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Chapter Text

A gust cuts through Will’s flannel shirt, prickling his arms with goose bumps. Will folds in on himself in an attempt to keep warm, belatedly berating himself for being too stubborn grab a jacket to combat the chill. Crisped leaves crackle under his feet as he trudges toward the tinted glass door, then grabs hold of the icy handle, and pulls himself inside. The building itself is not much warmer.


An orderly greets him at the door.


“Agent Graham, it’s good to have you.”


Will runs a hand through his windswept hair.


“Um. Special agent. Former, actually. Recently retired.”


The orderly looks surprised, and a little perplexed.


“Oh, um. My mistake. We received a call from Mr. Crawford about your arrival; I just assumed…”


Will tries to bite back his annoyance. He’s not sure why he’s even here, not sure why he had even called in this favor from Jack. He wonders what the man had thought when he asked, and then decides it doesn’t matter anyway. He doesn’t need to answer to Jack Crawford’s concerns about his mental health anymore.


“Yeah, well, still have friends in high places, I guess.” Will tries, and fails, not to snap.


The orderly stiffens, and provides him with a chilly smile.


“Well, then, let us get on with your visit. I'd hate to keep a friend of the FBI waiting.”

Chapter Text

Will is silent for the first few minutes after he settles stiffly into the cold, metal folding chair. It has a leg that is slightly uneven, and tilts and creaks when Will shifts. He stares through the glass at Hannibal’s knees, unwilling, if not unable, to meet Hannibal’s eyes.


When he finally draws his gaze up, his stomach twists at the unabashed warmth he finds. Hannibal’s mouth is softly drawn up in a smile, his eyes glimmering in a quiet contentment. Will rapidly searches for signs that the display is false, that he’s being lied to yet again, but Hannibal bests him once more, and he can’t tell.


“Hello, Will,” Hannibal purrs with all the refinement of a king. “Thank you for coming.”


And Will suddenly cannot help but crave a world in which he could know the legitimacy of Hannibal’s smile, in which he could have dinner with Hannibal without fear of what was on his plate, and talk to Hannibal without wondering how Hannibal would eventually use his words against him. He dreams of a world where he can trust Hannibal.


“I wish you were normal,” he blurts, and Hannibal raises an eyebrow.


Will hurriedly breaks eye contact, and stares at the cold, endless cement floor, wondering why he said anything, wondering why he came at all.


“Will,” Hannibal eventually asserts.


Will looks up, knowing that really, the choice was not his.


“Normalcy is a luxury not afforded to those like us.”

Chapter Text

Will swallows and sits back in his chair, internally kicking himself when the contraption shifts loudly again. He’s almost certain now that the orderly found him the very worst one that he could, but it could be his paranoia talking, and he won’t say anything.


He looks at Hannibal again, really lets himself, this time. Hannibal looks thinner than Will is used to seeing him. Will wonders if he can hardly stomach the food here, sludge compared to what Hannibal is used to. Though, of course, the sludge is not nearly as much of a moral gray area as Hannibal’s cuisine had been.


Hannibal’s hair has grown several inches past its normal length, and has more flyaways than normal, but that is to be expected without hair product. In his plain, muted jumpsuit, the man is nearly unrecognizable, but for the grace in his movements, the cut of his cheekbones, and the unwavering intensity in his eyes that Will can only compare to a cat—casual, but ever intent.


“I am glad that you came to see me,” Hannibal again breaks the silence.


Will realizes that his hand is clenched into a fist, knuckles white. He releases.


Hannibal’s gaze does not noticeably flick down, but Will knows he’s noticed.


“They will be giving Alana to the position of chief administrator next month,” Hannibal continues, a wan smile creeping onto his lips. “Entirely due to her own merits, and not at all to do with her new fiancée’s generous donation, of course.”


Of all things Will expected from Hannibal, small talk had not been one of them. Of course, Will should have known he would never be able to predict the newly famous Hannibal the Cannibal.


“Still, I have spoken to her about my having access to a phone. She’s agreed to give me access on occasion, although insists on the use of software to let recipients of my calls know who I am before they agree to speak to me.” Hannibal sighs, as though the mild inconvenience might just be too rude to forgive. Will silently congratulates Alana on her foresight.


“Is there something that you wanted to talk about today, Will?”


Will almost laughs. It feels like a therapy session, strangely, like he had come for his regularly scheduled visit. As if Hannibal is here for him, is still the one in control of the situation.


The truth is, there are too many questions he wants to ask Hannibal, but none he’s willing to put into words. Hannibal is looking at him quizzically now, and Will is aware that he is usually not this silent. He shakes his head.


“No, actually.”


He stands, and without looking back, leaves. His time with Hannibal is still scheduled to last for another forty-five minutes.


He does not visit again.