him by surprise, by how little it turned him on in the long run. It hadn’t been anything hardcore. She’d slapped him around, used a miniature riding crop on his nipples and hips. When he felt pleasure from the strikes, it was because he remembered the expert way Hannibal would tweak and torture him. Drawing pleasure from pain like one would spin straw into gold. Impossible, seemingly, but Hannibal continuously accomplishes it. 

Will must commend Audrey on her craft. She seemed to pick up on Will’s hesitations with the slave and mistress talk, along with the tools she brought, and halfway through began treating their time together like a normal night of sex. 

After he got her off, she rode him until he came. 

It felt good. Sex always feels good.

After, he sat on the edge of the bed and glanced back at her lithe body, naked now and relaxed. She looks back at him with a gentle smile that should urge anyone with a beating heart to catch a feeling or two, but he doesn’t. The hollow pit in his belly distends, and he aches.

They chatter as she dresses herself. He offers her a shower and she declines, saying she has to hit the road to meet another client. “Wants me to fuck him ‘til morning,” she complains. And then in a lighter lilt, “No rest for the wicked.” 

“At least take some coffee with you,” Will offers, hospitality rampant in the face of his own dissatisfaction. “Something to keep you awake.” 

She laughs. “Thanks, I might.”

“I’m going to shower. Coffee grains are in the cabinet left of the fridge, if you wanna have a go at my kitchen.” He saunters over to the dining table and pats the pile of money. “And, this is for you.” 

“I have no clue why Molly let you slip out of her hands,” Audrey muses with a shake of the head. “You’re a doll.” 

Avoiding eye contact, Will forces a smile in the direction of Buster who has taken to chewing at the pegs of his desk frame. “I assure you, I’m quite boring.”

“I’m sure someone out there would disagree.”

He doesn’t dispute it. After all, she’s right.

There is someone. 

The shower is hot on his skin. Occasionally the hot water in his apartment doesn’t work, so he sends thankful prayers to any Gods out there potentially listening. If there is a Greek God of showers, they are Will’s new bosom buddy.

Under the water, he attempts to bask in the calm tedium. 

Revelation is a stronger contender. It comes to him like a bright flash of light. He can’t prevent it from flourishing to its full degree.

Attraction to Hannibal, in Will’s case, is not circumstantial. Nor is it born out of the absence of a female presence. Even after sex with a woman, brutal and unforgiving, he still desires to be held by Hannibal, to be taken care of and to have the man’s attention. He wants to be with Hannibal.

Physically, emotionally, in this very moment.

It’s been this way for a while now. 

He smiles against the flowing cascade of water. It pools between his lips, and batters his sensitive eyelids. He grins wider, chuckling a little at the relief accepting the revelation brings. 

It is then he hears voices.

At first, he thinks Audrey might be on the phone. He can’t pinpoint another voice, but when he turns the valve of the shower off, he chills to the bone.

Hannibal.

Without thinking, Will wraps a towel around his waist and swings the bathroom door open, suddenly face to face with Hannibal at the open front door of his apartment, carrying another gift bag. Audrey stands before him in her lingerie and jeans, without her hoodie to cover the obscene nature of her clothes. Will glances back and forth between them frenetically, feeling helpless.

“I was, uh, just trying to tell him this isn’t my apartment,” Audrey explains, slightly nervous. Will doesn’t blame her. Hannibal is emitting a strange air of passive frigidity. “He brought something for you, I think.”

“Hannibal

“Your cock cage finally arrived,” Hannibal tells him obtrusively, eyes unblinking. He holds out the bag for Will to take, or rather pry, out of his fingers. 

He does so blunderingly, fingers trembling with nerves.

Audrey looks a pale shade of embarrassed. 

Hannibal looks, well, he looks homicidal.

It takes a moment for Will to realize all the toys Audrey used during their session are splayed out across his amply used bedsheets. Christ, he’s in nothing but a towel. 

“I don’t wish to interrupt further,” Hannibal says smoothly, with such a long smile Will fears the man’s face will shatter into pieces. “Perhaps I’ll return when you’re not otherwise preoccupied.” 

There is an instance where Will’s gaze connects with Hannibal's fully, and he can taste the sharp pin pricks of betrayal the other man is feeling, but it’s too late. Hannibal has already shut the door, footsteps echoing swiftly down the hall. 

Will places one hand against the door and exhales unevenly. 

“Shit.” 

“Tell me that wasn’t your boyfriend,” Audrey says, disbelief and humor coating her tone. Naturally, she doesn’t comprehend the severity of what just happened. “Was that your boyfriend?”

Will runs a hand over his face, covering his eyes to block out the world temporarily, and then responds, “I have no clue.” 

 


 

For the following week, Will does what he does best. 

Get drunk. 

Three days after the incident with Audrey, Will gets so drunk he vomits throughout the night, forced to keep his trash bin flush to his chest as the ever cresting nausea governs him.

It doesn’t encourage him to stop. He keeps drinking, the next day, and the next. Perhaps he’s wishing his inebriation will incite him into action.

He keeps his phone close by, his text chat with Hannibal open and waiting. He considers sending several different types of texts. Anything to break the silence. 

I like you. She was a mistake.

I’m sorry, I was confused. I didn’t know what else to do. 

What makes you think you have any say in my personal life?

Please talk to me.

He sends none of them.

It doesn’t occur to him to lie. To try and spin a tale about how he didn’t have sex with Audrey, how she is merely a co-worker from his previous job. It would be a disservice to both of them.

Around the end of the week, his phone bings. 

Sick with anticipation, he turns it on to find the notification to be from Freddie Lounds. Frustrated, he opens it, and his anxiety melds into dread. 

Good evening, Mr. Ram. I regret to inform you, Hannibal contacted me personally requesting for your arrangement with him to be terminated. He expressly wished for me to be the one to tell you. I’ll email you the details. Thank you for two wonderfully successful films! I’ll be in contact with you soon to decide on scheduling for alternative shoots. 

Shaking, Will opens his texts with Hannibal and hovers his thumbs over the textbox. Emotions of all flavors impound him. All he can think to type is; Please. 

He doesn’t send it. 

What would he be pleading for? The contract stated either party could terminate the arrangement given the express permission of the employer. Hannibal must have worked his magic convincing Freddie Lounds to end things. Will grits his teeth, anger swallowing every nerve. 

Anger at Hannibal, anger at himself, anger at the world.

He hurt Hannibal. He’s aware of that, so Hannibal is hurting him right back. And it works. If Hannibal is doing this to prove a point, it’s proven. Hannibal means more to Will than any other human being ever has. Reality stumps him. Hell, ain’t that the kicker. Will only came to understand that after Hannibal was already gone. 

Will spends the rest of the night brooding, turning his phone off as his dilemma festers. Would texting Hannibal change anything? Doubtful. But, perhaps something else might. 

Atonement. 

“Punishment,” Will whispers, lips quivering into a smile. He knows what would attract Hannibal without question, what could get Hannibal into his good graces long enough to explain himself. 

He opens his phone, and texts Beverly.

You have a car, right?

He barely has to wait a minute.

hello to you too. yeah, i got one. why???

Could you do me a favor?

depends ;)

Will hesitates, then types;

We need to stake out a house.

sounds dangerous! i’m in

Just like that?

Beverly shocks him with how fast she types out her responses.

i’ve got nothing else goin on :p

Will breathes, steels himself, then commits.

Okay, here’s the plan.

 


 

“He’s been inside for three hours, I don’t think he’s going to show,” Beverly says from the driver’s seat. “Shouldn’t have come here on the weekend.”

“No, he’ll show.” Will is crouched low in the passenger’s seat beside her, eyes locked on Hannibal’s front door. His Bentley is in the driveway. “Hannibal isn’t the type to lounge around and do nothing all day. There’s nothing opulent about routine, he’ll want to avoid it, especially on weekends. If he’s not going out to dinner, he’s probably finishing one up now before he heads out.” 

“Whatever you say. Better than sitting on my ass at home,” Beverly muses, continuing to play a video game on her phone. She loses two more rounds before shutting it off and returning to her coffee. She had convinced Will to allow them to stop at Starbucks. 

She bought him a cake pop he hasn’t touched.

“I haven’t told you the whole truth, Bev,” Will admits. “Of why we’re here.”

“You know you really like to make everything sound apocalyptic. Just spit it out, Will,” she teases, nudging him with an elbow. 

He’s too laser focused on his goal to laugh, but he pushes a smile and says, “I want to break into Hannibal’s basement when he’s gone, and I want you to strap me up to the big chair there, and restrain me.”

She blinks, face twisting with bewilderment.

Then, something resembling pity.

“Will, listen honey, I didn’t think this was a date, if ” Beverly scratches at her neck, looking every which way. “I don’t really think of you like that, sorry, but…”

This draws a laugh out of Will and he shakes his head.

“No, no, um, that’s not what I meant. I mean it’s sort of what I meant, but not for you and me,” he blushes, acknowledging he’s making this more complicated. “Hannibal…”

Beverly’s expression lights up.

“Oh, you’re leaving a surprise for him!”

Will blushes a darker shade. “Uh, yeah.” 

She claps a hand over her mouth, grinning up to her ears. “That’s adorable, you two are hilarious. You should have told me this hours ago! I could have harassed you for details. Are you dating, what’s the sitch?” 

Flustered, Will stares at the console.

“We’re not dating, no.”

“Want to?”

He pauses long enough that Beverly nods, satisfied with the answer. There is a shit-eating grin plastered to her face for the next several minutes.

Quietly she goads, “The dick was that good, huh?” 

Instantly, he mutters, “Don’t.”

“Okay, okay.” 

Will is so distracted by the magnitude of Beverly’s impending interrogation that he almost misses Hannibal’s exit. Movement catches his eye just in time to witness the older man in a long coat, sliding ceremoniously into his Bentley.

When the car pulls out of the driveway, out of sight, Will hops out of his seat and says, “Come on, hurry.”

“Wait, wait!” she whispers frantically, tugging the cake pop she bought out of its bag. It gnashes against his teeth. Will rolls his eyes, but realizes she’s not going to get a move on unless he eats it. He devours the whole thing in one bite, wincing at the thick chocolate flavor. 

Beverly grins. “I’ll make a commoner of you, yet.”

“Not quite yet,” he manages over the mouthful. “Let’s go.” 

Beverly follows Will through the ivy passage leading to Hannibal’s backyard. He can’t help but think the man should consider investing in a sturdy fence. Maybe he’ll build him one, some day. It’s the lock to the basement that brings them the most trouble, but luckily Will learned how to pick locks back when he’d been interested in law enforcement. Beverly watches with awe, sipping at her Starbucks cup he hadn’t seen her lug along. 

Inside, Beverly whistles.

“This is the fanciest red room I’ve ever seen. Is that a renaissance painting?” She gawks at Achilles Lamenting the Death of Patroclus. 

“Don’t touch anything. He’s unusually fastidious."

“And you wanna date the guy?” she accuses. 

“I didn’t say ” He sighs roughly. “Are you going to help me or not?”

“Yeah, yeah. Shut up and strip.”

After using the bathroom to empty his bladder, Will strips, which is a remarkably equanimous ordeal.  Beverly goes into work-mode, helping him up onto the chair, and strapping in his legs. It’s appropriately procedural, which Will wholeheartedly appreciates. She hands him his phone before binding his arms and says, “You wanted to write him a message right?” 

He nods, deliberating. Then, types;

I’ve been disobedient. I never meant to hurt you, but I did. Come give me what I deserve, cameras off, no holds barred. I’ll be waiting. 

He doesn’t send it yet. The message needs to be accompanied by a picture. Beverly straps him in the rest of the way, until he’s as bound as he was for his and Hannibal’s first film. She eyes him curiously, and then the text message, smirk expanding.

“Just take the picture, Bev,” Will barks out, flushing. 

“I’m not kink shaming,” she placates, snapping a picture. She shows it to him before sending, and he nods quickly, not wanting to overthink his decision.

“When you send it, get out of here as fast as you can.” 

“You make it sound like he’s an axe murderer.” 

“He gets jealous,” is all Will permits. It earns him a furrowed brow and a tempered sigh, but Beverly sends the picture with the message and leaves the phone on the armchair by the bathroom door. 

She grabs her coat. 

“Do you need me to come back to check on you? Just in case–”

“He’ll come,” he answers curtly. Softening he adds, “Thank you, Bev. I mean it. I owe you one. More Starbucks, maybe.”

“Damn right you do,” she teases, waving. “Have fun, you deviant!”

Just like that, she’s gone. The room is empty, save for him and his heavy breathing. He isn’t hard; he doesn’t think he could have accomplished an erection through the embarrassment of setting up this rendezvous with a friend. It’s not as if he could have bound himself. 

This offering had to be visceral. 

It may be one of the riskiest decisions he’s ever made, but he has faith in Hannibal. In the game they both play, in the connection they’ve eventuated. 

Even as the hours tick by, and his phone doesn’t so much as buzz, he isn’t worried. He loses himself in his mind, running over every implement behind him in the cellar cabinets. His arms are in agony, and his legs have gone numb from being stretched in the same position, but it’s bearable. This is bearable, offering Hannibal his forgiveness on a platter. 

He’s been a fool.

He can afford to be a fool for a short while longer. 

At some point, Will convinces himself he hears noises, but remembers the room is soundproof and he would likely have no clue if Hannibal was in or out of the house. 

He waits.

An hour more, and he almost falls asleep, just to drown out the ache of everything. He’s nodding off, eyelashes fluttering to keep awake. He feels dehydrated. 

Then the anterior doors swing open. 

Will jolts, raising his head up to see.

Hannibal steps inside the room, the doors creaking closed behind him. They shut with a click, and that’s when Will fully takes in his attire. The tight, familiar leather. Pants designed to emphasize the swell of his ass. The sole difference in the presentation is his hair, mussed as if he hasn’t slept a wink for days. And his eyes, hanging dark colored bags beneath. 

He could cry with the relief the image inspires.

Then, the sound of a whip cracks in the air.

Hannibal had pulled the base and rope of one in his grip, taut.

“Discipline is in order. Wouldn’t you say?” 

 

Chapter Text

 

Deep down, Will knew Hannibal would come. 

It’s not as if the man would leave him to rot in his basement, after all. Yet, seeing him in full attire, prepared for the evening Will instigated Not a single camera in sight. 

It is monumental. 

Without thinking, Will’s wrists chafe against his restraints, as if he means to reach for him. That won’t be happening any time soon, not with the dim regard in Hannibal’s eyes. He settles his nerves, and relaxes back into the chair as much as possible.

“Hannibal,” he whispers, sounding more reverent than he means to.

Hannibal stalks forward, unhinged in his scrutiny. He eyes Will from head to toe and when he’s in reach, trails a forefinger down the pale, sensitive flesh of his inner arm. The man is wearing leather gloves to match his jacket and pants. Will twitches and sighs, objectionability far away.

“Say that again,” Hannibal demands in a slick voice.

“Hannibal.”

Taking a step back, Hannibal cracks his whip smoothly. It glances the soft skin of Will’s stomach and he cries out, the sting unexpected. It was sharp enough to taste a hint of iron on his tongue.

“Try that again.” 

Will flusters, panting out, “Doctor Lecter.” 

He’s whipped again, harder this time. 

“Il Mostro,” he tries, daringly. There were tears in his eyes from the start. If he’s hit again they’ll stream down his cheeks. He can feel a sob building in his chest, but he keeps it halted, perched waveringly inside.

Hannibal ambles around the chair, and lifts his arm, the whip coming down against Will’s skin yet again. He jolts this time, from the new angle, and the fresh sting on his hip. 

“Fuck,” he grinds out, hands fighting against the constraints on their own volition. His body rings with hot sparks. It’s what he imagines the victims of the electric chair would feel like if they lived to tell the tale. He cries out in a strangled whimper, when Hannibal whips him anew.

“Again,” Hannibal commands, eyes betraying nothing. Will meets them boldly, teeth gritted together and jaw clenching. Heaving in deep breaths through his nose, he gathers his nerves.

“The Chesapeake Rigger,” he concedes in a flinching whisper.

Hannibal’s mouth ticks up, and one of his thick leather gloves squeezes the column of Will’s throat, resting there as a humid weight. 

“It was the name you gave me,” Hannibal reminds him. “It was the name you chose, do you remember why?” 

“You told me you found the Chesapeake Bay beautiful,” Will responds, gentling at the memory. “At night, especially. I wanted you to approve.”

“Why?” Hannibal trails the tail of the whip down his sternum. It tickles. He wriggles to get away from the sensation, but he’s caught. He’s hesitant to respond, so Hannibal wields it discernibly, prepared to strike again. The sight conditions Will to rush the truth out hurriedly.

“Because…I-I find you interesting.”

“Why.”

A hysterical sound erupts from Will and he bites his lip to smother it, steeling himself a moment longer before admitting, “Because I like you. I want you.” 

“Why.”

Will watches him, and sighs, the truth suddenly less intimidating than ever before. 

“I’ve never known myself as well as I know myself when I’m with you.” 

Hannibal stares at him, fist tight around the whip’s base. 

“You’ve never willingly joined me behind the veil.” The statement comes as a surprise, as well as the timorous tremor of his voice. “You have given no indication that you wish to.”

“What do you call this?” Will argues, puffing his chest out to emphasize the provocative presentation. Hannibal’s eyes flicker down his chest, and his grip on the whip tightens. 

“I would call this self-castigation.” 

“You can call it whatever you like,” Will remarks. “You left. You left and you told Lounds to tell me so. What did you expect of me?” 

“I had no intention of abandoning you to the wolves,” Hannibal confesses, and Will blanches. Puzzle pieces begin slotting together. “I assure you, had you not contacted me, I would have contacted you. It was simply a matter of time.”

“Then, why ” Will pales further. Oh, god. “You were just…curious to see what I would do.” 

Hannibal’s expression finally cracks, exposing the mischief that has been lacking since he entered through the basement doors. Will’s mind races, anxiety and frustration boiling over. 

“I was curious…” Hannibal circles the chair like a shark. Will cranes his neck to keep him in view, “…to see if you held our bond in the same regard as I.”

Fury will get Will nowhere. It is not conducive to act out rashly when he’s strapped down inescapably to Hannibal’s ‘sex-dungeon’ chair, so he buries his indignation for later. Now, he can seek out the heart of the matter. With conviction, he says, “I do.”

“That remains to be seen,” Hannibal says, edging back toward callous apathy. “Tell me, Will, why you disgraced the persona you yourself christened.”

“I believed my attraction to you to be circumstantial. I was testing a hypothesis, one that fell through fairly quickly.” Will brazenly meets his eyes. “She wasn’t you.”

Hannibal hums, dragging the length of the whip down and over Will’s thigh. He twitches up into the touch, despite the toe-curling nausea in his belly. 

“There’s more to it than that,” Hannibal intuits.

Will swallows. He doesn’t want to bring up the blond woman, not when they’re seconds away from exposing the destinations of their individualistic trains of thought. He shudders a sigh.

“I believed your attraction to me was circumstantial, as well.”

Hannibal clicks his tongue disapprovingly. Then, he disappears from Will’s sight. The stark sound of a cabinet creaking open cuts through the room. Will stiffens when Hannibal returns with a gag. Not merely a ball gag, but a long phallic shaped rod connected to a facial strap. 

“You’re going to tell me how long your session with that woman lasted,” Hannibal says, without an ounce of question. Will eyes the gag in his hand and exhales.

“I don’t know, fifty minutes maybe.”

“And you are going to remind me, Will, what it is you’re offering now.”

With bald earnesty, Will punctuates, “Atonement.” 

For a shining instance, Hannibal softens. He strokes a palm over Will’s cheek, and Will’s eyes close at the lovely, exceptional feeling that arises in his chest. Feathery, aching, something more like achieving perfection than finding oneself in the locked jaw of a wild animal. But, there are lingering aftertastes of both. He knows the worst will be over soon, and that Hannibal shares his feelings. He doesn’t know how he didn’t see it before. 

And, just like that, Hannibal’s barriers are replaced.

He needs to do this. It is more than an urge. It is a craving, a hunger that need be sated. Will shocks himself by unconditionally wanting to give Hannibal what he needs. 

He cinches Will’s jaw and tugs him into place, looping the neck restraint up and around his throat. Will coughs as he tugs it tight, and his eyes bulge when Hannibal brings the phallic gag to the seam of his lips. “Open,” he demands. Will is helpless to refuse. 

He parts his lips, and the object presses inside. It gags him, but slides mercilessly inward until it bottoms out and the muscles of his throat are contracting around it. Will can feel drool accumulating in the scant, empty spaces. Bubbling up to the blocked hatch of his mouth. He lets out a rough noise, muffled by the gag as it’s strapped tightly in place. 

His jaw instantly begins to ache, and he bites at the rubbery material filling his mouth. It barely has any give to it. 

Will’s brow creases when a remote is slipped into his fist, and then he remembers. The strobe lights act as a safe word. All he needs to do is press the first button, and this will stop. 

It melts him to his core. He clasps his hand around it gratefully. 

“You’ve been a naughty boy, Will,” Hannibal muses coolly. His demeanor changes when Will is gagged, as if his poise and tenacity increase as the result. Will can’t help but wag a brow at the word ‘naughty’ yet Hannibal ignores him. “Denying yourself and me the fruits of our labor. And to spend your worth on that rube.” 

A snarl ghosts Hannibal’s lips, and despite the pain and deep-rooted retaliatory urges, Will grins as much as he can around the gag, fully understanding just how out of control he must have made Hannibal feel. Terminating their contract had been out of a need to witness Will’s reaction, but it had also been a reactionary response regardless of what the man claims. Hannibal Lecter is never out of control. This is why he needs to be in it now. Hannibal can see the priggishness taking over Will, and he presses a thumb down on the base of the gag, choking him. Will gags, unable to do more than attempt to eject the phallic shape from his mouth. It goes nowhere.

“Fifty minutes,” Hannibal repeats Will’s estimate. “We have the time.” At this, Will thinks he means to keep Will here for another fifty minutes, but then he chills to the bone at the next words, “Fifty strikes it is.” 

Will can’t help the soft protest he grunts through the gag.

Hannibal doesn’t begin right away. He vanishes out of sight again only to return with a familiar briefcase, and a sturdy bottle of lube. Will’s eyes widen when the briefcase opens to the first ever trainers that breached him. The third, intimidatingly large one, sits unlatched this time. 

Waiting. 

“I will not let you off the hook with something as simple as a whip on your skin. I want you to be steadily reminded,” Hannibal strokes his perineum with a thumb. Will whines, closing his eyes against the tears building from the girth of the gag. “Of how nobody else but me can take you.” 

The possessiveness should be frightening, but it is instead a comfort.

To be wanted this badly intoxicates him with power.

Will wilts into the touches, Hannibal breaching him with a lubed, gloved, finger, and crooking it. It chafes harshly, the leather rubbing against his smooth insides in complete contradiction to how the smooth rubber feels in the ridged lining of his throat. He grunts when Hannibal spreads him until he burns, and slips in the first trainer without preamble. 

It is too small, to feel good or like anything at all. 

He clenches around it, regardless, and whimpers wantonly. 

For a few trembling minutes, he fights against shaking apart as Hannibal stretches him with the first anal trainer, enough that he can take the second without resistance. Will moans when the next one slides in, hole fluttering around the width. It grazes his prostate and he bucks. 

“Don’t become familiar with your comfort,” Hannibal warns, a sly promise. He stands, leaving the trainer inside him once it’s settled deep. Will watches Hannibal warily as he circles Will with the whip. The first slash is expected, and barely hurts. 

He bites into the gag until his teeth vibrate. 

He’s whipped, again and again, until he counts ten. 

The sounds crack and sizzle apart in the silence.

Hannibal takes a break, moving around him and observing from every angle. Will slumps, having held himself tense and ready for each whipping. Screaming and shouting, moaning even, would be predictable. He’s not ready to be predictable quite yet. 

“Even here, alone and willing, you resist me,” Hannibal murmurs, incredulous. “Your subconscious mind acts as no man’s land for your inner impulses. The war field to that which begs you yield.” Stepping forward and entering Will’s bubble of isolated space, he tenderly brushes a curl out of Will’s eye with the tail end of the whip. Will would bare his teeth if he could. Instead, he can only hope the shadows in his eyes reflect those in Hannibal’s. With a sneer that wouldn’t sound like a sneer on anyone else, Hannibal declares quietly, “I see past the gunsmoke and cannon fodder. I can see you.”  

Fast, Hannibal swerves backward and slashes his whip across Will’s naval so hard the red mark is visible for minutes after. Will groans, clenching involuntarily around the trainer which causes it to press unforgivingly into his prostate. He wants to pant, he wants to shout simultaneously for more and for less. There is saliva dribbling from the seams of his lips.

Hannibal whips him just as ruthlessly until he reaches the twenty five mark. By the end, Will is thrashing with each hit, muffled shouts grating through the cock-gag. 

“Can you see me now, Will?” 

I saw you the first day I met you.

Hannibal sets down the whip temporarily. It should be a relief, but Will is too focused on the stinging polish encapsulating his skin. His stomach feels like it’s bleeding, or on fire. He’s switching between sensations with each shift. Everything feels loose.

Loose must be accurate, because Hannibal slips the second trainer out of his body without Will feeling so much as a phantom sensation. He feels a blunt tip of something wet and cold breaching him and his eyes burst open, saucer-wide. The third trainer. 

Hannibal had told him once it was for punishment. 

That was an understatement. 

It stretches him until he thinks he’ll snap in half. The shaft of the toy swells and swells until his rim could take a fist in its stead. Loudly, Will groans and jerks, held down by the shackles. They make vicious metallic noises with each inch he’s given. Hannibal keeps pressing it in until the widest part pops through and the trainer is sucked in deep. The base pushes against his rim, and Will can feel it everywhere. His prostate, the tighter stretches of his channel, the sensitive skin of his perineum. It feels as if it is bulging his stomach, but he could never take that much.

Will can’t stop moaning, unsure himself whether the moans are sounds of protest or pleasure. It hurts, but the whipping hurts worse. There is something so inherently violent yet intimate about being stuffed, like a turkey for thanksgiving dinner. Hannibal had it enter him so cordially, as if believing it belonged in Will’s body. Belongs.

Hannibal flicks the circular base, and it makes Will bend upward. 

“Would that I could fill every empty space inside you with that which belongs to me,” Hannibal murmurs, succumbing to the impulse to kiss along Will’s inner thighs. 

Will’s cock twitches pathetically, half hard. 

He lets out a softer moan, signaling to Hannibal that he approves of the idea. It isn’t physically possible of course, but he appreciates surreal sentiments as dearly as the realistic. 

His eyes roll back into his skull when Hannibal wraps a fist around his shaft and drags a thumb up to the head, brutally dipping the full tip inside the slit of his urethra. 

“Perhaps another day,” Hannibal decides under his breath, releasing him. Will watches with blurry eyes as he bends to pick the whip up. Instead of beginning his meticulous torture once more, Hannibal ghosts Will’s sensitive, throbbing body with it. Then he says, “You have found difficulty with indecision. Is it that you desire another to make your decisions for you?” 

Will forces himself to meet his unblinking gaze.

Hannibal’s eyes are peeled with excitement, he’s practically thrumming with the rise this scenario is dragging out of him. Save for the gag and restraints, Will makes himself look as meek and beguiling as possible, to answer Hannibal in the affirmative.

“Do you want to come?” Hannibal asks, voice dropping low. 

Will’s orgasm has been a far off thing, but it boomerangs to the forefront of his mind, so easily able to swing back the other way round, out of his grasp.

He nods feverishly, with as much traction as the restraints grant him.

“And if I decide not to let you?” Hannibal questions further. Will blinks rapidly, tear ducts burning from overuse. They haven’t had a session yet where Hannibal didn’t let him come. He knew it was a possibility, as he knew using the red light indication was a possibility. 

Teeth flashing pointedly, Hannibal trails the whip over his cock. 

It flicks upward into the touch, and Will grunts with impotent frustration. 

“You aren’t allowed,” Hannibal decides, coldly. “I will complete your punishment, and then I will fuck you and finish inside you. If you climax in the interim, I will add another fifty strikes as penalty.”

Will tenses with the sudden order and with arousal. He’s optimistic that he won’t come with Hannibal’s cock inside him, but there have been so many long nights between now and the first time that he could easily be coaxed into going mad with lust. Even catching a glimpse of the bulge of leather tenting at Hannibal’s groin has him squirming and trying to catch his breath when the gigantic trainer shifts inside him.

“I would like you to count for me, Will. Can you do that?’ 

A questioning hum escapes him. 

“Tell me you understand.”

Will tries. He really does. “I’mrph’nd,” is all that arises.

“Good,” Hannibal croons, and whips him abruptly. “Count.”

Will’s nipples get the brunt of the slash this time, and he whines desperately as he arches. The pain crackles and dissipates, warming his blood. “T’wny S’rphs!” Twenty Six.

He counts each following strike, until spittle is flying from the seam of his lips with the intensity. At forty five, his torso and thighs are red and searing to the touch. There is blood now, trickling in a line along his naval. Hannibal whips him there again. Will cries, “F’ry S’rphs!” Forty six. 

Four more, four more, four more.

Hannibal draws them out, lengthy drags of the whip over the most recent markings, aiming for the same spots. Will loses track, attempting to count and failing as Hannibal does the rest sporadically. The noise he makes is more a long strung-out groan than anything intelligible. 

Will’s sweaty thumb rests over the first remote button, but he doesn’t click. 

He almost weeps when Hannibal tosses the whip to the floor and sidles up between his legs. His voice is rough, engaged. Frenzied. “Do you believe you’ve earned this?” The man parts his fly, and takes his cock out. It emerges from the leather like a godsend. Will bucks like a horse, pleading without words. “Do you believe your sacrifice is enough?” 

Will nods. He’s burning all over.

He’s burning for Hannibal. 

Before removing the trainer, Hannibal pushes the head of his cock against the base, and then slides it up the sweaty crease of Will’s thigh so the tip is skimming his balls.

“God,” or something very close stumbles up from somewhere buried inside Will. He attempts to grind into the cock that’s been haunting him, plaguing him, making him delirious, but Hannibal holds his hips down with those ridiculously calloused gloves, constraining him even longer.

Hannibal stays like that for a few minutes, much to Will’s chagrin, thrusting and hardening his own erection to the point where it almost matches the hint of blue in Will’s own. 

He doesn’t make a sound, but the snarl on his face is more prominent, as are the heavy breaths that sound pre-determined as they part from him. 

Out of nowhere, he reaches down and tugs the third trainer loose. It stretches Will to abnormal lengths again as it’s extracted, and Will cries out, shaking fitfully. He sounds like he’s being tortured, he’s aware. There is a very small part of it that’s for show; Hannibal likes these noises. 

Before Will knows it, he’s begging, “Please, please, please,” through the gag, sounding gargled and half-dead. 

Hannibal continues to tease, rutting lazily against him like an animal. Occasionally, his long, rigid length will slide up over his own erection, or the head will catch on Will’s gaping hole, and he’ll just barely slip in before pulling away. 

If there were no gag, Will would consider gnawing off his own arm to escape. 

He has thoughts of pushing Hannibal down to the ground, riding him hard and fast. It would be slick and perfect, and nothing similar to the way he’s fucked men in shoots before. Or, Hannibal will be gentle with him, loving, as he takes him apart and makes love to him. Will’s fantasies run rampant, and he’s lost in his own head by the time Hannibal finally gives it to him. 

Hannibal’s cock isn’t as big as the third trainer, but it’s more precise. It’s skilled. Hannibal nails his prostate expertly while digging fingertips hard into the flesh of his hips, making Will scream and writhe with pained pleasure. The stretch from before made his opening sore, and it feels like rubbing a bruise the right way, good but also harrowing on some mammalian, base level. 

And, Hannibal is finally making noises. Small, sweet little grunts that cause his upper lip to twitch every time he slams back in, bottoming out. Will gets caught up in them, enough so he doesn’t notice his orgasm spiraling, prepared to break. 

Instinctively, Will tries to tell Hannibal to stop or slow down, but his throat is too full to get the words out. He flexes his toes and fingers, muscles cramping and throbbing with the agony of being bound. Hannibal shifts angles, and pounds him harder, a staccato. Allegro. Vivace. 

Will can’t hold on. His orgasm crests, and he wails. 

It gives Hannibal pause, when Will clenches down around him savagely, and moans with heightened pleasure, but he doesn’t stop. When the endorphins begin to fade, Will half expects him to. That he’ll pull out and begin his whipping again, but he doesn’t. The older man’s brow is glistening with sweat, and he’s pumping his hips so hard, the leather pants feel as if they’re scraping the skin of Will’s ass with each pass.

Will is limp. The sounds from him are automatic, not one’s he’s setting free on his own. He can’t stop them, even when Hannibal comes inside him with a deep seated growl, he can’t help the high pitched whimper as he’s filled. His spend leaks out of him when Hannibal pulls out, dripping to the floor lewdly.

There is bliss, recognition. A mutually unspoken pact to ignore the worst in each other to continue enjoying the best. Will knows Hannibal made a decision, but he treated Will as equal enough to allow him to make the decisions too. 

So, Will clicks the strobe button.  

It flashes overhead, and Hannibal genuinely startles, glancing up at the ceiling, and then back down at Will. Without question or even a wince of disappointment, Hannibal takes the remote from Will and clicks the second button, shutting the blinking, blinding lights off. 

He tucks himself back into his leather pants with shaking hands, and reaches for Will’s gag first. Velcro rips through the silence, and Will grimaces from the slow wrought pain of the phallic gag being removed. He feels like he has strep throat, that his jaw will never be able to close again. He manages to close it, but he knows the ache will remain throughout the day, at the least. 

He doesn’t expect Hannibal to cup his cheek and wait for Will to meet his eyes. Will’s lips part when he witnessed the unexpected, sincere, devotion in his eyes. He expects it even less when Hannibal leans forward and kisses him chastely, drool and all. 

Will kisses back with his swollen lips, staggering breath breaking the kiss every few seconds. Hannibal doesn’t mind, that’s the best part. He wants Will how he is, no matter what form it takes shape.

There is hesitation, then. 

Will makes an inquiring noise, and Hannibal blinks several times, kisses him with a swipe of tongue, and murmurs on his lips, “You taste of chocolate cake.”

Will snorts. “Not by choice.” 

There is a question in the older man’s eyes, but Will cracks a sore smile and brushes his fingertips over the heated blush on his cheeks and mouths, ‘Later.’

Composing himself, Hannibal tears himself away to work on the rest of his binds. Even lacking the intensity from this new, private session, Will can still feel the ache of his own heart, lurching for Hannibal. He watches him contentedly, knowing he’s the one who ended the session. That he doled out that power. 

“You’ve been here for hours,” Hannibal says, voice rough at the edges. He clears his throat. “Can you move your arms on your own?” 

Will stretches them cautiously, and if pain could speak, it would be telling Will he needs to invent a new word for masochism. He’s gone beyond that. He finds pleasure in the aching screech of his bones, knowing it was instilled in him for a purpose. He says, his own voice hoarse but sated, “Barely.” 

Hannibal releases his legs, thumb swiping over his kneecaps. 

They stare at each other. Will stands up, feet sliding to the floor. He wobbles, and Hannibal cups one of his elbows, supporting him. “We, uh, we need to talk about this,” Will tells him, seriously. “Us.” 

Hannibal swallows. There is little of the dominant persona left in him. He knows how to leave it behind, mask and unmask himself as it were. Will finds himself attracted to both versions, as both suits contain the layers and shades of the one central figure he’s come to desire.

“We do,” Hannibal agrees, sobered up. “Come, you need a bath.” 

 


 

Hannibal carries him to a different bathroom than before, both of them a bit more playful than the last time. Will noses the collar of his leather jacket and nibbles on it to irritate him. 

His gusto vanishes when they enter the bathroom. 

It is larger, with a luxurious jacuzzi making up half the room itself. “This is a specialized jacuzzi,” Hannibal tells him after setting him down gently on a perch. “I can bathe you with minerals and oils that would contaminate most other hot tubs. This is salt water as well, so don’t mind the sting.”

“Did you know you were going to make me bleed?” Will muses, running his fingers through the lukewarm water. Hannibal turns on a jet of some sort, and the tub begins to heat. 

He removes his own clothes and Will sighs upon seeing the hardened muscle. He can touch him now. He supposes he always could, but now their respective forts have gone by the wayside. 

Hannibal sinks in beside him once he retrieves a packaged loofah and a bottle of soap with foreign language printed on the front and back.

“I never know,” Hannibal finally answers. “I did not expect to feel…”

“Out of control?’ Will helps, scooting closer so their shoulders touch. Hannibal smiles at him and runs a wet hand over his hair, smoothing it back from his face.

“There were many things I anticipated,” Hannibal starts, amused. “Though, I did not predict you would break into my basement and leave yourself there, waiting.” 

Will flushes. “Yeah, if I broke the lock or anything, you can send me the bill.”

“Even if you had, money is never of consequence.” Hannibal begins soaping Will up, massaging the earthy smelling fragrance into his sore limbs. He can’t help the low groans in the back of his throat as Hannibal kneads the knots and kinks from his muscles. The older man’s expression tenderizes, and he appears somber. “Seeing as we’ve come to an understanding of sorts, I have something to confess to you, Will. Before we speak on anything else.”

“Anything,” Will encourages. 

“When I terminated the contract, it is true a part of me was curious to see how you would react, but it was also an act of self preservation. More and more, I have found myself drawn to you, and I knew my want for you would intensify with exposure. Had you not shown me you felt similarly, I would not have been able to continue with our contract. I would have allowed my discontent to seep into our sessions, and you would have grown to despise me.” Hannibal stops with the loofah on Will’s torso. “I could bear your absence more than that, I’m afraid.”

“I don’t despise you,” Will tells him. “Even after what you just did to me, I don’t despise you. You don’t have to worry about that from me.”

“You prefer me unhinged,” Hannibal intuits, and while he makes an effort to hide the ‘hopeful’ tone in his statement, Will can hear it nonetheless.

“I prefer you honest. Don’t act like what we just did wasn’t our first real breath of honesty.”

“It was as honest as I know how to be.” The admission surprises Will, and he puts a tentative hand on Hannibal’s chest, stroking through the soft hairs there.

“I have to confess something too,” Will murmurs, brow furrowing. Honesty has famously been difficult for him, more-so when he’s forced to be honest with himself. “If we’re admitting to self-preservation, I might as well tell you the reason I hired Audrey.”

Hannibal observes him intently, curious. 

“There was a day I was going to take you out to lunch, and um, tell you how I felt. How I’ve been feeling, but I passed by your house and saw a woman there.”

Hannibal looks confused for a fraction of a second, and then realization dawns on his face. Will continues regardless. “She was blonde, she kissed you on the cheek. I…It could have been nothing, I know, but I didn’t feel I could live up, or that you would even accept me if I tried.”

“That was my therapist, dear boy,” Hannibal murmurs, humored. 

Will blushes. “Oh.” Pinkening, he adds, “She, uh, makes house calls?”

“Occasionally. She offers unofficial sex therapy for me. Nothing intimate, but she affords me insight on my inner drives, and how to quell my darker vices when circumstances require it. I was seeing her that day to discuss my feelings for you, in fact.” 

“I feel like an idiot,” Will blurts out, running soapy hands over his eyes until they sting and blur. Hannibal pulls them away from his face, and kisses his knuckles. 

“We can both admit to acts of temporary insanity,” Hannibal concedes.

Will chuckles, the noise rough and broken from the misuse of his throat. “Where do we go from here?” he asks in a small voice, optimism and apprehension swirling through his stomach like a storm. 

“Where do you want to go?” Hannibal asks, soft and patient. “I could take you anywhere. Another country, another state. Feasibly, I could take you to the moon if you give me enough time.” 

“Hannibal,” Will crows, disbelieving. “I don’t mean physically.”

“I do,” says Hannibal, definitive. “Allow me.”

“To whisk me away? Like in a fairy tale?” 

“Would you be amenable?” Hannibal murmurs, stroking a thumb over the hollow of Will’s throat. Will scans his face, blinking slow at the soft touches he receives. The heat of the water is numbing the ache of his body and quashing his inhibitions.

“I could be,” Will murmurs back, matching Hannibal’s indulgent mood. “As long as we don’t go anywhere near New Orleans. I’ve had my fill, so to speak.” 

“I was thinking more upstate. Maine perhaps.” Hannibal’s hand travels down Will’s torso, to his hip. “We deserve a weekend away from the turbulence of our lives, wouldn’t you say?” 

“I’d like that a lot.” 

They gaze at each other, and Will surprises himself by being the first one to lean in. Hannibal’s lips part against his, and they kiss languid, wet. Timidly, Will lifts a hand up to cup Hannibal’s sturdy jaw. He’s kissed him before, and he’s kissed other men before, but something about this is different. He knows why. Hannibal is exceptional in his life, after all. 

Hannibal is sensual with his kisses, allowing Will to pause any time he needs it, and surrounds his upper lip with both of his own when they collide again. Will wants more, wants it all day long, but he pulls back for an instance of calibration. Hannibal watches him fondly, one of his palms hot on Will’s neck.

“I take it you’re no longer in the midst of a sexuality crisis,” he teases, and Will scoffs, shoving at his hip lightly. 

“I haven’t been in my twenties for a long time, Hannibal, it’s not like it was easy for me to submit to such a drastic change,” Will debates. “But…you’re certainly helping things along.” 

Hannibal purrs, lurching down to nuzzle a kiss to his neck. Will stiffens, pleasure rippling down his spine. He’s also too old to be turned on this soon after an orgasm.

“In Maine, we’re gonna have to talk about boundaries,” Will suggests, hands placed strategically on Hannibal’s shoulders to push him back if he starts biting. He’s well aware Hannibal lacks a sense of boundaries in general, and if they’re going to figure out this new relationship, exchange, then he’s going to have to set ground rules. 

“In Maine, we can talk over a variety of things,” Hannibal murmurs, kissing his stubbly jaw. Will tilts into the touch, brushing his cheek against Hannibal’s. 

“What happens in Maine stays in Maine?” 

“What happens in Maine,” Hannibal corrects, “we take home with us.” 

 

Chapter Text

 

After finding Buster a kennel for the weekend, Will receives a text from Hannibal with their flight plan attached. He fights with Hannibal all the way to the airport about taking a flight rather than driving the nine or so hours. A part of him will never be comfortable spending money like tissue paper. Hannibal appears amused as Will continues to quarrel with him through security. 

“I was prepared to pay the gas prices, you know. Just to contribute something,” Will grumbles, gracelessly smacking his sneakers down on the conveyor belt. Security eyes him, but he pays them no mind. 

“I prefer getting where I need to be sooner rather than later,” Hannibal clarifies as he’s patted down. Will stands beside him with crossed arms. He doesn’t know why security is bothering to check him, and suspects it might be due to his distinctive European features. “All the more time we are granted for our vacation.” 

“It’s a vacation now?” Will remarks, snatching their suitcases from the rack.

“What would you call it?” Hannibal returns, brows raised.

Will doesn’t say anything until they’ve passed security and found their gate. When they sit, Will turns to him, not making direct eye contact, and says, “I’m sorry. I just don’t like airports.”

“Apparently.” Hannibal doesn’t sound annoyed with him, so Will takes it as a win. “Had you told me that, I would have scheduled a train ride.”

Will exhales noisily. “I’m still being stingy with my honesty.”

“Purposely?” 

“No,” he whispers. “No, I’m tired of lying to myself, but I It’s a habit, you know? Like how you bite your nails as a toddler and can’t seem to stop doing it even when you’re forty.” 

“I don’t bite my nails,” Hannibal responds primly.

“You’re not the type,” Will agrees. “Would you hate me if I bought some M&Ms?”

Hannibal’s head inclines, as if he’s missed out on an inside joke. When Will stares back at him blankly, he asks, “What are those?”

Will barks out a laugh, gauging him to see if he’s joking. Hannibal’s jokes have always been weird. 

“Okay, you’re boujee but you don’t live under a rock.”

“And you accuse me of speaking in tongues,” comes Hannibal’s arch reply. Swift as a fox, he fishes out a fifty dollar bill from nowhere and slaps it into Will’s palm. “For your M&Ms, darling.”

Will could argue, ought to, but the exchange nearly tugs him into hysterics, so he swallows his mania and maneuvers his way over to the gift shop. There, he finds a variety of M&Ms. He buys one bag, the original kind, and tries not to laugh himself to tears when he sees the baffled look on the cashier's face when he hands him the fifty dollar bill. 

He holds back a snicker when he returns and hands Hannibal the change: forty nine dollars and twelve cents. 

Hannibal stares at the cash in his hand and pockets it, looking pasty in the cheeks. Will crosses his legs and tears open his bag of candy, pressing his shoulder snug with Hannibal’s as he eats them individually. “Want one?” he asks, just to hear Hannibal tsk in distaste. 

Will has three more pieces left in the bag when Hannibal murmurs, “You’re wreaking havoc on your stomach lining.” 

“You’ll have to feed me the rest of the trip, then.”

“I intend to.”

Hannibal plucks the bag out of Will’s fingers and folds it up in his fist. He makes a ceremonious show out of locating the nearest trash bin and tossing it inside. He saunters back to Will whose disbelief is plastered to every feature. “It’s your money you’re wasting.”

“Eighty eight cents is not money to me,” Hannibal retorts, for the first time Will’s known him, sounding childish. There is a pout on his lips, and his cheeks have sunk a fraction deeper. A strand of hair lies out of place on his forehead.

It is adorable. 

Will averts his eyes, unable to keep an ardent smile from spreading on his face. He likes a ridiculously rich man who has never heard of the most famous chocolate since Hershey’s. 

It’s been days since they’ve seen each other. It feels longer. Will has thought of nothing else since Hannibal suggested they take a trip to Maine. He’ll have Hannibal all to himself, able to breathe in fresh, rural air. No more city smoke, no more police sirens. Just for a time, he can come to know himself, and he can have someone he cares for with him while he does. 

Even with as many years as he’s lived, he’s never had that much. 

Their flight is called, and they stand to wait beside their gate.

Right off the bat, a hunch weighs Will down. The flight coordinator at the front of the line is chipper, radiant. He has never known an airport staff member to act in such a manner, let alone at six in the morning. Hannibal appears oblivious to Will’s suspicion, so Will takes a good long look at the party surrounding them. Something is off. The few flights he’s taken have never had as many old, white, men with oxford shoes and briefcases. He blanches, and whispers, “Jesus.”

“Hmm?” Hannibal looks down at him, innocent as a cub. 

Will glares, and hisses quietly, “You bought…first class tickets…for a trip from Maryland to Maine?” 

Hannibal has the audacity to look puzzled. 

“I travel first class for every flight I book.” 

Will inhales steadily and exhales unsteadily. There is no need to cause a scene. He is being petulant for considering one, but he should at least be given props for acting abashed all the way up until they arrive at their seats. 

There are two cushiony seats flush together, the armrest stretching into a wide T-shape barrier in front of them. There are two rather large televisions mounted on the barrier, and leg room enough to use the seats as a recliner. As cool as a cucumber, Hannibal sits down like he owns this little wing, and pats the seat beside him. “Come now, Will. I’d like for you to take a look at the champagne menu.” 

Defeated, Will plops down and hugs his carry-on bag tight to his chest. Their suitcases had been taken from flight attendants, and Will had remembered every time he was forced to fight for storage space in the compartments above uncomfortable plastic seats. With TVs that never seemed to work, or didn’t exist at all. 

He sinks deeper into the chair that reminds him of memory foam and lets out a small whine. Hannibal pets his hair, and makes a pleased sound in response. 

“How about the Dom Perignon?” he suggests, turning Will’s chin toward him with a finger. Will meets his eyes and nods, finding it hard to voice any refusal whatsoever right now. 

“I have a guilty habit of ordering the salmon every flight I take, but that would not settle well with the unfortunate snack you just consumed, so we’ll stick with the champagne, hmm?”

Will echoes his hum, reaffirming. 

“You look as if you’ve just seen a ghost.”

“Yeah,” Will clears his throat. “It’s called my wallet.”

“I hope you don’t deign to pay me back, as they say.”

“Hannibal, I’ve never done this,” Will whispers gravely. “I haven’t flown out to the middle of nowhere, I haven’t traveled this far with anyone other than my dad, back when I was a child. How am I supposed to know how this works?” 

Hannibal sets down his menu on the pull out tray (made of polished black wood, for christ sake) and cups one of Will’s hands in his own. 

“Do you remember when I told you not to compare any dominant personalities you find on the internet with my own?”

Will nods, eyes trained on Hannibal’s bottom lip.

“You’re doing that now, but you’re compartmentalizing your experiences dating women with how you're spending your time with me. I need you to understand there are no expectations from me, as long as there are no expectations from you.”

“I don’t expect anything from you,” Will says in a hush. 

“I know. I would like you to believe me when I tell you the same.”

Will nods again, flushing with embarrassment. When Hannibal grasps his cheek, he meets his eyes again reluctantly. There is a small smile gracing Hannibal’s face, softening him. Putting him at ease, it makes Will smile too. 

“If it eases your stress about the money,” Hannibal leans close to whisper in his ear, “I was born into a long line of nobility.” 

“You’re are you a prince?” Will asks meekly. 

“No. Just a Count, I’m afraid.” 

Will huffs, stunned into silence. Hannibal grazes a kiss on his cheek.

“Disappointed?” 

“Of course not,” Will stammers. Indignation combusts inside him like a forest fire. “I don’t like you for your money. I’m not like that.” 

“No, you’re not.” Hannibal’s mouth trails down to his neck, and kisses the bruise he gave him in the parking lot of the airport. “But, it agrees with you, doesn’t it? How easily seduced you are by luxury.”

“Hannibal ” Will breathes, warily stroking a hand through his silver hair just as he’s about to tell him to stop when a flight attendant makes her rounds, looming over them. Will jumps, pawing Hannibal away in a suffocating wave of humiliation. Hannibal smooths down his own hair casually, smiling up politely at the younger woman. 

“Sorry, gentlemen. We’re asking everyone to put their seatbelts on.”

“Of course.” Hannibal bows his head. When she leaves, he leans over to buckle Will in. Will sucks in a breath and swats Hannibal’s hands away, buckling himself up. 

“Boundary talk is the first thing on our to-do list,” Will grumbles, emphasizing his point with a stomach wrenching tug of his belt loop. 

Hannibal buckles himself in properly, picking the champagne menu up again. Eyes scanning the selection, he inquires, “Before or after sex?” 

Tensely, Will glances around them to find their fellow passengers lost in their own worlds. Each tucked away in their nooks either conducting business or sleeping the time away. Mystified, Will stares at the blank television screen in front of him and waits until he knows his voice won’t be raised when he speaks. 

He mutters, “Did we mention anything about having sex?” It was implied when they planned the trip, and Will was planning on having sex with him, is. But, Hannibal being so utterly sure of himself is exhaustingly vexing. 

“No. Before or after sex?” Hannibal repeats.

Will bares his teeth instinctively, then snaps his mouth shut. 

“Before,” he grits out. There is an indifferent hum, and Will propounds, “It would erase the point of a boundary-talk if we were to have sex before, wouldn’t it?” 

There’s a smile in his voice when Hannibal murmurs, “You are ceaselessly charming, Will.” 

While the response should make him want to bite Hannibal’s head off, he softens and looks away, forcibly holding back the infatuated grin that’s been itching his cheeks since they first agreed to the trip. A hand on his own breaks him out of his concentration.

Haltingly, Will turns to look at the way Hannibal’s hand fits into the crevices of his fingers. He interlaces their hands fully, relishing the warmth of the other man’s skin. 

The embrace doesn’t break the entire flight.

 


 

It turns out, to Will’s shock, Hannibal owns the lakeside property they’re to be residing in. It makes Will wonder if the trip hadn’t been planned as in the spur of the moment as he’s been led to believe, or if he just owns dozens of properties across the country. Countries, perhaps. 

They drive to Vinalhaven from the airport, and Will stays quiet the whole ride. Planes make him queasy, and the sharp turns Hannibal is taking on the road aren’t helping matters. 

He distracts himself with the open window, letting the cool air of the wilderness whip across his face and coax him into ethereality. Like he’s in a place other than Earth. When the wind lessens its assault, he opens his eyes to find the car stopped, and a beautiful sky blue house. 

On the outside, it looks like a one story home. The shutters and accents are white, and the cobble pathway leading up to it is a gentle grey, leaving the house looking unassuming at most, an abandoned summer home at worst. Will likes that it's quaint. With Hannibal being as superfluous as he is, he was half expecting a mansion. 

Hannibal gestures to the vast lake just beyond the property. The land descends into a miniature bluff of large, multicolored rocks. The waves of the water ripple against the natural born wall, and Will can see the man-made path flush with the woods that leads directly into the lake itself. 

“Did you plan on us going swimming?” Will asks, sounding balked only because he neglected to bring swim trunks. 

“If you like. I have fishing gear in the storage shed, too.” Hannibal brightens at Will’s grin. He adds, “We can hunt for our own food like savages.”

A flirtatious response to that sticks to the tip of Will’s tongue like honey. He can’t quite get it out into the open air, as desperate as he is. This is still so new to him.

Instead, he smirks, and sways into Hannibal’s side a bit.

“Show me the house,” he implores.

“I would like to make you lunch first,” Hannibal offers, leading Will to the house with a hand on the back of his neck. “You have been feeling unsettled since we landed. Soup with a pinch of ginger root should fix that.” 

Will blinks and follows the cobble path to the front door. 

He’s speechless even when Hannibal begins cooking, meticulously explaining each step of his process. It’s interesting, Will is sure, but he can’t get Hannibal’s observation out of his head. He didn’t tell Hannibal that he was feeling nauseous, in fact he made an effort to disguise it in the car. The fact that Hannibal picked up on it and is willing to specialize an entire meal for him, it’s, well it’s something else. He feels warm and wanted, like Hannibal always makes him feel.

“Here you are, Will,” says Hannibal over a half an hour later, handing Will a bowl with blackened vegetables and green tinted broth. “If you don’t like it, I can make you something else.”

“It’s apparent I like most anything you give me,” Will replies, thanking him for the bowl and spinning the contents with his spoon. They float as if they were specimens in an Aquarium. 

Hannibal’s voice drops an octave as he watches Will with intent.

“That it is.” 

Will almost chokes on a morsel of silkie chicken. His gaze flits up to take in Hannibal’s smug expression. He’s careful when responding, keeping himself at a whisper.

“I think we should have that talk now.”

Without fanfare, Hannibal removes his apron and sets it aside. He suggests, “Let’s move into the living room. I’ll start a fire in the hearth.”

They sit beside one another on the scritchy couch, a few inches distance between them. Will spoons his soup into his mouth, addicted to the heat seeping into his chilled body. The taste is magnificent too, but that’s beginning to be less of a shock to his system. 

Will speaks first but only by a margin.

“So

“We

They goggle at each other, surprised to have spoken in unison. Hannibal’s teeth flash in amusement, and Will expels a nervous laugh. 

“Sorry, you go first,” Will offers waveringly.

Hannibal takes a deep breath and crosses his legs. “We have certainly not found each other in the most average of circumstances, Will. That being said, the parameters of this relationship can be as average as you desire them to be. I don’t mean to make it sound so mundane, but I want you to feel comfortable expressing yourself. What you want from me, what you want out of this exchange. Don’t hold back for the sake of commonality.”

He pauses and then takes Will’s hands in both his own.

“I also want you to avoid offering something you would otherwise not give, as in previous relationships.” Hannibal strokes his thumbs over his knuckles, and finally meets Will’s eyes. Sincerity blooms dimly there, obfuscated out of pride. Will smiles.

“Uh, yeah,” he laughs, cheeks coloring. “That was eloquent. I was going to say that I know there’s a big elephant in the room called BDSM and I know that’s always going to be a part of you, I wouldn’t be drawn to you if you didn’t proudly wield all your vices like armor, and I don’t want to stop doing what we’re doing for Lounds, but I don’t want that in…whatever this is.”

“I suspected as much,” Hannibal tells him, not an ounce of judgement in his tone. “Were we to implement such a thing into our relationship as well as our working relationship, we may find each other on opposite playing fields.”

“The power imbalance would be off,” Will guesses. 

Hannibal nods. “Potentially.” He strokes his calloused fingers over Will’s forearm, and Will fights the building shiver it incites. “I much prefer us as equals.”

“Me too,” Will answers sheepishly. 

Hannibal must be able to tell Will has something more to say on the matter, because he cups his cheek and implores him with his eyes. Will lets out a shuddering sigh.

“If…I’m not opposed to small things, like, cuffs. Or, ehm, if you wanna hit me. A little. We don’t have to be prudes about this. I think you know I mean that I’d rather keep the larger scale stuff out of it,” Will rushes the last part out, feeling himself blush red to the tips of his ears.

Hannibal smirks, scraping his nails gently over Will’s jaw.

“I’ll keep that in mind.” 

Will turns back to his soup and hastily eats some more. He glances at Hannibal a few times until the man’s statuesque stare grates on his nerves. “Okay, your turn,” he grouses.

“I have nothing more I wish to say.”

“Really? No demands?” Will teases. “No exclusivity?” 

The older man’s eyes darken a shade and he murmurs, “I assumed that was preordained.” 

“See, there’s why we needed to talk about this,” Will points with his spoon. “You act like you’re gonna rip the throat out of any person who dares touch me.”

“Would that be so appalling?”

Will ignores the fleeting thought in his mind that wishes to scream ‘No, it wouldn’t’ and lets out a dry laugh instead. “I have no problems being…exclusive, Hannibal. I just want you to trust me. Trust this.”

“Unless you give me any reason to doubt such a sentiment, Will, I trust you,” Hannibal states, and Will knows better than to doubt a declaration made by Hannibal Lecter.

“Obviously…” Will trails off, finding himself flustered. He’s never dealt with being ‘shy’ as he’s always been one to speak his mind boldly. Yet, Hannibal causes him to barrel sideways over his own tongue. “I’d prefer you be exclusive too.”

“Exclusivity is fairly often a two-way street, as they say.”

“Saying ‘as they say’ doesn’t make you sound any less like one of the animals,” Will tells him over a mouthful of green beans. “Just so you know.” 

The edge of one of Hannibal’s eyebrows ticks down at that and Will grins, feeling victorious any time he can manage to irritate the seemingly impenetrable forts of Hannibal’s patience. 

“There is more weighing on your mind,” Hannibal notes. 

He’s right, as always.

“I’m going to need you to be patient with me, Hannibal. I’m not used to the whole idea of…liking a man let alone dating one. There’s gonna be times I’ll be downright shitty, and I’m not excusing myself there, just telling you how it is. If you want out now,” Will’s voice catches on his words at the completely unappetizing idea of Hannibal backing out of this arrangement, “I’m just, um, putting that out there. PDA is generally off limits, at least for now. It was that way for me with previous girlfriends too, I’m just…not savvy with displaying my affection for others in public. Read into that how you will. Also…”

Hannibal cocks his head. “Also?”

“Uh.” Will doesn’t know why this is the hardest part to say. “I’m probably not going to call you pet names, I know you like those. And, I’m definitely never going to use the word ‘boyfriend’.”

“I’d rather you don’t, anyhow.”

“What, really?”

“Of course,” Hannibal responds, like it’s obvious. Will gawks at him, having expected a furious backlash. In calm, even tones, Hannibal adds, “Honesty is of the utmost importance. If you were forcing yourself to use titles and labels that made you uncomfortable, you would be refusing to be honest with yourself. I don’t want that for you. I’m perfectly happy to carry the weight of endearments for the both of us.” He pauses, then in a sly voice, “As they say.” 

Will grabs Hannibal’s shirt collar and tugs him in for a bruising kiss. Hannibal’s lips fall open, receptive and alert. Will clutches his cheeks viciously, keeping him in place so he can dive in for a headier taste. Feeling brazen, Will tosses a leg over Hannibal’s lap, straddling him. This doesn’t interrupt their increasingly frantic kissing. Will mutters, “God why are you so ” he whimpers softly into a harder kiss, Hannibal’s tongue grazing a cut on his bottom lip, fucking irresistible.” 

“Years of practice.”

“Shut up, just ” Will breaks away from Hannibal’s lips with a wet smack. Shakily, he smooths the older man’s hair back from his eyes, taking in the familiar caramel brown. “Just fuck me, please.” He leans closer, turning their kisses chaste because he knows Hannibal likes when he acts decorous. “I want you, Hannibal.” 

To his credit, Hannibal simply steadies his hips with his hands and says, “I distinctly remember you telling me sex was for after our discussion.”

Will slumps, taking to nuzzling into the crook of Hannibal’s neck. Hannibal’s hands slide up from his waist to the flat plains of his back, keeping him pressed close.

“We’re done,” he murmurs, nosing at Hannibal’s ear.

“Are we?”

“You’re mine. I’m yours. Good enough finality for you?” Will remarks, yelping when he’s abruptly swept backwards and lands backside on the coffee table. 

Hannibal immediately falls to his knees between his legs and lunges his open mouth over the bulge in Will’s trousers.

“Oh god,” Will moans, a hand darting out to fist Hannibal’s hair. The man sucks and mouths at his trapped erection until a dark stain forms. “Christ, how are you this good off camera too?”

“I have nothing to compensate for,” Hannibal mumbles, words vibrating through Will’s cock, making him gasp and plead in short, choked noises.

He unbuckles Will from his pants, zipping down his fly and takes apart the button with precision. The hardwood discomfort of the coffee table is nothing compared to Hannibal’s basement chair, so he gladly allows Hannibal to take him apart here and now.

His legs dangle off the edge, heels slipping over Hannibal’s shoulder blades.

“I’m not gonna last,” Will admits roughly, grasping Hannibal’s hair tighter when those long fingers curl around his cock and expose it from his briefs. 

“I don’t want you to, darling,” Hannibal kisses the base, holding his cock gently in one hand as he works his way up the length, gradually intensifying the kisses until he reaches the tip, taking it between his lips in one long, harsh, suck. 

Will’s back flies up from the table, and he grapples with his free hand to scratch at the surface of the wood, seeking out purchase of any kind. 

Murmuring against his frenulum, Hannibal says, “You’ve driven out my patience.” 

Hannibal swallows him down completely then, and Will’s erection swells in his throat. “Oh my god, god fuck,” Will rattles out, inadvertently keeping Hannibal’s head pushed down with his hand. Hannibal rakes his nails down Will’s bare waist where his shirt has ridden up, all the way over his clothed thighs, and the gesture is so obscene Will can’t help but rock up into his mouth.

The older man takes it, as easily as if he were swallowing a fleck of dust. Hannibal bobs, meeting each rocking thrust with a downslide, until Will shouts and can’t take the constant, slick pleasure. 

He comes, body jerking as if he’d just been struck by lightning. His orgasm shouldn’t feel as intense as it does, even for an expert blowjob, but it numbs out every single one of his brain cells for a time. His mental capacity returns only when Hannibal has scooped him into his lap on the floor, somehow having peeled the rest of his clothes off in the process. Bulging erection aside, Hannibal himself is still fully dressed.

Will weakly paws at his shirt, swallowing a whine. 

“You’re tired from the trip,” Hannibal insists, kissing heatedly from his neck to his cheek, hands grazing every oversensitive part of him. “We may resume this tomorrow.”

Will snarls and shoves Hannibal down to the floor in the scant space between the foot of the couch and the coffee table. They make feverish eye contact and Will grinds his ass back against his erection, tenting his loose trousers fully now.

“Are you sure?’ Will challenges.

Hannibal’s eyelids droop, and his hands slide down Will’s waist to grope his bottom. Will bites his lip, but shakes his head. “No, I wanna suck you off.”  

Heat flashes in Hannibal’s eyes, but the man quickly says, “You’re surely not comfortable with such an act yet. You needn’t

“Okay, I’ll rephrase. I’m going to suck you off.” 

Will’s fingers dance down the buttons of Hannibal’s shirt, parting the fabric only half way, enough so he can grip the chest hair there. He feels powerful, naked in Hannibal’s lap, making demands and cajoling him into action.

Hannibal still looks skeptical, so Will lurches down and whispers in his ear, “I’ve been thinking about it ever since I first watched the porn you were in.”

The surprised look on Hannibal’s face is priceless.

“When was the first time?” he asks.

“After I met you,” Will says easily, tone growing mischievous. “Before we first fucked.” 

Hannibal doesn’t seem to expect something so early, his nails digging into Will’s flesh and drawing blood. Will can see the unbearable want in his eyes. He won’t make him wait any longer.

He’s well aware he hasn’t done this for any of the shoots he’s been scheduled for. Maybe he should have questioned why, but it never seemed pertinent. It’s not as if he wanted to suck those cocks anyway. He only ever thought about Hannibal’s, and the disappointment that’s been festering ever since he was denied access to such an act. 

Will has little of Hannibal’s eloquence, so he shoves his pants down his hips without undoing so much as a button. Hannibal’s cock springs up and flips against his stomach. Hard, long, hot. Will fists it first, getting familiar again with the weight of it in his hands. If Hannibal was even half this size, Will is sure he still couldn’t manage deep throating him. So, he’ll improvise. 

Will considers warning Hannibal he’ll be terrible at this, and turns around about a dozen self-deprecating statements in his head, before he shuts his thoughts up. Hannibal won’t appreciate any of them, nor will he agree with them. 

Instead, he says, “You can come in my mouth,” and bends down to take the head between his lips. Hannibal’s stuttered gasp is worth it. 

He can’t hide the wince when he tastes the salty tang, but he supposes it’s no worse than getting used to red wine or bourbon. Even after suckling on the head for less than a minute, he’s already used to it. Women tasted strange to him at first too, but it was worth it to hear their pleasure. 

Hannibal is quiet, he’s known that for a while now, but it’s still gratifying when he twists both of his hands on the shaft and sucks the tip at the same time and juices a steady flow of pre-cum from him. The rare gasps are music to his ears, and emboldens Will to suck harder, more. 

He can only fit a few inches in his mouth, but he sucks as much as he can, vigorously, moaning when Hannibal strokes his bulging cheek, where his cock is cradled. 

Slowly, Will pulls himself up and presses his cheek to the shaft, catching his breath. It’s then he notices Hannibal’s heaving chest, and trembling hands. He strokes a hand over Will’s head, curling it gently in his hair and murmurs, “I’m close.” 

Will smirks and kitten-licks his balls.

Hannibal hisses breathily and turns to look away, like it’s too much. 

It seems he was telling the truth about being close, because as Will is mouthing his balls playfully, they tighten between his lips and his cock jerks, almost smacking him in the face. Will surges up and swallows him down just in time for Hannibal to grunt and spend himself in his throat. 

It’s a lot. The taste is overwhelming, and the texture is downright weird, but Will sucks it all down and lets his cock slap wetly against his stomach when he’s finished. He holds himself up on the palms of his hands, panting over Hannibal’s groin. 

“You make it look easy,” Will complains, cracking a weak smile. 

Hannibal’s eyes are glistening, and he’s tugging Will back into his lap before he can analyze why. He holds him close, suffocating him with affection. The emotions are reciprocated, but muted; Will is one to repress until he snaps, and he knows sooner or later his feelings for Hannibal will boil over and he’ll say something incredibly banal or do something immature. He wishes he could so easily return the hugs and kisses and embraces, and act like they’re on their honeymoon. If his feelings are identical, why is it so hard to accept the gravity of them?

It strikes him, he’s in a relationship with a man now. 

“You brilliant, beautiful boy,” Hannibal murmurs under the lobe of his ear, kissing the tingling skin there. Will cracks and buries his face in his neck, holding him as close as possible. 

 

Chapter Text

 

Most of the weekend is spent lounging and luxuriating. Hannibal touches him quite often, whether it be for a foot rub, or a hand on his neck as he teaches Will the art of fine cooking. Even with Molly, debatably the one girlfriend who had been in love with him never paid him this much mind. He finds himself yearning for more and more touch, to the point where if Hannibal is not in the room, he feels hollowed out. Honeymoon it is not, but honeymoon phase it might be. 

After breakfast Saturday morning, Hannibal turned the stereo on and fed Will cheese cubes and grapes by hand from a beautifully garnished platter. He felt like a young God.

Will makes the decision that afternoon to teach Hannibal how to fish. The man had admitted to a meek knowledge of the craft, which divulged to Will he knows next to nothing about how to genuinely cast a line, so Will tells him to break out the waders and fly ties.

That’s how they find themselves waist deep in the lake, fly fishing. Will delights in watching Hannibal fail at something, at least the first several times. He’s unfortunately a fast learner, and catches onto the art fairly quickly. 

“This activity requires latitudes of patience,” Hannibal notes at the cusp of their second hour in the water. Will laughs, relaxed and perky. 

“The flies I use at home are much better than the ones you have here.” Will reels his line back in, dangling the hook in front of Hannibal’s eyes. “See? The feather’s beige. That’s bound to catch absolutely jack shit, unless you’re fishing for sunken boots.” 

“Then why are we fishing?” Hannibal asks, irritation tinging his voice. He doesn’t like to be messy, and this activity is as messy as hobbies get.

“It’s peaceful.” 

Hannibal’s lips purse. “Perhaps for some,” his susurration matching the quiet of the flowing water, and opens his mouth as if to speak further, but the words don’t come.

“Hannibal?” Will looks at him and then his fishing rod which is seizing as if trying to escape his hands. “You got one! Reel it in!”

Hannibal does so, criminally lagging. He’s lucky the fish doesn’t wriggle out of its capture. Will grins when a large, grey-green, flopping fish emerges from the water’s surface. He neglected to explain to Hannibal how to properly reel one in, breath catching when the creature swings forward and slaps Hannibal in the center of his face. 

Hannibal holds the same expression on his face from when he saw Audrey in Will’s apartment. Will doesn’t dare make a joke, as bad as the hankering is.

Without making eye contact, Hannibal hands Will the fish on the hook and says in strategically even tones, “Would you care to put this catch in our cooler, Will?” 

“It’s a big one,” Will placates as he slides the hook from its gulping mouth. “Good job, Hannibal.” 

There is an eerie silence. 

“Thank you.” Hannibal casts his line again, with a hard set jaw. Will swallows the laughter bubbling up in his chest and wades back to shore. He stores the fish in the cooler and returns to Hannibal’s side, nudging him fondly with an elbow before casting his own line. 

“We got dinner,” Will says after several tense minutes. “We can head in if you like.”

While he expected Hannibal to still be peeved about getting clocked in the face by a fish, he finds he looks rather pastoral. 

“A little while longer, Will,” Hannibal says softly. “I’m beginning to understand why you consider this to be peaceful.”

“There’s something comfortingly quiet about a stream, or a lake,” Will offers, pleased at the prospect of Hannibal enjoying one of his personal interests. “It’s a good opportunity to shut the thinking part of your brain off.”

“Or marinate in it,” Hannibal replies. “Life has never appeared to me as negotiable as it does in this instance.” 

“Having an existential crisis?” Will teases.

“Not a crisis. Meditation, perhaps.” 

“That’s a good word for it. I’ve never been prone to meditation, maybe it’s just something that happens to me. I like fishing because there’s no one around to leave me with heavy impressions or reflections to bounce off of.”

“Have I been distressing your tranquility?”

“No,” Will swears, because it’s true. “I should probably tell you, I’ve never taken anyone fishing. Never really thought to. Streams are far from Baltimore after all, and I was never really prepared to let anyone in on that part of my psyche.” 

“The part you say wards others off?”

“The antisocial part,” Will agrees. “Most people get offended if I say I prefer a stream over the company of others. If I prefer the blankness of my mind over their conversation.”

Hannibal hums, reeling in his line and casting it off again.

Projecting empathy, Will intuits, “You…you want to understand me.”

“In all things,” Hannibal concedes, meeting his eyes with mirth. Will licks his lips and cracks a grin. If a fish nibbled at his bait, he would be too distracted to notice.  

After some time, Will asks, “What do you mean by negotiable?” 

“I am considering the choices I have made, the choices I have yet to make, and the choices that have yet to present themselves to me. I am pondering the paths each choice will cement.” 

“Doesn’t sound meditative to me,” Will jokes, nudging his side again. Hannibal smirks down at him, indulgent. 

“I am generally quite sure of myself in every aspect of my life. You undo me.”

“Oh, it’s my fault now.” Will shakes his head, light with jubilance. “Tell me, then. What parts of you am I corrupting?” 

“One of the sole predicaments in the forefront of my mind has me considering what I will tell Freddie Lounds when I attempt to rejuvenate our contract,” Hannibal hesitates to admit. 

“Ah.” Will clicks his tongue and responds, “I doubt she’ll ask many questions. She’s been itching to get us back on board. We’re her cash cows.” 

“That we are.” Hannibal inclines his head, close to Will and adds, “While I am sure you won’t object, we must keep our relationship private, and allay any suspicion that arises.”

“You don’t have to tell me twice. Though, I didn’t expect you to want to cover it up,” Will asserts. “No primal urge to claim your territory?” 

Hannibal faces the water, the rays of the sun setting reflecting off the white of his teeth when he catches a glimpse of them, wide and complaisant. 

“Those who watch our films will not question that you belong to me,” he rasps, voice a low timbre to contrast with the frothy noises of the encompassing wilderness. 

“What then?” 

In disgust, Hannibal’s face sours. “Ms. Lounds will feel obligated to…market our affair.”  

“You’re kidding,” Will scoffs. When he’s met with silence, he turns to find an earnestly stern expression on Hannibal’s face. “Can she do that?”

“Of course. Surely you’ve heard of such situations. You worked for Purnell for several years, did you not?” 

Will never kept track of big name stars, nor did he listen to friends when they discussed matters of social drama. He hadn’t even known Hannibal when he met him. 

“Yeah, but she let me keep to myself. I never meshed my personal life with my work life unless I was taking a co-worker out on a date. Even then…” Will laughs without humor and mutters, “I never wanted to talk about business when I was with them.”

“You don’t mind talking about it with me,” Hannibal notes. 

“You’re different,” he murmurs. “If I talked about it with the girls, the conversation would always lead to the age old question; why are you doing what you do?”

Hannibal hums, contemplating. “You did not feel comfortable telling the truth.” 

“If I say I enjoy it, I’m seen as jaded or harboring ulterior motives. They think something’s not quite right, since it’s commonly seen as a last-resort kind of job. If I say I have to, they see someone poor and damaged. Unfortunate. They usually attract to me more, when they taste vulnerability.” 

“If you could quit easily, and leave all of it behind, would you?” Hannibal asks suddenly, and Will stalls, losing his grip on his fishing rod.

“It’s not that easy though, is it?”

“That’s not what I asked.” 

Sighing, Will says, “Yeah, I’d quit. I’m sure most of the actors in this business would say the same thing, Hannibal. I’m not special.”

“You are,” Hannibal assures, bypassing elaboration. Struggling to accept the compliment, Will doesn’t reply, and reels in his line. 

“Come on, we’re turning into raisins.” 

Hannibal follows suit, and gently takes Will’s rod from him so Will can lug the cooler back into the house. Will ignores the introspective, goosebump-raising gaze on the back of his neck, unsure if he even wants to know what is on Hannibal’s mind. 

 


 

Dinner goes by subdued. 

The meal Hannibal creates out of the fish he caught tastes better than any seafood Will has ever so much as smelled. The bite of meat falls apart on his tongue, and the savory flavors mold over his taste buds gradually, like a low simmering heat. 

Hannibal is obviously still contemplating their conversation from earlier, and Will wants to speak on anything other than their conversation about the future, their business, the possibility that Lounds may discover their relationship and ‘market’ it. The thought makes him shudder. 

To his relief, Hannibal keeps quiet until they’re finished.

“Would you care to clear the table, Will? Feel free to make use of the dishwasher. I could use a shower,” Hannibal says when they’re finished. 

Will nods with a polite smile. Hannibal has been cleaning up after them their entire stay, and has been far more than hospitable. This is the least he can do. 

Hannibal disappears off to the shower and Will cleans the table, head thrumming contentedly with the solitude. He could get used to living in the middle of nowhere. The running water from the shower is a distant noise, droning inaudibly in the back of Will’s mind.

It stops at some point, and Will waits in the living room, glass of Irish cream bourbon in his hand. The drink is thick and milky, tasting of chocolate. The sting of alcohol is severe, yet worth it for the sweet aftertaste. Hannibal has quite the booze selection hidden away here, as if he has always expected company. 

He continues to wait, restlessness augmenting in his chest.

After thirty minutes of stagnation, he has finished two glasses and tipsily wanders off to the bedroom they’ve been staying in. Hannibal is gone, and a note rests on his pillow. 

In the most beautiful handwriting Will has ever laid eyes on, he reads;

No need for swim trunks. 

H

Cheeks turning pink, the words sink in and Will grins.

Reluctant for a whopping two minutes, he decides to undress entirely in the bedroom. He removes his shirt, his pants, his underwear. Every article is tossed in a crumbly pile on the floor until he is nude, and flushed from head to toe. 

“Okay,” he says to himself. “Okay.” 

Pepping up his nerves, he winds back through the house and out onto the porch. The night air is warm accompanied by chilly winds rushing in past the trees circumferencing the property. 

It takes no time at all to see Hannibal’s stark, shadowy figure cutting through the lake, swimming laps back and forth under the moonlight. Will’s lips part, and his groin heats with attraction. It still shocks him occasionally that Hannibal remains so desirable to him and his sensibilities, yet it’s becoming less of a burden on his delicate mind. He descends down the path leading to the bluff, and is as bashful as he is gratified to see Hannibal as naked as he’d implied in the note. 

Hannibal gleams up toward where Will is towering above on the face of the bluff, smug to see the lack of Will’s dress as well. “Do you feel daring?” he challenges in a raised voice. 

Will toes over the edge of the small cliff. It won’t be a fatal fall, far from it in fact, but if he doesn’t dive properly, it could easily be hurtful. He doesn’t know if the provocation in Hannibal’s voice is what incites him into action, or if he truly does feel daring. 

He dives, arms directed at a point over his head. 

The water is shockingly cold, where it had been acceptably cool in the afternoon. He breaks from the surface, teeth chattering. Hannibal is close by, treading over to eliminate the distance between. 

Shivering, Will still manages a grin. 

They look at each other, wet like dogs and eyes glistening beneath the moon. Will experiences a pang of unbridled fondness in his chest that feels mortifyingly close to a feeling he shouldn’t even be toeing the line of yet, and still he wonders if Hannibal feels a similar pang. 

Hannibal swims closer and winds his arms around Will’s waist, encouraging him to hold on as he kisses his lips tenderly. Will wraps his arms around his neck and his legs around his hips, feeling weightless. They kiss for a time, Hannibal keeping them both afloat.

The scent of damp earth stems into the air.

“How do you always taste so good?” Will murmurs, kissing his wet cheeks and pressing his flaccid cock into Hannibal’s hip without intent. 

“A proper diet,” Hannibal tactlessly responds.

“You know you don’t have to have an answer for everything I say.” Will bites at his jaw because he can, rejoicing when Hannibal nuzzles into the touch. “Sometimes I’m just being nice.”

“A truly unbelievable feat, Will.” 

“Hey, I’m nice sometimes,” Will protests in a light voice. He skates his lips over his cheek until he’s whispering into his ear. “You know I’m a good boy.” 

The hands on his hips grasp harder, and Will smirks. 

“You are quite brazen in the night hours,” Hannibal murmurs, responsively matching the languid, impish mood Will finds himself emanating. 

“Says the man who instigated a night of skinny dipping.”

“Are you complaining?”

“Mmm, no,” Will kisses him, short lippy pecks, arms loosening around his neck. “You think you could catch me if I swam away?” 

“Most definitely.” 

Will makes a chastising noise. “Hubris.” 

Hannibal wades backward, allowing a few inches between them. “I am simply confident in my athleticism. I swim laps at the gym every Tuesday and Thursday night unless I have plans.” 

Will musters an air of nonchalance, and warns, “I have my cleverness.”

“You do.” 

They stare at each other, the tension fiercely stimulating, and then Will sucks in a sharp breath and sinks under the water, swiftly using the wall of the bluff to launch himself forward. 

He can’t hear Hannibal swimming after him over the blitz of rushing water in his ears, but he knows he’s following. Most likely, close enough to grab. When oxygen begins to become a problem, he swerves and Hannibal crashes directly into him. Limbs sliding through a slippery grip, Will kicks him as mildly as he can, but hard enough to throw Hannibal off, and cuts through the water sideways, emerging for a breath and sinking under again. 

He’s fairly certain he’s lost Hannibal, and feels safe peeking out of the water when he’s far from the bluff, closer to the other side of the lake than the side they’d come in from. 

The surface of the water before his eyes is still. He can’t spot Hannibal anywhere, even after waiting thirty seconds. He begins to panic, wondering if he kicked Hannibal too hard after all. If  he killed his partner on their first romantic trip together. His heart pounds violently, and he calls out in a trembling voice, “Hannibal!” 

There is nothing, just the cooing of grasshoppers, and the breeze.

“Hannibal!” 

He feels faint, and considers swimming to shore to catch his breath when someone tackles him from behind. Relief hits him like a freight train. He fails to struggle.

They both burst from the surface for air, and Will jumps on him, nearly submerging Hannibal with the heavy weight. Hannibal holds his ground, kissing Will back with an identical amount of fervor. 

“I caught you,” comes Hannibal’s priggish announcement. 

“You scared me,” Will accuses, deflecting the man’s win. “Remind me not to kick you like that again.” 

Hannibal’s pointed teeth scrape Will’s bottom tip, and Will acknowledges he looks almost like a sea monster in the dark, naked in the wild, and chiseled like a myth. 

“I was hardly in a position to stop you, my dear.”

“I’m competitive as hell. Shouldn’t have told me about your gym membership.” 

“It seems we’re both competitive,” Hannibal muses. 

Will huffs. “That’s…concerning, but not…unappealing.”

“Will you allow me a prize for hooking such a delicious catch?” Hannibal speaks low, groping Will closer with large, gentle hands on his ass. He drags his lips down his wet neck. 

“Convince me,” Will whispers, hot on Hannibal’s skin.

Hannibal wastes no time sliding a hand down Will’s chest and circling his cock with a tight fist. Will gasps, blood nose-diving to his groin abruptly. His cock fills as he’s fondled. 

The grip is so firm he could drown. 

“I want to be taken, with this,” Hannibal tells him. 

He strokes expertly, once, for emphasis. 

“You Oh, you want ” Will closes his eyes, the prospect suddenly overwhelming him with need. “Christ, yeah. I want that too.” 

“Then come along, pet,” he murmurs sultry and inviting, releasing Will. He winks and descends under the surface, ripping the water as he strokes back towards the house. Breathing heavy, Will is left treading in the middle of the lake. He moves slowly, the gears in his brain spinning just as gradual.

When Will steps up onto shore, Hannibal is waiting, hand outstretched. 

He takes it and is pulled into a searing kiss that makes his knees weak enough to fold. Hannibal keeps him upright with a hand around his waist, kissing him until Will’s erection is jutting into his thigh. 

“Take a shower and meet me in the bedroom,” Hannibal’s voice rumbles in his ear, then he’s off towards the house, nude body shimmering auroral beneath the stars. 

Will is panting and numb with lust.

Staggering forward, he follows.

He enters the house through the front entrance and floats down the hall like a phantom, entering the shower mindlessly. The hot water pummels his body and keeps his erection stone-hard, and by the time he’s done scrubbing the lake water from his skin, he turns the nozzle off and hears soft orchestrated classical music. 

Will follows it into the bedroom where a record player is lying open on one of the bureaus. The music is playing at a whisper, and the melody is mellow enough as to not come across excessive. Flickering lights catch his eye, and he takes in the several candles, lit and dim over several surfaces around the room. The space smells oaky and dark, somehow. The scent only adds to his arousal, and he hysterically wonders if Hannibal purchased aphrodisiac candles.

“They aren’t aphrodisiacs,” Hannibal’s voice startles him, as well as the fact he’s been capable of reading Will’s mind extendedly. “If that’s what you’re thinking.”  

Hannibal is leaning against the separate entrance to the bedroom, still naked and hair dried frayed. It somehow makes him look more handsome, the threads of his hair sculptured around his features pristinely. Will himself is in a towel he found in the bathroom closet, hair damp and unbrushed from his shower.

“The aroma is called Night Velvet. It doesn’t list the contents on the packaging, but I have an exceptional sense of smell. There is blackberry, jasmine, a rich amber…” With each ingredient, he takes a smooth step forward, closing in on Will. “Cedar.” 

When he’s directly in front of him, he pinches the edge of Will’s towel and causes it to fall soundlessly to the floor. Will’s gulp is audible in the quiet, even over the music. 

“It contains much else I assume,” Hannibal murmurs, nose dipping close to Will’s neck. “Your arousal is obscuring the rest.” 

“Could you…could you smell my arousal the first time we had sex?” Will questions, a little mortified he can’t stop himself from asking

Hannibal nips at his ear. “I could smell it the first day we met.” 

“You were so,” Will rests both hands on Hannibal’s muscular sternum, “so, different from any man I’ve ever met. I didn’t know what to make of you. I didn’t know what to make of how I didn’t know what to make of you.”  

Hannibal makes a pleased noise, directing Will towards the bed. He lowers them both down, and Will finally edges back into a territory of boldness, grasping Hannibal’s jaw and thrusting his tongue between his lips. The older man tongues him back, satisfied to let their mouths mingle.

Will is gasping between kisses when they pull apart. 

Before he can stop the words from rolling off his tongue, Will babbles, “How is it that everyone you meet doesn't immediately fall in love with you?”

“They might.” Hannibal practically shrugs. “I rarely have the capacity to sustain anything resembling love to offer them in return.” 

Will knows he’s dipping into dangerous territory when he asks softly, “Do you now?” 

Hannibal’s eyes flash, and he meets Will’s. They’re darker than molasses, boring into Will’s skull. Deliberating, and possibly gauging, he echoes a question from before, “Would that be so appalling?” 

Appalling tearing another man’s throat out in a jealous rage. 

Or is the concept just as appealing to Will as Hannibal being in love with him?

In response, Will rocks his body on top of Hannibal’s, and kisses him passionately. They inch themselves forward on the covers until they’re centered on the bed, and then Will hooks one of Hannibal’s legs around his waist. In the candlelight, Hannibal’s features are softened, and his skin has a peachy glow to it. It makes Will want to taste him, so he does.

He licks down his clavicle, dragging his tongue over his nipples, through coarse chest hair, with methods that have been used on him in previous porn shoots. Hannibal reacts perfectly, eyes fluttering closed, and a firm hand touching the back of Will’s head. 

He bites at one to see the quick upward twitch of Hannibal’s lips. 

“Where’ve you stashed the lube?” Will mutters, kissing over the fever-hot skin of Hannibal’s biceps. The muscle there is hard enough to bend steel. 

Hannibal tugs him up, and takes one of Will’s hands, trailing it between his thighs, beneath his balls. Will frowns, confused, and gasps when he finds the wet entrance to Hannibal’s body. 

He slides a finger inside and finds him sinfully loose. 

“Fuck,” he breathes out. 

“I have not been taken by a man since my youth,” Hannibal tells him cordially, a smirk gradually stretching his cheeks. “But feel free to be as rough as you please.” 

It strikes Will, Hannibal is giving this to him. Vulnerability. Submission. Sex in a way he hasn't had for years, because Will is special to him. Will is also his exception as much as Hannibal is Will's.

Without breaking eye contact, Will licks his palm and strokes his own cock, liberally spreading the saliva around to slick himself. “What if…” he bends closer, smiling at the flutter of Hannibal’s lashes when he breaches him with the tip, “I wanted to take you…” he rocks inside, palms flat on either side of Hannibal’s head, until he bottoms out with a soft grunt, “as tenderly as I please?”   

The words garner a little moan from Hannibal, one that the older man cuts off as soon as it starts, and Will instantly becomes obsessed with the noise. 

He thrusts, and Hannibal sucks in a sharp breath. 

Despite being meager in comparison, Will does have a significant length. He can see in Hannibal’s eyes he’s hitting his sweet spot in seconds. The older man’s cheeks and sternum darken with a belated blush, and his tight hole clenches around his cock relentlessly. 

“I’d accept you anyway you are,” Hannibal whispers, gasping when Will gives him one brute thrust, skidding him upward on the comforter. “Will.” 

Hearing his name murmured in pleasure weakens Will’s defenses, and he lapses forward, pressing Hannibal down into the mattress with his body as he fucks into him slow but steady. Hannibal’s strong legs wrap around his waist, and he feels trapped in the most delicate sense. 

“You feel so goddamn good,” Will exclaims, rocking faster. He can’t help himself. Hannibal is tighter than anyone he’s ever fucked. He’s hotter to the touch, softer, like dryer-warm velvet. He smells like Hannibal, and he smells like a river, and like leather, and arousal, and expensive cologne. 

“As do you,” Hannibal says, voice thin and sincere. Will pushes his responsive smile into Hannibal’s cheek, affection steadfastly becoming unmanageable. He’s on the verge of shouting declarations of love at the top of his lungs. He’s on the verge of breaking. 

“I want this every fucking day,” he blurts out There goes my dignity and knows he’s lost. “I want you all the time, I never want to stop. Fuck, Hannibal.” 

He groans into Hannibal’s shoulder when he feels the man’s nails in his back, digging and kneading, pulling at skin as the pleasure begins to build rapidly for them both. 

“I’ll give it to you,” Hannibal promises in a rush. “I’ll give you anything.” 

He means it too, and that’s what drives Will crazy. The tender sex comes to a screeching halt when Will desperately grapples at one of Hannibal’s thighs and bends it forward, beginning to slam into him at a uniform pace.

Hannibal actually throws his head back and a moan stumbles from his throat, one of his hands curling up into Will’s hair, tugging wordlessly for more. 

The reality that he’s screwing the man that has hurt him extensively, has left him feeling raw and ripe with disorientation, and acts on a daily basis prestigious, above-it-all, and primal in his sovereignty, crashes into Will without mercy, and he shouts as he fucks Hannibal so hard the bed creaks and the man is forced to reach a hand up to push against the headboard so they don’t go crashing headfirst into the wooden plank. 

“Shit, Hannibal, I’m ” Will speaks through his teeth, hanging on a thread. The sound of his balls slapping against the luscious curves of Hannibal’s ass, Hannibal’s increasingly heavy breathing, it’s all sending him hurtling towards the precipice far too soon. 

“Inside me, darling,” Hannibal pleads, hoarse voice tearing a loud moan from Will’s throat. “Will, please.” 

Will nods frantically, cursing under his breath as he’s enveloped in a body-cramping orgasm. He stiffens and releases inside of Hannibal’s wet heat, letting out a gruff cry when the pleasure peaks near painfully. He can feel Hannibal’s hands moving between their now still bodies, and then Hannibal’s ass is contracting hard around Will, causing him to yelp and pull out. 

Hannibal winces, and then slumps on the sheets, panting unevenly. 

Will collapses on his side, dick twitching and sticky in the cool air. 

The music abruptly comes back into Will’s sphere of consciousness, and it almost makes him laugh. He just had honest-to-god sex with Hannibal where he was the one on top. 

He crawls forward weakly and is accepted gratefully in Hannibal’s arms, hugged close. The man’s stomach has a tacky coating, but Will doesn’t care. He might have cared once in his life, but it’s safe to say he’s far too enlightened for that now.

Their silent embrace is lovely for a long while. Hannibal’s eyes are closed, but he isn’t asleep. Will is twirling a finger in his chest hair, feeling lazy and sated. 

Anxiety creeps up close to his heart when he starts to remember what he said in the heat of the moment. I want this every day. I never want to stop. 

On some level, he means it. He can’t see a future where he wouldn’t want to be living this level of affection, great sex, and open communication. He can’t imagine a future Hannibal isn’t in. 

He doesn’t know when that happened, but it has.

Thinking about the future, as always, rubs Will wrong. There are too many things in life too slippery to hold onto. If you get attached, they slip away. Like his father, like his mother before he knew how to spell the word attachment yet knew its shape in his heart. 

An abundance of optimism and wish fulfillment too soon in a relationship may cause it to rot. Agonizingly. Slowly. Ruthlessly. Will sucks in a breath, and speaks carefully.

“What I said before, don’t get any ideas.”

“Ideas about what?” Hannibal replies coolly, opening his eyes to gaze innocently at Will. He knows to what Will is referring, but he wants to hear him say it.

Marriage. 

Will could say it, but it might give Hannibal more ideas.

“Forget it,” Will grumbles, extracting himself from Hannibal’s embrace. He instantly feels remorseful, and turns to glimpse Hannibal’s unaffected expression. 

Unaffected fairly often means affected. 

Will’s learned to read between the lines. He sighs, attempting to form words, but Hannibal surprisingly decides to make it easy for him. He rolls closer and wraps one long arm around Will’s middle, keeping him anchored to the bed. Letting his worries flicker out into another existence, Will melts into the embrace, and strokes over Hannibal’s back. 

He glances at his most notable shoulder blade, the bee tattoo he’d seen months back catching his eye. “What does your tattoo represent? You don’t seem like the type to have any.”

“I’m not,” Hannibal agrees. “My sister Mischa, her name means ‘bee’ or ‘honey’ but I much preferred the aesthetic appeal of the insect.” 

“You must really love your sister,” Will murmurs, stroking over the faded outline of the tattoo. He’s an only child, so he can’t comprehend the depth of connection between siblings. 

Hannibal is quiet for a while. Will considers changing the subject, but then Hannibal speaks as softly as snowfall. 

“I did.” 

Past tense. Will’s heart lurches and his eyes close. He has questions. Namely, when did Mischa die? How close were they? Did she ever step foot outside of Lithuania before her time? But, they are questions for another time. He can tell Hannibal is in the process of closing this part of himself off, putting on a sanguine front as he lulls himself to sleep at Will’s side. 

Will strokes his back until he falls unconscious, arm loosening over his waist. Will doesn’t think he could sleep if he tried, so he doesn’t. He reaches down to snatch the folded blanket from the foot of the bed and unfolds it to drape over Hannibal and his own waist, a hint of propriety. 

For a long time, Will listens to the cicadas outside and Hannibal’s steady breathing, focusing on the heat of the other man’s skin permeating in the spaces under the blanket. 

He grabs his phone from the dresser and checks his messages.

There is one from Freddie Lounds. Several from Bev.

He opens Beverly’s, not sure he can cope with Lounds quite yet.

They were all sent at staggeringly different times.

hey. deets?

did you guys get tgthr or not???

you owe me starbucks!

i’m considering he may have murdered you, if you don’t msg me back in 3 minutes, he fr axe murdered you. i’ll avenge u don’t wrry

k i’m too pussy to call the fuzz on you and your boy toy, just answer when u can

Will grins, getting an odd sensation in his chest. He misses her. He’s not sure he’s ever truly missed a friend before. He types;

Hi. Sorry for the late response. We’re in Maine on vacation.

As he expected, he barely has to wait two minutes.

PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN

Will blinks down at the demand, and glances warily at Hannibal who is sleeping peacefully at his side. He deliberates for a few keyed up seconds, and then opens his camera and snaps a discreet photo of himself and Hannibal, offering Bev a wonky smile in the picture. 

It’s not as if a sheet isn’t covering them, but she’ll know they’ve had sex.

He sends it, and Bev almost instantly starts typing.

HOLY shiT!! akjsdhjh you’re pulling some! 

I hope this assuages you not to call the police.

shut up! u know i was joking

He grins, and quickly types;

Don’t show that photo to anyone. We’re keeping this private.

There is a surprisingly long wait for her next response. He closes his eyes against the headboard and absorbs himself in the quiet yet again. His phone lights up a few minutes later.

okie dokie :)

Will shuts his phone off and places it on the dresser. 

He snuggles down until he’s horizontal and inserts himself in Hannibal’s arms. Either half awake or in sleep, Hannibal makes a gruff sound in the back of his throat and wraps his arms snug around Will’s body. Will would like to feel this protected and safe for the rest of his life. 

If he knows it’s what he wants, why is it so hard to accept?

Hannibal doesn’t deserve Will’s turbulence and uncertainty.

He’s stewing in his thoughts long after Hannibal wakes up and meets his eyes, a sleepy smile spreading over his cheeks. Will raises a hand to cover a dimple, swallowing hard. Steeling himself in this fairy tale instance a while longer, he chooses his next words heedfully.

“When I get back home, I think I’m going to look into therapy, of sorts. I think…I need to work through some things. For the first time in my life, I find myself wanting to protect something.” He hesitates. “Something too important for me to screw up.” 

Hannibal blinks and his head sways up from the pillow. 

 “I assure you, Will. You needn’t go to therapy because of me.”

“This is for me, Hannibal. I want to.”

He can’t spend the rest of his life ashamed. 

He adds, “My principles derive from my oscillation. I want to circumvent that part of myself. It It’s taxing, feeling like I’m constantly being torn in two.”

“In that case, allow me to recommend you a sex therapist. I’ve known a few in my time,” Hannibal suggests, sitting up as if he hadn’t just been fucked into oblivion. He reaches over to the bedside drawer and reaps a notepad and pen. Quickly, he scribbles down a name.

Dr. Du Maurier. 

Underneath, the phone number.

Will folds the paper up in his fist and mutters, “Thanks.”

“While sex therapy can be informative and aid you on your path to understanding and accepting your more sensual self, it may not offer you the answers you are looking for.”

“They won’t be asking for your sponsorship anytime soon,” Will jokes drily, and Hannibal turns his head with a palm, sweaty from their prior activities. Will’s play at amusement dies in the air. 

“Promise me you’ll also come to me if you have concerns about our relationship going forward,” Hannibal implores, stroking a thumb over his jawline. 

“I will,” Will murmurs, averting his eyes. 

He’s pulled down into a kiss, and they linger there, in the sealed cavern of their dreams. Tongues caressing one another, promising and professing. Against his lover’s lips, Will sighs. 

 


 

When they return home, Hannibal drives Will to the kennel to pick Buster up. They kiss at the threshold of Will’s apartment door, a farewell and a pact to see one another very soon. 

Buster dances at their feet, whining for treats.

When Hannibal leaves, Will is left leaning against the closed door, a smile plastered to his face as he daydreams about Maine.

Hannibal promised Will on the plane ride back he’d be contacting Lounds about their contract as soon as possible, and Will had promised to actually check his texts from the woman once he’d basked in a good shower and fed his dog. 

With Buster’s hunger stated, and steam from the shower dissipating, Will sits lonesome on his bed in a towel, thumbs hovering over Freddie Lounds’ unread text message. 

He waits until he feels remotely sedate, and clicks. 

Good afternoon, Will! I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend. We have scheduled you for a shoot with one of the most prominent up and coming stars! He goes by the stage name, The Great Red Dragon, if you’re interested in checking out his previous work. Details are attached below. 

Rattled, Will hastily clicks the link below.

He’s scheduled to film with this man Wednesday. 

Days. He has days. 

For a moment, he’s pissed at Hannibal for even terminating the contract in the first place when he knew in the end he’d be reviving their agreement one way or another. He must have known Freddie would be tirelessly working to schedule Will for another shoot as soon as possible. But, most of all, he experiences the immediate urge to reach out. Ask Hannibal for help, see if he can convince Freddie to cancel the shoot so they have enough time to slip back into a comforting, contractualized, exclusivity. 

His fingers hover over Hannibal’s contact.

He can’t quite bring himself to text him, let alone call him. Hannibal is unpredictable. Part of Will wonders if he’s just attempting to avoid Hannibal’s potential indifference. 

There isn’t a reason he should care, after all. Will’s previous girlfriends had slept with other men for the shoots they were involved with, and Will always knew it was part of the job. He slept with other women too, as he was contracted to do. It is how pornography and porn stars function.

But, as always, Hannibal is an exception. 

He promised Hannibal he’d talk to him if he felt the need to discuss anything concerning their relationship, and he will, he tells himself, first succumbing to the urge to contact someone else instead. 

He fondles around for the folded up paper in his luggage and adds the number into his contacts. Dr. Du Maurier. He presses the dial.

A secretary picks up, and he inhales.

“Hi, my name’s Will Graham. I was recommended to your practice by a friend. I’d like to set up an appointment.” 

 

Chapter Text

 

In the waiting room, Will’s leg bounces impatiently.

The secretary is a lithe young woman who repeatedly glances up at him with an irked expression. He wants to blurt out a sarcastic remark akin to, ‘Sorry if I’m disturbing your college entry exam,’ but he’s running on very little chutzpah. 

There is no one else in the waiting room, and there’s been no one for an hour. His appointment was scheduled for thirty minutes ago, and the fact that his new therapist is late almost doesn’t surprise him. There’s a fine line between high class establishments and lower class establishments. It’s rare to find a Doctor who isn’t either exhaustively late or snobbishly late. 

He can tell from the reception area, the guy is no doubt a snob.

“Dr. Du Maurier is ready for you now,” the secretary drones, not looking up from her laptop this time. His upper lip curls, and he bites his tongue to keep his curt remarks to himself.

Will opens the door to the right of her desk, and enters a large office. 

It is cushy. The room looks more like a living room than an office, the furniture all calming greys and beiges, expensive but minimalist. Despite the sunlight from the clerestory windows, the color in the room looks washed out. The smell of champagne lingers in the air.

“Would you like a glass?” comes the voice of a vixen. 

He’s never heard a voice quite like that, but the intonations are familiar. 

He turns to find a gorgeous older woman, her blond hair combed over one side of her shoulder, bouncing against the muted green business-casual dress she’s adorned. She pointedly walks across the room to sit down in one of the two darker grey armchairs facing each other. 

Will stares. “I don’t normally drink in therapy.”

“Do you normally go to therapy?”

The woman is the same woman that had left Hannibal’s house that one day, who treated him with an air of familiarity and conviviality. She is Hannibal’s sex therapist. Hannibal knew. 

He doesn’t betray his recognition, and moves to sit parallel to her.

“No,” he sighs, settling. 

She makes direct, unnerving, eye contact.

“Your first time?” 

“I…went to therapy for a few months when I was training to be in the force. It, uh, didn’t take,” he offers, taking the time to scan her face up close and ponder her place in Hannibal’s food chain. Hannibal doesn’t like people. He plays at fitting in and normalcy. He wonders if she marks high enough in the chain that he’d do a favor for her if she asked. 

She doesn’t look like the type to ask for favors. 

“Cognitive behavioral therapy is not sex therapy,” she states. It isn’t a question. She has methods of garnering elaboration from her clients. Will can see the flags a mile away.

“I work in pornography. There’s very little in that career path that isn’t about sex, and what isn’t, is also about sex,” Will replies, worrying his bottom lip. “Sex therapy seemed the best option.”

Her indifference to his declared profession is oddly comforting.

“How long have you worked in pornography?” 

“Years. Almost six.”

“It seems to me, you have endured a long stretch of time in your career without therapy. Humans are adaptable animals. We seek help when something commonplace turns…maladaptive.”  

Deliberating with a slow nod, Will says, “The short story is, I worked in heterosexual porn for five of those years, and only recently made the switch to homosexually based work. And, I don’t consider myself homosexual.” 

“Yet for a year, you’ve managed to withhold reaching out.”

It is a question without a question mark. Will facial features twitch. He’s not directly here for mere troubles with his sexuality, but she doesn’t know that. She speaks almost crudely, and he supposes they at least have that much in common. Though, that doesn’t help him to like her. 

“It was simpler than I thought, to focus on my salary and not the sex. It was much simpler than I thought it would be to get off during the sex,” he murmurs that last bit, not quite used to speaking so crassly to an unfamiliar audience. 

“Have you considered you hold disillusions about your sexuality?” 

“No, I’m not deluding myself,” Will remarks. “There are straight men in this business that can get it up just fine with other men, I’m one of them. It’s the fact I’ve been…recently dating a man.” 

Again, she looks indifferent.

“I see. Does attraction to him present itself in the same degree it has with previous sexual partners?”  

“No. It started, as far as I can tell, because of our…shared fascination in sadomasochism.” 

“You both practice BDSM?” 

“I dabble, he practices.” Will scratches at his neck, where his beard fades. “We came to an agreement, to make a certain amount of films for our employer. He was interested in me from the get-go, but I didn’t quite catch onto his intentions until we began shooting.”   

Dr. Du Maurier reaches over to the mousy table beside her armchair and takes a notebook and pen from it. She opens it and scribbles down a few notes lightly. Will can’t help but to glare.

He wonders suddenly if Hannibal has spoken about him in sessions, and if she knows who he is. Who he likes, who he films with. If she already has intricate knowledge about his psyche. The concept doesn’t sit well with him.

She takes a breath and inquires, “You are the submissive in this arrangement?”

“Yes.”

“Have you considered he might have groomed you into the position?” 

Will blinks furiously and his lips part to speak, but his tongue feels tied.

Patiently, she crosses her legs and takes a sip of her champagne. He’s wishing he agreed to a glass now. He shakes his head finally, and attempts to keep his voice even.

“I wouldn’t do what I do with him if I didn’t enjoy it on some level,” Will explains. “He hasn’t forced me into anything.” 

“I never used the word ‘forced,’ I am simply deducing if it possible he created an environment where his praise as an experienced and more relevant star in the industry conceived a reward system benefiting an amateur and sexually disoriented individual. In turn, benefiting him.” 

Taking time to process the words, Will gears up to defend Hannibal and himself. He doesn’t know where she, a therapist, gets off calling him amateurish and sexually disoriented, but as the statement sinks in, he begins to realize the information he’s given her thus far does coincide with the claims. He slumps deeper into his seat when the accusation begins to sound less like an accusation and more like a real possibility. 

Will thinks about sleeping with Audrey, and how inexperienced she came across in the world of BDSM. He thinks about the implements she used and the pain she inflicted, and how none of it managed to turn him on. Never in the way Hannibal could incite him. 

“He…I don’t believe he would do that intentionally.”

“Perhaps not. There may be behaviors he houses he is wholly unaware of. The very same could be said of you,” she speaks flowingly, lips curling humorlessly. “Even me.” 

“I didn’t set up an appointment to talk specifically about my–” Will tastes bile when he realizes he was going to say ‘boyfriend.’ “My partner, or my sexuality.” 

“We may all benefit from introspection of any kind,” Dr. Du Maurier offers. “Relationships require it to function, or to ensure longevity. I believe it would be prudent to think on what I suggested in that regard.” 

Will nods, desperate for a change of subject.

“May I ask what provoked you into setting up an appointment?”

“Provoked,” Will scoffs. “Strong language.”

“Strong conflicts often yield strong language. It must have been a strong enough catalyst to send you to me, trumping the conflict of your sexuality and your new relationship.”

“It involves my relationship,” Will elucidates, knee bouncing again. She doesn’t tell him to stop, and his mind wanders to the urban legend that if you bounce your leg overactively, it’s a tell-tale sign of chronic masturbation. He attempts not to feel as if he’s under fire-hot scrutiny, but this woman is making it tough to relax. “Specifically, me and my partner’s contract required exclusivity, as well as our recent personal relationship negotiations. The contract though, has been terminated temporarily, and I’ve been scheduled to shoot with another man.” 

“Do you believe your partner would disapprove?”

“It’s work, uh, I don’t think he would. He shouldn’t, really”

“Have you discussed the matter with him?”

Abashed, Will shakes his head. “I thought it’d be better to talk with you first. I wasn’t sure if I was crazy, thinking that because I’m in a relationship I suddenly can’t do my job. I’ve never, never–” He huffs, restlessness getting the better of him. He stands to pace, trailing his fingers over the spine of the chair. “Never in my whole career has this been an issue for me.” 

Will speaks through his teeth. “Not once.” 

“There are two equally plausible explanations to your reaction,” his new therapist offers, and he turns his head to look in her direction, but not directly at her. “Would you care to hear them, or would you prefer mundane advice such as ‘Communication is Key’?” 

“I want to hear them,” he decides without hesitation. This is the furthest he’s ever gotten in therapy without feeling like he and his therapists are both frauds.

“Sit,” she orders, and he does. The Doctor sets her drink down and turns her nose up slightly, as if contemplating her words. “You either repress a deeply rooted knowledge about your partner’s…potentially volatile envy and fear the backlash of deciding to go to the shoot despite your newfound relationship, or,” she inhales faintly and meets his eyes, “your feelings for this man have vastly exceeded those developed in any previous relationships.”

Both are hard pills to swallow, but Will didn’t sign up for a picnic.

“There isn’t a third option? What if I just don’t want to film with other men anymore, couldn’t that be the core of it?” he asks, even knowing his reluctance isn’t coming from a place of modesty. 

“Possibilities are endless. That’s why I’m here to introduce you to the ones that make the most sense from the information I’ve gathered. Do you disagree with them?”

“I don’t,” Will answers truthfully. Quieter, he says, “It’s hard for me to accept them, both.”

“I am aware it must be difficult for you, these past several months, to accept many things,” she offers, somehow with the same level of apathy she’s been doling out this entire session.

“The possibility that both have some weight to them…bothers me,” Will admits.

“As it should, as you said they are hard to accept. There are preventative measures you can take in regards to the first explanation I offered, however.”

“What are those?”

Dr. Du Maurier puts on a simpering smile. 

He sighs, and echoes, “Communication is key?”

“It is the paradigm of relationships, romantic, sexual, or otherwise.”   

Will wasn’t going to film with the Great Red Dragon without telling Hannibal of course, but it doesn’t mean that conversation is going to be any easier to have. He sighs and runs a hand through his hair, wondering again if it’s too late to pour himself the offered drink. 

“While communication leads us to insights on our peer’s internalizations and machinations, and will often prevent repercussions of any nature, there are not always decisions a party of two can ultimately make together. If your feelings for your partner exceed any you’ve experienced before, it is up to you to nurture those feelings…or crush them, if the foundations appear contaminated.”

The imagery is striking. Will’s eyes glaze over in thought.

 


 

The second half of the session, Bedelia had worked towards getting to know him better. She asked him thinly veiled questions about his childhood which sparked questions in himself, pondering if the shame he has experienced derived from his upbringing, or if kinks were born of circumstances seemingly dormant in the importance of his history. Nothing left him ruminating as intensely as the statement about his feelings for Hannibal. If they are crushable. 

He thinks over the matter on the drive to Hannibal’s house.

He wasn’t planning on showing up to his house today, but since his film with the Great Red Dragon is to commence tomorrow, he might as well take the scenic route home. 

Will also has a bone to pick. 

He raps harshly on Hannibal’s front door, six smacks against the polished wood in total. He waits, glaring into the middle distance and tapping his foot until Hannibal answers. 

Immediately, Hannibal’s face brightens.

“Will, what an unexpected surprise, won’t you come inside?” He stands aside to let Will in and then his eyebrows jump, as if with excitement, if Will didn’t know any better. “The package arrived,” he muses, leaning down to pick up a cardboard box Will hadn’t noticed on the porch. 

Will follows Hannibal through the foyer and into the living room where Hannibal places the package down. He’s been thinking about what he’s going to say for the whole ride over, but Hannibal speaks first, “Would you grab a knife from the kitchen for me?” 

Suddenly, an opportunity arises. Will offers a placating smile and does as he’s told, returning swiftly with a long bread knife. Hannibal is on one of the couches, bent over the package inquisitively. Instead of handing it to him, Will leans over the backend of the couch and brings the razor edge of the blade to Hannibal’s throat.

The grandfather clock in the room ticks loudly. 

“While it came in black, I would prefer you don’t spill blood on my silk-satin couch, Will,” Hannibal laments, no more than put out by the prospect of being cut into. 

Exhaling, Will turns the knife, handing the blunt end over. 

Hannibal takes it without a word and begins cutting through the tape of the package. Will sits beside him, eyes trained on his movements and his easy, unruffled expression.

“How was your appointment with Bedelia?” he asks then, face creasing in amusement. 

“I see you’re not going to try and deny that you knew.”

“Of course I knew. I recommended her.” 

“You recommended a Dr. Du Maurier, and led me to believe it wasn’t your therapist.” 

“I did not lie to you,” Hannibal insists, smile softening. He folds up his sleeves to his elbow, and begins tearing the package open with the knife. He wields it well, a man who knows his way around a blade. The bulging veins in his forearms distract Will from his ire.

“Your curiosity is going to get you in trouble one of these days.”

“It seems it already has.” Hannibal gets the package open with a screeching pull of tape, and leaves it be for now. He turns to face Will and tells him, “I would not have recommended her if I didn’t believe she would be adept at helping you. Have I led you astray in that regard?”

Will shakes his head, jaw tightening and untightening. 

“No, you haven’t,” he concedes. “I-I’m not a toy.”

“No, you’re not. You make your own decisions and you endure the consequences without complaint. You are one of the most formidable creatures I have ever had the privilege of knowing,” Hannibal asserts, the surety in his voice making Will shiver. 

“You say that…” Will murmurs, following it up with an exasperated sigh. “Things like this, Hannibal, make me feel far from equal to you.” 

“That was not my intention.” Hannibal gathers Will’s hands in his own, and Will fights the age-old urge to pull away from that which he becomes too close to. “I won’t deny I am intimate with my instincts, and to my detriment. My nature is not always kind.”

“You appeal to destruction,” Will concurs. “I can understand that.”

“I don’t consider you destructive,” says Hannibal.

“I don’t consider you destructive, either, not–not in a cataclysmic way, but I think together, we bring that out in each other.” Will closes his eyes, clenching his fingers around Hannibal’s hands and hastily adds, “That sounds like I’m trying to break up with you, or something, I’m not. I’m saying I think we’re a better match than we know. We’d ruin anyone else.”

“Are you saying you forgive me?” Hannibal asks, amused. He doesn’t feel guilty about what he did, and Will doesn’t expect him to. He doesn’t care if Will is offering forgiveness or not.

“I forgave you before I even knew,” Will admits haltingly. It sounds like a weak man’s cop out, but he means every syllable. Hannibal has interwoven himself deep inside Will, and Will’s not sure he’ll ever manage to extract every vine and thread. “I just hope you can forgive me.” 

Hannibal’s head tilts like a cat, and Will loosens his grip on his hands.

“The text I received from Freddie Lounds has me scheduled for a shoot with another man tomorrow. I had no idea how to tell you, I knew I had to and I shouldn’t have waited last minute, but I thought…I felt idiotic even making a fuss about it when it’s my job.”

“Did you think I would punish you?” Hannibal questions quietly, sounding phenomenally hurt, even if the admission was a small blow in comparison to most. 

“I don’t know, Hannibal,” Will answers. “Our relationship didn’t get off to an average start. I’m well aware we’re not like most, that you’re not like most. I’m still testing the waters here.”

Hannibal scoots closer and cups the side of Will’s neck with one hand. He’s far gentler than Will anticipated he would be, vocally too. “My dear boy, this does not require my forgiveness. Nor would I punish you. You made it clear our work relationship was not to seep into our personal. Though, I would have preferred you told me sooner.”

Will lets out a dry laugh. “Probably would have had time to convince Lounds out of this deal.”

“Hardly. It would have been difficult for me to ask for a shift in regulation regarding a contract not my own,” Hannibal explains and Will raises a brow.

“You would have tried anyway, right?”

Hannibal smirks, playfully. “Perhaps.”

Will sways forward, the gesture stuttering as he finds Hannibal’s cheek with his nose. The contact soothes him, in the way it feels to have a warm, heavy blanket draped over you. He murmurs, “You don’t want anyone in my life to have me that’s not you.” 

Hannibal hums, nudging his cheek against Will’s lips. Will smiles into his skin and pecks him softly, relieved at the turn of events. It is becoming apparent how unpredictable they both are.

“You weren’t idiotic making a fuss about this,” Hannibal rumbles, rolling the pad of his thumb over Will’s knuckles. “I find myself quite incensed. Not at you, of course.”

“You don’t sound incensed,” Will counters, pulling back.

“You wouldn’t wish to see the extrinsic display of that,” Hannibal warns icily, and Will falls quiet. There is less than a beat of silence before the older man asks, “Who is the man you’ll be co-starring with? 

“Uh, he goes by the Great Red Dragon. I can’t remember his actual name.”

The space between Hannibal’s brow tightens. He turns to face the coffee table, concentrating intensively. The reaction doesn’t bode well. 

“Okay, what.” Will inches to the edge of the couch cushion he’s sitting on, attempting to grab Hannibal’s attention. “Does he get off on biting? Spitting in other people’s mouths?” 

“It’s well known he is overtly rough and doesn’t leave respectable impressions on those he works with,” Hannibal evenly states. 

“Are you worried I won’t be able to handle it?”

“No, you can hold your own quite well,” he assures, something creaking in his tone. Will struggles to pinpoint it until–

“It’s not sex,” Will ganders. “Sex would have been simple. You don’t want to share the power you have over me. You don’t want another person to dominate me.” 

Hannibal is quiet, expression calculatingly schooled. 

There have been several instances in their relationship, even before they started seeing each other in this way, that Will should have been frightened about something he learned about Hannibal. This is one of those moments. Hannibal having possessiveness over his submission rather than solely his body would erect a red flag for most. Will, however, finds it sweet. 

And, paralyzingly erotic. 

He takes a chance he rarely takes in relationships, as he’s discovered himself to be more brazen in Hannibal’s presence than any other. More himself, than he’s ever known. 

He throws a leg over Hannibal’s lap and captures the man’s infuriating lips in a kiss. They pout against him, a responsive twitch, and then Hannibal’s hands tentatively find his hips and invite more, always more. Will gives it to him, rocking him back into the soft cushion of the couch and slipping his tongue between his parted mouth. 

“He’s not you. It’s not about the masochism or the sadism for me, Hannibal. It’s about you, and no one else,” Will pants. “He won’t have any power over me tomorrow because I’ve already handed it all over. I trust you with its safekeeping.”

There is a sound like a purr coming from Hannibal’s chest, and Will lets a toothy smile spread across his face, grazing his teeth over his partner’s plump, reddened lips. 

“Do you trust me?” he asks, perhaps too sultry for the serious weight of it.

“More than is realistic,” Hannibal murmurs, kissing gently down Will’s neck, dry little presses of his lips. Will’s smile turns a bit wonky, punch-drunk on affection.

“Are you going to watch it?” 

Hannibal’s eyes open, and he shoots him a questioning look.

“The film I make tomorrow.” 

Will can feel Hannibal’s thighs tense beneath his hips, the grip of his fingers digging into his ribs. “Against my better judgement, I will be incapable of turning a blind eye.”

"I'll do something special for you. A code word or something. No one except you will know I'm putting on a show just for my lover," Will whispers, pressing a swift kiss to his cheek. "How's that?" 

Hannibal seems to melt at Will’s endearment, cheeks warming under Will’s hands. “I shall be delighted to see what you come up with.”

Will yelps as he’s swerved around, pressed back to front. He sits balanced on one of Hannibal’s thighs, resting his weight on his chest. Will smiles when Hannibal squeezes him closer and kisses up the column of his neck. “Would you like to see what’s in my package?” 

“Is that an innuendo?” Will rasps, turning in time to see Hannibal’s eyes crinkle at the corners. He laughs and tilts Will forward so he can grab the contents of the delivery from the coffee table. Will fondles the heavy, rectangular, black case. It has a zipper on the side, so he opens it.

He removes a thin veil of plastic.

Inside, lies a row of several silver rods. All different shapes and girths. 

Sounds.

Will’s fingers shudder over them as he feels along the cold, metal lengths. They seem longer than he assumed sounds to be. He doesn’t notice he’s gone tense until one of Hannibal’s arms curls around his hip, steadying him. 

“They’re for our next session,” Hannibal murmurs against the sleeve of his shirt. “I saw no reason not to bestow you with a hint.”

“I’ve never…does it hurt?” 

“It requires an experienced dominant, and I am that,” Hannibal reassures. “You will not feel pain, at least, not anything damaging.”  

“You covet my discomfort,” Will says, stroking a fingertip over one that looks made up of beads. Curiosity exceeds his trepidation. “You had no trouble talking Lounds into starting up our contract again, then.” 

“None at all.” Hannibal frowns. “Oddly, she did not seem surprised.”

Will’s backbone is beginning to ache, so he climbs off of Hannibal’s lap and hands him the case of sounds. Hannibal zips it up and places it back in its packaging. He’ll store it safely in the basement cabinets later. 

“Probably didn’t want to press her luck,” Will grunts, cracking his back. He enjoys the wince that sparks on Hannibal’s face. 

“Would you be amenable to coming to my home tomorrow, an hour or so before your shoot?” Hannibal asks, suspicious for the lack of any intonation. 

Will regards him. “What for?”

 


 

“Fuck, fuck Hannibal, just let me come!” Will groans, pounding a fist against Hannibal’s mattress, and shoving another in his gaping mouth to teethe at the knuckles. He loathes the rabid sounds Hannibal is ripping from him.

“That is not the point of this,” Hannibal reminds him evenly, curling three fingers into his prostate again, harder. Will whines, heels slipping on the silk sheets.

“Then why the fuck is your mouth on my cock?!” Will shouts, and the older man’s pointy teeth bare against his shaft in a helpless grin. 

“Apologies, my dear. I will cease.” 

“Just–” Will pants, legs falling open further as Hannibal rhythmically thrusts all three fingers into him, a fourth prodding at his swollen entrance. “Please, just–That’s enough, I’m stretched. I’m ready, I’m fine . Let me go or, oh, I’ll be late.”

Shockingly, Hannibal finally listens. He drags his fingers out of him, and kisses his contracting, swelling rim before sliding in a large, lubricated buttplug. Will clenches around it and moans defeatedly. His head rolls back and his limbs fall loose along the bed when Hannibal pulls away entirely. He feels wrung out, spent, and he hasn’t even come. Will’s hands twitch towards his straining cock, but he needs to save it for the shoot. “I know what you were doing just now,” he calls out gruffly. “You could have stretched me without marking your territory.” 

Hannibal had licked almost every square inch of his groin, and salivated over Will’s cock before pumping him salaciously to apparently ‘Relax his hole.’ 

The devious man simply smirks and replies, “Don’t forget to take the plug out before the shoot, lest Jimmy Price steal another one of your gifts.”

His envy is far more tangible today than yesterday, not that Will’s complaining, but he doesn’t know how to dampen his arousal in the next thirty minutes, at least enough to look passable when he walks on set. 

Flinchingly, Will sits up, but Hannibal gently pushes him back down. “I’m not finished with you yet, dove.” He strokes over his hip bone, appeasingly. “Hold on a moment longer.”

Hannibal disappears from the bedroom for a few minutes, during which time Will grumbles out something akin to “Oh, it’s dove now is it,” while clenching and unclenching his toes impatiently. Strangely, he’s more comforted by being nude in front of Hannibal than he is alone in a room he’s still not as familiar with as he’d like to be. 

Hannibal returns with a bucket of ice and a towel. Will props himself up on his elbows, disconcerted by the haul. “Hush, you won’t be late.” 

He settles himself back between Will’s legs and takes one of the cubes from the silver bucket, trailing it up and down the shaft of Will’s erection without preamble. “Oh,” Will gasps, hips twitching backward from the stimulation, but Hannibal shoves his hips down with his forearms and paints the ice over every inch of hot, aroused skin. It suddenly feels like winter, and Will is outside buried in snow. 

He shivers, the cube melting entirely and dripping down the curves of his pelvis to the bedsheets. Gradually, his erection begins to deflate. Instead of using another cube directly, Hannibal pops one in his own mouth and descends on Will’s cock. 

“Oh hell,” Will mutters, turning his head from the sight. 

The blowjob feels impractically good, despite his cock shrinking in size. The ice melts in Hannibal’s searing mouth, wetting his dick. Chills accompany the light suction. When the older man pulls off with a pop, Will is almost entirely flaccid, though he feels closer to orgasm than before. 

Hannibal puts the cap back on the ice bucket and wipes Will down with the towel, even dragging the rough material over the sweat beaded at his brow line. 

When Hannibal begins to hand Will his clothing, which is scattered all along the rug, Will thrums, “If you’re trying to convince me to stay home with you, it’s working.”

“After all that work ‘marking my territory’ I hardly wish to keep you captive,” Hannibal teases, helping Will into his jacket, fixing his collar. “Shall we head out?”

 


 

“We’re pushing it with you driving me here, I’m not going to kiss you farewell,” Will tells Hannibal who purses his lips and flexes his hands over the steering wheel.

“I understand,” he replies primly. “Give the Red Dragon my best.”

“But not my best right?” Will taunts in a low voice. 

“Show him he’s not the one who whets your appetite,” Hannibal responds, meeting Will’s eyes with his own dark ones, gaze flashing dangerously. Will really wishes he could give him a parting kiss, groin throbbing with need from half an hour earlier.

“Okay. I’ll, um, see you,” Will stammers, hastily retreating from the car. The urge to kiss Hannibal still remains even when he’s standing with two feet planted to the pavement, watching Hannibal’s Bentley drive off down the busy street. 

Will was dropped off at the location given to him by Lounds; a small in-city hotel, brimstone and metal grating up the sides of the walls. It’s a place that looks cheaper than it actually is. Will passes an intimidating looking man leaning against the railing of the lobby steps. There is a scar over his mouth where a cleft lip may have been, and his face looks as if to be in a perpetual scowl. He’s handsome by most standards, but comes across almost feral in his cat-like stillness. 

Will hops up the steps and hurries through the lobby, to where the elevators are located in the back. He clicks the button to go up and stiffens when he senses the man from outside stroll very slowly through the foyer until he is standing next to him. 

In the elevator, Will can feel perspiration on his forehead. The man’s eyes are on him, and he’s breathing heavily. It couldn’t be more awkward.

“You’re…Will Ram.” 

Great, a fan.

It’s unquestionably the last thing he needs right now. 

“I don’t do autographs,” Will mumbles, keeping his eyes trained on the jumping, neon-lit numbers above the elevator doors. Jack just had to arrange the shoot in the penthouse. 

The man favors great pauses in between his words, articulating each syllable carefully. With a sympathetic pang, Will can’t help but acknowledge it is most likely due to growing up with his birth defect. He turns to face him and finds an outstretched hand.

“My name is…Francis.” There is a stilted silence. “Dolarhyde.”

At first it doesn’t ring a bell, but Will goes red when he realizes.

“Oh, shit, sorry.” He shakes Francis’ hand in a flurry. “I’m not savvy with the industry faces. It’s, ehm, good to meet you.” 

“I’m honored to finally meet you, Mr. Ram,” Francis drones, sincerity almost intrusively candid. 

“Trust me, I’m not that special,” Will mutters, sighing in relief when the elevator bings. The doors open and a gust of cool air wafts in. He follows it out into the hall, Francis padding close behind. 

“You are. I…have been following your recent work.” Francis speaks in a low timbre, matching the languid pace of his steps. Like he isn’t in a rush to get to set and get the shoot over with. “With the–” He lets out a long breath, “The Chesapeake Rigger.” 

One of Will’s brows pops up, and he refuses to bite. He’s not in the mood to have any conversation about his and Hannibal’s films. That subject belongs to them and them alone. 

When Will reaches the door of the penthouse, he moves to open it without knocking, feeling a frantic compulsion to just escape this talk, but Francis slaps a palm down on the door, blocking Will from entry. Cautiously, Will meets his eyes.

There is something dead in there. They don't quite look at Will. There is something other in Hannibal’s too, but he is lively and alert. What Will finds in this man’s eyes is foul.

The imagery doesn’t match the man’s worshipful intonations and cool voice, smooth like an oil slick. It’s unnerving, more so than Will is comfortable with.

“I would be interested…in hearing how you came to know the Rigger. How you…managed to reform him from stasis and steer him back toward the path of meta–” Francis struggles with the word. “Metaphysical pleasures.”  

Will has no clue what Francis Dolarhyde is saying.

“I didn’t reform him,” Will answers, sourly. “I don’t know what you’ve heard, but you should know better than anyone rumors will get you nowhere in this business.” 

Will weasels his way under the man’s arm, opening the door to the sight of the crew huddled around a large, maroon bed with golden accents. Will has never been so relieved to see Jack Crawford.

“You’re five minutes late,” he bellows, tapping his wrist where a watch isn’t. “Get the hell over here and strip.” 

“Nice to see you too, Jack,” Will retorts, handing his jacket to Jimmy Price who is waiting by the door, desperate to be the proverbial coat hanger. 

“Apologies…Jack,” Francis responds quietly. “It was my fault. I–I was getting to know Mr. Ram.”

That’s a slimmed down way of putting it. Will is still shaken from their eccentric conversation, hands quivering as he removes the last remaining articles of clothing. He’s handed a robe from Jimmy. The jittery man’s arms are draped in several jackets and shawls. 

“Bev’s waiting for you in the bathroom, Will,” Jack tells him, glancing at the door of the suite as if he expects someone else to come barreling through.

“What?” Will demands, tossing the robe on.

“Is Hannibal not with you?” 

Will pales. “Why would Hannibal be with me?” 

Instantly, he can hear frenzied whispering from all around him. It strikes him as odd, but he’s known dozens of people to speak behind his back in his lifetime. He’s more concerned by Jack’s almost sheepish expression in response. 

Sounding reproachful of himself, Jack mutters, “No reason. Snap to it, kid.”

Will’s fuse is running short with the amount of outlandish communication he’s dealt with today, and just about tosses in his hat when he enters the brightly lit bathroom to find Bev looking like she got caught red-handed.

“Do I have something on my face? Why is everyone looking at me like I’ve got two heads,” Will rambles, plopping down in the folding chair she set out. Bev continues to stare at him, and he reaches a breaking point. “Bev, what the hell?”

“You don’t know?” 

“Know what?”

“Oh,” she murmurs, letting out a small sigh. She laughs a bit, but it’s not a happy noise. “Um, nothing. Sorry, hey it’s nice to see you.”

“It’s nice to see you too. I can’t say I don’t wish today was already over, though.” Will exhales sharply, closing his eyes when she begins to fluff his face with foundation. 

Bev’s fingers are cold when she dabs some grey eyeshadow on him to make his eyes pop. After a choking swallow, she says, “Trust me, you have no idea how much I agree with you.”

 


 

Will never received a script from Lounds. 

He assumed there would either be cue cards or it would be another improv case. Francis surprises him by monologuing at the entire crew, with a shyness that didn’t come across in the elevator, how he had always admired Hannibal’s improvisation technique and the raw reactions it conceives. Along with how he wishes to implement the practice into his own work, for similar reasons, but also to ensure the actor’s ability to come into one’s self. Becoming. 

There is more to it, but Will zones him out. 

Half of the crew is intrigued enough to entertain the man’s ego. Will spends enough time stroking Hannibal’s, he doesn’t need to stroke a stranger’s. A twinge of abhorrence twists in his belly too, as the man left Will with a less than admirable first impression. 

Francis pulls him off to the side after as the crew allows them time to discuss the impending shoot. He becomes impossible to ignore now, and Will acknowledges he needs to, to avoid any poor repercussions. 

“I am sure you have read my…repertoire. I asked Ms. Lounds to send you a copy.”

Will hasn’t. He never reads that stuff. 

“Uh, yeah, I skimmed it,” he lies. “Refresh me?"

“I assume from your remarkable work with the Rigger,” the syllables shudder in the man’s mouth, “you would not be opposed to my biting you, or perhaps leaving…a few bruises. If that is not acceptable –”

“It’s fine” Will waves his hand dismissively. “Whatever you want to the extent of not breaking my bones, deal?” 

Why wouldn’t it be? Francis is right; Will is experienced now, and he feels there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to enjoy a bit of mindless roughness. It will make Hannibal jealous too. That makes Will struggle to suppress a smirk.

Francis isn’t humored, but he seems to be lacking a sense of it rather than being rude. 

“I should like that deal very much,” he deadpans, and Will presses his lips together in a tight smile. It’s times like these he wishes he could use the phrase, ‘I have a boyfriend.’

Jack shouts out, “You’ve got two minutes!”

Will jerks a nod over at him in response, but Francis manages to catch his gaze again with those droopy, piercing eyes. “I would like to ask you to prepare yourself…before we begin filming. I believe valuable time is often lost if the camera lingers too long on…preparation.”

Will almost wants to sneer, What, you’re not going to offer to do it for me? But, after Hannibal’s rigorous fingering earlier today, he feels rather worn. And he doesn’t particularly want to waste more time at this shoot than he already is concurrently. 

Instead, he says, “No worries, I always come prepared. He reaches under his robe and removes the butt plug Hannibal stuffed him with out into the open air. He can’t help but delight at Francis’ blanched expression. He calls, “Hey, Jimmy!”

Jimmy stumbles over, and without a word plucks the plug from his fingers and darts off. Will’s mouth hangs open, having expected to politely ask the man to store it away for safekeeping until he’s finished. He’s probably never going to see that plug again either. 

“Your safe word is still…forgive my pronunciation. Garmonbozia?” Francis asks, catching Will by the wrist before he attempts to follow Jimmy. He definitely won’t be seeing that plug again. 

“I told Lounds to update that,” Will grumbles. He had impulsively chosen that word when he’d first signed his contract, as at the time he’d been in the middle of a Twin Peaks binge. Despite inwardly cringing at himself, he murmurs, “Yeah, it works.” 

He’s never had to use a safe word with another co-star. 

It’s not as if he’s worked with anyone as intense as Hannibal.

Despite his outward look, Francis doesn’t seem as intense. 

“Anything you want me to warn you about?” Will teases, smiling awkwardly. “I could do a number of things to you, after all.” 

“You can’t do anything to me,” Francis responds, the statement so determinedly spoken, Will is forced to look away, and slowly pry himself from the conversation. 

He’s well aware he’s known as a twink, but Francis seems incensed to stick to a set role. 

All too soon, Will is manhandled by Jack to stand against the column to the left of the window, open to a city view. ‘The Great Red Dragon’ according to the discussion he’d had with the crew earlier (where the intimidating man had mostly been speaking at them than anything else) is apparently going to fuck him against the window, and then finger him to orgasm on the bed. Nothing overwrought, and seemingly simple. 

Aside from Will’s open permissions to treat him as he pleases.

“Alright, Francis, tell me when you’re ready,” Jack announces, micromanaging the last preparations on the camera. 

“Whenever Mr. Ram is,” Francis drawls, eyes boring into Will from across the room. Will forces a weak smile and a thumbs up. 

Jack sighs roughly and shouts, “Three, two, one, action!”

Will stares distantly out the window as he’d been directed to do, and waits. He can feel a naked form encroaching, the shape in his peripheral menacing and unwelcome. He swallows and turns, putting on an overdramatic display of shock.

“You don’t look like a delivery man,” Will blurts out with the accusatory tone of a sexually repressed housewife, and hey, who said he couldn’t have fun?

The dialogue takes Francis off guard, and Will mentally fist bumps himself. 

“Delivery…man?”

“I ordered candles,” Will explains innocently, casting a glance in the direction of the camera. Jack swiftly moves to the right to avoid Will making eye contact with the lens, but Hannibal will know the glance is for him nonetheless. “The scent is called Night Velvet.”  

The scent they’d made love to in Maine. 

He’s surprised Jack doesn’t call cut, with how little this excerpt has to do with sex, but Francis handles improv like a professional.

“It sounds like an…aphrodisiac. Are you in need of sexual stimulation?” He asks as he takes a few strategic steps forward. Will allows himself to take a full look at the man’s nude form.

He looks like a body builder despite being lean. His cock is considerable, bobbing weighty between his legs and hard at that, sufficient enough to get Will close to orgasm if not completely there. Every inch of the man screams; menacing. 

Will makes himself sound meek. “I don’t know, are you offering?” 

They are close enough now for Will to feel Francis’ breath on his face. Abruptly, a hand is tight around his throat, pressing him hard into the column he’d been lounging against. 

A breathy gasp stutters from Will, and the grip tightens.

He can still breathe, but he instinctively avoids moving to prevent the squeeze from tightening. It sends a dull thrill up his spine. Dull doesn’t get him there, though. Seeming to realize this, Francis makes direct eye contact as he loosens Will’s robe and parts the fabric. Will’s cock is cupped and he closes his eyes, fondled into hardness.

Each whimper causes Francis’ fingers to stroke his throat, tightening only just. Will arches into the touch despite his baser instincts. He didn’t think he’d be thinking this so soon, but he wishes it was Hannibal. Hannibal’s hands would be warm. 

While allaying, the gesture isn’t quite enough.

“Is this offering appropriate?” 

“I’d say it’s inappropriate,” Will wheezes, forcing a sly grin. “But, you know, semantics.”  

Francis lets up, and Will’s feet fall flat to the rug. He hadn’t even realized he’d balancing on his toes, until he feels the ache in them. He tries not to cough to catch his breath, and gets distracted when Francis tugs him over to the window and presses him up against the glass, face first.

The cold surface of the window makes him feel depleted rather than aroused, but Francis is trying his best. He rubs over the bare skin open to him, Will gasping lightly at every touch. Most of the gasps are for show; he finds himself bored, lacking.

His neck hurts a little, but not enough for Will to even consider calling cut.

The man’s hands suddenly vanish from his skin, but before Will can turn, his loose robe is ripped from his body. Fabric tears and shrieks. Frigid momentarily from the display of brute force, Will doesn’t move even when Francis sinks sharp nails into his hips and pulls his ass back into his erection. His prick is stovetop hot, and it draws a groan out of him.

Francis is dripping. 

Will thinks of Hannibal, of Hannibal’s fingers inside him. He smiles a little remembering how close he’d been to orgasm this evening, and how he’d been denied. How desperate he is to go back to him and either come by his hand, or just hold one another. 

He realizes it’s unproductive to daydream during a porn shoot.

Reluctantly, he banishes his dreamy thoughts.

“I bet you never think…about the world beyond your window,” Francis says, his hard voice vibrating under the lobe of Will’s ear. “It never occurred to you that someone from below might see you flaunting yourself and give you what you…truly deserve.” 

Will’s brow creases, crushed beneath the Dragon’s weight. Francis flattens him more against the window and Will gasps, wincing a bit at the pressure. 

Even Hannibal doesn’t go to the gym as much as this guy.

It serves a point, even paired with an objectively more fit man, Will is not attracted to him. The reality is somewhat comforting. 

One of the man’s hands disappears between them and his erection pokes against his hole, rubbing and propping. Will had told him he was ready, and he is, but he still jumps and grimaces when the man spits on his hole noisily and slides in without preamble.

Not enough, not nearly enough.

Not just Francis’ cock. Will has experienced his grief over being fucked by cocks smaller than Hannibal’s, but Francis isn’t Hannibal, and that’s what ruins him. He sighs, frustrated, and pushes back, moaning when his dick sinks deeper and brushes his prostate. 

He doesn’t know when he became so possessive over his position as Hannibal’s possession. 

“What if I never meant to attract anyone to me?” Will manages, attempting to garner if Francis is offering a thinly veiled conversation or is just terrible at dirty talk.

“You should have drawn the curtains,” Francis growls, bottoming out in a single thrust. Will shouts, nails scraping against the glass. 

There is no adjustment period. Francis pounds him hard and fast, and Will can barely take a breath without it being punched from him every second. “Oh, fuck, god,” he moans, smacking his forehead against the window hard enough he’s shocked it doesn’t shatter.

He wonders what it would feel like to tumble into the traffic below.

It feels good, better than good, and yet it still isn’t enough.

The city view isn’t his for long. Francis pulls out of him with a squelching sound and spins him around, lifting him up as if he weighs no more than a sex toy and spears him on his cock again. Will wails, grasping at the glass for purchase, forced to grip the man’s hair when he fails to find any. His hair is short, ugly even. It slips through his fingers.

“Fuck, so, so Hard, comes to mind. He’s being fucked hard.

Not as well as he could be, not as well as Will craves.

Francis fucks him for a long time, and the tenacity of it doesn’t let up. Will is well aware he’s making pathetic, whimpering noises, but it’s hard not to when it feels like his nerves are on fire. 

His back is chafing against the fogged up glass by the time Francis comes. He clamps his jaw around Will’s neck, and Will grunts, not expecting the man to break skin. 

Before he can get his bearings, he’s tossed over Francis’ shoulder, hard bone digging into Will’s gut as he’s lugged over to the bed and tossed down like a ragdoll. 

Will can’t help his wince, and his instinctive shimmy backwards, but relaxes when Francis drapes himself over him and kisses his neck, softly but not tenderly. Will realizes at this moment, Francis has scarcely an inch of tenderness in him.

Like a beast, Francis huffs hot breath over his lips, and falls to his knees at the edge of the bed pulling Will forward until his ass is dangling off the side. 

Will is struck by how glad he is that Francis didn’t kiss him, and his heart sinks deeper, marinating in the bowels of his stomach acid. His real life relationship is interfering with his work, and he has no doubt it will continue to do so.

“Cut!” Will shouts out when Francis trails two fingers up his thigh and he panics. Jack echoes the demand, and the crew rustles around, quieter than ever. “Sorry, just, I needed a second.” 

Will runs both hands over his face. 

His cock starts to become flaccid, and he flicks it in admonishment. 

Francis merely watches, face outerly as blank as an unmarked grave but potentially curious. He’s hard to read, and Will doesn’t want to. His hole throbs from the ghost of friction and it feels wrong that it’s not Hannibal's mark, but another man’s. 

"Shall I continue…as I was?” Francis asks. 

Just scarcely rolling his eyes, Will notes it must be apparent how little he is able to relish the treatment. Maybe Hannibal was wrong about him holding his own.

"I'm fine. Let’s keep going," he grits out. 

He’s had sex with women he’s wholly unattracted to. This is the same, except he’s unnervingly aware of how not in-love he is with the person who’s fucking him. 

Francis watches him curiously, gauging. Will nods his assent, then turns haltingly to Jack, giving him a short nod too. Jack calls out the designated numbers. 

Two fingers slide into his wet, swollen hole and Will closes his eyes.

At first, it seems Francis has decided to give Will what he needs to get off, Will’s cock enlarging as the firm fingers swirl around inside him, but then the man bites his inner thigh. More blood. Will’s sight is blurry with tears when he opens his eyes.

Francis has no trouble finding his prostate, at least. He batters him on the precise spot, whereas his cock had fucked him aimlessly. Will writhes, frustatedly turned on, and attempts to reason with his arousal to go higher and pictures Hannibal doing this to him. It’s difficult with all the animalistic growls Francis is making, unattractive snarls in the back of his throat. Nothing like a purr. 

Will moans libidinously, overacting his role, arching his back and thrusting wildly (almost comically) into the ministrations. It serves as a good distraction from the roughness, and he has a little fun making the sounds of a wanton whore.

He’s struck with only a shred of shame the louder he gets.

The Dragon’s free hand finds his hole, and those fingers catch at his rim, stretching him so wide he can hardly clench. A real groan erupts from Will as the second hand is used to pound his prostate while he’s in this state. Will thrashes when his body attempts to clamp down, but can’t. 

“Give in,” Francis demands, teeth scraping at Will’s balls.

It appalls him for a second, but Will is teetering now on his release, and the sensation tips him over. Francis can’t keep his hole stretched wide when he comes. He pulsates, tightening around the stroking intrusion of fingers as he spits thick spurts of come all over his belly. Will’s entire body feels like it’s throbbing, the pain of his new cuts burning with each bolt of pleasure rippling through him. The orgasm doesn’t feel like a relief so much as it feels like an end.

He stiffens when Francis laps up the release spilt on his stomach. He bites at one of Will’s nipples, drawing more blood, and Jack hollers, “That’s a wrap!”

The Dragon looks like he wants to talk, and despite coming inside Will, looks hornier than before. His nostrils flare when Will pushes him away lightly, and rushes off to find Jimmy Price. 

Jimmy is chatting with Beverly in the bathroom and jumps like he’s just seen a ghost when Will stumbles in.

“Clothes, now,” Will barks. Jimmy scrambles off and returns quickly with everything. The concern on Beverly’s face is grating and it makes Will want to get out of here sooner than possible. 

“Is everything alright, Will? Did it go well?”

“Yeah, peachy,” Will grumbles, shucking his jacket on. He doesn’t think to ask Jimmy for the butt plug. It doesn’t matter. 

He’s tired and he wants to go home. 

He lets them get back to whatever conversation they were having before he burst in. If it was about him, they weren’t hiding that fact very well. The air of gossip often smells polluted. He bitterly zips his coat up whilst traversing back through the suite.

He’s angry with himself, for some reason. Angry that he couldn’t do his job properly, angry that despite the sex feeling good, it just wasn’t enough. Nothing might ever be. 

No one seems to be asking for a reshoot. No one seems to be criticizing his performance or the Dragon’s. To everyone else, it was a successful shoot. It is.

Just, not for Will. 

“You’re done with me, right?” he calls out to Jack, in a way that tells him he’s going to leave regardless of what answer he’s given.

“Yeah, yeah. Scram,” Jack mutters. “Wait.” 

Jack digs around in his travel satchel and retrieves a roll of bandage tape. “If any of them are bleeders, patch yourself up for me.” 

“Thanks,” Will answers and means it. He pockets the roll.

Hand around the knob to the room’s front door, Francis corners Will again, dressed in a robe now. For a second, he thinks maybe the man might apologize for being a shit lay. 

“You know…the Chesapeake Rigger well. I would be honored to meet him one day,” Francis drones, as if demanding it of Will. As if he has the right.

“I’ll put in a good word,” Will derides, scurrying out of the penthouse as fast as seemingly normal. He doesn’t look back, and takes the stairs of the fire exit instead of the elevator. He’s sweating and panting by the time he reaches the lobby. 

As he whips down the city streets, he feels as if he’s being followed.

 


 

At his apartment, Will sits alone with a little worrywart curled up at his side. Buster always knows when he’s hurting, physical and mental. He pets him and breathes heavily.

That was by far the worst experience he’s ever endured in the industry, and it hadn’t even been outright terrible. And yet, he never wants to risk any situation similar again.

He realizes he no longer has any desire to sleep with anyone other than Hannibal.

He harbors a specific desire not to ever again.

The Dragon seemed incensed to emerge behind the veil and join him, and Hannibal potentially, in some triage of sexual power balancing. He referenced Will flaunting himself and drawing curtains; he talked about ‘giving in.’ Hell, he indirectly asked Will to set up a meeting for him and Hannibal. 

After deliberating, Will dials Hannibal’s number.

“Hello, Will. Are you done with your shoot?”

“I ” Will chokes up. “Can you come over?”

“You sound distraught. Are you injured?” Hannibal’s voice is soothing, sweet. Will is more gratified than he’s ever been to know someone who cares about him, genuinely and unconditionally. 

“Please, Hannibal.” Will sniffs, hoping the plea is enough.

He knows he sounds needy. He knows he’s acting it.

Without a shred of doubt, he realizes he doesn’t care. He wants who he wants. 

“I’m leaving the house now,” Hannibal placates. “Stay where you are.”

Solaced, Will smiles brokenly.

Hannibal remains on the line for a few beats, and Will can’t help but let out what he’s been keeping caged inside since the Dragon dominated him. It’s been rattling the bars of his mind for hours.

“I’m…I want to quit, Hannibal. After my two year contract is up, I’m done with pornography. I’m done with all of it. I’m going to leave it all behind.” 

 

Chapter Text

 

“Hey,” is perhaps not the best succinct response to the sight of your concerned partner standing in the open doorway to your apartment, but it’s as much as he can say for now.

Hannibal doesn’t speak, moving more like a machine than a man. He shuts the door behind himself and approaches Will slowly. He’s assessing the fallout, and necessary precautions. His nostrils flare harshly, and Will wonders if he can smell dried blood. 

The glimpse of a snarl proves he can.

“May I carry you?” Hannibal asks, and Will suddenly wants to bark out a laugh at the blatant absurdity, but the compulsion is overcome by his craving to be held.

He nods, and Hannibal gently lifts him. 

Will’s defenses thaw just a smidge, and he lays his temple on Hannibal’s padded shoulder. The man is wearing a suit, eccentrically patterned and smelling of wine and something savory. 

The trip to the bathroom is short, and as Will is let down on dry shower tile, he murmurs, “Just so you know, letting you do that doesn’t mean I can’t walk.”

“I know,” Hannibal answers earnestly, gently gesturing at Will’s clothes. “There are open wounds you should wash before you disinfect. I’ll wait outside if

“No,” Will interrupts, tugging at the sleeve of Hannibal’s jacket feebly. “No, I want you here.” 

Hannibal doesn’t argue. He helps Will out of his clothes and starts the water, removing his own meticulously, and folding them to set atop the toilet lid. Will sighs against the hot water, noting he probably should have taken one the second he got home. He opens his eyes when he feels a loofah on his back, and sways into the scrubbing, relishing in the sanctuary. 

“This reminds me of the first shower we had after one of our sessions,” Will tells him. “You were so gentle with me, you always are even when you’re cruel.” 

Their actual first shower together, Will had made a scene. 

He had denied himself attention and care, Hannibal’s specifically. It seems such a far away thing, to deny Hannibal anything. He doesn’t remember how it feels to want to. 

He makes a mental sub-note to ask Bedelia about co-dependence and its consequences. Right now, the pros of it are outweighing the cons. 

Hannibal’s presence alone is the balm he needed.

The loofah stills on his skin for only a few seconds, resuming the languid soaping soon after. Hannibal’s tone sounds stilted when he responds, “You inspire gentleness in me. Most don’t.”

Internally, Will swoons at the declaration, but he’s too exhausted to respond. He lets Hannibal soap him up, wash his hair, brush a thumb over the tacky blood on his chest, washing it away in a blood-orange stream from the scabs that formed. All the while, Will’s half present, trusting Hannibal enough to take care of him. He can’t begin to comprehend how thankful he is for him. 

When they’re done in the shower, Hannibal wraps Will’s waist in a towel, and nudges him towards the bed. Will goes, lying down on the crumpled sheets of his bed, waiting for a short time until Hannibal emerges from the bathroom in his white button up shirt and brown slacks.

Will is splayed out, an image of pure credence. 

He’s struck by a memory of Molly calling him a ‘pillow princess’ – a nickname which had caused him to ignore her texts for a week and a half straight – Could Hannibal see him that way?

Does he mind?

“Do you have disinfectant, Will?” 

“Uh, Neosporin I think, in the cabinet above the sink.” Will gesticulates toward the bathroom and Hannibal swiftly retrieves the small tube, mostly sunken in. 

Hannibal sits by his side and smiles warmly down at him, rubbing soothing circles over his kneecaps. Will’s thoughts calm down enough to show him the bite on his thigh. Francis didn’t sink his teeth in deep enough to scar, of course, but there are little dark speckled dots with reddened, irritated skin surrounding them. Hannibal stares with cold ferocity and then pops the cap to the Neosporin open, squeezing some out on a finger.

“Should have read over the Red Dragon’s repertoire. Lounds sent me the document this morning, but I never open that stuff.” He feels silly admitting it, but Hannibal offers no judgement. 

“This is uncalled for, regardless,” Hannibal affirms quietly, smoothing the disinfectant cream over the tiny puncture wounds. Complexity seems to be festering in the man’s mind, closed off to Will.

“Tell me what you’re thinking,” he beseeches, reaching out a hand to touch tenderly at his wrist. “Please, Hannibal, I’m not cut out for cat and mouse right now.” 

“I’m thinking I’d like to disembowel this boy,” Hannibal responds frankly, and Will shudders when the confession’s weight hits him; he isn’t lying. 

He takes a breath and becomes aware of himself under Hannibal’s hands. 

“He’s a creep, yeah, but I think we can put a hold on going down the intestinal track,” Will jokes drily, frowning when Hannibal adds cream to the cut on his pecs. It smarts. “He asked after you.” 

Hannibal’s eyes flash, meeting Will’s. “How so?”

“He wants to meet you, I think. I don’t know. I was busy trying to get away from him, he kept following me around spewing nonsense about metaphysics and being honored to know me.” 

Hannibal contemplates while Will adds, “The way he talked to me felt like…it felt like I was just mediating some connection he wants to have with you, like he wanted to hurt me to feel closer to who you are. The ‘Chesapeake Rigger’.” He scoffs, gnawing at the hollow of his cheek.

“I have met my fair share of intense fans, but nothing to this extreme,” Hannibal says, seething without inflection. “Nothing so severe.”

“It’s not severe,” Will deflects, and immediately pushes his tongue against the back of his teeth. It was severe, that’s why he wants to quit. Needs to quit. “I’m not quitting because I couldn’t take it, I’m quitting because I don’t want to. You’re the only person ” his throat tightens with nerves, “You’re the only person who makes me feel alive, when you take me apart.”

It’s not as if Hannibal hasn’t doled out worse.

“Have you considered filing a report?” 

“Hannibal, no, it wasn’t like that,” Will assures. “I’ll, uh, I think I’ll talk with Bedelia about it next week. Clear my head. I just really needed to see you after all of it.”

“My darling,” Hannibal whispers, stroking his clean hand over Will’s cheek. He leans down to press a chaste kiss to his forehead. “What can I do?”

“Stay with me?” Will asks. “Tonight, just be with me.” 

“I can cook

“No, no,” Will smiles faintly, the first time in hours. “I don’t want you to cook, I just want you to be by my side. No strings attached. Unless you’re starving or something, then

“That sounds delightful.” 

Will smiles wider and Hannibal strokes both thumbs over his dimples. 

 


 

The two of them end up wrapped under a blanket together, Will sitting in the cradle of Hannibal’s hips, back to chest. Hannibal’s arms are wound around his waist, and Will can tell he’s not watching the channel he clicked to on the television, but rather basking in his presence. 

Will had turned on the ‘oldies’ channel, pleased to find a long line-up of Film Noir selections playing until the early morning hours. He isn’t sure if he can stay awake that long, but the novelty of cuddling with Hannibal, just for the sake of touch and domesticity, is something he wants to extend indefinitely. 

It helps him forget his troubles.

Trials and tribulations have no say here.

Buster at some point curls up next to Hannibal’s side, nosing at the quilt as if asking to be let into the encapsulated warmth. “He likes you,” Will says, half dazed with sleep. 

“I like you,” Hannibal responds, grinning into Will’s curls when he hears his responsive laugh. Will turns to catch a glimpse of his smile.

“I like you too,” Will murmurs playfully, sobering. “More than you know.” 

“I believe I do know,” Hannibal contends, nosing his temple. “I believe we’ve been on the same page for a while now.”

Incapable of delineating from that, Will nods, and clasps his hands over the ones resting folded on his stomach. He lifts them up to kiss the knuckles and doesn’t panic. He has feelings for Hannibal that Bedelia claims to exceed those of any he’s harbored for another person. And still, he doesn’t panic. He kisses his knuckles again, lingering.

“Hannibal, do me a favor.”

“Anything.”

“Don’t watch it. When Jack posts that film, I don’t want you to see it.” 

He can feel Hannibal charging up with a polite way to protest, so Will shakes his head. “I mean it, I don’t want that guy to get the satisfaction. He…I could tell he knew you’d be watching.”  

Hannibal hums. “I told you anything, Will. I meant it.” 

“Thank you,” Will whispers, barely audible over the loud transatlantic accents emitting from the TV. “Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like, to never start out in porn. To do something else with my life. I could have become a Yacht broker.” 

“I doubt I would have met you if that were the case,” Hannibal muses.

“Really? You look like you’d buy a yacht.”

“I have been known to dabble.” 

“In yachts?” Will chuckles, snuggling closer to him, getting squeezed in return. If he could live the rest of his life under this blanket, he would. There is a momentous silence, so he makes a questioning sound, turning his forehead against the crook of Hannibal’s neck. The man is as still as stone. “What is it, Hannibal?”

“You’re serious about quitting the industry?” he asks. “When your contract expires.” 

“Yeah,” Will murmurs, shifting. “It wasn’t directly Dolarhyde, though he really drove the point home. I’ve never belonged in porn. I’m not the type people pursue and admire like that, and I uh, I don’t want to be. I’m not the type to work alongside these big name hotshots, that’s not me. I never minded fame before, but…at this point, I’d rather run from it than run with it. Porn was easier when I didn’t care so much about one thing. Since being with you, I’ve just wanted that. You, more and more. Nothing else, Hannibal. I’ll work with boat motors the rest of my life if you’ll still have me.”

“I’d have you any way,” Hannibal promises, kissing his cheek. His limbs cocoon tighter around him for emphasis. “Dear boy, if you think leaving the industry would disappoint me

“It’s not that. Even if it did disappoint you, I’d leave.” Will smirks up at Hannibal's miniscule chagrin. “You’re not my boss. But, ehm, I very much want you in my life, in my future. It’s getting harder to see where we separate. It’s all beginning to blur.” 

“Your pain is my pain,” Hannibal agrees, stroking over Will’s arm in wisp-like touches. “I could sense something was awry, even as far as I was from you today.”

“I don’t want your pain to be my pain,” Will murmurs, stroking over Hannibal’s thigh. The pajama pants are tight to his skin, borrowed from Will. “I want to protect you from it just as you want to protect me. You’re not the type who needs it, but I want it for you anyway. Is that wrong?”

“As nobody has ever told me they wished to protect me, I can only be flattered.”

“Parents?” Will whistles. “Wow, how have I never asked you about your parents before?”

“I steer clear of the subject if I can manage it,” Hannibal offers. “However, it does not trouble me to share these details with you. I was an orphan, and never truly knew my parents.”

“Hell.” Will turns a bit so he’s watching his Adam’s apple bob while his cheek rests on his shoulder. Hannibal pulls him closer as he begins to picture a little boy in Europe, young and protective of his sister. “I can’t begin to imagine your life.”

“I found a mother in my aunt, and a father in my uncle, though he passed a short time after I met him. My aunt taught me of war and renaissance. Cuisine and fine liquor.”

Will’s eyes go half-lidded. “She sounds lovely.”

“She is.” Hannibal’s voice tightens a shred. “Will, I have a question for you that I would prefer you don’t answer in quick defense. Consider it, please.”

Will tries not to fall asleep listening to the drowsy thrum of Hannibal’s deep timbre. If he could make love to a voice, it would be his. “G’head.”

There is a pause, and then Hannibal’s words brush softly over his curls. “Our next session is scheduled for two weeks from now. There is no issue with rescheduling, if you so need

“Mm, no.” 

“Will, I asked you to consider.”

“And I have. I considered it before I called you. I sat with myself for a while after the shoot with the Dragon and thought long and hard about everything. Why I was so incensed by him, why I no longer wanted anyone else in this business to touch me, especially like that, why I wanted you to be with me. I wasn’t lying when I drunk texted you months back and claimed you broke me. You’ve alienated me from others, and I know you know that. I know you think all your cards are up your sleeve, hidden from me, but I can see them, Hannibal. I can see you and you have a shit poker face.”

Hannibal blinks down at him, hand pausing its rhythmic stroking on Will’s lower back, until he beams. “You were drunk?”

“Oh.” Will pinkens. “A little.”

“You delightful thing,” Hannibal shakes his head in wonderment. “Could you have been a star fallen from the sky with the power to shake the heavens?” 

“I don’t have the power to tear the earth asunder. Or bring about doomsday,” Will mutters, nuzzling into the soft material of Hannibal’s shirt. “I’m just a man.”

Protestation rumbles in Hannibal’s throat.

He strokes a finger over Will’s neck, reverent. 

“I am privy to a great becoming. You are hardly one of the slugs in the sun. You reside in your chrysalis, pulsating and changing. I picture one day, a time when you will make the Earth quiver.” 

The proclamation overwhelms Will. He can’t see himself in that light, especially after the events from tonight, where he felt helpless and out of place. He allows himself a long time listening to the droning actors on the silver screen before he responds

“You expect so much of me.”

“I do not expect a thing from you, Will.” Hannibal cups his cheek, encouraging him to make eye contact. “That is not what I infer by this. I mean to say, I am watching you flourish and come into your own. Deciding you are done with those that have reigned over you and your autonomy for half a decade, that is power. You hold an ocean’s worth of it.” 

I love you.

Will gasps, and turns into him so he can bury his face into Hannibal’s chest and nestle into his body, using him as a safeguard. He can’t tell him. It’s too soon, it’s too much. How can he love someone so quickly, someone who he trusts the veil of, but not directly the monster within? 

He knew Hannibal wasn’t lying about the disemboweling. He knew, and he passed it off as nothing, because he trusts Hannibal with him, even if he doesn’t trust him with the world. What does it make Will, to love someone like that? 

“Maybe we could go to Maine again,” Will murmurs the suggestion as he’s pulled closer to sleep. Hannibal finds the remote and turns the television off, maneuvering them into a more horizontal position for comfort. “At the end of my contract, it’d be nice to go back.” 

The quiet is stark; Will misses the chirping of cicadas. 

“I’d like to forget myself,” he whispers, unsure why he says it.

“Memory gives moments immortality, but forgetfulness promotes a healthy mind. It’s good to forget,” Hannibal reflects, and Will wonders if forgetting his life could be so easy. If he could sequester himself away with Hannibal and become someone new. Someone he wants to be.

“Maine it is,” Will decides, closing his eyes.

Buster burrows under the blanket finally. Will lazily tucks his squishy hot-dog body between himself and Hannibal. If the older man is bothered by it, it doesn’t show. 

Hannibal simply smiles, eyes crinkled at the corners.

“Oh, I’ll bring you somewhere grander,” he promises, pressing a kiss to Will’s forehead. “Sleep, caro.”

Will sleeps. 

 


 

“Tell me, Will. Why do you do what you do?” 

Will sneers, lips curling in distaste. The age old question. The only question in his life worth less than a penny. The inquiry he wants personified for the opportunity to burn it alive. 

“And if I don’t have an answer to that?” Will asks in a sarcastic lilt, tapping his foot emphatically on Bedelia’s rug. It lands with a soft blow for every quick beat of his heart. 

“I would like for you to theorize for me, so we can both come to a clearer understanding. It is important, to understand our…motivations and actions. Definitive context advocates a clearer conscience. Your conscience has led you astray. We must find a way to lead it back.” 

“You’re not gonna let me get away with the ‘it was the only job I could get’ excuse, are you?”

“It would be dishonest.” 

Will nibbles at his bottom lip and detests the woman a while longer before giving in. “I used to think it was a way to rebel against my father, or the memory of him anyway. A conservative Louisianian childhood often leads to bottled-up dysfunction. Those things are bound to implode, it was just a matter of time.” 

“Used to think?” she pries, unmoved.

“I don’t care about my father. Never have,” Will admits. “Why would I care enough to do this in spite of him?”

“Perhaps in spite of the fact that you don’t care for him,” Bedelia offers. “Neglect and abuse seldom lead to a life lacking retribution. It could come in the form of drugs, sex, an unloving marriage. You could go through life ‘not caring’ about your father and one day wake up with an acute compulsion to shoot him in the heart, and carry that out.”

“I’m not abused,” Will whispers, nails digging into the fabric of the armrests. 

“And yet, you attract to abuse. Could your decision to join this industry stem from retribution of the self? A way to…punish yourself.” 

Frozen at the assessment, Will overlooks every decision he’s made in the industry up until this point. Signing a contract for a gay porn company despite his sexuality, almost falling for a woman who desired nothing more than to be friends with benefits, not falling for a woman who loved him. Falling for a man who offered him a way to sate the necessity to be punished. 

“I don’t ” Will closes his eyes and rewords. “When my partner punishes me, I don’t feel punished. I feel good.” 

“Because you feel you deserve to be punished?”

“When I filmed with the Dragon, I didn’t feel good. Being used like that. It was nothing my partner hasn’t done to me and for me, and yet…I don’t think I deserved it. To be punished then. Maybe that was the case in the beginning, maybe that’s the ‘explanation’ to why I started working in porn, but it isn’t anymore.”

For an instance, Bedelia almost looks proud. She covers it well, crossing her legs the other way around. She takes a lazy sip of her pink champagne. 

“You’ve made a decision, independent of your impulses.”

Will sulks. “I worry about independence.”

“Worry for its absence or its falsity?”

“I ” Will trails off and stands, wandering over to the bright windows. Outside, he can see a garden. Tranquil and lively all at once. Butterflies that look like moths fly above multi-colored orchids. “Can codependency be riskless in small doses?” 

“Codependency often mimics the effects and ramifications of narcotics. Do you imagine you could stop injecting heroin, if you started?” she inquires, curious. 

He shakes his head. “It’s not so easy to allegorize, is it?” 

“Isn’t it?”

Will languishes the pause between responses, giving himself time to think. He returns to his chair, but doesn’t sit. “Are you telling me I should run screaming?”

“Have I said that?” 

“I don’t pay you for backtalk, you know,” Will grumbles, finally plopping back down. The chair creaks as he readjusts. “I’m asking, is it always so deadly?” 

Bedelia’s chest rises gradually as she inhales, long and bleak. “At the risk of offering unethical advice, I would tell you I believe it is entirely possible for codependency to be compromisable in the grand scheme of relationships, so long as both parties are equal in its capacity.”

“You’re saying if he needs me just as much as I need him, it might work?”

“It is a hypothesis.” Bedelia’s head slants toward her right shoulder. “I would not dismiss the possibility codependency has nothing to do with your affliction. Have you considered love?” 

Will allows the question to slip in through one ear and slide right out the other. He glances at the clock above her liquor cabinet and finds he’s close to time. There is no way she is going to badger him into talking about being in love, not when it’s the last thing he wants to talk about. 

“I’ve been considering my partner’s morality,” he states directly. She doesn’t give any indication she’s irritated by his change of subject, merely listening. “What unnerved me about the Great Red Dragon wasn’t his aggression, but it was his way of thinking. I didn’t talk to him for long, but he held these grand ideas about becomings and metaphysical manifestations. My partner has spoken of similar topics, in even grander detail occasionally.”

“What is the difference then, between these two men?”

One loves me, the other wants to be me.

“I believe my partner’s delusions of grandeur are not so delusional,” Will offers with a sigh. “I…moderately understand them, his magnificent vision of us.” 

“And the Dragon?”

“It felt like he could destroy me, to covet his transformation.”

“Does your partner have the capacity to destroy you?”

She’s not asking if he will, or if he plans to. She’s asking if he has the capacity, so that eventually down the road, on a dark and stormy day, the tides may have the aptitude to change. 

“Yes,” he whispers timidly. 

Hannibal’s capacity for destruction knows no bounds. A part of him fears it, but an even larger part of him yearns for it. To be the sole object of his monster’s eye. 

“Then I believe it would be prudent, to consider if your receptivity to your partner’s advances is prematurely based on, and blinded by, your affection for him.” 

 


 

Will spends the next few days reviewing his past relationships.

Their downfalls, their peaks.

There aren’t many peaks to speak of, but the downfalls were always obvious. He wanted what he couldn’t have, whether it be Alana’s sureness of herself and her sexuality tethered to him, or Molly to be wilder and more challenging than she turned out to be in the end. He wanted them to change, for him. 

He’s never wanted Hannibal to change. 

A sick part of him wonders if he could deny him even if he were to disembowel Francis. That should certainly be a sign of poisonous codependency, a drug worse than heroin or the like. 

Yet, he hasn’t felt more sure of himself in a long time.

He hasn’t felt stronger than he does now. 

The Dragon and Hannibal harbor similarities, but they are by far different personalities. Will fell in love with Hannibal because of his heart, hidden beneath warped, tarnished layers. He’s quite sure he could never inspire gentleness in the Dragon, the kind that would make him less brutal. 

Bedelia inadvertently vindicated his feelings by gauging his distress over the Dragon’s behavior. If the violence was so similar to Hannibal’s, why did he detest it?

Because he loves Hannibal, the monster and the man.

Because he wants all of Hannibal. The sessions, the honesty, the cooking, the sex, the pompous attitude against four hundred threadcount sheets. Entirely, irrevocably, he wants him. 

The night before his next session, he curls up by Buster’s dog bed, pets his snoring fat body, and smiles, the pained tension from the week gradually lifting.

 


 

Will is strapped gently to the basement chair. 

It turns out the armrests are adjustable. Instead of strapping Will’s wrists above his head, he has them stretched out at his sides. Will assured Hannibal he didn’t need special treatment, but Hannibal had insisted on offering a wide variety of comfort nonetheless. That’s how there comes to be a soft red-velvet pillow pressed between his lower back and the chair’s backrest. 

“Got any surprises in store?” Will murmurs when Hannibal kisses a line from his hipbone to his left nipple, lavishing the bud with wet warmth. Will hums, arching into the touch. 

“Nothing that would spark your interest,” Hannibal tells him obtrusively. There is a hint in there somewhere, or maybe a pun, but Will trusts whatever he has in store won’t kill him. 

“You’re going to have to stop unless you want Jack to find us like this.” Will can’t help his sultry tone, nuzzling into the touches. Hannibal’s mouth reaches his neck, searching. 

“He’s late,” Hannibal observes, glancing at the basement doors with pursed lips. “One feasibly could have abetted a traffic jam just for our benefit.”

“I know you didn’t just imply you personally caused traffic so you could kiss me more.”

“How would I have managed that?” Hannibal teases, stroking his fingers through Will’s curls, helping him get the hair out of his eyes. “I’ve been with you all the while.” 

It’s true. Will arrived at Hannibal’s house two hours early. After eating an extravagant, rich meal, Hannibal had luxuriated in Will’s pre-care. Massaging him till his muscles went pliant, washing every inch of his body in the jacuzzi, fixing him up a spiked pina colada. The alcohol had relaxed him further and offered a fuzzy blanket over the sharpest edges of his mind. He’d been carried to the basement like a bride and kissed with every strap Hannibal looped and tugged together. 

Will had considered calling him a sentimental old fool, but he’d been enjoying the treatment far too much. Instead, he says now, “You’re too good to me.” 

Expecting an immediate declaration of his worth, Will is shocked when Hannibal’s eyes glaze over with an unfamiliar melancholy. 

It’s the first time he presses up against his restraints, eager to mollify.

“Since my sister, I have never known anyone to care for. I want to care for you in every way you can imagine, I want to care for you in ways you can’t, or don’t want to.” 

Will blinks, offering a wavering smile. 

“Hannibal, c’mere,” he commands softly, and Hannibal comes, leaning in close. Their foreheads nearly touch, and Hannibal’s hand finds his cheek, their gazes swimming in each other. Will leans in for a kiss, chaste so he can whisper on his lips, a three word phrase long overdue. He's interrupted by the jangling metallic sound of a doorknob before the profession reaches his tongue.

They split apart like skittish flies. 

Jack bustles into the basement, the doors swinging open with an abrasive swoosh sound. “Sorry, boys,” he grunts out, shaking an umbrella on the rug. Hannibal glares at the rain droplets seeping into the carpet fibers. Will tries not to laugh. “Traffic was hell.”

One of Will’s brows lifts in Hannibal’s direction, but Hannibal is already walking over to Jack, innocently offering to take his coat so Jack can work on setting up the camera equipment. 

As Jack is stretching out the peg of the camera stand, leveling it with the view of Will’s nude body, he chuckles and says, “You two are really kicking off on the site.”

“Hannibal’s always been popular,” Will answers.

“No, I mean your relationship.” Jack looks between the two of them, frowning when he sees how baffled they both are. Hannibal and Will exchange puzzled glances. “You guys are pulling my chain here, you had to have known.” 

“Know what, Jack?” Hannibal asks coolly, looking far more intimidating in his leather getup now than he did to Will five minutes prior as he closes in on Jack. 

“The, erm, buzz about you two. You two being together.”

“Being…together as in real-life-relationship-together?'' Will stammers, hands clenching into fists as the leather straps chafe against his wrists. “How the hell does anyone know?”  

Jack holds up his hands in surrender. “I assumed it wasn’t…a private affair. We all saw your picture together, the one you guys sent to Bev. We were at a shoot and she called everyone over to see. Everyone’s happy for you, you know. The talk of the town and all that.” 

Beverly for all that is holy!

Will grits his teeth, and his nerve endings scream with the pressure. He feels so many emotions at once he can’t do more than seethe and fester in muted hysteria. He risks a glance at Hannibal who is looking at him with both brows raised, his arms sprucely folded behind his back. 

That look is dangerous.

“That’s why everyone was acting like that at the Dragon shoot,” Will mutters out the revelation, slamming his head back against the chair’s surface. “Fuck.” 

He can feel Hannibal’s eyes boring a hole into his head, but he refuses to look over at him again. Jack seems to sense he’s royally fucked something up.

He lets out a hamfisted, “Sorry,” and takes a deep breath before adding, “It’s better you found out from me and not the merch store on Lounds Lusty Lads.”  

“No, no, no, this is not happening,” Will groans. “She can make merch of us?”

“The stipulations were in your contract. You’re being paid a percentage of the income of course,” Jack tells him, turning to Hannibal. “Both of you.” 

There is a stilted silence as Jack clicks the camera into place, officially geared up for the shoot. “I’m going to use the restroom real quick before we start. Back in a jiffy.”

Jack hustles off to the bathroom, the door slamming shut louder than is necessary. If Will were in his shoes, he’d want to run away too. Hannibal is roaming over to where Will is strapped down, and trapped no less, with the most unnervingly guileless expression on his face.

“Listen, Hannibal, I didn’t think she would –She’s a friend, I asked her not to, I thought she’d keep her word.” Will swallows, tensing when Hannibal strokes a palm over his cheek and cocks his head at him like an oversized bird. Will is entirely sincere when he says, “I took the picture while you were asleep. I shouldn’t have done that, I’m sorry.” 

“So eager to flaunt our connection to the world,” Hannibal whispers, stroking a thumb under his eye, back and forth. “And why should I fault you for it?” 

“The ‘merch’ is a step too far. I’ll ask Freddie, make some sort of deal or something, get her to take whatever stuff she has up on the site down. This is my fuckup, I’ll clean it up.” 

Hannibal stares into him, right through to where he’s raw and his anxieties have anxieties, then leans in to whisper even quieter in his ear, “I’m not angry, Will.” 

“You’re not?” Will warily asks.

He can’t say he wouldn’t be if their positions were reversed. 

“You marked your territory,” Hannibal presumes, stroking the hand down his sternum. Will’s nipples perk, where their hardness had been waning. He sucks in a breath.

“It wasn’t really,” he trails off, stuttering over his words. “That’s not what I meant to do.” 

“But, it’s done, regardless.” Hannibal’s fingers slide down further until they’re curling under his balls, cupping and rolling them expertly between his fingers. Will gasps and startles against his binds. “Shall I reduce you to a puddle of need in reward?” 

“Jesus,” Will breathes out, the crassness unanticipated. 

Hannibal swerves to check the bathroom door before quickly swiping his tongue over Will’s lips, a faux kiss. Will tilts his head up for a real one, but is denied. 

Will huffs. “I have a feeling you’d reward me if I killed you.”

“I have a fondness for your unpredictability. I may very well.” 

The toilet flushing echoes through the room and Jack emerges a minute later, looking less on edge than before. He doesn’t ask if they came to a compromise, just steps up behind his camera and says, “The camera and I are ready whenever you guys are.” 

“Just a moment.” Hannibal desists, moving toward the cabinets to retrieve a four-wheeled cart suspiciously covered in a dark purple cloth. Will eyes it skeptically. “I’m ready now.”

“And you, Will?” Jack asks, finger hovering over the record button.

Will takes a deep breath, the corners of his lips twitching up when he realizes he feels safer than ever, held down and laid out like a dish just for Hannibal, the man the world apparently knows is his. It isn’t such a scary thought, even if he will be subconsciously more aware of how he acts toward him on camera. Another intake of breath before he says, “Ready teddy.” 

Jack counts to three and shouts, “Action!”

“My dear boy, what I have in store for you today,” Hannibal muses, his tone already more authoritative than before. He circles the cart, making sure it presents to the camera when he rips the cloth, cloaking its contents, away. It forms a silky pile on the floor. 

Will’s eyes bulge when he sees what’s on the cart.

A penis pump, the array of sounds, and an open black box. Inside the box, a smaller box lies, covered in buttons with a long wire jutting out of its side. The wire is connected to a lengthy, almost phallic object, but Will can tell it’s not a dildo or a vibrator. 

It’s a violet wand. 

The node at the end is detachable, and oh god, the sounds can attach to the plug-end of the wand. 

He’s never played with electricity, has never even seen a violet wand besides brief thumbnail skimming on PornHub. He wonders if it will feel hot, or if it will feel painful. Or both. 

He’s curious as always, wondering what Hannibal is capable of drawing out of him. 

“Doctor Lecter–” Will gasps, an almost blackballing exclamation, when Hannibal grabs the penis pump without preamble along with the bottle of lube stashed on the cart’s second shelf. 

He brings the items about to Will’s side, and Will tugs his lips between his teeth when Hannibal uncaps the lube with one hand and squirts a proportionate dollop on his half-erect penis. 

“I don’t believe it would be presumptuous to assume our viewership is impatient to see you ready for a proper sounding, Will. I find I have no desire to wait for your erection to flourish.” 

The subtle degradation shouldn’t make Will’s cock throb, but it does. He moans low in his throat when Hannibal wraps his fingers around his shaft and jerks him several times, coating him properly. “I will allow you to hold the pump in your hand while I keep the cylinder in place. I will tell you when to pump, and if you disobey, you will be punished. Do you understand?” 

“Yeah– Yes, Doctor Lecter.” Will’s breath is punched out of him when his cock is released and plops wet onto his stomach. He’s still half hard, but he’s getting there. Hannibal won’t allow him to get there on his own; the older man slips the tip of his penis through the plastic cylinder’s sheath. Will gasps when he bottoms out, but the tip of his dick doesn’t reach more than halfway up the plastic shaft. 

He’s handed something rubbery and spherical. The pump. 

It’s attached to a long cord that stretches without strain to the pinnacle of the toy.

He fondles it in his hand, desperate to squeeze it just to test out the sensation, but Hannibal distracts him by smoothing his clean hand up and down the outside of the hard plastic. It’s as if he’s giving him a hand job, but Will can’t feel it. He can only feel the phantom sensations of movement. The ghost of fingertips on him, but not the real thing. He groans in frustration, thrusting up into nothing but air. The cylinder wobbles and Hannibal has no trouble keeping it pressed flush to his pelvis. “Now, my boy, you will give yourself five."

Five pumps. He can manage that.

Will steadies his breathing and goes slow. 

One. It doesn’t feel like much, just a light, brief suck.

Two. Another.

Three. He doesn’t know if he squeezed harder or the air in the column is growing tighter. He hisses lightly when he releases the rubbery bulb, and looks down to see his cock standing upright, where it had been drooped against the tube’s plastic before. 

Four. The air is definitely tighter. He makes a high-pitched sound in his throat. 

Five. The loose skin of his sac gets sucked in from the base.

“Oh, god.” 

Hannibal smooths his dry hand up and down the plastic. There is perspiration fogging up the transparent walls. “I doubt we’ll have any problem at all stretching you beyond your length. Six and a half inches is it? Let’s go for seven and a half.” 

Will wants to shout; You know damn well how long my dick is!

He doesn’t. He shivers and waits for instruction. 

“Fifteen,” Hannibal decides, dark eyes staring into his own.

Will’s hand shakes over the pump, and he starts, faster than before. He wants to hurry it along, desperate to have anything touching his cock other than air. At the five mark, Will lets out a sharp whine, his cock red and ramrod straight, rigid enough to snap or so it feels. 

“Ten more,” Hannibal reminds, flicking the top of the shaft. The cylinder sways back and forth and Will feels nauseous with arousal and tension. “Unless you don’t wish to obey me, Will.”

Will’s head snaps to look at him, and remembers the ache of his jaw after the dildo-gag experience. He shakes his head frantically and gives himself five more quick pumps. He’s afraid the bulb will slip from his hand, as sweaty as his palms are.

His cock inches up through the cylindrical shaft. Will can’t read the numbers from here, but Hannibal’s burgeoning smirk tells him he’s getting to the number he wants him to be at.

Will groans as he keeps pumping himself. It feels like he’s sucking himself dry, cock throbbing with pleasure and shrieking with resistance to the unnatural sensation. He pumps just a few more times and Hannibal winds his way around the chair,  swiftly taking the bulb of the pump from him, patting his cheek. “That’s a good boy.”

He lets the bulb dangle off the edge of the chair, the fogged up plastic tube standing up straight but weighed down by it nonetheless. Hannibal wraps his fist around the cage again, and Will twitches. He strokes a few times with a thoughtful hum. 

“You would like this off of you. Wouldn’t you, Will?”

Will nods, moaning a little as Hannibal’s fingers drift down to his balls, scraping over the skin pulled taut. If he looks down, he can see the swollen pink skin sucked into the tube. 

“Fuck,” he breathes out when Hannibal doesn’t make a move to release him, just continues to stroke over the penis pump, everywhere but his cock. “Yes. Doctor Lecter, yes.” 

“What do you say?” Hannibal demands, lurching down to lick a stripe up the outside of the tube. Will lets out a strangled noise, desperate for his tongue to be on him.

“P-Please, Doctor.” Will’s legs jerk when Hannibal slides a thumb over his balls, probing down to his perineum. “Please, please, please.” 

As if considering, Hannibal takes his hands away and circles around to the other side of him, fondling the cylinder so it jostles the erection inside. 

“Pretty please,” Will breathes, as dewy-eyed as he can muster. 

This grabs Hannibal’s attention. His smirk loses its cruelty, proud of Will’s improvisation. He doesn’t waste time loosening the pressure of the containment with the valve at the top of the pump. Some air releases with a hiss, enough to pop the toy off of Will’s cock. 

Will gasps when it’s gone, the cool air of the room searingly cold on his wet, hot length. He pants, shocked when he looks down to see his cock, curved and long. Very long. 

It’s a deep red, a pearlescent droplet forming at its tip. 

He’s turned on, but he also feels like he’ll cry if he’s touched. 

“Now…” Hannibal sets the pump aside on the bottom tray of the cart and returns to the top, taking out the violet wand and attaching a small pinwheel-shaped toy to the end of it. “Before we begin, I would like to offer a presentation of sorts, since I am under the impression you have no experience with electrostimulation. A low voltage to start, and I won’t touch your sensitive areas.” Hannibal revs the machine up, and the pinwheel adopts an almost purple glow. Without making eye contact, Hannibal adds a quiet, calculated, “Yet.” 

Will squirms. He can’t help it; the closer the pinwheel comes to his skin, the more he feels as if he can sense heat, or sparks. It seems it was all in his mind because the minute the little pointed edges touch his stomach, he sighs. The electricity barely offers a twinge of discomfort. There is a sharp sensation, like digging nails into a spot that itches. 

Hannibal rolls the wheel over the plush of his stomach, up the crease of his sternum and the indents of his barely-there abs. Will doesn’t notice he’s trembling until Hannibal cups his neck and kneads the flesh there, sending shivers up and down his spine which make him shake harder.

It feels good. Really good.

Lifting into the sharp tickling feeling, he finds his muscles twitching wherever the device passes. It lets out a low sounding thrum, continuous and mechanical. Will moans when the pinwheel rolls down to his naval, passing in a straight line over a delicate patch of skin.

He can’t help but plead, “More.”

“More?” Hannibal echoes, chiding. “This is merely a demonstration.” 

Will bites his tongue to keep from begging as the pinwheel dips lower into more sensitive spaces. The electricity feels sharper here, as if a drumroll before an actual zap. 

“Not a very good demonstration if you’re not covering all the bases,” he remarks instead, regretting it when Hannibal bends forward, the ghost of a snarl on his lips. He presses the pinwheel flat to Will’s left nipple, causing Will to automatically arch into it. It sends sparks through him, as dull as they are. His teeth tingle, his toes flex. 

“I would like for you to stick your tongue out.”

The shiver that curls down his spine is icy. 

“What?”

“Do as you’re told. You asked for more, and I will offer you more.” 

This isn’t what I meant, he wants to say as he tentatively sticks his tongue out. He immediately feels foolish as Hannibal leaves his side to fiddle with the box and the wand. He attaches a hard ball to the end of the device. This one doesn’t glow, but Will’s eyes widen a bit when he sees Hannibal turning up the voltage dial. Only slightly. 

Will makes stubborn eye contact with Hannibal as the older man drags out the process, slowly bringing the ball to the tip of Will’s tongue. He’s more startled than pained when it collides with the organ, tugging his tongue back between his teeth out of instinct. Hannibal waits patiently, until Will sticks his tongue out again.

When the heavy ball makes contact again, Will’s eyes roll back. 

The electricity is more, the heat is more. His whole body tingles, on the verge of shaking apart. It feels as if he’s balancing on the tip-top of an iceberg as Hannibal rolls the ball over the flat of his tongue, nudging it further until it’s settled behind his teeth. “Bite,” he instructs, stern and resolute. Will bites, and the ball tingles almost like a vibrator in his mouth, burning a little.

It shockingly doesn’t hurt, but it’s uncomfortable. 

He writhes, knowing he can’t spit it out, but wanting to at least shift it away from sparking the same spot. He whines, defeated more and more with each second. 

Hannibal’s taken to sliding his hands over his body, his hands room temperature but so dexterous it makes him flinch and squirm harder. His cock is desperate to be touched, bouncing with every flush and rivulet of pleasure sent from the electricity and Hannibal’s hands combined. 

“I believe you’re quite ready for the sounding,” Hannibal announces, sounding irrevocably pleased with himself. Will whines louder, a questioning noise. 

“Worry not, Will. I will take care of you.” Hannibal’s fingers dance over the briefcase of sounds, the ones Will had seen before. He looked at a few and wondered how they would feel inside him, namely the one made up of a hard line of beads. Naturally, this is the one Hannibal picks first. 

Deliriously, Will watches Hannibal retrieve it and move between his legs. Waiting seemingly for Jack to adjust the position of the camera, he lingers before he squirts an excessive amount of lube onto Will’s upright erection, aimed at the middle so some of it slinks down through his urethra. Will bites harder at the base of the ball in his mouth, teeth egged to chatter, and groans like a beast when Hannibal finally wraps a hand around his cock. 

He gives him a few quick strokes, coating him diligently. 

Will didn’t realize how close he was to coming until now. He bucks as much as he can, restrained and lax from the blinding sensations. Hannibal makes a sweet but deadly shushing noise and then uses the excess lube to coat the sound. 

“This will pass through your urethra and touch atop your prostate,” Hannibal explains. “With this design, it won’t go much further than that, but I own ones that will.” 

Will’s eyes are saucer wide. In all his knowledge of sex and anatomy, he had no clue sounding could involve prostate stimulation. He feels like an idiot for only a minute, and then Hannibal is stroking the beaded end of the sound against the slit of his cock, and sliding it inward.

Will wails over the ball, nearly dislodging it from his mouth. 

It doesn’t hurt, but he’s never been touched here. It burns just a bit, like any hole that's never been touched. He wants to move and buck away from it on instinct, but he’s scared he’ll tear something. Will feels like he just stuck his dick in the glory hole of a lion’s den. 

Hannibal only gives him a few beads, sliding it back out and then pushing back in deeper, distending the entrance of his cock. He’s helping him adjust to the sensation, and fucking his urethra shallowly. Each time the strange penetrating feeling begins to feel good, Hannibal goes deeper and brushes spots he never even knew existed. 

Will is sweating, half out of his mind, overheated and overwrought. 

Then, the sound nearly dips completely into him, and finds his prostate. It’s just barely a touch, but his cock throbs and pulses, as if in orgasm, but Will only feels at the precipice of one, neck strained up, jutting the violet wand in his mouth at the far corner of the ceiling. He can see the upside down picture of Achilles Lamenting the Death of Patroclus. 

He feels like Patroclus, helpless yet at peace.

His body contorted and blooming at the edge of death. 

He forgets where he is, body arched and stiffer than a post as Hannibal fucks him with the sound. The textured beads rub in all the right ways, and he’d come if his urge to scream wasn’t stronger. 

Eventually, after either thirty minutes or five, Hannibal pulls the sound out of him. Will’s cock feels empty and used, burning only just, and still so close to all encompassing pleasure that he’s not sure if he’s observing the correct colors in the room. 

Hannibal moves to discard the sound as Will gradually comes back to himself, compliant when Hannibal takes the ball and wand from his mouth. Will’s jaw hangs with the lack of the heavy weight, and his tongue tingles like he’s scratched sandpaper over his taste buds. 

For the first time, it feels like he can taste sex.

“Now for the surprise I’ve been so eager to share with you,” Hannibal states, with carefully executed excitement lining his tone. A wave of anger passes through Will, that Hannibal can be so calm and clear-headed during all of this, but it soon passes as exhaustion and submission overtake him. 

“I…I want the surprise, Doctor Lecter,” Will grinds out, despite the numbness in the cavern of his mouth. “Please.”

“You can be such a good boy when you want to be, Will,” Hannibal tells him, long fingers brushing through his hair, wiping sweat from his forehead into his hairline. Will is only fractionally ashamed by careening up into the touches like a cat needy for a bath from its mother.

“I want to be,” Will confesses hoarsely. “For you.”

There is a familiar flare in Hannibal’s eyes, the real man shining through momentarily. The fondness there is stifling; It makes Will smile a bit, so broken down he doesn’t give a damn if they look too lovey-dovey for the camera.

Hannibal contains himself, moving back to the cart to toy with the violet wand again. He removes the ball with a click, the thing tacky with dried saliva. He then fumbles with the sounds. Will’s eyes widen when he sees him attaching one of the sounds to the base of the wand. 

Will slumps into the chair, his thoughts scattering. 

“Did you know at the right voltage, direct stimulation to the prostate with the proper conductor can induce an orgasm automatically?” 

Will shakes his head, suddenly feeling profoundly vulnerable.

“I know the right voltage,” Hannibal claims, sly and promising. He turns the dial up. Up and up. Will stares frantically at the box as it begins to buzz louder. The sound attached to the end of the wand is surrounded by a lilac hue. He swallows as Hannibal saunters back between his legs. 

He clicks a button on the wand, and the hue disappears along with the droning robotic noise. “The second my forefinger is lifted, the electricity will pass back through the sound. Shall we fact check my claim?”

Will’s tongue is tied. He wants it in equal measure with not wanting it. 

The sound attached to the wand is very thin, with an oblong bud at the tip. It looks as if it’s meant to curl over his prostate, snug and a frustratingly perfect fit. After applying more lube, Hannibal strokes over the slit of Will’s cock with his free hand, and slips the bud inside. 

He goes just as slow and steady as before, careful not to injure Will. Will’s neck is craned up, lips parted as he watches the sound fuck in and out of his urethra, the bud dragging through the sensitive, untouched flesh. He moans when it brushes his prostate, slamming his head back against the chair. Hannibal is no doubt going to fuss over a potential concussion later. 

Hannibal fucks him with the sound for a while, edging Will towards a cliff. He’s never felt anything quite like this. He’s had his prostate stroked with fingers in his ass, or a cock. His prostate feels like an open wound now, but it feels so right as it is nudged and stroked. 

“Ah, ah fuck.” Shuddering gasps are tugged out of him as Hannibal begins to slide the sound just a bit deeper, into a place he didn’t know could be touched, but quickly retreats. 

The bud of the sound rests against his prostate, Hannibal’s arm freezing in place. Will lets out a long whine, shooting a pleading glance at him. 

“Tell me why you deserve to come,” Hannibal demands, just the barest hint of mirth in his voice. 

For an instant, Will is lost. He never knows what to say to this, as he has trouble enough dealing with what he deserves and doesn’t deserve in his everyday life, but then brightly lit cognizance takes the steering wheel of his jumbled thoughts. 

“Because I’m yours,” Will tells him proudly.

His ego inflates knowing he’s given Hannibal a reason he can’t refute. Hannibal’s eyes catch his own and Will can see pride reflected there, vast, swelling hills of it. 

Hannibal’s forefinger lifts from the button on the wand, and Will convulses against his binds once. He orgasms, he lights up, he loses his breath and he’s positive his heart skips a beat. The electricity is only given to him for a moment, but he can feel the shades of it rippling through him after it’s gone, spine arched as high as it can go as every nerve in him seems to spark. Semen ropes out of him from the tip of his cock, alongside the sound which hardly contains enough width to plug him up. He jerks again and it splatters. God, god, god, it won’t stop. It makes a mess. There is a ringing in his ears, blocking him from hearing whatever sound he’s making, but his orgasm continues rocking into him. Waves relentlessly cresting, pleasure and pain dancing and painting over his senses.

He doesn’t notice the removal of the sound, sticky with his release. Hannibal leaves it by the pinwheel and other objects that need to be thoroughly washed.

Will moans brokenly as the last of the ecstasy drains out of him. Limbs still twitch, his body jolts with the phantom sensation of what felt very close to electrocution. If only it hadn’t felt so rapturous. 

Hannibal strokes his hand through Will’s hair again, softer than before, and says, “I think now would be a good time for a cut, Jack.” 

Jack doesn’t argue. “That’s a wrap, then!” he bellows, turning the camera off. Will watches dazedly as the shape of him cuts through the blurry film obscuring his eyesight. Jack whistles as he packs up his equipment. “That cumshot’s gonna break records.”

Will grimaces, catapulting back to reality. “Jesus, Jack,” he mutters as if he didn’t just experience the most intense orgasm of his life in front of him. 

“Just saying, there’s a reason you two are so popular. There’s not a chance this video won’t get more views than the last,” Jack says. “Especially after such a long wait for the next installment.” 

Will hasn’t checked the website, obviously, or else he would have seen his and Hannibal’s faces plastered all over. Merch, thumbnails, clickbait. He wants to groan in resentment, but his throat muscles are burnt out. 

Jack isn’t saying this to be a pervert at least. He sees the business angle to these affairs. Always. He’s just giving his two cents. 

“I’m assuming you’re staying here,” Jack intuits, casting a glance at Hannibal who is unusually quiet as he carefully removes Will’s restraints. 

“Yeah, no need for you to stick around,” Will mutters.

“Here,” Jack fishes out a folder from the satchel he’d brought. He takes an envelope out of it and hands it to Will. With his arms freed, Will takes it. “Your paycheck from the Dragon shoot.”

Will stares at it, chasing the urge to crush it away.

Hannibal stares at it too, as if imagining the same thing. 

“Alrighty, I’ll head out. Till next time,” Jack waves, casual and cordial. Will and Hannibal watch him leave, and Will acknowledges how creepy it looks. Watching without blinking or response as Jack retreats from Hannibal’s sex dungeon. He snickers a bit when the doors close.

“How was that for you?” Hannibal asks, finishing up unlooping the shackles on Will’s ankles. He helps Will to the floor, but Will’s legs feel boneless. He stumbles into his chest. 

“Warm. Good.” Will smiles drunkenly. “Real good, Hannibal.”

What little tension resides in Hannibal dissipates. The man softens and pulls Will closer, kissing his sweat-drenched curls. “Then we’ll call the session a success.” 

“I almost don’t wanna cash this,” Will grumbles, balancing his weight on Hannibal’s side as he waves around the check.

“I have often turned down payment after filming with particularly vile co-stars,” Hannibal tells him, lips curling in distaste as he glares at the envelope.

Will smirks. “I said almost.” He wobbles unsteadily to his toes and kisses Hannibal on the lips, dragging the bottom between his teeth as he rocks back onto his heels. “Take care of me?”

Hannibal’s eyes glow. He cups Will’s lower back and murmurs, “My dear.”

 


 

After some lovely, relaxing aftercare, Will agrees to stay over Hannibal’s house for the weekend with the condition that he comes back tomorrow and is allowed to bring Buster. Hannibal must be indigent, because he agrees to let Will go with the promise, “Yes, of course. Anything.”

Anything, anything, anything.  

Will heads out to the grocery store to buy some overnight necessities for Buster. He doesn’t like to keep him in a collar, but he buys one with a bell just to make sure he can stop Buster in the night if the gremlin decides to destroy something very expensive in Hannibal’s home. 

The grocery store is too bright and is packed with loud people, preparing for weekend parties and nights of solitude. He’s still sensitive from earlier today, and his cock pulses with every memory that passes through his mind, a heady reminder as he traverses the isles.

He’s in the wine section, debating on what to purchase as a gift for Hannibal when he catches a tall figure out of the corner of his eye. Discreetly, he casts a glance at the farthest shelf and recognizes the man at the end of the isle easily; The Great Red Dragon. 

A naïve part of his mind hopes it is a coincidence. Surely it isn’t outlandish to assume porn stars run into each other at the same supermarket every once in a while. Yet, he can sense Francis staring at him, eyes blazing with intent. 

Will risks remaining in the isle a while longer, feeling the impressions of Francis’ intentions and being stumped by them. It isn’t desire towards him he can feel. His empathy would have narrowed that down in an instant. It’s not hard to know when someone wants him, even the most apathetic individuals could sense that. No, he wants something of Will, but it isn’t sex. 

Hannibal. 

He wanted to meet him, know him. 

He wants to use Will to get to him. How, Will doesn’t yet understand, but he doesn’t want to stick around to find out. 

He grabs the next wine in his line of sight and books it toward the checkout. A tired elderly woman bags his groceries and he pays, the card not going through at first causing him to panic. Francis is hovering around the self checkout, far away, but close enough to keep his eyes trained on Will. The card goes through the second swipe and he snatches his bags and leaves.

It’s suspicious how fast he’s rushing down the city walk. 

One should assume he’d stolen from the market, but nobody stops him. He can sense Francis’ presence behind him and knows he can’t go home or go to Hannibal’s house. He’ll know where they live, and he won’t put Hannibal at risk like that.

Francis doesn’t seem violent outside his sexual repertoire, but Will can’t be certain. 

Will makes a last minute decision, thumbing a cab and hopping in. He tells the man to keep driving for as long as it takes to receive an answer from his friend. He texts Bev; 

What is your address? No questions. I’ll explain later. 

Bev, to or against her credit, responds in less than a minute with her address.

Will shows it to the cabbie and the man takes the next right turn. 

On the way, he only looks behind himself once. There are headlights, but it is too dark to see if there is another cab driving behind them, following. 

He opens his phone again and texts Hannibal.

I can’t come home tonight. Please take care of Buster. Spare key in my mailbox. The combination is 3-11-6. Don’t call me, I’ll explain in the morning. 

There are several minutes without response. He’s moments from arriving at Beverly’s house. There are still headlights behind them, but it could be anyone.

Are you safe?

Will sighs. 

Yes. I’m just taking precautions. I’ll come to your house tomorrow, the time we decided on. Bring Buster. Don’t worry, Hannibal. 

The next response is quick.

Call me anytime tonight if you need me.

The cab rolls to a stop, blocking an empty driveway, and Will types one more message before pocketing his phone.

When you leave your house, watch your back. 

 

Chapter Text

 

“It’s not good form to barge into someone’s house relatively unannounced and start fiddling with their window blinds,” Bev tells Will as he does just that. 

He divides a row of blinds with two fingers, peering out at the house across the street. A car is just pulling into the driveway, the headlights gleaming then dimming in succession. It could be the homeowner, or it could be him. 

“The kettle’s still hot, if you want tea,” Bev offers.

Will glances at her, and his paranoid stare must frighten her because she flinches like she’d been flicked on the nose. He sighs, attempting to harness his composure. 

“Someone’s been following me,” he explains. “I couldn’t lead him back to my apartment, or uh, or Hannibal’s house. I think he’s looking for him.”

“So you led him to my house?” she retorts casually. Will wants to tell her she should be more enraged than she is, since he is technically putting her in danger.

“You owe me one,” he says instead, reassuring tone plummeting into a chastising one. 

“Ah,” she mutters. “Listen, Will

“I asked you to keep that picture to yourself,” he grits out. 

“I know, I felt horrible. I do feel horrible. Everyone was around me, I shouldn’t have been texting you to begin with, but you know how boring those shoots can get! I never thought they’d see and Jimmy’s eyes just happened to fall on my phone when it popped up. Then it was out of my hands, you know? I tried to say something, I’m just shit at confrontation. I’m sorry, Will.” 

“There’s nothing to be done now,” Will grants. “There’s already a merch line.”

Beverly cringes. “Oh, yeah, that.”

Will sighs again, acknowledging half the blame belongs to him. He knew deep down Beverly wouldn’t have read his request and outright disobeyed just for kicks. He wouldn’t have come here otherwise; there aren’t many people he can trust or wants to.

“Thank you, for saying that. I’m not mad, Bev.”

“That kinda thing can ruin a friendship,” Bev murmurs, sounding for the first time since he’s known her, solemn. “The possibility was mortifying.” 

“I don’t have many friends I can employ to help me outrun a stalker.” Satisfied for now with perimetering the home’s front yard, he wanders from the window and shucks his hands in his pockets, smiling awkwardly at her. “You can’t get rid of me that easily.” 

To his surprise, Beverly jumps on him.

She wraps him up in a giant bear hug, tight as a vice. 

“He wasn’t mad was he,” she guesses with a shit-eating knowingness.

“No, he wasn’t,” Will grumpily concedes.

Bev pulls away from the hug and slaps him hard on the shoulder. He winces and rubs it, but she doesn’t take notice. 

“Okay, what kind of tea do you like?”

Will seems to be getting tea whether he likes it or not. 

“English Breakfast, if you have it.”

“Nerd. You betcha.” She slaps him again and he mouths ‘Ow’ whilst she wanders off to the kitchen. He takes the time to look outside again, stealthily, from behind the shades. 

The car in the driveway across the way is inert and dark. It doesn’t mean there isn’t someone inside watching. He feels like he’s being watched, but that’s never been an unfamiliar feeling. 

Beverly returns shortly with two pink mugs in her hand. Steam swirls from each cup. He takes the one he’s handed and inhales deeply. It calms his nerves. 

She plops down on one of the futons in her living room and gestures for Will to do the same. He hadn’t taken in the furniture before, the low table or the thin cushions meant to kneel on. He settles down and finds himself comfortable. The tea is warming his trembling hands.

“Time to spill the tea, fly boy.” Will frowns, looking down at his tea and then feels like a complete moron when he figures out her meaning.

“You want to know who’s stalking me?” he asks. 

“Oh.” She sips too soon at her tea and grimaces. “Well, that too. But, tell me everything about Hannibal. What stage are you guys at, intimately. Like, sex everyday? Weekend sleepovers?”

Will blushes. Averting his eyes to the clock, it sinks in that this is going to be a very long night. 

“We’re just dating, Bev,” he offers, blowing lightly at his tea. “We’re going slow, I guess. I mean, taking a vacation to another state is kind of out there, but other than that

“No, that’s like, year-long relationship stuff,” she debates. “When you told me you were in Maine, I nearly keeled over. Dude, I think you’ve got it bad.” 

Will blushes harder, face heated enough to rival the steam.

“I’ve never…” he deliberates, not sure if he wants to divulge his inner revelations to someone who isn’t Hannibal first, but decides it will do him good to hear a second opinion. “I’ve never felt this way about anyone. I think I’m…”

Bev softens, her smile reaching her ears.

“You in love, Will?” 

Will watches her, for any sign of judgement or poor assessment of his character, but the verdict seems to be nothing but glee and felicitation. A healthy pinch of jealousy. 

He nods. 

“Damn,” she muses, shaking her head with disbelief. “You haven’t told him.”

“We just got together,” Will argues, exhaling heavily. “God, any sane person would end the relationship in a heartbeat if they heard that.”

“You don’t seem convinced he would end it.”

“He worships me.” Will doesn’t feel wrong saying it. It’s been hard all his life to accept the comfort and care from others, and especially to accept compliments and intimate declarations, but with Hannibal it’s easier than crushing dandelions. “I just don’t know if his version of love, if he thinks he’s experiencing that, matches my version of love. Or is enough to last.”

Bev burns her tongue on another sip of tea. She sets the mug down with a click, and some of the liquid spills over the side, sliding over the porcelain to seep into the cupholder. “Sounds like you’re overthinking a lot, Will.”

“Yeah, well. It’s been known to happen.” 

He rubs a thumb over the warm stem of his mug and wonders if he should check outside again. He’s feeling progressively guilty for leading Francis here, if he did at all. 

But, he knows Francis isn’t looking for Beverly. He’s not looking for anyone close to Will other than Hannibal. Will knows he’s who the Dragon wants, no one else. Will is merely a gateway. 

“If you want some advice, don’t plan it.” Will cocks a brow at her, and she reiterates. “Don’t plan a dinner, or an event or anything like that. Don’t light candles. Just, tell him when it feels right. Tell him when you know you want him to hear it. Adding emphasis to such a simple phrase might make his response worse for you, if it’s not the response you want to hear.” 

Will almost told Hannibal earlier today.

It could have slipped out, and that would have been that.

It’s not that he pictures Hannibal not telling him the words back, and it’s not that he doesn't think Hannibal loves him. In fact, he knows he does. It’s a matter of what will truly happen to them if those words permeate into the cold, harsh air. Hot breath dissipating into a turbulent fiery future.

Bev slaps his wrist and he realizes she’s been talking to him. “Earth to Will Graham,” she snaps teasingly. “You in there?”

“Sorry. Rumination has been known to happen off and on too,” he explains, offering a gawky smile. “Could you, uh, repeat that?”

“I’m asking you who the hell you led to my front door?” 

“He’s not looking for you. It won’t matter to him where you live,” Will swears. Beverly looks skeptical, but not angry at least. He elucidates, slightly abashed, “It’s Dolarhyde. The Great Red Dragon, um, he’s looking for me, I think to get to Hannibal.”

“You make it sound like he’s trying to take you out.” 

“On a date or to my grave?” Will mutters, feeling little of the humor he extends. 

“What, is he starstruck for Hannibal or something?”

“Or something,” Will concedes elusively. “I don’t think he’s here. If he was, he probably left. He could most likely tell this wasn’t my house or Hannibal’s. I couldn’t have done that to Hannibal, lead an obsessed stranger to his house. I was supposed to go back over today, but now…” 

“Did you tell Hannibal you were here?”

“I texted him and told him I couldn’t come home tonight. Asked him to take care of Buster.”

“And…did you tell him why?” 

“No,” Will answers. “I can tell him tomorrow.” 

Bev clicks her tongue and looks weary.

 “What?” he asks temperamentally.

“What was the last thing you texted him?”

Tugging his phone from his pocket, Will opens his messages with Hannibal and reads, “When you leave your house, watch your back.” Bev looks baffled so he feels the need to add, “See? I gave him a warning.”

“You might be the most nebulous man I’ve ever known. And, I’ve come across some pretty dubious and confusing men. Will, you’re going to worry him to death.”

The pangs of remorse hit Will like a pile of bricks.

Quickly he deflects, “Hannibal doesn’t care like most people. He knows I’d call him if I needed him. He told me to.” 

Bev sighs dramatically. “Will, baby, he’s human. He’s your boyfriend. Call the man.” 

Will goes pale. Boyfriend. He should probably tell her they aren’t using those labels, but he’s ridiculously absorbed with how soft hearing the word makes him feel. He’s also hazy with guilt, overthinking the last text he sent, and how Hannibal might be fretting up a storm. 

“Do you mind

“Go, call him.” 

Will scrambles up from the floor, nearly spilling his tea when he snatches his phone. He paces a few steps to the corner of the room by dark lamp, privacy the last thing on his mind, and dials Hannibal’s number. 

It feels like a slap to the face when Hannibal picks up in just under two seconds. “Will,” his name sounds relieved and strained with worry. “I was anticipating a call.”

“Nothing’s wrong, Hannibal. I realized I should have probably told you more than I did, but I knew if I told you over the phone you’d freak out,” Will starts, running a hand over his flushed cheeks. He’s bad at relationships, he’s aware.

“When have you ever known me to ‘freak out,’ my dear?”

“I usually enjoy your freak outs,” Will murmurs, instantly setting fire to the flirtation in his tone. He can’t get wrapped up in Hannibal in front of Bev, and this isn’t the time. 

“Can you tell me where you are?” Hannibal asks, bordering urgent. 

“A friend’s house. I, ehm, well

Beverly groans loudly and Will turns just in time to see her stand. “Put the damn thing on speaker phone,” she orders, so blatantly in charge that he can’t help but to do just as she says. 

“Hey there, Hannibal. I’m Jack’s make-up artist,” Beverly speaks into the tail end of the phone, and Hannibal’s voice instantly becomes cordial.

“Good evening, Ms. Katz.”

“There’s a crazy co-star of Will’s that’s been stalking him.” Will closes his eyes, humiliated that she’s the one telling the story. “Will came here cause he didn’t wanna lead him back to you or his own apartment. I told him to call you because he texts like an idiot.”

Will glares. There is something close to a laugh from the other line, and then a long, contemplative, buzzing silence. 

“Is it the Dragon, Will?” Hannibal’s icy voice asks.

“Yes,” Will forces out. “He followed me from the grocery store, but I don’t think he’s still here.” 

“We can’t be certain,” Hannibal says bluntly, and Will goes cold. “Thank you, Ms. Katz for housing him for the night. I am entirely grateful.” 

“I’ve got something of a plan if you two are game,” Bev begins, and Will braces himself. As much as he cares about her, she’s still a bit of a wild card. “The fence in my backyard has a door that leads to my neighbor’s property. Will can easily sneak out of their yard without being seen if you’re interested in taking him off my hands.” 

Will grumbles, “Hey,”

She smacks a hand over his mouth and he debates licking her palm to gross her out. He keeps quiet, glaring bullets. “I’m not opposed to sleepovers, but he doesn’t want you to worry.” 

“I can speak for myself,” he asserts, muffled by her hand.

“Are you game, Will?” Hannibal asks then, and Will grunts in acquiescence 

“Yeah, of course. If it wouldn’t put you out.” 

He feels awkward saying it. He already asked the man to take care of his dog tonight. And he knows that Hannibal could never think to say no to this. 

Beverly gives Hannibal the address to her neighbor’s house and sends the neighbors a quick text saying someone is going to be picked up in front of their driveway. Will couldn’t be more grateful, but he has no words. He feels like she should be stapled to his back for anytime he needs to rely on better communication skills.

“I know what you’re thinking,” she announces smugly after hanging up the phone. She sits back down on her futon and sips at her now, lukewarm tea. “Beverly, you’re the best friend I’ve never had, and I couldn’t live out my sexy gay fantasies without you.” 

“Christ,” he huffs, crossing his arms. He feels exposed. 

“What, you still saying you’re straight?” 

“I am straight,” he insists, teeth baring. “It’s not men, Bev. It’s him.” 

“Straight,” she allows with a smirk spreading. “Straight as string cheese, even. Feeling a bit stringy, Will?”

He glares daggers this time, and moves to grab the groceries he left by her front door. She follows him, snickering silently. He could easily knock her off her feet just to see her fall on her ass. 

“No, trust me. I get it. The magic of good cock is undeniable.”

“Remind me again why I’m friends with you,” he grumbles, shrugging his coat on. She leans forward and clasps his shoulder to encourage him to meet her eyes.

“Because I knew I wasn’t the one you wanted to be with tonight.” 

He softens, tucking his chin to observe the floor. 

“Now, let me guide you through my yard cause the grass is tall enough to cut up your asscrack.”

 


 

Will feels fairly awkward standing in someone’s driveway despite knowing they know he’s here. He doesn’t bother looking back towards the windows to see if whoever the house belongs to is watching him. He’s too busy keeping an eye on the empty street, cautious and alert. 

He sighs when he sees the familiar Bentley roll up. When he climbs into the passenger’s side, he nearly breaks the car door off its hinges when he sees the display before him.

Buster is sitting in Hannibal’s lap, tail thumping erratically over the lapels of Hannibal’s suit jacket. Both of Hannibal’s hands are on the wheel, and as stoic as ever, he greets cheerfully, “Long time no see, Will.” 

Will shuts the door and Hannibal carefully makes a three point turn, driving back the way he came. It wouldn’t do for Francis to catch sight of them together in the car if he passed by Beverly’s house. Will is speechless for a moment, and then Buster barks. 

Hannibal makes a disapproving noise and reaches into a black bag atop the console. Will hadn’t noticed it. He extracts a small piece of sausage and feeds it to Buster with a whispered, “Hush now, little thing.” 

“He’s going to think you’re rewarding him for barking,” Will warns, jovially. 

“Ah.” Hannibal’s jaw tightens. “I’ve never owned a pet.”

“Don’t worry, he doesn’t respond well to operant conditioning of any kind.” 

“Unlike someone I know.” Hannibal smiles at Will’s bewilderment. “As crude as your friend is, Beverly had a point about your…texting etiquette.”  

Will ducks his head, “I’ve never been great at communication.”

“Technology can be blamed to an extent. You, however, have been reckless.” 

There is a pause, and Will is reminded of the first time he met Hannibal. Allowing himself to be driven home, unsure of why the older man vexed him to seething curiosity. 

“This guy is stalking me and I’m being the reckless one?" Will bites out, eyes flitting down to Buster whose tail is wagging at the same excited speed. Traitor. 

“Why didn’t you call me, Will?” 

“I thought I could wait it out myself. I thought I knew what I was doing.” Will’s answer is quick, almost defensive. “I could have protected myself you know, if something were to happen.”

Hannibal keeps his eyes on the street ahead as he turns out of the neighborhood. Will wishes he’d look at him, but it isn’t rational to be mad at someone for following the rules of the road. “Your reservations over giving me free reign when it comes to your protection are still in tact. I wonder what scenario must be realized in order for them to falter.” 

“It’s not to do with trust ” Will sighs, exasperated. Is it to do with trust? Would he have trusted Hannibal to act according to the bylaws of a moral being had he led the Dragon to his doorstep? “How am I supposed to know what to do in this situation? I wasn’t even entirely sure he was following me to follow me, maybe…” he almost laughs at his own stupidity, but the words keep flapping out like a tattered band-aid. “Maybe he wanted to talk to me and didn’t know what to say.”

“You’re deluding yourself and me if you believe I’ll take your word for that,” Hannibal says rather frankly. “I could hear it in your voice over the phone, that you knew why he was following you.” 

“He wants you, Hannibal,” Will whispers. “He wants you, and he wants to use me to get to you.” 

“What does he want me for?”

“I don’t know!” Will barks, throwing his hands up. Buster barks, but they both ignore him. “Maybe he wants nothing at all, I can’t read minds, I just, I

“You can read people, Will. You know their inner workings like horologists know the machinations of a clock. You can see where the arms and hands of these men and women fall, the times they tell, and where they are meant to be when those times come to fruition.”

Will’s heart beats a panicked cadence. 

Hannibal knows him too well. He knows all of him. 

“He wants to be me,” Will confesses, his tone wintry as if he were watching someone light the first match of his own funeral pyre. “He wants to take my place, and wants you to find him more interesting than you find me. He wants everything I have and more.”

Hannibal is quiet for a time. Will begins to recognize the street names, the twists and turns it takes to get to Hannibal’s house. He holds his jaw shut so tight he fears it will snap. 

Surprisingly, Hannibal asks him again;

“Why didn’t you call me?”

Abruptly, after exposing Dolarhyde’s motives out in the open air, Will understands himself better than he did before his shoot with him. The Great Red Dragon.

“I didn’t want you involved,” Will murmurs. “I thought leading him to you might give him the opportunity he was looking for. The possibility you could…see each other.” 

There is a hint of a smile on Hannibal’s cheeks, but his perpetual pursed lips remain as they are until Hannibal is rolling into the driveway of his home, handing Will his dog so he can take his groceries. 

“Why did you bring Buster?” Will asks, aimless as he exits the vehicle. Hannibal winds around and closes both car doors, leading Will with a hand at his back toward the front door. 

“In case Francis were to make chase, I considered we may not have been able to return to my home for some time. I did not wish to strand him here.”

Will disagrees. “You were worried he’d chow down your Egyptian cotton.” 

 There is a twinge in Hannibal’s brow, but he doesn’t refute it. Will wants to smile, but their conversation from the car still hangs thick in the air. “Here, I’ll uh, put him in the study. He can’t reach any of your bookshelves.” 

“Shall I make tea?”

Will holds Buster’s wriggling body still and responds, “I had some at Bev’s house. Let’s just sit down, or something.”

“We can join your pet in the study, then,” Hannibal suggests, leading Will through the cozy, narrow halls of his home. Will had seen the study briefly, walking past the open door of it when he’d visited those few times. Hannibal gently takes Buster from Will’s arms, and sets him down on the carpet inside. Buster ruffs and frantically zigzags in a circle, approving of his new space.

“He won’t piss on the rug or anything,” Will promises. “I’ve trained him well enough.”

“I don’t doubt it,” Hannibal assures, touching Will with felt-tip affection for the first time since picking him up. He strokes a thumb quickly under his eye and says, “I’ll go see to these groceries. Stay put.”

Wanting to offer to help, Will doesn’t get the chance before Hannibal is gone, floating silently down the hall toward the kitchen. He probably will despise whatever wine Will did end up picking out. 

Hannibal doesn’t return for some time, and when he does, he’s holding a steaming mug for himself. “I felt I could do with some light caffeination,” he discloses, eyes tired but warm. 

Will left his shoes by the study door and is sitting crisscross on the floor, playing with Buster to tire him out. He doesn’t want him restless, gnawing at Hannibal’s imported hand-made furniture, despite Will’s premature claims toward Buster’s demeanor. 

Hannibal shocks him by matching Will’s position, sitting so that Buster writhes on his back in between them. Will notices he changed out of his suit and into a sweater and house pants. 

“Listen, I’m sorry about all this. If I thought it would have been safer, I would have just gone home. I should have called someone else to help with Buster.”

Perhaps the words stumble out of Will because he’s worried what Hannibal will think about all the dog hair in his soft, expensive carpet. Broadly, Will wonders if it doesn’t matter.

“Who else would you have called?” 

Beverly, maybe. He still isn’t over-acquainted with her. Not enough to ask her to take care of his dog for an undetermined amount of time.  

“Will, look at me,” Hannibal insists. It’s hard, with all the little growling sounds Buster makes in his throat, calling attention to himself, but Will looks. “This was the correct choice. Trusting me, bringing yourself and your family to me. I can protect you.”

It sounds believable when Hannibal says it. 

“You want to.” Will glances at Buster and thinks, he called you my family. “But…there are other things you could want. There are people who could offer more than I do. Offer less, in certain areas. For the better.” 

Instead of outright reassurance, Hannibal clears his throat.

He says, “Freddie Lounds has contacted me about the Great Red Dragon.” 

Will’s brow creases and he meets his eyes, suddenly on high alert. Hannibal continues once he knows he possesses Will’s undivided attention. 

“He has demanded, in several emails and calls to her, to work with me.”

Will sees red, the burning hot shade of panic.

“She knows our contract requires exclusivity.”

“She knows.” Hannibal lips twitch sourly. “I have a hunch she is being blackmailed, but her reasoning is that the Dragon commands a vast portion of her revenue. He is threatening to leave the business, as she says, so she is desperate to amend the ‘requirements’ of our contract.” 

“Lounds can’t do that without my approval,” Will remarks, hands twisting in the fibers of the rug. “She won’t. I won’t give it to her.” He sounds accusatory when he questions, “H How long have you known?” 

“Several days ago, she brought the subject up to me in an email briefly. I believe she hoped I would accept without question, but of course I declined. It was only this afternoon while you were at the supermarket that she was more…insistent with her letters.” 

“Fucking hell, Hannibal,” Will wades along the line of hyperventilation. “You knew for, for…”

Hannibal reaches across Buster and takes Will’s hands in his own. Will attempts to tug them away, but Hannibal’s grip tightens, punishingly. 

“You do not know in truth how often I am approached, even after our contact was signed, by Lounds and her sister companies for my participation in films. I have declined more often than I breathe air, and I did not imagine to be asked again in a second email.” 

Hannibal’s right. He’s being irrational. 

“Lounds is threatening you, right? To get out of the contract somehow. Otherwise you would have just brushed it off again, declined for a second time,” Will reasons, watching the calculating dance behind Hannibal’s caramel eyes. His heart sinks.

“Oh,” Will whispers. “You want

“No,” Hannibal states, interlacing their fingers. “Will, not only do I not want that, I will continue to refuse as often as it takes, no matter the consequences.

Swallowing a strangled sound of relief, Will stares at his own bared ankles and murmurs, “What’s she hanging over your head?”

Hannibal’s hands drop to his own thighs and he splays his fingers out, contemplative. “Freddie Lounds has been a clever girl,” he starts, disdain in his voice painfully obvious. “There was a loophole in her contract that allows her to terminate your contract and mine at the drop of a hat, if she so deems the shooting conditions unstable. We would be forced to stop our sessions and return to working with co-stars she schedules us for, if I were to decline the offer.”

Will’s blood boils.

“The bitch.” His voice rattles out of him like a shrill scream of a rabbit. “She’s going to use our relationship to say we’re…fostering unstable working conditions. Jesus, he really must be blackmailing her. Fucking fuck.” He scrapes his hands over his scalp and the burn feels ice hot. “Hannibal, I can’t do that again. I can’t work with anyone else. I won’t.” 

“Darling, I know,” Hannibal whispers. “I won’t allow it to happen.”

“But…” Will’s throat tightens, and his hand stops just short of clutching Hannibal’s face. “I don’t I don’t want you to work with him. Hannibal, I ” 

Will feels trapped. Suffocated. 

Unbeknownst to them both, Buster has fallen asleep in between their folded knees. He sleeps peacefully unaware, bored of their human squabbling and squawking. 

“And, as I feared, this shy boy’s aspirations are intended to be met one way or the other. Even if he feels he has to utilize you. I don’t dare ponder what he intends with you to gain my attention.”

Will should be scared, but he isn’t. Not of Francis. He’s scared Francis will get what he wants. Right now, he seems like an unstoppable force. Will is nothing but a casualty to him. 

“What can we do?” Will exhales helplessly. 

“I have considered two possibilities, Will. You may not wish to hear them, but the alternative is far more ugly in my eyes. We would be forced into undesirable situations, and I do not want that for either of us, despite the resulting loss of our intimate arrangement.”

“Spit them out, because I’ve drawn a blank,” Will concedes, slumping back on his haunches. 

Hannibal hesitates, then begins with, “We may refuse to work for Lounds, and attempt to find work in another industry, one that will accept us and our preorganized arrangement.”

The laugh that escapes Will is hysterically pained. “You’re kidding. You know that won’t work. As popular as we both are at this point, Hannibal, quitting a contract like that is going to scare the socks off other companies. No one’s going to want to work with people so fast and loose. It’ll be a scandal quite literally.” Will scowls and adds, “No doubt Lounds would still profit off of us that way. And Christ, the law suits…”

“That was the less feasible option,” Hannibal admits, lips forming a little pout Will wants to kiss. God, if he could just kiss him, this might all go away. It won’t though, and they need to work this out until both parties are satisfied. Communication is key, Bedelia’s voice echoes in his head.  

“Then why are you so nervous about the next?” Will asks gently, tilting his head and looking up from behind his lashes to catch Hannibal’s eyes. “Do you think it’ll scare me?”

“Yes,” Hannibal answers immediately. 

Will blinks. Then, he stands and sinks down into the couch beside the unlit fireplace. He imagines how warm it would be, with a ginormous hearth such as that, flames licking from behind a protective grate. Hannibal follows him without question, but instead of sitting beside him, he kneels on the floor. Both knees, otherwise Will might’ve thought. Could’ve. 

Hannibal kisses one of his kneecaps, and murmurs, “What I am about to propose will shock you, and I want you to hear me through. The gravity of how I feel for you is something you may not understand, and thus what might shock you, is in fact a totally agreeable option for me.”

Will doesn’t tell him that he’s in love with him, doesn’t dare give him the leeway that might inspire him to think up other options. Marriage could offer so many protections, his mind tells him, even if it were temporary. He blinks back to reality and nods coaxingly. 

“We could disappear now,” Hannibal says, and Will’s heart rate spikes. “Tonight. Leave a note for your landlord, and never see Lounds or Jack, or anyone else in this industry again. Almost polite.” 

“Disappear,” Will echoes. The word sounds like a fairy tale. “Where?”

“Italy is lush in autumn.” Hannibal kisses the kneecap he neglected before. “There is an opera house in Bueno Aires I yearn for you to accompany me to.”

Will’s vision tunnels. Hannibal is asking him to run away with him. Forget their contracts, disappear without a trace so that Francis Dolarhyde and any other enemies made in their absence may never find them again. Nobody will be extradited for pornographic charges. Hannibal is right. It’s almost polite. 

But, that isn’t the problem, is it?

“My life is here,” Will argues, lacking the veracity the claim requires. What life other than being a porn star? That in itself has fallen apart at its seams. He has no family. He has one friend he barely knows and a shitty apartment to his name. Hannibal is offering escapism in its finest measures. 

“Is it?” Hannibal inquires, as if he knows. 

“We I haven’t…” Will falls back against the cushions and throws an arm over his eyes. The darkness is a momentary reprieve. “Hannibal, how long have we known each other? Is it morally acceptable to run off into the sunset with a man I’ve…with you?” 

He’s babbling, and Hannibal knows it. 

“All your troubles, gone,” Hannibal insists. “Nothing to worry about. I would handle everything.” 

“I know you would, that’s what’s freaking me out.” Will groans and wants to agree. Terribly. He wants to go tonight like Hannibal suggested. Bring Buster and wake up to a sunny Italian morning. If he weren’t so goddamn in love, he might be able to think rationally. In a quiet voice, he tells him, “This is a lot to ask. Not just of me, but yourself.”

It’s difficult for the words to compute for Hannibal, so Will cups his cheeks with his palms and meets his eyes. 

“Your life is here. Your everything is here, Hannibal. I’m easy, I’m a nobody. Could you disappear? Have you thought about taking yourself off the grid and what that would mean?”

Hannibal stares back at him like he’s the world. Like he’s already bought those tickets just in case. “I find your attention above anyone else’s, is what I desire most.” 

Will closes his eyes and opens them, fighting back tears.

“You told me that kind of sex, the kind we have only when we’re…you told me you’d never stop. It would eat away at you, Hannibal. Then, where would that leave us? You abandoning me in a country where I don’t speak the language?”

There it is. The elephant neither of them had noticed in the room. Will had told him he never wanted the BDSM to bleed into their real, personal relationship. And he’s reiterating that truth; Hannibal seems to know it would be what he’s losing, and his ardent expression doesn’t hesitate. 

“I would not abandon you,” is what he says, and Will tells himself it’s better than nothing.

“No,” Will concedes, fingertips slipping down his smooth cheeks. “No, if you left me, you’d make sure I was well off. You’d make sure I was okay, because you’re responsible like that, you’re not rude. But, that doesn’t mean you won’t leave me. That doesn’t mean I won’t.”

It’s the first time he’s seen Hannibal stiffen so obtrusively. 

Rejection; It’s his biggest fear, Will can see it now. 

Will has fears too. Abandonment, for starters. Self-destruction.

“You need it, don’t you?” Will pries. “It could get messy, Hannibal. This is more than just a whim, this is dangerous. We’ve taken leaps in this relationship no sane person would ever. We can’t just…construct fairy tales.”

There is a strange look on Hannibal’s face. Close to defeat, but only close. He turns so he isn’t facing Will and props himself up against the base of the couch. One of Will’s hands tangles in his hair delicately. Soft, silky. Will wants desperately for this to be oh-so easy. 

“You once called me sociopathic,” Hannibal says suddenly and Will’s movements stutter. 

“That was ” Will’s stomach flips. “I wasn’t calling you crazy.”

“Many would,” Hannibal interrupts, stone cold evenness chilling him to the bone. He doesn’t glance back at Will, and Will wishes he could see his expression, half expecting to find a mask lifted to expose the sticky red epidermis layer below his skin. “There was a time in my life, Will, I could have been a far different man than the one you know now. It would unease you to know how close I often am to succumbing to the changing tides of my inner self.” 

Will remains quiet, breath catching when Hannibal speaks. 

“I nearly starved to death alongside my sister during a cold winter in Lithuania. We were trapped in a property owned by my father, about a mile off of the Lecter estate. Rogue Veterans from the Guerilla War with residual Soviet inclinations pillaged and slaughtered the occupants. Our parents, our servants. Mischa and I knew the path to the backwoods cabin, but I was a child. I could not have anticipated the vendetta these Soviets had for my politically outspoken father.” Hannibal pauses, solemnly reminiscent. “And his offspring.” 

Overwhelmed with empathy, Will resumes moving his fingers lightly in Hannibal’s hair. He wants to tuck Hannibal against him, and let him crawl inside where he’s most warm.

“They followed us to the cabin, just as law enforcement entrenched the estate, and the surrounding property. For days, we hid there, the men not sure if they would be captured if they stepped foot out into the snow. There was no food, and very little water.” 

The tone of Hannibal’s voice doesn’t change. It doesn’t waver, even as he recollects, “They took the weakest. Mischa was younger than I, hungrier. She cried for hours and hours and they were tired, starving too. We were all but creatures to one another.” 

“Hannibal ” Will breathes, voice trembling. 

“I didn’t see it happen,” Hannibal murmurs, as if in assurance. “They took her outside, and after I was offered…” Will has rarely seen him at a loss for words.  

Though his heart is pounding, terrified of the answer, he continues shakily stroking his hair, encouraging Hannibal to divulge his innermost darkness. 

“Had I consumed her, I fear I would have consumed myself.” 

“Did you want to?” Will asks before he can think. He curses internally, knowing this is definitely not how you respond to the reawoken trauma of your partner, but Hannibal’s tension abruptly loosens. Finally, he looks back at Will, eyes glossy and vacant. 

“Yes,” he confesses. “I would have forgiven her.” 

Will’s hand goes still once again, and his confusion coerces Hannibal into elaboration.

“Mischa, unknowingly, encouraged me to repress who I am. Never could she have known what monster lurked in her brother’s breast. A breadth away from transformation. Becoming.” Hannibal raises a hand and takes Will’s hand from his hair, kissing his palm. Those lips could tear flesh in two. They could make blood spill. “Even in death, I remained faithful to her. I would not become, and I would let my shadows fester inside.”

Will isn’t sure if he wants to curl in on himself or curl up to Hannibal. The story is a lot to process, and he knows he’ll be rushed to the finish line of this conversation before he gets the chance.

“Debauchery in sex is something I take pleasure in as it soothes my vices. Intrusive thoughts, my inner nature. But, I am not pathological. That much has been true since I chose for myself to remember Mischa with a drawing,” he places his free hand over his tattoo, covered by his sweater, “rather than debauchery itself. I chose not to debase her. I chose incorruption.” 

Will jumps when Hannibal turns around, imploring.

“You have undone me. In such a short time, Will, I should consider it whiplash.” Will huffs, relating to that at least. “I find I would give up anything for you, as I would have my sister.”

Will huffs again, and the noise curtails a whimper. 

His eyes burn with brimming tears and he glances between them, weakly curling his fingers over Hannibal’s, the ones holding tight to his own. 

Hannibal has practically admitted; I could have been a killer, a cannibal, more a monster than a man. I am capable of atrocities you have never dreamed, and you will never see, but I will not commit them for her. Or you. I would give up my last remaining shreds of self for you.

Will could strike him. Will could run.

Will kisses him, brokenly gasping against Hannibal’s mouth when the man grabs his face tight and angles him how he wants. How they both want. Will grips on and doesn’t let go. 

The kiss falls apart when Will starts to taste his own tears, and then Hannibal’s. A sickening, salty blend garnished with untapped emotions neither of them have ever felt. 

Their cheeks press together, and Hannibal’s love is permeating from his skin to Will’s. Will pushes back, hoping his love is clear. Now would be the right time to tell him, the perfect time. And yet, he pulls back, brushing his nose against Hannibal’s as he goes.

“I need time. Time to think.”

Hannibal is cordial, understanding. It’s almost a disappointment when he responds, “My suggestion of tonight was merely an option. Take all the time you need.”

Before they pull apart completely, Will tugs at his sleeves. Trying his damndest to force eye contact, Will aches as he stares into Hannibal’s open, expressive eyes, and tells him, “Thank you for telling me, Hannibal. I won’t forget.” 

“Above all else, Will,” Hannibal murmurs, “Remember my devotion to you.” 

 


 

“You allow yourself so readily to be beaten down,” Bedelia drones, picking discreetly at one of her inconspicuous acrylic nails. “It is difficult to understand why you disallow yourself so readily to be loved.” 

Caught, Will shifts in his seat. 

He doesn’t respond. 

Abruptly she asks, “Are you in love with Hannibal Lecter?” 

Has he ever stated Hannibal’s name? The possibility that she knows from Hannibal’s own sessions or because she’s researched Will’s filmography in porn doesn’t sit right with him either way. 

He answers her thinly veiled question from before. 

“Bruises fade. Love?” 

“Love is fickle,” she offers. “Oftentimes, what we think is love, is quite the opposite. Infatuation leads us astray, and it is easy to forget…such obsession, when the consummation grants us less than our predetermined expectations. Love, when true, is commonly known not to fade.” 

“What do you do with the bruises that don’t fade?” Will sing-songs, mostly to himself. Rhetoric in this office is not that uncommon. Sometimes, Bedelia understands his off-putting parlance. 

“Scars present context. They leave us with memories and reminders of our mistakes.”

“So, I either have to commit to the possibility of making the biggest mistake of my life and hope for the best, or leave and accept the scar while it’s still just a bruise.”

Bedelia inhales slowly. “You must ask yourself how deeply this love has cut already. Perhaps we’ve gone far beyond bruises and blemishes.” 

Will’s unsure if he could genuinely entertain the possibility of leaving Hannibal. Rejecting him, as the older man most fears. In another world, maybe. 

“How do you tell someone?” he muses, bargaining with the ceiling. “How the hell do you tell someone you love them and have them properly understand what you mean by it?”

“Is it perhaps that you don’t believe your love to match the weight of his own, or that it exceeds all preexisting notions of what the word has always meant to you.” 

“The sight of him nourishes me,” Will answers softly. “I ache for him.” 

Practically petulant, Bedelia trails the hair out of her eyes with a pointed fingertip and responds, “Then, I would suggest telling him just that.” 

 


 

Will’s appointment with Bedelia had been nearly directly after he’d come home from the weekend spent at Hannibal’s house. They didn’t have sex; they co-existed and idly kept to the same space. Hannibal read books or composed while Will sat by and listened or napped on his shoulder. There was no pressure to decide on moving, or rather, running away from their troubles together. 

Regardless, tension still pierced them, and their kiss goodbye had been stilted at best. Hannibal had dropped him off in front of his apartment and made Will promise to call him if he came into contact with Francis again. Will promised, and intends to, if he does. 

Now, he’s back home, prepared to relax. 

Prepared to think about anything but his love and sex life for at least an hour, that is, until he opens the door and discovers he has a guest.

“Alana.”

She’s wearing a light blue coat that reaches down to her knees, and is holding a red purse with two hands, the presentation meant to convince him she just arrived. Something tells him she’s been here for a while, and is trying to maintain appearances. 

“Before you flip out, I was waiting outside your door. The landlord spotted me and let me in.” She laughs, and the noise is simultaneously familiar and stomach churning. “Should really tell that lady to give you a lick of privacy.” 

Will snarls and shuts the door. Buster doesn’t immediately come running, which means Alana must have been playing with him, wearing him out. She has definitely been here over half an hour. 

“What are you doing here, Alana?” he asks curtly. It’s hard to be polite when someone shows up inside your home uninvited. He almost removes his jacket but thinks better of it. Escape routes swish around in his head.

“Couldn’t contact you. I thought perhaps you changed your number. I was in town and saw your apartment complex and really, I just thought why not see what he’s up to?” 

It isn’t the whole truth. Will had always been able to read Alana.

He thought he deleted her number, but apparently he’d inadvertently blocked her. He doesn’t explain himself, and works his way around the room to grab his secondary wallet. His credit card and license isn’t in it, but she doesn’t know that.

“I was just going out,” he lies.

“Bullshit.” She also never had a problem calling him out. “You just got here! You’ve been gone for at least two hours.” 

He arches a brow at her and she sighs, having exposed herself. 

“I’ll go with you,” she insists, and he nearly barks at her, clenching his fist to calm himself. 

“I need to buy wine,” the lie continues, and then he decides to tell her a smidge of truth. “I’m having dinner with my boyfriend tomorrow.” 

He said it. Boyfriend. It doesn’t feel bad saying it to Alana, especially not when he sees the bafflement on her face. Utterly brought down a few pegs. Will Graham has a boyfriend. She won’t believe it unless she sees it, and he’s feeling far too smug about it to argue when she reiterates, “Well, I have a car, Will. I know you’re just going to take a cab, let me drive you.”

“Fine, but he’s real picky about his wines. You can’t distract me.” 

“I’m good at shutting up,” she offers, calmer now. There is something a little disquieting about her expression, but he finds he lacks the capacity to care. He pours Buster some fresh water and food and tucks his secondary wallet into his pocket alongside his real one.

She leads him down to her parallel parked car and he thanks the heavens the supermarket isn’t far. He’s annoyed at himself that he’s created a situation where he has to go. His experience last time was unpleasant, and Hannibal hadn’t even asked him to pick up wine for their dinner tomorrow. Hell, he’s probably going to start throwing out the shitty wines Will buys him. 

It’s not like he knows anything about wine. 

“How’s Margot?” Will asks, still not particularly caring.

Alana doesn’t notice. “We’re engaged,” she announces happily. “That’s one of the things I was trying to text you about. We want you to come to the wedding of course.”

Feeling blunt, Will says, “She doesn’t even know me.”

“She could,” Alana mutters. “If you wanted to meet her.” 

Will sighs and nods, forcing a placating smile. It seems to please Alana because she further divulges, “And, I’m, ehm, pregnant. Actually.” 

This gives Will pause. 

“Damn, uh, how?” He rubs his temples and adds, “Sorry, weird question. Just You guys get a sperm donor finally?” 

“Her brother offered. It seemed the best option despite our mutual distaste for him. The baby will still have her genes, and mine.” She frowns. “Unfortunately, he’s going to have to be in the child’s life. At least, somewhat.” 

“Still, sounds like the best case scenario to me,” Will offers. He doesn’t think about children. He doubts Hannibal thinks about children either, outside of his sister. His heart sinks as he’s brought back to those memories he’d been privy to, and their initial impact. He thinks about the offer of Italy. Christ, he’d never see Alana again, and that doesn’t even phase him. 

“It is.” She takes one hand off the steering wheel and presses it to her stomach. She must have gotten pregnant fairly recently, as there is no bump to note. “It’s all moving so fast.”

“You quitting the industry?” Will asks and Alana gives a slow, responsive nod. “Is Margot?” 

“We’re…having discussions about that.” 

“Ah, the widely feared ‘discussions’,” Will teases, nudging her with his elbow. He looks back out the window of the car, frenetic eyes taking in the busy streets for watchful eyes. “I take it there are some arguments.”

“Some,” she tightly agrees.

Will knows the feeling. 

She pulls into the parking garage of the supermarket and Will hops out, ready to get this trip over with as soon as possible. Alana, however, walks as if harboring a limp. There is something on her mind she isn’t telling Will, something she knows that he doesn’t. 

It’s grating on his nerves. It refuses to nudge off the tip of her tongue, but he also refuses to coax it forward. He’s had enough drama the past week.

Moments later, he realizes he should have known. 

Hannibal doesn’t seem the type to enter supermarkets. He’s an enigma. Will half expects him to import everything he owns, anything at all. The picture perfect image of him perusing the wine aisle doesn’t add up to everything he knows about Hannibal Lecter. 

And yet. 

“Will!” he calls out, wine bottle in hand. Alana and Will aren’t far enough away to feign ignorance, not that Alana should even know that’s Will’s number one go-to in this instance.

She is already treading forward, a toothy smile on her face to greet him. Will tramples along behind her. If he were another man, he might say, Hey babe!

Instead, he barks out, “What are you doing here?” 

Unruffled, Hannibal presents the wine to Will. Prestigious and luxurious. It’s then Will notices the three existing bottles in his otherwise empty cart. “Stocking up for our dinner tomorrow.”

“Don’t you remember?” Will glares at him, pleading silently with him to play along. “I told you I was going to get them."

Hannibal blinks at him and then looks down at the bottle in his hands. He’s caught on, but he enjoys the trepidatious suspense he can dole out. “Of course. How could I forget?” Without warning, he turns to Alana and says, “Good afternoon, Alana. How have you been?” 

Will blanches. They know each other. 

“I got hitched,” she announces, grinning wide as she scans him up and down. “It’s been so long, Hannibal. I never would have pegged you as a Will Graham type of guy.” 

Alana nudges Will, teasing back. He can’t look at her straight. 

“I am very much a Will Graham type of guy,” Hannibal echoes, hand sliding slippery over Will’s neck. Will shudders and averts his gaze from the two of them, hoping his curls hide his blush. “Congratulations, Alana. I am delighted to hear we’ve both come so far since our relationship.” 

Relationship?

Will considers he’s dreaming. A very, very bad dream.

“I’m delighted to know I can add you as Will’s plus one.” Alana looks between them, eyes settling on Will. There is something conniving in her stare. “Have you told Molly?”

Will splutters “Why would I tell Molly? We rarely talk.”

Alana raises her hands in surrender. “Just asking. You like to keep this stuff to yourself. I doubt you were even going to tell me that boyfriend you were so excited about was the Hannibal.” 

“If I had, would you have told me you two dated?” he grinds out, and Hannibal’s hand tightens on his neck, a subtle warning. Calm down. 

He’s sure Hannibal is loving this. Knowing he’s using the word ‘boyfriend’ and knowing that he and Will shared the same lover once upon a time. He shudders out a sigh, forcing himself to calm. 

“Perhaps you could collect the cheese for our dinner instead,” Hannibal offers, the command painted in his eyes. He’s giving Will an out and simultaneously helping Will keep himself together. 

“Sounds good,” Will mutters, shrugging Hannibal’s hand off of him. Telling Alana they were together wasn’t an issue when he wasn’t under a microscope, being observed and psychoanalyzed by his ex-girlfriend, his ex-friend-with-benefits. He realizes Hannibal seemed to have a relationship with her, one that seems more like an old girlfriend than anything less. 

God, it annoys him. 

He makes a last minute decision to lean up and peck him on the cheek with a quick whispered, “You piss me off,” in his ear. Hannibal beams.

“I feel the same,” Hannibal croons, as painfully in love as ever. He loves to show it off, like it’s an unobtainable jewel. He supposes love can be like that for some. 

“I’ll see you around, Hannibal,” Alana tells him, and Hannibal bows his head, intending on staying in the aisle for a while longer it seems. Will drags her out of there and towards the dairy section. 

Suddenly, the air changes, and he can feel Alana’s relentless gaze upon him like a wrecking ball aimed at a poorly structured building. 

He skids to a stop in front of the dairy-free cheese. 

“What?”

Just by seeing her face, he knows. She came here because she knew about Hannibal. No doubt she saw the news circulating around Lounds Lusty Lads. Will feels foolish. 

There’s also something more, something else. 

“There’s something I should tell you,” she starts, casting a glance over her shoulder as if she’s being shadowed. “I didn’t know how to bring it up without seeming a bit loony-bin, but now that you know I’ve dated him…well, ehm…” 

“How about I buy this cheese and you can tell me when you’re not worried he’ll overhear you,” Will deadpans, scanning the chilly wall of bright red and yellow cheese packages. 

Alana doesn’t respond, keeping her eyes trained on the wine aisle down aways. He languishes in picking out his cheese, knowing whatever ‘warning’ she has cooking up about Hannibal Lecter is going to be childish at best. He knows Hannibal; Alana doesn’t. 

Alana always thought she knew better than him. About everything.

They pass the wine aisle to get to the cash register, but Hannibal is gone. Most likely helping Will prevent another awkward encounter. He can only be thankful. 

In the parking garage, the tension in Alana has built up so gradually, she finally snaps, grabbing Will’s arm before he can wind his way around to the passenger’s side. 

Rainfall reverberates throughout the garage, a distant pounding. 

Will hadn’t seen a storm in the forecast this morning.

“He’s dangerous, Will. Handsome, overwhelming? Yes. But, he’s not right in the head.” She attempts to keep a grip on his sleeve, but he rips it from her grasp and maneuvers into the car, crossing his arms when he’s settled. He’s not feeling quite as indulgent as he was in the store. “He has a way of worming into your mind,” she continues, buckling herself into the driver’s seat, but she doesn’t start the car. “I think He has good intentions at the best of times, but he’s damaged.” 

The assertion startles contempt out of him.

“You used to have sympathy for the damaged,” Will recalls. 

Alana turns and inserts the key into the ignition. She doesn’t reply until she’s pulling out of the parking garage and onto the busy city street. She turns on the windshields. 

“We dated a long time ago. I was just starting out, and he taught me so many things that I’ll forever be grateful for, but there was a reason I broke up with him. Heck, I don’t think I would have had I not realized ” Will prevents himself from telling her Hannibal would have broken things off with her if she hadn’t. She’s often not mindful of when she’s acting like a hedonist. “One night, very late, I woke up in bed to a snapping noise. I’m a very light sleeper. He must not have noticed me wake up, because he snapped his fingers over my ear as if…as if to check if I was knocked out. I realized he’d drugged my drink, the drink I had poured out in the sink that night because I wasn’t feeling well. God knows where he went, what he did, but I knew what he’d planned

“Let me out of the car, Alana.” 

“Will,” she groans. “I’m not lying. I just want you to be safe!”

“Pull over and let me out,” he enunciates, leaving no room for debate. 

She pulls over to an empty bus stop. He grabs his bag of cheese and retreats into the freezing cold rain. “Come on get back in,” she pleads, but he shakes his head. More desperate, she tells him candidly, “Will, a relationship with Hannibal is blackmail elevated to the level of love.” 

“Don’t worry about inviting us to your wedding,” he tells her, and slams the door. Her car remains as long as it can without being towed before she’s driving off into the storm. He holds his hand as a shield over his eyes as he stumbles down the sidewalk, already soaked through. 

It’s a long way home, he knows, but he doesn’t doubt his phone has short circuited with how drenched he is. He only makes it two blocks before he realizes he’s being followed. 

In no mood for games, he takes a right into the closest alleyway and waits. 

He turns, and isn’t surprised to find Francis Dolarhyde in front of him. 

Perhaps he’d been at the store. He knew where to find Will. 

Will takes stock of his weaponry; a single block of cheese. 

“You want to explain why you’ve been following me?” he shouts over the brash orchestra of the rainstorm. Francis doesn’t respond, enclosing on him step by step. 

The alleyway offers a dead end. There is a wall of bricks behind Will, but he knew that was a possibility. He wants whatever is to happen over with. He wants the privilege to put up a fight. 

He doesn’t get his chance.

Someone tugs Francis’ head back by his hair. Will watches Dolarhyde bare his teeth and then relent. The figure is obscured by the rain, but then he steps to the side, out from behind the younger star’s bodily girth, and Will registers; Hannibal. 

With his hand still snarled in Francis’ hair, Hannibal leans close to whisper something in his ear. A vivid, unreadable emotion cracks the fine, unbreakable features of the Dragon’s face, and when Hannibal releases him, he goes.  

He doesn’t run, he merely walks out of the alleyway as if he’d never been there. 

Dumbfounded, Will watches until he’s gone, and then turns his sharp gaze back to Hannibal. 

“Are you following me?” he stamps out when Hannibal is close enough to touch. Revelation falls upon him piece by piece. “The supermarket. I know that you don’t go there, you’d never go there. You knew I would be, how did you know?”  

Will thinks of his most likely broken phone and his lips part. A tracking app or device of sorts. Will is lackadaisical around his phone, no secrets to hide, and he’s let Hannibal type out recipes in his notes app before. 

“You were being stalked by a madman,” Hannibal justifies easily.

Will shakes his head, curls dripping and hanging over his eyes.

“When did you put a tracker on it?” he asks, taking the leap. Hannibal’s eyes flash, with pride rather than remorse. “Tell me when, don’t obfuscate.” 

“Maine.” 

Biting his lip hard enough to bleed, Will forces out the next question.

“Did you drug Alana?” He knows he did, and he’s positive Hannibal won’t lie. 

“Yes,” Hannibal answers, a step closer now. 

Will wants to put his hands on his chest, just to feel any sort of heat at all. The rain is so cold on his skin. He doesn’t. The exclamation nearly comes out as a sob, “Why?” 

“She bored me. I was cheating on her.” 

Will can picture it. Hannibal sneaking off to some depraved sex club in the middle of the night. Not wanting to deal with the hassle of explaining himself to an ever-hovering Alana had she found him missing. It almost seems sensible, if feasible. Will shudders. 

“You’re dangerous,” Will proclaims, hitting his fist lightly against Hannibal’s drenched coat. He hits him again, harder. His voice comes out stuttering and unfocused. “You’re destructive. You’re hiding a pulsating, writhing, mass of death behind a paper thin person suit.” 

“Yet that suit has always been transparent to you, has it not?” Hannibal questions, tone slick and deep all at once. He presses forward as if encouraging Will’s fist to drive harder. 

“I could evaporate beneath you,” Will whispers, and isn’t sure if Hannibal hears it over the sky’s rampant tears. “I could lose myself so easily. Danger could start to look beautiful.” 

“You’re beautiful,” Hannibal tells him, kissing the top of his forehead. As if he could reach into his brain and press his love against all the places he’s hidden to the world. 

“I should leave you.” 

This is what causes Hannibal to tense. The pendulum swings, and Will can see the outcome. The power he holds in this instance. He sees Hannibal ravenous, beside himself, a monster birthed from its cage, leaving debris in its cataclysmic grief. 

“Why don’t you?” Hannibal asks, and it pains him. Will knows. 

In the end, it doesn’t scare him anymore. 

“I’m in love with you,” Will confesses. 

Hannibal looks down at him and the world rolls to a stop. The rain is an entity all itself, like a pattering reminder of the turbulent strength in their intimacy. With as much passion as Will’s ever seen from him, Hannibal twists his fingers into the soft flesh at his nape, and pulls Will in for a binding kiss. 

 

Chapter Text

 

After haphazardly toweling themselves off from the rainstorm, Hannibal bears Will down on his bed, kissing every patch of damp skin he uncovers beneath rain-soiled layers of fabric. He eats him out, languishes the taste of his skin, and opens him with tenderness before fucking him gently into the mattress. Will’s never been so blissfully unaware of his surroundings. The irritating ticking of his old, creaky apartment. His dog scuttling along the floorboards trying to get comfortable. He wraps his naked limbs around Hannibal and lets himself be taken apart. 

Hannibal’s mouth finds his neck, whispering praise and endearments as close to his skin as it is possible to maintain coherency. Will can’t find his voice through any of it, moaning and releasing little high pitched wails every time Hannibal’s pace increases. 

They fuck hard until the headboard is clattering into the wall. Chipped paint crumbles silently to the floor. Despite the intensity, what they’re wrapped up in is more ‘making love’ than they’ve ever enacted. 

Will still feels drenched, cold. Hannibal’s body heat is protecting him, blanketing every bare expanse on his body. He sinks his nails into Hannibal’s back in gratitude and earns a bite to his jaw. 

“Hannibal,” Will croaks out, holding on for dear life as their noises rise in velocity. “Fuck, Hannibal, I love you.” 

The exclamation comes like a shock, and it is. It will never stop shocking Will that he can love someone this much, this fast, this good. Hannibal belongs to him. He belongs to Hannibal. 

In response, an animalistic growl erupts from Hannibal’s throat and one of his brutally strong arms darts out, hand tying itself around Will’s wrists and pinning them above his head. With the other hand, he scoops Will’s hips closer, up. The angle changes and Will shouts his pleasure, the prostate stimulation clamping up his muscles in unison with turning him limp.

He doesn’t expect Hannibal to come first.

The older man bows forward, rhythm stuttering exponentially and muffles his groan behind the teeth gnawing into Will’s shoulder. Will kisses sloppily over his face through it, gyrating against his hips, clenching desperately to make him feel good. Hannibal’s rhythm picks up almost immediately after, slamming into Will like he could go for another hour. With a throaty whimper, Will throws his head back and claws at his shoulders, incapable of catching a grip until Hannibal’s hand wraps around his dripping cock and tugs him to a painfully perfect release. 

Will twitches through his orgasm, grunting when Hannibal slides out and reverently slips down his body, kissing and licking up his release and his own, tongue dipping into Will’s fluttering hole. 

His rim spasms as he’s licked open again. 

He’s still in the thick of the aftershocks and the oversensitivity causes Will to shudder and buck, feeling the pitch of his orgasm rise and fall just as fast. He slumps, lazily wrapping his legs around Hannibal’s shoulders to give him space to dally between his legs however long the man pleases. 

Hannibal forgets himself, spending over ten minutes lapping at Will’s sore, sensitive groin area. His cock, balls, ass. Anything he can get his mouth on, he suckles and kitten-licks and nuzzles. It isn’t until Will’s fists are clenched in his bedding and he lets out an agonized whine that Hannibal relents and crawls half-way up his body to rest his head on Will’s torso. 

Their legs are tangled and Hannibal’s arms wrap tight around his middle. Will is trapped, but there is nowhere he would rather be. He pets Hannibal’s hair, and thinks. 

Time drones on, and the sun sets over the Baltimore skyline. 

“You don’t have to say it back,” Will promises, and if he were feeling more clear-headed he might worry it comes across as needling. But, he knows Hannibal knows he’s not badgering him for reciprocation. “I don’t need it.” 

There is a ghost of a smile curving on his sternum. Hannibal’s arms loosen so he can look up at Will and meet his eyes. “Clever boy,” he muses fondly. “I love you ardently, but there is so much more than love I feel for you.”

Will’s heart swoons, and he pulls at Hannibal’s cat-scratched back until his head is tucked beneath Will’s chin. More easily, he can hear his steady breathing, and feel his heart pumping erratically beside his own, despite just having come down from a delicious high. 

He doubts his heart will ever stop beating fast where Hannibal is concerned.

They might have drifted, as when Will opens his eyes, he feels rested.

It is dark outside, the weather resigned and lulling, but neither of them are tired. Hannibal fixes them up with bowls of pasta adorned with homemade sauce from the tomatoes and bell peppers Will has stashed in his fridge for far too long. He has a feeling Hannibal would be able to scent them for expiration and isn’t worried when he pops them in his blender. The meal tastes suspiciously like it couldn’t have come from Will’s quaint, predominantly empty kitchen.

The dinner was charged, and when Will sidles up to the sink to help Hannibal with the dishes after the fact, he isn’t surprised when he’s pushed up against the counter and taken into Hannibal’s mouth. He hunches in on himself, fingers scrabbling at the granite countertop, and soon following, Hannibal’s hair. 

Emotions scramble around chaotically in his mind. It catapults Will into savagery. He rips Hannibal’s head back by the hair at his nape and his cock throbs when he sees the translucent string of spittle connected from the older man’s bottom lip to the sticky head of his dick. 

He drags him up into a passionate kiss, learning the taste of himself, and leads him backwards to the bed. It’s not as if they can make the sheets less immaculate than they already are, so he digs his fingers into Hannibal’s hips, spins him around, and gracelessly shoves him down. 

Somehow, Hannibal collapses face first with elegance, bracing himself with his hands. He shoots a heated glance back at Will with a feline arch to his back, and Will wastes no time lubing up his fingers and tugging Hannibal’s pants down to his thighs with his dry hand.

Two fingers deep in Hannibal’s tight heat, he’s incapable of keeping his mouth shut. 

“Tell me,” Will startles at the growl in his own voice. He drags the tips of his teeth over Hannibal’s shoulder blades, over the scratch marks he left. “Tell me what else besides love you feel for me.” 

“Possession,” Hannibal grunts, letting out a low, pleased moan. He pushes back onto Will’s fingers eagerly and Will jots down a mental note that he should fuck Hannibal more often; the man seems to like it more than he lets on. “Frustration. Awe. Madness.” 

The noise Will releases is close to a chortled laugh, shifting into a groan when he slips a third drier finger inside Hannibal and feels him flutter and adjust around the girth. 

“Yeah,” Will agrees roughly, digging his forehead into Hannibal’s nape. Quieter, he admits, “Yeah me too.” 

Despite their ages and the fact they came just before dinner, the sex doesn’t last long. Once Will presses inside, he lets out a sob from the clenching heat. Hannibal’s lower back and hips tremble and it's enough to spur him on, pummeling forward and sending them fast through another blinding hoop of pleasure. By the end, Hannibal paws desperately for one of Will’s hands and forces it down to where his cock is leaking and strained, hard and red at the tip. 

Hannibal has changed languages by the time Will comes as well, moaning like a maimed colt as he convulses over his lover’s back, folded and weakening at his joints. 

Everything tingles. Wetness leaks everywhere. 

Will doesn’t know how they end up curled against the headboard, relatively clean and polished, but he won’t argue with fate. As he scrapes his fingers through Hannibal’s sweat-sheen hair, Will wonders how he ever could. This is fate, if anything.

He quickly decides his favorite thing about fucking Hannibal is watching the man sleep afterwards. Hannibal harnesses magnitudes of control when he fucks or dominates Will. When it’s the other way around, he generally struggles to keep the lights on in the aftermath. It’s overly endearing, and Will contents himself with being Hannibal’s physical buoy as the older man twitches against his touch and succumbs to dreams and nightmares. 

“In the land of Gods and Monsters,” Will murmurs, the rest of the lyrics absent from his mind. 

While exhausted, Will still isn’t tired. 

With the comfortable, quiet weight of Hannibal by his side, Will feels comfortable reaching for his laptop on the bedside table and searching up what he’s prolonged avoiding.

Lounds Lusty Lads.

He forgot to take into account how light of a sleeper Hannibal actually is. The man stirs the moment he begins typing, causing Will a shred of guilt before Hannibal muses, “You can’t resist taking pictures of me unconscious, can you?” 

Will chuckles, stroking Hannibal’s hair again as his eyes flutter open and narrow at the bright light from the screen. He clarifies, “I’m looking for that merch Freddie is trying to sell.” 

“Why?” Hannibal groans deep in his throat, nudging his head into Will’s ribs. It is the most human he’s ever sounded and Will can’t help but curl his naked leg around his thigh under the thin blanket they’ve snuggled beneath. Nuzzling closer, Hannibal seems at peace with the fact he’s lounging in his boyfriend’s shabby, not so pest-controlled, apartment. 

“Curious,” Will admits, clicking through the vertigo-inducing thumbnails of their video sessions. Maybe one day he’ll harbor enough self respect to be able to watch them with an objective eye, and not block his vision with a hand. “More of a curiosity driven by irrational irritation.” 

“Not so irrational,” Hannibal murmurs, eyes adjusting to the brightness. He watches Will find the ‘merch’ store and click the redirectory. 

They both huff in revolted unison upon seeing the ‘sold out’ label stamped over the large Chesapeake Rigger sized dildo. Lounds has also taken it upon herself to sell a set of sounds. The box they come in has a custom lid; Achilles Lamenting the Death of Patroclus printed upon it.

These aren’t sold out. Will suspects it’s due to the fact most people who watch sounding aren’t genuinely into the act themselves. And furthermore, “Does she think she’s advertising to fine art aficionados?” 

“I could not begin to wonder what Ms. Lounds is thinking,” Hannibal grumbles darkly. Will pets him as if the man were an agitated cat. No need for claws. 

After some half hearted scrolling through a merch store that is far less vast than he imagined, Will sets his laptop aside and presses close to Hannibal, landing a few dopey-smiled kisses on Hannibal’s lips before he murmurs, “We’re going to have to do some deal breaking, Hannibal.”

Hannibal muffles an inquiring noise into Will’s curls.

Will cups Hannibal’s face and draws him back to meet his eyes. They are all pupil, blood red glints sparking at the sight of Will’s own shadowed gaze.

“No tracking me,” Will demands. “I won’t be with you if I’m not your equal.” 

Hannibal’s playfulness dissipates and he props himself up on an elbow. “You are free to set up a tracking device to my own phone–”

Will shushes him, shaking his head. “Even if it worked both ways, it would still promote a level of distrust. I trust you, Hannibal. Despite everything, the lies, the deceit. You’ve learned to trust me too, haven’t you? It’s been different since Maine.”

“It has,” Hannibal agrees, kissing Will’s knuckles. 

“I’m not going to pretend trust comes easy for you,” Will says, one of his hands continuously stroking lazily through Hannibal’s hair. “If I break it for whatever reason, then we can discuss compromises, but I won’t break it. I’m…” he ducks his head to the side. “I’m devoted to you too.”

“It was foolish of me to allow my nature to get the better of me. When it comes to you, the rules of disorder rarely apply.” Hannibal presses his lips over Will’s heart, like a seal. “Tomorrow morning, I will buy you a new phone.”

“You don’t need to buy me a new phone.” 

“The rain short-circuited it. That’s why I came to find you,” Hannibal tells him. “I could no longer track you.” 

“I don’t know how anyone’s ever been fooled by your charm. You are one scary guy,” Will says, tone dreamier than it should be for the accusation. “Buy me a cheap one.”

Hannibal kisses his forehead as Will settles down for an actual nap (or sleep. Will feels as if he’s lost his circadian rhythm in the storm) and whispers, “I will do no such thing.”  

Later, when the lights are out, and Hannibal’s breath wafts across his face smelling sharply of mint and accents from dinner, Will says timidly, “Buster has to come.”

Naturally, Hannibal is awake, and instantly replies, "Where?”

“To Italy.” Will’s throat tightens when he says it aloud, unsure of himself. Anxieties within him boil over at the possibility Hannibal could have changed his mind. Slightly more strangled, he adds, “Wherever we go.” 

There is silence, and Will wishes he had night vision.

“Hannibal, will you say something?”

“Apologies,” Hannibal’s voice drafts closer, and Will can hear something in it. Something not quite right. Will reaches out to feel for his face, and finds his cheeks wet. 

He scoots closer, cupping his neck firmly. Hannibal speaks before he can muster up words of comfort, or do anything to stop the older man’s tears. Will isn’t good with tears.

“I would never ask you to abandon your family, Will. Though, I have veritably bounced between real estates to find a home which would suit both my dispositions and your animal’s.” 

He’s been searching for homes, ones that could accommodate Buster no less.

Will kisses him with teeth, clutching his face as close to his own as possible. Hannibal is taken off guard for only a moment, soon grinning into Will’s sudden passion with his jagged maw. 

“My dear,” Hannibal rumbles. “You’re insatiable.” 

“Don’t worry, I couldn’t get it up right now if I wanted to.” He can practically hear the cocked brow in the dark and asserts, “I’m not asking you to take that as a challenge.”

They huddle closer, Will practically cradled to his chest.

“Would you like me to tell you of Florence? The rolling hills on the outskirts of Tuscany where I wish to take you, the farmland ripe for gardening?” Hannibal questions with a light stroke of his finger. Will hums, but shakes his head.

“I want to hear about it in equal measure with wanting it to be a surprise.” He pauses, and then with a smile asks, “Can you tell me about it in Italian?”

Hannibal purrs and begins speaking. The slow speech is ornate on his tongue, his accent deeper and slicker somehow, and Will floats on a cloud into his unhinged jaw. Rapturously surrounded with the monotone drawl of an unfamiliar language murmured fluently. Sleep takes him over quickly, and Hannibal’s Italian spoken promises become not but a whisper. 

 


 

In the morning, Hannibal is scheduled for an appointment with Bedelia.

Will doesn’t bother getting dressed, fully aware he’s going to need a few more hours of sleep before he can officially face the world, so he lies naked in bed with a scant sheet covering his waist, watching Hannibal slip into his too-many layers of clothing. 

“You alluded to it before,” Will drawls, voice laced with sleep. “Bedelia helps you with your darker vices. It’s not always sex, is it? She offers unorthodox therapy, I shouldn’t think she’d decline such an intriguingly volatile client, regardless of the subject matter of the therapy.” 

“Yes,” Hannibal answers simply, combing his hair in Will’s dusty mirror. Buster ruffs softly and circles his feet. Not wanting him to get any dog hair on Hannibal’s trousers, Will whistles and Buster jumps up onto the bed, barreling toward him, nubby tail wagging incessantly. “She helps me absorb the world in an acceptable context.” 

Will tries not to think about the necessity of replacing Bedelia in Italy. Will it even be possible? Who would accept Hannibal as he is, teetering on the precipice of inhumanity?

Before Will can voice his concerns, Hannibal swerves to face him, adjusting his tie. “I would like to reschedule our dinner for tonight to this weekend.”

Taken aback, Will blinks and sputters.

“Regretting the choice not to track my phone?” Hannibal teases, crossing the space to bend and frame Will’s jaw with a large, encompassing hand. “I merely have bigger and better plans for us that require a few more days of preparation.” He kisses him chastely and Will winces, self-conscious about his own morning breath. Hannibal doesn’t comment, seemingly attracted to absolutely any part of Will the younger man is willing to offer. “I bid you adieu, my love.” 

“Call me when your session’s done,” Will urges, and Hannibal’s smug expression is entirely not worth the hassle. 

“What for?” he asks, despite it being a boorish prod. 

You’d ask me to do the same you bastard, he wants to say.

“I miss your voice when you’re gone,” he says instead, paltry and guileless. He blinks his round, salacious eyes up at Hannibal, hoping to leave him with a distraction throughout his therapy session. Perhaps Will isn’t the most morally upstanding boyfriend either. 

Hannibal levels him with a glare. 

“You test me.” 

“Ti amo, pasticcino,” Will says, grimacing at the grating sound of his own American accent and instantaneously losing his confidence. As long as his Louisianan drawl doesn’t start acting up, it’ll be passable in Italy. He’s hoping that last endearment means something close to ‘babe.’ He heard it in a movie once. 

Hannibal looks amused and murmurs, “You just called me a pastry.”

The tips of Will’s ears go red. “I also reminded you I love you, so you can shut up.” 

“Mio tesoro,” Hannibal croons. Will repeats the phrase over and over in his head, praying he won’t forget it by the time Hannibal’s gone so he can type it into google translate without judgement. 

“Guess I’m going to have to sign up for a Duolingo account,” Will mutters and Hannibal quickly makes a protesting tsk-tsk sound. 

“You will not learn from that ridiculous bird.” 

He sounds so serious, Will is forced to bite his tongue to keep the laughter in. When he first met Hannibal, he assumed the man could never be the cause for humor, and yet he’s always making Will warm with it, chuckling and amused more often than he’s ever been. Even unintentionally. 

Will’s father used to say, Find a girl who’ll make you laugh. 

It’s the only advice from his father that ever made sense. He sometimes wonders what his father would think of him now, but rarely. He’s glad he found someone who makes him laugh.

“I will teach you myself of course,” Hannibal promises. “I am quite adept at language lessons.” 

“Professor Lecter.” Will arches his back and moans libidinously, putting on a show. Years of acting in porn pay off for these wily instances of wit. “Oh Professor, won’t you punish me? I’ve been such a naughty student.” 

He grins and opens his eyes to witness Hannibal’s cheeks become a slightly deeper shade of pink. Oh shit, he was into that. Will is tongue tied now that he’s genuinely trying to keep his laughter at bay. It’s just that he never expected Hannibal to be into a professor-student roleplay kink. They might have to explore that a bit. Hannibal actually clears his throat. 

Right, he needs to go to therapy.

“I hope your session with Bedelia goes smoothly,” Will tells him sincerely, even with the twinge of mirth making his tongue feel swollen and impossible to use. 

“I’m positive she will ask me questions about the blatant interferences in my thought process today,” Hannibal chides. Shamelessly, Will responds with a shrug. 

Buster offers a bark on Hannibal’s way out, and then Will slinks back under the covers entirely, stealing the whole thing for himself. He drifts back off into the dream he was having about an art gallery in Florence.

 


 

Will wakes up an hour later to a ping from his phone. 

He gropes around for it on the nightstand. He squints at his messages to find one new one from Freddie Lounds. 

Good Morning! Would you be able to meet with me today?

He cracks his back and yawns, typing back;

Sure. When?

He doesn’t have to wait for her response.

ASAP.

She sends him the address to her supposed office after he agrees to arrive in the next hour or so. The cab drive will take him thirty minutes, and he ponders the trip as he gets dressed. She’s never asked for him to come to her office. Hell, she met him in the food court of a mall once. 

He feeds Buster and departs.

On the ride over, his skin crawls. 

He texts Hannibal;

Freddie Lounds wants to meet me. Just so you know where I am if I don’t pick up.

Despite the fact he should be in a therapy session, Hannibal is quick to respond. 

Give her our best.

Our. A package deal. That’s what he and Hannibal are. The smile plastering itself across Will’s face is oblique. The meeting will go swimmingly if he keeps in mind their plan to disappear without a trace. It might even be fun.

Mischief has never been Will’s forte. He’s starting to act like Hannibal.

It doesn’t bother him as much as it should.

The meager office building the cab pulls up to forces Will to do a double take. For a woman who works deftly against her image becoming a bantam amongst fowls, Lounds certainly has bad taste in renting out coops. 

She told him the company was to be located on the second floor, so he rides the rickety elevator up until he’s face to face with a lengthy hall and numerous spread out individuals typing away at computers. It’s boring. Not that Kade Purnell’s company hadn’t been, but it astounds him. 

“Can I help you?” A young woman with a tight bun asks curtly, and when she meets his eyes she gasps. “Oh, oh my. I’m sorry Mr. Ram. Ms. Lounds has been waiting for you.”

“No trouble, really,” he assures, offering a crooked smile. He just got here after all. 

The woman with the name tag ‘Miriam’ leads him to the largest office in the back. The door is inched open to a rectangular room decked out in windows, and a lengthy redwood desk, highlighting the alright fiery bright color of Lounds’ hair. 

“Welcome, Will.” She gestures for him to sit down in the chair a noticeable level smaller than her desk and he does. He feels small physically, but not mentally. Perhaps this air of superiority has seeped in from Hannibal, but he feels as if nothing she says or claims will matter. He knows his place in the world now, and he doesn’t belong in hers. “You’ve been a busy boy.”

Glowering, he remains quiet. 

“I don’t often invite actors to my office, as actors rarely stay on the payroll so long that I have time to get to know them, but you are rising up in the ranks so quickly,” she shakes her head, incredulous and cunningly grateful for having the man signed onto her company, “I just had to talk to you about your future here.” 

Will almost rolls his eyes. There is no future here.

He wonders if he should opt for a truth closer to honesty than lies, or if lying outright will get him out of her office quicker. He’s still not sure what she asked him here for. 

“Before anything else, how have you and Hannibal been? In-work relationships can get so messy, I wouldn’t want anyone in my employ to be under duress.” 

“We’ve been fine,” Will answers tightly. He wants to avoid talking about Hannibal, especially in the context of him being his partner, as much as possible. “We never intended our relationship to go public.”

“No one does. That stuff tends to get out one way or another,” Freddie says, winking. “I’m sure you’ve seen the merch I’ve put out. It’s been selling like hotcakes.”

He fixes her with a glare and wonders if she knows how much he despises her, straight down to her rotten core. She continues with her averagely instilled verbosity. 

“And this upcoming shoot,” she crows, clicking her tongue approvingly. “Francis Dolarhyde thinks it’s going to send us spiraling higher than PornHub.” 

Will’s skin crawls again, the sensation like a thousand spiders finding their home up and down his spinal cord. “What shoot?” he demands, trying not so subtly to mask his anxiety.

Her head slants to the right, curious. 

“The shoot he told me you and Hannibal agreed on.” Will’s composure must obviously be lacking, because she starts speaking like she’s conversing with a child. “He told me this morning, he and Hannibal came to an understanding. That the three of you would be interested in filming a video together. Something dark, something exciting. Remember?” 

No, he’d certainly remember something like that.

Unless.

Hectically, Will thinks back to yesterday, the night in the rain. The way Hannibal had captured Francis Dolarhyde’s hair in a claw, and whispered terrible things in his ear. What had he promised or implied? If it had been a method of placating the Dragon so he had enough time to convince Will to run away together, it worked. It was purely a matter of escaping the country now.

Unless.

Will’s smile is serpentine.

“Oh, that shoot.” He stares directly into her eyes, feigning elation. “I’ve been looking forward to that. I was hoping to schedule it sooner rather than later. If that’s alright with you, of course.”

It is more than alright with Freddie. She’d been hoping to schedule it for either next week or the week after. Her viewers are impatient, porn addicts and lonely souls. They’ll be desperate for what she’ll be advertising. Three men, two dominants, one twink. A gladiators tournament. 

“If you think Hannibal and Francis will be able to work so early,” Freddie agrees, incapable of keeping her relief suppressed. Her fingers twitch toward her notepad, her phone. 

Will smiles wider.

“Oh, they’ll come around.”

 


 

“I can not condone making such a scene before your departure,” Bedelia drawls, hands queerly empty, where glasses of wine generally reside. “Not as your therapist, or as my own person.”

“So…are you more worried it’s bad for my mental state, or that it’s uncouth?” Will snipes back, crossing his legs. “I’ve never gone out with a bang. I’d like to take the chance while it’s proffered hand is still proverbially extended.”

“Have you told your partner about your plan?”

Back to ‘partner’ instead of Hannibal. Will smirks.

“No, but I will. He’ll be on board, he’ll find it amusing,” he states confidently. Never has he been so sure of himself and his faculties. 

“For a man who only declared his love a few days ago, you already seem a different man,” Bedelia observes, judgmentally eyeing him from head to toe. She’s taking note of his appearance, one which is unusually dashing for his appointments. He’s meant to meet Hannibal for their rescheduled dinner after this session, and he felt it prudent to finally dress to the nines. 

“I feel different,” he admits, lips quirking. He lets out a short laugh and adds, “I had a funny thought, that I feel like seltzer water or something. Bubbly, superfluously effervescent. If I was water before, it’d be what drips out of the tap after you’ve turned the faucets off.”

Bedelia doesn’t look amused.

She purses her lips, and exhales sharply. 

He wants to tell her she looks like a bitter school teacher, but he bites his tongue.

“Your experience of Hannibal’s attention is so…profoundly harmful yet so irresistible,” she declares, accusatory. “Are either of you aware of the changes you encourage in one another?”

Will cracks his neck. Bedelia is an itch that refuses to be scratched. He concedes, “I’m aware of the good changes.”

“Change is inevitable, natural by most standards, and most would deign to let nature take its course. Nature is inherently cruel in what it demands of those who have not what it asks for. How long before change turns to compromise? You are willing to give up one life for a man you hardly know, he who incites your trust to oscillate. He is willing to give up more.”

Will never stated what Hannibal was willing to give up. He’s not sure whether to ridicule Bedelia or commend her. They’ve toed into territories a righteous therapist should never cross, but she’s crossing those lines and then some. She believes she withholds insight to their intimacy due to her double-cased knowledge of the pair. 

The ghost of his father has visited his mind far too often this week; Will is distinctly reminded of a similarly world-weary pastor woman who lectured at his local church as a child. 

What is man, that he can be pure? Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous?

Unimpressed by his silence, she continues, “Extreme acts of cruelty require a high level of empathy. What cruelties could he inspire in you I wonder?”

“Do you have to wonder?” he bites out.

“Is it not my job to prevent your mental state from erosion?” All work and no booze makes Bedelia a dull girl. “From making leaps a man supposedly sane would never make alone?”

“Sane people pack up their bags and disappear everyday, Bedelia,” Will tells her, comfortable utilizing her first name. “Though, not everyone is as well-versed in the art of projection as you are, I’m afraid.” 

She fixes him with a skunk eye. 

“Whether the changes in you have become a mutual affair or not, you as well as your partner are liable to stray down the road of no returns. When he bleeds into you, and you bleed into him, will free will turn to ash? Who will arise from the ash but half of a man, singular and broken.”

Will inhales, deferring the questions.

Bedelia’s eyes burn with muted astonishment and Will wonders if she considers what she's watching to be a train wreck in slow motion, and if she’s jealous of who has taken the helm. 

She asks him, “What if you cannot save yourself?” 

Resolute, he answers, “Maybe that’s just fine.”

 


 

The cab ride to the address Hannibal sent Will over text takes exceedingly longer than Will assumed it would. He doesn’t mind paying the cab fare, but he has to wonder where the hell Hannibal is leading him. Outside the window, it’s forest has stretched for miles.

Eventually, the cab turns down a long dirt road. The trees disperse around them, opening up into a colossal clearing. Will tingles all over when he sees it; a private jet. 

The clearing the cab drives across is all gravelly pavement, the cab driver even giving Will an unbelieving look as he pulls up to the small-scale warehouse beside the parked plane. 

Hannibal’s Bentley is parked next to the building beside someone else’s red car, perhaps the pilot, but Will’s first instinct is to force the cab driver to turn around and drive him somewhere else. It’s enormously embarrassing to pay the man and step out into the whipping winds of the middle of nowhere as if he belongs there and wait for his partner (boyfriend, lover) to approach him from behind and kiss his cheek. 

“How was our dear Doctor Du Maurier?” 

Will swallows and watches the cab driver disappear off toward the dirt road. He’s so far from home he feels loopy from it. He hadn’t expected to be flying anywhere today. 

“Probably celebrating her last session having to deal with me with a glass of champagne,” Will admits truthfully, pressing himself back into Hannibal’s encompassing arms, and sighs.

“There are English speaking therapists in Florence, should you find yourself mentally scattered when we arrive,” Hannibal suggests, soothing tone coaxing Will to turn around so he can take him in.

Hannibal’s suit is spectacular, more so than fits the occasion. It seems he always strives to keep one step ahead of everyone, including Will. He’s dressed in bright reds that bring out the glint in his eyes, and his pocket square is a deep, ocean blue. Will teases it with his fingers and smirks up at him. “I think I could do without therapy for some time. I never liked anyone poking around in my head.” When Hannibal meets his eyes, he adds, “You didn’t tell me we were flying.”

“My penchant for surprises may never falter,” Hannibal replies, almost in warning. “I was hoping to capture your attention for the entire weekend, however if you would rather just have dinner, we can be home by early morning.” 

Will wants to, dearly and desperately, but there’s a catch.

“Buster…” Will winces as he says it. It makes a life of surprises much more difficult to handle when a dog reigns over your routines.

“Not a problem.” Before Will can debate, Hannibal lets out a piercing whistle, two fingers pressed to the curves of his lips. Familiar yapping sounds off in the distance, and Will watches, stumped, his dog darting down the extended steps of the private jet and over the landing strip to get to them. Speechless, Will gawks. “I considered calling a kennel, but I assumed you knew more than I about safety and background checks when it comes to choosing a dependable enterprise. Should you wish to stay the weekend, your pet is clearly more than welcome.” 

There are tears in Will’s eyes, but he’s not quite sure why. 

He just nods and whispers,  “I’d like that.”  

“Come along, then. Dinner will be ready for us when we arrive,” Hannibal responds primly, jutting out an arm for Will to hold onto. 

Will’s never been on a private jet before, and the grandiosity of it startles him. There aren’t any flight attendants, but Hannibal speaks with the pilot briefly before the short man returns to the cabin, leaving the lush seats and open spaces all to them.

“First class wasn’t spiffy enough for you this time around?” Will asks once they’re buckled in for take off. Buster sits in Will’s lap, falling asleep to the droning hum of the engine. 

“Not this time,” Hannibal reveals quietly. 

Something beautifully ominous clouds the older man’s words. Will flushes and holds on protectively tight to Buster even as the process of lifting off feels like nothing more than light pressure. 

He doesn’t think to ask where they’re going until thirty minutes into the flight. Hannibal is currently rummaging through the mini bar, hissing and fiddling with the small bottles of vodka and rum. Will wants to tell him he’d be fine with any drink, but he loves to watch him fuss. 

Will is handed one bottle of bourbon and guzzles it down the hatch before Hannibal even begins opening his own. Hannibal simply watches him with a never-waning fondness. 

“Sugarloaf Key,” he informs him, before Will can ask. “An island in Florida. I own a villa there that acts as a rental property when I am not present.”

“Florida,” Will echoes. “One last voyage through the states before we take Europe by storm?”

“Yes, and I thought you might find the dolphins appealing.”

Will grins and shakes his head. “You’re a menace. How am I ever going to convince you to stop spending money on me?”

“It’s impossible,” Hannibal teases. “I wouldn’t try if I were you.”

“Impossible, huh?” Will leans in and marks a wet kiss under Hannibal’s ear, whispering soft, “Can’t convince you in any way, shape, or form?”

Hannibal meets his eyes heatedly, but before he can respond, Buster rouses with an obnoxious yawn and pads across their laps until he’s settled in Hannibal’s. So much for not getting any dog fur on Hannibal’s tailored clothing. 

Hannibal waits for the hound to settle, and Will expects a playful admonishment, gasping when Hannibal turns his head with two fingers cinching his chin.

“Have you ever made love under the moonlight, Will?” 

The up close scrutiny is too much to bear. Will’s eyes flicker away, but Hannibal tightens his grip, and they flit shyly back to meet his own, intense gaze.

“No.” 

“I should like to introduce you to such a carnal pleasure.”

Will’s cheeks pinken, and he nods, alleviated when Hannibal finally releases him and he can avert his eyes. He feels hot all over, as if his insides have been set to simmer. 

Hannibal strokes two fingers down Buster’s muzzle as the small mutt drifts off to sleep, and keeps his other hand on Will’s nape for the rest of the flight. Will cannot manage to do anything but lean back into the spine-tingling caresses and close his eyes.

 


 

The villa in Sugarloaf Key is ostentatious. 

The pearl white residence contains two stories, both accommodating high rise ceilings and beautifully solar powered chandeliers. There is no shortage of sunlight in the sunshine state, except perhaps when it’s lightning state moniker takes charge. However, Hannibal picked a lovely weekend weather-wise. There are no storms to speak of. Even in the evening when they arrive, the sun beats down on Will hotly but not humidly, and he scarcely has enough time to shield his eyes from the sun before Hannibal is handing him a heavy pair of sunglasses. They’re decorated with a silver trim, and are most likely ridiculously expensive. 

Will puts them on without comment. 

He is given little time to explore the grounds before he’s led out onto the terrace, a large flat plane of stone, mossy cobble edging along the break between the patio and the aqua blue water surrounding the property. It feels more like they’re submerged in an ethereal fairy tale-esque swamp than an island. He thinks about how long it will take for Florida to sink into the ocean and become a name not so unlike Atlantis. 

Buster runs up and down the flat scape, barking after a tiny lizard he finds scuttling towards the underbrush. Will takes note of the clear, sealife-ridden water and sighs shakily, speechless again.

“To your liking?” Hannibal murmurs, kissing the lobe of Will’s ear.

Will doesn’t know how it could get any more extravagant than this, so he refuses to answer his question. Hannibal should know it’s to his liking by now.

Dinner is waiting for them by the tables that are lined up flush to the villa’s support beams, candles lit and ready for their company. The sun is setting, and the candles will be half melted wax by the time night rolls along. It doesn’t seem to matter to Hannibal when he pulls out Will’s seat for him and gently informs him dinner will be ready shortly.

Will waits with Buster lying at his heel, for at least an hour. 

Watching the calm blue water just beyond the veranda, it feels like no time at all. Hannibal returns when the sky is taking on a crisp shade of purple, holding two silver domed dinners. “Cook these yourself?” Will pries when he takes in Hannibal’s smug expression.

“I left the décor and sous-cheffing up to the caterers, but I was not about to allow them to prepare the main dish. I wanted the pleasure to be mine alone,” Hannibal explains, delicately placing the dishes down on embroidered place mats. Will is sweating from Floridian heat, the encapsulated steam of the dish not helping, but he finds he cares less and less about trivial discomforts in the face of Hannibal’s otherworldly comforts. 

“You’ve gone out of your way,” Will murmurs, eyes sparkling when Hannibal reveals the dish from beneath the silver bell. Blackened fish, specifically catfish, his favorite.

“I find it’s the only way I wish to go where you’re concerned.”

Cutting himself a portion, he finds himself blushing.

He chews slowly, and knows Hannibal is watching when he swallows. He has a feeling Hannibal has a predilection for watching him eat. 

“Delicious,” Will announces, offering a slight smirk. The heat in Hannibal’s eyes is no joke, but he wants to provoke him nonetheless. He assumes he’ll get what he wants once dinner is finished. Sex under the moonlight, just as Hannibal suggested. 

It surprises him then, Hannibal’s vested silence throughout dinner. They speak in stunted phrases about tedious, pointless topics, and it frustratingly takes Will until he’s finished with dinner altogether to realize Hannibal is stalling. 

He watches Hannibal curiously as the older man blows out the stubby candles and covers their finished meals with their respective cloche hats. Will glances once at Buster who has taken to napping on a soft patch of moss, belly up, careless and restful. Then, he follows Hannibal to the middle of the stone patio, sidling up beside him to watch the moon rise full into the sky. 

“Penny for your thoughts?” Will murmurs, nudging him with an elbow. “There’s something on your mind. You’re fairly transparent, you know.”

When their eyes meet haltingly, Will almost flinches back from the intensity of Hannibal’s…insecurity? That’s not right. Hannibal doesn’t do insecurity. It must be something else, but Will can’t sense anything other than a broad sense of nervousness and self-doubt. Hesitancy, more than Hannibal’s ever experienced, and he’s experiencing it in this instance. Will wants to comfort him, but he doesn’t know what he’s done to cause Hannibal to withdraw. 

“I’ve never known anyone like you, Hannibal,” Will tells him, earnestly. “I never will.” 

“Will,” Hannibal interrupts, as if pleading with him to pause his overthinking. Will keeps quiet despite himself and relaxes in increments when Hannibal winds around him and presses his chest up against his back, placing a kiss on the side of his neck. The wind rushes by at that moment, cooler on their skin than the hot air from earlier. Gruffer, Hannibal says, “You’ve undone me. Entirely. You were the storm for which I had no warning. How could I ever have predicted you?” 

He doesn’t know what to say, and then the heat on his back abruptly vanishes.

Hannibal is kneeling down; Will can feel his presence behind him and his eyes on his backside like a physical weight. Oh, yes. Will grins indecently, and quickly attacks his own buckle, turning around as he’s working open his fly, freezing when he finds—

Hannibal rests on one knee, presenting a small velvet red box in his palm.

Where they’re clutching his undone belt, Will’s fingers start to tremble. His face heats with embarrassment and pleasure and hysteria. “Oh,” comes out of his throat strangled. “Oh, Hannibal.” 

Hannibal eyes his groin and his timidity from before languidly diminishes. “Not quite yet, my love,” he whispers, holding back a smile. Nodding frantically, Will tucks everything back into place, running a hand swiftly through his own hair, wiping the sweat on his forehead away. 

Jesus fucking Christ. 

Hannibal licks his lips, parting them to speak, but the words struggle to come to fruition. Will realizes Hannibal has never been as scared as he is now, and he softens, feeling dizzy with affection and fear for himself, fear for what this means, but he also wants. 

“The bonds of love are far more formidable than the institutions of marriage, and yet…” Hannibal rarely trails off, but he does so carefully, solemn and chastising of himself altogether. And yet, so willing to castigate his own postulations. 

“You see right through me,” Hannibal bluntly tells him, warm eyes staring up into Will’s restless oceans. Will isn’t sure that’s fair; he had no clue this trip was for this. But then again, the private jet, the tropical villa, hell, the catfish. “Marriage is not something I have ever…truly considered, as love was as foreign to me as friendship. I find you’ve changed me in more ways than one.” 

Will becomes aware he’s heaving in large bouts of air, anticipation and anxiety swirling through his stomach like something close to nausea, but it’s warmer, and he wants to relish it to its end. 

“I want to be yours for the rest of time,” Hannibal continues, eyes glistening with hope in his admission, but also dread. As if Will could ever deny this. “If you’ll have me–”

That’s enough of that.

Will lurches down to kiss him, cutting him off. He cups the hand Hannibal is holding the box in, delicately squeezing, accepting and thrusting every emotion possible into the embrace. 

“Yes,” Will answers on his lips, muffing another rambling declaration most likely. He kisses Hannibal until the man takes the hint to shut up and moves instead, unsteadily, opening the small box to reveal a beautiful, black ring. There is no gemstone in its center, but the material itself looks like marble, white cracks painted like lightning scattering along the thick ebony band. 

“I had it custom made from blizzard stone. The gem itself reminded me of you, light and dark melding together, a bleak storm traveling the earth and leaving behind macabre shadows in its lurid wake.”

“It’s beautiful,” Will whispers, gasping when Hannibal slides it on the proper finger. He feels owned, possessed. He kisses Hannibal again, and any hesitation he’d been harboring from before goes by the wayside. Hannibal buries his face in Will’s neck and holds him close, grateful.

The heavy weight on his finger fills him with too much happiness than seems humanly possible to retain.

Once upon a time, Will Graham led a life resigned, with no inclination toward the possibility someone could ever want him enough to be with him, til death do they part. 

“No churches,” Will murmurs, laughter bubbling in his euphoria. “None of that. Just you and whatever it takes to get legally married.” 

“Anything,” Hannibal promises, and he means it every time. 

 


 

They make love on the smooth pavement soon after, Hannibal having snuck lube into his suit pocket when he’d disappeared into the villa to filet their dinner.

Will insists on riding the living daylights out of him. 

Hannibal doesn’t mention if the rocks beneath him are digging into any sensitive pockets of his flesh, but Will supposes he wouldn’t say if they were. He lies down and allows Will to let his inner power loose. And Will is well aware he has the thighs of a well-used porn star. 

Hannibal holds on, an almost shocked expression on his face shrouded with arousal as Will bounces, and owns, and takes. He’s fucking his fiancé; he’s fucking the man who will belong to him, who he’ll grow old with. Who is his. Suddenly, the whiplash of their relationship spiraling out of control so dramatically fast doesn’t feel like whiplash at all, but a natural influence. 

Hannibal was right about the moonlight. Will feels like an animal, slamming back repeatedly onto Hannibal’s cock like he wants it to tear through him. His howls don’t get any quieter as he rocks. He’s taken by surprise when he comes, thrusting up into Hannibal’s firm grip, splattering a glittering line of semen all along Hannibal’s chest hair. 

He shouts when Hannibal digs nails into his hips and pistons into him, damp skin slapping erratically until he follows Will over the edge with a brute growl.

They collapse on each other and Will laughs, breath blowing Hannibal’s bangs off his forehead. “You’re mine,” Will croons, nuzzling through the sticky mess on Hannibal’s sternum. He sounds distinctly like he’s high on sex endorphins, but he doesn’t give a damn.

“Would that I could swallow your heart,” Hannibal whispers, fingers thrumming against Will’s pulse. Will arches his neck into the touch, “and still feel it beating inside me.” 

“I have a kidney or two to spare,” Will jokes unseriously. “I bet you’d put up a good chase. Let’s have a rematch courtesy of Maine,” he nods over at the crystal clear water. Hannibal cocks a challenging brow. Will grins and kisses him, quick. “Catch me if you can, baby.” 

The endearment works like a charm, Hannibal blinking fast, unexpecting. Will darts up and off in the direction of the water, disregarding the ladder entirely to dive nude into the lukewarm sea. Hannibal is following close behind, but when Will submerges, all he can taste is salt and all he can see in the underwater dark is a forgotten seabed, full of lost, molded over secrets. 

 

Chapter Text

 

“It has to do with relaxing the throat muscles, love.”

“I think it has more to do with my jack shit gag reflex, but if you say so,” Will croaks, mouthing the head of Hannibal’s cock to taste more precum. Hannibal rolls his hips gently into the suction and combs through Will’s sweat-sheen hair with three fingers.

Neither of them expected to spend their weekend in Florida committing to lessons on how to deep throat, but Will had gracelessly choked on Hannibal’s cock Saturday night and became desperate to learn the correct methods from the master himself. It turns out Hannibal’s throat was most likely crafted by the sex gods themselves, because he doesn’t offer any advice outside of, “It’s always been easy for me. I imagine it takes practice for some.” 

There is some pleasure to be drawn from these lessons, however. The sedate pace of them is breaking Hannibal down to his bare essentials. His thighs tremble where Will is clutching, and his chest hair becomes matted with sweat. Will can tell it takes all of his strength not to fuck up into Will’s mouth, so Will drags out the lessons for far too long, making him ravenous for it. 

About ten minutes more of sucking and sinking no further than another inch or two down Hannibal’s shaft, Will smirks up at Hannibal and licks a line from his balls to the leaking tip. Hannibal bucks once, uncontrollably, and grips the sheets to calm himself. 

“You can fuck my face,” Will suggest, sultry. “Make me choke on it. Since I’ve been slacking so terribly, Professor.” 

Hannibal’s head lifts from the pillows, gazing hotly where Will is curled up at the foot of the bed between his legs. For a moment, it looks like he’ll protest, but Hannibal’s lips twitch into a snarl and he murmurs, “Open, as wide as you can.”

Oh god. 

Will opens his mouth just so, jaw resisting instantly. He opens wider regardless, fluttering his lashes when Hannibal slips his cockhead over the flat of his tongue, nudging back and forth, spreading his taste all over. Marking his territory. This drags a moan from Will, fingers sliding from Hannibal’s hips to the rise of his ass, groping wantonly. 

“You’re gorgeous when you cry,” Hannibal whispers, propped up on his elbows for a better view. Will isn’t crying, but he imagines the statement is meant to be foreboding. He feels one last gentle, apologetic, stroke of a thumb over his temple before Hannibal thrusts into the wet cavern of his mouth fully.

Will gags, throat contracting over the length filling his channel. For a second, he panics and can’t breathe, but Hannibal’s palm slides over his face comfortingly, thumb nudging the bridge of his nose as if to remind him of his other air pathway. Will breathes in through his nose and makes a gargled, animalistic noise when Hannibal fucks his throat again, harder. 

He gags again, giving himself over to the sensation.

His eyes roll up, veins pink with strain. 

As Will had been kitten-licking and teaching himself (for the most part) the art of deep throating for the better half of an hour, Hannibal is far too close to last. 

Will still cries; tears bead in his ducts and fall from a particularly sharp thrust. His throat feels swollen, and clogged, and he’d be lying if he said it wasn’t painful. He feels like Hannibal might bottom out in his esophagus and despite the discomfort, he can’t help but want more. He lets Hannibal takes his head in his hands and fuck . He becomes a ragdoll. 

He sinks his nails into Hannibal’s skin because he knows his fiancé likes it, and because it helps ground him through the last frantic thrusts, Hannibal releasing a raspy growl as he buries his cock in Will’s throat and comes. He’s so deep inside, Will can’t taste him. 

When Hannibal moves to slip out, Will chases the flavor he was deprived, sucking hungrily at the tip of his oversensitive cock as it jerks free. The gasp Hannibal can’t suppress shifts into a gentle laugh, the hand in Will’s hair much shakier than before. 

It’s impossible not to succumb to a fit of coughs once the ache in his throat catches up to him, so Hannibal lifts him closer, kissing over the skin of his sore neck and jaw, murmuring praise in a foreign language. Will doesn’t understand how Hannibal could find him all that desirable right now, but he doesn’t protest when he pushes purposefully at Will’s backside, coaxing him to crawl up the front of his chest so he can slip Will’s hard cock between his lips. 

Will balances himself on the headboard and watches mesmerized as Hannibal bobs up from his position on the pillow and pulls at Will’s ass, forcing him deeper. He swallows him down to the root, nose buried in his pubic hair, inhaling just for the hell of it. Will whines, and the noise sounds like a broken record with how fucked up his throat is. 

Hannibal keeps his nails manicured, but today they feel sharper.

He scratches across Will’s back until Will can’t hold back the urge to fuck Hannibal’s mouth, writhing atop his face and mewling every time he feels the pointed tips of his teeth scrape over the sensitive skin of his shaft. “Fuck,” he moans hoarsely when Hannibal intensifies the suction while simultaneously prodding at his dry hole, “Fuck, don’t stop.”

Hannibal doesn’t stop. Even when Will comes with a silent scream, bent over the frame of the headboard and twitching his release down the other man’s gullet, Hannibal pops off his drooping erection and licks his chops like he just consumed a gourmet meal and noses under Will’s balls for more. He licks and nuzzles deeper until his tongue finds its target, the man’s jaw practically unhinging to mouth at the crease of his ass and tongue his perineum, dipping into his tight hole. Will hollers, cheeks tacky with dried tears gradually becoming wet again as his tear ducts work overtime. He shivers with oversensitivity but rocks back into Hannibal’s mouth regardless, feeling himself eaten and ravished as long as he can take it.

“Okay, okay,” the words rush out of Will when Hannibal adds a finger, causing him to jolt and nearly tumble backwards. The warning eases Hannibal off, and Will is laid down gently on the bed and kissed, the older man’s lips lingering fondly over the knuckle of his ring finger. 

“I’m glad you proposed,” Will murmurs. “I was making a bad habit of calling you my boyfriend.”

“Will you call me your husband after we wed?” Hannibal asks, and despite not looking perturbed, Will can guess he’s more tormented by Will not wanting to call him his husband than he was by Will not wanting to call him his boyfriend. He smiles and strokes two fingers down Hannibal’s cheek, placating.

“We’ve gotten past equivocation,” Will promises, kissing his swollen, plush lips once. “I’m marrying you, Hannibal. I won’t have that be misconstrued. I want to be your husband.”

There is alleviation in Hannibal’s eyes, and Will plays with his fingers curiously before timidly whispering, “I…want to get you a ring too.” 

“This is merely an engagement ring, Will. We will exchange proper wedding bands when the day comes.” 

“This is more than a ‘mere’ anything, Hannibal. It’s a declaration, one that I want to have the privilege of bestowing to you, as you did for me. Let me?”

Panting, Hannibal grins wide. A rare occurrence, to see him smile so genuinely luminous. Will melts and promises himself the ring he finds for Hannibal will be exceedingly grand.

There is the matter of dinner. They’ve put it off for hours, and despite the hungry ache in Will’s stomach, he has no inclination to move from his fiancé's naked embrace. Reality blurs in from his subconscious mind to his conscious. Soon, he remembers the request made to Freddie Lounds and braces himself for the worst case scenario.

“Hannibal, I need to tell you about the meeting I had with Lounds.”

Humming, Hannibal encourages him to continue. 

“I’ve got this plan,” Will begins, anticipatory and excited even through his post-orgasm daze. “If it’s going to work, we’re going to need more than our own cooperation.” 

This catches Hannibal’s attention. He tilts his head up, and listens.

 


 

He never expected Hannibal to be enthused about the plan. 

A plan which Will has been reconsidering since Bedelia’s admonishment. Hannibal’s praise solidifies his conceptualizations, however, and the internal excitement turns from an anxious bubbling to an aroused eagerness. 

Hannibal spends the jet ride home contacting the necessary resources. They will have to cheat a little, to have what they want. Will cheated on his SATs. He’s not opposed to it. 

They agreed in Sugarloaf that neither of them have any interest in being separated going forward, and since Hannibal will need to put his home on the market for open house, he will stay with Will for the remainder of their time in America. For his part, Will sends in his notice to his landlord to end his lease at the appropriate date.

“What if your house doesn’t sell before we have to leave?” 

“I will have real estate agents handling the property in my absence. Any meetings can be had over the phone or over…Skype as the younger generations are calling it.”  

“I knew it,” Will murmurs, tapping his foot by the microwave while heating up canned food for Buster. Buster is a picky eater despite being a ravenous one. At best, he’s grumpy when his food is served cold. At worst, he’ll nibble someone’s ankle.

“What did you know, dear boy?” Hannibal chides where he rests unassuming against the headboard of Will’s bed. He looks out of place in his suit and perfectly combed quiff. 

“That you had to be bad at something. You’re a bit of a grandpa with technology, aren’t you?” Will pries, biting at his bottom lip to prevent himself from grinning. “Don’t lie to me, I’ve seen you with that clunky iPad of yours.” 

“I am well aware of the importance of emails…and faxing,” Hannibal insists, rearranging his hands on his lap. He’s not uncomfortable with the accusation, purely peeved. “Is it so wrong to prefer letters drafted with parchment and ink?” 

“Faxing, fucking hell,” the younger man mutters playfully, shaking his head and disbelieving how in love with he is with a walking vintage typewriter. Typewriters would probably still be too high-tech for Hannibal. He’s seen the man’s cursive, and it’s practically derived from Ye Olde English. 

Now knowing Hannibal is in this relationship for the long run, Will finds no problem tossing a pop tart into the toaster in plain view of him. He ignores the glowering eyes and the briefest of snarls when the scent of chemical-jam wafts into the air of the small apartment. 

He trots over to the bed and plops down, sliding a bare thigh overtop of Hannibal’s clothed ones as he munches down his treat. “They expire tomorrow, Hannibal. Cut me some slack.” 

They must be a sight to behold. 

Will in an undershirt and boxers sidled up to his three-piece suit fiancé. Every time he thinks of Hannibal as his ‘fiancé’ he beams, and can’t help but to feel he’s already deeply-seated in the honeymoon phase. It is slightly worrying that they could grow out of the phase by the time of their actual honeymoon. Jesus Christ, Will hadn’t even considered—

“Are we going on a honeymoon?” he asks, brow creased. He doesn’t know if it’s rude to ask, considering Hannibal has already given up so much, and offered so much more for their move to Italy. A honeymoon would be too much to ask after, in addition to their eloping, Will supposes.

“You look pained by the concept,” Hannibal notes, luckily amused. 

“No, not pained,” comes Will’s hurried response. “I just…we’re moving house. It’s too much right now, wouldn’t you say?” 

“I don’t believe there could ever be an overabundance of indulgence.” Hannibal slides an arm around Will’s waist, keeping him tucked close as the younger man finishes his illicit tart. “Have you ever considered locations for a figurative honeymoon?”

Will realizes he never truly considered marriage to begin with. He’s much like Hannibal in that respect. He’d thought about it objectively with Molly, where a life without true unconditional love would bring him, if having a family and normal order in his life would be acceptable. He never thought far out of the abstract. Hell, he’s never even ruminated over the idea of traveling. 

“I guess I’ve never been that type of guy,” Will admits. He was expecting a honeymoon, because that is what society expects of a natural marriage. “Do you want to have a honeymoon?”

“We may have a million honeymoons in our lifetime. It need not be now, or it could be a year from now, less or more. I want to take you all over the world, by the end of our time.” 

Overwhelmed, Will chuckles deflectively around a mouthful of pop tart. Hannibal glances at his lips, and most likely would have kissed him if it weren’t for the store bought sugar trap. 

“To the world, then,” Will answers, dinging the proverbial champagne glasses.

“To the world,” Hannibal whispers, and he does kiss him then, a soft press of lips to a fading bruise on Will’s neck. It gives Will the impression he is Hannibal’s world, through and through, and the thrill that brings him is no less exciting than it was when he proposed.

It’s all going so fast.

The wedding, the ceremony, the lack thereof. Will is reminded of the date they saved. Hannibal had scheduled it over the weekend in Florida, a meeting with an officiant employed by the county clerk in Baltimore. It’ll be business-like, formal but not ostentatious. Everything Will asked for. 

“We’re going to need two witnesses for Friday,” Will murmurs, swallowing the last of his treat and shimmying closer. “Do you have…any family you want to attend, or?”

“Family, yes. Blood, no.” Hannibal tips Will’s chin up. “And you?” 

“You know I have no one here.”

“I meant as your witness. It need not be family.”

“Oh, right, ehm.” Will scratches his chin. “Beverly, I guess. I don’t have many friends, and the friends I do have are bitter exes, one of which is also your bitter ex. Bev’s been so good to me.” 

Hannibal looks thoughtful and then smiles. “She was the one who helped you break into my basement, wasn’t she?”

Will’s face heats. “Yeah, actually.”

“She is most welcome to our union,” Hannibal announces. “I laud someone with gut.” 

Will wants to ask who Hannibal will be inviting on such short notice, but doesn’t. He’ll allow Hannibal to reveal his mysteries when he deems it appropriate. Will truly only wants to be along for the ride, wherever their ride takes them.

After a bout of nagging, Will convinces Hannibal to undress into something more comfortable. He insists on wearing one of Will’s sweaters if he’s to remove his silk button up shirt, and Will can’t help but to stoke the paunch that peeks out from the hem riding up Hannibal’s stomach. They watch TV together for some time, mocking the personalities of late night talk shows, and falling silent during a rerun of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Though he would claim otherwise, Hannibal grows invested in the plot, as thin as it is. When he brings up theories mid-film, Will answers with a soft, “Oh yeah?” or a carefully whispered, “Mm, that’s interesting.” Will doesn’t pay too close attention to the movie; he’s overly enveloped in Hannibal and his reactions. The warmth of his skin underneath the sweater, when he dips his hands inside for shelter. It’s dizzying, remembering every instance, this will be his life for as long as he lives. 

Will dozes in the crook of Hannibal’s neck by the end of the film and is roused by Hannibal’s disapproving tsk exhalation. 

“How’d you like the ending?” Will asks, rubbing his eyes. Hannibal shifts, back pulling off of Will’s chest and abandoning him to a cloud of chills.

All Hannibal mutters is, “Boorish.” 

They freshen up for bed without referencing the film again. Hannibal isn’t irritated per-say, but Will can tell he’s crafting an entirely different remake of the film in his head. It’s endearing to know he cared enough about something so mundane, as Will still struggles to picture him enjoying everyday things like an average human being.  

“I must take a trip into the city tomorrow to prepare for our final session,” Hannibal tells him when they’ve settled under the sheets and Buster lies snoring at Will’s feet.

“Need to custom order some last minute ball gags?” Will jokes sleepily, stroking the skin of Hannibal’s knuckles in a rhythmic pattern. It’s better than counting sheep.

The promising tone of Hannibal’s voice causes him to shiver.

“Yes, but not gags.” 

“Can you drop me off by the old theater tomorrow?” Will stammers, remembering he needs to buy Hannibal a proper engagement ring. “I have some stuff to attend to as well.”

“Stuff?” 

Will chuckles and scoots closer, sliding a leg over Hannibal’s hip to get comfortable. “You’re always going to be nosey, aren’t you?”  

“I’m afraid so, yes.”

“The surprise will be worth the wait,” Will whispers. 

 


 

Will has no clue how to buy jewelry. 

He peruses about five jewelry stores before he begins to panic. Hannibal will most likely call him to pick him up soon, and he’ll be returning home with nothing to show for it. Every ring that catches his eye ends up looking too effeminate or trite. His fiancé is cerebral, cultured.  

Will takes a risk entering a pop-up shop of Angara. One of the retailers explains to him their business is generally conducted in online sales, but the company is celebrating an anniversary, thus the pop-up and the rather generous sale. Every item is thirty-five percent off, and that’s quite appealing to Will’s wallet, despite the impending disuse of it post-marriage. 

He skims past the diamonds. Trite . Approaching the golder rings, a pretty young woman in a vest hovers just beyond the glass counter and asks, “Looking for anything in particular?”

“Engagement ring,” he says, offering an awkward smile at her outward delight. “Not fancy, but unique. It’s a lot harder than I anticipated.” 

“Does she gravitate towards any particular gemstones?” she questions, and Will knows at that point she’s genuinely involved in helping him rather than pitching a sale, otherwise she would have lured him back towards the diamond rings. 

He has a chance to lie, claim Hannibal is a woman, but pretend that his to-be-wife prefers a more masculine aesthetic to her jewelry. It would be so easy to hide, but the versant veil appears to lift from him without much consideration. Suddenly, it feels right to open himself up to a stranger. 

Regardless of consequences, of the self or otherwise.

“He is one cryptic guy,” Will murmurs, lips twitching higher when the woman doesn’t so much as blink at the correction. “He likes landmarks and garish places, but he’d never go for gaudy.”

The woman hums, tapping her fingers over the glass. 

“What sort of places?”

“Florence,” Will offers, yearning to reveal to her they’re set to move there after the wedding. It borders on insanity, how severe the urge to spill his personal secrets to the world is. He’s never cared to show off a relationship, or his own happiness for that matter. Some of Alana’s attitude makes sense to him now, when it comes to love and partnership. “The more rustic parts of France.” 

“I’m feeling red and gold, maybe ruby?” she suggests, leading him to the edge of the counter-casing. One ring in particular catches his eye amongst the silvers and purple-red gems. A three strip band, rose gold on either side of a deep circumferencing strip of ruby. The glint of the pinkish red reminds him of the glint in Hannibal’s eyes when he’s hungry for something other than food. Flushed, the woman catches him staring at the ring and unlocks the case to retrieve it. 

Up close, he can see the miniscule transparent jewels lining the gold strips, and Will isn’t sure if he’s become attached, but he considers it the most beautiful ring he’s ever seen. He’s never been a gift giver, but he thinks he'd rather die than leave the store without it.

The saleswoman grins. “Quite reminiscent of Florence, I believe.” 

“How much?” Will forces out. 

“Normally, a thousand and a half depending on if you want to upgrade the ruby, but our sale would bring to just under one k.” She lets Will hold it and he marvels at the weight of it. Light and heavy simultaneously. Though pricey for him, he assumed he’d be paying much more. 

“No upgrades,” he murmurs. “I, ehm, think I’ve settled on this.” 

He fishes out a paper where he’d written down Hannibal’s ring measurements. 

The woman smiles, making a come hither motion at one of the cashiers. “I’m sure he’ll be over the moon, sir.” 

 


 

The next night, Will’s sets a scheme in motion.

While Hannibal is showering, Will finds and collects every single bottle of lube Hannibal has out in the open or stashed away safely and dumps them all into the trash, lugging the half-filled bag down to the garbage shoot once he’s finished. Returning to the apartment, he unbuttons the top few buttons of his shirt as he hears the water valve turn off, and the sound of the spray vanish. He’s sure he’ll look appealing enough, plastered with sweat from nerves. 

When Hannibal emerges, waist wrapped in a towel, Will surges against him, kissing him so lewdly, Hannibal stumbles one step back and is forced to lightly grip the frame of the doorway. 

“Fuck me,” Will begs, sloppily kissing down Hannibal’s blushing chest. “I want you inside me.”

Despite his reaction, Hannibal thinks on the matter.

Will is aware Hannibal was prepared to bake them a fancy cheese Danish dessert after his shower, and he doesn’t falter with his intentions. 

“Can it wait?” 

Will turns his head so Hannibal can’t catch the roll of his eyes. He stands upright instead and uses his years of experience in porn acting to make himself look meek and needy. He loops his arms around Hannibal’s neck and grinds his half-hard, clothed, cock into the loosely wrapped towel. It slips further down Hannibal’s waist and the older man’s eyes darken. 

“Am I not a tasty enough dessert for you?” he accuses playfully, tongue flicking out to feel the freshly shaven skin of his chin.

“Lie on the bed for me, darling,” comes Hannibal’s husky order. Will smirks, hoping he doesn’t expose himself too early. He does as he’s told. 

It’s near impossible not to laugh as he watches Hannibal search every hiding place for lube. Will can sense at one point he considers asking Will if he has any in his possession, but realization crosses Hannibal’s face, as he’s not a stupid man. 

“It would seem my supply of lubricant has run thin. How quickly these things happen,” Hannibal deadpans, the only tell that he’s amused is the knife-sharp knowingness in his eyes when he meets Will’s. 

“Looks like you’re going to have to go down to the store.” Will smirks wider, giving himself away but only just. “Buy a new bottle.” 

“I suppose so,” Hannibal acquiesces. Under normal circumstances, he would never agree to purchasing drugstore lubricant; he much prefers the imported, naturally flavored kind. That being said, he seems to have picked up on the fact Will is very much playing a game. 

He clothes himself for the trip, catching Will’s eye every so often until he’s prepped, wallet in his pocket, and a look of easy resignation on his face. 

“No need to hurry,” Will taunts, enjoying the twinge of morbid curiosity on Hannibal’s face before the man gives a slow nod and departs. 

The second the door is closed, Will scrambles up from the bed and to the kitchen. He pours them two glasses of the luxury champagne Hannibal purchased on his trip out yesterday, and undresses. 

He’s been wearing one of Hannibal’s anal trainers for an hour, the second largest he’d snatched from the man’s case without his knowledge. The first day they met, Hannibal used them on Will, so he knows he’s playing on sentimentality, but it doesn’t stop him from lying down on the sheets, champagne glass propped up in one hand, sliding a sheet over his hips with the other.

He reconsiders where he’s going to place the ring. 

At first, he thought he’d leave it in Hannibal’s champagne glass, but he panicked about the effect of alcohol on the material of the band. The next idea feels crude, but their relationship had started out that way in the end. Hannibal enjoys a little baseness in his elegance, after all. 

He leans toward the latter. He reaches under his pillow, takes what he needs, diligently prepares his design, and waits. 

When Hannibal returns, Will’s champagne is half emptied. 

“Took your time,” Will mumbles, though Hannibal had taken no more than fifteen minutes. 

“You encouraged me to,” Hannibal responds, eyeing the display Will makes. The smirk returns to Will’s face, as he can’t help feeling smug about having the upperhand. 

Hannibal’s jacket slips off smoothly, and he hangs it in Will’s closet before he stands by the foot of the bed, watching Will’s chest rise and fall at a sedate pace. His breath starts to come quicker when Hannibal rips open his own shirt and tosses it to the floor. Anticipation drowns him. 

When Hannibal is in only silk briefs, he slides one of Will’s legs over his shoulder (the sheet still managing to cover Will’s groin) and kisses the kneecap. He uncaps the small bottle of lube he bought at the drugstore and Will laughs heartily, shaking his head.

“You won’t actually need that.”

“No?” Hannibal’s nostrils flare, and he seems to take in for the first time how open Will truly is under the thin barrier. He recaps the bottle, but lays it on the sheets and murmurs, “You seem to forget just how big I truly am, my dear.”

Will swallows, cock throbbing.

Not yet.

“You want to see how ready I am for you?” Will teases, nervous Hannibal won’t take the bait and ignore the sheet, the presentation he’s laid out for him. 

Instead, Hannibal flashes a toothy grin and rips the cloth away.

In shock, Will’s hips jump with the motion, making a metal clinking sound. He’s strapped himself into the cock cage, and where the padlock at the base of his dick locks him in, he slid the ring in as well. It’s easily removable, of course, but it doesn’t make Will any less nervous to see Hannibal’s reaction. 

A part of Will expected to be kissed and taken ravenously in a flash, but Hannibal is motionless. There is a blush on his cheeks, and comical disbelief. He strokes over the grating of the cock cage, his first time seeing it on Will, and then his eyes seem to finally catch the ring, misplaced amongst the cheaper steel. 

“I told you I wanted to get you one,” Will reminds him softly, hips squirming under Hannibal’s bruising hands. He’s holding him down on the mattress, eyeing the gift up and down, his gaze falling to the black anal trainer spearing him open. Humbled by grinding Hannibal’s mental gears to a halt, he teases, “Should I have just dropped it in your champagne?” 

Hannibal turns to bury his face in Will’s inner thigh, the leg still draped over his shoulder. The kiss he places on the sensitive skin there is reverential, and Will cups his cheek. 

“I saw it and couldn’t think of anyone but you,” he murmurs. “Let me put it on you, and then you can have me this way, however long you want. I want to give that to you.” 

He should feel silly, declaring affection and devotion while he’s dressed like he’s prepared for slave-master roleplay, but he doesn’t. Odd sexual situations have always seemed natural for them.

Will winces as Hannibal works to open the padlock and slides the ring off the metal rung, immediately clipping the padlock shut again once it’s free. Will prepared for this, aware he won’t be able to come tonight. This is an offering for Hannibal and his pleasure alone. Not many individuals have been selfless when it comes to this generous, domineering beast of a man. Will wants to be selfless, and protective, and giving. He wants to be everything Hannibal’s never had. 

Will slides the engagement ring on Hannibal’s finger, and it’s even more gorgeous on him than he imagined. The rose gold complements the pink tint to the older man’s skin, and the deep ruby brings out the red hue in his eyes. They kiss, and Hannibal’s mouth tastes salty, like tears, but Will can see his eyes are purely glistening. 

“You are the abyss I look into, that looks back into me,” Hannibal whispers against his mouth, eyes half lidded, fingers curving delicately under his other thigh to bend it back. 

“He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he become one,” Will quotes, relishing the sliver of delight he gains from Hannibal’s approval. “I’ve read Nietzsche, Hannibal, and I don’t believe in good or evil. Not anymore.” 

“What do you believe in?” Hannibal questions. 

Will reaches between his own legs and grunts when he slips the girthy trainer out of his body. He curls a hand around the shaft of Hannibal’s cock, making the older man gasp as he strokes him up into his welcoming hole, both of them letting out a quiet moan when Will bears down hard as he breaches him, inadvertently causing Hannibal to bottom out. 

Hannibal presses his forehead to Will’s shoulder, back curving up as he pants. Adjusting to Hannibal’s length and girth never causes Will’s arousal to wane. Even with the cage restricting him from an erection, there is a deep rooted pleasure within that needs Hannibal under his skin. 

“Us,” Will murmurs, nibbling at his ear. “That which makes me feel alive.”

Hannibal rocks into him like he physically can’t help himself, and paws at the sheets, intertwining his ringed hand with Will’s own when he finds it. Will closes his eyes and smiles when he feels the weight of them bump into each other, soft metal nicking over and over. 

“Do you feel alive, Will?” The end of the question turns into a growl as Hannibal ups the tempo, fucking into him like he’s attempting to force more than an orgasm out of Will.

Will’s cock throbs against its grated confinement, but Will has never been more at peace with being used and owned. He’ll be edged until it hurts, and he won’t come, but Hannibal can have him, and take him for himself. It shouldn’t be so riveting to embolden the idea of himself as a possession, but it is. It shouldn’t feel so favorable to feel like he’s fading. 

Even as he’s bent at the waist and slammed into, Hannibal driving out moan after moan from him as if he were an instrument, he feels like he belongs nowhere else. 

“I feel…held,” Will croaks out, landing on a whimper when Hannibal bites his calf and breaks skin. Pain doesn’t accompany the sensation, acting more as an umbrella in the burst of pleasure. 

“I’ll hold you until you break,” Hannibal’s voice rumbles, seeming to echo in his chest. With his hand not clasping Will’s, he snakes it through the younger man’s hair and pulls tight, until Will hisses with each jolt. Rougher, he promises, “Even then.” 

When Hannibal comes, he clutches Will to his body and lets out a muffled sob. He’s never sounded so vulnerable, and Will is caught between soothing his ache and marveling at the sensation of filling up. He’s usually floating high on some orgasmic cloud, or brainlessly desperate to get there, but now he’s abstinent, able to focus on how warm and calming it feels to absorb Hannibal’s relief and release. He has the obscene urge to plug himself back up with the trainer to keep it all inside. 

It takes almost half an hour for Hannibal to separate from him and when he goes, it feels like losing a limb, but he doesn’t go far. Hannibal kisses the knuckles on both of Will’s hands and places them each in his silver hair, descending down his damp, sighing sternum. 

“Hannibal,” Will warns in a gentle murmur, but Hannibal doesn’t listen. He’s incensed to bring Will to release regardless of his confines. The orgasm might not be a full one, but he’ll give it to him regardless. He deep throats Will’s cock, cage and all, and lavishes it with his tongue. 

Will writhes, groaning when Hannibal slips three fingers into his used hole, finding the abused lump of nerves with ease, gently stroking and nudging. 

If Hannibal wasn’t such an expert, it would be impossible to give in.

The noises that fall from Will’s lips are pained, and he squirms as if tortured. Hannibal’s hot mouth is torture, in a sense. The shaft of his cock swells only enough to chafe against the steel, his tip leaking from the stimulation to his prostate. He spends an hour between Will’s legs, drawing him to the softest orgasm he’s ever experienced. It washes over him lazily, his cock having leaked profusely for minutes on end now spilling a steady stream down Hannibal’s throat and messily down the side of the cage and his shaft. While muted, the pleasure ripples through him in billows until he feels levitated by it. 

The cage falls from Hannibal’s lips and he still licks at it, tongue barely able to brush more than an inch or two of flesh through the tiny prison. 

“So good, baby,” Will pants breathlessly though a final aftershock, fingers releasing their vice grip in Hannibal’s hair. 

In response, Hannibal butts him in the hip with his forehead, like a stag reaffirming its wild dominance. Will smiles weakly and draws Hannibal’s face up by the chin. “You like when I call you that,” he states sweetly, not a question. 

“I like that you say it without second guessing yourself,” Hannibal admits with an intimidating level of honesty. His cheek rests flushed to Will's stomach, and he takes the time to admire his new ring, thumb prodding over the stripe of ruby. 

“I never considered calling you anything.” Will smirks, scratching his nails over Hannibal’s nape to watch him shiver. “Never thought I could. You, uh, startle affection out of me sometimes.” 

There is a nod, and a solemnness to Hannibal’s expression that Will won’t tolerate.

“No, hey, tell me.” Will nudges his chin up with a finger. “No secrets.” 

“I don’t wish to ruin the moment,” Hannibal responds sincerely. 

“You won’t,” Will swears, fingers shakily twitching over his jaw, following its shape. 

“My compassion for you is inconvenient, Will.” Hannibal sits up and Will moves to follow, but Hannibal keeps his palm trained on his middle, pushing him back down into the mess of sheets. “Discipline and control unwind and become barely a conception of what they once were to me, when you’re near.” 

“Well, you’re certainly not making me any less crazy than I was before I met you,” Will responds, watching him move over to the bathroom to retrieve disinfectant. Oh, he’d almost forgotten about the new scar on his calf. How will he appear on the surface in ten years time?

“I often wonder, where my boundaries lie with you,” Hannibal tells him as he patches up his bite-wound. He treats him clinically and tenderly, but with professional intent. “If there are any to lay claim to at all.” 

“It’s probably nothing more than a small comfort, but I wonder the same, you know.” Will traces over the patchy redness surrounding the scar with his ring finger. 

“You could ask anything of me, Will,” he confesses quietly, as if the words are taboo. As if he worries Will may catch on, and ask him the impossible. “There is nothing I would deny you.” 

“You act as if I’m Tantalus, willing to condemn myself to hell for asking too much.”

“No, Will, you misunderstand. You are Patroclus; the compassion which Achilles lacked and led astray his rage. I’ve told you, you inspire greater things in me than love. Destruction, the beast which harks the call of its gluttony.” He pauses, eyes drenched in the misery of lust, but not for sexual delectation, a darker overpowering hunger. He turns to meet Will’s eyes with an intensity that rivals the Gods themselves and reveals, “Achilles wished all Greeks would die, so that he and Patroclus could conquer Troy alone.” 

Will jumps through hoops as his brain attempts to wrap itself around the declaration. The ends Hannibal would (will) go to for him, because of him. There is more to Hannibal’s inner demons than the gratification pain wrings from his heart, an overarching power unattended in his soul.

He’s telling Will;

I would kill for you.

And, he means it. 

Maybe it’s the ecstasy of engagement, or maybe it’s post-coital madness. Maybe it’s the fact that Will’s never been confrontational to any drastic extent enough to condemn him, or maybe–just maybe–Will could live with that; he draws Hannibal in for an approving, passionate kiss. 

Their contrasting rings glint in the dim light. 

 


 

Will asked for a wedding without church bells or ceremony. 

He hadn’t expected anything more than exchanging vows and signing papers. He scarcely suspected he’d be encouraged to kiss Hannibal, and all in all, he expected the bare minimum. 

That being said, he can’t help but feel a jittery sense of  disappointment sitting in the waiting room for an officiant at the Baltimore city hall. There was a plain looking couple sitting in the chairs across from them that entered the officiant’s office first, and there were no bells or handfuls of rice. Just a tired old man gesturing for them to enter. It’s starkly quiet and Hannibal has had to place his hand on Will’s thigh twice to prevent his leg from bouncing out of control. 

He knows he doesn't want a showy wedding, and he doesn’t regret doing it this way, he’s merely experiencing pre-marriage nerves. He’s heard brides often abandon their lovers at the altar despite wanting to marry, because the anxiety of signing your life alongside another’s is too spectacular to handle. Will is strong, and he’s handled worse things than signing an official bond with the love of his life, so he allows Hannibal to intertwine their hands and seep calm into his troubled bones. 

A beautiful, slender Japanese woman enters the waiting room and her eyes settle on Hannibal, completely disregarding the secretary who attempts to ask if she needs help.

The woman is wearing a grey overcoat with a black turtleneck, and even shrouding herself in dark shades, she has a light, dewy glow about her. Her hair is tied up in a loose bun. 

“Hannibal,” she deadpans, accent thick as cognac, and Will turns to find Hannibal looking sincerely pleased. Hannibal stands and brushes two fingers over the woman’s cheek.

She offers a small smile, eyes shuttering closed for a moment in response. 

“I should thank you for coming on such short notice. I hope the trip treated you well,” Hannibal says, leading her over to where Will still sits. He stumbles up onto his feet to greet her. 

“I expected you to ask after me, but never for a wedding.” Finally, her eyes fall on Will, and her small smile fades, subtly. She is speaking to Hannibal when she murmurs, “You were always a man of…interesting taste.” 

Will’s throat feels painfully dry, but he holds out his hand for her to shake. She does, drudgingly slow.  

“Will, this is Chiyoh. She is much like a sister to me,” he explains, and Will nods, taking in the information only somewhat flustered. It feels arcane to be learning about his fiancé's family on the day of their wedding. “We were by each other’s side at important stages in our youth, and spent quite a period of time together after my aunt and uncle adopted me.” 

“I don’t have any family to speak of,” Will tells her, offering the most genuine smile he can muster. “So, I’m thrilled to meet you.” 

Chiyoh softens fractionally, and nods her head in acquiescence. 

It seems for her, that is more than an approval. 

She turns to Hannibal and murmurs in what Will’s empathy tells him is an accusatory tone, “ Kare wa kyandī no yō ni amai .” 

Anata no kaisha ga rikaidekinai gengo de hanasu no wa shitsureidesu , Chiyo,” Hannibal chastises. He breaks into a smirk and adds in English, “And, you know I have a sweet tooth.”

Chiyoh huffs, but before she can retort, Beverly comes bustling into the office, also ignoring the questioning secretary. She holds two pink drinks from Starbucks. 

“Sorry, I was almost late!” she rambles, looking between the three of them and weighing on who deserves the extra drink she brought. Will doesn’t tell her she wouldn’t have been almost-late if she hadn’t stopped at Starbucks. “Who’s the bride?”

“Neither of us,” Will remarks, lips quirking. 

“Then neither of you get this,” Bev replies, meeting Chiyoh’s eyes. There is a moment of registering one another, Chiyoh eyeing Beverly’s rugged shirt and jeans, and Beverly gazing at the prettily structured mess of her bun before Bev smirks and hands her the labelless pink drink. “Ladies first.” 

Chiyoh blinks and holds the condensating drink with two hands, eyes averting from Bev in a brisk flutter. Will’s brow twitches curiously, but he’s too focused on his own wedding to notice any proverbial flying sparks. 

“You guys look spiffy,” Bev notes, sipping her own drink as Chiyoh’s cheeks turn the color of her own. To Hannibal, she says, “I bet you buy Gucci, don’t you?” 

Will burns with disconcertion, but Hannibal takes the jeering questions like a pro. He always does. 

“No, I’m afraid it’s far too fancified for my tastes. Not to mention tacky.” 

“Shit.” 

Will asks, “What?”

Bev looks shifty and admits, “I may have sent a wedding gift to Hannibal’s house and it may or may not have been a pair of Gucci slides.” 

There is a gentle smirk playing on Chiyoh’s face and Will can’t help but mirror it. He imagines the secretary is watching them with a perpetual roll of her eyes. 

“I won’t be fickle about what I wear inside my own home,” Hannibal assures her politely, but Will knows he is incapable of being anything but fickle. Especially about his dress, in and out of the house. “I am sure they are lovely, though you did not need to buy us a wedding gift.”

Bev grins and waves her hand dismissively. “It’s blackmail for my wedding. I’m holding out for one of those Ninja blenders. You are both officially invited, by the way.” 

Hannibal glances at Chiyoh knowingly and says in a low voice, “I am quite sure we will be there.”

Will feels a twinge of regret at leaving the country so soon. It’s only several days now, and he’ll be waking up to a sunny morning in Italy, not a care in the world. He wonders if he could convince Beverly to hold her future wedding in Palermo. Hannibal talks about the chapel there quite often. 

Before he can continue to ponder, the bland couple from before exits the officiant’s office looking worse off than they did before. Their witnesses look happier than they do. There is a dead look in the husband’s eyes and a loss of excitement in the bride’s. From a vague impression, Will suspects they married because of parental pressure. He’s marrying on a spur of whimsy, certainly, but at least he’s doing it on his own accord. 

For the first time that day, he gains a sense of self. 

Independence. 

He’s choosing Hannibal. He’s choosing his new life. 

“Are you ready, my dear?” Hannibal questions, voice tender in his ear. Will slides their hands together and squeezes, holding on.

“Ready or not.” 

 


 

Hannibal had requested of Will that they at least allow the officiant to go through the official readings rather than skip to the declaration of intent, and since Will asked for a quiet, unspectacular wedding, he owes him this much. It doesn’t mean Will doesn’t zone out of most of the readings, focused on how he looks arm in arm with Hannibal in front of this older man’s bland desk. The man doesn’t seem to have any thoughts towards the union, tired voice droning on through the familiar commentary he rereads every week. 

Will perks up when he hears the word ‘vows’ and suddenly everything is moving too fast. His palms are sweating, he knows, but he squeezes onto Hannibal tighter. Hannibal squeezes back. 

“Please face each other as you declare these vows to one another.” The older man flips between sheets, glancing and adds, “Will Graham, you may start.” 

Shit. 

Will sucks in a breath and turns to face Hannibal, uncomfortably aware of all the eyes on him, including his stunningly, ridiculously gorgeous fiancé's. Hannibal’s eyes are searing, adoring. Will wants to disappear to a realm where it’s just them, maybe then words would come easier. Isolation appeals more and more, these days.

“You know I’m not as eloquent as you, and you know I’m not showy. I’m going to be as honest as I can be, because vows should be honest.” Will swallows over a lump in his throat, casting his gaze down to their dress shoes. He heats up with embarrassment, but he powers through. Hannibal would kill for him, the least Will can do is speak up. Taking a breath, he steels himself, and meets his eyes again, intent and covetous. “I love you, Hannibal. In a thousand years time, the light of love will still illuminate us.” 

Hannibal appears struck and remains so as the officiant instructs Will on what to say; I, Will Graham, take you, Hannibal Lecter, to be my lawfully wedded husband—

He scarcely hears himself as he slides the golden wedding band on Hannibal’s ring finger, rubbing over it once as if to make sure it stays put. Hannibal wants to kiss him, but Will playfully reminds him with his eyes ‘not yet.’

The officiant flips back through a few pages and does a double take before stating, “Alright, Count Hannibal Lecter…the eighth, please now make your vows.” 

One of Will’s brows flies up at ‘the eighth.’

Hannibal would look smug if he wasn’t still reminiscing over Will’s short but sweet pledge to his heart. He takes Will’s hands in his own, contemplates despite having actually been the one to plan his vows, and finally bestows his vows in a low, worshipful voice.  

“Forgive me my proclivity for allusions,” he murmurs, strong fingers stroking over Will’s knuckles, “but I know no better words than these.” 

Will waits, bordering on overwhelmed, but so desperate for their marriage to be sealed.

“When love bore itself unto me, I asked myself if love could be ruefully created in want of it. Yet, we cannot be aware of another human being unless we love them. I have been aware of you since the day we met.” He cups Will’s cheek and it takes everything inside Will not to turn into it and press his lips to his palm. “I could recognize you by touch alone, by smell. I would know you blind, by the way your breaths come and your feet strike the earth. I would know you in death, and at the end of the world. I will never leave you. It will be this, always, for as long as you let me.” 

Tears lade Will’s eyes. He blinks them away before they fall incriminatingly, and Hannibal continues the ritualistic declaration of intent; I, Hannibal Lecter, take you, Will Graham, to be my lawfully wedded husband—

A cool, gold band slides onto Will’s finger and it glitters under the ugly fluorescents of the office. Will wants to press his lips against its surface.

Through sickness and in health. To love unconditionally.

The phraseology is banal compared to Hannibal’s vows. Will is relentlessly lost in them, almost absent when the officiator speaks again and asks if he takes Hannibal to be his husband. 

“I do,” Will whispers, the weight of the assertion harrowingly perfect. 

He asks the same of Hannibal who hasn’t stopped looking at Will since he spoke his vows. There is no hesitation, and nothing but warmth in his voice when he responds in kind.

“I do.”

“By the power vested in me, I pronounce you husbands. You may now kiss,” the officiant announces, sounding not as robotic as he did when he began. Will wonders if he can sense the true love between them, or if he’s purely happy the ceremony is practically over. 

Hannibal draws Will in for a chaste, simplistic kiss, and Will doesn’t think once about their audience. He kisses back and lets out an alleviated sigh when they pull apart only to push their foreheads against each other. Beverly claps, startling him back to reality.

“Your witnesses must sign here,” the officiator tells them, impatiently tapping a sheet on his desk. A shiver runs through Will, remembering the contracts he signed for Lounds. 

Chiyoh and Bev’s shoulders brush as they sign their names. They blink at each other, this time Bev the one ducking from Chiyoh’s watchful, interested stare.

Hannibal exchanges an outright amused glance with Will and Will dumbly mouths ‘Oh,’ understanding fully. 

They sign their names too, keeping their own surnames. It had barely been a discussion. Hannibal had asked Will if he wanted to adopt the Lecter name, and Will had shot back, ‘do you want to be a Graham?’ and that was the end of that. 

Will never cared much for that tradition anyway. 

Hannibal steals a quiet moment with Chiyoh out in the main lobby, and Beverly crowds around Will by the revolving doors, punching him lightly in the shoulder.

“I thought you were fucking nuts when you told me you were getting married, but after hearing those vows, I’m sold. I’m a true believer of love again.”

“We have to take our chances when they come, or else they’ll pass us by,” Will offers, though not feeling any wiser than he did pre-marriage. He shoots a glance at Chiyoh and Bev clears her throat, rubbing indiscreetly at her neck. 

“Right, well–” She clears her throat again, giving him a hard look. “Listen, sport, anything you need, I’ll be there for you. I hope it all works out, you’ve earned it.”

Deliberating, Will licks his lips and says, “There is one thing I need to ask of you.”

 


 

Enthusiastically, Bev agrees to aid and abet their plan for their last session.

She also stipulates, once again, it’s because she has ‘nothing better to do.’

The plan is set in motion. Now, they need only wait.

 


 

Will and Hannibal fuck each other silly when they arrive back at Will’s apartment. Everywhere, and in every position. As loud as they possibly can. Buster is staying with Jack, a one-time request Will had asked of him, having convinced him by using the ‘we’re getting married’ card. The apartment is empty till morning, and they christen every inch. 

He’s heard tales of newlyweds fucking like rabbits, but this is something else. 

Will is full of laughter.

When Hannibal gets it up for the third time in two hours, he laughs brightly as Hannibal fucks him against the fridge and the whole compartment jiggles and threatens to collapse. The joy he’s filled with is more than just happiness. It’s relief and entanglement; belonging. 

He feels a grin on his nape when they’re both driven close to the precipice and Hannibal whispers possessively, “Husband.”

“Yours,” Will answers, tipping his head back and moaning as the thrusts increase. Hannibal’s cock working him open like a corkscrew, curling and twisting inside. 

When Will comes, his release blends in with the color of the fridge, and Hannibal follows, hand clasped over Wills on the surface of it, their rings clinking together. 

They feed each other strawberries afterwards, night clouding darkly over the city. Hannibal dips the berries in a thick, lumpless homemade cream that tastes like honey and butterscotch all at once and then forces Will to lie very still as he paints his chest and laps up its cloying taste before popping the berry into his husband’s mouth. It’s not long before they’re hard again, like teenagers, and rut for over an hour, enjoying a sweet, slow grind before they come in their newly adorned trousers. The only downside is how horrible the laundry is going to be. 

The pads of Hannibal’s fingers stroke over his skin, tracing and making him twitch with oversensitivity. Will feels like he’s on fire, but it’s good to be sometimes. It’s humbling. 

“Tell me something ridiculous,” Will asks of him when morning rolls around and they’re still lying drowsily in bed, petting skin and working each other up to a fruitless goal. Will’s dick refuses to rise, but that doesn’t mean he’ll stop rocking into Hannibal’s hip every now and then. 

Hannibal hums, more playful than he ever is, sick with it, and murmurs, “I find your thighs to be reverent company.” A confession as well as a quotation. Will snorts.

“You know what, I don’t think I can forgive you for your incessant allusions.” 

“You married a man of the arts.” 

“Mm,” Will teethes at his shoulder, lips twitching into a frisky snarl. “Who did you marry?”

“A fisher of man,” Hannibal replies, eyes wholly pupil.

Will meets them with mettle. “Or, just a fisherman.”

“I yearn to lead you to the water in Tuscany.” Hannibal cups his throat and rolls atop him, his weight comfortable and familiar. The chest hair against Will’s smooth pecs, bristlingly soft. “Lake Bilancino, where you may fish for hours, in the quiet coppice of cypresses and oak.”

“Did you marry me for aesthetic appeal?” Will asks mirthfully, shimmering at the image Hannibal just laid out for him. He wants to go; he will.

Hannibal feigns contemplation and Will slaps his arm, chuckling till he feels mad. Hannibal catches his smiling lips in a gradual, deep kiss, and the laughing slowly subsides.

“Your vows,” Will murmurs, kissing in gentle pecks between his words. “I can’t stop thinking about them. It made me think about our choices, us, how we could have ended up in another life.” He is kissed harder, one of Hannibal’s legs slipping between his own. 

“Do you believe we could have chosen any life but this, anyone but each other?” Hannibal husks, puffing breath into Will’s ear. “In any world, that we could survive separation?”

Will shakes his head. “You’re my end and my beginning. I see my life as before you and after you. Whether we were Patroclus and Achilles themselves in another time, the result will always be the same.”

“Darling,” Hannibal purrs, kissing him with teeth.

They kiss until dawn breaks, and Will slides down the slippery sheets one last time, sucking Hannibal’s weakly aroused cock into his mouth. He draws out a few stammered grunts, sucking hard and pushing it deeper in his throat than he managed in Florida, but they came one too many times tonight, apparently. With tenderness, Hannibal pulls him off by his hair, smiling lightly at the wet pop as Will’s tongue chases the slit of the tip.

“We’ve sufficiently consummated our wedding night and then some, beloved,” he tucks him close and Will hugs him back, burying himself in him as he always will. “Rest now.” 

With the taste of his husband on his tongue to sate, Will sleeps.

 


 

The morning Will wakes and knows he’ll be flying to Italy that very night, feels no different than any other morning. Hannibal is in his kitchen nook, wearing one of Will’s older, baggy t-shirts that fits just right on his bulkier frame, in place of an apron. Not for the first time this week, Will watches him fondly and thinks ‘ Husband’ before he sets his feet to the floor and starts the day. 

They exchange mischievous glances throughout breakfast, but don’t say a word. Will eats his fancy quiche silently and Hannibal sips thoughtfully at the ultra fancy juice he made from scratch.

As luck has it, his house sold yesterday. Hannibal has collectors and movers handling his possessions, auctioning off valuables he no longer wants to keep, and the movers packaging the important heirlooms for extended travel. 

Will isn’t bringing much himself. He’d told Hannibal he’d need one suitcase. Clothes and a watch his father once gave him for Christmas, as well as Buster’s favorite toy. Nothing more or less. The rest of Buster’s items will be casualties to the garbage bin, as according to Hannibal, he pre-ordered finer canine necessities for the home in Gambassi Terme he’d purchased. It’s going to be strange, entering into a rural commune in Florence in no less than twenty four hours.

There’s one last session he needs to experience with Hannibal, and Hannibal in turn needs to gift it to the world. Their plan, a woven web unravelling like mist in the sun. 

Will whips out his phone and texts Beverly.

The plan is go?

The three gyrating dots appear instantly. 

hell yeah, here’s the password

Will reads the password and then smirks up at Hannibal from beneath sleep-mussed curls. “She got it from Jack. The password for Freddie’s Lusty Lads login. 

Hannibal smiles deviously wide. 

“I’ll contact Chiyoh and inform her that hacking is no longer necessary.” 

 


 

The first time Will strapped himself up in Hannibal’s basement with no intention of doing it for Lounds, it hadn’t felt as sacrilegious as it does now, and somehow that thrills him more.

Maybe, it has to do with his new position.

In the style of Kinbaku, Will is suspended by ropes attached to the low ceiling. They are a briny blue color, complementing his eyes notably. They dig into his skin like a whisper, the rich material rather kind to his sensitive nude body. Hannibal kisses the patches of skin he covers with rope, nuzzling down the curve of his spin as he locks yet another knot into place. Will faces the floor, hair hanging over his eyes and cock drooping down towards the sleek black placemats Hannibal maneuvered under him ‘in case of an accident.’

Will doesn’t imagine a broken nose could be the worst of what Hannibal doles out today.

Hannibal surprises him by kissing him on the lips; Will grins into it, arching up pathetically against his binds to reach him. Skittering away like the cat that caught the canary and decidedly doesn’t wish to swallow it, Hannibal disappears behind his swaying body again and heaves him higher, all the ropes pressing into him at once. 

Will thinks about what the Great Red Dragon will do once he sees this last video. 

He had never intended to include Francis in a film between him and Hannibal, nor did he intend to leave without a word. Will decided in that final meeting with Freddie, he would boast. 

They’re to film live, broadcasting their union to the world. 

“The Chesapeake Rigger’s final mark on mankind,” Will says like a sacrament, knowing full well porn is hardly a proper representation of mankind.

“Long live Il Mostro,” Hannibal muses, tweaking the camera he bought with the express purpose of connecting it to his laptop.  

Will cranes his neck up, divulging a sad smile. 

“Our first and last film together as newlyweds.”

Hannibal simply smiles, content. 

“Let’s make it count.” 

 


 

The camera has been rolling for minutes. 

“My dear husband, will you kindly tell the world why we’re releasing a film on our own accord?” Hannibal demands lightly, kneeling beneath Will’s elevated body with ease. He is holding clamps in his gloved  fists. 

“We’re establishing that I belong to you,” Will manages, gasping when Hannibal pinches his nipples into hardened nubs. He can intuit what’s to come once they’re fully erect. “That you, and only you, lay claim to me.” 

“And does anyone else belong to me?” Hannibal prods, flicking his nails over the buds. 

“N-No.” 

“Tell me why.” The chain has clamps attached at either end, a ball lying in the center of the chain to weigh them down. Hannibal will be able to tug on it, pull it. Make him agonize. “Go on, pet.” 

Will closes his eyes. He doesn’t hear ‘pet’ often and even in the midst of the façade of full submission, it does things to him personally. He finds his voice, and parts his lips, but a yip is all that comes out when Hannibal closes the jaws of the first clamp around his right nipple. 

It burns, and every shift of movement sparks a twinge of pleasure-pain. Oddly, the sensation makes Will want more and less simultaneously. 

“I’m the only one you love, the only one who sees you ” The other clamp snaps down on his left nipple and he inhales a shrill gasp, Doctor Lecter!” 

Hannibal’s eyes flash hot at the name. It’s been some time, and hearing his husband outcry it in such a way, Will doesn’t need to be an empath to know how densely it affects him. 

Predatorily, Hannibal crouches on all fours, somehow elegant in his posture. Will’s brow is furrowed, attempting to focus on anything other than the not-so-gentle weight of the ball on the chain staining his nipples blush-red, pulling them incrementally with gravity. 

Maintaining eye contact, and at an angle that will be perfectly caught on camera, Hannibal’s tongue darts out, licking the cool metal of the nipple clamp ball. Will closes his eyes, but Hannibal growls, low in his throat. A one time warning to watch. Will’s eyes flutter back open to observe as Hannibal envelops the ball in his mouth, jostling his nipples enough to make Will chafe against the ropes. “Fuck, fuck,” he mutters under his breath, stiffening when Hannibal shows him the ball is between his teeth, clenched there, waiting. 

Still crouched, Hannibal ghosts backward, tugging the ball with him, the chain following. Will feels the clamps around his nipples tug and burn and he moans and whimpers, thrashing as he sways in the air toward the motion. The ball comes loose from Hannibal’s teeth in the abrupt movement, and it swings in the air, dragging Will’s sore nipples in all sorts of directions. He wasn’t ordered to speak again, but he can’t stop his tongue from flexing and jumping. 

“I’m the only one you’re ever going to touch again,” Will babbles, pink in the face and aching chest down. “No one else.” 

“Good boy,” Hannibal placates, stroking the tense stomach muscles that are scattered in tessellation, remote areas of skin more sensitive bordered off by rope. “Shall we prove to everyone how special you are, a Gordian knot whose secrets reveal to one conqueror alone?” 

Hannibal hadn’t told Will precisely what he was going to be doing for their last session. He’d mentioned the Kinbaku, and said something about ‘reaping payment’ but Will was too invested in being taken by surprise. This time, of all times, he needs to be. 

He lets the ball hang from Will’s chest and crawls forward. Will ducks his head down to watch him and jerks when Hannibal’s tongue flicks out to lick the head of his cock.

Will’s cock bobs, hanging free from between ropes, tightly binding his thighs apart, and bending his knees back. From the floor, Hannibal can’t do much more than mouth the head, and he does, Will writhing and trying to rock his weight into him receptively.

“Are you mine?” Hannibal asks roughly, giving him a languorous swipe over the leaking slit. 

“Yes, Doctor Lecter,” Will swears.

“Would you let anyone come between us?” 

Hannibal scrapes his teeth lightly over his sensitive cockhead, back inclined like a wild cat’s as he teases. Groaning, Will squeezes his eyes shut so tight he sees neon colors. 

“No, Doctor.” 

“What would you do…” Hannibal slurps the tip between his lips loudly, Will gasping and jolting into the touch, but Hannibal’s mouth is taken from him, and the closer he sways, the further back Hannibal crawls. He lets out a frustrated whine, “...if someone tried?” 

“I ” Will stutters, wondering how he’s expected to come up with a coherent answer when all his blood has retreated from his brain to his groin. “I would hurt them.”

“Hurt them like I’m hurting you now?” The question flows out of Hannibal smoothly as he grazes his teeth along the chain linking the nipple clamps. Precum beads at the head of Will’s cock, forming a droplet that will drool to the floor if he’s jostled. He pants, and tries to think.

“No, never.” 

“Because?”

“He doesn’t deserve it!” Will snarls, arms flexing and aching against the ropes holding them behind his back. He shouldn’t have said ‘he’ as audiences have been known to make assumptions, but he’s on the road of no return. He anticipated such an event. “He doesn’t deserve you, or me,” he glances furiously toward the camera, “or us.”

There is a grin in Hannibal’s eyes, but his face remains placid. He stands out of the way of Will, winding around the camera to rearrange it to point at Will’s waist, a side view. Will turns his head, attempting to keep Hannibal in his line of sight, but it’s difficult. Hannibal moves like a phantom, quiet and invisible when he wants to be. Abruptly, Will feels the press of a leather-dressed groin against his bare ass and he moans, body kicking into high gear.

He needs. 

“Hannibal, please ” He’s flicked hard on his ribs for the misuse of Hannibal’s title. “Fuck,” he hisses, “Doctor Lecter, I need you. You’re the only one

“The only one who what?” Hannibal demands, grinding his erection into Will’s ass. The leather sticks to Will’s glistening skin. He hadn’t prepared to finish that statement, but now he knows what the older man wants. His love, his husband, the only man he’s ever

“The only one who can satisfy me,” Will grits out, baring his teeth. 

Hannibal reaches a hand under him and strokes his cock. 

Will jerks in suspension, ropes rattling against the chains latched to the ceiling. A moan stutters out of him, cut off by another, stringing gasps and grunts along when Hannibal’s long fingers tickle sensitive spots on his dick. He arches back, rubbing into the leather clad erection that is continuing to grow harder. 

He works him fast, lewd slick sounds filling the basement. 

“I’m…” Will is close to orgasm, but isn’t sure he’s allowed. It’s too soon. Hannibal isn’t giving any indication that he’s planning to stop, or slow. “C-Can I come?” 

“No.”

Will panics. The order makes him harder, less capable of holding it in. 

“Doctor Lecter, please, I can’t

Hannibal gives no response, jerking him quicker. Will closes his eyes and thinks of horrible, bloody things. Massacres and disembowelment. His orgasm barrels closer, and he whimpers. He feels Hannibal’s nose poking at his vertebrae. He can’t possibly smell when he’s close, can he?

Like magic, Hannibal fists him until he reaches the brink, then lets go without so much as easing him off the build up. Will shouts wordlessly, purple-red cock dribbling to the floor, but not releasing. His body curls and cramps, but unpleasantly. He’s a gun with a broken trigger, and he’ll shoot off if anything so much as jostles him the wrong way. 

Suddenly, there is a searing sharpness on his side, and a loud sound like a wet towel slapping against tile. Will blinks through the overwhelmed wetness in his eyes and cranes his neck to see Hannibal gripping a flogger, the rectangular slips of fabric bursting from it’s base flapping wickedly as it soars down against his skin again, this time on his bent up thigh. 

He’s too on edge for this to be anything other than arousing, the pain with each blow shifting into pleasure in a tick. His cock feels like it’s going to snap, bobbing with every whip of the flogger. 

“Doctor Lecter,” he sobs, hands fighting the rope. “God, please!”

“Tell him why I’m the only one who can satisfy you,” Hannibal deadpans, circling around Will and striking absolutely any patch of skin that comes into view. Not his face, he’s not that crazy. 

He can feel the nipple clamps jangling, his nipples too sore to react. 

“You make it so good,” Will stammers, feeling like he’s begging for his life. “You make me earn it, and it feels so fucking Will’s mouth falls open, a groan tipping out when Hannibal flogs his ass, the flaps brushing the back of his sac. “ Right. So good when…when you hurt me.” 

There is a rustle of soft noise and his ass is abruptly smacked again, immediately followed by another smack. One right after the other in, one, unrelenting rhythm. He has two floggers, fucking two. Will twitches and thrashes, but he has nowhere to go. His balls burn under the ruthless sting and his ass jiggles obscenely, something he’s sure looks better on camera than it feels, but he leans into it despite his body relenting, fighting to retreat. Hannibal gives him more and Will splits the skin of his bottom lip. He tastes blood and his cock throbs, insistent. 

One of the floggers drops to the mat with a thump and Hannibal delivers a final, stinging blow with the other. They don’t land as hard as a paddle or even a hand, but the stream of their blunt impact makes his lower half tingle and he clamors, taken aback, when Hannibal swipes his tongue up his sac to the seam of his ass and eats him out, cheeks chafing his inner thighs. 

“No, I’ll, Ha Doctor Lecter, stop!” The orgasm that he’d been edged to and never arrived is returning with a vengeance, every flick and dive of Hannibal’s tongue rocking him closer to bliss. He groans from the convalescence and submits. Punishment be damned. 

However, like before, Hannibal dips his tongue into his loosening hole and retreats as fast as he ambushed him. Will’s near-orgasm stalls, but if he writhes just right against his restraints, he can get there, and there’s nothing in him but animal instinct, so he ruts into the graze of the ropes.

Hannibal circles his hand tight around the base of his balls and Will screams, heaving away from the touch so violently one of the nipple clamps comes flying loose, pulling painfully on the remaining one. He relents, slumping and mewling as his orgasm is sufficiently put at bay.

Again. 

Where he was compliant before, now Will harnesses the urge to scream and rebel. Curse at Hannibal until he has no option other than to punish him. He’ll take more pain over the inability to come. Static buzzes in his mind as he struggles to flit through several disobedient remarks when he feels Hannibal’s bare hands on his ass. He’s taken the gloves off.

“I believe punishment is finally in order, clever boy,” Hannibal tells him, the evenness of his voice making Will want to bite. He has no clue what ‘punishment’ Hannibal is referring to until he does; The first time they fucked without the cameras, when Will had strapped himself down to Hannibal’s basement chair and Hannibal ordered him not to come, and he came anyway. 

Oh shit. 

Will had forgotten about the fifty promised lashings. 

He cranes his head back, showing the fear in his eyes, because he knows his husband likes that too, but there is no whip in sight. There are floggers on the floor, the chain of the nipple clamps dangling from him without Hannibal so much as sparing it a glance, and Hannibal standing still behind him, hands remaining on his ass, and parting them only minutely.

“You’ve been waiting,” Hannibal purrs, stroking a hand softly over the sheen of his backside. The calm before the storm. “So long, so patiently. For me.”

He hasn’t consciously been waiting for this; perhaps a part of him knew this would come back to bite him in the ass as most things with Hannibal do. Hannibal has quite literally bitten him on the ass before. 

As if to reaffirm his dominance, Hannibal strokes over the fading bite on Will’s ass that came from a couple days prior. The sigh Will releases is nothing short of crumbling debris. 

“Yes, Doctor,” Will murmurs, bracing himself. 

Hannibal spreads him wider, but doesn’t plan to touch him on his wet, open hole. He swipes his thumbs close, and Will’s straining hard cock offers a pleading throb. 

“Not the whip today,” Hannibal decides, sounding as if he just decided this instant, though Will knows better. He doesn’t have time to process the relief this information brings before he adds, “I will show you how it feels to be properly spanked, as those who dared touch you before me should have known better. I would serve them to you for dinner, if I could.” 

Zeller wouldn’t taste good, Will wants to say, but he’s tongue tied. 

He’s almost forgetful of the camera, a lingering worry that something incriminating will slip out of his mouth dancing impishly behind his eyes. 

A hand snakes down to grasp his cock, thumb rolling circles against his sensitive frenulum. Will gasps sharply. Hannibal is well aware he’ll come in seconds if he keeps going. 

“Tell me, Will, are you my good boy?” 

Will’s eyes close. “Oh hell,” he heaves in air by the gallon. “C-Com

Hannibal’s hand drops away again and Will startles himself with the needy high-pitched moan that escapes him in response. The pining to come has never felt so much like bloodlust. 

“I’m your good boy,” he manages, a sob perched in his throat. “Use me, Doctor Lecter. Spank me, hit me, deprive me, anything, I’m yours.” 

“That’s it, darling,” Hannibal rasps, kissing his tailbone and murmuring, “Not long now.” He draws back, repositioning himself behind Will with his hands on his ass. “Give yourself over to it, Will. Don’t go inside. Stay with me.”

“There’s nowhere else I’d rather be,” Will replies honestly, despite his blue balls that he wouldn’t be shocked if they were actually, currently blue. 

It’s true. Despite his fear of being spanked, he wants Hannibal to take that fear away, and for every doubt in his mind to be proven wrong. The doubt that this arrangement could ever exist between them in their relationship offscreen. Prove to me we can have this. 

Hannibal spanks him once, and the shift from conversation is so jarring, he doesn’t feel it. Then, he’s spanked again on the same spot and the burn blooms and blossoms into a sweet, heated pleasure. 

He cranes his aching neck back, curling into the heady sensation.

Hannibal spanks him brutally, perhaps more brutal than Zeller, but the manner in which he does so if refined and wise. He knows the spots on Will that itch, and where to strike them away, and he knows how long each pause in between them should be, and when he should give Will a series of them sporadically. 

Maybe it was the edging, or maybe Hannibal rewired his brain in his sleep long ago, but he’s close to orgasm again, and this time Hannibal isn’t stopping.

He’s only halfway through the fifty appointed spanks, and each one sends him spiraling toward the sun. Moaning, Will clenches all over and unclenches, welcoming the slow build. 

He can hear Hannibal panting behind him, like a dog in heat, and it makes him feel ravenous in turn, growling and pushing back against each bouncing smack against his ass. Hannibal’s familiar palm on his skin brings more pleasure than it should, Will’s body attuned to the texture of him. 

Somewhere around the fortieth, Will comes untouched. 

It’s silent, Will’s face scrunching up, wracked all over with bursting nerves. It lasts longer than it takes for Hannibal to finish the spanks, each smack swaying him forward in mid-air and splashing his release further along the black mats below. The second nipple clamp comes flying off on the last hit, and that’s when Will does make a noise, a short strangled thing that Hannibal elongates by scratching over the pink, swollen skin of his assaulted bottom. 

As he’s catching his breath and wincing from the urge to touch his cock just to take the remaining edge off from his precipitous orgasm, he suddenly flies toward the floor too quick to process. He doesn’t collapse into it, Hannibal stops lowering him when his nose is an inch from the ground. 

“Before we bid the world adieu, I am sure you’ll be gratified to show them a preview of the manners I have successfully taught you.” Will’s chin almost grazes his own drying semen, and he regretfully understands exactly what Hannibal is asking. There can be no hesitation if he wants to take Hannibal off guard, so without preamble, he licks his mess off the mats. 

Hannibal is quiet, the only indication of his shock. Will keeps lapping up his own come, grimacing at the taste, but desperate to be obedient. Perhaps Hannibal has taught him well. 

As he finishes with a lick of the lips, he wants to beg Hannibal to come on him, his face or elsewhere, while he’s strapped up and helpless. It would feel like tying up loose ends, but Hannibal is in charge. He’ll do what he wants, and what he believes will work best for their last film, and he doesn’t seem to have any intention to attend his own, burgeoned erection. 

“My dove, say it,” Hannibal murmurs, kneeling in front of him and gathering Will’s face in his hands. Will doesn’t need to strain to look up at him, Hannibal’s holding him where he wants him to be. Will lets out a rough huffing noise, much like a horse rearing up for a stampede. 

“The Great Red Dragon is a perverted, sexual failure who should have thought twice before assuming he had any place in the Chesapeake Rigger’s domain,” Will spits out, shaking with resolution. Hannibal kisses his forehead and breathes. 

The resignation in Hannibal’s face is sentimental. He wants to remember Will in this moment, everyday, forever. In his melancholy, Hannibal believes he’ll never be allowed this again. 

The Dragon was good for one thing. Showing Will that being hurt is something he can repeat if he trusts the man at the helm, and really only if that man is Hannibal Lecter. 

 


 

“He doesn’t deserve it!”

Will’s voice echoes from Jack’s laptop. He’s been watching, frozen and flabbergasted, for the past several minutes. His phone rests in one hand, fingers hovering over the call button for Freddie. He’d been in the middle of filming a shoot with the Red Dragon when Jimmy Price informed him he should really check the website, no seriously, you have to check it Jack. 

There is a live video playing, and millions of viewers logged in to watch. Hannibal and Will have taken matters into their own hands and decided that they can release films on their own time. 

He’s ruffled, with humiliation and confusion.

Freddie Lounds calls and the crew groans, knowing for certain they’ll have to return some other day for reshoots. “Take the video down!” comes her shrieking voice. “What the hell are you doing?”

She should know damn well he can’t do that. 

“I’ve tried! They’ve changed the password, locked us out. I can’t get in.” 

“We need to figure something out!” she crows, panicking more than he’s ever witnessed. “Christ, Crawford, you know where Hannibal’s house is, don’t you? Get over there, now!” 

“What do you expect me to do, throw myself in between their dicks?” 

Her screech is grating. 

“Smash the computer if you have to, just stop it!”

He lets out a weary sigh and hangs up, eyeing Dolarhyde. The man’s eyes are dark as he stares at the screen, as if expecting he can jump through it and choke someone out. It’s certainly unnerving, but he’s too wrapped up in his new orders, barking at everyone to get home and wait for a rescheduling. He makes Jimmy Price handle the details, and pointedly ignores Beverly’s conspicuously delighted expression. In his haste, he doesn’t notice Dolarhyde following him. 

The Dragon drives after him, all the way to Hannibal’s house, and Jack notices him only when he parks the car and gets out. “Hey, you shouldn’t be here,” he says, but Dolarhyde doesn’t respond. Jack finds he’s lacking his ability to care whether or not Hannibal’s confidentiality stays intact at this point, so he pays him no mind, and saunters off toward the yard. 

The basement doors are open, and Jack frowns, descending. 

Once the Dragon is certain of where they are going, he pushes past Jack and into the basement. It smells of sex, but neither man is present. The video Jack had been watching back at the hotel they were shooting at is playing on an open laptop, connected to a camera that is still filming. 

The live footage seems to be playing on a thirty or so minute delay. Enough time for them to get away to God knows where. And, with no way to contact them. Jack had attempted calling both of them during the car ride, and both times it went straight to voicemail. 

In the video, Will is licking come off the floor. 

“I need a raise,” Jack grumbles, running a hand over his tired face. 

Francis Dolarhyde is furious. He seems to know something Jack doesn’t, because he growls and lets out a mountainous cry, like a jilted lover. He rips the loose, dangling ropes from the wall like a mad man, the ends tearing to shreds. Jack jumps back as Francis bounds through the basement, knocking over cabinets with the strength of a beast, snarling and cursing under his breath. 

Before Jack can even try to diffuse the situation, Francis takes one look at the painting, Achilles Lamenting the Death of Patroclus, and tears his fingers through it, rupturing the rich material. The painting comes crashing down, landing with a loud denting clatter. 

Jack notes belatedly, the camera was pointed in Francis’ direction the whole time, and he discreetly closes the laptop but not all the way, certainly not rushing through the process. Something in him senses Hannibal and Will want him to leave it on, and despite having no loyalties to them, he respects their audacity. At this rate, the camera will upload the footage of Francis Dolarhyde having a meltdown and then unceremoniously cut off. And to Jack, it seems just. 

 


 

Three hours later, Hannibal and Will sit side by side on a plane taking off for Florence, Italy. In the evening, they will settle into their new home in the pasture region of Tuscany. 

Hannibal orders them champagne and two meals. Will tries first class salmon for the first time and isn’t disgusted. Hannibal smiles at his husband’s broadening palette. 

Neither of them are yet aware of the havoc they’ve left behind, and the only thing on Will’s mind is how Hannibal will feel under him for the first time in their new home, and how far Hannibal will let him go when it comes to interior design. There is one specific room he yearns to build. 

Hannibal talks about merfolk and sirens, mystical things deep in the water that Will has never thought in depth about. Will listens, with an empty head and a full stomach. 

They kiss as the plane roars through a storm. 

 

Chapter Text

 

In the heart of the Tuscan countryside, Will and Hannibal take residence in a semi-detached three bedroom house made up of terracotta floors of chestnut accents, from the overhangs to the shutters. There are two dense chimneys which loom over the roof and a quaint pool located by the back entrance. Buster entertains himself by madly circling it to chase the wildlife, squirrels and muskrats. Their neighbors’ properties are no bigger than dots in the distance, and the province of Florence requires a mere ten minute drive into the urban sectors. Will can linger on the second story balcony and feel safe and not high-up in the slightest, while also recognizing the vast space of his new home. Hannibal knows to find him on the balcony on quiet nights, when Will eats their Italian-style dinner with no more than a smile, reminiscent of America. 

He isn’t homesick. 

With the luxury he’s been granted, and a lifetime appointed with the love of his life, Will doesn’t imagine feeling that way could become a possibility, but he wonders about the smaller things. Beverly. The politics of pornography. The dog park he’d take Buster once in a blue moon. 

The panoramic view of the Tuscan hills calms Will when he finds himself restless. Hannibal will insist on giving him a massage and kneading away creaking knots in his muscles during such affairs, and Will wakes up every morning after feeling revitalized and tasting wine on the air. 

Hannibal brews his own wine. It’s a hobby he’s taken up, harvesting and fermenting what he reaps. The first time they share a bottle is in the eleventh month following their arrival. Will crinkles his nose over his glass and Hannibal blinks fast. 

“I suppose I could have further aged it,” Hannibal admits, and Will’s almost positive it’s the first time he’s heard Hannibal admit he’s less than subpar at something.

He kisses him, and Hannibal returns the favor on his ring finger. 

Around the same time, Hannibal emerges from his study one morning and hands Will a heavy black key. Will never has time to ask questions anymore; Hannibal always knows what’s on his mind. 

“The empty room you asked for,” he explains. “I finally had the extra study cleaned out. To do with what you wish, my dear. I hope it offers enough space.”

Will holds back a smirk and twiddles the key around in his fingers.

“I am sure it’ll be all I need.” 

 


 

Will primes his new project with the stipulation that he wants its construction to be a surprise, so Hannibal gifts him with a credit card that will offer anonymity when it comes to payments. For now, Will can buy any furniture or décor he desires for the new room without Hannibal knowing. 

He does, spending well over a thousand dollars while knowing it could barely amount to a dent in Hannibal’s finances. Hannibal raises a brow at the sum one morning, nose in his tablet, but he is amused, not chastising. He’d likely support any vision of his husband’s. 

Will takes to spending Tuesdays and Thursdays screwdriving and hammering away in the appointed room, with the door shut and locked, despite Hannibal often taking the time away to go to the gym and work out, using the wider pool there for laps rather than their own. 

In the evenings, Will resurfaces from the mysterious space to find dinner on the table. Hannibal is much like a housewife in this respect, but Will knows never to share that sentiment with him. He simply makes love to Hannibal on those nights. As long as it takes to drive a begging moan from the older man’s throat. He loves to hear Hannibal beg. It might be his favorite pastime. 

Hannibal only asks about the room once. Three months into its construction. 

Will smiles behind the morning paper and over a cup of sugary coffee Hannibal treats him to every weekend. On weekdays, he just serves it black. 

“Nosey,” Will reminds. 

“I ask because you’ve filched my buzzsaw for your purposes.”

“Shouldn’t have been keeping your buzzsaw in a kitchen drawer,” Will shoots back, taking a prim sip of his coffee. “Thought I was doing you a favor.” 

“Perhaps I prefer my meat serrated.” 

Will raises a brow at that, but no further accusations are tossed.

 


 

Will knew right when they arrived Hannibal was going to drag him across every inch of Florence, rural pastures included. And he does, though it surprises Will that their first few months are spent indoors, Hannibal even frowning upon Will joining him on short expeditions to the grocers. 

He finds out soon enough Hannibal is more than a control freak. He’s a control psychopath. Will finds his schedule in his desk drawer one day after a spiteful scrutinization of his personal possessions within the study. Hannibal has an introductory week planned, down to the minute, of how he will present Florence to Will in all its glory. He wants to overwhelm Will all at once with glitz and glam, the most beautiful sights he will ever see in his lifetime.

He doesn’t put up much of a fuss after that, somewhat endeared by Hannibal’s nitpicking. When he finally does drive Will into the city, Will makes a show of being thoroughly impressed. It isn’t difficult, nor does he need to fake his reactions. The sights are truly beautiful, even if he’s more inspired to revel in them for his husband’s sake. Hannibal is in his element in Florence, and while Will can’t say the same of himself, he’s satisfied in any paradise with a stream close by and the person who can make it all, all the pain and sorrow of his meager existence, go away. 

Will is particularly struck by the Uffizi Gallery. 

When he sits on the bench in front of the Primavera with Hannibal at his side, hand in hand with him, he is awash with deja vu so potent he feels dizzy. 

“I feel as if I have drawn this a hundred times, in a thousand lifetimes each,” Hannibal murmurs, eyes glued to the painting. Will has never seen him look so enthralled with an inanimate object. 

“I feel like I’ve watched you do it,” Will whispers back. 

Hannibal nods in understanding, and rearranges their interlocked hands so they rest over his thigh. He squeezes gently and Will lightly scrapes his nails over the other man’s knuckles. 

“Will you ever make me pasta primavera?” Will asks in a teasing lilt.

Heartily, Hannibal laughs and nods again.

“Anytime you wish.” 

They gaze at the Botticelli painting for a long while. Maybe their time at the gallery amounted to hours. Will isn’t sure why; they could visit this any day, any time, and it would be waiting for them. 

When tourists begin hovering and muttering threads of unoriginal commentary, Will’s consciousness stirs and he takes one last, lengthy glance at the painting before Hannibal directs him out of the room. Mine, he thinks, as he always thinks of Hannibal. Ours.

 


 

Though nothing quite matches their wedding night, they screw their brains out regularly. Insatiably. Nearly every day, but sometimes they go more than a few without, content with nothing but one another’s company, losing time by the minute. Will wakes up to Hannibal sucking his cock one cool, autumn morning and breathlessly comes down his throat in seconds with a harsh grunt, grinning like a fool who discovered fool’s gold when Hannibal’s mouth searches his own. After the fact, Will asks, “What was that for?” 

“It occurred to me when I woke, we haven’t copulated in eight days.” 

A disapproving note rattles out of Will and he rolls Hannibal onto his back, wrapping a calloused hand around his husband’s cock. Whatever the reason, Hannibal is more sensitive this particular morning and gasps out Will’s name like a mantra by the time he spills over his fist. 

That’s when Will realizes how worked up Hannibal has been getting. 

They haven’t discussed therapy, sex, cognitive, or otherwise. Hannibal hasn’t spoken up about any need to see a psychiatrist, but Will would be all ears if he did.

It causes something similar to anxiety to marinate low in Will’s gut, so he’s incited to spend more time on his passion project, hammering and drilling louder than the construction necessitates. It helps him work out his stress and he can only hope the laps Hannibal is cutting through the water at the gym sufficiently eases his own perpetual disquiet.

Their sex generally remains vanilla except for the few instances Will asks for a hand curled around his throat or Hannibal becomes restive enough to warrant a tender spanking session. Will wants to tell him of his plans, his thoughts, his ideas, but he knows now isn’t the time. 

Little over a year has passed, and Will still needs time. 

To gather his nerves and his faculties, and to finish building. 

They experience a single argument in fourteen months. 

Progressively, the honeymoon phase naturally fizzles out. The love of course remains intact, and he doesn’t regret marrying Hannibal and running off with him. He doesn’t even regret the manner in which they left, wreaking chaos and leaving innocent bystanders to deal with the rubble. It’s the feeling of being wrong about himself and feeling trapped because of it. He harbors doubts about if he’ll be enough for Hannibal in the long run, if he’ll ever be able to take the leap over the last of his mental forts, just to sate his husband’s inner beast. If it’s worth it.

He takes it out on Hannibal and his nature. 

Hannibal’s patience when it comes to Will’s volatile irrationality is rather low, as Will is often quite rational, and is only irrational when he wants to incense him in a self-destructive manner. 

Perhaps a part of him thinks Hannibal will finally snap and dominate him, that he won’t have to make the choice to let him in the end, and Hannibal will just do a favor by giving into their game. 

He doesn’t get that. 

After a debate that turned into an argument which escalated into Will shouting and Hannibal snarling but keeping himself even-toned, Hannibal had not lashed out. He had taken the car and left Will alone in the house, in the countryside, with nothing but Buster to keep him company. 

“Coward,” Will spits out over a third glass of bourbon.

No one is there to heed his bitter foul-mouth.

“Since when do you run away?” Will shouts an hour later, slurring at the door which had been slammed shut by Hannibal on his way out. “Hurt me like you wanted to you bastard!” 

He tosses his drink at the door and the glass shatters all over the welcome mat. The bourbon spills down the chestnut door, matching its color.

Will collapses to his knees in the living room and waits. 

When Hannibal returns, Will is hugging his legs to his chest and staring at where the barstools in their kitchen meet the grain on the floor. He’s still morbidly drunk. 

“Bastard,” Will mutters childishly. The words lack any fight.

Hannibal doesn’t speak. He crosses the room in his morning coat and boots and haltingly kneels before Will, reaching out with gentle hands to raise Will’s chin up and surround his cheeks with those mesmerizing, firm, tactile palms. 

“You cannot goad me into hurting you, my love,” he whispers. 

Will’s throat tightens. “What if I’m not enough?”

“A parched man does not happen upon a freshwater stream and claim it is not enough,” Hannibal says, resulting in Will dragging him forward by his lapels and crashing their lips together. 

They shared what averagely might be called ‘make-up sex’ in the aftermath. Will’s head was warm from the alcohol, and Hannibal’s skin was cold from the autumn air. They came together, propped up in the center of the bed with Will in Hannibal’s lap, grinding so softly, their stomachs rubbing and brushing, it’s a wonder either of them managed to get off. Will had felt the liquid rush between them and gripped his husband so tight he knew he would bruise. 

Waking up the next morning with their heads resting at the foot of the bed, Hannibal’s legs dangling off an edge, and Will tangled in sheets, they laugh.

Will caresses the bite mark on his neck and sighs.

 


 

Buster wears bowties. 

Will was never one to coerce him into a collar, but when Hannibal allows Buster to join them on city trips, Hannibal insists on the bowtie collars he purchased. Buster’s favorite is the chocolate brown plaid bow that lies perky on his neck.

“My little gentleman,” Hannibal muses one evening when Buster properly pissed in the park rather than atop pristine Florentine pavement.

Will grins and intertwines their hands. 

Their dog adores the hills outside their property. Will often sits on the patio out back, amused as Buster bounds up and down the rises of land. Hannibal will occasionally join, emerging from the house with trays of tea and biscuits. They are always sweet and melt on Will’s tongue. And, if he adds the homemade butter, he may very well faint. 

“What do you think about a second dog?” Will jokes one afternoon as they do just that. Hannibal sips at his Darjeeling and takes the question very seriously. 

“My limit is two.”

“What, you’re serious?”

“You must allow me to choose my own…mutt. If you are serious.”  

Will hadn’t been, but now he is. 

“Deal.” 

 


 

They end up adopting a dapple grey-coated Dachshund from a local animal foster home. It’s owned by a man who rescues pets from bad homes or unhealthy situations and holds them as long as he can before he must relocate them to the pound. Hannibal chats purposefully with the seller, as the man is apparently well acquainted with scholars from the Florence Academy of Fine Arts. Hannibal certainly made his rounds as a youngster when it came to acquainting himself with high society. Will ignores them and plays with their new dog on the man’s porch. 

She smells like sweat and grass. 

Will knows why Hannibal picked her.

The pattern of her spots look more like an array of flowers. She is unique and pleasing to the eye, as well as being tiny. The fosterer tells them both that she is only two years old. 

On their drive back home, Will strokes his fingers down her long back and ponders names. Nothing stands out to him so he turns to Hannibal and says, “I know you’ve got one. Spit it out already.”

“Flora,” Hannibal responds, not taking his eyes off the road. “The roman goddess of spring. The Primavera depicts her transformation from nymph to goddess, an eternal life bearer.” 

“Named after the Primavera.” Will whistles, quirking a smile at Flora’s little yawn. Ours, he thinks again. “What a lucky girl.” 

“I am quite sure our goddess and Buster Keaton will get along famously.”

Will snorts. Hannibal has taken to using Buster’s full name, not that Will ever considered that his full name. But, he enjoys it too much to tell Hannibal to stop. 

He is right. They do get along famously. 

Will’s heart strains one afternoon when he finds the two of them curled up together on the beige living room couch. He stares adoringly for a period before he shoos them away, knowing Hannibal will have a fit if he finds their pets on the furniture. 

He whips out a lint roller for good measure. 

He’d be loath to forget Hannibal’s control-freak pathology. 

 


 

Both of them avoid news from home for a long time.

Beverly isn’t angry when months into their settling down, he finally bites the bullet and calls her. She apparently assumed they were on an extremely overly long honeymoon, and she’s been distracted since she’s been dating herself. Suspiciously, she’s reluctant to share details. 

“Hannibal hasn’t said anything?” she asks, as if dumbfounded. 

Will looks in the direction of the kitchen where he can hear pots and pans being rearranged and says carefully, “I didn’t know you were friendly with him.” 

“No, not really. I’m not, actually, but…” 

Will sits up and holds the phone closer to his ear. He suddenly experiences a violently vivid revelation, and can’t help but cluck his tongue in amusement. 

“Have you seen Chiyoh lately, Bev?”

“Shut up, listen, I thought she might have told him already. Maybe don’t say anything to him? I don’t know if she wants him to know, damn, you’d think I’d stop royally fucking up one of these days

“Trust me, she’ll want him to know. From what I’ve heard, she never calls him even though they’re close. Got some communication issues in the Lecter family.” 

“Yeah, it takes lineman’s pliers to get her to open up. If you tell him and she gets mad, I’m blaming you. Just pre-warning,” Bev lets him know. Sincerely, he laughs.  

“I’ll take the hit,” he promises.

They chat for a while longer, gossiping about the Lecter family. He feels dirty doing so, but he knows Hannibal deserves to be humbled, if just a pinch. He hears stories starring Chiyoh he never could have imagined considering how stone-cold she had presented herself. 

Beverly sounds happy. Will finds himself relieved at that.

“Are you ready to hear about the big hooha?” 

He sighs, rubbing a hand over his week-old beard. 

“Yeah, might as well. Was it bad?”

“Terrible. Police were involved and everything. You were right about Hannibal having good papers, nobody’s figured out where you went. But, hey, even if they did what are they going to do, fly out to Italy and drag you back kicking and screaming? It’s just porn.”

“Just porn,” he agrees, hesitating. “Dolarhyde?”

He can basically hear Beverly’s grin. “His career fell pretty flat after that video. I’d suggest you take a look at it sometime. He went nuts. Lounds has taken it down obviously, but those imitation sites are really quick with the transferring. It’s scattered all over the web.” 

Will winces. He’s curious, but not curious enough.

“Was Jack pissed?”

“Kind of,” she admits. “Though, he kind of looked more like he expected something like this.”

“Porn stars often run away together to escape a contract?” Will jabs tiredly. 

“No, Will, they really don't.” 

He is silent until Bev clears her throat and adds, “You guys certainly left your mark. I don’t think anything in the industry can top that for at least a decade to come.” 

“Jesus, I hope you didn’t watch it,” he grumbles.

“Ew! No, notta.”

Will chuckles, exhaustion taking hold. “Call me anytime you want, Bev. I miss you, I think I’ve got to lay down for now though. Avoiding news from home was like avoiding a migraine that decided to wear a months-long disguise.” He rubs his head. “Tell Chiyoh we say hello.”

“Will do, sport,” Bev chirps. “Tell Hannibal he better be wearing those Gucci slides.” 

Will winces again. Hannibal had immediately donated the Gucci slides.

They say their goodbyes and hang up. Will tucks his phone away and feels better than he thought he would, updated on Lounds and the Dragon. At some point, he’ll be able to go on the site with an objective eye and absorb the mass consensus of his and Hannibal’s final debut. 

 


 

“Flora is pregnant,” Will informs Hannibal. 

Hannibal’s reading glasses slide down his nose as he sits up abruptly from the couch. He sets his book down and blinks a few times before asking in a stupor, “Pardon?”

Will rubs the back of his neck, looking up at him apologetically from the floor. Flora has been acting strangely the last few weeks and today, he examined her to find her nipples swollen, enlarged, and a few of them dripping liquid. Milk. 

“I never did end up getting Buster neutered,” he admits, shakily. “Kept putting it off, and uh, here we are.” 

“Here we are,” Hannibal echoes.

“We can find homes for them easily,” Will forces out, rubbing Flora’s back. She breathes steadily, ogling him with an almost-smile. Shit. “People are always looking for puppies.”

Threateningly quiet, Hannibal rises from the couch and pads over to where Will is knelt beside their dog. He sits crisscrossed and lifts Flora onto his shoulder, supporting her body with broad hands. He sighs as he pets her, ignoring Will’s confused, surprised stare. 

“Though burdens they may be, they are ours to bear. I am not sure I could stomach separating family, and they are our family as much as we are to each other. We will raise them.” 

Hannibal pets her and whispers soft things into her ear, promises of larger dog beds and better food. Treats, unbeknownst to a snoring Buster, somewhere in Hannibal’s study. 

Will swallows and scoops Flora up into his arms. 

He lays her upon the nearest dog bed, a rose pink circular thing, and pets her head to steady her before he wraps a hand around Hannibal’s wrist and drags him to their bedroom. 

He coaxes Hannibal to bear him down on the chaise at the foot of the bed, and Hannibal does, taking him hard and fast, bordering on the edge of delirium. He obviously hadn’t expected Will’s lust from the offer to keep the pups, and in a burst of inexplicable strength, he lifts Will bodily up and presses him against a wall, fucking up into his open hole as Will shouts and begs for more. 

The house seems to tremble, but Will knows that’s not possible. 

When he comes, his arms are loosely looped around Hannibal’s neck, Hannibal’s face buried in his hair, uneven thrusts coming in frantically, almost needily. 

He gestures to be put down and when he is, he shoves Hannibal back toward their bed and ruthlessly takes his cock back inside, fucking himself to oversensitivity until Hannibal’s release flushes his insides, and he shouts, rivulets of pleasure rushing through him fast. 

He might have come twice, but he is awash in aftershocks, too mindless to notice. 

Sometime late in the night when neither of them is sleeping and Hannibal adjusts himself under Will’s weight, Will asks, “You don’t think of having children, do you?”

There is a severe quiet following the question, and Will’s nerves get the better of him. 

“I’m aware it’s something we should have talked about in depth before marriage, I’m not trying to judge you for it if you do think about it. I’d rather know than not know.” 

“I do not have any inclination toward accumulating children, Will,” he answers finally, in a voice like a man stuck with a frog in his throat. Will dances his fingers through his husband’s chest hair and waits for the frog to weasel it’s way out. It always does. “I was stumped momentarily because I do imagine children with you, but not in the way you may imagine, and not in any way that could be realized.”

Will lifts his head and meets his eyes. Hannibal’s are glistening black pools in the moonlight.

“Yours and mine,” Will intuits. “That’s what you’d want, if anything.”

“Even then, inheritance is a tricky business. I would readily give you a child if I could, but even if it were possible between the two of us, I am unsure of my resolve. I’d worry after its nature, and my own.” 

“Fortunately, that’s not something we’re going to have to think about.” Will manages a dry laugh. “I don’t think our child would appreciate having porn stars for parents, if we’re being honest.”

Hannibal echoes his laugh, rubbing Will’s back. 

“God forbid.” 

 


 

Months later, Hannibal takes Will to the opera and despite not knowing the language as well as Will should by now, the play is gorgeous and out of this world. He wanted to meld into the bright lights and dazzling colors and become some reverberating, musical entity. 

He can’t help but feel like a trophy in the lobby of the theater. 

Before setting out for the showing, Hannibal had gifted Will with a long, golden fur coat. Faux, of course. He sticks out like a sore thumb, but more and more, he’s beginning to appreciate being dressed up by Hannibal. Draped in money and accessories which make him feel worshipped, never getting enough of that from his husband. 

Will is startled when Hannibal kisses him in the lobby whilst handing him a drink from the open bar, not because of the affection, but because of how unstartled he’s been by the public displays of it for months now. He’s clouded with memories of Hannibal kissing him on the streets of Florence, and in the Uffizi Gallery on their way out the front door, with interlocked arms. 

He realizes he's never been more at peace with himself. 

He’s never liked himself enough to not worry about what others think of him.

Hannibal has inadvertently convinced him to appreciate himself. 

His head is bubbling with anticipation on the drive home, hoping to suck Hannibal off and successfully deep throat him the way he’s slowly been learning as of late, but when they burst through the front door, they hear an unfamiliar mewling. 

There are several squirming puppies, around five, suckling their mothers' teats. Flora is lying on her side in the crook between one of the larger sofa chairs and the television stand. Buster is sitting by the door, waiting for them patiently, like a proud father. 

Will’s self-actualization is tabled for another day. 

For now, he beams and turns to Hannibal. 

Hannibal runs a loving hand down his fur coat, and smiles back. 

 


 

Amidst the finishing touches of Will’s private room, Flora’s puppies have taken to gathering around him in something resembling a prayer circle as he paints. He nudges them away with crooning susurrations after several minutes, worried for the toxins in the air and watches fondly as they file out of the room one by one. Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Nutmeg, and Paprika (Rika for short, and the runt of the litter). Hannibal had attempted to name them after Greek Gods, but that was a step too far for Will. They compromised on cooking spices. 

He shuts the door after they leave and gets back to work. 

The paint needs to dry, and then he’ll be able to present the final rendition to Hannibal. Nerves flutter like butterflies more akin to moths eating away at the light inside him when he thinks about Hannibal’s reaction, but with each day and every moment of pertinent self-imagining, he grows confident. He perfects his vision, and swears to himself, it will be beautiful. 

 


 

They have spent two wonderful years in Florence. 

Will prepares the reveal on the night of their second anniversary. Hannibal made promises of cooking an extravagant dinner for Will once he arrives home from the gym, so Will places his note in the kitchen. One that reads; I’m in the room you’ve been waiting for.

Will sits on the fur rug and waits in the dark, heart rate spiking when he hears the front door jostle and Hannibal’s footsteps come to a halt in the kitchen. Then, they splinter toward him. Hunting down their new domain. Will forces himself to breathe steadily. 

The only light in the new space comes from the lit fireplace. He wonders if Hannibal saw the smoke from the chimney when he parked the car, and then Hannibal appears in the doorway, shadows masking his face as the fluorescents from the hall frame his silhouette. 

A light switch is flipped on. 

Will smirks wide as Hannibal’s eyes scan the room in a fluster. 

Chains and ropes hang from the ceiling. A padded chair identical to the one from Hannibal’s previous dungeon lies in the center of the fur rug, Will splayed out just before it, dressed in nothing but his fur coat. He wears the cock cage, padlock adorned, and the leather straps Hannibal had gifted him years ago, when he still planned for him to wear them. 

Cabinets line the back wall, not obscuring the sole window. Inside they contain an array of toys and devices for Hannibal’s infernal purposes.

Hannibal’s eyes fall back on Will with a newfound lust, hope revealed in their depths. 

Will takes a deep breath, and tames his voice, low and alluring. 

“I’d like to resume our sessions, Doctor Lecter.”