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A Most Gentle Death

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The first time Will feels it is in college. This girl, Laura, he’s hung out with a few times drags him to a frat party and proceeds to get shit-faced on cheap beer. Will hangs out in the backyard and considers just leaving, but his empathy won’t let him. All he can think about is what might happen to her if he leaves her.

They make their way back to her dorm in the wee hours of the morning. She’s all but passed out against his side, stumbling wildly on her heels, head lolling on her neck, but she’s touching him all over and talking about how wet she is and how she can’t wait for him to fuck her.

Will hauls her up three flights of stairs and fumbles the door open with his dick hard enough to hammer nails. The roommate is out, thank fuck, and Laura giggles when she gets caught in her shirt as she tugs it off, falls flat on her ass and giggles some more. Will helps her up, unwinds her hair from the tangled sleeves and tries to ignore the way she tastes like cigarettes and sour hops when they kiss.

Laura passes out about ten minutes into things, when Will’s down to his boxers and they’re grinding against each other. Her movements become slower and softer, and her hand falls from around his shoulder, limp across her chest, and no amount of gentle prodding or calling her name makes her eyes open again.

And Will, well, he’s horny as hell, but he’s not a fucking rapist. But looking at her, all soft and pliable and unawares makes his cock swell harder. He’s so fucking disgusted with himself, that stumbles back to his dorm and showers in freezing cold water, refusing to even jerk off, because all he can think about is what it would have been like, fucking her like that.

It’s not something Will ever lets himself think about, let alone indulge in, with the girlfriends that follow. His relationships rarely make it past a couple of dates, and even those that make it to a month or two aren’t the sort where he’s felt comfortable divulging his deepest secrets.


With Molly, Will thinks maybe. She’s not shy about how much she enjoys sex and telling Will exactly what she wants. He still can’t bring himself to say the words, but they’ll lie curled together, Molly asleep in his arms, and it’s all he can think about. Eventually he gives in, lets his hands slip between the tight press of her thighs, beneath her underwear. He runs his finger through her curls, gently parts her lips, traces lightly over her clit until her breathing picks up and he can feel her getting slick.

But when he presses a single finger inside, she grabs his wrist and moans sleepily, “I’m tired, babe. In the morning.”

Two more times he tries with pretty much the same results, and then the next time she sits upright in bed, untangling them, and turns on the lamp on her nightstand. She stares at him, arms folded over her chest and says, “Is this something we need to talk about, Will?”

Will is flushed with shame and sick to his stomach. “I’m--”

“Because this isn’t okay,” Molly continues, heedless. “You can’t just...use my body when I’m asleep.”

“It--I won’t,” Will says, fervently. He shakes his head in desperation, terrified that this will be the moment when she finally sees what he’s kept locked away so carefully. She’ll see it, and she run as far as she can as fast as she can, and he’ll have nothing to distract him from his thoughts of Hannibal. “I’m sorry, Molly. I’m so sorry--I won’t do it again, I didn’t think--”

“Fine.” Molly’s voice is terse, her eyes lined in red. He hates the uncertain line of her mouth, what it might mean. “Am I…” She stops then, and her whole face softens. “Are you unsatisfied? Am I not giving you--”

“No!” Will says, too quickly, taking her hand in both of his. “I was just horny and I wasn’t thinking…”

Molly gives him a faint, sad shadow of her normal blinding smile. “Well, just tell me, okay? Just wake me up if you want it that bad, Jesus.” She laughs then, squeezes his hand. “I mean, I’m not promising anything, but you can ask, anyway.”

Will makes himself laugh in return, and that’s that. Sometimes, he finds himself wondering, what if? He could tell her. Explain what it is he desires. She’s learned to live with so many of his other quirks, she might not mind...she might even allow it.

Long ago he came to terms with how fucked up he is. He knows his brain doesn’t work like other people’s in how he experiences things, and he’s lucky to have found dear Molly, who loves and accepts him anyway. The longing never outweighs his fear of losing her.

Maybe she would have allowed it, but he never spoke the words to find out.