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The Empath Goodbye

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Irish Goodbye—refers to leaving a social gathering without saying your farewells. One moment you’re at the bar, or the house party, or the Sunday morning wedding brunch. The next moment you’re gone. ~From Slate.

         Will’s father had taught him the Graham family tradition at the first Christmas party they attended after his mother left. Stephen Graham informed his son that the Grahams had a proud tradition of leaving a party without drawing attention. He considered it a kindness, not to force his host to struggle through his awkward goodbyes, causing a fuss.

         “It’s called an Irish Goodbye, Will. You just fade away from the party. You do it right, no one even notices you’re gone.”

         Will spent years perfecting the Graham tradition. He was a master of slipping out of parties without bothering anyone. He would simply fade from the socializing until he no longer existed. 

         Occasionally, Katz or Price would give him shit for the practice.

         “Where did you go last night? I turned around and you were gone.”

         “How long did you stay, Graham? I swear I turned around and your car wasn’t in the lot, did you steal something?”

         Will would just smile, content in the knowledge that he had technically socialized without having to sit through hours of anxiety building drudgery. It became a game with the team, Price and Zeller trying to pinpoint the moment Will vanished from parties. Soon, his ability to leave became a legend. Hell, Jack had even asked Will to teach him how it was done after Chilton trapped him at the last FBI fundraiser.

         So, when Hannibal asked him, for the ninth time, whether he could expect Will at his cocktail party, Will accepted. What the hell? He could give his unofficial psychiatrist 15 official minutes of attention before heading home to a warm bottle of whiskey and a barrage of wagging tails. Hannibal just wanted to know Will was there, he wouldn’t even notice if the empath left a bit early.

         As Will and Beverly walked up the steps to Hannibal’s well-appointed home, she nudged him with a smile.

         “I was surprised you showed up to an etching unveiling,” she whispered as he rang the bell.

         “Jack said I should make an effort.”

         “Uh huh, how long before your Irish yourself on out of here?”

         Will grinned. “I’ll be at home by nine.”

         Bev raised a brow and shook her head. When Hannibal opened the door, he took both of Bev’s hands and greeted her warmly. Will let out a surprised grunt as Hannibal released Bev and pulled him into a hug. Will glared at Bev over Hannibal’s shoulder, waving his middle finger at her shit eating grin.

         “I am truly honored that you came, Will.” Hannibal’s voice was rough as it tickled into his ear. Will tried to ignore the odd shiver that ran down his spine. He already wanted to leave, anything to keep from examining why his pants suddenly felt a little tight.

         Hannibal pulled away and Will found himself bereft and cold. He fought the absurd urge to lean back into Hannibal’s warmth.

         “I hope you both enjoy the evening. There are drinks in the study and hors d’oeuvres making the rounds. If you’ll both excuse me, I must check on the kitchen.”

         “Chicken shit,” Bev whispered as they watched Hannibal saunter away.

         “What?”

         “Your hands were five inches from certified Grade-A Lithuanian rump roast and you flip me off instead of grabbing some? Weak sauce, Graham.”

         “He’s with Alana!”

         Bev cackled, shoving her finger in his face.

         “You admit it! The only reason you didn’t grab some is you’re worried Property of Alana Bloom is stamped across one of his cheeks!”

         “Shut up.”

         “I still say it’s better to ask forgiveness instead of for permission,” Bev made grabby hands in Will’s face. “But you’re old fashioned, I respect that. There’s Alana! Let’s ask what her groping policy is!”

         Bev took off into the study, Will rolled his eye and decided 10 minutes would be enough time to spend at this particular soiree.


         When another of Hannibal’s society cronies asked Will if he was, indeed, the famous Will Graham Hannibal talked about, Will had decided he’d served his time. Quietly, he stepped to the periphery of the room, pretending to examine some bizarre antlered picture frame that probably would have looked more at home in a Cracker Barrel than in the haute couture of Hannibal’s home. When he heard Hannibal begin another story about his days in Florence, Will slowly made his way from the study. He rummaged through a closet filled with furs, cashmere, and wool, until his fingers hit upon the sturdy canvass of his coat. Clutching the jacket, he tiptoed to the front door and wrapped his fingers around the brass knob.

         “I thank you so much for coming.” Will froze, eyes wide. Two warm hands gripped his shoulders, spinning him and relieving him of his coat in a whirlwind of action. “I know evenings like this are trying for you. I am touched you made the effort to please me.”

         Will wanted to say something, anything to disabuse Hannibal of the notion that he’d done this for him. He had come to the party because of Jack, the warm feeling he got when Hannibal greeted him at the door was incidental. He tried to protest, but found himself turned yet again, as Hannibal helped Will into his coat, taking pains to brush down the deep wrinkles. Will was turned again and furrowed his brow as Hannibal proceeded to button the coat, fingers dancing skyward from Will’s belt buckle.

         “You- I- I was just trying to leave.” Will shook his head, trying to loose the words in his mind.

         “Yes,” Hannibal smiled, fastening the last button at the base of Will’s throat. He let his hands press fondly onto Will’s chest. “I do see that, Will. And I, in turn, am bidding my guest good evening. It would be rude not to.”  

         “That was kind of the point, though,” Will said with a small frown. “To leave without making a fuss.”

         “Ah, well, then you’ll have to draw less attention to yourself as you egress,” Hannibal offered with a wink. “Or perhaps you must accept that some people are worth making a fuss over.”

         “Not me,” Will dropped his eyes to his shoes, noting how scuffed they looked this close to the supple leather of Hannibal’s loafers.

         “Hmmmm, well, better luck next time.” Hannibal mused, pushing a plastic container into Will’s hands. “A dark chocolate and orange semifreddo. I thought perhaps you would not last until dessert was served. Please enjoy.”

         Hannibal leaned forward, pressing a soft kiss to Will’s cheek. Chaste, and perfectly within the realm of appropriate host behaviors, Will still felt as though he’d been set on fire.

         “Goodnight, Will.”

         “Uh, yeah.” Will fled into the safety of the darkness, his cheek felt like it was steaming in the cool night air.


         Jack hadn’t bothered him about accepting an invitation to Hannibal’s Christmas party, but Will leaped at the invite anyway. He was still smarting from the last party and wanted the chance to prove to himself that Hannibal had gotten lucky catching him going out the door. It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Will found himself absently rubbing the cheek Hannibal had kissed for weeks after the party.

         Will had set a goal for himself – in and out of the party in under 20 minutes without Hannibal noticing. It was doable. He even had a plan. The front door was obviously too exposed. This time, he’d slip out of the kitchen, and leave the small present he’d made for Hannibal on a counter on his way out.  

         “Will! Merry Christmas!” Alana opened the door and threw her arms around Will. “We’re so happy you could join us.”

         Will had never hated the word us more in his life. He found his lip curling as Alana patted his back, still hugging him fondly. He told himself he was jealous of Hannibal, but that didn’t feel quite right, even in the privacy of his own mind.

         “Yeah, I, uh,” Will laughed shaking his head. “Sorry. Uh, Merry Christmas.”

         Will wandered into the party, casting his gaze around the room. He wasn’t looking for Hannibal, merely looking for exits. Still, it worried him that he couldn’t find the doctor in any of the rooms, even the kitchen.

         Maybe he would only stay 10 minutes.


         Will wondered why he even bothered sneaking out the kitchen. The only time he’d seen Hannibal was when Alana coaxed him to his harpsichord to lead the crowd in a round of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Will only lasted until six geese a laying before the sight of Alana grinning as she rested her head on Hannibal’s shoulder made him bolt for the door.

         It was easy, with everyone’s attention focused on the happy couple.

         Will nodded at the kitchen staff as he eased out the back door, pausing to lay the small hand-wrapped present beside a cheese platter on the sideboard. He had made it to the driveway when he found Hannibal leaning against his car, a large container resting on the roof.

         “I’m afraid you’re still rather conspicuous when you leave.” Hannibal smiled into the darkness, watching something in the shadows of the trees.

         “How- the song can’t be finished yet.”

         “Frederick took over. His sense of musicality is lacking, but even he can’t ruin such a basic tune.”

         “Oh,” Will smiled to himself, picturing Hannibal jettisoning Alana off the bench in his haste to chase down a wayward guest. His thoughts weren’t often tasty, but he liked the flavor of this particular image.

         “I see you’ve already put your coat on,” Hannibal turned to him, eyes still in shadow. He gestured to the large box on the roof of Will’s car. “For your furry compatriots, beef bones carefully carved from tonight’s meat selections. I hope you’ll give them my best this holiday season.”

         Will felt heat infusing his chest as he smiled. “Thank you, Hannibal. They’ll love them.”

         Hannibal reached into his pocket and held up the small package Will had abandoned on the side table. “And thank you, Will.”

         “It’s nothing, really,” Will felt the heat creeping over the collar of his coat. He thought about the hours he spent tying the lure, filled with little bits of his relationship with Hannibal – fragments of bone they found on walks with the dogs, a peacock feather that made Will laugh and think of Hannibal’s suits, a few threads Hannibal had clipped from a frayed sleeve that Will had secreted away, even one lock of Will’s hair, the lock Hannibal had tugged when commenting on how beautiful his curls were. “Just something silly, a bit of our history together.”

         Hannibal cocked his head, his grip on the package changed, he cradled it in his fingers now as if it were glass. “Did you make this, Will?”

         “Yeah, but you know, it’s just-”

         Will was in Hannibal’s arms, drinking in the doctor’s body heat that seemed to radiate through the layers of wool between them.

         “I will cherish this, thank you.” Hannibal whispered into Will’s ear, his lip catching the lobe and making Will gasp softly into Hannibal’s shoulder.

         “You, uh, you should go back inside.” Will forced himself out of the hug, his heart rabbiting in his chest. “Alana will be looking for you. I’ve taken up enough of your time.”

         “I never allow my time to be wasted, Will, and I only give it to those who deserve it. Alana is an excellent hostess, I’m sure none of the guests miss me at all.” Hannibal smiled, the house light catching the sharp points of his teeth. “I have performed an Irish Goodbye on my own party, it would seem.”

         Will laughed. “You’ll miss me one day, Lecter. Just wait until the next party. I’ll have a plan.”

         “I miss you every day, Will.” Hannibal ran a hand along Will’s arm as he walked back to the house. “But you’ll never be able to escape my notice.”

         “It’s annoying when you talk like a fortune cookie, Dr. Lecter!” Will called to Hannibal’s retreating back. The doctor didn’t look back, simply raised his hand in farewell as he walked into the house.

         When Will got home, he distributed the bones to the dogs and fell asleep thinking about the gentle rasp of Hannibal’s lip against his ear.

         He woke to the sound of his phone going off. Beverly had sent him 63 text messages, the last of which displayed on his screen.

Who dumps someone at a Christmas party? Poor Alana!

         Will blinked at the phone, then turned it off. He grabbed his coat and whistled for the dogs. A long walk was what he needed, a little fresh air to blow any crazy ideas out of his head. The nip of the wind forced Will to shove his hands in his pocket, where he found a hard metal object. Pulling it out, he examined a Patek Philippe watch in navy and gold – simple, beautiful, and ridiculously expensive – the epitome of a Hannibal Lecter gift. He turned the watch in his fingers, finding an inscription on the back.

Had we but world enough and time.

         Will didn’t bother telling himself that the smile tugging at his lips was because Alana was finally available.


         Will came prepared for the New Year’s party. He had a plan, as promised. He patted the small plastic pack in his breast pocket, he’d just need to find the right time.

         “Will! Happy New Year!” Will beat Hannibal to the punch, wrapping his arms around the doctor and squeezing. Hannibal looked delighted by the gesture, softly stroking his fingers between Will’s shoulders as he hugged back.

         “Happy New Year, Hannibal.”

         It took Will a moment to realize the hug had gone past the bounds of friendship. In fact, it took Beverly snapping a picture and wiggling her eyebrows to realize that he should probably release Hannibal.

         “So…” Hannibal ran a hand along Will’s arm, his fingers brushing briefly over the shiny watch that had become a staple in Will’s wardrobe. “Any plans for an exit this evening, or may I count on your presence until the ball drops?”

          If you want to drop your balls, I’ll be there to catch them - Will bit back the thought dancing on his tongue and merely smiled. “We’ll see what the New Year has in store, shall we?”

         Hannibal leaned close, lips brushing Will’s ear. “Challenge accepted.”


         It was eleven before Will realized it. He had spent the night sitting with Hannibal in a quiet corner of the dining room, talking about the merits of live theater – Will still maintained he got as much from his Puccini recordings as he did from attending the Opera in Baltimore. Their secluded location in the dining room meant Will had barely noticed all the things he typically loathed about parties – loud crowds, boring small talk, and terrible company.

         He finally checked his watch when a worried waiter found Hannibal to tell him there was an inebriated guest singing Hey Big Spender while dancing on the harpsichord. Will smiled as he watched Hannibal dash toward disaster, but realized that if he was going to make his great escape, it was now or never.

         Though he didn’t feel like escaping from his little corner with Hannibal, Will had his pride. Reaching into the breast pocket of his suit, Will drew out a string of 20 Black Cat firecrackers. They were weak enough ballistically to minimize damage to the house, but loud enough to draw a crowd – the perfect distraction for anyone hoping to slip away during a fracas.

         He walked past the study on his way to the kitchen, catching Frederick’s final chorus as Hannibal swiped at his legs and complained loudly about scuff marks on walnut inlay. With even the kitchen staff in the hall to enjoy the show, the moment was perfect.

         Lighting the firecrackers, he tossed them into Hannibal’s farm sink, the deep metal basin being the perfect spot for his bomb. Slipping back into the dining room, he waited for the first explosion. He heard Jack scream GUN and the loud thunder of the crowd running for the kitchen.

         Will took his chance, running to the coat closet and slipping out the door. He sprinted, heaving air as he skidded to a stop in front of his car and looking around.

         Hannibal really wasn’t there.

         He frowned, his victory leaving a bitter taste in his mouth.

         “I believe it’s considered rude to light an incendiary device in your host’s kitchen. Jack nearly shot my espresso machine in his zeal to save us all.”

         Will forced his smile away before he turned to Hannibal, who was hidden in the shadows of the yard. He offered the doctor his most contrite, expression.

         "I, uh, I’m sorry if there’s any damage to your kitchen. They were just Black Cats, at worst there should be some scorch marks on the counter.”

         Hannibal stepped closer, studying Will with a raised brow. “Well, as they were only Black Cats…”

         Will held up a hand, surprising himself when he let it fall to Hannibal’s chest. “I promise, if there’s any damage, I’ll come and personally scrub it away.”

         Hannibal cocked his head and smiled. “I shall let you know if I require you on your hands and knees in the near future. Goodnight, Will.”

         Hannibal turned to leave, and Will grabbed for his sleeve. “Not going to make me stay? Get a New Year’s kiss for good luck?”

         “A kiss from you would be a stroke of good luck no matter when it’s issued,” Hannibal said softly.

         “That’s a terrible line, Dr. Lecter.”

         “And yet, it made you smile.” Hannibal leaned forward, kissing the upturned corner of Will’s mouth. “Happy New Year, Will.”

         Hannibal was back inside the house before Will could make himself move.


         When the invitation for the Valentine’s Day party was issued, Will started planning early. He needed something good, something unexpected. He found the solution one night while dining with Hannibal, who complained about a tree in the yard encroaching upon his second-floor windows.

         Will had always been a climber, one of the most agile kids in his neighborhood. Maybe the solution to slipping past Hannibal could be found in going up instead of out. He settled on the plan, this Valentine’s Day, he would climb a tree to victory.

         As he waited for Hannibal to open the door, he counted the windows around the tree, giving himself an approximate idea of where it was in the house. He grinned when Hannibal opened the door, offering the doctor a warm hug and a light brush of his lips against his cheek. Once again, they wandered to their quiet spot in the dining room, after a few polite hellos to the FBI crowd and Alana, who had brought her new girlfriend to the soiree.

         When Hannibal left to chat with Margot Verger about his etching collection, Will saw his chance. He quietly took the stairs two at a time, waving off Beverly when she raised an eyebrow at him.

         Will counted the doors along the hallway, the fourth one should have a window that opened up to the tree. Sure, he’d probably get a little sap on his slacks, but even Hannibal wouldn’t be able to predict him shimmying down a tree to escape a party. 

         He opened the door to find a bedroom, filled with muted blues and lush fabrics. Will looked at the animal horns above the headboard – Hannibal’s bedroom then, he thought with a smile. A small spot of blue on Hannibal’s nightstand drew his eye.

         The lure Will had given Hannibal rested by a small stag statue next to the doctor’s bed. A place of honor, and the perfect place for it to be seen as the bed’s occupant fell asleep. The sight of a piece of himself in Hannibal’s inner lair made Will’s heart clench, he smiled at the small token as he crept deeper into the room.  

         Will moved around the leather chair and desk, giving the bed wide berth as he made his way to the French windows. He was reaching for the handle when he closed his eyes, something stopping him from exiting the room.

         “Don’t do it, Will,” He muttered to himself, even as he turned on his heel and strode back to the bed.

         He sank his fingers into the lush fabric, feeling the fine threads catch slightly on his rough hands. Will closed his eyes, imagining Alana stretched out on these sheets, her soft, delicate body the perfect complement to something so fine. His mind rebelled at the image, and soon he was imagining Hannibal stretched over him, caging him in luxury as the doctor took him apart. He had imagined himself in Hannibal’s bed dozens of times, but now he knew how much he’d enjoy the experience. He could see himself blinking awake in the darkened room, light filtering in through the window as he basked in the feeling of fine cloth and warm flesh wrapped around him.

         “If it’s the sheets that have given you such a look of satisfaction, I would gladly give you the name of the store where I procured them.”

         Will froze, cold panic seeping into his chest as he realized Hannibal had caught him, half-hard, stroking his bedroom set.

         “I, uh, was looking for a good way to leave,” Will realized his hands were still running over the soft bedspread. He snatched them back, fisting them by his sides as his face heated.

         “I see.” Hannibal walked slowly toward Will, each step carefully measured to keep Will from bolting. Will blinked, and Hannibal was in front of him, running his fingers in the trench Will had left on the bedspread. “You were looking for an exit, but you’ve found my bedroom, instead. Tell me, Will, were you hoping to go…or to come?”

         Will barked a surprised laugh, the force of which moved Hannibal’s bangs. “That’s, ha, that’s a good one, Dr. Lecter. I wouldn’t have taken you for a Freudian.”

         “It’s true, sometimes a bedroom is just a bedroom.” Hannibal looked up from the rumpled bed. Will found he couldn’t look away from the heated gaze. “But, sometimes a chase is fun only when we are caught.”

         “So, you’re saying I’ve been doing all this because I secretly was hoping to lure you to your bedroom and seduce you?” Will wished his voice didn’t sound quite so breathless.

         “I’m implying nothing, Will.” Hannibal ran the back of his index finger over Will’s flushed cheek, his eyes never leaving the empath’s. “I’m simply asking if you want me to catch you.”

         “I- it’s just- it’s not that I don’t…uh, what?” Will could feel his nails biting into his hands. The ghost of a smile passed over Hannibal’s mouth, his eyes shining in the low light of the room.

         “I’ve been told by certain rude people that my insistence on speaking in metaphors is confusing-”

         “Annoying.”

         “Ah, pardon me, annoying. With that said, let me be clear.” Hannibal’s fingers landed on Will’s balled up hands, slowly working open the clenched digits and soothing the wounds on his palms. “If you merely want to find your way from my company, then I apologize for inflicting myself upon you. I shall leave this room and no longer force you to take to the trees at the very thought of spending time with me.”

         Will felt himself shaking his head. Hannibal brought one of Will’s palms to his mouth, pressing chaste kisses on each nail mark.

         “If, however, this little exercise has been a way to attract my attention. Attention, I may add, that you’ve had since the moment you snarled at me in Jack’s office. Then, I would like to suggest a new game to play once you feel you’re sufficiently caught.”

         Will shifted his hand slightly, dazed as Hannibal leaned into Will’s touch, rubbing his cheek like a cat against Will’s palm. When Will found his voice, it creaked. “I’m caught.”

         Hannibal smiled, leaning forward, his nose gently rubbing against Will’s. The empath could feel Hannibal’s breath across his lips as he spoke. “As am I, I assure you.”

         Will chased Hannibal’s words with his tongue, licking across the curve of Hannibal’s cupid’s bow before sealing their mouths together. Hannibal leaned into the kiss, tilting his head so they slotted together. The new angle allowed Will to run his tongue along pointed teeth, delighting when Hannibal nipped lightly at him.

         The kisses became teasing, Hannibal forcing Will to chase his lips and smiling whenever he was caught. “What do you want, Will?”

         “To be horizontal and naked.” Will was too busy yanking Hannibal out of his jacket to be anything but honest with his intentions.

         Hannibal pushed back on Will’s shoulders, sending him onto the lush mattress. The doctor grabbed for Will’s feet as they bounced in the air, slipping his shoes and socks off before pressing a kiss to the arches. Will’s hands reached for Hannibal, but the doctor eluded him, nimble fingers finding their way to the collar of Will’s shirt.

         “There will be more kisses when there are less clothes,” Hannibal explained, painstakingly running his teeth over every new inch of bared flesh. Will struggled wriggling out of his shirt and shoving it over the side of the bed. Pushed back into the bed, Will took a moment to enjoy the feeling of the bedding against his skin.

         “Christ, this stuff is amazing, is it silk?”

         “Hand woven sateen and Egyptian cotton.” Hannibal flicked open Will’s belt, thumbing the button of his suit pants. “Am I to understand that I’m not as exciting as the prospect of my bedding?”

         Will sank his hands into Hannibal’s hair, drawing him up his chest for a slow kiss. “I can assure you, Dr. Lecter, I’ve found the prospect of bedding you very exciting for quite some time.”

         He slapped Hannibal’s ass.

         “Now strip, while I roll around on your sheets.” Will shimmied out of his pants and kicked them off the side of the bed. Hannibal’s breath caught in his throat at the sight of Will sprawled naked on his bed, his fingers still tangled in his tie.

         “Do you often forgo undergarments?” Hannibal sounded dazed. Will wondered if the doctor realized he had abandoned his task of getting undressed to crawl back onto the bed.

         “I often forget to do laundry until it’s too late,” Will said with a laugh. “Sorry, that kind of kills the mood, doesn’t it?”

         “Nothing could destroy the image of you naked in my bed. The knowledge that you may be bare beneath your pants at any moment may make it a bit more difficult for me to maintain a professional distance, I admit.” Hannibal caught one of Will’s nipples with his lips, sucking gently. Will arched, crying out when Hannibal replaced lips with teeth.

         “That’s a good distance, there. Maintain that.” Will rolled his hips, seeking friction and moaning wantonly when Hannibal’s thigh nestled between his legs to provide it. “Oh god, lose the pants or I’m going to ruin them.”

         Instead of getting off the bed, Hannibal shifted, attempting to kiss Will’s chest while devesting himself of his pants and shirt. The sounds of ripping fabric and the sting of a button smacking Will on the thigh were evidence enough that Hannibal probably should have at least sat up.

         Will chuckled, watching Hannibal struggle out of his pants and leave them in a heap by the bed. Hannibal turned, resting his head on Will’s stomach and glaring up at Will.

         “I’m not sure it’s considered polite to laugh when a man removes his pants, Will.” Hannibal dipped his chin, biting at Will’s hipbone as the empath squirmed.

         “I just always figured you’d be one to hang up ever stitch of clothing, tuck away your shoes, fold your socks.” Will rolled them, crawling down Hannibal’s sprawled form to press soft kisses to his chin. “I misjudged you.”

         “Ordinarily, I would have more respect for a cashmere blend, but I admit, I find it hard to care about bruising the weave when such a treasure is laid before me.”

         Will rocked his hips against Hannibal’s finding an angle that slotted their cocks together. “Oh god, is that your idea of dirty talk? Because fuck, it’s working.”  

         “My idea is to spread you across the sheets you love so well and explore your flesh until you beg me for release.”

         Will moaned, Hannibal laving at the vibrations in his throat. With surprising strength, Hannibal lifted Will from his lap and tossed him across the bed. Will grabbed for Hannibal, twisting his fingers in black boxer briefs and yanking them down powerful thighs. When he freed Hannibal from the scrap of cloth, Will tossed the briefs above the headboard, hooking them on one of the animal horns on the wall.

         “Redecorating already?” Hannibal asked as he reached for his nightstand drawer.

         Will blanketed Hannibal’s back, pressing kisses into his neck. He pointed at the lure. “You didn’t mind my last bit of décor.”

         Hannibal retrieved a black jar and pushed Will back to the pillows. “It was at that moment I knew I had a chance. I cut my ties with Alana and immediately redoubled my efforts to win you.”

         “You could have just asked me to coffee.” Will’s breath got reedy as Hannibal began kissing down his chest.

         “Will?” Hannibal’s lips rested just above the base of Will’s cock, a small smile playing at his lips.

         “What?” Will was gasping, trying his level best not to grab Hannibal by the hair and shove him the last few millimeters.

         “Would you do me the honor of having coffee with me after we’ve had sex?”

         A laugh burst unbidden from Will’s chest. He covered his eyes, feeling the flush rising on his cheeks. He looked down again to see Hannibal smiling up at him, eyes dancing with mischief. The sight did funny things to his heart. Will tried to school his expression, but couldn’t keep the goofy smile off his face. “Let’s see how you do first.”

         Hannibal smirked, drawing his nose along Will’s shaft before sucking a kiss to the tip. Will moaned his hands grabbing at his hair as Hannibal swallowed him down. The wet suction was bliss, Hannibal’s tongue flicking at his frenulum on every upstroke. When Will felt a slick finger rubbing at his entrance, he groaned, pressing hard into Hannibal’s hands.

         “Yes,” he hissed, rolling himself into Hannibal’s mouth as Hannibal breached him. “Fuck, I need more.”

         Hannibal pressed into him, finger crooking as it searched for Will’s prostate. He was rewarded with a hoarse cry when his pad rubbed it, gently adding pressure as he continued to suck Will’s cock.

         “More, more, please.” Will begged, his hands began clawing at the headboard, trying to find anything to ground himself.

         Hannibal added a second finger, pulling his mouth off Will to whisper endearments as the empath adjusted to the stretch. He rubbed at Will’s prostate in a teasing rhythm, that made Will whine and begin fucking himself harder on Hannibal’s fingers. The doctor smiles, watching Will work himself into a frenzy, occasionally dipping his head to lick at the empath’s dripping cock. When Hannibal added a third finger, the last of Will’s reserve broke, he couldn’t stop the cries and moans as he sought the stretch Hannibal offered.

         “Wanton thing,” Hannibal whispered, nuzzling the join in Will’s hip, pressing a sucking kiss to Will’s balls as they drew tight and close to his body. “You make the most beautiful noises in your desperation.”

         “Shut up, and put your dick in me,” Will growled, grabbing at Hannibal’s shoulders.

        Hannibal pressed hard, striking at Will’s prostate. Will keened, clawing at Hannibal’s arms. “Ask nicely.”

         “You shit. Fuck y-ah ah oh fuck Hannibal!” Will’s back arched as Hannibal continued his torture. “Please! Fuck me before I come!”

         Hannibal withdrew his fingers, bending to press one more kiss to the tip of Will’s weeping cock before re-positioning his legs around Hannibal’s hips. Will felt Hannibal’s cock pressing against him, and the sensation loosened his tongue.

         “God, I need you. Please. Fuck, I need this.”

         “And you shall have it, my beautiful boy,” Hannibal thrust in slowly, setting an unhurried pace as he leaned over Will. Soon, Will was reaching for him, clenching around Hannibal with every thrust as he sweetly kissed the doctor.

         The languid pace Hannibal set calmed Will’s frenetic need, and soon he settled into the slow, deep rhythm. He enjoyed the sensation of Hannibal steadfastly taking him apart, content to extend their pleasure as long as he could. Incoherent in the cradle of Hannibal’s arms, Will could only moan, letting his fingers trace Hannibal’s body, memorizing each line of muscle and curve.

         Hannibal reached between them, wrapping his slick fingers around Will’s dripping length. It was over with a few steady pulls, Will coming on his stomach as waves of pleasure muted the thoughts whirling through his brain. Hannibal followed soon after, pressing his face into Will’s neck as he choked out words in a foreign language.

         Will didn’t understand the words, but he knew the meaning. His own brain echoed it, repeating declarations he wasn’t quite ready to make aloud. With a sigh, Will pulled Hannibal into his arms, content to let the doctor steal lazy kisses as he dozed.        

         When Will felt the bed shift, his eyes slit open to watch Hannibal gently rise from the mattress.

         “If you’re trying to Irish Goodbye me after that, I’m gonna be pissed,” he murmured.

         “That would be unforgivably rude,” Hannibal agreed with a solemn nod as he slipped back into his pants, not bothering with retrieving his briefs that still hung on a horn over the headboard. “I am just running downstairs to ask our guests to leave.”

         Will’s mouth dropped open.

         The guests.

         People he worked with on a daily basis were downstairs while he was wailing for Hannibal to make him come.

         “Do you think they noticed?” Will could feel the flush creeping up his chest.

         Hannibal cocked his head to the side as he did up the buttons of his shirt. “I no longer hear the music downstairs, and there seems to be a lot of quiet chattering near the stairwell.”

         “Fuck.” Will struggled to make his sex-loose limbs work as he flailed from the bed, groping blindly for some pants. As he hopped into his trousers, he noticed a tight line in Hannibal’s mouth as he watched Will’s frantic dressing. With a smile, Will padded over to Hannibal, one sock still missing somewhere under the bed. “I’m not going to shimmy down the tree, Hannibal. I just didn’t want you to face Bev’s wolf whistle alone.”

         Hannibal visibly relaxed, the corner of his mouth upturning. “Together, then?”

         “Together,” Will confirmed softly before pulling Hannibal into a kiss.

         Hannibal threaded their fingers together and lead Will from the bedroom. As they reached the top of the stairs they were greeted with all 30 invitees to Hannibal’s party as well as the entire kitchen staff and some bewildered members of the string quartet. Jack was in a corner by the door, holding his coat and glaring at Bella, who was perched by the banister with Beverly, sharing a cheese platter. Price and Zeller seemed to be in the midst of an argument that involved positions Will had recently been in. Chilton and Mrs. Komeda had cornered Alana, who blushed as she gave the two an approximate measurement with her hands while Margot giggled. Will glared at Alana, it was bad enough she could make that estimate, let alone show it to Chilton.

         Bev was the first to notice them at the top of the stairs. She smacked Bella’s arm excitedly, sending Hannibal’s silver cheese platter flying.

         “Let’s hear it for the entertainment, everyone!” Bev stuck her fingers into her mouth and let loose a piercing whistle. Bella lead the group in a polite round of applause, even the opera guild seemed rather impressed.

         “Can we leave now?” groused Jack from his corner. Bella turned and hushed him.

         “Actually, Jack, I believe that would be the best course of action. I would like thank everyone for attending tonight, and ask your forgiveness for being a poor host this evening,” Hannibal said, practically glowing with pride. “But I must ask your patience one final time as I request that you all leave immediately. Though you were privy to the first performance, I believe my new love would be upset to think you were party to the encore. Goodnight, everyone!”

         Will’s face was flaming, he could hear nothing but the hooting cheers below. He noted in a daze that Beverly was teaching Mrs. Komeda how to properly whistle with her fingers tucked in her mouth. He turned to Hannibal with a glare.  

         “I can’t believe you said th-”

         Hannibal stooped low, throwing Will over his shoulder. With a bow, he turned on his heel leaving the party behind them.

         “If you think I’m going to fuck you again after the scene you just made, you’re crazy,” grumbled Will as he bounced just above Hannibal’s ass. “It’s going to take me minutes to forgive you, do you hear me?”

         “Apologies, Will, I was just trying to teach you how a Lithuanian Goodbye is done, since you don’t seem very good at your Irish one.”

         Will laughed swatting Hannibal on the ass as he was hauled back into the bedroom.