The patter of rain fell heavy against their home, hidden by the lush, rolling hills of Giornico. At the first pink light of dawn it came softly, first sprinkling the leaves and flowers of the bushes lining the cottage windows; the rhythm quickly progressing to an endless drumming.
Hannibal wakes first but takes his time to rise. Lying on his back, with Will tucked against his side, he listens to the low rhythm of the rain and Will’s soft breaths before finally opening his eyes. For a moment, Hannibal observes the soft early morning glow illuminating their bedroom. His attention quickly turns to Will. He commits to memory the way the light makes Will appear angelic, even his scar looks beautiful. It’s always been beautiful.
Hannibal reaches over to run his fingers through the soft, chocolate curls covering Will’s forehead before soundlessly leaving their bed.
After making his way to their kitchen, Hannibal starts a pot of coffee and begins preparing kouign amanns for breakfast. As he places the pastries on a baking sheet and slides them into the oven, he catches the sound of Will shuffling down the hallway and finds himself smiling.
Hannibal pulls out two coffee mugs from the cabinet. “Good morning, Will. Would you like coffee?”
Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Will sits down at the head of the kitchen table. He stretches in his chair and stifles a yawn. “Morning. Yes, please."
Hannibal pours Will coffee, adds in a spoonful of sugar, and brings over the steaming mug along with plates for their pastries. “Here you are. I have kouign amanns baking, they should be ready soon.”
“Oh, thank you,” Will smiles at Hannibal and sips his coffee. He glances out the windows overlooking the yard, “It’s coming down pretty hard now. It woke me up earlier.” And the bed was so cold when you left.
“Tsk. I’m sorry to hear, Will.” Hannibal pulls the fresh pastries from the oven and brings them to the table along with his coffee. “We will need to find ways to entertain ourselves indoors today, if it persists. Any ideas of what we could do?”
He takes his seat near Will while Will sips his coffee and bites into a sugary pastry, letting out a low noise of appreciation for the sweet taste. Hannibal smiles and then delicately bites into his own croissant.
“Well, if we’re going to be stuck inside all day, I have some paperwork I guess I can catch up on for the shop. I have nothing else to do,” he sighs and wipes his sticky fingers on his boxers, “What will you do?”
Hannibal licks the sugary crumbs from his lips and Will can't help his eyes from tracking the motion of Hannibal's tongue.
“I think it’s the perfect day to sit down and compose on my new harpsichord.”
Will nods in agreement and stifles another yawn, “Would you mind if I listened to you while I work?”
Hannibal smiles at Will, “Not at all, I enjoy playing for you.”
Will finds it easy to return the smile. Together they enjoy the crusts from their pastries and the rest of their coffee, listening to the sound of the rain.
After they clean the dishes and dress comfortably for the relaxing day ahead, Hannibal sits at his harpsichord while Will is on the couch nearby with a blanket and his papers. He listens to Hannibal compose while the rain persists outside well into the afternoon.
Occasionally Will gets up to stretch and rummage through the fridge for a snack. While searching for food, Will spots an opened bottle of wine from dinner the previous night.
“Hey, we should probably finish this, I’m not sure how much longer it’ll be good for.” He pulls out the bottle and two wine glasses, filling them generously and tossing the empty bottle in the trash.
He brings Hannibal his glass and takes a large sip from his own, enjoying the warmth that spreads through his chest.
“I think I’m going to take a little break from the paperwork, my eyes are starting to hurt.”
Hannibal makes room for Will to sit down at the harpsichord and they drink their wine together, listening to the sound of the heavy rain drumming in the background as Hannibal plays.
When Hannibal finally feels satisfied with his composition and finds himself hungry, they relocate to the kitchen where they end up finishing another bottle of wine with dinner. As Hannibal washes their dishes in the sink, Will makes his way to the liquor cabinet. The day had been pleasantly quiet and relaxing so far, but Will was feeling buzzed after the wine and he realized he had never seen Hannibal drunk before. They had nothing better to do.
Sorting through the cabinet, he spots an unopened bottle of Patrón. Bingo.
Will pulls out the bottle and sets it down on the kitchen table with a grin, “Hannibal, you ever play Quarters before?”
Hannibal polishes their wine glasses and looks to Will, “I can’t say I have, but I would love to try. Would you teach me?"
“Of course. Grab a few shot glasses, I’ll go find us some coins.”
Without question, Hannibal brings over three shot glasses to the kitchen table while Will heads to their bedroom. He pulls out the saltshaker and slices a lime for good measure and sets those on the table as well.
Will quickly returns with a handful of Swiss francs. “These are perfect. Alright, take a seat across from me and we’ll go over the rules.”
Hannibal takes his seat opposite Will and clasps his hands together in front of him, curiously awaiting Will’s instruction.
“Limes and salt, good thinking,” Will drops the coins down on the table then pours two shots of tequila, offering one to Hannibal.
Hannibal immediately takes the glass, and to Will’s surprise, the shot.
“Hannibal that wasn’t for you to take yet, it’s for the game,” Will laughs, “I’ll take mine now that way we’re even,” and tosses back his shot, grimacing from the burn.
Hannibal grins, “So sorry, Will. Now that we’re even, please explain the game,” he sucks out the juice from a small slice of lime. Will’s eyes briefly travel to Hannibal’s lips.
Hannibal doesn't try to hide his smirk.
Will clears his throat, “Alright,” he refills their two glasses and places the empty glass between them on the table, “So, Quarters is all about skill. What you want to do is bounce the quarter off the table so that it lands in the empty glass. Like so."
Will picks up a coin and carefully aims it at the empty glass. Satisfied with his angle, Will tosses his coin and watches as it bounces off the table, hits the rim of the glass, and rebounds across the room; they both watch it go flying. Damn it.
Hannibal curiously raises an eyebrow at Will, “And what do you do when that happens?”
Will sighs and pours a small amount of salt on his hand, “You take a shot,” he licks it up and tosses back the tequila, quickly grabbing a slice of lime to suck on after it goes down.
For the first time in his life, Hannibal finds himself envious of a lime.
When it's Hannibal’s turn, Will isn't surprised when his coin lands perfectly inside the empty glass.
Hannibal smiles at Will, “And what do you do when that happens?”
Will narrows his eyes at Hannibal and takes his third shot.
As the rain continues on well into the night, so does their little game. Hannibal finds himself feeling sorry for Will’s exceptionally bad aim.
Will has lost track of how many shots he's taken.
He attempts to aim another coin at the glass, “Y’know, I really hoped you would be shitty at this,” his coin expectedly misses. Shit
“Shit.” Will picks up the glass to take his shot when Hannibal stops him.
Hannibal chuckles, “Will, we can stop.”
“No, no, you’ve barely taken any shots. We’re not stopping until you’re on my level.”
“How about a change in the rules then?”
Will skeptically raises an eyebrow at Hannibal. “I’m listenin’.”
Will’s drawl takes Hannibal off guard; he doesn't try to hide the wide smile reaching his eyes. How charming.
“From now on, how about I take each shot whether either of us succeeds or not? It saves you from drinking too much and keeps me from drinking too little.”
Will chuckles, “That’s a pretty good rule,” and deliberately sends a coin flying off the table with an enthusiastic bounce.
He slides his shot across to Hannibal and grins, “Bottoms up.”
Hannibal smirks, “Before I take your shot, I’ll slice up more lime. Somehow we’ve run out,” he rises from his chair and goes to the kitchen.
“Ha. Somehow. I’m starting to think you’re cheating on purpose. Tryin’ to get me drunk, Hannibal?”
Hannibal feigns offense and slices a fresh lime, “I’m appalled at your accusation."
“Yeah sure, well I’m drunk enough for both of us tonight, so congratulations,” he raises an empty glass in the air at Hannibal.
Hannibal chuckles, “Will, I assure you, I am not as sober as you believe me to be. Not quite ‘on your level,’ but close to it.
Will laughs, “Well, come take your shot, Lecter, and get on my level.”
Hannibal fondly sighs and returns to his chair with the sliced lime to take his shot when Will abruptly stands up.
“Y’know, I think we need some music.”
In their bedroom, Will sifts through a box of his old records; he knows exactly what he wants to play, if only he could find it. And if only he wasn’t so drunk.
Will knows it won't be to Hannibal’s taste, and so does Hannibal, but it is up to him, because Patrón and Goldberg Variations just doesn’t quite mix.
Finally his fingers find it. “Gotcha.” He carefully pulls the colorful sleeve from the box and drunkenly strides to the turntable in the living room, while Hannibal sits patiently, bouncing coins into the empty glass; waiting for Will to return so he can take his shot.
Will pulls the record from its sleeve and softly blows on it before lowering it onto the platter. He lifts the tonearm and gently sets it on the record and excitedly watches it spin. Raising the volume to the max, Will grins when the first notes of Toto’s Africa flood the cottage’s speakers.
Suddenly, loud music is plaguing Hannibal’s ears. He can hear nothing else. He groans and calls out Will’s name but isn’t surprised when he doesn't respond; he can barely hear his own voice. He sighs and gracefully takes his shot alone before heading to the living room in search for Will.
What Hannibal finds is unexpected yet delightful.
With his hands propped against the mantle of their fireplace, Will is swaying his hips and tapping his foot to the rhythm, fully immersed in the song.
Hannibal moves closer and feels a wave of adoration wash over him as he silently watches Will dance and sing.
Will tosses his head back as he sings out, “Hurry boy, it’s waiting there for you!” He pulls his hands from the mantle to air-drum along with the beat.
Hannibal’s mouth gapes, storing this preciously candid moment in his memory palace.
He reaches forward and lowers the music, but Will is too caught up in singing to notice.
“It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you!” Will enthusiastically spins around but catches his foot on the edge of the rug, stumbling forward into Hannibal.
Caught off guard by Will's clumsiness, Hannibal falls back onto the floor with a thud, bringing Will with him.
Half on top of Hannibal, Will frantically tries to push himself up, “Shit, you alright?”
Hannibal holds Will by the shoulders, supporting his weight, “I’m fine, Will,” he smiles, “You were dancing.”
A blush creeps across Will’s cheeks as he looks down at Hannibal, “And singing.”
Hannibal smiles, gently placing a hand along one of Will’s pink cheeks and looking up into his eyes, “And singing. It was captivating.”
Will instinctively leans into Hannibal’s warm touch and swallows down the anxiety from being so closed, “You seem to still be captivated by something.”
Hannibal's smile widens, his eyes roam across Will’s flushed face, stopping at his parted lips. He strokes his thumb along the plush line of them, “I am.”
Will’s breath seems to leave him then, he feels frozen. He lets his eyes wander to Hannibal’s mouth. It looks soft and smooth and wet. He realizes they haven't been this close since the cliff.
He knows he wants to be this close to Hannibal, to be closer, he acknowledges having this desire for months; tonight he needs to finally feel that mouth against his own. He realizes he is just staring.
Hannibal sighs and begins pushing himself off the floor, “Will-”
Will closes his eyes and crushes his lips to Hannibal’s, silencing and shocking him.
Hannibal lets his eyes slip closed and returns Will’s kiss, deepening it with a tilt of his head.
Will follows Hannibal’s lead, tilting his head to slot their mouths together perfectly.
Each of them let out a sigh of satisfaction. In that moment, nothing exists but the two of them, conjoined. Will runs his fingers through Hannibal’s hair and pulls back to softly kiss Hannibal’s bottom lip.
They open their eyes and gaze in wonder at each other while Will continues to stroke Hannibal’s hair.
He presses another kiss to Hannibal’s parted lips and can't help but grin, “You taste like tequila.”
Hannibal chuckles and wraps his arms around Will’s waist, “You taste of lime.”
Will laughs at that and rests his forehead against Hannibal’s, “In all seriousness, I am still very drunk, can we go to bed?”
Hannibal nods and softly kisses Will’s lips again, “We should.”
Will reluctantly pushes himself up from the floor and pulls Hannibal up with him. He turns off the record player and helps Hannibal turn out all the lights of their cottage, leaving the mess to be dealt with in the morning.
Hannibal then takes Will’s hand to lead him to bed but Will stops him. “Wait.”
Will intertwines their fingers and pulls Hannibal closer. “I just want to let you know that didn’t only happen because I’m really drunk. And I want it to happen again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. And forever. Okay?”
Hannibal grins at Will, his chest feeling like it could burst. “I know.”
Will squeezes Hannibal's hand and places another firm kiss against his smiling lips. “Good. Now, let’s go to bed.”