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"You what?"

"I noodle. Catfish."

Jack and Hannibal exchange glances; Jack’s bewildered, Hannibal’s faintly amused.

"I cook a very good catfish, Jack. Perhaps you would like to grace my table tonight?"

Jack doesn’t notice the tiny smirk Will shares with Hannibal.


If Hannibal must be waist deep in water, he would prefer the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean to this murky slip of river in the woods. 

"Are you sure this is safe, Will?"

He hates the way the wetness climbs his trousers (Armani, thank you) and seeps into his skin. 

Will grins, suddenly predatory.

"Hold on to me, Hannibal."

He disappears under the water and Hannibal resists the temptation to flail. 

After a moment, the water begins to thrash. Will surfaces, arm covered by the mouth of a catfish.

"Help me out here, Hanni!"

It’s disgusting - a slimy bottom-feeder like last week’s district attorney paté. 


"Goodness, Hannibal, this is delicious. What’s the other meat served with it?"

"…Andoullie sausage."

Jack still doesn’t notice the smirk Will and Hannibal share.

He also doesn’t notice their feet tangled under the table.

There are a lot of things Jack doesn’t notice. 


Fuck, Hannibal - “

Will - “


Hannibal pauses as Will snorts laughter. 

"That can’t be your favorite dish I’ve made."

"It’s definitely not. I’d prefer you make something else at the moment."

Will squirms, but Hannibal remains still.

"Why catfish?"

Will shrugs against the pillows. 

"There’s something so right about wrestling with them, you know? Like a battle. The catfish dies with dignity. None of them go down without a fight."

Hannibal cocks an eyebrow.

"I’ve seen - "

"Oh, shut up.”