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they’re the kind of jokes that are only funny if you tell them right

Chapter Text

Someone at the opera is the first to point it out, which makes sense, because what Godforsaken reason would a bunch of Hannibal’s WASP friends have to assume otherwise?

“I love that your father is so doting. Very tactile,” a woman in a mink says, her hand on Will’s arm. At least she’s wearing gloves, he thinks, feeling slimy as he tries to pull away.

Ex-fucking-scuse me?

“Really, my children cringe and flee when I so much as attempt to kiss them goodbye at holiday dinners. But you,” she goes on, with a twinkle in her eye. Or maybe that’s just the immense diamonds she has hanging from her ears. “You just eat up the attention, don’t you? Oh, there’s nothing wrong with it, you know, being Daddy’s little—.”

“Pardon me, Mrs. Lourdes,” Hannibal cuts in, no expression on his face save a polite smile that doesn’t reach his eyes. “I believe the intermission is over.”

“Oh, of course,” Lourdes startles, waving a lace fan in front of her face. “Silly me! I was just thoroughly enjoying myself, talking with your—.”

“I don’t want to be late for the third act, Daddy,” Will stresses, stopping her so he, at least, can be the one to embarrass himself instead of leaving it up to practical strangers. For once, what he’s telling his fellow operagoer is actually the truth; he does find Le Nozze di Figaro comedically interesting.

The corner of Hannibal’s mouth twitches.

“Then we shan’t be late, darling,” he says, and thankfully turns his back on Lourdes without another word, Will’s hand tucked into the crook of his arm.

 

 

“It says here that your father made a reservation for a king-sized bed. It was probably a clerical error, I apologize that no one caught it earlier,” the clerk says, and Will goes from relaxed-weekend-in-Cape-Cod to why-does-everyone-make-jumps-even-I-can’t-explain. Christ, did everyone keep a bit of Freud in their back pocket for situations like this?

Hannibal, courteous and secretive as he is, can’t be here to defend him, as he’s currently unpacking their bags from the car. If only this clerk knew about some of the bone saws in their luggage, maybe then he wouldn’t be so flippant about it.

“So, sir? Two beds, right?” the clerk asks, and Will accidentally glances at his nametag—Daniel, it says—and shit, he knows the guy’s name now, which makes it a little bit harder for his tattered morality to justify siccing the Chesapeake Ripper on some defenseless kid who’s just trying to be helpful at a summer job.

“Um, no, it wasn’t an error,” Will croaks, playing with the pen attached to the counter, scribbling little marks into the already ink-stained wood. “Just the one bed.”

Totally unexpected, Daniel blushes and leans in conspiratorially, peering out the lobby window as Hannibal walks up the drive.

“Nice,” he says, and Will feels like if he was off duty, Daniel would probably do something incredibly frat boy like high five him hard enough to make his palm sting.

“Uh, thanks?”

“Will that be all, sir? Here’s your key,” Daniel says, professional again, though he winks as Hannibal turns to lead them upstairs, Will managing an expression he hopes conveys some sort of horrified camaraderie.

Well, if people were polite about it, who was he to correct them.

 

 

“And how old are we going to be today?” the sommelier asks, refilling Will’s glass and talking to him like he’s three instead of a living, breathing adult.  

A muscle beneath Hannibal’s eye flexes beneath his skin, and Will knows he’s about to be responsible for another sounder of three. Not that he particularly minds, in this case, because it’s his birthday, fuck you very much, and why won’t people other than Hannibal just leave him alone.

Unceremoniously, Will blows out the single candle sunk into the crème brûlée in front of him, planting his chin sullenly on his hand. Elbows on the table, visibly pouting, and Hannibal ignores it all in favor of cataloging which parts of the wine expert will be best served fresh or would keep as frozen.

“It is very thoughtful of you to take your son out to dinner, Doctor Lecter. My parents wouldn’t even think of contacting me after the stunt I pulled with my sister’s business loans last year, but that’s a story for another time,” the sommelier backtracks, at Hannibal’s blank, uninterested look.

“What did you wish for?” Hannibal asks, when the other man has departed.

For this, Will can smile.

“Oh,” he says, pretending to examine his nails. “I think you know.”

 

“Your daddy sure sounds foreign,” Bert says, belching loudly as he crushes a sixth empty beer can, tossing it in the vague direction of the half-empty cooler.

Will preferred to fly fish rather than deep sea, but Bert had driven up to Maryland to see his sister, and it would be heartless to turn away one of the few friends he’d had as a kid. So, they took a buddy of a buddy’s boat out, and here they were.

“You got some old Transylvanian vampire inheritance money waitin’ for you when he croaks?” Bert goes on, teasing although it’s clear that he and Hannibal—despite every sign pointing to why they shouldn’t—get along.

“He’s my boyfriend, dumbass,” Will says, not really mad. He’d met Bert working in a boatyard after Willy Graham, Sr. was already dead, so it’s not like Bert actually knew who his father was. “And he’s not Romanian.”

Bert tosses another beer to Hannibal, who catches it, the freak, without even looking. He’s wearing cargo shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, probably to be funny, but it does weird things to Will’s stomach when he realizes it’s really not as goofy-lookin’ as it’s supposed to be.

Daddy, he mouths to himself, as Bert starts whooping, jumping out of his chair to see to the tug at his line.

Huh.

 

“Well, you were making out like crazy when I first met him, so no, I didn’t jump the gun and guess you were related,” Bev says, stabbing her straw through the remains of her iced coffee to get the syrupy bit at the bottom.

“That would be too much tongue for kissing a relative. Unless you hadn’t seen each other in a long time,” Jimmy snorts, and Will bites the inside of his cheek because he will end up laughing otherwise.

Tough to believe, sometimes, that everyone sitting here is working toward an advanced degree, when it’s so much like middle school.

“Hey, Will,” she says, hand on his wrist, and he admits to himself he likes the feeling of being comforted, even if he doesn’t entirely know what it’s about yet.

You know what it’s about, Graham.

“It’s okay to like it, if you like when people call him that. One of the benefit’s of the age difference, I guess. Not like we have any right to judge you; you do realize what we wanna do for a living, right?”

Cutting open dead bodies, to start.

Zeller, who looks thoroughly uncomfortable with this conversation, coughs loudly but meets Will’s eyes for a second. Nods.

Okay, then, he thinks. Okay.

 

Alone at last, the dogs snuffling and whimpering in their sleep, Will weighs his options.

He’s never much cared what people thought of him, even going out of the way to be especially ornery to keep people at arm’s length.

This was harmless, and it could just be between the two of them. And any other person who, even innocently, tried to put two and two together.

Scrubbing a hand over his face, he leaves it at that, getting up for the bottle of Kentucky bourbon on the counter.

 

Just run with it, he tells himself, trying not to panic. Just fucking run with it, Graham.

“What are you doing, Will,” Hannibal murmurs, feeling Will openly embrace him for the first time since they’ve attended the opera together.

“Kissin’ you, Daddy,” he drawls, on his tip-toes to peck Hannibal on the cheek, because he knows Hannibal’s weak for it when he goes all Georgia peach.

“How lovely,” Mrs. Lourdes coos, sans gloves tonight, the diamonds dripping from her earlobes substantially bigger than last time.

“I was just thankin’ him for last night,” he says, turning to Lourdes with a sickly-sweet smile on his face.

“You devil, you’re spoiling him,” Lourdes chuckles, tapping Hannibal’s bicep with her fan. “What pretty thing did you buy him this time? This suit is new, isn’t it?”

“Uh-huh. I only had to get on my knees a whole five times to earn it,” Will simpers, looking up at her from beneath his lashes and relishing the guttural noise in the back of her throat as she throws her fan up in front of her face to hide her shock.

“Doctor Lecter!” she gasps. “I would have never—.”

“You have never asked properly whether or not he was my son. Which he is definitely not, Mrs. Lourdes. Have a nice evening,” Hannibal says smoothly, not bothering to smile as she sputters and races off to tell her husband of the scandal, he’s sure.

“Now that the illusion’s shattered,” Will says, both grateful and blushing at the helping hand Hannibal offers, as they descend the building’s red carpeted steps. “You gonna mind if I still call you ‘Daddy’?”

The smirk Hannibal gives him should be illegal, Will thinks, as Hannibal’s hand drifts lower, and fucking pinches. Just a touch of his fingers to Will’s ass, and he’s ready to get down on his knees how he was saying earlier, not kidding this time.

“I’m afraid I am not going to be the responsible adult here. I wouldn’t mind, Will. Would encourage it, in fact,” Hannibal says, holding open the car door for Will as he takes the Bentley’s keys from the valet.

“Now what was that you were telling Mrs. Lourdes earlier, about getting on your knees?”

 

Chapter Text

“Are you still critiquing that same article?”

“You’ve inspired me to be vindictive.”

“You’ve inspired yourself to be vindictive. It’s not my fault the author decided to base their research on outdated information from two decades ago,” Will protests, but turns a happy shade of pink at the thought of Hannibal thinking of him. “Also, it’s one a.m., so you’ve officially had ten hours of screen time today; are you wearing those glasses the optometrist recommended?”

He can hear the international news headlines on in the background, the steady, muted tap of Hannibal’s fingers on his tablet. But no answer from his Daddy, and he smirks at the opportunity to poke fun. Hannibal doesn’t like the small reminders that he’s getting old, but Will absolutely loves the silver in his hair, the cute squint when he’s trying to resolve something without being too obvious he can’t read it. And the looks they get in public nowadays. In the past, he would’ve avoided them like the plague, but now he welcomes the judgment.

Hates to say it, but he does more than tolerate the stares knowing he’s got the most dangerous man in the Northeast wrapped around his little finger.

“Daddy,” he presses. “Are you wearing the glasses?”

Hannibal grunts. “Yes. And now you owe me a question, darling. You’re not just sitting at home pining away, are you?”

In fact, he’s lying in bed watching Great Performances on the small flat screen he sneaks into their room whenever Hannibal’s away for work, but he’s not about to give Hannibal the satisfaction that he’s managed to give his youngish, hails-from-Podunk-Nowhere boyfriend some culture.

“I am, actually,” he says lowly, stretching lazily across the too-empty bed. “Bored out of my mind, waiting to fall asleep. Your voice helps.”

Helps that it’s comforting and deep and pack-a-day-rough, though he’s only seen Hannibal smoke twice in the long chain of months they’ve been together. Maybe it’s just his imagination, giving him what he wants to hear. Either way, a slow, hot tendril of arousal stars to build in his gut.

On TV, a baritone with a gorgeous face and too much makeup on belts out something that makes the audience tear up a bit, their eyes shining as the camera cuts out to the crowd.

Know the feeling, Will thinks, listening to Hannibal read aloud to him from the article a journal editor has sent him to review. Hannibal’s accent is thick enough that Will can tell he’s genuinely tired, and the words all blur together in his own mind, but the musicality of it is even more familiar than the sound of his real father’s voice, as faded as it is in his memory.

His hand, of its own volition, creeps down his naked chest towards the waistband of his boxers.

No, bad.

“…and the neuroplasticity scale results were transformed via Platt-Krauss correction, see Appendix B. Even with correction, scores were demonstrated to be statistically significantly different among treatment groups A, B, and C…”

And Will should really have a problem with this being the material he’s currently planning on getting off to, instead of Hannibal saying literally anything else (Gawd, he’s going to have to re-condition himself not to pop a stiffie in his Statistical Analysis class if he keeps going the way he’s going).

Suddenly, the unimpressed monotone on the other end of the line goes quiet, and Hannibal practically growls, “Why that hitch in your breath, Will? What are you doing without Daddy’s permission?”

Will stalls halfway through adjusting the pillow he’s shoved under his hips.

“Um,” he says, unhelpfully, scrambling for an excuse. One of the dogs has jumped on the bed. He’s seen something horrifying on the TV that he’s not supposed to have in here. There’s been a freak earthquake and he’s just jumped across the room to save some priceless artifact from falling.

What he says is, “M-May I have your permission, then?”

Praying his voice doesn’t sound diminutive enough for Hannibal to do something incredibly evil like scoff derisively and deny him, he finds his hopes answered a few beats later, Hannibal still probably laughing himself sick in that stupid posh hotel in Philly.

“I always encourage clear communication from you, so I should reward good behavior. It’s not every day that you ask for what you want, Will.”

Yes, because you always seem to know exactly what that is and do it for me.

Will thinks on the food, the rare books, the Ripper headlines, the frigid, untouched stream where they go to fish, not to mention the freaking car, earlier this month, and trembles at the thought of how much more he would get if he actually opened his mouth to ask for it.

Decides, his throat dry, that there’s no time like the present to try it out.

“Can I—I mean, may I, touch myself?”

Hannibal would probably prefer the more clinical term, but Will’s always liked the way the euphemism sounded.

“Good behavior and good manners. You’re being suspiciously accommodating tonight.” There’s no accusation in his tone, maybe even a smile. Will bites his lip to keep his own face from splitting in two.

“Gotta keep you on your toes,” he pants, his hand in his underwear now, stroking. His slit’s already dripping, enough to coat the glans, though he’s barely done more than lift a finger to dial Hannibal’s number. Geez. His body already knows what’s coming next.

“Grab the lubricant from the bedside table,” Hannibal says, a strict direction this time, and Will’s cock twitches in his hand.

“Okay, okay,” he huffs under his breath, but he’s really just trying to quell how embarrassed he feels, despite no one watching, at digging around in the drawer with his boxer-clad ass bobbing in the air.

“Are you naked?”

“No. Wearing underwear.”

“Take them off, put them on my pillow.”

Will would make a joke now about panty-sniffing, but he thinks Hannibal would probably demand that he spank himself as punishment, and it was really no fun to play it like that when Hannibal wouldn’t be home to get in a few extra smacks at him for another three days.

“You’ll be allowed to touch your cock just before you finish, but I want you to try to get off using only your fingers.”

“Christ, Hannibal,” he chokes out, because by the low rumble in Hannibal’s voice, it seems they both aren’t wasting any time tonight.

Pardon?”

“Daddy, daddy, sorry for taking the Lord’s name in vain, Daddy,” he murmurs, going for innocent and pulling it off perfectly based on the frankly tortured exhale he hears over the phone. His screen is burning hot next to his face, but he doesn’t dare pull it away now, or put it on speakerphone, lest he tempt the connection to cut out on the ancient thing he hasn’t let Hannibal talk him into replacing just yet.

“Wicked boy,” Hannibal says fondly, and Will chuckles softly, runs his fingers against the seam of his lips. Hannibal didn’t specify whether he should start and end with lube alone. Over the low static of the phone connection, he still hears Hannibal typing on his iPad and groans, wondering if his Daddy’s acting at unaffected or if he’s just really that much of a control freak, trying to multitask sex and work in the same breath. Knowing him—despite the intriguing possibilities of the first option—it’s most likely the latter.

And why does that still turn you on? Will thinks needlessly, lying naked on his back with his lower body propped up, stretching his knees back towards his shoulders. The tip of a saliva-drenched finger makes it to his hole before Hannibal cuts in again.

“Lubricant,” he reminds, and Will should be terrified, because how the hell. But doesn’t complain when, after the first push, his index finger slips in, body still tight around the digit but giving just enough to make his stomach flutter, his skin growing warm. Tossing his head back against the pillow, he crooks his finger back and rubs at his insides, searching deeper.

“…and the control group was found to have various sociodemographic characteristics that were not identical to those found in Sturgeon et al., despite random assignment intended to mitigate…”

Will would shoot up indignantly in bed at Hannibal going about his fucking business like Will’s not trying desperately to fingerbang his own prostate into oblivion for both their amusement, but he’s kind of otherwise preoccupied now, and all the righteous anger he manages culminates in a neglected whine that he’s sure is high-pitched enough to wake the pack downstairs.

“Keep going, Will. You’re doing well,” he hears, somewhere between re-lubing his fingers and guiding a third one in, and he’s basically crawling up the wall by now, heels scrabbling for purchase, but it’s the right angle, and fuck, that feels nice.

“Feel p-pretty good,” he gasps, phone slipping away from his shoulder from the sweat and the odd contortion of his body, but he can still hear Hannibal even though the volume’s softer, his brain filling in the blanks where they exist, as if Hannibal’s right next to him, coaching him through this without even needing to physically put his hands where they’re supposed to go.

He rides his hips back against his right hand, the other teasing lightly against the taut skin of his sack. The wet noise his fingers make as he spreads them inside makes his whole body shiver, and his balls tug warningly.

“Gonna. Can. May I? Daddy,” he babbles, thinking he better not have imagined Hannibal saying, “Yes, darling,” as he tunnels his fist and jerks himself off quick as he’s able, scrambling to aim for the blankets instead of his own mouth—God—as he comes over the dark blue sheets.

He’s still panting and humping uncoordinatedly against his fingers when his phone rings, Hannibal’s call somehow gotten dropped in all his flailing. Or maybe it’s just the service company telling him it’s time to buy a new fucking contract.

“That sounded fulfilling,” Hannibal greets, and Will sighs, half in relief, half in disappointment. Once, their call had cut out while Hannibal was overseas, and he’d missed Will’s noisy climax, talked him into repeating the process just so he could hear it.

Will crushes the now-sweaty sheets beneath him, shifting the topmost one towards the foot of the bed so he can go downstairs and put it in the laundry. The thread count’s so high that nothing beneath the single blanket suffered any damage.

Maybe in a minute…

“It was. Would be better if you were here, but I can wait. Although it was a great surprise, you reading that terrible article while I jerked off really wasn’t the lullaby I was hoping for.”

It’s more difficult to read Hannibal without some sort of visual cue—is he hard in his pants, are his eyes shining, like he’s expecting something in return?—but he knows he’ll get a smart remark back if Hannibal wants a dirty photo or a sleepy description of a handjob right away. Or he won’t say anything specific now and just come home ravenous for Will at the end of this ridiculous conference.

“You’ve become greedy,” Hannibal chides, though there is too much congratulation in his voice to take him at face value.

Will’s eyebrows raise tiredly at the familiar lyrics, as Hannibal literally starts singing him a freaking lullaby. Of sorts.

“Oh, no I’m not spoiled. It ain’t spoiled if you’re proud of me for bein’ it, Daddy. Proud enough to sing The Doors to me so I’ll fall asleep.”

He can’t stop the warmth from bubbling up in his chest at that.

God, him watching Great Performances, Hannibal humming Jim Morrison to him over the phone. They really had insinuated themselves into one another’s personalities, despite how hard it’d initially been for them both to change.

“Goodnight, baby,” Hannibal says softly, and Will knows he only says it because he thinks Will’s fallen asleep.

Despite how much Will wants to whisper his pleas to hear the endearment again, he doesn’t make himself known, just switches off the TV, closes his eyes and snuggles into the scent of Hannibal’s pillow, tossing the dirty clothes weakly aside. Problem for the morning.

He smiles as Hannibal goes on over the phone, heedless of his supposedly sleeping listener. 

"And in conclusion, the emotional connection between the subjects and their loved ones creates a platform..."

Keeps quiet, and listens to the sound of his favorite voice.

Chapter Text

Will hears the sound of water running from the tap in the bathroom, and blinks awake lazily, glancing at the clock.

Five forty-five. Time for work in a few hours, but Hannibal was up unusually early today.

Sitting upright and rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Will reaches for the courteously closed door, flinching at the comparatively bright light of the bathroom as he steps over the threshold. Eyes promptly going wide, he nearly trips over his own feet and faceplants into the sink as he realizes what Hannibal’s about to do, razor poised over the point where mandible meets skull, hovering just below his left sideburn.

“What—No!” he manages to gasp out, knowing it’s stupid to take a sharp object away from his boyfriend while said boyfriend’s using it—practically like taking a rare steak away from a hungry tiger—but acting purely on instinct to save what his mind has unhelpfully nicknamed Daddy’s Almost-Beard.

“Do you need the sink, darling?” Hannibal asks, equanimous, as if it’s completely normal for Will to barge in without knocking and try to wrestle something out of his hands. Brow furrowed, Will pats insistently at the foamy underside of Hannibal’s jaw with a hand towel snatched from the rung, his boyfriend finally relinquishing the razor in favor of understanding what clusterfuck of a thing is happening in Will’s cluttered brain at the moment.

“Is something wrong?” he asks, taking the towel from Will and hurriedly washing off the rest of his face. “Did my phone ring? Is there something downstairs?”

“No, no,” Will says, because at five in the morning, it’s the only word he can remember, but also because, “Why are you shaving? I thought—Well, I mean, the five o’clock shadow is always nice, but I thought you were growing it out for a reason.”

This is a slight exaggeration, as they both know that Hannibal had only allowed his stubble-then-almost-beard to go unaddressed due to after-hours patient emergencies in the last week that had rendered the activity less of a priority, but it’s too fucking early for Will to more coherently beg Hannibal to grow a full Castaway beard to satisfy his curiosity with Daddy’s Facial Hair.

Hannibal is a decent enough human being not to stare at Will as if he’s just grown a second head. But just barely, Will frowns to himself, watching Hannibal’s sharp canines gleam in the mirror.

“Does this reason have anything to do with you enjoying the way I would look with a beard?”

Will manages not to sputter, but it’s a near thing, arms crossed over his chest, then planted firmly on his hips when he feels the former position’s too vulnerable.

“Hey, fifty percent of the time, you tell me how to dress, so I get to add my own two cents about your appearance, right?”

He glares challengingly at Hannibal, while daring himself to feel embarrassed about standing up for himself. Getting Hannibal to concede to anything was a miracle in itself, and Will had the common sense to admit that an uneven give-and-take was as close to equal reciprocity as he was ever going to get out of a psychopath whose idea of a good time was constantly pushing everybody’s buttons.

“I am not going to allow you to dress me, even fifty percent of the time,” Hannibal says finally, but merely gives his face a more thorough washing-up and returns the unused razor to its case. Will leans closer to peck him on the cheek and get at a stray bit of foam with the clean edge of the towel.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, he wants to sigh, but settles on, “You’re a very nice man, Daddy,” tucking himself against Hannibal’s side and trying to enjoy his victory in private, though his overly pleased, wild-eyed expression doesn’t convince anyone.

“No, I’m not,” Hannibal mutters, Will humming contentedly at the scrape of long, slightly unkempt stubble against his shoulder as Hannibal kisses him there and disappears back into their bedroom.

Will stares at the angry red mark left on his skin until it fades to pink, and smiles like a fool, lip caught between his teeth.

Chapter Text

 “Hey, Hot Dad alert, ten o’clock,” Beverly whistles, and Will rolls his eyes.

“The boss told us to go get lunch, not perv on some older dude who’s probably already married,” he points out, already irritated that their lab director was apparently too good for the Marriott-provided buffet and wanted “a real lunch” for everyone from the health food store down the street.

Work conferences. Sigh.

“Well, he’s definitely not married, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to be soon,” Bev says, shaking him, and he looks up to the shiny marble storefront across the street—a jeweler whose products he could never hope to afford pre-Hannibal—and nearly swallows his own tongue.

“That’s my Hot Dad,” he says, like a complete idiot, as Bev scoffs, “Yeah! In a ring shop. A fine jeweler’s, or whatever, but a fine jeweler’s that happens to sell wedding rings!”

Shit, Will thinks, because barely thirty feet away from them, perusing a display counter while the single employee wraps up multiple?—multiple!—small containers into a bag with a gold logo is Hannibal Lecter, looking for all the world as if he’s just another regular Joe, picking up something nice for a loved one on his lunch break.

“Look in the window, Bev, they sell other things. Maybe he’s buying himself a watch or something,” which is a pretty weak excuse, because he’s seen Hannibal’s timepiece drawer at home and it’s not like he’s going to need another for at least the next hundred years.

“Okay, that’s good, don’t get ahead of yourself. Maybe you should go over and ask him. If he’s buying that stuff for you, it’s not like confronting him about it earlier is gonna ruin the surprise any more.”

Will groans. “Benning’s gonna kill us if we’re back late,” he says, having to physically push her down the sidewalk to keep her from rubbernecking the jewelry store like it’s a crime scene.

He hates how heavy his own steps are, wondering whether he should turn back, just for a minute, to ask Hannibal what he was doing there. It’d only take another minute, and they could claim the cashier lines at the health food store were long…

Looking over his shoulder, he sees the clerk hand Hannibal back his credit card and the small bag, and Hannibal’s eyes suddenly snap to where Will’s stopped in his tracks, feeling very much as if the Ripper, and not his boyfriend, is the one peering at him through the window.

That stupid intimidating look better be because there’s glare in his eyes, Will thinks, trying at lightness, though his stomach’s tied in knots.

“Okay, if you’re sure,” Beverly is saying, her turn to tug at his arm as he stumbles and nearly sends them both toppling to the ground. “Uh, watch it, hot shot, this isn’t a three-legged race.”

“Sorry,” he mutters, desperately trying to shake off the shiver still crawling up his spine. 

Chapter Text

Hannibal is on the cusp of orgasm—fingers tangled in Will’s hair, the other braced on his desk, nails pressing indents into the wood, balls ready to empty themselves into Will’s warm insides—when the lovely mouth currently (rather, formerly) sucking him pulls off at the last second.

Will’s mouth opens slightly, but not as if he is waiting for the splash of semen on his tongue. More like he’s preparing to speak.

Letting out a frustrated groan that probably sounds like a dying bear, Hannibal tries to remember the mantra his genteel upbringing impressed on him about rationale in times of distress rather than doing something rash like grabbing Will’s already messy curls and finding completion regardless of what his boy is about to say.

Perhaps what his boy is trying to say, Hannibal frowns to himself, wrapping a hand around his own cock and pumping it a few times, though he is becoming less and less interested in physical gratification as he realizes that this is not Will being a tease. By the look on his face, he’s really quite puzzled about something.

“Are you—? Did you—? No, that’s not the right fucking way to bring it up, Graham,” he hears Will muttering to himself, eyes downcast on the recently shined surfaces of Hannibal’s oxfords.

Cursing to himself in his native tongue, Hannibal yanks his pocket square out of his rumpled jacket, thrown over the corner of a stack of patient notebooks, and cleans his cock off well as he can, zipping up.

“Are you alright, baby?” he asks, and this is what trains Will’s eyes back on him.

They’ve only recently added the endearment to their list of Acceptable Titles for One Another, but Will tends to respond to it with a mixture of pride and delighted embarrassment. Though this is not the case at this very moment, Will’s face quickly hardening into a scowl that has Hannibal rethinking his initial approach.

“Okay, you know how I said Bev and I were going to be at the Marriott for Benning’s conference today? Well, of course she wanted a last-minute ‘special lunch’ for everybody from a store nearby—.”

“Alfie’s Healthy Living,” Hannibal provides, just to see Will’s frown reach epic proportions.

“Yes, whatever the fuck it’s called, Hannibal,” his boy hisses, and oh.

Not Daddy. First-name basis. Terribly naughty, William.

“Their prices are appalling.”

So not the point! Look, I really have no idea how to ask this without sounding paranoid,” Will starts again, visibly swallowing, and for the first time since Hannibal has known him, his expression turns genuinely vulnerable. Mouth pulled down at the corners, eyes wet, fingers clasped together as they tremble. “Why were you at a jewelry store that advertises engagement and wedding rings in their window? Bev and I saw you while we were walking to Alfie’s for lunch.”

“I was at the jeweler’s today,” Hannibal says, and Will puts a hand over his own face, lets his forehead rest on Hannibal’s knee as he practically collapses.

“Yeah, I know that. I saw you see me,” Will explains, though his face is tilted at the wrong angle to be heard clearly. Something else to be corrected, but at a more appropriate time. “You looked at me like you were going to chase if I flinched.”

“I’m always necessarily vigilant while going about my business. Animals are biologically and behaviorally primed to respond at the sensation of potentially threatening attention.”

“Don’t dodge the question,” Will says, voice low.

It is not every day that he violates the sanctity of a work-only space to indulge, kneeling at Hannibal’s feet with that powerful and adulating word on his lips. Knowing that he chose today to do so, motivated by insecurity, brings to the fore emotions Hannibal has not allowed himself to feel for quite some time.

“I’m afraid that my explanation is too simple for all the thought you’ve put into my visit to the jeweler’s earlier today,” he says, and Will’s throat bobs again, rubbing against his calf as he looks up. “Do you remember Mrs. Lourdes?”

Gaze to the lower left, blue eyes shadowed beneath his hair. Still, Hannibal notices, his sclera are very white.

“The lady from the opera who owns a small country’s GDP in diamonds, who kept assuming you were my biological father?”

“The very same,” Hannibal smirks, even more so at Will’s hands tentatively reaching for his fly.

It was apparent to him that Will had evidently been expecting a marriage proposal or something to further commitment sometime in the near future, after seeing him making that purchase. A reasonable assumption, though he obviously hadn’t seen the contents of the bag Hannibal was still storing in his desk drawer.

“God, don’t tell me that you were there buying something for her or one of those other WASPs and I just put my foot in my mouth, accusing you of trying to propose to me?”

Will seems devastated at not having been able to sus out Hannibal’s actual intentions, and Hannibal reminds himself a second time: It is not polite, in these situations, to laugh.

“I was buying something for Mrs. Lourdes. It’s her birthday this weekend, and even after we so rudely departed from her at the opera, she invited us over to reconcile. I had been meaning to tell you, but we’ve both been working late hours recently.”

“Oh, please, she deserved whatever she got for not asking in the first place—And come on, Daddy, you normally get your ‘friends’ two-thousand-dollar bottles of wine for special occasions! Isn’t expensive jewelry kind of overkill?”

“It’s gauche to ask how much presents are worth, William,” he says, “and our rudeness to her was hardly excusable.”

“Yeah, you only turn a blind eye whenever I’m the one who’s being a giant ass,” Will scoffs, and it’s Hannibal’s turn to frown, despite the welcome caress Will gives to his dick, taking full advantage of his newly unzipped trousers.

“Oh, Daddy, come on, admit it,” Will simpers, studying his suddenly unfocused expression with a dangerous glee.

“I—ummm—don’t turn a—ummm—blind eye to your indiscretions,” Hannibal groans, Will maneuvering the tip of his tongue over his frenulum, suddenly the peripheral frustration at his earlier lost orgasm returning in the new form of surprise at himself, for such a small action bringing him so close with so little contact.

His plan to show Will exactly what the contents of his purchase were is momentarily forgotten by the prospect of upcoming release, though his plans for later—make Will hump his leg until the hardness tenting his boy’s own pants is satisfied, clean, lock up the office, head home—are a sort of retaliation. He will show Will Mrs. Lourdes’s gifts before they attend her party together, but the one piece he did purchase for his William will be a surprise he’ll save until the poor boy is not expecting it at all.

In all honesty, he had not thought of the temptation of an engagement ring, knowing they were both comfortable with things the way they were. Still, William had been right that Hannibal could not resist spoiling him with an expensive piece of jewelry, but Hannibal, out of respect, would introduce him to small things first.

The jewelry from today would be a baby step, but after a good amount of time had passed, he imagined Will would grow out of putting up a token resistance if Hannibal asked him on an excursion to Harry Winston or Bulgari next time he went hunting for gifts.

Patience was key, of course.

Good things came to those willing to wait.

Chapter Text

“I found this at Starbucks. They were having a post-holiday clearance sale. Thought you’d appreciate it,” Freddie Lounds tells him, setting down a World’s Best Dad mug in front of him on his lab bench. “You can give it to your old-as-hell boyfriend.”

Will blinks. Would now or later be a better time to point out that he’d just spilled Gel Red over the part of the table where her stupid spite-present was sitting and that it was slowly but steadily dripping onto her pretty shoes? Or should he just wait for some other horrible abuse to come out of her mouth and pounce then?

“How do you even know I have a boyfriend anyway?” he hisses, mopping up the mess with a bit of cleaning solution and rinsing the mug in the bench sink. It would be so worth it to throw it away in front of her, but as he studies it, eye twitching, he decides it doesn’t actually look that bad.

Dark blue, plain serif text. Almost like something Hannibal might keep, except for the childish letters scribbled onto the end of it, so the mug says “World’s Best Dad-dy”. God, that would be sacrilege if he gave this to Hannibal.

“Well, you just confirmed the rumors Zeller so clumsily tried to squash when I brought it up last weekend,” Freddie says casually, like she hadn’t just put one of Will’s best friends on his shit list with a snarky offhand comment.

“You’re a temp lab assistant who writes three-line copies for an online tabloid in your free time, Freddie. Last time I checked, that means celebrities, true crime, and urban legends. Not my personal life.”

She grins like a hyena. “‘Virgin recluse ensnares pillar-of-community sugar daddy’,” she says. “It’d sell like hotcakes.”

“Fuck you, I wasn’t a virgin,” he says, then, “Do you know if you’re free this weekend? Brian’s been constantly calling his parents and talking about bringing you up to meet them.”

Freddie’s mouth thins. For all her hard-won expertise at reading people irritated at her presence (usually because they have something juicy to hide), she can’t tell if he’s lying.

He turns his back to wash the mug properly so she won’t see his near-manic grin as she flees the room.

 

 

 

“It isn’t ugly,” Hannibal says generously, though Will’s now sure that’s just Polite Dad code for “it’s gonna get packed into a box in the garage sooner than you can say ‘fuck, what a waste of money’.”

“Freddie just meant to annoy me, but it grew on me. I dunno, I think it’s kind of cute,” Will shrugs, really not understanding it when, instead of Hannibal smashing the mug to smithereens right then and there, he puts it next to his usual cups on the counter and leads Will upstairs to the bedroom with a hand on his back.

“Someone’s in a hurry,” Will snorts. “At least buy me dinner first.”

Despite the joke, he can tell Hannibal’s got his gift-giving face on, and while this isn’t really an appropriate (if belated) holiday to celebrate either of them, Will figures Hannibal’s supposed to be the one getting stuff in this equation.

It’s been weeks since the whole jewelry store debacle, but Will recognizes the tiny gold logo on the palm-sized box lying on his side of the dresser. Downstairs, someone yips—Buster, by the sound of it—but Will can’t move, caught between tearing the mystery off like a band-aid or letting the moment unfold naturally.

“You didn’t just buy things for Mrs. Lourdes that day,” he chokes out.

“No,” Hannibal smiles, and Will pads over to the box, lifts the lid.

His first instinct is a technical overview of the necklace he finds beneath—is it white gold or silver; what do the jeweler’s marks say?—but he finds his breath catching in his throat, fingers reverently tracing the piece’s long, scaled tail, then back up to its bottomless emerald eyes.

He’s already dressed for bed in nothing fancy—one of Hannibal’s old undershirts and cotton sweats—but Hannibal doesn’t seem to mind, taking the necklace and asking, “May I?” so softly it nearly gets lost in Will’s own shallow breaths.

“I never wanted so much,” Will starts, not knowing if he’s talking to the inanimate jewelry—a metallic serpent waiting to strike at his heel; the cobra that coils around him, the snake he willingly welcomes to slither around his neck—or Hannibal, whose very instincts tell him to take and destroy until nothing is left.

But Hannibal’s gone against his nature, and given, felt the need to want to, and Will shivers at how real the serpent’s scales feel as Hannibal helps him fasten the necklace.

The devil nevertheless expects something in return.

“You never felt you should ask,” Hannibal whispers, kisses him on the temple before leaning back and squeezing the hand Will offers, briefly, before they both pull away. “I will begin preparing dinner, and you will join me after you finish admiring yourself.”

He gestures for Will to look up, really look, and Will shakes his head. Admiring isn’t what he’s good at, though he’ll graciously accept what he’s given.

“We should really cool it on the spending,” he says, because he can’t say thank you, not yet. “It’s getting ridiculous.”

 

 

 

Still, when he sees Hannibal sitting at the dining table the next morning, drinking out of that heinous mug, Winston curled up between him and Will’s waiting chair, he thinks he doesn’t mind too much.

Chapter Text

Fiona Lourdes was one of the oldest members of her husband’s inner circle.

Of course, it was ridiculous for men to be judged dissimilarly despite getting up there in years, with their unapologetically white beards and uncorrected laugh lines running along every juncture of their faces (their own children called Mr. Lourdes Turkey Neck behind his back), but it was absolutely monstrous for anyone to point out her own advanced age at a party held in her honor. Even worse, for Georgie and Trent to laugh at her when she stumbled over an excuse at the single candle on her birthday cake.

“What would we be up to now, Fi, sixty-seven? Would’ve been a fire hazard to include the real number of candles on that cake, hm?” Melinda, the offensive snake, had cooed, as if her own décolletage wasn’t held up by shapewear tape and a prayer.

Christ, who was she kidding. Mr. Lourdes’s lifestyle had made her old and soft and droopy, while Melinda would continue to look the perpetual elegant lady till the day she died. In bed at ninety-three, with dutiful great grandchildren who would apply a bit of blush to her cheeks and fix her hair before the doctor came to officially declare it.

“I need a cigarette,” Fiona mumbles to herself now, wanting to put the whole thing behind her. Not as if anyone would notice she would be gone much longer than it would take to “powder her nose.”

Though she no longer shared a bedroom with Mr. Lourdes, her own slightly smaller guest space was sanctuary to all material things she held dear (nothing extravagant, just three good diamond necklaces and a mink, really), which in her experience, were much more accessible than the human elements of being a Lourdes (if Georgie and Trent would just pick up the phone once in a while, for more than appearance’s sake, she would trade the gold and diamonds for meaningful contact with her sons in a heartbeat).

There’s a silver, velvet lined case of Marlboros (yes, husband, I keep my cigarettes in your precious smoke-free home) on her nightstand for emergencies, and she’s imagining their illicit taste right up until the terrifying moment she rounds the hall to her room and nearly collapses in the doorway at the noises issuing from within.

“Oh, Daddy, please, I can’t—,” a vaguely familiar voice whimpers, the sliver of space between her unusually closed door and the doorframe acting as both a temptation and an enormous red flag.

She wasn’t against a bit of good-natured necking at a party, but it sounds more like someone was having sex in her bed. Beyond the blatant disrespect, she hates how poisoned her mind has become, feeling a bit of involuntary irritation at the fact they’d been cavorting around up here and missed singing Happy Birthday to her downstairs. (Yes, Fiona, that's the thing you should be concerned about.)

Daddy?

What an odd thing to call…

Oh.

Oh.

Neither Doctor Lecter nor his…his boy…had been downstairs since the staff served cocktails an hour ago. Komeda had been asking after them, she remembered, and they hadn’t been there to chat with her about whatever inane thing the woman was intrigued with at the moment.

A low noise behind the door, and she realizes that, yes, that new murmur must be Doctor Lecter speaking to his boy.

Tiptoeing forward as much as her five-inch heels will allow, she presses her face to the doorframe carefully as possible, so not to smear her painstakingly applied makeup, and has to stifle a gasp at what she sees.

It’s not the bed they’re currently desecrating, thank God, the boy unsteadily balanced against the wall, trousers and briefs around his ankles, Doctor Lecter’s hand squeezing his left ass cheek, already red from something she can’t bear to think about (never be able to look him in the eye again), three of his visible fingers wet with something that must be lubricant.

I haven’t kept anything slick in here since menopause, she thinks, after I decided that sex with Mr. Lourdes was even more tedious than he thought it was with me.

Unless, well, unless the boy had already come here with the stuff inside of him, and Fiona bit down on another gasp at the thought.

She shouldn’t be watching. She should burst in and deprive them of their venue; throw them out of the house for using a friend’s private space for their own sexual escapades without permission.

No, that’s what Mr. Lourdes would do, she grimaces to herself.

What would you do, Fiona?

 

 

 

“The birthday girl is—oh, oh, fuck—wearing enough p-perfume for me to smell her, uh, all the way over here,” Will half-sobs, glad he’d stripped out of his jacket a long time ago, making a sweaty mess of his dress shirt as his cock has an even better time of it, dripping onto his underwear (not the pants, not the pants). He tries not to think of licking them clean later, which Hannibal will definitely order him to do no matter how fucked out he was, the big sadist.

The big, self-satisfied sadist, Will thinks and glares, as Hannibal nips at the bit of sensitive flesh behind his ear—like a wolf playing with a rabbit, his hindbrain unhelpfully provides—and murmurs, “Ask me to stop.”

They both know that Will can’t ask for anything when he’s in this state, but that he’d tell Hannibal if he didn’t want to go on. Scream, kick, bite, whatever worked. Very pointedly, he hangs his head for a moment before letting out a pleasured, frustrated groan, baring his teeth when Hannibal uses his unoccupied hand to drag his face up by a grip on his jaw.

“Ask me to end her where she stands, and I will.”

Will’s heart drops out of his chest. Not now, no, everyone would notice, Lourdes invited them personally, it was too risky. Beneath the show, she was just a lonely old woman; an emotion they could both empathize with, whether they ever admitted it or not.

“Can you make sure she doesn’t remember—shit, oh God—r-remember seeing t-this?” he trembles, though Hannibal grunts uninterestedly in the negative at the thought of leaving her alive.

It was possible, Will thought deliriously. Knock someone’s head the right way, their recent retrograde memory would draw a big, fat blank if ever pressured to remember catching them in flagrante.

“Hannibal?” he whispers, a desperate choke in his voice as Hannibal shoves three fingers into him, done discussing Mrs. Lourdes’s fate for now. “Daddy, fuck, please!”

When Hannibal’s ring finger starts pressing against his hole, he’s already gone enough, trying to shove their uninvited guest out of his mind, that it seems like a good idea. Whatever else was coming next, it would feel good inside of him.

His own hands are no longer flat against the wall, and the left one clumsily scrapes across his chest, drawing red lines, cupping his peaked nipple, the other pressing teasingly against his own forearm as Hannibal observes the full-body shiver, the twitch of his cock.

“You’re dripping a puddle onto the floor,” he growls, in awe. Temporarily unconcerned with disobedience, because he hadn’t strictly told Will to keep his hands on the wall. His boy had been well behaved enough to figure it out all on his own.

“C-can I touch myself?” Will pants, tears pooling at the corners of his eyes, four fingers stretching him. Nothing particularly focused on his prostate, but the mental stimulation of being entirely full, knowing his Daddy is the one doing this to him, fucks him better than any physical sensation could feel.

“Of course,” Hannibal hums, as if they are talking about the weather, and Will drags his hands, sloth-like, away from the wonderful pinching at his nipples, one to jack at his cock, the other to beg Hannibal’s pinky into him, to feel the breadth of his knuckles stretching him out.

It’s uncoordinated and desperate, but he’s so wet inside, and his meaning is communicated clearly enough.

When he comes a few mind-shattering moments later, it’s clenched tightly around the second joints of all of Hannibal’s fingers, to the spine-tingling warmth of his Daddy whispering in his ear.

 

 

“I think you’ll be able to take me to the knuckles next time,” Hannibal smiles, patting Will’s sore cheek with his lube-smeared hand.

“Next time,” Will promises tiredly, and uncaring of how impolite it is, collapses face-first onto Mrs. Lourdes’s neatly made bed.

“I wouldn’t recommend staying like that unless you’re giving me an invitation to something,” he hears Hannibal say.

Grinning into the blankets, Will very slowly keeps his shoulders flat on the bed and wiggles onto his knees.

“You gonna fuck me, Daddy?” he says, and chuckles at the too-quick unfastening of Hannibal’s belt buckle, doubly so at the too-loud-chirp of alarm at the doorway.

Poor Mrs. Lourdes. He’d forgotten about her.

“Providing she doesn’t make this a habit, I think I’ll extend Mrs. Lourdes the courtesy she has extended us, and never speak of this again,” Hannibal decides, and the corner of Will’s mouth quirks up in exhausted agreement as Hannibal presses a brief kiss to the back of his neck.

“Hmmm, that’s nice of you. Sorry if I pass out,” Will mutters at the mound of pillows he’s half-squashed into.

“I’ll take it as a compliment,” Hannibal smiles.

Chapter Text

Mid-summer in Baltimore is like being drenched in humidity and then dunked in a pot of hot soup for good measure, so Will abandons his shorts-to-the-knee inhibitions and dons a pair of his dad’s old dove shorts for a brief sunrise run around the neighborhood. Not like anyone’s gonna be up at the crack of dawn anyway, he tells himself, though he can’t help but pass the same two stroller-bearing soccer moms on the corner of Pine and Irving who always whisper to each other and eye his butt whenever they think he won’t notice, regardless of what he’s wearing.

“Morning,” he says uncomfortably, praying that Hannibal—whose first patient canceled, thus leaving him more time to accompany Will on his jog—a few long strides behind him, won’t get it in his head to confront them. Randy soccer moms weren’t exactly Ripper material, of course, but Hannibal had a tendency to send rude people away in tears regardless of how literally he chose to dissect them.

“Morning,” Mom #1 chirps, while Mom #2 just waves. Even in the faint streetlights, Will can see her face is pink as she tries to keep her gaze from straying.

“Good morning,” Hannibal says, from the stretch of darkness behind Will, and Mom #2 startles, grabbing onto her friend’s hand for support.

“Jesus,” she whispers, then a weak, “Oh, hi Doctor Lecter. Um, nice Adidas.”

Because he is apparently impervious to the humidity (or just pretending because he doesn’t have the gall to own running shorts), Hannibal is clad in a light t-shirt and drawstring track pants, and Mom #2’s offhand observation distracts Will long enough to imagine undoing the drawstring with his teeth for a quickie before they shower.

Shoe striking the ground at an odd angle, he clears his throat and tries not to get a full-blown erection thinking about how it must look, Hannibal stalking just a few steps behind him.

You’re gonna have to catch me if you want me, he smiles to himself, as if Hannibal’s superhuman lung capacity wouldn’t be able to lap him before he even got to the end of the block.

There’s a car at the next street corner waiting for someone to pull out of their driveway, and instead of jogging in place until it moves, Will hangs a right and goes down Poplar, listening for the rhythmic accompaniment of Hannibal’s strides following behind. It was sweet that he hung back in case anyone gave Will any trouble, and Will would’ve protested, if not for a few recent cases that had made the news in a big way.

Will always carried a phone and a Leatherman in case things got nasty, but it wouldn’t exactly hurt to have his hypervigilant serial killer boyfriend looking out for him this morning.

Especially when unusual shit like this happens, Will thinks, hearing an extra set of echoing footsteps nearby, glaring at a shadow that approaches from the opposite side of the street, tensed shoulders softening when he realizes who it is.

“Don’t worry, it’s just Krendler,” the shape calls, resolving itself into a clearer outline of a man wearing an unfortunately patterned neon sweatband. “From the townhouse across the street. Remember me?”

Will reminds himself that rolling his eyes and grunting nonverbally in acknowledgment is a good way to get people to leave him alone, but knowing Krendler—first name, first name, what’s the name, Graham? Paul, that was it—would probably just take it as a challenge. He’d spent ten minutes huffing and trying to keep pace with Will the other day, sharing in-between breaths how he was planning to go from lowly city councilman to state senator, blatantly dropping hints that he was loaded and that the people he liked were often entitled to extra holiday bonuses.

It would’ve been impressive that someone so young (Will estimated he was in his mid-thirties) had already started building himself a name in politics, if not for the fact that he found a way to incorporate ill-advised come-ons into every other sentence.

“Uh, yeah, I remember you. Could we do this another time, I’m just trying to get in a few minutes before work, you know.”

Huff-huff. “Well, that’s good and fine, but,” puff puff, “I actually wanted to l-let you know—There’s, whoo, you’re really going for pace, aren’t you? There’s someone following you, I just wanted to make sure you weren’t feeling unsafe.”

No chance of that, Will thinks privately, and tries to smile, feeling sorry that Krendler really thought Will was going to throw himself into his arms in gratitude for saving him from the big, bad mugger (or worse) licking his chops behind them.

“I’m safe as houses, I know exactly who’s running behind me. Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it,” he says, because Krendler will be distracted by the “compliment” enough for Will to make a sharp left and lose him.

“Oh. Oh! I must’ve gotten the wrong impression,” Krendler goes on, Will narrowly missing hitting him at full speed as he cuts across the street and Krendler stupidly tries to continue trailing him. “It’s,” huff huff, “kind of you to r-run with your, oh God, that’s a real burn, isn’t it? R-run with your dad. F-fitness,” huff-puff, “is so important, to maintain, to maintain in middle age.”

Will stops so abruptly, scowl on his face, that Krendler overshoots him by a few feet and has to backtrack with an apologetically confused look on his face.

“S-Sorry,” he says. “Got the wrong impression again?”

“Yeah,” Will scoffs.

“Is he your uncle, then?”

Will stays tight-lipped, listening to the early morning chirps of birds in the distance, cars starting up. Hannibal is nowhere in sight and his footsteps have gone silent, but Will knows he’s around.

“Say, are those dove shorts? I haven’t seen those in a while,” Krendler coughs, trying to fill the silence, clearly unused to addressing unresponsiveness from his conversational partner.

“Have a good day, Mr. Krendler,” Will says, and glances down at his watch without sparing another thought on his irritating almost-neighbor, sprinting away before Krendler can utter another word.

Damn. All that chatter slowed him down, and work’s in an hour.

“That wasn’t a very satisfying run,” Hannibal comments, once he’s melted out of the disappearing shadows and they’re headed back toward Chandler and home.

“Probably because you weren’t hunting down something fleeing from you with a knife in your hand,” Will murmurs, and Hannibal snorts.

“Possibly,” he says. “Race to the drive?”

It’s Will’s turn to snort. “We both know you’d beat me, old man.”

He knows that part of Hannibal’s deadliness is that he doesn’t ever give any indication when he’s about to lunge, so Will should practically expect being bodily lifted off his feet and carried the last hundred feet to the front steps, but he still yelps and beats at Hannibal’s back when it happens.

“Put me down,” he demands, Hannibal countering, “Call me ‘old man’ again.”

Will smiles and keeps pointedly silent, leaning in for a kiss instead when Hannibal obliges and sets him back on the ground.

Hannibal's still grinning when their lips meet.

Chapter Text

There is a boy—an infuriating, pink-cheeked, red-lipped nymph of a boy—that he sees nearly every morning on the way to work. 

The organic coffee shop on the corner of Roosevelt and Harper is a bit out of the way, but it admittedly handles caffeinated drinks even better than he can, and most mornings he is also treated to the entertaining sight of a young man with tousled curls and shockingly blue eyes beelining himself to the order counter with his headphones firmly planted over his ears. 

He speaks only the amount required to fulfill his request for a drink, and Hannibal sometimes narrows his eyes at the unbidden thoughts that come to his mind when the boy barks out a grumpy, “Thanks,” to the barista, thinks of taking the pretty thing over his knee and teaching him how to say “thank you” the proper way.

The boy—whose name is Will, according to the little cardboard cuff that goes around his coffee—often pretends at being too busy to be bothered with polite conversation, but from what Hannibal can discern, he is merely stressed by some deadline or other, always huddled away in a corner those last few moments before eight thirty, desperation in his shoulders until he sends whatever needs to be completed and lets out a sigh of relief. Moments later, he often slams his ancient laptop shut and naps for a few precious moments before dragging himself upright to presumably do it over again. 

All in all, a very fortunate procrastinator.

How interesting, Hannibal thinks.

Then, a week later, fate and circumstance allow him to add And a fantastic little shit, to his assessment of Will Graham. 

 

 

 

“Excuse me, grandpa, I was in line,” the boy says to him, shouldering a messenger bag against Hannibal’s side so that he will get the hint to move.

Hannibal stands his ground, and shoves the boy back, just a bit. 

“You need to learn to respect your elders, boy,” he frowns, because he’s wanted to say the words aloud—has fantasized about them in a more intimate context like any other man would when faced with such a constant excuse—for quite some time.

His response is a bit of an overreaction to such a small affront, but the boy doesn’t exactly take the unexpected conflict lying down either.

“And you should learn to respect your betters,” the boy scoffs, and a few other young people ahead of them in line turn and giggle to each other at the old man being made a fool of by this terrible boy. “Don’t think I don’t notice you staring at me from across the room, honey, I ain’t blind.”

Hannibal doesn’t deny staring, because how could he?

“But I’ll let you in on a little secret, so you don’t get your hopes up,” the boy says, bothering to remove his headphones this time to punctuate making a serious point. Hannibal’s lip twitches as the boy’s unintentionally bared throat comes into close proximity with his teeth, Will on his tip toes to whisper, “I only date within my own age bracket,” in his ear. 

Hannibal would say something else, but most of his self-control is committed to not sporting an erection in public and not tearing the poor thing’s throat out, in that order. 

“Have a nice day, gramps,” Will smirks, sipping at his drink and disappearing out the door before Hannibal can correct him about that heinously offensive nickname. 

 

 

 

Hannibal walks into the coffee shop an hour earlier than usual, but that irritating boy is there as well, and he makes a point of stepping into line right in front of Hannibal, abandoning whatever computer work he was so absorbed in moments ago to claim the spot in line that Hannibal wants.

“It’s always fun messing with you, gramps, ‘specially when you finally worked up the courage to talk to me.”

“Get out of my way, Will,” he says, because he predicts that his knowledge of the boy’s name will shock the little imp in question. 

Will’s eyes widen at the sound of his name, though he composes himself quickly.

“Knew you were watching me,” he smiles, then, knocking Hannibal off guard, “Bet you didn’t notice I was watching you too.” 

“I—,” Hannibal starts, but Will is already grabbing his forearm and scribbling something on his palm with a marker he produces from a jacket pocket. 

A cell phone number.

Hannibal nearly scoffs at the cliche of it. 

“Maybe you can call me and we can actually have a nice conversation instead of waiting on telepathy to work itself out.”

“What about not dating outside of your age bracket,” Hannibal says dryly, despite being intrigued by the offer. Silly, beautiful boy. 

“I lied, you couldn’t tell?” Will asks, looking up from beneath his lashes, telegraphing his attraction clear as if he was twirling a bit of hair around his finger. 

“You’re more difficult to read than most,” Hannibal says, because this is better than admitting he was often too distracted by cataloguing changes in the boy’s day-to-day appearance—scarf today, Doc Martens, occasional jewelry but no piercings (that I can see)—than attempting to analyze beneath the surface of what was actually said. 

“I’ll be waitin’ by the phone, honey,” Will simpers, and laughs at Hannibal’s near-stricken expression in response.

 

 

 

“Okay, not only did you not call me back after I gave you my number—You know who I am, but I can’t help but think that ‘doctor’ ain’t your Christian name.”

“I’m on call for patient emergencies, Will, and there were multiple...circumstances...that kept me from calling this past weekend.”

Though they’re packed away in the freezer now, so they shouldn’t be a problem in the future.

Will blinks.

“Still doesn’t tell me your name,” he says, chin on his palm, and Hannibal pauses in their conversation to hold the door. Frowning slightly before walking out ahead, Will was obviously not expecting the chivalry and is trying not to fixate on it. And failing, Hannibal notices, with some dark glee at the blush on Will’s cheeks, back with a vengeance from the unexpected kindness, Hannibal would like to think, and not altogether from the cold.

“Hannibal,” he says, smiling when he is sure Will’s gaze is averted, the boy staring embarrassedly at his own shoes.

“What a name,” Will says, but not in the somewhat mocking tone he’s come to expect among those unfamiliar with his family tradition. 

“Would you like to have dinner this weekend, Will?” he asks, because he thinks they’re at a point where the boy will say yes.

“Slow down there, cowboy, you don’t even know my last name.”

“Then what is it? Or are you without one?” 

The corner of Will’s mouth turns up, a bit of his former confidence returning. 

“It’s Graham,” he says. “Will Graham.” 

 

 

 

“Sorry, spot’s taken,” Will smirks, sticking his foot out in front of Hannibal in line as if to bar the way.

Someday, Hannibal promises himself, he will take this arrogant boy over his knee. 

“It’s still a few days till our plans on Saturday,” Hannibal says. “Don’t press your luck.”

“Don’t pretend you ain’t smitten already, Doc-tor,” Will drawls. “That little-ol-me ain’t the best part of your day.” 

Indeed, he is, but Hannibal cannot let him have too much slack; sets a bad example, after all.

“Perhaps you are, perhaps you aren’t,” Hannibal says, though they both know which it is. “But you’re going to have to behave yourself at dinner, so you should start now, William.”

He watches for careful indication that Will is going to let him touch, and the quiet, pleased moan the boy lets out when his palm first connects with the subtle jut of his hipbone is acceptance enough.

Will’s body instinctively curves to his own, and Will licks his lips as he croaks lowly, “Are you hard right now?” no doubt feeling the press of Hannibal’s crotch against his ass.

They are probably making a spectacle of themselves, practically dry humping in line for coffee, though all that Hannibal can think to growl is,” Not yet,” and let Will shiver a bit at the implication. 

“So, what’ll it take, then, to get you all the way interested?” he wonders aloud, his own arm snaking to trap the one Hannibal used to pull their bodies together. 

“Between the two of us, we’ll think of a few things, I’m sure.”

 

 

 

“When I said you needed to behave at dinner, I meant behave appropriately,” Hannibal corrects, though it is quite difficult to feign disinterest in the shapely foot—covered by only a threadbare black sock—currently teasing its arch over his cock. 

“They can’t see us through the tablecloth,” Will sighs, and flexes his pretty toes.

 

 

 

“Jesus, Graham, did you get mauled by a bear? Do my eyes deceive me or is that about ten monster love bites on the side of your neck?” Bev asks excitedly, and Will can already see the hearts forming in her eyes.

“You do look thoroughly fucked,” Jimmy adds sagely, Brian rolling his eyes at the Will Graham Just Got Laid Running Commentary.

“Let the man speak, you vultures,” he says, and grandly gestures for Will to do so. 

“I might’ve met someone,” Will shrugs, attempting to downplay what he’s starting to think may turn out to be the most important thing in his life in a long time. 

The way Hannibal looked at him; it was more than possessive or adoring, just some weird combination of both that had taken less than a few covert glances for Will to become hooked on. 

“Someone,” Bev says skeptically, crossing her arms expectantly.

“Uh-huh,” Will says, face warm and heart full. “Just some guy I met at a coffee shop.”