People tend to forget to mention the wings when they talk about the fallen angels: there's a cruel irony in the fact that those are what make people identify them in the first place, yet they are completely forgotten when they fall.
You don't read about it in the books.
You don't see what happens to them in the movies or on tv.
Maybe they think wings just disappear, without leaving any trace, like they have never been there, a faint memory of the past, at most.
The fall burns them, consumes every single feather, leaving behind holes and pain.
It hurts so much that most angels are forced to cut them off, because it's impossible to sustain so much suffering and they'd do anything just to free themselves of that terrible pain that feels infinite, never ending, that destroys them to the core, leaving them almost empty.
Will had to do it too.
They left behind two big, ugly and messy scars on his back, irregular and thick, a constant reminder of what he was, of what he'll never be able to be again.
It has been a long time since he lost his wings, but sometimes he can still feel that pain.
Can still feel his wings burn.
He's in Dr. Lecter's office, sitting in front of him, as relaxed as he can manage to bring himself to be.
Lecter's face in an emotionless mask, completely professional and calm, his whole body seems to radiate reassurance and peace.
But Will knows better.
Will can see behind all his tricks, can see the darkness, the evil, the danger that oozes out of him, like a poisonous fluid that pours everywhere and kills everything it touches.
Sometimes it's too much, it's overwhelming, the world is split in two halves and they mix before his eyes, overlap in a cacophony that makes his head hurts, so he has to close his eyes for a moment and take slow, deep breaths, until the world is more or less stable again.
He doesn't say anything, he waits for Lecter to speak first.
“So... you believe you are a fallen angel.”
His voice is flat, like what he just said isn't really that important or interesting, but his eyes tell a different story: they're shining with curiosity.
Will can't help wondering if that's the same look he gives to his “preys”.
The situation almost makes him laugh, but manages to restrain himself; he just shakes his head.
“I don't “believe it”. I know what I am. I'm just telling you. “
Lecter doesn't say anything for a long time, takes a sip of his water and then goes back to stare at Will, who tries to hold the eye contact for as long as he can before the images start flooding his mind again.
Wordless screams, mutilated bodies, grins of satisfaction, lips red with blood, meat ready to be cooked: it's cruel, it's brutal, it's horrible... and still, he find himself attracted to it.
Will can see Lecter's thoughts like they're a slideshow, can feel on his own skin what he did to his victims, can almost taste blood and human flesh in his mouth.
He starts feeling dizzy because the stimulation is too much, but holds it together with a terrible effort.
" You don't believe me. "
" I never said that. "
" But you don't. "
Lecter doesn't reply.
And Will is tired of mind games, lies, smoke and mirrors.
He needs Hannibal to know what he really is, to know that he knows what he is: needs the truth and the freedom, and the sin that will come with them.
After all, he has nothing left to lose.
" I can prove it. "
Hannibal's eyes flick with interest.
Will manages a smile.
" I know what you are. "
Hannibal has no reaction to that, but the shadows behind him shake and moan, and Will can feel his ghosts try to reach out to him.
They look at each other again, electricity running between them, so thick and heavy he feels trapped in a web he cannot break free from.
They are on the edge on a cliff, ready to fall.
" Your first victim's name was Josh Carter. You were twenty six; he was a runaway no one ever reported missing. No one ever looked for him. His meat didn't taste particularly good, so you learned not to pick up druggies or runaways anymore. But you still keep his driving license hidden in your house. "
For about half a minute, while he speaks, Will has the satisfaction of watching Hannibal Lecter go pale as a sheet.
Disobeying his orders had sounded so sweet and liberating back then, like finally taking off an heavy cloak and breathe deep, free of all the burdens, of all the chains that were strangling him slowly.
He was proud of himself, for refusing to have his hands stained by the blood of thousands innocent lives.
But then the pain came, his brothers and sisters surrounding him, hurting him, twisting his wings, clawing his skin, beating him and leaving him bloody and weak on the floor.
They kicked him out and all he could think about while falling, while burning, while screaming in pain was: “was it worth it, in the end?”.
They're at Hannibal's house: Will is sitting on the kitchen's counter, he knows the other man doesn't like it, but right now it doesn't matter.
They study each other for a long time, Will's eyes moving across his body, only sometimes resting on his face; Hannibal fakes calm, but his whole soul is in tumult, like a trapped animal that is trying to find a way out.
Slowly, he comes closer a few steps until he's directly in front of him, almost between his slightly parted legs; Will sighs.
" Are you going to turn me in to the FBI?"
Will shakes his head; Hannibal's lips curl into an almost invisible smile.
" We both know I'm not going to do that. "
" I thought angels were supposed to be righteous. That they were supposed to fight against evil. "
" I'm not an angel anymore. "
Hannibal inhales slowly, taking the air in and then letting it out; Will watches, fascinated, almost reaches out to grab him and bring him closer.
" How did you know?"
" I can see it. It's all I have left of my grace, of whatever it was that made me an angel. I can... see what you have done, it's all around you. They are all around you. Your ghosts, your victims. I can hear them screaming, I can see what you did to them. Even right now. "
Strong, firm hands come rest on his tights, prying them open gently; they're both still dressed, but it doesn't matter: the heat between them is so strong it washes on Will's body in hot waves, leaves him breathless and almost dizzy.
He wants more, he wants everything.
Wants to feel that darkness inside him, to be filled by it completely.
Because that's what Hannibal is: he's darkness and Will is tired of being light.
" I could kill you. "
" You could, yes. "
" I did think about it. More than once to be quiet honest with you, my dear Will. "
Will doesn't reply for a while, closes his eyes and breathes in Hannibal's scent: expensive cologne, fresh clothes and under it, hidden under his facade of respectability and order, blood and murder and chaos.
" I know. "
He wants to drink it, to feel it all over himself, to be dragged down by the weight of Hannibal's sins, to be tainted by his malice: he wants to be nothing under him, to be hurt, to be overpowered and erased.
He's so tired.
" What do you want, Will?"
His eyes are dark with lust and desire, his hands keep massaging his legs, coaxing them to open more, sliding between them, grabbing them tight to keep him still, even though Will has no intention of running away.
" You. "
The kiss is brutal and sudden, makes Will moan into Hannibal's mouth, grip his shirt tight to bring him closer, until there's almost no space between them.
Everything goes incredibly quiet, the voices stop, the images disappear and there's only Hannibal pressing against him, surrounding him, almost eating whole.
Yes, Will thinks, yes.
His lips are red and swollen when they part, possessive hands not letting him go, they keep touching him and Will just wants to rip his own clothes so he can feel them on his skin, caressing all his scars, marking him and making him their own.
" What do you want?"
Hannibal's voice is dangerous, like a sword ready to cut him in half; Will knows everything he'll do will end up with his ruin.
This is my design, he thinks, this is what I wants.
He wants to be tainted, wants to be destroyed.
If somebody can do that to him, can erase what little purity and holiness is left in him, it's Hannibal.
"I want you to fuck me. "
Hannibal fucks him.
Will is face down on the bed, held in place by his big, strong hands that press against his shoulder blades, where his wings used to be, until he can feel the bones ache, until he has troubles breathing but still pushes back when Hannibal moves inside him, moans into the pillow and welcomes everything the man gives him.
Hannibal bites, scratches, licks the marks and then pokes at them more, makes them deeper, until Will is bleeding all over his immaculate sheets.
The man makes his skin a map of bruises and marks, a sign of ownership.
He feels so free, his head is clear, light, his body is stiff with arousal and desperate to get release, but the burn of it it's delicious, he needs it, needs more.
When he whispers it, Hannibal turns him on his back and bend his knees into his chest, then slams back inside him and Will screams, begs, tears running on his face, but it's not enough.
He needs to be ruined, needs to be nothing, to be destroyed.
Hannibal grabs his throat and starts choking him, slowly cutting off his air supply, making him trash on the bed, nail digging into the skin of his arm.
Their eyes are locked and there's only lust and cruelty in Hannibal's, who looks at him like he's little more than an animal ready for the slaughterhouse: but that's not completely true.
Hannibal can see something inside him too, can see that Will understands, that he knows: and this holds them together.
Will is on the verge of passing out when Hannibal removes his hand and has barely the time to get some air back into his lungs, because then the man is kissing him again.
That's when Will comes, moaning into his mouth, clawing at his back.
His mind is finally empty.