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“We could leave disappear now,” Hannibal suggested lightly, unable to keep a slight edge of snideness from his tone. "Tonight. Feed your dogs, leave a note for Alana, and never see her or Jack again. Almost polite.”

He tried to inject a cool amusement into that last comment, but found he was annoyingly incapable of forcing his lips into a smile. Will had stolen the ability from him, just as he had stolen Hannibal’s love, and worse, his most vigilantly protected quality, his trust, the one thing he never gave to anyone. Yet he had gifted it to this man without a thought for anything but the precious, regrettable fantasy that the two of them could make a new life together; that there was such a thing as soulmates and he had finally found his own. His Will.

But his beautiful, brilliant Will was also vindictive, cruel, and ungrateful. And like everyone else who betrayed Hannibal, he would have to pay. So why was he giving Will one last chance to prove his loyalty, to betray the others instead of Hannibal? It nauseated him that he could be so weak for the tousle-haired boy who held his heart in his unfeeling hand, treating it like the merest, most forgettable trifle. Still, there was nothing he could do to resist it. Perhaps now, if Will had the chance to truly consider what a life with Hannibal would be, the marriage of true minds and the freedom to admit to himself he wanted the blood, guts and ecstasy that always seemed on the verge of bursting between them, Will would care. Hannibal needed Will to care, so badly that it was a matter of continual, excruciating humiliation.

Hannibal blinked slowly after making the suggestion that they run away tonight, as if to reflect a logical thought pattern with his nonchalant demeanor, and did not deign to acknowledge the tiny stabs of pain this caused him. Since his suspicion of Will had turned from horrified disbelief to prideful insistence to himself that he didn’t care, his eyes had been sore and reddened from holding back tears. The dull throb behind his eye sockets deepened, travelling down his throat where it itched and twinged from wanting to let childish sobs escape, giving vent to his smothered despair at last. The small incisions which were cast by Will’s betrayal spread further, leaving internal lacerations with loving precision so perfect they could only be caused by pure hatred. Will knew that he was loved, and chose to meet that love by using it as a weapon to leave Hannibal alone in a cold cell, isolated from his cherished creature comforts and the ability to kill, yes, but worst of all -- best of all, probably, from Will’s perspective, Hannibal would be locked away from Will, and Will would never even have to think of the murderer again, outside of his nightmares.

He supposed that if Will even noticed his present discomfort, he either would not care in the least or might actually take pleasure in seeing his supposed friend in this miserable state. Any emotion he gleaned from Hannibal’s countenance would only serve as his latest ammunition. Some masochistic side of Hannibal actually longed to see how Will would hurt him next, due to the perverse pride he felt in his love’s growing ability to give into the darkness.

No one had ever had power over him like this, and it made Hannibal want to take the big, gleaming serving fork out of the lamb and use it to bleed Will slowly, watching the life drain from his eyes as he realized that Hannibal knew exactly what he was up to, and that now he was no different from any of the Ripper’s other victims. He could treat Will like an ungrateful pig, certainly, up to a point, but he knew that any chance to sink a blade into that luscious flesh would only leave him feeling so helplessly intimate that he’d be likeliest to weep through the process of licking and lapping Will’s oozing blood, then prying him open to taste his organs, mourning their bond even as he activated it by joining them forever. It wasn’t the joining he had wanted, but he told himself it would suffice, and was infinitely preferable to having no part of Will. If he could not claim his love, then certainly no one else must ever be allowed to do so.

While this disconcerting barrage of inconvenient emotion played out subtly over Hannibal’s conflicted features, Will watched him carefully, tilting his head slightly as his incisive blue eyes seemed to admire the play of firelight over his friend’s sculpted face.

“Then this would be our last supper,” Will noted, lifting his fork to place a morsel of lamb on his tongue in that same teasing way he had recently taken up of eating in front of Hannibal, always seeming to suggest he wanted them to eat each other, always lighting a carnal fire in his friend which he was in no way equipped to handle, or at least so Hannibal assumed in his bitterly offended rage.

Hannibal watched Will chew, still enamored with the strong workings of his lovely jawline and the distracting glide of his throat on the swallow, and bestowed a sarcastic smile. No one should be so beautiful and betray him so callously and be allowed to live, obviously.

“In this life,” said Hannibal, and Will paused in his incessantly flirtatious table manners, putting his silverware down, taking the napkin from his lap and folding it thoughtfully (not correctly, of course, but that was another irritating contribution to Hannibal’s affection), placing it atop the table before his palms pressed to the surface, the motion slow, Will seemingly torn between certainty and some obligation towards hesitance.

Finally, he stood up fully and looked over at Hannibal with a decisive nod. “Okay,” he announced.

Hannibal’s mouth dropped open a bit and his amber gaze flew helplessly to Will’s face expecting to hear a punchline, a dismissive quip just to put off confronting Hannibal for the time being, or perhaps something more definitive such as, “But first, you’re under arrest,” just before Jack Crawford and a drove of armed agents stormed the castle.

Will chuckled and put his hands in his trousers’ pockets, watching Hannibal with what looked for all the world like genuinely warm, inviting affection. “I bet you didn’t think I was gonna say yes, did you?”

He strode to Hannibal and then knelt before him, clasping the killer’s face in his hands, the sweet scrape of callouses over smooth-shaven jaw and cheeks. Hannibal shivered and stared into Will’s eyes, frighteningly undone.

“What are you doing?”

Will smirked, but somehow it was an infatuated smirk. “You were testing me,” he stated, leaning in until his lush lips, smelling of red wine just as Will’s whole aura held an unquestionable aroma of desire, hovered precariously close above his friend’s.

Hannibal did not know what to do. He realized he had never not known what to do, not since he was a child, and the moment was as fascinating from a psychological perspective, and as a connoisseur of the emotional spectrum, as it was starkly threatening. His big, strong hands trembled, rising to catch Will’s elbows, and Will tipped his pretty face, brushing a barely-there, agonizingly gentle kiss to Hannibal’s mouth.

“Did I pass the test?” Will asked, tender and teasing, and Hannibal growled, grabbing Will’s neck and throwing him harshly to the floor. He kept his hand pinned tight to Will’s throat as those limpid eyes admired him, practically thanked him for the punishing response to his kiss.

“You have been working to expose me all along, even as we grew closer, even as I shared more and more of myself with you,” Hannibal accused darkly, looming over Will, kneeling with his spread legs over Will’s torso, his free hand planted to one side of Will’s head, his breaths coming in frantic pants, but Will was infuriatingly calm, only a few tears slipping from his eyes along with a flair in his nostrils to show how Hannibal’s words touched him. Pathetically insubstantial. If Hannibal ever let himself give into his tears, he would cry for weeks, howling and tearing everything and everyone around him to blood-soaked shreds.

“You didn’t deserve to be tested, but as you know, you have the unique ability to turn my head with your wiles until I am prepared to make unsafe risks to my continued freedom.” Hannibal sniffed pridefully, but his venomous tone and the harsh red glint in his eyes only served to unlock more of Will’s softness.

“You...can squeeze me...tighter,” Will gasped, barely able to get the words out around Hannibal’s snug grip.

Hannibal shook his head, growing damnably hard as a result of the kiss still tingling on his mouth and Will’s pliable body beneath him.

“Why?” he asked simply, not bothering to gild the words in further extravagant barbs, needing the answer too much for his usual bombasity.

He loosened his hold on Will, but still glared down at him as his friend replied hoarsely, “I want you.”

Will reached up towards Hannibal’s face again but couldn’t reach. He kept his hands there anyway, stretched up and longing, admitting. “Just you, Hannibal. I don’t want to catch you anymore except for myself.”

“But you--” Hannibal’s voice went gruff with more smothered emotion, barely held in this time. “You were so sure of yourself, your holy high ground, you were so certain that I was prime evil and deserving of nothing more than your revulsion and revenge.”

“You surprised me.” Will smiled as more tears cascaded down his face, leaving pale tracks over his cheeks, staining his lips in salt. “Maybe I didn’t know everything. Maybe you didn’t either.”

Hannibal let go of Will and stood, stepping over his friend as if he was a vaguely-remembered impediment to his necessary departure. Without another word, he stalked away, going into his room and sitting on the edge of his bed, the heels of his hands digging harsh and hard into his knees. The pain slightly satiated the hot, horrible surge of love that had finally bested him, making it vital that he be alone, yet he had left Will unharmed, with the clear option to follow him. Hannibal wanted to be above such passive-aggressive machinations, which screamed follow me, love me, love me, love me, love me, need me, but sadly he was now aware that he had been manifesting these little invitations towards Will since their very first meeting.

The tears burst from him in a raw explosion as his restraint crumbled along with his armor. Hannibal scowled around the rottingly expansive weeping that took over his body, making him keenly aware that he had already been grieving Will’s loss, had been broken over it more than any other aspect of the betrayal. The inevitability of losing Will was what mattered, not that Will had lied or schemed behind his back or violated his trust.

Will didn’t say anything either when he appeared in the bedroom, just went to Hannibal and kissed both of his cheeks, swiping the tears away and pulling Hannibal’s face to his belly, Will’s fingers threading through Hannibal’s hair to circle soothingly against his skull, then the base of his neck.

Hannibal moaned and slumped forward, crying so shamelessly that he had soon soaked Will’s shirt with a combination of tears and saliva, but Will didn’t mind.

“I’m sorry,” Will breathed, even though Hannibal had never apologized for the full immensity of his crimes, hadn’t admitted about Beverly or the other Ripper murders in as many words, had only offered a pithy sorry for Abigail, framed in more lies, cruelly allowing Will to believe she was dead. Hannibal hurt Will again and again, but Will never recoiled from his touch, and even in the aftermath of a plan to bring Hannibal down, Will surrendered to him again, giving more than he received as if it was easy and natural, far more inevitable than hatred or betrayal.

Hannibal pushed Will back a few steps and fell to his knees, unbuttoning Will’s slacks and zipping them down as his friend gasped, his hips automatically bucking towards Hannibal’s face.

Through his tears, Hannibal sent Will an approving smile. What a good boy. Just as he had always hoped he would be, so well-behaved for him. Yet now he had to worship, had to let his love pour all over Will as surely as his tears had, for beyond the humiliation of admitting the love, there were the gates of paradise, and he could not resist them for another moment. His pride had held him back from apology as much as his self-preservation, but now he must begin to make up for it all, to admit to himself he wanted to make it up to Will, that hurting him came with an aftertaste of his own devastation that had rocked him to his core. A memory of the first night he had sat in his office alone while Will was locked away in the BSHCI struck him with just as much pain as it had when he stared into the empty chair, then over at the clock and back again.

Hannibal tugged Will’s trousers and boxer briefs down, sparing a moment of heart-swelling affection for the sight of those tight grey underpants which had long since stirred some of his basest fantasies. He would really have to have Will put on a show for him wearing only those sometime, especially since his Will was such an accomplished performer. He caressed Will’s thighs and calves and ankles with lavish attention as he guided him out of the clothing, and then he watched, growing harder and finding it almost impossible to breathe, as Will responded by quickly unbuttoning his shirt, letting it fall to the floor so that he was naked under Hannibal’s ravenous attentions.

He was like a god, Hannibal decided, licking along the curves of his hips, cupping his exquisite ass and squeezing, biting at Will’s thighs. No, he was an angel...he licked up the inside of Will’s thigh, savoring every minute sensation of tasting him, his warm, firm, perfect skin, no. A devil...and just as merciless as all three. Hannibal would have felt no better than Will’s latest pet, lost in gratitude for being allowed to finally touch, admire and give pleasure to his friend, if it were not for the way Will went on moaning, wanton and almost pathetic, grabbing at Hannibal’s hair, shuddering until he felt sure that Will must have wanted this almost all along, nearly as badly as he did himself, perhaps even equally so.

The dream of them as partners, equals, lovers every day forever returned to twist and toy with his mind and heart, and Hannibal responded by licking up the salty, precum-slickened length of Will’s heavy, bobbing member, adding several pumps of his hand in time with his greedy slurps until Will’s noises laid further siege to his already-compromised self-control. Hannibal pulled his hand away, placing it tightly on Will’s hip to encourage his thrusting as he kept his mouth sealed around the considerable, delectable erection which he had certainly been born to give rise to, to see through to the depths and heights of the most deplorable, exultant pleasure he could bestow.

Will indulged the invitation, fucking Hannibal’s mouth with hard, savage thrusts until Hannibal’s throat ached more than ever, until fire and hymns sang through Hannibal’s veins, but then Will must have lost patience with foreplay, because he drew himself abruptly from Hannibal’s mouth, leaving him with a powerful sense of deprivation that made him look up with a pleading expression. Then he learned that Will was not, after all, merciless.

“Come on,” Will whispered, pulling him to his feet and kissing his lips with searching, needy fervor, undoing Hannibal’s tie sloppily, with slight frustration until he finally got it undone and could focus on the shirt buttons, but by then his adorably overwhelmed behavior caused Hannibal to growl, ripping and flinging off the rest of his own clothing and devouring Will’s lips in heady, deep kisses, biting his lips and sucking his tongue, unable to get enough, to spill out his worship fully enough, but he knew he could, if Will would allow it.

Will’s mercy was beautiful; he let Hannibal place him belly down on the bed, then went up on his knees and spread his thighs, his fingers digging into the bedding, let Hannibal open him slowly with long curls of his insatiable, broad tongue over his asshole, then sharp thrusts of wet heat pressing inside until Will’s swore vehemently, just Hannibal’s name and an impressive tapestry of obscenity which earned him more of his lover’s pleased smiles and finally some vocalized praise. Despite all the times he’d been filled with pride over Will’s progress, his transformation, most of all his unpredictability, Hannibal had kept himself from saying certain affirmations aloud before. Instinctively, he had guessed that Will wanted to hear the words as much as he longed to bestow them. Perhaps Hannibal had feared the way this would bind them more tightly than ever, but now the fear seemed foolish compared with the joy they could possess in possessing each other.

“Such a good boy, Will,” Hannibal soothed as he slicked lube all over his uncomfortably alert, thickly aroused cock. He had never felt so full of erotic yearning, and he found he could even admit it now, finally, because of Will’s big eyes, deluged in lust, catching glimpses of Hannibal over his shoulder, because of the way he then dropped his forehead to the bed with an animalistic groan.

“God! Hannibal.” It was Will’s own form of worship, simple but highly satisfactory. He balled up more of the sheets and blankets in his hungry fists and pivoted his hips up, offering himself completely, making Hannibal’s heart plummet, a plaything in Will’s hands, but Will was just as weak for him. “Just-- Hannibal, please.” There was no care for anything more than begging and receiving, no remnant of moral fortitude or even hate, which bordered so close on love that sometimes for both of them the two could merge, but now there was only patent, euphoric adoration.

Will let Hannibal enter him with slow, luxurious care, his weight pressing into Will almost as intensely as his cock pressed him open further and further, and he sighed and gave vent to wet little mewls as Hannibal began to move, stroking deep inside him while he kissed his ear, licking the endearing shape of it that had always driven him wild, sucking and biting the lobe, breathing in Old Spice, sweat, tears and Will.

It was too much, too rich with sensory pleasure to be believed, Will’s beauty colliding into him with every thrust and slam and grunt like a kaleidoscopic vision from which he never wanted to escape, the taste and feel and smell of their union making him dizzy, incapable of holding back. He went up on his knees, grabbed Will’s hips and fucked him as hard and deep as he possibly could, gasping praise for Will’s exceptional behavior and unbelievable beauty in every language he knew, the words far more jumbled even than Will’s own continuous, raunchy litany.

He came with a sharp surge of bliss that made the whole world go pins and needles and white and bright for several prolonged moments that seemed to pass in slow motion, his entire being given over to Will as his seed spurted thickly inside his lover. Hannibal grasped Will’s neck and choked him as he rode out the orgasm with fiercely heated rutting until Will, who had been stroking his own cock with a halting, shaky hand, exploded into orgasm, biting his lower lip so that it bled under the force of the pleasure.

Next time, Hannibal would teach Will the value of patience by forbidding him from touching himself while being fucked, but for the first time this was perfect, an almost complete lack of rules and structure and yet Will could not have been more heavenly and hellish, more exactly what Hannibal needed to the last detail.

“I--God,” Will panted once Hannibal pulled out of him with a regretful sigh, and they fumbled into an embrace, facing each other on their sides, Will’s leg thrown over his hip, Will’s hand cupping his face more needily than ever. “I think I’m obsessed with you. I want to drown in your eyes, I want you to take me and take me until nothing is left. I..”

Will let out a sound somewhere between a sob and a laugh. His voice had been left ragged under the pressure of Hannibal’s hands, and clearly talking was harder work than usual, but he had to explain, get this clear in his mind: “I want to hate myself for this, but I can’t. I don’t know how I let this happen.”

“You didn’t let it happen, Will.” Hannibal’s eyes twinkled and he smiled indulgently. “That is why your affection for me means so much more than it otherwise would. You do not give your heart lightly; you may not have ever given it before--”

“Not like this. And not, for fuck’s sake, to my sworn enemy.” Will rolled his eyes as a roguish smile tweaked his lips.

“I had to win you over, and many times I feared I lost you in the process.”

“You should have lost me, you prick. You were selfish and so goddamn cold, so focused on protecting yourself and having me at the same time, no matter what you had to put me through to make it happen. But now,” he said throatily, palming Hannibal’s bicep, then stroking back to his neck, up into his hair to tug. “You’re defenseless, aren’t you? So don’t brag.”

“Are you in love with me, Will?” Hannibal inquired, licking his lips, smug.

“What do you think?” Will’s fingers slid from Hannibal’s hair to caress his back, his nails grazing, then sinking in, leaving faint scratches until Hannibal made a sound like an overly petted, contented kitten. He would have to encourage Will to scratch harder, but for now he simply wanted to see what his love would do next of his own volition, out of the inspiration of his own previously unguessed-at fantasies.

“Then how could I possibly help bragging?” Hannibal could not resist: he grinned, obnoxiously and delightfully pleased with himself, and Will’s faux-grimace melted into a laugh. “And how can you? After all, my heart was no easy prey. We had that in common.”

“I find that I want to lick your love up to the last drop,” Will confessed, playful and serious all at the same time, “And take it inside me and keep you, give you me until I’m so oversaturated that it is sickeningly indulgent.”

Hannibal kissed that naughty mouth with all the strength he had left in his heavy-limbed, emotionally exhausted body, then pressed his forehead to Will’s and just toyed with his curls, thinking he could happily do so for hours, and Will smiled as if it brought him indescribable comfort to be so pampered and held.

The answer couldn’t have been easier to find, especially because it had been true since he’d walked into Jack Crawford’s office to begin profiling a very unusual profiler.

“I’m yours, Will.”

When they regained the ability to get out of bed, there was much to do. Feed the dogs, leave a note for Alana, never see her or Jack again, almost polite.

“I’m yours, too,” Will replied belatedly as he snuggled his head into Hannibal’s shoulder.

Their plane was speeding down the runway, ascending into the sky, and they were leaving together like they were supposed to. There were more surprises in store, more treats and adventures which Hannibal had carefully planned for them when they had first hatched their scheme to escape this life, and as excited as he was to let those wonders unfurl, watch them play out in the light of Will’s eyes, nothing could be sweeter than this very moment. Hannibal’s fingers laced through Will’s on the armrest between them and he smiled, kissing the top of his lover’s rumpled head.

“I still find it somewhat impossible to believe that you are mine,” he admitted, voice muffled in the mop of fluffy brown hair as he breathed Will in. “You shall have to try very hard to convince me, Will.”

“Good,” Will said, yawning, then smiling softly, eyes still closed. “Because I can assure you I’m up for the challenge.”