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Transcendent Suffering

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Will leaned back into sinking leather of a chair, limbs stretching out awkwardly, staring absently at a faint grease stain on his jeans. The sound of Hannibal’s voice swam around him, even, smooth, filling the darkest corners of his mind with a light heat.

It wasn’t the words stirring him. Will wasn’t even sure when he had stopped listening during their session, allowing himself to drown in the rhythm of Hannibal’s accent, carried by its lulling timber. He was even less certain when he stopped responding, if he had responded at all with short nods and half noises of recognition.

He glanced up, eyes flickering to rest on the corner of Hannibal’s mouth as it moved. Will’s eyes followed the angular line with interest as if he could memorize its very texture. As if by doing so he could feel them on his own. Warm, even, and steady. A tip of a red tongue flicked out. Would they feel smooth against his thumb like the inflection of rises and falls in Hannibal’s tone or rough like the creases in the older man’s skin that mapped out an unspoken life?

Will’s hand twitched against his leg to reach out. His eyes traveled down the sharp angles of Hannibal’s face, curving along crisp lapels of cream colored linen to rest on hands folded neatly just above a leather belt. Will imagined propelling forward and falling between knees. He wondered if Hannibal would even notice if he dragged the belt open and jerked the fly down on his very expensive slacks. Would Hannibal simply talk over him, face as placid as his voice, unchanged? Would he stay perfectly statue still as Will ran his tongue over the head of his cock before wrapping his lips around it, sinking down?

“Do you find yourself aroused during all your professional appointments, Will, or just mine?”

Will jerked his head up at the sound. Hannibal stared back, blinking slowly, head tilted in curious regard. His palms were damp against his jeans. He swallowed hard and visibly grimaced. What the fuck, Graham. It wasn’t the first time he had fantasized during their sessions. It was becoming an unsettling par for the course.

“I, uh, I’m sorry, Doctor Lecter, I was just…”

What? Fantasizing about sucking you off?

“I-I just lost track of time,” Will managed flatly, looking down and away.

Hannibal leaned forward, smoothing a heather grey silk tie against his waistcoat, elbows resting on knees, a predator looming over its prey. Will instinctively shrank back as he did so, pushing himself farther into the leather, trapped. An almost smile crinkled the lines of Hannibal’s mouth as if amused by his sudden discomfort. His eyes remained dark and calculating.

“I do not mean to contradict you…” Hannibal’s eyes slid half closed as they followed their way down bare threads of Will’s jeans tented from an erection beneath. The younger man's breath hitched. The corner of Hannibal’s lip twitched again. “However, it appears you may have lost more than just time.”

Will’s eyes widened, following his unofficial therapist’s rapt gaze on his crotch. Well, that’s fucking unprofessional… His cock heavy and pressing against the sharp pressure of his wrists. And incredibly thorough. Jesus. His cheeks flushed hot, arms flashing forward as if they could hide the unabashed display of evidence.

“Where was your mind just now, Will, to have you in such a state?”

“Look, Doctor Lecter, I just-“ He huffed out a sharp breath. “Can we perhaps end our session early today? I-I should leave.” He tried hard to focus on a cresting cheek. “I am clearly not up to discussing anything further this evening.”

Hannibal’s brows lifted ever so slightly. “Are you saying you are not up for finishing our session due to reluctance, or not up in a more general sense?”

Red began to creep beneath the plaid collar of his flannel shirt. Will tugged at its neckline, unable to breathe. The air around him felt hot, tight. He stared passed his outstretched legs and focused on the stitching of Hannibal’s shiny leather shoes.

“You are still sitting here.”


“Did you not express an interest in leaving our session a moment ago?”


“Would you like to tell me what’s really on your mind? Or do you simply enjoy me seeing you like this?”

His face flushed. Will squirmed in his seat. He could see the shadow of Hannibal’s head tilting again, heard the crinkling of leather as he leaned closer. Their foreheads nearly touched. He felt heat radiating from their skin, the warm even breath of Hannibal on his cheek. He could have simply reached out to run his fingers across the older man’s mouth, sink them in light hair, and explore him with his tongue. A soft breath inhaled against him. Was Hannibal picking up his scent? Will felt his cock twitch, warm and sticky inside his jeans. Fuck, how was he supposed to think with Hannibal this close, let alone come up with some half assed excuse for sporting a very obvious erection?

“I-I don’t want you to think-“

Will clenched his teeth together, pressing the heel of his hand firmly against his arousal. Christ, just the feel of Hannibal’s breath warming his mouth was making him hard. He resisted an unnerving urge to lean forward until their lips brushed.

“What is it you wouldn’t want me to think?”

“That I… normally have sexual fantasies during our sessions.” His left fingernails dug his palm, biting the skin. “I-I don’t want you to think that.”

He had hesitated. Words stuck on his tongue. The left corner of Hannibal’s mouth ticked slightly.

He knows I’m lying. He knows. I want him to know. Fuck, what’s wrong with me.

“Arousal is simply a physical response of an individual to desire the warmth of another’s flesh. It is all perfectly normal.” Hannibal paused. “Tell me, do you feel your physical responses mirror the darkest abnormal corners of your mind?”

“N-normal?” Will’s voice caught in his throat. “I don’t know, Doctor Lecter, I think if you live in the shadows of your nightmares, avoiding eye contact and any closeness with another human being, that any kind of desire for contact would be considered normal or wanted.”

“And do you consider it abnormal to desire those things? Do you believe yourself unwanted, Will? Undesirable?”

Will choked back a protest. Would Hannibal consider it normal if he knew how stretched and taut Will was, erection pressing heavy against his thigh, the heel of his palm doing nothing to deter it? How his mouth watered at the very thought of drinking him in? Hannibal had never shown the slightest interest in anyone, let alone any notion of physical contact, sexual or otherwise, except perhaps, an interest in him. The thought sent a jolt through his body.


Will’s eyes shot up and he instantly regretted it. Hannibal’s eyes were dark pools outlined with hints of red, inches from his own face.

“It-It wasn’t about you,” He stammered out, jerking back.

Hannibal’s fingers tapped a knee. “Is there a particular reason you feel the need to assure me of this? A subconscious need you wish to discuss?”

“Yes, no. Christ. NO.” Will sucked in a breath and held it. “Look. I was thinking about…” You. His mind raced, the biting sensation of fingernails reeling him back in. He stared hard at the oil stain on his faded jeans. “I was thinking of Alana.”

It wasn’t entirely a lie. Will had found refuge in her soft skin and red pout of her lips not more than a week ago. She had shown up on his porch with a cheap bottle of scotch and he had found his mouth on her's within an hour, inhaling fresh skin and lavender soap. He had buried his mind and body fully between her thighs, beckoning darkness of ghosts at his back. She had held him gently after, almost removed as if she might break him. It hadn’t been what he wanted, to be held, to be gently caressed, or soothed. He had fled to his beat up Volvo with the excuse of work on his lips, leaving her there, sprawled on his couch, watching him go.

He watched something flicker behind Hannibal’s eyes as he leaned back. Will swallowed again, feeling the distance between them immediately. It was unsettling.

“I would prefer not to be lied to.” Hannibal said, voice remaining even.

“I was… thinking about Alana.” He winced slightly at how pathetic it sounded. Will couldn’t even believe himself. He flexed fingers, stiff and aching, sure he had drawn blood.

Hannibal’s eyes remained dark, leg crossed, fingers laced against his knee, studying him. “Therapy is a matter of trust, a connection between two people, Will.” The older man's long fingers brushed some unseen lint from twill slacks, drawing out the last part of his name. Will wanted to hear him say it again. Hear the notes of what wanted, cherished, desired sounded like rolling off his tongue. “Do you truly believe it is as effective if you are dishonest?”

“I. I am not lying to you, Doctor Lecter, if that’s what you’re implying.”

Will began to sweat. He used to sit across from guys like him and lie through his teeth to get them to confess. When the hell had he become so bad at it?

“What would make you suggest I was implying such a thing?”

His mouth ticked, hint of anger curling his tongue. “I was thinking of Alana.” He felt an edge in his voice, like choking, a need to insist, glaring up defiantly in Hannibal’s eyes. “We fucked, just last week.”

Hannibal remained still, face passive, unblinking.

“She came over to my place and was jerking me off with her hands before I knew what was happening. I dragged off her lace thong, pushed the jeans down my thighs, and had my cock buried deep inside her minutes after. She was hot and wet. Her back is beautiful when arched. She was so loud slamming back in to me with my hands tight around her ass...”

Will heard his voice describing the scene in explicit detail, tumbling out in rapid succession, unable to bite down on his tongue to stop. He wanted to stop. Why couldn't he stop?

“It was…”

Exceptionally unsatisfying.


Hannibal blinked slowly when he had finished, another slight twitch of fingers that rested against his knee the only reply.

Will hated the way he looked. Calm. Cool. Unfazed. The light puffs of hair carefully combed against his head, the straightness of his posture, and perfectly manicured way fabric obediently lay against Hannibal’s frame. Will wanted to launch himself in the air and crush his hands against the cream colored suit, tear at the buttons, and jerk his hands through that hair until he got some kind of reaction. Until Hannibal looked like he felt.


“And how did that make you feel?”

Will felt a scream trying to untangle itself from his lungs.

“I just told you I fucked one of your closest friends and all you can say is, how does that make me feel? Seriously?”

Why was he saying this, any of this? Hannibal had enough personal access to his mind as it was. Why did he care to tell him all the sordid details? He had barely cared if he had sex with Alana to begin with.  He wasn’t even fully present when it was happening. It had been distasteful, cheap, unfulfilling. He was her professional curiosity, nothing more. Why on earth did he think telling Hannibal would make him care? Make either of them care? Why did he constantly feel the need to justify his actions and thoughts, sexual or otherwise to this man?

“Are you looking for my rubber stamp of approval? Perhaps a congratulations?”

The younger man bit his inner cheek, copper filling his mouth.

“Two bodies copulating requires nothing more than a twisting of limbs and biological function to fulfill an act of physical experience.” Hannibal straightened the knot of his tie, glancing at his watch. “I am far more interested in your mind than your body, Will. Did you find yourself satiated after the experience or did it fill you with an ache, a longing?”

No, it wasn’t goddamn satisfying. Because it wasn’t you.

Will was standing before he knew it, towering over Hannibal. The older man tipped his head back slightly to look up, curious. Shadows flickered inside a dark gaze. Will wanted to scream. He wanted to wrap the silk tie on his fists and pull, hard. Will wanted to straddle him, tie tight in one hand, and reach beneath his slacks and work him until he was throbbing. He wanted to bring him to the edge and refuse him release. He wanted to watch Hannibal’s eyes slip closed as he struggled to breathe before he gasped for air, only for Will to do it all over again.

Will took a step back, cheeks burning. What the hell is wrong with me?

“These are rather direct questions with fairly simple answers." Hannibal tilted his head to the side, disdain crimson on lips. "Or did you feel I would enjoy the pedestrian venue of our conversation as your therapist, or perhaps more likely, your friend?”

“F-fu—“ Will bit down on the curse, a sharp gaze looking back. His nostrils flared at the unspoken reprimand, fists clenching and unclenching at his side. Hannibal had just insulted him, had practically called his sex life, what existed of it anyway, ordinary, his sexual prowess unappealing to the point of disinterest. And did it all with a congenial thin smile. “I think…” Will felt his fist twitch. He imagined bringing it down across the face peering up, blood spraying up against his face and neck. “I had better go.”

Hannibal glanced at a golden Patex timepiece strapped to his wrist briefly with a slight nod. “Yes, our time is up I’m afraid.” He paused before rising to his feet, straightening a few inches above Will, friendly hand outstretched. The older man took a single, precise step forward to crowd his personal space when he did not take it. Casting shadow a shift of subtle power. Glint in maroon eyes. “Same time next week?”

He swallowed. Stared at the fingers outstretched, waiting, almost close enough to touch the buttons on his shirt. Slip in the spaces between them and feel the warmth of his belly. Trace his skin. Sink through slots of his rib cage and pry open his chest, to admire the shadows he gave safe harbor within. 


“I think our therapy has come to the end of its usefulness, don’t you, Doctor Lecter?” Will hissed back, spinning on his heel.

Hannibal watched carefully, unblinking. “If you feel that is best.”

He felt a drag of eyes burning at his back, moving to his waist, dragging down legs, as he shoved through doors. Will stopped in the hall, bristling. He bit back swears bubbling up on his tongue. The door slammed with a reverberating shudder, a small act of defiance, sounding the end of his relationship with one Doctor Hannibal Lecter.

Or so he thought.