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To Beg

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Hannibal committed to memory the night Will brought him Randall Tier’s body. He stood victorious at the head of the table, his eyes dark and defiant, his fallen enemy laid before him like an offering. Even without seeing the battle himself he had a glimpse of how glorious Will must have been in that moment. Anger still held his shoulders taut, and his voice was soft but colored with the timbre of quiet danger. The bloodied and broken visage of his prey revealed just how violent, how bestial this encounter had been. Hannibal felt something akin to reverence as he approached Will and the ebbing tide of his righteous fury, and treated his wounded hands with a tenderness that he wouldn’t have expected of himself. This was not the clinical touch of a doctor, and Will was no longer a patient to him. This was an act of care and some shade of humility before the radiant creature newly emerged from his cocoon.

Though he looked distant, eyes closed as his hands were washed and bandaged, Hannibal felt for the first time since Will’s imprisonment that he could see to the heart of him. The rigid veneer he had maintained since then had cracked, rubbed raw by the surge and fall of adrenaline. He was in shock, but not trembling. Wounded only in the flesh. Not shying away from him, not truly frightened in any sense. And Hannibal had not known until that moment how much he needed that—to see the proof right beside him that Will was not simply burying his fear beneath anger, but was able to see him and be present with him.

When he asked if Will, when he was killing Randall, had fantasized about killing him instead, Will simply turned to him slowly, eyes meeting his and lips shifting into a sly smile. It was a playful response, but undeniably fierce. He looked like he would happily sink his teeth into Hannibal’s throat to tear it out, and Hannibal, in turn, was filled with pride and something deeper, darker. He wanted to bend beneath the weight of that gaze and feel the bite of his teeth, to experience the jagged, dangerous edges of his power in an even more intimate manner. Tending his hand was not enough; he wanted to feel his strength and taste the cruelty on his lips. But this moment was too precarious to push for anything more. Instead, he suggested Will should find a way to repay Randall for this debt.

In response, Will constructed a monument out of Randall’s flesh and bone, molding his violence into a display of crystal clarity, channeling the radiance of his transformation. Hannibal quietly marveled at the sight while watching Will with curiosity. He had appeared at the scene recomposed, and responded to Hannibal and Jack’s comments on the scene by profiling himself calmly and deliberately, even contradicting them at times, asserting the way he perceived himself rather than letting them be misled. He was self-assured, the demeanor of someone who, as he claimed, experienced no guilt at what he had done.

In fact, all this was more than Hannibal could have hoped to expect, and it left him somewhat wary. There was a sizable gap between a willingness to indulge in violence and the desire to put that violence on display, and while he was captivated, it left him with questions about Will’s motivations. This was the man who had so recently been trying to prove Hannibal’s guilt, and when he failed he had attempted to kill him. What was he trying to prove now?

He was left pondering this in his office later the same day, sitting patiently in his chair as Will circled the room, restless. He was touching things, riffling fingers across books. Amped, somehow, as if still surfing the high of adrenaline after displaying his kill. It had seemed to excite him to show off his handiwork and to communicate with Hannibal about his crime while Jack stood there oblivious. Now, however, he was silent. Hannibal allowed this for a short while, content to watch the way he prowled the room with an easy confidence, but was finally unable to resist prodding at this puzzle.

“You’re playing a dangerous game,” he remarked. “Not so long ago, we were both suspects for crimes just like this.”

Will turned to face him, but seemed unbothered. “That's why I can't be a suspect this time. Or you. When you framed Chilton, you exonerated the both of us. He was the broom that swept our tracks.” He gestured mildly.

The arrogance of this would have made Hannibal bristle if he didn’t find it so intriguing. Will now felt confident enough to move from accusations or insinuations to casual statements of Hannibal’s guilt. A tripwire hoping to tempt his pride, or simply his way of asserting that was ready to play at Hannibal’s level? He didn’t take the bait, choosing to lay his own instead.

“Why didn't you dispose of the body? It was the prudent course of action.”

“Randall deserved to be seen.” Will’s voice was firm. Opaque. His eyes had a glint in the low light, either pleased or defiant.

“Randall, or your work on him?”

“You called it ‘artistry.’ Is that how you see your own efforts?”

Will once had enough assurance of the artistry inherent in Hannibal’s work to declare it in front of an entire lecture hall, so this seemed a weak deflection

“I also called it ‘savagery,’” Hannibal reminded him. “You mutilated the body. Displayed it. One could argue this was almost cruelty, mocking the savagery of the man himself.”

Will leaned on his desk nonchalantly, picking up an elaborate paperweight and eyeing it as if the conversation had begun to bore him. “I already told you. It isn’t mockery, it’s commemoration. It was only appropriate for Randall to come to such an ending. To merge with the beast of his mind.”

“It’s a beautiful sentiment. Yet I suspect this monument says more about its creator than its medium. Randall lived as a beast; he would have wanted to die as one. To be consumed and abandoned, for his bones to become one with the earth. Looking at your display, I would be unsurprised to know it was the work of a man who had too long denied the aggression that lived within him, until it was bursting at the seams. This was brutal yet gloating, almost childish.”

“I’m sure you’d know all about that, wouldn’t you, Dr. Lecter?” The response had a genuine barb of irritation. Hannibal’s eyes narrowed, but he pressed on.

“As your psychiatrist, I am certainly intimately familiar with your pathology and the way it manifests itself.”

Will’s eyebrows raised in mock surprise. “So it’s my pathology that’s manifesting as ‘brutal yet gloating’ now, is it? Who would’ve thought.” He lay the paperweight he had been examining down on the desk with a sizable thunk. Hannibal gritted his teeth, eyes only distracted from the now likely scuffed surface of the desk when Will strode across the room, standing behind the chair opposite him and leaning in, hands spread on each corner of the backrest, eye contact unwavering—an unambiguously dominant pose. Hannibal raised his chin and met his gaze evenly, but he felt a thrill at seeing this fierce creature before him.

“As a psychiatrist you should also be intimately familiar with the concept of projection. After all, I’m not the one who decided to rip out a man’s organs while he was still conscious and replace them with his phone because he, what, forgot to turn off his ringer during a concert? That’s not just childish, that’s petulant.”

Hannibal took a deep breath, letting his fingers drum out some of his irritation on the arm of his chair. He’d read much more insulting things about his murders in the press; he wasn’t about to let Will rattle him through such an obvious tactic. Yet he found it disorienting that Will was able to stare right at him, through the human veil, and still have the nerve to insult the creature beneath without hesitation, without so much as a hint of concern.

“If I were who you believe me to be, that would be a very unwise thing to say.”

Still no concern. A slight roll of his eyes in fact, and a restrained scoff.

“You’re not going to kill me, Dr. Lecter. You’re committed to seeing how this all plays out. And frankly,” he said, with a slight grimace. “Your continued insistence on sidestepping the issue of what you are is really getting on my nerves. You destroyed my life just to get me on the hook—you can’t just leave me hanging like this indefinitely. So go ahead and reel me in, or throw me back as you found me. Otherwise I suggest you take your hook and find somewhere else to shove it.”

Hannibal blinked, taken aback by the sudden turn of phrase. Then his upper lip curled. “I beg your pardon?”

Will looked phenomenally unconcerned for someone whose tongue Hannibal was idly contemplating serving as an amuse-bouche. If anything he looked satisfied at throwing Hannibal off-balance, a smile playing around his lips. He straightened his back, raised a brow, and said with relish: “Then beg.”

Hannibal found himself abruptly frozen, pinned down by the sharp challenge in Will’s eyes. His mouth had very quickly gone dry. He swallowed uncomfortably, trying to draw a retort from a brain that was now distracted by the nearly agonizing shiver that rolled down his spine at the tilt of Will’s mouth and the way he held himself, as if he genuinely expected Hannibal to submit to him. And the thought of it…

“I’m not in the habit of begging for basic courtesy,” he replied sharply, but a few seconds too late. Will’s smile had slipped and his head was tilting, considering Hannibal with bemusement, like he had just sprouted antlers.

“No—” Will shook his head slowly, tongue pressing between his teeth as if in deep concentration. He walked from behind his chair, approaching Hannibal in a way that reminded him of a cat stalking toward potential prey. “You said I beg your pardon.”

Hannibal squared his shoulders, finding himself having to angle his head back to maintain even eye contact with Will as he grew near. He wasn’t used to being in the position of prey, and his fight-or-flight reflex remained easy to subdue when it did appear, yet now he found his heartrate beginning to rise steadily. In fact, he was fairly sure none of the symptoms of physiological arousal he was now experiencing were due to a perceived threat to safety. He felt like he had when Will smiled at the thought of killing him—an intense desire to experience every part of him, intimately. He vainly tried to conceal this.

“It’s a common expression, Will, as I’m sure you’re aware. It doesn’t imply actual begging.”

“Not usually,” Will said, voice low and drawling. He slipped to the side of the chair and Hannibal stopped short of craning his neck to follow, instead tracking the movement through his peripheral vision, gaze set stubbornly in the middle distance. “But you clearly wanted something just now. And you do still owe me an apology. Is that what you want to beg me for? My forgiveness? Or…”

A hand trailed over his shoulder until it settled over his trapezius and squeezed. Hannibal let out the breath he’d been holding in a small huff. Slowly, the temptation too great to resist, he turned his head away from the hand and down, baring his neck. Even as he did it, he didn’t know whether the gesture was an admission or an invitation.

He heard an equally damning intake of breath behind him, and a thumb dragged up the side of his neck, muscles now stretched taut. “Or… is there something more indecent you’re hoping to beg me for, Dr. Lecter?”

Hannibal swallowed again. Part of him was uneasy, silently growling at the vulnerability he was displaying, but it felt like his very atoms were willing to yield under Will’s touch, parting like the Red Sea. And yes, as indecent as it felt for him to do so, he wanted to ask for more of that touch, more of Will. To beg.

Then Will’s hand crept around his throat, and he could feel his pulse skip so wildly against it that he gave in, letting his head fall back so Will’s fingers could splay wide, teasing the lightest pressure against his windpipe.

“You seemed so very interested in me killing you with my hands.” Hannibal stiffened as he felt Will’s breath at his ear, voice nearly a purr, and he felt a light flush rise to his face. “Do you fantasize about this often? My hand around your neck, you at my mercy?”

When he hesitated to respond, Will’s fingers tightened, and Hannibal felt unreasonably lightheaded considering his throat was not truly restricted.

“Answer me.”

The steely command made him shudder, and he was far too aware that Will would notice, close as they were.

“Yes,” he said softly. “I have thought about it.”

“You like seeing me powerful. In control.”


“Tell me, Dr. Lecter, how long have you had these fantasies?”

“I have found you attractive since we met, Will. I—”

“That’s not what I asked. How long have you wanted me to dominate you?”

The heat of Will’s breath on his ear was making it difficult for him to think with his usual clarity. He wanted to twist beneath his hand so he could grab Will, claim his mouth—and he wanted Will to claim his, to sink his teeth into him until he bled.

“You can tell me if I’m wrong,” Will continued, ignoring his silence, fingers stroking over every jut and hollow of his throat. “But I think it was when I showed up in your kitchen with a gun. You didn’t look at me like that when I pulled a gun on you in the Hobbs’ house, even though I was just as likely to shoot you then. I was feverish. Furious. But you didn’t flinch. You flinched when I was at your house, and you turned your head to the side. I thought it was a façade of vulnerability, just performance. But it was more than that, wasn’t it? Tell me what was different that night.”

Hannibal was having a very hard time remaining still under the teasing touch on his neck, but he answered.

“You were in control. I had never seen your power with such clarity before, untainted by fear or confinement. It was… disarming.”

“I’ve thought about that night, too. Thought about the way you looked at me and submitted to my judgment.” Will’s hand settled as low on his neck as it could, and Hannibal felt a surge of irritation at the barrier of his shirt collar, wanting to rip it open so Will could proceed unrestricted by clothing. “Guns lack intimacy, you’re right. But they don’t have to.”

Hannibal knew exactly what Will was going to say, because his mind had gone there, too, that same night. He shifted in his seat, arousal pooling uncomfortably in his groin, and Will’s hand tightened again around his neck.

“I thought about what it would be like if I’d gotten closer to you. Put the gun right against your skin. Put it right against your mouth.” One hand still on Hannibal’s neck, the other raised so the tips of its fingers fell on his lips, gently tracing their shape before gently pulling the lower lip down, curling slightly so nails clacked against his teeth. “Made you open up and wrap your lips around the barrel. Made you…” Will sounded breathless as Hannibal parted his teeth to allow Will to enter his mouth. His fingers slid in and Hannibal soon had his taste on his tongue. “Made you suck it, with my finger on the trigger.”

Hannibal couldn’t suppress the quiet moan that came from him as he held that image in his mind and Will’s fingers plunged deeper into his mouth, then back slightly. His tongue pressed between them, cheeks hollowed as he sucked them in again.

“That’s it, just like that.”

Will sounded so rough, so affected, and Hannibal felt another noise catch in his throat. His brow furrowed, desperately needing the feeling of Will’s fingers deep in his mouth, rubbing against his tongue, but needing more.

And as if cruelly aware of this, Will suddenly pulled out entirely, moved in front of him, and grabbed his tie in a fist, pulling him closer so they were eye to eye. Hannibal couldn’t even be bothered by the saliva now staining the paisley silk, too intent on the way Will was looking at him. His eyes were ravenous, pupils blown, and he wet his lips, leaning closer to Hannibal.

“But that’s not all you want, is it? That’s just the part of the fantasy that’s easy for you. Easier to admit you enjoy playing games with death than to admit to anything more mundane. But since you like the idea of begging so much, that’s the only way you’re going to get it.”

He released Hannibal with a small shove and backed away, body held taut like a cobra preparing to strike.

“Get on your knees and beg.”

Hannibal was flushed, breathing hard. He wanted to. He wanted to feel Will’s hands tight in his hair, he wanted to suffocate on his musk. But his pride was thrashing within him, rebelling at the thought of begging on his knees before anyone.

“Please, Will,” he said, voice thick. Perhaps a compromise. “I want…”

Will twitched his head sharply to the side. “On your knees, Dr. Lecter. Or I leave this office now, and we forget we ever had this conversation.”

Hannibal closed his eyes briefly, swallowing down his pride, forcing it far enough down the halls of his mind that it wouldn’t raise its head to protest. He slid from the chair onto his knees, staring at the ground beneath Will’s feet. And as soon as his kneecaps hit the floor, head bowed to Will and the decision made to submit to him, he was blindsided by the pleasure he felt in it. Free of that pride, free to accept what Will deigned to give him. He felt Will’s dominance like a hand wrapped around his organs, massaging them—raw and intimate, vulnerable and satisfying in a way he was unused to.

“Please,” he repeated. “I need…”

A hand tucked under his chin and lifted it, forcing him to make eye contact. Will’s eyes were glittering. He looked powerful, predatory, and it made Hannibal nearly salivate with desire.

He reached a hand to tug gently, imploringly, on Will’s trousers. “I want to taste you. Hold you in my mouth.”

An amused smile twitched on Will’s face. “You already had my fingers in your mouth. Do you want to be more specific?”

“I want…” Hannibal’s eyes settled on the bulge in Will’s trousers. He could smell his arousal. “…your cock,” he finished softly, mouth unused to this particular vulgarity but sensing it was what Will would want from him. “I want to touch it, taste it. I want you to… fuck my mouth.”

Will just stared at him with a heated gaze, twisting his fingers in Hannibal’s hair, waiting.

“Please, Will,” he said, trying to stretch forward to bury his face against him, but finding Will’s grip on his hair to be firm, denying him. A sharp tug on his scalp made his breath catch, and his eyelids drooped as his head followed the pull, bending backward. “I’ve wanted you for so long. I want to experience your dominance firsthand. I want… I need. Need you. Need you to fill my mouth until I can taste nothing else. I beg of you.”

Will licked his lips, looking starved for him. “That’s much better, Doctor. Fortunately for you, I’ve been wanting to see those pretty lips wrapped around my cock for months.”

For a moment Hannibal stopped breathing, frozen by the arousal that surged through him, leaving him hard and aching. Will’s hand tugged him forward and he rushed to undo his belt and fly. Hannibal buried his face in Will’s groin as soon as his pants dropped, before he even removed his briefs, inhaling and nuzzling, mouthing at it and soaking the fabric with his spit. It was Will who became impatient first, pushing Hannibal back enough that he could yank his briefs down and bare himself entirely.

Hannibal took in the sight before him, eyes appreciating each detail. The erection protruded glistening and thickly-veined from a nest of dark hair, and he reached to touch it, to test its hardness with a gentle squeeze and run his fingers over its soft skin.

Will quickly caught his wrist, pushing it away. “You begged to have me in your mouth, not your hand. Put your hands behind your back.”

And despite the protest that sprung inside him, wanting to touch Will in every way possible, he obeyed, nails digging in where his hands met to restrain himself.

Then he leaned forward, and with his mouth only set to worshiping Will’s cock.

He licked along the shaft, curling his tongue around the head to savor it before returning to the root. Without his hands to aid it was messy, imperfect—cock rubbing against his face as he tried to shift position, leaving a trail of spit and precum on his cheek. He dipped lower to mouth Will’s balls, tongue slipping behind them briefly, then returned to his length to trace the soft ridges of vein with the tip of his tongue.  It had been a long time since he had last gone down on a man, and he had never done so from this particular position—only as a form of dominance itself, to tease and arouse his partner. But although his technique was imprecise, his enthusiasm seemed to compensate for it, because Will moaned quietly as his lips and tongue explored every centimeter of this gift presented to him.

Then his mouth carefully wrapped itself around the very tip, lips tightening around the head, and he sank down until he felt his throat tense in warning.

Will let out a surprised grunt, and a gasp, and his hips twitched forward, teasing Hannibal’s gag reflex further but not entering his throat. “Fuck, Hann—” His voice was just a groan, even as he cut himself off. “Fuck. You look so good like that, with my cock in your mouth.”

Hannibal made a pleased noise in response, pulling back and sucking lightly at the head. It fell from his mouth with a light pop. “You taste so good,” he finally replied, words slightly mumbled. He was reluctant to pull his lips away from Will’s skin for even a moment. With both earnestness and amusement he said, “I feel I could sate my hunger for you through this alone.”

“Coming from you, that sounds a lot creepier than it really ought to.” He sounded more thoughtful than irritated, and his fingers combed gently through Hannibal’s hair.

Hannibal pulled away just enough to flash his canines in a smile. Will swallowed, eyeing them, but did not recoil. Satisfied, Hannibal once again captured his cock, eager to feel it slide silkily into his mouth again. His head bobbed up and down, Will’s hand guiding him but not forcing, pushing until Hannibal would flinch back but never seeking to go deeper. And he would flinch, eventually, Will’s size presenting a challenge for the gag reflex he was unused to suppressing. He tolerated discomfort well and knew he could force his body to remain still if necessary, but he suspected the state of mind required to micromanage his physical reactions in that way was not compatible with the current need for submission. It would do him no good to physically tolerate the act if he could not appreciate it.

He finally pulled his mouth off entirely, frustrated, saliva spilling over his lips and dripping down his chin. He once again had to clutch his hands so tightly together that his nails pinched skin, fighting the nearly irresistible urge to wipe his mouth clean. He didn’t wish to disobey the command, even if Will would have allowed it. But he did nestle his face against Will’s stomach when he spoke, rather than look him in the eye in such a state.

“I would like to take you more deeply in my mouth, Will.”

“… okay. You don’t need my permission for that.”

“I’m not entirely sure I will succeed unless you hold me in place for it.”

Fuck.” Will sounded breathless at the suggestion. “Yeah, okay. Then open up. And… if you need me to let go, tap my leg. No biting.”

Hannibal nodded his agreement, then opened his mouth, waiting. This time, Will guided his cock between his lips, one hand cradling the back of his skull and gently, but firmly, pressing down until he was as deep as he had been before. When Hannibal’s neck locked in place, resisting the tingle at the back of his throat, Will just held firm and he pushed his cock in further.

Hannibal expected to enjoy pleasuring Will through this act, but he was not expecting how profoundly erotic it felt to have his head forced to hold still as Will’s length pressed deep, fucking past the clench of his throat as he gagged. Wanting to explore this newfound pleasure, he willed his throat to relax, but when a new thrust redoubled the pressure he felt it clench with more determination, and his eyes began to smart and blur. The more he fought to suppress it, the more they teared. When his lashes grew heavy and damp, his discomfort suddenly spiked and his hands were in front of him before he knew it, shoving at Will’s knees. He was immediately released, gasping.

“Are you…”

“I’m fine,” he said, voice slightly hoarse. He looked away, swiping away the excess moisture with as much dignity as he could muster. “The pharyngeal reflex commonly results in tear production. I was merely caught off-guard by my response.”

“I know gagging makes people tear up, I knew you weren’t… crying, if that’s what you were worried about.” He sounded uncertain, and Hannibal understood why. They had tumbled rather suddenly and spectacularly out of flirtation and into a moment of actual intimacy, and they had no point of reference for how to navigate bare honesty with each other.

“The particular sensation of vulnerability caused by unexpected tears resulted in an instinctual reaction, not an intellectual one. But now I’m aware of it, and I can manage it.”

Will’s hand lay on his cheek. “Are you sure? If this is too much…”

Hannibal failed to fully suppress the growl that was left rattling in his throat, and he pressed his forehead firmly against Will. “No. Don’t be soft now, Will, when I have begged of you your dominance. My reaction to gentleness and leniency is not gratitude, but rather the instinct to exploit it. You will do me no favors by placing the burden on me to maintain my submission, at the expense of my dignity.”

“Alright. I get it.” To his credit, he truly seemed to. He didn’t sound condescending or irritated. “May I say something selfish, then?”

Hannibal nodded, then looked up at him curiously, eyes now dry enough to bear it.

Will smiled slightly, crookedly, tilting his head. He ran a thumb along Hannibal’s jaw, then across the bow of his lip, still damp with spit. “I really liked the sight of you choking on my dick, tears and all. To know how deep you were taking me, how willing you were, no matter how uncomfortable. To hold you down and feel you give in, knowing you wanted me to. Hot as hell, Hannibal.”

He was faintly aware that to a normal person, this fetishization of a moment of genuine (if fleeting) distress could be construed as distasteful, even hurtful. But he was certainly not normal. Instead, the knowledge that the sight of his discomfort had not provoked pity or excessive concern, but rather arousal, was infinitely more pleasing to him than the alternative.

And it did not escape his notice that this was the first time since his imprisonment that Will had deliberately called him by his first name.

“Yes,” he breathed, relief and desire coursing through him simultaneously and hands winding together behind his back. “Then do it again. Take my throat, make me choke for you.”

Will let out a breathy moan, his head falling back as Hannibal swallowed him down. “You’re going to be the goddamn death of me.”

Hannibal hummed around his length in satisfaction. More prepared this time, and thoroughly eager, he sank down of his own accord until he felt his throat begin to protest—and then, with a concerted effort, went even further.

Two hands quickly wrapped around his head, preventing him from retreating. Will was hot and leaking in his mouth, and he made an effort to swallow, to take control of the part of his throat that was so doggedly twitching and contracting around the intrusion. His eyes closed, and when the cock inside him pushed deeper still and made his throat spasm desperately his lids squeezed shut and forced tears to pool at the corners of his eyes.

“That’s it… fuck. So perfect for me, that’s it.”

The hands on his skull relented, and he pulled back with a gasp, choking slightly. Will stroked his head, then pushed him back down as soon as he caught his breath, fucking in and out of his mouth, slightly deeper each time.

Hannibal’s whole body tensed every time the head of Will’s cock started to slip down his throat, but Will held him through it, letting out a little moan each time that made it absolutely worth it. When he slid deep and held firm and Hannibal started to gag more, Will said, “Look up at me.”

He grunted, eyes again reflexively squeezing closed, then Will tightened his fist around a tuft of Hannibal’s hair until it pinched, making him moan and loosen his throat for his cock.

“Look at me,” he repeated firmly.

Fighting his every instinct, Hannibal opened his eyes and looked up at Will, blinking away the tears that welled up, starting to run in thin rivulets down his face.

Will’s cock twitched against his tongue, and he thrust in what must have been an unconscious reflex, because when Hannibal winced and resisted he eased his hand, though not all the way.

“Keep those lips wrapped around my cock,” he said, a growl in his voice. “God, you’re so…” Hannibal blinked up at him again, easier without the presence in his throat but with tears still staining his face, and it drew yet another, wilder thrust from Will. “Fuck. Hannibal, if you don’t want me to fuck your throat raw until I come you’re going to have to tell me now, because I don’t know how the hell I’m going to restrain myself if we keep going. I…”

But Hannibal had already answered the question for him. He sucked tightly around the head of Will’s cock, tongue lathing against its hole, and Will let out a truly bestial growl when he opened his jaw wide, giving him permission to start thrusting.

He did, fucking in fast and deep, hands clenched tight around Hannibal, unleashing noises that made Hannibal so desperately aroused he was unable to resist fumbling to undo his own trousers so he could finally ease some of the painful throbbing of his own. He could only rub his palm against himself, unwilling and unable to focus more attention on himself, the mild friction just enough to offer distraction from his throat, which was frantically trying to resist the intrusion that was slamming into it.

Fortunately for his throat, he didn’t have to tolerate it for long. The rhythm broke and Will keened. His hips jerked forward once, twice, cock planting deep and twitching in the tight channel of Hannibal’s throat as he came. Hannibal was choking but, dazed and mildly oxygen-deprived, felt like he was floating. When Will pulled back he almost dreamily sucked each last trace of cum from his skin.

Then, as if from a distance, he heard, “You’re… fuck.”

Hannibal realized he was still rocking against his own hand and stopped, uncertain, but then:

“Take your pants off. Now.”

Hannibal stripped off both his pants and his underwear, and the lurid color of his swollen erection bobbed into view. But he hesitated. “I already feel quite satisfied by merely experiencing your orgasm in such an intimate matter,” he said, voice raspy. “It’s not necessary for me to finish myself.”

Will lowered himself to the ground with a look of intensity, straddling Hannibal’s legs. “I don’t care if it’s necessary or not. I want to see it. I want to see you lose control and come all over yourself. Can you do that for me?”

Hannibal made a soft noise of affirmation and closed his eyes, leaning with his back resting against the chair and wrapping a hand around his shaft, starting to jerk himself slowly.

It was with no small surprise that he felt Will shuffle his knees forward and lay a hand around the back of his neck. Then, softly but firmly, a kiss fell on his lips.

Shocked, Hannibal opened his mouth and felt the hot slide of a tongue roll over his lips and into his mouth. It seemed famished as it licked into him, Will seeking the trace of himself on Hannibal’s tongue, exploring the land he had claimed.

Hannibal grabbed his shirt with one hand, trying to pull Will against him so he could never leave this kiss. His other worked methodically even as his hips began to lift of their own accord.

Will’s mouth broke the kiss with a smile and a small chuckle, and he unwrapped the hand from his shirt and pressed it against the chair by its wrist.

“Now behave,” he murmured, and Hannibal was lost, utterly lost in the sharp gleam of his eyes. Willing to bend beneath him. Willing to melt beneath him.

“Whatever you say.” Will’s stormy eyes searched his, and seemed to realize he meant it genuinely.

He leaned forward, hoping for another kiss, and received a sharp nip to his lower lip instead, teeth digging in and not relenting. Not until his muscles went lax and he made a noise of arousal very much like a whimper.

“I told you to behave, Hannibal. What’s to be done about it if you disobey me?”

It was amazing how easily he could conjure the phantom of corporal punishment without so much as saying the word. It was also amazing how quickly this thought brought Hannibal to the edge, panting and writhing beneath the other man.

“Will,” he gasped, and quick as that he was being kissed again, deeply, and a hand that was not his fumbled between them until it found his cock and interrupted his own.

“Go on,” Will breathed against his lips. “Come for me.”

And with barely one stroke more, he did, kiss breaking into a moan that Will swallowed entirely, mouth locked around his to drink in every breathy noise. Will milked him until he shuddered in overstimulation. He was distantly aware of words of praise, and of the sight of his ruined shirt when Will rolled beside him. Both of them were panting.

He lay his head on Will’s shoulder in a gesture that was as much possessive as affectionate—a silent insistence that he stay here with him.

“You look wrecked,” Will said, a smile in his voice. “I’ve never seen you so undone.”

“I rarely am.”

Will sighed, laying his head over Hannibal’s. Accepting the gesture. “I didn’t… expect this.”

“I didn’t expect it either.”

“No, not just what we just did. I didn’t think you’d be interested in, or capable of, submitting in any sense. Especially to me.”

“Not especially to you. Only to you. I would not allow anyone else to do what you just did to me, let alone find myself enjoying it. Where power dynamics are involved, I have always been in the dominant position.”

Will’s hand twitched. Then, giving in to the impulse, it reached to cover Hannibal’s and squeeze. “I don’t know what to say to that. Only… usually that sort of thing requires trust, and you don’t trust me, do you?”

“No. But if you were to violate my trust and attempt to injure me, I feel confident in my ability to defend myself. And even should you gain the upper hand, I would still have had the privilege of seeing your true self. And that would make it worthwhile.”

Will let out a long breath and rubbed his forehead. “This isn’t how I thought it would go.”

“The progression of our relationship?”

“No, I...” Will shrugged Hannibal off his shoulder and struggled to his feet. He handed Hannibal a tissue from the side table, which he accepted and did his best to clean off his shirt, though irritated that he had been pushed away.

“I think I misunderstood your intentions in… winding me up. You weren’t just toying with me, were you. It wasn’t just curiosity.”

“Perhaps at the onset. But very quickly, no. I saw the potential in you for friendship.”

“And more.”

“Yes.” He looked at Will with curiosity. “What was really your intention in resuming your therapy?”

Will’s jaw was tense. “Partially curiosity. Partially because I wanted to know you. Understand you. But partially…” He hesitated for a long moment. “Partially I thought if I got close to you again, I could catch you. Or kill you.”

“I did consider that possibility.”

He nodded, shortly. He didn’t meet Hannibal’s eyes. “That’s not all. Jack knows. He didn’t buy that it was Chilton. He wants me to help him catch you. I won’t. But he knows what happened with Randall Tier.”

“So it was a double cross,” Hannibal said, voice descending into ice. “You pretended to deceive him, when in reality deceiving me. Just to lure me in?”

“No. That’s how I justified it, but that’s not why I did it. Jack thinks you did it with me—that you were testing me, trying to see how far you could push me. That you wanted to watch my reactions as you mutilated the body and made me help. But you know that’s not what happened.”

Hannibal breathed through the low current of fury that circled within him. “Then why?”

“I made Randall into a display because… it felt like I wasn’t finished until I had. And I whether or not I wanted to catch you—because I was always unsure where exactly I stood on that—I suppose I wanted to impress you. I wanted to feel like I was worthy of the attentions of the Chesapeake Ripper.”

It was flattering, if it was true. “And now? What do you hope to gain through this revelation?”

“I don’t expect to gain anything. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you wanted to kill me for this. I’m just trying to set things right. Ease my conscience.” When Hannibal raised a brow, he smiled wryly. “I thought by deceiving you I was only taking advantage of your curiosity. But I wasn’t. And after this I would be taking advantage of a hell of a lot more.”

“So that’s it? You would feel guilty taking advantage of my feelings for you?”

Slowly, Will shook his head. One hand fidgeted at his side and he paced a short distance.

“Do you know why I was so furious when I figured out what you did to me? Because it wasn’t just that you manipulated me, framed me, killed Abigail. It was because I truly believed, from the way you looked at me and spoke to me, that you cared about me. Whether that was in some deep platonic sense or otherwise. And that meant something to me. And when I found out what you were, I assumed you were just playing me, because you couldn’t possibly be capable of the kind of emotion I thought I saw in you.”

“And now you believe it was genuine.”

“I believe that you were just as surprised to feel something for me as I was to have someone care about me like that.”

His mouth twitched. “That would be an accurate assessment.”

Will took a deep breath. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m still several kinds of pissed at you. But if what I saw was genuine, it means the person I cared about wasn’t a complete lie. And I can’t send that person to jail. And I can’t keep lying to you. Not after seeing you like this. And I… I don’t expect anything from you. I know this could be the end of everything. But I hope you understand that I wouldn’t be telling you all this if I wanted to keep lying.”

Hannibal frowned at him, searching his face. “So who is it I am watching now, Will? Are you the fledgling killer I believed you to be, or are you a well-intentioned FBI agent who fell in over his head?”

“Why not both? If you can be both a ruthless serial killer and a man willing to go to his knees for love?”

“Why not, indeed.” He stood, putting his clothes back in order, and approached Will, who stiffened. Hannibal placed a hand on his cheek, rough with stubble, and watched his eyes widen. This could be a moment of either intimacy or violence, and they both knew it. But he watched Will breathe under his hand, not attempting to withdraw and clearly not wanting to. He saw honesty again.

“I know if I betrayed you after this, you’d kill me,” Will said quietly.

“Yes. I would. But I will give you this one chance, since you were willing to confess of your own volition. As long as you are willing to correct your error and demonstrate your loyalty to me.”


“Freddie Lounds is going to be a problem. She is far too invested in solving the puzzle of you and I and the Chesapeake Ripper. If you intend for us to recover from this, I believe it is time for you to bring more than just fish to my kitchen.”

Will swallowed, blinking, then nodded tightly.

“Once you have done this for me,” he continued, “I believe we have stumbled upon something worth exploring further.”

He permitted the smallest of smiles to cross his face and Will responded with one of his own, corners of his mouth creeping up at an angle.

“Then I look forward to it.”