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The other me

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Will's hands were gripped on the driving-wheel as he drove the car fast forward. He kept glancing down on his forearm and frantically repeated:

"That's not possible!"

"No!"

"That's crazy!"

"I can't believe it!"

His body was trembling, his arm felt like in a fire. But none of that could be real, right? Jack or someone else would have noticed it and stopped Will before he would have even gotten into the car! Right?! Maybe his encephalitis returned or something! People couldn't be that crazy and… Overall like that.

Nope!

***

Hannibal was about to lock the office for today. His last patient ordered for today left twenty minutes ago and he had something in his basement which he needed to take care of… However, before he could move the key, the door to his waiting room burst open.

Will!

Hannibal recognized his scent immediately, without any need to turn around. But there was something wrong with it. Something changed and the clearest thing Hannibal could smell was the odor of blood. Will's breath was fast, panicked.

"Han-Hannibal! I… need your help." He managed to say before he staggered. Will almost fell on the floor but Hannibal grabbed him in time.

"Sit down, here…" he whispered with calm voice while seating Will on one of the nearby chairs. Immediately, Hannibal noticed one of his sleeves was teared up a little and soaked with blood. He checked Will's temperature by pressing a palm against his forehead. The skin felt cold. "What's that, Will? Tell me what happened?!"

"I, you…" Will panted. His other hand rose up to grab on Hannibal's collar. "You can see it, too?! The blood? I thought… Thought-" Will's dilated pupils rolled up and the trembling of his body got much worse. Hannibal couldn't get any real answer from him right now. Will went to a shock, unconsciousness eventually.

"Oh dear," Hannibal's hand patted his pale sweaty face. "What you've got yourself into…"

Chapter Text

Despite Will's body was off, he should be able to hear and see the world moving around him. However, his psychic got as much hurt as his body. He couldn't proceed anything. The only moment he could remember was another car drive. He lay on back seats and could hear Hannibal's breath from the front one.

Then he woke up to Hannibal pulling out a needle from the crook of his elbow.

Immediately, Will panicked again. But the backrest of a sofa he lay on stopped him from running away. Will noticed he is shirtless and Hannibal with rolled sleeves knelt next to him.

"It's okay, Will," the doctor tried to assure him with a little success. Well, doctor...

"What you put into me?!" Will yelled, then quickly glanced at his forearm wrapped in a bandage.

"Only some atropine… A lot of atropine, to force your heart beat a little longer…" Fear appeared in Will's eyes - am I gonna die? "Ah, no, don't worry, I didn't say it right. You will be fine, just calm down, please. Your body needs to relax, with no sudden or fast moves. In other circumstances, you wouldn't be able to move or feel anything at all now, but I need you to speak with me…"

"Why?! What you've done to me?! What's -" Will's fear only raised, if anything. His injured arm was pulsing and everything in his body felt strange. Like if something should happen very soon, something he didn't want to know about.

"You are the one who came to me, Will, don't forget about it!" Hannibal stroke his hair, trying to lead Will back - down on the sofa.

"And it was a terrible mistake! I've thought I'm hallucinating again…" Will checked his bandaged wound once more. "I wasn't. Let me go to the hospital, please! I'm sure someone tests are needed, maybe they can also save some DNA samples…"

"No other DNA than yours remained, Will. I cleaned up the wound," Hannibal's had slid off his curls, down to Will's cheek. With two fingers he wide-opened Will's eyelids, seemingly checking something in his eye. "Although, it wasn't necessary. Your body will be soon able to beat any infection."

Will frowned and shook his hand off. "Why would you do it?! You destroyed possible evidence! And not even one pointing at you! Oh my god, this was a huge mistake!" However, soon Will found out his attempt to stood up was kind of a bigger one. Once he brought weight to one of his legs, unbelievably painful cramps pushed him down again. Hannibal's hands softened his fall a bit.

"See? I told you, Will! You need to lay still, please. Otherwise, you might cause yourself some unexpected troubles…" Will's vision blurred once his back hit the sofa again. He had never felt this way before - like if he could move a mountain but couldn't even walk to it at the same time. The worst hangover he had ever gone through - despite he hadn't been drunk.

"What's happening to me?"

"I have a theory…" It was more than just a theory. Actually, there was almost no chance for Hannibal being wrong. But in that case, Will should be somewhere else - with someone else.

"Yeah? I'm listening." Before Hannibal could tell him anything, a stab of pain in his stomach made Will curl up. "Dammit!" Of course, there was a reason why people's psyches were usually divided from their bodies during this process. In the next few days, Will's genetic information was going to be completely rewritten, his body rebuild… Hannibal hoped all the atropine would withdraw soon and save Will from the first-person experience of how painful such a process could really be. But before it, he needed to understand what happened.

"You will be fine," Hannibal's thumb gently wiped tears from the corner of Will's closed eyes. He opened them at the touch but light in the room suddenly seemed too bright.

"I'm dying!" announced Will with honest conviction that his words were true. With eyes closed again, his hand tried to grab on something. Hannibal offered him his own palm.

"Stay with me, Will. Tell me what happened."

"You won't believe it, I don't either- Oh gosh," it felt like if something tore up his innards right inside of him. "If I'm not dying, then kill me, please!" The grip on Hannibal's hand became stronger, almost painful. But he knew Will suffered much more.

"I would never kill you, you should know that."

"Such confession gives me a lot of power over you," Will tried to laugh but the cramps were too much for it.

"Will, please, I don't know how long you will be able to speak. Tell me what I need to know. We can fight later."

"Why would you need to know that?" Will objected, but the press against his own hand made him stop arguing. "We were at another crime scene. It was a bloodbath, really… And I noticed some movement behind a near corner. No one else saw it so I just… heh… didn't tell anyone and run there myself. Damn, I can't!"

"Yes, you can. You are doing well, the pain will be gone, soon."

"Can't you just give me something-"

"I would rather not. Try to concentrate on the story, forget everything else…"

Will gave him a terrible frown. "There was a woman, she was running, didn't stop when I asked her to. So I followed her, though she was much faster. But she ran into a dead-end which finally made her stop. I point- AH! Pointed my gun on her and told her I'm doing so. She didn't seem armed but her clothes were all bloody. Not from her own blood, obviously."

"Naturally. Then she bit you?"

Will gasped and nodded fitfully. "I grabbed her shoulder and she… and… and my blood… the blood…" Will's eyes rolled up again, the pressure on Hannibal's hand eased a minute later.

He decided to let him sleep. Although, the condition didn't have much common with real sleep. Most people reported they were awake at least half of the time, just couldn't move with anything - not even an eyelid. And also felt nothing, they could only hear and see in the case their eyes remained open. Hannibal thought about it but he couldn't open Will's eyes. They would dry after a while without blinking. Instead, he wriggled free of Will's hand. There were things he needed to take care of before his unexpected guest would finish his transformation. Despite the fact of how tempting it seemed to simply sit nearby and witness the whole process.

Chapter Text

"Hannibal? Where is Will?!"

"My pleasure to hear from you, Jack. Will is all right, no worries." It was the next day morning when Will's cell phone rang about five times. And then the person called Hannibal.

"Really?! He's not answering my calls. And the last time I saw him he ran to his car with a scared face and your name on his tongue. What happened?" Was it a suspicion in Jack's voice? Hannibal frowned.

"As I said, he is fine. Or, he will be. For now, I highly recommended him to stay away from all stressors. He accepted my offer to stay here for several days. Alana is aware of that, she's taking care of his house and dogs. I'm sorry for the calls but right now it's very important for him to learn how to ignore them when he doesn't feel good enough to answer."

"How long are your 'several days'?! I need him, we are in the middle of the investigation! Several investigations…"

"As long as needed. A week or longer, Jack. After the time in prison, all those investigations were too much for him. Yesterday, he experienced a serious breakdown, we need to talk about what happened and important changes in his future life. But Will wants to return, he just needs a break," Hannibal assured the clearly nervous man.

"First of all, he should have talked with me about his plans, I'm sure we would agree on what's the best for him." Actually, Jack was sure it was all some kind of Will's plan with which he wouldn't agree, so Will simply skipped him.

"Which plans? Jack, you must understand none of this was most likely planned. He could go to me or another doctor, but you wouldn't be able to help. And he wouldn't be able to talk to you about work. Actually, that's the main cause of his troubles. Can you tell me what happened before he ran away from the crime scene yesterday?"

"I don't know. He saw much worse kills, I think. At one point he came to me, said he saw a suspicious person nearby and that he needs to go and see you. I had no time for questions, he literally ran away, as you said."

"Well then. He said to me about the same. Please, just give him some time. You know it must be serious when Will himself decided he needs a doctor, right?" They both remembered how angry the Will was when he met Hannibal for the first time. Or when he accused him of being the Chesapeake Ripper…

"Fine, but I need to at least once speak with him - now." Jack sounded worried and Hannibal would love to calm him but Will couldn't speak right now.

"I'm sorry, it's not possible. Maybe in two, three days but not now."

"Hannibal!"

"Goodbye, Jack." And so he hung up. Jack had always believed him. Hannibal must ask himself what changed. He put the phone back on the table and looked at Will. The man seemed very calm, a sleeping beauty on Hannibal's sofa.

"Your boss called. He worries about you," he announced just in case Will was listening. "But we need to keep him away. For his own good…"

Chapter Text

Jack called each day after and each day Hannibal rejected him. Watching visible changes of Will's body told him he might wake up the next day so Hannibal finally shut down all phones in the house. Since Will came to him, Hannibal had canceled all his sessions and appointments and spent most of his time at home. He had never been doing something like that but he was determined to do the best he could for Will at this vulnerable part of his new life. Actually, it could be the beginning of something beautiful for both of them. Dangerous, yes, but he never lived safe.

With a fascination in his eyes Hannibal watched how Will's body completely rebuilt under its pale skin. His smell changed completely, too, nothing of the well known human scent remained. For once, Hannibal was afraid this might affect his feelings for Will but it didn't. He always wanted him, the true Will whatever that meant - not necessarily the human he had been. He himself considered to free the beast sleeping under Will's skin but someone else happened to be faster. And in the end, it might be better for Hannibal. Now he would avoid any rebukes that he changed Will against his will…

When Will could finally open his eyes, he found Hannibal sitting on the floor, by the sofa he was still lying on. The man slept, his heartbeat was calm, breath slow and his head rested on the same armrest as Will's. A strange smell filled his nose and Will decided it must be Hannibal's scent. Despite he had never before smelled like anything else but his casual aftershave… Will stretched his stiff muscles. How long I'm lying here? He felt terrible. Besides nausea and headache, there was a general weakness. Who knows what diseases he might get from the bite! Yet, Hannibal let him there, imprisoned in his own body for days - instead of calling him ambulance! Of course, Hannibal did that! Will wanted to be mad at him, but then again, he had been watching over him all the time. It seemed like Hannibal really cared about him, somehow.

"Welcome back, Will," he rose up on his knees.

"I went nowhere," Will rubbed the bandage on his arm. "What happened? How long I'm here?! My dogs!"

"Don't worry," Hannibal had to smile, still the same man he knew - and loved. "Four days, but Alana is taking care of them. Tell me, how do you feel?"

"Terrible," he laughed and scrubbed a palm over his face. He realized he was still half-naked and eyed his phone on the table behind Hannibal. "What about Jack?"

"I told him you need some time for yourself. Now it's truer than ever before…"

"Wow, you can't just tell Jack Crawford to fuck off!" He laughed again, Jack must be sooo angry! Or something…

"Will, I would appreciate if you could control your lang-" Before he could finish the sentence, Will's hands wrapped around his belly.

"I need-!" Quickly enough, Hannibal passed him an empty bowl. Will's stomach spasmed and he spewed disgusting mixture of dark red fluid. Something clinked against the bowl's side. Will didn't want to stare at the thing but he couldn't stop himself. In the malodorous fluid, he soon recognized remains of his last breakfast and also something… Will spit the disgusting taste out of his mouth and laughed nervously, rubbing his nape.

"Is it possible that I can see a tooth in there?" He surely hadn't eaten anything toothy in the past days so what the heck?! Will's hand raised with a stretched finger, he wanted to touch the thing but-

"Well, ewww!" Hannibal let out a disgusted sound. "Don't…" Will pulled the finger back. "It's probably your own tooth, one of the old ones. You must have swallowed them while-"

"I'm sorry?! My teeth?!" A horrified look at Will's face made Hannibal quirk his lips. "I'm sure my teeth are still where they belong!" Will coughed and spit out more of the fluid. Well, he had to confess they felt somehow weird but Will's tongue was pressed against his teeth right at the moment. it, I would appreciate a smile." Will really didn't feel like a smile could solve anything but he did as ordered. Hannibal smiled back, pleased when he finally saw Will's new teeth fully bared. The beautiful, dangerous weapon!

"Perfection," he whispered but Will heard him clearly. And pressed his lips back together.

"What's with my teeth?!" He demanded an answer. At least one, finally! It seemed like Hannibal knew exactly what happened to him but for some reason didn't want to tell him anything.

"Nothing wrong, they are where they belong, as you said." Will wanted to ask for a mirror. However, his suddenly empty stomach growled at him and his hands pressing edges of the bowl seemed so unnaturally pale... "Hannibal, I think I'm sick… Maybe it's an infection from the bite!"

"No, you are as healthy as one can be, I assure you." The doctor ran a hand through Will curls. Because he kept staring into the bowl, the touch surprised him and made him withdrew from it. "If you are finished," Hannibal sighed, his hand slowly fell down, "I'll put this away, okay?" Despite the disgusting smell and taste, there was something on the fluid that keep dragging Will's attention. But he handed the bowl back to Hannibal.

"I know I shouldn't eat after vomiting but… You have no idea how hungry I am," Will looked at him and a thought crossed his exhausted mind that he could easily eat Hannibal himself. What?! Will shook his head.

"I assure you, Will. Hunger is my constant companion for many years… You know nothing about hunger," Hannibal gave him a sad smile, like if he knew more than he was telling. He probably really did. But Will couldn't care less because of his own troubles.

"Hannibal, I think it's not over yet…" Will turned his head. This was a really embarrassing topic to talk about, he couldn't keep the eye contact. "I need a bathroom!" Before Hannibal got a chance to drop the bowl and help him somehow, Will jumped off of the sofa and ran to where he remembered the closest bathroom with the much-needed toilet was. He had never been this fast and yet it was almost late. Hannibal was really glad for the only almost part. While Will was emptying himself in the bathroom, he did the same with the bowl. Old, useless teeth rattled against waste crusher's blades and were gone forever. Hannibal checked clocks for the first time since Will had woken up. Because he kept the curtains drawn since the last night it was hard to say what part of the day they were in. It appeared to be shortly after noon.

Chapter Text

"You insane bastard!" he could hear Will yell from the bathroom a while later. "What you've done to me?! And how?!" Hannibal went to meet him and found his guest right at the moment he smashed the bathroom door open. He was panting like an angry animal. "I saw my teeth in the mirror! I saw my whole face!" He growled. Until the doorknob snapped off under his hand, Will didn't realize how hard he was pressing against it. The sudden loss of stable point distracted his anger a bit. When Hannibal tried to take the knob out of his hand, Will allowed that.

"Huh, I'm… sorry?!" he sighed. "But you owe me an explanation!"

"And you will get one, I promise… Just let's sit again before we'll talk about anything else." Will didn't move until Hannibal turned his back on him. Then he finally followed.

Hannibal waited until Will chose an armchair, then pulled another one as close as possible without invading his personal space.

"How is your hunger, Will?" That was the first question he got and it confused him immediately. Some food was the last thing he thought about at the moment.

"I'll survive. What's with me?!"

"Nothing. And everything." Hannibal's lips pressed together as he was considering their possibilities. Will's fingers were impatiently pressing into the upholstery of the chair and his sharp nails threatened to tear it anytime. "Four days ago you told me about the woman who bit you. The problem is you didn't tell me everything. If so, we wouldn't be here now."

"And where would we be?!" That sounded crazy. A bite is a bite! "Nevermind…" Will rubbed his closed eyes, trying to remember that day - what exactly he had already told Hannibal and what everything really happened. "Maybe," he signed. "Maybe I bit her, too. Her teeth were so deep in my forearm, she was more like a dog, a pitbull who won't let go when bites you… We were fighting and yes, maybe I bit her, too, to get my hand out. Does it matter?" Hannibal's smile seemed like a sufficient response. "Why?"

"Give me your hand, please." Will frowned and shifted his legs nervously.

"Why?!" But Hannibal only stretched empty palm to him and bowed his back to get yet a little closer. Uncertain of the move, Will gave him the hand without bite.

Hannibal hold it for a while, sending some of his body warmth into the cold fingers before explaining: "The injured one, Will. I'll show you something, don't be afraid.

"O-Kay…" Until Hannibal held him he didn't realize how cold his skin was. He enjoyed the warm touch a lot and only unwillingly pulled his arm back. Once Hannibal got the other one, he started unwrapping the bandage immediately.

"Wait, what- What?!" Suddenly, Will stared at his bare forearm, with no wound, no scar - nothing but the pale skin. He had to touch it to believe.

"Your eyes aren't lying to you," Hannibal assured him.

Will massaged the place and sigh. "It still hurts, though."

"Not for long…"

"Well, and what's your point here?!" He threw the hand out of Hannibal's but they both remained bowed so their foreheads were almost touching. "This raises only more questions and brings no answers…"

"You've changed, Will. Your body changed in a way you can hardly imagine. By all criteria, you aren't human anymore." Hannibal paused to let Will adjust to the new information.

But his response came forthwith: "That's silly!" Will's eyes rolled up. "What am I, then?"

"Your kind is as old as humanity itself. Maybe older? The thing which transformed you needs humans to live. One could call it a virus but it's not doing what viruses usually do. It's not damaging you, it's raising your potential far behind human capability. But of course, no advantages are given for free…"

"Damn, Hannibal, what are you talking about? What virus, what transformation?! This is beyond stupid…" However, despite his words of denial, Will knew he wasn't the same. And not only because of the changes he noticed so far, like his teeth or nails. He felt the change deep inside.

"It was an accident, the woman didn't intend to do this to you. Otherwise, she would stay with you, helped you to understand everything. But it happened and there is no way back…"

Will's head dropped. "Awesome! Only I can be this lucky!" He sobbed guiltily. "Stay alone to face up to who knows what! As always!"

“You're alone because you're unique.” Hannibal carefully tapped on Will's shoulder. “I'm as alone as you are. But I would appreciate a company - and you?"

Slowly, Will's head raised. Despite the risk of triggering his inner predator, Hannibal loses himself in Will's narrow pupils. And they dilated when Will moved forward.

His arms wrapped around surprised Hannibal in a tight hug. Will didn't know why he decided to do it but something pushed him to go ahead. And after a moment of confusion, Hannibal embraced him back. His body was warm against Will's, pulsing with life.

"I must confess," Will breathed in Hannibal's scent, gasped.

"Hm?" Hannibal breathed out into the other man's hair. His heart-beat fastened against Will's almost steady chest as Hannibal slipped from the edge of his chair to get closer. He had never knelt in front of anyone but Will today. And enjoyed the feeling when Will's body pressed even close. Then he could hear Will swallow and finally continue his confession:

"I wasn't fully sincere with you."

"About what?" Hannibal whispered in his ear while Will's fingers clutched on the collar of his shirt. Will had no idea what he was doing. Though, the only thing he was sure about right now seemed to be to continue. And Hannibal smelled strange but divine in his nose. Will licked his lips.

"About several things. But right now, about my hunger. I can't stand it anymore!" And before Hannibal fully realized what was happening, Will pulled his collar open. Will's new sharp teeth sunk deep into Hannibal's flesh. His embrace gathered on strength as Will wasn't hugging a friend anymore. No, he clung to his first prey, instinctively making sure Hannibal wouldn't slip out. The blood which poured into his mouth was dense, full of flavors he had never tasted before.

Full of energy.

And immediately brought him a weird feeling of satisfaction which overwhelmed all his senses. The man in his arms didn't matter anymore, only the blood on Will's tongue seemed important. And he would do anything to get more!

Chapter Text

Hannibal, on the other hand, wasn't so pleased. He should have expected that but he didn't. Having Will so close took the ability to think clearly away from him, at least for a while. For a while which mattered. Once the teeth tore up his skin, Hannibal sighed with surprise and his self-preservation instincts kicked in. They made him do the most natural thing. Will didn't seem distracted by the sounds of ripping clothes. When the shape of the body under his mouth changed, he only adjusted the grip of his arms and swallowed another mouthful of Hannibal's blood.

The very first instinctive thought which was born in Hannibal's mind after the transformation prodded him to push Will away. To push him away and pin him up to a wall with Hannibal's majestic antlers. He could almost see Will's blood course down the black bone and dripping to the floor… Instead, Hannibal took several deep breaths to calm down his racing heart. And remained still. How much could Will take after all? Hannibal promised him help and this was what Will needed the most. For once Hannibal decided to allow him to feed on his own blood. He could always push Will off later if it would be too much… The black monster growled into Will's ear to make him aware that this was a privilege, not a rule or a win. Then he took a deep sniff of his changed scent. They were much more equal now and Hannibal loved it. None of Will's grips eased but his body shivered spontaneously under the powerful sound of the growl. Hannibal's hands went up and slowly found their places on Will again. One settled in the middle of his back while claws of the other one stroke through his curls. Hannibal sat down on his heels and simply waited for his Will to return from the land of hunger.

When the crimson haze finally released Will's mind, he found himself kneeling on the floor, licking the blood from a wound on Hannibal's neck. However, the skin under his lips was somehow black, full of short soft hairs glued together with blood. It was still slowly flowing out of the bite marks and the hand petting Will's head almost guided him to drink more… He gasped at the full realization of what he had done. The memories quickly returned to him - the unstoppable desire, the bite, Hannibal's blood, it's taste… And then Hannibal's transformation, the terrifying growl in his ear and claws on his skin… Will pushed against the hands to finally see what was sitting in front of him.

The beast watched him with obvious curiosity. It might look kind of funny in the remains of the ripped suit… However, Will stared at its gaunt but muscle body, bigger than Hannibal's, and huge antlers on its head. Despite he couldn't see them, he was sure that there were fangs hid behind its lips and that the being could become very dangerous in an eye blink. Yet, Will didn't fear it… Didn't fear him. At least not for what he saw.

"Hannibal?" He dared to say, knowing Hannibal had all the reasons to be angry. The beast tilted his head. "I'm sorry for what I've done. I… couldn't stop me. Is that the price for the advantages you were talking about?" He couldn't stop the stupid sneer taking over his face. "Am I a fucking vampire now?!" Before he could stop it, his tongue licked a tear of blood forgotten in a corner of his mouth. Immediately, Will snarled at himself. "Please, Hannibal, say something!" He cried out as his eyes wandered back to the bleeding wound on monsters neck.

But Hannibal said nothing. Instead, he reached for Will's hand clasped in the fist. He forced it open and laced their fingers together. Then his body started changing back. The tightened fabric around his limbs and shoulders eased and fell down to hang around his human body in useless pieces of something that used to be a tailored suit. Hannibal, the man who Will considered to be a strong person earlier, suddenly seemed weak in comparison to his other form. Will sighed and pressed forehead against their joined hands.

"Human perception of the meaning of the term you used is far away from who you've become," explained Hannibal in a conciliatory manner.

That made Will laugh straight to the face of his hand. "I don't know, a bloodsucking monster sounds kinda accurate to me!"

"We all have monsters in our hearts…"

"And some of us can bring them to surface, hm?" Will raised his head and let their hands lay down between them. "What are you? I mean, who…?"

"The word humans chose for my kind would probably be Wendigo in this country."

Will frowned, he had never been a big fan of folklore or horror stories. There were enough terrible things in his each day reality even without the fictional ones. "I don't know what that means…" Then he realized that it was Hannibal sitting in front of him. The infamous Chesapeake ripper! Murderer and- "Has it something to do with cannibalism?"

"It’s only cannibalism if you eat equals," Hannibal smiled and finally showed his still sharp teeth. "But you are as right as always." After what Will just did, how could he still judge Hannibal? So much changed today, not only himself.

"You can't speak in the other form?" He asked instead of elaborating on the cannibal part.

"I can - if needed, but it's not easy. I didn't want to show it to you that way but you gave me no choice." Hannibal's lips quirked as his free hand found the wound and wiped off drying blood. He realized there probably would be a scar left… "It's a long time since I've seen my own blood," Hannibal stared at his bloody fingers.

"Does it hurt when you shift to the other form?" Will's grip on Hannibal's second hand tightened and he did his best to avoid a look at the blood. But Hannibal didn't give him a chance as he pressed the fingers against Will's lips. With a sigh of satisfaction Hannibal let him lick them clean.

"Does speaking about myself as a monster help you forget the one growing inside you?" He asked already embarrassed Will.

After several minutes of deep silence another question was murmured instead of a response: "You don't really mind that I bit you, do you?"

"Not this time, no. I'm only slightly worried that my blood might not be the right thing for you. But your body should know better…"

"What do you want from me? Why you took me here when you knew what happened?" Will was used to it, that people around wanted to use him in one way or another. Even Hannibal had done it back then when Will had been framed for his crimes, right?! He said it himself, no advantages are given for free. "And don't lie this time!"

"I want you…" Hannibal coughed and swerved off Will's eyes, "…not to be alone while going through this rough period. You are unique, Will. And I regret the suffering I made you go through. Allow me this little try to redeem it."

"I resumed the therapy to convict you." Will had no idea why he said it aloud. Why he voluntarily put himself in danger and destroyed his own plan to revenge Beverly and Abigail? Hannibal thought about it, too. Was it Will's desire to avoid living his new life full of blood? Or maybe he just wanted to trade a secret for secret… The grip of Hannibal's fingers eased and his hand slipped out of Will's.

"To be completely honest, I wasn't completely sure if I really wanted to do it…" he sighed, feeling guilty.

"And now?" Hannibal didn't look at him anymore as he was gathering pieces of his clothes.

"Now I am sure."

Chapter Text

"Good for you." Hannibal stood up, considering the situation in complete silence. Should he be worried about Will's life? Or his own? When a strip of his shirt fell down, Will quickly caught it.

"Here," he pressed it under Hannibal's elbow. Poor Hannibal was practically naked since his bigger form ripped the clothes apart completely. Corner of Will's mouth curled up involuntarily. "I wouldn't do that to the only one who knows what happened to me."

Hannibal sighed, is that the only reason? "I need to change clothes. Then we'll talk." His response came like several fast, hesitant nods. Soon, Will remained alone in a quiet room. However, the quiet was nothing but an illusion. Sounds of cars riding around the house, birds, people's steps on the sidewalk… And very far but real awareness of their beating hearts! Will shook his head yet couldn't pretend he didn't hear anything. The noises behind windows even seemed louder with every moment. From the other side of the house, he could hear Hannibal getting dressed but outside, there was living, breathing world full of flowing blood…

"Damn, not again!" he hissed and pressed palms against his ears. All the sounds slowly turned into unstoppable buzz which was drawing Will crazy. He ran toward the closed window and it wasn't until then when he realized the curtains were pulled to keep the room dark. The sun was peeking inside around edges of the fabric which radiated warmth when Will touched it. If he only could yell out of the window to make all the noises shut up… At least, his shaking had pulled the curtains open. Will wondered whether he would burn down under sunlight as a true vampire should.

An instant later, the only thing which felt like burning were his eyes. Sunrays bit also into his skin but the eyes seemed to be much worse. He panicked and shut his eyelids with a loud cry of pain. And fear. He didn't want to spend the rest of this stupid life with damaged sight! Will panicked and fell down on all fours. He felt like if the sun was sucking all strength out of him. Only desperation left.

"Will, are you-" Hannibal ran into the room, his voice slightly worried. When he saw the other man curled up in front of opened curtains, his eyes rolled up. "Idiot." Yet he hurried to lift Will up and take him back to the dark. Will hugged him again, but this time didn't bite him.

"Thank you," he whispered, really grateful. Will kept his eyes closed, not sure if he could or even wanted to open them ever again. "I thought I'm dying - and it felt terrible!" They both laughed.

"Dying is never nice… But you will be fine." Hannibal let him sit. "Look at me."

"I'm not sure if it's a good-"

"Will, open your eyes!" Finally, he obeyed. The first thing he saw was Hannibal's smiling face. Will had to smile back. Hannibal watched his widened pupils tighten a bit, no damage noticed. "How do you see me?"

"All fine…" he tilted his head, just a little to interrupt their eyes connection. "Will, I ever walk under the sun again?"

"Of course yes! This is not a horror movie, you just need to slow down a bit. And find out what are your boundaries."

"Can you help me? With everything?" Will grabbed Hannibal's arm and pull him back on knees to look into the maroon eyes again.

Maybe Hannibal nodded, maybe his head only tilted. "I'm not sure if I can believe you enough…"

Will sighed. Of course, it was his own fault and he deserved no better. But right now he also needed Hannibal's help more than ever. Will didn't know where else he would go. Actually, with all the buzz outside these walls, he wanted never to leave the house again. The only thing he was sure about enough seemed to be that he would either go crazy or kill someone accidentally in five minutes. Probably both. And so Will didn't only look at Hannibal, but into him as well…

"I can give you a reason to believe me," he whispered a minute later. His hand moved from Hannibal's arm to his nape and pulled him much closer. Will's eyes focused on other man's lips and soon, Will found out his body still knew how to blush.

"Will," Hannibal breathed out and the warm air from his mouth touched Will's face like a caress.

"Isn't this what you want?" Will was sure of that but Hannibal's hesitation got into him, too.

"No if you don't… This is not how-"

The doorbell rang, loud enough to make Will growl and press both hands on his ears. Another ringing and he curled up in the chair, with bared teeth. Hannibal stroke his hair.

"I'm sorry, forgot to switch it off… We can pretend no one's home." But even before he finished the sentence, the person outside knocked on the door furiously.

"Doctor Hannibal Lecter, open the door! It's the FBI!”

"How many people are out there?" Will whined, biting his lower lip.

"I'll send them away, stay here."

Chapter Text

Will quickly nodded and pressed himself deeper into the chair. However, today appeared not to be a good day for anyone's plans. Once Hannibal opened the door, several men ran inside, with guns out - prepared to fire. And behind them, there stood Jack Crawford waiting for him.

"Jack? What does it mean?!" Hannibal frowned with righteous anger in the voice. Despite how relatively calm he seemed to be, Hannibal had to clench on the doorknob to stop himself from running back to the living room.

"Where is Will?!" thundered Jack instead of answering.

"This is not because of him, is it?" Jack's face gave him the response by itself. "You are ridiculous!"

"I'm not! Will accused you of being the Chesapeake ripper - then you told me he is ill and denied me to speak with him for three days! Since then no one saw him, you've stopped answering my calls… It's four days today and both, your and Will's cellphones are off! You better have a good explanation for it!"

"Jack, this is really an extreme reaction. Will is-"

"Agent Crawford!" Someone called from the house. "We found him!"

Hannibal's lips pressed tightly together. Prepared to shapeshift again and fight if needed, he guided the uninvited guest to the said room. Before they could see what was happening there, a loud yell hit their ears.

"Put hands on the armrests! I won't ask again!" Pause. "Slowly!"

Hannibal hissed and fastened his steps.

All guns in the room were pointed on the man sitting in Hannibal's chair with fingers clenched around its armrests. Hannibal fought the urge to punch everyone as several gun barrels turned on him.

"Jack, could you?!"

After a long sigh he gesture at the others to put guns down.

"What are you doing, I told you Will Graham is the one we need to find!" berated them.

One of the armed men shrugged his shoulders. "We couldn't be sure it's him, found him curled in the chair and he didn't react when he was asked to show us hands!" While he and Jack kept talking, Hannibal's sight focused on Will. All muscles in his body were flexed, torment mixed with lust sat in his face.

"Jack! I think you should apologize and leave! In that case, I won't draw any consequences from this situation."

Jack paused in the middle of a sentence and turned to Hannibal. "Slow down! We need to talk!"

"We?" hissed Will through locked lips. "I want you to go, too!"

"You…! Could you explain to me what are you doing here?! What were you doing here for 4 days?! No one saw you and not even Alana saw Hannibal either!" Hannibal noticed Will's eyelids narrowed at the sound of Alana's name. He could only hope no other man in the room noticed that too.

"I don't feel well, Hannibal is helping… Please, Jack, leave us alone!" Will sounded angry.

"And where is your shirt?! You wouldn't lie to me, Will, would you?! Because you made me worried for your life and-"

"Agent Crawford, Will came to me 4 days ago with a suspect his encephalitis might return. I offered to observe him for several days in order to find out. And a little accident caused Will needed to change clothes. Unfortunately, your commando interrupted me before I could give him another shirt." His finger pointed to a cloth folded over the other chair's backrest.

Jack seemed kind of dumped. "What accident?"

"I threw up, Jack! Vomited all over my chest, if you need to know!" Will practically yelled at him.

"Well, then… But wouldn't it be better to go to a hospital?!"

Will looked at Hannibal and Jack followed his eyes.

"No tests would identify it this early and I'm able to recognize symptoms as anyone else. It's better for Will to stay here and avoid a stressful environment for some time. Well, if you and your friends allow…" Hannibal frowned at them all.

It was a little miracle when everyone left as they arrived. Quickly, silently, without anyone being injured. Jack stayed a bit longer, stopped in the door and turned to the house owner. He really apologized and asked for one favor. Then gave Will two weeks off work. It was good for the beginning although hard to say if enough for Will to gain stability in his new life. Once Jack finally stepped out of the house, Hannibal locked the door behind him and finally switched off the bell. No more interruption!

Breath in, breath out and he returned to Will. Poor man still sat in the chair, his claws-like nails tearing in the front of armrests.

"Will, they are gone. Relax." Carefully, Hannibal placed his hand on Will's shoulder. He startled under the touch. "You did very well, I'm honestly amazed." Hannibal smiled toward the two blue eyes watching him.

Chapter Text

Will's fingers finally eased. "Did I? A minute longer and I would try to kill everyone… Damn, their veins were whispering to me!" He jumped off the chair and made several nervous steps in a half-circle. "Um, sorry for the chair."

"It's just a mild damage, things are replaceable. I'm glad you didn't follow the call, that would only cause us troubles…" Hannibal went closer which made Will freeze at the place.

"You think I don't know that?! So many innocent lives in danger just because I haven't answered my phone!"

"Will, that's… You can't save everyone. It's not only about what I see in you. It's your nature now, you've become a killer - hunter! One of the predators on the top of the food chain." Before things got an unexpected turn, Hannibal aimed to go slowly. Help Will to explore the beauty in spilled blood and torn bodies, in the breath which withdraw under your hands… And then he would offer him to become alike… Now, Will had no time for the slow burn. He would either learn how to embrace his nature or drown himself in endless pity.

"Every predator has their own… Who's mine? You?" He sighed and reached for the shirt on the other chair. Hannibal had said he brought it for him, right?

It laid just fine against his shoulders. To be fair, his own trousers felt uncomfortable and rough while this piece of clothing was soft like bird down.

"I don't intend to prey on you." Hannibal's head tilted as he watched Will's fingers buttoning the shirt up.

"Sorry, I'm actually really grateful that you are going through this with me… I just don't know how-" Will shrugged his shoulders. Buttons were finished so he could look up. "It's a bit larger but fits well, thank you."

"My pleasure… Would you like to change the rest of your clothes? You spent days in it and your oversensitive skin would surely appreciate my silk wardrobe. Tomorrow I can place an order for something in your size."

"You, I… huh" he mumbled, pointed eyes to the floor and then back to Hannibal's face. "This is very generous of you, maybe later. I feel like I should apologize for, hm, what happened before… I have no idea how I could forget about Alana. You two are together and yet I tried- I'm sorry, it was inappropriate."

I would kill her in a heartbeat for you! was an answer Hannibal swallowed once it landed on his tongue. No, he couldn't say that. "I don't really have such deep feelings for her. The main reason why we are together is that I needed the alibi." And because I wanted to be sure she wouldn't end up with you…

"I'll provide you with any alibi you might need ever since. Alana deserves better than that."

Hannibal gave him a curious look. "With someone concrete? You?"

Such a conclusion made Will laugh. "No, not with me. She made it clear she doesn't want me. And now, how could I be with a human without threatening them just by my presence alone?"

Hannibal smirked. You will learn how, he thought but said only: "You are right, she deserves better than lies. I'll break up with her."

"That's not what I wanted you to do. And you are not obligated to listen to me about your relationships. I… I don't know what I want, okay?!" Will paused for a breath. Blood. He desired blood! "Why don't I want to suck you dry like with Jack or the others? Why aren't you even slightly worried?!"

"The thing which changed you isn't stupid. It wouldn't give you a desire for the blood of creatures who can easily kill you. I guess your instincts are focused mainly on humans when it comes to feeding, everyone else is simply an option."

"You guess?"

"Yes, Will, I'm not an expert on everything. It's nowhere near to common for my kind to take care of yours… We both will learn many new things if you decide to accept my assistance in this rough time."

"Well, at least you can stop me from biting everyone I meet." Will rubbed his hair. "But the question is, will you?" A doubtful side-look he has got said Hannibal more than the words.

"I'll do only what's the best for you. I'm your friend, Will, I don't care about others."

"Best for me… I wish I could believe that. Fortunately for you, there is no one better to whom I could go."

"Fortunately," Hannibal grinned. "I'm curious-" he continued.

However, at the same time Will blurted out: "I want-" They both paused and sighed in unison. "I'm sorry, you first..." beckoned him Will.

"I'm curious whether it's easier for you to accept what I've done, what you will certainly do when it is happening in the name of our natural hunger?"

Will bowed his head back, stretched muscles of his throat. "I'm not sure our hunger is anywhere close to natural…" Trying to avoid Hannibal's sight, Will eyed the sofa where he had spent the past four days and sat down. "Yes."

"Would you mind to elaborate on it?" Did Hannibal really asked that or was it only Will's inner voice? For a long time, it had been hard to distinguish…

"People killing people, that's not right. Predators killing their prey? It's how our world has always worked. I can't be more angry at you for what you are doing than I'm at a cat playing with a mouse before killing and eating it. Or… I can, but that would be hypocritical." Hannibal noticed that Will spoke only about him and what he did. He could only hope that this young blood-drinker embraced the concept for himself as well.

"It's very wise of you, Will," he smiled. "Now, what was your wish?"

"My…? Oh, right. I was about to ask you if," he bit his lips. "Whether you could show me your other form again? I… Didn't see much the first time, it was too hard to concentrate on anything."

Hannibal seemed kind of surprised. "Well, I have no problem with that, aside from…"

"Yes?"

"I wouldn't like to destroy another outfit and certainly have none big enough for the other me."

Will's eyebrow raised. "Are you trying to tell me that you are shy because you need to be naked?"

"Not shy, just a friendly reminder." Hannibal grinned as he started putting off layers of his clothes. His human skin started turning black even before he pulled down the underwear. Soon after, his whole body got longer and darker than it should be possible. However, Will's definition of possible changed a lot today.

"This is ravishing…" breathed out Will when the transformation finished.

Wendigo's eyes closed and opened, then he surprised Will with cracked voice formed in human words as he said: "You are!" Will laughed and made a step closer. Carefully watching the monster's facial expressions changing, he raised his hand and allowed himself to touch Hannibal's arm. His palm stroke down its smooth surface, then returned back up to the shoulders, neck…

"I want it…" Will whispered while stepping even closer. With unexpected power, he pulled Hannibal's head lower. "I…" No more words, Will pressed their lips together. Wendigo's eyes opened wider but soon he found long-desired comfort in the kiss. Will swallowed the monster's warm breath and his whole body shuttered. He had never thought he would kiss a man before… Yet, he did it again and this time Will could feel Hannibal's sharp teeth beneath his skin. Before he could realize that, his own teeth sunk in the down lip. Thick blood poured into their mouths. The wendigo growled but Will didn't let him go. The next kiss was deeper and much more aggressive. After a little fight, Hannibal succumbed. Bloody kisses started returning to Will as a long rough tongue brought tasteful blood into his mouth of its own accord. It seemed like lasting forever when Hannibal decided to push Will away. He snarled and tried to get back, but strong arms kept them apart. Yet it seems like if Hannibal was fighting with his own urges. Slowly, his body came back to its human shape. The blood on his mouth was now even more visible.

"Hannibal!?" wailed Will, now able to grab on Hannibal's shoulders when his arms shortened.

"It would be irresponsible to go anywhere further until you learn to name and distinguish desires of your new body, Will."

"But…" another whine. "I didn't mean to bit you, don't push me away, please!"

"Whatever you think you wanted, you bit me." Hannibal finally managed to calm down his own panting breath. "I'm not your food and your mind shouldn't fix me like one." He could feel Will's nails tearing skin behind his shoulders. His grip didn't ease a bit so Hannibal had to decide. In the end, he put his arms down. Immediately, Will clung to him with the whole body. With the expectation of another bite, Hannibal prepared to be more persuasive this time. However, Will only curled around him, stealing the warmth and the feeling of safety which Hannibal emitted.

Don't bite, don't bite, don't bite! repeated Will to himself like a holy mantra. And despite he picked off blood from Hannibal's shoulder, it ended right there. He had no idea what happened to him or what his feelings were doing. Will had never been like this, not even with the few people in his past about whom he had thought he had fallen in love. This was weird.

"How much I'll change?" A whisper full of worries reached Hannibal's ear. He nuzzled against Will's cheek.

"I can't tell but you will be always yourself - unless you decide to be someone else."

"I bet it sounds better in your head…" Will's head raised from Hannibal's shoulder. "I'm sorry once again, usually I'm not this affectionate. Not even toward food," he tried to laugh.

"Your body temperature is now much lower than is usual for humans. May I assume you crave for some warmth from the old habit?"

"That sounds… Kinda possible, actually." Will could find comfort in this theory. "Maybe I should let you put on some clothes…"

"Maybe," Hannibal's bloody lips quirked. He felt they were a little bit swollen and it was clear that healing of the bite would be uncomfortable.

The move dragged Will's attention to the work of his teeth. "Does it hurt?"

"Just a little…"

"Good! You deserve every bit of pain! For what you've done to me earlier!" Finally, Will managed to ease his embrace.

"Guess that was enough of kindness for a long time…" It would be easy to take personally what Will said. However, it was too early and his body seemed still changing. His hormones were most likely crazy right now… So Hannibal just laughed it all off for today.

"I think I'm tired…" Will tried to look away as Hannibal bowed to pull his underwear and trousers back up. It wasn't just an excuse to change the subject. Will really felt like he would like to sleep for quite a while. But it might be about the early afternoon, not the sleeping time at all.

"There is a guest room with its own bathroom," pointed out Hannibal.

"It's too early."

"Or too late. You are a creature of the night, now."

"Well…" Will reconsidered it. "Which way?"