There are so many earthly delights to rediscover, now Hannibal is out of prison. The sun on his skin. Soft, non-synthetic fabrics. Decent food and an adequate kitchen to prepare it in. The warm glow of brandy, now that they are both finally off antibiotics.
And currently, a slightly drunk Will shouting at him.
Shouting may be a slight overstatement, but regardless, Will has been cataloging Hannibal’s character defects and failings for a good twenty minutes, starting with the way Hannibal stacked the dishwasher that morning and working backwards from there, moving through their acquaintanceship with alarming attention to detail.
Hannibal is trying to pay attention-this is clearly Important To Will and no doubt beneficial for his therapy- but he can’t help being distracted by the sharp line of Will’s jaw, the twitch of a muscle in his throat, the way he paces up and down, all caged ferocious energy, beautiful in his rage.
“ You have me as your gauge’ " Will mimics in a sing song voice. He looks at his glass like he wants to throw it into the fire, but thinks better of it. “….you unmitigated fucker. Watching me lose my mind like it was a goddamned peep show.”
Will pauses for breath and Hannibal drags his eyes hastily from Will’s clavicle, trying to arrange his features into something resembling contrition. It's not an expression he has much experience with, and it clearly doesn’t fool Will, who snorts and launches back into his diatribe with renewed energy. Hannibal savours his drink and lets the words wash over him, until the screeching of brakes in his brain tells him he missed something important. Will is glaring at him, eyebrows raised and clearly awaiting a response.
“Wait. I never kissed you.” Hannibal frowns, suddenly uncertain. Had he? Surely he would have remembered? He stares down at his glass suspiciously.
“Oh good, so you are listening then. No, that was Chiyoh, just before she pushed me off the train.”
“Chiyoh kissed you?” In Hannibal’s intoxicated state, this strikes him as unbearably funny. His mind conjures up the sullen teenager he knew, her perpetually unamused expression, rifle slung over her shoulder. Moving in for a kiss much as she would line up a shot, calculating trajectory and wind speed and the turn of the earth.
Is that a gun in your pocket…
“So she could throw me off the train apparently? Who even knows how that woman’s mind works-wait, this amuses you? I cracked two ribs, asshole.” Will flings himself onto the couch next to Hannibal, landing a sharp and well-placed elbow in his side in the process. “And that was before she shot me and you tried to eat my brains . Jesus fuck, Hannibal.”
Will seems to be out of breath and words for the moment so Hannibal tries to work through the fog of brandy to come up with an appropriate response, and hopefully one that won’t get him shouted at some more.
“I was not...at my best that day.” Feeble and inadequate, but not untrue. Hannibal thinks about pointing out that Will was intending to kill him at the time, but decides against it, lest it set Will off again.
Will sighs and snags Hannibal’s drink, downing it with a practiced flick of his wrist. “No, I suppose not. Neither of us were.”
Hannibal stares mournfully at his now empty glass and eyes the bottle, on the coffee table and impossibly far away. Unthinkable to move, not when Will is pressed up against his side, every point of contact setting his nerves alight.
“When are you at your best, Hannibal?” Will turns to him, the light from the fire casting his face in shadow. “What are you like when you’re at your best?”
I’m at my best when I’m with you, Hannibal wants to say. I’m at my worst when I’m with you. It’s possible he’s drunk.
They are so close, faces inches apart, and Hannibal can feel a tremor working its way through Will and into him, as though they are truly conjoined. He can hear their breaths, ragged over the crackle of the fire and his hand lifts of its own volition, sliding along Will’s jaw and curling into his hair, feeling Will’s pulse as it staggers and speeds up.
This is what he should have done years before on a bench at the Uffizi Gallery. This is what he should have done on a rainy night in Baltimore, when Will stared at him with pleading eyes and the water dripping off his curls.
Hannibal waits a breath more, memorises the moment for his palace. Will’s eyelashes fluttering and his breath unsteady, the fizz of alcohol on receptors. The warmth of the fire and the taste of brandy. Will’s hand coming up to rest on Hannibal’s knee, his scent, changing and evolving as apprehension and desire sweep through them both.
The turn of the earth.
They move together, lips meeting tentative and sweet. Hannibal tries to be careful, tries to be mindful of their injuries, but Will makes a low noise in the back of his throat and sinks his teeth into Hannibal’s lower lip, and all restraint is at an end.
An unknown time later, when Will is slumped on top of him, breathless and pliant at last, Hannibal listens to the thundering of their hearts, slowing to something more sedate. They will need to move at some stage-the fire should be banked, for one, but right now Hannibal doesn’t care if the house burns down around them. Jack Crawford could barge in with an entire swat team and he doesn’t think he could muster up more than a tired wave.
Will is running a finger across his chest, tracing one clavicle and then the other, following the line of the sternum down to his stomach, as though he’s preparing to make a Y incision.
“Trying to open me up Will?”
Will smirks and bends to place a slow sucking bite on Hannibal’s collarbone. “Done more than that to you already. But don’t think I’ve forgotten about...” he waves a hand vaguely. “Everything else. This doesn’t get you off the hook. I still need to yell at you some more.”
“Whenever you like.” Hannibal says breathlessly, as Will’s hand moves lower. Especially if it ends like this.
“But first” Will says, with the sweetest smile Hannibal has ever seen on him “let's see if I can get you to make that noise again.”