A/N: Hello, people!
I don't own Hannibal or Sherlock.
I have no beta.
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The courtroom doors slammed open and the assembly of people turned in confusion to see just who would dare to interrupt such an important trial. Weren't there supposed to be measures of some sort in place to make sure that didn't happen?
The man who sauntered into the room was the very definition of posh and dramatic. He was clad in an obviously stylish black suit with a mauve shirt as the only splash of color. Over that was a long trench coat that flapped around him as he walked. His dark, curly hair flopped slightly with each step and his light eyes were bright with excitement.
The bailiff stepped forward as the man hopped over the gate blocking the gallery from the court-proceedings. "Sir, I'm going to give you one chance to step bac-"
"Boring," the strange man intoned in a fancy, English accent. "I don't care for whatever word-for-word dribble you're about to quote at me. I'm here to present evidence that proves Mr. William Aubrey Holmes Graham is innocent as well as proving what utter simpletons the FBI is filled with."
He placed a large file on the stand, right in front of Jack Crawford who was currently being cross-examined. "For the Behavioral Analysis Unit, you really don't do any investigating when William isn't in charge, do you? You make the whole of Scotland Yard look like hard workers and that's an incredibly difficult thing to accomplish."
The people looked between the man being accused of murder - who was sitting as lax as usual but now staring at the new person like he was some kind of nightmare made flesh and bone – and the stranger who barged in and was acting like he owned the place!
What was the relation between them?
"Brother mine, do contain yourself," a new voice called out softly and even more posh than the first man's voice.
Will Graham winced and then sighed deeply, leaning forward to rest his head against the table before him.
"Come now, William, don't channel Sherlock with these theatrics," the new man tutted. "You are far less self-absorbed than he."
The sound of a gavel crashing down made them all jump. "Order in my courtroom!" the judge demanded, looking angered by the interruption. "Gentlemen, do explain yourselves swiftly before the officers take action."
The new man, bedecked in a three-piece suit and twirling an umbrella like it was a simple baton, chuckled. "Apologies. When news of my brother's predicament became nationwide drama, I had to hire the best consulting detective in all of Britain to investigate the situation."
"Oh, stop your excessively fake flattery, brother mine," the first Englishman sneered, "It doesn't look good on you."
The lawyer for the FBI stood in a huff and tried to say, "This case has already been investigate-"
Both Englishmen snorted. "I think not," the redhead murmured coolly. "In fact, from what I've read, the FBI barely investigated anything nor did they use their resources appropriately."
The woman went silent instantly, looking baffled and guilty all at once.
"And," added the brunet Brit, "to make it even more offensive, you've completely overlooked the basic facts. William was not alone when Marissa Schurr was murdered. He was in the company of two others all evening. He wouldn't have been able to murder her yet somehow Doctor Bloom seemed to have forgotten that. Or the fact that he didn't bring anything with him to Minnesota and would not have the tools necessary to create such a detailed murder tableau in so little time.
"On the next note, he was under surveillance at the hospital all evening and could not have been responsible for anyone's death in that time-frame because he was hooked up to an IV drip and had to drag it behind him everywhere he went. He also did not have access to anything that could cause the hyperbaric oxygen chamber to ignite into flames and burn Georgia Madchen alive from the inside. Such things aren't easy even for trained professionals to make use of, let alone a sick man. William entered Georgia's room, under watch of the staff, hours before she died. She had several visits from doctors and nurses after that, who fiddled with the chamber themselves. If this implicates him I'd like to know why the five nurses and three doctors that were currently on that floor weren't also implicated or questioned. Common sense, really."
The man in the trench coat rambled on and on as he walked back and forth. He looked to be in his element and uninterested in stopping any time soon. he was going to talk and they were going to listen whether they liked it or not.
"To further add insult to injury, despite finding remains of victims on his fishing lures, the FBI seemed incapable of noting that the thread-work on the lures were perfect up until the final few pulls. William has been fishing his entire life and knows his way around fishing lures. Decades of skill like that don't suddenly disappear even if he's afflicted with Encephalitis."
"Encephali-" Jack Crawford tried to say but was interrupted.
"Someone else added their own work to his work and they did a rather poor job of it. The fact that records show that the FBI only checked the lures and not the entire lure station for prints or clues, demonstrates their ineptitude aplenty. You didn't even think it was strange that the remains of the victims were only added to the very tips of seven out of forty-three lures?
"Furthermore, Will Graham doesn't have a special murder cabin, basement, attic, or shed. He has a teacher's salary and his tax records are immaculate. His credit card and debt card history are on equal footing with this. He cannot afford what is necessary to be such a methodical killer as the one behind these murders. He doesn't have access to the means necessary to create such a detailed murder tableau, nor does he live near anyone with access to anything need to commit these murders.
"The only official weapons in his house were a hunting rifle purchased a decade ago, and the handgun the BAU gave him. The unofficial weapons would include a boning knife for his fish, a steak knife for his food, the contents of a standard handyman's toolbox, and thirteen potential Molotov cocktails if he felt motivated enough to waste his alcohol collection on such an unoriginal weapon. All this time and the FBI still haven't found some secret base he could have used, and his shed is old, untarnished, and was filled with frozen fish that the FBI took and determined all were indeed fish. Up to a fifty mile radius around his house has been searched and yet nothing was discovered. Interesting."
Will Graham stayed exactly where he was, head pressed to the table and not bothering to look up in the least. Even though the man was defending him he refused to give him any attention.
Jack Crawford's mouth got progressively lower and lower the more the strange Englishman spoke.
Alana Bloom, sitting among the gallery, had her head in her hands, shaking back and forth.
Even the judge was baffled as the man walked back and forth, basically talking to himself as he enumerated the many ways the FBI were incompetent in his personal opinion.
"Don't just take my word for any of this of course," he said suddenly, gesturing to Jack Crawford, "the packet I just gave to Agent Crawford has all of this plus mountains of evidence to back it up. We took the liberty of sending out our personal force to collect this data for day."
"They are not a 'personal force', Sherlock," the ginger Englishman sighed.
"They're retired MI5 operatives, they're your personal force, AKA, my personal force, brother mine. Do keep up. Our former agents scattered across the states to gather this information in a timely manner for us. All I had to do was point them in the proper directions and they, like the loyal puppies they are, followed suit. Quite expeditiously I might add."
Jack Crawford handed the file of papers to the bailiff after flipping through it to ascertain its safety. The bailiff took it gingerly and gave it a look over himself, which made both Englishmen roll their eyes. Finally, it was handed to the judge.
While the judge began to read right there, the man in the long coat continued talking.
"Continuing on with the incompetence the FBI has shown, we must switch our attention to the details of the Copycat and the Chesapeake Ripper, both who are the same person, a former surgeon with impressive handling of all types of knives, a man of culture who has obnoxious taste in finery, and someone very sure of himself and his position and isn't threatened by anything. All things William has already stated within minutes of reading the file the FBI had on the Ripper at the time.
"Now, only nine hundred people across the states fit such a description. Through a simple search, we've determined that eight hundred and seventy-three of them aren't capable of such things, for reasons such as commute, money, location, skillset, age, and so on. This leaves twenty-seven people still, and all files on them are included for the judge's perusal. I will tell you all now that four currently live in the vicinity of Quantico, if we consider the vicinity as a one hundred mile radius. They are Fredrick Chilton, Alana Bloom, Marquis Weiss, and Hannibal Lecter."
Three of those names were familiar since all three were currently involved in the current case. The Weiss fellow was an unknown however.
"Now, we can remove Marquis Weiss off this list because he has no connection to the FBI, lives the furthest away, has no drivers license of his own, and his time as a surgeon ended a few months ago when his right hand was crushed in an automobile accident. He has only one hand now and wasn't capable of performing any murders in the past three months. This leaves our last three suspects."
Alana Bloom looked stricken, Hannibal Lecter looked curious, and Fredrick Chilton looked terrified.
"Alana Bloom is just as capable of being a murderer as the other two, don't let her sweet face fool any of you. She was also present during many of the murder investigations that Will Graham was involved in. She was personally included by Jack Crawford. She is the one who recommended Hannibal Lecter to Jack Crawford, and Crawford introduced he and Will. Alana studied under Lecter years ago and they've remained close friends ever since. She also worked with Chilton, who is also friends with Hannibal Lecter. All three have regular contact with the FBI due to their jobs. All three are our remaining suspects, and all three are deeply connected with each other. All three are wealthy, have experience in surgery, are incredibly well-connected, and possess driving, hunting, and boating licenses. An interesting detail."
The doctors in question maintained their expressions, though Bloom was more horrified this time around. Lecter seemed unaffected and Chilton… he wasn't looking very good.
Will Graham's head remained pressed to the desk. He hadn't looked up since the second Englishman entered the courtroom.
"However, while it sounds very much like these three happen to be co-conspirators who are all working together, Doctor Bloom is not emotionally capable of committing murder. She has a long history of being incapable of breaking even basic laws and her morality and guilt are immense. Mentally and emotionally she isn't capable and lacks fortitude to directly break laws. That doesn't mean she can't be an assistant however, never forget that. She could be funneling information to the others after all."
He let them consider that for a total of three seconds before he was off on another tangent.
The man just didn't stop talking ever.
"As for the other two suspects, Dr. Lecter was noted to be a much better surgeon, but people are capable of falsifying information and pretending to be terrible for personal reasons. If you all remember, Dr. Chilton manages the BSHCI and works closely with the FBI. Much longer than Dr. Lecter has in fact. He also spent the past several months claiming to have imprisoned the Chesapeake Ripper, spending abnormal amounts of time with the prisoner in question and convincing him that he is indeed the Ripper. Then trying to get the BAU to agree with them both only to be told by Will Graham that he was wrong and that Dr. Gideon only thinks he is the Ripper but even when replicating a famous Ripper murder, he still didn't manage to capture the Ripper's personal style of violence and pomp."
So now it sounded as if Chilton was the murderer, or at least the main suspect in charge?
But was he really that capable? He came across as more of a bumbling fool than anything else.
"Dr. Lecter only began working with the FBI four months ago, brought on by Jack Crawford himself. While he seems far more capable than Chilton just by nature, he is an incredibly busy man. His house his spotless, his basement is dedicated to his cooking pursuits only and has no secrets, the same for his attic, he does not own any other properties under his original name and we could not find any alias he might have to make illicit purchases. Finally, Dr. Lecter is in the public eye constantly. He attends the opera every week, hosts monthly dinner parties for his socialite companions, solicits business from many proprietors in Baltimore, and has a full schedule with his clientele of at least three people a day from Monday to Friday. His credit and debit cards reflect his opulent lifestyle.
"He was also out of place during Marissa Schurr's murder. He was the only person with a room on the other side of the hotel, and he wasn't monitored the entire time. However, his room had a kitchen and he made use of it, cooking for the entire group in his time there and not having enough time to make every meal by hand, as well as disappear somewhere to murder a teenager."
Hannibal Lecter watched the proceedings with a curious expression. He was the only suspect not concerned at present. Even though Bloom had basically been revealed to not be the murderer, she still looked scared. Chilton… was unconscious in his chair.
That didn't look very good on his end.
"Frankly, the suspects were all very obvious and it only proves the FBI's foolishness that they were all completely overlooked during the investigation. It takes minor effort to just open your eyes and read a little, but I suppose I can't expect much from you lot. You call your car parks 'parking lots'."
The red-haired gentleman nodded. "Nice, nice, wonderful, brother mine. Now that you've stroked your own ego for the past ten minutes, I encourage the judge to take a look at the very last section of the file that shows a map of Dr. Chilton's home and the unmarked room located beneath his basement. There are photos, memory sticks containing video evidence, plus a myriad of other things that don't even involve the Chesapeake Ripper and instead are centered around Dr. Chilton's job at the hospital and the various illegal acts he commits on the regular. Honestly, it's very obvious who is truly guilty here, but we'll understand if your honor wishes to take more time to review the evidence. In fact, in the meantime, I think we can begin working on a new case against the FBI for their negligence and emotional damages to Will Graham. Ms. Kade Prurnell herself spent the past few weeks trying to rush a civil servant into a decision without following legal procedures accordingly. Will Graham, whether suspect or victim, still deserved a legal trial and all it encompasses, and he has not been receiving that."
The judge deliberated for a moment, before slamming the gavel down. "This court will reconvene in seven days where a decision will be made. In the meantime, bailiff, take Dr. Bloom, Dr. Chilton, and Dr. Lecter into custody. The three will have to be detained until a decision is made, strictly for safety purposes. Mr. Mycroft Holmes and Mr. Sherlock Holmes, you will join me in my office in a few moments for a more in depth discussion on the legalities of how you came upon this information and why I should take you seriously at all."
The people of the gallery were left stunned wondering just how things would unfold since to them, it seemed like all three doctors were guilty and working together to some degree. And despite them being possibly guilty, was Will graham not guilty of the murder of Abigail Hobbs? Her ear was literally inside him!
But Will Graham remained as he'd been the entire time. No one could even begin to guess what he was thinking.
It was all very confusing.
What would be happening from here on out?
All Will Graham wanted was to be left alone.
The three walls of his cell, and then the bars. No one else in visible distance. Freddie Lounds not lurking around any corners just out of reach. No stupid guards trying to get some kind of information out of him.
Curious how his brothers were choosing to act now. Curious their decision was.
Hannibal better damn well be grateful.
Fuck, why did he have to jinx himself? He was doing so well! it was all going so well.
"We're here to take you for a check up."
The two guards standing on the other side of the bars twitched in discomfort. "Your... older brother said you are ill and have gone untreated this whole time. We have a few professionals on standby."
"I've got Encephalitis, I know this."
"We need it to be specifically diagnosed, sir. Then you'll need treatment as soon as possible."
"Okay. Fine. Let's get this over with."
If they can get the official diagnosis, then he could get the treatment, and then he could get back to the solitude of his cell, but with a clearer head.
That sounded nice. Then he could begin plotting.
Hannibal Lecter was terribly curious about the situation he found himself in. One in which things could go absolutely terrible if he didn't play his cards right.
Many things presented themselves as interesting and he wasn't sure how to categorize them appropriately.
1.) Will's entire name was William Aubrey Graham but somehow he was related to the Holmes brothers, of which Hannibal hadn't been aware. From all their conversations, he'd come away thinking that Will was an only child and had no living family. Of course, Will wasn't very vocal about his personal life. Talking about how crimes scenes and killers made him feel wasn't very personal in either his or Hannibal's opinions.
One could not measure Will up against the common, banal people Hannibal typically spoke to in his office. Unique experiences and a lack of Will's specific talents made them vastly different. What was personal in Will's mind could not be juxtaposed properly.
2.) Will had two older brothers both as equally intelligent as he was, maybe even more so if that was at all possible. Will, quite literally, was the youngest child of an apparently wealthy family. Yet lived as if poor in childhood?
3.) Will was also a British citizen?
4.) Will's brothers had connections to MI5 and MI6 and could sent out former operatives to do their bidding without anyone questioning their decisions?
5.) Will's brothers had scouted Hannibal, Alana, and Chilton to significant detail in order to implicate all of them in the Chesapeake Ripper and Copycat murders. They'd managed to do so without anyone suspecting them.
6.) Will's family seemed to have frightening intelligence and there was no way his brothers didn't know Hannibal was the real culprit. Just from ten or so minutes of them speaking he'd gleaned enough information to know what side of the family Will acquired his mind from.
7.) Will's brothers were allowing Chilton to take the fall for some reason.
Many things had happened and yet his curiosity remained piqued. Even with his future hanging in the balance, he couldn't help but feel excited. Something new and interesting had cropped up and intended to give him a hard time. Fascinating.
He'd love to get inside Mr. Sherlock Holmes' brain and see how he differed from his younger brother. Both were very similar in their ability to process information and understand the intricacies of minuscule patterns. Will had Encephalitis making him under-perform. If he'd been in top form he'd have been a much bigger threat from the start.
So, what was he to do?
At present, all he could do was smile with grace and be as open and honest as possible.
If the Holmes siblings wanted to let him get away with murder, who was he to look a gift horse in the mouth? Hannibal was all about taking advantages when they presented themselves.
As for Will… he wanted to know what be happening on his end. Surely he'd be released form the hospital after all of this. It was undeniable that he was innocent even with Abigail's ear being found inside his body. Perhaps Hannibal could set her up in the vicinity of Chilton's home? Just to make things interesting?
Will was serious in his accusations of Hannibal being the Ripper. He'd been vocal about it to many people. No one believed him, but with Hannibal now being a suspect, that had to put an interesting twist on his words and the validity of his sanity. Though it might be pushed off because of the revelation of Will's illness, the words had been recorded already.
Hannibal was reasonably certain he'd walk away from this without a problem. All he had to do was make certain that his record going forward was stunning. Regular appearances at the opera. More special dinners. No killing for quite some time just to be safe. He needed as many eyes on him as possible and needed to appear as harmless as possible.
If he could wait two years to skin a pig, he could put his favorite activity on hold for as long as necessary. Hannibal's self-control was unparalleled.
"Dr. Lecter, some agents from the FBI are here to speak with you."
He fixed the guard, Steven, with a calm smile. "Very well."
"What did I do to deserve this?"
"William, do cease with the dramatics. The Americans were failing you despite touting their freedom and unity tripe all the time, and you deserve to reap the consequences of your own actions and no on else's," Sherlock said with an exaggerated eye roll. "I certainly wouldn't take the blame for something I didn't do."
That got a snort from Mycroft who chose to keep his opinion to himself.
"I know you aren't calling me dramatic, William," Will sneered in return. "You chose to monologue in the middle of my trial, for thirteen minutes and seventeen seconds."
"It was twenty-three seconds!" Sherlock corrected automatically. "And don't call me William."
"Then don't call me Wil-"
"Children!" Mycroft hissed, losing his vaunted composure for a moment, "Do remember where we are presently standing."
In the middle of the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. The two older Holmes brothers were outside his cell, and Will was behind bars. All three were incredibly serious but for entirely different reasons. Will was annoyed because of how embarrassing being saved by his brothers was and how they'd chosen to spin the case, Mycroft was annoyed at everything his younger brothers managed to evoke within him with such little effort, and Sherlock was annoyed because he hated how the American justice system was formed and then maintained.
"...Sherly started it."
"That's worse than William!"
All three Holmes brothers turned to find a short, blond man in a cable-knit sweater, walking toward them.
Categorizing him immediately, Will noted the crew cut, sharp set of the shoulders, and the intense look in his eyes as he made his way to Sherlock to specifically.
"Wow," he murmured, making Sherlock roll his eyes as he realized what was coming, "I didn't think you had a thing for soldiers, Sherlock. You like taking orders now? When's the wedding?"
The soldier in question stopped right on the other side of the visitor's line, back straight. He wrinkled his nose twice, before nodding sharply. "I'm John Watson, and Sherlock doesn't think a piece of paper would say much about the state of our relationship."
"Well he's not wrong," Will agreed with a shrug. "Paper is paper and holds no meaning."
Sherlock nodded, sending his lover an I-told-you-so look.
"However, should anything happen that ends with either of you in the hospital before Mycroft can get his people involved, dating is simply not a good reason for doctors to allow you to be together. I'd think of it more like a partnership to make your lives easier in the future when you're off chasing down killers together, rather than basing your emotional connection on the well-being of a slip of paper and a band of metal."
John Watson smiled then, sending the now pouting Sherlock a quirked brow in retaliation for his former expression.
Will looked to Mycroft. "They're perfect for each other."
"Have been since the day they met in fact," his oldest brother murmured with a bit of a sneer. "Running all over London, flirting over the body of a dead woman, exposing themselves to Scotland Yard, and even taking down a serial killer all within the span of the same evening no less."
Unbidden, a memory of he and Hannibal the night they found the Silvestri, came to mind.
"If we're going to be talking about my love life, perhaps we should shift our focus to Will's own love life. Falling for his psychiatrist, tsk, tsk."
Will hadn't even looked Hannibal's way all day. He didn't want to know exactly how Sherlock had determined that he'd fallen for a serial killer who cannibalizes his victims.
"Now, now," crooned Mycroft, "let us not tease our dear Will too much about his tastes in men. In his defense, the Lithuanian is indeed a fine specimen at the very least."
"Cease," Sherlock demanded, face twisted in disgust. "Immediately. And never compliment another person's attractiveness again, I don't think my stomach would handle it. Thank you ahead of time."
John Watson snorted and looked away before his lover could turn an accusing glare his way. "While you were busy, I was doing a little bit of searching on my own. I've got a bunch of notes if you're curious." He even had a little notepad in hand.
"I already know everything I need to know about Hannibal Lecter," Sherlock said with a shrug. "Fifty year old Baron, eight or ninth of his name, who immigrated from Lithuania. Lived in France and Italy for a time of course. Was formerly a surgeon but quit to pursue psychiatry. In a relationship with Dr. Alana Bloom but does not love her and barely likes her anymore. Is obsessed with Will Graham to an unnatural degree. Speaks nine languages fluently. Is a trained chef, knows at least two forms of martial arts, and loves distracting everyone with his garish pattern choices so they don't look too close."
Sherlock had left out a lot of information simply because Chilton had the corridor bugged, as well as all the cells. Per Sherlock's usual, his customary rant would have been twice as long if not more, but all said within the span of a minute. In Sherlock's mind, everything connected incredibly quickly, which was why he tended to forget that others couldn't keep up with his line of thinking.
It seemed that John Watson was not among 'others'. Or, at the very least, he'd gotten so used to it that he'd begun to understand Sherlock's quirks, and maybe even appreciate them.
The look on John's face was one of patient suffering, showing that he was used to this kind of behavior. He waited calmly, allowing Sherlock to show off as much as he wanted, before saying, "He's actually a Count."
"...There's always something."
Definitely perfect for each other.
"So that's your younger brother," John said thoughtfully as he and the Holmes brothers he was familiar with, returned to Mycroft's fancy rented Jaguar. "I expected him to be more..."
"Like us?" Sherlock finished with a smirk.
"Well… basically. I haven't really gotten to see him dress somebody down for being an idiot however so I can't really judge him yet. If he's related to you both, then of course he must be brilliant."
Mycroft hummed. "William Aubrey Graham was a product of our parents having a break. They decided that they should go their separate ways for six months to determine if they were really happy together. During that time, any personal decisions were completely legally sanctioned and no one holds a grudge or any malice for what happened."
"That's because mummy is too practical to be offended by the results of her own suggestion," Sherlock said.
"True," Mycroft agreed. "Our father encountered a young woman about three months into the agreement and they spent a week together. She was a tourist from America, but spoke fluent French and tried to pretend she was French Canadian. However, she held her cigarette incorrectly and father easily noticed within seconds, that she was a liar. Years in MI5 made him curious enough to approach her. They had a small affair, she ended up just being a common tourist and went back to America with some new experiences on her bucket list.
"Our father received a letter on Sherlock's fifth birthday, telling him he had another son who was turning two soon, but that her brother had adopted him as his own. She decided that she wasn't meant for motherhood and took off, leaving her brother and son alone in Louisiana and never saw them again. We know where she is of course, but Will wants nothing to do with her and out of respect for that decision, we don't mention anything about her to him."
John was completely blindsided by this information, having never expected such a dramatic story being a part of Sherlock's family history. Honestly, it was more interesting that the MI5 and MI6 running in the family bit.
"So how did you all meet each other?" he asked, trying to make that make sense. "I can't seem to put that together. He's in America and you're in Britain."
"Bill Graham wasn't financially stable and moved around often. By the time we had contact with the address Will's mother provided, they were long gone. It took some time for father to find them. Will was turning five himself by the time we were able to meet him. He was adorable and had the same floppy curls as Sherlock and could have been his twin if we didn't know any better."
"He was much more quiet back then," Sherlock noted as he pulled into their hotel's parking lot. He was the only person with a license to drive in both Britain and America, and many other countries for the sake of convenience. "No less intelligent of course. I'm proud to say he was at my level already despite being three years younger and born of a different mother. He simply didn't feel the need to speak. More children should be like that."
Mycroft hummed in thought. "I believe we first heard him speak four years after meeting him. He was visiting for his birthday, and one look at one of the caterers had him accusing her of theft and refusing to be near her until she was gone from the premises. We all had not seen her until she brought in Will's cake and it was easy enough to see that she was wearing familiar jewelry far too opulent for her and that her shoes weren't the mandatory set required of her business' workers."
"She was very talented at picking pockets," said Sherlock as he stepped out of the car. "Almost got away with it. If she'd had enough intelligence to withhold the urge to wear her stolen goods, she would have gotten away with it. We would have noted she was a thief easily, but without proof of theft directly involving our family's possessions, we wouldn't have a reason to say anything. Petty thievery, at that time in our lives, was inconsequential to us."
John's eyes rolled as he joined his husband-to-be in waiting for Mycroft to get his things from the car. "You Holmes' are bloody ridiculous."
"Thank you," both brothers chorused.
How did he end up entwined in the lives of these posh twats?
"Wait! Has he met Eurus?"
Mycroft nodded. "Only Sherlock rewrote her existence. Will remembered her perfectly. She's very protective of him and threatened to do away with Will's mother the moment the word is given. The offer is still up in the air any time someone takes her up on it. I've no doubt she'd somehow manage it even from Sherrinford."
"You're free, as expected," said Mycroft as he stepped outside the bars of his cell, uncuffed, for the first time since his arrival.
"And Chilton's head is conveniently on the block, as expected," Will added. "Sherlock really laid it on thick during his little monologue."
"Convenient for us that Dr. Chilton has broken many laws already and was coincidentally implicated in the events of the past several years," was his brother's rejoinder.
Truly an unfortunate set of events.
"So am I going to hear the reason for why you've covered for the actual criminal?" Will murmured lowly.
The ever familiar look of displeasure on Mycroft's face made him sigh. "You know."
"Of course. The man is besotted with you and you return those feelings wholeheartedly, Will. Now, while I can respect that, he is going to have to make amends for withholding the knowledge of your health condition from you, and the fact that he put your life in danger."
All was silent for a moment, before Will said, "You've got a dozen snipers on him right now, don't you?"
"Of course. How could I not?"
"Of course," Will sighed.
What an odd way to be overprotective of someone.
"Dr. Lecter, I'm certain you're curious as to why you've been spared our particular brand of justice."
Hannibal stared at Mycroft Holmes, who invited himself into the office without hesitation, swinging his umbrella around in a careless manner, yet with a strong enough grip to tell Hannibal that there was most likely a knife inside it. Considering the length of the umbrella, it was probably a small sword.
"I find myself endlessly curious about the state of Will's mind. Learning that you're related to him has extended that curiosity to you as well," was Hannibal's measured response.
The man smirked, stopping in the very center of the room, directly between the windows. The light from them shadowed him ominously. "Our Will is most displeased with you and deserves to handle you personally for what you've done to him. However, if his affection for you is strong enough, you might not die."
Before Hannibal could respond, he found several red lights shining through the windows, covering his chest in a dozen or so little red dots.
Mycroft Holmes smiled, calm as you please. "While Will's affection for you may save your life, I am not emotionally connected to you in the slightest, and I don't appreciate what you put my younger brother through, Dr. Lecter. Legally you were not his official doctor, and cannot be brought to justice for your actions there, but you were supposed to be his friend at the very least, and you failed him. That genius brain you admire and came to love, was almost destroyed because of your negligence."
It was one of the very few things Hannibal actually viewed as a mistake. He did end up regretting his decisions and in hindsight, he could think of many ways he could have studied Will more easily without potentially ruining his mind.
That hadn't been the goal after all. He'd merely wanted to unleash whatever it was that Will kept locked up inside.
He'd gone too far. He can admit that at least to himself.
Not to anyone else of course, but certainly to himself.
And now he found himself on the business end of at least a dozen sniper rifles.
He loved living a life full of danger. It made things more interesting.
"The lack of fear in your eyes is admirable," Mycroft Holmes said approvingly, "but I know men like you. Death from a bullet would be the most insulting thing to someone of your stature, and if you don't want such an impersonal end to be visited upon you, you'll listen very carefully."
Hannibal remained silent. He didn't want to admit aloud that the senior Holmes brother was correct in his assessment. He didn't want to feel as uncomfortable as he actually did in the moment either.
"In our family, the opinion of the remaining family members means nothing when we choose to pursue someone. The rest will simply have to accept our decisions and deal with it. Will falling for a cannibal was never anyone's first thought when considering his potential relationships."
"I'm surprised serial killer isn't the main concern here," Hannibal remarked, unable to keep that thought to himself. The way the word 'cannibal' had been uttered made it sound like Mr. Holmes felt it was worse than murder.
A placid smile crossed the Englishman's face. "I occupy a minor position in the British Government, Dr. Lecter. As such, I'm responsible for more deaths than you. All for the sake of Britain's betterment of course. None of the Holmes' will have a problem with that facet of your life… so long as it doesn't endanger anyone in the family or any British citizens. We aren't exactly clean of blood after all."
Ah… a special kind of threat.
"Keep your habits off of British soil and your reputation spotless. If you are foolish enough to get caught, or even be suspected for murder ever again, we will handle you swiftly before you're even aware of it. Do not drag our Will down with your failure, Dr. Lecter, you won't like the consequences."
The red lights disappeared and Mycroft Holmes sauntered from the room, his umbrella swinging as he whistled "God Save the Queen".
Distantly, Hannibal was aware of the rise in his pulse.
For a moment there, he'd been truly afraid, but to be truthful, he couldn't pinpoint what exactly it was that worried him enough to affect him in such a way.
"I don't want to see Hannibal right now."
"Lie," Sherlock quipped from the other side of the room.
"Fuck off," Will replied, not looking away from his laptop. "Though to be honest I do, but if I do I might shoot him and I don't actually want him dead now. I'd just enjoy that particular form of anger management for a few minutes."
"Now that your murder attempt failed, you mean?" asked Sherlock. "It was quite the inspiring attempt using your adorable hair and eyes to make that poor boy swoon so hard for you. Too bad he failed. That could've been an interesting case to decipher, and since the FBI are simpletons, I would have had many mistakes to wade through."
Will rolled his eyes for what seemed like the umpteenth time.
"Sherlock," John called, "stop teasing your brother. He's going through some emotional turmoil right now and doesn't need your snark being shoved down his throat."
"Yes, Sherly, be nice to your little brother," Will taunted. "I'm going through some emotional turmoil, you know."
John snorted but withheld whatever comment he wanted to make.
"Stop corrupting my fiancé!"
"He's exposed to you every single day, if anyone corrupted him it wasn't me, Sherly."
"You have managed to get me to overlook the severed head in the fridge and the foot in the crisper," John noted in wonder. "If that isn't a form of corruption then I must not have understood the definition of that word when I learned it in school."
Sherlock scowled at them. "It's not that big of a deal. They're only in there for the sake of science. If I must remind you, my vast array of knowledge on various types of dirt, tobacco ash, minerals, and acidic reactions helps us greatly in our cases."
John moved to lay a kiss on his husband-to-be's curly head. "Of course, dear, but that doesn't make it any less strange or unsanitary, and the fact that I was an army surgeon really makes my complacency in this situation impressive. Well done, you."
Will mimed a kissing action and found himself on the receiving end of a rather filthy look.
He did miss participating in the snark between the Holmes brothers. Getting such enlightened individual to devolve into childish behavior was the best part. Good times.
"Now what I want in return for all of this, is an invitation for dinner at your lover's ridiculous mansion."
"No!" John said abruptly. "No cannibal cuisine!"
"But John, I've never met a cannibal who elaborately cooks his victims! This could be a new room in my mind palac-"
"I said no!"
"Go away, Hannibal."
"Dear Will, I just want to talk."
"But I don't, nor do I want to see you, so leave."
Will found his way blocked by Hannibal, who so casually managed to insert his way into Will's personal space in so little time. "Careful," he warned, "Mycroft has me being followed by at least three snipers as part of a protection detail."
Of course his nonchalance earned him a glare from Will. "Pretending to be fine with everything isn't working for you."
"I could say the same for you," Hannibal commented with a smirk.
"I'm not pretending to do anything."
"You're pretending like you don't want to see me."
"And yet you still use my name without hesitation."
Well that- Fuck.
Of course Hannibal was feeling all self-important because Will had been too obvious. That smug look made Will want to punch him in his perfect cheekbones. Hannibal had a very punchable face. Stupidly attractive but still very punchable.
"Your arrogance isn't attractive in the least."
"I'm not arrogant, I'm confident, dear Will. You care about me and despite your feelings over our most recent history, you don't want to be away from me. I'm feeling incredibly fortunate right now."
Of course he was. Everything still managed to benefit him in the end. No consequences for his actions in the least. Just knowing that made Will want to throttle him.
Maybe breaking his nose would suffice? He could deal with a little imperfection for a time.
"I can feel your homicidal thoughts from here, Will. I'm curious as to why you won't act upon them."
A warm hand pressed against the back of his shirt, making him shiver. Hannibal had initiated a lot of physical contact since they'd met but some things he still didn't do. Will also wasn't used to people touching him in such a way. Trailing their entire hand all the way down his spine suggestively and then not bothering to move their hand when it was over.
His ass was basically one centimeter away from being groped.
Such uninvited liberties Hannibal liked taking. Such things that should typically be against his own weird, moral code.
The urge to throttle him grew stronger, and Will's body betraying him with the desire to be groped by Hannibal specifically made him want to scream.
Oh! There it went. Hannibal's hand finally finished it's exploration.
Before the fool could get a good feel, Will whirled around and used everything he had to launch his entire body at Hannibal. The doctor caught him with ease even as they both toppled to the snowy ground, Will's hands wrapped fully around his throat.
Hannibal didn't seem concerned in the least. He looked pleased to have Will on top of him, which, thinking back on it, was probably not the position he should have aimed for. Giving Hannibal easy access to such a suggestive position was foolish. Bad planning.
He'd think it through next time.
Those damn hands happily gripped his hips and manually shifted Will the way Hannibal wanted him. The ensuing grind was unintended on Will's part, but damn did it feel good to his traitorous body!
Fuck! Why did Hannibal have to be so ridiculously strong and why did Will have to take belly dancing lessons in his youth? The combination of his own core strength and Hannibal's physical prowess was doing him no favors.
Of all the times to be sexually attracted to someone? After years of literally nothing? Now was the time?
Even with his hands wrapped totally around Hannibal's throat, the murderer didn't seem concerned in the least, enjoying manipulating Will the way he wanted him. Over and over, back and forth in a nice rhythm, revealing something Will hadn't spent too much time thinking about even when in Hannibal's all-encompassing presence.
His fingers flexed. Hannibal's face was turning an unpleasant shade of red, but was definitely nice to see even though he didn't look worried in the least. Will squeezed harder, trying to elicit some kind of facial response since he couldn't rely on the rest of Hannibal's body to send him appropriate signals.
RING! RING! RING!
Will rolled right off Hannibal and scooted a safe distance away upon realizing that it was Mycroft's ringtone ruining the moment.
Did he even want to know?
It continued to ring as Hannibal sat up and fixed the position of his tie.
RING! RING! RING!
He answered with a sigh. "Yes, Mycroft?"
"Can you at least withhold the urge to grind against the good doctor in public, brother mine?"
"Ugk! Bu- It wasn't my fault!" Will sputtered, refusing to look in Hannibal's direction, not wanting to see his ridiculously pleased smirk at the moment.
"You literally threw yourself at him!" came Sherlock's distant voice from somewhere behind Mycroft. "I wasn't aware you liked choking though. I could have gone my whole life not knowing that too."
This just wasn't his day.
"Which of the sniper's squealed?" he demanded, looking off into the distance, trying to spot whichever one was responsible for this phone conversation.
"Not important," Mycroft said, "what is important is you getting somewhere private and giving some serious thought to your present location the next time you feel the desire to express your… needs." He said it like it was some kind of swear word.
Because the world was basically full of base goldfish in Mycroft's eyes. How can attraction be a suitable thing in his eyes? 'Caring is not an advantage' despite how he obviously cared very much.
Nothing he said would convince his brothers that he wasn't trying to fuck Hannibal. He was trying to fuck him up but that wasn't interesting. It also didn't really look like that had been the goal, unfortunately.
Why did Hannibal have to be so... himself?
"Thanks for the advice, Mike." A last dig using the nickname Mycroft hated.
He hung up and set his cell to silent so he wouldn't be notified of Sherlock's follow-up textual breakdown on his sex life, or lack thereof. He knew his brother very well and Sherlock would love to get it all out as quickly as possible. Just so he could get the last word of course.
"Family troubles, Will?" Hannibal asked, trailing his fingers over Will's shoulders in order to unnerve him again.
He glared. "Stop touching me like that, you degenerate. What happened to hating rudeness? I don't recall inviting you to grope me. Whether I'd like it or not doesn't matter, you didn't ask and I never said I agreed."
There was a moment of contemplation before Hannibal leveled him with a suggestive look. "May I touch you, dear Will?" All while still touching him.
His heart did a ridiculous little flip at how suggestive Hannibal's voice sounded though.
He was weak. Sherlock would never let him live it down.
"Not here. We're in public."
Hannibal's grin spoke of victory. Will still wanted to punch him. "Keep looking at me like that and you're going to find out that my sexual appetite is frightfully nonexistent."
"I'm certain I could convince your body if you allow me the attempt, dear Will."
His arrogance should not be this attractive.
"I despise you."
"Not enough apparently, which I'm perfectly fine with."
"I haven't completely ruled out throttling you, you know."
"I look forward to it."
He definitely did, the fucker.
Maybe he should introduce Hannibal to Eurus. She'll be able to terrify him for sure, even from behind a creepy, glass wall.
"Wait, have you even broken up with Alana yet?"
Hannibal froze in place for a moment, before sighing. "No."
"Infidelity? Not on my watch. Handle the shit hole you've gotten yourself stuck in before knocking on my door."
Ha! That'd teach the drama queen to think things through in the future. Will was suddenly feeling a lot more calm about this knowing that Hannibal wasn't exactly having an easy time.
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