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Will rests, slumped in Hannibal’s lap, held upright only by the strong hands gripping the flesh of his waist. He’s nude; his clothing having landed disregarded before the lit fireplace. It is a wonder he hadn’t flung his socks into the flame in their lazy haste. 

The only bare part of Hannibal is his feet, resting firmly on the edge of the ottoman a couple of feet from the large, bourbon colored, leather recliner. He uses the leverage to roll his hips up at a uniform pace, fucking Will slowly but with firm intent to get the younger man off. 

Neither of them have been desiring the blinding rush of passion they’ve shared before, rather missing the beginning of their physically intimate life together, except now Will wants Hannibal to push him past the point of no return, make him feel everything Hannibal had promised himself he’d make Will feel, one day, somehow. 

The arms looped around Hannibal’s neck tighten as Will starts to meet Hannibal’s thrusts, rocking back and lifting up. His sweaty thighs slap against the fabric of his trousers. His breathing is erratic in Hannibal’s ear. 

“Oh god,” the words fall from him, an overwhelmed whisper. “Oh god, oh fuck.” 

Hannibal focuses on coloring the side of his neck that he’d neglected the night prior, creating a path of bruises from his jawline to his shoulder, stopping just above the bullet-hole-shaped scar left by their old friend Jack. 

“Do you want my hand, darling?” Hannibal murmurs, hands traveling up to his ribs before he trails them back down and digs his fingertips into the crease of Will’s ass. 

He must be far gone, because he doesn’t answer, whimpers and presses his cheek against Hannibal’s. Nails dig into his nape and then Will’s moans deepen, elongate, skip like a record and he's convulsing.

“Gonna come,” Will rambles under his breath, with a shake of the head. “Harder, please, fuck.” 

There goes the peaceful serenity, Hannibal muses internally. 

He does as he’s told, standing to his feet abruptly and bringing all of Will with him. He yelps, tightening his limbs around Hannibal before he’s deposited atop the ottoman, lower half hanging off the end. Hannibal kneels with one leg on the cushiony surface and ignores the sweet, nearly mortified expression on Will’s face as he bends him in half and pounds. 

Will shouts beautifully, nails breaking skin and head thrashing to the side. Violently, he shudders, orgasm toppling over him faster than he expected. His body spasms around Hannibal’s cock, coming untouched all over his stomach, his nipples. 

Hannibal’s eyes flash down to the pink nubs, coated with semen. Making them glisten. He bares his teeth and digs his knee harder into the cushion as he fucks him through his climax, making Will expel loud, obscene ‘ah!’ sounds one after another.

Eventually he falls silent, instead groaning fitfully with overstimulation. Hannibal is too far gone to take it into account, staring at his chest, his nipples redder now from his blush. 

He takes the hands that had been holding Will’s twitching legs away and lets the limbs loose, mindlessly dragging his hands over Will’s stomach, perching his thumbs underneath his nipples. He prods at the underside of the perked flesh, licks his lips. 

By now Will, spent from his orgasm, would be begging him to stop. As always, he proves himself to be not so predictable. Will seems to catch onto something, and forces himself to withstand the shocky, brutal, grazing on his swollen prostate. He clasps his hands around Hannibal’s neck, always able to get his attention this way. 

“What do you need?” he asks, hoarsely. 

There is love in his eyes, and they’re watery from the pain he’s allowing himself to feel, to give to Hannibal. “Hmm?” he adds in a gentle, questioning hum. 

Hannibal's eyes flicker from his eyes to his chest, and he feels lost in himself, unsure of himself for the first time in a long time. He ruts into him hard either to shake some sense into his own head, or to make Will shake apart, but the younger doesn’t falter. 

Will seems to understand what’s going on better than he does. 

Hannibal can’t stop himself from dragging his thumb through the semen on his pecs, glazing the translucent liquid over his nipples, watching them shine with gritted teeth. 

Puffing out his chest a bit, Will asks, “You wanna taste them?” in the most provocative tone Hannibal has ever heard come from his mouth and he burrows his forehead into the center of Will’s throat and comes inside his twitching hole, releasing a noise sounding terribly pained. 

There are a few seconds of blissful peace before Will is tapping his shoulder, silently pleading for him to leave his body. Poor thing, Hannibal thinks without regret, slipping out and helping Will up from the ottoman. In the next moment, Will is tackling him down to the rug, settling in his lap, kissing him fondly and lovingly. Yes, there’s been far more affection as of late. 

He’s not sure if it’s coming out of their newfound intimacies, or if years of separation lent itself to payback of a different kind. Hannibal has never been this affectionate, even in the most tender periods of his life. And yet, he finds himself grinning into Will’s neck, flipping the laughing boy over and tickling him with nuzzles all along his abdomen and stomach. 

Will laughs, wondrously happy when Hannibal scrapes his teeth along his sensitive hip bones. He has his hands in Hannibal’s hair, starts tugging him up to kiss him on the lips again. 

They taste themselves there. 

“You’re not really going to make me go out are you?” Will asks softly, the tone of his voice light and knowing. What he knows is that Hannibal would give him almost anything in these moments. 

Hannibal has been trying to rectify that.

“I would like us to go out at least once a day, to maintain our exercise regimen,” he reminds. “You agreed to it yourself.”

Will’s head flops back against the rug, sweaty curls falling out of his face. “I thought it would be easy to convince you otherwise.”

“You need not have agreed to it in the first place.” Hannibal can’t help but chuckle on the last word, burying his face in Will’s neck, kisses the sheen of sweat. 

“I like the challenge,” Will proclaims. “You’re a hard man to sway.” 

Hannibal nips at a protruding tendon. “Or perhaps you are not familiar with all my vices,” he tells him, sitting up on his haunches to straighten his clothes. They will need to be tossed in the wash, but he won’t abide having his cock hanging limply out of his pants for too long. Will’s nudity however, is far from uncouth in his eyes. 

Will props himself up on his elbows, and with a furrowed brow, finds his clothed thighs with both hands, seems to marvel at the fact Hannibal is technically in his lap. 

“And you call what I say provocative,” he mumbles, unelaborate. 

Tilting his head, Hannibal looks down to find a challenge still burning in Will’s eyes. He wants to know what could force Hannibal to his knees, could proverbially bend him over and beg. He’s been growing in confidence, in technique. Hannibal wonders if he’ll wish to take him over soon. 

“Bath or shower?” he asks, placing a hand gently around Will’s throat to feel him breathe. Will sighs, eyes softening.

“Bath.” 

 


 

The tour guide speaks with a nasally voice, slow enough that Will can recognize most words. He seems to mostly recognize what she means when she explains Pope Clement VI’s death. Hannibal leans down and whispers in his ear, “Clement had suffered kidney stones for years prior to his death. She forgot to mention that.” 

Will snorts, pocketing his hands which Hannibal has come to recognize as a mechanism of sorts. He doesn’t want to reach for Hannibal in public too often. 

It’s the only way he can keep his hands to himself nowadays. 

Hannibal’s method is to fold his hands behind his back, and does so now, following behind the group (a local tour organization, he wouldn’t have scheduled one with American tourists) with Will at his side. 

The woman leading, too short to see above the heads of the tour group, continues to ramble in French. Hannibal zones her out, knowing much of the history already, and is startled when Will tugs on his sleeve and nods at the people ahead of them filing into the bathrooms. Some remain with the tour guide and she busies their questions with bright, vague answers you could read in a five dollar history book. “Let’s sneak off,” Will whispers, eyes glinting dangerously. 

Inclining his head in thought, Hannibal glances at the woman and deems her distracted enough to lead Will to the other end of the vast cloître and to the rounded, medieval doors leading to separate passages and corridors of the palace. Grinning, Will slips through the door and Hannibal closes it behind them. 

“Do you know how to get out of this place if we run into someone?” Will asks, not sounding worried. He glides his fingers carelessly across the centuries old stone designs. The rooms they’ve been shown haven’t been much of a sight. And though he suspects the tour guide will be making their way here, at the moment he knows exactly where he would like to bring Will.

“We have a map anyhow,” he answers. “Would you indulge me?” 

Will turns abruptly, shirt straining open further. It is a white button up with short sleeves, and he’d only connected the bottom three buttons, divulging the muscular front of his chest. Despite their session in the living room this morning, Hannibal weakens at the sight. 

Sun casts through the corridor, reflects off his teeth when he smiles. 

“Should I ask the vicar in our fridge forgiveness for the sins I’ve yet to commit?”

Hannibal smiles back, takes both of Will’s hands in his own and walks backwards, leading him closer to where he wants them. “Who said anything about sin?” 

“Do we stride against the grain of faith?” Will stares just beyond Hannibal, and Hannibal knows he’s watching to make sure Hannibal doesn’t trip over himself, run into a wall. Irritation ticks at the back of his mind, but there is enough adoration running between their interlocked fingers to dismiss it. “Do bishops fall to their knees and declare us incapable of guidance?” 

“Do they declare us heretics?” Hannibal muses back. 

“If we are above sin, heresy is beneath us.” 

“And what is above us, my dear?” Will slows down and Hannibal suspects the door to the next corridor is upon them, reaching a hand back and sure enough finding a doorknob. He opens it and Will tugs them both inside, slamming the door closed and shoving Hannibal against the wood hard enough for it to creak. He doesn’t untangle their fingers, but kisses him resolutely. 

“Nothing is above dead men who still walk,” Will snarls into his mouth, bare chest dragging against Hannibal’s clipped suit jacket. “If they burn us, see us be inflammable.” 

They entered the consistory wing, a long hallway of smooth cobble floor, and another line-up of arched apertures, the windowless view leading out into the large courtyard. Hannibal can almost hear the chatter of dead disciples setting up their tents for commemoration. 

“I’d like to show you one of the chapels.” 

Will nods, gesturing down the aisle, “After you, Doctor.” 

Hannibal leads him to the Saint Jean tower; it lies beyond the wing they are in presently, a large column jutting from the stern walls of the castle. Will follows at his heels, surprised to find the walk is not far. He is intrigued by the murals of the Saint Jean chapel, but Hannibal has other plans. Leading him to the second level of the tower, they enter the small door into a goliath room. The Saint Martial Chapel, lined with brighter murals. Blues vibrant, cast over in sunlight from the exorbitant window, showing off the grand display of narrative. Solemn faces by the brush stroke of Giovanetti surround them like a looming chorus. Will spins in place, registering each portion of the wall slowly, seeming to piece together memories long lost to the men who lived them. Even historians lose track of the truth despite the truth revealing itself in stark ink. 

“To be in a time where your life could be painted on the walls of citadels.” Will speaks slowly, sobered by the art that surrounds entirely. He turns to face Hannibal, speculating a moment before saying, “You look like one of the men in these paintings. The light is hitting you a certain way.” 

Hannibal smiles, pride flowing through him at the assertion. “There has been debate between historians about Saint Martial despite the excess of material, even in just this room alone. He was known for miracles, bringing men back from the dead.” He catches Will’s eye and allows his face to shift darker. “I was struck by a piece of information I uncovered in my light reading.”

Will props himself up against a stone shelf, interconnected with the windowsill in a monolith slope of cement. Between his legs, a mural of the crucifix lies, thin and worn by time. 

“Not many things can strike the Ripper.” 

“No,” Hannibal concedes. “One of the more legendary Christian martyrs, Saint Valerie of Limoges was claimed to have carried her head to Saint Martial after her decapitation.” 

Will stiffens, knuckles whitening where they grip the edges of the mantle. 

“Have you ever laid eyes on the cephalophore statue of a saint?”  

Will shakes his head, sucking in a breath when Hannibal steps closer. 

“The motif appears often throughout history. Dante’s Divine Comedy, the story of Saint Justus of Beauvais. Accounts of severed heads living on after death, reciting psalms, spilling their last words of worship, are innumerable.”

Hannibal grows close enough to touch, reaches out with a hand but keeps it at just a close enough distance. When Will tries to lean his cheek into his palm, he retracts it with a smirk. 

“Valerie of Limoges chose to deliver her head to her confessor. Do you imagine she had one last confession to declare?” 

“I—” Will gasps when Hannibal picks him up by the waist and places him atop the mantle itself. Will’s legs dangle off, not quite touching the floor. “I don’t know.” 

Two of Hannibal’s fingers crawl up the taut fabric of his denim trousers, stopping to cup a kneecap, slides his palm to his upper thigh and pauses. The hitch in Will’s breath is unmistakable. 

“What do you imagine I would do if I were beheaded?” 

Will lifts his hands out and clasps them around Hannibal’s head, feeling the bone of his skull over his hair, his jaw. He runs fingertips over the dent of his brow, bending his body closer. 

“You’d bring it to me,” Will whispers, pupils wide.

“Would you allow a beast its instinct, and let me devour you with what remains of me?” 

Their lips brush. Will is panting. 

“Yes, anything. I’d allow you anything.” 

“Quite a statue we would make,” Hannibal rumbles against his sternum, teeth dragging over any skin he can reach from this height. Will makes a wanton noise, guiding him down, accepting his fate. 

Hannibal works his fly, fingers slipping in to chase Will’s cock out into the open. He leans down, easily as his groin is mostly eye level, and slips the tip between his lips. 

Will’s cry echoes through the tower, and his fingers dig into his scalp. For a moment, Hannibal feels as if he’s touching through the bone, rearranging parts of his brain. He sucks and earns a loud, rapturous moan. If they are found, well, they’re already above the placement of God as it stands.  

“Hannibal, please, they’ll come in.” Will groans, keeping his head pressed down with his palms despite his words. “Oh, oh shit.”  

He’ll hear their footsteps in the wing over if they come. This palace does not lend itself to discretion. So, Hannibal takes him in entirely, wetly pulling back to tease his tongue at Will’s frenulum before sucking hard, and long, until Will falls back against the incline of the window sill, looking much like a sculpture in the throws of pious bliss. 

His hands remain where they are, pushing for more, treating his skull like property. Hannibal encourages, runs his hands up Will’s sides, slips fingers underneath fabric and touches his chest. 

Thunder cracks outside, and Hannibal’s eyes fly open just in time to witness the flash of lightning. Briefly, it makes Will’s skin appear alabaster. 

The room has shed itself of its golden light, replaced instead by a foggy blue. The colors of the faded paint blend together under the adopted hue. The sky over Avignon is stormy; God is hollering his disapproval. 

Hannibal lets Will fuck his mouth, thrust up as far as he wants, as hard as he wants, as many times as he wants until he slumps back, exhausted. His hips roll lazily, trying to urge Hannibal for more, always more. With clinging lips, he mouths at the head, sucking lightly, using techniques he knows will drive Will mad. 

He hasn’t made him come this way yet. He’s sucked his cock before, warming him up for sex, or the first time as an exercise. He’d gone slow, gotten Will used to a man’s mouth, comfortable. But, they haven’t been having sex a long time. Hannibal still hasn’t tasted his release straight from the source, and at the moment, nothing is more prudent. 

Will’s moans start to muffle with the accompaniment of the storm. His cries echo and reverberate with the thunder. The tower seems to shake with it. 

He knows Will is close when his chest starts to heave under his fingertips, stomach tightening and untightening rapidly. “If you could see yourself, he moans, high-pitched, hanging on by a thread. “Hannibal, I’m — I —!

Hannibal sucks him down, swallowing his cock like it belongs in his stomach, and Will comes, shouting expletives Hannibal cannot hear over the heavy rain and the loud claps in the sky. He jerks under his hands, and holds Hannibal down until he can scarcely breathe. 

It tastes like shades of the dinners they’ve been sharing, and something distinctly Will, a taste that must have lingered since his days in the boat yard when motor oil had covered him head to toe. He finds he loves it. He finds he never wants Will to taste differently. 

Will is frantically petting his hair, smoothing it down, and Hannibal does his part, putting his cock back into place and zipping up his trousers, rebuttoning them. Will needs help getting down, practically tosses himself into Hannibal’s arms with a laugh and is lowered slowly, as they kiss at the same pace. 

Shoes hit the floor. 

“Do you want—” Will gesticulates vaguely. 

“You wore me out this morning, I’m afraid,” Hannibal murmurs, nipping at his ear, and probing at the heated skin underneath his shirt. 

The truth is, even if he could manage to get it up (which is entirely possible for him given enough motivation, refractory period be damned) Will hasn’t given him a blow job yet, and he’s barely used to the act of a hand job itself. He wants Will to grow accustomed to such acts of passion in the comfort of their own home, far from possible interruptions. 

“You seem to know more than our chaperone. Want to be my personal tour guide the rest of the way?” Will wags his brows in a sultry manner, tugging at his clothes. 

Hannibal’s smirk widens, and he juts out an elbow for Will’s arm to slide through. “Shall I buy you something from the bookstore?” 

“Oh, special treatment.” 

“And what would you call what I just did to you?” 

Will steps close, brushes their lips together but doesn’t kiss. Baring his teeth, he whispers, “Worship.” 

 


 

In many ways, the chambers and halls of the Palais des Papes are nowhere near as vast as the ones in his mind, and yet it takes far longer than he suspected to exit the grounds, side by side with Will who doesn’t even flinch when the rain hits his skin.

He turns, shocked to find Hannibal frozen under an overhang. 

“Seriously?” 

“There was no forecast of a storm approaching today,” Hannibal grouses. He expected it would have stopped by the time they wound their way out onto the fields but it’s only pattering harder. He’s wearing an expensive, currently dry, suit. 

“I’ll walk home alone then,” Will mutters, swerving to walk in the opposite direction. Without hesitation, and with full awareness of what the brush off does to Hannibal. 

Hannibal approaches him deftly.

“You’re so odd, sometimes,” Will tells him.

“Hmm?” 

“You pick and choose when you want to be…picky.” 

Will rolls his eyes when he sees Hannibal parting his lips to protest. “You get antsy about a little rain, but had no problem sucking my dick over an age old portrait of the crucifix.” 

Hannibal doesn’t respond. He’s been growing wary of humoring Will’s barbs about his ‘pickiness’ or ‘snobbishness.’ There have been several callow terms thrown around since they’d settled, and he can’t help but to take all of them to heart in some small way. 

He purses his lips, intentionally placid, to avoid Will accusing him of a ‘pout’ which has also become one of his favorite words. 

Will strides ahead of him, kicking a few pebbles down the stone path. They’d walked to the palace from their home, and they have a long way to go until they get back. Hannibal’s eyes fall to the way his back muscles flex beneath the wet, white button-up.

Turning to walk backwards like Hannibal had done in the castle wings, Hannibal nearly trips over his own feet when his eyes lock on the pink, pert nipples showing obscenely through Will’s translucent shirt. Continuously, the rain pounds down against them, and Hannibal can imagine they’re quite sensitive to the touch. His hands become very difficult to keep trained behind his back. 

“There’s that pout again,” Will notes playfully.

Damn.

Despite himself, Hannibal’s mouth thins and purses all in the same breath, and he says, “All this rude behavior after such a lovely trip. It’s unbecoming. Do you antagonize for the sake of antagonizing? Or is there a motive of which I’m unaware?” 

Will laughs, boisterously, and stops in his tracks waiting until Hannibal does the same, directly in front of him. The laugh sounds like he hadn’t expected Hannibal’s genuine disquiet. 

“Maybe I just think the pout suits you.” 

“Humiliated? Spurned?” 

“Spurned?” Will covers his mouth with a hand and then calms himself in the next instant, placing the hand on Hannibal’s shoulder. “I’m just teasing you, Hannibal, I—Am I doing something that’s making you doubt how I feel about you?” 

“No, Will,” Hannibal murmurs, unsure if Will can even hear him over the rain. “Perhaps I’m not feeling entirely myself as of late.” 

“Do we need to talk about that?” Will asks, concern evident. 

Hannibal the Cannibal not feeling quite right could be read as a major issue if unattended. The thing is, Hannibal knows what restless feels like. There are times when he must eat the flesh of another to feel more balanced. There are times when the past dredges itself back up, peeking into his present to taunt, where he feels cold, off. Vacant. Whatever this is, it’s none of those things. 

This is an itch without an identifiable source. 

“You needn’t worry about further pitfalls between us, Will.” 

“I’m worried about you, ” Will states, thumb rubbing in circles on his shoulder. He’s searching his eyes, no doubt stretching his empathy out to determine what he’s feeling and why. 

Soft at that, Hannibal smiles. 

“I love you,” he finds himself saying. Outright, he never says the words. The phrasing is banal, and doesn’t nearly encompass all that he feels for Will. All that Will is to him, and yet in this moment, he’s incapable of saying anything else.

The expression of glossy-eyed shock on Will’s face makes up for the sacrifice. 

He pulls Hannibal in for a wet kiss, rain drizzling down between their lips. Will tastes like the clouds, and sparks of lightning. He puts his hands on Will’s ribs, and presses.

 


 

Hannibal dreams about Bedelia. 

He is not like Will. Dreams do not paint the landscape of his mind with horrors of his past. Nor does his mind often foolishly remind him of those he’d much rather do without. 

However, it seems even in his discipline, disarray manages to find a way to slip through the cracks. 

The dream comes to him as a memory. Vivid recollections of the event, with brighter colors, heightened sensations. Noises like a recording, and obscener for it. Of the few times they had sex, this memory is the one he’d buried in the dusted, cavernous spaces of his mind palace. Never to be opened or tampered. 

In Florence, he’d been different. 

Something had come over him in his deep-seated grief. When he first laid his eyes upon her breasts, the plushest and palest he’d ever seen, he’d faltered. Her nipples were dusk, and when he leant to taste them, she tasted of champagne and his cologne. Not one word was uttered between them during this act of passion or any act thereafter. But this first time, he licked her nipples, suctioned them, sucked until she squirmed and let out strained puffs of breath, exterior cracking. He suckled until she came, and intensely to the point where he had no clue how desperately he’d been clinging to her body. 

Aware and cowed by his own mindless abandon, he’d made an effort not to touch her there for the rest of their months in Florence. He’d pleasured her, with fingers, his cock, his mouth on any place other than her bosom. And in effect, he’d remained in control. Cognizant. 

Slowly, he wakes, heat suffused through him from the memory. Fully roused, finds himself offended at his body and his mind for forcing him to recall it. 

He tenses when he feels Will shift back against him, humming contently, and dragging one of Hannibal’s hands over his chest to snuggle them tighter. “Good morning,” he murmurs, back rumbling against Hannibal’s front. 

Paralyzed by the sudden intimacy after the unwanted memory, he’s cast into silence, and Will continues speaking in a low, sweet pitch. 

“Some dream you were having. Wanna tell me about it?” He turns in Hannibal’s unyielding grip, and rephrases, “Or show me?” 

It seems to click together, then. 

You wanna taste them? Will’s words echo in his mind. 

Penitent, Hannibal shakes his head. For once, he would rather distance himself than have sex, or even be held and in the doting presence of Will. Can’t even bring himself to imagine the noises he’d been making in his slumber. When he woke, he'd been lazily rutting against him, still caught in the place between sleep and wakefulness. 

“If it’s all the same to you, I would care to start breakfast instead.” 

The light in Will’s eyes fades. He looks utterly dejected and slumps back into the sheets and pillows, a few inches from Hannibal. He’s never denied Will this, in any way. Uncertainty ripples through his features. Trying to keep his tone considerate, he responds, “Sure. I’ll see to Mongoose, I guess.” 

Not quite able to meet his eyes, Hannibal swipes a thumb over Will’s collarbone and retreats from their bed, dressing quickly in house pants and a rose sweater. He is aware of Will’s eyes on him, but if he lets him ask, he’ll be gone. 

Will keeps his distance for the better part of the day. Either he thinks the space will be beneficial for Hannibal, or he’s staying away out of spite.

Or worse, out of fear. 

Hannibal doesn’t wish to encourage the fragility between them, but he cannot explain to Will that this has nothing to do with him, but all to do with himself, without explaining what exactly it is he wants from Will. Needs. 

Mongoose refuses to keep her distance, however. She trots around the house, following at Hannibal’s heels everywhere he goes. She does this when she knows Hannibal is in a sour mood, and she does this to Will when he’s feeling under the weather following some particularly vivid nightmares. Quite the support if Hannibal were so inclined to receive the affection she’s offering. She whines when he refuses to pet her, focusing instead on starting dinner hours before they even eat lunch. He wants the soup to settle, marinate.

He wants an excuse to be unbothered, to give himself time to bury his druthers. 

Will seems to have made a decision by the time dinner rolls around, because he’s dressed to the nines, carrying upon his shoulders the energy of a child. He grins when the meal is brought out, set upon the large birchwood dining table, and even in Hannibal’s brooding state, he can’t help but be affected by his guileless smile. 

“Smells great,” he tells him, rarely one to compliment anymore. 

Hannibal doesn’t respond, shooting a polite smile at him for a few moments before digging in. Will digs in too, and hums around a spoonful. “Tastes even better. You really out did yourself.” 

The compliment rushes through him, but he can’t bring himself to do anything other than nod, and smile lightly. Will sets his spoon down, and wipes his mouth with his napkin before setting it back down on his lap. 

“Okay, that settles it. There’s something up with you.”

“Pardon?”

“You’re incapable of keeping your mouth shut when I compliment your cooking. I barely got a nod out of you that time,” he accuses. 

“Apologies, Will,” Hannibal compels himself to say. “Thank you for the—”

“No,” Will interrupts, running two hands over his face. “No, I’m not asking for a response to that, I just want to know what’s going on. And don’t play the fool, you know what I’m talking about.” 

Hannibal winces, perturbed Will chose now to speak about this. 

“I cannot expose my inner conflict to you when I do not fully understand myself what needs the conflict presents,” Hannibal explains, fingers still curled around the handle of his spoon. He’s not looking at Will.

“You can try,” Will says in a gentler tone. 

Hannibal could, but what would come out of his mouth?

Will sighs and suggests, “You’re acting familiar, in the sense that you’re acting like me when we first started sleeping together. You don’t want me to know something, something personal about you. You either think I’ll disapprove, or you think you’re being disingenuous to yourself.”

“Perhaps you should tell me what it is that ails me,” Hannibal responds, curtly.

“It’s sexual,” Will declares. “Perhaps not the reason for wanting it, but it is sexual nonetheless.” 

Hannibal stares at his bowl, the spoonful of soup raised midway in the air growing cooler by the second. He swallows and proceeds with caution, “And?”

“And I think you’re underestimating what exactly I’d allow you to do to me.” 

They meet each other’s eyes, and Hannibal can see the shy glaze in Will’s, and admires that he’s powering through this conversation because he knows Hannibal needs it. Because he misses him. 

“You’re ashamed.” It isn’t an accusation, it’s a revelation. Spoken softly, and curiously. “You’re not familiar with that feeling.” 

Hannibal inhales sharply, fingers tracing the rim of his bowl. 

“And if I wanted to hurt you?” he questions. Will’s head tilts, expression unwavering as if to prove his immunity to intimidation.

“You wouldn’t hurt me to the point of no return.” Will unclips his suit jacket with one hand, taking a sip of his drink with the other. He keeps his eyes locked on Hannibal when he adds, “And you wouldn’t be ashamed of wanting to hurt me.”

Boldly, Hannibal meets his gaze. 

Will smirks, voice dropping an octave and the tone, challenging.

“Expose your desires to me.” 

Hannibal’s strength hasn’t been what it used to be; since the fall, he’s been exercising more, indulging in various forms of physical therapy to keep himself lean and able-bodied. When he grips the dining table with two hands and shoves, causing the pegs to scrape several feet away from them, leaving Will’s chair isolated and his body exposed, not only Will is surprised. 

The soup doesn't clatter to the floor, but the bowls are close to the edge.

It takes seconds to cross the space from his chair to Will’s and scoop the smaller man up into his arms in a way that forces Will’s legs to wrap around his waist and meet face to face at eye level. 

He stares at him with beautiful, saucer-wide, blue eyes. He’s trembling, with fear and excitement. Hannibal shoves him up against the nearest wall and kisses him hard. 

A gruff noise is punched from his throat and Hannibal swallows it down. 

Will rests some of his weight against the surface and sinks the rest into him, grinding closer so Hannibal can feel his erection poking into his stomach. Will sighs and gasps when Hannibal’s teeth nibble down to his collarbone, pulling at fabric with the free hand that isn’t looped under one of Will’s thighs. “Your wound,” Will grouses, falling silent when Hannibal drags his hand down and squeezes one of his ass cheeks.

Snaking the hand between their bodies, Hannibal thumbs at Will’s cock, tracing his erection with firm fingertips, playing and teasing. “Fuck,” Will breaths out, knocking his head hard enough against the wall to make one of the paintings beside them shake. 

Hannibal uses his teeth to unlatch the buttons of his dress shirt, and he feels Will stiffen with anticipation, twitching with each click. When he’s halfway down, he can already feel himself drifting into a wanton haze, desperate to get any skin around Will’s pecs between his teeth. 

They've locked themselves into another overheated, sloppy kiss, when Hannibal feels something tugging at his pant leg. Momentarily distracted, he glances down to see Mongoose’s tiny body pulling at his trousers, growling deep in her throat. She barks when he makes eye contact. 

Will sighs, and then slumps a bit with a laugh.

Hannibal simply blinks down at her, brain foggy with arousal incapable of processing why she’s barking or tugging and scratching at his legs. 

It then hits him, Mongoose thinks Will is in pain, being harmed. 

Will pats his shoulders, asking to be put down, and for the first time tonight, Hannibal feels the ache in his back and his legs, slightly bashful as he sets Will on his feet and rubs his own side to diminish the phantom pains from his wound. Mongoose hops up on two legs, prancing in a circle when she senses they are both out of harm’s way. Congratulating herself at a crisis averted, no doubt. Amused, Will grabs his lapels and kisses him with sultry intent. 

“The baby won’t follow us to the bedroom,” he murmurs.

Mongoose has been called ‘baby girl’ or solely ‘the baby’ by Will as of late after the two of them realized how volatile the pup’s excitement is upon hearing her name. She yips and howls and expects to be brought out on a walk, or fed. There is not always a place for it. Hannibal doesn’t call her by either of those nicknames, but has recently been using ‘little thing’ in substitution. 

Hannibal’s too far gone to wax poetic about the ruined mood and cold soup, because if he’s going by how hard his cock feels, the mood is far from ruined, and soup can always be reheated. He allows Will to tug him playfully up toward their bedroom and locks the door just in case Mongoose decides to grow opposable thumbs and long legs. Or a brain that isn’t the size of a tangerine. 

Will slips his suit jacket off and tosses it on the floor, keeping his half-unbuttoned shirt on. He must sense that Hannibal wants to undress him himself, or this article in the very least. 

Hannibal doesn’t remove his own suit as he circles the bed, a far milder getup than the one Will had appeared in at dinner. For once, he is the one who is underdressed. 

Will welcomes him between his legs, lets out a breathy chuckle when Hannibal gets to work shucking him of his pants, underwear, socks. He bears him until his shirt is all that remains, fabric rippling with unsteady breaths. 

White, just like he’d worn in the rain. 

Lifting his knees up, Will encases Hannibal’s hips with his thighs, trapping him closer. He lies limp, aroused but willing to go whatever pace Hannibal decides. The trust is intoxicating, regained and reestablished between them, stronger than before.

Instead of narrowing in on the buttons, Hannibal licks a stripe over Will’s nipple through his shirt. Will gasps, one hand darting closer and then into his own hair to restrain himself. 

He laps at the reddening nub, eyes half-lidded, watching as the fabric grows wetter, translucent. Will’s nipple hardens against the rough pull of his tongue and the bite of closed lips. He squirms when Hannibal moves to the other side and repeats the motions. 

When Hannibal glances up, he blanches at the sight of Will’s eyes sealed shut, and his mouth parted in pure, unadulterated, pleasure. There is a light blush spreading slowly from his cheeks to his sternum. He hadn’t expected him to like this. 

With shaky fingers, he undoes the rest of Will’s shirt and parts the folds of fabric, panting heavier when he sees the damp, erect nipples waiting for him. He’s incapable of holding himself back, sinking down to take Will’s right one between his lips and sucks. 

Will expels a breathy, “Whoa,” flinching away for a moment before growing accustomed to the sharp, tugging sensation. He was always easily adaptable. “I’ve got you,” he whispers, running a hand soothingly through his hair, petting him over and over until Hannibal feels he’s on the verge of breaking. 

Hannibal doesn’t notice how hard he’s pushing into Will’s thigh with the hand that isn’t immobilizing him at his torso, until Will takes the hand with his other and rubs firm circles into the rise of his palm, repeating the motion in time with the strokes of his hair. Hannibal feels like jelly, not entirely sure he’s sucking anymore, but unable to pry himself off. Whether it be a spike of shame or rebellion at his own abandon, he digs his teeth into the pert nub until he hears Will’s whimper of pain, the bite of nails in his palm. 

Will doesn’t accuse him of hurting him, doesn’t ask him to stop, arches up into the sensation instead and cradles Hannibal’s skull closer, asking him without voice to take what he needs. 

Hannibal tastes blood, sucks it down until the taste weakens, and with a snarl, quickly latches onto the drier nipple, not nearly as hard as the other. Will gasps with the change, and moans. Hannibal ruts against the sheets between Will’s thighs, sucking with more ardor than before. 

His nipples quickly grow tender, oversensitive. Each suck causes a shocky flinch, and his stomach is quivering, whole body affected, until he can’t hold back the small, needy sounds forcing their way from his throat. He bites this nipple too, piercing flesh, and those sounds turn into cries, pained vocalizations that make it sound like Will wants to get away, but his cock is hard as rock jutting into Hannibal’s belly. 

“Hannibal,” he murmurs, wanting more, “Hannibal, I─oh hell.”

He stutters over his words when Hannibal rubs the other nipple with a thumb, rolling it under the pad, smearing the droplets of blood that have formed in his distraction with the other. Will groans, both of his hands flying up to cover his own eyes. 

It is lewd. The sounds, the vision they make, the feeling. 

Will begins to shake, and when Hannibal drags his swollen lips across his chest and returns to the first nipple, teeth latching on to keep it erect in his mouth, Will seizes, and comes. 

Untouched, everywhere other than here. 

Hannibal eases his mouth off of his nipples, nudges them with thumbs as he watches dazedly, Will digging the heels of his palms into his eyes, mouth falling open to release a shuddering breath as the last waves of his orgasm rush through him. His stomach is wet, semen leaking from the tip, connecting in a sticky line from his navel to the head of his cock. 

“Ohmygod,” Will says under his breath, barely audible. 

The sight of him coming undone from nothing other than Hannibal’s mouth on his chest is what ricochets Hannibal back to reality. There is a deeply rooted satiation inside him, inexplicable, and unpresent when he’d done this to Bedelia. Perhaps, it had to be the right person. 

He barely notices his own hard cock, lining his clothed body up against Will’s carelessly, and strokes the sensitive red flush around his nipples, kissing one as its pertness begins to fade. 

Will reluctantly takes his hands away from his pupil-swollen eyes, and looks down. He’s still heaving in air, and his upper body is still blushing from the treatment, but he flops back against the cushion of the bed and releases a breathless laugh. 

“I had no idea I could come from that,” Will muses as Hannibal, uncharacteristically, remains quiet. He nuzzles Will’s chest, breathing in the scent of his release and his endorphins. 

“Come here, you,” Will murmurs, tugging at his biceps, pulling him up. Up Hannibal goes, kissing every patch of skin he passes until Will is pushing his parted lips against his own, tasting his own blood. “If I was you, I’d be psychoanalyzing you right now.” 

A chill runs down Hannibal’s spine, not quite ready for that. 

He suddenly understands with complete certainty Will’s aversion to psychoanalyzation and considers darting out of the room like a child, but unlike him, Will has mercy.

“But, I’m not you,” Will whispers, kissing him curtly before flipping him. Hannibal lands on his back, blinking fast as Will descends down his body, nipping at the fabric of his shirt, parting it finally so he can tickle his tongue through Hannibal’s chest hair. 

Intentions are clear when Will dips further than his belly button, nosing at his waistband and belt, tugging at the leather with his teeth and looking playfully conspiratorial as his fingers find the fly of his pants. Hannibal blinks faster and places a hand over Will’s to stay him. 

“Will, I’ve taken enough from you today,” he tells him hoarsely. 

“And I haven’t taken nearly enough from you,” Will shoots back, looking beautiful in his nakedness as he tucks his legs to the side so they don’t dangle off the edge of the bed.

Pants are shoved down to his knees, briefs parted. 

He takes Hannibal’s cock out, and licks the head. 

Sighing, Hannibal fall’s back into the mattress, and murmurs, “I’m far too close to last, my love.” He stiffens when Will sucks on the tip, drawing more pre-ejaculate out onto his tongue. He hums around him and Hannibal exhales, trembling.

He can’t remember the last time someone went down on him, if it was Alana or Bedelia. Perhaps someone else. He’s dreamt about Will’s mouth for so long, it seems silly he finds his mind provokingly blank. 

“Give me a heads up,” Will murmurs against the shaft before swallowing down as much girth as he can manage. Hannibal curls socked toes into the sheets, forcing his hands to remain far from the bundle of bobbing curls beneath him, as much as he’d like to grab and thrust. 

He doesn’t last at all; it takes thirty seconds and the taste of Will’s blood rising up in his mouth with an inadvertent swallow before he’s muttering, “That’s enough.” 

Not the most eloquent phrase he could have uttered, but Will gets the picture, lips tugging over the tip until they’re just barely grazing the frenulum, and his hand fists a tight undulating rhythm around the base. 

Hannibal releases with a sharp hiss, spurts of come overflowing from the slit of his cock and painting Will’s cheeks white. 

Some of it gets on one of his eyelids, and Will blinks furiously as the mess threatens to seep over his eyelashes; the sight makes the waves of pleasure crash harder through him, his body cramping, breath stuttering out.  

Will keeps jerking him off, even after he’s done, mesmerized by the gaping, twitching swollen head. He licks it once more before easing up and Hannibal lets go of tension he hadn’t known he’d been harboring, body lax and mind blanker now. 

It’s rare even in sex he feels so void. 

He doesn’t notice Will crawling over him until his naked hips are flush with his own and he’s arching down for a kiss. Hannibal reciprocates to the best of his exhausted ability. 

He licks his release from Will’s face, like a fussy cat. 

“You don’t have to be ashamed to want things from me,” Will tells him after some time coming down, rubbing massaging patterns into sore bones. “You never had to be.” 

Hannibal thinks on this. He thinks about framing Will, keeping information about his illness from him. He thinks about nearly killing his entire family. He thinks about Abigail, and their lost ideal of family. 

“You know aside from this instance, shame was never a part of our equation.” 

“I know,” Will whispers, breath tickling the fine hairs on his neck. “I do think there was fear, even if it was slight. Even if you couldn’t recognize it for what it was. You were scared to want.” 

Scared to love and lose that love. It seems sensible. 

Hannibal turns his head, tongues Will’s upper lip and then whispers close to his ear with the pure menace he’d been lacking all day, “Prove it.” 

Will laughs, tightening his thighs around Hannibal’s hips to keep him close. 

There is a scratching at the door, and whimpering following that. Will rolls his eyes, their needy child igniting even his fuse nowadays. Will cleans himself up, grumbling and fussing while Hannibal watches, lounging and carefree. He knows Will finds his nonchalance annoying. 

“I’m not used to puppies,” Will explains. “I usually got dogs when they were already five years old. Or older. Mongoose has abandonment issues or something.” 

“Maybe she just loves us,” Hannibal suggests. Will raises a brow at the defense of their dog, raises it higher when he adds, “I thought you knew how to train them.” 

“Are you questioning my skills as a dog owner?” Will asks brashly, though can’t help the twitch of his lips, curling wryly. 

“Do I need to?” 

Will is suddenly over him, dressed in his slacks, but reddened, swollen nipples on display close enough to touch. Hannibal licks his lips and meets his eyes, smirking when Will replies;

“Bet I could put you in a collar.” 

“Unlikely,” Hannibal murmurs, antagonizing. Truly, he’s curious at what Will might do in such a scenario. Perhaps he truly had underestimated the spectrum of Will’s desires. 

They are being unabashedly playful, and what Hannibal does know, is that he doesn’t want this to end. He wants to explore it, foster the tenderness between them, indulge in whatever sweet light has brightened between their souls and continues to. He shocks himself at how deeply he wishes to see Will happy. 

Will thrusts them into a passionate, toying kiss, and Hannibal smiles.