Hannibal knew that Will Graham lives within the borders of an unending battlefield, the sole warrior and casualty of a hundred years war where the reason for hostilities has been lost to time.
He also knew, deep in his olfactory system, that Will Graham was losing the war.
Their session had been late and reluctant, but Hannibal had tempted Will to take the bitter medicine of psychotherapy with the promise of dinner, the scales of justice balanced with a sin on one side, and the perfect balance of flavours on the other.
Their session had been a difficult one. Will had been vibrating and distracted and entirely unfit to drive when he arrived. He was quick to temper and seemed entirely wrong, unlike himself. They sat in a silence that felt sticky like the static charge before a thunder storm, with Hannibal perfectly poised and pressed on the right, and the wild man that was possessing Will Graham opposite, snarling.
Hannibal is a good psychotherapist, and he knows where to press and where not to on a well-trained level that can pass for instinct to those not in the know. Not that Hannibal doesn’t have instincts; Will is fascinating, he smells dangerous to the part of Hannibal’s brain that is wired to pick these things up, and Hannibal has been drawn to him from the moment they met.
Still, he presses. He asks about the day, he asks about cases, he asks about the dogs and the traffic and the kind of inanities that would ruffle Will the wrong way when he is so unnerved. A deliberate shot off his bow designed perfectly to get to the bottom of what is happening.
Instead of lashing out, or anything that Hannibal had predicted though, Will rises carefully, looking clear and determined. “I can’t do this tonight, Hannibal” is what Will says as he comes apart, the animal emerging from the seams of his control.
The warm, sweet smell of dinner hangs in the air. Hannibal has read extensively on primal urges, on the smells that beckon the human animal to its wilder side. The blood and gore, shit and sinew animalistic monster that lies beneath that is unleashed through cardamom and saffron.
Hannibal is an artist of the human mind, and he is a well-regarded high-society psychotherapist, but even that, and all the knowledge of the human condition does not foresee Will Graham stalking the two steps across the room, before bracing his strong, outdoorsman thighs on either side of Hannibal’s perfect front crease and growling in his ear, “I don’t know what is over me but I can...not...hold myself across from you making faces and waiting for me to fall apart while looking like a starched photocopy of a real person. I want to wipe it off your face, I want to make you scream, this is not me but goddamnit, please tell me you feel this” and thrusts his erection against Hannibal’s starched shirt.
Will runs his hands through Hannibal’s hair like he’s checking for wounds, or just examining the best place to place them later. He bites and nuzzles his ear, and against its delicate whorls and delicate, succulent lobes whispers “This is not what I planned, I honestly, honestly wanted dinner, but I am going to undo you, Hannibal. I’m going to choke myself on your cock and then when you’re nearly undone, I’m going to bend you over your perfect ledger and make you take it until you’re as ruined as I am. And then we are going to eat at your table, where I will then take you again, and again, until I can’t do it anymore, which will be when my cock falls off so fucking prepare yourself-”
Hannibal uses his reserve of strength to push Will from him, launching himself up. He sees himself reflected in the warped reflection of the polished brass tchotchke nearby - his hair wild and dishevelled, erection obscenely bulging his trousers, face flushed and his expression failing to constrain his arousal about as well as the rest of him.
He looks at Will and takes a deliberate deep breath.
They launch at each other and it is violent, a battle for control that Hannibal knows he will lose, that he wants so desperately to lose in this singular case, to this singular man. Will kisses hard, sucks on his tongue and it is not a kiss for the movies and not a kiss for anything other than taking and giving and obtaining. Hannibal is bent over the sideboard and Will is draped over his back, so hot, hot like the devil on a warm summer’s day, palming Hannibal’s aching, boiling erection through his pinstripes, while Hannibal’s hands get to know the fine grain of the teak. They are not quiet, Will is a grunting mess and Hannibal is no better, the pressure on his cock perfect, and the teasing grind of Will’s erection on his ass, perfect and yet awful and nowhere near enough.
Will gets the trousers undone and they drop to his knees and Will is in there, his tongue a humid dream as he prises Hannibal’s underwear down and fucking goes right in. It would be crude to make a comment about hunger when someone is eating you out so perfectly, but Hannibal is ravenous, bucking and mewling and absolutely gone by the time Will has had his fill of bringing the awful, shameful noises from Hannibal’s vocal cords. He undoes his jeans, (Hannibal is fucking a man in decade old jeans and a belt that has seen better days and he doesn’t care), and rubs the head of his cock where his tongue was a few moments before, frenulum following frenulum, and oh, it is torture and bliss and Hannibal would likely confess a few minor crimes now if Will had the temerity to ask. He doesn’t. Instead he throws his all into pushing slow and deep, and taking Hannibal as he promised. Maybe not on the fine mahogany of his table, but there’s time later to examine that finer grain on that table with his fingertips.
Will’s cock is enormous in the best possible way, girthy and the kind of punch that men and women dream of when decrying that there is such a thing as ‘too big’ with secret smiles and wistful sighs. He isn’t long, but he is rough and perfect and so thick, Hannibal’s brain is perfectly focused on the thickness to the forgetfulness of everything else, even the smell changing from salivating to burning as dinner lies forgotten in its 350 degree prison.
It is adrenaline and loud, sweaty, half-dressed sex that Hannibal has not had in years, and he would put his money and professional reputation on the line that Will has never had this. These things always burn themselves out quickly and Hannibal comes with a whimper and a jerked insult against his two hundred year old hardwood and Will, obviously startled, roars his orgasm, a harsh one-two buck of his hips followed by a long, shudder and writhe as he empties himself as deep as anyone is able to go.
The silence is stunned, shocked. Will pulls himself out of Hannibal with an agonised groan, and shoves himself sticky and disgusting back inside his antique jeans. He turns on a heel in a perfect half circle to head for the door, the small glimpse of his face that Hannibal sees a picture of panic and dismay.
Hannibal grabs his hand before he even thinks about it, his speed near-supernatural with the need to preserve this development and not let the perfect opportunity walk out of the door to wrap its car around a tree. He pulls, and Will crumples, his breath suddenly wet in Hannibal’s scapular triangle. He is shaking and hot, obviously warring inside himself. Hannibal nudges a kiss into his mouth as a gift, as a reconciliation, as a prophylaxis against this being the only time he gets to feel all the passion and release of Will Graham’s internal war.
He coerces Will to his dinner table and they eat dinner in a silence that is calmer than before, both struggling for the twin necessities of energy and eye contact and mostly mutually failing at both, and Hannibal puts Will to bed in his guest room before 10pm. Once his breaths even out into sleep, Hannibal moves to his private, secret bathroom and inspects the damage. He has a indolent purple line along his fourth rib and the kind of tight muscular cramp that comes from extended time pressing bendable bones against unyielding surface. He has a thumbprint on his right hip but not his left. He has burst blood vessels in his left eye, and a kind of lightness in his posture that he has not seen for a very long time. He has always marked easily.
When he wakes in the morning Will is gone, and his cleaner is on her knees scrubbing the mingled stains of their DNA from the carpet.
To Hannibal’s great surprise Will turns up for his next appointment without reminder. He had expected to have to lean on Jack Crawford and play a few carefully held cards in order to get Will to darken his door, but he is there when he opens to check, sitting primly in a suit.
When they settle, Hannibal asks him how he has been.
“I was in court today” Will says, indicating his suit as for explanation. It is surprisingly nice, well cut and in a middle-weight fabric, not entirely suitable for the season, but who spends time outside in this day and age when the snow swirls? He continues “My deposition was straightforward, but my head felt full of thoughts I couldn’t work through.”
Hannibal pauses, adjusting a stray pen before answering “What thoughts are these? Intrusive thoughts can be a sign of many things, but mostly down to tiredness. Have you slept well recently?”
“I haven’t slept properly since last week.” Will answers, clearly, his eyes wide with determination. Then, like a snake, he slithers from his chair and falls to his knees in front of Hannibal. He looks up through his lashes and is a sight, is the kind of vision lesser men would raze cities for. Hannibal nods, the acid rising. Will has his trousers undone and his throat round Hannibal’s cock lightning fast. He’s still mostly soft when Will gets his lips on him, but oh, Will is expert at getting a rise out of him at the best of times. Hannibal feels his cock jerk and harden within the confines of Will’s throat, feels Will’s tongue tracing expert coaxing patterns upon his shaft as he buries one hand in Will’s curls, and the other in his own mouth to keep the sound down.
He hears his next client’s Lexus arrive far too early as Will is undoing his own belt, and the slick sounds of Will stroking his gorgeous cock, obviously seeping with pre-ejaculate to allow enough lubrication to make such obscene noises. Hannibal feels his orgasm coalesce in his thighs, his muscles fluttering a sign to Will that he is close. He whines around the fist in his own mouth, and feels Will come against his shoe as Hannibal empties himself down the vice grip of Will’s groaning, whining, vibrating throat.
They disentangle and don’t speak, but the silence is not what it was after their previous encounter. It is warmer, conspiratory. Will has the quirk of the beginnings of a smile on his lips, swollen and bruised. Hannibal moves to let Will out, but Will crowds him against his own door and lets Hannibal scent him, smell the crook of his neck and taste the sex-sweat sheen on his skin before he kisses him, tasting strongly of spunk and confidence and smelling of the illicit promise men make to each other with pheromones and musk.
Hannibal gives himself a moment to compose himself and wipe the evidence from his shoe on the curtain, resolving to tip his cleaner handsomely at the end of the week.
There’s no pretense now. Hannibal asks Will to come for dinner and enquires about the time he needs to be at work the next day. When Will says he has the day off, Hannibal can only reply warmly, a single “good” that sends a surge of arousal down the ropes of his own nerves. Will breathes his approval in a short burst, and they hang up before it goes far.
Will is enthusiastic but he is ill, it is obvious to Hannibal that this new obsession with Hannibal’s prick is not something that is supposed to be expressed. It has all the hallmarks of a true inclination, he has no thought that Will does not want to be on his knees before him, or pressing beautiful bruises into Hannibal’s own supplicating flesh, but the urge, the actual act of doing so is likely related to the beautiful smell of illness that radiates from Will’s brain.
Hannibal has never been an ethical man, and having a moral quandary while he prepares the liver of an extremely shrill graduate student would be highly hypocritical of him. He can feel himself reacting to the sex and its promises, long forgotten parts of him waking him as unfamiliar buttons are pushed, ones usually hidden under the more accessible switches of murder, butchery and the primal thrill of victory.
Will arrives without vocal announcement, though the hum of his car and the snick of the lock as it opens to his gentle push is the first Hannibal hears of him. He plays dumb though, gasps his faux realisation when Will drapes himself over his back and kisses his neck. It is so out of character, so prematurely domestic that Hannibal thrills to it.
“Did you leave the door on the latch for me?” Will whispers against his ear, as he roughly palms Hannibal’s prick. “Were you standing here, preparing everything for me as if I need this excuse to fuck your brains out? I’m going to, you know. I’m going to have you tonight.”
He undoes Hannibal’s trousers and flicks his apron out of the way. “You’re so wet for me already, your head is so wet and I can feel it straining into my hand. Can you still cook if I’m jerking you off?” He begins to move his hand, slowly, lightly, barely a touch. “I think you can, I think your knife skills are so good you could slice anything wafer thin right up to the moment you come all over the food.” His hands are good, but Hannibal is not ready to come against his marble counters just yet. He twists and kisses Will with heat and edge, scoring his lower lips with the sharp edges of his incisors and imagining taking it as a morsel, something you could pass of as a foreign delicacy to an appreciative but ignorant audience.
“No,” he pants, feeling the ridge of Will’s erection. “I will not be distracted by you yet. Go get wine. Here’s a list, go to the cellar and pick something. I will cook” he is distracted by Will consuming his mouth again “I will cook and we will eat and then I will have you, but I insist on it being in that order.”
Will smiles, and disappears. Hannibal breathes out a breath he’d held in for far too long, and begins to prepare the vegetables, slicing them thin enough to trace the speckled pattern of the marble countertop, his hands steady as a rock.
Dinner is lively and erotic. They drink far too much wine, Will having bought up all the bottles on Hannibal’s list, rather than using judgement, likely a wise choice as Hannibal suspects he drinks PBR. Hannibal never gets drunk, but he can feel himself going past the point where tipsyness dissolves into that liminal area where bad ideas and good ideas swap nametags and become one and the same. Will however, is drunk, and a beautiful sight. Hannibal winds him up with his food, with the conversation that is casual yet sexually dangerous, pushing the boundaries of what people should speak of. Yet mostly it is the food and wine doing the job of winding Will up, the gamey rich tang of the liver and the melted vegetables accompanied by a velvety polenta would put anyone into a mood for languid, liquid sex. Hannibal is not immune to his own food-magic, and he feels the richness settle in his bones and make him indolent with demand. When Hannibal clears the plates, he comes back to find Will reclining with his thighs spread. Hannibal gives in to his desires and curves his spine down to kiss Will, taste the wine on his tongue and give into the memory of how his tongue feels.
Will takes him roughly over the table using the contents of the butter dish as lube (the butter put out despite no bread being served was a little suggestive, but Hannibal has to indulge). Despite it being so similar to their first fuck, barring the precise placement of the bruises Hannibal will have tomorrow, it feels different, the comfort lying over his skeleton like a protective layer of fat. Will is considerate, less primal and more of a lover. He still fucks hard but it is with passion rather than instinct, and he holds Hannibal’s hands down by the wrists, letting Hannibal’s fingers cling and grasp into nothing. He stirs against Hannibal’s prostate with the plush head of his cock and Hannibal sees stars and comes abruptly against nothing, pulsing hard and extravagantly. Will continues to fuck him, but he is losing it, obviously something has changed in his head and when he comes it is without the extravagance of their previous encounters. He pulls out with a gasp and comes against Hannibal’s back and shirt with a tortured cry before slumping down as if his strings had been cut.
They lie under the table like stargazers, not speaking for a moment. When Will starts seizing, overheated and wired wrong, Hannibal cushions his hand beneath his head to help him ride through it, and finds himself stroking Will’s hair with tenderness, letting himself think of nothing but this.